(Almost) December Daily

I bought a holiday minibook kit last year from Elise Blaha’s shop and never used it. I’ve seen a lot across the crafting interwebosphere about December Daily albums, and frankly at first I thought the idea of trying to work on any sort of minibook every day would be way too much. But then I finished my summer minibook, and it felt like doing a daily book for a short period of time would be an interesting challenge. It’s more journaling and less photos (although maybe I’ll add a few photos at the end, it wouldn’t seem right without them somehow), and here’s what I have so far. (Keep in mind that for me, the holiday season pretty much starts with Thanksgiving Eve, I mean, why wait until December?)

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

december daily book

One of Several Crazy Ideas I’ve Had Lately

One of my new coworkers, who is also spearheading a new Wellness Team for the library staff members, dropped a challenge on the rest of us just in time for the holidays. She recently learned about a book called the Engine 2 Diet, and since it involves a 28 day challenge, and there are 28 days sandwiched between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, she threw down the gauntlet. Or, well, really she just said she’s going to be giving E2 a go, and invited anyone who was interested to join her, in an effort to avoid the annual holiday Season of Eating side effects.

So it seemed like doing anything crazy for 28 days would be possible, so I signed up. And then I learned more about the diet, namely that it’s sort of like vegan+, in that there’s no meat, fish, dairy, white/processed grains, or oils. And since I don’t really cook or eat very much meat anymore (and have been wondering about becoming a vegetarian for quite some time, no matter what most of my friends and family say), and my mild lactose intolerance means that I don’t eat all that much dairy, it seemed like it would be doable.

And then I thought about it some more, and realized that really? If I’m being honest? I mostly eat carbs. White, processed carbs. And cheddar cheese. And burritos. AKA not too many whole grains, real-life vegetables, or healthy foods. And now I’m not so sure about the whole idea.

It will be a challenge, for sure, but I also think that it will probably force me to learn that it’s a lot less difficult to eat more whole foods and less meat and dairy than I think it is. So I’m going to try it. I’m not going to kill myself over it (I’m surely not going to avoid beer for the entire month! And I’m surely not going to avoid whatever cheesy appetizers we’ll eat in the city celebrating Pete’s birthday! and if I want to roast some vegetables with olive oil, come ON…) but I think it will be interesting. And if I get a little healthier in the process, well, that would be kinda nice too.

Asbury Park: A Study (Or, I’m Unoriginal)

I seem to have a problem, namely that when I end up at the boardwalk in Asbury Park to take photos, I keep taking the same picture. I suppose I could be smart and say that I’m doing an unofficial study in angles and formats, but in reality? I just can’t seem to stop taking photos of the front of the old casino.

(casi) NO
(perhaps my favorite shot, from the south side before the rebuilding started, digital, May 2010)

pre-renovation, May
(a tie for favorite, from the north side before renovation started, 35mm, May 2010)

oh no! they're refurbishing the casino!!
(after rebuilding began, digital, August 2010)

but rebuilding is supposed to be good, I guess.
(after they started rebuilding, digital, August 2010)

the casino, polaroid-style
(getting over Polaroid intimidation using a favorite subject, polaroid, August 2010)

September 16, 2010
(shot for a month of shoes, digital, September 2010)

asino
(can’t stop, digital, November 2010″

The Power of the Internet

So a pretty awesome thing happened this week, awesome enough that I have to tell you about it. I have been looking forward to the fall installment of ‘Roid Week, now that I have a polaroid camera of my own, and I’ve (sort of) gotten past my fear of actually using it. Polaroid week only comes around twice a year, and after following along, I was really jazzed about getting to participate.

Except … my un-airconditioned apartment pretty much ruined my Silver Shade film from the Impossible Project. Or, the combined powers of my fear of doing the wrong thing and the extreme sensitivity to temperature of the film itself combined to ruin the film. But I didn’t find this out until the start of this week, when I took a few pictures and they turned out like this:

hot apartment + silver shade = ruined film

And while the swirls are actually really interesting in their own right, I was bummed. And I said so on twitter, just because I was so disappointed. I was shocked when I got a reply from the Impossible Project itself, telling me to call their store in NYC, because they could help me out. For real?

ten, slightly blurry

Yes, for real. I talked to Anne, who was super nice, and offered to send me a new pack, and quickly, in the hopes that I could still participate in Polaroid Week after all. This is the kind of amazing (completely unexpected) customer service that you hear about, but don’t really ever experience. I mean, I sort of ruined the film by my own stupidity (or lack of knowledge, perhaps…) so getting another chance was kind of the last thing I expected. I came home to a box from the Impossible Project Space in NYC last night, and was shocked again, because it contained not one but two packs! (They duplicated my original order, which was for two packs, and I’m sooo happy, because I can’t imagine my second pack escaped the swirly chemical fate of the first one.)

e E, just barely

So I just wanted to say thank you HUGELY to Anne and the Impossible Project and their general awesomeness. I mean, they were awesome before.. but it just goes to show how the internet can be a pretty wonderful place.

