Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Documented Life and One Last Lovely Day

Isn't it amazing how much stuff you can get done when you're trying to avoid doing something you don't really want to do?  Well, maybe you are someone who just jumps in and does the boring thing to get it over with...I thought I was too, but it seems that's not entirely true...

A while back, a friend of mine asked me to sew something for her.  I really didn't want to, but I can't say no to her, so I agreed to do it.  At least a month ago, I got all the stuff to make it...and it sat there for various procrastinating 'reasons'.  But this past week, my glorious vacation week, I commanded myself to get it done before I had to go back to work.

So all week long, I avoided the fifteen minutes of time it took me to sew this thing for my friend by devoting a lot of time to things that also 'needed done'.  

It started out with me realizing I needed to clear my sewing desk (the one legitimate task on this whole list) before I could start sewing.  And I couldn't just dramatically sweep the clutter into the floor (which is my normal cleaning technique)...oh was 'a place for everything and everything in its place'...and of course, some things had no I had to make one for cleaning and organizing the other places in the know, so I could put the sewing desk clutter away.

And then we ran out of clean plates, so the dishes needed done.  And since the kitchen was clean, it was the perfect time to make some of those sugar cookies I've been craving for so long now.  And then my husband asked me to make him some banana bread, and how could I deny that?  (full disclosure: I am never swayed by what he wants...normally I'd tell him to make his own dumb banana bread...but I was procrastinating, so I made it...)  ...and then the kitchen needed cleaned up again...

And then, since I have to wear clothes, the laundry needed done before I have to go back to work...all of summer clothes before I could pack them away...and winter clothes that I just hauled out...and then of course why not just wash everything and have it done with?  And that was the perfect time to see if anything didn't fit anymore (by trying on everything) and make a Goodwill bag...

And then since the studio (which included everything...down to sorting the smallest scraps of my ephemera stuff) and the kitchen and the laundry room were clean, the bathroom was the only one left, so I cleaned that too.  And, if you've been reading the blog for a while now, you know how much I don't clean...or don't like to clean...or don't like to even think about you know I was giving sewing project avoidance my all.

And then there was Morning Pages, and art journal stuff, and hanging some art around the house, and blog posts, and reading, and playing with Fusco the drop-off wonder dog...and...and...and...  The list could go on....and on and on...  Finally, I just had to knuckle down and sew.  And, yeah, it took me fifteen, sewing, stuffing...everything, start to finish.  Quick, somebody yell "Shame on you, Sweets!"  

Nah, you don't need to say it, I already feel ashamed of myself...and snookered.  Like I snookered myself...  I mean, this whole time I could have been doing absolutely nothing of any importance and here I cleaned the house and made food and did responsible adult things everyday this week.  WHAT!?!  That's crap-ola... 

Just kidding about the crap-ola part (mostly).  All the stuff I got done did technically need some point.  Despite my laziness and general not caring about cleaning, I do like it when the house is in good order.  I'd just rather be doing other things...and I have a problem with cleaning up after grown people...I'm looking at you, husband!   ...but, since I bit the bullet and did it anyway, I do have to admit that I feel a certain amount of relief and comfort when the house is tidy.  And honestly, I think it makes me more creative as well.

I've worked on a lot of art this week, and did get several things done (you've seen some of them in the past couple days) and I've got something else to share with you today.

Have you heard about The Documented Life Project?  I bet you have, especially if you're on seems like I see it every time I check in there...probably because it looks so AWESOME!  

"One part planner plus one part art journal and one part weekly challenge equals an amazing year of organization, inspiration and community."  That's the tagline.  If you want to find out more, or join in the *free* fun, you can find out more HERE and HERE.

This was actually a right place, right time project for me, because I've been wanting to redo that bill calendar I showed you a couple days ago.  The ladies doing this project/challenge are using/suggesting a Moleskine weekly planner, but since I am trying to use what I've got on hand when possible, I decided to convert a K&Company SmashBook that I've had since FOREVER (as in since they first came out...yeah, that's quite a while...).  I think SmashBooks are cool, but for some reason, I'd not been able to force myself to use the ones I've had (I have two...because they are so cool looking!).  Some people struggle with blank pages, I struggle with the thought of ruining already cool pages...but I powered through, and there's no going back now...

Here it is so far:

Look at those tabs!  Hubba hubba!

I put the monthly tabs in for quick reference.  I made them myself from my sweet stash of scrapbook paper...again, something I have (quite a bit of), but hardly ever use...same reason as above: don't ruin something that's already pretty!  I realized that it's better to just use it...they will make more paper...  To make the tabs, I just cut little squares of paper (about 3"x3"), folded them in half, rounded the corners with a corner punch, and used a tape runner to adhere them to the pages.  I wrote in the month names and used some Tim Holtz Idea-ologly Label Letters next to the handwritten.  I don't know how necessary the tabs are, but they just look cool, don't they?

