Wednesday, January 27, 2016

WOYWW #347

Welcome to my world! I am finally back... and crafting in my new studio! I don't have everything put away yet but I'm getting closer every weekend.

Today is the aftermath of my Tim Holtz tag project. One Monday each month I am doing the Tim Holtz 2016 tag challenge. Then the other Mixed Media Monday posts I'm doing a blend of art journaling, mini albums and reaching back into the tag archives at Tim's sight and playing with some of the  other tags - just like Tim is doing for his 2016 tag challenge. I never made any of his other tags (except 2 last year) so I am excited to finally play with his other tags.

Want to see the tag? You'll have to come back on Monday, February 1st. ;-)
Not sure why you're seeing a picture of my messy desk (Yeah!) Click HERE to be taken to Julia's Stamping Ground. Julia has the road map to nearly 100 crafting studios to inspire you!

Creative Blessings!

Thursday, January 21, 2016


For the past three years, I've been donating to the Mitten Tree at our local bank. Between mid-November and mid-December, a Christmas tree sits in the bank lobby awaiting to be decorated with hats, scarves, mittens, gloves, even socks. A couple of days before school lets out for the Christmas holiday, the employees take the donated items to the grade school where they are handed out to students.

I came from poverty and I remember wanting clothes like the other kids wore - but more importantly I craved for my clothes to match. So I make a point of creating 'sets' for the kids. I package them up with a tag that says 'Warm Winter Wishes' and cute snowmen.

I start the process in February when hats and gloves/ mittens go on clearance for .50 each. Then I purchase yarn in colors to match. The next eight or nine months are spent crocheting scarves to complete sets. This is my tv time in the evening, when the cats allow.

This year I delivered 26 sets to the Mitten Tree. My goal had been 50. While I fell short of my goal, there were still some very warm youngsters as a result. I also have the beginnings of 26 sets here for 2016. So far I've crocheted 6 sets.

My Thursday posts will be sporadic for awhile as I strive to put the final items away in the studio. I swear that room is like a clown car. Just when I think I've found the end... something else appears to be put away. But I'm getting there :-)

And Enjoying the Journey .... most days hehe
Creative Blessings!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

HOW TO EAT AN ELEPHANT - Goals for 2016

In place of Teapot Tuesday (no recipients this week), I thought I'd introduce you to a cool book by VJ Schultz.  The book is called "How to Eat an Elephant" (Available on Amazon)

I have found that most 'creative' people are either OCD, ADD or a blend of both. We like to know where are tools are (even if they are in a state of chaos) and we have as my hubby lovingly calls 'oh shiny things' moments. 

VJ's book helps reign in those moments. If nothing else, you have them written down to refer to when you need to find your ground again so that you can move forward.

The book is broken down into 3 sections:
1 - Elephants 
      These are the (no more than 3) major goals you want to accomplish this year
2 - Monthly
      You take each of your goals and break them down into 'monthly' steps
3 -  Weekly
      Take those 'monthly' steps and cut them up into weekly, 'doable' goals. 

My Elephants for 2016 revolve around 3 areas of my life:

Author/ writing

If you want to know about my 'Author/ writing' Elephant, you can check out the post on my Author Blog - Angela Drake

My Creative Goals for 2016 encompass three things:
Participating in more Challenges
Keep up with All Occasion Card Challenge (I host)
Keep up with Christmas Card Challenge

These are not huge elephants but they do require time and planning. 
I've already begun the 'more challenges' by taking part in the Tim Holtz 2016 tag challenge. Once I get things in a routine, I would like to pick up at least one or two more challenges from other blogs. 

The All Occasion Caror AOCC and Christmas Card  or CCC challenges are part of the Splitcoast Stampers forums. Both of these are 'encouragement' forums. The AOCC is a reminder to get those birthday/ anniversary cards made AND mailed in each month.  For the CCC, we estimate about how many Christmas cards/ tags we'll need for the coming Christmas season then divide that by 11 months - giving us the number we need to make each month. This enables us to have all of our cards ready for mailing and tags ready for packages before Thanksgiving. I've accomplished this goal two years out of the many I participated in and I have to tell you, you will thank yourself if you join and follow through with this challenge.

