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Blog — "a few things"

They Aren't Pipe Dreams

Heidi Shenk "a few things"

Last week I mentioned something while I shared my goals with you-- something that has been really bothering me the last few months. I mentioned the fact that a lot of people in my life (real world, not virtual world) don't seem to take my design business seriously. I'm not really sure what their reasoning is, but I get a lot of nods, blank stares, and laughs when I mention anything about my greeting cards and stationery. One person even stated, "Haha! You sell just ONE card to people?! Who buys just ONE card online?!"

I am a teacher now, but I always knew I wasn't meant to teach forever. I've always been a creative person and a free spirit and, quite honestly, teaching in a public school system doesn't cater to either of those qualities. I come from a family in which my mother and father are both artists and have their own businesses. They never had the office jobs or the standard professions that people in today's society seem to assume we must have in order to be taken seriously. This is not weird to me. It is normal. However, this is the only reasoning I can see as to why these people doubt me so much when I talk about my business.

I can tell I'm soon going to be ready to move on. That looks kind of scary when I see it in writing, but in reality I've told this to many people (including my assistant principal-- this isn't breaking news in case someone from school were to stumble upon this). I've just been feeling the itch.

I believe in myself. I know I can sustain myself (once I've paid off all of those pesky student loans). I just wish everyone around me would believe in me too. My parents, sister, and of course Andrew are behind me completely. Yet some days I still feel like the little kid that tells an adult that when they grow up they want to accomplish big things only to have the adult steer them in a different direction or suggest an alternate choice. I almost want to be that kid and yell back, "They aren't pipe dreams!"

I decided to hang this print in my studio from Pen & Paint. It spoke to me for several reasons. 1) The vibrancy of the colors and the sketch itself is inspiring. 2) It reminds me that I AM going to do this. This is not some sort of silly pipe dream. Every day I tell Andrew, "I am going to have an awesome blog" or "I am going to sell ten of these cards in a week" or a general "I'm totally going to kick some ass today!"

And then I do it.

I do it because I know that I can. I've decided that it is going to happen and so it happens. And If I know I can make it happen, then friends, family, and other people around me, please encourage me. It's a rough road having only a few people on your side and sometimes you can use all of the extra motivation that you can get!

Does anyone else ever feel alone in their ambitions? Or feel as though they are not being taken seriously? What do you do to keep yourself motivated and on track to accomplish your dreams?

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A Few Things

Heidi Shenk "a few things"

I know I've been a bit spontaneous with blogging lately and all of those new followers out there probably think I'm super duper lame. I don't blame you, I kind of think I am too. Things have been incredibly busy in the shop and it has been hard to keep up. I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend-- you know, the kind spent in sweats with a cup of coffee in hand and a few fashion magazines and a novel to start your day. And maybe a chocolate lab's head squashing your foot and a cat mashing his paws into your stomach. Lazy can't get any better than that.

We're also planning on finally getting around to decorating the row house for Christmas, and I can assure you, we will not be including anything super tacky in our Christmas decor. We seem to be a little late with this every year, thus we like to leave our tree and decorations up until the end of January.

Anyway, there have been some pretty spectacular things I've been loving this week and here's a peak at a few of those.

I've been getting sick of my jewelry lately and feel like I keep wearing the same pieces over and over again. Lately, I've had my eye of these earrings from Blue Hour Designs...

...and this awesome ring from Lily Emme Jewelry. (Now promise me you won't buy that ring out from under me or I might cry. Seriously, love this one, but just don't quite have the money for it! Great, now all of you are going to race to buy it first.)
And in case you wonder why I don't have the money for that ring, it's because I've had my eye on these. I'd had my eye on them for awhile, but 1) they were too expensive and 2) they didn't have my size. Then yesterday a miracle happened. 1) they went on sale for almost $100 less and 2) the only size they had was my size. I think that's what you call a sign, people. If you're as excited about them as me and you wear an 8.5, I bought the last 10 (yup, tall and big ass feet), but now they apparently also have an 8.5. You're welcome.
via Nine West
And in case the jewelry and shoe shopping just isn't your thing these days, I kind of love these blog posts this week.

I needed a post like this to tell me to get my butt in gear about a few things in my life. This advice is so simple and what I've always told myself, but sometimes I need a good reminder.

I love Leonora's post about copying vs inspiring. I am becoming so disheartened by the number of people I see who are being copied. And having had people copy my designs on several occasions as well, this post hit home.

I'm loving these fun monogram printable gift tags. Let's face it, I'm so busy right now I haven't had the time to make my own Christmas cards or gift tags yet, so I may be swiping these for my use this holiday season.

And finally, Gina's pear cookie pie looks delicious! After one look over the recipe I think this will be a perfect winter recipe to go with a cup of tea.

What are some of your favorite things this week?

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A Tacky Christmas Decorations Failure of a Post

Heidi Shenk "a few things"

I was going to write a post about tacky Christmas decorations. It all came about somewhat like this the other night when my brain was so fried I could barely think:

Me: Hey, I need some good blog ideas. Ready? Go.
Andrew: Tacky Christmas decorations. People will love it!
Me: Ha! I don't know. People might think I'm a jerkface with the face of a jerk. And, more ideas. Go.
Andrew: The difficulties of working two full time jobs.

