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Old 04-05-2018, 05:47 AM   #161
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Catherine773, my heart goes out to you. Wow, I wish I could do something to magically heal you. Your story makes me remember not to sweat the small stuff, making mountains out of molehills. I think we all can gripe about things that when we really look at the issue, its not really that big at all.

You have such a great and positive attitude. I wish you many more good days than bad! Hugs.
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Old 04-05-2018, 10:37 AM   #162
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Big, gentle hugs for you, Catherine. I can't even begin to understand how difficult some days will be, but I, too, hope there's more good than bad and that you continue to meet the challenge of it all with positivity. I've always been a firm believer that limitations make creativity flourish and I'm confident you'll find a way to express yourself even if the tools, techniques and timing of it all changes.

I've seen a few blog posts and videos from crafters with limited hand use/mobility and it's been absolutely fascinating to see how clever and creative they are in order to overcome their limitations. And, they most definitely do. Their projects are just lovely - there'd be no way to tell from the project alone that it was created by someone with limited hand use.
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:13 PM   #163
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Oh, Catherine - that is a tough diagnosis, especially given your young age. But what a great attitude. I pray that you will have many more good days than bad days.
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:46 PM   #164
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Getting more regular crafty time is still proving to be an elusive goal, but Iím not ready to give up on it. Now that taxes are done, Q4 is in the books at work and Iíve gotten some other not fun, but necessary tasks done, Iím hoping that I am getting closer to being able to focus on this goal.

I continue to make cards for Julie Gearingerís USEIT2018 challenge - in some cases, it has reminded me how much I love some sets that havenít seen ink in quite awhile, whereas in other cases, it has helped me to ID some sets that should be allowed to move to a new home where they can be more loved than they are here. For these, eBay is my friend. I did buy my coveted Rotatrim paper cutter with my proceeds so far. Tonight I made my hotel reservations for Stampaway convention in August, so Iím motivated to keep going to earn money to help offset the costs of that trip.

My birthday card stash didnít get built up, but I was able to keep up with March birthdays, including some for the church shut-ins celebrating birthdays in March. I also added another Christmas card to my stash during March.

No random acts of (crafty) kindness this month, but I already have my April one mapped out - fittingly, it is for a woman named April.

The high point of my March accomplishments (after earning the cutter, of course!) is that I finally got my upstairs bathroom cleaned out, including MANY, MANY, MANY stamps that have been sitting there way longer than Iím willing to admit to, waiting to be cleaned and put back where they belong. I still have a small number that I havenít figured out where the set it that they go to, but it is a handful and negligible toward what I have cleaned and put away. So now the goal for the rest of the year is to ďclean as I goĒ with the stamp sets so that I donít have to spend most of a month playing catch-up. It is so nice to know where to find my stamps again.

With April almost halfway over already, I donít expect much to happen this month. But I am going to a stamp show in Akron the end of the month so I think my goal for this month is to go cash-only and with a list so that I donít come home with as many/more new sets than Iíve purged so far this year.
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Old 04-12-2018, 12:50 AM   #165
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Hi Catherine, and sending you love and hugs.
I wanted to say that I had a time of peripheral neuropathy after my chemo sessions, and was advised to wear gloves when touching anything cold to help avoid it. And by cold, that means anything lower than your body temperature, as you are finding with the dishwasher door handle. I could get a flare from getting cutlery out of the drawer.
I know I was very lucky that this helped me, and mine eventually went away, I know others who still have it a few years on. So it can be worth having a pair of warm thermal gloves handy in the kitchen especially, and getting into the habit of putting them on before touching metal/crockery, or especially getting anything from the fridge/freezer.
Beloved Hubby wouldn't even let me walk down the chilled aisles in the supermarket, bless him!
It also meant that for a while I couldn't drink cold drinks- that would send my tongue and mouth absolutely crazy!
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Old 04-12-2018, 03:51 AM   #166
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I have a new goal to add to my list.... well really, I have to adjust my list all together and shift my focus. The reason for my new goal is not one that makes me happy, but that I need to work with and make adjustments so I can still craft and love it. I've recently been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease of my spine as well as peripheral neuropathy... which unfortunately really impacts my fingertips. Sometimes the slightest use of my fingertips - like unlatching the dishwasher door, can bring me to tears from the pain. I'm a HUGE fan of ribbon, I love bows. I put them on almost all of the cards I make. And about a month ago, I was at my craft desk, and I couldn't tie a bow because of the pain and I just started crying. It's not just the bows either. The acrylic blocks triggered the sensation of pain too. I felt like this amazing hobby I love and my craft room and my enormous investment in this - was suddenly being taken away from me. I know I've talked about my own moments where I go in and out of creative phases. But to have my own hands make that decision for me instead of my creativity? That's a rough one.

