This and that, everything including the kitchen sink.

Archive for the ‘Bullet Journal’ Category

Organizing My Brain

Now my brain isn’t fixated on hoarding, I am trying to build new and improved thought patterns. Since I have ADD, I have a very busy brain. I tend to hare off after multiple ideas at once, which causes me to rarely finish anything. Being an artist, it’s pretty easy to have multiple projects all going at once, hyper-focusing until another idea comes along, leaving the old project idea unfinished and scattered, adding to the mess.

This is where my ever-present bullet journal comes in. I love to get ideas off the internet, I can waste a day just following  intriguing links. My “favorites” links are legion. So easy to organize and don’t take up any real space. I think of my bullet journal as my real time favorites list. Instead of dropping everything to do something new and challenging, the idea gets put down in my bullet journal and logged in the index. Now I’m sure I won’t forget that brilliant idea (all my ideas are brilliant of course) I can stay on task. I also log the links from favorites that I want to make sure I don’t lose in case of disruptive computer/internet burps. My ADD loves my bullet journal. Not having 891 1/2 unfinished projects helps my hoarding too. By recording it, my brain accepts I have done something about the idea. It’s physically there, so I can read it and touch it. Then when I do have time or need for that project, I can clean up what ever project I was working on and concentrate on the new objective without a lot of clutter in either my brain or my worktable. I can also find everything for the unfinished project when I can get back to it.

lampTo illustrate: I bought a table lamp with a beautiful base that I love. It’s 45″ inches tall, 20″ of that is stained lampshade. It only fits in one space in my apartment because it is so tall. I can’t even hang art above it, wasting display wall space. So it idles in the back of my mind. Let me just say here that I think of lighting as art. I’m fascinated by it. My floor lamp looks like a chandelier. The floor lamp beside my bed looks like lilies, very organic and fits the flow of the room. I have three antique lights that need rewiring. I love lighting, so I know this is a project I’m keeping. However, it is low priority at the moment. I’m busy decluttering, it does work and gives a nice bright light, I’m planning on moving as soon as I can find a place, who knows what shape and size I will want for a shade in the new place.

However…I find pretty cool ideas for lamp shades as I’m surfing, shopping, just dreaming. Internet ideas get listed on favorites, in a “lampshades” folder. If I see something I like I take a photo of it and it goes into a lampshades file on my computer, with notes. Any other middle of the night inspirations go into my bullet journal, with sketches, pictures from magazines, what ever. Now my brain is willing to stop worrying at the problem and accept I am still on an inspiration gathering process. It will let me clean the kitchen and decide what to declutter next without shrieking in the background that I am going to forget the BEST IDEA EVER!!!! When you  have ADD, you have a very noisy brain.


Messies, Neaties, Hoarders-Helpful Things.

While I mostly use the term “hoarder” because that’s what I am, anyone can use this site and the insights therein. I want this to be a place we can help each other gain knowledge and feel safe to share. You may be a messy, you may keep a spotless house or like me, be a hoarder who is ready to quit. So I am just going to make this an ongoing list of things I found to be helpful. I hope you will share some too!

Photo journaling. I take quick snaps of storage areas so I can see what is in there without digging or having to drive to the storage unit. I snap piles of clutter before I start to clean so I remember just how much I’ve done. If I’m having trouble throwing out something I really love but it isn’t functional anymore, I snap it, then release it. Projects, so I remember how I made them and don’t forget they are still pending, or to put in my photo portfolio.

Keeping a journal. You can actually rewire your brain doing this. Write what you want to be like, accomplish, do. Keep adding details as time goes on. Picture it frequently. Something in just putting ink to paper helps rewire your brain. I found keeping a bullet journal the most helpful but you can do it any way it works for you.

Be gentle with yourself. You didn’t make this mess in a day, it takes time to change. And if you are a hoarder, you are probably going to need some help. That’s ok too. Making mistakes is how we learn. Take a break if you need it, but know you aren’t quitting. Know you can do it.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy. The absolute best therapy I have ever tried, and believe me, I’ve tried a lot! It seems simple, but it works and keeps on working. Google it, or start out with this link.

Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Something else to Google. I bought the book as a Kindle edition so I didn’t have one more thing to store. If you do buy it, please be aware that a lot of people think it’s about being a minimalist, it’s not. It’s different methods of thinking about tidying and only keeping things you really love or that works for you. Only you can decide what level of tidy is comfortable for yourself. My closet and drawers have never worked so well!

Keep on trying. Don’t feel bad if one method doesn’t work for you, no matter how many people think it’s wonderful. Each brain processes information differently. Give it a fair try then move on.

Set reasonable limits. Pick one small area that you know you can clear and work on that. Time yourself. You’ll feel better about yourself and will probably be surprised at how little time you actually spent.

Celebrate your victories, no matter how small. I’m a huge fan of lists. I like making lists. I can make lists so detailed, so down to the minute I have no time to do the action I made the list for. What I had to learn to do was at the end of the day, make a list of what I accomplished. How did it make me feel? What did I learn about it/myself. I’m talking nitty gritty here. Somedays it was merely getting out of bed, feeding the cats or eating decently. Seems silly I know but it worked.


“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.