Sunday, October 29, 2006


Just a quick post to say how cool it is to see different scrapbooking products in a different culture. Here's some of the cool stamps, papers and embellishments that caught my eye at a place called Kiwiscraps, the store that brought me down to New Zealand and Australia for the tour. Some are actually designed and manufactured in house. Very cool. They also sell online so you can order stuff from

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Good Morning

Had some fun on National TV here in New Zealand yesterday. Great people, lots of fun. No time to talk about it right now. :0)

You can see the segent by clicking here.

and the program's website by clicking here.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Made It!

Due to long layovers stateside we ended up traveling for a day and a half but got some sleep on the trans-pacific flight and had barely any jet lag. Wonderful! Got off the plane and hit the ground running. Connie and I spent the afternoon with David our tour manager and Greg and Saundra the owners of The Memory Store in Christchurch, New Zealand. It was interesting to see things that looked the same on the surface: I walked into the shop and scrapbook enough to recognize the punches, cutters, papers, etc. but when I looked closer many of the papers and embellishments had Kiwi streetsigns, Maori designs, native wildlife, landscapes and other unique things that reminded you you're on the other side of the world. I picked up a very cool abalone embellsihment that was a map of New Zealand. I'll post a picture later.

That night we had our first screening. Sitting there watching Scrapped with everyone reminded me how American much of it was. Things like racecar drivers, prices of products and photo processing, slang terms and even dimentions of the Creative Memories factory stuck out as things I took for granted but the Kiwi ladies ( and one man ) laughed right out loud in all the same places, got quite and weepy in the same spots and had some wondeful feedback afterward as well. Scrapbooking in the US and New Zealand seems to be alot like the language. We both speak english but with different accents that are mutually appealing.

A scrapbookers album seems to be their passport to the cropping world and NZ is no exception. Everyone wants to immediately see my album and seems to like the crop bag so I'm glad I brought both. I brought the "making of" scrapbook and am still working on it as we travel. Noone seems to mind the 1/2 finished pages. I didn't have room ( really, extra weight ) to bring the "my first page" books on the flight.

We had the next two days off to have a look around Christchurch and then fly to the North Island to Wellington where I'll get to be a guest on Good Morning, a National New Zealand talkshow. ( I'll post pictures )
As expected, the countryside here is amazing. Mountains, Ocean, rolling green velvety hills but there is also fun to be had in the little things that are different than what we're used to. I drug Connie into a classic car and bike shop in Christchurch that had an amazingly clean Norton Manx - one of my favorite bikes and an old Ducati 250. Both these bikes are everything I like about two wheeled love... simple, great lines and form, untilitarian - there's nothing extra to clutter up the motor and chassis.

We also saw a great classic Mini Countryman which even got Connie excited. How these ute style wagon type Mini's with cargo space in the back were ever able to carry a load with their 850cc motor is beyond me. Still very stylish and appealing! I bet they're a blast to drive.

I also wanted to say goodbye to Cathy Z's blog. I saw it was gone and heard she pulled the plug herself. I can understand why but it will obviously be missed. Thanks for letting us into your life Cathy. You also deserve some pivacy.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

pacific time

I came to Los Angeles for the first time twenty two years ago for a couple months and have been back quite a few times since. Of all the things I've done in LA, I've never taken the bus anywhere until today.

Connie and I had a 10 hour layover on our way to New Zealand so we hopped the city bus and headed down to Manhattan Beach where I'm sitting in a coffee shop getting ready to walk in the sand with the sun going down in the west... soon to be chasing it ourselves. It's kind of a Superman thing, if we fly around the world fast enough we end up landing in Auckland a day ahead of Minneapolis time. WIll wonders never cease?


Sunday, October 15, 2006

weak in the knees

OK, ok...

I admit it. I got a little weak in the knees but in a very manly way.... I got to meet Tim Holtz. He happily signed my copy of his books and I felt a little funny. The first time I met Cathy Z. I immediately felt like I met an old friend. Tim was something different because he does artwork that I cannot do in any form and I admire that. I came over to our display at the Chatterbox ( Who Rocks? Chatterbox Rox! ) booth ans showed Rebecca. She looked at the signature and gave me a look of loathing. YOU SUCK was the only thing able to make it out of her lips. I immediately ran her and Nate over to where Tim was and Rebecca had our picture taken with him to comemmorate. I'm glad she did.

