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30 Days of Lists | Prompt 6-18

Fun take on the 30 Days of Lists journaling prompt challenge -- a minibook with a photo for each list! by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

For the ninth time, I’m doing the daily journaling challenge 30 Days of Lists! This round I switched it up by adding a photo with each list.

I’m sharing updates on how my list mini album is coming along Saturdays this month. Because I was out of town last weekend, here are lists 6-18:

#30Lists 5-6 | The Nerd Nest

#30Lists 6 | The Nerd Nest

My favorite things to eat for brunch:

  • coffee
  • eggs Benedict
  • biscuits and gravy
  • Happy Gillis’s breakfast sandwich
  • chicken & waffles
  • blueberry pancakes
  • yogurt + granola

#30Lists 7-8 | The Nerd Nest

#30Lists 7 | The Nerd Nest

What I would do if I knew I couldn’t fail:

  • dangerous dare-devil stuff like pilot a plane or sky dive
  • publish a novel
  • adopt more kids from the foster system
  • start a revolution

#30Lists 8 | The Nerd Nest

My Pinterest boards:

  • 11 Memory Keeping
  • 3 Craft Projects
  • 13 Home Decor
  • 15 Recipes
  • 6 Nerd / Learning
  • 2 Business
  • 1 Health
  • 1 Wish List

#30Lists 9-10 | The Nerd Nest

#30Lists 9 | The Nerd Nest

On my Fall list:

  • pick pumpkins (from our yard)
  • pick apples (from a farm)
  • eat all of the fall food (& hit up the farmer’s market)
  • take lots of walks (love the leaves crunching)
  • reading on the porch (with hot tea)
  • super nerdy Halloween (with homemade costumes)

#30Lists 10 | The Nerd Nest

Favorite souvenirs:

  • photos + memories (& the minibooks I make with them)
  • t-shirts Poppy brings back for the kids
  • shells & rocks
  • books
  • memorabilia like business cards, maps, tickets, & playbills

#30Lists 11-12 | The Nerd Nest

#30Lists 11 | The Nerd Nest

My best friends: (in no particular order)

  • Jake
  • Paul
  • Jessica
  • Steve
  • Kristin
  • Beth
  • Kam
  • Amy
  • Steph
  • Jesse
  • (and I’m planning to get Anne on the list)

#30Lists 12 | The Nerd Nest

Things I learned this week:

  • Austin has the largest colony of urban bats in North America
  • Increasing exercise gradually helps prevent injury (tip from Dustin–why my ankle hurts)
  • You should always let local Instagram friends by your travel guide

#30Lists 13-14 | The Nerd Nest

#30Lists 13 | The Nerd Nest

My dream jobs (I have it! So to make it even dreamier):

  • Pocket Your Year / Nerd Nest product lines
  • NN Creative Team
  • Full Time Creative!

#30Lists 14 | The Nerd Nest

Things that confuse me:

  • Double standards
  • Beauty standards
  • Racist / sexist / homophobic / transphobic people
  • Zero sum games
  • Assholes

#30Lists 15-16 | The Nerd Nest

#30Lists 15 | The Nerd Nest

On my “to watch” list:

  • Series 9 Doctor Who
  • Orange is the New Black Season 3
  • Fear of the Walking Dead
  • Sense 8
  • Dearedevil
  • The Wire
  • Heroes Reborn
  • Bones Season 9
  • Broad City Season 2
  • X-Files

#30Lists 16 | The Nerd Nest

I would like to improve:

  • adding P-trap to master bath
  • fix roof leak
  • evacuate squirrels
  • fix bedroom wall corner
  • re-paint walls

#30Lists 17-18 | The Nerd Nest

#30Lists 17.1 | The Nerd Nest

#30Lists 17.2 | The Nerd Nest

If Charcoal ruled the world:

  • Humans would have a snuggle / pet schedule so ALL cats would have love available at ALL times
  • Megan would never ever leave the house
  • Vets would make house calls
  • Squirrels could come inside.
  • Unlimited eating
  • Lily would love me

#30Lists 18 | The Nerd Nest

My travel essentials:

  • camera
  • chargers
  • simple clothes
  • extra books (preferably set in the location I’m visiting
  • $

You can catch my lists daily on Instagram and I’ll be doing round-ups here on the blog on Saturdays all through September.

