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March 2006
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May 2006

Scrapbook Journaling Alert: Amazing Month of Memories ebook series

I've posted about Katie the Scrapbook Lady's journaling guru-ness before -- specifically her Roundup Your Memories reminders (in February and in March), as well as her Daily Scrap Challenges Resource List.  I couldn't find a link to any post I'd made about her Amazing Month of Memories ebook series, but I'm a believer.  Her ebooks are downloadable (PDF) guides to journaling your way through the month. 

As soon as she introduced the series, I plunked down my money and ordered her to hook me up.  Her guide did not disappoint.  I was blown away by the amount of resources she had compiled: month-long themes, daily holidays, over 100 journaling ideas, quotes, and Internet links.  Total brain-candy for a journaling junkie like me. And tell me I don't know a good scrapbook journaling resource when I see one.

And at $5, how can you beat it?  I know it took her more than an hour to compile all those resources, and even the kids at McDonald's get more than $5 an hour!  And when was the last time you were able to buy a scrapbooking idea book for $5??

But here's the thing -- when she first posts the availability of the next month's ebook, she offers a 50% discount to her blog readers!  $2.50?  Hello!   Today she posted the offer again: May issue on sale 50% off.  But only until midnight on April 26th (that's Wednesday), so hurry over there now!


As I just posted over on my Marketing Blog:

I am thrilled to announce the launch of my new website,, home of my consulting company, Scrappy Marketing Solutions.  Everything is finally in place, and ready for visitors.

If you visit the homepage, you will see where you can sign up to receive a Special Report on "Scrapbook Marketing: 27 Ways to Promote Your Scrapbooking Business with a Blog" -- essential reading for marketing on today's Web 2.0.  (not that I'm biased, or anything...)

I'm also working on a 4-6 lesson Scrapbook Publicity email course -- 4 of the pieces are written; I just need to wrap end the loose ends.

What kinds of topics would you like to see addressed in a Scrapbook Publicity course?

Scrapbook Journaling Tip: Use Journey Jots

Once again, Tina ROCKS with her journaling suggestions -- have you seen her latest post, Journey Jots?

Completely do-able journaling suggestion: get some cheap index cards, and keep them in the kitchen, in your purse, and in a few other places scattered throughout the house.  Everyone can grab one and "Jot" down something they want in mommy's scrapbook. Then store them with your pictures and scrapbooking supplies.  Tina says the key is to "be sure to make them easy and quick to use!!"

Well, duh!  What a simple, great idea!  I LOVE how she explains her whole "system", how it actually plays out in her family, and her examples from her own notes, as well as "When to Use Jots", and "How to Use Jots While Scrapbooking".

Super resource, well worth checking out.

Help Determine My Podcast Format

Based on comments I received on my podcast in recent weeks, I have set up a survey to collect feedback on specific parts of the show.  Your answers can be anonymous, so hopefully I'll get a higher response than just asking for comments.  I'm interested in your responses because I'd hate to spend all this time putting together shows only to find that I'm ticking people off by what I'm doing!  Positive and "constructive" comments are about even right now, so your response could help tip the scales.  I'd really like to get some answers before I do the next show.

Click here to take the survey: Help Determine the Wholly Scrap Podcast Format

If you know anyone else who listens to the show, please pass the link to the survey on to them.

Thanks so much for your help! 

Adventures in Creating without Fear

Have you SEEN Kelly Angard's new "Adventures in Creating without Fear™ series of blog posts??  She has them posted on her Creative Collage blog.

For the past six months, I have posted a variety of creative techniques that can be integrated into all kinds of artistic mediums: mixed media art, collage, scrapbook layouts, art journaling, etc. While the techniques have been wonderfully well recieved (thanks to many of you posting links and referrals on your sites and blogs!), I couldn't help but listen to what I kept hearing week after week:

"I hope to try this technique some day..." or
"I'd love to try this technique when I have some time..."

I've been listening...and more than that...I understand what I've been hearing. I understand what "some day" means because I struggle with the same things you do...too little time and too much to do. HOWEVER, I also know the truth that lies behind these statements...and I think that it's "I'm afraid."

