Sunday, March 29, 2015

Visual Journaling and my birthday!

This is my desk area.  And I remember to feed the fish when I sit down to my computer.  I can make breakfast and keep an eye on the stove while I do some internet stuff and planning.

Example of my visual journal page.

I did this one when I first started with Jamberry during my launch party month last November.

THIS however is the first page to my journal.
 I love visual journaling because it's so freeing.  There's no mistakes.. you can't do anything "wrong" in it.  If you don't like something you can cover it up or bend the page over or paint over it or any number of things.  Layer upon layer.  It's about the process not the product.  So, while I'm sharing these pictures of my journal it's not about someone who can or can't draw.  Or who can or can't do art.  It's not about if you like the style or if you don't.  None of that has anything to do with visual journaling.  As a person who's done commission artwork, let me just say that I LOVE not having to worry about "getting it right"... you can get the creative juices flowing without the pressure.

This page has changed a lot since this picture, but that's okay you get the idea.  The butterflies were acrylic with plastic type stamp-like things to make the shapes.

One day I wrote everything that I did.  Everything that I could write down that I did during the day I wrote it.  Lots of mundane things, but a LOT.  This was a nice exercise as it made me realize that I was actually getting things done.  It just doesn't always feel like anything is accomplished at the end of the day when you are sweeping for the 3rd time and the fabric project is tossed all over the living room again....

My 3 year old likes to write notes to me.  They always say "Mommy loves Gracie" she says and she makes a big deal about the presentation.. all behind her back and everything.

The left page was a "list" for the day/week quite a while ago.  I realized that I really like the "bubble" type brainstorming lists more then the ones in order on a line.

This page was interesting because while I was blotting some water colors with kleenex I decided to just add the kleenex with the paint splotches on it into the page!  Hey, anything goes!  The page above was helping me keep track of a Jamberry Facebook party.
The page above transformed into this!  The end of February was Jamberry's "Going going gone" thing before they launched the new catalog.  I love seeing all the consultants freaking out about the new wraps and watching the crazy and excitement and all the fun and "new" going on.  I love helping when I can with making graphics or giving people ideas.


Even "Hedgie the Hedgehog" is into visual journaling.  (That little journal is actually the 3 year olds that she started last fall when we were in Washington.  Good memories.)

For my birthday my Mother-in-law gave me this diffuser!  I am loving it!  Our apartment has always smelled funny to me.. even before we moved in, it just has this weird paint/old apartment smell or something going on.  I don't notice it as much when we are here all the time, but if we go somewhere for a day I can really tell when we get back.  Yep.. same smell.  Ug.
 I bought those Orchids for myself for Valentine's day.  I love flowers and plants and watching them bloom and change!
My husband got me some flowers for my birthday!  Lilies smell sooooooooo good.
 So in March I promoted to "Senior Consultant" which is awesome but THEN I promoted again to "Lead Consultant" which means that I get a $100 bonus on top of the commission I was already getting!  This is coming at a great time because my girls are growing so fast!  I got them a few summer clothes since it suddenly turned warm.
My 7 year old in her new shorts, top and fancy shoes (the shoes will go with the Easter dress she got from her Grammy.)

The 3 year old didn't want her picture taken, but you can see her outfit and sandals.

I've been having SO much fun with Jamberry.. it's totally a hobby that's addictive!  DID you know there are Facebook groups that TRADE half sheets or whole sheets?  There's this whole system about how you do it!  This page of "Tradesy's" has changed a lot, but you get the idea.  It helps me keep track of what I'm trading and when we get the wraps in the mail we write to the person we traded with to let them know we got it.  One stamp for new styles!  Love this!  I've got a bunch of "Pen pals" now and get to chat with a lot of lovely women!  I was really needing to be apart of a group of nice people.
 The Consultant's group that I'm in is probably THE nicest ever.  Everyone is so helpful with information, trading compliant graphics, encouraging one another, cheering each other on!  I'm sure I wouldn't be doing as much as I am or enjoying it like I do if it wasn't for them!  I really enjoy feeling like I'm useful to some people.  I know I am to my family of course, but you know how it is... you make dinner and the kids complain about it or you spend the day cleaning the house only to have it get wrecked right before the husband gets home and then he runs around feeling like he has to tidy it all up.  I love to help other people succeed at Jamberry!  I won't be surprised if some of my recruits outstrip me in rank, but that's okay!!!  I will cheer them on and we will all have fun sharing pictures of our nails and encouraging one another.  :)