Selected Supplies Used:

I’m an ambassador for 30 Days of Lists, so I spread my love of the challenge in an official manner. You can see why I love #30Lists here, and I’m an affiliate so any purchases you make through these links support the Nerd Nest! Sign up for the #30Lists Newsletter so that you can keep up with #30Lists news.

Pocket Scrapbooking 2015 | September 5-7

Pocket Spread with a Felicity Jane Scrapbooking Kit | The Nerd Nest

This year, I’m making weekly pocket scrapbooking spreads in addition to other forms of memory keeping, like monthly spreads for Day in the Life and thematic pages. I include monthly breaks in my album for all of the extra documenting I like to include over and above weekly documenting.

*Blurs are due to our foster baby.

Click the photos for a larger view.

Using a traditional scrapoboking kit for Project Life | The Nerd Nest

Our friends from Denver were able to come for a surprise visit over Labor Day weekend (Hooray!), so I split up the days in my album and devoted a spread to the long weekend.

I recently ordered the Felicity Jane Feels Like Home kit (my first kit from FJ) and really liked it. I bought it because I’m running low on 12×12 paper, but I ended up loving the colors for this spread. I made it entirely with the kit, which was easy thanks to a sheet of paper with 3×4 cards (look out for those in traditional scrapbooking collections).

Change your pocket scrapbooking timeframe to accommodate special occurrences | The Nerd Nest

Going on here: Checking out some graffiti and a big brunch for a friend’s birthday.

Decorate in the negative space of your photos | The Nerd Nest

Tip: Sometimes the negative space in a photo can leave a page feeling unbalanced. Try embellishing in that space to add a little more visual weight to that section of the page!

DIY journaling cards from patterned paper | The Nerd Nest

Going on here: Late night talks with friends Saturday night, Sunday brunch and lounging, and a big dinner I cooked for even more friends Sunday night (though I was too busy cooking for 12 people to remember to take a picture!).

Get up high to capture a gathering of friends | Pocket Scrapbooking at The Nerd Nest

Layer papers to create a journaling card | The Nerd Nest

Tip: Try saving scraps to use as journaling spaces. Layer your journaling space onto a filler card. For even more of a finished look, add strips of paper or washi tape above and below your journaling spot.

Project Life with a Felicity Jane Scrapbooking Kit | The Nerd Nest

I’m so thankful our friends were able to come to stay. And all of our local friends that make a point to come by when Jessica and crew are in town make it even better!

Selected Supplies: Felicity Jane Feels Like Home kit // StazOn Black Ink // Becky Higgins Project Life Design A page protectors and journaling pens (.03 and .05).

What kits do you like including in your pocket spreads?

July Reads

July 2015 Reads | The Nerd Nest

I broke out of my giant sci fi / fantasy kick a bit for two book club novels this month–both newer, popular books–but then went right back in for the fantasy and comics.

Quick book reviews from The Nerd Nest | July 2015

Here are the books I read in July:

Tell the Wolves I’m Home (2012) by Carol Rifka Brunt

In the late 1980s, the only person who really understands 14-year-old June Elbus is her uncle Finn. A famous artist, Finn paints a portrait of June and her sister just before his death. Lost, June makes an unlikely friend and begins to question what she knows about Finn and her family.

I read this book for my local book club. It was without a doubt one of the best books I’ve read all year.

This book was exactly what I needed to read. There’s a theme running throughout of beautiful things happening as a result of terrible things. I am not a stranger to the kind of questioning that happens to you when those things occur: would you change the horrible things and erase the wonderful ones? If you wouldn’t, does that mean that you are somehow glad the awful thing happened?

