2019 Holiday Decor

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I was a week behind putting up my Christmas decorations. I had a few more vending gigs this year than I did last year. My daughter is home from college and she put the tree up and helped me to clean up the incredible collision of crocheted items, fall decor and the pulling out and sorting of Christmas decor. It was a huge mess that was driving me up the wall! I do not like clutter or the feeling it brings! Nevertheless, in between crocheted orders and life I decorated the tree and my home. One smart thing I did last year was organize my ornaments and decoration according to what I wanted to do the following year. I knew I wanted red, white, silver, and black. I did change the black to turquoise, but I found that color easily because it was with the “carnival” tree decorations.

I know…the most being done, but I love to decorate for the holidays and according to the seasons.

 

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Did you decorate for the holidays IF you celebrate the holidays?

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Drive.

What happens to the “drive”, the internal force that propels some of us forward when something happens to us we never expected? Some have this “drive” naturally that seems unstoppable. Some have to develop the drive and others have to force the drive. I’ve seen stories of terrible things happening to highly driven people and they power through, make the changes and keep going. I have heard stories of the opposite as well.

I don’t think I was born with a drive. I think it developed over the years. I never “needed” to win, to be the top of the class. I wanted to. If I didn’t, I remember feeling bad about it. I could only imagine how bad others felt that were not even in the “smart and gifted children” section. I wasn’t gifted in the sense of “smarts” but I was gifted. We all are. I had to learn how to lose gracefully. I had to learn how to be okay with giving my best. I had to learn that some have a gift that exceeds my gift of logic and smarts and that’s okay because I have things they don’t, do things they can’t, understand things they don’t, it makes us all DIFFERENT, UNIQUE, WONDERFULLY made. Uh, individuals.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to turn my drive off once it’s on. It doesn’t matter if I am writing, studying or researching an interesting subject, painting, crocheting, cleaning, fixing something, etc. I find it sometimes difficult NOT to do, to let it be, to give up. I first realized this when I use to repair laptops. We had to meet a quota and pass quality inspections. I would get stuck trying to fix a laptop, determine the problem, and get behind on my other work. I did not want to give it up and pass it on to engineering. And even after it went there, I would follow up. So much so, they rolled out a policy where engineering had to let us know what fixed the machine. It was a wise coworker, that said to me, “Nik’, you can’t fixed them all as good as you are. We are engineers and we can’t even fix them all. You have to know when to let go and pass it on. You’ve done all you can do.” It sure was hard to learn this lesson. I am a problem solver, a quality over quantity (but also how can I have both) type of person, a highest form of service type of person. If I don’t get a hold of myself, I will crash and burn. I will become overwhelmed. Burnt out.

I use to be this way until Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease hit. I went through depression. I wasn’t immediately the “Oh, well, let’s beat this, keep going, person.” My type of drive died the day I got the diagnosis that it was back, out of remission, and kicking my ass. The struggle was real. My drive had to be revived, put on life support, and weaned off. My adjustment was rocky. It was and is a spiritual journey that took a sharp left turn. It really seems more like reached a cliff and drove off.

I notice the drive a few years ago when I started to paint again. The need to FINISH it, perfect it, for hours, or in the late night or wee hours of the morning. I noticed it when I started writing again. The “I must finish this chapter, this number of words, this goal.” I noticed it in my need to create quality crocheted items, meet my deadlines, have excellent customer service. I also, noticed the obsession to do these things when I am on the verge of crashing. I would ignore my body and common sense. I would crash, burn, and be in pain. I would cause a flare up of pain and swelling, unnecessarily.

I said yes to some events this year, way more than I did last year and I was overwhelmed because I didn’t expect to be received so well. (I am spontaneously SPONTANEOUS.) I didn’t realize I needed as much inventory as I did and that I simply couldn’t create it fast enough because it takes time and I do have physical limitations. It was one night before the first event and I had driven myself into a frenzy that I simply GAVE UP. I said, “I HAVE WHAT I HAVE AND THAT IS ENOUGH.” This has been my mantra this season in creating. It has been my saving grace. It has not prevented pain or swell ups, but it has lessened my actions being the cause of them. I have hurt more from the activities, late nights, stress, no help, etc. I am hurting now! It’s that taking it to the edge, when necessary, but not going over knowledge that kicked in like the technology that tells you you’re about to back into the garage lol. Beep, beep, beep beep beep beeeeeee…. Overall, this has been the best learning experience in a long time. I needed it. I had to quickly adjust, improvise, make peace with having what I have and letting that be enough. I had to say no to other things, people. I accepted it. I am better for it. I feel like I am being prepared for something AMAZING and something that requires me to be able to manage my illness, peace of mind, and health on a very controlled level. Also, these business skills I have learned, have been priceless.

~Nikki

Confetti Weekend: Vending Woes and Triumphs

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Top of the morning to you! I had a great weekend filled with vending at two different events. One was the Colonial Park UMC Fall Arts & Crafts Festival and the other was the 4th Annual Purple Meets Pink Affair (for Domestic Violence Survivors & Breast Cancer Survivors). Let’s get the WOES out of the way, shall we?

