Saturday, August 31, 2013

30 Days of Lists...

Hello again!  It's nearly autumn - my favorite season of the year.  With the days cooling and growing shorter I'm re-energized.

This past week I decided to join a month long journaling challenge called 30 days of lists.  And I finished my little book to keep my lists just in the nick of time.

I've been wanting to play with book binding techniques, and I have a bunch of 5 by 7 cards left over from my mini travel journal that I created earlier this summer.  So, I pulled together a few supplies, and created this eight folio book.

The supplies:  random stamps and ink, washi tape, 5x7 kraft note cards, blank 4x6 index cards, thread and a needle (not shown).

The kraft note cards are very thick, so I kept each one as an individual folio.  Eight cards is just enough for thirty pages inside (using all the fronts and backs, including the back of the cover page).  I measured and marked locations for three holes in each of the folios (at 1.5 inches from each edge, and the middle at 3.5 inches) and stitched the folios together.  I did my own thing stitching them together, and it seems to have worked.  I added some washi tape for the cover binding.

I finished the cover picking a few stamps and adding my title. 

I plan to write my lists for each day on plain 4x6 index cards and using washi tape to attach them to the pages.  I may decorate the index cards as I go, but for now I'm keeping it super simple.
I'm excited to see what lists the authors have come up with, and to use this technique to document my life today. 

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Anticipating Idaho...


Around here it is common for vacations to be planned eight to twelve months in advance.  Sometimes I wonder if this reduces our ability to be spontaneous; but it provides ample time to build up the excitement. 

I've been anticipating our trip to the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho for about nine months now, and it's still several weeks away.  Entering into the final stretch, my excitement is growing, and so are the lists of what needs to be taken care of before we catch our plane west.

This week I've checked a few items off the list.  Travel Journal was my favorite check to put down.  I played with paper, ink and some stamps to create a variety of pages to bring with me.

Many of our vacations involve getting away from it all, and this is no exception.  We'll be joining a group and rafting on the Salmon River.  All winter I chanted...  more snow in Idaho, and I'm hoping it was effective in influencing Mother Nature to drop a lot of precipitation in Idaho to boost the water levels in the river.  If the river levels are high enough, then we'll get to visit an extra 25 miles of wilderness and boosting our river miles to nearly 100.  If I wasn't convincing we'll still enjoy the 75 miles that we do get to see for sure!

Part of my goal for this travel journal is to inspire me to reflect on my emotions while communing with nature, along with keeping track of the nuts and bolts of the trip.  Many of my previous travel journals read like notes from a science experiment.  I'd like to keep track of some of that, but I'd also like to spend more time reflecting on the experience.  To remind myself of this goal I selected a variety of quotes to include on the pages as well.

A few details of the Journal -
  • I opted to keep the color scheme fairly simple, and used Kraft, brown, blue and white as the primary colors.  I also love this color combination, and it seemed perfect for a river rafting trip.  I picked up a couple of ink misting bottles and played with spritzing them - FELL IN LOVE!!!

  • The pages are 5x7.  I chose this size for a couple of reasons:  1)  I can add 4x6 photos with a little room around the edges for some notes.  2)  I used 5x7 pre-made notecards for many of the pages.  I love the heavier paper of the A.C. Moore kraft greeting card bases and envelopes (the white ones aren't nearly as thick, so I used regular cardstock for the white pages of the journal).  The pre-sized, and scored notecards reduced prep time too!  There's also plenty of room for pre-planned quotes and on-site notes.

  • Joel's goal on the trip is to see a moose, mine is to see / hear wolves.  So I created a specific page for each of us.  I found silhouettes online, printed them, cut them out with an exacto-knife and used vintage photo distress ink in the cut-out space.  My wolf was a little tricky, since I had to hold onto the pieces for the spaces between the legs.  Can't wait to jot some of my favorite parts of the trip down on my page!

  • Most pages are folded 5x7 cards, but there are some single sheets in there as well.  These are watercolor paper.  A box of watercolor pencils and a water brush will accompany me on this trip.  I've never painted riverside with the use of a headlamp - that might just be how it's done this trip.
  • After travelling through the Grand Canyon last year with this same organization we have some idea of what to expect.  We're anticipating a variety of gourmet meals and a fabulous crew - so I created a couple of pages dedicated to the menu and cast of this adventure.

  • Envelopes and a little washi tape were added to hold the ephemera and any post cards I pick up for myself.  (a side bonus for using the note card set)

I've had a blast creating the pages of this journal - now I have to wait just a little longer to fill it all in!

Thanks for staying with me in this extended post!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Snail Mail Project - Week 1

March 14 - 20

It's the first week after declaring my intent, and I just barely managed to sneak out one card under the wire.  Whew! 
{Note:  I've decided to wait a full week to post my progress, just in case the recipient reads my blog.  Don't want to spoil the surprise!}

Living just over an hour away from Joel's brother, sister-in-law and their 3 boys, you'd think we'd see more of each other, but somehow our schedules rarely ever mesh.  Beth is just starting out as an entrepreneur, so on top of all the time spent at the boys' activities, she's got a full plate of her own to juggle.  I decided to start my snail mail project with a note to let her know how much I admire her courage and passion for what she's doing.

One week down, thirty nine to go!
~ Kathy

Friday, March 22, 2013

Project Life - The Villages Part 1

Here's my first installment of actual Project Life pages, and already I'm off the original plan...  {smile}

The plan was a double page spread per month, BUT we ended 2012 and started 2013 in Florida with our parents.  I wanted to include the time with family in the album as well.  Without further ado, here are some of the pages for our time with my parents at their new home in The Villages, Florida.  Note:  I took the pictures of the pages before I did any journaling... 

Addicted to GOLF - with mom's help (the picture of me), I managed to get photos of each of us golfing (or at least on the course, the best I have of my brother is him taking a photo of our nephew).

Part of the allure of The Villages community for my parents are the abundance of activities.  Executive style golf courses (nine holes, mostly par 3) seem to be everywhere, and my parents have been golfing up a storm.  They sign up just the two of them, and get paired with random people to complete the grouping (great way to meet people, if you're not overly self conscious!), or they go with friends.  And then there's the men's and women's "Scramble" tournaments each week.  What's more amazing?  Until the past year or so, my mother hadn't really done any golfing at all.  She's eating up this new lifestyle in the Sunshine State!  {I'm just a teeny bit jealous.}

So of course, while we were all together we golfed, and golfed and golfed some more!  I think I went out about half a dozen times or so just in the week and a half that I was there.  That's a LOT of golf, especially when lately Joel and I have been lucky to get out once a year!

Christmas -

I absolutely loved how my mom used the extra ornaments in glasses for decor, and spent a good 10 minutes staging the shot.  So of course I just had to blow it up a bit bigger than the 4x6 slot!  Silly me, I didn't have my camera handy when we were opening gifts in the morning, so no "people" pictures.  My gift arrived on Christmas Eve, when Joel flew down to join me! 

Part of the gift from my parents to my nephew was a scavanger hunt riding around in the golf carts so I included some of that adventure instead.  Many residents of The Villages put out elaborate decorations during the holidays, and I just couldn't resist taking a picture of the flying pig (grounded at the time the photo was taken).  He makes me smile!

For each of these pages I used some of the 3x4 cards from the kit.  For the Christmas page I taped the two together to create 4x6 card.  LOVE how the circle pattern on the cards coordiante with the baubles in the wine glasses.

I'm loving the process, the hard part - selecting which photos to include. 

~ Kathy

Friday, March 15, 2013

Project Life...

Project Life - a method of memory keeping developed by Becky Higgins that simplifies the scrapbooking process down from full pages to little photo sized pieces.

I debated with myself for few months in the fall of 2012 as to whether I wanted to jump in and try Project Life.  You see, I'm not one of those people who has the camera with them everywhere and takes pictures of everything.  We have a good friend who is always snapping photos, and though we tease him about it, in the end we LOVE when he shares them with us later and we can reminisce!  I like to write...  but have yet to figure out exactly how to journal my story.  I have a ton of journals, diaries - whatever you'd like to call them - scattered around the house.  Many have been started with good intentions but eventually sit on the shelf and begin to gather dust. 

Part of my Project Life debate revolved around this journal reality.  Will this be another project that I start, but leave to collect dust on the shelf with all of the others?

And then, I began to work on the gifts for my brother and nephew.  Small photo albums that I pre-made several inserts for.  Simple title pages, and cards for them to write down some notes on their thoughts / favorite parts of the days.  The rest of the pages we would fill with photos of our adventures together in Florida while exploring my parent's new home and neighborhood.  (my mother is another of those people who carries her camera practically everywhere!!!)

And while working on these gifts I decided that I would just GO FOR IT and begin my own Project Life Album in 2013. 

I wanted to start small, so I ordered a small package of the photo sleeve pages (in styles A and D).  I also looked through the core kits.  I want to make this project as easy as possible, but I want it to feel like us.  As I looked through the options I wasn't getting a warm, fuzzy feeling.  The colors were too bright, or the patterns were too frilly.  In the end I decided on their "Cherry" edition of the core kit - the designs and colors were the closest fit to my personality. 

My kit parts arrived at the end of 2012 and I have played with them on and off since then.  The core kit looks much better in person than in the online photos.  I may have to tone down some of the colors, but what's most important - I CAN WORK WITH IT AND BE HAPPY!  Which is much different than, I can work with it and get by.  The paper was thinner than I had anticipated, but my guess is that it works better in the album sleeves that way.

