Saturday, June 11, 2011

me: Narrowly Avoiding Creative Burnout

Recently I have had to make some tough decisions. Those of you that know me, see that I am addicted to creating. If you have seen my craft hoard, you understand. I really enjoy blogging, digital design, painting, sewing, crochet, embroidery, paper crafting... Really, for that matter, anything that has to do with a glue gun, glitter, upcycled fabrics, or blingy embellishment.

I also have a loving family {and very understanding husband that I refer to as hunny}. Well turns out they want more of my attention. {ok, my 15 yr. old daughter doesn't, but the others do!} My two year old requires it! I've had to rearrange my life to better balance my time between family, work, hobbies and myself. I needed to clear my space a little.

While on vacation for Memorial Day last month, I realized how relaxed I was. Thinking about how much I had to do at home made me feel kinda sick. So I made a promise to myself. Over the course of my vacation I would decide what I needed to focus on, and what to cut out of my life.

I told myself, " You CAN do this." I can do less. I don't need to have so many projects that I have no time to sit still at all anymore! Only taking one moment each day for myself as I take that cleansing breath at the end of my shower was not cutting it. I need more moments like what I had while on vacation. More time to just breathe.

I felt like I buried myself in something sticky! I was on the verge of creative burnout. I knew if I didn't do something I might not be okay. I had to get rid of a few things.

The first thing to go was my California Esthetics License. I also let go of my Holistic Health Practitioner's License out there as well. I have lived here in Michigan now for over 4 years, and am not moving back to San Diego anytime soon. I am keeping my Michigan Licenses, but I just can't practice anymore. My fibromyalgia has made it so that I can barely tweeze my own eyebrows, much less anyone else's.

Then I stopped making Lotus Flower Herbals products. I have to give up my dream of owning another herbal spa to use all of the products. It was fun, but I honestly cannot keep up with the FDA and their labeling requirements. I love making my own herbal home spa goodies. I love teaching others how to make their own as well. You may even get some for Christmas or on your birthday from me at some point in our friendship. But I will not be making it for sale any time soon. {lol... notice how I leave that open for myself?}

Then goes xo, love etsy shop. Sorry my sweet friend, I adore you and your healing gemstone jewelry. I will wear all of the remaining necklaces at once on this day every year from now on.

Loved etsy shop, I totally enjoy painting. I hope to have time to paint again someday. But right now, it is impossible. Unless, however, I want to try to sell finger paints made with a 2 yr. old. where I have no control over how it turns out. {I am actually enjoying the lack of creative control for a change}

Hunny told me it's ok to have hobbies! I guess I just need to sew for my family and friends. I have to give up the Project Runway dream of owning a fashion house or children's clothing line {other than the one I have going for Jaden exclusively}  Lillian George on Etsy is going to only carry hair accessories and bridal sashes. They are small, lightweight and portable. Much easier to make with kids around if need be.

But really this is good for me.

I didn't plan this. Suddenly, there I was, tied to these things, my shops and my blogs. 7 days a week I was writing for my blog {The Handmade Gift Guide}, making all of this stuff for my shops, taking pictures of it like it was my child, thinking of keywords I would use to describe it in my listings, sending the stuff, tracking the stuff. Always trying to find time to fit my family in. Stressed out trying to do it all.

So I have decided to keep The Handmade Gift Guide, my digital design shop, classes, and workshops, and making fabric flowers to sell at shows. {and of course this blog where I can share things!}

I have had to become very organized to continue publishing The Handmade Gift Guide everyday for almost 2 years. I had a personal blog before starting The Guide, but really when I started it, I had no idea what I was doing! I would just google how to do things. I can remember learning how to make my own favicon. I thought I was hot stuff.

I am now trying new things on my blog, including publishing guest posts from other bloggers. I invited a few regular contributors to the mix. It has given me time to work on other areas of The Guide. I schedule posts ahead of time, so I now have time to sell ad spaces, run giveaways and design contests, put together the showcases, maintain the directory, manage the Facebook page, and still write a few features a week. {not much, eh?} I am also continuously working on the design. I like to change it up every so often. Right now I am planning a big overhaul, but it is still in the planning stages. I hope to have it ready for the Holidays.

Renovation Alley, my Digital Makeover shop is really cool. I've developed an e-course for people who want to learn how to blog. I sell blog & website design, customized blog set up, backgrounds, low cost Etsy business sets, ad design services, etc... It is fantastic to be able to share what I have learned with others. I can take my computer and work no matter where we are. I love to vacation at Lake Michigan with my family, and now feel more free to do so. My work is portable :)

Lillian George on Etsy is getting a facelift. I removed everything but the fabric flower accessories and bridal sashes. I like to use upcycled fabrics, bright colors, feathers, glittery and blingy embellishments, French lace in birdcage veils... I will continue to have a few up on Etsy, but am moving most of it to I will be focusing on getting into brick and mortar shops and doing festivals in SE Michigan. I sold out of what I had at a Christmas show last year, and have had them at a few shows this summer and gotten a very good response.

It's not like I won't have anything to do {haha}. I just needed to clear out some of the things that weren't working for me. Things that were kinda dragging me down. I had to give up a few dreams of mine. But it's ok, because I am really excited to have more time to spend time with my family {and clean my house} and work on my latest projects. I needed to free myself from old expectations of myself, so that I could free up energy for the new things in my life.

I feel much better. I go to bed when I am tired. I take a day off when I need to. I am not always worried that I forgot to send out something. Or that I sent it to the wrong person ;) I am going back to doing yoga. I work on The Guide on the days that the kids are in school so that when they are with me I can give them my full attention. I hang out with my hunny when he gets home. Life is good...

Handmade is Heartmade

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

9th Annual Michigan Lavender Festival

On Friday & Saturday, July 15-16, 2011 from 10am-5pm, I will be at The Michigan Lavender Festival in Armada, Michigan. Make sure you plan for this, it's gonna be amazing!

photo courtesy of The Michigan Lavender Festival

I will be teaching an Herbal Home Spa Workshop!

You will learn how to create a relaxing home spa day for yourself out of common household ingredients mixed with essential oils and herbs:

  • facial scrubs
  • relaxing massage oils
  • facial masks
  • detoxifying salt glows
  • relaxing bath tea
  • sunburn relief

I will also be hosting a “Make it Yourself” event, where you will get hands on to 'make and take' home an herbal spa collection.

I will have ingredients on hand to make your own:
  • Facial mask $5
  • Bath tea $5
  • Brown sugar facial scrub $5
  • Salt glow $5

I am super excited to have a chance to share my knowledge and meet some new friends. If you would like to be a vendor with me at this event, please apply soon, and mention that I sent you for a great discount on fees!

Handmade is Heartmade

Monday, May 9, 2011

Handmade Trades Rule!

I love handmade festivals and shopping events. Wait, have I said that before? Maybe. If not, I will say it again, just to make sure you heard me. I looooooove buying handmade. :)

Last Saturday I had the pleasure of vending at Flint Handmade's Spring Shopping Event. My booth was at The Lunch Studio, a great place to eat in Downtown Flint. {I most definitely ate a HUGE chicken salad sandwich} Check out this great recap by Hands Occupied.

Me at my table! Photo thanks to: Flint Handmade

My most favoritest {is that even a word? well it is now} part of vending at shows is trading with the other vendors. Check out some of the sweet goodies I got:

Awesome purse from Kyla Renee

"Chockie" from Frankenstitch

Lavender Rose Cream from Fiddlebump's Apothecary

Looking forward to my next show Peacefest in Waterford, MI. June 4-5th. Come out and see me! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Crave Photography's Giveaway

OMG! I just found out about this amazing giveaway on Crave Photography's blog...

It includes an all expense paid trip to a private workshop with Crave, actions and textures from Florabella Actions, clothing credit from ZooBugBaby, and more....

You must check it out and enter.
Handmade is Heartmade

Sunday, April 17, 2011

DIY Handmade Easter

I love spring... I adore any chance I get to celebrate the rebirth of life. Of course I am making cupcakes for Easter Sunday. {DUH!} I was looking for some cute toppers to print out, and found these on Skip to my Lou:

How sweet, huh?

I also wanted to find a banner to put up above my daughter's Easter basket. I found this adorable one on Itsy Belle. She also has a whole printable Easter party set for sale in her Etsy Shop.

How neat is this Easter tree idea? I found it on Spagat.  Click on the pics below to find the egg and bunny template, along with the tutorial on how to create a lovely Easter tree!

Being a huge DIY-er, I really want to try dying our eggs with natural materials this year. I have tried tea, but wanted to try other colors too. I found a great tutorial over on Crunchy Domestic Goddess.

I am super excited for Easter this year, now that my youngest is actually old enough to do an egg hunt, and make some Easter crafts. It is so fun having a little one again!
Handmade is Heartmade

Monday, April 4, 2011

i heart crochet

What have I been up to lately? What haven't I been up to? lol I started to crochet again recently, and have been on the lookout for cute patterns. I mentioned last week that I was working on a hat for Jaden... Well here is the finished product:

CUTE, right?

I started out using a pattern I found online for a baby bowl photo prop, but ended up just making up my own as I worked on it. It is on it's way to a photographer. I can't wait to see the pics she takes with it!

I joined Ravelry {finally} so if you are on there, add me as a friend and I will add you back. I love seeing what my friends are up to.

My next project is this cute sundress by Kristie Simpson. 
Join me?

I am hoping to add these to Lillian George soon. If you are interested in a custom order, please contact me!
Handmade is Heartmade
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