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Archive | 2010

Family Tag Feud 2010: Notes & Results

Well, the results are in…and it’s a shocking upset!

It was down to the wire – the battle was settled by only a few votes on a single tag – but the rookie pulled out a victory: Mike is the family tag feud winner! The final score was 7 tags to 5 tags in his favor. That’s the last time I teach him to do anything…

So…here’s a look at the tags again, along with the reveal this time of who made which one, and a few random notes about what we did on them.

Day 1:

Results: Nancy 60%, Mike 40%

Nancy : The bingo card is a digital element that I resized and printed out. I had already attached it when I decided to use the music stamp, so I laid a blank index card over the bingo card as a protective mask while I stamped the music stamp.

Mike: He drew a line of Stickles  and then smeared them with his finger to the distressed glitter effect. He says this is an old oil painting technique that he knew. The background is actually a collage created from torn pieces of paper that were glued down in layers.

Day 2:

Results: Nancy 48%, Mike 52%

This was the tag that ended up deciding the battle. It came down to less than two dozen votes and this one wasn’t decided until down to the wire!

Nancy – The music stamp made another appearance on my work already on Day 2. It became a “go to” item for me. You’ll notice as the feud went on that we both had our favorite items that we turned to again and again to use.

Mike – Mike’s “go to” item also appeared on this day’s tag, the Christmas tree stamp that he bought while we were out shopping. His other favorite item, Stickles, also appears here. The man is fascinated with Stickles!

Day 3:

Results: Nancy 30%, Mike 70%

Nancy - This holiday travel-themed piece has more texture in person than in the photo. I tried layering a lot of stamping techniques here and didn’t get quite the effect that I had hoped for.

Mike -Mike wanted to experiment with the Cricut and this tag grew out of that. He embellished the moon cut-out with crackle and some other products just to see what could be done with it. He says he would have liked more crackle on the moon but found over the course of the tagging that none of our crackle stuff “crackled” as much as he would have liked (but it’s possible he says that he’s not using it right).

Day 4:

Results: Nancy 37%, Mike 63%

Nancy - This tag centered around me wanting to try using the floral Sizzix die to make a poinsettia flower. And the theme is a bit of a hidden message sent with the  “What Do I really want?” and “Wish.” The tie on it was made by dyeing a strip of fabric with some Studio Calico Color Mist – a detail that I was particularly proud of.

Mike - The music stamp makes an appearance on Mike’s work! This was Mike playing with the fragments. He drilled the hole, mounted paper on it, Stickled it, etc., just to see what he could do with it.

Day 5:

Results: Nancy 23%, Mike 77%

Mike – Mike was trying here to see if he could bring a more familiar world (digital) into the look and feel that he’d been learning about in paper. He liked the result but kind of felt like he was cheating because he could never have done this in paper (the effects he used just couldn’t be replicated in paper).

Nancy – As soon as I saw the tag of Tim Holtz’s from 2007 that did this with the fragments, I knew I wanted to try my own version of it! The 3 flowers reflect my obsession with the rule of 3′s – that elements should be placed in odd numbers. I was really happy with how this one came out.

Day 6:

Results: Nancy 44%, Mike 56%

Nancy – I hated this one…I knew what I was trying to do and it totally didn’t come out anything like I envisioned. It’s a bit better in person than it photographed, but I’m still not happy with it. The top part just has NO dimension, and the rub-on isn’t straight, which really bugs me.

Mike – This was Mike’s first effort at trying to use lighter colors. The tree stamp appears yet again…he says he used it a lot to see what would happen if he used it in different ways.

Day 7:

Results: Nancy 75%, Mike 25%

Nancy – This seriously may be my favorite of all of my tags! It’s got texture and depth…and I love the color scheme. I love that it is so heavily vintage! I can’t believe that I made something collage and vintage when I’m normally so heavily graphic in my layout of things. I was also excited that I managed to incorporate the Cricut cartridge that I love, A Child’s Year.

Mike – His motivation was that he wanted to play with a bunch of different embellishments here. He made the packages from scrap paper. You’ll notice it is, as it’s base, another Christmas tree with Stickle balls on it. He says he learned from this that pre-made embellishments are HARD to use because they are opposite of what you would think – giving them somewhere to shine is hard, you can’t just slap them down!

