Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ten Great Sites for Organizing

Fresh starts!

That's what this new year can signify for you and for me and for anyone who wants to get a grip on their surroundings and their home. Clear out that old wrapping paper from the holidays. Decide to donate an item for each item you received this Christmas! Then actually walk around the house and DO IT!

Get motivated with a few articles from these terrific organization blogs. They are some of my favorites!

365 days of Organization

Creative Organizing


Organized Home

Get Organized

Life Organizers

Organizer Queen

Organiized Families

Simplify 101

Organized Mom

Organizing Junkie

Begin with a renewed goal and a renewed energy. Let's go! We have more than 365 days to get our 2011 goals accomplished. Let's plan it out and then let's move forward!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

56 pages in 13 days

Hey friends!
Let's get 246 photos of people we do not know personally onto 56 pages in roughly 35 hours over 13 days. Let's use the client's miscellaneous accent and paper supply box and several dozen brads and several dozen pop dots. Toss in about 10-12 tape runners and some simple, classic designs. Oh yes and please label these family events and make captions for 90% of the photos. It's all written on the backs of the photos so just transpose that info to computer or write it out by hand for the journaling.

What you say? No way?

Well I am here to say that by using the speed scrapping page kitting techniques we share on Scrapperschallenge, I am DONE! Hurray-- and I did not have any help. Yes indeed, I did it myself!

I will be handing off this childhood-to-adult gift album to the client in the next few days. It was a fun project. This family sure went to some amazing spots in the USA over the years which resulted in some AMAZING photos of our natural wonders. The young man and his family climbed a total of 14 summits in the USA so far and he is only 23! Amazing accomplishments and photos. But boy, am I glad to be done in plenty of time now to work on my own holiday preparations!

Enjoy the slideshow! Sorry the pics are not superb. I took them with my phone. But you can see enough to get the idea. My fave layout is the Tailgating Party one above featuring some Cricut cut shapes. Most of these pages are super classic and simple. One or two medium accents per layout with some kind of simple dimensionality added with brads, pop dots, ribbon, pleating, or folding. Remember I had to use her supplies and get creative with what was in the box!

Enjoy the slideshow here:

To answer the most commonly asked question it averaged me about 30-40 minutes per 12x12 page. The most time consuming thing was the journaling. Some pages took more time and some took less. To answer the second most asked question, yes the clients pay me to do this for them. :)
Happy holidays!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

25 Ideas of Christmas from Fran

One of my favorite contributors to our ScrapperChallenge group on Yahoogroups is Fran. She has been with us a while now and always pitches right in to post ideas, sketches and helpful information. For the holiday season, Fran volunteered to add a gift idea each day for 25 days to the group. Here is a summary of the fabulous ideas she has gathered so far! Fran and I both hope it inspires you to use your stash and get creative in the gifts you give. Handmade is truly a gift of the heart. And let's give a big shout out to Fran for sharing these with us!! :) Please also be sure to thank the original artists at their websites for sharing the ideas and tutorials too!

Dec 25th, Thanks card

Dec 24th Personalized Coasters by Fran

Dec 23 CD Case Calender (Oh Fran was tricky and snuck one in on me with this one--it's by me!) :)

Dec 22 Stamped Shrinky Dink Earrings

Dec 21 BHG's 37 Gifts to Make

Dec 20 part 1 Paint Can gift packaging -tutorial

Dec 20 part 2 Paint Can Ideas (what to put inside depending on who you are giving it to)

Deb 19 Paper Bag Purse

Dec 18 Pamper Me Pink Bath Salts

Dec 17 Gift Bags from Newspaper

Dec 16 Christmas Fudge

Dec 15 Notecareds set

Dec 14 Nugget Boxes

Dec 13 Snowman Soup

Dec 12 Box full of Tags

Dec 11 Garden Set

December 10 Fancy Pencils -We love PaperArts!

Dec 9 Post It Note and Pen Holder -another cute one from PaperArts!

December 8: 2011 Calendar on a Ring

Dec 7: Gifts in a Jar

Dec 6: Father's Frame

Dec 5: Beaded Candles http://cathystclair.blogspot.com/2008/06/beaded-candles.html

Dec 4: Ribbon Memo board: http://tinyurl.com/2da7388

Dec 3: Notebook Gift Set http://tinyurl.com/2cluwvj

Dec 2: Cake in a cup: http://tinyurl.com/39xtoku

Dec 1: Flip Card and Flip Note Card holder http://tinyurl.com/32s65sb


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

128 is the magic number!


