Wednesday, August 31, 2016

You Do You--WOYWW 378

Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday!
It was a moment in time when I had pulled down my little junk journal last night...there on the upper left...a homemade creature I put together last year from two small outdated planners and scrap papers and I love that thing for art journaling...and then I had my big to-do list book, the pink one on the left, and my Midori traveler's notebook there on the right which has my planner, another list book (but not to-do lists), a side hustle book, and a homemade dashboard and folder thing I love to carry with me all in one book. I was doing something in all of them! *sigh* Paper love. 
Also laying there is a ring of washi...most of my washi tapes are on big beautiful box which just holds the current smaller bits and bobs on my desk and I think there's a pink post-it pad laying there and this week's morning coffee mug featuring I Love Lucy. Look at that juicy stack of chalk ink pads and a little dessert cup of gel pens--love it.
Here's a closer look at the page I'm about to add some verses to. The page on the right is deli paper monoprinted on my gelli plate. And the page on the left is from an old planner with some ribbon stitched at the top.

And now I'm leaving you with a little thought I made in picmonkey...that's my hand there and my notebook...if someone picks on your way of doing things, or makes you feel silly for writing lots of to-do lists or having a planner (because they don't think it's important), yep, here's what you say!
Have a lovely week lovelies.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Making Tuesday Work a Little Harder

While the rest of the world is hating on Monday...I think Tuesday can be the real dilemma! Nothing happens on a Tuesday. Nobody talks about it. And let's face're still nowhere near Friday! So I say, get the hate out of your planner and make the most of every day. Think of Tuesday as your Saturday. What would you get done? #goals Tuesday is as good as any day. Make it happen! At the office? You can still make your to-do list for later. Waiting in a line? Create while you wait! There is something you can do besides stare at your phone--knit, bring a little cross-stitch, doodle in a little on-the-go art journal, or write the first line of your novel. If all you have is your phone...take an Instagram photo of yourself waiting in line! 

Something else I need to do is make more art tags...cause it's Tuesday and I used to do that all the time. What is wrong with me! Let's get this show on the road Tuesday.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Friday, August 26, 2016

Going on a No-Spend and Loving It

"You can buy happiness...for a little while."
-unknown craft stores...the mall...major hauls on YouTube...the shopping's all got to stop. Why? Because Christmas is around the corner. I don't really need anything. I've seen too many episodes of Tiny House Nation. And unless it's a Christmas present it's time to go on a good old-fashioned no-spend. And it doesn't have to be painful either. Just think M-O-N-E-Y.

Recently I really wanted some cute new little zipper bags. Then I realized, it was a great opportunity to make it myself! I have a fabric stash, I had some zippers, and I'm rubbish at sewing them. So I found a great tutorial on YouTube, and I was in business. These could even be cute gifts. AND...YouTube is good for a lot more than pining away after other people's hauls!

If you've been on my blog, you know I make fabric Midori traveler's style notebooks all the time. And I use what I make. But recently I really was pining away after a gorgeous leather Midori I saw in an Etsy shop. I came very close to putting that $70 or $80 on my credit card. But then I looked around my stash for some leather. It came in the form of an old, falling-apart Coach bag from the 1980's. Enough leather in this bag for two Midori's! (one can be sold or be a gift) See? It came down to, do I want to owe or do I want to upcycle!

Click here to see how I upcycled an old bag into a fabulous Midori Traveler's Notebook

"Values are more important than valuables."

The most expensive notebook I have ever bought.

These little accordian notebooks are fun to make from 12X12 patterned paper.
Of course, you know that anytime you buy something you should always ask yourself if you need it. (Groceries and things like that are kind of excluded here. But I do make my grocery list around what's on sale.) Recently I bought this gorgeous pink notebook for myself because it's back to school time, I'm busy, and I needed and wanted a fun to-do listy book. I'm a paper kinda girl. And I saw what I wanted in a bookstore. I thought twice about it. I thought three times about it. And I knew if I walked away I'd keep thinking about it and wish I had it. So I got it. And really, it wasn't that expensive, but still I've never spent more than a couple of bucks on a notebook. It was before my no-spend. I really enjoy it. Will I want more fun paper things? Yes. But for now, I'll look at what I have and what I can make while I'm on my no-spend.

Zuchinni noodles saute
Crockpot Swiss Steak Stew
Bet you weren't expecting that question having anything to do with a no-spend. Maybe your no-spend has to center around eating out and the huge amount of money that costs. That's why it's good to keep your pantry stocked, and much cheaper, and yet feed yourself well. You'll feel good and be more creative about how you spend your time, and not your money. Also, do things, like utilize your crockpot and let it have dinner ready for you!

