Peace Signs

Friday, April 29, 2016

Personal Fundraising Campaign Update - Friday

My personal campaign continues. I have to say it's been an awesome week. I am positive this debt will get paid through the donations, my own hard work in ways to sell mosaics as the months continue on and through friends purchasing mosaics through my online shops. Almost all I raise on my own will get donated after I've taken out what I need for supplies to keep the business running and a few personal items like supplements.

One friend bought mosaics from my Storenvy shop this week. Another did a little online shopping and requested I hold a few mosaics for them so they could send a check instead of using the online shopping carts.

I am well supported emotionally and lovingly by many dedicated people and I am honored to be in their tribe.

One frequently returning customer is going to offer something special to those who donate in an FB group they run, in association with my GoFundMe campaign at some point in the future. How amazing is that?!

I've been emailing the lawyer all week and we settled on an arrangement. I have 10 months to pay off the remainder of the debt after sending them $1250, which was the first amazing payment I received in the fundraiser. That means on the first of each month I'll owe a little over $400 for 10 months. It sounds reasonable and even possible.

What I love the most about this situation is how I responded to it. Okay, so, I did panic, I did feel my blood pressure rise. I even felt like crying at one point but I didn't. What I did do, after the initial shock, was go into action-mode and ask for help through the fundraiser, create a discount in one of my online shops to promote sales, and started looking at ways to expand on how I sell my mosaics.

I've changed how I look at the obstacles ahead of me. What a wonderful thing! I'm not afraid or scared. I just find the best solutions.

For instance: I'm looking into finding a volunteer to help me for a day in August. I haven't decided I'm going to do this yet, but there is a local craft fair happening that month. I would love to do a few craft fairs a year. I didn't always feel that way, but now I'm ready. Sort of. I need confidence (personally lost a lot when I lost my teeth --- I used to smile all the time and now I never do --- even embarrassed to talk to someone in person --- it's the first thing people see and they focus on it even if they don't realize it --- I'm very sensitive about that!). I need to show my work in places I haven't before and that means spreading my wings a bit. Getting out of my comfort zone a little bit too. Teeth or no teeth. My dental troubles will get taken care of eventually. Who knows, if I do enough craft shows and get a good profit going, I can go to the dentist! Wouldn't that be awesome?! In the meantime, I've started collecting beautiful scarves for a few reasons: to hide the double-chins and if need be, I can use them to distract from the facial flaws I feel I have. Every time I go out, I wear one. They are a confidence booster and I love that!!

I definitely need a few things before I can do craft shows. A lot goes into doing these. I can get the money gathered to rent space, it isn't as expensive as some are. I can get a table from my Dad to borrow for the day but I would need to rent a tent (way more expensive than the rental for the table). I may need things I don't even know about yet. And can't do any of it without a volunteer or two. I know I can't man a table by myself and mosaics are too heavy to carry around, down and up steps and so on. I don't think I could pick up a table and carry it too far today. I no longer drive, so someone would have to do that too. So much to consider but not impossible. How about that?! I'm leaving my comfort zone and I'm okay!

I'll keep you posted on that adventure once I do more thinking about it. It would be nice to get out and share the love.

If you all could take a minute or two to read the campaign, donate to it if you can and share it if you would, I'd appreciate it. Thanks so much and enjoy the moments!

Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!~Cindy, EarthMotherMosaics

Thursday, April 28, 2016

My Creative Business Journey

Thanks for sharing the journey with me so far. I haven't accomplished a whole lot this week, but I have been working.

I've got a lot to do: read, watch business-oriented videos and filling out worksheets to narrow down and make clear what I want for the future of my business. "Where do you see yourself in five years?" shouldn't be hard to answer ... but it is for me. I see so much all at once and have to re-train my brain for the sake of focusing on one subject at a time. I really have to work for it. And it is exhausting. Look at this month's calendar!

Some things get pushed to the next week, next month or get canceled out completely (like the trip I was planning to Chicago). But for the most part, this keeps me on track and focused enough to keep moving forward, no matter what.

