Archive for the ‘goals’ Category

For the past two years, I used a Sugar Paper for Target planner for all of my goal-setting, to-dos, and daily planning.  I’d switched when I was unable to find another favorite planner of mine, and I discovered that the weekly layout with a facing weekly planning page was exactly how my brain worked!  When I went to buy one for 2018, I made the sad discovery that they weren’t selling that planner through Target any more!  I had fallen in love with the weekly layout, and the planners directly sold from Sugar Paper didn’t even meet my needs 😉

As I discussed this “tragedy” with Husband, he suggested that I make my own.  He even volunteered to set up an Excel spreadsheet to auto-populate the dates onto the weekly pages and calendar spreads so that I wouldn’t have to do it by hand.  In fact, he went so far as to program it so that I can enter any year, and it will calculate the proper dates!  Hooray!  He really is amazing.

Not only that, but he helped me fine-tune the margins and cell sizes so that it prints out just right.  I decided to make a half-letter sized planner and use the Staples Arc system to bind it (I purchased THIS punch–affiliate link).  In past years, I stuffed all sorts of bits and pieces into my planners and they ended up bulging in an unsightly way with extra papers (and then they’d fall out if I dropped the planner…).  I purchased a set of Arc covers and the largest discs I could get so that it has plenty of room to grow.  I’ve already added several bits and pieces (notes from my daughter, slips of paper with school information, ephemera stapled to patterned paper, and cards…) and it makes me so happy to see them as I flip back.  I love that these bits of life are now part of the planner in a sleek way.



After lots of fussing with the layout and fonts, I finally reached a look that satisfied me.  I took my favorite aspects of the two planners I’d loved and some modifications that I’d been making to them and mashed them all together.

At the front of the planner, I have a year-at-a-glance calendar that I modified from HERE.  Because it wasn’t quite the right aspect ratio for what I needed, I took a screen shot of the .pdf and re-created the title with fonts that match the rest of my planner.


Each month starts with a notes page, which I am using to keep track of the things I accomplish during that month.  On the facing page, I have a planning page to help me keep track of my intentions for that month in each of a number of categories: scrapbook (memory keeping), sew, home, and health.  I also have a spot for important dates and a box where I can make notes for future goals and hopes — the ones I want to get to but aren’t reasonable for that month.


Right after that comes the month’s grid.  In a future iteration, I hope to have the boxes programmed with conditional formatting so that the borders show up only if there is a number inside… but for now, I might add pretty patterned paper to the blank boxes… maybe!  These pages are printed on card stock, so they serve as a bit of a divider.  I may add little tabs (maybe with matching patterned paper??), as well.


Each week has a planning page and a week-at-a-glance page that I use to keep track of my daily to-do list and appointments, etc.


It took me until almost the end of January to get everything in order, but I was using test pages from the beginning of the year, and that really helped me work out some of the finer details before I printed everything.  I am really, really happy with how this turned out!  I am so very grateful for Husband’s help!  This wouldn’t have come together without him.

Read Full Post »

Last January, I decided not to share my goals/intentions on my blog.  It was an interesting year, and although I accomplished many things, I didn’t do a very good job of keeping track of them!  I’d like to do better about keeping a list in 2018.  I won’t share every little detail on my blog, but I’ll share a lot of my projects!

In 2017, I tried not to be as rigid in setting goals for myself and then assessing my progress on a regular basis.  There were definitely good things about this approach, but I also felt like I didn’t have a good sense of my priorities and how I was achieving my goals.  So as we start in on a new year (holy moly), I decided that I’m going to share a list of what I hope to do creatively in 2018:

  • scrapbook more: make layouts! (at least one per month?) and figure out some sort of process for documenting stories that don’t need a whole layout, possibly pocket pages…
  • finish my son’s album by his birthday (it’s still essentially at the point that I discussed in THIS post)
  • make significant progress on my Disney 2016 album (photos placed, layouts made)
  • finish my Grenada journal
  • make photo books: Day-in-the-life 2016, 2017 (and probably 2018) and Hersheypark 2015
  • color at least once per week (more on this to come!)
  • sew a new purse for myself
  • sew more garments (I have some patterns and fabric lying in wait…)

As you can see, paper crafting projects have a large emphasis on this list.  Toward the end of 2017, I was sewing almost exclusively (while still keeping up with my photos fairly well), and although I LOVED the sewing, I also really missed my physical memory-keeping projects.

