Cultivating A Creative Business: Keeping the “why didn’t I…” away

A few months ago I started focusing my creativity into building a graphic and web design identity. Finding and working my way through as many free tutorials that I could find. Building and adding to my tool box. I would work on small projects to help friends out on their journey through starting a creative business, and volunteering to design flyers for elementary school activities. Liking, even loving what I was doing but knowing I needed to do more, learn more and work harder.

Then I came across a quote from Laura K Roeder‘s Fanpage

“A year from now, you will wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb

handmade stamp from foam

handmade stamp from foam on a blank canvas

All the… I wish I had have just jumped. I should have done this last year. Why didn’t I start this sooner. I would be making money by now if I started a year ago. I didn’t want to have  any of those words come out of my mouth ever again. So I hopped online and asked a friend his opinion about a few online courses and he came back with wonderful advice. Next thing I knew I am investing in me, and signed up for a year of learning.

I am a few steps further from that quote and although nervous I am happy I took the leap. As I get more into the course my nervousness fades and my excitement builds. The more designs I create, lessons I learn with photo editing and design the more I see where I am supposed to be. These classes are giving me a greater ability to create, build, design, share and teach, which allows me to give even more to you. Empowering myself and investing in me, means I can then give you better tools and products to cultivate your creative business dreams.

What are you going to do today, this very minute, that will keep you from saying

“Why didn’t I do this years ago”?


2013 Carving Out a New Year

Hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season. With the start of a new year I wanted to take some time to gather my thoughts, blog posts and projects. I have plans, always have plans but this time I have a way to implement them all and I am striving to do it big.

a stamp I made for a friend. we both love our chickens

a stamp I made for a friend. we both love our chickens

Carving out my new year means getting all my ducks… I mean chickens in a row. Some of my plans are simple. Blog more, talk more, share more. Others may seem random, lofty or on the fringe of silly but I want to see how much of my list I can get done. So here it is, my 2013 Goals for the site and my world:

  • Complete what I start. If I start to crochet a washcloth or scarf I must finish it before moving on to the next project
  • Learn to write crochet patterns and see what happens with them
  • Organize my work studio and keep it organized.
  • Be more social. Get back on twitter and have fun with it.
  • Eat healthier (always on the list)
  • Learn to make cheese
  • Try new recipes
  • Tackle the Laundry before it Tackles me
  • Slow down and enjoy the moment
  • Guest blog on other great blogs
  • Make more of my own stamps
  • and keep adding to this list

Did you make a list this year?

How much of your list is personal & how much is business related?

You Don’t Have To Get It right The First Time

I usually put a lot of pressure on myself to get something out of my head, on to paper and turned into a touchable product immediately. I will work for endless hours until it feels right and then work on it some more, because ultimately it could always be better. On rare occasions it becomes something close to perfection, but that is rare and I usually feel like I need to compromise on my name or trash it and start a new project.

So many things can be created. But will they be created perfectly?

Going along with my lesson on Patience I am trying to also get a handle on the need to be perfect the first time. I have to remind myself that there are lessons to be learned and sometimes there are perfect moments in the imperfection that I create. Some of the most cherished items are works of art that are not complete.

You know the painting of George Washington, United States First President?  That painting is in fact an unfinished piece. And we wouldn’t think of changing it.

While I work on patience with my business and building upon it, I will also start thinking of my projects, the material I use, as already perfect.  Anything I do, in addition to what it is in its raw state, is a bonus.

How do you control your need to be perfect?

Weapon of Mass Creation: World Domination In The Form of A Paint Brush

My stencil brush on white canvas can definitely be a weapon of mass creation.

Weapon of Mass Creation Poster/postcard created by Tehlia

What is your weapon of choice when you create?

*I wish I could take credit for the “weapons of mass creation” statement. I am uncertain of who was the first to say it.

A Lesson I Learned While Crafting A Creative Business

Most creative folks have a common dilemma. Tons of ideas, a need to get them out of their heads quickly and then hurry to the next project, next thrill.

tulip I did not plant next to my front porch stairs. Thanks previous owner.

I am absolutely guilty of being so excited about an idea that I drop what I am currently working on and start in on the new fun pretty things around the corner. Telling myself I will get back to the older project. I have done this many times with small projects, big plans and items in my shop.

Started working on the new and adding them to my shop or even creating a new shop, only to move on to the next project before finding out if what I last created is a keeper.

You can’t rush through life, business or blooming

Perhaps if I waited, took a breath between projects I would have found out a lot more. Learned something from my success or my failure. Instead I let it jump from my lap to flop on the ground and not build upon it. To think of what could have been with some of those projects is forehead slapping worthy and a lesson in itself. If you don’t want to slap your forehead in the future slow down and finish what you start.

The Lesson Learned: Patience. Learning to have patience with myself and my business is constant work. For so long, I have moved so fast onto the next thing without giving it time to simmer and slowly come to a rolling boil, such a hard habit to break.

Amazing what happens when you give it time.

4 Ways that I am incorporating patience into my business that you can try.

  1. Work on one project at a time
  2. Commit to finishing it before moving onto the next
  3. Don’t publish – post or add an item to your shop or blog unless it fits the current mission, theme, style, esthetic
  4. When an idea strikes – jot it down – it will be safely waiting on paper, while you complete your current project.

