how I'm helping myself to remember to be grateful...#MakePrettyStuff

Gratitude turns what we have into enough.

Every so often (OK, more than that, actually), I need a reminder to be grateful for what I have. Sometimes I fall into the "I want that," or "I need that," or "I wish my kids were...," or "I wish I looked like..." blah, blah, blah... and I need a little push back into reality.

I need to be reminded of the above quote...one of my favorites.

And it's so true. In reality I want for nothing. I have everything I need. And when I actually stop and remember to be intentionally grateful, I feel amazing.

So, it occurred to me...what better way to show how grateful I am for what I have than to share with and do for others? No better way...

I've been reading on a number of different blogs, (most recently on Whippy Cake), about people spending their birthday day completing RAOK, random acts of kindness...they complete the same number of acts as the age they are turning... e.g. Becki (Whippy Cake) completed 28 on her 28th birthday...pretty cool, huh?

I've decided I want to do the same thing...

So for my Gratitude project for the Heidi Swapp Media Team, I created a little journal/book to document my 40 Random Acts of Kindness (40 acts because I'm turning 40 this year...smile).

I was heavily inspired in this project by my fellow Media Team members...so I must say thank you to each of them for being so awesome...and talented...and creative. Thank you, girls...

Here's my project...


I created a "portfolio" similar to the one fellow team member Lindsay Bateman created for her "Memory File of Me" because I thought it was one of the coolest things I've ever seen...(I cut and folded a fruit snacks box and adhered paper from the Sugar Chic line to it).

I titled my journal "it's the little things" as a reminder that the little things are sometimes the most important...and we should be thankful for all of the wonderful little things that happen. Heidi's digital store has a HUGE variety of words and images that can all be cut on the Silhouette (or by hand!)...that's why the word "little" in my title looks so cool.


I also outlined the word in black because I really wanted it to "pop" against the similarly colored background.

When you open my journal, you see another little "title page" - 40 ROAK...




I absolutely adore Heidi's banners, ready-made, digital, whatever...all of them. And I add them to every single one of my projects. I love layering them...and I love that you can just grab any design and it will work.

***I have a little secret on this title area, too...see all my different layers under the actual title? Each layer represents the cover-up of a mistake...a place where what I wanted to do really just did NOT work. But I love the way it looks now.

Here's a little tip...don't be afraid to make mistakes! Heidi and Jamie Pate (another Media Team member) have a little phrase they love to use..."Glue it down!" Just do it! Don't be afraid, a mistake (at least in paper-crafting) can always be covered up. Why do you think you always see tons of washi tape in my projects? It's the perfect way to cover up yucky handwriting, a messed-up sticker, or crooked embellishment... some of my favorite projects looks NOTHING like what I had envisioned them to be.***

When you open the bottom flap of the journal, this is what you see...


I used the back-to-back bookbinding technique (another of Heidi's & Jamie's favorites, and becoming one of mine, too) on this middle section.


More banners and another of Heidi's digi-files...aren't they awesome???

When you open this top flap, you see this...



"remember...do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for."

And when you pull down the bottom flap, you will first see this little pocket...right now it's got a few Prima flowers in it, but it can be used to hold more journaling tags or special mementos.


Flip that pocket up and you see what will eventually become the whole point of this project...


My list of kindness acts...



I measured the length of my paper, divided by the number in my list and then found paper scraps that fit into those measurements. I designed a number line in Silhouette and used the negative as my journaling space. You will see that I counted to only 39 in this list...that's because I want my 40th act of kindness to be something really big and awesome...that will get it's own page.


And at the bottom of this flap...


...definitely an important thing for all of us to remember to do...

I'm so looking forward to completing my list and seeing everything all in one spot. I hope that every time I write something down in it that I remember why I made it in the first place...so that I will remember to be grateful for all that I have.

I may decide to take more than just one day to do all 40 acts...I'll keep you updated...


11 comments

  1. maggie...maggie...maggie...
    stunningly beautiful and such a great. great project. your attention to detail and follow through is stunning. i love this. you are my hero.
    ~j

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  2. Such a beautiful post to match a beautiful project. It is something I strive ( and don't always succeed) to remind myself too. Even when change comes to us ( and it has this year), we still have so much. Thanks for the reminder.

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  3. What a great idea and love that quote!!

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  4. I'm in the hero camp along with Jamie ... that is beautiful! What an awesome idea. LOVE the cut-out numbers!

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  5. What a lovely idea! And it looks beautiful too =) Looking forward to hearing all about it x

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  6. I love this so much what a awesome job you have done. I would love to know what size you cut the snack box to. I am thinking this would make a wonderful Christmas gift for someone....

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  7. S T U N N I N G, Maggie!! I too love the Silhouette & back to back book binding plus.. Different ways to create a mini book. Good luck on your list! OH and welcome to the 40 club!! Woohoo! Yay 4-0.

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  8. First of all congratulations on your upcoming 40th birthday! Thank you for reminding us of what is really important. I know I get caught up too in the "I Wants" and the " I wish I hads" instead of remembering all the Blessings right in front of me. I LOVE the portfolio you created, both for its beauty as well as for it's purpose. I can't wait to hear what you do!

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  9. oh maggie, your projects are truly just gorgeous. i love EVERYTHING about this. xoxo

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  10. Maggie everytime I see this I take in more and more little details, its a stunning project with an incredible concept, i love it!

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Thank you so much for leaving me a comment! I so appreciate you taking the time to write...xoxo

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