Friday, December 26, 2008

Claiming Mine in 2009

Claiming Mine in 2009
I am thinking to get a pre-2009 start on my goals for 2009. I usually move kind of slowly into the New Year. And that may be part of the problem. LOL I dilly dally a bit more than I need to and then I wonder where the time went! Or I focus on only one part of my life and let the rest kind of dwindle as far as goals go...do you do that too?

This year I hope to make a bit more headway on my personal goals, hobbies, and LIFE in general. I do have several goals for the year and while I don't believe in making huge resolutions, I do believe in having GOALS and breaking them down into more managable bits and then making them come true by implimenting some sort of step by step progress daily.

I will start off this week with an urgent--but small-- list of what needs to be done before the New year even hits.

1. Take the garbage OUT
This includes not only the literal holiday trash like used wrapping paper and old foods, but other items too. I noticed some dishware and silverware over the holiday that has seem it's last usefullness and some of my older holiday clothing can GO too. If you have come across anything in the last two weeks that 'just didn't measure up' let it go NOW! Don't put it away to go through the same cycle next holiday season.

2. Keep a list.
We know, Santa usually makes his list long before the holiday but my kind of 2009 uber-list is being made NOW! I love small notebooks. It's part of my ongoing love affair with paper. It started in junior high school. Office supplies just call to me. LOL I have quite a few. I decoupage them. I decorate them. I give them away. I write in them too. I have one for ideas, one for sketches, one for goals, one for my calendar, one for to do lists, and several blank ones just waiting for whoever and whatever! I may need ONE overall notebook system. it will take some thinking=cap time but I will get on that this week.... It is time to analyse what will work and still be portable.

3. Blog about it. :)
I hope to blog more of my goals and encourage all of you to do the same. Oddly, I get a heck of a lot more done when I also chat about it with my friends!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Get Organized! Page Embellishments and Accents



Your Supplies: Organizing Page Additions
Originally written July 20th, 2001 by Rockester

Are your page embellishments a big mess?

Need Help?

How do you store your supplies? Don't you hate that feeling when you know you have a pattern or sticker SOMEWHERE-- if only you could lay your hands on it to USE it today! Do you have trouble finding things or keeping them handy? You know that you bought a paper piecing pattern or a magazine, but you can't find it when you want to show a friend or pack for a crop? What do you do with your swaps and purchases? Have you bought duplicate supplies and not known it until you dig out an old shopping bag a month later? What is the remedy for this organizational nightmare?? Need help? Well, let's alk about solutions! (Not that my way is 'right' but if you have no organization system or you have one that is NOT working well for you, then these are just some starter tips that may help you.) Here is what I do. See if you can adapt any of these ideas for your own use.

This is how I organize ALL my page additions. Things like die cuts, stickers, paper piecings and patterns, laser cut frames, page toppers, etc. Page additions are any scrapbooking supplies which are NOT sheets of patterned background or cardstock paper. (My sheets of paper are filed in file folders in Iris carts by pattern and color type.) But today, I am just talking about page additions, patterns, and other page elements that go with your photos. Let's learn how to corral them so you can find them and use them efficiently. Why waste all your time searching for lost supplies when that precious time can be used better to make some layout pages! Don't leave your desk in a mess like this!!



THE CATEGORIES:
I have four inexpensive white 3 ring binders with various category dividers in them. Remember, we will be putting lots of stuff in these 4 binders. Unless you have very few scrapbook supplies, you will need all four binders. You can use Paper/Sticker Binders in the same fashion if you have them. You need a binder or sticker-binder style that opens and shuts easily. It should allow you to add or decrease pages as you need to is helpful. A zipper closure is nice too. Make sure the binder is not so used or old or that the rings are slightly crooked. The rings should match up well so that flipping pages later is a smooth process. I create divider tabs in the following categories:

Category Tabs:

ABC's (letter stickers),
Animals
Baby
Bible and faith
Disney
Food
Garden/floral
Halloween and fall
Hearts
Party (includes birthday)
School
Summer
Sports
Travel
Victorian and heritage
Water
Winter

SORT IT OUT:
Now go and sort your scrapbook supplies according to the same types of categories as your new tabs. This will take a little time if you have not done it for a while-- but it is so worth doing! Take this time to save yourself even more time later. Older children (over age 8) can even be helpful with this. If they understand categories, have them help you a sort...Pay them for their help with older stickers you find that you no longer want! They will be thrilled and you will be done sorting sooner!

I have a total of four binders for my 17 categories but if you need more space, use more bnders. But keep your categories alphabetical. Some people with lots of scrapbooking goodies may need three or four separate 3 ring binders instead of my two...but the categories can still be used alphabetically. After a bit you start to remember that your A-D categories are in the red binder and the E-H categories are in the green binder. I divided up the categories in the following binders and made a label for the binder spines indicating what each binder holds.




You should arrange yours so they spread out across all four binders somewhat evenly. Each person's binder setup will vary according to what you have the most. Perhaps you will need a binder JUST for your ABC's? It is up to you, but do keep it alphabetical.


Binders:

ABC's (letter stickers)
Animals
Baby
Bible and faith
Disney
-----------------
Food
Garden/floral ( I have a LOT of floral stuff)
----------------
Halloween and Fall
Hearts
Party (includes birthday)
School
Summer
Sports
----------------
Travel
Victorian and heritage
Water
Winter

LARGE ITEMS:
Within each category, I file ALL my page kits and supplies possible. For example, I may have Mary Engelbreit style swap page kits. But I try to file those ME Christmas kits into the Winter category section and the ME school teacher page kits in with School category. Likewise, my ME beach paper piecing will go in with the Water category in the appropriate binder. Even though Mary E is a 'style', it is not usually a separate category in my binders. My page kits and larger swaps are all already in page protectors, so this sorting is easy to do. Large full sized die cuts, 11 inch borders, delicate laser cut frames, and all bigger page elements get their own page protector to keep them safe until use.

SMALLER ITEMS:
Now that leaves the smaller odd elements like layout idea cards, paper piecing patterns, die cuts, pre-made page toppers, stickers, punch art, finished paper piecings from swaps etc. Those items also are filed in the same categories in the same binders right along with the larger page kits and larger swaps. I use baseball card holders for small stickers and 4x6 plastic photo page holders for the smaller objects that will fit. Nothing gets bent, crumpled or lost. The holders are all clear and I can easily flip through and see the various elements clearly. I can see at a glance if the colors on the pre-made page topper will match the colors on that cute Ebay paper piecing....




YOU ARE ORGANIZED!
After filing all my goodies in the binders, I place the binders on my scrapping desk so I can see the spines. I label the spines with computer made paper labels (figure 5 above). But you can also use adhesive labels and Sharpie markers. If you do not have room on your desktop, place them in a nearby bookcase. Or did you know that many standard 3 ring binders fit perfectly into a desk filing drawer? That desk file drawer is an out-of-sight yet a handy spot if your binders will fit.

MAINTAIN!
This is the most important step. If you want to be organized, you need to commit to STAYING organized with your new purchases and creations. After each shopping trip, simply pull out the binder you need and file the new loot away! This keeps it off the general stack of desktop jumble which also keeps the elements from getting torn, smashed, and crumpled! What a waste to spend good money on a beautiful, hard-to-find supply only to find out later it was ruined from careless storage (or no storage at all!) The money you save by storing your things safely will certainly offset the initial cost of a few extra page protectors and baseball card sleeve pages.

