Sunday, December 20, 2015

Festive Fast and Easy Paper Christmas Banner

Christmas patterned paper, ribbon, a few buttons, and some quick stitches on the sewing machine! That's all it took to make a festive little banner for my entry way.

 I started with cutting out these little 3X4 vintage holiday images from a 12X12 sheet in a Christmas scrapbook pad.
My banner is hanging on a display cabinet, so I only needed three, but it could be longer. Then I chose three coordinating patterned papers from the pad, and cut six 4X5 squares. I stitched those squares together, three sets with wrong sides together, on the sewing machine with just a straight stitch around the border. So each one will have the image and a button on the front, and a cute backing of coordinating patterned paper.
 A little star corner punch in each image made them look a little more finished. Each one was then stitched in the center of each 4X5 piece.

I stitched a red button on each one, and then stitched all three to a length of red ribbon, and it was ready to hang! The whole little project took less than an hour, and I used what was in my stash. You could also use images from old Christmas cards or photos. Merry Christmas!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

WOYWW 341--a house, a stitch, and a cat

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...
Just another peek at my gingerbread house. I bake one of these every year, and some years, like this year, I don't really buy a lot of extra decorations and just use what I have. It smells so good, sitting around, looking fun.
Another lazy shortcut is that I decorate all the pieces and let them dry nice and hard before I put it all together! And now for my desk...
You caught me sipping lemon zinger tea, and finishing the embroidery for a Midori gift. I feel so Downton Abbeyish. Hmm...I wonder if Mrs. Patmore makes ginger houses for the Abbey!
And everyone, I think, needs a special kitty pullout in their desk--especially when they have a kitty, like Minnie, who likes to watch YouTube desk tours! Tee hee!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Thursday, December 10, 2015

No More Messy Kitchen Drawer--Welcome to My Gingerbread House

The whole thing started when it was time to bake and make my annual gingerbread house. It's about the only time, sadly, that I get out my piping bags and decorating tips to do the icing. I love making the gingerbread house...but I hated the dreaded messy drawer where the decorating supplies lived, all shoved to the back, and tons of other crap piled on top so that you could barely close the drawer.

After I cleaned it all out, I realized I didn't take a before picture. Too much shame I guess! But here's how it looks now.
This kitchen drawer is now dedicated to cake decorating, measuring cups and spoons and cupcake papers.
 The number one thing that helped me in the kitchen: craft room organization skills!
Now I'm sure I could go to any of my kitchen/home stores and pick up specific organization items for the kitchen--but what I had on hand was stuff from my craft room and it was perfect and no dollars spent. The poor cake decorating kit had long ago spilled out of its original container and was a horrible mess.
Now it all lives neatly in one of these boxes I typically use for beads or little embellishments.And it slides right to the  back of the drawer, nice and clean. I enjoy it so much, I might make a second gingerbread house!
Also mashed into the drawer was various cupcake papers--some of them were located in other drawers too, so that when I needed them I could never find them!
Now they live in one of these craft storage boxes. Perfect! No reason to have to keep them in their packaging when I can keep them in here and slide them right into the drawer.
Then I found a craft tool caddy I wasn't using, and that's where all the kitchen scissors, candle lighters and other tools found a new home where I can see them!
Isn't it great when your crafty skills help you all over the house.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

WOYWW 340--Making my list and checking it twice

My What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday list!

Clean up that mess of a desk!
Get Christmas cards done pronto! (they are half-finished in a box)
Finish Christmas shopping (or how about starting it)
Enjoy the morning.
Enjoy your coffee.
Plan your work and work your plan.
Go to the desker party and peep at a desk in London, or Australia, or right here in America!
Buy one of those big huge washi rings and ask Santa for lots of washi tape!
Oh, and washi the dishes.
Finish stitching more Midori's.
Stay on miDiet.
Finish cleaning and organizing the crafty corner. (after cards are done)
Sweep and mop. (and don't even ask because yes, you are Cinderella)
Go to Michaels and JoAnns. (you know, Christmas shopping)
Check the little indoor garden.
Buy cat food. (I once cross-stitched: If you don't feed the cats, you must feed the rats.)
Get some Pinspiration on Pinterest.
Finish Christmas cards!!! Now!!

So I'm done making notes in my planner and I'm off! Hope your desk is happy and productive this week!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch  

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan--Planner Love

Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don't!
I love planning, doodling and listing in my Midori traveler's notebook, that is true.
I am a lister beyond listers!
So I tried the Reset Girl's (whom I love on Youtube) lister challenge. And it was really fun, and when you join she sends you the cutest free downloadable stickers, and everything you need for the challenge. 
But what I found was it was a little too forced for me. I'm a natural lister, and so in my Midori I need lists that are going to last. It was just too sad to know that my lister challenge booklet would be obsolete after 30 days!

Who knows, maybe I'll try it again when I have more time. Life is very busy right now with much to do. However, I did print Cory's latest sticker sheet and found a great use for one of my oldest punches! I plan to shop for a few things in her cute online store soon.

