Do Not Disturb!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Just because I don't have a craft room, doesn't mean I can't have one of these.  In fact, I probably need it more than ever.

Hee, hee - what do you think?  I see it coming in very handy although I also see little faces and hands at the door, squealing to be let in.  Oh well, I'll give it my best shot!
It was seriously simple to make and is one of those spur-of-the-moment, quick projects I love.

My chevron fabric wasn't very thick so I cut out an extra piece of plain white fabric (from the same old white sheet I made the little ladybug drawstring bags from) just as a backing so that not as much light would shine through.  I then printed directly onto the chevron piece using my home printer (I explained how to do this in my Ladybug post) and then just popped it into the embroidery hoop. 
That's it.  Done.  In minutes. 

And when I'm not able to have any solo "Martha" time, I just hang it by my desk - which to be honest is probably where it will remain if my kids and husband have anything to do with it.  Still, I don't mind - it gives me a little smile every time I glance over at it.
What do you think?  Have you ever put up a "Do Not Disturb" sign?  Has it worked? Do your kids just laugh at you.  Pffft, what am I thinking?  If I can't even go to the bathroom in peace ...
Oh, future house with its expansive craft room, I just cannot wait to meet you.

Personal Planner {Giveaway}

Friday, January 18, 2013

Yes, it's true!  A Giveaway!  I have mentioned at least a couple of times that if I was a big and serious blog I would have a giveaway.  Well, guess what?  I'm still not a big or serious blog but the very beautiful people at Personal-Planner have offered me a GORGEOUS personal planner to give away to one of my very lucky (and also beautiful) readers!  I know, I can't actually believe it myself.  I am thrilled to pieces, especially because it is such a lovely, useful, practical, awesome bit of organisational goodness.

So, why do I love this planner?
It was founded by a husband who listened to his wife and made her something she couldn't find elsewhere.  Isn't that romantic?
You can totally personalise the planner to suit your needs - change the colours, change the internal layout, add important dates and choose your start date.
You can design the front and back cover. Your family can totally star on the front (or your dog, you, whatever photo you choose).  I love that. Or you can choose from one of the gorgeous designer edition covers, which are super sweet.
It comes in 4 sizes.  My personal favourite is the A5 size which will fit in my bag and is a handy size for carrying around.
It's spiral bound, which means it can lay flat - another personal fave.

You want one, right?  I think you NEED one.  If you would like the chance to make up your very own personal planner to the value of $45 then enter below.  Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to everyone.  The voucher cannot be exchanged for money.  The giveaway is open now and will end on Thursday 24th January 2013 at midnight (Perth WST).  The winner will be announced in this post by rafflecopter and on Facebook on Friday 25th January 2013. The winner will need to claim their prize within 3 days otherwise the prize will be redrawn.

"Personal-Planner" provided me with a planner.  The above is my true and honest opinion of their product.

It's time to get organised! {free printable}

Monday, January 14, 2013

What's your favourite room in your house? I'm guessing it's probably your bedroom (ahhh, sleep), your lounge-room (ahhh, the couch) or perhaps your bathroom (ahhh, sanctuary - lock the door).  Mine is our study or home office.  Don't get me wrong, I love our lounge-room too, or more specifically the couch, but I have always loved our study.  I think because it's home to our books, our photos, the computer, a comfy old wingback chair (not shown in pic) and our phone, and a lot happens in here.  It's where the bills get paid, it's where we talk, it's where I shop we shop, it's where I get my craft on, it's where we communicate with friends, it's where I pin memorable or interesting "stuff", it's where Project Life lives - I guess it's the "business" centre of our home. It's also comfortable, it's generally pretty tidy (= clear head for Mumma), it's homely and I always feel relaxed in here.  It has sort of become my "quiet place" (that is, of course, until I move into our future home which will have a whole room dedicated to me and all things "Martha"!).

However (and there's always a "however", isn't there?), despite its neat appearance, there's a mountain of work that needs to be done in here.  There is a ridiculous amount of filing that has been accumulating for far too long, there are bills to be paid (when aren't there bills to be paid), the drawers are a mess, the filing system badly needs attention and there are photo albums to be filled.  I could honestly spend every day for a month in here and still not get everything done ... and when do we EVER have that sort of spare time?

So, I am making a small, slow start.  I am focussing on just one little area.  My 2013 calendar and my 2013 Project Life Photo Planner.

