If your anything like me, you’re no stranger to dreaming of the perfect crafty space and Marcy has got us all creating a mood board of our Dream Space in her Big Picture Classes class, Workspace. Personally I think it is a great tool to use when coming up with your idea of heaven. It stands to reason that when you have a clear vision you’re not only more likely to make it happen but you can begin to see themes emerge that maybe you weren’t aware of to begin with. When I did my first big purge in 2013 I started a Pinterest board titled The Great Scraproom Makeover and I haven’t stopped pinning things to it since. It’s a mix of furniture, organization ideas and inspiration for the overall look of my ideal craft room. Below is one of my earlier pins and it’s a great example of having a clear vision. A common theme that runs through my board is aged furniture especially painted white, in a white room. In a crazy act of serendipity after pinning similar images to this one my husband found an old buffet & hutch in a shack on our property, a couple of coats of white paint later and my craftroom now has a very similar piece to house my crafty supplies.Image Credit: www.filmphotographylocation.com
Like I just said mood boards/ inspiration boards/ vision boards call ’em what you will are great for noticing themes and subconscious ideas that your drawn to. Case in point is the blue colour of the furniture piece below. It shows up in all manner of things on my Scraproom board and in other things I pinned at about the same time. Now, I love blue but I never would have figured that I was particularly drawn to this shade until I saw it show up in a bunch of pins at the same time. Image Credit: cat-arzyna.blogspot.com.au
Here’s another fun fact for you, the image below is actually the cover image for my Great Scraproom Makeover board. I just love all the little vintage items and cubbies and the eclectic mix of containers. Likewise the image below it for the mix of vintage trays, baskets both wire and woven. I love that they are open and accessible and that they just look like so much fun to paw through and discover all sorts of lovely things. You may or may not be surprised to know then that the two following images are of Marcy Penners creative spaces. The top one of her older space and the bottom one from 2015 of her more recent space. Promise I wasn’t trying to win points with teach, and they’re not the only pins I have of her space on my board. Clearly I just love the womans style. Image Credit: www.marcypenner.com
When it comes to organization I also appreciate things of a certain look. Like the fabric covered boxes below especially if they have a ruffle (that link actually takes you to a tutorial if you want to try making your own) and vintage printers trays. I cannot ocunt the number of printers trays I have pinned. I just love them for corralling all those fun little bits and pieces and they look so funky with all those teeny tiny divided sections in them.
Image Credit: aimee-weaver.blogspot.com.au Image Credit: raisinguprubies.blogspot.com.au
Back to that whole unconscious realizations again a couple of my recent pins have hinted at the current issues I seem to have uncovered in my previous posts. I need some form of better organization for in-progress projects and I really like this idea from Ali Edwards to have trays for things I’m working on that can be slotted away and pulled out on an as needs basis. Ideally I’d also like to confine my Project Life cards into a fun vintage tray like Shanna Noel. Image Credit: aliedwards.com Image Credit: shannanoel.blogspot.com.au
I definitely have a particular style when it comes to my scrap space and a lot of similar themes. Vintage and reclaimed furniture & storage solutions, white wood, lots of open baskets, shallow draws for bits and bobs, and a white/turquoise-to-teal colour pallette. While my space isn’t too far off that I could certainly do with a few upgrades and add in a whole bunch more of that turquoise-to-teal in different areas.Image Credit: vickiboutin.typepad.com Image Credit: liagriffith.com
Now you’ve heard all about my idea of an ideal craft space, what’s yours? Share a link in the comments to your own Pinterest boards or posts about your own ideal Workspace.
