Friday, July 14, 2017

Moving in with a Deluxe Mr. Darcy from Chic Sparrow

Kara's post, I'm Moving into a Traveler's Notebook! | Boho Berry, really inspired me to research leather covers for my notebooks.  I have purchased fabric covers for composition books (one etsy order was a fiasco that I never actually received, the other I got but wasn't thrilled with the material I chose), but I really liked the idea of a leather cover.  I have vinyl travelers notebook covers I've picked up at Michaels and made myself, but those weren't cutting it for me either.  So, I spent a week or two drooling over the covers at Chic Sparrow and tried to find something comparable but less expensive.  Like tattoos, cheap work isn't good and good work isn't cheap.  There really isn't a substitute I could find for the Pocket Plus size that Chic Sparrow offers.  It will hold 6 Field Notes or Moleskine notebooks.

I knew I wanted the Plus size so that it could hold plenty of notebooks and the Deluxe that has pockets on the inside.  Then the search turned to the styles and colors that were in stock.  I had no patience to wait for colors to come back in stock, so I went with my 3rd choice of color, Martini, in the Deluxe Mr Darcy.  It is close to the color of my current Leuchtturm bullet journal, a nearly lime green.  I got my name embossed on the front because, why not?  And I couldn't just order a pack of Field Notes, or even use the ones I'd already acquired, I had to sign up for the quarterly subscription package to ensure I never run out of notebooks to put into Mr Darcy.

Right now, I'm not sure if I will completely replace my bullet journal in my Leuchtturm for this smaller version.  Going from an A5 down to a little more than an index card is a dramatic downsize.  But right now I have some projects going on that need their own space, and the ability to have 6 individual notebooks on hand and at the ready is appealing.  At the moment, I've got a bullet journal notebook, a Craft Room-slash-Office Remodel notebook, a Postcrossings notebook (international postcard exchange site - with drafts of the postcards I've sent, their tracking numbers and addresses of recipients), and a "friends & family" postcard drafts notebook.  The current set of Field Notes is the Campfire set, so I put the 3 of those, one standard kraft notebook, and 2 Shenandoah notebooks.  I haven't decided what the 2 unused notebooks are going to be for yet, but I'm sure having the notebook with me tomorrow for the first time will give me a good idea of what I need to put in it.  The leather notebook is so precious it even came wrapped in a flannel bag to keep it cozy.  I can't wait to get done with this post so that I can play around with my new toy.

Friday, June 9, 2017

How To Create/Write/Send a (Really Great) Postcard

How To Create/Write/Send a (Really Great) Postcard

I have decided that I'm going to become a prolific postcard writer.  I stumbled upon collections of 100 post cards on various subjects while browsing the B&N website and, subsequently, Amazon.  And, being my hoarder self, I proceeded to buy several sets.  Ok, more than a few.  About 800 or 900 so far.  I also hopped onto the USPS website to buy postage to accomplish the feat of sending out postcards to my kids and friends several times a week.  The author of this article says she once put 19 sentences on one postcard.  That's crazy but also a challenge that got me thinking.  It made me order some blank 5x7 cards for those times when I really do have plenty to say.  I'm making up kits for my children to send cards to me, my parents,  and their cousins.  I think a postcard or letter is so much better than a text with a couple emoji, and I'm hoping they will appreciate getting actual correspondence in the mail instead of junk.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Hobby Addiction

Part of the difficulty of hoarding is that we tend to attract hobbies that require various and different materials.  Someone who plays sports might accumulate sports balls for each sport, but the space that takes up is limited.  Someone who is addicted to many hobbies that are artistic and is a hoarder is like a kiss of death.  I knit, crochet, sew, quilt, journal, read, color, brush letter, glam plan, etc.  I've gotten back into the Zentangle groove.  I purchased 3 new books (one of which I'm not even sure when/where I ordered it from, but it arrived today) on how to do it, and an album to store my finished tiles.  This means I realized I needed new pens because, hey, I might run out or lose one or damage the tip.  Luckily I found my box of cut paper from when I first discovered this art form 3 years ago, but I'm tempted to buy the art tiles that they prescribe in the book I'm working from just because the paper quality is better.  Amazon Prime makes it way too easy to hop online and buy everything in 2 seconds flat.  I'm also getting back into the brush lettering challenge run by RandomOlive on IG.  I use watercolors and a waterbrush and trace on her practice sheets.

