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2010 Yearly List

It’s the last day of January and I think I’ve finally finished my 2010 to-do list. Of course, as soon as I hit publish I’m sure I’ll remember more things I wanted on the list. Here is last year’s list.

1. Buy a marble and start my glass marble collection  (received May 17, 2010)
2. Make 5 simple animated gifs to post on my blog one two three four Five and an extra
3. Buy a vintage globe and a huge map for the bedroom Globe Matt bought me this map for my birthday in 2011
4. Leave 100% tip at a restaurant
5. Leave change in coin machine 5 times one, two, three, four, five
6. Send a care package to a soldier overseas
7. Build a storytelling shadowbox diorama
8. Upload a youtube video with my face and voice
9. Participate in wardrobe remix photography 4 times
10. Visit a drive in movie theater (completed June 8, 2011)
11. Visit two photobooths one two
12. Old timey picture (kind of did this at MS&I)
13. Document a tree changing colors, start sept. 1st (Completed finally after so many attempts started)
14. Purchase wool and spin yarn and make vest
15. Buy tall boots complete
16. Eat falaful Completed 5.5.12
17. Visit the museum in sycamore went winter of 2018/2019 with Chris and kids
18. Fit into a size __ or reach __ lbs.
19. Create a paper moon photo set up to take portraits in
20. Publish second zine completed November
21. Go to teddywedgers for pasties Completed on March 27th
22. Go to the kane county flea market (completed July 2nd, 2011)
23. Record “storycorp” style interviews with family/friends (interviewed my sister at MS&I)
24. Rearrange furniture twice (1st time in July, second time in Nov)
25. Work in small scrapbook art/journal
26. Go to lothson’s chicken done 8.4.10
27. Pay off debt
28. Have a bonfire at the lagoon
29. Eat at two (new to me) truck stop diners (one completed on trip to KY 2014, where I got coin from gumball machine)
30. Organize a glue book week (revised idea, completed here 2014)
31. Go camping this summer completed in July 2010 (we went camping/floating with tom and nikki)
32. Finish my mom’s challenge book

Leftovers from 2009 list

1. Found Art balloon idea
2. Visit one  more photobooth 9.21.2012
3. Hot air balloon ride (already paid for) completed 10.9.10
4. Release art themed geocache
5. Complete C25K and run 5K
6. Work on and send in sketchbook for group project   Posted to my blog here
7. Go to a Hockey game (11.2.10)
8. redesign website (done February 2013)

the last NaBloPoMo Hurrah!

It is the last day of November and the last day of National Blog Posting Month. I got an email from NaBloPoMo today announcing that next month’s theme is Mitzvah and the challenge is to give something to someone everyday of the month and post about it. I LOVE that idea! BUT, I am so burnt out from this month and of all the things that fill my daily life. If only I had known that theme before I decided to take on this month’s challenge I might have held out for December.

That being said, my sister was so kind to point out to me that SewMamaSew’s Give-Away day is coming up. If I can’t give away things all month long the least I can do is one day and since I had so much fun participating in this in the past there is no chance I’d miss it.

Please check back and see what I will be giving away. I haven’t decided yet. If you have any suggestions I’d be glad to hear them.  Anything from my shop would be cool.

The Signature Room

This weekend I crossed one more item off my list for the year. Matt and I ate at the Signature Room, on the 95th floor of the Hancock Tower in Chicago.

A lot of people I know have been before and I’ve heard the stories and reviews of what it’s like. I thought it would be a fun experience to add to my list. See, in all honesty, I’m more the type of person who would get excited to gather friends and drive to a small town diner. But, when compiling my list of things to do for the year I wanted to add a few things that would stretch me.

I didn’t bring a camera, not knowing if it would be acceptable. Unfortunately, once there, there were constant flashes going off around us while waiters were snapping guests with the amazing view behind them. Sadly, I don’t have a picture of Matt and I all gussied up to remember the occasion. He did capture the above picture from his camera phone though.

We debated making dinner reservations or just waiting in line for drinks and dessert in the “lounge”. Once we got there we saw the loooooong first-come-first-serve line for the lounge, I immediately doubted myself and we considered just going elsewhere entirely. I’m so glad that we didn’t and I ended up calling and making reservations for dinner. We enjoyed ourselves walking around the magnificent mile, killing time until our reservation.

