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January One Little Word

January One Little Word | The Nerd Nest 1

Today I’m sharing my take on the January prompt for Ali Edwards’s One Little Word! You can read about why I chose my word for this year, Elastic, here.

My office is currently not functional as we work on some home repair projects, so I went for a super simple layout–just cards from the digital One Little Word kit with a single photo. I used an 8.5 x 11-inch pocket page for the cards and a 6×8 protector for the larger sheets.

January One Little Word | The Nerd Nest 2

I’m not going to type out everything I wrote because it’s mostly repeated from the post where I shared my word. I’m glad to have this record in the books: I made it all about the words, because this is something I’ll refer back to throughout the year.

January One Little Word | The Nerd Nest 3

Instead of having a separate album for One Little Word, I include it in my regular chronological albums. This works out really well for me.

For this one, I’ll probably put another One Little Word-related page on the back of the pocket page. I like Ali’s idea of choosing one thing to do each month relating to your word, and for January that was starting a stretch and strength class. That will be the perfect place to document that!

January One Little Word | The Nerd Nest 4

(I just realized I never finished the last sentence on this one. I probably got distracted, because I was working on this while helping Ava with an art project. It should read “Seeing the kids grow and change.”)

I’ll be sharing some of my takes throughout the year, but I expect some of them will be too personal.

Have you chosen a word for the year? How are you documenting?

Kids’ Artwork Scanned for DIY Valentines

Kids' Artwork Scanned for DIY Valentines | The Nerd Nest 1

In 2014, Eliza decided she’d rather have valentines with her art (and her fandoms) than store bought ones. Rather than hand-make 30 odd valentines (we’re way too procrastinatey for that), I scanned her art, added words, and printed them in school valentine sizes.

Jonas jumped in on the tradition last year and this year Ava made some too.

Kids' Artwork Scanned for DIY Valentines | The Nerd Nest 2

For Ava’s valentines, we made a tiger out of construction paper hearts and I scanned that. She said she wanted a mama and a baby tiger, so I shrunk a copy and added “You’re Puuuurfect Valentine!”

Tigers are her favorite animal right now, so these really are puuurfect.

Kids' Artwork Scanned for DIY Valentines | The Nerd Nest 3

Jonas went for a more abstract design with hearts and a fist with the number 1 in them so his friends know they’re #1.

Kids' Artwork Scanned for DIY Valentines | The Nerd Nest 4

Eliza made a bunch of cat drawings for hers. To transform her pencil drawings, I used the magic wand in photoshop to select the lines she drew and fill them with black. The snorkeling cat required a bit of digital coloring-in as well.

I’m so glad the kids get to give out little works of their art and have this form of self-expression. I love seeing what they choose to make from year to year.

The kids’ past valentines: Jonas’s 2017 Robot Valentines / Eliza’s 2017 Hamilton Valentines / Eliza’s 2016 Harley Quinn Valentines / Eliza’s 2015 Spooky Valentines / Eliza’s 2014 Doctor Who Valentines

Each year it’s my goal to complete 52 projects. Projects can be art, crafts, home improvement, tech, gardening, or whatever else my brain ventures into. The point is to MAKE. This is project 4 of 52 for 2018! If you want to join in, share your projects at #52Projects2018.

How I’m Listing + 30 Days of Lists Registration Now Open!

I'm a lister because | The Nerd Nest | 30 Days of Lists

30 Days of Lists registration is now open! I always take an opportunity to get my list base together at this time so I’m all prepped and ready to go when my favorite journaling challenge starts. If you don’t know about #30Lists learn about it here!

When I was deciding how I’ll be listing this round, I had a lot of things to take into consideration. I wanted to switch things up from the traveler’s notebooks I did last year. I needed something that isn’t supply heavy because my office is currently a construction zone. I wanted to include photos, because my favorite list projects do (though it’s not always manageable for me to include them). And it needed to be easy, because my life is VERY full right now and I don’t have a lot of extra time and energy.

I landed on doing photo backgrounds with a color overlay and text on top. I like that this is completely digi, so I can do it quickly on the computer.

I made a “I’m a Lister Because” list to test out my format and create a template. It also gives me a cover page!

I’m a Lister because

* I love documenting what’s on my mind in the moment
*It gives me great self reflecting opportunities
*It’s fun
*I love looking back on my list collection
*I like getting a look into other people’s lives and perspectives
*I get to do something with my long distance friends
*It’s a manageable daily creative exercise I can FINISH!

