WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH
March was women’s history month and it lived up to its name with many women literally making history right before our eyes.
For things to change they first must be CHALLENGED. I have so much respect for Meghan Markle speaking her truth last night with Oprah. We don’t get to the truth by silencing people and opinions different from our own. We get there by exchanging, examining and discussing opposing ideas (this doesn’t include the proliferation of doctored false narratives spread by humans and bots online).
While speaking of her mental health struggles, Meghan spoke of the courage it takes to admit that you need help. It also takes so much courage to stand up against a monarchy who’s preferred method of addressing racism is remaining silent publicly while condoning privately. Her interview was yet another reminder of why black history cannot live within the confines of the month of February. It’s not just something that 𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘥 - It is a living, evolving, story. For these reasons, I thought Meghan Markle really embodied what we celebrate for International Women's Day last month.
ANNIVERSARY OF BREONNA TAYLOR’S MURDER
Who would she have become? Where would she have gone? Who would she have met? What would she have done with the rest of her life? What if, instead of her death and murder creating her life’s legacy, she had been afforded the opportunity to create her own, by living?
We are all Sarah Everard. What happened to her could happen to any woman and that is very disturbing. If you somehow have missed it - Sarah, 33, was said to have “disappeared” while walking home on March 3rd. Turns out she didn’t disappear - her dead body was found a week later and a police officer, Wayne Couzens, has been charged with her kidnap and murder.
So much of the discussion has been focused on how she did the “right” things - like wearing bright clothes, running shoes, walking a well lit and populated route, checking in with her boyfriend, etc which has sparked another important dialogue to take place - why is the burden of women’s safety placed on women, rather than on the men that in most cases are the source of the violence against them? Why are women told to sacrifice their liberties to achieve a (often false) sense of temporary safety? Women are the ones that are told not to walk alone after dark, to be careful, to not go home alone, to not travel alone, to take self defense classes to know how to defend ourselves if/when someone tries to attack us, to text our friends or family when they get home, to be “smart,” to not drink too much, etc. Women are told these things our whole lives as if it is our responsibility to prevent violence against us. Which is why the #reclaimthesestreets movement is asking why the police demand women to make the sacrifice of changing our lives instead of demanding that men change and stop committing violence against women.
If you are a man reading this and thinking to yourself “yes but not all men…” Yes, not all men are violent against women BUT ALL women have experiences like this - being told what to avoid, how to and not to dress, have heard “well what was she doing…”, have faced harassment, or have either personally experienced or know someone who has experienced sexual assault or violence. If your response to women bravely sharing their personal experiences of this nature is to change the conversation to “not all men” you are part of the problem. If you actually want to help, heal and create change, what you have to do now is not talk but LISTEN. Then you can learn. And then we can bring about change. As Jameela Jamil posted the other day,
“It’s true that #notallmen harm women. But do all men work to make sure their fellow men do not harm women? Do they interrupt troubling language and behavior in others? Do they have conversations about women’s safety/consent with their sons? Are #allmen interested in our safety? You don’t get to exclude yourself from the wrong side unless you’re actively fighting on the right side. We have a duty to Sarah Everard to keep having these conversations and ensuring that her case is a catalyst for change.
We must do better, and we need both men and women to achieve this.”
HATE IS A VIRUS
Clearly, covid isn’t the only virus spreading and infecting us. Hate is a virus - let’s stop the spread. Although authorities seem hesitant to call the murder of 8 people, including 6 Asian women, hate crimes, it has, understandably, even further escalated the fear in the Asian community for their safety and for their lives.
I don’t think ignoring these issues of racism and discrimination is how we make the world a better place. Willful ignorance won’t stop the spread of hate. These are the kinds of discussions we ALL need to be having to combat hate by raising awareness of these issues and educating and equipping people with the tools to be able to respond and cope.
OTHER THINGS TO BEAR
about the tragedies that have happened in the past two weeks makes me think
what the victims families wouldn’t give for one more hug from their loved ones
and the fact that that possibility has been forever taken away from them.
Instead of bearing arms I wish we would
Give more BEAR HUGS,
BEAR WITNESS (instead of seeing the world only though our conditioned thinking and reactions, we let go of what we we came with, and with open ears, hearts and minds, we learn and listen),
BARE OUR SOLES (loosen the shackles/limitations of who we think we’re supposed to be and embrace who we really are),
Help other’s BEAR THEIR BURDENS (loving our neighbors in humbly serving others and offering support),
BARE OUR HEARTS (speak and share our truth),
And that we BEAR IN MIND that a misused/misfired bullet can permanently take away the possibility of all of these - from victims, from their families, from their communities, in a second.
IS OUR RENT
“Activism is my rent for living on the planet.” - Alice Walker
Privileged people think they can sit on the sidelines of social injustice but WE ARE ALL IN THE GAME. When you chose to use your privilege to not participate in issues of social justice that isn’t “being neutral” or “not being political” - it is enabling the injustice to continue and that privileged decision comes at the expense of your fellow humans. That is choosing a side.
It’s ensuring that there is a winner and loser. What if winning didn’t mean someone else had to lose? If it didn’t mean someone else must suffer for you to succeed? Instead of trampling over others to get to the top, maybe winning is when we work together to lift each other up 👩🏼🤝👩🏽
Do you find yourself constantly striving to "get ahead"? Have you ever taken a moment to think about how boring would it be if we actually could only go forward? How would you park so you could stop and get coffee at your favorite cafe? How would you dance if you couldn’t step back or to the side? We put so much pressure on ourselves to constantly go forward but maybe it’s the sudden turns, the unexpected detours, and the little rest stops that make life a hell of a fun ride. 🚗💨
ADD A SPRINKLE OF SPRING TO YOUR STEP
I have some very exciting news! I know you’ve been wanting some of my most popular prints on items that I don’t sell in my store and I wanted to make them available for you so Ladie Katie is now available on @Society6 bit.ly/Ladiekatieshop and on redbubble LadieKatie.redbubble.com
I’m talking mugs, notebooks, coasters, travel mugs, stationary, clothes, home decor, basically EVERYTHING. It’s quite a process uploading and formatting my art work to be available on all of these different things so please bare with me as I continue to add pieces/variations.
To celebrate, I created this new Mother’s day illustration that you can customize to look like you and your mini. It's available in a bunch of variations --different skin tones, hair colors, and with a little boy or little girl or both. It’s a bit nerve-racking to give up some of the control but I’m also really excited to hear what you all think of the new swag and I can’t wait to see all the different kinds of things you order! I hope you’ll continue to share your pics with me 🙏. And it means I can spend a little less time working on production and a little more time on creating magic 🌈
NO APRIL FOOLS HERE - JUST FREEBIES
Celebrate spring with this months new wallpaper and calendar download, available HERE, for free.
Also, as we all begin to get vaccinated (halleluih!) it's a great opportunity to continue to thank our health care workers for everything they have done the past year for us! I made the MASKS ARE THE NEW CAPES cards available for FREE download HERE. I'm not looking to make money off of them - I'm just looking to make a difference! And I hope you'll join me! No printer? No problem - you can also purchase a pack HERE.
I’m always giving you 110% percent as I live my life’s mission of sprinkling a little hope and happiness into peoples hearts and homes. If you like what I’m putting out there for you - like my free wall papers, calendars, printables and raising money/awareness for the causes I am passionate about, and want to help keep me fueled, you can now BUY ME A COFFEE here - I would be so appreciative of any support and just to know that you want me to keep sharing with you.
One step at a time - we'll get through this together!
APRIL 1, 2021
PAY BLACK WOMEN
How awesome is this sweatshirt designed by @cyndiespiegel , founder of @deargrownasswomen ? I ordered one and can’t wait to get it! Because one month to celebrate and learn about black history is so gravely inadequate - it is up to each of us to take responsibility and to do the work to to educate ourselves because BLACK HISTORY IS AMERICAN HISTORY. Black history isn’t something that “happened” - it is ongoing, and continues to shape who were are as individuals and as a nation. On average, in the U.S. Black women are paid 38% less than white men and 21% less than white women. From age 16, Black girls are paid less than boys the same age—and the gap only grows from there. The pay gap widens for educated Black women. Even when performing the same job, Black women get paid less. I’m a visual learner so I’ve included some helpful graphs I found from leanin.org.
But there is knowing and there is DOING. I’ve included a screen shot of some of Cyndie’s suggestions for supporting the work of Black women—oh AND she’s donating 10% of the profits to Therapy for Black Girls!
This sweatshirt is a great way to get that conversation started and to support Black women, whatever the color of your skin is. Get yours now HERE
And if you don’t know where to start on your educational journey, Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, @rachel.cargle , has been giving prompts this month for Black history that have really illuminated the holes in my understanding of black history, of our history.
SUPPORTING A SMALL BUSINESS IS SUPPORTING A DREAM
The thing about following your dreams, is that it isn’t just one step or decision - like today on the todo list is “follow dreams ✔️.” It is a commitment you must make every single day—to yourself & your dream—to be dedicated to adapt, restructure, and reevaluate, to get you one step closer to where you want to go. I don’t know why, but some people seem to dismiss small business owners as having a cute “hobby” or glamorize how easy we have it, working from home in our PJs and answering to no one. When in reality, running your own business to follow your dreams is terrifying. Rewarding as hell, but also terrifying. There’s no one “higher up” offering guidance or a pat on the back for a job well done. There aren’t many friends who can really understand the day to day ongoings of entrepreneurship because they haven’t experienced it. Furthermore, the lack of understanding often leads to a lack of even acknowledging it at all in my experience, which can be isolating & feel lonely. Additionally, for many creatives, it is an emotionally complicated relationship—It’s not just what we do - it’s who we are. And I can’t (& don’t want to) even imagine a world where creatives are extinct & no longer share their stories.
