OLW – Catch up!

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I have let my One Little Word fade into the background a bit these past few months. That’s not to say it hasn’t popped into my head every now and then – especially when I’m boiling inside and just taking a deep breath and saying “Release” helps dissipate things somehow. But the assignments from Ali have been dutifully printed off, placed into my OLW duotang and then forgotten about until the next month’s assignment lands in my in-box. 12 days ago I received July’s assignment which got me thinking. “Exactly how many months behind am I now?”


Yup, bad me!

So the other day I got busy. I dug out my OLW binder and duotang, read through all the handouts – starting in January just to remind myself about the beginning – and sat down to do the work. It was good to remind myself of my word. Of my original intentions for my word. Of hopes I’d forgotten about. After I got caught up to June (July is still a work in progress), I took some pictures and I thought I’d share them with you now.

Title page – pre-class assignment.

January’s assignment – self protrait and initial thought cards.

February’s assignment – 9 images.
March’s assigment – To Do list

This was as far as I got (except for the painting which you’ll see in a bit).
April’s assignment was to write a note to ourselves.
April’s assignment part B – another self portrait. This photo was actually taken on July 2nd but since the assignment called for a current photo and I WAS 3 months late, I opted for this as opposed to digging out a picture of me in April (which may or may not exist to be honest!).

This is my note to myself.
While jotting down notes I realized I had more to say to myelf than would fit on the blank Ali sent so I made a card that would fit into the 5×7 pocket and then covered it in this fun Basic Grey paper.

Here is the inside of the note as well as my initial scribblings.

Here’s that painting I was talking about. I originally posted about it here. It came about as a result of just having some fun with old guache paints I’d found during an organizational blitz in my scrap room.

On the backside of the painting is this layout I did for LOAD in May. I wasn’t sure where to put it but it seems to fit within the parameters of my OLW personal journey.

May’s assignment was to create task lists and/or write down things already accomplished and things still left to do with regard to our OLW journey. So far I have 5 and hope to add another 5 soon.

And now we arrive at June.
June’s assigment was to first pick a colour and then get messy – no problem! Here’s a look at the very beginning of my process.
And the finished results. 
Looking at all of them together like this makes me really happy. I wasn’t sure where to begin or how to proceed but Ali encouraged us to relax and just let things evolve. I did and this is what came of it! It was so much fun to just create without any parameters beyond our chosen colour scheme and the number of little canvasses.
Here are some closeups.
Picking a colour was pretty easy as I’d already been using almost exclusively brown and pink for my embellishments.
I pulled out all my pink and brown inks, paints and glitters and then went hunting for interesting textures, stencils, stamps, you name it. The canvas on the right above was created by spraying 3 colours of mist over a laser cut piece of cardstock. Then I added round dollops of glue and sprinkled MS glitter in bronze over them. The butterfly on the left is stamped with Ranger distress ink – sorry can’t remember the colour right now. 

The “me” canvas gave me a lot of problems. I initially tried to mist over the m-e to create a blocked out ME but I used too much mist and it bled under the letters. I put it aside and worked on the other canvasses while I tried to figure out what to do. The letters has so much spray on them that their original colours were completely obliterated and I liked the mottled look so I decided to paint over the card and then glue the letters to it. But the brown mists were bleeding through the pink paint and turned it a sort of sickly grey-pink colour. Ack! Then I got the idea of hiding it under strips of ribbon and tons of pink glitter and Voila!  It started off hugely disappointing but ended as one of my favourite canvasses. Go figure!

I started the “a” canvass with a similar idea to the ME one but using paint instead of mists. I really liked how the paint adhered the letter to the cardstock so I left it. Once it was dry I glued and glittered it. Simple but effective. The paint splatters are actually a stamp that I just stamped over and over with different colours. Then I stamped the “colour your world” part over top. It’s not as noticable as I’d like but I have no plans to change it.

The butterflies were made by painting over a glitter butterfly die cut paper then adding a few mini butterflies I’d punched out earlier.

This pink one stumped me for the longest time. I just kept staring at this blank bit of pink painted paper and wondering what the heck to do with it! Then I was reminded that Ali had used her daughter’s hand in one of hers and I went finger painting. A little flower was born and after adding a little journalling and a ribbon, it was finished. The other one is my favourite one. I used my trusty empty toilet paper holder to stamp the circles. I purposely put piles of paint on the end of the roll so the circles would have some texture to them. The circle of pattered paper I had laying out on my desk and it worked but needed something. Turns out that something was a button!