I used Photoshop–I made the photo black and white, then added a no-fill rectangle over the top with a 50% opacity cover overlay. (You can get the same look without photoshop with Canva.)

I saved the .psd of this file so that I can copy the layers and I don’t have to re-measure my text box or create the color rectangle every time, which will make it so much faster when I’m making my lists! I also am planning on peaking at the lists this month and choosing / taking my photos for them ahead of time. I usually like the surprise of what the list will be each day, but I know that the prep work will help me be able to list daily. (Also it’s unlikely that I’ll MEMORIZE them just by looking ahead to choose the photos. So there will be SOME surprise.)

I can make a little book out of them when I’m all done!

30 Days of Lists

And a little note about a change this month–you can now register for March 2018 individually or sign up for a membership, which will give you access to March, September, and December!

Are you listing in March? How are you planning on doing it? Remember, there’s no wrong way to list.

I’m on the 30 Days of Lists team, so I spread my love of the challenge in an official manner. 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.

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites 7

1. I’m so excited for my favorite challenge, 30 Days of Lists, to start up in March! Registration begins tomorrow (I’ll be sharing how I’m listing this round then). If you sign up for the 30 Days of Lists newsletter, you’ll know as soon as the registration opens up! You can see all of my past lists here.

2. We’ve lived in our house for 7 years now, and all this time we’ve been dealing with all of the negative aspects of low humidity in the winter: dry noses, dried out cracking wood, colder feeling air, and longer living viruses. Our humidity was down at 12%! All because we thought that a humidifier is WAY more expensive than it is. Our Aprilaire 600M Whole-House Humidifier was delivered last week and Jake and his dad (who is a plumber) got it installed. It has made such a big difference already.

Though as it always is with home improvements, Jake found more problems while they were working. Looks like we’re going to be learning how to repair duct work now.

3. To trick myself that spring is coming, I bought a crocus plant at the grocery store and it’s cheering me up. (Though not as much as the first crocus popping up in my yard will.)

4. I’ve started more structured pre-school at home with Ava recently and a big winner in our learning toys stash has been this Wooden Alphabet Giraffe Puzzle. It has letters on one side and numbers on the other, so you can work on both. The chunky pieces are great for little hands learning precise dexterity, the wood holds up well after a bazillion uses (Jonas loved this too), and the different colors help her to find the right piece. (We’re looking for the “K”! It’s green! Can you find it?) The order the pieces go together is a bit tricky, so younger kids really need parental help.

5. It’s Girl Scout Cookies time! I sent Eliza to school with money so she can bring home cookies from her girl scout friends–I doubt any of them will still be in the house by the end of next week. Last year we bought A LOT and the girl scout kindly let me know that they freeze well, but I just laughed. They certainly won’t last that long, girl scout buddy. I like Caramel Delights and Lemonades the best. What’s your favorite?

6. The best article I’ve read lately that helped me to understand why the positions left unfilled (or filled by unqualified people) in the executive branch really matters: Why the Scariest Nuclear Threat may be Coming from Inside the White House. If you’re not sure what the Department of Energy does, give this a read.

7. It seems like every home tour I click on lately has these Carlisle Metal Dining Chairs. I guess I’m on trend, because grandpa bought me them for Christmas. They are sturdy and comfortable and are working great in our breakfast nook, which is really a Lego / art room for the kids. The hand-me-down wicker chairs we were using were not a good choice for the place where paint and Play Doh happens. These clean up really easily! There are 10 different colors to choose from: I have navy and mint green. I’m excited to finish up the room they are in so their colors really pop.

What are you loving lately?

Fix-it Blitz | Sewing Edition

Fix-it Blitz | Sewing Edition 1

Because I put off repairing things, I like to gather all of the toys and small objects that need fixing in one place so I can do them in a big batch when the mood strikes (or the basket is getting full).

Last time I did a lot of hot gluing, and it was mostly sewing stuff left over.

So the for two weeks during breaks / TV time I sewed up a lot of holes: stuffed animal limbs, a coat button, sock and footie pajama holes, Ava’s torn Ariel dress, a big pillow rip.

Fix-it Blitz | Sewing Edition 2

Nice to use my hands for something productive while I’m being a couch potato! And it’s nice to have this stuff back to being useful.

Next up: another round of embroidering shut chair holes.

