Monday, December 31, 2007

Great Paper Purge Challenge 2008: Early Bird Assignment

I hate to wake up early but for this...I will be an early bird! Oh yes
I will! LOL

Early Bird Great Paper Purge 2008 Task:

Here's an early bird assignment for those of you ready to start the
new Great Paper Purge challenge for 2008. (And you don't even have to
get up early if you don't want to.)

We know we'll be reducing our paper supply this year. But what tasks
do you do first???

1) GATHER -Have your papers all together in a convenient location.
That means find a box, bucket, or basket (probably a large one) and
use it to gather ALL your loose scrapping paper in one location. Dig
the papers out of the old tote scrap bag, empty out the bags of papers
you bought on those shopping trips, and gather any papers that might
be hiding in different rooms.

2) SEPERATE: FOR JANUARY MONTH: You can either mentally tally --or actually separate out-- all the targeted papers for the Jan. month long use-it-up focus. Thi s would include any papers that have sparkles, glitter, glossy, shimmer, snow theme, vellum or
metallic. We are going to use this paper specifically in the next
month in JAN on our layouts. Consciously make a decision now to USE IT!

NOTE: If you received/acquired a lot of new papers in Dec. 07, you can
use those as your focus papers for Jan. but ONLY if it was acquired in
12/07. Measure and log your amounts at the ScrappersChallenge Yahoogroup's database both for the TOTAL paper stash you own and for the JAN use focus papers.
(You will need to be a member of that scrapbooking organizationYahoogroup to do so)

3. MEASURE: Now the scary part, measure your pile. You may measure in
inches, millimeters, or actual sheet or paper count. Either on your
own paper tally chart, or in the SC Database, document and log the
size of your ENTIRE paper stash pile as well as your January focus paper in the appropriate Starting Measurement slots on the database.

The database for JAN to APRIL 2008 for the GREAT PAPER PURGE 2008 is here

And for May to August 2008 here\27

and for Septeber to December 2008 here:

Feel free to enter your measured amounts for ALL paper type/colors if
you want to on the database in the first column/slot for that purpose. It may seem scary at first to measure all that paper, but DO it. This is the first step in seeing whay you have on hand and seeing that you indeed should COMMIT to using it in 2008.

You can also just enter your measurements month by month and measure each as you come
to it. Either way is fine. You can also keep a tally in a notebook at home or on a paper chart of your own making. I will try to work one up to share as well as soon as I am able.

Let's get an early start on our paper goals for 2008.
Organize It, Use It, or Lose It!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Just a little something on the sewing machine... :)

Here I am with our dear little cousin in her baptismal gown...Yeah us! Take a look at her gown...

Just wanted to share photos of a baptismal gown I sewed last month for a little baby cousin of ours. The family wanted an heirloom quality gown blending two ready-made patterns and using a certain style trim. I love to sew and can do this specialty kind of garment sewing. It was a joy to create this for little Sasha. I told her mom that every stitch help a prayer for Sasha's happy future.

I love sewing almost as much as I love scrapbooking, so you KNOW I love it! :)


How to Schedule Yourself

Do you need to get organized on your time-- but you are just not sure HOW?

Here is how I set up my schedule: (roughly) and got myself set using
it! The key is to use your schedule daily and not give up after 3-4 days. Your
schedule will look very different from mine. Especially if you work outside the home or have
smaller kids, your tasks will certainly vary. But you can still use this guide to help you get started on HOW to schedule your own personal goals in --as well as the daily grind tasks.

The key to any schedule for yourself is to physically keep the list
making 'stuff' handy. Keep your list/schedule located where you will
sit down and look at it daily--or many times a day. For some this is
the refridge, others a dining table or the office or kitchen desk, but
for me it is the laptop. :) If it is a hard copy paper list, keep
paper and pen in that same area all the time for updates. You can even
computer print out your base listing for the week and have these
sheets handy for updating and adding to without having to write all
the basics over and over by hand daily. Ask yourself where do I sit
down at the beginning of the day? Where do you take my breaks or coffee
time? THAT is the place to put the list.

