Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Ok...I'd like to share with you some little tidbits of wisdom I have gleaned from my children and from the children I teach. Pay close attention....there will be a test.

My dd while watching a nursing mother: "My mom has some of those, but she doesn't use them any more!"

A preschooler watching me do jumping jacks: "My mom says that I won't get big boobs until I'm OLDER!"

A preschooler after being told about the nativity: "I already know that! We have the movie."

A little guy digging in the sand near me today: "I can't tell you what I'm's a LOOONG story. *pause* I'm making nothing."

A little guy after I had eaten some onions: "Miss Meridith, WHAT did you HAVE for LUNCH?"

My dd after I slipped on the stairs and told her I lost my balance: "That's ok, mommy, I'll help you find it."

Me at the doctor's office yesterday with my sons: "K, guys, they're going to check your peepers." DS (looking horrified) "MOM! Don't say that." Me (confused) *pause* *think* "Your EYES, Isaac, your EYES."

Kids crack me up. I never know what's going to come out of their mouths.

Maybe I identify with them. :D

Monday, September 10, 2007

I am a consumer...hear me roar!

I've been thinking about marketing.

Specifically, marketing to the scrapbooking consumer.

More specifically, the role of the scrapbook celebrity in marketing to the scrapbooking consumer.

The "scrap celeb" is a bizarre phenomenom to the world of scrapbooking. When I tole painted, I wasn't innundated with "tole celebs..." (well, there IS Donna Dewberry, but never once did I see her at a craft store signing her books while a gaggle of frantic women jocky for best photo position.) And to be honest, Donna probably wouldn't have made a good scrap celeb, anyway. First of all, she's not "hip." She doesn't use words like "uber" or "rawks." She doesn't call tole painting "life art" and she doesn't pretend that tole painting is going to revolutionize your life.

Second, she's, well, not 20. She doesn't have a short, spiky hairstyle or a nose ring. She may not even know how to clone out a blemish in Photoshop to save her life.

Scrapbooking, as a industry, is just...well, wierd. All of a sudden, it should matter WHO does a company's layout just as much as how well it is done. Design teams are filled with "names" (aka people who have won a major contest at some point...or who are very good at calling attention to themselves)..or at the very least, good looking people who at least LOOK good on your message board.

Now I, personally, have never bought a product because Lisa Bearnson used it...or Heidi Swapp made it, or Ali Edwards blogged about it. I HAVE bought products I've heard about online...but only because I thought they'd be something I could use.

I imagine MOST scrappers are the same way. We buy what we like. It doesn't matter if the layout in the ad was created by Debbie Designer or long as it's a good layout. My decision to buy the product is more influenced by seeing designs that inspire me to try the product than by who created the designs.

Something happened recently that made me think that the industry, at least, thinks that we DO care if the design teams are populated with young, attractive people who give good face. And it broke my heart...because a few people that I really like were caught in the crossfire.

If this trend continues...if companies start to market people more than their products, well, I'm not interested. I'm not scrapping pictures of your design team, I'm scrapping pictures of my family. I don't CARE who designs your products or your samples, as long as they are GOOD products or samples.

I don't want to feel manipulated, condescended to or marketed to. I want to feel respected. I want companies to realize that my money (and that of others like me) is what keeps them afloat. I want them to treat me as a capable, thinking adult who doesn't need to be sold friends. I'm perfectly capable of deciding whether or not I like a product or service without some perky, preppy little person pimping it out in their blogs or posts.

There's been speculation that a well known scrapbooker who has disappeared from the industry may have not continued to get work because she didn't fit that perky, young, skinny, hip mold.

If that's indeed true, I'm having none of it. I'm a one-woman boycott of companies that decide your worth as a professional scrapbooker is based more on your marketability than your ability. It's stupid and it makes no sense. When did scrapbooking become SO much about someone else's story? I *thought* it was about my story and the stories of those I choose to scrap about...not about the person who designed my product or who gave me an idea how to use it.

Probably a lot of this rant makes no sense without its proper context, which, unfortunately, I'm not at liberty to share. Just know that decisions are being made on criteria that have nothing to do with talent, dedication, or loyalty.

With that, I'm off to bed. Whether or not it makes sense to you, I, at least, feel a little better.

It's just like a trainwreck...

You know you shouldn't watch, but you just can't help yourself.

I watched Brittney Spears' VMA performance.

From the first stumble before the music started to the half executed dance moves and the aimless wandering around the stage, you just knew that not only was Brittney NOT back to form, she was also NOT better.

Which got my thinking about young Hollywood. The younger eschelon of stars seem to be one hapless trainwreck after another. All these famous teens and twenty-somethings popping pills faster than they can pop out of rehab.

Where are the parents?

These parents who probably watched with glee and a billion dollar sparkle in their eyes are now wringing their hands and wondering how their golden gooses turned out to be jail birds. Where was Dina Lohan when a 17 year old Lindsay was repeatedly photographed partying in bars? Where was Brittney's mom when Britt decided to marry a back-up dancer who left his pregnant girlfriend in the lurch? And why can't Hayden Panetierre's (sp) mother strap a leash on her born to be wild daughter before the same disasters happen to her?

I think we need a celebrity edition of Super Nanny. I can imagine Nanny Jo telling Dina: "Now Mum, you've got to be firm with Lindsay. Take away the Jack Daniels. If she tries to take it again, put her in the naughty corner and make her STAY there!"

I'd love to be there when Nanny Jo takes Lindsay's asbsentee, ex-con father and makes him cry on television because she made him feel like a bad parent.

In the meantime...well, we'll all continue to watch in fascination...wondering how those children born with such talent and good fortune can self-destruct on a world-wide stage.

And we'll pray to God we're smart enough not to let our own children do the same thing.