Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy 2013

Summer has arrived with a hot, sticky bang - Christmas Day was one of the hottest in decades, so having a warm laptop sitting on me hasn't really held much appeal.  Today, the first day of 2013, is much cooler, so here I am!

2012 sort of fizzled a bit towards the end, in terms of creativity, so this year I've decided a bit of guidance will help.  To start with, I'm doing a prompt-a-day photo challenge through an art group I'm part of, with the photos being hosted on Flickr.  With a camera I want to learn how to use properly, and a bunch of accessories for Christmas, I'm excited to get started.

There's also a weekly challenge on Google+ that I'm thinking of having a go at, although I think I'll be out of my depth a little, judging by the quality of the photos from last years' participants.  Still, it'll be a learning curve, if nothing else!

And if photography isn't enough, there's a mixed media community on G+ that will be doing weekly challenges too, and I'm hoping to get some inspiration from the amazing art that's being posted there.  That, combined with the setting up of a new planner (new templates from scratch and everything!), means that I'm going to be happily - and geekily - busy for the week, before heading back to work and the miracle of air conditioning.

Hope everyone is enjoying their first few hours of 2013-ness!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I have a confession.  After sulking about taking average 'snaps', instead of beautiful photos, I bit the bullet and went and bought myself the camera I'd been drooling over for the last few months.  And now I'm figuring out how to use it.  So, my first PhotoFriday shot taken with my new baby:

This is the new jetty at Momorangi Bay, around Queen Charlotte Drive in the Marlborough Sounds, and is new enough that it hasn't started to weather yet.

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Virgin Planner

For the last six months I've been using an A5 filofax as a diary, notebook and book tracker.  It's worked pretty well, although I had to resort to using a backpack walking to work so my shoulders didn't end up as lopsided as a galley slave.  Then I bought a beautiful new handbag, which was big enough to hold the A5 without complaint.
Which was fine, for the handbag.  For my shoulders, not so much.  I started to empathise more and more with everyone else suffering planner failure, and stopped using mine the way I need to.  So far I haven't forgotten anything really important, but I'm already losing track of bills and things, so I decided to do something about it.

A5 on the left, new Personal on the right
It's not a Filofax-branded binder.  It's made by an Australian company called The Last Diary Company, and was far, far cheaper than Filofax.  This one is actually the second - the first one was unwrapped in the car and promptly returned because a couple of the rings were separated.  This one has better rings, and they're easier to open.

It came with PPD inserts, with the weekends together on one page.  I've never been able to make that work, so will be printing my own inserts.  One thing I definitely like about the inserts it came with:

The address sheets have the contact details together, and the address at the bottom of each name!  Most of my contacts are name, number and email, and every other address sheet has the address in the middle, making it hard to skim through when you're in a hurry.  Will definitely be keeping these ones, and copying blanks.
There are A-Z dividers, which I probably won't use, and no section dividers, so I'll be adding those along with a different diary layout.  In fact, it's going to be completely gutted and personalised.  My A5 dividers are the wrong shape to cut down, so I'll be starting again from scratch.  Time to start playing with art supplies!

Saturday, October 27, 2012


About once a year I'll have a big spend up, when we have a trip planned to the city.  This year, the Other Half entered a mountain bike event just outside of Christchurch, so that was where my money was destined to go.
Usually, inspiration strikes either on the way home, or a week or so after I've been, but this time I was ready.   My hobbies/obsessions tend to change with the seasons, and right now I'm looking for comics graphic novels.

Two Sandmans, three Hellblazers and a Preacher.  Which would be enough to keep me out of trouble for a while, only I'm a bit obsessed with reading things in the right order, and none of the places I visited had any even-numbered volumes.  So I've got gaps in the stories, and plans to start buying long-distance from an awesome bookstore in the city.

I also picked up another Gaiman title and a sparkly green pencil for my handbag.  Oh, and a new handbag:

It's probably too big to called a handbag - sack might be a better word.  My A5 filofax has heaps of space, and my tablet and camera should fit in just as easily.  Next week I'll probably be reviewing different back/shoulder pain treatment methods, but for now I love it.  The busy purple lining is even growing on me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In Motion

This week's challenge is 'in motion', and has really driven home the idea that I want to be shooting well beyond what my point and shoot camera is capable of (and myself, come to that...).  I know what I want to achieve, and this photo... just isn't it.  So much so that I'm not even submitting it to the PhotoFriday site, and am only putting it here to prove to myself that I haven't piked on the challenge a mere two weeks in.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


This is Dawson.  He is unthrilled that I'm within eight feet of his food, and can go from cheerfully starving to rabid fuzzface in 0.2 seconds.

This is also an attempt at a PhotoFriday challenge, with an outdated camera.  Hopefully my pics will improve (even if the subject remains the same!).

Saturday, September 22, 2012

13.5 lists

Behold, two weeks of lists:

The bucket list drew me up short, and I've left it blank on purpose.  I just don't have one, and I don't think I'll ever have one.  Still, onward and upward... but before I go, a peek at my new tabs:

I finally got around to getting some smaller avery tabs to use, so now I can mix and match as many sections as I please.  The books tab at the back is the original, larger size, which is perfect since that's the most important bit (after the diary, of course!).

