I bought myself an ipad mini for my birthday - so inbetween homework and a bit of freelance working I've finally been able to explore apps and games and stuff. I'm currently nursing an addiction to Plants vs. Zombies, Badland, and a few Adventure Time games...he he.
I'm finally on instagram, too!
You can follow me right here, if you want.
It feels pretty funny wielding the big ipad mini to take pictures outside thus far - lol - so since I don't have a phone it's been mostly taking pictures around the house (plus, we finally got the majority of stuff unpacked and away and the place is looking spiffy!) But one day I'll get more personal stuff on there...once life involves more than homework. lol. Oh, school.
Are you on Instagram? Link me up!
Oh yeah! I turned 29 a few weeks ago... :)
I just remembered that I had a '28 before 29' list, though!
Prooobably not a good sign that I forgot it existed. :) lol.
Let's see how I did on those goals over the last year:
I didn't finish it all. Not even halfway! But I'm okay with that.
I'll just keep it rolling this year.
It was a pretty lofty list anyway, and this year flew by like a snap what with my halves of second & third year of university, summer classes, work, buying our apartment, moving, going to Mexico, and then the mister breaking his foot. lol. Ah! I haven't really had time to reflect much on last year yet, truth be told. I'm still stuck in the whirlwind of it, maybe?
Here's the review of what I did get done:
3. Wear Red Lipstick: Kay - didn't really do this. Tried it at home. Felt not like myself. Not a fan of the red on my lips. Don't really want to make myself do something that doesn't feel like me...so I cancel this one.
4. Learn Illustrator/InDesign: Can you ever really say you're done learning programs like these enough to check it off a list? I don't think so...and I have a ways to go. But I did learn both of them a ton more than I knew them before this year. Illustrator was the big one - and I used it for a few projects. Begrudgingly. lol. And I still don't get the concept of artboards, either.
6. Get a Record Player: We got our darling record cabinet from the most amazing estate sale ever. It's been super-fun, so far. And it's fun when people come over because it's such a novelty! We try to find the strangest records: for example, "Dinosaurs" and "Sounds of Australia".
7. Go to at least one hot place: Went to Mexico for a friends wedding in May. It was awesome! We've never been away with a group that big and it was so fun. I think it might've been one of the only times we got away over the year though - sad! And weird, for us.
10. Get my big tattoo: Yesss. So happy this one finally got done! I have about an hour and a half left to get done before it's finished and I can share some pictures of it... :)
18. Camp/Hike at least once: Yay! We did this one. Only once, but still. There are many reasons why we didn't go more than once: we used to backpack camp a lot, but my rib injury was acting up when carrying heavy things, so that just wasn't going to work - since a heavy pack is the essence of that. Sad! Between full-time work, a summer class, both of our parents (and some friends) visiting, and trying to unpack/settle into the house before school started again: it just didn't happen a lot. And renting a car every weekend we want to go is an expensive pain in the ass. We went on the one annual camping trip with the same group of friends we go with every year and it's always super fun - and we're hoping to buy a cheap lil car to save the trouble of having to rent one so we can camp a lot again this year. We miss it!
19. Learn to shoot my digital camera manually: I learned this! So excited! Kay, well - sort of. I know how to do it, but I struggle remembering the direction to turn the aperture and shutter speed, still. lol. I mean, I know by doing how to do it, but I get mixed up on which way lets the most light in and what not by the numbers. I took a class for this at the beginning of last year and it was great: it was self-directed and I got to explore a lot with blurry photos and a fun macro lense attachment. I should share those here!
20. Buy a home: Dude! I'm so so happy and thankful about this one! Biggest milestone thus far for the mister and I. I'm still so amazed two little contract-working animation-workers got approved for a mortgage. What?! It's a tiny 650 square-foot apartment, but it's awesome. And its ours. Thankful for this one, and having so much fun pulling it all together.
21. Vintage Couch: Yellow velvet! My dream. So crazy that I actually found one. lol.
25. Process book of my own: I actually just started this last week, finally. I'm the type to doodle on post-its at work, so I had piles of these doodles sitting around full of one-day ideas that needed to be housed and collected somewhere. :)
27. Practice wearing high heels: Last new years, I wore the worst yellow velvet cheap high heels, which I couldn't walk in, which I think inspired this goal. But really, now, I have no desire to practice wearing them. They're not me. I don't really want them to be. Give me some chucks anyday over em! I did wear a cute pair of yellow wedges to a friends wedding, though, and that was muuuuch nicer than heels.
