trustyourjourney

 

When I first started putting words on mugs, I needed some inspiration so I posted on facebook asking people what some of their favorite sayings were. I got a great response and this one, in particular, has always stuck with me. I have probably styled it 20 different ways because nothing seems to do it justice.

Recently, I have struggled with this kind of trust. Everything seems to weigh down and there is no light at the end of the tunnel and it feels like everything is falling apart.

As it may seem that way, I still wake up every day. I still go thru the motions of what I need to do, want to do, am expected to do. Day in and day out. The amazing thing is that nothing is permanent. So what seems like the end of the world today, in 3 weeks or 3 months or 3 years, will be resolved.

The calm that comes over me when I think about things that have happened and that I have already gone thru, how happy I am that those things are over, that is the calm I wish I had while the shit is happening. Trusting your journey means that the bad times will not last forever, but at the same time, nor will the good.

I truly believe in appreciating the good for however long it lasts but knowing that it will not last forever, and trying to endure the bad knowing in my heart that I will grow from this and it too will not last forever.

Once we get thru an obstacle, it is the biggest relief and we want to bury it, be done with it.

But remembering how good it felt to get thru that thing, might help us trust and have faith that whatever the current thing is, will end too and we will eventually feel that way again.

 

Hysterical Twist on Waking Up, Working Out and Being Awesome

There is a lot of stuff going on in the world today and none of it do I feel particularly smart enough to talk about. So I am not.

This post is about trying to not take it too seriously and I know that there is stuff to take seriously and I know amazing people are working hard to fight for what is right.

I mean more closely, not taking our day to day lists and agendas and jobs too seriously. I mean simply loving those who are close to up more, extra hugs and kisses. More attempts at making smile or even better, laugh deeply.

Laughing with the people you love makes time stop. Watching their face light up with pure joy and excitement is the best feeling in the world for me.

In homage to not taking life too seriously and continuing a streak of putting insane words on mugs, I present to you Craziest Mug Yet

Did you look?

Are you totally embarrassed? Mad? Shocked? Find it funny? I HOPE with everything you at least let the emotions wave over you and ended with a smile.

First of all, if you are a woman and embarrassed, don’t be! Here is a great article explaining why! Healthy and Fun

I just looked at all the these “Wake up, Work Out, Be awesome” designs and for someone like me, who doesn’t work out, who hates working out, LOATHES working out, I wanted something with a twist. You can be awesome without working out, right?

I sure as fuck hope so!

Besides, what better twist than a little self-love?

Still burns calories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save your Phone for Family

I recently had a mentor session with something who has had her own business for 3 years and never knew how to use her camera for product photography. She was using her phone and getting by that way but really wanted to up her quality.

I understand in a pinch, using your phone. It is always there, it is immediately post-able. But you owe it yourself to have high-quality photos of your products or even your kids.

If you have had a camera for a while and your love to set it on auto, you are missing out. There are a couple awesome principles that once you learn, you will never need auto setting again and you will have more control of your photos!

After struggling and reaching out to me,

this is what she said:

“Well, today I enlisted the expert services of Shirley. She came to my home (thankfully she is local to me) and actually showed me how to work my camera the proper way. How to read the settings and how to NOT use the auto mode. She took the time to take demo photos of my glass (which is a challenge itself) and make sure I understood what each setting meant, and how it affected the photo.

I can proudly say that tonight, for the first time ever, I had consistent results with my pictures. I did not have to take 50 pictures of one item just to get one good on. I took a handful of each and they all looked great. I have never been so happy with my camera, and for the first time, I am not dreading taking pictures of everything again. If you are shooting on auto with your camera, or you just struggle and don’t understand your camera, I highly highly highly recommend taking a mentor session with Shirley. Money well spent!!!!”

I am so excited that she is well on her way to take her own great photos. So this is a great option if shipping your items to me to is just out of the question, I get it!

If we video chat and I can see your space and your camera, then I can as hands on as possible set you up for success!

 

You learn Everything for a Reason

I went to high school for graphic design but we also had to take printing classes. In that printing class, we made notebooks and I remember that being awesome.

But my favorite assignment was making our own font. Being in graphic design, I loved fonts and I knew how important fonts were before those funny font memes came out.

I wished I remember exactly what we did and how we did it but I do not. So I use Fontbundles a lot and jump on their packages or free fonts of the week.

When I first started graphic designing again, specifically for making things for coffee mugs, it made me feel very vulnerable to make it and put it out there. As a photographer, I didn’t have the same vulnerability because whatever I was capturing, I didn’t make.

So I use my fonts and phrases and I try to make them funny or inspirational but at the end of the day, people may not like it. A lot of what I do is then turned into a mock up so I do not waste a mug or the vinyl and there are people who do not like mock-ups at all and need to see that real deal.

I just got an order today for a design that I am so happy with. But when I revealed it in my FB sale group, it didn’t get the reaction I was hoping for. By that I mean it got no reaction at all. Well, I listed it on Etsy anyways and I shared it on IG and someone said they HAD to have it.

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People say that a lot, but this same person actually bought it today. So I had the satisfaction of MAKING it today. Seeing an idea go from your head to your computer, to real life in front of your face?! This is a personal victory for me.

In high school, I put all my eggs into one boy basket. In college, I had no idea that I would end up hating what I was doing. All my years in retail, were awful. Just awful. Then becoming a wife and a mom, I love taking care of my family but something was still missing, something for me. What made my soul happy? This is it guys.

I love putting funny shit on coffee mugs. As simple as it sounds. I love designing, I love hand applying the vinyl to the mug. I hope there is enough room out there for me because I do not want to stop!

If you would like to see my mug shop you can go here MamabirdMugs

Photos Matter

I cannot tell you how sad it makes me when I see handmade work photographed poorly. Or anything you are trying to sell photographed poorly.

Listen, photographs are what keep people looking, stop them in their tracks, contemplate the item. Can they see it in their home? Is it photographed for an online store or Craigslist?

I am not knocking Craiglist either, it has its purpose. But if you are going to open up a shop, your photographs should be better than Craigslist.

Do you need to buy fancy lights and a $5,000 camera? No. I 100% do not think that is necessary. But you DO need to know what looks good and what doesn’t look good.

These are photographs straight from Anthropologies website. Yes, that is a major company. But just look. Consistent backgrounds, consistent lighting, the feeling you get is these are already in your kitchen and you cannot wait to use them OR maybe that is just me.

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And these are from a random Etsy shop. So already we see the difference. Yellow tints, dark shadows, plants in the background. I gather that this shop owner is a reseller of vintage items which is awesome but the photographs look like what you might see on craigslist.

And if you do not believe me, these are from Craigslist.

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See what I mean? The difference is one is just for getting rid of and the other is a place of E-commerce. Maybe you are trying to make a living that way. So there should be differences between Etsy photos are Craigslist photos.

I offer product photography services to help you get images like these.

A white background is classic. It makes the photograph all about your item. If you made it or not, if you are trying to sell it, photograph it the best way possible. If you or someone you know could use some help in the department. I offer product photography services here Product Photography Service, also, if you have a set up and a camera but are having trouble make it all work together, I also offer Photography Mentor Video Chat sessions.