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Organisation Celebration Winners So Far!

Drumroll please… it’s time to announce the winners of last weekend’s ‘Organisation Celebration!’ If your name is not listed below, don’t forget there’s still one chance left to win – the challenge to ‘organise’ is open until Sunday night {NOW CLOSED} at 11.59pm GMT – go and sort something!
Without further adieu, the winners are:
The Grand Giveaway (Over £40 worth Supplies) – Jimjams
The Blog Hop Giveaway (phrase solution is further on in this post) – Jayne Sinclair
(details of entrants to each giveaway, and the random number generator to select the winner, are available as word docs if requested)

Contact me at jennifer grace (at) hotmail (dot) co (dot) uk, with ‘prize winner’ in the subject line, if your name is listed above!

Sorry if you’re not a winner this time – thank you for entering!

I will definitely be doing another weekend later in the year on a ‘Winter’ theme. I’m provisionally suggesting the weekend of Friday 16th November to Sunday 18th November. What do you think about that date – are there any public holidays that I should be aware of that might stop people joining in?

Also, following from feedback, the next weekend will be only slightly changed. I will keep posts every hour, but will alternate the length of posts, so that one is shorter (eg. a photo for inspiration, a simple scrapbook layout, a poem, etc) and the next post being longer (a tutorial, a blog hop, a story, etc) – hopefully this will keep it exciting but also mean that people find it easier to keep up. The deadlines for all giveaways will stay the same as I like the ‘rush’ feeling, and being able to wrap it up the following week!
I’ll post more details a month or so before! In the meantime, it would be lovely if you’d show support of the sponsored giveaway shops SJ Crafts, Riky & Nina, Scrap Chic Kits, and Julie Kirk, by shopping with them next time you want to go on a stash spree! 
To finish off the celebration, here’s some final tips from the weekend – these are the one’s I’ve learnt from you! Your comments have given me all kinds of ideas for how to continue my organising over the next 6 months! Here’s just a few of them:
  • How did I not know about Flylady? Thanks to all who suggested her, I’m checking out lots of her ideas now! I particularly like the idea Nathalie pointed out, to break housework into 15 minute segments with 15 minutes break between, that seems manageable!
  • Prevent paperwork piles from starting, so they don’t get cluttered all over the house. I think I probably already knew this one, but having so many of you saying it will give me the push – thanks to Caroline Hackney who suggested ‘respond’ and ‘file’ trays for paperwork as it arrives – I will be doing this!
  • Flickr is a good place to store photos according to a few of you – I haven’t tried it out yet, but I will! Another photo storing tip I’m DEFINITELY going to put to use, is to print off a contact sheet of photos for each of the folders on my desktop, and keep them all in a binder so I can easily find what I need. Thanks Julie H for that brilliant tip!
  • Justasiam suggested clear pockets for the jewellery holder, so you can see what you have – very clever!
I think that’s enough for one day! If I haven’t mentioned a tip you left, don’t feel bad, as they are all written down in my blogging diary, and might pop up sometime over the rest of the year!
I want to thank you all again so much for joining in, I was overwhelmed with the response and was thrilled to get to know you all. I’m still going to contact some of you, about questions you asked and to say thanks for taking part so much! 
On that note, I’ll leave you with the answer to the Blog Hop phrase, in its quote, which most of you managed to discover via google (that’s fine, it’s how I found it in the first place!):
“Three Rules of Work: Out of Clutter Find Simplicity; From Discord, Find Harmony; In the Middle of Difficulty Lies Opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
I don’t know about rules of ‘work’, I think this applies to ‘life’ quite well! Here’s my favourite bit – that you collected – made into a photo to put on my wall and keep me inspired (you can right click and save for your own personal use, if you like):

Made in PicMonkey
Goodbye for now! x
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The End of the Weekend, but Not the End of Organisation!

So here we are, for the final post of the weekend. I have one last tip for you, and a request for feedback. But first of all, I want to give you a few links to the weekend’s highlights. I won’t include all the posts, as there have been 34 in total (including this one!) – if you do ever want to re-visit the others, they are all tagged with an ‘organisation celebration’ label, which can be found in my right sidebar.

For now I want to point out my favourites, in case you missed any of them:

The Giveaways are now CLOSED! Thanks to everyone who entered. The winners will be announced on Thursday 5th July!

