Friday, November 03, 2006

Winners of the Decorate Life Books
Congratulations to the following winners of MM's Decorate Life book series.

Suzanne
Angelique
Beth

We've emailed the winners so please send your address so we can send your prize.

Thanks for all the comments that we received about the MM Idol contest. It's much appreciated!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

IT IS OUR SINCERE PLEASURE

TO INTRODUCE YOUR

NEW MAKING MEMORIES IDOL!!!!!

Wilna Furstenburg!!!!The voting was breathtakingly close – with more than 1,000 votes cast, it literally came down to a difference of 20 votes at best. Jennifer, we all LOVE your work and know we’ll continue to see beautiful things from you. And now – Wilna – you are going to be one very busy woman.

We called Wilna this morning to share with her the great news and her response touched all of us. She said, “I’m totally overwhelmed … [pause] … I know people usually scream and shout … [pause] … but I just cry … [sobbing with joy] …This is amazing!”

She added, “This is just wonderful. You’ve just made my day. I’ve been so overwhelmed with the amazing response from SO many people. I can’t thank you and all of the incredible people who voted for me.”

After she finished crying (well, we’ll be honest, after we ALL finished crying with her), Gail Pierce-Watne got right down to business and gave Wilna her first assignment. She’s been charged with creating a surprising, brand-new look for two of Making Memories’ latest product introductions which will appear in our next book due out in January 2006.

And to all the Making Memories Idol voters – thank you from the bottom of our hearts. This has been a thrilling, exciting, nerve-wracking experience that we’ll not soon forget. In fact – we enjoyed it so much that we know we’ll be doing this again in the not-too-distant future. Thanks to the popularity of this contest, we’ll be hosting our next Making Memories Idol which will wrap around our next book introduction. And with three new books coming out from our publishing team each year, you can expect the competition to be bigger, better, and more exciting than ever!

If you have suggestions on how our next IDOL competition can outwit, outlast, and outplay this one, please let us know in the comments below. Oh – what the heck – why not make it another contest, too!?! We’ll choose three names at random from those of you who leave a comment or suggestion, and the winners will receive all of the Decorate Life books (Scrapbooks, Home Décor and Celebrations. It’s our way of saying THANKS for making this such a successful competition.Wilna – you ROCK girl! Congratulations again!

The Making Memories Design Team






And now ... a word from our IDOL!

I am overwhelmed. Moved. totally, completely, incandescently happy. A total Mrs Darcy. i am in between bouts of laughing and crying. The greatest part of this experience have been without a doubt the unprecedented support and enthusiasm that I have encountered among my friends and family and lots more people I have never even met. Through this hobby I have build friendships that I never would have had. And the kindness and BIGNESS of the love from people totally astounded me. I am so comforted, cheered and encouraged to see that the human heart's ultimate goal is still to pay it forward. Thank you to everyone who has been supporting me and loving on me and rooting for me. I thank you. Again and again. The English language does not have vocabulary enough for the gratitude I feel. Seriously.love from WILNA.
my blog:
www.wilnaf.blogspot.com

Monday, October 30, 2006

It's time to vote again, this time for the MM Idol winner. The challenge last week was to create a unique home decor project, something that you would put on the wall of your family room and include photos, something that is simple enough to recreate but clever and fresh enough to inspire. Take a look at Jennifer and Wilna's entries and place your vote. The winner will be announced tomorrow.
Best of luck to both contestants!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

YOU’VE GOT QUESTIONS … Part II
We received more than 300 questions from Wilna and Jennifer’s fans – and while they couldn’t answer every one of them, they’ve added a few more thoughts for today’s blog edition!

From Lisa/Aggie/Kendra: Where did you get that Pink Tree? Where did you get that Star? How did you make that garland? (For the Challenge #3 design):
From Jennifer: I fell in love with the Pink Feather Tree on a recent trip to a local craft store. I grabbed it and tried to barter with the manager for a special deal since it was going to be featured in this big contest, but sadly, they didn’t bite and I had to pay normal retail for it! I think it was worth it!!The star I bought at Wal-Mart in their Christmas ornament section at least 4 years ago. I didn’t plan in advance what I was going to put on top of the sign-post. I wanted a big Styrofoam snowball, but the stores were closed, so I had to search around the house for a substitution. The star won! And the garland was really simple – I picked out my 4 patterned papers and punched out the circles using a 1 ¼” circle punch (approximately 30 circles per pattern). Each circle on the garland is 2 punched circles, glued together with the twine in the middle, pattern side facing out. There are more than 60 circles on that small garland for the little tree.

From Anamarquez: How do get your ideas? Is something you see and you turn into your own by changing something or adding something?
From Wilna: This is exactly what I do. I would see something somewhere that I like, that catches my eye and I will use it on paper and make it my own. The best way I can describe it is I would see something in that inspires me or produce a certain feeling in me. I would then work a page until that feeling is recreated. I guess it is to me a very intuitive process. That is how I would know when enough is enough.

