All you gotta do

I want to see women moving and shaking up the business world by stepping into their God-given gifts to bring something amazing only they can offer. I want women to give themselves permission to take time for their skills and hobbies and interests and themselves. Ultimately, I want to see women become successful in the way Maya Angelou defines it: “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

  -Christy Wright     Business Boutique

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Garland & Pendant’s hoop featured in the June issue of Country Living!

I’ve spent a lot of time daydreaming about how things could’ve been if I had realized what my “dream” was while I was younger. I could’ve studied business in college, spent countless hours of my single life creating and growing and selling handmade goods…all in my early twenties! “Imagine where I would be now” I always tell myself during these fantastical thought journeys. I get super excited when I meet young makers, but there’s always this lingering envy hovering above our conversation, because there are large parts of my heart that wish that were me.

I’m done with the daydreams. Biggest reason: my kids, my time being a mother, without those things I don’t think I would’ve found this passion for small handmade business, for creating and putting those things out there for a greater purpose. A lot of being a mom is dying to yourself, sacrificing, serving everyone before yourself…but it’s nearly impossible to do that (or at least to do it well)  without knowing yourself first. Being a mom has forced me to explore who I am, and my limited time has pushed me to find things to fill it that bring me joy, motivate and inspire me. And although being a mom is a huge part of who I am, it’s not all of who I am. I’m also a wife, and a passionate maker, and a dream-follower. Call me crazy, but it’s taken me years after our first was born to realize that I’m allowed to still have dreams of my own while I’m a mom. Dreams aren’t just for 20-something singles.

Psst, moms, this is for you. Women with obligation, pressures, full schedules…this is for you:

You were made for more than just getting by; fulfillment is waiting for you in work that you love. You’re not a supporting character in the movie of your life; you’re the lead role. You have permission, the responsibility even, to be in the driver’s seat of your own life. That includes investing in things that bring you joy and make you proud. You have permission to do things that make you like yourself. It’s not selfish; it’s self-preservation, and it’s smart.

-Christy Wright       Business Boutique 

Most times, I have no idea what I’m doing. I doubt that each and pretty much, every decision I make is the right one. I tackle guilt every day, an internal fight between the “should dos” and the “want tos”. But recently I’ve finally begun to hear these truths: that I’ve been created with a purpose, with gifts and strengths that need to be utilized. Not just for my benefit, but for the benefit of those surrounding me as well. And I had no clue when I was nineteen, and that doesn’t matter in my 31st year of life and second year in business. What I’m saying is, all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other, despite the chaos of your current situation. Your circumstances do not dictate the worth of what you have to offer others.

This is your moment, don’t look down.

You’re ready, born ready

and all you gotta do is put one foot in front of you.

Our ceiling is your floor, and all you gotta do is put one foot in front of you.

-Sleeping at Last  Daughter

This picture of me and my girls isn’t the prettiest, it’s blurry, rushed, and a bit forced. But it’s real, and it’s in the middle of Barnes & Noble after walking through the pouring rain and it marks such a significant moment in my (our) life. Trying to grow a business while also being a full-time mom isn’t the prettiest, it’s blurry, rushed and a bit forced at times too, but it’s full of so much purpose and worth.

My hope is that every moment my girls see their mom busting it for something she’s passionate about, that they’re tucking those images away in their hearts for the days when they’re realizing that they too were given dreams. Dreams specific to how they were made, especially for them.

My hope is that they know that despite lack of time, knowhow, chaos, cancer, age, limitations, lies, or fear, that they can chase those dreams.

My hope is that they know that all they gotta do is put one foot in front of the other, with that dream in their heart, and trust that in His timing and with His guidance, they’ll catch it, they’ll live it out with hope and a future.

‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’

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How-To | Transfer a pattern onto fabric

There are countless ways to get your pattern from the paper in front of you to the fabric you’d like to use for your hand embroidery project. This method is almost fail-proof, super easy, and more than likely you’ll already have all you need right at home.

Supplies needed:

  • Embroidery hoop
  • Fabric (typically you’ll want to stick with a cotton or linen blend)
  • Light source (such as a window, or a light box/pad)
  • Water soluble marker or #2 pencil
  • Pattern

 

 

 

Thanks for watching and happy stitching!

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How-To | Back an Embroidery Hoop

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When I began embroidery, I remember for the first time seeing makers keeping their completed embroidery piece set in the wooden hoops, and I loved it! Once I got the basic embroidery stitches down, next I had to figure out how to finish out the back of the hoop and set the fabric in place for display. I did Google search after endless Google search finding advice and trying out each one.

Over the years I’ve used various different methods for backing my embroidery hoops (at one point I was even stitching felt to the back) and this is my tried and tested method. I am going to share that specific backing process with you on this video tutorial. I hope it helps!

Supplies Needed:

  • Embroidery hoop
  • Fabric scissors
  • Old scissors (that you don’t mind getting sticky)
  • Peel and stick fabric adhesive (I use size 5/8″ and you can find this at Michael’s or Joann’s)
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Compass or extra wooden hoop of the same size for tracing

I hope you found this video tutorial useful in your crafting ventures. Thanks for watching!

