Monday, January 17, 2011

Bliss Monkey Studio's 4th birthday party!

Lilith Monster #1- she was sold to a customer in Espoo, Finland who had fuscha themed apartment.

Four years ago, I opened my shop with monsters and coffee cozies. I was brand new to the Etsy family which was much smaller back then. Soon, I was laid off my day job and I went designing full time! I budgeted carefully and slowly expanded my business to several strong lines of products, writing projects for books, wholesale accounts with stores, and the crazy plush creatures that eventually opened their OWN store.

I love selling on etsy, love shopping on etsy, and really love the direct artist to customer contact I get. Thanks for supporting my business!

Now for a wrist warmer give away. Drop a comment in this post, with your favorite color of wrist warmers and I'll draw a name from the hat at the end of the week. If you leave a post without a color choice, I'll send black. :-)

All photos in this post are projects from that first year Bliss Monkey Studio hit Etsy.

Buddha's Garden quilt

Classic Blue coffee cozy

Jealousy as a Lodestone

One of my motto's this year is: Be the sort of person you'd be jealous of.

Measure your gut reaction.....Does that sound exciting? Inspiring? Are you smiling? Or does that sound negative and scary?

"Jealousy" is a word. For me, it's not a stuck, ugly place, it simply means the things I see in others that I'd like to have more of in my life. Paying attention to what I feel "jealous" of, and making a conscious decision to add MORE of_________ to my own life is positive.

How does this work?
So I might be at an art show and feel jealous of this artist with massive paintings. I might then realize I haven't given myself permission to work in large format. I can then move in a new direction if I like. Say yes to LARGE! Super size my canvas please!

Or I might envy a friend who's taken a vacation. I would pay attention to that feeling within myself, and may then make a decision to save for my own trip, or look at what I choose to spend my money on, and I could realign my values and goals, then make a plan with my family. Of course I'm also excited FOR her, love to see her photos, get inspired, and use those feelings to plan my own trip too.

I could feel jealous of a friend who seems fully surrounded by lovely friends, and turning that feeling inward, I could see I'd like to be spending more time with my own friends, or making some new ones. I could then act on those feelings.

I could feel annoyed with a family member who is always day dreaming. Why doesn't she do more DOING and less la dee dah ing about it all? Turn that inward and I might find I actually feel annoyance through jealousy. Perhaps I've been working too hard and really DO need more day dreaming in my life. Wow, that shouldn't be so hard, huh?

(all names and places in the fictitious above events have been changed to protect the innocent of course)

Jealousy is about ourselves and what we might be needing a bit MORE of in our lives. I don't need to be worried about getting stuck in negativity because there's plenty of goodness to go around once I know what it is I am missing. Let envy be your lodestone. Then give yourself permission to have MORE. More love, more time for art, more playfulness, or daydreaming, to change your spending habits to put MORE of your money where you really value it, to create more, treat yourself kindly more, speak what's in your heart more. More.

So what are you jealous of?

Go "green" with envy.

Being the sort of person that I could be jealous of means specific things to me. This entails my year to come being full of big handsome risks, living big, putting my dreams out there, traveling with my family, paying attention that I spend my time on the things, people, activities I value highly, giving to my community, dealing with difficult things promptly, keeping focused on my daily exercise, speaking straight from my happy heart and feasting in joyful abundance. DANG, I am jealous already! Let's go!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Chocolate Bunny Valentine VS Undead Delivery!

A new batch of chocolate heart bunnies have just hopped into the studio for Valentine's day.

Wouldn't your sweetie just love this all wrapped up cute and delivered to their work place?

Or think ahead to Easter?

Just remember to add the delivery address during the transaction.

Or perhaps your Sweetheart is more the SOUR kind? They prefer the undead variety of plush?

I have just the thing. Stinking in the corner of my studio, is, ta-da! Zombie bunny, ready for delivery!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gnomes get STUFFED!

The gnomes are tickled to be featured in the new issue of Stuffed magazine. They are giggling and having a little gnome party in the studio as I type.

