Monday, October 5, 2015

Studio Time

I got some paperwork (lol!) done in the studio this past week. Got my Ban.Do planner set up for October's Listers Gotta List journaling project sponsored by The Reset Girl. I was able to get the base decorating done beforehand and my first week of October lists done. I'm loving this format versus using a full page. It suits my time/feeble brain well.

Doing a full page for each prompt was just too much. Glad I switched. This is a closeup of the actual lists in action.

This morning I made a birthday card for my niece and embellished some notepads I got from Target's dollar spot. I thought that by adding some bling to the cover and stamping the pages would make it more special. I always send her some spending money and a Starbucks card, so this kinda gave the gift a more personal touch. The card turned out dorky... That's why it's not photographed here. I sent it anyway, dork and all. Figured she'd get a good laugh out of it.

This week will find me sewing with the Guild at the firehouse. This will force me to work on my bedroom curtains. That'll be good because if I screw up, I can get extra panels from the Target nearby.  I hope I remember how to sew!

I got a quilt (UFO) back from the quilter. Looks great. This was the first time I sent something out. I need to have her do my second one in the series. That way I can get them both done and ready to hang.

Unfortunately, I found someone to give my black and white star quilt to. I was creating this for a friend with cancer. She died before I finished it. Another friend's mom was given a grave ovarian cancer diagnosis. I'll be giving it a good wash adding on a personalized label, and shipping it out.

That's about it in my world. Not much excitement going on.

Monday, September 28, 2015

I'm a Planner Girl!

Hello! I'm back. Things are starting to even out into routine. Thank goodness. I was about to check into the looney bin! Not really, but the rest and relaxation would be nice. LOL!

Truth be told, this and the last half of last year have taken a toll on me personally. Since my fall almost a year ago, I've been struggling to regain control of the household chores. Throw in a longer than expected house guest (now gone as of last week) and it spelled disaster for re-gaining control.

Fear no more. I handled a move with hubby out of the country, in fact picked the house out on my own, too! Betcha didn't know that. Yep, we had just about given up looking when I saw this one online. I just called him to ask him to sign the papers. LOL! But the actual move was on me. I couldn't have managed that without my A5 Foxy Dori bullet journal from The Foxy Fix

I blame my planning kick on a Pinterest board of a national quilting magazine editor I follow. She pinned these beautiful notebooks out of Japan known as "Midori Traveler's Notebooks". Many were adorned with beautiful illustrations, stickers, various ephemera, etc. Some were also simplified with just lists. Then she upped the ante showing  Filofax, Covey planners, and the like. I was a pinning fool, drinking in all the iterations of planning mania.

Hook. Line. Sinker.

In a mad search for Midori resources, my eyes were opened to a whole new creative way of time management. It tweaked my desire for order and satisfied my yen to create. I immediately went into obsession overdrive and bought supplies like crazy. Yep, you've seen that meme around about buying $96 in supplies to make something that costs $7. I'm that nut.

Anyway, after a few tries and iterations, I've found my groove. I make a pretty calendar for the household and use a slightly adorned bullet journal for my brain book. I carry my brain book wherever I go.

I love the ease of a bullet journal. I used a similar system during my working days and it really helped me to gage my priorities and set a work schedule. By putting it down on paper it's there if technology fails. For me, just writing it down makes it more real. Plus, the obsessive Virgo taskmaster I am cannot stand an unchecked task. Lol! Hence my groove. :)

So now that you've seen my pretty calendar shots, let me introduce you to my current bullet journal setup. This is an A5 cover I purchased from The Foxy Fix on Etsy. I chose an A5 size because I can readily find booklets in brick and mortar stores near me. My little Japanese dollar store uses international paper sizing A4-6, for example, so I can get affordable inserts if my budget crunches ($1.50). The A5 size also holds those simple Moleskine Cahiers I love. I can get those locally as well. The price of the Cahiers are more, but I like the simplicity of the notebook.

I use one book for my calendar and lists. I keep an index in the front of the book (left in picture), so I know where to go for certain info. In this same book I keep a running calendar (RIGHT IN PICTURE ABOVE). I have mine going until the end of the year. Simple. Just number page lines to the days in your month and go from there. Then the following pages are lists, notes from conversations, task info, etc. whatever you want it to be. I just number the pages and reference them in the index. This part has saved my gravy a few times with my ISP. Had I not had my new account number written down I would have had more issues. But that's a whole 'nother blog post. Anyway, those pages do come in handy sometimes!

The second book is actually my daily task lists. I use certain icons to denote type of activity, progress etc. Here is a basic week shown above.

I take about fifteen minutes each day to plan. Sometimes I plan two days in advance. I usually break my fifteen minutes into two sessions... One for reviewing the day's activities and the other for closing the day and planning the next day. I do set aside some time to do the pretty stuff in my household calendar each week. But I really count that as creative time versus planning time, as I really work from the bullet journal.

I am amazed at how productive I've become using the bullet method. The tasks it helps with:

  • Cleaning schedule
  • Appointments
  • List/Note repository
  • Task list
  • Bill pay reminder
  • And more

I highly recommend keeping a planner. You can make it as fancy as you want (and my pretty calendar is nowhere near as fancy as others' planners, trust me!) or as simple as a plain bullet journal/running task list.

Best yet, When the power is out, I have it all in hand thanks to low tech paper and pen.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Coming Up for Air

Slowly but surely I am coming up for air from the move. Yesterday I received infinite thank yous from hubby, wondering how I managed the physical and logistical part of the move on my own. Like I told him. I had no choice. But if I did it over again, I'd do it the same way. It worked out best that I handled this move alone. When I get into field marshal mode, I'm not an easy person to get along with. I'm all business.

