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Monday, January 30, 2012

Projects for 2012

Ahh, a new year, new goals, new ideas. So full of optimism and eagerness. I wish I could say this is directed at an exercise plan or a decluttering strategy, but instead all this optimism is directed at undertaking several year-long photography/scrapbooking projects, not to mention several smaller ones too! Right now I am full of plans and inspiration, so I am testing the waters to decide which projects will work best for me.

I KNOW I could not manage a Project 365 (+1 for Leap Day), but I seem to have fallen into doing a photo-a-day project for January. I have done the month-long version in the past too, and like this as a way to capture the random everyday bits of our lives and give a summary of a month.

I am considering taking on Becky Higgins' Project Life, but seriously doubt my ability to stick with it. Since I don't print photos at home, it seems like that would be an especially difficult project to keep up with. However, Donna Januzzi introduced me to the "Document 2012" idea (which Shimelle Laine originated in 2010). This seems to be a bit like Project Life in a more manageable monthly format and smaller scale. I haven't ruled out Project Life, and in fact, I have been saving paper bits and jotting notes to use in some sort of project like this. I plan to print my January photos and do a sort of practice run of Project Life, then decide from there how to continue for the year.

I love Rebecca Cooper's Simple Things weekly photo challenge -- just a reminder to stop and consider a simple moment of the week and document it. If I do this weekly, I think it would make a nice little album to have 52 Simple Things at the end of the year.

In a similar vein, I have joined the 52 Photos in 52 Weeks Flickr group and completed Weeks 1 and 2. In this challenge, Monika Wright and Lisa Ottosson give a theme word for the photo of the week. Again, this would make a nice collection at the end of the year, although in week 3 I was already a bit stumped with the theme "community." I had a few ideas, but several of them were not ones I wanted to make available on the internet. I haven't given up on this one, but I can see it will be a challenge.

Ella Publishing is running the "Take 12" challenge -- take 12 photos on the 12th of each month (it's okay if you end up doing the 13th or 20th or whatever). I did this challenge this month too, and already am finding myself thinking about ideas for next month.

Last year, I took a family photo on the 11th of each month (in 2011), and while that album is not completed (big surprise, right?), I like looking back at the photos and plan to do this again, just moving our family photo day to the 12th. So this actually fits nicely with the "Take 12" project.

So far, I am "doing" all of these projects/challenges, and using January as a trial month. At the end of the month, I can look back and see what did or did not work, and decide how I want to continue. I love the feeling of having plans for projects, but I want to love the feeling of completing projects too, without being disappointed in myself.

What are you working on in 2012?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Simple Things :: 4

My company moved to a new building in a new city (which is also my home) last month, and every day when I park in the garage, I see this building across the street.
Simple Things 4

It's some kind of artists' gallery or workspace. I love being greeted with that building-sized quote every day, and seeing it again on my way home. I like to sort of mull it over and think about the things I want to be creating -- memories, traditions, craft projects, stories, scrapbook pages, impressions -- to last beyond my lifetime. It reminds me to treasure the simple things in this all-too-short life. (It also makes me wish that more buildings painted inspiring quotes on their outside walls.)

Participating in the "Simple Things" photographs on Rebecca Cooper's blog.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Simple Things :: 3

On Monday while my oldest worked on his "facts about lizards" project, I spruced up a little wreath for our front door. The small all-white berry wreath from Target was cute, but it didn't look quite right on our white front door and for that reason, it has moved around several locations in our home.

Simple Things 3a

I added red berry sprigs to the white and switched the white ribbon out for a red one, and I finished my simple project before my son finished his lizard project. Such a simple change, but it has been a happy greeting every time I return home.

(You can see the original wreath here as it served as a hiding spot for our Christmas elf.)

Participating in the "Simple Things" photographs on Rebecca Cooper's blog.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Simple Things :: 2

Play-doh and Batman tattoos -- the simple things that can make a little boy's day.
Simple Things :: 2

 Last week was a tough week at work, and I was wary of "Friday the 13th." But after spending the afternoon with my boys doing Play-doh, Lego Ninjas, and Batman tattoos, and my husband bringing take-out home for dinner, our Friday the 13th turned into a wonderfully fun family evening.

Participating in the "Simple Things" photographs on Rebecca Cooper's blog.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Simple Things :: 1

My younger son started showing a greater interest in reading this week. After my older son completed his daily reading time, Joey was eager to demonstrate his abilities with Dr. Seuss' ABCs. I loved watching the two of them reading together -- this little moment makes me so happy. (A teary, over-tired meltdown erupted shortly after I took the photo, but that's all just part of the day.)

Simple Things

Participating in the "Simple Things" photographs on Rebecca Cooper's blog.

1/52 Photos: New

Last year Lisa Ottosson and Monika Wright organized the "52 Photos in 52 Weeks" project with a photo prompt for each week of the year. They are doing it again, and I thought I might join in, even if only some weeks. I like the idea of having an album at the end of the year with just one photo from each week. So here goes -- Photo One of 52 Photos in 52 Weeks...

Week 1 of 52: New

New snowboots, tags still on, sit unused on January 7 while the weather is a beautiful 63 degrees in Connecticut. A surprising contrast to January 2011!

52Photos badge

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Inspired by Pinterest in 2011

I started out using Tumblr at the beginning of 2011, but soon had to see what all the excitement was about with Pinterest. To me, Pinterest seems to have more crafts/creative ideas than I found on Tumblr, and I like being able to organize my pins into boards. I made the switch and have been addicted to browsing ever since. As I look back at my creativity in 2011, I owe much to Pinterest, including:

Learning to Crochet
I found so many lovely pins of crochet projects, I actually bought yarn and a hook and taught myself a few basic stitches. I'm proud to say I made two scarves sized just right for the boys, plus several scarves for their stuffed pals (good way to practice), and I'm nearly done with a scarf for myself.

Framed Word Art Gift
I printed the free Christmas scripture word art from A Simply Klassic Home and framed it as a gift for my older son's principal.
Christmas printable framed gift

Good Eats
For Thanksgiving, I made this turkey(ish) veggies and dip platter, based on this Turkey Veggie Platter from Eating with Food Allergies.

Thanksgiving Turkey Veggie Platter
Admittedly our turkey, made with a loaf of round pumpernickel to hold a spinach dip, is less artistically formed, but the boys had fun making it, and I received compliments for being so clever.

A few days before Christmas, the boys and I made up two yummy pretzel/chocolate treats I saw on Pinterest -- Holiday Pretzel Treats from Family Fun (also called Rudolph Noses on some pins, using only red MandMs) and Pretzel Hugs from Cookies and Cups. The boys loved helping and naming all the reindeer noses, and our family loved eating them -- I even got a few requests for the "recipes."

Christmas Elf Mischief
Elf hiding in the freezer
Since it was our third year with Sprinkles the Elf, we already had moved past the "sitting on the shelf" ideas to a few silly tricks and such, but thanks to Pinterest, Sprinkles had increasingly clever hiding places and mischief to make. Poor little elf, he had more inspiration than he had days or energy to execute! (Sprinkles hanging out in the freezer in the photo above was inspired by Beatrice.Killam's photo on Flickr.) 

30 Days of Gratitude Mini Book
30 Days of Gratitude - mini book, cover
Having pinned a few mini books from Lisa Ottosson, when I saw her Gratitude List Mini Book, I was inspired to make my own and keep a record throughout November. It was a perfect way to focus on a month of giving thanks.
Thank you, Pinterest, for providing so much inspiration in 2011! If only I could drag myself away from the never-ending stream of creativity and MAKE more of what I pin. Here's to plenty of creativity and inspiration in 2012!