Here's one of the pages.  It turns out that a smash book has enough pages for about 30 weeks (if you are doing each week like a two page spread), so I ended up adding some more pages with scrapbook paper.  I forgot to take a picture of it, but I found that the best way (for me) to add pages was to use some jewelry wire I had, loop it around the spiral binding, and then masking tape the ends to the paper I wanted to add.  Then, to cover the masking tape, I glued (or taped, really, with double-sided tape) scrapbook paper over top.  It was a little bit of a pain, but it worked really well without adding too much bulk.
Like I said above, I did each week of the year as a two page spread.  I drew in the calendar bits myself.  At first, I was being meticulous, with my ruler and accurate measurements and straight lines, but then that got boring and was taking FOREVER, so I just winged it the rest of the way.
As you can see in the picture, I also added monthly calendar pages as tip-ins on the pages where the first of the month landed.  The two pictures above show a tip-in closed and then an open one.  I used scrapbook paper (again) for those, using various washi tapes to adhere them.

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." - C.S. Lewis

This is the first page in the book.  I (washi) taped in two envelopes (one on either side) to the the little vellum advertising page at the beginning of the SmashBook.  I also left on the protective plastic cover thingie that the book comes in (I just cut off the part that goes over the pen/glue stick combo thingie...maybe it's called a SmashPen?), that way my cover will stay neat and clean...I like to reserve covers for the very last so they don't get messed up as I work in the rest of the book.  The clear plastic cover also gives me two pockets for holding various things (like another envelope...that's the yellow you can see peeking  at the top left of the left page).  

And I think that's it for the book so far...we'll just have to wait for the new year to see how the Documented Life Project will work.  I had fun making my little journal/organizer/whatever-you-want-to-call-it book, and I'm proud to say that I used ONLY what I had on hand to make it; I didn't buy one new thing!  That's an ongoing aspiration for use what I have in my I can have room to buy more things!  I really need to yarn-it-up, because if I could go through my stash of yarn, I'd have A LOT more room...but I digress...

So today is my last lovely day of's been wonderful...*sigh of happiness*  I don't want to go back to work tomorrow...*sigh of sadness*  I've decided that I was meant to be a House Frau... but one who doesn't really cook or clean all that maybe Lady of Leisure fits better...  Yeah, definitely that one...  Unfortunately, art supplies are not free, so (hi-ho, hi-ho) it's back to work I go.  I've heard people say they couldn't stay at home all day, because it would be boring, so they work even when they don't have to.  Can I just slap those people?  I make my own long as I could afford art supplies, I'd be fine.  So if any of those 'bored' people want to switch places with me, that would be awesome.

What about you?  Are you meant to be a House Frau (like I was)?  Or do you prefer to go to work (and if so, can we switch places)?  What about Documented Life?  Have you heard of it?  Are you going to see what it's all about and attempt it with me?  Or do you have other fun projects planned for the new year?


  1. Sweet, I am so very impressed that you did all that work on your house. My theory is ... the reason is no so important if you got it done.... I too volunteered to sew something for a friend. I sewed so I didn't have to dust or vacuum. Her pillow is fixed and my house is still a wreck. I think your way may be better. On top of that, Scoots has decided he loves her pillow so now I'm going to have to sneak it out of the house to give it back to her.

    I'm doing Documented Life too. I've worked on my cover which I usually save until last...I'm not loving it so far so it will have to have a bit more work done on it. I think I was meant to be a rich Artist of Leisure. No cooking or cleaning... just reading and arting all day long. If I win the lottery (really need to buy a ticket) you can come live with me and we'll both do art all day which the chef cooks for us. :)

    1. Thanks Boo! To be honest, I NEVER dust or vacuum. I don't vacuum because I HATE to vacuum...I have actually swept the carpets with a broom just to avoid vacuuming. And dusting is just an effort in futility for me...there's a cobweb in my shower that's been there for over a year (not an exaggeration), and I've got a detachable shower head...I could literally just hose down the cobweb...but NO...because it's equal to dusting, and I don't dust. That sounds so lazy when I say it out loud like that... But to compensate, I will admit that I like to wash dishes. Give me a radio and some dish soap and I could wash dishes all day long, no problem! I will definitely come live with you when you win the lotto (can we hire a cook AND a maid/butler? ...remember, no vacuuming or dusting for me!) long as you promise to come live with me if I win it first! (I will also hire a gardener/lawn maintenance person if I win!) :)

      I can't wait to see your Documented Life book! I'm pretty excited about'll have to keep me honest, know how I am a half-way achiever! Make me see it through my friend! <3

  2. Ohhhhh just seeing the Documented Life project stuff now... will check it out... and can't wait to see how things unfold with it for you. I looooooooooooooooooooooooove what you did already with your re-vamp of the Smashbook -- look beautiful and useful. And hey, good on ya for the cooking and cleaning -- it does have to be done eventually, so you just got your inspiration for doing it in the round-about way :) I do that to myself all the time :) <3

    1. Thanks Kara! At least the cleaning is done...and therefore won't have to be done for another year or so...bwa-ha-ha (but seriously, not for at least a year...) :)

      Doesn't Documented Life look so interesting? I'm excited for it to start so I can see what it's all about... It was super easy to make the SmashBook into the DL book...I can't wait to add more stuff to it! I have to admit that I keep picking it up and flipping through it going "Ooh, I'm gonna put this and this and that in there"...and then I stop myself...I want to see what they are suggesting before I start going off on my own. BUT if their ideas are lame, I've got my own evil plans to fall back on! :D


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