Each year it’s my goal to complete 52 projects. Projects can be art, crafts, home improvement, tech, gardening, or whatever else my brain ventures into. The point is to MAKE. This is project 3 of 52 for 2018! If you want to join in, share your projects at #52Projects2018.

7 Tips for Evaluating Memory Keeping | #NNDailyTip

7 Tips for Evaluating Memory Keeping | #NNDailyTip | The Nerd Nest

On my Instagram I share a daily memory keeping tip with the hashtag #NNDailyTip, then collect them here so you can find them easily later!

Today I’m sharing tips for Evaluating Memory Keeping:

For this week’s #nndailytip, we’re going to be talking about evaluating last year’s memory keeping to help you plan for this year—which is this month’s #nerdnestchallenge Looking at what you’ve done can help you tweak your process to make things work better for you. One question to ask yourself: How much did I actually make verses how much do I plan to do? Obviously circumstances change and you may have more or less time to dedicate to memory keeping this year than you did last year, but looking at the total volume of what you made in 2017 can help you to decide what projects to let go of or add in 2018. I do a lot: weekly+ pocket scrapbooking, thematic layouts, monthly Day in the Life, Week in the Life, One Little Word, December Daily, (obviously I’m an @aliedwards fangirl) and vacation albums. I fill up four 12×12 albums a year. That’s intense, but it’s what’s working for me (and I live in the Midwest, so there’s less of a concern for me that albums will take over my living space). I have a lot left “undone” for 2017, but I know that my current plan is working, because my volume of what I made surpassed the amount of new things I documented—I’m just more into working on the past than in-the-moment things right now. What about you? This is not meant to be stressful—don’t worry about those gaps or not being “caught up.” This is only to help you try to tailor your documenting process to your output!

A post shared by Megan Anderson (@megan_nerdnest) on

This week for #nndailytip we’re talking about evaluating last year’s memory keeping to help plan for this year. It’s also this month’s #nerdnestchallenge Ask yourself: how much product did you use vs. how much did you buy? Maybe you are running low and could use a new subscription to inspire you. Maybe you are overwhelmed by product, which makes scrapbooking take longer because you are paralyzed by decisions. Try to think about what inspired you to make things and what you hoarded to help you make purchasing decisions that will fit your budget this year. I tend to like to subscribe to kits for a year (cheaper per kit) and then unsubscribe for a long time so I can use up all of the supplies. Then when I’m low again I start back up.

A post shared by Megan Anderson (@megan_nerdnest) on

What motivated you to work on memory keeping the most last year? Did a class inspire you? Did you get excited about a new kit and get to work with it right away? Were you more likely to work if you tried making things soon after an event or did you like to wait? Think about what gave you a spurt of motivation last year so you can repeat those conditions for yourself this year. Last year, batch making 31 new projects for my workshop 31 Challenges was a huge motivator. Challenges help jumpstart ideas for me and get me inspired to make more. I won’t have much time for teaching this year, but I know that I’ll want to do another edition of 31 Challenges because I love the result in my own albums so much. #nndailytip

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What are your favorite tips for evaluating memory keeping?

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

Knit Hat Take Two

Knit Hat Take 2 | The Nerd Nest 1

My first project of the year was a knit hat, but it turned out much too small. I definitely should have made a gauge swatch, but I was having trouble getting into the groove after only knitting garter stitch (only knit, no purling) for so long so I just dove right in (and re-started about five times).

I am totally fine with having to make this twice–the two small hat is in use on a baby friend and I learned so much making mistakes on it. I made WAY FEWER mistakes on this one and it came together in a bit over a week instead of over several months.

Knit Hat Take 2 | The Nerd Nest 3

The pattern is Red Heart East-Fit Ribbed Hat, which goes with the Petunia Red Heart Unforgettable Yarn.

I love having simple knitting projects for something to do with my hands while watching TV, long stints in the passenger seat in the car, or sitting around chatting with friends or family. It’s keeping busy and relaxing at the same time!

Knitting also helped a lot with my cramped hands after spending hours and hours removing plaster and mortar from the brick chimney I exposed in my office. More on that project soon! Chipping slowly away at it (pun!).

Knit Hat Take 2 | The Nerd Nest 2

I still have some of the first skein next and a whole other skein, so I might be making more of the same hat. You might get sick of my making the same thing over and over again, but repetition is key to getting better as a beginner. And I’ll get better and faster every time!

