keeping things simple.

Saida recently celebrated her 3rd birthday.  In my opinion, 3 marks the year for the first official “friend party.”   I was excited about this milestone for her, but admittedly torn about how to proceed.  So I found myself with a choice to make, a {likely} stress producing, Pinterest and blog inspired, greatly satisfying, pat-myself-on-the-back party or just a plain ole’ party.  I do really enjoy throwing a big, well-coordinated bash but it feels a bit more daunting these days… I think it helped to be single and childless, able to sleep and recover as much as needed.

So I did it.  I went theme-less.  That’s right, no theme, no coordinating handmade party goods, just a simple play-date style lunch, some pin the tale on the donkey, balloons and dollar store decorations.

And it was lovely!  Everyone seemed to have a great time, and I wasn’t exhausted!  YAY!  Keeping it simple just may be the secret to surviving these baby years!

The invitations came out simple.simple.simple.  They were really the beginning of my non-theme theme which sort of developed as I created them.

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The doodle is hand drawn with fine tip sharpies.  That’s it.  DSCN1258

Each one came out with it’s own unique swirly style.  Saida did have one request… pink.  Shocking.  Who is this ultra-feminine child?  She must get it from Ben’s side.DSCN1259

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doodle pink birthday invitation

Just simple simple.   I can see some potential to glitz them up.  Maybe some glitter, or handwritten text.  Feel free to copy and update this idea, I was thinking of so many variations as I worked them, I would love to see how they can be improved!

Want help creating yours?  Contact me through the shop tab above!

Oh and with all my extra time, I was able to make her cake and frosting from scratch.  This was a first for me.  Thanks to Sweetapolita  they were totally yummy… and funfetti.

DSCN1282One thing that was planned from the start… I had to make our traditional ice cream come cupcakes…  A family birthday treat dating back to my grandmother…  Remember when you used to bring baked goods to school on your birthday before allergies and things got so crazy?  This was my go to… Every.Year.  I just loved the novelty.

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Saida has already requested them for next year 🙂

anything worth doing…

I really like my work.  I do.  It feels braggy to say that, but I don’t think it has to be.

christmas card emmanuel shimmer

Every year I look forward to creating our family Christmas card in a way that will highlight the miracle of God come to earth.

This year was especially fun, because, well, since the arrival of No2… there just hasn’t been that much time to create.

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and, I am just really pleased with this one.

I guess the fact that I have ventured into this world of selling what I make assumes that I am generally pleased with my ability to create pretty paper things…  But for the most part, I sort of just leaped out there, insecurities a-blaze, and figured — enough people told me my stuff was good, so it must be good enough.

For the first time, I have actually been seeing, on my own, that I am good at this.

I decided this Fall, that what I had initially planned to accomplish with Seven Layer Designs in a season, was now going to take place over the entire next year.  And it just made sense to me.  It was so clear and calm and just right.  I didn’t agonize over it, or ask everyone else what they thought… because it just came from a place of security and confidence.

When I recognized, quite possibly for the first time (ever) that I am good at what I do, it just naturally followed that if I am good at what I do, I can slow down.  I don’t have to worry about keeping up.  I believe in my work and myself enough to know, that I can go at my pace and though momentum may be lost, it can be recovered.

If my product is worth it now, it will be worth it next year.

Does that make me nervous?  UM… at times, yes!  But I know, beyond a doubt, that this is the right decision for me, my family and my business.

So what is happening exactly, you ask? 

Well, I am still going to be taking on clients on a job by job basis, so that I don’t pile my plate too high.  {Just be sure to contact me if you are interested in working together on an invitation or stationery design}.  I am really only scaling back on the sales and marketing part.  I will be working on more behind the scenes aspects of the business and building up more of a portfolio, spending most of my {all too limited} time focused on creating new designs!  Which I am o.so.excited about.  I will {and already do} miss cranking designs out at a faster pace, working with clients, shipping off orders, posting updates here… but again, this is all happening in the right timing.

and I’ll be here occasionally, but mostly…  I’ll be making things!

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Merry Christmas!!

next?

Do you ever go all day with post ideas or to do’s or creative projects all brewing in your mind.  Little quips, or adjustments or dreams lining themselves up in your brain.  And then the noise and demands stop, you have the time to do, to unload, to create…

and nothing.

blank.

crickets.

“What am I sitting down to do right now?”

Is this just me?

SOOO frustrating.  I don’t wish it on anyone.

When the hard deadlines and demands are all met and I am faced with 5/20/maybe even 60 minutes… I get lost.  And then the time disappears.

I am sort of there right now with Seven Layer Designs.  I had a very successfully productive week last week and now… I don’t know where to go next.   I am learning, that for me to work from home where laundry and dishes are unending,  it is best to have a plan of exactly what to do, so when those minutes make themselves available, there is no wondering, there is only “next.”  This is not necessarily my nature… but it is more of a necessity.