And last but not least I did more stamping. Using multiple colours again (I saw this done on a card with little birdies and now I can’t remember where it was so sorry for not giving credit where it’s due!) Once all the background was done I stamped the “be happy” – initially in pink but it didn’t show up very well so I re-stamped it in black. Much better! And lastly I added a little butterfly and some bling.
July’s assignment is to listen to our word and pick 9 songs that are our current soundtrack of our word. I must admit to being totally stumped with this one but I currently have my iTunes going so will hopefully soon be able to pick 9 songs that say “release” to me! Yikes!
Thanks for checking in. I’m hoping to get my latest Project 12 layout posted today too so stay tuned for that. Right now I must get LC up from her nap. Her escapades is “what can I paint myself in today” continue. Earlier I found her standing on top of her change table holding an open bottle of conditioner in one hand and a wipe in the other. Needless to say the “guest room goodies” basket has been permanently removed from her room!!
I am NOT going to survuve her two’s!!!

5 on Friday – March 25th

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Welcome to another installment of 5 on Friday!
This week has been busy around here and we’re not done yet! The older girls are on Spring Break. While I am enjoying the relaxing mornings without the usual rush out the door to get to school, I have found myself scrambling to find things to keep Marley and Paige busy. Marley has had a couple playdates but Paige hasn’t yet. Hopefully next week I can arrange something for her!

Before I ramble on too long, let’s get to my 5 for this week.

1. LC turned 2

I know I already posted on her birthday but here are a couple more pictures of her on that day. These are of her and her cupcake! (We’re having family over on Sunday when I’ll bring out the big cake but I wanted something small on her actual birthday too!)

She ended up eating the icing and sprinkles only. Typical!
2. Maui Album
It’s done!!! Yay!!! Here are a few shots, for the entire album please check out the movie on my side bar (assuming I can get it to post etc).
The cover page. Now I’m really wishing I’d used the self-timer so I could have been in the picture. Looking back through all the pictures from the trip I noticed that we never got one of all 7 of us. Too bad! Next time!!

One of the pre-Cricut layouts. I did have my Cuttlebug though so was able to do some fun things with it. The palm tree I found at a scrapbooking store.

This layout has a hidden journalling tag.

A post-Cricut layout. Greg and I took LC on a day trip to Pai’a and up the volcano to the winery. This layout is from the beaches at Pai’a where we marvelled at the big surf. Our local beach was a calm lake in comparison!

Another post-Cricut layout. The close ups below are of all the flowers and leaves I cut out for the New Dresses page.
I counted and I did exactly half of this album pre-Cricut and the other half post-Cricut. How fun! Again I’d like to give a huge shout-out to my friend Jenn for loaning me her Cricut cartidges while she’s in France. I had so much fun using them to decorate my pages. And having them both forced me to finish the album and inspired me to finish the album. Awesome!


3. Sea Monkeys
Marley was given Sea Monkeys for her birthday from her cousins Matthew, Sophie and Sadie. At first I was skeptical (and a little flabbergasted that they still made them!) but Marley was thrilled. She finally has a pet!! Joy! It took awhile for them to hatch and then you could barely see them but we were checking in on them this morning and lo and behold, they are growing! Check it out!
Okay, so I’m not sure you can see them in this picture. Those little white floaty things are the Sea Monkeys. They wouldn’t really hold still for the camera! LOL!

Marley did feel the need to make some bunny ears though!
4. Bar Keepers Friend
This is another one of those gifts that I received with extreme skepticism but I am officially eating my words. Well, thoughts actually! This stuff rocks! Thanks Mom Day!!
I used it to scrub all the pen/crayon/felt/pencil crayon off the girls’ craft table and it looks better than new! The wall and the chair will require something a little bit … um, harsher. Actually, the wall will just have to wait until we repaint! LC is one challenging kid at times!!
5. OLW Update
I have yet to write more tasks in my album but I am more or less on target with my organizational goals. I rejigged the girls’ craft area again and like it even better now. They have more room on their table to craft/colour/do homework since I moved their supplies onto the “bar area”. Yes, our house had one of those mirrored bar areas in the family room. Complete with scary glass shelves! Some day (after we win the lotto) I will take great joy in personally ripping it apart! Until then … we’ll find a use for it somehow!
But I digress, I was talking about my organizational efforts.
My plans to tackle the Master Bedroom this week fell short but as soon as I finish this posting I will be gathering boxes to start the mammoth task of going through all the girls’ toys and books. Keep, Toss, Donate/Sell! Those are going to be my boxes. Watch out world!!
Wish me luck!
Okay, that’s it for now. Enjoy your weekend everyone! Now that my Hawaii album is done I can finally turn my attention to Paige’s baby album (somthing she has been patiently waiting for me to start). First up this weekend though is to try and tackle some the Apron Strings Birthday party Challenges. I’ve been diligently writing them all down but not able to get to them.
But first … toys …
See ya!

5 on Friday – March 18th

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For once I am not feeling like I have nothing to talk about today. This has been an eventful week on all fronts – kids, crafts, personal, you name it. I am exhausted! Today marks the last day of school before a 2-week long Spring Break and I am really looking forward to NOT having to rush 3 little girls out the door at 8:30 in the morning, packing a lunch for Marley (I’ve talked about that headache before!) and waking up LC after too short a nap in order to pick up Marley at 3:00PM. Here’s to lounging in my PJ’s until noon!!! Whoo hoo!!

But I digress, here’s my five random things for the week:

1. OLW – February and March assignments

I promised to apply myself to this over the past weekend and I did. I just wasn’t able to blog about it until now. February we were to gather 9 pictures that depicted our word. I found this really tough as my word is hard to visualize in that way. So I had put it off until this past weekend. But here’s what I eventually came up with:

From the top left my images are; the filthy “clean” pan (see this post), my “Release” t-shirt that I won from craftysteals.com, a picture of red balloons in a tree (see below for a close up), the backside of my Release title from January (see this post) with the word “EMBRACE” on it (my secret second One Little Word) and then some images I took from the web – “Pain! U just have to LET GO”, dandelion seeds blowing in the wind, a butterfly being released, a flock of graphic butterflies and lanterns being released at a lantern festival. I chose all these images because I felt they depicted what I am trying to achieve.
A relinquishing of pain, anger and frustration.
A lightening of body and spirit.
While putting this together I decided to add the journalling. It’s not a quote, just my thoughts.
And now onto March’s assignment. We were given the task to ACT on one thing this month. To write it down and commit to a day when we’d do it. Here is my page.
The page dividers Ali is using are an assortment of sizes and configurations. This one has a flap that (as you can see) attaches with string. Anyway, here are the close ups:

The top part of the flap on the right has a tag with the prompt “This Month I” and then we were to fill in the rest. So I chose “Get Organized”. I had many ideas and tasks zooming around my head but they all seemed to be in the same vein of cleaning, decluttering or getting tasks crossed off my never ending to-do list. So … now it’s official!! Gasp!
The bottom slot is purely for decoration. The 1 is to remind me to focus on one thing only. Ya, right!!
With the flaps opened it looks something like this.
Another reminder to myself to do it now, not to procrastinate as is my usual habit!
Just a little bit of complaining!!
One of the templates Ali sent us this month was this calendar into which we were to put when we’d committed to do our One Little Thing. I intend to write in more but at the time I did this I knew Spring Break was coming up and that I wasn’t able to commit to a specific day just yet. On Monday I plan to revisit this and put in the following tasks: Declutter and clean the Master Bedroom, Organize the toys (OMG what a job that is going to be!), and clean up the office/craft room. That should be plenty to worry about during Spring Break, right?
The last template was a journalling spot to document our experience. I wrote down my thoughts about starting the assignment and at the end of March I plan to write down my thoughts about actually doing the assignment.

2. Project 12 – March 2011

I started this last Sunday and it sat out on my drafting table all week!!  I put bits and pieces together in 10 – 15 minute spurts until I was mostly happy with it. I think my displeasure with it is because I wasn’t able to do it in one sitting. It’s okay but I know I can do better. I must admit, the brown paint looked heavy going on but I’m pleased with it now.

I was going to show a couple more close ups but in an effort to keep this post in the realm of “readable in one day!!” I won’t.
Moving on …

3. Soccer Fun Day

Or, as I referred to it, Soccer Not So Fun Day!
Sunday was the wrap up tournament for Marley (and lately Paige’s) soccer season. It was also rainy, cold and generally a miserable day to be outside all morning! It was also the first day of Daylight Savings so we were all extra tired! Fun times!! LC was still sleeping when Greg and the girls left so we joined them at 9:30 for their “break” – face painting, Timbits, etc. LC was happy enough to have a Timbit but got pretty upset when I wouldn’t let her take it onto the turf field.

Ah, the emotional ups and downs of an almost 2 year old!!
We stayed to watch Marley and Paige go through the skills drills and part of one game but then we had to leave. LC was done!