This list will give me a framework for setting my monthly project hopes/intentions/goals. It will almost certainly evolve throughout the year, but I really do want to make good progress on some of those longer-term projects that have been on my mind. I intend to keep a master list in my planner of the projects I finish throughout the year so that I have a bit of accountability and encouragement to keep going!

Here’s to 2018!


Read Full Post »

Embarking upon 2017

Happy new year!

It’s hard to believe that we’ve already embarked upon 2017, and I (you won’t be surprised here) have many ideas about the projects I’d like to work on, start, and of course, complete!

I’m hoping to share at least twice per week on the blog, maybe sometimes three times per week.  November and December 2016 were a whirlwind of completing ornaments and then finally having some time to make some of the gifts I’d planned for my own family.  Oh, and a very special birthday party for my (can you believe it?!) five-year-old daughter!  In the next weeks, I’ll be mostly sharing those November and December (and earlier!) projects as I get started on my new projects for the new year.  Who knows, maybe I’ll slip in some current ones, too! 😉

Like I wrote above, I have a huge list of things I’d like to accomplish this year.  I’ve made a big master list (read:brain dump) on sticky notes in the front cover of my planner.  I’ll be setting my monthly goals from that big list…and of course, any other projects that come up in the meantime, because there are always more!  Rather than sharing my goals on the blog at the beginning of each month, I will just keep track of them in my planner (it has great monthly and weekly goal planning pages, I just love it!).  I’ll just share projects here.

Even as I dream and plan about my sewing, papercrafting, home, and other projects, I have been contemplating how these hobbies of mine can be more intentional, with the focus on glorifying God in the things I do with my hands.   I want to have in mind the concerns of God, not merely human (especially selfish!!) concerns (Matthew 16:33).  “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent [Jesus]”  (John 9:4).  “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (Colossians 3:23).  God has given me the desire– really it is almost a compulsion– to create… and He gives the brilliant flashes of idea or insight that are clearly not my own.  Any gifts that I have are from Him, and I think that it glorifies God to do what we do with excellence.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.  Psalm 90:17

Read Full Post »

Hahahahahahahahahaha!  Did you see my October goals?  What a silly girl I was to think I could even accomplish half of them!  Haha!

  • Costumes!  They got finished, but they dominated the month.
  • Scrapbook at least one layout this month. Nope.  I wish!
  • Make a couple cards. Does it count if my kids made cards? I made a few simple folding notes and did color a few stamped cards, so I suppose that I did actually partly accomplish this goal.
  • Start on a Christmas gift?  I started, just barely.
  • If there’s time, work on a garment sewing project for myself. Hahahahaha!  If there’s time!  Hahahaha!  No, I did not do any work on this goal.  I did acquire more fabric, though 🙂
  • Exercise at least 3 times per week.  Yes!  I did!  I actually averaged at least four times per week.  Yay!
  • Prioritize Bible study and prayer.  I am learning how to study the Bible using homiletics, and it is so interesting!

Okay.  With October behind us, we are already full-steam-ahead into November, and I’m getting more regalia ornament orders.  So here are my goals.

  • Make regalia ornaments.
  • Keep up with my photos.  October was quite photo-heavy, especially right at the end, so I’m playing a bit of catch-up, too.
  • Make activity books for my kids for Thanksgiving.
  • Exercise at least three times per week, and add back some arms and abs exercises every day.
  • Prioritize Bible study and prayer.

There are a few “wishlist” things I’m keeping in mind:

  • scan my kids’ artwork (I have quite the pile building up)
  • add photos and embellishment to my Grenada journal (I’ve already ordered prints!)
  • some sewing projects
  • other scrapbooking???

Obviously, these are stretch goals, but I’m recording them here so that I can keep myself focused in case I have some (very) unexpected extra time!


Read Full Post »

September turned out to be a good month for my goals!