I think that this is a natural line of thought when dealing with grief. Though the situation in the novel is completely different from my own, it was comforting to be with a character that shared some of my thoughts.

The Girl on the Train (2015) by Paula Hawkins

Rachel is struggling with her personal life, so she finds comfort in fantasizing about the couple she sees out of the train window every day during a stop on her commute. When the woman Rachel has named “Jess” turns up missing, Rachel’s fictional story of the perfect couple shatters. As she begins to obsess over the case, she tries to use the things she’s witnessed to help solve it.

I picked this book up for Novel Tea Book Club.

This mystery isn’t the fast paced, action packed sort. It’s the trying to get past the red herrings, trying to figure out what information is right sort. I’m a big fan of unreliable narrators, so I really enjoyed this book. I also enjoyed how different character perspectives were used with different timelines. Though Rachel is the main narrator, the book also shows what really happened slowly through two other points of view.

None of the characters in this book are really likable people, so if you need to be able to identify with a character, this is not the book for you.

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire #3) (2000) by George R. R. Martin

A Song of Ice and Fire is a fantasy epic series centering on a struggle for power told from multiple points of view.

I’m re-reading this series over the summer–this will be my third time. It’s sort of a crazy thing to do, but I’m going for it thanks to a mix of withdraws from the most recent season of Game of Thrones and the excuse to try to look for clues to develop my crazy fan theories further.

This volume is probably my favorite in the series. It is so action packed that the show had to split it into two seasons. The outcomes of the different plot lines in this book are just so darn unpredictable. When you read a lot of fiction, that’s a breath of fresh air.

Dark Tower #03: The Waste Lands (1991) by Stephen King

In the third volume of The Dark Tower series, Roland, the last gunslinger, and his new companions from other worlds, on their way to becoming gunslingers themselves, find a path that leads to the Dark Tower. With terrible adventures along the way, they pick up two new companions to complete their party and must rescue each other from the likes of cyborg giant bears, carnivorous haunted houses, rival mutant gangs, and madness.

This series is pretty strange, and it gets even weirder with this volume. I liked parts and disliked others, though I’m not really sure how I’d rate the book as a whole.

I was really disappointed that the only main female character was regulated to the background in this one. Her role in the book was very problematic, so I’m hoping that improves as the series goes on.

And for comics:

  • Black Canary #1
  • Batgirl #41
  • A-Force #2
  • Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #1
  • Captain Marvel #15
  • X-men #2-4, 26
  • X-men ’92 #1
  • Spider Gwen #1
  • Secret Wars #1-4

July Reads 2015 | The Nerd Nest

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Make sure to put a big SPOILERS warning in your comment to warn others if you have ‘em.

Reading anything good lately?

I’m a Powell’s Books affiliate. Purchasing anything through these links helps to support the Nerd Nest.

7 Printing Tips

7 Tips for Printing | Scrapooking Tips from The Nerd Nest

I share a daily(ish) memory keeping tip on my Instagram under the hashtag #NNDailyTip, then collect them here so you can find them easily later! This time I’m sharing tips for printing:

What are your favorite tips for printing?

Follow me on Instagram to see the tips in real time!

Projects with Freckled Fawn’s Oxford Kit

Stuff Jonas Says mini with the Oxford Freckled Fawn Kit |  by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

Busting open a Freckled Fawn kit is always the most motivating time of the month for me, scrapbooking-wise. I love creating with these embellishment kits and they always give me lots of ideas for things to make.

September’s kit, Oxford, was no exception. This month, I made a pocket spread, a minibook, and two layouts with the kit!

September Freckled Fawn Kit - Oxford

I love that the kit can easily be used for back-to-school, with its early fall colors and the pencil and crayon wood chips, but it is versatile enough for other things if this isn’t a subject you document.

Here’s how I went about using the kit:

Projects Life spread  with the Oxford Freckled Fawn Kit | by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

I started off with a pocket scrabooking spread I started last September. I finished most of the spread last year–cards, photos, some embellishments, some journaling. But then I got stuck.

