There’s one weird twist to my left-brained nature. I am just horrible with routines.

I can never remember to take my medicine. I rarely cook the same thing twice. I find ongoing projects (anywhere from laundry to Project Life) so difficult to keep up with.

It’s kind of nutty, because I am well-organized and meticulous with my to-do lists. So this year, I’m working the system to keep up with (and get a lot out of) the One Little Word class with Ali Edwards.

I’ve got a to-do list in my scrapbook planner and a monthly checklist on my wall calendar. By breaking it down, I can measure progress and keep on keepin’ on. In this post you’ll find my first One Little Word progress report.

Click here to see previous posts about my word for the year.

I bought this gray Studio Calico Handbook album last year without a clear vision for it. I thought I might create a simplicity journal, but the One Little Word class gave me a specific direction to head. I am already loving this size!

What you see as page 3, below, was initially going to be my cover page. But when I spotted this page from Karinne in the Studio Calico gallery I had to lift it. I printed the word art and photo on 4×6, adhered both to cardstock and then placed the triangle pieces on top.

The first creative element for the album was the white card cut with my Silhouette. As I began to play with products and design for the project, I thought a lot about what space means in design and how it can be used to communicate the goals for my word.

Next I printed the photo, a self-portrait from the end of summer last year, and found the die cut card in my stash. The left-hand page is a quote, printed on vellum, and adhered to create a pocket for white sequins. The quote reads:

Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again. – Joseph Campbell

I appreciated Ali’s invitation to include a self-portrait in the first section. I might have avoided it otherwise, but instead took a giant leap. You’ll see that I have three thus far.

With this page I also set a recurring color palette of peachy pink and mint, with pops of yellow. I love how consistency introduces a visual harmony, unifying various and disparate aspects of the album.

On this next set of pages I begin to introduce why I chose this word. (It all boils down to being super tired.)

I printed out a photo that made me feel spacious and attached a tag that Colleen Attara included with my recycled plastic word. I still need to photograph that properly, but you can see it here.

In this album I’m combining handwritten and typed journaling. It seems as though the more personal the writing, the more I get nervous about my handwriting. So I’m using an erasable Pilot Frixion pen here.

Note: I’ve got a post coming up soon on various pens I like using. The Frixion writes very nicely, but I am not using it for my layouts. 

On the right side I added a flair badge to a silver star overlay, slipping that inside of the 6×8 page protector. I really liked how the overlay buffered the entrance to my before picture.

You’ll notice that I adhered a flatter flair badge to the back as well.

This page was one of the first I created, adding mini captions directly on to the two photos. This page marks my January 2014 starting point in this journey.

I am currently obsessing over Heidi Swapp’s word stickers and liked how it gave a double meaning to the filler card: This is true. This is my today.

This is not really a weight loss journey for me, but I do expect it to be a side effect. I am focusing on the ways I want to feel – and the many variables in getting there – and not on any numbers.

I was inspired to take this plumpalicious before photo in just a cami and jeans after seeing a recent video of myself. I just looked so sad and tired. The journaling on my belly says: This is my reality.

The lower photo of my husband and daughter says: He is my why. She is my why. Swoon, I love them so and want to find this space so I can be more present for them.

This next spread was set up to be a visual cheerleader for this journey. I plan on including many motivational quotes and sayings throughout the album as a reminder of my capacity for growth.

The strong visual elements also set up the spread as a home for a moderate length piece of journaling. I shared hopes and fears for the coming year and what I most want to get out of my word in 2014.

I adore the Let’s Do This card and the bright pop of yellow. I subscribe to the Studio Calico Project Life kit and am cherry-picking my favorite cards to include in this very personal album.

I was definitely a little girl who hoarded her favorite stationery and love how this project lets me keep special things safe. It’s a fun way to honor myself and the joy I get from the creative process.

I wanted to keep this next spread fairly simple on the left, to balance the large amounts of journaling on the right. The numbered filler card has a simple title (love this life) and is representational of everyday life (7 days of the week) to me.

The photo offers another reminder of why I am doing this at all. It feel so sad when I am stuck working on something and Emily pushes my laptop closed to get my attention. She shouldn’t have to do that; I should already be there.

I have worked hard and late for as long as I can remember, but it’s no longer sustainable. This journey is teaching me to find space from the inside out, to begin with what truly matters most.

This page features a slightly-edited version of my blog post, with just a little embellishment on top. I printed it on regular paper, but included a piece of cardstock behind it for stability.

Working more with hybrid pages has me totally hooked and wondering why I haven’t done more of this, sooner.

What you’ve seen thus far essentially represents my work towards the January prompts. I’ve only just started to think about February and how I want to take the next steps.

Thus far I have included another quote page (from the blog post on the reverse) and printed monthly calendar cards. I intend to use six 4-up pages to document reflections and victories for each month.

Combined with my regular scrapbooking (layouts and pockets), this album is giving me a nice additional pocket scrapbooking fix. I had a lot of fun working on these pages over the last month and can’t wait keep playing.

I anticipate my next post in this series will be more reflective, as I go deeper in this space exploration. I am facing real challenges, but also celebrating baby steps.

It was just today, actually, that I held space for myself by saying no to an opportunity. And it felt good.