I mentioned the things I'm working on last week. For the most part, nothing has changed. I'm still working. The "Infinite Possibilities" Project by Mike Dooley is coming along. I don't do each thing daily (as suggested). Sometimes it takes 3 days to get through one daily project but I'm doing it. That is way more important than how long it takes.

The next thing I am doing is watching videos on the Small Business Association. Again, I mentioned this before but it's worth repeating. If you just want to get some free info on some basic business things, this is a good place to start. Sometimes they seem like a waste of time and then they will mention something I hadn't thought of. Worthy of writing it down and researching it further. That's a very good thing! Another good thing is that they have dedicated areas just for women, older women too or those who want to expand their business and aren't sure how. I recommend taking a look around the website if you live in the US. If you don't, there has to be an equivalent to what we have here wherever you live.

I'd like to caution you about contacting their mentors through SCORE. I'm not a fan. I couldn't find anyone who could mentor me in my area either locally or for the business I'm in. I found someone in Northern PA who worked in an unrelated field and she gave me very bad advice. I wrote to her hoping because she was in the same state as I was, she'd at least push me in the right direction toward someone she knew who might be able to help me. She didn't. She was very "matter of fact". I know I've mentioned all of this before. Obviously I'm not quite over it yet, even all these years later. I have moved on, but every so often what she said hurt me so much I realized I had to have had those same thoughts before writing to her. I didn't believe in myself then. So I have thanked her in my mind and am trying to forgive her for hurting my feelings. Not as easy. But I'm moving on and have come to a conclusion about mentoring.

I don't think a mentor should ever tell you not to pursue your dreams. Ever. That is what happened in my case. A mentor should help you find solutions in ways to make your goals a reality no matter how high the mountain is you need to climb in order to reach them.

This framed excerpt from the writings of Edgar A. Guest has been in my family for generations. I had it hanging near me for years but when I was moving things around a few months ago, I seemed to have put it in a "safe" place and can't locate it now. I need to find it and hang it back up, because it's the best!

It Couldn't Be Done

Okay, so ... I had a bad experience, but many more have had good ones with SCORE. Just be aware that not all advice that comes at you through any website, family and friends, no matter the source, is something you should take. Including mine! I do suggestion that you listen to all advice, be open to it all. Take that advice of mine, please. From there, make your own decisions based on how it feels inside when you think about what you've discussed, read or been told. Please don't give up. I did for quite a while and it changed who I was briefly. I have to work on my self-esteem once more but I'm getting there. Just remember: if it deflates you or devastates you when you're told you can't do it, move on and forget their advice! Forgive the person who "means well" but who doesn't understand your passion and continue on. NEVER GIVE UP.

I am always on the lookout for free workshops to take online. They usually get you on a mailing list for paid workshops or other services the people who do these workshops are in business for, but it's worth an email from them once in a while, pitching their services. It's actually a great learning tool in itself and something I might use myself one day. I've taken 3 free workshops, a few were a few weeks long. One came into my email daily to read, download worksheets and work on. Those I do at my own pace and I have found I'm focusing more on these things now than I was before when I first starting thinking about all of this. With each workshop and email I find to sign up for, I am becoming more clear in what I want for my business.

Each step, each thing I do, gets me closer to really knowing what I want. All the suggestions and advice have been wonderful and now I'm ready to take the time, however long it takes, to work on what I've learned and learn more.

I think next year will be a record-breaking year for my business. I predict, in that year, from this day to one year in the future, I will have made connections I never thought possible. I will have learned exactly what I needed and how to get exactly what I want for the studio workshop.

Here is the 3rd Vision Board I've made. For now, I'm not going to make more. I like the three I've done and can work on each one or all three in any given day. Once I feel like I'm ready for another challenge, I'll make the next board.

This board is called "Working On It". It shows one of my favorite quotes, my new logo (soon to be done in mosaic form), a nice template showing what I'm working on, the paperwork I'm doing, a possible space in the future for my studio and workshop (located near grocery stores and restaurants), how to find funding and lastly using online workshops. That covers a lot of visions. And ALL possible.

