Sunday, March 01, 2015

{goal for today: just be}

We got a fresh blanket of snow overnight, it is my first day off since last Sunday, and this is my goal for the day. 

I can tend to let a messy house and undone projects overwhelm me on the weekend, which leads to a cranky attitude. So today I'm ignoring it all and going with those two words. 

Hope your Sunday is equally low expectation! 


Thursday, February 26, 2015

{hashtag stalking}

Things are all sorts of crazy around here this week. 

I have one of my big work events this Saturday so I'm in final prep for that which = Mandy in full anxiety/panic/"I can do this!" mode. And of course the rest of life keeps going like school delays and doodle orders and piles of laundry and the perfect timing of "auntie flow"...yeah I said that one with lots of sarcasm. And yes I just told you waaaay too much information. But you all can feel my pain, right?

Oh, and THIS happened on Friday. {insert a million exclamation points}

Right after I blogged about the rollercoaster of emotions that is art licensing. That one was SO God's timing, I tell ya. 

I knew that stalking #homegoodshappy on Instagram would pay off. And I did some SERIOUS stalking. 

If you skipped the link up there...THIS = this...

That's my "shine" piece in the upper right corner, and that lovely blogger purchased it at HomeGoods! So if you missed my news on every other possible social media platform, I'm super excited to be able to announce This Girl's Doodles is available at HomeGoods!

I'm not sure which stores are carrying my pieces but hopefully they will be available across the country. The closest store to us is about an hour away so I haven't been able to do any checking myself. 

If you happen to be at your local HomeGoods and see one of my pieces, snap a photo of it and share it on Instagram or Twitter with #thisgirlsdoodleshomegoods and tag me! 

I would 

Not that I don't already love you. But you know that, right? Right.

So although things have been crazy, they are mostly crazy good and for that I'm so, so thankful. 

Oh! And I'm working on a fun March freebie for my email list subscribers, so if you haven't already, head on over to my home page and sign up to get This Girl's Life in your inbox!


Monday, February 23, 2015

{quick diy project}

On my last trip to Goodwill, I was lucky to find this great stair basket...

I've wanted one to corral all of our hats and gloves. But I wasn't too excited about the boring paint finish.

Simple enough to fix though, with a can of pretty olive green spray paint and some painter's tape!

I wanted to keep the wooden balls the original color, so I taped them off and then went to town with the paint. And I'm super happy with the results!

Not bad for a $4 basket and a $3 can of spray paint!

I would show it to you on our stairs, but they are currently a mess of dried up salt and random shoes from this nasty weather we're having. So we'll just leave that to your imagination, OK? 

Have you done any quick DIY projects lately? 


Saturday, February 21, 2015

{a tale of two dressers}

I happen to be a big fan of dressers in entryways. I've wanted one in ours for quite awhile now. A midcentury one to be more specific. 

We've had a console table in there for a few years, which looked just fine, but offered zero storage.

And we had an adorable midcentury modern dresser in the boys' room...

A few weeks ago, someone at my work was selling a barely used IKEA dresser for super cheap. So we snagged it up and moved it into the boys' room...

It offers SO much more storage than the midcentury piece.

And speaking of my MCM dresser...

It is now in the entryway where I always wanted it!

I'm so happy with how it works in the space, both aesthetically and functionally. 

And I'm also loving some springy decor, considering it has been around 10 degrees here this week!

Do you have a dresser in an unexpected spot in your house?


Thursday, February 19, 2015

{am I there yet?}

It has been awhile since I've given an update on my art licensing situation.

That's because it is a freaking long, and if I can be honest, at times excruciating, process. 

Over the past almost year and a half, I've found myself on many occasions whining to God like a toddler on a long road trip, questioning over and over again, "Am I there yet?!"

When is the magic going to happen?

When can we remodel our kitchen with my huge royalty check?

I found out in November that a large national chain bought some of my work. And I was doing a major happy dance. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops but because of legal stuff I have to keep my lips zipped until I know my pieces are available for sale.

You is February and still no sign of them in stores. So here I am...sitting on this exciting announcement like an annoyed, squirmy cat.

