Book of the Month 2

IMG_1905

  While I have been relatively quiet on the blog front, I have several projects brewing.  I have also turned into a little bit of an introvert since the last few weeks in Austin, the weather is slowly morphing into … Continue reading

Going with the Creative Flow

FullSizeRenderI’ve been pretty quiet on the blog and Facebook front lately.  Sometimes the body and mind just need a little down time.  I picked up an extra shift at work last week and, for whatever reason, my creative flow has been thrown off.  Perhaps the colder weather and allergies had something to do with it… Or maybe a little rest and relaxation is what the doctor ordered.

Either way, it was nice to have a few days of curling up in bed with my February book or snuggled up on the couch watching a movie.  I find day dreaming always useful too.  Daydreaming of new projects, taking a trip, falling in love… the stuff that the best dreams are made of.

FullSizeRenderWhile falling in love hasn’t actually come true yet and my next trip is in the works (not until April though), new projects are the easiest to breathe life into.  Embroidery is the most natural way for me to slip back into my creative rhythm as well.  I’ve started another set of dinner napkins: peas in a pod.  Simple, adorable, and a nice little item to check off my project list.

As part of my day dreaming project list, I have had a little bit of an itch to get back into fine art.  I had a day dream of having an art showing at a gallery space or coffee shop.  I know that embroidering vegetables on napkins is a long way off, but it is just one more thing to work towards.

For now, I will keep stitching….

Cards for a Cause

The time has come and Valentine’s Day is around the corner.  I typically dread Valentine’s Day… Not in the “I’m single and a tragic spinster” kind of way, but really more for the overload of bad chocolate and the misuse of pink, Pink, PINK EVERYWHERE! I’m always surrounded by loved ones and have so many dear friends to love.  This year is a little different though…

A few weeks ago, Lindsey (I feel as if she needs no introduction at this point) shared a link on my Facebook timeline that Brit & Co. was teaming up with DoSomething to help Meals on Wheals get handmade cards to folks all over the country for Valentine’s Day.

I will be donating the following cards to Meals on Wheels this week!

YOU CAN HELP TOO!

I have updated my ETSY shop with the following cards that I have created over the last few weeks.  For every card that is sold, I will donate $1 to Meals on Wheels!

You can give the cutest cards to your friends, family, and loved ones and know that it’s going to a couple of good causes: Meals on Wheels as well as supporting local artists.

 

Thoughtful and Thankful Thursday

The last few days of the first month of 2015 are rapidly approaching and I am thrilled with the amount of productivity that I have been able to maintain over these last few weeks.  Today though, I woke up with an overwhelming sense of gratitude.

I never in my wildest dreams thought I wanted to play music.  It just happened, but now, I realize that I couldn’t live without music.  I love to write, sing, play, and perform.  Like any field or art, there is constant room for improvement, growth, etc.  Yes, I am sure, that like any field or art, there are many moments of self doubt.  I feel as if I experience the later more than I should.

As an artist or a musician, each piece you create has a little bit of you in it.  You offer that openly to the world for the taking, the critique, as well as the rejection.  Sure, as an artist you should be able to remove yourself from that situation, but the reality is that you can’t.  It is difficult not to be personally involved and even more so not to take the negative personally.  I have tried very hard to avoid the negative.  I find myself to be my harshest critic, therefore I am often hesitant to share my work, in this case my songs.

This month, I forced myself in a way that I have never done before to share my music.  I submitted one of my songs to the Tiny Desk Concert Series Concert.  Now, we will completely overlook my strong dislike for contests anyway, and embrace the notion that I took a huge step.  I submitted my video to the NPR contest and was hesitant to let anyone else know that I had entered my video, but I overcame that too.  Since I have let go of this fear of sharing my work out of receiving negative feedback, I have received anything but that!  Nothing but good has come from it and it has proved to be a valuable lesson.

Now I have shared this video, the links and articles that it has been included in (by Ovrld and KUT Austin) all over Facebook but what I haven’t been able to mention, or at least communicate clearly enough is my overwhelming sense of gratitude to those that have liked, shared, and given me the support that I have needed!  I have always felt has if I have never fit in here in the Austin music scene, this week has proven otherwise and has given me the momentum I need to keep propelling myself forward.