So my goals have all been revised and these new physical symptoms have also given me some perspective. And problems, lol. Thankfully the neuropathy is intermittent, so I do have good hand days too. When they are here, I craft my little heart out and enjoy every second I can. And when they flare up, I have to remind myself that this will pass. It may be a day, may be a week, or a month... but it's intermittent and I'll be able to make cards again. So my goal is still to sit in my craft room and soak up the energy and the beauty is there - but it's also now to be incredibly grateful for days I can use my hands. And in some ways, the way this has forced me to adjust my goals and how I look at things... it pushes me to create even if I don't have that creative burst motivating me. It's like I have a limited window now where I can make cards - or paint lyrics onto canvas - and I don't know how long the episodes will last - so it's kind of helping me be less of a perfectionist. You have to maximize the time you can use your hands and focus on the positive vs. focus on the lack of perfection.

This all came on acutely and suddenly (and recently) so I had little preparation for my body to decide when I can craft or not. So my goals are to keep my spirits up, take advantage of "good hand days" to craft and to still do something creative when I can't use my hands, like maybe watch some youtube crafting videos and read some stamping blogs.

I would have never guessed a few months ago that in my 30's, I'd be dealing with this. But I am - and I will in time get used to it - and I am be grateful for the good days and I will do my best to feed my creative side on the not so good days with visual creative outlets.

At least now with this new perspective, the glitter on the floor doesn't bother me anymore because on some days, I can't even sweep it up if I wanted to! That energy has to be spent elsewhere. And I can't be an organizational addict like I always have been, so some days - those new packages of stamps - they are just going to sit out until further notice and I'll take deep breaths and life will go on. Those labels that I need to peel off and replace with a new font I love - that is just going to have to wait or I'll be in tears trying to get them off.

It sounds like such an unusual goal to recommend - but to everyone who has full use of their hands, relish it. It never ever occurred to me this could or would happen and now I have such gratitude for days when my hands work when before, I know it wouldn't even occur to me to be thankful that my hands could help create what I imagine and envision in my mind and bring it to life.

Catherine, my heart goes out to you. I wish there was something I could do to help during those tough days. If you lived nearby I'd sweep up that glitter and open stamp sets, and I bet 50 others here would do the same. (I'm in the VA/MD area so yell if you're nearby.)

And you're right - we should relish, cherish what we have. Recently I've had to deal with two difficult situations, and am trying to get to a new normal. Like the old Joni MItchell song says, we don't know what we've got 'til it's gone.


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Old 04-12-2018, 07:13 AM   #167
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Catherine - what an inspiration you are ! You have such a remarkable attitude to whatever life throws at you. I will think of your story next time I think I just can’t be bothered crafting. It’s true that you never fully appreciate something until that “something” is under threat. I procrastinate far too much, and worry if something I make won’t be “perfect”. However reading your story just makes me realise you need to live for today and seize every opportunity. Thank you for sharing and I pray that your good days far outweigh the bad, and you can continue to enjoy your hobby. Sending you hugs.
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:21 AM   #168
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I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis, Catherine. Are there things that can help? Physical Therapy? Meds? Acupuncture? If so, I hope that you find the one that will help you. Hugs.
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:58 AM   #169
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Catherine - I echo the others in saying that my heart goes out to you! Any time we encounter a new, unforeseen difficulty it throws us a bit. I admire your attitude and I'm sure that will go a long way to minimizing the impact (as much as that's possible) of your situation. I will send love and light your way to assist with that, as well!

