Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I LOVE teaching

If it were a perfect world I would be teaching classes full-time and being creative every chance I had.

 Unfortunately, reality says I need to have a job that covers health insurance for my family so my dream is not exactly coming true, but I did teach 2 classes last night and I was in my glory.  I truly love teaching!

I had three students in 2 different Martha Stewart classes and I could have stayed there all night working on the projects, sharing tips, and just talking to these wonderful ladies. 

I get so pumped up when I teach that  I go home and start thinking of what other classes I can offer.

 So, to my students that were there last night, I thank you. I hope you enjoyed the classes.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Homemade Scraprack

The saga continues...

If you are just started here, hold on a moment.  This is part two of a long post.  Go back and read the earlier post from today then come back here.

Once I got my own Scraprack system, I started filing all my "like" items together into the system as described on www.TheScraprack.com webinars.

Here is a photo of my scraprack set up and filled with some of my more popular themes.

Low and behold I am scrapping again!!!

This system really does work.  Not only can I find things, but seeing everything together makes me think of new layouts to put together.  I feel like I have a whole scrapping store at my convenience now because I can actually see what I have instead of trying to find things in closed up drawers and boxes.

I was so excited that this past summer I started a Summer Scrap your Stash Challenge on my blog.  Everyday I posted a new prompt or idea to scrapbook about. I did not feel a need to go scrap shopping even once this summer because i could find everything I needed now.  The best part, I got scrapping again.  And not just once in a while but every single day this summer.  I could actually find what I needed and got tons of cards and layouts completed.  I even got around to finishing up  some class projects from years ago that got filed away and forgotten.  I even filled up two albums with all the pages I did this summer thanks to this new system of organizing.  It really does work.

I love my original Scraprack.  It is thin metal and folds up so I can take it with me to classes, or crops. (I teach scrapbooking) So I am absolutely loving the portability of this system.  Once you get home you can set this unit back up and scrap again.  I was getting tired of breaking it down and setting it back up, though.  So back in June I figured I would build a more permanent unit to keep in my scrap room and keep my original for my Crop crate.
 Here is a photo of my original Scrapbrack set up on top of my Crop Crate.  I can have this sitting next to me at a class, crop or even out by my pool so I can get a few pages done while enjoying the weather.   When it is time to leave or just put things away, everything fits inside the tote. the photos below shows my scraprack and the spinders fitting nicely inside the crate and I close up the cover and roll away with it.

So now that I decided I wanted to keep this one for my travel bag, the dilemma of how to build a permanent unit came.  I knew I wanted it made from nice wood.  Something sturdy enough to hold lots of weight.  But I am not great at cutting angles from wood, so I asked my hubby if he would cut the wood for me and I could build my own Scraprack. Like I said this was back in June.  I would remind him every once in a while.

Just 2 days ago, he not only cut the wood but assembled this for me.  It is 45 inches wide by 14 inches high and sits at a 30 degree angle. 

 I filled the nail holes with wood putty. My dog had to inspect it for quality control.

 Here is a photo of the back side of it.

 This is where I planned to put it once it was finished.  this counter top had just been waiting for a new Scraprack to be placed on it.

 I added two (2) coats of white paint and strips of industrial strength Velcro.  I was concerned the Velcro would not be strong enough but believe me it is!  I got a little edge stuck to my counter top and really had to pull and tug to get it off.  So now it was ready to get loaded.

 Here is a photo from the side to show the angle is sits at.

 Ta-da!  This is all my Themes from "Animals" to "Travel".  I didn't realize it would take up almost the whole unit.  I still have my Alpha and Calendar sections to go.

This is all the space left.  Maybe enough room for 4 more Spinders.  But, I am thrilled with my permanent Scraprack.

Now to start up the fall session of the Webinars and to keep working on getting organized.


