August Received Postcards

August was a decent month for receiving postcards. I’ve noticed an overall trend of getting a lot more cards from Malaysia than I feel like I used to. I’m not sure if this is because I joined Postcard United. I have noticed that different countries seem to be represented more there versus PostCrossing. Overall I received 24 postcards in August. Here is the country breakdown.


September Sent Postcards

This post is so overdue. Life has been life, ya know? But I wanted to put it up anyway. Hopefully my August sent and August received posts will be following in short order. In September I only sent 15 postcards, almost 1/3 of which went to China. That’s not normally such a popular country. Here’s the breakdown.

August Sent Postcards

August Sent Postcard Breakdown

Hi everyone! This post is going up a little late, but here is my sent postcard roundup for the month of August. Last month I sent out a total of 21 postcards to 13 different countries. Here’s the breakdown;

Brief Postcard United and Postcard Hub Review

After trying out Postcard United and Postcard Hub for a couple of months I can let you guys know what I think. Postcard United gets a thumbs up from me. It is a lot like PostCrossing with an uglier interface. I think you climb the ladder of how many traveling postcards you can have a little faster on Postcard United, so in that way it’s better than PostCrossing.

Postcard Hub, on the other hand, I cannot reccomend. With PostCrossing and Postcard United postcards you send “expire” after 60 days. This means if it is not registered by then you simply don’t get credit for sending it and a slot will open back up to send a new one to someone else.

Postcards you send on Postcard Hub, however, never expire. So, I am stuck with three postcards that have been traveling for 86 or 117 days and I can’t send anymore. I could resend them and risk sending out multiple cards to someone who has decided this isn’t their thing and is never going to register them, but that kind of sucks the fun out of it. I could message the people asking them to register the ID without having recieved the card, but I think that’s unfair. I think I’ll just stop using the site and stick to Postcard United and PostCrossing. If they ever reconsider this policy I would try the site again.

Sent Postcard Photos

Mixed Media Adventures

Sometimes I feel like being a mom is like being in the Twilight Zone. How can I be so busy, but also doing absolutely nothing at the same time?? Anyway, that’s my obligatory sorry-I-haven’t-posted-in-forever spiel.

This weekend I got some time to myself. Whoo! Hubby has a new hobby, so nobody was vying for my time while Little Man was napping. I took the time to work on some mixed media projects I’ve been thinking on for a while.

First I did an experimental piece that was inspired by some Halloween stickers I found at Michaels. At first glance they look like normal vintage portraits, but when viewed from an angle become dead, zombie versions of the person.

So I decided to start a series of small mixed media pieces with these transforming portraits. This is my first real attempt at any mixed media by the way. I think it came out pretty neat!

I used the portrait stickers, some paper from a “vintage” paper pack, and skull stamp from Michaels. I also used Distress Oxide in the color vintage photo, some butterfly stickers, an alphabet stencil and faux pearl/stone embellishments all from Hobby Lobby. The 3-D butterfly in the corner is from a dollar store pack of stickers.

I also finished up a project that I’ve been really excited to get out of my head and onto canvas. I have this grand plan of turning some of my poems into visual art, starting with a few haikus I’ve written.

I started by painting the blue background using acrylic paint. Then I used some modeling paste for the snow. I added the text and “snowflakes” using alphabet stamps and floral pattern stamps from Amazon. I finished it off with the same faux pearls from Michaels.

I wish the stamping for the “snowflakes” would have been a little less smudgy, but other than that I am so happy with how this first haiku painting came out!!

Have any of you done mixed media projects? I’d love to check them out if you want to drop your links. Or share your favorite mixed media blogger or YouTube channel. I need all the tips I can get!

My Minimalist Bullet Journal

Bullet journaling has taken on a life of its own with the help of the internet. What started out as a simple system of bullets has turned into a cult of planner designers. I know that these artistic “bullet journals” can be super intimidating to a lot of people, so I wanted to share my minimalist journal with you guys.

I use three pens is all. A Bailey Cross ballpoint pen in black, a Tombow Fudensuke brush pen for headings, and a grey mildliner for some minimal highlighting. I also have one roll of washi tape I use to mark the edged of certain pages I know I will want to refer back to at some point.

This spread is my daily, weekly, monthly all rolled into one. My daily/weekly page is a simple running list. When a new week starts I smack a schedule box right in there and continue the list underneath. I don’t migrate things until I am on a new page or if I know it needs to go on the weekend nag list. I like dividing my pages in half because it feels less intimidating somehow.

The monthly task tracker is a hybrid of a habit/mood tracker and a when did I last do X record. The goal is not to have every box filled in. It’s just an easy way to see how long it’s been since I dusted or how my mood varies through the month and what factors (diet, hydration, etc.) seem to correlate.
Here’s a useful spread for anyone going back to school. My classes have 8 week terms so this is how I organize them. Instead of having stuff written everywhere in a calendar I like to just have one page for the class. Since I only take one class at a time this works well for me. I half color the box when the assignment is finished and fully shade it in once it’s turned in.

You can also see here a section in the top right corner where I didn’t like what I had. When I mess up like that I like to cut a piece of the page out of the back of the notebook and tape right over it.
Here is an example of some “collections” pages I have. I wrote out some 30 day fitness challenges that I am perpetually on day one of. >.<

I also took some inspiration from the level 10 life concept and wrote out what a 10 would look like in each category. I try to review this page every so often to remind myself of what my goals are.
This is another collection page of keto friendly foods I reference quite a bit. Then we go right into my “Weekend Nag” list. This page is for items that I have migrated multiple times or items that I just know will not get done during the week, whether it’s because I need help from my husband (nag!) or need someone to be watching the Little Man while I do them.
Now some of the more mental health related spreads I’ve put together. The monthly review is still a work in progress trying to figure out what categories I like and don’t use. The positive emotions log is a lot like some people keep a gratitude log. I found myself so focused on negative emotions I needed to make sure I think about the positive. I wanted to keep it simple so I literally just write one positive emotion for each day, no explanation needed. I will do September’s review and emotion log in the second columns of these pages.
Here’s a heavily blurred example of how I take notes for my therapy sessions and how I keep a short journal. The journal is not necessarily related to the therapy, though they often end up on opposing pages like this. I journal using bullet points to keep it simple.

There you have it. My simple, minimalist bullet journal. It’s not all about being an artist and designing an entire planner from scratch. You can be a lot more basic than that. I hope my sharing this helps someone out there adopt this style of planning for themselves!

Discovering “Mindfulness”

I’m not sure how well I managed to stifle my eye roll when my therapist asked how I felt about mindfulness. I told her, I feel like it’s just one of those fads. People throw the word around so much, does it even really mean anything?

Turns out, yes, it does.

Mindfulness, from my understanding, is simply knowing how you feel about things.

Mindfulness is not necessarily synonamous with meditation. All meditation is mindful, but not all mindfulness is meditation. The reason mindfulness is often talked about in conjunction with meditation is because meditation is a great way to practice mindfulness.

Meditation, I was also confused about. Turns out it’s not about turning your mind into a blank slate and having no thoughts at all. It’s about paying attention to the thoughts you are having. This makes a whole lot more sense to me. Watch the thoughts float by like clouds in the sky. Notice how they make you feel. You wouldn’t get upset at a cloud floating by. You might say, “oh look, that one is shaped like a bear.” Similarly, as your thoughts float by you might say, “oh look, that one makes me feel irritated, excited, amused or whatever else.” A common thing is to focus on your breathing while you’re noticing any thoughts that take you away from your breath.

Anyhow, since her suggestion that I explore what mindfulness really is, I’ve started reading a lot about Buddhism. My favorite source about Buddhism and mindfulness right now is The Secular Buddhism podcast hosted by Noah Rasheta, who has also written a few books on the topic. I bought and read his book, No-Nonsense Buddhism for Beginners, which I found extremely enlightening, along with a few other books on Buddhism by different authors. I’ve also purchased and started The 90 Day Mindfulness Journal. Time will tell if I can actually keep up with it for 90 days straight.

Do any of you practice meditation, mindfulness, or Buddhism? I would love to hear what sources you like for these things or if there are any you would warn me to avoid!

July Recieved Postcard Roundup

This month I recieved 29 postcards from 13 different countries. Germany dominated, as usual. Notably I got a card this month from South Korea for the first time I believe. I also recieved two cards from PostCrossing meetups. Those were fun because they came with a bunch of signatures on the back, like a yearbook.

It was hard to pick a favorite this month with so many nice cards. The viewcard from Taiwan that I set as the featured image speaks to me for some reason. So beautiful!

I also really enjoyed the card of a stork from Ukraine. The sender not only told me about what meaning storks hold in their culture (good luck – similar to, but different from the U.S. where they bring babies), they also went through the trouble of getting a matching stork stamp! I love when people follow a theme or clearly put a lot of thought into what they send.

Now that I’m amassing quite a few postcards recieved, I am trying to decide what to do with all of them. All the postcards from before my hiatus from sending them ended up getting tossed when we moved and I regret doing that. These ones I have photos of, but I would still like to keep them for the messages, and because a photo isn’t the same as having the tactile experience of a postcard. I need a cute box I think, unless anyone has a better idea??

Mountain Painting

I signed up for a painting class at the local arts center and it has me feeling inspired. The class is small, only four people! We are all working on individual projects, so whatever we want. I chose this as an inspiration photo, hoping I like the outcome enough to hang it in our sunroom when I am done.

I hope I can do it some justice, with the help of the instructor. I do plan to go a little bit abstract with it. We’ll see how it comes out.

In the meantime I am feeling inspired to try some stuff out on smaller canvases. This week I worked on a piece based on this photo;

And here is what I came up with. I like the sky best. I see a lot of places that can use major improvements. Like what the heck was I smoking when I did those trees?? I could go back, paint over them and fix them maybe. I almost wasn’t going to share this with you guys, because it’s not great, but I never claimed to be great. I am on a painting journey with still a lot to learn.

August Knitting Update

August already?? I almost titled this “July Knitting Update.”

I’ll start with the oldest WIP out of the three I’ve been working on, my sort of log cabin baby blanket. I would really like to have this done before Little Man is 17. It’s a simple cast on, knit 75 rows, pick up along a side, knit 75 rows, repeat until done, “pattern” that I made up.

I’m on the last color and am now starting to wonder why I liked this color combination to begin with. I’m blaming Knit Picks as I bought these colors as a kit. They looked so cute in the skeins, but I’m not sure they are playing well in this blanket. I’ll still finish it. I’m almost done and he’s just going to drool all over it anyway lol.

Next up is what I have been calling my pride shawl. I love the way the rainbow yarn is striping up, but you can clearly see that I haven’t made it very far. The garter section flew, but the lace in this pattern is such a slog to me. I feel like it is too simple looking to warrent the sheer number of yarn overs, slip-slip-knits, k2togs, and center double decreases involved.

Close up of the lace section.

Last, but not least, my only recent finished object. I am counting down the days until it is cold enough to wear this hat. I love the hat, I hate summer, and I hate sweating!

I don’t usually pom pom my hats, but I felt like this hat needed one. I love the pom pom. I ordered it on Etsy from ThreadHeadKnitsCo. This is the small size and it was only $4 and another $3 shipping. The larger sizes aren’t much more expensive, a dollar or two maybe. The yarn is a pantone set by Caron yarns. I always fall in love with these sets, but my projects with them have historically not come out great. This has been my first successful project using one of their sets.

July Sent Postcard Roundup

In July I sent a total of 29 postcards to 17 different countries. Here is the breakdown;

You’ll see quite a few DC Comics cards going out this month. I have a box of 100 cards and have come to realize that people don’t often request comic book or superhero related cards. In an effort to finally send some off, I tried whenever possible to match someone’s wishlist to one of them. For example, the Batman card went to someone who loves cars, and the Supergirl card went to someone who requested “girls with cats.” Someone else requested tentacles! I love odd requests.

The toughest one to send off this month is the one from Cusco. I got that one on my honeymoon in Peru, so it’s not like I’ll be getting another one any time soon. I felt like I clicked with the profile though, and the person requested anything to do with fibercrafts, so I know it is off to a good home.