Project Life 2014: Week 1 Notes



I finally decided to do Project Life. I was in Hobby Lobby one day texting with my friend Kelli, and she said she’d do it if I did. It was that quick. I was so excited. I still am, but I’m also hesitant and a little scared. I’m such a perfectionist…and not in a good way (Is there a good way?). Perfectionism holds me back all the time (see previous post!). Anyway, I am forging ahead…

I took some pictures of my kids this week, because I don’t know when they’ll all be together again in the next several months. I’m thinking that my PL2014 Week 1 might be a list of weekly highlights and the photos I took of the kids, rather than photos from throughout the week. See how I am overthinking this?

Jan 1-5, 2014

  1. Multiple loud, competitive games of Monopoly.
  2. Seeing Frozen for the 2nd, 3rd, & 4th times.
  3. New Year’s Day at Granny’s.
  4. Goodbye hugs with Darby.
  5. Spoons with Emily and Angela.
  6. Twelve Baseball Rookie Camp for the guys.
  7. New vacuum cleaner.
  8. Beginning of the “Simplify” campaign.
  9. Every Christmas decoration still in place because the kids don’t want me to take them down.
  10. Doug’s TV interview with KAGS.
  11. My first scrapbook page in almost two years.

Okay. So what I see here is the potential for a scrapbook layout for each item at some point. Maybe PL will help me get back to actual scrapbooking…

Oh, and I really need help figuring out how to photograph the Project Life pages! I can’t figure out how to avoid the glare.

“There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.”

-Abraham Lincoln


Lists With Friends: Simplify.

My One Little Word for 2014 is “simplify.” 

Whenever I become stressed, irritable, angry, tense, overwhelmed, or just “not right,” it almost always comes back to excess. Excess commitment is definitely a part of it, excess caffeine and/or sugar, and excess reading my book instead of doing my job; but excess STUFF seems to be at the root of the worst of it. I’ve given this so much thought, and I have multiple books on the topic (not surprising, right?), so this is not an impulsive decision. I often just feel overwhelmed, claustrophobic, and like I’m at the mercy of my stuff…but no more. Goodbye, excess. Simplify.

Now, my definition of “excess” and someone else’s definition is going to be different, that’s for sure. My vision includes creating an environment that makes it easy to put things away. Seriously. That’s it. I’m pretty sure that if my storage areas weren’t so jam-packed, I’d be way more motivated and able to put stuff away and so would my family. And then our living areas could be simple, restful, fun, and/or productive, depending on the season and the need. Flat surfaces would be clutter-free and invite people to do homework, eat a snack, or play a game. (Sometimes I literally freak out because someone is trying to relocate a pile of “important” stuff so they can do homework. See how much stress can be avoided if I prevented the piles?)

The list:

1. MBR Closet. When this closet isn’t overcrowded, my whole world feels better. When this closet is congested, I don’t want to put clean clothes away because it’s frustrating. Then laundry sits in piles and baskets. Then I let the hampers get full (avoiding the inevitable piles of clean clothes), which perpetuates the crowded-closet feeling, because the hampers are in the closet. First step, simplify the closet. How much do I really need in there? Or, better yet, how little? Simplify.

2. Master Bath. I’m fairly certain that much of the reason I walk around looking waaaay-less-cute-than-I-could is because my bathroom cabinets are cluttery. I just don’t want to mess with it. My plan is to see how little I can have available to me to get the job done. Easy access to the few hair tools (2) I actually use and easy access to the small amount of make-up I actually use. I’m imagining the masses of product and plug-ins that I have collected all going into a garage sale box. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

3. Master bedroom. When the first two places on my list have been simplified, the bedroom will be 85% solved, I think. There is still a desk in the MBR that shouldn’t be there. I may put it in the garage sale – we’ll see. Simplify.

4. Boys’ Closets. My boys are 9 and 11. They can fold, hang, and put away their own laundry, but it would be so much easier if the closets and dresser drawers were not so full. Simplify! (Imagine my son whipping out his wand and shouting “Simplify!” – you know, instead of “Stupefy!” ala Harry Potter.)

5. Hall Closet. This closet has served so many purposes, but right now it is just disorganized and underutilized. I’m still thinking about what to do with it. Wouldn’t it be cool if I let go of so much stuff that it could just sit empty? Yep, simplify.

6. Attic. This will be a separate horrifying list.

7. Garage. Ditto.

8. Kitchen. This one needs some attention, but is actually the least crowded, the most streamlined, and the most productive. The stuff crowding the counters doesn’t even belong in the kitchen, so working on the other areas of the house is going to take care of the kitchen clutter for the most part. I do have some cabinet items that are targeted for removal. Those will be easy. Simplify…

9. Scrap Room (a.k.a. dumping ground/staging area/would be in a basement if we had one). Hasn’t been scrapped in in almost two years. I have all kinds of plans for this space, including painting the concrete floor with a cool stencil and some white and yellow paint, but the floor will have to wait – Spring Break, maybe? There is a good reason why the clutter in this room needs to be addressed early on: IT IS THE FIRST ROOM IN THE HOUSE. It’s really all you see from the front the front door. And it is unbelievable.  I am not kidding. I took a “before” picture of the scrap room today, and I couldn’t believe how it looked through the camera lens. You wouldn’t believe it. Ugh.

9. Laundry Room. Functioning, tiny, not a walk-in. It could definitely be more user-friendly, and I know there are things in the cabinets that need to be released from our home. Simplify.

10. Entry closet. It needs to be JUST a launch pad. Backpacks, lunch boxes, jackets. Right now it has bat bags, coolers, bike helmets,  basketballs, etc. Because if we put that stuff in the overcrowded garage, we’d never find it again when we need it. So it lives in the front closet.