I do the same base activities every week (pretty much) so why not schedule
them into daily groupings? First, I had to think of what weekly tasks I need
to do weekly. List those and spread them out throughout the week. Then I add in a set of personal goals that are small increments of my bigger goals and are specific. After that, I added the daily items in that make everything happen.

I have a
TO DO list on my laptop in WORD that looks like this. I add to it and
take stuff off daily but basically it starts like this. Make your own.

(I have rearranged mine below slightly for privacy reasons but you
will get the idea)

church --if I am on the ball....
call my mom
do my nails-weekly-
write my dad and grandma
go to movies at theatre with the hubby or
page kit planning in evening watching tv with family so I am ready for
monday and thur.
take daughter back to school if needed

10 am onward- scrapping personal projects-right now it's wedding stuff
lunch with a friend 1-4
scrapping some more on personal projects or gifts

sleep in. yes I schedule this. :) Then I don't feel guilty or
genealogy research in am.
call or lunch with friend 5
maintain my online obligations
scrapbooking special projects of client layouts

banking and errands
lunch with friend 6
scrapbooking special projects or client layouts

10 am onward- scrapping personal projects-wedding stuff
lunch with friends 1-4 again
more scrapping

sleep in- yes I schedule this. :)
lunch with friend 7
pick up daughter from school if needed
dinner out with hubby

friday pm- date night or cropping party night depending on the week.

Yes, you might need to schedule crop time away from home at a local
store in order to get it done.

garage sales
errands with hubby
my studio cleanup
making page kits and cutting Cricut titles for the next week

Ok those are my basics. You can see that by working in my varied
commitments (my son's wedding projects, our client work, my social
obligations/lunches, crop parties, home chores, my writing, my online
work, and even sleeping in) --it can all get done. I do things in a
planned and CYCLICAL way. That way I know I will come around to it and
get it done. I don't put things off. Plan it in and even if it is only
15 minutes, you will get a lot more done than if you don't schedule it
at all.


Then I add in EVERY day items like the following onto my list:

vitamins daily
brush teeth
check email
type two letters up on my WW2 heritage Grandpa Project
email jy daily
email jn every other day
laundry loads-into washer 1 load only
read my inspirations-set a time limit
order dinner :)
drink water
laundry-fold clothes while watching tv with fam- 1 load only
email replies-yes schedule this-- and a time limit!

You may ask yourself why does Rock say she does only one wash and one
fold load of laundry per day? Why does she set limits on her email
replies? Why does she only type two letters when she could type four? Why does she set limits on her inspirations time? The answer is that I
have found that if I don't set limits, it gets way from me. It is too much to bite off. I will get
discouraged and REBEL on some things like on laundry or other chores. Home chores need
attention but they can suck you in. Doing a bit a day is better than
overdosing on tasks I don't like. And on fun things like email and inspirations--well
I will get sucked into the vortex of reading quotes, bible verses, and
general scrapping online browsing. That can cost me hours if I don't say NO.

That will take several hours a day away from my other goals. And
honestly, my priority is my family. I want to keep to working on their
genealogy, scrapping albums and projects instead of looking at what
OTHER people have done. As fun and pretty as it is to see other's
work--it is MY work that my family wants to see. It is MY work that I
want to get done. And really 5 to 10 or 15 minutes of inspiration is
plenty if I just follow up and USE it. :)

EVALUATE and MOVE ON: Look at your list now. Is there a BIG goal that is not being addressed? Sometimes making a list will point out to you that you have not allowed any time for certain goals. I have not allowed myself enough time this last year for my genealogy work so I will be remedying that by adding genealogy time one more day a week. I will also be increasing the typing time daily for my Grandpa WW2 Heritage Project. Oh yeah --and cooking dinner one more time a week! I guess I will add that in there too. LOL

Note that because I have limited my online browsing time, I can type two more letters a day on my heritage project? Because I have limited my laundry time each day, I have time to do my genealogy and make a dinner! I haven't added hours to my day, but I have stopped wasting hours!