Towards the end of December, I realised I didn't have a 2013 calendar but because I normally get one for Christmas or I get a free one with a magazine subscription, I just expected that one would appear.  One didn't.  The other thing I needed was a 2013 photo planner for Project Life.  I used one from The Organised Housewife for all of 2012 (thanks Katrina!) and it proved INVALUABLE for keeping track of and keeping up with the photos I took for Project Life - without it I would've for sure fallen behind within the first few months.

For the calendar, instead of rushing out and buying one, I just made one up myself in Word.  I used one of their standard templates and then just changed it around a bit, added a few things here and there and then just printed out an entire year.  Easy.
For the photo planner, I decided to make up my own this year - one that exactly suited my needs.  The one from The Organised Housewife is absolutely fine but I wanted to include some extra information that would be helpful to me.  For example, sometimes I'll take a photo with my i-phone and sometimes I'll use my Nikon and if I don't note it down somewhere, at the end of the month when I upload my photos for print, I have a hard time remembering which camera I used.  And because some of Project Life's layouts are made up of varying print sizes i.e. 6x4, wallet, square etc., I also added in a column to note down the print size - rather than trying to work it out at the end of each month, or whenever it is you print. 

My 2012 planner sat on my desk, which was great because it was close by but annoying too because it added to the paper clutter.  I still wanted my new one to be close, to record photos taken easily, but I didn't want it on my desk again.  I decided it might be nice to hang both the planner and calendar together, on clipboards.  And why settle for a plain old clipboard when you can pretty one up with some bright paper, right?
The Supplies for the clipboard.  I decided to use the other side of the scrapbooking paper.
It's the first time I have covered a clipboard and I actually expected it to be a pretty painful process but it was simple.  I just traced around the clipboard onto the scrapbooking paper, cut it out and stuck it on using Modge Podge.  I gave it an extra coat of Modge Podge all over for durability.  Now it's all fun and pretty.

If you are Project Life'ing this year yourself, I have included the Planner here for you.  I promise you, it is THE BEST Project Life assistant and will keep you on track and organised!

So, here they are - the Calendar and the Planner - together, on the wall, off my desk and ready to head "organised-like" into 2013!  What do you think?  Do you like my little solution?

Now, I really had better get on with that filing ... although there's always tomorrow ...

Learning with Ladybugs {free template}

Thursday, January 3, 2013

While I was doing my Christmas shopping a few weeks back, I came across so many
gorgeous little learning games & activities and of course I wanted to buy them all but I had bought so much already that I just had to stop looking!  One particular little game made it all the way to the counter with me but while I was waiting to pay for it I had enough time to work out that I could probably make my own version - saving myself some money (I really had spent enough already) and allowing myself some fun "Martha" indulgence!

This is the little learning game that inspired me - a colourful and bright colour-matching game using ladybugs and leaves.  It can also be used for simple sums - counting the bugs in and out of the bag - or for just plain old imaginative play - "look, the ladybugs are hiding under the leaves", "the ladybugs are going on an adventure" etc.  So cutesy and fun - I was sold straight away.

This is how I put my version together.  I did have a "supplies" photo to add here but I accidentally deleted all my project photos from my camera and was only able to recover some of them. :(
  • I drew a leaf in Word as my template - which you can download here if you like :)
  • I drew a ladybug in Word as my template - also downloadable here :)
  • I printed the ladybugs onto white fabric (I actually used bits of an old bed sheet) using my home printer (yes, you read correctly - on my printer!  I will explain how to do this further down)
  • I cut out the ladybugs and made them into buttons using a fabric covered buttons kit
  • I cut out four different coloured leaves from felt.  I used two sheets of felt for my leaves and sewed them together but if you prefer a "no sew" option then just use a single sheet of felt and draw on the detail with a paint pen
  • I made a basic little drawstring bag to contain it all otherwise the ladybugs would for sure fly off to foreign lands never to be seen again!
Ladybugs printed directly onto the fabric!

And that's it.  I'm pretty sure it's the cutest little thing I have ever made.

Now, for the very exciting, very clever, very sneaky "print on fabric" bit.  It really is super easy and I have no idea why I haven't tried it before.  You just cut up a piece of fabric (thin is preferable) to A4 size and stick it to a piece of A4 paper using spray adhesive.  Make sure the fabric and paper are nicely stuck together with no bubbles.  Pop it in your print tray and print.  Ta da!  You've just printed on fabric!  Oh, think of the possibilities!  And, because our little bugs are going to be well handled, I gave them a very light spray of hairspray to seal the ink otherwise it would probably end up rubbing off.

So there you have it.  A very cute, colourful, home-made "ladybug-love" learning activity perfect for little hands and minds.  Do you think you would make something like this yourself?  Please make sure you share if you do - I'd love to see your version!