So even if you don’t totally understand the amount of blood, sweat, tears & fears that really go into someone following their dreams, if you want to live in a world where people follow them, now is the time to support them! I know many people are hurting right now & need to buckle down financially, so of course, please don’t spend money you don’t have. But, if you are fortunate enough to be able to give gifts to your loved ones, whether it be for a birthday or an anniversary, I urge you to consider supporting a small business. You will get a unique gift for your love, you’ll be supporting a small business & you will be supporting a dream. Your support says something - it says you believe in the power of their dream & are willing to put your money where your mouth is to keep it alive. That’s what “we’re in this together” looks like to me.
EARTH WITHOUT ART IS JUST EH
When I share my art it really feels like I’m sharing pieces of my heart - “art for your heart and home” isn’t just a tag line for me. I’m so thankful for those of you who support me and what I love which is why I send you freebies every month to thank you with LadiEmail. I know it’s been such a rough year for so many so I try to send out some positivity and love everyday. If you’re reading this, you are probably one of the people I am thankful for - for engaging with & supporting me/my art. So when I receive messages like the following, it feels like a vulture plucking out my heart. So many times I just ignore the messages but I keep on receiving request like this & it still hurts every time. No creative (or anyone really) deserves to be treated like (or to feel like) this & yet this is asked of us everyday. So when you support an artist - I don’t just mean by purchasing our art (which of course we appreciate!) - but also by commenting on our posts, signing up for our newsletters, liking our photos, sharing our work, etc - it also helps us combat the vultures that try to take advantage of us every day. The entitled people that think for some reason they can ask for us to work for free and provide them with our gifts without any reciprocation or compensation. Your support helps give us the confidence to know our value even though others try to demean it by saying it is valueless by suggesting we should give it away for free. It helps give us the strength to continue to share our gifts with the world and make it a more beautiful place for us all. This is not just about one rude person - this is about a societal issue that artists are treated in this way all the time. This is about the sad truth that, because our work is so personal/emotional/a piece of us (which is why it evokes so much emotion), when others behave in this way it is so demoralizing that many stop sharing their gifts. And what is the eARTh without art? Just EH
It is a hard balance of wanting to explain why it is not okay to ask this of a complete stranger & also wanting to protect my peace (b/c explaining it is emotionally draining). After sharing I got so many DMs that the post hit close to home so I thought I’d share a bit about it here too. For context, please see the original post/comments that were sent to me asking for my art for free above.
I have formed some really great relationships with some influencers & collaborated on projects that benefitted us both & were a joy to be a part of. The way this person went about it did not set things up for one of those situation.
So you want to COLLABORATE? Here are things
to keep in mind:
I am so grateful for the great many of you who are so supportive of me and my craft. The good/supportive people far outweigh the vultures who think they are entitled to my art for free. But because this behavior is SO PREVALENT in the creative community, I do feel that, although it is extremely emotionally draining to have to explain time and time again, it is my responsibility to at least try to explain why this behavior is so hurtful and rude. Because other creatives are hurting too and if my saying something prevents even one person from asking another artist for their work for free it is worth the effort of explaining.
EMOTIONALLY SENSITIVE - HANDLE WITH CARE
It’s been an emotional week. As you may have noticed by now I am an emotionally sensitive person. This doesn’t mean I’m fragile or easily broken. It means I am very in tune with my emotions and the emotions of others. ie I literally feel all the feels. I notice things others may miss. When others don’t, my feelings can get hurt.
There’s not a right way to be or a wrong way to be. But if you are emotionally sensitive too, it can sometimes feel lonely, but you aren’t alone. Your sensitivity isn’t a weakness it is a strength. You may find joy in small things, love deeper, feel more (good and bad) cry harder but laugh harder too. Often, highly sensitive people are gifted with creativity, artists, writers, musicians, etc.
My art helps me express & process my emotions. That is why it’s my love language. So when you receive your orders, just know it’s a little piece of my heart and it’s packed with a whole lotta love. AND IF YOU TOO ARE EMOTIONALLY SENSITIVE, THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU. YOU ARE DIFFERENT. AND THAT IS YOUR GIFT 💝 And I want to use my gift to remind you of how special and wonderful you are every. Single day. That’s what these day one planners are about. I hope they make you feel Seen. Remind you of all that you have to offer this world. You don’t have to change at all to have value. You are loved just the way you are. And If you want to better yourself for yourself that’s great too. Either way, I’m going to be cheering you on. Because I think we can all benefit from a little more cheer, a little more support, a little more encouragement, and little more love 💗
I am very emotionally sensitive - I
shared that in my stories this morning. I also shared in my stories that another artist is trying to publicly
shame me for using a hashtag and now members of his community are harassing me. Here’s what happened. I had used a hashtag that I saw another
artist use because I thought it would connect me to other
artists/creatives. I got a message that
I needed to remove that hashtag anywhere I used it because this person wanted
to monitor how it was used. I responded
that I didn’t want to interfere with this persons use of a hashtag but also
didn’t want to remove my posts, go through every post individually to remove
it, (I am trying to run a business and support myself as an artist after all
& didn’t know if I’d have time to go through all the posts and also get my
orders out to my customers), so that I would look up if there was a way to just
remove it from all of my posts at once and I would get back to him. Before I could even get back to him (that I
couldn’t find an option as described), he started posting to his followers
about me & some other artists for being selfish people & other
disparaging comments (I’ve included the screenshots). This emboldened the other members of this
“kind artist community” to send messages (some examples included in which,
unlike how they have been continuing to post about me using my handle, I have
crossed out their names for the time being) that I’d rather promote myself and
my art over a movement like BLM, that I am selfish, etc. What? Any one who follows me or my work knows that I have been creating work
to support Black Lives Matter and raising money for the cause since the
protests began. I have been very active
in the dialogue taking place, and I’ve been sharing parts of my educational
journey, for example, most recently, participating & sharing some of
@Rachel.cargles daily prompts this month for black history, to further my
understanding and in hopes that others (who maybe haven’t reflected previously)
may be encouraged to educate themselves as well. I obviously, no longer wish to be a part of
this community that favors public execution of artists like myself for using a
hashtag. I also do not think that that
it is okay to try to publicly shame people for doing something they are 100%
legally allowed to do. No one can own a
hashtag and, as a lawyer, I have a problem with this bullying/shaming approach
of listing fellow artists handles to cause a backlash to them for not using a
hashtag in the way that he wants it to be used. I haven’t used this hashtag in months (and clearly will not ever use it
again because I don’t want to be associated with a group that would treat its
members in this way - i.e. a group that aims to monopolize how people express
themselves creatively and uses censorship to promote their own agenda). If he asked people not to use a hashtag and
they still use it, they are welcome to do so and should not be publicly shamed
for that. What he is doing is called
censorship, I absolutely refuse to be censored here or anywhere. I also do not wish to censor any other
artists or their view points.
My experience of bullying was very surreal - it was my first experience of bullying since law school (where I founded the association of law students for disability rights to advocate for making the law school curriculum more accessible to students with disabilities). In a nutshell, someone didn’t like the way I used a hashtag and started posting unkind and untrue statements attacking my character, multiple times. Sadly, it was from someone who is also a part of the creative community for which I advocate for and care so deeply. I’d like to take this negative experience and turn it into something beautiful - because heck, that’s what artists do. For every like of my bullying post l donated 25 cents and for every comment tagging another person, sharing it, I donated $1 up to $100 to The Cybersmile Foundation (a nonprofit organization promoting kindness, diversity and inclusion by building a safer, more positive digital community while taking on online bullying). So far we have raised $675!
If you’d also like to contribute to the cause that would be awesome too here is the go fund me link http://bit.ly/ColorwithKindnessFundraiser (link in bio).
Because although often misunderstood, under appreciated and under paid, artists are amazing and the story tellers of our time. We deserve to be treated with the same respect and dignity as any other profession. We get there by supporting one another, raising each other up, (not promoting hate, bullying and public shaming). So let’s color with kindness, outside of the lines (or dots) and make something beautiful today and stand up against bullies!
DOING GOOD ISN’T A COMPETITION 💗
What I mean is that someone else doing good deeds/work doesn’t negate the good that you are doing. Doing good + doing good = even bigger impact. (And for the grammar police I don’t mean doing 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 - I mean doing kind things, things for others, etc. However, even if it’s not grammatically correct, the message still applies to doing well too).
For example, with my anti bullying fundraiser, whether you donate $1 or $10, those dollars add up! The good you are contributing too (both the anti bullying cause and, on a more selfish note I suppose, letting me know you support me)
makes a difference. If every person following my account donated 1 dollar we could raise
$1400 to combat cyber bullying - wouldn’t that be incredible? We aren’t competing here for who can do the
most good for the world because WE’RE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM. And when we work together, the collective
good we create is unstoppable! So if you
Me: I feel like I’m
Adam: You’re not running behind - you’re the only one in the race
The other day I went to the post office. My orders fell out from my overflowing bag and as I was collecting them from around my car, I could feel the eyes of the dog in the car next to me watching my every move. He looked like the bear muppet but with curlier hair. When I got out of the car the muppet dog stuck his head out of the window to greet me. Intently looking down at her mail, I told his mom how cute he was and how he was watching me so determinedly. She was a bit startled that I had said something. She then perked up with the biggest smile on her face and turned to him in the back, proudly asking is “that true - were you making friends?” We exchanged some other pleasantries & eventually I headed into the post office. She left the parking lot smiling and chatting with her dog. I hope when you see my art it makes you feel this way. I hope it wakes you up from the mundane things we do everyday on autopilot and reminds you of the importance of connecting with another person. I hope it makes you feel seen. Heard. Flattered. Celebrated. I hope you leave the parking lot with a big smile on your face with an open heart, ready to take on the day, knowing you’re not alone, that someone out there is eager to meet you and your muppet dog 🐶❤️.