I was trying to stash bust with the spread and use up some products that weren’t really working very well for me. For instance, I liked the effect of the title card here, which I made using a ton of stickers from a Studio Calico sticker roll, but it was so busy that I had trouble making it work with the rest of the spread.

Going in with fresh eyes and some fun new products to play with really helped.

Pocket Scrapbooking  with the Oxford Freckled Fawn Kit | by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

First, I toned down the title card a bit with a large label sticker, then added letter stickers and felt stars from the kit.

After that, I added a few embellishments here and there to pull the spread together. I also finished up the journaling.

I was stuck on a pocket spread, but went back and finished it off with the with the Oxford Freckled Fawn Kit! | by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

Other than the title card fix, the left page just needed a few things. I added a label sticker from the Silver Linings kit to add more journaling to a photo –subscribers can buy extra embellishments from kits and I always make sure to grab more label stickers when they are included in kits.

Add little embellishment sentiments on label stickers. Pocket Spread with the Oxford Freckled Fawn Kit | by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

Next, I added a little chipboard circle sentiment to a card. This helped keep the circles motif from the title card going and pulled in the color of Eliza’s shirt.

Use washi tape to repair a torn pocket page. Made with the Oxford Freckled Fawn Kit | by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

A few chipboard shapes, a wood chip, and a felt star finished off this side of the spread.

I also used a bit of washi tape on the bottom right pocket, not only because it added extra decoration, but also because the pocket was a little torn and this was a quick fix.

Adding bits of embellishments here and there in pocket scrapbooking. Made with the Oxford Freckled Fawn Kit | by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

I added a little chipboard word into the awkward blank space under the soccer photo and adhered a pencil wood chip on the upper right. This helps to direct the eye around the page and creates a visual triangle with the other long rectangle shapes on the page (the yellow label stamp on the top left and the wood chip banner on the bottom right).

Lots of projects with  with the Oxford Freckled Fawn Kit | by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

I added one more chipboard circle to this circle cluster and called the spread done!

Overall this pocket spread is a busier than I usually go for, but I’m glad I found a way to finish it up and make it work.

Make a mini of funny things your kid says -- with the Oxford Freckled Fawn Kit |  by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

Next, I knew I wanted to make a minibook. As soon as I saw the speech bubble sticky notes in the kit, I knew I wanted to use them for a project documenting the cute stuff Jonas has been saying lately.

I searched my minibook stash for something that would go with the kit and found an older Dear Lizzy spiral Daybook that would be perfect.

I went through and printed off a bunch of favorite pictures of Jonas from the past few months, picking photo sizes based on the sizes of the pages in the mixed paper book.

Stuff Jonas Says Mini Album with the Oxford Freckled Fawn Kit |  by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

The covers of the minibook were made out of patterned paper. I wanted something a little sturdier, so I cut down a few transparent dividers from Ali Edwards’s Week in the Life kit.

I included a transparency on the inside and outside of each cover. For the back cover and inside front cover, I just adhered the transparencies to the patterned paper. But I knew I wanted to decorate the front of the cover, so I used the first transparency as an extra page so I could protect the cover embellishments.

I worked it out of the spiral binding and used the old cover page as a template for the holes in the new cover. I punched the holes with my Crop-a-Dile before threading both pages back through the spiral.

I ended up needing to put the side of the transparent divider with the original holes on the right, so I just covered up the old holes with pearls from the kit. I love that this is a touch that continues through the whole minibook, as I made this edge stick out further than the patterned paper in the book.

I decorated the cover with a favorite photo of Jonas and embellishments from the kit in blues and greens. I also added thin washi tape from this set and this set.

