vrijdag 31 januari 2014

Currently; 24.01.2013 and 31.01.2013

Each week I'm taking 5 minutes and record what's happening right now.

This is last week's card. We had a familly weekend and I didn't have acces to a computer.
** Jack is my 4,5 year old nephew..

This weeks card
** My super secret project is soon to be revealed... 

woensdag 29 januari 2014

Favorite Reads

I am an avid book reader.
Ever since I've learned to read I read pretty much everything I can get my hands on.
I am always willing to try out something new. But I do have some favorites.

First up: Cecelia Ahern.
I love all of her books. I started off with  "Where rainbows end" but quickly got hooked and bought everything I could find. I think she is most know for "P.S I love you".  Which I found a bit too sad..
My favorite is "A place called here" It is a story about the place where all missing things (e.g socks and stuff) and missing persones end up. Most of her books are kind of modern fairytales. Very realisitc but mostly with a twist.

Second on the pile: "eat, pray, love" by Elizabeth Gilbert.
I picked this up one whilse waiting on a trainstation. "Back in the day" I still bought books based on their cover and this one appealed to me instantly. I finished in 2 days and loved it! One moment you're crying and the next you're laughing out loud People really give you funny looks when you do that on a train...
It is a wonderfull story about finding yourself.

Moving down te pile is "the devine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood" by Rebecca Wells
I bought this because it was on sale and had lots of pages. It is a very complicated story but I love the way how it really sucks you in. You just want to know how it all turnes out and you keep on reading..

Next up: "looking for Alaska" by John Green.
I believe this is more of a book for teens but that didn't stop me. Practically nothing can stop me from reading a book...
I think I saw it somewhere in Flickr in the "what's in my bag?" group.
It starts out as a story about of boy going of to school out of town but the end is really different ( not going to spoil it, go read it). I've recommended it to several students for their english liturature reading list.

Then we have "Book Lover" by Jennifer Kaufman & Karen Mack.
Another book I mainly bought because of the title and cover. It tells the story about a woman who is addicted to books. It starts out as a funny book but at some point you realise she is addicted to books like some people are addicted to alcohol or drugs. It does however have a happy ending. And is a good read.

I love books with happy endings. I am willing to settle for a sad ending but if there is one thing I can't stand it's an open ending... I find that very unsatisfying..

Bottom one on the pile is a very old book. "Désirée" by Annemaier Selinko
My grandmother once gave it to me. It's a journal type book. Well actually it is a set of 2 books.
The story is told by a jong woman in France right before Napoleon got to power. She is middle-class with wealthy parents. She writes about befriending Napoleon before he became emperor. The book tells about how he got to power, the time when he is in power and how he looses grip on things and is send to Elba.
It gives you an insight in those years and in more fun to read then historybooks.
I think I've read it probably about a dozen times.. and still love it. If you can get your hands on it I highly reccomend it. If you are into historic novels.

So these are some of my favorite books to read. I've read and re-read all of them so many times!
Are you a reader?
What are your all-time favorite books?

woensdag 22 januari 2014

Perfect Afternoon

Sometimes things just are perfect.
Nico & Abby picked me up from work and we went to Amsterdam.
We found a parkingspot near the ferry to Central Station.
After parking we took the ferry, crossed through Central Station and walked to the city.

First a stop; Subway for lunch. We even found a place to sit and eat our sandwich (steak & cheese for him and Chicke Fajita for me).
After that we went to the top floor of the "Bijenkorf" where there is a small "Paperchase" store. We attracted quite a bit of odd looks; Nico had to pick Abby up because she can't take the escelators (Abby is our 2 year old miniature Bull-terriër). People seem to find picking up your Chihuahua perfectly normal but when you have a small bull-terriër under your arm.... hihi

At the "Paperchase" I immediately went for the sale section. My sister-in-law (who works at the Rotterdam-store) tipped me off that the sale would end this sunday.
While Nico and Abby checked out the rest of the floor (very patiently) I brouwsed.
A pad of writingpaper, v-pen, and some postcards went home with me.

After that we had a nice walk to "de Vlieger". A huge papershop in Amsterdam. I needed some white paper bags. But I also took a rol of masking tape, 2 pen-tips I had been looking for, a new pen holder and some beautiful Japanese paper home with me. I would have taken so much more home but I restrained myself.
When we came out of the store the sun had come out and we had a lovely walk back to Central Station. After a quick visit to Starbucks (an double espresso for him and a chai tea latte with soymilk for me) we took the ferry across the Amstel and went back home.

all my finds...