128 is the magic number!

I created 128 12x2 pages at our four day retreat last weekend!

Sorry it has taken me a few days to post this update. Been just so darn busy at work. And that is a good thing!

We had a tie for the winners with the guess of 125!! My crop total of 12x12 pages done is

128! The closest guess was made by two members, both at 125.

And the winners are: Sherry and ebright_fleming@.....

Blogger Sherry said...

I'm going to guess 125 pages. There's no way I'd ever get that many done, but I've seen how productive you can be, so I'm guessing it's going to be a really high number. Have fun, and I'll look forward to hearing how many pages you do!



ebright_fleming@..... said...

I will guess 125, which I feel could be a low estimate, which is crazy, because I haven't even done that many pages for the whole year, to think that can be done in 4 days. But I do remember a 2 day retreat that I went to and completed 25 pages. Good luck and happy scrappin'


11:25 PM


If these two lucky ladies could contact me privately at Rockester@magnaspeed.net with postal contact info, I can get a prize package out to each of them.

I drug in all the pages from my car and photographed the PILE so you can see! It is certainly a huge stack. Basically fills three notebooks.... My friends can vouch that I indeed used my giant box of prepped page kits and I indeed did 128 pages! I am so relieved to have gotten this amount done and used so much stash for it. It is such a great feeling. I think I only bought:


smokey blue perfect pearl mist

a sizzix folder

two specialty-themed page kits from the retreat staff

and I borrowed 3 tape runners from Dawn because I (surprise!!) ran out of adhesive. I am paying her back in tape runners this thurs. :D

So all in all a tremendous success from the fact that I used what I had, had a blast with my friends in a facility in a beautiful wooded setting, and my family now have so many more pages to enjoy! And that, for me, what it is all about....

128 pages! WOOT!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Taking Bets...CONTEST!

It's time for another contest!

I am sooo excited! I got up at 6am today and I NEVER do that! I am a late night owl --not an early bird!! I must be excited, eh? So excited that I want to give something away again!

I am headed out to go scrapping this weekend from today about 11 am to sunday about 4pm. Yep, that's right! I will be leaving the hubster home and scrappin' for FOUR whole days on my own 12x12 family page projects. Not cards, not gifts--just pages! I don't have to work at the retreat which is a plus for productivity. I have been organizing myself and my supplies all week!

How many pages do you think I will get done?

You know how I am always prompting you to get busy! Well, now I am putting my advice to work on myself! As always, I have lots and lots of page kits packed up and ready to go. I won't tell how many because that might give you an aproximate hint of what I think is even possible!

Give us a guess here and the most accurate guess will win a prize! How many 12x12 single pages do you think I will get done between this morning (Thurs) at aprox noon on up to Sunday evening at the close of the retreat about 3 or 4pm?

How many pages will Rockester get done this weekend on retreat? I will choose the most accurate winner on Sunday night and announce it Monday.

COMMENT HERE BELOW TO ENTER! Be sure to leave your contact information (either a Yahoo ID or your email) in your comment so I can get ahold of you if you win!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

New Look! New Contest!

Along with our new look, we have a NEW "SHABBY BLUES" CONTEST!
In honor of my new blue floral scheme here on the MY ALL blog, I am creating a small prize package from my stash for one lucky winner! I am making it up of blues and whites and florals and shabby chic goodness!

Leave a comment --with your contact email--below and you could be our random Shabby Blues WINNER! I will choose a random winner on Thursday evening, Nov 4th.

You could win! :)

New Shabby Chic blog look!

I finally decided to try to update the blog look myself and came across a great FREE shabby chic blog site with backgrounds and so on usable for Blogger! Hurray! It is called

and if you click on the buttons on their header there it takes you to the choices for some lovely buttons and backgrounds--beautiful work gals!
It just took me a few minutes to do the background and a few more mintutes to personalize the header in Paint and Picasa. (Photoshop not needed!)
Whatcha think?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Accountablilty list Oct 23

Oh my! My to do list is pretty long today. I am wondering how much I will get done. I am kinda starting out late in the day but, better late than never right? And I figure if I write my list here I will have to be accountable for it! LOL I can check them off later in the day as I get them done.