Oh, and that big fat royalty check? I got my first one a few weeks ago. 

And I'm gonna be REAL honest with you all now.

It was $78.

Yep...I waited like the most ridiculously impatient child you've ever seen, for over a year, for $78. 

I threw a total pity party for myself for approximately two hours {or two days, but who's counting?} after I opened that envelope because: 1. I pretty much knew the first check was going to be small; 2. Just not that small; 3. I reallllly want a kitchen sink that stays white; and 4. I had SO much hope tied up into this art licensing thing.

I still do. 

But now it is a bit more realistic, in the harshest reality-check ever sort of way.

Once I was over feeling sorry for myself, I decided to spend my whopping nearly $80 earnings on a pair of turquoise leather moccasins and a sweet little tree necklace. 

And an owl mug because...well owl mugs make everything happier. 

It's no kitchen sink, but hell if I don't look cute wearing my moccasins + necklace while drinking coffee out of my owl mug.  

But seriously, friends. After I came back from the throws of my one-woman pity party, an exciting and fresh reality hit me over the head like one of the boys' Nerf darts.

I made more than that royalty check {OK...not much more, but still more} in my Etsy shop last month. 

I can do this with or without art licensing.

Sure, I'm still early in the licensing game and it could grow into something much bigger. 

But it comes down to this: My focus has to return to making art and putting it out into the world. 

And I need to stop tossing all of my hopes into the art licensing basket, because right now it is the tiniest basket ever, holding itsy bitsy eggs that haven't had much time to grow. 

And by focusing so much of my mental energy on what I hoped it would become, I wasn't moving forward. I wasn't leaving space for spontaneous and worthwhile projects to be born. And I've found over the past few years that those are the ones I need to pay attention to. 

I'll still be working on the art licensing thing because it excites me and it has immense potential. And I hope that one day soon I can tell you where you can go buy one of my canvases. 

But until then I'm going to stop asking God "Am I there yet?" and focus more on the journey. *Not that I won't have whiny toddler days, because they will most certainly pop up here and there. 

Have you found yourself wondering when you are going to arrive to some magical destination? Do you think that focus is holding you back from the important work you are called to do? 


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

{in my sketchbook}

I've been having fun in my sketchbook lately with patterns and color. 

Inspired by one of my favorite artists, Lisa Congdon, and one of her online classes, I purchased a set of these markers and they are so fun to work with. The colors are super vivid and they have a watercolor-like finish. 

Here are a few of my recent doodles...

It is a nice change of pace to do something outside my usual doodling, and try different color combinations. 

If you want to keep up with my almost daily doodling, follow me over on Instagram!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

{take care of you}

Today I took a much needed mental health day, complete with an appointment to cover up my quickly multiplying "natural highlights" and get a fresh hair cut. I usually joke about the term "mental health day" but to be honest I was desperate for this time.

When I'm in the middle of an extremely difficult season {day, hour, minute} of life, I find myself becoming frustrated and hurt that those around me aren't more aware of my need for attention and rest.

Surely they can see that inside I feel like I'm about ready to lose my grip, right?

While it is great to have people around that notice our need for care, here's the truth.

They probably aren't going to do it for you.

Chances are, they are having a rough time too.

We all have our things.

For me it is the feeling of my soul being suffocated by the roles of professional, mom, wife, and artist with no white space to inhale deeply.

For you it might be the total overwhelm of the stay-at-home-mom life, the fresh and still stinging grief of a personal loss, or the worry and exhaustion that comes with having a special needs child.

The point is, you have to take care of you.

Our lives don't have a built-in self-care alarm that alerts everyone to back away and give us some space. Oh, wouldn't that be nice?

So take a mental health day, grab your favorite drink from the local coffee shop, spend some time reading an encouraging book, take a bubble bath.

Whatever feels right...whatever your soul needs to get back to some sort of balance.

If you need to set an alarm on your phone to take a break at 10:00 every morning just to stop and take ten deep breaths, do it. Leave a post-it note on your bathroom mirror reminding yourself to do that mud mask you keep forgetting about.

Take care of you.

{What's one thing you can do today to better take care of yourself? Tell me in the comments!}



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