And for every other day in our entire lives...
(love this daisy pic - taken on a bike ride in Bar Harbor, Maine last June)
Yesterday morning, I was up early-early to get a jump on my deadlines, projects and inbox. I have been having serious anxiety dreams where I can't fish the broken shells out of a huge bowl of cracked eggs or where my name is blacklisted in public at Home Depot b/c of a declined debit card. You know what I'm talking about. Innocent on the surface, but so deep-seated in stress! One of the ways I mitigate that feeling is to get a ton of work done in a short amount of time - cue music!
As I jumped in thought or action from fabric design to order fulfillment to conversations about sewing projects and more during my work frenzy, I had one of those removed moments where I was peeking in on my work life. In that split-second, I smiled broadly and introspected, "Look at all the amazing creativity and joy (mine & others) I am surrounded by! How stinkin' lucky am I that I get to do what I do everyday!" This thought was promptly tempered with the overarching knowledge of struggle, frustration, heartache, sleeplessness, indecision, a.n.x.i.e.t.y. with a capital A, fierce determination, pushing the envelope, heavy lifting and mindbreaking exertion.
I nodded at the meshing of my happy, lucky feeling and the reminder of how I ended up here: the hard, hard, hard work. It definitely didn't happen without someone steering and yelling out the window, "Look out - I'm going really fast and I don't have a license for this thing!" I grabbed a post-it and jotted down, "a lot of hard work behind scenes of a lucky life!"
I have no idea why I wrote it down - only that it seemed worth remembering despite its utter randomness.
Fifteen minutes later, I went downstairs to enjoy one of the last breakfasts with M and the manchild before we all return to Fall routines. I always read the horoscopes aloud for each of us, so we can oooooh and aaaaah and laugh. Except yesterday, I didn't laugh. I almost fell out my chair. It was so similar to what I JUST written down on that post-it:
"The more determined, dedicated and consistent you become, the luckier you'll get. This is one of those days when Lady Luck will be delighted to help out in more ways than one."
How about that co-inky-dink? Doesn't mean diddly in the grand scheme, but I put a little temporary emotional stock into it yesterday. Still riding it some today...
Where your hard work hits its stride is where you'll find your lucky life!
I'll be back with more regular posting after Labor Day - and a reveal of Daisy Janie's next organic fabric collection!!!
In case you can't read it, this sign says:
"CAUTION: TRAIL STEEP WITH EXPOSED CLIFFS AND FIXED IRON RUNGS"
So, my husband stitched together some wonderful loop hikes in Acadia, as I mentioned last week. J and I didn't ask any questions. We parked, we hiked, we sweat, we gazed upon amazing views, we cheered and we repeated two or three times a day as time allowed.
As we made our way on a particular hike, we found ourselves on the side of a sheer mountain face. In certain spots, only about 24 inches separated us from sudden death. I am not exaggerating. My anxiety level topped out in a way I've never experienced. At one point, when I thought for sure it couldn't get any worse, and it did, I just froze and my eyes welled-up with tears. I did not want to take another step. I knew we couldn't go back the way we came, and I really, really, really didn't want to move forward where we'd be delving deeper into the unknown. I was pinned for a few seconds to the side of this cliff face just f*cking panicking. Sweaty-palmed, heart-racing, jelly-legged panic.
My thoughts ran amok with, "What if this happened? What if that happened?" - thinking in particular of J and what would happen to him if M and I both fell. (knocking on wood again) You know, really rational thoughts that make you want to rutz! Meanwhile, kiddo wasn't even phased. He just kept going, bellowing out what he was seeing so we knew what was coming. When we were all the way down, he asked if I was scared. Normally, I would not let on as much b/c I never want my perspective to tarnish his fearless inclinations, but for the first time in his 14 years, I didn't sugarcoat it. I let him know I was completely terrified. He was surprised I was that scared, and he said it didn't bother him at all. He didn't even think about it. Ah, the magic of youthdom! I hope he never loses it!
Metaphorical moments rarely pass me by, and this one hit me hard once my feet were on safer ground and I had time to reflect on what the flevil just happened. In my work, I often feel pinned - where I can't go back the way I came, I cannot stay where I am and the path forward is mucky and full of more risks than what I just managed to get through. Dealing with whatever's around the bend is part & parcel of the exposed-cliff path I chose. There are tiny trail blazes that I look up to see every so often, but truly my survival is up to me. I have to decide where to step, which rungs to grab for help (or not) and whether or not acknowledging my fear in a given moment will help me or hurt me. For the latter, I think I'll take a page from J's book: Don't think about it too, too much or you'll become paralyzed. Trust your instincts and keep trudging forward.
