Get organised

A field Bag

Fringe field bag 2
Fringe field bag 2
Fringe field bag 2

I bought my field bag from Fringe Supply Co last year and have been meaning to share it here on the blog for months. This is such a great on the move project bag. The perfect size for a shawl or pair of socks that you can work on while out and about. Mine is always set up to grab and go at a moments notice.

Inside there are pockets. On one side the pocket is a good size for holding a pattern, this pocket has eyelets too. The other side is separated into 4 pockets. Three slim, for a pen, scissors and needle holder and one larger. The bag comfortably holds two or three balls of yarn and your working project. The leather handle will soften with use as will the rope tie pulls.

I have a little collection of pins on mine. One from Brooklyn Tweed (from EYF2017), two little wooden MAKER pins from Beyond Measure (from EYF2017) and two pins that I bought years ago from I can't remember where.

Fringe are based in the US, so if you're ordering from the UK (or anywhere else in the world) there are a few things to consider. Shipping as we know can double your order value so have a good look around and perhaps save your pennies until you can afford to buy everything you want at once. There is a (UK) custom charge which will add £20ish to your order too. These are annoying facts about ordering overseas but at least you can factor them in before ordering so it's not a surprise.
Edited to add: Before this post went live I discovered that YAK in Brighton is a supplier of some of Fringe's bags!! YIPPEE

This really is my favourite project bag.

these opinions are my own and I have not received anything from Fringe for this post

Thank for visiting.

C xx


Craft/Office/Gym room *progress*

Craft room 1

Craft room 2

Craft room 3

Craft room 4

Craft room 5

I wanted to do an inspirational post about the reorganisation of our craft/office/gym room, with before, during and after photos, but in truth I'm not sure if this room will ever be totally done. Things go out, things come in, projects are started and there is always some activity going on. So I thought I would just share the room as it is now, and please note that this is after a big change up to fit the new gym equipment in.

Pinterest has literally changed my life when it comes to getting organised. There are so many great ideas out there and I love to gather lots of information to work out the best plan for organising. I did this for our coat cupboard (small/tiny room off the entrance hall) refit that we did earlier this year. We lived with a very UNfunctional space for our coats and shoes, for over ten years!! It was only when I had gathered ideas and planned what I needed to buy and how much work was involved did we start work. That cupboard is now SO functional and has stayed neat and tidy since it's refit.

Now, the coat cupboard refit was easy in respect of the stuff that needed to be organised. My craft room is not easy AT ALL because my stash changes (and grows) all the time. In the autumn I can't resist buying yarn to add a couple of new shawls and jumpers/cardigans to my woolly wardrobe. I also buy scrapbooking supplies that will convert into a Journal Your Christmas album. So stash needs to be stored before being converted and some will move out the room (knitted items) and some will stay but in a new 'form' (album).

One of the organisation products I love, especially for yarn, are the Drona boxes that fit in my expedit unit. Both are from IKEA and although they don't make the expedit any longer they do have an alternative, Kallax. At £2.50, the Drona box is so affordable and surprisingly strong. We have one that is packed with CDs, and although we do carry and move it carefully, the bottom hasn't fallen out of it! I would also like to get some Flarra mini chests to separate out supplies for needle felting and embroidery. And I would like a slightly larger desk!

As I work on optimising the space and functionality of my scrapping corner, especially as I will spend time here making over the festive season, I'll be sure to share more detail and ideas.

Until then, happy creating!
C xx


The change in season

Autumn 2016 change of season

Autumn is in full swing here in Hertfordshire. Trees are glowing red, orange and yellow and we have been blessed with some beautiful bright blue skies. But I have been feeling uneasy. The change from summer into autumn and winter throws me off my routine and I feel closed in and anxious.

Growing up, I didn't see much change in the seasons. It was hot, bloody hot, or warm all year round in Durban, South Africa. When we arrived in the UK in 1999, I was so excited and in awe of the real obvious change in season that I didn't ever feel the darkness closing in around me. Exactly when that started to happen I couldn't tell you but I have been very aware of it for a few years now.

