Friday, March 27, 2015

a life changing book

Recently, on a whim really, I ordered the book, Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind

I am bad about buying books and not reading them but when this one arrived, I immediately sat down to read it and I could not put it down! I read a little bit and then ran in the other room and gave Mike the short version of what it was saying. "You have to read this!" I said every time, and he agreed it was great information.

The book is divided into sections, with each section having several contributors. There are sections on Building a Rock Solid Routine, Finding Focus in a Distracted World, Taming Your Tools (this was my most needed section) and Sharpening Your Creative Mind. Those topics were exactly what I needed to recharge my creative business batteries!

Between each chapter, there are incredible quotes I want to frame. One of my favorite is:

Yes!!! Turn your phone off Tracie. Shut the computer. Focus.

Another fave is...

I have taken the word "try" out of my vocabulary. I'm not going to "try" to do things anymore - I'm doing them!

My favorite author, Gretchen Ruben of  The Happiness Projectcontributes a chapter called, "Harnessing the Power of Frequency." I've often said "the more I create, the more creative I am." Gretchen agrees with me, saying, "When you work regularly, inspiration strikes regularly." She explains that a constant flow of creating keeps your flow going.

One of my favorite features of the book is called "Key Takeaways" and it comes after each section. It's a synopsis of what you just read and it's exactly the notes I would have taken about key points I want to recall.

A key takeaway from the second chapter is "Focus When You're Fresh." After reading it, I realized that on the days I am creating content (layouts, cards, blog posts, podcast material, videos, products to sell, classes), I must begin my day with creating before I ever look at the computer or clean the house. The first moment I wake up, while my mind is still fresh from rest, I must sit down at my desk and begin to create. I already knew that was something I needed to do but seeing it in black and white gave me permission to make it happen.

Another key takeaway from chapter two is "Make Progress Visible" by keeping a journal or posting milestones. This is one reason I'm sharing my "Creative Goals Accomplished" list each month in my memory planner. Looking back at the month and seeing what I've accomplished helps fire me up to keep going strong.

I really could write a book about this book, I have barely scratched the surface of why I love it but this....this is my favorite quote from the entire book...
I've been really hearing this from a lot of sources lately. I've been saying NO to television and a lot of other things I used to waste time on and I've also decided it's okay to say NO to things people expect me to do. If they don't help me accomplish my goals, I must say NO. That isn't to say that I don't take time for what's important or that I never say yes, but I'm putting my days in order and making sure my life reflects my priorities.

As another quote in the book says, "You can do anything....but not everything."

I don't want to give away any more of the book because you need to read it! If you are in any kind of business or lifestyle that requires you to be disciplined, creative or this book! I'm getting ready to turn to page one and read it all over. I'm serious. It's so full of great information, I could barely process it all. There are other books in this series, I will be getting those too. It's such an easy read and so chock-full of information! I just highly enjoyed it.

Is this blog post not for you? That's okay because another quote from the book that really resonated with me was, "A creator needs only one enthusiast to justify him." :) So true!

Get the book!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

wanna see a new layout from me today?

Then head on over to Write.Click.Scrapbook. because I'm blogging there today with a layout about my favorite music. Here's a sneak peek...

See you back here tomorrow for a post about a book that changed my life! :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

memory planner monday

Hello is Memory Planner Monday where I share another addition to my Artful Memory Planner. Each month, I fill in the list page which gives me a space for things I'm thankful for, things that were awesome and things I will focus on next month.

Here are my lists for February...the lovely washi banner pieces are from the new Heidi Swapp washi booklet from her planner line. Love!

I have a file saved in Word with the text boxes for these so it's a breeze now to change the list, print, cut and paste to this page.

Here it is in the album, ready for the next page...

I absolutely love this little pocket page that came with the album. There are two 2x2 pockets at the top and one at the bottom that is about 4.25 x 4.25. I printed my favorite photo from February and found a new clear gold foiled 2x2 square to put in the pocket. Since it's clear, you can see the polka dot square underneath.

I grabbed another pocket page with the same layout and I'm in the process of filling that in now. I'm also making a two page layout and adding a printable from Christy Tomlinson to this section. I took a quick trip to my friend's cabin today and tomorrow so I had to leave this waiting on my desk.

I am enjoying working on this planner more than any project I've ever done! Having my supplies corralled in my new organizer made all the difference in the world! I can flip through them so quickly and, love, love! I'll share the rest of this section next Monday!

Be back Wednesday with more inspiration. Have a great Monday!!!

Friday, March 20, 2015

attention all disney fans!

Drumroll please!!! My new podcast, Magic Memory Keepers, is now available! I just put up Episode 2 which features the incredibly talented, Nancy Damiano! She has inspired me for years and it was so fun to interview her.

Here's a confession! I loved listening to her so much that for a few minutes, as she was talking, I became so engrossed in what she was saying that I forgot I was the host who was interviewing her! I really wanted to sit back and just let her talk so I could listen! Although I am a podcast host, I'm still a huge podcast listener myself and love every minute of listening to them.

