2014 - Bring it on! OLW

You may remember my post last year about choosing a word and making goals for the year surrounding that word. I think I may have grabbed this one little word theme from Ally Edwards. I can't remember but she is good inspiration to follow from. It was a nice exercise in 2013 and worked pretty well for me. I thought I might try it again.

My word for 2014 is CONNECT.  
To accompany my word is rough and rapid doodle from my sketch book. 

CONNECT...  It's quite broad and I feel can encompass many of the things I would like to try an accomplish in 2014. So, without getting too specific or personal:

Connect with family, friends, self, passions..., in various ways— phone, email, snail mail and in person.  Connect (meet) new people, which can be  hard for me. Connect spiritually, professionally, physically... etc.

And I like that I can easily changed up the interpretation of this word with a little prefix or suffix.  Disconnect from (my phone, tv, etc.), basically be more present in the moment.  Reconnect with old friends, old hobbies and passions.  

So there SHE be... that one little word.




My 2013 word was DO. Holding myself accountable.... here is what I actually DID in 2013. Long post for me - be warned.

1. DO service for Grandma LaRue.  I am working on random ways to help Grandma out through out the 2013 year, more on this in future posts. #service

THIS I DID.  With my spare time I was able to help Grandma with all sorts of projects and if was super fun to be able to hang out with her more.  This was a tough year for Grandma.  Van ended up moving into the veterans home and then in late December passed away.  I hope my tiny bit of service helped Grandma just a little.  Some of the highlights I really enjoyed; typed up finished her address book (actually bound), made many meals, organized her bathrooms (including a serious dejunk - trashed prescriptions from the early 90's people!), and helped her with Christmas cards. I sure love my GRANDMA.

2. DO more family stuff.  I have the great pleasure of being with my kids everyday and I need to make this time count.  We need to incorporate more fun and less routine activities. #family

THIS happened too. I found this hard as our routine became very ROUTINE.  We did hit the Zoo, Aquarium, various friends houses and parks.  We took lots of mini trips - packed with fun.  Crafts.  I wish I could have done a better job of infusing fun into everyday life.  McDonalds play place and the library counts, right?

3. DO a new and improved website and blog. My blog is tired. And, I would love to create a website to house my portfolio, business stuff, etsy stuff, projects, blog, etc.  I have purchased a URL but now need to learn some stuff in order to design this puppy. #web

Not so much.  So the blog... still is very tired.  And, I accomplished less posting than in years past too.  Oh well.  I did design a website for my Painted Orange business (literally in the last few days of december).  It's all laid up in illustrator and ready for coding.  That website will house my newly designed blog.  The code part I'm hoping dear Geoff with help me with.  Otherwise I might scrap what I designed and purchased a canned site for the URL I've been paying on for the last TWO years. 

4. DO! Personal health improvements (diet, physical and mental).  I turn 39 at the end of this month.  This year will be the last year in my 30's and I have some health goals to reach before I am 40. #health

So I had this great goal of 40 lbs x 40 (not totally realistic I know, plus I probably only needed to loose like 30 lbs.  ASPIRATIONS. It would have been totally ambitious to loose 30 pounds.  I ended up loosing around 15.  Better than none.  I spent a good 6 months of the year with a serious work out schedule of 4-5 times a week. I did improve my health and learned a few new exercises.  My exercise routine  has seriously tapered off the last two months.  UG - 1st world problems.  I still have a almost month until 40 and I am committing, again, to live a HEALTHIER 2014.  

5. DO, brain improvements:  I have some new things I need to learn. While I don't have a formal plan yet, I do intend to learn new things more often.  Web tutorials, build to think, etc. #feedthebrain

This happened just by living my life and the desire to try new things (no formal plan was ever created).  I took a few online courses, attended some seminars/events and took a ton of free online instructional tutorials.  I do have some new tricks in my bag.  Again - I could have pushed this further...

6. DO more freelance. I have a number in mind. #workit

WOOHOO for goals.  Somehow I reach my number, amazingly so, and also picked up a few repeat clients. I am so grateful to have developed this skill set.  It has provided me with a much needed creative outlet and a little play money.

7. DO creative things.  Perhaps a painting class? Nothing is in stone but simply I know I want to DO more creative things. #create

Surprisingly... Not so much.  I did continue with my monthly card club and a few random projects throughout the year but no formal painting classes.  I will have to carry this goal over. 

8. DO travel.  I traveled so much with work in years past and over the last 7 months of being home St. George and Bear lake have been the only destination points.  This year we will travel.  Can you say ROAD trip? #travel

We DID travel.  Lots of new places for fun, a little work and family visits.  Nothing international - may in 2014?!

9. DO happy things.  Happy begets happy.  Be happy, think happy and do things that make ME happy. Figure out things that make me happy. #happyxhappy

I'm not sure how to measure this.  Perhaps a bad goal but a nice mantra?  Hmmm.  I'll be thinking on this one. 

10. DO document life. #lovinglife

This was an easy goal.  Over 100 blog posts, easily 20,000 photos taken (16K by phone alone). Yeah for the easy ones.

