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Hey All! I’m running a studio sale in my Etsy shop!

I’ve been cleaning up the studio and found some products lingering around that need a good home. Everything marked “sale” is 50% off or better! www.luteandharp.etsy.com

Just a few of the goodies added to the sale

Just a few of the goodies added to the sale

 

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Resolution Journals

My journals from 2013 & 2014

January’s just begun and so has the resolution making for 2014! Do you usually make resolutions for the year? I think most people really dislike making resolutions. The arguments usually go as follows: You can’t keep them. No one remembers them past January 2. You can probably fill in the blank with a lot more reasons not to make resolutions than to make and keep them. However. . .

I have come to enjoy making resolutions. 2012 was the first year I made a list of resolutions and really took it seriously, and I feel like I accomplished a lot! I like to think of my resolution list as more of a long-term to-do list. A few goals, written down, to work on is never a bad thing. I didn’t wind up completing all twelve items on my 2012 to-do’s or even my 2013 list, but I did complete many of them and was encouraged to do so simply because I remembered what they were! How did I remember? I made a resolutions journal, which I wrote about some time ago.

Here are my tips for creating your own:

1. Get a small journal or notebook you can carry with you. This past year I used a Jotter from Wit & Whistle. A small 3×5 notebook with a cute design works perfectly for me. I can carry it around and mark things off as I accomplish them.

2. Pick a number. Any number. Start small. For 2013 I did 12, and I am scaling back to 10 for 2014. Might I suggest starting with FIVE? Five goals to accomplish this year. You can totally fit that into your schedule over the next 12 months.

3. Decide on what you’d like to accomplish in the coming year. Reading, volunteering, cleaning, hobbies, whatever.  Designate one page of your book to each goal.

4. As you write out the goals, make them attainable and specific. Say you want to read more in 2014. A goal of “Read more” will have you making excuses all the way to December about the meaning of “more” (i.e. “Does one word more count?”). Saying you’ll read every best seller from last century will have you feeling overwhelmed. Think of what you normally do, and set your goal slightly ahead. If you read three books last year, you might formulate your to-do item as “Read six books by December 2014.” Follow it up with a list of possible books, and check them off as you finish them. To-do? DONE!

5. Leave space on each page to make notes about your progress or to fill in the date you completed the goal. Looking back to see what you’ve done will be more inspirational if you have a little of the story behind it.

Finally, remember that these goals aren’t set in stone – You made them, and you can change them! I make a note at the end of my list not to feel bad if I don’t get every single thing on the list accomplished. Focus on what you DO get done instead and reevaluate the incomplete items at the end of the year as you think about your next year’s list.

What do you want to accomplish this coming year?

Back in April I had the awesome opportunity to participate in the Greenville Mini Book Collective event hosted by Art & Light Gallery in downtown Greenville, SC. The idea was for participants to all create small books that reflected one’s own interactions with and experiences in Greenville County. The books had to be about Greenville and had to be made out of one sheet of paper that was to remain relatively whole (these were loose rules). The initial idea came from a similar international project going on in the UK called The Collective Atlas, by Somethink Collective. It was fun to see everyone’s take on Greenville. You can check out photos on the Mini Book Collective website.

Below are some photos of my book for the show, Ten. It loosely chronicles the events in my life that have occurred in the 10 years that I’ve lived in South Carolina.
Click on the image for a close up view

Blogging was definitely not on my resolutions list for 2012, as you can probably tell. But I may be back, thanks to a little prompt from a really awesome sister.

For my first post of the year (in JUNE), I guess I’ll start off talking about my ACTUAL resolutions are for this year, and the process I’ve gone through to document those resolutions.

First, I usually don’t keep resolutions because I forget what they are by the middle of February. A mini sketchbook from Ugmonk has been just the ticket for me to combat forgetfulness—I can carry the resolutions with me to keep them fresh in my mind all the time.

Second, inspired by my friend Jeanne’s 25 by age 25 list, I decided that a numbered list of resolutions was the way to go—12 in 2012. I sketched a set of pages in the sketchbook for each one of the twelve resolutions.

Here are just a few of the resolutions I’ve made for this year:

1. Read the ENTIRE Bible by Dec. 31, 2012.
2. Read 12 books—aka one book a month—during this calendar year—10 books down, 2 to go
3. Participate in Greenville’s Mini Book Collective art exhibition at Art &  Light Gallery. —FINISHED!! I’ll have to post about this later
5. Donate 10″ to Locks of Love by end of the year (this is seeming to take FOREVER)

9. Knit/crochet 10 scarves for a local women’s shelter
10. Finally get rid of my ANCIENT laptop. RECYCLE is the plan!

And last but not least, number 12—celebrate 12-12-12 in style!

I decided it’s not important that I finish all these resolutions; the important thing to me is having a goal to work towards. Hopefully I can accomplish a few of these, but if nothing else, the year will have been time well spent.

 

 

 

Wedding Card Album Craft

DIY photo source: Something Turquoise Blog via Christin on Pinterest

When I saw this project by Something Turquoise, I knew I had to make it happen. All our wedding cards had just been lying around, tied up with yarn into three stacks in a box where no one could enjoy them. This project was so quick—I picked up the supplies from Michael’s after work on a Tuesday, and the whole album was finished that night! You can find the directionson the Something Turquoise blog. They were really detailed and so easy to follow (lots of pictures too)! If you’ve already organized your cards somehow, this would make an awesome one-of-a-kind shower gift.