The Giveaways – hurry these all end tomorrow night, Monday 2nd July, at 11.59pm BST:

There’s two challenges:
  • A challenge to enter a challenge, {NOW CLOSED} which closes tomorrow night, Monday 2nd July, at 11.59pm GMT – you could win a Bazzill Basics Paper Avalon Kit
  • And a challenge to take inspiration from this weekend {NOW CLOSED!} in some way, which doesn’t close until next Sunday, 8th July, at 11.59pm GMT – you could win an American Crafts Knock Outs Border Punch Starter Kit. You can take inspiration from absolutely anything you’ve seen here this weekend – from scattering gems on a project, to re-organising your stash, to creating a project based on one of the tutorials. What ever you want!
Here’s the tutorials, and a sketch:
Finally, here’s a link to my favourite organisational tip post:
  • Know What You Love – this is my favourite because it’s a mantra that can be adopted for a whole way of life and I feel like it’s becoming a part of me, and making me feel more balanced!
Phew, and that’s just the half of them!
Here’s one last organisational tip for you. Okay, it’s 2 tips really (the second part is further down):
If organisation fails, just do it really really quickly.
If I hadn’t have put this to use, some of these posts would not have appeared this weekend! I was as ready as I thought I’d be, as hubby has been out a lot this week, so I had to spend more time sorting out the kids and housework, and less time blogging. But it all worked out in the end. 
I also put this phrase to use last weekend, for mine and my sister’s birthday party. I had wanted to make some bunting for a backdrop, to drape behind a photo booth we set up. I hadn’t got this done before we left – we were camping at the party venue all weekend. So I took the material and scissors with me, and cut the fringe bunting up on the grass:
And half an hour after I’d started, it was being put to use:

Hee hee!
The second part of the tip is:
Don’t get upset if you don’t manage to organise something – it will be okay!
I had other plans for things for the party last weekend, and for this event this weekend. I often have grand plans for things to organise around my house. These things don’t always work out – but that’s okay. You just do what you can and try to stay relaxed, and life will work out fine!
So there we go. That’s all for this weekend! I hope you’ve really enjoyed it – I have, although I’m quite tired now!
I’d really love it if you can give me some feedback in the comments. 
This is the first weekend blog event I’ve ever run, and I want to know what you think! Constructive criticism will come in handy. For example: 
  • Were there too many post to keep up with? 
  • Would you like to see more posts on a particular theme, eg. more tutorials or challenges? 
  • Is the deadline for entering too short, or is it better that way, because it means you do it now, rather than thinking you’ll come back later and missing the deadline anyway?
Or anything else you can think of!
I’m tentatively thinking of hosting another weekend like this towards the end of November, on a ‘Winter’ theme. It would include a few Christmas related things, like gifts you could make for people, but it would also just be winter themed projects and recipes etc. What do you think? Would you come back? Would you tell other people about it? 
If you like the idea so much that you’d like to be involved in the next one, for example by sponsoring a giveaway, or being part of the blog hop, then contact me at jennifer grace (at) hotmail (dot) co (dot) uk.
Thanks again so much to everyone who’s stopped by this weekend, I hope to see you again at Jennifer’s Jumbles!
Goodnight! x

Get Crafting

Another Organisational Tip… and Thank You to Sponsors!

Further down in this post there’s another organisational tip for you, but I want to start off by saying a big Thank You to my lovely giveaway sponsors.
When I was planning this weekend, I wanted it to be full of giveaways. I knew that even if my posts were interesting, there’s still an extra thrill that comes with the chance to get your hand on free stash, right?! I knew I could only afford to spend a certain amount, and me and my husband sat down and carefully worked out what I could afford to spend (all the giveaway prizes except for the sponsored giveaways were bought by me). I knew I could get some decent prizes with the budget we worked out, but I really needed some more for the weekend to feel full of great stuff to win!
So I contacted some shops asking if they would like to sponsor a giveaway, giving them all the details of the weekend, and telling them about me and my blog stats. I was a little scared. I worried that they might think ‘who’d want to sponsor her?’. But I kept telling myself that if I didn’t ask then I definitely wouldn’t get!
I am so grateful to SJ Crafts, Riky and Nina, Scrap Chic Kits, and Julie Kirk, for sponsoring their respective giveaways this weekend. Thanks so much for supporting Jennifer’s Jumbles by doing this, it wouldn’t have been the same weekend without you! I feel like I’ve gotten to know each shop owner a little more, and I know I’ll keep going back to buying stuff from their shops!
The Giveaways are now CLOSED! Thanks to everyone who entered. The winners will be announced on Thursday 5th July!

