Chatting About One Little Word

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Don’t laugh, but I finally got caught up on One Little Word. I completed the March lesson exactly one year late and right on time! I signed up for this iconic Ali Edwards course in 2017 with the best of intentions. I have posted my January lesson here. Luckily, when I checked social media for March 2018 inspiration, I found that the assignment was similar enough in its essence- which was to create a vision board for your word and for your intentions using it. In the videos Ali has mentioned that she has done wall canvas sized vision boards and also has incorporated her “board” into some pocket pages. I decided that the latter would work for me using the items I had cut out because they resonated with me and my word.

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My 2017 word was ‘Simplify” and I have to say I did a better job using the word and my intentions than I did actually completing the course or the album last year. But ironically, I was keeping life simpler for myself by purging a lot of “have to” and “shoulds” which always tend to stifle my creativity. In terms of my vision for the future- I really, really want to manifest more travel in my life! Besides my kids and family, and this hobby of scrapbooking, travel is at the top of my list of things that I want to be doing. It ties to simplifying my life because it is too easy for it to pushed aside by the clutter of other things in life that interfere with saving and planning for trips. By keeping this front and center I remind myself that it won’t happen unless I make it happen. I have learned that living an intentional life of my own design is as much about what I say no to as it is about what I say yes to. Doing this project sealed the deal for me to start all of the planning and budgeting to make a trip happen probably during the summer of 2019. I would like to go to Europe where I have not been since 1995. It will be costly and require a lot of planning especially to bring my kids- but they will be at a wonderful age to get a lot out of touring Europe’s highlights.  By maintaining a modest minimalist home, wardrobe, and lifestyle we are fortunate enough to focus on experiences rather than things. And that is the why behind my word.

-xGia

But first coffee…chatting about cultivating daily habits

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I like to write posts sometimes about different eclectic topics and I think of them as time to chat with a friend over a cup of coffee. That is why I call these posts “But first coffee…” I don’t know what I would do without this scrapbooking community and I wish you guys really could stop by for a cup of joe someday! That would be awesome. Anyway…

I shared this layout last week on the Clique Kits blog. My post was all about how I got it scrapped in 15 minutes! That doesn’t happen every day. I have been trying to build creating into my daily routine though so that even when I don’t start and finish a layout a day I still put that 15 minutes in just as surely as I brush my teeth. This is a concept I learned from listening to the Scrap Gals podcast conversation with Becky Higgins. Now I will let you in on a little secret…sometimes when I am at work in my office doing paperwork I put my headphones on and listen to scrapbooking podcasts. It’s called multi-tasking and we women do it extremely well!

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Here is a close up of another die cut on my page (sorry for the weird angle) because I wanted to make a point that I have a pile of cut files on my desk that I cut during my daily craft time but didn’t necessarily get to use. I just liked them and thought I would probably find a use for them someday and I usually do!

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This is the Clique Kits main kit for April which I used to create this layout. It features the Crate Paper Maggie Holmes Flourish collection! I also used one of the monthly cut files available for subscribers designed by Maryam Perez this month.

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Having a kit delivered to my door every month does make it easier to follow through with my goal of establishing a daily creating habit. On weekends it is not as much of a problem and I remain flexible about when I fit it in depending on the family schedule. But weekdays I have found that I have to go straight to my craft room right after work and use my 15 minutes. Whatever I get done before dinner is what I get done. This means starting some cut files, picking out papers that go with my photo, and sometimes just organizing  so that my next 15 minutes is even more productive.

I also established a rule for myself that my daily 15 has to be hands on creating time. Scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest don’t count. Don’t get me wrong- just like listening to Podcasts or watching you tube videos, these inspiration seeking activities have their own value. But if I fit them in to my day it has to be after my hands on time.  After all, I have spent many years of my life thinking about, hoarding and shopping for supplies, and talking about scrapbooking more than actually doing it.

Another epiphany for me that has helped immensely has to do with some of the things I have decided to let go of. I have definitely purged a lot in the past 5 years.  I am finally at a point where I know exactly what I have, where it is, and why I am keeping it. Using the Konmari method of figuring out what sparks joy for me has helped quite a bit. But I have also let go of the need to try to do every possible genre of papercrafting. I am not a project life documenter, I am not a card maker, and I don’t decorate my planner. I love doing layouts. It doesn’t matter if they are in 8 1/2 x 11, 12 x 12, or travelers notebook format. Layouts work for me because I need the freedom to document memories out of order and depending on what my priorities are at the time. If I were to try to keep up with daily or even weekly life it would become a chore for me.  Letting go of what doesn’t work for me is incredibly freeing and also limits the impact of impulse shopping especially every time new fads arise.

I know a lot of people are on their own journey sorting through these things too. Definitely hit me up with any comments or just to chat about your own creative journey!

-xGia

 

My One Little Word 2017

But First Coffee…and the Ali Edwards One Little Word January Lesson

Taking a break from posting layouts to share something not focused on the superficial “looks”, design, and products being shown off. So grab your coffee and join me!