How can you or have you, incorporated patience into you business?

Tell us about it in the comments below.

The Amazing Magazine Rack of Craft. We had a hand in that.

Recently I walked into a book store after a 6 month absence. Going to a book store as a child and adult has always been better than going to a candy store to me. The options, images and books, more precisely the paper the books were printed on, were intoxicating. Then suddenly Magazines started taking over.

Magazines at The Book Store

And let me tell you, I am drawn to that section immediately. The Colors and images alone are enough to make a raccoon change direction, not to mention a freak for anything crafty. Plus the benches are so conveniently lined up there.

As I scanned the racks – and racks – and more racks, I was taken back by the amount of craft – hobby and DIY magazines available.

I grabbed about 5 that caught my eye {some of which were printed all by the same company} and took a short walk. Coffee in hand, moleskine journals too, found a corner and took a quick glance at the treasures on my lap.

found a quiet corner

As I looked through the glossy pages, recycled paper covers and at beautiful images, I couldn’t help but think we are the inspiration for this abundance. WE the creative, crafting community. The Army of handmade Sellers and Buyers.

Craft, Creative, DIY & Hobby magazines exist because WE exist. {retweet that}

The more I let those words sink in the more I am inspired to help take over even more space on those shelves.

The more of Us that exist, the more of us that Cultivate Creative Businesses and the more that become the best at our crafts… will bring about more options and ideas on the shelves over the next months, years and decades in our chosen artistic arenas.

The abundance was overwhelming and inspiring

Perhaps some of those options, ideas and new shiny magazines will be created by you.

What magazines have your attention right now?

Starting projects. Most will Fail. Others will be HUGE!

I have started a lot of projects and ideas. Got them moving and hopping in the right direction. Some of them stuck. Actually only a few stuck and even those stuck just mildly. The rest fell flat.

Starting with great ideas and letting others go

In getting honest with myself I had to let things go. Ideas, shops and time wasters, in order to become more of what I dreamed for myself. I had to get brutal and dump heavy luggage that although I loved working on, was really only a hobby and not my business. Letting go of those things left them to be my hobby, the thing I love to do, and relinquished time for more important things.

Have you let go of something for the greater good of your dream business?



Forging A Cohesive Brand part II: My Homework

Earlier I spoke of having a cohesive look with all of your social media profiles and your blog. Making it easier for people, your audience and random yet completely awesome strangers to find you and recognize, without hesitation, that you are YOU. I left that post needing to do a little more homework myself.

Screen shot of old twitter profile & background

And here it is my brand new Twitter background! I kept it around 600x600px and mostly white edges so I wouldn’t need to tile it. Also wanted to allow room so if you had your view on your screen reset to its default setting or zoomed in you could still see and read most of the wording on the image. I suppose I could have left this wordless but, if you know me, words just happen. Any who, looks like a tutorial is getting written next on changing your twitter background.

Screen shot of NEW twitter profile & background

Show off your backgrounds.

Leave a link in the comments below.

Taking Action and Walking The Walk

I haven’t been to a real, brick and mortar book store in over 6 months. One huge difference I noticed immediately… my favorite section {Crafts & Hobbies} shocking I know, had moved. It felt like a scavenger hunt to find it and then gave me hope that there would be something new to read.

Reading the Books You Are reading * Great source for quotes & references * Always learn something new.

I found a few new books, Magazines of course and was reminded of something.  I love to discover things, new ways of thinking or working and in doing so I like to share it. The hard part about sharing, sometimes I forget to participate. One thing I need to make sure I do is Walk the Walk of all the Talking I am doing with you. I can tell you all day long to fill your shop with items, take great images, get on twitter, facebook and pinterest. Share – Like – Comment and be merry. I can yell those things from my roof top but what good does it do if you don’t see me taking those actions as well.  As I read through these books and share what I learn from them,  I promise to you, that I will also Do as I say AND say as I do.

Lets Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk together.

Share how you took Action today…

My Backyard Hens Are On Hiatus. Does cold weather make you want to hibernate?

I live in the Pacific Northwest. More specifically a City South of Seattle and when summer ends Autumn quickly turns our crisp blue August days into gray early September nights. This means my backyard chickens also change. They start to molt, I won’t embarrass them by posting a picture, and egg laying slows down if not stops altogether.

Photo by Tehlia: a bantam egg

I can’t help but think about how abrupt this change was, 4-5 eggs a day from 5 hens, down to a big fat ZERO eggs a day and how the weather could affect me too. What if writers block or crafters block hit this month and didn’t return until late spring. I know BLASPHEMY!!! What if getting heat lamps and special lighting doesn’t help burn off the Gray Skies blues and nothing returns, not eggs or writing. But then I look at those hens, still happy, excited to see me and ready to eat anything veg shaped or crawling and it makes me smile. They carry on. Go about their day still being feathered friends clucking and talking, the eggs will return. No matter what the weather dictates or if writers/crafters block does hit I will still remain me, happy to see a new day.

Tell Us} How do you prevent the gray sky funk?