Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Paper Paradise - Kyoto's Morita Wagami

This past week I hopped on Japan's famous Shinkansen (bullet train) with my hubby to hang out for a few wonderful days in Kyoto. We saw many beautiful temples, ate many delicious meals and met many interesting people. But the highlight of any scrapbooker's trip is of course, the trip to the paper store!

My guidebook says, "The Japanese had paper in production for over 500 years before the Moors opened the first paper mill in Spain in the 12th century ... Paper has been aborbing mankind's mistakes and schemes, ideas and feelings, images and dreams for centuries. And no where more beautifully than in Japan." I was intrigued by the romanticism of that statement. But the truth is that visitors to Japan soon learn that the Japanese use paper for lanterns, doors, windows, fans, umbrellas and the list goes on. A trip to any Japanese paper store is a treat, but Morita Wagami sounded devine. The guidebook shows that Morita Wagami deals in over 800 kinds of handmade Japanese washi paper and as it turns out, was not far from our hotel.

So one fine morning, we went walking in search of this store. We meandered through some temple gardens and down a narrow side street before stumbling upon the shop. Once inside it was like heaven on earth! The colors! The designs! The textures! I immediately began to make piles of the papers I wanted. My favorite was a soft blue Yuzen. Yuzen paper is only allowed to be sold in cities which are artistic centers for kimono production as they use the same designs and colors as kimonos.
Next came the Kin Washi - a machine made paper from manila fiber. It's smooth on one side and textured on the other. I chose a soft green. Other papers in my collection included Uzen and Kaga Chiri (Chiri is handmade from long kozo fibers with imbedments of small pieces of bark) and Chiyogami (a highly decorative silkscreened Japanese paper).  I also chose some tissue paper flowers and a tiny folding fan. My purchases were all rolled into a handy tube and we left with Mr. Morita's email address in our pockets. He assured me that if I forgot which papers were which, I could just email him and he would be happy to help.

Take a look at some of the paper art on dispay at Morita Wagami.

Want to win some of my stash? Keep an eye out for the next Funday Monday challenge at MAF for a chance to win the items below!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Show Me the Orange!

The warm tones of the autumn harvest provide an inspiring palette for our fall pages, but no color represents fall more to me than the color Orange. Join the Fall Festival Online Crop at MAF to enter this and many other challenges - there's lots of great chances to win prizes. Check below to see what you can win by entering the Show Me the Orange challenge.

Did you know that Orange is a power color, and it also stimulated enthusiasm and imagination?

The color Orange can:
  • Spice things up when you feel time is dragging.
  • Entice you to become more involved in something.
  • Bring you relief when life becomes too serious.
  • Increase your creativity!

There is no better time of year to use the color Orange. Show me your creativity! Show me the Orange!

(You must be registered on MAF to play and win. Go here to register now. This challenge ends Tuesday at midnight)

Look what you can win!
 An autographed copy of Mathew Bamberg’s newest book "101 Quick and Easy Secrets for Using Your Digital Photographs".
This book provides dozens of tips on photo editing, posting to blogs, creating scrapbooks and other crafts, selling photos, and much more.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm a Sketchy Thursdays Fave!

Have you discovered Sketchy Thursdays blog yet? Each Thursday Diana and Heidi put up a new sketch and you have one week to complete the sketch. You can upload your LO to any gallery you wish and then use Mr. Linky to point them to your creation. The sketches are simply the best and each time I use one my page just seems to fall together so easily! This week they chose my Karate LO as a Fave, but you really need to stop and by and see the other LOs. I am absolutely in love with the spider page by Silvana!

While you are there be sure to check out the new Sketchy Thursdays sketch for inspiration. I can't wait to see your interpretation!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's Time to Play BINGO!

The online crop is getting ready to begin at MAF and we are kicking it off with a great game of BINGO! Check back this weekend for even more fun, but meanwhile, get started by playing along with out Bingo game. If you are not registered on Memories Always - Forever, click the link to take you there. You must be registered to win. Here's what you do:

- Chose 40 words from at MAF.

