my everything books…

In my last post, I mentioned how surprised I was by one of newest projects–I really never thought I would jump on the bullet journal bandwagon. Annie’s been bullet journaling for a while, but it just never captured my attention. That is, until I saw some of the pages that Kara (BohoBerry) had in hers–they most definitely captured my attention. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized I could take what I liked about bullet journaling and combine it with what I liked about fauxbonichi journaling and just do what felt right to me. I know, not exactly rocket science, but hey, sometimes it takes me a while to figure even the simple things out. 😉

So I’ve done what I think most people do, and fiddled around until I came up with a way I thought would work for me. The truth of that remains to be seen, I suppose…but so far, so good.

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These are my books. Yes, plural. And I totally get how many people would likely find that silly. But so far at least, it works for me. One is for 2016 as a whole. And one is just for the month of January. Which yes, means that I’ll end up with 13 separate books by the end of the year. I know–that sounds so excessive. And maybe in the end I’ll find that it feels excessive to me. But for now, I’m going with it. I’m using Fabriano EcoQua spiral bound grid notebooks. They’re fairly small (70 pages, I believe). I love that they’re spiral bound so that the pages can lie flat.

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My 2016 yearly journal starts with a simple overview calendar. Following this, I have a two-page spread for my “table of contents.” (I know that in bullet journaling, people tend to call this the index, but it seems more like a table of contents to me, so table of contents it is labeled.)

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I generally bury myself in a bazillion goals for the year, which inevitably leads to feelings of complete failure. So this year, I just came up with a few things to focus on, some of a more general nature, some a bit more specific. And I recorded them here, to have one place to refer to to remind myself. And the next page is just a place to record the birds I see this year.

Following this, I so far have a page to jot down future gift ideas, pages to record TBR and TBW additions (and whose fault it is that I now want to read/watch said additions), an “In the Future” page to jot down appointments, etc. that I will need to add to future monthly journals, “Read in 2016” pages (which will be redundant because I also have this in the monthly version, but I don’t care because I just really wanted it in both places 😛 ), pages to keep daily(?) track of my “Read a Million Pages Before I Die” goal, and a “new-to-me words” page. And I do have more pages I’d like to add when time permits. (Why yes, I could be doing that now instead of writing this silly post.)

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Okay, as much as I do love the yearly journal, it doesn’t compare to the love I have for the monthly version. It too starts out with a calendar, but just for the month, and with a wee bit of space to jot down specific events, appointments, birthdays, etc. (Post-its are to protect others’ privacy while taking this picture, not for decoration.)

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This is again followed by the table of contents. And then a spread for my monthly goals. I took it easy on myself for the yearly goals thing; questionable if I can claim the same here. But they’re absolutely doable.

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And then I have my Daily Tracker. Some items are definitely there to help me remember to do them, and some are there more to give myself an idea of how often I do certain things. I don’t expect this will stay the same every month.

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Next up, what some people call their gratitude log. For me it’s always been “good stuff.” I’ve long kept track of this (sometimes more consistently than others), and by moving it into my monthly everything journal, I can eliminate the separate journal I used to keep just for this.

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Next I have 3 1/2 pages of January homeschool prep tasks. (Another separate notebook eliminated.) And those spots where there’s a partial page left are great for adding favorite quotes. (I have one on the half page at the end of my “good stuff” log too.)

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And then there are pages to record January’s reads and views (and there’s also a page for what I made in January but it looks just like these ones).

IMG_7900Finally, we’re to the daily pages. Where I have my bullet list of to-dos for the day. I do the little weather thing like many other people do. And any little tidbits I happen to record about my day. While none of my days so far have had a ton of extra journaling or a lot of decorating, I suspect on days when I have more time, they will. One thing I love about having a separate notebook for each month is that I have room to make a two-page spread for a single day if I have a lot I want to journal about.

IMG_7901And interspersed throughout, there will be lists. Because LISTS. Here between days 2 and 3, I made my menu plan for the first week and made a list of thank you cards I need to make. And because of the table of contents, I can easily find any of these lists I need to refer to.

IMG_7902I know my journals are not as gorgeous or fun to look at as some, and that’s totally okay. I think I’ve finally found a way to combine my planner and my to-do lists and my journaling and my endless piles of lists all in one place in a way that really works for me. *fingers crossed anyway*

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projects, new and old…

Anyone who knows me, knows I love my projects. Anything I can turn into a “project” inevitably becomes more fun to me. And I have some wonderful ongoing projects that I utterly adore. But…they seem to be among the first things to take a back seat when life gets too busy. And frankly when doesn’t life get too busy. So my projects tend to get neglected for vast periods of time.

In this year of “taking my life back” (god, that still sounds so ridiculously melodramatic), I’m going to make a concerted effort not to let that happen. I love my Happiness Project and my 50×50 and Rich’s and my Million and One. And oh how happy it would make me to complete item after item after item from each of those.

