Friday thoughts

you were designed for this.blog

This thought has been consuming me lately. And it’s been changing the way I think, and do things.

As I’ve been focussing on living more diliberately in all aspects of my life, this thought has been my anchor. Life is so full, isn’t it? While I’m constantly recentering and focussing on my priorities, it’s easy to feel like it’s all consuming!  All good things mostly:)  but even too many good thing can be daunting!

But then I remember that “this” is what I was designed to do! And it’s amazing what that simple thought can do.

Whatever your “this” is, know that you were designed for greatness and that you have access to everything you need to be who you were designed to be!

Love to you all this weekend!

xo

sarah

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The whole gang and thoughts on Post-Partum

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I don’t seem to get my whole family in one picture very easily. Maybe it’s because there are 6 of us, or because I’m always the one behind the camera, or maybe it’s because life is always so full and someone is always scurrying off somewhere too fast! Probably All three:)

It was so wonderful to get family pictures with Tara B Photography! She and I went to BYU together studying musical theater, and now we each have our own creative businesses at home. I love watching women do what they love from home. It’s the harest thing…but so rewarding. Thanks Tara!

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Lately at home, things have been full. Very full. And I’m once again learning to find the balance of work and life with a new baby in the family. Motherhood is #1 in my book, but so is my illustration and design work. It’s all so integral to me, as so much of what I’m learning as a mother influences what I want to say as an artist. I’m truly blessed.
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This past year, I’ve had struggles with post-partum depression on and off. And it’s something I have taken very seriously. The stress of young children and babies on your body, mind and spirit is very real. No matter how much you LOVE being a mom, and love your kids. Believe me. When it hit me that I was struggling…I mean..I love my kids! I prayed for each one of them! I struggled with infertility…so how could I possibly be suffering from this?

Turns out, stress…good and bad…messes with your body. And the reality of business and work and motherhood and no sleep and 4 very needy and tiny people to care for took it’s toll on me.

I don’t say this to complain as much as I just want to share the “real” part of what I do and how I do it. I really believe that none of us do what we do professionally with out some kind of personal set back. Or set backs. This one for me, has been very challenging. Albeit not SERIOUS, it’s been a challenge that has required a lot of thought, diligence and perserverance.

My Post Partum Depression was kind of mixed with a bit of anxiety and adrenal fatigue too. Hard to say what exactly was what. But they all have similar symptoms, and so I’m just going to call it Post Partum.

How I’ve managed it so far:

1) Medical Help. First thing I did was to see my Dr and get my hormones checked. I was able to take care of a big bulk of it from managing my hormones, and I’m so grateful for that. I was also able to see that I was low in Vitamin B12 and D3, which are vital in maintaining positive moods and energy.

2) Sleep.  It was so important that I take more off my plate so that I could rest. Naps were key. My body needed to heal and regulate, and sleep was paramount to that.

3) Home Help. One of the hardest things I did was get a nanny a few months after Anders was born. I felt like I was giving up! But sleep was SO important, and I needed someone to watch Ella so I could sleep when my baby slept. So important in those early months. Now that Anders is older, I have help at home so that I can work within a schedule, which has helped tremendously.

4) Diet. I’m not in any way consistent here, but eating a whole foods diet was huge in healing my mind, body and spirit. Cutting the sugar and processed foods…of any kind…worked wonders. Not the easiest for me to maintain, but every effort made a difference. I’ve been following Deliciously Ella and Sarah Wilson for some time now, and they are my heros.

5) Slow Down. This was a hard one. I am a workaholic (in a lot of ways) and it was really hard for me to admit I needed more time to get illustration and design work done. Allowing myself to be abit slower, put things aside and actually say no to some projects was key.

6) Love Yourself. In all the whirlwind of a first year with new baby and recovering from a bed ridden pregnancy, I realized that some of my depression was from how long it was taking to heal and get back to normal. I was comapring myself to other women, who of course weren’t having the same life I was, and was feeling like I was falling short. Bad Form!! Treating myself with love and respect for all that I was doing well took a while to learn. But so key in healing from PPD.

7) Massage Therapy. I found an amazing massouse who I went to in order to help me with all those pent up emiotions that I knew were still inside even after I had “healed.” I could just “feel” that things were still stuck in there, and I needed help getting it out. It was amazing! Your body is such an amazing machine, and after a month of getting massages, so many of my symptoms were improving.

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8) Support. I’m super lucky that I have a rock-star husband who “gets it” and is my partner in crime in every way. We pick up eachother’s slack. He’s never made me feel ashamed for the times I wasn’t able to do as much as I usually do. He’s the one that’s been my therapist through the really dark times and my cheerleader throught the bumpy ones.

9) Simplifying. You don’t have to have 4 young children and run a demanding business from home to get yourself out of balance. Life is full for all of us, and is unfortunatly becoming the norm for many of us. Reading ESSENTIALISM was a turning point for me (I’ll talk more on this later) and learning how to focus on what’s most important,and letting everything else fall to the wayside.

