DIY – Art Journal

It has been a while since I shared a DIY post, and I was making something for my sister, so I decided to include it as my Do It Yourself project. It is a fun Art Journal or Whatever Journal really. The materials used are recycled materials. This type of journal is supposed to be fun and carefree – you are supposed to have fun while creating it. Anything goes, you are to let your imagination soar free. This is also a great exercise to let yourself go if you need a break from your routine or are feeling uninspired. I have admired many of these, and of course, had to try making one.

The materials I used – recycled paper, ink, old book cover, construction paper, beads, cord …, and basically anything that I could incorporate while making it. The first thing I did was to find an old book cover and transform it with paper and a coat of Mod Podge. Then I selected what to use for pages and attached them to the cover. After that, it was a matter of creating anything I wanted on these pages. Last, I decorated the front of the cover, as well as the interior. This art journal has space to write, lots of pockets to have fun with, and envelopes with stickers and pieces of paper to write your thoughts. The good thing about it is that my sister will be able to add to it – in short, play with it, adding while discovering all the little nooks in it. It is a green journal and it gives these materials new life. Here are a few pictures of some of the pages, just to give you an idea, and maybe inspire you to create one. You can use and transform any material while making one of these journals. My cat could not help but to assist me; that is the part of its head on the first picture, left.

 

Recycled Materials Art Journal

Recycled Materials Art Journal

 

003 004 005 006 007 008 009 010 011 012 013 014 015 016 017 018 019 020 021 022 023

I hope you enjoyed this post.

 

 

 

The Vintage Office

If you have followed this blog, you are aware of my love for vintage items. I love the yesteryear charm of these things, the detail in workmanship, as well as the durability of many vintage objects compared to a similar object manufactured today. In addition, selecting vintage is my way of contributing to the planet by giving a second chance to things, and preventing some of these things from landing on our landfills.

As a writer and entrepreneur, I try to create a space that will inspire me during my working hours, but also that is environmentally friendly. Many times, before heading to the nearest staples, I try to plan purchases ahead of time, looking to see if I can find a vintage item instead of buying new. Sometimes, this action saves me money, sometimes it does not; however, it always helps the environment by preventing an item from going into the landfill.  Many times, I am buying new old stock (NOS) – new items from the past, never used or that have survived sometimes more than a 100 years and are still in great usable shape. Examples of these items are vintage pencils, hole punchers, metal pencil sharpeners, ledgers, paper, refillable pens, paperclips, card holders, heavy-duty Rolodex and refill cards, note cards … you get the idea. Of course, some things require new technology, which I buy new.

The trick here is to plan so you have time to look around; therefore, you don’t make a hurried purchase, which could end up being more expensive. However, Mother Earth is always grateful. As an example – if you know that you will need to buy a stapler in a few weeks, now is a good time to look. If you need to replace your stapler, the heavy metal vintage ones are excellent and perform well and you can still find original staples online, whether NOS or new replacements. I stress this point, planning a purchase, because let’s face it, if you need something right away, you will not have time to shop, compare, and most likely, you will rush to the nearest office supply store because you cannot wait for delivery.

Sometimes the detail in craftsmanship of these items is inspirational in itself – you see a well thought and designed item, proudly displayed, which may inspire you to reach for the same in your work output.  So there is an added benefit. If you are a techie who loves the latest gadgets, this post may not be for you, but you can help by organizing your work and schedule electronically, thus reducing much paper output, in a way, which is great too. And since we are in the topic of paper, if you alternate between writing your drafts on the computer and paper, you can use vintage journals or ledgers for that purpose. I have been lucky to find an entire box of NOS copy paper for three dollars. Other great writing materials are fax paper or the old printing paper with the removable sides. Just a few ideas.

Here are pictures of some items in my writing/working space. By the way, the desk was a Craigslist buy for $10.00 (no zeros are missing here).

 

Roll Top Desk - photo by M.A.D.

Roll Top Desk – photo by M.A.D.

Heavy metal Rolodex, 7 position industrial hole puncher, industrial stapler (takes three sizes)

Heavy metal Rolodex, 7 position industrial hole puncher, industrial stapler (takes three sizes)

017 018   Photo by M.A.D.

Vintage Camera Case - fits perfectly my Canon Powershot. Photo by M.A.D.

Vintage Camera Case – fits perfectly my Canon Powershot. Photo by M.A.D.

Journal Ledger - Photo by M.A.D.

Journal Ledger – Photo by M.A.D.

002 004El Dorado pencils and metal sharpener

So there you have it; all these items are vintage, some more than 50 years old, some new old stock, but all ready to give many more years of service. I hope you enjoy this post, and that it inspires you to give a second chance to vintage items to help our environment.

 

 

Oh No! It is too late!

Well, it happened. Just about when I was ready to get the .com domain for Inkspeare, which has been available for some time, someone in France just scooped it up; what a bummer! When I tried to search for the “Inkspeare” website with the .com domain, it does not let me in to view it. The Bing description appears as “We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us.” When clicked, it appears as the domain has been registered to a hosting site, and is now parked by the owner. Boohoo, it took so late for me to decide to get it, and now, it doesn’t make sense for me to get the .ME, because really, wordpress.com sounds so much better, than .ME.  Anyone knows why would someone park a domain?  It puzzles me and makes me wonder. Uh, but enough of lost domains; it is Watercolors Friday, and today, I want to celebrate the mundane. Yes, the mundane and how we can make it sparkle.

Recently, my husband gave me a Nook, which I have to say I totally love, but I did not have a case for it. Then, I realized that I loved the box that came with it – a sturdy box that would make the perfect case if it wasn’t so mundane. Well, I decided to try to change that, since I really liked the box, mostly because it had the perfect space for the charging cord. I took on the mission to make it look like something I would love to look at, and delight myself in opening when going to use the Nook. I thought about it, and this is what I did.

I covered part of the inside with decorative tape (leopard), and part of the outside as well.  Then I took ribbon and beads and fastened them using the same tape so I could open the box by pulling it for the two sections – the nook and the charge cord.  After that, I took a vintage copy of The Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and removed the covers. I attached them, front and back, and glued/glazed the thing with Mod Podge to make it strong and durable (It hardens and protects). This is the result, and I am happy with it. If you have visited this blog, you know that I try the green solution first.

009 nook1 011

In picture order – inside, front, and back.

I hope you like this project, and celebrate with me on making the mundane sparkle.  Besides, if any of you know the answer to the question, why would someone park a domain? please, share it with me on a comment. I am curious. In addition, I would like to add that I am going to unplug for a few days, so this will be my last post for about a week. Thank you for reading, and I will see you in a few days 🙂

HAPPY WATERCOLORS FRIDAY!

Update – I found this site that has great information about domains, and therefore, I am sharing it http://www.thesitewizard.com/

UPDATE 2 – I have to say, that after thinking about it these couple of days (even after unplugging myself), I made the decision to get the .ME domain, so Inkspeare will now be Inkspeare.me.  Although my first choice was the .com for obvious reasons – everyone looks for a .com first, when searching; it is almost a reflex – I think that a .ME would be easier to remember than a .net or .org, or any other variations. A comment by Roxana suggested that it is more personal, and I happen to agree. Besides, the original .wordpress.com will still work if someone searches for Inkspeare that way, or click in any of the live links I have all over, so there is no harm done.  I still like the .com better, but that domain is parked by someone so it is not available right now. However, I am happy with my decision of purchasing the .me domain.

Sad Message in a Bottle

This morning I became irate when I heard a comment from one of the PIX 11 news cast members about a message in a bottle that was found.  The reporter encouraged people to go to the beach and deposit their own messages.  Although she said it  in a casual tone and probably she did not think twice before saying that, I was angry because I expect more from a person who is well-educated and many times, has done a segment on eco-friendly products.  Imagine what would happen if 100 idiots, followed by another 100 morons, decide to do just that?  100 message bottles a day = 36,500 bottles dumped into the ocean yearly.  What would you think of 100 people dumping 100 message bottles in your front door or lawn?  Well, the ocean is home to many species and just because you belong to the human species does not give you the right to trash another species home.

The point of this post is not to ridicule anyone (hence the name of the reporter is not mentioned) but to make you think about how every little step that we take impacts this planet – for better or worse.  A more appropriate comment would have been – “Oh, let’s try not to throw more bottles into the water, send a virtual bottle instead, or next time you are at the beach, why not pick up one bottle and dump it in the trash can.”  Imagine the impact of 100 people doing just that.  However, what is in our hearts, comes out through our mouths, eventually.

We are not perfect, we are human, but we have been given a little gray matter to use it from time to time.  I know that the idea of a message in a bottle has been romanticized, and we humans fall for romance.  I am learning to live more eco conscientious and have much to learn; however it saddens me when I see people who should know better encourage dumb and irresponsible behavior.  Don’t complain when the planet’s resources start lacking or when Mother Nature’s fury unleashes near you – we have created this environment and as we give we get back.

Next time you think is cute to send a message to the other side of the world, think of the possibility that a marine animal may get injured with that same message – not so romantic.

I know that I sound as a preacher, but when I see educated people making these silly and irresponsible statements, which may encourage others to do stupid things , I have to wear my preaching gown.

Uranium Mining and Milling in Virginia is a Dangerous Idea

If the moratorium that has kept a ban from mining Uranium in the Coles Hill area of Chatham – Pittsylvania County, VA – is lifted, may God bless VA weather and the residents who live there (including me when I finally get to move there after restoring the old farmhouse – just five miles away from the proposed site).

Instead of writing  a list about why it is a bad idea, let me leave the reader with a few YouTube videos that I found, which will give you an idea of how dangerous lifting this ban is, and mostly it is all about VA type of weather and hydrology.

The first video will give the reader a bit of history on how this all started.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6rVUkyq_Wc

About what residents living there will loose.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL1Ich2dWRw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_epFdrAIxbY

Huge flood in Coles Hill area – 1996

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7mcUYAi_O4

North Carolina joins to support the ban and this is why this affects NC.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_mtFZMf1_w

The last speaker on this video makes a good point

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nnQ4AmWiL8

The people from Pittsylvania County and beyond do not want the ban to be lifted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30giLNF9NpQ

And I leave you with this last video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4TKOqLPvmE

If this ban is lifted, living in this small town would be hell.  Just think of the pollutants, the noisy equipment, constant movement of mine vehicles … and just picture the worst case scenario …  May God bless Pittsylvania County, its residents, and all the people beyond this area who will be affected.

Please sign the petition to keep the ban.

http://keeptheban.org/

Loving What You Do

English: Heart and Earth

Image via Wikipedia

The New Year is here and I’m happy that it is.  Despite all the doomsday talk, the way I see it, each day is full of possibilities, so I got myself a year full of possibilities.  Each day important, and certainly, not taken for granted.  Although I am a planner by nature and I love lists, I have trained my stubborn self to appreciate each day for what it is, despite the curve balls that life serve and the not so happy situations that may present along the way.  I have learned that everything is temporary, nothing is forever, and things are as bad as you make them to be – the mind and the attitude will master your emotions, and the acceptance and understanding of emotions will shape your day – days will shape your present and your future.  I say this because I have realized that life is indeed too short.  I know everyone repeats this adage, but many have not ponder the depth of it, and truly, when you think about it, life is too short for all the things you want to do and live.  This is why it is so important that you love what you do and try to pursue that love and get there.  Whether that means moving to another state or country, no one will know but you, and there are always sacrifices on the way – a great salary, time, lifestyle … it is different for each person .

I think of the day I arrive to this earth, my birth day, and I am amazed first, that I was born, and second, at how fast the years have gone by.  Yes, I regret the bent on the road, some detours, but then I understand that without taking those, I would not be writing this post.

I have arrived to a point where I can say that I am blessed and I am happy, and it doesn’t have to do with financial status, material possessions (I have none of those) or the curve balls that life serves – all of that is temporary.  One thing I am glad I found along the way – that I CAN love every single day.