Day 8:

Results: Nancy 61%, Mike 39%

Mike – This is one of Mike’s favorites even though the voters didn’t receive it well. It was the digital world and the crafting world colliding – he used a lot of percentage blends and transparencies that you can’t duplicate in straight ink and paper so it’s a bit of a cheat in his opinion again. But he liked the way it came out.

Nancy – This was really simple in appearance but actually took me a long time of fussing over to get just right. I was really pleased with this one – it has more texture in person because of the embossing, and it has a bit of a folk art thing going that I was pleased that I pulled off.

Day 9:

Results: Nancy 68%, Mike 32%

Nancy – This tag skirted disaster but then came out really well I thought. I ADORE this bird die by Tim Holtz and just had to try it out when it arrived. The background has a lot of stuff on it – layers of ink, the music stamp (again), the painted edges, and the rub-ons of holly. I was really scared I was going to screw it up doing all that! But I was really happy with the final result.

Mike – Mike wanted to use the flowers and so everything started to turn pink as he built the tag around it. He was in a Stickles phase here. He became fascinated with the way Stickles worked doing this because, as he says, “the last time I played with glitter I was in preschool and it involved Elmer’s glue” – and so it ended up very glittery. Every single tag I think that he did had Stickles (except the digital ones) because he said “it was amazing being able to pinpoint the glitter and when else but the holidays can you get away with that much glitter?”

Day 10:

Results: Nancy 27%, Mike 73%

Nancy – This photo was printed on a matte self-adhesive paper that is semi-transparent to make it kind of faded out. I think it makes it look kind of antique or like a polaroid in this application (although it looks better in person than it photographed because the flash faded it out more).

Mike – Another exercise here for Mike in playing with embellishments. He used a few smaller embellishments here and then the bells. The tree stamp makes an appearance again too! He also used a stamp as an embellishment which he hadn’t really done before.

Day 11:

Results: Nancy 77%, Mike 23%

Nancy – This tag is a combination of my obsession with graphic layout & elements (the graph background, the joy to the world typeface, the tape) and very vintage elements. I love these sorts of elements like these cards but struggle to know how to use them. (I like how this came out though.) This is another example of my rule of 3 compulsion with the metal embellishments.

Mike – The tag was supposed to feel “old”. The quarter was supposed to be reminiscent of back when a quarter would have been a good Christmas gift. He finds working with grunge paper very frustrating because it always seemed to shrink like a shrinky dink under a heat gun for him. Here he made that work to his advantage, and did that intentionally to the starfish since it kind of worked for this.

Day 12:

Results: Nancy 34%, Mike 66%

Nancy – The bird and cage are a hidden subtext here. The design is simple but all of the elements were extremely carefully created and detailed.  I loved the color scheme that was created on the numbers when I painted the white crackle paint over red inked chipboard that wasn’t apparently dry. The red bled into the paint for a nice pink effect.

Mike – Another variation on the tree, this tag is probably one of his least 4 favorites. He wanted to do a dark contrasty one this time. Actually there are only 3 colors in the whole tag, really. Basically it’s a monochrome exercise. The one thing he says he still doesn’t get about scrapbooking, and that he’d like to get feedback on – the swirl in the upper left corner is there to just fill space…he’s still not sure what it actually brings to the tag. He says he knows it works but is not sure why that works.

In conclusion…some notes from Mike:

A few readers have been asking me to comment on my experience making our 12 tags this holiday season.  There were numerous funny moments, frustrating moments, and amazing moments along the way.  I’ll take away those priceless memories along with two main impressions from my great paper crafting experiment.

#1: Paper crafting allows for far more creativity than I ever imagined

Having gone with Nancy on more than one journey to the local scrapbook stores and having a ton of exposure to the hobby over the years in many other ways, I still had the impression that paper crafting would feel limiting to me.  My background is primarily digital having worked in the photography, digital design, and printing industry for the better part of the last two decades.  I was sure that I would feel limited working in the analog world of pre-printed papers and the limited color palette of whatever inks and such might be in Nancy’s current stash.

I was wrong.  Using various techniques that Nancy was able to show me, along with watching some video tutorials from online sources such as the amazing Tim Holtz and others, I was able to create some amazingly satisfying complex and organic effects.  In fact, it was the unpredictability of paper crafting that appealed to me the most.

#2: Paper crafting is hard

Not to sound insulting but my other opinion of paper crafting going into this exercise was that it was relatively easy.  It seemed to me before this that so much of the hard work, the creative design, is often done for the artist through the use of pre-purchased embellishments, papers, fonts, etc.  For me, paper crafting sounded sort of like putting a puzzle together.  The challenge was putting the pieces together in the right order.  The picture was just a result of being successful.

Again – wrong!  Sure, a pre-printed sticker or piece of paper certainly gives the paper crafting artist a head start on their project.  But I quickly learned that using pre-made pieces was no different than having a broad collection of paints and brushes.  The skill is knowing how to use the resources you have and not trying to let the purchased materials do the work for you.  I’m sure many of you see my limited talents shining through in most of my tags this year.  Just pasting down a bunch of stickers and ribbon on a fancy piece of paper is not what paper crafting is about.

So, with a much deeper respect I bow to you the paper crafters of the world.  I will happily hide back in my world of the pixel and the undo button for now and allow you all to continue to amaze me with your special skills and wonderful artistic creations.  Thank you for letting me invade your craft for a few weeks, making me feel welcome, and even being kind enough to appreciate if not the result at least the intended result of my efforts.

Let’s do this again sometime!

In conclusion…from Nancy:

First, I’d like to thank the talented Tim Holtz for inspiring this project with his 12 Tags of Christmas (and planting the seed for some other personal projects I am now planning thanks to my new obsession with tags). Tim not only does things that don’t seem possible with inks and paper, but then he shows you that you can do them too – which is the most amazing part of what he does.

I’d also like to sincerely thank everyone who followed along with us on this journey. We never imagined that so many people would get so much enjoyment out of it. We really just started this as a way for Mike to share in my world of paper crafting and learn about it, and as a holiday activity to share together. It was a very special time for us as a family, sitting at the kitchen table together over our his-and-hers craft mats, and we are touched that so many people enjoyed sharing it with us. Thank you all.

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Family Tag Feud: Day 12

And here it is…Tag #12! We’re down to the wire in the feud…every vote counts so think hard before you vote!

We’re going to leave tags #11 & #12 open for voting for a couple of days and then we’ll post a piece revealing who the winner was, some notes about each tag set and who made each tag. We can’t wait to hear if you all guessed right about who made what!

Here we go….last but not least…with our twelfth tags!

Tag #1:

Supplies:

Ranger Inkssentials Enamel Accents
Ranger Stickles in Silver
Tim Holtz Distress Stickles in Stormy Sky
Stampin’ Up Winter White Embossing Powder
Martha Stewart Crafts Glitter in Crystal Fine
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Black Soot, Chipped Sapphire, and Faded Jeans
Tim Holtz Distress Embossing Ink
Technique Tuesday Clear Stamps (“Simple Sentiments”)
Me + My Big Ideas (rhinestone swirl)
Royal & Langnickel (silver snowflake rub-ons)
Stamp-A-Mania (christmas tree & tree background stamps)

Tag #2:

Supplies:

Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Fired Brick
Natural Jute by Hobby Lobby
Tim Holtz Distress Stickles (Rock Candy)
Marcella by Kay (pearl brad)
Prima Mulberry Flower
Recollections by Michaels self-adhesive rhinestones
Tim Holtz Distress Crackle Paint in Picket Fence
BasicGrey Chipboard Mini Monograms
My Minds Eye Holiday Glitter Paper Pack
Bazzill Cardstock (Kraft)
Tim Holtz Alterations for Sizzix Die (Caged Bird)
Making Memories patterned paper
Ranger Glossy Accents
Alterations by Tim Holtz for Sizzix Tag & Bookplates Die

So…for the very last time…

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Family Tag Feud: Day 11

Finally…it’s here! The conclusion of the tag feud! We actually finished construction of the tags yesterday but didn’t get the photography done till today.

Now all that needs to be done to complete our little advent calendar tag set is to have our daughter sit down with us and make a tag…but first we have to tear her away from her gifts. Maybe tomorrow.

So, let’s get to it…because nothing says holiday spirit like a family feud, right?

