Happy Summer, my friends. I’m sorry it has been so long since we have last visited; summer is swallowing up my time, my heart, my balance, and my sanity. SO many wonderful custom orders, pools to swim in, laughs to be had, trunk shows to play…the list goes on. Little Bird Soul needed some more help, so I would love to introduce you to my dear friend Eli. She is one of the most real, genuine, artistic, rock-star mamas that I know. Just wait until you see her work!
Who are you and what do you do? I am a stay-at-home, musical mother of two boys. I do my best to keep a clean house, but will always prioritize play over mopping a floor. There are a lot of dance parties and music videos made in our home …
What work do you most enjoy doing? WRITING dark and twisty stuff, and also comedic bits. But, I don’t do well with writing unless I have a deadline. Deadlines and working under pressure motivates me.
What jobs have you done, other than being an artist? I’ve worked for my family’s jewelry business, I’ve taught guitar lessons and mentored an inspiring group of young women, and I’ve been a newspaper editor and staff writer.
What food, drink, song inspires you? The weirder, more vegetarian/vegan the food is, the more I’m inspired. I eat meat from time to time, but I love love love food that’s been reinvented so I tend to gravitate toward creative, meatless dishes. When it comes to my favorite drink, I live in Asheville, N.C., and we have a ton of really great craft beers, (which, I love). As for music, I’m all across the board. I’m a musician, so I tend to see the value in many different genres. My favorite band of all time is definitely Pink Floyd. Ani Difranco, the Indigo Girls, and Patty Griffin have influenced my own musical style a lot, too. I love AC/DC all the way to Jack Johnson. In the words of Johnny Cash, when it comes to music, “I’ve been everywhere, man.”
What do you like about your work? Beading malas brings me calm. Rocks, in general, calm me. I have fond memories of walking the Lake Michigan beach in Charlevoix, Mich. and collecting rocks and Petoskey stones. That’s my happy place — the beach behind my grandparents’ old condo. I’m not a very zen person, naturally, but when I’m walking the shoreline, collecting rocks, I’m unshakeable in my peace. I’ve always loved the history, meaning, and feeling behind different stones. As the daughter of a jewelry designer, I spent many years perusing our family’s gemstones in the safe room at our store. I’d put a loop to them, research them, and design pieces of jewelry in my head. I love knowing I can make these beautiful Little Bird Soul pieces and hopefully bring others the same sort of peace I’ve experienced.
What super power would you have and why? I would love the ability to bring others contentment. Like, it would be awesome if I could just place a hand on someone’s chest and they all of a sudden felt perfect harmony and peace. (Though, I’d also love to be able to produce massive quantities of $100 bills from my mouth every time I burped. That would be cool, too. I could financially help a lot of people!)
Name something you love and why. Aside from the obvious people, like my family, I love my cats — specifically my oldest cat, Houdini — and my Martin guitar. My Martin was the easiest to play when I was learning. It was forgiving, and responsive, like a good friend should be. That instrument has gotten me through a lot of tough times. I even tattooed it on my forearm. As for Houdini, I’ve had him for nearly 13 years. I got him when he was four weeks old, and before I had kids. I carried him around everywhere. As a result, he’s very bonded to me. He’s my bud.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? One day, when I was on the phone with my grandfather, (who has raised four successful sons), and I referred to my youngest son as a “trouble maker.” My grandfather said, “He’s not a trouble maker. He’s just himself. He’s just Asher.” My grandfather’s point was to never label a child as anything, for we can inadvertently box them into that label. That really resonated with me.
What wouldn’t you do without? Music.
It’s so cold here. Rainy. Dark. Gloomy. A big gray bucket of suck (thanks, Heather!). It’s a snowless January, filled with fog that looks like it is rising up from the ground; it is the perfect backdrop for a thriller movie. Only the scariest part is that the kids have all this energy because it is too muddy for recess. The HORROR.
The gray is affecting my mood. Sunlight generally fills my soul and January is leaving it less than joyful. I took Facebook off my phone a few times this week-my brain is so tired and my hands hurt so badly that I needed a break from so much social interaction (and bickering. No more bickering.) So when my hands subconsciously went to the non-existent Facebook app this morning, I scrolled up to my old friend Pinterest. After pinning a few recipes, and a couple quotes, a post captured my attention…HARD.