PLAN AND PACK--Now it is EASY!
How do I then use this category system when planning a page or packing for a crop? Here is an example.

If I have pictures of my sweet husband to make into a "SOME BUNNY LOVES YOU!" layout, I get a new page protector out. I slide hubby's photos in and then just go to the ANIMALS section of my binders where I keep the bunnies . There I will see all in ONE place all the bunny ideas and supplies I already own. From die cuts to patterns and premade page toppers, it is ALL visible and handy within a few flips of the binder pages. No more sorting through so many separate file folders, books, binders, shopping bags and boxes just to see all the heart and love ideas. I can now easily pick the accessories that apply best to this set of photos. I slip my choices into the page protector with the photos and I am ready to crop. Being organized in this manner, I also TRULY know when I am getting short on 'ANIMALS' category of supplies and ideas. This makes shopping much more efficient and cost effective.



THE PAYOFF:
It is SO nice to be able to reach for an idea or supply and actually FIND it immediately!! My binders full of page ideas and supplies help me do just that. I have found this alphabetical binder system works for me. What a relief! No more misplaced supplies! No more stepped on die cuts! No more ruined paper-piecings that got jammed a month ago behind the magazines on accident. What a time saver and money saver good storage can be!!! So, if it will help YOU stay organized, go get some binders and categorize ALL your own page additions and elements today!! You can do it!! You'll be SO glad you did!

Packing Page Kits from Start to Finish!


Got Photos?
Packing Page Kits from Photos to Finished
Originally written April 20th, 2006 by Rockester


I admit it, I am a VERY productive scrapper. I get pages done. And cute ones too. I journal, I embellish, I add handmade doodads as well as store-bought. I honestly can say that after 13 years of scrapping, I make great scrapbooks. And I do them fast. Need a two-page layout design in 45 minutes or an album in a week? No problem. I get asked all the time HOW I do it?

I will share with you my straightforward and simple process. If you can master this, you can get a LOT more done in your limited scrapbooking time. I can get up to 160 kits packed in a weekend and later get up to a hundred pages assembled in a week. And I do it consistently, incorporating the cutest and newest materials and accents. But you don't want to hear me brag. You want to know HOW to do this for yourself.

Planning is the key.

You probably have heard that many times at many websites and forums. What do I mean when I say plan ahead or make a set of page kits to take to a crop? Check this out. I hope my step by step process helps you become more productive.

Step One: Got Photos?
Organize your photos by chronological date and event.

Don't leave photos loose around the house waiting to get lost, crushed, or stained with the latest slosh of your Starbucks. Gather the photos up and organize them. This way you can FIND your photos regardless of what kind of page you want to create. Our minds index events (which is what all photos represent) by timeline. Organize and label your photos by year, month and event. This will save you hours of time finding photos for page sets later even if your finished scrapbooks are purely arranged by emotion, sentiment, or person.

One at a Time: Grab one handful.

Just one handful. Grab one handful of photos to create a page kit. Pick out the photos for ONE event. That means just 1 to 10 photos for creating a 1 to 4 page layout set on that same event. For me, this is usually just the pics from one event (1 to 8 photos) for a 2 page layout. If that event has more pics, I pack more similar kits! Do one event at a time. One kit at a time. I keep on placing pics into protectors or 2 gallon zip lock bags until I have about 20-40 kits with photos in them only. Here for my example I have chosen birthday photos.

Step Two: Got Accents?

page kits for organized scrapbooking. You may have the perfect accents to go with this photo set. Toss them in before you choose paper. For the sake of ease, I think it is easier to choose accents next and paper last. Why? Because I have MUCH MORE paper than I have accents. I might have a notebook or three of accents but I have many FEET of paper (thousands of sheets) to use up in all color schemes and patterns. And I want to use up my stash of accents because they are so costly. They usually run 6 times the cost of my paper for any kit. I check my accent binder for birthday party ideas in my party category.

Add accents right now into your kit if they will fit. I add coordinating buttons, pre-made frames or titles, journaling squares, tags, flatter lumpy items like acrylics, punch art, silk or paper flowers, sticker strips, and 3-D stickers like Jolee's. I can add packaged metals in a tiny zip bag if they will NOT cut into or mar the protector or photos. Choosing my accents FIRST insures that my paper (chosen second) will match my accents and thus my photos.

That means if my 'happy birthday' photos have lime green and pink then I chose Lime green and pink accents and it will be a cinch to dig out the lime green paper (or something that compliments that green) because I have so MUCH paper. By choosing my papers after my accents, I use up a lot more of my old accents and also my papers in one fell swoop. If I choose an accent that goes, but I end up not having ANY paper, it is much cheaper to buy 2 sheets of paper than to buy a $2.99 sticker sheet or a $4.99 birthday 3-D accent pack! Toss your accents into the page kit! Here is what I pulled as good possibilities for my 4 page birthday layout set.

Of course, you can pull either accents OR paper as step 2 in this process if you prefer and it still will work. In the end, YOU decide what works for your own thought process and stash. Sometimes I do choose my papers first if I bought a certain paper to match exactly with my photos. However, I am doing that less and less Generally, I say choose accents before paper.

NOTE: At this point I don't add loose brads or metal accent items that would damage my paper with pokey parts or nail heads. These metals might damage your kit packaging or photos if left loose. Use your own judgment here. My lumpy metals are in a divided box which travels with me to scrapbook.


Step Three: Got Paper?

page kits for organized scrapbookingOf course the next step in packing a page kit is to add the paper. I add my 12x12 background paper right into the page protector or zip bag with the doodads and photos. I rarely use all white backgrounds. My pages are about 50/50 pattern and solid in monochromatic schemes So, I decide now between pattern paper or cardstock background.

Once I pull two papers for the background, I can choose the 2nd type of coordinating paper. It may be a second layer of background or it may just be for mats. I don't decide that yet unless I have a firm plan in mind for the page. But I do notice that I usually pull 2 coordinating patterns and a solid or two for each kit. I try to mat with my scraps. Scraps should be stored by color family so they are easy to find and USE UP. Utilize scraps whenever possible when packing your kits. Notice that because my accents match my photos, then I can see that my paper which was matched to my accents does indeed also match my photos!!

Specialty papers should be added at this time too. Do you envision this layout with mulberry paper? Metallic die cut letters? Crumpled leather look paper? Glitter paper on a prom page? Will vellum mats be good on this page? Whatever suits the feel of the page, toss a sheet in the kit. Even if you don't use it, you will have it handy just in case.� I try to work my specialty papers in as often as I can just because I spent good money on them and I might as well USE them to make the page it's best. Specialty papers are often still cheaper than buying more accents, so add them into the mix as often as you can.

Step Four: Got Fiber?

page kits for organized scrapbookingMy stash of fiber is extensive. I have about 1000 kinds of fiber in varied colors and lengths. I blame it on my sewing and crafting background. (Any excuse will do when you love fibers!) I ran a successful craft cooperative for over ten years. We knitted, crocheted, sewed, embroidered, made dolls and their clothing, embellished Santas, decorated baskets, and more. From ribbon to jute to cashmere, we had it. And , dang, they keep making more and more pretty ribbons too! My stash is bountiful. And using it up is always a good thing.

