Shabby Miss Jenn

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's a Creative Challenge

While a few friends and I were sitting around my kitchen table chattering about crafts, life in general and sipping our coffee......... oh how I wish that is really how this all came about. *SIGH*
Truth of the matter is two friends were talking about a challenge to get their creative juices flowing and I sort of jumped right in the midst of the talk and ran with the idea. (None of you are shocked by that, are you?

This time of the year can give you the feeling of standing in two feet of thick mud and just spinning your creative tires. The same items get created by many and it can be a wee bit frustrating. Sometimes it's fun to have a little push. A little bit of a shove in a different direction so it can recharge you. Get you thinking outside the norm of what usually appears on your crafting table.

Some different ideas were bantered back and forth and a vote taken...... NURSERY RHYMES!!!!
We've given ourselves ONE MONTH to come up with something using that theme.
Some of us are doll makers. Some of us are artists. Some are doing....well....I won't give all the details away just yet.

Will share who is taking part though :)

Sherry Marrero of Anniescupboards!!!!!
You can take a peek at her Facebook FanPage 
She also has a blog you can read and follow

Niki Jackson of The Vintage Artist!!!!!
She has an Etsy Shop.
oh and make sure to read her blog

Nicole Campbell of RaggedyOldAnnies!!!!!
 You can take a peek at her Facebook FanPage
This is her website

Cindy Markovcy of Homespun from the Heart!!!!!
You can take a peek at her Facebook FanPage
This is her website

A few other friends too but they don't have their FB Fanpage created yet to link to.
I best go poke them with a stick and get them working on that ;)

Oh and of course ME!
I'm actually going to be creating two different items for this challenge.
I'm doing a doll and a painting. Figured I'd really push the envelope and challenge myself :)

You can find my Facebook Fanpage here and this is my website.

I hope you'll swing by and *LIKE* everyone's fanpage and check us all out while we take part in this Creative Challenge.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Melody Ross makes you BRAVE

When first entering this "world" of fellow artists, you tend to stay back along the wall and spend time just quietly looking around. You are drawn to so many expressions of art, love and soul. Some whisper softly to your heart. Some share their own heart and soul so loudly that it stops you in your tracks. You listen and instantly begin to think that you too want to sing loudly.

Melody Ross of Brave Girls Club, is one such artist, and has an incredible tale of Life that she bravely shares with all who read her blog.I was introduced to the work of Melody Ross when she was a guest artist in a creative eCourse. Her energy seems endless and she showcases LOVE in all she touches. I quickly signed right up for "Daily Truth" emails to arrive in my inbox. Little snippets of light and love to encourage daily. Some days while fighting my own demons, that email is a great light in fighting my darkness. I've fallen madly into her intoxicating world of art and creative bliss.

While making folk art raggedies will always be a strong calling to my own creative side; playing around with strands of multi colored wool fibers and needle felting has been something occupying my mind for a while now. Miniature felted landscapes came out of that creative play.

One morning, I got brave enough to share a peek of this art form on Facebook. Imagine my surprise and sheer delight when Melody left a comment under the photo. She wanted to buy it and be my first customer for one. An artist that I have sat and admired for so long was liking something I had created. I pinched myself all day long and broke into silly giggles of happiness.

Since that moment, something shifted in me. Whispers were speaking and pushing me to do something.
Be like her light. Be brave.

Melody Ross recently went to Manila with Full Circle Exchange to start working with survivors of human trafficking. Human trafficking is one of those topics of conversation that you don’t actually want to talk about. You don’t casually bring it up around the supper table. You may read books on the subject or watch a documentary on it but what happens after that? It's something you can't close your eyes to once you know about it. Most don’t pack their bags and go experience first hand the horrors for themselves…but that’s just what Melody Ross did.
(You can follow more of this incredible journey here.)

In honor of these incredible young girls being given such an incredible second chance.
In honor of Melody Ross and the size of her love and heart.
Because she saw a necklace I'd created and shared such encouragement and joy about it.

With each of my felted landscape necklaces that I sell, I pledge $5 to benefit Melody Ross and her campaign with Full Circle Exchange to help change and better the lives of these women in the Philippines, as well as other women around the world.
I will honor this pledge for the whole year of 2013.