Don't forget the applause! Set up a listing for yourself. Print a few
copies of your base schedule. KNOW that it will need adjusting and deleting and crossing off
here and there and adding to it. Do keep track of your successes too. I get great
satisfaction from taking a pen and crossing off items as I do them on
my paper lists and scoring them out on my laptop lists. It gives me a
sense of applause and KUDOS for what I have done. It also shows me how
far I have come each day. That boosts my moralle for the tackling next
list the next day.

FLEXIBILITY in your own methods and your expectations of
of yourself is key. IF you don't like loose paper lists, get a planner. If you don't like planners, try online or text calendar reminders like Google or YAHOO calendars or another free one like CALENDAR HOME offers. My husband loves his Yahoo calendar and phone text reminders. Just remember that you don't have to finish it all every day. Don't beat yorself up if you only get the most important ones done. There are days that I flop several unfinished tasks onto the next day --or even the next week! Life happens. Just flex. :)

Hope this helps!


Thursday, December 27, 2007

My Top Ten Time Wasters!

I think the following issues have sucked up wayyyyyyyyyyy too much of my time
in 2007. I resolve to not let that happen so much in 2008!

Time Wasters:

1. Unclear goals: my goals have not being clear --and set --in a
couple aspects of life. So I go in circles more than I need to.

2. Lack of Scheduling: my genealogy project goals are not scheduled
so I am allowing long term interruptions.

3. A Drop and Go Mentallity: my drop and go tendancies in my craft
workspace are a bother later on. Good thing I use clear storage! I
will try to make my "Drop and go" tendancy into a "Drop into storage"
tendancy! LOL

4. Biting off too Much: I have been attempting too much in too short
a time. No, you cannot completely reorganize a jam-packed 1000 square
foot space in 4 hours. Small steps, Kathy small steps.

5. Getting Sidetracked: this is especially true online-- I need to
FOCUS not continually browse online. :) Ideas are NOT actions.

6. Lack of Delegation/lists: Ineffective communication or delegation
to my family. They need to know what I want done and when. LISTS will
help them--and me.

7. Knick Knack Syndrome: I don't like knick knacks (thanks Grandma
Helen!) but I do love antiques and garage sales, so I constantly fight
having a cluttered home, desk. I want to focus JUST on keeping
heirloom items from my family and not random antiques.

8. Procrastination/lack of self-discipline. See # 5 This can also
apply to dishes and laundry. LOL I love my family, I love my family ... :)

9. Not Understanding Technology: Yes for me this is a time waster. I
wish I understood more so I wouldn't be so stumped when trying to
reach certain goals!

10. Shopping for Bargains --especially storage containers and
organizer storage. When I need something for my space, I want to get
the best deal or recycle something to use for it. Usually this is a
great way to go. But This sometimes means I spend more time LOOKING
for the right storage bargain instead of doing the actual organizing
or just scrapping. I can always avoid buying scrapbook supply stash
--but rarely can say no to a great basket, bin or container! :)

What is standing in your way? Do you have ten time wasters to share?
Speak up!
Let's tackle this together!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Dawn H Sock it to Me Rock Room Review

Hurray for Dawn H.
She was brave enough to send her pics for review last month ...and I am sorry it took me a bit to get this one out. She actually has a lovely space and here are the shots she sent in and my comments on each. Bravo Dawn! I hope I can offer a few helpful tips.

I love, love, love the fact that you have family member portraits in your work area. I hope they are your inspiration pieces and motivators for all your albums and projects. :) The ceiling border is a nice touch and the live plant is a terrific touch. You do have a natural wood furnishings style so it is nice that you have put the white plastic boxes inside a wooden case at far right of the above photo. I tend to say that if you have plastics, keep them all one color. Most drawer and storage boxes are sold either as white or black. Because the entire rest of your plastics in this room are black, consider switching these 8 white boxes to black.

Terrific that the pretty green photo boxes are labeled. You are off to a great start here. I take it that the Santa's are not a year around element and that they will "dash-a-way-all" after the holidays. :)

In this close up (above) of the same area, I see on the wall at the far right that you have a nice collage of photos in a frame. Those also look labeled. TERRIFIC! This is a great tip for others reading here. These collage pieces often get handed down and the recipient 10-20 years from now may not know who is who or when things happened. Labeling is not only important in our albums but in our other photo projects. Good work!

