A New Year, A New Life

Now the song Jennifer Hudson sings from those Weight Watchers commercials is stuck in my head. Soooo..... wow. Hello 2013. I cannot believe I am here... not just in the new year, but where I am in life. Currently, I am surrounded by a paper/paint/scraps/envelope explosion due to frantically packing up and shipping six orders earlier. My days of going to FedEx and buying one shipping envelope at a time seem to be over. The days right before and right after Christmas were pretty scary: I had a dry spell with ZERO ETSY ORDERS and about had a panic attack. But then, they came back in a big way. One day was so amazing that I was in tears. The cash register cha-ching sound that the Etsy app on my phone makes when I sell something kept cha-chinging away all day.

I remember last year at the beginning of 2012, I had so many huge ideas that I wanted to accomplish that year. And... I accomplished them. It is now 2013 and I have my own business selling my artwork. Wow wow wow wow wow.

So, I don't do resolutions. They are dumb and last until February then the coolness of trying to better yourself or something like that wears off. Instead, I do affirmations. Things I want to do. Since last years affirmations seemed to be pretty successful, let's make more for this year:

1) Start a new art journal. I fell out of practice with my old one when I started getting busy trying to keep the art selling business going, but I miss "playing" in it soooo much.

2) Volunteer someplace on a regular weekly basis. I'm thinking the retirement home that is a two minute walk from my apartment.

3) Achieve complete financial stability. Marvel at the fact that I did so by doing what I love: creating. And never take that for granted.

4) Take a vacation alone, whether it be two days or ten days. Take my camera and a sketchbook. Come back with endless ideas and inspiration.

5) Go on a cruise with my mom. We have been talking about doing it for years. It's time.

6) Learn how to play the piano, like well. I can play basic stuff and know how to read music... I also have a digital piano gathering dust. Time to give that guy some serious attention.

7) Pay off a credit card.

8) Start a "Future House Down Payment Fund."

9) Cook more. Oddly enough, I have enjoyed cooking lately. Not usually my thing.

10) Be a better person in general. In small ways and big... always being kind to strangers. Doing random acts of kindness. Paying it forward. Lately, that has been happening naturally, because I am so happy. Sometimes I think the post office people think I am delusional... the other night a guy that works there yelled to me and the other post office worker I was chatting with, "Listen to you two! It's like two women in the kitchen!" which got giggles from a lot of the people waiting in line. The ones who did not giggle were probably super annoyed that I was holding up the line. Sorry, just spreading some cheer :)

Aside from the art stuff, nannying has been going great. Right now I watch the boys every Wednesday. Sometimes when I leave, my stomach hurts from laughing because of the things that their way-above-average-intelligent three year old says. I think I know more about dinosaurs now than I ever did when learning about them in school.

Also, just because I've been kind of lonely and itching for the excitement (and money - hehe) of a part time bartending job, I saw the perfect opportunity on Craigslist Sunday. A nice restaurant about five minutes from me was looking for a bartender Friday and Saturday nights to work their 8-seat service bar - the bar that makes the drinks for all of the servers' tables. I always LOVED working the service bar because you have to be fast and on your toes. It is the best kind of stress and pressure and it's so much fun.  So I got that job yesterday and start Friday! And anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant knows how the staff usually is kind of like a big dysfunctional family, and I'm excited to experience that again. Plus, you make a lot of connections when you are a bartender. Also excited to see what could come of that!

Lastly, and really first and foremost for 2013, I am finishing the second half of my 40 Works In 40 Days project because HOLY MOLEY did I fall off the wagon with that!! I mean, I did because I was busy and spazzing and trying to do too much at once, but it's going to be finished. So far, I have created and made prints of the following things, in order of creation:

"Flower Power" 
Prints available HERE.

Prints available HERE.

"The Red Dress"
Prints available HERE.

"The Yellow Dress"
Prints available HERE.

Oh yes, there is going to be a blue dress, a green dress, a purple dress... if anyone has any unusual color ideas I'd love to hear them! A peacock dress maybe? Or perhaps different countries' colors: like a red, white, and blue dress? I have so many ideas lately. I may 'splode. That is an obscure reference to an I Love Lucy episode that my mom and I used to laugh at waaaaaay too hard. 

The original of "Wanderbloom" was actually up for grabs in my first ever giveaway contest! I loved doing it so much that the second one is already in the works, this time expanding to include people not on Facebook. As fate would have it, the person who won lives in Columbus and found me when her mom gifted her some prints she bought at the art festival I did back in December. Due to this uncanny and awesome coincidence, we met for coffee yesterday so I could give her the painting in person and it was just a fantastic morning. She is one of those people that us adults get envious of - she graduated from high school in June and is starting college next fall. Probably one of the most exciting times in life ever. And she knows exactly what she wants to do and where she wants to go and I couldn't be more excited for her. 

I can't wait to start my project back up - that is happening tomorrow! AND even cooler, I've now sold four of the pieces from it! I just packed one up to send out last week and whenever I do, it's kind of emotional, like a sign that what I'm doing is what I'm supposed to be doing. 

Also, I just wanted to say thank you to all of the people who have shown me support and kindness that I didn't imagine in my wildest dreams. There have been blog comments, Flickr comments, emails, Facebook messages... that have brought me to tears more times than I can count. Sometimes I am in the grocery store reading them on my phone and I just stop dead in my tracks. It's all so unreal and there are simply not words to express how much I appreciate your encouragement and support. Trying to put this into words right now is pretty impossible. But thank you.

Last paragraph I swear. Going to be better about blogging, so that I'm not disjointedly trying to cram 1000 thoughts/shares into one post. I also plan on starting to do tutorials, because I know I often Google how certain techniques work and get mad when the results I find are lousy. So yeah... big plans. Big big plans. This year is going to be AMAZING.

I hope 2013 is finding everyone happy, healthy, and full of love :)


I would say...this is your

I would say...this is your year!

Marvelous year to you too,

Marvelous year to you too, Jenn!!. These are stunning ladies in all different colors of dresses, loving your collage so much :). HUGS.

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