but most of all.... I learned something greater than any dollar amount.
(keep reading, I'll get to the point eventually,
and you need something to do while you drink your coffee)
Let's start with the creative aspect of the week/end. I LOVE to work with text art. Those little signs you see at Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's, Walmart - I can make them. Show me a picture and I will paint, chalk, draw whatever it is you liked only it will be done by hand, by me, for you. It is something that brings me joy and personal satisfaction. I've been making signs, shirts and other "word art" for over 20 years. It is a hobby. Not a job. It isn't a job because I seriously SUCK at running a business. We'll get to that later.
When we were in the process of selling our home (insert tears here) I sat down at the large chalkboard in the hall to do some chalk art for a weekend full of showings. I was trying to give our home that little edge that people would remember. So, after thinking about it for a couple hours I came up with a phrase, looked around on Pinterest for some building blocks/font inspiration, and away I went. A few hours later I had something I loved, and decided if someone bought the house that weekend I'd leave it for them to enjoy...
It is simple really: a house is built with sticks & stones, but love and laughter make a home.
Cute, to the point, and reminds the "buyer" that it isn't just the four walls you should consider. Is THIS the place you want your memories made, well it worked. We were under contract two days later. 100% because of the sign. Yeah. No. Not really. Let's not get into the mixed emotions.
Back to "word art" I call it that because it doesn't matter the material, paint, digital, chalk or ink, it is ALL word art. Capturing a bigger meaning with a phrase and carefully selected imagery. So after I posted this picture I had many requests for "how can I buy that" or "where did YOU buy that" and "can you make me one I'll pay you"... For the most part I have never charged for this type of work. I usually tell the "client" you buy the chalk board and bring me the chalk pens and I'll do the rest for free. Well, I've learned that I am a moron.
I've been praying. A great deal. I've asked over twenty-five women of faith who know and understand me to also bring my life to God in prayer. Well I'm not sure if it was Him talking this weekend, or if I'm just hearing what I want to hear, but within three days I've had seven orders for word-art. Here's the problem. I DON'T DO THIS FOR MONEY! Then I have not one, but TWO people tell me I'm crazy. Tell me I should be earning income via my blog and creative endeavors. I sold two pieces of word art over the weekend, and got an education on pricing (average is 25 cents/ square inch on Etsy).
So, over and over and over I'm being told that I should take what comes naturally to me, and turn it into a business.
I said I would consider it. I told people, if someone needs something... from invitations to chalk art... just let me know. You can help me figure out a price and do the "sales" I just want to make the art. Really. Honestly. I HATE the business of business. I feel BAD charging money for something that doesn't feel like "work" to me. My mom say's I need to get over that. Maybe I should listen to my mother. DON'T tell her I said that.
So with all of this talk about money. All of the encouragement to put a price on it. The hopeful consideration on my part, that "maybe they're right"... Something amazing happened.
As we were packing up to leave mom's and head back home after Easter Dinner. My mom picks up the luggage tag on Kadee's American Girl Doll carrier and calls me over. I said "oh yeah, she wrote her name on it on the way here" (she'd asked me for a pen while we were driving over in the morning). My mom says "I think you need to take another look."
I guess I really should listen to my mother...
Just remember y'all - our little ones are watching. Through the struggle, the confusion, the wonder of it all - the are looking to us for what it all means. I think God was listening when I asked him "what should I be focusing on".
So at the end of the day... what's it worth? My baby girl. My little miss. Has taken a small message of hope and attached it to something she loves. I'm not sure anyone can put a price on that.
XO XO and Stuff,