28. Keep my files organized: My paper files are organized! It's a miracle! I went through boxes of unorganized paperwork from the last 7 years and finally got it all in a filing cabinet. lol. Aaah. Feels so good. My computer files, however, are another story.
So there it is! 12 before 28, done. 16 before 30 to go...lol.
This has been stuck in my head for a long long time.
Write, write, write.
For a while, I've been struggling with how to integrate design stuff into this here previously all craft all-the-time blog of mine (do I say that every post?). Everytime I go to post something, I've been thinking - do you guys want to see my type sketches? Do you care what I doodle during the day? Do you want to know what I'm doing at school?
You, you, you.
(You are really important!)
But here's the thing: I think those thoughts are where I've been getting stuck.
I remember when I started blogging in 2007 it was for me. That's what made it fun. That's what made me love it and stick with it consistently. Truthfully: I've been a little scared to change directions and somewhere in there I lost my ever-changing story.
Going back to the podcast:
Gala and Srinivas Rao both agree that behind the scenes of most genuine blogs, you're really just writing for yourself. You're giving advice to the younger version of yourself. The one that was maybe lost, unsure of where she was going, not sure what steps to take next, looking for something inspiring - on whatever topic that may be.
For me, I'm going to think back to when I was working full-time about 5 years ago and dreaming of being a designer in my spare time. I would come home after work and design intricately collaged paper lines and embroider illustrations and draw little characters until the wee hours of the morning. I barely slept, I loved this extra 'work' so much. I knew nothing about typography or which designers I admired or - heck - what hand-lettering was. I was so nervous to apply for design school. I want to write for that girl. That one who has no idea what kerning is, yet. But who wants to. Who is unsure of how to develop her own style, but wants to refine it. Who needs technical skills and designers to be inspired by and look up to. Who needs resources.
From now on, I'm going to write for that me.
I am going to share what I'm working on. What I've worked on. School projects. So-cool-it's-geeky design stuff. What inspires me. Who I look up to. Vintage things I love. My house. My life. My photography. Stuff I like of all sorts. I'm all over the place, really. I feel like we all are. And who knows, maybe I'll collage or art journal or something again one day. Right?
I have been sharing some of this stuff, but it feels hesitant, to me. Blogging photos of my everyday life and the crafts I stayed up all night making is no longer inspiring or relevant to me anymore. I stay up really late making vastly different things, now. I feel like I'd rather talk about why we don't have a microwave or cell phones. Why I didn't change my name when I got married. Which authors I think are rad. Why we want to live on a quiet island one day.
So over the next little bit, I'll be updating archives. Finding my footing. Taking stuff up and down. Sharing. Attempting to brand myself to move into a new chunk of life and work. If you'd like to see what I'm up to, please hang in there with me. :)
Did you guys have an awesome holiday?
I feel like my head is just poking out from under the pile of blankets I've been under for the last few weeks. lol. Happy Christmas and New Years and all that good stuff, guys!
The mister and I stayed at home this year, so there was a lot of couch-snuggling. And new matching onesies. And our tiny potted tree. I ended up getting a bit of time off both work and school (yay!), so when I was sufficiently chilled out I had time to get to work decorating and putting everything in our not-so-new-anymore house in place. It still has a bit to go. It's just taking so long because open storage and not enough of it is proving to be a struggle. lol. It feels nice to go through every. single. thing and donate what we don't need, though. So nice.
Anyway: New year, new (big) goals - right?
I'm trying to keep it big and simple this year. Things I really really need to do:
That might be a dreary picture to start the new year with, but it's awesome at the same time, right? Genius. And sometimes I feel like we shoot ourselves in the foot with all we make ourselves aim to do at the beginning of a year. It can get to be too much and essentially impossible to actually do resolutions sometimes, right? I know I'm guilty of it.
I'm trying to keep mine simple this year.
I'm determined not to shoot myself in the foot with what I aim to do.
1: I'm in my third year of school and I don't have any work compiled in a portfolio of any sort. It's impossibly hard to do when working & taking classes. It's a priority now, though. I need to prep myself to work as a designer, come the end of this semester! 2: I started doing yoga a few months ago but with finishing up my tattoo (I can't yoga while it heals), finals, and the holidays my good run dwindled down to nothing. I love it. I need to make it a priority as soon as the last bit of the tatt is finished this weekend. It just makes me feel so good. 3: I have a million ideas and I need to finally pursue some of them. This is always on my list-to-do. It's frustrating. And a silly thing to be frustrated about. 4: Self explanatory. And so hard to do as a student. 5: Somewhere this year, I stopped taking pictures and recording life. I can chalk it up to just being too busy, but I miss it. I think I'm finding digital overwhelming and I don't want to go through folders of photos. At all. I might stick to need-to-be-more-thoughtful film shots, though.
Wish me luck! What are you resolving to do this year?
This is something I've wanted to address here for a long while.
I used to scrapbook.
Like, obsessively. For years and years.
I started out doing it just for fun: when I moved to Vancouver in 2006 I had already been scrapbooking my highschool pictures and stuff for a while...but when I moved and started a blog, I became connected to this big network of online scrapbooking galleries and forums and other blogs written by super-talented paper-cutters. There has always been a cool side to it. (For reals, I know you're rolling your eyes if you don't know the industry at all right now). Back in those days, there were girls breaking the box left and right: it was kind of the heyday. Swears garnished pages, they became mixed with art journalling techniques, you didn't need to just make pages about kids: I was there. Give me that brand of scrapbooking, please. It was then I realized that other people are as obsessed about scrapbooking as I am! Danielle and Elsie and Nisa and Kristina Contes influenced me greatly. Cool girls scrapbooking? Yes.
It took me a long time to find my own style: I ended up spending a ton of time on pages because for me, they were never just pages. They were works of art. I needed an artistic outlet. To work with my hands. To not really think about anything, sometimes, and just express, make, scrumple, paint, spill, scribble. All that good stuff.
I then realized that companies had design teams - what? - and was encouraged through sharing my pages on my newly-started blog, so I tried out for Fancy Pants Designs and worked with them for a year. I delved into it full-on, after that - loving to get to scrapbook and share my pages and by inspired and try to inspire, in turn. Such a great community! I worked with a few great, small, vintage-inspired kit clubs - Rachel's Red Velvet Kit Club and The Dozens. It was super-fun. I learned a lot about myself and what I like artistically, in the process. I ended up designing sample pages for lots of companies along the way: Bella Blvd, Pink Paislee, Sassafras Lass, American Crafts, and lots more. I started making pages for trade shows and blogs, typing up technique tutorials, and completeing monthly assignments for companies I was working with in exchange for free product.
Eventually, I got to develop stamps with the lovely Michele of Purple Onion Designs (want to see?). I eventually ended up collaborating with Sassafras Lass designing two handmade-style paper lines (which I will add to this blog's archive very soon).
It was kind of a win win. For a while.
It was here that I realized the extent of my lack of knowledge about design. CMYK color swatches? I have no idea. I thank Sassafras immensely for taking a chance on me and letting me handmake paper designs and opening my eyes to this: that I need to learn more about it if I'm ever going to successfully pull off this whole design thing myself one day.
Eventually, this all made me realize some things:
1. Wow! I know nothing about design or print specs or vector design software.
2. This is what I really want to do: design lines & patterns, etc.
3. I'm spending a lot of time working for other companies here, not myself
So it was time to choose me over all other things, and I said goodbye to these companies and 'free stuff' and scrapbooking and signed up for design school. Something which many people told me I didn't need - but, really - it forces you to spend time figuring out, creatively and visually, what you want to do while learning technical stuff you need.
These choices means I had less time, and so I stopped scrapbooking.
I'm still figuring out how to fix this for myself - after all this history, I do miss it a lil bit. I'm a natural collect-all-the-bits-to-tell-the-story-er. And I'm sometimes at a loss as to how to transition this place from that to wherever I'm headed now: away from that. it's kind of been what ym online presence revolved around for a long time.
