Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Introducing the BasicGrey Bittersweet Collection

Okay, what can I say? I'm in LOVE with this collection! Too cheesy? Too bad! It's totally true. See for yourself!

This collection is available for pre-order, so buy it now to get it FIRST! It should be in stock early to mid January. We'll keep you posted (for any item, check the pre-order link for the most current estimated arrival date).

From now until it arrives in stock, get the entire Bittersweet collection at an extra 10% off! {Shop Now}

And, because you TOLD us what you wanted - we are giving it to you! Check out the three gorgeous layout ideas we've included with the collection and how easy it is to add the products used to your cart!

Are you fame hungry? Do you have a layout you'd like us to feature? Just e-mail us an image of your layout (recommended file size 550x550 jpg) and a list of the products you used that we sell!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Photojojo & Akihiro Furuta

I fell in love with Akihiro Furuta's fun style for family portraits, and I can't wait to try some of these out! I think they capture the personality of the family way more than your standard "white shirt & blue jean" shots. What a treasure - to have pictures like this of yourself and your parents. More Akihiro Furuta photos.

Our source for this awesomeness is Photojojo, of course: Take Family Portraits That Break the Rules If you aren't already, you seriously need to sign up for the Photojojo newsletter - you'll get loads of great ideas that are easy to do. And most can be done with your regular point and shoot digital camera!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tim Holtz: 12 Tags of Christmas

If you haven't been following Tim Holtz's series, 12 Tags of Christmas, you've been missing out! Check it out here. Intermediate scrappers will love integrating his techniques into scrapbook layouts, cards, and other projects.

I personally have taken many trips to Michael's to try out these new tricks. I've been disappointed with what's available in stores and online - particularly with the selection and prices!

If you are interested in purchasing his products, please fill out the online poll and/or leave us comments about what you'd like to see us carry. Then, maybe I can justify ordering them (I hate paying full price for stuff so much that I'd rather buy the whole lot and sell it!).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Congratulations and Special Offers

1 - Congrats to Sheila, winner of our Trick or Treat Survey Raffle. She won a $25 PaperCents.com Gift Certificate.

2 - Congrats to Magpie, winner of our Blog Link competition! She got a Cosmo Cricket Haunted product kit!

3 - Congrats to you! You are the potential winner of a $25 PaperCents.com Gift Certificate. Read more below...

QK Silhouette
Special Offers
Special Offer 1 - $7.50 Flat Rate Shipping (US only) on Orders of $75 or more!

Special Offer 2 - Special Offer - Buy the QK Silhouette for $265.99 (over 25% Off)... Get a $25 Off Coupon for your next purchase!

If you already have a Silhouette, or if it's not in the budget this year, don't fret, we've got something for you too!

Special Offer 3 - Get a $25 Gift Certificate when someone you refer buys one (5 friends = $125 to spend)!

So, tell your friends about Special Offers 1 & 2! Post the offers in forums and on blogs. And be sure they include your e-mail or username in the Customer Notes field! I'll make it easy... copy & paste this:

One of my favorite online stores, PaperCents.com, is having a sale. You can get the QK Silhouette for just $265.99 (28% Off SRP)... AND you'll get a $25 gift certificate with your purchase. Plus, they have flat rate shipping (just $7.50). Please include my username (YOUR USERNAME), so they know I sent you! If you do, they will add a goodie to your order.

Silhouette Related Links:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Belated Happy Thanksgiving!

It seems I have been a slacker. Was my last post really on November 17th?

Well, I'm working on a how-to for you that should be ready in a day or two. Today, I need to catch up on orders from Thanksgiving weekend. For Thanksgiving, we all went to Orlando with my parents. SeaWorld and Animal Kingdom.

Highlights: Our gross miscalculation of how ready our kids were for the 3-D Bug's Life movie... which is ALL about scaring small children, it seems. My six year old and three year old were both crying their eyeballs out and had an early exit.

And the bugs weren't done messing with my kids yet! Big drama involving my son REALLY needing to go. We pulled over to let him pee in the grass. Ended up standing in an ant hill and Ryan and I got attacked by red ants. Apparently, he's allergic. He got just three bites, but they swelled up big time. He had red dots all over - I was freaking out thinking they were MORE bites - nope, just hives. I was very thankful we were 6 miles from the rest stop and got him Benadryl before it was too bad.