One of the things about a functioning workspace is knowing how you use it and that’s what the next few lessons in the Workspace class asked us to tackle. For me I’ve noticed that I tend to scrap one of two ways. More recently my layouts have had a bit more of a bent to scrapping by collection/manufacturer as well as doing my usual thing of scrapping just randomly from my stash. So to evaluate my scrappy style I decided to do both a collection layout and a stash layout. For my collection layout I chose to go with a page using the Pink Paislee Moonstruck collection. It met all the points of a classic collection layout for me, it was a recently acquired purchase, I was excited about the patterns and motifs and I had a variety of elements to choose from – papers, washi stickers, diecuts and puffy stickers. In fact this is the first layout I have created with this collection so the sky was the limit in what I could pick and choose from the collection. To compliment it I also added in some tissue paper, a set of vellum butterflies I picked up at the Reject Shop a little while ago and an American Crafts DIY Shop heart vellum that I purchased at the same time as the Moonstruck bits and pieces. The way I work with collections is that I don’t buy the whole thing. I only ever select my favourite papers and embellishments, stuff I know I’ll use (even with paper pads I tend to go through and remove those patterns that aren’t my style and pass them on) then I keep all the papers together in a large plastic ziplock bag. The embellishments go together in my diecut basket directly in front of where I create, until I maybe have very little left. Then they get slotted into my regular system of storing papers by colour and embellishments by type. This process makes the whole scrapping by collection thing rather effortless. Everything is close at hand and I only go seek out extras if I have something very specific in mind like the vellum butterflies & heart paper. The only way I thought I could make it even more so was by maybe storing all of the collection items together in the same ziplock bag (or box as is the case with my Crate Paper stuff) but that makes storage awkward so I’m totally fine having them separate.The only issues I had with my collection layout really had nothing to do with the supplies at all. The blue shades of the butterfly paper made me think of my friends lovely beach wedding so that was a photo and a story sorted which is my most common hurdle with collection layouts. I’m excited to get in and use the things but then what is the point of just making a pretty page if I have nothing to say. Story based scrapping is one of the most important parts of scrapbooking for me. The other issues I had were that blade in the knife I use for detail work is in need of replacement so it made my cuts a bit more feathered and less refined than I’d like and that I didn’t decide to put the vellum heart border around until the very end of the layout so I had to move most things in a bit more from the edge. Even the title used some modified diecuts so that was a bit of a no-brainer too.Clean up was a breeze because I just popped the embellishments back in the diecut basket, the leftover vellum went back in it’s plastic sleeve and onto its spot on the shelf . I used all but two of the vellum butterflies which were just sitting loosely in a draw, so they got tossed right back in where they were and my tools (knife, journaling pen) went right back into their container on my desk. No mess, no fuss, no hassle.For my second layout I started with the story. I had this funny photo of my son fast asleep in the Jolly Jumper that I wanted to scrap. Aside from his suit the colours are fairly neutral so I decided to draw on the navy stripes of his onesie as my starting point for gathering supplies. First point of call for most layouts is to select my patterned paper (usually for the background) and since navy was the colour of choice that’s what I looked for first. I did notice a few papers in my blue selection that will be moving on but unfortunately my supply of navy papers is a bit on the sparse side at the moment (or else it’s all hidden in Isaac’s baby album kit of supplies, hmmm just thought of that). I had two full sheets with a predominantly navy scheme, one was paired with green stripes and I didn’t like the way it looked with the photo and the other had a clock motif on it that I wasn’t overly enthused to use with this story (and as I realized later also, about a centimetre cut off the side from another project, so wasn’t actually a full sheet after all.) Which left me with a 1/3 piece of the stamp-edge paper and 2/3rds of this old Basic Grey distressed paper called Phlordilie which I really liked the look of when paired together. Background done. My next step in my