April 2015 Memory Book Pages

Recently there was a podcast on The Paperclipping Roundtable about scrapping 8.5×11 and I really enjoyed the discussion and experimentation that folks are going through in terms of combining traditional pages with Project Life pockets and inserts. I believe that the mix of page sizes gives me flexibility to match the stories I want to tell and the ephemera I want to keep. It totally makes sense to me that not every story warrants the same physical size of documentation. I think that is why Project Life became so popular… all those little stories that would have never made it into a traditional scrapbook page layout.

Here’s my set of April memory book pages and inserts. This time around I printed a lot of full-sized photos from the various events we did as a family. The very first page is actually a regular page protector with lots of confetti inside. I only wanted to include a 4×6 card, but it’s too small for the 3 ring binder system, so this was my way to create a see-thru page and holder for the card.

LTieu-2015-apr-memorybook2

Again, I am still loving the mix of full pages and various inserts and ephemera. It does take a bit more work when it comes to irregular sizes and matching up back and fronts. The only annoying point this month was that I used matte photo paper for my prints. I started to miss the sheen and shine of glossy photo paper. Somehow, I need to find an in between, not too glossy and plasticish, but not matte either. Hmm…

Embellishments and project life cards are from the April Project Life® Kit that I subscribe to by Studio Calico plus stuff in my stash. Simplicity is definitely the key to getting things documented without much fuss.

Finally, my worry is still in regards to how fat this book will become. Not even half the year has gone by, but it seems pretty full already! Eeek!

How is your scrapbooking and memory keeping going?

 

Happy Print Club May 2015 Release

Happy May Monday to you and that means a new set of releases at Happy Print Club! Have you seen the latest card designs that you can print immediately at home?

HPC-2015-May

 

If you haven’t heard, Happy Print Club is my latest adventure into the world of digital printable stationery. Checking the mail can be boring these days, but when a handwritten note arrives it’s instant smiles for the recipient. Don’t you just love happy mail?

Let’s get back to handwritten thank you notes, birthday cards and just saying hello letters! Enter my little online stationery club, a collection of beautifully designed cards at your fingertips with new monthly releases. All greeting cards include matching envelopes that you can print instantly and as a club member you have access to the entire library of past releases.

Yes, that means you can technically join for a month and download everything at once. It’s up to you… I figure in the end I’ll still be spreading my designs into the world and promoting letterwriting, so it’s all good.

Of course, I hope you will want to join me on this digital stationery journey and keep coming back for the new designs.

If you are interested, get all the member information details here. Paper lovers and stationery hoarders unite – happy snail mailing!

 

Blog Parade Link-Up: May 2015

LTieu-Blog-Parade-Banner

It’s May 2015!

This is the monthly blog parade link-up so we can check-in every month to share the work we have been creating. Every step forward, no matter how small counts! Blog about your latest and greatest and share the DIRECT link to your blog post below.

On social media feel free to use hashtag #bplinkup

Can’t wait to see what you have been up to!


How To Get Back On Track When You Are Losing Steam

LTieu-ontrack

Losing Steam

Some days you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and feel like blah. Perhaps you are physically tired, anxious, uncertain, generally out of sorts… all of the above?

It can be a struggle to get out of bed and start your day. You feel like you have so much to do, but you can’t get yourself to be productive.

Are you losing steam? Losing motivation? Is this failure? Are you giving up on your dreams?

Doubts immediately swirl in – what you are doing with your life and if it’s worth it or going anywhere at all. The inner critic starts to take over…

I know the feeling and I know how unhelpful it can be to wallow in all of those depressing thoughts. This kind of dip is inevitable, because we all have these kind of downer days. The question is, how do we snap ourselves out of it?