He is fine and I stayed home with him today. But I'm seriously rethinking that strategy! I'm pretty sure he's ready to go back to school now!

I hope you had a safe holiday with your family! And now that it's shopping season - let me know if I can help you pick the perfect scrapbooking gift for someone. PaperCents.com e-mail gift certificates are great for last minute gifts or for picky scrappers! And make sure to sign up for the Special Offers newsletter for our holiday sale.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Slice is Here!

I'm not really sure why it took so long, but I have finally added the MM Slice items online! And just for you...

Blog Exclusive! Spend $25 the Making Memories Slice section and get a Making Memories Slice apron with your order (Use Coupon Code: MM*APRON).

Hurry! This offer is available through 11/25/08 or while supplies last. (If we run out of aprons, we'll include another goody for you.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Genius MousePen

I really, really want this... But I can't figure out WHY! I'm terrible at drawing, though my husband is amazing at it. He won't want it, though. I love crafting - though I'm not great a that either. Let's just say, I'm a frustrated artist. And I really don't have a NEED for this. I just want it! Do you have one? What do you do with it?

What I know: This device lets you control the computer cursor with a pen (vs. mouse). So, you can draw, color, and use PhotoShop tools with it. That's all I really know. What I don't know (yet): What I'D do with it... I love gadgets, what can I say?

11/17 update: So proud of myself! I resisted the urge to buy yet another unnecessary gadget - that's more money for inventory! ;)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And the Winner Is....

... Commenter #8 - That's Tish! Please e-mail your full name and mailing address to marilou@PaperCents.com

And now for a brand new ScrapLog raffle contest! To enter:

1. Post a link to http://PaperCents.com or http://blogspot.PaperCents.com on your blog.

2. Post a link to your blog (with the PaperCents.com link) in a comment on our blog.

Every blog/link submitted is entered to win either an SEI Poppy Kit or a Cosmo Cricket Haunted Kit - you pick! The deadline to enter is November 30th.

Here are two images you can use for your link!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Election Day 2008!

If you're reading this, chances are you are not standing in line waiting to vote right now... or that you are way cooler than I am and have an iPhone. (I've got the Helio Ocean, but I find that browsing is still a bit more painful than it's worth.)

I am very excited to see long lines because it means people are participating! However, I'm definitely rethinking my "the lines will be shorter on Election Day than during early voting" strategy...

Almost as importantly... I have added New! Doodlebug products to the website - about time, right!? And there are also new Pre-Order Doodlebug products (should ship late November).

And the new BasicGrey Wassail Christmas collection is available online for pre-order. It should be shipped to us this week sometime. So, you see... I've been busy! But keep checking back - I have a lot more product to add to the store (Making Memories, SEI, 3 Bugs In A Rug, Scenic Route... And I'll keep you posted when I do!

Remember, the new Doodlebug is part of the Trick or Treat Sale that ends tomorrow! As promised, all of the "Treat" sales are now listed on the Sales & Special Offers tab.

P.S. My favorite item added online: The 2009 BasicGrey Calendar Kit (SRP $20, our price $17)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

First Annual Trick or Treat Sale

A trick or a treat? Click to see!

Happy Halloween! It is our THREE YEAR ANNIVERSARY, and I'm so excited to announce our First Annual Trick or Treat Sale. (We did an Easter Egg Hunt once, and it was a lot of fun!)

Here's how it works... Scattered around PaperCents.com are icons like the one above. Just click it to see if it's a Trick or a Treat (Super Deal). Each Treat has a code (find the black circle). Collect all 13 codes and you will be able to make a phrase... the answer to "What is PaperCents all about?"

Send us your codes, the sale title (orange and black), and 13-letter phrase by midnight November 2nd, and you'll get a special surprise. It's easier that it sounds - nothing will be hidden too far into the main categories.

Don't worry if you can't play along, we will post all sales on the Sales and Specials tab on Nov 3rd. Please comment if you have any questions!

Did you click the link above? Congrats you got your first Treat! (Just 12 more to go.) Click here to complete the super short survey.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How DO you pronounce Jaen?

My married last name has been the source of many bad pronunciations. Not that I blame anyone. But after two weeks of hearing it butchered during jury duty, I was inspired to find an easy way to explain the pronunciation. So I Googled it. (How did we survive without Google?)

