Sunday, October 25, 2009

All these great projects...that I can't tell you about

This time of the year is so frustrating for me. I love to make Christmas gifts, and I have to start right now so that I have time to finish them, BUT I can't write anything about them, or talk about them to be sure that the recipient doesn't figure it out.

I don't know if it's harder for me to stop myself from telling others about the projects I'm working on, or to keep them from catching me working on it! So, even though I have not posted a lot recently, trust me, I am super busy, and I have the week after Christmas off, so there will be tons of time for me to update you all on what has been keeping me busy.

Right now I am preparing for Halloween, just like everyone else. Now, I don't craft or decorate for Halloween like some do, I'm not big on skeletons and ghosts, sure we'll carve pumpkins, but I enjoy the day after Halloween the most. My home is decorated in beautiful, rich, autumn colors (we moved in in the fall and I was inspired), so for the entire autumn season I am on the hunt for decorator items in those colors that don't scream "FALL". I love these colors all year round, but I don't particularly want to see pumpkins and scarecrows all year round, so I get to be very creative.

The day after Halloween is my bargain paradise. As soon as Halloween is over all of the autumn items are liquidated to make room for Christmas stuff, that's when I really go on the hunt!

I hope that you all enjoy your Halloween festivities, be safe and check in for updates on my post-Halloween bargains!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Comforting finds for cold and flu season

Cold and flu season has officially arrived, and I have spent the last three days doing anything that I can think of to ease my stuffed up head. Unfortunately I will spend a lot of time sniffling this winter, but fortunately I understand that sometimes my body just needs to rest. So that is what I'm doing tonight, just resting.

Luckily I can take time to rest, and sitting around catching up on my favorite blogs is the perfect relaxation technique. There are a few other essentials that I need when I feel like this, so I thought it would be great to feature some Etsy artists who create just what I love to have around me to make me as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

The first necessity is tissues, and a lot of them. Many tissue companies offer some really cute box designs, but if you are looking for something to match your decor, and make that necessary tissue box seem like it really belongs in the room, check out Fondue. This gorgeous (and completely un-tacky) tissue box cover can be found in their Etsy shop.

Another absolute necessity is a great coffee mug. Whether you like coffee, tea, or my favorite, spiced apple cider, a warm drink makes a sore throat feel better every time. The bigger the mug, the better. Here some sophisticated handcrafted mugs from JustWork.

Nothing beats a great blanket for curling up on the couch with my coffee, tissues, and General Hospital. I have a couple of criteria for what constitutes a great blanket. First, it has to be fleece, because fleece is always fuzzy and warm, it doesn't take on the chill in the air. Secondly, a great blanket has to be extra large in size, so that all of me, from my neck to my toes, can fit underneath the blanket. Here is a super cute blanket from katesblankets.

These three things may not actually make me feel better, but they do make me more comfortable. Now I'm off for some good old fashion R&R, let me know what you need when you're sick and I'll post it for everyone!

Monday, October 12, 2009

A new take on a familiar project

I can not believe how long it has been since I have posted. When I first started this blog I could not understand how someone could go for weeks without posting, but then again, when I first started this blog my only job was my small business and my blog was a part of my job, now it's something that I get to add to when I have time and something to share.
I had been taking some time away from Obsessively Organized to jump into my new job wholeheartedly, and to attempt to catch up on some personal projects that really needed to get started (Christmas gifts!). During this time I have barely been online at all, which is completely strange to me because I was online almost every minute of every day over the summer. However I have been spending more time with my trusty computer recently because I have been working on a custom order.

This order is important because it is for someone who is just as specific as I am about what they want in their planner. Many people will get a new planner because it looks cute, or they have every intention of getting organized, but then the novelty wears off and they forget where they put the darned thing. Custom orders are all special to me because when someone requests a certain kind of planner I know that they understand exactly what they need a planner to do for them, and I know that it will be useful for them because they are getting exactly what they want. This is why I started creating planners in the first place!

