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Mix and Match - May

This is a layout I made for My Mind’s Eye.

Here’s the journaling on this one:

My boys,

I was sitting at my desk this morning, doing some art and drinking warm tea when I felt a deep rush of gratitude. I am not the most optimistic person I know. Most days, I worry too much and wish I could change some things. But then there are days, like today, when I manage to take a step back and see my life for the gift that it is.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how life is just a collection of moments. Some really big ones, some medium-sized ones, and a million little moments. Even though we seem to focus on the big ones, the bigger impact comes from the millions of little day-to-day moments. A warm hug, a joke, chuckling, warm tea, new paints. These are what life is made up of. It’s not about the big, huge moments we chase after with such conviction. It’s about the journey we take getting there. The path and not the final destination.

The million little moments that make up a whole life.

And I looked a my little moments. Daddy’s enveloping hugs. David’s love of books and physics. Nathaniel’s willingness to snuggle up and kiss me anytime I want. Our adventures when we go hiking. Watching you learn to bike. Learn to read, write and do math. Sitting on the couch together and watching science. Learning languages with David. Nathaniel trying to read to me. Watching movies with Daddy. Countless conversations on the way to and back from school.

Watching each of you succeed and fail and keep trying.

Going to new places together for the first time. And then going to old places. Places of my childhood. Reliving years of memories once again, but with you this time. Hearing you laugh. And cry. Sharing the tougher moments where we hold on that much tighter. Having ice cream together. Hearing you beg to skip vegetables again and again. Reading the articles Daddy sends me over email. Looking everywhere when Nathaniel loses his blankie once again.

I love all of these minutes.

They are reminders of how incredibly lucky I am. How wonderfully ordinary my life is. I have come to believe that I am not seeking the extraordinary. I want my life to be simple and full of these joyfully ordinary moments. And I have you to thank for them.

You have added so much richness and joy into these little moments. You made my life more colorful, deeper, and so much more worthwhile.

Here’s to spending millions and millions of more ordinary moments together. I am deeply grateful to you and I love you with all my heart.

Words to Live By

This is a layout I made for My Mind’s Eye.

I wanted to tell you a little bit about how I came to make this page. In the middle of last year, I started making 6×12 pages just so try something new. I wasn’t sure if I would love it or loathe it, but I wanted to be willing to stretch.

As it turned out, I loved it. I loved it so much that I continued to make only 6x12s for the rest of the year.

After a few months, I had this idea of making two side by side 6×12 pages where one side would just be long journaling. I sat on this idea for months. I even mentioned it during one of the Paperclipping Roundtable episodes but even saying it out loud wasn’t enough to get me to do it. I just kept thinking about it.

So when I sat down to make my first layout for 2014, I decided it was time. I wanted to try it out and see how it would look. I look a long blog post I wrote a while ago about how I would like to treat people and the kind of person I want to be. After I wrote it all out, I bought myself a ring with the words kind, present, listen. So I took photos of my ring and coupled it with my journaling.

And here’s what I ended up with:

Even though it’s made to go together, these are two separate 6×12 layout pages. I plan to store them in a 12×12 page protector and the fact that they will move in there doesn’t bother me. If it bothers you, you can tape them together or to a 12×12 piece of paper.

The nice thing about using a 6×12 page of journaling is that you can put it through a normal printer and do not need an oversized one. If you want to read the whole journaling, you can read it here

I mixed the beautiful new shimmering Lost and Found lines with the bold blacks of the Chalk Studio line and some enamel dots from Cupid’s Arrow.
If you haven’t seen the Lost and Found record it! lines in person, I cannot tell you how beautiful all the glittered papers are:

I created my layout such that the right side is a full layout that could stand on its own, so I gave it a title and all the finishing touches of a complete 6×12 layout.

but then to make sure the two pages did work together, I made it so the photos spilled over a bit, I added the decorative tape border around the 12×12 area, and I added a glittered piece with a black chipboard piece and enamel dot on opposing ends of each page to frame it even more. A full round of stitching and my page was done.

I am so glad that after months of pondering it, I finally sat down and made this page. I love the asymmetry of the words on one side and the embellishments on the other. I love that I got to tell a long story and didn’t feel any pressure to write less. I would like to take the time and space to tell some longer stories and I love that this format allows me to do that without worrying about how I can make the design and journaling work together. It feels like I am not compromising on anything.

Finally a Sport we can all Share

This is my Mix and Match page for My Mind’s Eye in April.

As I continue on my journey of two-6×12 page layouts, I’ve been thinking about this new style and pondering how I feel about it. I’ve received some thoughts and questions about this style and wanted to share some of what I think with you.

1. I love having the room to write longer journaling. When I switched to creating layouts with hand-journaling a few years ago, one of the things I missed was the ability to tell much longer stories. I know that, for me, handwriting my journaling means writing more randomly and naturally. But not always going as deep. I seem to be able to collect my thoughts better on the computer. So I love having this mechanism for telling my longer stories. Making deeper connections on my layout.

2. I’ve been asked a few times, why I like the 2 6×12 over the 12×12. On a purely mechanical level, I don’t have a large-sized printer and would not be able to print my journaling if I did a 12×12 page. But, even more significantly, with this system when I sit to scrap, I am still designing a 6×12 page. I always put the two blank pages side by side but, with the exception of the photos, I don’t think of any overlap until I’ve fully designed the right side. So my brain is thinking of a narrow rectangle (6×12) and not of a square (12×12) and different ideas come to me that wouldn’t if I started with a square. This month’s layout is a perfect example. I’d never have put an arrow in the middle of a square page, but with the split design, the arrow that splits across the pages makes it visually interesting.

3. More than anything, I like the process of doing something different than I usually would. Doing the same thing over and over again can get you into a rut. It might put you on auto-pilot and fewer creative ideas bubble up. Changing your perspective, changing your fundamentals (like the size and shape of the paper you design on) can really shake things up and help you see new possibilities.

So if you’ve been doing the same thing for a while, I encourage you to try something new this month. You never know what surprises you might get.

With that, here’s my page for April:

Here’s the long journaling:
My sweet boys,

When it comes to sports, I am not all that experienced or talented. I’ve never really played soccer, basketball, volleyball or football. I didn’t do any extracurricular sports at school or in my leisure time. I’ve never really had the natural ability or the encouragement at a young age. When it comes to sports, I am usually in the audience, cheering.

There are just a few exceptions: swimming, skiing, skating, and tennis.

I did all three of these relatively regularly as a kid and I while I wasn’t that talented at any of them, I did enjoy them.

Especially skiing.

Over the twenty years your dad and I have been together, we went skiing only a handful of times but when we moved to California, we both knew that we wanted to do it more. And then when you guys came, I knew that it was best to learn it at a young age, like I did.

Alas, the years passed and we never really made it a priority. With Daddy’s insistence we went to Tahoe last year but only managed to do some ice skating and came back home after a very rough twenty-four hours there.

When Daddy said he wanted to make sure we went again this year, I vowed to make the whole experience completely different. I got us a nice family hotel, made sure you had comfortable and cozy ski gear, and got full-day ski school set up for both of you. I figured if we were going to be there for just three days, we wanted to make sure those days were wonderful.

And they were.

In fact, I wasn’t prepared for how incredibly wonderful they turned out to be. All day ski school meant Daddy and I were alone for hours on end. It meant we could go on our own skiing adventures and spend the day just the two of us. I can’t remember the last time we spent so many hours together without you two. (Not that it’s not amazing to have you there, but it was also special to be just with Daddy for a while.) Since Daddy and I are about the same level in skiing, we joyfully went on the same runs and skied our hearts out.

Even more wonderfully, you guys not only loved the skiing but went from never having been on skis to level four for David and level two for Nathaniel. All in two days’ work! By this point David was already doing green runs. Incredible progress in such a short time.

We also loved our hotel and spent a lot of time snacking on the jelly beans, having salami sandwiches, watching movies, and eating yummy not-so-good-for-you food. Oh, and, playing on the iPad, of course.

All in all, I can easily say that this was one of our best family vacations so far. That fact, alone, makes me incredibly grateful and hopeful about our future skiing adventures.

But when I think about this trip, what’s most special to me is that there’s a sport where I don’t have to sit in the audience and observe. I can participate fully and share in the joy and excitement with the rest of you. I am so very grateful for that. I love you with all of my heart and I look forward to skiing together again soon!

and finally some closeups:

This is a Moment of Deep Joy and Gratitude for me

This is a layout I made for My Mind’s Eye.

I’ve been experimenting with making pages that are 2 6x12s where one side is all journaling. Here’s the journaling on this one:

My sweet boys,

As the two of you started growing up and learning new things, I had my own list of “what to teach the boys” which included items like reading, programming, art, writing, and math. I had many non-academic ideas, too. How to be kind, how to always say please and thank you. How to make sure you apologize if you hurt someone. To make sure you look them in the eye when apologizing. And how to say “I forgive you” when someone apologized to you. How to serve others and volunteer your time to the community.

My list was long and layered.

But I wasn’t worried about tackling it. I knew that, with time and patience, we’d make it through each item. I knew that I was capable of teaching those to you. I cared about the list and I was willing to take the time.

But then I had this other list.

The one full of the things I didn’t know how to do but wanted to make sure you learned.This list was much more challenging because, in this case, it wasn’t a matter of time or patience. Even if I had all the time in the world, I couldn’t tackle this list on my own. I didn’t know how to do these things.

While this list was layered and complicated, too, the very first item on the list was what most would consider easy: learn to ride a bike.

Learn to ride a bike.

As someone who never learned it, it was essential to me that my boys would learn to ride bikes at the typical ager most other kids learned. I wanted to make sure this was a part of their childhood experience.

Other people might think I was crazy to worry about this simple task so much, but, to me, teaching you how to ride a bike was a monumental task. How do you teach something to someone that you’ve never learned in the first place? Even though I had tried to learn a few times, I knew that there was no way I was going to master this in a way I needed to, so I could teach you two.

So I enlisted Daddy.

He’s an awesome biker and I told him that it was crucial to me that you boys learn. Daddy told me he’d take care of it.

And, take care of it, he did. He got you the bikes, the helmets, he spent the time and the effort. He ran alongside you for hours and held on and let go all at the right times. While I was vaguely aware it was progressing, it wasn’t until this weekend that I realized he had really come through all the way.

As I stepped outside to snap some photos of the two of you, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Nathaniel was able to ride all my himself, on the big boy bike with pedals and no training wheels. Yes, he still needed a bit of help occasionally, but he pretty much had it down. And David was a master-rider. Biking round and round without a care in the world.

I cannot tell you the joy that filled my heart. This is why I love Daddy so very much: he is the perfect complement to me and helps all my dreams come true. Thank you so much, Daddy, and I am so very proud of you my biking boys!

Remember This - Week 5

Here’s another one I made for My Mind’s Eye.

This page says: you are confined only by the walls you build yourself.

Ain’t that true?

I find that I often tend to think that there’s only one way forward. What I would like to remember instead is that there’s no one way. And that there’s no forward. Life is a winding path. What might look like “forward” might be a detour and what might look like a detour might be the real path to joy. Not that there’s only one path to joy. or success. or bliss. or whatever it is i am after that week.

Regardless of the notion of path or not, it is important for me to remember that I am free and not confined by anything except for the restrictions I am creating for myself. Being free and whole is a core desire for me. To feel whole, I need to remember to tear down the walls I create.

Here’s a photo that shows off all the shine in this page:


Remember This is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Remember This - Week 4

This page says: What is it like for this person?

Yet another gem from Tara Brach.

There’s some journaling here too and it says:
Because we are conditioned to pull away from suffering, awakening a compassionate heart requires a sincere intention and a willingness to practice. It can be simple. As you move through your day and encounter different people, slow down enough to ask yourself a question. “What is life like for this person? What does this person most need?”

How is that for a reminder? I love this thought and I love how it’s serving me and others.

I am not a huge fan of how this page turned out; it’s messier than I’d like but I still love the sentiment and it’s something I need to remember. I want to remember.

In the end, that’s what matters most.


Remember This is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Remember This - Week 3

This is another page I originally made for My Mind’s Eye. It says: the most important thing is to remember the most important thing.

