For the Love of the Library

With all the driving we've done lately, I've been returned to my old habit of reading books and novels for pleasure (yet another thing the internet tends to get in the way of at times).

To say I enjoy going to the library would be akin to saying I sorta like ribbon. Scanning the shelves for something interesting to read makes my heart beat fast and my spirits lift. I love the smell of books. Old and new. Especially old. I love the thrill of running my hands along a row of books in all shapes and sizes and colors and knowing that with any luck, I'll get lucky enough to select a book that is a sensory-rich collection of experiences and adventures. The library is like a tresure chest with it's jewels of words and thoughts just waiting to be pulled from the shelf and devoured.

The splendid result of reading is that it makes me want to be a better writer. And it makes me want to write more.

On the way home from Florida I read a book that is the kind of personaliy novel I'd like to write someday. It's called "Hissy Fit" and is by Mary Kay Andrews. It's not earth-shattering or revolutionary. It's not theological or even particularly enlightening. It won't win a Pulitzer. It's just a sassy-Southern-girl-decorator-feel-good-chick-book (kinda like a chick-flick...only in book form.) :)

Mary Kay Andrews wrote this passage, and I think it nicely illustrates the value of a rambling memory and by extension, (although it's never mentioned) scrapbooking the everyday parts of life. (You knew I'd make this about scrapbooking eventually, right?):

The bookcases that flanked the fireplace were full of old Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, my red leather-bound Encyclopedia Britannica set, and some tired-looking twenty-year-old hardbacks. I pulled each one out by the spine and looked them over. Daddy’s reading mostly consisted of the Mogan County Citizen, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Car and Driver; Sports Illustrated, and the occasional paperback spy novel.

So these would be my mama’s books.
The titles seemed to run to romances—Forever Amber, The Flame and the Flower, like that.

I leafed absent-mindedly through the pages. A yellowed slip of paper fell out of the pages of The Flame and the Flower. Despite all the years that had passed, I recognized her printing instantly. She always printed my name on the brown-bag lunch I toted to school. Keeley Murdock. As thought there were another Keeley in my class. We’d had two Jennifer’s, two Stephanie’s, a Kristen and a Kelly. But I was the only Keeley.

The paper was a grocery list, written in pencil on a scrap of lined notebook paper. Nothing exciting. Nothing that gave a hint of what my mother’s daily life was like back then, or why she’d up and left.

Coffee. Sugar. Haf-‘n-haf (she was a terrible speller), Clorox, baloney, tin foil, eggs, shaving cream, aspirin, strawberry Jell-o, pineapple tidbits, cream cheese.

The baloney would have been for my lunch. I had a baloney sandwich on Sunbeam bread, with French’s mustard, every day. Mama cut my sandwich in half on the diagonal, and I
always threw the crusts away, because Daddy said eating crusts gave you curly hair—and mine was already way curlier than I wanted. The pineapple and cream cheese and Jell-o would have been for one of the congealed salads she liked to make. I never could figure out how something with Jell-o and pineapple qualified as a salad, but in Madison, Georgia, it sure did.

I smoothed the grocery list with my fingertips. She would have borrowed the paper out of my Blue Horse school notebook, I thought. Driven her red Chevy Malibu over to the Piggly Wiggly, probably while I was at school. After I got too big to ride in the shopping cart, she didn’t like to take me with her to the grocery store, because I drove her crazy begging for sugary cereals, candy, ice cream and potato chips. Maybe she’d stop off at Madison Drugs after the grocery store, for a Coke over crushed ice, and to hear the latest gossip at the soda fountain.

And then home to unpack the groceries and do whatever else she did all day. What did she do with her time? I wondered.

All that from just an old grocery list.


Listen to Journal

One of the many reasons that Simple Scrapbooks is one of the scrap magazines I enjoy is that the articles get right to the point of scrapbooking. In the current issue (Jan 2007) Rachel Gainer encourages readers in the "Write from the Heart" column by saying that "one way to become a better writer is to spend more time listening. Every conversation you participate in has the potential to inspire a great story--you just have to pay attention."