I picked out cardstock for the covers in our wedding colors—gray and purple—and I was lucky to have some ribbon leftover from some wedding crafts still in my stash.

Wedding Card Album Craft

Craft Tips:

1. I found big chipboard self-adhesive glitter letters at Michael’s. SO THANKFUL for self-adhesive-craft anything! I think the chipboard letters add a lot of dimension over stickers. Go with chipboard, you’ll thank yourself.

2. The metal rings were in the sewing section with the embroidery thread. Buy a larger one than you think. Cards add thickness FAST.

3. I’ve never used the crop-a-dile hole punch that was mentioned in the original post, but it looks amazing!! I had a regular old hole punch and felt like my hand was going to fall off by the end. If you use a regular hole punch, take things one layer at a time—don’t try to punch through a triple folded card all at once. I added the Crop-A-Dile punch to my wish list—if only my birthday wasn’t 5 months away!

4. Not all my cards fit in this one album. I put in the cards of people who wrote notes, are family, were in the wedding party, or are special friends. Buy a larger metal ring than you think you’ll need, or make two!

 

I received a large box in the mail yesterday from my mother. Inside, amidst a TON of packing tissue, was the baby book she had kept during my first three years. It was fun to see names of family friends, find out who gave me that figurine of a gymnast I loved as a kid, and get a feel for my parents life back then. It’s just coincidence that today Martha’s Crafts Dept. blog featured the sweet book inspired baby shower. I’m loving this shower idea that I’ve seen floating around the blog world recently, and I think you’ll love it too!

Baby Shower book garland

Photo from theCraftsDept

Isn’t this garland the cutest! I love the pink shades. And of course, the fact that they’re little handmade books! I also love the storybook invitation pictured below. What a great theme for a baby shower, and a perfect opportunity to give a baby book as a gift to the mother-to-be.

Storybook Invitation
Photo from theCraftsDept

It’s been a SUPER long time since I’ve posted anything to this blog! Guilt immediately washes over me every time I see my bookmark pointing to here. “Soon,” I think to myself, “Soon I will post again.” Well, “Again” is finally here. It was one crazy start of the year, and I feel like I don’t even know where the last 4 months of my life went. Here’s a peek into some of what’s been going on in my art world.

Custom Monogram Journals for Senior Gifts

Handmade Monogram Journals

Handmade Monogram Journals

Custom Monogram “Memory” Journal

Handmade Memory Journal

Handmade Memory Journal

New items in Etsy Shop including Book Favors and Sketchbook Sets

I also have a few new ways in which you can keep up with all the news from me and my shop. One, you can follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/christinobryan. Two, you can sign up for my e-newsletter—which I promise is non-spammy and filled only with the most important details (sales, events and updates) sent once a quarter or so. All you have to do is sign up here.

Finally, there’s still time to take advantage of my Etsy shop’s spring sale! Just enter the code SPRING20 to receive 20% off your purchase at check out. Sale will end on May 31.

AH! Feels good to have posted again, and I promise never to stay away so long again!

Don’t forget to visit the Granite Room in Atlanta this weekend to see the almost 10,000 sketchbooks entered into The Sketchbook Project! April 8-9 the sketchbooks will be out for view, and you won’t want to miss some totally amazing art by several local, national, and international artists!

Here’s a few pages from my sketchbook—just ask for the sketchbook of Christin O’Bryan when you get there!

P.S. You can now follow me on Twitter! Just click the link in the left navigation and “follow!”

A friend of mine, Cara Ansley, shared an article with me from the current issue of O Magazine—the Oprah Magazine. It gave a sneak peek at a few entries of Oprah’s journals. My initial thought was, “I thought Oprah would have nicer handwriting!” I enjoyed seeing this look into her personal thought life—what she felt as a teenager, her real thoughts and feelings, her experience during a movie shoot. I was talking to Stephen recently over coffee at Starbucks  about how seeing people during their downtime makes them seem more real, more human. That’s what Oprah’s journals helped me see—that she’s just a person like anyone else!

After not picking up my journal for about a month, I pulled the book off the shelf and opened it again to start sorting out some ideas that were going back and forth inside my head. I’ve found that writing with the intention of shedding light on what I’m feeling—just getting it out there and “talking” about it on the page instead of trying to keep things sorted inside my brain—is revelatory. Oprah said at the end of her article, “It’s astonishing to be able to track your own evolution—who I was, who I’m still becoming.” I could really relate to that. Between the last sentence of my entry a month ago and my newer entries, I could really see how I had come a long way in some ideas in just a few short weeks. Would I have realized that without a journal? Maybe. But it probably would have taken me a lot longer to realize that I’d gotten anywhere at all!

So I’ll keep following Oprah’s lead and jotting down my thoughts—who knows where I’ll be when I can show 20+ years of journaling?

Oprah's 1979 Journal

Photo of Oprah’s March 2, 1979 journal from Oprah.com

You can read the article online and see photos of her journals here or pick up an issue of the April 2011 Oprah Magazine in your local bookstore.

Thanks for bearing with me as I have been away from the blog for a long while now. I didn’t intend this “vacation,” but as things pick up at the day job (my busy season is busier than EVER), side projects and fun stuff continues to get pushed to the side behind important things like cleaning, cooking and REST. I’ve been continuing to post things regularly to the Etsy Shop, so check out what’s new over there!

Rebound, Handmade Journal Set at cepratt.etsy.com