Thursday, January 31, 2013

project life 2013 | weeks 3 & 4.

...I actually finished these pages on Tuesday afternoon and planned to blog about them yesterday, but got so excited about my one little word, I decided to wait til today. happy to report that the printer issues that slowed up week 3 got resolved for week 4 and I'm actually considering printing everything myself for week 5. we'll see!

up first - week 3, which ran from January 13 - 19.
I think you can click this photo to see it bigger...
Marc left for Asia dark-early on the 14th and I found plenty to amuse myself while he was gone. special favorite (tie) - I used my free week pass at the Y and I bought new running shoes. 
yes I am that woman who cuts up the shoe box and wildly collects business cards...to scrapbook

Runner-up special favorite - my sister and sister-in-law brought food and wine and knitting to my house and we had a ball for SEVEN hours on Saturday (lower right). I never blogged about any of that.

Yep, I realized as I was putting these pages together that some of the stories I used to tell here on my blog are now getting "saved" for the album. another case in point:
oh yeah, I LOVE capturing screenshots from my iPhone! ...and I LOVE that we've made a date to snark on the Oscars red carpet - all three of us - together at my house!
...and that if I were to stop saving them, I could probably get back to much more regular blogging. which would, I think, be good. (side note - my instagram feed has also replaced some of my blogging...I'm now posting there at least daily and I don't intend to replicate that here...if you're on instagram, let's follow each other!)

For week 3, I followed all my rules and added a Downton Abbey feature. Finding the photo was fun (finding the photo at a high enough resolution to print...not so much). I plan to continue this through the 3rd season (sniff, sigh, only three more weeks!!) I also managed to include one more of the core kit cards (upper right). Note to self - need to PLAN to include these cards.

and now week 4, which ran January 20 - 26. Marc got back just as I left for a quick trip to Florida to visit my mom and dad.

I "broke" one of my rules and bought a digital kit from Paislee Press (day planner). I layered one of  those patterned papers in the Week in Review card.

And while I did blog about the reading (or lack thereof) featured upper middle-right, the rest is all new stuff. see what I mean? there is plenty to blog about and I just need to do it. 

Love that Marc emails photos while he's away; I included a photo of the high-speed train station in Shanghai (middle, middle-left) this week...along with a cutout from another cardboard box:

And my visit with my mom and dad. LOVE this photo from Friday's lunch (journaled on the restaurant's feedback card - you can tell Project Lifer's - we're the ones who pick up ALL this stuff!) ... and the wine label from the wine my dad and I enjoyed with our steaks that night.

Feels like this project is really coming together this year...and I'm hoping to figure out a routine to get the pages done and posted here in a timely fashion. soon. (because yikes y'all. it's FEBRUARY already!!!)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

grace.

...my one little word for 2013. this has been a favorite word of mine for a while. I'm delighted it was the right word to choose for this journey this year. (I made the final decision in early December while I was decorating my word tree and that's the real story behind my blog banner for this winter!)

one of my favorite things about this word is that it looks out...and in. and I am really excited Ali has re-worked her class this year.

I must admit - the new prompt threw me for a (very good!) loop when I first watched the video back on New Year's Day. I was completely prepared to re-run the opening pages like I did the last two years...but no. this year we're journaling intentions - one for each month. and actions to support those. my original thoughts had been tied up with Princess Grace. and pearls. and it took me another week plus before I figured out how to approach it. and how the 18 cards that make up the spread could really come together.

another few weeks and I got more settled on the actions. and tweaked another verb or two.

one hang-up I wasn't expecting is that I de-stashed a lot (as in almost all) of my scrapbooking "stuff" before we moved last fall. and I was not going to let myself buy anything new to start this project. then my printer died and I almost bought a new one yesterday, but fortunately, Marc decided he didn't need his and now I have a new-to-me HP Photosmart C4480 and I am in love with what I can print myself. I just got the printer setup yesterday, so finally. I'm ready to go. ...and now a little bit later, ready to share it here.

