31 Lists: Things to Do Before the End of the Month

  1. Put all my completed layouts into albums  (I did as many as I could into my albums and ordered more)
  2. Decide on a new craft room design
  3. Art journal with the boys
  4. Hike two local trails that we haven’t done before
  5. Clean up gardens
  6. Plant some seeds
  7. Give away old preschool toys
  8. Set up ‘toy store’ in storage room with remaining toys
  9. Reorganize my photos
  10. Make cushions for craft room.
  11. Paint old brown desk – new sewing table
  12. Complete project life pages for January and February

I’ll be striking things out as I do them during the month. Hope I’m not trying to cram it all in during the last week!

Planning a new craftroom/studio


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My head is spinning with possibilities. We’re FINALLY going ahead with some renovations in our basement which will give me a room of my own to create/play in. The room currently has an indoor hot tub in it, which will be removed, a new floor put in, and walls and windows repaired. Then I get to add counters, cabinets, shelves and all sorts of other goodies.

Here are some photos of the room before the renovations begin (please excuse the junk):


All four walls and the ceiling are currently covered with cedar planks. At least one wall will be drywalled after the hot tub is removed, so the room won’t be completely wood.  I love the cedar, but am stumped about what kind of floor finish to put in. Dare I use a different wood?


The lighting will need updating!


I love the window area and plan on setting up a seating area with an old Danish modern sofa. My reading spot, perhaps?

I want to keep most of the cedar on the walls and ceiling. The wall that the hot tub is up against will be drywalled. The window will be replaced

The hot tub will be removed next week. Then they’ll pour a floor where it was and assess the wall it was sitting against for water damage and mold. Crossing my fingers on that.

Then we start rebuilding the room, installing heating, flooring, blinds, cabinets and a counter, furniture, accessories. I’m making lists of types of work I want to do in this room, things I’ll want to store there and stuff that simply inspires me.

Aleida’s Challenge



I stumbled across this post on Doris Sander’s blog yesterday. The story touched me and reminded me (for the gazillionth time) that I’m largely invisible around here because I’m the photographer. And I resolved (again) to change that.


So starting now, I’m going to take a monthly photo with my kids, either all together or individually or some mix. Tonight I snapped a couple before dinner first with my oldest and youngest and then with my middlest and youngest. Any guesses who the wild ones are around here? Hopefully they’ll get used to the idea and be less silly about it sometimes, at least.

Calvinball is Back!!


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If you like scrapping, heckling and Calvin & Hobbes and want to get more scrapping done this month, this is the game for you!

The basic rules are:

1. the rules are subject to change at any time by anyone.
2. layouts = 1 point
3. the layout is the gold standard. all other projects are measured against the almighty layout.
4. smack talking is expected.
5. cheering on your teammates is also expected.
6. the reward is the huge feeling of accomplishment at the end of the month!

The points system is confusing and constantly evolving, but that’s the fun of Calvinball! At the moment it includes points for eating chocolate, scrapping in public, using your scrappy skills for good, reading romance novels, staying up late and, of course, making pages, cards and project life pages. And shopping! A point for shopping! This is my kinda game!

Jump on over to the JBS Mercantile message board to jump in and play along.

My points so far:

  • 1 point for blogging
  • 1 point for shopping

for a (measly) total of 2. Not bad for just finding out about the game a few minutes ago. Tomorrow, I scrap! And get my cleaning point for the week, because I’ll be doing a lot of that this month.

Scrap Budget revisited

A couple of years ago, I set up a scrap budget system in an attempt to balance my paper spending with my scrapping output.

I am attracted to the idea because it means I have to balance using my supplies with bringing in new stuff. I’m at the point where I am starting to run out of storage room. And I am having trouble remember what I’ve bought and buying duplicates of some papers. And I’ve realized that I don’t like having a huge stash to maintain/organize/dig through so I can scrap.

That motivation still applies, perhaps even more so. I still haven’t found a method that balances my stash accumulation well enough, so I’m tweaking my budget a bit.

So I’ve revised my price list for scrapping credit:

  • Single page layout: $6
  • Double page layout: $8
  • Project Life spread: $5
  • Cards: $2
  • Art Journalling page: $2
  • Blog posts: $2
  • Mini-album: $10
  • Submitting to a challenge blog: $5

But my biggest revision is quarterly budget reviews. This will be where I balance the books and find out whether I purge or splurge. If I’m in the red and have shopped more than I scrapped, I’ll be donating a big chunk of my stash to my sons’ school or a local charity. If I’m in the black, I get to go on a shopping spree. Now if that doesn’t motivate me, I don’t know what will!

LOAD Week 2 Recap


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A simple page about my son taking notes on our visit to the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta a couple of years ago. Black Beauty is a T. Rex fossil found by some teenagers out fishing in the mountains of southwestern Alberta. Mostly he wrote down a list of the dinosaurs he saw. Used some old My Mind’s Eye and some new Cocoa Daisy stamps.


Confession: I started this page in January. But Lain’s prompt was to scrap something we’ve been putting off, and I certainly had been putting off finishing this page. So I tweaked the title (which is what really had me stuck) and added a few touches and called it good.

And then I lost my mojo. Vanished. Gone.


I forced this one out trying to get it back. It was a dreary, foggy, rainy day on Grouse Mountain (in Vancouver) so I reflected that with the papers I chose. Still no mojo.


On my next attempt to get my mojo back, I got playful with it instead. I’ve had this old photo kicking around my desk for a while now, so I grabbed it and a couple of old Cosmo Cricket patterned papers and a pair of scissors and went at it. So much fun to simply cut up a sheet with scissors and layer the pieces under the photo. Tucked in a few bits and pieces I found on my table, added a title and done. Quick and fun. Just what my mojo needed to lure it out of hiding!

