New Year to Find Creativity

New Year, New Creativity

 

Welcome 2018. Like a lot of folks, I’m pondering what this new year holds. I’ve been reading back over past business plans, ideas & motivations. Wondering how to un-stick myself {because, boy am I stuck!}. All the while, I am conscious of how demanding the farm will be again this year…

I’m thinking this year is going to be about playful creativity and branching out; trying to rekindle the magic in making and striving to combine both farm & craft life in some unique product offerings.

Oh and also more tattoos!

2018 you are my blank canvas, and I am yours!

A Year In Review: 2016

A Year In Review: 2016 ~ Bubblegum Sass ~ New Year, New Dreams

 

As the hour approaches and this year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect a bit on 2016. {To see my previous year reviews, click here}

Age: 35

Books I kept beside the bed:

  • Jan Karon’s Mitford series {still reading it}
  • GriefShare workbook
  • Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Most enjoyed restaurants/food:

  • Last Best Brewery & Distillery
  • Charcut
  • The Chocolate Lab

Songs I’ve had on repeat:

  • Thy Will by Layla Mackey
  • Fight Song by Rachel Platten
  • Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin

Biggest Challenges:

  • Admitting the full extent of my depression & grief and seeking help. It’s all an upward climb to get out of the depth of the darkness, but one of the hardest parts is that first move to get help. After years of knowing my depression was getting worse, I finally realized I couldn’t go on without doing something about it. I went to my doctor and asked to start anti-depressants. I started checking in with her once a month to ensure the meds were on track & helping.
  • Hiring a nanny for the summer. It might *seem* small & silly, but admitting that I needed help with childcare was a big deal for me. I’m a stay-at-home mom. So getting a nanny seemed indulgent, but I knew, I needed the help to keep my sanity & make my self-care a priority in those early months of tackling my depression.
  • Committing to, showing up for, and participating in a 13 week grief support program at a local church. If you’ve ever walked through or are currently facing grief, I highly recommend the GriefShare program. It’s fully Christian based, but connecting with others who are going through loss is huge to healing.

 

Weekly Color Inspiration ~ By Bubblegum Sass ~ Birthday Unicorn ~ Nursery Room & Girl's Room Decor Inspo

 

Smartest decision I made: Walking through the doors of the local gym, committing to a weightlifting program, and connecting with a wonderful group of moms all doing the same thing. It’s been an incredible two months so far! I don’t feel weak anymore. I don’t feel sick. I don’t feel so broken. I like feeling my muscles work, I like the sweat & the challenge. I like the little village I’ve finally found myself in & the support & inspiration we freely give to each other. And I keep saying, as long as I walk through the doors of the gym, I’ve completed my goal. Doesn’t matter how the rest of the workout goes.

Glad I finally: Set some clear boundaries on my craft business that I’m comfortable with. Although it meant a loss in sales and having to say “no”, it was wonderful to be closed for the month of December. No markets, no online sales, no custom orders. Every year, I take steps to turn my focus to the true spirit of Christmas & going forward it will always mean being closed in December, so I can do just that.

Most thankful: For my Sammy, hubby & family. For friends, new and old. For customers & their custom orders. For getting a spot on a local adoption list. For God continuing to surprise us at every turn.

 

Much love to you & yours this New Year’s Eve! May 2017 bring the best surprises & the best changes to your life!

 

A Year in Review: 2016 ~ Bubblegum Sass ~ New Year, New Dreams

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Best Intentions

Green and Yellow Love Catcher by Bubblegum Sass

It’s funny how quickly the best intentions can go awry. I dedicated a full day and several more hours (that’s a lot of time to a mama) to business brainstorming and planning for the New Year, including a production schedule, goals for social media, and areas to re-vamp & improve. I was feeling excited and energized for 2015, with big goals & even lofty dreams.

And then it hit me this past weekend. I was doing it again; falling into the same trap I have stumbled into each year. Not the trap of “too many expectations” or even “too few”.

I was planning MY year, as though it were my OWN. Here was page upon page of brainstorming & notes, even some of the tactics I would employ to make these goals a reality. It NEVER crossed my mind that the first step should be to turn to the Lord, the source of life & light. He didn’t even have a foot note in all these grand plans. I was completely missing the point. Again.

