One Little Word 2018: Focus

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This year, I have chosen the word “focus” to be my “one little word” for the new year!

And here’s 3 reasons why:

O N E .Improve the process. Over the past few months, I have constantly had to remind myself of this to the point it has become my mantra! I’m always whispering it to myself as the many distractions in this world split my focus. While I am really good at focusing on working and not getting distracted by social media, it’s the many projects that I am working on that I keep getting distracted by. So rather than plowing through a project to completion, I work a little here and a little there and then inspiration strikes on a completely other project and I start to dabble there. By the end of the day, I look back and see that not one thing can be checked off the list but the list has actually grown. Ugh.

To fix this, I will be reworking my day to day processes. Implement a schedule with daily routines, like taking care of the business side on Tuesdays, painting on Wednesdays, photographing those paintings on Thursdays, new listings on Fridays, etc. This will help to streamline the day to day and not have me jumping back and forth between all the various duties of a small business owner and the many hats we must wear.

T W O .Cut the clutter. Not only am I trying to clear my mind to allow myself to focus, I am also physically reworking my office to allow for maximum productivity. My office is always in a constant state of “creative clutter…” paintings are drying on every surface, old lettering projects for scanning are scattered everywhere waiting to by filed, scraps from the paper cutter left in a pile. All this is getting cleaned up or getting thrown out! And it’s feeling amazing!

T H R E E .Niching down. I tend to say YES to any and all projects. But it’s far past the time to start saying NO! Another perspective on focusing is narrowing in on what projects I want to work on. I tend to take on too many pro-bono projects, styled shoots, and other photo shoots that may not fit my aesthetic anymore so my new plan is to say YES only to the projects that will move my business and skills forward. This will all make me a better artist rather than keeping stagnant doing the same old thing. Giving me more time to focus in and hone my design skills and run my business (as the business side of life is always what gets pushed down the list).

Now I must remind myself yet again, “FOCUS, Sam and wrap this up!”

I hope this message may be helpful to some who feel just as all over the place as I do. I’m here to help and hope to share a few other tips along the way as I focus in on becoming a better artist by focusing my craft and on what really matters: getting the work done in a timely matter SO I can spend time with my little family!

“One Little Word” is a concept created by Allie Edwards, learn more about it here.

Three Month Old Isaiah

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Our little Isaiah is now 3 months old! It feels like so much longer than that yet as though he was born yesterday.

So much has stayed the same from last month… You still love your baths. You still take short naps, but now sleep in 5-9 hour stretches at night. Your daddy is still your favorite person in the world, but I think I’m gaining on him (little by little). Your farts can be heard from space and require about 3 diaper changes to get through the morning. Your little “laughs” and smiles still bring me the biggest joy….

What I want to remember about you most right now:
– your big gummy smiles in the morning
– your big stretches after nap time
– those big eyes staring out at the world when I’m wearing you in the Ergo (even if my hope was for you to be napping)
– the way you chew on your hands and blow little spit bubbles
– the immense joy you bring to your parents and grandparents
– the fun you have kicking your legs, especially when you get so into it that you flail your arms and scrunch up your face
– and when you do that kicking in the bath and splash water everywhere!
– speaking of baths, besides those morning smiles, your nightly baths are my favorite time of the day.
– and finally, I love that you see us now, really see us. Locking eyes with you makes my heart flutter.

You’ve had your first vacation, your first dip in the pool and the first taste of the ocean. You’ve been covered in more kisses than I could ever count. You’ve completely changed my life, and for the better.

You’re my little love, my stink butt, my joy.

With each month being better than the last, I can’t even imagine the fun in store, my love!

Molly’s Bright and Colorful 2nd Birthday Celebration

Mollys 2nd Birthday Handlettered Invitation 2

You guys… In my last post about working with Trisha, I mentioned how much I adore designing for her! With all this hand lettering and painting going on, Trisha is my #1 customer (no offense to all my other #1 customers though!). She is such an encouragement and makes me strive to keep doing better and better, while still surprising her with each design. And now that I’m in the midst of working on her daughter’s 3rd birthday invitation, I thought it was time to post about the 2nd birthday invitation!