So what does all this come down to? Fear.
- fear of not getting something "finished"
- fear of not choosing the "best" option
- fear of feeling like we've wasted our time

- fear of possibly creating something we don't like (ugly!!!)

In the coming weeks, I'll be pretty much flying without a map...travelling down the road alongside of you, helping to combat the variety of fears that rise up in us when it comes to facing and creating on the blank page, canvas or cardstock.

Oh.  My. Gosh.  Wow. 

She's posted two creative exercises, and both are just absolutely inspired.  I have been blown away since the very beginning -- first with the fact that she noticed the trend of fear surfacing in comments you received, then moving on so proactively to doing something about it -- truly being a leader, while at the same time admitting and facing her own fears.  The journaling prompts from Week 1 invoked such a passionate response in me -- I never would have named that feeling as "fear".  But I realized I do struggle with it.

In regards to creative projects, I struggle most with the concept of "good enough" and not enough time -- two fears Kelly pointed out in her post.  I suppose that means I'm not alone.

Actually, the feeling I had upon reading her post was so nearly overwhelming, I think "fear" is something I might need to explore a little more deeply, even outside of creativity and creating -- what else is fear holding me back from, beyond creative endeavors?

I'm afraid my ideas won't find a home, or that someone will think they're stupid.  I'm afraid of putting myself out there and being rejected.  I'm afraid of becoming a "has-been" (and even more afraid I already am).  I'm afraid of showing off my work and being labeled as a fraud because I've worked so hard to establish myself as an "expert".

What role does fear play in your life?

Scrapability's ScrapBlog Series

Michelle has started a new informational series over at Scrapability.  She's calling it the "ScrapBlog Series", and it looks to have all the info you'd ever want on blogging fundamentals.  She starts with a post on What is a Blog? & Why Blog, and moves on to Blogging Definitions.

As usual, she is very diligent about providing all the information in clear, concise detail -- very comprehensive.  If you want to more about blogging, be sure to check it out.

Life Lessons from a Mother of Sons, Part III

In the continuing saga of "Life Lessons" [Parts I and II], here are the responses from James' mother and his older sister.  Priceless.

-----Original Message-----
From: James

This is all my mom remembers so far.  I think her brain has put up blocks to try to save her mentality.


-----Original Message-----
From: On Behalf Of Jackie

The one I remember right now is:

* A mother can drive down I-70 in a 15-passenger van with 9 kids inside while nursing a nine-month-old and singing along with a tape with the kids, "Catalina, Madalina, Unsi-stata-wanna, and a Hocum Pokum Nokum was her name!

What do you remember?


-----Original Message-----
From: James

Ok, here is my older sister’s take on this stuff (and some additions):

-----Original Message-----
From: On Behalf Of Jade

This is my list, from my point of view (i guess it's more advice for kids?) I love your list James, hilarious.

1) You can successfully drive a station wagon 8 miles with 3 children of less than 10 years of age strapped to the roof.

--You can be really, really jealous cause your brothers get to ride strapped to the roof of a station wagon, while you stay home and watch the other kids, missing all the fun (actually it was only to peterson's, which is about two miles.)

4) Don’t let your 8-year-old cook in the kitchen by themselves.  Even if they can't reach the oven controls, they can still use the microwave to try to cook eggs and bake cookies in.  If they somehow produce something, don't eat it.

--you can stand helplessly by as your brother cooks absolutely disgusting concoctions in the microwave, and the other children eat them happily, munching and exclaiming "cookies!"

--don't play with the vinegar left over from the meal. Cause if your mom catches you daring each other to drink it (and maybe spilling a little bit) she will get really mad and dump the whole gallon over your heads, and then make you clean it up. 

--if you throw shoes at each other in the house when your parents are gone, someone might get hurt.  If you throw a shoe at your brother, but miss and hit the giant glass chandalier that hangs one story up over the front door entrance, it WILL break and fall, and you can count yourself lucky no one is standing beneath it.

--never go into your neigbors yard and mess with their dog's food. He will bite you on the head, even though you are only two years old and couldn't possibly harm him.

19) If you have a home alarm system, even if it's disabled, if your children play with it, the cops WILL come.  This is especially bad if the parents are gone and there's just a babysitter.

-- and it really sucks to BE that babysitter, and explain to the police that your little brother was only messing with it.  Really.

21) Younger siblings will do anything with older siblings, including floating out with them on an unsafe raft and sinking in the middle of a sewage pond.

-- you dumb dumbs. LOL

--it's better NOT to pretend checkers are cookies; YOU may know this, and your older brother may know this, but your little brother (ahem, JAMES) won't realize this, and he'll swallow it and then your mom gets mad (whatever happened to that checker anyway?)

--you should never, ever, and I don't care how mad you are, shove your little brother's head through the glass front door (ahem, again James).  He will scream, and your parents will both run towards you yelling unintelligebly, and everything will be running in slow motion as you think "oh crap, I am really going to get it".

anyway, that's all I could come up with.  Ah, the memories.


-----Original Message-----
From: Angie Pedersen
To: James

WOW, these are too much.  You are so lucky you are all still alive!

-----Original Message-----
From: James

Haha, thanks!  I know, trust me.  I have guardian angels of steel. 

And then there was the time when we used to walk out on the pond (yes, the sewage pond) whenever it froze over.  One time we were just kind of testing it out, and putting just a little weight on it and listening to it crack and such.  Well then my little sister Jessie walks right out onto the ice and falls through.  Gosh, what a mess to cover that thing up.  We rushed her inside and covered her with blankets and stuff, and I don’t think our parents ever found out about it…

oh but that reminds me of another thing, when us boys used to run around the house in the snow with only our underwear on, to see how many times we could circle the house before running inside and jumping into the bathtub full of hot water!  I remember I could only do like 3 laps, but Joseph (the oldest)… man, he could do like 13 laps!

Note from Angie: All this is testimony to write these stories down and include them in scrapbooks -- talk about priceless memories!  I'm sure James and his family had a blast remembering all these moments (and are feeling pretty thankful they all escaped relatively unscathed!)  What "Life Lessons" have you learned, probably the hard way, that make you perhaps laugh and cringe at the same time?

Life Lessons from a Mother of Sons, Part II

In Part I of "Life Lessons", I mentioned that I forwarded an email on to a guy at work, child 3 of 9 (6 boys and 3 girls), saying I'd like to hear some Life Lessons from his mom.  He responded (and gave me permission to post here):

-----Original Message-----
From: James

I just forwarded it to my mom, we'll see if she responds with something.  I can start it now (these are all true stories that I just happen to remember from growing up):

1) You can successfully drive a station wagon 8 miles with 3 children of less than 10 years of age strapped to the roof.

2) You shouldn't let children play with the garage door.

3) Your pets will always be named after superhero cartoons on TV, if you don't keep your kids in check when naming them. 

4) Don’t let your 8-year-old cook in the kitchen by themselves.  Even if they can't reach the oven controls, they can still use the microwave to try to cook eggs and bake cookies in.  If they somehow produce something, don't eat it.

5) A 3 year old can successfully back a pickup truck out of the driveway all by themselves, but they can also back it all the way across the street, through a fence and into a neighbor's yard.  Having 2 older siblings in the car with him (and I'm talking about me, James, as the 3 year old), and no car keys won't even make a bit of a difference.

6) You can fall really far out of a tree, without even getting hurt.

7) Gerbils die when dropped from small heights, even when it's done by accident.

8) Kids love fire.  They love making it, and they love seeing things burn.  Some don't get caught by their parents when they learn the devastating fact that newspaper burns really fast, while others get caught burning baseballs.

9) When you move a big log in the back yard that has a yellow jacket nest in it, it doesn't matter who actually moved the log, or whether or not you knew there was a yellow jacket nest there, everyone around gets stung... even mom.

10) Santa won't get you what you want, unless you tell mom and dad.  If it's expensive, you still won't get it.  The key (as a 5 year old) is to pay attention to the price tag. 

