Category Archives: Scrapbooking

TOPS Chapter Scrapbook update

This is the plan I wrote up yesterday.

I’ve got one project that needs to be as finished as possible before I leave on May 13 for a TOPS State Recognition Day that’s 230 miles from home.  The project is to update the old (as in started around May 1969) TOPS Chapter scrapbook. It was kept fairly well until sometime in the 1980’s.  I’ve got some pictures from the year(s) 2000+ category (I first joined in 1986-9) that I will be adding.

(1) I’ve taken apart the old scrapbook as the cover was starting to wear badly and have put
      the pages all in page protectors in a more modern 3-ring binder scrapbook. I grabbed
      the TOPS related photos I’d already had printed (before I went digital.)
 (2) Go through all the pictures in my Lightroom® catalog and put them in a quick
        collection. [I did this and then hit some keys (butterfingers!) and managed to put the
        whole catalog of pictures (17,000+) in the collection.]
(3) Today I will go through that collection and move just the TOPS related ones into the
       SECOND quick collection – or research how to close a quick collection without deleting
      all the pictures.  I just want to get rid of that collection but not my photos. I’ll try an
       experiment with a collection or fewer photos. [ I went ahead and managed to fix the
       error – turns out that you can remove, i.e. delete, any collection without affecting the
       photos – they stay in the catalog and on your hard-drive or wherever you had them in
       the first place.]
(5) I will go through all the photos (there were 166, several of which are duplicates) and
      pick the best ones and do a quick clean-up of each picture (mainly white balance.)
(6) Then I will print the photos I’ve worked on. They’ll have to dry for a while so I’ll start
       planning the pages.
(7) Make a list of what pages I’ll need. [and what supplies I want to use.]
       A. Colors for bases (no more than 3 different ones that complement each other)
       B. Patterned pages – I’ve got hundreds of pattern papers and most are just single
            sheets in both 12×12 and 8.5 x 11. No more than two patterns per page or double
             pages – prefer one to be either checks, stripes, circles and the other floral.
(8) Create a new title page.  At the same time create a 3×3 title block for the insert in the
       front of the binder.
(9) I have a page designer kit that I bought when I first started scrapbooking but never
       really used.  It’s got page maps (sketches) and templates for cutting the parts.  Since
       I’m planning on using that with the family heritage albums I’ll be creating later, I’ll
        start with this one.
        A. Pick the page map I’ll use.
        B. Identify the card stock and patterned paper to use.
        C. Page Title and alpha die cuts to use.
        D. Put all in LARGE plastic zip-lock bag.
(10) Build the pages.
There you have it.  10 steps. Steps 1-9 I’ll allow one week (Step 9 will get 4 days.) The rest have about 2 weeks to finish.  I’ll let you know how it goes.
Actually I managed to do steps 1-6 yesterday – I was really on a roll – so now I’m on step 7. I still have to cut apart the pictures (and may have to spend some time checking the metadata on the pictures to get the dates.) But I can get started on the real work as I just added 4-5 days to what originally was going to be two weeks.

OMG – I’ve only got three weeks before SRD

In two weeks, May 13, SRD (State Recognition Day for New Mexico TOPS Chapters) will start.  This year’s theme is “Thanks for the Memories” and chapters are encouraged to bring their chapter scrapbooks to display for others.

I’m the chapter “historian” now and the scrapbook needs to be brought up to date.  The last entry was sometime in the 80’s, I think. I joined the local TOPS chapter sometime in the 80’s but didn’t really start with the program until the late 90’s or early 2000’s.

I have some pictures from as early as 2007 (166 to be exact but several are duplicates or member pictures for our “Tail-cutting Board.” (I need to get a picture of the board to put in the book.)

BTW – TOPS is a non-profit, International Weight Loss organization that’s been around since 1948.  TOPS stands for Take Off Pounds Sensibly. (You can learn more by checking out .)

So, I have a plan to get this done and you, my readers, are invited to come along and watch my progress.


