Monday, November 6, 2017

Review of Xyron Creative Station Sticker Maker

This is not an affiliate post and the color of the sticker maker is silver, not pink.
Ooops! I have no idea why the color changed.

I bought this fun, little toy a few weeks ago and so far I am delighted. If I knew making stickers was so much fun,
I would've bought this a long time ago.

This one is 9 inches wide, but it will use either 9 inch wide film
or 5 inch wide film.

This is the front tray in the real color.

This is where the stickers come out on one sheet.

This is the side view that shows you the handle. It folds and tucks into that hole so you can store it easier.

My 6 Steps:

First find the cute graphics, photo, whatever you want to turn into a sticker and cut them out.

I got these cute graphics from

Line them up on the tray.
I have three rows lined up. The first row I have to feed in a little farther to get started. I had to feed each row in as the previous row went through. Make sure you allow plenty of space
between your cut-outs.

Turn the handle clockwise and your stickers come through. You can see here that one of my stickers did not feed through until a little later.

They almost overlap, but whew, not quite. They will work out.

Ooh, sorry, blurred.
Use the cutter on the feed to cut your sticker sheet off.

Peel off the top plastic film.

There you have your sticker sheet. All you have to do at this point is peel your sticker off the backing and place wherever you want.

These stickers are going to one of my grandkids.

Did I mention that this does NOT use heat or even electricity?
You can let your kids make stickers or laminate
without having to hover.
It can also laminate and make magnets.
It all depends on the type of film cartridge you use in your unit.

In the past, I cut out my shapes and put double stick tape on them, which is ok, but not as much fun. I love making stickers for my journal and my grandkids. It is supposed to be safe for photos.
I gave it a try and it sticks well.
I guess time will tell if it's really safe.

Have fun!


Monday, October 30, 2017

Best Ever Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have never been a fan of Pumpkin Chocolate chip cookies. It was the texture--rather cakey and sometimes dry. Disclaimer: this in NO WAY is intended to be a healthy recipe. Eat at your own risk!

Our family has a go-to basic cookie recipe for our experiments. Here it is, TOP SECRET straight from our family vault:

Any cake mix
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs

And this is no exception.
Here is the mix I used:

On the back of this box is almost my recipe, but I've been making these cookies with their mix longer than they have, so trust me--use two eggs.

1/2 cup shortening. I like to use Crisco Butter Flavor stick. So convenient.

By showing you one of my plates, you now know that I am about 100 years old. Many of your grandmothers may have plates like this.

Add 4 - 6 ounces of chocolate chips. We prefer the semi-sweet, but milk chocolate will do.

Mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 -10 minutes at 325 - 350 degrees. My oven bakes on the hot side so I bake for 9 minutes at 325. Let the cookies cool and set before lifting them off the cookie sheet.

Happy BOO to you!


Monday, October 23, 2017

Review of Crayola Lettering products

I'll start with the Crayoligraphy Activity Set.
This set is sort of a sampling of their products. It comes with the practice papers and instruction sheets you see pictured, two gel pens, two brush tip (dual tip) markers, and 10 graphic tip (dual tip)markers. It's so-so for a beginner kit, but it should have more brush tip markers.

Also, I don't understand why the detail tips at the other end is a different color. I use the detail tips to touch up my lettering so making the detail tip a different color is not helpful. Maybe you can see what I mean in my sample pages:

Only one detail tip matches the graphic tip. I suppose you could add the different color detail to your lettering as a highlight for dimension. I haven't tried blending yet. I'm new to lettering.

By the way, I haven't seen the graphic tip before and I wasn't sure how to hold the marker. You can see by my feeble attempts above that it will take me some practice to get used to these markers. It is much easier to use the regular Crayola Washable markers than the graphic tips.

The only two brush tip markers in this set came in blue and black. They are very nice and almost the quality of Tombow brush tips. Again, the detail tips did not match. 

The bleed is much the same of other markers on this quality (which isn't great) paper.

