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November 29, 2006

creating an oasis

I loved this question from Andrea:  "Any ideas on making a bedroom a relaxing oasis?" Thanks Andrea!

Why did I love this question so much? Well, when I work with clients who have a big project ahead of them (many rooms in their home to organize) I suggest they start with a space where they can create an oasis or haven. This oasis becomes their sacred place --- free from clutter. It is the place they can go to relax, recharge and in general just feel good while they continue to make progress in the rest of their home. So ... I love the idea of an oasis. And even more, I love the idea of the bedroom being the oasis, since this is the place we go to relax and recharge at the end of the day.

So how to make your bedroom an oasis or place of calm and relaxation? First ... answer these questions:

What colors evoke a feeling of calm and relaxation for you?

What materials or fabrics are calm and relaxing to you?

What sounds relax and calm you?

Now, think about the opposite. What is stressful and distracting to you?

For me ... blue is my happiest and most relaxing color. So my oasis must be blue. And when I hear the word oasis I instantly think of potted plants, tall and palm like. (Can you tell I'm not a botanist?) I also think of white cotton sheets, down comforters and warm and fuzzy throws. My haven has lots of plush pillows and it wouldn't be complete without my electric blanket.

Lighting is another key. Install a dimmer switch or bring in a few accent lights and forgo the overhead light altogether. Candles add instant warmth. And don't forget your sense of smell ... scented candles in lavender (or my favorite: vanilla) are a must-have in my oasis. 

Natural / organic materials feel like an oasis to me, too, especially wicker. (But I'm always on the outlook for an excuse to use wicker, so take that one with a grain of salt.) Another relaxing element is soft, calm music or a fountain. Ah ... it's making me sleepy just thinking about it.

Now for the opposite of relaxing? My definition is work, paper, clutter and anything loud. So move out the T.V. Move out loud music. Assign all work a home outside of the bedroom. And last but not least, corral items in baskets or pandan boxes to keep visual clutter at bay.

Tell me about your oasis. At this point I'm half tempted to scrap the magazine project and skip ahead to the master bedroom redo project that's on my "someday" list! Will your oasis ideas put me over the edge?

November 21, 2006

this is progress? a.k.a. 12 week challenge update

I'm dying to know how you're doing on your 12 week challenge. It's oh-so hard to believe, yet oh-so true that on this Saturday, we will have just 4 weeks left in our 12 week challenge. Holy cow! Is that hard to believe or is it just me? So do share ... how are you coming along with your 12 week goal? I hope it's going great.

I'm still wondering why on earth I thought *now* would be the time to tackle my magazines. Of all things my magazines! But I did and so ... here's the progress report.

But ... before you see the picture, I must once again ask: this is progress?


Actually those somewhat messy stacks are clippings sorted by category. So ... oddly enough it *is* progress. (I should have taken a photo of the now empty picnic basket! That is tremendous success.)

But here's another photo ... sorted magazines in magazine sorters ... obviously still a work in process by the haphazard post-it note labels ... but it's progress, yes?


I have recycled oodles and oodles of magazines and even recycled a magazine on the same day I got it in the mail. Now that is beyond progress. That is unheard of!

How about you ... how is your project coming along? I can't wait to hear from you.

Oh ... and thanks to everyone for all the great goodie bag ideas! What fun. I'm actually excited to come up with something for my daughter's birthday ... which is just around the corner! Who knew we were all so passionate about the goodie bag? ;)  (And isn't it so nice we're not alone on this one?)

November 12, 2006

goodie bags


This post has moved to our new blog. Go to Goodie Bags.


November 10, 2006


That's really the only word to describe life here lately ... a whirlwind. It's a good whirlwind, but a whirlwind none-the-less. So many things I've been wanting to blog about ... so little time to blog. So here are just a few highlights.

Last weekend, "Mrs. Schmedley" was in the house. My house. How fun is that? Mrs. Schmedley? Oh ... that was the alias she went by with my kiddos. Quite funny.

We started working on a super fun project together ... can't wait until it's a bit further along and we can share some details. We worked like crazy people around the clock for four days ... fun work like scrapbooking and shopping and working on an upcoming class. See photo below for evidence of all the hard work. ;)

I have to tell you, Wendy is simply the best. My whole family enjoyed having her here for every single minute of the four days. Now, I ask, how many house guests can you say that about? ;)


Tonight is my son's party to celebrate his 8th birthday. A slumber party. Somehow I thought that would be a more straightforward approach than a skating party at the Y. Uh ... what influence was I under when I made that choice? I haven't a clue. He's super excited so it's going to be great. But whew, was this really my idea?

