Yes, I am still alive. I wasn’t able to keep up with the interviews because school just took over. I was taking Statistics, and for this “never math” girl, it took everything I had to pass the class. I needed a B or better for the class to qualify for certification (I’m getting a master’s degree in education), and yours truly earned an A! Always nice to kick things off with good news. Next semester brings a World Literature class, more my wheelhouse.
In thinking about this blog, I became paralyzed as to what I should share. I had this notion that if it wasn’t informative, chock full of resources, there was no point. However, just today I waved that notion away. In this post, I’ll share a creative state of MY union, with links to all the things, of course. All this is an effort to get reacquainted. What say you?
New Years Resolutions. Bear with me! I’m not going to blather on, like you may think. I don’t have any. Not one. We were all sick with the flu over Christmas break, which in hindsight, left no room to
obsess reflect on what I’d like to work on in 2017. I am a pretty good planner, and use a Bullet Journal, run a Bullet Journal group on Facebook and love all things organization. I wouldn’t say I always follow through with it, but the intention is there, and that’s just as good! If you’re interested in using a Bullet Journal, I wrote a post for the SITS Girls a while back with resources, tips, and all the rest.
But, here’s a change. I’ve decided to try the Passion Planner. A fellow embroidery artist noted that she was excited to get started with hers this year, and I popped over to see what all her excitement is about. Twenty minutes and a months worth of pages printed later, I thought, I have to give this a shot! I’ve ordered it, and it should be here in a few days. In the meantime, I am working away on the sheets I’ve printed. You can download the entire thing for free if you like as well. All of the details are on their website!
Slow maker movement. You remember Vanessa Lauria, don’t you? Well she and I are email pals. She’ll drop me a line, I’ll send one back, and so on, all in the name of creative entrepreneurial support. She sent me an email last week to say hello and dropped this amazing post in my lap from Abbey Glassenberg of While She Naps called Slow Growth and the Internet Gold Rush. A post about all the advice out there to get a quadrillion followers overnight, or how this one online class will solve all of your problems. Vanessa and I chat about that quite a bit. About the frustration and buzzkill to creativity these supposed “problem solving gurus” create. In the post, Vanessa is quoted, and I have to share what she said:
Making art while under a cloud of financial responsibilities can really dampen creative expression. There is so much #girlboss floating around social media lately, that there’s almost shame if it isn’t working out quite as you’d imagined and, in some ways, been promised. All the solo entrepreneur 20-something gurus with webinars every other day explaining how to ‘double your following in a month’ or ‘learn how to make 4-5 figures a month’ can be misleading and overwhelming. I think it’s important to realize that success comes in many forms and there is no determined timeline for a careerpath (or lifepath).
I’ve bookmarked the post to go back to in a few months when I know I’ll feel overwhelmed, because I’m human!
Education. Speaking of online gurus, there is one that I go to all the time. I know I’ll never get a load of fluff, the info is on point and relevant to my handmade business. That person is Danielle of The Merriweather Council. A handmade business owner herself, she also works to help handmade business owners thrive in their business. She has a ton of educational opportunies, a podcast, a Facebook group, all the support you could want. I’ve purchased class from her, ebooks, listened to all of her podcasts, watched videos, you name it. She just put out an ebook with 17 actions + insights for a prosperous & profitable 2017 + spark starter sheet that I am loving right now. In keeping with our online guru theme, she nails it right on the head in her ebook when she says:
…how about making the decision to say no to information overload?”
With that, I chose just two educational resources to focus on this year in my handmade business. Regardless of how shiny, the rest is noise. Notice a theme? I think the creative community is a little weighed down by the “get rich quick” or “you have 24 hours to purchase the one ecourse that’s going to be all you need”. What about the slower, creative process? What happened to taking your time? Since when are we in such a rush all the time? Sure, I want my shop to be profitable, but I don’t want to kill myself in the process, or worse, badger myself for looking in other maker gardens comparing myself to them! Isn’t that the worst? Here’s a graphic that I just received from Meigan O’Toole’s newsletter (a must read in my opinion!) that I had to share!
Highlights. I couldn’t have a state of union and not mention the highs from 2016. I was featured on Buzzfeed, twice (here and here! I was also featured on Brit + Co. I was also interviewed by fellow embroiderer Amy of Random Acts of Amy for her Backside of the Hoop series! I’m a total fan of her work and her big heart for animals.
I’m part of a little fiber group made up of insanely creative fiber artists (read SUPER supportive and encouraging).
I didn’t have any financial goals for my shop in 2016, so I didn’t “meet any target”, but the holiday season was pretty exciting for me and I learned that I need to get a money goal for 2017! That Passion Planner can’t come soon enough.
I also started taking freelance blog + social media clients. Basically, I help writers, bloggers and creatives with a strategy to get “seen”, build engagement and then implement. I wasn’t promoting this at all, and *snaps fingers* just like that 4 clients. So, I resurrected my Faithfully Social (like last night) site and am working on that to be all offish.
I joined my local Embroidery Guild! I have to stitch a name tag before the next meeting. I am so excited to start stitch alongs with the group and see what others make!
I taught myself to weave and sold my second attempt! This beauty right here:
I got my craft room together!! I will have to give it up to my oldest son in about a year, but for now…it’s all mine (I share it with the home office and guest room. I have like a wall, but I’ll take it!).
Lowlights. I didn’t get to weave as much as I wanted to. At times it was because I felt stunted, or overwhelmed with what to weave next, and then just embroidering my face off. I couldn’t keep up with the demands I made of myself with interviewing new makers, guest posting, trying to get better at a new craft, stitching, going to school, and being a mother + wife. That was tough. But…learning moment – I said NO to a lot that helped me focus on priorities.
And to tie this all together, I’ve chosen a word for 2017. Have you heard of that? You choose a word that will be a touchstone for you for the year. Something that will invigorate and inspire you. A work that will infuse energy and solace when you meditate on it. The word I’ve chosen in Faithful. Isn’t that something? For me, I want to remain faithful to who I am at my core: a creative. Creative in making, parenting, marriage, my faith, and showing up for myself, every.single.day.
I would love to know your thoughts! Please comment below and give me the deets on where you’re at creatively, what you’re working on, what your word is and the overall state of YOUR creative union!
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