I admit, it was the fresh clean layout that drew me in, but it was the content that really got me involved.

(The layout, by the way, is by a pea, Margaret Scarbrough. If you want to see more of her fantastic work, her blog is here or check out her gallery.)

I have two examples of journaling that came from listening in the works, and I must say, it's been incredibly interesting to listen to most every conversation for potential layout ideas. (More on that later.)

My scrap night friends will recognize the photo on this layout as one that I've been struggling with for months. I knew what I wanted it to say, but I couldn't commit to a title that worked. I think I may have settled on a title several times, but it wasn't *right* so I never finished the LO. It's just been hanging around my space for a while now.

Until I started listening.

{Supplies: Patterned paper-Scenic Route and Crate Paper, Chipboard Letters-Heidi Swapp, Screwhead brads-Karen Foster Designs, Felt flowers-Prima (I think), Vellum-unknown, font-Palatino Linotype, ink-Panger Inks, Date Stamp-Jenni Bowlin}

Happy Listening Tuesday!


A Very Different Christmas

In the annuls of our family history, this Christmas will probably be remembered as the quietest and calmest ever. And let me tell you what I've discovered.

I like it
this way.

Christmases past have found us scurrying about, shopping at the last minute for more "schtuff", for food, for this and that, and traveling hundreds of miles to be with one or both families on Christmas.

I do love my family.

But traveling at Christmas is

This year we did some things differently. We are not traveling on Christmas. We saw my family at Thanksgiving. We are going to see Joal's extended family in Florida after Christmas. But for only the second time in our marriage, we will be "just us" at home on Christmas. The last time we were "just us" at home for Christmas, I was pregnant with Julian. (He's about to turn 11.) Pregnant women can get away with some shinanigans, ya know, and that year I unilatterally decided that I couldn't/wouldn't be travelling hundreds of miles for Christmas (at 7 months) the family came to me.

Smart family.
But I digress.

This year, Joal and I decided to make an effort to keep Christmas lite. We didn't do the full-blown decorations that we usually do and our tree is covered in only simple white lights. I absolutely love it. I go outside every night just so I can admire our light-covered tree thru the front window. I may never hang ornaments again.

Shopping was minimal. We asked our parents to make a donation to a certain children's ministry that we love instead of buying us gifts and they graciously agreed to do so. They also generously allowed us to do the same on their behalf. That was a more meaningful gesture to me than anything they could have given us, and we took care of 4 presents with one check.

Joal and I are exchanging love letters this year. And a small gift. It's been a while since I've been the recipent of a love letter from the man I love (or any other man over the age of ten, for that matter) and I must say, I think I'm anticipating this more than any gift in recent history.

Earlier in the month, the boys and I packed care packages for some children who wouldn't otherwise have very big Christmases this year and Julian and I had a pretty long conversation (for us, anyway) about how blessed we are and how important it is to be a generous giver to other people--even people you don't know.

I started picking up Christmas gifts for the boys back in October. I was determined not to be shopping at the last minute (when I'm most prone to impulsivity, lack of thought and overspending) and I am happy to say I managed to get it all together by mid-December. Not to brag, or anything... :) It feels good tho. The gifts are done. There's nothing outrageous under our tree...simple things that I know each of them will appreciate.

Today we will attend church in the morning--it's a special family Christmas service and I'm sure it will be a wonderful crescendo to the holiday weekend. Later in the evening, Joal will be part of the band for the evening service of Christmas Mass. Not a proper we are Presbyterian, but something similar. (Maybe you'd have to be there to understand.) Following, we'll have a quiet evening at home. I will make my annual call to my father to wish him a happy birthday.

Christmas Day will bring the usual early morning reading of the Christmas story and opening of gifts. Breakfast and then the traditional (somewhat modified) Turkey lunch.

