Top 3 things / April 20th

My husband and I often reflect on our days, after a long day of work or parenting, by asking each other what our top 3 things were of the day. I'd like to share those things with you here every so often. So here's my top 3 for today:

1. Watching Noah get so excited about going to the zoo. The first thing he said when he woke up is "see Evan. Go to zoo?" (Evan was a friend we went to the zoo with)

2. Fitting into a pair of shorts that I havent fit into for a few years.

3. Making an amazing meal that was healthy, fresh, organic and delicious! It was blackened wild-caught salmon served on a bed of local green, dressed with lemon juice, olive oil and honey, garnished with a few avocado slices. Then I made myself some chocolate mousse made from avocados, maple syrup, coconut oil, cocoa, and vanilla extract. Food aside, the feeling I had after I took the first bite of salmon was so rewarding. I felt like I was "me" again. I was taking the time to make healthy meals that nourished me. I was taking the steps to make better choices about my body and what goes init. This might sound small but this is something I've lost touch with the past several years. I've made a lot of food decisions based on my emotions, greif, anxiety. So it's nice to be back to a place where I don't feel so sad, lost, stuck or anxious. I feel in control and ready to keep feeling this way every day. Also, I've cut out dairy, sugar and caffeine from my diet, which is worth mentioning. Oh, and Elijah has only been waking up twice each night too (rather than 3-4x), so that's helping me feel more rested, finally. 

Look up

The ceiling needs attention just like I did. 

Now that I have the ritual of bathing each night after the boys are in bed, and writing while I soak, I suppose it’s time to share the love and repair our ceiling.  

I can see a crack that’s opened like a wound with brittle edges and a mysterious core.  

Freckles of mold. I should turn the fan on every time I shower, but I don’t. The loud humming disrupts the small pleasure of a shower. 

I should’ve painted the ceiling years ago when we painted the bathroom just before Noah was born. But I didn’t. The idea of painting it felt completely unnecessary at the time. 

In a way, the ceiling is a reflection of my carelessness. That same carelessness that had me in survival mode without any self-care rituals. With a loss of self. I was neglected and falling part.

I’ve cut corners and I’ve lacked discipline. Both of which I’m trying to get better at.  

I wonder what it would feel like to have the bathroom completely finished—tiles framed, ceiling painted, cupboards organized, everything always in a state of clean?  

Co-sleeping

I stayed up too late. I need to be quiet when I walk into the room. I need to keep the flashlight on my phone partially covered with my fingertip to see. Don't step on that creaky floorboard. Keep the handle of the doors turned as it shuts so it doesn’t making that awful loud sound. Turn the white noise machine down so I can actually sleep. Lay on the opposite side of the bed to write that idea down on my phone so that the blue light doesn’t wake him up. Don’t use scented products during bedtime wash to make sure he doesn’t get a whif when I slide into bed. Don’t allow the comforter to create a breeze as I pull it over my body. Don’t toss and turn. Put your phone down. Close your eyes. Get to sleep. He’ll be awake before you know it.

The first time I almost drowned

I almost drowned, twice.  

The first time I was under 10 years old. I wagered with myself how deep I could swim in the cloudy lake. I had to know if I could make it to the bottom. 

My siblings surrounded me yet we’re focused on their own swimming quest.  

My parents watched from the boat—the one we washed and waxed in preparation for the weekend lake-getaways.  

I began my journey to the depths of the lake with each inch of water getting increasingly colder the deeper I reached. 

By the time my fingers brushed the sandy bottom of the earth (I did it!) I had a rush of panic fill my body like a balloon because my body had run out of air. I rushed to the top of the water feeling like I could explode into a white light at any moment. 

Then I found air.  

I gasped, filling every corner of my lungs with plump, cool, fresh, life-giving air.  

I can’t remember if anyone noticed that I almost drowned. I was too freaked out to make a scene. I was also the kind of kid that kept things easy for my parents. 

 

The story of the second time I drowned will have to wait another day. Right now, it’s time for me to go to bed and get some rest for my 5K run.  

