Friday, May 31, 2013

A New, Scary, Exciting Dream

The last couple of years (ok, a lot longer) I have just been kind of floating around. Working, paying bills, hanging out with my friends and family, working, and then starting school again.

Life has been fun, good, and kind of boring.

Boring in the way that I'm not challenging myself. I'm not growing and pushing myself as much as I used to. Once I got my bachelor's degree I felt like I hit a plateau. For awhile I stopped. Then I slowly started growing again, but the last couple of years I've hit that plateau again.

I've struggled to find out what I'm "meant to do." To find a new dream to pursue.

I thought it would be going back to school to get my paralegal certificate.

Now that I have my first semester under my belt, I don't think that was it. It's good, and I'm certainly going to finish it, because I do need to still pay my bills. But it's not my dream and I'm not passionate about it.

Back in March I went to a conference and the message I walked away with was to find your dream and pursue it.

But ever since then I've been frustrated because I don't know what my dream is. What is my passion? What is my dream job? What makes me happy?

I'm 29 and I still don't know. I'm sure that is probably normal that I don't know. I imagine it takes some people their whole lives to figure it out.

The last few months I've tried, struggled, and gotten a little frustrated trying to figure it out.

I've discovered the following in this little journey:

     1. Being a paralegal is very interesting and a good job. I enjoy it, but I don't LOVE it.
     2. I want to LOVE my job. I want to be excited to go to work every day.
     3. I LOVED making the invitations for Fallon's baby shower.
     4. I remembered how much fun I had making invitations for other parties I've done.
     5. While I'm at work, I find myself wishing I was home to do something make
         something. I feel the need to do it.
     6. I feel fulfilled when I am creating something.
     7. I've found myself wishing I could do this all day. Being creative and making stuff
         is what I think about when I'm not thinking.

On more than one occasion, I've wished there was business locally that was crafty and would let me work for them.

I thought I found it at my local scrapbook store, but then they closed last year. (Boo!)

Then I heard this little voice: what if I started my own?

I laughed at the absurdity of the thought and quickly dismissed it. Yeah right. I'm not that type of person. I'm not aggressive enough. Not ambitious enough. Certainly not crazy enough.

I kept thinking why make my life that much more busy? I'm already working full-time. I go to school almost full-time (I will in the Fall). And I having a fantastic calling at church that keeps me quite busy (but not too busy!). Why would I want to throw something else in the mix?

Ok. I am crazy enough.

The thought has come across my mind often in the past few months. Friends have encouraged me many, many times. I always laugh it off and thank them for the compliment of having the opinion that someone would like to buy something I make. I always joke that no one can afford me. :)

I've worried that IF I did have a shop (or whatever) that I would stop loving my hobby. I've worried that I literally have NO IDEA how to run a business. I hate money. I hate trying to put a price on what I make.

(Seriously. I do. It's so hard. I just want to giveaway everything I make. I don't want to charge people--part of it is that I don't think that what I make is worth it, and part of it is guilt for taking people's hard earned cash. So I would need to get over this.)

Why would I want to add more stress to my life. Why?

Why not? Why wouldn't I want to get paid to do something I love?

The idea of having my own business has crawled into my brain and taken up residence. It won't leave. I keep finding myself thinking. If I did have my own shop...then I would do this. Or I would sell that. Or what would my brand be? Logo? Business name? So many questions I keep answering or wanting, needing to answer.

And then I remind myself that it's crazy and just a silly idea. It's impossible. I shouldn't waste my time on something so frivolous. I mean, why waste time and energy on something that probably wouldn't go anywhere.

Why not?

I doubt myself and my abilities and then a little voice says, "Who's to say that it wouldn't go anywhere, or be wonderful, or be exactly what I am supposed to do? And even if it's not those things--you'll learn something."

Anytime I try to talk myself out of it, a little voice in my head finds a way around the doubt. (I don't know anything about business accounting. Oh wait, I know several business accountants...including my best friend.)

Maybe I'm supposed to do this? But I'm not brave enough. I act like I am, but I'm not.