The Crayola markers are a little less expensive than Tombow, but for my money, I think I will stick with Tombow. 

Next I tried out Crayola's glitter markers:
Now these are fun markers! They act more like a paint marker in that you may need to press down on the tip to get the marker to flow. The glitter is subtle and can be best seen holding the paper at an angle in the light. Definite bling factor. 

They are easy to use, but not good for lettering. See my sample page above, left hand side.

The glitter markers bleed a wee bit more than the others.

Crayola's Metallic markers have a more subtle bling. They can be used for lettering with some practice. See my sample page, left hand side, second section.

I am absolutely delighted with the gel pens. Check this out:
They come in this really cute tin. Here is a better picture of the tin:
Am I right?
I was amazed at the quality of the pens. This set includes glitter gel pens and metallic gel pens.

This is what is inside the cute tin.
As you can see on my sample page, left hand side, third and fourth sections, that the colors vary from glitter to metallic. The glitter pen colors are brighter while the metallic pens are more subdued.

I like the gold of the metallic better than the glitter and the orange of the metallic looks more like copper. Both sets write smoothly.

Writing utensils are like books--you can never have "too many."

Keep on journaling!


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The House that Jack Haunts is Finally Here!! with a FREE printable stickers offer!!

Here it is, barely in time for last minute Halloween shopping...

It's the first in a series of Doodle Coloring books
for kids and adults! You can find it here.

I made it for my grandkids.
It was so much fun to make,
I might just color one myself.

From now until Halloween 2017, if you buy this book on Amazon, I will send you a free printable of 34 stickers to go with your book.

Post about your purchase, (a pic of your receipt with your personal info blacked out) on my Facebook page
to claim your FREE stickers printable.
 I will contact you via pm for your email address
and email your printable for FREE!



Monday, October 9, 2017

The Journey Continues...

Sometime, in the middle of August, I found the disc system to get a little obnoxious. I added four vertical bookmarks, hand-punched by me. I trimmed them a second time but still found the pages difficult to turn. Even without the bookmarks, the pages had become difficult to turn more than 2-3 pages at a time. It was kind of frustrating when I wanted to flip back and forth from planner to trackers.

It was time to go back to the old fashioned ring binder. I didn't think I wanted to go smaller. I haven't been a fan of the A5 size of most bullet journals. So, I went to the 8.5 x 11 size. The ring binder definitely made turning pages easy again, but it took up so much space on my desk.

And, I found the thought of journaling/scrapbooking an entire page a little daunting. I avoided journaling anything for the first 3 weeks. I spent the last few weeks trying out different options.

I went back to the composition sized (7.75 inches x 9.75 inches), but in a spiral notebook. I wanted to keep my pages mobile so I clipped the pages where they connect to the spiral binding.

This gave me the ability to move my pages around, and they still held together well, plus I could turn the pages easily. I made my calendar pages and some gratitude pages.

I especially liked the ability to fold my journal in half to write, but the gratitude pages on the bottom side fell out. Well, that turned out not as convenient as I thought. Bummer.

The next option was the A5 size. I don't like the regular bullet journals where they make an index of pages instead of being able to move them around and group like pages together and add pages where needed. That wasn't an option for me at all.

I thought I could try that size if I could find it in a ring binder. There are a lot of possibilities out there, but I didn't want to spend a lot of money on an experiment that may turn out temporary. I found a clear plastic, 6-hole binder in the A5 size for $7.99 on Etsy. I could do that.

At first, I thought the calendar was way too small to write in, but I decided to give it good try so I made all the pages I normally would use. I even made little pocket divider pages from the full size dividers. It turned out kinda cute. Actually, it is stinkin' cute.

Getting used to the calendar size after an 8.5 x 11 page was not as hard as I thought it would be. I write a little smaller, which I like my handwriting better that way. This size fits my desk top with room to spare, but the ring binder is not quite an inch, which meant something had to go.

