The sketchbook is out

As I sit and talk with Fiance about projects for his classes, it brings me back to years ago when I was in school for my own fine arts degree.  It may have been a degree in Interior Design – a science major at many schools – but it was a fine arts degree at the school I chose.  Which meant I was exposed to so many wonderful sides of art.  I took all sorts of classes from drawing to painting, ceramics to art metals and screen printing.  I even skipped on across the pond for a summer study abroad program in London and Scotland to paint.  Quite wonderful, it was!

While I may be in a very logic based career now, the creativity is always there.  I try to do what I can to keep it going.  I sew and quilt, I dabble in photography, I even throw some paint on canvas from time to time.  Lately though, the drive to create has been there, but inspiration has been lacking.  I searched Pinterest for projects to do, I looked through my quilt books, but nothing was quenching the ‘need to create’ thirst.  Then I remembered back to one of my drawing classes when our teacher made us fill an entire sketchbook with whatever came to us.

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I went to a drawer that Fiance and I keep empty sketchbooks and grabbed one out.  I opened it with a pencil in hand and stared at the blank paper.  Nothing.  This need to create, and I couldn’t put a pencil to paper to draw.  So I  thought back to class when we used to draw still-life upon still-life.  I looked up and picked an area on my shelf and began to draw.  Ah yes, a bit rusty I see.

But then I continued.  I began looking for inspiration everywhere.  eyes.  organic/geometric.  dandelions.  text.  Ideas flowing in one after another.

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My sketchbook is slowly starting to fill page by page.  I may just keep going. Heck, I will hopefully fill this before I’m 30! In fact, I think I’ll work to fill at least two more over the next year!

Check it off the list!

Back in October, I wrote up my 30 Before Thirty list.  I have exctly 7 months from yesterday to check off the 27 things that I have left to finish.   Another one will be completed this week!

Today I will be checking of:

23.  Turn the Man Cupboard (our computer room) into a functional and comfortable space.

J lovingly coined the computer room – the Man Cupboard a few months back, because we were discussing how he didn’t have a Man Cave at the moment.  And thankfully, he doesn’t mind sharing the Man Cupboard with me.

Up until this weekend, the room was very disorganized, not even an organized chaos…just chaos!  There was paperwork to be filed, a couple boxes to be unpacked, tv trays for workspace, furniture that wasn’t being utilized to its fullest potential,  hand sewing projects piled on my desk (which now have a little home); it was just a mess.  We had been ready to clean and organize the room for a while now, but we were at the point of no return – so overwhelmed we didn’t know where to start.

Then the little diddy on the right showed up for sale on a Facebook sale site that I am a part of.  The perfect piece for the clean house kick-off!  And we had the perfect place to put it too.  The bookshelf fit like a glove!

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After a long two days of going through boxes, finding things we thought were packed away in our storage unit, filing like no other, 2 bags of shredding, 1 bag of old magazines and catalogs, and 3 bags of trash – chaos was out the door and the long awaited space of functionality and comfort had arrived!  We still can’t believe how great it looks, and we even have desk space!

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Stay tuned for later in the week to see the other item ticked off the list!

What a weekend!

Two more goals from my 30 Before Thirty list have been checked off!  (You can see my list here.)

This weekend was our time for family photos!  I can’t remember the last time that we actually had family pictures done when it wasn’t a wedding.  I think the last time we had actual family pictures taken was back when we got them at the church we were going to.  I’m thinking that was at least 12-15 years ago?  Ooofta.  We have been trying for the last few years, but with Dad out of town for work often, and big brother up north working, it was hard to find a time when everyone had a free weekend at the same time.  Plus the fact that big brother is now married and my little niece is around, and I have Lovie – it was time to get some pictures taken!  They were actually planned for a weekend a few years ago when it worked for us all…but then we had a huge snow storm, which meant no travel anywhere.  So when my sister-in-law called with the date of this weekend that they were available, and I actually had the weekend off, we made the plans to schedule it!  I called the photographer we were originally hoping to use, but she was booked out until December..eesh.  The other little constraint was that Niecey’s 6-month pictures were also going to be done at the same time.  6-month pictures taken of an 8-month old babe don’t work so well.  Thankfully I had another close friend who I thought might be available.  Lo and behold, this was the only weekend she had left available in October!  It was a date!

