Saturday, July 30, 2016

Free Download Day!

I am too excited to wait any longer!!! SO....

We are turning on the FREE August Downloads TODAY!!!!

Here's how to grab yours:

1) Visit our online store at
2) Go to the 'Download' section
3) Choose the sheet(s) you want - Homeschool Supply Checklist and/or Lesson Plan Sheet
4) Add to your cart
5) Register, and proceed to checkout!
6) Click on the link provided in your receipt to download!

We are offering ONE FREE download, per person, per sheet. Both download as PDF files.

We also have our end of July sale going on right now, so browse the shop and use coupon code: JULY25 to receive 25% off your!!!

Then, be sure to visit our site again next week, when we share a few more goodies with you!!!


Friday, July 29, 2016

The Rest of The Story

As promised, here is the 'rest of the story' of the clarity that God sent my way last weekend.

I was struck with the reality that I am really happy with structure, order, and a generalized plan and goal system. This isn't really news to myself, but I discovered that this is a big part of who I am, and what makes me happy.

This led to an amazing plan for the Studio moving forward the next few months. First, we're running a 25% off sale until the end of July. THEN, come August 1st, we have some great NEW things coming!!!

Since my goal with the Studio was to 'Discover, Create and Encourage Beauty in the Everyday', we're going to be doing just that! Each month we'll focus on a specific theme here on the blog, on IG, and in the Studio Shop.

For example, since most people think Thanksgiving in the month of November, we'll be offering items, recipes, posts, etc... specific to Thanksgiving. Plus, we'll have some surprises added in as well.

See, I adore so many things, and am passionate about so much of life, that it would be too difficult for me to just do 'one' thing! I am an entrepreneur at heart, so new is always exciting for me!!

In addition to that inspiration, I received some really great clarity on a few other things that had been weighing me down. I am walking away from some good things, to pursue some great things and have absolute peace about doing so. Good things can get in the way of great things so often, and we let them.

PLUS, and this is where it gets even better, I have a clear sense of something God told me over 10 years ago. Talk about learning to be patient impatiently!! Clear direction, with the first steps provided and daily inspiration, are turning this into something that I can see as possible, probably, and ridiculous!!!

I recalled something I heard some years ago - sometimes when it looks like nothing is happening, it is because God is at work lining up all the players and pieces. When everyone, and everything is ready, God lets you in on the plan!

How I forgot this, or at the very least, didn't focus on it, I can't say. I believe however, after seeing all the evidence this week, that it is absolutely true!! When it is TIME for you to know, you will know! Let me encourage you then to sit and be still, no matter how hard it may seem. It is all coming together behind the scenes and when you, and everyone else, are ready and lined up, it will knock your socks off the way God works!

I am excited to be stepping out in faith, and putting all those years of leadership training, growth, and all the amazing opportunities I've had, into something that fits with the vision God gave me all those years ago!! I am also holding it very close to myself, for a number of reasons.

First, I believe that any dream or vision that God has laid upon your heart is special and unique just for you. Second, I have learned a valuable lesson about sharing your heart with more than just a close circle of trusted advisers. Sometimes, even the most well-meaning people, will 'help' you right off the path you are supposed to be on. They may not even realize they are doing it!

Last, I have also learned that anything that comes from God, almost always comes with a host of opposition. Boy have I felt it this week!!! If it could go wrong, it would. So many attempts were made to shift my focus, thinking, plan, etc... A few times it almost worked.

Here is a sneak peak of what you can expect to see as of August 1st!! It's time to plan for back to school - SO - we have a TWO different Mini-Planner Accessory Kits being offered. One with a school theme, and one without.

We are also working hard at a FREE printable download, to help you keep track of all those back-to-school details which I am super excited about!!

Friends, I am so excited about all God has shared with me, and all that is coming!!! I simply can't wait to watch it all unfold!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Temporary Planner Peace

This may seem silly to some of you, but I assure you it is not! For a Type-A person, even a creative one, getting organized & focused, is a HUGE thing.

