November!

Oh I am so pumped that November is here. I stepped outside during lunch and it was chilly! I love it!

This weekend was beautiful. It was just cold enough to be outside with a long sleeved t-shirt, so we (I use that term loosely) grilled outside while I made a fall wreath.

As you know, I like to use the same wreath base for each holiday, but change it around by adding new ribbon and other materials. In my big bag of holidays, I found a super cute ribbon I found on sale last year that is fall themed. I love picking up after-holiday bargains because I tend to forget about it and by next year’s holiday the goodie is completely new to me.

fallThat’s how it felt when I found this gorgeous ribbon, featuring sparkly, happy owls. Outlined by gobs of beautiful fall leaves, I am completely ready for this change of season in Texas.

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The Lusty Eleven – October

I’ve always been that kid who gets real excited every fall for back-to-school. Because I’m a huge nerd. What I look forward to most of all is all of that back-to-school gear, the trapper keepers, the new pencils, that modeling clay that I’m pretty sure we never did anything with. I’m the same way as an adult. The best way to motivate me to work on a project? A fresh notebook with a newly-sharped pencil. It works every time.

So I celebrate my organization crazed mind with this month’s Lusty Eleven – a celebration of everything organization that screams for you to get started on your huge To Do List!october wish list

  1. A vintage recipe box like this from Etsy would make me want to cook more.
  2. Wunderlist helps me keep track of things I need to buy for projects – check it out on the app store or on their website.
  3. A organization station for your fabulous craft room!
  4. Who wouldn’t want some funny listpads from Knock Knock Stuff to keep you on track?
  5. Have an idea for a new cross-stitch or knitting pattern? Map our your ideas with a nifty notepad of graph paper like this Tricksy Notebook from Knit Picks.
  6. Ah, new notebook! My favorite way to keep track of all of the things I need to do throughout the day. I need a new owl one, obviously, like this Lemonni notebook spotted on the My Owl Barn site.
  7. Everyone knows that cute travel bags make you want to work on your project in public. The Superfine Project Bag from Knit Picks is so awesome I can hardly stand it.
  8. This Lily Pulitizer ink pen is called The Dirty Shirley. Enough said.
  9. Want to keep track of your materials (and not your Unfinishables, right folks!)? An adorable storage bin like this from Target is cute to look at and super handy.
  10. Write down those recipes you’ve been wanting to try on some of these adorable recipe cards, a free printable from My Owl Barn.
  11. Evernote is fantastic because it lets me keep track of things all in one place, from my iPad, to my phone and my computer at work. It’s like a Lisa Frank notebook, only for grow-ups.

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The Ill-Fated Washer Necklace

washersOh yea, it’s pretty bad. A few days ago I looked at those soaked stupid washers from The Washer Necklace and well, it didn’t work out too well. Maybe I can go for the distressed look.

Or just stop being a cheap ass and buy some more washers.

Or just do another project?!

Ug.

This is going to be the project that hurts me. Look at me analyzing my issues, like I mentioned in my Finishing Strategies. This one is a mixture of not being good at this and anger.

I feel like I need to print out a picture of the beautiful end result from the blog to remind me that this is completely worth it.

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Strategies for Finishing

I used to make fun of my father for falling asleep on the couch in front of the TV. Now in my thirties, and after trying to finish the same episode of Breaking Bad 2.5 times, this is the story of my life. Being a grown-up is completely overrated.

photoAfter falling asleep with Mockingjay on my chest several times in the past few weeks,  I realized that there was no way I could possibly finish this book this month.

So I needed to get creative.

Many of you know that I am addicted to audio books and I am equally addicted to podcasts. My long commute leaves me with lots of uninterrupted time for daydreaming and practicing my vocal skills. But I love to read and I love to hear stories so I finally discovered that listening to audiobooks and NPR are far more useful ways to spend my commute — and far more fun. Plus, it helped me work my way through a long list of books I’ve very much been wanting to read. My list was getting out if control! So I finally gave in and checked out the Mockingjay audiobook on Overdrive from my library. I downloaded their app onto my iPhone and voila! Two days later and I’ve made more progress than I have in the last two weeks. And I LOVE it! This is a great example of how getting a little creative helps solve all of the world’s problems!