I’ve been up to the observation deck in the Hancock tower before, but I forgot how fast and high the elevator goes. Your ears pop while you go up. When we exited the elevator I was just thrust into the unexpected, in a very good way. The ceiling is super high, with windows all the way around. It was just beginning to be dark out and you could see the beginnings of clouds in the air right outside the windows. The restaurant is HUGE and completely dark with basically a single tea light on each table for lighting the entire place. Once it was completely dark out the lights from the city just popped and you realize why the restaurant is kept dark. It all adds to the romantic atmosphere.

We had an excellent evening and I highly recommend others to experience it at least once in their lifetime. You can request window seats, but make sure you ask for the city view. A coworker of mine asked for window seats, but were seated near the water and there isn’t much to see there. Oh, and dinner, it was delicious and filling, but the price you pay is really made up in ambiance, rather than what appears on your plate.

on and on and on

spiral, originally uploaded by robayre.
This is what your brain feels like after playing bejeweled blitz for too long. Fun times. And I’m still not even any good at it.


Last weekend I crocheted another cowl scarf. 3 skeins in 3 days. Someone is anxious for chilly weather. And, hey, what’s up with the cool summer and then warm september? The trees don’t know what to do, turn red, and lose all their leaves off the top, but stay green everywhere else.

Last weekend I was supposed to cross off no. 17 on this year’s list (ride in a hot air balloon).  But it rained, so we rescheduled. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the weather behaves for my next date. The night before my first scheduled launch I was able to capture an Etsy treasury and it was of course Hot Air Balloon themed. You can see what it looked like above.

At the fair, a few weeks ago, they had one of those booths where you can take “old timey” pictures. I’ve been thinking that I want to add it to my list of things to do in 2010. It was hard not to do it right then, but I started thinking about these pictures I had seen recently from one of my flickr contacts. Anna Allen is involved in living history and re-enactment activities and had her portrait taken at one recently. Yes, that picture above is a modern picture of her, not a scan of an old picture. I’ve been obsessed with these pictures she had taken and want to find a photographer who works in wet plate method and get my own photos taken. How cool is that? Check out Anna’s flickr to see more pictures.

day 2 Grow

Day 2 is in the shop!

I got the idea for this while I was at work today. I was SO excited to get home and work on it. I’m looking forward to getting into my studio daily this month :D

This piece is in the same vein as my other grass quote pieces, but this one is created in watercolor and has a vintage paper around the outside. I apologize that the pictures are not wonderful. I can tell this month is going to be a race against the clock, finishing a piece I am satisfied with AND THEN being able to photograph it for the listing before it gets dark.

My friend Joon is also joining in, posting items.
Anyone else? It’s not too late to join in posting daily.

Daily Artwork Project

It’s over halfway through the year now and I’m looking at my 2009 list and trying to make sure that I continue to cross things off and stay on track. One big project that has been dangling in front of me, has been my desire to do a month long project. Meaning, I would do a new piece every day for a month and post it to my etsy shop.

Last year I was so inspired by artists who can make a living by creating a piece every single day. Whether it be a painting, a drawing, a collage or print, etc., I love the idea that someone can be so prolific and dedicated, thus offering a variety of amazing original pieces at affordable prices. I wish I had the stick-to-it-ivness to do something every day for a whole year, but I’m not there yet, as noted by my failure in follow through of the page a day book of 2008.

Today I am declaring that August will be my Piece-A-Day Month. The piece at the top of this post was me trying to feel out my plans with the media and materials. Right now the plan is that the pieces will be similar to my page-a-day pieces, examples seen below.

In other words they will be quick (meaning created daily), impromptu, mixed media pieces. Instead of being a page in a book, each piece will be created on a 9″x9″ 140 lb. coldpress watercolor paper, with the image area being 5×5. Tada! Perfect to fit into an Ikea ribba frame with matte :) I work a full time job, so I am going to limit the project to Monday through Friday. Everyone needs a weekend right? Each piece will then be added to my etsy shop and offered at a very  affordable cost. If you are feeling inspired, I would love to invite others to join in and also do a piece every day in August.  Let me know, I’d love to follow your month as well.

