Organising My Photos

Reading the prompts on Shimelle’s Cover to Cover class has made me think about how I store my photos. I’m not sure if I have the best organisational system right now – especially on my computer. But here’s how I store them at the moment…
On my computer there’s a folder that says ‘Photos’, and then inside that there’s three folders – one for ‘Family Photos’, one for ‘Craft and Blog Photos’, and one for ‘Creative Creatures’ photos (the business that I ran with a friend). 
In the Family Photos folder, there is a folder for each year. And then inside each year, it’s broken down again, and looks something like this:
Where the photos are stored either by date, or by a big event, or if we have a lot of someone else’s photos because we spent some time with them, and they took pictures of us all. Within these folders there might be even more division, into dates or events again. 
The trouble comes when I want to find a photo, but I don’t know what year it happened in – let alone which month! How do I find it then? I don’t know if there’s any solutions for this though…
My Craft and Blog photos are a lot easier to sort out – the folder looks like this:
The most important thing to note here is that I have a separate folder each for 2012 layouts, and for my latest cards. I used to just keep these in the other folders, per brand etc, but then it took me ages to find them if I wanted to submit to a design team application, or update an online gallery. Now I save just one photo of each layout or card into one of these folders, as well as their brand or class folder, and they’re so much easier to get to!
Once I’ve printed out photos to use on projects, they get sorted away into this big blue shoe-box which sits on a shelf of my desk:
And then within the shoe-box they are sorted into photo packets, which I’ve written on with a sharpie pen. (There are more packets than this, with my kid’s names on, etc, but you get the idea):
It means I always have a selection of photos to scrapbook with on hand in my study!
How do you store your photos? Are they all mixed up or are they organised – by date or by event? I can never decide what is the right way to do it!
Remember that a comment on this post, or on any of my posts from this weekend, will count as an entry into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}– but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that here!
I’m feeling sleepy now, so I’ll bid you goodnight. I’ll see you again in the morning, I’ve got more tips, tutorials,  and giveaways lined up for you tomorrow! x

Organising Books and Magazines

(Sorry this is late again – troubles getting the kiddie to sleep – hubby has gone out for the evening and left me to fend for myself!)
I’ve shown glimpses of my bookshelves before, and people have commented how they like them. So I thought this weekend I’d give a closer look at how they’re organised. Some shelves are sorted by theme, others are by the size of the books!
Bookshelf 1, top two tiers:

Which house my Harry Potter books in pride of place at the top, along with my Brambly Hedge books, though there’s one missing (I’m sure it will turn up one day), and some Christopher Paolini books. And, on the second shelf, are my ‘grown up’ fiction books – the classics and Terry Pratchett. The contrast of which says a lot about me I’m sure!

Bookshelf 1, next shelf down:

This one has mainly reference books – dictionaries, travel guides, etc – all the smaller refernce books, as the bigger ones come below…
Bookshelf 1, bottom two shelves:
The top one of these holds medium-sized reference books, and then some medium sized picture books which are too special to go in the kids book box (which gets quite a battering!). The base layer holds large reference books, from walking, to growing vegetables, then crafting, and general reference.
Bookshelf 2, top shelf:
This hold all my other favourites – Roald Dahl, Artemis Fowl, Inkheart etc. At the back, where you can’t see, there’s a fairly sizeable collection of ‘The Babysitter’s Club’ books, which I read as an older-child, and I still re-visit them now and then. I know my daughter will be reading them in a few years time!
Bookshelf 2, middle two shelves:
Which hold the rest of my fiction books, which are mostly children’s or young adult’s – these are my favourite age ranges to read – I don’t like adult fiction much! The top one of these holds mainly fantasy, and the next one mainly real life, though there’s some cross-overs!
Bookshelf 2, bottom 2 tiers:
The top one has my large collection of old girls annuals, which every now and then I go through a phase of reading again! The bottom shelf has my other reference books, mainly about fantasy and adventures , and some large picture books.
In my study I have a shelf above my desk which holds vintage books and my favourite craft reference books at one end: 
And at the other end some more of my favourite fiction books, including the Narnia Chronicles, which were given to me as a seven year old, and they are still my favourites. Every time I pick them up I remember reading them with a torch under the bedcovers as a child. See how one is different? I leant it to my sister a couple of years ago, and she lost it – I was so mad, as the replacement I bought (that you see is different here) didn’t match the collection. But my sister just phoned me yesterday to say she’s found the original copy – hooray! This end also holds my thesaurus and dictionary:
And, finally, I have some magazines under my desk – I just usually keep the latest ones here, and the rest get stored away in boxes or recycled. At the moment it’s full of Mollie Makes because I keep opening them for inspiration, but it also currently holds an issue each of Popular Crafts, Simply Cards and Papercraft, Papercraft Inspirations, and Scrap 365:
So there we go, a tour around my books and magazines. Spot anything you know and love? 
The thing I most love about the organisation of this at the moment, is having my favourite craft reference books above my desk. I only moved them there at the end of last year, and I use them so much more now than when they were on the bottom shelf of bookshelf 1!
Remember that a comment on this post, or on any of my posts from this weekend, will count as an entry into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}– but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that here!
See you again shortly for the last post of today! x

A Giveaway! Sponsored by Scrap Chic Kits

The Giveaway is now CLOSED! Thanks to everyone who entered. The winner will be announced on Thursday 5th July!

