A household planner can make your life run more smoothly and save your sanity. Take a look at this Happy Planner Mini household setup.

Keeping a household running smoothly can be a daunting task. There are so many things to keep track of: budgets, bills, groceries, chores, and household maintenance. Without away to record things, it can be difficult to keep up, and important tasks can easily be forgotten. However, if you’re a planner girl, you already know there is a simple solution to staying on top of things and making stuff happen – the household planner!

What Goes into the Household Planner?

When you’re setting up a household organizer, first make a list of all the everyday things you need to track. Take your time with this. You may find that different things come to you over the course of a few days, and you’ll think “I could track this in my planner!” Write it down.

Some suggestions to get the wheels turning:

  • Menu plans
  • Grocer lists
  • Chore lists
  • Seasonal maintenance tasks
  • Bill due dates
  • School/church/sports activities
  • Emergency information

Each family has their own unique schedules and needs, and all of these can be planned for and tracked in your household planner.

The Happy Planner Mini

I’ll be honest. I’m the creative type (the blog name alludes to that, no?), so I like to DIY a lot of things, including my planners. So when I begin to set one up, I don’t typically buy the ready-made kits at the store, although they’re lovely and adorable and priced very reasonably.

Instead, I purchase the refills and binding (in this case, discs) and put together my own from scratch.

A household planner can make your life run more smoothly and save your sanity. Take a look at this Happy Planner Mini household setup.

You can read about how I created this one here: Mixed Media Planner Cover

The result is something unique to me, and because I have so much fun making it, I feel more motivate to actually use it.

A Peek Inside

There are truly endless ways to set up and decorate your household planner. Here are a few photos showing the way I use mine.

A household planner can make your life run more smoothly and save your sanity. Take a look at this Happy Planner Mini household setup.

Monthly view: the focus area for deep cleaning each week is written on washi strips. Bill due dates are recorded here, too, for easy reference.

 

A household planner can make your life run more smoothly and save your sanity. Take a look at this Happy Planner Mini household setup.

The refill kit comes with clear stickers for labeling the month and date. They are tiny, though, and can be tricky to align. Use tweezers to help with precise placement.

A household planner can make your life run more smoothly and save your sanity. Take a look at this Happy Planner Mini household setup.

Each night’s dinner menu is written on the weekly spread, along with which specific deep-cleaning chores I plan to do each day. Stickers make it fun to track!

 

A household planner can make your life run more smoothly and save your sanity. Take a look at this Happy Planner Mini household setup.

The disc binding makes for easier decorating – you can pop the two page spread right out, and when you finish, the pages glide right in and stay secure.

So there you have it. A household planner can save time and sanity. The Happy Planner Mini makes for a handy one to start with, and its disc binding allows you to add to and subtract from it whatever you need. I’d love to see how you plan and track household chores! Come on over to the Facebook group and show us what you’re working with!

P.S. You can find all sorts of planner goodies in my Etsy shop, Kreative Paperie.

Use a daily planning spread in your bullet journal to keep up with all those random bits of to-do lists, grocery lists, and notes to self.

Welcome back to another week of bullet journal basics! Hopefully you’ve found something useful or inspirational in this series of posts. I’d love to know what you’ve taken away from them. Are you already a bullet journal believer? A recent convert? Not currently a bullet journaler, but thinking about starting? Leave me a comment or email me and let me know how you’re feeling about bujo these days.

Today, our series continues with a discussion of daily planning in your bullet journal.

Why Daily Planning?

A daily planning spread is a great place to record all those to-do lists, grocery lists, and notes to self that won’t fit into the boxes of a monthly or weekly spread. All those random tidbits that usually find themselves on scraps of paper or sticky notes go here, where they are safe and secure, and best of all, can be referred back to when needed.

What’s a Daily Spread Look Like?

Use a daily planning spread in your bullet journal to keep up with all those random bits of to-do lists, grocery lists, and notes to self.A daily spread can be as simple or as decorative as you care to make it. You can fit as many days onto the page as you like, or simply use a whole page for each of the week. It completely depends on how you will use your dailies and how detailed or busy your lists tend to be.

