New Year, New Mood Board and this months mood board by beautiful Jot Girl Anna has me feeling all those relaxed summer holiday vibes. With a generous dose of cobalt blue against a ‘sea’ of white and some lovely warm tones of red, orange and a hint of pink, it feels cozy and relaxed, but fresh and fun. It’s like the perfect summer getaway where you spend your time lolling around an airy holiday house lazily reading books, walking along the beach and dipping your toes in the ocean. When days begin and end in the water, when meal times are for gatherings of friends or family that run thick with laughter and food in ample supply.
With all that on my mind this one totally reminds me of childhood Summers at my grandparents house, where our days were filled with beach trips and picnics. Jaunts to Lennox Head, Byron or Bangalow for some retail therapy/family fun and a house full of cousins, aunts and uncles. So naturally I went in search of a photo or two and came across this one of us swimming in the rockpools probably at Lennox Head, although I can’t be sure. The other option was a pair of pics of us playing in the park in our bathers, because that was pretty much our permanent attire for the summer but as far as I’m concerned there is nothing more representative of those days than this. Us kids in the ocean, Dad not even pretending he’d swim, but willing to risk a little adventuring and mum taking a brief break from being in the water to do Mum things like snap a photo or make sure we had enough sunscreen or round us up for lunch etc.The lovely colours and patterns of January’s mood board had me reaching for Heidi Swapp’s Mixed Company papers and embellishments, the tones just couldn’t be more perfect. Slightly softer than those of the mood board but so pretty and on point. I liked the inclusion of the teal green that dusted it’s way through the papers as well. It’s such a lovely complimentary colour. The only thing Mixed Company didn’t have was the hint of red, a few Elle’s Studio stickers later, with the perfect phrases on them, and we had our mix. I think I’ve enjoyed all the nostalgic reminders this mood board has brought up as much as I enjoyed creating this pretty page. I may have to delve into those old photos again. The quieter pace of Summer school holidays, being surrounded by family and adventuring in warmer climates are certainly a ripe soil for storytelling. Both of my sisters have expressed a desire to relocate to that area in recent months, so I know I’m certainly not alone in appreciating those memories. What are some of your favourite Summer memories from years past? What makes them so vivid and rich in your memory?
I’ve been pondering my One Little Word for 2017 and as much as I enjoy this project, as much as I love Ali and the One Little Word class that I find so much value in every year I just couldn’t stir up the necessary enthusiasm to tackle it again this year. I always choose a word. I’ve been choosing them since 2011 and taking the class almost every year too. I never finish. I’m all gung-ho for the beginning of the year, I make it to about the six month mark and then my drive for the project fizzles.Somewhere in there it becomes an obligation rather than just a tool for growth. Another thing to tick of the scrappy to-do list and not a self-care practice. Maybe because we start heading into calving, joining, irrigation, Christmas etc. The list of to-dos gets long and the busy amps up around here, or maybe I simply need something fresh to focus on, I’m not sure. I don’t believe the December prompt has been completed in its entirety for a single one of my One Little Word projects. In fact my most successful One Little Word journey was 2014 when I didn’t do a single prompt but instead let it be part of my regular scrappy practice. So this year I haven’t bought the class. I haven’t made a title page, I didn’t want to choose a word, and then…
Enter Jennifer Wilson.
She must be my scrappy muse or something, because it seems every time I have a scrappy conundrum or question my scrappy practice in some way, she has an answer, a solution or a piece of wisdom to share on the subject. She’s not choosing a word this year either. She’s choosing four, maybe. One for every season to line up with her personal practice of refreshing her scrappy practice every season. I had even started writing this post about how I was not going to choose a word before her email popped up in my inbox last Wednesday prompting me to read why she’s ‘Not Choosing a Word for 2017‘. Then all the pieces fell into place.Somewhere in the back of my head sat this thought that maybe I could choose a word. Or at the very least that a word had already chosen me. I would only have to live with it for 3 months and then I could choose to continue with it, find another or opt-out altogether. One word would not leave me alone. So my word for 2017 or at least the first quarter of the year is LESS. I will still not be taking the class, but I will let LESS live with me and inform me for this first three months of the year. Given my current goals I think it’s rather apt and I reserve the right to pick a new word at the end of it or not or continue on with it if it’s still speaking to me just like Jennifer’s approach. For now I choose LESS. LESS commitment to a project that is always hanging over my head. LESS stuff in my scraproom and my house. LESS stress. LESS time on things that don’t fulfill. Just LESS. And I’m hoping like Becky Higgins is hinting at lately the LESS=MORE. Who knows I may even make a page or two to put in my 2016 album – but I’m not making any promises. I’m opting for LESS.