I just had the insane, fleeting idea to post a photo of each room for fun. Nope, not gonna do it. BUT I will take “before” pictures, “during” pictures, and “after” pictures. And then I’ll post them at the end of each project. And those will be fun!

So it’s time to be proactive and simplify, instead of REACTing badly when the pressure is on. Life is hard enough out there in the world. I’m going to make it a little easier on us when we escape the world for an evening or a weekend or whatever time we have and enter this refuge that is our home. Simplify.

Matthew 6:19-21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

This post is part of a list-making project called Lists With Friends 2014, an effort to document the year in lists of all types.

New OA on Sunday

Well, after all of that creating last week, CHA has finally started and now I can share what I’ve been working on!

You probably saw the teaser that October Afternoon shared last week of the new 9 to 5 collection but, if not, here you go:

Let me just say that it is above and beyond anything I could have expected! I love the papers in this collection. For the booth I made this layout:

If you look closely at the banners, you can see a pretty good representation of the papers in the 9 to 5 collection. What you can’t see is the Washi Tape, mostly because I didn’t get any to work with before the show (!!). Does that tape look cool or what?

I also made a little card:

Isn’t that little lady cute?

The second collection is called Cakewalk, and it looks like this:

I love, love, love this one…it has some really fun papers that I will be reaching for again and again! For the CHA booth I made a tag and a layout:

The little retro invitation art is adorable…

Those banners are so easy to do because I cut them out from one of the 12X12 papers!

October Afternoon’s third collection is called Woodland Park, and it has some way-cool papers in it – unique florals, rich colors, and beautiful vintage images. When I first flipped through the papers, I was SO excited. Here’s the preview that OA shared last week:

I made two layouts for the booth with Woodland Park – they are really quick and simple because I had a very small amount of time with the paper!

So. That’s what I have to show. I also got to work on a mini album that is so cool. It goes with the 9 to 5 collection, and I wishwishWISH I had remembered to snap some photos of it before I shipped it… Oh, well.

There are lots and lots of other projects made with the new collections on the October Afternoon blog AND on the other design team member’s blogs. If you visit the OA blog, you can click on individual DT members’ blog links in the side bar to see more!

Gosh, can I just start over?

Well, hmm. It has been a while! Hello, I’m Stacey, owner of this blog. I used to be a blogger. Now I just own a blog. I am making no promises, but wouldn’t it be fun to just start over?

For now, I’m just sharing some scrappy stuff: October Afternoon has three new collections that are being released at CHA tomorrow. As usual, OA has come up with some fantastic, gotta-have-it designs!

Here are some sneak peeks of the projects I have been working on this week for October Afternoon’s CHA booth:

I also worked on a mini-album…and shipped it without taking any pictures! Duh. I can’t believe I forgot…actually, I can because I was cutting it pretty close for making it to the shipping place before closing time. I kept reminding myself to GO PUT ON REAL PANTS because I like to be crafty in pajama pants and I didn’t want to show up at FedEx in my PJ’s like I did that one time when I got to the post office in pajamas. That was in 2003, so it has been a while, and I’d like to keep it that way! So, anyway, I did remember to change clothes before zooming off to FedEx, but I forgot to take pictures of my little book. (insert sad face)

Here’s a photo I used in the mini – since it’s all I have to share:

Hey, look, there we are…

I hope you have a great weekend. We have some little-boy basketball planned for tomorrow and maybe some house cleaning.

So if you know me at all, you probably remember that I scrapped these photos several months ago. I used them on this layout because I thought they were just perfect for this new October Afternoon Sasparilla paper. It’s kind of horsey and western-themed… and because I won’t get the layout back, so it won’t be a duplicate in my album.

Please let me direct your attention to the piece of paper in the center of this layout. I think it’s called “Big Sky,” and I think it is the most beautiful paper ever! I love tiny patterns and leaves and brown with green and blue. I just love this piece of paper…

Here’s a card I made with Sasparilla:

I think that these papers will make adorable Valentines!

One more layout:

Oh, my baby boys have grown so much…

I feel like I have accomplished nothing today. Ugh. On the phone all afternoon. Of course, I was talking to lovely people, but my ear is sore. Please don’t call me today…I am done with talking on the phone for a while.

I’m going to get something done. I just cannot end this day without being productive somehow…

sidewalks and discoveries.

Oh, joy, smiles, and lovely, scrappy happiness. October Afternoon has delighted me again. I SO love working with this company! They consistently WOW me with every new release. I. Adore. Sidewalks.

I did this layout for the OA CHA booth. The photos were taken by the sweetest photographer ever, Michelle Boyd of michelle b. photographie. You can see more of the photos from this session here.

I am going to need a whole lotta this yellow gingham paper. Love.

I’ll post more of my CHA projects tomorrow. Tomorrow.

Because I am a daily blogger.

I’ve just been taking some time off.

Lots of time.

Okay…so for the “discoveries” part of the blog. I have made some discoveries this summer.

Some good discoveries, some not so good.

1. Blue Bell Banana Pudding Ice Cream. Soooo good, sooo bad. Yum.

2. The Clutter Diet. What a great website! I have gotten SO much done this summer because of this program.

3. Hoarders. I think have more in common with some of these people than I’d like to admit.

4. Molly. Our new (old) Yorkie. She is definitely deserves her own blog entry with photos. Not really a “discovery,” just someone new to love.

5. Analytical Grammar. You know I adore grammar. I’m teaching two classes this school year with this program, preparing the next generation of Grammar Police. 🙂

Here’s one more project from October Afternoon’s Sidewalks collection:

just something I need to remember…

Corey: Eeeew! There’s a person on TV without a shirt on!

Me: A girl or boy?

Corey: A boy. If it was a girl, I’d be going nuts and not looking!

Me: Whew.