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Well…I had a few resolutions regarding crafting and blogging and planning. And, already, most are not panning out.

It’s Jan 12th and
#1 I have not “blogged at least once a week”.
#2 I haven’t posted about my awesome new #10x10in2015 games list.
#3 I have made something every week with scraps. (Not that you’d know that since..well..see #1.)
#4 I also haven’t finished (or worked on) any of the online classes that I have signed up for in the past. In fact, I’ve signed up for more.
#5 I also started following this #31DaystoGetOrganized thing with Peter Walsh and that has gotten me off track a bit. Or rather onto a different track.

So what to do about it? I could say I’ve “started the process” and count that as something. Or I could say “screw it” and just give up now. I could talk about how I really meant to do all these things but just “didn’t have time.” But all of those feel like empty excuses and I did have the time. Just not the inclination or motivation.

What do those of you do who have multiple hobbies that don’t seem to overlap? Do you schedule time for each? I feel like I have too many interests, and keep acquiring more, but don’t want to give any up yet. I can’t decide if scheduling time for everything each week will be freeing or constricting.

Either way…at least this got written right? (Sorry to Emily that there are no pictures)

Baby steps.

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When I’ve read about what inspires artists and people who make things to be more creative and come up with new ideas, they often say,  “Just getting in my studio and playing with my materials.” Unfortunately, I am terrible at this. I always feel the need to end up with something “Usable”. “Art for Art’s sake” is something I can’t quite do. Just sitting down to play with my new things or try out a new technique on a piece of paper that will just get thrown away is difficult for me even though I know that in order to get better or “find my style”, this is something I really should do.

So I’m starting Messin’ Around Mondays. I don’t want to say I’ll do it every Monday (because, let’s face it, that probably won’t happen), but I want to try it most Mondays. I’ll just take a look at the stuff around me on my workspace, or some project/technique I’ve been meaning to try, and play with it. Maybe I’ll make something Usable, maybe not (but, probably will until I can break myself of that habit 😉 ). As part of my desire to want to make more jewelry, today I made a bracelet, earrings, and a necklace. Here’s the little pile of goodies that was sitting in front of me that became the bracelet.

Messin' Around Mondays with Crafting{without}kids

Hmmm….

I just got the “O” Beads at a newer bead store in town. As usual, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them, but I love circles and rings (and these are tiny so that’s even more fun). I’ve also been wanting to see if it was possible to use one of the Tim Holtz trinket pins as a clasp.  Here’s what I ended up with:

 

Messin' Around Mondays with Crafting{without}Kids

Ta Da!

I used wax linen to string the beads and attach the trinket pin as a clasp. It lies a lot nicer than I thought it would which is nice, since I have a bunch of these pins! I’m also really interested to see how well it stays on and holds up. Always nice to try a new clasp out on a bracelet that isn’t very expensive. Who knows what I will play with next!

 

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Well…It’s about time!

I did it! I finally got around to making something besides a card! As you may know, when I started out a looooooong time ago Makin’ Stuff, it was all jewelry. I even had a bead store at one point. LOVE those crazy little things. But my mom made cards (and everything else) and I started going to stamping conventions and paper stores with her and for longer than I can now imagine was possible, I managed to hold off. No, I didn’t really need any of that pretty paper; what would I do with it?!?! Well…I suppose I could make a pendant with it…

Uh oh.

Yeah. It became a problem. Now I have to keep making cards just to try and make a dent in all the new stuff coming into my house.

But I was trying to clean up my craft table the other day, basically just shoving piles around, and I thought that the only way to get some of this stuff off my desk is to use it. I have quite a few small opal pendants that are all really beautiful and unique and I just haven’t gotten around to designing something. So I decided to go super simple and just Make Something Dangit!

Leather & Opal Necklace by Crafting{without}Kids

The layers of the opal are really amazing.

It’s hard to catch all the sparkle because I haven’t taken that online photography class I signed up for (blush, sigh), but you get the idea. They are marbled & faceted 4mm rondelles with a satin or iradized finish. I used 15° Platinum plated Charlottes to make the loops that connect the glass beads to the leather cord ends. The clasp is actually attached to one of the cord ends and I can slide the pendant off if I would like to wear a really simple necklace or if I want to change the pendant.

