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Sometime last year I discovered an on-line marketplace for handmade things called Etsy.  Being a creativity advocate, I immediately wanted to get involved.  I joined with the knowledge that someday I would have my own Etsy Shop.  Well, life kept getting in the way.  Not in a bad way, I have been working on my Masters in Counseling and that just had to come first.  But, I have had a break in my schedule and am devising a plan for the official opening of my shop due sometime towards the beginning of June. 

Sneak Peak:

About 7 years ago, I opened a massage studio in downtown Corpus Christi across from Yin Yang Fandango and the Tango Tea Room (http://www.tangofandango.com/).  It was very exciting to create the look of the shop and make decisions on what kind of life it would take on.  I covered the windows with brown paper while we hammered, scrapped, plastered, and painted.  Some people were so interested in what was going on that they were upset about the secrecy.  That surprised me.  I thought they would enjoy a big reveal.  But what I realized is that some folks are just as interested in the process as they are about the product, and for those people, my paper denied them a beautiful opportunity to witness the blooming of the flower. 

For that very reason, I am documenting the means to the end for this new shop of mine.  If you are a big reveal person, STOP!  Don’t go any further.  Your time will come.  Feel free to leave your email in the comments or drop me a line, and I will give you a special invitation to the grand opening.  BUT, if you are a process person, this is your chance.  Peal back the paper and have a peak inside.  Please excuse the mess, there is creativity in progress.  

www.laughinglane.etsy.com 

More about the process…..

Research:

I am doing everything  in phases, holding onto an attitude of keeping positive but not demanding perfection.  I have been doing some research by reading the hints and tips offered by Etsy and keeping up with their newsletter.  If nothing else, they are inspiring.  And the stories about people who are making it happen motivate me to do my best.

I have also ordered a few guides from Etsian how-to-ers. The first guide I got from www.TimothyAdamsDesigns.etsy.com.  It has inspired this blog and given me the tools to build a community to share it with.  I am eager to see how it goes.  Then I found a guide from www.TheBuzz.etsy.com. This is another little jewel with great ideas on how to make my shop work.  She takes the guess work out of where to start and where to put my energy.  I think these two guides are a great combination for someone starting out.  The first is blog-centered and the last shop-centered.  From what I understand, those two things help to create a formula for success.

 Product/Artwork:

But nothing will say success like having the right products.  When I say right, I mean many things by that.  I am only willing to create art that feels fulfilling.  With that in mind, I have been brainstorming about my favorite projects and have created a small grouping of printed photos of the projects I have most enjoyed doing.  I have them in a little stack on my desk and look thru them when I am ready to work on something.  Someday this wanna-be pile of pictures will be replaced with a an accomplishment pile, documenting the lives I have allowed my art to touch by sharing it with the world.

The other part of deciding about which artwork to sell is including items that others might like.  As it turns out, I often do projects that others request but for which I have had little time to do.  Luckily, these are usually the items I get the most fulfilment out of.  This is what will ultimatly end up in the shop.  It gives me a boost when others are enthusiastic about my work.

Focus:

As I prepare for the opening, I find myself nesting as a way of getting focused.  My art supplies become the twigs and leaves with which I am creating my warm, cozy spot.  It is exactly what I need as I take a break from the hustle and bustle of University life.  I think Laughing Lane Studios could ultimately provide a needed bit of balance in my life. 

I hope you have enjoyed this peak at my process.  Feel free to share with me the projects you are working on and what your progress is looking like.

Creatively yours,

Rae

The last year, I have been focusing on how what it means to show myself love and care.  This is especially true when it comes to treating my body in loving ways.  This might sound easy, but I have found that my life was set up in a way that was based on fear and judgement a good portion of the time.  When I made the decision to practice self-love, I looked for ways to improve on some of the good things I was already doing and to find new ways to do some of the not so loving ways I treated myself or thought about myself.  The journey has been rich.

disney 677

To flesh this idea out a bit more, let me talk about skin.  This past month, I turned 40.  Looking in the mirror, I am starting to see little changes.  The skin under my eyes is less taut.  My lipstick blurs at the edges, and my neck has a new, unfamiliar texture.  The changes are a bit scary, which tells me that I am afraid to grow old.  Funny, I am also fearful that I won’t have the chance to grow old.  Ironic.  I have taken this as an opportunity for creative living. 

