Saturday, October 18, 2014

Earning gold stars

Recently, I've started taking brave steps towards living the life of my dreams. Now when I say that, it almost implies I'm unhappy with my life right now. But that couldn't be further from the truth. I'm blessed beyond belief. I have a family I love, friends I cherish, good health, a beautiful home, etc.. It just means there's still more my heart wants to share and there's still more I want to do as I live a life that honors my values. So I'd like to share a few of my first brave steps....

A couple weeks ago, in the early morning, I was checking email and noticed an email from my previous life coach, Tiffany Han. I really loved working with her, so I continue to follow all the amazing and inspiring stuff that she does. This email was announcing the launch of her new program, 100 rejection letters. It's a year long program that encourages action despite the possibility of rejection and in the face of fear. It seemed like just the right thing and just the right time to get me moving on dreams again. So I took the leap and signed up. Seeking out 100 rejection letters in one year would definitely encourage the action I was "ready" for. 

Soon after signing up, before the program officially started, I learned about an upcoming art exhibit at a local gallery looking for artists to contribute 30 pieces in 30 days. It seemed a bit crazy but I thought it could be fun to have art featured in a gallery. But I really thought that if I submitted art samples, I would earn an early "no" and get a jump start on my gold stars (earned with each rejection letter). So a couple days before Tiffany's program began, I submitted artwork to be considered for the exhibit and then waited for my first "no." I had taken action and I was proud of myself.

But then just a few days later, I was looking for a work email and stumbled across an email from the gallery. So I opened the email, ready to collect my first shiny, gold star of rejection. But the email said YES! I have 30 pieces of artwork to create in the next 30 something days! And then these precious pieces will be included in the exhibit for just over a month. I will have art hanging in a gallery! I am stunned and excited and scared, etc.. I have not created artwork in such a long time. But it is time. Because if 30 pieces in 30 days doesn't scream action, I don't know what does.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Reconnecting with photography

For the past couple weeks, I've found myself reconnecting with my interest in photography and it's been nice. I've revisited resources I had been collecting and I've found a few new ones. Last week in a random fashion I discovered Rebecca Cooper's Capture Life Workshop at Big Picture Classes just days before it started, so I jumped at the opportunity. We're now in week two and I'm really enjoying the class. She's shared good photo tips, but also a lot of encouragement to take more everyday moment photos. What better way to notice and appreciate the stuff that makes up our lives.

I've also been reading a couple photography books, like Shooting with Soul by Alessandra Cave and Art of Everyday Photography by Susan Tuttle. Alessandra Cave's book is filled with fun exercises that I hope to try someday, but right now I'm really soaking in all the information that Susan Tuttle has shared in her most recent book. I've been highlighting like crazy and filling a notebook with info about exposure, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc.. Can't wait to use all this photography information and inspiration! I'll be sure to share.....

Monday, September 29, 2014

Therapy in home decor

Our new front room
As I mentioned last post, I've been finding some comfort in taking care of creative projects around the house. Art can be quite therapeutic. I know that home decor projects don't typically come to mind when thinking of art, but it's been a great creative outlet for me. It's brought me much satisfaction in the past several months. I hope to eventually share all of our projects, so today I'll start with our most recent completion--our front room makeover. 

Our fireplace mantle makeover

Our new leather sofa bed and fun throw pillows

You might remember that we built a tee pee in our front room over a year ago. We worked on it as a family and it showed all of our personalities. It was made with pink and blue fabric that the girls chose (Becca being my blue girl and Kat being into pink). We hung twinkle lights and threw huge bean bags inside for reading. And it was magical. 

The tee pee we built in May 2013

Well, the tee pee was slowly engulfed by a humongous tent/fort that was built around it. It wasn't the prettiest thing since it was built from miss-matched sheets and blankets (just as any good tent/fort should be), but the girls loved it. It hid their mess of toys from me, so I kind of liked it, too. But with the mess hidden away, the mess grew and grew until they abandoned the fort (rather than cleaning) to play elsewhere.

The front room engulfed by forts

So this summer we slowly reclaimed the front room so that it could be enjoyed again. It started with my dad's camera collection and the oak ice box that he built. He was a man of many interests and talents (one of our many common traits). He used to dabble in a lot of various hobbies (jack of all trades), so it was important to me to have his camera collection and oak ice box proudly on display. This then sparked the idea to celebrate family in the space. I envisioned a space where we could sit and enjoy family time without the distraction of TV or computers. A place where we could visit or play games, etc.. 

My dad's camera collection and oak ice box against the wall

Lots of family photos to cherish
I framed and hung tons of family photos on our still empty walls, using a collection of frames with different tones and textures. We married furniture we already had with a few new pieces to bring together a look that Daniel and I had envisioned before we even had the girls or a house with blue carpet.  We built a new fireplace mantle that better reflects our simpler style and I painted the fireplace bricks to match our cream colored walls, since the dirty white wasn't adding to our look. We couldn't be more thrilled. It feels like a room out of a magazine. A wonderful way to cherish family and memories, as well as a beautiful way to welcome people into our home.
The freshened up fireplace and our new family mirror