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January 30, 2008

if you give an organizer some new bowls...

OK, I won't go there again and do the whole "if you give a pig a pancake gig." (Although that was fun.)

But I will tell you this:  those little bowls created an organizing monster in me!

This past weekend I reorganized all my itty-bitty scrapbooking stuff...the buttons, brads, paper-clips, and so on, all because those cute little bowls jumped into my cart (when I wasn't looking) last time I went to Target.

So here's the low down on what I did, and some of the other details about furniture and what-not in my space. (I've been getting a bunch of questions about the furniture in my I'll try to answer a lot of that here.)

Before reorganizing I used these nine votive holder's (from IKEA) to store small, silver embellishments. This tray of votives (tray also from IKEA) sat on my white, ladder shelf from JC Penny (although in this photo they're sitting on the black work desk from Pier One. The same work-desk that's on the cover of the book. And while we're talking about the cover, the cubes on the cover and the large set of cubes inside the book are from IKEA.) OK...back to the tray (from IKEA.)


I liked the silver things in there...but I thought it would look oh-so fun to put more colorful items there. And so that's what I did. Here's a shot of them, sitting on the above mentioned ladder shelf from JC Penny.


So what happened to the idea of putting the new little bowls from Target in the drawers from Crop-In-Style? Well...I didn't like all my little stuff all together in one bowl. The brads were buried, and that was one of the issues I was trying to address in this latest reorg—make the brads easier to get to. I also wanted to be able to easily see what color brads I have so I don't overlook (and not actually realize I don't own) often needed brads like basic white, for example.

So...brads and the small silver embellishments (that were in the votives (from IKEA)) went into these little boxes (from Making Memories.)

Here's a before of one of the boxes.


And a story...because, well, if you're reading this far you're a scrapbooker and you'd appreciate it.

So, I got this box of buttons at a scrapbook convention, oh, maybe eight years ago. Right around the time when buttons were the next big thing in scrapbooking. I remember that this was such an indulgent purchase. "How on earth would I ever use all those buttons?" I thought. Uh, I guess that question is answered. (I won' least not in the first eight years of ownership.) It also proves that packaging sells! (At least it sells me. Orange clearance stickers and good packaging and this girl, organizer or not, gets weak in the knees.) So maybe now that those buttons have been freed from their cute little box, I'll actually use them.'ve waited long enough. Here's the after.


And you should know...sorting all those brads and all the other tiny stuff...took forever. But with the help of a recorded episode of American Idol and a warm, burning fire, it was actually pretty enjoyable.

OK, what else...yes, the drawers.

Before, one of the drawers stored "fun stuff" which is really "miscellaneous stuff" in a friendly disguise. Since I'm in such the mood to go off on tangents tonight, I'll just share my "professional opinion" ;) of the term miscellaneous. If ever you're tempted to use the term miscellaneous when labeling something, think "Mess-ellaneous" because in all eventuality, that's what you'll end up with:  a mess. (OK, maybe you won't, but I would.) Here's my messelaneous fun stuff, before:


And now, the drawers, after:


The drawer includes four boxes (from Making Memories) of brads and other small stuff, plus three bowls (from Target) of larger metal things and some chipboard flower buttons (from I don't know where that I didn't like the looks of in the votives from IKEA) on the white shelf from JC Penny.

OK...I'm tired. I suddenly ran out of oomph. (Just like that. I know, I'm surprised, too.) I have more photos to share (and stories to tell, heaven help you.) So stay tuned.

Good night.

January 25, 2008

why is it so hard to simplify?

Just a quick heads-up. My January simplify 101 newsletter will be hitting email in-boxes later on today.

Will your in-box be one of them?

If not, there's still time to sign-up. Just visit my favorite page on our website to sign up. Then, be sure to confirm your subscription via the email confirmation link that will arrive just minutes later. Two simple steps and you'll be all set for organizing ideas and discount coupons for our store each and every month. Pretty cool, huh?

In this month's article I ponder the question (and provide some answers!) about why it's so hard to simplify. Here's a little snippet:

It’s OK if it’s easy.

Simple is easier than complicated, right? So if we want to simplify, this means we have to be willing to accept easy. And quite frankly, that’s easier said than done. I’d be willing to bet there’s a hard-work ethic deep at the core of your being (or even right at the surface, for that matter.) Our culture teaches us that life is hard. Success requires hard work. If we don’t work hard we’re lazy. Without breaking through this, and seeing the contradiction between striving for simplicity and our deep rooted beliefs about how hard life is supposed to be, simplifying becomes very complicated. You’ll continually and subconsciously push against simple, without really understanding why.

Here’s a new mantra for you:  easy is good.

Oh...we also put The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker on sale (and we ship same day and we have it in stock!) So hurry, hurry if you or someone you know is in need of a copy.