And now, I am exhausted from all the walking. But I had a really nice afternoon. I'm so happy with all my little bits of paper.
All afternoons should be like this; shopping for paper, nice weather and drinking Chai Tea's

And how was your day today?

maandag 20 januari 2014

December Daily; the end-result

A little applause please: Today I've finished my December Daily album!

Before I share the full album,
I really had a hard time making the pages this year. It just didn't sit right. Making the pages was so much more work than I really wantend to do.
So about half-way through the month I kind of gave up on the whole project. That's why there is one day missing.
Also a big factor in my giving up was the quality of the pictures printed by our home printer. They where just awefull. And having them all printed out would have been costly. But I really didn't want to leave the project half-finished. So I decided to , to hell with the budget, have the rest of the pictures printed out at HEMA.
(the only place here in Holland that lets you import your pictures straight from Instagram, that I know of)
It was less expensive then I thought it would be..
With all the pictures printed I had no more excuese not to finish it.

But for next , oh wait this year, I'm not shure if I want to do another december daily.
Definitively not in this format. But december is still a long way away so I still have time to decide.

And now, without further ramblings, here is my finished December Daily album:

I am so glad I can cross this project of my to do list.
Did you do a December Daily? Is yours finished?
Share a link to your December Daily in the comments.
I would love to see how yours turned out!

vrijdag 17 januari 2014

Currently 17.01.2014

Each week I take a moment to record the right-now.
I use the currently cards from rukristin.com

Today's list:

What are you doing right now?

maandag 13 januari 2014

One Little Word 2014

This year I wanted to try the "one little word" thing. ( among other things..)
I've seen severeal people blog about it, seen it pass by on instgram and it seems interesting.
I've read about it on the Ali Edwards Blog, since it is her idea I thought it would be a good place to find out how and what exactly it is.
I found it hard te really get a clear idea what it actually is. Ali is hosting a class but I have no intention of signing up for that.
So now what?

I've decided to wing it. And it scares me.
I like it when a project has clear guidelines and step-by-step instructions to follow. It makes it all clear and easy to folow ( and still I seem to have trouble completing projects..)
So it will be interesting how I will do with a project without guidelines.

First task; pick a word.
That is the easy part. I've had a word in my brain for the last month or 2.
So my word for 2014 is Balance.

Balance is the thing I struggle with most.
Finding the balance between all the things I want to do and all the things I need to do.
Balance between work and fun
Balance between all and nothing
Balance between beïng active and rest

So this year I am going to see if I can find some balance.

I am not really shure in which form I will do this project. I am an avid journal keeper so there will be some writing invloved for shure.
But I also want to branch out so I am leaning towards making a sort of art-journal.
But we'll see.
I have pulled an sketchbook (A4) from my stash and intend to use this for the whole thing.
But for the moment I still have nothing to show you guys.
What are you doing with your one little word? Leave a link in the comments so you can inspire others.

I will post here regularly about this project. If you can't wait for that; follow me on instagram and be the first to know!

vrijdag 10 januari 2014

Currently 10.01.2014 and something extra

This year I am continuing with the currently list challenge.
I'm taking a moment each week to record what's going on in my life right now.

this week

I totally forgot to upload last weeks card ..whoops..

And the something extra I promised?
Kristin (rukristin.com) who thought up the whole currently challenge, is looking for 2 Currently ambassadors. So go to her blog and apply for this awesome "job"!
There is also a facebookgroup you can join. Just search: "currently list journaling challenge" and join the fun.

Also she is offering an exclusive one-month-only special edition every month!
For january she made a very stylish grey edition.
You can buy it HERE!

What are you wainting for? Get printing and fill out your card!

woensdag 8 januari 2014

Custom made Blogplanner

When I started blogging I soon found out I needed something to help organise my crazy mind.
I constantly think up stuff but just as easily forget things.

