Wednesday, February 28, 2007

working late

yes i am working late again but i have some good reasons why.

1. i got really sick for about 4 days in the last week - like can't get out of bed, throw up flu sick. heck, i even missed my soccer game. that is sick. and when you have days like that, everything catches up with you.

2. the weather is beautiful so i have been trying to take noah on walks and runs (but yes, taking it easy as i transition back into health mode)

3. oh yeah remember the container? i saw it. like jammed pack full. so that has kept me busy (and you know the reason why)

but i am not too busy to do a LO here and there. i did this LO this weekend during some periods of when i got out of bed and wasn't too sick - it has been a while since i have done a layout of my grandma. and even thinking about it now makes me a bit sad.

my grandma is 91 years old this year. she lives in hong kong. she has been widowed for over 23 years now. she does not speak english. she had a stroke last year.

but when i think of my grandma, i don't see my grandma as she is now, i see her as being 65 years old. i see her talking to me. i see her spoiling me. i remember going to her place for 5- 6 weeks at a time some summers.

even just a year an a half ago, she was telling stories and cleaning oysters like in this picture. but after her stroke, she doesn't do these things anymore. it is so hard to see someone you love get old. i was so HAPPY to see her smile when we went to see her in december when she held noah, jonathan and sophia (her 3 great grandbabies). she is the only grandparent david and i have left.

my grandma knew that deb and i had a business but wasn't sure what we did with all the ribbons and things we had designed. so for her birthday i made her a mini scrapbook (which was REALLY HARD in the small space we were living in) - it was just of her and noah from the first day they met. i added some chipboard, stickers and rubons and she absolutely loved it. the day before i left hong kong, i saw that she had the album by her bedside.

for chinese new year, i also sent her a bigger album with photos of her and noah and the other babies. i didn't need to add words. she didn't need them. the pictures along with some of the simple embellishments are just enough.

so this LO is for my grandma and it reminds me why this hobby is so awesome - the things you can do with scrapbooking transcends even words, cultures and time.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


... well i guess i LIED in my last post, i CAN lift a 50 box especially one that the US MAIL HAD TO RETURN TO ME B/C THEY LOST ALL THE FORMS ON THE BOX. ugh, sometimes shipping is the most irritating part of this business. anyhow, the box was on its way overseas but on the way to chicago, someone tried to take out one of the customs forms (there are 4 in all) and TORE the envelope and so ALL the forms were gone. thankfully the warehouse puts a copy of the invoice on the outside and that was the only way that they knew to return the box to us.

...anyhow, after arguing with the mail carrier, showing him the $225 we paid in shipping i drove to the post office and spoke to the post master. now that was an interesting conversation.

me: " we paid for this package to go EXPRESS and here it is and the documents are missing b/c the envelope was torn"

PM: " why did you use that envelope, it was bound to tear?"


anyhow - like 1 hour later and i am finally out of the PO - after filling out all the customs forms by hand again. and the package was hopefully on its way AGAIN.

we are buckling down this week for the container arrival. the first set of stamps have been packed but they were so well received, we had to reorder (a couple of times over). the rubons will be done next week and 95% of our stuff will be here this week.

on the non - MR side, here is my sweet baby noah sitting in a bowl we bought the other day:

LOL - he is such a good sport for wacky photos!

so hang on tight, our products are coming. we are shipping them out as fast as we can as soon as we can get the items inventoried and ready to go!

i have a LO to share in a couple days for a website where i am a guest designer in march - i will link to that soon!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

it is coming!

ok, with God's grace, next week will be the arrival of our big container (one of them) all chock full of MR goodies! i am always in awe when i see a 40' container (think those big 18 wheelers you see on the road) full of our stuff. i can remember back to the very first time we had to receive a 20 ft container. it was me and 2 friends and we unloaded all 400 boxes by hand in the texas summer sun. that took us 2 hours to unload. some of those boxes weighed about 50 lbs.

gone are those days and i am thankful (well i am not thankful that i am probably not in shape to lift 50 lbs at this point) that the w/h takes care of it and i just have to check everything off and get those things shipping out the door. we are primed up to get all the CHA orders out as fast as we can but i will be honest, we are not a big enough operation to ship all the orders out at one time. i wish we were.

but since i couldn't wait in the meantime i wanted to make something. something simple so i created this LO

i used the following new MR stuff:
  1. our new sheer flourishes (For the wings)
  2. our new motifs rubons
  3. our new foundations journal stamp

people have often asked what you can do with our sheers - well here is one option! just add some like butter rubons and you have the perfect wings! and i love our clear foundations journaling stamps that fit onto our foundations chipboard. or you can use them here like i did by stamping them onto a transparency (i used staz-on and yes it is ok to use staz-on with our stamps just clean them off as soon as you are done with using them! ) and it makes the perfect overlay.

(side note can i just say MAN ALIVE, i love white staz-on! i finally dug out my pad and used it with some of our stamps on transparencies and it is AWESOME!) - i will post a LO where i used this technique soon!

until then, i need to get read for the garage sale this saturday from 9 am - 2 pm at the old magic scraps location. lots of MR stuff to clear out (whatever i can fit into my minivan). this is stuff that will be 20-50% off our retail prices. there are some items where the tins are damaged but the chipboards inside are perfect good so if you are in town, stop by and say hello!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

hello sunshine

i have been an inconsistent blogger this week. lots of things going on - Chinese New Year (gung hay fat choi!) this past weekend, a soccer game, some new MR stuff coming in a week and FINALLY some SUNSHINE! noah and i (and david too) enjoyed some time outside:

noah and i even have done some runs this week and plan on doing some more with the nice weather!

baby noah keeps growing and growing. it is hard to believe he is almost 9 months old now. he seems to not be keen on the crawling phase and rolls around everywhere and he can stand up for about 10 mins if i prop him on the couch. he is getting to be a handful but i love it. he is inquisitive, talkative and LOUD. i am not sure where he got all these qualities from but i love him b/c in my eyes he is perfect for us.

i am also working on some classes that i will be teaching in the coming months. i have already secured a date at the end of march to teach at The Scrapbook Nook in California during a visit to Deb's place with baby noah. it will be fun. i have one class done and am working on the second class as we speak (some peeks on the classes later!)

with all of the classes i teach and tradeshows i attend, i do end up with a number of projects. i had someone in one of my classes ask me what i did with all my mini albums. well here is part of my mini album storage:

just some different jars, vases, etc holding a bunch of mini albums. i look through them from time to time to remind me of memories gone by. i hope to share them with noah one day so he can look at them (and hopefully not rip them with his bare hands). but a lot of my projects are best shared by giving them away. i really enjoy making mini albums for others rather than just for me. that is one of the great joys of this hobby - giving the projects away!

ok, i need to buckle down and finish up my sales orders and start working on my other class now. so more answers to the questions submitted soon!

Friday, February 16, 2007

a couple more questions down...

and then i promise the winner at the end of this post!

1. remember when someone asked if i ever took a day off?

well today noah and i took a half a day off. he stayed with me all day (no going to ms K's house) and we hung out, went out to eat sushi with a friend (only cheerios for noah though) and made a stop at the warehouse so that the people there could get their noah fix (they love him there and hold him every chance they get) and then i have to admit i had these big plans to scrap while noah took an afternoon nap but that didn't happen. i ended up taking a nap with baby noah. that's ok b/c it won't be long til there are no naps and it won't be long til noah doesn't want to nap all snuggled up next to his momma so i didn't want to miss out today. i feel so much more refreshed now!

2. shirley asked " will we sell our stuff online?"

the answer is at this time no. sorry shirley (but if i am headed your way and you want something, you can email me!). the closest that we are going to come to selling directly to the consumer is that i agreed to have MR participate in a garage sale at the old Magic Scraps location next saturday. we have some older stuff and some tins of chipboard that didn't quiet make it intact on the trip from asia (like the tin was damaged but the chipboards are good) that we are going to sell anywhere from 20% - 40% off - there will be tins, tins with chipboard, some chipboard books, some ribbons and some acrylics and metal accents.

3. wbv1213 asked "when will our products be out?"

well assuming there are no customs issues (that is a post for another day) - we expect a big like 40 foot container of MR goodies to arrive in about 1.5 weeks or so. so let's say 2 weeks for good measure. then we will start shipping out 1 day after everything comes in so by early march!

and finally the winner: girlosun_9 congrats! email me at info @ with your stuff and i will get your tins of goodies right out!


ok i will pick the winner of the RAK later today but before i do, i want people to understand that this business is NOT EASY.

i have literally over 100 requests a week for donations for a crop, an event, etc. and honestly, as much as we would love to be able to fill all those requests, we cannot. that is the reality. we can't afford to.

now some might say "well how can you not, MR is so successful?" well i will let you in on a secret, this is the REALITY of this business as a small fish.

let's start with a hypothetical situation. let's say Maya Road had an excellent trade show and we sold a $100,000 worth of stuff at a show (now before you read anything into that this is a hypothetical and what maya road makes in a show is something that i am in reality not going to share with you).

so $100,000 - wow a great number! sounds like a lot of money right? well let's see what is left after:

1. $50,000 - cost of the actual product (what it cost us to have the items made)
2. $10,000 - cost of a trade show (that includes like a booth, chairs, drayage, shipping, airline tix, hotels, food, minivan)
3. $5,000 - cost of catalogs and mailings out for the trade show (orer forms, catalog requests, giveaways, promotional materials)
4. $20,000 - other costs (cost for DT payments, 1-800 phone line, 1-800 fax line, internet, computers, website, electricity, warehousing, shipping, boxes, bubble wrap)

ok so what does that leave?

$17,000 - wow a whole $17,000 and guess where this goes? to the next set of products. so here is the conundrum, $17,000 is what is left after all of that but the next set of products but if you are trying to hit a $100,000 show, you need to spend at LEAST $50,000 to make the products (probably more b/c not all of it will sell and you will have stuff sitting in inventory).

so where then does that leave us? close to zero. this is the reality of a small business. we go through it. others like us go through it (unless they have investors or venture capitalists go through it). this reality is magnified as you grow b/c then you release more stuff and you need to have the turn in inventory to make enough money to support the next show.

and we are not the only ones who go through this - your LSS has to worry about this too on a different scale.

i am writing this b/c i want people to understand. there are reasons we cannot support all the requests that come to us for donations. in the end, MR is a business and it has to make sound financial sense for us to. if i donated to everyone who requested something, well then we might as well pack up shop and go home.

i think about all the people that have come up to me and said "wow you had a good show" and i want them to see this and realize that even with good numbers - you need to THINK about all the costs behind it.

i hope this will help people understand a bit more about the nature of this business.

a RAK winner later today!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

yo (i am chatting tonight)

how can you not just want to hug and kiss these boys? yes, that is my hand helping mr noah sit up right. my dear friend melissa ( took these of the boys at CHA-W. this is one great reason to have the kids travel with us to the shows! we can get cool photos of them taken! melissa is an awesome friend. i wished she lived closer but i see her at least 2x a year at the tradeshows!

oh yeah, if you want to find out more about us or have pending questions to ask, i will be chatting at scraplovers tonight ( click on the message board and i will be in there chatting with whoever shows up! christina (scraplovers owner) is the sweetest and has been a long time customer of ours.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


one more post for today - here is what you can do in 5 mins a piece - i made these for david. the one in the back is a "rah rah" post for him for his chinese test he was REALLY nervous about yesterday. i think it helped b/c he passed with a B he thinks! all it took was a Piggy Tales tag (Deb and Ryann are such nice people) and a photo of noah I had leftover.

the VD card, i made today. i freehand cut a photo(from a lovely photo session with my friend melissa d), and then slapped it onto a piece of patterned cardstock and took my trusty scallop scissors to town! then a hole punched and Maya Road velvet ribbon (crushed) and a note on the back.

enjoy and have a great day!

happy valentine's day!

Just wanted to wish you all a very happy one.

Thanks for all the questions - I will post a RAK winner on Friday, in the mean time, I want to answer a couple of them today.

1. Mar asked "How frequently you play soccer and for which team? "
  • I play soccer 1x a week in the spring and fall league in a nearby town. It is a co-ed league which means 8 guys and 3 gals are on the field. It is a pretty intense workout (2 - 40 min halfs). My only practice is running (LOL). I play defense a lot and they know I will go after anyone be they a big guy 6 ft tall and 225 lbs or a girl like me. I have scored a couple of goals (penalty shots) and some small goals.

2. Anam asked "Is being family with your business partner tough?"

  • Good question. The answer is yes and no. Frankly probably it is tougher on our hubbies than us. Deb and I do have heated yelling discussions some time but that is the style which we operate at (you get that when you have 2 type A personalities together). But in the end we get through it and we are able to become closer as a family and also get our business where it needs to go. And it is easier probably to be "brutally honest" with each other b/c we can tell each other the world isn't made of marshmellows - LOL - and we still would spend holidays together.
  • It also works b/c Deb and I love to work but we also have strengths in different areas. I remember when Deb drew out this 5 year business plan for MR and I was more like "whoa, hold on there do you know how many orders we have to do to get to those NUMBERS?" So she is the vision and I am the ground in ways. But we are there now and probably 2 years ahead of schedule.
  • We also tote our kiddos to all the shows (noah has a whole 3 shows under his belt and jonathan has 2 shows) but we wouldn't have it any other way. There will be a day when they are in school when we can't do that but for now it works. It actually works out pretty well b/c the grandparents (some or all) come to the shows with us and get the boys for hours at a time - undivided grandparent spoiling for like 7 days in a row and we are left to unspoil them!

3. Dale Anne asked "it into production? For an example, the NEW FABULOUS stuff you had at CHA - when did you have to work on that? "

  • This is an excellent question - one that i am going to wax poetic about in a "dear retailer letter" soon. We had a retailer call me and tell me that it was unacceptable that everything wasn't ready 2 weeks after the tradeshow b/c that is the standard in the industry. Um ok, where have I been this entire time? They proceeded to cancel their order but I would rather they be educated in how the manufacturing side works. Deb is also going to blog about this so look for my "dear retailer letter" coming soon!

4. Laura Vigliarolo asked " What is the one thing you regret about Maya Road if anything????? "

  • That I didn't quit sooner and believe in MR as much as I should have in the beginning! Our first year we did this on the side. So everyone was working. We were packing our own orders and doing everything ourselves. I can remember we would send postcards out to scrapbook stores we saw in the back of scrapbooking magazines to come see us at CHA! But I didn't know if we would make it and I was on the fast track at work to be like a Director or VP one day. Deb kept trying to convince me to get on board. Well when you quit your job and you were the bread winner you start to have to believe - LOL!

More answers coming soon!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

quick post...

thanks for all the awesome questions so far! i look forward to a couple more before i wake up in the morning.

and to answer a couple of them.

1. do i ever take a day off? i do take a day off here and there where i don't think about MR - when we were in asia, i actually didn't do MR for like a whole 4 days - LOL! but when you are running your own company and running pretty lean, you don't take a lot of days off. i think i took like 3 days off after noah was born before i had to get orders out again. but some of that is part of my personality. heck, in 2004, i was sitting on my favorite beach on maui negotiating a close to half million dollar contract for a project that i was working on in my former corporate life! i finally had to tell the dude i had to call him back b/c the waves were too loud so i went to the parking lot and finished the contract up in the mini van.

to be honest being with MR sometimes feels like i am taking every day off (almost every day). i see my baby noah a lot. i work on something i love so that makes this extra cool. but i wouldn't protest if we went to hawaii this year.

