Friday, December 17, 2010

Vacations and Other Goodies

It's here, folks. The grand vacation of 2010 is upon us. Christmas in California.

It doesn't get much better than this! Here's a little Q&A to help you through this short time while we're gone:

Why are you going to CA?
The real question here should be: Why aren't we ALL going to CA?

Seriously, though: Shellina's family lives in CA. So there's one reason. Another reason: it's butt-cold in Minnesota right now. It's not in CA. Boom. We're going on vacation.

How long will you be gone?
Our trip officially begins Sunday morning (the 19th), and we'll be back sometime on January 4.

What about the store?
ShellinaScrap has been temporarily closed during our vacation. This is for several reasons:

Family is important. One of the many reasons I love working for myself is that I get to put those I love first when needed. It's needed.

We might not have the most reliable internet service the whole time- so if we get an order when we're, say, in San Diego without internet, it would be crappy. So we're on hiatus.

Um, it's Christmas.

Will you have a total blast and come back refreshed and with a whole new line of digital scrapbooking goodies for us to love and preserve our memories with?
Darn tootin'.

And with that, all the big questions have been answered. We shall see you when we return. (Expect another blog post at least once in the next couple of weeks- you know I can't stay away). If you really, REALLY miss us, keep up with us in the following ways:

Register to get an email from Etsy when ShellinaScrap reopens (push the big blue "Yes, notify me by email" button.)

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year- from all of us, (well, it's just me here), at ShellinaScrap! :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On Christmas and its Trappings

In case you hadn't noticed- Christmas is upon us. If this statement throws you into a frenzy of gift wrap and cookie cutters and little holly berry sprinkles for sugar cookies, you're not alone.

I've been thinking about Christmas for the past twelve weeks, and lately, I've been losing sleep over it: Did I send a Christmas card to everyone who needs one? What's the address of that obscure family member who moved three times this year? How many photo calendars need to be purchased? And the worst one: What's the name of the newborn baby from that family in our old neighborhood?

Now, before you start calling me Scrooge, let me say this: Christmas is my favorite time of year. Nothing compares to the magic in a child's eyes as they run out to the Christmas tree that beautiful morning and dive headfirst into a hefty pile of gifts and return with big, sloppy hugs for Mommy and Daddy. It's amazing. Not to mention, there's no other time of year that encourages people to do more for another, to see each other, to smile. I think it's a little bit like heaven in that way. Good will towards men, and all that. When this season begins to grate against what seems to be my very last nerve, I find peace in the simple things- the twinkling lights against a backdrop of snow, for example. And as I sit in my peaceful moment, I scheme up ways to make Christmas a little less stressful- and this year, I found it.

Christmas cards are a "thing" for me. I have to do them. Not only that, but I have to send them to everyone I know, have known, might know, should know, and want to know. I want them to be classy, beautiful, and a little on the fictional side. (I've been known to trim 10 pounds or so off of my face in the Christmas photo- misleading, I know.) I have visions of handmaking every single card we send out, followed immediately by premonitions of tears and hair pulling. So how does one achieve all the above goals without the drama?

Custom-made photo cards. It doesn't get easier than this. And, luckily for us, they're in style. So not only do we look great in our digitally altered Christmas photo, but our friends ooh and ahh over how "with it" we are. Score!

Custom Christmas cards, if you're wondering, are on sale in my Etsy shop. (You knew this was coming back to a self-promo!) Check them out here, and sincerely, have yourself a merry little Christmas!

With all the warmth and love we can muster,


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Moving Forward, Moving Upward

It's been a while since I've updated my blog. I know what you were thinking: another blogger, biting the dust. And you were right! I totally lost my mojo. I'd still be drifting in obscurity if not for a new, exciting, and potentially wonderful opportunity. But more about that later. Let's get caught up first.

Last time I blogged, I was employed full time at the bank,going to school to finish my bachelor's degree, and designing digital scrapbook supplies in my spare time. Much has changed. Mike's job with the computer company has expanded, I've made the transition to being a stay-at-home-mom, and both of us are nearing ever closer to finishing our degrees. In fact, my Business Management degree will be complete in March! How exciting, right? I know!