Get Back On Track

The trick is to have an arsenal of tools that will snap you back into positivity and action. We will all have different options that will work for us, so it’s important to explore and identify your unique triggers. Here are some ideas:

  • Re-energize: What activities actually build up your energy level? Usually surfing the internet is draining and not at all restful even if it seems like a zombie mode of intaking inspiration. Perhaps it’s better to get outside? Get some exercise? Go to a bustling cafe and grab your favorite drink? Take a hot shower? What does it for you? What helps you to snap out of lethargy?
  • Self-care and love: You might just need some pampering and self-love. Does that mean a spa day or scenic drive? A red velvet cupcake or a steamy cappuccino while reading your a book quietly? We all need downtime and some TLC. Have you been neglecting yourself?
  • Revisit your mission: Whether it’s the mission statement for your business or your life mission statement, it’s a good idea to regularly revisit the core “why” – the guiding light that defines all we do. Many people have a favorite quote or a poster stuck on their wall as a reminder of what drives us to do what we do, day-to-day.
  • Friends and loved ones: I think we often forget that as humans we are social animals and sometimes it could be that isolation is contributing to our downward spiral. It’s important to interact and be social. Oftentimes, friends and loved ones will help trigger your usual self and get you back on track. They will provide you with unconditional love and support… so use it! Maybe you just need a hug?

Remember that we all have bad days, when everything just seems off. Help yourself by taking note of what helps you get out of that darkness and always know that tomorrow is another day!

What methods do you use to help you get back on track when losing steam?

Creative Success In Just 10 Minutes A Day

LTieu-creativesuccess

In talking to many creatives online, I’ve realized that so many of us are blocked and stuck in paralysis. We have dreams and goals, but feel that it’s too far fetched, too difficult or too late to start working towards them.

I want to help us break through the false impression that success only happens with massive action and investment (whether it’s time and/or money).

I’m certainly not against the times in our lives when a major change certainly can kick us into action… but on a day-to-day basis, experience tells me that just 10 minutes a day can lead to success.

We often underestimate the power of incremental change and progress. Consider that 10 minutes a day is over 60 hours of time in a year. That’s like spending more than a month of business work hours – straight – on one project… and that is a substantial amount of time for many types of projects.

When I became a mom, I had to learn the hard way to make use of all the little bits of in-between time I had available to me. The luxury of giant blocks of free time are rare! And if you think about it, the availability of little chunks of time is much greater in our lives today. Waiting in lines, the transition times between errands and tasks, the few minutes before your day starts or day ends… lots of little pockets of time. It makes so much sense to learn to make use of them, rather than just letting them pass you by.

To give you some examples of how 10 minutes a day can lead to success for various projects and goals, consider this:

  • Daily doodle/drawing/pattern/collage projects even with a quick 10 minutes means you will have 365 entries at the end of a year. Even if you skip days you would have still accomplished a lot. That is why I love 100 day challenges or daily routines of that sort. It’s a great way to develop a creative practice routine.
  • Daily exercise like a set of crunches, lunges or stretching poses. It always seems like nothing, but if you actually take action for 10 minutes a day, you’ll be surprised how much more fit you’ll be after a year of practice. Again, even if you skip a few days, the results are still better than doing nothing. This kind of practice can be as simple as a 10 minute walk around your work building at lunchtime!
  • Meditation for 10 minutes a day. It’s a great way to give yourself that calming, centering time. You’ll be surprised how this simple practice might change the way you feel the rest of the day! Not to mention, it helps when you are going through a difficult situation – deep breaths, right?

You might agree with the fact that daily routines are great, but perhaps have trouble keeping up. So how do you set yourself up for success when it comes to nurturing a daily routine?

  • First you have to set up the goal or activity you are wanting to accomplish. Keep it simple and realistically possible for a short period of time.
  • Then you have to simply make it easy for you to jump in and spend those 10 minutes of time when it comes along. Like having your sketchbook always ready and available. Or memorizing those exercises you want to do, so you can break them out anytime anywhere.
  • The point is to set yourself up for success and just keep moving forward day by day, chipping away at it.
  • Finally, don’t let a missed day trip you up. Think of every single day as a new start. Doing something sometimes, is better than nothing all the time.

Daily routines work for so many creatives and if you ask anyone who has achieved any kind of success, they will inevitably tell you it’s the slow and steady work of chipping away at the task.

If you need a bit of motivation, think of declaring your intentions in public or getting a partner or buddy who wants to do this routine with you. Accountability works and community motivates! Generally you can also keep your eye on the prize and visualize all that you will accomplish by the end of the year.

LTieu-sketchbook012

I’ve embarked on the #100DayProject, posting my simple pencil sketches on Instagram daily. It’s a small creative exercise, but it’s about keeping my drawing muscles flexed and turns out to be a fountain for inspiration. A simple creative play exercise can turn into a full-fledged idea and project!

Are you ready for creative success?