Ladie Katie

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Short and Sweet - Just Like Me šŸ˜Š

I'VE GOT 99 PROBLEMS AND A BIRTHDAY AIN'T ONE


I'm going to try to keep this months post short and sweet because it's my birthday and heck, there's a lot going on!  But as it is my birthday eve, it feels appropriate to reflect on some of the things I have learned and am continuing to learn.


The most empowering thing I have ever done, is making the decision to become my own biggest fan. It is an ongoing process and it surprisingly hard work.  It is something that I wish I had started practicing earlier - because yes it takes a lot of practice.


It does not mean that I think Iā€™m the best at what I do - I am not - and it doesnā€™t mean that I donā€™t make mistakes - trust me, I make a lot of them all the time. What it does mean is that the only limits on what I can do are the ones I set for myself. It means that other peopleā€™s opinions do not determine my worth or the worth of what I create. It means that even if a family member, friend or loved one doesnā€™t value me, my ideas or my creations, it does not mean that these things do not have value. In fact, other peopleā€™s opinions of me, my work and my dreams is irrelevant to my actual worth and what I am capable of accomplishing. And, often times, if someone close to you does not support you following your dreams, that has a lot more to do with them than it does with you and your abilities. 


This is something I have to remind myself of daily but I have decided to continue to do that, for as long as it takes for me to believe it. You can decide to become your own biggest fan today too. We can cheer each other on. Because, although we donā€™t need the approval of others to follow our dreams, it is a nice feeling to know that others believe in you too. I think thereā€™s enough raining on peopleā€™s parades and not enough brining in sunshine, lighting people up and creating rainbows together.


CARDIO IS HARDIO 

But you can do hard things! Iā€™ve spent so much of this year focused on my business that my workouts were taking a back seat in terms of priorities. Which is fine - it was right for this season of my life - but Iā€™m ready to start channeling some of that energy back to my body to thank it for all that it does for me. HERE is the link to my new FAV leggings so that I can ā€œtotally look the partā€ (bonus bestie points if you can name that movie!) - they have POCKETS (all clothing should have pockets in my opinion, also known as snack holders), are high waisted, are elastic free and are $17!  You are welcome!


YES YOU CAN

ā€œI told you five times - I need you to believe one of themā€ ~ @codyrigsby keeping it real as per usual during a @peloton spin class. He also brought up how your body can do some cool a$$ sh*t and I couldnā€™t agree more. If you get a cut on your finger for example your body will heal it - all by itself! If you break a bone, your body will mend it. Iā€™ve always thought that is so magical - some superhero stuff right there if you ask me. SO THANK YOUR BODY šŸ™šŸ»šŸ™ŒšŸ». Maybe practice being kind to your body today - it deserves it. YOU deserve it šŸ’•


ALL MY PREGNANT LADIES, ALL MY PREGNANT LADIES, OH OH OH OH OH OH OH OH OH OH OH OH


Sorry just got excited and had to channel my inner Beyonce - EXCITING NEWS for expecting mamas - I am now offering digital downloads of BABY SHOWER INVITES šŸ’ŒšŸŽ‰. You know this mama illustration I collabā€™d with @jesshogancrum is near & dear to my heart so now Iā€™m offering it as a digital download in an assortment of hair colors and skin tones so you can customize it to look like YOU. Theyā€™re also available with a blue or pink theme. You can easily download them and enter your own text/info into the format I have created for you. Or if youā€™re afraid you wonā€™t be able to figure it out, thereā€™s an option for me to input the info for you as well šŸ™ŠšŸ˜‰ (itā€™s good to know your strengths right? šŸ¤·šŸ¼ā€ā™€ļø). Print them at home yourself or send them out to be printed for you. I canā€™t wait to see you use them šŸ„°. If quarantine/not being able to see my family for so long, has taught me anything itā€™s that if/when you see your family give them a little extra squeeze, celebrate them however you can / whenever you can / wherever you can, and love them and all their nuttiness šŸ¤Ŗ. 

Click HERE to customize your own girl baby shower invites and HERE for boys.

And I just added matching baby shower signs and and thank you notes!  They are so cute and I hope you love them as much as I do!

WELCOME SIGN

THANK YOU NOTES


Also, important side note - my step daughter confessed that she thought that the words to Beyonce's "Single Ladies" were "steppin' on my ladies" so now that's all I hear when the song comes on šŸ˜‚.

"THERE IS NO VACCINE FOR RACISM - WE MUST DO THE WORK" ~ Kamala Harris


Congrats to Kamala Harris for being the Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate. It is so important for people to see someone that looks like them in positions of power. As a future mother and current step-mother, I am very excited about the possibility of my children to see a female in the position of the VP of the US - And for young girls of color to additionally be able to see a black woman in the second highest office in the land.


 As the Student Bar Association Vice President in law school, I had the honor of meeting and introducing Kamala Harris at a symposium on human trafficking in 2010. She already had an impressive record of ā€œfirstsā€ back then which has only expanded since. Some aspects of her record have been called out as controversial (for example her truancy policy) or that she didnā€™t do enough to get justice for minority groups. She probably didnā€™t do enough - I donā€™t know if one person can ever ā€œdo enoughā€ to end the systemic oppression of people of color, to ensure justice to all people of all colors, to protect all children, until we get to a point where all people are actually treated equally and fairly, in the eyes of the law and each other. And to get to that point goes beyond the responsibility and power of one person and is something we all must take responsibility for creating and defending.

WE ARE COMPASSIONATE, RESILIENT, DECENT PEOPLE 

ā€œThis is who we still are: compassionate, resilient, decent people whose fortunes are bound up with one another...echoing heroes like John Lewis who said, ā€˜When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something.ā€™ That is the truest form of empathy: not just feeling, but doing; not just for ourselves or our kids, but for everyone, for all our kids.ā€ ~ Michelle Obama at the democratic convention.


Recently, it has felt a bit like being empathetic became a sign of weakness - that being able to put yourself in someone elseā€™s shoes somehow would jeopardize your own interests. Weā€™ve come to value individual freedoms over the wellbeing of our communities. You may have a right to not wear a mask - but if it can help protect those around you - why wouldnā€™t you wear one? The message you send when you donā€™t wear a mask/choose not to socially distance from others is not that this is a free country - itā€™s that this is a selfish one, one where you value your own comfort/continuing your lifestyle above the wellbeing of others and do not care about the potential, sometimes deadly, consequences of your actions on those around you. It does not reflect the ā€œcompassionate, resilient, decent peopleā€ I know that we are capable of being. It does not reflect the medical workers and other essential workers fighting so hard to take care of us, risking their own lives for US. It does not reflect the donations gathered, the people who have rallied to take care of their neighbors, the innovators creating new ways to do things we took for granted pre corona, or the America my immigrant husband grew up admiring from a distant corner of the globe.

Our futures truly are intertwined. Now is a perfect time to dust off that empathy (buried under your Nsale loot on the chair in your bedroom that only seats clothes) and put it on like someone elseā€™s shoes. SHOW yourself, the people around you and the world, that Americans CARE FOR one another and TAKE CARE of one another.


ā€œWe have mastered the selfie and tiktok now we must master ourselves...

We are going to be the generation that moves from me to we...

We are going to be the generation that dismantled systemic racism once and for all...

We will fulfill my grandfathers dreamā€


i was so moved by the words of 12 year old, Yolanda Renee King, granddaughter of Martin Luther King jr, speaking last week at the same National Mall her grandfather spoke at 57 years ago, demanding civil rights and economic opportunity in 1963.


 

THIS MAGICAL VESSEL 


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These are my wishes for all women. Black women. Bi women. White women. Trans women. Atheist women. Disabled women. Gay women. Religious women. Fat women. Straight women. Skinny women. AĢ²LĢ²LĢ² Ģ²WĢ²OĢ²MĢ²EĢ²NĢ². Every color. Every shape. Every nationality. Every size. Every belief system. To feel safe, in charge and empowered by the bodies that carry us - however they carry us.

WHERE MY VIRGOS AT FROM THE FRONT TO BACK


Well is you feelin' that
Put one hand up
Can you repeat that
Tryin' to take my man
See I don't need that


What happened to 702 anyway? šŸ¤”.  Whether you think 702 is a time or remember the groups 2014 hit, I hope you'll download this months free September calendar printable HERE.  Every month has fun illustrations and inspirational messages to keep you going!  Because sometimes you just need a reminder to KEEP ON GOING!



2020 IN A NUTSHELL 


Jan - Yay a new year!

Feb - Iā€™ll just focus on my work* (*online shopping)

March - I cook now!

April - I cooked too much

May - what is life?

June - I just need to take care of myself

July - I finished Netflix

August - why bother

September - TBA


Thanks for the inspo Rees Witherspoon.


Okay I guess this post wasn't short and sweet after all.  I sure am short but I'm not always sweet - sometimes a little salty


Love, 

your second biggest fan (second to you),

Katie 


SEPTEMBER 1 2020


Connection Over Perfection 

YOU'VE GOT TO START SOMEWHERE TO GET SOMEWHERE


So just START! Anywhere! ONE. STEP. AT. A. TIME. If youā€™re too afraid to make a move then youā€™re going nowhere fast. Even if it ends up being the wrong direction thatā€™s important information too - you are one step closer by knowing which way not to go. Also, if you think about it, what are the stories that you end up telling your friends about? Are they the ones where everything goes exactly according to plan? Or are they the ones where you tried reaching for the gluten free bagels in the freezer isle by balancing on the lower fridge shelf, causing an avalanche of bagels to fall on your head and, when coming up for air, seeing your then-boyfriend/future-husband standing behind you in disbelief?  (i.e. ones where you barely escaped a questionable situation?) These experiences that we see as detours because we veer off course may actually end up pointing us in a new direction to explore - or at least make a good story to share. (and yes, I most definitely left the store with the bagels I came for and Adam and I still joke about the bagel incident).


