Carpe Diem Planner

I’ve been using a Carpe Diem (A5 size) planner for a little over a year. I have not fallen in love with it.

I tried first to use it as a calendar planner, but I really prefer Google’s calendars where I can sync with and coordinate with my family’s calendars also.

I tried using it as a personal journal. I found the pressure to keep up with decorating it counterproductive to the emotional release journaling provides.

But I like the physical binder. I want to use it. So now I have repurposed it as my YouTube project binder. I’d been keeping lists of projects in a note taking app and that was actually not working well for me. Cross referencing projects with my calendar was annoying. Keeping one long list of to-do items wasn’t convenient for moving items around. And my individual check list for each video just took up too much note space. Yes I realize I may need a different digital solution but… why not try a physical product I already own first.

That being said, I was lacking a reproducible to-do checklist for my binder. So I made one. You can check out my YouTube video coming soon that includes this item (among others). I’ve made this checklist generic and am offering it for you to download if you are looking for something like this. I’ve got the Excel version and a .pdf version as well.

  1. PDF version
  2. XLS version

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THIS FILE

  1. Set all page margins to 0.75 inches.
  2. If you are using the XLS file, print “Sheet 1” only… as many copies as you like.
  3. If you are using the PDF file, print as many copies as you’d like.
  4. Trim the 8 1/2 inch width down to 8 5/16 inches.
  5. Turn sideway and cut sheet in half at 5 1/5 inches.
  6. Hole punch according to We R Memory Keepers Carpe Diem A5 size.

Update & crafting with kids

Remember these guys? I posted about them a few days ago.
ornaments

I didn’t mentioned that I was still working on two more designs. Well I got them finished and look how cute they turned out.
moreornaments

My middle child got really involved with decorating all the stockings on the fireplaces. We’ve made at least 10 of each style of ornament so that means 30 colorful stockings that she worked on. That yellow ombre stocking was our favorite of the batch.So pretty. It is going to be hard to give them all away since they are so fun. (If you didn’t read the last post, these are all gifties for the holidays.)

Which brings me to the second part of my post today. When I bought all these to make my own gifts, I also bought a batch for the kids in my card class. I teach a card making class at my kids’ alternative school. It is so much fun to share my love of crafting with all of these young people. So here is what they look like before young minds get to work on them.
cardclassornaments

I’ve removed the price labels and used my crop-a-dile to punch holes in them for the hanging string. I’m looking forward to seeing what they all come up with to decorate these items.

It just so happens that Jennifer McGuire’s theme this week for her Share Handmade Kindness campaign. What perfect timing since I am sharing these small wood disks for the kids to turn into treasures. Why don’t you go craft with or even for some kids in your life.

Christmas Ornaments

We have a tradition, that was started by my husband’s grandmother, to give christmas ornaments to friends on Thanksgiving. Last year we stamped inked images into sculpy clay rounds.

This time, when I saw Jennifer McGuire’s video on stamping & coloring wood rounds I knew I had to C.A.S.E. this idea. I made a guess at how many ornaments I need this year and decided a simple wood blank from JoAnn’s would be the most practical choice. Turned out I miscalculated. Once I got home and made a physical list of people I’d like to give these little gifts to, there are nearly 50 ornaments I need to make. With an assembly line method and some help from the kids I know we’ll get through these all on time! So far I’ve come up with three stamped designs. There is the front art and a holiday sentiment stamped on the back. Using my crop-a-dile I punched holes in the rounds and added string. Stamps (older sets) and color pencils are from Stampin’ Up. I do have to say that my color pencils aren’t nearly as creamy smooth as the Prismacolor pencils appear to be in the video. New color pencils sound nice but it is hard to buy something new when I already have some, even if they aren’t as smooth.

ornaments

Garden Craft 2

This gardening season has been very low on my usual veggie gardening and high on my rare ornamental gardening. But I am finding so much joy in choosing and arranging plants in lovely garden beds. Today I did more of the same. My husband and I put together a greenhouse kit recently and it was just calling out for a pretty floral border in front of it. I had some flag stone leftover from working on my shade garden. I had put in the flagstones way before the shade garden plans and decided they didn’t really work into the new layout so I removed them and left them sitting in the driveway for weeks. Those leftovers were perfect for some hardscaping around the front of the greenhouse! I hope you enjoy my little piece of country-cottage gardening.

Completed Greenhouse before sprucing up.

Whole view with changes.

Left garden bed.

Right garden bed.

Creature craft

My daughter really wanted to buy herself a cute little Pokemon plushie and had a wad of cash in her wallet to do it with. After searching high and low around town we found nothing that interested her. In our internet search we found interesting plushies but the prices made her cringe. So we turned to DIY. For the same price as buying her favorite plushie online, be bought fabric and fiber fill that will make half a dozen plushies. While we won’t make that many – the supplies will be saved for some future projects – we did have a good time making our own little Pokemon-like critter.

Garden Crafting

View from lawn entry. Paths meander and fork all in this area. An exit exists on the far back right and goes around the side of the house.

Paper is probably my first crafting love. Gardening is running a close second. I’m not very talented in the garden though. Plants grow too much or not enough and even die on me. Makes my design life more difficult when they do unpredictable things. I have a spot under a walnut tree that used to be scraggly grass. I dumped mulch all over it a few years back with the intent to turn it to a shade garden. Never really happened and it became a weed garden. One of my trees fell on my neighbors house last year and had to be chopped up. I kept the logs with the intention of burning them, but decided to create a real shade garden with log-lined pathways. Then a friend who is moving away let me come and selectively dig some established shade plants from her garden. That helped me because I could instantly fill in my garden nooks without the cost or plant investigation/purchasing. I spent all day yesterday finishing off my garden nooks and transplanting the plants I dug up from my friend’s yard. All my body aches from the work, especially moving those large log-stumps I used to surround the walnut trunk. It is all worth is since I now have a lovely, mostly full shade garden. I left a few spots for moving some things from the backyard and I still have some weeding to do along the house. But other than that, it is looking really nice. Enjoy the photo tour of my new garden area. I wanted to get some nicer photos but we are having a typical gray wet day here in the Pacific Northwest!

