Solar Eclipse of the Heart

Solar Eclipse of the Heart
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Happy Solar Eclipse Day!! I’ve always been fascinated by astronomy: constellations, shooting stars, meteor showers, solar flares, sun dogs and anything unusual happening in the sky! We had 99.1% obscurity at our house and my husband and I viewed the show through our special eclipse-viewing glasses. I had to use washi tape to attach them to my prescription glasses because the paper glasses kept falling off my face. Ha!

In this post, I’ll share how I made two interactive eclipse cards; a photo from our eclipse-watching; and the eclipse-watching music playlist I made. No special eclipse glasses are required. 😉

Below is a video showing the interactive solar eclipse cards I’m featuring today.

Last week, I made a few special eclipse card for today’s incredible event. Someone very dear to me celebrates a birthday today, so I made her this card. I came up with the idea as I was going to sleep one night. I get my best ideas while driving or when I have quiet time as my head hits the pillow.

I made the card by cutting a piece of 12” x 12” white cardstock to 5” x 12” and scored it every 4” and then folded the outer sides in toward the middle. I had to trim them down so I could tuck the outer flap inside.

The next step was deciding where to punch a hole for the sun. I know I could have used my Cricut Explore to cut a circle where I wanted it, but I just used a small circle punch and then used my Tim Holtz Vagabond machine to cut out a circle shape from a metal die. I determined the size of the circle by putting the die over my card to ensure the circle would stick out the edge of the card and remain behind the circle I punched out for the sun.

Then, I colored most of the large circle yellow with a Copic marker and carefully determined where the black eclipse area would begin and end and colored that in with a black Copic marker. I set the large circle/wheel aside and masked off the card so I could airbrush the sky with 4 different Copic markers and my air compressor. I covered the cutout piece of the sun with some painter’s tape to make it a little wider. I put it in place so when I airbrushed the sky, it left a ring around the sun. I colored in the area with the same Acid Yellow marker I used for the sun. This was to represent the solar corona.

With a craft knife, I cut a slit in the outer edge of the card and attached the circle/wheel to my card with a brad so it would spin. After testing the eclipse and making adjustments to the eclipse, I glued the inner flap down to conceal the wheel.

Next, I cut out cute clouds and attached them around the brad to conceal it.

I finished adding embellishments, including cutting out the birthday sentiment three times and glueing them together to get a really thick phrase.

Here are the different phases of the sun that appear as the wheel is turned:

The card I made for my husband wasn’t as detailed. I just wanted to make him a simple total eclipse of the heart card to commemorate the day. Inside the card, I called today a “solar eclipse of the heart.” The tab is concealed by an orange panel I glued in place inside the card. I made the tab a certain shape so that it couldn’t get pulled all the way out of the side.

Here’s how it looks in stages as the tab is pulled:

For today’s eclipse, I set up two phones to take time-lapse video of the yard darkening and lightening up again… but didn’t know the app I was using only recorded video for 45 minutes! The recordings both ended 30 minutes before the eclipse. I KNEW I should have checked on the videos but didn’t until after the eclipse! Oh well. My husband and I worked from home today, and enjoyed listening to the eclipse playlist I made for eclipse-viewing. Here are the songs on my list, in alphabetical order:

My Eclipse Playlist
Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden
Brighter Than the Sun – ABC
Catch the Sun – Doves
Center of the Sun – Conjure One
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me – Elton John & George Michael
Earth, Sun, Moon – Love & Rockets
eCLiPSe – Ephemerid
Eclipse – Love & Rockets
Eclipse – Pink Floyd
Eclipse (All Yours) – Metric
Fake Bowie Song: Eclipse Me – Liam Lynch
Howling at the Moon (Sha-La-La) – The Ramones
The Killing Moon (regular version) – Echo & the Bunnymen
The Killing Moon (All Night Version) – Echo & the Bunnymen
King of Pain – The Police
Man in the Moon – Erasure
Man On the Moon – REM
Moon – Dada
My Sun – Dave Gahan & Soulsavers
New Moon on Monday – Duran Duran
No Sunlight – Death Cab for Cutie
Pink Moon – Nick Drake
Setting Sun – A Flock of Seagulls
Shame on the Moon – Red Flag
Shepherd Moons – Enya
Stare at the Sun – MuteMath
Summer Sun – 4 Strings
The Sun & the Rainfall – Depeche Mode
The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore) – Keane
The Sun Goes Down – Level 42
Sundown – Red Flag
The Sun – Shiny Toy Guns
Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler
Why Does The Sun Shine? (The Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas) – They Might Be Giants

