simple + inexpensive artwork

Ben's "big boy room" has been a bit of a work-in-progress over the last month. We moved him into his toddler bed two weeks ago on a night when he was running a fever and crying in the hallway pointing to the nursery saying "Ben's room other way." Wow. That was painful. But we had to do it, as I'm due with baby number two in about four weeks. I haven't been super inspired by this room, but the other day I pulled out some of my favorite papers from the Project Life Midnight Edition and found some inspiration. I already had an Ikea Ribba frame with an 11.5 inch square mat. I went with the white-on-black handwritten design from the kit, taped it to the back of the mat, and that was it. No cutting, no paint, no glue, and the whole thing cost me under $1.00 since I re-used a frame.

Scrapbooking papers have come such a long way. There are beautiful, colorful, modern designs available everywhere. And there's no need to purchase a whole kit. Just wander the paper aisle at Michael's, pick a single page, and pop it into a frame. Easy breezy. And if you're lucky, you'll get some toddler assistance with your selection.
Sources: Project Life Midnight Edition papers available HERE / Ikea Ribba frame
can be found HERE / Rug is from Target / 3 Sprouts canvas toy bin available HERE
Dresser is vintage (and in need of a little repair!) 

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one little word 2014

About six weeks ago, I stumbled upon Lara Casey's blog and her posts on goal setting. In the past, I might have dismissed something like this as maybe a little fluffy or somehow not worth my time. This year, I've been learning to embrace some things that are outside my comfort zone. So I dove into this process of reflection, head first. And I dragged my sister, my husband and my brother-in-law with me. One of Lara's suggestions is to choose a word for the year. I've done this for the past couple of years as part of Ali Edwards's one little word project, so this was a no-brainer.

At the risk of sounding a little melodramatic and possibly sentimental, I'd have to say my word chose me. In thinking ahead about setting goals for the year, I was heavily focused on things I wanted to do, accomplish, fix. In reality, I'm facing a year severely limited by circumstances:

1. We don't know where we'll be living in 10 months.
2. We won't know where we'll be living until (hopefully?) about 8 weeks before we have to move.
3. We could be moving to the other side of the country. Literally.
4. In roughly 12 weeks I'm having a baby.
5. Our son struggled with debilitating skin issues for his first 12 months of life, and I've been struggling with anxiety related to health issues the new baby may have to face (and us with him).
6. We're traveling to Wisconsin this summer with a 3-month old and a toddler. Hm...
7. Despite the Navy moving us around and shifting deployment schedules, there's been some relative predictability associated with my husband's career. These next few years feel a lot more unknown.
8. I've been working more and enjoying it, but we have a lot going on this year. The timing feels strange but exciting. I'm feeling the desire to spend more time on work, but wondering if that's even possible given all we have happening.

And so, my word for twenty-fourteen is ADVENTURE.

I love the following quotation:

For me, ADVENTURE represents an attitude, an approach to change and to life in general this year. I'll be up to my elbows in diapers, potty training a toddler, waiting for military orders, packing boxes and hopefully finding time to design in the midst of it all. It's not super glamorous, but this is my life! And I'm realizing that I can either approach it with a spirit of adventure or anxiety, love or fear, hope or gloom. There's something really exciting about preparing for what is uncertain: a move to an unknown place, the birth of a child whose name we don't yet know, the push to work during a time of great change. I hope to approach it all with a spirit of adventure.

Happy twenty fourteen! I hope your year is filled with adventures of all sorts.

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the year in review

It's hard to believe it's New Year's Eve again (though not hard to believe that my plans include watching a movie with Nick and heading to bed early). The year seems to have flown by, but when I sat down to reflect a little on my favorite moments of twenty-thirteen, I couldn't believe how much has happened. 

And how much has changed in one year.