I almost feel guilty now with the reason I came to re-visit this thread... I am SO VERY FRUSTRATED with my life right now! From mid-October until the present minute, my life has been totally and completely without structure/schedule/normalcy! Three of my grandchildren and five of my children have had birthdays - no cards. Thank goodness for Amazon, or they wouldn't have had gifts, either!

I did manage to get Easter cards out - stayed up till well past midnight one night to manage it, and did them assembly-line (not my fave), but it got done! Only seven of those, and it was a monumental task...

I have plenty of mojo and plenty of things to execute my ideas with - stamps, papers, inks, extras - but my schedule (rather, lack thereof) has me so frazzled and out-of-sorts that I just give up and go to bed. I used to look forward to weekends to do fun, crafty things, but they've all been shot with me having to travel or with people landing at my home, or some other craziness.

What do you do to save your sanity? Just ride it out? Have a good cry and move on? I'm totally open to suggestions, because nothing I've tried to date works at all...
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Old 04-12-2018, 01:29 PM   #170
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I'm in the same boat a little bit too, Sue. I have some major changes coming up in May and I don't know how long it will take me to get into a new routine. But I'm still going to craft every day.

For me, I had to stop trying to "find" the time to do what I wanted and actually "make" time for what's important to me. Finding the time to do something for myself often meant putting myself last - because there would always be someone else that needed me more (be it work, friends, family and so on). And you know, that's just not a fair or balanced way to live life. It's not fair to me, and it's not fair to the people around me. If I'm a tangled yarn-ball of stress and negative emotions, I'm not really helping anyone. So, now I make time to take care of my own needs and wants.

Between 7 and 8pm every night is my "me" time. I don't answer the phone (people can reach my husband if it's an emergency), don't check the e-mail and I'm not home if anyone comes to visit. And I don't feel guilty about it at all. It's something I need to stay centered and to not get overwhelmed, and my hubby and kiddos have come to understand it and accept it -- and even chose their own daily hour to do things like watch TV or play video games.

I generally craft during that hour, but not always. Sometimes I take a nap or drink a cup of tea and read a book. But the important thing is that I've made that hour non-negotiable and an essential part of my daily life. No matter how chaotic things get, I know I can count on that one hour to carry me through the day, and that makes things so much less overwhelming.
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:15 AM   #171
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I am so sorry for all the difficulties some of you are going thru, HUGS. I am still struggling with actually getting things finished myself. Starting not as much of a problem but HTC is a different story.

I was inspired to grab a box and start tossing in things I know I will never use and have decided to get rid of because of this thread and couple of others. Almost filled the box already just going thru my hand held punches and decorative scissors. I have a bunch of premade frame type die cuts that I pulled out and put on a ring so I'd see them and maybe use finally. That is just never going to happen so into the box they are going as well as bits that I made forever ago and am realizing I will never get around to using.


baby steps maybe but steps nonetheless...
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Old 04-13-2018, 01:10 PM   #172
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I have been continuing with my purge and it is going quite well. I have sold a number of items since the first of the year and I have tucked the money away. Not sure what I will use the money for yet, but it encourages me to keep pressing forward. I feel that I am gaining some breathing room and that motives me to create!

