Hey there!

How are you?  Is the New Year treating you well? I will warn you now, this is a long one.

I have moved out of the potato phase and we aren’t talking just the couch sort.  I had a potato vibe towards everything. Potato-ism has a purpose and a place.  However, months of potato-ing are not conducive to writing your book, making new clothes for the couch pillows, fixing that cookbook, or anything creative.  Too much potato-ing will cause issues in the long run.  And, like a baked potato that wasn’t poked before being placed in the oven, I exploded (figuratively) into action.  Okay, that was a bit dramatic. It was more akin to the sound of steam slowly leaking from a potato while it bakes.

I made my way back into creative mode by making Christmas cards.  I’m not one to send out cards to everyone I know.  However, I have a few folks who get a card because their gift usually (and conveniently) fits inside.  I’m a fan of all forms of recycling.  I decided to try upcycling Christmas cards.  Ever since I started junk journaling (another thing I’d like to get back to along with calligraphy), I keep EVERYTHING (imagine the word EVERYTHING said in a loud booming voice because that’s how I said it.)

Upcycled Christmas card picturing a penguin wearing a winter hat and scarf standing in front of a tiny pine tree. Surrounding the penguin are cut out snowflakespictured inside the Christmas card with a cut out that reads May your Christmas be filled with joy and special moments.

I made four different cards, all utilizing old cards.  Considering I don’t have fancy cutting devices, just a pair of old scallop scissors, they didn’t come out half bad.  If I plan better next year, they’ll be even cuter.

Over the winter break, I was given homework from the boss. There’s a small crew that works the day before the holiday break officially begins.  It’s our job to feed the few students who have to show up.  It’s also an opportunity to do extra cleaning and change the decor from holiday to winter. Our winter decor color scheme is blue, silver, and white.  This set of snowpeople started it and of course, me opening my mouth.

Someone asked if they could be painted.  I said sure they could.  I also said I could do it over the break.  That led to two more out-of-style snowpeople added on.

Then the boss says, “I wonder if my Mom has a sewing machine?” while holding onto a winter-themed napkin.

“I have one.” I muttered.

Added to the homework was making new scarves.

This turned out to be a fussy and time-consuming and a whole lot of fun.  Really. I have missed painting and fussy detail work. Here are the results!

Two bright white snow people with blue and white scarves. They are holding silver stars with blue words that read welcome (left side) and friends (right side). Both are sporting black hats one with silver ribbon and one with blue ribbon.
I had to change the hat on the right side snowperson. I used a broken ribbon spool, a bit of brown paper for the top, and a piece of ribbon. That extra blue glitter paint I had came in handy!
Snowperson wearing a blue hat with black button, light blue scarf and blue mittens
This one had so many crooks ‘n crannies! I used a metallic blue (makes me a bit swoony) and it was the hardest one to paint.
A bright white snow person with black wire arms holding a tiny pine tree. They are wearing a black scarf with light blue glitter stripes, a black vest with blue glitter polka dots. On the body of are blue snowflakes with silver glitter centers.
The tiny tree needed a refresher of snow and a bit of glitter. I used white paint and silver glitter. Those wire arms badly needed a paint job too!
snow people painted in bright white, blue, and silver color scheme.
The happy snow people family! I’m proud of how they came out.

THEN, I decide it’s high falutin time I get those couch pillows recovered. There is too much blue in the livingroom. I wanted pops of color.

brown couch with yellow, green, purple, light blue, dark blue and light blue pillows
I want more pillows! I love pillows! Pillows are like cats, you can’t just have one. I think a couple of fuzzy ones would be nice. The cats refuse to be pillows.

I have a dilapidated cookbook.  I refuse to get rid of it, much to the Hubs annoyance.  It was held together with an extra large binder clip.

1989 Good Housekeeping cookbook with a ripped cover and loose pages

It dawned on me when I pulled a page out to make oatmeal cookies that I knew how to fix this.  I’ve made small books. Why didn’t I think of this before?  I’ll share the how-to on that in the future because I’ve taken pictures along the way and it’s still in progress.

Lastly, I decided to revamp how I do my to-do lists.  I love lists.  I have been known to become beholden to the DO on the list. I have to remember that the List is a guide, not a do or die and you are an utter failure if not all the things are completed. It’s a suggestion and place to keep things I want to get done, not forgotten.

printed to-do lists and goal tracking sheet
I found a template on Canva and modified it.  Then, I heard this little nugget of wisdom from @pleasantpeasantmedia on YouTube (the short is here: https://youtube.com/shorts/i4O6PnF5qL4?si=N27rxB48Qv3LQgcs). She calls it a bribe or reward system she uses for her kids and herself.  Once so many holes are punched (she uses a punch card system), she rewards herself (or the kids) for doing whatever it is consistently.  I decided to make a tracking system in a spreadsheet doc.  Here’s my recycling tip.   I save paper that’s printed on one side.  I make scratch pads from it.  In this case, I print the to-do list as a 5X7 picture. It prints on one half of an 8 1/2X11 paper.  I put the scrap paper in the printer, it prints on one side, then I tear the paper in half and save the other half to make a future scratch pad.  I started this on January 8th.  It’s gone through a few modifications as I figured out what worked best.  It’s been a game-changer. I may tweak the goal tracker in February by adding or removing things as needed.

I’m diligently working on the first book in the Afterlife Series.  The current word count is 32,614! I’m shooting for at least 70,000.  This first book is morphing into a different and exciting direction.

And that’s a long wrap of what’s been happening in the Flatlands of NW Ohio.

What’s up in your world? Starting anything new? Any exciting changes?  Do tell! Do tell!  You can leave a comment below.  I answer them.  I really do.

Hogs, Fishes & Warm Wishes,


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