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Travel Wall – I’m Making Real Progress!

Do you remember the travel wall I started awhile back? If you want to refresh your memory, my original post which outlines the plan can be found here in my Travel Walls Dream post.

It started because I wanted a way of displaying my travel photos. The albums are nice, but I wanted to have them out where I’d see them more frequently, so the dream of a wall was born.

I’m happy to report that it’s gone from the dreaming stage to actually looking like a travel wall! I can’t seem to get enough light on this wall for a good photograph, so try to imagine it without so many shadows!

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I’ve done the easy part first – just traditional frames with photos. The plan calls for using more repurposed things, and those are coming – I’m just not there yet, and that’s okay. This is going to be a process, not one of those projects that actually gets DONE. At least not until we’re through traveling, which I hope is still years away.

I did complete the first wooden tag – simple, but kinda cute. It’s just a commercial tag from Michael’s that I glued a photo onto.

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I still have lots to do – I don’t have any of the photos from our last trip up, and I think I still have a few places from previous trips that are not represented.

I’m thinking I probably should have a list of countries visited up there that I can add onto as time goes by. I’ve lost track again!

I think I’m going to get a slim line Christmas tree to put up in front of the wall display. I get ornaments from our travels, and have been putting them on the regular big tree, but I think I’ve got enough now that they could be on their own tree!

Anyway, it’s a fun project!

I’d be curious to know how fellow traveler’s are documenting their trips, if you’d like to share!

 

It’s Called a Cleanse…

…but I’m trying to make it a way of life.

If you follow me regularly, you’ll know my daughter and daughter in law roped me into doing a cleanse with them. Not a crazy one, just eating in a way that gives the cleansing organs in the body a little break. No meat (not a problem since I’m vegetarian) no dairy (I’m ALMOST vegan, so not a big deal either) no processed food (a little more difficult because I love my protein bars, but I can do it for a week) no sugar (not too difficult) no alcohol (easy) and NO CAFFEINE. That one is pretty much impossible, but since there is no way I’m giving up caffeine, I figure I’ll just cut back a little and call it good.

There was also a concoction of cranberry juice, lemon, apple cider vinegar, and water to drink during the day. I like the taste, so easy, peasy.

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The only part I thought would be really hard was a one day juice fast. I LIKE juice, but I don’t love it. And I like to crunch, so this one day stood to be the worst part.

Well it turned out to be pretty good!

The daughter works near a “juice store” that does their own cold press juices every day. She got an assortment of them for us.

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Aren’t they pretty?

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And the packaging is darling!

But, looking pretty and darling packaging aren’t really the issue though, huh?

She selected for us a beet, carrot, greens, and fruit. Well, turns out they were as delicious as they are pretty!

So Friday was our juice day. I missed the crunching, and there was a point where I was ready to eat the paint off the walls, but by evening I was good. I wasn’t starving.

Saturday came and went, eating lightly, then today I realized I MISSED my juice. And I FEEL good. Hmmm.

Imagine my surprise!

So, where do I go from here? I missed my protein bar, so I’ll probably add that back in. But eating much more lightly. And maybe a juice a day, and one day a week of juice only?

Now, I’m not committing to anything (you know how terrible I am at commitments!) but this feels like a plan that I could live with on a day to day basis, then eat more normally while we’re on our trips, and back to this way MOST of the time.

Now if I could just get my sorry butt to Yoga.

 

Playing With New Apps

I’m not much of an “app girl.” Looking at my phone, I really have very few, especially in comparison to everyone else I know.

But I have come across a couple lately that I couldn’t resist. Thanks Facebook! If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t even know about them.

The first is “Photomyne.” With this app, you take a photograph of an old photo, and it scans it into your phone, where you can edit it in a number of ways, save it to your photos on your phone and/or share it, including on Facebook. It’s a super easy way to get old photos into a digital format.

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Then, I have a photo printer (Canon Selphy) that I can print photos on, but they have to be on your phone in order for it to work, and the majority of my photos are not taken with my phone, so this is really an amazing application.

So I took a photo of my computer screen showing a photo taken with my rebel camera and loaded into my photo program.

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It’s not perfect, but not bad! And now it’s on my phone! Certainly good enough for a small photo reprint (I’ll have to try it on the Canon selphy to be sure, but that will have to wait for another day.)