My first guess was HA-EN, and I was close. Variations I found: hä-ĕn', hä-ˈān, Jayyān‎ (I don't understand this one). I think mine is probably the easiest to interpret after all. But hä-ĕn' looks much cooler!

If you were wondering where the name comes from... My husband is from Panama (the country, not the city in Florida). Jaen is a province in Spain: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaen.

Click the play button on the Forvo.com - Jaen page to listen to my last name pronounced in Spanish.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just a Quick Update on Me...

I'm on Day 6 of Jury Duty... We should be done by Friday, but it's going to be a tough one! I'll be back at work next week, with mixed feelings. It will be good to get back into a routine, but I have enjoyed jury duty and will go back to a LOT of work!

I got my taxes filed (yesterday), thank goodness! I felt a huge weight lifted off of me when I finished. (I was so anxious that I developed an eye twitch.) Now I can get back to the 20 other things I need to handle!! And I promised my husband AND myself that I'd start 2008 bookkeeping now and be done with Q1-3 by the end of the year. I don't want to be this stressed out and distracted again next year for sure. I need to add items online that are in boxes in my garage from the following brands: Making Memories (Paperie line), SEI (Oasis and Glitzmas lines), Scenic Route, and 3 Bugs in a Rug. I THINK that's it!

It is our Three-Year Anniversary at PaperCents.com! I can't believe it either! I am looking forward to a nice sale to celebrate. I have a garage full of shipping boxes that need to be USED and quickly! Or we may never see the garage floor again.

Make sure you are signed up for our Newsletter, so you won't miss the sale! It should go out in the next week or two. (But I've said this before!)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Making Memories Slice - New Die Cut Tool

Making Memories will be releasing its Slice Die Cut Tool this month. I got to play with one at CHA and here's my take:
What I liked:
* It's the most portable electronic one I have seen. Won't hog your crop table or bag.
* Battery powered, so no fighting for electric outlets.
* Easy to use - can find shapes and resize easily

What I didn't like:
* Cut one shape at a time. Letter by letter, shape by shape. Takes longer than the Silhouette or Cricut.
* Cartridges. I am not a fan of these, as they can really drive up the price of a tool. (I love that the Wishblade and Silhouette do not require any additional font or design purchases.)

But I want to know what YOU think! Does the world need yet another die cut machine? Take the poll below, and leave a comment! I will send one free Making Memories Slice Apron to a random lucky comment writer.

I'm still undecided on carrying the tool at PaperCents.com. I fear it will be readily available at Michael's and other big retailers and carrying cartridges in stock scares me! But your feedback could change my mind!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's Not that I Don't Love You, It's Just...I'm Seeing Someone Else

And her name is... QuickBooks. I have my appointment with my Tax Accountant Monday at 11:30 AM. By then, I need to have entered all vendor invoices, receipts, sales orders, mileage, and more. I'm 70% done. But I will finish by Monday. I will, I will, I will!

And after I do, expect a major sale, many new products that are sitting in our storage, but not online yet (hate that!). They include new releases from Scenic Route, SEI, Three Bugs In A Rug. Thickers, Bazzill 8.5x11 paper packs in Doodlebug colors. Doodlebug and Making Memories products are arriving any day now and are also not online yet - but they WILL be!

No stress. See why I haven't blogged in days? :)

Here's a sale for you while I enter panic mode: QuicKutz Silhouette for $275 and free shipping on your entire order! Ends October 12th. While supplies last.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Okay, just because I keep getting asked. Twitter is

Twitter is to Blogging what IM is to E-mailing. Get it?

It is the Instant Messaging version of Blogging, but your IMs are broadcasted to all your followers. Tweets are 140 character maximum in length, meaning no pressure to come up with greatness. I have learned a ton in the month or so I've been "tweeting." I have also found that Google LOVES Twitter. I have had a few of my tweets be #1 on the page ranks. Why? Because Google LOVES frequently updated content.

What to do? Post once an hour to once a day letting people know what you're up to.

What not to do? Post only business sales pitches (The point is to build relationships. ) Post less than 7 times a week.

Hey, if Rick Sanchez can figure out Twitter... so can you!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Favorite LSS + Favorite Designer = :)

I'm so excited to hear that our very own featured designer will be teaching classes in November and December at my favorite LSS! That's right, check out La Verne Boese's classes at Scrapbooks N Stuff. The calendar hasn't been posted, but I'll update this blog post when it is. I'm so excited - what a great team!