11) You can open hard boiled eggs just about any way you want... on the ceiling, on the floor, on someone's head.  They taste the same any way you do it.

12) Don't put the dart board up next to the window... you're just asking for trouble.  In fact, don't put a dart board up at all.  Yes, darts will actually stick right into glass and stay there.

13) Kids can get a snake bite without even knowing it.

14) Make sure you have a plunger by every toilet in the house.  Sometimes you never know what actually got flushed down... so keep valuables out of reach and get to know your plumber really well, because you'll be seeing a lot of him.

15) It's ok if your kids eat Lego's.  It's inevitable.  But stepping on them in the middle of the night stinks for parents.

16) Regarding "Super glue is forever"...add to that: "Don't let your kids use it as chapstick"

17) Tampons can be used as rockets (this one is from my wife's side of the family).  In fact, from a second story window, you can safely protect and cover the entire lawn with 1 box.

18) Kids don't know the difference between "good dogs" and "bad dogs."  Either the child will be afraid of every dog they see, or they'll insist on sticking their hands and/or head into every dog's mouth.  Some children are just strange, I guess.

19) If you have a home alarm system, even if it's disabled, if your children play with it, the cops WILL come.  This is especially bad if the parents are gone and there's just a babysitter.

20) The same 9 year old, who can beat their parents at chess, will still try to build a raft out of shipping crates and float out to the middle of a sewage pond and proceed to sink.  Without even wearing a life vest! 

21) Younger siblings will do anything with older siblings, including floating out with them on an unsafe raft and sinking in the middle of a sewage pond.

22) When you have a lot of children, expect that some of them will be surprised when you have a baby all of a sudden.  They might not even realize you're pregnant.

23) Dogs can have babies while running uphill.  They won't even tell you first to warn you that they're also pregnant.

24) If you let your kids play with BB guns, they WILL shoot each other.

25) Kids like electricity.  They will look for forks and things to shove into any outlet they can find.  If you have a neighbor with an electrified fence (for horses), this is a plus for your children.

26) If kids play long enough, someone will get hurt.  When that happens, there is usually someone to blame.  A chase typically ensues.  The person chasing is usually the last one to get hurt, and the person being chased is usually the one who "did it."  The position of each in the sequence can change often, since the angriest usually runs faster, and then that child becomes the one running away.  This can go on for several minutes as they slowly beat each other up.

27) 9 children + 1 computer = broken computer. 

28) Taking a road trip as young teenagers can be a lot of fun, but expect to get grounded if you just leave notes for your parents, and don't tell them first that they're going... and taking one of the cars.

I'm out of ideas for now, and the list is beginning to get lengthy. 

Later, his mom did respond with a memory of her own, as well as his sister.  More in the next blog post.

Life Lessons from a Mother of Sons, Part I

You may have seen the "life lessons" email from an anonymous Mother in Austin, Texas...

> Things I've learned from my Boys  (honest and not kidding):

> 1.) A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house 4inches deep.

> 2.) If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

> 3.) A 3-year old Boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

> 4.) If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42-pound Boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 ft.  room.

> 5.) You should not throw baseballs up when the  ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.

> 6.) The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.

> 7.) When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh", it's already too late

> 8.) Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

> 9.) A six-year old Boy can start a  fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year-old man says they can only do it in the movies.

> 10.) Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year-old Boy.

> 11.) Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

> 12.) Super glue is forever.

> 13.) No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.

> 14.) Pool filters do not like  Jell-O.

> 15.) VCR's do not eject "PB&J" sandwiches even though TV commercials show they  do.

> 16.) Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

> 17.) Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.

> 18.) You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.

> 19.) Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.

> 20.) The fire department in  Austin, TX has a 5-minute response time.

> 21.) The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

> 22.) It will, however, make cats dizzy.

> 23.) Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

> 24.) 80% of Men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.

Well, I forwarded that email on to a guy at work, child 3 of 9 (6 boys and 3 girls), saying I'd like to hear some Life Lessons from his mom.  He responded and I about pee'd my pants.  His responses will be in the next blog post, so this won't get too long.