I got into the planner craze in 2016, big time. I mean, it’s what us 90s kids used to do back in the day, right? So it was easy to fall back into the habit. I still have my DayPlanner from 1997 because it was awesome. I even used it as a purse, I was so cool. I’ve always been the kind of person to remember more if I write it down. A lot of people use their phones, and I do too, but mostly for the calendar reminders. All the fun stuff goes in the planner. Add colorful pens, cute washi tape, and so! many! stickers! It puts me right over the moon.

Buckle up, this is gonna be a big post with lots of planner love and pictures!

I had been using a notebook at work for a long time because it was a nice, easy, and super effective way to keep everything organized. I never used fancy stuff like stickers in it though. Mom gave me a couple of her old school (haha she was a teacher get it) lesson planners that are organized by class and week. I love the size and the layout, so I used it for the 5 working days of the week. Once I left my job, I didn’t want to waste the notebook, plus it’s what I got used to by that point. So I’ve been playing around with layouts and styles, still weekly, and now I’ve been working on getting the next notebook ready for 2017! I filled up the old one so this time I got to plan it out better. I am a pinterest qween, so I pin a lot of cool ideas and inspirations for the planner there, including lettering ideas. (I’m totally going to get into hand lettering, but that’s another post for another day.)

I made a list of what pages I wanted and got those started by writing/drawing the titles. Here’s what I have so far. I put working pages in the back of the book so I can add more as needed. Index is in the front along with a quick reference page – I’m even numbering the pages for this reason. I think I’ll be able to get more than one year in here, which would be pretty nice.

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…you get the idea.

Other supplies! Fun stuff!

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I have a subscription to PipSticks and if you love some sticker awesomeness, you should look into it! They have every kind of sticker you remember and love, as well as some new fabulous designs I’ve never seen before. This little sticker pack is a ray of sunshine once a month in my mailbox.

It helps immensely that I got a new desk over the holiday break. It was my grandpa’s desk! I remember sitting at it and reading comic books when I was a kid, way back when we’d drive to across the west to their place for Christmas. Those were very good days.
This winter we went full tilt and reorganized/cleaned out the office. Our office is our main “adult” space that the kids don’t get to play in, so you can imagine how much we’ve squirrelled away over the years we’ve lived here (thirteen years already?). I found stuff from high school for pete’s sake…anyway, we got a bookcase to hold the stuff that is usually piled on my desk, to make room for the new one. I’m focused on keeping it nice and neat this time. Everything I use is within reach now! What a concept.

I hope the new year treats you well! I’m hopeful and I personally plan to make my 2017 as colorful and fun as possible.

Here are two more I’m working on, I’m really pleased with my progress! I finally feel like I’m out of the “beginner” stage. Renulek’s patterns have always been a challenge, but they are so pretty. She has nice diagrams but a lot of it is figuring out how it was done, based on experience. When I get stuck or overwhelmed or tired of tatting I go to the Crochet doilies and it feels like I’m flying through those. :-)

I don’t know if it’s because of spring, or being able to stay home again, or what, but doilies are all I‘m thinking about lately. I have a couple old ones to finish as well as these new ones, which gets me every stitch closer to getting these WIP piles under control. ;-)

Clover Doily (free online) with Lizbeth sz 29 color 178/Grape Pomegranate and my favorite vintage Detach-A-Spool shuttle. I’ve been blocking each round and it really helps!

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And this is Renulek’s latest spring doily/”napkin”, I’m on round 2. It’s Lizbeth Twirlz sz 20 color 400/Patriotic.

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I grabbed the closest white paper and saw the LOL guy. Tatting is awesome!! LOL! X-D

Also, How to Add Lettering From a Different Pattern/Combine Two Patterns. ☺

Here are all the progress pics I took. I think the whole project took about 3 weeks. That’s awesome!!

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I googled “adventure quotes” and found this one from The Three Musketeers. I haven’t read it yet but it’s on my list!

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The alphabet is from Better Homes & Gardens 2001 Cross Stitch Designs. I love www.printablepaper.com for custom graphs! You can pick any size you like/need and download the pdf for free. AMAZINGLY helpful. I chose the 10 squares per inch because it’s easier for me. Most patterns are laid out in a 10×10 grid. I counted how many boxes (10×10 square=1 box) high and wide the crest pattern is, and wrote that down, to be sure I didn’t go wider than the crest and to be sure I could get close to centering it.

Then I wrote out the quote, and counted in the alphabet pattern how many stitches each letter takes. I figured about 2 stitches between the lower case letters and 3 between the upper case letters would be good spacing and added that count too. I count up the stitches in each word and wrote down the count.

Then, I looked at the crest pattern again and cotned how many boxes were on either side fo the center line. I had about 25-30 stitches on each side to work with, without going over 30 on each side. That’s a lot of stitches so I didn’t want to crowd the words and get too far to one side.

I quickly wrote out an idea of placement for the letters, like this:

Never Fear
Quarrels,
but seek
Hazardous
ADVENTURE
-Dumas

And my first try looked great just like that, so I went about drawing the center line on the graph. I added the stitch count on the first two words and halfed it, then sketched it on the graph.( Keep in mind a lot of this process is kind of hit and miss, fix as I go, fly by the seat of my pants, lol.)

“Never Fear” was off center on my first try but I liked the look of it and thought making the next couple lines go progressively to the right would look nice. I drew in the letters and approved it. I made “Harzardous” centered, then “ADVENTURE” centered beneath it. I went with all caps on that for a little drama. The loop-de-loops on the capital letters threw me for…a loop…so I added a box between in each letter to see how it would help fill it in without overcrowding it. Love it!

I decided to make the words about ten stitches below the crest. that’s just enough space to make everything look even. I rarely measure with a ruler or anything, it’s all stitch counts on the fabric and “boxes” on the pattern. Dad would say I “eyeballed it”.

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Ta-da! I wanted to finish this before a stitch-a-long starts in a couple weeks. I’ve had so much fun with it!

I found another pattern in my stash, Masquerade by Ink Circles. I ordered some more glorious fabric from Garibaldi’s Needlework for that, in a nice purple. I’m kind of hoping to have it for Halloween/Fall this year. I made the mistake discovered her website and bought three more patterns! Those should arrive in the mail this week! woohoo! I have some black fabric in the stash I’m hoping will fit one of these (dare I hope, two?).

Hooray for cross stitch wizardry and subversive stitchery!

I made this up when I was learning picots and rings. :-)
R: 2-4-2—2-4-2.

*Translation: To form a ring: 2ds, small picot, 4ds, small picot, 2ds, very large picot, 2ds, small picot, 4ds, small picot, 2ds. Close ring and tie off. Weave/hide ends.

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