Posted in Cool Tools, What Makes You Happy?

My Planner Isn’t a Bullet Journal. (It’s Actually a Sticker Book.)

E99C2305-00D7-45BD-89B4-3D802320474CThis is my Happy Planner. For those who care, it’s the middle size available. I chose the Happy Planner over other cool options because the pages are colorful. I got it at Michael’s on sale (you can catch the sales at the ends and beginnings of each year) and I bought extra cover sets on ebay. This is my current favorite cover, and it says, “If you can’t find the sunshine, be the sunshine.” I feel like I do that, or try to do that, for those around me. I wear the brightest colored clothing and hair colors I can find (and I wish other people would too). But maybe I just like it best because it’s got bright yellow on it, and yellow’s my favorite. In any case, you can catch a glimpse of my work desk and the Adventure Time skirt I got on etsy. I buy a lot of stuff on etsy. When you open the cover, you can see all the stickers I’ve placed inside, taped in sheets to the laminated pages.

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And that gets us to the back cover. The stickers in my planner take up about 1/3 of the heft of the book. I mostly buy them from all over etsy, but in case you’re dying to know, I’ve included what I hope is a comprehensive list at the bottom of this post.3525FFD0-95DC-4582-89C9-2A3E579F78BF Some of the sticker types I use are filler: rainbows, rainbow hearts, rainbow stars, pink hearts, yellow stars, yellow smiley faces, So So Happy encouragement stickers. They don’t really stand for anything, I just like the way they look, and they take up space and make everything more “filled out” looking. But for the bulk of my stickers, each one represents an action, a mood, something I want to regularly track. So rather than “make a plan” for the day or the week or the month, I actually use my planner as a visually recorded account of what I did/accomplished, and how I was feeling. Since I don’t want stickers for every action I take (poops, for example, which some people wish to track, but I do not) I try to focus my sticker collection on habits I want to encourage myself to keep doing / do more of: exercise, writing, reading, chores. I also want to track things like my period, if I was sick, my mood (I have cry-faces and happy faces and angry faces, etc.) and YES, I do actually write down upcoming appointments and To Do lists as well. Just not maybe to the extent that (actual) planning people do.

Some of my month spreads end up looking gorgeous and amazing. For Nanowrimo, for example, I used extra special stickers to track my daily word counts on rainbow typewriters. So my November month-view ended up extra gorgeous and hyper-focused. Winning! (On the sidebar, Doug’s homework word count, impressive!)

Glorious November spread

Another month that ended up looking gorgeous and amazing was my February spread, thanks to my awesome and amazing friend Karen, who bought a Valentine’s Day-themed sticker pack for me at Target. I held nothing back, as you can see. (Those little green guys are recyle days and paydays.)

Fabulous February spread

And then there’s the weekly view, which is the bread and butter of this industry. I love the way the Happy Planner breaks the week into seven days and the days into thirds. I use them for 1) before work 2) at work 3) after work. There’s a weekly sidebar on the left that I use for To Do’s. And different planner companies will give you the option, or not, to start your week on Sunday or Monday. Some people want the work week sandwiched by the weekend on either side, like bookends. I’m not about that life. The reason the weekend is beautiful is because it’s two days together, and hopefully, two days off together.

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I hope you enjoyed my sticker book, I mean “planner.” It must be a planner, right? It has the word right there in the name… So some of the stickers featured here I bought at the Container Store (these and these). But most of the stickers featured here were made by etsy artists:

Happy Cutie Studio UK
Planner Frenzy New Hampshire
Anna’s Planner Bubble Poland
Planner Studio California
iArtisans Canada
Plan Gorgeously California
Tiny Little Tulip Arkansas
Brianna Nicole Designz Wisconsin
Keena Prints Philippines
Domino 626 Virginia
Once More With Love Canada
S. G. Stationery Arizona
Hello Stickers Georgia
Ashwood Arts Texas

Posted in Jobe Update

Lose, Gain, Maintain

This isn’t a weight loss blog or a fitness blog. I generally don’t talk about anything on here unless it is reading or writing related. But as the end of the year approaches, I’m in a contemplative state of mind, and I wanted to talk about what encourages or discourages us on our paths: as creatives, as women, as humans.

