Easily Amused

Monday, February 27, 2006

On the Road Again

7Gypsies has made an appearance at last. We've been hoping the journey would lead them here and today it did. We've restocked some of your favorites and brought in a few new papers, the entire line of 97% complete stickers, and more of your favorite 97% complete tags. Other items are on backorder, and we have high hopes they too will make an appearance soon.

Icing on the QuicKutz Cake

The new Icing rub-ons have arrived, along with a few of the coordinating tag and heart dies. We've tested them in house and they rub on wicked easily. And they smell nice too. Hee.

If You Can Pronounce It, We Can Sell It To You

The Kelly Panacci collection is pink, brown, green and turquoise, just for starters. Perfect for pages about friendship and all about me books, you will love the coordinating letter stickers, borders, and punctuation. We rarely order an entire collection or line, but we were so taken with Kelly's stuff, we had to get it all.

Who Let The Dogs In?

Pampered pooch paper in pastel pink popped in and was unpacked promptly. Rambunctious red and rowdy rover paper and stickers rolled over and begged for shelf space. We relented. It's been ruff, people.

Oh Those Wacky River City Rubber Works People

More clear mounted stamps for the funkiest and funniest cards you might want to create are now in the store. We also put out some wood-mounted stamps from the olden days of stamping. The sentiments are more than current, though, with thoughts of Oz, cows, chocolate, and what happens when you get... a little behind. But (no pun intended) not in the same collection. See for yourself.

Friday, February 24, 2006

We Congratulate...

Bridgitte Truong, for her first published page. Check out March's issue of Creating Keepsakes and spot Bridgitte's layout in Becky's Sketch column on page 51. We suspect it is the first of many that will be selected for publication.

Maija Lepore, whose work will appear in an upcoming issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine. I'm certain they can't pay her what she's worth, but now the world can see her talent at work.

Cinderella, who does shop at our store, and is getting married to her Prince Charming. She keeps making literally every little thing you could imagine to prepare for the big day. We gush over it all, as we should, and hope she will take a moment to bask in the compliments she is surely receiving for all the works of art she has created. If it is possible to alter a glass slipper, she will get it done. (And she won't be leaving it on any staircase anytime soon.)

I Would Update the Blog If I Could Stop Unpacking These Boxes That Keep Arriving...

Like the one with new Prima flowers in Got Flowers? shades of lavendar, taupe, and a mix of red and green that does not only go with Christmas pages.

Or like the one with 8x8 metal Memories-in-Tote suitcase albums that are not SEI even though I used their brand name to describe them. (Follow that?)

Perhaps like the box with All My Memories paper in classic pink and brown patterns. And blue and brown patterns.

Or the wake-me-up-I've passed-out-from-excitement look of the vintage Lullaby collection from Daisy D's. OMG rustic patterns that are your grandmother's quilt, and I mean that in the best possible way.

Could it be the May Arts ribbon that is really frayed, wired (or not), and (again) lovely vintage in just about every color you can imagine?

It might perhaps be the Karen Foster box with theme paper (! No, really, you should see it!) because the embellishment line of metal plates is quite a bucket of fun. And we picked up farm paper, zoo paper, Western paper and some interesting sports paper. (You know, we've felt like we've been lacking the right golf paper here.)

I'd also like to thank the folks at Making Memories for sending a groovy cool box of STUFF. Apparently, we won a drawing just for keeping them updated with our store information. And for your information, we just love free stuff too.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Oh My Heck, It's Basic Grey and Chatterbox

Color me delighted with the five (count 'em, five) new Basic Grey paper lines. We've got the selection, we've got the tags, we've got the monograms, we've got the matchbook kits. I might hoard them all in the back, but if you ask nicely, I guess I could stock them on the shelves. Sensational hardly describes how fabulous each and every one of these papers is. We also reordered all the undressed hardwear, tags, and monograms, just in case you need more of 'em. You might want to bring a wheelbarrow. I'm just saying.

Also in: Chatterbox new rooms. Once we revived you from your BG fainting spell, we will lead you to the land o' Chatterbox. Greenhouse, Poolhouse, Bunkhouse: there's really (a) room for everyone. Plant yourself. Stay awhile. Make yourself at home. We could bring cookies. (Girl Scout cookies have also arrived. Let us know if you need a box or two. We can help.)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Stacy's Back

The Big Picture by one of my scrap goddess idols is back in stock. Stacy Julian just has that way about her, makes you feel so great about being a scrapbook artist. Her thoughts about organizing your photos and albums are a gift in and of itself; her Big Picture philosophy is just worth celebrating. I was beside myself (imagine how much room that took) when Simple Scrapbooks selected us as a prize winner in a recent contest, sending along an autographed copy of her book and a frame painted and decorated by Stacy. See it yourself in the Shrine to Stacy. And get into the Big Picture with us.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Keeping Us In Stitches

One of the products that we decided to try out at the store comes to us from a vendor named Diane's Daughters. Recently featured on DIY Scrapbooking, this product is a paper made especially for stitching. The entire sheet is prepunched with tiny holes, making stitching on paper easy-breezy. We've brought in four colors to see how it goes, and we've also brought in a set of patterns in case you're not in the mood to design your own. Add a dash of the rustic fabric-look papers from the same vendor, and your page will come together in a snap.