And that was the end of that conversation because I thought that was a slightly worthless idea too. Nor did I want to bore you to death with my griping and moaning about how exhausted I am. Though I guess I sort of did that two days ago in some ways. So I was going to write about tacky Christmas decorations. But then I thought I would be a jerkface if I did that. I thought about the time when someone posted a nasty comment on twitter about this card--

They said the card didn't even make any sense and was totally gross. I, on the other hand, thought that the card was hilarious because farts are hilarious. And let's face it, I'm sure there are plenty of people that would say they tend to let things loose once they're married. I mean, who would want to go an entire lifetime holding in their farts? It's not healthy. I would know. I read about it in a picture book that a friend of mine gave another friend of mine. And yes, we were dying laughing about it. Because farts are funny. Ok, maybe too much info.

And crap. (Pun totally intended.) I was going to make this a post about actual Christmas decorations that rocked, but clearly I am on another tangent and have failed. Somehow I don't think pairing awesome Christmas decorations with a fart card is quite the right transition, so I will have to save that for a later date.

And for those of you that are new readers-- I apologize. I promise I'm not so gross all of the time. I should be ashamed of myself, really, to subject you to such things right off the bat!

And because I have no better way to end this post after digging myself into a terribly deep hole-- opinions on the subject? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Heidi Shenk "a few things" "thanksgiving"

Now is the time that I get to write that really cheesy blog post about what I'm thankful for. I tend not to do cheesy well unless it's sarcasm, but this time I promise there is no sarcasm involved (ok, only maybe a little, but I mean well, people). In the past year, I've had some pretty amazing stuff happen, so here goes nothing.

1) The Saturday after last Thanksgiving, Andrew surprised me in the middle of rainy Chicago by popping the question. Yup, that's right. We were standing in the middle of a wet and dead garden and I was wet and miserable and wanted to know what the hell we were doing there. I may or may not have slapped him on his arm and asked him what he was doing while he proposed. And while I'm not a super mushy and sentimental person, I have to say I'm pretty thankful for him and the last 8 years we've been together (plus for putting up with that arm slapping thing during his proposal). It's been a pretty awesome ride so far and I'm looking forward to more to come. And for those of you that were wondering-- no, we still haven't set a date yet or started planning a wedding. We're pretty bad at that kind of stuff. Oops.

2) After a few really rough and stressful years in a teaching position I was not entirely happy with, I finally made the transition to teaching Social Studies full time. I'm definitely thankful for that because it has revived my passion for teaching. Seriously, people, nothing makes me smile more than hearing middle school students sing "Fifty Nifty United States" as they walk down the hall. At the same time, nothing makes me want to cry more than having "Fifty Nifty United States" stuck in my head at 3:30 in the morning while I lay wide awake in bed trying to fall asleep. But at least I know there is a reason it is stuck in my head and that certainly makes me thankful.

3) Lilah and Finn.
I mean, look at them! Need I say more? How could I not be thankful for them?

4) I'm super thankful for this awesome row house that we get to call our own. It took us over nine months for us to close on this house. It was a short sale and contrary to what the name would lead you to believe, short sales are not short. Factor in the part where the bank lost our paperwork three times in the process and it took even longer. Needless to say, we've been here for over two years now and I couldn't be happier.

5) I'm super thankful for my card shop. I am so incredibly thankful to be able to have this creative outlet and business that I hope one day will be my full time job. In the past year, I've been blown away by the support I have had in making this business grow. And grow it has-- by leaps and bounds in just a few short months. I have far exceeded my goals for this year and I couldn't be more thankful for that!

6) And last but not least, I'm super thankful for all of you awesome people out there. You've all helped and encouraged me with my shop as well as with this here old blog. I'm pretty certain that when I first started writing this blog for fun I never expected to have nearly as many readers as I do. And quite frankly, I'm sort of shocked that you all stick around! But apparently you must love me just enough that you'll put up with five million really bad posts if I can come up with one or two good ones now and again about burning my butt or dying while running. Either way, thank you all so much for reading and commenting, emailing, and tweeting your responses! It's been great so far and I'm super thankful for that!

Now excuse me while I go bust out the fat pants and stuff my face with turkey. Hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

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Hello Fall!

Heidi Shenk "a few things"

It is no secret that this dear old blog needs a little life support at the moment, or maybe a good dose of CPR to at least revitalize it. I've been missing from the blog world for about a month after school took over my life. Between all of the lesson planning, grading of papers, coaching basketball, taking a grad class, AND last but not least keeping up with the continually growing shop, my poor blog has taken the biggest hit of all.

With the arrival of fall, I've decided to try to get my butt back in gear with this whole blogging business. Fall is my favorite time of year and there are a few things that I've been loving lately.

Post-season playoff games for the Baltimore Orioles! Baseball well into October is something that hasn't happened here since we've moved to Baltimore (or even well before then) and the excitement in the city about the O's is pretty awesome! Baseball fans or not, people are getting excited about our baseball team.
via ESPN
Time to get those boots back out! And by getting the boots back out, that also means buying two new pairs to add to lot. Sorry, but I couldn't choose just one of these. In all fairness, I did have some pretty spectacular coupon codes and some leftover money on an Amazon gift card to help me out so that I wouldn't break the bank.

Steve Madden via Amazon
Steve Madden via

Also exciting? Popcorn and apple cider! I have a delicious peanut butter popcorn recipe that I'll have to share with you all in the future. I eat way too much of that stuff during these fall months.

While fall in Baltimore is usually pretty warm well until November, this coming week we'll finally be having some of those cooler temperatures that I truly love. Despite tomorrow's weather (lots of rain) I'm loving this outlook for the next few days!

And of course, I can't wait until the leaves start to change! Combine that with some cool, crisp weather and some weekend hiking and I'll be a happy girl.

I just can't help but love fall. It is most certainly my favorite season. What are looking forward to this fall?

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