I love this page because it's another one of my "lists"... yes, this is totally how I think and makes so much more sense then writing everything on a line in order according to the day in the week.  Eventually I got around to doing it all and I kept adding to it as I went.  My grocery shopping list ended up on this page too. 
 I've always struggled with trying to be more organized.  I'm not great at it.  It's not the usual thing to be good at as an artist type.  My meyer's briggs test came up as the most artistic of types.  As I get older.... thinking about this because of my birthday month of course! ... I'm starting to sort of "get" what my personality is and how to work with it rather then against it.  I feel more organized using the visual journal.  I'd tried other "day planners" and they just stressed me out!  So, this has really been great.  I want to use it even more then I do now, but I'm still developing the habit of messing around in it each day.
Here's a calender page example.  Over all, March has been the best month in a really long time. 

Here's an example of my helpfulness in the Jamberry group.  This picture shows the full sheet compared to the Jr sized sheet and both are compared to the sample sheets.  My nails are on the wide side so I was worried at first a full year ago when I saw the samples and so few of them fit my fingers.  My thumb nail is actually just barely smaller then the second largest wrap on the regular sheet and my big toes are almost wider then the widest (Though they do still fit well!)  Anyway, for people who can't see these in person it's nice for them to have a visual comparison. 
 There are other graphics that show how much you can get from a sheet (2 mani's and 2 pedi's and accent nails all from one sheet) and I made a few more that I shared with the group as well for putting them on kids.
This is my 3 year old showing how much you can get from one Jr sheet.  A full mani and the big toes.  I painted her little toes just to save some time.  Not that it saves time in the long run since they start chipping in a day!  The Jams stay on for up to a week on her!  It's pretty seriously amazing how well they stay on.  The most important thing is how much she likes them!  She chose the cherry ones and was so thrilled with them = adorable.  ;0

This is a regular sized sheet my 7 year old was dieing to get.  One of the wraps I actually used for 4 nails and there's leftover from it too.  I drew on the paper to show how I cut them to fit her nails.

I made a huge splash with my idea to layer the clear design "lost ruins" over "Emerald Argyle" -- you can search for those two at the website to see what they look like on their own.  :)  Then added the "Lady in Red" to it.  This look matches my house a lot more then it matches my clothes, but I really enjoyed them!  I love getting creative with how to wear these!

 I'm not very "fashionable" at all and have never been much into make-up... though I like to do fun things for costumes on occasion, so to me the Jamberry is more a creative outlet and fun art to wear!  They have enough "normal" designs that you could use them more in a fashionable way instead of an artistic way, but there's really something for everyone! 
My 7 year old is in love with the bunny's and she picked out the "budding love" wraps last summer before they were discontinued.  She finally decided to wear them this time!
 My girls love looking through the little photo album that I keep my Jams in to pick their next look.  I try to remind them that which nail they go on is more contingent on the size of the wrap then just whatever they want to go wherever, but for the most part they get exactly what they are looking for.
Her new shoes and feeling all grown up in high heels.  But, got to have the pink bunny wraps on the toes to complete the look!

My oldest chose "Girl Talk"- so sparkly!  Love this!  And they look great with her easter dress.  Hopefully they will last that long, but if there's a casualty nail I can throw another one on this Saturday.  :)

The 3 year old still had some cherry wraps on (she pulled a few off when she was mad at me or didn't want to go to sleep or something or other) so we added a few to replace the ones that were missing.  She chose snowmen and valentine's hearts to go with the cherries and sparkle rainbows?  hahaha.. well, it will match the outfits she comes up with anyway!

"Shine bright" on her toes (all but the yellow, that's from a different design) and she's wearing her new sandals too.
Today I'm wearing "Amore" with "Butterfly Effect" only I wanted to be different (because I can't help it!) so layered over the butterflies.  Picture below.

This is with "Boysenberry Tint" layered over "Butterfly Effect" I love how it turns it all jewel toned to give some visual relief from the sparkles.  I LOVE the sparkles too, but am just really enjoying these together.

My oldest got some much needed tops and some nice sandals.
 It might not seem like a big deal to some people, but we've never had much extra to spend on clothes and nice things (and these are from Walmart so my "nice" is probably not what many people think of when they think "nice"... It's new and not thrifted so it's "nice" in my book!)  I grew up on thrift store clothes so really appreciate being able to spend a little extra on something new.  :)  My girls were thrilled and I know they've felt really special wearing their pretty outfits and shoes.  I love seeing them growing up and growing more grateful.  Taking care of each other and playing nicely together.  It's not always like that, but I can see the growth in that direction and it's a good trajectory! 

