Wednesday, December 21, 2011

And the winner is...

Laurie Kearnes!!! Email us at kim at acidfree dot com with all your contact info. Congratulations, Laurie!! We are excited to have you join us for our Scrap It Southern Style Weekend Event!

And, for every one else who entered by posting a comment, email us, too... at kim at acidfree dot com. We are sending you a special surprise, too! Just copy and paste your comment you left, so we know who is who, okay?

But, now, here are the answers about you all can really know more about him... and so you can see what an eclectic taste he has in sports teams:

1. When is Keller's bday?


2. What size shoe does he wear?

15 every day shoes and 16 cleats

3. What is his favorite college football team?

Georgia Bulldogs, of course....a couple of you upset him with GA TECH answers!

4. What is his favorite pro football team?

Green Bay Packers -- long before they won games...have no idea why

5. What is his favorite pro baseball team?

Philadelphia Phillies -- again, for a long time & don't know why

6. What is his favorite pro basketball team?

LA Lakers -- ever since he heard the name Kobe years ago...said he wished his name was Kobe...been a fan ever since

7. What is his middle name?

David, after my brother

8. What is his favorite food?

any kind of spaghetti, mac & cheese, etc...used to beg to eat "oodles of noodles" when he was smaller!

9. What position does he play on his highschool football team?

Offensive Lineman and Defensive Tackle

10. How tall is he now?

6'2"...about 1/2" shorter than my brother...but not for long, I'm sure

 you know Keller a little better!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Yippee, school is out for Christmas break!!!!

Yippee, we have new options for our Scrap It Southern Style event...

We now have our VIP Package on sale for just $129...that's $30 off the regular price of $159. VIP Package includes 2 free classes, tshirt, 6 make & takes, goodie bag, etc.

And, we now are offering a CROP ONLY option for the 3 days, due to popular demand. Crop all 3 days & nights for just $99.

Hurry & sign up for either of these options...we are over half full and would love to have you join us. We are beyond excited about this event with Creating Keepsakes sponsoring it with us...Stacy Croninger of Creating Keepsakes teaching...and the 'southern' details that will make it a weekend you'll never forget.

And, one more YIPPEE for this event....did we mention that we now have over $3,000 in donations from CK, Fiskars, Queen & Co, Eyelet Outlet, and many more?!?! The goodie bags & door prizes at this event will ROCK for sure!

(click SHOP NOW, then you'll see the Event listed at the top of the list on the left...or email us at kim at acidfree dot com for a flyer to be emailed to you)

YIPPEE, our new YEAR IN THE LIFE Kit is online and on sale CHEAP, too!!! (read below to find out more about it, or visit our facebook page to see all the monthly layouts. Regular price will be $59.95, but now you can get them for as little as $25 each. Hurry, though, we are only offering this deal for a few days! (click SHOP NOW, then CLUBS & KITS link)

Oh, one more YIPPEE:

We've got one more chance for you to win a VIP Package to our Feb. event. Answer these questions here or post your answers on our facebook page....all you have to do is try...everyone who answers these is entered to win. Although, if anyone gets them ALL correct, we may give another prize!!!

Ok, so here goes...let's see how well you know Keller:

1. When is Keller's bday?

2. What size shoe does he wear?

3. What is his favorite college football team?

4. What is his favorite pro football team?

5. What is his favorite pro baseball team?

6. What is his favorite pro basketball team?

7. What is his middle name?

8. What is his favorite food?

9. What position does he play on his highschool football team?

10. How tall is he now?

Post your answers, or guesses....just play for a chance to win a $159 VIP Package!! You have til Tuesday at midnight EST to enter. Winner will be posted here and on facebook on Wednesday. (and yes, if you sign up for this event & win, we will refund your money)

Good luck!!

Okay, so that's it for now, but hopefully you're as excited about these things as we are!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A year in the life...

As so many of you know, it's been a rough year for our family.

This time last year, Papa started having back pain. On February 11th, we found it the pain was coming from pancreatic cancer. We thought we had weeks left with him.

