Category Archives: family

Troy Dunn, “The Locator”, Scrapbooking, and Photographs

Without further adieu, here is my “Locator” post…

As I talked about HERE, I was contacted by WeTV to participate in a conference call with none other than Troy Dunn from their fabulous show, “The Locator.” I’d written about the show on my blog in the past HERE and HERE because I love it so very much. I thought it was so cool that not only did Troy come and leave a comment on my blog, but his mom (you see her on the show, too) did as well. One of the coolest things is that they sent me the link to a sneak preview of the new season of The Locator that only a special, select few IN THA WORLD get to see. Well, I don’t know that for a fact, but to make my ego supersized, let’s just assume that’s true. C’mon, play along with me….

They also sent me this picture to use in my article, which is from the new season and has NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE on the face of the earth. Exclusive to ME!! Bwahahaha. Okay, I’m totally lying again. I’m apparently at an insecure mood at this point in time and have a need to feel important and much, much better than you. I promise, I’ll get over it. But cool photo, right?


Did you know that one of Troy’s sons (Treston; LOVE that name!) keeps a family blog? Why don’t you go say “hi” right here to THE DUNN FAMILY.

Anyway, the date and time to speak with him finally arrived, which was September 3rd at 8am my time. That worked out well because, even though that’s a work day for me, I start at 8:30 (and I work from home as a medical transcriber so it’s a short commute). I told the gal who was coordinating everything – Katrina from WeTV – and she allowed me to ask my questions first in case I had to cut out early.

The two other bloggers who were also on the conference call with Troy (yeah, I get to call him that, ‘cuz we TALKED, you know?) were Gina from the THE CLAN McCLEOD blog, and Jill from the OKLA-HOME blog. Go check them out…both are really great blogs.

So, back to the call…Troy came on the line and everyone said good morning and where they’re from. I was able to go first and started off by reminding Troy that I was the one who had blogged that he’s a hottie. Again, like the comment he left on that post, Troy (or, as I sometimes call my new BFF, “T.”) was very modest and we joked about things like that scoring points with his wife.

My first question was: You talked in the comment you left (on my blog) about scrapbooking and the role it plays on your show. Can you please talk about that some more?

He said that scrapbooking is very much a part of The Locator. One thing is that many times, people who participate in the show immediately scrapbook their experience. He says that by what his show does, they allow people to have another 10 or 20 years of their lives to make the memories to fill up more scrapbooks. T. also said that his family has scrapbookers and they give and receive them for gifts. On his coffee table near him while we spoke, was a scrapbook that a fan sent him, all made up to honor the show, The Locator. The person had taken photos from the show, newspaper clippings, and letters from the website. {This reminded me of the album – or is it albumSSS – made by my Scrap Pal, Gay to honor her fascination with….er, lust for….I mean, um, admiration of the acting abilities of Gerard Butler. But that’s a whole ‘nother story I can’t get into right now}. Anyway, so then Troy said, “I have nothing but love and respect for scrapbooks and if I can help people fill the pages of them, fill their lives, then I’m totally jazzed about that.” See, not only handsome, but wicked smaht.

Then he said that he keeps waiting for a scrapbooking company to contact him, that he’d love to do a whole “Locator” scrapbooking line. I joked that maybe I should put some bugs in some ears in this industry about this great idea. As it happens, I’m having lunch later this week with STACY JULIAN, KELLY GOREE, CATHY Z, and LISA BEARNSON, so I’ll probably bring it up then. Nah, you know I don’t really know those ladies. Well, unless you count years upon years of drooling over their work in magazines and stalking….erm, I mean… leaving (perfectly harmless) comments on their blogs as being friends. Because I do. I consider them my friends.

My second question was about photographs, and how important those are in our lives; his thoughts on that, maybe reactions he’d seen from people he reunited when either they were shown photos of themselves they hadn’t known existed, or the opposite, when no photos exist and how that impacts them. (Crikes, didn’t realize what a long-winded question that was til I had to type it out and got a case of carpal tunnel while doing so… Sheesh, Erika, brief much?).

