Blog Parade Link-Up: March 2015

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It’s March 2015!

This is the monthly blog parade link-up so we can check-in every month to share the work we have been creating. Every step forward, no matter how small counts! Blog about your latest and greatest and share the DIRECT link to your blog post below.

On social media feel free to use hashtag #bplinkup

Can’t wait to see what you have been up to!


Podcasts to Listen to While You Create

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When working on a project, I like to multi-task by listening to my favorite podcasts. It’s like having a group of friends around, chatting away while you create.

There are so many great podcasts out there, yet I’m always discovering new shows to add to my list. I’m always up for trying something new to see if it fits my interests.

No doubt that listening to podcasts helps me to move along in my productivity while working – not to mention sort of mark the time that passes by – when an episode is done it means a chunk of time has counted down!

Here’s a list of my favorite podcasts at the moment:

The Paperclipping Roundtable – Since I’m a scrapbooker, I’ve listened to this podcast since the beginning and just love following all the memory keeping chats.

Elise Gets Crafty – Overall creative business chats that are easy to digest and follow.

While She Naps – A recent add to my list and just love the candid conversations from designers and makers, sharing their POV and favorites lists.

What’s Your Story – Artists, makers and creative individuals tell their story!

Unmistakable Creative – Conversations with creative entrepreneurs, definitely business spin here…

Socia Media Marketing – A new addition so I can learn more about how to market on social media for my creative business.

Oh So Pinteresting – Another new addition to really focus on learning how to leverage Pinterest as a creative business owner.

So there you go, grab a tea, your latest project and listen to a lovely podcast to get working. Feel free to leave your podcast recommendations as well. I’m always open to great audio!

What I’ve Learned from an Unintended Blog Hiatus

At the end of this month my son will be turning 2 years old. Wow. Talk about time flying by. Motherhood sort of swept me off my feet in many ways. The amazing miracle of it all and the joys of seeing your little one grow, smile and melt your heart every single day. But of course I always say that motherhood also kicked my butt and I struggled… oh, did I struggle!

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So my blog and creative endeavors definitely took a back seat for a long time. I try to keep the creative fire going, but it just hasn’t been easy. This year I’m determined to get my groove back and wanted to share what I’ve learned from my unintended blog hiatus. It might seem all doom and gloom to abandon your audience, but turns out there are important lessons learned even when things are all quiet…

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It’s okay to take time off
Yep, sometimes you really just need time off. We are all on different paths and each experience is unique. There’s no need to compare and think that you must do what another was able to pull off. You don’t know how much help they might have or what other circumstances they were living in. It’s okay to take time to regroup, re-energize and build up energy.
Rewrite the rules of the game to fit you
More than anything I’ve learned that being flexible is supremely important. The times change, your life circumstances change and you have to be open to all the change that comes. It’s so much easier to welcome it all with open arms and figure out how to make it work, instead of resisting.
The ugly side is necessary
There are many unglamorous parts no matter what kind of work you do. Whether it’s your ultimate passion dream job or not, there’s always the “job” part of things. The yucky boring uninteresting parts… and that is okay! Creating a dream job for yourself doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy as pie with no worries. Just know that there are beautiful moments of satisfaction and growth… and that it’s all worth it! Figure out ways to do what you must do, but also to enjoy all the good parts fully.
Sharing with others is endlessly fulfilling
And that is exactly why I am coming back to blogging. I sort of can’t imagine not sharing my creative endeavors and efforts. It just seems natural and the right thing to do. Community is fulfilling and I thank all of you for following me here on the blog, through thick and thin!
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There is beauty and worth in all that you do
Finally, I’ve learned that it’s not about the quantity or results achieved in my creative endeavors that really matters. It’s the process of doing what makes me happy, doing what lights up my spirit and letting that passion spill out to others as well. It’s all beautiful and it’s all worth it.

Smart Creative Style

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My friend Monica Lee is running her Smart Creative Style ecourse in March and I’ve mentioned before how amazing the entire process is! It’s really about deeply connecting with you and your own unique style to make sense of it all!

I’ve gone through the course several times and learn something new each and every time. If you are ready to get serious about your passions and dive into some soul searching goodness, join us!

What: Smart Creative Style is a Creative Business 101 course that leads participants through a series of lessons and mood boards that help them unearth their own unique look and style. With visual imagery coming at us 24/7 it is all too easy to water down who we really are. Businesses and brands need to have a distinct aesthetic voice and look to stand out now more than ever. This is a hands on 6-week game changing e-course for creative business owners to distinguish themselevs and tap into their originality.

Cost: $329 But there is a special –> (Early bird price of $249 ends Feb. 19 at 12pm EST)

When: Class begins March 9th and runs for 6 weeks – Early bird sign up is Feb 16th to Feb 19th.

Click here to find out more and register for Smart Creative Style!

Last Minute Valentine Printables

I thought it would be nice to round-up some of the freebies I have posted in the past that can be used for valentines. If you are running late and need to whip up a card for a loved up, check out my printables below. Would love to see what you create! Enjoy!

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Confessions of a Creative Mom

One of the most stifling feelings I have ever felt is the thought that the raising of my kid is standing between me and my creative dreams. It’s a scary and horrible thought, because both things are extremely important to me. So how can you put one over the other?

Inevitably we wonder how the heck do moms do it? How do they end up accomplishing anything at all with kids around?

When I first started my motherhood journey, I sort of gave up everything else. There was nothing more important than the little baby I was carrying in my tummy, then the big baby I was caring for and suddenly the toddler that I am still chasing around.

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But slowly, I started to realize that it’s okay that being a mom intersects with what I do. Sure it takes a whole lot of my time and energy, but it also inspires and motivates. In fact, I’ve never ever felt before such amazing feelings, just watching my child grow up. There are beautiful moments and crazy messy moments, but absolutely no regrets.  It’s often hard to say that about anything else in life.

With the years I think I have also grown a bit old and stiff, physically, mentally, emotionally? But with little ones in your life, you can’t help but be reminded of the vitality there is in life and the amazing hope and growth there is for all of us.

Sure it sounds dramatic, but motherhood has changed my soul for the better. I might still be frazzled at times (a lot of the time), but it’s all a good in the end. All I can do is try my best to live life to the fullest and show my little boy the joys of life by example.

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I still have so much to learn, but that is part of the lesson in life… we always learn and grow… but we can live a rich, full and happy life no matter what.

I always say that motherhood kicks my butt and it still does every single day. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s the amazing thing, I suppose.

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I think an important lesson to remember is that you can’t measure your success by how much you create or finish… really it’s about how you do it. Is your creativity making you happy at the end of the day? That’s what really matters.

January 2015 Memory Book Pages

This year I decided to tackle my memory keeping in a planner format and at first, I wasn’t sure how it would all work out. I created my own leather bound book and then I was totally inspired by Stephanie Bryan’s project life mini books and decided to follow in her footsteps. I’m really happy with the results and the ability to combine everything in one place.

I was able to finish up January and wanted to share all the various pages I’ve created. They vary from traditional scrapbook pages to little inserts to a calendar planner page. It’s a big mix and I really like the freedom to do whatever!

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My only concern is how thick this book will get after a full year of memory keeping. Hopefully the big rings I have are enough, because I like to keep the year all together. I subscribe to Studio Calico’s monthly PL kit, so all the supplies are from the January Far Far Away Project Life® Kit, plus some other bits I already had in my stash.

I have to say my favorite part is the opening page with the gold 2015 lettering and the vellum see-thru to the photo of my son. I just adore it, even  though it’s so simple! I’m really looking forward to adding to my memory book and so happy to have found something that is inspiring me – yay!