How do I want to feel about my skin?  Do I need to stay constant and unchanging?  Does this change how I fit into the world? 

I know that when I look at women who are covered with the marks of a life lived, I see tremendous beauty in them.  My practice of self love encourages me to begin to cultivate that same love for my wisdom marks. 

So for Mother’s Day, I indulged in a variety of soaps and skin creams.  And decided to do the same for my two mother-in-laws. 

First, I headed over to the local farmer’s market where my friend Nancy sells soaps made from the seaweed that washes up on the beach at Port Aransas, Texas. 

Corpus Christi's Farmers Market

Corpus Christi's Farmers Market

 Port A is a little community on the water, not far from where I live.  I bought a vetiver bar soap from her and have been using it in our downstairs bathroom.  When I was a kid, I hated washing up, but nowadays, I can not wait to smell the essential oils from Nancy’s soap on my hands.  I even take extra trips to the soap bowl to smell it when I am feeling stressed.

Nancy also had body butter  at the market from Farm Fresh Soaps.  My morning routine has become a ritual of self-care as I adorn my neck and arms with the bitter almond richness of this product.  It is thick and creamy and feels almost sinful to use it on myself.  I have had to fight my tendency to hoard it.  But once I have scooped out my daily allowance, I never regret it.  It is candy for my 40 year old senses.

http://www.ffsoaps.com/baby.htm

For my husband’s moms, I decided to turn to Etsy for inspiration.  They both live out of town and by dealing with an Etsy shop, I could have it mailed and support the creative efforts of another at the same time.  I found one shop to take care of both gifts.  Lynette Gooch of Tuscan Heights has beautiful soaps and oils.  She had the perfect gift baskets for the Moms.  Iris, who is a master gardener got the Master Gardener gift pack, and Donna, who enjoys playing tourist get The Weary Traveler.  Both called to say how nice the packages were.  This is the way to shop!

Tuscan Heights Lavendar Farm

www.lynettegooch2002.etsy.com

In searching for the gift soaps, I came across a shop with soap formed into rocks.  One of our bathrooms has a nature theme.  We had to do some repairs to it when we first moved in.  Our carpenters where more like artisans, so we let our imagination run wild.  We have carve away part of the slate tile to create a dry river bed that runs from our mesquite stump bathroom sink across the floor and into the shower.  The rock soap was a must-have.  The picture below shows the edge of the tree pedestal for our sink basin and the iron sculpture beside it along with the new soap.

mermaidwithsoap

www.amethystsoap.etsy.com  I got the turquoise soap and the amethyst.  They rock!

I think I am going to continue this love of natural soaps.  My skin feels happier, and I like knowing that I am putting things from the earth on my skin rather than chemicals and fake fragrances.  Isn’t it amazing that chosing natural products should feel indulgent?  Perhaps someday that will be natural for me. Until then, I will enjoy the feeling of this new form of self care.

Creatively yours,

Rae

Welcome to my guide for living a more creative life. You will find craft ideas, inspiration and motivation from people who embrace the spirit of creativity everyday. Follow my journey and discover your  own path to becoming a crafter of the living arts.

For a peak-see at my shop, hop on over to www.laughinglane.etsy.com

grieffairy

My Etsy Shop

http://laughinglane.etsy.com Photobucket

Robert Alan

The creative spirit is one of the most powerful driving forces in human history. Creativity in the arts can inspire new insights and understanding for generations. Inventive creativity has helped transform our society time and time again, helping to make life better for countless lives. Creativity helps bring meaning to one's life through unique self-expression. When focused on uplifting humanity, creativity can help to create a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. How will you use your creativity to help create a better world?

Henry David Thoreau

The world is but a canvas to the imagination.

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