Tips to help you prepare for your next class or event


So I'm going to Version Scrap in Paris in 2 days and I am so giddy!! I'm taking classes from Debby Schuh and Ali Edwards.  I've just finished packing and I realised that I've got it down to a system and I'm pretty good at it ;)

Here are some tips to help you pack for your next class or event so that you are prepared and organised without overpacking but are ready to scrapbook!

I'm packing a lot of my stuff in a Cath Kidston bag, jsut for Debby ;)


If you are taking multiple classes with very different supply lists, then pack a different bag for each class.  For example if you are taking one class that has a lot of messy paints and inks, keep them in a separate bag from your paper trimmer and crop-a-dile for that next, less messy class.

Better yet, if you can, try and schedule all the messy classes on one day and the more paper-only classes on another.  We did this a few years ago, we took all of Donna Doney's classes on one day and Debby Schuh's the next to minimise the amount of things we needed to bring each day.

Don't over pack.  If you feel like you'll want to add your own embellishments in addition to the supplies that are included in the kit, wait until you get home. Otherwise you'll have to bring a tonne of stuff to make sure you have enough choice.  Am I right? ;)

If the teacher asks you to prepare things before hand, make sure you do it.  Even if you end up not finishing the project and you feel like that prep could have been done afterwards, do it beforehand anyway!  I find that I make more effort to finish a project if I've put a lot of work into it before hand, like priniting photos.

Here are all my photos and notes for the Day in the Life that I documented for Ali's class.  It's all tucked into one of my take along memory keepers.  and see that cute little Paris tag, it's from the Cut Shoppe!


Since I'll be out of the country, I won't have much access to internet, but when I do I'll be posting photos to Instagram, you can follow me here!

5 awesome cool things that you didn't know your Silhouette could do :D


1. Did you know that included in the free cutfiles that come with your Silhouette there is one to help you customise your control panel?



2.  If you use scraps on your mat to cut out different colours for your design you can not only use up your scraps instead of a new sheet of cardstock, you can also cut all of the pieces at once so that you don't have to keep coming back to cut each individual colour.


cutfile from the Cut Shoppe

3.  Have you noticed this funny little hole on your Silhouette?  At first I thought it was just a place to hold the ratchet-y thing that you use to change the blade setting.  but it just kept falling off and getting lost and then I may or may not have used my teeth to change the blade setting ;)  Recently I found out that it actually is a built-in ratchet!  Wow, do my teeth feel stupid ;)


4. Did you ever have a cutfile you loved but it was just a little too thick or too thin?  Or maybe you wanted to mat it with another cut?  I've tried to adjust images and text before by changing the size, but the dimensions were still too thick or thin. And when I tried to mat things this way the images or text didn't line up.  I just discovered the Offset function! It's fantastic for making things the thickness you want or adding mats!

I love taking cutfiles from the Cut Shoppe and making them really big, but I find they get too thick, so I love to use the Offset function to thin them out and make them look their best.


5.  I recently posted this layout where I used my Silhouette to make the holes for the stitching.  I thought I could use one of the dotted lines in the Line Style function, but they were too 'dash-y' and I needed holes.  A quick google search turned up a tutorial by Corri Garza that showed me how to run a text along the outside of my cutfile, a text with only periods that would then be just a bunch of circles.


Let's talk about Planners!! - the Paperclipping Roundtable


You can listen to us here!



I thought I'd share some photos of my planner :D



It's a faux-dori, or more specifically a fab-dori (made from fabric) and I got it from Cake Paperie on etsy :D  It came with a plain elastic but I added some ribbons and a Tardis charm to make the cover a bit prettier.  There's still a bit of elastic on the back so that it's easy to open.


There are 4 elastics inside to hold my books and right now I have a take along, and 3 moleskines. The take along is for my trip to Paris in a couple of weeks, one moleskine is for planning my days and household stuff and another is for projects, blog posts, and other ideas I have for products and classes.  The last one is empty but I'd like to use it to document fun things the children say and do. I covered the moleskines with patterned papers in my favourite colours and everything I add makes me smile.


