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My Blogger Code

Had to do this for my Halloween costume tomorrow... ;)

Which means:

  • BLOGGING DURATION: 2.5 to 3 years
  • DOMAINS: I own more than 2 domains that are updated regularly.
  • TECHNICAL PROFICIENCY: I manage my blog with a management system running on my own web host.
  • LINKSLUTTING: I have quite a few links, and I try to check in on them all regularly, or at least periodically.
  • STATS: I usually check my stats once a day but I don't keep any records or running tallies.
  • SEX: I might flirt a little, but anything beyond that is out of the question.
  • EXHIBITIONISM: I have posted quite a few photos of myself, but I was fully clothed in them all.
  • CLOSET: Nearly all of my offline friends, family members, and co-workers know about my blog, and that's fine.
  • SYNDICATION: All types (RSS, RDF, Atom)
  • TROLLS: They have been a mild annoyance.
  • SPAM: I moderate all my comments, to avoid comment spam
  • ME: I am a Blogger, fear my wrath!

Book Review: Scrap Everything

140007153401_aa240_sclzzzzzzz_v57220874_ Scrap Everything, by Leslie Gould; 320 pages.
Reviewed by Angie Pedersen

“’It feels like everyone else is living their perfectly normal lives while we’re in survival mode, for who knows how long.’ Rebekah hesitated. ‘Patrick said…that he felt God had forgotten us.’

"…‘It’s hard for me to leave this up to God. I wanted my plan to be his plan.’ Rebekah paused. The truth was that she no longer had a plan, no layout in mind, no outfits to match the specially chosen designer paper, no arrangements to create a perfect album.”

How often have you felt something like this – like everyone else’s lives are “normal”, and you can barely keep your head above water? Like if everyone just paid attention and listened to you, everything would work out fine. And how often does that happen? Yeah, I have no idea what “normal” looks like, either, and I have a hard time letting things just "happen".

These comments sum up one of the central themes of Leslie Gould’s new novel, Scrap Everything. Much of the storyline deals with change, and how different people view it and cope with it. It’s a story of faith, of learning to let go of what you cannot control, and learning to accept help from others. It’s remarkable how hard a lesson this can be. Perhaps that’s why this particular message hit home for me.

Scrap Everything is the story of two very different women, and their families – how they become involved in each other’s lives, and how they struggle to give and accept help in times of need.

Elise Shelton is an army wife with two teenage sons. With her husband’s retirement from active duty, she and her family move to her husband’s hometown, a small town in Oregon. She is not excited by the idea of living in “the best little town in the world”, and is relieved by the knowledge that it’s only temporary. In ten months, they plan to move on to Seattle. Which is more than fine with her. She has no intention of settling into life in the small town, and no intention of getting involved.

“Involved” could be Rebekah Graham’s middle name. She throws herself whole-heartedly into every project, whether it’s scrapbooking, meeting new people, or her home life. We see evidence of her obsessive nature in her thoughts of getting a part-time job or maybe opening a business. A month later, she opens a scrapbooking store.

It's at the scrapbooking store that the two characters meet. At the suggestion of her husband, Elise grudgingly attends the introductory workshop at the store. Elise immediately nicknames Rebekah "Miss Perky", mentally describing her as speaking "in italics and exclamation points…" Rebekah welcomes her into the store, and essentially into the lives of the other women gathered there. After chatting with her a bit, Rebekah impulsively invites Elise to come horseback riding at her ranch that weekend, even though she thinks Elise seems "awfully pretentious". She mentally compares Elise to the "popular girls" in middle school. On this note, they begin their relationship.

Continue reading "Book Review: Scrap Everything" »

Contest: Real Women find balance

One of the main themes of Tasra Dawson's new book, Real Women Scrap, is "finding room [in your life] to breathe, time to purse your passions, and the energy to get everything done".  (Sounds nice, doesn't it?)   Finding the balance between work, home life, and self is something most of us struggle with, I think.  I know I do.  So I'd like to hear your thoughts on "balance".