I need to start making more jewelry. Now…I just need to search out some blogs with jewelry challenges to stick a little pitchfork in my behind! Any ones you guys love?

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#10x10in2014

In addition to my obsessions with beads and paper, I also love playing board games. I grew up playing games all day with my Aunt LaVonne and my friends. It’s so exciting that it’s becoming popular again. For a fun show and to learn a few games, check out Will Wheaton’s show TableTop on YouTube.

A friend told me about the lists people were making under the hashtag #10x10in2014. This entails making a list of 10 games that you want to play 10 times each in 2014. There are SO many new games coming out all the time and it’s often hard to really dig into one game and play it again and again when you have so many new games sitting there waiting to be played. This challenge will help me focus on some of the games I really enjoy and give me an excuse to play them more often. Here’s a good hub to learn more at BoardGameGeek.

Here’s my list.

1.    Innovation has 2 great expansions that I’ve had for awhile and never gotten around to really delving into. This game makes me feel like I could play it a lot better if I knew the cards better.

2.  Trajan has a really interesting Mancala type mechanism for deciding what actions you will be taking. There are a lot of different avenues to win so it’s easy to replay and try out different options.

3.  Blueprints is a simple game that involves building structures out of dice behind a blind. It’s new to me and seems like it will be a fun game to play often and quickly.

4.   I have several expansions for 7 Wonders that I haven’t gotten to play with. This is a great game for a larger group as it plays up to 8 people with expansions. It’s fairly easy to learn and teach, but it becomes more complex with expansions and understanding the card chaining options.

5.  I know. A lot of people are sick of Dominion, but I’m not. And I like Comic Sans too. So there. I said it. 🙂 Dominion is a deck building game that plays fairly quickly and there are currently 8 expansions that allow for lots of varied play.

6. Quarriors! is similar to a deck building game and is quite a bit like Dominion. Instead of building a deck, you are buying dice to add to your pool that you then equip and use to fight the other players. For someone like me that likes beads and baubles, all of the amazing dice that are in this game just beg to be played with again and again.

7.  King Of Tokyo is a fun dice game that plays up to 6 with the necessary Panda Power Up expansion. Easy to teach and easy to play, it’s a great game for a larger group. And I get to be a Panda. I can’t stress how important that is. 🙂

8.  Speaking of pandas…Takenoko is a whole game about Pandas eating bamboo. I’m in. ‘Nuff said.

9.  Village won awards in 2012 for being a great family game. Like Trajan, there are multiple avenues to achieving the end game and by playing it often, I get to explore them all.

10.   Lords of Waterdeep and the Scoundrels of Skullport expansion is a favorite of several of my gaming groups. Don’t let the Dungeon & Dragons tag on this stop you from playing if you aren’t into D&D. It’s really just the theme.

So that’s my 10. There were MANY that I wanted to add, (Luna, Smash Up, Eminent Domain, Monolith…) that just didn’t make the cut. Maybe if I get 10 of something done early, I can substitute one in. My birthday was Jan. 1st and my boyfriend said he’d play the first game with me–Innovation. Unfortunately, he didn’t give me a win for my birthday. 😦 Our next Game Day is in the middle of January so I hope to make a small dent in this list.

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I’m here with a bare bones What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. To find out more about the cool WOYWW of it all, go and see Julia at Stamping Ground!

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday

Exciting, isn’t it?!? Nope.

I’ve been spending a bunch of time lately reassessing my space. While I’m really lucky to have my own room, I have A LOT of toys in it. And they are kind of everywhere. At the last crop I went to, I was able to use two tables, and I set up one with my computer and camera and the other I used to make stuff. It was SO nice to be able to have the two stations, that I wanted to see if there was any way to recreate that in my room with the little space that I have. So I sat and stared and made lots of notes. LOTS of notes as you can see. Now I have to implement, but I think I’m on the right track!

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Happy World Card Making Day Eve (well not eve by the time I finish writing this) everyone!