I am seriously amazed at how open, friendly and gracious everyone was that I met at Memory Trends. I am a complete outsider to scrapbooking and was welcomed in like a comrade in arms. We wouldn't have even made it to the convention if it wasn't for Mike and Melody from Chatterbox who gave up a section of their booth and a table for us to get the word out about the project. They were EXTREMELY cool and I can't say enough good stuff about their group. Everyone in the booth was all from the main office and held different positions in the company but hit the road to meet the public when it came time for the show. They were a freaky, lovely, warm hearted bunch that Nate, Rebecca and I instantly clicked with. We lucked out. I have to admit I was excited and inspired talking with Mel about how she started in the scrapbooking business with a book and then went on to build Chatterbox. She had the guts to just go for it and it made me feel like takming chances was all worth it because yu just never know how things will turn out.

Another luck out situation was having an article I wrote a couple moths ago for Memory Makers magazine hit on page 16 of the December issue which was given away at the F&W publications booth. We could point people over to their display to score a free copy with our stuff in it. I'm really happy and blessed that driving 30 hours straight, standing around all day for three days then driving thirty hours straight back paid off in some attention from the business side of scrapbooking.

I'll post more later.



Just finished answering questions for someone who is doing a project about scrapbooking for children. I'm excited for her as it looks like a blast and something I'm very happy to be a part of. Here's what I wrote:

Q: What are people's reactions when they find out you scrapbook?

A: They immediately want to see what I've made in my album which is uncomfortable because I scrapbook my life; things I enjoy, places I've been and people that are close to me. I don't always want to show them what kind of music I listen to, clothes I wear, food I like, where I live... basically everything that makes me who I am because there's a fear of being judged. On top of that you are showing them your skills as a scrapbooker. Scary! The cool thing is that the risk of sharing yourself usually pays off in finding new friends in people you never expected. People that look at my scrapbooks are never as critical about them as I am. Another great benefit of being real and transparent in scrapbooking is all the friends and family that love to see themselves in your scrapbooks. They might not understand scrapbooking or spend the time to learn how to do it but they really enjoy the finished product.

Q: What's your favorite part of scrapbooking?

A: Some people like the embellishments, all the trim and pieces of the artistic puzzle they put together. I like the early parts and the ending. I love sorting through pictures and remembering things because I'm so forgetful. I also like having pages finished to show other people. With loose pictures I can say look at this motorcycle or check out this wave but with a finished scrapbook I can show them a whole story of driving down Daytona Beach and give them an experience, not just a moment.

Q: Any advice for boys in elementary school who think it looks neat but
are maybe embarrassed about it?

A: Who cares what other kids think? Scrapbooking is just paper and pictures. It's your story and fun so make it for yourself and other people will see what you're all about. It can be scary even as an adult but that's only when you first start. Once you've done your first couple pages you'll be hooked. Guys like us are photographers, writers, and artists and that's what scrapbooking is all about. There are as many ways to express yourself through scrapbooking as there are people in the world so don't be afraid to make something different. The people that want to try it but don't because they're afraid of what others think are the ones that should feel embarrassed.

Q: What gave you the idea for Scrapped, since you weren't a scrapbooker?

A: A good friend of mine did it and she happened to scrap a vacation her, her husband, my wife and I went on. Once I had the book in my hands and began flipping pages it became personal. I realized that I spent to much time with pretend friends on TV and movies or created worlds in video games and not enough time with real world relationships and my own experiences.

Q: What was the most interesting thing you learned about scrapbooking as
you were making Scrapped?

A: How close people who scrapbook can be to each other. It's like a fun club that is really easy to join. Once you've started you first page there's instantly dozens of people that want to help you. It's amazing and still surprises me. I just got back from a show with hundreds of scrapbookers that work in the industry for their career. They were the same way. Even though the movie is over I'm still scrapbooking and am happy and proud to be a part of the group.