Almost every layout kit I make has some kind of fiber on it. Decide now if you want to add a foot or a yard of fiber to this kit. Cut some off. Tuck it in the kit. If you are going to string it through eyelets, sewing, or stapling it on, see step 5.



Step Five: Got Tools? Ink or Paint?

My next step is to decide if I need tools or unusual items like paint, brushes, inks, stamps, photo colorant pens, staplers, eyelet setters, etc. If I work at home on these kits, these items are either set out on my desk or packed into my tote for traveling to scrap elsewhere. Make sure you have ample adhesives, trimmers, blades, or templates out if you are planning to use them on this page kit set. This is also the time to jot down a short shopping list if you see you are lacking something.

Step Six: Got Sketches? (Optional)

Some people work with idea cards, magazine tear-outs, or sketches. I tend to use sketches only when I can't come up with a design. It only happens about every 30th page for me. One of the few idea books I actually keep in my tote 24/7 is Becky Higgins Creative Companion for just this reason. That is enough for me.

Some people use sketches for every page. If you do, acknowledge it and work with it. Add one now for this kit. Decide how many photos you will be using on the page and find a sketch to copy or a tear-out from a magazine to CASE (That stands for copy and steal everything). Idea websites, sketchbooks, magazines, and even graphic designs in advertisements can lend you GREAT ideas. Use them if you need to to make your pages better AND faster.

Here are two great sites for free sketches:

PageMaps
http://www.pagemaps.com/


And don't forget to look at Pinterest and Google for sketches too.

Step Seven: Got Journaling?


Journaling is entirely up to you. Do a lot or do a little. I place this step last in the kit-making agenda because it is a different thought process than packing supplies into kits. I often save my writing until I am done pulling all the other elements into each kit. Writing by hand or on computer uses a different area of your brain than organization. So Journal first, or save it to the last. Sometimes I do a full blown journaling column on my computer using awesome fonts and place the final product into my kit. Other times I just jot a few keywords on scratch paper to jog my brain later. With my notes I will write more when I create-- and journal by hand-- the final page. Remember to allow space for your journaling, year and title. It's not all about the cute accents. J This is the time to add any pre-made poems, vellum quotes, preformed titles, and sticker letters sets. Below if the entire page kit ready to be labeled and put into a page protector in the binder for this birthday 4 page layout set.

Got Binders?

Keep on going. When the first kit is done, repeat the kit process for the next photo event and it's corresponding set of pages. I often pack 30 to a hundred kits at a time. This works for me because I really get into the groove of packing kits. I get a great sense of accomplishment when I kit up a dozen pages without having to buy ANYTHING! Sad, huh? But true! I do have a stash that needs dwindling and this is a great way to do it. I love to use up these items. Shopping in my own stash is a lot of fun.

Now you need to store the kits in something portable. I keep the
ready-to-use kits in 12x12 sized 3 ring binders. See above. Each kit is in a page protector so that when a page is scrapped and finished, I just slide it back into the protector. Pages are 'safe' in the binder while I work on the next page set. Many people also use large zip bags or accordion file folder slots, or clean pizza boxes in the same way. Do what works for you. I like mine portable and organized. Binders work for me in case I don't get them put into finished albums immediately the binders (when pages are done) work as acting albums in the meantime and the family can access and enjoy them.

At the end of a crop I often have a completely finished album to show off because my kits were in chronological order in these binders in protectors. Even if I never switch them over to the intended post bound albums, they are still in the 12x12 binders-- viewable and preserved in a manageable way. I don't allow my finished pages to remain loose. I always encase my finished pages in a page protector. A loose page is a page waiting to get bent and damaged.

Got Crop Time?

Enjoy the kit-making process. Once you do it a time or two, you will be hooked. Cropping outside the home? Don't roll in three carts to a crop when you can take three simple things: tools, kits, and snacks! Travel light! It is SO much easier to take a bag of tools and a binder of ready page kits to a crop than taking everything but the kitchen sink! I cringe to see ladies dragging tons of supplies only to sort through them for half the crop time trying to get 'settled'. They get half a page done in 4 hours. I get 14 done in the same time. Page kits are the difference.

Even if you are working at home kits will save you time. With kids at home, pull out just ONE kit. Lay it out on the clean kitchen counter. Do bits of it in ten minute increments. Trim a photo on the first pass by. Cut a mat on the second. Layout the scheme on the third trip past, etc. It is a joy to know that you can clear up the mess in less than 10 minutes as well. The page kit concept is MADE for distracted moms. Soon you have that page kit done and the kids have never even noticed the difference in mommy-play time!

Page kits do work.
Hundreds of my members on ScrappersChallenge Yahoo! group have learned this firsthand. This simple process gets faster and faster as you use it. It is the single most important change I made in my scrapbooking that increased my productivity. I hope these tips make your scrapbooking more productive too. Good luck!

QUIZ What's Your Scrapbooking Style??


Quiz: What's Your Scrapping Style?
Written originally May 21st, 1999
by Rockester

Do you feel behind in your scrapping? Do you wonder if you will ever finish that album? Do you wonder how some scrappers get caught up and stay caught up? If so, sit a spell and take this little eight question scrapbook quiz. It will help you see what your goals and your style are within the hobby. No two scrapbookers are identical --as we all know. But we do sometimes put a lot of pressure on ourselves to either get a lot done or to be super artistic on every page. And there are some of us who have never looked realistically at our hobby or our style. If you are just beginning to scrapbook and hope one day it will all get done or just plain feel overwhelmed by the number of photos stacking up...read on!

I love good photographs and I love this hobby. Scrapbooking is not only a hobby for me but also a part time job. So, I spend a good portion of my week thinking about it, doing it, reading about it , and chatting about it! A few months ago, when a friend was complaining about how many rolls of film she was backlogged, I was curious just what kind of numbers she meant. She stunned me by saying she had taken over 15 rolls of film for one two-hour event! I have since talked to several other gals who shoot photos at this amazing rate!

I am sure she got lots of fabulous photos in that group of 540 photos from that one event. But was it really worth it? She also had many rolls of film that had never been developed from the last year. Her guilt over not having the money to develop all those rolls of film or the time to scrapbook them into pages the way she hoped was overwhelming her. I want this hobby to stay fun. I also want my dear scrapping friends to be realistic and NOT get discouraged about this hobby!! This is supposed to be fun!

I felt bad for these gals because they often feel so guilty about not being "current" in their albums. Often, their goal had been to include every picture into their albums. All this stress leads to scrapping block (like writer's block!) because they feel overwhelmed! Honestly, that above incident compelled me to do the math so that we can all have a little perspective on our hobby. Even if you do not do 15 rolls per event -- do you do six rolls per big event or per month?

Let's take a look at the statistics involved here. It may just impact our personal scrapbooking goals and style!! It should affect how choosy we get about our photo opportunities, how fast we scrap, or at least what photos we choose to include in our albums. Keep in mind not only the money involved but the time as well. I know some gals say money is no object when preserving a history of a childhood or marriage. I agree. But I also know that none of us has unlimited resources financially. Even if we had buckets of money, what about in terms of time? Something has to give.

Do you Take Six Rolls a Month?
If you take only 6 rolls of film at every big event and each roll has 36 photos on it then that makes 216 pictures for that event. If you have a significant 'event' in your life every month (and some of us have more but let's just say one per month) then you have 216x12 which equals 2592 photos a year to scrap up into albums. If you are doing six rolls of film per month for any reason these numbers will apply to you. Keep in mind this is just for keeping current.