I was lucky enough to have lunch with La Verne today. And coincidentally, I'll be scrapping for a few hours on Sunday (it's all I can fit in). Care to join me? I plan to be there from noon to 2PM. I'll be the one who is unable to make even the minor decision about my layout who gets about half a page done per hour!

Scrapbooks N Stuff just feels like home. It's where I learned to scrapbook, and I've been their customer since 2002 (Customer #295, that's me!). I also met one of my bestest friends, Stephanie, there.

The owners and the girls that work there are informed and can TEACH. That's something you won't find at a Michael's, JoAnn's, or Target.

(And if you're looking for a great store in Broward, be sure to checkout Scrapbook Central.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Need inspiration? Studio Calico's Got Some

When in a creative funk, inspiring scrapbook projects really help!

If you are online a lot, you probably already know about Studio Calico. If not, let me introduce you!

Today, I'm feeling a bit low on inspiration. I went over to Studio Calico's Design Team Gallery and let the slideshow run on my monitor. It's still running now.

Everytime I look over, I see a new beautiful project. What could be better?!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another Great Find: GTDtimes.com

I found another great resource from Twitter. Did I mention I'm a fan?

GTDtimes.com. It's all about Getting Things Done. Great articles on prioritization and productivity.

Just don't spend too much time on it - that would defeat the purpose!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

One more reason to love Twitter!

Okay, if it wasn't enough to just spy on random people all day... Twitter has another reason to be loved. That is: Twitter folk can be very informative. Take Ms. ArtistTaraReed. She posted about having gotten her misterretro filter working with PhotoShop CS3. I figure, she's an artist; if she has this filter, I want to know more! So I went to http://www.misterretro.com and MAN is it super cool.

They have amazing filter effects that I really, really want to play with now!! The image above was a three-color, standard font image... Nothing interesting. But when the distress filter is applied, it becomes so rich and full - I just love it! I can see myself using that to print titles or journaling for my scrapbook projects or cards. Even home decor. Of course for graphic design (if I ever get around to sending out a newsletter!)

My first purchase though will be the Snappy Hour Invitation Kit. I can use the fonts, the dingbats, and the vector images to cut on my Silhouette or Wishblade. Didn't I tell you it was cool. Not only for cutting of course, these would be GREAT for digital scrapbooking - something I have not yet ventured into, due to computer overload (when it's your job, your hobby should AVOID it). And you could also use it for... INVITATIONS, I guess. :) Like the sample invite shown here, perfect for your Halloween parties!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Etsy has the Coolest Stuff!

Okay, is this not the cutest little plush doll you ever saw? Made by GirlCalledRic and sold on Etsy. If you are ever looking for unique, special gifts... nothin' beats Etsy!

Etsy is an online store featuring all kinds of products handmade by people from all over the world! Visit GirlCalledRic's Store. (Note: I found GirlCalledRic's cutie dolls via Craftzine article! Check them out on Twitter...

Elsie Flanigan, super-talented artist and the designer of "Love, Elsie," also has an Etsy store that I love! Visit it here! I bought two adorable pirate prints for my son's bedroom there. (This was an expensive blog post - I just bought these two Original ACEO (Art Cards) from the store!)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Internet Find: Google Chrome

Google Chrome - the latest new tool from the Google empire. It's a brand new internet browser that I absolutely LOVE. So simple, clean in design.

I usually have to switch between IE7 and Firefox to get things to work (some sites require one some the other). I've been able to get everything working with this cool new product.

Find out more or download it now at http://www.google.com/chrome.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Favorite Item of the Day: Pink Paislee Black Icons Press-Ons

My favorite item ordered today: definitely the Pink Paislee Black Icons Press-Ons! Well, to be fair, I love all their Press-Ons! Order this item (PP-00101) tomorrow (Sept 3rd) and get two free sheets of Pink Paislee paper with your order.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

10 Things I Can't Live Without... (That I Didn't Have 5 Years Ago)

Okay, round one of my work project is over and done with. I'm catching up on the things I have neglected, and getting back into the routing of things. I still have a ton of work to do at work and at home. But no more programming until 2AM in the morning, thank goodness!