I hope that I am able to continue to make you feel that way but I will admit that it is a lot of work. Even though it was my best year for Ladie Katie, in a day where everyone’s looking for the cheapest deal and free shipping, I can’t compete and I’m not. The expectation that an Etsy seller can operate like that is a fallacy. I know that, to many, it seem like an unrealistic goal, but I want to change the world - even if it’s one heart at a time. Turns out that’s an expensive endeavor (in money, in time, & in emotions). So just as as a heads up - if your eyes and heart have been lusting over something get your order in ASAP because, starting next week, I will be limiting the amount of orders I fill to take some time to re-asses how I’ve been operating and make some changes.
You don’t always have to get it right - you just have to show up. AND KEEP SHOWING UP!
So much of running your own business has to do with experimenting and accepting the fact that not everything will work out the way you thought it would or hoped it would. Things that work for someone else’s business may not work for yours. There’s not one recipe to follow. Any time you have to invest in yourself it is scary. But entrepreneurs do the things that are scary. It’s not that we take risks because we aren’t afraid. We are afraid. But our dreams are at least as big as, if not bigger than, our fears, so we do it anyway - scared and all. By running Ladie Katie, I’ve invested in myself and my dreams more than in anything else, even in becoming a lawyer (I mean, how many people do you know who are using the money they make selling their art to pay off their law school loans? It’s as crazy as it sounds). I’m not giving up on my dream but I will be taking some time to figure out how to best get there and, to do that, I will need to process less orders for a bit. So, if you’ve had your eyes on something in the shop, now is the time to place your order. I have the latest batch of the DAY ONE planners on my desk ready to CHEER YOU ON EVERYDAY and one more shipment arriving next week. After that they will no longer be available. To everyone that’s purchased them already, THANK YOU FOR BELIEVING IN MY DREAMS. Thank you for SUPPORTING them. INVEST IN YOURSELF and GET ONE. TAKE THE RISK. FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS. Aim for progress over perfection. Face your fears. Value yourself. Celebrate your accomplishments. Whatever you do, JUST KEEP GOING. KEEP SHOWING UP. TODAY IS DAY ONE. I believe in you 💗.
Behind the clouds the suns still shining ☀️.
No one can take your light. They may try to block it, to dim it, to demean it or to dismiss it. But the clouds don’t stop the sun from doing it’s thing - shining! You can’t control the haters but you can keep doing you and KEEP ON SHINING ✨. To my yogis and otherwise, the light within me honors and acknowledges the light within you.
What if, instead of underestimating what we are capable of, we overestimated? Or overestimated our value instead of underestimating it? What would we try? What would we go for? Just something to think about as we head into the weekend.
YOU ARE ENOUGH
←This is what the inside of my head looked like yesterday in shavasana. After, I did this quick doodle to capture it and thought I’d share it in case it speaks to anyone else today. ❤️
Not sure how last month was March and this month is March again, are you? Either way, download the March Calendar Printable FREEBIE HERE. Let's not count the days but MAKE EVERY DAY COUNT!
I believe in you!
MARCH 1, 2021
“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” – Maya Angelou, “On the Pulse of Morning,” 1993
January made us all painfully aware that our shameful “history” of treating people differently based on the color of his or her skin is not really history at all. It is as real and as present as the eyes on my face. Like many white people, due to the color of the face in which those eyes happen to reside, I had the privilege of averting my gaze when faced with any potentially awkward or uncomfortable racial “issues.” In recent months, I have wrestled with the white privilege I have benefited from. Not accepting that that is right or just - because it certainly is not - but acknowledging to myself that it has framed my perspective of the world and that that perspective (ie my perspective) is not representative of the collective experience of many Americans.
Most people know that February kicks off black history month. I hope that, especially in light of recent events, those who historically may let the month go unnoticed, will open their hearts, minds and eyes, to the reality of our history – because black history is American history. Black history is not a footnote. It’s impact/importance/pain cannot (and should not) be contained between the walls of February 1 and February 28th.
Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, founder of the Great Unlearn, is an author/lecturer/educator/advocate, who has dedicated her life to the exploring the intersection of race and being a woman. For black history month she has offered prompts for us all to explore and educate ourselves about. Today she prompted followers to look up “the Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project.” If you don’t know what this is, I’ll let you explore and find out yourself because I think that is what is needed right now – for us each to take personal responsibility to not only educate ourselves about our past, but to chose to participate in creating a different future.
I can’t pretend to know how it feels to be a POC but I am committed to see, hear, support and stand with black lives because they matter. And it’s all of our jobs to make his dream a reality. Also, in the spirit of MLK, who couldn’t have spread his message without the help of/inspiration from the strong women in his life - like his wife, Corretta Scott King, mom, Alberta Williams King and so many other female leaders (Ella Baker, Dorothy Cotton, Jo Ann Robinson, Mahalia Jackson, Dorothy Height) - here are some women that I look to for guidance right now: @mspackyetti , @thegreatunlearn curated by the @rachel.cargle, @i_weigh and @mengwe
I WILL NOT BE A BYSTANDER
This illustration was inspired by another recent post by @rachel.cargle. She discussed how so many white people have taken to the sidelines, thinking that it’s enough to not be intentionally racist but leaving actively combatting racism to others. I have seen bloggers, influencers and companies take this approach, avoiding mentioning what is really happening in America or beating around the bush with vague statements of “heartache’ (but no mention of what caused it), attempting to maintain “neutrality” (i.e. not offend any followers or customers). But remaining silent or tip toeing around the issue (i.e. not actively condemning the discriminatory, abhorrent treatment of POC in America) is not a passive or neutral act. It contributes to the bystander effect discussed by Cargle. We all see the urgent injustice but think someone else will take care of it instead of US ALL taking personal responsibility to be involved in creating the unity, equality and peace we claim we want (and sometimes pretend is already in existence).
So, whether it’s in the
streets, on social media or even when I’m at home in my pjs, I am committed to
not being a bystander of injustice, of bigotry, of white supremacy, of racism,
of discrimination, or of the promotion of false information and baseless
claims. If I see something, I will say
something. I hope you will join me.
Like @michelleobama so eloquently put it in her post the other day - “the work of putting America back together, of truly repairing what is broken, isn’t the work of any individual politician or political party. It is up to each of us to do our part. To reach out. To listen. And to hold to the truth and values that have always led this country forward. It will be uncomfortable, sometimes painful process. But if we enter into it with an honest and unwavering love of our country, then maybe we can finally start to heal.”
THE HILL WE CLIMB
“We've seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it,
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
And this effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed,
It can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth, in this faith we trust.
For while we have our eyes on the future,
History has its eyes on us.”
Amanda Gorman, The Hill We Climb
Who else was blown away by Amanda Gorman’s poem? All I can say is WOW. Ok, actually I can say a lot more. It felt like anthem to my soul. It gave me goosebumps. I wish I could remember every single line to replay the melody in my head. The one about how we aren’t broken we’re just “unfinished” really hit my heart strings. As well as the one about what stands between us isn’t as important as what stands before us. And as we grieved we grew. I hope that these words will resonate with everyone. That, although it certainly will be a hard hill to climb, that if we work together we can get to the top. That our story is up to us.
In preparation for the comments I anticipate getting about posting an illustration of this historical moment, of people announcing their leaving, of saying unkind things about our elected leaders, I will channel my inner Biden that “disagreements must not lead to disunion.”
We can disagree without being disrespectful. Let’s hear each other out. A difference of opinions is an opportunity for us to learn and grow from one another.
You are always welcome to share your opinion here, I just ask that we do it respectfully, without name calling.
“The American story depends not just on one of us, or some of us, but on all of us.” - President Joe Biden, 46th President of the United States of America
YOUR WORDS WILL GO MORE PLACES THAN YOU EVER WILL
Your words will go more places than you ever will. I remember hearing the saying “sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me” when I was younger and honestly thinking it was a load of crap. Words are so powerful. When used to incite violence they can cause destruction or even death. When used to bully, they can pray on our insecurities, destroy our confidence and breed hate. When used to deliver an apology they can make room for healing to begin. When used to comfort, they can make us feel less alone. When used to inspire, they can plant the seeds of hope❤️. As they pull on our heart strings, they can also pull us together. And when we work together we can do anything. Thank you Amanda for sharing your amazing gift with us.
SHOW ME THE LOVE
I am excited to get started on some new custom portraits for you now that I’ve reopened some spaces. I feel like, especially with things how they are right now, these family illustrations just mean even that much more. Custom portraits are such a special and timeless way tO SHOW someone you LOVE them (even if it has to be at a safe distance for the time being). I thought I’d share 10 FAQ below if you are interested in working with me this year.
❤️FOREVER VALENTINE ❤️
Valentine’s Day has made its way to the shop! “Forever Valentine” is now available for girl and boy moms and with an add on option to add all your kiddos! Customize the skin tone for you and your mini 💕.
YOU ARE PEACHY
I was listening to the Life School Podcast the other day and Brooke said something that really resonated with me. She said that if someone doesn’t like peaches we don’t blame the peach or the person for not liking it. We’re just like “well some people don’t like peaches.” It may be the most beautiful, juicy peach but if someone doesn’t like peaches they aren’t going to like it. Apples are more popular & widely liked, so peaches may be tempted to try to be an apple. But if you are a peach you aren’t ever going to be a good apple. Instead of trying to be an apple to please others & blaming yourself when you fail to be a good one, why not just be - and embrace - the peach that you are?
I know I’m not an apple. When I was younger I would get so frustrated that things that seemed so simple for others seemed to be a struggle for me. I never brought home the right books, assignments took me longer to complete, I’d get in trouble for talking too much, I was always, noticeably, the shortest person in the class, etc. I just wanted to be an apple.
In law school, I was told to be an apple, to only focus on studying, that being at the top of the class was the only thing that mattered. But mattered to who? Not to me - impact & connection are what matter to me & can’t be summarized in a number or a letter. I realized that the parts of me that were different were the areas where, if fully embraced, I could shine the most. The older I get, the less I’ve wanted to be an apple. I realized that the challenges I’ve faced from not being an apple, make me a better peach. They’ve pushed me to learn how to stand up for myself which also taught me how to stand up for others. The things I was told to suppress to be an apple - like my creativity - were the very things that made me a special peach.
