Monday, July 27, 2009

~Creativity Is God's Gift To Us~

Julia Cameron is an artist's dream. She embraces creativity, intertwining it with spiritualism, citing it as an authentic spiritual path. Her books include, The Artist's Way, Vein of Gold, Walking in this World, and Right to Write, among others. I can tell you that I own all of them, and would be hard-pressed to choose a favorite. They are worth the price a hundred times over!

My favorite of her quotes is: "Creativity is God's gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to God". This speaks straight to my soul. Creativity is literally seeping out of every pore of my being....and our house. It's crept out of my studio and into every crevice of our home.....even into Jim....who helped me trace, cut, paint, and frame all weekend! It tickles me to see him lost in whatever task he's working on. So out of 'his' element, and into 'mine'!

My next show is Shaker Woods Festival, Aug 8-9, 15-16, and 22-23 from 10-5 pm. For directions and further information, check Shaker Woods Festival. We own a darling little cottage there that we've been fixing up and stocking with lots of RoseCreekCottage and Ragamuffins goodies. We'll be joining 200 artists and craftsmen from around the country, demonstrating and selling our wares.

You can imagine with 6 days of show, and tens of thousands of people, the amount of inventory needed to stock a little cottage! (pictures at a later date!) My sewing machine has been running almost continuously, the studio is humming with lots of hustle-bustle. There are pumpkin heads drying outside on the deck, my original poems being framed (by Jim!) on the farmhouse table in the kitchen, and me? Well...I'm running between all the different 'stations', doing a bazillion different things at any given moment. Multi-tasking at its finest!

In the midst of all this, add in two puppies that never let me out of their site, a phone that rings incessantly, two grandchildren, friends stopping by to see what's going on and you get a bird's-eye view of life here at RoseCreekCottage in July!

We ended up selling so much at St. John's Art Festival, that it is taking longer than anticipated to 'restock' the items we sold. Summer shows don't usually deplete my inventory so much, and in this economy, we were pleasantly surprised, albeit now pretty a very 'good' kind of way.

Needless to say, the computer, blogging, emails, and posting are way down on my list of priorities, as much as I dearly miss them. There are only so many hours in a day.....even very lengthy 13 hour ones!!

So...on that note....I'm headed back to the studio to continue my much-earlier-started day. The aroma of the second pot of coffee brewing in the kitchen is calling my name! Have a wonderfully creative week, wherever you are in the world~

Friday, July 10, 2009

~Adventures Of A ShowGirl~

We are all set-up and ready for the beautiful St. John's Festival of the Arts, in Westlake, Ohio. If you're anywhere in the area tonite or this weekend, please stop by to booth #167 and say hello! I've enjoyed meeting lots of Etsy sellers and customers at my recent shows.

St. John's is a fine juried show set in the lovely grounds of St. John's hospital. It winds through the trees and walking paths surrounding the pond. The food is delicious....and the arts and crafts breathtaking. It's a show that's well-worth the trip!

RoseCreekCottage Studio has been humming away into the wee hours of the morning to prepare for the many shows scheduled for the upcoming fall and winter months. I've been working on my Ragamuffin dolls, rabbits, santas, and my whimsical jewelry line. I have lots of new designs in the works, and have some things to finish up before tonite's show begins at 6 I'd best get off this computer and get to my studio! See you next week!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

~Balancing Act, Part II~

There's no simple formula for balancing work-life. It's a matter of trial-and-error. I've found that the following works for me:

Pray - Really. Very important. I begin and end my day with it. It's the single-most-important thing to keeping balance. Always make time for it.

Get Organized - I can't function in chaos. If my studio/workspace is in order, I accomplish more in a shorter span of time. Though I hate spending time doing's worth it!

Focus - When I'm in my studio, I focus on work. When I step back into my home, I focus on home and family. This part is a curse for those who work at home. You have to know when it's time to step back into that work-world, without procrastinating! After all....there's no 'boss' standing there next to a time clock!
And there's no paycheck at the end of the month, either, unless you produce!!

Make Lists - I make a list each nite for the next day. I cross things off as I finish each task. This not only makes me see that I am indeed accomplishing things, but keeps me organized as well. Things that do not get finished go on the next day's list.

Prioritize - The most important things to be done for the day are listed first, etc.

Set Boundaries and Learn to Say 'No' - This is a hard one. People think that since you're 'at home', you can do their 'favors' and meet their demands. You cannot. (unless you have found those elves I've been waiting for!) There is no paycheck unless you produce. This includes learning not to be a slave to emails and phone calls. (and blogs!) Work comes first.

Take Time For Yourself - This is a hard one for many people....including yours truly. I have a tendency to be a workaholic. It's good for my business, but not for me. I fit in exercise when I can, and try to remember to take mini-breaks. These can simply be walking out into the woods with my puppies and an iced coffee...or returning a phone call to a friend. The secret is to keep the breaks short. I also try to fit in lunch with friends....which doesn't happen very often during show season!!

Ditch the Guilt - It's a useless emotion. You just can't do it all. Really. I have a hard time convincing myself of this one.

Be flexible - Change is imminent. And good. Those who accept and embrace change and work willingly within the new parameters are more productive and better-adjusted. And less frustrated!!

All that said....I struggle with some of these. Balancing it all just isn't easy. Seeing my Mom is a priority. I fit it into my week with the help of my Uncle Joe....who goes to see Mom when I can't. We touch base each morning and discuss who will visit that day.

I also struggle with not working too many hours. I start my days early, and finish late. Sometimes way too late. It's just the way it is right now, and although I was used to working this way when my business started 20 years ago, I struggle with my lack of physical stamina now. If I could just 'clone' myself. Or find those elves!! Fortunately, Jim will often drag me out of the studio. I don't go willingly. There's usually kicking and screaming involved. But he's always right!

I'm off to the studio with lists, puppies and coffee. Have a glorious Wednesday wherever you are in the world~