Just the Facts, Ma'am
We can get about 6 photos average on a page so 2592 divided by 6 is 432 pages created a year (If we could keep up!) If you have to do approximately 432 pages a year and there are 365 days in each year then that means you need to do one to two pages a day or 7-10 pages a week to keep current when shooting 6 rolls a month! Ask yourself, "Is a page a day my current goal and rate? "

One photo album can hold an average of 50 pages. 432 (pages to do ) divided by 50 (pages that will fit in each album) is 8.64 or lets round down to 8 albums a year. After all, not all photos turn out and we do give some to grandma, right? If we multiply that by the approximately 20 years your kids are home it will equal 160 albums for you to do during their childhood.

And if you give half the the albums (80 albums!) to them when they go away to an apartment or college or their own new homes with their new spouses (who are also lugging 80 albums ). Do you really want them to have to tote all that around for the rest of their lives? So, bottom line is we need to do 8 albums a year JUST to keep current at the rate of six rolls a month. This does not include any special occasion albums such as wedding, vacations, gift albums, or graduation. Not to mention swap pages for SB Buddies!

So What is Your Scrapbooking Style?
Ask yourself this question while photographing and scrapping...will they really need all that??? Are all those photos really necessary? Couldn't we have done the job with one tenth of the pictures? Do you really need to scrapbook every second of an event? Maybe we should take only a few rolls per event and scrap up only a few pages per event...I don't think my kids will have room for 80 albums --let alone 160-- when they leave home!!

Ask yourself, can I be more choosy about the photos we scrapbook and even before that, about the events we decide to photograph? Should we be taking five photos instead of fifty? Or do I really like to have it all on film? Perhaps I do. Will it really be ok if I only scrap up the best 5 out of the fifty and put the rest in acid free photo sleeves or boxes? Is it your style to journal the story more and take fewer photos? How guilty do you feel about that stack or box or un-scrapped pictures?

Take the pressure off yourself with this little quiz!

Does that seem contradictory? Well there is a lot of scrapbooking GUILT out there and I hope to help you come to terms with your personal style so you won't feel overwhelmed. You will enjoy scrapbooking more when you understand your personal style, make adjustments in your goals or style, and let go of the guilt! Sit a spell and you will get a realistic look at both your goals and what your scrapbooking style means for your album-making!

================
Here is the Quiz
Jot down your answers on a piece of paper:

1) The Task: How many photos do you take?
Do you take:
a) 0-36 photos a month (1 roll)
b) 36-108 photos a month (2 to 3 rolls)
c) 110-216 photos per month (up to 6 rolls)
d) 250 photos per month or more (aprox. 7 rolls or more)

2) Other Obligations: Work
Do you work outside the home ( either paid positions or volunteer work):
a) not really -less than 2 hours a week
b) part time -up to 20 hours a week
c) full time -40 hours a week
d) full time plus overtime -more than 42 hours a week

3) Other Obligations: Family
Do you have family members (any age) besides your spouse still at home to care for?
a) no -just me alone or just me and my spouse
b) yes -one other person besides my spouse
c) yes -two to five other members besides spouse
d) yes-five or more other members besides my spouse

4) Time and Commitment: Do you scrapbook on a regular basis:
a) daily- an hour a day or a page a day
b) weekly- an hour a week or a page a week
c) monthly- a 3 hour workshop once a month with one to two pages done completely during that time
d) I haven't actually done a page in months! I keep putting it off or other things come up!

5) Commitment: Do you feel you honestly spend more time:
a) Scrapping than shopping or chatting about it--I like to design my own pages and get them done using what I have.
b) I'd rather go SB shopping than actually do my scrapping or even chatting-I gotta have the newest stuff!
c) I spend more time chatting than either shopping or scrapping if I was really honest!
d) I don't have time for any of this! HELP!

6) Goals: I hope to one day (before I die):
a) I hope to do a couple of 40 page family albums, and a baby book for each child and perhaps some other albums. The rest may go into acid free boxes or acid free photo sleeves.
b) have the best 30% of the photos in my entire collection into albums on nice pages with journaling done (and weeding out or setting aside up to 70%) .
c) have about half (and not ever scrapping about half ) of the photos from our lives done into a few albums they can look at after I am gone....
d) eventually have about 80% of my photos that I have taken during my lifetime into creative albums with all journaling done (tossing out only about 10-20%) .
7) Style and Expectations: My album pages are:
a) simple and basic and/or I do use some pre-made scrapbook page papers with decorations already added to/printed on them. I try to work fast. It usually takes me about 15 minutes to 30 minutes to create one page including the journaling.
b) Simple and classic in style and take about an 30 minutes to one hour to complete each page. Some pages take longer than an hour but not too often.
c) I like creative pages and try to include them often in my albums. Each page takes me one to two hours.
d) I love the complicated and "WOW!" pages I see in magazines and I do try lots of new techniques. Each of my pages take me about 3 hours or more to do. I admit it --I get carried away and am a perfectionist.

8) Flexibility and Motivation: I am motivated to:
a) make a change in how I view my scrapbooking and perhaps change my style a bit to match my own goals. After all the kids will enjoy finished books more than tubs of unfinished odds and ends!
b) I want to get on the right track but I hate to change anything about how I scrapbook. Please give me a reality check.
c) I'm just curious about this goal thing but doubt I will change anything. Convince me!
d) Forget it, I am resigned to leaving my children many boxes of un- scrapped photos and good intentions. So what if I don't finish? The few pages I do get done will be masterpieces.

All right, Lets check your scrapbooking style! --Get ready for the Reality Check!

Your Personal Results
Go with the letter you chose most often when replying. If two letters occurred the same amount, then your style goals should fall into the second letter. For example if "A' and "B" were both chosen 4 times--go with the response for choice "B". I say this because most of our lives tend to get busier than we want them to and not less so!

6 or more A's --Realistic goals and hard work will get you there! You are on the right track! You may even be one of the few who is already caught up! We admire you! You take representative photos at events and do not get carried away by overshooting the event. You make time for the hobby on a regular basis without being bogged down or sidetracked. Scrapbooking several pages is a daily or weekly event for you. You have matched the time you have to the task you want done. You are an inspiration!

6 or more B's -- You will probably get your albums caught up if you work a bit faster and make a few albums in the simple and classic style! Don't get too bogged down! You may need to re-adjust your thinking on either question 6 or 7. Now and then you can add a WOW! page or technique but try to keep it all in perspective.

6 or more C's --Your scrapping pace is probably not keeping up with the goals you had set for yourself. You may want to take fewer photos, scrap a page or two a day, or take some speed scrapping techniques to heart. This is especially true if you have long hours at work or intense family commitments and little leisure time. Take a look at your expectations and tone it down a bit. Something has to flex to get your albums done.

6 or more D's --You have several features here that are working against you finishing all your albums. Take time to check out whether you should either take fewer photos, pare down your goals, or figure out how you can work more often, faster, and simpler. Perhaps get someone to help you with all those photos! Husbands and grandparents might enjoy the project! Consider only scrapbooking the top 20% of your photos and put the rest in acid free photo sleeves or storage. Don't give up quality but find a way to make pages with less time investment. Use some speed scrapping techniques until you get caught up. Make it your goal for the new year to set aside the urge to do pages that will take a week to complete! You may not have the time for that right now. Prioritize your goals. If you answered D on both question 6 and on question 7, reevaluate which is more important to you...fancy or finished? It's up to you.

