Monday, February 22, 2010

Organize your Stuff Challenge: Week 7 Ideas

Its OK PA me... You can do this..."Hello. My name is Scrappnbee. It has been one day since I last procrastinated." There, that wasn't so bad. I apologize for falling off the Procrastinators Anonymous waggon during my triple whammy of Valentines/ President's Weekend and the Olympics. Darned you handmade Valentines mini albums!! ...and taped delayed west coast feed of Olympics until Midnight!!! (sorry, my internal monologue is broken again). After last Monday came and went, I kept saying...I'll get to it... I'll get to it... But isn't that the PA Me way?

OK. Now to Idea week (a week late). I have several books of ideas...easy, put them on the shelf. Ta-dah! Cue Bon Jovi: Ohhh, I'm half way therrre...

Now to the magazines. This is where the PA me and the Inner Hoarder (who has been plotting a coup since Paper week...I swear!) finally overpowered the POW, tied her to a bed and started an audio book of Misery by Stephen King, by shamelessly bribing OCD Me. Confused? I blame the message board and double sided print in magazines. No, I blame myself for being sidetracked by shiny objects, ideas, and the Olympics, and really lacking the motivation to cut into magazines which I have hauled around, and I confess, yes, Hoarded, for 8 moves in 12 years.

For years, early in my scrapping career, when I had less kids, more free time and more income, I had the subscriptions, and bought the magazines off the rack, and I was inspired. As I have grown, I tend to use them less and less (they are still in their moving box from May '08 right now), and rely more on my own sense of style in scrapbooking. However, they still have a special spot in my heart and I love to look back at them...yes, I realize that this IS the classic definition of Hoarding. I am owning the fact that I just said in a box since '08 and love to look at in the next sentence. Just do not report me to Clean House with Niecy Nash. Promise?

I just couldn't do it. It is like looking at that band aid that has been on your (insert hairy body part here) and you can not do it... OK, if it is your kid you can, but if it is you... I could not do it. I know, I am weak. And the solution that would be least painful would be to scan my magazine ideas, but I am not a look at my laptop and review my scanned ideas kind of gal. I am more tactile than that. For goodness sake, I took my Becky Higgins Sketches and took it to Staples and had the covers laminated and then re-bound with a spiral spine.

And then, there was the fact that the magazine editors chose to print on both sides of the paper! I mean seriously! Shouldn't they know that at some point we would like to remove some of these ideas and keep them? Some of the ideas that I like the most were multi page events, especially on some of those earlier magazines like Simple Scrapbooks where they showed beginner, more advanced, and a scrap book store threw up on my layout. Ive' tried, but I will never be an "advanced" scrapbooker. It is just not my style. (But to those of you who are, I think your scrapbooks are works of art and I envy you).
Leighanne1941 from the site had the most awesome binder that she decorated and kept all of her ideas in page protectors. Thank you Leighanne1941!!! Ahhhh...clear page protectors....hmmmm. The POW was excited. She had a way to make this happen!

Coup. Seriously. Right then and there. Suddenly OCD me kicked in, egged on by the Inner Hoarder, and that other person nobody likes and with whom we almost never play...Budget Me. OCD Me wanted to figure out how we planned to sort these ideas, what do we do if side A is a keeper, and side B is a keeper, but they belong in different categories... My brain was beginning to shut down... and the budget... yeah. I have blown through that and left it in the dust. But, going la-la-la while looking at your checkbook will only last so long. She was the one who was most aggressive in tying down the POW and picking out the soundtrack for the POW once OCD me told her the cost of making this step in organizing happen. This year we have an actual Spring Break travel for a family of 5 is on the horizon, and so I needed to pace myself, especially since I paid cash for plane tickets two weeks ago.

So, I finished my 3 mini albums (from my LSS, but designed by Kerry, one of the founders of who are awesome!), never got to my layout, gave over my laptop to my Oldest Child for... whatever it was he wanted (Boy Scout Merit Badge stuff I think...but probably games too), ran around for swim lessons, scouts, grocery shopping, fixing a broken dryer door, stuff not scrap related, and assumed a vegetative state in front of the TV to watch all things Olympic. I did manage (yesterday) to get two 3-inch D ring binders to decorate while zoning over said all things Olympic. That's progress, right?

The only silver lining is that Fabulous Spouse is also in an Olympic induced catatonic trance, and he has not yet realized that I am a week behind. So for Nantini/ Nancy and all of the others who are still recovering from paper week, I FEEL your pain, you are not alone, and I pinky promise to do better for next week, as long as I can keep my personalities in line!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Organize your Stuff Challenge: Week 6 Photos

Wow! What a week! This week was photos week (as the title implies). I am feeling just slightly bi-polar this week, and I guess that is a good way to describe my photo storage. I am beginning to feel like Zen Master Wookiemouse's Challenge weeks are like Star Trek movies...where every other one leaves you just a little disgruntled, but you keep coming back for more (sorry non Trekkies). Here is my layout. It took me a while...and yes, I confess, I went to my local scrapbook store and bought new paper for it (but come has Legos!!!). Ok, I know, My name is Scrappnbee, and I have a problem...

Paper was ROUGH. Scraps was easy. Photos made me want to find Inner Hoarder's corner and rock. Now, you may be a one camera family, but I have been blessed... or cursed... with a gadget guy for a dad (Love you, Daddy!). So, back in the pre-digital day, I had:

1. ...a fabulous 35mm Cannon, which had been an eighth grade graduation gift... but was too expensive to go to college...

2. ...the college, one step up from disposable, camera...

3. ...Fabulous Spouse's college camera

4. ...Advantix Camera, wedding present by gadget guy Dad ...since you could now take 3x5, 4x6, and panorama in same shot...

