Saturday, December 19, 2009

This Holiday Season can be fun!

Taking a moment to reflect on the last few months here and the prep work that I always put into the holiday season. Maybe this will help others too. I hope so!

This year has been one of challenge for lots of people out there with the economy dumping setbacks on so many. Our own family has been fortunate to still have our employment and our health and both kids well etc. Even so, I decided we were going to scale back on spending as a preventative measure. I don't believe in scaling back on gift giving though. I still give gifts and give them to many. I just decided I wasn't going to strain myself or my budget shopping for them the three months before the holidays. Forewarning, this is going to be one of those stories of how God helps us keep it simple, yet great... :)

I decided early in the Fall this year to make my 2009 Christmas gifts with things I had on hand. It just seemed like there must be a simple abundance in my life that I could somehow share better if I looked at things with a sharing and caring eye. Now mind you, we don't have a big home. We don't have a big stockpile of gifts just sitting in a closet either. I just offered it all up mentally with a simplifying intention and said quietly to the Powers that Be: help me out here with this little goal.

So I looked around me. Sigh. First, I had kind of a messy workspace when I started back in Oct. But under it all, I knew I did have about one full laundry basket of quilting fabrics, two used sewing machines, about a 14 inch stack of varied scrapbook paper, an overflowing apple tree in the backyard, and some canning jars. Oh, and a misc set of baking supplies. Do you know what I am going to say next? (Note: I do admit I also did later make a trip to Goodwill for small baskets to put things into for the gift-wrappings.)

I sent hubby out in late Oct out to the back yard to get two buckets of the best apples off the tree and ground that looked good. This year our pie apple tree output in MN turned out very well. The tree is about 30 years old and we did have a lot of rain the summer before in 2008. So the apples were picked and in on the porch by Nov. Well, I didn't do anything with them right away. But at least the apples were in on the porch and ready! Safe from the squirrels and the freeze. A plan was formulating in my mind. But I always have to pace myself... ie work up motivation. LOL

In the meantime, I bought my two children and my spouse their main gifts. That is not so hard. They tell me exactly what they want. It's all the other incidental gifts that can really mess up the budget and drive you insane shopping. I like to give gifts and don't like to leave any of my friends out of the loop. I knew that I had to give about 18 smaller gifts out. Well, Geez, I did find that the closer to the holidays it came, the more I was VERY tempted to buy this or that for this friend or that out in the stores. I just had to stick to my guns and I said No to myself. I was determined to follow my initial plan. No to the shopping craze. Yes to the create-it-on-my-own-terms initiative.

That meant getting those apples washed and sorted. Next, I made sure I had enough canning jars and sugar. And I went around the house and got the little baskets found containers and baskets that were just sitting there doing nothing. You know the ones. Tins would have worked too but I had baskets. The remainder of other little baskets needed, I bought secondhand. I firmly believe in recycling via secondhand.

It's amazing that on the very day that I went to Goodwill to get 12 more baskets, they were 50% off and there were literally dozens of cute ones to choose from. Not just the average wicker uglies--but adorable small handmade ones too. I picked the best ones! Each under a dollar and then half price off that! They went home with me and got a spritz of Lysol just to be safe.

Next, I realized I needed some sort of nesting or shredding or stuffing for the bottoms of 18 baskets. Hmmm. Again, immediately the Help came in the form of inspiration. As a scrapper, I had colored paper scrap bits. I had a paper shredder. I had a husband who loves to shred things while he watches the SciFi channel. I went and got my 6 colored drawers of scrap papers and I had Mike shred each drawer contents one at a time. All the red together. All the yellows together. etc. I soon had ALL my gift basket lining paper shreds ready. Looked terrific! PLENTY of shreds for the job. Plenty. Problem solved. Free.

On to canning the apple jelly and apple butter into pints. Done in one afternoon. Hot? yes. yummy smelling? yes. Now done? yes. But it felt really great to make something from my heart for my friends. While those cooled that evening, I tackled the packaging. Presentation is 75% of any gift. I had several sheets of glimmer red paper that didn't sell for me in one of our recent store SB garage sales. It's all for the best. I cut the jar circle toppers from it on my Cricut. No extra cost.

