Bedroom Statement Wall (with a Sharpie!)

As promised, I’m here to showcase my recent bedroom update! I’ve been a follower of Mandi’s wonderful site Vintage Revivals for a while now. Usually I just drool over her amazing room reveals, but after seeing one of her recent office makeovers and this tutorial for wallpaper with a Sharpie, something about that design just stuck in my head and I couldn’t get it out. And you know what they say when you can’t get something out of your head?

“Take a Sharpie pen to your wall and recreate that masterpiece!” Is that not what they say?

Well, that’s what I said, and my bedroom now thanks me for it.Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.comI’ve been wanting something to take my bedroom in a more graphic direction, and the wall behind my bed was screaming for some attention. Seriously, it was hard to sleep at night. I decided to use black to really keep true to the high contrast look and to start to tie in some of the black picture frames I have on a shelf above my TV as well as the oil rubbed bronze handles on my vanity and nightstand.

I changed up some of the math in Mandi’s tutorial to better suit my needs (aka to better accommodate the tools I had on hand). I also started by drawing out the whole pattern in pencil first. I think this step probably tripled my work time, but for me it was totally worth it. I was a little worried that the pattern might not play nicely with the other prints I already have going on in there (namely my duvet and curtain), and tracing the design in pencil first helped me decide that they all seemed to be friends right away. The whole project took me about 5 hours on day 1 to draw out the pencil lines and about 3 hours on day 2 to trace everything with the Sharpie pen. All in all, not a bad time investment for such a dramatic effect. Plus, I got to watch – ok, listen to –  a few episodes of Doctor Who on Netflix while I worked and I got twice the arm workout! Guns of steel!Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.comI don’t have a good picture of the pencil lines all drawn out because they were pretty much impossible to see in photos, but you can sort of catch a hint of them in that picture on the left. After the pencil lines, I used a Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Pen in black to trace the whole design.

My straight edge was only 6 inches wide (as opposed to Mandi’s 6.5 inches) so I decided that rather than stress out about that 1/2 inch, I’d just leave only 6 inches between all my vertical lines. I did, however, measure out 6.5 inches for all of the arrow points because I was worried the missing 1/2 inch might be more noticeable in that part of the design and didn’t want to end up with arrow points that were too shallow.

So basically: Start in the middle of your wall and draw a straight line from ceiling to floor. Definitely use a level when doing this otherwise you’ll very easily end up with a crooked final result! Then, measure 6 inches and draw another ceiling-to-floor straight line (or simply trace a line down the other side of your ruler if it’s 6 inches wide like mine). Keep at it until you have vertical lines all the way across your wall. It should look something like a jail cell at this point.

Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.comYou definitely want to start measuring your vertical lines in the center of your wall so your design is cut off evenly on the edges rather than only on one side. This will keep the finished result balanced and beautiful!

When you first start using the Sharpie pen, you may need to press the tip down into a paper towel to begin the paint flow process. I also found it helpful to keep that paper towel around while I was tracing my design to periodically wipe down the edges of my ruler. This seemed to help cut down on my smudging quite a bit. Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.comCopycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.comYou can see my design looks unfinished at this point, but I decided to leave just the pencil marks on spots of the wall that I knew furniture would cover – behind my bookshelf and the space just above my bed where my pillows (and future headboard) hide the wall. I thought this would help me save some paint (which it totally did – I only needed one Sharpie pen for the whole wall!), and the pre-measured and pre-drawn pencil marks will make it really easy to fill in those spaces if I ever do decide to rearrange my furniture.

Once your jail cell is finished, go back to that middle line, measure down from the ceiling 6.5 inches, and put a little dot. Measure and dot the same way on every other vertical line. Then connect the point where line meets ceiling to each dot. You should have a row of little arrow points (^^^^) now!

Next, measure 6.5 inches down from each lowest point and put a little dot on that same line. Then mark 6.5 inches down from that point on the skipped lines. Connect your dots. To get the double line effect on the arrow points, I followed Mandi’s suggestion and measured one inch from each of my low points. Then, I connected that new lowest point to the same place I’d been connecting the original lines. You’re basically just making a steeper angle.

From this point, you pretty much just go to town following that same pattern until you’ve covered the wall. Just remember that every time you start a new row, you begin by measuring 6.5 inches down from the lowest point. My brain kept wanting to mark the wrong lines every time I started a new row, and I inadvertently ended up switching to chevrons (rather than arrow points) in the middle of my design. Oops. This is what made me so happy that I took the time to trace this all out in pencil first. All I had to do at that point was erase my errant lines and draw them properly. Pre-planning FTW!Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.comMy bedroom was a bit of a disaster during this whole process since I basically just pulled all the furniture that usually lives on that wall into the center of the room and proceeded to climb over it whenever I needed to get to my closet on the other side of the bed. A new statement wall and a chance to practice my parkour: double win for me! You can also clearly see the little space I left unpainted above my bed in these pictures. It’s impossible to tell, but I promise the pencil lines are there.Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.comTa-da! Finished! I’m definitely loving the final result and am so happy that I decided to just go for it and try something this bold. I’m usually too afraid to commit to huge statements like this, but I’m hoping the grand success of this project will help check my nerves in the future. I can’t believe what a huge difference this pattern makes on the feel of the whole room!Copycat: Vintage Revivals Sharpie Wallpaper | clarkuscat.wordpress.comI’m definitely realizing just how badly I need to find a headboard and some artwork for all that empty space above the bed now. It’s funny how adding a huge, bold design on all that blank space actually makes the lack of headboard and art even more noticeable. I think the final direction of this wall will definitely depend on the look of the headboard I do find, so I’m off to scour some thrift shops!

Have any of you tackled a project inspired by someone else? Any major statement walls in your home?

Changes, Ch-ch-ch-changes!

I’ve been back on the home front for about a week now and am so excited to get back to my regularly-scheduled blog posts. Hooray! I had a wonderful time on the West Coast for the past 2 months, but it definitely feels even more wonderful to be sleeping in my own bed, surrounded by my own home.

On that note, I’ve already started lots of projects around the apartment. I’m hoping to reveal the first one next Friday, so be sure to be on the lookout for that! Those of you who have been following for a while (and paying close attention) might already have a guess about what it is! A few other projects will be rolling out shortly after that. I feel like I’m giving my whole apartment a facelift for the new school year – back-to-school shopping for the home, I suppose! :)

First, let’s look at how far we’ve come in a year.Apartment Tour: One Year Later | clarkuscat.wordpress.com

This is the front door, the entry hall, and a glimpse into both the kitchen and the dining room. Remember that carpet wall? It haunts your dreams, doesn’t it?

Kitchen and Hall | clarkuscat.wordpress.comGood news! The carpet wall is no more! I also added a deep shade of charcoal to that back wall in both the kitchen and the dining room. The color is Behr Ultra Amazon Stone, and it has a lot of brown in it which I hoped would tie into the carpet, tile, and cabinets, all of which unfortunately I’m stuck with).Dining Room Wall Paint | clarkuscat.wordpress.comDining & Kitchen | clarkuscat.wordpress.comKitchen Stove Wall | clarkuscat.wordpress.comEntry Hall, Kitchen, Living Room | clarkuscat.wordpress.com

Since this photo is giving us a sneak peak into the living room. let’s take at look at how that’s shaped up over the last year.

Here’s where we started:Living & Dining Before | clarkuscat.wordpress.comLiving Room Wall Paint | clarkuscat.wordpress.comAnd here’s here’s how it’s been sitting for the past year:Living Room | clarkuscat.wordpress.comDining Room | clarkuscat.wordpress.comThe bathroom hasn’t changed much, but I did upgrade the mirror. Unfortunately, I’m stuck with the scones, so I’m doing my best to make them work stop being annoyed every time I look at them.
Bathroom | clarkuscat.wordpress.comBathroom-MirrorI also got a new, bright shower curtain with this pretty leafy pattern. The white waffle fabric and the bright green pattern really help to liven up this room since it doesn’t have a window.

Bathroom Curtain | clarkuscat.wordpress.comThe bedroom got a minor facelift (as in it got some furniture and linens, but I’m working on the biggest change in there as I type this – okay, not as I type this, but I have been working on it all day today!). The bedroom also got a coat of paint in Behr Ultra Manhattan Mist. It’s a really lovely light gray color. I worried that it would be drab and dark at first (since the bedroom really only has that one small, awkward window), but the color actually just warmed up the stark white walls.Bedroom Before | clarkuscat.wordpress.comBedroom | clarkuscat.wordpress.comThe bedroom is still looking a little college rental/dorm room even after a year, but I’m hoping my new wall treatment (hopefully to be revealed Friday!), some more artwork on the walls, an actual headboard (still on the hunt for one), getting rid of that fan (which was supposed to be there just for moving day, whoops), a rug, and a few other small touches will help make this space a little more comfy bedroom, a little less college dorm.

Okay, phew, that was a long intro. Let’s talk about my new plans, shall we?

Hall – I really want to add some sort of subtle graphic pattern to the walls in the hall. I have a few pictures of da Clarkus hanging on one of the walls right now, but it just feels like it needs something punchy to really wake up that space. I’m currently debating a few options, and that will probably be the project I tackle next after the bedroom wall I’m currently working on.

Dining Room – I’m working on a new gallery wall of black and white artwork for that deep charcoal wall. It’s coming along great so far, but I’m still on the hunt for about 10 more white frames to finish it off. I can’t wait to show to you all!

Bedroom – I’m currently in the middle of a big wall update in this room which I really hope will add a nice dimension to the room and give it something special. I’m still hunting for a headboard and a new side table (my little IKEA one I have now has definitely seen better days), but I just haven’t found anything I’m in love with yet. I’ll probably throw together some sort of mood board of options in the next couple weeks if I still haven’t found anything just to help me narrow down what I actually want for the space.

And, there they are: my 3 big works-in-progress at the moment. I’m excited to begin adjusting my spaces again! Anybody else out there making some big changes on the home front? I’d love to hear about them!

Can Anyone Point Me to a Good Map?

After mentioning my wish to visit as many lighthouses as possible in last week’s post, I’ve started thinking about a way to document my progress towards this goal. Of course, I’m always snapping pictures everywhere I go nowadays, but I visited quite a few lighthouses as a child before I had a cellphone or a DSLR or a blog. I wanted to find a way to compile all of these experiences together in a visual way, but I also wanted to do this in a way that would allow me to add to this record over time as my list grows.

That’s when I remembered a friend of mine who keeps track of all the places she’s visited using push pins on a wall map of the world. I know quite a few people who do this, and it seems like the perfect solution.

I headed to the Google machine immediately to hunt down a map of US lighthouses, but after realizing this might not exist, I changed my search to a simple map of the US. I figure I can get two colors of push pins: one for lights I’ve visited and one for lights I still want to see. Simple enough, right?

Except, I’m stumped. I can’t find a map of the US that I actually like (and that is big enough for a zillion push pins).

This one from AllPosters.com intrigued me, but it’s so small.Stylized US Map (Allposters.com)I also found this one on AllPosters.com. It’s nice because it’s the right size, and the colors coordinate with most of my current décor. I’m still not completely in love, though, because I’m thinking something that makes it a little easier to pinpoint specific lighthouse locations for accurate push pinning would be nice. Plus, if this map is going to become part of my apartment wall décor, I want to be sure I’m happy with it, and I’m not completely sold on the background of this map.Modern USA Map (AllPosters.com)

I’d love something with at least some major cities labeled, but I also want to avoid the look of an atlas page hanging on my wall. Most of what I’ve found is along the lines of the map below, but this definitely feels too road-trip-planner to me.National Geopgraphic USA Map (AllPosters.com)So here is my plea: does anyone know of a good source for interesting maps?

First Friday Five: Santa Cruz, CA

Somehow it’s August already. How did that happen? Someone please help me out here.

July?… July?… July?

I hope everyone read that in a Ben Stein voice.

Here are my top five favorite things about Santa Cruz, CA (accompanied by relevant Instagram shots):

1. REDWOODS. I really don’t think anything else needs to be said. Seriously, standing beneath a redwood is one of the most amazing experiences, and UCSC (where I’ve been staying for the past 2 weeks) is literally built in a redwood forest. UHH-mazing.

UCSC Redwoods | clarkuscat.wordpress.com

2. The Pacific Ocean. Dudes and dudettes, I got to put my feet in the Pacific Ocean. This is a big deal for this Florida girl.Pacific Ocean | clarkuscat.wordpress.com

3. The weather. I never thought I’d be anywhere that required me to wear a cardigan in July. It almost sounds like a joke, but it’s a glorious reality here in the Cruz.Pacific Ocean | clarkuscat.wordpress.com

4. Walton Lighthouse. I have this dream to visit as many of the lighthouses in the US as I possibly can before I die, and Santa Cruz allowed me to check one more off my list. Hooray!Walton Lighthouse | clarkuscat.wordpress.com5. Sea Lions! I was exploring the boardwalk last weekend, and stumbled across a little dock covered in sea lions taking a nap. It felt like something out of a dream or a movie. Unreal.Sea Lions | clarkuscat.wordpress.comAnd a few more pictures just for fun! I’ve only been here for 2 weeks so far, but these last 2 photos are my favorite. I love the way they capture the vibe of this city.

Santa Cruz Boardwalk | clarkuscat.wordpress.comSanta Cruz Trains | clarkuscat.wordpress.com

Oh yeah, photos.

So remember when I promised I would post photos tomorrow? Well somehow tomorrow came and went about 11 more times before now when I finally have a moment to breathe.

I’ve had an amazing time this summer exploring new cities, meeting and getting to know fantastic new people, and teaching amazingly wonderful kids, but I haven’t had much time for my own pursuits (including, sadly, blogging!). I’m so far behind on my blog reader that the number of unread posts is actually slightly terrifying right now.

So, without further ado, these are some of the photos I managed to snap while in Seattle for the past month. These are SOOC (straight out of camera) and in no particular order. I’m hoping to do a before and after feature with these photos when I get back home in August, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that.

Side Note: Has anyone ever thought about that phrase? It’s so second nature to say as an idiom, but how painful does that sound: “eyes peeled”? Ugh. Gross.

Anyway, here are the photos!

Seattle Pike Place | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Seattle Waterfront | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Seattle Left Hand Books | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Seattle Pike Place | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Seattle Pike Place | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Seattle Alki Beach | clarkuscat.wordpress.com Seattle Alki Beach | clarkuscat. wordpress.com

There will be many more to come! As well as many from my new location in Santa Cruz, CA!

Pictures and posts will be a bit slow over the next 3 weeks, though, as I wrap up teaching another class!

 

First Friday Faves: Seattle Edition

I’ve been absent for a few days, but it’s not because I don’t love you guys. It’s because I’ve been traveling across the country! I’ve been in Seattle, WA for the past week!

This is incredibly exciting to me since I’ve never actually traveled further west than Chicago before. What? I know: crazy. But, all has been remedied, and I’m in Seattle now. It’s also the Fourth of July, and I am super excited for FIREWORKS. I seriously love fireworks, so any celebration that involves some kind of pyrotechnic show is a party I want to attend.

I’ll be posting some Seattle pictures over the weekend, but for now First Friday Faves: Seattle Edition.

1. THE WEATHER! You guys, it is July. It is July, and the projected high temperature is 74 degrees! I am in heaven, and my cardigans have been getting lots of love.

2. The greenery. I’ll be posting some pictures of this tomorrow, but man, oh man, is Seattle a gorgeous city or what. There are trees and green spaces everywhere, and I am beyond happy. The flowers also smell amazing just after it rains.

3. My host institution. I’m staying at Seattle University while I’m out here because I’m actually here for work – yep, I’m teaching a summer class on Detective Fiction! The campus is not only gorgeous (pictures to come!), but it also has delicious food and amazing people.

4. The people! Everyone here is so wonderfully friendly! I just met most all of my coworkers for the very first time, but I feel like I’ve known them forever. Even the people I meet on the streets are incredibly friendly and happy. It’s so refreshing to visit such a vibrant and joyous city.

5. FIREWORKS! because it needs to be mentioned again.

Runner, Runner

I’ve had Luke’s Bryan’s “That’s My Kind of Night” stuck in my head ever since I heard it on the radio earlier this afternoon. Seriously CANNOT. GET. IT. OUT. I don’t mind so much, though. Country music always reminds me of home and my family. Also, that song always makes me think of the movie 21. That’s right: “winner, winner, chicken dinner.”

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let’s get down to actual business. I mentioned recently that I’ve decided to pick up running as a way to become more active, maybe lose a few pounds, and just generally take better care of myself, so after a quick trip to my local Nike Outlet store, I’m all decked out and ready to go. And, by that, I mean I bought a pair of running shoes, a sports bra, and some sweat-wicking clothes. I feel fancy.Running Clothes | clarkuscat.wordpress.com

I also know that I want to be smart about this new endeavor, so I’ve been doing a lot of research on how to ease myself into a running routine. After consulting about 100 blogs, a few friends, and Runner’s World (they have an amazing “Get Started” section on their website), I pieced together a nice plan that I think will work for me.

I plan to spend the first 4 weeks working up my stamina, so I’ll be following a “Walk to Jog” program. This program will have me up and moving 3 days a week for 15 minutes each day. I’m currently planning a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule, but I’ll have to see how that goes when school starts up again in the Fall. I might make some adjustments.

For the first 2 weeks, I plan to start each session with a 5-minute walk to warm up. Then, I’ll move into an alternating pattern of jog for 30 seconds, walk for 1 minute, jog for 30 seconds (for a total of 5 minutes) followed up by a 5-minute cool down walk.

For the second 2 weeks, I plan to continue my 5-minute walking warm up, but I’ll switch my jog, walk, jog pattern so that I’m now jogging for 1 minute, walking for 30 seconds, jogging for 1 minute, and so on and so forth. Then, I’ll end with my 5-minute cool down walk.

After those 4 weeks, I’m hoping that getting up, outside, and moving will be at least somewhat habitual, and I plan to graduate up to this Beginning Running Guide from The Fit Girls. Even though The Fit Girls says their programs were designed for moms, I don’t think they’ll mind my borrowing them. Fingers crossed. Hahaha.Running Shoes | clarkuscat.wordpress.com

I’m also looking into a few stretching, flexibility, and yoga/Pilates plans for the “off” days in my running regiments. As a child and teenager, I spent 13 years of my life as a dancer. By the time I hit middle school, I was spending more time at the dance studio than anywhere else. By high school, I was probably spending 40 hours a week in the studio, so having an active life is something I’ve definitely felt the benefits of in the past. I also really miss some of the flexibility and strength I had as a dancer, so I’m hoping to be able to recover even a little of what I had. I know I’ll never be the same as I was then, but I also feel like it will be nice to pay tribute to the work that essentially defined my childhood. I do really miss it sometimes.

So, thar she blows. That’s my humble plan to become a bonafide runner. I’ll keep you all updated with my progress, any revisions to my plans, and any and all flexibility/strength programs I try out!

Anybody else just getting into a new exercise habit? Any runners out there with tips for a noob like me?

 

Bedroom Update Plan Part 1

Hey there! Post #1 of the new and improved CLARKUScat. Can I get a “hell yeah!”?

Anyway, remember way back when I was thinking about starting from square one with my bedroom? Well, I came across this office makeover on Vintage Revivals a few weeks ago, and I have not been able to stop thinking about that gorgeous wall treatment ever since!

I mean, come on! With a Sharpie. Amazing. If you haven’t checked out Vintage Revivals yet, definitely do so immediately. I’m in love with almost every project and room reveal Mandi posts!

After mopping up the drool all over my keyboard, I realized that a wall treatment like that would probably actually work pretty well on that big empty wall behind my bed. Remember this bad boy?

Bedroom | clarkuscat.wordpress.comPerfect blank canvas! So, I’ve created a new Update Plan for my bedroom. I’m really excited about this new direction for two reasons.

1. because I can use most of what I already have (and love) instead of purchasing new items!

2. because I think it will grow with me a bit more easily than the other one.

My style seems to be experiencing a bit of a transitional period, and lately I’ve found myself more and more drawn to graphic elements, clean lines, and lots of black and white patterns. Don’t get me wrong, I still love that vintage, cozy, lived-in vibe, but I’m definitely looking for ways to “clean up” my style a bit. This faux wallpaper is the perfect way to add that bold graphic pop I’ve been wanting in my bedroom! The best part: it’s totally renter friendly!

I’ll probably be following Mandi’s tutorial (found here) and I’ll definitely be posting new pictures of the process and the final result. For now, I have an updated inspiration board just to visualize how all of my existing pieces will integrate with a new statement wall.

Bedroom Update Plan Part 1 | CLARKUScat.wordpress.com

Anyone else feeling the itch to add something bold and graphic to your home? Share your adventures in the comments!

Revisions to the Blogging Schedule

After trying my hand at this whole blogging thing for a bit, I’ve learned a whole lot.

1. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
2. Even though I still have no very little idea what I’ve gotten into, I kinda love it.

But, as the title of this post suggests, I’ve decided to revise my original plan re: when I’ll be posting and what I’ll be posting on (only minorly, don’t freak out!).

Essentially, I’ve decided to scale back to a few “features” (for lack of a better explanatory label) that will appear on a regular rotating basis. This way I won’t feel as much pressure to be churning out projects every other day (resulting in mediocre ideas for you and a cranky me). More importantly, I’ll be able to focus more specifically on the things that I am passionate about and intensely interested in exploring.

I know what you’re thinking, cut to the chase and explain the changes already! All right, all right. Calm down.

I’m imagining the “features” will include (not necessarily in this order):

Apartment and DIY Updates

This is really why I started CLARKUScat way back in the beginning (about three months ago), so I definitely want to keep it going; however, with my hectic work schedule (I am a full-time doctoral student and writing instructor, after all), I’m just not able to complete projects and updates as often as I’d like. My studies and my students must come first. Cutting back on these posts will allow me to post more substantial updates that have been planned and implemented well rather than rushed and half-a**ed. These posts may include small things (like my succulent garden project), larger updates I make to my space (including paint, wall treatments, new furniture editions, etc.), inspiration boards to help me generate ideas (like this sample office board and this bedroom board), or even shopping/wish lists as I create them.

I feel very passionate about crafting a living space that I love, but I am often dismayed by many of the (albeit fabulous and utterly amazing) decor/DIY blogs I love because most, if not all, of the updates are projects that I simply can’t do in my rental space. I don’t want to be limited by the fact that I rent, though, because the reality is I will probably be renting for a good while before I purchase a home. I love love love the idea of taking inspiration from some of the bloggers I follow and admire and finding ways to create updates that I adore in my rental. Just because I rent is no reason not to love the space in which I live.

First Friday Faves

This is a feature that I’ve already begun to implement posted about once before (see that post here), but that I really like. I love to scour the Interwebs for fun products and sites, so I’m definitely still very interested in sharing my finds here with you. Each list will be centered around a theme that will arise from the time of the post (ie. what I’ve been inspired by recently, holidays, gift ideas, clothing items I want or need, etc.) and will contain five items (maybe more if I’ve had a particularly fruitful time on the Internet.

Photography Experiments

I’ve recently invested in a DSLR (a Nikon D3200) and am dedicated to learning more about photography. I’m hoping to post some of my sample images, experiences, and tips (here’s hoping I actually have some ;)). I think it’ll be a fun little way to document my progress, and I’m really excited to have a forum to share my experiences!

Project Life Experiences

As those of you who have been reading along (that’s right, I’m talking to you, my five followers! You guys are awesome!) already know, I’ve recently begun my very first Project LIfe album (I’m using Becky Higgins’ system via a mix of digital and traditional paper pages). You can find my Project Life posts and freebie downloads by clicking those links in the menu under the header image! I’m really excited to continue creating freebies!

Cooking and Running

This is something entirely new to me (and to CLARKUScat as it was originally conceived), but it has become a major facet of my life recently. I’ve struggled with my health in the past (nothing major, but enough to impact my daily habits and lifestyle at this point) and have recently (as of about a year and a half ago now) dropped gluten from my diet in an attempt to better control my symptoms. I’m also a vegetarian and a totally and completely terrified kitchen noob. This means that upon first eliminating gluten from my diet, I relied on a lot of specialty products, spent a fortune feeding myself, and recently gained quite a bit of weight because of this bad habit. I’ve made it a personal goal of mine to conquer my culinary fears and to invest more of my time into exercise because, you know, Elle Woods makes a compelling argument. I’m not sure exactly what shape these updates will take here, but I’m excited to include this facet of my life with all the others. I also hope my experiences can help others who struggle with various health issues or dietary restrictions.

So, 886 words later, I come to the conclusion that I am much happier about this plan moving forward. I was beginning to feel stressed out about CLARKUScat recently, and that feeling shook me into some introspection. This blog is supposed to be an enjoyable release, not an additional source of anxiety (trust me, I have enough of those. Shnikeys.)

I’ll hope you’ll follow along if you’re new or stick around if you’re one of the first five! Let’s do this thing. :D

 

 

Project Life: June Freebies

Hooray for a solution to my technical problems. It certainly helps to have 3 brothers who are each incredibly computer savvy when trying to diagnose and solve blogging issues. Three cheers for them!Freebie: June 2014 Project Life

Anyway, I’m back with a new freebie for all of you Project Lifers out there. This month I realized that I really want a way to divide the months of the year in my books, so after googling around a bit, I realized that I can purchase 6×12 page protectors. This seems like a perfect solution for a divider, so I created a few different layouts that I thought would be fun to try. CLARKUScat_June-Freebies_2014-Dividers

Download Here

As you can tell, there are 5 different templates (downloaded as layered PSD files). I thought some of those little squares would be fun for a snapshot of Instagram pics from the month or even a fun way to add little bits of patterns/colors that will be used throughout the month – this way you aren’t limited to one color for the whole year, but the book remains cohesive with each monthly divider setting the tone for a new color palette. The vertical stripes could be used in the same way, and the horizontal could even be used for some “Monthly Highlights” journaling. There are many many options, but I think I’ll probably use these as I’ve outlined here.

I hope you enjoy! I’m curious to know: do you guys divide your albums by month? Do you put them together as 365 projects? Simply put pages together as you get pictures or by holiday/major event? I’m a total noob, so I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!