It's Perfect

Perfect Paper Adhesive works as an adhesive, a decoupage medium, and a matte coat finish to seal your projects. Works without bubbling and maintains flexibility, making it a favorite of ours for a variety of paper arts projects.

Twill, We Meet Again

For possibly the 18th time, we have restocked the XOXOX black and white twill from Carolee's. We know you love it and we love to have it available for all your lovely projects. That's a lotta love, people. For a change of pace, we also brought in some new twill colors and patterns, and some of the new Easter and Spring papers. If you love spring, you're set.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

How Many Bugs and Where Are They Again?

Our brand spankin' new 3 Bugs in a Rug paper line is here in groovy sugar and spice, even French country is nice. Collect the stickers, tags, and papers in one or all the lines. Haven't you been itching for some new fleur de lis? We are already thinking about ordering the few parts of the line we don't yet have. You'll understand why when you see it in person.

Happy Birthday to Kay

Just in time for Kay's birthday (that would be this Friday; please mark your calendar accordingly), NRN has sent us their new birthday line. Fun colors, fun paper, and great for kids of all ages.

Although Kay's not graduating from anything, we also received the NRN grad line. If you're one to plan ahead, this paper is perfect for announcements, pages, and other graduation-related paper crafting.

"Happy Birthday to Kay" Friday February 17 Special

Since Friday is Kay's birthday, it seems appropriate to have a sale in her honor. She has the day off and we are having a sale for you. Do some shopping and pick up a gift tag at the counter when you are ready to check out. Depending on the gift tag you pull, receive a free gift or a 26% discount on your total purchase. (Guess how old Kay is going to be?) Please note that your frequent shopper discount does not apply to the purchase discount, but you are still eligible to use your discount if you pull the tag for a free gift.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Folk Art Revival Begins

We R Memory Keepers paper in the ubiquitous Boho Chic arrived today. First in line of the multiple Boho Chic lines being offered up by various paper merchants, it was certainly one of our CHA favorites. As exciting as it is to have the precious paper in our hands, we are remaining calm. The real buzz will begin when those cool Crop-o-Diles come ashore.

SEI Winnie's Walls is in the house. More folk art inspired designs, this time in lovely muted shades of greens, oranges, and pinks. How exactly can green, orange, and pink be muted, you ask? Guess you'll just have to drop in and see for yourself.

Ever little thing you need to know about graphic design and scrapbook elements is found inside the pages of Simple Scrapbooks Designing Scrapbooks 2. OK, maybe not EVERY little thing, but lotsa solid info on stepping up those pages. We have just a few copies left, and we hadn't even told anyone it was here. Til now. You can wait until Tuesday, but we can't guarantee one will be left. And no holdsies either.

The impossible-to-keep-in-stock ScrapWorks Bay Box albums are here in brown leather. We are holding our breath until the black ones arrive. Please send them. We're turning blue.

Save the Date, Pink Ladies

It's May 27. Time yet to be determined, so you'll just have to block out the whole dang day for now. SHE's stopping in for a chat, a make and take, and perhaps just to sit a spell and ponder the weight of the world. We are beside ourselves, and as everyone knows, one of us is more than enough. More details soon, we promise.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Foam Home

Foam Stamps arrived today from Creative Imaginations. These ones are clear mounted and come in words, images, patterns, and fonts. Some are reorders, like the David Walker font and the Flea Market font, and some are just new to us, like the fun words and phrases. All will be here today and gone soon after, so get your dibs in before it's too late.

Flair and Reminisce, Together At Last

While we were out, more V-Day paper arrived. Sweet wedding and anniversary themes, plus the more traditional love and mushy stuff, it's all found a space in the rack right by the front door. Have a heart and take some home for your sweetie.

Friday, February 03, 2006

CHA CHA Babe Part Deux

More awards from the trenches:

Friendliest Booth
Those guys and gals from the ScrapWorks booth rock us every time. We love the dance party, the music, and the product. We admit we are still a little freaked out by the teddy in the new line, but we can learn to love it.

Best Line by a Company Who Always Exceeds Our Expectations
Basic Grey
Our first stop, our first order of the show, and even with the sneak peeks, they just dazzled. Is it possible to just have a Basic Grey store, all BG all the time? We think it is.

Favorite "Scrap Celebrity" Spotted
Kelli Noto
She's all that, people, and more. How can you cram so much talent and charm into one gal? Shoot, we just love ya, Kelli.

Coolest Non-scrapper Spotted
James Garner
It is Vegas, and lots of people hang in the City That Never Sleeps. We didn't get any sleep either, but gambling and booze were not the reason. Although spotted on the strip, we're pretty sure Jim Rockford wasn't here for the same paper as us. Runner-up: fake Elvis. Because it's still Elvis.

Trend We Liked But Think Was Overdone at the Show
Folk Art
Did you all go to the same meeting? What was it with the overabundance of folk art inspired paper and stock? Jeepers, we like it a lot. We just want some options.

Trend Most Expected to Look Like Deco Scissors in the Next Year
Digital Brushes
Way to look dated! We are already just about over this trend. Maybe it's because they've been around 4-ever and scrapbookers are just picking up on the trend. Maybe it's because we're just Mac people. Maybe we're just being snarky. (Us? Ya think?)

Funkiest Item Spotted on a 12x12 Page Layout
Autumn Leaves
The Freestyle display was breathtaking for a lot of wonderful reasons. We loved the use of handwriting and altered art and we LOVED seeing new artists. We took special note of the license plate cut in the shape of a flower and attached as an embellishment to the layout. Yeah, we're pretty sure it's not acid-free and just as sure we don't give a hoot. TDF.

Most Overdone Trend
We like it too but wow it was everywhere. Chipboard, stamps, paper, paper mache, and just about every other product in the show had a punctuation option. We admit it, we still ordered some. !!

Most Overpriced Line
$40 for a rack of 6 bottles of flowers? We live way to close to IKEA to hop on that bus. We had to stick to the "Got Flowers?" line for the most part, because so much of the release was all about the packaging options. And it's hard for us to sell a metal magnet board, embossed or not, at a $22 retail price when we already have a magnet board staple at $4. Methinks the flower fad has gone to Prima's head. Also, someone passed out in the Prima booth (seriously, this did happen) and we are starting to think it is because they looked at the prices.

Best Use of the Transparency Medium in a Product Line
We love the patterns and colors of the new Chatterbox rooms. What really floored us (heh) were the mega letters and quote sets in transparency form, because they are adhesive. We love that because now we don't have to spend as much time explaining to customers how to attach them to layouts and projects. (Not that we mind doing that so much, really.) Time-saver in oh so many ways.

Coolest Partnership
Devine Memories and Annalis Scraptique, featuring Rusty Pickle
Mark your calendars now for a fun and innovative April event. Rusty Pickle is working with both stores to create and deliver a project for a progressive make 'n take. Start at one store, finish at the other. Each part does stand on its own, but go to both stores and have one wicked decent album. It's a Devine Scrap Event.

Most Anticipated Book Release by People We Don't Know
Autumn Leaves
We are so looking forward to this book. I want to buy posters of these layouts and hang them as public art.

Most Anticipated Book Release by Local Folks
Artful Memories
Carol Wingert
Tena Sprenger
We had a blast making paper flowers in the Memory Makers booth because these gals make it so. We know the projects will inspire, and when the artists have class to spare, we love to support every little thing they do. Catch Tena across the way teaching at Scrapbooks ETC (yes, we know) and catch the book at our store when it is released in May from North Light books.

Biggest Surprise Pass
Autumn Leaves
American Crafts

Trust me, not because the line was not fab, because both were more than. It's just that we are a wee store and want to carry stuff not seen at your local big box retailer. Normally, AL would not fall into this category, but since the buyout by Creativity Inc, we are sure it will be all over the place. Plus, it's been an issue in the past with AL that the paper ships pronto, the add-ons ship 2 months later, and the twill comes another 2 months after that. We really like our coordinating lines to ship together, because strangely enough, our customers like to buy it together. Huh.

Biggest Disappointment
We flipped over this rustic paper and wanted to buy it. Sorry, it's predesigned, prefinished, double-sided paper and we can't buy the papers used to make the predesigned layouts. But we WANT it! We wanna make our own layouts!

Best Recovery From a Disappointment
Can you say "An Album in One Afternoon"? This paper is just the foundation for when you are strapped for time and absolutely need to get an album done. You can finish a 12x12 album, available in 10 or 20 page sets, in just one afternoon. Plus, it is gorgeous. Look for the class and the paper at our store.

