I've been scrapbooking. Actual pages and not just PL pages.
But first my word.
In December I was trying to figure out what my One Little Word was going to be. I've never really relied on my word throughout the year. But I feel like choosing a word, rather than a resolution, makes more sense for me. And I figure I have to do one thing at least. If I choose a word it can morph into whatever my goals are, so to speak so I at least have some more flexibility rather than if I have a resolution.
My word for last year was 'awake'. At first I thought it was more of a joke because I had a four month old who was still learning how to sleep. But I also knew that because I had this new baby, toddler and an almost teen that my life was going to be very different the following year and changes were going to made. I had been staying busy with my shop- so busy I could barely keep up. I realized something was going to have to change...but I didn't want to give up my shop just yet. I loved designing so much but the making and packing orders and staying on top of the emails was too much for me. I needed to downsize or rethink my approach completely. Choosing the word awake meant I needed to make a change of some sort although I wasn't sure what kind yet.
A dear friend that I had made through this wonderful industry reached out to me at the beginning of last year and suggested a few things. Maybe having my products manufactured was the way to go, she said. She even offered to help out with having them produced. I had to think about it. Because it meant my little shop would grow in some ways but then maybe other tasks would be easier for me. I probably thought about it for several weeks and went back and forth on what to do.
One day I would be like- "Yes! I am going to do this! This is what my word is all about! Awake- hello, wake up and get going!"
The next day I would be like- "How in the world am I going to do all of this with a baby and a toddler?! What am I thinking?! At least I know what I am doing now and have some control over how big or small my shop can be."
Then one night I decided lets do this. Let's go ahead and inquire about having products manufactured.
By, 'let's' I mean ME. Because it's just me. My husband has a full time job that he is more than busy with and I don't really have anyone nearby that could help me out on a consistent basis.
See how crazy this thought was? I was already over my head in my shop and wanting so badly to have more time with my kids. I was seriously struggling but figured I needed to adapt or let go. But I didn't want to let go because I loved designing.
There was a lot of praying during this time. I just wanted God to tell me exactly what I needed to do because I didn't want to make any decisions.
I did inquire about manufacturing. I did not have any designs in mind but wanted to understand exactly what I needed to have ready to do it. But looking back after learning so much with my two lines I have done with Carta Bella I would not have been ready for handling all of this on my own.
The next day, after inquiring about manufacturing, I was out running errands. I remember looking out into the foothills while driving and thinking this is not what I wanted. I did not want the pressure of my business growing larger. I wanted more time with my kids and to happily balance that with designing. How that was going to work I was unsure.
Later that day I got an email from the creative director at Echo Park asking if I wanted to work with them.
I honestly read it and thought, "Nah, they have the wrong girl. I don't have a clue what I am doing! Crazy people!"
Of course I called them to see exactly what it all entailed and after talking to them I thought, "These people are SO nice! This is totally what I need right now- even if it is only a temporary change I just need to give this a shot"
All of this seemed like the perfect amount of work to keep me busy but definitely something that I could manage. It also was a welcome change.
So, a few months later I had my first collection with Carta Bella (Carta Bella is a sister company of Echo Park) and I had so much fun putting it together. AND I didn't have to send out orders or make anything.
I spent 2013 designing and spending time with my family. It was good.
I want to do more of that this year and then add in a bit more.
So this year I was deciding on my word but nothing was coming up.
Nothing except '+'.
Which is not really a word but a symbol. It's kinda like a Prince thing I guess (or the artist formally known as).
But basically I want to do more of what I have been doing and add some new things in. I want to create more pages, I want to blog more (and not just about announcements), I want to take more photos, I want to document more memories and I want to accomplish some smaller goals- some of these goals are just things that keep getting pushed further and further because I never made the time. Things like putting things up on the walls of our house that we've lived in for five years. I made a bit of progress last year but I just want to keep going with it.
I want to continue on with what I've been doing and do more of it.
I guess my word could be 'more' but I also like that '+' stands for 'positive' or 'plus' or 'add'.
So I am leaving it as '+' (so it's open to my interpretation!)
I haven't done much with my word (or symbol) as of yet, except create a few layouts because I realized I needed to finish up and fill in Arden's baby book.
Poor Arden, as the third child her book has just become more neglected. Reiley has handfuls of completed scrapbooks and Jude has... well, one.
Arden had a thrown together half completed one. But I decided to go ahead and at least give her a baby album and finish it up.
She's only eighteen months, yes, but here I am still scrapbooking pages from three months old to fill in gaps.
For this layout, I even broke out some bamboo brushes and gouache- things I had purchased over the summer and had yet to use because I just 'couldn't find the time'. Little things like that are what I want to do this year. Use up supplies I have. Try a few new things that I always think I don't have time for.
So that is what my year hopefully looks like. Have you chosen a word or have any big plans for this year?
If you haven't checked it out yet, Clique Kits has me in their Designer Spotlight this month.
You can read my Q&A here and see everyone's pages and projects they have created using the Wildlflower collection here in their blog hop. There are also some fun printables and a chance to win a new collection from Ruby & Hazel (cute stuff!)