I was weary of taking on such a specific order, because I knew that I didn't have much time to work on it, but I am really thankful that I did, because it gave me the chance to remember what I love about this business - the creating. I got the opportunity to spend all day in front of my computer formatting pages, and I was given a new challenge - tab dividers for each month. This is something that I have been avoiding up until now because I couldn't seem to find a way to make them work, but for some reason it was so simple when I finally sat down to do it. I'm very excited about the tab dividers because I have a project that I would like to make for a friend for the holidays and the dividers are completely necessary (I won't say anything more, but I will be sure to let you know how it turns out).

I am so glad that I was given the chance to work on an Obsessively Organized project again. I am certainly not ready to get it back up and going at the rate that it was this summer, because I value my sleep far too much, but I will definitely be taking on a few more projects now that I know I can fit them into my schedule.

Here are a few pictures of the custom order that I just finished. I was so honored that she chose one of my original designs for the cover. How could I say no to that!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Time to rejuvenate!

Image from justnaki

I have so missed my blog! Isn't funny how the first things that we push to the side when we run out of time seem to be the little things that truly make us happy? While I have not been able to blog as much lately (a direct result of the fact that I am rarely able to make it to my computer) I have certainly been using my journal more often. I am proving to myself that writing is one of my favorite therapies (writing and coffee!).

I have been so busy getting used to my new work schedule, and now it is time for me to work on my new personal schedule. I get so easily distracted because I have so much less time to work with. I get online to check my email, and I find myself on the computer for two hours because I keep thinking of things that I really need to catch up on, none of which were on my to-do list to begin with!

I am trying to rejuvenate myself by jumping back into my favorite projects. I have some wonderful Christmas gifts that I have started for my friends (I am super excited about them, but not sure when I will find the time to finish them, I am supposed to be working on them now...) which I will certainly share pictures of after Christmas. I also have a surprise for those who have purchased from me, just a little thank you for helping me get off to a great start (yes I will post pictures of those too). Finally I am beginning to get back to my Obsessively Organized products, and I can't wait to ship out some more calendars before the new year!

Now I just have to find some time to sit down and read some of my favorite blogs, that may prove to be a true indulgence, but maybe I can make it part of my Sunday morning routine. I will keep you posted on my fun new projects and deep musings!

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's time to re-evaluate

If I was looking for a sign I got about 10. I was bound and determined to continue working on my Etsy shop at the same pace that I had been before, while starting my new full time job. I am positive that a higher power was encouraging me to slow down with the Etsy stuff, and when I didn't pay attention to the first sign, he sent me a second, and a third, and a fourth. Well I am certainly not going to stop, but I can definitely recognize when I need to take a break. I still have all of my wonderful planners and notebooks in my Etsy shop, but I am going to stop creating new inventory and taking custom orders for a couple of weeks while I re-evaluate the direction of my business.

The most important thing for me to remember is that I loved working on projects for Obsessively Organized, but during the last couple of weeks all I have been is frustrated, it seems as though nothing has gone right. I really want to get back to that place where I enjoy what I do, and I enjoy checking my email to look for a sale.

Hopefully things will slow down a little once I get adjusted to my new work schedule and I can pick up my Obsessively Organized projects again and add to my inventory before the holiday season. I will definitely keep you all posted! I so enjoy having a space to share my little dramas!

Rain and Football - Just my luck

Hi all! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend, I had a great time at the Ohio State football game (it was a shutout!), but we got completely soaked. It rained all day, and the worst rain came at the beginning of the game. My best friend, who hasn't missed a home OSU game in the last 4 years, swears she has never sat through such a rainy game. That would definitely be my luck, I officially apologize to anyone who attended the game on Saturday, it only rained because I was there. But it was still a ton of fun, we couldn't do anything about the weather, so we enjoyed it, how often do you play in the rain?! Here are some great pictures from the game:

We sat in the south stands, with a great view of the entire field.

Script Ohio! The football team is great, but it's worth going to the game just to see the band do the script Ohio in person.

Even in the rain it's a sea of red.