=====================

Your Personal Way is the RIGHT Way!

My main point is to make sure your photo-taking and scrapbooking style matches your budget and your scrapping hobby time. Don't load yourself up for a feeling of failure! Have fun and enjoy the process with an eye on the ultimate goal of getting it done the way YOU want! There will always be someone else with a prettier page or more albums completed. Acknowledge that, tell yourself not to feel guilty, and keep at it!

It really is ok to do less than a page a day if you realize you are NOT going to get every photo you take into albums! If you are a slower scrapper for whatever reason, go for a few representative family albums with just the best pictures or a sampling of events through the years if you are not up to doing a page per day. Artistic styles and speeds vary from person to person. That is ok! Invest in some acid free boxes and labels and let the photos you won't ever scrap up rest in acid free storage. Label them of course! But keep in mind that acid free storage is not a dirty word!! Make sure the photos you do take and scrap up are superb and worth your scrapping time!

Move Along!
Realistically, the goal is to get albums done the way you like them. But remember to move along too. Are you one of the folks who want to do ALL the pics from all the years? Statistically, you will just need to step up the pace to one -three pages a day! You might even get time to do those heritage photos before you die! Keep at it steady! If you cannot --for whatever reason --scrap at that pace, adjust your expectations of yourself.

If you have actually scrap booked fast enough to be happily caught up, then SUPER! I applaud you! Now that we know our own scrapbooking goals and styles, I hope the rest of us can make some scrapbooking changes and adjustments and one day do the same!

Holiday Countdown: Week 6 Dec. 14-21



Bake up a Storm!!
Or maybe just make a classic of two for your family. Pick a few favorites and bake ahead! Freese unforsted cookies and just add the crowning touches the day you serve them! No one will know the difference. If you can make your yummiest breakfast dish ahead and freeze that ahead, do it! Prepare some favorite meals and other baked goods for the hectic days ahead. Save yourself trouble and work ahead whenever possible. However, don't be so super efficient that you leave the family out of the loop. Involve children in memory making! They are worth the extra flour and sugar on the floor. :)


I love the classic sugar cookie for baking with my kids even now that they are in their college years! They do too. I think it is a great flashback moment for them at the holidays!

http://www.recipezaar.com/Roll-out-Classic-Butter-Sugar-Cookies-Christmas-or-Holidays-223477


Party Time!

Complete last minute details and enjoy holiday parties, concerts,and family activities. Have all the gift-exchanging ladies lunches and play group holiday parties NOW before everyone gets bogged next week.

Here are some great ideas for Kids' parties

http://childparenting.about.com/od/kidsholidayparties/Kids_Holiday_Parties.htm


Need fast and east holiday decor? Try fresh flowers!

Here are some tips for easy table decor using plants and flowers

http://www.styleathome.com/decorating-and-design/flower-arranging/festive-floral-ideas/a/19051?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=081217



Take a Break!

Don't forget to relax with a good book and a cup of tea this week. Meditate on what your family means to you and say a little prayer of thanksgiving....They, and the Good Lord, are what it is all about.

Rockester

Monday, December 15, 2008

Clipboard gifts: Inspiration


Here are some great ideas!
http://images.google.com/images?rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS281US284&hl=en&q=scrapbooking%20clipboard%20teacher&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi


My own previous blog post is here
http://myall2.blogspot.com/2006/09/sept-challenge-altered-clipboards.html

And some great clipboards at TwoPeas
http://www.twopeasinabucket.com/search.asp?query=clipboard%20teacher&index=LAY

Here is how to make them step by step:
http://scrapbooking-paper-crafts.suite101.com/article.cfm/creating_an_altered_clipboard
Good luck and have fun with it!
Rockester

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Holiday Countdown: Week 5 December 7-14th


Holiday countdown continues to keep me in line and this week

Holiday Countdown: Here we are at Week 5 : DECORATION, SHOPPING, AND MAIL are the focal areas this week.

Shipping:
I made sure I got all my holiday cards out the door, decorated the living room and tree, as well as checked my gift inventory and started wrapping! I need to start mailing packages soon as I have a lot of family in other states. Did you know the US postal service will pick up packages at your door for you? Details here
http://www.usps.com/


Quick Fix holiday decorating from the Pros:
http://www.styleathome.com/homes/interiors/colin-and-justin-s-12-quick-fix-solutions-for-holiday-decorating/a/1137

an Eco-Friendly Winter/Christmas holiday:
http://www.styleathome.com/decorating-and-design/green-living/an-eco-friendly-christmas/a/17377

If you are feeling overwhelmed already: Breathe, Relax. :)
http://zines.webvalence.com/sites/Clutter_Challenge/current.html

Happy Holidays! Keep going!!! :) :)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Holiday Countdown: Week 4 - Dec 1-7th



Here we are at week 4 in our Holiday Countdown!


This week we are:


1. Making gifts like crazy! Inspiration is everywhere. Try idea sites like

http://www.scrapbook.com/gallery/other/0/-1.html


Wrap and label packages as you go. Set aside needed shipping boxes and bubble wrap.


2. Write your Christmas letters! Complete package wrapping for gifts to be shipped out. Take advantage of in-home printing of postage and stamps at sites like Stamps.com and the USPS

http://www.usps.com/onlinepostage/welcome.htm


3. Take that family photo and get it reproduced for your cards. Good deals online now at sites like Snapfish and Walmart.com are as low as 9 cents each for 4x6 if you have them delivered to your home by mail.

4. Put away Thanksgiving items and begin to decorate your home.

5. Complete as much shopping as possible. Shop online (even locally!) for bargains and to save time and travel.

Keep on track. Shop with a list and a budget. Go home when done. Don't linger in the stores.




Friday, November 21, 2008

Holiday Countdown: Week 3 Nov. 16-23




Holiday Countdown Week 3
November 16-23

Sorry for the late posting this week. Shhh, I was super busy getting an 8x8 gift album done for my daughter and time slipped by as I submerged myself in that project. I can't share pics cause she might read this but suffice it to say it turned out super and I will share pics of it and other holiday gifts later on this week if I can.

Week 3 is BAKING WEEK!!

I inadvertently fulfilled that part of my holiday list today. My friend Deb asked me to come and bake cookies with her to freeze for the holiday. We made about 6 dozen assorted cookies for each of us in about 4 and a half hours. Her house smelled fabulous with the aromas of coconut-chocolate drizzle macaroons, molasses-gingerbread men, pecan turtles, classic sugar cookies, and adorable oreo snowmen. We sure had fun and talked and talked while we worked. :)

Here are our recipes from today's baking adventure.

Coconut Chocolate Macaroons:
You can dip them half way as shown here or you can also drizzle the chocolate over the cookie and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
http://foodblogga.blogspot.com/2007/12/chocolate-dipped-coconut-macaroons.html

Molasses Gingerbread Men
http://bakingbites.com/2007/11/gingerbread-men/

Pretzel Turtles
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pretzel-Turtles/Detail.aspx

Classic Sugar Cookies
http://www.beyondwonderful.com/recipes/desserts/cookies/sugar_cookies.html

Oreo snowmen--decorated white oreos idea copied from here
http://www.favorz.net/product_info.php?cPath=67&products_id=352&osCsid=95a38023947027858e3d395bc4176142
or tinyurl
http://tinyurl.com/6ro6gc


Good luck and get some of your baking done ahead for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday. Remember any cookie you love for Christmas is welcome as treats at Thanksgiving too. Make some for this week and freeze some for December.