It's like falling down the Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole! It's dark and damp and I'm never sure which way is up, there is no end in sight. The notion of having no way to stop the fall and try climb back out is really frightening.

This year has been particularly hard and I am just starting to see the light again and regaining some order. Tidying and sorting and purging has helped, and I'm celebrating the victories and ignoring what is still left to do. I'm seeing clear spaces that will soon be filled with Christmas décor and that is going some way to making me feel festive and a bit merry.
My Get to Work Book is my trusty companion during these unsettled days. Giving myself a daily task.....1 load of washing, put shopping bags in the car, clear/clean lounge side table. Basic tasks and just one a night. But each one important.

Some slow and easy crafting has helped too. Of course it has! A crochet project that is started and finished in a week, gives me focus and a sense of achievement. It makes me happy.

Starting and finishing my 2015 'Journal Your Christmas' album in a weekend, reminded me how much I love and miss papercrafting. It makes me so happy.

Slowly the cloud lifts and that makes me super happy! Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

xx


Planning in 2017

CD 1

CD 2

When I started my planner journey on the 1st of January I knew there would be lots of experimenting as I found the right fit for me. How I do things today is very different to how I did them 8 months ago, but all the changes I made have led me to the most efficient method for me. If it doesn't work for YOU then it's not going to make your life any easier or help to reach your goals.

Last year I wrote a diary every day. It was a Moleskin page a day soft cover A5 diary, like the ones I have bought (and not used) for years. Once I knew that I was able to commit to a daily diary/planning regime I treated myself to the Carpe Diem planner. The plan was to use the planner for appointments and daily plans alongside a Moleskin for memory keeping. This worked well for about 5 months.

Then I felt a shift.......

I missed paper crafting and memory keeping but knew that I wasn't going to get back into scrapbooking in the conventional way any time soon. The CD planner lends itself to 'making pretty' and with the addition of the daily page (ie page a day) inserts I had a great memory planning tool. At the end of each month I file the pages in a simple stories binder adding photos (see the CHEERZ category to get details of my photo printing) and elements. At the end of the year I'll have an album of 2016, I guess it's a little like project life!

Of course this meant I didn't have a planner. And I loved planning, even though i'm not hugely busy outside of my work day, I still enjoyed the process of planning and wanted to keep doing it. SO.....I treated myself to the Get To Work Book by Elise (link at the bottom of this post)! I was so tempted to buy this last year but really wanted to stick to the Moleskin. It's a brand I know and love and my CD planner was going to be my planner anyway.

GTWB 1

GTWB 2

GTWB 3

GTWB 4

GTWB 5

GTWB 6

I bought the 2016/2017 edition of the book although I much prefer January to December planners and diaries so I'll be buying the 2017 version as soon as it's on sale. With that is mind I did think long and hard because this isn't a cheap book, especially when you're not using half of it. It comes in at $55, and the ruler and book band are priced individually, in addition is international postage. BUT the hefty price tag is so worth it when you open the package and take the book out of the box! Firstly it is so well packaged and presented, and the little postcard of dashboard images is just perfect to pin up at my desk. The coaster I punched and put in my CD planner on the day the GTWB arrived, another great little piece of inspiration. Elise has written up the story behind each dashboard image which I love. Great thought has gone into every part of this product.

The clean lines and total lack of colour means there are no distractions. It's a book designed to keep you on track to reaching goals and getting things done, one day at a time. For me there is no making pretty, it's not for embellishing, it's functional and I love it. It's combined a planner for life, goal setting for yarn craft, blog post planner and budget keeper.

It's a great size book too. Lots of space for writing lists and setting tasks for the day as well as action items for the week and planning larger projects. It's been a great tool for me to keep track of my exercise too. There are great walk though videos on the Get To Work Book website so if you're undecided go check them out.

