Tuesday, April 30, 2013

This is your last day to Save big at our store!

Today is the last day of our Grand Reopening Sale and the last day you can save 15% on our already very low prices with the coupon code:  WOW

Today is also the last day you can sign up for our newsletter and get special coupon codes sent to your email every month starting May.

So don't waste time.  Run over to the store and take advantage of our amazing deals.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Reminisce: Behind the Scenes

The Gibsons owners of Reminisce
Click to Enlarge
Reminisce wasn't always the manufacture of cute scrapbook supplies that we all love.  Actually when Reminisce was founded they didn't make scrapbook supplies at all.  Reminisce has it's origins is a scrapbook store.  Perhaps that's why they seem to understand the designs we all love.

Matt and Andria Gibson opened their first Reminisce retail store in February of 2002.  The combination of her creativity and his marketing skills turned out to be a great one.  It didn't take long for Reminisce to become one of the biggest scrapbooking stores in the Midwest.

Everyday customers at the store would talk about the things they liked and Matt and Andria quickly understood what scrapbookers wanted.  Armed with this knowledge and two graphic designers they decided to make their own line of scrapbook supplies.  Matt and Andria started selling their first two collections in 2003, one short year after opening their store.

The supplies were a hit and Reminisce has grown over the years.  Today Reminisce has 13 employees and over 30 independent contractors.

They eventually decided to sell their scrapbook store and concentrate on making great new supplies.  However, they haven't stopped keeping careful tabs on what scrapbookers love.

More about the people behind the company:

Andria has been scrapbooking for 8 years.  It was this love of scrapbooking that inspired her to open their original retail store.  She enjoys teaching scrapbook classes around the country, spending time with her family and running marathons.

Matt has a marketing degree.  He perfected his marketing skills by opening multiple businesses before he ever tried opening reminisce with his wife.   Matt works hard to this day helping to spread the word about the Reminisce brand.  I found the picture in this post on Andria's blog about her family.  I wrote Reminisce to ask if I could use the photo and sent them a copy of the article.  Matt personally quickly wrote me back giving me permission to use the photo and correcting me about a mistake I had made in the post.  There are not many stores anymore where a owner will talk to you and help you.  In his spare time Matt enjoys skying and spending time with his family.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Little Shoebox: Behind the Scenes

cat in shoebox
Thanks Seth Werkheiser or flickr for the photo
When I write these behind the scenes looks I rely on a few sources.  The main source I look at is the companies website, but also I rely on their blog plus our original store description of their brand and my personal knowledge.

However, when I went to http://www.mylittleshoebox.com/ I found it did not have an about us page.  When I clicked on the scrapbook page it loaded a fabric page.  Other pages didn't load at all.  However, the page has a cool look and I hope they get it running correctly soon.

Next I went to their blog and didn't find the information I wanted their either.

That leaves me with one source, our actual webpage.  Sadly the description below is basically word for word from our website, but it give some good information on this great scrapbook company that apparently is very hard to find currently.

Helen Chu founded My Little Shoe Box in spring of 2005 and to this day is the creative director.  However, the story of Helen and My Little Shoe box starts long before 2005.  Helen Chu has been scrapbooking since she was a little girl, before scrapbooking even was a word.  In 2001 when she got married she made a wedding album/scrapbook for herself.  People thought it was done professionally and thus the idea that she could scrapbook for a living was born.  With encouragement from her husband and family she started My Little Shoebox.    She only wanted people to experience the joy she got from scrapbooking and to take their photos out of the shoebox and into a beautiful scrapbook.    Today My little Shoebox has grown to a major paper company among the boutique scrapbook stores and is one of my favorite brands.  Their supplies are not only beautiful but also very high quality.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Maya Road: Behind the Scenes

Building at intersection of several Maya Roads
Thanks to NCReedplayer of flickr for the photo
Maya Road isn't new to the scrapbooking world. 

