1/11-1/12/2019

We went out to lunch and to a movie with friends on Friday…We saw “The Upside” with Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart.  If you’re looking for a movie that will make you feel good, it’s the one to watch…  It’s thoroughly enjoyable and there’s no sad ending (as you’d expect in any movie with one “buddy” in a wheelchair.  After the movie, I wanted to go to the local mall and check out the after Christmas clearance sales, as I had three gift cards for Penneys that I’ve been accumulating for years.  We had fun finding things to spend them on, and then went to the Hallmark store that was having huge clearance sales on almost everything, including “Life is Good” t-shirts.  If you know anything about Rich, it’s that he likes to wear their shirts almost daily, so has several of them.  He now has three or four more, and says he’s going to get rid of some of his older ones….I’ll believe that when I see it..haha

Friday night is date night….we usually have pizza and watch movies, but for some reason I was so tired, I couldn’t keep my eyes open so went to sleep by 8:30…some date I am.

Today is all about buying food and getting ready for the big Dallas Cowboys game tonight.  Rich is a huge fan and wants to make wings and hopefully, celebrate a big victory with his team.  It would have been a lot easier to buy the wings from a local restaurant we like, but he wanted to make them from scratch, so I’ll let you know how it goes.  If his team loses, it won’t matter how good the wings are..

I won’t be watching the game, and think I’ll go to the craft room and see what I can come up with to do. I have several video ideas, but think I’ll focus on the new stencils I was sent by Stencil Revolution.  I got one that’s a school of fish, and I thought it would be so much fun to make them look like neon fish.  I’m not sure if I’m up to it or not, but that’s my intention.  Did you have an aquarium as a kid?  If so, you probably had neons…they were small and the bigger fish usually ate them, but were so bright and (OK, neon) that you had to love them.

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1/8/2019

This has been the weirdest weather day.  We normally have a lot of snow in January…but this morning, we woke up to a thunderstorm and lots of rain and temperatures in the 50’s.  It’s been raining all day, and we have been getting weather advisories all day as well for rain, hail, tornado’s and now a snow/ice storm.   There was a tornado about 20 miles away and more rain/hail.  Then tonight we got a new weather advisory, this time for snow. Of course we didn’t get away with a rainstorm…no, it’s going to turn to ice, then a major coating of snow.  Up to twelve inches in a twenty-four hour period.  Holy cow, that’s some weird weather.

Hopefully, tomorrow night, I’ll be doing an etiquette dinner at our college alma mater.  I do it for them every year, to ensure the college seniors know what forks and knives to use, what things to order off of a menu, and the things you shouldn’t order (like french onion soup, wings, barbecued ribs…they’re too hard to eat gracefully.)  It’s a nice evening for the students, and I usually get to eat part of my dessert and that’s it.  While I’m trying to explain how to eat every course, the students are also asking questions, so I don’t really eat…Not that I mind, because the foods they serve, although good, are a very odd combination.  It’s all decided upon based on how hard the foods are to eat, so we have french onion soup, usually Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti, and a difficult frozen dessert.  We want to show them how to eat these things in front of prospective employers, so they know how awkward it would be in a business setting.  It’s a fun night, as the students normally ask questions you’d never expect, and sometimes it’s hard to keep a straight face.  We had a male student ask if he could put his tie over his shoulder while eating….I’d never heard that one before…I really wanted to find out where he’d ever seen that before, but didn’t, and I deferred to the head of the accounting department for the answer, as I felt that anything I would come up with would sound sarcastic.  His answer was perfect though, as he told the student that if the senior person from the company put his tie over his shoulder, then he could too..otherwise, no.

I’m worried that we’ll have a horrible snowstorm to drive through and it’s about thirty miles away…not something I’m excited about, but we’ll do it anyway.  And it won’t be the first time we’ve gone to this event in a horrible snowstorm.  The last time we went, we were the only car on the road, so you know it wasn’t pretty.  I’m not looking forward to a repeat of that experience, but being from snow country, we are prepared for driving in really ugly conditions.