For those reading this post.  I am cleaning up my scrap room and have lots of retired Stampin Up products on sale.  If you are looking for some bargains Click Here for Shopping

Organization of Scrapping supplies

For those of you that may not be familiar, there is a company called The Scraprack.  Tiffany Spaulding is the owner / inventor / organizer extraordinaire. She came up with an organizational system for your scrapbook supplies that not only stores your items, but her system promises you can find anything you are looking for in less than 5 minutes.  Now how cool is that! 

Of course I did not buy into her system for years.  I would see her at scrapbook expos and walk on by.  I have a great system going.  Why would I spend all the money and time to start over!!!

Boy, was I wrong.  Her system really does work.  I have seen the light and am now a True Believer!!!

First let me share how my things were organized.

Mind you these photos are a little old.  I think they were taken in 2011. But doesn't this look great?  See all those drawers to the left?  I have tools, chipboard pieces, alphabets, some card making supplies, different inks and embossing powders, etc... stored in these drawers.  Doesn't it look all neat and tidy?  Now in the center, below the counter, is paper.  The rack on the left is all Close To My Heart and on the right is all Stampin' Up!. I not only have cardstock, but also background paper or DSP as Stampin Up calls it, , page kits, etc...  Look up and see the wall to wall cabinets.  ALL PAPER!  Different Brands, tons of page kits, paper pads, solid cardstock.  These cabinets are filled left to right with just paper.

Then this is the part of the room I spent most of my time,  I sit in the corner area and had everything in arm's reach.  The photo is a little small but I will try to explain how I stored things.  See over the tissue box in the bottom left? I have tons of the Iris clam boxes.  I stored page kits, class projects, half finished layouts, seasonal items that only got used once a year, along with just random paper in these.  To the right on the floor I had some themed paper in Cropper Hopper Paper holders.   I think these had all Disney stuff in them.  Next is my box of scrap paper.  Keep going toward the right and you see the plastic drawers.  These are color coded with all types of embellishments, brads, buttons, fibers, bling, etc...   Up on the top shelves are shoe boxes with just ribbon/fabric/fiber scraps.  Again stored by color.


This is just showing one of the corners in my room.  The spinner on the floor is by Clip-It-Up. I adjusted it to be able to add three layers and this had tons of stickers and other embellishments.  There is another spinner on the counter with Close To My Heart acylic stamp sets.  And then the paper racks on the walls were from a store going out of business.  These stored the current line of Stampin Up card stock.

So this was how everything was stored in my scrap room.  All was and actually still is neat and tidy and many things tucked away so you didn't have to see them.

The problem was, if I sat down and wanted to work on some football photos of my son.  I would have to go through 15 feet of paper to find football themed paper.  Sift through tons of embellishments to find football stuff, open drawer after drawer to find the right brads, fibers, chipboard, etc to put one layout together.  It was exhausting just thinking about starting a layout so, instead, I would just sit in my room and soak in how much I loved this room.  But did not get any projects done.

Then, I started subscribing to Tiffany's free organization webinars.  These would be weekly and broke down different items to work on for that week.  it might be paper one week, next week embellishments, etc...  You can learn about these on her website www.thescraprack.com   this would be a good time bcause I new series of the webinars just started up this week.  Anyway, the first time I signed on, I would watch and listen to her weekly webinar show and I just was not "getting it".  Why on earth would I want to pull out EVERYTHING and re-organize it. 

I listened to the whole series. But didn't really give it a try. That was last fall's series.  Then I signed up again for last Winter's series and it started to make sense to me.  So I started with paper.  I only did about 5 - 7 inches of paper at a time, but I would pull out paper and look at it.  Do I still like it?  Will I use it?  If not, is it worth trying sell? Donate? or just Toss? I even did this to the pads of paper.  There are some papers I LOVE and others I knew I would never use so I started tearing out the paper I knew I would never even think of using.  (There was more than I thought)

By the time the Spring session started I had purged about 32 inches of paper.  And I had sorted the  paper that I liked into her method of Themes.  Now if I wanted to find a piece of football paper it only took me a minute or two, as opposed to hours.  Hey, She may have something here!!!