Then some football.
Of course, there must be football.
The testosterone in the house demands a little football on holidays.

It's far from storybook perfection--I know. I've been reading the Southern Living Christmas Annuals since I was a kid and dreaming of the

gifts wrapped perfectly in paper that matches the hand-tied bows...

but I've come to understand that it's not real. Christmas is not about the images of projected perfection that I can create. It's about a Savior who came to bring us a way to everlasting perfection...not in this life, but the next.

*My* life is found in contentment and in realizing that my home is not a showplace, but it is warm and clean. My sons hate plaid and one has a black eye. The tree is beautiful, if slightly leaning to one side. I accomplished hand-made cards this year--something I have not accomplished in years past and have always regretted. The meal will not be fancy, but it will be good and there will be plenty. None of our gifts will be considered astonishing, but will be deeply appreciated as they were chosen with thought and care. There will be plenty of hugs and hot chocolate.

What more could a girl ask for?

I hope this Christmas sets a precedent for us. It's different from our normal and I like it. It seems calmer than years past.

Calmer, and more focused.
Very peaceful.

However you choose to celebrate this year, I hope it's meaningful and filled with a loving peaceful spirit and plenty of people you hold dear.

For unto us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be upon his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.
--Isaiah 9:6

God bless us every one.



The 2Peas Challenge for the day is "if you could invent a new scrapbooking tool, what would it be?"

Well, I don't have the techno-know-how to invent this, but someone should.

My new tool would be a computer program that transforms layout images to sketches. So, say, I am browsing the peanut gallery and I find a LO I want to keep for inspiration. I import the image into this program and *poof*, a sketch of the LO is saved into my personal "Book of Sketches", along with a thumbnail of the original and a link to it. Handy, huh. Every once ina while, I print out the Book of Sketches for reference!

How cool would that be?

My other invention has to do with stamp storage. Big fancy department store use motorized rotating display shelves to show tons of ties in one case. There may be twenty shelves on a wheel and the wheel rotates like a ferris wheel, showing a different shelf of ties at the top every 10 seconds. Well, I propose that this would make excellent stamp storage.

Dreams...aren't they grand?

A Child after my very own heart...

It's lunchtime. Julian and Joal have gone to get haircuts so G and I are hanging out at home.

Grey: Mommy can I have pizza?
Me: Hold on. I'll heat it up for you.
Grey: I really like it cold.

Funny boy. Wonder who he got the "cold pizza" gene from?


Now *this* is my kindof Christmas Tree!

I was listening to the radio today and the announcer referred to Kenny Chesney as the "Seasonally Challenged One" because of (obviously) his penchant for songs about the beach, summer, the sea and Spring Break.
LOL! She said it like it was a bad thing...HA!
It made me think of this photo of a Christmas Tree that I took at the "Trees of Christmas" exhibit at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in December 1999.
(Pardon the the time I was using a disposable camera and the lighting wasn't great in the display room.)
Makes me wanna make a tree out of something unique...
In other news, I think my postal carrier has been holding out on me. We got 10 Christmas cards in the mail (and we don't get very many) today...I was starting to think we weren't going to get any!
Which brings me to my question of the day. When someone sends you a Christmas card and you didn't send them one...what do you do? Send them one quickly even tho it'll probably be late? Add them to the list for next year? Send them a New Year card? What's a girl to do?
And my other question for the do you store embellishments? I have a Crop in Style PSB that is filled up with "schtuff" but I never use it because it's such a pain to lug out and find stuff in. Gotta find a new way to store stuff so I can get to it.

Fifty Four Days

It's cold and rainy here but I just checked and it's 77 degrees in Key West today! It's also sunny, with a few clouds.
Dang. Christmas in Key West...someday, we're going to do that.
Yes, it's that time of the year when I start drabble-ing endlessly about the cruise. I'll try to keep it under control...but it's hard. This is the one week I look forward to more than any other all year long. Miami, Key West, Cozumel, Miami.
I have a date with a balcony chaise in just 54 days--that's less than 2 months away.
Happy Friday!!