My Project Life Goal - to complete a double page layout for each month.  Based on the projects that I've seen posted on the web, folks seem to do a double page spread for each week of the year.  This idea overwhelmes me - and I want my Project Life documentation to do more than gather dust on the shelf with the rest of my journals.  Filling eight 4x6 slots and eight 3x4 slots each month seems far less daunting! 

My title page is a combination of core kit inserts, photos, cardstock from my stash and monogram embellishments from the clearance rack at Michael's...  oh, and I hand stamped the "Our Story" title using some Distress Ink and individual letter stamps I've had for ages.

Whew!  If you've made it this far - thanks for keeping with me through this very wordy post!

~ Kathy

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Snail Mail Project

I think I've been living under a rock - or maybe I've just been along for the ride for a bit...  Apparently people have been coming up with "birthday projects" for years now.  I learned about the phenomena from Elise's blog - one that I started following this past fall.

For those of you who have been under that rock with me, a birthday project is something akin to a new year's resolution.  You pick a goal / project that you will work toward completing by your next birthday.  Often it involves a quantity equal to your age. 
My age is now 40.  First thought - how on earth will I finish 40 of anything before 52 weeks roll by???  OK if I made it a simple task of eating 40 cookies I'm certain I could manage that, but I would like my goal to have a positive effect on people around me - my friends, family, even strangers.

I love to brainstorm and create crazy amounts of lists - just ask my mother.  I often run my lists by her - my ever present sounding board!  This time I came up with my project ALL ON MY OWN!  {smile}

The snail mail project

Did you notice - our address and my age match up this year?  It has to be a good sign, right?

OK - hands up - who out there doesn't enjoy getting a FUN card or letter in your mailbox??!!

To me the mailbox is like an unopened package.  It stares at you, teasing you, waiting for you to open it and see what's inside.  My sweet husband, Joel, chuckles and shakes his head at the hopeful enthusiasm I have when I venture out to our mailbox.  Often I come in with a handful of "regular mail", but the next day I'm back out there with that same optimism!  Our two dogs agree - the mailbox is a wonderful place to be!  (of course their excitement stems from the fact that they get to go on a grand adventure out the front door, with the potential to visit with the neighbors, but still the word mailbox is part of their vocabulary, and they know exactly where it is!) 

With any luck, the Snail Mail Project will put some fun back into the mailbox for friends and family as well!

In an attempt to keep my project from overwhelming me I've decided to set up a few parameters (I'll call them anything but rules - who wants rules for a fun project?). 
  1. The goal is to send out FUN snail mail during at least 40 of the next 52 weeks.
  2. There must be at least two paragraphs of a handwritten message contained within the snail mail.  {really, a card is nice, but a couple of short paragraphs in your handwriting is so much sweeter!}
  3. Try and surprise someone new each month.  {sorry mom, you're not going to get ALL the mail from this project!}
  4. Write a short blog update for each successful week. 
That's it - what do you think? 

The benefits - I get to write letters...  OK, I already do that, but not often enough.  Those letters will go out to a wider audience (if parameter number 3 is carried out properly).  Recipients will be pleasantly surprised that there's more than bills in the mystery box that sits at the end of the driveway (hopefully).

Who wants to join me???  Help return the mailbox to the happy stop on the way in from work.  And if this catches on and spreads like wild fire, maybe the price of a stamp will hold steady for a while... 

If you've made it this far...  Let's go spread some sunshine!

~ Kathy

Monday, March 11, 2013

Basket Weave

It's National Craft Month, so I decided to have some fun with yarn...

Let me first put out there - I cannot knit - at all.  No matter how many times my grandmother has tried to teach me, it just doesn't stick (I'm sure if my cousin's wife, Lucy, is reading this she is appalled!).  But I have managed to use a crochet hook pretty well.

I tend to veer toward EASY projects.  I can follow a pattern, but since I usually only get to spend a short amount of time in the evenings to do crafty things I  like to spend the majority of the time actually playing, and not deciphering where I left off, and what step is next.

I came across this basket weave pattern through a crochet newsletter which included a link to the video.

The hardest part - counting out the correct number of chains to start the pattern.  Well at least that's been the hardest part for me....  

Right now I'm a few rows in, and I suspect this will take more than just National Craft Month to complete, especially since the yarn I chose is a little pricier than what I usually go for, but oh I just LOVE the colors!!! 

Looks like I'll be making a lot of trips to the local A.C. Moore with my trusty weekly coupon to buy one skein at a time.  {smile}  Each skein seems to add about two rows to the afghan.

Eventually I'll be back to let you know my basket weave afghan is DONE...   for now I'll be taking it one row at a time!

~ Kathy