— sojourning, us

I’ve finally taken a moment to update my portfolio site. I have a feeling that this blog will eventually fade into that one. I need to pick one; it’s just too much to do two rounds of blogging at a time at this point in my life. If anything, I’ll end up redirecting my Tumblr feed here instead. Don’t worry, I’ll archive all my words and photos. This has been a beautiful place, but one I’ve unfortunately neglected in the busy-ness of starting my own business.

Hello Nifty, LLC New Identity

Sorry for that. I don’t want to lose touch with how much I’ve enjoyed blogging for the past (omg) 10 years or so of my life, even if I don’t have all of it saved. I’ve been writing on and off since college, and while I’ve just never managed to be regular about things (especially with a toddler and my own business), it’s been an important part of myself. I feel like I’ve lost a bit of purpose and vision. I need to find that, and narrowing my focus is probably a good start. This isn’t the end. It’s just the start of something new. <3 Please pay attention to Hello Nifty as my blog transition takes place.

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climbing to get the camera

Working for myself means that it’s way too easy to work all day (and all night, and all weekend …) without coming up for much air. Sure, we eat lunch together as a family and try to take a walk and I put Elisha down for a nap during the day, but I can still seriously just get in the zone and work without thinking about my time. One of the reasons I wanted to work for myself was to be with my family, and if I let myself get caught up in too much work, I miss out on the whole point of being self-employed.

Finding this balance in my life has been one of the most difficult parts of my freelance career. It’s a double-edged sword, though, for when I’m interrupted too often while working (or trying to work) on a project, I lose my train of thought and any creative muse flies out of my brain only to be lost until I can get some quiet time to myself again. With a toddler in the house, my muse is often hiding until the wee hours of the night when everyone is in bed instead of during the day when there are games to play and books to read.

veggie

This delicate balance is precious—I love that I’m not missing out on the early years with Elisha and I love that I’m finally able to choose my own clients and nurture my own creative style once again.

I’m still in the process of figuring out what my work day and work week look like, even 11 months into working for myself. Settling into a routine has always been hard for me, and as Elisha grows and as our business grows and as we hope to eventually continue to grow our family, I have to constantly evaluate how I work and when I work and where I work. Every day is different in some ways—Mondays are errand days and Wednesday are late nap days because of Bible study.

face

These past few weeks have been crazy busy with client work, which is good for the bank account, but difficult for me to manage in terms of balancing my time. I finally had a moment to catch my breath with the boy today, and it felt nice.

drawing

drawing

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I haven’t written because I’ve been swamped with client work (don’t read that as a complaint, either). In addition to all the new work I have, I’m also knee-deep in writing a business plan for our letterpress shop. On top of that, even, I’m trying to clean up my portfolio site as well as combine that blog with this one. Oh, and redesign both sites to make room for all the new changes coming with the new year.

Fun times, right?

So, look out for some changes here (yeah, yeah … changes in activity, too). I’ll be redesigning this blog once I finish up Hello Nifty and put together a site for the letterpress print shop, Stubborn Press & Company, that we’ll be starting in 2012.

Enjoy a little sneak peak of my Hello Nifty update by looking at the logos:

It’s been an interesting year; I can’t believe I’ve been working for myself for almost an entire 12 months now. It hasn’t been easy. Finding a balance between working from home and enjoying my family was probably the most difficult part of it all, considering my husband and toddler and dog are all under the same roof while I’m working. It’s been worth every challenging moment, however—even the financially difficult months (and months and months), which unfortunately were more common than the financially easy ones. I’m glad that we waited until we had some savings before I started this adventure, but I will admit I naively thought getting the business ball rolling would be easier than it turned out to be.

Eleven months of stress and sweat and tears later and I can’t say whether or not I’ve entirely gotten the hang of things. I can say, however, that I look forward to what next year brings after all I’ve learned this year. I look forward to the new adventures of letterpress printing, too …

Oh, did you all know we purchased an old letterpress in August? I’m finishing up our business plan this week in hopes of getting a business loan to rent studio space and finish fixing up the old Chandler and Price New Series 10×15 printing press we rescued from being sold for scrap. It needs new rollers, feed/delivery boards, a foot treadle, and a bit of TLC. Since it’s too big to fit in our little townhouse, we also need some office space. We’re hoping to have everything ready for the new year so we can jump into wedding season with both feet. I hope to offer completely custom wedding stationery, announcements, and business collateral locally and sustainably printed on our C&P, affectionately nick-named the Mule.

Keep an eye out for more on updates on both Hello Nifty and Stubborn Press & Company.

If you’ve got a moment, you can even help me out with the logo design process, since I’m still in the drafting stage. I’m partial to the bottom two (the right is currently my favorite, but I’m really open right now). Check ‘em out and please leave a comment:

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Is this thing out of focus? Or blurry? How’d that happen? Let me do some dusting …

That about sums up August. And September.

