Category Archives: Craft

Adventures with planners

I’ve been keeping planners some time now. Originally, I used one of those planners you get from an office store, but didn’t like the size or the cost. Insert packs also cost money and many layouts didn’t work so well for me.

composition notebooksI shifted to bullet journaling. A bullet journal uses blank pages or pages with a dot or graph sheets. You design whatever you need using the dots or squares to help guide you. I used a regular composition notebook with lined pages, and where bullet journals can include very artistic styles, I kept pretty simple.

But I grew tired of having to draw out the calendar and weekly spreads. I wanted something printed.

pageI shifted to a mini 3-ring binder. This was fine because I could use lined, graph, or dotted pages, or just design my own layout to whatever I needed. Even then, I got tired of the time spent designing. I wanted the pre-printed stuff.

happy plannerThen I discovered <dramatic pause> the Happy Planner! It comes in three different sizes so I went with the classic 7×9 size. I can remove any pages, including the cover, so I could design my own pages or buy inserts. I can add sections, move them, or remove altogether. I can keep the entire year in the planner, but prefer to work with three months at a time, so this gives me room for my own sections.

Personal– Here I have a list of crafts I want to make, a list of books I want to read this year, a worksheet entitled ‘this is me’ where you list fears/weaknesses vs courage/strengths. It gives some perspective on myself. I have a page dedicated to accomplishments. I have a ‘reward list’ where I put things I want providing I achieve goals for myself.

Business– This includes a brain dump section for products/service ideas, and pages for various things I work on such as my Learnthepc.net business or my online Zazzle store.

Finances– This tracks income versus spending.

Writing– I keep a brain dump page for random thoughts and ideas, a writer tracker, blog title list, story ideas, brief plots for novels, and ideas for non-fiction ebooks.

Meetup– Here, I keep ideas for workshops, writing games, a list of food I can make for the group for snacks, and a brain dump page for things I want to add to the site or newsletter.

stickersI make my own stickers to add things like when my husband works, when I babysit, or go to my mom’s to clean, when the moon is full, birthday and other events, holidays, and bill payments. I even made blood donation stickers for when I give to the Red Cross.

I hope to publish my pages and stickers so others can use them. I even have plans for sticker themes packages, and pages for things like students, teachers, homemakers, business owners, and more. So many ideas, so little time.

I want the month of August to the be the month I focus on action, getting things done. While I do this, I will blog regularly and share freebies from time to time.

What I’m up to… trying to focus

findingfocusThomas Frank on YouTube “How to Focus Your Priorities and Narrow Down Your Interests – College Info Geek” really struck a chord in me. I look up tips and tricks for focus and productivity, but this video really helped me understand what I was doing wrong.

He talks about a story about Warren Buffet’s advice on prioritizing success. Basically, you make a list of the top 25 things you want to do. Now make another list of the top 5, from that list, you want to do most.

One might assume you focus on the top 5, putting aside the rest for later, but the advice is that you don’t- you avoid the rest at all cost. It distracts you from those top 5 things.

taskThis was serendipitous for me since I’ve had issues focusing and having too much to do, then not doing anything. I’ve been cutting back on meetings, events, and things that don’t serve me in the long run.

Give yourself fewer choices. Too many choices tends to cause indecision for people, according to the Paradox of Choice. (see his video here).

I’ll be posting more in the way of current events, but in the meantime, this is what I’ve done lately;

  • Compiled and published a Writer’s Planner, which is for sale for $2.99. This is for printing, cutting out, and adding to any composition notebook to create a planner.
  • Updated my sharonpoffinber.com web site by switching from a paid hosting to Weebly (free). Streamlined the pages and what I’ve added.
  • Played a lot of Dragon Age Inquisition on Xbox 360.
  • Skipped Halloween/Samhain this year after being sick for so long. It worked out because we didn’t get the crowds of trick-or-treaters we did in past years.
  • Had a falling out with a friend/client over a misunderstanding. I doubt it will work out. You live and learn.
  • Put off publishing the Writer’s Group anthology until later this month. I’ll post more about this later.
  • WP_20150829_14_12_13_Pro 1Made myself a planner from a composition book. Looks good and functions great. This includes a calendar, charts to track writing, blogging, exercise, and business. It is designed for only a month, though.

The Power of Creativity is My Super Power

002Sometimes when I watch videos online, I play around with crafts and follow through with ideas I find on the Internet. It is when I actually complete the idea and it looks good where I feel awesome in the power of creating something.

This photo illustrates the wonder that is a DIY (Do It Yourself) pen holder. Its made from a paper clip and duct tape. This means I can make own pen holder for any 3 ring binder or notebook I want, which is removable, but can be made to match the binder/notebook itself. Since I make it myself, I also make the clip whatever size to whatever sized pen I want to use. It is AWESOME.

Here is the video I found the tutorial:

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I also wanted to make my own post it note/pencil holder. Here I used an old cassette tape covered in Washi tape for color, and used to make the pencil holder. It is not as tight as I’d like, but it works, and I can also put my iPhone in it.

I decided to bow out of the Assistant Secretary position with Score. It took too much of my time doing something I don’t enjoy. I hope to still mentor, perhaps aid in the other Board member committees, but not with any position. I just don’t have that sort of time available for volunteer work between homeschool, my meetup groups, my business, and Life. I still dedicate over the minimum hours volunteers are expected in Score.

scoreScore, by the way, is a non-profit organization that helps small business owners with every aspect of the business. You can get mentoring, workshops, and resources for free. Check out their site at Hagerstown.score.org.

