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Confessions of a Class Junkie Vol. 4 | BPC + My Details

Confessions of a Class Junkie | The Nerd Nest

I take a lot of classes, and after the success of sharing my takes, I decided to make sharing a regular thing. It keeps me motivated!

Today I’m sharing my takes on three classes I’m taking and one I’m teaching right now:

Document College Coursework With a Timeline | The Nerd Nest, Inspired by Ali Edwards

Document College Coursework With a Timeline | The Nerd Nest, Inspired by Ali Edwards

Document College Coursework With a Timeline | The Nerd Nest, Inspired by Ali Edwards

First up, my take on the first week’s assignment for Ali Edward’s wonderful 4Expert class Hello Story. I used Ali’s Digital Timeline files to document all of the classes I took during my three years at Park University after transferring from community college. I included the course number, title of the class, number of credit hours, and the grade I received for the courses in each semester I attended. (Not going to lie: it hurts my nerdy feelings that the grades from my worst semester are highlighted in the close up.)

I’m planning on doing something similar for Jake’s courses, and then I’ll go further back and document the courses we took during our two years of community college. People ask us all of the time how we both got through college with a baby, but that part of the story–the college part– is hardly documented. I thought this course timeline was a good place to start: I can see how much I took on each semester and just reading the course titles brings up all sorts of memories. The only really important information missing here is how I took each class: most semesters were a mix of 8 week accelerated online classes, 16 week daytime courses, and 8 week accelerated night classes.

I saved my degree audit, so most of the information was on there, but then I found I was able to access a much more detailed unofficial transcript online. For the win!

I printed the coursework timeline onto vellum and laid it with an awesome 12×12 photo of Mackay Hall, the prettiest building on campus. (Printed by Persnickety.) I hand wrote the season and year of each semester and lined the top and bottom of the page with washi tape in my school’s colors.

Registration for this class closes today, April 9th.

*You might also like Strong Mamas, the layout I created for week one of this workshop last year. It tells the story of four generations of strong young mothers in my family.

Seed Packet Minibook with Journaling Cards | The Nerd Nest

Seed Packet Minibook with Journaling Cards | The Nerd Nest

Seed Packet Minibook with Journaling Cards | The Nerd Nest

I made this little seed packet minibook for Monica Bradford’s Scrapbook Outside the Pocket, which is now closed. This mini was for week 4 of the class, and I’m pretty sure that this is the only class other than #30Lists I’ve ever completed in real time! I know I’ll be able to go back for more takes on each of the 4 weeks of information, but for now I’m proud that I completed a project for every week of the class.

Instead of a mini book to use for memory keeping, I used journaling cards from a We R Memory Keepers pad (only available at Target) as a home for all of my seed packets. Some of the seeds aren’t ready to be planted yet, and other packets come with much more than I’m able to plant in a year. This little pocketed mini was super easy to make: I stapled 3×4 cards onto 4×6 cards, punched a hole in the upper left hand corner of all of the cards, and put a jump ring through. I love that this will keep me from losing all of my seeds! I can also use the cards to take notes on each of the varieties. Pretty cool!

Use Your Stash in Stashbusters Anonymous! | The Nerd Nest

Use Your Stash in Stashbusters Anonymous! | The Nerd Nest

Use Your Stash in Stashbusters Anonymous! | The Nerd Nest

Another class I’m re-taking this year is Stashbusters Anonymous, taught by Aly Dosdall. I’m pretty good about not buying a whole lot more than I can use (NOW, that is. Beginner Megan, not so much). However, that doesn’t mean I can’t benefit from a good stash busting. I love that this class encouraged me to use my scraps, embellishments that I use less often (like the ribbon on this page), and that it inspires me to work with older products I’ve been hoarding a little bit.

This workshop is a re-run, but there’s an all new blog in the class with, among other things, guest designers. I’m one of them! When I made my guest page I couldn’t help but keep going with an extra take. I used ribbon as journaling lines and used a lot of bright, fun colors to capture the personality of then-four year old Eliza. I had to have a few surgeries at the time, and she was asking a lot of questions (as Eliza does), so we ended up teaching her a bunch of stuff about anatomy. Pretty cute, and totally foreshadowing life now.

Funny story: when Jonas saw this picture, he wouldn’t believe that it wasn’t a picture of him. Jonas is pretty much a boy clone of Eliza.

Document the Stories You Tell Others in the My Details Facebook Group | The Nerd Nest

Document the Stories You Tell Others in the My Details Facebook Group | The Nerd Nest

Document the Stories You Tell Others in the My Details Facebook Group | The Nerd Nest

Document the Stories You Tell Others in the My Details Facebook Group | The Nerd Nest

Last up, I’m currently teaching My Details with Kristin of rukristin. The class begins April 14, though there’s a pre-class full of great content now and a private Facebook that is pretty amazing. The conversations going on in the My Details community are super fun, and we just naturally pull stories from each other in conversation. I wanted to harness that awesome energy and use some of the stories I told in the Facebook group in my memory keeping. The first is a layout about being a crazy cat lady.