Ooh, more delightful goodies you could be getting your hands on! This giveaway is sponsored by the fabulous ScrapChicKits:

Sue’s gorgeous kits all burst with possibilities, and they’re such great value. Here’s a few that caught my eye:
1. This Fanciful Childhood Memories Kit gives me a strong reminder of younger days spent at my grandparent’s house:
2. The Up, Up, and Away Kit has such cute elements, and the hot air balloons are calling to me:
3. And I know it’s a little early to be thinking of Christmas, but there’s nothing wrong with getting organised early, right?! I adore the sweet colours in the Peppermint Candy Christmas Kit:
I could see me creating lots of lovely layouts with these kits!
Along the theme of organisation, Sue wanted to share this tip to help get you craft quicker:
When we put items that go together all in one spot, it makes our lives so much easier. That’s why I sell kits… you have everything you need all in one spot to make great looking scrapbooking pages and memories. When we store items together, we are more organized and functional and have more fun!

Scrap Chic Kits are giving away a $15 Gift Voucher to the shop. To enter the giveaway, all you need to do is visit the shop, find something you’d love to spend the money on if you won, and come back here to leave a comment and tell me all about it! You don’t need to say any of the items I’ve mentioned, as there’s 174 items to choose from. There’s only one of each kit available, so if you like one you see, then grab it while you still can!

This giveaway will close at 11.59pm BST on Monday 2nd of July {NOW CLOSED}, and the winner will be announced, along with winners of all this weekend’s giveaways, on Thursday 5th July. The giveaway is open internationally. Please make sure that you tell me how to contact you if you win, if you’re not easily reached via a google account.

Finally, don’t forget that commenting on this post, and any other this weekend, will count as an entry into the Big Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED} – but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that prize right here.

Don’t forget to let me know what you like in the Scrap Chic Kits shop! See you in an hour! x

Positive Planning is the fun way to Organise!

For the last 6 months I’ve been meeting once a month to spend the evening with these lovely, crazy ladies:

Though they’re not normally in such extravagant costumes!
Each month we’ve been having a ‘Positive Planning’ session, trying to sort our lives out a little by aiming for the good things and plotting out ways to get to them. they may be career related, or to do with anything in life, like holiday dreams, or goals to be more confident.
It all started because we were all feeling a bit haphazard toward the end of 2011, and I remembered a course that me and Rosie had been to a couple of years before, that was about planning our craft careers. At the time it surprised us how we made revelations about what we wanted from life, and how to get them, in a short session. Here’s my original 5 year plan from that workshop (the paper has discoloured over the years):
Some of the things are working well, I’ve had another baby, and learnt to drive! But other plans have changed drastically, so we decided it was time to try and re-create the session for ourselves.
The three of us sat down together, with some questions that Rosie remembered from the session, and a few other questions that Ali and I came up with. The idea is to give yourself 2 minutes, no longer, to answer all these questions – the time limit helps you do it without over-thinking it. The questions we used were:
  • What do you wish there was more of in your life?
  • What do you wish there was less of?
  • What are 5 things you value the most?
  • What internal barriers are stopping you from reaching your goals?
  • What external barriers are stopping you?
  • What are the positives in your life (for example your personal qualities, or the resources you have available to you)?
  • What steps could you take to achieve your dreams?
  • What are the 3 things you most want to achieve?
Then from this, you make a plan, with connecting paths of the steps you can take to reach your goals:
It can be as creative as you like!
You might end up with all kinds of other notes too, for example I had a page about where I wanted to go with my blogging / crafting, because I had to get that plotted out in my mind:
We set each other goals each month – the aim is to take small steps that could eventually lead to bigger things, for example, one of my goals was to learn to drive, so one of my steps each month was to take more lessons.
They can also be steps to plan more, or to discuss things with other people. One of my goals one month was to talk to my husband about sharing the housework out more, a goal another month was to ask someone to babysit so we could have a night out!
Rosie has been very nice and given me and Ali stars for when we’ve completed our tasks:
And we’ve started to make them for her too.
It’s so nice doing this with someone else, as we often end up having a lot of giggles while we plan stuff out, but it also gives us someone to commiserate with if something isn’t working. Telling someone else about your goals also means you’re accountable for trying to reach them too – you have someone to say to you ‘did you do that thing? because you know you want to!’
Do you make plans for your life? If you don’t have anyone to discuss it with, then why not blog about it and ask your readers to keep asking you how it’s going?
Remember that a comment on this post, or on any of my posts from this weekend, will count as an entry into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}– but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that here!
I’ll be back at 8pm with another giveaway! x

Organising Paperwork

This post is about something I’m really NOT good at right now – organising paperwork. I do try, but lately it’s just not been getting done, and there are piles all around my house that look like this:

…about to topple over!
When I do manage to sort through paperwork, I try to arrange in in these files:
The orange one is for general important paperwork, including passports, doctors information, and driving licenses. The blue file is for bills and our house rental contract. The yellow one is for paperwork related to my children, like nursery leaflets, child tax credit statements, and premium bonds my grandparents bought for them. 
The green card folder is for instructions for things we’ve bought, and the purple one is for any receipts we have to keep (except my craft ones). 
My craft receipts go in a separate card folder that I keep in my study (I keep a years worth in here, then they get filed or thrown away):
The last big file I have is for recipes. I have an obsession with buying recipe magazines, and picking up free ones from supermarkets. Then I try to cut out the recipes I like the sound of, and file them into this D-ring file. There’s dividers for starters, mains, etc:
So I know I can be organised with paperwork, I just don’t do it! Why is this? Help me! What can I do to get these piles of paperwork to disappear?! Any tips gratefully received.
Don’t forget that commenting on this post, or any post from this weekend, will enter you into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}– but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning it here

See you in an hour! x
Get Crafting

June in Numbers… How Organised Was I?

It’s time again for the monthly ritual of blogging what’s been going on in my life in a numerical manner, as begun by Julie Kirk of Notes on Paper – you can see her post for this month here.
I didn’t want to leave my Month in Numbers until after the weekend, so instead, I’m going to tell you about my goings on, but focusing on the organising side of things!
We had 12 children on the last ever Creative Creatures weekend course that I’ll be running. We did lots of fun adventurous activities, including having a (rather smoky) fire. Me and Rosie had not been organised enough to remember to bring marshmallows, but luckily our lovely friend that works at the same centre popped out and bought us some – I ate 2 which were melty-delicious!:

There was a jubilee party in our town square, to mark our Queen’s 60 years on the throne. There was a fancy dress competition for my daughter to enter. It would have been nice if I could have organised myself enough to make her a costume, but I didn’t have time, so she just wore her Cinderella outfit. It was a good move, because she won 1st prize:
 (see a layout based on this event here)

When me and my my little ones went for a walk, we were chased by 3 dragons. Imaginary ones, luckily, though they did turn out to be friendly in the end! And I was organised enough to take my camera, which I don’t often remember when we’re popping out for a quick walk – but I was not organised enough to check it was on the right settings. The ISO was set way too high, so the picture is a little grainy, but I love it anyway!:

When my friend Rosie’s brother and his daughter came to visit, we had organised to spend the day at another friend’s house, playing a treasure hunt. However, that friend was unwell at the time, so we had an impromptu trip to the beach instead, and we had exactly 10 items of very damp clothing by the end:

I spent £55.30 on a return ticket to London for my sister’s birthday, because I hadn’t been organised ahead of time to buy it on the cheaper advance tickets. It doesn’t matter, as it was well worth the money – we had such fun, with our mum there too, trying on clothes and watching the Wizard of Oz musical:

I went to my friend’s wedding reception, and danced the night away – I was glad I went, as for a lot of the evening there was only 2 of us on the dancefloor – me and the bride! I hadn’t been organised enough to make the card before the day – but I made this one about 30 minutes before I left:
We went to OS ref: SY983 882 to take a walk with Rosie to Shipstal beach. I was pleased I’d been organised enough to take the buckets and spades, we had fun building castles, and baby had fun knocking them down:

I had to organise costumes and decorations, as well as packing for camping, when we went to my sister and I’s joint birthday party – there were 26 of us in total, and most of us were in Disney costume: 

And finally, something I hadn’t organised, was that my Grandad came to visit us, from approximately 210 miles away, last night (he did tell me he was coming a week before, I just hadn’t organised it myself!). And he unexpectedly brought me this bureaux that he wanted cleared out of his loft. I can’t wait to fill it with stash, it will certainly help me sort some more things out:
So there we go, my up-and-down organising in June! What big or little things are you thankful to have organised, or have worked out okay even if you didn’t organise them before-hand?
Remember, remember, that commenting on this post, or any post from this weekend, will enter you into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}– but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning it here.
I’ll be back shortly! x
Scrapbook Layouts

Organising scraps by using them up!

(Sorry it’s late again – all did not go to plan, I thought my computer was going to give up completely for a moment then!)
I’ve got a couple of projects this weekend about using up scraps of paper, as when I was organising my craft supplies it was my scraps that were annoying me the most, because of how much space they took up, and they didn’t get used as much as they got created! 
If any one else is in this same predicament, then here is one project you can try and use some scraps up on, a sketch for thin strips of paper:

I used it to make this layout:
The ‘pull’ tab has a photo attached to it that’s hidden behind the front photo (I created a pocket behind it using foam tape):
And there’s more writing on the back of the photo:
I’m glad to have used a lot of these border strips and thin bits of paper up, and sorted out my crafting stash a little better! Do you have any projects that you like to use your scraps up on?
Don’t forget that commenting on this post, or any post from this weekend, will enter you into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}– but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning it here
See you again soon! x