Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: scrapbooking

Five Year Plan

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” ~Annie Dillard

I believe that small, daily habits build our lives, so of course I love the idea of this 5 year, one-line-per-day journal. Since I received this little book as a Christmas gift (thanks E!) I started January 1st 2015.

Each night, I write a little bit about the day. So far, I’ve missed an evening or two (usually b/c I’m tired and turn off the light before I remember) but it’s simple enough to fill it in the next morning. It has 5 entries per page, with each page being one day of the year. You fill in the year and a little blurb about your day.

I’m only 6 weeks into it, so there’s no spectacular a-ha moment. The nightly reflection is nice, but the real reward will be over the next few years, as I revisit my previous entry for each date. So much can happen in 5 years…

Since 2010:
– this blog was started
– we adopted Carter Cash
– we got engaged (and then married)
– we went on our epic Grand Canyon trip (and had yet to visit Hawaii or Alaska)
– my job was different and has only gotten better
– my siblings didn’t live near me in CA
– my relationship with my parents was not so good
– I attended my first retreat, and took many an online class
– a few of my really good girlfriends still lived here
– I started therapy
– I was just beginning to experiment with photography again
– I’d never had a life coach
rock climbing was not a thing
– I was still in my 20s
– I didn’t know how to take care of myself. I certainly hustled for my worthiness.
– I hadn’t read Harry Potter yet.

So yeah, a lot can happen in 5 years. Looking forward to having this small, memory-keeping habit capture and reflect on my days and our lives.

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Piqued

 

It was a quiet week – always grateful for that. I slept really well despite intense dreams, the cooler temps and darker mornings made for sleeping in some. We ate dinners at home, made it to the climbing gym and I got a haircut.

I feel like I did a really good job resting up before an overnight camping trip this weekend, 2nd Jimmy Eat World show in a month on Sunday plus traveling for work this coming week. I’m learning that I don’t just need recovery time after highly intense situations but I can build in “topping off” time to make sure my reserves are at their fullest before going into intense or tiring situations.

And now, a few links…

Kyla Roma is just a gem on her site. This post How I Live (Mostly Happily!) with Depression & Generalized Anxiety Disorder is not only an eye-opener about her experience, but also has a ton of links to resources and apps (!!). She writes “I had no idea how much of what I experienced daily wasn’t normal (and was optional!)” She makes the point that we only know the world as we know it, and if we’ve always felt a certain way, how can we know that that way is normal? More importantly, depression can make you forget you ever felt otherwise and obliterate you in its passing. It’s a good read.

“The process of making these books is good for you to help you process each season, appreciate it, and remember the details while also creating something to look back on in the future.” You may not know how much I love the idea of scrapbooking, but this list 10 Reasons To Give Scrapbooking A Chance hits on all the points of why I do. I just want to do it more and more. Journaling, blogging, photographing and scrapbooking. Tell all the stories!

I am continuing to learn more and more about introversion and being highly sensitive. I am not sure this applies to me for business meetings When Introverts Should Avoid Coffee, but in general, I am very sensitive to caffeine. Last weekend I had a mocha and was so wired I couldn’t think straight. Overall, I’ve switched back to tea, sip one latte a week (more for the comfort than caffeine) and avoid straight coffee entirely. Decaf doesn’t seem to matter, but the quality of the coffee does.

I linked to Elise’s blog before. Most recently she blogged her business story (you can read the entire thing here). In the last post, she spoke about her newest product idea, the BIG IDEA, the Get To Work Book. Crazy thing is, it isn’t even in production yet, and she won’t launch till July 2015. Being a paper / planner / Type-A / listmaker I am excited for the product, but more so, I am sooooo pumped she is sharing the process and behind-the-scenes of launching this product. #celebrationemoji

Years ago I wrote about stillness, and how I realized that it was never going to arrive, but instead be something I needed to actively seek amidst the activity of my full life. I think all the time – daily, at least – of TS’s Eliot’s lines from Four Quartets, We must be still and still moving. Being still in the middle of the busy-ness, that’s the goal, at least for me.  Finding ways to breathe and to be here, mostly because without doing that I miss my life.  And as I remind myself, over and over again, I chose this, this manifold set of responsibilities and identities which unfurl, shimmering, piling upon each other, beautiful and daunting at the same time.

The Slipstream of Life. Lindsey continues to break my heart and take my breath away.

Don’t forget to set your clock to “fall back” at 2am Sunday! Bye daylight savings time.

For the Halloween spirit, every year, Cathy Zielske wears a bee costume, and recently posts a video of her dancing as said bee. While the video is funny, the fact that she wears the same costume every year for 24 years is what tickles me. Check out the 2014 Bee Dance.

Lastly, h/t to my friend (and former boss) Emily for this delicious video of Patrick Fugit singing, rock star hair and all. #scorpio #obsessed

Valuing My Life

For over a week now, I’ve been walking around gunning to create a scrapbook page.

I know – who am I?

But seriously, I don’t write about it much here, but I do randomly create project life pages. At times it can feel overwhelming to print photos & document my life, but I love the finished pages. Going back through the pages I made for the weeks of 2013 and the (very) few weeks of 2014 make me happy.

And I’ve been listening to a lot of Paperclipping Roundtable. So I assume that also has something to do with it.

Saturday we slept in as much as one can with the usual LA September heatwave. We originally planned to go to the climbing gym when it opened, but the heat + void moon had other ideas.

We decided to take Carter down to the beach path and eat breakfast at our new favorite place, Amelia’s.

When I think about scrapbooking, I usually feel overwhelmed with the decisions – which pictures to print, what sizes, what papers, what stickers, what’s the story I’m trying to tell, etc – and then I give up that idea and write a blog post or worse, do nothing.

But I really do want more creative actions in my life – and these supplies aren’t going to use themselves up – so as we went about our morning, I took a few pictures.

We got stuck in traffic on Abbot Kinney due to hundreds of motorcycles lining the street. We sang along to Jimmy Eat World on H’s phone. We parked, got the dog out of the car and walked him over to Amelia’s. We waited for a table, ordered food at the counter, and watched the parade of motorcycles go by. We ate our food and sipped our foamy drinks. After eating, we walked the dog down to the beach and out on this wooden path they put on the sand. At the very end is a bench we like to sit on b/c it allows us to be near the water and still have Carter with us on the sand.

Carter was howling away in frustration at us, restless that he wanted more exercise. We looped back up to Main Street and back to the car.

The whole little adventure took less than 3 hrs but it is the epitome of a perfect morning for me. Music, going out for breakfast, delicious chai, walking the dog, the ocean, wearing a sundress, and quality time with H. Each one of these days feels like a dream, but it’s my actual life.

And I know the whole only thing constant is change, so it felt important to me to capture this morning on a page. To print some photos, write a little story and have it as a reminder, as a reflection, of the awesome life we’re experiencing.

“We live 3 miles from one of the best beaches in the country and we have the time and freedom to enjoy it. Our little family, and my life, is pretty rad”

Making this page was a creative act, and allowing myself creative acts feels like the ultimate way to value life. Just in the way that I go for a run or take a nap because I value my energy, or say no to dramatic people because I value my sanity, creative acts are a way to value my being. To hold it in high regard. To honor what I’ve built as a creative person – my marriage, my awesome dog, my talents. Documenting is something I’ve always done, but I’m finally beginning to understand that telling my story is a way of valuing ME.

{More Info}

I started memory keeping with Project Life.

Some of my very favorite memory-keepers:
Ali Edwards
Kelly Purkey
Amy Tangerine
Shimelle
Pink Ronnie
Elise Blaha Cripe

 

Hello Story or My Introduction To Scrapbooking

I’m in the third week of Ali Edwards Hello Story – a 12 week scrapbooking class – and I’m loving it. 

Total noob here. This is my first scrapbook 12×12 page… EVER. It’s a timeline of important events in my life. It’s actually missing a photo still – I’ll add that once it’s printed.

But excuse me while I take a moment to jump up & down with excitement that I was able to create this page. It felt so creative and engaging to make something. I was totally in flow and was racing against the clock to finish it before a dinner date.

I was surprised by how much color I wanted. And that I added the water-color background not having a freakin’ clue what I was doing. When I thought to use feathers as a symbol for my own trust / lifeline, my heart jumped. And I am so so so proud of myself for cutting those colored paper feathers from a patterned paper – and not feeling frustrated that I didn’t have the “perfect” embellishments.

I loved getting paint on my hands, following where the layout went,  telling my story and improvising. 

I’ve been working on Project Life since January but I’m still not sure about it. While I’m printing WAY more photos than I ever have, it seems like an awful lot of paper to be accumulating as the years go on. I’m committed to documenting 2013 via the 2-page weekly spread, but I may rethink this for next year. 

And the Hello Story class is so inspiring. Ali does a really great job of offering scrapbooking as a vehicle to dig deeper into your life story. She says “scrapbooking is an opportunity to tell stories that give perspective to our overall life experience”. 

This is why I journal, take photos, keep this blog… I want perspective, understanding, deeper meaning made out of my life experiences. And I want to read / hear others’ stories too.

So, there’s magic here. As I wrote yesterday, trying my best to keep the supplies low and the production high. But I think I’m on to something.

Not Your Momma’s Scrapbook

So, all of a sudden, I have a small scrapbooking hobby. It seems a natural progression – journal, take photos, combine writing + pictures = scrapbooking.

But this ain’t your momma’s scrapbook.

There are no cheesy stickers of soccer balls for soccer-themed photos, no cutting photos out into odd shapes, and certainly not just a bunch of bits and pieces glued down in a book (though that can still work).

Now it’s less theme-y and yet still all about capturing our lives. It’s about preserving stories, showcasing gorgeous photos and playing with paper.

I still haven’t found my groove yet. One reason is that I’m hesitant to dive into this hobby full-force. What if it becomes a pile of unused supplies? And where the hell am I going to store the final products when H already has nightmares of my journals overtaking our living room???

My entry point was some combination of Project Life, reading Elise’s blog and listening to a scrapbooking podcast without actually scrapbooking. I’ve been doing Project Life since January and I’m about 8 weeks behind. I am OK with this. (Apparently many people start to freak out they’re “behind”. I am just impressed I still care about this project).

I’m enrolled in Ali Edwards’ Hello Story class – and while I’m loving the IDEAS, I’m still hitting resistance in actually making anything. I’m confident this will work itself out.

Asking myself these questions:

  1. why do I want to tell stories?
  2. how do I want to tell them?
  3. how do I want to share them?

That is all.

Just a quick marker for where I’m at, and a list below of the sites that I now visit since I care about this niche. Also note that I am super-duper trying to not fall into the consumer panic of new products / over-shopping / hoarding. Instead, I’m hoping I can get creative and make what I need rather than buying it.

We’ll see.

My style is potentially some combination of these:

Project Life (Becky Higgins)

Elise Blaha Cripe

Ali Edwards

Marcy Penner

 

Minimalist & gorgeous:

Pink Ronnie (Rhonda Mason)

Paislee Press (Liz Tamanaha)

 

Much brighter / busier in design but so FUN:

Amy Tangerine

Kelly Purkey

Ann-Marie Morris

 

Other resources:

Paperclipping Round Table podcast

Big Picture Classes

Happy One Year

Recent Obsessions

In my attempt to do more of what I need (and living the SoCal life), I’ve been trying to relax this week. It’s a 3-day week due to July 4th tomorrow (yay vacation!).

I started Battlestar Galactica on a whim. I know, right? Nerd. But it was just what I was looking for. Action, suspense, good story-lines and pretty good acting… like reading a fantasy novel. Great break from everything lately. Plus, H is into it, so we’ve watched 8 in the past 3 days. Sshh – don’t tell. #nojudging

Then today, I stumbled upon Rhonna Farrer‘s new app and I am obsessed. It’s tiny digital scrap-booking. I’ve already made two and I have ideas for more. Hoping I can add it on the iPad, since my iPhone screen feels too small to really get into the app. And there are sooooo many options. I love it. Love, love, love.

And thirdly, avocado, kiwi, cucumber salad. Delish. I basically made this up from a homemade version I tasted at a bridal shower a few weeks ago and this recipe online. I went for fresh vs strong, so I added cucumber, left out all of the spicy stuff, and added ginger. Freakin’ yum.

So that’s what I’m obsessing about, here on the even of the 4th of July. How’s your week going? xo