Friday, February 17, 2012

One Little Word 2012

Hi!  After sharing my 'One Little Word' for this year...LEARN, I dove into the videos and materials included in the class of the same name by Ali Edwards that I'm taking over at Big Picture Scrapbooking.  I still have to do some of the January work and the February work too, but I have really enjoyed listening to Ali explain her prompts and the ways we can interact with our word this year and use it to motivate ourselves.

When I chose the word LEARN in January, I saw myself learning all sorts of new things this year.  In addition to learning to complete some of the projects piled in my studio, I am working on learning more about the software for my new Silhouette and of course finally taking the Jessica Sprague PhotoShop courses I purchased last summer.  In January, I embarked on a path to teach myself to knit.  Now, at that time, I wasn't too busy with my jobs and the kids were out of school.  Every night I see that bag with my little tiny piece of knitting in it, sitting next to my bed, begging me to learn my second knitting stitch.  But every night, I have to tell it, "Not tonight!"  Working late into the night with my transcription job doesn't give me much time to sit and teach myself to knit.  But I do have more time during the days for Jake and other projects when I can finish the typing at night, so I guess I'm just prioritizing.

After listening to Ali talk about the different ways our words may surprise us, I realized that I am not the only one around here who is learning this year.  Jake is in his first year of preschool and is learning how to write his name, what all the letters are, what a tornado is, how to get along with other kids his own age and maybe, if we're lucky, he's learning that we aren't trying to poison him every time we gently coax (force) him to try new foods that he ends up loving...the Tomato Basil Soup from Costco is now a favorite, even with the "little green things."

And then there's Delaney, sadly, a big learning point for her this year is disappointment.  She is learning to deal with not being chosen for things and how to deal with being left out.  I know that these lessons will serve her well, especially with middle school just around the corner.  But as a mom, I'd rather have my teeth pulled without anesthetic than hear that she has another disappointment this year.  She is so strong and is dealing very well with all this stuff.  For her, art is a calming distraction from real life.  In November, she began taking art lessons and it has been a great experience.  Her teacher, Jen, is a professional artist who has taught art to kids for years.  She just opened her in-home studio and Delaney was one of her first students.  Delaney has loved learning, in an in depth way, sketching, painting and mixed media.

After listening to Ali, I thought more about my word, LEARN!  As Ali said, we should all look around us and see how our word works in the world.  Now, I'm only looking around my own home, but I can see my word touching all of us!

Thanks, Ali!  And if any of you would like to join in the One Little Word class, just click the button above for more information.  You can join anytime until December 2012, and it isn't difficult to catch up on the prompts.   But don't feel like you have to cram them all in, it's a self paced class and I'm trying to remember to take my time and enjoy my word and the slivers of time that I carve out to spend on this project....

Friday, February 3, 2012

2012...Be Inspired, Get Organized, LEARN

Wow, it's sure been a while since I've blogged...maybe it's about a lack of time or maybe it's about a lack of inspiration...maybe it's a bit of both.

But, as I attempt my first Roundup (I'm inspired by Katie Nelson, just took a class from her at Big Picture Classes, check out the Roundup section on her blog for more info.), of January 2012, I took a few minutes to read through some emails I've been meaning to get to.  I had 5 emails from the Ali Edwards series 52 Creative Lifts that I had been waiting to read.  While my January photos uploaded to Costco, seemed like the perfect time to get to them.  Reading through these weekly emails, inspired me to head over here and write a post about what I'm up to this year.

First, I began January thinking about my One Little Word for 2012.  WAY back in 2010, I decided on BELIEVE and ACHIEVE for my word(s) :).  I set goals for myself that had to do with blogging, losing weight and working on my finances.  I have to say that, as is usually my habit, I began with a strong focus on my goals and LIFE got in the way.  When it was time for 2011, I had helped my finances by taking a 2nd part time job, but doing so had squeezed out time to concentrate on blogging or anything else.  It seems to take me quite a while to "right my ship" when I encounter a big change like this, so here I am in 2012, forcing myself to make time to be creative (that might even include some blogging here & there).  With Jake in preschool, even for only 2 mornings a week, I can do some of my second job (transcription) during the mornings and not just into the wee hours of the night.  Getting just a little more sleep sure helps with the creativity and motivation!