While I've been home, I've been investing myself fully into design of digital scrapbooking supplies. Let's take a look at the items I've added since you saw me last:

Retro Country, my very first (and only, as of today) digital scrapbooking kit. It includes eighteen papers, ranging from plain textures to patterned ones. Also included are a complete alphabet set, stitching, swirls, and a couple of flowers. It's cute, charming, and warm. You can get yours here:

The Lacy paper pack shown here
includes twenty-four papers. They are decorated with four different patterns of lace, and adorned with five different colors. They're a busy set, but can work as an accent piece in a pinch. It's on sale here:

And finally, here's Aaron's 18 month layout. This layout was designed by ShellinaScrap, and has been a charming addition to his scrapbook. It's on sale as a custom scrapbook page here:

And now onto the big and exciting news: I have been accepted to be a part of the Creative Team with the Scraps of Color E:spire Publication! I'm going to be working as a Digi-Designer, creating digital templates, layouts, kits, and more. If you'd like to keep up with me there, (and get freebees of the stuff I make), please sign up to receive the magazine!

Also, keep checking back here on a regular basis for coordinating embellishments, papers, and more that'll match your freebies from Scraps of Color!

As always, thank you for being here, and Happy Scrapping! :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Food Network Addiction and Late Night Breakfasts

I made the most delicious discovery this weekend. I have access to the Food Network on my TV. It's true, ladies and gentlemen. 24/7 food- how to cook it, where to eat it, who's good at makin it and who's ordering it... FOOD.

So, naturally, I watched a show or two and then went back to more important weekend activities.


I watched the Food Network until my little brain could hold no more TV. I watched until my husband was begging for attention (a rare event). I watched until I saw rerun after rerun of the same shows, and still, I watched.

It was a beautiful thing.

Shortly before my husband pulled the plug on my little couch potato party, (literally and figuratively), I watched a new show called Cupcake Wars. These people who make their entire living out of making tiny little cakes with frosting on top get together and duke it out for a title. I can't really knock them for having such a silly profession because hey, I sell digital paper- no one even knows what digital paper is, and everyone knows and loves cupcakes. However- still silly. Back to my point, though, they had to create a winning cupcake using sweet and savory flavors from breakfast favorites. Weird, right? Super weird. Try cappuccino cake with bacon flavored frosting. Or salmon cake topped with goat cheese frosting. Yuck and double yuck.

However, I was inspired.

Since the hubbs was wanting some attention, and both of us tend to get hungry right around 10pm, I decided it was a late night breakfast evening. And thus began the most beautiful culinary experience my mother-in-law's kitchen has even seen.

Well, that might be an exageration, but it really was awesome. I made what I now lovingly call the "steakhouse omelet". It was extravagant AND meat-free. (I know there are some skinnies out there who are all about the non-meat thing. This could be your new favorite thing EVER.) In addition to culinary genius, this wonderful event was the perfect time for me to a) get away from the dang TV, b) show my hubby some love by way of his tummy- the best way, and c) be reminded that I don't hate cooking if I like what I'm cooking.

Here's the recipe for my yummy creation:

2 eggs
5 button mushrooms (diced)
3/4 cup diced spinach
1/4 cup diced onions
1 chopped mozzarella string cheese (or adult equivalent measurement)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 dollop sour cream
Diced chives (only a little for garnish)
Garlic powder (to taste)
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)

Combine mushrooms, onions, spinach, mozzarella, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a saucepan, cook until mushrooms are soft. In another pan, slowly cook two beaten eggs. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drain mushroom mixture of excess water (spinach will create the moisture- it'll just make your omelet all watery if you don't drain it). When eggs are mostly firm (still kinda sticky on top, but flip-able) Pour mushroom mixture onto one half of the eggs, then flip naked half over the top. Let sit for 2 more minutes, then pull off the stove and serve. Top with small dollop of sour cream and chives.

Here's a disgusting picture that doesn't do the food any justice. (Give me a break on this one- it's past 10pm)

Happy TV watching, eating, and, of course, Happy Scrapping!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cabin Refreshment

I am one lucky woman, you guys. Not just because I have a great husband, or because my son is quite possibly the cutest thing to ever walk the face of the earth, or because I get to do what I love every day. It's also because I married well- my husband's family has a cabin.

It's a gorgeous place- filled with forests and the lake and fishing and, of course, lots of laying around. I love it. Mike and I were actually married at this earthly heaven.

THis cabin is, bar-none, the highlight of our summers. Over the last few years, we haven't really gotten to spend that much time there- I mean, come on, we've been married four years and each summer has been filled with stuff... year one- got married. Year two- built a house. Year three- had a baby. Year four- sold said house and moved. This is our first summer where nothing is happening (not accurate) and we have tons of time on our hands to go up to the cabin and relax.

I'm sharing all this to show you the pics I'll be scrapping soon! Scrap on, dear friends!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

On Broadcast Marketing & The Trouble with Engagement

I read an amazing blog post today on Etsy's Blog that got me thinking. It was all about social media and marketing, especially for the small business. (In case you were wondering, I'm a tiny business. It's me and my laptop- plus a doting husband who does some programming for me. So, needless to say, I was all over this particular blog entry.) So anyway, it referred to the biggest social networking sites- namely Facebook, Twitter, and blogging tools, and discussed how to use them effectively for business.

The author mentioned two forms of marketing on these types of sites- there's either Broadcast Marketing- which is something like what I've been doing- listing your new items and shouting out quick blurbs of information specifically about your store. Then there's Engagement Marketing- which is less about your store and more about relationships. The idea is that more sales will be born from genuine relationships than loudspeaker announcements. And for the most part, I agree.

But come on! Broadcast Marketing is so much easier! It's fast! It's loud! It gets views on my Etsy page! It's everything I've ever wanted!

Although I must admit, it's missing the key ingredient: sales. Granted, I've only been plugging at it for a week, but seriously, one of my items (it's priced at a buck fifty) has gotten over 200 views but no sales. At the risk of sounding cocky, I can assure you that this phenomenon is not because the item is ugly. (I've shown it here before- look here if you need to.) But for the life of me, I can't figure out why it's not selling. Except for the point that the author of this blog makes- commercials don't necessarily make customers. They definitely make spectators, but not game players. And that's what I need, right? A whole world full of ShellinaScrap gamers.

And now to the second part of this entry's title: The Trouble with Engagement

It requires engagement. How can I make this happen in this fast-paced, full-of-commercials-and-advertisements, "in your face" world? Are people really interested in the girl behind the shop?

The blog I read on Etsy finished up by challenging Etsy sellers to share their weaknesses and struggles in business with their followers (all 7 of ya, God bless each of you). So here's mine: honestly, it's totally more scary to share myself rather than my work. I'd much rather you critique and view my art than my life. Being an open book is well... open.

But I'm not unwilling. If ShellinaScrap had a traditional storefront, I'd be the girl who knew my customers by name, and always ended the chat with a handshake or a hug. We'd know each other's kid's names, and share recipes for homemade chicken noodle soup. We might even see each other at church. THAT'S business. THAT'S effective marketing.

And THAT'S what this blog is going to be. A handshake. A hug.

It's going to be me.

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Addiction to Raspberries

Let me set the scene for you: it's mid-summer, and a young girl (me) is spending her first long visit with her boyfriend's family at their cabin. She's packed all her cute summer outfits- making sure to be good-looking AND respectful. She's packed make-up, but not too much. She even bought a new bathing suit that she hopes will satisfy her boyfriend AND not offend the parents. The week starts off wonderfully. They fish, swim, and chat, play games and enjoy hot chocolate. It's really going well.

Now let's pause. You know I'm not going to tell you a big long story about how I met my husband's parents, totally wowed them, and then the end. Oh no, sister, it gets better.

