This and that, everything including the kitchen sink.

Archive for February, 2017

“Meh” To Majyk

So I’ve been using my nice newly organized office cubby for a bit and I’m really pleased. At the moment, it’s my favorite bit of my apartment. Not coincidentally it’s the prettiest, most organized space in my apartment, but we hoarders must be pleased with our baby steps.


The Dollar Tree got in the rest of the line of lacy organizers, so I bought a large tray and a little tray. My stickers went from a plastic envelope into the large tray, making them much easier to access. My glue and adhesives went into the smaller tray. All these are easy to pick up and move to wherever I’m working. Before I was just fighting to keep everything organized. I’m noticing at the end of the day I enjoy putting everything back and seeing how nice it looks. It’s really helping me focus on my goals, both the journaling and making little spaces I find satisfying.

“Focus” is my word for 2017. My little ADHD  brain either goes into hyperfocus or into hyper aware. There are so many things I want to accomplish this year!  I’ve printed out the word in a few different typefaces (I love typography!) to stick here and there around the apartment. My brain gets so busy I often find myself in a room, wondering what it was that I went in to get.

One thing I still wanted for my Bullet Journaling was a pen I loved to write with. I had a few gel pens, but I spent as much time getting them unstuck enough to write with as I did journaling. So on my Dollar Tree shopping trip I gave the pen section as much attention as most women probably give a Tiffany’s show window. I love pens! But I wanted one bolder than the fine points I usually get. My eyesight isn’t what it used to be and often by the end of the day when I am journaling I can’t read what I have just written. I want to try a Pilot FriXion Erasable Gel Pen but that will have to wait until I get to the city. What I did find was a Promarx Megabold Gel pen. At two for a dollar, I figured it was worth a try.


I had to test drive it doing a doodle, and of course there were no shortage of feline models available. I figured a black cat for a black pen was a natural. Majyk was happy to oblige. The photo is a little washed out compared to the real thing, but the pen worked beautifully. The other pens I tried bled to the underside of the paper, this pen didn’t. I’m still getting used to gel pens, and was busy doodling so it smudged a bit. It does dry pretty fast, once I noticed I had smudged it didn’t happen again. It flows nicely for writing and forces me to write larger, which is good. I touched up his eyes with colored pencils. Just a quick sketch, but I think some of his “I didn’t do it!” stare came across. Majyk is the Bart Simpson of the cat world! Five stars for the pen.


Pretty in Pink Office Cubby

Recently I read that one typical problem of hoarders is that we simply don’t figure out where things belong. For instance, my broom floats around my home, usually getting left the last place I used it. I started to put up hooks in the closet for it, but as usual, got distracted, so it remains a floater. Which means I have to look for it every time I use it. It isn’t difficult to find, its yellow with black leopard spots! Still, it adds to the mess and doesn’t bring me joy.

When I moved in here, my needs were very different. I bought a shelving unit that could hold my big monitor and with a cubby and flip down shelf for my pc. All of those were bulky, my printer, my scanner, my pc, large monitor and the unit itself. Since then I’ve gone to a lap top, bought a different printer which lives in my studio and is wireless, bought a flat screen tv which is much too wide for any shelf on the original unit…well you get the picture. I stopped using the cabinet for my office and things just got jumbled out of the way in there.


Recently I’ve been doing workbooks, journaling, and paying my bills downstairs. The office part of my studio really isn’t working, so I decided to reclaim this nice, hidden away spot. I gave some thought into why I didn’t like using it, and came to the conclusion that it was dark and depressing. Even my Puss-In-Boots pencil holder had migrated to the shelf above. Meh.

I’ve declared a moratorium on starting new projects that don’t get me closer to my goal, but I decided that brightening up the space would make me much more likely to use it. I’m probably going to sell the console when I move, the thing weighs a ton and takes up a lot of space. I’m not in love with it, so I didn’t want to paint it and drop the value. Instead, I went through my wall paper books and found a sample I liked. Surprisingly it was pink. It’s only been the last few years that I have been drawn to that color, my mother overdosed me on pink, pink, pink. Our huge kitchen was Pepto Dismal Pink my mom’s whole life. The fridge was pink. The stove was pink. The dishwasher was pink. If she couldn’t get an appliance in pink, she grabbed automobile paint, and yup, sprayed it pink.

It’s not that it looked bad, it was fine. I simply got sick of it. I have red hair, and most pinks did not look good on me. Pink was simply not a part of my life. But the last few years and two little girls, pink has been sneaking back into my life. So, the cubby would be PINK! Not only that, it would be girlie girl. After all, the door closes on it so it shuts away completely. I kind of liked the idea of a lacy hidden office spot.

I decided the easiest way to make over the spot was to simply wrap cardboard in a pretty paper, stick on the wallpaper sample and go from there. When my dad showed me how to make things as a child he would always tell me “measure three times, cut once”. Now, sharp, pointy objects are not compatible with me, inspite of using them on a daily basis in work. In fact, an exacto knife once attacked me by rolling off the light table and sticking in my ankle. I also hate cutting up cardboard but I had a huge box which I had saved to make a fun house for the cats (sorry kits) so I measured at least three times, trimmed, measured, trimmed until my pieces fit nicely. Then all I had to do was wrap the boards. I decided to use cardboard inserts so I could change them out easily.

I had some pink gift wrap paper I hadn’t used for the girls yet, so I just gift wrapped the cardboard. Since this is just a glorified storage space, I didn’t worry about wear and tear, but if I was doing it as a work space, I would use either spray adhesive and a sealer or Modpodge. It would look much nicer and wear a whole lot better. (Note to self, when using fairly thin wrapping paper, make sure the packing label still stuck on the box isn’t going to show through. Sigh)


MUCH nicer! Now to fill it up. Almost hate to hide the pretty!

