Tuesday, January 17, 2017

October 2016 Traveler's Notebook

If you've been waiting for me to finish my monthly TN series for 2016, you're in luck! I finished October, November, and December this past weekend and am working on uploading those videos to share with you. While I had started each of them during the actual month, it took about a three hour scrapbooking session to finish them up. Today, I made the videos for each and will share them with you over the course of the next week. :) 

Here's the installment for October. Hope you like it!

Monday, January 16, 2017

The week ahead

To Do
1. Prep sub plans for training day
2. Locate historical inaugural speeches for class activity
3. Catch up on grading in IC
4. Clean out closet for blouses -  organize, give away, repair, etc.
5. Clean large guest room
6. Replace lightbulbs throughout house as needed
7. Continue reading Before Versailles 
8. Update and schedule blog posts

To Go/Call
1. Overhead Door for more garage opener guidance/instructions
2. ESS on Tuesday and Thursday
3. Google Certification Training on Wednesday
4. Podcast in Nashville on Friday 
5. Gym. Every. Single. Day. 
6. Plans with the fella
7. Grocery

To Make
1. Print calendar for Jane Davenport TN and begin using
2. Continue work on DD 2016 - goal is to finish by 1/31
3. Continue work on Italy stitching project
4. Buy January stitching project from sarahkbenning on Etsy
5. Frame cactus hoop and display
6. Frame vintage travel postcards and display
7. Organize jewelry supplies into new carrier
8. Start new TN for January 2017 - goal is more art journal style 
9. Shoot video shares for October, November, and December TN, then share to YouTube  
10. Shoot q & a video and share to YouTube 
11. Make 2 layouts
12. Put floss/thread in proper drawers instead of on a random shelf 


Breakfasts: fruit, peanut butter toast, granola bar, cottage cheese

Lunches: frozen dinner, leftovers, salad, tuna bagels

Dinners: cop au vin, avocado toast, out with the fella, out with Tracie, frozen pizza, salmon + veggies


I sure would like to learn how to make this mushroom and gruyere tart that I enjoyed at Marche last month. Anybody have a great, easy recipe? 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Tentative summer travel plans 2017

It's that time of year again, my friends. I'm knee-deep in planning my upcoming international trip for summer 2017.

13 days with students visiting Frankfort, Rothenberg, Neuschwanstein,Munich, Dachau, Innsbruck,Venice, Verona, Lucerne, Freiburg, Heidelberg, Strasbourg, and Paris

Then, I'll head off on my own while they head home. To do that, I'll need to take a short flight via a European airline from Paris to Budapest to begin my grand adventure.

1. Budapest, Hungary
6 days
At the end of my stay, I'll take the train to Vienna, a trip of 1.5 - 2.5 hours. I'll probably make this trip in the late afternoon or early evening, but I'll still want to make my arrival before nightfall.

2. Vienna, Austria
6 days
At the end of my stay, I'll take the train to Prague, a trip of about 4 hours. Because this is a longer trip, I'll probably catch the train mid-afternoon.

3. Prague, Czech Republic
6 days
At the end of my stay, I'll take the train to Berlin, a trip of about 4.5 hours. Because this is a longer trip, I'll probably catch the train mid-afternoon.

4. Berlin, Germany
6 days
At the end of my stay, I'll take the train to Amsterdam, a trip of about 4.5-6.5 hours. Because this is a longer trip, I'll probably catch the train mid-afternoon.

5. Amsterdam, the Netherlands 
5 days - I've visited here once before, but we were only here for about a day and a half.
At the end of my stay, I'll take the train to Brussels or Bruges, a trip of 2-3.5 hours. I'll probably make this trip in the late afternoon or early evening, but I'll still want to make my arrival before nightfall.

6. Brussels and/or Bruges, Belgium
4 days
At the end of my stay, I'll take the train to Paris, a trip of about 1.5 hours. I'll probably make this trip in the late afternoon or early evening, but I'll still want to make my arrival before nightfall.

7. Paris, France
3 days - I stayed here for six weeks in 2015, but I still didn't manage to see/do everything.
At the end of my stay, I'll take a taxi or uber or metro to the airport, generally a trip of about 45 minutes from inside the city. What time of day I leave will totally depend on my flight plans.

And then I'll fly home - 1 day

That's the plan at this point. I'm quite excited, but I know the logistics of planning it will be challenging. What do you think of my plan?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Planner Struggles

Last year, I kept my calendar monthly in my Cocoa Daisy TN notebooks monthly. While that system worked, I'm not sure I want to commit to a monthly TN in 2017. I'll still work in that size, but I don't want to feel tied to one entire notebook per month. What, then, would I use as a calendar for this year?