My friend Keeley is having her monthly crop and tomorrow it corresponds with World Card Making Day. If you’re unfamiliar with what a crop is, a loose definition is that it’s a get-together of crafty and arty people making things. So I’ve been working on my list this week of things to bring. I’ve found it’s easier for me to not forget (as many) things if I work on a list over a couple of days. As I’ve said, I don’t actually scrapbook, which is traditionally what crops are for, but you can work on anything you want there, which is wonderful. I spent the last couple of days gathering a list of challenges that I would like to enter. This also helps me figure out what to bring. Here’s the preliminary.

challenge list, ATC address, tablet and packing list

challenge list, ATC address, tablet and packing list

With the challenge list, I can make sure to go through and bring all the required paper packs and stamps. One of the other things that will help, is bringing my Simon Says Stamp Monthly Card Kits. I’ve been getting them since around January and have been really happy with them. There were a couple months that weren’t really my cup of tea here and there, and it’s easy to just email and ask to not get that month. They come with a stamp set, embellishments, patterned papers and base papers. Pretty much everything you’d need except ink (and one even came with that)!

packing for the crop

Getting Started!

This should probably be enough at this point, but oh…oh if only that were the case.  (There’s my stack of SSS kits under my Tim Holtz awesomeness!)

 

Several hours later…

Packing for the Crop

All Packed Up! Now…who’s going to help me get this in the car?!?

A giant tote, 3 bags, the black and white carrier filled with “essentials”, ALL my Distress Inks and reinkers, and my box of patterned scrap paper and I’m almost ready to go. I’ll add my laptop, camera, and of course, a bag of snacks and a cooler, and I’ll be off!

Check back tomorrow, or sign up to get emails and follow me, as I post what I make for World Card Making Day on Saturday, October 5th! See you soon!

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I’ve been meaning to join in and post for What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday. It’s hosted by Julia over at Stamping Ground. Every Wednesday you take a picture of your workspace and then post it. I’ve always found others’ workspaces really interesting. It’s fun to take a peek into another’s creative space. It’s like being a little crafty peeping tom. Here’s your look inside my little window.

WOYWW 220, workdesk

There’s Space!

The ONLY reason there’s space there, is my laptop was there as of yesterday. In the baggie is the rest of the necklace I need to make into earrings and a bracelet for my pseudo-mother-in-law. I’m trying to use my new-ish Sticker Stadium so that’s getting filled up. I just opened a really old epoxy button and chipboard set to get at the cute little cupcakes to make a Thank You card for my trainer. If you think it looks crowded now…you have no idea. Did I mention this table is 6 feet long? And it’s at least 5 1/2 feet full.

This isn't even the whole thing...

This isn’t even the whole thing…

workdesk, table, craft room

Yeah. I know.

Crazy, right? I know. You’d think with all that space, I’d have plenty of room for everything. It’s pretty much the opposite. I keep setting stuff on there that I “really should use”. See those papers in the bottom corner of the last picture? Those have been in a pile to make-something-because-aren’t-they-all-pretty-together for…well…as long as I can remember. Now that you have all seen where I work, I should really get to making something!

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Last Christmas I received a book called A Daily Creativity Journal: Make Something Everyday And Change Your Life. For a long time, I have wanted to tackle a “something-a-day” type project, but I’ve never been able to talk myself into it. It didn’t seem right to go into a project this immense with a feeling that I was going to fail immediately. So I’d forget about it and go on about my business. But it kept creeping back into my mind.

One of my One Little Word resolutions (more on that in the future 🙂 ) for this year is to not use the excuse “I don’t have time for that” unless it’s actually true. As you probably know, most often the hard truth is that we do have time for something, we just use the excuse that we don’t because we don’t want to do whatever that something is, but it makes us feel better to just say we don’t have time because then we aren’t saying no to something unpleasant or simply procrastinating, we just “can’t” and that gets us off the hook. 

So I’m going to do it.

Because I DO have the time, if I just make the time.  I may not do something every day. I really hope I do, and I am really going to try to, but if there are days I miss, then I miss them, and it will be because I was actually busy and life happened. Then I will just make 2 things the next day or decide that I just lose that day.

Now that I decided I’m going to do it, I just need a topic. Something broad enough that I can play with it every day and still have options, but narrow enough in scope that there is an actual theme to the things I end up making. Drum roll please… 🙂

SCRAPS!!!!

