Flying Lessons: My launch as an artist a year ago!

My declaration as an artist about a year ago is a story I never tire of.  Probably because it's made up of the things the best stories always are….grit, grace, nail-biting chapters, unexpected highs and lows, and some of the most memorable people and events life has to offer. 

Truthfully, there have been many, many times I've wanted to quit.  Not quit art, don't get me wrong.  But quit art as a profession at least.  Because even if you're "just hosting an Etsy shop" your art is still your profession.  Many things have surprised me during the last year or so. Silence from some lingers, while the applause of others surprises.  I was recently telling my twin about some very good opportunities I've come across in the art world lately (she is, by the way, one of my biggest and loudest fans), and I suddenly just laughed and said "Good thing I didn't throw in the towel!" 

My brother-in-law immediately followed that up with "When did you feel like throwing in the towel?"  

"Too many times to count". 

It's true.
But here I am, still standing (and standing strong) a year or so later, having learned more than I could have fathomed a year ago.  One of the biggest factors that launched me into business was Kelly Rae Robert's Flying Lessons, an ecourse that is over 260 pages long with every single detail you could ever need to know about starting your own creative business.  I remember wanting to start my art business so badly but being buried underneath the pressure of questions, ranging from small to big.  Things like "What kinds of bags do I buy?  How do I make art prints? How do I open an online shop and what else is out there besides Etsy?  How do I market myself?  How do I truly connect in the social media world? What is licensing all about?" and on and on raced through my head for days.  I tried googling each of my questions or reaching out to other artists for help but rarely heard back.  

Now, as an artist myself, I understand there just isn't time to answer all of those questions from a reader every time they trickle in!  Launching a creative business and keeping it running strong is much, much more involved, detailed, and to be honest-hard, than most people realize. 
Flying Lessons absolutely got my feet off the ground.  When I was lonely but determined and wanting to pursue this calling but not knowing who to ask (because none of my real life people are artists)  this was exactly the one-stop spot for all my questions (and the answer to questions I didn't even know I had yet). 

I believe in this program so much I've even signed up for the affiliate program.  It's not my style to typically sign up for any kind of affiliate program…you all know that.  I don't like blogs who sell things over and over.  But, I feel like I've advertised Flying Lessons in my real life blog posts before this one enough to give you another reminder and it still be authentic to The Rosy Life.  I give you my word to always be honest to you, my blog audience.  So know that if you sign up, (and please do so through my link!) I will be compensated.  And I absolutely, 100% believe in this course.  It kept my career as an artist from stopping before I'd even got started.  I still have much to learn from this course, a whole year later!

Some real good news is that the course is on sale for 20% off now through Mother's Day! Simply use the code MOMXO at checkout to receive your discount! 

I hope this is the year you fly. 

Sketchbook/Studio Update!

Friends, I'd love to share a peek into what I've been up to around The Rosy Life lately.  Grab a cup of coffee and hopefully some PB toast (homemade bread, remember) and come on in.  There's much I've been waiting to show you!

I always, always like to have a canvas or two going in the studio.  This little canvas was created over the period of several days.  I first created the background and it was BUSY, busy.  So much color everywhere.  I must have thought to myself a dozen times "I either love it or hate it".  That's pretty typical of me, especially when I'm on the brink of something good.  I went back through my art journals, looking for the final inspiration to finish the piece out.  These words ("They tried to bury us.  They didn't know we were seeds") were on IG one day and stuck with me. 