Weekend Wrap-up

clouds & concrete, originally uploaded by robayre.

I hope everyone had a relaxing, yet productive weekend. The weather today was perfect.

I have a few things I wanted to share.

-I’ve been sooo delighted to be featured on Etsy’s front page not once, not twice, but THREE times within the last 4 days. As I said last week, I get stupidly giddy whenever I make it to the front page. I hope this feeling never goes away as I continue to plug away with my Etsy shop. I just love it so much. My only sadness is that Etsy was not around when I was a child/teenager or even college student.

-I’m still going strong on my goal to ride my bike to work everyday for a month. This too is making me beyond happy. I wish I could do it all year round. At this rate I imagine I will probably be riding to work throughout the summer, well past my goal of one month. It only takes a few more minutes to ride to work, than it did to drive, but I feel that instead of getting into a car, putting on the music, being in the zone and just getting to work, now I am much more aware of my surroundings. I get to enjoy the weather, and nature, greet people along the way, and really have experiences traveling back and forth to work, rather than lost time.

-I’ve been working on my mini zine for the swap-bot swap. If I am happy with the results I might add some to my shop as well. I just have so many ideas and I don’t think I’ll be able to add them all to one zine, especially one this small (it has to fit into a small matchbook).

-Before I forget to mention, I’ve updated my banner. If you are like myself, you read your blogs through an rss reader and probably wouldn’t have even noticed had I not said anything. Now my blog and etsy work together.

-I’ve mentioned my twitter here before, but I thought I’d bring it up again, and invite anyone interested, to follow me there as well. I occasionally post fun/inspirational/informative links on twitter as I come across them.

-Speaking of inspiring site links, here is one I found via booooooom. It’s a website devoted to the upcoming movie of Where the Wild Things Are and all of it’s assorted influences. VERY COOL SITE.

-One last link, a new to me blog.  How could I not love a printmaker who has pet rabbits, and a hedgehog? Then on her sidebar she has a list of goals, things like make a stop-motion movie, learn letterpress, and make a zine. This seems like my kind of gal.

new to the shop

I’m still here and proud to say I’ve ridden my bike to work everyday that I’ve worked this month. One week down towards my goal for a month. I love it. It’s only taking me 11 minutes now, almost as fast as it was to drive, strangely enough. Plus I get to work and feel all invigorated and ready to go.

Months ago I purchased these pendants to make pieces encased in resin, but with the round shape I was really stumped. They just sat in my studio until a couple of weeks ago when it finally came to me.

I saw some of these crafted magazine bowls and got inspired to use the technique, but only in miniature for my pendants.



I love how they came out, the texture, lines and colors. I ended up making several in different color combinations.

I’ve also added another resin ring that I really love to my shop.

I will be adding new items each day this week, so please check back.

Friday I’m in Love

yoyo quilt, originally uploaded by robayre.

Okay, so yesterday (Friday) was an incredibly productive day. It felt great. I even took a scary step to crossing off one more thing from my yearly list. That list item was to get my bike fixed. Last summer my bike broke, and while, in the past when something went wrong (seat was stolen, crank cracked, entire bike stolen, etc.) I just went ahead, ordered the parts myself and fixed it, or in the case of my bike being stolen, just bought the same exact bike all over again. This time was different. I was sure it was something more difficult to fix, would parts for this bike still be available even? but I was equally terrified of taking it into the bike shop and having the cycle guys look at me and laugh their asses off about trying to get a Huffy repaired at their top of the line Schwinn shop. So much so, that last fall, after lots of shopping, I bought a new bike. It didn’t take long before realizing that bike was a horrible fit and had to be returned. I figured it would be worth the amount of money to fix my old bike, even if the cost was equal to the amount of a new bike because I knew that I would ride it, it would fit and I’d be happy to have MY BIKE back.

Also, getting my bike repaired is pretty important to another yearly goal, walking or riding my bike to work every day for a month. And while I don’t mind walking, it takes an additional 35 to 40 minutes to walk to work, and only 15 minutes to ride my bike. There are no guarantees that it won’t be raining for a whole month so riding with a raincoat for 15 minutes is much more desirable than walking with an umbrella for 40. Although I did allow for rain days to be exempt, I’d be much prouder of myself if I toughed out those days.