This was one of my favorite parts. Troy said that one of the greatest myths about photographs is that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” He said that a picture is worth a million words. He said photos are so extraordinary because of how close they come to “bringing a real person to somebody.” He said he often gets the same reaction from showing someone a photo of their long lost loved one, as he does from showing them the actual person. I find that amazing and, yet, totally relatable and I’ve seen it many times on the show, the profound reaction people have when seeing a photo of their loved one for the first time. The other amazing thing Troy had to say about photos is they he tries to never go into a reuniting situation without one because they make great transitional objects. We talked about how, for instance, a mom who hasn’t seen her missing son since he was four months old. In her heart and head, she may largely picture her son today as still being that four-month-old little baby. What a shock it could be if she first laid eyes on him again as an adult now. So by exposing her to current photos of him beforehand, she can start transitioning herself mentally into “This is what he looks like now.” He compared it to a situation in his own life, and a daughter (one of his SEVEN children with his wife) who battled cancer. Friends that hadn’t seen her in a while would’ve been quite shocked to then see her bald, so he used photos as a kind of transition so they could wrap their brains around how she looked currently, instead of revealing a shock or a sadness upon actually laying eyes on her. As I told Troy, I’d never thought of photos as that “transitional object,” but how very true and powerful that is, don’t you think?

So, those were my two main questions. Troy next answered questions from Gina and Jill, which were great to listen to. I know Jill has blogged about her experience speaking with Troy on her blog listed above, and I hope Dena will post about her take, also.

Then we got to ask a third question, since there was still time, and I asked him a question that had been posed by one of my kids when they found out I would be talking to Troy. {The Locator is a wonderful family show and I watch it often with my kids, so they’re Troy Fans also}. The question was about all the travel he does for the show, does he like it or not? Troy’s answer was what you’d expect from the true family man that he is….that while he’d gotten to go places he’d never have gone otherwise, that nothing was better than being home with his family. Shoot, with a wife and seven kids, imagine how many events you could miss in just a few days, LOL!. He talked about the toll that reality shows seem to be taking on the families who participate in them lately, and how family must remain the priority above all else. We also learned some “show secrets” such as the getaway car, and Troy’s favorite getaway meal. You know, things Troy only tells his “good friends,” of which I am clearly one. {Ahem}.

So that was my wonderful experience talking to Troy. He said if I contacted his staff, he would send a photo to my kids and I’m still working on arranging that. Sorry this is so long, but I had to capture all the details while they were fresh in my mind ‘cuz you know I’ll be making this blog entry into the journaling for my scrapbook layout, of course. Now, if only I could find some Locator-themed scrapbooking elements to jazz up my page, I’d be in business. Lisa??? Kelly???

PS: A reminder that the new season of THE LOCATOR starts soon! Put it on your calendar or set your DVR now...This Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 9pm PST (check listings for your own time zone).

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Please Keep a Special Scrapper in Your Prayers

All my talk of HOF-gate, commenting on scrap rooms, and what’s new at CHA 08 really seems trivial when you hear that “our of our own” is dealing with a life-threatening illness. A lovely lady from CKMB, Leslie (SoCal Scrapper) has been diagnosed with cancer and is just beginning her fight. She has a wonderful support system ~ devoted spouse, a church family, IRL friends, and online scrapper friends. I truly believe in the power of prayer and have heard countless stories of the miracles PRAYER has accomplished. Please join me in praying for Leslie. Updates on her progress can be found at LESLIE’S FREEDOM FROM CANCER BLOG. There are many CKMB threads about Miss Leslie: HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. You will see what a beautiful lady she is, inside and out. While I was searching all the posts BY Leslie, I was struck by how generous, sweet, and giving she is. She takes the time to compliment tons of layouts that are posted, wish Happy Birthdays and Get Well Soons, add prayers, be grateful for daily devotionals, and express gratitude for all the kindnesses coming her way.

