Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Lisa (& Lucas) Reads

When I first became a Mom I had no expectations of who my child would become.

But I secretly hoped I would have a serious reader on my hands.

When he finds a book he loves, he dives in deep. But his personality most often has him reaching for silly comics, or books far below his reading level.

I know I should be happy that he wants to read at all, and I am, but I also want to see him push himself in this area because I know he can handle it and I know he would benefit from it.

Enter audio books.

We listen to them in the car, and this ensures a captive audience. We are reading titles that are long, and that might normally intimidate him in paperback. Plus, I love that we can enjoy them together. It has really changed his reading habits, and I am thankful that I can expose him to some different titles without making a huge deal out of it.

We have a few series that we keep turning back to, despite the idiocy of Percy Jackson.

Percy Jackson - Greek mythology + teenagers. Oh man, Percy Jackson is a big dummy, and if it weren't for his clever (girl)friend, he would have died in book one. (Gee, why does that sound familiar...?....)

Harry Potter - Dude has watched the first three movies, but we just started the first book. And so far it's a hit!

Deltora Quest - We discovered this series a few years ago, and it was the first audiobook that Dude & I listened to together.

Rangers Apprentice - This is another series that we found a few years ago. The first few books were excellent, but we had to stop at #5 because the boring factor increased by eleventy billion. I found a "prequel" series that I am excited to try next.

Warriors - I grabbed this one for Dude one year because the characters are all cats, and he loves cats. These ones are his chosen picks for school reading, and he just blows through them.

If you too have a young reader in your life, I would love to hear about some of your favourites, either to read together, or titles that you think Dude might enjoy on his own.


In my 2018 Book List, I have been specifically noting which audio books Lucas & I are reading together.

Friday, May 04, 2018

The 100 Day Project - 100 Days of Carving Patterns

I just passed the 4 week mark in my current 100 Day Project! That's 30+ days of creating (almost) everyday.

It was started by Michael Beirut - a graphic designer & educator - and has been resurrected by artists/creators Elle Luna and Lindsay Jean Thomson, and is a free global movement that anyone can participate in! Essentially, you pick a thing to do every day for 100 days, and then you do it and document it online to share with the global community of fellow 100-dayers.

I am carving one stamp every day for the 100 days. I decided that I wanted a tighter parameter than my last 100 Days of Stamp Carving, so I am specifically carving patterns.

I am using tools that I already had on hand, and my only purchase will be additional carving rubber. Documentation is half the fun, and I am using these little notebooks and Instagram.

This is a skill that I love to practice, and I have already seen first hand how daily practice contributes to my improvement. I am good at this, but I want to be great at it.

I find that I am much more forgiving of myself this time around if I feel like I need to miss a day. So far I have missed two days, carving two stamps the next day to make up for it. And I definitely don't feel bad about it. Partly because this is meant to be a fun project, and I am the only person demanding anything of myself. And partly because now that I have had success & failure at my 100 Day Projects in the past, I know that missing one day isn't going to derail me or invalidate this specific work for me.

I still have 70-ish days to complete, and I am looking forward to seeing how I improve, not only in my skill but in my creativity as well.

Have you ever started/completed/attempted a 100 Day Project? What did you do? Did you love it or hate it?


The 100 Day Project
Louis Chew (The Writing Cooperative) - You Have Permission to Suck
Not Ladylike - 100 Days of Stamp Carving (Summary)
Not Ladylike - #100daysofstampcarving
Not Ladylike - #100dayproject

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Lisa Reads - April 2018

I only* read three books in April, which might be my lowest month in awhile!**

And of those three books, one was blargh, one was fantastical and fabulous, and one was the heaviest non-fiction I have read in awhile!

Let's recap!

CONTENT NOTE: Blood and Earth deals with real life stories of human slavery, including child abuse, child sexual abuse, torture, and inhumane conditions.

In The Unlikely Event // Oh Judy Blume, what was this even? Most of the book takes place in the early 50s, after a very disjointed introduction to the main character 35 years later. This character - Miri - is a good Jewish girl living in a small New Jersey town that experiences 3 terrible plane crashes, back when air travel was new and glamorous. The story follows every damn person in that town, and their experiences during this time. There were too many characters, the lead was annoying, her boyfriend was a dumbass, and the era just bugged me. I do love Ms Blume's ability to talk about mundane events that happen in every girl's life - first kiss, getting your period, shopping with your friends, having sex - but otherwise this book was a long slog with a ridiculous "happy ending".

If you like Judy Blume, this book might surprise you!...because it's bad.

Golden Age & Other Stories // Set in the same world as her Temeraire series, these stories take place in an alternate 19th century where dragons exist alongside famous historical figures. Clever, witty, and beautifully written.

If you like history with a bit of fantasy thrown in for good measure, Naomi's entire Temeraire series is wonderful. She plays magnificently with the existence of dragons and their use in the navy during the Napoleonic Wars.

Blood and Earth // There is no way I am going to do this book justice with my write up. So here is a blurb from Goodreads:

"...a powerful and captivating examination of two entwined global crises: environmental destruction and human trafficking—and an inspiring, bold plan for how we can solve them."

If you like non-fiction about climate change I recommend This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein, while The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead was fascinating fictional look at slavery in America.

I am so ready for some lighter fare in May, but the two books I have on the go are non-fiction titles! I am going to have to scroll through my TBR lists and see what I can find in the "dystopian fiction" genre to give my brain a break!


My full 2018 Book List is linked here. I am at 25 books so far this year!


* I realize that "only" is a terrible word to write here, as some people struggle to read three books in a year! Let alone a month. And to be honest, I am still happy and proud and whatever that I read three books, because the last time I checked, three is still a larger number than zero.
** My last lowest book month was February 2015 when I read 2 books.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Words + Faces

I started this at the beginning of March, with the intention to complete one face and word everyday. I wanted to practice drawing faces, really focusing on the shapes. And I found that working with a tiny paint brush also helped my "painters block" somehow. The faces ended up taking longer to complete than I anticipated, so I got a bit behind. But it all managed to come together!

- Pencil crayons (Crayola)
- White & black acrylic paint
- Shimmery teal & copper paint (Prima Marketing)


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

December Daily 2017

Last year was my first ever year of finishing a December Daily album, and I was feeling pretty proud of myself in January! Whoa! This year I am finally finishing it up in April, but I am still finished and I am still feeling very proud of myself!

It used to be that I couldn't finish any longer mini album to save my life, so this new trend is leaving me feeling very optimistic! Two years in a row! Boo yah!

With a set number of pages in this book, I had to get a little bit creative with adding extra photos on days when I needed them. Enter these fun little tags and envelopes! I punched holes along the edge of them - just like the cardstock for the journaling - and inserted them directly into the album at the proper date.

Embellishments are limited with this one, as I don't want to add much bulk to the book AND I don't want to over complicate things for me, or else this would never get finished. Trust me...that's why most of my previous December Daily albums sit in the shame corner. (That's not a real thing, I don't get scrapbook shame, but you know what I mean!)

Numbers, a few stickers, and that's about it! I talk a little bit about making a "Christmas Kit" in the video I did, but I am having some major technical difficulties with everything right now, so that will have to wait.

I'll try to post it soon, along with the short video I recorded about putting together a themed kit to make scrapbooking a little bit easier on you.

All of my Christmas newsletters, photo cards, and handmade cards go at the back.

I am really glad that I found a format that works so well for me, and allows for repeated success!

Are you a keeper of a December Daily? Do you finish your album/documentation on time every year? Do you stop on December 25th, or continue until the end of the month?


December Daily 2016
ALL of my December Daily posts
Ali Edwards - December Daily