WHAT YOU FOCUS ON YOU CREATE


I was listening to Rachel Hollisā€™s Rise podcast that centered on the idea of what you focus on you create. When you focus on something you give it more power. So often we focus on things that have upset us or angered us but if we chose to put that energy into something else, beautiful things can happen.  As you may have noticed, Iā€™ve gotten really into gardening during quarantine. With so much going on around me in the world that I canā€™t control, I have found comfort in the little garden world I am creating. Itā€™s hard to put into words the excitement of when youā€™ve put so much love and energy into something like germinating a little seed, planting it and for it to begin to sprout out of the ground! I think Iā€™ve always seen other peopleā€™s unwanted junk as potential treasure - I love repurposing things and fixing them up so they can have a chance at a new life.


I found that seeing the potential in everything to become something else also applies in gardening. Did you know that with many plants you can take a clipping (for ex a piece you cut off when pruning) and plant it in a pot and create a new plant?! When I found this out my mind was blown šŸ¤Æ and every branch became a potential new plant in my mind. It doesnā€™t always work and takes a lot of patience but it is also so rewarding when you see a little green bud start to poke itā€™s head out of what others may see as just a stick in a pot of dirt. By putting my energy into something like a plant I was able to create something new, beautiful and pretty freakin magical. šŸŒˆ

So where will you put your energy today?  


Here are some pics of my happy place, The Farm.


LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK - YOUR TIME IS NON-REFUNDABLE.


This can be a hard lesson to learn. I find myself often wanting to appease a customersā€™ requests for customizations that arenā€™t even options listed in my listing because I want everyone to be happy. I often have to remind myself that just because I can make an accommodation, doesnā€™t mean I have to and doesnā€™t mean I should. I wonder sometimes where people think my illustrations come from when they ask if I can casually add their dog to mother daughter print as if itā€™s something I just copy and paste in. 


Every aspect of a print has to be drawn by me - which takes a lot of time and energy. Iā€™m not getting that time back and I canā€™t pay rent with brownie points. If someone wants something custom they can order my custom listing so that they can get a piece that represents whatever their vision is and I am also adequately compensated for my work.


Itā€™s also a struggle when I have custom orders to work on and want to get them out in a timely manner but also really need to take some time for myself. This is an area that I am going to try to work on as quarantine continues.

Are there areas in your life that youā€™re selling yourself short too?

COMPARISON, THEIF OF JOY, WASTE OF TIME


If the only person you are competing with is the person you were yesterday you are already winning


While I was driving to the post office the other day I was just thinking about how much time we all spend (whether we like to admit it or not) comparing ourselves to others. But we all donā€™t have the same life experiences, the same hardships or even the same advantages so comparing yourself today to where someone else is today really is like comparing apples to oranges. It also can leave us feeling like failures. But if we choose to only compare ourselves today to who we were yesterday we can still track our progress and self-improvement. Another benefit is that even if you donā€™t meet your match today - the only person you are competing against is ā€œyesterday youā€ - who is still you - so you win either way šŸ™ƒ. And tomorrow you will have another opportunity to show yourself who you are and who you can be šŸ’ŖšŸ» which is the only opinion of you that really matters šŸ™‚.


CHEERS TO ALL THE FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS OUT THERE MAKING IT HAPPEN


Running your own business and betting on yourself is not for the faint of heart.

People have dismissed your business as a hobby. Some of those closest to you have avoided asking you questions about your business at all. They donā€™t donā€™t comment on your posts. They donā€™t read your newsletter. They havenā€™t checked that latest blog post you sent them where you exposed your heart. They have told you ā€œwhat you really should do is...ā€. They have told you your dreams arenā€™t realistic. But your dreams arenā€™t for them. Yes, you wanted their approval and engagement. But with or without it you stuck to your guns and YOUā€™RE STILL HERE. Working your butt off everyday - not to show them that you can do it but to SHOW YOURSELF. Because the only opinion that matters about you is your own. SO CHEERS TO YOU ā˜•ļøā˜•ļøā˜•ļøā˜•ļøā˜•ļøā˜•ļø.

I made this special mug for my friend Kimber of @kimbersansonedesigns . I posted about it in my stories on instagram but I think it bares repeating for the other creatives out there who can relate to the words above - If you keep being true to yourself and doing you, you will eventually find your people that support you AND your passions šŸ’— (oh and sheā€™s the one that makes these adorable book stacks šŸ„°)

Iā€™m so thankful to be a part of this creative community here where we cheer each other on - where thereā€™s space for us to all shine without dimming anyone elseā€™s sparkle and, like the stars, we help light each otherā€™s way, together making the world a more beautiful place.  We all shine brighter together āœØ.


BE A HERO šŸ¦øā€ā™€ļø. WEAR A MASK. HELP SAVE LIVES.


Remember š˜­š˜¦š˜¢š˜·š˜Ŗš˜Æš˜Ø š˜µš˜©š˜¦ š˜©š˜°š˜¶š˜“š˜¦ š˜§š˜°š˜³ š˜¤š˜°š˜§š˜§š˜¦š˜¦ - š˜øš˜Ŗš˜µš˜©š˜°š˜¶š˜µ š˜¢ š˜®š˜¢š˜“š˜¬? Remember š˜©š˜¦š˜¦š˜­š˜“?!?!

What are you most looking forward to when corona is behind us and itā€™s safe to be around others? Obviously, I canā€™t wait to see my friends and family in real life. I also look forward to being able to get lost wondering the isles of home goods in search of treasures āœØ.


Health Affairs recently published a study that found that the growth rate of covid was slowed down when states mandated the wearing of masks. 3 weeks into a mask mandate the rate had slowed by 2%. ā€œThe latest forecast from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation suggests that 33,000 deaths could be avoided by October 1 if 95 percent of people wore masks in public.ā€ If wearing a cloth on my face can help prevent over 30,000 people - peopleā€™s moms, brothers, sisters, fathers, aunts, uncles, best friends, brothers - from dying wearing a mask is such a small ask. Visit bit.ly/UCSFaboutmasks to read the full article from University of California San Francisco.


Please feel free to share this illustration (with credit šŸ˜Š) and encourage others to be heroes too šŸ’—.

CREATIVITY IS MY MEDICINE 


If you are looking to reclaim your magic, I highly recommend listening to episode 151 of the RISE podcast where Rachel Hollis interviews the author of my favorite book, Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert. This illustration was inspired by something she said in the interview that spoke to my heart - ā€œcreativity is my medicine.ā€

HAPPY DOGUST


Did you know that August first is dedicated to celebrating the birthday of rescue dogs! So special shoutout to my partner in crime, my rescue, @mollythemaltishit because love rescued us both.

So as I conclude this post (that may be a little all-over-the-place) post, I find myself asking "what knowledge from July can we bring with us into August?"  I think it mostly centers around how we spend our most valuable commodity - our time.  Do we spend it paralyzed because it's not perfect so we can't share it?  Or do we embrace the imperfect as one part of our story that leads us (maybe in not the most direct path, but an interesting one all the same) to where we want to go?  


Here's what I'm taking away from July:

1.  START.  It doesn't have to be perfect.

2. Channel your focus on the good things you want to create into existence.

3.  Just because someone asks you to do something doesn't mean you need to.

4.  Comparison is a waste of time.

5.  You can sparkle on your own but when we work together we can really SHINE.

Want a fun way to help manage your time?  The FREE August Calendar printable is now also available for download HERE.


Also re this kind of jumpy post - i'm leaning into it.  Because I made a promise to you - and to myself - that I would SHOW UP.  EVERY. SINGLE. MONTH.  And, however imperfectly that may be, I HAVE.  Because this year I am placing CONNECTION OVER PERFECTION.  Perfection seems like a lonely standard doesn't it?  No room for others input or growth.  No room for change.  I'd rather show up imperfectly, laugh and learn from all of my strange ways, my mistakes along the way and form the real connections that come from being open to messing up and showing up.  


Your imperfect friend,

Katie 

AUGUST 2 2020


 

Your Inspiration Invitation

June turned a MOMENT into a MOVEMENT.  What will July hold?  I've been thinking about what role I play in the moment, immediately, and in the movement, over the long term.  Trying to process what is going on in the world by seeing it all as an invitation - a sort of INSPIRATION INVITATION.  An invitation to rethink how I've done things in the past and figure out ways to do them better moving forward.

CLEANSE


What if we spent as much time working on who we are on the INSIDE as we do on what we look like on the OUTSIDE? If we valued the size of our hearts over the size of our pants? I loved @lizzobeeatingā€™s video she posted about how health isnā€™t just about what you look like on the outside - health is also about what happens on the INSIDE. She also adds that a lot of us need to do a cleanse of our insides šŸ˜‚šŸ™Š. Which is SO TRUE. How many toxic beliefs and thoughts do we carry inside of us? Weā€™ll do a juice cleanse til weā€™re on the verge of passing out to be skinny but what are we really willing to do to cleanse ourselves of our prejudices? Our racism? Our bigotry? Our insecurities? Our egocentric lifestyles? Our self-destructive thoughts?


Lizzoā€™s weight isnā€™t what makes her revolutionary - itā€™s that girls and women everywhere can see someone in a successful, powerful position that looks like them, just as they are. We donā€™t need to change, to shrink ourselves, to take up less space to be accepted or to do what makes us happy. We can play the flute, sing on stage, rap, exercise, right now, in our current bodies, whatever the size, shape, color, or ability. We donā€™t need to wait for x to start living TODAY.


So many of us spend so much time trying to make ourselves smaller in order to feel worthy of living, putting life on hold until we achieve this, often unrealistic, goal. Literally torturing ourselves, starving ourselves, over exercising, taking pills, to look a certain way on the outside with no regard to the cost of these actions on us on the inside. Society sells us products to meet a beauty standard they created, praying on our insecurities, so that we feel like we must continue to buy their products, focusing on our outer appearance instead of nurturing our whole body, inside and out. Because you can't sell a product to make your insides beautiful. Hard to sell the latest shape wear, diet fad, exercise trend, to people who know their worth doesnā€™t stem from the number on a scale but it just exists because they exist. Period.


COLLABORATION CONFRONTATION 


I posted about this on my Instagram and was honestly kind of surprised by the engagement. Apparently, there are many of you who: 1) can relate to this issue and have experienced it yourselves and 2) that were surprised that this kind of thing goes on ALL THE FREAKIN TIME with creatives so I thought it was worth sharing here as well.