15 Years

Fifteen years...

Two college degrees...

Five moves...

Two states...

Five jobs (some concurrent)...

Three guitars...

Nine cars...

Two Mississippi Opera perfomances with you onstage...

Two babies...

One major haircut...for you...

Six Steven Concerts...

Two inde release recordings...

One song sold...

Three wreaks...

Two weddings...

Two funerals...

One house purchase...

Three Cub Scout camping trips...

Countless kisses...

One cruise...

One honeymoon...

So many concerts played that I've lost count...

Two rides in ambulances...

Fifty four hundred and seventy five days...

One beautiful life built together...

With the only man for me.


Scrap Resolutions

Well there are at least two threads at 2Peas re: making scrapbook-related resolutions for the coming year. Most involve learning something new (ie better use of one's camera), buying a big tool or accomplishing X number of pages.

I've been considering a different sort of change to my scrapbooking adgenda but I must tell you--I am extremely hesitant to put it out there. It's a little on the radical side--especially for me.

Isn't a resolution supposed to be some lofty goal that you hope to stretch in order to acheive? If so, I'm good...because this is going to stretch me. To the max.


This is bold.

Once all the supplies for the Feb 2007 cruise book are purchased (it's a commissioned project for the company) I'm not going to buy any other scrapbooking items, products, books, stamps, ribbon, etc.

Until Joal gets a Taylor.

My sweet honey has been yearning for a hand-made Taylor guitar for years. The Taylor guitar of choice is a *significant purchase* in our world and it always seems that he's doing more important things with our money (ie buying refrigerators, EEGs and scrap stuff). Joal doesn't indulge in luxuries easily (I usually have to drag him) so it will take some unusual forcefulness on my part to make this happen...but I am determined.

It's going to be the year of the Taylor, baby. I'm betting the scrapbook obsession on it.


Ten things...

So I've been stalking Jill Conyers Blog lately and yesterday her entry was "Ten Things I Love about the Holidays". She created a photo list (she takes really great photos) and of course, it would also make a sweet little layout, should one be so inclined.

I'm not at the moment...but I am making the list and maybe taking the photos fora future page. You should do the same. Wait! Was that a challenge?

Yep. Just make a list. Photos optional. You've been tagged.
And you know you can't resist a tagging!



How does he do that?

I have this friend with an extraordinary gift. I've known him for a few years now and every single time I spend time with him I am struck by his incredible ability to listen. He's the kind of person that when you talk to him, you know you have his complete attention. He's very detail-oriented and listens very carefully. He really listens.

In my experience, it's a rare thing to have a conversation with someone and come away from it knowing that that person cared more about what you were saying than about what he or she was about to say in response. This way of conversing takes on a whole new meaning--it's slower-paced and leaves any thought of "small talk" at the door. Most people (I think) are distracted by formulating their own response to what you are saying, even while you are talking. Most people, I think, listen so half-heartedly or maybe even so casually that their heart isn't even involved.

In someone less caring, this kind of listening would feel weird, but it totally fits his personality. It's not weird at all--it's refreshing and amazing. He's genuinely attentive and honest--a look-you-in-the-eye kinda guy.

I have come to admire that--I suppose because in certain situations, I am the shyest woman on the planet and too much eye-to-eye time sets me on edge to the point of blushing. It's more than a little unnerving for me. When I have a conversation with him, it's as if he see right past the words and looks at the heart of what I am saying. (And it's not just with me. It's the way he is with everyone.)

Choosing to make that kind of genuine connection with someone is so rare. It's something I would like to cultivate the ability to do more often (as difficult as that is for me) and something I would like to have more of in my life. (I think.)

