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?

WHAT'S YOUR CALLING?

whats-your-calling-1 Have you ever been asked "what's your dream job" or better yet "what's your calling" and been like "um...what". Yeah, me too. 

After realizing my business Hazel Wonderland, a wedding invitation design business, was something I was really good at but I did not love to do, I had to dig deeper.

I started looking at the things I LOVED to do. I knew I loved music, I loved promoting and supporting creatives, I love encouraging people and I loved inspiring people to follow their hearts.

So I combined that with my God given talent - hand-crafted art - and voila! Here I am a year later with my new self-titled business (because why would it be anything other than my name, right?) combining my love for helping encourage and inspire other creatives to live their dream with my hand-made art and I found bliss. 

That's right, I FOUND BLISS. I am living my dream and I want you to live yours too because it's pretty awesome over here.

Find your own bliss by printing off this PDF and following along with an exercise that will help you to uncover your true calling.

Let me know what you discover in the comments below or at my Facebook Page here. Read more about your calling with this article Career vs. Calling.

Are you living your dream or something close to it? How did you discover what it is you love to do?  And if you are living your dream, I want to meet you. Seriously, if you are living your dream job email me because I want to interview you on this blog. 

WHY I BLOG

why-i-blog I started blogging nearly 5 years ago. I found my voice, my tribe and my style through blogging. I read this blog post and was inspired to share why I blog.

My first blog was to explore and share work I loved and work I was creating. In 2010 I started blogging. I had no clue what I was doing, but remember reading my friends blog and thinking how I wanted one of my own. She gave me the advice to be myself, to choose a name that was short and memorable. Looking back at those posts, it's clear I was finding myself. I was discovering my personal style, my art, my voice and my inspiration. I blogged a lot about music and how it inspired my artwork. WOW, has my style changed and what I write about, but It's fun [and embarrassing] to look back at my first blog MUSIC = ART.

My second blog was created to attract clients. 6 months after starting my very first blog, I started a secondary one to blog about my new business venture. I don't talk about it a lot - but I used to be a hairstylist (I plan to share more about this soon). So this blog The Brides Hairstylist was created to attract brides seeking on site hair styling for their wedding. This blog was very successful having 200-400 visits per day. It helped grow my business extensively and connect with brides from all over the world. In 2012 I retired from hair and took down the blog to discontinue the inquiries.

My third blog was made to share my latest work and musings. In 2012 I launched the Hazel Wonderland blog. I remember asking my friend (who was developing my website and blog) to complete the blog first so I didn't feel like a fish out of water - because at that point I had taken down my second blog and had no way of blogging. When this blog was launched, I had 2 years under my belt and was used to release of blogging. On this blog I shared herbal tutorials, recipes, music, art and a lot of interviews. I loved the interviewing part (and will start featuring some here soon) but wasn't connecting with my readers as much as I'd like. Plus I had outgrown my brand and was launching my new business name and brand.

My current blog is for you. October 15, 2013, I launched this blog to answer your questions, solve your problems, teach tips and skills and connect with creatives. Yes, I've shared my secrets, my work and my observations but this time I'm doing it for you. It's only been a few months since this blog launched and already I feel like this one is the best yet. I feel more connected to you, more intentional, and more purposeful.

My mission is to help creatives live their dream, making money doing what they love and this blog is helping me reach that mission everyday.

How about you, what's your blogging history? Why do you blog? And how am I doing - am I helping you solve problems and learn new things?

( ARTWORK )