Add transparent pages to make patterned paper minibook covers more sturdy with the Oxford Freckled Fawn Kit |  by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

Use your mini album stash! Mini with the Oxford Freckled Fawn Kit |  by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

Record the cute things your children say. Mini with the Oxford Freckled Fawn Kit |  by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

Use speech bubble sticky notes to document what your kids say. Mini with Dear Lizzy Daybook and the Oxford Freckled Fawn Kit |  by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

I kept the inside pages pretty simple, using the speech sticky notes to write down some funny Jonasisms (I didn’t worry about the quotes always going with the photos), and adding a few embellishments to each page. In addition to embellishments from the kit, I used Arrow Words wood chips and a cork circle sticker from the Silver Lining kit.

I have room for more funny Jonas sayings, so I’m going to keep adding to this book throughout the fall.

Interview a family member to include others' thoughts in your pages. Layout made  with the Oxford Freckled Fawn Kit | by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

I wanted to save a good portion of the kit so I can keep using it throughout the minibook, but I knew I still had enough in the kit to make a few more simple layouts. The hearts on this chipboard arrow reminded me of the dress Eliza is wearing in this photo, so I decided to make a page about Jake’s take on parenting, based on a blog post he wrote around Father’s Day in 2011.

Jake's thoughts on parenting layout  with the Oxford Freckled Fawn Kit | by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

This 8.5 x 11 page had A LOT of text, so I new I wouldn’t have much room for decorating. A few touches was all it needed: thin washi on the top and bottom of the page, chipboard words filling up a blank space in the left column, and the heart arrow chipboard piece that inspired it all.

You only need a few embellishments to pull together a simple page with lots of text. Made  with the Oxford Freckled Fawn Kit | by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

When the focus is on the words and photos, you really don’t need to add much else.

Back to school layout with the Freckled Fawn Oxford kit |  by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

While I had my 2011 album out, I decided to make the page that will be on the other side of the Father’s Day page–a sort of an introduction page to Eliza’s first day of school story. I’m going to make a pocket page with more photos and words to go with this page, but for now I just wanted to make this half of the spread.

For this page, I used a lockers patterned paper from Bam Pop! that I’ve been hoarding for years. I created a title with white puffy stickers and the letter stickers from the kit, went crazy with the wood chips (I love lining up similar embellishments), and cut down an arrow sticker into a rectangle to create space for the date.

First day of school layout  with the Freckled Fawn Oxford kit |  by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

To get the wood chip row to fit the page exactly, I snipped off the ends of the wood chips with kitchen scissors and filed the edges smooth.

I’m off to a good start with this big story!

Lots of Projects with the Oxford Freckled Fawn Kit | by Megan Anderson at The Nerd Nest

I really loved playing with this kit. Usually I keep going until I’ve used almost everything, but this time I’m saving a big chunk of the kit until I’ve finished up that minibook. I’ll update with the finished book in a month or so!

Like the kit too?

Start a subscription or buy your Oxford kit here.

I’m not an affiliate, but I’m on the Freckled Fawn Creative Team and thus receive free and discounted products.

September Day in the Life

In 2013, I documented using Ali Edward’s Day in the Life concept monthly and it was one of my favorite projects ever. For the third year, I’m repeating the project. On the 4th of each month, I’m going to document my everyday life. I like having a set day because I won’t worry about finding a “representative” or “normal” day. Wherever the 4th falls, that’s what I’ll document. (In 2013 I documented the last day of the month, in 2014 I documented the 15th. This year, I let a random number generator decide.)

Here’s Friday, September 4:

*Blurs are our foster baby.

September 2015 Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Jake and I take turns waking up with Eliza and today Jake was in charge, so she was already out the door and on the bus by the time I woke up. Jonas and I said goodbye to Jake, then I had coffee and made Jonas breakfast.

He also picked out a Star Wars Lego book. We got a pack of 10 of them at Costco and he’s been slowly “buying” them with his points (our reward / allowance system).

September 2015 Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

The baby slept in, so I snuck in a little bit of work until she started stirring. I made breakfast for her and did dishes while she ate.

Today was all about cleaning. Our friends were coming into town to stay the weekend and not a lot of deep cleaning got done around here in August with all of the extra hours I put in doing our Challenge a Day unit for Pocket Your Year–31 videos is a lot.