In 2010, I really wanted a second cat and Jake didn’t. By the end of negotiations, I got a kitten but he got an iPad and a deal that he’d never have to clean out the litter box (except in the event of pregnancy). That’s a super funny side of the story that didn’t get documented. I also need to write about where this little kitty, Ashes, came from and what happened to her.

The second project inspired by the My Details Facebook Group was a quick card to slip into project life about my celebrity crushes, because it was a fun conversation going on in the group. If you’re taking My Details, don’t forget that it all counts as memory keeping! Sometimes the easiest way to write about yourself is to tell stories to others: translate that into your favorite documentation medium!

I’d love to know what classes you’re taking or some of your past favorites!


Selected Products Used:

Affiliate links used when possible. Using these links to buy anything, even items other than the linked items, helps to support the Nerd Nest.


Here’s the deal: because I have friends who teach things and because I teach at Big Picture Classes, I get to take classes for free sometimes. Not that I don’t ever pay for classes. One Little Word, for example, is something I’ll always shell out the dough for. But sometimes: free. So I end up taking more classes at once than I would if I were paying for them. I’d want to make sure I had time to do ALL of the projects in a given class vs. dipping in here and there if I were working within my crafting budget, so I’d probably limit myself to three or less at a time. But as it is, I don’t need to do that, so keep that in mind. I don’t want anyone to feel like they need to be taking a stressful amount of classes. Choose classes based on what you think will be the most inspiring or the best fit for you (and your budget).

Getting the Garden Going | 11/52 Projects

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I’ve been spending the past few weeks welcoming Spring with a lot of gardening. Here’s what’s been in the works:

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There were sad little weedy spots at the bottom of the stairs leading from the sidewalk to our house. Jonas and I decided to beautify, so he picked out a collection of purple flowers to plant. To make sure the weeds won’t come back to overtake the flowers, I laid a bunch of cardboard under the soil. It suppresses the weeds and breaks down over time to enrich the soil!

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I want to try a wider variety of fruits and veggies this year, so Jake and I headed to Planters to pick up heritage seeds for the things we’re planning on planting in Spring.

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Most of the Spring seeds need to go directly in the ground, but the brussels sprouts I’m going to try to grow need to be started inside. Eliza and I took a tip from Hey Jen Renee and started egg seedlings. We’ll see how that goes.

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I’m not starting everything from seeds: I bought some herbs and lettuce starters from our local farmer’s market too. Those soaked up the sun near a window for a few weeks, but now that the danger of frost is low they’re living it up outside.

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The biggest project I’ve done for the garden lately is a cinder block raised bed. This doesn’t look exciting, but buying and moving all of those cinder blocks was a lot of work! (I actually bought 15–I’m still working on a second raised bed.)

Cinder blocks are a pretty cheap raised bed solution at about $2 a block (in my neck of the woods, anyway). They have the bonus benefit of extra holes in which I’m planting smaller greens, like arugula. I also love how fast this solution was. The only real work was getting the ground level-ish so that the blocks wouldn’t wobble.

I laid down a layer of cardboard before adding in the soil just as I did with the little flower spots, then I transplanted my romaine starters. They’re not happy about the move; I hope they bounce back!

Are you keeping a garden this year? Any other urban growers with me? What are you planting?

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P.S. I’m happy to have some adorable little helpers!

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This year it’s my goal to complete 52 projects; an average of 1 a week. Projects can be art, crafts, home improvement, tech, gardening, or whatever else my brain ventures into. The point is to MAKE. This is project 10 of 52! Check out the other projects: 1 : Script Art / 2: Striped Scarf / 3: Pillow Covers / 4: Eliza’s Doctor Who Valentines / 5: DIY Periodic Table Mirrors / 6: Band Pin Display / 7: French Monuments with Eliza’s Class / 8: Crystal Nail String Art / 9: Adventures in Dye / 10: Spring Poems.

My Details Blog Hop

My Details Blog Hop

To give you a taste of what’s to come in our upcoming workshop My Details, Kristin and I invited a few friends to complete a bonus prompt with us on a blog hop! You’ll get an awesome free bonus prompt and inspiration from 16 awesome ladies. It’s going to be a wonderful morning!

Click on the photos for an enlarged view.

The bonus prompt is:


Thinking

That might seem pretty simple, but there are so many ways to use this prompt. You can use one of these suggestions to document the prompt or you can come back and do several of them!

Here are a few ways to use the prompt thinking:

  • Document what has been on your mind lately
  • Write about how your brain works (I’ve shared some pages about this in the pre-classroom!)
  • Reflect on your thoughts on a specific topic, current event, or belief
  • List things you used to obsess over
  • Use a pie chart to represent how much of your thoughts are dedicated to the things you think about most
  • Use this prompt as positive self talk and write about why you think you’re awesome
  • As an emotional release, write down the things you think about that bother you. Sometimes getting thoughts out on paper can give them less real estate in your head
  • Write about your personal philosophy: what you think about the world around you and the big questions
  • Interpret how your upbringing or culture affects the way you think
  • Your own take on the prompt

To help you along deciding how you want to interpret the prompt, I’m sharing my takes:

My Details Blog Hop

My Details Blog Hop

Because Kristin and I are doing two takes on each prompt in the class, one to document ourselves in the present and one to document ourselves in the past, I decided to do two takes for this bonus prompt too!