Let's get a jump on baking up those tasty morsels!
Rockester

Saturday, November 08, 2008

HOLIDAY PLANNING Week 2

Week #2 "Gather your Supplies and start Making Gifts Week" Nov 8-15th


After inventorying supplies on hand, purchase canned goods for holiday baking. Get any supplies needed for gift making. Don't forget the film, batteries, gift wrapping, and Christmas cards. After gathering all your Christmas gift wrap into one place, do you really need more? A friend of mine did this recently and found she didn't need to buy cards again for over ten years if she stuck to using her stash!! Wow.


Gift wrap organizer ideas

http://blog.kimvallee.com/archive/2007/09/13/magazines-take-on-how-to-set-up-a-gift-wrapping.aspx


Focus your energies on completing simple, useful gifts to be made, setting aside gifts that aren't coming together, and writing your holiday letter. Find family photos suitable for inclusion with holiday cards.Walmart.com has 9 cent prints right onw if you have them sent to your home by mail. Make sure you allow enough time for duplication of photos during this busy season.


Outline or write entirely the holiday letter. Start now. Here are some lovely free holiday stationary papers to print yourself.


Assorted Christmas holiday papers

http://www.bluemountain.com/cnp/cpsearch.pd?path=31986&

Hanukkah
http://www.bluemountain.com/cnp/cpsearch.pd?path=27721&


Kwanzaa
http://www.bluemountain.com/cnp/cpsearch.pd?path=27728&


Pretty Assorted holiday stationary
http://www.mintprintables.com/stationary/christmas/


Santa

http://www.bluemountain.com/cnp/cpselect.pd?path=48002&bfrom=1&prodnum=3067825&


Make sure your advent calendar or religious items are in good shape for the season. Clean or repair as needed.

Printable Advent Calendar

http://domestikgoddess.com/print-a-last-minute-advent-calendar/


Be sure to create a gift giving list and a TO DO list by week so you don't have to remember everything off the top of your head.

Free Printable Pocket planner sized lists

http://organizedchristmas.com/printable/christmas-pocket-planner



Print out a cute DEAR SANTA list for smaller children and have them make their wish lists. Don't forget a talk about charitable giving and a giving spirit during the holidays. It's not all about getting--it's about faith and love in it's purest forms regardless of your faith denomination. More on that next week too. :)


Dear Santa Printable freebie

http://dreamworkdesigns.com/christmas/santaletter.html


Let's work ahead now to insure that we don't get bottle necked in December. If you need handmade gift giving ideas, check out the wonderful paper art and handmade galleries at sites. I plan to make mini chipboard albums, decorated lunchboxes, decoupaged big wood letters, office sets, and greeting card sets. Some great ideas can be seen at places like TwoPeasinabucket, Scrapjazz, and Scrapbook.com

Browse around for inspiration. Starting now with your planning, purchasing and gift-making will insure a more relaxed December. Have fun. :)

Rockester

Friday, November 07, 2008

CONTEST TIME! :)

It is time for another giveaway!

Comment on any post in the last ten blog posts and you are automatically entered! :) One winner picked at random on Nov 15th. I will ship the book by postal mail to the winner after Nov 15th.

Here is the prize: Scrapbooking with Memory Makers (book not magazine)



Good luck!
Comment away! I love to hear what is on your mind. Plus I love to give out freebies! :)
Rockester

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

the Sewing Bug is bittin!

Look at these awesome patterns!




Ohhh no. The sewing bug is bittin' me and I am trying to IGNORE it. I love sewing as much as scrapbooking and usually I quilt. But my other love within sewing is sewing for vintage Barbie. ohh yes, Barbie doll vogue chic. And last night I found out that I had missed out on a 2001 Vogue treasure trove!! How can this be? How could I have not known these were in existance until too late? This is what I'm talkin' about. Barbie clothing like I used to love as a girl.

11 patterns (Not all shown here) ranging from 1920-1960 eras (click on any pic for closeup)



Four of the patterns I couldn't even find pictures for --but I do know they exist. Dang. And of course I could splurge and buy them all on Ebay for up to $35 a pattern but I won't. I might buy them over time one at a time. But really I am going to just oogle for a while and put my vintage Barbie 'sewing bug' on hold until after the holidays. Reality is that I have several more scrapbook and paper art gifts to make for Christmas. And yes Sharon, some quilted potholders. :)

So the totally frivolous Barbie Vogues will have to wait. Sigh... :)
Aren't they total glam fun?
Rock

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Make Do ...or Do Without...


I love when someone prominent in any field (especially scrapbooking) is a proponent of the same ideals that I hold. It's like saying, "YES! Someone else gets it!" This week I love Heidi Swapp's blog posts on gratitude and on reusing material items that are already around us.

Here is Heidi's blog
http://www.heidiswapp.typepad.com/


and here is the post I love today.
http://heidiswapp.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/10/fix-it-up-wear.html

It highlights an old saying from the great depression era:
"Fix it Up
Wear it Out
Make Do or
Do Without"


My great-grandmother Francis Meyer Gramlich was often known to say these four lines. I am so glad to hear they are resonating with a new generation in a new era. Americans do take up a very large footprint on the world of material goods. Perhaps we can minimize that impact --one home at a time. Let's use those Seven R's: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Refurbish. Redo. Repurpose and Renovate.

I love it. If you need a reminder to print and post in your home, Heidi has designed a lovely one! See the Make it Do sign it here:
http://heidiswapp.typepad.com/my_weblog/files/fix_it_sign.pdf

Get creative! As Tim Gunn says, "Make it Work!" ;)
Rock

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Gift in a Jar: Brownies


Brownies In A Jar

from
http://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipes/detail.asp?id=8111&page=1&per=957

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
  • 1 cup REESE'S Peanut Butter Chips or HERSHEY'S Premier White Chips
  • 1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Mini Chips Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Directions:
1. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.

2. Layer the ingredients in a clean 1-quart glass canister or jar in the following order (from bottom to top): sugar, cocoa, flour mixture, peanut butter chips and small chocolate chips. Tap jar gently on the counter to settle each layer before adding the next one.

3. Cover jar and attach baking directions (see below). Makes 1 gift jar.

Baking Directions: Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour an 8x8x2-inch baking pan. Combine 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted and cooled butter and 2 slightly beaten eggs in a large bowl. Gently stir in jar contents. Spread in prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes. Cool in pan. Cut into bars. Makes 16 bars.

As excerpted from Hershey's Celebrates Each Season

----

Of all the gift in a jar recipes, I think this one is my absolite fave crowd pleaser. No one turns down brownies! From old to young, its a great gift.

You can also print out a great gift tag with the recipe on it from OrganizedChristmas.com here

http://organizedchristmas.com/recipe-brownies-in-a-jar

CLOSET MONSTER UNLEASHED: Winner!!!

YEH!! We have a winner!

