I am having a hard time already putting up a post everyday. The last two weeks have been so busy. I have been helping out with some very big church events and I am completely exhausted. Here are a few pictures of all the craft goodness that has been going on in the parts.
These paper flowers were easy to make and made lovely backdrops for the speaker and photo walls.
Now that I'm looking through the pictures, I realize that I didn't get shots of the finished tables. #sadface! They were amazing, too.
With less than an hour to go on this first Friday of October, I have decided I am going to blog daily for the month. I have so many plans for my online presence including some rebranding. No better time than to start now.
I just wanted to show a little love to some of my favorite authors. If you follow me on Goodreads, you will see these names often. Follow the links and take a look of some of their titles. You will not be disappointed.
If you have been following me for a while or you pay attention to those little badges on the side of the blog, you will know that I have set a 100 book challenge for the calendar year. I've set the same goal for the past three years and have yet to make it, but this is my year!!! I promise you it is.
Currently, I am sitting at 55 books read for the year and I thought this would be a good time to check in and share my favorites so far. This year, I have not been posting regular reviews here on the blog but you can always find them over on my Goodreads. This has been a fantastic year so far and I am looking forward to the next 45 (or more) selections.
So these, in no particular order, are my favorite 5 books for the year so far. I rated all of these 5 out of 5 stars so they come highly recommended from me to you. As always, I must say that I consume books in traditional print, electronic and audio format. The links below are just what is convenient to pull and not indicative of how I read the book.
Animal Farm by George Orwell
This was such a timely read for me. The crazy antics on the farm reflected all too well some of the nonsense I was seeing at work. This book really makes you think about the politics and popularity of life.
How to Stay Motivated-Developing the Qualities of Success by Zig Ziglar
This was another timely read for me. I have hit a rough patch in life and career this year and I was in need of some counseling. Well, you don't get any better than Zig. This was the kind of boost that I needed because it forced me to stop looking at the problems so much and start focusing on myself and what I could get out of this. I needed a refocus so I could reflect more on God and less of the "man" principles I was seeing before me daily.
This journey is not just about being at the top of my game, but about being over the top. I, April Corbett, will be over the top when I stand in front of the Creator of the universe and He says to me, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." I hope to see you all over the top.
Inferno by Dan Brown
It's art and intrigue and mystery and all the things that make Dan Brown's world magical. He knocked it out of the park again and I can guarantee you this one will also be a knock out movie.
Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty by Diane Keaton
It's hard to imagine anyone telling Diane Keaton she was not good enough. This was a nice, down to earth, reality check for those that think some of the big names had things magically fall into their laps.
Necessary Endings by Dr. Henry Cloud
I have to say this is the most impactful read for me this year. As I said before, this has been a tough year and I finally had to take a step back and evaluate some things and determine what it was time to let go of. Divorce was one of the biggest necessary endings that I had to face and now I am walking away from a job position and city so I can get back to a place of health. I knew what had to be done, but I needed an extra push to get me to make the final decision. This book was that push.
I hope you enjoy these reads. If these have hit your shelf already, I would love to know what you think.
I thought my husband would be my friend. It never occured to me to ask him if he wanted to be my friend. Like a school girl at recess, I slip him that note that aks him to declare his friendship forever.
I'm afraid of his response.
I wrote this in this midst of the divorce activities. My thoughts were all over the place and I truly felt like a school girl that was getting rejected. I'm so grateful I am passed it all. It was painful, but I am better for going through it. I'm praying for all of you going through relationship trouble. It's not fun, but life can be good afterwards.
I often get these small promotional calendars in the mail at the start of the year. Sometimes they get stuck on the fridge and ignored.
When watching a YouTube video, I noticed a vlogger using a project life calendar card to track her no spend March. It occurred to me that these small calendars could similarly be used to track a daily action over a month.
I tore off April and cut it down and clipped it into my planner and used it to track my blogging over the month. Now that I am using DIYFish planner pages, I have a monthly sheet that is used to track a host of activities, but I still love this solution.
This is a good way to track those resolutions I'm sure many have forgotten. I don't set resolutions but I do choose a focus area or intention. This is my year of discovery and I am determined to discover myself through more consistent writing. I'm finding that the only way I will get to the more consistent writing is to implement some more consistent planning.