I’ve been writing in my blogs as well. I figured I might as well start posting them in this blog while I’m at it:

Productivity Tip in A Writer’s Journey I share my two tips I’ve been using this past week that seems to work remarkably well in increasing my productivity.

Signs of Spring in the Moon and Shadow blog. I share some ideas to celebrate the First Day of Spring (Equinox).

Video: 9 New iPhone Tricks That’ll Change Your Life Here is a link to a video of some very cook tips with the iPhone.

Some craft projects, and aviation museum trip

001Its not easy becoming a Silhouette Portrait Master. There’s some level of trial-and-error in the process, but I suppose that goes with learning anything.

Here I’ve made a t-shirt, realizing after I didn’t really center it as well as I should. I like the design, and have since found a chart online that gives the dimensions as well as placement of t-shirt deigns.

That might come in helpful for the t-shirts I design for my Zazzle store as well.

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I also found the old Fabreeze luminary which has since lost its ‘refill’ thing, which gives the scent but also makes it a luminary, I made a new one. Take note, there’s no back. Originally I planned the design different, and ended up with this instead.

Either way, it ended up rather nice. I could even make these with the flameless candles, and use various designs as needed.

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I made my sister a birthday card. She likes dragonflies, so made a cut out and stamped the background. She really enjoyed it.

I often have to make the envelopes too because the cards vary in sizes. But this allows me to also spruce up the envelope from embossing to stamping to using scrapbook papers to pretty them up.

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On other news…

Pepper had to get her rabies shot, so we opted to also get her other shots updated, and a dog license. She’s legal now. Winking smile

I also got her a Lyme’s disease vaccine. Although, I haven’t seen a single tick on her this summer, I hate the idea of her catching something awful like that.

I’m not sure why we don’t one for humans, but we should. My son got Lyme’s disease, and fortunately showed the ‘bull’s eye rash’. He was on antibiotics for a month, and showed no ill side effects.

Sadly, even if you get it, you can get it again.

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We visited the Hagerstown Aviation Museum, near the airport. They had some old planes out the public can view and even sit in!

Daniel had fun in the cockpit of the C-82A. he explained the controls and his knowledge of flight from his simulator. David also had fun with history and his own knowledge, while I took pictures.

046The biggest of the planes was a 1948 Fairchild C-82A, built in Hagerstown, MD. It was also called a ‘flying boxcar’.

This carried soldiers and cargo into World War II. This was also used to deliver paratroopers. I believe they considered this also a plane for post shipments as well.

 

087 And there were, of course, a number of small planes. This one you could actually sit in it. The guy in yellow is a volunteer, and share what he knew of the planes.

This model had the pilot sit in the back, while a student sat at the front. David is telling Daniel to not crash them (they weren’t allowed to fly).

 

090They did have a plan for flight, but it was $100 a pop. We couldn’t afford that, but I think it would be awesome to experience flight with an open cockpit.

This event played vintage music from the 1940’s, with lots of volunteers to answer any questions you would have about the planes. And this was FREE!

Next year, I’ll remember to bring cash to donate, though, because we really enjoyed the trip.

Stress free and creative projects

Since the homeschool review, and passing, I’ve felt so incredibly relaxed and stress-free. I still have oodles of things to do, such as work-related things and projects I do, but nothing saps my energy like the stress of a review.

I think there’s also this weight lifted from me, where I don’t feel as though I have to second guess all my efforts to teach my son something. Also knowing that Daniel has some new interests, all of which will count towards his education, serves to infuse our lives with the love of learning once more.

JellyLabelsI’ve been vastly creative this week as well. While my husband son went raspberry picking, processing their harvest to jelly, I provided moral support and the labels.

I also found new ideas for the Silhouette Portrait machine with vinyl lettering for the downstairs bath. I tried a swirly font, but the machine was giving me some grief, so I opted for a basic font instead.

dowhatyoulove

I updated my office wall to include the quote “Do what you love” and changed the font for my ‘to do list’. I live by this list, which helps focus my brain on what needs doing.

I often include work, marketing, and house chores, taking great satisfaction with crossing things off through the day.

New Store of Knick Knacks

Pentacle001I decided to add a store to my web site here, to put items that I’m selling such as the vinyl sticks I can design and make, as well as the used items.

I’m still working on things like categories, but hope to add more inventory as I create them.

I’ll also post if anyone is interested.

Blessed Bee and honey facts

BlessedBe

Created a new design in my Zazzle online shop. This is fully customizable, so you can select from various types of t-shirts and other items such as mugs and binders to put the design on it.

I made Blessed Bee because the honeybee provides honey, which creates Mead, one of the many drinks traditionally sipped for Cakes and Ale rituals. It reminds me of Summer and with the spring in full swing, you can find bees pollenating the trees, flowers, and gardens.

They are vital for crops. Beekeepers often bring their hives into fruit groves to pollinate the trees.

In northeastern France, beekeepers found their honey different colors. Apparently, the bees found the M&M’s candy processing plant and ate the residue from the candy. Thus, they created various colors of honey.

Honey provides natural antibacterial properties, as well as preservative properties. Its used in many natural healing concoctions and curatives. For example, for a persistent cough, try a teaspoon of honey. It helps coat the throat and fight infections. Mind you, this is for the scratchy throat. Not the sort of cough where you’re working mucus out of the lungs. Sipping hot tea with honey also provides relief with sinus issues.

Mead Recipes

Honey cake Recipe

Bourbon Cough Syrup (for adults)

Honey and Cinnamon cures– Snopes article finding fact vs fiction of this claim.

Herbal Cough Syrup (with honey)

Do not give honey to children under 1 years of age.