Thursday, December 29, 2011

One Little Word 2012 : Less

My word for 2012 is less.

It came to me last month, in the midst of the holiday hustle + bustle, the planning, the list-making, the gift-buying. I wasn't necessarily craving less. I was trying to figure out how to get by without having more, more, more.

Then I started to see art + prints pop up on Pinterest. The less is more variety. Plus this. This. And this. And this. And then I bought this print. And that's when less started to stick.

In 2012, I want to live with less.
Less worrying about what other people are doing.
Less obsessing over things I cannot control.
Less nit-picking + criticizing.
Less crazy running around.
Less pressure on myself.
Less yes.

Plus some of the simpler, goal-oriented less :
Less junk : physical clutter, crappy processed food, chemicals. I want to continue tackling my 52 Bites as well as a decluttering plan that I read about here, and declutter at least one room/area in the house each month. The kitchen, bathrooms, kids bedrooms, clothes + shoes, everything. No, our house isn't cluttered, but I think there is always room for improvement if there are things lying around that we don't love and/or don't use. I'd also like to incorporate a few homemade natural cleaning products into our household.
Less flab : When I stopped nursing Parker last spring, I've lost and gained the same ten (or so) pounds a few times over. Annoying. Yeah, sorry, I know 10 pounds isn't mindboggling. I don't care so much about the number on the scale but I do want to tone up. I want to feel healthy + confident in my skin again. This will be a tough one since I loathe working out. I'd rather do almost anything than exercise. I'll need to get moving in other ways.
Less brain-numbing activity : 99% of the time, mine comes from the internet. I adore the inspiration immensely but I find I need to limit it when I know I could be doing something productive + inspiring for myself + my family. A cut on the Google Reader subscriptions will be a must. And then there's the whole social network thing. But that's a story for another day. Tara Whitney's Thinning the Herd blog post really spoke to me last summer and I'm adding it here for others to read (and as a reminder to myself to read it again). It's a little long, but it's thoughtful, and good. And as you can see by the comments, she is not alone.

And with less, usually comes more. For me, I hope that is more confidence, more relaxation + sleep, more kindness + love, more deep breaths, more patience + calm, more intention. (I love that word, Jenny!)
Above is my pre-class assignment. I printed the 4x6 opening page that Ali created on transparency instead of cardstock and adhered American Crafts Thickers to it. I punched two holes on the side and slipped it into the bookrings on my minibook.
I'm loving the size of this book. It will be a fun change of pace from the full size album from this year. I'm especially excited to fill it with my favorite quotes and inspirational sayings like the ones above from Pinterest. Can't wait to see how fat it gets! I plan on doing monthly blog updates through 2012, just as I did this year with my word focus, on my prompts and how I'm adding in extras to my mini.

I'm really looking forward to the official beginning of class on Sunday. And to seeing where less takes me in 2012. I can already hear a recurring mantra in my head : "Do you really need (to do) this, Nicole? If you aren't familiar with One Little Word, or you are interested in signing up for the class, you can read more about it here.

Happy New Year everyone! We are going to lay low tomorrow night + have a quiet evening at home. I'm going to try to talk Mark into a late (after-the-kids-are-in-bed) takeout dinner + wine. And maybe a good movie. See you in 2012!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

new in the shop : 2012 One Little Word minibooks

For 2012 I decided to document my One Little Word in a mini book instead of a full-size album. They are now listed in my shop + I will be back later this week to share my One Little Word, my pre-class assignment, and my plans to fill it up next year.
There are so many ways you could use this mini. It's not exclusive to One Little Word - that's just how I'm using mine. Maybe you want to keep track of your goals or resolutions in 2012. Maybe you want a small pre-made book to add photos + journaling too. Lots + lots of options. You can read about the contents + details here.

