{Site currently under construction. Grace for my mess?}

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In the Meantime

Life is still wonky while we wait. wait. wait.

I'm beginning to believe there's a purpose to the waiting that goes beyond merely driving me out of my ever-lovin' and oh-so-impatient mind.  The purpose is as yet unclear, though... so I wait to figure out the purpose of the waiting waiting waiting.  Can you tell I'm not doin' so hot at this waiting business?  Mhm.

Last week, in the middle of my pouting, I made myself get creative for a few hours.  Here are the fruits of those labors:


(It's painted red).  Here's a close-up of the paint effect:


This one was lots of fun, because I chose a technique I've never used before.  I read about using candle wax to easily make a peeled paint/distressed-look finish, so I thought I'd give it a try on this baby.  I rubbed it well with a taper candle, especially heavily on the corners and "worn" areas, and ran a piece of sandpaper over it when it dried... voila.  Super easy.  Since I was hoping for a worn-out painted barn wood look here, I think the effect was great.  Kinda fun and rustic, and I do love me some red to brighten up a room.  :)

Whadya think?


... and a little banner thing, out of wide ribbon, coffee filters, cupcake wrappers, paper circles, and chipboard letters.  These are bad cell-phone pictures, but it says "imagine".




Alright, that's all I got.  One day of crafty, and several more sitting around staring at the clock.  Terrible, I know.  Whatchu got?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Alex Trebec is the Emcee of My Life

Here's the deal, folks.  We're in a waiting game.  A really, really long waiting game... or so it seems.

The stress of the big-decision-making dissolved when Husband and I looked at each other and realized, simultaneously, it seems, that we could really alleviate the weight of the world we had been so bravely complaining endlessly about, by giving it up completely and stepping foot into where we ought to be anyway -- NOT in the driver's seat.  We prayed for clarity and for guidance, passed around some angsty worry, and then, simply turned it over to the One who is in control... He who is so much more equipped for that sort of thing. 

The decision was made, and we did not have to choose.  That was a good feeling.  The kind of feeling that reminds me, though I ought not to be surprised, that I really don't have the tools to be in charge of my own life.  Sorry, but thats just a fact, folks.  And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but neither do you.  : /  It's true.

Anyway, the stress is gone and the peace has arrived.  The trouble, now, is with patience.  Being willingly out of control means that I do what I can do and then stand back and let the rest unfold.  Standing around... being quiet... waiting... all that is pretty hard for this go-go-go girl.  On a good day, I can't even watch a movie without simultaneously doing something else.  And the Jeopardy theme song that seems to be incessantly playing in the background of my head can really make a girl crazy while the time passes... tick, tick, tick, tick, and the unknown is still out there making neener-neener faces at me. 


Did I say the peace has arrived?  Well, it would, if I would let it.  Stubborn, stubborn girl I am.  Stubborn, and impatient.  Bad combo. 

All this nervous waiting has really stifled my creativity.  Self-obsession can do that.  Take my word for it, wontcha?  I'd like to have been using all this free time on my plate to really soar with all the creative projects I could be doing right now, and maybe this post is a kick in my own butt to do just that.  What's the point of waiting around for life to happen to me when I've got a million smile-worthy things I could be doing? 

Stop yer whinin', Whimsy.  Get to it. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I was just talking to one of my very creative and talented friends, who I'm so excited for.  She's starting the exciting journey of turning her hobby into a business, and I just know she'll be a huge success.  Can't wait to link y'all up to her when she gets started.

Anyway, we were talking about the various books and resources out there that I found so very helpful, and it got me wondering -- what were/are the most valuable resources for any of you readers, for getting started on Etsy, opening a business, figuring out the business of handmade goods, etc.?  I'm linking up my favorites with my Amazon Associates account, below.

The Craft, Inc. books are my very faves, and if I could only pick two, these would be it -- they go hand-in-hand.  I think they are appropriately geared to help us think outside of the every day, and look at how our products can fit into the marketplace.  The authors don't assume you're an idiot, but they don't assume that you have a degree in business and marketing either -- just straight-to-the-point advice for those of us standing at the bottom of the handmade business mountain, looking up.

This would be my top pick, if you could only buy two books, to get your feet wet in the handmade goods industry.

Another one I picked up a few years ago was:  The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Money with Your Hobby.  This one may very well be outdated by now (no pic on Amazon), but it does have a lot of valuable information if you can get a copy.  The downside?  The book frequently references the 'National Craft Association' and relays resources from them, but the NCA, as far as I can tell, hasn't existed for several years now.  So, take that for what its worth.

Country Living's Crafting a Business:  Make Money Doing What You Love falls under the "if they can do it, so can I" category.  It's more inspirational than instructional, but there is a section at the end called "Business Crafting Workshop" that gives some helpful tips on getting started. 

The rest of the book features profiles of 31 crafty business owners (all women, I think) that have seen great success, interviewing them for advice and tips.

I can't say that this book has given me any information I can't live without, but it is a good thing to pick up on those discouraging days -- a glimpse into what *could* be, with enough skill and persistence.

Perhaps the most helpful information yet are all the business tools that Etsy gives on their website, for free!  I highly recommend signing up for their business newsletter and reading through their "quit your day job" series of vendor profiles.  I say all this without having done any business on Etsy yet, but that's only because I haven't had the time to branch out into the online world.  I know that when I do, the resources Etsy has provided will make it so easy (and getting my store set up was a *breeze*, thanks to their very easy-to-follow tutorials and helps).

Here are a few more random ones that I own/have read/have seen that stand out:

What about you?  What resources do you recommend?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Prayer and Red Paint

Hi bloggy friends.  I haven't been around much lately -- lots going on for the Smitten Family, resulting in little time to play.  Bummer.

Big things on the horizon.  We're moving.  Somewhere.  The stress comes in distinguishing where that somewhere will end up being, as there are several opportunities/options in the mix right now.  We may be moving thousands of miles from "home", or maybe more like 50, to an arctic climate or a tropical one, and there is little else I can focus on but the giant, anvil-like question mark lingering over our heads right now.

We'll know more in the week ahead, but friends... can I be honest here?  I'm terrified.  So much to consider, so many unknowns, regardless of which direction we go.  The stress and worry is exhausting, the fear and anxiety somewhat paralyzing.

I'm an adventure-lover, a nomad, and a pretty flexible kinda chick.  I can bloom where I'm planted better than anyone I know, and yet, this particular crossroads has me so off-kilter I can hardly set my mind on anything else.

I'll find my footing, I know I will.  And in the grand scheme of life happenings, this one, I know, is minor and not at all tragic, and I should shut my mouth and be grateful that we have things like job interviews and opportunities and options on the horizon.  Still, though, if you're the praying sort, and you've got the time, would you utter one for me?  I need some serious wisdom and guidance and a little Divine Intervention wouldn't hurt at all.  Wouldn't life be easier if God just lit up a giant neon arrow over the right choice... if He gave us a road map of obedience and good choices?  You know... turn here, move there, take this job, stay far away from this church, get to know this person, leave this door closed... and so on?

I know... easier yes, but less fulfilling.  We're blessed that He knows what we don't... that we are given the chance to exercise faith.  And now, my faith-legs are just peddling as hard as they can.  Still, I'm lost in a cloudy sort of haze of choices... pushing and pulling against my own human understanding, and I'm tired, and scared, and impatient.

And the only solution I can think of is prayer and a can of red paint, so here I go to indulge in a little of both.

Thanks for listening.  <3