I had a Heidi Swapp planner gathering dust in my studio, so I decided I'd start with that. Eagerly, I filled in the dates for January and began jotting down appointments, due dates, birthdays, and more. I dutifully carried this planner with me for more than a week before I realized that I absolutely hated it. The rings were too big and got in my way when I wrote. The planner was too bulky in my school bag. And the pages felt too big, too empty to use as 'only' a calendar. It's cute, but it doesn't work for me. I think I might use it for some other project in the future but not as my calendar/planner for daily use.

What could I do? I could renew a kit club membership or order TN-sized calendar inserts. I could go back to a digital calendar. I could print my own calendar insert. I could abandon the TN style altogether and just buy a smallish planner at Target. Let me tell you;  I was torn about my options.

Ultimately I decided to buy the Jane Davenport TN cover at Michael's along with some of her pocket inserts, washi tape, and elastic bands. My plan is to try printing my own TN sized calendar from a free internet source, but I'm willing to order the 'official' calendar inserts if I don't like the homemade version. I think I'll like that size betterment, and the cover print makes me inordinately happy.

So, how are you keeping track of your calendar and/or to-do list? What works/doesn't work for you and why? Surely, I can't be the only one who struggles with planner commitment.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Planning the coming week

To do
1. Find a new book to read
2. File insurance paperwork for 2016
3. Call EF rep re: upcoming student trips
4. Sort one load of donations for Goodwill
5. Update blog
6. Begin planning for 2017 solo summer trip
7. Put away the rest of the Christmas decor
8. Clean studio space

To go
1.ESS sessions resume
2. Overhead Door for opener reset/repair
3. Podcasting in Nashville
4. Late Christmas celebration with Lorie
5. Date night with the fella
6. Gym.every.single.day.
7. Follow-up doctor's appointment

To make
1. Frame cactus stitching in hoop and display
2. Finish October TN and video it
3. Video Q&A for blog series
4. Continue working on DD 2016
5. Work on Valentine's Day stitching for K
6. Make plans for stitching pillow band


Cereal, fruit, cottage cheese, breakfast bar

Frozen dinner, leftovers, salad

Out with the fella x 2, grilled chicken and veggies, homemade pizza, out with Lorie, up with Tracie, one pot pasta

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A new video/blog series - wanna chat?

Remember that Spice Girls song from the 90s? "Tell me what you want, what you really, really want?" Well, today's blog post is pretty close to that - "Tell me what you wanna know, what you really, really wanna know." Does that sound like fun?

Lately, I've been thinking about some fun things I could do on my blog that would enable me to interact a bit more with you - my blogreaders and YouTube subscribers and the ScrapGals community. How could I combine the interests of those groups in some sort of activity or video? Some of you might remember that I hosted a couple of Google Hangout Q & A sessions last May for National Scrapbook Day. About 100 of our community members took part in the live discussion, but I was the only one talking. Go figure, right? I had a lot of fun talking with you and answering your questions, so I thought it might be fun to try it again. Couldn't I just do that sort of thing with you when it's not related to NSD? I mean, maybe there are things you'd like to ask that I haven't discussed on the podcast or on my blog, or maybe you want more info about a particular topic. And surely, a video would work as well as a hangout would.

Then I saw on Instagram that the fabulous Andrea Gray (aka retrohipmama) is doing the same sort of thing with a crafty Q& A on her YouTube channel. Btw, you should totally check out her blog for great inspiration and to see her videos. The ones for the Q & A are from late September 2016. (Andrea Gray - retrohipmama) Anyway, I almost talked myself out of it at that point because she is so amazingly talented and adorable.  Then I thought I might still give it another shot since you might want to ask me different things than people asked her.

So, yeah, are there things you've just been dying to ask me? Maybe you want to know about travel or teaching or living in the South or crafting or reading or scrapbooking or stitching. I'm pretty much open to any subject - and if I'm not, I just won't answer that question on video. Haha! I'd love to hear from you so that I could talk about the things that interest you. While we're at it, I should probably ask you if you'd prefer the videos to be thematically arranged or just a hodgepodge? Of course, it's entirely possible that you don't want to hear anything else I have to say and just want me to shut up already. In that case, just don't tell me and hurt my feelings. I'm a delicate snowflake, you know. ;)

If you have questions to share, please post them here, email me at lowdertiff@gmail.com, or message me on Facebook. Maybe I'll have a good response from lots of people and need to come up with another plan, but I think this should work for now. I can't wait to see your questions!

I hope there are things you want to know because I'm kind of excited to hear from you and to get my YouTube groove going a bit more. Maybe we could call it 'Tiff Talk' or 'Let's get Lowder' or "Lowder Logic" or something else equally punny and alliterative? Hahaha - ok, I find that prospect highly entertaining. Who's with me?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New year rearranging

After my foray into the wonderful world of IKEA last week, I had many purchases that I wanted to use to update my home. In particular, I wanted to use the Kallax shelving to display my scrapbook albums.

Here are a few 'before' pictures:

And here's a video I made showing the revamped space.

And here's a still photo too.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out and am looking forward to spending my evenings in this freshened up space that feels more like me.