#27 Pay it Forward

Right around the New Year I participated in one of the Facebook trends that spreads like crazy.  This one, however, was a pay it forward, promise which I made.  This also so happens to be my #27 on my 35 things to do when I am 35.

‎”2011 promises to be a great year and I’m paying my good fortune forward by promising to send something handmade/hand drawn over the course of the year to the first five FB friends to comment to this post AND who agree to pay it forward by posting a similiar promise as their status. You have a whole year to make good.”

I am excited to make my friends Heather, Rachael, Jennevieve, Laurie and Emily something wonderful.

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#29 Shade Garden

#29 on my 35 things to do when I am 35 was to make a space for a shade garden in our backyard.  We have a perfect place right along a fence line that is completely shadowed by the house for the morning sun and by our neighbors big, beautiful Japanese maple for the remainder of the day.  In all of the previous places that we’ve lived we’ve had pretty intense southern exposure which is wonderful for a great many things, but not so great for ferns, hostas and whatnot.

We moved to our current place 2 years in August and have been focusing attentions on the front of the house to make it look at least inhabited and to start the vegetable garden.  But we do spend a lot of our time in the back in the summertime so having a nice full garden will be lovely!

When my 5 year old and me were out and about the other day getting our toes painted my hubs and my 3 year old industriously made the beginnings of our new shade garden.  Can’t wait to finish it, fill it in with some dirt and get my hands dirty!

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Creating a New List

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about making a new list for my upcoming birthday to carry on the tradition of last years 35 things to do when I am 35. Creating this list last year was inspired by seeing someone I admire do this and share her accomplishments throughout the year, as well as a bit of a birthday panic of not really remembering where the last year went. Creating the list this past year has forced me out of my comfort zone and to pursue things that I would not have otherwise. I look at this past year with pride and a sense of accomplishment and am excited how I can take the foundation that I created this past year forward into the next.

Some of the items on my list in hindsight are more of a ‘to do’ list – which I STILL HAVEN’T DONE. Goes to show the power of dislike of sitting in Government offices like the County Building to fix Lulu’s birth certificate (#20) in which they managed to completely and utterly misspell my name – to the point of not even being recognizable (its actually quite impressive how they thought of how to add g’s and n’s to my first name…very creative). Or sitting in the DMV, Social Security Office, and others to make sure my name is listed correctly on official documents (#19). The sheer thought makes me groan, but I know that it needs to be taken care of.

To start thinking about making my new list and wanting to make a good list for myself I checked out from the library “Creating Your Best Live: The Ultimate Life List Guide“. Reading it makes me feel a bit mid-life crisis self-help bookie – but so far it’s been a good inspiration point to start thinking holistically and reinforcing the power of list making.

I’ve always been a list maker as a way to organize my thoughts, to-do lists, as well as the ever satisfying “check” in the box once an item is complete (and yes I draw the little boxes too). I’ve extended this to my kids as well – when we are all home and want to give them an idea of what to expect for the day and empowerment to choose we create an illustrated list that we create together and cross off as we go through our day. This is today’s list for example – we’ve been cooped up for the past few days with one and then all of us with strep. I feel great besides the burning throat and being completely contagious. So on the docket for today:

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#33 Project Runway Inspiration Jewelry

Etsy Metal is a curated team on Etsy of metalsmiths that are wonderfully talented group of folks and I spend a fair amount of time looking through their member profiles and drooling over jewelry. For their members they have a invitation to a challenge – to participate in creating an object that was inspired by the most recent Project Runway Show. I had this in mind when I wrote #33 Project Runway Inspiration Jewelry on my 35 Things I want to do When I’m 35. The essence of my claiming completion to #33 is the same but the method changed.

A couple things of why I didn’t do the Project Runway challenge…#1 I don’t watch TV – makes it hard to follow a TV show! In previous seasons I watched the episodes later via on demand, but I think what happened was that I had a co-worker who also loved the show and so we could talk about it and that was the motivation to watch. I honestly don’t even know if it’s still on or when the season cycle starts. I don’t really feel the need to ‘force’ myself to watch TV either. #2 I am not a member of Etsy Metal. I think part of the fun of doing something like this is that you can interact with your peers and see what everyone else is doing, get feedback and whatnot. When I conceived of this I would have participated from afar creating things for myself but without the interaction (or motivation)

I ran across the Year of Jewelry Project 2011 and it fits my rational for wanting to do something like this perfectly. Basically, the theme changes every week and you are invited to create and submit a picture and description of what you created. They open up participation on a quarterly basis – so serendipitously I saw it the day prior to accepting new participants. I believe it was started through the Creative Wire Jewelry Forum, so there is many folks that work in wire and wire wrapping – but looking through the posts a fair amount of metal workers as well.

I look forward to sharing the variety of new items that I’ll be working on. In looking ahead I am already scratching my head on the “Gods and Goddesses: Thor” theme…but I am sure a little research will trigger an idea.

Year of Jewelry Project : Week 11 Theme is Spring has Sprung!
I have a whole bunch of copper electroformed plant shapes that I created as part of my Take a New Class and Learn Something New goal and have been wanting to make something with them. I initially made a bracelet by forging and bending the sterling wire and soldered and wrapped the copper seed pods to the front. I am not entirely pleased with the result, so I put it aside for a bit.


Next I used more copper seed pods and soldered them together and hung them from the hollow copper branch that previously had some of the seed pods attached.  Happy spring!

 

#23 Write and Illustrate a Children’s Book

#23 from my 35 things to do when I’m 35

I’ve had an idea in my head for a while bouncing around for a kids book.   About the passage of time and how hard it is for kids to make sense of  complex concepts – before, now, after…yesterday, today, tomorrow.  I have finally put it all together in a proposal letter and sent it out to about 10 literary agents specializing in children’s books.   I did learn that I am NOT an illustrator however, so made a couple attempts and gladly accepted that this is not my calling.

My kids now have a mock-up copy (with bad illustrations) that we read and perhaps there will be some interest out there in the world.  Worth a shot, right?

#3 Set up an Etsy Site

One item listed!

http://www.eleven11wish.etsy.com