I had a great time writing the accompanying article, and sharing my passion for creating unique characters with an audience of like-minded souls.

Monday, January 3, 2011


Happy New Year!

We like to celebrate with a good mix of spontaneity and favorite rituals. We talk about our year in review and look at photos. We did all that??!!! Wow! Remember Quillan's wish for a rainbow birthday cake and a surprise party? I almost forgot about that giant mess we made blowing up the old concrete pathway! Oh yea and we hiked there more than once last year. Cool.

We read our resolutions from last year and enjoy knowing what was important a year ago as much as seeing how much we have changed (or not). We have a ritual of trying something new: tangelo! Making noise: fireworks! Dancing and staying up late and NOT watching Dick Clark until the last three minutes. Tv? No, this is life! The kids are 8 and 10 this year and stayed up, albeit in a silly state, until almost 1am. Party animals.

We always take a hike (hee) or spend time in nature in some way on the first day of the year. It's been cold but gloriously sunny here in Oregon, making it delectable to get out.

And after all the playfulness and welcoming in the new year with joy, I tend to be somewhat introspective over the next few days. That's what I'm doing now. I'm looking at my business over the last year, which will lead to making plans for the new year. That's looking at myself too because my business is me. (Is it?) I make what I'm passionate about, what I'm guided by my inner hot air balloon (yow!) to create and put out into the world.

What do I feel proud about last year?
What do I feel disappointed about?
What did I learn?
What do I want to have/do/create/learn more of?

Some of the important bits:
I traveled more last year than many years combined. And I loved it. I have opened a space in my heart for including more of that in the next year.

I my projects were published in a third book and a magazine, and several blogs last year, and I very much enjoy and appreciate being able to put what's in my heart and mind out in to the world, to have my projects and things I make with joy, put in a book with other's beautiful things, to inspire others. I have time and space for this in the coming year.

My business donated money to causes I care about. That feels so good to transform creative energy into much needed cash to help others in need.

Spring salads rocked, but both summer garden and fall garden were failures. Much of this was the cool wet summer we had, and some new invasive creatures. Maybe more work and knowledge on my part would have created a better outcome. I canned very little. There will be great problem solving in the spring.

My mind was blown by the beauty of our time spent in Kauai. Pele cast her spell on all of us immediately. We loved the experience of practically living outside for two weeks because, well, why go inside? The ocean called, the rain forest welcomed, the fish waved, the beach sand invited, the trees begged to be climbed, the local food called to us. It was magic. More magic this year? I say yes.

I'm proud of myself for putting my work out in the world, and grateful for all the sweet people who connected with me, bought my things, supported me in some way, and who gave great feedback. I feel lucky to have artist friends sharing their unique skills with the rest of us.

I'm proud of being a good mother and partner. I'm proud of creating a life that I'm excited to wake up to, that keeps me growing, that creates abundance on many levels, that has time to walk the dog and pick up the kids from school every day, and volunteer in their classrooms. I will keep growing and being the best person I can be.

My father passed away unexpectedly in November. He was only 60. I am thankful for the week we had together, and for being so grounded in love and support from home. The processing, follow up, and lessons will take some time to integrate.

Here I am in this life I've created. I'm as clear eyed, honest, open-hearted, and grounded as I can be.


I'm writing myself some notes. I'll keep them near by to remind me. Some of the notes go like this.....

I want to be a better friend this year, and act on my impulses to connect right away.
I will walk lightly and often.
Spring: Continuing the process of clearing away unneeded clutter in the house = less time spent cleaning and more time to play outside.
Summer: Have more fun in the summer with friends instead of being so focused on house/yard projects. Ask for help more. Gather and glow together more often.
Fall: take a trip before holiday season arrives.
Be the person I would admire and envy.
Build on all the important heart lessons I received last year.
Keep reading good books and sharing them with good people.
Sometimes, I struggle with all the ways I want to grow, do more, become more as an artist, a person, and a businessperson. I want to be patient and grounded with myself, work hard while enjoying every minute.

Thank you 2010, welcome in 2011. Year of the bunny.