So, I began taking pictures. I seem to be able to handle life better looking thru a lense than head on sometimes.

I also came up with a plan back in February. I decided to take enough pictures to be able to give my mom a new one EVERY DAY FOR A YEAR after Papa passed.

We were so blessed to have him 9 months and 1 week after that dreadful day of 2-11-11. So, I was able to achieve my goal...and I've beeng giving Mom a new picture every day since we lost him on 11-18-11.

It's been a gift for myself, too. I love photos and always have...guess that's why I do this job I do. The details of photos stir me. I feel them, not just see them. And, I am so grateful to have the photos from this year...especially like this one above of Mom and Papa. You can see the love. You can feel their love. You can see Mom's weariness and pain. It says so much about this year.

So.....back to my plan. I also decided in Feb to come up with a product to go with the photos I would be giving Mom. So, now you all know where & why our CALENDAR CARDS came to be!

In each set you get 1 card for each month that includes a month title, a poem about the month on a tag, a round calendar (blank so it works for any year), and a journaling card. Each set also has 6 title cards, to do different themed albums...Baby's 1st year, 1st year of marriage, or any special year.

There is one title I included: "365 A Day at a Time". It's for Mom's book that will have the pictures I'm giving her this year.

Well, we started selling the Calendar Cards sets in November, and we love all the feedback we are receiving. They are so versatile...use them on Connectors to make wall hanging calendars...use the tags to make mini albums...or use them to make a full 12x12 album.

NOW, we are proud to bring you a KIT featuring a title page and twelve 12x12 double page spreads to complete a whole year's album in just a couple hours!!!

Here's one of the titles included, but you'd have 5 more to choose from....

And, the kit includes over 250 precut pieces and pages to create all this....

You like??? Seriously, what do you think? Isn't this an achievable goal for each of us this year?? If any of you are like me and wwaaaayyyy behind in keeping up with your photos, this is something even I can pull off with my pictures of me and Keller...a few photos each month...and I'd be so proud to show it off in a year!

Or, this time of year, just think of the gift possibilities!!! Or think of friends having babies this year...or getting married this year...and back to the piles of old photos we all have...oh, I could use about 10 of these myself!!

WHO WANTS TO WIN ONE OF THESE COMPLETE KITS???? (yes, we will get them online for sale very, very soon)

But, for now, leave a comment here on our blog...or on our facebook page by noon EST Sunday to be entered to win this kit. Tell us something about this year in your life...something good or is full of both. Just tell us one thing about 2011...and we will draw a name tomorrow afternoon. Actually, Keller usually draws our winners, so blame him (not me) if you don't win! :)

And, lastly, I can't tell you what each of you means to me. Your love, support, emails, comments on facebook, texts, cards, letters....and mostly prayers, have been such blessings to me and my family. You carried us thru this year. You and God's amazing grace. Thank you.

Let's make 2012 a great year!


Now, leave us a comment about your year...we can't wait to read them. And, good luck!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

No Regrets

Yesterday, I attended my friend Kyle's funeral. He turned 43 last Sunday. He died Monday morning.

It's Sunday afternoon where I live...4:45 pm to be exact. This time last week, he was enjoying his birthday. Now, he's gone. His funeral is over. And, we are supposed to go back to our normal life tomorrow.


How can anything be normal? How can I comprehend this when I'm still in shock that Papa is actually gone? Papa died just 17 days before Kyle. And, we had 9 months and 1 week to prepare for Papa's passing. That's how long we knew he had pancreatic cancer. Papa was 76. We knew he was sick. And, I still can't wrap my head around him being gone FOREVER. And, oh man...Kyle was just 43, barely. He had a massive heart attack and was gone. He never even knew he was sick. Nor did we.

But somehow, some way, we are supposed to comprehend all of this. How do I explain these things to Keller when I don't know what to say? Yes, I believe it's God's plan. He is in control. But, I don't understand God's plan. I hurt. That's what I know right now.

Another thing I know is that I want to be more like Kyle and Papa. They both had no regrets. Papa told me that several times in the last year. He said to me on more than one occasion, "I've had a great life, I know where I'm going, and I'm ready." How great is that? To have the time to reflect on your own know your heart is right with God...and to be ready to leave this earth.

