Things I'm Researching

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Craft Room Clean-Up Challenge

The title says it all... getting my craft space tidied up HAS been a huge challenge!

I have started on this endeavor repeatedly with the aim of a CLEAR craft space and a fairly organized surrounding area. What has really taken place is I get the desk top 2/3 of the way clear and then...Then I am drawn away to another task, another project, another key focus...errrr! 
A sweet friend and crafter Melanie D came over with the express purpose of helping me get my table CLEAR...Yeah! I was actually able to get the vacuum in and get the floor clear of paper bits. It looks so much better thanks to my dear friends help.

OK, now I've spent a little more time evaluating and what my next steps would be are....I am on a mission to find a cart that will roll under one table. My handyman (DH extraordinaire) will be adding a couple shelves to my current shelf to better house stamp cases.  I have hope!!

 In the meantime I want to show you a fun project I was working on EVEN with my space being in such a disarray.


  I'll update everyone  soon, I hope to show you a far more organized creative space!


Monday, January 22, 2018

Obsessions and Addictions

Do you have an Obsession or Addiction? 

I've heard friends talk about their chocolate obsession... others say they have a favorite Latte addiction... Others are into being a Gym Rat so much that yup I believe they are also obsessed- even addicted to that adrenaline rush. I'd have to say that as obsession's go I am coming  pretty close with my love of Youtube's varied topics!


No matter what your need or interest, I have found it on Youtube. 
Need a little happiness? Check out babies laughing.
Need to feel close to animals? Wow you can watch newborn eaglets in the nest! 
Are you trying to repair your broken appliance? Yes I learned how to repair my microwave by watching Youtube!
My Youtube topic list has grown so long I cannot find the correct topic when I want to save a great video. Hmm, now have duplicate topics. Yikes! 
Really though, I love, love, love Youtube! 

I can be watching a demonstration of a unique new gadget one minute  and then another moment see what people around the world do with plastic containers to repurpose them. 

A recent favorite though is the  arts and craft trade.There are many great demonstrations showing  exciting and new products and how to use them, also new ways to use products that have been around for a while. Today I was watching one of my favorites. A show demonstrator, Tim Holtz at Creativation 2018. Tim was showing off their new color additions to the Alcohol Ink line. I would use the old advertising jingle and say "You've Come A Long Way Baby"! 

I've bought and used alcohol inks before.... Sadly they would evaporate so fast I'd only get a few uses from it. They were fun but some of the redesigns that Tim demonstrates pumps me full of enthusiasm to go out and buy this whole set AND the cool tin to keep it in!! Another item I have not used before was discussed, Yupo paper, a synthetic paper. I am excited to try this product. Check out the video, if you are obsessed with creating paper arts, a collector of new and fun craft and supplies or just enjoy surfing Youtube check out this video below.

So-oo any friends want to explore some of these newer Alcohol Ink techniques? Come on over, "Lets Play."

Thursday, January 11, 2018

6 Signs That it's Time To Finally Get Organized

How can you and I tell when it’s time to finally get our selves organized and our craft world reorganized?

Oh the signs are quite clear once we begin to pay attention...

Often, I notice a feeling of being out of control...sometimes even blame shifting small things to my sweetheart - Oh no!😗

Here are some examples and common signs that you too might need to get organized too...
☑ You’re Easily Distracted

Clutter and mess isn’t just unattractive – I've noticed it can also be a big distraction whether in my work area or craftspace. If you can’t seem to get inspired or during your workday you can't seem to get anything done, clear the clutter and see what happens.

Did you know that even hidden clutter like a stack of documents waiting to be filed inside a storage box  can drain your mental energy. Keep in mind that clutter isn’t just a problem when it comes to concentrating at work or play. It can also be a visual or mental obstacle to relaxation, a huge problem when our art is our craftspace play ground and form of relaxation.

☑ You Keep Misplacing Necessities

Yes, I know... everyone makes mistakes and oop-sie weird situations do happen. But if we’re regularly losing track of our keys, glasses, a favorite craft punch, it means our organization routine is breaking down somewhere! – quite possibly at our main space...creative area or even our purse or craft tote.

☑ You Can’t Locate Everyday Items

If you find yourself rummaging through your craft drawers, your purse or tote, and all those out-of-the-way extra storage spaces, it’s probably high time to establish a rule whereby everything you own has a dedicated “home.” Once the habit of returning things to their proper place when you’re done using them becomes second nature, the rummaging will stop.

☑ You Get Frustrated by Everyday Tasks 

Most of us have busy lives and a bit of advance preparation is highly suggested to ensure those simple tasks get done . When these tasks become a source of stress, it’s an indicator that something about the process has to change. Often, surprisingly, less is more when it comes to streamlining your everyday chores. Lets say that getting dressed takes forever because you have “nothing to wear,” you might actually have too much and it may be time to purge your wardrobe, eliminate items that do not fit and gift some friends those items you bought and never used. In our craft and work space, the same is true. Streamlining our scrap paper so that it becomes simple to identify, makes our use of it a quick task. 

