Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Home Again

I am really tired today. I made great time on my trip yesterday, but it's still such a long drive.

While on my drive yesterday, my blackberry blinked that I had a message... I looked and I had sold a journal!!! How awesome is that?? I'm mailing it off this morning!

There is no real 'routine' in my life during the summer. Well, I will have my mornings to blog and drink my coffee... and I'll have work. But every other morsel of time seems to be accounted for. That's ok... just need to adjust and accept.

Unfortunately, when a million things are going on around me, I miss a LOT of it. Luckily my camera is my constant companion, and that will help to capture more of it!

Monday, June 29, 2009

A long Day

I took this photo at a farmer's market on Saturday. I took it specifically for a new product I'll be adding to my shop... I should be creating them within the month if all goes well :-)

Today I have 11 hours of driving ahead of me. Yep, a round trip, each leg is about 5 1/2 hours. It will be a long day. And of course, I didn't sleep very well. But it will be fine. I'll be wide awake for the drive there, then on the way back I'll have some excellent company, so it's all good.

I'll be leaving for a camping trip Friday afternoon. Shooting off fireworks at the coast. Camping in an area with no cell service whatsoever. I'll take the opportunity to unwind and recharge.

I have roughly a million things to do before I get on the road this morning. I hope today is a wonderful day for all of you!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Taking a Leap

Yesterday my best friend popped in to visit me at work. She came to see me on a mission. A mission for me to submit my photography to a local gallery.

I was oil painting a few years ago, and had taken my work there. The reception was cold. I left that experience pretty badly bruised. But apparently a lot of things have changed about this gallery and as she was talking I realized that I really want to be a part of it.

When you are an artist, seeking out a gallery, it's a total catch-22. Galleries won't generally accept you unless you've been in other galleries. Unless you are totally established as an artist. Unless they know your name. It makes for a very frustrating experience. She assured me that they are wanting to work with amateurs... they are helpful and encouraging.

I may be able to pick up an application for the gallery tomorrow. Otherwise, definitely Saturday. At this point, the worst thing that will happen is they won't accept me. But I will know that I tried.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


This teddy bear is on the sidewalk near our Holocaust Memorial in Portland, Oregon.

Yesterday, a murderer was sentenced to 77 years and 10 months. I did not know the 2 year old that he murdered, but I was very involved with the family (how to disclose without totally disclosing everything?)... I was with the baby's grandmother when she got the news that her angel had been murdered. I sat through the funeral where they sang "You are my Sunshine" and even now, still tear up at the thought of it.

I hope for healing to begin. I hope that the family can move on, to a place where they can love and trust again. I hope her memory lives forever in their hearts, but becomes a memory of her sparkly smile... of the love they felt for her.

I hope that they pull closer together with this, and don't let it wedge itself in between them. I hope that in the end there is love... always love.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Allowing the flow

I am going to be doing quite a bit of editing on this photo today. I should be able to get some done at work, along with writing in my friendship journal. I have definitely felt a creative surge lately. Brought on, I believe, by walking away for a bit. It was feeling forced, so I stopped. I didn't allow myself to 'work' at it for several days.
I didn't market my shop. I didn't go to buy paper. I didn't make journals. I withdrew. Then, much quicker than I had imagined, it pulled me back in. I made several journals over the weekend. I went to the rose garden to take photos.
I'm still not feeling completely comfortable getting back into the amount of time that I was "marketing" before. I think that's a good thing! I was getting so sucked into 'pushing my wares' that I was no longer enjoying the creative process.
I have a friend who is doing very well with his online shop. He pops online throught the day, markets, then goes about his day. I think he has good ideas. I am going to try that. Get the most bang for my online time. Not to say I won't interact with my online friends... but I will not be present to market constantly.
I am on a mission. A mission to find what balance works best for me. I can't stop creating altogether, that's not an option. And I can't market constantly because that sucks the energy from my creativity.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Creating is so good for my soul

What an amazing weekend I had! I listed two new journals, 2 new bookmarks, and a new photo print. Sunday I went to the Portland Rose Garden and made friends with my camera again. The rose garden was all abloom and quite fragrant. And it was sprinkling on and off, making for some gorgeous photos!

I have another journal made that I need to list... and a few more in the works. And who knows how many more photo prints are to come from that trip! I can see a summer full of photos. And a summer full of love and fun with my 3 boys... life is good.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sometimes, you can't catch a break

So, I'm trying to step back away from the time vampires. Trying to reclaim. Trying to not be so exhausted, and let the creative juices flow.

Then I find out I have to work Saturday. The first Saturday that we have been opened in a year, more or less. But, I will be there all alone. I will take my journal, take my camera, perhaps take some journals to work on. I will find my bliss. I will find my joy in being there alone, and having quiet. I will have some interruptions, but nothing major.

Sunday, I hope to have a photo day. Perhaps I'll go to the Portland Rose Garden. Or maybe out to the vineyards. Not sure where I will end up, but I will become friends with my camera!

On a very happy note, I had made and listed a custom journal for a friend about a month ago. She then became very ill and had a lot of things to take care of. Well, last night, she bought her journal! I stopped marketing and I made a sale... isn't that about right?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Trying it on

I have been very actively involved with a wonderful group of folks on Etsy... talking it up with them throughout the day while I'm at work. Talking with them in the evenings... all under the guise of marketing. Yes, it did involve marketing... but it also took away a lot from ME. I love those folks, I do! But it's time to clean, to organize, and to create! I am on a hiatus, not *from* them, I'll miss them deeply. But from the time vampire I've allowed in.

I have been surfing, and learning about different binding methods... and I hope to be trying some of those on for size soon. And I have not taken a photo day in forever! I think it's time for me to make friends with the camera again!

So, today is the start of something new. I figure my hiatus will be about a week. I hope to still blog, but if I'm led to do other things in the time I've blocked out for that, then I won't fight it.

I hope all is well in your world.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Drained Batteries

You know how your cell phone battery stops holding a charge after a while? Like, it just seems to go dead a little faster? It's not lasting quite as long as it used to? Yep, that's me lately. I seem to need to recharge every few weeks. In a big way, in a sleep all day way. I got off 2 hours early yesterday. Came home and slept. I slept for 3 hours. Got up, watched some tv, then slept all night.

Probably all of it is stress. I seem to have a lot lately. But I know better than to let it get me down like this. Today I will be observing how I handle things. I will be watching to see how I grab onto the stress and hold on to it. And I will be making a conscious effort to not. I will also be watching to see if I avoid the toxicity of some people, or if I absorb that as well. How I feel is in my hands. But I can't make efffective changes if I am not realistic about how I currently handle it.

I hope for you... that you can see what is weighing you down and work on necessary changes. I hope that for me too.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Daily Karma

I get a daily email called Daily Karma. Today it says "Be patient with yourself and the process".

Such a good reminder for me today. So instead of my normal blogging time, I think I will spend the time meditating.

Today, June 16, I'm having a 25% off sale in my etsy shop. Just put 'save25' in notes to seller. Check it out! It's a wonderful time to get a journal, great savings!

Off to meditate!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Seeking New

I have been seeking out new things lately. Seeking organization, patterns, routine. Yet, at the same time, seeking a way to be more random in my art. About a month ago, I was asked to make a custom journal. No problem, I told her and asked what she had in mind. She told me the specifics. And one of her requests was to put fuzzy strings on the binding. And I could picture exactly what she meant. Like, tons of these fuzzy strings, a few inches long, loose, hanging there. And my mind fought and fought me as I did it. In the end, it had order, it looked neat. And it wasn't what I was going for.

So this week, in my friendship journal, I will be getting out the crayons. I will be meditating and trying to get in touch with that inner child. The one that's never really been allowed to play.

I'm doing my friendship journal with 2 online friends. Each journal has 6 signatures, so we have 3 journals out there, and we each fill in 2 signatures on each one, then pass it along to the next on a certain schedule. A signature is a group of pages, by the way. We will end up with the journal we started with. So far, each one is at person #2. I can NOT begin to tell you what a bonding experience it has been. I know beyond any shadows of doubt that I have made friends for life with these 2 lovely women. And I know that before it's all over, we will laugh, we will cry, we will play, and we will pour out our souls through these books.

And who knows, perhaps there will be another set down the road :-)

Friday, June 12, 2009

A letter to Dad

Dear Dad,

I am not sure how to start this, so I'll just jump right in.

I grew up not knowing you. And yes, I was told stories about you, stories that were aimed at turning me away from you. I grew up as a caregiver to a bedridden mother. I grew up as a very obedient grandchild. I grew up.

When I was 16, you asked me to live with you. I was told more stories. I wanted more to be the perfect, appreciative grandchild than the perfect daughter. I had something to prove where I was, so I stayed. I just now, at the age of 37, realize how that must have pained you.

But, at this age, I look back with no regrets. Well, some.... but life, to me, is not about carrying around regret. You and I rediscovered each other a few years ago, and I would not give a moment of that up. I was stubborn and had to fully realize who I was before coming to you. Every second of our lives made us who we are, and as I type this I know just how awesome we are. We traveled a long path to reach each other. And we both realize how amazing and wonderful that path was. Sometimes life is not about the destination, but about the journey that got us there. You and I... we are still on that journey, together.

Yes Dad, I did not have a perfect childhood. But I am thankful for it, because it taught me many things. You did not save me from it because I didn't allow you to. But I think it's amazing that we come to one another as adults. I love you beyond measure... for all that you are, and also for the fact that you gave me that space so I could take care of Mom, and you welcomed me with open arms when I was ready.

To me, you've shown the amazement of a Dad's love. You never held any grudges, or harbored any anger for the choices I made. That means the world to me. It's been a bumpy road, but look where we are! I hold you in my heart continuously and am thankful for every moment.

You have been a perfect father to me. No regrets, Dad. I love you more than words can express.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


There's a lot going on in my world... Stepmom's in the hospital, on the lung transplant list. Worried about dad and his health in dealing with it all. Allergies are kicking my butt.

I hope to be back in full force tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I mentioned yesterday that things are slow at work. Well, they are, real slow. But it just dawned on me (again) that life's at least 75% attitude. And yes, the days are just going to crawl if I dwell on that. I took photos to work to edit yesterday, but I had a bad attitude so I didn't work on them, instead I sat there, bored.

I have been tired lately. And sitting there, bored, is not going to help my tiredness. So today, I'm taking my photos, I'll be updating my blog with a blog award I won, updating my blog reading list at the bottom of the page, hopefully going on errands so I can buy some new ink, and sketching out some new ideas.

I will also be working on some marketing. I have the wonderful advantage of being able to do that from work, and I will be taking full advantage of it.

Now, if today happens to get busy at work, hooray for that too! That means the day will go by faster and that business is picking up! If not, I'll have stuff to do.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Feeling Foggy

I really have no idea what to write about... I'm feeling like this picture, a little foggy. It's a slow time for sales right now... a slow time at work. Just slow all over. I did get some organizing done on Saturday, so that's a good thing.
What I need to do is stop worrying about sales, and work on new ideas. I have a few photos I need to edit and list. And I have quite a few ideas for photos I'd like to take.
I placed my rack cards in two local wineries' tasting rooms this weekend! That was a pretty big step for me. It was nerve racking approaching them. But I did it and they are there now!
I hope this is an utterly productive day for us all!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Did you Know?

Did you know that I make custom journals? Each of the journals pictured above was at the request of friends. I ask some questions, anything from their interest to fave color, to size, and I create a journal that hopefully they will treasure forever! The bottom one was for an 8 year old boy who is really into Harry Potter! I love how the bottlecaps and lettering turned out!
Why don't you stop by and see what I can do for you!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Please excuse my absence...

I didn't post a blog entry yesterday... It was a migraine day. I woke up, called in to work, then went back to bed and slept til after 1pm! I must have certainly needed all that rest. Once I did wake up, I had the energy to get the house cleaned up some and dinner planned out before our company arrived. It was just family, but since they were bringing their 8 month old baby, some things had to be relocated and the floor vacuumed.
I have been doing a lot of custom journals lately. One in particular has really been kicking my butt. Last night, I dreamed the design of it, so it should all be a go today! I've noticed a pattern that if I mull over something long enough in my head, it will come to me as I sleep! I love when that happens! The only problem is that it doesn't usually come to me while I sleep until after I've worried about it for a week. If only I could just *make* the dreams come!
I am once again trying to figure out ways to market. I'm going to be putting some project wonderful ads up, I think. And I'm going to be researching other venues. The people who have bought my photos, journals, and coasters are very satisfied customers... just have to figure out how to get the word out there!
If any of you have wonderful ideas for marketing, please let me know!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Busy Morning

I'm having a really busy morning, with packaging orders to go out and such... so I'll leave you with a few photos...

Monday, June 1, 2009

It's Monday.... again!

It was a relaxing weekend in the sense that we didn't really go anywhere. We went to the movies yesterday... and some errands on Saturday. But what a productive weekend it was!

I'm beginning to cut and fold allllllllll of the paper I have (reams and reams of it), to put the signatures away in a box. That way, I can put some of my crafting area away, and also I'll have the signatures (the groups of paper) ready to just grab and use when it's time. I think I have about 2 reams cut, 3 to go.

I also started boxing away my china. It doesn't get used, and it's been on an open shelf where it just gets dirty. So, into bankers boxes they are going, where they will go back on the shelf, but sealed and organized.

I also listed 5 new journals this weekend. Check them out if you get the chance! I hope the week continues for me to be productive... and I hope that it's whatever you need it to be too.

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