And of course, what kind of planner girl would I be if I didn't plan for the recording ;) Here are my notes.  And even though I don't usually add things to my pages, I felt I should decorate these pages :D  I save the page decorating for my Heidi Swapp memory planner.


Thanks Noell and Izzy for inviting me, I had so much fun!
Paperclipping Roundtable

27 Ways you can use one of my Take Along memory keepers



As a Scrapbook:
These little books make great mini albums.  You can document as you go and the book can act as the scrapbook.  Or it can be the holding place for your notes, photos and memorabilia until you get a chance to scrapbook it.


Use one to document:

1.  a small event.
2.  a baby's birth story.
3.  a milestone birthday.
4.  a milestone anniversary
5.  a child's milestone.
6.  any theme.
7.  cute things your children or grandchildren say.
8.  day in the life or week in the life.
9.  a trip.

10. Or give one to a child to use as a scrapbook.

As a Planner:
I love to use a Take Along to plan things, one time events as well as my everyday life.  It's ever so practical :D


 Use one to plan:

11. a small event.
12. a trip.
13. a scrapbook.
14. any project.

15. Use one to try something new before committing to it in your daily planner.
16. They are perfect to keep papers and things as a holding place if your daily planner is too big to take along with you.
17. They make a pretty addition to your midori, fauxdori or traveller's notebook :D 


As a Journal:
The Take Along books are great multi-media, multi-purpose journals. Lots of room to write, but the pockets and the photo album to make it all the more rich.


Use one as:

18. your daily journal.
19. an art journal.
20. a prayer journal.
21. a pregnancy journal.

As a gift:
Do you know someone who loves to papercraft?  Or maybe someone who you think might like it?  Give them a Take Along as a little present :D


22. Give an empty one to a scrapbooker, planner girl or any paper crafter.
23. Give one to a child going on a trip or staying away from home, especially if the child will be staying away from you.
24. Give one to someone who you'd like to turn into a scrapbooker, planner girl or paper crafter.  They make a wonderful 'gateway drug'!
25. Fill one with advice for a new mother and give it to her for her baby shower.  Better yet, take a blank one to the shower with cards that fit the photo pockets (or any of the pockets) and let the other guests write their advice.
26. You could do the same thing for a bridal shower. :D
27. Send someone one as a 'happy mail.'  Write a nice letter in the journal part, add some photos and papercrafting goodies in the pockets and make someone's day when they open their mailbox!


So, what are you waiting for? ;) Make yourself a Take Along today, or grab one in my etsy shop.  If you don't have my free class, you can sign up in the little green tag right below!

How you can make your own Adventures in your Everyday Life


Get your FREE Adventure Generator at :D

The children decided to create treasure maps for each other, they went all around the house and yard sticking up clues and maps leading each other to the treasure.  They had great fun!  Join, click of the image here:


I used to choose my pages and determine my adventure!


I used a tip from my friend Richelle from and used one of the fancy stitches on my sewing machine.

Here are a few of the maps and clues they made:



Here are the children enjoying their 'treasure' - Cookies in a GOLDEN tin :D


How Creating Everyday can Teach You Things about Yourself

I know I usually start with the handwritten bit, but this post was supposed to go up last week and the reason it didn't is actually the topic of this blog post.  

Huh?  Wait... what?
Let me back up.  

I participated in LOAD (layout a day) throughout February, it kept me busy and I tried to post last week but repeat technical hiccups and less time than usual due to LOAD won out and it didn't get posted.  I hate that I skipped a week, but if I could go back I wouldn't do it over.

That's right, I would go back and FAIL at posting my blog post again!

It made me look at why I failed and what LOAD, or more precisely why creating something everyday for a short period of time, is important.

I've done LOAD many many times and every single time I learn something new and I confirmed many other things about myself and about my style and I tell stories that I wouldn't have thought to tell otherwise.  So I guess, short story is: The result of creating something everyday is well worth the little sacrifices necessary to make the time to create everyday!

Now I've written about this before and the lessons I've learned, but I'm saying it again, because no matter what your creative outlet is, no matter what you are creating, taking a month and dedicating a bit of time to it everyday is important to your growth as a creative.


This month really confirmed that I ADORE working with paper! I learned this little trick from Debby Schuh:


Santa flips up and there's a pop-up camera underneath:


Fun, happy, pretty colours will always have a place on my pages, so will white and white space!