Check out that nasty cloud, I promise it was 10 times darker in person, I of course had no idea that it was supposed to rain, so taking rain gear never even crossed my mind, but it certainly wouldn't have been the same experience if I had stayed dry!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sweet Treats

I have been super busy, but I can definitely make time to do Sweet Treat Friday! I have been noticing that the sweet treats I have featured have really reflected what is going on with me currently, and I think that is great because as someone who really loves to bake I can appreciate the idea that there is a treat for every occasion.
I just found out that I get to go to the Ohio State Football game this Saturday, which is a huge deal, because around here, OSU Football is a way of life. I'm not a die hard football fan by any means, but I'm definitely looking forward to the experience, so in honor of my big weekend today's treat is the BUCKEYE!

(Image from BirdMom). These incredible little bite sized candies are like heaven! Creamy peanut butter centers dipped in chocolate, what more could you ask for. They get their name because of their resemblence to the nut of the buckeye tree, Ohio's state tree, however, a buckeye (nut) is poisonous, and a buckeye candy is only bad for you if you eat too many of them (which I have done on a number of occasions!)

Enjoy your weekend, I will post pictures from the game as soon as I have a chance.

On a completely unrelated note, I am so frustrated by issues that I have been having with my printer. I have a wonderful Brother Laser Printer, and I love it, but the toner is incredibly expensive, so I have tried a couple of different options for cheaper toner cartridges. First I ordered a supposedly compatible generic toner cartridge, which of course was not actually compatible, so I had to send that back and I am still waiting on a refund, then I ordered from an online discount ink supplier. Ha this has been a joke, first my ink was back ordered, then they promised they would overnight it, then it got sent ground "by accident" so I am still waiting for it almost two weeks later. I've learned my lesson, next time I'll just go pick it up from Office Max, it's more expensive but the service is worth it!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Just a quick thanks!

Hi everyone, it has been an insane day to say the least, and a bit of a downer. This is why I was so happy to check up on my blog and see some really sweet comments and new followers. Thank you all! Here's to hoping tuesday will be a better day!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I love fall!

I love autumn in Northwest Ohio. This is without a doubt my favorite time of the year. This past Saturday was especially gorgeous, it was sunny and 70 degrees, and all of the wonderful harvest colors had just started to change. I couldn't resist the incredible views, so I took some pictures:

I think I only have fall landscape pictures, the colors are so vibrant that I feel like I have to capture them, and I love to use them in my decorating projects. I can't wait to print all of these!

To completely change the subject, I start my new job tomorrow, and while I'm really excited, I'm not nervous, which is unusual for me because everything makes me anxious! I hope that this means this new job is a perfect fit. But the reason that I'm telling you all of this is because I will not have as much time to blog now that I am back to working full time. No worries, I will certainly continue sharing my stories and photos (I'm very excited to tell you all about a craft show that I might get to do later this fall, I'm sure that my preparations for that will be a learning experience!) so please keep checking, I truly appreciate everyone who reads my blog because I so enjoy writing it!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday nights

Goodness my Friday nights have become incredibly predictable! Tonight we went out for ice cream (my favorite peanut butter cup sundae from my favorite ice cream store ever, Mr. Freeze) and then watched Dateline. Ha, how exciting! But, at least it was relaxing. Now I am reading blogs when I know that I should either be doing something productive or heading to bed.

My plans for tomorrow include a little crafting (or maybe I'll do some of that tonight still...) and then I'm going to check out the Harrison Rally Days festival in Perrysburg Ohio. I'm excited to see a lot of crafters and artists and hopefully get some inspiration!

I hope that everyone has a great weekend!

Seasonal Treats!

I am a sucker for a pretty cookie. Yes, taste is incredibly important, but the way that it looks has to draw you in before you will take a bite. These gorgeous cookies from SomethingSweetShop fall into the "too cute to eat" category. I have no idea how they taste (I am a bit picky about my cookies) but they look incredible, and they remind me that I really need to start thinking about making my autumn sugar cookies.