Tag #1:

Supplies:

Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Old Paper, Chipped Sapphire, Dusty Concord, Tumbled Glass, Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick, Mustard Seed, Worn Lipstick, Wild Honey.
Tim Holtz Distress Embossing Ink
Tim Holtz Idea-ology Grunge Paper
Tim Holtz Distress Embossing Powder in Worn Lipstick, Tattered Rose and Vintage Photo
Ranger Stickles in Cotton Candy & Frosted Lace
Inkadinkado Rubber Stamp (palm tree)
Stacy Stamps Rubber Stamp (Map 405AA)
Great Impressions Rubber Stamp (“Merry Christmas”)
Recollections Clear Stamps by Michaels (“Christmas Collage”)
Hobby Lobby Natural Jute
White #8 Tag

Tag #2:

Supplies:

Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Pine Needles, Old Paper, Fired Brick & Black Soot
Studio AE for Technique Tuesday Clear Stamps (Good Cheer)
Making Memories Label Holder
Hero Arts Rubber Stamp (Graph Background)
BasicGrey Patterned Paper (unknown)
Katie Pertiet Picture Cards: Holiday No. 1 by Designer Digitals
Staples Matte Photo Paper
Tim Holtz for Stamper’s Anonymous stamps (Odds and Ends)
Tim Holtz idea-ology Accoutrements
Making Memories Decorative Tape
Ribbon (Michaels)
Hobby Lobby Natural Jute
Tim Holtz for Tonic Studios Paper Distresser

So, no holiday peace truce in this household…tag pride is at stake!

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Jo-Ann Stores To Go Private In Buyout

Jo-Ann Stores announced today that they have agreed to be acquired by Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., a private equity firm, for approximately $1.6 billion. The $61 per share purchase price is a 34% premium over the company’s trading price at market close on Wednesday.

Leonard Green & Partners is a Los Angeles-based private equity firm with over $9 billion in managed capital. Their retail investments include Whole Foods Market, PETCO Animal Supplies, Sports Authority, The Container Store, David’s Bridal, and Neiman Marcus.

The purchase was approved by a unanimous vote of the company’s board of directors, after a recommendation was made to it by a special committee of independent directors.

Jo-Ann Stores’ lead director and chairman of the Special Committee, Scott Cowen, explained the decision:

After a thorough assessment, the Special Committee and the board of directors concluded that the proposal put forth by Leonard Green & Partners is the best way to maximize value for shareholders, who will receive a substantial and immediate cash premium for their shares. While the company was not actively seeking this transaction, once the offer was received and negotiated, the Special Committee determined that it was in the best interest of the company’s shareholders, as well as its employees and other partners. Leonard Green & Partners has significant expertise in the retail space and is dedicated to cultivating and supporting the growth of Jo-Ann’s business.

The transaction still has to be approved by a vote of Jo-Ann Stores stockholders, and receive regulatory approval. Jo-Ann Stores also holds the right to solicit other competing offers for itself until February 14th, 2011 to ensure its stockholders receive the best deal.

Financing for the transaction will be provided by J.P. Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and TCW/Crescent Mezzanine.

The buyout of Jo-Ann Stores by a private equity firm will leave the struggling AC Moore as the only major craft chain that is publicly held. Hobby Lobby is family owned, and Michaels is owned by private equity groups Bain and Blackstone (although rumors persist that a public stock offering is in the near future).

Jo-Ann Stores has been growing steadily the past few years, increasingly its sales and improving its financial results, making it an attractive takeover target in a declining retail economy. On December 1st, the company announced its 3rd quarter 2011 sales (quarter ended Oct. 31st). Net sales were up 5.1% over the 3rd quarter of 2010, while same-store sales were up 4.1%. For the nearly-concluded Fiscal 2011 year, the company said it expected to open 30 new stores and close 25 stores. In Fiscal 2012 they are planning even more expansion – anticipating opening 55 to 60 new stores. These numbers are in addition to large numbers of store remodels that are also being done. Online has also been an area of growth for the company, where sales have gone up in double-digit percentages, although the website still accounts for only a tiny portion of the company’s total.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2011.

Find thousands of craft supplies online!

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May’s Solution for Ho-Hum Holiday Scrapping

I love scrapbooking special events. It was summer vacations that I first started scrapbooking as a kid, and holidays, vacations, and big events (weddings, babies) tend to be the introduction of most people I know into this fabulous hobby. That said, one of the more common things I hear about holiday scrapbooking is that it’s dull, or that people aren’t sure how to keep it fresh or interesting.

First and foremost, I think letting go of expectation, and anticipating having a good time with your photos and memories is key. Embrace each year as unique, and let yourself do what you’d like – whether that’s just one layout recapping it all, or many layouts detailing your holiday season (or something in between). There are no scrapbook police who will fine you if you don’t have enough meaningful details, a minimum amount of pages, or a certain number of photos scrapbooked.