One Little Word is a concept + class developed by Ali Edwards. You can read more about the 2012 class here + Ali's word here. (Check out the comments for other word ideas if you are struggling to come up with yours)

Monday, December 26, 2011

reflecting + a crafty brain dump

My goodness. I knew last weekend was going to fly. I'm still thinking about it and what a wonderful Christmas we had here. We really really did + I hope you and your family did too. While I wrap my head around all the good things that are going on at home, here is a little blog brain dump :

I did not fall off the December Daily wagon with just three days to go. In fact, this afternoon I ordered all of my digital pages / photos from Persnickety Prints. For the sake of saving time (and I have good intentions of completing + photographing the album in full within the next couple weeks), I'm not going to blog those last few pages. If history repeats itself, I should have the photos within the week. They are SO fast + the quality is amazing. Really, try them out if you haven't already! This will be my last photo order for a while since we now have a new printer at home, but I know I will go straight back to them if I need large batches of photos printed in the future.

Other things going on around here : the family room is now an official playroom. Morgan + Parker were spoiled rotten by Santa and their grandparents. That is going to be quite a project getting it organized again, but you know me, I love a good organizing project.

Ali Edwards One Little Word class starts on January 1st and I'm eager to start. Have you signed up yet? My project + experience with the 2011 class is currently being featured on the Inside Access page at Big Picture Classes. If you are a member, just log in and you can read more when you click on 'my account.' I will officially share my 2012 word soon. Instead of a full size album, I'm going to go the minibook route this year. I will also have a limited number available in the shop by the end of the week. It is full of fun colors, patterns and a few embellies - just right for (but not specific to) documenting your One Little Word. I'm excited to show them to you! 

Speaking of the shop, I've been getting a lot of emails asking if and when I will be making the 20 Questions albums again. The answer is yes. And soon. All I can say right now is some time in January. Version 2.0 will feature the same content, the same 20 questions, but more album colors (not just black). I will share the details of their availability as soon as I know. Thank you to those of you who have expressed interest in me continuing to make these little memory books. If you too are interested, watch the shop updates and send me an Etsy convo to be added to the waiting list. Those people will be the first to know when they are available.

Other scrappy fun I want to tackle this week include preparing to start Project Life on Sunday. I have a title page to make and I want to set up a little station at my desk so I can whip up these weekly layouts easily. I've been hanging out at the Big Picture Classes Project Life message board, as well as Studio Calico's. I'll take all the ideas + encouragment I can get!

Ok, I think that's it for now. Time to rest my eyes and my brain. What kind of creative fun do you have planned for 2012? Are you taking any classes or participating in any other projects?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

12.22.11

Simple layout today. The photo is actually from the beginning of the month but I did not want to miss out on telling this short story.
click to enlarge + read journaling
I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12.21.11

It was just an ordinary day around here. I loved Ali's journaling from Monday, so I decided to follow suit and do something similar today :
click to enlarge + read journaling
click to enlarge + read journaling
I might add this collage of Morgan decorating her giant gingerbread man too. Too cute in her Cinderella dress!

The 'capturing the moments of life' and 'one day in our life' elements are from Ali Edwards Yesterday and Today class at Big Picture Classes.

I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12.20.11

Short and sweet today.
click to enlarge + read journaling
Got in a little funk today (with only 5 days to go!) but I'm over it already. Anyone else find themselves getting worn out with this project before it's over? I'm pluggin' away though. This finished album is so worth it. 

I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.

12.16.11

Ah, Friday. So much fun. I actually have a bunch of other Instagram photos and a little story to tell about how long it takes to bake something when both kids are around / awake. It is a process and in the middle of it all I was kind of chuckling to myself at all of the interruptions. That will all be a page insert for Friday. Anyways, on to the party :
click to enlarge + read journaling
This photo above will be the main page (the right side). The collage below will be the left side.
click to enlarge + read journaling
Can't even tell you how much fun we had!

I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.

Monday, December 19, 2011

12.19.11

I love journaling prompts, and this one from Tina sparked mine today :
click to enlarge + read journaling
I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.

12.18.11

click to enlarge + read journaling
I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.

12.17.11

I haven't forgotten about Friday. I'm waiting for some photos from Mark's holiday party (which was an absolute blast! I haven't had that much fun in a long time. You know it was a good party when your feet are still sore from dancing, three days later.) So next is Saturday :
click to enlarge + read journaling
 I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

12.15.11

click to enlarge and read journaling
Simply Magical wordart from Deena Rutter's Jolly Holiday kit.