This first take is about my present thoughts. I integrated the journaling for the prompt into a Project Life spread for the last few days of March. The photo of me working at the computer spurred memories of things I’ve been thinking about lately: why I document, how I share, and the benefits and risks associated with both.

The journaling is very simple, but it helps mark my personal growth in my quest for balance between my professional and family life.

Also, notice that I started my journaling with “Lately I’ve been thinking…” This is an excellent starter if the words aren’t flowing! Write in paragraph form around a theme as I did or write a list to include several things you’ve been thinking of!

My Details Blog Hop

My Details Blog Hop

All of my past prompts in the workshop are about high school me, but I’ve been on a 2009/2010 kick the past few weeks, so I decided to document my thoughts during that era. (If we’re being honest, it’s partially because I wanted a good excuse to use that photo.)

I don’t remember a whole lot about the flow of my days in 2009, partially because they were jam packed and I didn’t get much sleep. I really wish I had documented more of the everyday things then, but I’m happy that I have something and I can use what I have to record what I CAN remember before I lose that too.

For the journaling on the page, I started with a milestone marker as a frame of reference for the thoughts I wanted to record. My family had just moved into a loft and it’s much easier for me to remember in terms of big events like that than in dates. I began with the starter, “Things on my mind then:” and listed everything I could think of that I know was on my mind in 2009. I just wrote as things came in my mind, but what I ended up creating was an awesome word picture of the things that made up my life in that year: scrapbooking, teaching my then 3-year-old daughter Eliza pre-school concepts, selling vintage and handmade items on Etsy, what to do with the sociology degree I was working on, my novel manuscript, making the most of limited time with my husband Jake, loving living across the street from a coffee shop, and learning new things. This list isn’t EVERYTHING that I thought of during the year and isn’t even all-inclusive for the most important things (I tend to just write until I run out of room). But it’s a great starter for telling deeper stories about all of these various things that were on my mind during the fuzziest year of my adult life.

Tip: Instead of pulling products that illustrated the things I was thinking about, I used products that mimic the feel of my life at the time. The background paper very much reminds me of a bird’s eye view of the River Market District where we lived, and the buildings represent the lovely Kansas City skyline views from outside my loft and the connection I had with downtown while I lived there. I like that the journaling is a metaphorical “where I was at in 2009″ and the papers are a literal take on the same theme.

OhDeerMe-April-Embellishment-Kit

There might be a few giveaways to the class on the blog hop, but don’t forget that we’ll reimburse you if you buy the class now and end up winning a spot later! Trust me, you don’t want to wait: the giveaway for a 3-month subscription to the Freckled Fawn Oh Deer Me Kit (starting with April’s SOLD OUT kit!) is ending tonight!

MyDetails-Blog-Hop-Image

Now it’s time to get inspired by the “thinking” details from the rest of the wonderful women on the blog hop:

Don’t forget to share your take on this bonus prompt! Comment with a link to your take or tag your take with #MyDetailsClass on social media so we can find it!

Selected Products Used:

Affiliate links used when possible. Using these links to buy anything, even items other than the linked items, helps to support the Nerd Nest.

Savory Sunday Vol. 83 | March Eats

Savory Sunday Vol. 83 | March Eats

March was not the most exciting food month ever. I was working more often AND both of our cars ended up getting wrecked (which made grocery shopping trickier, even after we had a rental car). That translated into fewer home cooked meals and more Chipotle. Jake and I still got a respectable amount of cooking done, but instead of sharing everything, I’m going with the new recipes I tried (going for one new recipe each week) and a few highlights:

Rosemary Almond Crusted Chicken

I already shared some of March’s eats here, including this awesome almond crusted rosemary chicken.

Stove Top Mac and Cheese

Jonas and I made stove top mac and cheese together for the first time. I started with this one pot mac and cheese recipe but kind of winged it for parts so I’m not even sure I’ll be able to replicate it. Eliza voted that it even better than good as the frozen Trader Joe’s kind, which she loves deeply, so hopefully I’ll be able to figure out how to re-make it later.

Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice

I had the intention of making slow cooker red beans and rice for Mardi Gras, but ended up making it a few weeks later in the month. It was fun to celebrate anyway. This stuff was crazy amazing but made SO MUCH. I froze single servings of the leftovers for lunches, so I’m hoping that it holds up well after freezing.

Also, it is so wonderful to do the bulk of the cooking in the morning when I have energy vs. at night when I’d rather be taking a nap. Hah!

*The only change I made to the recipe was subbing green bell peppers for red ones, because I’m not a huge fan of the green.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I don’t have a whole lot of desserts up my sleeve, so I tried to give Pineapple Upside Down Coffee Cake a go. Didn’t love it. I used fresh pineapple rather than canned so I had to sub out some of the ingredients, so that could be why it didn’t turn out, but the texture of the cake wasn’t pleasing.