Stretchy

I packed mostly dresses and tights. These were the only things that were stretchy enough to accomodate my postpartum baby fat and nursing my 9 month old son. I'm certain I looked pregnant to people. I didn't care. I tried to look pretty. Feel pretty. 

All I wanted was more sleep and for my mom to get better. But I didn't get either.  

I also packed a black dress, again, just in case this time was going to be it. And it was. 

Bedroom door

I was there when you had your second miscarriage. I was a sunny day. Nick was running errands. But you weren't alone. I was there and I witnessed how painful it was. 

Since that day euclyptus hangs from me. The same euclyptus from your mother's funeral bouquet. 

I remember when you first moved in and set up a tripod in the bedroom. You and Nick held each other and smiled while the camera captured a few moments. That was before the miscarraige and the births of Noah and Elijah. 

Now I hold silence for the baby to sleep while you and Nick unwind from the day or when Noah runs from room to room. 

I'm kept closed most of the day but when I'm open I enjoy the human touch and watching each of you walk back and forth past me. 

I know there are several versions of me throughout the home but I feel I protect the bext room in the house. 

I wrote the above as a writing exercise from a workbook I’m using to help me write my book. The workbook is by Beth Kephart, titled “Tell the Truth. Make it Matter.”. It’s funny, like Beth mentions in the workbook, how writing in the voice of something that is not me actually forces me from the shadows. More exercises and writing to come... 

Pencil

I’ve never really had a home but most of us don’t. We float around from home to home, being used and lost every few months.  

When I was younger I looked my best. Never dull, never chewed on, never taken for granted.  

Now my age shows. I have scratches from falling, but marks from deep thoughts just before my head hits he paper.  

My first and only sharpen of my life was made by a knife. My point appears faceted like a cut diamond, rather than smooth and pointy like a golf tee.  

I hear that my eraser can harden over time, leaving marks instead of removing them. I hope I take care of myself well enough that that never happens. 

I’m happy to be where I am. I feel it’s where I’m supposed to be. But I sure do miss my brothers and sisters. I wonder how they’re doing?  

I wrote the above as a writing exercise from a workbook I’m using to help me write my book. The workbook is by Beth Kephart, titled “Tell the Truth. Make it Matter.”. It’s funny, like Beth mentions in the workbook, how writing in the voice of something that is not me actually forces me from the shadows. More exercises and writing to come... 

 

Home sick

I never liked school. To get out of going one morning, I whined and cried to convince my mother I was sick. 

The second I knew I had her, I laid it on thick. She openly contemplated that maybe I contracted an eye cold. I secretly disagreed, knowing she was wrong and I was perfectly healthy.  

My brother and sisters were running out the door to catch the bus when I started my act. 

I’m not sure why I was so dead set on staying home from school that particular day.  

But what I do know is that that day I had the couch to myself, the television tuned into MTV and my mom’s undivided love.

Maybe that’s why I felt the need to stay home that day. Not because I was sick, but because I needed that time alone with my mother. 

Lately : 05

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It's been a while since I've written here and it's because I sometimes don't know what I'm going to write about. Back a year ago, my daily thoughts used to include ideas for business growth, marketing, what I'd blog about, and building my business as a designer. So writing a was kind of easy for me and essential to my business.

These days it doesn't come as easy. I no longer have the head space to plan out an entire blog post or compose a newsletter just off a single idea because my thoughts and my priorities have shifted dramatically. My main focus is painting, my baby and my mom.

ONE

Painting | Since launching my new artwork, I've sold several of my original pieces and have been commissioned to paint some lovely pieces. I feel like I'm exactly where I'm supposed and so grateful for all of the support and encouragement I've received.

I started a new series of paintings called In Utero. This series has a washy, ethereal vibe and a painting for each week of pregnancy, starting at week 13. See more here.

As I look forward to the next 4-1/2 months before our baby arrives, I'm brainstorming and making plans to grow my painting career as much as I can. Here are just a few of many things I have on my to-do list:

  • design and order postcards and send to galleries, previous clients and fans
  • consider wholesale sales
  • book art show
  • prep for art show at Holley Maher's Shop Launch Party
  • set up painting classes
  • curate a group art show, find a space, promote, etc
  • order prints of work
  • photograph artwork with real-life vignettes
TWO

Baby! | When I'm not daydreaming about what it will be like to be a mother, to raise a child far from my family, what the nursery will look like, and what our baby boy will be like, I find myself worrying about the baby. With my history of 2 miscarriages, I sometimes can't help that my mind goes there. I wonder if I didn't have the miscarriages if I'd worry like this. How about you - did you worry when you were pregnant?

So far, it's been an incredible pregnancy. The first trimester was a little rough, but mostly I've learned how to deal with the tiredness and queasiness with lots of naps.

Yesterday we had our 20 week checkup and ultrasound and found out we're having a boy! Honestly, we were very surprised because we were certain it was going to be a girl. But now the idea of boy is all I can think about. And regardless of the gender, we're just to grateful that the baby is healthy and growing big! Y'all should see my belly - it's growing like crazy!

THREE

My mom | About 2 months ago my mom was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). It's been almost a year since the symptoms began and the hunt for what was causing her weakness, inability to eat certain foods and declining health. A year ago, just before the symptoms began, she ran a 5K with me here in Nashville. It was such a fun thing to do together. I remember saying to her "we're almost there, I see the finish line" then we turned the corner and realized that we were only halfway!  I remember how proud I was of her too. We went out to breakfast and treated ourselves for such a feat!

Today, she can't walk unassisted. She needs help with several daily tasks and her ability to talk is rapidly declining. To say my thoughts are with her is an understatement. I think about her all the time and can't go a day without calling her.

They say that this disease can slow down and even plateau for a while. We are hoping and praying this will happen for her. ALS is something I know so little about, please feel free to share any advice or thoughts below in the comments.

So, what have you been up to lately?

New Paintings & Big News!

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The day I realized I longed – I needed – to paint again, was the day I challenged myself to paint at least 1 hour each week. With my schedule packed with loads of design projects, it wasn't easy to find the time. But I made the time and found Fridays to be the best for me, coining #FridayPaintday as the name of my personal challenge.The challenge began in August of 2014 and since then I've accumulated dozens of paintings and rediscovered my calling, my innate desire, my what-I-was-put-on-this-earth-to-do-realization that painting was what I needed to do.

After only a few short months, I didn't feel like I was on a challenge any more, I felt like I was back on track, back on my path. Realizing painting was what I was going to pursue came with a mound of fears "who's actually going to buy my paintings?", "can I make a living painting?", "what will my husband think about me shifting my career, again?", "will anyone like what I create?"....

I tossed and turned for weeks scared to admit it to myself, to my husband and to everyone else that I had to follow this calling. Because I knew it meant so much change and hard work. But I kept looking at the paintings on my wall, paintings I had created years ago when I was painting and I was less fearful and jaded, and the paintings I had created in the past months, and just I knew I couldn't wait any longer. I had to follow my heart and face my fears - not just because I owed it to myself, but also because we had just found out we were pregnant (!!).

I confessed everything to my husband – and hearing myself say it out loud – I felt immediate relief and a sense of calm wash over me. I was exactly where I needed to be.

So here I am today, excited to share with you what I've created. I'd love for you to go and take a look around. You'll see paintings that date as far back as the beginning of the challenge and some as new as last week. You'll also see a few of my new series dedicated to each week of my pregnancy. These paintings have more of a simple, calm, ethereal feel and are created with watered down acrylic paint on watercolor paper. They begin at 13 weeks and will continue till the end of my pregnancy.

When I was asked by Craft Your Life Collective why I paint, I answered:

"Painting and creating art comes from my desire to express myself and to somehow capture and render the emotions and beauty I experience. It also pushes me against insecurities and boundaries that limit my imagination. Each day I paint I feel more whole and exactly where I'm supposed to be."

Let me know what you think by sending me an email or by going to my instagram and saying hello. If you see something you like or are interesting in a custom piece of artwork, let me know. Read more about my new decision and new energy here.

NEW ENERGY

Meredith C Bullock New Energy Painting A new year brings this new energy, an energy I love and look forward to every year. Unlike most years, this year I didn't write a list of resolutions. Instead, I wanted to give myself the time and space to really dig deep and find out what I really wanted. I didn't want to jump ahead and start jotting down goals, I really wanted to be patient and listen to what my heart was saying.

Several things have been helping me through this self-discovery process, like meditating, writing 3-pages of anything everyday and a book called The Artist's Guide. This book describes a process in which the author took herself through in order to live the life of her dreams as an artist.

When I read the introduction I was immediately hooked and could hear myself through her words. A woman who spent years building up a successful business while putting her painting career to the side. At a certain point she couldn't let the painting be her second priority anymore, and she paved a path to her success.

In this book she describes this path and guides the reader through each step. I'm not quite sure how many steps there are, but already at step 3/4 I know what I want.

Before I started to read this book I knew things were shifting, I knew that what I envisioned for my business and my everyday was different than it was before–even just a few months ago.

The shift, unknown to me at the time, began when I started painting again for my #FridayPaintday challenge. After a few months of getting back to painting, having a collection of new paintings grow and having inquiries about custom artwork come in, it hit me: I want to do this for a living.

I've had this feeling before, but never with so much confidence. Yes the fears flooded in after I admitted this to myself and to my husband, but I know this is right and I've learned I've got to push through those fears if I want to achieve my dreams. One of those fears was admitting this discovery to you.

So today I'm sharing with you that a change is coming and you will slowly see it start to unfold here. I still want to work with creatives to help them achieve their dreams, I still love designing websites and brands, I still want to teach, coach and lead retreats. But I also want to focus on building a career as a painter.

A few changes that have already occurred is that I started taking commissions and my instagram is almost all about my exploration of painting. I ordered sample prints for my artwork, so soon you'll see a bunch of prints available in my shop. I'm also working a new series of paintings for an exhibit this year.

A few things I want to have happen this year:

  • Exhibit my artwork in 1-3 galleries
  • Create 1-3 commission pieces per month
  • Sell my original artwork and prints
  • Have representation from a gallery
  • Be know as an artist and painter in Nashville and beyond

How about you, any changes or goals this new energy/new year has brought to you?

A CHALLENGE TO PAINT

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It's official: I'm now accepting commissions for abstract art! After 13 weeks of #fridaypaintday – a self-made challenge to paint 1 hour each Friday for myself – I've reconnected with my truest passion; painting.

Most of you might not know this about me; painting was something I pursued several years ago. I was constantly painting and preparing for the next exhibit. I loved painting, the process of getting lost in music, color, paint and texture was a dream. And to see what I created on the other end was always something I loved.

I could paint all day long but I didn't know to make a living doing it. Back then I didn't have the knowledge I have now. I didn't know how to share my work (rather than sell it) or how to leverage my connections and online presence to grow my business. I was so new at it all and didn't know what I was doing.

I kept creating and sharing and found that a lot of people were interested in calligraphy. So I put my paintings on hold and followed the demand–which meant I could quit my day job sooner. I opened a second Etsy shop dedicated to calligraphy and wedding related items and in less than a year I quit my day job and was a Featured Seller on Etsy. After about 6 months of wedding invitation design I realized I wasn’t doing what I loved and I shifted focus to work with creatives on their brand and business.

Fast forward to a few months ago, I noticed that most of my day-to-day work was in front of the computer and filled with calligraphy and design work. Both crafts I enjoyed, but I was missing painting BIG TIME and not doing exactly what I loved. I wanted to create with my hands more and to step away from the computer.

That's when I decided enough was enough. I had to carve out time for something I was missing. I couldn't be reactive, I had to be intentional about what I wanted. Through the process of #fridaypaintday–starting a challenge to create change– I learned I wanted to paint more often; for myself and for you.

Today I challenge you to start a project that creates change for you in your life. Perhaps you want to paint but never have the time. Start a challenge that gets you painting at least once a week and see what happens. I bet you will be painting more than you ever imagined. And who knows, maybe someone will notice.