Those of you who have considered going 'legit' or expanding your business, I recommend using small vision boards. I can't tell you what a great tool these have turned out to be for me. I've done large ones before and gotten upset when I realize how much I want to accomplish and it seems overwhelming to see it all in one spot. Smaller boards, breaking up what I want to envision for myself, is the way to go for me. I printed out 2 copies and posted one near me and keep one in my worksheets and papers I need to read. They really work for me and keep me enthusiastic about the future. Especially on not so great days.

Tomorrow I will share an update about my personal fundraising campaign. If you haven't read it yet, please do. Share it if you would. The wider it goes, the more likely it'll be noticed. All donations are welcome and gratefully accepted. If you aren't comfortable with donating in that way, consider buying a piece of art from one of my shops or ordering a custom made mosaic. Right now all profits go toward the debt. Thank you!!

Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!~Cindy, EarthMotherMosaics

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

In The Studio - Wednesday

Grouting happened this weekend! Yay!

Mandala Plate - 10 inches

White Moon Plate - 7 inches

Really happy with how the mandala turned out. Unfortunately a chunk of white grout came off of the moon plate, so I'll have to re-grout that over the weekend.

I am going to list these both soon. The moon later than the mandala.

And finally these great plates have gotten some cool photos taken and edited. These too will go in the shops.

I've named this one "Evening Moon Over Water" - 10 inch plate

Mr. Owl - 6.5 inches
Peace Sign - 6.5 inches
Pink Flower - 6.5 inches

For those interested, the 10 inch plates are $60. The 7 inch plates are $45 and the 6.5 inch plates are $38. If you're interested in purchasing them now before they are listed, comment below or send me an email any time.

Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!~Cindy, EarthMotherMosaics

Monday, April 25, 2016

Promo Blast!

Take advantage of the EVENT going on right now. I'm having a sale in my Storenvy Shop! That hardly EVER happens!

Mother's Day is coming. Father's Day is too!! Give the gift of handmade art.

Get 15% off all items (excluding instant digital downloads) by using FRESHSTART01 discount code at checkout. Share this offer with your friends. It's one more way to help me get closer to my goals. I need your help. Spread the word and thank you!

All items on sale at Storenvy
UPDATE: The center vase has just been sold! Woo-hoo!!

Be sure to use the discount code at checkout to take advantage of the 15% discount. Stock up on mosaic gifts for yourself, family and friends.

Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!~Cindy, EarthMotherMosaics

Friday, April 22, 2016

A Very Special Request - Friday

Yesterday was a crazy day. It got even crazier when I opened the mail. My daughter turned 31 yesterday (so many mixed emotions --- my first baby!!), the singer Prince passed away and so did Joanie Laurer aka Chyna, the WWE wrestler, both left us too soon --- such sad news. And, I got a letter from an attorney stating that I was being sued. I owe the manager for the apt I was evicted from 5 years ago, over $5,000. Wow.

It's a full moon tonight ... I'm covered in emotions and feelings! The 2nd Mercury Retrograde is headed this way next week and I'm positive this one bring with it good things for me. I am sensitive to the moon's cycles and some planetary activity as well, and therefore, this has me in a bit of a tizzy.

All I can do is go with the flow, so here I go ... I'm asking for financial help for the amount I'm being sued for. I know it is my responsibility and I know I need to get it taken care of somehow. Therein lies the rub. The "somehow".

I don't live a "traditional" life, so finding funding in the traditional way seems a little odd. But I knew, if I didn't try, when asked if I had, I'd have to start over anyway. After receiving the letter, I started to try to find the way to pay off this large debt. One of the constant email I get is from creditkarma a great website that keeps tracks of all things like your credit score and who checks it and when. They also let you know by email when good deals on credit cards are available. By contacting a credit card company and apply for one, I need to know if I could qualify anyway and if I don't, why. Seems like a lame idea but I haven't tried for a card in years and my credit score has been rated "fair" for 2 years. If it is approved, I'd be able to pay off some of the debt using it, or a little bit anyway. That's a big IF but it's a possibility. The downside is that with this small claims court debt, if it isn't paid, will mess up my credit one more time which isn't something I'd like to happen if I can help it. Sheesh.