How I Use the Daily Spread

I tend to only record short to-do lists on my daily spreads. Notes and things I want to remember go into a separate journal in my traveler’s notebook (a topic we will explore here on the blog very soon!).  As such, I am able to fit three or four days onto a single page.

Use a daily planning spread in your bullet journal to keep up with all those random bits of to-do lists, grocery lists, and notes to self.

Keep in mind, though, that because I am at work for a full ten hours a day, my task lists are not very long, because I simply don’t have the time in the day to complete more than a few items.

Use a daily planning spread in your bullet journal to keep up with all those random bits of to-do lists, grocery lists, and notes to self.

I also like to use my dailies as a place to practice handwriting and try out different ideas for headers. Search Pinterest for tons of ideas and inspiration for bullet journal headers!

Use a daily planning spread in your bullet journal to keep up with all those random bits of to-do lists, grocery lists, and notes to self.As you can see, daily spreads can be pretty much whatever you need them to be. They make a great addition to the monthly and weekly spreads we’ve already looked at, or you can use nothing but dailies to plan your entire year. It’s the flexibility of the bullet journal system that makes it so useful.

So what do you think? Do you use daily spreads? Show us what you’ve got over in the Facebook group. Or drop me a line and let me know if you have any questions. I’d love to talk bullet journal with you! And be sure to drop by next week, as we wrap up this bujo series with collections spreads. Fun, fun!

 

Make your own planner cover in an afternoon with a few simple supplies. This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly how to do it yourself.

Hello there, and welcome to my stop on the Spring Fling blog hop!

What is it about longer days and warmer weather that lifts our spirits and makes us feel like anything is possible? In my corner of the world, spring doesn’t last very long, and summer can be – well, let’s just leave it at “unpleasant.” But spring is my favorite time of year, and when I’m not outside enjoying it, I find myself wanting to get crafty.

I’m a recent convert to the idea of using a planner for fun and function, and since I discovered MAMBI’s Happy Planner, I’ve enjoyed coming up with new accessories for it. Today I’m sharing a mixed media cover set for the HP Mini.

Make your own planner cover in an afternoon with a few simple supplies. This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly how to do it yourself.

It was a lot of fun to make, and I’m in love with how it turned out. Included is a step-by-step tutorial for you to make your own, as well. Enjoy!

  1. Gather supplies

    Make your own planner cover in an afternoon with a few simple supplies. This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly how to do it yourself.

    White cardstock, Perfect Medium embossing pen gelatos, cling wrap, water sprayer bottle, clear embossing ink, HP punch. (Not shown: laminator and laminating sheets)

  2. Draw your design

    Make your own planner cover in an afternoon with a few simple supplies. This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly how to do it yourself.

    Mandala design – I googled “hand drawn mandala” and took inspiration from some I saw in the search results.

  3. Emboss
    Make your own planner cover in an afternoon with a few simple supplies. This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly how to do it yourself.

    Cover design completely with embossing powder, then shake off the excess.

    Make your own planner cover in an afternoon with a few simple supplies. This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly how to do it yourself.

    Design covered with embossing powder. Use a heat gun to melt the powder.

  4. Add media
    Make your own planner cover in an afternoon with a few simple supplies. This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly how to do it yourself.

    I used gelatos in spring-inspired colors: robin’s egg blue, sky blue, grass green, and daffodil yellow.

    Make your own planner cover in an afternoon with a few simple supplies. This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly how to do it yourself.

    Put the color medium of your choice onto a sheet of cling wrap, then spray water generously to get the color moving.

    Make your own planner cover in an afternoon with a few simple supplies. This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly how to do it yourself.

    “Smash” the color onto the white cardstock. You may need to pick up the plastic and move it around to get the coverage you want.

    Make your own planner cover in an afternoon with a few simple supplies. This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly how to do it yourself.

    Your embossed design will show through the color.