This announcement is a week late because it took that long for my show to be added to iTunes and I know most people prefer to listen there. I didn't want to tell the world until it was iTunes ready. It is now and I'm so, so happy about it! 

I'm still getting used to the idea of hosting a second show. I actually have a third podcast brewing in my head (to which my husband said, "oh my!") but it will be at least 2016 before I can make it happen because I think I'll have to hire an assistant by then! I'll keep the title a secret so no one else will make it before I do but it will be a way for me to ask certain creative people all the questions I want to know the answers to right now! 

I've decided I love creating podcasts more than anything else in life. I guess God gave me the gift of gab for a reason! :)

I hope you'll check out my new show and please, please, please tell your Disney loving scrappy friends! Disney is the number one destination in the world so I believe there are thousands of Disney scrapbookers out there. I just have to let them know about the show!

Thanks so much to all of you who support me in my creative endeavors! It truly means the world to me. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

organizing my planner supplies

Hello lovies. Thought you might like a peek at my new organization plan for my planner supplies. Whenever I organize things, I hear angels singing, "Ahhhhhhh!!!"

I've been having a problem with making a big mess while I create. I decided today that I will put an end to it and start cleaning up as I go. My major issue was a stack of supplies I use in my planner that kept growing bigger and bigger. Since I work on my planner weekly, I needed a better way to keep them corralled.

Thankfully, yesterday while in Target, I spotted an awesome divided organizer on clearance for $2.38!!!! I could not believe my luck! (It had a little smudge of dirt on one side that easily came off with a wipe.)

I gathered my supplies, which are mostly Heidi Swapp, and found that the slots were the absolute perfect size for everything! I knew I needed to go shop for something when my only alternative in the house was a Glad container! Acck!

In about 10 minutes, I went from this...

To this.....

It's perfect!!!!!

As you can see, I mainly stick with Heidi Swapp supplies to go with my planner that's made by her. I also try to stick to the color scheme of the pages which is aqua, pink, black and gold. I just love how all of this looks together! The gold makes me giddy.

Would you like to see what's in each section? Yep, I thought so.

Starting on the left side, this is a box of chipboard die cuts that came in the Heidi Swapp Gold Foil Project Life kit. The clear box is perfect for storing anything small like this. Love!

I keep it in front of my stamps. I have all my stamps I use consistently in the planner, on the left side...

That includes my number stamps which are by 7 Gypsies & Hampton Art. Of course I have boatloads of stamps not pictured here...these are just the ones that seem to work well in a planner.

In the middle front slot, I have two Elle's Studio kits (December 2014 & January 2015) and a big pile of Heidi Swapp 3x4 Project Life cards that came in two different kits.

In the middle section of the back, I have a huge stack of tags with twine that are from the Wanderlust collection. I want to use one of them soon in my planner - I absolutely love them! They're made from a super thick watercolor paper!!

In the right front section is the glassine envelope that came in a Heidi Swapp Wanderlust zip bag and I keep my small 2x2 squares and some die cuts in there that both came with the planner. I love a glassine envelope!

Directly behind that is a larger section and that's where I have my new washi tape booklet and some other word stickers and rub-ons I use for every monthly spread.

I also have some of the brand new pocket pages, decorative tags and some 4x6 gold foiled Project Life cards that I'm planning to insert in the middle of some spreads, kind of like a dashboard.

That's it! I'm all organized and happy and I know this is going to save me time and stress. I am just absolutely in love with all my planner supplies. I considered getting the new black and white planner by Heidi and saving it for next year but I haven't decided yet if I will. I do love it so I still might. I'm just afraid if I buy it now and it sits around for almost a year, I'll get tired of it and want something fresh when she comes out with her 2016 planners! Decisions, decisions!!

I hope you have an awesome Wednesday! If you can, go and be crafty!

Friday, March 13, 2015

catch me at today!

I'm sharing a layout and blog post at Write.Click.Scrapbook. today! I hope you'll pop over there and take a peek! I'm a newbie there so y'all help make me look good by commenting if you like my layout.

Here's a sneak peek!

Thanks my lovies!! Have a wonderfully delightful weekend!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

there's got to be a better way

So I just spent about a day making a layout for Write.Click.Scrapbook. I am hoping it will be up today - I ran into some technical difficulties posting.

Now that the layout is done, I want to move on and make some cards with my snazzy new gold foil! Unfortunately before I can do that, I must clean this mess on my desk!!!!!!!

Let's talk about this, y'all. I mean, really - help me out here. I have upwards of 30 packages of October Afternoon and Simple Scrapbooks embellishments. In each one of those packages are lots of tiny embellishments. They are my favorite. My FAVORITE. But what a pain in the patootie to have to look through each time I make a layout! See this pile on the right? That's one package with another underneath. I had to look through that whole stack twice and still couldn't use any of it. 

I lost my entire stack of enamel dots and after 20 minutes of searching I found them, only to be disappointed that I just have five packages. Well what in the world would I do with more if I had them!? I have too much stuff and I have a relatively small stash compared to most!