Catherine, praying for you to have many pain-free days so you may craft.
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Old 04-14-2018, 09:49 PM   #173
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There are tears streaming down my cheeks as write this from all the kindness in your words from everyone - thank you from the bottom of the my heart. Checking in on this thread came at the perfect time - it was a tough day and my spirits were low. And now I can feel the support and love around me and my soul feels lighter. Thank you for your kindness, it's amazing what a difference kind words can do for someone's spirits. I'm pulling for a good spine and hand day tomorrow and want to just sing and craft and soak up every second while I make cards. If it turns out I don't have that option, I will remind myself I will feel better another day and catch up on these threads. Thank you for the advice about the neuropathy gloves, I actually ordered a pair yesterday, I've heard they can be very helpful. Thank you again to everyone, lots of love and crafty wishes to each of you - Catherine
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:44 AM   #174
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Hi Catherine, I totally agree that the good thoughts and overwhelming kindness of people we have never, and probably will never, meet in real life makes so much of a difference. I have had so love and support from here too, and virtual hugs are definitely as good as the real thing. Your positive attitude will help you, I know. It's all about looking forward to the next good day, definitely, and always reminding yourself how far you have come, not how far you have to go. Gloves definitely made a difference to me, so I'm hoping they will help you too. Just keep remembering to try and avoid touching anything that will start it, it's definitely better to avoid flaring it, than to put up with the pain from it, and from what I was advised, the less you cause it to flare, the less likely it is to become unmanageable. Huge hugs xx
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Old 05-27-2018, 05:13 AM   #175
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Hey all how are your goals going so far, I'm pretty proud of myself.

I have been purging stuff a little at a time for several months now and it has been a pretty painless process. When the urge to clean hits I go with the flow and do exactly that. I have set no rules or requirements on myself except to stop what I'm doing and purge, no more excuses. It is usually only lasts for an hour at most and often less than that but I am making progress. The urge to purge is getting stronger and more frequent the more I purge too. I have put 2 very full bags of stuff out to the curb multiple times and have filled the rather large recycle bin over and over.

The one semi painful thing to let go of was all of my old crafting magazines but in the recycle they went. I came very close to giving into that procrastination nemesis that said I should wait because I could donate or sell them but honesty with myself said I would not get around to either as that was what I'd been telling myself for years. Once the recycle truck had hauled them away I suddenly felt much lighter because I no longer felt guilty about not following thru on selling them idea. I had done something, they were FINALLY GONE!
I loved that feeling, helped me want to do more purging.
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Old 05-27-2018, 09:14 AM   #176
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Congratulations, stampin stacy, on your "urge to purge" success! Yes, it is hard to let go of things we have accumulated. So glad this thread helped you get started.
Happy Stampin'!!
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Old 05-27-2018, 11:48 AM   #177
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I am getting ready to embark on the Kon Mari method to clearing out my craft room. Well more specifically - the closet in my craft room. It's filled primarily with scrapbooking supplies. And although it may look somewhat organized - i can assure, everything is very full. And I have to pull things out to get to certain things. I also have a hallway closet full of of tons of 3D projects I haven't done in the 8 years I've had them - and may very well never do.

I literally cannot wait - the idea of letting go of so much of this stuff already brings me joy. It feels like this weight - like part of my past I'm ready to part with. I used to buy everything in multiples - usually in 6 of each. Because I make multiples of everything typically and make tons of things... and well, honestly, combined with the fear of running out of it and the item no longer being made, and an anxiety problem Well I'm going to drop the number down to 2 or 3 at max. Letting go of all the back ups and collecting I already know, will lift my spirits.

I'm really pleased with my craft room itself. It's large, super organized, and I just recently re-decorated it a bit to incorporate the newer things I've bought and made over the past year. However, the closet in it - and that hallway closet - man oh man, I'm going to take pictures of it now and upload them! So you can see what I'm working with! LOL. This is going to take a long long time. But I know the end goal will be SOOO WORTH IT. Please know, these closest look NOTHING LIKE MY CRAFT ROOM DOES!!! LOL. I think I'm fearing hoarders judgement putting this out in the open

The 1st three pics of my craft room closet and the 4th picture is a hallway closet. You know it's time to part with things when it overflows from your craft room itself. The biggest part of this will be going through each of those 12x12 boxes full of papers. None of it is DCWV type papers. It's from the days when I went to scrapbook stores and bought scrapbook paper sheet by sheet. Or well - 6 of each sheet I don't even want to zoom in on what you can't really see behind the things up in front!
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Old 05-28-2018, 05:17 AM   #178
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Thank you stampindoe.

