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Today on Diva Craft Lounge...

Divaloungelogo_1Today I'm going to be one of the Featured Guests on the Internet Radio Show, Diva Craft Lounge.  I'll be joining hosts, Scrapbook Diva – Danielle Forsgren and Rayme Card™ designer - Rayme Sciaroni.

The show will air LIVE at 12pm Pacific/2pm Central/3pm Eastern, and it lasts about an hour.

Visit the World Talk Radio website for more info, and to listen to recent shows. 

EDITED TO ADD: My bit is now listed in the archives there.

Scrapbooking -- Simplified

It's been a few days since my last entry.  I've been taking a little time off to recuperate from my Virtual Book Tour.  Time to regroup, reassess, and re-boot the laundry (as FlyLady says).  I'm at the perfect place to figure out what's working for me, and what's not, and where I want to be.

Part of that involves getting back to what I love about scrapbooking.  Contrary to what I'm sure many people believe, being involved in the scrapbooking industry does NOT mean you get to scrap all day.  Quite the opposite.  I haven't scrapped regularly since about 2000, when I started teaching in a LSS (local scrapbooking store).  That's when I started working on class outlines and projects.  Then I started working on Book of Me, so I was scrapping then, but it was for the book.  Then I started teaching classes at LSS's around the country, and all my scrapping was for class samples and projects. Scrapping with a "mission" or on a deadline isn't nearly as satisfying as scrapping because you have a story to tell, or photos of your precious children.  I've missed that.  And frankly, it's hard to get back to it.  Not to mention the sense of overwhelm I feel when picking through the years of backlog photos that haven't been scrapped while I've been working.  So many photos, just sitting in boxes.  I feel like the biggest hypocrite sometimes, offering tips in my classes on how to organize and manage your scrapbooking hobby, with all this backlog waiting for me in my office.

So I've decided to super-simplify.  Inspired by the Friends Photo Album article on the Simple Scrapbooks magazine website, I went out and bought a regular slip-in-the-pocket photo album, pulled out my paper scraps, and set to work.  I can't tell you how freeing it was.  I was practically giggling at how fabulous it was to whip my way through three years' of Christmas photos in two hours.  I felt like I was getting away with something, and I LOVED it!

Basically you use the pockets for photos as intended, but you can also use the pockets for journaling boxes, or small embellishments.  It's a lot less intimidating that trying to figure out how to design/decorate a whole 12x12.  My MIL (mother-in-law) loved the idea for her lake pictures -- she's made one scrapbook of her trip to Norway, but isn't really interested in taking sb'ing up as a hobby.  This pocket album she could imagine and handle.

Here are some scans to help illustrate what I've done.






This last picture shows journaling on a tag, which I slipped behind that top left photo.

I have hestitated to share this idea, or the fact that I've been working on an album like this, for fear of what other people might think.  How sad is that??  I'm worried that my friends might think that I've "forsaken the good hobby of scrapbooking", or that I'm doing it "wrong", or that it looks stupid, or whatever.  But honestly, I'm just so happy to have started attacking those boxes of photos!  I was able to take this to my in-law's this weekend, and share what I've done, and they smiled to see the pics of the kids so young.  It's just such a relief not to have the "ballast of backlog" weighing on my conscience.  It's working for me, and I'm going to keep working like this until it doesn't.

Not that I'm completely giving up the more traditional embellished full size layouts.  I'll just use them more judiciously -- when I have a longer story to tell, or when the occassion warrants that much attention.  For these years' worth of Christmas pictures, with not much story to tell, this simple approach is perfect.  And such a relief.

Yea Libby!

I am SO thrilled to be a member of the 2006 PK Power Team! I NEVER dreamed this would happen to me!!

With this post at 2Ps, my friend Libby "outed" herself as a newly annointed member of the PaperKuts Power Team for 2006.  I am soooo proud of her!  She has worked so hard for this, and is so amazingly talented.  And a HOOT besides!  I'm proud to say that we've been friends for several years now -- she knew me "when", and now I can say I knew HER "when".  ;)  I'm also proud to say that her work has been featured in all three of my books; she's one of only two "legacies" in my book series to achieve that (the other one is Erica Shaw Putnam).