Love that kid!
image (c) Kel's Cozy Corner
Because Daisy Janie's fabrics are sold wholesale to shops, it's not often that I see what the end consumer is making and creating with my fabrics. Today, I did a quick "daisy janie" search on etsy and found these pretty Tilly pillows in Kel's Cozy Corner shop. I was elated! Her pics are so nice, and I love that dreamy band of chocolate fabric between Flourish and Trellis Dusk.
Even tho I live & breathe my fabrics 24/7, I was awestruck by these fabrics on her pillows for some reason. Like, "Wow! That is nice fabric!" - as if I was seeing it for the first time. I haven't experienced that feeling so powerfully with anything in a long time! You know how you make something or write something, and you try to sneak up on it by walking out and back into a room; or you re-read your words pretending you're someone else? And you get all perturbed b/c it's impossible to make something really familiar seem novel so you can re-judge it? That kind of fresh perspective eludes me with my fabrics, which is all the more reason I was glad to experience that glistening-morning-dew moment this afternoon with these pillows! Aaaaah.
image (c) Kel's Cozy Corner
Okay. Did you try to say "pretty Tilly pillows" 10 times fast? I just tried it very loudly and very declaratively - in the jumble of words, another word for b**b came through! I laughed out loud b/c it was like hearing my evil twin yell profanity out at me!!
As a hobby, M teaches fitness classes at our gym, Corps Fitness. He also writes and documents (in images and videos) a lot of what we do there. It's an extraordinarily inspiring place to spend any amount of time, and I wish I could bottle it up and send some of it to you! I think you'll be able to relate on some level b/c I think that same thing about the community I've come to know in the fabric, quilting & sewing industry. There's a very strong, supportive undertone that embraces all of us and our creative ideas; it creates a deep sense of belongingness and understanding; and it allows us to keep challenging ourselves to grow and become better at anything we can dream up!
Our theme at the gym this year is "No Risk, No Reward." Even though some of the references are clearly fitness related, M's write-up (copied below) to introduce the idea struck me at how much I could see it through the eyes of our sewing community:
"Improvement will slow, gains will dwindle, we’ll start not to see any growth in the absence of risk….no rewards reaped. Consider why folks wouldn’t change? Is it too hard? Does it take too much work? Does it slow them down? Is it something they just don’t want to think about? Does it require too much thinking? Would it require doing “work” at home? In other words, it’s too big a risk! Yes, that’s all. Done. To change or modify a movement or exercise is a Risk. And people have to embrace Risk to make any gains.
Now consider CF. The gym, the people, the entire concept. It’s built around supporting risk-taking. The entire concept screams, “What are you afraid of?” That’s the question. When you aren’t pushing the 400m to the absolute point of sprinting exhaustion, what are you afraid of? When you pick a wicked light weight to pull or push, what are you afraid of? When you don’t rapid-fire burpees, when you don’t practice kips? Why not take the risk? It’s calling you to do it!
Because, it may be, that CF is the only place where everyone would understand. To risk it all, to let it all out, to push the limits…we all understand, and truly, we all expect it…if you would step out with hands on hips, if you would stop and walk, if you would get sick, if…yes, if…you would fail…we would all understand. The format at CF erases any self-consciousness, or fear of being judged and evaluated. That’s why it’s the perfect context for risk-taking. We all understand. We’ve all been there, and worse.
So risk it. Why are you holding back, what do you fear? Be done with it. Go faster, heavier. Fail on kips. Miss a lift. Catch your toe on Double Unders everytime for 2 weeks. There’s no better way to develop confidence to hold your head high, than to risk something. What’s it gonna be in 2012?"
So, do you see what I mean? We all try (or want to try) new things; sometimes they work, sometimes they don't (like my pillow fails). It's the support we receive from one another directly or indirectly that allows us to keep trying, keep taking chances! I know what my goal is for the gym, but I'm not sure what it will be for my sewing self. I'd really like to try free-motion stitching; I think about it obsessively, yet I find it very, very intimidating... which is why I've never even tried it! Maybe that will be my sewing goal.
What's your sewing goal for 2012? Any fears holding you back? Someone will always be there to give you a toehold, and you already have heaps and stacks of potential in your sewing stash and in your heart - so go for it this year!
Not going to get sappy or re-hash all of 2011. I think we've all got far too much to get busy on for 2012 for me to take up your time with that. At least I know I do!
I often find myself wanting to wish and hope things things for you. Mostly b/c I'm wishing & hoping them for myself, and I figure you can relate on some level as well.
So here it is. My wishes for all of us for 2012:
Little things. Little wishes & hopes.
Well friends, it's that time of year - my birthday has come around once again. (haha - you thought I was going to say Christmas, dintcha? There's that, too!) Happy, Merry Birthday to all of us b/c you had one, too, somewhere along the way in 2011!