The perfect cookie always needs the perfect drink, and in the Autumn there are only two choices, hot apple cider, or chai tea. Both drinks are a great complement to something sweet, and they add to the autumn atmosphere. This Vanilla Bean Chai mix is available from goodforyou.

If you need a little pick me up today I suggest you head over to the plants and edibles category on Etsy and do a quick search using the term "autumn" oh my goodness the results are all incredible, yes it might make you crave something sweet, but it is also a feat for the eyes!

On that note I am off to spend my last day before I start working doing one of my favorite things in the world; outlet shopping! Enjoy your Friday!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Get Organized!

Hi all, it's Wednesday and that means it's time for the organizing tip of the week. This one is very simple, but has also proven to be very useful.
If you are anything like me your space is covered in to-do lists, shopping lists, post it notes, order confirmations, receipts, and cards. It gets a little overwhelming, and it leaves me with absolutely no room to work.
In order to combat all of those little notes that clutter up my work space I have begun writing everything down in a mini notebook. I put all of my phone messages, to do lists, shopping lists, and random notes in this one little notebook, and I stick all of the loose addresses, business cards, and receipts in the pocket. This way my mess is confined to one area, and I can pick it up and throw it in my purse so I always have my lists with me.

Here is my notebook (on my far too cluttered desk):

This is also helpful because I have a tendency to get easily frustrated by the clutter and get into a cleaning rage, where I unknowingly throw away a very important piece of paper (it's happened more than once), this way all these notes will still be there months later.
Shameless promotion: I have many mini notebooks just like this one in my Etsy shop stop by and check them out!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pictures from Amish Country

As promised, here are some of my pictures from my trip to Amish Country. Please excuse the poor quality as most of them were taken while we were driving, and a moving vehicle is not exactly conducive to incredible photography. I took a ridiculous amount of landscape photos. I could not get over the hills. In my part of the state everything is flat flat flat, so the views from the hills were completely breathtaking for me. Enjoy!

I'm Back!

I'm back from my little mini vacation, and while it was wonderful to go do something new I now feel like I have so much catching up to do! I have some pictures from my trip that I will post at some point, either today or tomorrow.

While I was away I received a job offer, which made my vacation a wonderful celebration and a last hurrah for summer since I will be going back to work next week. I have a lot to prepare before then, so my posts may be less often than they had been previously, but I will definitely continue blogging and selling on Etsy, no worries!

Check back for my vacation pictures, they will be up soon!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sweet Treats!

I know that it's not Friday, but as I will be on the road tomorrow I thought I would share my sweet treats today. I'm going for a camping theme with this one, I love fall camping, It's not too hot, and the evenings are perfect for gathering around the campfire!

We have a great set of antique pie irons that we always take camping with us, they were my grandmother's and you can make so much with them, this sweet treat is one of my camping favorites, and it's super easy. Today I'm making Campfire Pies!

To start, take 2 slices of bread and butter one side of each slice. Open the pie iron and place the buttered side of one slice against the metal pie iron. Top this slice of bread (non-buttered side) with any type of fruit pie filling, my favorites are apple and cherry pie filling. Then place the second slice of bread (non-buttered side) on top of the pie filling, and close the pie iron. The butter helps to keep the bread from sticking to the pie iron. Then you stick the iron in the fire. According to Andrea Meyers at it should remain in the fire for 2 to 3 minutes. Let the iron cool a little, then open it up (carefully!) and voila!

Visit Andrea's website (linked above) and check out some more of her gorgeous photos! I've got pies to make!


Yay! I leave in just 3 hours for my only real vacation this summer. I mentioned the other day that Aaron and I are taking his new camper to Amish Country for a long weekend. Some may not consider camping a vacation, but I hardly consider this camping. The new camper is 800 times nicer than his old pop up. We now have running water, electricity and air conditioning, not to mention it is ridiculously clean. So no, I don't consider it camping I keep telling people that it is much better than staying at a hotel because I cleaned it myself!

So in honor of my trip I have found some wonderful Amish Country-type items on Etsy for you all to drool over.