From the posts on various message boards, here's the list of PKPT winners that I've compiled:
Hanni Baumgardner
Wendy Inman
Libby Weifenbach
Peg Manrique
Patricia Jacoulot
Shaunte Wadley
Amy Manolovits
Ali Rowe
Angi Stevens
Donna Leslie
Heather Mickey
Anne Lang (? -- I'm not sure if that's her name)

I'll update as more winners pop up!  Or you're welcome to email me with new info.

Once again -- yea you, Libby!

VBT Recent Sites Recap

WOW!  I just realized I haven't blogged in a few days -- this Virtual Book Tour has kinda wiped me out here at the end.  A different site every day for two weeks has left me a little frazzled.  But I shall soldier on!  ;)

Wednesday's stop was at Scrapping with Style, which is based in North Carolina.  This was kind of a low-key stop; I provided some inspirational quotes and issued a challenge to be posted to their Gallery by Monday morning, and answered a few questions on an Ask Angie thread in the Forums.  It was nice to catch my breath a little bit!  ;)

Thursday's stop was at Digital Scrapbook Place, which is based in Ohio.  I had done a chat there at the beginning of April to help celebrate their birthday, so it was nice to touch base with everyone again.  We did a chat on Thursday night, hosted by the talented Jamie Rousselle.  I posted a challenge near the beginning of the chat, then answered some questions.  Some of the days are blurring together now, so I don't remember if there was a log of this chat.  I'll have to ask Jamie about that.  This tour stop also included a book review by Jamie, so be sure to check that out, too.

I was really nervous Friday's stop to KiwiScraps, which is based in Wellington, New Zealand.  My Friday was their Saturday, which meant it was National Scrapbooking Day for them.  They had arranged this massive nationwide event in honor of the day, and made a pretty big deal about my appearance.  I was worried that somehow I would let them down, or that something wouldn't go smoothly, and there I'd be in front of a whole COUNTRY with cyber-egg on my face.  But Janine/Tinks had everything under control, and it was a beautiful thing.  I was stunned by the amount of work that she put into this event -- she coordinated getting FREE product packets to all the croppers there in Wellington, as well as the *NINE* sattellite crops around the country.  Janine and I arranged for me to log in for chats throughout the crop, at 6pm, 8pm, and 10pm my time.  As I understand it, they had the chats going on a computer there in the store in Wellington, and projected that so everyone at the crop could see, and shout out questions for me.  Several of the satellite crops also logged in during each chat time, so it really was a nationwide event.  It turned out to be lovely, with some great questions:

If someone wanted to understand the essence of you what 5 things would they really need to know?

  1. I appreciate straight talk, as long as you're kind about it.  ;)
  2. My husband and my kids are my top priorities.  The house is about dead last, much to my husband's dismay.
  3. I have a good sense of humor and expect others to use theirs too.
  4. Offer me some ice cream and we'll get along fine.
  5. I expect others to do their best and work hard, because that's what I expect of myself.

Who are your scrapping influences?  Who do you admire?

I have different heroes for different reasons... Every layout or project I look at teaches me something; I've learned some specific things from certain people. I love Cathy Zielske's and Annie Wheatcraft's clean and simple style. I love Jessie Baldwin's and Jess Atkinson's journaling. I love Faye Morrow Bell's inspiration articles in CK. I love Michelle Underwood's and Rhonna Farrer's digital pages and kits. I love Renee Camacho's and Ali Edwards' photos. and I love Jennifer Ditz McGuire's handwriting, journaling, and use of pattern paper.

I've heard they're going to put up a transcript of the chat; I'll post a link to it on the VBT webpage when I get that info.  EDITED TO ADD: LINK TO CHAT TRANSCRIPT

Yesterday's tour stop was One Scrappy Site, my own website, based (obviously) here in Kansas City.  Since several contributors to The Book of US are on my Creative Team, I thought it would be fun to do a twist on the usual interview article by including responses from several of them.  So we each thought up an interview question, then answered them all, ending up with a sort of "Round Robin Interview".  It was really interesting reading all the different answers! 

