Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Project Life Like (lack of) Organization

(Keep in mind as you read this post that I am referring to my pocket page scrapping technique as "Project Life Like."  The reasons are twofold:  1. "Pocket page scrapbooking technique" is just too damn long to repeat.  2. I have it from reliable sources that Becky H. is a pretty surly character.  Since she has now trademarked the term "Project Life," I don't feel as if I can use it freely to sum up what I do because I don't exclusively use her product. It seems a sister is a force to be reckoned with when you start messing with where her bread is buttered and I have no intention of going against the Great and Powerful BH)

Okay, so as I have stated in past blogs (ehehhehehehhe, I can actually say "past blogs" and totally mean it!), I am on a Project Life Like kick/frenzy/shopping spiral that is spinning out of control.  Because of that and my extreme CADD (Crafty Attention Deficit...squirrel!...Disorder :)), I have had to consider some organizational changes in my studio.  BLEH!  Just typing that sentence gets me all kinds of itchy and craving chocolate.  However (she said while shoving a calamine lotion covered Snickers bar down her throat), because I kind of need to have all of the supplies handy while taking on the mammoth Project Life like project, I have run into a few snafus.  I am generally NOT organizational challenged because if it ain't got a place, it gets gone (just ask my ex-husband).  The problem, it seems, with my Project Life Like obsession is that I don't exactly know what I need (and YES, I have done a few layouts so don't even try to be all like "if you build it, it will come"), I have bought a lot of "shite (really??  There is no other word for it all)" for said project, and I want to do every technique known to the scrapping world when it comes to each and every pocket on each and every page (therefor I feel the need to also have every PL Like supply known to man at my disposal).

Another issue that gets me all in a tizzy is that I need to be portable.  Well, I don't need to be portable but my Project Life Like supplies DO.  As some of you know, I vendor at scrapbook retreats and attend day crops and scrapping girly weekends etc.  When I go, I want to be able to grab a few large (HUGE) organized containers, my jammies and Big Poppa's credit card and be on my way.  With my current set up, I am not so sure that can happen.

And it is not like I haven't done my homework...
I am on three Project Life Like Facebook groups.  I watch every (EVERY) You Tube video that contains the words Project, Life or a combination of the two. I stalk/follow/pester the hell out of  many of the bloggers that are infamous for PL.  I pin the bejeezus out of any board that has ever showcased a 4x6 or 3x4 journal card on Pinterest.

Wanna see?  Not the above paragraph because that, even to my ears, seems a bit overboard.  Wanna see my Project Life Like organization SKILLZ??  And then give me some feedback or Martha's phone number or Organized Jen's personal home address for help too?  Remember, this (like Weight Watchers) is a judgmement free zone....
(sorry for the glare off of the shiny painted cement floor)  Say HI to Alex!  HI ALEX!!  Alex holds a few PL Liket necessities but is not my main squeeze by any means.  From top to botom Alex contains 1. inks 2. alphabet and number stamps 3. my Cameo and Silver Bullet necessities 4. a few 6x6 pads I have deemed PL Like worthy but not card worthy 5. page protectors 6. stencils

On top of Alex are a few PL Like necessities.  Over to the extreme left is my little bag that contains my tiny trimmer, corner chomper, journaling pens, adhesive etc...definitely portable but not sure it contains all the basics I need.  The 3 drawers are getting a bit stuffed which makes me worry because I don't know what else to put the stuff in.  From top to bottom: 1. tiny boxes with brads, sequins, wood veneers, and all the other little doo-dads that come with PL LIke buying. 2. flat stickers and labels...the only time in my scrapping life I have ever loved stickers! 3. stamps that are specific for PL Like. That dandy blue tray on the top is empty. I put little embellies in it when I am planning my layouts and pockets.  The green basket catches pictures and memorabilia that I plan to include in my PL Like spreads.