Trisha was really open to the direction to take the design. She wanted it bright and colorful though! So after showing her a few ideas, we went with a fun and whimsical direction and I got to hand write the whole piece! And then the best and final and most perfect touch, Trisha punched out and sewed on a few bright and colorful flags. Oh I love them so!

First off, I wanted to show you the work-in-progress sketch of the design before it was fully inked. It was really important to plan it out in pencil to really get the layout and how the words and lines would interact and flow together.

Mollys 2nd Birthday Handlettered Invitation Sketch

And then the fun and festive color was added to match the scrapbook paper that Trisha found for the banner.

Mollys 2nd Birthday Handlettered Invitation 1Mollys 2nd Birthday Handlettered Invitation 3

I love how Trisha sewed on the paper banners, it was such a fun handmade touch to the invitations.

Mollys 2nd Birthday Handlettered Invitation 4

Can’t wait to share this year’s invites with y’all! Hopefully it won’t take me a year to post about them though! Ah!

Your New Friend Sam, Etsy Shop: Will You Be My Godparent Invitations, Greeting Cards, and Thank You Cards for Godmothers and Godfathers

Godmother Invitations by Your New Friend Sam - Cream Cardstock with Gold Glitter Embossing Upgrades

Nearly 2 years ago, a friend of mine commissioned me to make her a handlettered print to give as a gift to her daughter’s godparents. After listing it in my shop, I had a few requests to have “Will You Be My Godmother?” cards. Of course, at the time, greeting cards were not in my skill set—or so I thought—so I would decline those orders. After the launch of my bridal party invitation line last October, it occurred to me that I was now more than able to offer Godparent cards. Just after Christmas, I created and listed “Will You Be My Godmother/father/parents?” cards and they were more of a success than I could have dreamed.

I love selling on Etsy as it is a shopping platform that invites its customers to truly create something so unique. There is no hesitation to reach out to customize existing listings and thanks to that, I’ve been able to design some very fun and personal cards and prints.

Godmother Invitations by Your New Friend Sam - Cream Cardstock with Personalized Gold Glitter Embossing

With the immediate success of the cards, I thought to update my original Godparent poem listing with a fully handlettered poem to match the cards and list it as a Instant Download, Godparents Handwritten Poem, or a FREE download with card purchase.

Godmother Invitations by Your New Friend Sam - Black Cardstock with White Embossing and Printed Poem 2

Yet again, custom orders came in for the poem to be printed within the card itself. With that, a truly deluxe card listing was made. These are my favorite to make as they are mini works of art but in card form. From the embossed front of the card to the full length poem within, I can only imagine each godparent opening their sweet little card and accepting the invitation with joy. I can’t say enough how much I love my shop and the opportunities I’ve had from it.

Below are a few more favorites of mine, but you can see the ever growing collection of greeting cards here.

Will You Be My Godfather by Your New Friend Sam - Gray Cardstock with Black Sparkle Embossing Madrina Invitations by Your New Friend Sam - Cream Cardstock with Personalized Gold Glitter Embossing and Gold EnvelopeWill You Be My Godparents Personalized navy Poem and White Signature by Your New Friend Sam - Gray Cardstock with White Embossing  Thank You For Being My Godmother Personalized Poem and Signature by Your New Friend Sam - Cream Cardstock with Gold Embossing

Hope this gives you a great glimpse into my little world of embossed cards!

Purchase your cards on Etsy or message me to create a custom order:

Godparent Invitations

Godparent Invitation with Embossed Personalization

Godparent Invitation with Personalized or Addressed Envelope

Thanks for Being My Godparent

Thank You For Being My Godparent

Card with Printed Poem and Signature Option

Madrina and Padrino Invitations