  5. Add finishing touches
    Make your own planner cover in an afternoon with a few simple supplies. This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly how to do it yourself.

    I handwrote the phrase “Make it Happen” with the embossing pen, then covered it with gold embossing powder.

    Make your own planner cover in an afternoon with a few simple supplies. This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly how to do it yourself.

    Added some “zazzies” and heated the powder.

  6. Laminate
    Make your own planner cover in an afternoon with a few simple supplies. This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly how to do it yourself.

    For a Happy Planner mini, both covers should fit into one laminating sheet.

    Make your own planner cover in an afternoon with a few simple supplies. This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly how to do it yourself.

    Use a 4 mil laminating sheet for a really sturdy cover.

  7. Trim and punch
    Make your own planner cover in an afternoon with a few simple supplies. This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly how to do it yourself.

    After trimming away the excess laminate, use a page from your Happy Planner to line up where holes should be punched. Use a grease pencil or marker to mark placement.

    Make your own planner cover in an afternoon with a few simple supplies. This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly how to do it yourself.

    Turn the punch upside down to see where the holes should align. Make sure the edge of the cover is inserted all the way into the punch before punching.

     

  8. Bind
    Make your own planner cover in an afternoon with a few simple supplies. This easy step-by-step tutorial shows you exactly how to do it yourself.

    Use your favorite discs to bind your covers and your Happy Planner pages together.

     

     

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little spring planner tutorial. If you’d like to be among the first to know when I post more content like this, be sure to subscribe to the Kreative Updates email list. You’ll get this cool printable freebie when you do!

Free printable journaling cards

And to continue the blog hop, scoot on over to my friend Beth’s blog, Scrapping Wonders, for more mixed media fun, this time in a traveler’s notebook! Beth’s post

Or catch the whole thing:

Karen Fitting: Think Spring http://wp.me/pdovL-qG
Lisa Harris: Mixed Media Spring Planner Cover: http://mykreativepursuits.com/mixed-media-planner-cover/
Beth Soler: Mixed Media Travelers Notebook http://wp.me/p2E66M-2XQ
Kristie Sloan: Spring – Word Tags for all Seasons, home decor http://kristiesloan.com/spring-word-tags-for-all-seasons/

 

Use a weekly spread in your bullet journal to keep you on track for all your appointments, tasks, menus, outfits, and more.

Hello again! I hope you’re enjoying this little mini-series of posts about bullet journaling. It seems to be a popular topic these days. Just this week, one of my small biz idols, April Bowles, blogged about her use of the bullet journal to organize and plan her life. Her post is super in-depth, and a great resource for new and old bujo’ers alike. You should check it out: Blacksburg Belle Bullet Journaling 101

Today, I’d like to continue our discussion with a look at weekly planning.

Why Weekly Planning?

A weekly spread can be super useful in planning all kinds of things, from meals to outfits, to everything in between. Appointments, events, errands, and cleaning tasks all go here, and you can refer to your weekly spread each morning before you begin your day and each evening as you cap it off.

What’s A Weekly Planner Spread Look Like?

Use a weekly spread in your bullet journal to keep you on track for all your appointments, tasks, menus, outfits, and more.

There are lots of ways to layout a weekly spread in your bullet journal. You can create an eight-box grid (seven boxes for each day of the week, plus one for quotes, notes, or reminders. You can do seven or eight columns and treat each as a daily to-do or shopping list. The possibilities are endless, and you can find several examples in my Etsy shop Kreative Paperie.

How I Use The Weekly Spread

I’ve found that my favorite weekly layout includes a small section for the dates and major appointments,

Use a weekly spread in your bullet journal to keep you on track for all your appointments, tasks, menus, outfits, and more.

plus boxes for each day of the week for listing tasks and menus,

Use a weekly spread in your bullet journal to keep you on track for all your appointments, tasks, menus, outfits, and more.

plus a to-do/to-buy list with a space for reminders for the upcoming week and a spot for a quote.

