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September 2005
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November 2005

Kids' Scrapbooking Resource Reviewed

R. Lynn Baker, author of The Ultimate Guide to Scrapbooking with Kids, has reviewed my "Scrap with Me" class kit CD in the most recent issue of her ezine,  The Scrappin Class Ezine.

Angie Pedersen, author of the popular Book of Me series of books, has developed a CD-ROM with lessons for teaching kids' scrapbooking classes.  Developed as a companion to her book, Growing Up ME, the CD includes 12 lesson plans, including such themes as My Family, My School, My Friends, and many other child-appropriate subjects.  Each lesson plan includes "talking points" for class discussion, 3-5 layout topic ideas, examples of simple layouts and suggestions for "homework" assignments.  Directions for completing layouts, as well as several basic sketches for additional layout ideas are also included.

The Scrap with Me CD is a great resource for those who are looking for specific hands-on ideas for teaching scrapbooking in store classes and after-school groups/clubs!  The content is perfect for completing an ongoing "Book of Me" project, and walks you straight through a 12-session course!  If you've been looking for a resource to help you develop a "Book of ME" class for kids, you need to check out Angie's Scrap with Me companion CD, along with her Growing Up ME book!


Scrapbooking Can Save Your Marriage!

In the Oct 2005 issue of Redbook, the wise editors have highlighted the hobby of scrapbooking as a way to increase intimacy with your mate, maybe even save a strained marriage!

“Marriage Makeover” department, on pp 100-105, under the heading, “Make couple-time really count”

“Once a week, the couple should devote a half hour to catching up and learning new things about each other so that they can truly connect. They can use this time to make plans for long-delayed activities, like fishing, or for doing low-key, bond-building activities together, such as SCRAPBOOKING or filling a box with mementos of meaningful moments they’ve spent together. ‘It will create romantic feelings each time they look through it,’ says [Tina] Tessina [a couples counselor, and Redbook Marriage Institute Expert].”

There you go.  No more grumbles allowed from "scrapbooking widowers" -- they just need to join in!  A great project to start with -- a Book of Us.  Check out The Book of Us for tons of project ideas, and maybe save your marriage in the process!


My New Hero: Heidi Miller

I've been working on some rather tedious projects for the past several weeks, so I thought I'd share the one thing that has gotten me through the monotony: PODCASTS

I got an mp3 player for my birthday this year, for the express purpose of listening to podcasts.  Since I know of only one about scrapbooking (hi Lynette!), I find myself drawn mostly to marketing podcasts -- shows that offer tips for building brand, and basic "shameless self promotion".  Enter Heidi Miller.  Heidi has been like my best friend for the past several weeks.  I've been working my way through the archives of her shows, and have really enjoyed them all.  I love her energy and great marketing tips.  Her insightful comments, fabulous advice, and contagious enthusiasm have helped the hours fly by.  This is not at all the work I want to be doing, and her podcasts have helped me keep my focus, and realize that everything can be a learning opportunity -- even something as mind-numbing as stuffing envelopes. As I work through my tedious tasks, I'm slowly forming an image of where I want to be, and how I might get there.

I'm learning so much about networking, and the core philosophy behind it -- about offering yourself as a resource to other people to help them reach their goals and be more successful.  Then, as your friend, they'll want to do the same for you.  It's not a slimy, used-car dealer kind of interaction, but more of a connection -- really talking with people, finding out about their current projects, brainstorming together how you might help each other by combining your resources, talents, skills, ideas, and connections.  I just love this concept, and am really putting feelers out so I can make these kinds of connections.  It's just such a powerful idea, and practice.

Some tips I've gleaned from Heidi's podcasts:

Come up with a two-second "teaser" about what you do for a living, but make it catchy and "alluring" enough to make people cock their heads and go, "huh?" -- giving you an opening to explain further, and maybe make a useful business contact.  I emailed Heidi my "rough draft" of a two-second promo, and she emailed me back, saying she had visited my website, and gave me several suggestions for improving my statement.  Then she mentioned me in her Listener Mail section of Episode #27!  Sweet!  I feel so famous!