The problem with this, I have one roll of film that has both honeymoon pics and my first child's delivery room pics. OCD me refuses to separate these photos until they can be converted to digital, and practical POW me really cannot argue...after all, the Advantix rolls are .59-.79 a frame to convert to digital. With over 30 rolls of Advantix film alone... you can see where I began to shut down. Even Fabulous Spouse, looking over photos with me on Friday, was willing to give me a bye... (I think that he is in denial about football season being over).

This morning, I was still in the same place I was on Friday night, but it was Monday, I had a blog to do, and a layout to complete (yes, PA Me was doing a bizarre happy dance and using the mountains of photos in lieu of shiny objects). So, thank you dear readers, as I have hopefully inspired you, you arm twisted PA Me, and we got to work. I realize, just as Zen Master Wookiemouse said, that this was a multi week program, which allowed OCD to breathe a little easier (she really, really wants organization...and this quandary was not helping her). My husband treated me to lunch at our local Brewery (they have the best Beer and Cheddar soup), to give me a little liquid courage... and off I went to do the best that I could with what I had.

Did you know that the photo boxes that Michaels and JoAnn's sell are strictly for 4x6? I don't know why that did not cross my mind... or that my father would print all of my wedding photos in 5x7? (I love you Daddy!...again) I bought 12 of these in January! I can do this.

OK, OCD Me, where to start? I decided that starting with our wedding year (I just laid those flat in the photo box), I would color code each year with a 4.25 x 7 card (yes, the photo box will hold 4.25 x 7...just not 5 x 7). Then I went to town on any photos that were not Advantix or larger than 4 x 6.

Surprisingly, once I got started, it went along pretty well...and golly, I took a lot of pictures of my first born child! (Sorry Middle Child and Girl Friday). By the time my kids got home from school, I was almost done, and by dinner time, I had 3 boxes sorted, 4 boxes of need to scan then sort, a Cropper Hopper file for my big pictures (you know, school, soccer, T-ball, etc...). and a box with those danged panoramas I thought was so cool when my Advantix was new. Ta-da! My inner procrastinator was pouting...a little. She and OCD me were deep in thought...and the POW was trying to work out a budget with the Inner Hoarder who was not sure she wanted to let the negatives out of the house. Maybe that is why negatives week is so far away... Here is my After...or as after as it is going to get for now. Not to bad, eh?

Ok. Easy part- digital. (It is like good Ash, bad Ash...or digital is the up to my hard copy photo down... -I told you I was feeling bi-polar!). I have a 1TB (yes, a Tera-byte...I am my father's daughter, after all) external back-up drive thanks to Black Friday 2008. Once a month, I upload pics to an online photosite (more frequently during special events so that I can photoshare), and I keep a copy on my desktop computer, filed by year. Inside the year file, I keep the photos stored by datestamp and an identifier (like I said before...mommy braincell atrophy...should have had more fun in college)...example-02-14-10a Kids dressed for Valentines, 02-14-10b Valentine dinner at Local Bistro ...because 2 years from now, I won't remember where we went, only that the tapanade was fabulous but the service ho-hum.
I still have my 35 mm, and I do give my kids the throw away cameras, but I have learned my lesson from the Zen Master, develop both of these with a digital copy, and then upload it with the rest to the computer, so that I never have to worry about this again ...and can print it out when I am ready to scrap.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Organize your Stuff Challenge: Week 5 Scraps

For me, scraps is a pretty easy week. Sorry. To answer this week's challenge question:Do you use your scraps? Yes, I do use scraps, but so does my little girl. Girl Friday eyes them like a lioness waiting for that one stray beast to slip from the herd... then *BAM* ...before you know it, it is gone from the stash forever. Needless to say, I have zero pink scraps, and surprisingly fewer 12x12 pink pages than I recall purchasing. A moment of silence, for those poor scraps who have given their lives so that the rest may live on.

Creative me was inspired by my stash of 3 and 4 inch strips for this week's LO. Most of my scraps fit into this category. I think that is mostly because I "cheat" and make 8x8 albums for the year in review that send out for Mother's Day. ( addition to getting organized, my goal this year, Mom, is that you will get your Mother's Day album before August...take that PA Me).
This is my before pile. No, don't hate me for having so little to organize. As I said before, you, at least, have the color pink as an option on scrapbook day. The green folder has all of my strips and patterned, black, and white scraps, the pile of smaller squares came with kits that have since been absorbed into my 12x12 misc. papers, and the iris case has paper waiting to be sacrificed to Girl Friday... I can only give her a little at a time. It is like having a starving termite. One sheet or 50, the paper is consumed in minutes, and she is back for another.

PA Me got to take charge, again, for a while this week, while the POW was worried about other things. I kept looking at how little the pile was, and getting distracted by bigger things. This week was Pinewood Derby week for my middle child...and for those of you who have had boys in Scouts... it is an operation more tricky than herding cats, with both boys' and mens' egos at stake. It matters not that the boy wanted to anything but work on his car, on race day, magically he had better win! (Not to brag, but...Mine came in 2nd in his den and 7th in the Pack Finals!...)

Thank goodness for easy weeks though, as the POW put her foot down. PA Me finally had a choice, clean bathrooms or sort the scraps. Scraps won (go figure). So, I emptied my accordion... and found a marble (no money this month, darn!) I sorted my strips ROYGBIV and put them back. Girl Friday got 2 of them. I just was not fast enough!. The other scraps were sorted by size then color and put in two $1 WalMart CD cubes. Ta-Da! Done. Scraps-After.
I think that I have achieved my yellow belt in Organization. Next week will be a doosy (photos, agghhh!)!