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Planner Friday: Movin’ on Up (Like George and Wheezy)

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“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “to pack yo’ shit and move.”

This week is all about transitions.  The month is changing, the season is (slowly and grudgingly) changing, next week I start a new day job (OMG) and Saturday my roomie and I are moving house.  It’s been a rocky process to say the least, and I just about came unspooled today from cumulative stress and uncertainty.  But we’re on the downhill run, even though it doesn’t seem so, and day after tomorrow some young men with large muscles and a big truck will load up all of our stuff, we’ll load up the animals, and off we go.  It’s only about six miles away but feels like another continent – I’ve lived in the same Austin neighborhood for 12 years!

At any rate, I decided to bust out the map washi tape I’ve had for months and do a theme based on travel, movement, journeys, and the like.  I really had fun with the two maps – they’re actual images from Google Maps of my old and “new” neighborhoods (technically I’m moving back to an area I’ve lived in before), which I tinted sepia and then used colored pencil to make them a little more vintage-y.  I love the dotted line connecting the two – it was a moment of inspiration that turned out really cute.

The new feature this week is the shopping list sticker.  It ended up being pretty handy, so I think I’ll add it to my weekly framework.  Every week I have some variation of the “Dailies” sidebar, the column headers (usually there’s “to do,” “events,” and “writing,” but I haven’t needed the latter two with the move going on), the this-and-next-week headers, and the weekend header.  I have their dimensions memorized so I can make new ones every week in about five minutes, using whatever font and colors I think go with the theme.  I build the whole theme in the Silhouette Studio app that came with my Cameo machine, though I don’t actually cut them with the machine most of the time; I slice them up with my paper trimmer and take them with me to Starbucks on Sunday afternoon as part of my weekly planning ritual.

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If you’re after map washi like mine, you can find the same one here on Etsy; you can also just search Etsy for “map washi” and come up with several different styles.

Packard Antique font (free)

And here’s the song stuck in my head thanks to this post’s title, just to share the love:


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30 Lists Thursday

Well, this’ll be the last post of this round of 30 Days of Lists – I feel bad that I only managed to do a few of them, but this month kind of exploded on me.

I think I’m going to continue to post fun lists like this on Thursdays, though – I’ll just do random ones.  There are lots of sources for lists on the internet, including a gaggle of them on Pinterest.  I might just do one or two a week and take a bit more time on them – I kind of half-assed most of these poor guys.

Anyway, here we are:

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Planner Friday: Hail and Welcome Fall, Dammit!

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It’s Fall!  It’s Fall!

Well, sort of.  It won’t start to feel like Fall for another few days when the first official “cold front” of the year reaches Texas, but the timing is pretty spectacular – a temperature dip right after Mabon, the Autumnal Equinox (And timed beautifully to help my move next week be a bit less miserable.  Seriously, the last couple of weeks have been awful, weather-wise.).

Like many sane people Autumn is my favorite time of year, so even though I’m busier than a condom dispenser at a  Beltaine festival, I took a few minutes to gank some Autumn images from Pinterest and throw together a pretty theme for the week.  I picked things that still had some green and had a sense of transition about them, both because Fall in Texas is still green (we get some color but nothing like places with four actual seasons) and because this is a highly liminal time for me – I’m about to shift from one phase of life to another, both in terms of where I live and my employment status.  That would be plenty of transition for any given year, let alone a single season (or in this case a single week – argh!).

I’m working on a theme for next week that will embody that sense of impending change – I’m trying to get it done quickly before the week ramps up and my brain turns to mush.  Wish me luck, and in the meantime enjoy this week’s theme, which gave me a nice sense of exhalation and calm just looking at it.

(I especially like the “turn, turn, turn” image on Sunday – I’ll be going back to that one and trying to find a source for download.  It needs to be on my altar.)

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30 Lists Thursday: *runs around with hair on fire*

Well, I managed to do three whole lists this week.  *laugh*

Basically I’ve decided I’ll just do the ones I think sound fun whenever I have time to work on them – doing a few here and there has been good for my sanity, but there’s no way in hell I’ll be able to complete all 30 this time.  Oh well!  Enjoy the ones I got to!

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(The coloring on 21 was much prettier in real life – for some reason it photographed all streaky and weird.)

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I really liked how this one came out, other than the dreadful mistake I made drawing the pitcher’s shape – I was having a really shaky day, hand-wise, and my pen kept jittering across the page.

You might have noticed that my art tends to have kind of heavy black outlines – that’s why. I have essential tremor in my hands that was made WAY worse by the lithium I used to take; it’s died down a lot since I went off the med, but I’ve always had a tremor and always will.  It gets worse when I’m tired, stressed, overcaffeinated, or in pain of some sort, and there are certain angles I can’t maintain while drawing (especially since I’m left-handed and smudge things like whoa) so I have to compensate for the shakes with heavier outlines.  Just so’s ya know.

Next week this time I’ll be in the downhill run both for moving house *and* being unemployed.  God willing and the creek don’t rise, as of October 3 I’ll return to the land of the wage-earners, and won’t have to panic about money every day.

Sylvan’s Pro Tip for Creatives:

Quit your day job if you want, but you might want to get another one…not because you won’t succeed as a writer/artist/what have you, but because NOBODY needs the constant anxiety of not being able to pay the bills.  Turning your labor-of-love into your meal ticket can sap your creativity and in fact make you come to hate it.  Don’t let anyone give you shit about “risk” or “faith in your gift” or whatever – it’s easy for middle-class white ladies with savings accounts and a second wage earner in the house to talk about ditching their jobs to make ribbon roses full time, but those of us living paycheck to paycheck know that one bad month on Etsy could mean dodging the Mastercard people for six months and feeding the kids Poverty Stew.**

My advice is multiple income streams: Find several ways to bring in pieces of your monetary need so that no one thing is your only paycheck.  That way you can have a part-time day job, or a less-high-paying one that doesn’t make you miserable, if you can find one, but still allow time for your real work.

Here endeth the lecture.

**Every family has some version of this, right?  Something ultra cheap made of horrifying or questionable ingredients that tended to show up the last week of the month?  In my family it was called Mulligan Stew and it was basically Spam and Ranch Style Beans.   Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious (to kid me, anyway), but that’s not a recipe you come up with when you’re shopping at the Whole Foods.  Just out of curiosity, did your family have some sort of Poverty Stew?  Comment below to share.


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Planner Fridays: Find Your Stars

This week’s theme is kind of special to me.

Recently I splurged on a $5 roll of washi tape from Hong Kong.  I told myself I wasn’t going to buy any more until I was using what I had more regularly, but this time, I couldn’t resist.  It was washi made from Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and you know how I feel about that painting.

This was my original Starry Night theme – you might remember it, but it was December 2015 so I’ll forgive you if you don’t. I can’t for the life of me find a blog post about it.  Maybe I didn’t make one, I dunno.

Anyway, a year later, I bought the tape and decided it was time to do another starry theme.  I have a long-standing love of the night sky, from a spiritual perspective, dating back to my first reading of Strands of Starlight; the concept of the Web that I use in the Shadow World novels originated in Baudino’s concept of the Dance.  I found that concept echoed in the idea of Indra’s Net, and when I’m out somewhere with a view of the full beauty of the night sky, I can see the lines connecting star to star as clearly as the stars themselves.  To this day I use the night sky in visualizations and meditation.

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This is my current lock screen. “Find your stars” is directly from the Strands of Starlight series, and I use it as a sort of mindfulness verse. Stop, exhale, look for the starry sky in my mind, and breathe in its light.

Thus, I built this week’s theme around Van Gogh’s washi and my favorite poetic quote from Sarah Williams, which you can see on the Sunday column.  I really needed the reassurance of the stars this week.

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(click image to enlarge, as per usual)

I’ve been trying to find the artist of the starry Goddess on Thursday’s column – not only to give her proper artistic credit, but to hopefully get a print of that image, which I absolutely adore.  I tried TinEye and Google and Pinterest but only found a single link to the original Tumblr post which seems to go nowhere.  If by some off chance you recognize the work and know where I can find the artist, let me know!  I’d love to have that Goddess hanging on my new bedroom wall.


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