So this year I will lose the weight...of other people’s opinions. Of other people’s expectations, of self doubt. What heavy burdens these are to bare. I think I’ll take them all to the dump along with 2020 thank you very much 🗑.
If you find yourself torn between what/who you know you are and what/who others (or even yourself) want you to be, I hope the messages in this years 2021 DAY ONE planner remind you to embrace whatever kind of fruit you are. It’s not a basic apple planner - it’s a rogue, empowering, kind, loving, bad ass, peach planner. I am so grateful for you support of the planners and truly hope that they inspire you every single day! Take a peek below. Order yours now before they're sold out.
IF THEY ONLY GIVE YOU ISSUES, CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION
As an emotionally sensitive person (which, Hi 🙋🏼♀️,yes, I am), I can struggle with emotional fatigue. When people act poorly, are unkind, or are inconsiderate, it can weigh on me. And it feels like there is a lot of this going on right now.
We all make mistakes. That’s just part of being alive. I think 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲𝘀 𝘂𝘀 𝗵𝘂𝗺𝗮𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵, 𝗶𝘀 𝗯𝗲𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗴𝗶𝘇𝗲 for the hurt our mistakes have caused (I mean it’s “human𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘥” not “human-𝘰𝘶𝘵-𝘧𝘰𝘳-𝘩𝘪𝘴-𝘰𝘳-𝘩𝘦𝘳-𝘰𝘸𝘯-𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧”). Apologies can be incredibly powerful, validating, and healing. Unfortunately, some people, lack empathy. They think that if they did not intentionally cause harm, they are not at fault. If they are not at fault, there’s no need to apologize for something. However, whether the harm was intended or not, it still exists. If I trip on a crack in the sidewalk, it hurts to faceplate on the pavement. I didn’t intend to fall, but it still hurt when I hit the ground.
So, although, apologies are a good starting place for heeling and growth, when someone is unwilling to be vulnerable and/or accountable, it is up to you to prioritize your own healing. Acknowledge your pain. It is justified. It is valid. It deserves kindness and compassion—𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘪𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮. If someone is more concerned with comforting their own ego than comforting your hurt feelings, it’s up to you to 🅄🄽🅂🅄🄱🅂🄲🅁🄸🄱🄴.
So, although this is the season of love and it may seem counterintuitive, you can have love for someone in your heart without keeping them in your life. This month (and always), remember to show yourself love.
LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED...BUT FREEBIES ARE GOOD TOO
Maybe love is really all you need - but I am not one to say no to a freebie! Click HERE to download this months phone wallpapers (2 options available) and the February Calendar Printable.
Sending you lots of love this month and always.
Raise your hand if you’re guilty of this one 🙋🏼♀️. I sure am. It is, of course, easier said than done. But in times where I may find myself overwhelmed (for example, trying to survive this apocalypse) I can default to making my own paranoid assumptions about other people’s actions. But just because I’ve imagined a reason behind someone’s behavior does not mean that it is true. When my mind is trying to fill in the gaps in the information I have, I try to remind myself that it is just as possible that the world is conspiring to do good. So, as we head into a new year, my gift to myself is practicing trying to be a little less paranoid, a little more pronoid and to remember to keep perspective that everyone’s just trying the best they can right now.
Idk about you, but for me, this year is all about being grateful for the little things. Maybe it’s for your coffee. Maybe it’s for your Amazon socks that included a note for you to have a happy life. Maybe it’s for your floppy hat that hides your dirty hair. Maybe it’s for meeting up with your bestie outdoors for a distanced picnic/gossip sesh. If you want a daily gratitude reminder this print was just listed in the shop HERE .
3. MAKE YOUR HEAD A NICE PLACE TO BE
If you’re going to be stuck in your head you might as well make it a nice place right?
Challenge - write YOURSELF a love letter today with all the things you love about yourself ✍🏻💌
And question the motives of anyone who does! With the start of a new year is the beginning of the onslaught of ads telling you to change yourself. They want you to believe that you aren’t good enough as you are because if you were happy just as you are right now why would you buy their products to “fix” yourself?
You don’t need to make yourself smaller. You don’t need to compromise or accept less than what you deserve. You are not an appliance or electronic needing an upgrade. A number doesn’t summarize your value - whether it be the one on the scale, a plus one (or lack there of) on a wedding invite, or how many likes your post gets. Please grow, change, and evolve but know there is nothing to “fix.” You are enough, right now, just as you are.
5. YOU ARE A GIFT
Dontchya forget it!
my top 9 makes me sad, thankful and proud. Sad because of all the heartache this year caused. For all the people
& families who lost loved ones, to racism or covid or both. That we let
things get so bad. That we failed to
keep each other safe. For the healthcare
workers risking their lives while fighting for ours & the toll of that.
That so much division, selfishness, hate, discrimination & bigotry
exists. Sad that all of this has been
going on all along but that it took a global pandemic & televised lynchings
to expose it to some of us.
I am sad I haven’t seen my family in a year. But I am thankful they are alive (minus the loss of my aunt to covid). For the essential workers keeping us alive. For the healthcare workers fighting for our lives every day. For everyone that is making the sacrifice of not seeing loved ones to help prevent the spread of covid. For the people that bravely risked their lives & stood up against racial and social injustice. For the technology that enables me to stay connected with my friends & family. For the friends that have treated me like family. For the strangers in the street wearing masks. For the people respecting social distancing even though we could all really use a hug right now.
This year I shared my truth. Sometimes it wasn’t popular but I shared it anyway. I didn’t hide behind brand neutrality when it came to the things I am passionate about or that really matter. I am not proud of the story but I feel proud to play even the smallest role in telling it with my art. Because this year was horrible but it needs to be remembered. Not for whatever fleeting lessons an Instagram celebrity posts about her success during a pandemic. But for what we have lost. For what was taken. For the role we all played in that. So that we don’t let it continue. So that we start to take better care of one another. So that we can be better neighbors & better people.
We can’t wipe the slate clean by denying that there’s dirt on it. Now we do the work. We acknowledge the dirt and grime. We take off the blinders and force ourselves to see the mess we have made. We willfully address it, denounce it and remove it. We stay vigilant and wipe often to keep it clean. Our homes. Our hands. Our hearts. Our minds.
VOICE MATTERS 🗣
It may seem silly that I am constantly surprised by how the little messages I’ve sprinkled throughout last years planner/calendar manage to still resonate with me (considering that I am the one that put them there 😜). But I think deep down everyone craves some kind of confirmation and encouragement that they are doing the right thing or doing a good job. Kind of like the horoscopes in magazines - I don’t know how legitimate their interpretations of the stars are but when you would read one that said this month you’ll find love or money or whatever it may be, did it not put a little extra pep in your step or cause you to keep an eye out for such things?
It’s not easy running my own business, managing orders and messages, packing, shipping, creating, etc and also staying on top of my monthly blog posts and newsletter. Especially this time of year when it’s crunch time for the holidays it can feel like “why bother with this month’s newsletter, no one cares.”
One of the messages for last month’s calendar is “your voice matters.” As I struggled with a technical problem getting the newsletter out I saw a message from one thoughtful follower that said “you’re the best. You always see the positive in things. I love following you. Makes my day.” The combination reminded me that my voice matters. And, like this kind comment that pulled me out of a funk when I needed it, let this be your reminder that YOUR VOICE MATTERS too. It is powerful. It can make a difference in someone’s day. What will you do with it?
For more reminders like this one, download the January 2021 Calendar for FREE HERE.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
So Happy New Year friends! We did it - we survived 2020. And if we can do that, we can do anything. If you don't believe that, I'd love to convince you otherwise, EVERY SINGLE DAY. Up for the challenge? CLICK HERE
WE'RE IN THIS TOGETHER.
Thank you for being here.
JANUARY 2, 2021
With the holiday season in full swing and how different it will be this year, the idea of not taking anything for granted is on my mind and on my heart.
A WOMAN'S PLACE IS WHEREVER SHE WANTS
"I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify. Who doesn't see red states and blue states, only sees the United States," - President Elect Joe Biden
President Elect Joe Biden and Vice President elect Kamala Harris’s speeches gave me goosebumps. Discussing it with my friend Lauren, I said I had forgotten what this feeling was - it was JOY. I actually took notes while listening to their speeches - I just wanted to hold onto their words and this feeling for a little longer. My favorite part of Kamala’s speech was this:
“But while I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities. And to the children of our country, regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourselves in a way that others may not, simply because they’ve never seen it before, but know that we will applaud you every step of the way.”
I was moved by much of what Biden said about unifying our nation, but this part just really hit me - “we lead not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.”
YOUR VOICE, YOUR CHOICE
“Life is less about what happens to you and more about how you chose to respond.” Trent Shelton
Trent Shelton posted this the other day and if you followed my stories at the beginning of the month, it might make sense why it spoke to me. Here’s the gist of it if you missed it - I posted some illustrations of the President and Vice President elect. I received a surprising backlash from followers—hundreds unfollowing me and some posting unkind comments. It wasn’t that people unfollowed me that I found disheartening - it was that merely sharing an illustration depicting an opposing view would elicit such a response. The thought that people with differing opinions could no longer even exist in the same space let alone engage is some civil discourse about the issues we are facing really saddened me and I felt compelled to share that sentiment in my stories.
For those that chose to stick around and engage, I think we had some really interesting and fruitful conversations. Not because we agreed about everything (in many cases we didn’t) but because, despite disagreeing, we still maintained a dialogue. We heard each other out. Perhaps it’s the lawyer in me but, I admit, I do love a healthy debate and exchange of ideas.