I once heard someone else describe this kind of concern as "being more interested in the other person than they are in themselves". That's pretty darn interested.

It was really quiet in the car as we drove home from a Christmas party at the home of some new friends tonight and I was thinking about this. Do I listen to my children this way? Do I listen to my husband this way? My friends? My parents? Most of the time, I'm afraid the answer is no. Whatever the reason, I'm usually distracted and not fully enguaged. In a culture of cell-phone multi-tasking and faceless, spirit-less email, it's becoming all to easier to go thru life disenguaged in the lives of other people. I don't want that.

So, if I have a new year's goal, and if it's not too early to declare it...this is going to be it. To really listen more, even if it means speaking less.

The people in my life are too important to me for me to miss out on.

Happy Sunday!


Scenic paper love


Scenic Route

Is there anything more beautiful than the new SR Rockland? Not in my world! (I'm thinking this is the one for the 2007 cruise books!)

My new piece of jewelry came today. :) Thought this would be a good way to keep a certain soldier close to my heart.
One tag has his name, US Army, and "Be safe, brother"
The other says "Be strong and of good courage, the Lord your God is with you." Joshua 1:9

Ding! Ding! We have a winner...

If you are an 8.5 x 11 scrapper...
Who uses alot of black and white Bazzill...
And hates to pay for shipping...
And likes to shop online...
And pay by Paypal...

Look what I found!

I placed an order for a 50-pack of each on Friday (and some clear envelopes too) and had it by Tuesday!

Paper happiness abounds!!
Happy Wednesday!


Problem Solved

I've been searching for a solution to a scrapbooking problem for a while now and I finally hit upon a solution that works.

One of my favorte Quickutz dies is the tag set that makes a rimmed circle tag. I used it in my cruise album extensively and I use it on cards with some regularity. I wanted to use it onmy Christmas cards, but this problem prevented me from doing that.
The problem? It's hard--make that almost impossible--to precisely place the die against the paper image to be cut *and* get it into the handle for cutting without it slipping out of place.
As you can see in the photo, I printed out a dingbat onto cardstock and wanted to make it a tag, but getting it properly aligned was a booger.
I contacted Holle who is a designer for Quickutz to see if she knew of a trick. She made some suggestions and even passed my delimma on to her fellow QK designers to see if others could help. (Thanks Holle.) After some consideration of those suggestions, it occurred to me that if I could make the die clear, it wouldn't be a problem. While I think clear dies are a great idea, I'm not sure QK is ready to be that accomodating, so I made my own.
Here are the directions to making precisely-aligned circle rim tags:
Lay the circle tag die on a piece of thin clear plastic (I used a piece of an old craft keeper envelope).

Using a permanent marker (Sharpie), trace the outline of the die (whole thing--square with a tab) onto the piece of clear plastic.

Using scissors, cut along the outline carefully.

Apply Herma Dotto temp adhesive to the foam on the tag die and lay the clear piece on the foam side of the die, making sure that it's perfectly aligned. Trim again if needed.

Put die, with clear plastic attached, in QK handle and press as usual. This will cut the tag shape out of the plastic. You may have to press handle more than once, depending on how thick your plastic is. Remove from handle and discard inner tag shape. Keep the big piece--the square.

Now you are ready to prep the image you want to cut into a tag.

Apply Herma Dotto temp adhesive to the foam again (unless it's still sticky).

Lay clear template over paper image and adjust until you *see* what you want the tag to look like in the cut-out of the clear plastic template.

Now make a sandwich. Hold the piece to be cut against the back of the clear template, align edges of template to the edges of die and press the layers together. The paper image to be cut should now be stuck to the foam.

Set clear template aside.

Insert die into handle and cut as usual.

The clear piece allows for precise alignment. The Herma hold the paper image in place while it's inserted into the handle.

Problem Solved!! :)

Happy Tuesday!!


This is how a boy prays...