The reason that I'm getting back into these 2 hobbies I've dabbled in before is for their calming, meditative properties.  I have been having rapid cycling of manic and depressive episodes lately.  I'm trying to pay attention to them, get proper sleep, and spending time with my headphones on so that I don't get overwhelmed.  D has been away on business, so I've been working with my natural patterns, not distracted by his schedule and habits.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

Stationery Haul

I know, this post's title is ridiculous, given the rate at which I purchase stationery supplies.  But today I'm frustrated with the current dilemma.  I bought a bunch of different highlighters and none are living up to my expectations.  Or the pens I'm using are crap and I can't seem to find the right ones, and let's face it, I own almost everything on the market.
Let me back up a bit.  Since I'm back to school, I've been needing highlighters for class.  We highlight the text book together as the teacher goes thru the chapter with us.  I was bored with the Sharpie and Bic Brightliners that I had, so I went to and bought several new packs of highlighters.  Actually, I started a few months ago and bought the pale fluorescent Mildliners and Frixion soft color highlighters.  The Zebra Mildliners are good.  The Frixions I'm not thrilled with.  They are so pale I almost don't see them on the paper.  And the ink seems to be milky, which dulls the ink in my text book.  When I tried to use the eraser end in my textbook, it smeared the ink, which I didn't think was even possible.  So I set out to find some different highlighters last week and ended up with a pack of Kirarich glitter highlighters, which I think are my favorite or are tied with the Mildliners.  I got the Beetle dual-color 3 pack.  And the Monami Essentistick gel highlighters.

Pros - It's always good to try different things I guess.  And I do love the glitter of the Kirarich highlighters.
Cons - SMEAR CITY!  They all tend to smear my ink, no matter which pen I use.  In fact, the only combination that doesn't smear is if I use the Sharpie Pen and then the Sharpie highlighter.  Anything else is just a mess.  The problem with the Sharpie Pens is that when I try to preplan a layout in pencil, then go over it with the pen, I can't erase the pencil line without also removing half the pen line as well.

To try to remedy this issue, I ordered more Micron pens which are supposedly less likely to bleed, but I'm not holding my breath.  For some reason, I can't find mine, and I know I own at least 1 if not multiple sets of those pens.  I'm also going to stop by Target for a pack of the 5 colors of the highlighters with the see-thru tips that are softer colors.  I tried to order them on Amazon but they must be exclusive to Target right now.  I also ordered the entire line of Mildliners, because those have promise as well.  I like the muted colors and the fact that there is an underline tip as well as the chisel tip.

In addition to studying for school, I'm really trying to get the right combination for my bullet journal.  I'm in the process of setting up my next one, which will be in a lime green Leuchtturm A5 dot-grid notebook.  It's ridiculous how many pages I have set aside right off the bat for collections and longer term projects.  My current bullet journal is about 5 months old and is well loved.  But I would like the next one to have more polish, at least in the beginning.  I'm trying to keep a theme going.  I'm using the clearance tube of lavender washi tape to decorate the pages of some collections that I want to keep together, like the spreads dedicated to my finances.  I'm not quite sure if I should pre-plan my monthly spreads for June-Nov now, and have them all around page 50, or if I should do what I've been doing, making them as I need them.  I watched Studyign's video about the Hobonichi Techo planner, which goes thru the calendar in each format, so all the months are together, then the weeks are together, then the daily format are together.  Instead of having them blended in chronological order.  I'm leaning towards drawing all the months out together, just to make long-term planning with my kids easier, since they will be moving out-of-state in July.  Plus, it will also make it easy to keep all my munchkin stickers from OnceMoreWithLove together.  I tend to keep them to the Monthly layout more than anything.  And they make me smile.

My other splurges include 5 Campus notebooks I bought from Amazon that have 100 pages each and are semi-B5 size.  The jury is still out on whether I like these.  I was so excited to see more than 30 pages in a notebook that size, that I couldn't resist.  The typical notebooks I've gotten from Apica or Campus are more like final exam booklets we had to use in high school for essay questions.  A couple weeks ago I ordered 4 Ampad double-sheet legal pads with holes already punched.  I was inspired by James Patterson's description of writing on every-other line on his yellow legal pads with pencil.  These are sturdy enough to write on without my lapdesk, which is a bonus.  And 100 pages instead of the typical 50.  I also picked up a pack of 36 BIC permanent markers to use for coloring, but I plan to put those in my Hygge box, along with some candy-scented gel pens & highlighters I got from FiveBelow.  When I'm having a rough day, I will be able to eat candy (I stocked up on the $1 movie-theater size candy) and pick a new stationery item to cheer me up.

Well, back to planning out my next bujo.  I'd love to hear what your favorite pens are for note taking or highlighters you've had good luck with.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

MasterClass Online Classes

MasterClass Online Classes

I am taking a MasterClass by one of my favorite authors... James Patterson Teaches Writing.  I'm about 1/3 of the way thru the class and I'm still so excited about it.  There are videos from him that make you feel like you're sitting across from him in a coffee shop, having a conversation where he's spilling his guts about the good, bad & ugly when it comes to writing fiction.  He's real.  He tells it like it is.  He's inspiring.  I'm so glad that I invested the $90 for this opportunity, both to get this view of one of my favorite authors, and for the knowledge I'm gaining for when I sit down to write my own book.   I promised myself I would write a novel this year, before I turn 41 in Feb 2018.

