We are smack dab in the middle of winter in the Midwest and I am overwhelmed with gratitude…for our warm house…our food security…and for the job that makes those two things possible. There was a 76 degree difference in temperature between our house and outside this morning and I was shaken to my core thinking about the people who don’t have those three things. 

The frigid temperatures meant lots of extra time spent in The Oodlearium this week.

Chess

I told Tom this week that I was interested in giving chess another try. He has been devouring on-line games for the last few weeks and it has piqued my interest in the game. After a few practice games, I really did realize that I could improve if I invested some time into practicing (imagine that!). I always thought chess was for people far smarter than I am. It was an eye-opening realization. 

Ladies Creative Night Out

One of my pillars of a creative mindset is to regularly interact with other creatives. This past week I kicked off my Ladies Creative Night Out. It is a small group of ladies who are looking to discuss projects they are working on, be inspired by other creatives and in general just take some time for their hobbies. Our first chat was super small, but we discussed a lot of different resources for classes, supplies and inspiration. Can’t wait to do it again on the 14th.

The World Needs More Love Letters

It has been a few years since I first heard about this organization that allows people to request “love” letters for friends and family going through rough times. I am so excited that one of the letters is perfect to use for a virtual get together for my German Club students. But I was moved by the letter request for a lady named Lisa from NYC. She has a thankless and grueling/heartbreaking job and is also fighting cancer while her mom is also fighting cancer. Life is so unfair! One card was not enough for her, so I made her a set of “open when” cards with inspirational messages on them. I wish I had my magic wand to just erase her pain, but hopefully these little packages will bring a smile to her face over the next few weeks. Want to join in on the spreading of joy? Check out their site here.

Oodle Doodle Cards

When Tom first gave me the idea to write the backstories for the Oodle Doodle family, I scanned and colored each doodle. I thought it might be a good idea to print a set of wallet sized images of each doodle…just in case. Holy moly have these been so fun to have on. hand! I have used them for all sorts of cards— the love letter package for Lisa, birthday cards, thank you cards and much more. 

A pen obsession

Hardly a week has gone by when I haven’t mentioned my Pilot Metropolitan pen. This week is no different. After ordering a ridiculous amount of inks a few weeks ago, I have actually decided to snag myself a second pen to keep plain black ink in. Then I will use the fun green one I bought today for my colored inks. What kind of world do we live in when I can have two different pens just for different colored inks. Just another shout out for the awesome staff at Goulet Pen Company. They are a small mom and pop shop out east and I can’t imagine buying my pen supplies from anyone else. 

My idea journal

One of the ideas I had from the Ladies Drawing Night Out book was to create a collage. I was making the idea much harder in my head than it needed to be. Yesterday morning I was sitting here at the Oodle Surface looking at my idea- journal…with a blah cardboard cover…and it struck me. Why don’t I practice on there? It doesn’t matter how it turns out (thank goodness because it is a mess!) I had a stack of flower catalogs from White Flower Farm, some glitter paper scraps and a glue stick. It’s far from perfect, but it definitely fits the “start somewhere” mantra I am always preaching to others. It fits the “embrace imperfection” mantra that my pal Yosef from 52 Frames is always preaching. 

52 Frames

This week I took on an administrator role for a mini-group within 52 Frames. It is fun to interact with a small group of photogs from around the world. Many of them are relatively new to 52 Frames and I know how nervous I was when I joined the project, but even more so when I joined my first mini-group. I’m looking forward to getting to know them and learning from them as well.

Last week’s theme was “horizon” and my goal with my photo for the week was to make people smile. Mission accomplished! Kudos to Tom for giving me the idea to use our wine charms as my subject. 

This week’s theme is single point of focus. We received an amaryllis bulb from a friend for Christmas and it picked the perfect week to blossom. This link will open when the album goes live on Tuesday. 

Until next time, oodle on!

Jen

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