In October we ran a challenge for all of us with messy, messy closets called the CLOSET MONSTER UNLEASHED. (See below post) As promised I picked a winner on HALLOWEEN. ('Cause it was a MONSTER contest -get it? ) :) We had a couple of great entries over the course of the month. There were a few funny stories too. But I can only pick ONE winner to win the book "The Ultimate Guide to Organizing Your Closet with Style" It's a great book and should be so helpful to our winner. Great prize!


And the winner of our CLUTTER MONSTER UNLEASEHED contest is......... (drumroll please!)


Jean Bullard at jeanrachel@sbcglobal.net

Jean mentioned that she has TWO children happily playing and buried under her closet clothing here in this pic. Can you find the one that is showing? Well, Jean, it is time to dig out those kids and sit down with a great book together (and then enlist them in hanging and sorting that closet!) You are the winner!

Enjoy! And congrats again for being brave enough to tackle this problem area AND send in pics for the contest. I have a feeling there are lots of messy closets out there, but only a few were brave enough to share! LOL

Clear those closets and enjoy the results. :)

CONGRATS JEAN!
Rockester

==================================================================






Do you have a messy clothing closet? Would you like to learn how to tame it?

How BAD is it? :) Send me your ONE photo of your clothing closet as a messy-mess. Send it to me at

Rockester@magnaspeed.net

with CLOSET MONSTER UNLEASHED contest in the subject line.

ONE lucky person will win the following book:

Some of the closet pics will be posted here without names.

OCTOBER 31:
I will RANDOMLY pick the winner on the scary holiday (because those closets are scary too!) on October 31st, 2008. So pass this on to your friends if you don't mind the competition. :)

Unleash that Closet Monster in your wardrobe area and win a truly helpful book on Halloween!

Remember--just ONE pic so make it good.
Rockester@magnaspeed.net

Good luck
Rockester

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Holiday Preparation 2008


Week #1 "List and Browse Week" Nov 1-8th
Quick get some Thanksgiving into it! Decorate your home for Thanksgiving asap because November flies by doesn't it? .

Quick grab a sheet of paper. Make your lists of gift recipients, Christmas cards, menus for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, goodies to share or to give, favorite meals to prepare ahead, decorations needed, and gifts to make. I reuse my main gift giving list from last year and consult it to make sure I am giving something different to each person than what I did the last two years.

Develop and record ideas for gifts and decorations. PLAN and ask yourself the following questions:
* Do we put any emphasis on the spiritual side of holiday/Christmas? Can we improve that?
* What would our ideal holiday/Christmas be like? How can we make it so?
* What ongoing events or activities are particularly important to our family at this holiday? Do we go to The Nutcracker every year? See Santa? Go on a ski trip? Decorate the tree? Light a menorah? Write down what your traditions are and then FOCUS on giving them even more importance. Don't forget to take photos! :)

I even get out my holiday cards and mailing labels and start addressing and signing cards. I send a holiday letter so I don't write notes in the cards themselves. This allows me to get the envelopes ready to go and cards inside. All I have to do after that is write and tuck in my letter in a few weeks. Work ahead as much as you can...


Week #2 "Gather your Supplies and start Making Gifts Week" Nov 8-15th

After inventorying supplies on hand, purchase canned goods for holiday baking. Get any supplies needed for gift making. Don't forget the film, batteries, gift wrapping, and Christmas cards. After gathering all your Christmas gift wrap into one place, do you really need more? A friend of mine did this recently and found she didn't need to buy cards again for over ten years if she stuck to using her stash!! Wow.

Focus your energies on completing simple, useful gifts to be made, setting aside gifts that aren't coming together, and writing your holiday letter. Find family photos suitable for inclusion with holiday cards.Make sure you allow enough time for duplication of photos during this busy season.


Week #3 "Baking Week" - Nov 15-22nd
Set aside the time needed to complete holiday goodie making.Make lists of toys, books, and clothes that children would enjoy and keep the list handy for telling family members who ask what they would like. I also break out the collection of children's holiday books we already own so we can read them to the kids or visting children. After baking a family favorite, run down and scan the recipe and print it out for loved ones away from home. Send them a batch with the recipe attached.

Week #4 "Shopping and Charity Weeks" Nov 22nd-29th
Complete as much shopping ahead of time as possible. Take advantage of some of the sales before Thanksgiving! Check your Thanksgiving menus and Thanksgiving grocery list. Do you need to buy more supplies? We always seem to run out of whipped cream! Hit shops on Black Friday if you like to shop then. Focus on gift buyingfor prepared list. Wrap and label packages as you go. Set aside any needed shipping boxes.

Remember to be charitable too. Some donation centers take only new items for local kids --but others take both new and gently used items. Do a 27 thing fling for your local charity during the holiday prep and you will have a happier heart. Volunteer to ring bells for 30 minute shift for Salvation Army or serve one meal in a food bank.


Week #5 "Shopping and Mailing Week" - Nov 29-Dec 6
Nov 27th is Thanksgiving holiday in the USA. Celebrate with whatever 'plenty' you have. Hard times or not, there is always something to be thankful for. You are not eattin' possum are ya? (Think of the Great Depression) Even if it's over a peanut butter and jelly, be thankful for those you love.

Finish up any shopping and gift making at home. Complete package wrapping for gifts to be shipped. Complete addressing and mailing of Christmas correspondence. All that work I did on my envelopes and cards from week one is now paying off in week 5 and 6.

Week 6 "Meal Making and Decorating Week" - Dec 6-13th
Prepare some favorite meals and other baked goods for the hectic days ahead. Pre-plan regular meals and make ahead simple stuff to freeze so you can have a few hours off on other days. Decorate your home. Enjoy the process. Get out some great beverages and snacks and celebrate the process as well as the end results. Involve children in memory making!


Week #7 "Final Shopping/Wrapping Week" - Dec 13-20
Complete last minute details around home. Learn to let it be also. When it is decorated adn done--stop. Enjoy holiday parties, concerts, and family activities. Don't keep going back to Target to see what else they have that is new in the holiday decor. STOP. And enjoy what you have.

Week #8 "Celebrate!" - Dec 20-27
Enjoy the Holidays with Family and Friends! Learn to listen to what they are really saying. Being festive doesn't mean being loud. If you love them, listen to them. Take time to drive the neighborhoods to enjoy holiday lighting displays. Enjoy family traditions and special meals. Don't invite stress. Plan ahead for tensions and then work tactfully to diffuse them.


Happy Holidays :)
Rockester

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Finding Time



"How can we find more time for our hobby?"

I hear it all the time from scrappers of all types: "I need more hours in my day," "I can't find time to scrap," "If only I could have a whole week to myself to get organized," "I can't seem to get going on my books," "I haven't done a page in months," and "I shop more than I scrap!" Common complaints, right? Have you ever said similar things? I must admit I have often felt pressed for time and my hobby is the first thing to flex. But if it flexes too often, we don't get very far finishing pages do we? Let's figure out a way to have more TIME to scrapbook.

The Problem:
Our resources and time is limited. Not only by our busy schedules, but also by the unexpected aspects of life--like job stress, carpools, children's events, sickness, etc. Sometimes I hear scrappers joke about "never getting caught up" "working on my books from now to forever" or they laugh off the dozen rolls of film they just took to be developed. Not to mention the thousands of digital pics stuck someplace in their hard drives.