I’m taking the patented Jennifer Wilson, Simple Scrapper, seasonal approach to my intentions this year and just focusing on the first three months of the year, keeping my goals for 2017 manageable by not committing to anything overly huge or for the entirety of the year so I can keep my focus clear and concise. I’ve been on a real changing mindsets journey for a while now, listening to awesome podcasts like Terri Savelle Foy about the things we think and mulling over wisdom from Alejandra Costello, Allie Cassazza, and Marie Kondo to get rid of all the ‘Stuff’ that’s weighing me down so that I can live an intentional, joy filled, purposeful life. Really examining what are my core values are and whether or not my life reflects them? It’s the thing we do as a new year flips over the calendar isn’t it and this year I’m ready for a year of big changes. I’ve noticed on here that I have a pattern of saying I am this or I am that. Example I never finish things, I can never stay focused, I’m just a messy scrapper (scrap room wise, not style) … Allie would call these limiting beliefs. Terri would quote the scripture that says “as a man thinks in his heart so is he”. I’m inclined to agree. A lot of my goals for 2017 are stemming from these beliefs that I have so this is a time to start fresh. Beginning with rewiring those limiting beliefs in my head and tackling those limiting roadblocks in my scraproom. As part of my commitment to finishing things and using what I have I’m going to do a scraproom makeover using the Workspace class at BPC by Marcy Penner. I love her personal style and I’m hoping that by doing a scraproom reboot I’ll be able to inject some of that calm and cohesiveness into my space. I’ve tidied up a bit in the last few years but I wanna go deep again and get rid of more of the stuff. So that is goal numero uno for January on this here ‘ol blog.
I have really noticed a direct correlation between my physical space and my motivation for doing the necessary tasks in that space like my ‘want’ to scrap and the amount of stuff in my room. Especially with December Daily and Christmas crafting. I just didn’t want to get in and do anything cos my room was a mess. I always do foundation pages and I kept putting it off and putting it off until it was already December and I had nothing to show for it. I tend to feel at my most irritated and irrational when I have a lot of stuff out. When my space is clear I’m calmer, I’m more able to respond to my kids nicer and I don’t feel so much rush and pressure, and I get stuff done. It’s a real key to productivity for me, and I soooo wanna be more productive this year. Like with the house I was so proud to get the whole house clean before we hosted Christmas with the intent to maintain it for the week til New Years cos one of my things is that I like waking up with a fresh house for a fresh year but then when we got sick and it all went to poop again I didn’t think I’d manage it. As the mess got bigger my stress got bigger. Happily though I did reinstate order bit by bit as I started feeling better. Parenting miracle I even got my kids to clean their room without yelling, once. I simply asked them to pick up 10 things at a time before they went back outside or played the next game throughout the day – winning! I’ve been feeling the weight of all this accumulation not just in the scraproom but everywhere so I knew a giant house purge was on the cards. Since October I’ve been setting myself up decluttering stuff as I went to get a jump on it. We moved a side table over to the other side of the room so I cleared out some extra glasses and platters that never seem to get used. Our washing machine died Christmas Eve so as I folded the mountain of washing my mother in law so graciously washed for me I’ve set aside stuff into donation bags instead of just back in the draws. I even went through everyone’s draws as I put it away and got rid of even more stuff, amping up for a Kon Marie style clothes purge. The little by little works, but it peeters out for me, I need to go big or go nowhere. Deadlines work for me when they’re clear and short so that’s why I need a class like Workspace to tackle my scraproom. Clear consistent instruction. Direction, Visualisation, Clear Goals these are the things I need to get ‘er done.
I’m gonna ramp up all the scrappyness and get into the LOAD Challenge for February (Layout A Day) so stick with me through the cleaning and we’ll get to some really good stuff. Nothing has been announced about this years LOAD yet so I have no idea what I’m getting myself into, but I did enjoy it immensely last year and am really looking forward to having another crack at it. I do have it on good authority that it is definitely a goer under the watchful eye of Alice Boll, you can sign up here if you want to get in on the action too and be the first to know when the announcement is made and sign up begins. I want that accountability, encouragement and to get in the scrappy flow for the year. I love how it stopped me from over thinking every scrappy decisions last year and I had so many fabulous pages come out of it, so I’m excited to see what I produce this year.
