Archive for the ‘PERSONAL & FAMILY’ Category
Right around this time of year, I get one part sentimental, and another part thoughtful. 6 years ago next month, I launched my little ETSY shop in hopes of “finding” my career in design. It’s a journey I talk about here. Like in this post, this post or this post. But before you go post surfing (sounds like a sport?) stick with me. I am often asked in interviews about what led to what, and how I began designing fabric, or how I broke into book illustration without an agent, etc. etc. etc. And there is, yes, a journey.
But I saw this quote yesterday on the www and it sums up pretty much what I believe in in terms of going where you need to go, and landing what it is you are meant to land. I really can’t say it any better, unless God and divinity was mentioned somewhere in there.
I look back to the timid, shy but naively excited Sarah Jane 6 years ago, who needed to find a way to pay the bills, and I look today at her and see that she still sometimes wonders how it’s all going to work out. With 4 kids now, and with even more of a desire to keep the train going, I often sit there and think “Should I be working harder in this area? Or this area?” or thoughts like “Maybe I should be trying harder to reach out to this contact person, or that contact person.” And often, like anyone who runs a business, it can be at the expense of just making beautiful art!
But I am reminded, like I was at the very beginning, that when you have a calling to make beautiful things, keep making them. Don’t stop so that you can chase up the wrong ladder. Instead, build the ladder, and those opportunities will climb up to you.
Doors will open naturally when you are truly doing your thing.
And that’s what’s happened to me. I’ve had my fair share of blood sweat and tears (literally) and I truly believe that when you keep moving in the direction that you were born to move in, those things in your life that you need to support you, will come.
Have you experienced that?
It’s pretty awesome.
And right now in my life, with that sweet baby taking up most of everything I’ve got, I sometimes feel like time is standing still….or rushing past me fast…I can’t tell. I’ve said no to opportunities that have come that just didn’t work out because I wasn’t ready, and I’ve felt ready for opportunities that just don’t seem to be coming. The answer really lies in naming your priorities and staying true to them. And the right things just work out.
It’s all rather wonderful. Everyone has their own unique story of becoming. I’m glad I get to share mine with you in a little small way.
I’ll be sharing more posts about my journey, and my business this week and next, as I enter into 6 years of being Sarah Jane Studios! Wow. What a trip.
If you have any questions, or topics you’ve always wanted to talk about or find out, comment below and I’ll do my best to integrate it into the conversation. With so many people, especially women, crafting out a career from their art and their motherhood, it’s such an important conversation to be a part of.
Remember the Printable Lunch notes from last year? My kids loved them, and I’m finally making more!
I’m a diligent lunch note maker. Are you? I grew up with my mom always sneaking in little reminders, happy quotes, funny one-liners and just plain “I love you’s.”
It always set my day right.
And now with my own kids, I’m always drawing on my kids napkins, making sweet little hello’s, and I thought I’d make them available to you too!
This is a FREE download. I’ve included the printable from last year as well in case ya missed it.
Happy Lunch making!
The maternity leave that I took 5 weeks before baby and 3 weeks after has been an incredible break. It wasn’t exactly planned, so I’m throwing myself back into deadlines and projects that were left very unfinished.
Good news is, I’m back. And it feels good.
But of course, as soon as I opened up the studio again, dust balls and everything, Addie was just as excited to get back too. But I think what she was most excited to get back, was her mom again. While I’ve been “home” all this time, I’ve not really been myself with my body & and baby demanding so much of me. And she was anxious to be with her normal mom again:)
But I had a whole day planned, and instead we ended up sewing together….her way!
Addie has been begging me to show her how to use the sewing machine so she could learn to make her own doll, and I’ve put it off (like every other project) because of my laid up pregnancy situation.
And it had been way over due for so long, we tackled it right then and there.
She had drawn up a pattern (which I politely mentioned might not really look like she wanted it to in the final stages) but she insisted! A good lesson in pattern making, I thought. Ginormous arms? Hmmm. Slanted head? We’d make it work.
