Clearing out My Crafts 1.0

Clearing out My Crafts 1.0

I have been on a cleaning streak lately, attempting to clear out the clutter.

Here’s why.

I love to craft. Love, love, love it! I play around with paper crafts, such as, scrapbooking, cardmaking, journal construction and design. I play around with fabric: quilts of all sizes, pencil pouches, journal covers, art pages, and other stuff. I play around with paints and inks, creating ATCs (artist trading cards), journal pages, tags, and other creative doo-dads.

All the items that I use for this crafting and creating take up room. And because I always think of something that I can do with anything, I had amassed a large number of scraps of paper, bottle caps, aluminum cans, toilet paper rolls, tissue paper, glass beads, pieces of string, and on and on and on.

With piles of random stuff all over my work space, I had two problems. First of all, obviously, I had no space to create anything. Secondly, everytime I approached my work space, I would be bombarded with so many ideas that I couldn’t focus on a single one.


I started feeling overwhelmed and, frankly, unhappy, that I couldn’t get to stuff. So after the semester ended. I dug in.

At my first pass, (yes, that’s right, I had to go through more than once), I just got rid of stuff that was renewable. These were things like aluminum cans, toilet paper rolls, pieces of cardboard, and other mostly recyclable material. All of these things were constantly coming across my desk. I could never run out because we use stuff that produce more of these lovely crafting items.

I was starting to see the tops of bookshelves and inside of cubbies. But, I had to stop at that point because, believe it or not, I had completely filled the entire curbside recycling bin.

My area looked so much better…but still not where I wanted it to be, namely, usable. And in the process, I discovered so many cool things that I owned and had completely forgotten about. (I’ll be making stuff with some of them and posting them pretty soon!)

And I’ll also be telling you about my second pass.

Thanks for coming along with me on this ride!
And let me know your thoughts!

Begin Again

I have begun a new phase of my life. And I’m pretty excited about it. Also, a bit apprehensive.

After years of being a stay-at-home mother and homeschooling jack-of-all-trades, I am now adding  “official college student” to my repertoire. It started when my eldest child left for college.

I don’t mean started attending college. He started that while he was still at home. I mean he left the building, left the house, left the city.

I took a long look at the rest of the kids and started calculating their dates of departure in my head. And I’ll admit it, I was filled with happiness at their success and filled with a sense of dread at the prospect of hours and hours of free time. I mean, crafting is fun but, all day long?

I don’t know about that.

I didn’t want to be that mom. You know, the mom that falls apart when her children leave. Although, truthfully, I’ve never met this mythical person. But I didn’t want to be her. I started thinking about what I wanted to do and I kept coming back to the same idea in different forms.

Teach. I want to teach or train or instruct.

However, even though I have been teaching my own children for the last 17 plus years. And even though I have been a trainer at the Boy Scouts for the past 7 plus years. And even though I have trained adults at Toastmasters for 3 years. It seems I am not qualified to teach young adults at the community college level without a Master’s Degree. (If you are not reading the sarcasm in those statements, please go back and read it while rolling your eyes and sighing loudly. You will get the idea of how I felt.)

I strongly believe in creating your own way in the world and that everyone should be constantly learning new things in their own way. However, in this case, I am toeing the line and following the directions that are required in order to earn a Master’s Degree at our local state university.

And even though I am older than some of the instructors who are teaching me. Even though I am almost double the age of most of the other students.  And even though I am quite confident that I would be able to teach the beginning composition classes that I want to teach right now with the skills I already have, I am following the rules and  seeking my Master’s Degree.

I have completed my first semester and, like other students, I am reveling in my summer break. So during this summer break, I will be posting all the different craft projects that I have completed and am working on.

Until next fall when classes start again.

Then I’ll be posting all the projects I will be working on while procrastinating on my homework.




ATCs in August

ATCs in August

I love Artist Trading Cards!

I am part of an online community that creates and trades these wonderful pieces of art and creativity. And this year, my goal was to trade at least one set of ATCs per month.

You lucky readers get to see them each month! (I know. I know. Try and contain your excitement.)

Here are my August trades. The theme was “Tickets, Please” and the materials were collage/mixed media.

If you are interested in joining or just seeing some really beautiful and interesting miniature pieces of art, check them out!


Creature Feature

There is a creature in my studio. And it is belligerent.

How do I know this?

For the last three days, I have come into my office/studio to find every item on a horizontal surface pushed to the ground, scattered like a burglar has gone through looking for money and jewelry.

No. It’s not a burglar. Unless this burglar also has tiny paw prints and tries to claw it’s way out of the window screen.

Unsuccessfully, I might add.

After poking and prodding every nook and cranny in the entire room (and I didn’t realize how many of them there actually were), I am unable to find it. The kids suggested I crawl up into the attic and see if it was up there.

Brilliant idea but I’ll pass.

So tonight, the screen is out and I’m hoping that the unknown creature will simply crawl out of my life and my office.

And I swear that I will never leave the door to the outside open again. Especially after dark. Or ever. Amen.

Returning to University

This is it.

I am biting the bullet. I am doing it. I am returning to college to earn my Master’s Degree in English.

As I explained to my husband (in an effort to clear it up for myself), I have three reasons for doing this.

First, the kids are getting older and my homeschooling responsibilities are shifting from full time teaching to part time teaching and full time advising and guiding. Also, a lot of driving.

A lot of driving.

This shift in responsibilities has given me extra time for self improvement.

Second, my eldest child is heading off to college in a few months and the prospect of a home with fewer and fewer children seems to be getting closer much faster than I thought. I swore long ago that I wouldn’t be an empty-nester moms, purposeless and lost, who spends months crying her eyes out when her last child leaves for college. Seeking a degree in higher education will help me get a job outside of the home.

Third, my last paid occupation outside of the home was eighteen and half years ago. I was a technical writer. Well, let me tell you, technical then and technical now are worlds apart. After some research, I found that I would have to take many, many science classes and I wouldn’t be able to work from home . Basically, I would have to prove my abilities in a corporate environment before I could work from my home office.

Technical writing wasn’t going to work because (a.) I still have homeschooling responsibilities and (b.) I can study science but I certainly don’t enjoy it.

And then my kids said, “You know, you should teach at the community college. They need English teachers.”

It resonated with me. And when I say that I mean, a lightbulb appeared over my head . I thought about it. I researched it. And I remembered way back in the old days when I started my Master’s degree before shunting it to the side to earn big money as a technical writer.

So teaching English is the end goal. And a Master’s degree is the first step.

And here I am. Beginning a journey, older and wiser.