the papercraft lab

Going to California

About the LabAnandiRC

Just a quick post to say we're moving! After 15 years in Seattle, we're off to sunnier skies in California. Moving after 13 years in the same house, during which time we've acquired enough stuff to fill up said house, as well as two kids and all THEIR stuff, is a pretty big endeavor. 

So for now we're closing down the notebook shop. We may reopen once we get settled into our new home near Sacramento, but we're not sure about our plans. In the meantime if you have your heart set on a large nuuna notebook, use the Contact form to send us a message and we may be able to work something out just for you :)

Thanks for all your support since January!  This little Lemonade Stand 2.0 adventure was more successful than we expected, and more importantly, Trillian's math and writing skills have really improved thanks to all of our lovely customers.  Thank you again!!

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How Kids Can Use Notebooks (by Trillian)

About the Lab, KidsAnandiRC

Hi, my name is Trillian and here's how I use notebooks at school and at home.

At school, I use notebooks for math, language, and spelling practice. They're useful because they allow you to have all the things you learn at school all in one place. For example, if I were in a lesson and didn't have a notebook, I would forget what I learned because I hadn't written it down.

We also use notebooks for fun. I draw in them, use them for my birthday and Christmas lists, and my little sister likes to color in them.

At school.

At school.

There are lots of ways kids can use notebooks at school and at home! I hope you'll try some!

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In My Bullet Journal: A New Gratitude Practice

Bullet JournalAnandiRC10 Comments

The recommendation to write down a list of things you're thankful for each day is all over the place in books, magazines and social media.  Even Ryder Carroll, the creator of the Bullet Journal system has an elegant way he records this daily.

When I remember, I write in my five year journal about something that made me happy that day, but I'm not very consistent about it.  As I was falling asleep one evening last week, I had an idea. Why not write an actual handwritten Thank You note, like my Mama taught me, to some of the people who have inspired me, helped me or changed my life in some way?

One Thank You note per week seemed doable, so I decided to call this (drumroll please) The 52 Thank You Project. (Yeah, I know. It's not that creative.)

My list of 52 people will be a list of friends, family, and famous people who will probably never see my letter. I'm fine with that - this is more of an exercise for me to really sit down and reflect for a bit on why or how that person has influenced my life. I also like the idea of sending a tiny bit of positivity out into the world.

I wrote and mailed the first three letters today. In a few weeks I'll "catch up" so that I'm just writing one per week.  I'm tracking this in my trusty Bullet Journal as part of its own Collection page in the back.

Writing these notes is something I can do in little pockets of time I find throughout my day (thanks to Laura Vanderkam, who's on my list), so I've tucked a stamped thank you card into the back of the nuuna notebook I'm using as my Bullet Journal.

Do you have a daily gratitude practice? Tell me about it in the comments!

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Hello Again & Welcome

Finds, About the LabAnandiRC4 Comments

Seven months ago, my daughter Trillian and I took a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Scandinavia for 3 weeks. On our second day there, we were browsing in a bookstore in Oslo when I came across a cool-looking notebook with a Douglas Adams quote on it.

I have a weakness for paper products and especially notebooks, so I figured it would be a good (useful) souvenir from our trip.  When I got back home to Seattle and decided to try Bullet Journaling again to tame the avalanche of work and personal stuff I needed to accomplish, I decided to use that new notebook.

And then I fell in love.  The bright white deliciously heavy paper with a small grey dot grid pattern was so much more satisfying to write on than any of the fancy notebooks I had purchased in the past from Moleskine or Leuchtturm.  The cover was a smooth soft leather that was easy to wipe off if it got dirty. The book lays flat right from the beginning (woohoo!).

After using it for a few weeks and realizing I had found THE notebook, I panicked. I only bought one. In Norway. From a bookstore that didn't have an English website, but even with Google Translate I couldn't find "my" notebook on the site.  I did a little research on the small print inside my notebook and found out that it was a brand called nuuna, made in Germany.

But alas, I couldn't find anyone in the US selling these notebooks and shipping from various European online shops was *super* expensive. I continued to use my nuuna notebook through the year - the joy of writing in it made my system "stick" and I was writing things down and getting them done. 

I had an idea. My daughter is now seven and learning basic arithmetic and how to count money. We give her an allowance of $2 per week so she can learn how to manage her money.  Why not SELL these gorgeous notebooks in my online shop so that I could share them with my fellow Americans? And in the process, Trillian could learn about the concepts of running a business.

