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November 2017

PaperHouse, Gillio and Erin Condren Oh My!!


I am such a lucky planner girl!

I am teaching workshops for PaperHouse at PlannerCon Europe this weekend in Belgium!

I loved planning these 2 workshops so much and now, I get to plan everything else for my trip to Brussels. I've got a very detailed packing list, my itinerary is planned to the minute and the hotel is booked. My entire weekend is going to be amazing!

If you are going, I'd love to see you, please come on up and say hello. Of course come to my workshops too, all workshops are included in the entry price and I'm teaching PLAN YOUR CHRISTMAS Saturday at noon and PLAN YOUR DREAMS Sunday at 4pm, the very last workshop so make sure you stay for it, it's my favourite class that I teach.


If you aren't going, I will really miss you, I wish all my planner friends could be there :D But, for those of you not going, these classes are the live versions of my Big Picture Classes workshops, so pop on over there and you can follow along. 

Plan Your Christmas

Plan Your Dreams

For those of you who can't come, I've got a treat for you! I've added my Christmas printables back into my Etsy shop and they are all 50% off, for limited time! Simply use the code CHRISTMAS at the checkout.


How to 'PLAN' for Creativity

Halloween-gilioSome creative fun in my Gillio with PaperHouse's Wicked Good collection

There seems to be some belief that to be creative and artistic, you need to wait for some 'magic', creative inspiration that hits you, all of sudden, out of the blue. I'm not saying that these blasts of creativity don't happen, they do! And I'll talk about them in a minute.

Even if you get a great idea, you have to have the skill to implement it. You need to work on your craft. Practice it. Wayne Gretkzy didn't just walk on the ice one day and was an amazing hockey player - he worked at it. Sure, he had a natural talent but he improved on it and his passion for it motivated him to practice. We all have a natural talent at something - we simply need to find it, practice and fine tune and perfect it.

By simply working at your craft (be that your pretty planner, scrapbooking or pidgeon pose) you will get better, they don't say 'practice makes perfect' for nothing! Sometimes, especially in the early stages, you will makes things that you don't like and that's okay! The first time you rode a bike, you fell! Why should papercrafting be any different. We can't be an expert the first time we try something.

Now, about those blasts of creative inspiration...

Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

 They do happen and usually it's when you least expect it. And more often than not, it's when you are not distracted by other things. At times when you are just about to fall asleep or you're in the shower or while you are driving. Your body is busy, so your mind is free to wander, to open up and that's when new ideas can pop in! Inspiration doesn't like to strike with original ideas when you are scrolling IG or Pinterest.

Whenever Einstein was having a physics problem, he'd pick up his beloved violin and play. Inspiration would often strike and he'd be able to solve the math. Even if it didn't, he'd enjoy the time he got to spend playing Mozart.

Halloween-gillio-updateI gave this old dashboard a quick make over with products from PaperHouse. Those witch legs!

So, leave yourself time to let your mind wander. Turn off your music in the car and in the shower and turn off your phone well before you are ready to drift off to sleep. Give your mind time to shut off. It's ok to simply lie there and relax before sleep comes. 

Have a notebook handy, or, you can change a ring from one hand to the other. When you wake up, it will feel odd on the wrong hand and it'll prompt you to remember what you though of as you were about to drift off. It works great for the shower and while you are driving too!


Here are a few other idea to practice when you are having trouble getting inspired:

  • Go somewhere new or try something new, change your usually routines.
  • Play. Let go of the pressure to make something pretty, even try a different hobby
  • Do your decorative planning at the same time every day/week, having a routine will train your mind to know this is when the magic happens
  • Dance it out! 

I'm off to Brussels for PlannerCon Europe this weekend to help ladies there Plan for Creativity while Planning their Dreams and Planning their Christmas. Will you be there? Don't be shy, come up and say hello! Click here for ticket information: PlannerCon Europe tickets

People Will be Begging You to Organise their Next Event!

Lesson 1 flowers

You know those parties and events that you go to and everything is amazing? It runs so smoothly, in fact, that you don't even think about all the work behind it because everything just seems so effortless. Well, that's due to excellent planning! I have a new class, Plan Your Next Event at Big Picture Classes that will teach you how to pull off an event like that, too! You'll be congratulated for your organizing and coordinating skills, and you'll leave your event proud of a job well done!

  Gallery 4

Planning and preparing for a big event or a project can be overwhelmingly daunting! There are a lot of moving pieces. There's so much to do and prepare. Where on earth do you even begin?

I'm a mama to six, so there's been no shortage of events and parties that I've needed to plan. Since I've planned many an event and project and I've got it down to a science now, I'm going to share my magical scientific formula here with you in my new class with Big Picture Classes.