Catherine773, You can do it!! Go with that "excitement feeling", you have already purged the room and know how awesome it feels to have an uncluttered, not overloaded crafting experience. Remind the muse that you need that feeling of happiness when you open up the closets too. You'll know when you are in the right frame of mind to tackle it, a.k.a. the need to be ruthless.

How are the Christmas card makers and others coming with their goals, mid-year is fast approaching.

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Old 05-28-2018, 06:48 AM   #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stampin stacy View Post
Thank you stampindoe.


How are the Christmas card makers and others coming with their goals, mid-year is fast approaching.
I was doing really well up until this month - got my quota of 10 done every month for the SCS Christmas Card Challenge. But I've only done 4 of my 10 for May and the month is nearly over. Stacy, maybe your mentioning it will spur me on!
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Old 05-28-2018, 09:20 AM   #180
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I got my CCC18 Challenge for January done in January; but, it took me until May to get back to it. Posted Feb, Mar and Apr in May. I'm working on May this week. Feels good to catchup.
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:23 PM   #181
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Quote:
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Hey all how are your goals going so far, I'm pretty proud of myself.

I have been purging stuff a little at a time for several months now and it has been a pretty painless process. When the urge to clean hits I go with the flow and do exactly that. I have set no rules or requirements on myself except to stop what I'm doing and purge, no more excuses. It is usually only lasts for an hour at most and often less than that but I am making progress. The urge to purge is getting stronger and more frequent the more I purge too. I have put 2 very full bags of stuff out to the curb multiple times and have filled the rather large recycle bin over and over.

The one semi painful thing to let go of was all of my old crafting magazines but in the recycle they went. I came very close to giving into that procrastination nemesis that said I should wait because I could donate or sell them but honesty with myself said I would not get around to either as that was what I'd been telling myself for years. Once the recycle truck had hauled them away I suddenly felt much lighter because I no longer felt guilty about not following thru on selling them idea. I had done something, they were FINALLY GONE!
I loved that feeling, helped me want to do more purging.


I just did the magazines too! I figured all the ideas are online now. Well, I saved a few that I had marked some projects to try, but I looked at them again and was able to toss some as I no longer wanted to do the project.

Catherine 773, I kind of wish I had your closet. Iím quite impressed with the organization! My craft room is literally the size of a walk in closet, and it is a disaster. I am not as brave as you are. I wish you much success in your clean out!
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Old 05-29-2018, 04:35 AM   #182
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Once I quit forcing a goal on myself or beating myself up over not achieving that goal I was better able to get things done. Funny how that happens but letting go and not stressing myself out enabled me more than negativity ever did/will.

We can do this!!
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Old 07-03-2018, 07:05 PM   #183
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Halfway through the year already - can ANYBODY believe that is possible?

June was a pretty good month - I had one week that I was able to be in my craft room every day. (Of course, the next week I had zero time to spend there). I was able to get cards made for all my June and early-mid July birthdays. Having said that, I have no birthday cards left in my stash, so need to build it up again. I have also used up all my sympathy cards so would like to get a few of those made and ready for when needed.

I didn’t eBay anything lately - mostly on the advise of a friend who said sales tend to go down in the summer. But I have added a few items to the eBay pile to try and sell come the fall.

I was able to keep up with the USEIT2018 challenge and that makes me happy.

On the Christmas card front, the news is not as good - WAY behind on that and haven’t been keeping up with the CCC18 challenge.

I think for July, it’s going to be a treading water kind of month as I have a time consuming goal for July that will limit crafty time. But I am still going to strive to spend time in my craft room 2 or 3 days a week. I will also be planning my wish list for the August stamp convention in Cincinnati. I have my budget set, just have to organize how I want to spend it. I’d also like to ID a few more things to get rid of to make room for the new purchases.