Send handwritten notes to contacts you make at each trade show.  For every business card you get, write a handwritten note saying you were glad to meet them, mention something you talked about, then offer yourself as a resource to help them be more successful.  If you listen to Episode #27, you'll hear about my twist on this tip!  John Jantsch also mentioned this idea in a recent blog entry, and followed up on the idea here.

In the May 28th episode, she gives "Do and Don't tips for a fantastic trade show", such as DO order bottled water to keep in the show booth [or ship it with your booth supplies, like I saw Boxer do at MemoryTrends].  Plan on 2 bottles per day per person.  DON'T wear new shoes to a trade show.  Only wear shoes you've worn at least five times before.  She gives such specific advice about trade shows because she's a trade show presenter by profession.  I'm considering interviewing her for some tips before CHA in January.

She did such a great interview with author Frank Polancic, my brain was literally buzzing with article ideas I plan to pitch to magazines.  Did she talk about scrapbooking even once?  No, but I could easily translate her interview questions and style into brainstorming for my own use.  I came up with literally 15 article ideas while listening to that episode.

The May 4th episode featured goal-setting tips from the book Your Best Year Yet by Jenny Ditzler.  If you do the exercise Heidi shares in this podcast, you'll have some AWESOME journaling for your Book of Me!

The June 1st episode gives some great tips on creating truly promotional business cards.

Ok, ok -- you get the point.  Obviously, I'm a big fan at this point.  Thankfully, I haven't reached stalker status, nor does she consider me one.  Here's a recent email exchange:

Me: I'm sure I seem like a stalker at this point, but I'm really not.  I just thought I'd let you know some specific results from listening to your show. 

Heidi: "Stalkers," "brand ambassadors"--what's the difference? I'm just so glad  that the show is actually helping someone!

So the point is...Heidi ROCKS, and you should check her out!

P.S.  Show notes for each episode are posted to her blog: http://talkitup.typepad.com/weblog/


Instant Writing Class: How to be...

Found this awesome writing exercise in the Inspired2Write Newsletter.  It strikes me as a unique writing technique to try in your scrapbook journaling.  I have edited it slightly for use for scrapbook journaling, but you can read the whole exercise (and newsletter) at the Inspired2Write website.

Instant Writing Class: How to be...

Here's a versatile exercise you can use to guide you as you write about people... The exercise will help you show rather than tell character.

Choose a person you know well... Make a list of the person's gestures, habits, and behaviors. Add one or two notable characteristics and something typical the person would say.

Turn the best items on your list into a "how to (be)" poem that instructs the reader about what she needs to do if she wants to become the person in the poem.

Make each line is an instruction. Offer your reader a clear how-to guide. Don't weaken your message by writing fluff like "you could/might want to..."

If you like a challenge, aim to start most of the lines with verbs, preferably action verbs, and create a stanza pattern and use it throughout your poem.

Here's an example:

How to be Her

Cut your hair and
Dye it the hue of garnets.
Wear black -- but chic -- and
Thirties-style hats that
Make old men turn their heads and women
Wonder if they dare...

Get up before six.
Drink oceans of rooibush tea.
Eat sushi when you can or else
Crispy dark Marmite toast, and
Cycle 40 miles to buy just one scoop of
Ginger yogurt ice cream.

Toss out your couch to
Make space for a thousand books.
Name your computers and
Converse with them as you work about
Lines from Wallace Stevens and the
Politics of fate.

Help people to win and
Live out their wildest dreams.
Say "I'm too busy not to" when they
Ask how you survive.
Include forever in your long term goals and
Know who's expecting you there.

This exercise reminds me of Heidi Swapp's "SHE" album track at CKU-A:
"She loves. She laughs. She cries. She worries. She believes. She is a MOM. You have one. Perhaps you are one. Whether this album chronicles your own journey through motherhood, or becomes a tribute to the women you call Mother, it will become a lifelong treasure."

I'd love to know more about this album track, and how the album came together; I'm fascinated by the third-person narrative idea that comes across.  Have any of you done this album, or seen one completed from Heidi's classes?