If you're interested in having a custom painted piece of artwork with your choice of colors to coordinate with your home or space, check out how a commission works here>>> and feel free to email me with any questions or ideas.

Here's to a new year and a new you!

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LATELY : 03

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Meredith C Bullock - Lately - My intern Liz

ONE About a month ago my dear friend and photographer Allison and I planned out a nature photo shoot and a picnic with our little families in the warm sun, with the fall leaves and a peaceful little creek surrounding us. First we enjoyed fresh fruit, burgers on a grill, conversation and time together with each other & their sweet daughter Vivian. Then Allison and I ventured into nature for the remainder of the day. Allison snapped photos as I naturally wondered around soaking up the beauty around me. I just received the final edits this week and I cant wait to share more of them with you when the new blog and shop are launched. The shoot and the images to show for it were blissful.

TWO With #FridayPaintday going strong for 13 weeks, my collection of original paintings has grown immensely. Not only that, my passion for painting has been reignited, my confidence and technique has strengthened and my desire to make painting more a daily practice has been established. Getting back to painting feels to natural, like it's a part of my DNA. And it makes sense since painting has been in my family for generations. I look forward to sharing more of my work and offering some originals, prints and custom paintings in my shop.

THREE My intern Liz; there is so much to say about this lady and how much she's helped me grow and reach dreams in just the few short months she's been working with me. I never thought of bringing on an intern - better yet, having a team work with me - till the moment I received an email from her. That moment was when I knew I not only needed her but an entire team of motivated, creative and wildly talented individuals working together with me. Since she joined my team back in August, we've planned and executed A Beautiful Retreat, began cultivating a community of creative woman - hosting monthly gatherings here in Nashville, and we've brought on our amazing photographer Allison. So much is happening over here - in so many good ways - I am truly blessed to have her.

This is what I've been up to lately, what's new with you?

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ONE Last weekend was magical. 12 creative ladies, including myself, escaped to the woods of southern Tennessee for a weekend surrounded by nature, wilderness and beauty filled with intention and connection. We slept in beautiful rustic yet modern cabins, went for hikes in lush trails with bridges and bluffs, we shared stories about paving our own path, we laughed, we broke bread, we danced under the stars, we celebrated our ambition and accomplishments and we simply breathed. Words can't describe how amazing and life-giving last weekend was, only images tied with poems and quotes have done it justice. See more on our Instagram and #ABeautifulRetreat. More pictures and reflections coming soon.

TWO The past few months Nick and I have been working diligently to reorganize our home, clean it spotless, decorate and style perfectly in order to receive the best appraisal we could in order to purchase it. You see, the house we live in we rented first. We moved to Nashville about a year ago into this beautiful home, then just a few months ago we realized we wanted to purchase it. The process of purchasing a home unfolded, including paper work, on top of paper work, on top of cleaning, appraisal appointments, inspections appointments, realtor appointments and endless things to gather and sign. This process has been extremely draining and much more work than I could have imagined. Gratefully, we officially purchased our home almost 2 weeks ago and got through all of the legalities and paperwork! Now into repairing the home...

THREE Since enduring my second miscarriage in July, a host of tests to understand why my pregnancies have not been viable have ensued. Almost monthly I have my blood drawn to test for one thing or another. Then a few weeks ago, amidst purchasing our home, I had a more intense test called a Hysterosalpingogram. This is where they inject dye into my uterus to show whether my fallopian tubes are open or blocked, whether a blockage is at the junction of the tube and uterus or if there is any normalities whatsoever. I'm happy to say everything was normal, but not so happy to admit that this test was very discomforting and unpleasant. Yesterday I had another blood test which should conclude the blood tests for now. In a few weeks I see an acupuncturist specializing in fertility and my OB to go over all of my test results. There are is so much to learn about miscarriage and having a successful pregnancy that I find myself taking notes, google searching random thoughts about it online and bookmarking articles. It's difficult to put everything together on something that still has so many mysteries. But my desire, determination and hope will keep me moving forward to find answers and a plan.