2. what do you not know about me? hmmm how about this - i am not a neat person. i try but darn it if it gets me all the time! trust me, if you saw my scrap table, you would run in horror. but it works for me. and i do try to keep some of it under control but i scrap messy.

ok, more later but thanks for all the great questions!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

productivity and a RAK!

one good thing about going to tradeshows is that i am often inspired to keep scrapbooking! to use up things that i have on hand so i can purchase more (haha!) and i hate to let even little bits of stuff go to waste. one thing i do have a lot of is the paper sticker tape. i was determined this weekend to use up an entire roll. heck, i probably have like 25 other rolls left but if i could use up a roll on a LO, that would be awesome. so this is what i did:

i love how it turned out and how the random pattern of the tape created a cool star that totally frames the picture! so simple but so effective at the same time. what do you have a lot of that you could turn into a pretty cool LO?

and being the thrift i am, i also don't tend to throw stuff away. donate yes. share yes but throw no. so i found this club scrap paper i think i bought like 4- 5 years ago and even though it was like "tuscany paper", i turned it into a great LO here:

i also got to use some of our new sealed with a kiss clear stamps on this LO and i love how it turned out!

and finally a RAK (as promised before). i couldn't find my stash of "maya roadie" stickers (some roadie must have stolen it - LOL but i did find a nice tin and filled it with some new MR goodies.

there are sheers, velvet ribbon, journey east ribbons and more! i will add more as i continue to unpack from the show.

if you want to win, you must post here under before tuesday morning AND you must do the following:

1. post a comment but not anon

2. and in this post , i want to hear some questions you might have of me about anything from MR to anything else. i want to answer your questions.

and that is it!


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

why i scrapbook

i have been thinking a lot lately about why i scrapbook.

i mean would i scrapbook if i didn't own maya road? the answer is yes. i don't do it to get all the newest and coolest supplies (though that is a fringe benefit). i don't do it to try and get published in the magazines (though sometimes that is a benefit too). i don't do it to impress other people.

here is one of the reasons i do it.

this is my dad bong (yes as i have mentioned before my dad name is bong and no he was not named for the pipe). since his grandsons were born, the first words out of his mouth each time he calls are, "how is noah (or jonathan) doing?" you can see from these photos, how much he adores them.

i was talking to my mom a couple of months ago and she told me that my dad spends most nights up late at night looking over and over again at his photos of his grandsons. he says he just looks at them each night and smiles.i am sure his friends at the senior center are sick of him talking about his grandsons day in and day out.

so i decided to make this for my dad for his birthday - a photo album of noah and jonathan from our trip to asia:

it is a simple book but i know that my dad has already probably flipped through it like 100 times. i am sure he has shown his senior center friends 100 times. but that is why i scrapbook. to know that it brings joy to my dad when he sees this album with his grandbabies. and i am sure he doesn't know what products in there are the maya road ones (the book and the rubons) but that doesn't matter. it isn't the brand. it isn't the name. honestly my dad probably couldn't care less if the book was maya road or not because it is what is inside that really counts.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

what we did today

not much to say today. had to work. but the sunshine was calling us so we took a run today... here is what our runs look like:

Monday, February 05, 2007

the big cheese

who can resist this smile - this is a new one from noah - before CHA-W he never scrunched up his nose to give us a grin...

Friday, February 02, 2007


that is the only word i know to describe how this CHA went. it is so hard to believe that only 9 shows ago, we started out with a tiny little 6 ft table and a peg board and here is where we are now:

now some might say "whoa it took you 9 shows to get here" well yeah. i am proud to say it did take 9 shows. slow and steady wins the race you know!

but i want to thank everyone who has asked/hounded/harassed their LSS to stock us b/c we were busy non-stop. even with 5-6 of us working on taking orders, sometimes, there were still people waiting to speak to us. i think part of the show, i counted like 40 people in our booth looking at all the beautiful projects (thank you design team) and the products. and for that i thank you all. it is b/c of you that we can continue to offer great products at great prices.

and i am glad to think that we didn't disappoint. you all have energized deb and i. that is the only way to say it. and you just wait - we are already planning for the summer show.

i also managed to snag a couple of the maya roadie stickers before we gave them all away and coupled with some of the finest crushed velvet in my hands - so i feel a RAK coming on! let me empty all of my suitcases first and get a couple more naps in and be sure to check back for a RAK.

oh yeah if you want to see the 93 products we did release at this show, check it out here: and things start shipping at the end of feb.

i do have more comments about the industry (good and bad) but i will save those for another day. for now, i just want to say thank you for supporting the MR family. it means so much to us.