Try it out for yourself:

1. Organize – Make a list of the some of the projects you need to complete. If you seem to have a lot, try grouping them into categories, i.e. crafting, home improvement, etc. Don’t try to attack too much at once or you run the risk of getting overwhelmed and very unhappy.

2. Analyze – What is the issue that is making you not finish this project? Is it time, money or do you just not want to do it? At the beginning of this challenge I listed the problems I had with each project, sometimes a time issue, a materials problem or just plain ol laziness. Owning up to it will help push you over that hill to actually completing your project.

3. Get creative! – Think of ways to multitask or to just plow through and get it done! Don’t have the funds for your project? Create a piggy bank for your spare change and watch the fund grow. Is your problem a lack of time? Try to analyze your day and find a time when you can carve out a few moments, i.e. learning a new language while you drive or scrap booking while you watch your must-see-tv. Better yet, try to set up a fun day of craft or fix-it projects with your friends! Finishing your projects should be fun and you can’t go wrong with a fancy drink, some food and your crafty buds. Trying to paint your new room? Painting party time! You’ll be amazed to find out the hidden talents of your pals (mine = putting together IKEA furniture… All it takes is a beer).

4. Plan of attack – Send out invitations, make your shopping list, invite friends to a brunch where you’ll finally cook that new recipe. Make a timeline and think of a way to keep yourself honest. For me, it is this blog and participating in the 31 Days Challenge. Perhaps you can share your goal with a good friend who keeps you in check. Or maybe you will join us for the 31 Days Challenge next year?! Holla!

So grab a piece of paper, make a list and tell me about just one of your own Finishing Projects and let’s see if we can think of an idea…. I sure hope it includes an Evite for me with a fancy drink at the end!

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So…..

Guys,

I have a little problem. I soaked those stupid washer washers from The Washer Necklace in nail polish forever and well, it didn’t work out too well. Maybe I should have just forked over the 92 cents needed to buy another set? Bleh.

I’ll take a picture of the disaster later tonight for all of you so we can collectively groan together.

You have no idea how badly I want to say, “Oh well, guess this one’s not going to happen.” Arg. Hang in there?

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The Back Button

necklaceOh the Washer Necklace. I had such high hopes for you. I really wish I could just click the back button on the remote on this craft. Instead, we have nail polish remover.

Here’s the skinny:

The Washer Necklace

The story:  I am lucky to have a super rad group of crafters to laugh with here in Texas. My friend holds a monthly Crafternoon for us where we can work on a group craft or just any of our ongoing projects. This month, we decided to make this beautiful necklace from painted washers. Great idea! Problem is, mine didn’t turn out so beautiful.

Finishing Problem: I hate everything.

Last night I decided to get started on destroying my washer necklace. Then I thought I lost it. My response? I shrugged.

necklace2Shame! I really love this beautiful necklace on the website and need to have faith that I can make something as beautiful.

For now, I will take all of my angst out on these little, chipped red-painted washers by sitting them in a bath of nail polish remover.

Take that.

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Holden, cubed

I finally got to the lace part of my third Holden Shawlette. I called it “The Second Shawlette” in my initial post, but truthfully it is the third I’ve made. It’s just that I’m way behind on the two I am making for my friends. This, is my last one! To review:

holdenThe Second Holden Shawlette

The story:  I’ve mentioned here before that I have some of the best friends a gal could ask for. My lovely friends back in Cali are at the top of that list and I miss them so much. To say thank you for their love and support, I wanted to make them their own Holden Shawlette since they liked mine so much. They even picked out their colors! The problem is, that decision was made over a year ago and I still haven’t followed through, having only made one so far (and that was recently).

Finishing Problem: Procrastination, procrastination, procrastination.

And I am very happy to be on the lace part now because that means that I am working much faster on this one than the last. Hoorah! Saying goodbye to procrastination.

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