Category Archives: learning curve
- It builds your resume and confidence in your craft. Taking classes often leads me down new paths. I have gained confidence in my artwork and exploring creatively.
- It is a source of entertainment. There are a ton of classes/workshops out there to fit every budget. I got on my computer and searched for classes in my area and online. I am excited to start this clayer class next month, I get to participate from my own studio!
- It is cheaper and more effective than therapy! It is hard to stay in a funk when you are learning something new that you are interested in. It typically gives me a jolt of productivity as well (who couldn’t use a few tons of that!)
Cheers to learning!
Is it too late in January to talk goals? I realized that many of my “goals” stay the same from year to year. About four years ago I went on a retreat which encouraged writing a “life rhythm,” which focused on healthy personal habits for a balanced life. I still keep that list close, not as a checklist but a way of living. Much of the work was based on this book. That being said I haven’t created many out-of-the-box goals in quite some time. Except the ice cream one… has it been two years! So not to be too vague but the first goal is;
ONE: Follow the Adventure.
I am not sure how to tangibly obtain this yet and that third definition scares me. But it will involve cooking and running… I recently ordered this cookbook – I think I could eat it the pictures are so beautiful. It also does a good job of giving substitute ingredients. We don’t have too many fancy ingredients here in Amish country … although I did find Marscapone at the store the other day. I bought it immediately and searched for a recipe later. Mmmm chocolate cake.
It has been a GORGEOUS fall here in Northern Michigan, so we have been taking to the tree house in our back yard for reading time. Fitting as I was reading a “Magic Tree House” book with my kids the other day, I started reading out loud chapter books with them when they were very young. As we read about the bees, lions and masai warriors my kids were fighting to see the pictures first, so I turned one of the five pictures in the book and then I thought to myself, wait a minute… I’ll show you a picture of a massai warrior! I ran inside and grabbed my photo album and leafed through our safari pages and there is my beautiful first born daughter held by two massai tribesmen. What a neat thing to be able to 1. read to your child, 2. let them get wrapped up in the story line, and 3. personally identify with it…. I turned to S, ”you have been to this exact place” this book is talking about. It didn’t take magic, just a little following Jesus.
Don’t forget where you have been friends, it grounds you for where you are going in the future. Falling in love with reading, adventure and mommy time is great but it is nothing compared to trusting and obeying Jesus and the plan he has for you.
I survived…. and I’m embarrassed it’s already Friday…
Last Saturday, it rained on and off all day, down right pouring at times, most instance it sent all vendors scrambling to the sides of their tent to hold them down or move stuff inside. I think I was on a lucky corner, somewhat protected from the elements. My stuff ended up being moved all over the place, mostly from the rain. On the bright side, there was a steady flow of people, even a few from our town who came up to support me – so sweet of them! I did reach my goal I had set ahead of time and it was just such a great learning experience. I am so thankful my sister was able to help, she was awesome!
A couple of sweet things, I scored the shelving unit from a potter who didn’t need them anymore, after a little stain and new shelves, they were so sturdy and held so much stuff. Also, I had originally planned to paint a backdrop for my tent, but truthfully it was an epic fail! On Friday I took a picture of one of my books and added my name and had a friend at camp print it on vinyl, another friend had a grommet maker for the corners. In the end I am glad my first sign didn’t work out, the back-up plan turn out so much better!
I was afraid to leave my tent all day, so I only got around to a few other vendors. One thing that I could see from my spot was this adorable crocheted bunting. After glancing over at it all day, I finally struck up a conversation with the crafters and ended up with a trade for one of my mugs! I am glad I got to bring something home, selling vs attending a show is just a totally different experience. It is good but it is a lot of work! I think I’ll try something indoors next…
Ready! Three kiln loads in the last two weeks, everything is priced, packed and ready to go. This article was super helpful to preparing. Now all I need is a little sunshine for the weekend! I love how these wood-grain canoe “serving boats” turned out! I am very ready for fall and comfort food, can you tell?
Since Monday I have been busy working down in the studio. I am trying to squeeze one more kiln load in before the Cadillac Artwalk next weekend. I am really enjoying repetitive shapes lately, and monday was all about large soup mugs with textured handles. I used my carved feather to press into the handles and have a little series of feather print journals coming soon…. I also carved some new stamps to press into clay after they are bisqued, can’t wait to try these little guys out. The last photo is a pinterest inspired work, clay bangles that make a lovely clanking sound when worn together!
I am brainstorming how to work this summer when two little girls are off school. Nevertheless I am planning on doing a few (indoor) shows this fall, I always get more accomplished when I have a goal. Anyone know of any good ones in Michigan that I should try?
These are the books that have been accumulating on the little woven chair next to my bed. At certain times they are scattered about the house, lost for a time, until peeked interest goes looking for it again. I have been rotating chapters over the last few months, unaware of the growing pile. Each has its own little place and time for this infrequent and “the atmosphere has to be just right” reader.
Mercy, love, thankfulness, gratitude, redemption, fullness, shaping, forgiving, transforming – If I could just finish them I would be a better person.
There is one more book that I should have added to the stack. It is not one that can be checked off the list but is the foundation of the pile. Yet, it too was misplaced this week, lost under a pile of papers, but unlike the others it did not yield an organic search but a rather frantic one. It was very apparent to me without MY bible I felt very lost. Somehow this worn book with creased pages, coffee stains and underlined portions feels like a passport to my soul – my ticket to travel/ move. It is quoted in every one of those books pictured above, they aim to explain and grasp it’s principles and promises. To the one seeking it will never disappoint, to the skeptic it is not revealed.
I’ve been happily reunited with MY book, if I read it daily for as long as I live I know it will transform my heart, mind, marriage, children, attitude, everything I hold dear.
This year I made a lemon blueberry marble cake for my birthday. All from scratch, three intense steps, and yes despite my spouse’s offer to make it, I made my own cake. No ice cream. And the buttercream frosting almost ruined the whole day. Which my sweetie quickly googled “how to save buttercream frosting” who knew it would yield so many people with the same trouble! The inside looks better than the outside, isn’t that a good metaphor for aging. Isn’t it better to be more beautiful on the inside.
I just finished my first year of blogging!
This is a great milestone for me because it is not the first time I tried. I registered this blog in 2009, but in two years I wrote 2 post, with probably as many views. I had recently quit my job to stay at home full-time with my kids. I thought I would have so much time but discovered I had less time for myself than ever. I think there was just so much going on I failed as I struggled coming up with something creative on a regular basis. Truthfully it was just the lowest thing on my priority list. Did the world really need one more mommy and craft blog??? One year ago on November 28, I felt compelled to revisit the idea of blogging, which terrified me. I had in my mind this was a writing and journaling thing. What would make this time around different? I followed through with that burden laid on me and I found a whole new relationship with blogging. I feared the day I posted my link on my Facebook page, and my world knew I was writing. Here are some of the things that encouraged me and defined the time;1. Write about what you’re PASSIONATE about and add ORIGINAL photos!
When my girls were little I had very little time to make artwork, I turned to photography as a quick way to capture all that was going on around me at its fast pace. When I returned to blogging I began to see how important this hobby was in telling the story. I love using my own photography on my blog, it often speaks just as loudly as the words. Not to mention it adds consistency and I don’t have to worry about infringing on someone else’s copyright. I found that there was more than one theme I was drawn to writing about – I let my heart guide me towards what to write. I love looking back now and seeing the growth in my interests and artwork. My passions lead me to my “voice.”2. Give yourself a creative project
I think I stumbled upon the post-a-week project around new-years. I just didn’t have the time or ambition for a daily routine so once a week sounded more my style. I often give myself goals every year but always add a few fun goals along with the serious ones. So after receiving an ice cream maker for Christmas, the idea of a flavor a week in 2011 began. The two ideas really rolled together and gave me a sure post every week. Amazingly, I averaged about three posts a week when I added something about my family, a reflection or an art project I was working on. I am thankful for these different areas as they narrow down the blogosphere of readers but didn’t limit me to just one topic. I read up on tagging, and try to be consistent when labeling my posts. I think I surprised myself this year writing over 185 posts and almost 15,000 views!3. Be flexible
It was daunting at first to commit to posting every week but after a while it became a habit . As ideas came to me I started keeping a note in my email so when I had a chance to sit down I didn’t just stare at the screen. I also learned that you can write posts and schedule them ahead of time. That way if I was having a good week I could write-up my post and schedule a date in the future for it to automatically publish. Sometimes it just doesn’t work that smoothly (sorry to any of you who got used to 8AM posts…) I found that it was important to let this be a natural thing – so If I didn’t post much during a week it meant there was a lot going on or I just didn’t have much to say… Beyond scheduling I have found that some of my random posts at odd hours are the ordained ones. How encouraging it is to post something in the middle of the night and get an immediate response from someone trolling around commenting “I really needed to read that just now.” I would have missed that if I kept to a rigid schedule.
All in all, I am thankful for this experience to write and share in this space. I have grown in confidence in all areas and it has challenged me creatively, spiritually and professionally. I have even written a few guest posts and diy’s art projects shared on other blogs. I thought blogging would connect me to the world outside this small town, but found in addition to that it has connected me to my family and friends even more. Thank you for reading and commenting, sometimes that is just the encouragement I need to continue writing. I have loved having a chance to be transparent and grow as a follower, wife, mother, friend and artist, and share that journey with my readers. For now the plan is to keep writing and making more artwork to share in this space.
Thanks for joining me on the ride.