scrappy process is to have a quick flick through of my diecuts. Now this was the part of the process that surprised me. I saw one of the dream sentiments on a Shimelle diecut/cut-apart and decided I’d use that but then instead of going for something else like stickers or a 6×6 paper or whatever else I could reach for I just started pulling out all of the ‘dream’ cut-aparts from the Shimelle Starshine collection. And while I was on a Shimelle kick I figured I’d have a look through her signature line of stickers where I found the ‘Is this for real?’ sentiment, a perfect fit for this story. Now with a predominantly monochromatic colour scheme going on I figured the only thing left to do was add in another pop of gold, a title and my journaling. Without really trying to I had in effect created a bit more of a collection/manufacturer layout than planned.All told this one was a bit more challenging to put together than the collection layout. I didn’t have the ‘right thing’ for my background in my stash of supplies and had to create a work-around for my background. Instead of going for a variety of supplies like I had thought I would, I kinda went for same old, same old. I wanted the same blue & gold combo as in the ‘Is this for real?’ sticker elsewhere on the page which was do-able with another sticker from the collection that I was never going to use as-is but I couldn’t find where I had put the pack that the gold book-plate diecut came from and had to do a bit of a search to find it. (It was hiding in an old Christmas kit that hadn’t been put away). I spent forever trying to think of a title to go underneath the photo and all those Dream, Dream, Dream diecuts but in the end couldn’t think of one and didn’t like my Thicker options anyway. But… and here’s the thing, all that being said, this is my usual process. I like taking random things and turning them into something cohesive. I enjoy the challenge of digging through my supplies and taking a bunch of mismatched bits and pieces and turning them into a layout I love, especially when I can use up an entire paper or finish off a pack of stickers/diecuts/whatever. The fun is in the process as much as the accomplishment is in the finished product. Is this my favourite layout ever – no. Is it a story I wanted told – yes! Did I get to use up some stuff – yes! Was it a bunch of fun to make – absolutely!Clean up for this one was relatively easy too. The diecuts/cut-aparts are certainly on my desk for a reason, they are my most reached for supply besides patterned paper, which makes me giddy, and the Shimelle sticker book lives in the same spot so it was only a case of popping them back in their spot. Once I’d found the book-plate I could put it back in it’s proper spot and won’t have to look for it next time I want anything from that pack. Thickers and alphabets are sorted by colour in a binder so they were easy to put away and anything else I used got stuck on and back in it’s spot as I crafted.So my take-aways from creating these projects surprised me. They had very little to do with creating individual layouts because collection kit or stash dive the results are pretty much the same. I reach for the same types of supplies most every time, they’re in good locations, stored in suitable spots, easy to find and put away (for the most part) and in the end I get a story told and a pretty page done, while I enjoy the process. Which is ultimately why I love and adore this hobby. What I did conclude however was that I have far, far too many on-the-go projects in process. The thing that got me most annoyed was not being able to find something in it’s spot because I’d put it in a kit and hadn’t put it back, also the fact that I didn’t think about looking in a kit for some navy paper until after the fact. Which tells me I need to finish some stuff and not start another large project until I’ve cleared a few of the old ones. I knew from the get go that my space could do with a bit of a purge just to free up some space and return some order because I was feeling like I was heading to capacity with my amount of supplies but my organization systems are actually working for me. I also realized that there are a lot of things I don’t reach for and it’s not for lack of proximity either. I cannot even remember the last time I used a rub-on and my stamps rarely see the light of day and both of those are only a spin in my chair away in the buffet & hutch where most supplies are stored but the enamel dots which sit on my desk in my little decorative lantern came as more of an after-thought for the stash layout and they’re within arms reach. So another takeaway is that I need to challenge myself to use a range of supplies on a regular basis. Such a valuable process to evaluate before I really dive into the purging/organization stage.