this is actually the front and back of a single divided page protector
I am still using pearls.

but all the papers and other "stuff" are coming from this small collection of Anna Griffin papers and embellishments (plus a small piece of music, a stack of Papersource cards, plain white cardstock and a few other things I kept):
I'm hoping that, just like Project Life, having a smaller selection will make the decisions easier.
I assume the remaining 11 months of prompts will give me reason to share my intentions and actions for those months, so I'll close this month with the wonderful quotation that prompted my January intention - grace notes:
text printed onto a tag ... and mounted on a piece of the Anna Griffin paper.
My actions - pay attention to the details and smile!

grace notes indeed.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

ten on tuesday. beating the winter blahs.

...I feel a bit smug about Carole's prompt this week. maybe because it's supposed to be near 70 degrees here today (and I had balmy temperatures in Florida over the weekend visiting my folks). it just doesn't feel like winter. and I definitely don't have the blahs.

but I haven't blogged in nearly a week. and I love to play along. so here's how I'd hope to beat the blahs (if I had them :-)
(see #2 below) from my instagram feed | january 12, 2013
1. plan a trip to someplace warm. imagine yourself there, soaking up sunshine.

2. buy flowers. orange tulips especially. instagram them.

3. invite a few friends over. turn up the heat. mix a batch of margaritas. turn on Jimmy Buffet (loud). and dance!

4. browse the gardening catalogs.

5. get a bright manicure and pedicure.

6. look through last summer's photos and make a list of things to do (and not do) this year.

7. put on your pj's, make a batch of popcorn and watch an old movie like Charade or Pillow Talk. Audrey Hepburn and Doris Day are great cures for the blahs!

8. light a fire and have a picnic on the floor in front of it (works best if shared with a special someone).

9. bake these orange spice cookies. they smell (and taste) amazing. guaranteed to make you smile.

10. remind yourself this season shows off your best woolen knits. and wear them.

there. I feel better anyway. and can only hope I haven't jinxed our weather. this kind of smug is bound to get snowed on!

how are beating the blahs this winter?
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

and now about reading.

...last night I had the very fun experience of a first bookclub meeting. It was organized by a friend of a friend who just moved here and had enjoyed a bookclub in her old neighborhood. She invited a few neighbors, and mothers of her kids' classmates, my friend and me. Nine of us met and over dinner and drinks got to know each other (well kind of, I'm still not sure of everyone's name!) The group is diverse in terms of age and background which always makes for good discussion. and yikes! I think I'm the oldest (and I know I have the oldest children.) It was rather fun to hear talk about third grade reading projects, and the trauma of starting middle school or finding a good tennis coach...and know that those difficult mothering years are behind me.


We moved on to a good discussion about A Place Called Freedom by Ken Follett. The group had voted via email on three titles, and this one won. A few of us had read - and loved - other books by Follett including Pillars of the Earth, A Dangerous Fortune and Fall of Giants. Sadly, none of us thought this one measured up. I admitted I'd skipped the middle 300 or so pages, yet still didn't have any problem keeping up with the story. or the discussion.

And then we started talking about what book we should read next and I suggested we share a bit about books we'd recently read and books we loved. I offered up Night Circus and Cutting for Stone and A Discovery of Witches. (and would've offered up The Gargoyle but I couldn't remember its title). I heard a few new titles - The 12 Tribes of Hattie (how I could miss an Oprah book is telling about the state of my reading right now!) and Team of Rivals.  We ended up choosing The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks which no one had read, but everyone had heard good things about. Through that whole discussion, I used the Goodreads app on my phone; and that was new to everyone, so I offered to send an email after.

the Goodreads app - HIGHLY recommend!
...I knew I hadn't updated my Goodreads in a while. but I was surprised to see it was last October. three months ago. and even more surprised that I hadn't read a new book since then. I did re-read the first Harry Potter. and I read the beginning and ends of Lamb in his Bosom (for my other book club) and A Place Called Freedom. and I started Cloud Atlas on October 30 (and I'm only 30% through it...I am still intending to finish, but I think it's going to take me a while).