Maybe if I dump a little here, I will start to get some clarity, a game plan for what to do next???  You might get bored and that’s ok, no hard feelings.  Kuddos if you make it to the end… maybe you can relate.  We always feel better when we see others struggle… what is that all about anyway… ok back to the venting….

I mean, I have my to do lists all made with my plans of what I want(ed) to accomplish this Fall (I mean SERIOUSLY where did September go.  I was so surprised to wake up Monday morning and realize that it is no longer the end of summer, but now well into the Fall.  Woops)

So , my plan for this fall was to (1)get a bunch of invitation designs together, and again, I was feeling so inspired months ago, and now that it is time, feeling blah about them.  (2) Get my website redesigned and up and running.  Totally intimidated to start, cause I know what’s in store… sooo much time and editing and yada yada.  This is not my strength… but I’m ballin’ on a budget.  and what else… oh yeah (3) get Etsy back in action and (4) maybe do some marketing/advertising/small investing type of things.

So of course, under each of these headings are many, many tasks… all of varying sizes.

It feels like I should get onto the invitation designs next.  All of the other stuff is not so helpful without the new product line to be displayed and hopefully sold.

Things I know:  It is hard for me to do designing when I don’t have open ended time frame… or at least an hour or 2 free from distraction.  So this means, weekends,or maybe if the stars align for both kids to be napping (though this is TERRIBLY hard to plan for at this stage in the game), or maybe take Saida to Amanda’s but again Camille is fairly unpredictable.  Basically, I find it very difficult to plan creative time.  Once I have the designs fairly well laid out, then implementing them can easily be done in the here and there minutes.  So there… It seems like I need to plan in some good design time to get a start and then the rest can happen in the inbetweens.

This is sort of the same for the website.  Once I get on and familiarize myself with the site and get started the filling in stuff should be easy to do on the fly.

For Etsy, I just have to polish up some things in my info and appearance and my listings.  I have some additional listing to do and I have to start playing around with the milieu of ideas they offer for getting your shop noticed.

So I know what I need to do… I just can’t start.

And as soon as I think I know where to start, then I remember all the things I want to make for Christmas presents, and the projects I want to do for our house and the pictures that STILL need organizing and uploading and photo albuming and all the rest.  And I’m confused.

And then I start to scream.

and then a baby starts to scream

and I think, tomorrow.

Tomorrow.

That did help.  Thanks for listening.

to work or not to work

Until last week, I was really wondering if I could keep going with the “work” part of Seven Layer Designs.

When other parts of life are feeling crazy, it can be an added pressure.

We have been dealing a lot with time around here lately.  Balancing it, prioritizing it, using it for pursuits that really “matter”…  and I have wondered, more than ever before, is it time to put this on hold???

Either way, with a few things pending, I can’t make this decision until I complete them and tie up all prior obligations.  So I pushed on.

And a few attainable goals later, I realize again, I really do love it.

it’s like a breath.

There are parts of it that I may not love all the time.  It can pull me away from other tasks, and I could do with out the pressure that I sometimes feel from social media to perfect my online persona and to be insta-twitter-whatevering to stay in constant connection…. but…

I love the creating.  I have so enjoyed my time over the last week… designing, cutting, stitching, folding the paper and patterns to say what I want them to say… standing back and feeling pride and accomplishment in these little pieces that make me (and hopefully others) smile.  Thinking of the enjoyment and encouragement others may find as they send and receive this card.  I love thinking about the words that will fill it.  What will they say?  Who are they for?

When other parts of life are feeling crazy, I look forward to being able to sit and create in the quite corner of my room, with the sun floating in the window.  For that time I forget about the chores, about the demands, and I am alone, quiet, refreshed.  Now, more than ever am I coming to appreciate these opportunities.

So, whatever form Seven Layer Designs may take in the near future, I will have to find a way to continue.

 

three words ending in “ity”

design sponge via pinterest

humility… when i thought i was doing everything right, i didn’t take into account, that if things went differently, i would be doing them all wrong.

vanity… 2 months later, still sweating more than normal, still looking a bit pregnant, walking around with camille in an ergo that is causing lots of extra bulges and even more sweat, covered in crumbs and spit up stains.  BUT, no one is crying, whining or pouting and i am drinking a java’s iced latte, so… i could care less.

brevity… just heard someone refer to this stage of parenting as “the sweet phase”  and while yes, i realize that it is nice to have my kids be carryable, and not know that they can talk back to me, and still, for the most part, adore me… i think many remember this phase with rose colored glasses.  it has it’s moments… both of glorious perfection, sweet little girl laughs and kisses, but it is also rife with sleep deprivation, tantrums, poop and pee.  either way it will be over soon, so i am trying to act accordingly.