  • Get started on PhD ornament orders.  Like you probably saw, my shop is officially open for the holiday 2016 season!  I had six orders in the first two days of my shop opening, and I was able to complete them all within the month.  I’ll be showing the ornaments in blog posts in groups of four throughout the season–look for my first post soon!
  • Finish a purple jersey knit shift dress that I started (and almost finished!) in August.  Done!  I wore it a few times when the weather was still quite hot in September, but I still haven’t gotten photos of it!  This week is supposed to be warm, and I’ll try to get some photos and write a blog post.  I’m pretty happy about the dress pattern.
  • Tidy up my craft room.  I did do a pretty deep-dive tidy up, and instead of taking a whole Saturday and doing it in one chunk like I’d expected, I ended up doing it in bits and pieces.  It wasn’t quite as satisfying this way, but it got the job done, and that’s what matters.  I’m going back to my old way of storing stuff-to-scrapbook, and I’ve also made a pile of things I need to sew.  In the process of cleaning up, I was able to tackle a few not-so-exciting tasks to finally check them off my list– like putting more pages into my scrapbook albums and filling them with layouts.  It is so nice to have them in their rightful homes!
  • SCRAPBOOKING!  As we approached the end of the month, I realized I hand’t done anything (aside from reorganizing my stuff-to-scrapbook) for this goal, and I was pretty disappointed in myself.  It really was that I was somehow avoiding scrapbooking, which is silly, because I love it.  I was just intimidated by the photos that I have on hand to scrapbook–my Disney ones, mostly.  They seem really important, and I am also missing some for the more”precious” stories, so I need to go through and plan some re-printing.  BUT, last week, I set a little “private” goal to see if I could make a layout each weekday.  I managed to do four in five days! (I didn’t account for the fact that one of my new roles this fall was going to absorb an incredible amount of my free time last week…)  One was my Wookiee page, and I finished three more– about Christmas 2009, of all things!  I will be posting them soon.  I LOVED the challenge of a layout-a-day.  It’s not realistic for a long-term challenge for me at this phase in my life, but I hope to challenge myself in this way more in the future.  One awesome benefit of trying to complete a layout each day was that I didn’t have time to fiddle around and try three gazillion different options.  I had to make decisions and stick with them.  It felt good.
  • Exercise three times per week, along with my arms/abs/legs toning exercises.  There were weeks that I did 4 or 5 days of exercise!  Yay!  I LOVE my ballet class.  It is awesome!!  I didn’t keep up with the arms/abs/legs toning exercises– partly because I’m bored of them (I’ve been trying to do them daily for a number of months now), and partly because ballet is taking some of their place.  I’ve even been doing some barre videos (ballet barre, not the workout class) via YouTube at home.  I just love it.
  • Prioritize Bible study and prayer.  Done.

October is here and I’m not exactly sure what to expect!  There is always the chance for more regalia ornament orders, which take high priority around here!  But in the meantime…

  • Costumes!
  • Scrapbook some more (I’m hooked again after last week).  At least one layout this month.
  • Make a couple cards.
  • Start on a Christmas gift?
  • If there’s time, work on a garment sewing project for myself.
  • Exercise at least 3 times per week.
  • Prioritize Bible study and prayer.

Wish me luck!

Read Full Post »

I knew that August was going to be a busy month, and I tried to plan accordingly…  Here’s how I did:

  • Sew a lap desk for B.  Done!  Look for a post later in September about it!
  • Sew a back-of-seat organizer for our car.  After discussing this with Husband, we ended up using a divided basket that we already owned to organize activities for our long car trip to and from our vacation.  It worked really well (aside from the fact that the basket itself was old and started disintegrating by the end of the return trip…), and I hope to find a replacement basket or box to fit the cloth divided insert.  Even though I love making things, it was nice to have a pre-made solution on hand already!
  • Sew treasure-collecting bags for the kids.  This is a vague idea and might get ditched!  Yes, it definitely got ditched.
  • Put together travel activity books for the kids. Done!  They were the fattest ever 😉  I enjoyed spending some time online finding beach-related activity and coloring sheets to include.  My daughter especially loved hers– and loved that she got a fresh one for the return trip.  I was so gratified to see my kids really enjoying the coloring pages and stickers.
  • Do some scrapbooking.  Any scrapbooking!   I spent a lot of time with my photos, though, which does lead to scrapbooking in the future!  And hopefully “the future” means September.  However, I did squeak out time to make an actual 12″x12″ layout on August 30 (post coming later in September), so I guess I did manage to get some scrapbooking done in August! Yay!
  • Exercise at least 3 times per week and continue my daily arms/abs/legs toning exercises.   When we were at home, I kept up with this pretty well, and even when we were on a week-long family vacation, I managed to get out and run twice!
  • Prioritize Bible study and prayer.  I am very thankful for the structure of my prayer journal, and for the challenge to make “artful devotions” this summer.  I have a post upcoming to show some of the illustrations I made in my Bible throughout the past few months.

