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 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: 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 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?

Finally, at CHA Summer '08 - Thought I Wouldn't Make It!

Yesterday at 5PM, I thought I would print out my itinerary for my flight to CHA Summer '08 (been to Memory Trends 07, CHAW08, CHAS08). Printing the flight schedule seemed like a logical thing to do. Well, I couldn't find it. So, I logged onto AmEx travel... couldn't find it. Dug through all my e-mail accounts. Nope. Turns out, I never clicked "Confirm." So, 12 hours before I need to leave, I'm on the phone with AmEx booking a flight. As I'm looking at my screen, I find the price the guy is quoting me as the "best price available" is $50 more than Expedia's. That's their best "phone" price.

Good for me, the best online price is still eligible, even if I have a guy on the phone, walking me through it step by step. And it all worked out because my new flight got me here at 9 a.m. Which was perfect.

And now, I am at I just got out of a great seminar by Claudine Hellmuth on blogging and social networking. I figured she would be able to teach me quite a bit, and I was right! She got me very excited at the chance to make personal connections with my customers and others in the scrapbooking industry. If you haven't visited her blog, you should! It's fun.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

To say I've been neglecting my blog is to be queen of understatement.

I have ONE post in 2008. That's pretty neglectful, I'd say. Well, I'm back. It's been a crazy year so far, so I'll summarize what you've missed and then we can take it from there!

  • Had a great time at CHA Winter. Added a few new lines to the store. Some did well, others didn't.

  • It took forever to add all the product online, so I have been writing a product management computer application to make it all a bit easier. I don't want to spend all my time doing data entry and management!

  • I completed a website for a friend of a friend:

  • Have been attending many small-business seminars to get a grip on things! Attended a great one on e-mailing last night by Lisa Sparks from Constant Contact.

  • Put in a new paper storage system - trying to fit all our inventory into a 14x16 room can be challenging! Funny thing about paper, it's heavier than it looks... collapsed our slatwall!

  • This week I am going nuts prepping for CHA Summer. After the e-mail seminar, I did two loads of laundry and printed 120 business cards. Also, made "abetterbouncecard" to see if it helps me take some great layout shots - to post on blog. {Entirely forgot to eat dinner.}

2008 goals:
  • Blog & e-mail more consistently

  • Add an "Articles" section to

  • Oh, and finish 2007 bookkeeping... yikes!

Are you going to CHA? If so, e-mail me - I'd LOVE to meet you!