To get where your headed you’ve gotta know ‘what ya got’. That is exactly my starting point for the Workspace workshop I’m doing this month over at Big Picture Classes. Being the Planner Girl that she is Marcy Penner has generously put together a set of checklists for her class that fit nicely into a planner. Which as it turns out is rather convenient for me. I’m a bit slow to get on the whole Memory Planner thing but I have had my lovely Heidi Swapp Memory Planner waiting in the wings for about a year now and I decided it was about time I broke it out and used it. I’ve got big plans for this year and I always find that when I consistently use a planner/diary of some description and write things down I get so much more done. I am so much more disciplined and productive and I feel so much more accomplished. So it’s a win, win. Plus it’s just super fun having something creative to do, to get you excited for class.After going through the first checklist I pin-pointed a few things that need work in my scraproom. First up I got a wonderful gift of some new photography lights for Christmas (now all I gotta do is learn how to use them) but now I need a place to store them. Sitting out on my floor and having my baby boy climb all over the boxes is not exactly my idea of good storage. Seriously that kid wants to climb on everything these days and my precious new lighting is just not cool, little man. Nor is having them permanently set up a good idea for obvious reasons of three crazy, energetic boys crashing into my space on a regular basis. Secondly while I may not have an over abundance of Project Life/Pocket Scrapping supplies it has grown in the last couple of years since I did my last space revamp. I need to find a new streamlined way of storing them. The number of cards vs. the number of PL boxes is out of whack. I’ve been using the boxes they came in up til this point but now the number of boxes has outgrown the space I have and the number of cards in them has decreased significantly so it makes sense that they need to be consolidated into something smaller. The third thing I want to tackle is memorabilia. I did have a good system in place but I’ve outgrown that too and to put it bluntly I simply have too much of the stuff so I need to go through it again and deal with that. Probably the most obvious thing is that my room is just full of junk that doesn’t belong here and projects that need finishing, besides that a good ol’ fashioned de-stash is in order to get rid of surplus and stuff that I don’t think I’ll use.Just so you know what I’m working with, this below was the state of my scraproom in the early hours of the 1st of January. Photography equipment everywhere, the epic craftermath of post December Daily supplies and a few bits of miscellaneous, alright a bunch of miscellaneous scrappy supplies & projects, that were the result of not putting things back ever and sharing my love for all things scrappy to hopefully bringing someone into this scrappy world of ours. I might have to keep you posted if they do become a scrappy convert… If I even so much as thought of using a supply in December it was probably still sitting on my desk. What you don’t see is a bunch of sewing supplies under my desk that need attention too. Have you got any scrappy organization goals you want to tackle in the next few months? What works for you when it comes to organizing – all in purge or bit by bit?
New Year, New Mood Board and this months mood board by beautiful Jot Girl Anna has me feeling all those relaxed summer holiday vibes. With a generous dose of cobalt blue against a ‘sea’ of white and some lovely warm tones of red, orange and a hint of pink, it feels cozy and relaxed, but fresh and fun. It’s like the perfect summer getaway where you spend your time lolling around an airy holiday house lazily reading books, walking along the beach and dipping your toes in the ocean. When days begin and end in the water, when meal times are for gatherings of friends or family that run thick with laughter and food in ample supply.
With all that on my mind this one totally reminds me of childhood Summers at my grandparents house, where our days were filled with beach trips and picnics. Jaunts to Lennox Head, Byron or Bangalow for some retail therapy/family fun and a house full of cousins, aunts and uncles. So naturally I went in search of a photo or two and came across this one of us swimming in the rockpools probably at Lennox Head, although I can’t be sure. The other option was a pair of pics of us playing in the park in our bathers, because that was pretty much our permanent attire for the summer but as far as I’m concerned there is nothing more representative of those days than this. Us kids in the ocean, Dad not even pretending he’d swim, but willing to risk a little adventuring and mum taking a brief break from being in the water to do Mum things like snap a photo or make sure we had enough sunscreen or round us up for lunch etc.The lovely colours and patterns of January’s mood board had me reaching for Heidi Swapp’s Mixed Company papers and embellishments, the tones just couldn’t be more perfect. Slightly softer than those of the mood board but so pretty and on point. I liked the inclusion of the teal green that dusted it’s way through the papers as well. It’s such a lovely complimentary colour. The only thing Mixed Company didn’t have was the hint of red, a few Elle’s Studio stickers later, with the perfect phrases on them, and we had our mix. I think I’ve enjoyed all the nostalgic reminders this mood board has brought up as much as I enjoyed creating this pretty page. I may have to delve into those old photos again. The quieter pace of Summer school holidays, being surrounded by family and adventuring in warmer climates are certainly a ripe soil for storytelling. Both of my sisters have expressed a desire to relocate to that area in recent months, so I know I’m certainly not alone in appreciating those memories. What are some of your favourite Summer memories from years past? What makes them so vivid and rich in your memory?