- Send your list (please include the #s for each word)  to our Design Team member Luisa  at by Friday 10/16
- First round of words will be posted on 8/17 at 8am at this DISCUSSION THREAD.

- Rounds will continue during Saturday and Sunday.

- Winner will have to call BINGO in the Discussion Thread as soon as they complete their 40 words.

- Luisa (your hostess) will validate the list and will announce the winner officially

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Save the Date for an Exciting Online Crop!

Get ready for fun with Games! Challenges! and Make and Takes! at Memories Always Forever on
October 17 & 18. This is our first online crop and we are going all out to make it the best one ever!

Check out what we have in store for you:
  • Sketch challenge
  • Color Challenge
  • Prompt Challenge
  • Use Your Stash Challenge
  • Recipe LO
  • Bingo Card
  • Plus some special challenges just for you cardmakers out there!
  • Bingo
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Word Scrambles
PLUS: Make and Take a Flower Tree and an Origami Box!

You must be registered at Memories Always Forever to play so hurry on over because we have prizes galore! Check back to find out more!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What's the Word?

Are you looking for a Groovy challenge site where you have the opportunity to win a great prize? Then check out If It's Groovy!
This month the challenge theme is to create a page using only One Word as the title. Each day that you log on you will be inspired by the many new projects. It's so easy to enter- simply email your submissions to or point her to your online gallery.  Enter as many times as you wish and if you like to take your time, that's fine- there is no rush! Your LO is due by October 31 at 11pm EST. 
Be sure to check in each day at If It's Groovy to get inspired and in the words of Groovy Deborah: 
Good luck! Enjoy.Create.Be. ♥

Monday, October 5, 2009

Happy Funday Monday!

This month’s Funday Monday challenge over at MAF is going to be a bit different. I am going to give you two themes, each theme lasting 2 weeks. You must complete both themes in order to win this great Season of Friendship stamp set and Crushed Curry ink pad from Stampin’ Up! donated by Windy Joell. So let’s get started!

Challenge 1: Stamp It Up! Use any kind of stamp you wish in any way you like. You can stamp your background to create patterned paper, stamp an embellishment, even create your own stamp from a potato- it is up to you. As long as there is a stamped image on your LO, you will be entered into the drawing for the prize. Be sure to put your layout in the Funday Monday gallery at MAF and tell us what stamp technique you used on your page. Enter as many times as you wish!
Challenge 1 ends on Oct 18.

Challenge 2: The Tree of Life begins on Oct 19. This time of year, trees are in all their glory and we just have to stop to admire their beauty. Let’s give trees a place of honor on our scrapbook pages. The second part of the October Funday Monday challenge is to use a tree in your LO. Any type of tree. Make your own, use a stamp or a sticker, create a family tree, take your photo sitting under a tree, hugging a tree, climbing a tree, planting a tree – whatever you like, just get creative! If you have played in Challenge 1 this month as well, you will be entered into a drawing to win this beautiful stamp set from Stampin’ Up! donated by Windy Joell. Challenge 2 ends November 1.

Meanwhile, be sure to check out Windy’s website at for great deals as well as stamping and scrapbooking ideas!

Now onto our winner in the Funday Monday - Fur, Feathers & Fins challenge. Tami White entered this pretty page of her family pet. I love the colors, the patchwork and that great ribbon effect, don't you? Tami wins an RAK from me!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

World Card Making Day

Memories Always- Forever is celebrating World Cardmaking Day in a big way! From Sept 30 through Oct 4 you have a chance to win $75+ in prizes. All you need to do is tell us here at MAF
"what inspires you the most when creating cards."

Post a picture of your most unique card creations. You have until noon October 4th to post your card and response. A winner will be chosen by most unique way you are inspired to create and announced October 5th. Good luck everyone!
Check out this great prize: