Friday, August 27, 2010

something new to learn

Happy Friday!
It has been another crazy week around here, but isn't it always?!
I have been trying to get some things in order this week and although it hasn't been much fun, it is time well spent. Working on that goal list ya know.
One of my main goals is to re-do my website(working on it) and add prints to my line. I know, I know, I said I would never do them, but I'm doing them! I have had too many people ask for them not to go ahead and offer them. This will also allow me to do some whole selling and raise my prices on original work. It is time since I am selling through 50% of my work at shows. That's a good thing and it has been a long time in coming.
So my darling husband, my biggest supporter, bought me a printer!! Oh my gosh, now I have to learn how to work it. It is a little much right now, as i just scored some new Photoshop software from a local thrift store I was volunteering at. It was just a blessing to unload that just donated box and find a brand new Photoshop 6.0, never used, waiting for my grubby little hands. To top it off it cost me $10!! I know it's not the newest version but it will be more than enough for what I need.
It will be a challenge to learn all this at once because I am not very technically inclined. Remember, I can't even operate a sewing machine! But I'm excited to grow my business and move forward. It has been a long journey.
Next week I will share the 3 best things I have done to grow my business.
I hope you are moving towards your goals too.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dare to Share Tuesday

FLOWERS FOR YOU!
Because of my very short attention span, I have decided to switch things up, that's just the kinda girl I am. Some call it ADHD, I call it creativity, my husband calls it ADHD! I have just learned to embrace the fact that I get bored and need a change. I tell him he's lucky I haven't gotten bored with him:)
Although I loved doing my Dare to Love Monday posts, met some amazing artists and bloggers, I just feel like 10 weeks of that was plenty. I will on occasion continue to do some guests posts though. Thank you to all my blog world friends who visited with us on these Monday posts.
It was so good to meetcha!

I hope to take that same concept and make it more broad, connect with more of you. On Tuesdays (for awhile anyway) I want to invite you over to blog about a topic of the week. Share with us what your thoughts are. I am always inspired by hearing other peoples opinions, suggestions and input.

Who is your favorite creative blogger and why?
I hope this will inspire us all and Dare us To Share...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sneak Peek Friday with Studio JRU

TGIF!
I am so glad to be done with that week. It has been a challenge for me to get back into the swing of things. Wasn't I was just talking to you about being exited to get back to a routine?
Must have been delusional.
Fun post today.
My sweet friend Jennifer, over at STUDIO JRU http://www.studiojru.com/ has a wonderful challenge for the brave and creative. Every Friday she will challenge us to post a peek on what we're doing in the studio. I totally love this idea because it helps to create a community. By sharing ourselves with each other, creatively or spiritually, we are building a community of support. It's not easy to put ourselves out there, but if you are an artist, writer, musician, etc... there will eventually come a day where you'll have to dive in. Let us be there to catch you.
SOOOO...here's what i'm working on this week. This is great timing because I just cleaned my studio last weekend:)

Mixing my love for modern abstract and collage. Not near done but lovin' this process!

Mary piece on wood block and cherry still life. These two must be finished today for a show tomorrow. Please no rain or 95 degree temperatures. I have had 3 shows in a row with rain or heat.

Thank you for taking a sneak peek into my favorite room. Stop over to visit STUDIO JRU and check out what some of your fellow bloggers are in to.

Looking for inspiration or a fun challenge?

Click on Jennifer's STUDIO JRU or Paulette Insall's CREATE BY FAITH blog buttons found here. These are weekly challenges and a great way to BUILD COMMUNITY.

Have an INSPIRING weekend!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dare to Love Mondays!

Happy Monday uniquely creative friends!
I have something a little different then usual on this most amazing Monday morning. No interview, but some great food for thought to get you through your week. Last week I talked about living in the here and now, which is something i am just learning to do. The other thing I am just learning to do is set goals for myself. So how do setting goals and living in the here & now really go hand and hand?? Sounds kinda like a contradiction doesn't it? It's really not a contradiction at all , but an essential ingredient to living in the present and here is why... when we set goals for ourselves it frees our mind from clutter and distractions. It helps us to create a road map to finding the dreams our hearts have been yearning for. We can't get to someplace we've never been without a map! I have found that the best way to set goals is by creating long range goals, short range goals and a daily to-do list to help me get there. Think of it as a road trip...you have your destination (long range goal), you make your pit stops along the way (short range goals) and you have all your supplies to make the ride more comfortable (daily goals).
I start with my long range goals first, let's say a five year plan. Where would you like to be in 5 years?? Write it down and dream BIG. Give yourself permission to want those dreams. Remember this is your destination point, the place you look out over the horizon and say "I did it"!
Next you look at the year ahead. How much of that 5 year plan do you want to have checked off? What steps do you need to take to accomplish this? This is your pit stops, where you refuel and reexamine that road map. Are you on track to get to your destination?
Lastly, daily goals. I like to do this on Sunday nights or Monday mornings. I look at my calendar and plug in any scheduled commitments to my weekly to-do list. Next I like to schedule my daily responsibilities(working-out, bible study, cleaning, dog walking) because for me these are things that can quickly get dismissed or forgotten. Then I simply fill in the blanks with any personal or business goals I would like to accomplish for the week. The purpose of the weekly calendar is to make the journey more comfortable, more enjoyable. This is where the living in the now really takes place. I find that once I have a plan for the week I can appreciate the ride, just kick back and be joyful in the journey. I find this also really helps to keep my priorities straight. For me that is God, family, friends and my artwork. I think about this weekly when I write my list. When i know what my priorities are and when I know what I want my destination to look like, it is easy to turn it over because I know I am doing the best i can, with the gifts I was given. I want to share a great on-line resource for helping you to stay on track with your creative business goals...http://mycreativebusinessgoals.blogspot.com/ Check it out. As a blog community, we are in this together. Share with us any tools or resources that you have found to make your journey more enjoyable. Take it one day at a time, one check box at a time and enjoy the ride!

Friday, August 13, 2010

I AM right here, right now

So many times we get caught up living in the future, engulfed with worry or being dissatisfied with an uncontrollable situation. Always wanting more and losing sight of all we have been given. "I want the bigger house, the better car, the longer vacation, the better body, the bigger paycheck, etc..." So many times have i been trapped and entangled in the past, dwelling on hurt, pain, rejection, abandonment and all the darkness that often times comes with growing up. I searched for anything I could find to fill up the hole in my heart but nothing worked. One day, I was rehashing some painful memories for the millionth time when i heard a voice inside me say, " I do not live there, I AM right here, right now. If you want to walk with me, there must you live." Praise you Lord for your conviction because I was set free from the strongholds of dissatisfaction and ingratitude. As I prepare to open this new chapter in my life, Lord help me to remember where you live so that I can always find you. Help me find the satisfaction I need in you and only you. Make me yearn for you Lord from the moment I wake in the morning, until I lie down my head in the evening. Close the doors to any path that does not please you and make my life the splendor of your beauty. Amen He is called the great I AM. He is always with us, right here, right now.

Psalm 139 : 1-7 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?

I hope you have a awesome weekend. Monday, i will be posting about goal setting and how to we can live in the now, but still reach victories in our tomorrows.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Back to School and randomness

Summer 2005
Summer 2010
Today my kids went back to school. This is a new school for them so we all had mixed emotions but mostly we were excited. I was more excited on the way to school thinking, awww my days are mine again! I can get organized, set some goals, lunch with girlfriends, go to the gym, get more time in the studio, begin a new bible study, keep my house clean, etc...those with little ones know this list well.
I walked them to their new classrooms and as all the kids stared at the new kids, it hit me. They are growing up and becoming their own little people. Now if you know my kids you are probably asking, 'really jill, you're just figuring that out?' My kids are very independent and we raised them that way. But YES, I'm just realizing that every year I have to let them go a little more, a little further, for a little longer. That reality is setting in. I know the day will soon come when they won't want to hang around with their old mom and dad anymore and they will pick their friends to share thoughts and feeling with. So today we moved down the road called life and I watched my babies (ok they are in 4th and 5th grade, but they are MY BABIES!) be brave and grow. I was so blessed to see this side of them and very grateful to be their mom. I wondered all day how they were doing so seeing the smiles on their faces as i picked them up was a precious moment of relief. How do (or did) you feel when your kids go back to school? I would love to hear your story.
On a totally different note...
It is the season finale tonight of the NEXT GREAT ARTIST on BRAVO. I really enjoyed this show and I'm gonna miss my Wednesday night date with the tube. Is anyone else watching?? Who do you think will win? I vote for Abdee but I think it will be Miles. Can't wait to watch!!!!
Lastly I wanted to invite you to be a guest on my DARE TO LOVE MONDAY posts. I always try and choose someone who follows my blog and who inspires me to grow. Your blogs do that for me so consider this an open invitation. I really feel like our blogs are a community so if you follow me, I follow you. I want to know and support those that know and support me, simple as that. So if you are interested in a visit, leave a comment or contact me directly. I really do love Mondays because i get to know you more.
Talk to you on Friday.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dare to Love Monday!

Happy Monday!!! I am so pleased to introduce to you a wonderfully creative blogger.
Meet ROBIN NORGREN from Well of Creations!
Many of you may know Robin as she is very active on the creative blogging boards and she is always willing to offer encouragement and support to her fellow bloggers. LOVE THAT!
Even if you know Robin and follow her, I hope you'll enjoy getting to know her more.
I found this quote from Robin on her ETSY profile and this seems to fit her to a T...
"My Creativity has been a wonderful vehicle for me to connect to GOD and to explore life, making it incredibly fulfilling."
1. Why did you decide to start a blog?
I decided to start a blog because I have always dreamed of writing. But the idea of actually writing a book intimidates me. For quite a long time I kicked around the idea of starting a blog but did not know where to begin as far as what I would really have to talk about on a regular basis. Then in 2009, my husband was deployed with the Navy to Kuwait. I felt compelled to chronicle our journey as a family through that process and that is how “Journey to the Well” (http://www.joyfulstill.blogspot.com/) began. Later when I started an etsy shop, I began to chart the ups and downs of living a creative life on my second blog “Well of Creations” (http://www.wellofcreations.blogspot.com).
2. Who is your favorite blogger? Please post their link.
I cannot even BEGIN to tell you how hard this question is to answer. I am so very in love with the blogger community! This community has been my lifeline in times of isolation while my husband has been deployed over the years. What I can mention is my favorite one RIGHT NOW –HAHA! I have this habit of finding a blog I love and then reading through the archives-oh so very fun! It is Mati Rose of The Suspect Shoppe: http://www/matirose.blogspot.com
3. What is the best way you have found to promote your blog and ETSY shop?
I think having a blog calls for establishing yourself a little bit on the internet as a “presence” so I have found it to be a slow and steady process. Initially the blog was strictly an online diary that maybe someone would come across and find encouragement. Then when I started my etsy business, I began to integrate the things I wrote on a blog as things I could post as useful information for others on Twitter. I would have to say that Twitter has been the most helpful with getting the word out about who I am and what I make.
4. Describe to me what a day in your life may typically look like.
I am early riser - 5:00am! I usually have a set of internet tasks I like to get accomplished before my four year old wakes up for the day which is around 7:00am. The tasks usually included: -writing a post for one of the blogs -Writing submissions for one of the two other blogs I submit to (http://www.handmadespark.com/ or http://www.studiomothers.com/ ) -editing pics from the day before either for blog posts or for new items to post in my etsy shop -Checking in on FB, Twitter, and leaving comments, checking email -Breakfast, watch a show and cuddle with little one, playtime outside for a bout 2 hours. -Lunch and little one has movie time while I sit near her to either crochet or to work on a mixed media piece -work on preschool type stuff through worksheets, reading, talking about different things we saw outside that day. - dinner and check in once more online to read a few blogs
5.I have recently become a follower on your CREATIVE BUSINESS GOALS BLOG, talk to us about that blog This blog was created as a result of an e-course I took offered by Kelley Rae Roberts (http:www.kellyraeroberts.com) back in June called “Flying Lessons.” What an amazing experience. Not just because of the information we received but because of the access we all received to other like minded creatives. As a result of that course, Cathy of The Crafty Alley (http://www.thecraftyalley.com/) set up this great blog as a way for anyone to post their creative goals and get some encouragement in the midst of others who are aspiring to achieve similar creative dreams. The blog is open to anyone who was to be a part of a group of creatives wanting to a place to be cheered on in their process.
I thought this creative business blog was written by Robin, but it's not, oops! I will talk more about this blog soon, but for today it's all about ROBIN! Please stop over and see her, get to know her more, help our connection with one another grow...Dare to LOVE!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby!!

I love this life you have made for us...
You lead our family on the path the Lord has put before us, on a path I may not have choose otherwise.
You build me up so I can do the hard things.
You always put God above all else and then your family second.
You are everything I'm not, I'm often in awe of you.
You are the love of my life and you're love has set me free.
Happy Birthday Baby...
what did I ever do to get a gift like you?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dare to Love Monday!

It is my pleasure to introducing you to the talented MILK AND HONEY HANDBAGS!!
I have to tell you a secret...I am seriously envious of seamstresses. My mom and sister are both very talented seamstress, my sister is even a Fashion Designer in LA. I think God just skipped me on this gift because I just don't get it. Every time I try to sew something it looks like I got in a fight with the sewing machine and there is no doubt who won. I will only attempt to sew a button if my mom is out of town on vacation and my Husband is missing a button on his only black suite that he has to wear to a funeral the next day. And even when that happened it looked like a mini chocolate chip had dropped on his suite and landed smack dap in the middle of his button. I was just embarrassed for him and myself, IT'S A BUTTON ! My sweetie forced a sewing machine on me, thinking I just needed a class and some encouragement. Didn't work, there was just too many options and gadgets and It looked like someone with man hands and tremors tried to make a pillow, IT'S A PILLOW! The poor instructor was even embarrassed.
So it with great enthusiasm (and slight envy) that I introduce you to Amanda...
More about Amanda...
1. Why did you decide to start a blog? I started a blog because I love to read blogs. I wanted to get involved in the blogging community and use my blog as another outlet for creative expression. 2. Who is your favorite blogger? Please post their link. I think my favorite blogger would be Tara from Scoutie Girl - http://www.scoutiegirl.com/- her posts are always so insightful and inspiring. 3. What is the best way you have found to promote yourself and your ETSY shop? I really struggle with self promotion. I have found the most success through renewing items on Etsy throughout the day. 4. What made you want to become a seamstress? I met a girl who had made the skirt she was wearing and a matching purse. I thought to myself, hey, I could do that. I asked for a sewing machine for my birthday and fell in love. 5. Where do you get your inspiration? I am inspired by color and fabric. Nature, old photographs, and movies also inspire me and influence my designs.

Thanks for the visit Amanda. Please stop by her blog and shop to see her sweet bags!!

Have a inspired week!