Archive for the 'General Update' Category

Lucky Winner of Loop Giveaway

A little somethin'-somethin' I've been working on

I have had incredibly good luck in Instagram Giveaways. Knock on wood. Side note: I was just saying that ever since I started the habit of flipping pennies (where I pick up pennies whenever I see one, and if it is tails up, I flip it and returning it for the next person to find it heads-up, and lucky) that almost all of the pennies I find are tails up. I rarely find heads up pennies on the ground. Maybe I’m building up a cache of good luck, or maybe this is why I have such good luck winning on instagram ;) Side-side note: My last Grass & Stars zine was luck themed. Well, and I’ve hosted a few giveaways on instagram myself, so maybe it’s just the cycle of good karma.

My friend Courtney and I both won this print from Pars Caeli.

My friend Anna and I both won a pin from Phrasing For Light.

I think I posted about it earlier on my blog, but I won the book How to Make It by Chronicle Books, and along with it a moon print by Sycamore Press.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book and highly recommend it. I have been very slowly going through it since I won it in late summer.

I won a $10 gift certificate from Lovely Somethings (a paper boutique in Ohio) and have been saving it until I find just the right thing.

Very recently I won a felted art piece by Woodland Tea Time.

My renegade giveaway haul

And FINALLY! the reason for this post was because of the HUGE Haul I won from a Renegade Chicago loop giveaway (not to be confused with a Chicago Loop giveaway, Chicago nerd humor, sorry). When Rosa (Muro Jewelry) was coming to town she promoted a loop giveaway of a collection of Chicago Renegade vendors. I had to follow each vendor, like and comment (probably, but can’t remember the exact details) on their pictures for the giveaway for a chance to win.

When we were leaving Renegade I got a message that I had WON! It was so much fun to open, everything was wrapped beautifully and I even recorded an unboxing of it, but the video was sooooo long, so instead I just did a flat lay to share all the goodies.

The box included pieces by:

1. Naturally dyed napkins by Khazanmsp

2. Earrings by Natalie Joy Jewelry

3. Toiletry bag by Gray Market Design

4. Candlestick holders by Willfull Goods

5. Little geometric porcelain bowls by Lauren hb Studio

6. 5 Free, Vegan nail polish by Claws Out

7. Notebook by Genna Cowsert Papergoods

8. 3 legged Jewelry Dish by Baronbi Studios

9. Little wood fired bowl by Buchenot Ceramics

10. Multipurpose craft tool (pompoms, weaving, bracelet making, etc.) by The Loome

11. And last but not least, my personal favorite, necklace by Muro Jewelry

Thank you to all the vendors for sending such wonderful treasures. I LOVE Handmade and all of these pieces will be cherished.

arm 3 -Found Art Tuesday

Now time to get back to entering more giveaways! Wish my luck! Fingers crossed!!

Keeping my

Drifting Off and Cloud Rainbows

Rainbow cloud pattern robayre

Earlier this year I read this where a person said that before falling asleep they think of the people they like, receiving good news. I think about that occasionally ever since reading it because 1. it is such a sweet and altruistic idea, and makes me so happy. 2. Maybe what we think of in those moments before we sleep can be seen as a snapshot of our inner thoughts and true being. and 3. Now I like to ask people what they think about in the moments before they fall asleep.

Matt said he doesn’t think, and I believe it. His head hits he pillow and he’s out (sometimes even before that point). Matt’s Mom said she counts.

I almost always like to think of art and making. Creating, art materials, concepts and ideas around art.

When I was young I used to have insomnia. When I was in college we were required to keep a daily sketchbook (a page for each studio class each day). I slept with my sketchbook in the bed next to me, and that is probably when I started thinking of art before sleep, and also when I probably stopped lying in bed all night watching the clock of doom tick away. Often, I’d reach over and scribble out ideas or sketches that I had in half (or full) dreams. It’s where I had the idea for my ongoing Circle Series. Actually, at that point, I didn’t have my sketchbook in bed with me, so I rushed into the kitchen and drew this out on my dry erase board on the fridge. I had been wanting to work in a way where I could use a lot of different mediums and styles, and still incorporate them into one cohesive body of work.