Sure we all know the hobby is just a hobby. But it is also more than that? Isn't it a history of our family too? It may seem like dream but most of us really do want to get albums done and finished for our loved ones. Let's make it a priority to get more done. Let's leave finished albums to our kids-- not boxes full of things we never got time to finish.

Possible Solutions:
How you ask? How can you make more time out of a 24 hour day? Time is a basic element in life. We often think of time as something that just goes by. Time is sometimes viewed as an element in life beyond our control. (ie my several gray hairs! LOL) Often I will get up from the computer screen or the TV set and be shocked to find an hour more has passed than I expected. Has the deadline for a project at work ever snuck up on you? And we all have had to deal with kids who forget time and stay on the playground or the Nintendo or the IM too long. WOW Where did I let that time slip off to? I wasn't paying attention to how I was spending my time.

Yet other times I am amazed at how productive I can be in an hour or two. A work deadline is met with time to spare. The house gets tidy, the errands get accomplished. How did I do that? Did time stand still? What was the difference and how can I make my days and my time work for me and not against me?

We all know that we DO have some control over time. The control we have is how we choose to spend our time. This is a lesson I learned from my great-grandmother when I was 7. She was a pioneer type gal in Missouri. She still did everything the old way even in 1967. (My mom on the other hand believed in using modern conveniences you see so the contrast was apparent even to a 7 yr. old) Great grandma would pluck chickens, cook from scratch, wash the dishes by hand, churn butter, hang out the wash. I must have been amazed and asked her one afternoon how she did all that work and still had any time for herself and her quilting.

Her reply was to take me by the hand and lead me to the linen cupboard. She took out her dish towels and sweetly explained that she made time for her love (quilting) because on Monday you did the laundry and tuesday you did the ironing and thur you did your errands and shopping.....You have seen those towels reminding the gals of the daily chores. She explained that because she followed a structure and a system with her time, she had time to do what she loved. Her family grew to know her system and respect it and her time. She then made time for her creative hobby.

I think I agree with her even today. Thank the Lord I don't have to pluck my own chickens-- but I do have to manage my time. The only common thread on my most productive days and weeks seemed to be that I made a plan or a list.

WRITE YOURSELF IN!

Look at the calendar and PLAN. You need to work your goals into the existing times in your week . Make your goals (scrapbook time) a priority and write them into your calendar. This is especially important if you don't have a space to scrapbook where you can leave the work up and do 5 minutes here or there. You may need a bigger chunk of time than 15 minutes to take things out and get started sure, but take the bull by the horns and WRITE IT IN! Honestly who has time to got grocery shopping or to the dentist. But we make time for the mundane-- so why not make time for sharing our own history?

Breaking Scrapbooking Block and Finding more Time in a too-full Day!

1. Adjust your priorities.

It's all about choices. If you're not scrapping at all, it's because you've chosen to do something else. If you're watching Big Brother or a rerun of Family Ties, get up and move away from the TV! LOL This also goes for too much time in front of the computer screen!

2. Add it to the Family Calendar.

I have found that writing it on our family calendar also helps others in the family take it seriously. They see that commitment on the calendar and about half the time they automatically find another parent to carpool to the movies. If you are a morning person get up an hour earlier twice a week to scrap. If you are an evening person, get busy twice a week after the house is quiet. Maybe you can decide to go REGULARLY to local scrapbook store crops and retreats and PLAN it in on the calendar. Hubby has learned to make dinner on those nights. In order to get our scrapping done we have to make time for it. Use the crock pot once a week, eat an hour earlier or later and use the hour you saved to scrap right before or after dinner. This kind of time will not fall into your lap.

Take control of your scrapping time. Make time for it. Look at this week's calendar or this month's calendar and WRITE IT IN at least once a week. Give up an email loop (not ours of course!) or a tv show that is getting dull. Substitute a block of 30 minutes, an hour, or maybe two scrapping time for any of those 'blank' times where you have caught yourself mentally saying "Well that was a waste." Be proactive and manage your time the way YOU want . The time is in our days. We just have to find it and grab it and use it.

3. Lower your expectations.

You can't believe I said that? It is true--You don't have to create a contest winner every time. My ratio of quick pages to really nicer "stunning" pages is ten quick pages to one primo page. It keeps me moving along and uses lots of the elements I have already bought and want to use up. You can still create stunners...just less often. My teenage kids have even said they would rather see the albums DONE than wait for every page to be good enough for a contest.

4. Do something scrapbook related every day.

Just sorting photos, organizing the sticker binder, filing new papers, and cleaning your area will help you work faster later. This does NOT mean go to more yahoogroups, Bulletin Boards, and scrap chat rooms! Each Bulletin Board you check takes an average of 20 to 30 minutes. Couldn't you be scrapping instead? Don't want to go cold turkey on your buddies? Pick your favorite lists and stay on those but drop one or two others and gain 20-40 minutes! Or check them HALF as often as you do now. See? You just gained TWICE your current time to scrapbook!

5. Do one little thing.

Sometimes we get mentally blocked because the task ahead looks too darn big. Break it down into smaller parts and start with the first photo or set of photos. Sounds too obvious, but the fact is, we let ourselves get psyched out by the thought of doing a page, when all we really need to do is start by picking colors or page additions!

6. Take Sketch Notes.

Put a blank book in your purse or car and look for ideas everywhere you happen to be. Look at billboards, magazine ads, pop cans, and get ideas for color combinations and graphic designs. Do it while waiting for the car pool. You don't have to be elaborate or an artist. Just sketch it out so you can recognize what you had in mind. Use this book later when you need a fresh idea or jump start.

7. Journaling is often a tough aspect to 'hurry".

And really we don't think you have to hurry it. But do use your writing time wisely. . Frequently, we get blocked because we're stuck by one idea or subject and we're reluctant to get started. Take that title or photo or memory and in your blank book, free associate or
brainstorm. Write down every word you can think of relating to the event. If some seemingly unrelated word pops into mind, put that down too. Later sift through your words for a few key ones that relate to the original idea.

8. Momentum. One little shove in the right direction...

Just push that ball down the hill and watch it roll! Take a photo from your stack of unfinished pictures and scrap it, no matter what. It doesn't have to become a stunning layout--see what you can do in 30 minutes with it. Try something new. Take out an idea book and copy a layout you love. That is what they are there for! Try this with some of your average photos if you are leery. Just do it and get the page done. You have thousands of pages to do.

9. Take a tea or water break every hour or so.

Skip the caffeine and sit back a minute or two or five and recharge the creativity batteries. Then go at it again.

10. Better than therapy!

If you had a physical or mental issue that needed weekly appointments, you would make sure you got to them. Treat your "me" hobby time and scrapbooking as seriously as you would any mental health break or appointment. It certainly is as important as getting your nails done or a massage! You need your creative time --not because it adds more to your plate--but because it actually does help de-stress you!

Challenge:
Write in at least one more hour a week for designated scrapbooking time. Yes you can find it. It is there. Plan for it. Write it in and DO it. So what if you have to give up reruns of Desperate Housewives or Grey's Anatomy. No more wishful thinking....Grab that time before it slips away. Make your time work for you. Use those supplies like papers and stickers. Zip out a few pages. Your family really does NOT want to have to dispose of 3 iris carts full of paper at an estate sale after you are gone....They would much rather look over your finished albums full of treasured memories...

....An imperfect finished page is better than an perfect page 'someday' that only exists in your head....


Make it happen for your family. :)

Rock