Planner P.t 3, Walk-through, Tags & Nifty Paper Clips

I finally figured out how to attach the zipper pouch..I cut it down as small as possible using a Smart Sealer link: https://tinyurl.com/y7sxqwbp to seal the sides where I trimmed it. You can use a hot knife as well to seal it. Better yet, buy a small zipper pouch that will fit without trimming..
I put the zipper pouch in a folder and added five additional blank pages to the folder. I sewed it in by using the same system as before. I used embroidery floss/cross stitch floss, three strands in white, and started (using a needlepoint needle) by pulling the needle through the back to the front on the third hole from the top, then through the front to the back of the fourth hole, then to the front on the fifth hole, then down through the fourth hole, and up to the second hole, then down through the first one, then up through the second one, and down through the third one and making sure we have our loose thread on one side of the vertical white thread and the needle and thread on the other side of the vertical thread, and tie it in knots.  Then trim the ends..I tie three knots. You can use embroidery thread or book binding thread that would be easier than what I used.
To make paper clips that would be fun, I decided to use silicone molds (used for cake decorating) that you can buy on Amazon or ebay, and I experimented with Liquid Metals and hot glue….it was a big fail as the Liquid Metals made divots in the glue and stayed liquid….I also used glitter by putting it in the bottom of the molds, then filled the mold with hot glue. Press your paper clip, only the very top, into the hot glue and hold it there for a minute until it sets. You’ll need to wipe the glitter off of the edges once the hot glue sets, and I decided to use Super Gloss One Coat Mod Podge to seal the glitter in, and that worked great. I tried using only hot glue, but you can see the paper clip through it, so don’t recommend that either.
I made tabs for the top of the planner, by using clear plastic that was 6″ long and about   1 1/4″ wide, and using my label maker, printed out the same names as the titles at the top of the inserts I made. I folded the 6″ plastic in half and used my bone folder so it had a good fold, then put the word right up to the fold, put one staple on the bottom of the word, then put it in my guillotine paper trimmer and cut the edges off so it’s only as wide as the word. I cut the bottom of the strip to make sure it was straight. Then opened the strip and put it over the page with that title in the January calendar.

I found a calendar I liked from http://www.shiningmom.com and used her free printable calendar. She also offers other pages for your planners that you might like more than the ones I’m giving you. She has lovely printables, that she sells. (I have no affiliation with her, I just liked the free calendar that she offers.)
The calendar I printed is free, and I downloaded it from her website. Here’s the link:
https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pa… You’ll need to sign up for her blog to be able to download it, and this link takes you to the page where you sign up…

To print the To do page, go to this link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1S…

To print the Acts of Kindness page: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TRf3…

To print the Journalling page: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xRPQ…

I’m giving this planner away to a subscriber who leaves a comment that says “I’d like to have the planner” before midnight of January 12, 2019 and then we’ll choose a random comment as the winner..You’ll also need to leave your email address…Unfortunately, I won’t be able to send the planner outside the United States, sorry.

1/4-1/6/2019

I’ve really been focused on the planner and making additional videos the last few days….Yesterday, I went out for lunch with two friends and had a great time…One is a lady the other two of us worked with for several years whose in her mid eighties.  She’s a real character, always has been, and it was great seeing her and catching up.  She had a stroke when she turned eighty, and her left side was really affected by the stroke.  She’s lost her independence and wishes she could drive again.  I promised if she wanted, that Rich and I would bring her my car and we’d let her drive it around an empty parking lot so she knows whether or not she feels like it’s something she wants to pursue.  When I got home, I checked online to see what kind of qualifications  driver needs, if they’ve had a stroke, and it looks like her physician has to OK it.  The first step is finding out if she feels confident enough to pursue it, and when the weather gets better, we’ll be able to see.

Back to crafting, I was surprised that only one viewer commented about my “acts of kindness” page in the planner.  I thought I would get a conversation going from viewers, even if they didn’t like the idea…maybe that means they’re on board with trying it…Wouldn’t that be something?

Today, Rich and I are meeting friend and doing some shopping and lunch in the closest large city to us, Erie.  We’re amazed at the weather we’ve had so far this winter….and if I didn’t tell you this story, I definitely need to do so.   Since our weather has been warmer than usual (in the 30’s), the bears haven’t been hibernating.   Our bird feeders always make them happy, and this year, the bear took one that I really liked.  It’s long and has metal mesh sides so birds can take food from almost any spot on it.  I found it at a garage sale (as I buy all of mine at sales since the bears steal a few every year.)    The bear bent the shepherds hook in half to take the feeder, and Rich searched our yard and the woods behind our house to see if he could find it.  I watched him for a little bit and looked around the yard from inside the house, but didn’t see the feeder.  The next day, we went to the sun room and in the middle of our backyard, in plain view, was the feeder.  I don’t have any explanation for how it got there, so we’re going with the theory that the bear brought it back so we could refill it. How considerate.  It’s a good story if you go with our theory…and it makes us laugh.