After some research in blog-land (thank you google) I found that a lot of bloggers work with notebooks to keep track of idea's , planners to schedule posts and scrapbooks for inspiration and post-it's.
Being a blog-newbie and not shure how thing would unfold I didn't want to many options and start small.
I pulled a folder (from my neverending stash of stationary supplies.. ) and filled it with some quickly self-made calenders. I also dedicated a notebook (pulled fromn that same endless stationary stash) for idea's and inspiration.
But I quickly realised that this set-up didn't work for me. The planner was too big (A4) and the notebook stayed empty because it was also too big to lug around with me ( because I already carry 2 notebooks, a planner and an endless amount of pens and other stuff..)
So for 2014 I wanted something more portable.
With the new year  fast approaching new planners where available everywhere. But I couldn't find one that would work for me. I wanted monthly pages and everything I could find was weekly. Most with a small monthly overview. But too small to plan my posts on.
And then there was the issue of the idea-notebook. I already carry 2 notebooks and 2014 would also add to that a small planner for my daily drawing. So adding yet another notebook..ugh..

Then it hit me: why not make my owm blog-planner?!
And while I'm at it, why not combine a planner and notebook in one.

I selected some nice patterned paper for the front and back cover. And one for the devider page between the planner section and the note section.
The patterned paper was already in A5 so that's what I stuck with.
I made some simple monthly overview pages with enough room to use small post-it's for my blog-topics. Or use pencil to write then down.
I choose thick paper to give it some durability. For the note-section I just used plain printingpaper.

Then came the issue of how to make a "book" out of it. Usually I use bookbindingrings for albums and stuff. But for this that just wasn't what I had in mind. I wanted it to be like a real note-book/planner.
But having things bound at the copyshop is actually quite pricey. So in swooped my lovely boyfriend. He bought me a biningmachine! (we are considering it my pay for doing most of the paperwork for his business)
Wirebind machines cost a small fortune (who knew?) so it's a plastic thing binder. Nevertheless I am so happy with it!!!

and this is the result:

first month: I decorated with some washi and filled out my planned posts

an empty month in the future 
( note: yes the printing is a bit croocked; I had some issues and was just to lazy to print everything out a second time)

The notebook devider page

it's really thin perfect for carrying it with me if I want

I am really happy with the end-result! Now, if you are struggeling with finding a usefull blogplanner I am happy to make something for your specific desires. Just let me know and we'll see what we can think up!

maandag 6 januari 2014

Mood Blanket ; week 1

One of my big projects for this year is making a Mood Blanket.
I came across this idea on Instagram.
It's an idea from Mummy_stacey. Basicly you crochet (or knit) a square a day or week in a color that matches your mood that week/day.
I chose to crochet one granny square a week. Mainly because with my fybromyalgia I'm not able to crochet everyday. And I know myself well enough to know that some days I'm just to busy to create.

So first up , in preperation for this project, was a trip to my local yarn shop. I could have just as easily orderd my yarn online. But I wanted to feel the yarn and see in person how the colors matched. Also I love buying things in a actual shop.
Now I always get a bit greedy when I'm in that shop. There is so much nice stuff!
After a bit of looking around I settled on the Paris Drops yarn. It's a quite thick yarn, I've never worked with that before, but I've heard it's lovely to work with. My biggest reason to go for this was that the colors really spoke to me. 

I tried to make a good mix of happy colors for good moods and to include some darker shades for darker moods.
When I got home and started assigning moods to colors I realised I was one color short. I really love these colors together and don't really want to add another one so I deceided to leave it. 
To keep track of which color represents which mood I made a small color-mood-chart in a little notebook. 

I'm also planning to write a little bit about each week. About why I chose that color for that week. 

With all the preperations done it was time to start my first square!!
For this first week I went with the pink. Because I am so excited for 2014 and all the possibilities it gives.

The yarn did take some getting used to. I am very much in love with the color though! It took me about 20 minutes to finish the square. I have since added another row because was scared I would end up with a small blanket. 
I am really into crocheting right now. It's something that doesn't require much space and that I can do on the coucht while watching tv. My heart wants to crochet more squares. But my head ( and hands) tell me to take it easy.
I can't wait for the blanket to take shape =).

I'll keep you posted on the progress!

vrijdag 3 januari 2014

My 2014 projects

A new year, time for some new projects.
I always see lots of interesting projects on several blogs, Instagram and Pintrest. But there is only so many I can realisticly take on.
In the spirit of not taking on too many major projects (one of my intentions for this year)  I made a small selection of projects that I want to focus on this year.
All of the other projects I come across will be put on the "maybe/someday" list. That's where I keep track of all the things I want to do someday.