I didn't want to share my next #pattern until I shared more of my swan patterns, but they still aren't done so here is #Bright for #patternjanuary. My idea was scribble-like rainbow suns, and I built most of it in #paper53, and assembled it as a repeating

Earlier this week I had another one of those ideas right as I was falling asleep. I grabbed my phone this time and used an app to scribble it out. I had the idea of the “Bright” pattern I made (above), but cutting the circle in half, essentially making it into a rainbow shape. Originally, in my head I think the half circle rainbows would become like a scallop pattern, rainbow next to rainbow, next to rainbow.

Rainbow cloud pattern robayre      Rainbow cloud pattern robayre
On the left the idea I scribbled out at night, and on the right, one of the final “cloud rainbows”

I’ve been thinking that I should try some patterns that are not so tightly fit. A lot of the patterns I make are pretty packed because when I use fabric and sew I know that if things are too spread apart, and fabric is cut small, you don’t get to see much of the pattern. I’ve just long preferred tiny patterns on fabric, ever since my first days of making yoyos as a teenager.

When I thought of this new pattern, I thought it might be nice to switch it up. I thought of it more in terms of larger fabric pieces (fashion or upholstery), perhaps because of the influence of Society6 and Spoonflower on me. I also have been working on a different scallop pattern series already, with gelli printed papers, so I decided to really go with a “rainbow” feel. Since the rainbows would be more spread apart, I thought I needed to add another element, so I thought of adding clouds to the background, and that was when I had the idea to add an actual scallop, cloud-like edging, to the outside of each rainbow.

rainbow cloud pattern

The whole pattern feels kind of dream-like, so it was appropriate that it came to me the way that it did. Here is a 3×3 repeat of the pattern, so you can see what it looks like on repeat overall.

Last night I had another idea, only, stupidly I thought the idea was concrete enough that I’d remember it in the morning and of course, it’s gone. Word to the wise, dream ideas are never concrete. Maybe it will come back to me again tonight.

What do you think of before going to sleep?

 

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Renegade Craft Fair Chicago Haul 2017 Edition

Whoops! I completely forgot to share my Renegade haul from September

Renegade post coming soon

This is everything my sister and I bought at Renegade Chicago, September 2017.

What’s funny is that I haven’t allowed myself to take any of my items (pie aside) out of the bag I have everything in, in my studio, until I do this post. I didn’t want to lose track of all of the business cards, so I could link back to everything. Plus there are a few things in here that are gifts for other people and I didn’t want to spoil any of them.

Starting at the top the left and zigzaging,
Fabric Origami Star Banner by Twenty Nine States
Fingers crossed relief print, and eyeball print patch are from The Diggingest Girl,
The etched ginko notebook is from Cardtorial,
Rootbeer Float chocolate Bar (my sister’s) by Chocolate Twist,
2018 Moon Calendar (my sister’s) by Margins Imprint,
Ceramic hanging planter and air plant (my sister’s) is from Kelso Doesn’t Dance,
Jewelry (my sister’s) from Muro Jewelry
They are kind of covered up, but Pick N Mix print cards by Sean Mort (My sister gifted these to me later)
The hello card was one my sister made at the Paper Source booth
Lightning Bug illustration card (my sister’s) by Methane Studios,
You Are Beautiful stickers and keychain (my sister birthday gifted to me later) by You Are Beautiful,
Reclaimed wood convex mirror by Bergeron Woodworks (my sister gifted to me)
Shark softie baby rattle (my sister’s) by Chipper Handmade,
More Muro Jewelry (mine),
Skull ring by Tough And Pretty,
We Hate Everything Together magnet by 6by6Arts,
Cards and pinback button by La Familia Green
Green monster softie by Mary Wells Design,
Sticker and skull felt brooch by Migration Goods,
and Blue Cheese Praline Pear Pie by Justice of the Pies

We had a pretty good haul this year and I was happy to see a lot of new shops as well as a more indie feel overall. I have been feeling more and more lately that Renegade was getting to be so big and so polished that it was turning commercial, and should no longer be called a craft show. You’d see booths for actual brick and mortar stores and to me, that’s not in the spirit of Renegade.