Here's my post of the day - short as it may be!

10 Things I Can't Live Without... (That I Didn't Have 5 Years Ago)

1. Memory Foam Pillow
2. Oral B/Braun Electric Toothbrush
3. Internet Browser Tabs (Tip: Press the CTRL key when clicking a link to open it in a new tab!)
4. SnagIt - Revolutionary Print Screen software - Sounds lame, but it is life changing!
5. Google
6. PaperCents.com!!
7. TiVo
8. External Hard Drives
9. Point and Shoot HiRes Digital Camera (with movie recording - kept in purse at all times!)
10. Crocs (Both my kids can put them on in seconds)

What's on your Top 10?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bare Minimum

That's what I've doing these past two weeks. Bare minimum means getting orders shipped and replying to customer e-mails. That's it.

I have boxes of new product to unpack and mark as in stock. I have QK Silhouettes to put on major sale. I have a website development invoice to send a client (read: hours of work to get paid for!). I have A LOT to do.

But my first priority right now is getting my Order Management application done for work. It is a beast, and it MUST be completed by Friday, and I've been working crazy hours to get it done (many 2AM nights!). So I am REALLY looking forward to SATURDAY. When I can start dealing with the rest of my life.

So, this is why my blogging has slacked. It's why I don't tweet as much as I used to. It's why I haven't sent an e-mail newsletter in a month. And why my treadmill gathers dust. But a paycheck is a paycheck! And I'm ALMOST done! :)

Here are some pictures from my kids' first day back at school: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mariloujaen/sets/72157606855012395/

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tropical Storm Fay

A tropical storm is coming. This has resulted in both of my kids' schools being closed for Monday and Tuesday. My husband's work (FIU) is also closing at 2PM and all day tomorrow. My work? Not so much.

We NEVER close. Unless, MAYBE, a hurricane is 10 minutes away. Technically, I believe it must be a Hurricane Warning for us to shut down. This is absolutely fine for me today, since I still have this huge project to finish. It's easier to get it done at the office than at home with two bored kids (age 3 & 6 - not at the age where they ignore me yet).

Anyway, I'm thankful that all the stock for PaperCents.com is in my house - not in a far away warehouse or store. I can't imagine having to lock up multiple locations.

I'm thankful that my husband replaced the shutters someone stole from our backyard, so the stockroom can be protected, if Fay becomes a hurricane and turns our way.

I am hopeful that there won't be any interruptions to order packing or shipping. I'll post any relevant updates here, (e.g., if the post office is closed). I did drop off the morning USPS orders before work, which worked out well. And I'll run to FedEx at lunchtime.

Best of luck with the storm to all my fellow Floridians! Safety first. Stuff second.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My "Adorable" Little Thief

Doodlebug Jolly Holly Days Rub-ons
I realize that a six year old has a limited concept of what is okay for her to take from a closet and what isn't. She sees us take things and use them or move them. So when she took a pack of gum from the pantry and horded it in her bedroom - chewing gum as she saw fit, I didn't get too mad, but I had a word with her. I told her she can't just take things without asking. And she can't chew gum whenever she fancies. She seemed to acknowledge her mistake, especially after I banned her from any more gum.

Well, this weekend I had her help me pack an order. Help being relative to what a six year old can do... she counted bottles of Doodlebug Sugar Coating glitter for me. For her help, I treated her to one low-cost item in the stock closet (I have a stock room next to the garage and a closet in the dining room). She debated and debated between the "adorable" Doodlebug Halloween Sugar Coated Rub-ons ("they have faces.. they are so cute!"). But ultimate chose the other option, the Doodlebug Christmas Sugar Coated Rub-ons. That was Saturday.

Doodlebug Trick or Treat Rub-onsYesterday, she stayed home with my in-laws (in town from Panama, the country). When I got home, I saw the opened Christmas rub-ons on her dresser. And next to them, an opened sheet of the Halloween rub-ons - you know, the ones she DIDN'T pick.

Well, I was not too happy. And she lost both sets. I asked her why she took them. "Because I was really good yesterday." I explained to her that those things belonged to my store. That stealing from my store is not okay. She wouldn't steal from any other store, etc.

