Project Life 2014: Week 1 Notes

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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.


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…


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.


October Afternoon Rubber Charms Blog Hop

Welcome to my little blog! It’s been sort of quiet around here in the last month – it’s about time we had a some blog-hop action to perk things up a little bit…

For this entry, I made a few cards with the October Afternoon Rubber Charms. If I made about 75 more cards this week, maybe I could get caught up on all of the thank yous and welcome babies and hello new neighbors that I need to do…

This first card is mostly 5 and Dime with a bit of Fly a Kite and Modern Homemaker thrown in. I love the details in the Rubber Charms, don’t you?


This next card is pretty small. I used the 8X8 paper pad (love the shrunk-down papers!) and printed my little sentiment on the 5 and Dime grid paper. I love how the label sticker frames the sweet lolly…

I must have had something set wrong on my camera here because the top of the image is a bit blurry…let’s pretend that I did that for artistic effect. Yep. I pretty much make cards the same way I scrapbook: squares and frames. They just work for me. (grin)

Oh, and speaking of my comfort zone…here’s a card just jam-packed with squares and frames:

I adore this bear rubber charm…

Prize! Each design team member is giving away an October Afternoon Rubber Charm Prize Pack. Just leave a nice comment on my blog and I will randomly select a winner on Sunday night. The winner will be posted on my blog on Monday Morning and on the October Afternoon Blog on Monday Morning as well. Thanks for stopping by…

Now it’s time for you to hop along to Lexi Bridges’ blog!


tuesday stuff.

So yesterday at the October Afternoon blog, we had our first Challenge Monday. Lexi Bridges chose the first theme, and she came up with “throw a little vintage on it.” This is my take on the challenge…I used a vintage photo as the focal point for this card and made the flower from pages of an old book. Don’t you just love the looks on those girls’ faces?

Join in the challenge by posting your project at the October Afternoon Flickr Group – I think there’s a prize!

Yesterday was also the day for a sad announcement at Coordinates Collections. You can read the story here. I worked with the CC design team five years ago in the beginning, and then I re-joined the team last summer. It has been a special place, and I will really miss that community! I’m working on my projects with the last kit now. (insert sad face)

On the home front:

Apparently Corey heard a bad word on the baseball field yesterday (a father of a teammate shared it). So Corey decided to try it out…Doug was mortified! We’ll see if I can come up with a layout to remember the special quote. I have to scrap the icky quotes with the cute ones, right? We’ll see…

Today is the only day we don’t have baseball practice this week. Of course, there’s still dance…and Doug has to be at the sale at the county show tonight…but at least we aren’t trying to juggle baseball into the rest of it! Hopefully, Darby will feel well enough to go to dance…she’s had an awful stomach virus (or something like that) since Saturday morning… (more sad faces)

Happy Tuesday!

{For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9}