OK now for the below photo. (Wink) I see some refreshments in the cabinet. Normally with doors closed they are out of sight, I know. But I am not sure I would want to move those bottles every time I had to get to my supplies. Make sure whatever is in the lower left cabinet is something you almost never use. I see lots of magazines and Idea Books to the lower right. This is OK for storage--but out of sight is often out of mind--and out of use. Perhaps take out about 4 or 5 idea magazines a week. Place them in a more visible spot in your desk area so that you look at them and USE them that week. Then you can feel OK about gifting them away when done.

It also looks like there is a tool sack of some kind in the lower right in a black bag. Make sure this is as handy as it needs to be --for whatever it holds. If it is an every-layout kind of item/tool, then do consider placing it in an easier to reach spot.

Your computer desk area below looks spotless. WOW. (Better than mine!) Bravo.

I like the file folder method you have here for your geneology. I love it. The secret to keeping a small space like your organized and usable (note I did not say clean) is that you put things away and file them WHERE YOU CAN FIND THEM AGAIN. The secret to an organized person is not how much or how little they have. It is not how long they spend a day putting things away. It is whether they can FIND and USE their items quickly. This usually means a system is needed --and maintaining that system for every item you use is crucial. This is especially true for paper arts and for geneology. Good job.

Mama used to say, "Put it away. Put it back. Keep your train on the right track."

Photo below: I am not sure what is in this file cabinet. It looks like photo storage. Looks pretty organized. Plants are good. Doilies are fine. I think you do share this space with a family room. But if I had a horizontal surface at seated/arm height in my work area, I would probably take away the plant and have attractive photo boxes, finished altered projects, a big tool, or a pen caddy on it. :) But I realise plants do need light so I won't tell you to move the plant. :)

Our next photo is an overview of the room and it shows your black storage tower at right. If possible, take a few of the units off the tallest tower and place them under or on the shorter tower. This will be safer and more uniform looking as well as easier to reach. It will make the black units look like a unified bureau instead of a tower and a short stack. You can always add another black drawer unit later if you need it.

However, I was very impressed with a casual, simple statement in your email to me. You mentioned you have been on NO BUY for a year and a half already! Amazing and awesome....what an achievement! You have been using up your stash non-stop! So really, you may eventually be getting RID of some of the drawer units if this keeps up and you use your stash down even further! Good job. The more you can consolidate furnishings in a small workspace the better. :)

Glad the brown wood tone cabinet is all sorted into themes and that alike items are together throughout the whole room. Once the Santa's go away for the season, do you use that horizontal space above the glass front hutch to store your green photo boxes? Or perhaps the shoeboxes can move over there and you can lose that wood frame case they are in now. This would give the room a more streamlined look. Keeping lines clean visually is a good thing. I love that comfy-looking leather office chair too. Good ergonomics always help us work longer and healthier.

Bravo Dawn H! All in all I love your compact space and it is a great example for us. I think this is one of the tidiest room reviews we have had yet! :)

Hurray for Dawn!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cd Jewel Case Calendar Gift Idea

Click on any photo to enlarge it.

Finally, my cd case calendar gift is done. I meant to get to it last month but a few more urgent craft projects got bumped up in my schedule. :)

This little twelve month 2008 calendar is sized to fit in a empty plastic clear cd jewel case. Unsnapped and turned wrong side around in an L shape, the case shows off the calendar one month at a time. Remaining months are stored nearby in a plastic zip baggie.













That is the 12 months of 2008 in altered stash CD jewel case Calendar style! Enjoy!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Altered Pocket Calendars: Basic Grey

(Click any photo to enlarge it.)

Yeah!! I love how this pocket calendar gift project is coming along. If you are on my Christmas list or my daughter's list, look away now 'cause you won't be surprised later on!

I got some 2008-2009 two-year pocket/purse calendars at the dollar spot. They came with plastic covers, so instantly I thought of a project! I remembered a fantastic class I taught a year or so ago at a local store on making altered and personalized checkbook covers. I knew I had to make these calendars into a similar altered project. It was a natural! These would be so cute as gifts done with a Basic Grey "Blush" pack of paper I had at home. Everyone I know seems to love Basic Grey--even if they are not scrapbookers! Teens especially like that paper line too.

So I bought a BUNCH of calendars and spent most of yesterday altering and adding accents to these little gems. I used all one paper line from Basic Grey with just a few scraps from my Provo slab. Choosing the color scheme is the most important step when making multiple projects all at once assembly line style. Using the colors teal, brown, orange, pink and red inspired from theBG Blush line of papers, I then found lots of other accents and tags and silk flowers in my stash that went with it. Pulling all the items into a project box took me less than 20 minutes. I tried to incorporate my scraps as well as any oddball accent leftovers whenever possible. No two calendars will be exactly the same--and that is a good thing for any personalized gift as well as a good thing for using up stash! This is the perfect project for using up lots of little trinkets and doodads left over from other paper art projects.

The plastic covers measured 6.5 inches by 7.75 inches so I cut all my base papers at the same time using an assortment of Basic Grey Papers. I then used the remnants of paper to cut my strips, cubes, and small rectangle pieces and just mixed and matched them throughout the process in a abstract art kind of way. Because the color scheme is meant to work together, it always looked great!

The 6.5x7.75 BG cover sheets I decorated for these pocket calendars are just inserts that go between the 'book' of the calendar and its platsic cover. I wanted the cases to be re-usable since they are personalized so I did NOT glue my Basic Grey cover sheet onto the paper cover of the actual calendar 'book' This way, the recipient can re-use this pretty little cover for another calendar in 2010 --or for another purpose like a checkbook.

I added some matching tags from K and Co. and other embellishment words from a few sticker sheets about friendship. Lastly I inked and added chipboard initials to personalise the calendars. Some of these got fibers and some got acrylic bubble decorations also from the dollar spot. I love how these ten turned out so I am making a couple dozen more next time I go out to crop.

I am going to make one for Santa to tuck in MY stocking too! Shhhhh! :) :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cookie Sheet Perpetual Calendar

(Click on any photo to enlarge it.)

<>I decided to take a little break today and make something fun.

The links on Scrapperschallenge inspired me to make a cookie sheet calendar holder of my own. This is a re-usable frame made from a cookie sheet and paper crafting supplies. Since I print my calendar out monthly and often hand two of three months up at a time in the kitchen, I wanted it to be flexible with magnetic clips to hold my calendar papers. Other people just make new monthly title cards and leave blank boxes on the white calendar section and move the date numbers around (the numbers are mounted on magnets) to make each month accurate.

I wanted to just hang my computer created planner calendar up. So I needed another kind of option. Here is my version. (Ignore blurred personal event details on photo)

And here is how I did it.

First find an old cookie sheet. Mine was an older one with lots of 'character' and staining. I loved the rustic aspect but that is just me. If you want a fresh one, you can buy a big one at the discount stores for under $5 . I wanted it decorated in blue to match my kitchen.

Here are my supplies:

Assorted blue fairly thin weight scrapbooking papers
Mod Podge- flat finish
foam brush
ribbon for hanger (12 inches)
Coordinating sticker letters for the days of the week header
blue inks
word sayings-coordinating- for the header
silk flowers and brads
two heavy duty clip magnets to hold my calendar papers
One blue paper clip and a brad and a silk flower for memo at top of calendar (see on ribbon)

First make sure your pan is as clean and dry as you can get it. Then you Mod Podge adhesive into the interior of the pan with a foam brush.

Add your first layer of paper at top. I corner-rounded my two top paper corners to fit better in the baking sheet. I pressed it firmly into place and worked out any bubbles. Then I let it dry and I inked it with blue ink to distress it. Note: When all the paper layers are on, you will add a topcoat to protect it.