May these incredible young woman continue to draw deep strength and light from Melody Ross and the incredible folks with Full Circle Exchange.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Come on in....we are open for business

Thru all the nerves and jitters, I did it.
 I launched a website again.
I'd forgotten how exciting and fun it was to have one. Found myself really missing it actually. It was time to open one again and take my business further.
Did much needed research, crunched numbers,dreamed big, shed some tears, pulled hair out in frustration,laughed and took a deep breath. May have sounded crazy a few times to the friends and folks I was asking a zillion business questions too but they never gave up on me or my dream. Found an amazing eCourse to keep me pushing on in the right direction. (Building a Creatively Made Business - by Jeanne Oliver) She shared some incredible insight and became just the push I needed. If you are thinking of starting a business for the first time or are like me and opening one again, I can't talk about this course enough. What an huge difference it has made for me. She shares so many insightful tips, tricks and techniques from running her own business. Plus has guests that shares their own insights. I filled a full journal with their information and am putting it all to good use with my own business now. Some of the best money I have ever spent on my business.

I have been making primitive style folk art raggedy dolls for over 10 years now. It is something that I will always continue to create. Something about going from a simple pencil drawn sketch on a notebook page to sliding muslin thru a sewing machine makes me feel alive. Watching the raggedy doll have a personality emerge with the addition of button eyes and whimsical wool hair. There will be plenty of new dolls in the future.

Having said that though, I must confess that my artistic dreams have expanded in directions I couldn't have imagined. I'm playing with paints, inks, canvas, papers and so much more. I'm spreading my wings and discovering my place in the world of mixed media. That realm of creativity has my brain spinning. I'm feeling challenged to expand and grow.

At the moment I'm also tangled up in fibers. Blending strands of wool roving with my felting needles as if they were watercolors under a brush. Each twist of a thread slowly morphing the colors into a scene from my minds eye.

I hope you will enjoy this next path I am walking on. Each step taking me deeper into the artistic world that makes my heart skip a beat and my soul sing loudly. Please feel free to bookmark my website.
I have plans to share many different things.
You can also find me on Facebook where I share sneak peeks, laughs and much more.
Come *like* me and not miss out on anything happening Thru the Attic Door.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Why do I Blog?

Why do I blog?
Seems like such a simple question with an answer that would fall quickly from my lips.
When I was asked this question in an email from a new friend, it actually froze me for a moment while I searched for that "one answer". Only to come to the realization that there were many more answers to that simple asked question.

When I first started blogging, it was going to be more "for my business". I would showcase what I was making and where to buy it. Quickly became apparent to me that method wasn't going to work. I started getting questions wanting to know more about me and my life as well.
Blogging shifted into a place and way to share about my life and the things that were happening.
I was enjoying writing to the fullest. The blog was happening on a fairly regular basis. Online magazines had me on staff as a writer. I was investing time and money taking creative writing courses to expand my love and knowledge.

Life has a way of tossing curve balls at you out of the blue. Many of them you can see in time to dodge. Some slam so hard it takes the wind out of you. In my case the desire to write.

I just stopped.
I would sit at the desk and stare at the blank screen.
Words were constantly jumbling in my head but I could no longer find the path for them to get out.
Small moments of writing sometimes would occur.
Before I knew it though, weeks would slip by with nothing.
Those simple weeks morphed into empty spaces for months.
A few times, I caught myself with my finger posed over the delete button.
Why bother to keep something you are no longer using and is just getting dustier by the moment?

Something way in the back of my mind whispered to not hit that button.
 Listening to that whisper became a focus again for me.

Someone came into my life and shifted something inside me.
She loved my writing. She had the ability with her own words to flame the desire to write again.
Her emails to me were filled with requests to always read more. I sent her every article I'd ever written. Whimsical stories were created to have her read before she fell asleep.She told me during a long night of talking, that my blog needed to be dusted off. That more people needed to find me and hear my tales.
She gave me back the ability to hear that inner whisper.
It got louder and clearer to me. It took on her little Irish accent. That detail made her laugh so hard.

She was also dying and we knew that her passing could easily be the trigger to stop my words again.
A promise was made amongst many tears. The flood of raw emotions that were going to sweep over me when she was finally gone were to be harnessed and fuel for my writing.