I documented some of my favorites from the year in a photo collage:

This collage will appear as an insert in my project life album. To create it, I used press plate no. 38 from Paislee Press (you can find it HERE). I love how edited the photos are - as in, there are just twelve of them recapping a big year. On the flip side of the insert, I'll include a page with the details. 

favorites from 2013

one / favorite gift
Last Christmas Ben received a Ybike from his Nana and Appa for Christmas, and the kid used it to keep up with his friends for months while he learned to walk on his own. Bless his little heart, he even scooted around on it at friends' houses. And bless those friends for letting him do it.

two / favorite deployment weekend
In March, just before Nick got home from deployment, I had a whirlwind weekend. It included a drive to LA to my Mom's house, a drive back to Fresno to witness the birth of my dear friend's little girl (while we were on FaceTime with her husband in the Middle East), a 10K race on 3 hours of sleep, and a weekend in San Diego with treasured friends. Exhausting but fun.

three / favorite new nephew
In April, I spent two weeks at my younger sister's house awaiting the arrival of my second nephew, George Thomas. He wasn't on time, but he was perfect, precious, and remains so. What a blessing he is to our family.

four / favorite milestone
I'll never forget the day Ben took his first steps. After months of worry, twice-weekly therapy, telling myself it would happen, and doing it all with Nick on a ship thousands of miles away, I turned around in Ben's room one evening to see him look at me, let go of the ottoman in his room, and stumble into my arms. Within a week he was standing up on his own, and three weeks later he walked for Nick on the flight line. I'll never again take a milestone for granted.

five / favorite reunion
One of my top three days of all time, for sure: the 2013 fly-in. Our families arrived in town and we all headed out to the flight line, where the jets land. Nick's squadron was the last to arrive, and the moment couldn't have been sweeter. Eight months without someone definitely makes you appreciate the moment they return home.

six / favorite vacation
Back in January, my friend Courtney and I booked an adults-only couples vacation to Mexico for the end of May. The amazing thing is that it actually happened! The four of us did almost nothing for six days, and it was completely glorious. Guacamole, people-watching, afternoon margaritas, the Hunger Games on Kindle, magazine-swaps and fried Oreos served on fancy dishes. Yes, please.

seven / favorite project
I didn't have time to keep up with project life while Nick was deployed, so I put together a mini album documenting those eight months. This little album was a lesson for me: the way I document things doesn't have to be done perfectly. It just has to be done.

eight / favorite friends
This year I had some incredible experiences that reminded me of all the amazing friends I have, near and far. The photo I chose represents my friends in Lemoore. I've known some for years and some for just a few months. These are the people I see everyday, and I couldn't be more fortunate. Living on a military base is like college. With spouses. And kids. Basically, it's just a whole lot of fun.

nine / favorite family photo
This is a self-portrait taken on my iPhone while we were randomly lying on the guest bed upstairs. Don't know why we were all there, but I love how this captures the three of us. Hard to believe there will be a new addition in just a few weeks.

ten / favorite retreat
In August, we spent a week on a ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We were totally unplugged: no cell phones, no internet, no TV. No stress.

eleven / favorite boys
Watching Ben and his cousin, Charlie, grow up together has been incredible. They adore each other. They're ten weeks apart and two peas in a pod.

twelve / favorite news
We're having a baby. And it's another boy. 

Happy new year to you. I hope as you reflect on the past year, you find it was filled with blessings. And I wish you nothing but the best in the year to come. xo, C

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designed to simplify

It's true confessions time, and I must confess that lately I've felt like a disorganized disaster. In past years, at this point in December I've had nearly all of our holiday shopping complete. Right now I'm fighting off a cold and walking around with about eighteen lists in my head. Last week we had six people in town for the holiday (five of them stayed at our house) and hosted 17 people for Thanksgiving dinner (12 adults + 5 kiddos). Whew. What a whirlwind. In the midst of all of the planning and craziness, I've been so preoccupied with everything swirling around in my congested head: work, holiday shopping, meal-planning, holiday parties, my December Daily album, and even goal-setting for 2014. 

It's all been a bit overwhelming, and what I've come to realize is that I've really lost sight of having a clear method for keeping everything together. I define my design aesthetic as "simple + modern," but right now my life aesthetic feels a lot more like "cluttered + chaotic." One of these things is not like the other. So I've been thinking hard about how I want to simplify my work, family, social stuff, appointments, to-do lists, etc. plus all of Nick's work stuff and his "reminders," meaning the ones he sends me from that annoying little app on his phone! 

Our current system looks something like this:

And yes, you're looking at two doctor's appointments for me and two entries for our squadron Christmas Party. That's because Nick and I are doubling up on our iCal entries. Not to mention, I don't use it religiously. It's extremely effective (she said, sarcastically). I love having a large family calendar in the house. We've used one in the past, so I've purchased one from the Sugar Paper line at Target. It's simple and beautiful, and we have the perfect, high-traffic spot for a big wall calendar. I'm a visual girl, so this works for me. And if you haven't seen these products, stop reading this post and head to Target, like, now.

The wall calendar is great, but I need some kind of detailed planner for my personal "stuff": work, projects, to-do lists, goals, etc. I was eyeing the Emily Ley Simplified Planner, but now it's sold out. Depression.

My favorite feature of the Emily Ley planner is that it has a page for each day, so I'm trying to find a substitute. One of these two could work: the Cavallini daily planner from Paper Source (left) or the daily planner from Mochi Things (right). Both meet my prerequisites of being simple and beautiful.

I'm at a point where I really need to consolidate work and life stuff, so I'm on the hunt for a planner with flexibility and lots of space allotted to each day. In this regard, something more customizable might be in order. For my birthday, my sister got me a bunch of Russell + Hazel products. They're beautiful, modern, simple and functional. Unfortunately, there's no daily schedule page for the mini binder, which is what I have (pictured below). I'm considering designing one for myself, but we'll see.

One thing I know for sure: our current system isn't working. And with my work life getting busier and our home life about to explode with a new baby and our world about to change with a possible cross-country move in ten months, one thing is certain: we have got to get serious about simplifying things. I'd love to hear what you do: electronic? paper? a mix? How do you stay organized? Any favorite products or recommendations? Let me know! 

Oh, and happy December! I promise that despite this rant I'm really excited about the holidays :) xo

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something digital

The shop is back up and running after being closed for a few days. There are a bunch of cosmetic changes and a new section of products, digital designs, which I'll be adding to over the coming weeks and months. We're still working out a few kinks, but I just did a test run on the first digital product (dream big artwork, which you can find HERE) and it appeared to work smoothly. 

dream big / 5x7 and 8x10 black and white digital art / purchase includes layered PSD files for each size which can easily be recolored / $3.00

words + letters no. 1 / 17 x PNG files sized for 4x6 photo overlays (or smaller journaling cards), 2 x  PSD journaling card templates, hand-lettered words and phrases to document the everyday / 25% off through Sunday, 11/24
Happy shopping!

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something new

I'm reopening the shop tomorrow with a little bit of a new look and a few new products. There be several more new products launching in the coming weeks, so make sure you're following greenFingerprint on bloglovin or Instagram if you're interested in getting the updates! Here's a little preview of a couple of new items coming to the shop starting tomorrow.

hand-lettering in layered PSD files, PNG files and PDFs / PNG shown here printed on a 3x4 project life card

and on a 4x6 card

artwork in JPEG and layered PSD formats / you can either print as-is with the JPEGs included or change colors in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements using the layered files

holiday cards you print yourself / Either download the PSD files and modify them yourself or pay a little more and I'll set up the file for you and email you the high-resolution JPEG so you can print on your own. Cards include designs for the front and back.

So, stay tuned for lots of design stuff to come, beginning tomorrow!

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something old

After a really fun weekend, Ben and I dropped Nick off at the airport yesterday morning and then I spent the better part of yesterday hard at work on the shop! Today and tomorrow I'm testing it out to make sure things are running smoothly. As my husband so eloquently put it: "I think people may have a low tolerance for poorly-running websites these days." Word. So I'm placing faux orders, loading up a few new products and preparing to re-open the shop on Wednesday.

There are several new products (with lots more launching in the coming weeks) and some old products. There are items you'll recognize from the blog and some that may be unfamiliar. I'm hoping there's a little something for everyone. Here's a preview of some of the "old" items that will still be available in the shop. Check back tomorrow for a preview of things to come.

sets of letterpress thank you notes
recycled stationery box sets
folded occasion cards printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper
recycled kraft mini notebooks (I'm using one of these to document the holidays!)
custom stationery sets with new options to print the designs yourself
photo card sets printed on recycled paper (you attach any 4x6 photo)
I'll be back tomorrow with a preview of some of the new items available in the shop and then Wednesday's the re-opening. Happy Monday!

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