We LOVED listening to music during the eclipse! “The Sun” by Shiny Toy Guns came on for the full eclipse and then we listened to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler, OF COURSE!!

How much of the eclipse could you see? Which songs would you have included? Did you play any music for the eclipse?

Thanks for reading my blog!

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Instax Photo Greeting Cards

Instax Photo Greeting Cards
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Do you remember how fun it was to watch Polaroid photos develop when they were popular in the 1980s? Well, there’s a fun, modern throwback to Polaroids: Fujifilm Instax cameras and Instax printers! I received one of these printers as a gift a few months ago, and I love to use it.

Last month, I made these greeting cards for some of the fabulous friends – old and new – I visited with at a popular real estate conference. I have a Fujifilm Instax printer that works with an app that allows me to pull a photo from my camera roll and print it at a later time. I love printing tiny pictures that develop like those old Polaroid pictures. I think everyone has received their cards by now, so I wanted to show them to you. Aren’t they colorful and fun? I cut the “hello” words with my Cricut Explore and used wash tape, ribbon, sequins and different, colorful patterned papers.

Mini Instax printed pictures

Karen and Billy Ekofo with the Chumbleys

Katie Lance and the Chumbleys

Dane Briggs and the Chumbleys

Debra Trappen and the Chumbleys

Front of the card for Stacie

Stacie Wells and Stephanie

Bob Watson with Kathy Klingaman and the Chumbleys

 

Anne Jones and the Chumbleys

Kristi Kennelly and Stephanie

The Boom Real Estate Podcast team and the Chumbleys

Krista Clark and the Chumbleys

Steve Murnin and the Chumbleys

Suzanne Roy and Stephanie

Thanks for reading my blog!

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How to Make Your Own Magnetic Storage for Organizing Metal Dies

How to Make Your Own Magnetic Storage for Organizing Metal Dies
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If you have different metal dies, thinlets and thin cuts from Spellbinders, Sizzix, Avery Elle, Mama Elephant, Simon Says Stamp, Close to My Heart, Stampin’ Up, etc. that you use in your Cuttlebug, Sizzix BigShot, Tim Holtz Vagabond, Anna Griffin, etc. die cutting machines, I can help you organize them!

When all of my dies are put away in drawers or hidden with their coordinating stamp sets, I forget about them. Part of the plan for my craft studio remodel was to store similar things together in stations. I watched some videos other crafters shared and got the idea from them. The video I made was to show you how I put my spin on it.

So, if yo’ve been looking for a way to remove your thin metal dies from their original envelopes and organize them on DIY chipboard-backed magnet material, this video will show you how!

 

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Remodeled Craft Studio!

Remodeled Craft Studio!
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Hi guys! Things have been a bit crazy these last few months because of the remodel. I sold or gave away my old furniture; refreshed a few pieces I kept; and redesigned the room to look more aesthetically pleasing. It took a lot of careful planning of each wall to get things the way I wanted them, and I’m thankful my husband helped make it all happen.

He took these pictures today (thanks, Dale!), but in my usual “tinkerer” fashion, I have already made a few changes to the layout of tools on the peg board and hung up some pictures.

If you’d like to compare these with “before” pictures, here’s a link to my blog post about my craft studio before the makeover.

I’ll be making a detailed video tour of the craft room (including what’s inside the cupboards and drawers) once I feel more finished. I’ll also be doing special video showing how I used VersaChalk‘s awesome premium chalk markers and chalkboard contact paper to label all those drawers and boxes. Until then – please enjoy the photos!