I know this has been an emotional time and there are many differing opinions and feelings about the election. But I truly believe we can continue to have conversations while still remaining kind. We can share our point of view and our beliefs without insulting or demeaning the views of others. It is that very freedom - the freedom to articulate our varying opinions and ideas without the fear of retaliation, censorship or legal repercussions - that makes America the great country that it is.
Whether we have similar political views or polar opposite ones, you are welcome here. If I post something you disagree with and you have something to offer for an opposing argument, please feel free to share it in the comments. I encourage the reasoned and respectful sharing of ideas because these discussions are how we change and evolve as a society and democracy and also as people. Not by restricting the viewpoints we surround ourselves with to those that conform to our own but by being exposed to other ways of thinking. I just ask that we share our views civilly, without name calling. And if you are not ready for that right now that’s okay too - I wish you the best. You’re welcome to return whenever you’d like 👋🏻
In your responses about the backlash and sharing your stories with me, I also realized one overarching, reoccurring theme of so many of your messages that I wanted to share with you and that is HOPE. That although so many of us find ourselves swimming in a sea of chaos and uncertainty, we still have HOPE. People have lost their jobs, have lost loved ones from covid, have suffered the injustices of a system build on racism, and yet we are still hopeful. Hopeful that things can get better and hopeful that they WILL get better. I don’t know if things happen for a reason. What I have taken away though, is that when something happens to a person who has hope, that hope supplies a reason.
A person without hope may see one path forward, a storm comes and obstructs the road he’s traveling on and he thinks, “I guess that’s that, it ends here.” A person with hope will look around the same scattered branches and debris and look for another path the storm has cleared, or which branches to move to create a new route or maybe she’ll decide to go in a new direction all together to a place that wasn’t even on her radar.
I WILL NOT TAKE TODAY FOR GRANTED 🙏🏻
Yesterday evening I took a break from my orders and went for a cruise along the beach 🚲.
When it was time for the sun to set, I noticed that maybe half of the people around stopped what they were doing, admiring the beautiful colors painted in the sky and reflecting on the water. Many people had their phones out taking pictures to make the moment last just a little longer.
Some people carried on their business, talking on the phone, running to their destination, practicing their long boarding, seemingly oblivious to the sun’s magnificent performance. There’s a lot of heaviness around us right now. But maybe there are also many things (however small) to be grateful for if we take a moment to notice them and show them gratitude 🙏🏻💕. What’s something that maybe you’ve taken for granted in recent months?
Here’s how I’m expressing my gratitude this month
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Every year for as long as I can remember, we go to our family friends house in Carmel and celebrate with a whole hodgepodge of family and friends. Obviously, we couldn’t celebrate in this way because of covid this year but I was determined to still make it special. I love home design and décor so I took this as an opportunity to get some new things for our home for when we can have company again and to make our space feel festive.
I also recreated the famous jello recipe that our friend Linda makes every year which really just tastes like thanksgiving to me. That is about as far as my cooking skills take me though, so Molly and I were in charge of cleaning the house and décor and Adam (thank goodness) cooked up a storm.
It was definitely different from other Thanksgivings but it still was a lovely one for the books and I’m so grateful that we were able to celebrate.
the little things in life which includes making these little scrap wood houses. Adam helped me cut the roofs, and I just used
hot glue and acrylic paint to bring them to life. I love giving each one it’s own little
personality. I've scattered them all over the house and every time I see them I hear Belle singing "Little town full of little people..."
See the video for how we made them.
OH MY CLAUDE
Claude got a makeover. He was in okay shape but life had gotten the better of him and he had lost his sparkle (as well as an arm, some prongs on his crown, etc). He was in need of some (pink) TLC. With a little attention, some acrylic paint, hot glue, pink fur, sparkles, and love, he’s not living his best life.
The DAY ONE planner is NOW AVAILABLE! So freaking excited to have another opportunity to CHEER YOU ON all year long! If you’re looking for your average, plain Jane, planner, you won’t find that here! This planner is your reminder that any day can be your DAY ONE. It is your permission slip to yourself to take up space and to dream big. It will be your teacher, encouraging you to be your own biggest fan. Every calendar, planner, and note page is packed with inspirational illustrations and motivational messages that celebrate you and pump you up!
So if you’re ready to get this party started visit HERE
SHOP SMALL AND GIVE BIG
I've been sharing in my stories on Instagram some of my favorite small business for you to check out!
Also make sure you check out all of the new prints now available in the holiday section of the shop. You can even download your own customizable holiday cards!
HANG IN THERE
So, hang in there warrior - and KEEP ON GOING! Keep your eyes and heart and mind open to a path forward and you will find one. Thank you for being you.
DECEMBER 2, 2020
PS HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRITNEY! I LOVE YOU
“Life imitates art far more than art imitates life” - Oscar Wilde, The Decay of Lying (1891)
The other day I posted an illustration of Molly and myself holding a sign that says “you got this” (it’s also on my phone case as a daily reminder). I actually got dressed (not just in leggings), Molly had a shower the night before so she was extra floofy and beautiful, and I had packed up a good pile of orders ready to ship. So we were feelin’ ourselves 💁🏼♀️🐶 and took a pic in our staircase before heading to the post office (which - spoiler alert - was closed because it was a holiday yesterday 🤦🏼♀️). Later, I noticed that the pic we took pretty much mirrored the “you got this” vibes of the illustration I had posted. It made me think about the Wilde quote above and how art affects the way we look at the world around us. I know I’ve told you before that when I was so badly craving for the people around me to say encouraging and supportive words about my work and business and not receiving it, I was inspired to create my own world of support. These inspirational illustrations and messages that told me all the things I was wanting to hear, became the foundation of this years “Someday is Today” planner. The more I drew the supportive illustrations and messages the more I FELT them. It is such a beautiful gift to have the opportunity to share my art with YOU everyday. I can only hope that it opens your eyes in a new way to the beauty that is around you everyday and even inspires you to create the life you’ve dreamed of - even if you have to draw it one frame at a time 💕.
ONE DAY or DAY ONE?
I am just too excited to share the DAY ONE 2021 planner cover with you finally!
Last week was our one year anniversary of packing up our comfortable lives in San Francisco to move to Redondo Beach for a new adventure. We didn’t need to (ie it wasn’t for a new job for ex) but we chose to move outside of our comfort zone just to see what would happen and give ourselves more space to grow. Instead of continuing to say “maybe one day we’ll live by the beach” we decided to make it happen. And I’m so glad that we did when we did.
It can feel safest to wait for a reason to make a change - for example, your lease is up and you have to move anyway, you got transferred somewhere, etc - for someone else to initiate a reaction for you to make a change. But since it’s our one year anniversary of moving, I thought I’d just throw out a reminder that any day can be your DAY ONE. You can CHOOSE to be YOUR OWN REASON FOR CHANGE. If YOU are your reason for making today day one, this planner is for YOU.
I believe in magic ✨. Not just the seasonal hocus pocus but the kind we can find everyday:
♡Planting a seed and watching it turn into a plant 🌱
♡Believing in yourself even when it feels like the world doesn’t (yet)
♡Dolphins swimming right under my paddle board last week
♡Meeting an Australian in San Francisco just visiting from the other side of the world who eventually becomes your husband
♡ The fact that ducks can live in the sky, water and land (highly suspicious but also magic)
♡The gash on your elbow from a childhood tricycle race healing itself (but leaving a war wound)
♡The power of a supportive friend that rallies beside you
♡Being able to recreate special memories for my clients to re-live or creating new moments for them to experience with my art
♡Existing in a world that has lactaid and chocolate chip cookies 🍪
♡Living your dream
I hope the DAY ONE 2021 planner reminds you to keep your eyes and heart open to the magic around us everyday 💕.
I’m holding up one of the 5 cover options (so far) - stay tuned this week for preorder deets 🤗🤗🤗
Tell me about the magic you believe in in the comments ⬇️
It's all make believe, isn't it?
I hope everyone had a spooktacular and safe Halloween 🎃. We got dressed up, took Molly on a walk, made some festive treats, and watched the Addam’s family. It was different but it was nice. What did you do this year?
♡ SOMETIMES MIRACLES ARE JUST GOOD PEOPLE WITH KIND HEARTS ♡
Does anyone else turn into a puddle during the “all good news” portion of the news? I love that often kindness doesn’t cost a thing but it can mean everything to the person receiving it. Isn’t it amazing that we all are born with this gift inside of us (ie kindness) that we can give to others (and ourselves) at our discretion? What a lovely power to have 😌.
Below are just some things that made me happy this month.
Click here to edit text
We’re going into the holiday season and there is still so much uncertainty - about whether to see family members, about job security, about how to best keep your loved ones and yourself healthy. I don’t have the answers to these questions for you all unfortunately but I do believe that when you give - even if it’s just a little - when you’re able to it can make a big difference. That's why I joined forces with some other amazing small shops twice this month to bring a little cheer to one of our followers. They each one $500 worth of goodies!
If you want to know about future giveaways like this make sure to follow me on instagram.
All of my fall favorites are available now as a cute wallpaper for your phone. I'm just trying to do little things to remind us of things we love and that make us happy.
KEEP ON GOING!
I'm believing in you until YOU believe in YOU! WE GOT THIS!
NOVEMBER 2, 2020
lounge sets, PSLs, PIE, fluffy slippers, pumpkin everything, slouchy boots,
hats on hats, PIE, Buffalo plaid everything, chunky sweaters, snuggling your
barefoot blanket, and did I mention PIE? ... some my favorite fall things 🍁 🥧 ☕️ 👒🧣🎃👢Have
I missed anything? Just listed this fall faves print in the shop - I’m hanging
it in my office and I can’t wait to see where you hang it too! 💕
With the changing season it's also the perfect opportunity to also change your perspective. In the fall the length of daylight changes and the temperature changes. These changes in environment cause the leaves to stop making food and as the chlorophyll breaks down, the color changes from green to yellows and orange. Like the leaves in the fall that change when their environment changes, our environment has changed so much this year too - did you used to go into an office and now find yourself working at home? Did you used to see friends often but now find yourself living alone and spending the majority of your time alone? Can you no longer go to the places you used to love, like the gym, or yoga, or a particular bakery because it's closed because of covid?
