Tag Archives: penpal

Random Rambling Friday Wrap-Up

Is the month over?  It’s over – at least the work week, in oh, 3 1/2 hours.  Counting, definitely counting.  I was appointed to this case, and my, I am busy!

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had time for this and that’s, right!

So, in no particular order

  • Passover fun was had by all!

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Ssshh!!!! I’ve already broken Passover . . . I just couldn’t take the matzah bloat anymore. I remember Moses, the desert, the boils and the locusts, I’m good. I got it, for six nights. Fini.

  • I may have made my last flipbook.  I think I’m over it.  I’m not sure.

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So, as I mentioned, I was spacing out my swaps, not over committing, so it wasn’t flipbook overload.  I think I’m just over it.  I don’t know.  I’m over the washi tape, that’s for sure.  Whoever called it tape didn’t really know what tapes’ function is.  I found myself adding layers and layers of washi to get the washi below it to stick.  The pages were actually pretty securely put together with hinges, and glue, but then I decorated with washi – and the decorative washi wouldn’t stick.  Oy!  In any event, this was a flip I made for a Paris swap through Facebook.  I bought the printable graphics on Etsy, and with them, I made journal cards, shaker gatefold flaps (with the fuse tool) (you can see them clipped together in the above photo – when you take the paperclip off, underneath is a pocket with goodies), and a snow globe!   Crazy!  I finally used my holiday card, snow globe die –

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I bought this die two years ago from Papertrey Ink, thinking I was going to make my own holiday cards, with Lemon and Olive in the snow globe.  That didn’t happen.  I don’t know why I thought Paris and snow globe, but it clicked, and I think it turned out cute.  I was in such a creating frenzy, though, I didn’t think to photograph the process until I was all done.  So, basically what you do is use the outline die to create a base.  Then, you cut the top of the shaker out of decorative paper, and sticky foam.  You then layer the base, your sprinkles, the foam, a clear circle vellum/plastic window, and then the top – voila! A shaker globe.  For whatever reason, my sprinkle stuff got caught in my sticky foam, so it doesn’t really really shake, what can you do.  Be more careful I guess.  But, I wasn’t about to rip it open and make another.  And for sprinkles – see that circle die?  It makes snowflakes, and confetti  – pretty cool!

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Now that I’m thinking about it, and rambling along, I think that my “over it” feeling about flipbooks is that I’d rather make them for someone who I’m regularly corresponding with then a one-time swap with a passing stranger. I feel like this is something I’d want to make for a penpal after we’ve exchanged a few letters, and I was making something for someone I kind of ‘knew.”  Too bad I unceremoniously abandoned all of my penpals after my father died, and my Wendori was lost forever.

I did make one more, that I didn’t photograph, for a swap on swap-bot, and I enjoyed it more because it was an offshoot from another swap wherein the person had asked me to write back, and I felt like the “project” was more of an elaborate envelope than this humungous thing:

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All said and done, between the cover, and the flaps, I decorated 10 pages, filled a bunch of pockets, and spent many nights after work assembling, fusing, die cutting and tweaking.  The ‘elaborate envelope” was like this, made from one sheet of 12 x 12 paper, with flaps made from simple, creative cutting.  This little, hour long project, was fun, and relaxing, and I can see more of these in the future.  The ten page, humungous flipmonster – not so much.

  • I investigated, and bought a new planner.  In my last post of last year, I mentioned that I had my MIL buy me a faux Midori Traveler’s notebook online from an Etsy seller, Dokkipaper, for Hanukkah. planner1I remain supremely happy with my present, the leather just keeps getting softer, and a bit more scuffed with loved.   But the calendar insert that I printed for myself is set to run out in June, and I have to decide where my planning is going next.  So, I fell down the crazy, deep internet whirlhole of planner communities.  At first, I was seduced by the Happy Planner, and joined a half dozen Happy Planner Facebook groups, without actually buying said planner.  After a few weeks of watching everyone sticker up their months, days and weeks, I decided that wasn’t for me.  I also became less transfixed with the Arc system of rings – it seemed hard to flip the paper, and heavy, really heavy.  So, I unjoined all of those groups, and joined Christy Tomlinson’s Planner Society FB group, because while almost everyone is subscribed to her Planner Kit Club, everyone is in a different planner.  I then became enamored with the Kikki K’s, the big ones, the A5 size.  Hmm, do I really want that big thing, I thought, and if I do, do I really want it for planning?  I mean, that’s a big thing to whip out in court and check a date.  So, I did some soul searching, and realized, yeah, I am supremely happy with my TN, why would I change?  I must be yearning for something else.  And, that something else, I concluded was more of a memory keeping journal, to help me along with my Project Life, and to be more of a daily journal/diary.  In my original post about my TN, I mentioned that one of my inserts was a “Morning Pages” booklet.  Er, that didn’t last long.  And, since I had pasted a copy of the sentencing guidelines (because everyone has that in their planner!) in the back of my calendar, I had started leaving it out on courtroom tables, and I became concerned that I might lose it a la the Wendori, and then my morning thoughts would be out there for everyone – what thoughts they were, I wasn’t exactly a daily journaler.  So, the solution, it seems is to have a planner, my TN with a new calendar insert, and a big thing I can keep at home, beside my t.v. chair, to update daily.