From Katie D: What is your favorite MM product and why?
From Jennifer: There are so many fabulous products to pick from!! Right now, I think my favorite product is the Cheeky Board Clips – they are so versatile!! They make it easy to quickly assemble embellishments and photos to the page in a grouping without having to go back and add adhesive in multiple steps! I like anything that makes scrapping faster.

From Jeannie: When you scrapbook how long does it usually take for you to decide how you want your layout.
From Wilna:
Not very long. Why? I am not afraid to make a mistake. Rebecca Sower once said there is no scrapbook police. I would do the same page twice if I did not like the first try. But I would never throw the first one away or think bad about it. Remember it is only paper. And very importantly every single page you do, whether you like it or not, helps you grow as a scrapbooker. I have done some pages that I did not like and then my best ideas for another project will come from that “disappointment”. Nothing you do creatively wise is ever a waste. Never.

Friday, October 27, 2006

YOU'VE GOT THE QUESTIONS ...
Wilna and Jennifer have the answers! Last week, we asked you to send us your questions for the MMIdol contestants. This week, they’ve taken a break from their heavy duty design schedule to answer some of them.

From Dana: What is one tool you cannot live without?
From Jennifer: Well, it’s hard to pick just one tool! Aside from the basics, like my paper trimmer, computer, etc., I really, really love the Making Memories Silent Setter. I love that thing!! Especially because I make a lot of cards, it’s nice to have a dependable hole punch and eyelet tool.

From Mary Ann: Do you start out with your photos first, and then decide on your papers and embellishments, or do you find all the fun things you want to use on a page, then search for photos that would go with them?
From Wilna: What inspire me the most ALL the time are the pictures. I just love fetching my pictures from Shoppers Drug Mart (where Shannon always helps me), coming home, looking at them and every time the urge to scrapbook overtakes me. My starting point is ALWAYS the pictures. I will select paper to go with that and then work the page adding elements until I am done

From Helen: How often do you change your mind when working on pages/projects?
From Jennifer: This is my downfall! Sometimes I have lots of different ideas which makes it hard for me to make a final decisionsm and then usually as I am working on it, I change it as I go … so I may start with a general idea, but don’t get attached to anything, I let all my pages work themselves out.

From Anonymous: Where do you get your source of inspiration when using Making Memories products?
From Wilna:
I love, love, love MM product. I always have. I can prove this statement in a court of law. The judge will convict me on 2 accounts: one is witnesses (My best friend Maryna will testify) and two, on my MM stash. Back to the question: why do I love MM product? Because you don’t need any external inspiration. The product itself shouts and screams to me to just CREATE!!

From Veronica: Have you felt creatively blocked? What do you do to get out of it?
From Jennifer: Absolutely! In fact, there was a period of time this year where I didn’t do anything creative for a few months. Sometimes a creative block is small, in those cases, I spend time “researching” ideas from non-scrapbooking magazines, design websites, etc. Sometimes I pick up a good scrapbooking magazine or idea book (especially when working on something specific in scrapbooking). In times where I get in a big funk, I usually find it’s because I am trying to juggle too many things at once – so I “clean house” and try to eliminate some obligations to find more breathing room.

From Fran: Where does your inspiration come from? How long does it take you to complete a layout when you’re not under such pressure?
From Wilna:
Hands down I would say that music is my biggest inspiration. I got a new CD from Third day earlier this year and did a whole mini album inspired by the lyrics. I listen to Tree63, Leeland, Third day and Michael W Smith blasting away when I scrap. My biggest dream is excellent quality crystal clear surround sound in my scraproom. I take about an hour to an hour and a half on a page. Pressured or not.

From Misty: Have you been published?
From Jennifer: No, I haven’t been published in a traditional paper publication – yet – but I am keeping my fingers crossed on this MM gig!!

From Kristy Z: How do you keep true to your own style and keep coming up with new ideas? With all the ideas out there in magazines and on websites how do you keep those influences from taking over your style? Finally, how did you find your style?
From Wilna: Seriously I don’t know what style I am. Probably leaning more to the ART side than the DESIGN side. I think more importantly that because you are you, you like certain avenues more than other. That will cause your work to have that flavor that says: YOU. I subscribe to only one scrapbook magazine and I have 2 IDOLS in the scrapbooking world (Rebecca Sower and Maria Grace Abuzman), so yes, I look at what is happening out there. I am cautious however to stay true to what I like, what I find beautiful, what I am comfortable with. And with what makes me happy. That is how I found and will keep “my style.”