I hear a lot of Filofax users complain about how expensive planner paper can get. There are endless comparisons between the different types of paper and what pens work best. Honestly, I love good paper but most of the paper that cycles through my planner will just end up in the trash so I don't bother with quality so much. And because I change my pens so often, I will drive myself crazy trying to match up the perfect paper with the perfect pen.
All that said, I still need paper.
This is a snapshot of the "next steps" portion of my planner. This is where I'm tracking all the project steps for myself and for my work group. With all of the projects we have going, the pages in this section will get filled up, marked up and tossed out quite often. As you can tell, this first page is yellow, reminiscent of the yellow legal pads. And that's exactly what it is.
I admit I have a problem...a big problem. I have piles of notepads, notebooks and tablets that I have collected overt the years. And this is just a small portion. What I can say is that these are probably the oldest. Some are even of college vintage. As I caught up on the latest shows on Hulu, many of these have become perfectly sized planner pages.
This is such an easy solution for both my growing collection of paper and having a steady supply of paper for the planner.
So, to all of you struggling with your paper supply, give this a try. Use it, mark it up and then toss it away. No reason to stress about the cost.
One of these days, I will find a planner system that truly works for me. I try different systems, different page layouts, various sizes and I'm still not settled on the perfect system for me. This is one of the reasons I really want to delve into doing my own designs. But that is a long term dream that is still in development. While I don't have the perfect pages for me, I do think I'm getting my settled in the general layout of my planner.
I found these lovely metals tags by Tim Holtz. I think they give the perfect look to my Gillio beauty. I'm currently using DIYFish for my calendar but this layout I'm using can have any calendar inserted into it which is really important to me since I tend to change calendars several times a year. I've already tried out 3 this year alone.
These two arrow tags mark this week and today. They are on half sheet dividers that I move each week/day as needed.
My main sections are divided by the wide folder tags. My sections are everyday (for routines, regular occurrences), life (calendar), wishes, notes, and stuff.
The bottom arrow is my "next steps" list. I use it to track what is next on my list and that of my employees. I'm trying to teach the new engineers in my group to always be thinking of what they have to do next when a project phase is complete. This seems to be working well so far. I know GTD uses this. Side note: I really need to read that book. It's been on my shelf a long time.
Within my notes tab, I have six numbered dividers that I use for long term focus area or short term projects. 1 is my home. So many projects coming up. 2 is for my blog and writing. I am thinking about rebranding everything so I have a lot of notes here right now. 3 is for my crafting life. 4 is for work. I'm currently keeping a list of things that I PE stamp and job searching (never stop looking for a better opportunity). 5 is being used right now to manage my move. Once I'm settled, I'll reassign this tab to something else. 6 is all things financial.
Because I have so much in my planner, I no longer use it as a wallet. It's just too much going on and I could never fit all the pages I need if I also tried to do double duty.
In my business, opportunity is an eleven letter word for "the shit no one wants to do but you are the sap that cannot opt out of it." Opportunity has brought me a higher paycheck, but at what cost? I'm ready to abandon this opportunity. I'm ready for life!
I have discovered the beauty that is Hobonichi Techo. So simple but incredibly inspiring. I'm hoping to use this as a life/art journal to give a little boost to my creativity which seems to have been zapped lately. I'll be sharing some of my layouts when I feel they are not crappy. Here is a sneak peek at what I am doing.
I love writing in columns where the layout takes on the look of a magazine (or bible if you are mostly just journaling). This is the Hobonichi Cousin which is A5 size.
If you want to see more, I am loving this video from the creators of Hobonichi.
I have watched this video so many times. I so wish I could draw like some of the examples they feature.
Years ago, I decided I wanted to do something. I had a passion for it and I really wanted to see that passion grow. In the hustle and bustle of life, the passion remained but the confidence to think I could do it waned. I succumbed to doubt and started to believe I couldn't do it and I could never figure out how.
But then came the Internet and Google and YouTube and I am seeing what so many others have done with so little. I am seeing others do what I have wanted to do. The barrier for entry has decreased and I have no reason not to get moving.
