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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Learning To Dream Big

I am just beginning the third week of an intensive business class on line. Hello Soul, Hello Business is a new way of looking at business.

The first two weeks were pretty emotional. The lessons had us digging into why we are doing our business, as well as who we surround ourselves with, from customers to vendors to professionals. As a by-product, I found myself looking at the twenty years I spent nourishing my last business, and seeing all the mistakes I made, all the time I wasted going in a direction that had nothing to do with my authentic self. Intellectually I know that everything I did and learned during that time has shaped who I am now, but I can’t seem to stop beating myself up. Or wondering if I have the right to a second bite of the apple.

So now I’m taking a hard look at why I’m doing what I’m doing, who I’m doing it for and with, and what it will ultimately look like. We are being challenged to dream big, to dreams dreams we’ve either thought out of reach or beyond our abilities.

I’m in the process of learning how. I’m letting myself dream about what I would do if I knew I couldn’t fail. I’m allowing myself to dream beyond what I think is possible.

I still don’t have it on paper, or in a cohesive plan. But I’m processing it the way I process, and I’m getting there.

My Baby Boy!

I hadn’t intended to do two family posts in a row, and I don’t even have a story to tell (can you believe that? Me w/o a story?) But I got to see my baby boy today (he’s 3!) and was over the moon excited to share right away!

This is my grandson, Joshy. He doesn’t live nearby any more, so I don’t get to see him as often as I see my girls. He was down for a birthday party, so mama brought him by for a visit.

We got out the legos and he built ships with wheel that drive on land…

Getting ready to leave, he put these things on the table and said “Gaga, we need to leave these things wite here so I know where they are next time.”  He doesn’t have Bea’s fashion sense, but he still cracks me up!

Wow! This is what it’s all about.

Creating More Memories

Family hike day! We are experiencing some fabulous weather and decided to get out and move.

Bea cracked us all up with her hiking outfit. Mommy made her wear jeans which was met by pitching a hissy. But she finally relented, only to don a sparkly hiking shrug, and of course, her signature hiking hand bag. REI is missing the boat by not offering them.

We took our time meandering on the trail and took lots of pictures. I just love moss.

The lake is really low, so there was lots of area that is normally underwater. We were VERY surprised to find a bunch of shells. I thought this one looked like angel wings.

On the way back to the car I found a really interesting splotch of weird moss…turned out to be moldy dog poop! The kids howled that I had taken a picture of it! What can I say? It was interesting. And I’m all about interesting.

A Budding Photographer

This is a blog about MY creative journey, but my seven year old granddaughter appears to be accompanying me on my path. She is a creative little critter, and has a real artist’s eye.

The biggest difference between us is that I like all things “tattered ‘n worn” and she likes all things shiny and glittery!

Today she walked with her mom and sister the one and a half miles from their house to ours, and mama let her take pictures along the way.

She was quick to note all the old, rusty “Gaga” things along the way, took the pictures and had mama send them to me with Hannah’s dictated messages! I was laughing the whole time! But check out these pictures!

“To Gaga from Hannah”

“The fire hydrant is very rusty”

“fire hydrant, fire hydrant, how rusty can it get for you Gaga?”

“This open house sign got older and older and older”

I just LOVE her perspective on the photos, and her narrative cracked me up! Mr. Tattered calls her my “clone.” I call her precious.

Sleep Over!

It is funny the way life works some time.

Just yesterday I wrote a piece on friends, partly bemoaning how few earth-based friends I have in my life, and partly celebrating the friends I do have, earth-based and cyber.

Well, tonight, out of the clear blue sky, an old friend I haven’t seen in more years than I care to think about called and will coming through town next week and will be able to stop and stay the night! EEEEEK! I am thrilled from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.

I have known Laurie for a long time. Back in the day, she worked for me in a number of creative endeavors, as a floral designer, asst. mgr. in charge of the scrapbook department, and mgr. of our short-lived experiment in having a separate tole-painting store. We became more than just co-workers. Good friends, practically family.

The phone call sent me off to the studio in search of old pictures. OMG! It’s so hard to believe we used to survive without digital photos. My scanner decided not to work tonight, so these are photos of photos, so bear with me!

We had so much fun going to gift markets together – Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and to CHA – Anaheim (with a visit to Disneyland, of course!) Dallas, and Chicago. We would see displays at the showrooms and get almost giddy as we drew out how we could adapt them to our store.