Top Tip: I stole the idea of using a highlighter to score off done items rather than crossing them out. It's so evident what/how many items have been ticked off, and is just visually vibrant!

So getting back to this blog posts title - Planning 2017 - I've decided to carry on this way of planning and memory keeping in 2017, and I have already had a little shop for 2017 supplies (although i'm not going to set up my 2017 planner until the week between Christmas and New Year). I've been using the two books alongside each other now for two months and i'm so happy I made the change. This fits my life and that's why it works!

Get to Work Book

My Carpe Diem Planner story

C xx


Using my knitting/crochet planner

I can't believe I've been using this planner for 6 months already!

WP planner list page

K&C planner project page written

KC journal notes pages

KC journal inventory pages

KC journal diary pages

It is so nice to keep all my yarn craft information in one place, and handy in my current WIP bag. I've used random notebooks over the years with little success. The fact that I can add and move pages as well as sections around this planner has meant I can make it work for me. Along with the TO MAKE list and project pages, I have printed notes pages, recorded what needles and hooks I own and use the diary to record how long each project takes me. This has come in very handy when I write up a finished object post here on the blog.

The personal size is perfect for this type of planner/journal. However if I was doing designs then maybe the A5 size with some grid paper would be the better option. I'm not at that stage yet, but perhaps one day!

C xx


Overwhelmed

Craft room 1 29 07 16

Craft room 2 29 07 16

All crafters can relate to the feelings of being overwhelmed. I am often overwhelmed, and feeling that way right now.

Crafters collect stash, and I have done a good job over the past 13 years of paper and yarn crafting to amass a serious amount of stuff. I have a craft area, in a spare bedroom, which I share with my dear husband, our treadmill and various desks and shelf units.

It's a mess. An area of chaos.

And it's time to clean up!

I am one of those people that needs a tidy system. It takes me months (maybe years) to come up with a practical solution to a storage/organisation problem. And if I've factored in all elements it works. Two big projects I have tackled and succeeded in this year are my coat cupboard and herb & spice storage (I'll blog them later in the year). Both took a lot of planning and foresight and the reason they succeeded is the elements (ie shoes/coats/herbs and spices) don't grow at the rate that yarn craft stash does.

And this is what I am battling to get a hold of. I know I will never catch up with the projects on my TO MAKE list but I keep adding more than I finish in a month. This has a direct impact on my yarn storage because an added project is also accompanied by a bag of yarn. Yes I am impulsive and when I want to make something I print the pattern and buy the yarn.

The idea of taking the elements (yarn) and deciding on the best storage solution is just not viable. This is an ever changing growing stash.

So i'm posting these photos on my blog to hold me accountable and encourage the eventual successful solution to this storage and organisation problem.

Stay tuned (although I may be a while) for the result!

C xx


Preserving memories and photo printing

Cheerz1

Cheerz2

Cheerz3

Back in 2015 I posted about my journey into uploading my phone photos to snapfish and creating photobooks. I love that I can still preserve memories in a creative way even though I no longer scrapbook.

However during 2016 I have combined my love of daily diary writing with creativity and memory keeping. I will talk more (in September) about how my Carpe Diem planner has evolved into a memory book but for now I wanted to talk about the company I use to print photos from my phone.

They're called Cheerz and they do the cutest instamatic style prints in such great quality! I have tried a few of the phone app printing companies and so glad I found these guys. (PS. not receiving anything for these words, they are my own and I pay for all my prints).

So it's easy peasy, you just pop the app on your phone, allow it access to your photos, upload what you want printed and pay. It takes a couple of days to get to you and VOILA, you have memories in your hands! As I take most of my photos square for uploading to instagram I love that I don't need to alter them to fit the instamatic style that Cheerz uses. I also love that their app is pretty user friendly, cause I can't do over complicated!

My plan is to get into a habit of uploading and printing photos every two weeks so I can keep on top of it and not worry about printing doubles or forgetting to print.