I owe the fact that I'm still alive to my two over-the-counter friends from Canada. I need to make another border run soon. These, plus a steady flow of chocolate... Lol!

I finally got to the studio boxes yesterday. I lack unpacking about six of them. The rest will be just finessing the space to make it work. Doable.

I expect my studio to be up and running in two weeks. My sewing mojo isn't in full swing yet, but it is coming back. I have a few house projects to take care of, then I can get back to quilting.

In the meantime I'm still working with paper, planners, and notebooks. It has really helped working in a different media. If your mojo gets in a slump like mine did, I highly recommend trying that. You'll see more of that stuff in the coming weeks.

Just wanted to let you know that all is well. I made it to the new place and no one was murdered in the process. Now I gotta pick a day to do my spa thing. It's payment for my hard work. Lol!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Still Breathing!

Hello! Just checking in to let y'all know I'm still breathing. With all this upheaval that comes from moving I'm not sewing. My studio is packed up and has been for quite some time.

With my waning sewing mojo going on, I decided to work in another media for a while to keep up my creativity and get my mojo back. It's working. I'm wanting to sew again. It just so happens that won't happen for a month or so, but I'm fine with that.

During this time I've been taking a journal book and working with that. I've got a (growing) shoebox of supplies and am doing pages based on gratitude. There are a lot of blessings in my life. And despite my temporary stressors, it's important to focus on the good.

I've also taken the newfangled method of planning by storm. Right now I have an A5 journal that serves as my portable planner, as well as a spiral bound planner for the household. Just the A5 alone has boosted my productivity by leaps and bounds. By using planners in a creative mode it helps me keep with the program. After all a creative mind needs to stay active.

Looks like moving day will be at the end of the month. I'm 90%+ packed (less essentials) and ready to go. In fact, I've got my first light week scheduled in a long time. I'm even taking the rest of the day today to read.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Blog Hiatus

Every bone and muscle in my body aches. I guess it's a good kind of ache because of why I'm in such pain. The offer we put on house #2 was accepted. This one looks very promising, so I've begun the war of packing. The studio is boxed up with the exception of a small shoebox full of paper crafting supplies. I need my creative outlet amidst the chaos of packing for a move.

To keep my sanity I created a gratitude journal from one of my Daiso A5 journals. I took out the cute printed cover and decorated the plain book. I confess that most of what I have in my shoebox was from a coordinated Listers Gotta List (July)kit I purchased from Cori, The Reset Girl. Each month she curates a kit for her Listers Gotta List peeps. I was lucky to procure one of the extras she had leftover. as of today her shop is closed for a day or so to catch up on orders. She'll be back open soon!

I'm going to try to take the time each day to journal in some way, shape, or form what I am grateful for that day. I need to remind myself of all the blessings God has given me.

This blog will go on hiatus for a while since not a whole lot is going on. You can keep up with me at my regular daily blog, Life In My Happy Place.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Stalled and Waiting

Creative stuff has stalled in a big way here. Too much behind the scenes. Need to pull back a bit and do some thinking.

The prior house didn't work out. Not upset whatsoever. It was mutual between both parties. It's all good. Found a new one the same day, made an offer and we are in the waiting game. That's about it. Packing is stalled. Right now I'm just enjoying some R&R time after a stressful couple of weeks.

But like I say it's all good. Just the guy upstairs reminding me of HIS plan and HIS time.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Great Big Catch-Up

Things started off crazy this month. I mean really crazy. We've been renting for the last few years as we were just so tired from moving and weren't ready to commit to the area. That plus our financial situation wasn't where I felt comfortable with regarding home ownership (I'm fairly conservative and debt adverse).  Recently our position has improved but we still weren't ready.

Then a house popped up, courtesy of a tip from a friend. This literally happened overnight... The showing, the pre-approval, the offer, and the declination of the offer. The seller chose two weeks of time versus a few thousand dollars. Yes, it's that tight of a market. Time sold out over money.

The cool thing was that we are now pre-approved and I got myself a pat on the back... Even though we didn't get the house. I literally got all our financials together within one hour! I had more on the ball than I thought I did! I learned that I'm quite hard on myself. So now I'm celebrating that game victory. Yessiree.

We are still looking, but are not chasing it like we did last weekend. Lol! Tomorrow we look at a home that is near a friend. It's on the hig end of the spectrum. We have done a drive by, but I want to see the inside and "feel" the house.

We have some misgivings about this housing market here. Things have grown so rapidly up here that it's a whole new ball game. My initial observations are that they're building new neighborhoods wherever they can find free land. That's all and well, but I'm not going to live in the swanky development smack dab in the hood. Prices are an issue too. Out east we could get a beautiful farm with lots of land for what we can buy a starter home for here. Distressing to say the least.

I've really gotta get back to my sewing. I don't want to lose that mojo. I'm thinking that if I can crank out some backs, get the corresponding tops quilted and see some finished products, I'd have more mojo.

So I may be spending some forced time in the studio next week. I'm thinking that if my feet go forward, my head will follow. I hope so.

With all the stuff going on last week, I finally got my organization mojo going. Finished my planner notebook. Made a few changes last week. I'm finding that modified bullet journaling/planning is the way to go for me. I spend 5-10 minutes at the beginning and end of the day to check off tasks and review what needs to get done. My systems allows for expansion, and so forth.

My current setup consists of the rolling small notebooks housed within a leather cover:
  • Monthly calendar
  • Bullet journal
  • List book
  • Journal/art journal
  • Books I've read list
  • Blank book for expansion. 
  • Pockets for pens, stickers, post-its
This system acts like a rolling to-do list, brain dump, and helps me keep track of books I've read. The first three items will be indexed for easy review. That way I know where the information is located.