Planning in my Midori is just the best, because along with my weekly spread in my planner are all my booklets with my business and my lists. It all goes together beautifully. Love it!
Stitching more dori's!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

WOYWW 339--Paper and Floss

Messy Desk - Happy Crafter, Right?
Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday. Have you been busy? Cause I've been busy with Thanksgiving, Christmas decorating, and I even made the annual gingerbread house, plus I have displayed my huge collection of Nutcracker dolls. My craft desk, surprisingly, is not neglected though! I've got cards to make, and Midori's to stitch and sell. So the one thing I haven't been on much is the computer.
While I'm stitching up my fabric Midori travelers notebooks, I'm keeping them in this basket, which I might use to display them in a friend's shop--that, or a cute suitcase to display everything. I did fan them out a bit so you can see some of the different fabrics!
A messy closeup back on my desk--I keep a tiny cross-stitch kit in my bag at all times to stitch hearts on the go that I then can use on cards or little art quilts, and a couple of finished ones are laying there along with my little bag of stamping supplies that travels with me also.

I might be the last one to post to the workdesk party today, woo hoo! If I am...thanks for scrolling down to visit. Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

WOYWW 337--Crafting with Kitty

Well, look who wants to share part of my craft table!
It's What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday where some of the desky posts have been up for hours halfway around the world! Mine, just in here in the states.
So Minnie is 14 years young, and she is rightly getting to be a little crabby at times. She insists on constantly being my shadow, and she made me make her a special pallet on one of my craft tables where she can see out the big window and supervise my crafty doings. She's quite the Egyptian princess. She needs an address like 878 Crafty Table Lane, because she lives here now.
I swung the camera around as I was at my desk, a happy crafter am I, next to Minnie's table crafting away. I also put together a little compact Franklin Covey planner I found in a drawer, apparently cast aside back in 2006--it's going to be my new 2016 planner at the office only. Because my home planner is the Midori of course! Have you priced these planners lately? They are so expensive! I think I paid less than twenty dollars for this planner at Wal-Mart a decade ago. I wonder why the price on them has gone up so much? Oh well, glad to find the old one, because it is in perfect shape.
Scrapbook paper in my planner - fun!
And, I am thrilled to say that our PBS is rerunning the previous season of Downton Abbey as America braces itself for the last season to finally come our way in January. Last season of Downton? Devastation.

Anyhoo, have a happy crafty week!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

WOYWW 336--Messy Desk Busy Crafter

I am just in under the wire for a Wednesday workdesk peek!

Visit What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday

Having a cup of oatmeal and getting ready for a busy day of work and meetings. So I'm pausing for 20 minutes at the craft desk, in my Midori planner, and trying to tidy up a bit. This was before the tidy.
I had my little velvet pouch of chakra rocks out! Now I don't remember what  they all represent--I need to find that chart. sigh
And here's a hint of a cross-stitch project that is struggling to make its way to the top of the heap! But my fat Midori planner is trying to squash it down to get all the attention! The little corner rounder is squealing, make more booklets! make more booklets!

Have a good week lovelies!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Bag in a Bag Plus a Super Cute Wristlet

It's my birthday and I thought I'd share one of my presents which came from Charming Charlies!
It's called the Bag-in-a-bag, and it comes with one of those little matching zipper bags which loops onto the handle. But inside, there is a bag in the middle that zips, and then two roomy compartments on each side. This is perfect for carrying all the purse essentials, plus my big Midori planner, my lunch for the day, a scarf, and anything else I need. I usually love a fun bright color, but I was in the mood for a classic black with camel trim.
See it really is a bag in a bag!
I've been loving the charming bags lately because they are sturdy, durable, the hardware is shiny and gorgeous and stays that way, they have lots of pockets and nobody threw away thousands of dollars on something I might get tired of!

Now, although this bag is all you would need, I did have a birthday coupon, which allowed me to get this adorable wristlet for free. It is perfect to throw into the bigger bag, and it comes with a long strap which converts it to a little cross-body bag. Love it! Happy birthday to me!
Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Monday, November 9, 2015

So Many Planners, So Many Days...The Planner Girl Dilemma...What to Do with My Franklin Covey

Planner Progress in my Midori
I have always loved paper, pens, doodling, listing, planning, and knowing what tomorrow holds. Why?

1-I like to be organized...I think I have the organization gene

2-Paper, paper, paper love...when I was in high school, and this was the late 1970's people, I bought the pink and sometimes multicolored notebook paper. Everybody else had white.

I am on the computer a lot for both my day job and personal business. Ink on paper is a respite from that. Therapy. Like my stitching and knitting is therapy. Scrapbooking is therapy. 

But pretty much since the 1920's, it has been predicted that our society would be paperless by now, and we are anything but that!

Maybe we don't really want to live our entire lives digitally? 

I don't know. But what I do know is there is nothing like a gorgeous, brand new crisp planner in your hands. 

In the past, when planners came in black or brown with very officey pages, I was making my own planners out of things like those fabric covered journals, notebooks covered in fun paper and stickers, and making my own custom pages for the ring bound planners I had.

Over the last few years as the planners have gotten pretty and more creative, I've tried different ones. The planner community calls it "planner peace" when you arrive at just the right combination for organizing your days, months and years. There are many who have upwards of four, five, or six planners at a time.
My homemade home planner

I don't find that peaceful or practical. For my daily planner, I like having all my stuff together in one place. My planner operates as if it's my personal assistant, and I really like that. I call it "Planner Progress." It's something that works well if you have a ring binder with different sections and plenty of room, or a Midori Travelers Notebook, as I prefer, with my five booklets inside dedicated to different purposes, and a nice six-pocket folder.

I actually made an 8 1/2X11 home planner. It is big and bulkly on purpose. It could be a life planner as I first called it, but it became my home planner. It has folders for mail, bills, recipe clippings, a recipe section in the back and everything to do with the business of running my home. I made planner pages for it, but they are all about life at home, and it still works really well. You can read more about how I made it here for part one, and here for part two.
I turned two older planners into an art journal.

But back to why so many planner girls like so many planners! I think on YouTube it is their job. They review them, so they have to buy them, sometimes getting them to review for free, try them, and set them up for the camera. And that's understandable. And I doubt they actually use most of them. Many end up having giveaways which is especially nice when they receive free product from the company. I love planner videos!

In real life, I think there are people who are sort of addicted to all the pretty planners and they divide up how they use them. And this is really what you would have to do. Here are my ten ideas for some of the things you could use different planners for:
  • Memory Keeping/Scrapbook Style of the days
  • Travel Planner
  • Journal Planner--writing down a sentence or two about each day
  • Homekeeping Planner (like my big homemade planner above)
  • Craft Planner--perfect to keep in your crafting area, keeping track of your makes, supplies, crafty wish list, craft shopping, and crafting business
  • Diet/Exercise planner
  • Bible Planner--sermon notes, favorite verses, daily inspiration
  • Recipe Planner--menus, recipe notes, shopping lists
  • School Mom Planner--everything having to do with children's activities and schedules
  • Happy planner--writing down something you're thankful for every day, something that brought you joy, and your future plans for happiness!

I'm sure we all need more reasons to buy more planners! (of course I'm kidding...remember I'm the frugal one who made her own planners) Planning isn't what it used to be, remember that. You don't have to have daily appointments to have a reason to have a planner. If you love pretty paper, stickers, diecuts, washi tape, and being could have fun with a pretty planner.

Check out where I turned my past planners into an art journal/junk journal--I still love it.

So the other day I was going through a box and found some of my old planners, including this Franklin Covey compact style planner. I remember loving this fat little thing! And I had everything in it. I still like it, and would love to use it. I'm just too happy with my Stitchydori to convert it over to a daily planner.
New setup for an old Franklin Covey planner

That won't stop me though. This red compact planner was last used in 2006, and it is in excellent shape! I'm not even sure if it's real leather or faux! I don't think I paid that much for it though. Franklin Covey planners are America's answer to the Filofax, and you can still get them. And they sell this particular one on Ebay because they don't make it anymore. The rings are high quality and the cover is durable. I love the zipper pocket too.

So I'm setting it up. Using scrap paper (I'm still stash busting this year), and I have to say my little corner rounder punch does very well for this kind of project. Check back later in the week and we'll see how this old-to-new-planner setup is going and what I plan to use this guy for!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

WOYWW 335--Hope, Creativity, and a Cuppa

Welcome to my desk. It's Wednesday. And I share my random Wednesday desk with a bunch of other deskers from around the planet right here at:

I sort of love this messy desk photo of me and my life. No propping, no cleaning up. Just a what's happening kind of photo. Lighting is courtesy of daylight savings time...although I dread the early dark each day.

So what's happening? I dunno. I need to sew more, write more, get my ebook published, get my craft book finished, and get with it! I watch too much Dancing With the Stars and Once Upon a Time and I really like to sit and knit and drink my coffee and take my time.


Anyhoo, I was at least decorating part two of my 2016 planner for my Midori. By nature, Midori books are quite plain, and part of the fun of having a Midori traveler's notebook is decorating the notebooks! I use patterned paper, scraps, stickers, washi, whatever I have.
 Also on the desk are a lot of punches and my texture boutique...all of which I've been using to make the most of my scrap paper to clear away the stack of it. The pink Instax camera is out to take some photos for things in my flee market booth. So there you have it! A desk. A Wednesday morning. And a lot of hope for more creativity.

Have a happy week.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How My Traveler's Notebook Travels

 I often carry my Midori style traveler's notebook (my Stitchydori) with me on a daily basis in my tote bag. Last year I had purchased one of those handbag organizers, and used it for a bit, but then put it away. One day I realized it was the perfect size for my Stitchydori and it lets me bring along planner supplies including stickers, markers, washi, you name it! Here's how it all looked the other day.
My Dori is a perfect fit in here!
Paintbrush markers on this side.
Stickers on this side
Scissors and washi
A flat little makeup bag with a few stamping-on-the-go supplies
I didn't even begin to really load this bag up. I bought my handbag organizer from Amazon for just a few dollars and they have plenty of them in different styles, colors and sizes. My dori is big! And this is the perfect way to tote it along when I want to bring the extras.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch