Creative Time Management

Probably the number one question that I am asked on my YouTube channel is how I find the time to complete all of the different projects that I post.  It isn’t easy for sure, but I do manage to fit in a good amount of creative time into my weekly schedule despite having elementary aged kids at home over the summer.  No, I do not have an amazing miracle way that you can create more hours in your day.  But I thought I would share a little insight into how I manage my time, when I plan for my creative time, and how I make creativity a priority without shortchanging my family.

Getting my planning on!

I must first preface this all by making two statements:

  1. Creating content is my job.  I absolutely have to make time to create new projects every week and to film those projects or else I would have no new videos to release.  And as a YouTube content creator, I do not continue making money if I am not also continually releasing new content.  It is how the algorithm works, so I stay on top of it.  That being said, the actual creating is probably about 20% of the effort that goes into a typical video.  Once the creative project is complete there is photography to be done, editing and voice-overs, uploading and formatting, searching for product links, scheduling, and maintaining social media accounts so subscribers will know when new videos have been released.
  2. I do not always finish all my projects in a timely manner. Sometimes, I do not finish them at all.  That’s just how it happens when there are constantly new projects vying for my attention.  It is important to me to be authentic when sharing online.  If I am behind on a project or haven’t fully completed one, I like to share that.  Sometimes I can get caught up and other times I just have to let expectations go.  It happens to all of us!

Tips for Managing Creative Time

Tip #1 – Wake up earlier in the day to make time for your creativity.  For me, that means waking up at 5am most days.  With kids at home, this is my best chance to find a little bit of actual quiet time!  Generally, I wake up at 5am (with an alarm…don’t get crazy!), make coffee, and then head into my creative space for Bible study.  No craft supplies necessary.  I work through my Bible reading for the day, do a little bit of prayer journaling, and usually wrap up all of that around 6am.  Time to get creative!

Tip #2 – Choose a recurring project that starts your day but is not difficult.  Around 6am most days you can find me sitting at my desk working in my creative journal.  This journal has very few rules.  Sometimes I paint or get a bit more involved, but most days I am sticking stickers down, playing with pen colors, and topping it all off with washi.  You may have seen some of my morning journaling videos over on YouTube.  This practice helps spark my creativity for the day and also calms my brain a bit as the day gets going.  It is something that feels very natural because I have been doing it since the beginning of 2021.  Maybe creative journaling isn’t your thing.  Maybe you would prefer to work on a simple devotional like the 100 Days of Prayer first thing in the morning.  Maybe you want to do 3 row of crochet and call it a morning.  Perhaps you want to set aside 15 minutes each morning to print out pictures to scrap later, or to put stickers down in your planner.  Whatever creative practice you want to do, keep it simple and keep it consistent.  15 minutes is more than enough time to get a little creative energy flowing into your day.

Tip #3 – Take a mid-day creative break.  This is a new practice for me!  Generally, I record video in the mornings (early), and then break around 8am to take kids to camp or the pool or whatever activity is going on that day, and then return to editing those videos just after lunch time while my kiddos work in some quiet time. I work off and on until it is time to make dinner, getting as much done as my kids allow.  I used to save all my personal creative time for when I went to bed, but honestly was too exhausted most evenings to work on my own projects.  So, I decided to change it up!  Now I take a creative break in the middle of the day.  I reserve 20-30 minutes right after lunch to work on a project of my choice.  I do this even with a hefty to-do list looming over my head.  It has been so uplifting to know that I have this little break to look forward to each day, and generally it gives me an energy lift going into my afternoon work session.  I realize that this may be hard to do if you are working in a traditional office setting, but maybe you reserve the first 30 minutes when you get home from work for a creative push.  Do it before the dishes and before the laundry.  Limit the time and prioritize the activity!!

Tip #4 – Take note of the creative energy needed to work on a project.  Projects that are going to take more focus and thought need to be put at a time in the day when you actually have the energy to put into it.  By the time it gets to 7pm I am completely spent most days.  Often, I feel like the creativity is drained from me.  I tend to save easier projects or tasks like fussy cutting, decorating my planners, or coloring for the evening times.  There is zero chance that I will have the creative energy to construct a mini album from scratch at 8pm at night.  Nope, never going to happen.  I realize that is not the case for all people.  Rank your projects and place them at a time of the day that works with your brain!