Another traditional move --- I went online to my bank, where I've had an account for years, and asked for an emergency loan. Not having a steady income or collateral makes these kinds of things hard, but I am going to apply for retirement benefits in a few months (I am pretty sure), which means I can pay off a loan over time if they grant it. They suggested I give them a call, and I might, but I am fairly sure they won't think it's a great idea to lend money to someone with no steady income or collateral. But nothing ventured ...

Meanwhile, I've started a gofundme campaign. WHO KNEW I'd do this for a personal debt and not for the dream studio space I want to have in the future? The only good news here is it gave me a chance to learn how to use the site again since it's been a few years. Once I am ready to continue with a campaign for the funding of studio space, I will probably remember how to use it. The site is user-friendly enough although I wasn't paying much attention and put my campaign out "there" for all to see before I was ready. I fixed what I needed to fix and got it "live" in record time, however. Whew. I was a little numb when I started working on the campaign. Sad that I had to do it but so darned grateful I had a place to go to ask for the help I need.

I shared this campaign yesterday on my Facebook page and personal profile. I'm sure I'll be sharing it a lot over the next few months. I reminded myself that I was just having a bad day, I don't have a bad life. I inhaled deeply, meditated and knew I was okay. Obviously my heart can stand a good scare once in a while, so that's good. It pumped vigorously when I read the letter from the attorney. I was able to calm myself with meditation and become more centered (this is a life saving device for me, I highly recommend trying it if you don't already meditate) and I feel great physically at this moment. Good for me!

Within 3 hours of starting the new campaign, I had received a direct PayPal donation and 2 donations on my campaign site. I am blown away by the generous donation from an anonymous person who gave $1,250.  In one day, within a few hours, a little over $1,300 was given. I am feeling truly blessed!

Interestingly enough, I had a dream Tuesday evening about this very situation concerning the debt. I thought to myself in this dream: "I need to figure out a way to pay off this debt so I can move forward with my dreams and goals. I need a fresh start!" I hadn't thought of it for such a long time (close to 2 years) and then had a dream about it. And the next day, got the letter from the attorney. More moon craziness, perhaps. More than likely it is the Universe letting me know if I find a way to pay off this debt, more good things can come my way.

I believe in checks and balances. I know I have to settle this debt so that I can move forward. I believe I have guardian angels protecting me. A few are here on earth! I also believe in giving back, paying it forward and doing good things. I made a few promises to myself this day and won't share them just yet because they are private at the moment (although not much is for me ... I share a lot of personal things), but good things come to those who do good things. I know this to be true.

With the campaign running to get this past debt gone for good, I'll be able to still study, learn, read to keep the dedicated studio workshop alive. I don't know when it'll be born, but it will arrive on time.

I am thinking about having a sale on my websites to get some funding that way too. I haven't sold a mosaic this year yet, so this might help generate a few sales. I'll share that info when I know more.

Meanwhile, all donations are welcome and although I didn't list all the rewards I'll give in return for a donation in the campaign, everyone who donates, no matter how small, will be gifted in some way. I will contact everyone who provides their info once the campaign is finished and the goal met. It's certainly has started off with a bang!!

I'm not sure there is ever a good time to ask for financial help, but if you all could take a minute, read, donate and share this very personal campaign, I'd appreciate it. Thanks so much and enjoy the moments!

Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!~Cindy, EarthMotherMosaics

Thursday, April 21, 2016

My Creative Business Journey

My days have mostly been spent listening to videos, taking notes, going to online workshops and making plans for my business future. I always say I am a creative by nature but I do have a bit of a business side too. I don't let that part of me out very often and mostly it's administrative skills gone dormant just from working in offices since I was 19 years old up until my last office job in 2009. I have learned the way to use time management by some of the most successful businesses there is. I worked for Educational Testing Service, Disney Studios, a large insurance company, a computer company, Yellow Book. Within those walls, a great resource of information was there for the picking. Sadly, I never saw the need to extend my knowledge while there to learn the business side of business. But happily, I DID learn how to manage my time, what to expect from my brain when it comes to retention, how long to study or listen to videos before taking time away to do other things.

One of the things that happened a few days ago was that I realized Kickstarter is not the right venue for me for my crowdfunding needs. When the time comes to make a decent video showing the studio and classes at work in the next few years, I might go to that site to help fund it.

I am going the "normal" route at the moment, by staying inside the box and doing what is suggested on the SBA website. Small Business Association's links and resources are almost all free and taking some advice from a site whose only function is to help those in business, seems like a good place to start. Again. I did go there 6 years ago and did start the process I'm doing once more now. Things have changed so much, I can't pick up where I left off. It's time to start fresh!

I am assuming I won't qualify for any traditional loans and so I didn't attempt to apply for any. At the moment I am taking a course on financing and gearing myself up for the initial leap to see if there is something that suits my needs. The hard parts will always be having no or very little collateral that they see as worthy. I have thousands of dollars in mosaics I could use for collateral if someone would see this art collection as collateral. That would be awesome! The other hard part is trying to prove I don't really need the loan in order to succeed.

A business executive from one of the well-known companies I worked for and who has long since passed, told us that you have to show lenders you don't need them and make them see why they need you. His advice: believe in whatever it is you are trying to get funded with all your heart and really sell it. Stay compassionate and focused on why it is the best thing ever. It's great advice, not just for business loans but for job interviews and other work-related things. I know how to dazzle. I've done dinner theatre. If I could use jazz hands while explaining why I DO need their money, I would be all set. Nothing will happen, I don't think, without much in the way of finances. Had I known 10 years ago when I started, that this would be the passion that consumes my every waking minute (and many dreams), I'd have done a few things differently.

I truly believe this studio workshop would not only be the best fun ever for me, it would be fun for my community and the surrounding ones as well. I hope that mindset is enough for some magic to happen. I need magic and miracles.

Having done business for 10+ years in one form or another on mosaics and art through online venues and almost always on a table or most recently my bed, the thought that I could actually have a whole room that's just dedicated studio space ... well ... imagine what I could do! That dream has to blossom and grow because I will never stop making mosaics. Working in a 13' x 10' room for close to 6 years proves I have the desire needed to make the dream come true. I'm running out of room, honestly. But I love them so much. This relationship is stronger than ever.

I made a video (not very good but okay for the first attempt) over the weekend and shared it on my Facebook page and on my personal profile. I uploaded it to YouTube so I could refer back to it often. I'm going to share it here, because I think it's important to get over my fear, take the leap, and lets face it, I have to start somewhere. Doing these videos as often as I can, talking and sharing and getting clear on what I want to see for the future, is part of the process. At some point, I will be in front of the video. I am very self-conscious about my appearance these day having no teeth (no dazzling smile for this gal!) and losing so much confidence over the years. These videos should help raise my self-confidence and grow my self-esteem. Truly, my self-esteem isn't low as far as creating mosaics and other art goes but I'm not ready to share all of me just yet. As I do them and get used to the idea, I will share more of me as time goes on. Patience, my friends.

Here ya go. It's a little over 4 minutes long. The next should be shorter. I still find ways to ramble. A script might help curb that.

I haven't given up on crowdfunding and am only starting my research and thoughts on ways to generate interest. It is definite that those that give will get something in return. Local folks will get the chance to come take a mosaics class, those from a far distance will get a mosaic made by me.