So, I wistfully looked at everyone’s pretty Kikki K’s, and could not bring myself to spend that much money ($90+ shipping) on a planner, even a pretty planner.  So, deciding to plan within my means, I begin investigating the Webster’s Pages Color Crush Planners, which right now are on super sale on Blitsy (with the Mother’s Day coupon code).  They’re similar to the Kikki K’s, but faux leather, and not quite a true A5 size.  But, there was just something about them that I didn’t like.  Well not just something, the guts of it – the inserts.  First, the calendars are dated, so I’d have already lost nearly half the year.  And second, it has a snap closure.  I want to punch holes into things and stick it in my memory planner, and I don’t want to be constrained by a snap.  So, while I had an A5 Color Crush planner in my basket on the Blitsy site, and post coupon, it was only $42.95 with shipping, I couldn’t hit the commit button.  Instead, I got sucked into the youtube planner channels, and after not careful, but “I want that” consideration, I decided to go with the Heidi Swapp Memory Planner.

There it was – right in it’s name – the memory planner.  Exactly what I was looking for.  A kind of planner, a kind of abbreviated scrapbook, a kind of journal.  That’s the right planner, I thought.  So, that’s the “I want it” part – the careful part – well, I threw careful to the wind.  The online reviews of the planner aren’t so good – that the holes all have to be repunched because they were punched too small, that the binder feels cheap, etc.  But, you get what you pay for, and after my 40% off coupon at Michael’s, and a free shipping code that Michael’s gave me after I left the planner sitting in the cart overnight (so smart of them! push me over the edge into purchasing with a shipping code!), it was only $20.  So, I reasoned, if the binder is crap (and all of the warning signs are there that it just might be), I can always put the inserts, which, along with the photo sleeve inserts are the reason I was buying the thing anyway, into another binder, like this one from Dokkipaper, a kind of faux Kikki K, faux Dokibook, which is also snapless.  ah, but you may say, how will you do that because Heidi Swapp’s isn’t really A5, and it has only 4 holes.  Solved that one – I’ve already seen someone on the Planner Society FB group punch the extra two holes, and put it in a traditional A5 planner, so I think I’ll be good.  So, for now, I’ll try out the cheap binder, and see how it goes – and I’ll let you know.

All of that rambling has left my exhausted, like poor little Olive after playing with her ball outside all day, and then scarfing down her dinner.

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Definitely a hard life for the little Boston!

Have a great weekend!

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Random Thoughts

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Good morning! It’s rainy, dreary and all around blech here in Philly – what a great day to go back to work after a long weekend. It’s too much of a meh day to make connected, coherent paragraphs, so here are my random, jumbled shares for this bleakish a.m.:

  • PenPals and Swapping.  When we moved to the suburbs, I felt incredibly disconnected – from my normal routines, from my friends, and I also lost a bit of my independence.  I don’t drive, I’m a terrible driver, but in the city, not only is there no need for a car, a car is a pain in the ass because there’s just no parking.  In the ‘burbs, it’s all about the car.  So, in attempt to reach out to the far off world, because that’s how I felt, a bit, trapped in my large suburban house, I started penpaling and swapping.  For the most part, I was swapping through Swap-bot and through a couple of ATC swap groups.  The ATC swap groups became all about the drama, so see ya.  I got bored of Swap-bot, and then there was Facebook – and the Pocket Letter craze.  I made a half a dozen pocket letters, never wanted to make another one, and I was off the swapping.  Penpaling was a bit more complicated.  I had joined the League of Extraordinary PenPals, and I was writing to ten or so people.  I was keeping up, doing just fine, for probably a year, and then my father died.  Strangely, I didn’t really have trouble writing letter after letter telling the whole saga again and again, but after I wrote them all – that was it.  I couldn’t write another letter.  And, it didn’t help that I had lost my Wendori (my faux Traveler’s Notebook that I had made myself, and had my pen pal log as well as all of my addresses and stamps).  And I just stopped.  I figured if I ever got a letter saying, hey, what happened to you?  I’d figure out the next step then – but I never did.  I was writing to people who also had too many pen pals, and I guess I wasn’t missed.  And, then I dropped out of the League altogether, because not only was I not an extraordinary penpal, but at that point, I couldn’t stand looking at the Facebook page – here, I was navigating the No Dad waters, and people were posting stuff like, “can you help me through this difficult time, I lost my favorite pen” or “send good thoughts my way, my third cousin twice removed is having surgery tomorrow.”  I just didn’t really have any patience, or generosity towards anyone who suffered merely from this thing called life.  Anyway, with the return of Project Life, and the hauling out of all of my papercrafting supplies, the swapping bug has bit again – this time with something called a Flip Book.  So, while I’m not wholeheartedly committing to penpaling again, I am dipping my teeny toe into the Swap-bot waters.  I’ve signed up for two swaps, and I’m not signing up for any more until they’re out in the mail.  I’ve joined a few swapping Facebook groups, but I’m not signing up for anything until those two swaps are out the door.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