Who knows, in two years I might actually be making a sweater. But in between hats, I’m mostly knitting another giant knit blanket, this one for Ava. You can check out Jonas’s and Eliza’s.

Each year it’s my goal to complete 52 projects. Projects can be art, crafts, home improvement, tech, gardening, or whatever else my brain ventures into. The point is to MAKE. This is project 2 of 52 for 2018! If you want to join in, share your projects at #52Projects2018.

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites 6

1. My favorite sweet treat right now is almond M&Ms. I buy a sharing bag for the week and pop a few while I’m reading at night (though they are getting harder to find with all of the coffee / caramel flavors taking prominence right now).

2. I’m really loving the app One Second Everyday, which allows you to stitch together one second of video for each day to make an awesome memory keeping montage. It is super user friendly (editing out which second of a video you’d like is easier than I expected) and I like that the app makes it easy to “cheat” and make up a day. After seeing it pop up in my feed a bit here and there the past few years, I’m really happy I jumped on board. I’ve been posting mine each week with the hashtag #nerdnest1sec.

3. I’ve been on Pinterest for a long time, but I’ve gotten a renewed interest now that I’m on a big home improvement kick. I love that keeping really specific boards on my Pinterest, like boards for different sorts of rooms instead of a home decor board, helps me to figure out what styles I’m most attracted to because themes and patterns emerge over time. I even had Eliza look through my boards to tell me what she liked so I can plan what to do in her room better.

I love it as an organized bookmarking system–I don’t care that a lot of the pictures on my home improvement board aren’t cute and repinnable: I can easily find the best tutorials for the things I’m actually going to do.

4. Speaking of things I’m actually going to do: my most used tool during home improvement projects is my 3M Reusable Respirator with these replaceable filters. I look like a supervillan, but I’m not breathing in dust, igniting my allergies, breathing harmful chemicals that might be in the air if I’m painting or treating wood, or smelling disgusting things (like last year when I was removing squirrel-lived-in insulation). I’m so much safer and feel so much better: this is my favorite adventures in home ownership purchase by far.

5. My newest tool is a Rigid Job Max 4 Amp Mult-tool. It has an oscillating head, so a lot of projects that require a lot of elbow grease are now going to have hours of work shaved off of them!

I just got it last week (Home Depot sale + Christmas gift certificate) and I already love it. I’m going to use it on a regrout / reseal bathroom project, but it’s going to make a lot of projects much easier!

Last weekend Jake got us a Dremel Diamond Abrasive Paper for it and it made cleaning the last of the mortar off of the brick we are exposing in my office a piece of cake. (You can follow along with that project in the Mold Reno pinned stories in my Instagram profile.)

6. Last but not least, one of my favorite news sources here in the United States right now is Vox Sentences, a weekday daily e-mail that sums up major news stories for the day with links to multiple news sources for future reading, plus some miscellaneous interesting stories. I find some great stuff in there and it’s a much more well rounded / less stressful way for me to get daily news.

What are your favorite things right now?

7 Tips for Fitting into Pockets | #NNDailyTip

7 Tips for Fitting into Pockets

On my Instagram I share a daily memory keeping tip with the hashtag #NNDailyTip, then collect them here so you can find them easily later!

Today I’m sharing tips for Fitting into Pockets:

What are your favorite tips for fitting into pockets?

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

Evaluate Last Year’s Memory Keeping | Nerd Nest Challenge

January Nerd Nest Challenge

The January Nerd Nest Challenge is to Evaluate Last Year’s Memory Keeping.

Now that we’ve settled into the new year a little bit, it’s a good time to decide how you’ll like to tackle memory keeping for this year. Of course, you don’t have to change anything up for the year or even have any sort of system or plan, but I like this time as a reset, especially since my albums are ordered chronologically and a new year is a good time to initiate a change.

I find that evaluating the last year helps me to make decisions about the year to come. Did I take on too much? How much did I actually make verses how much do I plan to do? How much product did I buy / subscribe to vs. how much did I actually use? What are my favorite projects and which ones do I not like so much?

Answering these questions helps me to tweak what I’m doing to make things work better for me and doing a bit of looking back on what you made last year can do the same for you!

I’ll post my reflection and plan for 2018 next week, but for now I’m going to think it over and peruse my projects!

How can last year’s memory keeping help you decide your system for this year?

I want to see your take on the challenge! Share a link in the comments or use the hashtag #nerdnestchallenge on social media!