whoa. I haven't done this little reading since I can remember. and I miss it. I think the reality for me right now is that I have time to "play", I'm more likely to knit, or edit photos, or work on other crafty projects. which could be simply that I'm not reading anything that's better than those activities. or maybe I need a better way to read.

the Audible app...this is as far as I've gotten!
So this morning, I signed up for Audible and downloaded the app for my phone...and Wolf Hall. It's 24 hours long. I'm hoping to finish my Market Jacket while I listen.  (and while I was at it a short story by Lisa Gardner that was free...her name came up last night and I don't think I've ever read her).

Curious - do any of you listen to books? and what was the last book that really captured your attention?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ten on tuesday. in my car.

...as in things I always have in my car. here goes:
originally blogged in July 2011

1. Holly's car-seat (if she's not riding shotgun, I still have it in the trunk, unless Holly's going to a sleepover).
2. knitting. because one never knows when one will get stuck someplace and need something to do.
3. chapstick.
4. gas receipts.
5. a pen.
6. my car's manual
7. and service receipts
8. and registration

and two I don't always have, but should
9. grocery bags
10. an umbrella

ok this one wasn't too embarrassing! a little bit quirky for sure but nothing all that weird. what things are always in your car?
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

about my knitting.

...yes, finally, a proper post about my knitting. which started as a post "on knitting" but whoa, that's way big, isn't it. and then "the knitting" and uh oh, it's getting even bigger. then I tried "on the knitting" and of course that was no better. so finally, because this really is a post about "my" knitting, there we have it.

I used to blog pretty regularly About My Knitting and I mean to get back to that. because it's a big part of my life. and I think probably tells as good a story about me as the myriad photos and journaling cards I put into my Project Life album each week.
Annie Scarf (raveled here) - first FO for me of 2013
It's been ...months... since I last devoted a post to knitting (I'm not even bothering to find out how long, but the fact that I can't remember says it's a good while). during that time the output has been a bit slight and the FOs a bit fewer. bottom line - I've made a half dozen plus projects for charity and gifts, but until last week's Annie Scarf, I hadn't finished anything for myself since last August. and there are now days...I don't knit. former thought not so scary - I've made plenty of sweaters and scarves and cowls and socks and hats (to the point where I need a second closet to store it all) but latter thought. whoa. and this was just two days ago. yep, Monday, January 14, 2013, I didn't knit. (the stitches I worked in class that night for my students don't count!)

I do remember a post from last fall - early packing days - where I wondered if the three projects I'd kept from the boxes (two sweaters and something else I can't recall) would be enough to keep me busy through the unpacking. y'all were nice not to scoff then. the two sweaters have both been frogged and like I said, I can't recall the 3rd project. I did finish my 12 hats for charity. and managed to knit Sara's birthday cowl and mitts and the Christmas gifts, just barely.
Abigail, how she looked before and after we moved...and just before I frogged her!
...and after (this is going to become Thorn...yep, I ripped the whole thing today!)
All of which has made me wonder...is this ME?

and I've finally concluded "yes, but you've changed (a little):"

  • I do still love knitting. the process. the product. ravelry. yarn. patterns. queues. favorites.
  • I do still love teaching...maybe more since I'm spending less time at the shop and my students/classes are now my focus when I'm there.
  • but I no longer feel a need to knit all the things or buy all the yarn. (right now anyway.)
  • I'm taking it slower,
  • and I think, enjoying it more.

I was also thinking I'd lost my sweater mojo - (sweaters have been my thing these past few years but I hadn't finished one since last summer and I can't remember the last one I made that had sleeves!) - until yesterday. when I spent the entire afternoon knitting this. (while I rewatched the Golden Globes and checked in on twitter). thank you November Knits and Tanis Gray. I'm feeling a little bit more like (the old) me (and that is very comfortable, thank you!).
Market Jacket, raveled here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

10 tips for sticking with your fitness routine.