Thank you to the following folks for sharing links, tagging me in posts, etc. I couldn’t feel this way without you. (There are many, many more of you, but this is the beginning)

Lisa Kettyle (Austin badass: barista, promoter, pedicabber, the list goes on)

Lee Jaster (fellow singer/songwriter)

Alexis Alexander (in need of ancupuncture? She’s your girl!)

Avi Hartman (badass welder- video was filmed in his warehouse)

Terri Lee (that adorable dress I’m wearing… hers!)

KUT Radio, Austin

Ovrld

*NOTE*- I realize the winner’s of the Tiny Desk Concert Contest won’t be announced until the end of February and I most likely won’t be one of them, but for now, I am feeling like a winner! Thanks ya’ll! (Yes, so cheesey, I’m sorry)

 

 

Before & After: Big Time

IMG_1674It has been a long time coming, but I have finally completed a furniture piece that I have had in my possession for years.  This little table deserves it.

The Back Story:

In 2010, my Ex and I both taught a class at Skill Share. (If you haven’t heard of Skill Share, I highly suggest you check it out.)  My Ex, Dave, is a skilled electrician and was volunteering his time to teach a light re-wiring class.  Dave also had a knack, a gift, whatever you want to call it, for finding the coolest free treasures.  Most would probably call them junk but for those that were fans of the vintage and antique, he was the best magnet to have.  He collected and pulled together bins full of lamps for this class.  I was unable to attend his class, as I was teaching my canning class at the same time, so I never got the tutorial, but I was so happy to see many of the unwanted lamps come back home with him!

A couple of years passed, Dave and I were moving on with our separate lives, I was relieved and thrilled that he did not have a lot of interest in the two lamps that I so desperately wanted.  One is the cutest yellow lamp which sits on my nightstand and the other was this little side table with a light in it.  I’m assuming Dave thought it was more trouble than it was worth, just by looking at it.  It was wobbly, the light fixture needed to be replaced, and the finish was shedding off at an exponential rate.

I have moved several times with this diamond in the rough.  Every move, I tell myself, “Someday, I will refinish this,” or, “I swear I will get to this project.”  I don’t know if the timing was just right or that there is some magic force within the walls of this current apartment that is a driving force behind me completing lingering projects, either way… this side table got the treatment it deserved.

Admittedly this project took a little longer than anticipated due to the cold weather.  I do most of my work outside for ventilation and the sake of my downstairs neighbor.  Thankfully we’ve had a few days of exceptional weather and I was able to sand and finish this project.

This little table no longer wobbles, it’s been painted and finished, the metal bits are cleaned up and polished, and refreshed, as well as a spiffy new light fixture.  This project has left me feeling more handy than ever and satisfied to have finally completed it.  What a learning experience!

The Creative Wave of 2015!

2015 is starting way better that I could have ever imagined it.  It is definitely far more busy, that is for sure.  Remember how I said last post, “creativity breeds more creativity”? Well, it is breeding here at the Imhoff household like bunnies.  Last week, I wasn’t even able to write a post to share. I feel so proud about everything I have done that I don’t even feel the least bit of guilt for having not written.

Last week alone, I performed three times, finished embroidering a towel, edited about 5 different videos, made progress on a furniture refinishing progress, put the finishing touches on a new song, submitted another song to NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Contest, as well as went out to see three different musicians perform as well.  I feel better than ever about what I am doing. You have a great deal to do with that, so thank you for your support, your likes, and your following.

One of my performances last week was a performance with Melissa Engleman.  A lovely and adorable Singer/Songwriter here in the Austin area.  We streamed our show live from my living room.  Check out the video for a few highlights:

We had so much fun and we are looking forward to hosting another show via Concert Window soon.  Technology is great!  We were able to have a much more intimate show, able to chat with our audience, all while hanging out in my own home. What’s not to love?!

I will be posting more later this week about upcoming shows, handmade items, and, fingers crossed, the latest piece of refinished furniture!

 

2015: Magnitude for the Mind

10292546_10152192206312465_347630971126731298_nThe first post of 2015.  Ah, yes.

