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Project 365

Project 365: Days 88-94

I’m kind of having a rough week in general right now, but at least I’m content with my photos, even the ones that I kind of hated when I first took them. To be honest, though, it’s been nearly one hundred days of this project, and I don’t necessarily feel any better at photography. I don’t feel like I know anything more than when I started or have any better eye for what I’m doing. Maybe I need to find an online class or something to push me in a different direction? I don’t know. But it’s frustrating, and I guess it’s a week of evaluating where I’m at with this.

88/365: The three things I’ve been trying to focus on lately: my bullet journal, my new poetry project, and my daily to dos. I still don’t necessarily have a routine (although my new workouts tend to occur at the same time each day–the time when I start to get bored and restless), but it’s good to at least have a focus each day.

Bacon-Cheddar Scones89/365: I don’t often makes scones, but when I do, they’re almost always bacon and cheddar. This recipe was from The Joy of Cooking, as most of mine have been lately, but I think I’ll add a little more cream next time. I think my dough is always even crumblier than it’s supposed to be, which is a feat, so maybe another tablespoon or two will help.

Poetry and Typewriter90/365: So you might already have the idea that I love poetry, and it’s true! But I am also forgetful, so the only photo I got for this day was the one for Monday’s blog post. These things happen, and I am happy with how it came out, so it’s not like I’m considering it a loss.

Black Cat91/365: My favorite model, of course. Is there anything better than a cat sleeping in your spot in bed? I think not.

Floral Doc Marten Boots92/365: Another forgetful day, I rushed to take this one before the sun was totally gone for the night. At first, I really didn’t like this photo and was frustrated, but the more I look at it, the cooler I think it is. It has a very vintage look to it, which I guess goes well with the ’90s-style boots.

Poetry Books93/365: Another of my poetry collection, just to emphasize the fact that it’s National Poetry Month! I’ve been rereading through my two Amber Tamblyn collections lately and recommending them to everyone. They’re just some of the best on my shelf honestly.

Tsum Tsums Collection94/365: Over the weekend I expanded my little tsum tsum family with R2-D2 and Leia. As it turned out, they were on sale, so I could have grabbed a couple of more. Kicking myself. The funny thing is that I have an unintentional blue/white/gray theme going on with my collection. I’ll almost be a little sad when I get someone who doesn’t match.

April 5, 2017

Project 365: Days 81-87

A good week, both in general and in photos! It helped that my birthday was over the weekend, so I did some fun things and acquired some goodies for photographing.

I was writing my photo check boxes into my planner on Sunday night, and I realized I’m slowly but surely coming up on being one third of the way through this project. I’m pretty sure that’s the farthest I’ve ever made it on a project 365 attempt, and I think it’s safe to assume it has to do with having a regular schedule for sharing the results. Any other time I’ve tried, I didn’t have an outlet for sharing the photos (because I didn’t bother, to be honest) and that created just the right lack of accountability to allow me to quit a few weeks in. But I’m almost finished with three months, and even if I’ve had some rough weeks, you know what? I’m proud of my success so far.

small parts zine issue 00481/365: Last week I released a new issue of Small Parts, which was exciting as I hadn’t done one in a few years or so. It includes a Patreon reward piece from February (funereal crows) plus my March flash fiction here on the blog.

Wizard of Oz 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle82/365: Last week I finally dove into this thousand-piece puzzle I’ve had stored in a cabinet for a year or two. I ended up spending about three days on it and finishing it up Saturday night when we got back from a bar in town that Dan’s been wanting to try out. Wild child that I am, I had a ginger ale and played video games on my PSP while there.

carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and walnuts83/365: Friday I baked my birthday cake: carrot with cream cheese frosting and walnuts on top. The flavor was absolutely wonderful and the frosting especially was delicious, but the texture was so rubbery that Dan and I didn’t even finish our slices. I’m thinking it was the Greek yogurt I subbed in for oil. But I sent the leftovers home with our friend Chris on Sunday, so no waste!

SK Pierce Mansion, Gardner, MA84/365: Saturday morning before Chris came over for the night, Dan and I drove out towards Gardner and took a drive around the town to see some cemeteries and oddities. We saw the SK Pierce mansion–reportedly haunted–for the second time, and I was surprised to see it had gotten a paint job.