I then added more Mod Podge adhesive to the lower section of the pan and added my next two layers of torn coordinating blue paper. Again press out any bubbles and make sure you have plenty of adhesive. I use a foam brush to apply it evenly in thin coats. I inked those papers again when dry. Be sure it the whole thing is dry before inking or you will gum up that inkpad!

Since my calendar frame will have to be horizontal instead of vertical, I made a header for my days of the week along the long side of the cookie pan using the blue numbers paper below. Then I added the day of the week stickers to the header. You just need the S, M, T, W, H, F, and another S sticker letters for this. H is the other letter abreviation for thursday if you don't have two T's. Be sure to start your week with either sunday or monday --whichever your family prefers. For work calendars, some people prefer to start with monday.

I also inked with a second darker navy blue along the stickers to make them distressed looking too. I may also go back and add some brown ink distressting later to tie in with the rustic pan.

This is the point at which you add another top coat of Mod Podge to protect the papers and stickers and inking. Do not add lumpy embellishments until you have let the Mod Podge protective coat dry. Use glue dots or e6000 glue to add lumpy embellishments.

Next I added some of my fun paper to the top of my boring --but strong--1.5x1.5 inch metal magnetic clips.

Again I used Mod Podge to adhere it and to give it a protective top coat.

Let dry and decorate as you like . I inked them and added a silk flower and brad. I needed two clips --one for each side of my calendar to hold my sheets of paper.

As you can see above I decided that the days of the week needed more LUMPYNESS and dimension. I added plastic and metal lettering to echo each day of the week designation letter.

Hanger: Lastly I needed a way to hang it so I added two clamp clips (blue of course) to the pan top and threaded a ribbon through them. Later I will ask hubby to help me poke holes in the metal sheet with his Awl. You could also use a Crop a Dile.

One more useful touch I thought of at the last minute was to add a simple blue paper clip with a flower on it to the ribbon area. I wanted a "SEE THIS!" kind of urgent memos and notes clip for memos between family members. We often look at the calendar so this should catch our attention if a note is front and center at top. You can attache a slik flower to a clip with a brad if you curl the brad legs around the paperclip underneath the flower. (I use these homemade pretty paperclips on scrapbook pages too!) Below you can see the backside of the flower clip.


Monday, October 15, 2007

STASH BUSTER: November Door Decoration

(click on photo for close up)

Celebrate November! Make a door decor calendar/memo board for your college students! Use a firm 12x12 cardstock as your base. (Further instructions here)

Here is the second door decoration I have made for my daughter's dorm. She and her roomate LOVED the first one seen here for spooky OCTOBER and have asked for more! Using my stash, older papers, and odds and ends is sooo much fun when I know it will bring a smile to their faces. (Don't believe me about using up ancient leftovers? If you look closely, you can see some plain die cut leaves from about 1994 and an Accucut title from about 1987!) I made two pockets agian for the memo paper and so they can recycle the "IN, OUT, and BACK IN 15" cards from last month. Enjoy!


Look what I did today! (Click on photos for close ups!)


I am happy to say I got out my button box today. I have been meaning to incorporate more of my button stash into my layouts. But in the last month or so, the layouts never seemed 'right' for buttons. But today was the day! Not one page set --but two --were perfect for buttons!

I decided to see how they would look used in one of my favorite ways--as flower centers for the layout above. Once I got going I loved the look and kept on going. I did a total of 4 pages with buttons!!! The above set is for a Sweet Teen Client and has dozens of silk and paper flowers with button centers.

The other page set below titled "Falling for You" has photos taken at a local orchard. Because of the theme of the page, I used dozens of fall leave shaped buttons. I borrowed three or four from my pal Dawn (Thanks Dawn!) and I had all the rest already in my embellishment box! I just sprinkled them in corner clusters and also used them on the Basic Grey title lettering.

How many BUTTONS, BUTTONS, BUTTONS did I use??? I used a whopping 56 buttons today on 4 pages. I had to count them twice to be sure! LOL

I challenge YOU to use some of your buttons TODAY! See if you can beat that number! Use over a dozen buttons per page! I dare ya! :)