Thursday, November 29, 2012

'tis the season...

for organization!  It seems like as the holiday season counts down, store shelves previously filled with holiday gifts are filled with organizational products.  I guess everyone must have "be more organized" on their list of resolutions for the new year.  :)

I have been feeling less than organized lately.  I function much better when I have a schedule, but if it is too tight I feel confined, if it is too loose I procrastinate.  I have to find the perfect balance between the two.  I have recently been working on a weekly schedule, along the lines of, if it is Monday I must be _____.

However I have no problem staying organized when it comes to meal planning and shopping, I have been doing this for years.  About a million years ago when I was homeschooling my kids, it was imperative that I have a plan not just for dinner but breakfast, lunch and snacks as well.  I learned to think once and then execute, execute, execute.  That was a long time ago, and while I don't need to be so rigid in order to get everything done, I still practice meal planning to feed the men in my life.  I have a few tricks to make it faster--Meatless Monday, Guy's Choice Thursday and my personal fave, Fast-Food Friday where I make my own version of take-out food.  I'm currently loving Bobby Deen's Beer Battered Fish and Sweet Potato Chips.  Yum.  (Focus Jenn)

I have long used a spiral bound notebook for my meal planning and shopping.  I got this idea a million years ago while homeschooling from I don't remember where or whom.  Just want to give credit where credit is due.  lol  I open it up and on the left side I list the meals I plan to make for the week with any notes regarding location of the recipe(if it is new, cookbook, website, Pinterest), any additional baking or cooking I need to do, I've even used it to plan big events and small catering jobs.  On the right side I list the ingredients I need to purchase for the recipes.  This is my shopping list.  Sure, there are always things I buy, replenish staples like fruit, veggies, hummus, eggs, milk, bread, etc and I add them to the list as needed.  Once the notebook is filled it gets put away or thrown away, depending on my mood.  This works for me for a few reasons:  it is all in one spot; when I am blocked I can look back to previous plans and pull from there; when I am doing a big event or catering job I can look back at my old notes and tweak from there; and I can see how our needs have changed.  So what does this have to do with scrapbooking?  Well, the last time I replaced my spiral notebook, I jazzed up a little notebook using Memory Works Simple Stories Campout papers and embellies.

I went the extra mile and removed the spiral from this small notebook to cover the covers.  Cover the covers, lol.  Yes, that meant I had to re-punch each hole to re-twist in the spiral.  For both the front and back.  It was worth it to me to get the finish I wanted.  I die cut the ovals and used the complimentary alphas to title the book.  I did cover the words with Crystal Effects because I knew this book would get knocked around on the counter, in my bag, in the shopping cart, etc and I knew they'd be peeling off in no time so I wanted to reinforce them.

I covered the inside as well and lined the ugly, yellowish pocket with papers as well to tuck in coupons and receipts.  I don't coupon a lot, only the few things I am brand-specific on.  I tend to cook mostly from scratch with raw ingredients and I don't usually see coupons for meats, fruits and veggies.  I do buy pre-made hummus.  And lots of it.  So I hunt down those Sabra coupons.  lol  Back to business.  I like the little "This is how we roll" sticker because it is how we function best.

So go ahead and get organized and Enjoy!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

i'm a bit card crazy...

Over on the Memory Works blog the team has been featuring cards created from sketches each day this month.  I'd highly recommend you check out the cards and the cards created by consultants and blog readers based on those sketches.  Make a few yourself and link them up.  You might win a prize.  :)

Meanwhile, I'd like to share the cards I created for today's post.  The sketch was actually posted on November 17th, last Saturday, which also happens to be my birthday.

I created both a Christmas card:

I used a kraft base, Authentique's Festive papers and a denim fabric paper for the pocket.  I bedazzled the pocket with a left-over pearl swirl.  

I also made a birthday card:

I started with a kraft base once again, and used Crate Paper's On Trend papers, chipboard and 6"x 6" pad along with Sn@p Typeset alphas.  

The cards side by side:

I've been going card crazy all month and have an amazing stack of Christmas cards all ready to send out.



Monday, November 12, 2012

30 days of cards

Over on the Memory Works blog ( the team is posting 30 Days of Cards.  Each team member has chosen a sketch and has created a card based on that sketch.  Consultants, other team members and anyone who views the blog is invited to play along and post their version of the sketch.  While the intention is to post holiday cards, you are welcome to post any card based on the sketch.

Here is today's sketch by Lacey and her card:


She used Simple Stories Handmade Holidays for her card.  I also used SS Handmade Holidays for my take on her sketch:

I've made about half of the cards in the 30 Day, 30 Cards challenge and have a nice stack of Christmas cards to send out.  Play along, link your interpretation, and your name will be entered to win a prize from the Home Office.  Check back later this week, my first card will be posted on Wednesday and I'll have another card to share on Saturday as well.


Friday, November 9, 2012

playing with distress

The Memory Works October Challenge asked us to play with Distress pens but I went a little wild and used Distress Stains and inks as well.  I layered the stains on the wood background and added some Teresa Collins Vintage Finds paper, stenciled with the stains and used the pens to ink the stamps, color the trim, outline the flourishes and for overall color.

This wood piece is 8"x8" and perfect to showcase my cuties playing in the straw on our big pumpkin picking adventure,