Happy Friday!

January 24, 2008

the drawers + stamps

The drawers are made by Crop-In-Style. I'm not sure where to recommend you get them. They're heavy (a.k.a expensive to ship) so I'd try a local scrapbook store first. I know Target sells something similar but I think they're smaller. (Verify this...I haven't tried these or measured them.) The Crop-In-Style is sized to handle 12 x 12 nicely and I'm very happy with the quality. If anyone else uses these and knows of a good place to get them on-line...please share ;).

The stamps used to label the drawers are from Close to my Heart. They're called "Sans Small Lowercase."

More soon. Just started reading a new book...and it's calling me...

Have a good night!

January 22, 2008

little bowls...

...big possibilities.

You know I love Target and little containers and using stuff that isn't intended for scrapbook storage for scrapbook storage. So tonight I found these:


Little melamine bowls. How cute are they? And even cuter with that bright orange clearance sticker on them. (Well, maybe the sticker isn't so cute, but it's just too exciting to see that sticker on something that I can easily justify buying.)

And what will I use these for? Well, I've been thinking about switching around a few things in my scrapbook space. Minor stuff.

See, I love these drawers.


I didn't really expect to love them as much as I do. They're seriously one of my favorite things in my space. So convenient. And it's so easy to see what's inside them. So...I thought I might move some little bitty scrapbook stuff that I want to see and access easily (brads, buttons, clips and other small attachments) to one of the drawers. And now I have little bowls to put the little stuff inside before I put the little stuff in the drawers. How cool is that?

I know.

I really know how to live, don't I?

So in other exciting news...

January 21, 2008

it's oh, so january




But...this should cheer you up (or maybe it's just me who needs de-blah'd?)

You know how I love poems and 'Twas the Night Before Chirstmas knock-offs? Well, here's one that I found in my friend Renee's ezine (submited to Renee by Monica.) Renee is a weight loss expert and has a new podcast show called "Inside Out Weight Loss: Aligning Mind, Body and Spirit for Lasting Change." (If you have "lose wieght" on your mind or list of resolutions be sure to check out her show here.)

And if you just want to share in a chuckle with me, here comes the latest in a long string  of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas knock-offs. ;)

Twas the month after Christmas and all thru the house,
nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I'd taste
at the holiday parties had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).
I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared;
the gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,
the punch and the candy, the bread and the cheese
And the way I'd not said 'no thank you, please.'

As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt
and prepared once again to do battle with dirt-
I said to myself, as I only can
'You can't spend a winter disguised as a man!'

So-away with the last of the sour cream dip.
Get ride of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip.
Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
'til all the additional ounces have vanished.

I won't have a cookie -not even a lick.
I'll want only to chew on a long celery stick.
I won't have hot biscuits, or corn bread or pie,
I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.

I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore-
but isn't that what January is for?
unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
Happy new year to all and to all a good diet!

January 16, 2008

it's the 16th of Get Organized Month...

...and still not a single organizing tip or idea from me!

Unless you go here...where I share use-what-you-have storage ideas for scrapbook supplies. Go there if you're interested in this type of info from me...and then, come back here and share *your* favorite ideas. What super cool, re-purposed, found-at-home storage ideas do you have for your scrapbook space? I'd love to hear!

(As I'm sure would others...since this here organizer isn't forthcoming with too many organizing ideas on this blog as of late...sheshh...) ;)

January 14, 2008

i {love} scrapbookers

So...I mentioned that my word of the year is love and I'll tell you what...I'm feeling it.

I am seriously inspired by YOU.

Thanks to your outpouring of support there are 36 boxes (that's right THIRTY SIX BOXES!) right now en-route to Make-A-Wish. Thirty six boxes filled to the brim with scrapbook supplies...and love.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for your donations and your inspiring emails. Not only did you give and give and give, but you expressed gratitude for the opportunity to give. I am inspired and grateful. (And thank you to Lain...who has volunteered to help organize those 36 boxes of love (and scrapbook supplies) when they arrive in Cali.)

So I have this idea of sharing "love lessons" for the year...little things I learn, or even reaffirm, as I keep my one little word—love—at the forefront of my thought and daily living. So here's love lesson #1:  giving love to others feels good.

Yes it does. Your actions and emails reaffirmed this for me in so many ways...and I thank you.

(Oh, and I just found out I have some work to do on my one little word. I asked Jay to read my post and he said "I thought your word was health." Hmmm....)

January 12, 2008

quick books + wine

= year end accounting made bearable.

That was tonight’s big who-rah:  accounting. Do I know how to live, or what?

But I have to say, for spending a Saturday night in, doing my least favorite thing in the world (accounting---oh wait, it goes root canals, then accounting) it wasn’t so bad given this:  my office is my haven.