I may be smiling in this illustration but hereā€™s a look at what is actually going on when you ask me to create something for you assuming that I will happily do so without you paying me. I thought I would try to explain why it is not appropriate, (and even if unintentional) hurtful, and degrading to ask an artist for their work by making a vague promise of ā€œexposureā€ instead of payment. Thereā€™s a great video by an artist named Jazza (check it out here) where he used these exploitative ā€œoffersā€ posed to creatives everyday in other venues, such as at a restaurant or buying a TV, and how they clearly do not fly.


Donā€™t get me wrong - true collaborations can be awesome & mutually beneficial for both parties, as they should be.

We live in a time where influencer is a job title. People work really hard to gather a following and work with brands. Generally my experience with influencers goes something like this - the relationships are formed over time, because the influencer is genuinely a supporter of my work, maybe they have reposted an illustration Iā€™ve made & tagged me to share my work with their audience, or bought something from my shop & loved it so much they posted about it or reached out, etc.

Once weā€™ve developed some rapport, they may DM me about purchasing a print or custom piece for ex. If I think that my art would resonate with their following I may offer to discount my services or do them on the house in exchange for them advertising my work on their platform and not charging me whatever their usual rate is for a sponsored post - ie we are both offering something of value to exchange. The point being that I may chose not to charge a potential client because of the mutually beneficial relationship we develop but that is up to me.


This is very different than those who contact creatives under the guise of offering a ā€œcollaborationā€ but really are just interested in getting free products/do not offer anything of value in return for them. Or ā€œofferā€ to post a pic on Instagram - thatā€™s not going to put food on my table (also, my paying customers do this all the time b/c they value me & my work and are excited to share it).   When this is your ā€œofferā€ you imply that our work is worthless because it is not worth you actually paying $ for it (buuuuuut you like it enough that you would still like to have it). These are the people that say they ā€œloveā€ my work, are ā€œhuge fansā€ but they havenā€™t in fact ever done anything to support my art/my ability to continue to create beautiful things to put into the world.


So if you are interested in working with me and value my work, pay real money for it or show the value you will provide in exchange for my work. Just like any other profession. I hope that by spending the time to explain this it will cause you to rethink asking this of other creatives and artists in the future to spare them the insult & hurt. If you appreciate the beauty we bring to the world, support us by purchasing our art, comment on our posts, ask if you can share a photo of our work w/credit to spread the word but please please donā€™t insult us by asking for our labors of love for free. I hope that you too are treated respectfully and compensated fairly for your time and effort in whatever your job or profession is. That is all us creatives are asking for as well.

June was a long a$$ yearā€¦

Even though I created these calendars last year, when corona was just a beer and masks were reserved for medical professionals and robbers, the inspirational messages just seem to have this uncanny accuracy each month. One of this months inspirational quotes comes from Marie Forleo that ā€œeverything is figureoutableā€ and I canā€™t think of a more appropriate time for such a reminder. We might not have all the answers today (and sometimes, in a world of stay at home orders it can feel like we donā€™t have any answers at all) but this mantra reminds us that every problem is unanswerable or impossible until - maybe not until the thousandth try - someone figures it out. We arenā€™t given a book with all of lifeā€™s questions and answers in it. But what we do know is that things that people once thought would be impossible, like a mini computer that fits in the palm of your hand, are now possible. We might not have all the answers YET but that doesnā€™t mean we wonā€™t get to them or learn a whole lot as we try to figure them out. Wether youā€™re interested in philosophizing about making impossible things possible, or are just trying to keep track of when you gave the dog her flea medication, Julyā€™s free printable calendar is now available for download HERE

July 1, 2020

You Have Two Hands - One to Help Yourself.  The Second to Help Others

STORYTELLERS OF OUR TIME


"Expression through art is important especially during times like these because artists are the storytellers of our time," - Inglewood native and spoken word artist Brooke Jean.  Thank you for your report on the importance of art at this time @abc7ashleym . This statement by Brooke particularly spoke to me - what a beautiful and important roll to play.

So many people are sharing useful and educational information right now regarding Black Lives Matter.  I've pasted some of the information here but to see the rest of the graphics and information relating to her murder and what you can do to demand justice for Breonna I recommend following Mengaw.  There aren't really words to describe how it feels to know that this illustration I created in Breonna's memory has been used to help spread her story, get out the message that HER LIFE MATTERED, and to seek justice for her murder.  So many people absolutely failed to do their jobs that day and the consequences of their failures lead to this young womanā€™s murder.  I can't change what happened but it does feel empowering to know that my work is in some small way contributing to sharing her story and creating the change we so desperately need to prevent a tragedy like this from occurring again.  I sincerely hope if we continue to share her story and say her name it will lead to holding those involved accountable.

WE ARE THE TIDE


Sometimes I draw to process things. Sometimes I write. I wrote this the day before learning about the murders of two black transgender women within 24 hours - Dominique Remā€™mie Fells and Riah Milton.

ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”

Maybe we were just stalling instead of starting.

Living in our dreams instead of living our dreams.

Fighting with each other instead of for each other.

Willfully turning a blind eye and plugging our ears.

But when a grown man cried for his mama, all the mothers responded.

We couldnā€™t unhear his desperate plea for air.

We could no longer cover our eyes because they wept.

Our tears flooded the streets as we took them back, swept up by an ocean of clenched fists pounding against the pavement.

Would we sink or would we swim?

The shackles of discrimination, and even of privilege, weighing at our feet, holding us down for so long, had revealed themselves to all of us.

The wave crashed over us it exposing what we had always known but had buried so far down.

That he was our family and we failed him.

His body would be buried but not even a golden casket could contain the lessons his death had revealed.

Flames devoured cities drying our tears. 

Strangers cleaned the streets and became neighbors.

Neighbors boarded up buildings becoming family.

No longer individuals tumbling in the tide - We became the tide.

Art painted the streets telling his story so we would never forget.

And finally, we lived life in color for the first time.


THE JOYS OF (STEP) MOTHERHOOD


Iā€™ve been talking to my step daughter about Black Lives Matter and showing her the art Iā€™ve been making to raise money for the cause. I asked her if she wanted to make something too so she could help me raise money to donate and she created the illustration in the second pic which just makes my heart so happy. So now when you go to bit.ly/treateachotherlikefamily you can download her illustration as well when you donate. I hope it helps teach her that it is all of our responsibility to actively fight for justice, to stand up for what we believe in and to stand up for other people when they arenā€™t being treated fairly. I want her to know that she has a roll to play and her actions matter. And although her illustration made me feel warm and fuzzy, it is a stark contrast to the actual experience of people of color in America.  I am posting this after listening to Mwende Katwiwa read her poem "The Joys of Motherhood," in a ted talk. I have read the poem before and it is 80 degrees outside but it still makes the hairs on my arms stand and a shiver climb through my body. I won't try to summarize the haunting eloquence of her experiences - click here watch her Ted talk.


PRIDE


Love isnā€™t a commodity that can be distributed by people in power.

Itā€™s not not something to be regulated like the testing of new drugs or distributed to those we deem worthy like a golden medal. It canā€™t be hoarded - trying to deny or prevent someone elseā€™s love doesnā€™t mean more love for you. You canā€™t buy it or create it by following nanaā€™s recipe. You canā€™t demand it from someone. And, like an unruly root you didnā€™t see popping out of the sidewalk that you trip on, you canā€™t control who you fall for. We can try to hide it or not act on it, but, like a stubborn stain, it canā€™t be removed. Like the wind, you may not see it but you can feel it. It can uproot you like hurricane leaving you in pieces or gently blow the wind in your sails, pushing you toward your destination. Itā€™s a force of nature, to be celebrated and revered, not not something to be controlled or used as a weapon to cause pain or incite fear.


June 12, 2020

We all share the same Mother ā€“ itā€™s about time we treat each other like family

George deserves better. Georgeā€™s sons deserve better. Georgeā€™s daughter deserves better. Our family deserves better.


Wondering how to talk to your children about race and racism? Today I listened to an interview of  Heather Greenwood Davis on the subject (for the ABC news interview click here and for her National Geographic article click here).  Itā€™s such an important ongoing conversation for us to have with our kids - and I recommend watching the interview and reading the article - but here were some of the takeaways I got from it.


IT'S NOT ABOUT BEING COLOR BLIND

The point isnā€™t to ignore color because itā€™s part of who we are - the point is to not to attach a value judgement to the color that we see.


SOMETHING CAN BE RACIST EVEN IF YOU DON'T INTEND FOR IT TO BE RACIST 

Itā€™s not about your intent behind what you said ā€“ itā€™s about the effect on the listener. If he or she is offended by it then, even if you didnā€™t mean to be racist, it may have been racist.


FAMILY VALUES

What do you do if your child goes to someoneā€™s house that maybe shares different values than you do? I loved the idea Heather shared about setting up a family values/mission statement early on. This way, if your kid goes to school or hears something that contradicts your family values they will come home to you and talk about it.


I am devoted to continue to share resources, share the words, art and contributions of POC, sign petitions and make donations.  100% of the donations received for these printables will be donated to BLACK LIVES MATTER.  To download the printables and make your donation click HERE


Here are some other great places to make donations and get involved:

George Floyd Memorial Fund
Reclaim the Block
Minnesota Freedom Fund
Campaign Zero
Unicorn Riot
Black Visions Collective


your sister,

Katie

June 3, 2020

If You Want Peace, Work for Justice

IF YOU WANT PEACE, WORK FOR JUSTICE

~ Pope Paul Vi


I think peace is like love - itā€™s something you have to consciously work at and nurture. We have treated our partners of color like shit, walked all over you, abused you, degraded you, and not treated you with the respect, dignity and love you deserve. We plugged our ears to your concerns, to your cries. We refused to acknowledge the benefits we received as recipients of white privilege while we simultaneously accepted their gifts with open arms. We miserably failed to show you that you matter or to correct our behavior.


