I am finding myself at a tough point right now. I am so anxious to get my own business off the ground, yet I seem to have no time to work on it, therefore making it impossible to get started! I spend most of my daytime hours in the office at my day job, and in the evenings, my time is filled up with cooking dinner, spending time with my husband, and/or going to the gym (which I haven't done often enough lately!!!). On the weekends I try to make time for my creative projects, but when the weather is so nice, I end up going out and doing fun activities with my husband and our friends.

For those of you who got your own business started while still working a full-time job, what did you find was the best way to force yourself into making creative time? My projects are so involved, it is hard to get out all of my supplies and make a mess, only to have to clean up and put them away a short time later. I like to have large chunks of time to work on my albums. It's just hard to spend an entire weekend working when I've already worked all week! I suppose it all comes down to priorities and motivation. Any tips or suggestions on how to motivate myself to work on the weekends?

...the color BROWN!

I really like brown. A lot. I have a lot of brown clothes and accessories. I think it's the naturalness of it, it's simple richness. I have been noticing lately that the things that keep catching my eye are those things that are brown contrasted with a light color, especially pink, blue, and/or green. Etsy is such a wealth of beautiful things. I collected a bunch of images that I have seen today...all can be found at You'll notice that a lot of them are baby-centric. I promise you I'm not pregnant...I just have had babies on the brain lately. Like, a lot. After looking at all these images and many more like them, I am getting several ideas for the colors I'd like to use to decorate my future child's room. :) Aside from the baby stuff though, I am loving the jewelry, handbags, etc. Such beautiful things! (Click on the images for a closer view!)


Based on the recommendation of my friend Erika at Delphine, I have been reading this book: Craft, Inc.: Turn Your Creative Hobby Into a Business by Meg Mateo Ilasco.I am loving it! First of all, I loved the shape of it - rounded corners on a book...I'm already intrigued. I opened it up, and just fell in love with the typography! It is printed in blues and greens, in boxes, with neat little borders, etc. It is a creative book about being creative!
I had started reading a couple of other books on starting a creative business, but they didn't really do it for me. They were full of good information, but a little dry. Now Craft, Inc. on the other hand just drew me in right away. I LOVE reading it! It's a simple read, but I am already gathering so many ideas from it. I can't wait to get started putting some of them into practice!

Product Description
Craft, Inc. is the hipster business primer for entrepreneurial crafters to turn what they do for fun into what they do for money. Pro crafter Meg Mateo Ilasco offers a step-by-step guide to everything from developing products and naming the company to writing a business plan, applying for licenses, and paying taxes. Chapters on sales, marketing, trade shows, and publicity round out the mix. Plus, in-depth interviews with such craft luminaries as Jonathan Adler, Lotta Jansdotter, Denyse Schmidt, and Jill Bliss provide inspiration and practical advice. Accessible, informative, and more than a little spunky, Craft, Inc. paves the way for today's creative minds to become tomorrow's trendsetters.

About the Author
Meg Mateo Ilasco is a designer, writer, and illustrator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was in grad school when she started designing wedding invitations for extra money, but the demand for her distinctive designs was so great that she eventually made the business full-time. Her company then expanded into stationery and accessories, and was featured on NBC's Today and in publications such as The Knot and Islands: Weddings and Honeymoons. She has since sold that business and is launching an eponymous housewares and gift company, Mateo Ilasco ( Meg is the author of You Can Wear It Again and The Space Planner, both published by Chronicle Books.

Stop over at Ashley's site to see what she's giving away! :)

My husband rocks. So does the company he works with. Check them out.
I have been doing a lot of thinking and planning, and I plan to have some new art-related things going on soon. Stay tuned for updates!
As many of you know, I recently got a new job which just started on Monday. Thank you so much to all my friends who have been bombarding me with text messages, chats, and emails - sorry I haven't had an opportunity to get back to you yet! Also, thank you to my former employers who gave me glowing references. I would not be where I am today without you! And, thank you to all of you who prayed for me every day that the perfect job opportunity would come up. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Since I just started my job, I don't want to be on my personal email too much yet, so I figure I'll email EVERYONE at once, so you all know what's going on with me, and that way I won't get totally bombarded with gmail chats and emails while I'm trying to work. :)

For those of you who hadn't heard yet, I accepted a job with a small graphic design company that is just getting started in Cardiff, CA. The office is right on the beach, and is only 10 minutes from my house. Everything about the location is ideal. We have a huge picture window view of the ocean, and there are all sorts of cute little beachy restaurants within walking distance. I only work 5 minutes away from Mike! The company is a branch off of a larger retail display company, and since they are one of our major clients, I spent my first three days of work up in their office in San Dimas to get a feel for how they run their office, and to get some advice on how to run my office. I felt like such a grown up, going on my first business trip! It was a little bit lonely staying in a hotel by myself, but luckily one night I was able to meet my good friends Clara and Rachel for dinner, and they kept me company. The office up there was great. Everyone was SO nice, and so much fun to work with. I wasn't sure what I'd be doing there at first, since I was really just there to observe and get ideas for how I am going to set up our new office down in Cardiff. I was a little bored the first day, but I did get some good info. By Wednesday afternoon, I was having a blast, making friends, and I could not believe how long my "To Do" list had gotten! I couldn't wait to get back home though, see Mike, and start working in my own office.

This morning I started my first day in my office. I LOVED it! I had already met the girl I share an office with, and we get along great. My boss is super cool, very laid back and designerly, and the other designer is young and fun as well. There is another boss that works in the office too, but he is out of town a lot, so usually it will just be the four of us. I love it. Everyone is very fun, and I feel like we all have a lot in common. I get to be involved in all the design conversations, when everyone is brainstorming and talking about creative things. Right now my main tasks are to order computers for everyone, since we are switching the office over to Macs instead of PCs, and also researching software for project management and accounting. I get to set up all the files and organize the way we are going to organize all of our design projects. This is going to be SO cool. I get to set up the entire process for the office. I cannot wait! I finally feel like I'm starting something and have a real role in a company, in the industry that I have been going to school for over the past MANY years. This is the job I have been looking for since I started college. It only took 7 years! I have gained so much experience over the years in my past job, and I feel like I finally earned the job of my dreams.

So, again, thanks to everyone who has been wishing me well. Things are great...I couldn't be happier. I think this is the start of an awesome new career, and great things in my life! :)

Much love to you all!

I am going to lay low on my personal email and chats at work for a little while, so for those of you who like to send me massive amounts of forwards (you know who you are!) try to leave me off your list for a couple weeks...but I'll try to keep up with my regular emails as much as possible. Once I get settled in at work, I'll have a little more time to get back on my email and g-chat again. :)