Friday, after a full 12 hour day in the Studio, I was hit with what I will call a nudge of inspiration. Really it was an extreme shove of clarity, but why quibble over how God chooses to speak. NEW pieces of the ever elusive ‘plan’ were shared with me, and I spent another 2 hours, sitting in bed, writing and journaling and planning.

Saturday, I woke up excited, knowing exactly what I need to know to move forward. (I’ll share the rest of the story in a different post – it’s really, really good.) It was like all the pieces just fit together, and the ones that aren’t there yet, aren’t necessary right now. I’m sure I’ll get them when I’m supposed to.

Since everything was still by the bed from the night before, I just stayed in bed! I was steps away from the Studio where all the planners had migrated too, along with their assorted inserts and pieces. I spent all day getting organized, journaling, and just being focused on what I need to do. It was AWESOME!!!

The other part of what led to this temporary planner peace was a post from The Reset Girl, Cori Spieker. Seriously people, follow the link to her site. She is awesome!!! 

Last week she shared about a new ‘planning plan’ she was trying. Both of us work out of multiple planners, so I really liked some of what she shared. And then, when the heaven’s opened and God spoke (do not take this lightly – I believe wholeheartedly that God is a God of order, and He likes plans and planners! It’s even in the bible!), it all came together!

So, here is my current ‘planning plan’ and system:

 Recollections Planner (Michael’s)
a.       It is a compact size, so I can carry it everywhere & use it as a wallet. Plus, the binders are inexpensive, which means I can use my 50% off coupons to build a colorful collection for not a whole lot of money.
b.       It will be used as the overall where/when/what, since I am often running around and in places other than home.
2     The Happy Planner
a.       I really do like this planner layout. I didn’t get one of the new ones because: a) there are still more coming; and b) I just bought one this January.
b.       This will be used for homeschooling, household, and all things creative. I have the Household Expansion set, so it works well for everything. I also have the 6 month extension that I got for a steal on clearance, so I can use it until I know what all my options are.
3        Classic Size (A5) Planner
a.       This is where it falls apart a bit, but I’m surprisingly okay with that. I have taken pieces from all the planners I have used, a standard A5 binder I already had, and put it all together
b.       This will be used for the Studio. I have at least 3 months worth of plans, projects, ideas, blog posts, and more already mapped out! (See, when God gets clear, He gets clear!) I actually have a few more months roughly sketched in, but you get the idea.
         Finally, my ARC (A5)
a.       This is the little planner that started me out for the Year of Creativity, so I am kind of attached to it!!
b.       It will be used for my DSA business, and I already have all my A5 forms created, so I can be organized in the ‘small’.
c.       Plus, it’s easy to run to Staples for pre-printed inserts.

I am going to try this system for the next little while, see how it works, etc… I do have a vision of exactly what I’m looking for though, so I’m going to keep working towards that.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Sneaky Little Lies

It finally happened! God showed up on Friday and filled in a ton of the missing ingredients for this recipe of life. (I had to stop using traveling language for the day because I was supposed to be literally traveling today and wasn't able to go!)

I was ecstatic, and will be sharing all the info in the future. I sat down that very same night and journaled, and planned, and was so enthusiastic! Exclamation points don't do any justice for how positive I felt about everything.

I woke up the next morning ambitious and determined to keep moving forward. I had a great day getting organized, making lists, figuring out a system of planning (which I'll also be sharing soon), and creating my master to-do.

It was a big list, but I felt okay about it. I had it mapped out, and I was mostly enthusiastic about all the steps. There was one though that I just couldn't quite get excited about. I am more anxious and nervous about it.

So off to talk it out. Since I am a female, talking through these things helps a ton! That was when it happened. The first sneaky little lie made its way into the conversation. The person I went to didn't even catch it right away. It just flew out of their mouth.

I caught it though, and asked for some clarification. Maybe I hadn't heard right or had not explained well. Nope, the lie had snuck in. Needless to say, for the remainder of the conversation there was a pile of these little pests.