My Heritage

While I’m organizing my craft room, aka the scraproom, I’m also taking an on-line class called Scrapbook YOU.  The class is up to day 15 but I just completed day 3.  This will be the start of Heritage albums triggered by finding photos (week 5 in the Organization challenge) and getting them organized. I have not only the pictures I’ve taken but also the ones my mother took, the ones her father, and maybe mother as well too, photos from my father’s side of the family, and my husband’s family photos. I’m beginning to wonder if 31 weeks is enough.

This is the first layout I did.  It’s about my birth.  My father has two middle names Neville and Peed and Lawrence is his surname.  The bracelet is the one that was put on my wrist while in the hospital.




This layout is about my mother (Day 2 in the Scrapbook You class.) There’s a lot going on in this layout. If you click on the picture it will enlarge so you can read the journaling. Mother passed away in 2011.




This layout is about my father (Day 3.) He is still doing well, living at home and playing golf on nice weekends.


Organizational Challenge – Week 3

Note:  If you double click on the photos, another page opens up with a much larger picture.

Now I’m somewhat depressed. Yesterday I started figuring out how I was going to do all this reorganization stuff and tried to determine where my card-stock and papers would all go. (That’s the assignment for week 4.)  Currently it resides, for the most part on a 5’1″” tall; 30″ wide; 11″ deep metal shelving unit with four shelves. The card-stock takes up one full shelf plus about half of a second one.  I was thinking of moving that shelf unit to the north wall where a set of bookcases is but the bookcases are 35″ wide and there isn’t room on the east wall where the shelf unit currently resides to put the bookcases (two doors get in the way).  Then I got to looking at what was in/on the bookcases AND in one rolling cart under the computer desk.

I think I need an intervention.

The very bottom shelf of the bookcase is about 12″ tall, just right for 8.5 x 11″ notebooks. The remaining three shelves are less tall, about 10″.  I have more empty scrapbook albums than I’ll ever get filled – especially since I work in digital now instead of glue-and-paper. TWO of the rolling carts are now filled with 12 x 12″ albums (and some 8.5 x 11″ ones.)  I have more that need to go somewhere. And then there’s the question of where will I put them?  There’s no room in the scrap room or its closet. Also, the back third to half of the bottom shelf of the bookcases is blocked by a rolling cart of scrapping supplies topped by 3 plastic boxes with more of the same.

I know why I have so many empty albums. When I first got started with scrapbooking I had plans to document all our trips.  We’d traveled with my parents and I wanted to make albums to remember them in as well as the times we went to Illinois to see my husband’s family. Each time I bought a new album, probably more stickers and die-cuts and more paper just for that trip. Since I started scrapbooking in 1993, the year we went to England with my parents, there’s a lot of photographs and memorabilia waiting to be scrapped in those albums. (Not to mention all the formal and informal pictures taken of us on our 12+ cruises! How about an album just for those pictures?  Sounds like an idea to me!)  And now that I’ve inherited all the pictures from both sides of my family plus my husband’s, there are heritage albums to put together.

Boxing up the large albums is a problem because book boxes (what we have the most of) are smaller than 12 x 12 in any of the three directions. And besides that, who wants to try to find a box of empty albums. I may have some room just right for the empty albums in the office closet which would make them accessible. In case you’re wondering, the filled albums that I do have are in the living room where we can look at them or drag them out when company comes. (Hey, it’s better than interminable slide shows or out-of-focus jumpy videos!)


    All-at-once-or-just-one-section-(1-of-3) All-at-once-or-just-one-section-(2-of-3)







Besides all the empty albums, I have enough 8.5 x 11 3-Ring BINDERS to give one to every student in the local high school! (Well maybe not THAT many, maybe just next year’s sophmores.) The majority of those are at least 2″ deep with a goodly amount that are 3″ or better. And that’s just in the scrap room – the “office” has 31 more, most of which are greater than 3″ deep. Most of the binders in the scrap room are full of stuff I’ve printed out and never looked at again!!!!  There are two or three that have card making instructions from Paper Wishes.  Those I do look at so I can make cards.  But once I’ve made a card I don’t get rid of the instructions even though I KNOW I won’t be making that card again. But I do write the date I finished the card on the instruction sheet. At least I’ll know which ones to get rid of when I go through the binders.  Which brings me to patterned paper.