How is everyone else doing with their goals?
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Old 07-04-2018, 03:46 AM   #184
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I can't accept this half-way through the year thing just mentioned. I'm pretending it's March and I have tons of time left in '18. I have been stamping and scrapping up a storm and it has been so much fun. I was out of space in the craft room, everything stacked up on long tables. My son helped me take everything out and one of the tables was replaced with two tall bookshelves and a workbench-height table/shelves. So I went up instead of out and I got way more things organized. I went through all my stamps and set aside a bunch to sell. The next day I got an email about a crafty garage sale at my LSS so they will sell it all for me, easy peasy. Today (July 4th!) I can finish the last messy table top and get back to some crafting. Sadly, I have two large bins filled with partially done scrapbook pages so that is my next thing to tackle.
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Old 07-04-2018, 05:41 AM   #185
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Halfway 😲! Groan....

Hubby finally had surgery we have been waiting on for over a year so I have been mostly helping him but managed to get a few things done. It has been a couple of months and he is becoming less dependant and more independent. Time to focus on the goals-promises I made to myself again.
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:44 AM   #186
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Gee, we really are halfway through the year... I feel like I got so much done, yet at the same time, not enough. I have been creating cards every day (I blogged nearly every day in June: Creative Cardsea: June 2018) and I'm actually getting ahead by a bit, so there's blog posts queued up for July. On that front, I feel like things are going swimmingly. I hope I can keep up the momentum going so that I can keep creating and blogging through the busy holiday season.

I'm also doing amazing on using up my existing supplies. I've been creating multiple cards with one stamp, and really trying to push creating different things. I'm not happy with every card - sometimes they feel too repetitive and same-y, but I think I can work on that the rest of the year.

Thank you for keeping the thread going! Summer months make it so easy to lose track of time and forget to check in...
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:52 PM   #187
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Wow, Elle, you’ve done fantastic with your challenge to yourself. LOVE this thread.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:36 PM   #188
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I'm so far behind on my Christmas Card Challenge - I set myself a quota of 10 a month and have only just finished May and started June, and we're already into July! As for my other goal of organizing my craft room and purging some stuff, I haven't got very far at all! You'd think now that I'm retired, I'd get it all done, but no - I seem to have added volunteering, socializing, and other hobbies to fill up the time!
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Old 07-07-2018, 06:11 AM   #189
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"I Stacy do hereby pledge to go thru my large stash of already made cards and either use them, trash them (very early creations-ick) or gift them to others so they can use them."

There I've said it publically, we'll see if that helps get me motivated to actually do it.
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Old 07-19-2018, 10:57 AM   #190
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If this isn't a sign on my progress, I don't know what could be...

I was reading the new posts and someone mentioned my name. And I was like, "Oooohhh I wonder what i posted?" As if it was a surprise or as if I hadn't been the one to write it!

LOL.

Oh right, those closets. Sigh.

I haven't quite gotten to those yet, life seems to have happened along the way. In fact, if it weren't for this thread, it wouldn't be back on my radar. Thank you for the reminder! It's kind of an exciting reminder though. And it will get me back in my craft room again and hopefully get some ideas rolling! And some purging done...
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Old 08-05-2018, 01:57 PM   #191
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It's August already! I feel like time is speeding up way too fast for my liking.

July went by swimmingly for me again. I made a card every day and blogged about almost all of them: Creative Cardsea: July 2018
A couple didn't make it into a blog post simply because they went straight to their intended destination.


I started August off with a major cleaning and reorganizing of my stash space. I spent the last few days going through every box, stamp, paper and tool. I found a bunch of things I'm ready to let go of, though I've still not decided if I want to sell or donate them. I'm itching to go back to card-making, though, and I'm so excited to create in my newly cleaned space.

Other than that, I've also been getting into daily journaling. I really enjoy putting thoughts and feelings down on a page as I have my cup of tea in the evening. I think it's been helping me fall asleep, on top of just making me feel more peaceful and content.

How has July gone for all of you? Any new developments or hurdles to tackle?
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