Over the last two decades, I have been every dress size from an 8 to a 22, no lie. Junior year prom 1999 my dress was an 8, senior year prom 2000 my dress was a 10. Undergrad 2000-2004 I fluctuated 10-12. During the tail-end of a long relationship and after its failure, around 2006, I was a size 16, and I remember it being a big deal because I had to go and buy new clothes (this was before shopping online was a default mode, so I went to Sears). When I returned home and lived in the city for a few years, 2006-2009, my size fluctuated in the 12-14 range, weight dipping lowest when my sister and I were taking regular ballet classes together. When I moved to Arkansas my weight stayed on the upper end of that range, as I abandoned vegetarianism and felt happy and comfortable within my relationship.

My wedding dress was a size 16, which I was fine with, but at the end of 2012 when I tried it on and it basically wouldn’t fit, I was undone with panic (Spanx saved the day, after some crying). 16 was the top of the “misses” or “women’s” clothing section. Becoming a size 18 meant I had to find the “plus size” section at Kohl’s, and I felt really low about it. In the last 5 years I’ve purchased much of my clothing online, on e-bay or etsy, and locally at a thrift store (now closed, RIP) called Saver’s. My size has been in the 18-20-22 range, around 2X to 3X. I’ve come to accept this, and wearing a larger size doesn’t stop me from feeling cute or beautiful or adorable or sexy.

I have a record of my weight fluctuations from the last 7 years because I’m an old holdout user from the Wii Fit era (read: blip) and I keep returning to it because it’s an easy way to weigh in and make a record without having to do much more than stand there.

2010: 200 rangeMaintained.
2011: 185-210 range. Dropped. LOWEST WEIGHT.
2012: 185-210 range. Gained. 
2013: 200-225 range. 
Gained 210 up to 225 (5 mos). Dropped 225 to 200 (3 mos). Gained 200 up to 210 (4 mos).
2014: 205-235 range. Gained 205 up to 235 (8 mos). Dropped 235 to 220 (4 mos).
2015: 210-230 range. Gained 220 up to 230 (4 mos). Dropped 230 to 210 (3 mos). Gained 210 to 220 (2 mos).
2016: 230-235 range. Maintained. HIGHEST WEIGHT.
2017: 215-230 range. Maintained (2 mos). Dropped 230 to 220 (4 mos). Maintained 220-225 (2 mos)Gained up to 230 (1 mos)Dropped 230 to 215 (3 mos).

I remember when 200 was the highest my weight had ever been. I remember how shocked I was when I realized it had climbed to 235, almost 240. During the time I had my own apartment and I was working out regularly, I hit my lowest recorded weight, around 180. Do you know what I did? Instead of focusing on how great I felt about the work I was doing, I took that information to the internet and asked all my female friends who were willing to tell me their heights and weights. I guess I was expecting to be able to imagine some grand chart where I fell in relation to other people I knew and just feel cosmic goodwill toward all. But when a friend of mine who I had expected to weight more than me said that she weighed less? I let that fact (which may or may have been fact or fiction, outdated, exaggerated, or accurate) crush me. I broke the one rule: NEVER compare yourself to others. Compare your current self to your past selves. Because it was easy to see how far I’d come tracking my own progress. But looking at someone else and thinking “I’m not there, I’ll never be there” was exactly what caused me to never get there. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Please don’t let my mistake be yours too. Never look at the work of someone else and think “why aren’t I where they are?” You have no idea what they’ve been through to reach that point, and you’ll never know how close you were if you give up.

My weight has fluctuated mightily, and I can note when I was in school, when I got married, when I bought a house, when my mom got sick. Every time my weight has increased, it’s because I’ve stopped paying attention to my body. Every time my weight has dropped, it has been a direct result of my monitoring my intake and exercise. Most recently my weight is down, because I’m paying attention and actively participating in my own improvement. I hope I keep it up and make future-me proud. As a little green-screen angel named Shia La Bouef once said, If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up.