To masquerade as non-racists, we said we didnā€™t see color, only adding insult to injury, treating you as though you are invisible.  We became complacent in having just a system instead of creating the justice system we boasted about to our neighboring nations.  We are the criminals - we killed your brothers, your sons and your fathers when we treated you like suspects first and citizens second.


If we want peace it is our responsibility to atone for our failings. To not just say weā€™ll do better but to actually do better. It will take a lot of work and time and commitment and love to make these changes, to show you that we can change, we are changing, and to rebuild what we have broken. I see you and I love you.


WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS


I am not better than you, you are not better than me.  We are all better than this.


Click HERE to download these free printables.  I have made these available for free but PLEASE if you are able to contribute $5.00 or more please click the donate button below and 100% of the proceeds will be donated to BLACK LIVES MATTER.  Because IT IS TIME TO PUT OUR MONEY WHERE OUR MOUTH IS - IT IS TIME FOR ACTION.  Being silent is being complicit. 


The Greater Your Storm, The Brighter Your Rainbow šŸŒˆ

 

Although I like to tell Adam that I am the chief meteorologist on channel 7, Iā€™m actually not (šŸ¤« donā€™t tell him) so I donā€™t know if this is actually true in nature. But in life, I have seen people that have barley survived the darkest times and others that have truly come alive after going through their hardest times.

During this unsettling time I just want to remind you that YOU CAN GET THROUGH THIS. The rainbow is a beautiful, powerful, reminder that thereā€™s an end to the storm and that the future is bright. If you want to see a rainbow, REMEMBER TO LOOK UP!



CLASS OF 2020


I feel for you class of 2020 and I am so sorry that you aren't able to honor your graduation in the ways we traditionally mark this special occasion.  For those of you who won't be walking for graduation due to the corona virus, YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS DO DESERVE TO BE CELEBRATED!  It has been such an honor to help you mark this exciting moment with your custom illustration orders.  I wanted everyone to have a more affordable option as well so I created THIS customizable print for you to get the graduate in your life.  CELEBRATING may look different but it has not been canceled! šŸ‘©ā€šŸŽ“ šŸ’•


These are my hopes for the graduating class of 2020:


I hope you find the strength to allow the current situation refine your life instead of define it. I hope you are driven by a cause instead of applause. I hope you build bridges instead of walls. I hope you build resilience when you fall. I hope instead of being a background character in your life you learn that, sometimes, it is standing apart from the crowd that reveals your character. I hope you find pride in your progression instead of obsessing over perfection. I hope you make mistakes but donā€™t let mistakes make you. I hope when met with a problem, you open the door to possibilities. I hope once you get your foot in the door you use it to hold it open for others to follow. I hope youā€™re able to make a living by what you get but I hope you learn that you make a life by what you give.


KINDNESS SPRAY


Hurt people hurt people. Start a new chain reaction with Kindness Spray.

Be the one that starts a wave of kindness by liberally spraying 3 to 4 seconds until desired area is covered with a gentle mist of kindness. Allow to air dry and watch the ripple effect on those around you. šŸ’¦

Use often on others and on yourself.


ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”


This idea was originally inspired by something @codyrigsby (is he anyone elseā€™s fav instructor šŸ™‹šŸ¼ā€ā™€ļøšŸš²) said in my peloton class the other day about ā€œspray[ing] Lysol on that negative energy.ā€ But as I thought about it more, we canā€™t control other peoplesā€™ negative energy - we can only control how we respond to it. So Iā€™m just going to try to soak that shit in kindness šŸ’•

LEAVE FOOTPRINTS OF LOVE AND KINDNESS WHEREVER YOU GO šŸ¾


Even if the only footprints youā€™re leaving are from the bedroom to the kitchen. There are so many kind things you can do from the safety of your own home.  So here are some things that left footprints on my pink fluffy heart this month.

Thank You

At the beginning of the month I posted in my stories that @patch had featured me in an article called ā€œthe most caring person I know.ā€ (shout out to my mom that nominated me šŸ˜‚).  Jill not only saw the post but she actually reposted it in her stories. It may seem like a little thing but by doing that extra step it showed me that she really sees me and it felt really nice šŸ˜Š. So thank you for your support and kindness Jill! šŸ„°

If you want to read the article it is the definition of short and sweet and you can read it here.

Pleasant Surprise

My friend and fellow artist, Mari, of @marirdesign sent me the sweetest little care package including this "art makes you happy shirt" and her book Charming and Pretty.  I swear I read the whole thing within two days.  The illustrations are beautiful and it has great advice on everything from decorating rooms to hosting a party.

Get her book here - it's on sale now for $25! 

Looking for Treasures

Last week my friend and fellow entrepreneur, Kimber, of @kimbersansonedesign, helped me bring some cheer to my mom.  My mom is an avid junker and is really missing the rush that comes from finding a treasure in other peoples' trash.  I had a few ideas of sayings and with her help we finally decided on this one "Looking for treasures" to put on this cute custom book stack šŸ“š.  I hope, even though her treasure hunting is on pause for the moment, when she sees the stack of books she remembers the treasures she has found along the way and looks forward to the treasures just waiting for her to find them in the future.

Customize a your own book set here to add a little cheer to your home.

Molly Living Her Best Life

Molly frolicking in the grass at the doggy park probably makes me more happy than anything else.  I mean look how happy and fluffy and adorable she is?!?

Postcard from Stan 

Not only did my friend stand send me an awesome handmade postcard this week, but after reading my post about "if you want peace, work for justice" he wrote me a text saying this:

"You make me so happy when you use your voice. Itā€™s nice to see a reminder that Catholicism and anti racism can co exist. You run a business and I appreciate you incorporating morality into your brand. Thank you speaking up and adding color to the world around :)"
For maybe once in my life I was left speechless (it was brief).  Running your own business is hard.  Because many people don't understand what goes into it, they skirt around asking about it or mentioning it.  Having someone close to you just acknowledge that something you created resonated with them, it costs NOTHING but truly means the world.  What can you do this week to be like Stan?

Living that Farm Life 

Okay I have like three plants you can eat and I think I am a farmer but it has truly been so rewarding to plant things and see them come to life!  I start off every morning taking Molly out to potty and inspecting my farm to see how my little plant friends are doing and what changes have happened over night.  I don't know wtf I am doing but I just watch videos on youtube when I have questions.  Since I don't know anything about gardening everything that happens seems perhaps even more miraculous.  We have some cucumber growing and I have no idea what part of the plant the cucumbers will come out of but I observe them with wonder everyday.

So, as the chief meteorologist of channel 7 šŸ˜‰, I am happy to report that KINDNESS most definitely has not been canceled and is by no means quarantined šŸ’•.

 

DON'T COUNT THE DAYS - MAKE THE DAYS COUNT


Times are tough but it sure helps to have little things to look forward to and moments to help mark the passage of time.  And why not have have some encouraging words along the way? 

Click HERE to download the June Calendar Printable for FREEZIES!  Yup, it's free, it's my gift to you, my way of thanking you for being here.  Because I AM SO THANKFUL YOU ARE HERE. 

We're STILL in this together!


Love from the farm,

Katie 




May 28, 2020

 

The most powerful medicine we have is LOVE.

And the vehicle by which itā€™s delivered is RELATIONSHIPS

I heard the surgeon general say this on episode of The Hidden Brain (episodes called ā€œa social prescriptionā€) and man did it speak to me! People are administering this love medicine all over the world right now - feeding their neighbors dog whoā€™s owners in the hospital, sewing and donating masks to hospitals, donating money to complete strangers in other states that didnā€™t have money to by groceries. Isolation can be lonely when you arenā€™t physically seeing people around you but it really is possible to connect with people and form relationships with others while respecting social distancing. One of those people Iā€™ve had the pleasure of connecting with is @jessicahogancrum . We have been working on something really beautiful to help bring a little comfort to the mamas pregnant during this unsettling time.

GOD DOESN'T CALL THE EQUIPPED - HE EQUIPS THE CALLED


We really put our hearts into this collaboration so I just wanted to give a little background on the meaning behind it.   Jessica wrote a whole post about her experience being pregnant during covid-19 that you can read here.

The quote "God doesn't call the equipped - He equips the called," hugs around the mom to be because we wanted you (the moms receiving this art) to know that, even if the other parent/your bff/your mom, can't physically be in the room with you when you deliver, and you don't feel ready, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. We all are being asked to take on assignments right now that we may feel inadequate to tackle on our own. But when called to act, god will give you what you need, when you need it, to get through it. Itā€™s okay to be scared, to not feel prepared, & to recognize our weaknesses/shortcomings. This vulnerability makes us human and open to letting god work through us.


When Jessica was describing her idea for this I saw the mom in a flower crown in my head. When I started drawing it I felt compelled to draw a butterfly resting on her crown. This was strange for me because Iā€™m actually, embarrassingly, afraid of butterflies (like shriek and dodge around them for dear life šŸ™ŠšŸ˜‚). But I just went with the feeling that it should be there. After, I (bravely) looked up some of the meaning and symbolism of butterflies discovering that in many cultures, butterflies are powerful representations of life, endurance, change and hope, which just felt more than serendipitous.


We wanted to unite and bring some reassurance to any anxious mom's of any faith so the print is available with or with out the quotation. šŸ’• We also wanted a way to thank the health professionals who will help you get through this unusual time, so each print comes with a "Masks are the new Capes" card to give to your nurses/ doctors on your big day.

You can customize one for yourself or for a new mama in your life here.  

YOUR THOUGHTS ARE YOUR SEEDS - YOU CAN GROW FLOWERS OR WEEDS


In other news, I'm getting really into gardening while staying safe at home.  I told Adam to please refer to me as farmer Katie now that I am (attempting) to grow tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, & butternut squash in our yard. I also insist that we call the part where we planted herbs ā€œAdamā€™s Garden of Eatinā€™ ā€ šŸ˜³. It is such a rewarding feeling to see these little guys sprouting (even if we can't remember what we put there).  Here are some pics of our DIY planters and the potting bench I built out of scrap wood šŸ”Ø



MASKS ARE (STILL) THE NEW CAPES


It is so beautiful to see how some people and companies are turning obstacles into opportunities right now - not just for themselves but in the service of others. For example people printing 3D masks for health professionals in their garages, restaurants, forced to close, making food for those in need, nurses in San Francisco raising money to send meals to hospitals in NY etc. Unfortunately, I canā€™t offer a solution to the big problems weā€™re facing. But I do believe in the š˜±š˜°š˜“š˜“š˜Ŗš˜£š˜Ŗš˜­š˜Ŗš˜µš˜Ŗš˜¦š˜“ of the collective impact of the little things we can do. The difference between stepping up š˜¤š˜¢š˜³š˜Ŗš˜Æš˜Ø to š˜©š˜¦š˜­š˜±š˜Ŗš˜Æš˜Ø in our own way. And that might look different for each of us. For some, it will be keeping your kids alive so your spouse can work from home, taking care of an elderly family member, or helping deliver food. 


If youā€™d like to help but are unsure where to start Iā€™d love your help with the hospital worker thank you notes project ie #MASKSARETHENEWCAPES . I could really use the help writing them and sending them to the nurses, doctors, and health professionals seriously working their butts off right now for us. If youā€™re interested in being a part of it please message me! šŸ™šŸ». Also, please know that this message is in no way meant to make anyone feel bad for not being able to help others right now. Having the opportunity to lend a hand at this time is a š™„š™§š™žš™«š™žš™”š™šš™œš™š not available to all of us right now.  If you are flat out and donā€™t have the capacity or capability to give more - thatā€™s okay too! Taking care of yourself is important & that might be your roll right now. #wereinthistogether


Also, I'd like to thank Moo for donating 100 more of my cards so I can keep sending them around the country!


Thank you all so much for posting on social media and sharing your Ladie Katie thank you cards with me!  It's been a really moving experience to connect with you health professionals.  I am in awe of the work you are doing and continue to do.  Art is my love language so this is just my way of saying I love you, I appreciate you and I see you.  THANK YOU.



MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU


It might feel like we're in a time warp right now, but to help you remember the little things (like watering the flowers) or the big things (meeting an important deadline), I've made the May calendar available for free download here.  

THE HERO IN YOUR STORY IS YOU šŸ’ŖšŸ»


Just a reminder that YOU are the hero in your story.  You choose the narrative.  Sometimes something as simple as the words you use to describe something can change the way you feel about it.  Instead of being stuck inside you are staying safe inside.  Not allowed to go to the beach? Make your own - I built a cabana in my yard using a shower curtain and zip ties šŸ˜‚. Write your own story. Be your own hero. šŸ’•










May 3, 2020

MASKS are the new CAPES

NOT ALL HEROS WEAR CAPES

I had this idea to ask you if you'd help me disseminate these cards to thank the medical professionals on the front lines fighting covid19.  I was totally overwhelmed by your response!  I heard from ER nurses, neonatal ICU nurses, doctors, ICU staff,  people that work at nursing homes, moms of nurses, friends of doctors, etc all over the country.  Hearing all your stories from the front lines has been so moving. I am so so thankful for everything you are doing to help keep us safe during this crazy time.  Sacrificing your own health and safety to keep us safe - there just arenā€™t adequate words to express how appreciative I am.  You are true heroes!  

I am still working on getting back to all of your messages. All of my first batch of printed cards are now spoken for and will be shipped all over the country next week. I still I want to try to thank as many people in the medical community as possible, so if you havenā€™t yet received a message back from me (I'm responding in the order they were received) or just want to print them yourself and send them to your local hospitals, I also made them all available as FREE downloads/printables - click HERE to the  download the folder with all the variations. If you don't want to figure out printing you can also order already printed cards HERE.  Thanks again so much for your help with this! #wereinthistogether .  If you print out these cards and send them to a hospital (or if you receive some), Iā€™d love to see them! Tag me @ladiekatieart and #masksarethenewcapes so I can see šŸ™šŸ»šŸ’‹šŸ’•
COLOR WITH KATIE

Iā€™ve been trying to lift peopleā€™s spirits locally by offering free prints of my art on a stand I set up in my driveway (see some pictures below).  People responded so positively on Facebook, Instagram and nextdoor about how it really cheered them up during this difficult time.  Wanting to continue to spread a little joy, I have created a 25 page coloring book that you can download for FREE and print at home.  Coloring is such an escape for me ā€“ I hope it helps you let your mind wander... without having to leave your house.

Click HERE to download the entire coloring book.  Proceeds of the book will be donated to Louise Monforte Memorial Art Scholarship - find out more about scholarship and how you can make a difference HERE.
And remember to tag me @ladiekatieart and use the #colorwithkatie so I can see what you create!

I'M ON A PODCAST - AND IT'S NOT AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE


The reason I know about this wonderful scholarship is because I had the honor of being interviewed by the founder of the Louise Monforte Memorial Art Scholarship, Mari Robeson, for her Podcast, Love Lou Lou Creative.  The podcast episode goes live today, Wednesday, April 8th.  Click HERE to listen.  Find out what we discussed and learn more about other incredible artists that she has interviewed, by visiting her blog HERE


It is so uplifting and encouraging to hear the stories of all of these different creatives ā€“ how their art, their process, their style may all differ but, at the end of the day, we all just have these stories we feel compelled to share with the world.  And even if we donā€™t know what weā€™re doing a lot of the time (which seems to be a unifying theme), we continue to tell them, however we can, wherever we can, which is pretty beautiful.


YOUR POWER DOESN'T COME FROM YOUR CAPE OR YOUR MASK 


So how are you holding up?  Sheltering in place can be lonely!  Need to connect with someone?  It is easy to get lost in the endless news cycle and in a sea of fear and anxiety.  If you feel like you're drowning in despair, I've found these little projects like the free art in the driveway, the coloring book, and the thank you notes, are really helping me stay motivated and positive (or at least not paralyzed by anxiety).  What's something small that you can do for someone else?  Maybe leave a note outside a neighbors house, order something on amazon to be delivered to a friend, get extra milk for a friend when you go the market etc.  The other day my friend Lauren left me a bottle of wine for our weekly happy hour facetime sesh.  I didn't get to actually see her leave it but it just felt really nice to know that she had dropped it off for me.  When we are alone in our homes to stay safe, these little acts can help us still feel connected.  Need help brainstorming ideas?  You can always shoot me an email at hello@ladiekatie.com. 

  

We can't control the craziness around us, but we can control how we react to it.  I know a lot of us are struggling with feeling powerless right now.  You feel powerless that you can't stop the spread of the virus.  Powerless that you can't stop people from leaving their homes and not following social distancing.  These examples though, assume that power is something external and relative to other people and circumstances.  Power, however, isn't dependent on what is going on around you - it is about whats going on within you.  I'll leave you with this quote from Brooke Castillo, the host of the Life Coach School Podcast.  "Force is trying to control other people and the world.  Power is creating yourself In your own world."  

Hope you all are staying safe and (at least semi) sane.

xo


April 8, 2020

THANK YOU!!!!!!!

10K

Guys - WE DID IT! We made it to 10k! It might seem like such a silly thing to celebrate amongst all the chaos, fear and sadness right now but if the current situation has taught me anything (besides obsessively washing my hands and having hand sanitizer with me at all times) itā€™s not to take anything for granted. 10k means there are 10,000 people that I have the opportunity to share my work with. Itā€™s the opportunity to bring smiles to 10,000 people. Itā€™s a chance to connect with 10,000 people all over the world in places I may never have a chance to physically go to. Itā€™s the ability to bring comfort to someone Iā€™ve never met in real life. Itā€™s the chance to make someone feel a little less alone and a little more seen & appreciated. It is TRULY A GIFT TO SERVE YOU AND CHEER FOR YOU in the best way I know how to. So I am SO THANKFUL to each and every one of you for joining me on this journey of sprinkling a little hope and happiness into your hearts and homes šŸ’•šŸ™šŸ»ā¤ļø šŸ”.

#SPREADKINDNESSGIVEAWAY


I am so thankful in fact that I have sneakily been planning an AMAZING GIVEAWAY with some of my other favorite small business owners to spread some kindness and bring a little light during such a dark time. We think even with social distancing in place, there is always room for kindness! So we are giving away a diamond necklace from @mlowejewelry, a set of custom stamped books from @kimbersansonedesign and a custom family portrait by me! Check out my Instagram to enter before the giveaway closes Friday, March 27th at 6pm.

DIRECTIONS: FIND SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOUR HEART HAPPY, TAKE IT, & ENJOY!


In other news, I have been so moved and thankful for the selfless service of so many people at this scary time. The cashiers at the grocery stores, the nurses and doctors, the pharmacist, etc risking their own health and safety to care for the rest of us. Iā€™ve been racking my brain about how or what I could contribute in my own way in response to the global pandemic. I was packing up orders last night and had a lightbulb moment. The way I celebrate those I love is to make them art. The way I thank people is to make them art. My love language is art. So if I want to send love out into the world during these uncertain times, what better way than through my art? So I took one of Mollyā€™s puppy gates, some old curtain rods, fishing line, tape, a stack of prints from my inventory, some large paper and markers (or as Adam would call them, ā€œtextersā€) and made a little impromptu art display, seen here.


This is probably creepy for me to admit, but we have a security camera in our driveway so I got an alert on my phone when someone stopped to look at or take a piece of art. It felt very ā€œWhat Would You Do?ā€ to hear people stop on their walks, read the sign and chose a piece that spoke to them. It got particularly windy this afternoon and one print had blown away. I saw a nice man go pick it up and re tape it to my art display contraption and help his wife chose a piece to bring home. If weā€™re going to be stuck inside for who knows how long we might as well have nice things to look at that make us smile.

APRIL CALENDAR


Bye March. Itā€™s been real. Letā€™s not do it again. Hopefully April brings recovery with its showers. I created these calendars so many months ago for my planners, at a time when Corona was just a mediocre beer, I shook hands regularly, and I thought zoom was short for zumba. Things have changed a lot since then, but the words and sentiment behind them ring truer than ever. Marchā€™s calendar started with ā€œtake a deep breath.ā€ The date of the 13th reads ā€œso a random act of kindness, and today, the 26th reads, ā€œshow yourself compassion.ā€ Itā€™s a bit eerie. Iā€™m not saying Iā€™m the next Miss Cleo or anything, but when I was writing the planner, the words I wrote werenā€™t empty or random. They were intentional. I obviously never would have expected any of this to happen, the world basically shutting down, but it feels reassuring in a way to know that these words still carry meaning now, maybe even more than I could have even imagined. If you want a little extra backup going into the next month (who doesnā€™t?) the April calendar printable is now available HERE. As usual, itā€™s free ā€“ just an expression of my love to you for joining me on this journey

SPREAD KINDNESS

There is so much bad and scary stuff going on right now.  Yes, we need to take measures to protect ourselves but people are getting a little carried away with that - hoarding things like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, making it impossible for others to get these essentials that they need. It is a good reminder that even with ā€œsocial distancingā€ in place THERE IS ALWAYS ROOM FOR KINDNESS!  I have come to think that KINDNESS IS ALSO CONTAGIOUS, and, hopefully after reading this post, you will want to pass it on. 


After spending an afternoon in my little garden pulling weeds, I was really in awe of their relentless determination to grow. The more I pulled out the weeds outside, the more I felt like we were kindred spirits which I expressed through this flower illustration and words below.


YOU ARE A WEED. A big, beautiful, resilient weed.

People wonā€™t always appreciate how hard you worked to get here. They wonā€™t UNDERSTAND YOUR PURPOSE. While they may flatter those around you, even dote on them, they wonā€™t nurture you and give you the attention or resources you need to thrive. But YOU WILL SURVIVE. Sometimes people might intentionally knock you down and try to keep you down. They may burry you and your accomplishments under cement to preserve their sense of what is beautiful, what is worthy, what belongs. And momentarily, it might work. You will get down. You will wonder why the hell you are fighting so hard to be somewhere where you donā€™t feel wanted or appreciated. You will sit in that for a breath. You will feel it.

Then you will pick yourself back up and remind yourself that you are a weed! You are RESILIENT. You will keep at it. And little by little, crack by crack, you will do what no one but you believed possible - YOU WILL BREAK THROUGH all the barriers they placed in your way and re-emerge even stronger. And - whether others can see your purpose, your value, your potential, or not - you will know that YOU DESERVE TO BE HERE.


Although technically strangers, a woman contacted me because of my work and my words. She bravely told me her story of heartbreak and how she could relate to feeling like a weed. We continued our discussion and she told me that after three days of crying my words helped put things in perspective for her. There is so much going on right now, people are vulnerable, and people are scared. Many of us are in distress right now and, if thereā€™s any chance it could help bring some solace at this time of chaos to anyone else, I thought Iā€™d share what I said. To protect her privacy I will call her ā€œJill'* (*Please note that I asked Jill if I may share our conversation before writing this post).


Oh Jill - I am so so sorry that happened to you and Iā€™m so sorry that you are going through such heartbreak! I want you to know that just because these horrible things happened to you doesnā€™t mean you did something wrong or thereā€™s something wrong with you. It means they werenā€™t right for you - but that doesnā€™t say anything about WHO YOU ARE. Itā€™s hard to remember when you feel so sad but I promise the feeling of heartbreak wonā€™t last forever.


Sorry to bring plants up again (honestly, I am actually more of an admirer than a gardener) but the reason I was in the garden earlier was because I was repotting my orchid. My friend had gotten me this big, beautiful, orchid when I moved and Iā€™ve been trying to take care of it - putting it where thereā€™s lots of light, watering it once a week, etc. But yesterday the last flower fell off. I was wondering ā€œwhat givesā€ - I have had orchids before that did fine with this set up in the past so, naturally, I googled it.


I found a youtube video and it turns out that, after you buy an orchid at the store, youā€™re supposed to take them out of plastic pot inside the pretty pot and separate their roots, take the stuff out from in between the roots and repot them in a bigger pot. Apparently, itā€™s so that roots have room to grow, can properly aerate and have access to light. The lady who made the video said that if you take the orchid out of the store-bought pot and the ā€œin between the root stuffā€ is all wet then your roots are probably rotting. She was right ā€“ mine were mushy and brown. If the roots are coming through the bottom of the original container, she said, then your pots too small. Yup, mine was doing that too. Finally, she said to cut off the whole stem so that a flower will grow again.


I bring this up because sometimes you can do all the ā€œrightā€ things (trying to water my plant, giving it light, etc.) but things donā€™t work out or arenā€™t thriving. REPOT yourself. Youā€™ve gotten used to the pot you are in so it will hurt and be uncomfortable to (unwillingly) be removed at first. But that pot was too small for you (it was limited by his past experiences preventing him from moving on)! Take some time to brush out the stuff in between the roots ( the remnants from the last relationship). Give yourself room to breathe and feel the sunshine. Find a bigger pot with room for you to grow. NURTURE YOURSELF with what makes you happy and what you need to thrive. And someday, in the future, you may decide youā€™ve grown so much taking care of yourself and your needs that you need a new pot again - maybe one so big that thereā€™s even room for someone else to grow in it with you.


Anyway, Iā€™m sorry youā€™re going through such a hard time. Try to do things every day that make you feel better. I promise youā€™ll be busting through the cement again in no time!


YOUR WORDS WILL GO MORE PLACES THAN YOUā€™LL EVER GO šŸ—ŗ


Things felt like they had come full circle when, the next day, I was listening to This American Life. While interviewing a pastor, he said ā€œ... I know the power of the word, and how the word can spread, and how people can take what they hear here, and it goes places. Your words will go to places that you will never go.ā€ And it spoke to me because this is how I feel about my art.  The woman I discussed above in is Nebraska. Iā€™ve never been there but I mailed her a print of the illustration to remind her that, like the resilient weeds, she will get through this difficult time.  My work is out-traveling me, which I think is pretty amazing.


I know right now we are in fear of how quickly things can spread, especially when they are terrifying and dangerous things like corona virus. But amazing things can also spread ā€“ KINDNESS, GENEROSITY, COMPASSION, CREATIVITY, the list goes on.  So, if you are still looking for that one person who will change your life, TAKE A LOOK IN THE MIRROR. You have more reach than you even know. You can connect with and impact people in places youā€™ve never been. And if thatā€™s not powerful I donā€™t know what is!


In an effort to help SPREAD KINDNESS, I am offering a download of this print for FREE.  It is available in three options with different hair and skin tones.  All I ask in return is that YOU DO SOMETHING KIND FOR SOMEONE ELSE.  Just click HERE to get yours now.


UPDATE: Jill received her flower artwork over the weekend. If you donā€™t believe that what you do can really make a difference for the better, I encourage you to read the note she sent me to thank me for the art below:


ā€œKatie!!! It came! Itā€™s here! And I absolutely LOVE it. There are not enough words to describe the amount of love and strength I felt when opening your mail. I mean it. I felt this stirring in my soulā€¦ā€I can get through this.ā€ I didnā€™t feel alone. Someone cared. Truly cared. You gave me strength, Katieā€¦And oh the story ā€“ I cannot wait to tell anyone and everyone who sees and asks about it. God truly blessed you with an incredible talent. But he also gave you the biggest heart as well. To bring strength to me in a time of true heartbreak and pain, is something I hope you know, I appreciate more than words can sayā€¦ā€



March 15, 2020

Rough Patch - Free Phone Background 

I created this new abstract piece for my art studio called ROUGH PATCH.

I smeared the thick acrylic across the paper like peanut butter on bread. Itā€™s imperfect, rugged, uneven, chunky. There are distinct sections but also little hints of residue in each from the sections above and below, some with small gaps in between, some that overlap, some where the paint just spread itself too thin and thereā€™s only a ghost of pigment. And for some reason when all of these imperfections are added together they create something beautiful (at least I find it beautiful šŸ¤·šŸ¼ā€ā™€ļø). It reminds me that we can go through different seasons and rough patches in our lives - maybe part of you wishes you could redo them or fix them. But those moments arenā€™t in isolation. They are part of something bigger. And when you take a step back and see all of those gooey, sometimes messy, imperfect moments together they can still lead to something unexpectedly beautiful šŸ’•.  


After posting a pic of this new work I got so many messages from you about wanting it as your phone wallpaper and i LOVE that idea.  I've just been messaging it to you all individually up until now (and it has been so awesome to connect with each of you).  Now you can download this beauty HERE for free.  i've loved seeing the screen shots you've sent me of your new wallpaper -  I've even made it into the background on my phone too ;).  Enjoy! xoxo

your FREE march calendar printable

Your March Calendar is ready for you - are you ready for it?  Click HERE to have it magically appear in your inbox.  I love this months inspirational message, "LIFE IS TOUGH BUT SO ARE YOU."  Who doesn't need a reminder like that every once and a while? 

There are so many quotes out there about how an essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail. I canā€™t say I agree - I think, for most of us anyway, itā€™s about being afraid BUT DOING IT ANYWAY. Itā€™s about persistently exploring the curiosity while the shackles of fear try to constrain you, hold you down, and whisper their lies to you. That is why CREATIVES ARE BRAVE and that's what makes them TOUGH. They share the same fears as everyone else - that they arenā€™t good enough, that they donā€™t deserve it, that other people wonā€™t like what they share, etc., but despite (and maybe in spite) of that fear they CHOSE TO SHARE THEIR GIFTS WITH THE WORLD ANYWAY. So hereā€™s your reminder that itā€™s okay to be afraid but itā€™s your choice to let that fear dictate your life and hold you back. Choose to challenge it. Choose to grind away at those shackles until all thatā€™s left is dust.  The residue of fear may still be there but it wonā€™t have the same power over you - BECAUSE YOU ARE TOUGHER THAN YOU KNOW.

Feb 26, 2020

Why your SUPPORT SYSTEM ISN'T SUPPORTING YOU and how they could 

WHY YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM ISNā€™T SUPPORTING YOU AND WHAT YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM CAN DO TO SHOW SUPPORT

Whether you are a lawyer pursuing your art (sounds vaguely familiar), work in healthcare and want to start your own fashion blog, a mama fixing up skin care concoctions in the dead of night, a barista with dreams of running for congress, it can be so hurtful when the people you love most aren't supportive of your dreams.  This post is for you!


You know Iā€™m a big fan of podcasts. Anything involving murder, being an entrepreneur, being a creative, etc is my jam. So one podcast that Iā€™m obsessed with right now is Trent Sheltonā€™s Straight Up. Episode 8 about the reasons why your support system isnā€™t supporting you spoke right to my heart. It felt like it was just me and Trent with a can and string telephone whispering* our deepest secrets in the night (*and by whispering I mean trying to speak quietly when youā€™re really excited about something so you actually arenā€™t whispering at all). If anyone else watches Locke and Key on Netflix, itā€™s like he had the head key and explored the inside of my mind and heart.


This is a topic that I both want to share, because I think it could really help other creatives that may not feel as supported as they would like to be by friends and family, but, I also feel a bit awkward discussing it and worry about how it may come across to others. Even though I may fear other peopleā€™s reactions, itā€™s also a subject that has continuously weighed so heavily on me as I pursue my art and if there is anyone else out there who feels that way too, I want you to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  If you are the friend or family member of someone pursuing their passion there are also things you can do to support the dreamer in your life (did I mention they are also SIMPLE AND FREE).  Trent breaks this down into four reason but I am condensing them into three"ish".


  1. THEY DONā€™T BELIEVE IN YOU BECAUSE THEY CANā€™T COMPREHEND IT

YOU CANā€™T EXPECT THEM TO BE YOU

It feels really crappy when you donā€™t feel supported by those you love. Trent reminded me that ā€œyou have to stop expecting YOU from other people.ā€ Just because you think, if the tables were turned, you would be supportive of that family member pursuing her dream, doesnā€™t mean that you can EXPECT other people to react in the same way that you would. Itā€™s shitty but you canā€™t control other peopleā€™s reactions. It may help to remember that although you WANT their approval with all your heart, you DONā€™T NEED it. Yup. YOU DONā€™T NEED ANYONE ELSES SUPPORT OR APPROVAL TO FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS. It would be nice. It would feel warm and fuzzy. But you donā€™t NEED it.

The reason(s) they appear to not believe in you, may actually have more to do with them. Maybe they have failed before and so now they assume that following your dreams leads to failure because that is all they know. Their lack of support may have to do with their experiences and how they view the world as opposed to being any kind of reflection on your capabilities.


SMALL MINDSETS CANā€™T COMPREHEND BIG VISIONS

You also may want to consider WHO you are bringing your dreams or ideas to. I love the example Trent gives of not going to a plumber to fix your roof. They might be the best plumber in the whole damn world, but that doesnā€™t mean they know the first thing about fixing a roof. You are excited about your new business idea or the possibility of living your dream so you want to tell those you love about it. But if youā€™re bringing a big dream to a person that always stays in her lane or never takes risks, do you really think they are going to tell you to ā€œgo for it!ā€? The thought of doing the unknown is probably unfamiliar and uncomfortable for her to even think about. Again, it has no merit on the content of the idea or dream.


And hereā€™s where my favorite nugget of wisdom comes in: ā€œSmall mindsets canā€™t comprehend big visions or big dreams.ā€ Sit with that for a minute. Trent gives this great example of something he does when public speaking sometimes. Heā€™ll have someone come up on stage with him and close their eyes. Heā€™ll take out a dollar bill and holds it right in front of the personā€™s face and tells them to open their eyes. He asks them to tell him whatā€™s in front of their face but itā€™s so close that they canā€™t even tell that its money. They canā€™t see it. He then repeats but takes a step back, until they can clearly read the dollar amount. He uses this example to show that sometimes people who are the closest to you actually canā€™t see your greatness. They are so used to it. Maybe theyā€™ve seen you everyday of your life so they ā€œnormalize your gifts and talents.ā€ BUT just because youā€™re too close for them to SEE YOUR VALUE doesnā€™t mean that YOUR GIFTS ARENā€™T VALUABLE. And whether those closest to you appreciate your worth or not it doesnā€™t mean that you shouldnā€™t share your gifts with the world.


2.  THEY DONā€™T UNDERSTAND WHAT THEIR SUPPORT MEANS


YOUR SUPPORT MATTERS

The second reason you may not feel supported by your friends and family is because they donā€™t realize how much their support means to you. They might think for example, all these other people liked your post, or buy your artwork, or signed up for your blog, so whether THEY do those things or not makes no difference. As a creative, let me tell you ā€“ YOUR SUPPORT MATTERS. Your support might mean the difference between someone pursuing their dreams or throwing in the towel. That one encouraging comment can keep someone going when they feel like giving up and, as a creative, we have many moments of wanting to give up.  

Creatives put their hearts out there for the world.  It can feel so vulnerable.  When I share something like this on instagram, for example, or in a blog post, it would feel really good to know that one of my friends or family members read it.  Even if it is not personal, when you put your heart on the line in an arena, such as social media, where you know your friends and family hang out, and they don't acknowledge that they see it, IT CAN HURT.  We should share because it is part of our purpose, not because we want acknowledgement or praise.  But no one likes to be left hanging.  Just know that the message you send, your "like", your repost, etc, can make us feel less alone, more connected and is an opportunity for us to grow closer.  


LOVE DONā€™T COST A THING

I think many people may assume by ā€œsupportā€ I mean monetarily. Of course, yes if you have a friend that makes wonderful art that you would like to put in your home, please go buy it! But even if you, as a friend or family member wouldnā€™t be interested in whatever it is that person has to offer, for example buying something that your friend makes and sells, you can still SUPPORT that person. Have you forgotten what Jenny from the block said? Love donā€™t cost a thing. Telling a creative something along the lines of ā€œI see how hard you are working,ā€ or ā€œI see the progress you have made,ā€ etc, DOESNā€™T COST A THING and just feeling seen can make a world of difference to the person. At the end of the day though, although weā€™d love the people we love to support us, whether they chose and/or are able to show us that support has more to do with them and how they feel about themselves then it does with you and your work.


3.  OTHER CONSIDERATIONS


ARE THEY SHOWING THEIR SUPPORT IN THEIR OWN WAY?

Two more things to consider regarding this topic are (1) the possibility that those you love may be supporting you in their own way and (2) There are people that think that their way is the only way.

Regarding number one, it might help you to take a step back and ask yourself if maybe a loved one is actually trying to be supportive it just may not be in a way that makes you feel supported. Itā€™s kind of like the book the Five Love Languages. They may be showing you support in a way that would make them feel supported that might not necessarily be in the way you would like to be shown support. For example, did your parents help support you during college monetarily? That may be the way they know how to show you that they support you. Some people are more limited in expressing their emotions or saying encouraging things (maybe because they didnā€™t experience those kinds of affirmations themselves growing up). Just because they donā€™t say that they are proud of what you are doing or say positive things about it doesnā€™t mean they arenā€™t showing any support at all. I encourage you to look beyond what you expect or what you would like to see them do and ask yourself what is it that they may already doing to hint to you, in their own way, that they care.


DO THEY LIVE IN A BOX THEY BUILT AND ITā€™S THE ONLY WAY TO BUILD A BOX

Finally, there are some people that see only one way to be successful. If you arenā€™t following their carefully crafted and perfected route to it then youā€™re a lost cause. They canā€™t see beyond what has already been done to see what could be. They invented the box and are so busy building it, and directing others to do the same in the same way, that they canā€™t see that they have boxed themselves in and actually created blinders to the other possibilities.

Trent did a segue here to talk to parents in this situation. He says something along the lines of your dream might not be your kids dream. Parents sometimes shoot down their kids dreams because it is not the dream that they had for them. BUT ā€“ and hereā€™s the real zinger - just because they arenā€™t doing what YOU want them to do doesnā€™t mean that they arenā€™t doing what they were BORN TO DO.


THEY LITERALLY CANā€™T SEE YOUR VISION

In summary, it really sucks when you want to share something that you are so pumped up about with a loved one and they show zero interest or you are even met with opposition. The lucky thing however is that whether they believe in your dreams or not has NO bearing whatsoever on whether you can make your dreams come true. We live in a ā€œsee it to believe itā€ kind of world and if you are the kind of person that believes in so much more than what that one sense has to offer, people are literally not going to see your vision. Iā€™ll leave you with this other little wisdom nugget by Trent ā€“ā€œdonā€™t let the lack of belief that other people have in you kill the belief you have in yourself.ā€


Feb 19, 2020

kindness is free - so is this February calendar printable

I want to help you BECOME YOUR OWN BIGGEST FAN.   So, whether you bought the SOMEDAY IS TODAY planner or not, you deserve to be celebrated and I want to cheer for you!  Click here to access to the February Calendar printable for FREE.

WANT MORE?
If you want the whole planner visit here.  This planner is an opportunity for me to sprinkle a little hope and happiness into peopleā€™s hearts and homes. And it is an opportunity for you to OWN WHO YOU ARE. You are whole on your own but you don't need to walk the path alone.

A LEGEND LOST

ā™„ FOLLOW YOUR ARROW WHEREVER IT POINTS ā™„


This week a legend was lost.  My heart aches for the family's touched by this weeks tragedy.  As I was drawing this illustration of Kobe holding his daughter, Gigi's, hand the lyrics of one of my favorite songs, "Follow your arrow wherever it points" by Kacey Musgrave's played in my head:


        Say what you feel (say what you feel)

        Love who you love (love who you love)

        'Cause you just get so many trips 'round the sun

        Yeah, you only

        Only live once




We donā€™t know if our lives will be short or if our lives will be long but the long and short of it is love those you love before itā€™s too late and they are gone.  Rest in Peace Kobe and Gigi šŸ’”


So whereā€™s your arrow pointing?


TRUE LOVE IS YOU LOVE

SECURE YOUR MASK BEFORE HELPING OTHERS 


"In the event of emergency, please secure your own self-love before loving others ā€¦ā€ āœˆļø

Weā€™ve all heard the safety message about putting on your oxygen mask on first before helping others.