I believe Kyle felt the same, although I never heard him say it. The last time I saw Kyle was at our house after Papa's funeral. He hugged me several times that day, as he always did. He smiled & listened, as he always did. He always brought love & laughter & peace into a room. He did that day, too. Oh, how I wish I knew that I would never see him again. I would have told him that I want to be more like him. I want to love people every chance I get, just like he did. I always want to make people feel better when they hurt, just like he did. I want to smile, even thru the pain, just like he did.

If we all lived like that, it would be a life of no regrets. We would leave love every place we went. What's to regret about that?

One HUGE regret I have is that I didn't go to Kyle's house on Thanksgiving Day. It was just 3 days after Papa's funeral. Our family elected to go to a movie and grill steaks instead of participating in a traditional Thanksgiving. It would be too painful, we thought. But, now...I regret not going by there, at least for a few minutes. If I had, I would have had my camera. I would have taken lots of family photos. We would all have more recent photos of Kyle and his amazing smile.

I will try to remember the lessons of this year and do all I can to live a life of no regrets. I will continue to focus on the daily moments of life that are so precious, as I tried to do with Papa all year. I will try to live my life fully with no regrets, like both Papa and Kyle showed me how to do.

And, I will miss Papa and Kyle.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Are you ready???

Are you ready to scrap your scraps? Not scrap as in throw away. Scrap as in use. Get them out of your scrap box. Get them onto a layout.

Are you in?

Comment here if you're ready to use up those scraps, 10 minutes at the time.

We'll be here with lots of tips & ideas to motivate & inspire. Oh, and I'll be scrappin' my scraps, too.

So, I'm in. You?


Monday, August 29, 2011

Time to catch up...

There are so many things that we had planned for our blog this many things that had to get put on the back burner. As many of you know, I've had my hands full with more pressing issues -- Papa's ongoing fight against pancreatic cancer, mainly.

But, today, I am determined to post something on our blog! A story that we weren't sure would even be a story at all. But, it happened...Papa made it to Keller's 16th birthday!!!

The day Papa was diagnosed, he asked the doctor, "what would it take to get me 6 months?" That was February 11th of this year. When I asked Papa that day, "what's 6 months?", he said that "6 months is your boy's 16th birthday...and I taught that boy to drive. 6 months is another football season." To say I cried is an understatement.

Fast forward (although there has been nothing FAST about the last 6 months...each month has seemed like a year) and we made it, HE made it. Keller turned 16 on 8-8...and Papa was alive & well to celebrate. In fact, he bought Keller a truck!!!

Par for the course, surprising Keller with his truck was nothing short of an adventure! His birthday fell on Monday...a day after I drove home from a convention...and also the first day of we made plans for a family cookout the Saturday AFTER his birthday. But, once Papa bought the truck, he just couldn't wait to give it to him. So, we decided to surprise him at dinner on Sunday night upon my return (after driving 8 hours alone, mind you)...and of course, when Keller was asked where he'd like to eat, he chose a restaurant 30 miles away! Thus, my mom called & said I had to find a way to get his hidden truck down there to the restaurant's parking lot. Ooookkaaaayyyyy, I can do a dear friend (Ken) who lives there...tell him I'll drive down to get him back to Thomasville...have him drive truck to restaurant in it figured out. First, I had to call Keller & tell him I had hit traffic problems & would be an hour later than I originally thought. :)

That gave me time to get the truck under control. I rush home to change clothes & meet up with Mom & Papa & Keller to go eat....we have a fun meal with us & Ken...and Keller never questions why Ken is there with after dinner, Papa had hidden the key in a precious gift he had wrapped for Keller -- one of his Bibles that Keller had commented that he would love to have one day! So, that was enough for us all to cry...but then the look of excitement on Keller's face when he found the key!!! We then blindfolded him & led him outside...when he was close to the truck, my mom removed the blindfold & told him to go get his truck!! He ran to it, jumped in, put the key in, turned the ignition...

tick, tick, tick.....


tick, tick, tick.....

then more nothing.