Paper scraps, fabric scraps, who knows what kind of scraps! On day 205 I might just have to decide to create a new kind of scrap! I’m not crazy enough to think that I’ll be able to blog every day in addition to making something every day. So right now I’m aiming to check in here with my projects a couple times a week. I’ll show you the good, the bad and the what-the-heck-was-I-thinking?!?!

So that’s it. I’m going to do this thing. Starting today. Starting Now. Here goes nothing!

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I love Swap-Bot!

I came to papercrafting mainly through jewelry. There were LOTS of fun things I wanted, but I couldn’t justify them because I couldn’t use fun patterned paper for jewelry. Of course, that was just a challenge and I found a way 🙂 One of the reasons I like making jewelry so much is that it’s useful.  You can wear it. It makes great presents. You can even try and sell it. Brides love you 🙂 Art for Art’s Sake has always been kind of difficult for me. I justify making cards because I can send them to people, but I hardly ever do so they tend so sit for awhile. But…I have all this stuff!!!

Enter Swap-Bot. Swap-Bot is AMAZING. As they state on their home page, “Swap-bot is a online service that organizes group swaps and a community of creative individuals.” And it has EVERYTHING! No matter what kind of swap you are looking for, they probably have one going. If they don’t, you can start one. Just looking at the home page right now there are swaps for Blue ATCs, stickers, candy, Pinterest, recipes, postcards, inchies and SO much more! Isn’t that amazing? You search for the swaps you are interested in, decide if you are looking to swap regional or international, and you’re all set.

Swap-Bot has really helped give me a chance to make things and play, but at the same time, feel like there is a bit more use to them. AND all those cards I have sitting around? I can mail my swaps in those! Over the next few posts, I’ll show you some of the swaps I’ve sent out so far. I have several I’m working on right now and it seems like I just can’t stop joining them.

I think I’ll start with one of my favorites. This was for a Bird ATC swap. ATC stands for Artist Trading Card and they are 2.5″ x 3.5″. They are always traded and never sold and are most often one of a kind. I bought this little bird stamp at the Madison stamp convention a few years ago and I haven’t stopped laughing at him since!

Grumpy Bird Speaks Out!

Who got all this stupid Glitter on me?!?

Man…I love this guy. He is so puffed up and ornery. I watercolored him using Tim Holtz Distress markers and used one of my new favorite Studio Calico wood veneers. The sentiment is actually from a Paper Smooches set called Squeaky Clean. Purple glitter Stickles just to annoy him. 🙂 I hope this little guy is happy in his new home!

Comment on the Giveaway page for a chance to win some fun prizes and I’ll see you again soon!

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There is definitely a love/hate relationship between me and organizing supplies. I love to organize and look at everything, but I never feel like I really accomplish anything (except for my exciting new basket system). I have a little notebook that I have been trying to keep track of my supplies in. When I was first deciding on a notebook, I knew I wanted something small so I could take it with me, but my supplies have outgrown my little notebook.

So little! Measure about 1.5" x 1"

So little! Measures about 1.5″ x 1″

 

Peek Inside!

Peek Inside!

Quickly I realized I needed to use something else. I always have my phone with me so I want something that will sync easily with my phone, computer and tablet. I tried Evernote, but that wasn’t really working well for me. So now I’m trying Google Drive. So far it’s working well. The best thing it’s doing? SAVING ME MONEY!

I had decided that I really wanted some new ink pads. They were even in my online shopping cart, ready to go, but I was waiting on a friend to get back to me. That night, I went home and typed in all the inks I have into my new INKS Google Drive Doc. The result? About 19 different brands and about 174 colors…that I have listed…so far. Holy crap, right? I know what you’re thinking. And you’re right. I definitely don’t need to buy more ink.

And I don’t. So I didn’t buy it yet and I probably won’t. Seeing all the inks, embossing folders, and dies that I have laid out in an organized grid really shows me that I have plenty and is helping me use what I have and not buy more.

Although, it did cost me money because Blitsy.com had Distress Stains on sale and I wanted to get the ones I didn’t have. Fortunately, I just checked my Google Drive and was able to know what I had and what I “needed” to finish off my collection. So far, I think this is going to work really well.

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