Cards By Stephanie Craft Studio 1

Cards By Stephanie Craft Studio 2

Cards By Stephanie Craft Studio 3

Cards By Stephanie Craft Studio 4

Cards By Stephanie Craft Studio 5

Cards By Stephanie Craft Studio 6

Cards By Stephanie Craft Studio 7

Cards By Stephanie Craft Studio 8

Cards By Stephanie Craft Studio 9

Thanks for checking out my craft room! Do you have a crafty space where you create? Please leave a comment below!

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VersaChalk’s Versatile Chalkboard Markers

VersaChalk’s Versatile Chalkboard Markers
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Have you used chalkboard markers? I’ve tried a few different brands, and I have to say that VersaChalk‘s are the brightest and boldest I’ve ever used. I love them! Here’s a video I made to showcase some of the different types of canvases they’ll work on. Do you have any others to add to what I showed? How do you use chalkboard markers?

 

White board and galvanized tin

What's for Dinner chalkboard sign

Welcome Friends chalkboard sign

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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Father’s Day Tool Kit Card

Father’s Day Tool Kit Card
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Circuit Design Space Tool Kit Card for Fathers Day

Hey, papercrafters! Are any of you thinking of making the really cute tool kit card featured in Cricut Design Space? Well, I’ve got some tips for you because I call the card instructions “a real head-scratcher.” It makes me wonder if anyone from Cricut actually made the card that a clever papercrafter submitted to them, or if they just uploaded the design and called it good. I tell ya, unless I’m really incoherent, the project doesn’t exactly match the beautiful finished product you see in Design Space!

This is going to get kind of technical, so if you’re just here to look at the card, you may want to skip reading this post and just look at the photos. 😉

For my fellow Cricuteers using the Cricut Explore One or Cricut Explore Air, let’s dig in!

The instructions say to determine the size of your card and that the card in the cute project measures 4″ x 6″. This may be where I got lost because I thought it was saying that unless you make adjustments, your card will also be 4″ x 6″. My finished card – and this is no big deal – is 4 3/8″ x 6 1/2.” That’s the size it was without making size adjustments. The big deal was that the materials it called for were wrong.

If you’re going to make this card using the supplies recommended, you’ll need to size down the whole project, but I don’t have the actual sizes for you because I am only making this card once!

First of all, the materials needed call for a 12″ x 12″ standard cutting mat. NOPE. Also, only 12″ x 12″ cardstock is called for. DOUBLE NOPE.

When looking at the project in “Design” view, I couldn’t tell if the black cardstock inside the toolbox was supposed to be one long piece, or several little pieces because they were grouped together totaling 6.5″ x 13.1.” This means I needed to use my 12″ x 24″ mat and I don’t have any colorful or black cardstock larger than standard 12″ x 12″, so I had to buy white poster paper and COLOR IT.

You can’t just click “MAKE IT NOW” and have it work out unless you have the 12″ x 24″ mat and goldenrod and black cardstock that are at least 11″ x 13.5″. You have to make adjustments.

If you don’t resize this card before cutting it, then ungroup it so you can adjust the pieces. Duplicate the black rectangular pieces that line the toolbox card so you have 5 of them and use the “Hide Contour” button to hide the extra panels so that you have just 5 free-floating pieces. That way, they won’t require that you use extra-long black cardstock!

The goldenrod toolbox is 10.8″ x 13.1″ unless you resize the whole project. I couldn’t find goldenrod paper that was larger than 12″ x 12″, so I cut it on white poster paper and colored it until my Copic markers ran dry. I wasn’t prepared for the volume of ink this would use, or I would have bought wide nib Copic markers.

In order to get some of the parts to cut on actual black or goldenrod cardstock, I adjust the color of the goldenrod box and the black panels in the settings. I made them slightly different shades of those colors so I could trick the program into suggesting the black pieces go on two mats and the goldenrods also go on two mats.

Here are some screen shots of my different mats and how I adjusted things. I didn’t bother to cut an envelope. I have so many envelopes in various sizes that I rarely make my own envelopes. This card fit in a 5.25″ x 7.25″ envelope from my stash.

