Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fitting It All In - Priorities

Hello there and happy Friday! Welcome back to the Fitting It All In series here at PurpleMailbox. If you missed the previous posts, you can check them out here: So, hopefully we are all on the same page here and we have thought a bit about our priorities... 
Go ahead and jot them down. 

A quick note to those non-list people who might be reading this:

You don't have to do this in a list format. Don't let that discourage you. Mind map it. Doodle it. Art journal it. Whatever works. Just put pen or paint to the page and get the thoughts out of your brain...
As you can see from the list above, I tried to keep it simple and broad and I also listed the items in order of importance.
Your list might have some similarities, or it might be vastly different. 
It doesn't matter. 
Your priorities are yours and yours alone. Own them. 
Don't write down what you think Nosey Neighbor Nancy wants your priorities to be, or what your mother thinks they should be. 

Write down what you want them to be! 
As you write your list, you will probably start to notice that you don't always prioritize properly. Well, at least that is what happened to me when I made my list. That's OK! 

Don't get distracted by that and by no means are you allowed to hop on the guilt train

Just write down what you want your priorities to be and stay encouraged that each day begins anew...

Now... Remember that Order of Events from the last post?

Take a look at it and then at your newly made list of priorities. Using your colored pen, go ahead and cross out the priorities that are already a part of that Order of Events:
Then, circle the ones that you need to "find time" for. 

As you can see from my list above, my faith, my children, my home keeping, and my health are all an integral part of my daily order of events. And if I am functioning at a relatively human rate... they will be accomplished.

Now for those that were circled... 
Remember the Order of Events where you jotted down those areas where you could "find time?"
That is exactly where the "extras" can by filled in. I don't know about you, but I find this so freeing!

You see... I won't be able to fit all of my priorities into every single day. However, I know in my order of events exactly where I have a bit of "extra time." This gives me permission to fit in those priorities, that are circled on the list above, as I am able.
  • On many days, it's quality time chatting with my husband.
  • Some days, it might be a power walk.
  • Other days, it might be time in the studio.
  • And every now and then, I might just do something social :)

Now - I know what you are thinking...

You work all the time. After you get home, take care of the family, etc.... you are just whooped.
Ah yes! I think we can all relate to that at some point in our lives.

Here is what I would say - use your "free time" to perhaps engage in something more passive.
  • Watch a craft video.
  • Listen to a Podcast.
  • Plan your next page in your head. (more on that soon :)

This also applies to those moments where your "free time" is only free on a mental level.... commuting, exercising, vacuuming, etc...

Use those moments to mentally multi task!

Or, maybe you do have the time to do something more active and engaging, but you are just too tired and can not seem to find your crafty mojo....
  • Organize some supplies.
  • Clean up your scraps.
  • Edit photos.
  • Browse an online gallery.

Trust me... there are many, many times when I am not actively engaged in making something, but feel I am utilizing my creative energy by engaging my brain in certain tasks, like the ones mentioned above.

But, knowing where I can "find" that time, allows me the freedom to plug in those priorities as I see fit! 

And the freedom to say, "not today."

You see, once you know where your "extra time" lies. You can make use of it however you wish. 

"Ok - that's fabulous Ashli... I have now figured out that I do indeed want to prioritize scrapbooking and I may or may not have a select few 15 minute increments on any given day to get that done." 

"How, dear Ashli, do you suggest I actually make that happen?"

Glad you asked! We will get to that, I promise! 

I will see you soon as we take a slight breather and look at some everyday tips and tricks to have in place that will actually make it possible to be a productive scrapper with just little bits of time.

In the mean time, I encourage you to ponder your list of priorities, make any adjustments you might think of, and get ready to plug them into those extra bits of time!

And remember... feel free to leave your tips and/or questions as we go along. I would love to hear how you fit in your creative time and any specific conundrums you might have along the lines of this topic! At the end of this series I will compile a "reader tip list" along with a Q&A. So, don't hesitate to chip in!

See you soon!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Roundup and Recap - October 2013

Hello, hello! October is nearly over, so I believe it's time for a little R and R. And by that, I mean...

That's right! Welcome to the end-of-month, newsletter style post, here at The Mailbox.

This is the time and place where I will share what has caught my eye around the web, things I am loving, what I hope to try soon, and more...

Let's jump right in, shall we?

I must confess, as I sat down to write this post, my mind went blank. Totally and completely blank. As in... what exactly have I done this month? Thank goodness for the archives of my blog! They jogged my brain and reminded me that I began a new series here this month...

Fitting It All In. If you missed those posts, you can find them here:

And seeing as my brain went blank and I had no idea what exactly the last month had entailed... it seems this series is especially timely. HA!

On Friday, I will post the next installment, all about priorities.

I have also been enjoying the new workshop at Two Peas by Glitter Girl. Here are a couple of layouts I have done in response to the lessons...

My lovely and amazingly supportive parents on their wedding day:
 And an intro page for one of my albums...
Going through the lessons from this workshop and really taking my time with each layout that it prompts has been a joy.

There is always so much fabulous inspiration all over the blogosphere and such! I try my best to peruse my favorites on a regular basis and here is what I found most notable this month:

First up, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer did a fabulous post regarding her favorite pens. And, of course, I now want ALL of them!
Next up... I first saw this on Pinterest and it links over to a very talented lady's Flickr gallery - Antoinette from Colorful Expressions

Now really... THIS is a calendar!
A little Google search didn't prove useful to find an associated blog or website for her. But, I am just head over heels for this beautiful work of art!

Ah yes, the brain is always rattling around with things...

Holiday things! Yep - I really do have lots of Fall and Christmas things on the brain. From crafts to cooking to knitting to gardening. I love this time of year!

I am excited to announce that I will be joining a group of Everyday Storytellers as part of a super fun Holiday Storytelling Project!

See you soon!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Anything Goes For an Interactive Double Pager?

Happy Monday! We have a new challenge up over at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog. This week, ANYTHING GOES! That's right - we are encouraging you to get crafty and link it up with us for your chance to win!

Since anything goes, I thought I might try my hand at an interactive double pager. We recently celebrated my daughter's 2nd birthday with a super fun day trip to the local aquarium. Of course, we took loads of pictures, so I need a way to get them all scrapped in one double page spread...

Let's see how we get along here...

I am really loving large 12x12 prints lately as my page backgrounds, so that is my starting point:
 As you can see, I also have my additional pictures printed up at 3x4...
After deciding approximately where I will adhere my little mini photo books, I start the page design by stamping on my title/journaling...
 I just love the way that turned out with the white paint!
 Now on to the embellishing. I have a variety of Glitz and Heidi Swapp papers gathered here:
 And with some strips and some heart punches, things are starting to come together...
 A bit more stamping, in black StazOn this time...
Now for those little photo books. I just adhered the pictures to one another, front to back.. then bound each page with washi and another piece of washi over the entire spine to hold it all together...
Then, I simply adhered the back onto the layout using my Tacky Glue. I payed close attention to where these were placed over the larger image, I didn't want them to stand out too much, so I tried to choose areas of the large image that contained the same colors and tones as the small image on show...
 Some final touches of stickers, mist, and such...
And there we have it!
 A fun little spread, with plenty of interactivity and stamping...
 Celebrating my sweet little one...
 It's such a treasure to have all of the little moments captured as well...
And now it's your turn! Remember, anything goes... so... Go get crafty and link-up with us!

Every week a random winner is chosen to win a $50 spending spree from How awesome is that?

Here is a complete supply list for my layout:

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