Thursday, May 31, 2012

Does Organization Drive You Up A Wall? Put it ON the Wall!

I LOVE to get my crafty on, but my organization skills when it comes to my supplies is a bit.... well.... lacking. The prospect of getting all of my stuff organized is so overwhelming. Scissors, tape, glue guns, pens, sewing needles, paint, glitter, scrap paper, you name in, it is in my supplies.  Every time I feel the creative part of me nipping my heels, I dig through boxes and boxes to find what I need.  It takes up so much horizontal space and working surface area. I know I need to get a handle on it, but it drives me up a wall!

Regardless, it has to be done.

In Mom of Many Hats fashion, I tackled the job of organizing head on, finding a solution to my organization issues and strife, as well as the frustration of the crafting supplies taking up my surface space.  I decided to not let it drive me up the wall... I decided to put it ON THE WALL!

Using a prefab shelf piece (only cost about $3.50)  some coffee/coffee drink cans I had been saving for just the right project, a couple of mug hooks and some magnetic strip, hot glue and screws, I put my creative hat on and got to work!

First, I took the coffee/coffee drink cans and placed them on the shelf board in a pattern that is both appealing and functional.  I placed the plastic lid on the bottom of the cans for an extra bit of stability and a bit of non slip security.  When I had them in the pattern I liked, I took a dab of hot glue to temporarily affix them to the shelf board.

Next, I used a small 1/2" screw to permanently attach the cans to the board.  It took a bit of elbow grease with a manual screwdriver, but it was made much easier by using the end of the screw driver to punch a small lead hole in the bottom of the cans.

Once all of the cans were affixed, I added a few cup hooks and magnets for hanging supplies that wouldn't fit in the cans, or that were metal and could easily bond to the magnets.  I added a sturdy hanger on the back to hang it on the wall. I filled them with my commonly used crafting supplies.

When all of the hooks, magnets, and cans were affixed, I had a ready to use craft supply center that not only keeps my supplies out of the way on my work surfaces, it keeps them at my fingertips, on the wall.  It was an inexpensive way to solve my organizing angst and a way to recycle, reduce, and reuse the coffee cans that could clutter a landfill or continue cluttering the shelf in my pantry.

A bit of innovation, determination, and recyclization (ok I made that last one up), and you too, can have a handy caddy to hang on your wall for your crafting, or other supplies!

If you found this project useful or if you have tried it out, please post a comment below.  Feel free to Pin, Tweet, FB, Link, Digg... or any other form of sharing.  I love to hear your feedback!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Always Remember - A Memorial Day Walk Through the Cemetery

A Memorial Day Walk
Photo By  Rebekah Mozilo
Not long ago, I took my daughter to the Veterans Cemetery in our town.  She is an avid and very talented photographer and was drawn to the emotion, the landscape, and the composition of the cemetery.  As a tribute to those that served in the military and our country, she wanted to capture a respectful and beautiful image of what is often remembered as a dark and sad place.

The Cemetery is along a major road that we travel often so we catch a glimpse of it regularly.  But when on days when there is a national celebration of Veterans and Service Persons, or on days when another is committed back to the earth after a life of service or a sacrifice in service, it is even more noticeable. On those days, the land is peppered with the colors that represent the freedoms we have in the United States. The usually brown and grey desert landscape is brightened by the Red White and Blue.

Service support groups lovingly and patiently place a flag at each headstone at the cemetery. I thought of that loving service that they provided as we walked through the rows of headstones on the day I took my daughter to capture the images.  What a wonderful tribute and show of appreciation on the part of the organizations so dedicated to making sure our service members have the colors they served adorn their resting places.

But, as we we walked through the headstones and eventually parted directions, my focus shifted as I began reading the epitaphs.

I saw the awards, medals, and commendations by those that lay beneath.  The dates etched in the stones so clearly defined the moments in history that they walked the earth, served their country, and fought for our freedoms.  The realizations that some had long life and others only a brief walk on this earthly home sat on my heart as I could only try to feel the sacrifice that not only they, but their families gave so I had the freedom to live my life in the way that I wanted to. Whether they had a good and successful life outside of service or struggled upon coming back to the life that so many of us take for granted, each of them in their time was a hero.