I can't even begin to imagine where I got this little wire thingy (and that binder clip hanging so precariously uneven from it is driving me nuts as I type this).  It holds legal file folders. In each folder, I have organized papers specific to PL Like.  The front folder has cutouts and then they are arranged by color.  In the back are PL Like collections (I just discovered these when they were on sale at Hobby Lobby and must say I like them very much).  This bad boy is filling quickly however.  And I know the answer peeps, so please no preaching....I know I should just stop buying and start using.  But, if you are here it is probably because you have an addiction to paper too, so hopefully you get it.
This is the biggest thorn in my side and I am hoping the CTMH organizer will help to contain this wild beast.  These are all of the "kits" I have.  As you can (kind of ) see, they are organized first by size and then by kit.  So all my Honey BH PL core kit cards are together as are my various subscriptions etc.  I find it very hard to dig through in finding things to coordinate because I don't like using the same collection.  I like to mix it up and use my own artistic (heheheeh) eye to color coordinate my layouts.  I have thought about rearranging them by color but that sends me into a complete panic because there is no going back once it is done.  Not to mention, many of these cards are so colorful, it would be almost impossible to single out single colors to categorize them.  I think these containers were meant to be used as ice cube bins in your freezer. At any rate, I got them in the kitchen organizing section of Target.

These 3 drawers from Wal-Mart roll under one of my tables. It is the table I primarily use for PL Like layouts so it is kind of easy to get to.  The mother load of cards pictured above sit in the bottom drawer  and anchor it (literally).  I know I can load this into my Jeep, with the smaller 3 drawer organizer that sits on Alex and my little black basics bag and take them on a crop.  I could also throw in the blue file container and a few things from the drawers of Alex.

The middle drawer houses my washi tape (that was once organized by color) and my alphabet stickers.  I will say that the Thickers you see are NOT my full collection.  I divvied them up and didn't allow for repeats so they would fit.  The doubles and triples live in my storage room (along with A LOT of other "peats" and repeats")

The top drawer still has some room (be still my beating heart).  There are several smaller containers that keep my flair, sewing goodies, printables and items from cut files, little paper odd and ends, and non-sticker embellishments.  

Enough to make you all itchy too right?  Like is your heart totally racing now because you so want to dig into my stash and fix it??  Well COME ON!!  I will make you a cup of coffee, bring you a fabulous cupcake from Maxie B's and watch you work INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY!  And YOU can organize until your hearts content instead of of doing your laundry too.  But seriously, if you have suggestions, I would love, love, love to hear them.  I am ordering a medium organizing plastic thingy from Close to My Heart from a friend which may help a wee little bit, but give me your awesome suggestions too!!  As always, thanks for stopping by and reading my blog INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My New and Improved Studio Space!

It will have to be short and sweet tonight (but aren't you just so proud of me for making it a solid month??)... My mom is in town to celebrate my sweet baby girl's (I still call her baby so that I can still call the weight I am carrying around baby weight) 12th birthday!  We ate at the Melting Pot tonight.  If you have ever eaten there you know that I am about 10 seconds away from a full fledged food coma so I must, I must, I must get this written before that happens.

As you know from my whiny post (about 3 posts ago), you know I just turned 40 and have been trying to bring some order to my sometimes chaotic world.  One of the places that needed it the most was my studio. While I am the type that makes a mess while I am working on a project, I am learning that I need a clean studio to walk into or I don't end up walking in at all.  A mess leaves me overwhelmed and under-inspired, so I am trying to clean up my act in my "she-cave" so that doesn't happen.  I mean, really, I did have to arm wrestle Big Poppa in order to make our basement MINE and not some testosterone laiden place where ball-scratchin' and cigar smokin' are a given (sorry ladies, but I gots to tell it like it could have been).

I am soooooooo lucky to have this space considering I used to scrap from the wee corner of our homeschool room, which was the loft of a 1400 (barely) square feet townhouse. We have since moved into a home that is a bit bigger and I now have a walkout basement that includes a huge great room with a bar sink and counter, storage room (unfinished), guest room with a walk-in closet, full bathroom, and elevator shaft (awesome for storage of my tables and chairs that I pull out when I have a bunch of crafty ladies over).  Please don't take this as bragging or trying to be all "in your face."  All I am saying is that I know I am blessed beyond belief and that I only hope to be able to share my good fortune of being able to create in such an awesome space with my friends and family.  I am also trying to explain that I now have NO reason not to be organized and neat since I have so many hidey holes to put a plethora of craft goodness.