After we get back from shopping, I’m planning on making a video to show all of the Christmas cards I got and to show the haul of things I’ve bought in the last few weeks.  I tend to buy things around Christmas, as a lot of the stamp companies have big discounts.  I tried really hard to not go crazy, and think I did pretty well..You can be the judge of that when you see the things I’ve bought.

DIY Planner, Pt. 2, Calendar Inserts

I wanted to show you how to make the folders that would hold individual monthly calendars, plus optional pages that I am giving the links for you below…
I found a calendar I liked from http://www.shiningmom.com and used her free printable calendar. She also offers other pages for your planners that you might like more than the ones I made. She has lovely printables, that she sells at reasonable prices.
The calendar I printed is free, and I downloaded it from her website. Here’s the link:
https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/445865?v=7  You’ll need to sign up for her blog to be able to download it, and this link takes you to the page where you sign up…
To create a monthly folder, you’ll need to take 12 x 12″ designed paper and cut it down to 12″ tall by 11 3/8″ wide by 12″ tall. Make sure your pattern is facing up and down on the 12″ length. Put it on your score board w/ the white side facing up & score it on the    11 3/8″ length at 5 1/2″, then turn it one turn & make sure the pattern is facing the right side,  score at 3″. Turn the paper so the 3″ score is near the top horizontally, & score a line 1/8″ to the left of the 5 1/2″ and score down to the 3″ line, then score a line 1/8″ to the right of the 5 1/2″ score, down to the 3″ line. Take it out of the scorer and cut the lines out (that you scored down to the 3″ mark) and cut across to the other line so the center is cut out…Then fold the 3″ score up on the white side of your paper, so you have pockets. Fold the 5 1/2″ score so your paper is now a folder. I used an envelope board (mine is called a 1-2-3 board by We R Memory Keepers link:  https://tinyurl.com/y9plkocz ) and punched the top center and bottom center with the punch at the top of the board. If you don’t have one of these boards, you can simply cut out a notch with your scissors in both places. I took the same board and turned my folder so the right side is in the punch board. I made three different tabs, one on the left, center and right sides for different months so you can see them in the planner…I created the month of May on camera, so punched out the center with the 1-2-3 board and then made another punch about 1 1/2″ to the right of the first punch, then using my paper trimmer, cut out the rest of the paper and left the tab I’d just created behind. Or, you can use scissors and draw a straight line down the side to cut out the excess paper, excluding your tab. If you don’t have the 1-2-3 board, you can use a tab punch, or simply cut a tab with scissors.  I rounded the corners of the folder with my Kadomaru Pro corner rounder (link https://tinyurl.com/yc3usb76 ) Then ran a thin bead of wet glue (AdTech fine line) on the outside edge of the pockets I’d created, and put clamps on them to hold them until the glue set. I used a Dyno label maker (link: https://tinyurl.com/ybwkng8j  ) to type the months, but you can also stamp them with alphabet stamps or hand-write the months. I adhered the month on the tab.

I learned how to create the signature and how to make a planner by Crafts by Lisha…here’ s her video on making signatures. https://tinyurl.com/y7uxruzh
To make the signature, I folded all of the papers I was putting in the folder in half (side to side). I put them in the folders in the same order for each month, and that was:   monthly calendar is first, then I folded the to do page around the calendar, then the acts of kindness page, then the journalling page, then two blank sheets.