Marley waiting for her turn to shoot at the radar gun.
Paige charging at the ball – her kicks were NOT the most powerful out there but she had fun trying!
The very important warm-up before the game.

Since I wasn’t there for the medal ceremony I settled for taking pictures of the girls with their medals once they got home. Paige’s medal actually belongs to a teammate that moved to Australia in December. She knows that it was just on loan and will be winging it’s way shortly Down Under!

I really don’t know what is up with Paige’s smiles lately. She insists that she WAS smiling. You be the judge!

4. What happens when loose teeth start dying!

We learned a valuable lesson this week about loose teeth. Marley’s two upper teeth have been loose for ages now but were stubbornly sticking around. One in particular would bleed every now and then which caused us to hope it would fall out soon but … nothing. Then Marley noticed that it was turning grey. Grey? Eww!!! Time to call the dentist! After a quick appointment to pull the offending tooth (and it’s loose neighbour) this is what Marley looked like.

Luckily the dentist gave her this handy box to help the tooth fairy find her teeth!!

So tiny …

5. Now for the personal bit …

Paige’s preschool will not be continuing next year. This doesn’t directly affect our family as Paige will be going to Kindergarten in September and LC is still too young to go to preschool but I am unbelievably sad about it. As the current President, I feel like I’ve failed the preschool, it’s families and the kids. As an Alum of the preschool, I am saddened to see a place that gave my girls such joy have to close its doors. As a member of the community I am disheartened that we can no longer support this kind of institution. The Parent Participation Preschool only works if there are parents willing and able to participate!
I could get on my soap box about the messed up attitudes when it comes to putting our kids first, volunteerism, etc, etc,etc … but I’m not going to. I will instead try to put that energy into shutting things down correctly, going out on a good note, and generally closing that chapter of my life without regrets. If any of you out there have reason to take your kids to a PPP, DO IT! The friendships you’ll make will last a life time and your kids will be forever enriched because of your willingness to play with them.

Okay, I think I am finally finished this monster post! Sorry!  I will try to keep them shorter in the future!
Have a great weekend!

A quick 5 on Friday – Feb 4

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Hi everyone! Time for a quick recap from the Day family!
1. Rants
Thanks for the kind (and really funny) comments on my rant post the other day. I must say it is so nice to know that I am not going crazy. That others are going through similar things and still others know exactly what I’m talking about.
2. School Lunches
Chalk it up to “live and learn”.
Marley has been making my life progressively harder this year where her school lunches are concerned. First I had to learn that the 10 – 15 minutes they are allotted to eat isn’t enough time to eat a whole sandwhich, apple and treat so I started packing 1/2 sandwhiches. Then came the steady stream of “I don’t like that anymore”s. So now, half way through the year, she has declared she doesn’t like, ham sandwhiches, cheese sandwhiches, bananas, yogurts, granola bars, Nutrigrain bars, oranges, hummus … I’ve probably missed some things. The last straw came when she declared she’d eat a jam sandwhich which I dutifully packed and which was summarily left uneaten. Grr!!!
I started talking to some of my Mom friends about it this week and learned this is completely normal behaviour. Annoying, but normal. For a 6 year old anyway! The solution? Don’t pack treats.
Why didn’t I think of that?!
How many times have I told myself that the kids won’t starve themselves? That they WILL eat the good stuff eventually if I stick to my guns, don’t back down and ride out the tantrums. Too many to count! So why has this taken me so long to figure out?! Anyway, today is Day One of the new, no treats until you prove you will eat all the healthy stuff first regime. Marley did not look all that impressed this morning but I’m sticking to my guns this time!! Wish me luck!
3. OLW
I’m still stumped as to how to capture “Release” in photographs this month but I’m sure something will reveal itself. My rant to the blogosphere was definitely cathartic and served its purpose of releasing my frustations. Eventually. I was still feeling wound up the next day but … release, release, release.
4. Crafty Playdates

Marley asked if her friend  Amanda could come over yesterday for a playdate. We had nothing on the books so I figured “sure”. This meant that Amanda’s younger sister came too – not a problem and completely expected. Sarah and Paige were at preschool together last year and are best buds. The two older girls wanted to make something for the two younger girls. Marley had brought home a book from the library the other day on girly crafts and has been tenacious (read: buggin’ the heck out of me!!) about doing them.
Here’s what they (okay, we) came up with:

AND they all helped clean up the mess! Yay!!
5. Best for last …
I get to go cropping tomorrow!! Yippee! I’ve been wanting to go to a crop for months now but haven’t been able to swing it. Our PAC is having a dance in a few weeks and part of the fundraising efforts is a silent auction. One of my scrapping friends thought putting together a basket of hand made cards would be a good auction item. That’s what we are planning to do tomorrow. Another scrapping friend was already having some women over tomorrow to scrap so I am tagging along to make some cards. Not my usual genre but I’m just excited to have some “me creative” time.
Alright, that’s my quick 5. Next week I promise some sneaks of my Valentines Day project for the girls and maybe even some of those cards. Have a great weekend!!

One Little Word – Release

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The lovely and talented Ali Edwards (instigator of my recent December Daily Project) also does something slightly different every January. She doesn’t make a New Years Resolution, she picks One Little Word (OLW) that she wants to focus on in the coming year. I read about her journey in 2010 with interest and even attempted to choose a word last year but had trouble pinning one down. I know now that I wasn’t ready.
This year I have resolved to play along. I signed up for her class through Big Picture Classes and have been working at it already.
My word is RELEASE.
As you may know, I’ve been struggling with feelings of unhappiness for quite some time now. I started seeing a therapist in the fall and she has been helping me understand some of my natures but there’s still a lot to be accomplished. One thing that has emerged is that I am holding on to a lot of harmful emotions so I felt that a word like ‘release’ is perfect as a daily reminder to let them go. Let go of the frustrations, the resentment, the fear, and especially, the anger. I don’t see the need to go into the reasons behind the fact that I have all these pent up emotions right now, suffice it to say that I am hopeful that 2011 is the year I free myself.
We will be doing various exercises throughout the year to keep our word present in our daily lives. The first assignment (actually, this was a pre-assignment) was to make a Title Page. Here’s mine:
We could download the background artwork and print it off onto white cardstock then add our word and embellishments. So that’s what I did. The letters are Basic Grey and the flower, buttons and butterfly brad are from my stash.
Here are a couple close-ups. 

Our next assignment was a bit harder. It was to define and explore our word. We were given another PDF to download and print off. It contained pre-printed boxes with certain words on them – we had to fill in the rest.
Once they were filled in, cut out and put into a holder, mine looks like this: 
This is an 8 1/2′ x 11″ trading card protector sheet not the Pink Paisley 9 pocket sheet that Ali listed on our class supply list. I realized once I’d cut the cards out that they were quite a bit smaller than my pockets. I’ve ordered the Pink Paisley version so we’ll see what the size difference is when it gets here (Thursday apparantly! Woo hoo!) For now though, this is what it looks like.
Also, I cut small pieces of Basic Grey papers to add into the other pockets. They may stay, they may not. I figure this is the type of project I can manipulate over the year as my understanding of my word changes.
Some close ups …
My definition card reads:
Release: To free from something that binds, fastens, or holds back; let go. To relinquish (a right or claim). A DELIVERANCE.
Next to it I made a Title Tag. I  took a Martha Stewart tag, placed my word letters onto it then sprayed it with distressing ink. Once I removed the letters (and fixed the over spray by using a white pen) this is what I got. For my first misting job, I am quite pleased! Thanks Roxy for the tips!!
A couple more boxes … 
I chose this word Because: it fits with the actions I have started and wish to continue – letting go of resentment and fear; losing weight; letting go of frustrations over body changes. Feeling free finally!
Okay, so I haven’t started my weight loss journey yet but that is definitely on my list of things to do this year!!
Ali also prompted us to look up our word in a Thesaurus. Here are some of the alternate words for Release: ABSOLUTION, acquittal, charge, clemency, commute, DELIVERANCE, discharge, emancipation, exemption, exoneration, FREEDOM, freeing, let-off, LIBERATION, liberty, lifeboat, life saver, RELIEF, spring, turnout.
To be honest I’m not sure about some of them but … it gives one something to think about! 
Our Invitation card.
With this word I invite:
a lightening
a change of heart
change of attitude
new experiences
new challenges
renewed intimacy
renewed relationahips
And finally, we were to see if we could find a quotation. Here is mine (I couldn’t fit the whole thing on the card):
It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power. –Alan Cohen
Pretty powerful stuff, eh?
Our last assignment for this month is to take a current picture of ourselves and print it off in 5×7 for the back of our title page. I haven’t printed mine off yet but here it is.  
Hmmm …. not sure why I want to save THAT for posterity but … we’ll play along!
Thanks for checking me out!
See you next time.