Use a weekly spread in your bullet journal to keep you on track for all your appointments, tasks, menus, outfits, and more.

It may seem busy, but after a l0t of trial and error, I’ve found that this layout works best for me. I like to add a little strip of washi across the top so I have something fun to look at, and when I have the time, I often whip out the colored pencils and color in the headers to match. The weekly spread is one I use more than any other, so I like to jazz it up a little.

Do you have a favorite weekly spread for your planner or bullet journal? Let’s see it! Come on over to the Facebook group and show us what you’ve got!

See you next week – same Bat time, same Bat channel!

 

Use monthly planning spreads in your bullet journal or planner see a high-level overview of your month, track your workouts, even plan menus.

Hello again, and welcome back! This is our second week to discuss what bullet journaling consists of, and this week’s topic is monthly planning. My goal this month is to share with you some of the basics of bullet journaling and explain things in such a way that, if you’ve never used a bullet journal – or bujo, for short – you’ll at least know what one is and whether it’s a good fit for you. Also, if you’re already a bujo believer, maybe I can offer you some fresh ideas and inspiration, or at least someone to geek out about bullet journaling with. So let’s take a look at monthly planning.

Why Monthly Planning?

Having a spot in your bullet journal where you can record more detailed information about your monthly events can be quite handy. Your Calendex, or future log, is a great way to get a high-level overview of your whole quarter or half-year, but the monthly spread allows you to zoom in and record everyday appointments and activities that might not merit an entry in your Calendex.

What’s a Monthly Spread Look Like?

Use monthly planning spreads in your bullet journal or planner see a high-level overview of your month, track your workouts, even plan menus.

A typical monthly spread in a bullet journal looks very similar to monthly pages in ready-made planners. In a dot grid or squared notebook, the bullet journaler typically counts out the number of spaces she wants the calendar to take up, either on one page or a two-page spread, then draws the calendar to fit within that space.

How I Use A Monthly Spread

I like having a monthly spread, but I don’t use it heavily. I mostly log in the events I know I need to allot time for, then refer back to the monthly spread as I work out my weekly spreads (we’ll discuss those next week). As appointments, events, and other things come my way, I place them on the monthly spread, and then when it’s time to plan the week in which that activity occurs, I place it there as well.

Use monthly planning spreads in your bullet journal or planner see a high-level overview of your month, track your workouts, even plan menus.

In my Moleskine cahier notebook, the monthly calendar boxes all measure 5 squares wide x 6 squares high, and I always draw five rows, because I don’t like to have two days share the same box (like the 19th and the 26th in the same square). Use monthly planning spreads in your bullet journal or planner see a high-level overview of your month, track your workouts, even plan menus.

I like to leave room on the right-hand side to write major activities in list form. I might use the boxes inside the calendar to record small things I want to remember or tasks I know I need to keep track of before I’m ready to plan the week in which they should occur (example: Clean baseboards March 24 – I’m not ready to plan the week of March 24, so I’ll put the reminder on the monthly spread until I am).

Use monthly planning spreads in your bullet journal or planner see a high-level overview of your month, track your workouts, even plan menus.

These are the more fun spreads for me, too. I like to dress them up with a little bit of washi and, if I’m feeling adventurous, maybe even some stickers.

Some planners and bullet journalers rely more heavily on their monthly spreads than I do. The monthly layout is a great way to track habits, plan menus, and a host of other uses.  I’d love to know how you use yours! Come on over to the Facebook page, and let’s chat about it!

And if you want monthly spreads already done for you, visit my Etsy shop Kreative Paperie, where you’ll find printables in several different sizes.

 

Hello again, and happy March! In like a lion, out like a lamb, they say. So in that spirit, we are going to tackle the topic of the month like beasts!

Why, what is the topic of this month, you say? I’m so happy you asked! This month it’s all about the bullet journal, or “bujo,” as the cool kids call it.

By the end of March, hopefully you’ll have a clear idea of what a bullet journal is and what it can do for you. You’ll also have some ideas about which layouts you might like to begin with or incorporate into your existing bullet journal. Sound good? Great! Let’s get started with one of my favorites – future planning using the “Calendex.”