I was digging in the gift wrap box for tape and ribbon when I instead found green and red striped gift cellophane bags --perfect for the coordinating apple muffin mixes! And I even found 24 red velvet ribbon bows on twisty ties ready-made. These were all left over from Christmas three years ago meant for the tree decorations. Bonus! Perfect to tie the muffin mixes closed in the cello bags, right? This was meant to be. The abundance is there. We just have to look for it.

I then computer printed little tags with the contents of the apple jelly and what ways you could use it for dining. (on muffins, on pancakes, sandwiches, in pie fillings, inside filled cookies or in doughnuts) Also added a cute 1 1/4 inch Cricut cut apple die shape for the jar topper. Then to the ribbon stash for a ribbon around each jar lid. I certainly had enough ribbon of a few greens and a few reds. The jars in the baskets looked phenomenal for just pennies apiece! But not done yet...

Off I went next to the kitchen again for Sam's Club bulk box of apple cider packet dry mixes. Yahoo! I had just 19 packets left in the box! One for each gift --and one for me to drink while working. :) Next over to the baking bin for a 1/2 bag of wrapped caramels. I sprinkled a couple caramels in each basket. Add a packet of 4 handmade cards to each basket. I had been making the greeting cards using my stash for the last few months as time allowed with leftover accents and papers. Soon my work table was FULL of these adorable apple theme gift baskets.

One thing did not work out so well. Perhaps you can guess if you reread the first few paragraphs above. I will admit I meant to make quilted apple-themed potholders for each friend with my quilting stash. However, my two sewing machines decided NOT to cooperate. One bobbin casing totally popped out, flew across the room, and was broken beyond repair. (It was a funny sight and my shocked face was probably the funniest part!) The other machine's tension rollers just would not work properly for quilting....

I sighed. I resigned myself to not being perfect--and I gave up the idea of potholders for this year. Something had to give --and that was it. I was not going to stress out and try to push my envelope any further. Besides, we had to pick up my daughter and move her home for Christmas break in 4 days. I used the extra time to bake a few more cookies for the holidays, clean the bathrooms, and plan our big holiday dinner on Christmas Eve. I am so glad I didn't stress out further about the unmade potholders. I have been passing out my apple basket gifts and everyone seems to love them! Especially the coordinated packaging! LOL

Little do they know, all in all each gift basket cost me about $3 and BONUS! I used up tons of things I had on hand because I committed to the project. I looked around here at what we had at home with new eyes. Thanks to a little Inspiration this Season, it all fell into place. And I truly got busy. It wasn't necessarily less work than shopping every day after work but it was more fun, more creative, and on my own terms in my own home. Certainly better for the budget. It's not for everyone. But it's something to keep in mind for next year.

Guess what my New Year resolution for 2010 is going to be for that quilting fabric? And guess what hubby is giving me for Christmas?

Bottom line. Keep it simple. Keep it heartfelt. Enjoy the process. You can still be generous. You can make your holidays special even on a budget. --And don't try to kill yourself over the unmade potholders --because life does sometimes send the bobbins flying!! :)

Happy Holidays!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A few new layouts from Rockester

Here are a few of my recent layouts. Get inspired to scrap a page! Enjoy!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Scrapbooking Classics making a comeback!

a classic layout from Scrapgirls

But really the classics never went out of style! Just like the little black dress for fashion, some techniques are timeless.

Scrapbooking classics are always in style--especially when you want to do pages on a budget. I have been scrapping about 17 years now and have seen a LOT of trends--and can pick out the classics too:

brads and ribbons
journaling and titling by hand
handcut shapes and paper piecing by hand
color blocking
paper folding with your scraps
computer journaling
computer border printing and titling

I heard someone comment yesterday they were never going to scrapbook because it costs too much! ??? Of course you CAN spend oodles on a page layout--but you don't HAVE to!

How do you save pennies on your scrapbooking these days?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Halfsies Challenge: Kitchen week!

It is the second week of April! Is your kitchen out of control?

It's time to try to decrease our extras in the kitchen area!
Clutter freaks--come out of that pantry!!! Yes you! I can see the Tupperware and plastics exploding out of the cabinet. I can see the old stale cereal behind the maple syrup bottle! Let's get busy this week in the kitchen zone.

Foods: If it is old and stale --toss it. If you really don't like it (think salad dressings, marmalades, sauces, mustards, food gifts from December that you haven't even opened, etc) but it is still good, then donate to a food shelf TODAY! It's not getting any more tasty or fresh sitting in your cupboards.

Kitchenware: you know we all accumulate a LOT of it over time.
Seems like every fast food and gas station chain has a promo and a plastic cup collection. LOL Recycle the cups and plastics or donate them. HALF is the goal. Decrease the food storage plastics in your kitchen by HALF this week. Keep the sizes that WORK for your family. Really evaluate what you reach for all the time and just keep those kinds. And if it is peeling, chipped, broken, or stained badly--just recycle it! Let it get reincarnated as a new cup next month...LOL

Furnishings: How do all these other things creep into my KITCHEN? Plastic bags from non-food shopping, a spare armchair, piles of office papers, coats? Take a HARD look at what is in your kitchen.

The kitchen is for
Food Prep
sometimes homework or hobbies at the kitchen table

All those other items--well they need to march right back OUT of my kitchen so the kitchen has room to be a KITCHEN again. Same thing with silk plants, misc memo boards, and toys...Remove permanently at least half!! Keep only the biggest memo board and USE it or lose it. You have other rooms in your home for those other activities. Refresh the idea of what KITCHEN is--and is not. Then go and sort and do the kitchen Halfsies Challenge accordingly!

50% in the kitchen. Let's do it!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

In a Funk about your Organizing Goals?

In a Funk? Let's chat...

All right. It's just you and me here. Me typing on my end and you
reading on your end. Let's ignore the other 9900 people on the SC list that
read this at other times during the day and chat a minute.

You and me being real.

As the moderator you hear my little speeches and emails almost daily. I
try to encourage everyone as a group every day to MOVE toward those
goals that we have in common. Now, I am just talking to you. You may not
know me in person. But I can tell you are waiting for something. You are
waiting for some sort of a 'go' signal from the cosmos, from me, from
the groups you belong to, or from yourself before you really kick start
yourself and make a change. You might say you are waiting for the loved
ones in your life to do x, y, or Z before you tidy up your life. You
might be waiting for a raise before you can 'afford' to organize. You
might be waiting for the kids to move out so you can have more space.
There are lots of little things that CAN stand in your way mentally
before you give yourself the psych up mentally to actually start getting
things in gear.

Let me just say, woman to woman (or woman to man as the case might be) that you should NOT wait for the cosmos or your family --or life-- to give you the "go" signal. You MUST give it to yourself. Life is full of little hurtles and procrastination points. BUt there is something that can move mountains. And in our case it is mountains of clutter. That one thing is-- believe it or not--YOU. I have seen firsthand how telling yourself YES can yield great results.

Yes Rock is talking to me.
Yes I do need to get moving--even if just for a little while today on
one bookcase or drawer.
Yes I might be able to do this again tomorrow.
Yes I see how just getting started made things better this week.
Yes I can do this if I don't think TOO hard about it and put obstacles
in my own way.
Yes it may mean I have to stay up late one or two nights if I am on a roll.
Yes I can take a look at what I have in my own home that I can
re-purpose or recycle to get the job done.
Yes I love how doing something for myself and my household makes me feel.

Yes I am proud of even a little progress this week. Damn right.
(pardon the swearword)

I will not wait for the cosmos to tell me "go for it" because I can tell
myself and BEGIN the process of clearing out. If I was there with you I
would look you in the eye and say Yes YOU can do this too.
Sign off this computer and go sort and get started! You'll be so glad
when you do. You don't have to do it all in a day...just do a little
And if you need a pep talk write me privately
We WILL do these challenges together so that your goals can be met.