So I took my bike in, they seemed unfazed by the brand and even had the replacement part on hand. It should be ready for pick up in a week. Yahtzee!

Now that I have Fridays off, I try to keep a To Do list to make sure that the extra day doesn’t get wasted. Yesterday I was able to cross off the majority of things on my list, way more than any other Friday. I posted to my blog, listed new items, went to the post office, went to the bank, paid a bill, paid another bill, paid yet another bill, did some shopping, and still had time to start a new project, and hang out with Dacia.

As for today. I don’t really have anything planned. Perhaps I should create a Saturday To Do list because it’s already past 10:30 a.m. and other than cooking breakfast and typing this, I sit here in my pj’s and have no foresight into what will happen for the rest of the day.

Have a good weekend. Hopefully I will return tomorrow with glimpses into my new project. Hint, the picture at the top is a bit of a clue.

2009 Yearly List

So, it’s officially February and it’s been a month since I started composing my list of things to accomplish in the year of 2009. I think it’s time to put down the pen and start working on these goals. If you recall, I’ve been inspired by Andrea of hulaseventy and her list of things to do in her 38th year. I just discovered that another favorite artist Mati Rose, also kept a list of things to do in her 32nd year. I’ve kept a small life list in the past, but it occurred to me after reading these other lists, that a yearly list is more likely to get done, rather than a goal with an open end of “sometime in my life”. The yearly list is different from a resolution list. I associate resolutions with changing habits, while this is a list to help me stay productive and accomplish some goals. I will be able to refer back to it throughout the year to cross things off and remind myself to get going on others. So, here it goes:

31 Things to get done in the year 2009, my 31st year.

1. get my bike fixed Took my bike in April 24th, got it back May 2nd.
2. ride my bike/walk to work for a whole month (rain days exempt) first day? May 4th.
3. get back on sparkpeople (may18th)
4. geocache at least 10 times Done over 40 caches!
5. found art balloon idea
6. create a tabletop ecosphere and keep a record/updates about life inside read here
7. start a daily art project (collage/mixed media?) and post daily to etsy for at least one month (august)
8. go to the Indiana dunes this summer (Completed August 14th, went w/matt, chris & dacia)
9. get down to dress size __ (purchased a jean skirt in this size that fit in August)
10. spend lots of time this spring/summer/fall at my “secret place
11. unplug my computer and no internet usage for a week (complete the final week of 2009)
12. send in artomat package (Feb. 13th, 2009)
13. post daily for January NaBloPoMo (done January 31st)
14. post daily for February Thing-A-Day (finished February 28th)
15. visit at least two different photobooths and participate in photobooth friday (Went to Quimbys 8.2.09) Novelty Golf and Games (9.21.12)
16. take the new car on a roadtrip (matt and i) (quad cities Feb. 13th, 2009)
17. ride in a hot air balloon (purchased and paid for, but weather canceled all attempts. completed 10.9.10
18. release my art themed geocache (or public art box idea)
19. get back on C25K and run 5K
20. eat at the signature room in the hancock center (completed November 14th)
21. go to luigi’s house and use gift certificate for dinner (done January 23rd, to celebrate matt’s new car)
22. alter calendar & post monthly (created 2010 date pages and left top open for image to be added last week of december 2009)
23. work on and send in mini moleskine book for group project   Posted to my blog here
24. visit the quad cities and go to bierstube (Feb. 14th, 2009)
25. go to a hockey game (11.2.10)
26. read the time traveler’s wife finished 8.1.09
27. carve pumpkins (Completed 10.09)
28. decorate for christmas (completed 12.09)
29. send out letters and mail that should have gone out months ago (partly done feb. 11th, rest completed)
30. plant tulip bulbs in the fall (ever year I say I’ll do this and never get it done) (done 11.2.09)
31. redesign website (done February 2013)

Now, I would like to invite all of you to create a similar list for 2009 and post it to your blog, so that we can follow along as you get things done for 2009. My only fear posting this is that there will be more things to add to this list that I will remember as soon as I post this.