I hope you have good results with Cheerz if you choose to use them!

C xx


Pay day shopping list

Pay day shopping list

I love to shop! And I like to make my money go as far as possible! For this I use a pay day shopping list. A little list of things I would like to spend my hard earned money on when pay day arrives. I don't mean that I spend it all on pay day but I like to have an idea of what I want to buy when that pay cheque hits my bank account.

I'm also not an implusive shopper as the recent purchase of a Longchamps Le Pliage bag will prove. I saw a bag on a TV show in February 2013, and photographed the screen to share on Facebook to see if anyone knew what bag it was. I didn't get the exact one but was directed to the Longchamps Le Pliage bag and I instantly fell in love. I saw one in real life a few months later and knew I loved it enough to have one. As I was only going to have the one I wanted to be sure on size and colour. In January 2015 I decided on the size but didn't have the cash so would need to wait a bit longer. I nearly bought it in South Africa last December but they didn't have the colour I really wanted. And then in April 2016 when I had the money I planned a trip to Stamford in Lincolnshire where there is a shop I knew had them and I was going to buy it.

Now to be honest I don't think everything through for so long but I know in my heart that half the stuff I think I want and need will not be as important in a few weeks. Or I'll think 'seriously woman, you have a million (and that is only a very slight exaggeration) baskets already!' and I won't be tempted buy another one. Although to be fair, the one on the list pictured is very different to any of the others that I own.

Anyway I guess the point is that I don't always need and want everything I see and if I think about it just a little bit I can curb my spending and the stuff I bring in my house that adds to the clutter and ultimately ends up in a charity shop, village fete tombola or the council tip!

Did I mention that it's pay day tomorrow!!

Ciao xx


Project planning pages

K&C planner project dashboard

K&C planner project page blank

K&C planner project page written

The lovely Carol at PracticalPaperShop made these super cool knitting and crochet project plan pages for me yesterday. I cannot tell you how excited I am about these and how much I love this cactus collection! I'm seriously considering changing my whole planner to this theme.

I've printed these double sided and the crop marks make cutting to size easy peasy. Carol is lovely and i'm sure if you wanted these pages in one of the other collections she would help you out!

My knitting and crochet planner is back in my hand bag because I can't stop looking at the new pages, lol

Ciao xx


Carpe Diem Planner - Part 2

CDP front of month page

CDP monthly quote page

CDP this month page

CDP month ruler

CDP March

CDP today ruler

A bit like diaries, I have had my fair share of planners and not managed to use one all year, or even for a few months at a time. I decided that if I could keep a diary in 2015 then I would treat myself to a new planner. I really wanted to split the appointments & plans and my daily thoughts into two separate books.

As this year has moved on and my commitment to daily diary entries has been proved I started to allow myself to do a bit of planner research. I read all the reviews and scrutinised each planner on the market and finally settled on the Carpe Diem planner. There are so many amazing planners on the market and this is such a personal choice but here's what I loved about this planner. I can add, move and get rid of stuff. Simple as that. I wanted a planner that I could adapt to me, that I could use for my yarn projects and blog planning as well as the every day. There are so many great planner printables that can be added to this folder too. This is a great base for me to adapt to suit me.

I am having the most fun getting the planner set up to start using in January!

The monthly divider tabs are plastic coated and is of a sturdy thick card with each page sporting a lovely image or quote. There is a double page month view, which is undated for you to personalise. Each month has a THIS MONTH page for birthdays, goals, important dates and don't forget. The planner came with weekly inserts but you have the option to buy daily pages. I have stuck with the weekly pages for now as i'm at work for 8.5 hours a day and don't need to plan that! The daily/weekly pages are undated too so you can stamp, handwrite or sticker your dates on!

The options for making this planner your own are endless and even though I won't be using it until January, I already have it in my handbag and can't stop admiring it :) Silly I know but I LOVE it!

#plannerlove

Ciao xx