I wanted OSS to be sort of the big "Ta DA!" at the end of the tour, especially with it being National Scrapbooking Day here in the States, but honestly, I am just exhausted nearing the end here.  So at least OSS got something a little different -- the "round-robin" interview piece, highlighting the fact that OSS is a site with all this special PUBLISHED talent in one place.  Hey?  I'm hoping to get another "inspirational" piece up on the site today or tomorrow, and will update the VBT webpage accordingly.

There is one more site rounding out the tour today -- a review at  I love the mission of this group:

The Story Circle Network is dedicated to helping women share the stories of their lives and to raising public awareness of the importance of women's personal histories. We carry out our mission through publications, a web site, classes, workshops, writing and reading circles, and woman-focused programs. Our activities empower women to tell their stories, discover their identities through their stories, and choose to be the authors of their own lives.

The Story Circle Network is made up of women who want to explore their lives and their souls through life-writing--writing that focuses on our personal experience, through memoirs and autobiographies, in diaries and journals, in personal essays, in poetry. The Network is for every woman who aims to claim the power of her experience, who wants to map her journey, and who is determined to name herself. The Network is for you.


Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

So I finally started reading Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (AKR).  I had heard about it on various blogs (Michelle's, Jodi's, and Dawn's), and immediately recognized the scrapbooking implications. [I even included it in one of my Virtual Book Tour Challenges.]  So I requested it from the library, and picked it up the other day.  I'm not even into the alphabetized entries yet, and I've already had my first "scrapbooking brain blast" (if you ever watch Jimmy Neutron with your kids - or by yourself - you'll know what a brain blast is).  Near the beginning of the book, AKR offers an "Orientation Almanac".  How COOL would it be to create one for your scrapbook??  You might have to adapt it a little for family viewing, but the premise is awesome!  Totally perfect for placing your family stories within a historical timeline.

"Orientation Almanac: The following is an attempt to provide the reader, particularly those of you who come to this in a distant and certainly different era, with plain facts about American life at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the backdrop against which this book was written."

AKR then provides various statistics: world population, top CNN stories 2000-2005, countries in power, cost of living averages, popular TV shows, etc.  She also includes fun lists like what we call the other drive when angry (this is where the family-viewing adaptation comes in!), ways we exercise, machines we own, after-school activities, colors of the J Crew catalog, how we answer the question "How Are You?", numbers and codes we all memorize, among others.  TOTALLY FABULOUS snapshot of American life -- easily adapted to become more personalized.  You'll have to leave me a comment with what lists you might include, so we can all be inspired by your greatness! ;)

So be sure to pick up this book, either from the library, the book store, or Amazon, and see how it affects your scrapbooking.  I'm already pumped about it, and trying to figure out how to create an alphabetical database for cataloguing my own memories.  (Do I go with Word?  Excel?  Access?  some personal journaling program?)

More poop from dooce

That morning, however, she didn’t do any talking, just tortured screaming that lets a mother know something is terribly wrong. I could hear something specific in her scream, a hint of THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS TO STARE DEATH IN THE FACE, a scream that says, “I have a piece of poop stuck halfway out my butt and I can’t get the rest of it out.” I know that scream because it is the official soundtrack to my life.

Link: dooce: The one thing we KNOW she inherited from me.

The sad thing is...even though I (at this point) refuse to blog about poop experiences in my own home, I can relate to dooce's typical mom-life. Her accounting of entertaining her child with a box of Tampax while trying to have a few moments of "me time" in the bathroom is priceless.  Motherhood -- it's all about the glamour.

Pages of the Heart VBT recap

Monday's Virtual Book Tour stop was Pages of the Heart, based in Mississippi. where it got up to about 70.  I've "enjoyed" some pleasant weather while touring the US, which is always nice to report!  ;)  (Of course, it is a rather "climate-controlled tour", since I haven't really left my office!) 

POTH really took advantage of my tour stop, and signed on for about all they could do -- they reviewed each of my books (Book of Me, Growing Up Me, AND Book of US), did an interview article, participated in a layout challenge/contest, AND hosted a chat!  Whew!  These girls were all so excited -- it was really fun to share their enthusiasm.  Site owner Lisa Lee even told me that the design team held a team contest to see who would review the books!  Too fabulous!