The weather was perfect.

Things that were popular this year seemed to be a lot of soap (and maybe candle?) booths, enamel pins and patches, ceramics, linen and fabric scarves, a lot of character and quote references to tv shows (Park and Rec, Broad City, etc.). There were a lot more stationers there than I ever remember seeing before, which made me so happy. I also noticed a lot of chunky beaded necklaces (mostly made from fimo) similar to the ones I make from paper clay. There were a few space, celestial, moon things, but we were surprised overall that there weren’t tons of eclipse things. Also, I didn’t notice it at the time, but searching for the origami banner maker made me realize there were SO many makers with hand dyed fabrics.

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BUT, the most important part of Renegade this year was not the booths, or the weather, or the things we brought home, but rather, who we went to see. Muro Jewelry was selling for the first time at Renegade Chicago and that meant I would finally be meeting my dear friend Rosa Murillo for the very first time in real life. We have been friends for over 10 years, ever since Rosa reached out to me. She thought I might be interested in her Found Art Tuesday project, and I was, and we’ve been friends ever since.

Muro jewelry booth at Renegade Chicago 2017

Here’s a video above, that I caught of Rosa and her husband Ruben in their booth on the first day of the fair. I was just about to type that I somehow wasn’t nervous meeting her and then I remembered reality, lol. As I got closer and closer to her booth my heart was pounding out of my chest. When I hugged her I thought she’d feel me shaking. (You may have guessed I have a little bit of social anxiety, lol). After that though, everything was good. We’ve skyped, face-timed and talked on the phone before so I knew what to expect. Side story: I loathe talking on the phone, so for the longest time Rosa used to call me and leave me voicemail messages because she knew that I would never answer, lol.
What are your plans for the weekend? I hope if you are in the Chicagoland area, it includes Renegade, because guess what? @murojewelry is going to be there for the FIRST time! All the way from North Carolina! Eeeeeeeeee! Yes, after a bobajillion years of

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Rosa was able to let Ruben take over the booth for a while, and she joined us to shop the show.

Renegade

I knew right away we had to make our way to the photobooth. It’s an annual tradition!

I own so much of her jewelry, from the past, to what has evolved into her current body of breathtaking work. It was so fun to see a whole booth of her jewelry, and so hard to pick and choose what I was going to walk away with. She gave me a branch necklace for my birthday, and I purchased a necklace and ring.

I made her one of my chunky beaded necklaces, you can see below. She put it on right away, which was kind of embarrassing because I like to think of my necklaces looking like a giant kindergartner made them, so I feel like it stuck out next to all of her grown up “adult jewelry”. Later she told me that someone asked if she sold necklaces like the one she was wearing and how I needed to make more and sell, sell, sell them! At first I was flattered, but then I wondered if it might have been questionable “the same person that made this luxurious work, also made that?!” lol. I’m not trying to bash my work, I love my necklaces, but they are definitely a bit more niche, than jewelry you would find at a jewelry store. And clearly similar necklaces were being sold at many booths at Renegade, as I mentioned above.

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Rosa has done several Renegades across the country, but never the original… Chicago. I’ve been trying to get her to come for ages. It really is the largest of all of the fests they do! Chicago did not disappoint. Muro Jewelry did amazingly well, and they ran out of business cards and bags early Sunday. She also brought enough jewelry to probably sell at (what she thought would be 2 shows) as well as enough for another event that they were hitting up on the way home. Turns out they barely scraped by! Chicago LOVES Muro! She has already decided to come back for the Winter show (which I’ve never been to before).