What’s a Calendex?

The Calendex was conceived of by a web designer named Eddy Hope as a way to replace monthly calendars. His original design uses a page-recording method to track tasks as they are logged into your bullet journal on subsequent weekly and daily pages. Many bullet journalers, myself included, have adapted it to better fit their own needs. (Read this post by Cara at Boho Berry for her take on it)

Why Future Planning?

Using a Calendex, you can get a birdseye overview of your schedule up to six months at a time. Whenever you receive an invitation or need to book an appointment, just flip to your Calendex and you can see at-a-glance whether you are available. Imagine never double-booking yourself again, or knowing exactly when the best time will be to take that weekend getaway you’ve been dreaming of. Future planning is a great tool to help you meet your goals.

How I Use It (Mini-tutorial)

In my bullet journal, I record actual appointments and events directly onto my Calendex instead of writing page numbers. I like knowing what I’m looking at for each date on the books, rather than just knowing when I have events.

Following is my step-by-step process for setting up a 6-month Calendex:

  1. Number the dates vertically. Since this is a 6-month overview, I’ll go ahead and list all possible dates, 1 – 31.

2. Draw divider lines between months. In my Moleskine cahier grid notebook, each month can be 8 squares wide

3. Repeat these steps on the facing page.

4. Across the top, label the months you’re planning.

5. Begin dividing each month into weeks. It’s up to you whether to separate your months into Sunday-Saturday weeks or Monday – Sunday weeks. My dividers are between Saturdays and Sundays, so I know the first day of each week is on a Sunday date.

6. Black out any dates that do not occur in that month. February only has 28 days, so I have shaded in the 29, 30, and 31.

7. Proceed until all your months are complete.

8. Add in important events

A lot of people prefer to color code types of events. My mind views this as visual clutter, so I’m a write-it-in-pencil kind of gal. But you can add letter stickers to jazz up the title of your page and put washi in the unneeded date spaces. Whatever makes you happy, do it. You’ll be looking at this page for up to six months, so make it something you love.

Other Ideas for the Calendex

I use a similar approach for planning my blog and social media posts. Instead of breaking the page down by months, I break one month down into categories: Blog, E-mail, Facebook, Instagram, and Etsy. I divide the weeks vertically, with each week ending on Saturday. This makes it easy for me to see exactly what I’ve planned to post and on which dates/days of the week.

This would work well for setting up a housekeeping schedule as well. Each vertical category could be a room or zone in your house. It could be used as a budget planning tool, a meal planner, and a whole host of other types of weekly, monthly, or quarterly planners. The beauty of the Calendex is its flexibility.

So what do you think? Will you try future planning in your bullet journal or planner? Let’s talk about it! Come on over to the Facebook group and share what you’re up to.

Want a Calendex that’s already done for you? Visit my Etsy shop, Kreative Paperie, for printable versions for many sizes/types of planners.

Till next time, happy crafting!

 

Your journaling can come from the heart, whatever purpose it serves - whether memory keeping or recording your emotions. Here's how. http://mykreativepursuits.com/journaling-your-heart

Capture the Heart With Your Journaling

Here we are, ending up February, our month of love. Hard to believe two months of the new year have already passed by. So far, we’ve made – and hopefully kept – some scrappy resolutions, leveled up our lives, miraclized our mornings (totally a word – I know ’cause I just made it up!), envisioned our goals, loved on our family, friends, and coworkers, and taken a brief but painful hiatus for filing tax returns. Productive, we have been!

I’d like to keep the momentum going with our last “heartfelt” topic for February – capturing the heart of the story through journaling.

Just the Facts, Ma’am

If you’re like me, your scrapbook pages tend to suffer from the “Just the Facts” syndrome. You know what I mean – the whole “Who, What When, Where, Why, How” template. Example:

The Harris family went on vacation the summer of 2015 in Tennessee. We took a road trip and had a wonderful time enjoying the mountains we love so much.

