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I cook poorly, I craft obsessively and I love the look of a retro cocktail. When I am feeling guilty about taking time away from my family with my obsessions, I make videos about my guilt as "The Guilty Crafter" or I blog here. Thanks for stopping by!


Close Up of My Fairy Tale Page (Season #2)





Some of my friends and co-designers from Scrapbook LifeStyles have been posting their layouts from Season #2 of the show so you can see the details more closely.  Here's one of the layouts I had the most fun working on.  This sweet little girl was perfect for a fantasy layout with LOTS of beading and glitter.  Add in some of the gorgeous BasicGrey and Hambly papers (and Hambly wings!) and I think I captured the spirit of a fairy tale princess.





We are scheduled to shoot Season #3 for Scrapbook LifeStyle within the next few weeks.  With all the planning comes a little extra work for my UPS man.  The goal of the show is to be as current as possible with products so our production manager Candice Carpenter works overtime with manufacturers to get us product to work with.  I can't tell you everything I'll be working with (don't want to ruin the surprise) but I CAN say one of my products requires safety glasses and possibly a mask!  How's THAT for out-of-the-box scrapping?  (and, if you're peeking at Donna Salazar's blog at all, you might be able to guess what that product is!).


In the meantime, I have to rediscover my creativity.  I've spent the last THREE months tending to sick kids and husbands (well, okay, only my husband) but they FINALLY got to me.  I've had the flu for about a week now and I have had ZERO energy outside of the most minimal mom duties I have been able to get away with.  It probably didn't help that I thought I could use my willpower to get better so I didn't miss seeing my college best friend while she was on a business trip in San Francisco.  Turns out my willpower only sorta/kinda put my illness in suspended animation for a day and a half and then seemed to double the strength of the flu to wipe me out when I came home.  Still, it was worth seeing my friend and having a day in San Francisco- love that city! 


I've been tagged...

... and not by one of those cute Around The Block Taggers either.   It's Wendy Reed who seems to think I need to be initiated into the blog world by sharing 6 quirky things about myself.  I'm glad she at least set a limit, I could probably go on for pages and pages.  (and I really hope one of the 2 people reading my blog is clicking on my hyperlinks- I'm spending a lot of time trying to make you laugh with these links!)

Quirky Fact #1:  I am obsessed with sugar .  Really and truly.  My parents were big on limiting sugar when I was a wee tyke- no Captain Crunch, no Hi-C punch, no artificially flavored oatmeal.  As a consequence, I hoard sugar like anyone would who grew up under the shadow of a sugar embargo.  My mom once did a prison-style shake down on my bedroom when I was in junior high.  She turned up a nest of Jolly Rancher wrappers which meant some days in the "hole" for me.  Sadly, I am now 35 and, if my kid's did a shake down right now, they find Jolly Rancher wrappers, too- the lolly pop ones, tucked under my bed... I have to sneak them into the trash because, while I don't ban sugar as a mom, I DO recognize that I have given birth to at least one genetically predisposed sugar fiend and he has to be protected from himself whenever possible.

Quirky Fact #2:  I am also obsessed with reading.  It's not really a quirky fact, I guess but I am almost incapable of putting a book down when I'm reading it.  I want to read the WHOLE thing straight through.   I get so into what I'm reading that if someone in the book is depressed than I get depressed, if they're elated, so  am I.  I feel like I've been to war, flown a plane, lived in the 1800's, etc.  I really identify with that one Twilight Zone where that poor banker (Burgess Meredith) just wanted to read .  My parents once had my hearing tested because I didn't come when they called me... when I was reading...

Quirky Fact #3:  I love religious factoids.  I grew up in a very diverse part of Southern California which meant that each year, I would have a new best friend who was very different from the one before.  Usually, they would have a unique religious background as well and I would hound them for facts.  I had a best friend in elementary school whose family was  Jehovah's Witness (in our day, my friend would leave the classroom when we had secular celebrations), I went to "away camp" one summer with an inner-city Seventh Day Adventist's church (did you know they are vegetarians?), I spent 2 years in Catholic school ( higher tuition is common for non-Catholics-compared to Catholics- attending  Catholic school)- attending many masses with my new friends there.  My 3rd grade best friend  was Buddhist and I've spent time in the Buddhist temple in So Ca. (Pa Fao Temple is one of the largest in the United States).  Many of my college friends were Jewish (did you know most chewing gum is not Kosher?).   I really could go on, but I think you get the point.