I made a template for punching the holes in the paper by taking paper that was 8 1/2″ tall and 6″ wide and folded it in half so it’s now 3″ wide. I folded it in half on the 8 1/2″ length to make it 4 1/4″, then folded that in thirds. I used the bone folder to ensure the lines were really visible, then drew with a pen on each of the folds in the center where the lines meet making a circle big enough for me to easily see. You’ll fold this in half on the 6″ width so your marks are now on the left side of the paper. I put this on top of my calendar so it’s almost on the center line, but leaving the center line visible. The top of this paper should be lined up with the top of the pages for the month…clip it in place and put clips on the sides of the pages to ensure they stay in place. Using a pokey tool, or a very sharp thick needle, punch holes through all of the pages beside the marks on the template making sure they are directly on the center fold. If you can, put the folder behind the papers and punch through all of them at once. If you aren’t strong enough to do that, poke through all of the papers at once, then put the folder under them, clip them together and poke through it.  Next, take a needlepoint/cross-stitch needle and thread a length (2 ft long) of matching (white in my case), embroidery thread or cross stitch thread (3 strands wide) or book binding thread…
Start the needle from the back of the third hole from the top and pull it to the front leaving a couple inches on the back loose, then put the needle through the fourth hole to the back and through the fifth hole to the front, then through the fourth hole to the back..Skip to the second hole and pull through to the front, then into the first hole at the top to the back, through the second hole to the front and into the third hole to the back. Make sure your string is on the opposite side of the string that runs the length of the center from the string that is from where you started it….tie in a knot three times tightly and cut off the excess.

I am making a third video that shows how to make paper clips to bookmark pages and to show how I included the zipper bag..

Links:

To Do Page:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SSvnXbY6dgjw_CrvKSQRtZncs0utjtXkD2kwHrIVvkA/edit?usp=sharing

Acts of Kindness Page:https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TRf3jg2gcN9hyiAjP3j8Fjm5zxQjGp_k/view?usp=sharing

Journalling Page                                          https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xRPQVaP2edO1g1F7dBR_-cgzIHuD0SqF/view?usp=sharing

 

 

A Planner from Scratch, Pt. 1, The Cover

I used a cover plan from Crafts by Lisha and her video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTKY8bHUI3g that walks you through how to make one. She used a Dollar Tree placemat, and I had two pieces of cardstock that were cut to 9 x 12″ and placed back to back and glued together with tear tape. I took them to Staples where they laminated it for me and rounded the corners, as I had rounded the corners of the cardstock within.
I used a centering ruler from Tim Holtz (link  https://tinyurl.com/y9e8pm6f)…the way you use it,  you measure the length of your paper and divide that number in half. Then using that number, lay the left side of your ruler on the left side of your paper at that number, and the zero is now on the center of your paper. So my length on the top was 12″ and dividing it in half, I laid the left side of the ruler on 6″ on the left side of my paper and the zero is now the center of my paper….If you don’t have a centering ruler, you can lay your ruler on your paper and use 6″ as your center spot. I made a mark 1/2″ to the left, and 1/2″ to the right of the center spot. If you don’t have a centering ruler, you’d make a mark at 5 1/2″ and 6 1/2″ on yours. I measured 1/2″ from the top of the paper and made a mark with a waterbased marker so I could wipe it off when I was done. I made the same marks at the top and bottom of my planner in the center, so I’d know where to punch holes. On the side of my planner, I put a mark at 4 1/2″ as the length was 9″ and then made the mark about 1″ from the right edge so I had a place to punch a hole to thread elastic that would hold the planner closed.
I used eyelets (link https://tinyurl.com/y7rl7box ) on my holes after using a Crop-a-Dile to punch holes. You don’t need a Crop-a-Dile, link https://tinyurl.com/ya3vxadu as you can use a simple hole punch, but the Crop-a-Dile also acts as an eyelet setter. You also don’t need to use eyelets, and can simply leave the holes as they are after punching them, but eyelets will make it hold up better. You can buy them at any craft store and they come with a setter that is simple to use. link https://tinyurl.com/y7rl7box
After setting the eyelets with the Crop a dile, I used thick elastic white cord from Joanns, link https://tinyurl.com/y8erf3jb (about 2 yards)….I started by taking the white elastic cord on the inside of the planner, and running it to the outside of the planner through the top right hole and taping the end down inside the planner, so it doesn’t come loose. Then thread the elastic through the top left hole into the inside of the planner, then down to the bottom left hole to the outside and then into the bottom right hole, then up to the top right hole then to the outside of the planner and back in through the top left hole and down to the bottom left hole, then to the outside through the bottom right hole, then to the top right hole to the outside, then in through the top left hole, then out through the bottom left hole, then in through the bottom right hole, then tie it to the piece that you taped down…I made three knots to make sure it was tied well and pulled each one really tight. You should end up with three lines of elastic on both sides of the planner.
I pulled a length of elastic that I thought would give me enough (doubled) to surround the planner and be able to have enough left to tie knots. I ran a decorator button (one that doesn’t show the cord as it’s beneath the button) through the cord then pulled both ends of the cord from the outside of the planner through the hole on the center of the planner….I made it long enough on the outside to wrap around the planner, then pulled a small button through both ends of the cord so the knots don’t pull out of the planner, and tied it with a triple knot, then using a large marker for guidance, pulled another button through both strands with the marker between the buttons, and tied three knots in the elastic cord to leave us a pen holder loop that’s almost hidden.