Will you also please take a few minutes every once in a while to leave her a message of love and healing. She has already expressed how much the support of her MB and scrap friends, with cards, MB posts, PM’s and e-mails ~ have meant to her. Thanks so much!

Finally, A Winner! And Why I Might Be Absent…

Wayyyyy back on THIS POST, I asked for your help with ideas for a scrapbook company name. Boy did y’all come through! I had such a great time reading all the suggestions and then, as I often do, got sidetracked by life and forgot to pick a winner. Thanks for your patience if you’ve been waiting to hear who won the RAK, and I owe it to bluemoon for reminding me yesterday :)

There were 21 entries so I asked one of the kiddos to pick a number between 1 and 21, and they picked……NUMBER 3 !!!! Yeah, Number Three!!! We have a winna’ and it is DANA, from Dana’s Scrap Therapy. Go check out HER BLOG, it’s a good read. Actually, both her blogs cuz she’s doing the Perspective 365: Picture a Day Project and here is her BLOG for that.

Miss Dana, you win a RAK of some scrappin’ goodness. I’m getting a big Memory Works shipment this week, so I’ll go shop it for you and post a pic of your winnings. In the meantime, I’ll e-mail ya’ for your addie. Thanks to everyone for playing!

Now, as if being laid off this July isn’t bad enough, now I might need gallbladder surgery (boo hoo, will you join my pity party?). I was in the E/R most of yesterday with THE most horrible abdomen and back pain since childbirth (yeah, without the epidural). After lots of pain, a blood test, an ultrasound, an IV, and much needle-prodding because I have “bad veins,” the E/R doc says I have gallstones which will probably need surgery. This morning I’ve posted on my fave MB’s (CKMB and AMRMB) for advice because I know right were to go for the good stuff. And of course the ladies have come through. I’m also making calls for surgeon referrals and talking to everyone I know who’s been through this for advice. Basically, they all say “take it out” before it gets worse, and you don’t need the damn thing anyway. I hate hospitals, have never had surgery, so I am very scared (that’s what I do when I’m scared of something, go into total research mode). I called my SIL who is a nurse and she said they called gallbladder disease “The Four F’s: Female, forty, fat, and fair.” Okay, not everybody because my other SIL had her gallbladder out and she’s not fat, nor fair. I might be some of the Four, but I won’t admit which!

Anyway, if you ever don’t see me posting her for a few days, that’s whuzzup. I hear the surgery is usually laprascopic and recovery is about a week, unless you have some reason they need to open you up, then it’s major surgery and the recovery is longer. First, I’m praying for no surgery and a miracle drug! Second, I’m praying for the easy surgery if I have to have one. Believe me, I was praying yesterday for relief from the excruciating pain and He came through.


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She Is So “Behind”…Should She Quit Scrapbooking?

Sorry, one more thing…

I wanted to show you THIS THREAD that started at CKMB Happy Hour lastnight. I just checked it again to see if there were more responses, and there were some very compelling ones. Wish I had time to write my thoughts on the matter. (Shizzle!) But read through this and tell me yours please…


Your Favorite Scrapbook Gifts for Christmas?

Welcome back to blog-world, after that little break we all took for Christmas. I have to admit, the only day I stayed entirely away from the computer was Christmas Day itself. We didn’t go out of town, but stayed close to home attending family events. On Christmas Day, after all the gift opening madness, just our little family went out for a fancy dinner. We spent scads of cash, and ate whatever we wanted for desert without worrying about calories or the future additions to our tushies. I mean, once a year, ya gotta throw caution to the wind, right? I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas as well.