Card-Stock-shelves-labled The turquoise writing/arrows/drawing shows where my speciality papers (Dazzles (a type of sticker), Glitter, Suede, Metallic, Velum) are (closest to the left edge) and my die-cuts and paper toil. I’m going to need to make another one for plastic “paper”. The pink is the patterned paper kits in their wrappers listed alphabetically so I can find them when I’m working on a specific instruction. The green is my card stock.

On the shelf immediately above the specialty paper is a ribbon storage system that just didn’t work plus several instructional DVDs. There’s also some large alphabet stamps by Close-to-My-Heart just under the green/yellow box. And there are some knick-knacks. (Thank goodness I stopped collecting dragons and other fantasy knick-knacks.)  Above that is a an X-box 360 that I was going to use to use with my Zumba DVD’s but I don’t have a decent DVD player to hook up to it.  Above that are some frames, brass bowls and padded envelopes for mailing cards.

Below the extra card stock (two containers of neutrals) has some Stamping-Up® stamps, refill bottles for Spectrum Noir® markers, 3 nesting woven plastic “boxes”, and my cutting dies.  To the right of the neutral card stock are envelopes (12×12) holding card stock scraps and one holding patterned paper scraps, then there is a box with Hot Off the Press® clear stamps and a three ring binder (white) with more of the HOtP stamps. All my Hunky Dory kits are in another rolling cart in the office closet.

I’m having to put myself on a Paper Wishes diet until I can use up some of my supplies. (But I’ll continue with my monthly Dazzles subscription. That way I’ll still get a little fix each month.)

I have been moving one box (~13 x 13 x 3″) full of all the supplies I need to make the cards I liked from the 2014 [Paper Wishes] Week of Webisodes last August. There are a lot of patterned paper kits plus die-cuts and paper toile (3-D stack-ups) plus the ribbons needed for most of the cards. There also may be some additional specialty papers like acetate as well. They all need to be with card stock.  Now I might be able to use a few of the 8.5 x 11 notebooks and page protectors to hold some of the die cuts and paper toile sheets. That way they won’t get damaged. Maybe, but I’m not too sure. Alphabetical in the large paper holders seems to work right now, but I will admit the sides are beginning to bulge.

All this just to get started on the card-stock issue.

Where do I go from here?  Well, I can’t say “crazy” because I suspect I’m already there. But, by looking at these pictures and thinking “out-loud on paper”, it appears that the metal shelf is the proper place for my paper “stuff”.  I’ll bring in my card blanks and envelopes to this area, too.  I’ll move the X-box – maybe give it to my husband to play with. I’ll pull off all the ribbons I’ve tried to roll into the storage set and donate the set and all the reels and winder to our local re-sell house. (The ribbons will get put in the plastic box where I’ve been slowly winding them, in their sets, around cardboard cards. That solution seems to be working for me.) The envelopes might be able to stay since they’re made of paper and used to send paper things through the mail. The instructional DVDs, if I keep them, may end up on the desk with the laptop. Stamps will be removed, they need to be all together and right now I have at least 3 different places where I store them – this shelf unit, on top of one bookcase and in the closet (which is behind the door on the left of this shelf unit). Plus all the stamp pads are on another shelf unit and I have no idea how many have dried up from lack of use.

So, stay tuned to see how I cope with paper this week. (And I’m now a week ahead.)  I think I need to print out these blog posts and put them in a binder to help me remember what I went through to get it all done; assuming I succeed.

Organizational Challenge – Week 2

The week we were supposed to dream – a dream of the ideal day of scrapbooking from waking up and going into your ideal scrapping place: a place that is clean and clutter-free and where everything you need is in the best spot for your work and you know where it all is. Then we’re supposed to look around this ideal-for-you-space and actually envision what is where. What kind of containers do you have – not that you’re going right out to get them, just picture what would work for you. Right now you don’t worry about finances or space constraints.

