Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Discontinued stamps...

As you may know, we have a new catalog coming in July. With each new catalog, we retire some stamps to make way for new sets. Get these sets while you can--they won't be seen in the next catalog:

Also, please note that all the gift with purchase stamps will be retiring as well to make way for new items. And the hostess sets are usually moved into the general catalog to make room for new hostess sets.
Please note: This list is as complete as possible, though some sets may be added or removed at the company's discretion.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Big on Fun Promotion #2

We're on our second batch of limited edition Big on Fun sets!
From May 9 through June 16, 2008, when you spend $30 or more (before shipping and handling), you can purchase up to one of each of these limited edition miniature sets for just $2.95 per set. It's a great deal. And I adore the new Small Sentiments set--so sweet!
These sets are perfect additions to your stamp collection--you can use them for scrapbook page embellishments, tags or envelopes. Enjoy!
Click here for a full-size flyer.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

How to deal with your photographs

When you're first getting started, it can be overwhelming to deal with your photographs. Fortunately, many people have gotten into digital photography now--using programs like iPhoto to store, sort and label your photos is a great way to stay organized. You print out just the best shots for your layouts. A word of advice: it's worth the investment to backup your photos regularly. Use a secondary disk drive--even if you just periodically make a copy of all your photos onto a CD--so you have a copy of them in case of a hard drive failure or a fire.
Most of us, though we may be living in a digital age, still have some prints. What do we do with them? If you're like me, I had a huge box (or two) of photos, in something close to chronological order--when the film was developed. It can be a daunting task to go through these prints and figure out what to do with them. Here are some tips:
Make a list of the albums you'd like to make, and make notes as to which photos to include and as to how you'd eventually like the pictures sorted. Here's a sample list:

  • Baby David (birth - 2 years, chronological)
  • Baby Kate (birth - 2 years, chronological)
  • Wedding (professional and friendly photos, plus honeymoon)
  • Christmas (by year)
  • Personal Growth (high school, college, other artistic education years, chronological)
  • Book of Us (milestones in our marriage relationship, chronological)
  • Best Shots (artistic photos and favorites shots, no order)
  • Family album (any other photos, chronological)
Start sorting! You'll need some temporary containers for this process. I use a two-step sorting technique:
  1. Sort by the general album. Put every picture into an album pile. As you're sorting, it might become clear you need another album, so add another pile. As painful as it is, if you find a shot that is out of focus or blurry, throw it out. If you can't identify who or what it is (and you don't know anyone who can), throw it out. (Make a help-me pile, if you need to.)
  2. Sort each album pile by its theme. Sort each album pile into three piles--to be scrapped, to be kept elsewhere, and to be tossed (in case you missed any the first time through). Store the extra photos in a box or an acid free photo album. When determining which photos to scrapbook, start considering the size of your album now--how many photos will easily fit on the page, how many shots of a particular occasion will you need, and which are the best shots to use. Sometimes, a memory can be enhanced when you use multiple shots of a particular event (see my July 2007 page).
If you're anxious to get started, you can go through this process box by box and start scrapping right away. However, you may find more photos of an event you've already scrapbooked in other boxes. If you find more than one, great: add another layout. Most albums will allow you to insert and rearrange pages. But you may just find a single photo. A great shot. Then what? So I recommend you do step one with all your photos, and step two with just your first project. Then start scrapping.
Just a few basics on photos: First, you should store your photos where you live--not too hot or too cold, not too wet or dry. Don't put them in your garage! Second, if it's your only copy, consider cropping carefully. Or, if you aren't the original photographer, do not crop the photograph. In my experience, it can be offensive to people to crop photos. Especially with older photographs, just leave them whole. Third, if it's a Polaroid, make a copy (preferably a digital copy) to use in your scrapbook and never cut the original. Fourth, acid content (and the lack thereof) is very important in scrapbooking. If an item is touching your photo, make sure it is acid-free, or it will fade your photos over time. Finally, if you print your photos, be aware that most printer inks fade faster than photographs do. You can buy printers that archival ink, but it wouldn't hurt to include a CD in the back of your finished scrapbook that includes digital copies of all the prints you used.
Hope this helps you--don't be too overwhelmed. If you hesitate to go through that big box of photos, start small with a theme-specific album that doesn't require that you collect all your photos in advance. Have a good time and make great art!

Shopping list for new scrappers

Are you tempted to get into scrapbooking, but are confused with what supplies you need? Are you on a limited budget or do you have limited storage space to add your supplies to your home? Are you a new scrapbooker who needs down-to-earth advice and a shopping list as to what you really need to start scrapping? This post is for you.
To get started, you will need photos. If you can print them, that's easiest: you can edit and crop them before printing, plus you can resize them to fit your needs. If you already have a box of photos handy, that's great, too. I'll do another entry on the what to do with your photos later.
When you're first starting, I recommend you start buying your supplies slowly. Here are the basics:

Choose coordinating products for the best results--for beginning and advanced scrappers alike, coordinated products take the guess-work out of matching for you. I also recommend that you buy the colors that you like best, even if you think these won't "match" your photos. You can always print your photos out black and white, and most people find it easiest to work with colors and prints that they like, rather than ones that are currently trendy. Shop for paper by color scheme (or theme, depending on your first project), and try to stay within that theme. Staying within the theme will help your projects flow more smoothly--from page to page.
Once you've been scrapbooking for a while, you'll find your style developing. Then, you can add embellishments and paper to match what you have, and you won't accumulate supplies you don't like and won't use.
You might want your first album to be a smaller size, at least 8x8 or 9x9 or even a smaller gift album. This size is much easier to complete. Many crafters find that completing a smaller project (for example a mini mother's day album, a year-in-review, or a Christmas wish-list album) encourages them to go on and tackle larger or open-ended projects (such as a baby book or wedding album). Keep in mind that you can have more than one project going at once--this will often free your creative space and spirit, so if you get tired of one project, you can work on another.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Meet your Match--Matchbook Kit

Meet your match
with Matchbook Kits from TAC™! For a limited time, from May 9 through June 16, celebrate the end of our catalog year with a bang with this special promotion. For just $28.90, you will receive:

  • Pemberley Bay™ Matchbook Kit
  • Limited edition True Wealth stamp set (only available with this offer, set of 9 elegant scrapbooking stamp)
  • Free Rockin' Roxie™ Matchbook Kit
You'll be able to create an entire album in a single evening--and it's so rewarding, we're throwing in two matchbooks for you to finish in one night!
We have matching ribbons (for Pemberley Bay™ and Rockin' Roxie™) and hardware (for Pemberley Bay™ and Rockin' Roxie™) available for these kits, if you desire, or you can use your own. Contact me if you need more info--and here is the direct link for purchasing.

Perfect Palette Promotion

Available only while supplies last, our retired Soar With It™ cardstock collection Bella Flor is available for just $10.  You save 50% off the original retail price of $19.95.

Each pack includes one of each heavy-weight 12x12 sheet of printed cardstock (16 total), plus one sheet of small alphabet stickers and one sheet of large monograms, and a sheet of die cut tags and embellishments.
There's never been a better time to invest in scrapbook or cardmaking supplies for spring, summer and mother's day themes.  Buy two for extra scrapbook supplies.  But don't wait!  Stock will not last long, so get yours today!
Need ideas as to how to use this kit?  Check out Mischelle's latest project idea and make a mini album using this kit (or any other of your choosing) paper in a snap!