Almost every night at bedtime, G and I sing a little prayer. It goes like this:

God our father,
God our father,
Once again,
Once again,
We bow our heads to thank you,
We bow our heads to thank you,

It's an echo song...I sing a line, he sings a line.

Last night I noticed that on the last line he's saying: "Aww-mahn."

Like "Aw, man. I spilled my drink."


Happy Monday!


It's Christmas Card Day!

It's Christmas Card Day at my house today! I started making cards a few days ago...worked (with an unusual amount of diligence) at the crop Friday evening and finished up today. And I used items I had on hand, instead of buying more...that's an accomplishment in itself! I got over the need to have them be exactly alike and made 6 sets of 6 designs. I sometimes forget how much I love making cards!
I found the sentiment on the liner notes of this Christmas CD made by some musicians at church. It's called "Your King has Come!" and I love it! ( It's a little bit traditional and little bit folk...
It says:
The righteous has come for the unrighteous.
The innocent has come for the guilty.
The Son of God has come to gather a people unto Himself
From every race, tribe and tongue.
The doors of heaven are open and inside it looks like an ordinary stable with a tiny baby inside.
Oh come
Let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord.
We also got the tree up today and enjoyed decorating. It was a great day!
Happy Sunday!


It's snowing!

It's snowing!!
I awoke to shreeks of "Momma, it's snowing!" this morning...which is unusal in itself because usually the first thing out of those boys is "Momma, I'm hungry."
But yes, snow flurries are falling in Middle Tennessee!
What a great day!
No, it won't stick and yes, it will probably stop before I finish this post...but it's a good sign. It means maybe we'll get a real snow this year! We kinda didn't last year.
Such a wonderful surprise!
Can we have a "Snow Day"?
Happy snowy Thursday!
In other news...look at the amazing button creations on this blog and here. That red wreath is yummy! I think I need to go dig out my buttons.
Happy button Thursday!


Another example...

So I was eating Chinese food for lunch with the boys today, catching up on my reading of Nashville's alternative liberal rag, The Nashville Scene when this ad for Watkins College of Art and Design caught my eye:

Um, yeah. Kinda looks like a scrapbook page. Imagine that.

A few years ago, our church was located in downtown Franklin, near Watkins. We were outgrowing our building and to meet the space needs, some of the Sunday School classes met at other building downtown. We happened to be attending one of those off-site classes for a while...our class met at Merridee's Breadbasket--a Franklin legend. The bakery was closed of course on Sundays but the smells that remained in that wonderful store on Sundays after an entire week of baking breads, pies and cakes and other wonderful things was intoxocating. The owner would sometimes leave a basket of goodies for us and what a treat that was. (Since that time, I have had the pleasure of meeting Marilyn Kreider, the owner of Merridee's and teaching her sweet son in my Sunday School class.)

Anyway, when we would walk to our class a few blocks from church, we would pass one of the buildings that the students of Watkins College used as studio space (apparently, they had space issues too). I would always peek in the windows to see what kinds of unique things they were working on. The windows of their building were built for displays and were always an interesting visual feast of art and design. I told Joal on several occasions that Watkins should find a way to meld a design class with a class in scrapbooking.

From the looks of this {really cool} ad, perhaps they have begun to do just that. How Rebecca Sower can it be?

Happy Wednesday! Stay warm.


Studio 60

I don't watch much television. We have a DVR so I spend very little time actually watching tv...I fast-forward thru most everything except Blues Clues, which Greyson loves. I'm just not a fan of 99.99% of television. For me, too much television is contributory to eating mindlessly and I am stepping away from that at all costs.

But here I am, doing something I hoped to never do--blogging about television. I am smitten with Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. The writing of that show is intellegent and exceptional and funny and it pierces the vail of the usual Hollywood idiocy. The characters are truly interesting and multi-dimensional. I read recently that it's the most expensive show being produced by a major network on the air because of all the major players on-screen. It really is remarkable to see actors transition so smoothly from one show to another--especially the West Wing characters. Bradley Whitford and Timothy Busfield (both formerly of West Wing) are bringing down the house in Studio 60 and I love it.
For what it's worth, the other show I watch regularly is The Unit. And 24--when I can gear up for it's intensity.