I’ve been pondering my One Little Word for 2017 and as much as I enjoy this project, as much as I love Ali and the One Little Word class that I find so much value in every year I just couldn’t stir up the necessary enthusiasm to tackle it again this year. I always choose a word. I’ve been choosing them since 2011 and taking the class almost every year too. I never finish. I’m all gung-ho for the beginning of the year, I make it to about the six month mark and then my drive for the project fizzles.Somewhere in there it becomes an obligation rather than just a tool for growth. Another thing to tick of the scrappy to-do list and not a self-care practice. Maybe because we start heading into calving, joining, irrigation, Christmas etc. The list of to-dos gets long and the busy amps up around here, or maybe I simply need something fresh to focus on, I’m not sure. I don’t believe the December prompt has been completed in its entirety for a single one of my One Little Word projects. In fact my most successful One Little Word journey was 2014 when I didn’t do a single prompt but instead let it be part of my regular scrappy practice. So this year I haven’t bought the class. I haven’t made a title page, I didn’t want to choose a word, and then…
Enter Jennifer Wilson.
She must be my scrappy muse or something, because it seems every time I have a scrappy conundrum or question my scrappy practice in some way, she has an answer, a solution or a piece of wisdom to share on the subject. She’s not choosing a word this year either. She’s choosing four, maybe. One for every season to line up with her personal practice of refreshing her scrappy practice every season. I had even started writing this post about how I was not going to choose a word before her email popped up in my inbox last Wednesday prompting me to read why she’s ‘Not Choosing a Word for 2017‘. Then all the pieces fell into place.Somewhere in the back of my head sat this thought that maybe I could choose a word. Or at the very least that a word had already chosen me. I would only have to live with it for 3 months and then I could choose to continue with it, find another or opt-out altogether. One word would not leave me alone. So my word for 2017 or at least the first quarter of the year is LESS. I will still not be taking the class, but I will let LESS live with me and inform me for this first three months of the year. Given my current goals I think it’s rather apt and I reserve the right to pick a new word at the end of it or not or continue on with it if it’s still speaking to me just like Jennifer’s approach. For now I choose LESS. LESS commitment to a project that is always hanging over my head. LESS stuff in my scraproom and my house. LESS stress. LESS time on things that don’t fulfill. Just LESS. And I’m hoping like Becky Higgins is hinting at lately the LESS=MORE. Who knows I may even make a page or two to put in my 2016 album – but I’m not making any promises. I’m opting for LESS.
I’m taking the patented Jennifer Wilson, Simple Scrapper, seasonal approach to my intentions this year and just focusing on the first three months of the year, keeping my goals for 2017 manageable by not committing to anything overly huge or for the entirety of the year so I can keep my focus clear and concise. I’ve been on a real changing mindsets journey for a while now, listening to awesome podcasts like Terri Savelle Foy about the things we think and mulling over wisdom from Alejandra Costello, Allie Cassazza, and Marie Kondo to get rid of all the ‘Stuff’ that’s weighing me down so that I can live an intentional, joy filled, purposeful life. Really examining what are my core values are and whether or not my life reflects them? It’s the thing we do as a new year flips over the calendar isn’t it and this year I’m ready for a year of big changes. I’ve noticed on here that I have a pattern of saying I am this or I am that. Example I never finish things, I can never stay focused, I’m just a messy scrapper (scrap room wise, not style) … Allie would call these limiting beliefs. Terri would quote the scripture that says “as a man thinks in his heart so is he”. I’m inclined to agree. A lot of my goals for 2017 are stemming from these beliefs that I have so this is a time to start fresh. Beginning with rewiring those limiting beliefs in my head and tackling those limiting roadblocks in my scraproom. As part of my commitment to finishing things and using what I have I’m going to do a scraproom makeover using the Workspace class at BPC by Marcy Penner. I love her personal style and I’m hoping that by doing a scraproom reboot I’ll be able to inject some of that calm and cohesiveness into my space. I’ve tidied up a bit in the last few years but I wanna go deep again and get rid of more of the stuff. So that is goal numero uno for January on this here ‘ol blog.
