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Archive | February, 2010

Splitcoast Stampers Sold

Splitcoast Stampers co-founder Daven Nolta announced Friday that the site has been sold for the second time in under two years.

NameMedia, which acquired the site 19 months ago from co-founders Daven and Tracy Nolta, has sold it to Internet Brands.  Two other properties, Craftster.org and Dave’s Garden, were bundled in the sale. Splitcoast was founded in 2002, and averages over half a million unique visitors every month.

Internet Brands operates over 90 websites that pull an average of 50 million monthly unique visitors. It is a public company, listed on the NASDAQ (symbol: INET). The company just reported $27.7 million in revenue for the 4th quarter of 2009 with $4.3 million in net income. These results were up over the 2008 numbers.

In the sale announcement, Nolta also indicated that he would no longer be involved in Splitcoast Stampers “in any official capacity”. Community Manager Jenn Balcer is also leaving her position. Creative Director Beate Johns and Advertising Account Manager Lori Craig will be continuing in their positions.

Wade Hewitt will be in charge of Splitcoast Stampers for Internet Brands, and actually attended CHA with Splitcoast before the announcement was made. In a post introducing himself on the site’s message board, he revealed that Internet Brands had originally been in discussions about purchasing Splitcoast at the time of its sale to NameMedia. Hewitt has also made forum posts reassuring members that the company has no plans to convert Splitcoast into a paid membership community, and that the site’s current arrangements for features like the private forum for Stampin’ Up demos will remain unchanged.

Hewitt also discussed technical changes that are in progress at Splitcoast. Migration to a new ad server is complete and in early March the transition will be made to hosting the site on servers at Internet Brands’ web hosting facility.

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Tim Holtz Distress Inks: 12 New Colors to Love!

When I first heard that Tim Holtz would be adding 12 new colors to his existing palette of 24 colors I cheered out loud and thanked the computer for giving me such great news. If this makes me a geek of the highest order – that’s fine. They’re that much fun to work with.

Since 2004, Distress Ink pads have been making my crafting life a better one, and it’s a product I wouldn’t consider working without. Not only are they great to work with, but the quality is outstanding as well. I have some of my original pads (purchased in 2004) that are still working just fine. Some have never been re-inked or replaced in all that time. In other words – they’re a good investment!

Initially I was going to try and tell you which colors are my favorites from this batch but they’re all too good. Wild Honey is a dark horse – a color I’d normally run away from, but I love how it looks on my projects. Victorian Velvet went on really dark, but lightens to a lovely shade. I’m also having a love affair with gray these days, so the addition of Pumice Stone is a welcome one. All twelve colors are now available, and working with them has been intensely fun.

These ink pads can be used as you would any regular ink pad, but they have added benefits. First off, when applied they have a slightly softer look than other inks. See this example of the image being stamped with the distress ink, and then a staz-on black pad:

You can see the difference. I love the softer look, and since I often don’t stamp even enough, it covers my light or ‘whoops’ spots better. The ink pads can be used with water too – here’s my sample board literally splashed with water-

Or you could stamp on already wet paper…

Another fun thing to do is to stamp on a craft mat, then add water to create a kind of wash.

Now you just press your paper down on it. Inexpensive photo paper is great for this. The look reminds me of Easter eggs, and you can mix-and-match various colors.

There is a lot more you can do with these ink pads, including stamping on photos. I strongly suggest checking out Tim Holtz at his website for more inspiration and ideas from a true master. If you’ve got the opportunity to take a class from him, I suggest that as well. I consider my class from him back in 2005 still the best class I ever took.

While getting funky and working with all kinds of fancy techniques is a lot of fun, sometimes I just like to use the ink pads as they are directly on my layouts and paper craft projects. They’re beautiful for edging papers, and are even better rubbed on an embossed cardstock like this damask patterned one.

In the layout below I used Distress ink to edge my photos, to stamp, to edge the scallop paper & journaling paper, to accent the floral strip, to ink the flowers, and to color the background paper.  I used four colors in total – and I really like how much ink can add to my page.

Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Tumbled Glass, Spun Sugar, Wild Honey, and Bundled Sage were used on this layout as well as one of Tim’s stamps and filmstrip ribbon. Other supplies include American Crafts thickers uppercase and lowercase, pen, and cardstock; Melody Ross for GCD brad and flower strip, Prima Flowers, Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist, and a Pink Paislee rub-on.

I discovered that using the ink on the flower and spritzing it with a Glimmer Mist like Dazzling Diamonds resulted in a very pleasing effect much like water would have – except shiny. You can see how my once white flowers are a more all-over pink color.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my look at these twelve new awesome colors of distress ink. They truly do fill gaps that I hadn’t realized I so desperately needed in my inking, and I feel so inspired to craft with them! You will be seeing many projects to come with these, and my stash of older colors as well.