I’ll stick with my tried and true Peach Upside Down Cake next time and will just switch out the peaches for pineapple. (It’s really good with strawberries too!)

Banana Bread

Other delicious things we made this month include banana bread (which Jonas made with minimal help from me), several homemade pizzas using this dough, my favorite strawberry spinach salad with mission valley dressing, tequila lime chicken (without the tequila), and buttermilk pancakes Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook*, subbing sour milk made with fresh lemon juice for buttermilk.

*Affiliate link

Happy Gillis

We like to have brunch on the weekends, and we like Happy Gillis so much that we went twice. To get the exact same thing. They have this amazing breakfast sandwich. It’s just bacon, egg, and cheese, but the quality of the food (and the bread!!!) elevates it. Also, there’s some sort of sauce on there that I’m guessing is a Dijon aioli. Yuuuum. I actually might go get another one right after hitting publish.

We’ve had REALLY good luck with the places we find through Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Check to see if there are any restaurants they’ve covered near you!

Farmer's Market Haul
Farmer's Market Haul

Lastly, we started our weekly Farmer’s Market trips back up. These are the hauls from the last two weeks of March.

What have you been savoring lately? Any good recipes to share?

Project Life 2014 | February End Pages

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I’m going about organizing my Project Life album slightly differently this year. In addition to weekly spreads, I’m making extra “end pages” each month to create room for extra stories (mostly so I don’t go quite so crazy with inserts every week). This will make the albums less bulky in the middle and gives me a bit more freedom for the kinds of stories I’m telling within this album.

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Here are February’s extra pages:

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Going on here: Jake’s company is giant in Kansas City, and they just built a brand new campus in addition to the others they already have. In February, Jake’s team moved out to the new campus. The buildings are super fancy, inside and out, and I wanted to capture the change.

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Tip: I love layering horizontal 3×4 journaling cards on patterned 4×6 cards, but sometimes they can look like they’re just floating there. That’s fine if you love simple, but I often feel like there’s something missing. To remedy this, I added a circular embellishment* in the corner. Circular label stickers or a circle punched out of patterned paper would work well too!

*After getting to work with the April OhDeerMe Kit by Freckled Fawn, I was going through withdrawal a bit when I’d used it all up over 12 or 13 projects for My Detials (Pssst: there’s a giveaway for a 3 month subscription of the OhDeerMe kit in the class! This giveaway ends April 7!). I was super lucky to have popped over to the shop while a bunch of FF’s past kits were on sale, so I stocked up! So if you’re wondering why there’s Freckled Fawn on pretty much every page here on out, now you know.

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Tip: This Studio Calico card was meant to be horizontally oriented, but I needed it to be vertical (and I needed that green!). I overlapped a label sticker and an arrow sticker to the vertical label printed on the card, and I love the result.

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Tip: Jake used his phone to take a panorama shot of the new buildings. To print them out, I cropped one side to 4×6, printed it, undid my cropping, and printed the other size out at 4×6 after digitally cropping it. I think it is so fun to spread photos over multiple pockets!

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Going on here: Jake took photos of the moon, Jake’s “I love my camera” mirror selfie, and my February Reads.

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Tip: Writing on the negative space in photos is a great way to include journaling on your pages! The only white pen I’ve ever loved is the Unibal Signo White Gel Pen. It’s super smooth and works great on glossy and matte surfaces (though I do let it dry for a bit either way: it can smear).

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Tip Include to similar photos with a change in focus. In one of my reads photos, my face is in focus but the books are blurry. The other photo features the books clearly but removes me from the picture.

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Going on here: Some fancy buttermilk pancake making and a cute story about Jonas. When he’s rude, demanding, or breaks down when asking for something, we tell him to ask “nicely.” So now when he asks for something he includes the word: “Please? Nicely!!!!”

Tip: Include the imperfect photos if they’re what you have to tell the story. The photo of me making pancakes is super blurry, but that’s just fine.

Tip: Use portraits without much story behind them to tell a story from around the same time that doesn’t have photos. It’s like memory keeping matchmaking!

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I included an insert for all of my Currently Cards for February (I’m filling out one every weekend). I love having a peek into the details of each week.

Tip: If you want to use Project Life Cards for 4×4 square pockets, like those found in this Design I Insert, there are two great options: Either cut down a 4×6 card or adhere two overlapping 3×4 cards together. For the front of the Currently insert, I sliced a Project Life card in half and adhered it to either side of the currently card to make the two cards fill a 4×4 space. I even use the 4 inch side of another card as a guide so the adhered together cards were sure to be just the right size!

On the back side of the insert, I used white cardstock and added big washi tape from Freckled Fawn to both sizes of the cardstock before sticking my currently card down.

Savor February Recap | The Nerd Nest

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I created the first page for my One Little Word assignment in February. I used the text from my February Savor Recap post on the back.