In most cases, I would be drowning in guilt since my last post was weeks ago, but this year shall turn over a new leaf.  No guilt, less stress.

I had a lovely holiday visiting with friends and family.  I rang in the New Year with the one and only person that I would want to: my Mama and now I’m back in Austin with a fresh perspective.

The first of the year always lends itself to a fresh start.  We all set goals and make resolutions that we typically find ourselves not quite reaching or perhaps breaking sooner rather than later.  Resolutions such as save more money, go out less, loose weight.  If there is one thing that I have learned from my mother the last few years is to set goals that are quantitative.

Sounds crazy, right? Well, not really.  Think about it? “I want to loose weight” Well, that’s nice and all, but it gives you nothing to work with.  “I want to loose 5 pounds.” Ok, certainly attainable. “No, no, no, I want to loose 20 pounds?” Instantly? If we could do that, I would have lost 15 last August before my trip to Vegas. So…. I want to loose 1 pound a week by March 30th by doing x, y, z…” Ok, admittedly I’m just making numbers up, but you get the idea.

2015: Magnitude for the Mind

While I have things I would like to be better about this year, none of the previously mentioned resolutions are any of them.  Mine are for the mind.

1. I will read 1 book a month. (I mean, a book book, not just Martha Stewart, Edible Austin, InStyle, I mean a novel, my old art history text books,  you name it.  I can’t remember the last time I actually read a book cover to cover. I want anything to make me feel like I am learning again. If it’s a 300 page book thats roughly 10 pages a day. Totally Doable.)

2. I will create 1 to 2 handmade items a week and I will write 1-2 blog posts a week. (My 12 Days of Crafting Blogathon, my first craft fair, and the amazing feedback and support I got from my Instagram and Facebook following have me super motivated to try and sell my handmade items. Doesn’t sound so mentally stimulating? Creativity seems to breed more creativity. I’d say that has a great deal to do with the mind.)

3. I will enroll or audit one Summer Class (most likely at ACC) for 1 of the 3: Marketing, Small Business/Entrepreneur, or Graphic Design. (3 Classes I completely regret not taking in college. I feel I’ve missed out or am missing something. I need a little bit of knowledge to push me to the next level.)

Of course there are other things I would like to do this year: record an EP by September, participate in 3 or more craft fairs by July 1st, and spend 4-5 days in Costa Rica with my best friend in the beginning of April to name a few.  It’s always best to start small.  To feel overwhelmed from the beginning is never a good way to start anything.  You will set yourself up for failure and that is certainly no way to start a new year.

 

Craft Fair Recap

 

IMG_1480The dust has settled and I am slowly cleaning up my apartment from the mania of 12 Days of Crafting and prepping and so on.  I’m not going to lie, I had nightmares the entire week before that I wouldn’t be able to sell a single item or that no one would like anything. I am relieved and so very thankful to say that my first craft fair was a success.  I am very much looking forward to participating in many more, that is right after I restock my inventory!

I did much better than I anticipated.  There is a glimmer of hope that I could quite possibly continue to do what I do… and, wait for it, make a living off of doing what I love doing the most: making.

Here are some pictures from my table.  I hope you enjoy!  I have some items left, so if you are looking for Christmas gifts, search no further!  Feel free to contact me!

 

12 Days of Crafting: Day 11

Day 11: Not Quite Hallmark

I am nerdy excited about these little cards.  Most, if not all of my friends are foodies of sorts.  In fact, when I used to work at Johnson’s Backyard Garden some of us would try to come up with cute veggie sayings and jokes.  I have been wanting to make cute little cards like these for a long time.

I find that most Hallmark cards are too cheesy and some locally made cards are just a tad too snarky.  I am not too particularly concerned if anybody even buys these at the Bluebonnet Bazaar this coming Saturday, because to be honest, I will use them all!

Anyway, the images are prints or watercolors/drawings that I have done. I hope you like!

Front of the Card: Inside

What the kale?!: Congratulations!

Turnip the volume!: Happy Birthday!

Can’t beet a friend like you!: Thank you!

you light up my life: Happy Holidays!