And if all of this wasn’t enough… I’ll have another post coming because… right before Renegade I entered an instagram loop giveaway, where I had to follow a bunch of shops that would be at the show, and as we were leaving Chicago that day I got an alert that I had WON! I got a huge box of loot that I also haven’t allowed myself to use any of the items yet either, so stay tuned for that.

Oh, and I can’t forget the link to past Renegade Haul posts.

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Summer 2017 Chalkboard list

Summer 2017 chalkboard

The summer was crazy! I almost ran out of room on the board.

Recently I listened to an episode of the Happier Podcast (episode 134) and a listener shared the idea of a “Ta-Da List”. Gretchen spoke about “monitoring” where you pay attention to your actions and this can aid you in regulating and modifying behavior as well as thought patterns. If you tend to beat yourself up about doing (or not doing things) you may be pleasantly (or not so pleasantly) surprised to see your actions when monitored. The idea of the ta-da list is that you write the things that you have done and accomplished after the fact, rather than things you need to do (like on a to-do list).

While I do love a to-do list, Gretchen said that a ta-da list might be especially helpful to Rebels (from her book The Four Tendencies) who might otherwise resist to-do lists. For the record when I took the four tendencies quiz I got Rebel, and as a true to Rebel I have doubted it but then refused to double confirm it, which pretty much solidifies my rebel status that much more (insert laugh cry emoji here). A quality of rebels is resisting internal and external expectations, and that is pretty much me in a nutshell.

If I remember correctly, I started doing these seasonal chalkboard lists for lack of any other chronicle of my life. I love a good scrapbook, but I had to admit to myself, it’s just not happening. I used to keep journals when I was younger, but at one point when I went back and started rereading, I realized that I had the tendency to only write when I was mad or upset and it gave a very skewed idea of what my life was like and it was REALLY depressing, so I stopped writing. These chalkboards help remind me of how productive I was, as well as bring back the memories of those events.

Previous Chalkboard Calendar posts right here!

The Struggle

Going through old emails in my inbox, and I found this note to myself. My inbox is mostly filled with emails to myself for project ideas and things I want to deal with later. It’s not too bad, I have about 30 emails but they literally span years and years. This one was from May 2015. I’m not going through this struggle right now, as I’m actually overflowing with productivity (almost the opposite problem), but this note still seems very important and I’d love to hear how other artists and creatives push on after the initial excitement wanes and subsequent pieces seem less and less AMAZING.

“How does one deal with the stress of expectations and still stay creative and productive? My favorite and most creative work comes from creative exploring. What happens after the first piece or two after I have an idea or concept for a series that I’d love to continue with. What happens when you want to keep producing this thing you’ve started but it is no longer creative exploration, can start to feel repetitive or redundant?

I always remember reading in Art & Fear (side note: highly recommend this book if you haven’t read it) about how creative ideas are nothing, anyone can have creative ideas. It’s all about sticking it out, and pushing on, once it’s no longer fun. The most successful artists are the most prolific. But how do you do that? Especially when what happens after the initial, fun, and creative exploration just gets worse and worse. I feel like my creativity mirrors my bowling habits. I’ll always start out real strong but the longer I play the worse I get, until it is gutter ball, gutter ball, gutter ball.”

Side note: I had to add the song Late Greats by Wilco because there’s something about artists being prolific to become successful that makes me think of this song. Perhaps the greatest piece of artwork hasbeen lost to time forever because the artist only made the one piece.

Also, I just needed to post this in hopes of getting the ball rolling again on blogging. I have so many things to share, but feel overwhelmed by it all and where to start, so this is as good of a start as any.

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Spring Chalkboard 2017

Spring 2017 Chalkboard

Summer is probably halfway through and I haven’t erased the spring board yet, ooops.

Previous Chalkboard Calendar posts right here!