But maybe I could be. What's that quote from We Bought a Zoo?

"You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it."

I think this just might be my 20 seconds of insane courage....

P.S. Right after I finished writing the above, I turned on the radio. This was the song that came on:

Brave by Sara Bareilles

Love the song and love the video. And I'm feeling a bit braver. :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

"A Typical Week" Mini Scrapbook Album

For National Scrapbooking Day, there was a week long challenge on one website to make a mini album about our daily lives. And since I conveniently wrote about it here just a couple of weeks ago, I decided to put one together. This is what I came up with. The journaling is the text from my blog post about my typical week.

The Cover:

Monday & Tuesday:




Friday & Saturday:


I like how it came together and it was pretty quick to do, especially since I had it already typed up. :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Flower Mobile

Before I even knew I was going to throw Fallon a shower, I decided I was going to make her something fun for the Nursery. Caitlin suggested I make her a mobile like I did for Rachel.
But this one has some improvements so I thought I would update how I did it. It was definitely easier this time, but it did cost a bit more.
I used a 12" embroidery hoop and wrapped it with 1" wide cream ribbon. For the tied part, I bought 1/2" wide cream and light pink ribbed ribbon to tie around it. I also threw in 1" wide stips of burlap to add a bit of rustic charm to it. (The nursery colors are light pink, cream, and oatmeal tan. With a vintage-y vibe.) I cut 8-9" strips of ribbon and then started tieing them around the hoop. I was worried that the ribbon was going to be too long, but Cait convinced me it looked better that way. I used the same cream ribbon tied in 4 places to create a hanger. I loved how it turned out. I liked the frayed ribbon and burlap. 

 For the flowers, I used a pattern that I had done before for some wedding invitations I had helped with. And yes, I used my Cameo to cut them out. :) They are about 2" in diameter.

2/3 of the flowers are pink and the rest are creamy white with a tan back. The centers are are black fringy look with black glitter to add a bit of sparkle. Each flower has two layers of the paper and then a third layer of sparkily vellum.
Once the flowers were all dry, I curled up the edges of the petals to make them a bit more 3D. I was trying to figure out how to thread the strands through the flowers when I came up with using scrapbooking 3D foam adhesive squares. Then I put an adhesive foam square on half of them and stuck a flower on the back. Yay!
To make a strand, I cut a long piece of jewelery thread (little bit thicker than regular sewing thread) and tied a crystal jewel at the end. Then I started alternating round crystal beads (the most expensive part!) with flowers, using a needle to thread through the foam square on the flowers. To keep everything in place, I used jewelery crimp beads. 

The strands are all different lengths. I think for Rachel's I did 20 strands, but this time I only did 16. I think I like 16 better. I also made it so there was a lot more space between each item on the strand.  Sorry for the terrible picture, I didn't have anywhere in my house to hang it up when it was done except here.

When I was all done I packed it up in a perfectly sized box and very carefully wrapped up the box so it wouldn't get all tangled. That didn't work out so well, but it was easy to fix at the party. 
Fortunately Fallon loved it and was really excited about it. Several girls came up after and were wanting directions. It did take a little time to do it, but that is because I am really slow at things and wasn't sure what I wanted while I was doing it. :)
I loved how it turned out too and think I just have to make another. The great thing is that this is totally customizable and so the "flowers" can be anything you want. :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

16 months of Joy

My niece Rachel is so hilarious, and adorable, and sweet, and goofy. And I love her.

Yep, this post is chock full of adorable goodness. :)

She is getting so smart. She knows sign language and can sign: Food, More, Please, Thank you, and Water (drink). She knows where her ears, nose, teeth, bellybutton, and toes are. She even says bellybutton, but it comes out more like "bellybutt."

If you ask her if she's stinky or poopy, she pats her bottom and says "stinky." But she does say that even if she isn't. So that's a work in progress.

She also says: Hi, bye, baby, puppy, Uh-oh, Milk (but it comes out as "Gilk"),  Snacks, Momma, and Daddy. She LOVES to wave to people--anyone that walks past her while on her daily walks or at the store. It's amazing how grumpy looking people light up and smile and wave back when an adorable toddler says hi to them. :)

She loves to eat Avocados, tomatoes, broccoli, rice, peaches, fruit snacks, and hot dogs. She doesn't like cheese or meat. What a wierdy. ;)

When she goes to bed, or nap, and others are there--she HAS to say bye to you. If you don't acknowledge her leaving, she'll come up to your face and wave bye so you say goodbye to her. Then she'll give you a kiss, or blow you a kiss. It's soooo cute.

She knows where to throw away the garbage, put away her toys, and where to put her shoes away. If you ask her to put your shoes away, she throws them over the baby gate by the front door. If you don't ask her, she'll pull at your shoes until they are off so that she can put them away.

Her reflection is named Zoe and she loves to watch herself in the sliding glass door. And to wave at herself. It's pretty funny to watch her get so excited about it. If you ask her to wave at Zoe, she waves at the door.

Caitlin has been working with her on animal sounds. If you ask her what sound a piggy makes, Rachel tells you, "Bacon!" That is parenting done right.

Sometimes she chases herself around the coffee table. And she loves to play fetch with her big red ball. Cait's decided that it's not "fetch" though. It's a game teaching colors, shapes, and spacial awarness--depending on the object you roll for her to get.

And I'll be honest, I love it when she runs up to me with a big smile when I walk in the room. She didn't do that to someone else recently and they were pretty jealous. To be fair, I see her regularly and they don't. But still, I liked it. :D

"I'm just gunna chill with here Dolly and my raisins. Cuz I'm cool like that."

Rachel's first cell phone.   "Hi. I'd like to order a large Meat Lover's Pizza. With Bacon."
"I know I am so cuuute!"

If anyone else in the room starts to laugh (including a character in a movie) Rachel starts to laugh. It's a hilarious little giggle. So tiny and high.

"Hey, Can someone hand me the screwdriver? I need to tighten this up."

Rachel LOVES dancing. If there is music on, she will dance, even in the middle of a store. Carrie Underwood is her favorite--she is guarenteed to dance if it's Carrie Underwood.

Reading a scouting magazine while patiently waiting for her dinner.

While taking self portriats with my phone, I could just hear Rachel thinking, "Wow, Megan looks soo goofy. hahaha."

Rachel loves smelling plants. Nick taught her to smell flowers and now she wants to smell every plant.
It's pretty funny to take her on a walk--she stops a lot.
Rachel has mastered the art of planking.
She loves to rest her head on the couch and put her legs up on the coffee table--just like Mom & Dad.

Good Morning Beautiful! I love your crazy hair!

"I like to take Dad on walks. He needs the excersise."

How can you NOT love that little cheesy grin? Hahaha. So freakin' cute!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Handmade ABC Wall

For my friend, Fallon's baby shower, I thought it would be fun to do a little crafty activity instead of playing games (I'm kind of over the baby/bridal shower games). It would let everyone do something fun and creative, and allow us to talk--since that's why we're really there. :)

Fallon and I decided that an ABC wall would be really fun (and easy!) to make at the party--she really wanted one. But buying the letters (average price: $3-6/letter) and then all the decorating stuff was going to be really pricy and way out of my budget. And collecting all the letters would take too long.

I decided to make them. Ok. I decided that I would design and set it all up and then have my awesome brother-in-law, Nick, make them from me. (Don't worry, he was willing. :) )

I used my Cameo to figure out sizing and fonts and then I cut out templates for each letter.

Home Depot had a sheet of MDF that was perfectly sized and priced.

I laid the letters all out on the MDF and arranged them so they all fit, leaving room around each one.

Then Nick cut them out with a jigsaw. :) I was willing to do it, but he was faster and better and so I let him.

Once they were all cut out, I sanded the edges and then primed them with a white spray primer so they were pretty. Easy Peasy.

I realized that after they were dry the primer was really thick and needed several sandings. I wasn't really happy with it. Next time (yeah, right) I'll use just regular Rustoleum white spray paint + primer (easier and cheaper) or just paint them white with regular acrylic paint--which is what I ended up doing for all the edges since it didn't really cover them well.

I was going to use a staple gun to put staples in the back to use as hanging brackets, except Caitlin forgot it in all the hustle to get out the door the morning of the party. Fallon decided that she was going to use the 3M hanging things for picture frames that don't put holes in the wall. Brilliant. Better than the staple idea.

The custom letters cost me a grand total of $18 (MDF & primer), plus decorating supplies (most which I already had on hand). That sure beats $130+ for just the letters in only 2-3 different fonts. :) Plus all the time Nick put into cutting them out for me. He vowed never to do it again. The look on his face was priceless when Cait announced she wanted one too. Hahaha.

At the party, I put letters in baskets and laid the supplies out on a table, along with a sample I had made.

Then we went to town and decorated. I bought a scrapbook paper pack (so all the paper coordinated), glitter, stickers, rhinestones, pearls, mod podge, sharpies, ribbon, and twine.

We traced the letter onto the back of the paper and cut it out. Use a thin layer of mod-podge onto the letter to glue the paper onto letter. Perhaps, decorate the paper a bit more. Then another thin layer (or two) to seal the paper. Let dry, add a bit of ribbon or something to decorate further and then all done.

I had leftover flowers from the mobile I made (more on that coming) and so I tossed them in the decorating goodies. Now it all matches. Yay!

Everyone that made one signed the back and so now Fallon has a personalized gift from everyone that was there and something fun to hang on the nursery wall! :)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Girly Baby Shower Invites

So I am threw my dear friend Fallon a baby shower a few weeks ago and so I put together these adorable invites to send out.

I have to give credit to my sister, Caitlin, for being a big help and helping me organize my thoughts and then spending a whole Saturday helping me cut and put the invites together. It would have taken me three times as long without her help. With her help, I was able to bust out 30 invites in just two days. Awesome. Thanks Cait!

A huge time saver with this project (and a lot of the other projects related to the party) was my Cameo. It has been quite the little work horse the last couple of weeks. :)

After a fun lunch with Fallon, I started pinning fun party ideas on Pinterest. That was a fun way to collect the bazillion ideas I had flying through my mind. I settled on a "Pinwheels and Parasols" theme.

The nursery is going to be pale pink, cream, and lace. Very vintage, very girly, and very Fallon. :) So that is what I did for the invites:

I used the pinwheel to hold together the two flaps of lace. It was a fun way to close the flaps.

It's hard to see it in the picture, but the parasol (cut with my cameo) is pink and sparkily. I used spray adhesive and then dumped a ton of pink glitter on it. Girly baby shower invites demand the use of glitter. :D hahaha. There are also pop-dots so it popped up off the invite. So cute.
Here's what the back looked like.

The fonts are two of my current favorites: Scriptina Pro and Traveling Typewriter.

I loved the lace wrapped around the invite. I just used a touch of hot glue on the four corners of the back of the lace so it wouldn't fall off after it was unhooked.

Fallon loved them. I think these are my favorite invites I've made. My coworker keeps trying to convince me to start my own business to make custom invitations. That would be so fun! Too bad I don't really have time to do it. :) Maybe some day...

Saturday, May 4, 2013

National Scrapbooking Day 2013!

Today was National Scrapbook Day and here are the different projects I worked on. I haven't really had much time to scrapbook the past few months, so it was fun to join a few online crops and challenges to get me going. 

This is how my desk area looked before I started...yeah, it was messy.

The first project I worked on was a set of 6 cards, including a cute little holder I cut with my amazing workhorse Cameo.

This page is about the different states that I got to visit during my trip to Chicago last year.

I loved how these pages turned out. It's about how beautiful it was in Nauvoo last year. 

Time to clean up! My last pages that need to dry over night. And now I'm ready for another scrap session.

And after a 16 hour day, I'm really glad my bed is cleaned up so I can go to sleep. :)