The second that caught my eye is  “Waterlogue.” It takes photographs and makes them look like watercolor paintings.

I don’t have a clear idea yet of how I’ll use it, but I suspect that making elements to add to my scrapbook pages would be a good place to start!

THEN, as I was goofing around with the apps, I took a photo of a photo on my computer screen with the Photomyne app, and made a watercolor out of it with Waterlogue. I’m addicted!

Directly from my camera phone:

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Waterlogue:

Preset Style = Vibrant Format = 6" (Medium) Format Margin = Small Format Border = Sm. Rounded Drawing = #2 Pencil Drawing Weight = Medium Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = Natural Paint Lightness = Auto Paint Intensity = More Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Medium Water Bleed = Average Brush = Natural Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Narrow Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Light Options Faces = Enhance Faces

 

Photomyne:

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Waterlogged:

Preset Style = Vibrant Format = 6" (Medium) Format Margin = Small Format Border = Sm. Rounded Drawing = #2 Pencil Drawing Weight = Medium Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = Natural Paint Lightness = Auto Paint Intensity = More Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Medium Water Bleed = Average Brush = Natural Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Narrow Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Light Options Faces = Enhance Faces

 

Photomyne:

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Waterlogue:

Preset Style = Vibrant Format = 6" (Medium) Format Margin = Small Format Border = Sm. Rounded Drawing = #2 Pencil Drawing Weight = Medium Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = Natural Paint Lightness = Auto Paint Intensity = More Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Medium Water Bleed = Average Brush = Natural Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Narrow Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Light Options Faces = Enhance Faces

I like the closer up photo of a person better than the combination person/landscape…but how do you know if you don’t fool around with it?

The landscape on its own is pretty interesting!

Photomyne:

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Waterlogue:

Preset Style = Natural Format = 6" (Medium) Format Margin = Small Format Border = Sm. Rounded Drawing = #2 Pencil Drawing Weight = Medium Drawing Detail = Medium Paint = Natural Paint Lightness = Auto Paint Intensity = Normal Water = Tap Water Water Edges = Medium Water Bleed = Average Brush = Natural Detail Brush Focus = Everything Brush Spacing = Narrow Paper = Watercolor Paper Texture = Medium Paper Shading = Light Options Faces = Enhance Faces

I can see that I have a lot playing to do!

As If I Don’t Have Enough On My Plate…

Seriously. I need to be at least three people.

For those of you who know me well, this comes as no big surprise. For about the gazzillionth post, I’m trying to live three people’s lives all at once. I can’t help myself. I just don’t feel like I have enough of a lifetime left to do all that I want/need to do!

As I struggle with balance, one of the overriding issues I can’t seem to get on top of is my weight loss (or lack thereof…)

In order to lose weight, I need to focus the majority of my energy on it, and I just CAN’T. SEEM. TO. DO. IT.

My daughter and daughter-in-law are TRYING to help me. They’ve been doing a cleanse, and have encouraged me to join in. It’s really not all that challenging (except that when I tell myself I can’t have something – even though I haven’t really wanted it before – I fixate on it.)

Today it was Nutella, one of the evilest creations known to man, ever. I don’t EVER crave Nutella. And I know better than to ever have a tiny little bite, because one bite leads to another, and before I know it, I could suck down a whole giant jar. I just don’t do it. No big. So NOW, just because I’m trying to dedicate myself to getting some of the blubber off, I’m obsessing.

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But let’s concentrate on the positive.

This particular cleanse is easy. It’s not a juice fast, or terribly limiting in any way. You drink a concoction of unsweetened cranberry juice, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and water throughout the day. I happen to love the taste, so easy, peasy.

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Then it’s a matter of eating cleanly, which I do already, and staying away from processed food (which is a bit more of an issue, in that I LOVE protein bars and they will have to go.)

Here’s my lunch. And I have to confess, I LOVE it.

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The only part I will not be able to do is give up coffee. I will NEVER do it for good, so going through the pain of withdrawal when I KNOW I’ll be going back to drinking it, just doesn’t make any sense. So I’m going to keep drinking it. We all need SOME small amount of vice. This is mine. I can do without the alcohol. I can do without the sweets. I can’t do without coffee.

