Thursday, July 23, 2015

Things that Make Me Happy

In my last post, I mentioned that I had a new plan for my planner so I thought I'd report back about how it's going. One of the reasons I love this new planner by Personal-Planner was the ability to create a generic planner so that I could do all the decorating myself. But I found that the lack of a design was actually causing me to go a little crazy with all of my stamps and stickers, so the end result was kind of a mess. After planning out the July 4th weekend with coordinating inks, stamps and stickers, I decided that having a color scheme for the week might make things look a little more cohesive...and I think I was right.

My friend Melissa over at ScrapItUp365 designed an adorable July planner kit of amazing stickers and I put many of them to great use. It was nice to have a bright vibrant color scheme to tie everything together and I think it really helps to calm what I was lovingly referring to as "color chaos"...take a look.

I used a couple of my inks that coordinated and kept it very simple. In the end, I loved the result and think that "color coding" my pages is definitely the way to go. 

In fact, I loved the look so much that I decided to take a stab at making some of my own stickers so that I could keep this look going. Melissa is working on more kits...but I'm pretty sure she doesn't want to design a set each week for me.  Now I am no designer (in fact my stickers were just made in Microsoft Word) but it's pretty easy to turn some simple shapes into cute little planner stickers. And the best part is that I can choose color palettes that match the inks that I use in my planner so that I can coordinate it all. (That was not an easy task, but it's done and I'm 99% happy with the result).  Take a look at last week's layout, using my own 'designs"...

I created a PDF of some of my favorite stickers so I could share them with all of you. Just print them out and cut them up (see if I was a real designer, I'd figure out how to make Silhouette cut files to go with them, lol). To save yourself a step, print them right out on label paper. Enjoy and please, if you share them, I'd love for you to link back to my blog here.

Happy planning.


P.S. Although my stickers can be used in any planner, they were designed to fit the A5 Planner from Personal-Planner. The column width is 1.75 inches, which is much wider than the Erin Condren feel free to cut them to fit.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Calming the Color Chaos in my Planner

It's been a full month now using my new planner and I'm still not totally thrilled with how my pages have turned out. At first I thought it was because they were too jammed packed, but now I am beginning to think that there is more than just a little too much going on. I think my lack of planning in my planner might be, at least in part, to blame.

BEFORE: A little too much going on
One of the reasons that I chose to order my planner from Personal-Planner was the flexibility to design the inside pages exactly as I wanted. I chose to leave my pages relatively clean (blank) so that I could decorate it myself, without being tied to a specific color or design scheme. And while that was good in theory, in my first month of using it, I wasn't completely happy with how my pages were turning out. Each week seemed incredibly busy and it was hard to look at them for too long without feeling a little stressed out. And if I felt that way, I am sure that anyone else looking at them felt overwhelmed too.

AFTER: Coordinated IS better
As the holiday weekend (Independence Day) approached, I had a number of great holiday themed stickers that I downloaded from Vintage Glam Studios.
As I mentioned in a previous post, this is great site for finding free, printable PDFs of some cute design elements to add to your planner. I print out the pages onto sticker paper and cut them out by hand (yes it would be a lot easier if I had a Silhouette, but fussy cutting works fine). There's a nice selection of sticker sheets available in a 
number of different color schemes with basic checklists, banners, and other design elements. Each month a new sheet is release with a different color scheme and although I think they are designed to fit in the Erin Condren planners, they work perfectly many others as well.

After laying out the weekend, I realized that (for me) a little color coordination
is a VERY GOOD thing. I don't want everything matchy-matchy all the time,
but I found that just sticking to a basic color scheme made it seem much more coordinated and a little less chaotic.  So I am going to give this a try over the next few weeks to see if that helps me find some peace in my planner. This planner is definitely a work in progress for me, but the best part is, if I don't like something, I only have to suffer 7 days until I can turn the page and start over fresh. One of these weeks, I'm bound to find something that works for me...and it might just happen next week :-)

My friend Melissa (owner of ScrapItUp365) recently designed her own 2-page set of July planner pretties (check them out here) in the most wonderful summer color scheme. I love so many of the elements and was literally cutting the first page before the second page even finished printing. There are adorable geotags...and even geotag banners, perfect for recording your appointments and stamping a coordinating icon to match. Instead of just including traditional "to do" lists, she has fun checklists including "Things I SHOULD be doing," "Awesome Accomplishments," "Summer Bucket List for this week" and "Procraftinations..." But I am head over heels for the little circles with the 1/2 design and the arrow banners with space to write or stamp in. Design elements like these are so much fun to use in your planner because they can be customized however you'd like. And wouldn't some of these elements even be adorable on a scrapbook layout or a card? 

So now that I have a plan and some beautiful new stickers to play with, I can't wait for next week to get here so I can start decorating. Stay tuned, lots of pictures will follow.