Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Limitless Possibilities

art history notes slides coffee and biscuits
Last minute cramming for my art history final; fueled by coffee and Crabtree and Evelyn Christmas Pudding Biscuits

I took my last final of the semester yesterday. I am not going to sugarcoat it...this semester was HARD. Not because of the work. It was the normal amount of challenging yet interesting. I learned so much more about art history, and by extension, world history. Somehow I avoided world history in high school.

I also learned how to draw. Again, I somehow managed to avoid taking art class in high school. Not because I tried to avoid art class, but because my "arts" elective was the high school newspaper. I had every intention of being a newspaper reporter when I grew up. I didn't become a journalist or grow up (probably).

drawing white color pencil on black jennifer cameron
Drawing I did for my final portfolio from a photo I took of my cat in my drawing class. White colored pencil on black matboard
No, this semester was hard because I just didn't want to do the work. I very much enjoy interacting with people and learning new things, but I'm done with homework. DONE. I spent the entire semester dreaming up all the things I could be doing instead of what I was doing. At this point, I know I need to take at least a semester off rather than continuing to pay for something that I don't have the heart to do right now.

As the semester was winding down, I started thinking very seriously about my goals, wants and needs...much more than the normal "end of the calendar year" goal setting we all seem to do in the days immediately surrounding January 1 (which is only TWO WEEKS AWAY, people!). Then some interesting links caught my attention which have sort of affected my goals.

#1 - I accidentally came across a planner on Kickstarter called the Spark Planner, which looks amazing, but they were already sold out on December deliveries, they are more expensive than doing a regular bullet journal, and they had an option of getting a free PDF (see update about the PDF at the bottom of this post!) if sharing the Kickstarter link on social media. So I went that route so I can explore what the Spark Planner is about to possibly order it later down the road. The PDF is pretty amazing and the Spark Planner would make a fantastic planner. But that's not even the best part.

spark planner, sparknote, goals, planning
Photo from the Spark Planner order page 
I am now on the email list, which is not usually a great thing, especially this time of year when companies are sending 2 and 3 emails EVERY SINGLE DAY. However, being on Kate Matsudaira's email list has resulted in one email each week; which have been very valuable. The last two emails have included worksheets for planning for the upcoming year. They are not necessarily only business driven, but are broad enough to include anything. Lucky for everyone, the first worksheet is posted on the spark notebook blog. I assume this means the second one will be posted as well, which I hope is the case. This particular worksheet has been extremely thought provoking for me and now that school is done, I look forward to actually making notes on it. It primarily delves into personal relationships and what people will say about you at your funeral and what you want your legacy to be. Like I said, very thought provoking.

In spite of the beauty of the Spark Planner, I am still very dedicated to my bullet journal method of planning my life. But I'm always on the lookout for something better. I will continue the bullet journal, but alter it, and incorporate some of these spark planner goals/journal entries, etc in my bullet journal. My current bullet journal is about half full, but the spine is falling apart (it was a clearanced piccadilly journal from Barnes and Noble) so I ordered a Leuchtturm 1917 medium squared, which reviewers swear is a high quality notebook/journal. Also, quite frankly, I like the idea of starting a new bullet journal for the new year. It's an empty book of possibilities!
leuchtturm 1917 squared bullet journal
My brand new Leuchtturm 1917 medium squared notebook/journal for bullet journaling.

#2 - As I mentioned, I took a drawing class this semester. On the first day of class the teacher made us draw three pictures as a skill baseline. We had to draw our hand (mine looked more alien than human), a full portrait of someone we know from memory (HA! My husband might leave me if he ever saw how I drew him), and we had to do a self portrait while looking in the mirror. He had us write our impressions on the back of these pictures. On my self portrait I said I didn't have a nose because I had erased it so many times because it looked too much like male genitals. Anyway, my new drawing skills were VERY hard won. One of my biggest personal goals is to continue to develop them and delve into more media, trying things out, seeing what speaks to me. I don't remember how or where, but this yearlong online mixed media and art journaling course called Wanderlust came to my attention. After thinking about it for a while, seeing the class schedule, and the very good price, I decided to sign up. 

Wanderlust 2016 online mixed media class

In addition to the above, I'm excited to get back to the studio on a regular basis. When I don't have classes, I'm playing catch-up in all the other areas of my life. My studio desperately needs a purge and reorganization. This is my number one priority once Christmas is over.

My extremely messy studio

Because I love learning and hate homework, one of my big goals is to attend classes of interest when I can get to them. A high priority is to increase my metalworking and beadweaving skills. It's been a long time since I've taken any fun technique based classes. I've kind of become obsessed with beadweaving, even attempting my first glass cabochons. Yes, I will be making lots more. In addition I definitely want to feed my glass skills. I've barely done any lampworking in the last 1.5 years.

bead embroidery, glass cab, glass addictions, jen cameron, seed beads
A recent bead embroidered piece using one of my glass cabs. 

I want to feed my brain in other ways. More reading, less time plugged in. I finish several audibooks a year with all the time I spend driving, but I need to spend quality time with regular books and magazines and less time with pop culture type junk articles. I also want to bind more books after my one experience with Jenny teaching us how at the lake house bead retreat a few months ago.

I also have big plans to do some home improvement projects and some volunteering, continue with running and maybe setting some new goals with that. I am super excited to get started! With the weight of homework off my shoulders, I feel like the possibilities are endless and I'm ready to start today. However, first I am going to spend some quality time enjoying the Christmas season, watch some Christmas movies, eat cookies, wrap presents and decorate the house.

What types of goals do you have? How do you keep track of these goals and when will you begin to implement them?

Update: I just saw this on the Spark Notebook Facebook page


  1. Loved this post. I'm kind of a planner nerd, so I'm now anxious to read about that. At your suggestion, I've already signed up for the email list. Thanks.

    1. Hey Linda! I know we both love the bullet journal, but I updated this post last night for how you can get a free PDF of the spark planner that I happened to see on their Facebook page last night


We would love to hear what you have to say, please leave a comment.