Yes, yes, I know. Long-time readers will be well aware that I generally tend to leave every bit of my Christmas shopping and wrapping till the last minute. Well, this year I have vowed to change my wicked ways. I’ve made some little tags for Christmas and am adding them for those who like to get ahead of the game. Not early enough for those who make cards over the summer (or heaven forbid on 1 January!) but hopefully useful.
WOYWW how I’ve missed you! I was just saying to Julia yesterday that I was hanging back from WOYWW because I was just a little worried I would find the pressure (that I put on myself, not from the lovely WOYWWers) to get lots of visits done too much at the moment. But as I thought more on it I decided if I didn’t at least give it a go it would be all to easy to just drop out totally. And I can’t let THAT happen, not can I?
So this morning, when I got up and got the family off, I did a bit of exercise, then snapped a photo of my desk. Nothing has changed then – still as bad as ever LOL!
Sorry to say the wide view was even worse.
A mere 3 hours later and…
On my desk is something that I feel super guilty about – at some point I got a lovely little package from Pearshaped Chris, including some die cuts and an envelope template and a card and the sweetest little moleskin notebook.
I never properly thanked her for it. So thoughtless. No excuse, really, except you can see the state of my desk. I kept moving it to the top of the pile then it would get covered and another week would go by before I unearthed it again. Now, I can finally share and acknowledge her kindness.
As to visits, all I can say is I’ll do my best to at the very least return visit.
(If you have no idea what I am talking about and curiosity is getting the better of you, you can see a brief about it here. It’s not super dramatic (minor heart attack) but carries a lot of time-consuming appointments, etc with it. )
I know there are two schools of thought – one that says their scrapbook albums should be happy places, focusing on the positive and the good memories only, and another that says the albums should be a true depiction of life, warts and all. This set is for the second group!
So they aren’t super sad, but I think they do highlight some not always upbeat moments. I think they still can be used even in mostly happy layouts – the Calm before the storm could be for a photo of a sleeping child, who is a whirlwind when awake. Bad days could be for something just a little bit bad – siblings fighting, not getting the grade wanted, or missing out on concert tickets. Feeling blue could even work just with a photo of a kid wearing blue! Even just cover the text with something you prefer, printed on a strip of paper. The font is Intro Rust G. Think outside the box.
And no, I didn’t design these because I am feeling blue. Quite the opposite – I think I was more feeling grateful that my episode was so minor, but clearly highlighted a problem lurking inside my heart that might have stayed hidden till it did me some real damage when it made itself known! But I had to do a sort of a questionnaire thing for cardio rehab (real workout day is today – the other one was just an assessment) about my mood. My score was an A – not depressed at all, in a good mental state. It made me think about all the people who didn’t score OK. And that did make me at once sad and again grateful. I think these grew out of that.
You see? All it takes is someone to mention a need and if I have the time, I jump in to fill it. I had a comment about the Pixel calendar (one of my all time favourites, but although it has been downloaded often (nearly 1000 times) it isn’t one of the most popular) from Melissa, saying she loved it but was hoping for the 2016 version.
As usual, once I have done the work to create the month blocks, swapping them around to make a new year isn’t much work at all. So here is the 2016 version:
Just like the 2015 version. No tear-off version but I trust if that is needed someone will ask.
Download the three-page PDF here.
These suit my (current) silly sense of humour. Scrapbook layout titles like It’s SNOW Much Fun! used to really irritate me, but nowadays I prefer to look on the lighter side of life. So these cards make me giggle rather than groan and roll my eyes. Not all puns, some are just common saying, with fruit! Could it be that my current diet bans fruit for another week and I’m missing it? Perhaps.
Just a single sheet to download and pretty plain, but I hope cute and useful and perhaps they will make you smile…or groan. Either way…
I have been following the DASH diet, and like it a lot. It’s not hard to stick to, I feel like I am getting enough food, and food I like (ok, slightly bland without salt, but still, better for me) but the book is frustrating. I couldn’t cook the recipes without finding a good place to prop up the book so it stayed open, the sections I wanted to refer to a lot were scattered in with other stuff I didn’t care about (like the science of it all) or that I would read occasionally, but not often.
So what did I do? What any self-respecting crafter would do – I deconstructed the book and made it over the way I wanted it to be.
Yep. I did. I cut the sucker up. Once I secured the pages with a few big rubber bands to hold the edges straight, I took a ruler and a box cutter and sliced the pages out. I thought about using the original cover but was worried the BIA rings wouldn’t be big enough for smooth opening and closing. I cut up a colourful plastic place mat to make internal dividers and the covers.
I reorganized the order of the book t suit me (good thing too, cause I did actually rip the index pages by mistake – re-ordering the book makes the index a bit useless so no loss there)
and strong tabs mark the sections I know I will g back to every day. I have a stack more tabs to note things I think are important, and to compensate for ruining the index.