"Is this a joke?" asks Keller!! NO, we say, half laughing and half crying...trying to figure out WHY it won't start!!!

Then we realize that we don't need jumper cables because it's a 5 speed & we can push it to get it to start...(see picture) after many, many laughs, Keller enjoys driving his truck around the parking lot! But, making it home was no small feat...every time it would stall, it was the same thing...push it 3 hours later, we make it home...with a police escort by that point, no less!

Papa assured Keller his truck would be fixed by the time he came home Monday from football practice after school...and we all laughed & cried, telling Keller he certainly NEVER would forget his 16th birthday!

The next day, Papa held true to his promise. He got the alternator replaced, and the truck was good to go. I picked Keller up in & he drove it to their house for another birthday dinner. After dinner, he was driving home...

and....we had another surprise.....

we were within a 1/2 mile of mom & papa's driveway...and another truck crossed the center line & hit us!! Keller was driving & handled it so well, maintaining control to get off the road...but was furious that his truck was messed up! I was just shaken & grateful that my son was alive!!

So....4 days after that...the truck once again was fixed & ready for Keller...just in time for his birthday cookout with the whole family & lots of football players!! Like I said, always an adventure with us. But, that's what makes life great, huh? I wouldn't trade our adventure for the world.

And, Papa, we are so incredibly in awe of you & your strength...and ever grateful to God that you're still with us. Thank you for loving us!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Thanks for the great response to our last video on YouTube-isn't it fun to learn new tips and tricks?

Well, we've got our newest video up on YouTube. We wanted to give you some more info on the classes we offer at the CK Conventions. If you've ever taken any of our classes, let us know what you thought. Or let us hear from you if you're planning on signing up for one at a CKC near you this year.!

(Leave your comments here or on our Facebook page).

And here's the link for the new video-enjoy!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Update on Lori

Last year, my brother (aka SuperDave mentioned at end of article linked below) rallied around his friend Lori to raise over $30,000 to help her recovery from a massive stroke. A huge portion of the money raised went to purchase the custom wheelchair that she uses now to get around. It's so great to know that she isn't confined to a bed all day now!

Many of you helped in the money-raising efforts, too, and we wanted to thank you once more for your generosity. And, we wanted to give you an update on Lori and her recovery. Many of you ask me on the road how she's doing, so I was so happy to see another article yesterday about her on (link to article is below) And, I personally went to see her while visiting my brother in Savannah last November. I took pictures of them & sent a framed one to Lori for Christmas. Pictures just make life happier, don't they?!?

Thank you for being our customer. Thank you for caring beyond measure for others who are struggling. Thank you for letting me continue in this job that means the world to me.

Thank you.

Read the full update on Lori here:

And, thanks to my brother for being such an amazing guy!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Well, HELLO.

It’s been a while. It’s been too long.

Yes, we’re still here. Yes, we’re still in business. Thank you for the emails & messages checking on us.

Where have we been?

It all started with my crazy schedule. Then, email problems. Then, missing packages. Add employee issues. Mix in discontinued papers & ordering nightmares from paper companies and you have my life for many months of last year. I knew it was time for a change.

Mid summer last year, we began making serious changes. We started making our own papers, in an effort to be less dependent on other companies, who were having issues of their own. We made every technical change possible…well, as much as we could possibly afford…if I ever win the lottery, we will have an email system like Google! We also changed…and changed… and changed again they way we ship. And, we had employee changes.

Lastly, I made the difficult decision in the fall to scale back, wwwaaaaaaayyyyy back, on my show schedule. I cut from over 30 shows a year (37 was my high) to just 16 conventions for 2011, teaching exclusively for CK. My reasons were to continue to work on the making all the changes listed above, as well as be around more to keep an eye on a teenage kid named Keller!

I knew this business would kill me if it continued on as it was. So, I made the decision and stuck to it, not knowing that God had an even bigger reason for me to be home more.