An Honest Review of Society6 Products

I’m still trucking on the 100 day project, but like last year, I’m sure I will have plenty of make-up days afterward. Just a reminder, my goal this year’s 100 days was to focus on getting more of my work up on print on demand sites, and to finally start getting some designs printed at spoonflower on fabric. I found a 2017 planner I bought at the dollar store last fall, and so I’ve been using that to keep track of what I’ve been doing, (since I haven’t been posting daily on instagram) to stay accountable.
Society6 robayre

Today I am excited to share a review of some items I purchased from Society6 of my own designs. I placed an order which included a cell phone case, a tote bag, 2 zipper pouches, and a pair of leggings. Most of the items were birthday gifts for my sister, while the cell phone case and one of the zipper pouches were for myself.

Society6 robayre haul

The phone case came first (a week out from ordering it) and I snapped it on my phone immediately and it’s been on there ever since. I love it! I’ve had my society6 shop up since 2012 and have mostly sold phone cases from there. You don’t get to see who makes the purchases, and there isn’t a review/feedback system (that I can see anyway) like on etsy, ebay or even amazon, so as far as I know my customers have been happy. I know one customer that has been very happy… my sister. She has purchased a few phone cases from me over the years, so I had been able to see them in person and can vouch for the quality. I’ve also been told that she got lots of compliments on those cases, and was even present a few times when people praised the phone cases. I bought the slim case for myself (image and video above), specifically because the thick one looks like it had a black liner and the buttons that stick out are black, and I didn’t like that with this light and bright pattern. I love my case, which is great because I’ve been saying for years that I was going to buy one for myself. I don’t think it will be my last one either!

Society6 robayre haul

The rest of the haul arrived together, the next week. Opening up the packaging felt like Christmas, I’ve been waiting for this moment forever. I pulled the fish bag out first and was all heart eyes. My sister had specifically said she wanted this bag, and this pattern was a favorite.

6.16.17 fish bag society6

A picture of the bag in the wild. It looks great! The fabric is a nice sturdy canvas and the resolution is what I’d hoped for. The inside of the fabric is coated in black, so it has a dark lining, but not an additional fabric lining, has black handles and it seems very sturdy.

Society6 robayre haul

Here is a picture of my pattern on the left and here is a picture of the bag on the right. You can see the texture of the fabric, but it still translated well. The color being off is probably more of a camera issue and lighting issue, as I took it with my cell phone. Now it’s time for some brutal honesty…

Society6 robayre haul

My sister also wanted this zipper pouch with my grass and stars pattern. I placed the order for everything, and then while I was impatiently waiting for everything to arrive I had the idea of watching some Society6 product reviews. At first everything was going great. The reviewers were stoked and raved about the pouches they ordered. Then I hit a couple videos comparing society6 to redbubble. The reviewer confirmed a fear of mine. She complained that the printing on the fabric was really low resolution. When you look at the mock ups on society6 of the carry-all pouches, the fabric looks very rough. Society6 describes the fabric as a “a durable canvas-like exterior”. I was still hopeful that maybe when they arrived I would be pleasantly surprised. When the package arrived, I pulled out the two pouches and you can see… they are very low resolution. The fabric, while much softer to the touch than canvas fabric, has a VERY low thread count. So low that you can literally see gaps in the fabric between the threads with the naked eye. The result is a very low resolution reproduction of your design. I likened the fabric to a luxurious burlap, lol.Society6 robayre haul

When you look at these two pouches it looks like I took very blurry pictures, but if you look at the surrounding grass, you can see everything is sharp, it’s just the printing that is fuzzy. The zipper seems durable, and there is a fabric lining with interior pockets. It has a cute zipper pull and I love the detail of the society6 label on the side. I just can’t understand why they print on such horrible fabric for the pouches, the part that matters the most. I’m not sure why they don’t use the same fabric that is used on the tote bags. The products are all marked as made in the United States and Society6 has full guarantee and return policy within 90 days. If I understand correctly, after 90 days they will only provide store credit, and not cash back. My sister said she liked her pouch, though it was smaller than she imagined. I won’t be returning my pouch either, as it gets the job done, and you can see that it is still pencils. I am chalking it up to a learning experience. I hope that Society6 will make updates to this particular product line, but in the meantime I deactivated the pouches from my shop. I don’t want any customers ordering something expecting what is on the left in the picture, but getting what is on the right. If someone would like a pouch with my patterns on it, there is always redbubble.