Has your understanding of the social injustice and systemic racism faced by people of color in America changed? If your surroundings have changed so drastically these last 6 months, maybe you have changed too? Do you think you are the same as you were pre-covid? Have your priorities changed? Has your perspective changed? Have YOU changed? Maybe your body has changed. Give yourself the time and grace to adapt to all the new changes you find yourself in. The leaves don't turn orange over night either.
YOUR EGO IS NOT YOUR AMIGO
Besides the physical changes that may be occurring around you, maybe you've taken some time to also observe the changes taking place within you.
Are you trying to BE someone impressive or are you DOING something impressive? The former makes you a prisoner of seeking external validation of yourself from others while the later is purpose/impact driven - it’s not about the glory of being the person that makes the difference - it’s about actually making a difference (whether that receives credit or acknowledgement from others or not). When your motivation is a greater purpose there is room for us all to contribute and find success - we are not in competition with one another - we are working together for the betterment of all. As the pandemic continues and we head into an election, I think it’s so important to reflect upon these motivations in how we treat one another and in who we chose to represent us and lead us.
Democracy is not just a spectator sport and RBG truly embodied that. When prior cases for equality made it to the courts, they ruled in favor of “protecting” the traditional family roles of men and women. The men making the decisions on the courts thought this kind of protection was a privilege for women to receive such benefits and be excused from some of the duty’s burdened by men.
RBG was able to show that these “protections” were really prisons, baring some people from opportunities, and, when we make assumptions about a what a person is capable of based on the body parts they are born with, it’s a disservice to both men and women. In her milestone case she wasn’t representing a woman who had faced discrimination - she represented a man, arguing that the caregiver deduction tax code violated equal protection because it assumed that a caregiver was a woman. Although her client was a caregiver, he was a man, and therefore not afforded the deduction which RBG argued was sex based discrimination against a man.
This type of thinking, of reconstructing the means to get to the end, of how to convince the court that sex discrimination violated Equal Protection, is one of many reasons why RBG is and will always be NOTORIOUS - not for a bad act but because she was a BAD ASS. RIP RBG
HUMAN + KIND
Even though we may look different, have different opinions, different beliefs, different abilities, different sexual orientations, different colored skin, and whatever other descriptions we use distinguish ourselves from one another, at the end of the day, whether we agree or not, whether we like it or not, there is one group that we are ALL a part of - HUMANKIND - and it happens to include the word KIND in it. Things might not be great right now but it sure feels like a great time to show each other a little extra kindness don't you think?
BREONNA SHOULD BE HERE
Breonna Taylor should be here. She should be able to protest, to march in the streets, to hold a Black Lives Matter sign. But she is not able to do those things. Because she is not here. Because she was murdered. for no reason. in her home. by the police. whose job it was to protect her.
September was full of so many emotions and heartbreak over the officers not being charged for Breonna Taylor’s death. I had some intense discussions with people in response to one of my posts. I appreciated the people that took the time to read them and tell me that they helped clarify some aspects of the case for them. In case any one else finds them helpful I will also include them here, in my new BLM section. They are actually quite lengthy, but I think they are important, so I have created a whole new page to break them down. If you have questions about why the officers should or shouldn't be charged, I hope that this helps explain the rules of law that are involved in the case. I will continue to post resources, news and other updates in this new section.
It is an excruciating position to be in - to want to reach out to your friends and loved ones, your community, but because of corona you’re supposed to keep your distance. Keep fighting. Keep going but please also try to find some way, however little it may be, to protect your peace. Maybe that’s a walk or a socially distanced bike ride with a friend. I’ve been spending some time at the beach this week which has helped a little. Loving you all from a distance.
If you want to get your message across from a distance, I've also added these Breonna inspired masks to the shop HERE so you can stand with her even when you're silent.
People say “you only live once” but isn’t it really you only die once? YOU GET TO LIVE EVERY DAY. So it may seem like a strange time to celebrate a birthday but it is actually a wonderful time to celebrate and appreciate the gift of life - and to show and tell the people around you how much they mean to you. As people are feeling more isolated and lonely during quarantine, I think it’s more important than ever to reach out to people on their birthdays this year with a call, a card or maybe even a little gift if it’s within your means. Taking that extra step to remind your friend or loved one that even though you’re apart for now because of covid you’re still there for them and thinking of them is a small act that can really make a big impact. I feel so lucky that I get to help my customers do that everyday - sending your birthday orders to loved ones all over the world to bring them a little sunshine during a difficult time for so many ☀️💕.
I just added these limited edition "My Mama is My Boo" prints to the shop and they'd make a great gift for a mama of a toddler to brighten her day and give her that little motivation to KEEP ON GOING.
SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE
September 29th, Adam and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary. I've had a lot on my mind and heart lately and he has really been picking up the slack for me so I wanted to surprise him for a change with something special for our anniversary and I planned a surprise picnic for us at the botanical gardens. It was beautiful and relaxing, to just sit and be together. You have to make an appointment to go and they are limiting the number of people to encourage social distancing so we hardly saw anyone else while we were there. You could almost forget that we are in the midst of a pandemic, until a screaming child runs by throwing a stick with masked parents running after her.
In some ways I guess I'm old fashioned and one of my favorite ways to tell and show someone how special they are to me is with a card. A long ass card. That really is more of a book. This is what my book/card to Adam this year said:
Today is our second wedding anniversary - and honestly it feels like its been a lot longer. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. Life before you were in it seems like it was so many moons ago. It’s not always easy rainbows and fluff, but it is 100% always worth it. You’ve seen me at my worst and you’ve seen me at my best & you’ve loved all the same. You’ve supported me in ways I didn’t even know were possible - with the big tangible things like a new computer for my business. And the laborious not-so-fun-things, like the hours you’ve spent helping me adjust the settings for my sublimation printer. Or making my visions come into being with our old doors wedding project. The little favor-things when I’m so pooped from working on orders & you offer to take them to the post office for me. And in the romantic ways you figure out how to make me feel so loved in only a way that would make sense to me, like with a special newspaper called “The Morning Message” with articles about us. I am proud & so unbelievably thankful to not just be a wife but to be YOUR wife. You’ve always known & have been so supportive that my drive doesn’t come from being a “MRS” - it comes from being ME. You’ve given me both the space I need to do what I do but also added some extra support & stability to take things to the next level. And with you being there right beside me as my partner, my love, my best friend, my inspiration, my mentor, my equal, I am able to continue to reach higher. I really think that together, not even the sky, the moon or the stars are the limits for us. The oceans that once separated us, sure weren’t.
I’m always learning but you’ve shown me how to do things the “right way,” for example using tools in the workshop (even though sometimes I still choose to do things in my own way), how to be more responsible, the benefits of being more organized & methodical, the science behind some of the worlds magic & mystery - and, even when I seem to forget it all, act impulsively, and make a hole in the wall & you hear me in the other room saying “oh no,” you’ve still loved me.
I hope my passion and intense emotions do more than make you nuts. I hope they cut through your walls of logic and structure right to your heart. I hope my outlandish, sometimes absurd ideas inspire you to think without a box at all. I hope all my EXTRA way of showing love oozes through little cracks and boils under your skin until it seeps out of your pores too, unrestricted and flowing. I hope my questioning, banter and debate opens your mind and heart to see and feel things you haven’t experienced. I hope I continue to surprise you. I hope the ridiculous situations I find myself in that seem to not happen to anyone else continue to make you chuckle. I am honored to continue to show you in elaborate, even sometimes embarrassing ways, in matching couples shirts, how much I love you every single day for the rest of our lives. Also, thank you for being a really good cook. I love you Roo.
As soon as I saw the Chanel inspired pumpkins @whitneynrife posted I knew I HAD to make some for myself!
I guess with so much craziness going on in the world I have been overcompumpkinsating and just can’t stop making decorations for fall and specifically making pumpkins! Here’s a clip of how I made these little gorgeous gourds. You’ll never guess what I used to make the logo pumpkin necklace!
Adam helped me 3d print these pumpkins in 3 different sizes. If you want to 3d print them yourself can download the file for free HERE.
If you aren’t crazy and don’t have 3 different types of 3d printers available in your garage, target has some simple cute ones in their dollar section for $3 each. They’re available HERE.
2. SPRAY PAINT
To go with the Chanel theme I spray painted the pumpkins white and black using my fav rustoleum spray paint. This is what I used HERE.
I used my cricut, linked here HERE
to upload the classic double C logo as well as the full Chanel logo. This is the vinyl I used for the black CC logo
The white vinyl was leftover from the starter pack that came with my cricut. It wasn’t permanent so after sticking it on I did a clear coat so it wouldn’t peel off.
If you don’t have a cricut that’s fine too – you can either free hand paint the CC for a rustic touch, or, if you’re more of a perfectionist, you can print out the CC logo on a piece of paper, cut it out and trace it on your pumpkin.
5. WHO REMEMBERS SHRINKY DINKS?
For Christmas last year my step daughter got me a shrinky dink kit. This isn’t the exact one but it looks pretty similar, HERE.
I used my cricut to cut out the CC logo shape and when it finished I had it go over the same cuts again because the shrinky dink paper is thick. It still didn’t go all the way through in some parts and I ended up cutting those areas so it wouldn’t tare. Remember to cut out the image a lot bigger than you want it to be because they shrink down a lot! I also pre punched holes in the top before baking them. THIS is the hole punch I use for small holes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Leave shrinky dinks in for about 2 - 3 mins.
6. MAKING THE PUMPKIN NECKLACE
I decided to make my logo pumpkin necklace gold so I spray painted them after they cooled. Then I made jump rings to attach them to an extra chain I had in my bead box.