She passed away and I took much needed time to carefully pick up the shattered pieces of my heart.
A promise to a soul mate is something not easily passed over and forgotten. I wondered if I could write. Would anyone read it? Walking, listening to the last of the autumn leaves whip about the field ,her voice floated to me amongst the wind.

Start writing.
If one person reads it.
If a million people read it.
If no one other then me reads the words as they appear across the screen.
I was to write.

So I'm back to writing.
Business will be talked about.
My life will be talked about.
Stories and whimsical tales will be shared.

A promise is always to be kept

Sunday, January 13, 2013

and then I met you

Woke this morning not really planning to write in my blog. Other things were on my agenda to get crossed off. While sipping my morning coffee and wiping the sleep from my eyes though, something kept jumping out at me, and I could no longer ignore the message it was sending.

While looking at what had happened on Facebook while I was offline (don't roll your eyes at me, most of you are on FB as well), a pattern started to form. In the crossword games I am playing, the same words were played in 4 games. Then reading posts by a few folks, the same words popped up.
It actually made me laugh and get to thinking about it.

Friends...... true friends...... Trues.

No matter how lonely you seem, everyone has friends.
Not everyone has friends that are "trues".
Those friends that no matter what is happening in their life, they will drop everything for you.
To be there. To hold your hand. To wipe tears from your cheeks and tell you things will be ok.
To sit silently while you vent and scream.
They are the ones who make you laugh so hard that you lose your breath.
Your side hurts the next day from the laughter lasting so long.

They are the friends that have seen you be your authentic self.
Not the "image" that is seen by so many. These folks have seen you be silly. Be serious. Be happy. Be sad. Be angry. Be everything you truly are in your core. They point out when you are being foolish about something. They have no issue with telling you when you are over reacting to something. They are the folks in your life that cheer you on like no other. Rush to stand by your side in any situation asking no questions.

This morning my heart smiled because I have those special friends that can be called "trues".
Whatever is happening in my roller coaster ride of life, they are the first to pop into my mind to talk to.
When I am up to my eyes in chaos, each has a special gift that calms me. That brings me back to center.
That makes me take a deep breath. Each has a way of making me laugh when I am positive that laughter can't happen. They are my light in my darkness.

Some have known me since childhood. Some have known me for a little over a decade. Some knew me for only a few short months and yet touched my very soul.
Instantly connecting on levels deeper then others. Understanding with one look. Feeling it so deeply with the sound of our laughter mixing together. Our shared tears. Sharing silence and yet the connection being deafening at the same time.

They are the ones who with everything about them, make me who I am today.
Make me proud and able to stand tall in my chaos.
Make me excited about life and our continuing journey together.
Not every day do we speak.
Some days, we speak too many times to keep track of.
Either way, when the contact happens..... it's like time has stood still for us.
We pick right up where we left off last time.

Friends. Real friends. Trues.
They are my trues.
I fully grasp that concept now.
My soul smiles because of them

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Get Some Air

I've never watched the tv show "Gossip Girl" but this quote is attributed to it. I've seen it posted to Tumblr and Flickr and it's always just struck a cord with me. Who ever said it first...I thank you.

Some mornings while waiting for the sun to peek it's first light over the tops of the trees, I get thinking about so many things. That is how I decided now was the time to dust off the blog and begin writing again. Too much happening in my life to not be pouring my thoughts and feelings out. There are times I second guess myself or have doubts tossed my way. That's when this quote rings loudest in my head.

There is no need to give you the play by play off how a blog went stale and how I lost myself for too long.
Who wants to read that drivel while sipping their latte? I'm just going to put it behind me, dust myself off once again and work hard at keeping a promise to a dear friend that I would begin to write again.

If you have been feeling a bit lost as well...... step outside and get some air.
It really does work wonders.

2013 comes in yawning

Can't believe that I couldn't stay awake till midnight to bring 2013 in with style. The winds continued to whip themselves around the creaky old farmhouse last evening. Snuggled under the quilts seemed the best place to be.
2012 wasn't one of my favorite years. Am actually really thrilled to have it behind me and looking forward to seeing what 2013 has in store for me. A few changes already happening. The good old blog got a much needed facelift with some new graphics. They match my website. Yes....I said website.
I am launching a brand new website this week. I'm totally excited with that concept. It's been far too long without one. I miss it.