My daughter and I met up again and gazed at the rows of seemingly unending flags surrounding us. We spoke in quiet respect about the gratitude an bravery of the men and women that we briefly came to know through the stories on their headstones.  Somber words of what the service personnel and their families endured as they were separated for long periods of time, and for some through the loss of their loved one were choked back. We were both moved - me in internal emotion, her in creative emotion through her photographs.  We both left the cemetery that day with our hearts full of thanks to every man and woman that has served in person or has served in supporting their loved one in service to others.  We were both changed.

To every woman and man that has, is or will ever serve this great country, THANK YOU! And to every family that is home waiting for their loved one who is serving, THANK YOU! Each one of us that calls the U.S. home is indebted to you for giving of yourself and your loved ones, so that we have the choices and freedoms that allow us the opportunity to live a good and free life.

Kyetra Belton

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Soar High And Travel Far! Releasing Them Into The World!

Photo Courtesy of technicolor76 on Flickr
I have a distinct childhood memory of tying a note to a helium balloon and letting the balloon fly off into the sky.

Although I could not predict where the balloon would ultimately land, I daydreamed, speculated, and created a story in my mind of just who would find the balloon.  In my mind's eye, they would take the message that I wrote, be moved by it,  do something amazing with it, or at the very least, ask a question about who the sender was.  It was a way to live on and float out into the world.

I have a daughter graduating from high school this evening.  As I thought about and reflected on her time in school and how quickly it went, I was somehow transported back to releasing that balloon. My baby, my sweet daughter is very much like that balloon.

This event in her life and in my life is very much like that launch. From her first day of kindergarten to this day, it has been a journey- at times so long and at times so short.  Each day of that journey - from what she learned in her academic adventures, her social adventures, and in what we  instilled in her, filled her and prepared her to go off into the world - it was what prepared her to rise and fly.

As her dad and I send her off into the world, we are releasing her to fly.  We have attached messages of love, value, and importance to her. She carries messages from us into the world.  More importantly, those messages, if we have done our jobs well, will be ingrained in her, in what she is to the world, and who she is in the world. If we have done our job well, she will always know that she is unconditionally loved, and will carry that love and legacy to the world.  We can only dream of where she will land; the winds of life often carry us in unexpected directions.  Our story of what and who she is in the world will always have a vein of truth, yet, she will form the words and the language her own story.

So on this night of her release into the world and into her future, we wish for her to fly, catching the wind currents, embracing the sun that will shine on her, weathering and being stronger for the storms she will face, and landing in a place that fulfills her own heart.

To our sweet daughter, you are a gift to the world.  Although it is hard to let go of the string and let you go, we will relish in the beauty of your flight. We are proud to call you our legacy.  Soar high sweet baby!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

You Don't Have To Be An Artist - You Can Just Be Practical!

If you stop by this blog often, you may have seen several of the crafting videos that I have posted here.

I am often told how creative or artistic I am.  But the reality is, I really don't think I am all that creative or artistic - at least not in the traditional sense.  I craft and create because of a need of something, or because I just don't want to spend the money to buy something.


In the video below, a segment on a recent Local TV Morning Show, I had the honor of sharing two project ideas that can be used to "cross craft" to make many other projects.  It combines the techniques used in the Blinged Out Flip Flops video and the I Tip My Cap To National Crafting Month Posts.  The result of using a bit of fabric, a few rhinestones, and the right kind of glue results in the ability to make countless gifts, decor items, or fun and cute accessories for yourself - like the projects  you see in the photo above.

Enjoy, and have a blast being PRACTICALLY CRAFTY!

Video Courtesy Sonoran Living Live, ABC 15.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Losing My Marbles

I never really played the game of Marbles. 

But I do remember being fascinated by the gorgeous glass globes and how they changed as they moved, catching the light and spinning around in their glorious colors.  I also remember how they scattered when they hit the surface, like a million little beautiful baubles heading off into the world to bring a bit of joy to every corner they should reach.

In as much pleasure I found in their beauty, I'd find an even bigger measure of frustration in their escape from my control.  Instead of allowing the beauty to be let from my grasp, I'd hold tight to them in my selfishness and thought of losing what was mine, or even more so, feeling the pain of letting what was mine go.  I'd try to contain them, but the more frantically I tried to catch them, the more determined they were to not be confined.