The problem with these supposed 'little lies' is that they are pervasive. They sneak right in to your world, and are so clever, you don't realize they are lies. By the time anyone catches on, they have grown from little lies to big huge truths you believe. Because they are SNEAKY!

I don't do very well with lies. Of any kind. Whether you are telling them to me to fool me, or you are telling them to yourself. Once you believe them, they are hard to evict. Once you believe them, you begin living life around them, sharing them with others, and worst of all you become more comfortable believing them than the truth.

This is obviously not the first time I've heard someone believe a lie, or tell a lie, or share a lie, or experienced dishonesty. It is the first time that a truth sunk in though - I feel sorry for people that spend so much time believing those sneaky little lies.

Lies of every kind destroy dreams, kill marriages, rob our children of safety, and us of our sanity. They sneak in on purpose to damage, destroy, and kill. They mess with our confidence and trust, they ruin our hearts and relationships. Most of all - they can destroy our whole life.

Even more profound of a truth? Fear and insecurity are lies. The idea that we somehow aren't who God says we are, or that we can't do what He gifted us to do - lies we believe. And then we live in. Fear is a lack of trust. Please friends, take every thought captive, and think through what you believe and why.

The conversation with my friend ended very badly. I left it feeling unsupported, unheard, and those sneaky little lies followed me home. Not one lie had even been about me!! Still, they impacted me and this relationship. They are sneaky lies, and if I hadn't caught on they would have derailed my whole outlook on life and what God has presented me with.

Be on your guard, for those little lies are sneaky, and will get in before you know what happened!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Planner Problem

If you are not a planner type person, you should just stop reading right now. This post will make absolutely no sense to you whatsoever. If you are new to the planning world, you should also stop reading, as this will just make you nuts.

If, however, you are a planner nerd like me, you will probably find this sounding very familiar. 

Many moons ago, in a galaxy far, far away (no clue why this popped into my head!), I became familiar with the Franklin-Covey planning system. I had previously used a Day Timer, but those Franklin's - this my friends is type-a planner heaven!

I adored everything (but the cost) of this amazing system! Functional, organized, amazing!! It became my all-time most favorite and I used it to it's fullest.

Then one day, I discovered Moody Publisher's had developed their own planner system! This was great!! I could now organize every single part of my life!! The Believer's Life System was awesome!!! So I switched. It had a bible insert, bible studies, note sections, and bonus business and ministry inserts. 

And then it happened - Moody got rid of their planner. So sad. I stocked up on clearance items, and it was back to Franklin. For years. UNTIL the 'Year of Creativity' happened.

Since I was going to embark on a creative journey, I felt I needed a more creative planner. I discovered the ARC system from Staples, and then the Happy Planner system from MAMBI. Perfect! These were easy to use, had tons of creative and fun accessories, and made planning both creative and fun.

We are now over half-way through the YOC, and I just can't do it anymore. I realized that I like routine and order. I like purchasing items that are immediately usable, dated, and help me keep my world ordered. I like everything in one place. I like to be able to toss my planner into any bag or purse and have it with me all the time.

I had some coupons, so off to Michael's to grab their Recollections Planner. It however is undated, which means I have to fill in all the blanks. And since I am not crazy about going back and forth between planners, I have to narrow down what I really need my planner to do for me. Covers & binders I have no issue with changing around. Color coordinating with your bag is fun! Multiple planners, not as much fun.

I have tried everything, everywhere, and still can not locate my planner bliss. So, I am embarking on journey to locate THE planner and set-up that truly works for me. Even if I have to create it myself, which has already crossed my mind several times.

The 'plan' is to figure it all out this week, before the craziness of August and school set in. If you are a planner like me, you know that not finding planner bliss just makes one feel out of sorts, disorganized and nuts!

So off I go, to do more research, hone in the most important parts and what I really need for functionality. When (and if) I am able to locate my planner bliss once again, I will be sharing with you all! Until then, wish me planner bliss luck!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Dr. Seuss & Creator's Block

Do you ever have those days where you feel like you are either living in, or should be living in, a Dr. Seuss story?

Yep, that's me today. Possibly today's title would be, "Oh, the thinks you can think." A very surreal place, filled with nothing but nonsensical rhymes, overwhelming cats in hats, and Thing 1 and Thing 2.

Let me pause here for just a moment and share my absolute dislike for the twin Thing's! They are wicked little Things!!!! I didn't even like them when I was a child - they were messy and rude, and seriously needed a time-out!

However, the Things, and every other imaginative character Dr. Seuss came up with, filled me with creative wonder.

This is my head today! Overwhelmed with creativity. You would think that was good, right? I mean, I have a Studio, have to practise my lettering, have things to make, need to figure out what to feed my family for dinner - creativity is a good thing.

There have been books written about Writer's Block. (Isn't that irony at its finest?) Not often do you hear about Creator's Block or Maker's Block. Since creatives aren't always authors, I guess no one thought to write about it. Since I am working on Step 2 from yesterday, I guess I will write about it.

I met a sweet lady through my IG adventure. (If she and I could hang out in the real world, I believe we would and we would be great friends!) About a week or so ago, she posted a sad post about not feeling her 'creativity'. Creator's Block, my friends!

Creator's Block is walking into your Studio, or craft space/area/room, sitting down and having absolutely no idea what to do. So you sit. Then you think, the way to get started is to start going through your stash (if you are not artsy/crafty, our stash is a literal hoard of paper, paint, fabric, stamps, ink, markers, tape, glue, parts, baubles, metal, whatever. It makes us happy.)

So, you go through your stash. There is that amazing paper you found at an event, got it for a steal and planned on adding it to a handmade card! But you don't 'feel' like working on cards today. Away it goes. There is that great new pen you wanted to try for hand-lettering that is ALL the rage right now. But you don't 'feel' like lettering. So you sit; and sit; and sit.

Finally it is time to make dinner, or move the laundry, or do something. Cleaning would be preferable right now, because sitting in your Studio, looking at your stash, and not 'feeling' it is actually a miserable place to be.

Creator's Block is what I imagine it would be like to have the twin Things show up in the middle of the afternoon when the kids are finally napping & you have the 'DO NOT ring the doorbell' sign posted!

Today though, I have the opposite - Creator Overload. I am living in Dr. Seuss land, filled with idea after idea of things I want to do and try and make and, and, and.... Imagination on steroids. This level of creativity ends up generating its own version of Creator's Block.

When there is so much you want to do, and so many ideas, you can't even begin to start one of them, because you can not decide where to start. This would be like the kids not even bothering to nap in the afternoon in the first place.

I think the best way to cope with Creator's Block is simply to walk away. De-clutter your stash, clean your Studio, take a nap, go for a walk, have some chocolate, take a bubble bath, find some balance. Write down ALL the idea's, then walk away. Find some space just for yourself, just to be. It will refill your soul, refresh your spirit, and you may just see or hear or find that thing that re-ignites your passion and creativity.

Better yet - go read a Dr. Seuss book! One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish is great & filled with color!!

Monday, July 11, 2016

I'm A Writer

So here is a funny story for you - I write. This is where you wonder what is funny and how that is a story.

I suppose I should expand a bit on the story part. I write a blog. Not feeling it yet? That's okay, neither am I.

Here is what happened: I spent the better part of last week in what I shall call 'creative duress'. I was both overwhelmed with creative ideas, and exhausted by creative ideas. There was simply too much going on in my head!

To create a semblance of order, I decided to embark on TWO IG challenges involving lettering. I strive to become a better hand-letterer so this was a good way to practise, right? And, since they were IG challenges, I did not have to 'think'. The prompts were already there.

At the same time, a friend of mine is been doing a bible journaling devotional. I had opted not to do this same devotional, as I have been hoarding my dollars for some other projects I have been working on.

Anyway, what she was doing was overlapping with what I was finding during one of the lettering challenges. (How does that happen?)