Ignore if not interesting! I don't mind! LOL

DONE clear off work table on porch
DONE bring in baskets for basement
DONE sweep porch
vacuum sofa on porch (love those cats!) :)
DONE! vacuum LR
vacuum steps
DONE laundry basket 1
DONE laundry basket 2
DONE laundry basket 3 (sensing a trend here?)
DONE!--put new hardback books away to read later
DONE dusting Liv Room
DONE! -collect toiletries for flood victims from hall closet
DONE! -package up cards for troops to ship to KS
declutter kitchen cabinet
DONE sweep kitchen floor
DONE! make guest bed up

Goodness this seems like a big list. I better get crackin! Ready set go! 11:58 am MN time!
Will report progress later.


Friday, October 22, 2010

...and a few more cards!

I know it seems like most of my recent posts are about cards--and they are! I have been using my supplies and trying to create something useful from the stash. It seems to be working. :) Here is one more set of cards for the Operation Write Home collection for the troops overseas. My friend Sue gave me some adorable unmounted rubber stamps and one of them was perfect for this project.

I used my Copic markers once again and did a small platoon of
15 army cards. Now I have to pack up all the cards and send them off to Kansas so my regional shipper can get them going to the troops. I feel good about this project and in the last month I have made about 50 cards or more for the cause. I truly hope 50 soldiers--or 50 family members-- enjoy the cards.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Operation Write Home- Christmas

(click on photo to enlarge)

Thank you Christie at http://creationsbychristie.blogspot.com/ for the idea!
I did this above Christmas set of about 15 cards today with the Lovebird (digital image by Jennifer Aho, 2010) for Operation Write home.

If you have some surplus (perhaps left over from last year?) blank handmade Holiday cards, consider sending them on to Operation Write Home so the troops can use them to send to their families in 2010. Due deadline is Oct 31. 2010. That is soon-- so get crackin! :)

Email the shippers listed on the left side of the OWH webpage to be sure of what they need. My shipper said cards that are different from each other are preferred right now over sending a massive identical set. This is because we are getting closer to that Oct 31 deadline. Keep that in mind. Having them all designed differently would actually be a GOOD thing for stash use! Use one basic card layout idea but change out the papers and accents. Think scraps and odds and ends winter embellishments/accents! Remember NO GLITTER!!

Need a basic card sketch to use? Try this one
Your sentiment can be computer printed! In fact they favor that over handwritten.

(click on photo to enlarge)

I am also sending them some manly Thank You cards seen here. I am still in the process as you can see with the buttons. But I thought these might come in handy for some soldier too--man or woman! Thanks to our troops overseas for all they do. Being away from loved ones is never easy and the holidays are especially hard.

I will be making another design this afternoon and will add it to this blog post when done!

(posted later...Here it is! Winter Boots handcolored with Copic markers. (Digital design by Jennifer Aho, 2010)

Can you spare a card or two? Please do!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Magazine sorting Challenge!


I issued a challenge this afternoon over on ScrappersChallenge on Yahoo Groups for members. I wanted them to join me as I sorted and ripped articles from my 20 some magazines and kept only the best pages, ideas, or articles. these magazines ranged from way back in 2000 and 2002 all the way up to Jan/Feb 2010 issues!! Did you do the challenge with me? You still can!

Here above is the BEFORE stack I had of mostly home and craft magazines. 21 in all---all before spread out on the table. The stack if stacked upright was about 12 inches tall but it never stayed upright for the photo as magazines are so slippery!

And here is the AFTER. I included a shot of the ruler in here so you can see that the space saved is amazing. The saved pages, articles, sketches and tips all amounted to about 2 or 3 in each magazine. I ended up with only 1/2 an inch of saved articles!!! Yippeee! So much easier on my mind to find what I want now!

I only kept those I thought would REALLY get used or be informative (ie the Letterpress article on top) or inspiring (a treasure of a Tim Holtz article in an old Stampington magazine) or useful (patterns and sketches). Did you know I love Tim Holtz techniques? And did you know he used to work at a Ben Franklin? And, before that, in a restaurant in Prescott Arizona? ...but I digress....