Tip: When working with translucent background papers, line up elements on the back with solid elements from the front! This will ensure that your adhesive doesn’t show and that weird shapes don’t show through to compete with your design on the other side.

*I’m not sharing the last end page for February because it’s for the My Detials workshop!

Want more end pages? Check out January’s.

For all posts tagged Project Life, click here.

Project Life is a memory keeping concept created by Becky Higgins. It can be anything you want it to be.


Selected Products Used:

Affiliate links used when possible. Using these links to buy anything, even items other than the linked items, helps to support the Nerd Nest.

Project Life Lessons

For more Project Life tips, check out Project Life Lessons at Big Picture Classes. I’m teaching with two of my favorite Project Lifers, Elise Blaha Cripe and Annette Haring, all about our tried-and-true tips in the areas of photo management, storytelling, organization, assembly, and more! The class starts April 17, but a plethora of bonus materials–including videos, photos, worksheets, a quiz, printables, and a manifesto–already awaits you in the pre-classroom. If you have any questions about the class, I’d be happy to answer them! For you Project Life Lessons veterans: the content is the same, except for a video from each of us updating you on our process for 2014 and refreshed message boards and chats.

Stashbusters Anonymous Giveaway from Aly Dosdall and Big Picture Classes (+ A Layout from Me) *CLOSED*

Stashbusters Anonymous Giveaway | Ends 4/8/2013

Today Big Picture Classes is giving away a spot in Stashbusters Anonymous to one lucky reader of the Nerd Nest! Stashbusters, taught by Aly Dosdall, is a 12-step program to turn product collectors into productive scrapbookers.

Stashbusters Anonymous Giveaway | Ends 4/8/2013

Here’s a bit more about the class, which starts April 10 and costs $40:

If you’re great at collecting scrapbooking supplies but less great at using what you have, join Aly Dosdall’s new 12-step stashbusting program! In four fun-filled weeks, Aly will give you both the inspiration and the incentives you need (weekly prize giveaways) to transform all those products into actual projects—to finally go from potential idea to finished page.

Each week, you’ll get three stashbusting challenges complete with sketches, video tutorials, bonus handouts, free printables, and example layouts from Aly and her hand-picked guest designers.

Are you ready to dig into your brads, use up your buttons, and pull out your paper scraps? Productivity awaits you in Stashbusters Anonymous. (Digital scrapbookers welcome.)

See what the class includes and learn more here.

Stashbusters Anonymous Giveaway | Ends 4/8/2013

Enter to win a spot with this widget!

Can’t see the widget? Click on the blog post title to view the post individually and it should show up!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you can’t wait and decide to purchase the class before the giveaway is over, Big Picture Classes will reimburse you if you are selected as the winner!

We’ll announce the winner sometime after midnight CST April 8. Watch the countdown on the widget to see how long you have left to enter! The winner will have to claim their prize before registration closes April 16, 2014.


Stashbusters Anonymous Giveaway | Ends 4/8/2013

One of the cool bonus features of Stashbusters Anonymous is an all new private blog–those “hand picked guest designers?”–I’m one of them! I was inspired to keep going after I made my guest contribution, so I’m sharing a layout inspired by the class with you.

Stashbusters Anonymous Giveaway | Ends 4/8/2013

As I’m sure you can guess: I busted through my sizable-but-rarely-used ribbon stash! I’m going to share more about the story behind this layout next week, but I thought it would be fun to show off one of my takes on this class while we’re talking about it.

If you took the class last round, share a link to your takes in the comments section!

This class ran last year, and it rocked. You can see some of my takes from the class through my Stashbusters tag.

Stashbusters Anonymous Giveaway | Ends 4/8/2013

Awesome Lady Poems | 10/52 Projects

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Last week my friend Kristin hosted the first Awesome Ladies Project on her blog. The project is all about dedicating two hours a month creating a project that makes you feel like an awesome lady. Kristin is doing her two hours the last Friday night of every month, but it’s a do-it-when-it-works-for-you sort of a project. I’m in.

I decided to dedicate at least the first few months of my Awesome Ladies Project time to things that have made me feel awesome in the past that have fallen out of my life. I’d like to use this as an opportunity to invite those things back in.

I started with poetry. I have books and books full of poetry I wrote as a child and as a teenager. Some of it is still amazing, some of it is a little embarrassing, some of it makes me cry, some of it won me awards back then, but all of it helped me to work through a very difficult time in my life. I don’t feel the need for poetry anymore because I’m mostly happy (and I used it as an emotional coping mechanism), but that doesn’t mean that writing it won’t make me even happier. (There are also about one million poems Jake and I wrote to each other during our dating years. I’d like to get back to some of that too.)

I decided to dive back into channeling my inner poet a little slowly with a haiku and a sonnet, both about Spring. The perimeters of the structured poems helped me get into a rhythm of thinking outside of prose. Writing observational poems vs. emotional poems took off the pressure. These decisions helped to kill my nerves so I could just start.

