Adventures in Card-Making

How to be more productive in 8 steps

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Procrastination map


While this “cartoon” makes you smile it probably makes you think about procrastination and productivity. These two opposing mechanisms affect all of us but especially crafters. The “product” we make depends on our ability to actually produce. The road to productivity is paved with distractions – weather, time, our feelings, illness and of course laziness!

Here are some ways to help:

  1. Negative self-talk – According to personal coach and author Tara Mohr, we often self sabotage our productivity out of fear allowing our inner critic to distract us from accomplishing anything that feels scary. It also plays a role in the way we approach our development as artists and crafters. In his book, “If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat” by John Ortberg insists that fear paralyzes us from living. A little fear is a good thing but continual, deep-set fear stops any healthy confidence in ourselves. Thomas Edison tried  1000 times to create the light bulb. What if he gave up at the   1001 time?  Try this solution: In the moments of fear, try a little “TLC”. Scribbling affirmations on notes around your craft table – “I can do this”.
  2.  Some of us are more productive when we have a deadline looming in front of us. Some of us tend to put blinders on and try to ignore the inevitable. We tend to stress out, do a shoddy job, hurry through and/or give up.
  3. We tell ourselves we are too busy/sick/tired – Sometimes we really are the above but most of the time, it’s an excuse to do anything. We tell ourselves that “I worked all day and deserve a break” or “we mean to ___” or the classic “We’ll do it tomorrow.”
  4. We aim for perfection. There are always going to be artists or crafters who make the same thing that we do, only better (we think). Not anyone though can make it like us. All of us are unique and therefore our “widget” whatever it is, is uniquely ours (now where did I hear that before?!) It’s ok to try to make a better xxyyy just keep telling yourself that your spin on creating is on track.
  5. Too many distractions – We tell ourselves another “lie” when we make time for social media. Some email, Face Book, tweets , Pinterest scrounging are ok. We say to  ourselves that we are accomplishing something when we get involved first thing in the morning. However, the negative reactive part of our brain kicks in and we lose time when we surf.

So, before you totally get depressed check out these tips to become more productive:

  • Enter deadline dates on your calendar 2 days in advance.
  • Ask a friend to  email or text you to hold you accountable.
  • Hold off on early morning social media checking until after you’ve accomplished some of your “to do lists”.
  • Do bits of your “to do list” at a time, that way you get a break.
  • Offer a reward to yourself when a task is complete.
  • Set a time limit or goal.
  • Do the easy parts first.

Happy Crafting,


Adventures in Card-Making

Loosing my mind (craft item)

Dear Fellow Crafter,

I recently spent an inordinate amount of time looking for a rubber stamp. I knew the maker; I had a reasonable idea where it was located; and yet it was nowhere to be found! Frustrated and hot under the collar, I gave up and used something else. I put the item on my “look for” list and went on about my day.The idea that I could not find my craft item bothered me.

I recently found a book by Michael Solomon who claims that the average person spends an average of two months of their lifetime searching for lost objects. Imagine how many “craft items you could make in two months! His solution is a set of 12 principles. Let’s see if we can apply his ideas.

His first principle is rather disconcerting – Don’t look for it immediately. Remain calm and go to the place where you think the object is located.

Try to convince yourself that the object is not lost – you are.( is he crazy?)

Maybe your lost item is hiding in the first place where it really belongs.Search thoroughly.

Where did you last use it? (No brainer here!)

Put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and recreate the scene of what you were doing when…

Look once in each area but don’t repeat the process.

Maybe the object rolled nearby? Check under your craft table.

Follow the trail.You picked up the paper then the inspiration magazine, then the phone rang…

Could someone else have moved it?This idea is not really absurd. If you object rolled near where your spouse was sitting, maybe they moved it and forgot to tell you.

Call off your search.You probably didn’t give it away so it will show up someday.

Let me know if you find my rubber stamp!!!








Adventures in Card-Making

Postage stamps and crafting

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Postage stamps have totally evolved from American Flags. I recently spent some time in my local post office. As the line of customers wound its way to the counter I chanced a look at the walls. Various posters featuring different postage stamps  were proudly displayed. One of the ladies in front of me remarked how the flowered stamps would look pretty on a vase and I suddenly remembered the time I ModPodged Christmas stamps on a clear plastic ornament. So I began to think of paper crafting. Had the idea of using postage stamps evolved since my last post: Recycled United States Postage Stamps published on 5/24/17.

Fortunately, Papercraft Inspirations featured an article in their issue 191 (see below). There were some great tips and ideas:

  • Giving a gift to a friend? Try layering a piece of cardstock on a brown lunch bag. Glue a postage stamp on a mini Brown lunch bag and mount onto cardstock. If you have any postal rubber stamps add them also.
  • Spending some time in a new country is summer? Keep a travel log and use cancelled postage stamps on your cover or pages.
  • Take your stamps. and divide the stamps into themed collections. Back the stamps with  cardstock.  A birthday or friendship card can  be enhanced by adding stamps and die cut borders.