Scrap Space Vol. 1

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Organization! This topic seems to be everywhere in the scrapbooking industry right now: 
Since it's been on my mind, I thought it was finally time to share my scrap space re-organization. I did all of this the first week of January. Yeah….six whole months ago. And of course I'm just now getting around to sharing! But I'm ok with that.

It all started with a book I keep hearing about: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

I initially found out about it in the Simple Scrapper Facebook group. Jennifer shared an article she read about the Konmari method of organization. Which I then read. I thought this solution sounded interesting so I bought the book (according to Amazon on November 20, 2014). And then it just hung out on my Kindle app for months... 
I tend to do that, jump in on a new project without taking a second to stop and ask myself, do you really have time to do this?? I did not. If you'll remember this past Fall was one of the busiest travel seasons of my life. Of the 12 weeks, I was traveling for 8 of them: different cities, different countries, some for fun, some for business. 

It wasn't until after the holidays that things started to slow down. And you know the power of the New Year.  January approaches and it's a time for re-invention and a chance to re-group. For me, the first of the year is always a lovely idealistic time when I set expectations (or resolutions) for what I'll accomplish during the year. One thing I knew I needed to do was organize the mountain of stuff that had become my scrap space.

So on probably 1 January of this year, I read the book. It's a short book that's really easy to get through. I think I read the whole thing in just a few hours. It was a such an interesting read and interesting from both a tidying perspective and a cultural perspective (the author is Japanese). 
If you've heard anything about this book, you're likely familiar with one of its main principles: if something you own, an item that lives in your house and takes up space doesn't bring you joy, then get rid of it. OR, surround yourself only with items that spark joy.

That was huge for my organization project! As scrapbookers, we tend to have a lot of stuff. And a lot of stuff that we probably don't need and maybe even don't like! The odds and ends from a kit you purchased but didn't use because they just aren't your style. A whole collection pack of papers, when really you can only see yourself using a few sheets. A bag of things you purchased to create a project that you don't even have an interest in doing anymore. The stuff you bought on sale because it was such good deal! But once you got home didn't look nearly as fun or as versatile as you had imagined. I could go on and on!

With the idea of "does this spark joy?" in my head, I was really brutal about what I was going to give away. I tossed nearly all of my ribbon. I got rid of just about every bottle of acrylic paint I owned. I cut down more than six inches of my paper stash. 

So much stuff went off to my local CPS for their Lifebooks program. I wish I had snapped a photo of all that I gave away (Phone was left in the car. I had to make two trips to get everything inside and didn't want to lug my purse along in the process!). Visual a 5 ft tall stack of boxes plus a whole 12x12x12 cube full of all of my paper scraps.

It felt sooo good to give all of that away! Marie writes about the feeling you get when you lighten your load and it's so true. You feel it. I personally felt the spacious she describes.
The second big takeaway I had from this book, was the lack of organizational solutions. As in, don't go buy those pretty bins or that fancy wall unit just yet. You have to understand all that you want to keep (by purging the things that don't spark joy) in order to figure out the best solution for what you have. 

I have my stuff organized in some really gorgeous boxes now. But that didn't come until the very very very end of the process. When I knew exactly how much I had, and could therefore find solutions for organizing those specific things.

For me, this process meant going through every last drawer, bin, basket, magazine holder, bottle, jar and box I had. Looking at and touching each item. And once the triage--keep, toss, donate--was complete, figuring out where to put everything back. 

Over my next few blog posts, I'll share how I put everything back. I'll share how my desk is organized. What I have at my fingertips. Where I store my paper and embellishments. Where my kits and non-scrapbook/general office supply products live. I'll open up every box. Show a peek inside every drawer. I also plan to talk about how my shopping habits have changed.

I have a lot to say on this topic so I hope you'll join me here on the blog over the next few weeks.
I have some final words to say about that life changing little book (it's only 226 pages!) Which as the title suggests, is actually life changing. 

Here's what has changed for me, as I approached re-organizing my scrap space after reading this book:
  • My scrap space is organized. I know exactly where everything is and can get to whatever I'm looking for within seconds. 
  • I'm able to sit down at my desk and start scrapbooking. Like immediately! I no longer have to pick up a pile of stuff and figure out where to put it while I'm working at my desk, only to put the pile back when I'm done for the day. 
  • I shop less and use more. 
  • I feel that sense of spaciousness in my room
Not only is my space less cluttered, my mind is also free of the guilt that use to go hand in hand with this un-tidy space. So basically, not only does this book un-clutter your physical space, it also helps you un-clutter your mind.

