taking stock

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BLOG_image_48_takestock1 BLOG_image_51_takestock4This is the first time I have posted a ‘taking stock’ post. I read foxs lane and meet me at mikes ‘taking stock’ posts regularly and always think what a great way to encapsulate exactly where you are right this second. So here goes:

Making : patches with embroidered patterns
Cooking : anything with the vegies I am harvesting from our vegie patch
Drinking : coffee, always coffee
Reading : goldfinch and attempting to tackle my inspiration pile
Wanting : an ethically created pair of winter boots
Looking : at paint colour charts
Playing : snap with my kids
Deciding : about a trip to vegas, mexico and new york
Wishing : there was a fresh cup of coffee right here right  now
Enjoying : the smell of rain
Liking : my new watch
Wondering : if my tomatoes will ripen before it gets cold
Loving : hearing about the safe arrival of &kathleen’s baby boy (total warrior mama!)
Considering : opening a studio
Watching : movies from the 90s
Hoping : hubby gets the deck painted before the weekend
Marvelling : how kids can be best friends then worst enemies within minutes
Needing : a massage
Smelling : roses outside my bedroom window
Wearing : colourful combinations
Noticing : how much I appreciate feeling organised
Knowing : that I need to kick my butt into gear and get a couple of projects finished
Thinking : about how much is too much to undertake
Feeling : calm
Admiring : this list is so long
Sorting : school uniforms
Buying : milk, so much milk
Getting : excited about undertaking interwoven in march
Bookmarking : anything to assist my something significant plans for 2014
Disliking : people who choose to focus on the negative potential of a situation
Opening : any pic or link or post that shows me snow!
Giggling : always giggling at my kids
Feeling : happy about being busy

Enjoy!

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learning about branding

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My journey moved on from Braid Creative and a few months ago I discovered this other cute looking online course happening over at creativebug.

If making and creating appeal to you and you haven’t heard of creativebug then I highly recommend you immediately drop everything and check it out (but please come back and finish reading this).

When you subscribe to the site you are exposed to an unlimited library of video tutorials on everything – knitting to sewing to paper making to drawing to quilting to jewellery to floral arranging to lampshade making … you get the idea. The quality of the videos is superb and the instructors are leaders in their craft.

So when they offered this neat little five week dive into branding and creative business the temptation was too much.

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It was presented as a series of discussions that featured a live chat each week with one of the contributors (again an early morning rise for me as this was based in the US) as well as a course notes that reaffirmed concepts discussed and provided additional links and avenues for further discovery.

The contributors are complete experts in their chosen fields. They included Lisa Congdon (illustrator), Liesl and Todd Gibson (Oliver + S), Heather Ross (illustrator and textile designer), Melanie Falick (publishing director of STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books) and Christine Schmidt (Yellow Owl Workshop).

Their wealth of experience (good and bad) was shared with us all. They called it like it was, warned you of pitfalls and rejoiced in successes.

Todd and Liesl’s practical advice about how to approach creative business was super. As a creative you often forget the ‘working on your business’ side of things and how necessary that is to allow you to build, develop or evolve. I just wish (along with every other participant in the course I think) I had a ‘Todd’ working for me!

As always, Lisa Congdon was insightful and genuine. I have admired her work for many years because of the honest portrayal of her subject matter (oh and the ‘pink’). So to hear about her experiences as an illustrator in business was a special little insight that made me all warm and fuzzy inside.

For my business it has revitalised a sense of determination. I appreciate that set-backs happen and the attitude and approach used to deal with these determines your success. It highlighted to me the fact that I do want to publish something. And, most enlightening, if my passion is to create, make a healthy living from being creative, share my creativity and evolve as a creative then really there is no excuse not to (as long as I have a business plan to do it – hey Todd?). Enjoy!

*I was asked earlier this week if these posts about ‘learning’ are sponsored posts – these are not. I am simply sharing my experiences on this little journey of learning I have embarked on because they have all offered me something as a creative that may or may not appeal to you also.

Setting up is fun to do!

Just getting things sorted – stay tuned for the launch of the stuffbyrenée blog!

Oh the decisions??? Big picture, small picture, new picture, old picture, lots of words, snippets, jokes, poems, to swear or not to swear, trash or treasure, recipe or favorite design, hubby or kiddies, another glass of wine to help, more trash tv to help, do I need permissions, how do I find more time, oohh just found some chocolate, maybe a coffee would help, am I going to get addicted, can I actually write, do I need  a guest writer, wait the dog needs a walk …