...I'm fortunate - this has never been a problem for me. I really enjoy working out. really. pretty much everything about it. pushing myself and every so often being surprised by what I can do. getting into that zen place mid-way through a run where it's all about the rhythm of my feet hitting the ground keeping time with my breathing. sore muscles telling me they did something new the day before. yep, all of that makes me happy (and strong) and I guess that's really why I keep showing up, on average about six days a week, to exercise.
from mapmyrun (see #4)

absent that, this week Carole's asked about sticking with it. here are ten things that might get me there...and keep me there:

1. workout with a friend.

2. or a trainer (or better yet, both!)

3. join a gym.

4. make a goal and log your progress (my goal is to run a half marathon mid-March at a 10-minute pace - I just started using mapmyrun; love this summary page that shows my total mileage and my average pace and there's an app for my phone)

5. reward yourself periodically for doing it.

6. get the right equipment. shoes, bra, socks, water bottle. it feels better.

7. make appointments on your calendar. if you're working out with a friend or a trainer, this is a no-brainer, but if it's just you, having that time blocked off will make sure you have the time to do it.

8. find exercises that work for you. I don't like cycling, or stairclimbing, but I'm fine with a treadmill. I much prefer free weights to machines. I love taking classes (that "trainer" aspect of having someone tell me what to do).

9. mix it up. different scenery. different muscles. different faces. keeps it interesting.

10. lululemon.
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Monday, January 14, 2013

project life 2013 | weeks 1 & 2.

...nothing like a football-filled Sunday afternoon & evening for scrapbooking! I'm still doing project life Sundays to Saturdays and it's a rare Sunday that I have time to actually work on my pages. But yesterday I did and I made a quick trip to Costco this morning...and now I have two finished weeks to share.

First up, the title page. Totally lifted (with her permission :-) from Cathy Zielske. I'm using the Clementine core kit this year...and she is not. So I was pleasantly surprised that her colors seemed to work. (of course as you'll see in the photos below, I've used only one Clementine card so far...and I'm not much into matchy-matchy anyway.)

Simple. love that I have a photo of me & Marc (thank you, Katie) to include. so I can represent all the relationships and goals closest to my heart for the first half of 2013.

and now on to the first week. which was just five days. it's a good thing I take lots of pictures and keep plenty of "stuff".
that blue card at center right is the only core kit piece I've used!
Cathy Zielske's Week in Review card - something new
an iPhone screen shot (with some journaling) from my first long(ish) training run
hope to keep this format for all my cast-on's - Ravelry pattern page, who it's for and the date and a snip of the yarn I'm using
and week two. a full seven days and I found myself making hard choices about what to include and what to leave out. which is good I think.

the church bulletin cover with the last few lines from the Prayer of Confession; I loved snipping the words apart and gluing them back together during Advent!
ahhh...ode to DA. glad I wrote this before I saw episode 2!
this week's six mile run and one of Cathy's weekly lists
I'm doing some things differently this year - hoping to streamline the process and create a better product. When I started Project Life last spring, I just dove in. I bought a variety pack of page protectors (I think that gave me seven different options for a layout). I didn't get a core kit, but instead bought digital journaling cards from half a dozen different designers and kept a 3" binder of patterned paper and a few embellishments handy to include. I wanted to use the supplies I had and that seemed like a good approach. but all that flexibility meant I had a lot of decisions to make every week. which meant the pages took more time. and while I really do LOVE the finished album, I was ready to create a smaller creative play space for 2013. two weeks in, here are the rules I've established:

1. I'll summarize each week (including the dates) with one of Cathy Zielske's week in review cards.

2. rounded corners (this is hard, but yes, I do think the pages look so much better!)

3. page protector design A unless there's a good reason not to.

4. no ad hoc patterned paper.

and the guidelines I'm hoping to follow:

1. always include: church bulletin, inspirational quotation, one of my daily photos, something related to my half-marathon training (with the 13.1 overlay), knitting projects started (the three I've cast on this year have used the same format...I hope I can keep it up!) and some acknowledgement of every knitting project finished.