So, there's a thing going around "#becauseofJamberry" and for some people it means paying off debt or buying that second car or paying off a mortgage.  For other's of us it's making new friends and being able to pay for the Jam-hobby and getting a little extra money for clothes for the kids.  The second is me and I am loving it!  I've felt alone for so long that it's wonderful to feel apart of something again and have something fun and creative to get excited about.
She's wearing "Raining cats and dogs" on her toes and chose cats for her sandals. She's still super into cats!!!
 As I'm reflecting in my birthday month I'm thinking of a lot of different things.  The things I wish I'd do more of.... like being more conscious of the day and the little things and the special moments... the good things and the changes in the past 5 or so months that I've been working for Jamberry.  I don't know what the next 5 months will look like or where I'll be then, but that's okay.  :)


This is a good thing to remember this year.  Nourish Art.
I'm pretty transparent and honest and I love to help and encourage people.  I'm organized in an artistic sort of way as you've probably figured out from seeing the journal pages.  If you are wondering what Joining Jamberry is all about feel free to check it out or ask questions.  There's no pressure.  I don't "need" more recruits or anything like that.  It's about you and what you would like and what would help you the most.  I love to encourage people and inspire them. 
I hope some of my blog posts have done just that for people.  :)

Birthday party and snow in March!

 It snowed a bit the end of February and Renna wanted some snow for her birthday on March 6th.  WELL, it didn't snow ON her birthday, but it snowed the day before!  She was so excited.
The berry tree out our back door.

The little one doing a snow angel.
 The snow was so perfect for half the day, then melted all away.  I used to live for winter days like this!  The sunshine on the snow might be the most beautiful site ever... like a billion diamonds glittering....
Our view (under the berry tree)

Fluffy was taken on a walk in the snow.

Both older girls rolled their own large snowballs.  Hard work that.



Rolling the snowball.. this is the view out my kitchen window.

They all wanted to make an "Olaf" so there you go.  ;)  He melted by the end of the day.
And happy birthday to Renna!

 The girls loved the rainbow balloons for "R week" and Renna's birthday.  It was quite serendipitous.
Cupcakes were made with chocolate and nutella and golden papers for the "gold at the end of the rainbow"

Her present was getting to pick out an American girl doll.  She chose Samantha.  We all pooled our birthday money for her in to get this and some outfits for all of them to share and play their dolls together.  I really like getting toys that they can all play together!  And my oldest already had a doll and the doll from when I was a kid, so now there are three.

 The girls all have a doll now and we ate some dessert at the cafe there as well.  It was pretty special.

 We don't usually eat at restaurants so this was very fancy for them!


Escalators are always a hit.

So much excitement this day!

And blowing out candles!

 The girls had fun decorating the cupcakes with the rainbow colored chocolate balls.

On her actual birthday (the 6th) our church was doing their monthly "parents night out" so we made tiny cupcakes to take to share.  Saved me from inviting people to a birthday party, but she still got to celebrate with friends and everyone declared it to be the MOST FUN EVER!  so that was good!
My fashionable imaginative Renna also likes to curl her toys hair now.  She's been fixing her OWN hair as well which is really nice since she hated me to brush it.  Now she puts her own hair in a pony tale and is so much more grown up even from 6 to 7.  It feels like there's less of a struggle about things because she seems to want to grow and learn now.  Instead of looking at making her bed like the worst thing ever she's starting to see that she likes her room more tidy and just over all is more aware of herself and the people around her. 

One day she was tracing this picture and while she was coloring it she was telling the story of it.  She told part of it to her little sister and then went to tell her big sister.  I found it amazing that she was able to tell it exactly the same way.  I asked if I could type it out for her while she told it.  I typed exactly what she said and didn't change anything.  I think it's lovely and lyrical and such a great vocabulary for a just turned 7 year old!
This is Renna's story --

This is a princess.
In my dream she was me.
She was stuck on a rocky island.
One part of the island was bright and sunshine.
The other side of the island was dark and gloomy.
The princess trusted in the sunshine, but she looked at the black.
She had one black streak in her hair.
She trusted in the sunshine to give her back her loved one.
But her wish never came true.
So she was stuck on it until the crocodile helped her across.
All the animals helped her and some flowers made a bed for her.
While she was walking through the night it suddenly became day.
She walked in the night.
It became day every night and day and night.
The only noise that the animals and the flowers heard at night was the snoring of the little girl sleeping in the flower bed.
That was my dream.