Quirky Fact #4:  I like to move.  I don't know where this came from but I suspect all the moving from apartment to apartment when I was very small living in Santa Barbara might has something to do with it.  I've moved 9 times since I left home 16 years ago.   Now that I'm a home owner, I feel constrained by the 2 year tax benefit but each time year #2 rolls around, I start slowing down at "for sale" signs and spending late nights on  and then the rest of the night at to see what we can afford.

Quirky Fact #5:   I like to eat the SAME thing at restaurant.  If I've found a good burrito, a good pasta or whatever it might be, heaven help the poor man (my husband, usually) who tries to get me to try something new on the menu.  My famous expense report from a 21 day business trip to Las Vegas listed 2 tacos from Baja Fresh for every single lunch and snow peas and white rice from PF Changs for every single dinner- for 21 days in a row.  My boss called me when I turned it in to see if I was playing a practical joke on her.  I wasn't.  I just know what I like.

Quirky Fact #6:  I over-write.  I don't' think a blog is a good idea for me.  I can write a novel-length entry in one sitting (this list is a case in point).  My friends love this about me (in one regard).  I've written many memos, letters of resignation, and even a few term papers- for other people.  In fact, I have written exam due today for a friend- which explains why I'm procrastinating with this long entry! 


The 25th Wedding Anniversary Album

Oh wow.  It's so fun for me to watch the show every morning.  Even when I'm on that week's particular show, I still have no idea how it will be edited and what will make it into each episode.  I am so happy that the husband from this album (Michael) was being filmed when he gave that small speech about how he felt about marrying his "ready-made" family.  It honestly was one of the sweetest things I have even witnessed a man say in front of an audience.  What a wonderful family they were!  I do every thing in my power not to tear up during "reveal" days but who could help me for getting a little misty-eyed for this one?


Selective Blindness Disorder... (Do you SEE the video at 2Peas ??)

I thought it was pretty funny how long the green banner was up at 2Peas with photos from the Ice Cream social linked into it. I didn't notice it for almost 5 days!  I have always been a very fast reader which means a little bit of selective reading of certain words, etc.  I'm sure I'm not alone on this which makes me wonder how many people are really watching the Scrapbook LifeStyle video that is right there in the side bar of the message boards- I bet a lot of people can't even SEE it! 

Today is Rhonna Farrer.  MAN what a bundle of energy!!!  I love her enthusiasm almost as much as I love that cute little owl on her "French Twist" line! 


Wendy Reed is joining us!

Scrapbook LifeStyle needed one more bubbly, cute scrapper to fill out our ranks and they have found the perfect one.  Now I have to add her to my entries about the designers on the show:


  • Wendy Reed:   Last summer, I was at my mother-in-law's house in Las Vegas and decided I need to spend a day out and about in Vegas but no one wanted to come (and why would they with the pool, all those movies and the snacks my MIL brings pool-side?).  I remembered that one of the "late night" message board ladies I had been chatting with lived in Vegas.  I simply sent her an Email with my cell number and Wendy called me right up and I was off to have a blind-date with her at her LSS/Starbucks.  It pays to stifle that shy instinct I have because I loved Wendy.  We spent hours talking about everything under the sun.  What a nice coincidence that I will now get to work with her! (don't blame me if you click on the link in her name and get annoyed by her skinny tummy, I had nothing to do with that picture!)

Woot! We're up on 2Peas!

Scrapbook LifeStyle has been working overtime!  The episodes for this week, including really great interviews with Heidi, Elsie, Tim and Rhonna (in the scrapbooking world, some people don't need last names, right?)  are right there  along side of the message board threads.  Just give that sidebar a click!  I'm so excited that the week I'm on happens to be this week- I love being at 2Peas!


Random Thoughts on the ScrapbookLifeStyle crew

As promised, some random thoughts on the diverse group of women I work with on ScrapbookLifeStyle (click on the highlighted names to go to individual blogs). 