I know, it doesn't make sense, the Amish don't even use electricity, so how do they have stuff on Etsy right? Well this first item is not made by the Amish, but uses genuine Amish ingredients. handsatwork make this super yummy looking Amish Cinnamon Loaf using an Amish Starter.

This adorable sunbonnet is available from dewdrophandmades. A few of the items in her store are made by an Amish woman, and dewdrophandmades sells them online for her.
CountryDreaming has listed this photograph, titled Amish Farm Through Sunflowers. My favorite thing about visiting Amish Country is that landscape photos always turn out wonderfully because there are very few power lines.

Finally, this Amish Friendship Bread soy candle is available from lilyladyscreations . I would absolutely buy this candle, I'm adding it to my favorites as we speak. If you have never smelled fresh baked Amish Friendship Bread then you are definitely missing out, and friendship bread has a wonderful story. You receive a friendship bread starter mixture in a plastic baggie from a friend. It comes with specific instructions of what to do with the starter each day, some days you stir it, some days you add different ingredients, and some days you just leave it alone. After 10 days you bake your own loaf using only one or two cups of the mixture. The leftover mixture is then separated into three starters, which you give to three friends. It's a really cute idea, if you remember to check the instructions everyday.

I also appreciate that lilyladyscreations makes soy candles, farmers right here in Ohio grow a lot of soybeans, it's one of the three major crops of this region - Support our farmers!

I hope that you all enjoy these wonderful Amish themed products, I can't wait to share all my pictures when I return!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Weekly Organizing Tip

It's Wednesday! not usually something to get excited about, but I'm excited to share my weekly organizing tip with you. This is one that I have been using myself, so I promise it works.
Who has too many magazines? Everyone, you know, the old issues you're saving because there was something really cute in that one, and you wanted to try a project from this one. The problem is, you can never remember which issue the article that you want is in, then you have to search through all of them. Plus thos magazines take up a lot of precious space!

My solution is to create a project book or idea book by tearing out only the pages of the magazine that you want and placing them in a three ring note book. I personally have way too many craft magazines, and I love all types of crafting, from crochet, to paper craft, beading, quilting, etc. So my project idea book is divided into sections.

Every couple of months I go through all of my magazines and tear out all of the projects that I think are cute, would like to try, or might want someday. I organize them into groups by the type of craft, and insert them in clear page protectors. Then I place them in my idea book. THis way instead of going through all of my old magazines, I just have to flip to the section that I want and look quickly.

Here are some pictures of my project book:

You could purchase tab dividers from the store or from talented etsy artist ormolu, I just whipped up my own really quickly with some paper, markers and clear packaging tape.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Busy Busy Week Ahead

Well, my last day of summer was not quite as exciting as I had hoped, actually it wasn't that great at all, it rained, all day, and my computer almost died, but I spent the whole day trying to clean out all the old files and junk that seems to appear from no where and It is finally back to normal, so crisis averted, yay!

When I got it up and running again I did manage to list a gift card in my Etsy shop. It is good for $25, the perfect gift because then the recipient can choose their own planner from Obsessively Organized!

Today is being devoted to getting myself back in gear for my busy week. I am starting a new project today, making a baby quilt for a friends' mom to give to a relative. It is wonderful to be able to help people with all of these projects, maybe that's a direction for my business to go I could be a crafting consultant, well it would never get boring!

I am also going to spend the week packing because Thursday night I am going on vacation! My boyfriend, Aaron, and I are going to take his new camper out for the weekend. We are going to visit his brother in Wooster Ohio and then spend some time in Amish country.

I am off to run some errands, I cannot put off buying printer toner any longer unfortunately, have a wonderful day and check back tomorrow for organizing tips!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Desperately Clinging to Summer

I am not ready for summer to end, it has gone way too fast, but unfortunately, today marks the symbolic last day of summer, so I thought I'd say goodbye by featuring some of my favorite summer themed items from Etsy sellers.

Enjoy these items and then get outside for a barbeque or something summery while you still can!

