Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunshine Blog Award

When I launched Creative Sprinkle, I had a need to express myself, but I didn’t know if anyone would really care what I had to say. I decided it didn’t matter. This was something I wanted to do for me. Still it is really nice to know that someone enjoys it.

Jackie from The Pleasant Peasant recently gave me a Sunshine Blog Award for bloggers whose positivity & creativity inspires others in the blog world. Too cool! I just met Jackie through the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy, and I really respect her opinion so the fact that she would include my blog means a lot to me.

In the spirit of the award, I’d like to share with you a few of my favorite bloggers who fit this mold.

Leah at Creative Every Day
Leah is the main reason I have a blog. She hosts a creativity challenge in November called Art Every Day Month. I set up my blog as a way to show what I was working on for this challenge. Her words of encouragement on my blog kept me going long after the challenge ended.

Deb at Deb Harvey’s Studio
Part of the fun of being in Leah’s challenges is checking out what other people are up to. Deb's blog was one of the first links I wandered into. She painted a picture of a fox that just made me happy, so I left a comment. Now we “chat” frequently through comments, and I have purchased a few things from her shop.

June and Jeanette at Art Freebies, Soartful Challenges, and Dezinaworld
These two women publish some of my favorite blogs. They share vintage images from their collections and show you inspiring ways their readers have used the images. Many of the images are free, but you can also buy very affordable digital art sheets.

Liz at The Fragrant Muse
I experience the world through words, images, and also scents. I am a big fan of aromatherapy to enhance my mood, improve my creativity, and keep me healthy. Liz writes a very entertaining blog about all things fragrant. Her warm, fun personality comes through in every post that is filled with helpful information.

Stacy at Pandora’s Compass and Tara at Love It/Hate It
These two ladies are my inspiration in the blog world and in my “real” life. Both are graphic designers that I have the honor of working with every day, and both have the most vibrant personalities that I have ever seen. Stacy is a new blogger with a wonderfully compassionate voice. Tara has been in the blogging realm for a while now, I have learned so much from her.

Rules of the Sunshine Blog Award
Technically I didn’t follow the rules. It is not that I’m a rule breaker, but I’ve reached a point in my life where I ‘d rather follow intuition than rules. Still I wanted to publish them here in case any of my honorees want to carry on the tradition in the spirit in which it was created.

Put the logo on your blog or within your post.

Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.

Link the nominees within your post.

Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Social Media Mondays

My day job as a marketing communications professional at Penn State and my night/weekend job as a budding indie artist overlap in some really cool ways. Many of the marketing skills that I have learned at Penn State are helping me to build my business. In turn, testing my skills outside of my Penn State comfort zone has brought new insight into how I promote things at work.

About a year ago, I was asked to sit on a team to help create a social media professional development plan for our staff. It was pretty funny assignment considering that I am about as introverted as they get when it comes to talking to strangers, but I have a way of “herding cats” so I think my role was to make sure all of the naturally social, blue skies thinkers on the team managed to get something on paper.

I have to say I didn’t immediately embrace the social world, but now I am loving it. My teammates gave me the courage to puts some feelers out into the social world. And I am glad I did! I’ve met so many great people who are helping me become a better communicator and a better artist.

Oh, you may be curious about the “Social Media Monday” title of this blog. One of our team’s recommendations was to have a time to get together and be social around the topic of social media, hence the birth of “Social Media Mondays.”

Don’t worry, it is not a regular thing on this blog. I’ll get back to the pretty pictures soon.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cherry Blossoms: A Finished Project

cupid wedding cake topper
The cherry blossoms that I posted earlier in the week have now made it to their final form: a new wedding cake topper called "Pink Cupid Whimsy." I just listed it in my Etsy store.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ready for Spring

I really miss my garden, so until spring comes and my live flowers return, I thought I would make some out of clay. These ones are made from pearl-colored polymer clay lightly dusted with pink pastel chalk. The pearls in the center came from a vintage flea market find. They will make there way onto a larger project soon.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Riding the Doubt Wave

Launching my new creative business has been one giant surge for me. First there was the adrenaline rush of the idea, followed by the flurry of activity that accompanied setting up my online storefront and beginning to promote it.
For morale support, I started participating in artist forums where people have welcomed me with open arms. It was all going so well. I took a moment to slow down and self-reflect.
Then it happened. Doubt crept in.
“What am I doing? I write marketing copy and manage projects for a living. Sure my title, “assistant creative director,” has “creative” in it, but who am I to step into the world of artists. I feel like a big poser.”
I knew starting a business was going to be hard. What I didn’t anticipate were the waves of self-doubt that would wash away my feelings of accomplishment.
Have you ever lived through a doubt wave?
I know the wave all too well. It can take me from a confident, modern career woman on the crest of the wave to an unsteady, tumbling child in a matter of seconds. Fortunately, I have a very patient husband and two wonderfully insightful friends, Stacy and Caroline, who help pull me out of the water if the wave crashes.
Without a strong support system, doubt can be a paralyzing force, but do you know what? Doubt can be a good thing. It pushes me to try harder, to learn new things, and to never be satisfied with the status quo.
How do you ride the doubt wave?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fishing for Happiness

As much as I try to nurture my inner PollyAnna, below zero temps and challenges in my 9 to 5 world are bringing out my underlying “Eeyore disposition,” as my husband lovingly calls it.

I left for work wearing a beautiful necklace that my husband bought me for Christmas. On the 45-minute commute to work, I got to kick back and relax because it wasn't my turn to drive the carpool. When we arrived at work, we were greeted by a nice breakfast spread the landlord provided to apologize for heating issues.

Since it is my 10-year work anniversary this month, I got to pick out a cute gift to celebrate my years of service. Then I went to a meeting with mood lighting, soothing music, and great conversation. Lunch arrived and we had more great conversation. I got scads of work done.

Only one thing went wrong all day—one thing that it shifted my focus away from every good thing that happened.

It was my story in the carpool.
It was my story when I greeted my husband.
It was my story when we went out to dinner with friends.

It consumed me. I fell into a negativity spiral, and I needed a way to crawl back out of it.Yet as soon as I put those thoughts out into the Universe, I started to see answers.

I read a blog post by Michelle at A Desire to Get Creative about her gratitude journal. Then I discovered a new Twitter friend, Anna, who is a nurse and wellness couch. She also wrote about getting a gratitude journal.
My friend Stacy, who is a certified Holistic Health Practitioner (lifecoach), is also a great resource when I need to reframe negative thoughts. So while I was online, I went over to her blog, Pandora's Compass, to get a dose of her sunny disposition.

Then I went out and bought a journal.

Today’s Gratitude Journal Entry (5 things I’m grateful for today)
  • the cute polymer clay fish I made to illustrate this post
  • a whole day to spend with my cats
  • my sexy husband who loves to hold my hands
  • warm laundry, fresh from the dryer
  • Twitter/Facebook friends to keep me from feeling snowed in

Leaving you with a look on the bright side:
"It's snowing still," said Eeyore gloomily. "And freezing.” "However," he said, brightening up a little, "we haven't had an earthquake lately."—Eeyore

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

a peek inside my underwear drawer

For me writing a blog is a little like showing people my underwear. I might expose parts of me that I wouldn’t normally expose. Yet there is something exciting about that.
Sharing things with strangers in cyberspace is easier for me than sharing things with people I know. I can write something here that I would find hard to say to friends and family. But what is really weird for me is the thought that friends and family may read something I write.
My coworkers may catch a glimpse of the underwear drawer that I try so hard to hide. My mom might see me tamping down a mass of comfortable cotton mixed with a little satin. My sister’s image of me with perfectly folded undies, organized by the day of the week, could be shattered.
Oh well, it is a risk I’m willing to take.


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