So I managed four pages in about eight days. Need to kick it up a notch. Good thing my mojo is back.

Inspired by Pinterest


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I’ve been collecting ideas, quotes and inspiration on Pinterest for about a year now. I love having a place to collect so much visual goodness. But as most people who use Pinterest know, most of those ideas are still sitting there, unused. So I’m hatching a few ideas of my own to change that. Today I want to share this great idea I found for making a drying rack for crafts.


The original pin that I found did not link to a source and I like to give credit for ideas that I borrow, so I searched Pinterest and found one that linked to this blog post showing the idea in use in a preschool classroom. I, of course, want to use it for messy, inky scrapbook pages. One of the things that holds me back from doing more art journalling and messy scrapbook pages is drying time. I’m not patient. I’m easily distracted when I do have to wait and then when I come back to my projects I find that I’m in a different mindset than when I started. It would be great to be able to make a batch of messy backgrounds all at once and have them handy when I want to play.

We don’t have pizza boxes, though. We live outside the free delivery range of our local restaurants, so we never order pizza. But I do have hoarding tendencies when it comes to my Cocoa Daisy kit boxes and they are perfect for this project. They’re a bit deeper than your average pizza box, so the drying shelves should have plenty of room.


It took less than half an hour to cut off the front flaps of the boxes and use my handy ATG to stick them together in a stack. I might add some tape around the outside, but they seem pretty sturdy as they are. Here’s the finished drying rack in my closet ready to hold some messy pages while they dry.


I’m not sure if this will be their final home, I might move them into my ‘art cave’ next to my scrapbook room/office because that’s where most of my messy supplies are stored. But for now, I want it handy to where I spend most of my time.

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Here we go again


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It’s February and the Layout A Day (LOAD) challenge is on again! I’ve participated in this challenge plenty of times and haven’t come very close to actually completing a page a day for a whole month. I think my best record was 15 pages in 28 days. I’m OK with that. LOAD is my creative bootcamp/kick-in-the-pants. It is when I explore my creative process and notice where I tend to get stuck and find ways past those stuck points. Good things to keep in mind these days. I’ve been struggling with my creative  perfectionist tendencies a fair bit lately.

I was away from home from January 31 to Febuary 3, so that was a bit of a challenge. I couldn’t take much scrapping supplies with me on our ski getaway, too much gear packed in the van already. So I brought a tiny shoulder bag with scissors and a few basic supplies and about five page kits. No trimmer, no selection of alphas, embellishments, punches, or anything. Turns out it was great having so little stuff to look through. Scrapping was simple and relaxing. Might try that out at home, too.

Wordless Layout

Our first prompt was to scrap a page without ANY words. Impossible! I have so few photos to choose from. Then I saw these photos of my boys at a playground last spring. Do I really need words to describe their energy? I’m not so keen on the photo arrangement I used, it looks too much like a plus sign to me.

Look Both Ways

I have loved this photo for years and just haven’t gotten around to scrapping it. So much green space in the photo. But I remember them running across the field at top speed, then stopping and looking both ways at the deserted bike path before crossing to get to the playground. So sweet.

Water Bug

I used some really old supplies on this one. Does anyone remember Rain Dots by Cloud Nine? I bought a bunch when I was just a rookie scrapper and haven’t used many. But the recent enamel dot trend reminded me of them and their transparency works much better here.

5 Year Plan

The prompt on day four was to scrap about our goals. During our ski weekend, I kept thinking about our dream of having a family sky home. Not sure whether this will be feasible, but wanted to put it down on paper at least.

So far, I have four layouts for five days. Not perfect, but I’m not going for perfect. So far, so good.

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Catching up


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It’s taken me awhile to post these, but I want to share a few pages I completed during the Two Peas CHA Social a couple of weeks ago. The social was great fun and the challenges were as inspiring as always – just wish I could have done more (as always).

2013 Goals

CHA Challenge 3 – Use three trends on a page: I used a pie chart, washi tape and vellum envelopes for my journalling/goal lists. This was a fun way to document a few changes I want to make and use some of those large die cut papers that I’ve had in my stash too long. I see a few more pie chart pages in my future.

Juno AKA

CHA Challenge 4 – Use four words in your title. Our sweet boxer girl suffers her silly nicknames with unrelenting dignity. I chose her top four nicknames to keep the page from becoming cluttered. Thinking about writing a few others beside the photos without the speech bubbles. How can I not include “Twinkle Toes” or “Poison Hound”?

Revelstoke Dam

CHA Challenge 1 – Make a page with one colour (not counting neutrals): I added journalling after taking the photo, really. I love these photos from the first day of our road trip to Alberta in 2011. The boys had been cooped up in the car all day and were raring to go explore the dam.

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Countdown to CHA


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Now that the holidays are over, the scrapbooking companies are sneaking out their new collections. My favourites so far, are:

My Mind’s Eye: Collectable – Remarkable and Notable

Remarkable (MME)

Love the rich colours and subtle patterns of many of the papers in Remarkable. Very versatile!

Remarkable stamps

Especially love the sunburst/doily stamps

Remarkable embellishments

and the washi tape and chipboard sunburst/doilies.

Simple Stories:

Urban Traveller

Urban Traveller and


24/Seven – Rich colours and neutral greys in both lines.

Crafter’s Workshop: Ronda Palazzari Designs

I’m a huge fan of Ronda and her use of stencils, so I was thrilled to see that she is designing stencils for Crafter’s Workshop. My faves:

Kaleidoscope layout


Urban Landscape layout

Urban Landscape and

Honeycomb sample tags

Honeycomb especially. Honestly, I love them all!

Loving so many of the colours and motifs that will be available this year. More cameras, arrows, chevrons, woodgrain, speech bubbles, and map prints.

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