On the third day of the trip, Mike's wonderful mom made supper. It was great. I made sure to eat just enough to let her know I enjoyed it, but not so much as to embarrass myself. Then came dessert: vanilla ice cream with raspberries fresh picked from the garden. Man, it was good. So good, in fact, that I helped myself to a second helping of raspberries. Then a third. Then, because no one else was eating them, I stopped dishing myself more and just started eating them right out of the pint container. And I ate. And ate. And ate.

And they all just sat there watching me.

As much as this sounds like I should have stopped- stopped eating, stopped making a fool of myself- I couldn't. It was one of those moments where the dang food just tasted so good, it didn't matter what happened or who watched, I wasn't stopping.

By the time I got to the bottom of the container, I (no lie) had red lips and an aching tummy. I was sicker than sick. And the potential inlaws? Not impressed.

Needless to say, we all got over it. I now stick to ONE portion of raspberries, and they make sure to rib me about my obsessive binge any time they can. But now, oh ladies, NOW, I can indulge on raspberries any time I want with no reprocussions- with the new paper pack set we made up- appropriately titled "Raspberry":

These five juicy papers are now on sale at ShellinaScrap on Etsy!

Feel free to grab yourself a pint and enjoy to your little heart's content! No one's counting on this binge!

Happy (and yummy) scrapping!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tell A Buddy- It Pays!

In appreciation of all the recent views we've been getting in the store, ShellinaScrap is now offering a referral program for our customers! That's right, tell a friend about ShellinaScrap and get the digital paper pack of your choice for FREE when they make their first purchase! It doesn't get much better than this. Just follow these steps:

1. Become a customer (buy something at ShellinaScrap), then tell a friend about ShellinaScrap

2. Remind them to include the phrase "referred by [your Etsy ScreenName]" in their notes to seller on their first purchase*

3. We will convo you within 24 hours to help you redeem your free paper pack!

It's that easy. No tricks, no catches. Just free stuff for helping spread the news about our new company! AND, there's no limit to how many friends you can refer!

Happy scrapping, friends- and happy referring!

Start Referring!

*see my shop policies for rules on qualified "first purchases"

Friday, May 21, 2010

Everybody Likes a Good Carnival

One of my fondest memories from childhood has always been the one night a year when the elementary school I attended was transformed from a plain old institute of learning into something amazing. Colorful streamers, game booths, snacks, and small kiddie rides filled the amphitheater and lined the hallways. Children (and adults too) ran through seas of people, excited and giddy. Music thundered over the loudspeakers. As the sun began to set, cake walks and raffles were completed, and nearly everyone went home with a goodie of some sort.

The school carnival was always a night of magic.

I held hands with a boy for the first time at the school carnival when I was 9 years old.
I sang "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" in the karaoke contest at the carnival when I was 12.
I ditched my sisters to go hang out with my girlfriends behind the bleachers my last year there...
So many memories.

As I looked back on those joyful times this week, I was inspired. The bright, shining lights of the carnival and the ever-present jubilant feeling I remember made me think of bright colors and whispy summer flowers. "Carnival", my newest digital paper pack, was born.
I hope you'll enjoy "Carnival" as much as I do!

On sale now at ShellinaScrap on Etsy!

Happy Scrapping,


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Summer At Last!

As some of you might know, I live in Minnesota. There are several things this state is known for: The Vikings pro football team, The Mall of America, and COLD WINTERS. Notice I wrote that last one in all caps? It's not just for effect. Our winters are cold, long, and just plain mean. During the winter you've got your standard photo ops- Christmas, the first snow... then it's the second snow, the third, then before you know it, it's the 100th snowy day and by golly, even the kids don't want to play in it anymore. It's during these times that us scrapbookers really hunker down and get pages done. It's perfect weather for scrapping- get a movie, a hot chocolate, and your laptop, and you're all set. Hello, hours and hours of happy scrapping!

This time of year, though, as the flowers are blooming and the grass needs mowing, I think things slow down for everyone when it comes to making progress on our scrapbooks. It's just so tempting outside, isn't it?! And plus, I bet the hubby (if you have one) is grilling and the kiddos (if you've got em) are running around... and there's probably a book you could be reading...

