Friday, January 17, 2014

I'm back and some thoughts on making gifts for people...

I can't believe it's been over 2 weeks since I posted anything here. I have been busy with the holidays and stuff that I just decided to take a break from blogging. We did some traveling to visit family, even got stranded for 4 days in Cincinnati. It was all good and we made the best of the situation. I'm so thankful that our kids are so resilient. They had a better attitude about being stranded than I did. :)

At the end of 2013, as many of you do, I spent time just evaluating my year and life, in general. Socrates said, "An unexamined life is not worth living." I don't really do new year resolutions, but I do find areas in my life that always need improving (my list is a mile long!). Since this is my craft blog, I'll start there.

I came across a quote by the author John Green, who said, "Don't make stuff because you want to make money - it will never make you enough money. And don't make stuff because you want to get famous - because you will never feel famous enough. Make gifts for people." He is right on.

As you know, I've been doing product design work for some of the best paper crafting companies out there. I have enjoyed all the blessings that came with that. But it came to the point where it became work and I didn't feel motivated anymore. I had to step back and evaluate why I do what I do. It easy to get caught up in the money aspect of it all, and to some degree (though I hate to admit it), I love that people follow me through various social media platforms. It is my pride that puts value on my life through how much money I make and how many people follow me. That should not be.

In the end, I realized I should love creating because above all it's a reflection of my Creator. What gives me the greatest joy with my hobby was that I get to give and share through it. I love giving away my cards as gifts to friends and family. I love that I get to send handmade cards to people. I love that I get to post my crafty ideas on my blog. I love that I get to share it with the ladies here in Croatia. I love that I've "met" so many dear people through it. I love that I get to design products that others use to do all of the above!

And so I had to evaluate and think through how I get to do these things that truly make my hobby worth pursuing. For starters, I will make sure I enjoy what I do, not to make money necessarily, but because it's an opportunity for me to give. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy product design (and earning extra income), but now it isn't the sole motivation for creating, but an enhancement, a helper if you will, for creating. There's just something about working with my hands that is more appealing to me than working on the computer. I just really enjoy cardmaking. And in return, I think when I'm happy with my craft, I become a better product designer.

After The Craft's Meow closed, I have been approached by several stamp companies interested in hiring me as an illustrator. I haven't committed to anybody and won't until I know what I want to do. So no news there for now, in case you're wondering. :) In the meantime, I'll be concentrating on just making things.
Another area that I've been working to sort out is my non-crafty side of life. What has stand out lately is my need to grow in my love for God. Luke 10:27 says, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind..." I know it is every Christian's resolution and there's always room to improve on loving God, but I was drawn more specifically to the phrase, "with all your mind."  Perhaps it's because I'm homeschooling this year and felt I need to up my academic brain. Perhaps I'm realizing I'm getting "up there" age-wise and my brain needs to be more stimulated for fear of forgetting things. Regardless of the reason, I'm glad that God brought this to mind.

So how do I go about loving God more with all my mind? You can see my post on my faith blog on how I am doing this.

Thank you, friends, for reading to the end. I will share some new crafty projects I've been creating starting next week. And we'll see where we go from there...Have a great weekend!
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  1. It's a beautiful post. Good to take stock of ourselves. Feel free to add this quote to your list: Art Washes Away From The Soul The Dust Of Everyday Life. Picasso~~ One of my most favorites! Happy New Year!

  2. Wow, great post, Nina. As many times as I've read that passage, and heard it read from the pulpit, and heard it sung, the 'mind' line never really made an impression. I've also been looking at my what's and why's, not as a New Year's Resolution, but as a life improvement. I'm so happy with where I am right now. I too, craft to give joy - I'm an angel for Chemo Angels, I do a church card ministry, send to sick kids, etc., and that's what makes me happiest. Thanks, dear friend, for making me realize I was missing part of this verse! I'm off to read my Bible :)

  3. I loved this post. I can't wait to see what you create!

  4. Love this post, and thanks for your thoughts - I needed a check there too about my pride and other's admiration of my work.....
    I am about to pop over to your other blog and read there too.

  5. Great quote and reminder! Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I am encouraged. I have been not having a motivation to create something and read your post today in my inbox, God used you to remind me of tje purpose of I make cards & crafts. Thanks! Can't wait to see your works,Nina :)

  6. Thanks for sharing your heart, Nina! Just so glad to know we all need to have check points in our lives, and discover anew our focus. Pray God will direct your path and give you wisdom in every situation. God bless.

  7. Nina, wait onto Him, He will show you His plan on you. When you come to a point that you have earned what have desired, and made your dreams (most, if not all) come true, you feel well pleased with the life your are enjoying, then you have room (or more room than before) for Him. And there He whispers to you, you can listen. The harvest is plentiful, but workers are few. What He had the last command is "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely i am with you always, to the very end of age." If you ever love Him, it is now.

  8. I enjoyed reading this post . Reminded me of a few things, like what I am letting enter my mind with some of the movies and/or TV programs I have been watching, ugh! At one time we had banished the TV from our home, but it slowly crept back in. Not that it's all bad, but I will be way more selective about what I have in the background while I am working on my creations!

  9. Great post! Always good to check our hearts, isn't it! Thanks for your honest sharing, God bless!


Thank you for your kind comments.

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