I listened to about a bazillion podcasts throughout the day. Mostly TED Radio Hour and Stuff You Should Know.

September 2015 Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

After the baby ate, I gave both kids a bath (she’s a messy eater). I cleaned up the bathroom a little while they played with all of the toys and had fun splashing.

Once they were all out and dried, I started on what would be many loads of laundry for the day. I wanted to make sure our guests had fresh bedding and I needed cleaning towels. Lily kept me company. She likes to sleep on the basket with all of the t-shirts Eliza sleeps in.

The baby helped too-she loves taking stuff out of the drier and handing things to me.

September 2015 Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

We cleaned up more–Jonas picked up his room and the baby “helped” and I vacuumed in my room.

Then we had really simple lunch: grapes, summer sausage, cheddar chives cheese, and crackers, which I only found after I took this photo with the chips. But I do love those chips.

September 2015 Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

The baby took a nap and my friend Paul came over to keep Jonas and I company during our boring cleaning day. He wore a funny sweater for this picture because he loves Day in the Life, even though it was like 90 degrees and super humid outside. Jonas LOVES Paul and went crazy as soon as he walked in the door.

September 2015 Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Paul played Lego Batman with Jonas and we talked about things going on with us and social issues. We’re good at helping each other see things from different perspectives.

September 2015 Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

And I cleaned. I tackled all of the cabinets and mopped.

September 2015 Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

The baby woke up and our friend Anne swung by to grab Paul, and they missed Eliza coming home by about a minute.

Eliza played with the little kids (there was a lot of rushing the baby around in the stroller, dumping out toys, and shadow puppet showing).

She also cleared off the two kids’ desks downstairs.

September 2015 Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

I took a short reading break.

September 2015 Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Then back to cleaning while the kids read to each other on the couch. I ordered a pizza and sweet and sour chicken wings from Minsky’s when I looked down and realized time had gotten away from me (it was 7:30)! I fed the baby dinner while we waited on the pizza.

Jake didn’t make it home until a bit after 8:00. He has a lot of days off coming up and needs to put in some extra work to make sure his projects meet their deadlines. He got home just as I was putting the baby down for bed, so he went up and snuggled her and sang to her before putting her back down to sleep.

September 2015 Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Eliza enjoyed some comic reading without the help of tiny people.

September 2015 Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Then we ate and watched Doctor Who.

September 2015 Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

I headed up to clean the neglected upstairs bathroom while Jake and the big kids finished the episode. When I came back down, Jonas was OUT. Jake and Eliza were watching science videos on You Tube.

September 2015 Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

September 2015 Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

We got the big kids in bed in Eliza’s room and I finished cleaning Jonas’s room–vacuuming and putting on fresh sheets. Two of our friends stayed in here and one stayed on our convertible couch. Jake vacuumed downstairs and got sheets and blankets ready down there. He also cleaned off his desk.

We weren’t done cleaning until around midnight. I showered and he’d fallen asleep by the time I got out. I read a little bit before falling asleep for a few hours until our friends got in at 4:00 in the morning! They got settled in and we all got back to sleep.

Overall, a pretty chill Day in the Life. Some days are boring, but I’m still glad to have captured this one.

Switch it up for a Creative Burst

Switch it up for a creative burst | The Nerd Nest

A version of this post originally appeared in an issue of Nerd Nest News. Sign up for creative jumpstarts, exclusive first looks at projects, and special coupons.

Sometimes to keep your creativity going, all you need to do is make a slight change in your process. Switching it up by changing one variable in your process might be all you need to get your creative jumpstart!