Here it is January 6th and I haven’t picked up my Bible since Christmas or come up with a reading plan or been praying regularly & intentionally. And yet, “I have made plans for 2015.” How absurd & impossible that seems now.

Blue & Yellow Love Catcher by Bubblegum Sass

Realistically, I’m not throwing all *my plans* out the window, but I’m asking for a re-do to the beginning of the year. Shifting priorities, and mindsets so that the first thing I do is put HIM first.

What would you have me (& us) do, Lord?
My life is not my own.
Mostly, I long to be useful to you.
Show me how to do that each & every day.
Thank you for being patient with me, yet again,
and for your gentle reminders.
Help me to pull back, slow down,
and walk alongside you, instead of racing ahead.
You first. All else will follow.

I wish you all much clarity and patience along your own paths this year.

Commit your way to the Lord ~ Pslam 37:5 ~ Bubblegum Sass Blog

A Year In Review: 2014

Celebrating mama's birthday ~ December 2014

I did one of these last year and decided to share my 2014 tidbits too:

Age: 33

Most enjoyed books:
1. Yada Yada Prayer Group (the ENITRE series was so enjoyable!) by Neta Jackson
2. Surprised by Motherhood by Lisa-Jo Baker
3. The Bible. Yes. It felt so good to make reading the Bible part of my daily routine.

Best food discoveries:
1. Making & canning tomato sauce
2. Roasting duck
3. Various yummy edible uses for dandelions

Biggest Challenges:

1. Attempting to figure out the new balance of pretty much everything in our life during hubby’s first year of intense market gardening
2. Having to take on the majority of our own gardening & subsequent food preservation (with the help of small toddler hands). In the past, I just played the role of assistant while hubby led the way. Felt like a bit of a crash course this year in everything garden related.
3. Still trying to figure out how to fit in enough crafting & Bubblegum Sass business time on a regular basis so that I can feel satisfied.

Lessons learned:
1. Slugs will demolish a garden in a blink of an eye. Do NOT put off dealing with them or you will be left with nothing but slimy, half eaten beans.
2. Do not be afraid to make changes or tell people when something isn’t working out. If it’s not sitting “right” with you then do something about it.
3. Verbalizing your honest feelings to a two/three year old, is better than yelling at them. (I am frustrated, I am tired, etc).

Smartest decision I made: NOT closing up shop and giving up on Bubblegum Sass, even though I came very close a couple of times this year out of pure frustration.

It’s been a long time in the making, but: my Bubblegum Sass product line and booth design is FINALLY coming together. Four years into this whole thing and I’ve finally figured out my brand and feel like I’m on the verge of a very cohesive collection. Hoping to bring the blog, website, and Etsy shop all in line with that identity in 2015!

Highlight moments/events:
1. Our family dream trip to Disney World and our very first cruise on board a Disney Cruise ship! Our adventures there were chalk full of “once-in-a-lifetime” moments!
2. Two AMAZING craft shows this year that made every effort I put into the business worth it!
3. Getting to see my fave Broadway musical Wicked live, not once, but TWICE this summer!

Glad I finally:
took a vacation somewhere warm, wore a bathing suit, and treated ourselves to lots of little indulgences after the last several challenging years we’ve had. Much needed time away together.

Most thankful for: another year of being a stay-at-home-mom. As much as each day challenges me, I wouldn’t trade it, not if it meant missing out on so much Sammy time.

I am admittedly, not good at asking for help. I’d rather suffer through something than delegate it. This is not a good quality in life or business. I might always struggle to ask for help, but I am so very blessed to have willing, helping hands at my disposal. A VERY special thank you to my hubby, Marcus, for his dedicated support to my business. He helps whenever I get up the nerve to ask for it, and offers even when I don’t. A VERY special thank you to my dear friend Shauna, who enthusiastically volunteered to lend me a hand at craft shows this year, even though it meant a ton of life scheduling & organizing on her part. Your offer of time, big or small, has meant a world of encouragement to me!

And lastly, but not leastly, THANK YOU to all the readers of this blog, my wonderful customers, followers on social media, fellow crafters & artisans. You made it possible to keep going with Bubblegum Sass another year. You inspired, challenged, and encouraged me. I am realizing that small growth, is growth nonetheless and that thought warms my heart as I move into an exciting new year.

Four Fab Finds: Organization

January always seems to mark a need to make lists, buy storage containers, & organize everything! I just finished picking up a cart full of storage containers so I can tackle purging, cleaning, & organizing various corners of our house (including our basement). A pile of fresh new (and colourful) boxes always seems so hopeful and promising. It’s a great way to start off the new year. So here’s some fab Etsy finds for organizing corners of your home in a stylish way:

1. Decorative Crochet Set by Looping Home
2. Chalkboard Labels from Charlie Chalk Designs
3. Modern Twig Coat Hook by Studio Liscious
4. Canvas Storage Baskets by Dagmar’s Designs


Crochet jar covers

1. Decorative Crochet Set by Looping Home

Chalkboard lables
2. Chalkboard Labels from Charlie Chalk Designs


Modern coat hook

3. Modern Twig Coat Hook by Studio Liscious


Canvas Basket

4. Canvas Storage Baskets by Dagmar’s Designs

A year in review: 2013

Decided to do a little review of the year, so here it is, in a nutshell, my 2013 tidbits:

Age: 32

Most enjoyed books:

  1. “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” by Barbara Kingslover
  2. “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen (yes it really was the first time I’ve read it)
  3. “Barnheart: The Incurable Longing for a Farm of One’s Own” by Jenna Woginrich

Artists whose music I’ve had on repeat:

  1. The Lumineers
  2. Mumford & Sons
  3. Dan Mangan

Best food discovery: kale chips

Biggest challenges:

  1. Learning to carve out enough time to do my Bubblegum Sass business (which meant asking for help from others to look after Sam & putting my crafting at a higher priority than it has been for a while)
  2. Living through *major* home renos & coping with no kitchen for three months (hubby & I managed not to kill each other)
  3. Trying to figure out the balance between being a mom, a wife, a small business owner, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and just being me.

Highlight moments/events:

  1. Being a vendor at Make It! in November in Edmonton with my brother
  2. Road tripping to Colorado for my cousin’s wedding, staying in Estes Park, and visiting family
  3. Spending time in the garden and at the cabin with Sam, watching him explore nature & discover so many new things

Glad I finally: got a subscription to Taproot magazine!! So enjoyable in every way! Why didn’t I start reading it sooner?!

Most thankful for: another year with my parents living close-by and being able to spend so much special time with Sam

And now it’s time to take a moment to say “THANK YOU” to all my readers, customers, family & friends. Whichever category you feel you fall into, I have much appreciation for all your support! Looking forward to sharing many more adventures with you in 2014!!

Sam sledding at the cabin

More than one fresh start

Woman wearing orange scarfIt never ceases to amaze me how things seem to happen at just the right moment. Of course, in that moment, it is easy to feel like everything is wrong, it shouldn’t be happening, life isn’t fair, things would be so much better if… Looking back though, you have a bit clearer perspective and maybe you start to see how that moment was just the right moment. If it had happened any other way, things would be going so very differently, and it really might not be better.

Kinda abstract for a Saturday morning, I know. I’ve written a bit about this before, but it’s monumental enough to reflect on again, this year was the craziest roller coaster ride I’ve ever been on. The highs were super high, the lows were so low, they were sub-level. Honestly, though, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Facing challenge after challenge made me realize at my inner most core simply, that I could. A year (or more) of life altering situations and experiences has truly given me a strength I didn’t know I had and a faith that I hope to keep burning inside me.

Sure, I didn’t come out the other side perfect. My heart has been hardened quite a bit. Resentments and anger are taking up some space in there. I really want to let those go. Some days it is easier than others and whatever 2011 brings, I know that I will still be facing some of the challenges that 2010 has left behind.

For all those perfectly timed moments this past year, I give thanks. Thanks because it has given me a list of fresh starts for this New Year:

  • new yarn and needle felting supplies to make into all sorts of lovelies
  • an AeroGarden for a third attempt at my herb garden
  • a heavy punching bag in the basement to work out some anger on
  • an online shop that is ready to open now open
  • a body that is healed and ready to see if there is children in our future
  • a new Bible to learn from
  • a layoff that will lead me to a new career

Happy New Year everyone! Greet this day as one of the many fresh starts to come!