One day I realized something about these marbles.

In as much adoration, energy, thought, wonder, consideration, and fascination I put into the marbles, I was actually afraid of them.  

I was not afraid of the object of the marble itself, but of what it represented to me; of what the value of it actually was; of if it would have meaning to anyone else in the world or would it be a disposed of piece of glass. I was afraid of what the reaction to letting these marbles out into the world would be.  Would the world see me as foolish for having a fascination and dream in something that could be hidden many times over in the palm of a hand? Would the world dispose of me for putting so much passion into the marbles?

In an attempt to protect myself from the fear, as soon as I would let them scatter to see their beauty, I'd frantically try to hide them from the world. Try as I may to keep my collection from being seen by the world, there were always a few that I could not capture. They were out in the world. They were found by someone else, and became their objects of affection. 

These marbles are a lot like the pieces of us.  We believe we have beauty and value to add to the world. We have big ideas and dreams. We are full of ideas and potential. We let it out and watch the beauty spread, but then quickly doubt and reign it back in and hide it away for fear of rejection, fear of judgment, or fear of failure.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder as we've been told. It's not what the world thinks of your marbles that matters. What you think -that is what should matter. So why not let them scatter and take their course? Why not let the marbles roll, reflect light, and adorn the world. After all, those marbles we can't catch- pieces of us that we can't pull back in, often become the success and possessions  of others. Things that could have been ours all along, had we just not been afraid. 

What piece of you, idea, or dream are you afraid to let go into the world?  What  piece of your beauty do let go and then pull back? 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Am I Just An Imposter? Odd Loop Thinking!

Why this happens, I don't know.  

I dive head long into a project, feeling like I am in my element. I feel confident in my knowledge. I prepare, I practice, I deliver.  Often, I will even get accolades for effort and a job well done.

Is the job ever perfect? No.

But is it pretty darn good?  Yes, often it is.

I recently gave a presentation on a workshop I am currently writing.  I delivered the content well. I got a lot of good feedback of what was good, and what could be improved upon. Most of the feedback was good, and the goals of the presentation were met and even exceeded.

Then why was it that as soon as I had delivered, I felt a wave of doubt come over me? Why did I suddenly wonder what the heck I was thinking that I could accomplish?  Why did I feel like an imposter?

I did some self assessing and realized that there are certain instances and areas in my life where that thinking comes in.

In my many roles as "Mom", this type of thinking never creeps in. I am confident and comfortable running my household.  I can multitask and juggle a ton of things like a pro.   I don't ever put a meal on the table or comfort one of my children and then ask myself  "What gives you the authority and the know how to do this?"

But when I am in a situation that I know in my head I can do but is outside of what I see as my  "lived  out" expertise and outside of my peers that share the same expertise, often  I do question myself. Even if I KNOW I have the knowledge and experience to be successful in things outside my daily duties, my emotions often sabotage me.  I don't feel like I am in the "fake it till you make it" spot.  I just feel like I am faking it. I feel like an imposter.

I turned to the almighty Google and looked up the phrase "imposter thinking".  I was wondering if I was alone in this thinking.  Apparently not. I was relieved. This is actually something that many feel. Often, it is women that feel this way.

What am I going to do about it?

I have a plan of action to help me combat this false thinking. These are the steps that I am taking to catch my self in this loop thinking.

  • Recognize the type of situation that spawns these thoughts. 
  • Remind myself of why I AM the right person to be in that action or role  - even if it means making a written list. 
  • Know that I have the knowledge and the ability to perform the role. 
  • Remember that a standard of  "expert" is performing a role approximately 10,000 times. In reality there are very few true experts. We are all on fairly level ground. 
  • Listen to the voices of those around me that are giving me the outside feedback  of why I am capable for that role. 
  • Realize that no person could do that role until they DID perform that role. I am no different.
  • Even if I feel that way, to continue on until the feeling subsides. I won't let it get the best of me. 
Instead of getting stuck in the "fake it" phase, I am adopting the mantra "Be It To Become It!".  If I get stuck in either part of that mantra, it is a winning place to be. This way I can take a look at myself and say I feel like the person and the role that I am striving to be. 

How about you...Do you ever feel like you are faking it?