Lisa was really ON IT during the chat on Monday night, because she copy-and-pasted Chat Highlights DURING the chat!  Not easy when the dialogue is moving fast and furious!

Some interesting questions from the chat:

What do you suggest in creating an album for children with special life situations-adoption, divorce, blended families or even special needs children?  Would you be more apt to include everything -- step parents and bio parents, the adoption process, details of a disability and how it affects the daily life, etc?  Any suggestions ?
I would just scrap their lives, probably asking for their input...what do *they* want to document and preserve.what kind of concerns do you have?  Personally I would include whatever I was comfortable with If I were spending a lot of time in therapy sessions or at the hospital, those things would have a place in my scrapbook I wouldn't necessarily include graphic photos -- more like documenting a process, or what I was worried about or what helped me through it also documenting all the helpful support people, and our relationships with them also documenting all the helpful support people, and our relationships with them I look at most sb topics as -- would I want to know/understand this about someone else?It helps take the pressure off for me "assuming" someone else "should" find a topic interesting.

Do you think it's "wrong" to scrap a "serious top" with fun and bright colors? Would that be lessening the meaning of the topic?
Personally, I would probably go with more...elegant colors, but if fun and bright works for you, and helps you get through the situation, who am I to say?

What approach do you take in scrapping the "everyday" stuff?
I take pictures of stuff laying out not put away, I include snippets of conversations, I stage photos to show steps of a process like making cocoa mix from scratch for DH's morning coffee.   I took a picture of my son's friend's shoes laying by the front illustrate that his friends are so comfortable at our house...they take off their shoes the minute they're inside the door.

Today I'm at Scrapping with Style -- be sure to check out the Questions for Angie thread, and leave me a question!

Tomorrow I'm stopping at Digital Scrapbook Place.  Be sure to check out the chat at 9pm Central/10pm Eastern.  I'd love to see you there!


Scrap Outside the Box recap

Yesterday's tour stop was Scrap Outside the Box, based in Missouri, not too far from me here in Kansas City, actually!  So the weather was definitely something I'm used to, sunny with a high in the upper 60s.

There were a couple of highlight's from yesterday's tour stop -- one was Cristina's interview piece.  I LOVE her opening bit -- in fact, I loved it so much, I read it out loud to my kids!  They loved it!  But not as much as *I* did!!  So very clever and totally fabulous!  It just set the tone for the whole piece, and made me smile the whole way through!  Be sure to also read Cristina's review, and Andrea's review.

Another highlight was the chat last night -- there were about 19 of us there at the peak, and we gabbed about just about everything: Scandinavian ancestry, printers & inks, the boom of digital scrappers, FlyLady, Cristina's Me, Myself, & I workshop, and my upcoming classes, among other topics.  I found out that Cristina isn't too far from Atlanta, and now it looks like she may be joining me there for my classes there over Memorial Day weekend!  Whohoo!  Can't wait to meet her IRL (in real life)!

Some interesting questions from the chat:

When you look back at something you did several years ago, do you like it still, or do you criticize it?
I DO like them still -- it makes me smile, thinking about the crop I was at, or the techniques that were hot, or just the memory in general.  I don't anticipate re-scrapping old layouts. 

I want to know about your favorite layout, Angie. Do you have a fave?  anything really stretched you? Like, you learned a new technique for it, or worked on it for three months, etc?
Oh geez!  That's like asking to pick a favorite child! You love different ones for different reasons, ya know? I still love a lot of the ones from BoM (Book of ME), because they helped me through so much.   Anymore, most of my layouts take me three months! LOL That whole time management thing! I do love the altered canvas I did as a project example for my BoUS class CD.  That was some new stuff for me – lots of mod podge, and the whole canvas thing -- a Scrapbooking on a Wall canvas-type project.

10 stupid things I did as a little kid

Tenika recently posted her second Meme Challenge at 2Ps -- list 10 stupid things I did as a little kid.  I've started my list on my Meme Blog: 100 Things about Angie.  It's been a...humbling experience.  This glamorous, world-famous author pulled some doozies.  Hopefully I won't be able to come up with a full 100 things, but at this point, it's looking like that could be likely.  Sigh.  ;)