I got out a composition book and my favorite cheap Bic pen, tapped my fingers to the rhythm of the syllables, and just wrote. Here’s what I came up with:

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Ripples through puddles
Shooting ever outward to
Nothing but the edge

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The green emerging finally through the ground
Soft patches yellowed ‘neath decaying leaves.
A heavy gusting wind has thrown around
The warblers taking shelter in the eaves.

I try to learn their names with every song
Fantastic each will sing a tune his own;
The cheery chatter fills days newly long
They’re juxtaposed with siren’s wailing tones.

I hope my little garden gives Spring rest
Within this city, merely Nature’s guest.

Getting back to something I once loved feels awesome. The excitement of being able to structure words to fit a pattern, the burst of joy that comes with finding the right combination of words and the most meaningful order, the ability to capture feelings I’m having about Spring trough imagery: all of these things for sure make me feel like and awesome lady.

If you want to share your awesome lady project, use the hashtag

#AwesomeLadiesProject

and add your project to the link up.

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This year it’s my goal to complete 52 projects; an average of 1 a week. Projects can be art, crafts, home improvement, tech, gardening, or whatever else my brain ventures into. The point is to MAKE. This is project 10 of 52! Check out the other projects: 1 : Script Art / 2: Striped Scarf / 3: Pillow Covers / 4: Eliza’s Doctor Who Valentines / 5: DIY Periodic Table Mirrors / 6: Band Pin Display / 7: French Monuments with Eliza’s Class / 8: Crystal Nail String Art / 9: Adventures in Dye.

My Details — New Workshop from The Nerd Nest & rukristin

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It’s all in the details.

Document Yours.

I am so excited to share with you a big project that has been months in the making! My Details is a brand new workshop from Kristin and myself. It is all about documenting yourself (past or present) and capturing the details that may otherwise slip through the cracks.

Our goal is to help others record the details of their own story, so we’re packing this class with a TON of great content.

I am so passionate about documenting life, but I am often disheartened to see that many memory keepers see the value in documenting others, but not themselves. Our stories so important. Documenting myself gives me a richer wealth of memories, helps me to change and grow, builds my self-confidence, and truly makes me a happier person. I want you to reap these benefits too.

With amazing pre-classroom materials that will help you get comfortable documenting yourself and 10 detailed prompts to help you record the important areas of your life, you’ll be inspired to document yourself in a meaningful way.


Register Here!

OhDeerMe-April-Embellishment-Sneak-rukristin

Use the 10 prompts to document about your present details or use them to document about the you from the past, or do BOTH Kristin and I have! We’ll inspire you with 40+ takes on the prompts between the two of us using mini-book pages, pocket page spreads, traditional layouts, and more!

Return to these prompts again and again to document your details; even return to them later to document the details of others!

Whether you’re a blogger, a mini book maker, a journaler, a pocket scrapbooker, or a traditional scrapbooker, we’ve got ideas for you to make sure you are telling YOUR story and YOUR details in your memory keeping!


The Pre-Classrom is Waiting for You!

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Upon registering, you’ll have immediate access to pre-classroom materials, which includes:

  • 10 posts waiting for you in a self-paced format to aid you in preparing for the prompts
  • Bonus posts before class starts
  • Introduction to the class concept and instructors
  • Ideas for different methods of tackling the class prompts with blogging, mini books, pocket albums, and traditional scrapbooking pages to help you decide how you’d like to contain your details
  • Access to the private My Details Facebook Community
  • Instructions on how to participate with the class community via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and comments
  • Tips for taking better selfies
  • Tips for writing about yourself
  • Tips for remembering past details
  • Tips for translating the prompts to document others
  • Exclusive Giveaway of a 3-Month Subscription (April/May/June) to the Freckled Fawn OhDeerMe Embellishment Kit (Giveaway closes April 7)
  • Exclusive discount to Freckled Fawn’s Online Embellishment Shop
  • Links to resources from instructor blog archives

Beginning April 14, you’ll have access to:

  • A new prompt each weekday over the duration of the class–10 in all
  • Detailed suggestions for interpretations of each prompt, making each prompt something you can return to for inspiration again and again
  • Two interpretations of each prompt from each instructor
  • 40+ exclusive takes on the prompts from instructors Megan and Kristin
  • Design and documentation tips with each project
  • Saturday Share days in which inspiration from the community members is shared
  • Supply lists with links to resources used in the workshop examples
  • E-mail access to instructors
  • Access to classroom indefinitely

OhDeerMe-April-Embellishment-Kit

Bonus: Exclusive Partnership with Freckled Fawn!

Kristin and I are so excited to be partnering up with Freckled Fawn for this workshop! We were so inspired while working with their OhDeerMe April Embellishment kit for our ‘right-now’ MyDetails projects. We will be showcasing over 20 projects with the April Embellishment kit.

There is a giveaway for a 3-MONTH OHDEERME KIT SUBSCRIPTION on the MyDetails private blog. This giveaway will be open through April 7th! Register today for your chance at this SOLD OUT kit.

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I hope to see you in class!

