Tag

Raleigh Calligraphy

Making Hand Lettered Pumpkins

In our house, we love pumpkins. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin seeds, jack-o-lanterns, you name it. As soon as our local farms have pumpkins to sell, we buy them. A lot of them.

This year we made our own pumpkin puree to use in a pie. We used the instructions I found here. But honestly, after decorating all the pumpkins and roasting the pumpkin seeds, it was a little much to think we could make pie right then and there. So we just froze the puree to use later. You know, when we feel like baking again. Next fall.

One of my favorite ways to decorate pumpkins is to write on them. Which probably isn’t a surprise considering I love to write on most anything. Okay, everything. [wink]

If you’re planning to write on your pumpkin avoid washable markers like Crayola and opt for a sharpie. I like to use the Oil Based Sharpies as they work best and look more vibrant and glossy after they dry. Much like paint, but a whole lot easier.

I use these markers on a lot of custom calligraphy orders when I need to write on something other than paper. The Sharpies have great coverage on most surfaces plus they go on smooth. I buy them at my local craft store but you can also order them on Amazon.

Use a damp cloth to wipe the dirt off the surface and dry completely before writing on the pumpkin. If your staring at your pumpkin not sure where to start, you can use a white marker first and trace over the design in a darker color. The white marker is hardly noticeable from a far so it makes a great guide, even if it’s not perfect.

So what will you write on your pumpkin? I had a special request from my toddler to draw some bats and write BOO! Writing on the pumpkin with the markers was easy and a lot of fun. But let them dry for a few minutes before touching your gorgeous work or you may end up with painted fingers.

Other adorable phrases to write on your pumpkin: 

-Happy Fall

-Fall Y’all

-Trick or Treat

-All the Candy!

If you wrote on your pumpkin this year, let us know how it came out by commenting below. Was it easier than you thought? What did you write? Can’t wait to see how they come out!

Signature5

Alphabet Challenge: 26 Days of Hand Lettered ABC’s

Like everything else, handwriting gets better with practice. That’s why I’ll be hosting an alphabet lettering challenge on Instagram and Facebook.

Join in on the fun and follow me as I post a new letter of the alphabet each day. The goal is to hand draw each letter in a variety of styles and mediums. I’ll tag each photo on social media with #letteringchallenge.

So if you’ve been dreaming of dreamy writing, this is something you can easily do with me! Just draw, snap a picture and post it using the hashtag. Just don’t forget to tag me @RaleighCalligraphy so I can see comment and share some of your best work on my page.

All skill levels are welcome, because the more the merrier. {smile}

The #letteringchallenge is starting August 1st. Get ready to share your ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYandZ’s! Yep. That about sums it up. {wink}

I’ll be posting updates here on the blog as well as a recap post at the end of the challenge.

If we’re not already besties on social media, you can follow me here: Instagram Facebook Pinterest

So go pull out a fresh notebook and some writing supplies and I’ll see you on Monday. Have an awesome weekend!

Signature5

 

Running a Handmade Business: Interview with Ginger & Juniper

Ever wonder what it takes to run your own craft business? I recently had the opportunity to interview Gabrielle of Ginger and Juniper and got her take on the subject. No doubt she’s good at what she does, selling both online and in stores. I’ll let Gabrielle tell you more…

1. Please introduce yourself and your business.

Hi, I’m Gabrielle. I am the designer and owner of Ginger and Juniper, a fabric accessories brand for women and children. I focus on small batch production by buying limited quantities of natural fabrics in colorful prints {and wow do I have a lot of prints!}. This ensures that customers are getting a unique and sometimes one-of-a-kind item. Custom orders are always welcome.

A sneak peek at some of the #gingerandjuniper goodies that will be available at the @7thpublicmarket tomorrow. #7thsipshop #handmadeclt #madeinnc #graduationgifts #mothersday #shopsmallclt

2. Where are you physically located and where can we find you online?

I work out of my home studio in the Charlotte, NC suburb of Matthews. I sell online at Etsy.com, and at brick and mortar shops Sanctuary of Davidson in Davidson, NC and Trashed Studio in Concord, NC. I also participate in numerous local arts & craft shows throughout the year. Ginger & Juniper is no stranger to social media, and can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Etsy: www.GingerandJuniper.etsy.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/gingerandjuniper

Facebook: www.facebook.com/Ginger-Juniper-192365977476201

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ginger_Juniper

 

Bunny Ear Teething Rings

 

3. How important has social media been for growing your business?

Social media is an important part of selling in a tech savvy world, and it’s a great way to boost my brand’s visibility. Regular postings of new products, events, or a glimpse into my personal life helps me to connect with both customers and makers alike. Social Media has been extremely useful in building relationships with other creators, and sharing ideas and support.