Society6 robayre haul

Lastly, the leggings. They came out wonderfully! The color and print is what I expected and hoped for, and the construction and material are high quality. The material is a silky and stretchy material, with a good thickness to it (not sheer/transparent). I’d highly recommend them. Overall I am happy with my purchases. If I were made of money I’d buy more and explore different items, hello pillows, bed linens, and rugs! I’d also google a review of any item I bought first, youtube reviews are great because you get to see the items in action. That being said, at the recommendation and encouragement of Julie Tillman (once again) I decided to also start uploading to Redbubble. I’ve only added 3 designs so far, but I’ve already had 2 sales (Thank you to whomever you are out there!) They seem to be very much like Society6, but have slightly different product offerings…

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My favorite has to be this adorable A line dress, so cute. My sister might get it in the star pattern.

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I love these cell phone wallets, unfortunately it appears they don’t have it for my phone, although I have a regular iphone 7 and the cases for 6 fit the 7, with just a bit of difference in the camera lens location, so it might still work.

redbubble

The barn quilt pattern on a t-shirt dress

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I could see these acrylic art blocks becoming addictive. They make me think of Sid Dickens blocks, but small and we all know how much I love small things, especially small art (ahem, artomat).

That’s it for now. Thank you for stopping by!

 

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How Many People’s Lives Do you Touch By Sending REAL MAIL?

UntitledOne of the first inspirations I had in making mailart was an editorial in Real Simple magazine, probably in 2000 or 2001. The editor told a short story about lamenting to her mail carrier about only receiving bills and junk mail, and her carrier responded “how do you think I feel, that’s all I deliver anymore?” postcard for elaina
I decided then and there that I wanted to make mail that was fun for me to send, fun for my recipient to receive, and fun for all the carriers and postal workers in between my recipient and myself as well! I hope that it brightens not just myself and my friend’s day. I made my first mailart postcard around 2000-2001 (above from Flickr). This was probably a few years before I even discovered there was a whole “mailart” movement/culture/community.
(Side note: I love that the postcard has grass and stars, even in my original mailart that far back.

I honestly think of that Real Simple editor’s letter all the time still. When I make mailart I like to imagine all the hands it passes through between myself and the recipient. When I first started making mailart I focused mainly on postcards because the artwork would be able to be seen by everyone along the way, and while post carriers are probably dissuaded from reading the letters on the back, I’m sure they do and I would sometimes address them and wish them a good day.

mailart collection

That drive to put joy out into the world via mail has resulted in me sending out hundreds and hundreds of pieces of mailart over the years. You can see more of it in my Flickr mailart album

robayre assorted handmade envelopes

Fast forward to today and that sentiment is just as true as it was in the beginning, though now I like to spread that joy even further by offering my original stationery paper products (like these one of a kind handmade envelopes) in my online shop. Visit robayre.etsy.com today to find some paper treasures that will certainly brighten my day, hopefully your day, your recipient’s day, and all the carriers in between.

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100 Details

Day 2 - to do list notepad

I recently started listening to the new podcast 100 Creatives. It’s the 100 Day Project of Sally Harris (don’t you just love how the 100 Day project can take SO many forms?). She is interviewing 100 Creative people (with an emphasis on creatives that are also doing the 100 day project), and to just jump into learning how to podcast.

Fauxdori-raydori

In episode 12, Sally mentioned a tip she heard, “For big events in your life you should try and write down 100 details”, and I LOVE that idea. I am such a list taker. Where some people might be able to scrap book, I keep my season chalkboard lists, and where some people might use standard planners, I fill blank pages in my midori with to-do lists.