Thursday, October 26, 2006

BEHIND EVERY TALENTED DESIGNER
… is a supportive (and apparently adorable, sweet, funny, and understanding) husband! Wilna and Jennifer seem to be pretty lucky women, based on our interview with their significant others. Following are some excerpts from our conversations with Jaco Furstenberg and John Pebbles.

MMIdol: How has it been living with an Idol contestant these past few weeks?
Jaco: Intense fun!! Missed a few meals. Loved every bit to pieces. Proudly the husband of my idol!!
John:A lot of late nights and counting down the minutes waiting to hear who will advance. And driving around town to find someone who sells Hostess Snowballs.
MMIdol: Have you been following the contest online, or are you aware only through your spouse’s reactions?
Jaco: Didn’t miss a e-mail, blog-post or comment/ thread on many a message board. Stayed up later even though I ought to have been studying for my upcoming exam in two WEEKS!!.
John: Yes, I have been following the contest, I have been emailing friends to help get people voting, and sometimes I have to be the one to tell Jen whether or not she made the cut, ‘cause she’s a big chicken!
MMIdol: What do you think of her hobby?
Jaco: The best thing since Sliced bread. My wife is fulfilling her passion and I’m reaping the rewards: No limit on the budget: If she needs it…: GO and get it babe!!
John: You mean addiction? I really like that scrapbooking archives the memory of the photograph rather than just leaving all of our pictures on the computer. It makes my wife happy, it’s an outlet for her creativity, and because her stuff is very pretty. And heck, I even went to CHA with her last winter.
MMIdol: Have you tried scrapbooking?
Jaco: I’m her biggest fan, supporter, sponsor and critic, but I do know my limits or when I’m treading where angels fear to thread: Leave the best with her he(ART). I do have my bicycle!
John: No, but I have made a few Rubber Stamped cards. My creations are typical guy stuff – totally inappropriate to be seen in public. I do help her sometimes by giving her ideas when she is stuck, so really I should take credit for at least 2.98% of her success.
MMIdol: Is there anything we should know about your wife?
Jaco: She’s fast and she’s good. She is passionate, devoted, she is a driver, a hard worker. Loves what she does and does it with total commitment. She brings sunlight into every life she touches. She is not a domestic goddess, but she is an excellent homemaker. She is our children and my personal cheerleader and promoter. She will and does move mountains for her family and friends. She is irreplaceable and irresistible and therefore, so easy to love upon!!
John: If there was a contest for which contestant was loved the most by their husband, I think Jen would win. I am really proud of her.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

ALL ABOUT … JENNIFER & WILNA

MMIdol:
How are you holding up?
Jennifer:
Well, I think I am holding up okay! The big pressure was last week with the Party Project, now I feel a little bit more relaxed going into the final round. It’s been so crazy, I think the most exciting thing is just that I keep advancing, I am starting to really feel like Kelly Clarkson!!
Wilna: I am telling you this past week has been hectic in a good way. We have 3 girls with school and ballet 5 times a week. On top of that my parents, which I have not seen for 18 months, arrived from South Africa. That is actually a blessing. My mom is here to cook and help out in the house and that freed me up to create and spend time on the project. In fact as I am typing the delicious aroma of my mom’s soup is floating around. My whole family are so supportive and amazing.

MMIdol: Tell us something about you that might surprise us.
Jennifer: I think most people would be surprised to know that I am fairly new to scrapbooking, and I don’t fit into the “traditional scrapbooker” role... I don’t have kids, I don’t own a super-fancy camera. I came to paper scrapbooking after spending a lot of time with Digital Scrapbooking and Rubber Stamping – both of which I do quite actively. I love mixing all different mediums and products and computer graphics – it’s a blast! While it may have taken me a long time to start scrapbooking, I have been following along, buying idea books and papers, saving and waiting for the day when I would finally be ready to take the plunge!!
Wilna: That I can eat cornflakes anytime of the day. (LOL!) That I am a terrible tease and love to laugh out loud. I love my husband of 15 years more than the day we got married. That I can laugh at myself. I am a fierce friend. And a strict mother (really). I love scrapbooking passionately.

MMIdol: What will you do when this contest is over?
Jennifer:
What I will do when the contest is over is pretty dependent on the outcome – win or lose, this has been an amazing opportunity!! I do have a few other deadlines and projects going on this week as well, so I will try to stay on schedule as much as possible. Thankfully, I have work to keep me busy and distracted while waiting for the outcome, because I do get very nervous and anxious waiting for the results.
Wilna: I am going for a massage (wink-wink). Monday is my mom’s birthday so we will be celebrating that by going out to dinner. Then I am going to be spending some quality time with my family. When I send in the final design the contest will be out of my hands and in the people’s hands. And when the voting closes I will go to bed and have a good night sleep knowing that I have done all I can do.

Check back tomorrow to learn what our contestant’s HUSBANDS think about their wives in this competition!