With a renewed scraproom and a consistent scrappy habit following my January and February practices I want March to focus on finishing touches. I have a again amassed a bunch of layouts that never quite got to finished stage and I am finally, finally going to commit the time and effort required to beautify my scraproom. It needs to get done and it needs to get done like, yesterday. Let’s call it a Finishing Project of sorts. Keep it realistic, keep it manageable and make it happen that’s my plan for 2017. Three months, three goals, that’s all I am committing to right now and maybe in the second quarter of the year I’ll do another post like this and set another three goals for the second season. Hope you come along for the journey and enjoy all the organizing/scrappy talk & inspiration for this new year and I hope your 2017 kicks some butt!
I can’t believe the end of LOAD is coming up so fast, I haven’t missed a day yet and I can see my goal in sight and, oh, I am so, so ready to reach it. Only a few more days people… only a few more days. Today’s layout is truly a case of inspiration coming from everywhere. I’ve been keeping the Jot Mag February Mood Board in mind all month but none of the prompts or stories I wanted to tell seemed quite right for it. Purple is absolutely my favourite colour and team it with my second favourite teal, I am so there. Take a look at these vibrant colours.Despite the purple and teal pairings when I started pushing papers around I just couldn’t get it to sit right so instead I decided to play up the pink on this one. Let’s face it there’s really not a whole lot of girly going on around here with all the fella’s in this house so lets just say I layered it on thick. I took it way back to my childhood with a layout about one of my favourite toys. It’s one I’ve wanted to do for quite some time and when Sharon Hill posted a layout on the same subject for LOAD10 it got me all excited about it again, although I wasn’t even sure where my own paper dolls where. While searching for something to use with my LOAD22 layout in my childhood memorabilia collection , lo and behold I found my paper dolls as well and they couldn’t have been more appropriate to use with the lovely Jot Mag inspiration.My starting point was the purple and pink starburst, it’s the design that was used for She-Ra merchandise back in the 80s and proved a perfect visual tool for leading your eye to the elements of the page, namely the She-Ra doll. You’d better believe I popped her up on foam squares so you can still dress her up along with her off-sider Angella. I also created a pocket at the back to store the rest of the outfits that had survived my childhood. I think there was about six costumes each but I only have three for She-Ra & poor Spirit (her horse/unicorn) never made it.The title was also inspired by the typography for the show, using the font Baldur, which I sized & coloured in photoshop then fussy-cut out. With various 80s themed elements clustered around my journaling I tried to really play of the lovely vibrancy of this months mood board as well as just enjoying finding all these little gems in my current collection of scrappy things. Seriously when else is a gal gonna get to put a freakin’ unicorn on something. I absolutely adore this layout!
It’s great how things just come together sometimes when your creating a layout but at other times you just need to sit and wait things out before you find that right mix of what works. This layout was a surprising case of both. These pictures from my sons 4th birthday have, no joke, been sitting, loitering, lolly-gagging on my scrap table for a year now, a year people!, and I just could not figure out how to scrap them. Enter the Jot Mag July Mood Board and suddenly the heavens opened and it fell together in about half an hour. That is an amazingly fast layout for me.I honestly think it had something to do with all that orange in the pictures. I am not a fan of the citrus colours – orange, yellow, lime green…yuck – and therefore have a hard time scrapping with them. Needless to say some of this years Jot Mood Board picks have been stretching me (March, & June anyone) but Blues, baby I am all there, they are my scrappy happy place and since orange is blues complementary colour I actually didn’t have to look all that far to find my muse for this one.The top strip and ‘so very thankful’ came from a border strip paper called ‘Summer’s End’ by Fancy Pants and just so happened to incorporate all the lovely colours from this months mood board, it was simply then a case of poking through what else I had to complement them. A few stickers from Basic Grey’s Hopscotch 12×12 sheet that I was also having trouble using and voila, layout sorted. I’ll call this layout a major win-win, being able to use so many things that I keep pulling out an putting back is a great confidence boost. I was almost going to say ‘and not a spot of Heidi Swapp on this one’ for a change but ooohh, what’s that I spy but some Heidi Swapp flair up in the top cluster to bring in a little pink… uh yeah, hey at least I’m consistent. Speaking of Heidi, have you seen all the ‘Heidi Swapp loveliness showing up in the Jot Girls’ Instagram feeds. I cannot wait for them to come out with Issue 11. She is just such a wonderful inspiration and example both personally and artistically to me. Still so generous even in difficult times and circumstance and I could not be prouder to be a part of this community that is rallying around her at the moment.
So very thankful is such a perfect sentiment at the moment. Not only for this layout about my beautiful boy, for having a fun and satisfying scrapping session but also about being a scrapbooker right now. What are you thankful for at the moment?