Click here for my Crockpot Swiss Steak Stew

A local vintage shop I LOVE
You can say "yes" to shopping and "no" to buying. Here's the secret. Think of it as research. While you're shopping, and you see things you really want, or maybe want to purchase at some point as a gift, make a list and write down what the item is, where you saw it, and the price. Maybe the next time you go back, the price will change and it will be on sale! Another idea, keep your phone in your hand while you shop, and take a photo of a display that you are loving. Sometimes the whole reason we impulse buy is because of the way something is displayed and how gorgeous it looks. Then, you get it home later, and you're not really that thrilled with it. Take a photo though, and you can enjoy looking at that pretty anytime you want.

Also...go shopping places to just get out and enjoy the atmosphere!
A local shop that has a lot of aquariums.
Outdoor festivals don't need to cost a lot!
And a bonus tip: take very limited funds with you! Don't carry a bag full of credit cards and cash. Then you can't spend!

"Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abudance."

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The I Am Very Busy List Book

I have to write down my to do lists every week. I do love my phone and making notes on my phone, Instagram, and plenty of other social media and apps. And yet, I love paper more. (That's why I'm also a planner lover) Nothing digital could ever replace my good ole paper to do lists. I have been known to jot them down on cute list pads, calendars, and journals. But when I saw this notebook, which is 9X11, I decided I wanted, needed, and deserved a big beautiful sturdy notebook with really good paper to keep my beautiful to do lists at home--this is not a take-it-with-you kinda thing like my Midori--and these master to do lists can be in effect for a week or even a month. Also, let's face it, the sight of a big white clean sheet of lined notebook paper is perfect for back-to-school time and makes me happy to fill it up.
 This particular notebook has almost hard covers on it--it is super nice with its pretty gold coil and meant to be used for quite a long time. The notebook paper inside is a nice heavy stock, brilliant white, has a place for the date on each sheet and inside the pockets are made of a glossy, sturdy and heavy stock. The whole notebook, by Ban-Do, feels heavy and smooth and would make a great gift as well. I happened to find it in a little bookstore that was carrying Ban-Do products, but you can get it online.
I have my system figured out! I have a cute clipboard notebook folder with a fat paper pad inside (from Hobby Lobby)--this is where the grocery list lives, and then each sheet inside is dedicated to house lists, crafting lists, and ideas that are not dated lists with due dates. There are sketches of card ideas, pillows I want to stitch, etc.

Then my big new list book is simply meant to hold my to do list for the week--but if it lingers on a few weeks, that's okay. And when I'm ready, I'll copy over whatever is left and make a new list at the beginning of a new week! Oh...the lister in me is so happy, I don't even want to hear anyone say "I never make a list, what a hassle, or lists are silly." Listen Boo, you do you, and I'll do me. And me...likes paper and lists!
My markers tuck nicely into a cubby shelf
So here's the other part I like. What I use to make the lists: color!
Yes, those are chakra rocks on the shelf above
Part of the fun of making a list that is essentially going to live for several days is making every item a different color and including some doodles.
These fine point markers just make me happy.
I hope they last a long time! I use them in my coloring books too.
And another option is of course a multi pen. So when my beautiful list book is filled up with every page full of lists and doodles, then what? The cover is so pretty and sturdy on this, I don't think I could just toss it like you would with a normal notebook. So my plan at that point is to, of course, upcycle it! All those colorful lists will make a gorgeous background to lay on top some art journaling. Then it will have a second life as an art book. All my lists will live on and be a little hidden too. And yes, I'll still be very busy.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Monday, August 15, 2016

WOYWW 376--I Love Crafting

Hello and happy Wednesday! How are you? I hope your week is going super duper great. Sometimes our desks can tell the whole story, so why not visit all the deskers right here: What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday.