Now to the 'funny' part. (Actually, it is more ironic than humorous, but stay with me!) Someone stopped to visit with me on Saturday. This was a welcome break from my steamer trunk makeover (you can check out that journey here on my IG account).

As we were chatting, she mentioned that she too was learning, struggling, going through the same type of lessons my friend and I were for the week. And then it happened - she mentioned that she had felt prompted to do some writing - and said something to the effect of, 'we'll you're a writer, you have a blog'.

The irony of this - I actually have written and been published, as a newspaper columnist, but I don't think of myself as a 'writer'. Nor do I think blogging is the same as writing. Yes, I am writing something for someone else to read, and essentially self-publishing in a public forum. No, I don't write books.

Authors are writers and they write books. Not blogs, not newspaper columns.

Truthfully though, I have written a book or two. (Insert loud gasping noises here please!) Sixteen years ago I wrote and self-published a Unit Study for homeschoolers. And then didn't do anything with it. I was young, insecure, and didn't have the amazing resources that are available today.

Last year, I wrote a short story, complete with editing by another person. And didn't do anything with it. I was young, insecure, had amazing resources available. Did I mention I was insecure?

Of course, there is also that niggling, bothering, I once wrote it in my journal, feeling, that God has been on me to do a bit more writing. He's been fairly specific over the years too. I have not done it for a pile of reasons - the big one? I am insecure!!!!!!!!!

Then last night, the bible journaling friend, mentioned that she too was feeling prompted to write more. She was also feeling insecure about it. We chatted for a bit about what was it that was causing us both to feel so unsure about doing something that we both actually DO?

We did not come up with any good answers. In fact, I can't say as any of the three of us have any good answers for why we aren't just doing what we feel like we should do. Other than that word again - insecurity!

I suppose this blog should be titled 'insecurity'. That doesn't really fit though, as it as a process I am trying to work through in this area of writing.

This is my first step in that process - putting it out there that I AM A WRITER. I write something for other people to read.

The next step is working up the courage to re-edit and publish my Unit Study, and get my short story out there. This step could take awhile!!!!

Until I get to step two, I shall continue to encourage my friends to start writing, and continue coming back here to share my thoughts. I will continue to practise my hand-lettering, and I will continue to stay secure in the areas I like the most, and I will continue to make new excuses!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Ack!!! Time Got Away!!

Can you believe it is already the 5th of July??? Where did the time go? Summer is here, July is here, and the Year of Creativity (YOC) is already more than half-way over!!!

Here is where I've been,( since obviously I haven't been blogging):

I got the garden weeded, continued the spring cleaning, which has now expanded to a major project (think tubs and bins being emptied, bags of trash being tossed, and piles heading for donations and garage sale since we added cleaning out the attic and basement). Flowers are drying all over my house, the Studio has been a whirlwind of lettering and reorganization, raspberries needed harvesting, tinctures are needing to be made, etc....

Time is literally moving at a pace I am uncomfortable with! Too fast, too fast! I ordinarily enjoy keeping busy, adore adventure, and really love the awesome weather we've been having. I am seriously sad at how fast it's all going by though.

As an example: I literally spent half of a day re-organizing my life and my planners, simply because I had gone back to post-it's since I was 'too busy' to sit and plan. And I LIKE planning!!! It makes me feel better about everything!!

On a side note, I am in the midst of some major life overhauls, as the YOC has been leading to some big areas of growth. This is both exciting and terrifying all at once!

Creativity has unleashed some realizations for me about what/where/how/why I want my life to look and feel. A honing in on who I truly am, what I need to let go of, and what is most important to me. I have some interesting opportunities in front of me right now, and I am working through what they all look like and what is the next step!

In the meantime, lets see if I can get back here more than once every few weeks!! Hope you are having a great summer so far, and time isn't getting away from you as quickly!!!

Stuffed Mushrooms

'Tis the season for baking, cooking, roasts, etc… The cold weather always leads me into my kitchen, with a need to create hot, warm, fi...