Then we were to look at our filled in Assessment and locate our first problem. Why is it a problem and what would make it easier, and how can I improve it.

Okay – here’s where I stopped. Although I had looked at my space and seen the mess, I couldn’t see my dream in it. Two things came to mind.  One, I had to get the floor clean! I was almost always tripping as my feet would run into a box when I tried to get to something. At my age, I don’t need to trip, much less fall. Ergo the number one priority is a clear floor. So I moved ahead a week and started sorting things and getting them out of the room until I had space for them. If you look at the picture of the desk area, you’ll see I have rolling cart there with a lid (and basket of cleaning supplies) on it.  In that cart is my “in-box” which doesn’t have a permanent location yet and in that are several cans with mainly pens and a few other of my go-to craft supplies. I’m keeping that there so I can still work on cards and/or layouts while I go through this process.

Scraproom clean-up (2 of 3)

I have already put my laptop on the desk.  I’ve realized that I really need to have an inventory of what stuff I have – that means an EXcel spreadsheet (or 20). And, when I get to the various markers and ink pads, I need to make sure they’re usable and either buy the refills/re-inkers or throw them out.  The other decision or actually realization I made was that I like to see where my supplies are, so closed spaces aren’t going to work very well for me. Even with labels, I still want to be able to actually see them. That means I’ll be getting more clear plastic boxes, bags, whatever, to put the stuff in.

Next week is our Choose Your Challenge week. There are two Challenges: one is to address only one problem area and two is to jump right in and start from scratch. I already know that I can’t logistically work #2 as it’s to take everything down and sort it into boxes then move all the boxes out of the room and bring the boxes back in one by one. We’d have to clear out the garage to make that much room. Challenge one is sort of what I’ll do but not quite. I know that week four is cardstock – I’ve decided that I want all my paper or paper-like supplies to be together – that includes not only my cardstock but also my patterned paper and I want both my 12 x 12 stuff and my 8.5 x 11 cardstock and patterned papers together as well as all my blank cards with their envelopes. I have some colored blank cards and envelopes that will also have to be in that area but I’m going to get rid of the extra colored envelopes that don’t have card blanks to go with them. Cardstock/papers need to be in a well lit area as well. I’m thinking of clearing out a bookcase in the north corner and using that for the paper supplies.There is a light there but I may be changing the shade on it to be less intrusive.

Scraproom clean-up (3 of 3)

The current storage of my cardstock.

Scraproom clean-up (1 of 3)

My scrapping area. The large note book on the table is the notebook for the project. It’s quite large and is mostly filled.

Scraproom clean-up (1 of 1)

This is the corner where I “might” put the papers.

I would have major issue here with the paper change – only the bottom shelf is tall enough to put my 12 x 12 paper in. I will have to empty these two bookcases (which I’d have to do sometime anyway) and the shelves on the east side, switch them around (and I don’t know if I have the room to put the bookcases in the same spot as the shelves are in now. An additional issue is the narrow cart in front of the bookcase with the plastic boxes on top (as well as at least two empty 12 x 12 albums.

So first thing I have to do is measure the shelves and then measure the space the bookcases take up. From there we’ll see where we go.

Organizational Challenge – Week 1

Progress on the first week.  The very first thing I had to do was create a layout of my scrap “place”.  To me that was the table where glue-and-paper scrap-work is done. So I grabbed my Nikon camera and started taking pictures of the mess.  Thirty-eight pictures later I was done (or mostly done – I didn’t open drawers or dive too deeply into boxes.) I chose three pictures for my layout.  Please know, though, that I don’t do too much scrapbooking with glue-and-paper. Usually I do it digitally.  But for this (and another project I’m working on ‘Scrapbook You’) I created an album and the first layout. The reason for this first layout is to start the assessment process where you figure out where you are before jumping in to rip-and-tear your current process. So I’ve worked on the assessment and now I’m ready to make two cards since card-making is really my glue-and-paper process.