If you ignore the warning about putting on your oxygen mask on first and instead try to help another person you may loose the ability to recognize faces and shapes, and eventually pass out. It isnā€™t selfish to put on your own mask first - if you are unconscious you wonā€™t be able to help anyone.

When you first learn to love yourself, you will be better able to love others.  If you donā€™t learn how to put on your self-love mask first, you may become exhausted from loving others. You may loose yourself in their wants and needs to the point of not even recognizing yourself. When we practice self-love and taking care of ourselves we are actually better equipped to help ourselves and others.


So instead of feeling selfish taking care of your own needs, I say celebrate it! Especially with Valentineā€™s Day quickly approaching, instead of the sappy romantic love themed cards, why not opt for this print to remind you to LOVE YOURSELF FIRST. ā¤ļø

POWER

LIVE YOUR DREAM


Last night I updated my little blurb on etsy about my shop (I swear there's a reason I'm telling you this just stick with me for a minute šŸ˜‚).  This is what I wrote:

ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”

ā€œI dream my painting and then I paint my dreamā€ ~ Vincent Van Gogh šŸŽØ šŸ’«

Ladie Katie is my DREAM. She is confident, kind, and creative. She lifts you up when youā€™re feeling down on yourself, she comforts you when you are in doubt and sheā€™ll celebrate your victories with you as if they were her own, because she knows that a strong woman stands up for herself but a stronger woman stands up for everyone else too.


In my art, I created this new support system for myself to help me rediscover my strength and value. As last year ended, I came to realize that Ladie Katie is ME. She is not super human - she is the me I painted into existence. It is a journey but I am learning to ROOT FOR MYSELF again. And I WANT TO ROOT FOR YOU TOO. When you see one of my illustrations that looks just like your fluffy child, makes you chuckle out loud, reminds you of your best friend or inspires you to push yourself, that is me CHEERING YOU ON. I want to remind you to be YOUR OWN BIGGEST FAN. But in the meantime, until you get the hang of it, Iā€™ll be here, pom poms and all, rooting for you.

You can either dream your life or you can LIVE YOUR DREAM and Iā€™m choosing the latter. Whoā€™s coming with me?

ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”ā€”


POWER


Today, I was listening to Brook Castilloā€™s The Life Coach School Podcast. She was discussing power - what it is, where it comes from and who has it. She talked about how our power doesnā€™t come from outside of us but it comes from within in us. ā€œForce,ā€ she says, ā€œis trying to control other people and the world. Power is creating yourself in your own world.ā€


Woah. Mind Blown. Check. It was such a moment of deja vu. I remembered trying to describe this sentiment to my husband once like this, ā€œI havenā€™t felt supported or appreciated from the people around me so Iā€™ve created by own support system in my illustrations that say all the things I wish those around me would say.ā€ Please believe me, I am not bringing this up to make anyone feel bad or criticize them. They may not have known I was needing this kind of support. They may have had their own things going on that Iā€™m not aware of. At the end of the day though, I realized that it wasnā€™t really about them at all. It was about me and what I was going to do.


I could have tried to ā€œforceā€ the people in my life to do the things I was craving, for example, to get them to acknowledge how hard I work so I wouldnā€™t feel like they were ignoring it. This would be me trying to control the world and the people in it, which letā€™s face it, is exhausting and probably is not going to lead to the results Iā€™m looking for. Meaning, that if I try to get someone to compliment me, Iā€™m probably not going to feel better. Even if they do hear me out and give me a compliment, Iā€™m going to feel like they are only saying it because I basically told them to.


Brooke reiterates that we canā€™t decide what is happening to us but we get to decide how we respond. Similarly, I was craving some positive reinforcement. I didnā€™t feel like I was getting what I needed from others at the time, so I CREATED MY OWN WORLD. I built my own army of positive reinforcers that said encouraging, supportive and celebratory things to me. And you know what? The more they supported me, the better I felt. The better I felt the more I was able to give that support to others who may be struggling too.


BIG MAGIC


The further Brooke dove in, the more I couldnā€™t believe what I was hearing. I actually had to rewind it to hear it again. It was as if we had the same idea at the same time and had discussed it the night prior. I bring this up, not because I think Brooke stole my idea or that I stole her idea, but because it reminded me of this concept that really resonated for me from the book, BIG MAGIC, by Elizabeth Gilbert. Side note: If you are a creative person YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK. Actually, just if you are a person, in general, you should read the book! I bring it up because 1) I freakin LOOOOOVE it, and 2) she discusses ā€œideasā€ as if they are these cute little living things that float around the world basically looking for someone to birth them. I envision them kind of as fluffy dandelion petals blowing around looking for a place to land. Or in her, more eloquent words:


Ideas are floating about in the ethers looking for someone to bring them into creation and are driven by a single impulse, to be made manifest. Ideas spend an eternity swirling around us looking for willing and available human partners, and if youā€™re oblivious to it itā€™s message it will move on to someone else.


So, after hearing Brooke describe the same sentiment I had the night before, I feel like this is an idea that NEEDS TO GET OUT THERE. LIKE RIGHT NOW.  Maybe I am but one of many messengers but I was available, I got the message and I want to help bring it into the world however I can. The message being that there are loads of things that will happen around you that you cannot control. But THE GREATEST POWER YOU HAVE DOES NOT COME FROM WHAT IS HAPPENING AROUND YOU - IT COMES FROM WITHIN YOU. Brooke summarizes it nicely, saying something along the lines of, ā€œjust because we canā€™t control the things around us doesnā€™t mean we are powerless. We can control the way we think, the way we respond, and the way we act.ā€


So what will you do to feel powerful?

whoot whoot - welcome home!

I'M JUST TRYING MY BEST TO BE THE PERSON MY DOG THINKS I AM šŸ¶šŸ’•


Nothing can beat the feeling of coming home to @mollythemaltishit. As I walk from the driveway I can see her fluffy little face sitting on the stairs in front the window. just. waiting. for. me. (or if itā€™s nighttime and the curtains are closed, sticking her sweet little head through them šŸ˜‚šŸ‘€). Then I open the door and she does her happy dance (picture something in between a tap dance and skater jumps) while making this little chirping noise (eee eee eeee eee) until I follow her to the couch for a proper snuggle. 


Can you imagine if WE GREETED THE PEOPLE ON OUR LIVES like that? Okay maybe minus the dance moves, the chirping, and the belly rubs, but with the same ENTHUSIASM and EXCITEMENT! Wouldnā€™t the world be a happier place? Something to think about next time your roommate, your spouse, a friend, etc gets home - TRY ACTUALLY GREETING THEM, actually i.e. putting DOWN THE PHONE, GETTING OFF YOUR BUTT, giving them a GREAT BIG HUG and VOCALIZING how HAPPY YOU ARE TO SEE THEM.


It might feel strange at first because we are in the habit of being in our own ā€œzonesā€ (Iā€™ve there šŸ’šŸ¼ā€ā™€ļø), not looking up to acknowledge someone until weā€™ve hit send on that email (or finished that last brushstroke), and sometimes that may be necessary so you can get through your to do list. But sometimes those things can actually wait and prioritizing welcoming a person may be just what that person needs that day!


Adam was away on business and his flight was delayed so he wasnā€™t getting in until after I was going to be in bed. So I made a bunch of large notes and placed them on every stair going upstairs to the bedroom that made a message when read together. He said after a long trip home that the notes made him feel so welcome and happy to be home šŸ˜Š (side note: I ended up waking up anyway because molly heard him come in and did her traditional greeting dance šŸ’ƒšŸ¼ šŸ˜‚).


This is my long-winded way of saying ā€” WELCOME HOME! Iā€™M SO HAPPY YOU ARE HERE!  You can't see me but I am doing a tap dance and chirping.  Seriously.  And to prove how glad I am to see you here I'd like to give you this FREE Printable to remind you that YOU GOT THIS!


NEW BLOG - WHO DIS?

SOMETHING HAPPENED FOR ME


I was horrified when a client emailed me saying that she had tried going to my blog and that it didn't work.  Turns out the credit card that was on file had expired.  They had emailed me about it but with all of chaos of Holiday orders I hadn't even noticed!  So typical.


Usually, this sort of situation would cause me severe upper lip sweat and calling my husband in a panic.  But it's a new year so I tried a different approach.  I've heard that there are two ways of thinking:  (1) something happened to me or (2) something happened for me.  I could freak out that my blogs dead and gone but I figure that wouldn't really help anything so I'm choosing to believe that this happened for me.  It is an opportunity for a fresh start - and what better timing for a fresh start than at the start of a new decade?  So RIP to my old blog, Art Like a Ladie.


WHAT 2019 TAUGHT ME TO UNLEARN


Last year I had to UNLEARN a lot of things. I had to unlearn the LIMITING BELIEFS I had grown up with - to only do things that make money right away as opposed to having the confidence to BELIEVE IN MYSELF (and my dreams) and know that I am worth investing in. I have chosen a different path, moving away from my fear based / survival mode decisions and leaning into INSPIRED decisions.


In my illustrations, I created a new support system for myself - a team of people that lifted me up when I was feeling low. That encouraged me, that rooted for me and that just saw me for who I am (not who they wanted me to be). They celebrated my accomplishments and hard work. They helped me rediscover my strength and value. And, as last year came to a close, I realized that this ā€œinspirational teamā€ I created was actually ME.  


It is a journey but I am learning to ROOT FOR MYSELF again. That my value doesnā€™t come from what others opinions are about what I do - or do not do. That, even if no one understood my work or valued my art, I would still make it because it is WHAT SETS MY HEART ON FIRE. Unlike what had been so ingrained by those around me, my art doesnā€™t get its value from whether someone buys it or not. Nor does it come from what my family thinks of it. That freedom allowed me to create what was in my HEART instead of what I thought would sell. And, ironically, that is what seemed to resonate with you too! And for that I am so THANKFUL. Because I want you to have an ā€œinspirational teamā€ too - and, until you too realize that YOU are that team, I will happily be here in the interim, rooting for you. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE šŸ„³


Cheers to a year of health and happiness, peace and purpose,


šŸ’•Katie