Not that any of this is particularly interesting to anyone other than me ... but I felt like I needed to explain my scarcity lately. Just been busy with super fantastic clients, super fun overnight guests and now we're into birthday season which leads immediately into holiday season. Such a fun (and busy!) time of year.

I'll post some photos of the party treat bags and my philosophy (as an organizer) on treat bags very soon ... like, before the treat bags get torn into by seven and eight year old boys. And if that doesn't keep you on the edge of your seat, what will? ;)

And ... I have some news on my 12 week challenge. I'm making progress and want to share. (Plus I'm dying hear how all of you are doing on your 12 week challenges!) So stay tuned ... more to come soon.

November 07, 2006

crafty Christmas ideas!

I got an email from Emily asking about ideas for do-it-yourself Christmas presents.  Sounds fun, doesn't it? Here's the email.

"My husband and I are newly married, just out of college, and pinching pennies to put him through med school.  Christmas is going to be tight this year, so I'm hoping to save some money by making all of my Christmas presents.  I'm rather crafty, but have already used most of the general do-it-yourself ideas for past Christmas presents (crocheting scarves, baking cookies, sewing quilts, etc.)  I was wondering if you had any new and unique ideas for homemade Christmas presents."

Here are some ideas I came up with:

Do you like to cook? If so, how about sharing your favorite recipes with loved ones? Type up your favorite recipes on your computer and print them out on colorful card stock. Then, laminate the recipes, punch a hole in one corner and attach the collection together using a binder ring. Tie a ribbon around the ring to complete the festive look!

I love cookie mixes in a jar! Even if you’ve done this before, it makes a great gift --- especially for a busy person who wants to bake but has difficulty finding the time. Cookie mixes are great because they’re super cute and you’ve taken the messy steps out of baking. Tie the jar with raffia and include a recipe card so they can make their own after the holidays and have an ongoing reminder of your yummy gift. Consider giving your cookie mixes in the weeks before Christmas as an early and delightful surprise --- and to allow the recipient time to enjoy the fresh baked cookies over the holidays. (I got a mix as a gift last year and I just loved it!) 

How about a coupon book? You could put together a coupon book redeemable for services you’ll provide your friends and family. Consider offering a coupon for dinner in --- you cook and clean, your friends just sit back, relax and enjoy the meal. You could provide coupons for baby sitting, errand running, or even car washing … you name it! How about offering one coupon per month --- and provide seasonally related services. Dinner for two redeemable in February. Car washes in July. Errand running in November. This would make your gift linger on even after the holidays are over. This is another fab gift for a busy person who could use a helping hand.

You could also decorate flower pots with paint and include herb seed packs (or start the plants yourself.) Include a favorite recipe using the herb you give. This makes a fun and fresh winter gift!

Ali's ezine had another super fun idea that would make a great gift! (Plus, it's a great and inspiring read, so check it out!)

How about you? Have you given (or received) any super fun hand-made Christmas gifts? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Have a great day!

November 05, 2006

and the winner is ...

... commenter #56! Also known as Mary. Congratulations to you! (My kids enjoyed pulling your number out of a coffee mug.)

Thank you to everyone who submitted a comment! I loved reading about your favorite things about scrapbooking ... so fun! I may just have to have another Freebie Friday someday soon!

November 03, 2006

Freebie Friday!

Before Friday comes to a screeching halt, let's take a pause for Freebie Friday.

“What is Freebie Friday” you ask? Well, Freebie Friday is a rare event where free stuff is given away … right here … on the creative organizing blog. Lucky you … you stopped by just in a nick of time (in spite of me blogging so rarely these days.)

What’s the freebie? I’m glad you asked! It’s a copy of Tasra Dawson’s book “Real Women Scrap!” This book is loaded with gems of inspiration and insight. Some of my favorites are “comparison kills creativity” and “simplicity sharpens our focus.” You’re going to love it! (If, of course you’re the lucky winner.) And if not … hop on over to Tasra’s site to learn more about this great book.

Ah … yes, how do you win? Another good question! It’s simple. Just post a comment telling me your favorite thing about scrapbooking, by Sunday, November 5th at 9:30 PM central time. On Sunday night, I’ll draw a number from a “hat” (maybe it will be a basket or storage bin) and the lucky person whose comment matches the number in the hat is the winner! (For example, if I draw a one and you were the first to comment --- you win!)

Be sure to check out the super fun contest Tasra is sponsoring … with some prizes from simplify 101

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