Use embellishments as a visual representation of your theme | The Nerd Nest

Here are a few ideas for switching it up:

  • Try using a new protein with familiar flavor profiles in a meal you cook this week. I just tried lamb instead of chicken in pita sandwiches and it was delicious!
  • Try a different kind of paint. If you usually use acrylic, try oil paint to see how it changes your process.
  • If you usually use patterned paper as a base in your scrapbooking, try starting with white cardstock (or vice versa).
  • Take a different route to work or the grocery store (or wherever you drive more often) to see if the change in scenery sparks an idea.
  • Rearrange your furniture.
  • Read from a different genre than you usually go for.
  • Try learning a different coding language if you’re a developer (or try learning a tiny bit of HTML so you can switch things up a bit if you are a blogger)!

Take your creative process, whatever that may be, and switch up one aspect to think about your craft in a new way.

Creative Jumpstart - Switch it up for a Creative Burst | The Nerd Nest

To switch it up for myself in the memory keeping department, I tried out the 9 x 12 format for two pages that will go back-to-back in my album.

Fitting photos, words, and embellishments into different dimensions helped me to make a bright, fun page that balanced out dark, silhouetted photos.

The second 9×12 page to back this one was a way to switch up the Awesome Ladies January Sketch Challenge.

Switch it up for a Creative Burst | January Awesome Ladies Sketch  | The Nerd Nest

How will you switch it up?

I’d love to hear what you are planning on making!

This post was originally sent in a newsletter. Sign up for The Nerd Nest News Creative Jumpstarts so you can get more awesome content like this delivered right to your inbox (and coupons and updates too)! The next installment is going out this Wednesday!

#30Lists | Prompt 2-5

30 Days of Lists September 2015 | The Nerd Nest

This month I’m participating in the daily journaling challenge 30 Days of Lists! I’ve had fun challenging myself to switch it up this round (my ninth!) by adding a photo with each list.

#30Lists List 2 | The Nerd Nest

Make a flip up for your lists! | The Nerd Nest

List 2: Today can be best described as

  • Visitation day
  • Muggy
  • Rushed
  • Take-Jake-to-work-day
  • Poppy watches Jonas day
  • Super happy mail day
  • Laundry day (hence the overalls)
  • Lunch alone day: Chili’s + The Odyssey + Texts w/ KAK

#30Lists List 3 | The Nerd Nest

List 3: Favorite days of the year

  • Maker Faire
  • Planet Comicon
  • Crisp, autumn days
  • Major holidays
  • Nerd adventure days
  • Crafty days
  • March 21
  • Friends visit days
  • Quiet, lazy days w/ books

#30Lists List 4 | The Nerd Nest

List 4: What keeps me up at night

  • a really good book
  • working on deadlines
  • worrying about the unknown future
  • lovin’ time
  • caffeine too late
  • friends over for late night conversations
  • sick kids

#30Lists List 5| The Nerd Nest

List 5: Movies that make me laugh

  • Avengers
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Evil Dead
  • Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels

Minibook for listing challenge | The Nerd Nest

You can catch my lists daily on Instagram and I’ll be doing round-ups here on the blog on Saturdays all through September.

Selected Supplies Used:

I’m an ambassador for 30 Days of Lists, so I spread my love of the challenge in an official manner. You can see why I love #30Lists here, and I’m an affiliate so any purchases you make through these links support the Nerd Nest! Sign up for the #30Lists Newsletter so that you can keep up with #30Lists news.

Summer Gardening

Pumpkin Flower | The Nerd Nest

In Spring, when I was excited to get the garden going, I thought I’d be sharing monthly updates as I went along. It turns out that I couldn’t keep up with gardening for the most part this summer. A combination of weird weather, lots of mosquitos (we had to ditch our rain barrel and they were still horrible), and a busy baby all kept me out the dirt more than usual.

Some things didn’t make it because there were too many rainy cold days (tomatoes) and some didn’t make it because there were too many blistering hot days during which I could not water twice a day (herbs).

But a few things thrived even though I gave up on weeding.

Pumpkin Starting | The Nerd Nest

Pumpkin Takeover | The Nerd Nest

Pumpkin Growing | The Nerd Nest

I’m most excited about the giant pumpkin vines in our front yard right now. These came from voluntary sprouts in our compost in the spring.