☑ You Find That You’re Always Shopping

Sometimes, when we think we need more stuff, it’s just because the stuff we already own is so poorly organized that we don’t realize it’s there. In our craft world their is always going to be the next big cool tool or supply, and not only that but seasonally colors change. What was "in" last year is no longer! Decluttering and organizing our belongings, especially those stashed in storage areas like closets and drawers, will help keep us up to date and clarify what we already have and whether we’re unintentionally accumulating duplicates we won’t use. When we de-stash, another benefit can be the kindness of gifting our no longer needed items to someone else who has need.

☑ You Feel Overwhelmed

At some point, almost all of us feel like we simply have too much to do. And it is possible that you do quite literally have more items on your to-do list than the limited hours in the day allow. But you can’t know for sure until you acknowledge, sort, and prioritize those items and learn to manage time instead of just reacting randomly to every task that comes your way. If you don’t already have a simplified routine try creating one now. In the craft world that could mean having 2-4 cards pre-made for our most common categories we send out. Another simplified routine might be pre-cutting a few of the most common colors of base cardstock to our favorite size.

☑ You’re Ashamed of Your Space

If the thought of inviting your craft friend into your space makes you feel ashamed, or if looking at your messy desk makes you feel guilty, yup, you need to get organized. The mess may not be nearly as bad as you think once you get started, or maybe it is and we just need to take those first few steps to launch us on our way to successfully make our space a happy place!

So  now that we've identified some of the key signs what can we do?

Well for many of us we are well on the way since another "sign" is the collecting of ideas for getting organized. If that is you, identify your top two of those ideas and give them a completion date. Set aside some blocks of time and a completion date to accomplish those tasks. Finally,  recruit a friend to help you even if the help is to simply hold you accountable to your completion date. Remember to give yourself a reward for finishing your task. 
My suggestion is to reward yourself by having a favorite social time commensurate with the job accomplished. Perhaps a craft party with a few friends where you enjoy snacks, friendship and then trade unused items for needed items (remember to find the new items a home right away!) 

Happy Organizing!!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Did You Know the Month of April is...

April is such a lively month, full of funny days, classic foods, parties, time to Fool someone,eat some classic food like peanut butter and jelly, partying with the whole wide world, spend the day walking around things, making wishes with dandelion puffs, writing my tombstone epitaph, skipping housework, heading to the zoo, picking a "special" name for myself, hanging out with my awesome siblings, drawing a submarine (or exploring one), then walking on my wild side as I plan my next strategy for Scrabble. I definitely don't want to miss celebrating Look up at the Sky Day or Husband Appreciation Day either...There is so-ooo many things to do this month!

Are you curious about all these celebrations? Check it out at Holiday Insights... not much to look at as sites go but loads of dates to plan some fun. 

Not only do we have days to remember like today April 4th is granddaughter Fiona's birthday ... and in history the day Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated (1968.)

Did you know that on April 6th Twinkies hit the market and  the first Twinkies were banana-filled!(1930)

The fun and funny days are loads of fun, we honor the men and women who have changed our world and other times we focus on awareness and bringing help to our world. One of my favorite times to celebrate and show thanks is coming up soon, Easter! I am so grateful for the gift of eternal life because of Jesus. 

So many fun things to celebrate...but the most wonderful moments for me are those shared with family :) Most recently were a couple of my darling grandchildren- siblings that have birthdays that fall 12 days apart and also conveniently on their school spring break times.  It was so fun seeing them and joining in the festivities!
  • March 23 Luke
  • April 4 Fiona
  • April 13 Megan
Although I am not able to actually be in the same location for all of the celebrations, I think of them, honor them and pray for them that the day for them -their special day, will be simply amazing. 

So getting back to my main topic..."Did You Know The Month of April Is..."  

I wanted to focus on a weekly celebration that falls on the third week of the month of April called Organize Your Files Week.

Why call this a celebration you might ask? For me it is part of a larger challenge several other friends are also participating in. The goal is to get my craft space organized and accessible. It has become so overrun with piles and disorganized clutter that I am not even using my craft space. 

My friends Melanie Diane, Shannon and myself are all focused on craft room organizing tasks and are challenging each too.We took photos and created videos to document the "before and after" of it all! With that in mind I am looking at better organizing my Stamp Craft files. I recently purchased a bulk pack of empty hubless DVD boxes to store my loose stamps and some Ezmount Static Cling Foam Sheets to get all of unmounted loose stamps mounted. I also am creating image covers for the DVD cases. 

As I am working on these tasks, I am also reviewing my old system of organization and updating them. Two other areas I will be working on to get my files organized involve sorting the digital files I have collected for scrapbook and stamp craft and using a favorite APP of mine, Evernote to create a catalog of current products I own. 

I'll be sharing more about our challenge, our before pictures, my organizational tips and more over the next few posts and finally some after pictures as well so stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

PI DAY another reason to blog!