If you consider reading it or have already read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Not only did I use what I learned to re-organize my scrapbook space, I've also re-organized my bedroom closet and bathroom as well. Next stops are the built-in bookshelf and chest of drawers in the dining area. For me slow and steady wins the race when it comes to these large organizational projects.

And an added bonus! This is one year when I've actually been able to stick with a New Year's resolution. Take that lizard brain!! But that's a sentiment from another non-fiction book...

cheers & besos,

Not to fear

Thursday, June 18, 2015

…wherever there is a layout to be photographed, a Macclesfield is near.

One of her favorite spots these days, is the window sill in my bedroom. My scrapbook table is right up against it.

I should mention that a bird built it's nest in the bushes just outside this window. It squeaks and squawks all day long at the predator sitting a few feet away from its nest.

I didn't notice you bird, until MT pointed you out. Now I hate you….

cheers & besos,

Awesome Nerds

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It's raining here in Houston. But not half as bad as they predicted it would rain…and flood! Schools and businesses were closed yesterday and it barely sprinkled. I think everyone was in a panic after the flooding we had a few weeks ago. I suppose it's better to be safe and over cautious than sorry after the fact.

But because I worked from yesterday, and therefore didn't have to commute, I had a free hour to scrapbook on a weekday. That's really unusual for me. I come home so tired and drained. The last thing I want to do is sit at my desk. But yesterday I got to do that and here's what I made.
It's a totally just for fun page without any journaling. The photos are from Kim & Eric's 30th birthday party last Saturday. I might add just that somewhere but for now I'm happy with it like it is.

I used my Have a Little Fun Today Scrapbook Circle kit. The title is from The Cut Shoppe.
The wacky color combo just might be my favorite part! I thought the paper went so perfectly with Kim's green dress. But the pattern was so busy I only wanted to use a wee bit.

And since there were pops of red in the photos (Eric's shirt and the red lips prop) I pulled out the few red embellishments that were in the kit: the red acetate star and red flair badge. I wanted red in three different places so I outlined the heart in the title with red stitching.

I also wanted the title to be more pronounced, since the patterned paper by itself didn't have enough of a pronounced edge. So I messily (a word?) outlined the letters in pencil. I didn't use black on the layout and since the patterned paper had a really great gray in it already, I thought the pencil would be the better option over a black pen.

There were yellow banners hanging behind us in the photos, and they very nearly matched the yellow in the tag included in the kit. So I had to incorporate it onto the page and in the crook of that "e" seemed the best place. It filled in the negative space really well in the end.

Like I said early, there's such an odd concoction of color on this page, but I think it's why I like it!
The rest of my embellishing is fairly minimal. A few enamel dots and then this quote.

The quote was actually on the branding strip for the triangle patterned paper. I cut it off and was about to throw it away when I noticed the little hand with the feather pen. It was such a perfect sentiment for this page.
This was an awesome little deviation from my regular work week. I liked getting an extra just for fun page in and am going to figure out how I can keep it up!

It's helped that I'm logging my time this week, to get a better understanding of what I'm doing. The goal is to be able to really focus on doing what I love to do.

Anandi shared this book ("I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of their Time" by Laura Vanderkam) in the Paperclipping Forums. I purchased a copy and started reading it. I'm having a bit of trouble making my way through it, but I think the underlying messages are good. I checked out Laura's website and become more interested in her 168 Hours book and the free content she had available.

I'm thinking I'll do a separate blog post about this since I clearly have some stuff to say! I'll leave it at this for now. Here's me wishing you a lovely (and non-flooded) day!

cheers & besos,

See the World

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hiya! Hope everyone had a fantastic week. I spent most of mine sick in bed with some anonymous stomach bug. It was bad y'all. I'm slowly recovering and able to be up and out and about. But I'm not quite 100% yet. But I'm trying to remain positive and faking it until I'm making it!