This box is full to the brim of October Afternoon packages. I like to keep them in the packaging although I sort the rest of my embellishments by color. Just this box alone should really be enough for me to use for the rest of my life. 

Every area is a mess, even my hutch with the doors hanging open where I've been grabbing stuff. I have to now clean my studio from top to bottom and all for one layout! 

I think of myself as highly organized but I'm starting to think my organization isn't working! Do you have to look through every package to find the perfect little embellishment? I can easily find paper, letter stickers and even stamps but when it comes to stickers, tags, tabs, is an undertaking. Then I have tiny pieces everywhere to go back together. That's why I have to start over clean each time, there's no room left to create!

Please tell me I'm not the only this frustrates!! Give me a better way...there's got to be a better way!

If anyone needs me, I'll be cleaning off my desk....

Monday, March 09, 2015

memory planner monday

Confession time. Last month when I posted my January monthly spread for my Artful Memory Planner, I kind of convinced myself I would never be able to replicate the cuteness because it was literally my favorite project I had ever made.

So this month when I sat down to make my February pages, I felt intimidated by the thought of making something fresh that I would be thrilled with. Thankfully, once I got going in my process, all my fears were put to rest because I began to love it even more than the January spread!! It's just that whenever you put together little squares of patterned paper, in the end you go, OH FOR CUTE!

This makes my heart happy...

The first day of February is my Mother's birthday so I put a favorite photo of her in that square. The ninth day is my Daddy's birthday. He is in Heaven now but it's still important to remember him on his birthday so I added a favorite photo of him. The fourteenth, Valentine's Day, is my sweetheart's birthday so I put his picture there!

On the 5th, 6th and 7th, I attended a conference and it was very important to me so I did a bit of journaling there. The BRRRR! embellishment is from an Elle's Studio monthly club kit that I just got and loooovvvveeeee. The arrow on the 21st is gold but it did not photograph well.

The colors on these photos are a bit off because it's an overcast day today and I spent longer than I really intended do trying to do these pages justice. I may scan them and repost later tonight.

I had a really great day on the 22nd and I was still giddy from it the next day so I used a Tim Holtz rub-on that said "remember this feeling." About four great things happened that day, more than I could tell in the daily square but I will journal on a page after this spread. The little heart on the 23rd is gold, you just can't tell in the pic!

I intentionally left some squares blank with just pretty paper because I want your eye to have a place to rest amid the chaos of the journaling and patterns. I used a great new stamp set from Hampton Art with numbers just the right size. I like how fat and cute they are.

I'm staying in a similar color scheme for the layouts I'm making for this month but will probably use different papers. My husband has helped me out with my creative business goals lately so I want to do a page about him and all he does for me. I also will do a collage page with my iPhone pics but I'll probably make a mini-album about my conference. I have a lot of great pics and it needs its own little book.

To start this month's spread, first I grabbed the planner I carry in my purse. February was blank because I bought it in the end of February so I went through my Instagram feed to see what I had done every day and checked my texts and Facebook posts to fill in the gaps. Social media really does give me a clear picture of the life I live. I scribbled the things in I wanted to remember. See how messy this is? This is my real handwriting - don't judge! :) My March spread is neater because I'm actually using it every day to organize my life.

Next, I pulled out my favorite papers that were heart/love related and in this color scheme...

Then I cut strips off the bottom the same height as the rows in the planner...

I figured it would be easier to put the paper back in my drawer being just a little shorter instead of having a square cut off each one. :)

Once I had those cut, it was very easy to start laying out my patterns.

I laid out all the patterns and left a space for the pictures. Then I converted the pics to black and white in Picasa. After that, I imported them into Word and using a text box to size them to the right size, I printed them. I use Canon Luster 8.5x11 paper which is the best photo paper I've ever found.

After that, I just went through my one million embellishments until I found a few that worked and called it done!

I hope you enjoyed seeing this month's spread and learning a bit about my process. Have a great day my lovies!

Sunday, March 08, 2015

how do you read my blog?

I just read a post on Studio Calico's message board about how people read blogs and many said they use Bloglovin so I'm adding mine to it. Click here to add my feed if you read that way:Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I'm very curious to know how you read my blog. Do you follow a link in FB when I post one, subscribe by e-mail or some other way? Thanks!!

Saturday, March 07, 2015

simple card using Project Life supplies

One of my goals for 2015 is "Back Up Photos." I've been working on it steadily all year, clearing about 10GB at a time (which is not much!). As I run across projects I've never shared here, I'm adding them to my pages under the tabs above.

Here's a card I never shared that I made in October 2013. I posted it on Two Peas at the time but I wasn't blogging regularly. I remember making this like it was yesterday. It was for my Pastors and I sat down to make them a card and happened to see this Project Life card with the perfect sentiment! My Pastors are like my second parents and a huge blessing in my life so this fits them well. I used some of my beloved October Afternoon from an 8x8 paper pad and it was quick and easy to make! The card is a 4x6 card. I happened to have a big blue envelope from somewhere that matched the card perfectly so I made it to fit the envelope!

Check out the tabs above to see more card and layout inspiration! Have a crafty weekend!