Monday, June 28, 2010

NEW THINGS PROJECT: Rewind, Review, Recharge

The above photo was taken last year during our holiday at my family cottage just 1.5 hours away from the city where I usually spend my days. To me, there is no other place in the world as special or as comforting.

When I was a child, this spot was the one place I could run free and wild and leave my city life far behind. It was also the one place, in the care of my grandparents, when life seemed easy and the rules simple: Be kind to others, treat nature with respect and be your own guide.

On this beach, I was able to leave behind all the pressures of my chaotic homelife - my parents divorce which lasted 7 years, days full of organized activities (school, drama, art lessons, music lessons, soccer etc...), pressures from friends and others - almost everything, and recharge.

After every summer, when I packed up to leave my summer refuge, I was struck by my mixed feelings: sad to be leaving my days in the sun and sand, but happy and reenergized, ready to return to my everyday life.

As I grew older, and life, work, kids and repsonsibility took over, months spent at my family cottage were restricted to weeks, then days, at a time. The ability to rewind and remember, review and reflect and recharge my energy, was reduced to tiny fragments.

After a year of reflection and looking inward, I have come to the realization that I need to have that feeling again. I need to take a resonable amount of time out to run free with my family on the beach and build nothing more than a sandcastle or two.

We are finally taking the summer off as a family to rewind, review and recharge. Although we can't spend the entire summer at our family place, we will be very close by at a place we rented for the summer. I realize, that the most important thing I can give my own family is the time to be together without all the distractions that we face daily.

On the business side, this means 2 changes will be occurring: 1) although I won't be making any new pieces for the next 2 months, I will be shipping my existing stock and 2) When I do return to the sudio in September, I expect to be jumping at the chance to form new pieces with new enthusiasm and perspective.

I will post more pics of my lovely retreat soon. For now, how a lovely summer:) Penny

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tending to something NEW

I have to admit that I have a bit of a black thumb. I enjoy gardening, but without my lovely mother (an expert gardener) around to help, I can't even keep the hardiest specimens alive.

House plants are no exception, none are safe from my black thumb. I gave up trying years ago and haven't had a living plant in the house since, until recently when I paid a visit to my mother in law and saw how well her orchids were doing after months of blooming.

I was inspired to give tending to living plants another try. I love having fresh flowers in the house, I buy fresh cut flowers every week, so I think that these orchids are a great new start.

Wish me (and especially my new orchids) luck, we may need it:)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Something NEW in the Studio

A little glimpse into my strange mind: I cannot work unless my table is cleared and I know exactly where my tools and materials are. I am a fanatic when it comes to lining books perfectly on my shelves (to the mm) and a luxurious day spent cleaning out a cupboard is a recurring fantasy for me. I know, I sound like a freak, I probably am. It's ok, I can live with that label.

Well, today for my New Things Project I thought I would share something new that makes a freak like me jump for joy. My husband finally got the hint to hang my peg board for me in my new studio!

Of course by *hint* I mean laying out all the necessary tools and screws, drawing an outline exactly where I needed it and taping a note to the door that reaad something like, "Dear Husband, I would consider not coming home tonight unless this peg board gets hung in my office cause you may find your wife sobbing in the middle of her workspace."

You may ask why I didn;t hang the peg board myself, well there are 2 reasons, 1) I do not know how to use a drill (yet, but I vow to learn by end of summer). and 2) Husband is also a freak and if I touched his tools I would be single.

In any event, I can now work without feeling anxious about the whereabouts of my tools and husband can come home safely.

Monday, June 14, 2010

My BFF Lorna with her NEW girls Riley and Sidney

Today, I was able to meet two lovely ladies: Riley and Sidney - my BFF's brand new twin girls. I have to say that there is nothing like a new baby, except TWO new babies and I am in love with the world all over again.

I realize that I have become so wrapped up in the not so fun, mundane details of my work and everyday life, it takes some sweet babyness to melt it all away.

I live in a house full of boys and I wouldn't have it any other way, but it is so nice to have some little girls to visit and buy for. These little ladies are gonna be spoiled - and rightly so!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New In The Garden

Today, I tried a fun new photo experiment with my new line of place card holders - I took my photo studio outside into the garden to give it a try.

Lots of fun, but who knew taking photos in the burning hot sun out in rose garden with lots of cupcakes and bees could be dangerous? A few stings later and here are some of the first photos.

Cupcake Place Card Holders, available soon in the shop

Seed Packet Place Card Set, available soon in the shop

They aren't edited yet, and I think I might try some later in the evening when the sun isn't shining, but still tons of fun trying something new today:)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Letting Go

Just let it go art print , HoneyBoo

Ok, confession time. I am not good at letting go.

If I feel like I haven't done something perfectly, or worse, if I feel like I have failed at something, I can't seem to tell myself, "oh well, better luck next time". Instead, I sit and stew and brood or abandon an idea althogether.

Take this blog for example. I love to post here, and when I started my "new things" project, I was even more excited. I loved the chalenge of pushing myself out of my comfort zone and doing something new. But as soon as I started messing up, missing a day here and there, or hitting an obstacle (like not being perfect at something I tried), I stopped.

I don't know why I'm like this. I think part of it is personality: I'm stubborn, I'm a perfectionist, I work hard because I don't know any other way, I expect a lot from myself. So why, I have been asking myself, do I beat myself up about it? I like these qualities about myself, in fact, I think that all these traits have lead to great success over the years - both personally and professionally.

After months of brooding and contemplation, I think I have found the answer, I need to LET THINGS GO. I need to start now. I need to be able to fail, learn from it, and move on.

So, I think I'm ready to continue with my New Things Porject today. My new thing, beginning to LET GO, forgive myself and see what is really important in life.

Just Let It Go by Jessica Simanowski