There's a section in Real Women Scrap called "Losing Your Way".  In it, Tasra writes:

...Scheduled to the max, busy women tend to place everyone else above themselves.

I'm not talking about outlandish desires or selfish tendencies, but basic needs.  Women need to exercise, eat well, and drink enough water to live a healthy, full, energetic life, but we put these things too far down on our priority list.  We allow ourselves to give until there is nothing left and we find ourselves empty...

Being pushed and pulled in so many directions with personal, family, and career responsibilities can make balance seem unattainable.  If we add goals, dreams, and hidden desires to the package, it's nearly too much to handle.  But it's not impossible, for two reasons: We have innumerable resources at our disposal for implementing practical life-balancing strategies, and we have a Helper who can guide and direct us onto the right path every day.

Tasra has given me a signed copy of Real Women Scrap to give away.  So here's a contest.  To enter to win, please submit a comment to this post -- I want to hear your thoughts on balance.  Here are some ideas to get you thinking:

  • How do you find/make balance in your life?  Any tips to share?
  • Where do you most need balance?  Where is your life off-kilter?
  • In your ideal life, what do you imagine "balance" might look like?  What would you have time to do?
  • Share a link to a time-management site/resource you've found helpful

The contest is now open.  It will go until noon Central on Saturday, November 4th.  I'll pick a name at random from all entries, and award the book.  I look forward to hearing from you!

P.S. Don't forget about the Real Women Scrap contest, too -- starting next Wednesday, running through the end of November.

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Book of Me idea: Your Evolution of Dance

YouTube - Evolution of Dance.

Too fun!  This of course triggered an idea for a scrapbooking layout --

  • what dances have you "lived" through?  What are all the dance steps/crazes have you tried in your lifetime? 
  • During what eras were they popular?
  • What songs & singers made them popular?
  • Do you relate any of these dances with specific events or memories?  (Just hearing some of the songs on this video brought back memories for me -- for instance, in college I actually saw Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer live in concert!  Hoo yeah!)

After you get your groove on, go scrap something!  ;)

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Scrapbooking Contest: Real Women Scrap

Daredreamer Press is hosting a contest to highlight scrapbooking with intention and meaning.

Who: Real women scrappers and independent scrapbook store owners

What: Submit one real story with one real layout about how scrapbooking has changed your life related to a topic covered in the book. Here's a peak at what's inside (pdf). Story entries can be written, typed or creatively represented (max. 2 typewritten pages). Layouts should be an original, never before seen 1 or 2 page layout that represents your story. Any page size is acceptable.

When: Nov. 1 – Nov. 30, 2006

Why: We're keeping it real. Dare Dreamer Press is taking a new approach to a beloved passion for millions of women. Real Women Scrap is the first book for career women and busy moms that uses scrapbooking as a metaphor to teach life lessons. To celebrate this new release, real women and real scrapbookers are finally getting a chance to tell their stories and strut their stuff. Get your copy today to help inspire and encourage you to write your own story.

We’re seeking contestants who are willing to share their lives and their layouts. Eager to inspire and motivate other real scrappers with their story and their style.

In a booming billion-dollar industry focused on more, better, and faster, Dare Dreamer Press is keeping it real. By keeping the focus on preserving history, capturing heartfelt stories, and leaving a legacy, we’re highlighting the real people behind the pages. We’re not looking for the next, big thing, but for a scrapper passionate about her life and her layouts, whose style and attitude capture the heart of scrappers everywhere.

Ever wonder what it's like to be on the set of a real Hollywood production? Here's your chance to receive the star treatment with a free trip to the filming of the Real Women Scrap book trailer! Go behind-the-scenes with a full crew: camera, lights, makeup. You'll even make a cameo appearance. Are you ready for your close-up?

Five semi-finalists will each receive a $600 prize package including:

The top five finalists, in addition to receiving their $600 prize package, will also have work published in an upcoming Dare Dreamer Press book.

And finally, the grand prize winner, will receive a free trip including star treatment and a cameo appearance in the making of the Real Women Scrap book trailer. In addition, the grand prize winner will have work published in an upcoming Dare Dreamer Press book, an organizing needs assessment with organizing expert Aby Garvey, and receive the $600 prize package listed above!

Everyone who enters will receive a 50% coupon for Aby Garvey's book, The Happy Scrapper.

That’s all there is to it…keeping it simple and sweet. So start thinking about your story and how you can show it on the page. The contest starts next week!

I have a copy of the new book, Real Women Scrap, to give away!  I'll be posting a contest sometime this weekend, so don't forget to check back for your chance to win this book!

Retailer Roundtable Writeup

While at MemoryTrends, I attended the Feature Presentation -- Kizer and Bender's Retailer Roundtable.  What a roller-coaster!  It was awesome! 

Facilitated by retail consultants Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender, this lively 90-minute presentation was packed with specific, real-life case studies of marketing tactics that have worked for independent scrapbooking storeowners, often working with a very limited marketing budget.

I've posted the first two parts of my writeup of this seminar on my marketing blog, if you're interested in scrapbook marketing kinds of resources.

Retailer Roundtable Writeup, Part 1
Retailer Roundtable Writeup, Part 2

Good stuff!

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Book of Me resource:

Interesting personal storytelling-timeline-"lifecasting" resource:

What is

Dandelife is a social biography network. What's that? Well you all know what a social network is. Dandelife is a social network built around the telling of your life's stories. You can use Dandelife to create your own personal biography and then share that with the rest of the world. Imagine all your own notes on all the people you've met, the places you've been, the events you've gone to and the stories you could tell about them all. That's your Dandelife.

...If that weren't enough, Dandelife works with Flickr and Youtube. So if you have your photos online at Flickr, and you regularly upload videos to Youtube, then you can keep doing that. Then come to Dandelife to combine those images and movies with stories about the people, places, things and events in them.

Book of Me Idea: Scrap Your Joys

Denise Gormish has an article up at ScrapJazz with great Book of Me ideas: All About Me: Joys.  It begins:

The quote, "Joy is the feeling of grinning inside," provides a visual picture of the inner feeling of joy. It is a feeling inside that each of us experiences in our own way. As scrapbookers, it is an experience we can create as art on our scrapbook pages. Through words, pictures, colors and embellishments, scrapbookers can record and even create their inner joy.

Denise goes on to provide eight concepts/themes for documenting joy in your life, as well as some resources for finding joyful quotes online.

Good stuff!  Check it out!  ScrapJazz offers other Book of Me articles here.  And of course, you can check out the book that started the whole "Me Movement": The Book of Me.

Scrapbooking on Howard Stern

Before I left for MemoryTrends, I got an order for The Book of Us.  The buyer included an interesting P.S. in his email:

p.s. You have been getting great pub. on the Howard Stern show.

Wha-Wha-What?? (a la Mrs. Broflovski, from South Park)  I hadn't heard anything about that, so I emailed him back:

Howard Stern has been talking about scrapbooking??  Or more significantly, me specifically?  What was the show date, and what did he say?

The response:

The show dates were a couple of weeks ago. Actually, Artie Lange, Howard's in studio comedian was the subject of/on the book of us. Artie's now ex-girlfriend, Dana, had started a "Book of Us" several months ago. The subject came up several times with George Tekai form Star Trek fame, while he was in studio. Great stuff!

So I Googled "Howard Stern Book of Us".  This is the first hit -- a "layout" of Artie and George Takei.  A little further searching brought me this list of results of pages of individual show notes.  They did indeed mention creating a "Book of Us" several times in June and August this year.  I didn't see that they mentioned my Book of Us, or me, specifically, but I guess if it brought this order in, it's a good thing.

How wild, hey?  Did anyone hear/see these episodes where HS and the gang were discussing a Book of Us?  Surely if HS did actually mention either my book or me, I would have heard more about it, right?

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