Tag Archives: Creativity

Page Protectors

This … might seem a little nutty. Maybe even a bit out there. But I love page protectors. So, please, indulge me as I talk about them for a little bit.

I’m sure I am re-inventing the wheel, here, but I use page protectors in my organization efforts pretty much daily – both at home and at work.

We keep statistics at work by hand for a number of patron activities. I stuck a stats sheet in a page protector and we tally them using a dry-erase marker.  The same can be done with a calendar – especially if you have multiple employees all needing to change their schedules (oh, the joys of working with students.)

I think there might be a laminator in the building, but if there is I a) don’t know where it is, b) wouldn’t know how to use it and c) would probably have to spend more time outside of the library than I care to fussing with it.

I also (when I think about it) will use a page protector to keep recipes safe while I’m working in the kitchen. I don’t cook from paper recipes that aren’t in books very often, but I have copies of a couple of my mother’s recipes that I keep safe this way. (Her macaroni and cheese .. yum! I should share that sometime.)

Those are the obvious uses for page protectors though, right? Essentially protecting pages from ink and spills.

I also use page protectors for keeping papers together. There is a limit to how many pieces of paper you can stick in one page protector, but the answer is not one or even two.

As we’ve touched on before, I get to be awfully creative at my job. And sometimes an idea is good enough that I want to save it for reuse. I was perplexed though – I have limited space in my desk drawers, so putting it in a file folder was, for the time being, out. I could put it in a binder, but then I’d have to hole punch things – making them less usable later on. I went looking for something to fix it in the supply closet, and that’s when I found the page protectors. Now extra copies of papers, flyers, signs and miscellaneous can all live together neatly in my binder titles “Library Displays.”

If you don’t get to do fun displays like I do, you can use this method if you have meetings where you’ll be handing out papers. (My boss could potentially benefit from this; he usually shows up with several file folders to each of our meetings.) You could use it to store extra copies of paperwork (like inventory sheets, time sheets, etc) that you’d rather not have holes punched in.

I also use this method at home for a variety of craft projects. My all-time favorite though is pattern pieces. I print a lot of doll clothes patterns, and the tiny pieces fit very well in the page protectors – but larger patterns would also fit. Let’s face it, those paper sleeves they come in won’t last forever.

I keep Ana’s “artwork” in them. (She’s only a year and a half, so it’s just scribbles right now, but I am sentimental and want to keep at least a few of them. )

I am sure there are other uses for them I am forgetting, but let this post be an inspiration – and feel free to add to their use in the comments!


Creativity at Work

Jumping straight into things on the second day, I’d like to tell you a little about my day job. You know, the thing that I do when I’m not being a mom.

I try very hard to not be a mom at work, but that’s a different blog post. A series of different blog posts, to be exact. We’ll get there.

I am a librarian. It is probably the thing I would call myself first if you asked me to label myself, before female, before mom, before American. I’ve wanted to be a librarian since I was nineteen years old and I realized something very, very important:

Being an academic librarian is very different from being a public librarian. I still work in public service, but my patrons are, on the whole, different. The questions I get at the reference desk are different. The books I collect for my collection are different (though I did get a leisure reading collection this year!) My responsibilities and my supervisor’s expectations of me are different.

I don’t get a whole lot of supervision at this job, especially because of my specific position. And one of my charges is to get more people into my library. We’re a tiny campus, so the library is also very small. It’s not the monolithic entity it would be at a larger campus.

That’s where creativity at work comes in. This week is the week before finals, and we are running a stress relief campaign. This year, it’s Kentucky Derby themed! I’ve made some selfie props (not pictured because they have my university’s logo all over them,) created a trivia quiz, and will be printing some  derby-themed coloring pages for my students.



We’ve also got playing cards, chess/checkers, and puzzles. Last semester we had an 80’s themed stress relief week because of the Rubik’s cube.

What does this all have to do with being a CareerMom?

Well, I find being creative to be incredible stress relief.  Being able to be creative while at work, guilt-free (because it’s work related) is even better, because I don’t have to juggle my creative time with mom-time. So I want to encourage you all, if you are a creative person, to find ways to be creative at work. Put a little extra effort into that PowerPoint. Take a minute to decorate your office or cubicle.  Do some creative writing about a project. What it looks like will no doubt be very different depending on your career and the level of supervision you are subjected to, but you’ll never know if you can do it unless you try.


Rebranding this Blog

As a Mother’s Day present to myself, I am going to be re-branding this blog. In the past I’ve used it to showcase some of my creative endeavors (most recently, my 21 Days of Creativity). I’ve also occasionally linked to my cooking blog, Butter and Whisky. That stuff will still happen, but in addition, I will be writing more about being a mom.

This is not another SAHM Mom Blog!

I am a career mom. I am a librarian at a university; I am tenure-track faculty. I love my job. For the first year of my daughter’s life, I can honestly, 100% say that I loved my job more than being a mom.

These days, it’s more-or-less even. Some days work sucks (cornered by the chancellor, difficult student questions, unruly employees who love writing on the whiteboard) and some days being a mom sucks (middle of the night wake-ups, super messy/stinky diapers, unexplained tantrums),  but they tend to even out.

But I felt like I did not have a lot of places I could go for advice about being a career mom. I adapted some advice from SAHM blogs, but a lot of it, I went it alone. So I am going to write out my experiences, starting from the pregnancy and going forward. Not all of it will pertain to every one, but I hope it will help someone.

Especially a couple of friends – one of whom has a career and is about to try to have a baby, and the other of whom has kids but is going back to school to pursue a career.

I’ve got a few categories of ideas thought up, but is there anything else you want to see? Let me know in the comments!

21 Days of Creativity: Day 21

I made it! 21 Days, 21 tangible results of my craftiness. The last day is two more scrapbook pages.

While technically a success, I’m not sure how I feel about requiring myself to finish a project every day. I may revisit this experiment with different parameters at a later date…

21 Days of Creativity: Day 20

I technically finished slightly after midnight local time, but I’m going to call this a win for the day because this project has been on my mind for a long time. And it’s been a very long day. Today’s project is a nickname we have for Ana. And now it’s immortalized in cross-stitch!

I’ll frame it when I get home.

21 Days of Creativity: Day 19

Like a bunny, before I go to Atlanta: scrapbooking pages for my craft of the day.

I have cross-stitch packed to work on while I’m in Atlanta and I should be back on Saturday in time to do something in my craft room.

21 Days of Creativity: Day 18

Today I finished Ana’s pussyhat as my creative project. I need to try it on her, though- I’m not sure I did enough rounds. If it fits, there will be an action shot later.