 

Crayon Wallets

4.  How did you get started making your products?

My mother often made clothing for my sister and I when we were young, so I was familiar with the general workings of a sewing machine. It wasn’t until my step-mom gave me her rarely used machine in 2010 that I realized I had a passion for sewing. I hadn’t touched a sewing machine in more than two decades so my skills were more than a little rusty. Thank goodness for YouTube, and its plethora of how-to videos! For the most part I am self-taught, and when I first started out I spent a lot of time flipping bags inside out to learn how different gussets, zippers, pockets, etc. were created.

Foldover clutch - Patricia (model)

5. How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

The idea for my business came from the need to reduce the number of plastic shopping bags used by my family. We live in a disposable world, and I wanted something that could not only be reused, but that was natural, and could be kept clean easily. I started making reusable, washable market bags for family and friends, and then just kept going from there. Today I make everything from teething rings to clutches. And as all my fabrics are washed and pressed prior to construction {time consuming, but oh, so worth it!}, every item that I create is machine washable!

Padfolio in Peackock Blush

6. What was one of the challenges of starting your company?

The biggest challenge was in researching the laws and requirements for owning and operating a small business that makes products for children. There is a lot to know and the information isn’t always easy to locate. Luckily, there are a lot of small makers on Etsy who are more than happy to share their knowledge. But there’s still a lot of digging and prepping involved such as product tracking, testing requirements, permanent labeling, etc., The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is steadfast in its requirements. You have to make sure that you’re covered in the event of an accident, so product liability insurance is a must!

Southwest Foldover Zip Clutches
7. What is one of your favorite parts about being your own boss?

It’s difficult to pick just one thing, but I’d have to say flexibility. Being in charge of my own schedule, and not having to abide by a typical 9-5 routine is a major plus. I love having the freedom to play with {my!} new ideas without feeling pressured to stick to someone else’s timeline.

Southwest Zip Pouches

9. Can you share a fun fact about yourself?

The exterior shots from the sitcom Roseanne were filmed in my home town of Evansville, Indiana. I attended after school daycare {known as The Yellow Cottage} in the house used as the Connor family’s home.

Tea Pouch

10. Sending snail mail can be a great way to personalize a message or stand out from your competition. When do you use snail mail in your business? 

As I create physical products, I use the postal system on a very regular basis. All purchases are wrapped, tied with fabric, and include a hand written note. One of the wonderful things about running a small business is being able to have a more personal connection with the customer. Personalized touches make the experience more special for the buyer.

Blog Pic 3

 

Thank you, Gabrielle, for taking us behind the scenes of Ginger & Juniper! It’s always great to get another perspective… and see cute products in the process!

I especially love your comment about the importance of sending customers a hand written note with their order. Taking that extra 5 minutes to tuck a note in a package can go a long way in improving a customer’s experience and increasing the odds of repeat business. If you’re a handmade business owner I’d recommend trying this if you haven’t already and you can find a range of artisan stationery on Etsy.com or right here on the site.

What are your thoughts on Ginger & Juniper? Do you have a favorite product?

 

Signature5

 

Meet A.J.: Wedding Photographer and Entrepreneur

Finally, the fourth edition of the RC&D mini series: Meet the Boss Behind the Brand! And I’m thrilled to have A.J. with us to share her passion for photography and her wisdom from years working in the wedding industry. If you’ve ever had an interest in turning your photography hobby into a business, this is a great place to start. Take it way, A.J.!
1. Please introduce yourself and your business.
Hi, I’m A.J.! Half of a husband and wife wedding photography team, mom to the cutest little girl (and dog!) on the planet, encourager to women creatives and founder of Darling Wedding Workshop! Nothing makes my heart happier than images you can feel and seeing other women achieve their dreams!
440

2. Where are you physically located and where can we find you online?
I’m based out of my home office in Wake Forest, NC, and my website is www.ajdunlap.com :) We love to travel though, so you’ll find us on the road several times a year heading somewhere fun to explore!
Follow A.J. on Instagram: Instagram.com/AJDunlap
Like A.J. on Facebook: Facebook.com/AJDunlap

3. A. How important has social media been for growing your business?  Social media is what launched my business!! Thanks to some personal photos posted on Facebook years ago, people started contacting me for portraits and eventually weddings! I’ve run a 98% word of mouth business thanks to social media and happy clients :)

 

141

4.  How did you get started photographing weddings?
Believe it or not, photography was never an interest to me! I studied math and science in school! But then my older siblings started having babies and I desperately wanted to freeze time. I saved up, bought a camera and started sharing their pictures on Facebook. That’s when people started contacting me to take their family portraits. Soon after I got my first wedding request, and it was during that wedding that I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life! And I haven’t looked back!
123

5.  A. What was one of the challenges of being a photographer?
The biggest challenge of being a photographer has been balancing my schedule. When you work weddings your weekends are gone. It’s important to make sure I balance that work time with time off during normal working hours or else I’d have no life. Especially now that we have a daughter! Spending time with her is much more important than spending time with my computer :)

 

6. How many employees do you have? Do you outsource any aspects of your business? (i.e. accounting, legal) No employees, just me and my hubby on wedding days. But we do outsource our editing and taxes!! It has saved me so much time having someone else edit my weddings. Time that I can now spend with my daughter or on other more enjoyable aspects of my business like running my workshop!! Accounting I outsource, because that stuff is confusing, haha!

View More: http://ajdunlap.pass.us/vendorimages05162015
7.  What is one of your favorite parts about being being your own boss?
I love being my own boss, because I set my schedule! If I want to take my work on the road I can, or if I need a sick day, I take it! If my daughter needs a little more attention I can give it to her. That freedom is priceless!! The life of a work at home/stay at home mom is challenging, but fun! I have to balance short bursts of work with meal times, diaper changes, and play time! Having her at home with me, helps me break up my time just sitting at a desk, which is really nice!

8. What advice would you give someone thinking about starting their own business?
Find someone who is doing what you want to do, and ask them to mentor you! I chose the hard road of figuring it out on my own, but let me tell you I could have saved a LOT of time and energy by asking someone more established! Hiring a mentor will be worth every penny! That and spend money on branding!!! It’s so worth it! Having a brand that reflects the personal side of you will go so much farther than just taking pretty pictures.
90

9. Can you share a fun fact about yourself?
I love to paint! Not art, but furniture!!!! I almost always have some sort of house project going! My husband keeps asking me when we’re going to stop spending money on the house, and I keep laughing at his silly question :)

10. Sending snail mail can be a great way to personalize a message or stand out from your competition. When do you use snail mail in your business? I’m always mailing my couples!! From welcome gifts to thank you letters and Christmas presents. I love the personal touch that snail mail gives to my brand :) Who doesn’t love a surprise in the mail?!

AJD_3556
11. What can you tell us about Darling Wedding Workshop?
Besides photography, my passion is helping women run successful creative businesses! Especially photographers! It’s why I started Darling Wedding Workshop. Empowering women to be artists, and do it successfully makes my heart soar!!!

 

Thank you A.J. for sharing the details of what you do and how you do it! Photos from your studio are always so stunning.

I don’t know about you, but this boss babe’s got me wondering if even I could be a successful wedding photographer! Just sign me up for a Darling Wedding Workshop and I’ll be on my way! Speaking of A.J.’s workshop, I’ll be posting some of the incredible photos from the shoot. You may even see a few pics of my lettering in there. Hint hint!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this interview in the comments. And if you’re an entrepreneur and want to share your wisdom, I’d love to hear from you, too.

 

Signature5

Join me on my favorite online places: Instagram Facebook Etsy

Insider Tips for Creative Entrepreneurs from a Brand You Need to Know

So here it is, the second edition of the RC&D mini blog series: Meet the Boss Behind the Brand. And I’m thrilled to have the bosses behind Forgotten Cotton with us to share their story and their savvy business know-how. Okay y’all, take it away!

 

1. Please introduce yourself and your business.

We are Elizabeth and John, the married team behind Forgotten Cotton. We are a handmade business who design and create irresistible fashion accessories for women. We focus on having a variety of fun colors and interesting textures. Our recent love affair has been with lace. It is such a pleasure to make stylish accessories that add something special to any look. One of the biggest perks to buying from a handmade business such as ours is we can customize anything.  When you receive an item from us we want it to be a perfect fit and created for your needs and style.

