Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Clean Your Craftiness!

Yesterday was the first day of spring.  Down here in the South, that often means lots of open windows to air out the house, yard work to get everything ready for the growing season, and, of course, spring-cleaning.  Like many of you, I’ve started some of my own spring-cleaning projects, including an overhaul of my craft studio. 

My busy winter schedule had left my poor room looking like it had been turned upside down and shaken like a snow globe. It was such a mess that I couldn’t even hold any classes!  So one week (including several really long nights) later, I feel like I have a whole new room, just waiting for me to do some crafting!  Now for those of you who are familiar with this space, it may look like the same old room, but if you had seen it last week, you’d know I wasn’t kidding about the state it was in.  And even though it looks like a cleaner version of the room I had before, just about everything in the drawers, stored in tubs and on the shelves is in a different place.

Die cutting and stamping supplies

The Crafty Neighbor Prize Vault!  There's some cool stuff in those boxes!
For the moment, I have lots of sticky notes stuck on everything to remind me what goes where.  My next project is to make some real labels for all the drawers and bins.  I'm thinking something cute and crafty!

So why did I rearrange things and how did it get so messy in the first place?  The key lies in usage.  Over time, our needs, our projects, our ideas, and even our styles change.  (Just go back to those very first scrapbooking pages you made if you need proof!)  When I first planned my room, it was the perfectly organized space for what I was doing at the time, but since then, my needs for that space have changed.  I bought new tools and supplies.  I quit using some items and went back to using some I hadn’t used in a while.  I started working on different kinds of projects.  I even changed the where and when that I craft. 

After years of searching for the “perfect” organization system and trying out every storage method known to man, I have finally come to the conclusion that there really is no perfect space, no perfect method, no perfect solution.  Everything is constantly in flux, always changing and moving in different directions just as surely as the earth circles the sun and the seasons change. As humans, we live in cycles of birth, growth, and decline.  We have rhythms that dictate our sleep and every other function of our bodies.  So it only makes sense that crafting works in cycles too.  If winter is the time for reflection and resolutions where we make promises to do more and we look forward to what the new year will bring, then spring is the time to refresh, renew, and revitalize our workspace, our styles, our supplies, and even our attitudes about scrapbooking.

Along with my new craft space and my renewed desire to get busy and create stuff, I have also refreshed the way I will go crop.  In the past, I always took a lot of projectes and supplies with me to my weekday Mother’s Day Out crop, but no more.  My new goal will be to try and take as little as possible in the way of tools and supplies – something kind of similar to my road trip scrap kit.  The ideas is to have a single bag containing my tools and another bag to hold my paper and supplies while I work on one project such as a themed album or a home d├ęcor project.  I want to keep it simple, quick and easy.  I want to be portable.  I want to get the projects done and not waste so much time waffling over which stamp to use or what font looks best.  All this renewed energy makes me want to craft every day.  I think that's something left over from the LOAD challenge.  It doesn't have to be a big project or even a page, I just want to do something crafty every single day.

It's all about renewal.  Rebirth.  Reinventing ourselves and the way we craft.  In the spirit of renewal and revitalization, the rest of this month's blog posts will focus on some spring-themed projects and some repeats and continuations of the spring-cleaning posts.  I am also trying to determine how many people might interested in having a scrapbooking garage sale?  If we can find a location, would you be interested in participating as a seller?  Send us an email at  It would be a great way to rid yourself of some of those old tools you never use any more, plus you can shop the sale yourself and maybe come home with some new toys to play with yourself!  Talk about giving new life to old tools!  Leave a comment and tell us about some ways you are keeping your craft fresh and new this year.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Five Simple Cards and a Winner!

I think I posted more on this blog in February than I have since I started it.  Participating in the LOAD 212 challenge really gave me something to talk about and of course I had all those layouts to post.  Now here we are in March and I feel like I've barely posted at all!  So to make up for it, I thought I'd post some cards I made a week or two ago.  Four are birthday cards and the fifth is my swap for our April card swap (I'm ahead for once!) These are all really simple cards, and each one features some different technique.

I love embossing folders!  I got a Big Shot a while back and I've enjoyed embossing everything!

It's hard to see, but I used Copic markers for most of the coloring.  I used Glaze pens for the tires and silver parts.

This card was part of a challenge in an online group I joined recently:  Yahoo Groups; TXSB.  I used my Gypsy to weld two different pieces to create the flourish.  The rosette was made using the Tim Holtz die I recently purchased.

This card is actually parts from a card we were supposed to make in our monthly stamp club group, but our instructor accidentally left out a few parts, and by the time she got the parts to us, I had forgotten what the card looked like.  So I took the parts and made something entirely different.

This card uses a stamp set and honey pop paper sold by Inky Antics.  I just love these!  They remind me of my childhood.

And now for the winner of our prize drawing for a copy of the Tim Holtz "Distressables".....

The winner is:  Carol Labuski!  Carol, if you read this, please send me an email!

That's it for this time!  Watch for more cards and page layouts coming up in a few days!  Until then, please check out some of our older posts!