So, do I now lock up the closet door? Is it just too much temptation for a six-year old to have a closet full of sparklies that she sees me take and pack and send off to other people? How would you deal with a child that has decided to horde things in her room of random consequence?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Featured Product: KI Memories - Sheer Delights (Transparencies)

One of the many products I fell in love with at CHAS08 was the Sheer Delights collection from KI Memories. They have cut edges and beautifully glossy print. I wanted to feature the collection here and show a few of the sample projects that KI displayed in their booth. I can't wait to get my hands on these!

The Sheer Delights and all new KI Memories products are available for pre-order at PaperCents.com: {shop now}

Click the images below to view a larger version.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Five Ways to Revive Stickers

Short on time today, so here is the outline of an upcoming newsletter article.

Five Ways to Revive Your Old Stickers
1. Paint them with acrylic paint.
2. Cover them with Stickles glitter glue.
3. Flip them over. Glitter or flock the sticky part. Adhere the non-sticky part. (this works best for shapes (flowers, stars). Some letters can be flipped, too.
4. Embellish them - seen all those embellished stickers at Michael's? It's amazing what a teeny jewel can do to a sticker!
5. Embellish a flower. (see below)

One Easy Way To Embellish a Flower with a Sticker
1. Cut out a circle (1-inch punch tool works well).
2. Put the sticker on the circle.
3. Use a pop-up adhesive (pop-up glue dots or foam squares) to adhere the circle to the center of a paper flower (love Prima!).
4. Adhere the flower to your card or project.

I like to use letters for these as a monogram. They can spice up a gift tag! I also use them as a envelope seal.

I'd love to hear what you do with your old stickers!

Friday, August 1, 2008

In Love with Pink Paislee and Cosmo Cricket

We have added two new brands to our line up... And I have to say, I couldn't be happier! The customer service provided by Rebecca at Pink Paislee and Lindsay at Cosmo Cricket is spectacular and indicative of the quality of their products. A little background...

A lot goes into putting products online, images need to be sized consistently. I may get images that are all different sizes, square and not e.g., 550x450 and 300x300. In the end, I need three images for each product: a large image (550x550 max), a medium (350x350 exactly), a small image (150x150).

Why? Well, if we use a 350x350 image as a thumbnail, the image will be fuzzy from being reduced AND the product thumbnails will take much longer to load! But hovering over the magnifying glass should show a larger image with enough detail to make a purchase decision. And if a closer look is needed, the product details page has a "product images {zoom}" tab with the largest image available. (We set the maximum size to 550, so the layout doesn't look weird on the page).

So, for each product, I must resize three images and associate them with the product (read: data entry). I also need to set up the product name. I include the brand and collection, product type (12x12 paper) for purposes of search engine optimization (SEO) and grouping like products together. Plus I add to the name, the actual name. So, for example, Cosmo Cricket has a item named "Happy Campers." That item on our site is "Cosmo Cricket - Mr. Campy - 12x12 Double-Sided Cardstock - Happy Campers" Long, I know.

I could go on and on about prices, product descriptions, setting up categories and relating products to each other, but I sense your forehead is about to hit the keyboard.

The point I am making here is, after the purchase of hundreds of products at CHA, I have a LOT to do. And companies like Pink Paislee and Cosmo Cricket that make it easier and faster by providing easy ways to get the data and images, by personally answering e-mails at lightning speed, make it so much easier and more fun! And I am looking forward to a long partnership with both of them! I hope you enjoy having their products at PaperCents.com.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

QuicKutz Silhouette (or Wishblade) & Vinyl

Not sure what to do with Vinyl and your Silhouette or Wishblade digital craft cutter? Here are some ideas:
  • Make creative Wall Art
  • Make custom family stick people for your van's rear window
  • Cut a negative image, adhere it to glass, and paint the image with etching cream. You'll get a nice etched design (great gift!)
  • Make custom window clings
  • Bling your oven with a nice 'Hot Stuff' title! :)
I'd love to hear what YOU do with vinyl!

Check out this YouTube video about the QK Silhouette & Vinyl:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

QK Silhouette Certification - Some Tricks I Learned

QuicKutz is now offering a Silhouette Certification to its retailers. The store owner must complete a series of training sessions and quizzes to learn about how to use and sell the Silhouette. Once the program is completed, the store receives a demo unit - and demoing the Silhouette definitely sells it!