We were both born and raised in small town Pennsylvania (in the home of the Doodle- the Cheese Doodle, as in right by Wise Company. Extra points if you know them since they are a Northeast regional brand we miss very much).  Life works in mysterious ways and we didn’t find each other until I (Elizabeth who will be writing this interview) moved to NYC to complete my Master’s Degree. From that point forward there was nothing we couldn’t accomplish as a team. We started our business when we lived in  a small apartment in NYC and as our business grew we were ready to take the next step and go full time. This was a unique opportunity to say- Ok, where do you want to live?  We had been in NYC for over 8 years so it seemed a good time to make the jump and live somewhere else. We considered many places around the country and finally decided Wyoming was going to be the next leg of our adventure. The first time we saw Wyoming and our new home was after a 5 day trip across the country to move. This decision has been regarded as one of our finest after the one where we decided to spend our lives together.

amazon-handmade-banner-forgotten-cotton

2. Where are you physically located and where can we find you online?

Our current home is in Northwestern Wyoming along with the pronghorn, wolves and coyotes. We are right next to the Rocky Mountains and have the most amazing view of the Bear Tooth Mountain Range.  We will admit it can be difficult at times to be so far away from everyone we know. We hope they know we miss them a ton and appreciate every phone call and skype date.

We sell online at a number of locations:

Aftcra: www.aftcra.com/forgottencotton

Etsy: www.forgottencotton.com

Amazon Handmade: www.amazon.com/handmade/forgottencotton

Email List: http://eepurl.com/bquxCT

 

20151018_094825-01

3. How important has social media been for growing your business?

We use all the different types of social media to relate and keep in touch with different types of customers. Instagram is an obvious favorite choice due to it being a visual media. Instagram allows us to share new ideas in a way that is curated to match our visual style. We also love facebook since that was our first social media platform and have been working to adjust with the ever changing platform that is has become. A few months ago we started our own email list  which has been a really awesome for us to keep our fans and customers updated with new items, sales, and news. (The Gold is in the List by Dave Conrey is a great book to checkout on the topic of starting an email list).  We find that different platforms engage different types of customers so it is important for us to continually grow and remain active on each platform.

4.  How did you get started making your products?

The beauty of having your own business is the possibility of continued growth and invention. We had always discussed the idea of having a business. ForgottenCotton started out with $40 worth of supplies and an idea. We really didn’t know that it would turn into the everything that is has in terms of scale and viability. We believe in making high quality products that are made in America and the response we received when starting our business let us know that this was something people wanted.

5. What was one of the challenges of starting your company?

One of the biggest challenges we faced feels like a common thread for a lot of small businesses. I was working full time as an art teacher at a private elementary school. So while we were very lucky to be able to have John stay home and run the business all my nights and weekends were filled with trying to balance having a full time job and helping with the growth of our business.  Another common thread we hear often and can relate to is the struggle with a lack of room. We were living in a tiny space in NYC and the business ended up taking up every spare inch we had available.  We feel very fortunate to have built our business to the point where we could both work full time on the business and have space to expand in a meaningful way.

6. How many employees do you have? Do you outsource any aspects of your business? (i.e. accounting, legal)

We are a start to finish a two person team. It is really great to be able to say that we each have our strengths of different business acumen which allows for a balance of tasks. We really do everything all the way from designing graphics to photography to managing social media. Obviously, we design and make all of our items which sometimes feels like the smallest part of running our business. Our methodology of having a business comes down to the principal that it is better to learn the skills as needed than to outsource them. For example our photography skills have grown dramatically over the past four years from constant learning. We talked with photography friends, researched information, and tried new ideas until we started to feel we were getting the type of photos we wanted.  I think one of the biggest assets we have as a team is our ability to self evaluate and make decisions on how best to move forward.  If you have someone else telling you what to do or how to do it we feel that limits the ability to self examine different aspects of your business and can ultimately stunt growth. By knowing how each moving part works we are able to better examine, evaluate, change, and grow.  We are in a constant state of motion and discussion of where we can improve while educating ourselves with the information needed  to make those improvements.