The Crafty Neighbor

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Sometimes a girl’s just got to get away!  When hubby announced that he wanted to spend his spring break hiking the Ouachita Trail, I thought to myself, “I could really use a fun vacation, too."  And what better way for a scrapbooker to spend spring break than touring scrapbooking stores?  That would be touring scrapbooking stores and scrapbooking, too!

This past weekend, Christen and I took our scrapbooking on the road to visit stores in Central Texas including Waco, Austin, San Antonio and surrounding areas. Thanks to Texas ScrapMania, we located 11 stores between Dallas and Gonzales, Texas, and we made it our mission to visit every single one!  We did lots of shopping, caught up with some friends, met some more scrapbookers and store owners, and spent our evenings scrapbooking in our hotel room.  Somehow, we managed to visit all but one store (Stampin’ Salado) that we missed entirely, and one other that we got to just as it was closing.  I’ve included the stores on a Google Map just like the map for the DFW stores.

View Central Texas Scrapbooks in a larger map

We took lots of pictures of our scrapbooking adventures.  If you’d like to see them, please visit our facebook page at

In other news, Scrappin’ Bunnies in McKinney has recently announced they are closing.  It just reminds us how important it is to support those local scrapbook stores.  It’s very tempting to buy things cheaper online or at large craft stores, but don’t forget that the number one thing a local scrapbooking store has to offer is not the products they carry, but rather their knowledge and expertise.  Those big chain stores can't give you that.  I guess it's true that sometimes you get what you pay for.

Don’t forget to check out our crops and retreats!

Registration is open for our National Scrapbook Day Community Crop Party and our 4th Annual Pam’s Pals Benefit Crop.  Please sign up for one of these fun all-day events and support some really great causes!

We have also extended the price guarantee deadline on our cruise registrations!  You can still sign up for just $50 and prices start at just $455 per person through April 9.  After 4/9, prices may increase, so act now!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On the Calendar....

Boy is it windy today!  Looks like March is roaring in like a lion!  Don’t let it roar by before you check out all the events going on at Crafty Neighbor!

I have an extra copy of Tim Holtz’s  “Distressables” booklet featuring lots of fun projects and techniques!  Would you like to win it?  Here’s how:

Get one chance to win for each of these:

  • ·      Follow our blog at
  • ·      Friend us on facebook at
  • ·      Sign up for our mailing list:
  • ·      Join our meet-up group at
  • ·      Make a comment on one of our blog posts
  • ·      Make a comment on one of our facebook posts
  • ·      Attend one of our events
  • ·      Sign up for one of our crops or cruises (one chance for each)

Enter before Midnight on March 9, and I will post the winner from a surprise location on Saturday, March 10!

Cruise with Crafty Neighbor!
Join us for one of our exciting scrapbooking and crafting cruises!  Our cruises feature fabulous food, friends, family, and tons of fun! Don't scrapbook? No problem. We still offer fabulous all-inclusive cruise pricing for your personal or family vacation getaway, so hurry and get your registration in with your $50.00 deposit to secure your spot!!!!!

Depart from
Galveston, Texas
September 15-20, 2012
on a
5-Night Western Caribbean Cruise
on the Carnival Triumph
including the ports of
Progreso and Cozumel, Mexico
Starting at just
$455* per person!

Register before 3/9/12 to get this great low price.

National Scrapbook Day 2012
Community Scrapbook Party
Crop ‘til you drop fundraiser!
R. L. Turner High School Cafeteria
1600 South Josey Lane
Carrollton, Texas 75006

12 hours of non-stop cropping to benefit
R.L. Turner Orchestra Boosters
All-day cropping, make-n-takes, raffles, vendors,
games, prizes and much, much more! 

Beginner Scrapbooking Classes offered on request.

Pam’s Pals 4th Annual
“Think Pink” Benefit Crop

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Council
JoAnn Fogg Service Center
6001 Summerside Drive
Dallas, Texas 75252
Saturday, August 18th
from 10:00 A.M. to Midnight

Registration is just $50.  All profits will benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

In addition to cropping, we'll have a silent auction, raffles, a “Pink Page Contest”, make-n-takes, games, prizes, and so much more!
Lunch and dinner will be provided.

Don’t forget to check our online calendar at  (you can also access it from our home page!).  We will be updating the calendar with several more crops and classes over the next few weeks!

In the mean time, try not to lose any of your scrapbooking supplies in this wind!

-- Cindy

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Did you hear a big, “Ahhhhhhh……”? That was the sigh heard ‘round the world as all the LOAD 212 participants uploaded our final layouts and breathed a collective sigh of relief. It was a ton of work, and part of me is quite glad it’s over. I’m quite exhausted, but don’t get me wrong, this was an awesome experience. I have learned a ton about myself and my scrapbooking habits that I hope will help me make better pages faster in the future. In the mean time, I’ll just have to wait patiently for LOAD 512 (May!), and hope to get at least a few pages done in between.

 While we’re waiting, maybe you will enjoy looking at the rest of the layouts I did.  And just to make it fun, I have a prize to give away.  Post a comment and tell me which layout you like best.  On Friday, I will randomly draw one name from the comments to receive a grab-bag full of fun goodies!