And there you go.  After reading these words it clicked and I could totally see exactly how I wanted to finish the painting.  I added the white flowers and text and felt my soul sigh a happy sigh.  I was done.
So naturally I put the painting in the dining room and then decided to move my handmade crepe paper flowers around a bit more.  
And that then prompted a move around on the other side of the window too! I do love to rearrange things.  These shelves are just the perfect solution for that.  I don't think Brett could handle another nail hole in the wall if he tried.  He does love me, doesn't he? Putting up with all this rearranging. :) I literally can't help myself!  I haven't started in on other people's homes when I visit so I think I'm doing ok so far. 
My Rosy Life to do list is long the next month or so and I am happy, happy, happy about that! Like joy down to my toes, happy.  I am working on two custom orders, the photography retreat, and some projects for a crafting company called Canvas Corp that is actually based out of Springdale! I am going to be doing some guest posting on their blog as well as teaching a canvas class at their store in Springdale next month! I'll keep you posted on details!
A nice little treat while I'm working is this candle from Target. Y'all, I have never, ever smelled anything as good as this. Ever.  I smelled it on the aisle at Target about a million times until I was starting to look a bit weird so I finally bought it.  I am ever so glad I did! It smells rosy. :) 

In the midst of all the good busy I'm still making time for myself, creatively!  My inspiration wall keeps growing by the day.  Some of this is my own art or photographs and some from magazines or other places.  It all comes together to put a big happy grin on my face when I glance over here! 
I've also been doodling away in a plain notebook, with only Sharpie pen or Stabilo pencil (fave pencil ever, in the history of ever).  With a Stabilo you draw or sketch whatever you like and then wet your brush to go over your sketch lines.  The result is this dreamy, watercolor look to your drawing.  I mean, it is just fabulous.  

These little ladies were inspired by Christy Tomlinson's She Art No. 4 class I signed up for! I think artists should be learners for life.  I plan to always be challenging myself to learn something new and right now Christy's class is the perfect thing to keep me inspired and practicing my sketching and art. I love her classes because once you sign up you have two full years to access her class!  

I can't wait to get further into the project videos and see how I can put my own rosy twist on these little ladies. 
I'm currently wearing out Need to Breathe's newish cd, Rivers in the Wasteland.  And that prompted this. 

You are too, you know. 
A difference maker I mean. 
Think on that for a minute. 

Registration is now closed for my Photography Rosy Retreat in May, but I will be hosting another one soon!  So if you missed this time around, I hope to see you at another one! I've been painting my own fabric for handmade journals to give the girls, along with their retreat workbooks and other handmade goodies! All created by me! 
There are five beautiful souls signed up and I can't wait to spend the day learning and talking with them.  The day is truly going to be a special one on the farm. 

Lots of other exciting things coming up for The Rosy Life! 
A one-year anniversary sale

Mama and Me kiddo and mom craft morning

Rosy Retreat craft night

New products in the shop

Your Rosy, Your Routine photo sessions coming Fall 2015

and now taking custom orders for art! 

I'll share more details soon. 
Stay tuned, rosy people!

we went down to the river to pray.

We went down to the river to pray. 
(Or creek, depending on whose eyes you're viewing it from.)

We said hello to the minnow,
farewell to the frog. 

We hopped, skipped, and tossed rocks,
delighted in flowers,
quietly aware of God's power. 

Questions were asked,
smiles passed,
hands held. 

Colors were found,
boots were brave,
walking sticks claimed.

We went down to the river to pray. 

Clouds and contemplating.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

-Ira Glass

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker." So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board." So God made a farmer.
"I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife's done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon -- and mean it." So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, 'Maybe next year.' I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain'n from 'tractor back,' put in another seventy-two hours." So God made a farmer.
God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor's place. So God made a farmer.
God said, "I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week's work with a five-mile drive to church.
"Somebody who'd bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life 'doing what dad does.'" So God made a farmer.

-Paul Harvey

Bread and Salad (you're gonna wanna try this)

Two little things have snuck into our mouths and tummies and routine and have turned out to be two BIG things that are rockin' our world. 
This salad dressing.
Eaten on top of garden lettuce, radishes, and green onion. 

I make it at least once a week. 
It even freezes well! 

Both of these wholesome recipes are just so ridiculously good. 
Seriously, so, mouth-watering good.

Happy Eats!

The rosy in my real life!

Hello friends! I'm here for another edition of "rosy in my real life!"  I tried to number these and do one for every week o...