The following pictures don't show everything because by the time I got home, it was too dark to take good ones (okay and let's face it...I am a horrible photographer AND the food coma was slowly settling in).  I plan to do a studio tour on my You Tube channel (link above) when all is said and done.  I have a lot more  to do still, especially in the storage room.  As I get more and more done I will post some more photos and let you know when the she cave goes live on YT.    One thing I will say is that you learn a lot about your scrapping and crafting style and what you need the further you delve into this hobby.  My organizing style and what and how I like to do things has progressed over the years and I finally think I have figured out what works best for ME.  With that said, jumping head first into Project Life for the first time has brought on a whole new set of organizing dilemmas, but let's leave that for a blog post in which my Flaming Turtle Chocolate Fondue is not sitting, shell and all, in the pit of my stomach.
This is the famous Ikea Expedit.  It seems to be the "go-to" for a lot of scrap happy organizers.  This one is to the right of the fireplace.  To the left is another one just as full.  This one contains a lot of mediums and embellishments organized into those boxes.  The one on the left is more geared towards paper.  I love the white file boxes (from Ikea too) because they can hold 12x12 paper....always a thorn in the side for organizing it seems.

No, this isn't my scrap studio, not even close.  In fact this Ikea store is about an hour and a half away from my house (Big Poppa is ecstatic because if it were closer, we would be there a lot more).  It is an organizer's paradise UP IN THERE!!  Something about all that cheap (the prices are very reasonable but that may lend itself to the fact that the quality isn't Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware like) organizing eye candy AND Swedish meatballs being all under one roof makes me HAPPY!

Sadly, this is the only other picture I have.  This is a kind of sort of wing off of the main area.  To give you a point of reference, I am standing a little in front of my main craft desk to take this photo.  My main craft desk faces an L shape couch that is in front of the fireplace and Expedits pictured above.  The bar counter and sink are to the right of my desk.  The tables to the right and left can pull to the center so if my girls come over to get their art on, we can all sit together and work.  The "Alex" as it is called (black 6 drawer unit to the right) and the white plastic 3 drawer units all hold my Project Life stuff as well as some supplies to use the various machines you see on top of the tables (Silver Bullet, sewing machine, typewriter and Cameo).  What you can't see is that straight ahead under the table that holds my sewing machine and type writer is yet another long storage shelf unit. 

Once again, this set up works for ME.  It may not work for you because of how you like to work or your chosen style of space.  My theory for ME is that I don't need things to be pretty but I have to have them be functional.  All the "candy stations" and pretty vintage milk glass in the world won't work for me because it isn't how I craft.  While it is beautiful to look at and works for others, I need more utilitarian modes of organizing.  So, I will continue to organize and search for the nirvana of studio space INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY!  And, if you have some YT video recommendations of some awesome studio spaces or if you have an awesome video of your own crafty she space, leave me a link below!  I would love to watch some vids INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY too!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Project Life Like

I almost did it...

I almost made an excuse as to why I couldn't write this blog post even though it is firmly written in pen on my calendar.

And then I remembered my own terms, the ones I set forth when I decided to schedule my blog so that I would make sure I was getting it done (without stress).

When I decided to do this FOR REALS, I promised myself that a blog post doesn't have to be long and extensive to be a blog post.  So instead of telling you that I had a doctor's appointment today (which I did) and explaining next week that I kind of had the wind knocked out of my sails (which I did) and I was too tired or too sad to write this week, I sat my fat caboose down and, in the words of NIKE, decided to JUST DO IT!

Another "thang" I have finally got off my arse to do is Project Life.  I don't mean that I started shopping for PL because, let's face it, I have been doing that for quite some time!  I mean that I took the images of fantastic pages that have been running through my head for a few weeks and I JUST DID IT!  I went with my vision and some pictures (oh yeah, and ALL the STUFF I have been buying while heavily drugged with pain meds, antibiotics, and Ambien and have been regretting because my budget is blown for the next, oh I don't know, 27 months) and GOT "ER DONE!!

This is my latest obsession, the thing I want to do INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY!!  It is a blast because, like altering, it is just doing what you want to do, the way you want to do it (ok within the parameters of certain pocket sizes, but you get it).  I couldn't be more thrilled that I am finally at a place in my heart where I can document a life that I love!

OH!! And INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY, sometimes I make crafty YouTube videos.  I just uploaded one on some awesome wood veneers that I discovered from an amazing woman and her hardworking husband.  Want to know more?  Check out my vid at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DtRTufJE1I  and if you need something to do INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY, sit down and enjoy!