I already had a business license and a website from my custom scrapbooking business. So we've reinvented The Papercraft Lab as our new nuuna notebook shop.  Think of it as 'Lemonade Stand 2.0'.  

Welcome, and we hope you'll take a look around!  Just click the 'Shop' link at the top of the page to see your new favorite notebook.

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Fall 2016 Capsule Wardobe (sort of)


I wrote my last blog post 9 months ago. I had to decide last month whether or not to renew my site and I couldn't bring myself to shut it down. I like writing even if no one comments and it's all about YouTube these days. I'm old, I guess. I'd rather read a post than watch a video.

Anyway, instead of trying to catch up on 9 months, I'll just jump in. For the last couple of weeks, my hobby project has been to sort out my fall "capsule" wardrobe. I can't *really* call it a capsule, because it has just over 50 pieces, and that's not exactly minimalist.  BUT, each piece is carefully chosen and most items mix and match.  

Using my Bullet Journal to plan my wardrobe - I used colored pencils to give me an overview of my clothing colors. There have been a lot of scratch-outs and shifting items to Winter since I took this photo!

Most importantly, I plan for (and shop) for the next season ahead of time, and have done a darn good job of not buying random things in between since I started this process in 2014. I can honestly say I no longer shop for clothes when I'm bored, or need a "pick me up", etc. I shop when I "need" clothing. Let's be honest here - I don't ever NEED clothing, but I do like to update my wardrobe with a few new things each season.

This year, I have done such a good job of keeping only what "sparks joy" (thanks Marie Kondo!) that I am kind of overwhelmed by everything I chose for the next 6 months.  So instead of doing a 6 month "FWinter" wardrobe, I'm trying my friend Adrianne's suggestion of keeping some items in storage and pulling them out in December.  There are a few lighter pieces that will get put away for the winter as well.

So here's what I've got:

I noticed in photos this summer that my trusty bootcut JAG jeans from 2013 were looking a little tired. I have literally worn them multiple times a week since I bought them, except in the few summer weeks when it's just too hot.  They've faded (but not in a cool way) and lost their stretch. So I needed new jeans.

For a long time I've believed there are some things I should just not wear at my size (and maybe my age, too). Skinny jeans were firmly on that list. But I realized that wearing a lot of baggy stuff makes me feel kinda...shlumpy. And reading this great piece on Into Mind got me thinking that maybe I could try it since I like the cleaner, trimmer look and had already talked myself into leggings a few years ago (another no-no in my mind).

So this Fall's wardrobe has TWO new pairs of new skinny jeans plus the straighter leg pair of jeans I bought last year. I love them, and they go great with the flowier, longer tops I already have.

In March, I accepted a new job at Microsoft that requires me to be in the office (sniffle) which means I need a wider range of presentable out-of-the-house clothes than when I worked from home. Since it's such a casual workplace (yay tech companies!) I can *choose* to dress up if I feel like it. I love having that choice, unlike when I worked in consulting and had to dress up in "business casual +" every single day. I rebelled by wearing sweatpants *a lot* to my first gig at Microsoft back in 2002.

After 2 years of being intentional about my clothing, I'm starting to get a pretty good handle on which brands I like and fit me well, and which tend to last over time. With fewer clothes, I'm wearing each thing more often. Everything I own except one or two fancy dresses is machine washable. A few things I bought in 2014 just didn't stand the test of time.  I'm pretty much done buying anything new from the "Style & Co." line at Macy's because they just don't last. 

I am really happy to see that options for sizes 14 and up have gotten a LOT better in just a few short years. I guess the fashion industry is catching up to reality, finally. I also decided I'm dressing the body I have now, not the one I wish I had, or the one I had 15 years ago (size 8! sigh.) Yes, I would like to lose 40 lbs, but I would also like to look good in the meantime. 

For the past 2 years I waited until October to pull out the new Fall wardrobe because it was still warm in Seattle. Unfortunately that's not the case this year, so on the bright side, I get to wear my new stuff right after Labor Day weekend! It feels like Back to School shopping, which, incidentally, I still need to do for my girls. That's my next Project.

I know I've disappeared for a while, but if you're out there, I'd love to know if you are doing anything wardrobe-related to prepare for the upcoming season!

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