Uh, it’s October …?

Wait, October is half over? Oh, okay. Wow. Time really flies, especially when I spend it away from my blog. I’m not going to apologize—I work for myself from home with a husband, a dog, and a toddler. Sometimes, I even manage to feel productive. Some exciting stuff has happened since I last bothered to visit my blog and typey type some fancy words here—we bought a letterpress (a Chandler & Price New Series 10×15); I’m knee-deep in writing a business plan so we can get everything up and running by January; I’ve had a lot of client work; my baby is growing up.

I’m kind of trying to figure out what to do with myself, blog-wise. I want to continue blogging, either here or on Hello Nifty, but I’m not sure if I can do both. I’d like to incorporate the more instant feel of my Tumblr, especially when it comes to photos and things that inspire me. I’d like to blog regularly again like I used to, about my life and about useful things. I’m not sure whether I want to combine blogs, though I’m confident I’ll be redesigning one or both of them.

Yeah. I have a lot of things on my mind.

Right now, I’m mostly focused on finishing up our business plan for our letterpress. The hubbs and I are going into business together, and it’s going to be so much fun! I’ve got a lot to say about all of that, so I’ll be coming up with some posts to share our process.

It’s Monday and I have a lot of things on my to do list this week, so I thought I’d just sum up my silence with some photos.

nature walk

nature walk

nature walk

nature walk nature walk

nature walk

nature walk

nature walk

This is the part of the show where I want to make promises that I’ll be back here regularly, blogging again. I want to say that, but I feel like I’m in so much transition. Everything is up in the air and I’m just trying to stay standing sometimes. Or at least get things done, especially client work. Right now, paying bills and spending time with my family come first. Eventually, I’ll work blogging and taking photos and talking about things that matter to me back into my life.

It’ll just have to come slowly.

Be patient. Good things are happening!

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For the past few months, we’ve somehow managed to endure all four of Elisha’s first-year molars moving into their proper places in his mouth. It wasn’t always easy. Compared to the rest of his teeth, the molars were full of more crankies, more snot, and more restless sleep than ever before.

Well, that is until his incisors started growing in.

Ugh.

I will admit I’ve been happy there hasn’t been much in the runny nose department, but the restless sleep and crankies come and go and come and go on a day-to-day basis. Couple this with the force of a 16-month old blooming head-first into his toddlerhood and the adventure just gets more and more whine-filled.

I can’t wait for teething to be over. It’s a series of milestones I look forward to putting behind us all. Less long nights spent nursing (yes, we’re still breastfeeding … no, I don’t have a set-in-stone date for when we’ll wean) and more time exploring new foods will be something to enjoy together. Well, we may actually be able to start the weaning process if he’s ready.

Although, I really hate that phrase, especially now that we’ve come to love elimination communication and all it’s benefits. Potty “readiness” is very different, I think, from weaning “readiness.” During the worst of his teething, Elisha will sometimes refuse to eat anything (except for a bit of fruit here and there and maybe, maybe, maybe some yogurt). I just couldn’t dream of letting him go without eating, so during the worst of his teething days, he would always without fail nurse. Yes, toddler nursing antics (upside down nursing, nursing and dancing, etc.) can sometimes be a challenge to my patience, but it has been more than worth the delay in weaning to keep him full of something nutritious and so incredibly valuable to his development.

There are definitely days I am very ready to wean. There are other days that I know it will be bittersweet.

Given Elisha’s strong personality, however, I know that he will help me set the pace. He already has started putting himself to sleep at night (after nursing) instead of nursing to sleep. Sometimes, laying him in his own bed and sitting in the office chair across the room from him (singing) is the only way he’ll go to sleep. Some nights, when he wakes, I can rock him back to sleep after he goes to the potty. Other nights, he needs to nurse again. On the teething nights, he often nurses all night, but those are getting fewer and farther between.

It’s getting better. It’s been an awesome ride so far. I’m interested in seeing what the end of teething brings into our lives. It should be exciting.

His potty readiness has also been pretty amazing. Since we’ve been practicing EC over the past 10 months, it’s been crazy to see just how much babies are capable of. While he’s not that communicative while teething, he still has so very few misses these days. I’m not confident enough to go out for long errands in training undies, but we did go to church with them last Sunday without issue. He goes all day with maybe a miss or two, and he’s often dry all night long. It’s certainly lessened the burden when it comes to diaper laundry, but I have never considered washing cloth diapers to be much of a burden to begin with. Ha!

Anyway, time just keeps flying by. I still can’t believe I have a walking, talking, drawing, imagining, playing toddler.

Elisha loves to draw

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little drummer boy

little drummer boy

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