Dining Room- balance

Make sure you keep a sense of balance in the room. Don't weigh it down with furnishings or with wall clutter or with too heavy a drape. Rugs pull a big room together but are not as vital in a small dining room. The color of the wood doesn't matter as much as getting rid of the 'extras' in the room. Let a few pieces shine instead of filling the room up. Be picky. Put out only your best.

I like the balance in these rooms. They have very different decor styles and budgets--but still look nice. Do you see how even the red Victorian room looks cohesive-- but not cluttered?

Room 1 Entrance and Dining Room

The first week of April we will tackle the Dining Room

(using the Flylady schedule and tips here: )

Remember that decreasing everything in this room overall by 50% is the goal. If you have more than ten to 20 things on the walls in here, take down HALF the items. Keep only the best.

In each room we go through this month let's start at the top. What's on the walls?

Wall art Keepers: What's hanging in your Dining Room?

In the dining room keep it washable!

Black and brown anything is classic.

original art or sculpture by known artists -as long as you can clean it

truly good paintings by family members IN FRAMES behind glass!

one floating shelf of perhaps 1, 3 or 5 BEST items- wipe-able of course

Move to other rooms anything that can get dirty but you want to keep

vintage needle art/heirloom needle art

Family heirloom photos in GOOD frames. --Not those old metal clunky things that are rusting.

Wall art -Rethink it:

clashing themes-- Pick a style/theme. But don't go toooo themey. Think upscale not cutesy.

posters in cheap frames

silk flowers and silk plants

bulk art from discount stores if it is more than 9 years old

tie dyed anything

something aunt susie gave you in 1982 and you hate it

Shelves and shelves of knick nacks- pare it down to 5 items.

Great tips at this site:

Wall Decor by Michael Holland
Home Decorating Made Easy
"Creative Interior Decorating Solutions"

Even if you have the perfect furnishings, your rooms will appear incomplete without suitable wall home decor. So, how do you choose it? How do you find the perfect look? It's actually quite easy:

One: choose what fits. You have style and, even if it changes from room to room, each area has a specific look. Your wall decor should match that. If you love country decor, but select contemporary pieces for your walls, it will clash.

This is just common sense. Your wall home decor should be a continuation of your style, not a new version of it.

Two: keep the room in mind. If you are decorating a living room, you would select pieces that suit it. These same pieces would not be found in a home office or bathroom. Your wall home decor should match the room it's in.

While you may find a beautiful piece to hang, you should never assume that, if it matches the style, it must match the room. Just because you carry on a certain theme throughout the house does not mean that all wall decor will apply to every area.

Also, some rooms will require certain pieces. For example, a home can always use shelving. This counts toward you wall home decor and, without, the room would seem odd.

Three: create variety. Your wall decor should never become monotonous. Just because a certain picture looks good does mean that you should buy tons of prints just like it.

Your rooms need variety. To accomplish that, you should chose from the wide selection of wall home decor. Some of these include:

- Friezes
- Sconces
- Mirrors
- Paintings
- Pictures
- Wall Fountains
- And more!

Of course, your wall home decor is not limited to just items. It includes the color you choose from the walls, any borders or wallpaper you hang, any stencil or mural work you do and anything similar. Combining these ideas always adds the right amount of variety.

For example, if you chose to paint three of the four walls one color and then used the fourth to showcase a mural, it would make the area pop. Your wall home decor should never be dull.

Commit these suggestions to memory for they will make it easier when you need to go shopping for the perfect wall home decor.

No room is complete with bare walls--even with the most minimal of styles, you still need something to draw attention to the entire room, not just the furnishings.

Whether you simply want to paint, or fill your walls with extras, the choices are endless. Just be sure to make a choice. You need wall decor. It's not just a continuation of your style; it helps complete your rooms, making your home seem...well, like a home.


For more dining room ideas, see Rate my Space

or HGTV kitchens and dining rooms here

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

April Challenge: Household Halfsies

From our discussions this am --and from other talks with friends lately-- I think we need a Halfsies (50%) Household Challenge.

What is that?
Is is an aggressive Spring Cleaning challenge for those of us who have waaaaayy too much stuff. A room or a whole doesn't matter.

If you can't walk through your home and say that it is pared down and perfect, join us!
Do as much as you can.

If you feel overwhelmed by your belongings and your household disarray, join us. If you feel like no one can come over because things are a wreck, join us.

If you just want some focus and encouragement in each room, join us.

If you can truly say with an objective eye that HALF the stuff you own (50%) has to go for you to get back to happy, let's do it!

April will be HALFSIES month. We will go around the home room by room and cut in HALF our inventory inventory in all the places we can.

You may not even realize yet that you have as much in each category as you will find....

Half the bedsheets. Half the towels. Half the dishware. Half the plastic cups. Half the pens and pencils. Half the stockpile of soap in the pantry. Half the books you have already read.
Half the shoes. Half the toys. Half the throw pillows. Half the furniture!?! Maybe!
Half of anything you feel you can and need to tackle!

Get the idea? Wouldn't that be grand for some of us to actually minimize the
way we want to? Going green isn't just about consuming's also about a different focus on a simpler, streamlined life.

Let's help Fran and all the others and just DO IT! April is a great time to clear and donate and do the Halfsies Challenge here on our list. So many people need our home items right now in other places....flood victims, storm victims, homeless and unemployed...Bring on board a mindset of giving as well as streamlining.

I'll do it too....
I wonder if I can get rid of half of hubbies 7 snow shovels in the garage!!! I know we don't need 7 even if we do live in Minnesota!


April Challenge: Household Halfsies!

First Francine wrote in to our big group the following. What a heartfelt note and how brave of her to ask for advice.

In ScrappersChallenge@ yahoogroups. com, "joeyenergy"
I have been in my house 14 yrs now, and CANNOT get the basement area
organized. I made the front room my scrapbook/studio and yes, I admit, I use the
floor A LOT and everything is making its way to the back room. I have been very
depressed and overwhelmed because I don't know where to begin, PLEEEEESE, can you
give me some suggestions as to where I should start??????? ?? Thanks so much.


Here is my reply--because I have been through this too! :)

> From: rockestertm
> Subject: [ScrappersChallenge] Re: Organizing- joeyenergy
> To:
> Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2009, 10:16 AM

Good for you for tackling this! Take it on--but take it on in a better way
this time. :)
Sometimes organizing is not enough. By that I mean it is not enough to put
things back where we thought they should go in shelves, bins and drawers.

S0metimes (for me) a room can get jumbled up again so soon because I have too
WAY much supplies and stuff...not just because what I have is out of place and
needs to be put away. SO take a long hard look at how big the space is and how
much you are trying to keep inside it. You might have to purge and purge a LOT.
Think like the Clean Sweep tv show. (In moderation)

I am helping a friend right now with this too in her home.
We chose one room each week in her home to do. We just chose a side and
started on that side and worked our way around each room. I help her for 3 or 4
hours a week. She puts away and I sort. I hold things up and ask if it goes in
any of 3 baskets. If you are doing a room just apply these ideas in smaller

We had three laundry baskets and labeled them:

DONATE- pick a general charity like Goodwill, a womens shelter, or Salvation
Army or Savers or thrift store who will take almost any catagory so you don't
have to have 50 bags for 50 charities to drop off. ONE drop off is good per
week. Really be firm with yourself here. You don't need 3 tubs of baby books if
your kids are 24 and 21. You don't need 45 scarves and 33 pair of mittens
either. SHARE!

I could tell at first glance that from the amount of clothing she had in 4
closets that my friend needed to purge one half of all her wardrobe. She was
shocked at first hearing that--but then admited yes that might be about right.
She never wore half of it anyway but always had to dig through to find the good
half! So donate we DID! We donated basically two whole closets full! Now her
things fit her, fit in her closets--and she can find them. Plus someone else

MEND/Fix: Basically we want to encourage you to TOSS anything (see below) that is
broken and cannot be fixed. That would go in trash bin. However, this basket is
for ANYTHING that was a definite keeper --but needed fixing. Label it with the
date and use it for things to be mended. From mending clothes to childrens' toys
to torn books. If it is truly precious- fix the darn thing.
> Don't stop to mend it on purging day. But you should get to it within one
month of the purge date. If you then don't get to it by one month in that
basket, you don't really care about it all that much. Purge it! Be harsh. Don't
keep rubbish. Use it or lose it.

SEND/RETURN: We found a lot of things in my pals home that could be given back
to the friend or relative from whom they came. We also found a lot of things
that were meant to be sent at Christmas or a birthday that didn't get sent on
time simply because she couldn't find them. So into the SEND basket they went
and each week her 'homework' was to send them out with a little note. Everyone
loved getting the after-the-fact packages from her!! Don't be embarrassed, just
send it to it's new home and keep going!

KEEP- well on Clean Sweep show this is a separate category too. But in our
work I just handed these items to her to put away or hang up as we went through
the room.

TRASH: Well technically this was another 5th 'basket' LOL--we did get the big
trash can out for this. And we filled it two or three times per room. Use the
biggest trash can in the house when you purge. You will fill it! It's kind of
like 'if you build it, they will come" mentality. You don't toss as much if the
trash can is 6 inches wide by 11 inches tall as you do when the trash can is 1
foot wide by 4 feet tall.

Once a lot of the excess is out, you can think about utility in the workroom.
Sit at your desk and ask yourself what DON'T you like about how it is right now?
Then rearrange tools and so on. I make work stations in my studio for various
tasks like rubber stamping, machine die cutting, computer, actual LO
scrapbooking assembly, and sewing.

Honestly it is just going to creep back to a mess if you don't downsize/purge
at the same time as tidying.

Good luck!


And Francine's response:

Dear Rock.

Thank you so very much for the help. I think my problem is that I have a mess
in every room and don't know where to start. I have a hard time parting with
things, have had organizers, friends and relatives help me, but it just goes
back to a MESS again. I never know which room to start in so I just avoid doing
it. I will definitely try your method and pray it works. Once again, thanks very


And my follow up comment to her and others with the same issues:

Fran and others

What has helped me in the past -and now my friend part with things when she and
I are sorting and purging in her home -is to remember with each item you touch
that the item is NOT the person who gave it to you and it is NOT the memory of
that person.

If the item is somehow sentimental remember the item is NOT the feeling of
comfort or contentment in itself . It is just an item we have assigned
importance to. We can also UNASSIGN importance to it. Take a pic of it. Save the
pic..... not the bulky item. If I have 125 things in my home from my
grandmother, I can decide which 35 I truly love most and gift away or donate the
other 90 knickknacks I don't care about as much.

Make ONE decision.... the first decision is a mindset of this clutter ruining
your life and hindering you--not helping you. Those items are not giving you
security or love. You assign that to them in your head. So reassign to FEWER
items that you truly love and are of the best quality. Your mind and heart will
thank you for making their lives simpler! :) :) Truly. I have been there, done
that and it works. Most of the battle is in your head...not in the room. Once
you decide and believe what you decide about material things not ruling your
life, the donating and gifting is easier.

Be strong in your own head and say I need to just do it. Yes or No. Stay or Go.
Other people may truly need this stuff more than we do. And it's not doing me
any good to have more household stuff if it drives me crazy to keep it tidy or
to look at the mess.



And in honor of all of who need it I am announcing the HOUSEHOLD HALFSIES CHALLENGE for April.
More info in a bit. :)


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Graphic 45 DT Entry

Hey Hey Hey!
What's new today?

I want to share with you one of my recent projects/goals. One of my resolutions in 2009 was to focus on TRYING to stretch myself and really go for more of my creative and work-related goals. So when I saw the design team call out on Graphic 45's website, I knew this was something I had to try. I love their product line "Communique" a LOT. And I do use it in my year-long genealogy class scrapbooking/research series at our local store. When my dd sent me pics of her beau and their Valentine event, I knew what I was going to do!

So the motivation combined with the supplies and the creativity and well, let's just say this little book exploded out of the mix. :) Two other projects for the DT call were my triple clipboard and a two page layout--also shown here. The G45 DT call is closed now --and my entry is in for consideration. So now, I just have to wait and see! Here are the extensive pics for your viewing and inspiration! Don't you love Graphic 45?

The ABC's of You and Me
Valentine Book 2009 for Jenny (from MN) and Caleb (from NY)
One of my premises was to showcase old postcard images from MN and NY in the localities where the two kids are from. They come from very different backgrounds, but that doesn't matter. :) This project helps showcase where each comes from--as well as where they are now--together!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Jan and Feb Sketches and layouts :)

I am uploading a couple of layouts I did for our ScrapperChallenge Jan. challenges. I hope you enjoy them.

January's theme for scrapbook supply use on ScrappersChallenge was clocks and time elements or papers. Here is my layout on the right and my online inspiration on left.

Our other challenge is the sketch challenge and we are to use one photo in January since it is the FIRST month of the year. Here is my layout for that January sketch challenge --which is posted monthly on SC by Fran. (Thanks Fran!)

And while I am uploading pics, how about this CUTE pic of my son and his newlywed bride (July 08) at our home over Christmas break!

And one of my DD and her sweetie....

Just because I miss them all off at college. :)
Good luck on exams kids!!


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Finding Time for Yourself and Your Hobbies

Finding time to scrapbook--or any other personal hobby time, really--is tough.

It is about balance, I think. As a 25 year stay-at-home mom and parent
of two children, I know how kids can keep you super-busy, especially in the
early years! So can housework, families, homework,
outside-the-home work schedules keep you hopping too.

How do we as women MAKE time--not find time--to do the things we really want done??

We all put things on our "to do" lists daily. Mentally, or on paper, we CHOOSE parts of our day that we can control. Also we choose how we respond to the rest of the normal pressures of life. The best laid plans always get thrown off kilter. But how do we regroup and re-prioritize our time? From getting your nails done, gassing up the car, helping with homework, grocery shopping, appointments, to taking the kids to the park, we alot our time and our priority to various things in our day. For some women shopping is a 'me time' outlet, for others it is
getting massages or nails done or otherwise pampered, for others a dinner out, or painting or knitting or jogging or whatever...

Hobby time in general--and this papercrafting hobby in particular--have to be viewed
as a "me" time and a creative outlet in order for us to give it any attention at all. Personally, I schedule time into my week for it. Even before I scrapbooked, I scheduled time for making
things/sewing/crafting. If I didn't schedule time in specifically for it, I would not get any thing done.

Even though my kids are in college now, life STILL has a way of creeping in and making other things seem important in our days. There is always a charity to help with, an article to share, work to be done, people to see....and so on. All are worthy. All are somewhat a priority
yes. But they are not my hobby. I set priorities now. If I want to get the dishes done,
don't I mentally make time in my day to do it? If I want to get my nails painted, I set a time. If I want a haircut or go to the dentist, I set a time.

Same with any hobby. You can make time. Include the kids in your craft if they are still at
home. Or while they are reading, or exercising, or whatever--you can still get in 15 minutes of either organizing, page kit making, or scrapbooking. Just scrapping for 15 minutes a day makes up a total of 7 and a half hours a month of time! That is the same equivalent of time as a day-long crop party!

Our wonderful informative loop notwithstanding, ;) much time are we spending browsing the internet at the expense of our hobby? Are we spending 45 minutes browsing for ideas and then wishing we had 45 minutes to make a page? Are we really choosing wisely to meet our goals? Everyone scrapbooks differently and everyone of us has different needs and goals. But I just want you to match up your OWN goals to your OWN choices well.

It's all balance and it's also all about priorities and follow-through. Think on how
to balance the equation for yourself! Each of us can do it if we try. Good luck!


Thursday, January 29, 2009

And the Winner is....

The winner of the Messy to Clean room contest for the biggest transformation of your work area is.......

drumroll please....
Can you guess from the photos in the previous blog entries?

Dianna in Virginia!!!!!
You are the winner of all the cool supplies in the prize box this month! WHOOOOHOOO! Contact me privately at with your mailing info so I can ship your prize! And congrats for doing all that hard work during the prescribed contest time period.

Honestly all of you are truly winners because look at how you improved your spaces! Good luck scrapping and HAVE FUN in your new creative zones.

GREAT JOB everyone!


Friday, January 02, 2009

Busy Day!

Hurray I am finished writing an 80 page hardbound book for my two children! That project has been in the slow cooker/process for almost a year. DONE! Writing and editing that puppy took a loooooong time! I finished it Dec 31st just in time for the New Year!

Busy day at home and work today...but a good one.
Cleaned out my purse. Yeh! Found a freebie movie ticket.
Made a layout with the January sketch as my Inspiration. Will post that pic on here tomorrow.
Packed 13 page kits for class.
Called 20 students.
Made a master list for a year long project and decorated the spiral notebook it resides in. :)
Went to the bank.
Returned a DVD movie.
Turned in some paperwork.
Went to the movies with my family to see Benj. Button. :)

I got my desk cleared off 2/3 of the way last night. I want to place both my Cricut and my Silhouette closer to my workdesk. But first I have to move a book stacker and about 15 photo frames! :) It's all a juggling act for space on my desktop. LOL I am keeping one pic of each of my kids and one of hubby on there but otherwise it's gotta be functional or OFF the desktop it goes. (Don't worry the other framed photos are headed for another area of enjoyable viewing. )

Now planning the rest of my week commences tomorrow with an update to my calendar software program and a planner evaluation on my part. I am trying not to get ahead of myself but I also am chomping at the bit to clean my studio big time and donate a pile of older supplies OUT of there. Mentally, I would love a cleaner slate in the studio workspace. Thank goodness I made as many gifts as I did for the holidays myself with my stash. I used up a lot of 3-d and decor items, albums, and paper! More on that tomorrow. (pics!) :)

Keep on your goals gals!! I am right in there with ya!

Thursday, January 01, 2009


Win this and MORE!

Are you a MESSY right now? No longer! Get going in 2009 ...

The Messy to Clean room Challenge is just for YOU! I am personally going to lead this one January 1-15th!

Take your workspace from a messy room to a clean room! Challenge runs anytime during the first two weeks of January 1st thru 15th.

1. Take 1 to 3 pics (no more) right now of your MESSY scrapbooking workspace

2. Clean it up! **Don't forget to share or DONATE things you no longer need!

3.Take 3 photos (not more) of your space all CLEAN!

4. Send the photos to me privately at on or before midnight January 15th.

5. Enjoy your space and see who wins!
One participant will be chosen as winner by me as making the most progress! Winner chosen on Sunday January18th!

The prize is a combination of member donation and my own stash! You will win a value over $75 of scrapbooking, papercraft, and stamping items!

The first part is a fantastic Close to My Heart prize pack of ABC acrylic stamps in both aprox. 3/4 inch and 2 inch sizes as well as 2 6x6 albums and more! Donated by one of our members Bren Yule. (Yeah BREN and thank you!) This part of the prize alone is worth more than $50!!

and as a BONUS~~ I will also be adding to this prize myself with an assortment of scrapbooking supplies too! I am cleaning out my own workspace this week too

and will be piling on the goodies as I come across them to share with our eventual MESSY TO CLEAN ROOM contest winner.

Let's get cleaning!

**Don't forget to make a DONATION bag or box and SHARE with others the stuff you no longer like or need! (We can always use items for our prize giveaways! :)