Okay, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this bit of journaling, but when I go back to read it in ten years, I won’t have a sense of how it felt to be on vacation with my family. What we saw, ate, touched, smelled. Someday, I’ll want to relive those moments, and even though a picture paints a thousand words, I can add to them quite well with just a few well-chosen sentences or an entire beginning-middle-end story.

Storytime

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all our journaling could capture those specific moments in time that we want to hold onto forever? The truth is, it can! You don’t have to be a professional storyteller to use some of their tried and true techniques for communicating the heart of the story. Here are a few:

  • Close your eyes and play the memory like a movie in your mind. Then write down your impressions – what stands out? How did the sunshine feel on your face? Was it a cold winter day? Could you smell the smoke of a wood fire on the air? What were you feeling at the moment? Were you anticipating flying down the hill on your skis for the first time of the season?
  • Choose a strong opening. Borrow from books you love (I like to study children’s books for openings – they tend to be pared down and efficient).
    • Strong action – “My sunglasses sank to the bottom of the stingray pool. I looked at the attendant with despair.”
    • Important dialogue – “I’m starving! We need to grab some breakfast!” said Ethan. “I know just the place. My ‘sources’ say there’s a funnel cake stand right around the corner!” I replied.
    • Setting – “It was a cold November morning. The room was dimly lit, and I quietly pulled my chair alongside Mama’s hospital bed. Everyone else was sleeping, and I wanted to protect our time together.”
  • Move along the middle. Be sure you keep the action going. While you want to include enough details to jog your memory years from now, you don’t want to get too bogged down in them (Ever listen to a four-year-old relate a story? Avoid that)
  • End on a reflective note. Tie your story up so that the last sentence reminds you how the story began. “We had explored the entire Ripley’s Aquarium, and taken hundreds of photos, but somehow, my embarrassing moment would be the one we would remember always. Thankfully, it was not photographed.”

Not Every Story Has a Happy Ending

Sometimes your journaling is not for memory keeping purposes. Sometimes it is for processing feelings, reflecting on the past, and looking ahead to brighter days. That’s when a bullet journal can come in handy. You can create any kind of layout you want to record your thoughts and feelings, and no one ever has to see them. These can be some of the most heartfelt stories.

bullet journaling

My words, captured at this moment in my life.

journaling card in a bullet journal

Information about why the song is meaningful to me.

Journaling in a bullet journal with tip-ins

The whole spread.

Put Your Heart Into It

However you choose to journal – in a scrapbook to preserve memories or in a bullet journal to record your thoughts, feelings, and seasons in life, there are many ways to make it meaningful. I’d love to see how you put your heart into your journaling. Hop on over to the MKP Facebook group, and let’s chat!

In keeping with the love theme for February, I thought we could talk about some other special kinds of non-romantic love.  Valentine’s is on its way, and these groups often get overlooked. What if we celebrated them instead?

Friendly Love

Whether you have a tiny circle or a huge squad, your friends can become a significant part of your life, and they deserve to know how much you appreciate them. They’re with us through the rough times, and they make the good times more fun. Some say that we are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with, so it stands to reason that we have a lot in common with our best friends, and that’s why we love them so much.

Coworkers

Another group of people we spend lots of time with is our coworkers. Even in the most professional environments, it’s hard not to get to know the people with whom we work on a personal level. In some cases, these people quickly become part of our circle of confidants, and before you know it, they are as important to us as any friend.

Show Them Some Love

Since Valentine’s is next week, I wanted to share with you some quick, easy, fun projects that let each of these people know how much you care. They’re inexpensive and easy to assemble, so you can spread the love to everyone.

All That and Bag of Chips

Just pick up a variety pack of chips and attach this sassy tag with a length of baker’s twine or curling ribbon. There’s plenty of room on the back to write a personal message, should the situation call for it. It makes a great gift for guys and girls alike.

You’re the BALM

This one is perfect for female coworkers. Who can’t use an extra lip balm this time of year? Pick up an EOS style – preferably pink or red – and tape this adorable message on. She’ll love it!

