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July 2014

Dollhouse Diaries

Foyer by Caitlin Wilson

Happy Friday Eve!

It's a rainy day in Denver. I'm sitting at my dining room table listening to rain fall into the pool pretending I live in Portland with the incredibly talented Caitlin Wilson. I've long admired Caitlin's eye for beautiful patterns and color-pop textiles. This week, I stumbled on her design portfolio and wow, this girl can design a dollhouse!

Kitchen by Caitlin Wilson
Gold Cutlery & Pink Napkins
Living Room by Caitlin Wilson

Black & White Headboard by Caitlin Wilson
Shoe Storage by Caitlin Wilson
Vanity by Caitlin Wilson
Hot Pink Console by Caitlin Wilson
Photo Credit: Foyer | Kitchen | Living Room | Black & White Headboard | Vanity | Shoe Storage | Hot Pink Office Console

Want more of Caitlin's design prowess? Her blog is just the place to visit.


Storytelling

Paper & Glam - Storytelling
A passion for living life and recording it is in a word - storytelling. For me, there is nothing more compelling (outside of the gospel) than living this beautiful, messy life and recording it. And yet, I struggle to balance the living and the telling.

There shouldn't be a tension between documenting life and living it. The storytelling should be a natural by-product of the living. Words, pictures, paper and pixils...I want them to come together organically and seamlessly as life unfolds. So why aren't they?

I've come up with three reasons:

1. Clean & Organize

Last summer (in this post), I was also writing about not writing, and I shared this quote from one of my favorite books, The War of Art:

The professional [writer] is on a mission. She will not tolerate disorder. She eliminates chaos from her world in order to banish it from her mind. She wants the carpet vacuumed and the threshold swept, so the Muse may enter and not soil her gown. 

I learned last year that I can't write without a sparking clean and methodically organized home. While I've put this principle into practice, it's not much help with an unorganized mind. This leads us to #2.

2. Plan & Finish

I want to show up here on a regular schedule (Mondays & Wednedays) and write something helpful and share an inspiring photograph or two, but that's always proved both my greatest hope and challenge. Shouldn't it be as simple as creating balance?

I stopped striving for balance a couple years back. As far as I can tell, there's no such thing as balance. If we do manage to achieve it, it's like our goal weight. We stumbled onto it at one point ten years ago and hold onto it as our standard for ourselves. The idea of balance haunts us more than it helps.

What works better than balance? Making a plan and finishing projects one by one. It may be late and it won't be perfect, but it's finished and it's in the finishing where the magic lies.

This month, I took three weeks to create an editorial calendar spanning through December 2015.  All magazines, print and pixils, publish based on an editorial calendar. The editorial calendar is a content outline (subject to change) of what is planned for publication.

An editorial calendar gives us a place to hold our ideas so we're not overwhelmed. Just as the books in my library sit on shelves organized by color, my ideas now sit in tables organized by month and date.

As an example (disclaimer: don't hold me to this list), here's a look at August's calendar:

Now my ideas have a place, a shelf on which to sit neatly awaiting their turn to come to life. Now that my thoughts are organized, I can go back to creating.

Clean the house, run the errands, and when they are done...at least for the moment, sit down and make a list of your unfinished projects and ideas, and see them through from start to finish, one by one.

3. Balance Input & Output

I've always  loved reading the newest books and this month's issue of Vanity FairINSTYLE & Vogue, but my input isn't balanced with my output. I'm taking in more of the creations of others than I'm producing myself. So for now, I've canceled my subscriptions to Vogue, Vanity Fair, W, Elle Decor , and after 12 years...INSTYLE, too. It's time to balance my inputs with my output. 

Julia Cameron, an acclaimed creative genius and a prolific writer says in The Artist's Way, "It is not excessive outflow that damages artists so much as increased inflow. Without the time and space to metabolize our impressions, we could easily become flooded by too many stimuli."

Are you suffering from media mayhem? For me, it was too much print media. For you, it may be social media or your social calendar, but if we're struggling to create it's time to start trimming the stimuli.

It is reassuring to realize once again that we don't have to anxiously study the world around us in order to keep up with God and his ways with us. - Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

Is there something you dream of pursuing yet a feeling of chaos is holding you back? My encouragement today is to clean and organize, plan and finish, and keep the input balanced with the output.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Grace Notes

Paper & Glam - Grace Notes

Good morning, and happy Monday!

There's no Weekend Lookbook today because I was sick over the holiday weekend, and I didn't think posting pictures of me reading the Divergent Series was very inspiring. Over the weekend, I didn't take some time to reflect on my morning routine.

Mornings are my favorite part of the day. I'm excited to go to bed at night just so I can wake up to a fresh day, sit quietly, read books, and drink coffee while the sun comes up full of possibility and creative energy. 

My mornings follow a routine. Every morning Sunday wakes me up by cuddling up next to me. I crawl out of bed, change into my gym clothes, and take Sunday for a walk around the pool. When we come back in, I make my bed while the coffee pot brews filling my kitchen with it's divine aroma. When I hear the chirp signaling coffee is ready, I light my candle and sit down with a hot cup of coffee and a stack of books and read my devotional.

Devotionals are gateways into the word of God. When I first started reading the Bible in 2007, I didn't know where to start. The Bible is a couple thousand pages long, it took me a year (and a very disciplined schedule) to read cover to cover in 2011. The Bible can be overwhelming. Where do you start?

Paper & Glam - The Bible

Do you open it up randomly and hope the spirit guides you to the right passage for what you're going through today?
Do you start a the beginning?
The beginning of the new testament?
Or maybe with John 3:16...For God so  loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believed in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

This is where devotionals can give us starting points. Many devotionals are 365 books with a page for each day of the year. So if you know what day it is, you know where to start. They provide verses from the scriptures along with a short writing to help us apply it to our own lives. I like to pick out a new devotional for each year, but I could easily read Sarah Young's Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence every year. This year, I'm reading Hope for Each Day Morning and Evening Devotions by Billy Graham and I've got Hearing from God Each Morning: 365 Daily Devotions by Joyce Meyer on deck for next year.

If there's time after I finish reading my Bible and journaling, I usually peruse my favorite blogs. The other morning one of my favorite bloggers, Stefanie Sterjovski, posted this video and I found myself convicted of the way I've been reading God's word.

Paper & Glam - Jesus Calling Devotional

Lately, I've been treating my time with the Lord as something to check off my to-do list so I can rush off to write a blog post, read this month's issue of Vanity Fair (which serves as my newspaper), or catch up on e-mail. There's so much great content available to us to read and learn from, and use as inspiration, and it feels like there's never enough time in the morning to take it all in.

I'm a reader with a long list of books, blogs, and magazines on my to-read list. Sometimes the Bible and my devotional can just feel like another book on my list instead of the living, breathing word of God.

Paper & Glam - Grace Notes2

If you're like me and you catch yourself treating God as something to cross off your to-do list, let's remind ourselves the Bible isn't a quick pep-talk to help get us through the day. Opening the pages of the Bible is an opportunity to have a conversation with God.

We're ignoring the vast story of what's it all about. Come at the scriptures as a place to meet with Jesus. To know and be known, to read, listen, pray, and open up your life to the God who spoke in the text and speaks in the Spirit, and let it become a place where every single day you meet with God. (John Mark Comer)

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”