I have used before to help receive the computer I am sharing all of these things today. I received almost enough to buy a fairly cheap computer and my family added a bit of cash to it to get this little wonder of a machine. It holds my life and my work and I love it and care for it every day. Not even kidding. I make sure it runs smoothly and now, maybe 4 years later, it is STILL working. Good for me. I believe I should use that site again once I have a handle on what I'll need for advertising and supplies. It might help, anyway, to have it running for me nonstop to help with costs in the future should I need an extra boost for unforeseen things. I don't know what the future will bring, but I know every fiber in my being is tingling with excitement. With help, I can make this exciting adventure come to life!

There is lots to think about. Lots to do. Lots to learn. And the vision boards continue to inspire me! Focusing on the reason I'm working so hard and truly out of my comfort zone (like with the video) is to give myself space to grow! The photo on the top right of this vision board is a collage I made from the classes I taught in 2010-2011. As you can see there are all ages represented in the 4 classes I shared in this collage. Happy people. Some weren't sure they could do it. I assured them they could. And they left after 2-4 weeks (depending on the class) excited to try more! Doing that again in my own studio workshop would be so cool. And offering them more so they could come back to play and get into the "zone" with their own "zen time" would be even cooler.

"I will give myself space to grow."

Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!~Cindy, EarthMotherMosaics

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

In The Studio - Wednesday

There's not much activity happening in the studio this week.

I still need to prime a few things, still need to decide what is next to work on. Meanwhile, my head has pretty much been focused on the business things. Reading, writing, making vision boards and all that fun stuff. This takes time and some days (this week anyway) I have found I'm too tired to do much other than nap and think about working on a new mosaic while dreaming.

I did, however, manage to finish up this plate. NOW it's ready for grout. I knew it wasn't quite finished when I shared it last week. I'm happy with it now.

Putting glass around the circles was exactly what it needed. I'm fairly sure I'll use black grout on this when the time comes.

Meanwhile, I don't think I shared the final touches on the Meditation Shrine I made myself recently. What was added was some deep purple acrylic and some white dots on the legs and very bottom of the piece. Then I glued a "third eye" to the inside, angels on either side of the shrine at the feet and a cool bird with the word "inspire" on the back.

back view

front - left side view


"Awareness" has always been hard to see in photos but it is really visible here. Yay!

Old bronze candle holders were glued to each side.

If you need to see more photos of this pretty cool shrine, you can find the whole series of photos from start to finish on my FB Page and/or on my flickr photostream whichever you prefer.

Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!~Cindy, EarthMotherMosaics

Monday, April 18, 2016

Promo Blast!

I've added deep dark purple stained glass all cut up into triangles onto this glass hanging candle holder or vase.

Depending on the light, the glass on this mosaic turns red, green, black and purple. It's all glass from one sheet. It's truly an amazing thing to see. The photos I've shared don't do it justice.

Measures 4.5 inches high, opening is 3 inches.

Wouldn't this look awesome with flowers in it, hanging from a window? Or LED lights for night time ambience.

Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!~Cindy, EarthMotherMosaics

Friday, April 15, 2016

In The Studio - Friday

I hope you all enjoyed the posts this week. Sharing studio fun and dreams are what this blog is all about.

Just want to give a small plug for my EMM Monthly Newsletter. If you haven't signed up, please do. I'm giving a discount in May on custom orders for newsletter folks only. Stay tuned for the info coming at you on April 25th. Sign up to take advantage of the discounts throughout the year as a subscribed member. You can use the form at the right of this post to sign up. Share it with your friends too! Find the form over here --->

The studio has been a little busy. I'm hoping for a few custom orders to come through but meanwhile, I'm writing, reading and studying a few days a week for business. When I am ready for some "Zen" time, I work on a mosaic.

I think this plate is just about finished but I'm not yet sure. I might fill in around the glass half circles along the edge of the plate with some stained glass. It looks unfinished to me as it is now. I'm fairly sure I will fill it all in. I have to study it for a few days. In the photo below, it looks great just as it is but I will grout. Adding glass around the circles will make it easier for the grout to stay put. Not grouting around the circles is a consideration but not one I really want to do. I'll share photos whenever I figure out what I'm going to do with it. I always do.

