I’m guilty too

I promised yesterday that some amazing interviews were coming soon.  And, it’s true.  I just got the pleasure of interviewing Kaylie Wallace of Mulberry Market Designs.  See her Etsy shop here and her website here.

Kaylie is the mother of two, who took leftover décor from her DIY backyard wedding back in 2012 and turned it into a successful business.  She was able to quit her corporate job after three months, and he husband joined their business full-time after one year.  How wonderful!  I love hearing stories about successful businesses just like this one.

Kaylie provided so much inspiration during our interview, and she also said something that really resonated with me.  When I asked her if she had any regrets as far as how motherhood and her creative work intersect, this is what she had to say:

The only regret I feel often is not disconnecting when I should. I love to play with my children and make time for them each day. Sometimes I find my mind drifting about work, or even checking things often on my phone. I would like to get better about shutting things off and being in the present when I am with them. 

Yep, I’m guilty of that too.  Sometimes I notice my mind wandering off when I’m playing something quiet with my kids, like building with blocks.  I’ll find myself thinking, “Oh, I need to change out the laundry” or “I need to reply to that email.”  I, too, need to disconnect and enjoy the moment.

Thank you, Kaylie, for that great reminder.  And, thank you for an awesome interview.  I look forward to sharing more from Kaylie’s interview in the book.

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The road to hell is paved with good intentions

When I first started writing this book and blogging about it, I intended to write about every single mother that I contacted, whether she contributed to the book or not.  I was encountering so many great moms out there, and I wanted to bring attention to each and every one of them, whether they were interested in being a part of my book or not.  Well, intentions are great, but they don’t always come to fruition.

I did a good job in the beginning.  I contacted one or two women every day and blogged about each of them, linking to their websites, etc.  If I’m going to finish this book… ever, I’m going to have to move.  Slow and steady wins the race, but I needed to put a little pep in my step, so that’s what I did.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still move extremely slow and steady.

I’m still working every single day on the book, with the exception of a few days that were fun-filled family days.  I was so devastated the first day that I missed a day.  I was so busy having a great time with my family that I completely spaced working on the book.  I didn’t even realize it until the next day!  That feeling of disappointment didn’t last too long.  Family first!

Now that I’ve picked up the pace, I’m obviously researching and emailing more and (unfortunately) blogging less.  I wish I had more time to dedicate to all aspects of this book, because I truly love them all.  But, such is (mommy) life.

Of the moms I contacted yesterday, the last five have agreed to interviews.  And, I want to share a little about them today.

  • Kaylie of Mulberry Market Design – Kaylie and her husband, Josh, make hand-lettered signs, wedding décor and home décor in Plant City, Florida.  See their Etsy shop here.  See their website to view their entire line of wedding décor, home décor and calligraphy services.
  • Amy of Inviting Moments – Amy makes wedding invitations, family trees and chalkboard art and sells them in her Etsy store.  She’s a wife and mother of three.
  • Allison of Epically Epic Soap – Allison crafts colorful and creative soaps, lotions, lip balms, and gifts in Sante Fe, New Mexico.  You can see her Etsy shop here.  Read about her transition from art gallery director and painter to soap maker.
  • Tessa of Amos and Sawyer – You simply must read her story!  Tessa makes adorable newborn, infant and toddler photography props and accessories in Rogersville, Tennessee.  See her Etsy shop here.
  • Chelsie of Printable Candee  – Chelsie creates precious invitations and printables and sells them in her Etsy shop.  She’s from Seattle, Washington, and the mother of two toddlers.

These are just a few of the interviews you can look forward to in the coming days.  I’m looking forward to visiting with each on of them.

I intend to do better about blogging in the future, but you know what they say about intentions…

Austin Kleon’s Bliss Station

This is a blog post from Austin Kleon from July 21, 2016.  You can read the original blog post on his website here You can also see a photo of his bliss station there as well. 

From Austin:

It’s felt impossible lately not to be distracted and despondent. I’m trying to spend as much time at my bliss station as I can.

What’s a bliss station? Here’s Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth:

You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.

My wife pointed out to me that Campbell says you must have a room OR a certain hour — whether Campbell really meant this or not, she suggested that maybe it’s possible that a bliss station can be not just a where, but a when. Not just a sacred space, but also a sacred time.

The deluxe package would be having both a special room and a special hour that you go to it, but we started wondering whether one would make up for not having the other.

For example, say you have a tiny apartment that you share with small children. There’s no room for your bliss station, there’s only time: When the kids are asleep or at school or day care, even a kitchen table can be turned into a bliss station.

Or, say your schedule is totally unpredictable, and a certain time of day can’t be relied upon — that’s when a dedicated space that’s ready for you at any time will come in handy.

What’s clear is that it’s healthiest if we make a daily appointment to disconnect from the world so that we can connect with ourselves.

“Choose the time that’s good for you,” says Francis Ford Coppola. “For me, it’s early morning because I wake up, and I’m fresh, and I sit in my place. I look out the window, and I have coffee, and no one’s gotten up yet or called me or hurt my feelings.”

The easiest way I get my feelings hurt by turning on my phone first thing in the morning. And even on the rare occasion I don’t get my feelings hurt, my time is gone and my brains are scrambled.

“Do not start your day with addictive time vampires such as The New York Times, email, Twitter,” says Edward Tufte. “All scatter eye and mind, produce diverting vague anxiety, clutter short term memory.”

Every morning I try to fight the urge, but every morning my addiction compels me.

“The new heroin addiction is connectivity,” says V. Vale. “The only solution is not one that most people want to face, which is to become lovers of solitude and silence… I love to spend time alone in my room, and in my ideal world the first hour of every day would be in bed, writing down thoughts, harvesting dreams, before anyone phones or you have any internet access.”

Kids, jobs, sleep, and a thousand other things will get in the way, but we have to find our own sacred space, our own sacred time.

“Where is your bliss station?” Campbell asked. “You have to try to find it.”

 

Sculptor Allison Streett agrees to an interview

Last week, I reached out to sculptor Allison Streett.  She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and six children.  She is the recipient of numerous awards, and her work has been featured in several exhibits.  Her work is truly amazing.

It’s so intriguing to me (and almost perplexing) how someone can create something out of nothing.  Literally, this one person can turn a lump of clay into a perfect representation of a person–complete with facial expression and perfect proportion and muscle tone.  It’s obviously a skill that I do not possess, but it’s so complex that my brain almost can’t comprehend how it can be done.

But, I guess creating something from nothing can be said of any artist.  Writers put words on paper and create stories that can take the reader to other worlds.  Painters can produce likenesses of people, flowers or skylines on blank canvases.  Photographers can capture simple, everyday moments and objects and freeze them in time forever.  The list goes on and on.  It truly is magic.  Sigh…

All of that being said, I’m excited to report that Allison has agreed to an interview for the book.  I’m looking forward to learning more about the art of sculpture and how she manages her artistic career as the mother of six children.  I will be sharing more about her in the near future, so stay tuned.

Becky Tountas writes during naptime (and so do I)

I stumbled across Becky Tountas’ piece “Naptime,” and I suggest every mother with small children read it.  We can alllll relate!  I loved it so much that I reached out to Becky asking her for an interview for the book.  You can visit Becky’s blog here.  Hopefully we will be getting to know her a little better in the near future.