Cricut Design Space Fathers Day Tool Kit Card

Here are the pictures of my card.

Opening the Fathers Day Toolkit Card

Was I supposed to tape the measuring tape to itself? What do I do with the three paper tool pieces – throw them inside the card?

Inside of Fathers Day Toolbox Card

What are these flaps all about? Do they go inside or outside? If I glued them in place, like I originally thought, I’d see them through the black panels on the inside or outside. Are they really necessary? I didn’t glue them down, but when the car opens, they hug the outside of the card and cover the striped panels.

Side of the Toolbox Card

 

Tool Box Fathers Day Card front and back

I colored some of the extra paper pieces (tools) and glued them to the envelope. I used a silver marker to add some dots that turned tow of the tools into letter “D” shapes. It may be hard to see the silver “nails” in the picture, but it spells DAD.

Tool Kit Card and Tool Socks

Dad loved his other gifts, and especially his tool socks and tool kit card!

Tool Kit Card and Tool Socks

I wrote this post to help other paper crafters, and before I assembled my card, I searched online for a post like this. Now it’s here for anyone else who was in the same pickle as me! If you have any suggestions for what to do with those side flaps, please let me know!

Thanks for reading my blog, and Happy Father’s Day!

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Depeche Mode LED Lamp

Depeche Mode LED Lamp
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Today, I’m featuring a very talented local (Portland, OR) artist’s work. I stumbled upon the Ardent Iron Works PDX Facebook page a few months ago and got in touch with Joel, the creative genius behind the name. I was drawn to his steampunk-ish industrial lamps and when I saw a collection of LED-lit custom signs on his page, I knew I’d just found the perfect gift for my husband!

LED Lamps Custom Made in Portland - Ardent Iron Works PDX

There’s my lamp with all of it’s cousins!

We have a mutual love for the greatest band of all time, Depeche Mode, and I thought it would be awesome to have an LED lamp made for Dale with the infamous rose from DM’s “Violator” album. When I reached out to Joel and described what I was looking for, he did some research and came back to me with a design idea. I loved it! He immediately started the work for my special gift, made from the skeleton of an EXIT sign.

LED Lamps - Ardent Iron Works PDX

In early January, Joel let me know that my Depeche Mode gift had arrived, but it was the day Portland came to a halt, due to some surprise snow. Reluctantly, I had to wait for the streets to clear before I could pick it up, and when I did get over to the Ardent Iron Works studio, I was blown away by how perfect the finished product looked!! It was so exciting to see how an idea became a physical reality, much like my greeting cards.

I was so giddy and excited to present Dale with his gift, but since it was the only gift he was going to open on his birthday, he wanted to wait for the right time so he could savor the surprise. Speaking of “savor,” I think this bacon wrapping paper looks pretty savory! A friend sent me to the link to order bacon wrapping paper from the National Pork Board and I purchased some for Dale’s birthday.

Bacon Wrapping Paper

His reaction to his birthday gift was better than I could possibly have imagined!! He was sooooo full of joy and amazed! The best thing he said was, “This is the kind of gift I was supposed to find for YOU!!” He’s so loving and thoughtful and always goes out of his way to make me feel special. Once I powered up his light and started playing the Depeche Mode Violator album, he was able to see his new LED lamp in action. There are several different settings, but the best one is the setting that causes the D, M and rose to move with the music!! It also pulses if I clap, walk across the floor or speak. Over the past week that Dale’s owned it, he’s told me that he just loves to stare at the beautiful, mesmerizing lights.

DEPECHE MODE custom LED lamp - Ardent Iron Works PDX

He loved his gift - the DM lamp made by Ardent Iron Works PDX!

I’m so happy I met Joel through his equally cool wife, Tarah Pond. He allowed me to give my husband such an original, special gift. If you’d like to purchase one of these custom lamps, there were four Depeche Mode lamps made, which means there are three left. Please get in touch with Joe through his Ardent Iron Works PDX Facebook page. I know he’ll be happy to work with you! His customer service was excellent, and I am confident we’ll be customers again.

