Sometimes I just need to take a break from 'real' work to play around a bit. It sorts out my brain and it feels like hitting the reset button. It also allows me explore ideas that are always floating around in my head. Lately I've had many and I've acted on exactly... zero. So frustrating and suffocating.

The designs may look familiar. I'm reusing my, now sold out (thank you all!), die cut calendar images. Filing would definitely be a bit more fun with these.

Here are two articles that have me really thinking about my current lack of 'going for it' mentality.
- Push - As Paul says, we need to blaze our own trail and be true to ourselves. I couldn't have read this at a better time.
- You can become and indispensable linchpin The resistance that Godin talks about is exactly what I'm talking about. I need to let it go. So many ideas... so much resistance.

I just need to jump off the cliff! Anyone interested in shoving me over?

I missed my Xacto

Ghetto. That's the word that someone used, on another site, to describe one of my recycling projects. Ok... that's fine—it actually made me laugh. I understand that it may not be for everyone's taste. But that was just the incentive I needed to grab my blade and the same cereal box cardboard to make something new.

At midnight, I ended up with a matchbox. It's really sturdy and I'm already putting it to good use. Clean lines, with simple materials—now that's my cup of tea.

A tutorial? Yes, soon.


Life throws us all some unexpected curve balls, doesn't it? That's what I've been emotionally wrapped up with for the past couple of weeks. A very dear friend of mine, much like a sister, is dealing with some health issues and I just couldn't muster the willpower or energy to blog about anything at all. Creativity was at an all time low—more like non-existent. Medically speaking my friend is in good hands, so now all we have to do is pray that she recovers soon. It will happen.

So, my head was in a creative tail spin and yesterday I got the opportunity to straighten myself out. I took a solo road trip to visit friends and it was just what the doctor ordered. I must say that there is nothing better than a long road and good music (or silence) to straighten me out mentally. It's at the top of my list of remedies.

If I really need some alone time and there's no reason or time to hit the road these are my other options:
- coffee shop
- bookstore
- long walk
- and as a last minute resort... the couch in the dark, with a cup of tea, when everyone is sleeping.

What do you do to recharge and clear the mental cobwebs?

applying the creative elsewhere

I'm not a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination, but as soon as I heard about the bloganistas, I thought I'd give it a shot. It's a Flickr group where bloggers will be posting an outfit once a week. Joining the group will actually help me out with a few of my resolutions for the year.

I'm meticulous with my work but not so much with my appearance. I don't think I scare anyone away but it's... well, just fair. Working from home has made me lazy and sometimes I really don't recognize myself. Motherhood has also made my style take a dive. I hate to admit that but it's true. I'm typically the last one to get ready when we're headed anywhere and I just slap myself together. No more.

My first bloganista outfit is here.

I've also decided that this will be the year when I will finally make something to wear—skirts are high on the list. The fact that my Mom has just purchased a serger has me really itching to get going.

So, I'll also be kicking the fear of my sewing machine to the curb. Anyone else trying something that gets them out of their comfort zone?

quote of the day

"Nature has the best colors. Right Mom?" - by D, as we watched the sun rise this morning.

• • •

Again... thank you so much everyone. I wasn't expecting such a big response to yesterday's post. Goes to show that I was right in not deleting my post, which I almost did as soon as I pressed publish.

Your comments far outweigh any negativity that may come my way.

Have a great day!

embracing my inner v

Let me start by saying what is obvious to all: everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I've thought long and hard whether I should write about this or not. But I figure I'm entitled to my own opinion as well. I want to offer it, not as a complaint, as whining or as a "woe is me" post. Take this as part of the conversation and the back and forth that critiques are usually about.

So here it is. I've received two negative comments on Amazon (could be worse I know) about Home, Paper, Scissors that have given me some food for thought. If you want to take the time to read them go ahead. I'm not going to post them here. I feel like I need to address them a bit and explain why I decided to write this response of sorts.

Like any person that is in a creative field, I completely understand that not everything I design or make will be agreeable to all. But I'm not made of stone and it does sting a bit to read those words. However, I can also understand and I see how my book can be a disappointment to those that are expecting something different. I could go on but I'm trying to remain civilized and constructive here.

So, yes, my book isn't for everyone. But I do want to address the question about the validity of my ideas. The projects in the book are simple on purpose. Not only is that part of my style but I also wanted to write an accessible book. I wanted to cater to those that enjoy paper crafting but may be uninterested or don't have the time to try something too elaborate. So no, I don't think that my book was a waste of paper. I still stand by it.

Switching gears a bit.

As I was pondering all of the above, I was also thinking about what it takes to put yourself 'out there'. A big part of it is that you need to be willing to feel vulnerable. I've talked a bit about this when it is brought on by myself. But in this case, when it is momentarily brought on by others, it feels different and it's a bit harder to shake at first.

I've been a graphic designer for about 15 years and through all the ups and downs with client opinions, I have to say that my crafty or non-client work definitely requires thicker skin. The work I do for A Little Hut is so much more personal because I'm not following client requirements or expectations. I'm going with my gut and with what I feel is right. I focus on being true to my own ideas. I strive to make what is unique and that reflects my voice as a creative person. I'm not following anyone's rules.

In order to do all that, I need to allow space for the inevitable feeling of vulnerability that comes along with expressing myself through my work. It's uncomfortable, but it's also good to have around as a tool. It makes me be more of a perfectionist and it gives me less room to get away with mediocrity. If I'm completely honest, occasionally undercooked work slips by but, for the most part, the V word keeps it at bay. The more solid my ideas are, the lower the needle goes on the vulnerable-feeling gauge. At least that's how it works for me.

I think it's unrealistic to want the gauge to read empty. I'll settle for the halfway mark thank you very much.

last day

The kids will be going back to school tomorrow, which means we're still not quite into the routine everyone else jumped into today. To enjoy our last full weekday together the kids are using some of these this morning...

and I'm using some of this.

I derive the same pleasure from seeing rows of embroidery thread as I do a stack of neatly folded towels in the linen closet. Is that strange?

• • •

In other news... I found out that the magazine bowl project found in Home, Paper, Scissors will be used as a class project in a special needs organization. That makes me so happy.

here we go

Welcome 2010! We stayed home and surprisingly, for the first time, the kids stayed up until midnight. Today it's been all about taking it easy—being a bit under the weather kept us indoors.

Normally I probably wouldn't be posting today but I have a goal for this to be a year of daily making. I don't know how literal I'll be about the 'daily' part but I want to give it a shot.

I want to seriously tackle a wish list of things for our home. I won't necessarily be using paper exclusively, because I want to experiment with other mediums. I have a couple of lamp ideas and some knitting that will be coming but today I started with a redo.

Remember this calendar? With all the moving around going on here it was damaged and today I worked on remaking it. I'm still missing some stitching that I want to add but I'm happy with what I accomplished so far.

On a more physical note, I just need to kick in my training (which had completely slid off my plate) and I'll be set. That will start tomorrow.

I hope everyone is off to a good start too!