I think this Certification program is really ingenious. The tool is amazingly useful and there is just so much that can be done with it. I think a lot of retailers are likely intimidated with the technology and with showing/teaching it to customers. The retailer will have a demo tool to use to show off the capabilities of the machine and how easy it really is to use - once you get your feet wet!

Well, I have completed all my training sessions and hope to complete the big FINAL EXAM tonight! I think it will actually be really fun because it is interactive. I will need to cut samples, etc.

Here are two of the ideas I want to use from the training.

Hand-Drawn Images/Fonts
1. Use a pen tool instead of the blade
2. Select a handwriting font (remember, set it to outline) or an image that has the look of a hand-drawn image.
3. When you cut, the pen will actually draw your image, making it look like you did it by hand!

1. Click the line you'd like to "stitch"
2. Change the line format from solid to dashed (long dashes for heavy thread/yarn, short for thin thread)
3. Cut - This will give you a perforated outline of the image you will be stitching.
4. Thread through the perforated holes.
I want to try using the cut pattern to stitch an image onto fabric! I'll post a picture when I actually do so!

Do you have any cool tricks for the Silhouette or Wishblade?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sneak Peek - Our Stock Room & Shipping Center

Here are some pictures of our main stock room, with its shipping center. On the table is where we assemble orders, double-check the items, and pack them up. We use a filing system for the scrapbook paper because it
  • Keeps the paper from bending or getting creases
  • Keeps dust off of the paper
  • Keeps light off of the paper
  • is sorted by Collection and SKU which allows us to quickly find the exact paper we need quickly
  • Is very compact, letting us store many SKUs in a small footprint
We could never fit all our paper if we stuck with the wire racks, so we have about 15 racks to get rid of .

(If you want a wire rack, post a comment. I think it won't be worth shipping, so probably makes more sense for those of you in South Florida. They are 12 tier 12x12 racks, $10 each, or $8 each for 4+! They are great for sorting paper and cardstock in your scrap space.)

Two Random Kid Pictures: Ryan 3, Isabel, 6.

Monday, July 28, 2008

SEI Contest #1 - Post Your SEI Layout on Your Blog!

Okay, it's late and I'm beat, but I owe you a post with the SEI contest. The Prize: a nice stack of SEI Poppy paper (12 sheets), chip accents, big brads, monograms, and diecuts (see photo).

To enter...
1. Post an SEI layout on your blog. The layout should consist of mostly SEI products (50%+).
2. Include a link to PaperCents.com in your post!
Still with me? Last step...
3. Add a comment to this post, so we can find your blog post with the SEI layout!

On Monday, August 4th, I will put the names of the contestants into a little bowl and announce the winner on my blog. I will ship the prize for free within the US. If you are outside of the US, a shipping charge may apply.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Featured Designer: La Verne Boese

I hung out with La Verne throughout CHA and what a trip! She is a riot and SUPER-talented!! Check out her blog: http://laverneboese.typepad.com/. And be sure to leave her some comments asking for MORE LAYOUTS!

La Verne is on the Design Team for one of my favorite scrapbook stores... Scrapbook Central. She is a relative newbie to scrapping - has been doing it for less than a year. She's got two cutie pie boys - you'll see them in her layouts. Adorable! Keep up the great work, La Verne!!

P.S. I'm going to post a contest this weekend - so keep your eyes peeled.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday's Trick: Silhouette Cutting for Speedy Titles

This is directly from the QuicKutz Silhouette Tips & Tricks, but I thought you might find it useful. Be sure to visit their site for more tips! I'm a bit short on time to come up with my own trick today! Enjoy...

"Some of our designers have mentioned they like to cut their letters out backwards so they can apply adhesive onto the backs of the letters after they're cut and then simply pull them off the cutting mat and have them ready to place on their layout or card.

To do this, after you have placed your desired text onto your screen, right-click on your text and select "Mirror" and then "Horizontal Mirror". This will flip your text to a mirror image and cut your letters out backwards. After the text has been cut out, take your preferred adhesive (prior to pulling the cut letters off the mat) and apply as desired. You may now take your letters that already have adhesive applied on the back and transfer them from the cutting mat directly onto your project.

When using this tip with textured cardstock, you [will want to ] place your cardstock textured side down onto the cutting mat prior to cutting so that your letters have the textured side on their fronts. Please note that this tip is only for papers or cardstocks that do not already have their own adhesive backing."