As many of you know, I have quite a small family. There’s me. Keller. My brother, David. My mom, Gail. And Papa, my stepdad.

In the fall, Papa began ‘just not feeling himself’, if you know what I mean. He wasn’t hunting, which was a huge red flag. He would tire out easily when outside. He was moving much slower. In December, he started having some back pain. He tried chiropractors. He tried pain pills. He tried physical therapy. He and mom got a new mattress set. No relief. He had an MRI. He had x-rays. By February, he went for an epidural to block the pain in his back, and God made sure someone noticed that his back pain was just the symptom ( as mom and I suspected by that point) ….Papa collapsed at the doctor’s office before they could do the epidural. They admitted him to the hospital & started tests. By morning, they had ordered a CT scan. By afternoon, we had our answer.

Pancreatic Cancer. Stage 4. Metasticized to the liver and lungs.

Our world stopped.

Keller needs his Papa. He’s the closest thing to a dad he’s ever had, definitely a grandpa to him.

Mom needs Papa. He’s her one true love.

I need Papa. He loves me unconditionally. Very rare in my life.

His kids need him. His grandkids and great-grandkids need him.

The world needs him. He is the sweetest spirited man who just exudes love and happiness.

We were sent home to wait for him to die.

I now knew why I needed to be home.

As we rallied around Papa, God sent us friends in the medical field, who put us in touch with doctors who said there were a few things to try. But, first we needed to know where else the cancer was. They suspected the brain and stomach. After a couple more invasive procedures, we were shocked, yet thrilled to learn that there was NO CANCER in the brain and NO CANCER had broken thru his stomach wall. Thank you, God! This meant he could eat and might be with us a little longer than they we initially were led to believe.

Then, they said there was one chemo to try, that would not only manage his pain & increase his fluid levels, but would give a slim chance to slow the growth of the cancer. Well, to quote Papa’s oncologist, ‘we won the lottery’! He was one of the lucky few that the chemo seemed to be shrinking some of the numerous tumors!! His blood work went from off-the-charts-terrible to just-plain-terrible. We might make it to another football season for him to see Keller play!

That’s where we are now. He is getting weaker. Every day has a new challenge. Not one day has been easy. We still know every day is precious. We may have him a week. A month. A year? Wow, that would be beyond amazing. For today, we are just thankful to still have him and it’s June already. We never thought we’d be here now.

In the last year, I have learned so many lessons. I am more present each moment when I’m with family and friends. I had begun learning that lesson last March when we unexpectedly lost my dear friend, Debbie Williams. When life is taken in a moment, you learn to value the time you have. And, Debbie’s death made me realize what a true gift we have with Papa, the gift of more time together.

And, I learned to work smarter during my work hours, dedicated more than ever to get systems in place to get our company to the level it needs to be. I learned to call on other business owners from all industries to learn new ways to do things.

I have learned to delegate. I have hired and fired and hired some more…determined to get the best team I can for you, our customers. I now know that I no longer can say, ‘I’ll just do it myself’…I can NOT do everything myself. I’ve learned to accept volunteer help from family and friends.

I’ve learned that we have the best customers in the world! As each of the shows draws near & I’m wondering if I will make it there, I ask Papa & he tells me to go. It’s so hard to leave now, but once I get in the classroom, I’m surrounded by the BEST people in the world. You all lift me up more than you know. You remind me how lucky I am to have this job. Thank you!

I have learned to trust my creativity…which has led to more fun ideas than ever before!!! And, now that we are back on track in so many areas of our business, we are now ready to bring them to you.

For starters, we have a new video for you! Remember our webisodes back in 2009?? Well, we’re finally able to bring you the kind of teaching in video format that we dreamed about back then when my crazy brother did those for you. It’s me now, not D doing the teaching, but we still hope you love it J .

Just click this link to watch the first of many of these project-filled videos. You might even win something for watching!!

(contest mentioned in video ends 6-30-11)

If you’re new to our circle of friends & customers, we’re glad you found us. If you’ve been with us since the beginning, the best is yet to come. If you’re someone that we have let down in the last year, stick around….we will make it up to you.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support,