Confessions of a Class Junkie Vol. 3 | #30Lists, BPC, & About You

Confessions of a Class Junkie | The Nerd Nest

I take a lot of classes, and after the success of sharing my takes, I decided to make sharing a regular thing. It keeps me motivated! Hah!

Today I’m sharing my takes on four classes I’m doing right now.

Hello Story Take | The Nerd Nest

I took Ali Edward‘s Hello Story last year, and it’s my favorite out of all of the classes I’ve ever taken. I’m still going back and doing takes from the 12 storytelling structures because Ali’s method of teaching these structures (including 3 layout takes and one Project Life take for every structure) provides pretty much endless inspiration. The next run of the class starts April 3.

This page was for Week 10 of the class. The “who / what / when / where / why” circles are from dowloadable files for the class (there are printables / digital files every week).

Hello Story Take | The Nerd Nest

I don’t have a lot of pictures from 2010 compared to other years, so I’m working on getting stories told that really paint a picture of my life that year. Walking downtown to this movie theater (which has since changed companies) was something we did all of the time and something I certainly want to remember.

I kept everything simple on the page to keep the focus on the big photo and the words.

#30Lists | The Nerd Nest

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve already seen that I’ve been joining in with 30 Days of Lists daily. It’s been very easy to keep up with daily listing because I made the base pages ahead of time, so all I’m doing everyday is adding a label with the list title and writing away! Here are lists 21-30:

#30Lists | The Nerd Nest

The perfect _______ involves _______

  • morning / coffee
  • relationship / mutual respect
  • adventure / spontaneity
  • meal / time
  • book / unforgettable characters

*My list for the 22nd is on the 30 Days of Lists private blog.

#30Lists | The Nerd Nest

It’s time for…

  • soccer season
  • Spring planting
  • Finishing the last layouts for “My Details
  • A blog redesign
  • starting a running routine
  • weekly farmer’s market visits

Ways to show love:

  • hugs & kisses & snuggles
  • write a poem
  • drop everything to focus on each other
  • clean stuff
  • SAY IT!

*Somehow I forgot to take a picture of that one.

#30Lists | The Nerd Nest

The soundtrack to my stories:

  • Day Dream Believer Monkies
  • Melting Point of Wax Thrice
  • Helena My Chemical Romance
  • Iris Goo Goo Dolls
  • Ruby Soho Rancid
  • Bob NOFX
  • The Ballad of Johnny X Bouncing Souls
  • Luca Brand New

*I changed this one a bit to make a soundtrack for my novel rather than my life.

#30Lists | The Nerd Nest

Make up your own holiday:

  • Clearing up other holiday myths day
  • Walk in someone else’s shoes day
  • No cars day

#30Lists | The Nerd Nest

Go-to meals for guests:

  • Chicken tikka masala
  • Fiesta lime chicken
  • Cauliflower quiche
  • Caribbean jerk island salads
  • Chicken apple chili
  • Eggplant parm

#30Lists | The Nerd Nest

I feel my best when…

  • I get a full night’s sleep
  • I have coffee
  • I do yoga
  • I get outside for a walk
  • I don’t bottle my feelings
  • My family & friends surround me

#30Lists | The Nerd Nest

Favorite local businesses:

  • City Market Everything
  • d’Bronx
  • The Filling Station
  • Bunker
  • Prospero’s
  • Rivermarket Antiques
  • Wherever Virgil works

#30Lists | The Nerd Nest

Historical figures I’d like to meet:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Darwin
  • Socrates
  • Vincent Van Gogh
  • Amelia Earhart
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  • Marie Curie
  • Billie Holiday
  • Harriet Tubman

    I had so much fun this round of #30Lists and I’m sad it’s over now! I’m thinking about doing self-paced past lists once a week or so to keep me happy until the next round in September.

    Benny & Joon Poker inspired by An Update to Remember | The Nerd Nest

    Update to Remember is a class focused on helping you use social media effectively for your memory keeping. The class is going on now and registration closes tomorrow: April 2!

    The class spends a week each on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. I made this layout for Facebook week–I mined my Facebook wall to try to find some ideas for 2010 documenting, and I stumbled on an update about a session of Benny and Joon poker with my friends! This was a really fun night that I’d totally forgotten about (because I didn’t take any pictures)! I found a picture of Jake, Eliza, and our friend Megan 2 from around the same time and used that to document the story.

    Benny & Joon Poker inspired by An Update to Remember | The Nerd Nest

    In case you’ve never seen it, in the movie Benny & Joon the poker games have hilarious stakes: “soap on a rope, barely used” and “re-grout my tub.” We decided to play poker with knick-nacks and unwanted items and it was hilarious.

    Benny & Joon Poker inspired by An Update to Remember | The Nerd Nest

    Tip: I decided to play a sort of a “leave it where it lays” game with this layout to put it together quickly. I worked mostly with one sticker sheet and didn’t spend any time on decision making: as soon as I had an idea, I stuck it down. I like the result! Try this challenge with yourself when you’re pressed on creative time.

