Saturday, August 20, 2011

Shopping at Scrapbook Expo!

If you’re a scrapbook, paper crafting, rubber stamping junkie like me. If you LOVE new supplies, and to see new ideas, tools and all the great things that come with two days of shopping and cropping then the Scrapbook Expo is where you need to be. It’s a traveling wonder of paper crafters heaven!

Yesterday I attended the Chicago Scrapbook Expo with my fantastically creative mom, and our good friend Piper. We love to go VIP style, buy our tickets online so we get that extra hour of shopping before they open the doors to the public.

Sooo… with out any more chatter from me, here is what I bought with my $100 budget…

Starting out we had to register when we got to the Expo, and when you did you received an shiny new pack of these Glue Dots, already played with them, and LOVE them! 


I bought the Smash tape, black with white dots (at Archivers later that day with my 30% off coupon) now Smash books are ALL the rage, and I LOVE the idea. NOT a fan of their books. Disappointing that out of 5 themed books I couldn’t get attached to any of them! But not to say I didn’t get attached to their other Smash products (more to come!) and the Tombo adhesive dots refill is always a staple in my art room!


LOVE these Smash pads. They are 10 different journal tags, 3 of each kind. Now I am able to admit, journaling tags are a HUGE thing for me. I LOVE them. LOVE them. And unlike the Smash books, these tags were JUST my style!




These prompt you SO well to scrapbook about what you love most! Everyday stuff!

Halloween is hands down the easiest holiday for me to scrap. It was tough to decide on doodle fun Halloween, or vintage style Halloween. I went doodle-y!


Check out these awesome Martha Stewart strips, peel and stick, and AWESOME! My mom found these, there was 5 different per pack, and 3 of each kind. So she was super generous and gave me one of each! Wee!



(too cute my daughter saw them and she LOVED the dripping red paint! LOL!)


LOVE these winter ones she gave me too. She bought each pack for a DOLLAR!! OMG, a STEAL!

Speaking of steals, I bought these chipboard sets for $1.50 each, I just thought there was some letters, um no. The Berry Sweet had strawberries (glazed!) mushrooms, and tons of fun dots.

The Wild Saffron set has flowers with rhinestones, both sets had some super cute accents with! $1.50 each!?! DEAL!


Sorry I couldn’t get better light on this next shot, it’s some fun clear embellishments, fun flowers, glittered, and transparent. LOVE it! Those were $1.50 too. Then the Fall/Halloween chipboard was from Mellissa Frances, go to her blog, she’s SO Shabby Chic it’s insane, RIGHT up my mom’s alley. Mellissa Frances was actually AT the Expo yesterday. Very cool to see an artist right there selling their product. It was on clearance for $1, again I missed it, but she bought me one!


MORE tags! These were some fun summer one by Little Yellow Bicycles another company I LOVE so much.


These were a big hit, .49 cents each, buy 4 get the 5th one free. I heart my dad, I got two, one for a card for him, and one to scrapbook… or two to scrap, one for me, one for the kids?!

Have some old Vegas pictures to scrap, I know Ed would like to have NEW Vegas pictures to scrapbook! They are just die cut tags, BUT puffed up, like someone dry embossed details on them




BIG bag of buttons for $2. Wish they had more variety. Only saw purple (my fav) lime green, blue and red, blue and white or orange…




Two Copic markers. Sigh… I want to get into these, they seem great. BUT at $5 a marker, my collection is starting SLOW. So far two green, and two brown… well now I can just color lots of trees… I HAD two blue, and two pink in my basket too but I put them back because of…



Smooch paints. OMG love them. Or otherwise known as ‘Pearlized accent ink’ $3.19 each at the Expo, $4.99 at Archivers! They originally started out with just 8 colors, but have expanded greatly. Like my Stickles (glitter glue tubes!) I do think I need them ALL!

They are like a liquid eyeliner. They are a light paint, with a hint of glitter. These are my newest 7. IMG_2613


Frosted Aqua






I have the Grape Soda, Sassy Pink, Kiwi and the ever so awesome top coat Illuminate. These are great for SO many projects. Mostly shown to color in stamped images. BUT I love them for outlining a picture or a journal tag in a scrapbook, lots of different surfaces outside of paper too.

S.E.I had these ‘Jocelyn’ 12x12 scrapbooks on clearance for $5 each! Mia needed a new book!



Some paper for me. I thought the cassette tape paper would be good for my all about me Smash book I’m creating. Talk about how back in the day how we’d tape off the radio, over and over again. And the yellow cloud paper was super cute, that’s just one for anyone… maybe Sophie in the sunshine?


I love to find new cat and dog papers. The cat paper was shimmery, and I’ve already cut apart all these cute cat and dog tags to put with my papers.


Have to say these chipboard cat and dog embellishments were the most pricey individual thing I bought. BUT at $5.99 each but breaking it down it’s about .49 to .59 cents each. Worth it, and I do 8x8 pet albums so these will last!



I swear if you add glitter to ANYTHING we paper crafters flock to it.

See this Adore page?! It’s covered in a yellow/gold glitter. I found an accent tag that goes with it, and can just PICTURE my babies on this page…

See the tag below?! PERFECT. Shiny, and beautiful.




Not only is this message adorable, but the just right amount of green glitter to go with! AND again I found paper to go with, thinking our bike adventure to the Locks with the kids will be PERFECT!






