Friday, April 27, 2018

I Had a Vision...

You know that feeling you get when you finally finish that project you've been working on for months?  You know the one…it’s been sitting there on your work table, and you’ll glance at it occasionally, and you might even work on it a bit from time to time, but you can never seem to find the time to just sit down and finish it.  And then, when you finally do, it’s like this huge weight has lifted off your shoulders and you have this amazing sense of accomplishment.  It doesn’t matter if the project is work or play, that feeling is the same no matter what.  And that’s exactly how I feel right now!

Some time in January, I decided that I needed to create a vision board to set my focus and intention for the coming year.  It was my hope that looking at this vision board every day would help me grow my business, be more organized, lose some weight, spend more time with family, save more money, and add a bit more adventure and travel to my life.  I wanted to share the idea with my other crafty friends, so I formed a class and we worked diligently all afternoon cutting out words and images from magazines and really thinking about what areas of our lives we wanted to improve.  But Rome wasn’t built in a day, and apparently, Vision Boards, aren’t either. I’ve been working on it steadily since then, but somehow, I could never find the time to finish my vision board.

Until today.

Thursdays are the day I host my regular Mother’s Day Out crop (most of us are retired grandmothers, but we’ve kept the moniker just the same).  I set out to make a serious dent in my vision board project because I feel like I’m missing out on the good vibes all those positive messages would be sending me, and I was afraid I wasn’t going to get to work on it at all because a bunch of work popped up at the last minute, and I spent more than half the day working on that instead of breaking out the scissors and paste.  But eventually I finished up my work and got to start back on my project and then, about 6 o’clock, I suddenly realized I was nearly done!  I just had a few empty spots to fill and a handful of cut out words and images I needed to add to my poster.  Before I knew it, the vision board was done and I had to share with my daughter, Christen, and a few select friends.

Of course, I couldn’t leave it at that.  I like to share my projects, and I especially like to share projects that I’m particularly happy with.  So that’s why I thought I’d share it to my blog today.  So here it is, at long last, my Vision Board.

I do offer this project as a class, complete with poster board, glue, and lots of magazines, so if you’re in the Dallas, Texas area and you want to make one, give me a shout!  I’ll set up a class!  Until then, keep crafting!


Friday, January 26, 2018

A Pack Rat's Guide Continues...

I little while ago, I posted a Facebook Live video feed of my messed up, maxed out crop room I fondly refer to as Crafty Neighbor Studios.  It’s a wreck.  Between the chaos of the holidays, my niece moving in for a bit, and the “purge” cycle my husband is going through, it has accumulated a lot of stuff, and now I have to find a place to put all of it.  Whether that is safely stored in my shelves, tossed in the trash, sold in a garage sale, or donated to ScrapDenton remains to be seen, but I have to do something with it and I have to do something NOW!  Just watch the video, and you’ll see what I’m talking about!

So this video reminded me of some blog posts I did many moons ago about decluttering and organizing, and they have some great tips and info that bears repeating.  If you weren’t around then, I urge you to check out these 4 articles.  I think they’ll help.  And with any luck, I will have more tips to share with you as I clean up this big mess and get my studio back to being my happy place where I love to create!  Until then, please enjoy:

Happy Spring Cleaning!


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

New Year, New Everything

I know it's been a while since I posted.  There have been a lot of dramatic changes in the Murray household over the last few months.  For those of you who don't know, my younger sister, Patsy, passed away on September 1 after a lengthy illness.  She left a big hole in this world, and we are all learning to cope with that.  She was survived by a daughter, my niece, who is disabled and was dependent on her.  After spending some time with my mother, my niece has come to stay with me, and we are trying to help her become independent.  It's a long process, and very time consuming, but we are excited about what the future holds.

So in the mean time, I've had about a gazillion irons in the fire.  One of them that pops up this time every year is cleaning and reorganizing.  I don't know about you, but I always have to do a lot of reorganizing right after the holidays.  I have to find a place for all the stuff we bought and received as gifts.  Then I have my semi-annual scrapbook garage sale coming up this weekend, so I need to go through all my craft supplies to see what I can get rid of.  But that's not all.  It has spread across the whole house.  We cleaned out the tupperware cabinet and I reorganized my closet.  We've also had to clean out one of the spare bedrooms (aka the other craft supply store room) for my niece to move into.   We're so serious about cleaning and reorganizing right now that my husband has adopted a word of the year -- "purge". So 2018 is the year of the purge, and we're eyeballs deep in it.

Another thing that happens in January for the last few years is that I start a new planner.  I'm so hooked on the 365 Happy Planners by Me and My Big Ideas that this year I've actually started two!  I moved to one of the "Big" planners for my everyday memory planning -- that way I can just use standard 8.5" x 11" paper in it without having to trim it down.  I'm liking the bigger format.  It gives me lots more room to play.  Starting this year, I am moving my fitness and wellness tracking to a separate planner, so I went with the Mini fitness planner, also by MAMBI.  I'm having to adjust to it not having exactly the format I want, but I'm making it work.

So that brings me to today's project...some charm holder/page markers for my planners.  I was inspired to make these by some I had seen on Easy.  I was amazed at how simple they were to assemble, and I had so much fun, I just might make a few more!

Here's the supplies you need to start with:

Recycled plastic, chain, assorted jump rings, eyelets, charms.

Crop-o-dile, small jewelry pliers.  Not pictured: paper trimmer and Arc System hole punch

The plastic I used for my charm holder was actually the plastic wrapper that came on my fitness planner, but you could use any kind of thin plastic, as long as the hole punch works on it.  The ones I saw on Easy used colored plastic such as you might find on a report cover or a plastic binder or file folder.  I just happened to have the clear plastic wrapper laying around, so I wanted to try it.  I cut them to size, rounded the corners, and punched the holes.  It all cut very easily with my regular scrapbooking tools.

I discovered a few things when I added the eyelets.  I tried 3 different methods trying to achieve a nice look.  The first was with my Crop-o-dile.  As you can see, it smashed the eyelet pretty well, but it was an ugly and uneven mess on the back side.  Then I went to my spring-loaded eyelet punch, but this particular eyelet was a lot harder than some others I've had and I had a really hard time getting it to smash.  The third eyelet was done with an eyelet washer and the spring loaded eyelet setter.  It didn't flatten the eyelet out as much as the Crop-o-dile, but the washer gave it a nice, finished look on the back side.  One other thing I will note:  I used the small size eyelets for my project because I wanted the look I could get using colored eyelets, however, I think that the larger sized eyelets might actually be better in this case.

After setting the eyelets, I assembled a small length of chain with a few charms.  Here's the finial project:

Well, that's all for now.  I hope you enjoyed my little planner project, and I hope you'll stay tuned for more fun projects coming up this year!  Until then, go do something crafty!

#mambi, #happyplanner, #embracethediscs