Monthly Archives: September 2018

On handling rejections

I had kind of a bad day on Wednesday.

I received, not one, but TWO rejection emails from the holiday craft shows I applied for.

They’re kind of big, well-known shows (read: most lucrative) in the area that I really, really wanted to get into (and thought I had a good chance.)

Needless to say, I was disappointed and sad.

My emotional process looked like this 👇

1) DISBELIEF: First of all, I thought the notice wasn’t gonna be sent out till Friday?? Was this a mistake? Is this really happening?

2) FANTASY: Some of my friends didn’t make the cut either. And they’re all talented, amazing makers. Did the organizers make a mistake and send the wrong email to the wrong group of people?? I’m still waiting to get that “sorry-we-sent-the-wrong-email-and-you’re-actually-in” email.

3) CONFUSION: But people love my work! and I’ve been great to work with, haven’t I?? I’m so organized and responsive. WHY DID YOU NOT WANT ME?? 😭

4) NEGATIVE SPIRAL: Is this it for me? What if I don’t get in to ANY of the shows I applied for? Was it just a luck that my business seemed more successful this year? Is it all going to be down hill from here??

5) LOGIC: People DO love my work (and they tell me so!), and I’ve had great relationships with the organizers. It’s not personal. I have other opportunities and will most likely get into other shows.

6) ACCEPTANCE: Oh well. It is just what it is 🤷🏻‍♀️ The show must go on. What’s on my to-do list today?

I know intellectually it’s not me or that my work is bad, but it just hurts to be rejected.

I have my “You Are Enough” sticker on my laptop, and it helped 💙

As a self-care strategy, I re-watched the puppy and horse Budweiser commercial from 2014 Super Bowl and had a good cry. It’s truly soul-cleansing ✨

(I question your humanity if this bit doesn’t make you even a little emotional…🐶)

I treated myself for a delicious brownie and pretty dahlias at the farmer’s market.

I also received a copy of Retailing Insight Magazine in the afternoon, where one of my designs was featured (along with my friend, John Met Betty‘s beautiful vegan handbags!) That helped boost my confidence for sure 😊

I don’t have a profound lesson or insight for you today.

But I just wanted to share that things aren’t always great and positive.

I’ve been noticing a trend on social media where people share hard and messy stuff in life. And even without the “things-went-to-hell-but-I’m-all-better-now” hero ending sometimes, which makes a lot of people uncomfortable.

It makes me sad to see people I admire and care about struggle, but I also appreciate their realness.

It helps me feel OK with having those ups and downs in my life, too.

Even though most of the posts on social media are curated and positive, it never tells a whole story.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you’re having a hard time or feeling rejected, you’re not alone.

Nobody has it all together.

We’re enough ❤️

xo

p.s. I’m feeling a lot better after processing the feelings with friends and doing all those self-care stuff. So don’t worry!

p.p.s. I’ve got a few holiday events locked down and am waiting to hear back from a bunch more, so it’s going to be OK. I’ll let you know when I have a more solid calendar!

p.p.p.s. I’m gonna be on my 7th week mini sabbatical next week – I’ve been chipping away at my new website so I can launch it very soon. Send me good tech vibes and stay tuned 😉

Join me in the “Thinking of You Week” challenge! 💌

Last week, my mom sent me a picture of a postcard that was sent to me from my high school Japanese literature teacher.

Mr. Eto was a really cool teacher – he was my homeroom teacher for two years and was also in charge of the drama club I was a part of.

(And as you can tell, a very skilled block print maker.)

He was funny and always treated us like we were responsible, intelligent people. He was one of the most influential adults I had in my teenage years.

On the back of the card, he wrote to say he retired last year and that they’ve got 6 grandkids now.

I felt so touched that I was still on his “thinking of you” list after 22 years.

I used to send him New Year’s greeting cards when I first moved here but can’t remember when the last time I wrote him was…😢

So it was a perfect timing when I received this message from Thinking of You Week via Instagram:

“We’re working with The Greeting Card Association to promote Thinking of You Week, an international movement that encourages everyone to send a card every day for one week. We’d love it if you could help spread the message by asking your followers to send a card a day from September 24-30.”

I get requests to promote things to my followers occasionally and only follow through when the cause resonates with me and I believe it benefits you, too.

For someone who creates and sells greeting cards for a living, I don’t send out hand-written note enough!!!

When I got the postcard from Mr. Eto, I knew I wanted to send him a card and tell him what’s been going on in my life.

I wanted to tell him that I got married to a sweet loving man, I quit my job 3 years ago, and now I’m a full-time artist.

I know he’d be delighted to hear from me and would be so proud of my accomplishments 💕

The invitation to promote this challenge inspired me to join in the movement, too.

