Please excuse the quiet around here folks. I have been busy busy, but really, when am I not? For the past few weeks I've been traveling back and forth to various places, visiting family, meeting new people, planning new endeavors, brainstorming with other business minded folk and managing to get some forced relaxation time in between it all. And in the in between time that I have been home in Seattle off and on, I've been scrambling to catch up on work and prep for time away all at the same time... multiple times. Phew!
But on my trips I have been having some good forced chill out time. As much as I love summer, I just don't think my personality is naturally suited for the excitement, heat, and vibrancy of summer. My spirit is so much more settled in the Fall and Winter months. I find myself feeling completely exhausted, anxious, and so incredibly scatterbrained during the summer months and I am relieved every Fall once the temperature drops, the festivals dwindle down, and cozy blankets become an everyday necessity. This summer, I felt completely exhausted from the sale I did on Fab.com on July 1st. I worked so incredibly hard in the 2 months leading up to it. And once it was over and all the pieces had been shipped out, I felt like I just crashed. I had so much to do though this summer that I just kept going and going and I felt like I lost my spirit and passion amidst the hustle and bustle, which is why you haven't seen any new updates to my shop in recent month. My shop is still chugging along just fine and I'm doing lots of wholesale orders. I even just hit 1,000 sales! But I've needed to chill out on adding new styles of items just to give my creativity a rest so it can amp back up again with full vigor.
Sometimes, you need to slow down. And if you can't, then go somewhere for a change of scenery. I knew this Fall that I just had to go visit my grandpa, he is getting really old and his MS is getting really bad. It worries me constantly. But being that my boyfriend and I had already planned a 5 day trip to North Carolina to visit his brother, I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to see my sweet old grandpa. Max and I went to North Carolina about 2 weeks ago and it was SO good for my soul to only have a few hours a day on the computer doing some work and most of the day available disconnect from technology to explore Durham. I felt so refreshed spending time in a town that is smaller, a little more rural feeling than Seattle, and just warm and cozy. I needed that familiar sound of loud crickets and frogs singing at night. I needed time spent playing with a dog. I needed time to just lay in bed while listening to the incredibly loud thunder and bright lightening that rolled through Durham. It was the first step to feeling more relaxed and inspired again. And it was so fun getting to spend time with Max's brother and his brother's fiance. We even got to see two of our friends who currently live in Virginia who we haven't seen since their wedding over a year ago. We are thankful.
A few weeks ago I also decided to start a Lost Wax Casting Class impulsively. I am definitely at a point with my jewelry where I have visions of pieces that I so desperately want to create but I don't have the time or tools at my studio to do so. I've taken a few other metal smithing classes in recent years and I just decided a few week ago to see if there were any wax casting classes going on in Seattle this Fall. I found one that happened to start a week after I signed up so I've been working away on some wax jewelry models for the past few weeks and my excitement and joy for creating has returned with full force. I have decided to take time this Fall and Winter to perfect my samples so that I can release and legitimate line of jewelry in the Spring using sterling silver and bronze and gold plating. Taking time is what I am learning to do and am learning to be contented in.
Last week, I was lucky enough to be flown down to meet with a company who I absolutely adore. We've got great plans for the future :) And I got to meet a few other ladies on Pinterest who have a pretty huge following like me. They were all so sweet, so funny, and so humble which just filled me with so much happiness and excitement. When I was invited on this trip about a month ago I also realized that I could finally visit my grandpa at the same time as he lives just 45 mins away from where I was going for the week in Southern California. So I decided to fly my boyfriend down with me so that he could finally meet my grandpa and my great uncle. Even just having 2 days with my grandpa filled my spirits so deeply. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 3 years now and in that time, my hero my grandmother passed away without meeting my boyfriend. It broke me apart knowing two of the most important people to me were never able to meet. I feel so greatly defined by my grandmother's story and I wish my boyfriend could have met her. She was a truly loving, powerful, and forward thinking woman. So making sure my grandfather could meet my boyfriend before the old guy passes away was of the upmost importance to me and caused me stress and worry just about everyday this past year. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of me now that I can rest easy, joyfully knowing my grandfather knows the person I love and thinks he is wonderful. And my boyfriend knows the most special generation of my family whom I respect and admire so deeply.
Now, for the past 3 days my boyfriend's parents have been visiting us in Seattle which has been lots of fun and I am sure, revitalizing and joyfilled for Max. His parents are so great and I'm very thankful that they live in the same county as my parents in Northern California and are people I truly get along with and appreciate. I've been juggling a lot of work and people time for the past few days, and past few weeks so I definitely feel ready to settle in to an introverted Fall.
All of this being said, I feel like all of the vibrancy and inspiration that was sucked out of me by the intensity of summer has been refreshed and revitalized by my trips over the past few weeks. I got to meet my boyfriend's brother for the first time and got to celebrate his recent engagement to a pretty awesome woman. I got to spend time in quite and in nature. I relished the time spent in the country. And we got to see two friends who live so far away. I got to see my grandpa and my great uncle for the first time in almost a year. And I got to introduce the person I love to them which meant SO much to me. I got to play in the sunshine and on the beach in Long Beach and Santa Monica. We got to see one of my best friends who I haven't seen in about a year. Max and I got to see his best friend as well who we haven't seen in quite a while. We were lucky enough to stay in the homes of people who mean so much to us, plus a fancy hotel. I got to network with some pretty rad people and made friendships with people I hope I can continue to work with for a long time. I've gotten to enjoy a class that opens my eyes to even more possibilities of how to make jewelry and how I can expand my brand and business in the future. I've accidentally left my phone and computer at people's houses while on my trips which thankfully forced me to chill out for a few hours or a day when I probably really needed to be forced to disconnect from technology. I feel fulfilled. I feel finally well balanced after a few months of feeling scattered. I didn't take any pictures other than maybe 5 on my phone on all of my trips because I just wanted to soak it all up. And I did. I feel well.
I have a lot of work ahead for the Fall and have some big things planned for my business. But I feel prepared, well balanced, and ready to take it all a step at a time. I feel at peace and I know everything will get taken care of as long as I pace myself and allow myself room to chill out and not get crazy about everything. I didn't plan guest posts for my time away because I just didn't want to deal with managing all that, and it felt great just letting go! I didn't care about the potential of getting new readers because of guest folks posting on my blog. The rat race of blogging is soooo over for me. At the moment, I just letting things play freely over here. I'm blogging when I have time and just letting it rest when I don't. And it feels great. I hope to have more time this Fall to blog but I'm not stressing about it. Let it come as it will. I feel well. :)