I walked in tonight (from Jay’s office after picking up something off the printer) and just went…ahhhhh…

Norah Jones playing softly in the background.

Crème brulee candle burning a sweet, warm scent.

My little space heater blowing warm air at my feet.

The lighting…just right.

I share this just in case you're creating a space of your own. It isn’t just about the sights. Remember all your senses when you create your organized and inspired space.

Is your space warm enough? Cool enough?
Bright enough? Dark enough?
Loud enough? Quiet enough?
And…do you have your creature comforts close at hand? Water, wine or whatever works for you?

It matters.

I did accounting on a Saturday night and it was *almost* enjoyable.

Atmosphere matters.

January 09, 2008

help make a wish come true

Updated 01.14.08. Thank you all for your outpouring of support! Our deadline has come and gone and we have 38 boxes on their way to make-a-wish! Thank you, thank you, thank you! And we got a great variety of items...if my records are good...I think we fulfilled the entire wish list! Woohoo! Thank you again. :)

Oh...and the folks at Make-A-Wish wanted me to thank you for your incredible generoisty, too!

In mid-December I was contacted by a volunteer with the Bay Area Make-a-Wish Foundation. She was working on granting a wish for a teenage girl whose wish is for an outdoor art studio. She was hoping I would donate a copy of my book.

"Yes." I replied, "I'm happy to donate a copy of my book. But is there more I can do? What else does she need to get her studio set up?"

See, the teenage girl wants to scrapbook and stamp and make cards in her new outdoor studio. And since it just so happens that I know a few scrapbookers, I thought we could set her up with some other things to make her studio wish come true.

I casually mentioned this to my friend Jeanette the brains (and beauty) behind Scrap In Style TV and Jeanette was all over it. She is donating supplies left and right. Love that girl and her big, kind heart.

There are a few items still needed and I was thinking some of you might want to help. This could be kind of like a two-for-one wish come true. You could help make a teenager's wish for an outdoor art studio come true, and lighten your load of a few scrapbook supplies, too. This will help make your wish of an organized and inspired scrapbook space all the more real. Sound like a plan? Great.

OK. here's what we need:

  • Embossing supplies: embossing powders, heat gun (wish granted!), embossing buddy, embossing ink pads.
  • Rubber stamps and ink.
  • Decorative scissors. (wish granted!)
  • Envelopes.
  • Paper punches.
  • Adhesive.
  • Cardstock.
  • Patterned paper.
  • Stickers.
  • Embellishments.

So, if you're interested in donating, please send me an email (and post in the comments so others know what's being donated) ASAP listing the items you'd like to donate. I'll email you the address so you can send the supplies directly to Make-a-Wish. Once the wish for a specific item has been filled, I'll update this blog post.

The wish grant date has been moved up, so we need to get all of our donations in the mail by this Monday, January 14th.

If "organize scrapbook supplies" is on your New Year to-do is the day! Get into your space and see what good condition supplies you can donate to this wonderful cause.

Thanks so much for your help. You guys are the best!!

January 07, 2008

Banner How-To

A few of you have asked for more info on how to make the birthday banners. This is a fun and simple project that could be used for all sorts of events and holidays. I’m thinking of making one for Valentine’s Day…we’ll see. Maybe I’ll go super simple and just make an L-O-V-E banner. ;)

To make the banner select some basic card-stock and coordinating patterned paper. Then, you’ll need a spool of ribbon (mine was Orfray from Wal-Mart), foam alphabet stamps (I used Making Memories, I think the Simply Fab set. The letters in the set I used range in height from about 2 ½” to over 3 ¼” tall just for reference); paint (I used paint from Junkitz). For tools, I used the Basic Grey Notch and Die cutting system and a foam paint brush. Oh, and you’ll need some adhesive and a paper trimmer.


Putting the banner together is pretty simple. Use a paper trimmer to cut your squares. The outer squares measure 6” x 6” and the inner squares are 4” x 4”. 

Adhere the 4” squares to the center of the 6” squares. Then, use paint and stamps to create your message. Allow paint to dry.

Next, use the notch tool to make two vertical slits in the center of each 6” x 6” card-stock square.


The two slits are approximately an inch apart. Once you've made your notches, thread your ribbon through the slits of each card-stock square (carefully so the slits don’t tear) and viola! you’ve got yourself a banner.


To hang, I used simple map pins pushed right into the dry wall.  (Tiny holes, up high. It worked for me.)

Like I said when I made the first banner…I wasn’t quite up for figuring out how to deal with the triangle shaped banners. If you know how to make that kind (or have other ideas for how to attach the ribbon, because threading it through the slits is a bit time consuming) please share! I love hearing your ideas.

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