Like You A Latte

For your coffee-loving friends and coworkers, this is a perfect little pick-me up. Grab a box of Starbucks Via instant Latte packets and attach this message to the front.

I Need S’more Coworkers Like You

Last but not least, another great gift for the guys or girls around the office. You can attach the tag to any type of s’mores related gift – I opted for a bag of cookies because it requires literally no prep. But you could put together a real s’mores kit with graham crackers, milk chocolate, and marshmallows, attach the tag, and voila! Easy Valentine.

But, how?

“That’s all well and good, Lisa,” you may be saying, “and your teddy bear model is adorable, but how am I supposed to pull all this together in just a few days?”

Easy – I’ve created this freebie, just for YOU. Just download, print as many copies as  you need, and start spreading the love. Want more options? Visit my Etsy shop listings at Kreative Paperie. You may just find a treat or two there for yourself.

Enjoy, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

The family. we were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.

– Erma Bombeck

February is the month of love, and as such, love is a popular blogging topic this time of year. But for many of us (myself included), romantic love just isn’t a focus in our lives at the moment, for whatever reasons, and for whatever season. So I thought my little blog could focus on love of other kinds this month. This week, it’s all about family.

Family Love

Most scrapbookers and journalers, and even planner girls I know got started with their hobby because of a love for their families. Think about it. We make scrapbook pages, filling volumes of albums, about the people (and pets!) who are most important to us – our families. Whether it’s your extended family, your nuclear family, or your alternative family, I’d bet if I flipped through your pages, I’d find tons of photos and information about them. Why? I believe it’s because even if they drive us crazy, even if they themselves are crazy, even if they are the most dysfunctional people we know, we cannot help but to deeply love our families.

They are the ones who celebrate with us in good times and weep with us in bad times. We can go days, weeks, months, and even years  without having contact, but our hearts still long for the love of the ones we grew up with, sharing experiences no one else would understand. It’s a bond that can be strained, but is never fully broken.

Creating a Family Tree

Recently, I had the pleasure of creating a layout for my ScrapHappy friend Alice Boll to be used in her Layout A Day challenge. The prompt was to create a page based on your family tree. Honestly, doing something like this has always been on my scrappy bucket list, and I suppose because of that, I almost immediately got a vision for what I’d want that page to be.

I started out at Ancestry.com. I knew I could create a visual representation of my family tree, so I set up a free trial account and started punching in information. By the way, the commercials are true! It really is a thrill to see a leaf pop up for a family member, and you can spend hours tracking down new and interesting tidbits about your ancestors. For my purposes, I set up a simple tree starting with my parents, continuing with me and my siblings (I’m the youngest of 6!), and our children. I did not include spouses, and I stopped with the third generation – anything more simply wouldn’t fit on a 12 x 12 spread, which was the format I was working with.

 

NOTE: You can plug in photos of your family members as you add them to your tree. I was working within a deadline, so I didn’t use that option, but it would look really cool on a scrapbook or journal page if you did!

Scrapbooking Your Family Tree

I decided that I would try to use the printed family tree and paint an actual tree around it. I printed the chart from Ancestry.com using a laser printer. I had to work with the settings a little to shrink the printout enough so that it was no wider than 12″. Once I had that, I pasted the chart to a piece of white 12″ x 12″ cardstock, then coated the whole thing with clear gesso.

I watched this SUPER inspiring and helpful video to learn how to use my Walmart Crayola brand watercolors to create something that would look like a tree.

Then practiced in a watercolor journal. I highly recommend practicing before you commit to your actual layout, especially if you are not familiar with the medium and/or the subject matter that you will attempt to create.

Next, I transferred my newly learned skills to the actual page. If you try this, don’t be alarmed by the wrinkling and warping. This is simply what happens when water meets paper. Once everything is dry, you can place your layout underneath a towel or pillowcase and go over it with a hot iron to press it out.