Say thank you to all the essential workers - bringing us our packages, our online orders, our groceries, etc - allowing us to be be able to stay safe at home. Print it out and put it on your front door or email it to your friends, to let the workers know we appreciate everything they are doing for us right now. Click HERE to download this free thank you printable. WE'RE IN THIS TOGETHER.
SH*TS SPOOKY OUT THERE
It kind of feels like this whole years been spookier than halloween right? But I am a sucker for any opportunity to get festive or dress up! So let's get into the fall spirit with this October Calendar Printable to keep you motivated and to keep you going.
I' m rooting for you Boo!
OCTOBER 1, 2020
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 I’m the best at what I do - I am not - and it doesn’t mean that I don’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 people’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 doesn’t value me, my ideas or my creations, it does not mean that these things do not have value. In fact, other people’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 don’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 there’s enough raining on people’s parades and not enough brining in sunshine, lighting people up and creating rainbows together.
CARDIO IS HARDIO
But you can do hard things! I’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 I’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 “totally look the part” (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
“I told you five times - I need you to believe one of them” ~ @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 couldn’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. I’ve always thought that is so magical - some superhero stuff right there if you ask me. SO THANK YOUR BODY 🙏🏻🙌🏻. Maybe practice being kind to your body today - it deserves it. YOU deserve it 💕
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 💌🎉. You know this mama illustration I collab’d with @jesshogancrum is near & dear to my heart so now I’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. They’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 you’re afraid you won’t be able to figure it out, there’s an option for me to input the info for you as well 🙊😉 (it’s good to know your strengths right? 🤷🏼♀️). Print them at home yourself or send them out to be printed for you. I can’t wait to see you use them 🥰. If quarantine/not being able to see my family for so long, has taught me anything it’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 🤪.
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!
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 😂.
"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 “firsts” 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 didn’t do enough to get justice for minority groups. She probably didn’t do enough - I don’t know if one person can ever “do enough” 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
“This is who we still are: compassionate, resilient, decent people whose fortunes are bound up with one another...echoing heroes like John Lewis who said, ‘When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something.’ 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.” ~ 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 else’s shoes somehow would jeopardize your own interests. We’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 wouldn’t you wear one? The message you send when you don’t wear a mask/choose not to socially distance from others is not that this is a free country - it’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 “compassionate, resilient, decent people” 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 else’s shoes. SHOW yourself, the people around you and the world, that Americans CARE FOR one another and TAKE CARE of one another.
“We 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 dream”
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
𝗜 𝗮𝗺 𝙎𝘼𝙁𝙀 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗺𝗮𝗴𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝘃𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗺𝗲. 𝗜 𝗮𝗺 𝘀𝗼 𝙏𝙃𝘼𝙉𝙆𝙁𝙐𝙇 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗲𝗻𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲𝘀 𝗺𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗲𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲, 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗹𝗮𝘂𝗴𝗵𝘁𝗲𝗿. 𝗜𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗺𝘆 𝙃𝙊𝙈𝙀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗜 𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗺𝗮𝘆 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿. 𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝗽𝗲 𝗼𝗳𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳-𝗱𝗼𝘂𝗯𝘁, 𝗷𝘂𝗱𝗴𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁, 𝗵𝗮𝘁𝗲, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗯𝗮𝗱 𝘃𝗶𝗯𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗼𝗼𝗿. 𝗧𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝙉𝙊𝙏 𝙒𝙀𝙇𝘾𝙊𝙈𝙀 𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲. 𝗜𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝘁𝗿𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗻𝗲𝗮𝗸 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗹𝘆 𝗯𝗲 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗺𝗶𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝘆 𝗼𝘂𝘁. 𝗪𝗲 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗼𝗼 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝘽𝙄𝙂 𝘿𝙍𝙀𝘼𝙈𝙎 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝙂𝙊𝘼𝙇𝙎 𝘁𝗼 𝘄𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗲 𝘀𝗽𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝗻𝗲𝗴𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗶𝗻 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝙎𝘼𝘾𝙍𝙀𝘿, 𝙋𝙊𝙒𝙀𝙍𝙁𝙐𝙇, 𝘽𝙀𝘼𝙐𝙏𝙄𝙁𝙐𝙇 𝙏𝙀𝙈𝙋𝙇𝙀. 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝘄𝗶𝘀𝗵𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗹𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝗜 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗻𝗲𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗺𝘆 𝘀𝘂𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀. 𝗕𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝙄 𝘼𝙈 𝙏𝙃𝙀 𝘿𝙄𝙍𝙀𝘾𝙏𝙊𝙍 𝙊𝙁 𝙈𝙔 𝙊𝙒𝙉 𝘿𝙀𝙎𝙏𝙄𝙉𝙔.
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. A̲L̲L̲ ̲W̲O̲M̲E̲N̲. 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? 🤔. 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 - I’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
your second biggest fan (second to you),
SEPTEMBER 1 2020
YOU'VE GOT TO START SOMEWHERE
TO GET SOMEWHERE
So just START! Anywhere! ONE. STEP. AT. A. TIME. If you’re too afraid to make a move then you’re going nowhere fast. Even if it ends up being the wrong direction that’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 Hollis’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, I’ve gotten really into gardening during quarantine. With so much going on around me in the world that I can’t control, I have found comfort in the little garden world I am creating. It’s hard to put into words the excitement of when you’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 I’ve always seen other people’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 🤯 and every branch became a potential new plant in my mind. It doesn’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 it’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. 🌈
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 customers’ requests for customizations that aren’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, doesn’t mean I have to and doesn’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 it’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. I’m not getting that time back and I can’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.
It’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 you’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 don’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 don’t meet your match today - the only person you are competing against is “yesterday you” - who is still you - so you win either way 🙃. And tomorrow you will have another opportunity to show yourself who you are and who you can be 💪🏻 which is the only opinion of you that really matters 🙂.
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 don’t don’t comment on your posts. They don’t read your newsletter. They haven’t checked that latest blog post you sent them where you exposed your heart. They have told you “what you really should do is...”. They have told you your dreams aren’t realistic. But your dreams aren’t for them. Yes, you wanted their approval and engagement. But with or without it you stuck to your guns and YOU’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 ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️.
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 💗 (oh and she’s the one that makes these adorable book stacks 🥰)
I’m so thankful to be a part of this creative community here where we cheer each other on - where there’s space for us to all shine without dimming anyone else’s sparkle and, like the stars, we help light each other’s way, together making the world a more beautiful place. We all shine brighter together ✨.
BE A HERO 🦸♀️. WEAR A MASK.
HELP SAVE LIVES.
Remember 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘦 - 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘢 𝘮𝘢𝘴𝘬? Remember 𝘩𝘦𝘦𝘭𝘴?!?!
What are you most looking forward to when corona is behind us and it’s safe to be around others? Obviously, I can’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 ✨.
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%. “The 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.” If wearing a cloth on my face can help prevent over 30,000 people -
people’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
Please feel free to share this illustration (with credit 😊) and encourage others to be heroes too 💗.
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 - “creativity is my medicine.”
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,
AUGUST 2 2020
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.
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 @lizzobeeating’s video she posted about how health isn’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 😂🙊. Which is SO TRUE. How many toxic beliefs and thoughts do we carry inside of us? We’ll do a juice cleanse til we’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?
Lizzo’s weight isn’t what makes her revolutionary - it’s that girls and women everywhere can see someone in a successful, powerful position that looks like them, just as they are. We don’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 don’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 doesn’t stem from the number on a scale but it just exists because they exist. Period.
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 here’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 “exposure” instead of payment. There’s a great video by an artist named Jazza (check it out here) where he used these exploitative “offers” posed to creatives everyday in other venues, such as at a restaurant or buying a TV, and how they clearly do not fly.
Don’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 I’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 we’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 “collaboration” but really are just interested in getting free products/do not offer anything of value in return for them. Or “offer” to post a pic on Instagram - that’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 “offer” 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 “love” my work, are “huge fans” but they haven’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 don’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$$ year…
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 “everything is figureoutable” and I can’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 don’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 aren’t given a book with all of life’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 doesn’t mean we won’t get to them or learn a whole lot as we try to figure them out. Wether you’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, July’s free printable calendar is now available for download HERE.
July 1, 2020
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 woman’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 Rem’mie Fells and Riah Milton.
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 couldn’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
I’ve been talking to my step daughter about Black Lives Matter and showing her the art I’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 aren’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.
Love isn’t a commodity that can be distributed by people in power.
It’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 can’t be hoarded - trying to deny or prevent someone else’s love doesn’t mean more love for you. You can’t buy it or create it by following nana’s recipe. You can’t demand it from someone. And, like an unruly root you didn’t see popping out of the sidewalk that you trip on, you can’t control who you fall for. We can try to hide it or not act on it, but, like a stubborn stain, it can’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. It’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
George deserves better. George’s sons deserve better. George’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). It’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 isn’t to ignore color because it’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
It’s not about your intent behind what you said – it’s about the effect on the listener. If he or she is offended by it then, even if you didn’t mean to be racist, it may have been racist.
What do you do if your child goes to someone’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:
IF YOU WANT PEACE, WORK FOR JUSTICE
~ Pope Paul Vi
I think peace is like love - it’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 didn’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 we’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.
I like to tell Adam that I am the chief meteorologist on channel 7, I’m
actually not (🤫
don’t tell him) so I don’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 there’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! 👩🎓 💕
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 don’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 you’re able to make a living by what you get but I hope you learn that you make a life by what you give.
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. 💦
Use often on others and on yourself.
This idea was originally inspired by something @codyrigsby (is he anyone else’s fav instructor 🙋🏼♀️🚲) said in my peloton class the other day about “spray[ing] Lysol on that negative energy.” But as I thought about it more, we can’t control other peoples’ negative energy - we can only control how we respond to it. So I’m just going to try to soak that shit in kindness 💕
LEAVE FOOTPRINTS OF LOVE AND KINDNESS WHEREVER YOU GO 🐾
Even if the only footprints you’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.