I have to admit this mosaic doesn't look anything like I imagined it would. It does, however, look pretty cool, so obviously the muse once again was right!

Next up to mosaic are some MDF and wooden pieces I've had for a few years waiting for me to decide what to do. Both need priming again and some thought about designs. The design drawn on the sun will not be what I do on it.

Sun trivet on the left and leash holder on the right. Waiting for some magic.

Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!~Cindy, EarthMotherMosaics

Thursday, April 14, 2016

My Creative Business Journey

As some of you may be aware, I shared a blog post recently, expressing my dreams and goals for the future of EarthMotherMosaics.

I love selling my mosaics online and will not stop as long as there is a way to do it. However, I have more in mind and a dream that hasn't left me in years. It has changed slightly but the basic dream is the same:

I see a large studio space big enough to house tables filled with people of all ages playing with tiles and pieces of glass learning how to mosaic. As each develop the love and confidence to make larger projects, this studio will be where they can come to create them. Walls lined with items to purchase: glass, substrates, tools, glues, grouts and all things mosaic, including how-to books filled with inspiration on one side of the room, my art and art produced by others line the opposite wall. Some for sale, some to admire.

All tables, chairs, counter spaces are covered in a mosaic treatment. Some chairs are painted with dots and doodles; all are artistic and fun. Bright and colorful. Inviting and welcoming.

In the back of this space is a well-lit room - skylights as well as workshop lighting help light the area - and it is where I have a place to work on large pieces of furniture and old windows, large wall art and murals. Basically mosaics bigger than 10x10 inches. I have room to grow. Sinks, grinders, an office and bathroom, big double doors to open up the area even more allowing the sunshine and furniture being worked on and sold in/out.

Yes, that's some of what I see when I close my eyes. These are the highlights. I have 3 handwritten pages so far of what a perfect day would be for me. This is just a small portion of it.

The best part of this exercise is that it's very possible to achieve. With the right connections; partners in business and financial help, I can make this dream come true and a reality. How exciting is that?!

And so begins the journey to make it happen. Working each day, a little or a lot, to find what I need to do this. I'm no longer saying "by next year" like I was in the beginning when I first thought of saying these things out loud. Instead I'm allowing the Universe to continue to connect me with people as time goes on. I do have a 2 year goal, 5 year goal, 10 year goal. For this first step into a new adventure, I know I'll have to stay aware and open to all possibilities. I might chat with someone online later today that might have some information I didn't have yesterday. Still ... I'm not afraid to reach out and start the process before I think I'm ready. I can take a leap of faith. And that's what it's all about for me. Believing in myself and this dream.

A few years ago, I started following a wonderful coach, Mike Dooley. His YouTube videos and advice are free and he's so enthusiastic about life. Find him, watch him, be inspired by him. Sign up for TUT, his "Notes From The Universe" that plop into your email box each day. Be encouraged to live your dreams, follow your heart. There's no way to avoid his positive outlook and why would you want to? I love TUT and read it each morning while sipping my coffee. Loving the jolts of positive vibes from the email AND my cuppa.

 In January of this year, I joined his free month-long program: "Infinite Possibilities Project" and wrote down everything he said each day on my computer. Once I got through the month, I printed all the information out and put it aside. January is a great month for resolutions but it is also a great month to disappoint yourself by trying to do too much, too soon. I knew I wasn't ready to really do the work he suggested we do.

This month, April, I pulled out the information and started to do his daily suggestions but not right away. Believe it or not, I forgot I had a wealth of information only a few inches away and within easy reach. Among these daily suggestions was to create your perfect day on paper. Some of it is described above for you to read what I wrote once I started to do the work.

You may recall that I wrote the initial thoughts on Facebook and here in the blog. Networking is a big part of what I do. I was not disappointed with the suggestions and offers of advice and well-wishes. You all rock!!

From the advice I got from sharing the dream, I started a search for creative coaches in my area. The one I found in Pennsylvania suggested I expand my search to find some marketing experts because my social media skills were good. That meant that I was more ahead of this dream than even I imagined! How about that?!