It was a beautiful day out, the temps were warm for this time of year, the sun was out, and there was just a slight breeze.  We headed over to a historical farm and park, all dolled up in our picture day outfits, and were ready!

Oh, I suppose I should also tell you, the other perfect reason for the pictures today?  Lovie and I got engaged yesterday!!!  That’s right, I now have a fiance – no longer a boyfriend!  I knew it would happen sometime, I just didn’t know that sometime was going to be yesterday!  And the ring is amazing!  We had talked about styles, we had tried a few on, but I didn’t know which one he actually went with.  Boy did he win!

20131028-013041.jpgAhh!  I still can’t sit still!  We’ve set the date for next August; a nice, small, intimate wedding with a little open house afterwards.  We both have already been married, so we don’t feel the need for the big hoopla.  Plus, who doesn’t mind saving a little money, right?  I mean really, I looked at a couple of websites, and saw the average cost of a wedding these days is $28,000!  $28,000???  I would rather put that as a down payment on a house!  Thank goodness he and I are on the same page with this one!

Oh my goodness, we’re getting married!!  I mean, I knew it would come eventually, it just seemed so far away!

So anyways, that takes two items off of my list!  And we can’t wait to get the photos back!  Now for patience…and planning!

Date Day with my Love

Today was a rare day. Lovie was off of school, and I was off of work. Understand, that rarely happens on a weekday! Since the day was open, we planned a date day; a day for just the two of us – much needed!

It started off with a 3 mile walk around a nearby lake with our sister-in-law. It was a brisk 45 degrees with sun, a few clouds and a light breeze. But the company and the fall colors made up for it! We tried getting to a lake to walk at least once a week this summer, but it has since slowed down now that Lovie and the kids are in school. It was wonderful to catch up!

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After the walk, Lovie and I were off to the Science Museum. That’s right, we checked #1 off of my 30 Before Thirty list! Done and Done! As I mentioned, we planned the day since Lovie was off of school. We didn’t realize until we got to the museum that all the little kiddies had school off too. Oops. Oh, well, we still had an absolutely fantastic time! We learned about the Mayans, read history on the place we call home, hung out  in the experiment labs, drew with some spirographs, saw lots of dinosaurs, and took tons of goofy pictures. I’m always all about taking pictures, and always have been. I used to be a major scrapbooker, but have turned into a digital photo booker as of late. I make a yearbook each year for us. It’s so fun looking back at the previous years! Currently working on Volume 3 now.

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After the museum, we stopped off at Dairy Queen for a treat, then back home for a movie night!  It’s was a wonderful day, just the two of us!  Definitely a day that I will cherish, full of memories, and will always remember!

Make a Mess, Organize, Repeat

Today was spent at storage working to organize and declutter!  Which was also a part of #22 on my 30 Before Thirty list!

I have a storage locker that was quickly obtained a littler over 3 years ago when I left my ex-husband, so I had a place to put all of my goods that I was getting from the divorce.  Needless to say, I got a big one, because I knew it would soon fill up.  It began filling with a box here and there, then the big move happened.  I got the bedroom furniture, the hutch (which he never wanted anyways), the desk, a few comfy lounge chairs, the futon, the kitchen table and chairs, etc..  Thank goodness I hired movers to help with the big move from the house!  After I left and signed the house to him – I didn’t want that place, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to sell it – and got everything I was taking out, it was back to bunk with mom and dad.

