…new interior design project

So, it’s about time that I let you in on a little secret of mine, I am designing a new home on a lake and it happens to ours. I say this with all the modesty in the world because I'm scared of all negative judgement. All I can say is that God has always taken care me. I don't know why and I don't always know how, but He continues move aside the storm clouds and shine down on our family. And what's more, I feel like He continually is proud of me for letting my own light shine and not hide it under a bushel - this means everything. No more shame, no more hiding - just living my life as bravely as I can.

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I want you to know about it because I am getting slowly emotionally invested in the home and it's occupying my headspace. This process has really made me think about where I spend my time, how I want to live the next half of my life (I'm almost 40) and on a much lighter note - design trends.

I have to say that when I set out on this Blue Egg Brown Nest journey there were, what felt like, only a handful of other painters and dealers out there that were doing what I was doing and had made a name for themselves. You can see for yourself that the painted furniture and rustic look are much more main-stream. I think it is great in one regard because it is now so accessible to people where it was not when I was starting out. I remember hunting for some tall topiaries and it was near impossible to find them. Now, I can rattle of at least four major retail shops that I could order them online today!

Again, trends shifting is not a bad thing, but just to tell you a bit more about my personality, I like to be a tad different and unexpected. I want to be a little ahead of the curve in my home and in my clothes and in my earrings and in my recipes, etc. Trends change and I think that's what keeps me excited because it is always fresh. This new project of mine is allowing me to explore some other avenues of design, while still incorporating my own taste.

I will talk more about trends this week, but I think in order for a creative person to continue to create, they have to continue to move forward. It sounds really basic, but to stay sedentary is not a good thing for this gal. I'm a very curious person and I like trying out new things.

I'm excited to have you come along with me in this next pursuit and I think you will be interested because it's very similar to where I was when we built our current home and had no budget for furniture or decor. Here I am again challenged with a clean slate and ever so excited about it.

I'd love for you to join me.

 

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“I’ve only been painting furniture for about a year (you’re my main inspiration) however I often feel like a bit of a fraud.” – Melissa

Dear Melissa,

Thank you so much for your vulnerability. I think we all feel like frauds at least a few times every single day. I know that when I lay down my yoga mat and pretend like I am trying to get into Crow pose, I'm really just trying not to fall on my face. Quite literally.

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I think there is something to the phrase " Fake it 'Til you make it." It sounds trite, but I do think it's a way to trick our brains into believing that we go this. When we don't feel confident many times it is based on how we think others will perceive us. We are worried that they will find fault, be disappointed or even turn and run from us. We are scared of the rejection that we could potentially see in someone's face and we don't want to feel that pain. I know I don't.

My advice to you, Melissa, is to practice, practice, practice at what you are trying to become good at. Then when you are ready to show the world what you have been working on, act like you've been doing it your whole life. If you fumble and can't answer a question, it doesn't mean that you are a phoney, it just gives you an opportunity to say "Hmm, I really don't know." And there are many smart, successful people that really don't know everything either.

The good news for you is that art is open to interpretation. When I started out I used lots of dark wax. The past 2 years I have not used dark wax once. But, I look back on those images of those pieces and I love them still. It worked and they carried their own look.

When you are ready to sell I want you to stand confidently next to your work. Make sure the craftsmanship is always the best it can be (this is one place not to leave to chance) and then tie a price tag on it and know that it is worth someone else's money and space.

Namaste.

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…building a business: losing steam?

Dear Creatives,

I want to hear from all of you out there that were really excited and motivated to start your own business - whether it was painting furniture or another creative endeavor. You may have given it your time, money and attention. Maybe you talked about it and wrangled your family into the effort and plugged away. Maybe you became a vendor, maybe you sold in a shop, maybe you opened your own shop. Then, something happened.....you ran out of steam.

A creative business is so very different than a typical business because it requires real spirit. Your spirit. And to keep up a positive outlook it requires really "feeling" it and not just being productive. I think it is much more complicated. It can be difficult for other's to get on board and so it requires a lot of cheerleading for ourselves. Then once we get some traction we have to refuel and keep ourselves going. The problem is often that creative people are not necessarily motivated by money or success. We want more. Yes, art requires audience, but it also requires inspiration. So, my question to you out there is,

Have you lost your motivation?

I am empathetic to your state. I get it and I hear you. I give you permission to slow and come to a stop. It's okay and it's not failure. Instead, let me say to you - Congrats! You did it. You did it for a while and you tried something new. You put yourself out there and were seen as more than just a mom or office person or daughter or friend. And you still are! Now you know that you have the capacity to tap into this part of you at any time. You don't need to prove anything by opening another shop, but you can tap into the feelings that made you want to do this. This part of you is always there and you discovered it! Big congrats.

I do not say this to discourage anyone, but rather to tell you that I am here to listen and support you. I think creative people live with exposed nerve-endings in a world that is not always aware of us or our needs. We try to perform in the same way as those more Aggressives around us and it's okay to know that we are not the same. We offer something much different- sensitivity, observation, a magnifying glass on what is not always noticed in a fast-paced world.

If you have tried to expose your creativity in a public manor, you swam upstream. It is not easy. It is not easy for the shop owner of there, it is not easy for the bloggers and writers, it is not easy for me.

If you are plugging away and doing well, I am so proud and excited for you! If you gave it a go and feel done and depleated, then it's okay to refocus your energies. If you were interested and it never quite got off the ground, then I'm so thrilled you explored the idea! And the good news? It never means you have to stop loving to paint or create! WOW! You can always do this! For yourself and your own home or just appreciate it in other's homes. What a gift for yourself.

You are important no matter what you accomplish and I think so often we are told that the definition of success is money and press. You are worthy because you live, Dear friends. Love you.

I see you.

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