I was lucky to receive some wonderful gifts. My MIL got us a set of those glass photo coasters, telling us how she was up very late the night before going through old photos to put in a set of coasters for each family. It was so touching to look at those photos, and to think of the care she took to pick them out for each of us. I have to selfishly admit, it was so extra nice to be on the receiving end for once of a gift that involved someone taking the time and love to do a project like that, and making something that we will smile at every time we use it. Thanks MIL ~ you rock! And there’s more! Mi madre gave me something handmade and special also. Have you seen those little wire and beaded “wine glass labels”? You know, you’re at someone’s house for a party and everyone is drinking wine, so you put this little cutie around the stem of your glass, then just remember, “Oh, I have the green one.” Well, my mom made me two sets of them and they’re personalized with the names of all our extended family (i.e. the folks we party with). The “girls” set is for we wine drinkers, and has little girly colored beads and grape charms, with our little tiny name tags. Then the boys set has boy colored beads and little beer charms. I figure we can hang them from the tabs of the beer cans, or insist that DH stick to longnecks which will absolutely break his heart (NOT).

Speaking of Mr. ScrapbookObsession, one of my bestest gifts was a $100 gift card to Starbucks (aka StarCrack) from him and the kids. Now, this was a HUGE thing coming from my Way Better Half, “he who always has a sarcastic comment about my level of latte consumption.” But the little note on the card holder said a thank you for all my late nights working and may this card help me get through those nights. I swear, sometimes he makes me so mad I just ball up my fist and say, “Straight to the moon!” and then he does stuff like the Starbucks gift and I decide to keep him forever :)

There was a thread on CKMB about “What gifts did we buy ourselves?”, so I was glad to see I wasn’t alone. “DH” bought me a cute pair of black shoes, and a huge book about the art of Rome. (Yeah, he was more surprised than I was when I opened them…and he was pretty impressed with ‘his’ gift buying abilities). The plan is also to get me an iPhone, hopefully later this week, AFTER we see how much the washing machine repair is going to cost. Yeah, I might have to take one for the team. As I started opening my gifts this year, I have to admit to a teeny tiny drop of disappointment when nothing was scrappy related. However, when my mom arrived lastnight with gifts from she and from my brother’s family, my faith was restored. My SIL (okay, we know my brother didn’t think of this) got me 3 Perfect Pages scrapbook kits from Colorbok, called Family Ties, Christmas and School Days. I’ve never seen them and was so happy to see something that didn’t come from Michaels or Costco, which is about the only scrapbook shopping I get to do anymore with all the LSS’s gone. To top it off, my mom got me a pack of scrapping stuff that she had hand picked from her LSS – papers, embellishments, large eyelets for my Cropadile, and {GOD BLESS HER} some Bazzill cardstock to match it all. So, my little Scrap Angels did take care of me after all. While we all watched We Are Marshall tonight, I just sat there stroking my new goodies, looking through them over and over. I think all eyes were on the TV, so no one saw my Scrapbook-Obsessive behavior. It’ll just be our little secret, kay?

The best “gift” I was given was so many opportunities to take wonderful pictures for my scrapbooks: warm family dinners; candlelight ceremony at Christmas Eve church; Christmas Day walk on the beach; and ~ the best ~ catching the amazed and happy faces of my kids as they saw each new present. I want to journal the wonderful conversations we had and remember this Christmas always…

What were your best gifts this year? Any scrapbook-y kinds of gifts? C’mon, we all want to hear about them! Anything scrapbook-related you were really hoping for but didn’t get? Tell us how your Christmas went…

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Scrap Space Organization: Progress Report #2

I was busy working, etc all day Thursday and Friday. But as of 1900 hrs last night, I’m officially free from my office job (and taking kids back and forth to school) for over 2 weeks!! Yippee Kie Yay and Yee Haw! I slept bunches and am now starting to feel The Urge to Purge and the Need to Organize. Christmas is only 3 days away, so obviously I’ll be busy with those things. But come 12/26, I’m ready to rock!

Today I’m sitting at the computer trying to ‘organize’ my thoughts and, taking Yvette’s suggestion, I’m writing things down. I’ve started “Mom’s To Do List for Christmas Vacation 2007”. I’m including a box to put little check marks as I accomplish things, so I can see my progress and hopefully that will motivate me to keep going. My list is probably going to end up being unrealistic for the time frame I have, but oh well. At least I’ll get SOME things done. I have 2 at-home work assignments due that will take lots of hours, and general house cleaning. I’m hoping to get those out of the way first, and then concentrate on the organizing and some other projects. The challenge will be staying off the darn internet! I have so much fun with this blog, the CKMB, reading other blogs, e-mailing friends, etc. that I could end up here for hours each day…will have to force myself NOT to do that, or maybe just limit it to my ‘night owl’ hours as a reward for accomplishing great things during the day, LOL.

