Shabby Miss Jenn

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Selling Local (Part two)

Spent part of yesterday afternoon, setting up my primitive folkart doll display in Complete Fabrication. It had been raining steady but the sun peeked out just before I went to town. I took it as a good sign of things to come

I brought along four of my vintage apple crates to display the dolls on. Debbie shifted a few things around and gave me space just in front of one of their store front windows. The prim dolls are just to your left when you come into the shop and fully catch your attention.

A quick paper sign until I can create a smaller one that tells about my dolls. (While running errands, I had to purchase more ink for my printer and a small canvas board.) She loved the idea. I also brought a stack of my business postcards that folks can pick up and take home with them. It has all my contact information

My photo album showcasing some of my past creations is also with the display for folks to flip thru. Debbie was turning pages and just kept repeating..."really? You made ALL of these. WOW"

Here are a few photographs of the primitive folkart dolls that I brought in. I hope my local customers will stop in and check them out. They told me that I can restock the display as often as I wished. I was to bring in as many creations as I want. I am just giddy with excitement over this new adventure.

I'm spending the day SEWING and planning my next trip back to the store.
Hope to see you soon.

Tracy(Cedara)Dunn of Thru the Attic Door and Thru The Attic Door 2

Selling Primitive FolkArt Dolls Local

We all know how it starts. You are flipping thru the hundreds few piles of fabric already in your stash and nothing is jumping out at you. Since you are going to be in town later that day, you begin to think maybe you'll swing by the local fabric store.

Mom and I were running errands and because I had mentioned a certian doll concept I had springing to life in my head, she reminded me about the local fabric store, Complete Fabrication. We park the car, grab our purses and head down the street.

It's just a small shop on the main downtown street of Digby. I've been to it numerous times to buy fabric for the primitive folkart dolls that I create. The ladies that run it are friendly and so helpful. Always made for a great stop and fabric buying experience.

So I am wandering around the shop, piling bolts of fabric into my arms. Mom is looking at the beautiful quilts displayed in the shop. We are carrying on a casual conversation with the woman working that day, Debbie.

She asks me what I'm going to be making with the fabric I've been picking out. I tell her that I create primitive folkart dolls and I swear I may have heard her swoon. She begins to tell me how much she loves the look of primitive dolls and that she owns a number of them. Mom jumps into the conversation, as any incredible mother would do and starts gushing about my dolls. I nervously laugh and start to play it down a wee bit. Then this voice in my heads says.....JUST ASK. JUST SAY IT OUTLOUD.

Before I knew it, I was saying my prim dolls would make a wonderful accent display with all of their fabric.


It was like time froze still for me.
What was I doing?
My mouth went instantly dry and I may have seen stars ; like those cartoons from when I was 7; when something got hit over their head with a mallet.

Except instead of laughing at me like I might be crazy, Debbie looked me right in the eye and said I WAS RIGHT!!!!!

We started hashing out the details of what needed to be our next step.

Tracy(Cedara)Dunn of Thru the Attic Door and Thru the Attic Door 2

Monday, April 23, 2012

Queen Anne's Lace

Took this snapshot of  Queen Anne's Lace from last season and then played with my filters on the computer :)

Old Apple Tree

On the trek back to the farmhouse from the picnic in the woods.....I took a moment to snap this photo of the old apple tree in the field. Many early mornings we have seen the deer waken from spending the evening sleeping underneath it.

Tracy(Cedara)Dunn of Thru the Attic Door and Thru the Attic Door 2

Picnic #1

Sunday Afternoon Picnic

This week is going to be nothing but rain, rain and more rain. So yesterday afternoon, the clouds were forming but nothing was falling just yet. He was down in our woods doing some much needed clearing of deadfalls. I packed out little picnic backpack full of some lunch goodies and headed down to join him.

We had purchased the backpack just the day before. It came with everything you need for a 2 person picnic...including the waterproof blanket (maybe should have taken that as a sign). I didn't even take everything out of the plastic wrap.

Tigger Kitty of course came for the walk into the woods. He loves it! We had been walking for quite a while and then he heard Andy say something to me.....ran right towards Andy! haha

Tigger raced around the wood path climbing all the trees and just playing. He's so much fun to watch.

I generally stay clear of hotdogs.....but nothing is quite as yummy as one roasted on a stick over an open fire. Mmmm Mmmmm good!
Then it started to really cloud over and get dark. Before we knew it....POURING RAIN!
So we shoved everything quickly back into the backpack and Tigger and I headed back to the house. He stayed down to make sure the fires were solidly out.
It was a perfect first picnic of many more to come for us I'm sure :)

Tracy(Cedara)Dunn of Thru the Attic Door and Thru the Attic Door 2

How Jeanne Oliver Changed My Life

I have talked about my addiction to online workshops before. I live in a very rural part of Nova Scotia so finding courses and workshops covering what I'm interested in learning; happens 99% of the time, someplace online.

One of the courses I am taking part in at the moment asked us to write a special letter.
A "paradigm shift letter of thanks".

For those that may not know; a paradigm shift is a change from one way of thinking to another. A transformation, almost a metamorphosis of thoughts. It doesn't just happen, but rather this shift occurs because it is driven by agents of change.

The objective behind this letter was to reflect upon people who had a significant influence on our lives and had caused us to shift our values and beliefs in some form . Contact that someone who had caused such a shift, to thank them for it. Some of the other members were posting how they were going to take a few days and figure out their moments and to fathom which person they were meant to write about.

I on the other hand, finished reading the assignment and knew at that exact moment, my letter would be written to Jeanne Oliver.

It started simple enough for me. I was taking a workshop and another was mentioned that was coming up.(It really is how I stumble across almost all I've taken part in). I opened up another tab on my computer and typed in her information. 