Do you love Blogging? 

Since I was first introduced to the worldwide web one of my favorite things has been learning and sharing. It may have been about my creative interests or business life-most often I find that the things I want to share combining what I am learning... Spiritual path, business focus, art, ideas to begin anew, Life. Often right in the middle of developing an idea I am interrupted and dang! I lose my train of thought or it may take an entirely different direction.  Pinterest helps me to quickly capture ideas, recipes, sites to go back to and more. Recently I noticed that Pinterest has a widget creator!  I was just in the middle of creating a "Things I'm Researching" board when I noticed this so I decided to try it out an see if it could be a helpful tool. So far I don't get it... Moving on...


Sunday, January 1, 2017

"One Word" My Focus For 2017

Today we are stepping into a brand new year.

 For some it is viewed as just another day and for others it is just another New Year and for still others it is THAT day or more directly New Years day but for many others it is THE Day to begin anew. 

It may mean that time of special reflection and goal setting. Perhaps you write out a page of resolutions in expectation of getting it right this year... Getting to your appointments on time, losing a specific amount of weight, beginning an exercise regimen, following through on your To Do List daily, improving one's health, and on and on.  By the mid point of the year less than 47% of those folks have kept their resolution. 

Ultimately resolutions can be very difficult to maintain. There are many reasons but I feel it is very similar to an interesting definition I heard many years ago that has been attributed to among others: Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain. Perhaps you know it too... "Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results" {Insanity}. I find that "the same thing" is setting those goals and resolutions but finding down the road we just need a break from that diet or our exercise is too difficult or even that we simply can't check off those To Do's and then we begin to beat ourselves up for our lack of determination etc. All in all I think many would agree that the New Year and its freshness might feel like a revolving door un-achieved resolutions/goals.
A number of years ago as my new calendar was making it's debut I also had been hearing about choosing a single word, or "One Word" for the New Year.
I began to ruminate on this concept as well. When our family got together to celebrate Thanksgiving 2014 I shared an idea with them. This idea was to create [oh yeah, this blog is mostly about creating] a banner...a simple one made with shipping tags. Each tag would represent our personal "One Word". It turned out really cute and it was such a fun but meaningful project.

I have continued to select a new word year by year. Why? For me it is about a single FOCUS. 
I wanted to share a few other articles and sites that shared "One Word" experiences, thoughts or ideas. I hope you will find it a challenge for you and perhaps check out
a few of the links below.

In case you are wondering what I selected for my "One Word" in this New Year is...Drum Roll ........ I selected Complete...

Colossians 2:10New King James Version (NKJV)

10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
So-ooo perhaps you will join me, if so....
One more thought...

If it is worth our focus, worth our ruminating, worth thinking and debating on what "One Word" important...

What does that mean? Treat it like when we are determined to memorize that very important class assignment or the name of someone very special to you!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Day After Christmas

My Day After Christmas

Do you enjoy the day after Christmas? I do. What do you enjoy doing?

Even though I am unusually exhausted from all the previous shopping, my mind is busy thinking about those special gifts I received. I am like a kid in a candy store, I want to play with my new toys AND yours too! 
This morning even before I came down for my first cup of tea I was enjoying my new Amope Pedi Perfect. Thanks Sweetie, that was a very thoughtful gift! I wondered if I was going to see good results removing those thick layers of dry skin (you know., those callouses formed because of all the long shopping hours, crazy cooking in the kitchen and charging up and down the stairs). Although I did not take a lot of time on the rough stuff, I was happy with my first use of this gift. 
After enjoying my tea I was thinking about that really cool Keurig that Tom received from our dear friends the Sibsons. (Thank You both!- such a thoughtful gift) Tom got it all set up while I watched supervised. He really enjoyed his first cup! 
Now that our feet are soft and we're feeling toasty from the yummy beverage I noted I had not taken time to make a batch of the Butternut Squash Pear Soup even though I had shopped for the ingredients a few days ago. 

H-mmmm so maybe I could put that together while making us some Eggs & Bacon since the soup also used bacon, clever logic, right? Well 1 1/2 hours later we finally sat down to our breakfast, I'll tell you a secret...I earned it, whew! 

We had to take a break after that party in the kitchen but I'll tell you another secret, (that soup was so-ooo worth the effort.)

Oh, did I mention , my friend Greta shared the recipe with me several years ago and I am so glad she did. Thank You Greta!

After my snooze  I finally pulled out another cool fun toy. It is the Anna Griffin MINC Foil Laminator. 
My friend Diane (who is ALWAYS in the know about the funnest trends for stamp crafting gifted me this cool toy.)I can't wait to have a craft play date with you my friend!)

I had a blast pulling out all the fun goodies and then watching the videos I found on Youtube. It was really amazing how many folks have shared their experiences using theirs and I can't wait to try it out- but ahhh that must wait for another day has run away -even though I have lots more to share.But alas It will have to wait for another post.