Rolling Smash Book Tote

I collected items for my college Smash Book all through fall semester and never worked on putting things in because I was so disorganized.  I’d also like to be able to take it on the go in case I have a lot of free time somewhere or visit a friend who has tons of stamps and punches and will need my other supplies in order to use them.  I looked at rolling scrapbook totes in the various craft stores and couldn’t convince myself to buy one, but then I got home and watched YouTube videos of how people organized theirs and fell in love with one of the ones I had seen at Hobby Lobby.  I also saw a clever idea in a different video about using plastic photo boxes for organization, so I ordered the tote and the boxes and eagerly awaited my chance to fill them.

Warning: This will be a very image-heavy post.


This is the grey chevron rolling tote from The Paper Studio.  I ordered it online from Hobby Lobby when they were offering a 50% off sale.  I definitely wouldn’t recommend paying full-price.  The exterior has a plastic coating that makes it waterproof and easy to wipe clean.

The left and right sides each have a zipper pocket and a mesh pocket.  The back has a tiny mesh pocket to the side of the handle.  I’ve filled the zipper pockets with washi tape and the side pockets with roller stamps and ink pads.

Interiors of the front pocket and two side pockets.  The side pockets each contain a 5×7 Iris photo case full of washi tape.  One is thin tape in a variety of colors.  The other is standard size tape in school colors, plus a Smash Book tape and one from a Messy Box.

Contents of front pocket and side net pockets.  6×6 scrapbook paper, index cards, Mod Podge, and metal ruler.  Stamp pads from Messy Box and Let’s Color, Smash stamp, phrase roller stamp and date roller stamp from Messy Box, and a very old date roller stamp from my childhood.


Here’s a view inside the main compartment.  It has an adjustable divider (which is held in place by Velcro) that contains various pockets and elastic bands for holding small items.  I’ve placed mine far forward with just the Smash Book in front of it, so that there would be plenty of room to fit in all the photo cases.

The front and back sides of the divider.  The back is holding Sharpie pens and metallic Sharpies, paintbrushes, Prismacolor accessories, and a few random writing utensils, plus some rubber bands and pencil grips in a clear pocket.  I haven’t come up with anything to put in the other clear pocket yet.  The front side has a lot of tools that will be shown in a separate picture.


Here are the contents of the front of the divider.  Fiskars edging scissors, regular scissors, glue dot runner, stapler, tape dispenser, bone folder, rotary cutter, Prismacolor pencil sharpener, tiny sticky notes, erasers, Prismacolor blending pen, Smash scissors, corner rounder and hole punches, extra tape and staples.

Organizers inside main compartment.  Top left shows a marker board that I use as a surface for spreading glue and two Iris project boxes.  One contains large sticker sheets and some Smash Book inserts.  The other contains all the papers and brochures I’ve collected from college that might go in the Smash Book.  Bottom left shows my smaller set of Prismacolor pencils (48 count), watercolor pencils, and gel pens.  Right shows eight of the 5×7 Iris photo boxes with various supplies in them.

All the 5×7 photo boxes from the main compartment.  Top left ones contain small sticker sheets and small ephemera from college.  Top right ones contain chalkboard postcards, Tattered Tangles coloring sheets, and Smash Book smash pads.  Bottom left ones contain various pockets and a set of Smash Book ephemera that is school-themed.  Bottom right ones contain Project Life cards from the Kraft Edition core kit and the Childhood Edition-Wellington mini kit.

I worried a little in the back of my mind that I’d buy this tote and do all this organizing and then just sigh and say “So pretty!” and still not work on the Smash Book.  As it turns out, I’ve done 7 pages since I got organized.  I have completed pages about admissions and my goals, my first visit to campus for an advising appointment, and my orientation day.



Four Days to a Fantastic Mood

Last week, I gave the Tuesday DBT group a second chance. Given how badly I felt when I went to the first meeting, it would have been horribly unfair to judge it based solely on that experience. The second meeting went much better than the first. When it came time to share my diary card, I explained details of how I used the skills. Another group member said, “This is only her second time?”, clearly impressed. Sierra ruined it by pointing out that I’ve been going to a different group prior to this. I forgave her, however, when she told me during the break that I did a good job with sharing. It’s the first time she’s ever thought I shared appropriately.

I also participated in the rest of the discussion. We spent the entire time going over the Pros & Cons skill, filling out example worksheets. The first one, Pros & Cons of having drama & stress in your life, was the first DBT worksheet I did with Sadie, back in September. I happened to have that completed worksheet in my binder to refer back to and was able to share several pros & cons that others couldn’t think of. This particular example seemed to confuse the rest of the group, so we did another one. Pros & Cons of self-injury vs. Pros & Cons of using the ACCEPTS skill for distraction.

Sierra mentioned a pro of self-injury being that it gets you out of responsibilities. She asked me to repeat my follow-up comment when the group didn’t hear. I said that I used to injure myself at work and my boss would allow me to leave early. That wasn’t why I did it, but after a few instances I sometimes felt the urge to do it simply because I didn’t want to be there anymore. I fought that urge, knowing he would eventually stop letting me leave, but the temptation came back time and again.

All in all, I felt very good about my participation in the group that day, and my philosophy is that if life isn’t working, do something different. So that afternoon I notified Sierra that I would be permanently switching to the Tuesday group. I had previously warned her that I might miss group on the 21st due to a physical I had scheduled, but I worked up the nerve to call and reschedule that for a different day a few weeks later.

Despite group going well, life in general was not. I was still having suicidal thoughts, which led to Sadie requiring me to sign another Contract for Safety. Fortunately, after 4 days on my increased dosage of Wellbutrin XL (now up to 450 mg/day), I awoke in a fantastic mood. I tackled a rummage sale that has caused me extreme anxiety in the past and spent the rest of Saturday hanging out with a friend. The next day I awoke in the same fantastic mood, went back to the rummage sale for their $3/bag day, and came home to clean out my entire closet to make room for my new clothes.

I am not typically an ambitious person, and I have a tendency to quit in the middle of projects. Somehow I managed to wash 4 loads of laundry while simultaneously cleaning out my closet and encouraging mom to do the same. I ended up throwing away a stack of clothes that were too worn to donate, and putting a huge box full of donations in the back seat of my car. My closet is now full of clothes I actually like and want to wear, and I hung the hangers backwards so I’ll be able to see if there are items I’ve never worn by the end of summer.

Productivity has continued into today. I wouldn’t say my mood is quite as fantastic, but I’m still up and active. I’ve read nearly half of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I was surprised by a comment she made that most writers do not enjoy the actual writing part of the process. That’s my favorite thing! I dread doing research and making notes, but once I know what I’m writing, the words flow out. In fact, I managed to struggle through the note-taking process for chapter 3 of my book this morning, so now I’m all set to write.