Saturday, August 29, 2009

I knew I loved Milwaukee!

This afternoon I noticed a bit more activity than usual in my Jet Set Paper shop. Typically it means that someone was kind enough to mention my goodies on their blog or website. So, I googled "jetsetpaper" and found the culprit! The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online has a blurb about my MKE Jet Set Journal! How fun is that? You can read it here.

Friday, August 28, 2009


On my list of things to do this summer: Make a pie. Have I done this? No. But, did I make some new "pie" stationery? Yup. It's much less time consuming and has zero calories! I like that. This fun set of flat note stationery would make a cute gift for the baker, pie/sweets lover or sweetie pie in your life. It comes in a set of 6 with envelopes for $9. You can find it right here. And if you need some more pie, check out my fun pi/3.14 recipe cards. They come in a set of 5 for $4.50. I know, they are a bit corny, but, hey, that's what I do.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

In the home studio with Marisa Haedike of Creative Thursday.

I'm so excited to introduce my new series "In the Home Studio with..." As someone who runs a full-time, creative-based business from home, I thought it would be interesting to hear from others who also work from home. There are many positive aspects to being at home, but there can also be some drawbacks. On one hand it's so great to work in your pj's and on the other hand it's not so great to work in your pj's!

I'm thrilled that my first guest is the wonderfully talented and super sweet Marisa Haedike from Creative Thursday. She paints, she writes, she sells, she podcasts and now she teaches! So without further ado...

1. Please describe a typical day. Do you keep to a strict routine or is your day fairly fluid?
Ah yes, the typical day that's never really typical. Although I try. I try to have a typical day. As much as I love the freedom of being an entrepreneur, I have found that having some structure is very helpful in staying focused. With that said, I do love to keep a certain fluidity to each day. Every day does include a latte in the morning and email, although I am in the process of limiting email time to twice a day and even going an entire day without checking at all on the weekend . It's so interesting to realize that as more of my life becomes expressed and shared online, now via blog videos and an e-course I am teaching ~ the more I recognize the importance of taking time away from the online world it to be in my actual life.

2. How do you avoid distraction (ie laundry, house keeping, errands, non work related phone calls, etc)? Or do you tend to give in?
Such a great question. I find that I give in when I am avoiding beginning a project, even if it is a fun project that I'm looking forward to. I seem to have a habit of wanting everything "done and in order" before I start. But since I know this about myself ~ sometimes I just gently push the contents of my often disorganized desk, put down one of my wood panels and start painting. The distraction factor or personal chores, errands and events is definitely one of the obvious challenges of working from home, but I still LOVE working from home. It's such a treat.

3. Does working from home affect your art in any way? Does it inspire it?
Well, I do share my home with 3 animals and since I paint animals, I'm sure their antics and cuteness inspire me daily. Also I'm happy at home for so many reasons, but especially because I get to share my life with the man I love and that happiness can't help but come through in my work.

4. How do you transition from "work" to "home"? Are you able to close your studio door and walk away for the evening? Is it easy for you to do?
Funny you mention a "studio door" because if I have one wish right now it would be for a studio door. My studio is actually somewhat attached to our living space. It is a sun room that extends past our dining room and also has a door that goes into our garden. While it is a beautiful, bright sunny space, it is wide open and connected to everything. I'm realizing that it may help me to focus better if I could close a door now and then ~ It seems that the animals we live with don't have any boundaries or understanding of "work" time when it comes to being let in and out of our home. But I say this as I write answers to your questions from my laptop on the sofa. You see, because of the laptop, I really work "everywhere" in the house so the walk away for the evening is a boundary I just have to learn to set and I will say I'm getting better at "walking away" all the time. It's so important to take those breaks.

5. Working from home can sometimes be lonely, do you miss working with other people such as in an office environment? Or do you usually interact with people (in person) during your day? Is this even an issue for you?
You know, I don't miss working with people in an office environment. I always found the time wasted in dealing with human dynamics and senseless meetings every day far outweighed the creative companionship that came from working with others at an office. Now I have the best group of creative friends and we make time to get together regularly. When we do meet with each other, it's in support of one another ~ and it's always inspiring and energizing. I'm the kind of creative person that can easily be depleted energetically by uninspiring social interaction so I'm learning to be more selective about my social time, instead preserving my energy and my time for my creativity.

6. Please describe your studio space (is it a spare room in your home, in your garage, etc.)? Is it an inspiring space?
Minus the lack of a door and a little more insulation in the roof for extremely hot or cold days, I love my sunroom studio. Surrounded by windows, a slanted roof with exposed, white painted paneling and beams, it's cozy and inspiring.

7. Do you enjoy working from home? Would you change anything if you could?
I love working from home. I used to dream about it during my days spent in an office... it's a dream come true.

8. And the million dollar you work in your pj's, shower and get dressed or something in between? (Please note, I'm currently in my pj's...LOL)
I was doing the PJ thing for a while, I mean who doesn't? It's one of the treats of working from home. But I found over time that I never felt "ready" for my as I mentioned before, non typical days. I feel better when I get up and shower first. A shower is a symbolic "clean slate" to the start of my day. It clears my mind. I feel fresh, awake and ready for what's next!

Thanks so much Marisa!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

That time of year again.

It's mid-August in Pittsburgh. That means purchasing a full bushel of romas from our local farm market, spending a full day in a hot kitchen, roasting the hell out of 15 dozen tomatoes and then freezing the tasty treats for winter. This is precisely what I did on Sunday. And oh are they lovely.

This past winter, we went through every single wonderful Ziplock bag of tomatoes. We used them in soups, stews, chili and of course on pasta. It's a little bit of summer in the midst of a cold, cold winter which feels like it's never going to end. The recipe is tried and true. This year I used a melange of herbs from my garden. I chopped up basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano and a few sage leaves in place of just using straight thyme.

I can't wait for winter! (Did I really just say that?)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Checking in.

I'm back from a fantastic week out West where I hung out with family and spent a weekend away with some wonderful friends I hadn't seen in years. I'm feeling rejuvenated and inspired. There's something about reconnecting with old friends that is so very good for the soul. We caught up on our lives, the good parts and not so good parts. We laughed a lot, I mean the kind where you either cry or pee your pants or maybe both. We ate, enjoyed a few adult bevies (really, just a few), went dancing, basked in the sun then talked some more. It was truly great.

I'm ready to jump right back into things and am quite excited about a new series of upcoming blog posts. As a creative type who has a small business and works from home, I thought it would be fun to see how others handle the pros and cons of working out of the house. There are mostly positive aspects, but negative ones can sneak in too. I will be posting my first interview early next week. Stay tuned!