(Click on the picture to see a larger version)


This is the before layout I did. The mesh in the middle serves two purposes, one is to separated the top of my work table and two to give a sense of disorder and clutter. I used pink letters because that was the only chip board letters I could find to write the word “Before”.

I’ll continue with the assessment of where my supplies currently are and what’s good or bad about it.  Mostly I’m finding, at this moment, that there is too much stuff on the floor and my feet are constantly being stuck.  Luckily, so far, I haven’t fallen down.  Hope I didn’t just jinx myself.

You can see the  larger shots of the photos here:



Organizational Challenge

I’m somewhat hesitant to actually post this as my track record for doing anything more than 3 days in a row is rather poor.

Besides occasionally posting on my Dragon Droppings blog, I also do scrapbooking (mainly digitally), card making (greeting cards – birthdays, holidays, just-because, etc.), take pictures, write fantasy fiction, and sometimes sew. I do my scrapbooking, for the most part, on my big computer (an Aurora R4) in the “computer room” [used to be my daughter’s room when she lived at home.] But the card making and sewing are done in the “craft room” [my son’s room when he lived at home.]

This is all about the craft room. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t really do anything in there. So, when said they’ve made changes, I checked out the site and came across their Get Organized class (at the bottom of the list of classes.)  Now, several years ago I “took” the class, downloaded all the instructions, printed each lesson and put them in a large binder which I promptly put away on a shelf and never looked at it again. (Best intentions, of course.) Fast forward to now – I actually found the binder and have started the first week.

I read the lesson and discovered that we’re supposed to do a layout – a Before version – of our scrapping place. Then, when everything is organized, we’ll do an “After” layout. While we do the Before layout we’ll be assessing our scrapping place. (where are the products I need; is it working for me; what is a potential solution?) Since I mainly do greeting cards with glue and paper, I’ve decided that I’ll also make at least one card while going through the assessment.

On Saturday, I took pictures of all the areas in the scrap room and closet and ended up with 38. Then I did the first step which was to clean off your scrap place. My work space was so cluttered that I opted to do the A choice which was to take everything off the scrap place and put it all in a box (any tools that showed up that had regular locations were put there – for me it was scissors and my glue glider – everything else ended up in two boxes.)

Yesterday I printed 22 of the photos (the remaining 16 are just of the closet), chose the ones for the Before layout, and put them in a photobox. These are the three I’ve chosen. The first is my work space – the place where I do any layouts and make cards. The second is the cubbies under the left side of the work space. The third is the cubbies under the right side of the work place. The work place is  54 inches wide and 25 inches deep.

Get-Organized-Before-(1-of-36) Get-Organized-Before-(35-of-36) Get-Organized-Before-(34-of-36)

After that I used the clean work space to start my layout which I have put away (in a bookcase) for the time being, in my page-in-progress box that I’ve had and not used for many years. The box has a metallic component and 15 small magnets to hold un-glued items in place.

Today I’ll work more on the assessment and add to the page – choose one or two patterned papers, maybe a few embellishments and start gluing things down. I’ll take a picture of the “Before” layout when it’s finished. Then I’ll start on the first of possibly two cards as part of the assessment process (with pictures to follow.)

Twenty-seven weeks would put me finishing around Oct 3.  But I know that we’ll be out of town for a week in July and that we’ll have company for several days in June so I’m giving myself until the end of October to have the craft room organized.

December 28

Prompt: Today I Choose to

When I was getting the layout for today’s prompt, I noticed I’d missed creating one for tomorrow.  So after finishing today’s, I grabbed the one for last Monday, the 22nd, removed the prompt and my responses, moved the slider to the 29th and saved it as the Dec 29 layout. Glad I didn’t wait until tomorrow – would have put my day off kilter.


Laundry is already working – one load in the dryer, one in the wash, towels waiting in the bedroom and sheets still on the bed.  Hopefully will be done before lunch.

