New Ink!

Compass rose tattoo, by Sam McWilliams, Vancouver, BC. http://kimwerker.com/blog

If you read my Friday newsletter, you know my college roommates are visiting for a few days. It’s only the second time in fifteen years that we’ve been in the same place together.

And as you do when you’ve been friends for over twenty years, we got to chatting before the visit about getting matching tattoos. Diamonds, which last forever just like our friendship. Aw. And also, the ridiculous thing that inspired this trip is… a Neil Diamond concert.

The thing is, our styles are really different. I, especially, struggled with the idea of a diamond. I’m not so big with the shiny sparkly things, and also the ethics of diamonds are just deeply problematic. But I love these women, and our friendship is forever.

Somehow, I got to thinking about compass roses, and whether I could really stretch the diamond concept into the four points of the compass. I didn’t even realize at the time that I put a compass rose into the branding of my business a few months ago. There’s something about this symbol that’s stuck in my head these days. Something about adventuring, getting lost and found again, staying grounded while taking risks.

Leave it to the amazing Sam McWilliams to put a diamond perfectly in the centre of a compass rose tattoo. One look at her sketch and I was like yes. This is the one.

In my love of traveling, in my love for friends near and far, I know where I am and who I am and which direction is my personal north. This design on my arm forever, with the diamond at its centre that matches the diamonds my beloved friends have inked on themselves, is simply perfect.

I Will Not Read If:

This is an FYI kind of post, which I’m writing out of an urgent need to shake my fists at the whole world.

So.

For the information of the whole world: I ignore all articles, essays, blog posts and missives if I even sniff the hint of any of the following words or phrases:

  • mindful, mindfulness
  • mompreneur
  • paleo
  • self-care
  • Mommy Wars
  • not your grandma’s x, y, z
  • cleanse (food-related)

I feel better now.

Thank you.

Sunny Day

cherry blossoms in spring, Vancouver, BC

We’ve had a very grey, very rainy (record-breaking rainy!) spring so far here in Vancouver, and it’s seriously getting people down. Me included.

So when the sun came out this morning, I made the very most of it. I took the longer route home through the woods after walking my kid to school. I ran an errand at Granville Island. I stopped at the beach on my way home.

The cherry blossoms started blooming over a week ago, and I was so grateful for this first glimpse of them against a clear blue sky.

Oh man, I so needed this sunny day.

Forest in spring, Vancouver BC
cherry blossoms in spring, Vancouver BC
cherry blossoms in spring, Vancouver BC
cherry blossoms in spring, Vancouver BC
Granville Island, Vancouver BC
Spanish Banks beach, Vancouver BC

Catching UP

Beach hair in Mexico.

The last several weeks have been totally wacko! Totally wacko. Is it because of politics? Not entirely, no. Most days I barely feel like I have my head on straight. So I thought I’d pop in and blog about all the things I’ve been neglecting, all in one place. Sweet-like, in list form. As you do.

So!

  • After the Pussyhat pattern quickly became the most popular crochet project I’ve ever released, I started a new weekly newsletter about Action + Craft. Every Tuesday I send an email including links to a few great informative pieces about one or more current events (U.S.-inspired, but with an eye on the rest of the world, too), a list of upcoming marches and demonstrations, and a round-up of art/craft-related acts of expression or resistance. You should subscribe, obviously.
    • I’m still sending my Friday newsletter, too, of course. It seems that the vast majority of my writing these days is by email. Which I’m enjoying immensely. If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I’ve been in ye olde inbox. I’ll happily jump into yours!
  • I went on holiday (see beach hair, above)! It was lovely. And warm. I didn’t make a damn thing while I was away, but I did get my fiction-reading groove back, so I’m very happy.
  • In anticipation of the trip, I obsessed over making sunblocking lip balm. (Worked like a charm.)
  • It’s cold and cloudy back home now, but I’ve got spring fever. Bad.
  • Today I discovered that I have 50 patrons. 50! Holy smokes. If you enjoy my work and want to help me keep at it and to cover the cost of the tools I use to get it done (the new activism newsletter tipped me over into the next, far-more-expensive fee level of my email provider, for example), please become a patron! I create a separate biweekly newsletter just for my patrons, and patrons get behind-the-scenes and other updates that no one else gets. (Also, some get postcards in the mail. So.) Thanks for your support, lovely patrons!

Is that my full update? I honestly can’t be sure (see: head not screwed on straight). But I think so?

Small Format Bullet Journal: Trial & Error

Small-format bullet journaling – http://kimwerker.com/blog

I've been bullet journaling for nearly three years, and over that time I've toyed with straying from the format, I've experimented with different layouts, and I've tried different kinds of notebooks.

Over the summer, my friend emailed me a link to a Kickstarter that combined two of my loves: notebooks and organizers. I backed the project immediately. I'd always used a medium-size notebook for my bujo, and hadn't considered ​using an infinitely more portable tiny notebook for the job. Nothing like a fancy/functional case to make me consider something new, eh?

Something else the campaign got me to consider was whether it might be helpful to keep a separate notebook for each of the major projects I work on. The PocketDoJo organizer is designed to hold three notebooks, see, and as it happens there are three major kinds of things I do: my work, client work, and advocacy work.

CLICK HERE TO GET MY FREE DAILY ART & CRAFT TRACKER!

I was super excited when my PocketDoJo arrived, both because new notebooks are super exciting, and also because the organizer solves the problem I always have with pens. Pens are never attached to my notebook, which means I never quite have one on hand when I need it.

I set up each of the notebooks and got down to it.

Ish.​

You can see in the image above that the notebooks (now sold by the company formed after the Kickstarter ended: Efficiency Supply)​ are designed well for bullet journaling – no need to make your own checkboxes.

But there's something about the notebook design that, though totally functional, doesn't appeal to me. It's possible I've become a design snob while I wasn't paying attention. ​And also? There's simply no reason to keep a separate notebook for each project I do, because my bullet journal is mostly a notebook full of to-do lists.

Small-format bullet journaling with PocketDojo and Field Notes – http://kimwerker.com/blog

Though I intended to finish each of my three ​new notebooks before abandoning that system, I bailed after only a few weeks.

But two great things came out of this experiment:

  1. I do love the PocketDojo case. I always have my pen handy (even my fountain pen!), and the case can hold other things if I need it to, like additional pens, or business cards.
  2. I don't feel like I've sacrificed anything by using a small notebook instead of a much larger (heavier) one, so it's easier than ever to have my bullet journal with me at all times.
Small-format bullet journaling with PocketDojo and Field Notes – http://kimwerker.com/blog

Having discovered that size doesn't really matter, I've bitten the bullet (see what I did there?) and signed up for the Field Notes quarterly subscription. Their notebooks are exactly the right size for the PocketDojo, their design appeals to the snob that seems to have spawned inside me, and the stories behind their limited editions are awesome (I'm in love with the lunacy notebooks they made this fall – watch the video!).

Do you keep a bullet journal? What size notebook do you use? Do you find that bigger is better, or that smaller gets the job done just fine? Any tips for maximizing the small approach?​

CLICK HERE TO GET MY FREE DAILY ART/CRAFT TRACKER!

(Here's what it looked like when I looked up from the bench where I took the photos of the notebooks for this post. I love Granville Island so much.)

Granville Island, Vancouver. Small-format bullet journaling with PocketDojo and Field Notes – http://kimwerker.com/blog

Small-format bullet journaling with PocketDojo and Field Notes – http://kimwerker.com/blog