I like the internal dividers and think it makes using the book a lot easier. I did call maybe 4 different UK binding services and none of them said the would cut and rebind a book (like Kinkos and Office Depot do in the States) so DIY was the order of the day.
Just feeling very thankful today. Cardio rehab went well. Still a number of sessions to go but it seems to be all good news. Hence, these:
So not JUST for Thanksgiving, or being thankful. I added in a family traditions one and a “fall back” reminder, although we in the UK put the clocks back earlier than the States. Usually I get two weeks where I am only 4 hours different to the East coast. And still my Dad always manages to call during dinner….
Here is the download – enjoy!
Fair warning – I am not planning on adding this as a download, as it really is useless unless you buy this book. I did buy it and read it and love it. In the past, when I have been successful in dieting it has been down to cutting out carbs and most fruit. We have always eaten a ton of veg and lentils, black beans, white bean mash, but far too much meat. This version of DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) doesn’t cut out any one food group. It seems like a plan that is sustainable. But making sure I am getting everything I need while not overdoing things in certain areas was always going to take some planning and attention. So I created my own personal planner that has the bits in it I need. I have been using it (since yesterday when I began the Phase one diet properly) and so far it IS helping to keep me on track. I was happy to share it on the FB Support group (kindly linked to me in a comment by follower Bridget) because the folks there have the book and can make use of the very specific info – and won’t be misled by the abbreviated info in the charts.
But if you are following a specific diet, you might consider making one of these for yourself. Just the making of it helped me a lot! Because I have a Filofax style planner, I first made them to print and slice down the middle like my other planner pages:
This is the serving checklist – basically a prettier version of what is in the book
I also made a sheet that tracks my weight, blood sugar level and activity – this is the first version, the final one includes tick boxes for water consumption.
I also did a sheet that highlights many of the meal suggestions for the Phase One portion. I figure by Phase Two I’ll have a better grip on it. Plus it is too hard to squeeze as much info as I would need in a small sheet LOL! I have the book to refer to.
The tick boxes are so I can keep track of how many times I have a particular meal over the week. Phase One is only two weeks so this sheet is only useful for a limited time. There is a Phase Two serving checklist too, that will become the bulk of the planner over time.
But it also occurred to me that many people won’t have a planner. And aren’t going to be keen to buy one just for tracking their diet. So I re-jigged the layout so the sheets can be printed on an A4 or US letter sheet, sideways, and used in a standard 3-ring (or 4-ring) binder.
I was lazy and cheap and printed these on printer paper, standard quality, hence the colour difference.
What I did notice in that process is that the meant-to-be-cut pages won’t work in a binder like this – the sheets are flip-flopped, so the MON-WED days are on the RIGHT rather than the left. Of COURSE it wasn’t going to be easy. But hey ho.
I feel lucky that I have the skill (sort of) to customize a personalized planner for specifically what I need to plan for. And it makes me realize why I found it so hard to create a “generic” planner for OTHER people to use. Everyone has their own ideas of what a planner needs. I remember back when we used NeXT computers, post-PC, pre-Mac. There was an object-oriented programming tool that let you group individual bits of code just the way YOU needed to, to build a program without starting from a blank screen. It fascinated me, and made so much sense. Wouldn’t it be totally cool if you had little building blocks for a planner that you could drag onto a properly sized blank page, and its reverse, to create your own customized version? And change the colour or font with a click? Then just send it to your printer and BAM! WHAT? Prefect planner!
Ah, dream on….
I added some printables for the UKS Project Life Challenge, and as usual, I’ll also share them here.
I have two files, a blank set with text, and one with no text. Here is the text version:
Grab the TEXT version here
Grab the BLANK version here
I also felt like maybe the best way to use these might not be obvious. These are a few of the ideas I had for them.
The Story of.. ones also can take just a single photo, if it is the right photo cut the right way
The blank ones can also take some journaling. Hope you have fun with them!
I’ve had two requests for different versions of the blank calendars. One was for an Italian version – easy enough. My heritage is 3/4 Italian and the grandparents who weren’t born in Italy were 1st generation immigrants. So making the Italian version was a joy – and something I perhaps should have thought of before. I can add that to the list that includes Spanish, French, German and even a Jewish calendar.
In case you want it, the Italian version is here. Note it is a Monday start for these, as that is the Italian way.
The other request came in just this morning – but it is one that at least one other person asked for. She and I have chatted via email but not come to a conclusion. I had already figured out the biggest size I could fit on an A4/US Letter size page and this is it:
Those blocks are 3.75 x 5.25 inches. That allows them to fall within the printing borders of most printers. I did dither over whether or not to include the thin grey lines. Some may prefer not to have them, so the vertical dimensions could take advantage of the blank borders, but I think for most people, they would prefer to have the cutting lines clearly defined. So you can grab THAT set here if you like. They don’t fir Project Life sleeves, too big for 3×4, too small for 4 x 6, but you could trim them and mount them on 4 x 6 blocks of cardstock or patterned paper and get them to fit.