I have really noticed a direct correlation between my physical space and my motivation for doing the necessary tasks in that space like my ‘want’ to scrap and the amount of stuff in my room. Especially with December Daily and Christmas crafting. I just didn’t want to get in and do anything cos my room was a mess. I always do foundation pages and I kept putting it off and putting it off until it was already December and I had nothing to show for it. I tend to feel at my most irritated and irrational when I have a lot of stuff out. When my space is clear I’m calmer, I’m more able to respond to my kids nicer and I don’t feel so much rush and pressure, and I get stuff done. It’s a real key to productivity for me, and I soooo wanna be more productive this year. Like with the house I was so proud to get the whole house clean before we hosted Christmas with the intent to maintain it for the week til New Years cos one of my things is that I like waking up with a fresh house for a fresh year but then when we got sick and it all went to poop again I didn’t think I’d manage it. As the mess got bigger my stress got bigger. Happily though I did reinstate order bit by bit as I started feeling better. Parenting miracle I even got my kids to clean their room without yelling, once. I simply asked them to pick up 10 things at a time before they went back outside or played the next game throughout the day – winning! I’ve been feeling the weight of all this accumulation not just in the scraproom but everywhere so I knew a giant house purge was on the cards. Since October I’ve been setting myself up decluttering stuff as I went to get a jump on it. We moved a side table over to the other side of the room so I cleared out some extra glasses and platters that never seem to get used. Our washing machine died Christmas Eve so as I folded the mountain of washing my mother in law so graciously washed for me I’ve set aside stuff into donation bags instead of just back in the draws. I even went through everyone’s draws as I put it away and got rid of even more stuff, amping up for a Kon Marie style clothes purge. The little by little works, but it peeters out for me, I need to go big or go nowhere. Deadlines work for me when they’re clear and short so that’s why I need a class like Workspace to tackle my scraproom. Clear consistent instruction. Direction, Visualisation, Clear Goals these are the things I need to get ‘er done.
I’m gonna ramp up all the scrappyness and get into the LOAD Challenge for February (Layout A Day) so stick with me through the cleaning and we’ll get to some really good stuff. Nothing has been announced about this years LOAD yet so I have no idea what I’m getting myself into, but I did enjoy it immensely last year and am really looking forward to having another crack at it. I do have it on good authority that it is definitely a goer under the watchful eye of Alice Boll, you can sign up here if you want to get in on the action too and be the first to know when the announcement is made and sign up begins. I want that accountability, encouragement and to get in the scrappy flow for the year. I love how it stopped me from over thinking every scrappy decisions last year and I had so many fabulous pages come out of it, so I’m excited to see what I produce this year.
With a renewed scraproom and a consistent scrappy habit following my January and February practices I want March to focus on finishing touches. I have a again amassed a bunch of layouts that never quite got to finished stage and I am finally, finally going to commit the time and effort required to beautify my scraproom. It needs to get done and it needs to get done like, yesterday. Let’s call it a Finishing Project of sorts. Keep it realistic, keep it manageable and make it happen that’s my plan for 2017. Three months, three goals, that’s all I am committing to right now and maybe in the second quarter of the year I’ll do another post like this and set another three goals for the second season. Hope you come along for the journey and enjoy all the organizing/scrappy talk & inspiration for this new year and I hope your 2017 kicks some butt!