 I'm not sure if I'm going to outline and prep until NANOWRIMO in November, or if I'm going to start before then.  We'll have to see how school pans out.  Yesterday was the first day of the Esthetics block.  I'm not sure if that's going to be a different pace and exhaustion level than the Nail Specialty block was.  But at least I know that I definitely want to write a detailed outline before I write myself into a corner again like I did the last time.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Competitiveness vs Perfectionism

Yesterday I said something to a classmate that made me pause for a moment.  I heard myself say that "I am not competitive, except against myself."  I got the weird, "you're crazy" look from her.  In fact, she might have said it out loud, but I got the meaning either way.  But the truth is that I have always been in competition with just myself.  Or, perhaps, against the curve as a whole.  See, I don't care what Dick & Jane are doing, or how they are doing.  I only care that I'm as close to perfect as I can get.  I expect myself to be better than average, but I'm not comparing myself directly to them.  I don't feel like I've got to beat them.
Not surprisingly, I have gotten myself into hot water for saying things that I hadn't thought out...  Case in Point: In my freshman year of college, I put in no effort to write a paper for my English 201 class.  The night before it was due I just drafted it from my head to my Smith-Corona word processor, spit out a copy and turned it in the next morning. At the next class, the professor handed back our papers, face down.  I peeked at my grade and laughed out loud.  The professor (he requested he be addressed as that, as if it somehow elevated his rank at the community college - he was a pure hippy) asked me why I was laughing.  I said, frankly, "I put absolutely no effort into this paper!" He asked what my grade was, and I answered "An A!"  It was more of a scoff, actually.  I immediately felt daggers being stared through me.  It was that day that I learned that Professor Hippy graded on a curve of 1 A, 2 B's, 3 C's and the rest D's and F's.  I'd written something with no effort that was better than 90 percent of my class, who probably wrote out drafts in pencil and then proof-read and agonized and used a dictionary to correct spelling.  Yes, I'm old.  This was 1996 - there wasn't all the nice built in tools we take for granted as I'm typing this now.  
But the point is that my expectations were so much higher for myself.  I knew I'd be able to do better if I'd bothered to put in the work.  But I also realized, hey, I'm better than the rest of these guys without even trying.  I hadn't realized it before.  I didn't care about it.  I was in competition against myself.  I want to be perfect.  And I hate the term perfectionist, because it sounds like I think I'm better than everyone else.  Or that I think I'm perfect. If someone asks/accuses me of being one, I will deny it.  But I have OCD.  I need to be exemplary. I don't care what anyone else gets, as long as I get the A.  We took our final exams in the nail program this week and I couldn't care less what anyone else got, I only cared that I got a 92.  It also makes me not want to be a part of team activities unless I know I'm going to be really good at it.  I don't want to be a detriment to a group of people whose success is hinging on my being good at something.  I remember playing softball in elementary school and being so relieved when I wasn't going to be the 3rd Out of the inning.  Like I would literally yell, "YES, I'm not the 3rd Out!" before I picked up the bat and walked to the plate.  Because I knew I sucked, and would end up striking out.  (If I was lucky, which was quite often actually, I got Walked to First.)
Quite frankly, I find competitiveness among people annoying.  Instead of trying to beat people, I'd rather they try to help each other get better.  I think it's the heart of bullying, which there is a movement against, even as professional sports and music and movies and just about everything is in competition to be better than everyone else.  Even if the difference is just the Olympic millisecond difference between 2 athletes, which, let's be honest, they're all phenomenal.  By constantly measuring yourself against other people, you're saying to someone (might even be yourself) You are worse.  That they are less.  And nobody likes that feeling.  

I'm more like a gymnast or figure skater than a swimmer or runner.  I don't care who gets there first, as long as all my judges are holding up 10's.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Writing a Resume

One of the most frustrating parts of going back to school is when they make you write a resume for a new career.  I feel like I'm lying when I say that I can do all the things I've been trained on.  I don't like to lie, and I honestly don't feel confident in my abilities yet.  The problem is that I won't get the practice to become an "expert" until I'm out in the working world.  I know this.  But, still, I struggle.
When I was going to vocational school in my teen years, we had to write a resume in my Radio & TV Broadcasting class.  My teacher told us that any little thing we had done could and should be on the resume.  Make everything sound important, even if you were the most useless accessory on the set.  It irked me then, and it irks me now.
My last employer, when deciding to shut down operations in my location, paid an outside firm to come in and teach us how to look for work.  We got the spiel about LinkedIn, networking with people, and writing the proper resume.  The beauty school where I am currently a student is about 15 years behind the times, or, quite possibly, this industry is still in the era of cover letters and physical addresses.
But since I was assigned a resume, I wrote one.  It's terrible.  It's useless.  I won't be employable in this field for several months yet.  I'm months away from being able to take state licensing exams. But I did it.  I suppose it was good practice.  I will have to completely overhaul it again when I finish the rest of my program. But it's done.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Loving My Bullet Journal

The more I write with my fab new fountain pens and ink in my Bullet Journal, the more I love it.  I'm heavily invested in my stickers and planners, but I think my bullet journal is the most useful tool I've come upon thus far. Adding a piece of washi or a Munchkin sticker from OnceMoreWithLove makes it a little more fun than just writing and using a stencil to draw perfect banners. My handwriting is still messy but it's a real life account of my days, both the plans and the accomplishments. I love how I can take a page and write out my playlist for the week and then on the next page make a grocery list. If I am too busy to use the journal on a day, no big gaping hole in my planner.