Sunday, March 30, 2014

Simple Things Sunday: Gettin' Stuff Done

Wow! Two posts in three days...what is happening! It has been so nice to be home these last two days (except for church this morning) and get some things done. It is just the simple everyday things that I have not been able to keep up with lately. I folded three baskets of laundry, cleaned out the refrigerator, did some major work on the bedroom, and finally got to list a few more items in my shop. That has really been neglected lately, and I don't want to let it fall to the back burner. My views and favorites are going up, and I am selling online and outside of Etsy. Gotta keep it going!

I am hoping to add a couple more prints today, and I have something pretty exciting in the works that will be announced in about a week. I can't wait. I hope it all falls into place! 

I am just so thankful for quiet weekends. I would definitely love it more if my mister was here with me, but we are counting down the days until that can happen. Six more weeks until graduation! I know he is beyond ready, and he so deserves the break. I will be so glad to have him here on Sunday afternoons. My Simple Things Sunday posts will probably get a lot sappier!


Friday, March 28, 2014

I'm still here...

Holy smokes. I am too tired to compose too many logical sentences, but I just feel like it has been way too long since I have posted. I have been so very busy with a trip to AR, super busy weeks at work, and helping to form a Main Street Revitalization group in our town. I have practically ignored my Etsy shop because I am just so dang tired when I get home. Plus, I am working on a grant application for our Main Street group to become part of the Missouri Main Street Connection, and that is quite time-consuming. I can barely kick my way through our bedroom because of all the stuff in the floor. It is bad, ya'll. Clearly tomorrow has to be house cleaning day.

Tonight I have had a few minutes to get back to working on a few prints. I have a couple of custom orders in the works, and that is always exciting. I love taking the phrases that are dear to others' hearts and bringing them to life. It is so fulfilling. Especially when they have touching stories like Ali, who contacted me last night. 

I don't know if it was Ali sharing her story with me earlier or the selection of songs playing on my Pandora tonight, but I am feeling quite sentimental...okay, okay so maybe I am just emotional, but Ali's struggles, me missing my guy, and these songs are just getting me tonight! Since when does the band "Fun" make me cry!?! I think that means it is time for bed...


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Only Kindness Matters

As a child I can remember my sister and I getting ready for Christmas around July. We would color our Christmas coloring book pages and hang them around our room. As soon as we got Jewel's Christmas CD as teenagers, the tradition of celebrating early continued. Even though I know Daddy hated it, he always let us listen to that CD on the way to Conway for Thanksgiving day. At least it wasn't July, right? One of our favorite songs on that album wasn't necessarily a Christmas song, but it had a great message. It is kind of summed up with the lyrics, "In the end, only kindness matters."

It was totally our jam.

As soon as it popped into my mind, I knew it had to be a print and exactly what it would look like. It is one of those that came quickly, and I love the outcome. I was unsure of the coloring until my friend Brittney chimed in with the suggestion to leave it in black and change the color of the paper. Another, "Duh!" moment since I have a huge stack of kraft paper/cardstock, and I love ALL THINGS kraft paper. 

While I do love the image, I also love the words. I think we can all agree that there is truth in this. I feel similarly about my, "Honey, Just be Nice" print. I just think things can be so much easier when you are just nice to people. Kindness almost always reciprocates itself. That is the understanding at our house. Just be nice to me. I will be nice to you. Everything is peachy.

I know it isn't always so simple, but in the grand scheme of things it kind of is. Just think about it...

 Earlier today I found a handful of sketches in my notebook that I had forgotten about, so there may be several new listings soon. I just have to work on being more decisive. Until I get there, thanks for helping out, Brittney!


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Be an Encourager


I never truly realized the value of this one word until I became an adult.  As kids we get green ribbons just for participating in the science fair, trophies just for playing t-ball, and a t-shirt just for entering the tournament. We get accustomed to praise and encouragement.

It seems that now, as adults, we need that encouragement more than ever. We don't get awards just for showing up to work, and sometimes, even when we work our very hardest, we feel like no one even notices. After 20 years full of green ribbons and cheerleaders, life happens, and this all sort of stops. Because of this many adults struggle just to keep on keepin' on. 

When I started this post, I came really close to talking specifically about creative adults. And while I do believe it is totally applicable to them, I realized that (duh) it doesn't matter what a person is doing, we all want to know we are doing it well. So why is it so hard to tell someone they are doing a good job? 

I, for one, have been so guilty in the past of just assuming that if someone was doing something I thought was great, someone else probably thought it was great too and was most likely telling them. So, I figured they didn't need to hear my compliments because they had them pouring in daily. 

The truth is, it doesn't matter if you get 2 or 200 encouraging words.

So today if you see someone doing something great, don't hesitate to tell them just how great it is. If you know someone who is just great all around, go ahead and let them know how super you think they are. We don't always think of the effect that a bit of encouragement can have on a person, but think about how it makes you feel? I know without the help and encouragement of some particular girlfriends, I would not have had the confidence to open my Etsy shop. I would not even have had the confidence to keep creating and doing what I love to do if not for their support. It was more valuable than they probably realize, and I am so thankful to have them around.

We all need a little pat on the back every now and then, so next time you see someone deserving of one...don't be stingy. Whether it be a note, a hug, an email or comment, don't hold back. It might just be a time of day when they need it most. You never know.

My new goal? Be an encourager. I don't mean to go tossing around crazy half-hearted compliments to anyone and everyone for every little thing, but a bit of genuine encouragement goes a long way. So if you know someone who is working extra hard, is in slump, or doing something super amazing, pick up your pom poms and make them feel good about themselves. It might just make you feel good too.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Go ahead and own it

Sometimes I hate the internet. 

Okay, so maybe I don’t because I would need to look something up in the first 1.5 seconds I was without it, but sometimes it becomes overwhelming. I don’t mean to be a Debbie downer, but sometimes I feel like it puts so much pressure on people. There are so many beautiful websites, photos, and creative people out there that it is easy to feel like your clothes/house/hair/artwork/job [or anything else imaginable] is inadequate. 

I am here to tell you to stop. 

Even if you aren’t a master do-it-yourselfer, marathon running, vegan chef, gluten free baker with an online craft business who homeschools her kids between her mission trips to Africa…

Stop feeling inadequate. 

Am I the only one that feels like this is what I am looking at sometimes?

Can I get an Amen?

I don’t mean to diminish those successful women who seem to have it all together. More power to them! We [I say "we" because I feel confident in saying that I am not totally alone on this one] just have to get it together and realize that someone else is not the standard for our success. Clearly I deal with this pretty frequently since I have touched on a similar subject before.

I will go ahead and tell myself to stop now too.

But seriously. Whatever you are doing, go ahead and own it. I have made the decision to work my butt off and make things happen instead of just waiting for them to happen. Go ahead. You can do it too. I've got your back.