These are the stories I probably would have thought to tell if it ahdn't been for Lain's prompts. Thanks Lain!!




This month also reignited my love for long mixed alpha titles :D

Sometimes Crafty Inspiration Repeats Itself

DSC_4498 Inside-pockets

So, if you are already on my email list you can use the free class, adjust the dimensions and make yourself one of these little cuties yourself.  If you aren't on the list you can sign up at the end of this blog post or over there on the right, in the side bar.

If you aren't in the crafty mood.  I have added a few to my etsy shop.  You can choose the style and size. I'll be adding new patterns in the next few days.   There are also a few of my original take along memory keeps available too.

My ETSY shop

A Look into my Memory Planner: January Pages





It's easy to have fun in a planner that I know works perfectly for me! That is exactly what I'm teaching in my practically perfect planner class, finding your perfect planner to end frustration and finally have a system that serves you the way you need it to and keeps you organised. We are having so much fun in class as the ladies are starting to find out what kind of planner they need.  It's not too late to join us, but hurry because registration closes tomorrow.  More info here:


13 things you can do today to make your Pretty Planner Bits work for you!



You can find my adversary here:

Here are the links to the previous challenges :D

Challenge 1 - Create a cover to your planner using only a composition book, washi tape, doilies and your sewing machine
my take
Nancy's take

Chanllenge 2 - Create the 'guts' of your planner using planner pages
my take
Nancy's take

Here are my 13 ways to keep yourself organised all the while keeping your planner pretty:

First up, I used plain old paperclips, gussied them up and put them to good use in my planner!


1.  Use pretty paper clips to hold loose planner pages together.


2.  Use pretty paper clips to hold invites, coupons, appointment cards and other papers that you need to take action on, in your planner.  Sometimes when I put little bits of paper in the pockets in my planner I forget that they are there so I need to see them so I can take action on them.  Paper clips are a great way to keep them in sight but still tidy.


Next up is washi tape... good ol' washi :D

3.  Here my friend Connie from uses washi tape to stick a project list to a page in her planner that she wasn't using. What a fantastic way to use those extra pages!

Connie unused pages


4.  I use washi tape to highlight important things in my planner (important, or something that may be new or not quite a habit yet, to bring my attention to them).  Just like I did in the handwritten bit at the beginning of this post, to bring your attention to the challenge.


5.  Along with a bulldog clip, I used washi tape to make this fun pen loop.  I saw this one on pinterest but it seems the tutorial is no longer there.  It was at  Basically, make a loop with washi tape (she used patterned duct tape) doubled over on itself so that the inside of the loop isn't sticky. then, stick it to each side of a bulldog clip. I used red line tape to hold it securely.  You can move the whole pen loop around since it's on a clip and it can go anywhere you need it, to any planner or book or anything else you want to clip it to.



6.  I made a tab for my book with washi tape.  Even though these are pretty, they tend to be flimsy and I only use them for tabs that won't need to be handled too often.


7. Another way to make a tab is to take 2 identical sized and shaped stickers and stick them back to back, sandwiching the page (or divider) in between.  I also used red-line tape to make sure they stick forevah!


8.  This last tab is super simple, just a piece of scrapbook paper with the top corners rounded and simply stapled to the page.  You could also use red-line tape here.


My next 'little pretty' is trim.  I love ribbon and trim.  See if you can guess who inspired this first one ;)

9.  Again, with red-line tape (that stuff is FANTASTIC! -that was said in the 9th Doctor's voice btw) I stuck a line of pompom trim along the edge of a page that I want to be able to find quite easily.  This is my master to-do list. I visit this almost daily to decide on what action steps will get me closer to finishing these bigger to-dos and I add some of those actions to my daily to-do list.

Did you figure out who inspired the pompoms?  Click here for a hint ;)

10. Trim also makes pretty bookmarks.  At the back of my book, using... wait for it... red-line tape ;) I stuck down one end of the trim to the top of the front of the last page, then I used regular double sided tape and stuck the last page to the second last page, sandwiching the end of the trim in between.