Once I pinpointed what my 'elephants' were, then VJ takes you through breaking each one down by month:

Finish the big stuff in the studio
Take part in Tim Holtz Challenge
Research 3 other blog challenges for future months
Set up the AOCC threads for the rest of the year.

From there, we break each month down into the individual weeks:
I failed to do this part. I got side-tracked by the holidays and January is almost over. But with good reason. Bob always comes first and since he was gone for the holidays, the first three weeks of January have been our Christmas vacation.

However, I have done the first 2016 tag and linked up at Tim Holtz's blog and I've set up the AOCC threads for the year. Next Monday I will post their challenge to get the group thinking about their February birthday/ anniversary cards. I'm not sure I'll get much 'research' time as I have a couple other deadlines and Bob's only home for one more week. He is occupying himself on FB now as I type this. 
So tell me, how do  YOU eat an elephant?  VJ suggests one bite at a time...
Creative Blessings!

Monday, January 18, 2016

MIXED MEDIA MONDAY - Tim Holtz January 2016 Tag

I'm diving into Tim Holtz's tag series again. I fell off the wagon in March of last year due to frustration. Frustrated at not having my tools where I could get to them or the right tools. I'm hoping this year will be different.

So first thing this morning I went into my studio to start on the tag .... and couldn't find the crate that holds over 100 pre-cut tags. I know they are in that room somewhere because the cabinet they were in is in the room... and has been for several months. However, I've not paid much attention to getting the mixed media side of the room organized. That was the project for last weekend but a horrid sinus infection moved into two cavities and I didn't do much of anything but sleep all weekend. While I'm making progress in the room, I still have a long way to go to have everything the way I want them.

This year Tim is mixing things up a little bit. He is going back into archived tags to put a new spin on past techniques. For JANUARY  we are playing with metal tape (available in plumbing at your local home improvement store).  Here's the tag I came up with:

You can see his list of supplies by clicking on the JANUARY above. I did not have some of the items he used so I improvised.

Manila Tag Base
Foil Tape
Folk Art Paints; Licorice & Whicker White (substitutes for Black Soot & Picket Fence)
Brilliance Moonlight White ink
Stamp: InkaDinkaDo
Darice EB Folder: Assorted Clocks
DCWV Black cardstock
TH: Word Band (Live In the Moment), Spinners
Foam adhesive, The Paper Studio Washi

I failed to do any of the heat embossing or crystal effects. I might redo this one later. But for now, I'm thrilled to be playing again. 

There is still plenty of time for you to join us! Go HERE and share your creative journey!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


I have missed participating in Teapot Tuesday at Splitcoast Stampers and am happy to be back.

This week, if we so choose, we are sending cards of encouragement to Sue Hennning. Sue's husband of 40+ years passed prior to the holidays. I can't imagine what Sue is experiencing because I can't imagine my life without Bob. We swear we are going to be one of those couples that when one goes, the other will not be far behind.

We were  asked to keep the 'one step at a time' theme in mind when creating our cards this week. Here's what I came up with:

After not having made a card in awhile, I was slow in finding a groove. Cards normally do not take me all afternoon.  I was inspired by THIS card by Lin at @heartshugsandflowers

For color choices, I turned to my Pinterest board again - Color Inspiration. I used Recollections cardstock and My Minds Eye from my scrap drawer. 

The quote is a Chinese Proverb.
      To get through the hardest journey, we need take only one step at a time... 
              (on the inside) - but we must keep on stepping.

Monday, January 11, 2016


I have determined something. My life would be so much simpler if I were not afflicted with two issues:
Visual Boards

I've always been 'detail oriented' - I like that phrase so much better than OCD. :-) I have also always needed hard copies of things. I like to tick off boxes, chart progress, etc.

Yesterday I spent seven hours updating my blog post tracking board. Mind you, the components were there, I just needed to laminate the labels and apply velcro tabs. The task took way longer than I anticipated.

I wanted blog posts up today but I wanted my tracking board finished so I could see my progress as I loaded each post (I have 5 blogs).

So no Mixed Media post today. Now that I have a place to work and my tools at hand, I am diving back into the Tim Holtz Tags of 2016. So - next week.

I am also getting back into TeaPot Tuesday over at Splitcoast Stampers and hope to kick that off with my first card tomorrow.

I am so ready to start a new year in the Creative Dreams Studio.. my first full year! I hope you'll join me.