Q: Besides your film-making, any other creative endeavors in your life
before taking on scrapbooking? Did you do any arts as a kid?

A: I was an artists apprentice for a couple of years in Jr. High school. I would do work around his studio and in return he would tudor me in pencil, charcoals, paint and wood carving. It was a great experience but what I really fell in love with was writing and photography. I've had careers as a video technician and computer programmer and have been able to carry those two things with me in whatever I do. They last a lifetime and are the main ingredients in scrapbooking!


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

face value

Face value has a whole new meaning to me after today. I had four stops on my errands, all of which were more or less scrapbook or DVD related. Surprisingly at each one somebody I didn't know made a reference to me being a celebrity. How funny / weird is that? A celebrity doesn't freak out about having piles of junk laying around their studio and setting up email accounts, billing databases, fulfillment turnaround times, cleaning out old food in the fridge, finding clean pants to wear and the stale cigar smell coming from beneath the drivers seat in their truck... Do they?

Years ago I was in a couple bands where people would buy a CD and ask for autographs. I used to sign "John Hancock" as a joke or other things to see if they noticed. Then I got a check in my spirit. There's people I'd love to meet and would giggle with glee over an autograph from. If I'm blessed with a time in my life where I can make someone happy by just paying attention to them then heck, enjoy it and roll with it baby!

It got me thinking. Who would I like to meet and what would I ask them? Here's an impromptu list so that if / when I ever come face to face with them I won't look like an idiot. I'll have something prepared to say:

God: Can you please fix it? ( and by "it" I mean everything and everybody. )

Douglas Adams: How hard was it to follow up the 4rth book in the Hitchhikers Guide trilogy? I read the Dirk Gently stuff and didn't think it was that bad. Did it bum you out?

Charlie Kaufman: May I have the honor of licking your shoes clean, being your apprentice, do your bidding? Looking for any henchmen? I am unworthy.

Benjamin Franklin: Would you like to grab a beer? ( Man I bet that guy could party with some wicked pranks... )

Alexander the Great: Why elephants in the Himalayas?

Flea from the Chili Peppers: ( well, nothing... I'd just sit and stare, truly speechless with a stupid smile on my face. )

Albert Einstein: Did you ever feel satisfied?

Bill Gates: Would you like to be punched in the face or gut?

Peter Jackson: Can I get our picture together so it looks like we know each other?

George W. Bush: Need a hug?

Groucho Marks: I apologize for the three stooges.

Karl Marx: Is utopia really an attainable goal?

Vincent Van Gogh: She's not worth it. Love your work. Screw fluffy French impressionism.

Jimi Hendrix: Did you ever study classical styles? I thought your pentatonic blues modes were infused with some wonderful chord progressions of the masters, but mostly in that weird band of gypsies stuff you headed into.

Ben and Jerry: Is there any flavor concept you've actually turned down?

Well, I guess there aren't any current People Magazine type stars in the list but I can't go any further with pictures in the post. It just gets to boring for people... I guess I could add one more:

Oprah, Ellen or Martha: When can we book a date for the show?

To whom and what would you ask?


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

what are friends for?

Here's some pictures of me abusing my friends and their kids.

Connie, Nate and I were restuffing DVD's with the new covers I had remade because the originals were printed to dark for my taste and I didn't want the big debut of the project looking any more amatuer than it already is. ;0)

We were falling woefully behind and spent too many nights and weekends doing it so our friends offered to come over and help. We blasted through about 4,000 in 5 hours with the assembly line technique. Once again displaying how home grown, un professional and full of heart we are. Everything is now being officially handed over to a real fulfillment company to process your orders so shipping should bump up to 2-3 weeks turn around time. I'm trying to see how we can make it faster to compete with the's who ship stuff out immediately.

Also, here's a picture of my friend Bonnie who sewed the patches in my crop bag. I did the spikes but couldn't figure out how to sew patches on without ruining the ability to open pockets. She came thorugh in a big way. A little bird told me she loves scrapbookers and will do other people bags as well for a meager price...