This is my cover page.  I think I included any and every trend that was popular in 2011, 2012 and 2013.  While it may be crazy busy, I love it and am thrilled every time I look at it.

And this is IT!!  My very first (but certainly not last) Project Life "like" layout.  I include the word "like" because I have heard that Becky Higgins has laid claim to Project Life and that it can't just be randomly used anymore.  This event took place in April and that is my plan for PL...events not weeks.  Scrapping this way makes PL more manageable for me and takes away from my anxiety of not completing yet another thing.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Don't Judge Me!!

(WOO WOO, I don't know about you but I am so super proud of myself for keeping our date...this  Tuesday thing is working.  And, yes, I know it is only the second week, but we have to congratulate ourselves for small victories.  Therefore, I am raising my pretend crystal champagne glass filled with really expensive pretend bubbly to clink with you and your pretend stuff!  Because if you are here for week 2, it means you are sticking with me-for now-and we both deserve a good stiff drink for that! And you will see a pic of the beloved planner below...although it was photographed at the beginning of the month so its not nearly as filled as normal, you can still get the gist of the fun.  And this is just the month at a glance part; my fave portion (the week at a glance) had too much "personal" stuff (see whiny post from last week) to take pics of and include)

Okay, so you know when you have gained what feels like 8000 pounds (once again, see last week's whiny blog post) and you are trying your best to feel better but nothing seems to work?  I can't work out (whiny post referral #3) yet and the heat is more intolerable than ever (I do have a serious need in life for Vitamin D so in the summer I like to be out in the sun aaaaallllll the time).  So what do we crafty types do....

You know exactly what I have done because IT IS WHAT WE SCRAPPY PEEPS DO, whether we are feeling like poo or not.  I shopped!!  And I shopped!  I shopped and shopped and shopped and shopped.  I then shopped some more.  I would like to say I am done with shopping but I can't.  You see, I am not shopping for pants in one size bigger (I refuse, I refuse, I refuse and will continue to wear my yoga pants while in complete and utter denial that they are cutting off my circulation; since Big Poppa has had to do the laundry lately, I can completely blame him for turning the dryer on too high) or shirts to cover my DESPICABLE ME 1 and DESPICAPLE ME 2 (AKA my thighs).

I shop for paper because it always fits.  I buy stamps because I never have to try them on.  I buy embellishments because they don 't make my arms like dimpled sausages stuffed in fat girl casings.
Yummies from Mike's and Hobby Lobby...I think.  They have all started to run together. What is not pictured are the 4 Project Life Kits I have also purchased.  To save a little grace, I did divide them up and sell the partial kits on Project Life Swap and Shop.  The sales totally made up for the costs of the kits and I still got as much of the kits as I wanted, so it was a WIN WIN!

Online haulage...2 Peas in a Bucket, Simon Says Stamp, and Bossy Joscie (the most well-prices fllair I have  found EVER!  I am bugging her to sell to me so that I can sell at retreats but she is currently traveling across country with her entire family as they MOVE from Hawaii to Alabama.  Yeah, not thinking she will be in a hurry to get back to me about a big order!  But I do love what she sent me!
Remember when Mike's had their big clearance sale?  Some of this is from there and one or two things are from Hobby Lobby (forgot to include them in the other pic and am trying to be Honest Abe here).

I think even Big Poppa senses my need to feel better because he hasn't given me a hard time as all these packages are being delivered to the house. He even encouraged me to relax and take my time at the scrapbook store he totally insisted (wink wink nod nod) we go to when we went to the beach over the July 4th holiday.  You can totally see that I did as Big Poppa ordered because they only give you the big freebie bags when you spend A LOT!
Tilt your computer to your left because I am a blog stoopid and can't figure out how to fix this.  It is RIGHT  on my computer but for whatever reason, it won't upload correctly nor do I know how swirl it around once it is on Blogger. 

I can't really explain my love and addiction for the "Of the Month" Clubs (perhaps a future blog post??)  But here are a few of the ones I belong to (and yes there are a few that haven't come in yet) and I honestly LOVE going to the mailbox and finding these gems.  Perhaps they give me something to look forward to??  Must consult my college psych books on that one....or not!
Ribbon of the Month Club...because really??  Can you ever have too much?  And it is always so sweetly coordinated.