What do YOU do to speed up the process? I run any cut out small enough to fit into my Xyron 150. Then I can store the cutouts and apply them to my project when it's convenient.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday's "Pick of the Day"

BasicGrey Dressy
As I pack orders, I'm sometimes surprised by a product that stands out that I really like. I will be using these products for my Wednesday Pick of the Day posts! If you order the Pick of the Day on the day it's posted, you'll get a free goodie in your order! Today's pick is Dressy, a BasicGrey 12x12 Paper from the Sultry collection. It has so many color's to play with. The small pattern makes it easy as a background paper or a mat or accent.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Coffee Break: More Project Ideas from CHA

It is good to be back at work, though I miss being surrounded by creatives. We are a rare sort. It is really nice to be surrounded by people who "get" what I do and why. And I love learning new techniques and building relationships with the people that work for my favorite brands.

But enough about me! I am posting to give you links to the rest of the project ideas that I took pictures of at CHA, so here they are!

BasicGrey Project Ideas & Cosmo Cricket Project Ideas (I have added a bunch to these two).

Pink Paislee Project Ideas - We ordered the complete new release. I fell in love with it the minute I walked onto the show floor! And they are super cool - see their blog here.

Making Memories Project Ideas - We ordered the new Paperie papers and some coordinating embellishments. We also have the SLICE on pre-order. Check it out!

Doodlebug Project Ideas and Product Images - We ordered the full release.

Scenic Route Project Ideas - We didn't order everything, some paper, some kits... Should be posted on our site soon! Is there anything you want to make sure we order? Put it in a comment, and we'll be happy to!!

Three Bugs in a Rug Project Ideas - We ordered two collections from this release: Playtime and Color Me Pink.

All the pre-orders will be on PaperCents.com within the next few weeks! I am hoping to have BasicGrey online in a day or two.

Monday, July 21, 2008

CHA - Got My Groove Back

Okay, I really loved CHA. I loved most of the products. And while I wish I could have bought more, it's nice there was so much to choose from! Today I will spend adding products to my site. I'll request product data files & images from the manufacturers to speed that up as much as I can.

I also need to work on some newsletters. First, the QK VIP Club one, then the General one.

Let's put it plainly... I HAVE A LOT TO DO!!! I go back to work tomorrow, but I think I should probably have taken off the entire week. Can't miss work though, because I have a big, looming deadline on a project there as well. Why do we always get busy with 10 different things at once?

But the ONE thing I must do this month is my bookkeeping for last year!!! I'm about 10% done and that is NOT GOOD! Well, maybe I should get to it. I promise to post more great projects from CHA this week. And keep your eyes open for some GIVEAWAYS!

Friday, July 18, 2008

At CHA and At a Loss

CHA on a budget is no fun at all. I'm doing some nice make & takes. Stalking Tim Holtz a bit. (He's a legend, what can I say?) I tried out Claudine Hellmuth's new Ranger line and LOVE it. The paint is like nothing you have tried!! It's the real deal.

BUT, the "not fun" part is picking which lines to carry.

So far I have ordered the full KI Memories release. They are just "old reliable." Lots of cute stuff. KI Memories sample projects.

I was SOOOO disappointed that there was no Love, Elsie release. It seems they were not ready in time.

I ordered the full Cosmo Cricket line. It's beautiful. Cosmo Cricket sample projects.

I also ordered the full Heidi Swapp release. Heidi Swapp sample projects. The last release didn't do too well for us, so this one might get cut. We'll see how tomorrow goes. I love the stuff, though.

And I will order the full BasicGrey line. BasicGrey sample projects.

I also ordered some SEI Glitzmas, which I LOVE - I take some project photos. And Oasis, which I'm still deciding on. I might switch Oasis for Alpine Forest, but having too many Christmas lines scares me.

I'm deciding on what acrylic albums to carry... any preferences?

That is all I've got at this point. The rest is TBD. I'm off to wash up for dinner and read The Pillars of the Earth which is bound to make me cry... again. ;)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

CHA Summer 2008 - SEI Sneak Preview

Oasis - Ordered full line. Warm, versatile.

Glitzmas - Ordered full line. Color & whimsy.

Alpine Frost - Ordered just the collection packs. Tempted to order more... What do you think?