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More faithful than the rising sun

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I sat and ugly cried in front of my kids this morning at breakfast while they all stared back with concern. It was the good kind of cry that kids don’t really get yet. I was overcome with needing them to know how much I love them despite how many times I might’ve “angry growled” that day.
There’s a little 4 year old boy, Damian, who was diagnosed with retinoblastoma a few months prior to Willa’s diagnosis. Unfortunately his was pretty advanced when they found it. The cancer has spread uncontrollably throughout his tiny body, and just yesterday he woke up, no longer able to see as the cancer took over his optic nerve in his remaining good eye. He’s actively dying.
Sometimes it feels impossible to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer” but I have to trust that if we cling to these things, that God’s grace will get us there and hold us there and won’t let us go. And although I fight it every second of my being, He really is all we need, His love really is loyal, more faithful than the rising sun.

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Work in Progress

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This photo of my craft hoard of embroidery thread is a pretty accurate depiction of how my week got started….scattered, rushed, tangled, frustratingly full.
I suppose, just as there is meaning to the madness with this pile of thread, that the same purpose lies within the chaos of the day-to-day.

I believe in providence, in guided cause.

The Creator is picking up the thread pieces of our beautifully broken and twisted pile in His grace-saturated hands and stitching a tapestry of design, rich in perpetual goodness and perfect reason.

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Road Trips with the Great Physician

Lately, this sweet little piece of internet, my blog, has been on my mind. I’ve thought back to the times I sat in front of my laptop in silence and oftentimes darkness in our hotel room those first few weeks at St. Jude while Willa was sleeping and tapped my fingers on this keyboard relentlessly, pouring my heart and soul out in a meager attempt to begin processing what was unfolding before me.

This blog and my writing became an extremely useful tool and important part of my grieving/growing process. But once things slowed down and there was no more tumor and we moved onto the next trauma of our lives (moving to a new city), I, in a sense, neglected this space and in doing so I neglected devoted followers of Willa’s story and those that truly enjoyed reading the words written here, those that essentially cracked open my diary with me.

Because of these recent realizations, I wanted to breathe a little life back into this site and share some thoughts I had written down the day before I left Raleigh for Memphis this time around:

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I’m forcing myself to put all my embroidery away and start packing.
Most of you have been following along for some time and you’re aware that our youngest daughter, Willa, was diagnosed with retinoblastoma (cancer of the retina) while in infancy.
It’s been six weeks since Willa’s last EUA scan at St. Jude and tomorrow the two of us head across I40 to Memphis.
I dread these trips so much. Not because I hate driving(I really love it). Not because St. Jude is a crappy place(it’s one of the most incredible, heart-stretching places). I dread these trips because it’s like our family’s life holds its breath and not until we receive those results can we breathe again.
Each approaching scan, as I’m pulling away from our home, my other two kiddos and my husband, it’s like ripping a band-aid off that you really wish could just stay put. Because once removed, there lies a gaping wound, brokenness that hasn’t fully repaired itself. And that hurts and it’s scary, but you know that band-aid just can’t stay there forever, that wounds don’t heal that way no matter how much you wish that they did.
So tomorrow on the road, while I’m “keeping it between the mustard and the mayonnaise” I’ll think a lot, cry some, listen to bad talk radio while I’m intermittently cursing in road rage, but most importantly, I’ll finally invite The Lord in to examine what’s under that band-aid together. It’ll hurt and it’ll be scary, but it’s always always good, and whether my wounds have been festering or mending, when I bring them before our Great Physician, they’re met with gentleness and mercy. And healing always follows.

 

Take this post as an update, a glimpse, but most of all a sort of apology for neglect and a thanks for giving me an outlet in desperate times. Tonight, with Willa’s EUA early tomorrow morning, sitting here in our hotel room once again, behind the same laptop screen…it’s a sort of reunion. And I can’t say I don’t like the familiarity of it all….

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Awful & Amazing

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A year ago today we took our 9 week old little Willa to the Pediatric Opthamologist where they were immediately able to tell us that she was blind in her right eye, with the retina detached. Later that afternoon after a CT scan, she was diagnosed with retinoblastoma. A few days later we arrived at St. Jude for the first time and her right eye was removed shortly after. One week of waiting after her surgery and we were extremely elated and relieved when the pathology results came in and she wouldn’t need systemic chemo.
It’s been quite the year. So much awful and so much amazing. This morning Dr. Wilson found two pesky tumors, growing right on top of the scar tissue left behind from her last laser treatment. I feel two ways at once. I know it could be worse, I’ve seen worse and heard of much worse. I’m thankful that lasers exist and that the tumors usually respond well to them. But I’m also heartbroken. This whole RB thing is crazytown. It’s always waiting and rarely knowing. It’s constant wondering. It’s the perfect storm to keep my already previously anxious self in some serious state of continuous awareness of the idols suffocating my Grace-given freedom from fear.
I think it needs to be okay to say it sucks. God knows I think this blows, so there’s no reason not to be transparent about the struggle, the faith-fight. I’m still singing of death swallowed whole…waiting until all that we hope will be all that we know. I just need to be sad about it all for a little while. So much awful and so much amazing.
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