Second, it’s important to realize that every year is more different than you realize. In my family, we skipped a lot of our usual traditions (hosting parties, baking, etc) in favor of a trip to Disney World earlier this month. This means I will have a lot fewer traditional holiday pages- and that’s ok too! Your holiday season might not be drastically different from last year, but each year is unique and different with it’s own memories to capture.

Having trouble with journaling or figuring out what to scrapbook about this holiday season? I have some suggestions:

  • Compare/contrast this year to a previous year.
  • Ask family members what their favorite (gift, food, event, detail, tradition) is this year.
  • Journaling can be light! Not really feeling up to entire stories? That’s OK! Make things more photo or embellishment focused.
  • Focus in on older traditions. Document them and what they mean to you (from doing puzzles to cooking specific foods to activities or places you visit).
  • Take a news story approach. Detach a bit, and tell all about your special event or family gathering.
  • Record a story that always gets brought up or thought of this time of year.
  • Put a bit of extra effort into embellishing! Like your home decor, perhaps this is a time of year to step up the fun!
  • Focus on a few small details: the decor, the food, a specific game you play, or anything else very particular to December.
  • Focus less on the actual holiday or big gathering, and more on smaller events and special details surrounding the season!

If you feel like every year you do the same thing, that there just isn’t anything new to scrap and you’ve told every possible story then I have three suggestions. First – look at the differences. Who isn’t here? What did or didn’t you do? Second- start something new! If you truly do the exact same thing with the same people every year, aren’t you bored? Mix it up! Then document the new, and share if you think it’ll become tradition! Finally, consider saving photos but not scrapbooking one year. This might seem odd coming from me – but if you’re just really not wanting to document one year, then just let it go!!

I have not missed scrapbooking a Christmas in the last decade, but my number of pages widely vary from just one, to many. One thing that never changes is my deep love for all things Christmas, especially scrapbook supplies! I especially love supplies that can be used beyond the holidays (just in case I over-purchase!) Today I have a new layout to share with you using all kinds of fun stuff:

With the decorations in full swing, I know that our “in place of gifts and many regular traditions” pre-Christmas Disney World trip is going to use up some lovely red & green supplies. I had such a blast pulling this together – and making the opening page to my vacation album all at the same time!

Supplies:

The Girls’ Paperie Tinsel & Twig patterned paper
The Girls’ Paperie Tinsel & Twig letter stickers
Elle’s Studio (www.shopellesstudio.com) journaling papers
American Crafts Dear Lizzy Christmas Collection Felt Pieces
Studio Calico Elementary Collection Notions – Vintage Pattern Flowers
Tim Holtz flourish stamp
Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Forest Moss
CatsLife Press date stamp
Making Memories Noel Collection Trims
Making Memories Paper Reverie Trims in Sienne
Core’dinations cardstock
unknown pom and lace trims, rhinestone, sequin

Before you write off the holiday season as a time to not scrapbook, or as something that’s “been done”, I hope you’ll reconsider. Looking back on scrapbooks of years past to see classic family gatherings (and not-so-traditional ones), and reminiscing, is a favorite Christmas tradition of mine – and one that wouldn’t be possible if not for my creative time and love for the season.

If you have a favorite holiday detail you like to scrapbook, or a tip for staying inspired, please feel free to share it with us all in the comments!

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Paperclipping Roundtable #50: Our 50th Episode Celebration

It’s our 50th episode! To celebrate, we got crazy and threw the format out the window! Instead, Noell and Izzy and I listened to voicemails from viewers and chatted about what the show means to us and how doing it has changed our attitudes towards scrapbooking. In keeping with the party theme, there were a ton of laughs!

I said this on the show, but I want to say it again: Roundtable has helped put the joy back in my scrapbooking that had been sucked out of it by the “business” focus of my job. More than that, it has often been the bright spot of my week during the past 6 months while my family has been dealing with something truly awful. The warmth of my Roundtable friends, the weekly dose of laughter, and the enthusiasm of the audience has really lifted me and I can’t express enough to everyone how much that means to me. THANK YOU.

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To listen to this episode, you can use the player embedded above, right-click on this link to download the file to your computer, visit the Paperclipping Roundtable web page or to make things easy, you can use this link:

Subscribe for free to Paperclipping Roundtable on iTunes

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