Monday, July 6, 2009

Confessions of a consultant

When I was growing up I always knew I was meant to live in Los Angeles. I remember so many times being upset because I wasn't there yet! Well, I made it eventually and had some of the best times of my life. Problem is, I now have the same feeling about my scrapbooking and stamping supplies. I look at the vast collection of products I own (I know you all know what I'm talking about) and I feel....guilty....frustrated....overwhelmed...that I am not scrapping enough, not stamping enough, not organized enough in my business, etc. etc.

I've come to the conclusion that it's a girl thing. We're never really satisfied and I think we are multi-tasking so much that we don't focus on one thing at a time. I know that when I look at my products lying everywhere that I don't really know where to start. Do I need a whole day, a week, a month, to find a place for everything and put everything in it's place?

I start to go a little crazy and then....I take a breath. I think about the "flylady". Who's that, you ask? Well, she has a very big web presence and a program that's a little too much to explain here (you can check her out at but one of the main things she talks about is doing things in 15-minute increments. I've followed her program for years whenever I start to freak I pull out my trusty timer.

I had this very big stack of boxes in the corner of my family/scrap room and I knew that they were a big mixture of finished and unfinished craft items, products to sell, products I might want to keep for myself, challenge items for my team and so on. They've been sitting there for a long time and I haven't wanted to touch them knowing what a big job it was. The time had come. I grabbed my timer I set it for 15 minutes and started unpacking. I used my scrapbook table (which I had cleaned off this weekend-took me 3 days but I did it) as a holding area. Every time the timer went off I took a break for 5-10 minutes then set the timer and went back for more. Here's what I found - warning, this is a long post.

Boxes for an upcoming workshop in which we'll be decorating these to make card holders (see card box instructions for an example).

Boxes I'll be using to challenge my team members some month soon. These are big!

Leftover step stools from the last challenge I gave my team (see altered wooden step stools).

More challenge items for my team (we have fun at our meetings!!), these are small notebooks we'll be altering.

A bunch of items I bought specifically to alter for this blog (it ain't easy being a blogger)!
Coasters I need to get to one of my downline and little bags that I may use as a challenge or may just use to hold gifts I give my hostesses (see gift bags - so easy).

Are you starting to see why I didn't want to open these "Pandora's" boxes? Next up were boxes I was going to use as a challenge for my downlines but instead had to use to make the altered box for this blog, it took me 4 boxes to come up with just the right one that didn't have my stamps slipping and sliding all over it (yeah, I'm far from being a perfect consultant or crafter).

Snak paks of pineapple and mixed fruits that I will cut open with a safety can opener, empty, wash, refill with candies and decorate to make surprise pop top gifts. Look for directions for this sometime in late July or August!

Extra notebooks from my party two weeks ago with the accompanying kits. These should definitely not be hidden away in a box, I can use these for a new party in August.

Now here's the worst of it, card kits, leftovers from past parties, some have enough for new parties but they are all mixed up and some pieces are missing, ugh!

Accordian and flip albums that have yet to be finished or ones that are finished but have been handled a lot at parties and need some minor or major repairs. This is where I get a case of the "I should's," should have finished these a long time ago!

An acrylic album that needs repairs.

More card kits! You can see my problem. Just unpacking all of this was exhausting and took me 4 15-minute timer sessions. Once everything was out I had to decide what to do with it all. I chose to group it all and repack it in a way that would make it easier to get to when I had time. I also knew that taking pictures and showing all of you would help me get to it.

I've long been a fan of 2 gallon Ziploc bags so I pulled out my collection. They may not be ideal but they are convenient for this task.

I first bagged up these labels I'd stamped for candy decorating, these will come in handy now that I know where they are.

These are my accordian and flip albums that need repair. They are all together now.

A card kit and a recipe card kit, both half-finished, the cutest things, just haven't completed them!
I bagged up a collection of checkbook cover kits I'd made for other parties. I know all the parts in here so those will definitely need to be finished later.

Here's some leftover randomly stamped paper, they will make cute cards now that they are where I can find them.

My uncompleted albums are now bagged together with the paper that I need to complete them. I use these as gifts for my lovely hostesses.

My huge stack of leftover card kits are semi-organized in bags (too big of a job for today). You'll will see my work on all of these in the upcoming weeks.

Once everything was in the ziploc bags I had to rebox them. I didn't have enough room for everything but did the best I could. The most important thing was that I'd know what was in each box. In the big Close to my Heart box I put all the products that I'm selling at the wonderful Boyne Highlands crop in the fall (see sidebar for more info). That box will just have to sit in the corner of my scraproom until the event is over so I put the boxes for my team's upcoming challenge on top of that and the snak paks there too cause I know I'll be doing those very soon. The future card organizers are in these boxes too just to keep them out of the way until I do my workshop on those.

This crate holds projects that are half-finished, the card kits, the randomly stamped papers, the decorated candy labels, the flip and accordian albums, etc. Anything halfway done is here. This is going to be my first priority.

This final box are future projects, ones that I want to do but have not been started, it's the box I feel less guilty about. Finally here's my empty table, putting everything away took as long as getting it out so it was about 2 hour process of actual work beginning to end (4 hours counting the breaks), not too shabby. The boxes are all there by my table so I can reach down for the next task to do.
Here's where you come in. I'm going to commit to going through the half-finished projects and do one at a time (remember, we're working on focus) and record not only my progress but directions to each for you all in the upcoming weeks. What I'd like you to do is leave comments so I have lots of encouragment, take on your own unfinished projects and, most importantly, send pictures of them to me. No, you don't need to write instructions for how you did it but I'd sure love to see your finished projects and I'll post them too with your permission. If you can't send me pictures I'd sure like to hear about your progress anyway so check out the comments section or just send me an email at Let's all work together on this, what do you say?

By the way, once I make some good progress on these projects I'm going to take on the rest of my supplies, my enormous collection of paper will be first (I'm Barbra and I'm a paper-aholic).


  1. Wow!!! I thought I was bad! lol. At least you got it done though.

  2. I can't believe all that fit in your room down there...! Great job!!

  3. None of that is even in my official scrapbook storage room, that's just in the corner of my family room.