My desk is telling a story of how I'm drinking coffee...of course...and working on making some cute little cards. I found a huge stack of little white envelopes in my stash. I thought...hmmm...why not make cards to fit these envelopes and sell them in my friend's store? (I know, that's a little backwards) So I'm stamping out the sentiments I want, choosing the cute patterned paper, and getting busy with it. I love this tiny little paper cutter I have from We R Memory Keepers--it's perfect to trim out my little stampings.
Okay...I'm a messy crafter sometimes, but there's no avoiding it! Plus, I'm having a great time, cutting, crafting, stamping, making and of course watching YouTube and Netflix. I just finished the entire first season of Stranger Things...oh my goodness. I'm in love with that show. I'll say no more, because I fear any comment will give something away! All I can say is, please hurry up and make season 2!
Darling daughter just got back from Harry Potter World at Universal Studios and bought me this adorable I Love Lucy has a travel lid she knows I do love Lucy! Of course I also love Harry Potter, but DD REALLY LOVES Harry Potter, and she cried with happiness her first day on park. She picked out her wand, drank butter beer, rode the rides, saw Hedwig, and enjoyed the HPW restaurants for breakfast each day.

So now, it's a happy magical desker day too as I muggle through my cardmaking. See you soon.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Summer Slow Cooking - Swiss Steak Stew with Home Canned Tomatoes

Isn't Monday a great day to come home to a nice, delicious, one pot meal, already made for you?
If you don't have a personal chef (and who does, right?), then let your crockpot do the work. It just takes minutes in the morning to prep everything, and you are good to go!
Today's recipe -- I call Swiss Steak Stew. I actually combined traditional ingredients from Swiss steak and stew - so there you go!
I have a scrapbook recipe book I put together--I've added favorite recipe clippings with washi tape, written recipes into it, and now I actually use it a lot! With this particular recipe, I've made it so many times, I've tweaked the ingredients in order to use my home canned tomatoes which gives it such a great garden flavor! But you can also use canned stewed tomatoes from the store. You can use one or two cans, depending on the consistency you prefer.

Swiss Steak Stew
2 T. oil
1 to 1 1/2 lbs. beef stew meat
1/2 cup flour
4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
small bag baby carrots
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 pint jars canned tomatoes, chopped
1 12-oz. jar beef gravy
Coat steak with flour and brown in hot oil. Remove from skillet and drain. Place potatoes, carrots and onion in bottom of stoneware. Place steak on top of vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour tomatoes over meat. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours or on high 4 to 5 hours.
The beef browns in no time at all because you're not cooking it all the way through. It will have plenty of time to cook in the slowcooker. I love cooking everything in ceramic pans now--totally hooked on them! You don't have the dangers of peeling teflon, yet they don't stick and clean up so easy. And...they're pretty! This is a Cuisinart ceramic pan.
The baby carrots are ready to go--so you only have to rough chop your potatoes, and chop a little onion. This is a nice, sweet Vedalia onion.
Then, everything goes right in, and the crockpot works on your dinner all day!
Garden delicious Swiss Steak Stew tonight!

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

WOYWW 375--Flowers That Glitter

I'm in the mood to make flowery little gift cards. Happy What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday!
London must have sent some of its fog to the Ozarks because it is a dark foggy morning here and here is my dark foggy desk! Coffee mug...check. Decorating a new food journal after filling out the other one...check. Washi tape...check. Diecut flowers ready to go on some cards after I figure out the text...check. It should be a lovely day, after I get off the treadmill and the fog goes away! But I'll be visiting my desker buddies soon. I'm making my to do list for today and now I'm stopping the writing just so I can get this posted! Happy Wednesday.
diecut flowers with glitter paper and buttons being added

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

WOYWW 374--Stitchers Gonna Stitch

Happy Wednesday fellow desker. I hope you are doing well and having a good week! I have to share I've had better weeks. I lost my sweet sweet kitty Minnie almost a week ago, and it's been very hard to not have my little companion by my side each morning. We had her for 16 sweet years, and she was smart, brave, beautiful and graceful. So I guess I do what any crafter does when they are sad, need a distraction, and need to heal the heart. I make something. And here it is on my desk, just in time for What's-On-Your-Workdesk-Wednesday.
When I cut out the pieces--it is lined with felt

It's my Paris pouch. I was learning from a tutorial the best way to make a simple zipper bag. I love this cute Paris fabric, and after I make another one I'll post my own experience with it. Very fun though, and it was easier than I thought since I've always been rubbish at zipper projects.
The Eiffel towers are glittery
Since this was an experiment, I just used the zipper I had, so now I know what to buy.
And there sits my dollhouse cross-stitch project. That was the July room, and I have not finished it! I was previously ahead of things, and now I'm behind. It was a very busy, hectic July, and I hope I'll catch up in the next couple of weeks.

Lastly, here is why we scrapbook. I totally forgot I did this scrapbook page just a couple of years ago featuring the kitties. I love this photo of my Minnie girl also there with my daughter. She'll never be forgotten.
Hug your kitties.

Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch