— sojourning, us

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Design

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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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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sorry for missing a post yesterday. i just couldn’t think of what would be a fantastic tutorial or other tidbit to share. i’m also suddenly busy with work again, which is (of course) a good thing. the sporadic schedule of a freelancer is still rather interesting to me; i keep hoping for work to pick up and become more regular, but i know there are some things i still need to work on personally first. i’m a little frustrated at how it seems nearly impossible to hear back from some of the freelance opportunities i apply to online on places like freelanceswitch or freelancefolder. i’ve sent plenty of applications and have only heard back from one. maybe two.

i guess i know i’m bursting with all of this eager, excited energy, but i still need to beef up my portfolio. well, i’ve got two pro bono websites in the wings and a non-profit site that i just met with the client for today.

i’ve also got some wedding invites to silkscreen. it’s a lot of work (work i should probably have started by this time in the evening, to be honest), but they’re going to look so great when they’re finished. i just don’t know if i have enough room in our townhouse to lay them all out to dry—150 invites, 150 RSVP cards are a lot of little sheets of paper!

anyway, i’m still struggling with my identity, i think. i feel like i really need to figure out what it is i do best, what it is i’m happiest doing. i don’t think i know the answer to that yet.

i love the web.

but i also love illustration.

i also love photomanipulation and image editing.

i also love silkscreen and printmaking.

i also love sewing.

so. uh. which is it? should i focus on one? all? none? is there something i’m still missing in this puzzle of my life as a self-employed creative?

i don’t know yet. i’m not sure. i feel like the picture was clear, but after what feels like rejection after rejection (silence can be just as heavy as an email negative), i’m beginning to question whether or not i’m good enough at what i think i’m good at. i think i just need more examples of what i can do—i’ve been designing for the web for almost 10 years now, people. 10 (and that’s not counting the few years before that i taught myself HTML and built my own blog as a high school student). i’ve also been drawing and printmaking for that long, too.

i hate feeling stuck. it’s the worst feeling ever.

i hate realizing that i have all of this passion, this potential, but i feel like it’s being wasted. on nothing.

someone notice, would you?

i’ve got a lot to give here, you see.

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so, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?

sorry for that.

i appear to have difficulty finding balance, but i’m not really convinced that’s quite as bad of a situation as it sounds. i think that i work best when i feel as though i’m flying by the seat of my pants, and right now, i feel as though i’m just getting by on the skin of my teeth every day.

little E spent the past two weeks sick and teething (he’s still teething, but his ear infection and cold are finally fading). this makes life for me a bit difficult—it’s hard to work when you have a whining one year old practically strapped to your body at all times. well, i probably could have worn him in the mei tai a bit and had two free hands more often, but i don’t think that would’ve solved our whining, crankiness issues. it’s been a hard few weeks and now that it’s Monday, i’m still exhausted and ready for another weekend.

even if working for myself form home can sometimes feel like one very long Saturday, i assure you the reality is that i still have times that i live for the real weekend.

that said, i know i am not working enough.

i’m listless and dissatisfied. there is more i could be doing. there is so much caught up inside me, that much like the season of spring, i can feel it all budding and longing to burst forth.

it’s just been easier said than done for me and i’m still trying to figure out why.

i’ve been feeling on the edge of something for quite some time. like a break through is just around the corner. like i’m about to stumble into an epiphany. like something’s going to catch fire. i like this feeling. it makes me smile and keeps me active. it motivates me to sketch, to take notes, to hoard inspiration.

now that little E is feeling better, i know he’s going to be getting back into the groove of being his very busy one-year-old self. i need to take this moment to get on the same page as my husband. we’re currently … totally not. sometimes, i feel as though we’re unconsciously working against each other instead of with each other, especially now that i’m home all the time. we don’t have a rhythm. or, if we do, i don’t see it. or, if we do, we’re at least not moving to the same tempo. this makes mothering and working and living hard for me.

part of my silence and frustrations have revolved around me feeling alone.

i suppose this is part of the burden of freelancing, but i also know in my heart it doesn’t have to be so. there’s plenty of community out there if i’m willing to invest myself in it.

i need to invest some more of myself in my home, in my relationships first, however. i just hope that my motivation is reciprocated.

i miss blogging. i feel as though i’ve lost my voice.

having a little home here in the internet has been dear to me since i was just a kid. an awkward high school kid. for me, the interwebs is just as much a comfortable place as my couch. i need to spend some time here like i need hot showers. however, i can tell there’s been a disconnect. i’m still trying to put things back together again and it’s been more difficult than i expected. more difficult to put into words. there’s a lot going on and i’m still trying to juggle it, i guess. or something. i’m not entirely sure.

it’s abstract but heavy for me. a burden on my daily thoughts.

for now, i’ll just say that i want to have this space back. i want to reclaim this particular bloggy part of myself. while i’ll also be blogging separately on my business website, i want sojourning, us to be a place where i explore family life, spiritual life, and personal stuff. this is the other part of me, though it is certainly not separated from the working part. i don’t really feel like myself when the creative is separated from the personal. work for me usually requires just as much of my whole self as family life, so i can’t promise this place to be devoid of shop talk.

anyway. i don’t really know who reads this anymore, but i’m sorry i’ve been so quiet. i’ve struggled to carve out time for this sort of thing, but i’m slowly getting better.

let’s hang out some more. i’ve missed you.

Share your thoughts?