Cheese will be an issue as well, but I’m doing my very best to switch to nut-based substitutes. They have improved SO MUCH. They aren’t low calorie, so I’ll need to be careful with them, but at least they are “healthy” fat.

And then there’s exercise. Lordy, Lordy. My 10K step program has been up and down. I did EXTREMELY well during our 6 week trip – nailed it everyday, sometimes by a lot. Then I got sick, got out of the habit, and it’s been hit or miss getting back. My, um, encouragers (for lack of a better term) are putting together an exercise program for me. Heeheehee! Apparently they haven’t met me!

But I’m going to try. I wish I could say I’m looking forward to it, but I’m not. The good news is, from all my reading and what a former trainer told me, what you put into your mouth is far more important for weight loss than exercise.

So, I’m going to keep plugging away. I’m going to walk around in circles in the house now.

 

 

 

Countdown to Creating

It doesn’t do much good to have a blog about “creating” if you can’t make the time in your life to actually do it!

Somehow or another I seem to keep myself distracted enough with normal life, that creating seems to go by the wayside. I’m not complaining. I am in charge of how I spend my life, and I’m doing very little that I don’t WANT to do. But sometimes I have to wonder what happened to that girl that NEEDED to create. She pops out every now and then, but she doesn’t stay for long.

I guess part of it is I have enough “stuff.” (I can’t believe I just wrote that. It seems almost sacrilegious!) I don’t need anything else for my walls, floor space is at a premium, and I have way more jewelry than I need. I almost feel like am imposing on my daughter and daughter-in-law when I make them something, for fear they’re afraid to tell me they don’t like it.

What I NEED, NEED, NEED to do is spend time every day scrapbooking. Not only do I have enough supplies to stock a small store and many, many thousands of photos that need to get put in albums and the stories told before they are forgotten, but it would, if I let it, satisfy my creative needs (such as they are these days) plus get myself organized, make me feel like I’ve accomplished something, and done something that is of value to my family all at the same time.

But how to keep myself interested?

Buying a few new embellishments used to be enough to keep me going for weeks, but I have SO MANY now, that buying more is just a waste of money. And for ME to say that means I REALLY have enough. No, more than enough.  A ridiculous amount is more accurate.

So. We just went on a month long vacation in Sunriver, Oregon. We rented a house big enough for all ten of us, but then my son and his family were unable to go, so it was just 6 of us. We spent a lot of time out and about, BUT, I took a scrapbook project and was able to spend a fair amount of time working on it. I didn’t do anything terribly creative – just got the photos sorted and put into the album, figuring I’d go back and add artsy elements later. I ALMOST completed a whole vacation (Alaska 2013.) Another few hours, and I’ll be ready to decorate.

I’m mentioning it now because now that I’m home, I need to keep the momentum going, and SOMETIMES putting it out there to my little corner of the world helps me to follow through.

And then I see these words on the wall of my scrapping space.

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See? I’m just doing what I’m reminding myself to do. There seems to be a conflict of interest going on here! Heeheehee!

Anyway, I DID make a little purchase while I was gone. Well, not so little. I actually bought a TYPEWRITER. A TYPEWRITER! I make myself laugh just typing the words! There are just some projects that are more difficult to do on the computer. Memory Keepers brought back the regular old typewriter. I tried to resist. Really I did. But I saw it come across my Facebook feed, and was instantly obsessed. I gave myself a few days to think on it, just to make sure I wasn’t making a hasty decision. And then I did it.

I haven’t taken it out of the box yet. It’s going to be my prize for when I complete this scrapbook. Good incentive, huh?

I have a few things I need to do before I pull the album out to finish. Like unpacking. But the countdown begins. Then I’m going to create myself silly. No really.

Reconnecting With Old Friends

Heeheehee! No, not the kind you’re thinking!

These old friends are “LISTS.”

We used to be best buddies. But now we’re not. I wish you would tell me why… (Sorry – I have Frozen on the brain!) Anyway. Somehow we lost touch with each other.

Then when I was reflecting on how I had become such a lazy bum, I realized that it was the loss of my friends  “the lists.”