I hope you all are having a wonderful National Poetry Month. To celebrate the month, I am going to publish the rest of these little 50 word pieces that I have written. Some could be considered poems. Some are little stories. Some are just a flow of thoughts. What they all are is a little snippet of how I truly felt. I think that's one of the things I've been missing in my blog journey. I'm good about sharing the physical aspects of my life but not so much the thoughts and feelings that make me ME. I wrote this one while I was still married. I'm happy to say the suffering is over.
I never thought love alone was enough of a reason to get married. This experience has taught me the wisdom in that thought. I had no reason outside of love to walk down that aisle. For that I will suffer in an uneven relationship built on nothing more than love.
It was for my nephew who just a baby. Now he's six and there is no way that future giant is going to fit into this thing. I need to find a new little one to gift it to but I am not going to let that stop me from being happy about completing a long, long term goal.
My responsibilities at work will be decreasing over the next few weeks to months, so I am determined to get back down to one planner. Honestly, I can't bear to put down my Gillio during the day so the best way to be able to pet it is to use it all day. The planner geeks out there will know exactly what I mean.
Since I need to print more chronodex pages for my time tracking, I also took time to reprint my expenses pages for a full planner refresh. I have paid off a couple of bills recently and printing a new, smaller budget is a big incentive for me.
I have a rather large handwriting and I write down a lot so it's going to take some getting used to.
I also like carrying a full year calendar at a time. With just a personal calendar (week + notes) that is possible, but I need daily tracking for work. I plan to keep a week of work pages sandwiched between the weekly personal layout. Once a month, I will purge the work pages and archive using Evernote. I had considered doing that in the past but seeing this video from Carrie Harling finally made the decision firm for me.
I'll update you on my layout when I get it organized.
This stems from an idea I saw on Pinterest. It was a suggested as a daily journal concept, not too far off from the gratitude journals that many like to keep.
What I appreciate about this is that it gives you an opportunity to pull from the bad things and frame them in a way that forces you to think about them differently. Instead of just being upset about a work situation and attempting to ignore it, I can put it down as something to be prayed about. And I don't have to avoid it because I will be seen as too negative (it has happened to me before).
I have incorporated this into my daily planner. I typically do this on Sunday afternoon, but during Lent I am attempting to do it daily.
PEAKS. I had fun finishing some bunting for a friend's baby.
PITS. I had to go to work for a few hours.
PRAISES. Thank God, I was productive at work and didn't have to stay for too long.
PRAYERS. I'm praying for new habits that will help me break though my health plateau.
My voice is not positive because my outlook is not positive. My outlook is not positive because my input is not positive. My input is not positive because you are not positive. I am looking to you to set the tone. I can't create what is not in front of me.
Sometimes the best thing I can do to make myself feel better is pull out some UFOs and get some things done! Today's project of choice is baby bibs. I have had these sitting around for months just waiting for velcro.
But since I took so long to get my machine in for service, these have languished. About an hour of YouTube while crafting and...
19 bibs are now in my finished pile and in need of a home. If any of you are pregnant or would like a gift for a friend, let me know. I'll be happy to share some. No charge because I love babies. US only please.
I have been quite lazy in my crafting life lately. The biggest contributor to this was my Bernina being out of commission. It needed a service and I had not yet visited the local Bernina shop. Depending on the shop and what they do in-house, it can sometimes take a week or more to get the machine back so I just didn't rush it. Silly me.
But I finally got off my back side and got it done. Since my divorce (more about that later), I've been on a mission to recover lost time with the past-times I loved the most. I'm not quite ready to kick back into full gear with my knitting yet, so sewing was the best candidate. And I had projects sitting around waiting to be finished. I am happy to say service at Windmill was quick (~4 days). Bernina and I are back to together again and there is no love lost in this relationship.
In my pile of unfinished projects was a printed stack of paper piecing blocks from Whitney Sews. With my bag of scraps beside me, I knocked out enough to put together this small piece.
Here is a close-up shot of the block detail.
Because of the size, I thought this would be perfect as a baby blanket. I backed it with some white flannel and stitched in a brown ribbon to use as a tie.
I think this is a great option for a changing pad. Soft, cushy, handmade, unique and just all around perfect! I can't wait to find a baby to gift this to.