The company was founded 2003 when two sisters  went shopping for scrapbook supplies.  After looking up and down the aisles they couldn't find what they wanted.  Everything not only looked the same, but was also expensive.  After the two of them left that craft store they started talking about how they wished things were.  They wanted to make high quality and creative scrapbook supplies that  were still affordable.

That conversation turned into a business idea and before long the two of them were selling their own scrapbook supplies on eBay.  You can only do so much business on eBay though and in 2004 after soul-searching they decided to truly launch Maya Road.

They launched with 38 products at the 2004 Hobby Industry Association.  Since that time Maya Road has added over 600 new products including chipboard, ribbons and fiber.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Graphic 45: Behind the Scenes

The family behind Graphic 45I love using Graphic 45 supplies,  however to be honest it hasn't always been that way.  Don't get me wrong I've always loved their stuff.  In the past, I just wasn't willing to cover up their beautiful papers and thus found the brand intimidating.  I've now gotten over that fear though and I'm sure you will also if you give Graphic 45 a try.

This award winning scrapbook company was founded by a mother (Diane Schultz) and her two daughters (Aimee and Charee Filimoehala).  Their supplies capture the essence of the 1920's and 30's making them absolutely perfect for anyone who loves a vintage look.

Graphic 45 layout
from our 10/17/2012 post
Diane (the mom) is the designer and CEO of graphic 45.  She loves to be creative and helping others be creative.  Anyone who has seen the supplies Graphic 45 makes would instantly know they are designed by a professional and they would be correct.  In the past Diane has designed for McCalls, Simplicity, and Vogue just to name a few.  That wasn't good enough though she actually went back to school and got her degree in graphic design before founding the company.

Aimee Filoehala (the daughter) is the director of operations.  What this really means is she does almost everything.  Aimee is in charge of the business and marketing and well any crazy thing that many come up.

Charee Fimimoehala (the other daughter) is the director of customer service and social media.  I know from my efforts at social media for our store that this is a HUGE job and can't imagine how hard it is to do for a store the size of Graphic 45.  Charee clearly does this job well.  When I asked to have the picture of the 3 of them for this blog post Grapic 45 wrote me back within 5 minutes saying yes.  That's impressive at least to me.

Graphic 45 is a true family business in every sense of the word.  It seems to me in the world of scrapbooking the family owned business are the ones who that somehow give us that magic that is hard to describe.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

7 Gypsies: Behind the Scenes

I LOVE 7 Gypsies scrapbook supplies!  They have a feel that often works for manly pages.

The 7 Gypsies story like so many others is a love story.

It all started one fateful day when an architect who wanted to be a painter crossed paths with a school teacher who enjoyed collecting things.  The two fell in love and got married.

They decided to pack their bags and travel the world.  The years passed one after the next and they had 7 children but never stopped traveling.

You can't exactly stuff 7 kids in the back seat of a compact car so they got a van.  They would sometimes notice people in cars looking at them a little strange, but thought nothing of it.

One day while driving in the south of France they were shocked to see many white vans identical to their own pulling out of a field.  The vans were filled with Gypsies.  They instantly knew what all the strange looks had been for.  Everyone they drove past on the road that day had thought the 7 of them were 7 Gypsies.

Time passed and eventually our two love birds lost the need to travel constantly.  They made themselves a home in the south western U.S.  They decided to start their own scrapbook line and base the designs on their world travels.  Only one name seemed right for this new company and this story ends or does it really only
just begin with the the birth of the 7 Gypsies scrapbook company.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fancy Pants: Behind the Scenes

two girls wearing fancy pants
Thanks to Nihal Doganvia Maria Bostromfor of Pinterest for the photo
When two people take a chance on a scrapbooking dream amazing things can happen.  This was the case when Jodi and Jared decided to make their dream come true and founded Fancy Pants.
Jodi is the creativity behind the business and Jared is the business person.  Together they have made a great team.

Fancy Pants Designs made it's first appearance in 2005 at the CHA winter show.  Their home based business quickly took off.  It's been a little over 7 years since then and Fancy Pants is no longer just two people working out of their home.  Today they have a group of creative directors, designers, and other staff.  However, the quality and creativity that Fancy Pants has always been known for has never changed.