My next challenge is remembering to use my camera for taking photos, and not my phone.  I forget how amazingly useless it is for taking photos with any kind of detail!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Summer salad recipes

It turns out the Pinterest has it's uses, especially since launching a mobile app.  I've gotten into the habit of seeing something nice to eat, and pinning it while I'm surfing on my laptop, then loading it up on the tablet, which gets propped out of the way in the kitchen so I can try recipes out right away.  This generally involves a lot of running from one end of the kitchen to another, since the only safe place I have is the furthest point from the stove and bench, but anyway...

Because I've been using Pinterest as a cookbook lately, my actual cookbook (my work of art!) has been sitting in the bottom of the pantry with other neglected things (soda stream gas cannister, terrible bottles of white wine...).  I dug it out for something the other day, and now I'm in the mood to make it grow again.

I wish I knew where this recipe came from.  It's great for summer lunches.  The actual spread itself is a mix of images from Scrap Girls, and the spots are from a background designed by Ange Designs.  The font is called Annoyed Teenager, and is designed by Arianna Teague.

This is a bit of a cheat - it's just a background with text added.  The paper is from a kit by Sharon C, who shares the most amazing kits for free, and the font is called Designio, by Rodrigo German.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

First 365 spread!

The first weekly spread of 365/30 lists is full, and looking like it's going to be good reading in a year or two.

I've never been too good at journal prompts, and I'm not sure if I'll make the entire 365 list, but I'm enjoying it so far.  It's certainly got me thinking about different things, that's for sure!

The rest of my filofax has had a bit of a makeover too, in the past few weeks.  I've been using random scrapbook sheets as dividers, but they were only paper and not card.  I finally got around to printing off some things I like looking at, to use as dividers...


(I've changed the other dividers too, but they're not as interesting to look at!)  I'm using avery tabs as the actual index tabs, since I change my mind at least once a month about what sections I want to have.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Monthly Goals

I've joined a group of filofaxers in a list challenge.  At the beginning of the month, you're given a list of lists, filling in one each day.  I'm not usually very good with these kinds of challenges, but this one is supported by a great bunch of people, and I've managed to fill in my lunchbreaks this week trying to come up with some answers.

The very first list was a list of monthly goals to shoot for.  I've managed to avoid making goals pretty much my whole life - things happen, or they don't, and while I might accomplish one or two things that have been on my mind, I've never been keen on forming a coherent, dedicated list, but I admire those who can form enough goals to be worth listing, and then go on to actually accomplish them.

My list is quite short, what with easing into new habits and all that, but having written them down I'm definitely more aware of them, even without looking at them.  There are only four of them, but they're already weighing on my mind, and I'll update you at the end of the month to see if I've managed to achieve any of them.

Friday, August 31, 2012

New Bookblog entry

When I came back to Blogger, it was to find that I already had a couple of blogs here, which hadn't seen the light of day since 2009 (told you I was good at deserting them!).  One of those is a book blog, which, I was mildly surprised to discover, is actually quite well-ordered.

I got out of the habit of tracking what I actually thought about books when I realised I could track them over at GoodReads in a much more lazy efficient fashion, but since joining a couple of online book clubs, and finding the perfect template for a booklog in my filofax (more details to come), I've been trying to keep better track of the words my brain has been absorbing.

Alas, because the filofax pages are for my own records, I've been making them as spoilery as possible, so I can actually remember in a few years exactly why I felt the need to scrawl swearwords all over the back of the review page.  I'm definitely out of the habit of producing nice, even, vague sentences about what I've been reading, so it might take me a few goes to get it readable.

That said, I'm proud to announce that I've decided to revive my online booklog!  There's a bit of a gap, but yesterday I finished a book club read, Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury.  If you've read it, feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you thought of it (or what you thought of what I thought of it!).

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hello, World!

I'm not new to blogging - I've tried them all, and left most of them for dead.  Every so often I get an email telling me that I have a comment on a site I'd forgotten all about, then I'd marvel at how determined the spam bots are, insisting on posting when the entry has been dormant for five years...

I have a blog, over on Wordpress.  But it seems that most of the people I follow are on Blogger, which means when I comment on their posts, I have to do extra confirmation that I'm human, which for some reason has gotten to be completely unreadable over the last month.

It turns out there's no easy way to just shift everything from one system to another, so I'm going to be leaving another blog to wither and die out there somewhere.  Maybe.  Maybe I can figure out how people maintain multiple blogs without repeating themselves too much.

In the meantime, I have this nice, new shiny blog to fill (and an old, almost dead book blog that I shall try and update too), so kick back and enjoy the show.  Well, enjoy the photos of half-assed art journal spreads, obsessive photos of my filofax and the odd photo challenge.  Oh, and updates on my big weight loss project, which is all of a month old (the novelty hasn't worn off yet).

Yay for new blogs!