The next step is to just put it all together with photo(s), embellishments, title, and journaling. Get as wildly creative or go as simple as you like. I think I landed somewhere in the middle, with a two-part title using woodgrain and pink glitter Thickers and mini alphabet stickers.

Just a simple strip of patterned paper behind the matted photo, part of a border sticker, and a round sticker make up the embellishments.

Confession: All the little things I needed to stick down wouldn’t stick down so well. This was because the clear gesso gives the paper a “tooth,” or grainy texture. Just use a good liquid glue, such as Beacon 3-in-1, to remedy that problem.

Have you done a family tree layout? I’d love to see! Link me up in the comments or come on over to the MKP Facebook group and show us what you’ve got!

In several of the Facebook groups I follow, there has been talk all month long about creating vision boards. Many members created digital ones, or Pinterest boards dedicated to their goals, and some creative types even went so far as to have coffee mugs created using their vision board graphics, as a daily reminder of all they’d like to achieve. One of my coworkers even caught the vision board fever, and I’m afraid it was contagious. I found myself getting more and more excited about creating just such a project. But I didn’t want to just topple down the rabbit hole blindly. In true Lisa fashion, I needed to research first. Here’s what I turned up.

Why Vision Boards?

I snooped around the old interwebs a bit and found that, as with many things, there are conflicting ideas about using vision boards to help with setting and achieving goals. Huffington Post featured an entire article listing all the reasons vision boards work. On the other hand, Psychology Today debunked the practice of using vision boards as detrimental to some people’s psyches, saying, very wisely, I believe, that visualizing yourself WORKING toward your goal has a much greater impact on success than simply visualizing the accomplishment of that goal. My belief? Somewhere in the middle. I think it is valuable and important to visualize what success looks like for ourselves. At the same time, I do not deny that it takes hard work to achieve that success. Bottom line, putting it all together on a vision board can’t hurt.

The Process

With that clarity of mind, I set about deciding just what should go onto my vision board and what format it would take. Fortunately, I spent a considerable amount of time early in January to hone in on goals for each area of my life (you can read about it here: Level Up Your Life). Now many people suggest you search magazines and newspapers for images and words to fit your personal vision board. I don’t subscribe to print media, and frankly, I wanted to create my board quickly, so I took to the interwebs again, searching keywords that fit my goals.

Vision board image search

Keyword search for “friends and family”

Whenever I found something that spoke to me, I did a quick copy and paste into PowerPoint to create my collection.

Vision board images in PowerPoint

I even found a beautiful photo of my home church!

Vision Board in a Bullet Journal

Finally, I returned to my trusty bullet journal to create my actual vision board. First of all, it’s got all my goal-setting stuff in it already – my Level 10 Life tracking and my Miracle Morning spreads and trackers. So it seemed fitting to put the vision board together in it too. Also, I work in my bullet journal every day, and the whole point of using a vision board is to keep your goals fresh in your mind on a daily basis. So, score another one for the bujo.

I knew all the images I chose wouldn’t fit onto a normal 2-page spread, so I cut two pages out of the back of my Moleskine and created a gatefold by “tipping them in” (bullet journal terminology for attaching extras cards, pages, etc. with washi tape).

With a double-wide surface, I had plenty of room to cut, paste, write, and doodle.

I chose to leave some space for adding in other images, words, and doodles. Goals change over time, and I like having the flexibility with this layout to change along with them.

Finally, I used the outside of the gatefold to practice a little hand lettering for a title. Yeah, my lettering skillz have a long way to go. Maybe I should include THAT on my vision board, huh?

 

 

 

C’est finis

When all is said and done, I’m glad I took the time to make a vision board. I will be incorporating it into my Miracle Morning practice, reviewing it for one minute every morning. Do I think it has a magical capacity to bring wonderfulness into my life? Of course not. Only God can do that. Do I believe it will motivate me to work hard to achieve each of these goals I’ve set for myself? Here’s hoping.

What about you? Have you created a vision board? Think you might try one on for size? I’d love to hear about it. Comment below or come join the conversation in the MKP Facebook group.