Somewhere along the way, I stopped keeping them (well except for grocery lists – I’d be TOTALLY lost without those!) I don’t remember exactly how it happened, or even when. Was I making them and not crossing anything off so I didn’t want the reminder that I was being a slug? Or did I become a slug after I quit keeping them? Who knows?

What I DO know, is that without them, I am unaccountable to myself. And that’s not good. I really do need adult supervision (as much as I hate to admit it) even if that adult is me. And my adult me makes lists. Lots of them. And then she actually looks at them, does the things that are on them, crosses them off, then makes new ones.

I know. This is probably a dumb thing to blog about, but I’m thinking if it’s a problem for me, it might be for you, too. And besides, you guys are my therapy, and I’m in desperate need of some at the moment.

Yesterday I blogged about the feeling that I was not being creative, and ended up talking about my lack of productivity and lists. Y’all were kind enough not to mention that I had derailed my own post. But when I  re-read the post after hitting “publish” I realized I’d never solved my creativity problem and had turned it into a post about a completely different problem by the end. What a dork.

Then I woke up this morning realizing that the two issues ARE intertwined.

The fundamental problem is that I haven’t been “adulting” myself, which has led to a lack of productivity in general, which has bled into my creativity, as well.

I think the bottom line is, I have a hard time carving out the time to be creative when I haven’t done the basic things I need to do in order to have an organized, functional life. Or in other words, how can I justify sitting down and “making something,” when I haven’t even “found the time” to dust or do the laundry?

My “adult” was missing in action, and my inner child (who is apparently a lazy slob) had taken over. But she needed to justify her slobfulness, so she filled her time with Facebook and games, making herself feel “oh so busy” so she really didn’t have time to do all those things she really didn’t want to do. But what the “child” didn’t realize was that she was also cutting herself off from the creativity she needed to feed her soul.

Whew!

So… my adult has reappeared and taken control. She has already started the lists (and even crossed a few things off!)

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As much as my inner child would like to assert that she’s not happy about this development, she really is like a REAL child that knows deep down inside that she need boundaries, and is grateful that her adult is providing them.

 

 

Must. Create. (soon?)

My life has been nearly a creative desert since returning home from vacation. Well, if you don’t count working on photos and putting together blog posts and scrapbooking. Okay. Never mind. I’ve been creating. Just not the kind of creating that is sufficiently nourishing my soul.

And I miss it.

Terribly.

I blame it on not enough hours in the day, but you know what? That’s kind of a cop out. If I compare my days now to a few years ago, I am on the computer WAAAAAAY more now than I was then. Not just on Facebook, which is a MAJOR time suck, but playing that stupid game spider solitaire, which has become a mindless addiction that I justify as mind-stimulating. But it’s not really. It’s what I do when I just want to fill my time. When I don’t want to just sit, but I don’t want to put out any effort, either.

I have gotten lazy. That is hard for me to write, because I have never seen myself as a lazy person. Quite the opposite, in fact. But if the shoe fits…

Truth is, I’m not requiring enough of myself.

I used to make long, exhaustive lists, then work my way through them, crossing off each task as it was accomplished, and I got a lot of satisfaction from drawing the lines through each as it was completed. Then to look at it at the end of the day and see how much I did… I found it very rewarding. And it wasn’t all just work. My lists OFTEN included working on/completing creative projects that I really WANTED to do, not just the mundane tasks necessary to keep a functioning household.

I haven’t made a list in ages. It’s been way too long since I’ve experienced the pride of looking at all those crossed off tasks.

So. What’s it going to be, Janet? Are you going to slide into permanent slugdom, or get off your LAZY bum and get back to yourself former productive self?

Productive self. Yep. I’m going with that.

Step one. Close down that game app. Excuse me. I’m going to do that right now.

K. Done. I didn’t put it on a list, but I mentally crossed it off. No more stupid games. I really do have better things to do.

Next up. A list. Actually, more than one. I need a master list of unfinished projects to start hacking away at. I need a list of things I need to do around the house and yard. And I need a list of daily things I need to do to take care of myself. Now THERE’S a novel idea – actually PLAN to take care of myself.

This sounds almost too good to be true, which usually means it is. So, don’t hold me to it. It’s an idea, the beginnings of a plan. It’s not set in concrete.

So while I contemplate, I think I’ll go to my happy place.

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