On a side note while doing research for this post I discovered that fancy pants has 48 great free downloads on their site.  You could print these and use them on your layouts.  I personally plan to use them on things like blog post.

Check here it them out

P.S. I updated our store.  All our product thumbnails are now much bigger (1 3/4 x 1 3/4 inches on my screen).  It's now much easier to see the smaller details of a scrapbook paper without having to actually click on the product.  We are always looking for ways to make the store even better and if you have a suggestion I would love to hear it.

I write a day early so they can post at 3 am.  Sadly I didn't post date this so it actually first appeared on our blog on 4/23.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

American Crafts: Behind the Scenes

American Crafts is a true American success story.  It seems to be always be growing when so many other great scrapbook companies disappear.  What makes this scrapbook company different and so successful?  I'm sure their great designs have a lot to do it with it, but IMO so does the way this family operated and owned business adapts and works with the craft market.

In 1994 Steve and Alma Mitchel with the help of their sons founded American Crafts.    This well known scrapbook company didn't always make scrapbook supplies.  Originally they made gel pens, ink pens, and markers.

However in the late 1990's the scrapbook market really began to pick up and American Crafts saw the potential of this emerging group of crafters.  Since American Crafts first appearance on the scrapbook scene they have steadily expanded and become trend setters.

The company is always looking for ways to offer even more scrapbook supplies.  In 2009 they bought Pebbles.  Two short years after that they also acquired the well known scrapbook brand Crate Paper.
Their designs feature bright colors with a contemporary feel.  It's a design concept many scrapbookers love insuring that American Crafts will continue to grow in a time when so many scrapbook companies just disappear.

On a side note this is my 200th blog post

Thanks to SqueakyMarmot of Flickr for the photo

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Cosmo Cricket: Behind the Scenes

I find the story of Cosmo Cricket personally inspiring because it is the story of a husband and wife team who wanted to start a scrapbooking business and were successful.  It honestly isn't easy!  I forget the actual percentage, but many married people who start a business together get divorced because of the stress.  Many other business simply fail.  So finding a couple who has stayed happy and been wildly successful is inspiring.  Don't worry Susy and I are fine, but that isn't to say we don't have disagreements about how much housework vs store work I should do, what we should buy, or what we should post on the blog.  However, with love, a bit of understanding, and a lot of hard work I believe we can be successful just like Eric and Julie Comstock the founders of Cosmo Cricket.

Now onto the Cosmo Cricket story:

In the summer of 2006 Eric and Julie Comstock decided to do something that some would say is crazy.  Why not start a scrapbook company together?

They decided to entered the world of scrapbooking with a big splash.  The world first saw Cosmo Cricket at the Cha of summer 2006.  Everyone loved their style and Cosmo Cricket was an instant success.  In fact, for their first year Eric and Julie had trouble just keeping up with all the orders.

The years passed and the work load of sending out the orders took more and more of their time.  After 7 years Eric and Julie decided to go back to what they love, designing beautiful scrapbook paper.  To accomplish this they teamed up with Advantus Corp. and handed over the phones and order processing to them.

Eric and Julie still design every product that Comso Cricket produces.  They live and work in Austin, Texas with their 4 children.

I'm happy that we carry few Cosmo Cricket products and only wish we carried many more.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Jillibean Soup: Behind the Scenes

jillibean soup logoJillibean Soup was founded by Jill Yegerlehner.  Jill is an avid scrapbooker who describes herself as addicted to scrapbooking.  After a lot of research, prayer, and discussions with her husband she took the leap and decided to make her own line of scrapbook supplies.   She named it Jillibean Soup because Jillibean was her nickname as a child.

As a fellow scrapbooker Jill understands what we like.  She keeps a close eye on the color, details and design of every new scrapbook product Jillibean Soup produces.  So, if you are looking for high quality scrapbook supplies with creative fun designs look no farther.  Jillibean Soup has you covered.