At the beginning of the month I posted in my stories that @patch had featured me in an article called “the most caring person I know.” (shout out to my mom that nominated me 😂). 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 😊. So thank you for your support and kindness Jill! 🥰
If you want to read the article it is the definition of short and sweet and you can read it here.
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!
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 📚. 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 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?!?
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. It’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?
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.
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,
May 28, 2020
The most powerful medicine we have is LOVE.And the vehicle by which it’s delivered is RELATIONSHIPS
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. It’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 I’m actually, embarrassingly, afraid of butterflies (like shriek and dodge around them for dear life 🙊😂). 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. 💕 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 “Adam’s Garden of Eatin’ ” 😳. 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 🔨
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 can’t offer a solution to the big problems we’re facing. But I do believe in the 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴 of the collective impact of the little things we can do. The difference between stepping up 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 to 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 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 you’d like to help but are unsure where to start I’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 you’re interested in being a part of it please message me! 🙏🏻. 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 𝙥𝙧𝙞𝙫𝙞𝙡𝙚𝙜𝙚 not available to all of us right now. If you are flat out and don’t have the capacity or capability to give more - that’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 💪🏻
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 😂. Write your own story. Be your own hero. 💕
May 3, 2020
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 – 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 don’t know what we’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 email@example.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.
April 8, 2020
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. I’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 Molly’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, “texters”) 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 “What Would You Do?” 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 we’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.
Bye March. It’s been real. Let’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. March’s calendar started with “take a deep breath.” The date of the 13th reads “so a random act of kindness, and today, the 26th reads, “show yourself compassion.” It’s a bit eerie. I’m not saying I’m the next Miss Cleo or anything, but when I was writing the planner, the words I wrote weren’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 doesn’t?) the April calendar printable is now available HERE. As usual, it’s free – just an expression of my love to you for joining me on this journey
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 “social distancing” 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 won’t always appreciate how hard you worked to get here. They won’t UNDERSTAND YOUR PURPOSE. While they may flatter those around you, even dote on them, they won’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 don’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 there’s any chance it could help bring some solace at this time of chaos to anyone else, I thought I’d share what I said. To protect her privacy I will call her “Jill'* (*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 I’m so sorry that you are going through such heartbreak! I want you to know that just because these horrible things happened to you doesn’t mean you did something wrong or there’s something wrong with you. It means they weren’t right for you - but that doesn’t say anything about WHO YOU ARE. It’s hard to remember when you feel so sad but I promise the feeling of heartbreak won’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 I’ve been trying to take care of it - putting it where there’s lots of light, watering it once a week, etc. But yesterday the last flower fell off. I was wondering “what gives” - 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, you’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, it’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 “in between the root stuff” is all wet then your roots are probably rotting. She was right – 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 “right” things (trying to water my plant, giving it light, etc.) but things don’t work out or aren’t thriving. REPOT yourself. You’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 you’ve grown so much taking care of yourself and your needs that you need a new pot again - maybe one so big that there’s even room for someone else to grow in it with you.
Anyway, I’m sorry you’re going through such a hard time. Try to do things every day that make you feel better. I promise you’ll be busting through the cement again in no time!
YOUR WORDS WILL GO MORE PLACES THAN YOU’LL EVER GO 🗺
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 “... 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.” And it spoke to me because this is how I feel about my art. The woman I discussed above in is Nebraska. I’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 – 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 you’ve never been. And if that’s not powerful I don’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 don’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:
“Katie!!! It came! It’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 soul…”I can get through this.” I didn’t feel alone. Someone cared. Truly cared. You gave me strength, Katie…And oh the story – 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 say…”
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. It’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 there’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 🤷🏼♀️). 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 aren’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 💕.
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 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 can’t say I agree - I think, for most of us anyway, it’s about being afraid BUT DOING IT ANYWAY. It’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 aren’t good enough, that they don’t deserve it, that other people won’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 here’s your reminder that it’s okay to be afraid but it’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 that’s left is dust. The residue of fear may still be there but it won’t have the same power over you - BECAUSE YOU ARE TOUGHER THAN YOU KNOW.
YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM ISN’T SUPPORTING YOU AND WHAT YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM CAN DO TO
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 I’m a big fan of podcasts. Anything involving murder, being an entrepreneur, being a creative, etc is my jam. So one podcast that I’m obsessed with right now is Trent Shelton’s Straight Up. Episode 8 about the reasons why your support system isn’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 you’re really excited about something so you actually aren’t whispering at all). If anyone else watches Locke and Key on Netflix, it’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 people’s reactions, it’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".
YOU CAN’T EXPECT THEM TO BE YOU
It feels really crappy when you don’t feel supported by those you love. Trent reminded me that “you have to stop expecting YOU from other people.” Just because you think, if the tables were turned, you would be supportive of that family member pursuing her dream, doesn’t mean that you can EXPECT other people to react in the same way that you would. It’s shitty but you can’t control other people’s reactions. It may help to remember that although you WANT their approval with all your heart, you DON’T NEED it. Yup. YOU DON’T NEED ANYONE ELSES SUPPORT OR APPROVAL TO FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS. It would be nice. It would feel warm and fuzzy. But you don’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 CAN’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 doesn’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 you’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 “go for it!”? 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 here’s where my favorite nugget of wisdom comes in: “Small mindsets can’t comprehend big visions or big dreams.” Sit with that for a minute. Trent gives this great example of something he does when public speaking sometimes. He’ll have someone come up on stage with him and close their eyes. He’ll take out a dollar bill and holds it right in front of the person’s face and tells them to open their eyes. He asks them to tell him what’s in front of their face but it’s so close that they can’t even tell that its money. They can’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 can’t see your greatness. They are so used to it. Maybe they’ve seen you everyday of your life so they “normalize your gifts and talents.” BUT just because you’re too close for them to SEE YOUR VALUE doesn’t mean that YOUR GIFTS AREN’T VALUABLE. And whether those closest to you appreciate your worth or not it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t share your gifts with the world.
2. THEY DON’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 don’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 – 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 DON’T COST A THING
I think many people may assume by “support” 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 wouldn’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 don’t cost a thing. Telling a creative something along the lines of “I see how hard you are working,” or “I see the progress you have made,” etc, DOESN’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 we’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. It’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 didn’t experience those kinds of affirmations themselves growing up). Just because they don’t say that they are proud of what you are doing or say positive things about it doesn’t mean they aren’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 IT’S THE ONLY WAY TO BUILD A BOX
Finally, there are some people that see only one way to be successful. If you aren’t following their carefully crafted and perfected route to it then you’re a lost cause. They can’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 can’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 – and here’s the real zinger - just because they aren’t doing what YOU want them to do doesn’t mean that they aren’t doing what they were BORN TO DO.
THEY LITERALLY CAN’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 “see it to believe it” 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. I’ll leave you with this other little wisdom nugget by Trent –“don’t let the lack of belief that other people have in you kill the belief you have in yourself.”
Feb 19, 2020
♥ FOLLOW YOUR ARROW WHEREVER IT POINTS ♥
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 don’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 it’s too late and they are gone. Rest in Peace Kobe and Gigi 💔
So where’s your arrow pointing?
SECURE YOUR MASK BEFORE HELPING OTHERS
"In the event of emergency, please secure your own self-love before loving others …” ✈️
We’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 isn’t selfish to put on your own mask first - if you are unconscious you won’t be able to help anyone.
When you first learn to love yourself, you will be better able to love others. If you don’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 Valentine’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. ❤️
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 😂). This is what I wrote:
“I dream my painting and then I paint my dream” ~ Vincent Van Gogh 🎨 💫
Ladie Katie is my DREAM. She is confident, kind, and creative. She lifts you up when you’re feeling down on yourself, she comforts you when you are in doubt and she’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, I’ll be here, pom poms and all, rooting for you.
You can either dream your life or you can LIVE YOUR DREAM and I’m choosing the latter. Who’s coming with me?
Today, I was listening to Brook Castillo’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 doesn’t come from outside of us but it comes from within in us. “Force,” she says, “is trying to control other people and the world. Power is creating yourself in your own world.”
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, “I haven’t felt supported or appreciated from the people around me so I’ve created by own support system in my illustrations that say all the things I wish those around me would say.” 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 I’m not aware of. At the end of the day though, I realized that it wasn’t really about them at all. It was about me and what I was going to do.
I could have tried to “force” 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 wouldn’t feel like they were ignoring it. This would be me trying to control the world and the people in it, which let’s face it, is exhausting and probably is not going to lead to the results I’m looking for. Meaning, that if I try to get someone to compliment me, I’m probably not going to feel better. Even if they do hear me out and give me a compliment, I’m going to feel like they are only saying it because I basically told them to.
Brooke reiterates that we can’t decide what is happening to us but we get to decide how we respond. Similarly, I was craving some positive reinforcement. I didn’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.
The further Brooke dove in, the more I couldn’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 “ideas” 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 you’re oblivious to it it’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, “just because we can’t control the things around us doesn’t mean we are powerless. We can control the way we think, the way we respond, and the way we act.”
So what will you do to feel powerful?
I'M JUST TRYING MY BEST TO BE THE PERSON MY DOG THINKS I AM 🐶💕
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 it’s nighttime and the curtains are closed, sticking her sweet little head through them 😂👀). 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! Wouldn’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 “zones” (I’ve there 💁🏼♀️), not looking up to acknowledge someone until we’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 wasn’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 😊 (side note: I ended up waking up anyway because molly heard him come in and did her traditional greeting dance 💃🏼 😂).
This is my long-winded way of saying — WELCOME HOME! I’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!
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 “inspirational team” I created was actually ME.
It is a journey but I am learning to ROOT FOR MYSELF again. That my value doesn’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 doesn’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 “inspirational team” 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 🥳
Cheers to a year of health and happiness, peace and purpose,