Let's Get this Party Started in Here!
Oh there is a LOT of talk today (and will be for a month or so) about goals, resolutions, hopes, refocusing ourselves and so on in 2012. I am going to add my 25 cents into the pot today too. Why? Because I love all my Scrappers Challengers! And because I had a darned good year in 2011. Productive-wise I mean. Not only did we pull off a fantastic wedding full of paper crafted goodness from A to Z. We also made donation greeting cards by the hundreds, cards to gift out by the hundreds, page layouts in the hundreds, and three JUMBO 55 page 12x12 wedding albums and a 40 page 12x12 Greece Honeymoon album! Not to mention some genealogy gifts for my family, a dozen pieces of jewelry, candy making for gifts, and a few new hobbies too like Paper Putz Glitter Houses and Needle Felting. Pretty much all from stash (except the needle felted stockings for which the wools were bought at secondhand stores.) I am very thankful for all that was accomplished in 2011. Yeh!
What??! I am a freak of nature, you say? No. Just determined to use what I have to bless others--and organized.
I want you all to have the same sort of successes for whatever your goals might be. Work or home, crafts or academia....Truth is, I use certain tricks of the trade to get my productivity up, my motivations steady, and my goals met.
1. Whatcha Got?
What are you working with here? Most of us honestly have too much. Example: How many pillowcases are in the linen closet? How many pots in the kitchen? How many staplers on the desk? How many shoes in the closet? It's great stuff but it's a LOT of stuff to keep in our homes.Get rid of one thing in 5 --which means a 20% streamlined reduction right there. Yeh! Try to do this in a new room or two every 5 or 6 months. If you don't love it, it doesn't belong in your home. Even when you do love it, rethink how MUCH do you need of it?
Let your surpluses show you what needs doing. More to the point, lots of our craft supplies get stockpiled up. We think they have potential in the future to be something great in the future. So we just keep setting them aside for that perfect project---in the future. Well I got news for ya. The future has arrived and it is called 2012!! Take a quick mental listing. Using a pen and paper is even better. Make a checklist of the general categories of items you have OODLES of....We will call them your "Items of Plenty." Think about your stash and then make notes. How much of this? How many of that? After you make those notes, make those Items of Plenty notes into an actual use-it-up 2012 PLAN. After you make a plan, break it down and start implementing it project by project by project. You will find you actually DO have enough in the stash to make 2012 birthday gifts, holiday gifts, cards and so on!
Example: Right now for me my "Items of Plenty" are 12x12 scrapbook paper, chipboard, grunge board, paints, and rubber stamps, metal embellishments, yardsticks, red satin ornament balls (for a specific Santa project), buttons, beads and toggles for bracelets, and many quilt cotton fabrics. I also have a big stack of canvases. After you make your list, think about how these items can be used to SAVE YOU MONEY! Make a plan to make gifts out of them. In my case, the canvases are going to become a wall art family tree utilizing also some of the papers and paints. Also I want to make more quilts and tote bags for gifts too in 2012. I have the patterns free off the internet, so why not?
I am fessing up that I already have everything I need to make my Christmas gifts 2012 RIGHT HERE and RIGHT NOW in my home. I bet you do too. And if you need ideas, I can send you an invite to PINTEREST.com so you can find great new ideas for those 2000 Popsicle sticks. Your stash plus the internet ideas plus planning/work will equal great things in 2012!
2. All together now... GATHER.
This tip is about clustering things. Where are your Items of Plenty? If you have the 2012 goal of reading more of the books you already own this coming year, are all the books you WANT to read in one place? Are all your stash of fabrics in the sewing area? Is all your paper filing in or near the filing cabinet? Are all your scrapbook supplies in one room?
Gather it up. If you can't FIND it, you cant work with it. Which means you can't get it processed and done. It takes too long to locate it, it's not fun anymore and we tend to give up. So cluster your similar supplies or your items you want to work on this year together. Example: I just helped my "November 2012 self" out by clustering all remaining blank Christmas cards and stationary into ONE box so I can locate them all easily next November. I will be thanking myself on this 'gather' later for sure when things start to get hectic next November.
3. COMMIT. Break it down, baby. You have to do some work.
Once you know what your Items of Plenty are, it's time to go through your idea books and pattern stash and the internet for SOLID IDEAS. Not just maybes. Making fabric tote shopping bags from your fabric stash? Pick one pattern and go with it. Don't fret over it and dilly dally over it. Print out the pattern and tuck it into the basket of chosen fabrics and commit to it.
Try to use what you have! One of my girlfriends found she had 89 sewing projects in her stash waiting for her to get to work. But guess what? She has done 4 of them so far! Another friend who crochets had literally a CLOSET full of yarn. Three years ago she made a commitment to make it into items that bless others. She has since made 4 wedding afghan blankets, 50-some prayer shawls for the needy and 5 baby blankets using her stash. Shop your stash. Plan to USE your stash. Design your 2012 projects around the stash and not the other way around.If you can, make project bags or project baskets or page kits or card kits. Plan ahead so it is EASY to grab a project and work on it.
4. Make every moment count.
I don't mean work every moment on it, but do make a time investment on your goals. Make your time count toward the goals you have. If I want to read all of the 49 books on my dresser that are waiting for me...I can't say I am going to read them nonstop. I would burn out on reading doing them all in a row nonstop. Not fun. I can only say I will make time to read each week. For that many books, my goal will likely have to be about one a week I think in 2012. That is pretty doable for me. I will choose to read instead of some of the useless tv shows I sometimes find myself sucked into. To offset that I will keep my weekly book on my table right by my tv-watching-chair. Help yourself succeed by planning ahead. Turn off the TV. It's amazing what you can get done during that time. Or if you love tv, bring a part of your crafting with you into the tv time. Make it work. Make your moments count.
Make 2012 count! :D