Left view of front entry from lawn. Yes the lawn still needs work, but one thing at a time!

Right view of entry from lawn. I still have space to fill and weeds to pull, but it is looking good so far.

Center left nook.

Center right nook.

Rear of shade garden. Path goes off the the right around the side of the house. Path to left circles back to front of garden.

Looking from the rear of the shade garden up toward the front ("left" side).

Weekend update #6

Okay, here is my final update of things I worked on this past weekend. Since our plans were canceled on Sunday due to weather, I had plenty of time to craft. I spent all day Sunday in my basement craft room. If any of you have been following my blog, I have been working on sprucing up my basement craft room. My work table looks out onto the furnace and water heater. Not the most inspiring sight! I spent some time in a previous post putting up some decorations to hide the furnace ducts a bit. I finally got to hanging the curtain I planned to use to hide the actually utilities! Since I am going for a Cafe theme in my space I added a scalloped “awning” to my curtain. Both pieces came from sheets I bought for really cheap at the Goodwill.

This is the view as I walk into my space.

This is the view as I am sitting at my table.

I plan on adding several metal chians (attached under the scalloped piece). I can hang inspirational items from these chains such as finished layouts, magazine clippings, mini art pieces, and other things. As I build up my decor palette, I’ll post more pictures!

More Advent

So I have been busy working on various craft projects for the holidays. I wanted to show you the finished results of the Advent projects I worked on. First off we have the rest of the earrings my daughter and I made. She managed to design and put together a couple of pairs all on her own.

The earrings, along with our other Advent goodies have taken their place on our Advent wall. You’ll notice a bunch of little boxes hanging on a card on the right side of the photo. Those are boxes I created several years ago. This year we filled them with the earrings.

The other elements of our advent wall: a Countdown to X-mas sign, advent note cards for my son, and down on the bottom right, large envelopes hanging on a binder ring. You can see an example of how the envelopes are simply decorated since a few are sitting up on the mantel. The envelopes are filled with resurrected Playmobil toys that we dug out of storage. They belonged to my older two children and now they are being passed on to the youngest in her Advent calendar.

A detail shot of  the countdown sign. This was one of the first projects I used playing with my new Gypsy. It was great to weld letters together to create a continuous phrase instead of gluing individual letters down!

I added a Merry Christmas tag to the bottom of the advent boxes since the original one was missing.

The note cards below I made for my oldest. He said this year he didn’t really need an advent calendar. He is at that age where toys are much less appealing (unfortunately he has moved onto expensive video games!) I was just happy that he didn’t get caught up in the greedy “they get something, so how come I don’t” mentality. He was very mature and understanding. But I still wanted to do something for him. So I made these note cards. Each day has a little message tucked into it. Some are just love notes and some are “treats” (like staying up late). I enjoyed making it and I think he is enjoying finding what his message will be each morning.

Happy holidays to everyone, in whatever way you might celebrate them!

Advent

Every year we do advent calendars with the kids to count down the days to Christmas. Our callendars have ranged from the purchased chocolate packs to Playmobile gifts to our make-your-own-advent-out-of-Lego-pieces creation. This year I remembered that when I was a kid my mom had found an earring advent calendar that was filled with holiday themed earrings. I thought that might be a fun calendar for my daughter who had her ears pierced just a couple of months ago. I mentioned the idea to her and we went out shopping to find 24 pairs of earrings on the cheap. We didn’t succeed. But we did come up with the crazy idea to make them ourselves!

With great sales at JoAnn we went shopping and came away with tons of beads and wire and enough findings to make all 24 pairs with plenty of supplies left over for other projects. All for $20! We decided to throw in materials that we already have on hand such as craft wire, polymer clay, buttons and some other goodies. So that increases the cost (sort of) but I think it is well worth it.

My daughter did most of the design work and I did the manual labor while adjusting her designs to the real world. In the first night we made 7 pairs of earrings in about 2 hours. That is awesome considering neither of us have ever really made earrings before! I have to admit that I was feeling overwhelmed when I first sat down to start working on these. I was wondering how many hours I would be sitting in the basement chasing beads that fell all over the floor. After a small learning curve using crimp beads to secure the beading wire, I felt pretty confident in my jewelry making skills! I think we did a great job. I’ll post more pictures as we complete more items.

Hair Clips

I got my hair cut (finally) back at the end of May. I love having the new shorter do. The only problem is that I used to keep my long, long hair up in a big clip to keep it out of my face. I hate having hair tickle me in the face. The old clips wouldn’t fit my new short hair. I just had to have something new. So I made some sweet little clips!

The clip there in the foreground I made in about 5 minutes. I used a flower punch (Stampin’ Up) to punch 2 thin chipboard shapes. I then punched 4 of the same flowers out of pattern paper (Basic Grey leftovers). Glue one piece of pattern paper to each side of each chipboard flower. Glue one flower on top of the other. Bend top petals up slightly. Add a puddle of glue to center, place pearls (Stampin’ Up) in center and sprinkle the whole thing with a bit of glitter to fill in the excess glue. I glued the finished flower to a small hair clip I already had on hand. Lovely!

The second clip was a recycled flower. I made the flower for a bookmark a couple of years ago. I never really liked it as a bookmark because it was just too bulky. But as a clip I love it!

I’ve got a few more flower clips in my future. I’ll share them with you when they are done.