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Rainbow Watercolor + Words | #creativecaptures

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Don’t worry about blame.

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Do better. Every day do a little bit better.

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I took small steps in different directions and found myself running.

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I’m the lucky one.

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Then I look at you and it all makes sense.

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Don’t put your trust in walls ’cause walls will only crush you when they fall.

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You don’t owe any explanations.

This past week I’ve participated in Lauren Hooper’s Instagram challenge Creative Captures (#creativecaptures). It’s been lots of fun making these rainbow art journal pages inspired by Caylee Grey’s idea and approach.

Lauren will be doing these week long challenges once every month which I love. Month long continuous challenges can really wear you out, in my experience. This is the perfect frequency and the perfect amount of freedom and work. Just snap a photo of something that inspires you or something creative that corresponds to the daily prompt. Easy.

For these pages I loved using the black TomBow Dual Brush pen – for the first time ever and I’m in love! I’ve tried my share of mediocre brush pens but the TomBow ones are nice and juicy so I can write quickly without skipping or streaking. And they don’t seem to bleed through very easily either. I highly recommend!

xo Nina

Products Mentioned & Used

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Brave | Get Messy Art Journaling

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I’m finally getting my head out of the postpartum fog enough to participate in the Get Messy challenges.

April and May are the seasons of brave and I know exactly how I feel about bravery. When you see your little baby go through health problems and still wearing a smile on their face – that’s bravery.

Children are so driven towards life. They’re way more resilient than they should ever have to be.

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Anders. Nobody is braver than you. You’re a lion and you’re a boy.

You’re my insides. You’re my brave.

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Since I started using my mint Kikki K. planner as an actual planner and not as an art journal I can’t seem to find a perfect home for my art journaling. These pages were created in a little Moleskine Art Plus Sketch album using my fabulous Sakura Pigma Brush pen and very few other bits. I still can’t justify spending a lot of time on crafting so it is what it is. :)

Hope you’re doing amazing and thank you for stopping by.

xo Nina

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Lister’s Gotta List | Printable Notebook

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I did it. I completed a 30 day challenge. Granted I didn’t do it in 30 days – some days I skipped and had to catch up later but the point is: It’s done. And what a blast!

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I’ve really loved doing the Listers Gotta List Instagram challenge (#listersgottalist) by Cori a.k.a. The Reset Girl. The prompts for April really made me think about and appreciate all the good things that are going on right now and a bunch of happy memories from my childhood. I can’t wait to do the May lists!

You can see all my Lister’s Gotta List entries by checking out the #ninasgottalist hashtag.

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Free printable Dot Grid + Numbered Traveler’s Notebook

In April I printed and assembled my own notebook and stamped the day numbers using the Noah Alpha by Studio Calico. To make it a lot less work for myself in May I designed a dot grid notebook that includes numbers. Yay!

Get your printable notebook right here.

Note: It’s Traveler’s Notebook size (210 x 110 mm). Remember to print on both sides and don’t resize (no fitting/shrinking to page, please). It will print on both A4 and Letter sized paper.

Check my notebook DIY blog post for tips and ideas on how to assemble.

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Above you can see the covers of my handmade #listersgottalist notebooks (and my pink ink-stained fingers). I just love the florals combined with the navy Blueberry Nerdori leather. So lush!

Enjoy! :

xo Nina

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A week of catching up | Project Life

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Somehow we’re one third into 2015. I can’t even.

But I’ve decided that this year I will complete Project Life so week 18 is all about catching up.

My ‘Zero Bells and Whistles’ approach

Here’s how I’m gonna get caught up real fast, step by step:

  • Add photos to Collect app.
    • Don’t worry about editing photos.
    • Screw journaling.
  • Export photos to Dropbox

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  • Print from my PC.
  • Put photos in pockets.
  • Go through text messages, Instagram updates and planners to uncover what we’ve been doing in the missing weeks.
  • Add those notes to the (free!) planner page printable.

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  • Print basic Project Life cards.
  • Fill most of the remaining (non-photo) pockets with those basic cards.
  • Fill the rest of the pockets with decorative cards, like these.

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  • Add journaling directly to basic cards.
  • … or add journaling to labels and adhere them to cards.
  • Embellish the tiniest little bit
    (gotta do it – even for the Zero Bells and Whistles method. I’m not a robot, you know).
  • Do a happy dance.

I hope you’ll join me in catching up. Every day I’ll update on my progress on Instagram. Just check out #letscatchuponPL.

See you on the other side!

xo Nina

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It keeps breaking | Get Messy Art Journaling

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I haven’t been wanting to share my art journaling lately is it’s become very basic. And I finally accepted that that’s how it’s gonna be for a while. I just don’t have time to get very fancy with it these days – baby and all – so I’m pretty much sticking to my favorite super fast way to achieve the look and feel I want: Watercolor.

I also moved my art journaling out of my Kikki K. as I’m currently using it as a planner (and loving it!). Instead I just punched holes in my art journal paper pad and bound it with two creme colored rings by 7 Gypsies (can’t find them online – sorry).

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If you’ve ever read one of my art journaling blog posts you know I them as an opportunity to share a bit of me. I don’t kid myself that everyone’s interested in my personal stuff so you may skip reading and just look at photos if you wanna. :)

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As you may know I gave birth to little Anders on February 17th, two months ago now. And those who follow me on Instagram may be aware of our birth story and more specifically what happened after.

Long story short, we had an amazing birth. It was a little over 5 hours from the first contraction until he was out – tiny, slippery, warm and crying on my chest. It was early morning and we were exhausted, happy and ready to go home. Within a half hour of his birth we noticed him getting a little pale, even blue, and limp at times. They asked us to stay the rest of the day for observation.

Anders kept turning blue and our joy was quickly turned into fear when he was taken into the emergency room and they started to closely monitor his vitals. It seemed like he had trouble with his breathing. The monitors showed how bad a state he was actually in and it felt like the ground went out from under out feet. It’s the most surreal thing I’ve ever experienced.

He was rushed to another bigger hospital in an ambulance. Steffen and I were driven there by his parents. We weren’t sure what we were facing once we got there.

We found ourselves in the dark and foreign rooms of the NICU. There were more than a handful people standing around his tiny crib, looking and talking and noting things down on clipboards. They gave him oxygen and that helped him but it didn’t solve the underlying problem.

I’m going into way too much detail now but I don’t know how else to tell the story. When you’re living hour by hour every detail seems important.

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At this point we thought we’d be in the hospital overnight, nothing more. So we got settled in a room just down the hall from where he was and basically just did everything we were told. Dinner’s at six. Pumped breastmilk goes here. Diapers and towels are there.

At 4AM we were told that he had suffered a brain hemorrhage – most likely at birth. To this day we still don’t know what caused it. Aside from the brain hemorrhage he’s perfectly healthy – a big, beautiful boy.

He started treatment which was a sedative to keep his activity levels down and thereby prevent stress on his wounded brain. This helped his breathing and at around four days old he started making huge improvements in his overall health. As they gradually took him off the meds he became much more active and soon he fed solely at my breast, eating like a champion.

I’ve never been more proud and happy in my life.

We’ve been to several checkups since we were released from the hospital at eight days old and he’s acing every exam. And they’ll keep checking on him. The hemorrhage has quite severely damaged his brain and we were told from the beginning that he will most likely experience some developmental and/or behavioral challenges. He may have disabilities.

My heart breaks for him all the time, but I’m also so happy. I’m forever grateful for him. For the doctors and nurses who literally saved us. For Steffen who is the best person I know, and for grand parents who helped us in ways they don’t even know and made an impossible thing possible to bear.

Yes, this is very sentimental for me. Perhaps it’s oversharing. But I like being transparent and so far it’s only been rewarding. I don’t feel anyone taking a distance or feeling awkward around us, only compassion.

I will likely be art journaling mostly about this for a while so bear with me. I hope you liked these simple pages.

xo Nina