Tip #5 – Make a plan and stick to it (as best you can!).  Consistency can actually breed creativity.  That might sound counter-intuitive, but I really think it is true.  Look at your week or month and schedule your creative time in advance.  Look forward to it!  Stick to your schedule!  Be consistent!  The more you do this, the more likely it is that your brain will be triggered as your approach those times of the day or month.  Of course, life happens, and schedules do not always stay the same.  It happens to all of us.  If you miss a creative date, that’s okay, get back on schedule as soon as you can.  You deserve to make your creativity a priority.  Carving out 30 minutes in a day is not selfish!

Tip #6 – Creativity on the go!  All my kids participate in sports. They also participate in Scouts.  They also have a million doctor and dentist appointments sometimes.  There is always a place we need to be followed by a million more places on the list.  I can’t really abandon them for my own personal creative time, because they deserve to get to participate in the activities they are passionate about as well.  Plus, they can’t drive!  So, I have several bags ready to throw in the car for creativity on the go.  Nothing complicated, but I can enjoy lettering practice while sitting at the soccer field.  Or I can work in my Cutie Keeper while they are enjoying swim lessons.  I do not have to sit idly by at all their practices and events, and I do not have to waste time on my phone either.  I bring my creativity with me!

Yes, managing your creative time can be difficult.  We all go through seasons of life when it feels next to impossible to carve out a little time to get creative, but it can be done!  It is not going to just happen by accident, no matter what stage of life you are in.  Be thoughtful about how you use your time, and you might just discover opportunities throughout your day to get your creativity flowing.

Keep it creative,

The Scrappy Wife

Why I Love Planning!

Don’t let my large collection of stickers fool you, I still feel a bit like a newbie when it comes to planning. (I’m an expert shopper though, hence the large collection of stickers!). I’ve always had a paper planner, and loved the feeling of being organized, but it wasn’t until the past year or so that decorative planning really grabbed my heart. It has become a HUGE creative outlet for me, and I am so thankful for the community I have found with fellow planners. Truthfully, I feel like “planner babes” are one of the most welcoming creative groups I have ever been a part of!

My planner journey started oddly enough at a PTA meeting. I brought my brightly colored planner with me to the meeting, but there wasn’t really much to it at that time. Maybe some colored pens and a small handful of stickers but not much else. However, it was enough to catch the eye of another mom who was sitting nearby. During the meeting, she leaned over and whispered, “Are you into planning?” A little surprised, I glanced over at her table and noticed a colorful planner and planner pouch sitting neatly in front of her. A planner friendship was born! It turned out that this mom was already meeting up with another mom that was into planning, and they invited me to come along. It actually took me a few months to say yes (hello, introvert!), but once I did, I loved it! And we even recruited a couple of other moms that had never placed a sticker in their lives, and who now gossip about all the planner sales with us! It turns out that planning led me to a beautiful, authentic group of moms who I truly don’t think I could do without!

That journey is what brought me to planners, but a whole new world of planners opened up to me once I started using Happy Planners. I had no idea that there were planners for all the things. My Type-A personality lit up! I now have planners for my everyday life, my business life, my faith life, my memory keeping, my mental health, and so much more. There is something about tracking your life and documenting it, about planning big things and little things, about filling your planner with inspiring quotes and soothing colors. It makes me so happy, and I am proud to say that I am a planner addict!

Several people have reached out to ask what my typical planning week looks like, so I thought I’d share a little. Throughout the week, I work on pre-planning in one planner type every day. The schedule looks a little like this:

  • Monday – Memory Planning
  • Tuesday – Faith Planning
  • Wednesday – Wellness Planning
  • Thursday – Catch-All Planner
  • Friday – Work Planner

I decorate each of those planners throughout the week, and then generally spend time on Sunday afternoon filling in the planners with the plans for the coming week. Every morning, the first planner I work in is my Faith Planner, which I write in during morning quiet time. After that I check in with my work planner and my catch-all planner to see what is coming up for the day. At lunch, I sit down with my wellness planner for a few minutes. And in the evenings, I usually check back in with my catch-all planner, fill out some gratitude notes, and then decide if I need to fill out a daily page for the next day. The evening is also the time when I work in my lettering planner, practicing some daily lettering. It may sound like a lot, but all of these have become a part of my routine, and I love it!

So, yes, I have a lot of planners and yes, I love working in my planners. They have helped me to keep all the things organized, set and accomplish goals, make some life-long friends, and connect with a whole new community that I didn’t even know existed. I am loving planning and will be continuing to share planning videos on my channel, because hey, that’s what I’m excited about these days! I’d love to hear if you are a planner and what your planning story is. Let me know in the comments below!

Keep it creative,

-The Scrappy Wife

Finding a Crafty Community

If we have learned anything in the past year, it is that community is so important. Finding a community of people to do life with, to share experiences with, to agree and then disagree with, to watch out for you, and to encourage you is vital to to full life! As a YouTube creator, and actually as a crafter in general, I spend so much of my time alone. I work out of my house, spending hours every day filming and editing. Crafters tend to like being near our supplies. Crafting and creating is how we unwind, and that is often done in the comfort of our own creative spaces. As an introvert, that is usually just fine with me. Plus, let’s be honest, community felt scary in the past year. Even when you put aside the pandemic, there were the mine fields of politics and social upheaval that caused a great deal of tension and insecurity. We wondered if we would be loved and accepted for who we are, and that is a scary thing to overcome.

However, in the past few months, I have had the feeling that something is missing. It’s been lonely in my craft room, and I found myself longing for community even more. I certainly have friends that love crafting just as much as I do, and I am super thankful for them. But, I wanted to meet new people, have some new experiences, and plug in to a larger crafter community. This desire was pulling at my heart strings a lot at the beginning of 2021, and I think that I am probably not alone. So many of us are desperate for connection. And yes, I feel like true connections can be forged even through simple shared experiences like crafting together!

I’ve tried a few different ways to find these type of connections, and there are certainly a lot of options out there. The groups I have found certainly are not an exhaustive list, but they are the groups that are bringing me a lot of joy these days!

Scrappy Besties

I had no idea that when I started a YouTube membership program a few months ago, that I would find such a wonderful group of women to connect with. Yes, my subscribers are all awesome and uplifting, but I had no idea what it would be like to connect over Zoom. I am obviously much more used to filming, receiving comments, and responding to them as often as I could. What would it be like to speak in real time? I’ll be honest I was so nervous! And, to be extra honest, I still have a little bit of anxiety before our meetings every other week, but that is because social anxiety will always be a part of my life. Despite my anxious feelings though, I have thoroughly enjoyed connecting with these ladies over Zoom. We talk, we craft, we talk some more. We laugh and share fun stories and commiserate with each other as well. In just a few months, I would truly say this has become a wonderful circle of crafty friends!

Fearless Foundations

I am not sure that there is anything like a shared experience to bring people together, even if that shared experience is online. In the month of May, I participated in Fearless Foundations, taught by Shawna Clingerman. This online class included a mixture of pre-recorded lessons, Facebooks lives (with tons of interaction in the comments) and Zoom calls where this amazing group of women from all over of the world connected over the feelings and emotions that we were sorting through. We cheered each other on, cried for each other, and prayed for each other. We sat together (over Zoom) through some difficult moments, and laughed hysterically at some crazy moments as well. It was a super cathartic experience, and a wonderful reminder that we all have so much in common!

The Legitist Retreat Evah

There is truly nothing like meeting a person face to face, getting to hear their voices, give them hugs, laugh over silly jokes, and sing songs together. I had never been to an in-person craft retreat before I headed to Kansas in June. I went to the Whatever Craft House at the invitation of Kelly Bangs, as a member of her Illustrated Faith Creative Team. She and her bestie, Paula G., had the desire to pull together all of the ladies on Kelly’s various creative teams, and allow them to meet in person, craft together, and relax for a weekend at one of the most perfect houses in the country. I was incredibly nervous to go. Like sick to my stomach nervous! (See my comment about social anxiety above.). I had never met any of these ladies in person, and I had the classic worries that they would find me boring or lacking in some way. What if I gave a bad impression and nobody wanted to talk to me?

Well, it turns out that I had absolutely nothing to worry about. These women were warm and welcoming. We were able to break the ice over a shared love of rainbows and vintage details. We all oohed and awed over each other’s craft projects all weekend long. Conversations came easily. This was a group of women from all over the country, different ages and different life stages. There were different views within the group of course, but there wasn’t any judgement. There was love and appreciation for the other women there. I left with my heart so very full! It turns out that in-person retreats do really make a difference. It can be expensive to travel of course, but I can guarantee that the Legistist Craft Retreat Evah certainly won’t be my last retreat!

Fussy Cuttin’ Cuties

As a result of hanging out with all of those amazing ladies in Kansas, I ended up joining the Fussy Cuttin’ Cuties. This is an online group run by Paula G and Kelly B that bonds over their shared love of crafting all the things and of course their love of the cute sayings that come from Paula G! This group has been around for about a year, and I had considered joining earlier, but something held me back. I was nervous about adding another project to my very full plate and feeling obligated to attend things that I didn’t have the time or energy for. It turns out that I completely missed the point! Yes, there are super cute printables and projects to do each month. Yes, there are online group activities that you are able to participate in on a regular basis. But, it isn’t about checking boxes and completing “assignments”. There is not grade at the end of each month. What you do find is a loving community of women. They post craft related content, but also share fun tidbits about their lives. They pray for each other and cry with each other when times are tough. They cheer on their fellow cuties who are stepping outside their comfort zones and starting new projects or new ventures. They laugh…a lot! I’ve only been in the group for a few weeks, and it has already brought me so much joy!

So, why am I sharing these things with you? First, I just wanted to put out my gratitude for these groups into the universe. It always feels so great to focus on the positive things that have happened in your life, and finding great friends is certainly something to celebrate! Secondly, I want to encourage you to put yourself out there and try to build some connections. I get the introverted thing, trust me. But, there is definitely something to be gained from connecting with others. And, personally, I feel like crafty people are the best people.

Keep it creative,

-The Scrappy Wife

The Whatever Craft House

Last weekend, I had the privilege to visit the happiest place on earth. And no, I don’t mean Disney World. I went to a small town in Kansas and stayed three nights at the Whatever Craft House. Located in Newton, Kansas, a charming town filled with antique shops and vintage details, the Whatever Craft House is a vintage craftsman house that stands on an unassuming corner lot. It has a beautiful exterior that is quite stately, but that is nothing compared to the interior!

The Whatever Craft House is named after Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

Philippians 4:8, NIV

The entire house is filled with details and touches of joy. Rainbows are absolutely everywhere. The bright colors are intermingled with gorgeous vintage details like ceiling beams and leaded glass windows. The house has a huge renovated kitchen, perfect for preparing meals and eating as a large group, which we did most days. The highlights of the kitchen are the “Whatever Is” sign that sets the tone for the entire house and the rack of rainbow mugs. There are so many gorgeous mugs that it is really hard to decide which one to use each day! I chose to change it up every day…there is nothing like delicious coffee out of a fun rainbow mug.

The living room was anchored by two large vintage couches and fun handmade pillows that brought in more pops of color. There were also several fun nooks where you could curl up for a bit of quiet time or to just sit and take in the beauty around you. I loved the pin map marked with small flags representing all of the people that had visited the Whatever Craft House previously. I had the honor of adding my own little pin! It’s so fun to see how this house has been treasured by other craft-loving ladies from around the country.

Large craft tables were set up in an adjacent room, and that is where we spent the majority of the weekend. The big open room allowed us to all be together, laughing and crafting away. We shared far too many fun moments to count, most of the time listening to some great classic tunes and singing right along as a group. Once again, the detail put into the decor was absolutely perfect. A beautiful mantel, perfect for displaying our projects had a big presence in the room. Artwork on the walls was bright and colorful, and the tables were set with vintage lamps to provide extra light for working late. Being a group of documenters, we quickly began discovering the best light throughout the whole house and would stage pictures throughout the day to capture that perfect light!

Upstairs consisted of 4 bedrooms, all beautifully adorned with vintage beds covered in colorful quilts. It felt like a fun sleepover every night! The wooden stair case and floors may creak a little, but that only adds to the charm of the house. My favorite feature of the upstairs was the 1903 detail added into the landing. So lovely, and oh so perfect for taking pictures.

And then, of course, there are the rainbow stairs. It’s hard to really describe how excited I was to see the rainbow stairs in person. I’ve actually had a picture of these exact stairs on my vision board for the past two years. They are just a set of back stairs beautifully painted in a rainbow color, but to me they represent so much more. To me, they represent so much creativity and light. They’ll always remind me of the time I took a little time for myself and was rewarded with new friends and inspiring experiences. I love those rainbow stairs, and I’ll be treasuring my pictures on those stairs forever!

It’s certainly never easy to take the time or the money to participate in a craft retreat. This was actually my very first one, but I can promise you that it will not be my last. If you ever get the opportunity to visit the magical Whatever Craft House, please jump on that chance! I promise you will not regret it!

Keep it creative,

The Scrappy Wife

Creativity on the Go – Packing for a trip!

Big news – I am going on a crafting retreat! I am so excited to be traveling to the Whatever Craft House soon for a crafting retreat, but I am also a bit anxious about it. I always bring creative tools with me whenever I travel. Mostly because, one of the ways I unwind is to spend a little time getting creative. And, how am I supposed to enjoy a vacation if I am not bringing along at least a little of my favorite hobby?!? “Have craft supplies, will travel” is kind of my motto!

Packing for a retreat of this type can be hard, especially when you are doing it for the first time, which I am. Yup, you read that right. I have never before in my life been on a craft retreat. I’ve done a one day Bible journaling retreat before, but a friend and I ran that, so the packing was certainly a bit different. It’s hard to know what to bring and just how much of it I need to bring. I am flying, so that certainly limits me. I don’t want to run out of projects to work on, but this is also supposed to be a time to relax and rest, so there is no need to pack an entire month’s worth of projects into a long weekend. Choices, choices, choices!

Before I started my packing list, I decided to start by listing out the projects I might want to work on. My thought is that I want to do a couple of lighter projects that can be done while visiting with others and enjoying their company. I am not sure that bringing my full Illustrating Bible would be a good idea, and I truthfully prefer to Bible journal by myself where I can get lost in thought. I am also trying to consider what tools I might need for my projects. I’m obviously not going to pack my full Cricut for the trip, so cutting vinyl and other Cricut-required projects will definitely be out. I’d love to work on some art journaling, but I will have to be a bit strategic about that since I can’t very well bring my entire collection of mixed media supplies with me. So, I spent some time brainstorming the projects that I would like to bring along.

My next step (can you tell I’m such a planner?!?) was to list out the supplies that I would need for each of those projects. This gave me a better idea of the amount of craft items that I needed or wanted to bring. I looked at some of the basics like adhesive, scissors, pens, etc. and made sure that I had a good amount that would last me the entire weekend. As I began to list out supplies, I also kept in the back of my mind the size of each supply or grouping of supplies. This was good info to have so that I could consider what bags I would be bringing!

Speaking of bags, I was SO tempted to purchase a new crafting bag for this trip. I was considering pick up the We R Memory Keepers backpack or also found a planner bag that I thought would work really well. But, I resisted the urge to purchase something new, knowing that I had lots of different bags in my stash. Surely I can make one of those work!

Now that I have a craft packing list, I plan on starting to gather supplies together this weekend before I head out. I will stick to one color way or color scheme when it comes to my art supplies. This will help me limit the amount of paints, etc. that I need to bring, and help me focus a little more once I get to crafting! Here’s hoping that all my supplies fit in my bags!

Have you ever been on a craft retreat? What would be on your craft packing list? Or do you have any tips for traveling with your creative supplies? I really think that making a plan helps out with packing, and I follow a similar method anytime I am traveling with my supplies. Be sure to leave me some comments below with your tips and must-haves!

Keep it creative,

The Scrappy Wife

Maxed Out

It is that moment that every crafter fears. We avoid it at all costs through creative solutions, rearranged priorities, and even letting go of things we hold dear, but eventually we all reach a certain point. What am I speaking of? I’m talking about the point where we officially max out our creative space. The longer you craft, the more likely you are to encounter this point, quite possibly multiple times. We reach the moment where we simply can NOT take in any new craft supplies without completely busting at the seams. I feel like I am dangerously close to reaching that point in my own craft space, so I thought I’d share a few last ditch efforts I am making to avoid that “maxed out” feeling.

#1 – Keep Looking Up!

Wall space is often overlooked in our creative spaces. When you are running out of room, look up! What wall space can you add shelving or pegboards to? How can you utilize the space above your desk? You certainly don’t want to “close-in” your space by filling every last inch with shelving, hanging rails, etc., but more times than not, there is some valuable real estate that can be claimed on your walls.

#2 – Rearrange Your Supplies to Meet Your Needs

Have you ever heard of the term “back stock”? Back stock is when you have an overage of supplies that you will need at some point, but do not currently need in your space. This term was popularized in the Netflix series, “Home Edit”. It can be used in your craft space! There is no way that you can simultaneously use all the things in your craft room. Many of us have supplies that are meant for a variety of different projects, whether they are different mediums or even different seasons. Consider going through your space and determining what is “back stock”. Take those things out of the space, place them in clearly labeled boxes, and rotate those boxes in as necessary. If you find that you don’t really reach for those boxes, perhaps it is okay to let them go. Using the concept of back stock can help free up visual clutter that you might be feeling in your space.

#3 – Update Your Organization Systems

It’s true, sometimes we can be too hyper focused on the latest and greatest organization solution. We can spend so much time organizing our supplies that we never actually USE our supplies. But, the truth is, if your space is feeling maxed out, it might be time to update your organization systems. No organization system can CREATE space in your craft area, but it can better utilize space. Consider looking at your space as a blank slate. Imagine that if you were starting over, what organization solutions would best suit your needs. While it might not be possible to do a complete overhaul, you may be able to start shifting towards some new solutions that will be more functional for you.

#4 – Stop Spending, Start Crafting

Yes, this is a hard one. Trust me, I am right there with you! But, if your space is feeling maxed out, it is probably time to stop bringing in new supplies and really focus on using up what you have. I went through this recently with a couple of scrapbook subscriptions I was participating in. I absolutely love Felicity Jane and Hip Kit Club, and thoroughly enjoyed receiving products from each company every month. But, as my collection grew, my space was certainly not growing. I actually stopped my subscriptions for each company so that I could focus on using what was in my stash. My hope is that I can pick up my subscriptions again at some point, but for a while I need to stop the spending and start the crafting!

#5 – It’s Time for a Dirty Word

Yup, it’s time to do that thing that we don’t like to mention in polite crafting company. I’m of course referring to destash. It is so hard to let go of our carefully procured and curated craft supplies. After all, we picked up these supplies because they inspired us to create! But, when your space is approaching its max, it is time to make some hard choices. Let go of things that no longer serve your creative energy. If it’s been on the shelf for 6 months or more, it is probably time to let it go. It’s hard, but you can do it!

Now that I’ve written out these steps, I’ll be perfectly honest….it’s time for me to take a few of my own suggestions. This summer, I am preparing to take a fresh look at my craft space. Not because it is not beautiful or functional, but because I know that I am maxed out, and new space is not magically appearing. I want to feel inspired and relaxed in my room, which I can’t do when it is busting at the seams! Let me know what stage your creative space is in…are you fitting perfectly in your space or starting to bust out? What strategy are you going to use to conquer the mountain of supplies about to fall out the door? You may also want to check out some of my organization videos on YouTube – Check out this organization playlist!

Additionally, if you want a little more guidance in working through the destash process, maximizing your space, and creating a craft room that you love, be sure to check out my online course.

Keep it creative,

-The Scrappy Wife

Self-Care Crafting

As we come out of this pandemic, I am seeing that there is more and more emphasis on self-care. And, to be honest, I am here for it. I have spent the last year just trying to keep my head above water, trying to somehow balance the new tasks, responsibilities, and stressors that were thrown onto my plate. I felt a bit like a brand new waitress at a diner, balancing 10 different plates up and down my arms while simply trying to deliver a glass of milk to a crying child. It was difficult.

I have always loved crafting as a form of self-care. The materials inspire me, the colors energize me, and the feeling of accomplishment when I complete a project always gives me a boost. But, in the midst of everyday life in a pandemic, I often found myself so lacking in energy that I just couldn’t craft. That might sound odd considering that I run a YouTube channel based on crafting, and that I generally have daily posts of new projects on my Instagram account. But, that’s my job, and I don’t believe your job or career can also serve as your self care. Don’t get me wrong, I am passionate about my job. I love creating content for others, hopefully inspiring them on their creative journey. But, that just isn’t the same as crafting for the love of creating. While they share some common threads for sure, the difference comes in where the energy is flowing.

When you are doing an activity as a form of self-care, the energy should be flowing into you. For instance, for some of us, being around friends at a dinner table can be extremely energizing. Being around other people we care about is a form of self-care in that instance because it is benefitting the energy we carry. For others, being around a group of friends can be draining on their energy. This doesn’t mean they don’t desire being around others or that they don’t need that connection in their lives, it just means that they have to find their own unique form of self-care. They need a form of self-care that brings them energy, replenishes their spirit. It is going to look different for everyone!

While I love that my day job is filled with opportunities for creativity and connection, it can often take a lot out of me. I may simultaneously be so excited about what I’ve created during a day of work, but also drained. Being a mom is very similar to me. I can be simultaneously so grateful and happy about a day I got to spend with my children while also feeling exhausted and quite ready for them to go to bed. Turns out we can have two conflicting feelings at once, and it is perfectly normal!

Okay, so back to self-care. For me, self-care crafting looks very simple. Often, it is cutting out beautiful images from a magazine that I plan to collage in an art journal. It may look like putting stickers in a planner, or rearranging my decorative planner dashboards to give me a little boost. Sometimes it is creative journaling, not for photos or videos, but just for myself. It might even be taking the time to do a Bible journal entry simply for me, without turning on the camera and filming my process. I don’t need a whole day for self-care crafting (although I wouldn’t turn it down!). Generally 30 minutes of quiet, simple crafting helps calm my mind and energize my spirit. Sometimes it can be hard to start, but I know that by the end of that 30 minutes, I will feel more like myself than when I started.

In a social media world, we are so tempted to constantly share everything we do. We want to show what we are accomplishing in a day, or as creatives, we like to share everything we make. But, I’d encourage you to find 30 minutes or so in the next few days and do a little self-care crafting. Make it simple, and don’t worry about creating a final product. Simply lose yourself in the task for just a bit. Don’t photograph it, in fact, keep the time (and the result) to yourself, like a secret treasure meant just for you. While you lose yourself in the crafting, you may just rediscover a small part of yourself that was feeling lost.

Keep it creative,

The Scrappy Wife

Project Paralysis

Have you ever been so excited to begin a project and then when the moment comes to start, you have no idea what to do? You’ve gathered the supplies, taken inspiration from various sources, found the time to work, and then you come down with project paralysis. This happens to me when I am so excited for a project that I just want it to be perfect. Perfection is most definitely the enemy of creativity and productivity!

Many of you know that I have been quite enamored with Happy Planner products for the past 8 months or so. I am loving working in my planners, playing with stickers, and the whole aesthetic of the line really speaks to me. Recently, the Happy Planner released new products for Spring 2021, and a brand new guided journal really caught my eye. I found it beautiful and inspiring, and I was immediately filled with ideas on how I would use it. I even paid full price to pick up the journal right away, and I never like to pay full price!