  • Leah Fung:  Yep, she's just as nice as you imagine her.  I've yet to hear her say a bad word about anyone OR their scrapbook pages.  We love to tease her on set for her science background and her attention to detail.  I think we  get away with it because we obviously admire her.  I have to admit, I was a little awe-struck when I first met her filming the pilot!
  • Pattye Duffner:  If you've been watching the show since Season #1, you know Pattye is more than comfortable speaking her mind.  Occasionally this means I have to punch her in the arm after a take but it's all in fun.  She's the kind of friend you would want to go on a long road trip with because  you'd have a blast and you'd both be laughing all the time.   She is an interior designer when she's not working with us and I keep pretending to her that I've decorated my house with terrible things to tempt her to fly to my house and re-do everything.  So far no luck but I'll keep you posted.
  • Donna Salazar:  The yin to my yan, or so we've been told.  In Season #1, I was in a panic during a 90 minute challenge and ended up ripping up a layout Donna had almost completed to save myself.  Not something I would recommend at a crop but luckily, Donna had a good sense of humor about it.  She's our "arty girl"- if you look closely on the show, you'll see that's she's customized her show shirt with hand-drawn doodles.  We have plans to get together and make some doodled jeans for me the next time I visit her.  (Oh, and look at this gorgeous layout she made about our CHA experience:  CHA)
  • Melisa Sanchez:  In a word, Mel is hilarious.  She has a deadpan humor that is a nice break from a day of work.  She is an artist like Donna and is often hand painting her own scrapbook paper.  She's got the spirit of an entrepreneur and I can definitely imagine her having her own scrapbooking line of handpainted art some day.
  • Melissa Runcie:  Famous for her shoes (particularly when she wears high heels to big scrapbooking conventions), Melissa is another amazing designer on our show.  I don't know where she finds the time to do everything:  working, being a mom, creating scrapbooks for her own business, being on our show.  I do know that we are all very careful when she's driving now.  With Melissa, one wrong turn could add another hour  to a trip down the street.
  • Stephanie Barnard:  I'm starting to realize a pattern with all these women.  Stephanie is ALSO an amazing woman.  I don't even think I can list all of her scrapbooking credentials and that doesn't include what she does for her family and other job outside of the scrapbooking world.  She is the quintessential cheerleader, in my mind:  gorgeous, upbeat, and "perky" in a good way.  I remember finding her website when I was preparing to go tape the pilot of Scrapbook LifeStyle and being a tiny bit intimidated!
  • Johanna Peterson:  Again, another woman who can do it all.  She has been aptly nicknamed "McGyver" by the crew because Johanna is known for bringing the most  random items in to create a page.  Chicken wire, nuts and bolts, you name it, she's probably scrapped it.  Of all the gorgeous pages I've seen of hers, it's the jelly fish halloween costume she made for her daughter last year that amazed me the most.  It was creative and beyond cute.  I just have to figure out how to convince my 3 year-old that she'd be happier as a jelly fish than as Ariel this year!
  • Amelia Ulmer:  I wanted to stick strictly to cast members for this random thought entry because we work with so many talented people you don't see on camera but Amelia is popping up more and more and she let's viewers in on behind the scene interviews, etc.  She's another wonder woman.  It has been such a great experience watching and being able to help someone's vision become a realty.  As co-creator, Amelia is the creative force behind our show.   We affectionately call her "Mother Amelia" when she gently guides us through new experiences.  Mostly, I am quite envious of all the cute hairstyles she manages to pull off. 
  • Tony Barber:  Tony, Tony, Tony.  I get so many questions about what he's really like.  I think he's exactly what you see on the show: a guy who is comfortable hanging out with a big group of women and  a guy who has no problem being silly when the occasion calls for it.  I feel it's  like having a loveable little brother on the set (although some of our audience members have made it quite clear that they think he's loveable in a non-sisterly way!)

For My Eyes Only

Okay, not really.  I'm happy to have you, dear Unknown Reader, here on my first blog.  However, a tiny part of me is considering the possibility of spending so much time on this soon-to-be obsession of blogging that maybe, just maybe,  I'll start experiencing a decline in my eyesight.   I blame Scrapbooks Etc. contributing editor Erikia Ghumm and her super darling La Font glasses for making me look forward to this eventuality.  I got a glimpse of them at CHA and I've been jokingly cursing my 20/20 ever since.

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