I saw you in the grass today

I saw you in the grass today. 

I held Elijah in my arms while he nursed. I was irriated for the length of time it was taking to get out the door. Rushing to get everything in order and get Noah to daycare on time.

But everything stays still–I'm forced to stay still–when I have to nurse. And while I did, you showed yourself to me.  

I looked out the window to see the sun drafting shadows on the grass. And there, underneath the tree that divides our yard from our neighbors, your face looked at me.

It was the closest I've come to seeing you again without dreaming.  

I was afraid to look away to never find your face again. I asked you what I could learn from this moment. You didn't answer then. But while I was driving Noah to daycare, you did. 

You said to focus on bravery. To use your experiences to teach about bravery. To use other's experiences too. To share your story through my eyes. To find the wisdom through the heartbreak. To find the beauty in the brokenness. And to shine light in the dark. 

I'm always, and still, inspired by you, mom. Thank you for showing me the way. 

Stand me up

I waited for you all day. You didn't show. I cried. 

I looked out the living room window towards the street in the direction you would've been coming from. The first hundred times I looked it was light out. Now it's dark and I've given up.

I tried calling you. You didn't answer. I'm not sure if I'm more scared to have you answer and say something happened or for you to say nothing happened at all.  

I was excited to see you. I'm wearing something I feel pretty in. I did my hair.

I'm furious at you but I'm sure if more at you or myself.

Why do you do this to me? Why do I keep letting you?

I know I deserve better than you. I know you'd disagree. I think that's why you take advantage of me. But I know there's someone out there who would never stand me up like you do.

2 years, today

2 years ago today, I arrived at the hospital, like I had for the last 3 weeks, knowing the end was near.

I walked into my mom’s room where she laid in the same position as the day before, with her eyes closed, breathing heavily. Her medication was on it's highest dosage, locked in a clear plastic box just in case anyone felt the need to steal. 

Jimmy, her fiance, had his head buried in a book. At the time I was annoyed for this. Now, I understand his need to escape the pain.

Bunches of flowers were withered, bags of junk food and bottled war half emptied throughout.

The room smelled of mom, the lotion she was known for, something like exotic coconut.  

The blinds were open, shining natural light onto mom, casting long dark shadows beyond her body. 

A pack n' play was floated around the family room the babies to nap in while we stayed day and night at the hospital watching, waiting, hoping, sometimes praying. 

Like I had researched online after the hospice nurse alerted us, her feet showed signs of mottling. Her skin was blotchy with tones of gray telling me that her heart was no longer pumping blood properly. 

I was tired, relieved, scared, heartbroken.

It was my [step] dad's birthday. 

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. 

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... 

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

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

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!

New_Paintings
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.

Desktop Art / Painting No.13

Painting No.13 Desktop Art Yesterday I celebrated my birthday by going for a hike, then to the art museum, then out to dinner. It was such an amazing day! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and here's a new desktop art download for your computers or phones. Enjoy!

Painting No. 13 Download

Psst...Find this same painting here as iPhone cases, pillows and more!

Abstract art iPhone case and pillow by Meredith C Bullock

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?

Finding Inspiration / Book Illustration Ideas

Book Illustration Ideas - Finding Inspiration One of my dearest friends and I are working together on a book. She wrote it, I'm illustrating and designing it. This book is full of inspiration, motivational words and so many beautiful things that the artwork has to reflect that same beauty.

I've pulled together some ideas for the artwork. I'm thinking of combining simple line illustrations with washy watercolor elements.

I cant wait to share with you more on this project as it unfolds. For now, check out these amazing artists that created the beautiful work above (starting from top-left, ending on bottom-right):

  1. John Marin
  2. Rosemarie Auberson
  3. Mathilde Aubier
  4. Clare Elsaesser
  5. Mathilde Aubier
  6. Satsuki Shibuya
  7. Alicia Galer
  8. Maria Elina
  9. Ningeokuluk Teevee
  10. Giada Ganassin
  11. Jay Dart

See more of my favorite illustrations and paintings here.

A CHALLENGE TO PAINT

Meredith_C_Bullock_Painting_Again_Abstract_Art_5 Meredith_C_Bullock_Painting_Commission

Meredith_C_Bullock_Painting_Again_Commission_Abstract_Art

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!

Meredith_C_Bullock_Painting_Again_Abstract_Art

Meredith_C_Bullock_Painting_Again_Abstract_Art_2

Meredith_C_Bullock_Painting_Again_Abstract_Art 1

Meredith_C_Bullock_Painting_Again_Studio

Meredith_C_Bullock_Painting_Again_Abstract_Art_4

Meredith_C_Bullock_Painting_Again_Abstract_Art_6

 

Why I Removed My Portfolio Page

Why I Removed My Portfolio Page - Meredith C Bullock Meredith C Bullock - Artist - No Portfolio Page

After countless hours and a 4-day [intense] deadline, the website is officially live! So far the feedback has been incredible (thank you everyone)! Have you taken a look around yet?

You might be wondering where the portfolio page disappeared to?

After A LOT of thought, digging deep and identifying what matters most, I chose to remove it. And here's why: I want my clients to hire me because of my story, my vision and my style; not because of the past work I've created.

It felt good to know I wasn't alone when I read that the folks over at Wild Measure made the same decision for their new website:

"Though we consider ourselves designers, art directors, and creatives we do not feel our work defines our potential. We do not plan to place pride in accolades or awards because we feel that muddles the waters of our ability to create honest work for our clients. This feeling and concept has been with us since the beginning. The work we do is visible everyday on our blog, instagrams, and social channels. Our website is the deeper side to our story. It is the look behind the curtain of our work and into our vision as a business."- Wild Measure

Let me know what you think and stay in touch on Instagram, Facebook and my newsletter.

LATELY : 04

Meredith C Bullock - Lately - Wayfaren Brand Design Meredith C Bullock - The Desire Map - Lately

Meredith C Bullock - Lately - A Beautiful Community

ONE

Wayfaren has officially launched! A few months ago I had the pleasure to work closely with husband and wife team, Wayfaren, on their branding and business direction. I helped guide them to dig deep, uncover the perfect business name, create a new brand and logo, tame their ideas and get clear on their mission. Working with these two was been a dream, and their beautiful creations are amazing. Go here to see more >>>

TWO

I started reading The Desire Map thanks to my friend Mary Crimmins recommendation.  Instead of thinking about how much money I want to make, what things I want, and all of the goals I want to accomplish, The Desire Map encourages you to think about how you want to feel first. For example; if I want to feel healthy, what can I do in order to achieve that? Or if I want to feel more loved and secure, how can I achieve that? It's been a huge mind shift in the nest way possible.

THREE

Last month I got together with our community of creative woman for Gathering No.3 and watched ladies share their story. As usual, we shared wine, chatted and snacked on a bunch of amazing food. But this time we tried something a little different; before the Gathering I chose 3 ladies to do a little show & tell. At the Gathering these 3 ladies opened their hearts and shared their story, their struggles, their passions, their beautiful work and themselves. It was incredibly inspiring and I look forward to next weeks Gathering. Pictured is the talented duo, Hey Wanderer. See their beautiful work here >>>

A BEAUTIFUL RETREAT

A Beautiful retreat Rosemary

 

A Beautiful retreat 30

 

A Beautiful Retreat 6

 

A Beautiful Retreat 25

 

A Beautiful Retreat 18

 

A Beautiful Retreat 31

 

A Beautiful Retreat 13

 

A Beautiful Retreat Polaroid

 

A Beautiful Retreat 26

 

A Beautiful Retreat 32

 

A Beauitful Retreat 17

 

A Beautiful Retreat

 

A Beautiful Retreat 20

 

A Beautiful retreat 21

 

A Beautiful Retreat 16

 

A Beautiful Retreat 24

 

A Beautiful Retreat 3

 

A Beautiful Retreat Nashville 2

 

A Beautiful Retreat 10

 

A Beautiful Retreat 22

 

A Beautiful Retreat Allison

 

A Beautiful Retreat 11

 

Meredith C Bullock - Lately - My intern Liz

 

A Beautiful Retreat 14

 

A Beautiful Retreat 12

 

A Beautiful Retreat Nashville 1

 

A Beautiful Retreat 5

"We are the sea in a turbulent wave Crashing on rock, to shatter into smithereens We are the wind blowing past the trees Fast and furious and dangerously still We live life fiercely, we give it all we’ve got We love from the depth of our heart And nurse our broken heart with deep grieve Tears fall endlessly, but we are strong We stand up and heal, to love for tomorrow We fight like lions, we roar like tigers We fall and we rise, bigger, better and fiercer We are warriors, we are survivors We are reckless, we are savage We are the wild ones" - Hybrid Doll

 

A Beautiful Retreat is a weekend event that encourages female creatives to let go of limitations, connect more fully, to feel beautiful, get inspired and be more intentional. Our first retreat was held in the woods of Winchester, TN in September 2014. See more images on our Instagram here >>>

 

Our next retreat is in the works for February 2015, feel free to email me with any questions meredith@meredithcbullock.com and find out more here >>>

LATELY : 03

Meredith C Bullock - Lately - Nature Shoot Meredith C Bullock Abstract Art

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?

DESKTOP ART // PALETTE NO.10

Palette Wallpaper Meredith Bullock It's been a while since I posted some free desktop art, but that doesn't mean the paintings and creations haven't stopped. I've been painting so much and loving every second of it.

Enjoy this rendition of my latest palette artwork, Palette N0. 10, and see more of my painting and #FridayPaintday work here. Happy Friday!

LATELY : 02

What I've been up to lately - A Beautiful Retreat What I've been up to lately - house styling

What I've been up to lately - tests

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

Painting in the Studio Full Moon Bonfire

Shelby Bottoms Hiking Trails

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.