Friday, December 24, 2010

2010: A recap.

2010 has been quite the year for us. It's been jammed packed with goings-ons and yet it's passed in what seems like the blink of an eye and with surprisingly few photos to show for it.

We ended  2009 with my older brother Andrew and his (then) girlfriend, Jenna. It was a fun, low key Christmas in California.
In January I started on the journey towards getting my degree in Graphic Design through an online school. Starting the year this way sets the tone for the rest of the year. Between Stuart's schooling and mine (and work) we've been kept really busy and try our best to reserve a few hours at night for each other. We're busy but progressing, which feels good. School has gone well for both of us and we can hardly believe I'll be done in 6 months and Stuart is almost halfway through his.

In March we celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary and then I went home to Scotland for 7 weeks by myself. I had a bit of a health scare but everything turned out ok AKA I don't have ovarian cancer. Phew! Whilst home I continued with school online and learned a few non-school related lessons. It was a pretty special time and although I missed Stuart so much I cherish having those 7 weeks alone with my mum and dad. How many 5th-of-6 kids can say they've had that? Those 7 weeks are a blur in my mind already. The feelings of being there are still close to the surface though. It was 2 months of love, memories, travels, family, dinners, faith, tears, hurt, and some heart healing. Mostly, growth.
I got home to Stuart at the end of April - when I first visited him in 2003 I flew out on almost the same day. In May I went insane and cut my hair... myself. Somehow (luckily) it turned out really cute. In June we both had a couple of weeks off school so we had a roadtrip up to Oregon and enjoyed the break. I was able to score a few things off my life list, like seeing Paul Bunyan and visiting a ghost town.
In July, on Stuart's birthday we welcomed our newest niece and waited impatiently for 8 weeks for her to be named. Baby Nora is practically named after me... Laura... Nora... no? Ok fine. Either way she's a little golden haired angel baby who lives in Denmark and I love her. Hopefully we'll get to meet her in December 2012 if we get to Scotland for Christmas.
In August we took a couple of little trips to Capitola and Santa Cruz. In September we drove up to Seattle to take care of some business and enjoyed a day in Bremerton.
October and November flew by faster than anything else and here we are now, in December back in Seattle for Christmas. In October we started our diet and exercise routine and in November I turned 26.

One of the parts of 2010 that stand out to me is the creative outlet and friendships SHEnanigans has provided me. Amidst the hustle and bustle of school, work and housekeeping it's been a perfect little escape.

I hope 2010 has treated you all well and that 2011 brings you all the happiness and love you need.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 17, 2010

How to make it feel like Christmas.

I love Christmas and how it makes you long for familiarity. I love the feeling of Christmas, the spirit of it, if you will. No matter where I am Christmas means the same and the spirit feels the same but the traditions are different. I have an idea of how to make Christmas feel the best to me. I think everyone has a list of preferences when it comes to this time of year. There are traditions and triggers that fit my heart better than they might fit you. Immersing as many senses in the experience is what makes Christmas "effective" to me.

See: Christmas lights and sparkles on the tree, smiles, order, candle light, happy helpful hands, Christmas crafts...

Hear: Music and singing, laughter, stories, memories, my mum's knitting needles...

Taste: nibbles of Christmas treats aka "testing", hazelnut hot chocolate...

Smell: Spicy pumpkin, fresh baking, cinnamon and mint...

Feel: Warmth, comfort, love, peace, happiness and gratitude, home...

This year I'm seeking ways to take these feeling to the next level by breaking out of what I know works and supplementing them with new ideas. I never want to lose the feeling of Christmas amoungst the gift wrap and rushing around now that I've truly found it.

What are your Christmas essentials?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Today we went into Seattle for a trip to Lush for Stuart to buy some stocking stuffers. Megan had never been before so it was quite the treat for her. We did a hand treatment and now have hands as soft as babies. Afterwards we went down to Pike Place and tested some jellies and saw a fish be thrown.
Here's the pictures:

It was such a good day!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

2011: Goals.

My goals for 2011 and Y26 are more business focused than my goals for "self actualisation" last year. I've been reading Craft inc: How to turn your Creative Hobby into a Business and getting my head wrapped around really setting up my own business venture and developing my own trademark pieces of graphics art. I have concepts, I have the skills, and I almost have the confidence and time.

My plan is to start small, continue with etsy or big cartel and continue to make some money here and there mostly pay off my student loans. Once I graduate in June I'll focus on building my inventory and concepts so by the time we leave California in 2012 I can start registering my business, trademark etc. We'll also hopefully be moving into a more permanent home where I'll have my own creative space.

The main thing I'm looking to work out for now is how to print my artwork - do I invest in the paper and printing apparatus and do it myself or do I order prints from elsewhere... I like the idea of being in control of every aspect of the business whilst I'm able to. I'd like to screenprint/letterpress/blockprint but don't have the space right now.

Oh the future is so exciting!!

Have you ever thought about starting your own business? What would you sell? Have you tried/done it?