As fun as all that is- let's get back on track. The long-lasting natural light of the summer months makes for perfect photos of the kiddos AND the hubby, as well as your beautiful garden. If there were ever a time to get that camera out, it's now. So, go find it, get it out, and take those pictures. Then, when the little ones are off to bed, come to ShellinaScrap for the cutest Sunny Day paper you'll ever find. It's perfect for those fun-in-the-sun photos! Take a look yourself!

Like what you see? It's currently for sale at SuperShellina:
Sunny Day

Now, go have fun in that sun! :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What came first? The blog or the blogger?

I can tell you right now, the design and the idea of blogging definitely came before any ideas of what I would actually write sauntered into my imagination. Now that it's all designed, I'm kind of overwhelmed by the prospect of keeping it updated on a regular basis. However, that certainly won't stop me from giving it the ole' college try.

For my first blog entry, I'd like to discuss why I'm doing this in the first place. As far back as I can remember, I've looked at the things I've created and wondered, "Would anyone buy that?" It was a defining moment in all of my pieces, whether I intended for them to be mine or a gift. For whatever reason, the prospect of someone seeing something that I've created and finding it to be good enough to actually purchase has always excited me. I feel especially drawn to sell those things in which I am the most interested- I sold greeting cards, scarves, socks (a failed attempt at best), and now scrapbooking elements. I suppose it all comes down to this:

When I find something that I love, I can't help but want to share it with the world.

This goes for everything; if I could sell the joy my son brings me on a daily basis, I so would. (Mind you, the kiddo himself is not for sale). If I could bottle a hug from my mom, or a phone call from one of my sisters, even a walk on the beach with my dad... if I could give these things to you, I would.

However, as we know, love cannot be bottled. Hugs cannot be mailed. But there is something we can all do to share our dearest memories with one another, and that is to scrapbook. Now I know what you're thinking- "that was pretty dramatic just to bring this all back to scrapbooking, lady"... but hear me out. Our memories will live on forever whether we document them or not. We will (Lord willing) remember the most poignant moments of our lives until we die. Sharing those memories is an entirely different thing, though, isn't it? We could journal about it, and hope someday our great-great-great-great-great grandchildren find the journal, read it, and then read it to their children. But, unless you're a world-class author, the stories will probably not hold the same life as the memory itself. The luckeist of us will have families who keep that journal forever, remember our words and trusting in our descriptions and perceptions. But what if we could show them- not with a word-picture, but with a real picture--- what if we could invite them into our world if only for a moment and really make them a part of the memory? I believe that with scrapbooking, you can.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I do what I do. I create background papers for your most fondest of memories, so that you too can share your fondest moments with those you care about most.

While you're rummaging through my stash, keep in mind the memory that you wish to preserve. Imagine the placement of the photos on the page, the smells, sounds, and feelings of that day. Then choose the paper that most emulates those sensations.

Now, there is one more side to me that I must share- and you might not like it. While I am all frilly and soft when it comes to memories, I believe that telling your story is all about being yourself. That means that some pages, like memories, will have sharp edges- some ideas will be more satirical than serious. And that's ok. Take the name of my shop, for example: Shellina Scrap. Notice that it is very nearly "Shellina's Crap". When I was growing up, my mom has a craft closet. It was poorly organized, and it was entirely hazardous to open the door without a fork lift. (Alright, that might be an exaggeration, but you know what I mean-- the thing was a hot mess.) Every once in a while, Momma would recruit us girls to clean it out with her--- sort through it all, and re-establish order. It was during these times, as we moaned and whined while cleaning, that the closet became "Mom's Crap Closet". It's a crude name, I know. Certainly not appropriate by any means, but it was a loving and endearing term, meant to express our love and hate for that closet. On one hand, it opened up a world of creativity for us. On the other, it represented work, and we were lazy (it's true).

I share this with you to remind you- memories are fragile things. Don't create anything that doesn't speak for a facet of you- that doesn't help tell YOUR story.

This is your show. Choose the backdrop here, then see where your imagination takes you.

Happy Creating,