Tuesday, July 19, 2016

And If I'm Still...

 
Learning to be intentional with my time and my energy... a lesson that I thought I had mastered. Thought being the keyword.
 
It has been forever since I last posted, April 17, 2015 to be exact. I have a bajillion topics, pictures, unfinished projects laying around to prove that I have been thinking about writing.
 
I just haven't.
 
Why? I'll tell you why. And why it can be a little, actually a lot, uncomfortable.
 
My little business has been cruising along at a comfortable pace. But then uneasiness creeps in {especially thanks to social media}. It's the tale as old as time, you're minding your own business, feeling good about your life and then you pause to take a look around...
 
And there it is. The gobs of people shouting from the roof top about how wonderful their life is because they got that huge promotion/new house/new workspace/picked up by a huge brand/insert your own good news here...
 
And you're in the same space and you're suddenly feeling like your dreams, your desires, your talents are falling on deaf ears. That maybe this is as good as it's ever going to get for you...insert the feeling of defeat. The wondering if this is where you throw in the towel.
 
When I can remember, I have been listening to a fantastic series that the uber talented, Jeanne Oliver has on her creative classes page, Listening Finding the Quiet. {It's a free series, but you will need to set up a free account with her network to access it.}
 

 
The world can be so loud and we desperately need quiet. We need time to think, process, pray, worship, plan, dream, forgive, heal and find direction.  To just be still.   Do we give ourselves this time to be quiet and truly listen to the voice of the Lord?  Are you striving and trying to navigate life in your own strength? Are you tired?  Do you know that the Lord pursues you?  Do you know that he wants to carry your burdens? Do you know that he deeply longs to communicate with you and have a relationship with you?  Are you ready to find the quiet and listen to his voice?
 
The description above is exactly what you get. 20 amazing people talking about that moment in their life that they asked, "Is this where I am supposed to be? Am I doing what I should be doing?"
 
I asked myself one day if I would even know how to listen for an answer. I also thought what an amazing experience it would be to ask and get an answer as clear as some of these people were getting.
 
For several months I would half heartedly ask, especially when business would slow down and I would start my cycle of worrying and trying to fix everything. Business would pick up and I would think of how easy that was.
 
A few months later I felt like everything had stalled. Business seemed off. My fitness journey felt like it was going no where. And everyone online seemed to be thriving. Every post seemed to start with "Fantastic News!!" and "I'm so excited to announce..." and I'm just over here like blah.
 
After spending a week or two convincing myself it was just a slow period, everything is totally going to be okay, something big is coming and my usual pep talks, I was frustrated. Defeated. Thinking I had reached the end of this dream and I needed to put an exit plan in place, even though my husband was encouraging me to keep going. It had been a solid 3 weeks since an order had been placed. Even longer than that since I had felt truly inspired to sit down and create something that felt good.
 
My husband was out of town for work and I sat one night as I was getting ready for bed and asked {very clumsily}, "What am I supposed to be doing? Have I given enough? Am I using my talents the way you have always intended me to? IS THIS WHERE I AM SUPPOSED TO BE?" There were tears and I kept playing this lyric over and over in my head.

 

The one thing I never expected the next day was peace. A peace that told me I was exactly where I was intended to be, just be patient and listen. Which can be the hardest part, because the answers don't always come fast, they come when needed and they are not always the clearest answers.

Like the pull of Facebook constantly showing an ad preview for your business page and the only part your eyes see is the "occasional blogger" part you just added to your profile.

The feeling to share your worries and frustrations on your personal Facebook page and that you truly know deep in your heart that better things are coming.

When your email is filled with previews of blog posts and podcasts of people sharing their stories of how they learned to stop and listen. And most importantly, trust the plan that has been written for their life by someone that is so much bigger than them. And encouraging others to share their stories with their followers.

Share. Share. Share.

Hint taken. And I knew exactly what words to share first.


I want to inspire. I want to make things that make people feel good. I want my girls, my family, anyone to look at my journey and know that I'm not using my talents, my God given talents, for fame and fortune. That my story is inspiring someone to listen and to take a chance with that wish that has been written on their heart.

I know this could have easily gone the other way. Instead of confirming that I need to continue on this path, He could have easily said no and pointed in a different direction. I think the peace that comes with asking with an open heart and then patiently listening would have made that an easy path to follow also.

Truth be told, this path is terrifying for me. I like to share the happy moments, the happy, sunshine unicorns and rainbow moments. I have always felt that sharing the insecure, doubtful moments equal me whining. But these are also the inspiring moments. The moments where if your story helps one person realize their dream or confirm that they are not alone with their feelings, you are on the right path.

And now my path is leading me to get these bajillion projects and ideas done. ;)


Friday, April 17, 2015

A Little Bit of Coffee...

Oh friends...last week? Well, last week was one of those weeks. You know what I mean, the one week that is seems like a month's worth of activities were squeezed in to 5 days.

The to-do list wasn't bad. There was a microdermabrasion from a friend practicing before her final exam to become a licensed esthetician. And a morning spent junking with another friend that was a blast. And a morning taking my mom to another eye appointment that will hopefully lead to her vision getting back to normal.

But the business leads to not enough time to work...and that leads to me stressing out...and in a weird way leads to my creative juices flowing.

And inspiration hit over a cup of coffee while browsing Pinterest....

 



And a whole lot of prayers that Monday afternoon to be able to make it through the week.

A perfect little sign that combines the two things that keep me going.



I love the fun quirky font mixed with the sweeping lines of the hand lettered font. I like to think the heavy distressing is a reminder that some of the most beautiful people {or things} in my life, got that way by weathering the storm called life.



Of course this sign is listed in my Etsy shop {just click here!}...you know, just in case you need a little coffee with a whole lot of Jesus!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Turtle Eggs and Dirty Diamonds

This is it. My first "life in between post". I'll get back to the sign making or crafty stuff with the next post, pinky promise.

My husband and I have been on an over-haul, we're finally getting healthy plan since the beginning of the year. One of the super foods I have been pondering is quinoa.

So what does quinoa have to do with the title of this post? If you live in my home...everything.

My 9 year old likes to take new things that she doesn't understand and turn it in to a perfectly understandable idea that works for her and may just leave you in stitches.

Like the quinoa.

While holding a bag of it in the grocery store, and debating if this was the week we were going to try it, my daughter turns her attention from poking every single bag of rice to excitedly exclaim,

"Oh! Look at all those tiny little turtle eggs! We're not going to eat those are we? I don't think I could."

Which was followed by laughter from my fellow shoppers as I turned to see exactly what she was talking about. She was looking at me wide eyed and pointing at the bag of quinoa I was holding.

Sorry quinoa...maybe we'll see what you're all about another week.

Later in the week, my mother in law wanted to take the girls, while they were on Spring break, to the Waco Mammoth Site and I tagged along for the ride.

We were there early and the girls took advantage of browsing the gift shop while I stood outside and took a phone call.

"Mom...MOM!! They are selling diamonds in there for $5!! I mean they're really dirty but I know we can clean them!"



Luckily the phone call was my mom. And the dirty diamonds were crystal quartz from Brazil. And I didn't buy a single mammoth item from the gift shop but made sure I went back to get us one of the dirty diamonds.

Monday, February 16, 2015

A Gentle and Quiet Spirit

Little girls are the best. They're adorable and have dreams of one day becoming a princess.



But little girls turn in to preteen and teenage girls and that brings a whole new storm. One day they are following you around, wanting to be just like you, and it seems the next day they are closed up in their room texting and the only time you see them is if food or you buying them stuff is involved.



Oh. And they start worrying what everyone else is wearing, friends opinions will seem to matter more than yours and if they don't have that cute new shirt that so-and-so from YouTube designed they simply.will.die....

And you know that they won't because you start to remember those years and that you never believed your mom's advice and you call your mom to apologize with each new growing phase you face. {Again, sorry mom.}



But in all reality, I'm learning to take each new battle {or eye roll} as a learning experience for all of us. The biggest lesson I'm trying to teach them right now is that things are things. They're true beauty will always come from deep within and that they need to be able to look at themselves in the mirror at the end of the day and know that they were the absolute best person they could have been. And if they weren't, well, tomorrow is a new day.

I found a picture of this passage on Pinterest when I first signed up a few years ago. I never knew how important this passage would be for myself and my girls.



And the fact that it would start a bathroom remodel that should have happened a long time ago. I'm shocked I have ever been allowed to pick colors for our home after this pink. It's now painted in an eye pleasing sparrow gray and I will be keeping you up to date as it all comes together!



I whitewashed the sign to allow the wood to come through. Once I was done with the lettering, I distressed the front of the sign and painted some lattice boards the same black as the lettering and attached them to add a little dimension. I'm not sure exactly where in the bathroom it will hang yet, but I love that it will be there as a daily reminder to the girls before they head out in to the world for the day.



I do have this sign listed in my Etsy shop if you would like to take a peek and will be soon offering it in different sizes to fit every budget!

This post is also being shared here:
http://diyshowoff.com/category/other/that-diy-party/
Inspiration Monday at www.ishouldbemoppingthefloor.com

Friday, February 13, 2015

I Could Rule the World...

That was my statement to my husband the end of December..."If I could work as hard as I do during Christmas I'm pretty sure I could rule the world!"

Let me clarify, the handmade sign shop/blog/being the best crafter this world has ever seen world.

Ha! It's now the middle of February and I am no where near world domination {as you can tell since October is the last time I posted}. I'm not even close to dominating the craft market on my street.