The Projects for this year are:

* The mood-blanket 
I am jumping on the "mood blanket" bandwagon. I will crochet a granny square every week in a color that reflects my mood. I stmbled upon this project on Instagram. It's a mind-child from mummy_stacey.
I went to the wool-shop yesterday and selected some awesome colors. More details on that in an upcoming post. I also made my first square yesterday. Along with crocheting I also keep a small journal about wich colors I choose for wich week. And why I chose that color.
There's also the option to make (by crocheting, knitting or what ever method you prefer) a daily square instead of a weekly square. But with all of the other things I have going on (work, the house, a social life, Abby and the ratties) and my fybromyalgia I opted for the weekly square.

* Draw everyday
I really want to pick up drawing again. I'm folowing Lou Niestadt's advice and intend to make a small drawing everyday. I would like to ge inspired by the things around me but will also use the doodle-a-day prompts from ellolovey of Instagram.
I bought a small planner for this project. It's just a cheap one with poor quality paper. I hope that will cure me of the 'blank-page-fear" and the need for me to make perfect doodles.

* The Currently challenge
The Currently challenge is a mind-child from Kristin from rukristin.com. It is all about taking a moment, no more than 5 minutes, and record what is going on in your life right now. I have been doing this for a few months in 2013. I love how easy she makes it with those very cute little printable cards. I really only takes 5 minytes to fill out all the questions. At the moment I paste them into my journal (the december ones went into my December Daily album). For 2014 I'm thinking of making them into a mini-album ...

*One Little Word
A project by Ali Edwards. It's about chosing your Word for the coming year and seeing how it fits into your life. I've seen some of my favorite bloggers take part in this and loved how they worked with their word.
This is the project I have been debating about wether or not to do for the longest time. Partly because I had no intention of siging up for the actual class. And without the structure of a class or assignments to hold on to the idea of what to do with my word was a bit vague.
But this one word kept calling me. So I intend to make an art-journal about my word. Not exactly shureabout the actual content but I will just let it develope itself.
The word I chose, or rather the word that chose me, is : Balance.
It is a thing I struggle with everyday. So it will be interesting to see how this project unfolds in the course of 2014.

So these are my main projects for 2014. It's a little bit of everything that I love to do.
What are your major projects for 2014?

woensdag 1 januari 2014

My Intentions for 2014

I am not really a fan of resolutions. For some reason they don't work for me. Maybe it's because of the pressure to be perfect. So the moment I fall "of the wagon" I quit on them all together. So usually by the half of january I just forget about them..

Some years ago I started with "intentions" rather than "resolutions".
Now I'm not saying that I am better at sticking to them. Well at least not all of them. I always try to make my intentions a do-able as possible but sometimes Life gets in the way.
But I like starting each year with an idea of where I want to go. And what I would like to achieve.
I find it hard not to be too ambitious and keep my intentions to a manageable number. I try to chose only 4 or 5 items. And forumulate them as clearly as possible. A clear plan makes it easier to accomplish.

I usually write them down in my journal and then make a copy that I paste in my planner. Because out of sight equals out of mind.

These are my intentions for 2014:

* I will try to listen to what my body tells me. That means making sure I get enough sleep, sticking to my diet to keep my troubles with the fybromyalgia to a minimum, taking my meds and not taking on too many projects.

* I intend to keep my desk clean and organised. That means tackling bills and stuff when they come in and not letting the to-do things pile up. It also means that I will finish projects and put my creating-stuff away when I finish a project.

* I want to expand my blog and post regularly. With that I mean I want to write more posts in advance, find a balance between Life-posts and creative posts and apply to write guest-posts at some of my favorite blogs.

* I want to try generating an income by making things.
   Maybe an Etsy store, having a stall on a market.. yet to be determined...

* I want to expand on my snail-mail activities.
I want to send more postcrossingcards. Well maybe not more (sending out mail across the globe costs a small fortune) but at least on a more regular basis.
And I would like to find a penpal. Someone who appreciates the art of sending letters. (If your interested drop me a line via email of leave me a comment).

I think this is a nice list of things I would like to achieve in 2014.
Do you have any intenstions or resolutions for 2014?
Leave a comment and let me know...