I loved that it was pronounced “hooga’ (like “HOOGA BOOGA”, thanks, Brian!) and this definition really spoke to me, so I searched for more. I came across this pin, too:
I have been reflecting about this meaning of Hygge all day, and I am thinking about focusing on something like this to get rid of the January BLAHS. Anybody else up for this? Obviously Christmas is over, but you get the point. How can we realistically incorporate some of these cozy acts into our lives?
I’m all for warm socks, coffee, and chocolate…
Happy 2017, sweet friends. I hope all of you had wonderful holidays and are back to bringing peace and love to your everyday routines.
I have been meaning to do this for a while now, but I want to introduce you to our friend, Krista. Krista has been helping bead many of the mala bracelets that you find at trunk shows and studios. Although she is away at college, we work together on style ideas and I send her all of the same high-quality stones and crystals that you expect from Little Bird Soul. Krista has IT; she has the soul, the love, and the positive energy that has always been an important component in this business. I am so appreciative of her and all of her work; it allows me to spend my time on custom orders, full and wrapped malas, and jewelry. Having Krista also helps give me the balance I need in life with business, yoga, family, friends, and travel.
So I put together a fun little questionnaire…
Who are you and what do you do? -I am a 21 year old college student, currently attending Grand Valley State University studying Natural Resource Management. I am also a farmer, plant and herb nerd, environmentalist, christian, animal lover, vegan, and total goofball!
What work do you most enjoy doing? -I love being hands on! So as a farmer, I 100% love to get my hands dirty by cultivating and creating new things.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist? -I’ve been a nanny, a waitress, after school program coordinator, a file clerk, all in one food service team member for a gourmet sandwich and pizza shop, along with working at a juice and smoothie bar, and at a natural body and house care/apothecary shop known as Dirty Girl Farm!
What food, drink, song inspires you? -Food: I really love toast! More specifically toast with sunflower seed butter currently! Drink: coffee with cinnamon and medicinal adaptogenic herbs. The plant and herb nerd in me comes out at all times, even when drinking coffee. Song: U2’s City of Blinding Lights. Hands down, forever and always!
What do you like about your work? -The creative outlet it gives me. I love being able to sit and create something new, beautiful, unique, and totally one of a kind. To know that the pieces are able to bless someone is so so cool!
What superpower would you have and why? -To be able to touch a book and instantly know all of it’s contents. I love to learn so if I could be a super book information soaker that would be awesome!
Name something you love and why. -Nature. It’s where I feel the most grounded, at peace, beautiful, and closer in my faith. It’s incredibly meditative for me to just step outside and be immersed on a farm or even in the woods. It acts like a reset button for me.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? -To stop putting coins into my own butt kicking machine! I think sometimes we are our own worst enemies and worst critics. I was probably 10 when I was given that piece of advice. It was from my childhood best friends grandma and I still remember it and remind myself of that to this day! She was and is one special lady to me 🙂
What wouldn’t you do without? -Music. It’s able to translate things that some words just can’t. Whether it be a feeling or words itself that you just couldn’t find before, it bridges the gap.
Why do you like working for Little Bird Soul? -As a current college student who commutes, it is 100% a blessing that I am able to work from home. Not only does it help with my school schedule, but it allows me to design and ground myself by giving me a creative outlet! I love that I am a part of spreading love and peace in such a beautiful and simple way by creating such intentional pieces for people. It is such an amazing opportunity and privilege to be a part of that!
Oh friends, it sounds so cliche that I type this, but please remember that during the hustle and bustle of this season:
You MUST take care of yourself first.
There are so many expectations, obligations, and traditions that we feel that we must fulfill in order to give a proper holiday. And yes, traditions and such are so important, but at what expense? Stress? Financial strain? Sickness?
I thought I was doing pretty well by giving myself a six-week deadline for custom orders and well-spaced out trunk shows. I even have sweet Krista (you’ll meet her soon!) helping me bead for trunk shows and even with her wonderful help, I couldn’t keep up. I got knocked on my butt with the stomach flu. And when you own your own business that thrives on this holiday season, you can’t afford to give up two days of work (or yoga, sigh). I am so thankful for my husband and his flexible schedule and his talents with the laundry. Did I mention that during all of this, my children also came down with two sets of ear infections, the stomach flu, and pink eye? It doesn’t end.
Sleep. Yoga. Eat well. Rest. Stop for a moment. At some point in our lives, BUSY became the new normal. The word that makes us feel important, valuable, worthy. But nobody is sitting there taking note of your schedule and your accomplishments. What they are doing is worrying about you and whether or not you are burning out. Or getting sick.
So please, this holiday season:
Be good to yourself.