Posts Tagged: inspire(d) magazine

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Spring 2020 Inspire(d) cover

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Read the Spring 2020 Inspire(d) Online!

The Spring 2020 Inspire(d) is all about doing life in a way that works for you. Inside, you’ll find:

Take the Leap: Do life your way! Lauren Barry + Michael Anderson • Gap Years • Annie Titus • Zach Burke • Elliott Jewelers • Walking Space • Songs of Spring – Driftless Birds • Pop-Up Paper Flower Cards • And More!

Amazing cover illustration by Lauren Bonny 

Read the whole thing online here!

A note from Aryn:

What do you want to be when you grow up? Some form of this question revisits us on a semi-regular basis here at Inspire(d) HQ (also, who even WANTS to grow up?!?).

When I was a kid, living in the country near Frankville, Iowa, I thought maybe I’d be a teacher, or a nurse like my mom. My dad was a pilot, so there was a time in middle school that I considered becoming a major airline pilot.

In college, I knew I loved to read and write, but wasn’t sure how that would translate to a “real job” post graduation.

So, back to teacher – I was even accepted to the College of Education at University of Iowa. There was a brief foray into selling Mary Kay cosmetics and dreaming of pink Cadillacs (very brief), and then I spent a short time in the Air Force ROTC program, coming back to that pilot idea. It wasn’t until my junior year that I came to journalism.

But even with a journalism degree, entering the world seemed impossible. I considered graduate programs, but my advisor said, “Unless you’re planning to teach, there’s not much point in going further in debt to learn what you can learn in the real world.” Whew, am I ever grateful for that advice.

So, after claiming my degree in English and journalism in 2003, I took a bit of a “gap year.” I still worked – I taught oral English to middle-schoolers in China from 2004-2005 – but it wasn’t exactly a career.

The things I learned on that gap, though, have led me through this life. They changed me, and expanded my opinions of the world, just as the Gap Years did for the Decorah area folks featured in Kristine Jepsen’s story on page 24.

Back in the states, I figured I better get a real job… finally. But no one wanted to hire me, much to my surprise (ha!). I did have a back-up plan: This magazine in your hands. Really, it was the plan A, but it seemed too crazy to just make it up!

In Maggie Sonnek’s story, Lauren Barry of Dancing Gnome Farm and Michael Anderson of Broken Paddle Guiding Company find that “just making it up” is the best way to a life filled with passion. I would have to agree.

All of this is to say: There are a lot of ways to do life. To grow up (or not) as you grow older. Sometimes you just have to Take the Leap! Throughout this issue, you’ll read stories of people who have done just that. Annie Titus decided to head to undergrad at UW Eau Claire in her late 50s (pg 47). Zach Burke knew in high school that he wanted to pursue the John Deere TECH program at Northeast Iowa Community College (pg 56). This issue’s Sum of Your Business interview features three generations working side-by-side at Elliott Jewelers in Waukon.

Everyone’s path is different. For Andrew Boddicker, it was a literal path – a pilgrimage in Spain inspired his new business, Walking Space, featuring carefully curated, long-distance walks in the Driftless Region. Written by Inspire(d) newcomer Erin Dorbin, this story highlights the great benefits of a simple walk (pg 60).

Speaking of new writers, we’ve got two others to introduce! Mary Hyland shares her love of geocaching in the region with our readers, and Craig Thompson helps us train our ears for the sounds of spring – birds! You can’t miss the accompanying illustrations by Decorah artist Lauren Bonney – the amazing oriole on the cover is just one of five that go along with the story. It gets me excited about spring and warm weather and flowers (make paper ones for a card in this issue’s paper project) and all the lovely spring things! It’s my favorite season! We hope you enjoy it as well!

Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols

Read the whole thing online here!

Paper Project: Paper Fortune Cookies!

One of my favorite things to celebrate in the winter is the Lunar New Year, or Chinese New Year. It generally falls at the perfect time of year for a party – late winter, when the holiday season has passed but you really, really need some socialization.

I lived in China for a year in 2004-2005 teaching English, and honestly I never saw one fortune cookies there. But that doesn’t stop me from loving fortune cookies at Chinese restaurants here, and loving these paper ones filled with positive messages.

These would be fun to put together for Chinese New Year – it is Saturday January 25, 202 this year, the Year of the Rat – or just to give to your kids, your friends, your neighbors…pretty much anyone who would love to unwrap a bit of positivity (which should be everyone!).

Roxie and I had so much fun making these together, and writing our own positive messages too! So let’s get to it!

Supplies:

• Colored or patterned paper
Note: We got our awesome paper at Cardboard Robot in Decorah – it’s actually thick wrapping paper. Cardstock would be too think, but traditional wrapping paper would be too thin, so plan accordingly! Regular printer paper would likely work fine.
• Small bowl for tracing – we tried a cup, but we felt like it made too small of cookies
• Pencil for tracing
• Scissors
• Hot glue gun (adult supervision required)
Positive fortunes/sayings download

Cut out all the sayings (download the page here), or write your own

 

Trace a circle on the back of your paper

Cut out your circle

Place the positive “fortune” in the middle of the plain side of the circle

Fold the top over to the bottom, but don’t make a crease

Turn the semi-circle over and make a small “wave” at the opening

Hold the wave with one hand and grab the corners of the other “spine” of the semi-circle and place your pointer finger in the center

While still maintaining the wave, carefully push the center of the spine in while pulling the edges of the spine toward each other

Place a dot of hot glue in the crease (we found if you place it about halfway up the crease, it holds best)

Hold the crease in place for about 30 seconds while the glue dries and you’re done!

Hand these little presents of positivity all over! Happy winter! XOXO – Inspire(d)