I’ll be sending a greeting card to my friends (including Mr. Eto) every day between September 24 and 30!

I already thought of a few more people I want to say hello to via a card and am getting super excited to figure out which cards to send them 😍

Do you want to tell someone that they’re on your “thinking of you” list??

I’d love it if you join me in this challenge!!

Thinking of You Week has been promoting giveaways on their Instagram, and I’ve created a special “Mystery 7 Cards for $7” pack in my Etsy shop to make it easier for you to participate 😘

Go check them out!

I’d love to hear from you if you decide to do the challenge. Leave a comment and let me know.

Happy writing, my friend!

xo

p.s. in case you missed the links, you can check out the giveaways on Thinking of You Instagram here and the special mystery pack in my shop here.

Fall & Winter collection sneak preview (pt. 3 of 3) + vacation pics!

Dave and I got back from our mini road trip on Monday night.

We picked up our new (to us) car in Phoenix, Arizona and drove all the way through California, Oregon, and Washington over 5 days.

Here is Bruce (the car)! We drove 1500 miles including some mountains, and he did really well.

We stopped at Joshua Tree National Park – well, we didn’t plan it very well and ended up just exploring the lower part, but the landscape was out of this world. I felt like I was on the moon or mars! (I don’t know my planets very well 😬🌕)

We stopped at Redwood National Park as well. This tree had been hollowed out by the lightening and fire but the outside of it still stands tall and strong. Amazing!

We took a 90-minute tour at the Oregon Caves National Monument. Natural formation of the minerals over marble was truly breathtaking. If you go there, I highly recommend this tour!

On our last day, we visited Mt. St. Helens National Monument in Washington. It’s kind of hard to see in this picture, but the whole north side of the mountain had been blown away when the volcano erupted in 1980. We read several stories of the people who were near when the eruption happened. Many lives were lost and so many more were changed forever. So powerful.

We didn’t have whole a lot of time on this trip as we were trying to get back home in a timely manner, but we still enjoyed our adventure very much.

I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things and am super excited to share more previews form the new collection with you today

(Psst, in case you missed the previous previews, you can see them here and here.)

You know I care about self-care.

I used to work with people in domestic violence situations for 14+ years and found self-care to be the most important thing in their (and service providers’ ) healing.

Winter holiday season brings cheer and joy to many of us. But it can also be stressful and bring sadness and painful memories.

If you have a friend who needs a little encouragement to take care of themselves during the holiday season, this holiday self-care card would be a perfect a reminder 💕

It feels silly sometimes that we need external permissions to do something like self-care.

But I often need a permission to do or not do something and ask Dave to tell me it’s OK, like saying no to a business opportunity or a project, and he’d just repeat back to me word by word what I said and I say “OK” 😀

It’s silly, but it helps…

Speaking of self-care, I’ve also created a sister design to my popular “Self-Care is not Selfish” design.

It’ll be available as 8″x10″ (20.32 cm x 25.40 cm) archival giclee art print and a blank notecard 👇

Again, if someone you care about is going through a hard time or just not feeling like they’re doing “enough,” let them know they’re doing the best they can ❤️

(BTW, I’ve fallen in love with this soft pink color recently, and you will see more of it in my future collections!)

Before we move on to my next preview, I need to confess.

I was planning on creating 2019 calendars with self-care themed art and sayings, including the design above.

But creating 12 new cohesive and amazing art is no easy feat, and after considering the costs and timeline, I decided not to create a monthly wall calendar for 2019 😢

My goal is to create a stunning monthly calendar for 2020 and give myself plenty of time to do so – my apologies if you’ve gotten my previous wall calendars and have been waiting for the new one! I promise it’ll be worth the wait.

I still wanted to create a calendar that will bring you joy all year long, so I created this fun Llama Dream 2019 calendar poster instead!

It’s printed on 11″x14″ (27.94 cm x 35.56 cm) cotton paper, and has a very yummy texture.

That llama face, tho 😍

Sure, the yearly calendar may seem more decorative than practical, but it’s good for keeping track of things that happen monthly (like your period, that’s what I use my annual calendar poster for), quarterly, and/or annually.

I’d like to think of it as a wall art that happens to tell you the dates.

(Plus it’s printed digitally, so the price is more affordable than my archival prints.)

I created the calendar in a simple and neutral color palette (navy and warm yellow, my fave color convo!) so it’d look great in a kid’s room or your office all year long.

You like??

My new collection will debut in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye out for the announcement! 👀

(Are you on my email list? Sign up, because I like to spoil my subscribers when I launch new products 😉)

Have a joyful day!

xo

p.s. Oh, and if you’re in the US, have a happy Labor Day! I’ll be at Fremont Sunday Market today 9/2, 10-4 if you’re in Seattle.