This is a new one for me since I canceled my Simon Says Stamp Card of the Month Club (Woo Woo, I actually canceled one).  It is the Scraptastic Project Life Kit.  I think it is a bit pricey for what you get, but I may give it another month or two.  I haven't gotten my Studio Calico Project Life Kit or my Cocoa Daisy Stamp Kit yet,  nor have I received my new (obsession) Julep kit (nail polish).  

 Stamps??  Did someone say stamps???  Another addiction!!  However, I only picked up a few that were deeply, deeply discounted either online or at Mike's.

Anywho, I really need to stop shopping.  I know this. Without turning this into WHINY BLOG POST #2, I know we have a ton of medical bills to pay, a child in private school, and a fledgling scrapbook/artsy craftsy business that I am trying to get off the ground.  I know I have to stop looking for ways to feel better in the store and start looking within.  I know, I know, I know!  And yet....I STILL TOTALLY WANT TO SHOP INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY!!   So, I am going to try the NO BUY JULY that I have heard many scrapsters adopting for the month.  It is never too late to start, right?  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

40 and Fabulous? How About 40 and Trying To Be On Top of My Life?

So as of late, my life has been a country song...
I have lost my dog (rest in peace my sweet Coach). I have lost my mojo and my faith in some of my fellow man,and there has been a hitch in my giddyup. I also lost my uterus and a few grapefruit sized tumors that were strangling my other girlie parts. I lost a lot of time due to massive, major headaches, extreme fatigue, stomach issues, and a feeling as if my innards are falling (think Chicken Little here) out!  I turned 40 at a time  when I have never felt so unattractive and unappealing in my life (don't think it was my midlife crisis  but just my health in general).  And I wish I could say I lost weight too, but unfortunately the opposite is true and I packed on almost 15 pounds.

In the time since my surgery, I have had a lot, and I do mean A LOT of time in bed to think about how to get things right, how to manage what has, at times, seemed overwhelming and hopeless, and how to LIVE.
I wish I could say I had an epiphany of the holy type but that would be a bold face lie. However, I did have some You Tube insight (you can learn to do anything on the good ole YT) that I thought might help in some aspects of my life (I will leave out the more personal details here...not that the discussion of my uterus and girlie parts wasn't already personal).

Have you seen these little beauties posted EVERYWHERE on YT?  It is the newest craze to hit the paper crafting community in the name of ORGANIZATION.  A Filofax is a way to put every aspect of your life in a cute color coded format, loaded with stickers and awesome colorful pens and washi tape in a REALLY expensive planner.  I won't wax poetic over all of the things peeps do to personalize their planners, but if you are a You Tuber, you can find some vids without a problem.  There are also Facebook groups designed just for the crazed Filofax obsessed.

None of these Filofaxes (plural of Filofax???) are mine because I refuse to spend that kind of money on a leather planner, but I do have a mini binder that I found at Wal-Mart complete with inserts from Avery that I have made my own.  My point?  My point is that I have decided to schedule A LOT of things to help ease my anxiety and need to have control over things I generally cannot.  Things like what??  Well, this blog for example.  Tuesday is my blog day.  And because I now have it scheduled for once a week without having to always feel guilty for not doing it everyday (OK or EVER), I can breathe; I can check it off once it is done with satisfaction. If I happen to write more than that during the week, BONUS (hopefully you feel the same), but if not and I only get the one done, at least I did it. What may be a baby step and silly for some, is critical for me and my anxious nature.  I plan to do the same for my You Tube vids (maybe less than once a week to start because I am still struggling with a lack of confidence in my appearance and a fear of the mirror and the camera), working out, and calling my mother (if you only knew!!).  I also have had to come to realize that my blogs don't have to be 10 pages long in order for them to be good or done (and perhaps my readers would prefer they not be so long anyways).
WOO HOO!!  I am checking this off my list in my planner and feel relieved and happy and satisfied.  Of course, if the day to do wash is also scheduled on Tuesday, I guess I will be writing my blog INSTEAD OF THE LAUNDRY!!!
And PS, for those of you who have stuck with me during my country music phase, THANK YOU!  I continue to write this for you and for me and I promise to do better by us both.