Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Day 365 | Closing Out The Year

A Year To Inspire

Stephanie | Wow! What a year it has been. We made it all the way through 365 journal posts. There have been times along this journey I never thought this day would come. What a huge project we took on. What an accomplishment we made sticking through our goal. It has been amazing watching us evolve throughout the year in our art and writing. I am so thankful to Annetta for sticking through this with me, it was not easy at times and trying to juggle it all seemed impossible. I am so beyond excited and proud to say our blog was featured in Artful Blogging and heART Journal Magazine plus countless fan blogs from all over the world. Our followers have been so incredible and we value you all greatly. Thank you all for sticking with us and sharing you love, all of your wonderful comments mean so much to us. I am glad we inspired so many people. I am thankful to have done this project and now to be able to close this chapter. Looking forward to starting 2015 fresh and creating a new Year To Inspire.

Annetta | Our LAST post!! This is something to celebrate because we've done so much this year and pushed boundaries we never knew we had. I love looking back on my journal pages and seeing all that we have made and said this past year. When dong a 365 the thought always comes of giving up and I am proud of us for not and reaching out goal of posting 365 days. It was so fun to see our styles develop as we took this one day at a time. I've learned that when I journal I love using magazine images as a base. I've learned that Stephanie is quite the writer and makes some gores journal pages. I'm thankful for a friend who not only excepted this crazy challenge, but was dedicated throughout the whole year. Her encouragement and participation really made this project what it is as on my own, I wouldn't have come this far. Thank you for everyone who has read our posts and enjoyed our journal pages. We are thankful for every comment and every post read and shared. It's amazing to see that our posts have actually inspired people. I'm glad its over because my journal is busting at the seams and I can't believe I went through 2 whole journals, front and back! Let's getting 2015 started!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Day 364 | Plans For 2015

What can you expect from A Year To Inspire in 2015?

A 365 project was a huge project to take on, so for 2015 we will be doing a 52 project. We will post 1 time a week rather than everyday. We will be posting a more in depth over view of our new year project on Jan 1st. Rather than making an art journal we will be only using sketches and watercolor based off a class we are both enrolled in (more info on that on the 1st). We will be sketching and also incorporating another creative outlet of our choosing allowing us to branch out and enjoy other things, like stitching, reading, gardening, etc. We would love to have all of you join us in our new adventure and new year.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Day 363 | Gift Exchange

Rather than a mail day, show your Christmas gift to each other.

Stephanie | This is by far the best gift exchange from Annetta, I am so excited for my new Polaroid camera and new watercolor set, which will come in handy for next years project. In am ready to learn and test out both of these amazing gifts on my trip tonight. I am so blessed to have Annetta as one of my closest friends.

Annetta | Stephanie gave me such a beautiful gift which is not pictured, a Simplified Planner. What was the best part about that gift is what she did to get it for me, which I will cherish far longer then the planner will last. Her heart behind the gift was so beautiful and on top of that she got me MORE goodies!! I'm at a resort so forgive the hotel room picture! She got me a beautiful mug and a gorgeous vase with pens for my planner, a stamp and notebook. I've been so so blessed by her friendship this year and loved how we have grown closer through this. I honestly think she is the best gift!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Day 362 | Look Back on 365

Prompt: Looking back over the last year take your top three posts, most favorite, least favorite and most challenging. Explain each.

Stephanie | My top 3 are...

Most favorite: Day 249 Afraid One of my favorite posts is this drawing of a girl. I originally drew this from a post I saw on pinterest, I loved the idea of the sketch, but hated how my version turned out. I almost painted or taped over it but left it in my sketchbook for a while, but then I decided to paint the sketch and apply it to this post, which fit perfectly, plus it was very popular on pinterest, the post that almost never was.  
Least favorite: Day 130 Colors This is one of my least favorites because it was such a throw together post that is not pretty at all. I wish I had more time to make this page something specials.
Most challenging: Day 224 10 Minutes of Writing This was one of the hardest and easiest posts to write. I love how my messy paint work ended up because it visually shows what my words were trying to share. My deepest piece of me that I try to keep under wraps, but the part of me that takes the most control. I am thankful that I shared this raw and honest side of myself and was able to see I am not completely alone in my loneliest of times.

Annetta | My top three are:

Most favorite:  Day 193 Biggest Adventure Honestly, it was so hard to pick just one favorite. I didn't realize how many pages I am actually proud of creating. I also realized that my favorite journal pages are from my bigger notebook where I had more space to create in. The reason I picked the one with the bird is because I am just in love with all that white and the pops of color. It's a simple, but gorgeous page all at the same time filled with beautiful scribbles. 
Least favorite: Day 144 People You Are Grateful For This one has got to be my least favorite page ever. Even the worst prompts are better then what I did here! I remember we decided to take a last minute weekend trip to my uncles winery and this is all I could do on the way over before it got dark. The only thing I brought with me was colored pens. I'm not sure why I didn't bring something more. The picture was even take in the car on the way over. Talk about a cop-out post! It was a great prompt though.
Most challenging: Day 69 Cage Of Fears was very challenging for me. I do not like to put my fears out there as it's something that I'm working on overcoming. My fears used to be strong, but with God I've been overcoming them this year. Any post that had to deal with death of my fears were the WORST to work on and the most challenging for me this past year.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Day 361 | Resolution Checklist

Prompt: Go back to Day 3 (Resolutions) and mark off all the items you have competed through the year. Talk about your experience completing the task, or why you didn't complete it.

Stephanie | One of my biggest goals this year was to wok on my home. I wanted to finally put fresh paint on the walls and fill it with plants and make it feel like a home for my family. Most of the walls have been painted and I have been able to decorate and add style, along with many plants.  My work was very neglected as I poured most of myself into this 365 project. While I am thankful I was able to be creative everyday, my personal work went nowhere. 

Working on improving our finances was another big goal and we managed to pay off a few different debts and consolidate others. We have plans to buy property in the near future and made great progress this year to become debt free. Our family was also able to make  few camping trips and weekend getaways.

The last area I focused on this year was on myself. I completed two 5K marathons and have read several books, mostly on improving myself and my marriage. I also have been able to do lots of cross stitching.

Annetta | Looking back on my resolutions I did stick through with my One Little Word which was commit. It was for me to commit my world onto the Lord and I kept that as a priority this past year. It has served me well because I love being at home and commit the daily things like doing the dishes and the big things like getting published in magazines. 

I've seen so much progress in my thought process towards my health. I believe I have been healthier this year. I even passed my goal of weighing 100 pounds and now weigh 104. If I do get hit with something that's in my body or in my mind I just repeat that I am healthy and whole until I start to believe it!

Regarding reading more books, I've done better. I'm not where I wanted to be by the end of this year, but I have read through some really good and helpful books this year. This is my goal for next year as well.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Day 360 | Benefits Of Writing

Prompt: Some of the ways I have benefited from journal writing are...

Stephanie | Some ways I have benefited are by getting my thoughts out of my head. There have been some pretty intense and personal prompts we have had throughout the year and it has helped me release that pain and emotions by putting them on paper. It has been a blessing to hear that my words have helped others heal and feel connected to another person who has experienced something similar to their own story. 

Annetta | I feel like my benefits will show in a few years, one this projects is all over with. When looking back I will see all that I've learned through this year. At the moment it is heard to see what I've benefited. I've also learned that even if I do not want to do it (like today because I'm running a fever), I will get done what needs to get done. It was a great year!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Day 359 | Full Happy Jar

Prompt: Take out all the fun memories you put into your happy jar and share them.

Stephanie |
Jan 4: Annetta and family come over for dinner and games, BBQ pork shoulder and skipbo
Feb 2: Watched and photographed Justine's babies birth
Feb 12: Syri looses 1st tooth
March 1: Setting up brand new bunk-beds, get text that we were exposed to lice, must wash everything, late night!!
March 2: Syri drives truck from mailbox to the house, she loves it
March 15: Celebrate girls birthdays by having family day in Seattle with the Space Needle, Duck Boats, Monorail and Pikes Place Market with Auntie CC
March 17: Shealynn learns to put popcorn kernels in her nose
March 19: Take Shealynn to ER thinking she has popcorn kernel in her ear, has double ear infection instead
March 22: Meet and Great with Anna and Elsa
March 24: Syri has double ear infection
March 29: Learn Shealynn is allergic to amoxicillin
May 22-24: Camping trip to Belfair with our new tent
May 26: Memorial Day Run to Remember 5K in DuPont with Corinne, Chrissy, Nikki and families
June 28: Run or Dye color run 5K with family in Tacoma
July 21: Dash Point State Park with Riley girls, Perfect temp, sandy beach, and warm water, lost beach fast but so fun
Aug 3: Boat Day on American Lake.Syri and Shea's 1st time on a boat. 84+ degrees out and perfect. Syri swam on her own in the warm sandy water and Shea bounced in the big waves with Mommy. Moose also jumped in the water, right off the dock
Aug 6: Shea has double ear infection and strep throat
Aug 10: Mommy and girls floated down the river for the 1st time with Nikki and family
Aug 22-24: Camping trip to Westport
Aug 29: Family trip to Yakima to see Gramma, Auntie CC, Papa, and Gramma Julie. Surprised CC with our visit
Sept 3: 1st day of kindergarten for Syri
Sept 14: Hiked Mt Baker with Annetta
Sept ??: Syri started swim class
Oct 11: Tornado touched down in Pierce County
Oct 17: Field trip to Pumpkin Patch with Syri's class
Oct 26: 1st time at the Apple Festival, the apple fritters are amazing!
Nov 1: Watched Auntie CC perform at dance competition, took Gold
Nov 1: Have A Year To Inspire published in Artful Blogging Magazine
Nov 15: 1st time getting pictures with Santa
Nov 23: Walked Fantasy Lights with Annetta and family, dinner and hot cocoa
Dec 10: Family Day at Mt Rainier, found snow at Paradise Park, saw waterfalls and deer and got soaked from all the rain
Dec 24: Christmas Eve, drove Fantasy Lights with Uncle JJ, Shea cried most of the time

Annetta | I didn't keep up with my memory jar. I did think about it, but for whatever reason forgot we were going to share the memories, if I remembered it would have helped me keep on track.
Jan 4: Driving around looking at country houses and going to Stephanie's for game night. Lots of fun!!
Jan 8: Augustin's mini birthday party at his preschool with lots of balloons
Jan 11: My 30th birthday with my friends and games after
Feb 11: First workout of the year with my mom
Feb 19: Bought a film camera! Submitted Augustin's video to a Disney competition
March 29: Spending the weekend with Laurie. It was amazing!
June 27: Go to a live CreativeLive workshop to make flower arrangements
July 7: Pursuit Seattle Shoot & Gather, success!
July 23: Leaving for a 3 week trip to Slovakia
July 13: Augustin's first soccer practice
Aug 26: Lunch with the amazing Georgianna Lane
Sep 1: Hike with the Anderson family followed by dinner, what a wonderful day!
Sep 14: Photography day with Stephanie. Always my favorite trips and person!

Day 358 | Christmas Tradition

Prompt: Share your favorite Christmas traditions.

Stephanie | We have our elf Sprinkles who joins us for the month of December. Christmas eve we get to open only 1 gift, this was  a tradition I had as a kid, once I was married my hubby changed the gift to Christmas pjs. Christmas morning we make cinnamon rolls and mimosas while we open gifts.

Annetta | Every year our families get together on Christmas Eve. We have a big dinner, have dessert with tea and then open presents, lots of presents. Traditionally it's always held at my uncles house and he hosts Christmas. Other then that we don't really have any set traditions on our own as a family of three.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Day 357 | Recreate

Prompt: Find a journal post you like online and use it to inspire your own page or mimic the artists technique.

Stephanie | The journal page I chose to recreate is from The Flourishing Abode. I love the simplicity in the sketch. I have very little doodling skills but I love the look of them. I took her idea and tweaked it slightly adding more of a background scene to the image. 

Annetta | I picked a simple journal page from As a photographer I am inspired by photography and simple images that captures a day. There is nothing more beautiful to me then a simple journal page that has a date on it and an image from the day. I hope that one day I'll have a moleskin filled with images and dates.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Day 356 | Went Today

Prompt: Where did you go today?

Annetta | No where! My son's fever is gone, but that doesn't mean I am going to parade him through the stores or kiddy area's. We are staying home, enjoying our health, cleaning and doing laundry. Being home can be the best place to go at times.