And after a few minor and major surgeries (the white thread over-correcting some things can’t be seen via an iphone picture, but you get the idea) we had a doll!
She’s so proud. And I am too.
I’m so lucky I get to share my studio with little awesome people.
Sometimes I overlook how important it is for me to stop and do projects that my kids direct. I have so many projects going on all the time, that often my projects get labeled as “more important.”
The trick is in doing both. And that’s the studio space that feels just right.
I’m typing in my PJ’s at 9 am hoping to crawl back in bed and actually sleep but knowing that I won’t ever really get any today:)
And that’s OK. Cause this little guy is so worth it. Babymoon is over, and he’s awake more, and trying to get used to this body of his, and most of that “figuring out” for him happens in the wee hours in the morning. It’s a party. Put aside the fact that I’m functioning on no sleep, it really is magical…those quiet moments at night with only the two of us awake. I’m not saying I’d choose this over sleep, but for what I have to stay up for, it is kinda magical. I mean just look at this guy! I get him all to myself.
So far, the transition between 3 and 4 kids has been rather seamless. Three kids was a huge adjustment for me. All the sudden, there were more kids than adults. That was a trip. Like, not enough laps, not enough arms…. But I think after 3, it’s just crazy all together, so nothing really phases me any more. I’m feeling like a seasoned parent I think. It makes me sound old, but it really is true. My first two babies were super fussy and colicky, and Anders is starting to fall into that category. Not 100% yet, but he’s definitely needing extra TLC. And for my first two, I was thrown into a whirlwind over it. This time, I’ve been so calm and easy going about it all. Funny how much energy goes into worrying at being a first time mom. This time around we’re smooth sailing.
I hope you don’t mind all these pictures. He’s only little once, and I can’t get over how much he’s changed just in these past 3 weeks! And now that we are over the recovery stage, I’m finding myself so ready to get back into being here on the blog more, sharing what’s going on, etc. Things are still happening! Like, Quilt Market in 2 months (new fabric anyone??) and new patterns and art. And lots of really exciting collaborations and projects. I’ve not been super active here on the blog, but I have a feeling I’ll be here more. With how much is going on in the studio, as well as how much more creativity it back in my brain now that I’m not pregnant any more. Anyone else get like that? Super dry and non-creative during pregnancy? It’s like all my creativity went to making a baby. And now that he’s out, I’m back to my old self again. It’s good to be back.
So come and visit more, I’ve got a schedule full of posts that have been waiting to happen for a while now. Work is cranking away, new designs and DIY’s coming, and new fabric coming soon!
But my best creation this year? You’re looking right at him:)
So, I’m not really sure how 2 weeks has gone by since Anders made his appearance. How does time fly like that? My goodness. I’m missing those earliest moments with him already!
As I’ve mentioned before, my pregnancy was on the difficult side to say the least. It was just one thing after another. And it never seemed to let up. First the morning sickness that kept me in the bathroom most mornings and nights, and then the pre-term labor contractions that put me on partial bed rest starting about 20 weeks. Then came the Symphasis Pubis Disorder which is a premature separation of the pubic bone that put me on total bed rest mostly due to the pain factor. I had excruciating pain and my movement was very limited for the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy that physical therapy couldn’t even fix. I used electric carts at the grocery store for the first time, and I found a new empathy for anyone who has ever needed a wheelchair. I won’t lie and say I was tough girl. I tried, but this pregnancy got me on my knees a lot. Trying to keep it all together and be a mom to my 3 others, and still illustrate and design at the same time was so incredibly challenging. My kids were troopers and my husband was a rockstar. We made it through! Every day was a mountain, and I can honestly say it stretched in ways I never planned on. No pun intended.
I don’t say that to vent or complain at all. I say that because when my water finally broke at 5:04 am August 1st, I felt like I’d won the Boston Marathon.
It felt like Christmas morning. I just started crying.
All my worries and fears and discomforts were put aside, and he was finally coming! A calm trip to the hospital, a peaceful start and a beautiful delivery. He spent a bit of time in the NICU, but everything was as it should be. I just burst into tears with joy that first moment I saw him, grateful for him, and grateful that the two of us made the rough and hard journey together. It was all finally all worth it.