I've been thinking about doing quick digital books to document the mister and I's lives. And perhaps a small art journal for myself. I do a lot of process books for school, which are pretty much old school scrapbooks where you paste every aspect of a project in with doodles, drawings, and memorabilia, so I might keep something like that on the side. But the fact of the matter is, I just don't have the time to spend on it, anymore. (And I have nothing against those who do! Nor am I saying that you need time on your hands to scrapbook. I know how squishing it in when you don't is, too, trust me).
Do I have any regrets about the scrapbooking days of yore?
(Other than the amount of storage space scrapbook pages require? hah.) No. It was through scrapbooking that I fully realized my love for both illustration and design. Scrapbooking is essentially layout design: the organizing of elements on a page to communicate something. What?! I know, right. It's just hands-on design, in a sense. If you're me. Or anything like me.
I would still really really love to design paper, one day. Designing paper lines is so fun! Illustrating one would be a dream. It's just such a fun, trendy, ever-changing industry. And I have so many ideas for patterns it's ridiculous! One day I hope to pitch something. When I'm good and ready. Also, I still think that scrapbooking your memories can be rad, and is not just a craft designated to older ladies. It can be more than just stickers and pictures of your children: it can be art. It is what you make it, and that's what I always loved about it. You're recording your own personal self in a creative way that can and will be looked back on fondly. :)
How do you feel about scrapbooking? Do you? Don't you? Did you used to?
I feel like a lot of scrapbookers online go in full-throttle and then stop scrapbooking completely and it's such a weird phenomenon. Or maybe just the it's-art-not-scrapbooking scrapbookers? Do assignments get stifling and mundane, or is that what keeps you going? Do they inspire you, instead? I would love to hear your story with scrapbooking. Please share!
I love me a blurry photo. Always. This is actually a late summer sunset from our balcony,
but seeing as it gets dark around 5pm right now, it seems fitting.
I find that pretty bittersweet. I love the sun, so I don't like that it gets dark early...but at the same time I love snuggling up at home with some blankets and the mister and Netflix. lol.
In celebration of the semester I just survived, of course.
I am so happy that the crazyness that is school is done, for now. lol. I don't even have a full courseload and it's nuts! I have no idea how I managed to work and do it before. Third year design is crazy. I was planning on a very productive-but-restful break - because of how crazy busy life has felt we decided to stay home this year in lieu of travelling to get lots of rest, take a break, but at the same time finally get our apartment in order. A bit of both, right? I was going to start working on my design portfolio, too. It's long overdue. Along with the holiday stuff - parties, making a yummy meal, going to the ballet, decorating a little tree. Suddenly, instead of doing these things I find myself at a new job at a small animation studio. I'm just going to go with that, because cartoons are always fun. I'm always thankful when little jobs come my way, and with this I still get time off around the holidays. I'm just going to take that as a sign that it's time to continue procrastinating my portfolio. lol. And instead paint some walls and hang some pictures at night, which is actually fun disguised as work, for me.
The mister and I went to a hand-lettering workshop the other day and milled around a craft fair, and we have been addicted to "River Monsters", so there's that. lol. I'm going to just go with the flow and enjoy the holiday, maybe pretend that school doesn't ramp up again in a few short weeks, and try to start blogging my work here, regularly, instead. Fingers crossed!
Thanks to those of you who still peek in here from time to time. :)
- We turned 6! The mister and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary Sunday! Well, celebrated as much as someone buried in homework & the other unable to walk can. lol.
- The house is in a shambles. We moved in June, and since then have gone to a wedding in Mexico, had three sets of company stay with us, summer school, my husband broke his ankle, and the last 2 months of classes have been kicking my ass. It's all awesome, but it means we still have boxes. lol. It's impossible to unpack with full-time classes and the mister not being able to walk. I can't wait until christmas break to get piles out of all the corners - it's killing me!
- Speaking of piles: that's one of our messy corners, above. The antlers need to be hung on the wall, the piece of wood is a door for a garden balcony cabinet that needs to be finished, and the viking hat - well, it's funny and I want to hang it on a wall, too. lol. The husband collects things like this everytime we go thrifting. We got the goat skin rug at an estate sale and the turquoise chair (in a set of 3) at a thrift store. I'm not sure where to put that odd one out...