Hi, Friends! 👋 I've been so busy and distracted that I completely missed posting anything for Thanksgiving. Over the weekend I decided to use one of my chalkboards to start listing things I'm thankful for and I hope to keep adding things daily. In th

Ever since Oprah started promoting (probably in the 90s) the whole gratitude journal and writing 5 grateful things daily, I’ve often wanted and tried to do it myself, but could never stay consistent and would struggle to think of things that weren’t repetitive or seem cliche/schmaltzy. I even bought one of those 5 year journals to write down my lists in and still couldn’t do it.

BUT, the idea of writing down details though rather than gratitudes! That completely switches the approach for me. Instead of feeling this pressure to find something PROFOUND AND MEANINGFUL, I could just try to remember the details. I feel like if I remember a detail, there was probably something about it that I am grateful for. I’m not saying that all details will be positive, but even if not, they are probably still worth chronicling.

The comparison and differences in these two approaches seems HUGE to me. For example if I think of things I was grateful for yesterday, my list would be:

-Feeling loved by my niece and nephews
-Matt’s parents buying us dinner at the Thai Pav yesterday
-The work day going by quickly
-Getting my steps in early
-My mom wanting to give Matt a plate of black forest cake squares

And those 5 things were a struggle to come up with.

Now, if I approach it as a list of details

-All the laughing we did at work when Chris brought in his Alexa mannequin, it made the day fly by
-The responses I got on my facebook memory about getting the fluppy pup doll when I was a kid
-Calling my mom on the phone and talking to her about some of our creative projects
-Sheila leaving the kindest post on my fb page about our friendship being the best thing that the internet has done for her
-The bag of Bishop’s cat food was still available at the vet’s office, even though we neglected to pick it up for weeks
-I was able to go to the Y directly after work and get my steps in, leaving the rest of my evening wide open
-Matt and I deciding on a whim to check out the new Thai Pavilion location, inviting his parents and them being able to meet us there so quickly. It was effortless and spontaneous.
-Stopping by Geoff and Dacia’s to pick up more MST3000 kickstarter perks, and there was a really cool mug in it.
-Doc (7yo) being so excited to talk to me about Pokemon, he held both of my hands in his hands to keep my full attention
-Gemma (4yo) climbing up next to me to try and steal some of that attention and asking “Did you miss me too?” which I can only assume meant she missed me even though it’s only been a week or 2 since last time I saw her
-Gemma holding up her legs for me to grab her and hold her upside down, led Martin to claim “me next” and scampered over to the chair same chair Gemma had been in, leaned back and kicked his legs up the same way (as if that was the only way that I could do the same thing for him)
-Trying to hold Doc upside down too (getting too tall, he could put his hands on the ground and almost walk forward)
-Waving goodbye and Martin (1.5yo) was completely overcome and distraught with my leaving, he started crying immediately. As Matt said, he didn’t want the fun to end. It’s sad to see a child upset, but at the same time I realized it felt good to be so loved that when you leave, someone is so expressively overwhelmed with sadness.
-We had the rest of the whole evening to ourselves, and Matt sat on the couch with me, on his phone, while I watched a crime doc episode, until he remembered “we should watch the Norm MacDonald netflix special. It was good. I love Norm.
-I was able to post twice to instagram over the day and it felt fairly effortless. Sometimes it can feel like a struggle and if I don’t do it, it feels like something is hanging over all day… just another thing that (like my daily steps, both of which I adore, but) I have to get done before I go to bed.

The second list of details was easy in comparison, there are 3x as many, and the amount of information provided sets more of a mood and lays the groundwork for actually recalling the memory.

In a year from now, reading “-The work day going by quickly” it is just so flat, it could be any day. But in contrast, reading “-All the laughing we did at work when Chris brought in his Alexa mannequin, it made the day fly by” will evoke real memories and emotions. I will definitely remember that specific day!

I also love that this approach of recording details can be applied in so many methods. Does it really need to be 100? No. Does it really need to be reserved for special occasions? No. It could be used in scrapbooking, in journaling (writing/art), in daily social media posts and updates (facebook/instagram/etc.), on a chalkboard or dry erase board, on loose sheets of notepaper (raise your hand if you’re guilty of writing notes like this and the papers pile up everywhere, 🙌 🙌 🙌 ).

Fuji Instax Wide Picture Album

Fuji instax wide album

I have been wanting photo albums for my Fuji Instax wide pictures, ever since I got my camera in 2011. When deciding what instax instant camera I wanted back then, I had the option of the Wide or the Mini. I’m pretty sure I already had a Polaroid Pogo printer at that point, so the business card sized instants didn’t appeal as much. I liked the larger size of the Wide, but I also liked that they were landscape frame, with the wider border on the bottom, much like the Polaroid 600 film. There was something about that portrait, vertical (super tall and narrow) frame of the mini that I don’t like as much. Well, pretty quickly after I got my wide, it became apparent that the Instax Mini is actually the camera that has taken off in popularity. There are soooo many albums and cute products for the Minis. You can even buy the film and cameras at big box stores just about everywhere. I pinned an album or two for the Wide on pinterest, and by the time I went to purchase them they were all sold out, and haven’t restocked them in years since. Other albums marketed for Instax Wide online are not what they advertise. If you read the comments and reviews people will say that the album slots are actually way too big, and that they are just selling them as albums for Instax Wide, but they were not made for that.

instax developing
Unlike with my huge collection of Polaroid instant film pictures (all dated, additional info on back, and all kept together in the same spot) my Instax pictures have just been floating around, undocumented, and dispersed randomly throughout the house (one in a pile of mail, one on the mantel, 4 on the refrigerator, etc.). It’s pretty disheartening, and I know I am to blame because I could just throw them in with my Polaroids, but I feel like the disorganization from the get-go set a standard, and then I used the excuse of not having an album to let it continue. The problem of my Instax Wide pictures laying about everywhere has honestly made me not really want to take pictures with it because they’ll probably just get lost anyway.

Fuji instax album spreads

Welllll, this weekend I was in an Urban Outfitters and looked at the section for Fuji products and started my tradition of bemoaning that there are tons of cute albums for the Minis, but none for the…wait, what?!? lo and behold! There WERE albums for the Wide. $12! I snapped up 3! They had two styles, a hot pink one (if I remember correctly) and the black and white graph scribble style that honestly couldn’t be more perfect if it had been designed for me in mind. Each album holds 40 pictures (one can fit into the cover display as well). Now that I am home, I kind of wish I had purchased a couple more because as hard as it was to buy them before, I am guessing it will happen again shortly. Bad news is that apparently they are an in-store only product, and not on their website. I am not even going to go to that place, where with my luck the Wide film will be discontinued.

Fuji instax album spreads
I AM SO EXCITED to finally have these albums made specifically for the Fuji Instax Wide pictures. Just gathering random pictures from here and there throughout the house I’ve already filled one album. I want to take new pictures too! Now I want to clear off my messy coffee table to have my albums displayed there, I’m THAT EXCITED AND MOTIVATED.

An unexpected bonus is that while filling the albums I realized the layout is sort of diptych. I was arranging and rearranging for themes and pieces that go well together – pictures that maybe weren’t necessarily taken together, of the same subject matter, or meant to go together, but work well facing each other. For example the pictures above (might be hard to see with reflections on the album pages) a winter scene and a similar monochromatic geometric collection of shapes, and a photograph of a tree covered with a rainbow of leaves changing color next to a garland display I made of fall leaves also in a rainbow of colors.

If you are looking for an album to hold your Fuji Instax Wide pictures, hurry over to your nearest Urban Outfitters now.