7.  Can you walk us through a typical day running your business?

I would love to run you through a typical day however I don’t know if you can have such a thing when working from home. Our schedule tends to fluctuate dramatically depending on what time of the year it is and what current projects are brewing. During November and December we will spend 20 hours a day on processing orders, making, and shipping (rinse, wash, and repeat). When you come to a month like March the schedule of our activities is very different. We are planning new ideas, ordering supplies, working on photoshoots and introducing new products to our customers. Some days we spend working on custom orders while others it will be testing out new ideas. Since we make all our own designs and patterns we have a lot of trial and evaluation for each new item. I think the best part of having a home business is being able to have that flexibility and set up our days to best suit our needs.

8. What advice would you give someone thinking about starting their own business?

I could sit down with a pot of coffee and talk for hours on this one! The short answer I would tell someone is to  just get started. Don’t be afraid to start small. To expand that idea into broader terms I would tell someone that you do not need to take expensive classes and have thousands of dollars to start a business. Do not be afraid of what you don’t know because you can always learn. Spend time researching. The internet is a magical place with tons of free resources. Don’t get sucked into listening to what everyone else has to say or what everyone else is doing. Fear of failure can be a stumbling block for beginning businesses as people who are not confident in their own ability to make decisions look for answers from other people. You don’t have to do that. Our friend Sharon from Academy of Handmade recently wrote an amazing and on point article talking about how you should never crowd source the ideas and running of your business. Trust your instincts. (Go check out her article for more).

Looking back at where we started we can see how little we knew. I am not afraid to say that we didn’t know anything. Don’t shy away from researching the type of business you are getting into and examining the potential market for your ideas. The key to getting started is understanding  that you can always improve. The truth is running a business isn’t easy and is a ton of work but that should never stop you. If you are committed to what you are doing and open to examining ways to make yourself better it is possible. Focus on having smart business growth and being authentic to who you are and what you want your business to be. People will take your business as seriously as you do. You will get frustrated. You will have wins and losses. If you take it as it comes it can be an amazing ride.

Also, and this is a highly debated topic our opinion is to get a real camera. Product photos should never be taken and edited on cell phones.

9. Can you share a fun fact about yourself?

Fun fact about us: We love reading and video games. Our favorite book series is A Song of Ice and Fire (let us get specific in saying not the show, the books- go read them because they are amazing).  Our favorite video game series are: Fallout, Witcher, Dragon Age, GTA, and Red Dead Redemption. There are so many others but that is our top of the top.

Bonus fun fact: We do not own cell phones. We live in an area that does not get cell phone reception so we got rid of them when we moved.  We are not sad about that at all.

10. Sending snail mail can be a great way to personalize a message or stand out from your competition. When do you use snail mail in your business?

Our entire business is based around sending snail mail! Since we are an online business all of our items are sent through the mail. It is a great feeling knowing that every day someone is opening a package from us. Everyone loves getting mail and having a business where we get to send it is really a great experience when the mail runs smoothly.

11. How do you decide what materials to use?

We always look for materials that are best suited to the vision we have for the project. For example when making our faux leather cuffs we researched  many (many!) different kinds of faux leather until we found the one that we felt was perfect for our needs. We have very high standards for making our products and want to find materials that match our expectations. We also are very particular about where we purchase our materials in that we aim to buy from small American Businesses. While the process of finding suppliers who fit our needs and expectations does take a long time it also allows us to build a business relationship with our suppliers who are all amazing in helping us source the types of materials we need.

12. What is one thing you would want a first time customer to know?

We want all of our customers to know that we are here to help. If someone has a question or a specific need we always want them to feel free to contact us. If someone wants something custom that we don’t offer please send us a message. If you need something customized we are happy to be of assistance. We have been involved with custom items for everything from weddings to kids to cosplay. Often times custom requests will lead to adding a whole new product line based on the inspiration we receive from our customers.

13. What type of camera/ photoediting software do you use?

We use a Nikon D90 for our product photos and edit with Photoshop. For online photos such as Instagram and Facebook I have a delightfully useful Samsung Galaxy Camera with Wifi Integration. My favorite app for quick photo editing is SnapSeed.

14. Where do you take your product photos?

All of our product photos are taken right here either in our house or on our property. Those mountains you see? Those are the Rocky Mountains in their full beautiful glory. We love having the ability to integrate where we live into our product line as it gives our photos a feeling that is unique to our brand.

15. What is the most common non product question you receive?

Where did you get those boots? No kidding. I know, they are amazing boots in our photos which is why I chose to wear them. The boots I am wearing in many of our product photos were given to me as a gift several years ago and are Frye Brand. They are no longer in production (and have not been for years) but you may be able to find a used pair on Ebay.

16. Tell us about your Cats.

We are a petfree shop however we do have two cats who live with us in our home. They are  two black rescue cats from Brooklyn that are named Coheed and Cambria (named after the band.) They traveled all the way here with us from NYC. They love boxes, sunny windows, and sitting by the fire. Their favorite food is Tuna. They also love when we give them fabric scraps to play with.

For deals, sales, behind the scenes, and more follow us!
Get 10% off your next order. Sign up for our mailing list!: http://eepurl.com/bquxCT

 

*********************************************************************************

A big Thank You to Elizabeth and John for letting us step inside their incredible business adventure. To keep up with these two, you can follow them on Instagram and Twitter and like them on Facebook. Be sure to also subscribe to their mailing list for 10% off your next order.

Anyone else bubbling with inspiration? Before you ask, it’s really early here so we promise it’s not from champagne. {smile} I’d love for you to share you’re thoughts about this interview in the comments below. And if you have suggestions for future brand interviews or would like your business featured, click here for more details.

Signature5

Simplify Your Space to Simplify Your Life

The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace. This quote makes me think of the beauty behind a minimalist design. The zen feeling of a streamlined living space. I’m not a big fan of clutter and I bet most of you feel the same way.

A place for everything and everything in its place is a nice theory but if you share your living quarters with a roommate, a partner, family or the like, it may be easier said then done. And no doubt, you’ve accumulated things along the way. The hula dancing bobble head collection from Aunt Maggie’s trip to Hawaii. Tubes of acrylic paint from last year’s attempt at finding a hobby. Boxes of clothes that you once wore that you may wear again but don’t quite fit in the meantime. In other words, stuff. {smile}.

Well, we decided to try a challenge inspired by one we found while surfing Pinterest for bookcase inspiration. The Pinterest challenge went like this: Each day for 30 days you get rid of items from your home and either sell/donate/discard them. One the first day, two things the second day, etc. At the end of 30 days, you’re magically 465 ‘things’ lighter. Well we don’t have nearly that many things to downsize (I don’t think?), but I liked the idea behind it of taking a conscious look at what objects surround us everyday. Oh and because one of us misread Trisha’s blog post at 1 o’clock in the morning, {ahem, me} we were removing up to 30 things each day.

It became a game between my husband and I. And it gave us a good nudge to go through the things we didn’t usually go through. Like sorting our closets and pulling out ‘retired’ but not yet ‘donated’ clothes. Or weeding through our stashes of paperwork and mementos that we no longer wanted or needed. And of course, raiding the medicine cabinet and food pantry for expired items- because a point is a point. {wink}.

We’ve been at this for a little over a week with good results. Though we are coming to the point were we’re starting to scratch our heads looking for unwanted excess. Which is a good sign I suppose. The best part about this challenge was that it only took 20 minutes a day. We didn’t have to sacrifice a whole weekend to decluttering a walk-in closet or the garden shed. That and the friendly competition of the point system made it kind of, well, fun. {smile}

How do you declutter your space? Will you try this downsizing challenge? If you put your own twist on it, I’d love to hear about it! Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Signature5

 

 

A Year From Now…

What can you do in a year?

Take up a new hobby… Finally read through War and Peace… Master a new skill… Learn a foreign language… Fall in love… Write a book or a blog {wink}… Enroll in classes to advance your career… Start a business or a family…

The possibilities are endless here. Karen Lamb said it best when she said, “A year from now you may wish you had started today.” This is one of my favorite quotes at the moment. I especially love how it can apply to both personal life and business life. A year (okay a year plus) ago we started our family and took a gamble on our dreams, and I am so glad we did. A year from now, I will be grateful I never gave up on my business despite the many challenges of entrepreneurship.

A year is a long time. Or is it? People will often tell me that they love my work and that they wish they were as talented. {blush} I am always quick to stop them and encourage them to try. Okay, confession time: my regular handwriting is not glamorous and my grocery list does not warrant framing. {smile} Like most things in life, calligraphy is a learned skill. A skill that took me roughly a year to ‘master’. Which to most people may sound discouraging, but the year is going to pass whether you’re learning skills and doing things, or not. So why not give your future self something to thank you for, maybe she’ll buy you a drink to celebrate. {wink}

So what will you be doing now, that will earn you a watermelon martini a year from now? I’d love to hear what you are working on/planning that will pay off done the line. Feel free to share in the comments. For me, I’m a writer, so I’m writing…