10. Unplug. One of the best things I did this summer was spend it mostly away from technology and out in the great outdoors. (One of the main reasons I blogged less this summer!) It sounds so simple, but really, getting out in the elements and just being surrounded by God’s beautiful creations, did wonders. We went back to my home town in Maryland and did a family camp in the forest and I couldn’t have been happier. Since then, taking walks, watching the sunset, and being in the sunshine have been wonderful.

Now, I’m going to be really clear and say that I never had PPD to the point where professional help was needed. I’m just mentioning these things in the case that there is someone else out there that needs to read this and can find help through some simple and basic help!

I’m still learning how to make sure that I’m taking care of ME through all this (I tend to be the give-give-give type). And all that takes sensitivity, hard work, and a lot of listening, prayer and love. But it’s vital to being successful in all aspects of our lives, and I’m so happy to report that I’ve made it through the hardest parts, and am now determined to thrive through this next phase as I keep up my quest for happiness and wellness in all areas of my life. I have a few more things that I know will help me more that I haven’t done consitently enough to mention like exercize, herbal supplements, and meditation…all of which have helped So much! I just need to make them a more daily part of what I do. I’ll report back when I have more of success story there:)

Do you have any thoughts you’d like to share? I know this is a topic that is complicated yet so far reaching. It’s not easy for me to share, but so important to! I’d love to hear your experiences as well.
Love to you all!!

xoxox

Sarah

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Studio Blitzing

life is wonderful1

This week marks 7 years of being my own business. 7 years? Crazy. More on that later. I have lots to share!

But it seems like after all this time, with more and more work to do, I’m finding it harder and harder to share here in this space! With the loads of work that goes on behind the scenes here in the studio, it’s just not happening as much as it used to at the moment. When you are illustrating books, designing fabric, writing books, finishing up custom work, and designing new collections there seems to be little room for anything else at the moment:) It might be time to hire some interns for that. Something to think about!

But there is still time to doodle! Here’s a little doodle that makes me happy today.

I’ll be sharing more about my 7 year journing this month! And I’ll be celebrating with you! Yay!

xo
Sarah

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Less, but better.

One of the reasons I’ve taken a bit of time off blogging, is simply because life is SO full. All it took was traveling during the summer months where I didn’t have my good access to wifi and a computer as much, and my routine of showing up here was broken. No regrets really, except that I realized in those months, how MUCH time was being deticated in my life to things I felt I SHOULD be doing, rather than what REALLY mattered to me in my family and in my career.

Case in point: I often feel I don’t have time to truly get down and dirty in my creative process because of the contant distractions of kids and family life, yet if I were to add up the total minutes and hours spent on my phone or doing completely unessential things in my day, it would total up to just the amount of time I need in my day to make progress in my art! How is that? It’s more than just “priorities” it’s about proactively protecting your time, and allowing space in your day to deticate to the things that matter. Much easier said than done!

But as I’ve been studying this principle of LESS, BUT BETTER in my own life, I’ve felt the need to document my journey a bit more and share what I’m learning along they way.

In May, when my sleep deprived from the newborn stage, busy and full life came to a head, I started realizing that I was having mini panick attacks from all that there was to DO. I have always known that I can’t do it ALL…but I am such a driven, passionate person, it’s really hard to convince myself of just that!

Enter in Greg Mckeweon with his new book Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less (instant New York Times Best Seller, and an instant following of 2.5 million readers on his blog). I ran into his wife, who was a fellow musical theater student with me in my BYU days, and she told me about the book that just came out. I instantly bought it, and devoured it, and knowing that Greg was a brilliant mind, but also a father of 4 yound children living in the Sillicon Valley, I found his book extrememly relevant.

Since that point, I’ve actively been making changes in my habits and life that allow for more productivity to happen, while doing LESS in a given day. Something that I’ve actually been striving to find over the past few years, but never could find the resources to really make it relevant to my daily life.

I’m going to be sharing my journey here, in hopes that there are other women who can improve their level of happiness and satisfaction in their lives by disciplining our lives to truly get out of it what we want. I’m convinced that successful family life and successful creative business building doesn’t have to be synonomous with overwhelmed, overtired and crazy living. It’s something that I’ve felt I’ve managed well, but needs to be better for me to really feel like all that I have been pursuing is truly successful to me.

As I document my journey to maintain a level of happiness, wellness and productivity that allows me to keep my priorities of being a happy mother, happer person and successful creative, I hope you’ll join me and add your experiences! This is a conversation that REALLY needs to be had…espeicially when we are sucked into the culture of information overload, idea overload, and just overload in general. We can’t do it all. Yet, we are subconciosuly sold the idea that doing more will get us more. I’ve been seeking the proof that doing less is actually better, but hadn’t found the documented proof until I found this book.

How to weed out the trivial many and focus on the essential few…while still being present…and successful…in your creative industry, your home and your personal life. This has been my quest this past year, and I want to take you with me.

Are you in?

xo

Sarah

Image: {Greg McKeweon and his wife Anna with me and my husband after Greg’s Keynote address}

 

 

 

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Wallpaper & Decal Giveaway

How’s this for some happy friday news?