The other things on my plate are my mom visiting from 12/25 to whenever, and I’m holding a scrapbook crop on Friday 1/4 and Saturday 1/5. That was just decided yesterday, so unfortunately it does affect my ability to accomplish things for this Challenge, since at the end I won’t even be here for 2 days :( So I’d better really bust tail between 12/26 and 1/3, and stack up some extra hours to meet my own 12-hour challenge (see below). The good thing about my mom being here is she will help me & is a very talented organizer herself. Is that wrong to put her to work while she’s here? (j/k, she actually loves it and ASKS for things to do; LOVE her!).

I’m not only working on my scrap space, but the rest of the house as well. Spring Cleaning kinds of things, like washing all the pillows and bedding, purging my kids’ school work, and getting our personal files caught up (they’re already in pretty good shape). It’s kind of become a tradition to rearrange our living room after the Christmas tree comes down, which is good because every little nook and cranny gets wiped down or vacuumed. If I have time, I’d also like to purge and better organize our Christmas stuff when I put it away. I did it a few years ago, but there are the same things that don’t get used each year, so why hold onto them? Honestly, I’m not really into holiday decorating and just do it for the kids, so the stuff we have is already minimal ~ ornaments, stockings, and a few decorations. Although I do now have the new Advent Calendar I put together this year, along with the one I bought from Starbucks (thanks to CKMB Enabling):



So far today, I’ve got couch throw pillows in the washing machine, school work into one pile after gathering it from around the house, and a bunch of housecleaning done. Is it just me, or do you get a lot more done around the house when DH isn’t home? I don’t know why, because he’s not the needy sort. Hmmm… So! The other thing, in addition to my checklist, is that I’m going to commit (from 12/26 through 1/6, the end of The Challenge) to spend at least 1 hour per day on organizing my scrap area. That will be….um….I’m no math major…let’s see…12 HOURS of scrappy organizational time! More time than I’ve probably spent on organization over there this entire year. I think I can get a lot done in 12 hours, don’t you? Are you setting any goals for yourself? What progress have you made so far? I’d love to hear about it :)

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“New” Organizational Tools by MM

Perhaps just in time to be #1 (and #2 and #3) on your Christmas list, here are some new organizational items from Making Memories.MAKING MEMORIES DESKTOP CAROUSEL:  

mm carousel

I have yet to see it in person, but word is that it’s showing up at Michael’s stores around the country as we speak. Therefore, I assumed it was “NEW!”. However, when I found THIS PRESS RELEASE about the Carousel on the MAKING MEMORIES WEBSITE, I noticed a press release date of July 20, 2007. Jeez, sometimes I’m really behind the power curve, aren’t I? Anyhow, assuming it’s not such “old news” that you might still be interested, here are the deets:

“The Desktop Carousel is a hexagonal shaped, multi-level storage unit that offers top-loading cubbies as well as slide-out drawers in a 12″ x 14″ footprint. Each upper compartment is accented with a metal label holder for easy product identification, while the lower drawers are outfitted with curved handles and magnetic closures.”

It retails for $39.99 so grab that next Mike’s 40% or 50% coupon and get this baby for roughly $20 to $24. I found one art supply website selling it for friggin’ $55.95. WTF?!?!

Per the press release, “In addition to working as a desk organizer, the Carousel can double as a makeup organizer, school supply caddy, and even kitchen accessory…(It) is constructed from sturdy MDF, and currently is available in a white glossy finish. The company also has released coordinated Desktop Storage units (MSRP: $19.99), constructed from chipboard, to hold 12″ x 12″ papers, as well as sticker sheets and other embellishments.”