Here’s one of his awesome Seattle Seahawks LED lamps – check out the green turf in the front!!
Seattle Seahawks LED Lamp - Ardent Iron Works PDX

There are also these very cool Oregon Ducks and RIP CITY (Blazers) lamps! He’s always happy to make a custom lamp for his clients.
Oregon Ducks LED Lamp - Ardent Iron Works PDXRIP CITY LED Lamp - Ardent Iron Works PDX
By the way, I made Joel a black and red Violator rose “thank you” card, of course! 😉

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Just Like Heaven

Just Like Heaven
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Yesterday, I attended a bridal shower for a co-worker friend and a wedding reception for another friend. It was a very busy, but rewarding day. My co-worker friend and I have some overlapping music tastes, including a love for The Cure and Depeche Mode. She impressed me by mentioning that she’d love to incorporate some Cure songs in her wedding music, so I made a mental note of that. So last month, I designed this card in the Penultimate app with my stylus and iPad. My cards never turn out exactly like my sketches, but they’re always very similar to what I was thinking. It’s fun to create art from a sketch of an idea.

May Your Wedding Be Just Like Heaven
I cut the silhouette of the wedding couple with my Cricut Explore machine and snipped the ponytail off the bride’s head because my friend has super short, adorable blonde hair and I wanted the couple to resemble them. While I didn’t add glasses and a beard to the grom, my friend appreciated the card all the same. At first I tried to make a tiny hair barrette like she wears, but it didn’t look right so a sparkly headband became the answer!

rosette ribbon dress
With some magic Scor-Tape, I used some of my beloved retired Close to My Heart rosette ribbon to add length and bridal flair to the paper dress. The background paper came from the retired CTMH paper packet “Skylark.” It’s double-sided, so I used the stripes for the background and the more solid side for the pennant. I used a black journaling pen to draw stitches around the rectangle, then I wrote the sentiment on the pennant and attached it to the card with adhesive and sparkly silver washi tape. Of course, the bride needed a sparkly ring, so I attached a sticky gem to her dainty hand!

Alpaca / Just Like Heaven
The bride and groom have an inside joke and a fondness for alpacas, so I wanted to play into that by adding in a cut-out alpaca. I cut him with the Cricut Explore, smudged the edges with CTMH Desert Sand ink, and festooned his neck with a CTMH bow tie sticker from the new La Rose en Vie (coming soon!) collection.

 
The inside of the card was hand-written, and if you’re not familiar with The Cure, one of their all-time biggest hits is the 1987 song “Just Like Heaven,” which piqued at #40 on the Billboard charts in 1988. It was written by Robert Smith about his fiancee, Mary Poole, who appears toward the end of the video in a white bridal gown. I think this is why I’ve seen a handful of women dressed in bridal gowns whenever I attend a Cure concert.

 
My wish for my friends is for her and her future husband to have a perfect, beautiful and lovely wedding next month, and as Pink Martini sings… to never stop falling in love! <3

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Dark Fleur-de-Lis Card

Dark Fleur-de-Lis Card
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Today’s card is a special fleur-de-lis card I made about three years ago, but forgot to blog it. This was made with my Cricut Expression machine by cutting two of the same swoopy square shape; scoring the top of the back/inside of the card; and attaching them with adhesive. I used a few sheets of cardstock from the “Lemon Flower Stack” by DCWV and used Crackle Accents to achieve the glossy, crackled effect on the fleur-de-lis.

Fleur-de-Lys card

 

As you can see, there are a few layers to the card, including the fleur-de-lis that pops off the page with double-sided foam adhesive. I wrapped it with some thin silver wire because I’d seen that look before on other cards, and wanted to try it.

fleur de lis card close-upHere is another shot of the card I made for Stacy. I think this one, below, really shows the embossed paper, sparkles, and the crackle effect.

fleur de lis cardThank you for taking the time to read my blog post! Enjoy your day!