Stephanie | The only place we have to go to today is to drop off gifts that we are donating to a family in need. My brother is in town for the holiday, so we are trying to visit as much as we can while he is here.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Day 355 | Bothers You

Prompt: What bothers you today? Why, and how can you correct it?

Stephanie | This morning my kids are bothering me because I didn't get enough sleep last night and they have bad attitudes and don't want to listen. I hope we can have some down time to adjust our attitudes and have more patience with each other. 

Annetta | This morning my head was bothering me and the stress of my son being down with a temperature. I spent most of the night waking up and making sure that his temperature didn't spike past 103 and today my body wasn't very happy with me. Luckily it was nothing a cup of coffee, breakfast and ibuprofen couldn't fix! Still caring for my little one and hoping he'll be back to his normal self soon because my mommy heart isn't very happy.

Day 354 | Mantra + DOWNLOAD

Prompt: What is your mantra for this week?

Stephanie | My mantra lately is 'Just Keep Going'. This time of year gets so busy and there are times when I feel I am in over my head with all the deadlines and wrapping up the end of the year. This is not a time to slack off no matter how I feel and how little motivation I have, I must keep going to get it all done and squared away.

Annetta | The mantra that I've been mediating on is Proverbs 11:25. It helps me to stay focused on what matters, not to cling onto possessions and to have a giving heart. I want to have a generous soul because to me, that is beauty. It is also feeling and in return there are many blessings in it.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Day 353 | Winter

Prompt: What is your favorite thing about winter?

Stephanie | I despise winter, but my favorite thing about winter would be the decorations. There are so many different wintery and holiday decorations, when done right, they look really nice.

Annetta | Winter isn't my favorite season, but there are many things that I do love about it like SNOW! I love snow like a Californian loves rain. We don't get a lot of it here so when it comes it is super pretty and special, even when it turns brown. I like going up to the mountains just to look at it. Winter, when it snows, makes for such a beautiful backdrop to pictures. Add fog and you are in a photographers dream, my dream! I actually also enjoy the blue/gray light that streams through the windows and onto my images. With winter also comes the fun activities of the holidays which has been very special this year. Also without winter, spring wouldn't be so grand.

Day 352 | Your Name

Prompt: What is your full name and how was your name decided on?

Stephanie | I was told that when deciding on my name both my mom and father made a list of names they each liked, when comparing the lists Stephanie was the only name on both. My middle name Renee is my mothers middle name, its also the middle name I gave my first daughter. 3 generations with the middle name Renee. 

Annetta | One thing I remember about my mom telling me regarding my name and how I got it was she had to stand her ground to get it. My mom had loved the name Annetta and was going to name me that, but in Estonia and back in the communist days you couldn't just pick any name for your child. The name had to be a traditional name and the one my mom wanted was not traditional. She named me Annetta, but was not allowed to officially write that on my birth document. I don't know exactly why my name caught my moms attention, but I am happy that I have a beautiful and a unique name.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Day 351 | Leave A Letter

Prompt: Write an anonymous letter of encouragement and leave it in an unexpected location for a stranger to find. Take a picture of where you left it.

Stephanie | I loved the idea of this post, but was struggling with what to write. I wanted to say something that would actually make a difference to the reader, so I searched online for some inspiration. I found that there is this whole movement of leaving a love note for a stranger, how amazing.  I couldn't find anything just right to say, so I gathered pieces and wrote my own message. If you want to leave a letter, but are struggling with what to write, please copy mine. :) Now to find a place to leave it, I just might drop it in someones shopping cart....we shall see.

Hello Beautiful, 

"Don't give up. Normally it is the last key on the ring which opens the door." -Paulo Coelho

We have never met, but I wanted to remind you that...

You are ENOUGH
You are LOVED

with love, 
your new friend

Annetta | I wrote my note while at a hockey game with my family. I left the note in a bathroom stall and prayed that the right person would come to read the note left just for them. I've never done this before. I noticed that I felt vulnerable even though it had nothing to do with me or how I felt. It made me question whether or not I wrote the right things on the note. Walking away was kinda scary as I wanted to run back and retrieve the note. I had to have faith at that moment that it was for a specific person and that person would need those words I wrote just for them.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Day 350 | Lesson Learned

Prompt: What is a recent lesson you learned?

Annetta | I've learned that God can change my heart to something I never thought I'd say yes to just a month ago. I'm happy now that my heart has changed, but it is a big leap of faith in every way. 

Stephanie | I dont know what lesson I have learned lately. I've been thinking about this all day and am drawing a blank. I will have to come back to this page at a later time.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Day 349 | Schedule

Prompt: Write out your schedule for the day?

Stephanie |

6:30am - Get woken up numerous times by hubby getting ready for work, roommate and her kids getting ready to leave, and the dog barking. This has become an annoying routine.
6:30-7:30 - Toss and turn hoping to go back to sleep.
7:30-9 - Watch documentaries about the London Tower and Henry the VIII trying to wake up fully as sleeping clearly is not an option today.
9-10 - Check email, blogs, pinterest. instagram, facebook, etc.
10am - Shower and get dressed
10:30-1:30 Work on school and journal, fix lunch, start laundry and other small cleaning tasks
2-3pm -Take Syri to art class
3-5 - Clean house, finish school work,
5-6 - Prepare and eat dinner
6-7 - Shop for gift wrapping supplies
7 -8 - Prep for tomorrow
8 - Snuggle time with girls and prepare for bed

Annetta | My schedule today...
6:30am - Alarm goes off
7:30am - Get up, make Tin lunch, get coffee going, get Tin and myself ready out the door at 8:30am
9:00am - Drop Tin off at preschool in Seattle and hubby off at work
9:30am - Breakfast with Holly
11:30am - Flower Market
12:00pm - Pick up Tin from preschool
1:00pm - Pick-up the house
1:30pm - Teach a one-on-one styling workshop
3:30pm - A Year To Inspire page
4:30pm - Start laundry and play with Tin
5:30pm - Swim classes for Tin
7:00pm - Dinner
8:00pm - Work
9:00pm - Put Tin to bed and finish work/laundry

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Day 348 | Favorite Coffee

Prompt: What is your favorite coffee drink and where do you get it?

Annetta | I usually enjoy my coffee at home. When I make my coffee it home, it had less caffeine and therefore I can drink more cups of it. When I go for a road trip I usually like to have a cup of coffee with me. The place I like to go is Third Place Bookstore where they have the BEST coffee in town.

Stephanie | My drink order is a 24oz iced sugar free white chocolate mocha with almond milk and no whip cream. I go to a local stand called Cafe Elite, they have great coffee, a stamp card to earn free coffee, and the barista Theresa knows me and my drink order. I like that I don't have to recite my order anymore, she is already making it before I get to the window.  

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Day 347 | Inspires You

Prompt: What inspires you this season?

Annetta | That's very hard to say! At the moment I am on a journey of rediscovering what it is that inspires me. Before it used to be flowers, pastels, pretty pictures. I see a change, in myself and in my work. I don't know where this change is taking me yet because I'm just in the beginning stages of it. I know that adventure has been inspiring me, being with family and strengthening  my relationship with God has been keeping me going.

Stephanie | The things that inspire me are always changing. I follow many amazing artists on Instagram who inspire me with their artwork, floral arrangements, photography and styling.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Day 346 | Love About Your Life

Prompt: What do you love about your life?

Annetta | In my 20's I really learned to value and love my life because we are not promised the next day. That lessons leaves me with a heart of gratitude, an eagerness to live in the moment and to love the details that make up my life. I love that I married an amazing man, a man unlike any other who not only provides and cares for my son and myself, but also for my mother and brother who live with us. I love how we have the sweetest little boy who has a heart for loving others and making friends (I cherish every minute)! I love that we have a house, not the biggest or greatest, but the house that is perfect for our needs with a garden in the back and a sandbox. I love how I can make this home cozy and welcoming not only for my family, but friends as well. I love how we get to travel and see places in America and Europe. I love how I have beautiful relationships formed with family and friends. I love that I see beauty even in places that other don't. I love my life, I really do as I have been blessed with this one life and I hope my life is a life that also gives to others freely.

Stephanie | I love my girls, that I married I good man, that we are able to own our home/cars/camper trailer, that we are able to pay our bills each month and secure our future, that I can home-school my children, that I don't have to work outside of the home, that I can pursue my creative dreams.

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