Category Archives: creativity

friday favourite – bananagrams

Three days a week I run a conversation class for English Language Learners at our local community college. The students have already spent three hours in English class and join me for another two hours of conversation and writing practice.

They show up in class, eager to learn, but weary. It’s very tiring to focus and concentrate on another language for several hours. I do my best to make it ‘fun’ and relevant. We’ve played Bingo using world capitals, we’ve written postcards, we have talked about marriage customs and school uniforms and middle names.

But the most enthusiasm I have had so far was when I pulled Bananagrams from my bag. No one had played the game. I dumped out the tiles and explained we needed to turn the tiles over so we couldn’t see the letters. Blanca turned them over, Afsaneh turned them back up so we could see the letters! Once we sorted that out, we played. They made terrific words, really concentrated and kept asking to play one more time!

Bananagrams is my friday favourite!

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HAR

bullet journal

It started with an email from my friend ACC who saw an article in Popular Science about Bullet Journaling and sent me the link with the comment that she thought this was something I would do. Not sure how to interpret that since the subtitle for the article is A Nerd’s Guide to Bullet Journaling, but I won’t get into that today! The title seemed intriguing: How one notebook could replace all the productivity apps that have failed you. Hmmm. I don’t really use productivity apps but I sure like notebooks—moleskin, miquelrius, filofax — so I read the article. I alternated between WHAT? and that sounds appealing. 

I went to Bullet Journal to read more and that’s where I got a little overwhelmed. The site explains that The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less. 

Next I watched the Youtube video showing you how to start your bullet journal. I decided if I need to take notes about how to write a to-do list, this was not for me…but I did like the notebook with little dots…that would be fun to doodle in, sketch, write my grocery list, so I persevered. And I ordered the Leuchtturm Notebook A5 Medium Dotted Navy Blue because who doesn’t need another notebook?!

Then I googled Bullet Journal to get the real story. I found an article on BuzzFeed called WTF Is A Bullet Journal and Why You Should Start One. This is what I needed.

Bullet Journal

The bullet journal system uses a lot of fancy language that makes everything more difficult to understand. Here’s what those terms actually mean:

Bullet journal: a method of note-taking that uses bullet points as the core structure
Index: a table of contents that you update as you go
Daily Log: shit you did and/or need to do today (+ other observations)
Monthly Log: traditional month calendar + shit you need to do that month + shit you forgot to do last month
Rapid Logging: symbols that help you get that shit done
Future Log: year-at-a-glance calendar where you put events, goals, and long-term shit you need to do

So, it’s a rainy Sunday afternoon and I am going to crack open my new Leuchtturm notebook and consolidate my notes and lists. I’ll let you know how it goes and please…if you have a bullet journal, let me know because I am really curious if this is worth it!

HAR

 

cooking on sundays

It might be the best spring-like day we’ve had this year. After tiring the dog out on a long walk this morning, I opened the doors and windows and started to cook. I have had a good turnover rate lately for the eating through the food I cook on the weekends and pack away in single serving meals for lunch and dinner.

After the line was full of laundry – the first wind-dried sheets of the year! – I started prepping and filling the kitchen counters with ingredients.

steamed broccoli, sautéed mushrooms, grated cheddar, some frozen tomato sauce and frozen diced tomatoes…and more turned into

smoked maple pork chili

broccoli, ham and cheddar quiche, and broccoli, mushroom and gorgonzola quiche

It’s one way to help the work week get off to a great start…the promise of tasty meals just a freezer drawer away.

Have a great week whatever is on the menu!

CJR

early mornings

If I can haul myself out of bed early in the morning, I never regret it. Especially on a weekend. And when the humidity broke briefly this past weekend, I was thinking about all the great moments that early mornings offer.

  • Making a ridiculously precise cup of java and sipping it in silence outside
  • Walking the dog around the block before the neighbourhood wakes up
  • Doing a quick sketch to bring some creativity up to the top
  • Checking out the garden to see what is growing

Hope you have a great week!

CJR

new ways to letter

We both might just be a little bit hooked on online sketchbook courses. We just started a 30-day class that focuses more on making cool lettering to go with our sketches.

I think we both have pretty interesting handwriting, but this course by Andrea Joseph is giving us a ton of new ways to play with how our letters and writing appears, and ultimately adds to our sketchbooks.

After week one of four, here’s some of what we’ve practiced so far.

 

CJR & HAR

cool combinations

Some things are clearly made to go together. Gin and tonic (of course), ripple chips and French onion dip, and maple syrup with well, anything.

Other combos might not be quite so obvious. But when you look closer, or try them out, they make for some natural pairings.

Yoga is one we’ve combined with other activities. Several years ago, we did a yoga and knitting workshop at Kripalu. Nothing really tying the activities together, but we did sit cross legged on the floor to knit, and I’m sure our stitches were loose and relaxed because we were.

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I did a yoga a kayaking weekend last year with White Squall Paddling Centre. The ability to isolate muscles and breathing in yoga made a huge difference to the buoyancy of the kayaking. And a little sketching thrown in too.

We recently did a little day hike and stopped for some scenic yogic poses.

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Hiking and food is an obvious. Tire yourself out and have someone serve up a delicious meal at the end of it all. And a personal favourite – the various Butter Tart Trails across Ontario. You could walk or drive to the next bakery featuring their version of the Canadian classic.

CJR