There really isn’t anything that can describe those first few moments holding a baby. Those first few hours are so magical. The smell. The sounds. I’d have a million of ‘em if it didn’t mean pregnancy and college tuition for each one:) And teenage years.
Having my kids be old enough to really appreciate everything about Anders has been so awesome. They just dote on him. All. Day. Long. And while 4 feels like a circus right now, it’s amazing how much easier this phase is with older kids who can do things like grab me a blanket from across the room, or help a sister to the potty. Circus, but happy circus.
Thank you for all your lovely well wishes and sweet notes. It’s been wonderful to hibernate with this little guy for the past 2 weeks and life is starting to get back in gear just a tad. We’re all still in Babymoon phase, and there is definitely a slower pace around the house. But school is starting, new projects are rolling in and life is moving us forward. This time with 4 kids in tow! It’s amazing.
So, say hello to Anders. He’ll be saying Hello right back.
Glad you are introduced.
Well, well well. Hello!
No. I haven’t had my baby, which is probably what you are thinking since I haven’t really been online for 2 weeks. It kinda just happened! Sorry for the unexcused absence, but life is life, right? I’m at the last lap of my pregnancy, trying to cope with deadlines and crazy nesting instincts all while managing my “pelvic rest” pre-term labor stuff. That, and my husband had abdominal surgery 2 weeks ago, and with kids out of school, and a house that we are attempting to renovate, everything else has gone on hold.
And of course, throw designing a new fabric line and other art projects, and let’s just say I will be lucky if my kids have clean pj’s tonight.
It’s a reality check really. When I’ve done my very best to manage a lot of things in the past, to be reduced down to just the bare basics. It’s been good in a lot of ways, but a big challenge too.
I’m going to be posting a bit less for the next little bit I’m sure, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything going on!
So, stick with me! Next week, I have 2 tutorials for you, a sale coming up, and other fun summery treats.
Ohmygosh. And it’s over 100 degrees here. I have never minded so much until this summer when I’m already carrying a little furnace. Any suggestions for summer pregnancies? I can’t get enough ice water and cool baths.
I hope you are still around? Hello? Hope I haven’t lost ya. But maybe you are busy swimming and vacationing and eating snow cones. I sure hope so!
So come back Monday, and we’ll pick up where we left off.
Oh, and if you want more frequent updates of behind the scenes in my world, follow me on Instagram! Insta-blogging really. Love it.
Hello! I hope you had a lovely, lovely weekend. 3 Day weekends are bliss. This weekend, my husband took the kids out of the house on a fun Daddy trip so that I could play major catch up on work & art. Like I mentioned before, we’ve always played tag team at home, and since this year so far has been a bit different than most, I have weeks and weeks of art making to catch up on (books, fabric, portraits….and much more!) So this weekend was a welcomed guest. But the kids are coming home in 10 minutes and I’ve better go put the icecream away. Hee Hee.
So, at the beginning of the year, I made the goal to draw every day. Or at least as often as I could. It’s so theraputic for me. It’s what I love. It’s how I think. But like anything, it takes setting aside time. I try to have a sketchbook out when I’m with the kids, but it usually gets overthrown by their drawings. Which, of course, I love seeing monsters and dinosaurs in my sketchbook. But I need time to refine my skills daily. It’s how I come up with ideas. Ideas don’t just HAPPEN. They come when I’m putting pencil to paper. I have to be actively getting things out of my head for anything good to ever come.
How about you? How do you make time to do those things that truly make you feel like YOU? It’s seriously something that takes conscious working out. But so worth it.
We have 2 days left until school is OVER! I can’t wait. I really love summer time with the kids home. Summer period.
PS: I will be posting daily sketches to INSTAGRAM, but I’ll be sure to upload batches of them at a time here on the blog from time to time. Instagram is a mother’s helper! So easy to keep up with you all. Are you doing #365drawings? There are a lot of you on instagram now. Hope to see more of you! xoxo