Today though, I shared this layout over on the Scrapbook Circle blog. You can read more about it there. 
I've been in a bit of scrapbook slump lately. But today, I think I'll sit at my desk. Pull out some paper and see what happens. Wish me luck!

cheers & besos,

SBC & The Cut Shoppe Blog Hop

Monday, June 8, 2015

Hiya! Welcome to the awesome Scrapbook Circle & The Cut Shoppe collaborative blog hop. Scrapbook Circle teamed up with The Cut Shoppe to bring you this fun hop.

**Giveaway & promo closed but comments still open**

I've been a fan of Ashley's designs for awhile now (see other projects here). So it was super easy to integrate her fantastic cut files into my pages this month.
For this hop, I'm sharing a double page layout featuring the Geometric Graffiti background. The layout is about my neighborhood in Bangkok.
I have a single feature photo on one page. And this is where I incorporated the cut and nearly all of the papers from the June Have a Little Fun Today kit and You are Here add on.

The cut makes it look really complex but it's actually a really simple page. Just the photo, title, patterned paper filled cut and one flair badge (I love! More flair badges in SBC kits, please!)
This second page is equally as simple and that was totally intentional. There's so much to see in the photos, that I didn't want to distract from them. I added in a die cut here and there as well as a label where I stamped the date.
There was so much going on in the photos and with that cut file, I wasn't sure where to include my journaling. So instead of over complicating the design, I just added a pock page insert. That's where I added more embellishments, like a few of the die cuts from the Pink Paislee Atlas ephemera pack and that great silver airplane vellum in the Main kit.
I added two additional photos that I hadn't had room for before the pocket page, as well as my journaling.
That second pocket has two die cuts back to back that I stapled just at the top. I like that it's kind of floating there and that you can see what's behind it.
The bottom pocket is where I added the vellum. I love playing with transparency and vellum is an awesome way to do that.
Journaling Reads:
"I went back to visit MT in Bangkok after I left. I'm so glad I managed to take pictures of the old neighborhood and the streets we walked every day. Our apartments were at Sitara Place which is in the Ratchadapisek (Ratchada) part of Bangkok, just off Soi 3 (Saam). It was a nice "suburb" with lots of modernization. We were in between two sets of malls, the Boma (or Bowling Mall) and the Tema (or Tesco Mall as we dubbed them). Every day we'd get up and walk (or take the apartment Tuk tuk) to the metro station in front of the Tema. On the weekends, we'd head to the Boma for food or massages or other entertainment. Walking the streets you'd see lots of concrete and garages, Thai flags and the King's flag, mini temples with offerings. And it wouldn't be Thailand without a stray dog or twenty. On this particular day we were walking to the Boma and I snapped a ton of photos on the way. Just as we were approaching a corner I saw this little Thai girl through my viewfinder, she was so excited to see us. It was Ana, who I hadn't seen in months. She saw me before I saw her and it made me laugh when I was looking back at these photos and saw her reaction. It's still crazy for me to believe that I lived in Bangkok for a season. It was such an amazing time in my life."
Alright then! Be sure to hop along with the rest of the Scrapbook Circle team (start here) and comment as you go. We will be selecting a winner from all of the blog hop comments to receive $20 to The Cut Shoppe Hop.

ALSO, be sure to stop by The Cut Shoppe blog to see what their team created with our June kit. Comment on The Cut Shoppe post and you are entered to win one of the Have a Little Fun Today kits!

Finally, here's a wee promotion for you to use during the hop. I'll be jumping on this one myself. There's a ton of new cuts I'm excited to play with.

Next on the hop is Diana!

cheers & besos,

Famous Walls

Thursday, June 4, 2015

If you don't already know I love to travel, I don't know who's blog you've been reading :) Since so many of my pages features this trip or that one. I love me some travel scrapbooking!

But my pages aren't always "We went", "I saw", "We did". I like to mix things up and tie places together sometimes. Like I did for this page that features some of the famous walls I've visited.
I used the June Scrapbook Circle kit (which is deliciously travel themed) and the You are Here add on and stuck with a navy/red/teal color scheme.

That middle tag is a cut file from The Cut Shoppe. I ended up flipping it around so that the tag part was on the other end.
Embellishing this page was really quick and easy, just three little clusters scattered around. Each one consisting of the country name + geo tag sticker + date label + enamel shape.
I finished the page and then thought it looked a tiny bit unfinished. So I went with my go to tilted design and adhered it to a sheet of kraft cardstock. The stitching and roughing up the edges really made it feel complete.

cheers & besos,