Friday, July 18, 2014

Tales From a Paper Hoarder

I, my friends, am a paper hoarder. I have known this for a while and have come to accept it. And if pretty paper makes your heart go pitter patter and anxious that if you don't buy it right then and there, the giant stack will be sold out tomorrow...welcome friend. There is nothing but love and acceptance here {and maybe some paper envy!}.

For those of you that can walk down the scrapbooking aisle without noticing which paper is new, here is what it looks like.

This...this is my 2nd {!!} trash stack of the year. {That I may or may not have been hanging on to for a few weeks...}

My drawer for scraps...because the world might end if I throw away a usable piece of paper.

My 8.5x11 papers...

Which sits on top of my 12x12 paper holder...

That is filled to the top...of course.

Why do I have all this paper? Back in the day I was an avid scrapbooker and then I started my journey of making photo blocks with the scrapbook paper. Then I started painting signs and that part of my business took off and the paper was pushed to the side.
 If you read my post "Spreading My Wings" I mentioned that I missed working with paper, I really do. Last month, without even giving myself time to talk my self out of it, I signed up for a mail swap that was paper themed. This is exactly what my creativity needed.
The person I was matched up with listed fun and bright paper as one of her favorites, as well as flowers. While digging through my stash of paper I found a really fun flower print. Then I found a polka dot paper that coordinated with it and decided instead of just filling her box with paper, why not make a little something that she could hang for inspiration. I found a print that Kristi at I Should Be Mopping the Floor {and my blogging mentor} had posted on her blog and after a quick email to see if it could be resized to a smaller size {Yay, it could!}, she sent me the file which I printed.
Now let me tell you, I am one lucky girl. One, because I have a great friend that is also creative and was willing to help. Two, because I had decided on papers to use with a print forgetting that sometimes what you print from your computer does not match the colors you see on the screen...this time, they matched perfectly! Phew!
Do you love?! I had grabbed some sparkly Duck Tape earlier in the day, I thought it would be fun to use to go along with the shine part. I haven't sat down and crafted with just paper like this {outside of school projects with my girls} for a few years now and I forgot how much fun it is to just sit and put papers together. To brainstorm about what to use them for.
Like I had hoped, this mail swap, and other new creative things I have been trying has begun to open me up a little more each day to get my creativity going again. If you would like to print out an 8x10 Rise & Shine print from Kristi, you can click here. Like I mentioned earlier, she has quite a few printables and I'm sure you'll find something!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Spreading My Wings

I have been working my way through the Building a Creatively Built Business 2.0 courses in my free time. It is a series of videos made by Jeanne Oliver, Jennifer Rizzo and Miss Mustard Seed {aka Marian Parsons} and the information these ladies have to offer is incredible. Really. Like make you break down in tears incredible because you realize that you are not the only one that has ever faced whatever growing pains you may be going through at that point.

You can click here to go directly to the website to find out more about this class as well as all the other wonderful classes Jeanne Oliver offer {I have my eye on a few other ones at the moment!}.

I just finished the chapter about diversifying your business and that is one that struck a chord with me. I have always felt that because my signs sell so well, I should just stick with making and selling signs. But the creative person inside of me isn't happy. There are so many other things that I would like to try, so many other things that I enjoy making, so many other items other than paint and wood that I enjoy working with. And at times...well...I've thought that I would be perfectly fine with never having to paint another sign. And that, my friends, has lead to quite a few periods of being burned out and even more periods of not being able to create new designs because my creative side feels trapped.

 In the videos the ladies talk about how branching out, creatively, has helped them fall back in love with what they originally started making. Yes, it was another one of those tears streaming down the face moments.

So I've decided, I'm going to do more of these.

I've always enjoyed making wreaths and they actually help me decompress and relax when making them. {I'm weird, I know, I've accepted it!}

I'm going to play with paper more.

I have always wanted to try making cute tea towels. I've been working on a line of vinyl wording to go on your front door.

I may even get a little crazy and try sewing some really easy things.

But don't worry, I'm not quitting the sign business. The funny thing is that just working on some other things has sparked my creativity again and for the first time I sat down and started designing again. So be on the lookout for some new signs coming as well as lots of new stuff! And maybe even some pictures of some flops, I have lots of those from time to time!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Ugly Truth

You guys...this really pains me to show you this. But something has to be done and I think putting it out there in blog land will help me to get motivated to get it done sooner. Plus, I don't ever want any single person for a single second to feel like we are living in a home that is rainbows and unicorns and everything is perfect. We are an ordinary family that makes messes and has our lazy moments.

This is the ugly truth, my Monica's closet...

Yes...I use our dining table to work and create. I have an office that we re-did for this very purpose. Do I use it for that? Simple answer, no. Long answer, I spent too long making sure it looked pretty that I never made sure that it would function for what I needed it for. This mess gets pushed to the side every time we eat dinner. I have been known to be racing around trying to move everything and add a final coat of paint to boards and get dinner on the table that sometimes dinner time straight up stresses me out. I should probably add that I am a messy crafter. I work like crazy not thinking about the mess and then take one day off and spend it cleaning, just to start the cycle again.

And you would never know it, but under that mess is a beautiful table my husband built. A table that I look at Pinterest and just know would look just as beautiful as some of the tables I have pinned with their beautiful center pieces, burlap runners and gorgeous place settings.

The good news, I do have a plan. Shortly after my husband made our table he also built a desk for the kitchen so that we could use the computer we had as a family computer.

The hutch on top is from our tv stand that was once my parent's bedroom furniture. I'm not sure what I am going to do with the hutch part yet but the desk is a perfect work area for me. This piece will be replaced by this...

The kitchen hutch that my in-laws were getting rid of and I just knew that it would be beautiful in my office. This is one of the pieces that is not functional for me. The storage underneath? Full of scrapbooking supplies that I don't need. This piece will give me the extra storage I need in the kitchen and can house the computer for the kids. And I've always wanted an old hutch in the kitchen, so this girl is getting painted white with distressing and the glass is getting replaced with some chicken wire. You know, the faux vintage effect that fits so many of our budgets so well!

The desk will move in to this spot and I plan on adding some open shelving above to store signs as they are drying, that way I can still work on more than one order at a time and not take over the entire house.

So stay tuned, hopefully everything will be moving soon!