More about the Company:

Jillibean Soup launched it's first products in fall of 2008.  Their products are manufactured with close attention to color, detail and design.  Today Jillibean Soup scrapbook supplies are found in specialty craft stores all over the world including ours.

I wrote the majority of this behind the scenes look at Jillibean Soup over a year ago and it's been at our store.  To write this post I went to the Jillibean Soup webpage sadly not only did they not have much new information, but actually had less.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Amy Tangerine: Behind the Scenes

Amy Tan the founder of Amy Tangerine
Click to Enlarge
I'm sure you have seen Amy Tangerine paper at your local craft shop.  Amy Tangerine makes quality scrapbook paper that is very cute, but did you ever stop to wonder what inspires this company to come up with the designs we love and would you believe the their story doesn't begin with scrapbooking?

Amy Tangerine was founded by a young women named Amy Tan.  She grew up loving fashion.  While many of our readers found themselves on the floor cutting up papers to make craft projects little Amy was cutting up fashion magazines and taping pictures to her bedroom wall.

After graduating from high school she concentrated on becoming a successful fashion designer.  Five years later, Amy Tan had made her mark in the world of fashion.  She had her own line of handcrafted T-shirts that she sold under the Amy Tangerine name.  Her line of quality stitched clothing was not only loved by the scrapbooking community, but also the public in general.  It was featured in hundreds of retail outlets including Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus and Barneys New York.

I don't know what made Amy Tan expand her design skills into the scrapbook world.  Perhaps it was the way the scrapbooking community had always loved her work.  No matter what the reason was in 2007 she expanded and started making scrapbook supplies.

With the help of American Crafts Amy puts out a line of scrapbook supplies.  The line just wouldn't be Amy if it didn't include fabric.  There are 8 stitched or adhesive backed fabric papers, fabric stickers, and fabric Delights.  She has also designed many other scrapbook supplies including 16 other patterned papers.

Today Amy Tan lives in a little apartment in Venice Beach with her boyfriend JC and her two dogs Buster and Bamboo.  She enjoys traveling the globe, riding her bike, and talking with creative people.  However, despite all her success Amy Tan remains just a normal person.  I wrote her and asked permission to use the photo in this post.  Much to my surprise she personally wrote me back hours later.  It was just a short note, but it made my day.  As a scrapbooker I look at Amy Tan is a celebrity and was surprised that she took the time for a little blogger like myself.

Thanks Amy!

Until tomorrow have a great day and happy scrapbooking.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The People Who Shape Scrapbooking

CHA Photo
Thanks to UggBoy♥UggGirl of Flicker for the photo
Every time we add a new brand to our store I find myself searching the web for any information I can find on that company.  Then I write a fun little bio for the search by manufacture section of our shop.

I often find the stories of the people behind these scrapbook companies very interesting and even inspiring.

Amy Tangerine was one such company.  When I was reading about this company I found my self intrigued by the story of Amy Tan, its founder, I asked myself why not write a blog post about this brand?

Any bloggers who puts out 7 new post a week will know the next thought to pop in my head.  Why not write a blog post on all the  brands we carry that have interesting stories? Starting tomorrow with Amy Tangerine I will do a series of post on the scrapbooking brands we all know and love, but may not know much about.

Have a great day and happy scrapbooking.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

It's Spring Robot Scrapbook Layout

Spring Robot Layout
Click to Enlarge
I love this layout.  I actually made it last Thursday and I've been looking forward to getting a chance to post it.

I made the layout to show off my garden and replace the layout I had in the April 10, 2013 post that Susy did not like.

Unfortunately, Susy didn't like this layout either so it won't make our scrapbook.  However, I like it so much I'm unlikely to use it for parts like I did my last attempt.  Instead I think I will finish it with pictures of me and my plants and give it to my mom who is visiting soon.

water color robot painting
Click to Enlarge
The robot is my favorite part of this layout.  I hand drew him based on a robot picture that originally came from dragoart. The site has instructions.  However, I didn't follow them I just looked at the picture and made my own spin on it.  After drawing the picture I painted it with watercolors.  Next, I erased all my pencil marks from drawing it and took a blue Faber Castell colored pencil to draw the robot outlines.