By the time the Spring Session started I was hooked!  And to top it all off, I was one of tghe few chosen to work at The Scraprack Booth at Creating Keepsakes Convention in Manchester.  I had the option of working for pay or work for products.  Of course I was working towards getting my own Scraprack System that Tiffany designed. Plus I got to meet this amazing woman in person.  She is so warm-hearted.  Just the nicest person.  So, I placed my order and could not wait for my new system to arrive.

I know this is turning into a novel so I will end it for now... but check out my next post to see how things continued.


Etsy Shop
Stampin Up

Monday, September 3, 2012

Healthier Me

My legs are still sore from all the walking I did this week.  I walked 19.99 miles, climbed 64 flights of stairs and my weight lose is at 10 lbs so far.  I am feeling better about myself and even though it is hard to walk around when I first get out of bed I like seeing the waistband of my clothes getting looser.

My next Jenny Craig weigh-in is on Tuesday.  I hope I can keep the momentum going.  I am going to a new school this year so I am really excited about this and think it will help me stick to the plan.  I was not exactly happy with my position for the past 2 years.  I am sure that was a contributing factor to my weight gain. I am going from a pre-school classroom to a High School classroom.  It means more hours each week and a longer commute but no more diapers and lugging car seats!  Yah!!

Now to start thinking about what I will bring with my for my lunches each day.  Fruit, yogurt and a healthy salad or sandwich, maybe.  I am not sure what is available at the new job.

I never even went school shopping this year for the kids or myself.  It was depressing to think I was going back to the same school and age group.  Maybe today or tomorrow I may just have to go out and buy a new blouse or pair of pants for my First Day of School.

Here's to a Healthier Me.


SSS September 3 Moody Monday

It seems appropriate to end the Summer Scrap your Stash posts on a Moody Monday.

But rather then being sad about it today's prompt is...

 What makes you happy. 

Does the thought of the kids going back to school make you smile?  Is the thought of cooler days and the colors of Autumn bring a smile to your lips?  Are you a big football fan and thrilled that the season are beginning?

Make a happy card or layout today.

Thank you for checking out my blog each day this summer.  I am thrilled to have a whole pile of finished cards on hand for when I might need one.  AND I have 2 scrapbook albums filled with pages I put together thanks to this challenge.  I hope you have been able to get some projects done as well.

I just got my official letter on Friday that I am being transferred to a different school this year.  School for me starts on Wednesday.  I will be leaving my special needs pre-school class and working in a CARES program with High School students.  What a jump, from pre-school and diaper changes to High School and I am sure Teen Drama.  But, I am excited about the new school and I am looking forward to this new challenge.

With this said, once I get settled into my new routine, I may decide to start up a new challenge on my blog.  So come back every once in a while to see what is going on and if I have started posting new ways to get some cards or layouts done.

If you are interested in Stampin' Up! you can find me at http://sharonscraps.stampinup.net  I hope you will take a look around the website and maybe even place an order to help get my new business started. 

Thanks again everyone for staying with the SSS Challenge.  If you have any questions you can email me at sharonscraps@aol.com


Sunday, September 2, 2012

SSS Sept 2 Family Day

It is sad to see my SSS is coming to an end.  Tomorrow will be the last of the challenges.  But if you kept up with it, you should have 75 layouts or cards completed for the summer.  That is quite an accomplishment and you should be very proud of yourself.  If you only got around to a few of the challenges, Good for You!!! That is still something more that was accomplished that either wise you might never have gotten to.

Did any of the challenges take you out of your comfort zone?  Did you learn anything new?  Did you find a new use for a tool or embellishment you might have forgotten you even had?

This challenge did this for me.  I learned I can get a great layout using things I bought as much as 14 years ago as I can with something that might have just come out this year.  I learned to look at my stash with fresh eyes and see the potential they still hold. 

The biggest benefit was actually scrapping instead of just thinking about scrapping.  Over the past few years I have found less and less time to actually spend on layouts and seemed to spend more time on shopping for supplies instead.  So I am thrilled with what I have gotten done this summer.

