Monday, August 12, 2013

Project Life 2013: Not Quite Chalkboard But Still

On Saturday I got to craft *all day*, thanks to a fundraiser crop for the Komen 3 Day Walk.  I went with my friend J and we shared a table for 9 hours. She made 35+ layouts, while I did 2.75.  I am really, really slow. But since I love the process, that's fine.

The first thing I tackled was this Project Life layout. I had visions of doing a "chalkboard" theme, with the chalkboard finish paper from an old DCWV paper stack.  I bought some awesome liquid chalk markers and was excited to use them for this layout, after drawing all over the mirrors and glass in our house.  However, I'm not much of a doodler and the markers were broader than I prefer for Project Life so I didn't quite get the chalkboard effect I wanted.  I still like the simple color palette, though.  Click for larger images.

July 15-28: pseudo chalkboard

July 15-28: Thatha time, crawling!, Date Night and water play

July 15-28: Making lemonade, Spanish story time, #nsale, food

Details, details

Aside from the black chalkboard paper, the printed 3x4 cards I used were from the Scraptastic Project Life kits. I picked the ones that fit the chalkboard or black, white and aqua theme.  The grey and white tiny letter stickers are from the Target $1 section. And they're even repositionable!!  I know, right?!  I bought two packs.

I also made liberal use of a Heidi Swapp embellishment pack I've had for ages - polaroid frames, rub-ons and little "liked" stickers. I also used a ton of adorable doily rub-ons from Christy Tomlinson, which I received in my Pink Paislee warehouse box. For some reason, I adore doilies, though I really am not into frilly, girly embellishments. I (mostly) hate flowers, lace, and anything vintage.  But doilies?  Sign me up! 

The "moments" puffy sticker, adorable chevron cloud and what I think is a lemon (?) are also Pink Paislee, from my box.  You can't see the washi tape too well on the black background, but it's a graph paper pattern, with the word love and little pink hearts in lowercase. It's from Freckled Fawn, and super-cute.  I also went to town with some Freckled Fawn grey, black and white enamel dots.  I love having those in neutral colors!

As you can tell, I love mixing and matching products, and that's probably what takes me so long to complete these layouts. This one took me 4 hours, but I was also chatting and snacking while working on it.  But it's almost a perfect representation of my style - consistent color scheme, lots of journaling, lots of photos and fun supplies to play with.

Here's a slide show of all my 2013 pages, including close-ups.  If you can't see it, click here to view my entire 2013 Project Life gallery.

Project Life @ The Mom Creative

Friday, August 09, 2013

Currently 3

I guess I'm on the "once a quarter" schedule for this prompt.

I've dropped *all* TV watching.  I caught up with Grey's Anatomy before the Season Finale (May, maybe?), got annoyed with Glee after the shooting episode, and then just stopped watching TV entirely. I did see the movie Up a few weeks ago and was once again completely weepy during the opening sequence. Apparently I'm not alone, according to my Facebook friends.

I discovered how easy it is to borrow Kindle books from our library, so last week I read Maeve Binchy's last book (sniff), A Week in Winter.  I've now read all of her fiction. I loved it when I was 10 and still love it now. She's consistent in her style, but I noticed that her later books definitely showed the shift in culture of Ireland over time.  I also checked out Ayelet Waldman's Bad Mother on a reco from a friend, and enjoyed it. Some of the later chapters were really beautiful.

I took T to see the Indigo Girls last week and she LOVED it. So we've been listening to them on shuffle in the car. Thankfully they have a lot of albums, so I'm not sick of it. Considering I discovered them in high school, it is surreal to be listening to them with my DAUGHTER.

Project Life 2013, of course. I've also started an online scrapbooking class challenging me to dig into my prodigious stash of supplies. For the next four weeks, there will be 3 challenges per week. That's twelve layouts, in case you were lazy and didn't want to do the math. That will get me a significant chunk of my "favorite photos" album done, which I'm excited about.  Tomorrow I've got an all day crafty session planned, at a fundraiser crop. I had to miss the last one, because M was only a few weeks old. Super excited about that.

Out of sorts, a bit. Part of it is likely sugar withdrawal from the new Whole30 I've started.  BabyM is teething, so she's a little angry about that, especially when it's time to sleep. Can't blame her, but man, we've had a LOT more crying the past couple of days. She's usually not much of a crier.

T may be dropping her nap, as evidenced by her staying up until 11pm the last couple of nights because she's "just not sleepy". Which had to happen sometime, but it's hard to know what she needs when she's got dark circles under her eyes.

How to spend the last 3-4 weeks of our summer break. Thinking of stepping up the "Mama School" activities as we've had lots of playdates, Story Times and other things keeping us busy.  Just bought books on teaching reading and Singapore Math, so I get to keep my Asian parent street cred, right?

Yesterday I got to hold my friend A's 2 week old baby, and OMG. So tiny. So precious. So lovely. I can't believe how big my own BabyM seemed after holding BabyC.  That was a gift, to see how far we've come in 10 months, and another reminder to really live and notice what's going on with my girls.

Now your turn!

Linked up with Kristin, who's running the Currently project.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Something to talk about

A friend posted a link to the New York Times article following up with the moms from the "Opt-Out Revolution" 10 years ago.  It's an easy read, so go take a look and come back.  I'll wait.  :)

It didn't seem entirely surprising to me.  Of course it's hard to return to work after an extended time out, of course you'll earn less money than if you stayed, and of course you won't be able to just "jump back in" where you left off.

One of the things I heard a lot when I was contemplating quitting my job (and it was a lot of contemplation, 3.5 years' worth) was how irresponsible it is to stop earning my own money.

It's all about one's personal risk tolerance, though.  I think it's also about the natural balance between focusing on NOW vs the future.  Some people are planners and risk averse, so they are more likely to make decisions now that will ensure fewer bad things happening in the future. For example, keeping a good job now because who knows what might be available a few years from now.

I thought I was in that category. When I learned to drive, I would figure out a plan that involved the least number of lane changes required, because changing lanes seemed more dangerous and terrifying to me.  I'm not much of a gambler. I have no desire to skydive, bungee jump or parasail.

I won't lie. I am freaked out about not having my own paycheck.  (Though my Etsy shop is doing a good job sustaining my craft supply addiction.)  But I am (mostly) zen about The Future.

Maybe I'm being naive or blissfully ignorant about the Bad Things That Could Happen but I don't want to make decision out of fear of what might happen. If the trouble comes, then I'll go back to work full time. I might be penalized for "opting out", but I'm aware of that.  My more relaxed days now are worth it *to me*.

The lesson I learned from the NYT article, though, is a HUGE one. I think it's essential for both partners to continually evaluate the arrangement and TALK ABOUT IT.  All the freakin' time. Until you're sick of talking about it.

Are we happy where we are? Are expectations unrealistic or uncomfortable? What does the money situation look like now, and in 6 months?  Do we want to trade places?  What's bothering you right now about this arrangement?

I guess I read the article differently from most - I felt like the key issue with all of the women interviewed was in their marriage, not their decision not to work. It seemed like in some cases, the mom was the default as the stay-home parent, when maybe that wasn't the best choice. In other cases, it seemed like the partnership shifted over time and the new expectations or desires were not explicitly discussed. But I saw that as a communication issue, not "proof" that "opting out" is a bad idea universally.

In addition to my husband, I've known several people, both male and female, who took a year or longer break from working for all sorts of different reasons. I'm heartened by the fact that none of them have had issues finding interesting, well-paying work when they were finally ready to go back.  That inspires me to keep working on constructing the life I want right now.

So for now, I'm still waiting for that perfect part-time PM job to come along.

It takes a while for it all to come together.


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