Organizing my supplies took a lot longer than putting together the boards. I have way too many felt pens and doodads in here still, but as my journal progresses I’ll find what works and what doesn’t. But I now have an organized home for my bill paying, workbooks and Bullet Journal supplies. The only thing I bought for this project was the pink magazine holder and a few plastic pouches to hold the bills, stickers and for taxes. I already have ideas on how to make it even more efficient, now I can see what I have. It also gives me an excuse to buy a another pink magazine holder if they get them in, yay! I also found supplies that belong in my studio and things I forgot I even had.


This feels like a win in the battle against hoarding!


Bullet Journal Bling! A review of Journal This!


After a month of prolific (for me) journaling, I decided I was justified in buying a few things to make it easier. After checking out local sources and not finding exactly what I need, I ventured online. I surfed for several days, finding wonderful, gorgeous, ingenious things. I lusted in my heart after many, many lovely pens, dot grid journals, stickers, stamps and tons of washi tape. However, want are need are two different things. If I stick to my anti-hoarding rules, that rules out 99% of what I found. Also, paying $20 for a roll of washi tape does not appeal to me! (Especially as I found the same roll of pretty peacock tape for under $5!) I needed something to make ruled lines with, small check boxes and dots.

Eventually my search took me to Journal This on Etsy. They were a little bit different. First of all, they had exactly what I was looking for to do my tracking chart. I have an A5 size hardback sketchbook, so I didn’t need a full size tracker stencil. It was also so reasonably priced I decided I could splurge and buy another just-for-pretty stencil, so I bought one to make scalloped boxes. I continued to surf the site and had my eye on a celtic knot stencil (it’s on my wish list) when I spotted a bit of bling sporting a Laurel Birch cat charm. It says you can build your own bling but it was perfect as it was. It was also reasonably priced. After all, I was going to have to pay shipping so I might as well buy a few things….my little heart was going pitty pat, pitty pat. But being new to internet shopping I decided to make it a small order to begin with.


I bought a Tracker mini stencil. It’s the pink one in the picture, and had both the lines and the little check boxes I wanted. I also bought the Stackable Scallop Squares Stencil, purple in my picture, but orange on the site. And, of course, the cat bling.


I eagerly awaited the mail. I’m beginning to love online shopping, I haven’t been excited to get the mail since I was a kid. Also, I live in a very small town without a great deal of shopping choices.

I ordered on Jan. 29 and received my order on Feb. 7th. The stencils arrived in individual card pockets, which I will keep them in to store safely in the back of my journal. The cat bling was a separate card and even cuter than in the picture. They were clipped together with an adorable paperclip in the shape of glasses. The stencils are slightly textured which causes less bleed than a completely smooth surface. I’m inexperienced with stencils, but I have no trouble with these. It also had a nice little card saying thank you.

So my first order of BuJo bling is a success! Very affordable and exactly what I ordered. I will definitely be ordering from Journal This in the future. After all, there is still that celtic knot stencil, an adorable fox bling and many, many more!


Since the envelope had a pretty stamp that matched my butterfly theme I gave it it’s own page. Bling Me, Baby!

Another Bullet Journal Addict

Last year, I took a stab at Bullet Journaling. I didn’t quite get the hang of it, although it’s certainly easy enough. Even not doing it correctly, I know it helped significantly with my ADD, short term memory loss and anxiety. I have journaled off and on since I was a child, writing helps me deal with life. Also, writing things down can actually change your brain patterns, it seems the more I journal, the better I control my thinking.

I found this site which helped me see what I could do better and decided to buy a journal and start fresh with the new year. Another awesome link that worked for me is this one which is a mega useful site after you have read the first two. It has a handy dandy printable reference guide.

Since I research everything, naturally I hit the internet again. OMG, TMI! Beautifully done art, super neat, gorgeous graphics enough to intimidate me, even though I am an artist.  Also, some of these people spend what I consider a small fortune on stickers, stamps, stencils, washi tape and bling. Not having a small  fortune, I bought a hard back A5 Art Journal for under $6, slapped on some Dollar Tree stickers, a couple of bits of ribbon for place markers and a back pocket for storage. I also hit the Dollar Tree for some cute sticky notes, some binder clips and an excuse to buy a couple more gel pens. I have had a lifelong adoration of stationery supplies. Only a determination not to buy more than I need (and a lack of money) kept me from buying the store out. All you really need is something to write on and something to write with.


I doubt my journal will ever be a thing of beauty, although some pages are prettier than others. I don’t need it as a planner so much, as a way on staying on track, appointments, medical information, journaling and doodling. That’s the joy of BuJo, you adapt it to your own needs. Wish this had been around when I was working full time with a small child to raise. There is a ton of printables, (free and pay for) for every need you can imagine. I’m not going to go into that here, just click on the links and you will get the basics, Google “bullet journal” and happily surf away.


I added a back pocket using a bit of vinyl from a purse calendar. I glued the book marker ribbons down, then covered all the edges with washi tape. Since I keep this with me almost all the time, I tucked a copy of which medications I am on in one of the pockets. In case of medical emergency, I just grab my book. The left side is my pen testing page and notes about which pens I like and check to see if the pen bleeds to the other side. On the back side of that page I make a key for my pens by drawing a line with each one and noting which pen I made it with. I also give it stars if I really like it and want to buy that kind again. The purple polkadotted pencil pouch holds my gel pens. So far this arrangement is working really well for me. That’s the whole idea behind the flexibility of Bullet Journaling, it’s tailor made for you, and can be changed as your needs change.

After a month of very successful journaling I decided to buy some BuJo bling. For a review of my first internet buy, see my next post. Before that I had spent a grand total of around $10 including the journal, a few sticky pads and a glue stick. Every thing else I already had.