My son commented on how I have done more layouts including photos of his sister then of him.  My reply was  "Think about this for a minute...Whenever I have asked you if you wanted to go somewhere what did you usually say?  If you do not spend time with us, how am I going to get any photos of you to scrap?"  Oh, I guess so. Was his response. 

We really didn't do much this summer.  No vacations, not really much for road trips but we made the best out of what we could do.  We went bowling quite a bit since we had free bowling all summer thanks to a Kids Bowl Free program I enrolled the family into.  We won free tickets to the Zoo so spent a day at Southwick, and got some free nights at a hotel at Foxwoods so spent a few days in Connecticut.  Other than that our summer was spent at home swimming in our pool or just hanging out.  Even with not doing much it will be a summer we will not forget because it is all documents and I have the layouts to prove it.

Today is Family day...What does the end of summer mean to you and your family?  Scrap about it.  do you have a big cookout, go to any family parties, head to Cape Cod for a final beach weekend (even though all the beaches are closed this weekend due to too many shark sightings)

Are the kids happy to be heading back to school?  Are you heading back to work?  Scrap about the end of summer.

My phone and computer are still not talking to each other so I do not have a photo to share today.

Scrap from your Stash


Saturday, September 1, 2012

A new Business Venture!!!

I have been an Instructor for a local Michael's store for just over a year now.  I was so excited when I started.  From the way I was hired, to how I was given the freedom of making my own schedule of when I wanted to teach classes.  I even loved doing the demos and make and takes out on the store floor. 

Well, this summer I have gotten a little discouraged.  No one is signing up for classes.  It may be because of local scrapping stores are offering classes, as well. I do not know. But I was truly hoping to share my passion of scrapping with others and build up a little following.

I have decided to give Michael's another month to see if things will pick up once the kids are settled back into school and in their daily routines.

If it does not get better I am giving my notice and going to try getting a business going on my own. 

Yesterday I signed up with Stampin' Up! to be an Independent Demonstrator.  I have a website now.  http://sharonscraps.stampinup.net and I hope you will take a little peek at the site and maybe even place and order to help me get my new business started.

I plan to host monthly crops and workshops and once I get my Starter Kit and put some cards together I will even offer Card Camps and some clubs, maybe a ribbon Club or Marker Club, I am not sure, yet.

I am excited for this new adventure and just wanted to share my news with everyone that has been following my SSS (Summer Scrap your Stash Challenge) 

Once I get started with my new supplies, I may start a new challenge using exclusively all Stampin Up products.

Check out my new business venture

SSS September 1 Theme Day

Theme Day - Nerdy or Geeky.  Something that you do or did that may be considered a little Nerdy.

For me it is getting my photo taken with Scrapping Celebrities. Anyone that has been scrapbooking for a while would know these people and may have even met them in person, as well. Outside our realm, people would say "You got your photo taken with someone that scraps like you? And you are excited about it!!"

I have photos with Lisa Bearnson, Tracy White, Rebecca Sower, Heidi Swapp, Becky Higgins, and my favorite photo was with Tim Holtz.

So yes it may be a little geeky or nerdy to get my photo with people that scrapbook like i do but these people make a living out of what I would love to do. That is so cool!

Yes, that is me in the tacky flowered shirt. I think as soon as I saw myself in these photos I threw that ugly shirt in the donation box.
Scrap From Your Stash and happy Labor Day weekend everyone!!

SSS August 31 Color Challenge

This is the last time for a Color Challenge so lets add a some Olympic metal to today's challenge.  the colors are Gold, Silver, Bronze.  You do not have to use all three.  You can use just one color or any combination of colors.

 My sample is using Silver along with Black and White. I did a page regarding the 1st movie I ever saw that left an impact on me. It was Star Wars so these colors worked well with the layout.

It does not look like silver in this photo, but the 2 x 2 squares along the bottle are metalic silver.

Scrap from your stash.