Anyway, hopefully the writing exercise above will help you get started on a little third-person journaling, and maybe even a whole theme album.


Memorabilia-labeling idea

Treasure Maps by Nancy Hendrickson
In going through my aunt and uncle's house after they passed away, my cousin and I found several items my aunt had clearly labeled for future generations' benefit. One example is the writing slate... another is a Bible that had belonged to my aunt's grandfather—her label said it was given to her upon his death. Without the notes, I wouldn't know nearly as much about these family treasures.

Continue reading at FamilyTreeMagazine.com.

Be first to check out this new article on the FamilyTree Magazine Web site:

*Sticky Situation
Rescue your stuck-on-glass photos--and keep them from getting stuck in the first place.
http://www.familytreemagazine.com/articles/oct05/preserving.asp

Reprinted with permission from Family Tree Magazine Email Update, copyright 2005 F+W Publications Inc.
To subscribe to this free weekly e-mail newsletter, click here.
For a free sample copy of the print Family Tree Magazine, America's #1 family history magazine, click here.


Back from MemoryTrends

I'm back from MemoryTrends, the most recent trade show!  I was there for just a short time, Saturday to Monday (originally) and caught a cold while I was there!  Man, it SUCKS flying home with a bad cold! Bleh!  It also sucked that I was *supposed* to fly home Monday evening, but since I had to switch planes in Denver, my flight was cancelled due to weather, so I had a "surprise" extra night in Vegas before catching a flight out Tuesday morning.  Long day traveling on Tuesday -- about 10 hours to get from Vegas to KC.

I don't really have much to report, since I was there such a short time. I didn't get to a majority of the booths since I was there mostly before the show started. I taught a class on Sunday that went REALLY well, and had a great meeting with Debbie Mock of Memory Makers on Monday that also went well. I took only a handful of pictures (some of the live penguins at the Flamingo hotel), but shipped home a big box of press kits, so I'll be posting that info on my SB Industry News blog as soon as I can.

I got to meet Jan Mollet-Evans briefly while we were both hanging around the Karen Foster booth. Jan said PC Smart was stuck in Phoenix at the time, so I missed meeting her in person.

I ran into Stephanie Barnard -- she was chatting to the gals at the Moments Defined booth when I saw her. She says her position at PaperKuts is going well.

I also got to meet Crafty Girl Kelly Angard while she was demo'ing at the Memory Makers booth.  She even recognized my name, and said she sort of "knew" me through Michelle at Scrapability.  It's a small scrapping world!   Made a totally cute bracelet with some fun techniques -- that girl is FAST! I had to scoot to my appt with Debbie Mock, so Kelly even finished up my bracelet for me! She is too sweet! I would have loved to hang out with her more.  Kelly was there promoting her new Creative Collage for Scrapbooks, which looks totally amazing.

Chatted a bit with Sara Naumann at the Hot Off the Press booth -- I've emailed with her several times, and she wrote the foreword for my third book, The Book of Us, but we had never really met in person, so it was nice to do so, even briefly.  HOTP was debuting the new sarabinders, which were well-received.

That's all my NyQuil-fuzzed brain can produce right now -- I'll post more on my blog later probably.


MemoryTrends and Freelance Projects

I leave for MemoryTrends the day after tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to it.  I love the buzz of energy of a trade show, seeing all the new products, hearing about new ideas, and seeing friends I only get to see at trade shows.

I'm teaching "Scrapbooks that Sing with Soul".  Catchy title, hey?  I'm excited about talking with scrapbooking professionals about how to encourage their students to journal in their scrapbooks.  Scrapbook journaling is so hard for so many -- I look forward to the opportunity to help others...uh...help others.  ;)  I just want to lay myself out there, and answer as many journaling challenges as I can.  It should be a fun class.  I got some good feedback regarding common journaling stumbling blocks, and have fed that into the class content.  When I get myself together after I get back, I'll post some of my responses here.  I'm also considering doing that in a podcast format -- what do you think?