- I'm obsessed with Maddaddam. Such a good book! Margaret Atwood never fails. I first read "Oryx and Crake" when it came out years ago and it fast became one of my favorites, so I was psyched when she made it into a series. I just got the third book!
- I got a tattoo. A big one. Finally! I've been waiting to get it for about 4 years. It's halfway shaded, but I did quickly snap a photo of it with just the line work a few weeks ago...
- I've become a yoga buff. Well, sort of. A hot yoga addict, more like it. It's so incredibly gross to know how much your chins can sweat (ew!), but it feels great and not too much like working out. About a month into it, and I haven't had a headache since I started. I've had to resist going while the tattoo heals, but I'm going again tomorrow and I can't wait... :)
- Dawson's Creek is finally on Netflix! Yesss. Keeps me company on those late-nights. Also, I've been kind of marathoning "Awkward" and "Teen Mom 3" while I work, so it's been refreshing to get a little intelligence on tv. When did tv kids stop talking intellectually?
- Hello, Christmas records. I'm not usually big on Christmas decorating (I have a box of stuff, but we're never home so I've never actually decorated our place for Christmas), but I'm super-excited this year to get some records: Rudolph has been my first acquisition - yay!
- Thank god it's not Charlie Hunnam. I like him very much (Sons!), but I couldn't even picture him as Christian Grey. Thank. God.
That's what's new with me. What about you?
Tuesdays are my "day off" of classes (aka getahellofalotofhomeworkdone day). The next three weeks are insane! Branding this and that, printing t-shirts and temporary tattoo business cards, designing websites, and writing papers. I'm counting down the days til the semester is done and I can sleep, fiddle with my camera for fun, hang some art on our walls, and see my family! :)
You can always tell when school starts around here...I literally disappear into a homework tunnel. It's been super-hard to get into it, this year, too. Not the classes - the homework. Ugh. Homework. I feel like I didn't get any time off at all since April (moving + work + company x 3), so it's hard not to want to do nothing. lol. I'm currently struggling and have no balance at all and have fallen out of touch with everyone. Agh!
I literally ate only macaroni and cheese last week and didn't do any homework until a marathoner on (all of) Sunday night - horrible!
Anyway- poking my head out to share this, fellow introverts:
I saw it a few years ago, but I finally got her book and have been devouring it. It's so good. Also, I just had a group project wherein a pretty introvert teacher assigned our group - 3 shy introverts - to present a chapter of our textbook, and I was like - what? She of all people should know how much that sucks. lol. I'm amazed at how awesomely self-proclaimed introvert Susan is at public speaking, too. Amazed! Kind of gives me hope.
I feel like everyone should read this book.
I feel like I'm reading it & a million other books.
There's too much going on and I don't know where to start, as usual. lol. Like I need to read and read and absorb as much information as possible, for some reason. I really should want to like, draw. And plan ahead. lol.
Oh, Year # 3 - here we go.
I've always loved reading and have always been really really into spending time writing my thoughts down (I always had a journal!). Usually, I read for a few minutes to fall asleep every night - even if that may be 2 or 3 in the morning, sometimes - lol. Like a little unwind & escape from my to-do's/thoughts for my brain before I pass out for the night. Anyway, I've been reading a lot lately, again (yay!) and it's made me think of my all-time favorites and just how big of a role the written word plays in my life - and how many times I've read each of these books! (At least twice, a piece, over the years). That's how I know it's a favorite, if I can read it again and again. And no e-books for me, thank you: I prefer good ol paper still and I think I always will.
What are your all-time favorite books? Or fave of the summer?
It's hard to pick just one favorite, right? I just read "Marilyn Monroe: The Final Years" - it was good! Sad, of course, but interesting - so statistical it took me a while to get through. I'm currently reading "Orange is The New Black" (so far it seems way less dramatric than the series!). Also on my list-to-read: Margaret Atwood's "The Year of The Flood" and "Quiet".
PS - "Her Fearful Symmetry" almost made the list. Almost. I love everything Audrey.
PPS - check out how I wore my headbands back in the day!