 

Center photo by Ruby & Peach

LATELY : 01

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Most times when I blog, I schedule 2-3 hours to fully execute the post. And lately, with all of the exciting projects I've been working on, the painting I've been pouring myself into, workshops I've been teaching and gatherings I've been hosting, blogging has sunk to the bottom of my list.

This is not what I want but sometimes that's just the way it goes. So I've given a lot of thought to how I can continue to share what I've been up to without it taking such a large chunk of my time each week.

I came across these two blog features here and hereThey're both simple, easy and an update on their latest happenings. I started to think about how I could do something of the same. Create a blog series that essentially shares what I've been up to lately that's easy and efficient.

So here we are, with my new series Lately. Inspired by the other blog features, I'll list off 3 things I've been up to lately.

ONE Almost every week I've stuck with my #FridayPaintday project. Through this self-initiated challenge I've rediscovered my deep love for painting, my strong desire to exhibit again, the need to express myself through art. I've missed painting. About 5 years ago I used to paint almost daily, prepping for my latest exhibits and shows. I stopped painting when I discovered avenues of income in calligraphy and custom work, allowing me to finally quit my day job and pursue creative endeavors full-time. Fast forward several years to just a few months ago when I found myself writing about how much I missed creating for myself, especially painting. I was at a breaking point and had to stop dreaming about it and make it happen. I had to start painting again. That's when #FridayPaintday was born. I share a lot of my discoveries, artwork and reflections about this project on instagram.

TWO When we moved to Nashville I had no idea what to expect when it came to the community of creatives, but what I did know was that when we moved here I was very interested and motivated to connect and build a community of creatives and like-minded individuals. A few months back my friend and in-house photographer Allison invited me to an Instagram meetup. I was a meet-up virgin eager to connect and make new friends. Inspired by all of the connections I made and my desire to build community, I hosted a Harvest Moon Bonfire at my home a month later. I invited a bunch of ladies I knew from workshops, from the meet-up and other ladies I knew through instagram. It was a magical night of 20+ woman meeting, connecting, laughing and letting go. Since then I've hosted another gathering and this weekend I have my first ever all-ladies retreat. I never thought about the results of what building a community would be. After just a few evenings of opening my heart and doors to new and old friends, I'm grateful for all of the friends, connections and community that's building. It's changing me in the most beautiful way. I feel so loved, connected and supported. The next all ladies gathering is in a few weeks, but this time we're hosting it at a friends. If you're a lady creative in Nashville and want to attend, send me a Facebook message.

THREE Something my husband and I love is to carve out time on the weekends to spend time with each other.  Sometimes we watch movies and eat pizza, other times we go for a hike, a walk, a movie and/or dinner. We're both self-made artists and entrepreneurs, so conversations about dreams, goals and our latest big idea are always on the tip of our tongue. Recently we discovered the beautiful Shelby Bottoms Hiking Trails in East Nashville and we're smitten with the beauty and nature that we get to indulge in so close to music city.

BREATHE

Breathe The past several weeks, even the last few months, have been f u l l.

Full of...

  • appointment, meetings, cleaning and prepping for our home to be appraised and inspected in order for us to purchase our current home
  • connecting with Nashville creatives and intention on building a community
  • planning and leading my first all woman's retreat in the woods of Winchester, TN (in just a few weeks!)
  • collaborations and new projects
  • exploring painting and creating abstract art
  • bringing on my talented intern and in-house photographer
  • planning out my new business, brand and services

On top of these exciting and inspiring things, unexpected turns come up too. Like enduring my second miscarriage and testing on why it happened, anticipating a serious test regarding my mother's health and caring for my husband's unplanned surgery.

So many feelings of gratitude, clarity, excitement mixed with overwhelm, concern and anxiety come and go.

I don't know if things will ever get lighter or less busy as I grow. But I do know that reminding myself to breathe, to listen to my heart, to talk about my feelings and to follow my dreams has me balanced and pushing on.