2. usually include: something about the weather and one of Cathy Zielske's life list cards. love how timely they are. but in a week where I have more stuff, this will be something I let go. so far, I'm two for two. we'll see.

3. hope to include: more photos of people (me included), not just things.

4. limit the fonts. I'm mostly using Arial with Bebas for the photo overlays. I'm also trying to be consistent about how I add text to my photos. will definitely make the album more cohesive.

5. finish the previous week before the next week ends. and blog about it. share photos on instagram. anything to help me be accountable ... and encouraged.

Friday, January 11, 2013

five things.

Mix No. 9, about 10% done
1. Apparently I'm developing a thing for epic projects. I finished the Annie Scarf and used up 966 yards of yarn. then immediately cast on Mix No. 9 (another thousand yard scarf/cowl; that's it to the left). I'm planning to knit another Panoramic Stole, but in laceweight; I have two skeins of Findlay Dappled which is about 1,600 yards total. and I'm smitten with Thorn and the Cornerstone Blanket. yes, smitten!

2. Bitten Word posted about Spiced Milk. Last month, I read the Good Things column that included the recipe, and wasn't excited at all. But now? I want to make it...and eat it with oatmeal. I also need the temperatures to cool off a bit to make a hot breakfast appealing. seriously - it's 63 degrees outside right now. it's January. it's freaky.

3. I love the mini albums that Becky Higgins released this week. I'm wondering if Katie's wedding weekend will be a mini-appropriate event to document? the album includes 80 4x6 and 80 3x4 slots. that seems like a lot...or maybe it's not enough?!

4. I'm a huge fan of Lisa Congdon's hand lettering. this week, she posted a quotation by Edgar Degas:
"Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things."
She talks embracing a "beginner mind"... to me, these words are a reminder that we can only grow when we step outside our comfort zone. that's scary and exciting at the same time.

5. I can't imagine ever getting a real tattoo. but I'd happily wear this one for a few days!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

closing thoughts on shine.

...I hope I'm not the only one who was surprised to find that the last time I posted about my 2012 one little word - shine - was june 17. oh my. really?! oh my yes.

the good news (for me at least) is that I kept up with ali's videos in my journal and made notes about each prompt. love that the thoughts I've recorded are "current" even though the pages weren't created until months after [note to self - don't let this set a precedent!]

I picked up photos from costco last night...the last piece to pull together these last SIX (yikes, six?? really, yes!!) prompts...and today I trimmed and inked and stapled. and now it's done. well, my album pages anyway. more than any word I've chosen, this is a word that's going to stay with me. for all the good things it's taught me...and brought me.

SHINE.

the soundtrack. july's prompt. it took me almost the whole month to find six lyrics to supplement the three bible verses. regular readers know I love amazing grace, and billy joel and lady antebellum so really, it was only three "new"...thanks to zumba and XM highway for those last three!

august. note to self. thank you iPhone (I think - whoa it's grainy...maybe that's good!)

september. celebrate. the notes in my journal about everything surrounding these two things....it's overwhelming. I hadn't imagined, let alone planned, anything so big...so shine...and yet...they happened.
...the prayer shawl ministry is on my goals for 2013. I really (really) want to make that happen this year!

I included this photo to get the pages to work out right. and I'll admit here that it took me a few hours to find that photo and the accompanying blog post because I thought they were september...but with my sporadic blogging this past fall I wasn't quite sure...so worth the time - those words about home are some of the best I've written. SHINE. 

and now to october - another nine photo spread. the first one - can you make out the cross between the leaves? - is the only one I took on purpose for this project. the others...I think my october was a great canvas.

november and getting ready to wind down the year. six prompts and three of those "free" spots. I filled those spots in this morning. (and then I packed away the SHINE papers :-) 

and finally december. closing thoughts. I wrote these words last weekend. and experienced that same surprised delight gratitude wonder all over again.


my word for 2013 is grace. I look forward to seeing where that it takes me. I hope it's as meaningful as this one.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

10 goals for 2013.