So back to that 2012 word....mine is LEARN!

One of my huge goals is to learn Photoshop!  I purchased two online classes at Jessica Sprague .com and now I have to make the time to go through them so I feel like I have a better handle on Photoshop.  I would LOVE to use it in my regular scrapbooking AND to get started with some digi scrapbooking (I bought a subscription to The Digi Game over at The Daily Digi last year and I'm SO excited about all the great digi items I get for only $7.50 a month).  I have used a few of my digi elements to create invitations and some other fun little projects, but I have yet to complete a real scrapbook layout!  So I really need to get to those PS classes! (I did make my LEARN tag with PS and a kit from the Digi Game, but it took me forever and I can't figure out how to just use the part I want and not a rectangle background...time for the classes!)

As a part of my effort to create enough time to LEARN in 2012, I thought I'd better get organized!  I have read Katie's blog for a few years and have always admired how she rounds up each month at the beginning of the next month and then moves on.  (Read how Katie explains Roundups HERE on her blog!)I took her Roundup Class in January, over at Big Picture Classes and it inspired me to design a Monthly Roundup Workshop at Whimzee's Scrapbook Studio, where I'm in charge of all the marketing, while also teaching & designing.  I wanted to share Katie's basic technique and help the participants form a sort of support group that will meet each month to create a Roundup layout and also discuss the different ways that we can incorporate Katie's technique in regular paper scrapbooking in many different forms.  I want to share the ideas I am finding on creativity, inspiration and organizing with the group.  So, I guess, here I am using my LEARN to teach and share too!

In the first couple days of 2012, LEARNing Photoshop was a major goal of mine, and then it was pushed slightly aside when I was the LUCKY winner of a Silhouette Cameo die cutting machine on The Today's Creative Blog!  I was SO excited to win, that organizing my scrapbook studio and making a space for my new toy on my crowded tables became a more urgent goal!  And, now that the Silhouette has arrived, LEARNing it's software has become my most pressing creative goal!  I am SO happy that the software is easy to use (I have previously used the Pazzles Pro software, so it may have come quicker to me that it might to others).  I LOVE being able to download cool designs right from the Silhouette website for only 99 cents!  I have used the $10 download card included with my machine to grab a few die cuts for my Roundup workshop and I'm excited to share them with everyone who attends!

Now that my studio is more organized, I find it's easier to run up here and cut a few shapes or finish a project.  (Another goal of mine is to finish some projects that are half finished and filling a box under my table...having that box empty at the end of 2012, would be an amazing accomplishment!)  I am also hoping that having things more organized will allow me to get started on a project I have been procrastinating since November.  I am creating a custom album for a friend, I think I my reasons for procrastinating are both emotional and then just plain procrastination.  This album is very personal to me, being a celebration of a close friend's life.  Brent died in 2003 and thinking about creating this album gives me feelings of joy, being able to honor someone who is so important to my family and feelings of sadness at the memories being in the past.  But now that I have the perfect space, I will press on and find joy in remembering someone so special.

I'm confident the book will turn out beautiful and hope that it will be the beginning of a new chapter for me, creating custom albums at home in my studio.

In order to keep my word, LEARN, foremost in my mind during 2012, I have signed up for the One Little Word class, taught by Ali Edwards, over at Big Picture Classes.  I signed up a bit late, so I'm still getting my book started, but I think that the little exercises aimed at getting to know my word and making it part of my life will be perfect lessons for this year!  I am excited at the idea of exploring my word a little bit each month!  I promise to share what I'm "learning" about my word this year.  I'd love to know what your word is for 2012 too!  So leave me a comment & we can chat! ;)

I've also decided that I need to LEARN to knit this year!  During January, I have been able to learn one stitch...the knit stitch.  I'm not pushing myself and I'm not sure how far I will get on this journey this year, but I'll keep you updated!


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