Sunrise at the Beach

I don’t know when I last watched a sunrise, let alone one at the beach. I’m fairly certain I haven’t ever done that. So way back when I started working on Scavenger Hunt 101, I felt like I should do something special for #73, a sunrise. You don’t live 15 minutes from the beach on the east coast and not watch at least one sunrise. So on Tuesday, I woke up super early (and I may or may not have waited until the last week before daylight savings time ended so I didn’t have to wake up THAT super early) and drove to the boardwalk in Asbury Park (even though the universe is probably SO over my photos from that spot, I just can’t help it) in time to watch the sun rise.

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It was pretty amazing. Even if the bagel place on the boardwalk is closed, but only on Tuesdays. If you ever get a chance to watch the sun rise, you should do it. Really.

Completed: Summer 2010 Minibook

Summer may be long over, but I finally finished putting my summer 2010 minibook together! After having so much fun with the kit I bought last year, I decided to buy another of Elise Blaha’s summer mini book kits. I worked on it a bit during the summer while I had the supplies out for my 28 to do list book, especially because some of the events appear in both books. I was really inspired after taking Elise’s Big Mini online workshop in September, and found myself incorporating some of her most helpful ideas as I was putting this book together.

I tried to limit my supplies to help focus, including Paper Source paper, transparencies, my brand new washi tape, and of course the date stamp. The book is really photo-heavy, and that’s one of the reasons summer (or seasonal) books are fun to put together – this became a diary of the noteworthy events from this summer, so the straightforward nature made putting it together feel quicker. Some of the pages are very simple, but I like that. And I’m hooked on using the transparencies to include ticket stubs in the book. (Jodi and Cynthia, I’ll totally share mine with you!)

So here are some of my favorite pages. As for my next project? I think I might try a December daily book for the holidays this year, because I have a kit that I bought last year and didn’t use. We’ll see. Daily pages are a whole different can of worms, an entirely different minibook style… but it might be a lot of fun.

summer1

summer2

summer3

summer6

summer7

summer8

summer8.1

summer9

summer10

summer11

summer12

summer13

Blue

Blue is, as one of the original crayon colors, perhaps not as flashy as some of the newer additions. But it’s a classic, and I was surprised at how much true blue I found in my archives. I just love the richness of a real royal blue, maybe because you don’t find it too often. I just couldn’t leave any of these out, especially since the last one is from Shea Stadium back in 2006.

the geometry of blue diner bling

stripes were everywhere

blue reflector

rusty and blue (and a little sea green for good measure)

closed for the season

bricks, bench, giant pile of snow

blue stripes

October 29, 2009

Mr. Met says,

#24: Knit Something

Learning how to knit was on my 28 to do list, and I very nearly didn’t get it done in time for my birthday. But a last-minute crafty gathering with Jodi and Minty in New York City four days before my birthday meant that I learned how to knit before my birthday deadline after all. And I kind of thought that after so many years of crocheting, I’d take to knitting instantly… but I felt so completely awkward trying to cast on and learn to knit and purl. I figured it out eventually, thanks to Minty’s patience (and getting to use the less cumbersome circular needles she had with her). Even though finishing that granny square blanket earlier in the summer has me completely jazzed about crocheting, I wanted to make sure to knit something, and soon, so as not to forget all of my recently learned skills. So I added “knit something” to my 30 before 30 list.

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I watched a lot of youtube videos, took books out of the library, and went to the craft store for yarn and my own circular needles, because despite now being the owner of my grandmother’s impressive stash of needles, at least for my first project, I wanted to stick with the tools that worked best as I was learning. And thank the universe for youtube videos, because I had forgotten a lot even a week or so after I learned. And in a surprising subplot to this whole learning to knit thing, I’ve discovered that I really am a more visual learner than any other method. All of those quizzes we took in high school to help us learn how we learn told me I was every type of learner (visual, tactile, auditory) but when it comes to crafting? I need to see it. Reading books with black and white diagrams doesn’t help me at ALL. I need photo step-by-step instruction or a video. Or someone showing me how to do it in front of me. So that’s good to know about myself.

windblown and squinty

Anyway, I bought a few $0.99 balls of “fun yarn” mostly because I couldn’t resist the jewel-toned colors, figuring I’d just knit a bunch of rows until I felt comfortable. That turned into just making a garter stitch scarf, because (a) it was all knitting and (b) I like how garter stitch almost looks like stripes, sort of. So rather than try to learn how to make stripes with my first project, I just knit until I was done with each ball of yarn. And I really dig the color block effect, perhaps simply because it’s not what I’d normally plan. And who knew changing colors was so damn easy?

the first thing I ever knitted!

I see a lot of projects in my future, and a lot of stripes, too. I think I’m going to try a hat next… but if you have any suggestions for good beginner knitting projects, I’m all ears!

Orange

Orange is and has almost always been my one true favorite color. I flirt with other favorite colors but when it comes down to it? I’m all about orange. Which is why I was surprised not only at how few photos I found in my archives last week when orange came up for sixty-four colors, but also how it wasn’t really jumping out at me in the wild. I still love every one of these shots, though, and think they make a pretty nice set together. (Also, as I’m looking back at what I got during red orange week, that explains why I couldn’t find as many true orange shots in the archives!)

life right now

craft supplies that are also orange? double plus bonus!

the orangest orange that was ever orange

I love it when I spot something good and there's no one around so I can get my shot in peace