Here's the thing, the highly successful shops you see on Etsy and the popular bloggers you love to read all have one thing in common. At some point they had to get their "stuff" together and figure out what works for them. Like a crafty a-ha moment, sometimes you have to change they way you work if you want to grow.

                                                                               source

I recently sat down and thought about what bothered me most. The fact that I have a 3-4 week turnaround time on Etsy orders really started to eat at me. I know I have missed out on sales because some people don't want to have to wait that long for a purchase. I know that I have given myself permission way too many times to spend a couple days doing nothing because I was getting orders shipped way before my turnaround time.

Knowing that I have pages of pending orders waiting on me would be like a gloomy cloud over my head some days. A gloomy cloud that would start sucking the creativity out of me and I want my creativity back.

I'm know working like every day is like the last day of my Christmas rush. Well, Monday-Friday, 8-5 {and sometimes in the evening}. Not just painting. I'm finding my passion in photography again. I'm working on drafts for upcoming blog posts. I'm slowly getting my creativity back for new items in my Etsy shop.

                                                                              source

And slowly working on dominating the craft world...on my street.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Glad & Sincere Hearts

I often have people ask if my home is filled with beautiful signs. Simple answer, no. Detailed answer, I have a few that are my favorites and I have plans for so many I would like to make for our home. But honestly, sometimes at the end of the day it's hard to sit down and make something for your home when you just spent the day making signs for other people's homes.

One of my favorite things to do while paint is drying is to waste hours browse Pinterest for some inspiration. A while back I found this pin from Hymns and Verses.


I wish I could find the actual blog post in her blog about it, the link takes me back to her blog in general, not the post. I do know it is a tea towel sold from Mary & Martha that she framed to display in her home.

Besides the beautiful hand lettering, I also love the message.

In our home, we always eat dinner together. It's nice at the end of the day to sit together and talk about our day. We may not eat the same thing, but we are sitting at the table together. And even if the kids don't like what's for dinner {which rarely happens} we always remind them to be thankful for the food we do have instead of wishing it was something else. Some days it's easy to forget just how blessed you are.

One of my bad habits is finding a quote that I love and then stressing on making a design for my Etsy shop. Once I finally have a design I like, I'm over having it in my house. When I was working on this design, my husband saw it and asked for it to be in our home, only on a bigger scale than what I had in mind.


We had a top from a console table sitting around that I thought would look great as a sign and fit my husband's request for a big sign {it measures 10" x 48"}. We have high ceilings in our living and dining rooms so this sign looks great hanging on our dining room wall above the doorway that leads to the kitchen.


We have history with this table. It was one of the first pieces of furniture we bought after getting married. At that time we had a very country theme going on and it was stained the color shown and hunter green. Soon the green was gone, replaced with black. And it had been repaired...several times.


A little someone also practiced her writing skills on this table top...


Since I don't have an endless supply of table tops sitting around I also made a smaller version on a 1x8.




Even though it's a smaller version, the message is still as powerful. This size is listed here in my Etsy shop.

So, what statement is speaking to you right now?

Sharing and Linking up here!!
http://www.chaosandlove.com/link-party-21/

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Make a Clipboard!

In my last post I shared a clipboard I made and promised a tutorial was coming. Well, I'm not sure how much of a tutorial it is since I forgot to take pictures along the way, but here it is!


I am loving the trend of using clipboards to display just about anything that will lay flat but most of the time I want to display something that would be lost on a normal size clipboard. Plus, a run of the mill clipboard can't stand on it's own.

I had ordered some prints from Katy Girl Designs {click here to visit her Etsy shop} and had planned on displaying this one on my chicken wire frame above my work table. Once it came I realized it was too cute to be clothes pinned up to chicken wire.

I used a piece of 2x8 wood I had cut 10 inches long and stained it. The beauty of this is that you can cut one to any size, plus you can use a thinner board if you want to hang it on the wall. And you can paint it to match your d├ęcor. I chose to stain this one since I am a huge lover of the beauty of wood grain, especially when it's a little knotty. ;)



I did give it a good sanding the next day once the stain had dried, just to give it a rustic, well loved look. For protection and to give the wood a little sheen I added a coat of furniture wax. It helps deepen the color and keep the wood from looking like it's dried out.

This whole project started because I had found these clipboard clips at Hobby Lobby.


They come in a two pack and have a wonderful vintage feel. Although, I seriously think that Tim Holtz only knows vintage. The only downfall with these clips is that they do not come with screws for mounting. I dug through our boxes of mismatched screws and found the ones that would work best.


Old and a little rusty. I would be lying if I even tried to tell you what they came off of.

Now comes the fun part, displaying whatever your heart desires and having a fun photo shoot!



 
 
 
And as always, nothing gets photographed in the backyard without these two butting in while trying to look like they're not!