If you missed any of these sponsored giveaways, then here’s the links. You could win:
Make sure you’ve entered them all – and hurry, they all end tomorrow night, Monday 2nd July, at 11.59pm BST! 
If you want to pop to their shops again at all, then you can use their sponsor buttons, which will be in my sidebar for the next month!
Now, for your penultimate organisational tip of the weekend:
Spend time to make time.
I’m trying to get myself out of the habit of thinking that a thing will take too long to organise, so I don’t even bother starting it. I know that a lot of things that I’ve spent time organising over 2012 have helped me to streamline my life.
If I hadn’t spent 3 evenings trying to figure out my top 3 scrapbooking brands, then I’d still be spending too much time browsing blogs and products from other brands.
If I had taken the time to organise all my kids toys, and to teach my daughter to pack them away too, then I’d still be getting frustrated over the chaotic mess each evening.
And if I hadn’t spent time figuring out the best way to photograph my work, then I’d still be wasting time wandering around the house to find the good spot each time I tried to get some pictures of my crafts.
Obviuosly that’s just a selection of the ways I’ve spent time organising over the last 6 months, which has helped me to have more time – to do even more organising!
For example, I spent half an hour watching TV the other night, with a pile of paper scraps and my Martha Stewart Butterfly Punch beside me. I half-filled a glass with butterflies of all different colours. This has helped rid me of some scraps, so I have less of a pile to sift through each time I want to use some, and has given me a quick, ready made embellishment to add to my projects when I’m in a hurry, yay! (This is similar to Clair’s egg-cups of punched shapes that she shared in her blog hop post!)
Have you been putting off organising something because you think it will take too long? Is there a small step you could take to begin the process?

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 soon for the final Organisation Celebration post! x
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I Challenge You… To Organise!

{CHALLENGE NOW CLOSED} 

Did you see this one coming? This is the final prize from the ‘Organistation Celebration’ weekend, and you could win this:

An American Crafts Knock Outs Border Punch Starter Kit. These punches look totally fun – you can get so many different styles of border punch to slot into this starter kit!
All you need to do to enter is: 

Take inspiration from something I’ve posted this weekend. 
Go and organise something – and blog about it (or upload it to an online gallery)! Then come back here to link the project up. This challenge is open a little longer than all the other giveaways this weekend, so that you have a chance to put your thinking cap on and get sorted!
{CHALLENGE NOW CLOSED}

The challenge will close next Sunday night, on the 8th of July, at 11.59pm (GMT) changed to  Monday 9th July, 11.59pm GMT
If you need a reminder about some of the things you could do, then watch out for the last post tonight, which will include some links back to the weekend’s highlights!
Don’t forget that a comment on this post, or on any of my posts from this weekend, will count as an entry into the Grand Giveaway {GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED} – but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that here!

Back again soon! x

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Tutorial – A Mini Book to Organise Scraps and Everyday Photos

(Sorry for the delay again, my server wasn’t letting me upload the last couple of photos!)

Warning – this is a photo heavy post!

I wanted another project to use up some more of my paper off cuts and little scrappy bits. And while I was thinking about making the project, we were backing up all the photos from my Ipod touch (thankfully just before it got thrown down the toilet and destroyed by my baby!). There were photos from a whole year still stored on there, and I realised there were a lot of them that I hadn’t done anything with – because either the quality was too bad, or they didn’t have a ‘big’ story to go with them.
So I can up with this mini-album, inspired by Heidi Swapp’s memory files, and Amy Tan’s Day Books. Here’s my Mini File Folder Album:
The box started life as a cup-a-soup packet, 5″ tall by 4″ wide, which I cut the lid and front off of:
I used the flap of the lid to trace around, for the tab cut-out of the front:
Then I painted the inside of the box with gesso, covered the outside of the box with patterned paper from my scrap pile (using Mod-Podge to adhere it), and made the title by cutting a label-shape with my Slice design cutter, and layering on paper, mini-alphas, a butterfly, and gems:
Then, for the files to go inside I sorted out a couple of piles of paper, one of larger off-cuts, and one of smaller scraps:

I cut some of the larger pieces to 11″ x 3¾” (so they were twice the height of the box, plus a little extra to adhere a tab to), and then a few more strips getting a little smaller each time. I layered some of these up, and machine stitched them down the middle, day-book style (a couple of these have a smaller piece at the back – the machine stitching just goes along the bottom edge of this back piece, but through the middle of the layers on top):

I cut other bits down to 6″ x 4″, some are a little thinner because the scraps were smaller, and some are funny shapes where bits had been cut off before:
Then I took a big batch of mini photos, which were all approx 2″ square:
And put them into the ‘files’ along with decoration of the smaller scraps, and other bits and pieces (I’ve made a slideshow of the day-book style files, as there were so many photos:

They all have different ‘tabs’ at the top, spaced out in different places, so you can see which one you’d like to pull out from the file box. A lot of the tabs are chipboard pieces which I stuck to the top of the file, and then cut around, so they were left sticking up at the top. All the files ended up around 5″ high, plus the height of the tabs:
I love having somewhere to record all these little moments, and that they don’t have to be connected like I’d want them to be in a mini-book. There’s still some space and some spare files for me to finish using all those photos up too. Then I’ll need to make another box for some more!
Do you print out any photos of ‘little moments’ to use in little projects?
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 shortly! x
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Organising Meals

Right now it’s dinner time. I like to eat, so it’s an important time of day for me!
I don’t generally use weekly meal plans (unlike Leanne who wrote about meals plans as part of her blog hop post), the only time I do is if I’m ordering the food shopping online, or maybe if we have guests coming to stay. Otherwise I often just buy what we need on the day – but I still plan it ahead, because I like to buy it early in the day.
I’ve found that what works for me best when organising my meals is to start preparing and / or cooking it as early in the day as possible
In the winter I love to cook lots of slow cooker meals, that I can make in the morning during baby’s naptime, and then leave until it’s time for our evening meal. The only trouble comes from trying not to eat it earlier because of the yummy smells spreading through the house!
In the summer we eat meals like jacket potatoes, or chicken pasta bake, that can be cooking for an hour or so before dinner time, or something like my pork and apple burgers, that I can prepare in the afternoon but then cook super quickly at dinner time.
But, if all else fails, and I’ve been totally un-organised, there’s nothing wrong with having the occasional fish-and-chips:
And yes, this is the meal I’m eating right now, hastily photographed and uploaded for you to see. Jealous? Sorry!
Do you plan your meals in advance? Is there one that you fall back on when you have no time to spare?

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 – just four posts of the weekend left to go! x
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Organising my Blogging

(Sorry if the posts haven’t been on the hour over the last couple of hours, I published this one when out at the beach and I thought it had worked, but then I came back home and I couldn’t find it – I think some of you could see it though – I’m not sure what went wrong!)

As you may have guessed, this weekend has taken a fair amount of organising!

I started sketching out ideas on a spare page of my diary a few months ago, and then I plotted it all out on an Excel spreadsheet, checking I had enough posts for each hour, and colour coding it to make sure the giveaways and tutorials would be spread throughout the weekend. The arrangement of them has changed slightly, which I’ve jotted out in pen on the printed out spreadsheet:

I also contacted blog hop participants and sponsors over a month ago, to see if they’d be interested in joining in.
And I bought lots of giveaway prizes around the same time, so that I could get them in plenty of time to photograph them – I wanted to do sneaks in advance of the weekend as well.
Plus of course I had to photograph lots of organising related things, and make some projects – then photograph them, and edit the photos!
Oh, and write all the posts! I hadn’t managed to get it all done before the weekend started, and in fact, I’m finishing this post at the beach!


I usually plan my blogging out in my day a page diary, here I’ve been jotting down numbers all through the month of March for my Month in Numbers post. Then a couple of days before the post needs to go live I type it up and start putting the photos in.


How do you plan your blogging? (If you do blogging!)


Don’t forget 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!