The Woes: I was affected by the storm and tornado that came through on Monday morning of last week. My power was out until FRIDAY evening and I had my entire week planned to finish up and prepare for both events. I had to crochet in the day and go to my parents in the evening and return home at night. It was cold at night and I have Rheumatoid Disease. I layered my quilts. I eventually got a hotel room Thursday night until Saturday morning. I crocheted all Friday night and slept for 4 hours and did the event. In the midst of this I finalized the ending of a relationship after seeing something with my own eyes. This person was also suppose to help me with both shows. I had no idea how I was going to do all of this. I was incredibly STRESSED and in so much pain. My daughter called me from college Friday and said “Mom, my classmate is coming home and I am going to ride to come and help you with your events.” She had no idea about the power being out, nor the break up. I did not want to concern her with those things because she should be focused on her classes. I was exhausted before she ever arrived. I did tell her once she got here. She was a HUGE help as she has been my helper as long as she could walk and talk lol. Anyways, I made it through both events and the last one I had to do all by myself, but she helped load everything into the car before she returned to school on Sunday. I had two very supportive phone calls from one stranger during that week about the break up, depression and anxiety. She is an in your face truth kind of person. I needed that. Plus, I realize Mercury is in Scorpio and this is the season of BOLD TRUTH AND BRUTAL HONESTY. Boy did I get a HEAP (as my granny would say) of that at the end of this relationship. A HEAP (just had to say it again).

Now on to TRIUMPH!

The rain slowed the crowd down at the Arts and Crafts festival that morning. But then as I suspected and prayed for, all of us vendors in my area were praying, the rain slacked and the people came in like a flood! I sold so much of my crocheted items and even a piece of art! I met numerous vendors, received great advice and made many connections. I also learned of more places I could vend and sell. I also learned how to get into the fairs that come to our city. I learned about a huge event in St. Louis. It was a great Saturday although I was tired, in pain, and I slept like a log when I did get home. I put on my smiling face and greeted every customer.

Sunday I was ready to go to the second event. The event itself was inspiring and once again I met some great business owners. I shopped with them and they with me. I did very well at this event for it to me a small crowd. The people there were very supportive and so were the vendors.

Here are some photos of the other amazing and gifted vendors from both events. Plus, the things I purchased!

This is my haul from the events. It’s important to support other vendors!

~Nikki

Organization. The Little Things.

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I admit it. One of the things that I can never seem to keep organized is nail polish and all of the things that I need to do my own manicure and pedicure. It’s more of a challenge for me than ever to do my own pedi and mani because of the problems I have with my hands. I will go to a nail shop when I have the money and when I do not, I have to grin and bear doing it myself.

Which leads me to organization. I know it doesn’t look like having my nail polish in a crate, piled on top each other is “neat”, but I don’t mind it not being organized by color. I am just happy to have it all in one space! So,  I had a tub laying around and decided to put all things pedi and mani in it and add my crate to it. After I gather things from everywhere (linen closet, different buckets, and my room. I now store this underneath the bathroom sink. I actually had NOTHING under there. DUH ME.

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~Nikki

A to Z Challenge: Create; Empowerment, My Personal Journey

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Creating is empowering to me. Finding that “thing” or doing what you love can empower you. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hobby or going back to school to be what you always wanted to be. It could be starting a business. All of this can be empowering and leading you into that feeling of satisfaction, joy, or accomplishment.

Painting, crocheting, writing, decorating, fashion, and teaching spiritual things are empowering to me. Blogging is creative to me. Find your “thing” and let it empower you to do more of it and to learn more of about it.

~Nikki

Alma Woodsey Thomas: My Inspiration

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Today I want to take a moment to honor Alma Woodsey Thomas. She was an African American Abstract/Impressionist Artist. She is the biggest influence on my art. She is an inspiration.To find a black woman, who painted abstract art, gives me confidence in myself and my artwork. I put a link to the article in the comment section. Alma Woodsey Thomas (1891-1978).
“Alma Woodsey Thomas developed her signature style — large, abstract paintings filled with dense, irregular patterns of bright colors — in her 70s,” writes the National Museum of Women in the Arts. “Thomas became an important role model for women, African-Americans, and older artists. She was the first African-American woman to have a solo exhibition at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, and she exhibited her paintings at the White House three times. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/weekinreview/11cotter.html

 

 

~Nikki ❤

 

Confetti Art: The Luxury Collection

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I’d bought one huge canvas and was intimidated by it. I was at the art supply store and I wanted another one, but why? I hadn’t painted the other one. As I stood there debating a young curly haired girl appeared on the aisle and she started tossing canvases into her cart because it was a sale. My cart was filled. We chatted about the sale. Then she said turned to me after she got the huge canvas. “Do you want me to help you get one?” I said “Oh, no. I don’t know. I have one and I haven’t painted it because it’s so huge and I am a bit intimidated by it.” She said, “Oh no! You must get it then. You must. If you afraid of it you must do it! Come on let’s get this thing in the basket.” We got down, but not in the basket and I dragged it to the front with my daughter pushing the cart (She is an artist, too.) And the young lady smiled at me and as we all walked out she waved. God bless that art angel. I did it! Abstract art is my niche and well, here you have part of the Luxury Collection is City of Dreams.

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Reflective Luxury.

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My cousin commissioned this one. It was my first commissioned piece and my first sale of this year. Sunset on the Mountain.

Sunset on the Mountain. This one reminds me that even though the journey is rough there are beautiful sunsets along the way.