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I started reading her blog. I was enchanted by the way she took photographs of her items. The way she wrote flowed so easily and went so well with my morning ritual of blog hopping while drinking my daily two coffees before 6am. Before I knew it, I had read every post in the blog. She created and sold different items then I was usually attracted to but they still somehow spoke to me. I looked at how she had captured their essence with her camera. How each photo told a whole story to you in one glance.

I signed up for the workshop she would be hosting. Not sure if her style would be something I would be able to convey in my own work but also knowing I couldn't let that hold me back. The course was Creatively Made........and it changed my life. It was the beginnings of my many shifts.

The course was 4 weeks long and had videos each week to watch. A discussion board and Facebook page. Supplies were bought and techniques were shown. Pretty much exactly like any of the other workshops I had taken in the past.

Somehow.....I sensed something different in this one. Something was changing for me.Within moments of finishing the first video, I started to shift inside. I found myself watching Jeanne in the videos and REALLY taking in her words. She was not just talking into a camera and giving a step by step on how to modpodge onto something. She was sharing. She was telling things from a personal outlook. She was giving of her heart and what she truly believed in.
Jeanne was showing each of us how to accept the gifts given to us and to help us grow them. She was showing each of us that our art and creativity was really an extension of ourselves and how we were supposed to be within our lives.

I am not a religious person in my own life. Jeanne's faith comes across strongly but not in a "this is how you should be" way. She awoke something in me that I didn't even know I was missing. The way she spoke of our creativity being a "gift" for us to nurture and then share with others. My faith and understanding of why I have always been drawn to being creative became unobstructed from the invisible ropes that had tied it down. She took away the knots of self-doubt and fear that had been holding me back from my true self. She expanded my perception and helped me turn fear into empowerment.

Many times during the length of that course, I caught myself thinking along the lines of "what would Jeanne say she'd do" or "how would Jeanne look thru her lens" or "Jeanne would probably say this about how to paint this concept". I was writing in my journals more. Ideas were flooding my mind at all hours of the night and day. 

I felt like I had been awoke after a slumber of a thousand years.

I was creatively inspired in so many ways. My sewing altered. My painting shifted. The way I wrote in my journals was different. I was beginning to feel ALIVE about my life and creative journey again. I hadn't seen how much I was missing it. I hadn't seen how deep I had fallen into a creative rut and had no color to my life anymore. She showed me that I had to have the courage to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is the birthplace of real creativity. That if you look deep within yourself, you will find truth. She showed us how to own our beauty and honor our gifts.

Those shifts then began showing up in little every day happens of my life. I was making changes in many different aspects of my life. I took some deep breathes and eliminated some negative aspects that had been holding me back. Anytime that I felt self-doubt in a choice I was about to make, I would close my eyes and see Jeanne. She was telling me that I WAS A GIFT. That the real me had to be shared. People around me saw change. They made comments about how wonderful it was to hear me laugh or see me smile again.

I thought to myself how incredible it would be to shift this new way of thinking into making my business be what I had really always dreamed it could grow and be.

I swear it is like Jeanne hears you whisper when you wish such dreams onto the first star of the night.

I am now taking her 2nd online workshop Building a Creatively Made BusinessE-Course
She has once again given more of her heart and soul into this course. She is sharing information that is just striking so many cords within me. I open my eyes each morning and smile. (I know....who does that?!) As I am bustling around the kitchen making coffee and gathering my lunch stuff, my mind is racing with the steps that I am going to put forth that day for my business and for myself.

I was, I'm sure, really supposed to write this letter then mail it off for her to read in the quiet of her own home. She caused such a profound shift in my way of thinking of myself, my creativity and now my business......that I wanted to write this letter for all to see.

Jeanne.....I am well aware that I have rambled away here but truth be known.....words can't fully express how you have come into my life and changed it for the better. I thank you from the depth of my soul for opening my eyes to everything around me again.
You are the real gift I have in my life now.

 Tracy(Cedara)Dunn of Thru the Attic Door and Thru the Attic Door 2

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Building a Creatively Made Business

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Could not be any more excited about taking this course.
Everyone has questions when running a business.
Not everyone is lucky enough to find a mentor.
She is going to share so many wonderful tips and tricks to running a business.
Videos and chats.
A group to chatter and ask questions.
I know I'm going to learn so much incredible information from her that will really help me grow my business in a direction and path that I want to see it on.

I have already been blessed by the depth of her heart and soul when teaching. (I took Jeanne's first workshop). She opened my eyes when I didn't even know they were closed. As soon as this workshop was announced, I pounced on it.


The course starts THIS MONDAY.......... go sign up!!!!!!!

What makes your heart flutter?

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Sat at my sewing table last night and looked at all the pieces of paper that I've been busy sketching doll pattern parts upon; doll concepts and doodles......thinking about the nasty "copiers" that many designer friends are dealing with (once again) and wondered if it was worth it? Should I invest my time and energy into creating? Should I attempt to fuel the fire of my website/blog again after letting it settle so long in the dust of a creative rut?
I've not been a victim of copying in a long time but I do still remember the sting and pain. The anger. The frustration.The sadness.
I started gathering my papers up and something SNAPPED.

What was I doing?
I am meant to create.

It's a driving force in who I am and how I express myself.
Someone may come along and copy me.
Someone may come along and hurt me that way.
I sat down and brought it to life.
I blended fabrics. I blended paints.
I blended MYSELF into EACH PIECE.

I hope those being effected by this tornado of emotions right now land safely and remember they are surrounded by love and respect. If they choose to continue or stop, it shall be respected of course. That is their path to follow.

My path is to create