I had never tried the technique I used on the gears before.  To make them I glued a piece of tinfoil to card stock and used a cuttlebug gear embossing folder.  I added blue Tim Holtz alcohol ink to the tinfoil and used sandpaper to remove ink from the top of the gears.

Finally I used a blue Faber Castell Gelatos around my robot accessory because I wanted it to stand out more from the background paper.  This was my first experience with Gelatos and it is perhaps too shinny.

Who knows this could be a bad layout, but I love it!  Even though it will never make our scrapbook I wanted to share it with you.  I hope it inspires you to try a new technique today.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ink Emboss Resist Technique Variation with Water Colors

emboss resist technique
Click to Enlarge

Believe it or not, before today I had never tried the Emboss resist technique.

After seeing a blog that had an example of a card made with the Ink Emboss resist technique, I asked myself would this work with water colors?  

The blog did not say how to do this technique with ink, but I've seen Susy do it before (from a distance) so I asked myself why not give it a try?

embossed images
Click to Enlarge

First, I stamped a double image with the same stamp and clear embossing Ink.  

Next, I poured embossing powder over both images and cleaned off the excess.

Then I used our heat tool to melt the embossing powder.

I didn't know how long it would take to cool and I stay in a hurry, so I put the paper in our freezer while I got the ink and paint ready.

Minutes later I took the cold paper out of a freezer and went to work.

emboss resist with ink
Click to Enlarge
On the first one I added red and blue ink.  I found that the ink stayed on top of the embossed image.  I took my finger to embossed image, but it only blended the ink and would not wipe it away.  I got a paper towel and practically used it is sandpaper rubbing back and forth over the embossed image,  After around 30 secs of doing this I was able to clean the image to it's original white color.  There is likely an easier way to do this, but this is what I did.

emboss resist with water colors
Click to Enlarge

On the second one I used blue and red water color paint. Unlike my experience with the Ink I found none of the paint stayed on the embossed image leaving it completely white even after I painted directly over it.  I did wipe the extra paint off with a paper towel after I finished, but only so the project would be done quicker and I could write my blog post on it.  There was no actual need to do this.

So what did I learn?

Both the ink and paint method work, are easy and gave me what I consider great results.  The ink method has nice soft colors with a more refined look.  The water color method seems to have a more artistic look to me, but then again I'm very into water colors lately.

I hope I've inspired you to try a scrapbook technique that you have never tried today.

emboss resist with ink and water colors
Click to Enlarge

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Out of the Box Uses for Craft Punches

Click to Enlarge
I often find that we use our craft punches for out of the box uses.  I thought I would make a simple scene that used a few of our punches.

Click to Enlarge
For the black train instead of doing a chain punch I punched the train engine and two cards behind it.  After that I just punched the two cars after the engine several times then glued them all together one after the next. 

The bridge the train is on was made with the waste part of a ghost/ghoul punch.

Next time you can't find the right punch for a project try sitting back and looking at your punches in a different way.

I hope this helps someone with a project.

Have fun and happy scrapbooking

Click to Enlarge

Saturday, April 13, 2013

20 New Scrapbook Papers added to store!

I love doing all the fun post, but the blog is also about letting our followers know all the new things going on at our store.  So without further ado here are the 20 new items we added along with little tidbits on all of them.  If you see anything you fall in love with don't forget not only do we have the lowest prices you can find (these prices were checked by us on 4/12) but you can also save 15% on your purchase currently with the coupon code wow.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge
This is clearly a really bad photo.  However, it is a really cute precious moments scrapbook paper with lots of glitter.

Slightly damaged condition
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge
Another really bad photo of a super cute scrapbook paper with lots of glitter.  Glitter and our camera do not mix.

Every lover of polka dots will love this paper.