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Evernote Art, Cards and Tips

Evernote Art, Cards and Tips
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Welcome! You may have found my website because you clicked on my popular Pinterest pin about how to save pins to Evernote. Or perhaps you saw my previous blog post, and read that I was interviewed on Agent Caffeine to speak about Evernote. Whatever brings you here, I’m thankful to have you as a reader! Today I’ll be sharing some Evernote wall art I’ve made; some Evernote-inspired greeting cards; and my notes from the “Secrets of Success with Evernote” interview.

Two years ago, I ordered a small collection of Evernote stickers from their website. This one is my favorite, and I think it’s meant to go on the back of a laptop lid, phone or tablet.

Evernote stickerThis sticker inspired me to make some wall art for my new office, so I cut the elephant shape from black cardstock, using my Cricut Explore and had the machine write the phrase “I’m not being rude… I’m taking notes in Evernote” with a white chalk-style marker.

Evernote Not Being RudeAfter gluing the elephant in place, I placed the 12″ X 12″ Topiary Cardstock in a frame with black wooden trim and shared it on Instagram and Facebook.

Evernote ArtIt was a hit with my friends and I took orders and mailed two of them across the country. Here’s one of them. I changed things up a bit and had the Cricut Explore cut the letters out of the green cardstock. This photo was taken before I glued the letter holes in their proper spots. I think it looks kind of cool and trendy like this:

Evernote Art without letter holesIt only seemed natural to include little Evernote-inspired cards with these framed pieces of art, so I cut a few of these 4″ square cards out and assembled them:

Evernote elephant cards

I am crave organization and order in all facets of my life. When everything is in its right place, I feel an overwhelming sense of peace and calmness. Sometimes people ask me if I am the most organized person I know. I don’t know – I don’t measure other people’s organizing skills! When asked if I have everything organized in my life, I tell them no. I don’t know that there is anyone who feels they have perfected organization and there is no need for improvement. Who looks around their house and exclaims, “Ahh, I have mastered the art of organization!” We can always excel, challenge ourselves and grow. I’m always looking for a better way to stay organized and that’s what I love about Evernote: it organizes my thoughts.

Recently, my Dad made some pegboards for my craft studio and my husband installed them on the wall behind my desk. I love how I can hang things from it and rearrange them when I find a better workflow. Evernote is like that, too. I use Evernote to capture things I want to remember later, and I can organize my notes and move them around until I get them in the right place. Tags also help make it easy for me to sort one note in multiple categories.

As I was preparing for my interview, I came up with these main points as I thought about my audience of real estate agents and brokers.

1. Use it in your personal life before you try to make it work for your business.

* In this industry, we are notorious for being on call 24/7, and since we are always working, we try to make every new app or system work for our business. Jumping into Evernote, expecting it to be the end-all solution to organizing your real estate business can make you frustrated and cause you to blame Evernote.
* Evernote works better when you understand how to use it in your everyday life FIRST. Step back and don’t get so focused on it as a real estate solution. Learn to use it well, and then apply it to your business!

2. Use Evernote to organize your brain.

* Store anything in Evernote and access it anywhere. The more you put into Evernote, the better it gets!
* Here are just a few examples of things you can save in Evernote:
* A “brain dump” of things you need to get out of your mind and on “paper” so you can remember them later
* Photos of your favorite outfits so packing for trips or mornings will be easier
* Notes to your future self: don’t ever order this dish at that restaurant again, or order this because it’s amazing
* Peanut butter or mascara you love or tried & hate
* Your family health history
* Your life’s timeline (historical events you want to remember)
* Count your many blessings
* Updates you’ve done to your home, including paint ID numbers, appliance manuals, appliance receipts and model numbers
* Your goals, wishes and dreams
* Recipes & recipe notes

3. The only wrong way to use Evernote is to not use it at all!

* There is no “one size fits all” way of organizing Evernote. Make it YOURS. You can sort notes into notebooks and notebook stacks, and/or use tags. It is perfectly normal to reorganize your Evernote notes a few times until you get what works best for you.
* Search the text in your notes across all notebooks, text within photos or Premium users can also search text inside of PDFs, Word docs, Excel files, presentations and more!

I could go on and on, but I will bid you farewell and thank you for reading my blog!

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