(found on Google images)
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Posted in Jobe Workshop Review

Collage Class with Jobe: Reflection


So I tried to teach a collage class at everybody’s favorite art store and I got schooled by a tough reminder that knowing how to do something is not the same as knowing how to teach others how to do it. The class was fine and the attendees turned out great work, but I could tell there was some frustration that I wasn’t providing enough information or structure. I realized belatedly that when I do collage work, there’s not much in the way of surface level “rules” or thoughts going on—I put together stuff that “feels” like it goes well together. Which is great for me, and really not helpful at all for people attending a class. I had an idea to structure with a specific project, such as making a calendar, but the class didn’t seem thrilled by the idea so I just defaulted to the traditional layering method for creating dynamic imagery. I’m hoping that bringing a million supplies counted for something, and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to try something new. But I’ll stick to teaching writing classes from now on, since I feel confident in my abilities to teach, encourage, and spark in that subject. And in case anyone still wanted a few tidbits on the topic of collage, I’ve outlined some here.

Best kind of glue? Purple glue stick. This was wise advice from the late, great Amy Edgington, reiterated by the hip young artist-poet Sandy Longhorn.

Use a thick base, such as wood, cardboard, or cardstock. If you use something slimmer, like some types of art paper, and your base starts warping, it’s too thin. That’s okay. Just glue another layer to the back.

Know that if you mod-podge the top of your finished creation in order to give it a (clear but textured) protective layer, it can warp or bubble the images you’ve used. Experiment first so you know the differences in how it will look. I tend to just slip my work into clear plastic sleeves.4232bcf63a08c54fa2ce07ad70fda539

Assemble the pieces before you glue them: lay everything out the way you want before you glue anything. If you’re afraid you’ll forget exactly how you had it, take a picture with your phone.

Alternately you can also just start gluing without a plan, just know you may end up with something a little more abstract or disjointed. Either way, it’s your creation.

Keep in mind that whatever you glue down first is going to be your bottom layer. So if there an image you really like, save it for the top.

Anything can be part of your project: scraps of fabric, ribbon, stickers, hole punches, shape punches, stamps, washi tape, words and images from magazines, as well as discarded or old used books—art books and coffee table books are especially good sources, and don’t forget comic books! You can also print virtually anything off the internet, and you can also photocopy the same image to use more than once. In addition, various papers such as: newspaper print, music paper, patterned or printed paper, graph paper, tissue paper.

If you love the look of it, clip it and save it. Inexpensive methods of storage include paper envelopes and clear plastic (sandwich or snack) baggies. If you want something a little sturdier, IKEA has corkboard slide drawers, and The Container Store has clear plastic photo storage.

If you’re interested in more check out the Rookie Mag and The Spruce. And don’t forget, you can also search Pinterest and Etsy (until your eyes fall out) for endless inspiration and ideas.

Until Next Time!

Posted in Jobe Update

Predictive Text

It occurred to me that it was something of a sweet little list to go through what web addresses appear for the numbers and letters I often use. What’s your list look like?

5 –
6 –

a –
b –
c –
d –
e –,
f –
g –,
h –
i –
j –
l –
m –
n – netflix.com
p –
s –
t – turbotax.com
y –
z –



Posted in Sci&Fi Saturday

Sci&Fi Saturday w Jobe


And now in science news, did you know that something just CAME OUT OF a black hole?!?!? We don’t fully understand it yet but we know it’s a pretty big deal. From Blastr powered by SyFy.

CERN found exotic new tetraquark particles, wowie zowie! Thanks, IFL Science!

Tommie Kelly’s Adventures in Woo Woo has a double shot of science for us this time around: Wired reports that the scale of the atom is baffling scientists, while Physicist Paul Halpern on Medium features a guest post from Nick Tomasello who says the observable universe is smaller than we thought, too!

Images found searching Google for “sci fi rulez”




Posted in Random Round Up

Random Round Up w Jobe

Ever wondered what gift to get your favorite writer or reader? Why not try these book themed candles! Frostbeard Studio has a webpage, a Facebook page, and an Etsy store.

Do you stay up at night pondering the mysteries of the universe, like where do all those unwanted copies of 50 Shades of Grey go, and what is done to them? Wonder no longer. Thanks, Jezebel.

Anyone want to work in publishing? Check it out from Chronicle Books.

Looking for some new inspiration? Maybe your solution is the Writer’s Block Tarot deck! Thanks, Kickstarter!

Hope you enjoyed this Random Round Up. The featured image was found searching “roundup” on Google. Cheers!