Stampin' Up! Convention 2013

I'm a sucker. You all thought I'd quit SU, and I have, almost... sort of.  I've worked for Stampin' Up! for over 10 years—25% of my life.  Fun times. And I just can't stay away, completely and forever.  I seriously love this company, the people who work there and the products. I seem to always keep myself involved in some way. I am still a demonstrator and actively sell the products. I do some product related freelance design, and this year I applied and was accepted to stamp a few samples for the display boards.  More on this later.

Last year I decided I would attend convention and asked my friend Joellyn to go with me.  Joellyn is also a former 10 year SU employee and is currently a demonstrator.  She quit and moved to Montana 3 years ago to be an amazing FARMER. Her personal blog is here. She agreed to go, and we saved our pennies to attend. Oh yeah baby, former employees pay full price to attend. Hence, sucker(s). But we were happy to pay as the event was a super fun time and a great opportunity to see all of our old friends in one place, at one time.

We had a wonderful three days of convention, good food (not made at home), and shopping. SHOPPING! All of these things are a rare treat for both of us.  We even we able to get in a THAI dinner with the amazing Paula.

I snapped a few CRAPPY photos of the event with my phone.  I decided not to take my big camera (BIG FAT NO), too many years of lugging a big camera around.  Crappy photos aside, it was a fun time and so awesome to catch up with the many folks we happened upon.

Turns out I am not the greatest duo "selfie" photo taker. Oh well. We were there. Joellyn - sorry in advance for the bad photos.  You (and I) are WAY, WAY, cuter in real life.

6000 demonstrators. Whoa - lots of stampers & swaps.  Super crowded but still fun.


We tried to document that we participated in the service project.  Bad crop. We made a "fference".

And again, bad crop but here we are in a general session among the thousands.  Where are our glittery hats?


This was Su's 25th anniversary celebration.  Both Joellyn and I helped create 10 great years at SU and it was rewarding to participate in some way.

A yummy cupcake I shouldn't of eaten. 

Shadows at convention center. Still trying to keep up with my photo a day project challenges.

Amazing hand carved stamps, created in minutes by SU demos.

And... the display boards. Thousands of cards made by selected demonstrators posted to inspire others.  

Over the next few days I'll post some of the samples that I was asked to create for these display boards.  It was a super fun experience and one I hope I get to work on again.

Happy 25th year SU.


Grandma's address book

I decided to organize and help Grandma LaRue with her address book. She has been frustrated with it and it's become increasingly hard to use. We are going digital! And then she'll have a fresh, current and organized paper version to use when we are finished.

I enjoy data entry. This has been a fun project. 249 contacts later and I'm ready to print and have Grandma go through to validate. A little insight into Grandma...

1. She saves most address labels from letters she gets. Some folks had over 15 address labels (exactly the same).

2. She documents births of great grand children, all the details on post it notes and keeps them with the address.

3. On index cards, she keeps driving directions to random places. Vintage stores, etc.

4. She has almost all of the Utah LDS Temples phone numbers in her address book. She has also done the same with Utah hospitals.

5. She has a section for Julie's friends. Julie has a lot of friends.

6. She has various speed dial lists, written from different periods in her life. It is interesting to see who her VIPs are from over the years.

7. She lists birthdays, by family.

8. She keeps track of her close friends children.

9. Almost all of these contacts are dear family and friends. She has 2-3 phone numbers for each person, address and random notes but no email. I only entered 5 email addresses in the lot.

Grandma is awesome! I hope to have 249 close contacts when I'm 82.

DO! ... HNY

Happy New Year!

Yes, I'm a little late at posting New Years wishes but I wish you a fabulous New Year all the same.

Many folks have chosen just one word to represent 2013.  I really like this idea. It's simple, easy to comply to and remember.  I've decided my word this year is DO!  Kind of Nike® themed yet not endorsed by Nike at all.  Also, do is an action word. I like action words.

TEN things I (Charlet) plan to DO in 2013:

1. DO service for Grandma LaRue.  I am working on random ways to help Grandma out through out the 2013 year, more on this in future posts. #service

2. DO more family stuff.  I have the great pleasure of being with my kids everyday and I need to make this time count.  We need to incorporate more fun and less routine activities. #family

3. DO a new and improved website and blog. My blog is tired. And, I would love to create a website to house my portfolio, business stuff, etsy stuff, projects, blog, etc.  I have purchased a URL but now need to learn some stuff in order to design this puppy. #web

4. DO! Personal health improvements (diet, physical and mental).  I turn 39 at the end of this month.  This year will be the last year in my 30's and I have some health goals to reach before I am 40. #health

5. DO, brain improvements:  I have some new things I need to learn. While I don't have a formal plan yet, I do intend to learn new things more often.  Web tutorials, build to think, etc. #feedthebrain

6. DO more freelance. I have a number in mind. #workit

7. DO creative things.  Perhaps a painting class? Nothing is in stone but simply I know I want to DO more creative things. #create

8. DO travel.  I traveled so much with work in years past and over the last 7 months of being home St. George and Bear lake have been the only destination points.  This year we will travel.  Can you say ROAD trip? #travel

9. DO happy things.  Happy begets happy.  Be happy, think happy and do things that make ME happy. Figure out things that make me happy. #happyxhappy

10. DO document life. #lovinglife