Another shinny paper and another bad photo. I will have to take this one again!  However, in the mean time you can get this paper for only

Very cute birthday scrapbook paper with a large glittered cupcake on it.

I LOVE this mom and me shimmer scrapbook paper.  I'm not alone in that feeling.  This is the 3rd time we have been able to stock a paper from this collection.  The first two times they sold out quickly.

Very pretty glittered paper.  Many of the lines circles and hearts are glittered.  This paper is much prettier then in the photo.

This is very cool paper.  Every single dot on it is glittered.  It would work great many layouts but boys and Halloween both spring to mind when I see it.  This paper is slightly damaged from the factory.  The damage is so small that I'm surprised I noticed it and for all.

It's party time!  This fun paper screams party or any fun activity with bright colors and glitter.  Every polka dot on the front side of the paper is glittered.

This paper reminds me of a country store.

For all those rainy day photos.

I wasn't a huge fan of this paper when I saw it.  However, Susy really liked!  It's actually her favorite of all 20 papers that I added today.

Just a fun girly embossed paper.

Fun paper full of embossed pennants.  It would be great to use whole or cut up.

Fabric pattern stripes on one side and bright yellow chevrons on the other.  The picture does not do it justice.

Great scrapbook paper for anyone who has little kids learning to read or who loves books.  This is my favorite one out of the 20.  You could use it whole, but I would cut it up for all the great book accessories.

You have to love the chevron print on this kraft paper.  All the little colored dots that make them up somehow make this kraft paper both eye-catching and charming at the same time.

This double sided scrapbook paper would be great for cutting up into accessories.  Both sides of the paper are covered in really cute accessories the only hard part is deciding which ones to use.

This vellum flowers paper would be great for a spring or romance layout.

This vellum scrapbook paper is covered in cute pink polka dots.
Click to Enlarge

The vibrant orange on this glittered scrapbook paper would look great with your summer layouts.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Spring Tag

Spring Tag
Click to Enlarge
I have no idea what I will use this tag on but it was a lot of fun to make.

I used our scrapbook punches on this tag.  Well at least 2 of them.  I made the pinwheel using a Fiskars punch, the cloud and bush using the same cloud Fiskars punch, and the flowers with a Recollections Punch.

For the butterfly I recycled butterfly stamp that I painted with water colors from yesterdays post.

I wish I could could remember the blog that I saw this post on.  However, a few days ago I saw a card on a blog that had 3 pinwheels on it.  I woke up this morning thinking of that card and had to use a pinwheel in some way.  This tag has little to nothing in common with my original inspiration beyond the pinwheel, but I love how it turned out.

I hope my little tag inspires someone much is I was inspired by that card.

Have a great day and happy scrapbooking

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Martha Stewart Circle Edge Punch Tutorial

I love this punch!!!  If you have any questions just ask and I'll do my best to answer them.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring Garden Scrapbook Layout

Spring Garden Scrapbook Layout
Click to Enlarge
I'm very proud of my little porch garden and wanted to make a layout about it.  Susy didn't like this layout at all, so it will not make our scrapbook.  Instead it's on the way to my scraps pile to be cut up and recycled at some point in the future.

The flower was cut out with  Martha Stewart Circle Edge Punch.  This is our new toy and I love it.  I'm going to make a video on how to use it tomorrow.

scrapbook flower
Click to Enlarge
I put the flower on pop dots and  inked the area behind the flower.

I drew the trail behind butterfly and stem and leaves of the flower with a colored pencil.

The butterfly and the flower stem were both colored water color paint.

I know I have a lot to learn about scrapbooking and that Susy isn't completely wrong.  I will keep trying to improve my skills and sharing both Susy and my work with you on the blog.

Spirng Garden Title
Click to Enlarge
I'm learning so much from all the blogs I visit and my next layout will be better.  I still hope you enjoyed this layout.

Have a great day and happy scrapbooking!
photo frame with vine
Click to Enlarge

Watercolor Butterfly
Click to Enlarge