Then Lovie and I got an apartment together.  I still had some space left in my storage, and his mom was kicking his stuff out of her storage locker, so to mine it came.  It soon became ‘our’ locker.  Once our lease was up and mom needed help caring for Grandma, we moved back with mom and dad.  Everything except what was needed at the house went back to storage.  There was a little extra overflow that also went to Lovie’s brother’s house.  Thank goodness they had space in their basement and the “rent” is able to be paid in beer!  Also, let’s add some heirloom pieces to Mom’s storage that were saved from Grandma’s house when it was cleaned out for when we get our next place.  That’s right guys, that means all of our cherished belongings are somewhere in one of 4 different locations.  Man, is it going to be like Christmas when we finally get a house!  We don’t even remember what’s in half of the boxes by now (about 2 years later).

Which brings us back to today.  We are now at the point of clean, organize, declutter, and decide what we can condense – save – or sell!  We kept finding things in which we both gave each other the ‘what did we save that for’ look.  Sell pile!  Those items have now been posted to sell (since it’s no longer garage sale season here), and the money will be put towards paying off debt so we can eventually get a house.  Oh, what a cycle it is.  And I can finally say, we have moved past the ‘someday’ stage.  The “oh, maybe we’ll need it someday, maybe we’ll use it someday” thinking.  The way we look at it – someday isn’t a day of the week, so it may never come.  Minimalist lifestyle – here we come!  At least we’re trying to get there.

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Now that we’ve been through everything of ours, we will be heading back in the next few weeks to build a loft to get some of our items up off the ground to fit Mom’s items from her storage in there as well.  We’ll be able to split the cost, saving us at least $70 a month!  Oh, that is sweetness to my ears!

I must say, it was a successful day!  And look at all that tidiness and space!

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30 Before Thirty

When I was in high school, I remember my friends and I wishing to be 20, thinking the world would be our oyster!  And 30?  Oh my, was that old!

Old??  Oofta, now I am just 8 short months away from it!  My girlfriends and I celebrated our first 29th birthdays this past summer and were debating if we’ll just continue with 29th birthdays, or actually turn 30 next year.  I think I will go ahead and celebrate 30, but we’ll see as it gets closer.

I’m not sure I am where I pictured my life as an almost 30-year old.  There were a few detours along the way.  I took a couple lefts when they should have been rights.  I’ve been to college a couple of times for two separate degrees, been married and divorced, found the man who was made for me, been a caregiver, become an aunt, gotten some ink, opened my wonderful Etsy shop, been momma to a few fur-babies, and so many other wonderful things.

So in these last few months of my first 29th year, I have decided to make a few goals of things to do before I’m the big 3-0.

30 before Thirty

  1. Go to the Science Museum with Lovie.
  2. Go tubing at the local ski hill.
  3. Participate in the Turkey Trot 5K.
  4. Find and participate in a Color Run.
  5. Sleep out under the stars on the deck camping style.
  6. Take a trip to meet Lovie’s dad.
  7. Try 2 new restaurants in the cities.
  8. Celebrate Niecey’s 1st birthday.
  9. Get engaged!
  10. Go to a roller derby.
  11. Paint and sell a piece of furniture.
  12. Go to Las Vegas.
  13. Lose 20 lbs. – and keep it off!
  14. Finish the Tumbling Gnomes quilt.
  15. Go snowboarding again.
  16. Make Rotha’s buns (family roll recipe) all by myself.
  17. Re-learn sign language.
  18. Spend a day off of work watching oldie movies from my childhood.
  19. Reupholster our chaise lounge.
  20. Finish the Scrappy Circles quilt.
  21. Get off the to gun range at least 3 times.
  22. Organize and declutter!
  23. Turn the Man Cupboard (our computer room) into a functional and comfortable space.
  24. Complete an entire sketchbook/art journal.
  25. Make 2 recipes from my Pinterest boards.
  26. Sew myself a skirt with fabric that has been waiting.
  27. Celebrate my 3rd Blogiversary!
  28. Head on down to the Paint Pub with a few of my favorite people.
  29. Get a family picture taken.
  30. Hang up my & Lovie’s Love Us wall.
  31. Pay off all credit card debt!

And one more for good measure!

There are a few here that have been started, or are soon to start.  I can’t wait to start checking things off!