 

  • Beautiful.  For my Valentine’s Day present, Joe got us tickets to see Beautiful, the show based on Carole King’s early career.  Strangely, after seeing the show, which was toe tapping and superfun (although – huge note to lady sitting behind me – no one came here to listen to you sing.  You leave the show singing, you don’t sit in the show singing), I was not intrigued by Carole King, but rather with her cad of a husband, Gerry Goffin.  I knew that King’s writing partner was her husband, but before the show I never really thought about who wrote what, and it never occurred to me that she didn’t write any of the lyrics, but was solely a composer, at least in those early years of collaboration.  So, I started to think about how could a guy write all of those lyrics, written primarily in a woman’s voice, like Natural Woman and Will You Still Love Me.  And then I started to think, are they really in a woman’s voice, or are they more of a unisex voice, filled with all of the humanity, introspection and insecurities that I normally, but wrongly always attribute solely women.  Or, was Goffin just an excellent fiction writer, capable of writing these tiny one act plays from a woman’s perspective, because he knew the song would be going to the Shirelles or Aretha Franklin, or their babysitter, Little Eva? In any event, it was a great show, and if it comes to a town near you, see it!

 

  • Project Life.  This past weekend was my niece’s bat mitzvah.   When it came time to fill my pockets,  I only had a handful of photos.  How strange!  I’m so used to being the photographer at life events, it’s weird to be at the mercy of someone else providing photos, as I now have to wait for my niece’s photographer to finish up with his proofs, and for my sister-in-law to post the good ones on Facebook.  I feel really awkward and conspicuous at functions with my DSLR, which leads me to question what the future is for my DSLR.  We have a tripped planned to England in June, and I know I’m going to take it, but I’m secretly dreaming of a super expensive, lightweight mirrorless Fuji or Sony or Olympus.  Ah, one can dream.  In any event, while waiting, I did have a few photos on my iphone, and there were some photos already on Facebook, so I made an insert with Ali Edward’s 6 x1 12 Layered Templates, and my nieces’ speech and my brother’s toast.  You want to see it?  So do I – but my mother liked it so much she took it, and now I’m waiting for another copy to arrive from Persnickety prints.  So, I’ll show you when it gets here!

 

  • Batman v. Superman.  Of course we had to see this opening weekend.  So Ben Affleck was a totally lame Batman.  Rather than being dark and mysterious, he was just glum and constipated.  And, the ending of this movie was just downright bleak, and a soul suck.  This movie was below zero fun.  At least the commemorative popcorn bucket is pretty cool, but that’s about it.

 

  • Happy Planners.  I want one.  I don’t need one.  What else is new?  I can’t even tell you why I want one.  I’m happy with my Traveler’s Notebook setup, and I don’t want to carry around anything bigger.  I don’t like the vertical layout of the Happy Planner, I like the horizontal layout of an Erin Condren.  But, I like the ARC system dics!  I like the idea of being able to remove pages, and adding pages.  I have seen people “Arc” their Erin Condren planners – uncoiling the binding, cutting off the leftover fringe, and repunching with an Arc punch.  But, that seems like a big risk for a lot of money – these planners are pricey!  I don’t even want to decorate it – I don’t get all of those planner layouts.  I don’t really get planning to plan.  But, I feel like I want something bigger to not plan my week, but to record my daily events to help me out with Project Life.  I guess I want to use it like a diary, with minimalistic entries, to jot my stories down as a placeholder for the eventual Project Life pocket.   I do carry around a notebook with morning pages in my Traveler’s Notebook, but when I do remember to write morning pages, I don’t write daily memories, I write things like this blog post – random thoughts.   There’s a Michael’s coupon today for 40% off one item, and there’s a free shipping offer for four hours, between 4-8 today, so today might be the day.  Or not – because I haven’t totally justified it yet.

 

  • State prisons.  Tomorrow, I have to see a client at SCI Graterford, and I started to mull over what my favorite state prison is, and then I stopped myself.  I really shouldn’t have a favorite state prison.  But, if I did – it wouldn’t be Graterford, uch.

And those are my random Monday morning think abouts!  Hope you have more interesting things going on!

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