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I realized I haven’t posted yet about taking Ali Edwards class “One Little Word” this year. In this post I wanted to share how I am making a 6 x 9 album using my stash and some of the digital downloads included in the class. I would have bought the kit actually, but I was too late. By the time I signed up, it was sold out. So I did have to improvise. I also did not really take photographs with a blog post in mind as I worked on the January lesson as most of the pictures I took were snapshots to show my friends on Instagram. I wish now that I had better ones, but I will definitely plan better for my next installment.

The photo above shows the paper that I decided to use in my album. This collection was designed by A Beautiful Mess for Project Life- I think it was called Sunshine or something like that-and I have had it for a few years. I also decided my color palette would be yellow, grey, and sky blue with black and white of course. I noticed that Ali really likes grey and I wanted to use some of the downloads when necessary to follow the lessons.

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The first lesson was all about deciding on a word and getting acquainted with the word. I chose the word Simplify. The first lesson also revealed that the “theme” this year is the phrase “Get Curious.” I’m not 100% sure I understand how this ties in to the lessons, but I’m sure I will eventually.

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I used a Simple Stories yellow striped album cover which I altered with paint and a teeny bit of glitter.

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The class kit included monthly dividers and there were downloadable ones but I decided to use some extra Project Life dividers that matched the paper collection. My history with project life is pretty much a major fail- and I eventually decided it wasn’t going to be something I focus on anymore. So anything I had previously bought with good intentions has either been given away or re-purposed.

This is how my first page looks first with the monthly divider showing and second with a vertical 4 x 6 pocket insert that I slipped the “Get Curious” printable in Ali’s famous handwriting. I added a paper clip to it and was thinking that the whole ensemble would possibly come in handy as a place marker later.

 

I did download the cards to complete the written part of the lesson in which we were asked to define our word, find a quote that resonated with the meaning of our word, and then work through the WHY of our word. I explored the reasons why I chose Simplify as my word, and also talked about the things I want to invite into my life this year, and the things I want to let go of, following along with the prompts. I was pleasantly surprised by how I felt taking the time to work on something for no other reason than my personal growth and development.

I spent about a half a day on this first lesson-which does not look like it amounts to much- but honestly much of the time was spent thinking and journaling. And I have not been back to it since getting this far. Hopefully I will have another installment to show soon with February’s lesson. I am really excited to be in this class for the first time. Have you ever taken it? Did you get all the way through it? Was it a good use of your time and money? I love that Ali Edwards knows her style, which is distinctive, and her classes and products are  focused on her story telling process- using great photos, and a digital and tangible hybrid combination with simple supplies. I think that the amount of “stuff” available and the number of different styles of documenting can get a bit overwhelming sometimes and I love that everything about her brand does not feel bogged down by the extraneous. Her own willingness to share and how she allows herself to be vulnerable and honest is clearly touching the lives of many, many people in a positive way. And now I am one of them! Thanks Nicole for referring me to this class!

xoxoGia

But first coffee…and donuts

 

This may not be big news to you on the mainland US, but here on Oahu I am pretty excited because I heard a rumor that Dunkin’ Donuts shops are going to be coming to the island. I love D & D donuts and coffee! For today’s But First Coffee post  I am sharing some cute things new to the Clique Kits shop starting of course with some new donuts!

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These cute puffy stickers are adorable! There are 6 to a sheet for only $1.00!

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How about these sticky note tabs from Japan! My pick of course- the donuts! (And cupcakes) These are only $3.00 per set while supplies last.

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Have you heard of squishies? These donut key chains/planner bling as I call it (stuff to hang from and decorate my planner) are really fun- and just a little squeeze has NO CALORIES or FAT! Yay!

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I DO-NUT know if you know this, but Clique Kits has the cutest planner kit still available! It features these small donut sticky notes which double as a hole reinforcer if you have a ring bound planner. The rest of the kit is truly amaze-balls. You can see a really terrific unboxing video here.

And I don’t know if you have been following any of the newest releases from your favorite manufacturers, but Amy Tangerine’s new line called Oh Happy Life! contains this paper:

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You can be sure that Clique Kits will be carrying many of the newest scrapbooking products just released as we restock the store after the summer sales. This week I will be heading to Salt Lake City for the SPC Mixed Media trade show and scoping out more new products for Clique Kits!

In the meantime, I came across this coloring challenge on Amy  Tangerine’s blog and really enjoyed the Blog Hop. I have recently played with some coloring on some color-your-own papers and journaling cards myself and I recommend these pencils to get started with ! I think that we will be seeing more coloring designs infiltrating the scrapbooking world! I especially love the idea of stamping freestyle in a travel journal and then coloring them in just to enjoy the process. Travel journals are a great place to get creative in smaller blocks of time, experiment with different media and techniques, and really free yourself to not have to finish a complete project or make everything a masterpiece to enjoy journaling and documenting every day.  I am super excited that Clique Kits is putting together a limited edition travel journal kit right now! It will be available later this summer!

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I don’t want to be a spoiler by sharing the contents of the new travel journal kit just yet, so make sure you subscribe to this blog and the Clique Kits blog, and follow Clique Kits on Facebook and Instagram for all the updates! Check out the new stuff added to the Clique Kits store!

-xGia