I found 3 coaches on a website called Creative Coaching Association that I felt could offer some free advice and help me figure out what I needed to do. It's a fantastic website; if you are looking for a coach to help you with your business, that is a great place to start. They aren't free, they charge for their services and rightly so. But I sent an email to each sharing the information I shared here on the blog and Facebook about what I'd like help with.Because I have no budget, free information is all I can gather right now. And I got some! The first gave me the advice to find another coach, the second one gave me quite a bit to think about and websites to look at and I never heard from the third one. I'm okay with that. Using the information the second coach provided, I found some interesting things to help me along the way.

She said: First and foremost, I had to get specific on what I wanted. Not "whatever comes along". I knew I needed to focus on the first step but I wasn't yet sure what that should be. As I read what this coach wrote about writing at least 3 pages of the perfect day, including smells and colors around me, I kept thinking I'd seen this somewhere before. Well, duh. Mike Dooley's program from January!! I had all I needed to help me focus on my dreams printed and stuffed in a sketch pad. Silly me!! Palm to face in exasperation!

Thank you Captain Picard for the visual.

I also found an Idea Development Coach, offering a few FREE workshops on how to take your ideas and put them into actions. Kathy Rasmussen is energetic and informative. I've take two of her workshops so far and find her engaging and fun.

The first workshop was to create vision boards. I've tried to make them over the years and found I was adding so many photos and printouts of quotes that they became a jumbled mess. It would get placed in a corner or torn down because when I looked at it, I become overwhelmed or worse, sad that nothing there was coming true. I wouldn't meet any of the goals or visions after a year. Vision boards weren't working for me. But I didn't realize that I could make many smaller versions and use them as a catalyst to create the life I wanted!

Using a cool website Canva, I created one and only one, small vision board using one and only one goal, idea and a few thoughts. I posted it on Pinterest, printed it out and stuck it to an old TV I no longer use (gotta use the space I have around me to the fullest!) which made the perfect size for a vision board. This weekend I plan to create another board, focusing on the next goal.

Looking at this small vision board keeps me focused on what I want to do. I don't feel overwhelmed, I don't feel upset by it at all. It is one small way I can remind myself of ways to get what I need in the years to come.

Next week, I'll share more information and the next vision board. I hope to entertain some folks with my journey but I also hope I can inspire you all to keep dreaming! Let's make our dreams come true together!! Feel free to write to me any time asking any questions or share some of your dreams below in the comments section. Enjoy the moments.

STATEMENT: None of the people or links above are affiliated with me in any way. I don't get paid to promote them nor do I work for them. I have nothing to gain except to share the love. Sharing the ways I find what I'm looking for is a very good thing to do if it can help someone else.
Stay peaceful, Cindy

Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!~Cindy, EarthMotherMosaics

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

In The Studio - Wednesday

I've been working on the business end of my business this week; doing a lot of reading, online courses, worksheets, etc. My goals are becoming clearer each day. I am going to start posting on Thursday's, sharing what I'm doing, what my dreams are, what my goals are and how I am navigating my way through it. If you are a creative like me, you know it's extremely difficult to focus on the business side. I am not fond of spreadsheets unless they are to rip up and make some art out of them.

I have been doing short bursts of mosaics throughout the afternoons and sometimes into the evenings because I need my "zen" time. Working on small projects is best right now.

I put a cool white crescent moon on this 7 inch plate. Using millefiori stars, blue and white dishes in three different designs and blue stained glass shows old, scratched up plates can have a new purpose.

This plate starts a new "to be grouted" pile. I love the colors I used on this plate.

Next, I picked up a 10 inch plate and started working on it. Once the mirror was added, I knew for sure I'd be using green and lilac. As you can see, the muse had different ideas.

This has a definite Southwest feel to it. Really not at all what I had planned but what evolved. And there's no green or lilac in it!

Support Independent Artisans, Designers and Crafters for your gift-giving needs all throughout the year. Thank you!~Cindy, EarthMotherMosaics