Picked up some adorable school papers, I love this style, and the more regal shades for school then the bright ones. Going to use an old 6x6 BoBunny chipboard book to put these sheets in. Make her a book from Preschool through 6th grade for Mia.


This next sheet may not excite you, but It’s a 12 month calendar. I’m going to cut it up, decorate it, and make a flip calendar for next to my desk. I do each year, and this is the start of my 2012 one!


Sooo that was our adventure, my loot, and each year we learn what to buy and what not to waste our time on. This is what we’ve learned…

1. Go early. Get the VIP, you can wizz through the free make-n-takes (I am NOT paying $5 for a MnT project) then hit the bargain booths, because the lines get SUPER long. I mean 15 minute wait to check out!

2. As much as we love to sit down in one of the nice restaurants there at Pheasant Run Resort, it was 45 minutes for them to COOK our food! Waste of time. I would have been fine getting a hot dog at the vendor stand by the banquet room. Or save money, and pack a lunch!

3. Bring ONE comfy back pack, or shoulder bag. I have one I bought at the Expo 3 years ago and LOVE it. NO roller carts allowed!

4. Don’t bring babies, or toddlers unless you have ZERO options otherwise and are desperate to go. Tweens and teens if they want to go, I think would be a great bonding experience.

5. Go with friends BUT don’t expect to shop together. I say this because if we 3 shopped together the WHOLE time we’d still be there. Do your own thing and meet up. We called each other if we thought one of us got lost in a booth somewhere.

6. Don’t buy it. Yesterday for me was the $29.99 glass tile set. Came with two glues, 20 GLAS tiles, images, and the metal charm to make it a necklace. Great deal BUT a third of my budget. I set it down, walked around thought about it. HAVE to have it? Go ahead. But just remember that you can probably order it online (unless it’s a rare ‘Expo special only deal’) I didn’t get it, and glad I didn’t for that would have been my Smooch Paint budget!

7. I make one FAST round, seeing where things are, before really buying. Seeing if there is a booth I MUST see first. Some booths I don’t even look twice at, some I want to curl up in and refuse to leave!

8. Be prepared to be tired, have sore feet, knees and backs! It’s an exhausting day, but I ask for Expo money for my birthday and save it till then. It’s my big day to spend birthday money on what inspires me and makes me happy. I not only got buy great things for my stash, but I was able to become inspired to scrap, stamp and create!

A wonderful day full of laughs, giggles and much needed girl time! Till next year! Happy Scrapbook Expo Day!!


JCat McGack


In the mail I got my new Creating Keepsakes, PERFECT timing. PLUS I got a $15 credit for my local scrapbook store from my punch card filling up at Scrapbook Junction in Minooka, IL… can’t wait for our 7 hour crop there at the end of September! (more giggles with mom and Piper!)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Green with Inspiration.

Creating Spaces? Where Women Create? Creating Keepsakes? ALL too much inspiration for me!

I LOVE the new Creating Spaces magazine. It’s an annual issue by
Creating Keepsakes that covers 146 Inspiring Rooms, Ideas and Projects. From people who craft in a closet, to a studio size space. LOVE it. It was $14.99 but SO worth it.

Always an issue of Creating Keepsakes nearby, love scrapbook layouts and tons of inspiration there too.

WWC fall 2011

Where Women Create… OMG. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE it. It’s not so much a magazine, it’s like an artist book, it’s a $14.99 a copy. It’s published 4 times a year. I JUST picked up the Aug/Sept/Oct 2011 issue. A girl named Heather Bailey is on the cover and she just SCREAMS creative! Susan Branch is in there, LOVE it. AND they started a Man page, and who else besides the talented Tim Holtz to have in it? The whole thing is PACKED with great artist, you just have to go get your own to read them all.

I have to say sure the fact that it’s $15 a book is a lot of money. BUT if you want to be inspired. And NOT just for how to set up a space, but there are quotes, and ideas, and how they started, and what inspires them to keep creating. How they had regular jobs and just did what they loved. Then I say it’s SO worth the money to just stir up some creativity in you.

I try to use their inspiring stories, pictures, quotes and ideas and use them in my art room, designs, and everyday use.

Amazing how one grows as an artist. From cutting and pasting my Sesame Street magazine at the age of 4, to paint by numbers. 4 years of art classes in High School. And 6 years of independent demonstrating for Stampin’ Up! ( it wouldn’t let me link?!)

I’ve grown to love sewing, even though I often stab myself with the needles. I’m a rubber stamp hoarder. Scrapbook almost daily. And JUST reminding myself that painting, sketching, clay, and paper Mache’ need to be part of my routine too.

I have to say, I once was jealous of all these people in the magazines, some my age or younger who have LINES of their own, IN stores, or have their OWN stores like I want. So instead of being jealous, I’ve turned to them to help me create my own. My own every day art. My own thing. Do me.

So today I’m just playing in my room. May sound pointless to some. Why not create something you ask? Well I may, or not. I did cover a notebook for my best friend. Just for fun.

Thinking about moving my ribbon out of the drawer its in and hang it over my ceiling… we shall see! Until next time I leave you with this quote from Tim Holtz’s teacher…

“Class- Art is everywhere. Remember you can always create something from what at first you may see as nothing…”

JCat McGack

Where do you find inspiration? Leave me a comment and tell me!