I love colour, so it only makes sense that I love to colour code things as well.  Each of my children is assigned a colour, but you don't have to have 6 children to use colour coding!  you can use it for tasks, days, or for projects like Connie did below.

11. Connie uses a different colour for each type of project to keep herself organised.

Connie colour code


12. You can use anything to colour code, paint, washi tape, pens... anything!  Here I used paint to colour in this chart, one colour per child.  It tells me what each child needs to bring to school on any certain day.


13. Last but not least, I used different coloured pens to write out our hockey schedule for one Sunday, we had 4 games plus one practice so I needed to colour code it by child so we knew who had to be where and when ;)


Don't forget, you can win a spot in my Practically Perfect Planner class.  Just post below (or on any of my or Nancy's challenge posts) and share a photo of your take on one of the 3 challenges, you have until tomorrow, Feb 6, midnight pacific.  Of course, if cute is not your thing, feel free to do it anyway you'd like :D

Class starts Monday and I'm am getting excited to help everyone who has already signed up.  I want them to have their practically perfect planner!  Are you in?  No? What are you waiting for?  There are bonuses and lots of goodies and of course you will come away with a planner that is custom to you!  One that works the way you need it to work, one that will keep you organised! so hop on over and grab your spot today :D


Round up your Printable Planner Pages in our Planner Challenge Round 2

my round 1 project
Nancy's round 1 project

There is soooo much you can do with printable planner pages from the internet besides printing 8.5x11, hole punching and sticking them in a ring binder.  Here are a few examples and Nancy will post her take on this challenge later today :D 

Month at a Glance page

I need to see my monthly page quickly and it needs to be able to hold up to some wear and tear since it will get handled at least once a day for a whole mont.  So what I did was print one of my printables (available for free immediately when you sign up for my Practically Perfect Planner class) at a smaller size to fit in my notebook.  Then I stitched it to 3 or 4 of the notebook pages to give it some resistance.  

1.  It's quite hard to stitch that side that's closest to the middle seam of the book.  I positioned my calendar far enough away from it so that I could get it to run through the sewing machine.  
2.  I also stitched on 'reverse' for one whole side that wouldn't fit through the arm of the sewing machine.
3.  It would have been a lot easier to maneuver the book in the sewing machine if I had done this page before decorating the cover.  The washi tape made the cover quite stiff.

After I stitched it to 3-4 pages I took the next page and glued it to the back page to cover up the stitching.  I'm not a fan of the back side of stitching on paper. I also added a bit of washi tape to make a tab, this and the fact that the calendar is 5 pages thick make it really easy find.


Mini 'Week at a Glance' booklet


I printed off a bunch of the week at a glance pages (get them here!).  The first half of the week on the backs, the second half on the fronts.  These are designed to have a margin down the middle for stitching or hole punching.  I printed them pretty small (4x5 inches), then cut a cover to fit from scrapbook paper and stitched up the side.


I made a pocket (tutorial in my free video series here) to fit, stuck it to the inside of the front cover and then had fun decorating it.

1.  The stitching on the pocket is just for show.  I didn't want to sew through my pretty cover from challenge 1.  So, I just stitched around the pocket and stuck it down with strong adheasive.
2.  Remember when you measure your pocket, to leave enough room for adheasive and to get your book in and out.



Coral Loose Printable Planner Pages


Now, I said that didn't like 'daily dockets' but sometimes when things get busy, they do come in handy from time to time.  I just don't use them every day. This pocket would be great for pages like 'today's schedule' and 'to-do lists' as well. Since I don't use these types of pages everyday and I don't know when I'll need them.  I don't need them to be stuck in my planner just yet. But, having them handy inside the back cover is just what I need.

I made the pocket the same as the one for my week at a glance booklet... fake stitching and strong adheasive.

These are just some of the tips and tricks that you can learn in my upcoming Planner Class. It's designed to help you learn how you use a planner in the first place so that you can adapt or make one to suit your individual needs.  I will help you figure out various ways to make your planner work for you, be those crafty projects or not, depending on what you want.  With in-depth questions we delve into you needs and wants from a planner, then we come up with a plan to help you customise your practically perfect planner.  If this sounds like something you'd like to try with your planner click here for more information.  I'd love to see you in class!