...katie asked me last week if was making any resolutions for the new year. I quickly replied "no". and  shortly thereafter stumbled across an inspired idea to collect knitting resolutions and blog about them...and of course I had to participate. so that was three.
my knitting goals for 2013 (see #1-3)

and then yesterday carole asked about ten. and what the heck. I guess I'm in!

1. knit something for someone else for every something I knit for me.
2. steek a sweater (likely this one - and most of my sunday students are going to try it, too - love that they'll hold me accountable!)
3. work to a smaller stash...with nothing "new" from 2013.

4. fill up two project life albums with weekly spreads.
5. participate in my third year of ali edwards' one little word class (more coming on that soon...I'm still putting the finishing touches on last year...more coming on that soon!)
6. take 365 daily photos based on chantelle's prompts. 

7. train for and run a half-marathon at a 10-minute mile pace (we're signed up for a march 17 event - once I see how that goes, I'm planning to make a longer-term goal).
8. read mere christianity.
9. do something fabulous with marc to celebrate our 30th anniversary.

10. revitalize the church's prayer shawl ministry.

there are also the big things of katie and rob's wedding and my mom's 75th birthday...but those aren't all mine. and well, neither is #9. but it needs to be on my list to ensure it actually happens!

I look forward to the accomplishments we'll all see...and the encouragement we'll share. I'm sure it will be required. and welcome!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

project life weeks 40 and 41.

...showing again that when things are quiet here on the blog, it usually means there's a lot going on in my real life. truly grateful for that time on tuesday to map out these last two weeks of 2012 (because I am so itching to get started on 2013!) and then time yesterday evening to put it all together (and while I'm at it - huge thanks to marc for being patient with leftovers so many nights in a row - I do think tonight will be it and we'll have "new" food tomorrow!)

week 40 covered december 16 - 22. most of the photos have already shown up here, but the extra stuff, what's on that right-hand side, is new.

katie sent me those three postcards - and I loved using the new "G" page protector to showcase them front and back. it was also fun to include the front and back of the super-cute tags katie made and used (top row, center). each of her gifts included one of those tags, tied with bakers twine or adhered with washi tape.  I punched a hole in the page protector and tied the bakers twine through the hook to hold it in place.
and yes, I finally learned how to use the smudge tool in photoshop - if anyone wants my address, I'm happy to share it - just send me an email!

onto week 41, which included ... a lot. I ended up with three 12x12 spreads. 
this is just december 23!
we hosted the annual family gathering, which always includes photos. I was really pleased with the ones we had this year and love that this format accommodated my favorites.
and the rest of the year....
the rest of the year came together once I knew what photos I had and what stories I wanted to tell. I was careful to save ephemera from the whole week so I'd have plenty to work with. two wine labels, a piece of notepaper from maggiano's, church bulletins, and gift tags from christmas morning. I only ended up using one of the gift tags, but it was the most special gift. so it's perfect.


from the first year I did Journal Your Christmas (2007, with Shimelle Laine) I've tried to include a bit of how we wrap gifts in each album. this year was really simple - I have a huge roll of brown packing paper leftover (and bonus points that marc smiled when he found out I was using it instead of buying new!) - I added a glitter snowflake (bought a box of 20 at target for $5) and stamped "merry merry" on shipping tags. ...I still have a huge roll of brown packing paper and lots of shipping tags and I'm finding glitter in the oddest places...


...and that wrapped up the last week and my 2012 album. I had an empty page protector to fill and found this terrific idea on pinterest. a few hours and many google searches for free clipart later:

I saved each of these cards as a template to use for future albums. the counts were kind of surprising to me - I expected more running and finished objects (and maybe a few less self portraits); maybe I wasn't consistent about how I counted. oh well. I don't think it really matters. it's still fun.

...and it's done!