Best Execution of "Something"
Heidi Swapp
We did order and are now sitting on our hands, hoping it will ship on schedule. Please, we asked nicely this time.

Shout Out and Mad Props
Nice to meet you, KB and MM. We know you are lovely people and promise to visit next time we are in town. It's likely too, since I have a sister there. We are sending lots of positive thoughts for your April event.

Best After Hours Party
We just can't stop talking about the hush-hush event attended by a select few movers-and-shakers in the industry. You know who you are. We'll have our peeps call your peeps for lunch.

Mirror Award
Memory Makers
It's kind of freaky to have your handwriting analyzed, especially when it is so spot on. Except I think she missed the part about when I get distracted. Which is often. (What did you say?)

Oopsie Award
It is not possible to remember every face and every person in the industry, unless you are Kay because she remembers everyone. Thanks for the invite, even though you did not know who we were. At first. (Not to imply that you should have known either. Stop that.)

Best Giveaway Where There Was Enough for Everyone Who Was Invited
Oh, the many things we can do with the Memories in Tote. And since Michelle forgot her extra suitcase, we told her she would have to make it work. It holds a lot, but not that much.

Most Likely to be Afraid to Have a Cab Hailed, Regardless of Whom is Doing the Hailing
Please don't stand where the cab needs to pull over. And you do have to actually move towards the street, so a cab can see you. It's really simple, just raise your arm. (You don't even have to whistle.) It's like an internationally recognized gesture for cabbies. Like the one using your middle finger. Except don't use that one to hail a cab. They don't stop as often and they expect a bigger tip. Also, when you are less than a block away from your destination, it's OK to have the cabbie drive you right to your building entrance. Please tip generously. You're in Vegas.

Best Marketing Tool
No matter how you pronounce it, 1800 bright green rolling backpacks descending on Vegas makes an impression. A really bright green with envy impression. Now Michelle has another piece of luggage, other than the SEI one she already scored.

The "Hey, What Does This Red Squiggly Line in MS Word Mean?" Award
Creative Imaginations
Twenty birthdays later, and CI is still struggling with spell-check. Yes, we all make mistakes, but this one was a whopper. Check out the CI birthday line and (all together now) yell "SUPRISE". See anything missing? PS-this was not a prototype.

Best Signage
Stamping Station
I am not much of a die-cut person, but the road signs for the holidays just give me a kick. We blew through the Halloween signs and are still giggling over the Valentine's and Easter ones. And the military papers will make an appearance in our store, we are certain.

Best Use of Products in Samples
Maya Road
Oversized bottlecaps, nifty new ribbons, foam stamps in tins, and chipboard elements. What did we not get at this booth? Well, at least we took pictures in here.

Item We Kept Seeing That Cracked Us Up
Decorated at the show, embellished with Diet Coke elsewhere. What can you not do with a lampshade, we ask? Well, if you leave it on the floor, the maid does not put it back on the light. Maybe she just wants the party to continue.

So stop in, shop around, and we'll keep you posted as stuff arrives and is unpacked. It makes us happy. We hope it makes you happy too.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


We went, we walked, we drooled, we shopped. Altogether now: ooooooohhh ahhhhhhhhhh

And now the highlights:

Best New Company Showing:
3 Bugs in a Rug
Great paper, nice people, now shipping. Whee.

Best Make 'n Take overall:
Those ProvoCraft people really rock. Longest lines, fun projects, changing up every day. We are, however, over the Coluzzle. We're really glad you like it but please stop making us use it in every make 'n take project offered.

Cutest Packaging:
Queen & Co
Little pink cosmetic bags hold your bead polish, sequin flowers are in compacts, brads and little flowers in lip gloss containers. Freshen yourself up, then make up your pages with these sweet sets. Love them all.

Best New Line
Fancy Pants
We've carried their products since their debut, and we were all over the new line. Chipboard elements, fun paper lines, rub-ons, and a company that is genuinely excited about the line. Joy.

Best Inside Joke
Coke and Hooters. Please don't ask. We will explode in a fit of giggles.

Best Booth
Crate Paper
We love this Chatterbox-like line of paper and were blown away by the Ralph Lauren living room booth. Gorgeous texture, classic patterns. We think Jackie-O would love this line.

Best Rebound from a Booth Mishap
Scrapbook Wizard
What would you do if your booth was lost on its was to a trade show? This company rolled with the punches, adapted to the situation, and still smiled through the obvious challenge of trying to promote its product without a display. The booth arrived a couple days late and SBW handed out loads of paper packs to those who took the time to return. Great attitude and great marketing!