Bonus projects for August:
I made more cards to send to family and friends, and I did some quick sewing for myself, too!  I will have posts upcoming on the blog this month.

Lots of things are starting up — new things and things I’ve done before, so I’m really trying to rein myself back in terms of goals.  Here’s what I’d like to accomplish:

  • Get started on PhD ornament orders.  Like you probably saw, my shop is officially open for the holiday 2016 season!  Edited to add:  In the first two days my shop was open, I received orders for SIX ornaments!  They are my craft-time priority this month, so I’m preparing myself to not accomplish some of my other crafty goals…
  • Finish a purple jersey knit shift dress that I started (and almost finished!) in August.  I hope that I can get my serger to cooperate and allow me to finish the cover-stitching that’s left.
  • Tidy up my craft room.  Ideally I hoped to do this once quarterly, or at least twice per year, but that hasn’t quite happened.  By tidy-up, I don’t just mean put my most recent project(s)’s remnants away.  I mean a really deep tidying session– one in which I corral all of my unfinished projects and decide what needs to happen with them.  A session in which the many random piles that are semi-organized get properly filed.
  • SCRAPBOOKING!  Seriously.  I want to scrapbook for real this month.  Get photos onto pretty paper with stories.  Maybe make a photo book.  But I really want to make at least one traditional layout (hope hope hope hopefully more than one).
  • Exercise three times per week, along with my arms/abs/legs toning exercises.  I am starting a year-long adult ballet class once per week!  I am very intimidated, but so excited.  I had a taste of class this summer, and it was so hard, but so great.
  • Prioritize Bible study and prayer.  I am excited to start a new year with Bible Study Fellowship.  We’re studying John!

Read Full Post »

I definitely bit off more than I could chew in July… Somehow I forgot about all of the other stuff we had going on!  Craft time was at a minimum.  Here’s a recap of my goals, and my assessment:

  • Finish my dress.  I’d like to have a couple new dresses for a trip.  I would love for more than one of them to be sewn by me, but I’m not ruling out just buying one or two😉  I finished my dress!  I will publish a post about it soon! (I also bought one for my trip…and some fabric to make a couple more summery garments.)
  • Make at least 1 traditional scrapbook layout for my albums.  NOPE.  BUT, I did help V make a layout for her own scrapbook, so maybe that counts??
  • Make a travel notebook.  Yes! (post coming soon)
  • Work on finishing B’s 365 album.  The album is “finished” in the sense that almost all of the daily cards and photos are in place.  What is left are all the extra inserts for momentous occasions and events.  I’m going to set a goal to have at least three of those inserts planned, at the minimum.  NOPE.  
  • Make at least one photo book.  Yes! (post coming soon)
  • Exercise at least 3 times per week and continue my daily arms/abs/legs toning exercises.  Yes.  
  • Prioritize Bible study and prayer.  Yes.  

I did get to finish up a few “bonus projects” during July:


So what about August?  Oh, I have grand plans again, of course.  I have some sewing projects in my brain, and as always, I want to scrapbook!  Here are my top project goals:

  • Sew a lap desk for B.
  • Sew a back-of-seat organizer for our car
  • Sew treasure-collecting bags for the kids.  This is a vague idea and might get ditched!
  • Put together travel activity books for the kids.
  • Do some scrapbooking.  Any scrapbooking!  (options: regular 12×12 pages for my albums or Disney project, special inserts for B’s album, photo book(s), etc.)
  • Exercise at least 3 times per week and continue my daily arms/abs/legs toning exercises.
  • Prioritize Bible study and prayer.

August is a busy month!  Summer is wrapping up and we have adventures planned, so we’ll see what actually gets finished!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »