This year I’ve decided to
take a slightly different take on my monthly Instagram posts. Inspired by this blog post, I’ve decided to take the challenge and turn my Instagram account
into a physical album. Because no surprise here: I love physical albums.
I’ve always been inspired by those full year Project
Life albums, but at the same time I know I’d get fed up and burned out and
never complete a whole year. But this is doable, right? So I got myself a mini album, and
got started. And without further ado, here’s the January chapter in my 2016
January has been a pretty cold month. We saw a good bit of snow, and temperatures got as low as -12 C. I love the snow, so I was really sad to see it go! Should see a bit more of it in a few weeks though, as we're heading up to the mountains and spending the weekend with some friends. Should be fun!
I've kept embellishments pretty minimal, but might add some later if I feel like it. I'm curious to see how this will evolve, and what my January will look like compared to my December. Hopefully it'll all fit in the same album!
It was really just a matter of time before I made a baby blanket in preparation for our little one. I put it off for a long time, but while I have a long list of things I'd like to get done around the house, I also have a long list of crafty baby projects I'd like to get done. And if any of it's to get done at all, I better get started, huh?
As you can see, my blanket model Bo approved very much. Half the time while I was knitting it she would jump up on my lap and try to snuggle in it, so she was quite happy when I was finally done with it and she got to lie in it for a little while (though a bit less happy when I was done taking pictures, shooed her away and folded the blanket neatly away).
Other projects I'd like to get done in time include some other knitted items, a mobile and a quilt (!), which should be interesting as I've never quilted before, nor do I think I have the patience for it at all. I'm also trying to convince Graeme to make one of those cute wooden baby gyms, as they seem very simple and so much nicer looking than a lot of the ones you can buy. Not sure all of it will get done, but at least now that's a baby blanket ticked off the list!
I have a huge list of things I'd like to get done before the baby arrives in April. It's a pretty unrealistic list, but that's just how I operate. And a lot of the items on my list aren't even really baby related, more like stuff that I'd like to get done in general and that I worry would get put off until forever if we waited until after. As new parents with limited baby knowledge, I assume we're gonna have our hands full.
One of the things on my list was to paint our master bedroom. This is definitely one of those non-essential and non-baby related things, but it's something that's been on my to do list for a very long time, and should be relatively easy to tick off...right? And, currently our guest room is just across the hall, so it's really not a big deal sleeping in there for a few nights while the room is painted. Our plan is to turn this guest room into a nursery and have our guest room downstairs instead, so it makes sense to get the room done before then. And you have no idea how sick I am of those beige stripes (that were ALL over the house, you might recognize them from this kitchen before post), so I'm very excited to see them go!
And it probably would have been a pretty quick paint job, had we not discovered a pretty nasty patch of black mold underneath one of the windows. You can kinda see it through the wallpaper in the below photo actually, but it looked a million times worse once the wallpaper was removed. So what we assumed would be a pretty quick update is already proving to be a bit more elaborate than expected. We've had a professional come look at it, and it appears there's been a leak so the whole window will have to be replaced before we can continue. Bummer. And as the window factory we should be receiving our window from suffered huge damages this winter due to flooding, delivery could take up to a month. Double bummer. So as it turns out, not such an "easy task to tick off" after all! Guess we'll be camping out in our guest room for a bit longer than what we expected. On the upside though, I'm glad we discovered it so we can get it fixed. I shudder to think of how long we've been sleeping in a mold infested bedroom!
I'm still pretty excited about actually having started the room though. It might end up taking a bit longer than expected, but I've got my eye on the prize! So in addition to replacing the window and re-wallpapering and painting the walls, we also plan on adding black out blinds (which I think Graeme is the most excited about, he hates how light it gets in summer when the sun really never sets haha), and adding some cute shelves or artwork on the walls. So stay tuned!
I got a screen printing kit for Christmas! And somehow, I haven't found a chance to play with it until now. But after spending my evening printing away, let me tell you: this is all sorts of awesome.
I attended a screen printing class at the Glue Factory in Glasgow forever ago, where we used a slightly different technique than the one described in the kit. The technique we used seemed both quicker and easier if you're doing a simple design, as you essentially just cut out your design on sugar paper rather than draw it directly onto the screen. Only in stead of sugar paper which you can only do so many prints of before it starts to fall apart, I used transparency sheets this time. They worked great, and I love how I can use them again over and over and that they're a lot easier to cut. The sugar paper can easily tear while cutting, and you can only do so many prints before it starts to fall apart. So far I've just been messing around with a simple design on some scrap bits of paper, but the kit also includes fabric medium so I'm looking forward to making some screen printing projects on fabric! My head is already full of ideas. I'd love to print on some t-shirts, or try out a couple projects for the house.
I promised myself I wasn't going to make a photo album for December this year. It was a pretty frustrating process last year, so I told myself not to bother, and maybe make one next year when our new family member has arrived, if I felt like it. But definitely not this year. What does it say about you if you can't even keep simple craft-promises to yourself?
It all started unraveling late on the 30th of November, when I randomly picked up last year's album and had a look through it. Oh my. Two things stood out to me. First, how small the album was. I
knew I had issues both with taking pictures last year (as I pretty much only
see daylight on the weekends), and printing the pictures, as my printer was
absolutely useless. I’d find myself sitting in the middle of the floor, surrounded
by bad prints of the SAME pictures over and over, swear words pouring out like
a waterfall. It was expensive, frustrating, and not to par, and I ended up only
using a fraction of the photos I took. But
my second thought when looking at it was how I could totally do better. I have
a much better printer now, and I’m much better in Photoshop. And I was actually really happy with my results when I made Bo's album. And at the end of
the day, I love looking through my albums. I found myself sitting there,
engrossed in my imperfect 2014 December album, going “aw, Graeme, remember how
we celebrated our 6th anniversary at Hausvik last year and you
caught three ginormous fish in that hail storm?” and “omg, remember how we were
in Sirdal at Linn’s cabin, and you skied for the first time, and we had no Wi-Fi,
and then suddenly the internet worked again and Linn got a message that her
sister was in labor?!” And there it was, I had to make another one. Graeme told
me to sleep on it, which I did, and by the 1st of December I had a
head full of ideas.
so much happier with this one. Making it wasn’t frustrating at all, and I
seemed to get sucked into my own enthusiasm about the project as I went along.
I found myself happily flipping through the album, and excitedly planning the
next pages, to the point where I even ended up dreaming about it (though I had
one less than pleasant dream where I was sitting in the woods and working on my
album, and baddies attacked me with guns and tried to steal my dog!). I
kept the whole project pretty low budget. The only things I bought for this,
was the album itself and extra pocket pages. I printed out all the photos
myself (only once this time! :D), and used free printables (like this and this) and stuff I already had, like leftovers from this kit. I
also made a lot of stuff myself in Illustrator that I just printed out on card,
and for the clear pages I just used old overhead sheets and drew on them with a gold marker. For the end of the album, I made a button envelope to keep all the Christmas cards (I was originally planning on buying one, but they seemed near impossible to find and in stead I came across this tutorial).
And as for the whole
taking pictures with only daylight on the weekend thing—I ended up taking a lot
of the photos on the weekend. There wasn’t a whole lot happening during the
week anyway, as I’d be at work and Graeme worked most evenings. But then I’d
make little notes of what did happen and photograph them in better light on the
weekend. For example how I bought my niece’s Christmas present on the 9th,
but didn’t actually wrap it and take the picture until the following Saturday.
Is it cheating? I don’t know, but it works so I really don’t care. One thing to improve on for next year though, is to take more pictures of people. I don't know why this is so hard sometimes. We spent the last week of December in Glasgow, and even though it was by far the most social part of our month (having people stay in our flat, seeing friends and family), somehow I managed to take barely any photos of this. And, worst of all, Graeme's parents took their first ever selfie (with Graeme's new lomo'instant), and I seem to have misplaced them. I have a spot ready for when they show up though.
And I can’t
wait to randomly pick up this album in November next year.
I love making photo books
from our travels. Here’s my most recent addition to the collection: El Volumen
Dos from our holiday in Spain in 2014.
It’s the second photo book I make from Spain as I already made one from our
2012 holiday, hence the title. Maybe we should travel somewhere new this year?
As always, I made my photo
book with Blurb. I like how all my photo books look so neat together on my
shelf, and I’m pretty happy with their product so I don’t plan on changing that
any time soon. And since we visited a lot of places on this trip, I decided to
divide it into chapters like I did with my Korea photo book and my first
Spain photo book. The book is thus divided into Alicante, Benicassim,
Torre de la Horadada, Murcia, Lo Pagan and Cartagena. And since it was just
Graeme and I when we were in Alicante, it made it really easy to just delete
that chapter and order a copy for our friends Fiona and Mark who we were
travelling with for the rest of the trip.
I actually have a rather
lengthy list of photo books and albums I’d like to get finished this year. Top
of the list is my December album from 2015, but the real priority is to make
our wedding album. Hopefully I’ll have it done by our anniversary in August at
the latest. I’d also like to make books from a couple of our trips the past
year to Denmark, Oslo and Prague though, so Blurb, you’re gonna get a lot of
business from me this year!
Holy crap we're in 2016! As always, December flew by ridiculously fast, filled with Christmas preparations and cozy nights in (that one photo with the blue skies was probably the only day in December with sunshine!). We spent the last of it in Glasgow celebrating Christmas with Graeme's family and ringing in the new year at a traditional Scottish ceilidh with friends. It's been a pretty great month.
Plans for January include finishing up my December 2015 album! I told myself I wouldn't make one this year, but clearly I'm not very good at listening to myself. I'm also planning on going to yoga more often, and doing some rearranging around the house. We need to be move the upstairs guest room downstairs to make room for our little guy joining us in April! Before all that though, Graeme and I have been a bit under the weather and need to recover. I caught a pretty nasty cold while in Glasgow and then generously shared it with Graeme, so we've been living on a chicken soup diet ever since we got back! What are your plans for the new year?