Today, I am 42 years old. I'm taking stock of 2011 for obvious reasons and also just looking back at what this year has represented. Much like my reflections after Quilt Market, 2011 was kinda like this for a woman of my age who is the sole proprietor of a small business which manufactures premium, eco-friendly items of an artsy nature for a multi-billion dollar industry...
Does this look a lot like your list, too? We're all so unique, yet we are all so similar. The crazy, profound connectedness we all feel in this biz is no joke. It's real. It's important. It's overpowering. I'm so happy to have shared some of my 41st year with you!!
What else is on your list?
In both of these pics, there are tears streaming down my cheek, but you really can't tell, can you?
Tears of anxiety.
Tears of exhaustion.
Tears of joy.
Tears of anticipation.
Tears of passion.
Tears of desire.
Tears of trepidation.
Tears of risk-taking.
Tears of aloneness.
Tears of conviction.
Tears of missing.
Tears of belongingness.
Tears of thankfulness.
There's no crying in baseball being the sole proprietor of a pioneering business, but I tell ya, sometimes.... just sometimes... it all hits at once like a mosh pit of extreme emotions. What can I say? I am woman. Hear my roar, sometimes. Hear me weep, at other times.
My brother gave a toast at our wedding 17 years ago, and he "warned" my husband about my fiery passion (and that the red hair was not wasted on me). "She is nothing if not passionate, and that will be something that will both challenge you and bring you incredible joy." As we all do, I certainly pick-n-choose what I care about, but once I do, coasting through it is not an option. I take it on 110%, fully, robustly and with every fiber of my being. When your business is built on your personal philosophies, tears are bound to show up - part and parcel of the whole deal.
Make no mistake, tho, the flip side of this sap is a savvy, get-it-done businesswoman with a killer instinct and a take-no-prisoners attitude, for sure. This is the half of me that works tirelessly to bottle up my passion in the form of organic fabrics and sell the h*ll out of it! And this plane ride to Houston allowed me to do just that - it was a very successful show. Now I'm back in the saddle and ready to kick some more of 2011's a$$!
You with me?
*Tomorrow, I will share booth pics from Quilt Market.
On this fine Monday morning, I'm preparing to prepare. Trying to figure out where to dive into what will be a pivotal week for my Quilt Market tasks. I am aching to make progress on a few big fronts!
My mind is all a dither today b/c I'm still processing and marveling at yesterday. Along with 499 other runners, M completed a 50-mile trail run in gorgeous Vermont. It was awe-inspiring to be there, witnessing firsthand the mental and physical fortitude he summoned to get to the finish line. Absolutely unbelievable and so expectedly believable all at once - b/c it's him - and he just does things like that: sets a lofty goal, does very thoughtful and rigorous prep, takes on the ardor of the task, and crosses that puppy off the list. Simple enough on paper, and a whole other kettle of fish getting it done. Hats off, love, hats off!!!!
I was enjoying the pics from yesterday one last time before buckling down, and what the devil is that?! A quilt? At the finish line*? Why yes it is! Spotted while I'm feeling all gushy and inspired as it is - a pretty sassy statement about putting in some work on my own lofty goals. Simple enough on paper...
I'll be back later this week with Tilly pics - sample fabric is on its way!
"Not all who wander are lost." (see full quote below)
This pretty lady and her mate were in our front yard for a very long time this past Spring. We're landlocked on a tree-lined street, with the nearest ducky waterway about a mile away. She knew exactly what she was doing though. Not lost at all.
As always, it's a matter of perspective. What seems like a person off-course to an onlooker may in fact be quite purposeful wandering - gathering, learning, absorbing information. The lost portion comes into play when we refuse to act on knowledge gained through our drifting. At some point, we have to take a step into thin air and see what happens. Fear will try to pull us back - and it will also keep us swirling in Never Never Land if we let it. At that point, purposeful wandering becomes a safety net of aimless meandering. A seemingly fine line, but not really: paralysis follows aimlessness and action follows purpose.
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"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king."
- Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien.
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Thanks for visiting my blog! I am the owner, designer and chief bottlewasher of Daisy Janie. I have been a one-woman show for 17 years – in one artsy business or another. Seven years ago, I made my way to fabric & surface design, and eventually to self-production of my own organic fabric collections. It is here I plan to stay! I'll be writing about the fabric adventures as I go (but not giving away the farm of course) as well as other life-ly, happy things. I'm a 46-yr-old mom to a 19-yr-old kiddo, wife to the man of my dreams, doggie-owner of Scoutie-tu-tu and Georgie Porgie. I like to design fabrics, run, workout, hike, sew, google, garden, cook, eat, drink beer, and laugh (a lot).