Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thank You 2011 ...

Hi, I hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas! As usual it was a blur, but fantastic all the same. This is the first year I did not have time to send cards or make any handmade gifts, I feel really bad about that. My family is usually my Ginny Pigs for new ideas and I never had a chance to create anything for them.
One of the main reasons that did not happen is I have been busy creating pieces for customers and keeping up with my Etsy shop. I have been on Etsy for a little over two years and to say it was part time is an understatement. The first year and a half I really put in a half hearted effort, or you could say I had no confidence and was clueless. My pictures in the beginning were horrible, mainly because of the computer I was using and the limited picture editing software I had. I look back at some of those pictures and feel so grateful that the people who purchased those pieces looked past the poor picture quality. I also did not create as much or list new items as frequently. In the last couple months things began to change. I feel great, I have a little more confidence and I am not as afraid to put myself out there. Something happened in August because in the last five months I doubled my Etsy sales. Not only was I selling what I had listed in the shop but, I began to get commission work. I know my amount of sales are small compared to others but I am I true believer that slow and steady wins the race. Along with Etsy I put myself out there and participated in three shows. They were all learning experiences but instead of sitting on my hands I went out there and did it, now I know I can. I am looking forward to creating art in 2012, I have a lot of new ideas, I hope to participate in other shows, and as of September I will be creating full-time because my little princess will be starting kindergarten. I am looking forward to a busy year full of creating! I am excited to see where I can push myself to go and I can’t wait!
We were very blessed this past year. I am so proud of my husband, he is a smart, driven, hardworking man and it is really starting to payoff. We will be living together for 10 years in February and it has never been easy, not that life is supposed to be. We have road the financial rollercoaster, we have lived paycheck to paycheck, and we have had to play the which bill will we skip this month game. I have been lucky enough to stay home with the kids but it is not easy and not for the superficial person. New car, nope, fancy clothes, nope, big house not even close, but I would not trade the time I have gotten to spend with my kids for anything. We are finally getting off the financial rollercoaster and as exciting as it is it is just as scary. I am always waiting for the shoe to drop if we don’t have money to worry about what will be next? I know that sounds silly but when you are used to up and down semi smooth seems so uncertain. The one thing I have learned through it all and well actually in every area of my life is to, Just Keep Swimming. I know that sounds silly but it is something I say over and over again in my head when things get really tough and nothing seems to go right. If you keep going, keep pushing, keep moving forward it is going to get better, things are going to change. If you stay in the same place with your head down and building up a wall of excuses you are never going to move forward and you are never going to get anywhere. Looking back at my life I have spent so much time being depressed, negative, and down that if I just would of went for it and kept my head up and kept moving forward I would be so much further along. I always tell Noah it is the things you don’t do and don’t attempt in this life that you regret not the things you do try. There is always a chance you will fail and that happens often but failing is so much more satisfying than never trying at all.

Along with being proud of Michael I am so proud of both of my children. They are caring, loving, bright, and happy. They have the whole world in front of them and I just want them to go out and explore it. It is not easy being a parent and we always want to protect our kids from everything but letting them stumble and have to face challenges is just as important as making it easy for them. Noah has been begging us to let him play football. He is obsessed with it. He wants to go out and throw the football every day when he gets home from school, he is always talking about it and he keeps begging to play it. Every part of me is screaming NO! but I think it is something we are going to have to let him do. He is going to be a busy boy with school, cello, baseball, swimming, boy scouts, and football but I guess that is the best part of being a kid getting to go out and try anything you want and imaging you can be anything you want. How else would you know what you wanted to be unless you get to try? As for Abigail she will be starting kindergarten. I can’t believe my baby will be starting elementary school. She is such a bright star. She has so much joy and spunk in her eyes it makes you feel like anything is possible. Right now it looks like she will be going full day unless the school loses more funding but I think she is ready for it. I just want her to keep that fearless attitude because it will take her anywhere she wants to go.

If I have learned anything in my 32 years is that nothing comes easy, anything worth getting takes work and risk and the only way to get anywhere is to go for it. Above all of that it is important to stay positive. I know negative people think positive people are fools, I used to be one of those people, but you only get one chance at all of this. Is it worth being miserable? I don’t want to be 60 or 70 remembering how unhappy I was. I much rather be remembered as a giddy fool than a miserable bastard. I can’t wait to start 2012 and a new chapter in my life. I am so grateful for what I have and for what life has taught me.

Happy New Year!!!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Vintage Thingie Thursday, Christmas Decorations ...

Hi! Today I thought I would link up with Coloradolady for Vintage Thingie Thursday. I have been so busy I can't remember the last time I did a Vintage Thingie Thursday post! I wanted to share some new Christmas decorations and some of my favorites.

I found these vintage Christmas lights at a yard sale this past summer. They were still in their original box. When I pulled them out this week to decorate I noticed they were never used. I love the tulip covers and they shimmer so nicely on the silver tree.

My Mica Houses are one of my favorite Christmas decorations, I keep them out all year long.

This cute snowman was originally used as one of those decorations you stick in potted plants. I just think he is adorable.

I also found this Christmas Tree Star at that yard sale this past summer. Actually all of my new decorations came from that one house. I bought quite a bit for $10.00.

I have loved this light up snowman ever since I was little. When I moved out of my parents house he came with me!

Mr. and Mrs. Snowman are my newest Christmas candle.

When I was little my mom would put cardboard cut outs like this on all the doors inside the house. She had a Santa just like this one. I paid a nickel for him.

One of my favorite vintage Christmas Balls is the one with the Giraffes on it!

I found three boxes of vintage Tinsel at the yard sale. The boxes are in beautiful shape. When I was little my mom had the same Home Decoration Book featuring this Snowman. I can't bring myself to pop out any of the designs. I think the illustrations are so cute. "Happy The Snowman" was a fun flea market find.

Lastly is my plastic manger scene, wooden camels and two Shiny Bright Boxes. I love the illustrations found on the vintage Christmas Ball boxes.

If you have time stop over and visit Coloradalady, to see more fabulous vintage. Also if you are stuck on what to get the art lover in your life check out my Holiday give-away, Tomorrow is the last day you can enter to win! I hope to be back next week to share some more Christmas Vintage Decorations!

Monday, December 5, 2011

We have a Tree ...

I can’t believe its December. I wish we could magically gain an extra two weeks before Santa comes to visit. Yesterday I finished decorating and we bought our Christmas tree. Unfortunately when it comes to gifts we have a total of zero. Worse than that we haven’t even talked or decided what we are going to get anyone. Michael and I have definitely been procrastinating a little more than usual. I just can’t get into the Christmas spirit, I feel like the Grinch.

In other news I participated in a little vendor night at Abbey’s preschool last week. It was the first year for the event and it was a little slow but it was a lot of fun. The women in charge of the event and the vendors who participated are a really great group of women. Being a stay-at-home mom and also working from home limits the amount of time I get to socialize. I haven’t laughed that much it a while and it felt good to be around other women. Overall it was a great night I sold a painting, some cards, and ornaments and best of all had a lot of fun. I would definitely show my art again at Abbey’s school.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out my give-away take a peek here, . It ends on December, 8.Also I will be adding a few more cards, tags, and ornaments to my shop. They are great stocking stuffers and everything in my shop will be shipped next day unless it’s the weekend.

Have a great Monday!!!