These adorable strawberry hair clips are by JoyfulJessica, ahh fresh strawberries...
Sea glass from westcoastseaglass, hmm maybe I can talk my sister into going to the lake with me today, I haven't made it over there all summer.

emmadreamstar has got it right, ice cream is fun!

Nothing says summer like a great road trip! These craft embellishments are available from endofthedaycrafting.

Labor Day Weekend

I hope that everyone is having a relaxing long weekend. I have done some serious damage in the shopping department, and I think I have enough clothes to get myself through the winter, although that doesn't mean I won't buy more...

Now I'm off to do some of those chores that I can just never seem to find time for during the week, like washing the dog!

Have a wonderful extra day off!

Friday, September 4, 2009

It's Friday!

That's right it's Friday, do your little celebration dance. That also means that it's time for me to post some yummy seasonal treats, so I have two for you today (well technically one of them isn't seasonally, but it's definitely a guilty pleasure, so I'm posting it anyway).

The first treat is available around the country, and I generally would rather post something that you can make yourself, but this is my all time favorite fall treat, so I have to share it with you. This past week has been wonderful because I had my very first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season!

That's right, I know that it's the very beginning of September, but Pumpkin Latte's are now available! (the image is courtesy of, but I really don't recommend visiting their website because it gives you the nutritional information for their products, and there are just some things that I'd rather not know). You can find tons of recipes to make your own pumpkin latte, but I haven't tried any of them, so let me know which ones are good, I'd love to share them!

My second treat is not exactly seasonal, actually, these are wonderful all year long, and I am actually going to make some as soon as I get done posting this, so I present to you, Monster Cookies! (photo courtesy of the Food Network)

Monster cookies are giant, wonderful goodness. When I first saw the recipe I couldn't imagine that mixing all of those things together would actually taste good, but they are incredible. You can also find a ridiculous amount of recipes for monster cookies, but the one that I have always used is from Paula Deen (one of my favorites). Here's the recipe:

3 eggs
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 12-ounce jar creamy peanut butter
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup multi-colored chocolate candies (M&Ms)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup raisins, optional
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.
In a very large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugars. Mix well. Add the salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and butter. Mix well. Stir in the chocolate candies, chocolate chips, raisins, if using, baking soda, and oatmeal. Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not overbake. Let stand for about 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool. When cool, store in large resealable plastic bags.
They are super easy to make, this is definitely a recipe worth printing for later use! Just a note, this is Paula Deen's recipe, directly from, when I make these cookies I personally do not use salt, or raisins, and I have seen other variations of this recipe that include walnuts. Fell free to tailor them to what you like, baking is all about your interpretation of the recipe.
Ok I'm off to make some cookies, have a wonderful Friday and a safe Holiday weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Designs for Fall and Winter 2009!

Before I start I have to apologize again for not having these up yesterday like I said I would - I had some serious printer issues, and we all know that when you are in a hurry everything that can go wrong will go wrong!

Here are my first ever completely original cover designs! These will be available as covers to my planners, wedding books, teacher planners, travel planners, and address books in my Etsy shop ( for the upcoming holiday season. No worries, these are not the only covers that I will have, I will still have the gorgeous covers made with my favorite scrapbooking papers, but the designs that I am introducing right now are done with my own hand drawn images.
The name of the line is "Sass", it's very contemporary, definitely a reflection of my personal style, and they just feel fun:

This is the label for the line. I love it because it incorporates parts of each design!

Feisty is the design that I featured the other day, it is the first one that I finished, and after I got it done I was on a roll! The image on the right is the full cover, while the one on the left is a close up of the embellishment.

Classy is elegant, but still fun, and very flirty. Each flower is attached with a silver eyelet.

Lively is a lot of fun, and a lot to look at! It has a very sweet feel and each leaf is attached with a green eyelet.

Playful is really great because the polka dots make you think sweet and innocent, but the black lace adds a little mischief! This is the design that I used for the travel mug that I blogged about yesterday.

I can't decide which one I like the best, it depends on what mood I'm in, but that's a good thing I guess. Let me know which is your favorite, I would love to hear from you!