Most Overhyped Booth
Pink Martini
It doesn't help to move your product line when you create a buzz in the online community and don't deliver. Thud.

Best New Tool
We R Memory Keepers Crop-o-Dile
We were so over eyelets until we saw this tool in action. I can put away my anywhere hole punch, my Silent Setter, my Ready-Set, and every other eyelet setter I've ever coveted because this tool rocks. As easy to use as the easiest hole punch you've tried, and cuts through several layers in a single punch. Can it set eyelets? Uh, yeah, and can even set one on each side of the paper so if you are making books, you have the lovely finished eyelet on both sides of the page. Can YOUR setter do that? I am so getting out all my eyelets again. And I'm setting them no matter who is napping.

Where's Waldo? Award
Deluxe Designs
We knew you wouldn't be there but we missed you anyway.

Best Rack
12 new colors of Distress Ink. If I wasn't so giddy, I would be distressed. I love every single one of the older colors and can't wait to start my collection of the new ones. Now let's just get Tim Holtz to drop in and demonstrate them for us. Pretty Please.

Best Use of Monkeys
Rusty Pickle
The Pickle Man himself could not contain his glee over the use of monkeys in his new Big Top paper line. So whether your life is a circus or you've wanted to scrapbook about your last trip to one, the right paper exists. Got bananas?

Best French Line
Hiding in a booth way over in the far reaches of the new exhibitors, this company was an exciting discovery. We loved the French phrases on the twill and know that the papers have a universal appeal. Match the French kitchen with your favorite French country paper and use the love line for your French valentine. C'est une bonne vie!

Best Latin Line
Spanish Memories
Muy bonita. We can't wait to add more flavors to our current line, and the people at this company are just sweet as pie. We are thinking about coasters and rub-ons. We are also working on our Spanish, so we don't have to always rely on Sara to help us with the translations. Next up: offering our class in Spanish using SM product. Mi Espanol es muy malo!

Most Unprofessional Sales Tactic
If you're not going to spend the dough for a booth at the trade show, that's fine. Just don't hang out near the booth that your competitor did buy and try to snag people as they walk on from that very booth. It's just not pretty. Next.

Get Your Shovel Out Award
Lasting Impressions
If you're asked a direct question, answer it. We are not interested in investing time and money to demonstrate a product so consumers can then go to a big box retailer and buy it. The amount of tap-dancing done at this private, after-hours event could have earned someone a Tony. It did garner Miss America's attention, but at least she got paid for her time.

Best Progressive Make 'n Take
Silliest New Product
Li'l Davis Designs
Winner in two categories, we did love making the paper bag tag book using all the wicked cool new stuff. We also enjoyed the buffet spread and the chicken nuggets, because we were desperate for some protein. The foam nuggets? We just are not hungry for those. C'mon, you make us look kind of silly sometimes, the things you want us to sell. Pass.

Most Likely to Accidentally Walk into a Strip Club
Justin at the Li'l Davis booth
Strip MALL, Justin. MALL. That is where the store is. Are you still blushing?

Most Shocking Reveal
We found something in this booth that will sell like crazy at our store. No, Natalie, not the Darice Accents. We were as stunned as you. But we're still bringing in the product. Just you wait. We also scored flip flops from this vendor, who took pity on Kim's aching feet and handed her a pair gratis. Um, no, that's not the product we are bringing in, but the Bachelorette green and pink ones are pretty cute. And you can alter them. Hmmmm...

Best Shoes to Wear Next Time (Kim)
They were everywhere and no wonder. All that walking and it's like getting a foot massage all day long. Mine are pink but you can get them in any color. Or get the knockoffs at Target. Just make a quick stop at the Dollar Spot on your way to the shoe section.

People Most Likely to Think They Were Being Stalked
Kim Kesti
Ally Landy
New York, Paris, London, Munich. OK, but everywhere else. We know you know all the hot new stuff, but we swear every meeting was totally accidental. We just happened to be at the airport coming and going at the same time. And at every booth you visited. And lurking just around the corner from the hotel. Except we never saw you at the Darice booth, so clearly we were not following you. Honest.

Farm Product We Are Buying
Karen Foster
We don't carry much tractor product, but we thought the Karen Foster metal signs were very cute.

Farm Product We Are Not Buying
Hint: it gets shoveled. And we've already had our share, thanks.

If you've read this far, we hope you've enjoyed our ceremony. Now it's time for Intermission, and we will be back with the rest of the show.

Mushy Stuff

The gorgeous Flair love paper (red, white, and wedding/anniversary too) has arrived, followed closely by the awesome Reminisce Valentine's line. Make a paint can, create Valentines, cover a composition book, or just collect it. We {HEART} you.