Another quote from Tara Brach and one that I want to remember.

I actually wrote a longer blog post about this one a while back. When I was talking to my coach, I had this idea of a pie chart showing what I care most about if everything I care about could fit inside a circle, how big would each slice be?

So this is my visual. It’s a bit less like what I originally imagined but I still like it.

The sections I have are:

  • creating
  • health
  • read
  • friends
  • work
  • service
  • family

I think this one might be worth doing again at some point. I feel like the categories might be slightly different even now. OR maybe not.

Either way, for now, I still love this. It helps me keep things in perspective. It helps me remember to prioritize what matters most.


Remember This is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Remember This - Week 2

It says: It did not happen to you or because of you. it just happened. remember it is real but not true.

This page was originally done for My Mind’s Eye. It uses mostly scrapbooking papers and paint.

This page came about as I was listening to a podcast with Tara Brach. She was talking about one time when she was working on her book, against a deadline, and the computer crashed before she was able to save the writing. She then talked about how we take it personally and think that something is happening to us. How we blow it all out of proportion and how we construct a big story around what happened and what it means.

I do this a lot.

I make it mean something about who I am. What I am worth. Or more like, not worth.

Since whole is one of my core desires this year, it’s really important to me to remember this one.

It just happened.

a few more shots:

 

 


Remember This is a project for 2014. You can read more about it here.

Bodrum 2013

Before this year ends, I wanted to make sure to share with you my Smash! album I made for our trip home this past summer. I bought the album with the intention to do it while I was there. I bought one for me and one for David. I figured we could journal and collect ephemera while there and do the photos when we got back.

Alas, I didn’t really touch mine. (David didn’t either.)

So when I got back, I decided to sit and do it all. And it took much much longer than I’d anticipated. As it dragged on, I got alarmed that the Smash book had so many more pages than I was going to be able to use. After months of being really sad about this, I was finally able to get over it by removing the last few pages that I knew would be blank. Ta-da! Now I feel good.

So here are the pages:

I bought the doodle one as it was the one I’d wanted to have all along.

i don’t know why this photo is so blue but nonetheless, i covered it with some washi tape to make me happy.

the first few pages is about los angeles where we spent two nights before flying home.

another page about la.

our tickets, about the trip, and the yummy hazelnuts they give on turkish airlines.

a lot of journaling about the first few days.

dad’s map of where we are and the places we’d been so far. and some photos.

my parents’ house is in the Gundogan bay.

more photos and a little bit about how we split our time.

my nephews and my favorite things about being with them.

doing the values exercise on my sister and staying up till the wee hours of the morning.

some of my favorite photos.

and ones of my sister, mom and me. i love these so much.

the boys playing in the sand. and waterguns.

just how much they played with my kids. my nephews are awesome.

mom and dad, who made all this possible.

more sand play.

a few final photos I love so much.

some wrappers from our food there. a little photo of bodrum.

and some luggage tags on the way home.

there you go. a little, lovely album to remind me of the magical times at home.

December Daily Twenty-Two through Twenty-Five

And here we are:

I didn’t want to overthink these pages so I cut my page of two 4x6s in half and put one of the boys playing chess.

and a movie on the back.

then a little card i got in the mail.

from big picture classes. so grateful for them.

then it’s christmas eve and the boys opening their one present. little rainbows for their room.

our family photo on christmas day.

love the shiny.

a card nathaniel made for us for Christmas. It’s a cheetah!

and a picture he drew on Christmas day, it’s hot lava and acid!

And our christmas breakfast table.

and finally tulips. I always end with tulips and my word for the next year.

and here we are. so grateful for this project.

December Daily 2013 - Day Twenty-One

Today is a bunch of events from the last day of school. David singing and also reading from his myth at school.

David’s friend surprised us with cookies on our door, so I added the note to our book, too:

and the program from David’s school.

and the inside.

there we go. See you tomorrow. Merry Christmas! :)

December Daily 2013 – Day Twenty

Today is really simple. I had these photos of the boys playing together that I just loved so much. I printed them and then added a bit of journaling and a strip of washi to the bottom of each.

there we go. See you tomorrow.