Sailor Moon Volume 9 and Volume 1085/365: When we went to dinner in Northampton Friday night, we made a quick stop at a few shops while waiting for a seat to be available, and I picked up two more volumes of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon from the comics shop. I also bought myself used copies of Disney’s The Little Mermaid and season three of The Simpsons, both collections I’m looking to expand.

blog bullet journaling86/365: I spent the majority of Monday this week working on my bullet journal, which I haven’t even opened in almost six months, and setting it up for tracking blog and Etsy stats and to-dos. I’m a little worried that doing this will make me feel bogged down by numbers and such, but I’m giving it a shot for now. If it depresses me or stresses me out, I’ll rethink the process.

Elvira Funko POP! and tarot cards87/365: The newest lady in my Funko family: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. I have been dying to add her to my shelves for months since she came out, and my lovely mother picked her out as one of my birthday gifts this year! She’s on my witchy shelf, of course. (Don’t tell the others, but I think she might be my favorite!)

March 29, 2017

Project 365: Days 74-80

I have to admit that there are a couple of days (mostly over the weekend) when I was absolutely exhausted and struggling to get photos because my mom was visiting and she stays up very late and we kept busy each day. Overall, though, I’m really happy with what I came up with, especially the food photos. Now that the kitchen is coming together and cleaned regularly, it’s not the worst thing to get photos of finished baking projects.

cinnamon raisin bread74/365: Last Wednesday as part of my bread project I decided to whip up this cinnamon raisin bread from The Joy of Baking. I’m really trying to utilize that cookbook the most lately because I’ve had it for a long time but always seem to use the same three recipes. (Fun fact: The day after I made this, Lexi ate all but the first two slices Dan and I got. She’s just awful sometimes, but I guess I still love her.)

guinness stout chocolate cupcakes with bailey's irish cream frosting75/365: To get festive, I also ended up making these Guinness chocolate cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish cream Swiss meringue buttercream on Thursday. I’d never made a Swiss meringue buttercream before, but it was a first-time success and my new favorite type of buttercream. I’m also in love with my new, proper piping bag and coupler, and I love the tip (1M) that I picked out. It’s such a beautiful swirl!

honeycomb shelves corner76/365: My favorite view into our living room. I love this corner so much, especially now that the little black bookcase is better organized than it used to be. Fun fact: Dan built those honeycomb shelves, and he’s had a couple of requests from people to make them some, but he always says he’s not good enough yet. I think he’s wrong. I think they’re fantastic.

wooden address sign77/365: Dan’s sister got us this sign a couple of years ago, shortly after we moved into our house. We’re planning on moving in a couple of years, so we’ll have to get a new one because it’s pretty darn cute, and it definitely fits my homey country house aesthetic (if not my personal weirdo goth-punk one).

cactus plant78/365: My one and only cactus in the house. I’m not sure if I want anymore, but I do like this one a lot–even if Home Depot thought it was a good idea to hot glue a fake flower to the top. In fact, my plants collection hasn’t grown at all over the past week or two, which is a little sad, but maybe I’ll indulge again after Dan starts his new job next week.

green day shirt79/365: I got this shirt at the Green Day concert in Worcester last Friday, and I’m absolutely in love with it. I saw it back in October when I saw them at the House of Blues but didn’t get a chance to grab one, so I made sure to pick it up as soon as we got into the venue.

small parts 004 zine80/365: Small Parts. I’ve been struggling to work on some of the zines I have in mind right now (which is a lot of them), so I spent yesterday picking out some finished pieces to throw together a new issue of Small Parts. I haven’t published one of these in a few years, so I’m excited to have a new one to put out. I’ll be spending today cutting, assembling, and stapling the finished issue.

March 22, 2017

Project 365: Days 67-73

(I guess this week’s theme was cats and food.)

My photos are all over the place this week skills wise. I could sit here and pick a part a good number of not just these photos but a whole handful I took over the weekend. Some of the ones in my folders actually are better, but they’re already being used in other posts. I think I’m most disappointed in the photo of the babka filling. I could not for the life of me figure out the best way to photograph it, so I think I’m going to need to read up on food photography over the next couple of days–especially with some St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes on the docket, along with cinnamon buns for my mom on Friday–and take a look at how other people style their own food photos. (That, or I should just wait until I’m finished cooking to take pictures.)

Ugh, guys, I almost don’t even want to share these…

67/365: Yawning or eating souls? Photos of Charlie yawning are some of my favorite, and I’m seriously considering using one as inspiration for my future Charlie tattoo. I was originally planning on a handsome, stoic photo reference, but part of me thinks this is a little more reflective of his true personality.

68/365: Chocolate babka. I made this as the second in my twelve breads project, and I have no doubt I’ll be making it again. I used this David Lebovitz recipe, and while I think I’ll make a few changes (nixing the cinnamon, mostly), it was a very good bread experience.

69/365: Chocolate babka, completed. The cross section of the babka is absolutely beautiful, right? I love that you can see not only the chocolate swirls but also the pieces of chopped pecans. I can’t recommend this bread enough, and I’m already looking forward to another batch!

70/365: My nephew Kenny. Over the weekend Dan and I visited our friends Katie and John (Katie was my maid of honor last year!), and one of my favorite parts of visiting is always their cat Kenny. Dan was determined to fix one of their broken stairs while we were there, so I caught a snap of Kenny supervising the project.

71/365: Life goal: Achieved. I promise I’ll be doing a post on this soon, but here’s just a small peek at the unplanned trip we took up to Lincoln, NH with Katie and John on Sunday to see the marker for the Betty & Barney Hill Incident. It even inspired me to write up a mini zine on it, which I hope to have finished in the next week or two.

72/365: What’s a bed? We bought Charlie a new cat bed because I thought he would like one for lying in the sun in my office when we’re in there together. I should have known better. (Meanwhile, Lexi has tried to claim it on her own because she doesn’t realize that she’s a bigger dog.)

73/365: Snow day. I feel a little badly for enjoying snow again, but since I’m working from home, I get to enjoy it solely through observation without having to, y’know, engage with it. I can understand why yesterday’s late-season Snowpocalypse was a huge mess and frustration, though. Soon…Spring will be here soon. I promise.

March 15, 2017

Project 365: Days 60-66

Honestly, when I was putting this week’s post together, I thought half the pictures were just going to be awful because I kind of half-assed it the last couple of days. As it turns out, they’re really not that bad at all. Not perfect, but also not nearly as disappointing as I was expecting–not disappointing at all, actually! I think my favorite turned out to be the tabletop while I was putting together my new perzine. Even though the whole right side is blown out, I kind of like that (and I promise I was aware of it when I took the photo). Of course, I can’t forget about Charlie, either. I took the photo of him while I was getting some for my office tour post. He’s just the best working companion.

60/365: Essay writing. I spend so much time in this exact scene lately, but I have yet to get tired of it–probably because I allow myself to still switch it up once in a while. Some days I work in the living room, but most days (especially during the week), I make good use of this desk of mine.

61/365: Zine assembly. I spent so many hours on Thursday cutting and pasting for my newest zine, and it thankfully only resulted in one minor meltdown. I’m pretty sure every time I do a new zine it becomes my favorite, and that’s just as true with this one (though I’m still super critical of my work).

62/365: My office assistant. If my week doesn’t include a Charles, then did I really accomplish my 365 roundup? He’s been loving the sunny weather we’ve had, and he spends so many days sprawled out across my office floor. It’s nice to have the company.

63/365: Tsum Tsums. I both love and hate how inexpensive these little dudes can be because if I’m out shopping and stumble on one (or two, or five) that I want, it’s not likely I’ll be able to say no. Luckily, I’m kind of particular about what characters I get, so my collection hasn’t gotten too large yet.

64/365: Sticky. I made sticky buns for the first time over the weekend, and they were a massive success. I’ve been trying to use my cookbooks more, rather than Pinterest, so this is another from The Joy of Cooking, like last week’s cookies. I was skeptical about the dough at first, but it turned out to be just fantastic!

65/365: Run rabbit. I picked up a couple of new planters from Target’s dollar spot over the weekend, and this one is probably my favorite, even though I think it’s actually supposed to be a candy dish. I’ve had my eye on the $3 bunnies for a while now, so I’m excited to finally have one.

66/365: Goals. Confession: I’m awful at remembering my own goals, so while procrastinating yesterday, I decided to make this little printed checklist of my 2017 goals for the back of my planner, and I’m so glad I did! (Fun fact: The sticky buns are one of my twelve breads!) It even flips over so I can list the breads I make and the hikes we go on and such.

March 8, 2017

Project 365: Days 53-59

You know, I’m not sure there’s any photo I don’t like this week. Certainly there could be improvements on some, if not all, but I think this was a week when I managed to try a few new things–sometimes out of sheer desperation–and they for the most part worked out in my favor. Today is gray and rainy, so I know it’s going to be a challenge to get a good photo, but it’s just another challenge. I can always bring out the tripod if I need to.

53/365: The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. Just something simple to start this set with. I think this was my favorite bookstagram photo I took on Wednesday because it combined so many aesthetically appealing items. Honestly, though, the poetry collection is fabulous.

54/365: Sleeping angel kitty. Don’t let this face fool you, though. Charlie has been quite the little pain in the ass since he’s gone on steroids for his lesions, which are nearly cleared up. He refuses to eat the pills on his own, and he’s gotten even more aggressive towards Lexi, though she’s also been stealing his food, so can you blame him?

55/365: Newsletter assembly. I produced my first seasonal newsletter for Nine Lives last week and they started going out with orders on Monday. I’m so happy with how they turned out, and I really hope people enjoy them and find them even a little bit useful–or at least entertaining.

56/365: Fresh ink. I’ve started using my typewriter to address all zine orders, but over the weekend the ink was getting a little faded, so I freshened up the ribbon and now it’s tip top! It’s a hell of a lot more difficult to type on this little lady than it is on a laptop, though.

57/365: Library books. I’ve made good on my recent goals to go to the library more, and even though I miss blowing all of my money at the bookstore every couple of weeks, I also love supporting the library. Plus, it’s much easier to walk out with an armload of books without feeling guilty!

58/365: New zines. I’ve been trying to get back into ordering and reading zines now that I’m essentially making money only from them and Patreon, so I want to be sure that it’s a circular effort: I support others in the hopes that eventually someone else will support me.

59/365: Cookies. I think this was the first time I’ve used the chocolate chip cookie recipe from The Joy of Cooking, and I was not disappointed. Of course, the fact that I added Reese’s peanut butter chips and chopped walnuts probably helped, as well.

March 1, 2017

Project 365: Days 46-52

I have some serious mixed feelings about this week’s photos. I’m still working with color and clarity a lot, and sometimes no amount of photo retakes or fiddling around in Photoshop can make everything look exactly how I imagine. Still, I have some from this week that I absolutely love, so it’s not a total loss or anything, just a learning process.

46/365: My first order from Band of Weirdos. There was a special for a mystery box of “misfit” pins (five for $10) so I treated myself to some and was not at all disappointed! (I’m also in love with the partner website, Moss Love. *heart eyes emoji*)

47/365: My favorite corner of my home office. I’m so grateful to have a space of my own to work in our house, and this has quickly become my favorite corner in that space. It actually already looks a little different from  this photo because my plant obsession is not slowing down.

48/365: A hedgie and a jade. Michaels was having a 50% off sale on their terrarium supplies, so I picked up some pebbles and this little hedgehog figure, then got a new jade succulent and some moss from Home Depot to make my plant collection a little fancier.

49/365: Perch cat. Charlie’s been on steroids the past couple of weeks for his autoimmune disease, so on top of being more aggressive toward Lexi, he’s also been acting a bit more mischievous. I often find him perched on the bar cart and dining room table or roaming around the kitchen counter.

50/365: An unending obsession with plants. I released this mini zine on succulents over the weekend because I have been all about mini zines lately (and also plants). If you’re at all interested in the basics of cactus/succulent care, you can order it via Etsy.

51/365: Newsletter. I’m putting together a seasonal newsletter to start sending out with zine orders and to give out free at zine fests, and I’m kind of in love with how it’s coming along. I’m typing and doing general layout in InDesign, but I’ll still cut and paste like usual because I just love how it looks.

52/365: Support your fellow artists. My zinester/writer pal Jessie Lynn McMains was interviewed for the newest issue of Maximumrocknroll and it was one of the most inspirational and resonant pieces I’ve read in a while. I’ve never read MRR regularly, but this issue was worth the buy for the interview alone.

February 22, 2017

Project 365: Days 39-45

Overall, I’m ecstatic about what I captured this week! I think being home during the day, and therefore being able to capture the best lighting through the house, has already really helped me out with this project. There’s no rush to chase the light as soon as I get home, and I get a little more time to consider the subjects as well. And then sometimes there are those lucky accidents, like funny animal faces, to really remind me why this is so satisfying.

39/365: Perfect timing. I still die laughing at this photo. I swear, he was just yawning! Since my lenses are all manual focus only, I don’t get photos this fun as often as I’d like, but I think that makes them even more satisfying when I do.

40/365: Recent horror acquisitions. It’s no surprise anymore that I love horror, and I was so excited to get the most recent issue of Rue Morgue and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina last week, especially with my newly-discovered love for alt-Archie stories.

41/365: The collage poster for my Brittany S. Pierce fanzine. I’ve never made a single-page zine before this one, but I’m already working on my next one (an ASMR 101/fanzine). They’re a nice little way to put out work in between bigger zines.

42/365: A library haul. I went to the library for the first time in months on Saturday and grabbed these all within about five minutes. Plus, I couldn’t skip our weekly Dunkin’ Donuts stop (fudge brownie macchiato + brownie batter doughnut).

43/365: DIY cleaning books. I spent Sunday cleaning the house a bit and making note of what supplies I’d need to make my own home cleansers. And then I cried when I tallied up the cost.

44/365: The first quarter or so of my novel. It actually goes through about three quarters of the outline, but it needs a lot of love and revision, so the length should balance out with the storyline soon enough.

45/365: Current favorite office corner. The skeletons hang just beneath the new shelves that Dan built me, and then there’s this little table (acquired at Goodwill several years ago) to hold some of my plants and my record player.

February 15, 2017

Project 365: Days 32-38

A good photo week overall, I think. It helps that we had a couple of sunny days and I cleaned my office to give myself a little photography area to work in. Plus, now that I’m working from home, I have more hours in the day to use to get photos done. I’m not sure if I’m seeing improvement, exactly, but I’m still having fun, so it’s worth it for that if nothing else.

Sometimes I worry that not only will I not be able to finish the year, but also that I might not even want to. It’d be a bit disappointing, but I want to give myself permission to quit if I decide to later on without being too hard on myself. (I have a tendency to be my own worst critic, as I’m sure most of us are.) For now, though, I have no intention of stopping, so no worries there!

32/365: Amanda Palmer’s retweet of my Rad Gal post hanging above my desk.

33/365: A favorite shelf of mine in the living room, housing a photo of my parents and a photo of Dan and me.

34/365: Treat yo’ self.

35/365: New plants for my home office.

36/365: My ever-growing Harry Potter collection.

37/365: Brain games.

38/365: New plant on a new shelf.

February 8, 2017

Project 365: Days 25-31

This week I tried to work a little more with angles and Photoshop actions–the former for practice and the latter for fun. Plus, I was starting to worry I was getting stuck in one style of photos and editing, so I thought trying some new actions might help me mix things up a bit. I’ve been thinking, though, and if I end up spending any of my tax return on anything “for fun,” it’ll  likely be a new lens. I’d like one a little shorter than my usual (50mm), so I’ve been browsing some old 28mm lenses on eBay. We’ll see, though.

25/365: Revision

26/365: February TBR.

27/365: Maple-bacon cake.

28/365: Blog post writing.

29/365: The back of my postcards on Etsy.

30/365: A cat in my personal space, spending the afternoon in bed.

31/365: Lexi keeping an eye on Charlie skulking through the living room.

February 1, 2017