This was a display we saw in Atlanta…

Then we came home and Laurie made this…

We squealed with delight over products that rocked our world and ate our way through the gourmet foods (you can’t sell something you don’t love!) We sat on the floors of the showrooms outlining promotions and making sure we had the merchandise and display pieces we needed to blow our customers minds, designing our own if we couldn’t find what we needed. We often worked the show for 12-14 hours then came back to the hotel and worked another 4. By the time we returned home, our hair was on fire with excitement! We fed off of each other. I would come up with the craziest ideas, and with her amazing talent, she would make them a reality.  We made a fabulous team!

We were both scrapbookers and woodworkers, and man could she paint! I always wished I could.

This is one of our big projects, making yard stakes. I cut the wood, she painted, and I did the construction.

This was a wind chime display. Laurie painted this amazing girl after we collaborated on the idea of making her with removable flower panels we could change for the seasons.

This was another collaboration for HIA (now CHA) that ended up being featured in PaperKuts Magazine.

But life changes, and she ultimately needed to move on. Not too much later, my life changed, as well, and I traded the store in on a grandchild. I will never regret doing that, but there is still a bit of a hole in my life where all that passion used to be (although truth be told, the ember never died, and the passion is beginning to smolder once again!) How I yearn to feel like that again.

My heart is soaring as I relive those times. I am so excited to see her again. We will exchange stories and catch up. I imagine a few tears will be shed. By the time she leaves, it will be as if there were never all those years of not seeing each other.

And I will hug an earth-based friend. I need that right now.

Define Friend…

How do you define friends? Do they have to be a part of your earth-based existence?

Prior to my entrance into the world of blogging back in July of 2008, I would have said a resounding, “Yes!”

At the time, I had sold my business of 20 years, and moved, with Mr. Tattered, away from the place we had called home for 25 years to care for our granddaughter while her parents worked. I had little time for friendships, and even if I had wanted to find friends, it really isn’t all that easy to move to a new place and “find” them!

Mr. Tattered would often forward articles he read on the internet to me. One was a discussion on a left-leaning political blog he thought I would find interesting. Not only did I find it interesting, I was moved to comment on it, so I came up with an appropriate pseudonym, signed in, and commented. It was the first of many, many comments, and my introduction to blogging. During the course of the next few years, I became a part of the community, developed a bit of a following, and made friends. Yes, friends. Chatting back and forth on the internet was not so much different from meeting for coffee at the local cafe. We discussed politics, shared stories about our families, and supported each other through break-ups and illnesses. I even met a few of them in real life.

Then this year, as I began my creative journey, I took an e-course and was introduced to another group of people, primarily women, with a shared a passion for all things “artistic.”  Our teacher set us up with a closed Facebook page where we could go to discuss the class and support each other. Much to the surprise of most of us, we became fast friends, quickly bonding through our common fears and aspirations. It is common for us to stay up until the wee hours comparing notes on our latest business successes and failures, or sharing a new technique, or telling each other about our latest e-course.

We are at different stages in our lives – some are single, some married, some with small children, some grandmothers, others dealing with the insanity of teenagers. Some are experiencing terrible health problems or have lost loved ones. Some are religious, others not. And we cover the spectrum in races and nationalities and political viewpoints. Some have established businesses, some are still trying to determine their niche in the creative world. Some are jewelry-makers, some painters…there are knitters, and quilters, and photographers, and writers. But we have all bonded deeply through cyber-space, and are truly as close as friends in real life could ever be.

So, for me, a friend is someone I can lean on and have them lean back. Someone I can share my successes and failures with, and know that they will celebrate my victories, and lift me up when I’ve fallen short of my goals. Someone who will listen if I need to whine and snivel, but will give me a good swift kick in the rear, if that is what I need. And it doesn’t matter if that person is someone I can physically touch or not.

And so tonight, as I think about friendship, and how it is defined, I find myself extremely grateful for all my friends, earth based and cyber. I love you all.

And, I DO have some new earth based friends, as one of them just patiently pointed out! (heeheehee!)

Wasted Time

This little sign just fit my day today. It isn’t my sign, I found it on pinterest and couldn’t trace it back to give credit for it (thank you whoever you are!)

I don’t have much to show for my day today. But I had a good day. A relaxing day.

A case could be made that I wasted time, but I enjoyed doing it, so it wasn’t wasted time. Gotta love the logic.

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