1/1-1/2/2019

I hope you all had a happy and safe New Year’s Eve and day….Rich and I spent a quiet evening with the dogs, watching old movies…By old movies, I mean movies from the 1990’s—-I guess they’re considered vintage now.  You probably don’t remember either of them…one was Dave, a movie about a presidential look-alike, who is called to replace the president after he’s had a stroke.  It doesn’t sound like a romantic comedy, but I think that was what it was labelled as…It’s a sweet movie and one that reminds you of movies with wonderful music throughout…A movie you can watch and not feel like you have a worry in the world.  The other was An American President with Michael Douglas and Annette Bening..The movies came together in a DVD set at Walmart, and I remembered liking both of them, so bought them and finally watched them on New Year’s Eve.

I’ve never been big on celebrating on New Year’s Eve, even when I was young…it always seemed like a night when you’re playing Russian Roulette, with others driving drunk..I think I was always an old soul and never liked risking it.

And so for crafty things, I’ve been working on a planner for several days.  I’ve never been a user of planners, so will be giving this one away, but wanted to make one just for the experience.  I’ve never made a sewn binding before, and found it to be really simple. I might have done it wrong, but if I didn’t, it was much easier than I expected.  I have to say, I’ve enjoyed the experience and think others should give it a try.

On the other hand, I think if I was creating my own planner, I’d use a three-ring binder so that I don’t have to do anything but punch holes.  Simple and effective.

I’ve been reading the ideas of what people think are important to have in their planners, and realize I’m old.  I wouldn’t have considered most things in today’s planners to be important enough to monitor, and one woman said (on YouTube), that she likes to take her daily plan out of her calendar and keep it on a clipboard that she carries with her all day (in her home).  In a million years, I can’t imagine how anyone could find their planner to be that important.  I watched her create her daily planner, from what she eats for every meal, to the number of glasses of water she consumes, to whether or not she went to the gym that day, and just don’t get it.  She wasn’t dieting, but said she likes to monitor what she eats.  She says she eats healthy, so if that’s the case, then it’s not like she’s consuming a bag of chips and a box of donuts, so why does she need to write it all down?  I’m at a loss.  I think the planner generation of today is creating a planner to justify their existence..Is that too harsh?  Maybe, but it still makes no sense to me.

I was never a planner girl.  When I worked, I carried a small pocket calendar that had all of my meetings/appointments and what office I’d be working at on a given day.  Since I spent a different day in a different branch, I sent an email to everyone at the beginning of every month, letting them know where I’d be on what days.  That’s the extent of my “planner.”  If we had all day meetings and I’d get bored or had an idea I wanted to explore, I’d make myself a “to do” list.  That was during the time of “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and my boss was consumed with it.  He made us read the book so we could be more “effective.”  I read it, but got to the fourth “habit” before I realized I’d missed the first three.  It was long and involved, and had a planner that you’d buy at Franklin Covey..it was big and thick and not my style, but I loved watching other managers use them.  One woman in particular would write her “to do ” list, and it seemed like she just moved the exact same list from day to day without ever crossing anything off.  I was of the opinion that if you made a list, you actually did something with it.  I also had a theory that someone (a previous boss) taught me, called “touch it once.”  That meant if you opened your emails, you did whatever the email required before you moved onto your next task.  If you made a to do list, you did the items on the list and then moved on to whatever was next.  It kept me organized and I never struggled with time management.  It’s not a process that everyone can adapt, but it worked for me.

As for the planner I’m creating, I’ll be giving it away…I should keep track of what I eat and drink, but in the end, it would only make me feel bad about not eating healthy, so it’s better off being a secret.