And ~~TAH DAH!~~ Here are the aforementioned Desktop Storage Units:


dt org mm

“Your workspace will always be dressed for success, thanks to our desktop organizer. Neatly store 12″ x 12″ paper and tools while stowing away stickers, embellishments and more in convenient removable drawers with label holders. Get organized!Ideal storage for 12″ x 12″ paper, embellishments and more. Made of sturdy paper-covered chipboard”


mm emb box

While you’re over at the Making Memories website oogling all their cool stuff ~ like the FABulous Noteworthy paper that WILL be mine (oh yes, it will be mine…)…

mm noteworthy

and the Shimmer Brads….mm shimmer brads

…make sure and check out their very scrumptious MAKING MEMORIES BLOG, where there is tons of MM news, yummy recipes, and wonderful page ideas.

Okay, enough sounding like a Making Memories commercial because, NO, they don’t sponsor this blog like they should, so I’m going to tell you what I really think about their products.#1: The Carousel is awesome looking but I won’t be getting it. First of all, I bought a similar one from Target several months ago. It was cheaper but not nearly as cute. It’s a square shape, white, with drawers and metal label holders. Secondly, the footprint on the MM Carousel is huge, so I probably wouldn’t get it even if I didn’t already have one. What I find is that carousels just don’t work great with my set up because the only space for it is kind of at the back of my desk. Then it bangs into things every time I rotate it, including the window blinds, my Leaning Tower of Memorabilia-to-File, and my Diet Coke. I recommend a carousel if you have a project table where it could sit in the middle of the table. Also, I ‘travel scrap’ a lot and it’s not like I can take this heavy wooden thing with me to a crop or event. So I end up putting less-used items in there like flowers, smaller punches, etc.

What has been the better item for my needs is the Tote-ally Cool Totes I got at Costco recently, which even come with a rotating metal stand that fits in a pocket of the tote when you’re not using it.  I wrote about them HERE.

#2: The Desktop Organizer and Embellishment Box. If you’re going to order it online, just please note that the material they are made of is “sturdy, paper-covered chipboard.” My experience with that material on a heavily used item is not good. The item scratches easily, the drawers stick, and the paper starts to come up at the corners.  They’ve had an older version of the MM Embellishment Box sitting dusty on a shelf at my Mike’s for, what, a couple of years? It’s tan with a black lid, and the price is decent for the box and all the embellishments inside, but the thing is totally scratched up. That’s the same reason I never give in to all the adorable “cloth covered” or “linen covered” storage boxes at Tuesday Morning. They are so cute, but oh-so-scratchable. Anyway, the MM website says it’s “new and improved,” so maybe they brought down the scratchability quotient.

All that said, I like the looks of both items. I like how the Organizer holds 12×12 stuff and could sit back on my desk out of the way…Hey, a girl’s gotta’ have her creative space! It would be a perfect place to store my new stuff AFTER I sneak it past DH into my scrap area (oops, did I say that in my “out loud” voice?), but BEFORE I find time to put it away in it’s proper place in my properly organized scrapbook area, which is always 100% clean and organized just like Martha Stewart’s.  

I would still pass on the embellie box, only because I love the system I already have for storing all that tiny stuff. I have these and each little snaplock compartment is filled to the brim. Must…not…buy….more…brads…til…4,000 I have…are used!


the little girl…

<img src=”; alt=”ezy snappin petite” />

and the big momma
ezy snappin org

When I’m berating myself for having too many embellies, I remind myself that my mom has this…

ezy locking caddy

Mom can always make me feel better. Here is the link to the CKMB THREAD on the Carousel if you want to see what others are saying.  If I find a thread on 2PEAS, I will add it later. 

So, what do YOU think of these Making Memories storage products?? Do tell us in Comments.  

PS:  At least on my screen, the formatting is still all screwy with photo captions next to the photo instead of above them.  And none of the line breaks or spacing I entered are showing.  Which is SO annoying to me as an English major because it looks like one big run on sentence to me!  Is my computer broken, or do you see what I see? 

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