A few of the sprouts that we planted took hold, and now we have a few giant vines across the front of our yard. They’re still growing, and a few pumpkins are already starting to make an appearance. I can’t wait to see how many we can harvest–I’m already planning all of the things I can cook with oodles of pie pumpkins.

Pumpkin and blackberry takeover | The Nerd Nest

Picking blackberries | The Nerd Nest

Homegrown blackberries | The Nerd Nest

The crazy vines growing behind the pumpkins are thornless blackberries. I really need to build a trellis or fence for them, but this year they did just fine spreading themselves out. It was the first year they produced after first planing them a few years ago, and none of them ever made it into the house because the kids would go out with a bowl in the morning and eat them right then and there.

They were very tart, so I’ll look into seeing if there’s anything I can do to sweeten them up a bit next year.

Homegrown peas | The Nerd Nest

Our peas never made it into the house either–the kids would just snack on them as they found ripe ones.

Hibiscus flower | The Nerd Nest

Vines | The Nerd Nest

Other than produce, we have flowers happily doing their own thing going crazy on our back yard fence and a few herbs that made it through.

I’m intending to actually get things cleaned up and a little prettier looking for the fall (bring on the mums!), but who knows what will actually happen.

I didn’t grow nearly as many things as I’d planned, but I’m pretty darn happy to have gotten this much out of our tiny, shade-filled yard.

Are you a gardener? How’s your year going?

This year it’s my goal to complete 52 Projects. Projects can be art, crafts, home improvement, tech, gardening, or whatever else my brain might venture into. They might be collaborative or independent. The point is to MAKE. I’m numbering in the order these projects are shared.

This is project 17 of 52! Check out the other projects: 1: Class Quilt / 2: Valentines with Eliza / 3: Crabitat / 4-7: Refinishing Our Hardwood Floors + Other Room Updates / 8: April Gardening / 9: Handprint and Footprint Butterfly Pots / 10: Ornate Frame with Clipped Photos / 11: May Gardening / 12-15: DIY Play Dough, Beach Painting, Badge Magnets, and Friendship Bracelets / 16: Fish Bowl Succulent Terrarium.

July Day in the Life | Pocket Scrapbooking 2015

Day in the Life in Project Life | The Nerd Nest

On the 4th of each month in 2015, I’m documenting a Day in the Life, a concept originated by Ali Edwards. Each month, I’m adding a full spread for Day in the Life in between weekly spreads into my pocket scrapbooking album. Here’s my July Day in the Life:

(Blurs are our foster baby.)

Click the photos for a larger view.

Non-traditional colors for a holiday spread | The Nerd Nest

I actually made two spreads for July’s Day in the Life, because Jake and the big kids were in Nebraska while I was home with the baby. I shared the other spread in this post with 6 other projects. I decided to go with traditional red, white, and blue on that layout for Independence Day, but took a less traditional color scheme approach for this spread.

I based the colors more off of the baby’s room, toys, and shirt. It just so happened that the colors I ended up using are variations of red (bright pink / light pink), white, and blue (light blue / mint). This is a fun thing to try out for holiday spreads if you get sick of doing the same sort of thing over and over every year!

July 2015 Day in the Life pocket scrapbooking | The Nerd Nest

When I have a big event going on, I often find it helpful to split a spread into everyday stuff on one side and the event on the other. Lots of the journaling on the other page actually relates to what’s going on here, but that’s just fine with me.

Forth of July with a different take on red, white, and blue | The Nerd Nest

I skipped Day in the Life in August, since I did Week in the Life, but I’m picking back up tomorrow!

Selected Supplies: 7 Paper Amelia patterned paper from rukristin’s Find Your Voice Paper Add-On Kit // Ali Edward’s Gather Story Kit // Studio Calico stickers and cards from past Project Life kits // Becky Higgins Project Life Design K and Design V page protectors and journaling pens // Freckled Fawn star wood chips from the Iconic kit and silver foil star washi // Kelly Purkey Summertime kit.