The journal landed on my doorstep in wonderful condition, looking just as beautiful as I had hoped it would. Yet, it laid on my desk for weeks without me opening it. I could blame it on being busy with other projects or family life, but truthfully I was nervous to start! What if the journal didn’t live up to my expectations? Or more accurately, what if I didn’t live up to my own creative expectations? I had dreams of what this project could look like in the end, but what I truly needed to focus on was the process. Crafting is all about the process for me! A process that is about getting in touch with my creativity, releasing stress, and practicing self-care. When I focus too much on the final product, I lose all of that!

Project paralysis strikes us when we lose focus on the real motivation behind a project. Sometimes we are overwhelmed with the scope of a project, and therefore we do not know where to begin. Other times we have a perfect picture in our head of what the project will be, and we aren’t quite sure how to get there. Or, we might know how to get there, but fear that we will mess it up is holding us back. However you look at it, the thought of perfection is a road block on our creative journey. In my case, with my new journal, it felt like a brick wall. My excitement over this journal turned into anxiety, and it was hard to conquer.

When you are overcome with project paralysis there are a few steps you can take to move forward. While it may feel tempting to just put the project to the side or disregard it completely, that does not really address the main root of the problem. You’ve got to go back to the point that made you want to take on the new project in the first place. What was your inspiration? What was your why? For my journaling project, that meant sitting down and flipping through the pages of the journal. I had to remind myself why I found the journal so interesting in the first place and why I wanted to dive into it. I wanted a creative outlet that would be just for me. One with enough guidance in it that it was not a blank page, but enough freedom to allow me to go in any direction at once.

Once you go back to that inspiration point, it is time to map out a new plan of direction. If you are overwhelmed by the scope of a project, only plan one or two next steps. There is no need to map out the full plan, just the next right step. Thinking back to my journaling project, I had to let go of the idea of what it would look like as a completed project and just take one page at a time. One spread, one element, one journaling prompt at a time! Then, eventually it will all come together.

The last step is to let go of perfection. I find this so often in the Bible journaling world, and now also in other creative journaling outlets. I read comments from people online who are so afraid to “mess up” in their Bibles or in their journals that they can’t bring themselves to start. You will mess up, I promise. It is part of being human. In fact, you will probably mess up multiple times! But, you will learn, and you will improve! And, wait for it…..even after that you will still make mistakes! It is going to be okay. Mistakes are made when you are putting yourself out there and growing. It is a part of the process. Recovering from those mistakes and pushing forward will also help you overcome project paralysis in the future, because you have a reference point to look back on to know it’ll all work out.

In the end, I guess I am hoping that this post encourages you to push past your project paralysis. I did…I actually cracked open that brand new journal this week and made a couple of spreads. They aren’t great, but that’s okay. It still felt amazing to get started!

Keep it creative,

-The Scrappy Wife

“One Day at a Time” Traveler’s Notebook Process

Even though I am thoroughly enjoying working in my memory planner for documenting our day to day life, I just can’t let go of my traveler’s notebook. It’s size is so easy to work with and is perfect for documenting special stories and thoughts.

In this traveler’s notebook layout, I documented how my kids are handling virtual school. It is definitely tough, and not without some pretty big bumps in the road, but in general I am super proud of how adaptable and resilient they have been. They really are working hard and giving lots of grace to their teachers as they all navigate this tough reality.

My main desire for this layout was to use as many of the different “Marigold” papers as I could. Even though it was a lot of different patterns to combine and work with, I think because it was a smaller layout, it really does work well. To begin, I chose a deep teal floral paper and spread it across the inner part of the double page layout, bringing the two sides together. Then, I matted each of my pictures on additional pattern papers, planning to place them on the left side of the spread. I also chose a beautiful journaling card with mustard yellow florals to anchor the right side of the layout.

As I was choosing elements, the entire layout began to feel a bit boxy. To break up the boxes, I added circular frames that I cut out from a separate sheet of paper. I layered them in different ways, adding stamps from a Felicity Jane stamp set. Once those were nestled in place, I added journaling lines and a few sentences of journaling.

The last touch was adding a few puffy gold embellishments around the page in order to add a bit of texture in dimension…but not too much! The layout is very simple, but still beautiful and definitely tells the story. Traveler’s notebooks will always have a special place in my crafty heart!

Keep it creative,

-The Scrappy Wife

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