So now you know...

If you have a moment, cruise on over to Jill Conyers blog and take a gander at this beautiful mini-book she did. Isn't it wonderful? Simple, spirited and meaningful.

In another blog entry she posted this quote that I really like:

"Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are."
--Marianne Williamson

I had to scrap it.

Happy Tuesday!


An idea for my pregnant friends...

I know like 6 women (in real life) who are expecting children soon. I saw this layout done by Heather Melzer with the sweetest photo on it. I thought it was positively adorable.


Trivial Complainings

I know this is trivial and matters not-so-much in the scheme of life but I also know that my scrap-friends will understand my need to discuss.

And so I blog about the trivial matter of the price of duel-sided paper.What is the deal?

It should be said in the begining that I think I have bad karma (if I believed in Karma) when it comes to duel-sided paper. Several years ago, while shopping in Mississippi I was shocked to learn that the store charged double for a patterned paper that was printed on both sides (not even cardstock weight). When I inquired as to why...the oh-so-bright cashier had the audacity to tell me because "it's like you are getting two sheets of paper".

Um no. It's one sheet.
Same as all the other single sheets of paper on your shelves.
It can only be used one time.

Luckily, the store was in MS and I only shopped there 3-4 times a big deal. Even tho I still think that ranks among the stupidest reasons for over-pricing I've ever heard.

Fast-forward to today.

Shopping in a new local scrap store (that'll teach me to stray, huh, Tracie)...I discovered that patterned paper printed on one side was being sold for 69 cents and duel-sided was $1 a sheet.

Can you say "Ouch"?

The new Basic Grey Fruitcake paper is of course, duel-sided. (If I had a cursing smiley, I'd use it here.) Have you seen the snowmen? Did you see this card at 2Peas using the snowmen? Aren't they adorable!! But a dollar a sheet. I love paper...but that's a leap.

By discussing this with some peas, I learned that MSRP for Basic Grey Fruitcake (BG's first duel-sided line) is indeed 85 cents per sheet--a *slight* increase from BG's usual single-sided MSRP which is 70 cents.

It seems this particular LSS has gotten a wild hair and decided to sell it at an increased price of $1 per sheet. I know MSRP is just a suggestion but one would think that in a market where there are many many other scrapbook stores sticking to MSRP, one would think twice before being the most expensive place in town...especially a new store.

According to threads like this one at two-peas and this one, many scrapbookers are turned off by duel-sided paper because they don't know how to use it. So by carrying a paper that people don't understand how to use and doing so at a more expensive price point...aren't you shooting yourself in the foot? If it's commonly misunderstood, it stands to reason that most people won't know what they are paying extra for or why.

And, for those who do know how to use it...wouldn't it be advantageous to a retailer to sell more of this paper with the bonus side at a reasonable price (like say-- the MSRP of 85 cents) rather than "sticking it" to their informed consumers. Frankly, I'd rather pay 40 cents more and get a *whole other sheet* of paper than be charged 30% more for a second side with limited use.

I think duel-sided paper is a good idea for both consumers and retailers.

For consumers, it's a space saver and it offers an extra design option. Especially for those who like to save their scraps! (The downside is that perhaps I don't like the design on both sides...I'm kinds stuck with the ugly side at the inflated price.)

For retailers, it basically doubles the rack impact of their paper-buying dollars. They benefit by being able to fill two slots with a single paper (one turned each way) and it saves on shipping.

However, I am positive that as a consumer, crossing the $1 per sheet threshold is not something I feel comfortable doing and likely won't do again for a very long time. I would sooner buy two sheets for $1.40.