A lifestyle blog, with lots of photography, creating and pretty things.

August 28, 2013

I AM

Via my regular reading of my friend Vivienne's blog, Be Your Own Beloved, I discovered Alexandra Franzen. And what a delight she is!

I have read pages of posts on her blog and so wish she would publish said posts in a book. I would read it and re-read it, lend it to a friend and then read it again.

When I signed up for Alexandra's newsletter she sent me (...but I am sure she would send you one too if you signed up as well), a copy of the great I AM worksheet. You can also find it on her blog here.

It is a fun exercise and one that I would like to do again to see how I have changed and evolved.

So for the record, here is who I AM (today):

I am a wife, mother and a Facilities Manager.

But really, I'm a dreamer, organizer, creator and idea generator.

I am amazing at loving my family and organizing the hell out of our household.

And I've devoted most of my life to searching for the one project I can sink my teeth into; the one where my mind, body and heart sing "yes, this is the one!"

When you work with me, you can expect encouragement and yes, lots of organization.

And you'll probably be surprised & delighted by my goal to smile and have fun while completing any task.

My work matters because I matter and I bring my own brand of optimism and problem solving to all things I work on.

And I am here to remind you that details and people all need attention.

My question for you is why judge when you can accept a situation or remove yourself from it when it doesn't fit in with your ideals?

To sum it up? I am an optimistic, friendly soul who has big creative dreams. I am a researcher and seeker of projects. I am a work in progress. I am Creating Harmony, one day at a time.

August 25, 2013

A New Tee for Me!

I love unique t-shirts and it seems the only way to get one that is truly unique is on Etsy (that may be debateable) or to make one  yourself. I do love the Etsy Shop Friendly Oak (and will probably buy a shirt or 2 from them) but decided to go the DIY route first.

I was going to use any old gel medium I could find at my local craft store to create my shirt but then discovered that Mod Podge has a special medium specifically for photo transfers. I picked it up on Friday and was off to the races.

I decided to experiment on a shirt Connor had and used an image I found online of Slender-Man (he is obsessed with this lately).

I printed out the image, covered the picture side with the gel and placed it on the shirt. It recommends to leave it for 24 hours but I don't have the patience for that kind of waiting when I am excited about a project. So, after about 8 hours it felt dry enough to me to see what I created.


What you do after the "24 hours" is wet the image and gently rub off the paper portion. I wasn't sure what to expect, I thought just the ink would be left on the shirt and I was afraid that it was going to run and smudge onto the white shirt. But no, the people at Mod Podge do not disappoint! The gel medium changes the image in such a way that no smudging occurs and the image itself is turned into a rubbery applique that is flexible and is adhered to the shirt. Disclaimer, the bottle says to only use a dry toner image but I used my inkjet with no problems at all.


The only black smudges on the shirt were from my fingers, it was all those black pieces of paper you see above. I rinsed the shirt out and hung it out to dry - no more black fingerprints.


I didn't cut out the images and over-applied the gel onto the white part of the paper. In this case it worked out nicely as the image looks like an old photo and the frayed white edges just fit.

Onto experiment number 2. I used one of my older white shirts to try and perfect my technique. I printed out this seahorse illustration and cut out all the tiny details. If you like the look of vintage science illustrations, do a Google Images search for Ernst Haeckel (you're welcome).

 
Next time I would leave a white border around my image (as long as I was putting it on a white shirt) as the little spikes along his tail were quite fragile and I did rip the tail a bit getting the paper off.


Connor is more excited about his shirt than he appears in this photograph. He is just practicing his "I am a pre-teen and nothing excites me look."

August 24, 2013

Project Life - Week 11


Here is the layout I made from the week my dad was visiting. It was a full week, I just wish I had picked-up my camera a bit more. We had lots of good times that included late night card games with drinks and snacks and going outside after midnight to take pictures of the stars.

I did learn to take some awesome macro shots from my dad. Wish he lived closer so we could have more photo dates!


Here is one of my macro shots. After my last post, I am starting to make some plans.

August 21, 2013

Scared.

I am struggling to break through the rut I have found myself in.

I see ways to do it, but I am scared at the same time.

There is a chance for me to change jobs, to a job that I will enjoy and will allow me more flexibility (I can work from home!) and let me manage projects (which I love).  The money would be the same and I have worked with the company and people at that company before so as far as risks go it isn't that bad. But there is the big WHAT IF factor? What if they don't like me? What if they decide they really don't need another project manager? What if, what if, what if??? And I have stability right now even if that comes with a 3-hour commute, both ways, on top of my 8 hour day.

Scared.

I have set-up my Etsy shop and have paralyzed myself into inaction that anything I put out there won't hold up against all of the items I drool over when I visit Etsy to shop. I want to create more and share my creations but I am not sure this is the right time for me to open shop. Perhaps I should just focus more on creating for creating's sake and see what comes from that. But if now is not the right time, when will it ever be?

Scared.

This blog, I am holding back. I am not writing as much as I would like and not using my voice but instead a censored version of it. I want to just put my thoughts out there and not worry about what anyone thinks. My hope is to connect with like-minded creative folks and to share my thoughts and projects (and yes my kids too). This post is more me than anything on here yet, but I still have not let go and let loose.

Scared.

Then I read inspiration like those found below and I become a little bit braver. Brave enough to write this post.

Vivienne McMaster
Alexandra Franzen
Trish Blackwell

August 17, 2013

A New Colloborative Blog

My good friend Gabi and I have started a new project, a photo blog. We both love photography, are (great) moms and like to encourage each other. This new project is a perfect fit. We take turns choosing a weekly theme and post a picture we take that represents that theme.

The blog is called Focus on Everyday and you can visit us here:


Our first theme was "parenthood", my picture is below. Please visit the blog to check out Gabi's interpretation.

August 12, 2013

Nails, Hammers & A-Frames

My dad is visiting this week. We haven's seen him in 5 YEARS! My youngest was only 6 months old. All my boys know who Papa is but it is different having him here, in the flesh, to play with.

I know one thing for sure, there is going to be some serious Skype math tutorials coming up in our future. My dad's patience with Connor while trying to teach him a math concept was amazing. Most math lessons in our house end up in tears.


The boys have a pile of scrap wood and shingles that they play with from time to time to build houses. This usually involves balancing the wood somehow with hopes it will stay up long enough to crawl inside.

Papa brought the playhouse to the next level - they built a little A-frame, complete with roofing. Oh the excitement of using real nails and a staple gun. They were in little boy heaven.


Everyone got involved. I love seeing my boys cooperate with one another.

 
Darien decided he needed to put on his construction (hiking) boots and grab his hard hat (as the pajama bottoms he had on in the first picture wasn't quite enough). Smart boy that one.
 

August 10, 2013

Project Life - Weeks 9 & 10

I love how over the last 10 weeks my Project Life style is emerging and that I can also adjust the style from week to week based on the pictures and how little (or how much) I want to journal.

I am also taking more candid/documentary style photos to capture the everyday little things in addition to the pictures of us as a family.

Week 9


 
Week 10

August 01, 2013

Little Projects

Little projects are my favorite. I don't get frustrated or lose interest and I get the satisfaction of finishing something in a short period of time. I am sure that finishing a bigger project would be even more gratifying but with my busy schedule, I'll take the small win any day.

I painted these owl rocks for my sister (the owl book was one of my birthday presents from my boys).


My next little project is to make a mini vase out of some Sculpey III clay I bought for myself. I have been itching to get on a pottery wheel but a small dose of clay for this long weekend sounds good too.