Here is the AFTER pic! Amazing huh?

Half an inch!!!! That's right! Hurray for streamlining!

Now I challenge you to do the same. Can you clear out five or ten or even 20 magazines too?


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

38 pages of Costa Rica--done in three weeks!

The cover

Title page (above)

The Costa Rica Album!
Time to upload some new pages!

I talk about speed scrapping a lot. I heartily advocate just getting the job underway --and not second guessing your own personal style and good taste. It can be done. Plan efficiently. Make page kits. Set aside time to crop. Use your stash!

I just finished a speed album of 38 vacation pages that I did for my daughter about her Costa Rica trip. My daughter can add her own personal journaling later if she likes. We have plenty of room for that. I am posting the layouts here so you can see how I used what I had. It did not match. Some papers were what I would call downright old and frankly too neon for me. I also used up ribbons, flowers, and more that were bold and bright. However, for this kind of tropical travel album project-- they really did work! I tried to match color schemes to each other (within each two page layout) but not necessarily to the next layout sets. You can get a feel for this kind of scrapping here.

A ticket to ride??? Mexicana Airlines goes bankrupt after 89 years in business on the DAY they are booked to fly out. Thank goodness American Airlines later picked up the flights a few hours later!

Jaco Beach accomidations- nice digs!

The 4 girls

Stylin' in Central Ameirca!

The coastline

Sailing on the ocean

Just another day at the beach...

Beach Girls

The Monkeys in the Jungle

Hiking in the jungle

Jungle Trek- more animals like giant sloths, small dragons, iguana lizards, mackaws and parrots, large hermit crabs, and beautiful flowers.

Surfer Girl -taking lessons

Beautiful Moments like This

Seashore Retreat

Poas Friends- at the Volcano

Escape- the food is delish!

Always Travel and Enjoy Life. (and don't mind the rain!)

Delicious! ...more great food and drinks!

Homeward Bound (on American Airlines!)

This ENTIRE album and pages cost me a total of about $9.50. HOW?? This seems impossible right? The album itself was $1 at a garage sale. I bought it 3 years ago and set it aside. I had NO IDEA then how I was going to use it at the time. I thought it was going to have to be altered and muted because that cover is so boldly striped. (Igg! I prefer earth or jewel tones!) But again, for the tropics, it works really well! All the titles are from my sticker stash, the Cricut machine, or accent sticker titles from various travel sticker sets left over from the Germany 2010 album done a month before. I did have two friends gift me between 5 and ten travel papers each. One friend lent me 7 big flowers (on the cover and the last homeward bound page). All the rest of these supplies were from my own stash.

I feel the clencher for keeping my costs down over this 38 page album is truly the stash-paper.
I am so proud of using up about 55 pieces of odds and ends 12x12 paper stash that I would not likely use anywhere else. Neon yellows, crazy and bold florals, mouth-puckering limes, eye scorching oranges, and whooo-nasty stripes-- theyALL went into these 38 pages. I cut them and tore them and mixed them and matched them. So....if you subtract those 10 or so papers that my two dear friends shared with me (because they wanted to lighten their own stashes) then I used about 45 of my own papers. Streamlining my stash --and getting pages done in an appropriately colorful way feels fabulous! Saving an average of $1 a sheet or more means I saved $45 to $60 on this project!. That doesn't hurt either!

The album and the paper and accent supplies before photo developing for an album this size and scope can run easily $100 to $150. I did it for a tenth of that price because I really looked at what I had and made it work for me. I used the "Going Places" Cricut cartridge and some of my other font cartridges. Make your big tools work for you. Use them! My pals tossed a few surplus papers my way when they saw I was doing the tropics. I bet you share like that too. Next time around they know that I will share with them. I figured out what worked and what wouldn't for each page. Don't scrutinize and over-analyse and cut your ideas off at the knees! Trust your own combinations and creations!

Costa Rica (Jaco Beach) was the lovely site for this set of vacation photos. I apologize for the poor photos. I took them in the evening under florescent light with a cell phone camera. But you get the idea! Now the photos all have a fitting home and I feel so productive! LOL My daughter will love it. I know you have albums that you can get done from your own stashes too. Whether for gifts or for yourselves, just make them!

It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. Your supplies don't have to right off the truck from CHA! The photos are the focus!