My class is on Sunday, so I'll have Monday to walk the show floor.  I'll be talking with scrapbooking business owners and manufacturers about possible freelance projects for me to work on, making them aware that I'm available for teaching classes, copywriting, writing press releases, creating press kits, writing web content, magazine articles, and marketing consulting.  If you're planning to be at the show, and would like to talk to me about doing some freelance work for you, please let me know and we can set something up.  If you're not going to be at the show, but would like to chat about some possible project(s), feel free to email me to chat about that. [change the AT to an @.]


Marketing Idea: Business Card Sharing

Here's a neat idea I saw in Rebecca Game's Digital Women Newsletter:

Business Card Sharing

Find a related business to your own and share one business card with each business featured on one side of the card. The cards would be double sided and offer your clients valuable resources that are related. You would get twice the exposure because your partner is also advertising for you as well as their self.

Example: "Wine" and "Cheese"
On one side a wine retailer the other side a cheese retailer. Go find a business card partner and share the expense of creating these unique cards.

Other examples:
"Hair tech" and "Nail tech"
"Kids clothes" and "Kids toys"
"Herbs retail" and "Recipe collections"
"Shoe sales" and "Purse sales"
"Spiritual books" and "Spiritual music"

There are a lot of ideas for "business card partnerships"!

So, who could you "share" business cards with, as a scrapbooking business owner or professional? 

  • Comissioned Scrapbooker/"Scrapper4Hire" and Photographer
  • Design Team Member and Paper Manufacturer
  • Digital Designer and Digital Website Community
  • Scrapbooking Instructor and Local Store
  • Home-based direct sales consultant and Wedding Videographer

Can you think of any other suitable partnerships?


Seth Godin & His Ideas

Darlene has an interesting entry on Seth Godin & His Ideas.  Seth Godin is one of the current marketing "IT" boys -- meaning that his word is gospel to many.  Seth's blog is one of my frequent marketing blog stops. 

He frequently talks about "viral marketing" (wiki: viral marketing).  I posted these comments on Darlene's blog about Seth, and the subject of viral marketing:

I agree -- Seth has lots of very valuable ideas on marketing. His 'virus' idea is a fascinating concept, and he makes an insightful point that "ideas never spread because they are important to the originator". Marketing is about figuring out what your audience wants to know, not what you want to tell them. Marketing is about figuring out how to fit your products & services into a "capsule" that your audience will see as valuable.

Sometimes Seth's blog entries have so much content, it's a bit much to wrap my brain around, but I can digest it in little chunks. Little chunks also help with "stickiness" -- if I digest the information one idea or concept at a time, rather than try to absorb it all at once, it sticks with me better, giving me a better chance at implementing it.

Here's a discussion topic -- what has been "viral" within the scrapbooking industry? If "viral" basically means increasing awareness via word-of-mouth, particularly online, how has this played out for scrapbooking businesses?  I can think of a number of viral techniques and trends within the craft of scrapbooking, such as paper bag books and altering paint cans, but can you think of any actual marketing campaigns that have seen viral exposure?  I would place most of the Creating Keepsakes idea books in this category -- almost every book CK has published in the last four years has been mentioned and reviewed extensively on scrapbooking message boards, giving them much more exposure than their own print and e-newsletter ads.  Other than CK, what scrapbooking businesses have seen viral exposure?  How would you like to see this concept used for scrapbooking businesses?

As Mike Myers as Linda Richman, the hostess of Coffee Talk!, would say... Discuss!

 

Book of Me Paper Bag Albums at Flickr

While browsing the Technorati tag for scrapbooking, I followed a link to sweethc'c Flickr account.  It was just happenstance that I noticed it there in the margin while at Technorati.  Then I got there to her archives, and she has some awesome paper bag books in a All About Me/Book of Me theme!  Gorgeous, with super paper choices and lots of ribbon!  Some of the themes she's done are Stuff I Like, Some of My Idiosyncrasies, Special Memories, and Always Dream. 

Just another example to show that scrapbooking about yourself doesn't necessarily mean a full, "traditional" album -- most of these project could be finished in a day!  Check them out!