    *Also, there’s a “Guest Instructors Get Social” board in the Update to Remember classroom, and I’m going to share my social media + memory keeping philosophy there tomorrow!

    About Me

    My About Me page has been embarrassingly out of date for at least a year. It was actually an “About Us” page until yesterday, because Jake used to co-author the blog before I took it all of the way over.

    Here’s the thing: I’m great at documenting about myself in memory keeping, but summing myself up in one paragraph that will make this blog make sense to a new reader feels a little impossible. So I avoided the heck out of it. My friend Kam is a wiz at bios and about me pages, and I used her About You ebook as a GIANT crutch to write my About Me page. I’m considering this a rough draft and am going to use the ebook to improve it further, but at least it’s not all from 2011 anymore!

    I’d love to know what classes you’re taking or some of your past favorites!


    Selected Products Used:

    Affiliate links used when possible. Using these links to buy anything, even items other than the linked items, helps to support the Nerd Nest.


    Here’s the deal: because I have friends who teach things and because I teach at Big Picture Classes, I get to take classes for free sometimes. Not that I don’t ever pay for classes. One Little Word, for example, is something I’ll always shell out the dough for. But sometimes: free. So I end up taking more classes at once than I would if I were paying for them. I’d want to make sure I had time to do ALL of the projects in a given class vs. dipping in here and there if I were working within my crafting budget, so I’d probably limit myself to three or less at a time. But as it is, I don’t need to do that, so keep that in mind. I don’t want anyone to feel like they need to be taking a stressful amount of classes. Choose classes based on what you think will be the most inspiring or the best fit for you (and your budget).

    Soccer Season is Here

    Soccer Season is Here | The Nerd Nest

    Our weekends for the next two months are dedicated to soccer. Jonas is finally big enough to play (he’s so excited after two seasons of trying to run into Eliza’s games to play with her!). His first ever game was last Saturday, as was Eliza’s first game of the season. I wanted to record a few details of their first games, because I’m big on recording in the now when the details are fresh in my mind instead of waiting until I’m ready to combine photos and words with pretty paper later.

    *Most of these photos are cropped in on Eliza and Jonas, but there is a bit of blurring because I don’t share photos of other people’s kids without permission.

    Soccer Season is Here | The Nerd Nest

    Soccer Season is Here | The Nerd Nest

    Soccer Season is Here | The Nerd Nest

    Jonas is a little fireball! His games are split between a half hour of practice and a half hour game, and we missed the first bit of practice (we’re generally late to everything). Jake had to miss the games because of an all day node.js course he attended, and I miscalculated how long it would take to get both kids into uniforms, socks, cleats, and shoes with everything else we need. Sometimes getting out of the door is the hardest part.

    During the practice portion, Jonas didn’t really want to do the drills. He just wanted to take off with the ball! He ran right off of the field several times and I had to go and herd him back. When it was time to play, he was so happy to run around. He also wanted to block the goals–though he jumped in the goals and blocked them after the ball went in and did it to both goals–hah! The concepts will sink in over time.

    It was a little tricky to get him to stay still and watch his team mates when it wasn’t his turn to play, but a few of his friends are on the team with him (which is so cool), so I was able to get him to concentrate on cheering them on.

    Towards the end he was less focused on chasing the ball and more focused on hugging / encouraging his friends. Jonas has two modes: full on crazy man and super sweet snuggle bunny. There’s really no in-between with him. He just happened to show off both sides during the game.

    Eliza had a great time because several of her friends were there too, cheering on little brothers and sisters.

    Soccer Season is Here | The Nerd Nest

    Soccer Season is Here | The Nerd Nest

    Soccer Season is Here | The Nerd Nest

    Eliza had her first game of the season a few hours later. She has hour long games and then hour long Sunday practices. She loves everyone on her team (it’s awesome that they are all from the same school) and was obviously ecstatic to get to hang with her old teammates and a few new girls. She was not happy that the other team was from her school too–she didn’t want to be up against her best friends!

    That didn’t seem to stop her once the ball was rolling, though: Eliza kicked the ball more in this game than all of her previous seasons combined! I don’t know what clicked. Before she was nervous to get in and get the ball. She’d hang back as if she were waiting for her turn. (Which was totally fine: we’re into sports for the fun, the exercise, and the team building. Not so much for the championing.) This time, she was “brave” (her word) and got after it. Go Eliza!

    She loves defense the most, and her coach nicknamed her “Stonewall Eliza” because she did such a great job of stopping the ball during the game.

    I also want to remember the way she runs right now. She leaps high like a gazelle, but sometimes runs with a bounce like she’s dancing and throws her legs to the side. I’m sure running in her special funny way expends more energy, but man is it obvious that she is totally completely happy when she’s doing it.

    During Eliza’s game, Jonas played with a friend from his team, got his nails painted by some nice older girls, played in the dirt, and some how got into a fight with some much older boys. Like I said: two modes. We need to work on his Hulk-outs.

    Do you have fond memories of your kids playing sports or of playing sports yourself? Leave some in the comments!

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