Follow the steps in the lessons in my class and people will be begging you to organise their next event!

Don't let planning a big event or project overwhelm you again! In Plan Your Next Event, I share my time-tested method for organising and implementing a process to make event planning simple and easy. Set up a dedicated event planner to get yourself organised, map out and categorize your to-dos to stay focused, and create a calendar with deadlines along the way to make sure everything gets done on time. Plus, get tonnes of tips for decorating and customising your planner to stay motivated and inspired! At the end of this class, your event guests will be begging you to plan their next event! 

Pop on over right now and check it out: PLAN YOUR NEXT EVENT!

Lesson 5 dashboard

3 Easy 'Tricks' to Plan and Make a Fab Costume in Time for Halloween

DSC_8977All goodies from PaperHouse Productions in my Commit30 planner

I LOVE Halloween!

I adore it!

It's not so much for the bats and the spiders - I do think those are pretty cool - my love of Halloween is really all about the COSTUMES! I almost went into costume design in university and eventhough I chose biology (why I find those bats and spiders so interesting) I still love making costumes.

Handmade costumes really look so much better than those icky nylon ones you buy off the rack at Target. You know the ones that are basically a onsie and ties at the neck. Woody's cowboy vest and boots printed right on. If you'd like to make your own costume, whether you are an expert seamstress or this is your first time, There is still lots of time!  You simply need to plan it out. Check your planner, see how much time you have to dedicate to your costumes. Then, calculate how much time you'll need to make the costume(s)... then double that!! It always takes longer than you think, believe me, I am absolutely talking from experience here ;)  Next, take a good honest look at your October schedule and see if it's do-able.  


If it looks like you may be cutting it close, I have a few tips to help you carve (pun intended) off some time:

Buy the basics - You can find simple pieces of clothing to use as the base of your costume. 

My 4 year old wanted to be a yellow and orange triceratops last year. I bought a yellow sweat shirt so that I could spend my time of the fun part which was the head piece. I made a hood to house the head piece and sewed it all to the sweat shirt. I sewed some front feet to the sleeves. He then wore a pair of his own orange pants with the tail attached to elastic around his waist.

Triceratops full Triceratops
Search Your Home - You don't have to make everything

My 6 year old wanted to be Han Solo, just like his big brother had been the year before. Honestly, this was the easiest costume I've ever 'made'. I found an old pair of riding boots that fit him (his brother has huge feet and had worn my favourite brown Scapa boots!). I stitched red ribbon down the length of a pair of his jeans, found a white shirt and stitched a simple vest from some leftover fabric. His Daddy's belt wrapped around his waist twice finished the outfit. The blaster pistol was a bit of a challenge. Nerf had one but it was white and orange (why tho???) so I simply painted it brown and metallic grey like Han's.

Han Full Han pose
Adapt Costume Pieces that you already have - get creative and reuse older costumes

My then 10 year old (the one who had been Han first) wanted to be Darth Maul (do you see a Star Wars trend? It's gets better so keep reading), I had a grad gown in our costume closet that usally got picked over as the kids rooted around looking for things to dress up in. So, I cut it up a bit. using strips cut off of the length for the belt and hanging bits at his waist. We used hockey tape around his wrists and boom! He looked fabulous! 

Darth Maul full Philippe-Darth-Maul-2016

I learned to sew when I was 13 and I've been making costumes every year since.  I even turned my Hot French boyfriend into Frankenstein less than a month after we met. Apparently he had fun, because he's still letting me dress him up all these years later.

My favourite costume creation of all time has to be my Queen Amadala from 1999. The new Star Wars movie had come out and there were huge 12 foot posters of the main characters hanging from the ceiling of our movie theatre, including Queen Amidala. I saw it as a challenge!! Google was brand new and so there we NO photos of her online so I made my hot French fiancĂ© take me to movies probably twice a week. I'd stand and sketch her costume from the poster while he waited in line for tickets. I really had no pattern and I made the headdress with one of those foam wreath forms on my mother's head while we gossiped.

Queen-AmidalaUnfortunately this is the only photo I have of this costume, even more tragic is that fact that if I want to take a new one, I'd have to lose a few (or 10!) pounds.

You may be a newbie at sewing, and this may seem daunting, however if you love to decorate your planner and if you want to make your own costume, then I'm sure you've got the talent to make something simple yet fabulous! So grab your planner and come up with a plan and schedule it in! If you have trouble creating plans for big projects like this (and events too) well then you are in luck! I've got a fantastic new class coming out on Monday, Plan Your Next Event at Big Picture Classes. Don't let the title 'trick' you, it's also geared towards planning a project like costume creation :D Click here to find out more or and sign up in the green tag below to get a reminder email when class opens on Monday.