Quick, take a note!

Who doesn’t love a brand new pack of post-its?  All those notes and ideas just waiting for somewhere to land?  One of my bestsellers on the craft fair circuit are what I like to call, Post-It note cozies.  They are a fun little cover for those super helpful, but not always nice to look at pads of sticky paper.  With a cozy, you have something on your desk to make you smile.

Here are a few, but not all of the cozies I have ready for my first craft fair of the season, The Orange Harvest Festival.  Come see me on Sunday, October 15 from 9 am — 3 pm, at the Orange Town House, Orange, NH.  Maybe you can take one of these little babies home with you.

The paper and stamped images are all Stampin’ Up!

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How small a scrap is too small?

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Do you find yourself justifying keeping those little bitty strips of paper that you trim off?  No need!  You can turn those scraps into something really cool.  Thanks to a demo from my friend, and long ago Stampin’ Up demonstrator, Judy, I have been using my scraps to transform regular pens into fabulous pens for years.  Here’s how!

I use the Pentel R.S.V.P. pen because it has a clear barrel, and the top end unscrews.  This pen is also refillable, so you can just keep using it.  Maybe changing the interior design to match the seasons, or your bullet journal (yep, still eye ball deep in bujo world).

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You will need a strip of patterned paper that is 3.5 inches long by .5 to .75 inches wide.  I’m using .75″ because that is the smallest width my cutter can handle.  I sometimes shave a little bit more off, if it feels too thick once you get to the next step.

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After your paper is the correct size, roll it around a pencil to make it flexible.  We want this paper to look like a tube.   You will then want to roll it tightly around the ink part of the pen to make sure it will fit inside the barrel.

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You will then slip the rolled paper into the barrel of the pen.  Like you’re on a deserted island and you are putting a rescue me (or send pizza) note into a bottle.  Then screw the end back on and voila — fancy pen, and one less piece of scrap paper littering your desk.

I am making a bunch of these suckers to sell at my upcoming fairs.  They make a great gift when paired with a little notebook or post-it note cozy.  Go ahead, make a few!

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No expectations, big results.

I am trying to broaden my artistic horizons.  I have given drawing faces a whirl (gotta get back to that), have played around with gelli printing (LOVE THIS!), and now want to try painting with a brush (not just hands and stencils).  But what should I paint?  Something minimal, simplistic, cute, but not too cute.  It could be anything, which is the problem. When it can be anything, it can easily be nothing, like a nonstarter, never gonna happen nothing.  Not this time!  I used one of my (and everyone else’s) favorite procrastination tools — Pinterest.  Pinterest is a wonderful thing. Not for the hours of time that it has sucked from my life, but for those times when I am actually looking for something; that’s when it can come in for the rescue and the win.  I spent just a short time scanning for a specific image that I wanted to draw and then paint.

 

Here are a few of the foxes I found thanks to:

http://artprojectsforkids.org

doodlekat1

https://design.tutsplus.com

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Remember this small canvas from a few weeks ago that I rolled a background onto during a gelli printing marathon?

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It looks great, but clearly it was calling out for more paint.  This is where my fox was going to go.  I broke out my new stabillo pencil and gave it a whirl.  I was kind of amazed that it drew so well on top of all that paint.

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After the initial sketch, it was time for the paint.  But since I’m a chicken and hate commitment, I first decided I would try tracing over one of the little foxes in my sketchbook to see how bad it might be.

You know, it might be the cutest, best thing I’ve ever made (not kidding):

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My lack of skill and brush ability resulted in this really great calligraphy look — so cool!

Anyway, the final result is pretty great, too.  Maybe the varying weight of the lines could be worked on, and maybe I need to add some white to the tip of the tail, but other than those minor things, I’m happy.  I tried something new while trying to keep my expectations to a minimum, and it worked out.  Go me!  What other terrifying new things might I conquer this week?  How ’bout you?

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My friend made me do it.

Last week I asked if I should start bullet journaling.  Well, the truth of matter is, I was already stalking bujo (the in-the-know- way of saying bullet journal) sites and videos before I asked the question.  I was poking around because a friend and I were wondering where we should go now that we have decided that our traditional planners just aren’t cutting the mustard.  I’m thinking I need more space in my planner for ideas and schemes, and maybe a little less structured scheduling.  It looks like a bullet journal might be the answer.  I’ve not quite dived in, but maybe waded in.  I’m up to my knees, and rubbing the cold lake water on my arms to get acclimated.

My guess is, if you are anything like me, you have stacks of unused notebooks on your bookshelves because they are just too beautiful to use.  For goodness sake, I MAKE notebooks and rarely use them because they are too cool to “wreck”.   It’s time to use some of these for something, anything.

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I am lucky to have this gorgeous notebook with quilted cover made and gifted to me by a (different and equally as lovely) friend.   For years, it has been front and center on my book shelf so I could admire (okay, stroke it lovingly) it from time to time, but I never dared mark it up.  Not sure what made me reach for it this time, but I’m glad I did.  The cover hides a perfectly suitable notebook of one sided lined paper, that is working just fine for me to figure out how bullet journaling might work for me.

To get started with all this craziness, I’m happily copying the ideas of Boho Berry, or Kara Benz.  She makes this all very understandable and fun!  You can find her all over the Interwebs: Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.  Check her out, she will lead you to all sorts of information, ideas, and inspiration!

So, here are the required images of my new bullet journal.  A few daily spreads, an exercise spread, and my future log.

Here are the photos of a prototype Traveler’s Notebook (just one of a multitude of styles of journals that lend themselves to bullet journaling) insert that I made to see what it would be like.  I’ve made a second one, and sent it off to the first, instigator friend to test for me. I wonder what she’ll think?  What makes this notebook so special?  The paper is a printed dot grid instead of lines or a graph.  I found this video on YouTube and used it to teach myself how to make my own dot grid template. Dot grid facilitates all the designing and listing that takes place in your bullet journal. I’ve used some nice, thick copier paper; I’m curious to see if there is bleed through or ghosting (the bane of the bullet journaler’s existence) with this weight paper.  Of course, per the beginning of this post, I haven’t had the courage to use it, yet!

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I’m wondering if there might be a market in my neck of the woods for TN inserts, or specialized bullet journals.  Whether there is or not, I know this project will keep my friend and I entertained, for a while, anyway.

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Garden inspiration and peaches!

It’s a lovely day here, with hints of autumn being right around the corner.  The pup and I spent some time getting a few snaps of the gardens for drawing and color inspirations for those days when it will be too cold to be out.

We have a bumper crop of apples this year, look how bent our tree is from the apply goodness!

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This is the first year that we’ve gotten pears on our pear trees.  We planted them just about 10 years ago, and we kind of thought it might never happen; but look!  Pears!  Eight pears to be exact!

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We also have cranberries (American Viburnum), and a few flowers still in bloom giving some pops of color.  I’m also really intrigued by the shabby color on this fallen birdhouse, and the pattern in the brick walkway I uncovered and relaid.  I’m thinking some of these images might end up reinterpreted onto a canvas or two.

We also had a brilliant gift from one of my brothers – peaches!!! Delicious, juicy, now frozen and ready for smoothies and pies all winter, peaches!

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All this yummy inspiration has got me thinking about a few things:  Should I be bullet journaling?  What new products can I get ready for my autumn/winter fairs?  Will my desk ever be and stay clean and organized?  Is an etsy shop really in my future?

Here’s what’s on Thora’s mind:  Can I eat that?  Can we go out and play?  While we’re outside playing, can I eat that?

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What’s on your mind these days?  Are you ready to start cosying up at home, or still out on a grand summer adventure?  Let me know what’s on your mind, maybe we can share!

 

 

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Sit still in the whirlwind.

Today I had images of majestic, deep, swirling waves and lines.  Dark, visually dense colors that would mean something, you know, Something.  Capital S. Create I said.  Be important I said.  Make something impressive I said.

Materials: Liquidtex acrylics, Dina Wakely Gesso, Gelli Arts plate, and Speedball Roller.

I got bubbles.  Cute, vibrant, fun bubbles.  Not quite the dramatic look I was going for.

Why did this come today?  I think I needed to lighten up.  Who seriously goes out to create something important, and succeeds the first time?  Maybe you shouldn’t be able to know what it is, maybe that’s for someone else to figure out.  Maybe we are supposed to just take the time that is given to sit still in the whirlwind.  Let our minds grab a breathe.  Just get our hands dirty.  Not care what comes up, or out.

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Maybe these prints and canvas will stay bubbly.  Maybe they will become Something.  Maybe bubbles are something.

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Scrap box time and intentional living.

Every once in a while I decide to just stamp some images, or mix patterned papers together, or make up a bunch of card backs.  When it gets to a point that I can’t see my desk, all this stuff eventually ends up in my scrap box (and/or basket, and/or repurposed plant pot, and/or plastic tub; you get the idea).

Today I went to the shelves and pulled out this puppy!

DSC00974And after I shook it around awhile, here’s what came out!

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Here’s the other puppy, longing to be outside on this glorious day (soon Thora, very soon!).

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Here’s the intentional living bit:

We had a substitute yoga instructor today, and while my expectations for what class would hold for me did not materialize, I came out of there feeling great!  She asked us to set an intention for our time together, and since I was feeling a little in a swirl about the unexpected change, I just told myself to go with the flow and get loose.   Intention can help. Every time I found myself starting to say “that’s not how we normally do things”, I countered with, “Amy, get loose, go with the flow”.  I’m going to try to keep up with that intention for the rest of the day, who knows what I might accomplish?

We gotta let go sometimes, folks.  What kinds of things help you stayed centered on this idea, it might be a very good time to share.

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