I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas. 

In related news : I'm delighted with how thick my album is getting and I don't even have any of these main pages in it yet! I cannot wait to get them all printed (through Persnickety Prints). On Tuesday at dinner, I was telling Mark about my wish for a new printer, mostly because I am starting Project Life in January and I think the only way I will stay caught up is to print photos at home. Convincing, right? The conversation turned into a purchase (thank you babe!) and tomorrow I am going to be the proud new owner of an Epson R2880 printer. Epson's website is full of good deals now. We couldn't pass up 10% off + huge rebate + free shipping. Check it out if you are looking for a new printer too.

P.S. It's going to be quiet around here until early next week, as we'll be in + out all weekend. Mark's holiday party is tomorrrow night. Looking forward to getting prettied up (in a dress!!) and having adult conversation. And an adult drink. Have a wonderful weekend. I will catch you up on ours as soon as I can. 10 more sleeps til Santa! :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12.14.11

click to enlarge and read journaling
I couldn't forget to include a page/day about our nightly book opening and reading. On the page opposite this photo, I am going to type out this post, with the list of books that we are reading this year.

I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12.13.11

Played around with our camera lenses tonight, making a little Christmas tree bokeh. Between talking to Mark and reading this blog post, this was my favorite shot of our tree and I made it today's page enlargement.
Now that I'm looking at it again, I think I need to add some journaling in that little rectangle next to the '13'. Looks a little too bare.

Plus I took a few "around the house" shots. I'm looking forward to hanging our stockings soon!
Star patterned paper from Robin Meierotto Vintage Holiday kit
Label from Persnickety Prints Vintage Christmas kit

I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2011

12.12.11

click to enlarge and read journaling


I took quite a few photos today at the museum, so I made a little collage with some of the good ones. I may print a couple other 4x6's and adhere them back to back to slip in the album.
Digital paper and elements are from Deena Rutter's Jolly Holiday kit.

I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

12.11.11

click to enlarge and read journaling
I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

12.10.11

click to enlarge and read journaling
I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.

Friday, December 9, 2011

12.09.11

click to enlarge and read journaling
I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

12.08.11

click to enlarge and read journaling
Note to self : add photo of kids coloring at the library and sample of Parker's artwork. :)
I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

12.07.11

The kids and I made salt dough ornaments today. We actually spent most of the morning at the table, rolling dough and cutting shapes. It was such a nice, relaxing and playful day. Unlike yesterday's frantic and not-so-happy errand running. I am going to do a little extra journaling on the back of the 'bookmarks' about making the ornaments, but these are my two digital pages for today :
click to enlarge and read journaling
click to enlarge and read journaling
I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

12.06.11

click to enlarge and read journaling
I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.

Monday, December 5, 2011

12.05.11

click to enlarge and read journaling
I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

12.04.11

A two-pager for today :
click to enlarge and read journaling
click to enlarge and read journaling
Just like last year, I asked for the price tag for our tree to add to my December Daily. Just like last year, the guys at the tree lot thought I was weird. Nope, I'm just a scrapbooker. :)

We have a pretty damn near perfect evening ahead. Chinese takeout and Detroit Lions football. I could start working on my Christmas cards, but I think I'm going to hang out on the couch with Mark, enjoy a glass (or two) of wine, and catch up on two weeks of Google Reader blog posts. Ahh...

I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas. 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

12.03.11

click to enlarge and read journaling
Today was tough for me to choose just one story from the day. We did a lot and got a lot done. Certainly will be including a list of all that was accomplished, as well as these photos :
I'm only blogging the main photos each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.

Friday, December 2, 2011

12.02.11

click to enlarge and read journaling
We have a skylight in our kitchen and I snapped this shot of the four of us while Mark was making popcorn this evening.

I'm only blogging the main photo each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

12.01.11

click to enlarge and read journaling
I'm only blogging the main photo each day for my December Daily album. I will be putting the whole thing together, with ephemera and extra photos/stories, after Christmas.