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Club Scrap Launches Home Sales

Club Scrap has announced this week that they are expanding into a home party sales model. The company is running a campaign that they call Crafter 500, seeking to sign 500 reps up to their new system in 2010.

The Club Scrap home sales system appears built on a similar model to existing systems run by companies like Stampin’ Up! and Creative Memories. Advertised benefits to the reps include:

  • Product discounts of up to 50%
  • 40% personal membership Fee Discount
  • Up to 20% Membership Circle Income Base
  • Earn FREE Demo Samples with each $250 in sales
  • Company sponsored Host Rewards to increase your profits
  • Brand new product line to sell each month
  • Ready-made, pre-packaged Workshops developed by Club Scrap®
  • Minimal catalog investment and unlimited online purchasing
  • Exceptional Support and Training programs
  • FREE Crafter website
  • Earn bonus and incentive cash, prizes, jewelry, trips, luxury items

Start-up packages which include a “free $90 workshop” are being advertised by Club Scrap as starting priced at only “$90 down”.

Ten-year-old Club Scrap operates out of a 16,000 square foot facility in Greenville, Wisconsin, serving customers in 35 countries with paper and digital scrapbook products that it has sold until now via its website.

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Paperclipping Roundtable #7: The Process of Scrapbooking

Paperclipping Roundtable #7 is available for listening! This week the panel was me, Noell Hyman, Stacy Julian and Angie Lucas. We talked about our varying creative processes for constructing a page.

My pick for this week was the Cricut cartridge called A Child’s Year. Tune in to hear why, and to hear everyone else’s picks!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

To listen to this week’s episode, you can use the player embedded above [may not be visible to email subscribers], visit the Paperclipping Roundtable web page or to make things easy, you can use this link:

Subscribe for free to Paperclipping Roundtable on iTunes

That link will open in iTunes and take you to the subscribe page, and then you can click on the “subscribe” button.

Note: Paperclipping Roundtable is now the number one scrapbooking audio cast on iTunes, and among the top rated of all the hobby audio casts. If you’d like to receive our advertising rates, please contact me via email at scrapbookupdate [at] gmail.com.

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Available Position: Creative Director – Scrapbooking Manufacturer

Creative Director – Scrapbooking Manufacturer (Name Undisclosed)

We have an exciting opportunity for a Creative Director and we are looking for a star that has experience in the scrapbooking industry as a Creative Director, Associate Creative Director or experienced Art Director that is ready to make this step.

We are an established company known for the design of innovative and inspiring scrapbooking and paper crafting products. Our products are available in major retail establishments and in specialty boutiques worldwide. We have a collaborative and close-knit corporate culture and we are looking for the right Creative Director to add to our management team.

This position promises a steady stream of challenges in a fast-paced and competitive industry. As a key player in our company’s future, you will direct all creative functions, from new product design and packaging to trade marketing materials and web content. As a member of our management team, you will help determine the company’s strategic direction.

As the ideal candidate, you:

• are passionate about, and have extensive experience in, the scrapbooking and paper crafting market

• have developed and designed successful products and programs for the scrapbooking and paper crafting market

• possess ten or more years experience in graphic design, in a progressive series of roles

• have at least five years of experience managing direct reports

• can successfully assemble, evaluate, manage and inspire a team of artistic talent

• are a “working” creative, ready to roll your sleeves up with our team in the trenches

• have a fresh take on product design, including a strong background in trend-forecasting

• possess exceptional communication and project management skills

• can delegate and manage a vision from conception to completion

• believe in strong branding as a key to success, can take our brand to a new level

• are skilled and very comfortable with technology including Adobe Creative Suite

This is a full-time, in-office position at our headquarters. If this sounds like the right opportunity for you and you are open to a geographical move, kindly submit your resume, cover letter, salary requirements and online portfolio to papercraftingcareers@gmail.com . Applications will be handled confidentially.

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Creating Keepsakes Reduces Issues, Moves Customer Service

Creating Keepsakes has made official something close observers had suspected for awhile: the magazine is reducing its publication schedule from 12 issues to 8 per year.

The first bi-monthly issue of the magazine will be the combined March/April issue that will hit subscriber mailboxes shortly.

Creative Crafts Group will not be adjusting subscription expiration dates to reflect the reduced number of issues that will be sent to subscribers. Scrapbook Update has been told by reps for Creating Keepsakes that this is because the bimonthly issues are “double issues” so subscribers will still receive the same amount of content during their subscriptions.

The magazine has also moved part of its customer service operations to a new location according to Scrapbook Update sources. Subscribers who wish to contact Creating Keepsakes can now reach them via the following contacts:

888/253-0203 (US customers)

386/597-4387 (customers outside the U.S.)

Email: creatingkeepsakes@emailcustomerservice.com

The preferred method for contacting customer service should be via email.

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