Au Naturale Eye Essentials Kit

Happy New Year!

Here we are headed into a New Year. 2010. Wow! I remember watching the movie 2010: A Space Odyssey as a child and thinking 2010 was so far off.

A new project in 2010...each piece will be wrapped in pretty papers...

2009 has been a wonderful year. Yes, I had some health setbacks to throw me for a loop, but I honestly believe that it's been one of the greatest gifts I could have ever received. Not the part with shortness of breath and the chest pains I was having--those weren't the best gifts--but the part when it clicked in my head and heart that I have to live my life only one way. I cannot do things just to make others happy. I cannot do things that do not fill my heart with joy.

Part of the realization came to fruition when I majorly scaled back my business in September. It was such a painful, heartwrenching decision. I couldn't "break up" without coming back for just a little more--by opening up again for a week before Christmas. It was a good plan and people were happy. People other than moi. So, this New Year, I am leaving behind the idea of opening up seasonally.

Life is way too short to do things you no longer enjoy doing. When what you once loved feels like a chore, something you have to do...well, then it is time to cut the cord and have a clean break. I am not happy making creams anymore in quantities that involve gallons at a time. If I want to close for good, I have to close for good without regrets and on my own terms.

I took baby steps and I am now ready for that big jump off the cliff.

I've been working with these beads I've loved the looks of for so long to make some rings on antique brass and hair pins, too.

It's not all bad news or negativity right now if I am emitting that vibe somehow...please don't think that. I feel so free. What kind of, sort of worked for me by opening for that week in early December was the litmus test for me. I refuse to carry that baggage of a nagging feeling with me into this New Year. If you're a customer with a cream subscription, it will be honored until your term is up--no worries there. I am just choosing not to offer anything at all anymore online and if you know me, you will understand this decision.

I want to talk more about that creativity thing I enjoy so know I am always painting something, reclaiming, redecorating, thrifting, looking for the potential beauty in otherwise not so great items, making cards and collages, etc.

Recently, I have even been making some jewelry--working with antique brass and experimenting with earrings, pendants, and brooches using cabochon flowers, old cameos, pieces from broken estate sale finds, etc. These are also eco-friendly because I'm turning what could be considered garbage into wearable lovelies!

I've been working on some collages and greeting cards, too. All fun. All different. All allowing me to express my creativity and be me. If you don't remember, I used to have a shop on Etsy offering greeting cards about 3 years back. If I can get busy, I can put it away and get back to it--you definitely cannot do that when you are watching a cream develop on the stove. Once you start, you're committed to the long process.

I gave myself a wonderful Christmas present--a rubber stamp set of 12 Parisian-themed stamps. I've been working with these and doing some altered art.

Since scaling back in September, I have again reclaimed much needed me time and have loved being able to create for fun.

I have an exciting project coming in 2010, most likely in early February. It's called Loubird Handmade. I plan to set up this fabulously chic little boutique filled with jewelry and notecards. Everything I have been making is very vintage-shabby chic-flapper girl all in one. It represents what I love and who I am. Best of all, I will only list what I have made and on my own terms so the burden will not be there.

So why the name? One of my Dad's closest friends called him "Lou Bird." A robin will be in my promotional materials and banner. Why a robin? A robin is said to symbolize growth, creative rebirth, clarity, hope and joy. I find this very fitting.

I've been using these lucite flowers for post earrings, rings, and pendants.

Getting back to a New Year, I do not make New Year's Resolutions. I really think it's important to live each day of my life with love, peace, positivity, integrity, joy, inner harmony and free of regrets. Not just in early January--but every single day. I've made decisions in 2009 that have helped me accomplish my mission, such as devoting more time to my writing through freelance work, this blog, and my pieces for Yankees Mix. The best decisions I have made in 2009 have come from my heart. I have woken up and have chosen to take care of my health and spend much more quality time with my family rather than focusing on a business I no longer enjoyed.

It is amazing how much happier and balanced I have become since listening to that inner voice.

Happy New Year to you, my friends!