New Beginnings

Things have been different around these parts lately.

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With the passing of my grandfather, the ill health of my grandmother, and the joyous return of spring, I have been finding myself a little more reflective–searching for a way to make reality a little closer to the dreams in my head. I’m not too sure what the days ahead hold for me and my family, but I do know that adventures are waiting for us and that we will not be letting them pass us by. Here’s to a new way of living that includes daydreams, faith filled days, road trips, new business ventures, a true style of my own, and cultivating a life instead of only allowing life to cultivate me. I will try very much to be as genuine as possible with my posting from here on out, and only include things that are real and true and honest. No BS posts just to put something up on time. I will not feel guilt about posting, or not posting, or sharing my heart and who I am. I will make this space my own corner of internet happiness (or sadness, if I should choose). I can only hope some of what makes me happy will make you happy, and encourage you as well.

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(I’m not going to lie, these past months have been hard. I mean, the corners-of-my-little-world-folding-in hard. But there is strength and joy and freedom in Christ, and He is the one who has gotten me through. I’m hoping to share that encouragement with you this evening. That even if your world in turning inside out,  there is hope, and his name is Jesus. If you don’t know his love and compassion, seek him. You will find him.)

 

 

Balancing Act

This week was a lesson in balance. Two weeks ago when I had that super-productive-mega-awesome week? That was awesome FOR ME. Not so much for the rest of the people living in this house. I only did enough laundry and dishes to get by and I barely cooked. (Let’s not talk about all the other things I didn’t do, mkay?)

This week I had a few orders to work on, so once I finished up the one that needed to be finished right away, I took a break from work to, be with my family and CLEAN. It really is amazing what a neat house will do for morale! When we can walk through the living room without tripping over toys that makes us all happier. When there is a clean glass when we want something to drink–up with the happy. And apparently when I can see the kitchen table, like, see IT and not all the crap on it, that not only makes us happy, but brings the family together in the kitchen.

This upcoming week, I would like to continue this balance. I like getting stuff done, but I also like having clean clothes. I’d like to make it a priority to make both happen most days around here.

What about you? Do you tend to let stuff slide when you’re super focused on a project? What do you do to keep it all balanced? (Isn’t that a silly question? It changes every day doesn’t it?! But answer it anyway! Feel free to include your very best crock pot, rice cooker, or just plain fast recipes because meals are the biggest part of this balance for me. When there is a good meal on the table, the complaints are held to a minimum!)

And just for fun, here’s my baby dressed to play in the snow. We only got a couple of inches, but they all had so much fun! If you’re about to get the superblizzard I hope you stay safe, and find a way to enjoy it a little! 014

Color Change

There was a time when I was little that I vividly recall. I was in my bedroom with the kittens-in-a-basket picture on the wall that I had begged for, and I had this thought, “I could change my favorite color. I don’t have to keep the same favorite color forever!” It sounds strange, I know. But up to that point I was loyal to the color red. It was red red red. Then, suddenly, with a thought, it wasn’t just red anymore. It was orange and navy, then purple, then just about every other color up to now, when it’s usually aqua or mint.

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Do you ever place unnecessary limits on yourself, like I do?

The favorite color limit isn’t the only unnecessary one I’ve ever set for myself. For example, when I picked crocheting back up, I had decided that I only wanted to use certain kinds of yarn. I only wanted to put my time into certain patterns. Then as I began to turn that hobby into a small business I saw that there was sometimes a need for a completely awful (in my opinion) yarn, or an extremely difficult pattern. When I removed the imagined restraints, not only did I have way more options when creating, but my products were more marketable as well. There was nothing to hold me back from creating anything.

In a roundabout way, here’s the point I’m trying to get to:

 Does changing my art to suit a customer’s preference automatically mean that I’m selling out? Is that even a BAD thing really? I really like the way Andrea Hannah puts it in her blog post from earlier this week, “[It] is also a business”. Sometimes it’s hard to find the balance between the artistic side and the business side, but ultimately, if there is no validation in the form of money, eventually, the time and effort spent creating has to decrease. Making concessions to make sales is part of having a business!

Obviously,  not everything should be given up as readily as a favorite color. But I don’t want to be so focused on the red, that I can’t see the rainbow of endless possibilities. (OMG did I really just say that? I promise to be less corny next week.)  I don’t want to miss opportunities because I couldn’t let go of what I thought having a creative business would be like. What have you been holding onto that you could re-think or let go of? If you are in a creative profession, are there any “rules” you have made for yourself that need to be re-examined?

 

 

PS I got 4 boxes of toaster strudel for $5 this week and I could only think of Gretchen Wieners the entire time I was purchasing them.tumblr_lfaukeFh6f1qcyryuo1_500