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. - Oprah Winfrey

This blog is still a place I love to visit to share my knowledge, dreams and latest creations on. But as I push through a full and wildly productive moment in my life, you can find more current updates on me on my Instagram.

 

Photo by my girl Allison

 

NEW FRIENDS

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Leaving friends behind when we moved to Nashville was hard. But we were hopeful and looked forward to what Nashville had in store for us.

When we first moved here we were surprised at how friendly and welcoming everyone was. We felt lucky and wondered if any of these friendships would last.

This weekend we met a whole new group of friends at a beautiful little gathering my friend Allison hosted. Allison moved down to Nashville just a few months after we did. Allison's been much more successful at making friendships than I. Maybe it's those adorable freckles she has, or maybe it's that she puts herself out there. Allison has such a warm and welcoming heart, a sweet Fiance and a daughter that reminds you to live slowly and savor every moment.

I marvel at Allison's bravery. She's made so many lovely friendships from reaching out to Instagram friends. This weekend she shared her friendships, new and old, with us and others.

She had us gather a Arrington Vineyards, a beautiful winery that welcomes anyone to bring your own food and friends to enjoy the scenery and celebrate. She decorated picnic tables, laid fresh food and flowers out for everyone to enjoy and watched the connections unfold.

There were moments I got the talking with someone and asked how they knew Allison and they said they hadn't met her yet. It was exciting to know that I wasn't the only one that wanted to connect. That other people just like me were looking for friendships.

Naturally, I think we all want to connect. We all want to feel like were part of a community and part of something bigger than ourselves. We want to contribute, support and grow together. Make a difference and be remembered. Live and love more fully. Cry, laugh, fall and get back up again, together.

And on Sunday we did.

I'M TRAVELING TO YOUR CITY

I'm Traveling to Your City Working with creatives & entrepreneurs in-person and face-to-face, sharing with them what I've learned about calligraphy, lettering, art, branding, business and blogging is a very big goal of mine. Currently, I work with creatives from all over the US, utilizing Skype as our main platform of communication. This works great for those "face-to-face" interactions, but I want more in-person and real face-to-face conversations and experiences. I want to work one-on-one with you, intensively, till we get the job done!

In order to make this happen, I'm traveling to your city!

Meaning, I now offer the option for us to work together in-person and one-on-one. The way this works is I either travel to you, or you to me, we work intensively Monday-Friday for 1 to 2 weeks on your project and execute all goals, plan and projects before I leave. This option is great for creatives looking for more in-depth guidance and one-on-one direction. This is also great for those who need their project turned around quickly.

You see, back when I was a hairstylist, I would have 8-10 clients per day that'd I'd meet in-person, have conversations with, develop relationships with and help them look and feel beautiful. I loved this - the connections I would make and the influence I had on their confidence and in their lives - it filled me up.

As the years passed, I felt drained and burned-out. Having meaningful moments and conversations with 6-10 people per day, all while standing for hours on end, was impossible. I realized I couldn't do this forever - it was unsustainable and life-deteriorating.

I shifted focus on other creative endeavors and eventually found success with my Etsy shop. I was able to quit my hairstyling job and focus solely on calligraphy and my Etsy shop full-time (hooray!!). I felt more energized and looked forward to the possibilities of being self-employed.

At first switching from face-to-face, in-person interactions to 100% online interactions was a shock and something I had to get used to. I had so much to learn - from how to write an email that captured my personality & essence to having a conversation on the phone that felt like an in-person interaction. It was tough, but eventually I got better at it and realized that I could utilize Skype to have more of those "face-to-face" conversations I desired.

I miss those connections. And in order to have more real face-to-face, in-person interactions, build relationships and to work one-on-one with other creatives, I'm traveling to you. Not only will I travel to you for projects, I'm also now booking workshops across the US for this fall, winter and spring.

I'll be offering the following workshops:

  • modern calligraphy
  • calligraphy as a business
  • watercolor lettering & painting
  • brush lettering
  • blogging & brand development
  • social media & online growth
  • any ideas - email me!

Here is a current list of cities I've been asked to travel to:

  • NYC
  • New Jersey
  • Ithaca, NY
  • Green Bay, WI
  • Madison, WI
  • Chicago, IL
  • Murfreesboro, TN
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Monterey, CA

Are you interested in having me travel to your city for projects or workshops? Leave a comment below or send me an email with what workshops or projects you're interested in and what city you live in. I can't wait to meet you in-person!

 

5 WAYS TO CREATE A MOVEMENT

5 Ways to Create a Movement Something we all have in common is our desire to change something. Our desire to make a difference, be remembered and to do big things. I watched this TED talk by Seth Godin and outlined some tips and thoughts he shared on how to create change and lead your tribe.

To create change, you must first ask yourself what is the thing you want to change?

Maybe you want to inspire woman to feel beautiful and courageous, or maybe you want to provide resources for those in need. What I want to change is the way the common core is cutting out art and music in schools and provide the resources for children to learn and experience art and music at any age. 

Now you know what you want to change, ask yourself the following:

Who are you upsetting? When you create a movement, you're going against the status quo. You're pushing against the norm and will most certainly upset someone, who is it? For example; I will upset the education system by causing a snag in their philosophy and plans of cutting out art and music and implementing the common core. 

Who are you connecting? Your tribe wants to connect with others and feel loved, missed and valued. So when you imagine the change you want to create, who are you connecting? I will be connecting children with their families, other children and most importantly with themselves. When children have art and music in their lives, they feel more creative, strong, smart, aware, beautiful and able to process anything that gets thrown their way. Read more on this topic here

Who are you leading?  Cultivating a tribe of supporters, cheerleaders and supporters is how you will make your impact reach its fullest potential. So who is it that you are leading? I will be leading parents, teenagers, children and anyone who's ever experienced art & music or supports art & music. One way I am doing this is by teaching art, calligraphy and cursive classes to all ages. 

I challenge you to answer these questions and create a movement within 30 days from today. While brainstorming your ideas and mapping out your plan, here are 5 tips to keep in mind on how to create a movement:

  1. Challenge the status quo
  2. Develop a culture
  3. Pursue curiosities
  4. Connect others
  5. Commit to your change

Want to join me in creating change in the common core and helping to implement more art & music for our next generations? Email me, comment below or join my newsletter.

So what is it you want to change? 

Photo by Sara-Lane Baskin

FOR JULIEN

For-Julien A year ago I was 12 weeks pregnant and on June 28th, 2013 we found out our baby had died.

It was our first ultrasound and we were so excited. I had daydreamed what this day would be like - we would hold hands while the nurse smeared cold jelly on my belly and found a view and heartbeat of our baby, we would call our family immediately afterwords and send them a picture of our baby, we would carry around the ultrasound picture and show everyone we knew our baby, I'd share it on Facebook, my blog, everywhere with so much love and joy that we were pregnant. It was going to be beautiful. We even had our names picked out: Julien Augustine Bullock for a boy, Isabella Rose Bullock for a girl.

As I laid on the hospital bed and we looked at the black screen waiting for movement or a heartbeat we held hands and smiled with excitement. After a few minutes of nothing and staring at the giant black, empty screen we began to sense something might be wrong.

With grace the nurse said she'd like to perform an internal ultrasound. Without explanation why, we agreed and moved forward with our eyes glued to the biggest and blackest screen in the world.

A few moments passed and finally we see a tiny white blob in a sea of black. The nurse looks accomplished and used some digital tools to measure the white spot. She begins to speak about what we we're looking at.

She said the baby stopped developing at 6 weeks.

To be honest, everything after that very sentence was a blur. My husband clenched my hand and looked at me with the saddest look I'd ever seen. I knew something was wrong.

- - -

In memory of my unborn son, to whom I feel his presence everyday, I share with you a piece of our story. Since the day I found out we had a missed miscarriage - the day that will change my life forever - I've discovered the most healing thing I can do for myself and life-giving thing I can do for my unborn son is to share my story with as many people as I can. This is the beginning of my memoir for Julien.