Journal: Changing a Life

I was sitting at the table cruising social media and this question hit me: how do you change a life without actually changing anything? What I mean is, when you are stuck, like super stuck in a funk and there really appears to be no way out, how do you change?

I’m a huge runner – but not the kind of runner in Nike’s – more of the mental and emotional type. When the going gets tough, all I want to do is figure out how to get going. Finances are rough, so I sit for hours trying to figure out how to make a job fit into my life right now. The house is overwhelming with projects, so I sit and stare at and try to imagine moving. My children have too much crap, so I sit and peruse Waldorf, Charlotte Mason and other natural-crunchy-beautiful people blogs and dream of what my life could look like if we had less stuff.

But none of these things will ever change in that dramatic of a way. My pastor told me once that I keep wanting this really super big change to happen, but honestly what I need is just to rest in the little things. I wanted to yell at him (and actually it was via an email so in my head I sort of was) that I am tired of little rescues, I am tired of the bit by bit – I need something BIG to happen.

But it isn’t. going. to. happen.

No lottery is coming to my rescue. My house isn’t going to clean itself out without me. My children aren’t going to ever have less crap. None of these things is going to go zap! and change.

So what do you do? How do you change a life step by step when you are so crazy burned out of the steps. I mean honestly, if my life were a stair climbing machine I would have thighs bigger than a crossfit chick!

I guess you just keep going.

Day by day. And only day by day.

And I try to focus on what’s in front of me. And only what’s in front of me.

And of course my pastor is right – it is all the little things.

In the meantime I just have to take them each one by one (and maybe pretend I’m building the most amazing ice cream cone ever)

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Journal: Cultivating a presence

I started this blog as a way to journal, write and share what I was making when my nearly 10 year old daughter was an infant.
I wasn’t writing for comments.
I wasn’t writing because I wanted to link up.
I wasn’t posting because I wanted to get shared all over social media (social media wasn’t even a thing back then).
I just wrote because I needed to and I wanted to.

But then I started selling on Etsy and I started getting hits and the world of blogging exploded. It became a way to frame my day in order to be noticed. And I’ve got a thing with being noticed. That drive to be discovered soon overrode any other drive I had. I realized that I needed to start using my blog platform to help sell the things I was making. And eventually all I was doing was advertising. I upgraded my website, changed my logo a million times and tried to figure out how to use this space less as a journal and a space for me to frame my words and more as a space for me to show off my wares.
The words stopped flowing and as my space here sort of fell apart so did my life.

The last eighteen months has a story that isn’t quite ready to be shared, but these months have totally reframed my life and the idea of presence.

I have spent so much time grieving the past and trying to control the future so much that I have become exhausted with today.

And many of my today’s have worn me down.
But they have worn me down because I’ve been trying to cultivate something that isn’t me. I’ve been neglecting the margins in my life and I’ve been putting aside and ignoring all those things that used to give me space. I’ve jumped from one course to another thinking that it was going to be the thing that would make sense of everything and honestly nothing makes sense right now.

So I am doing the one thing that has always made sense – I’m picking up the scrambled words in my head and trying to lay them down.

To begin with bringing margin into my life, my Etsy shop is changing a little bit for the time being. I’m taking an extended break from any custom embroideries and embroidered shoe orders. It’s a pretty scary move for a lot of reasons, but I feel like it’s the right move. The shop will stay open, but for now it will only have downloadable embroidery patterns and finished hoop art that is ready to ship. I’m also taking a break from teaching sewing classes beyond a couple of adult Saturday classes (one in the Fall and one in the Spring).

I don’t know what this space will look like, but I am hoping to use it as a way to bring my focus back on today and life at hand.

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on creativity

I saw this video posted on a blog and just had to share.

I’ve been on etsy for a long time, but I have been doing this gig “full time” for the last 2.5 years. When I look back at where I started I can definitely see where my work was lousy and not at all what I was intending. I can see where I am now and be excited that I’m closer to the vision I had in my head way back when, but I am still not where I want to be with my craft. This video was so true and such encouragement. But I do think it expands to all walks of life – not just the creative process. I think there is so much of our life that we expect to be perfect right away and that so not possible. It’s that idea of not giving up the expectation and hope of what we want that makes all the difference. To keep moving forward to achieve that thing we are looking for. That also means we take out the idea of comparison. Everyone’s journey is different and everyone’s pace is different too. We just need to embrace that journey and enjoy looking back at where we’ve come from and be excited about where we are and where we are headed.

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random thoughts

I posted a few days ago about this new incentive system we are attempting in our house, only to realize that often times what we think is the most simple thing really isn’t so simple. We are working out the kinks and it’s always such a shocker what works well with one kiddo is a major fail with the other one.

Speaking of kids, this is a fabulous article regarding education and learning via The Washington Post. It’s actually a response to an original article and I can’t tell you how much the description of one of the kids in the article is spot on with our youngest. We are learning so much through walking her story and it’s articles like this one that are so encouraging to me as we seek to make the best choices for her.

Our family watched The Box Trolls this past weekend and it was super clever. I will warn you that there’s a bit of a scene with the villain and an allergic reaction that he has. For us it was somewhat a good life lesson as this is what happens to our chick when she ingests peanuts. In the end, I love the message: you don’t have to be who people say you are.


Obviously the Super Bowl was last night and honestly one of my favorite commercials was the Coke commercial. Having an almost 12 year old in the house we are diving head first into this world of technology and bullying. I love the simplicity of how all it takes is changing a few words and the meanness that you meant can be changed to goodness.




I had the highlight of my life this weekend so far…I’m finally “published” in a sense! I designed and wrote a project tutorial for The Whippercrafter online magazine. It was so much fun to put together and then crazy to see all my photos and words transformed into this great article. I can’t wait to work on the next one and I’m so thankful to Rebel Craft Media for the opportunity. Get your copy now! It’s filled with all sorts of great projects!


Here’s a few glimpses of some projects I recently completed:


Jesus Storybook Bible quote ... Always and forever love 2015 version in turquoise


One of my greatest goals this year is to increase the amount of garment sewing I’m doing. Yesterday I worked again on trying to finish a pair of Collette Pattern Jeans and again hit such a snafu. So I decided that I would throw together something brainless and sewed a nightgown for my daughter. I’ve had this fabric for like 2 years and good thing I sewed this gown now because the pattern is about too small!


Hope you all have a great week!!!

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It’s been a tricky start to this year. When my kids started back at school, I ended up heading there with them to sub for the art teacher for a few days. It was easy to get back into the groove of school teaching again – but I was super happy yesterday morning when I woke up and I just dropped them off and came back home to work!

I’m having a hard time finding a good book to read lately. I used to love Phillipa Gregory and picked up her latest book, The King’s Curse, at the library a few weeks ago and I just can’t seem to get into it. Three out of four of us are reading through the Harry Potter series and it’s been fun for my kids to be at the ages where we can all read the same thing and then talk and joke about it around the house. Last night I started The Ex-Pats by Chris Pavone and so far it is intriguing. I have to say it already reminds me of a mash between the old tv show Alias and the current show The Blacklist. The reviews on Goodreads are a fair mix of love and hate.

I’m also reading through Kari Chapin’s book Grow Your Handmade Business and so far it’s been great. I’m also ready Make it Mighty Ugly and I’ve enjoyed many of the exercises in it. What’s been most interesting is this project:


I started this project waaaaay back last fall and honestly I’ve struggled with it since I started it. It’s one of those that I had this picture in my head and it’s not turning out anything like the picture in my head. I’m not afraid to stop a project that I’ve started…to a point. This one had gotten past that point where I could just let it go. So I would pick it up and put it down and finally forced myself to finish it this past weekend. I’m still not happy with how it turned out and it’s been interesting to be reading Kim Werker’s  Mighty Ugly book while struggling through it. She spends the first part of the book talking about creative demons and oh buddy, did I have some creative demons screaming at me while working on this project. But to be honest, when you do create art there are times that you make projects that are downright ugly and times that you create things that maybe end up being “ugly” to you merely because they aren’t matching that picture that you had, but they aren’t really ugly. I’m putting this in my shop with confidence that even though I’ve got voices screaming that it isn’t perfect and it’s a silly project etc that there isn’t truth in that and this hoop might actually grace someone’s home and encourage them.

Animals in a hot air balloon

I did finish a project that I do just love. I started this hot air balloon last fall too and finished it up a few days ago. It’s currently hanging in my dining room and makes me smile every time I walk past it. It’s up in the shop and ready to hang in your house to bring you a smile!


My husband and I watched the movie Begin Again with Kiera Knightly and Mark Ruffalo. I have to say we went into the movie not expecting much, but as it went on it’s probably one of the best movie’s we’ve watched in a while. I don’t know if it was just because it was so “counter-cultural” in so many ways that I didn’t expect or if it was the struggle to maintain who you are as a creative and not give into what others want you to be or what you think you should be just so you can make loads of money. It was just overall good.

A few other things I’m enjoying lately…

  • I saw this mug on instagram and golly it made me laugh. I totally need to get this and another one for one of my sweetest friends who needs that introverted reboot time too.
  • last year I tried to do the whole One Little Word thing with Ali James and honestly I flunked out about March. I didn’t even attempt to do anything like that this year, but I am recently intrigued with the idea purchasing a journaling Bible and spending some time weekly working on some creative expression that way. I’ve recently discovered Shanna Noel and the beauty that she is creating with God’s word in such a new and fresh way. She has an awesome instagram feed if you are interested.
  • If I ever thought that the last few years I’ve been pushed out of my comfort zone regarding selling at markets, teaching sewing classes etc – this month I was asked to be interviewed by Debbie at Work Your Art. Go check it out!
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