Yesterday when I worked on planning Brede in Scrivener, I got a total of 12 (out of 20) Chapters identified, wrote a synopsis for 22 scenes and identified 22 more scenes, identified one new Character, and know of at least one more – a goblin’s wife. My commitment doesn’t even start until Jan 1.  I’m hoping I’ll have a synopsis for all scenes by then and most characters and places “fleshed” out.

I worked in the craft room yesterday, found the parts to an unfinished Christmas card and put them all in a bag to finish later. I gathered the rest of that Hunky Dory kit (Christmas Cuties) and returned it to its package, and got the various scraps into either the cardstock or patterned paper files, wound a length of baker’s twine and put the label back on it.  Need to find all the stuff for the new Fresh Start class from Simple Scrapper that starts on the first. Managed to find the two Martha Stewart binders I got for tracking my scrapbooking and card making efforts while cleaning in the craft room yesterday.

Sundays I visit my father after lunch. I’ll see him twice this week since DH and I will see him on Thursday  – my birthday when he makes my cake (Devils Food cake with 7-minute icing.) I make his (same type) in late May for his birthday.

While getting ready for Christmas dinner before my father arrived, I grabbed the extraneous “stuff” in the main bath and put it in a box which I put in the craft room.  Now I can’t move around easily in the craft room, so the box has to be emptied and the “stuff” dealt with. (There’s other impediments on the floor as well, but that’s the largest one.)

Already got the flatware out of the dishwasher, just need to get the dishes out.

Lunch today: Cream of Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese and Bacon (from the Christmas turkey) sandwiches – yummmmmmmmm.

I’ve taken a nap the last two days. Unfortunately that kills at least 2 hours of the day. Have to get out of the habit before it’s set. Fortunately, going to visit my father after lunch means it’s less likely that I’ll nap when I get back.

A Lovely Evening of Music and Laughter

Last Friday, October 24, 2014, my husband and I attended a production of “The Lads of Enchantment”, a local barbershop quartet chorus.  They performed for 45 minutes and did an admirable job of telling the story of a man’s Love through the years with songs from many eras and performers. Some of the songs included were Hello Mary Lou originally by Ricky Nelson, Silhouettes originally performed by The Rads (but I remember it done by Herman’s Hermits as well as Andy Griffith’s spoof), Mood Indigo by Duke Ellington, For the Longest Time by Billy Joel, Love Me Tender (an Elvis favorite) and ending with Shenandoah.  Added in the mix of the story was a little 6 year old girl who appeared at the beginning and at the end who garnered a lot of applause herself.

There were four featured quartets in the Chorus, 3 Nice Guys (I guess the other one, who did the base beat, must not be very nice – or maybe he’s nicer than the other three), The Boys of Enchantment (they were fabulous and got the biggest ovation), Critical Mass (a great name for a group in Los Alamos) and 4 Praise (they did a wonderful rendition of Lullaby (Goodnight My Angel.)

After the Intermission, it was time for their guest quartet, the 2010 International Quartet Champion, Storm Front. They came out wearing purple suits with lime green shirts (a trademark of theirs) and started performing immediately.  It was comedy and surprise for the rest of the evening. From silly antics where the shortest singer in the group is hidden by the other three to a rather inept magician (same man) and ending finally with them playing brass instruments (I want to say it was A Trumpeter’s Holiday but I’m not real sure about that.) All in all – I’m glad we went. It was time and money well spent.


All digital supplies are from Lindsay Jane Design’s Autumn Glory kit

Simple Scrapper Stash Bash 09-2014

I’ve signed up for a Stash Bash put on by Jennifer Wilson of Simple Scrapper.  The pre-event assignment is to choose a motivational quote/saying that will be your mantra for the five day event. Mine is by Robert Louis Stevenson. The paper is by Captivated Visions‘ kit “Yes You Can” which was part of the February 2013 collection from The Daily Digi. I also used some brushes by Anna Aspnes along the edges and at the bottom (the brown leaves.)  I felt this quote was appropriate for me as cleaning up/organizing my scrap booking supplies is an on-going process. I’ll never be totally organized but I’ll approach it either more or less on a regular basis.