I’m still interested in all of my personal reading challenges, especially Read the World, but for 2016 I’d like to focus on reading what is calling to me in the moment rather than putting any “obligations” on my reading. (Homeschooling adds more than enough obligatory reading to my plate.) So I’ll try to continue to record any reading that works for my reading challenges, but won’t go out of my way to find books that do.

And I have a couple of new projects I’m excited to start. First of all, I’m jumping on the bullet journal bandwagon. Something I never thought I’d do…until I stumbled upon this blog post at Boho Berry. I can’t for the life of me recall what I was googling that day, but I assure you it was not bullet journaling. But wow–I was sucked right into her post and was fascinated by the way she approached it. It was the first time I had even an inkling that it might be something I’d enjoy. But, as I think everyone needs to do, I’m doing it in a way that appeals to me. And part of that means I’m combining it with my fauxbonichi style of journaling. (I’ll probably do a post and share some pictures in a few days.)

I’m also starting a scrapbook/life storytelling project. I absolutely love the idea behind Ali Edward’s December Daily project (despite the fact that I’ve failed to follow through with it umpteen years now). And it dawned on me what a wonderful thing it would be to do that for an entire year. One story of our lives every single day. I know that I won’t be able to make time to scrapbook every day, but I can make the time to jot down a few sentences about what story I want to tell from each day and note any relevant photos I took. And then when I have an hour or two, I can actually document those stories. A whole year of itty bitty stories will likely add up to a wonderful record of what our life looks like overall.

My older projects are tried and true, so I can’t see ditching them. But if my new projects don’t bring me the satisfaction and contentment that I’m hoping for, out the window they go. This year is about making *smarter* choices for a fulfilling life.

I also have a few shorter projects in mind for February, my most favorite month of the year. It would no longer be February without Comics February (and thank you leap year for providing an extra day of comics love this year). I also have a completely decadent birthday project in mind (I’ll share more about that later).

So here’s to happiness-inducing projects and living a more intentional life!

in the craft room: an update

My experiment in blog scheduling has taught me a few things. 1.) My current life circumstances don’t fit with making blogging a priority, so keeping up a schedule of 4-5 planned posts a week just isn’t going to happen. And 2.) While that may be the case, I’ve also found that having a little focus does help. So I might give simplifying the schedule a try–Saturdays for book stuff, Wednesdays for crafty stuff, and another day for good stuff/around here these days sort of posts. We’ll see.

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So how did I do on the goals I set myself in my last “in the craft room” post? Not so great. And I had three weeks to meet those goals, so it makes me extra sad that I did so poorly.

  1. Make that damn schedule.

I DID NOT meet this goal. In fact, I sort of went backwards in this regard. Instead of scheduling all the projects I want to complete for Christmas, I went and added a bunch more projects to the list. I’m an idiot. 😉

2. Finish crocheting granny squares that I currently have the yarn for. (I still need to buy quite a bit.)

I DID NOT meet this goal. I worked on it, but didn’t come close to actually finishing. I had nine skeins waiting to become granny squares, only four got there.

IMG_74043. Begin crocheting granny squares together.

I DID NOT meet this goal.

4. 60 hours on in-progress cross-stitch picture.

I DID NOT meet this goal. Doing the math, I find that I only got 2% of the way towards this one (which is why I didn’t even bother to take a photo). For whatever reason, I just have not felt like cross-stitching lately.

5. Get supplies for Ana’s gift.

I DID NOT meet this goal. Though I did make an effort. The store just didn’t have what I wanted. So I bought yarn to make Max’s afghan and for Mom’s scarf instead, and will now have to wait until next pay day to try another store.

6. Work 5 hours on Mom’s tote.

I DID meet this goal! Woohoo! But the whole project is taking longer than I’d hoped, so 5 hours didn’t get me as far along as I’d imagined. I figure I have slightly more than 1/3 of the “fabric” made for outside of this tote. I’ll be buying fabric for the lining, and haven’t definitely decided how I’m going to do the straps.

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7. Find good piece of wood for Gray’s pencil holder.

I DID NOT meet this goal. In fact, I’d completely forgotten about it. Doh.

8. Make Annie’s variegated cowl.

I DID meet this goal. Despite deciding partway through that I didn’t like how it was turning out, ripping it all out, and trying something different.

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9. Decide which Pokemon to make for Gray.

I DID meet this goal. At least sort of. I’ve narrowed it down to six (Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Jigglypuff, Lugia, Mew, and Pichu), but I’m just not sure how many I’m going to actually make for this Christmas yet.

10. Make Max’s hat.

I DID NOT meet this goal. Completely forgot about this one too. Oops.

I did do a few things that weren’t on my list though. As mentioned, I bought the yarn for Max’s afghan, and last night I began crocheting. Obviously, I’m not far yet, but at least it’s started so will now be easy to pick up to work on any time I have a few minutes.

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I also made a pair of mittens that “match” the cowl I made for Annie. So yay, together that makes one of her Christmas presents done!

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All told, it doesn’t seem like I accomplished much on the crafting front in the last three weeks, but it felt like I was working away. Not sure why that disconnect.

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Goals for the week:

  1. Make Annie’s ornament.
  2. Make Gray’s ornament.
  3. Make Max’s ornament.
  4. Finish making granny squares with the yarn I’ve currently got for Rich’s afghan.
  5. Get through at least two repeats of pattern on Max’s afghan.
  6. Finish making “fabric” for outside of Mom’s tote.
  7. Start Mom’s “tweed” scarf.
  8. Find sticks for experimental project. 😛
  9. Find piece of wood appropriate for Gray’s pencil holder.

Ever the realist (HA!).

card creations: september 2015I

I really just have not had any card-making mojo as of late. I think what I need to do is just take a whole day to devote to card-making to see if I can’t get my creative juices flowing. Lately I’ve been waiting until the last minute and whipping out cards as I need them, and I just haven’t been very happy with them. And that makes me sad, because my friends and family deserve better.

This month’s cards:

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(John’s birthday card)

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(Joyce’s and Kim’s birthday cards.)

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(Tony’s birthday card.)

I really hope I can make time to make Halloween cards this year, and I really hope October is a more inspired month all-around.

just scrap it: perhaps I should just scrap this post…

I’m glad I made myself a monthly blogging schedule to help me keep my diary somewhat organized. And I’m glad I included two “just scrap it” posts a month as it seems to be keeping motivated to print photos and throw together our Project Life layouts. We really love looking back through these just to see what we were up to in the past.

At the same time, it seems silly to do these posts. Especially during these next few months when there are so many other things demanding my attention (like homeschooling and gift-making). During periods like this, my Project Life layouts, when they happen at all, tend to be extremely simple. As in, I’m thankful to just print photos and add the date.

Oh well.

Here are our last two weeks in pocket pages:

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So yes, I technically did meet my goal of two layouts.

And yes, two layouts is all I’m going to hope to achieve in the next two weeks. Probably looking much like these two. 😉

in the craft room: the countdown continues…

14 weeks. Just 14 short weeks until Christmas. How can this freakin’ be?!! I know it’s time to admit defeat, but for some reason, my brain just won’t do it. If I follow pattern, I’ll keep unrealistically hoping that I’ll actually finish all the gifts I want to make right up until about 3 days before Christmas, when I admit that the 500 hours left of work I have to do simply cannot be crammed into those 72 hours. Yep, been there, done that…will be there again, will do that again. 😛

So how did I do with my goals for the past two weeks? Not so great..

  1. Reassess, organize, and schedule all Christmas gift projects:

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I did pull out my gift binder, and reevaluated. I made a list of the people that I definitely wanted to make something for. I already had ideas for most people, but I’d been racking my brains for months trying to come up with an idea for Ana. And I finally stumbled upon what I hope is the perfect idea. That alone makes me feel accomplished on goal #1. But technically, no, I did not finish this. I made this revised list of all the gifts I want to make. (Actually, there is this “priority” list and a “maybe” list and an “unlikely, but one can dream” list.) Where I failed, however, is in the scheduling. I know I should do it, to better keep myself on track, but I’m daunted by the idea. This list has soooo many big projects on it.

2. Make 50 granny squares.

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I guess I get a very low C on this one–I got 35 made.

3. Put in 20 hours of work on x-stitch picture.

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Not quite, but close. I got in 19 hours. And see some progress, though there’s still an awfully long way to go.

4. Make two small gifts.

Complete fail. Didn’t start anything new, let alone finish.

I have my next update scheduled for three weeks from now. My goal for these three weeks:

  1. Make that damn schedule.
  2. Finish crocheting granny squares that I currently have the yarn for. (I still need to buy quite a bit.)
  3. Begin crocheting granny squares together.
  4. 60 hours on in-progress cross-stitch picture.
  5. Get supplies for Ana’s gift.
  6. Work 5 hours on Mom’s tote.
  7. Find good piece of wood for Gray’s pencil holder.
  8. Make Annie’s variegated cowl.
  9. Decide which Pokemon to make for Gray.
  10. Make Max’s hat.

Too much, I know. But we’ll see how it goes.

just scrap it…

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Back in the spring, I set myself a big goal with a reward when I finally met it: I would get to splurge and buy myself some fun new products when I completed 100 layouts. Sadly, I’ve no idea how far I’ve come…I just sort of forgot to keep track at some point along the way. If I had to guess, I probably got about halfway. But guessing doesn’t count, so I’m just going to start over. I’m okay with that. I’ve got soooo many things I’d like to get used up anyway.

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I did quite a bit of scrapbooking early in the summer. But by mid-July, other interests and responsibilities just crowded it out. I’d love to get back to it, even if it’s only putting together Project Life-like layouts most of the time. I probably won’t meet that 100 layout goal by the end of the year, but it would be awesome if I met it before the start of next summer. I’m going to try to keep track here on my blog (of course, I said that before too 😛 ).

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These are a handful of the ones I did in early summer.

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Goal for the next two weeks:

*2 layouts