Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Books and BuJo Evaluation

You know how keen I have been with my BuJo. It has kept me on track with everyday activities, goals, dreams and bigger happenings. I believe keeping BuJo can have a life changing effect like they say. Somehow it becomes easier to notice how you spend your time and what you want more in your life when you sit down and go through days with a tracker or draw a future log.

You see how enthusiastic I am. Still when summer came time started to run so fast that I almost entirely skipped making July monthly spread and tracker. I was surprised how quickly I lost the touch to all great things I wanted to achieve. It is not so much about having a calendar but the process of writing down activities, goals and plans that are important to you. Investing time for the thinking process already makes future plans more real, at least for me. I noticed that when being organised with my BuJo my head was organized too and I could work from task to another systematically. As soon as I didn´t seem to find time to draw the monthly spread and go through the goals I began to run from task to task without getting anything done. Now that I know how important it is for me to write BuJo I am more motivated. Today I spend hours making August monthly spread with care. It is still over a week until August but I decided to be early just in case finding time later would be difficult. 

I have made some changes to my BuJo during the last two months. I have my calendar as I had before. Tracker has now less things to track. I have removed activities I feel I have no need to track. Mostly I like to see that I am getting enough exercise, that I reach my reading goals and keep blog posts in somewhat regular. I also felt that keeping blog ideas and blogging calendar on a one page was practical, so I have kept it that way. 

New thing on August is personal development goals. Some weeks ago I made a mind map considering professional development and free time activity possibilities here in my home town. Summer months are quiet here and I wondered if here is anything to do ever :D I listed down all interesting groups, hobbies, courses, lectures and happenings. Usually most of the activities start at the August or September after having a summer pause. I thought that looking all choices in advance makes it more likely that I really take part in some. Short days (what comes to light) and busy schedule makes it easy to start skipping free time activities even though I know I would feel refreshed afterwards. Now I got all written down and I have already signed in to some. 

The other side of the personal development has been to think about who I want to be and what things are important for me. I have been thinking what is the field I want to work in the future and what skills I need to develop to achieve my goals.  I admire people who spend time learning new and who have a sense what goes in the world. Reading and studying has always been my Hermione Granger type answer and that is what I want to do more in the future. That means reading goals and trackers will be used :) And maybe I will take few interesting courses in Autumn. 

In June I made a reading plan that has proven to be useful. I haven´t read yet all categories mainly because I didn´t have the tracker and I sort of missed  a few days.  But I have already read four books to these categories: long book, classic, new 2017 and not originally English.  Especially new book and not originally in English language book were challenging because I didn´t want to go the easy way, it being to pick Finnish literature to both :D I have a list of interesting releases from this year but finding them from the library was tricky and I didn´t want to go and buy them from a shop. What comes to book that is not originally published in English I was surprised how many of the popular books have been written in English. Still after having challenges these are reading plan categories I am most stubborn to maintain. Reading literature from different countries opens wider horizons. One of the benefits of living in a small language area is that a lot of effort is done to translate literature from all over the world to Finnish language!

What I have read since last reading update:

Long book: Barbara Kingsolver: The Poisonwood Bible (1998). Price missionary family is moving to Belgian Congo in 1959. Family's dad's decision to move affects to his wife and four daughters who have to survive relying on each other what ever obstacles they come across.  Political situation in Congo has been cleverly pictured between mundane happenings. Conflicts between the Price family and local people question the western all knowing attitude. Experience affects every family member in a different way which was interesting to read.

Not originally in English: Svetlana Aleksijevits: War's Unwomanly Face (orig. 1985 but I read the extended version that came out 2017 in Finnish). This book is a document of Soviet women who took part to the second world war. Aleksijevits interviewed 200 women who had been in the war in different positions. Living descriptions of the wartime reality and it's inhumanly dark shades are heavy to read. Aleksijevits' one goal has been to write a book that makes war so unappealing that new wars wouldn´t begin. Even though the events women tell about are unimaginably horrible the once you open the book you have to read it through. Women's stories open a new brutal side to the heroic war tales.

Classic: Michael Cunningham: The Hours (1998). I found this book from thrift store and thought it is time to read this modern classic. I have to say that when the writer is right a lot can be said in a small number of pages (239 pages in the Finnish translation). Book moves in three time levels telling about one day in three woman's lives. All three life stories are connected by Virginia Woolf's novel Mrs. Dalloway in some way. Virginia Woolf is in the middle of the writing process, Mrs. Brown is reading the novel and Vanessa is doing last minute preparations for a party. It is beautifully written how one day can sum a whole lifetime.

New 2017: Mohsin Hamid: Exit West (2017). Great read that really surprised me. It is a love story of Nadia and Saeed who have to leave their home city when militants take over and it becomes difficult to plan a future. When reading I noticed that the plot was actually nothing but traditional. Time was blurred with elements of past, present and future avoiding straight forward connections to any city or country. This allowed to think the immigration theme in a much broader perspective. Thought provoking novel.


Inspirational and creative week to you all!


Thursday, 13 July 2017

Garbage Treasures: Trendy Magazine Stand

It is crazy how much good stuff goes to garbage! Great materials and quite often complete pieces of furniture that would need just a wash and few layers of paint. This magazine/book stand is one example. Or to be clear magazine/book stand is what I saw in this metallic piece, I have no idea what this has originally been. As I found this it had a little bit of rust and dirt and lacked the shelf boards. Otherwise it was in good condition, firm metal stand that could easily be transformed in to trendy home decor accessory. This stand is one of three items I found from the garbage a few weeks ago. I also had to leave lots of good stuff because I just don´t have space to all and I am already giving away some of my works. Also I am not a kind of decorator who puts all away and then starts all over again. I love to keep memories and build a layered home with elements from past and new founds. This small piece had power to change the whole furniture order in my living room area! I am quite lazy cleaner and only way to make a proper cleaning for every corner is to do it among the decorating process.

 As I said it was rusty and needed a good wash. After cleaning I used 3 in 1 metal lack in golden that goes against the rust plus gives a good firm paint cover. I applied two layers which made the look even and finished. After this I cut the shelf boards from left over board ( I have found the board from garbage as well some four years ago). I had to clean the boards too as they have been in storage for years and gotten spray paint dots and dust. So far I had used just half a can from 7€ paint.

I wanted to really transform the look and have a neatly finished and luxurious piece. One of my guilty pleasures is to buy interior magazines and books. I love to put piles of beautiful books with inspiring covers on every drawer and table. The stand would be perfect for the most beautiful books and magazines. Marble has been a trend for a while but still seems to get space in interior blogs and magazines. I thought marble looking sticky back plastic would look perfect. It was very easy to attach the marble to the shelves and the look changed completely. I used about half from a 17€ roll of sticky back plastic. Then I glued the shelves to the stand. Yet it needed stoppers so that the magazines won't slip away. I sawed the stoppers from wood and painted white. Now the look was complete! Cost of materials was about 15€ including plastic marble, paint, glue and white acrylic paint.

One of the luxuries of life is definitely clean and organized home. As it is me living in here it means that this state won't be long. Rainy days have allowed me to stay inside and finish my quilting project. I started the project on Easter and still it is in progress. Today I might get all the parts ready and attached to each other so the next step will be stitching the layers together. I will show pictures of that on social media and blog. What I can promise is that my quilt really puts colorful in to a new level! I have already shared photos from the mid part and the borders are at least as colorful :) It is wonderful to stay indoors sewing even though it means fabric dust spreading all over the house. Well, home is for living, right?

Have a great Thursday and Weekend Friends!