My spiritual journal, where I chronicle "How has the Lord reached out to me this week," and notes on lessons and conference talks would go in this journal:

I've been using this A5 lined journal for over a year, just for church stuff and then copying the pages into my regular journal. I decided to reduce and simplify. This little journal works well without duplicating my efforts. I don't need to move pages around and rarely ever add pages to it.

Next, I had to find a home for all of my menu/meal planning and shopping lists, cleaning and chores schedule, and my financial pages.

I renamed my 8.5 x 11 planner as the "Family Management Planner." It has my bill-paying trackers, password trackers, contacts list, meal planning and shopping lists, gift lists, wish lists, etc. That frees up my little A5 ring binder to just be my planner, journal, and a few trackers. I am very happy with this new size and that I found it in a ring binder. A5 found a new convert. It really is a nice size to fit in my bag and on my desk and it is big enough I can read it.

Always journaling,

Monday, October 2, 2017

How this 1 Item Replaced all of This...


How this

went to this

Thanks to an empty file folder I found, that was taking up space, I was able to organize all the loose papers, templates, printable test papers, and extra stickers into one place.

I had printouts from classes I'd taken, sketches and mock ups, and extra supplies. Now they are all neatly organized and easy to find.
It may seem obsessive but it saves time in the long run.

This one item changed the whole landscape of my work area. I already had it laying around. All I did was put it to use.

See what you can repurpose to help you in your journey!

Happy Journaling!


Monday, September 25, 2017

4 FREE Printables to Organize the Odds and Ends of Life!

Confession: I have over 90 different accounts, each with their own website and password. This includes everything from insurance and banking to Amazon and Etsy. Online shopping has never been easier! However, there is no possible way I'm going to remember all of those passwords and account numbers.

At one point, I had all of the websites and passwords listed in a notebook, kind of helter-skelter as I started using them, but my husband was so lost and asked me to please alphabetize them. That took some time, but I entered them all into an Xcel spreadsheet and sorted, then I printed them out.

You won't be able to sort this form, but it can help if you don't want to bother with Xcel, or it can give you a jumping off spot to start your own Xcel list.

Next is my Monthly Bill Tracker:

I'm a visual person. It really helps me to map out all of my bills and see where they land during the month, especially in relation to the paychecks.

It also serves as a reminder for all of those auto debits that come out of my account when I'm not looking.

Print it out and adapt it to your needs.

Cleaning/Chore Schedule:

o First, on a scrap piece of paper, I list all of my chores.
oSecond, I divide them into Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and semi-annual chores.
oThird, I block out time on my daily and weekend routine boxes when I will likely be able to tackle those chores.
oThen, I try to stay flexible. Life rarely goes according to plan. Sometimes I'm lucky if I can grab small snatches of time.
Star the "have-to-dos" and get them over with first.
oWeekly chores like laundry can be listed in order of the day of the week, if you choose. Try to establish a routine. Chores are more likely to get done if you are consistent. Don't be too hard on yourself if they don't happen. For some, a routine is a luxury.
oMonthly chores are those things that only need to be done once a month. I try to do one a week.
oSemi-Annual chores only need to be done every six months, like spring cleaning. I try to do one of these chores every week.
That way, my monthly and semi-annual chores won't pile up and I don't feel so overwhelmed.

8 x 11 Dot Grid Paper

Recently, I went back to the 3-ring, 8 x 11 binder. I liked the disc binder system but it got to be such a pain to turn more the 2 pages at a time. Plus, I had to make all my own pages because I chose the composition size book. That size is not readily available. There are lots of sizes very close but nothing floats my boat quite like the composition size, for some reason.
Anyway, I needed a new source of inexpensive dot grid paper, so I made my own. Then I discovered that if I print the dot grid onto a higher quality paper, my markers won't bleed through. Try 27 or 32 pound paper. that quality also has a smoother finish.

I hope these little printables will help you build your own planner and journal.

Are there different forms you'd like to see in the Library of Awesome? Leave a comment and I'll see what I can do.

No matter what happens in life--Keep Journaling!