 

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Design Mom is hosting a Giveaway of my wallpaper here. The giveaway ends today, or over the weekend…it’s unclear…so hurry on over!  Sarah_Jane_19  

I’m so excited to share more images of the wallpaper. It’s been a dream to work with! Fabric wallpaper and decals that are peel and stick, removeable, reusable, wrinkle-out-easy, nearly impossible to rip (At least I haven’t yet, and I’ve been pretty rough with them) made in the USA, eco-friendly and kid safe. The colors are gorgeous, and I honestly couldn’t be happier with this new line!

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Have a lovely weekend! I’d love to hear which wallpapers are your favorite….And best of luck on the giveaway!

xo

Sarah

 

5/09.
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Starting Now.

I love the start of a new school year. Something about it. The cooler air setting in. A routine after a completely playful and unstructured summer. New Ideas. A new start.

This year is a big change….like they all are. I have THREE kids in school (albeit 1/2 day Kindergarten) with one baby monkey at home. I’ll have more quiet time, but more messes. Funny how that works.

(the studio before)

A big change we just made was to move my art studio up to the master bedroom. I’ve had my art studio in a small basement bedroom for 4 years. One room is for shipping and packing, and the other was my studio. But with very little natural light, and no space to put my feet up or make messes was starting to cramp my workflow. My husband suggested we just swap rooms! I was very hesitiant at first…but after realizing how much more we’d function as a family (me being able to work along side my kids if I needed to, more space to get projects done behind a closed door and not in the living room…etc. It was a no-brainer.

I’ll show you more pictures once we get everything set up. It’s still coming together. But it’s been oh so nice!

And as always, I’m always considering growth, how I’m growing and how that works with my growing family. It’s been a year of tremendous opportunites and growth for me, and I’m constantly balancing that out with my kids and family time, and motherhood. It’s a balancing act that is constant. And this year I’m starting to feel the flow. There are so many great things ahead!

Another change is I’ll be showing up here more! With the summer as it’s been, I just haven’t been able to sit down and get on a computer for long enough. I’m sure you understand! But blogging is something that I really love, and I’ve taken it slower lately. I’m excited to come back to it, and share more here. I have a lot to share! Some changes you’ll notice is that I currently am no longer taking sponsors on this blog. I’ve decided to go back to my roots of keeping this blog a bit more of a business journal than a promotional space, so I won’t be taking any more sponsors or doing giveaways of other products, etc. I’m feeling the need to make this blog a bit more of how it started, which was completely and totally me…and my work…and my thoughts and a space that we can really have a conversation, engage in beautiful things and journey together.

So come over and say hello. We’ll go on this new adventure together!

Happy weekend!

xo

Sarah

PS: And thanks for the tremendous response to the sale this weekend! (It’s still going on….30% off today, 20% off tomorrow…it’s been crazy! We need extra elves in the shop to keep up…thank you!) I hope you all enjoy your new goodies! xoxo

 

 

 

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Christmas in August!

instagram labor day sale

Ok, Friends!

It’s here! The biggest Sale of the year here at Sarah Jane. I don’t think we’ve ever had a sale this awesome! Everyone loves a good Christmas Sale, but I figured we could shake things up and give up the end of summer with a Bang!

Every Day until Labor Day, There will a a sale in the shop! But act fast, because each day the discount changes. Here’s the run down:

Thursday Code: thurs40

Friday Code: fri30

Saturday Code: sat20

Sunday & Monday code: sunmon10

Enjoy a little Christmas in August!

xo

Sarah Jane

28/08.
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Well, Hello There!

CLEARANCE SLIDE SHOW

I guess taking a month off blogging could have been something I warned you about. But alas, summer has taken over, and it’s been a necessity that I take a step back for a bit. And I’m glad. We’ve had the best summer ever, and I’ll recap over the next couple weeks for sure.

But I’m back! I do know that my blogging is changing. It’s becoming one part more Instagrammed, and one  part needing to define my voice a bit. As a Business, it’s important for me to not get too personal, but getting more personal is what got me starting to blog in the first place. I’m feeling the need to go back to that place, document my life as an artist and mother, and focus more on my process of everything I do. But as we all know, that takes time and thought, both of which have been hard to hunt down and chase with life with 4 children, all home for the summer and all the travel we’ve been doing. So, I’m looking forward to blogging again, and taking you with me on this awesome journey or motherhood, creativity and illustration.

But before I get you sitting down for too long, telling you stories and showing you all that’s going on behind the scenes, let me dive right in and let you know that we’ve put a whole bunch of prints on clearance…the ones that we just can’t ship out because they have minor, minor flaws. Like little ink marks on the edge of the paper…spots you wouldn’t see once it’s in a frame. So hurry on over…we’ve sold half of our inventory already, and I wouldn’t want you to miss it!

We also have necklaces in the shop that are on clearance because we have overstock, and need to clear out since we have new ones that just came in!

I hope you are all having a lovely summer (or winter where ever you are in the world) And I’m excited to get back into visiting here more. Hope you haven’t forgotten about this space. It’s always good to take a break. But I’m ready to come back:)

 

CLICK HERE to visit the clearance section in the shop!

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