{a NEW mini-series: “How I live a creative life,” featuring five personal tips from Gussy // tip #5}

this is week #2 of my creative life mini-series.

for week #1, the focus was on five guest bloggers + their tips on living a creative life: kyla roma, just lovely things, lisa leonard, tiny twig + sarah jane studios ~ and this week the focus is on sharing five different applications i currently use to live a creative life and how they’ve transformed my mindset into something incredibly inspiring and freeing.

for week #2, i’m sharing my personal tips on how i live a creative life: 1, 2, 3, 4.

this is the last post in the mini-series!

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tip #5: share your passions with others

as we wrap up this mini-series on living a creative life, think about the people you have around you. what kind of role do they play in your life? how about in your create life? i’m going to go out on a limb here and say it’s near impossible to live a satisfyingly creative life if you never share your passions with others. why? because the people that care about you also care about your passions. did you hear me? i’ll say it again :) the people that care about you also care about your passions. you may think your creativity is stifled from not not having a defined “end of work” day or from not taking the time to create an oasis where you work, but what if it’s stifled only because you’ve kept your passions to yourself? what if you were brave for a few minutes and shared your passions with others? how do you think they would respond?

what if they supported you?

what if that, but they also encouraged you?

what if they supported, encouraged + challenged you to turns your dreams into plans?

yeow!

unspoken passions are unnoticed passions. if you don’t tell the people you care about about your passions then they never have the opportunity to support them ~ with you, for you, alongside you.

i think many of my best ideas were ignited only after sharing them aloud with someone. my ideas may be great in my mind and on paper, but they become GRAND after sharing them aloud with someone else. zack + our families have been fantastic support systems for gussy sews. i remember sharing with my mom my dreams for the business and i’m pretty sure before i even finished sharing them she was supporting me. i think she could SEE it was a passion… a leap worth taking… i think the same for our family, they were 100% ready to support me with this business — and i’m sew thankful they did!

the same goes for my man. oh zack, to think where i wouldn’t be if it weren’t for your support.

so go on now… IT’S TIME TO SHARE YOUR PASSIONS! :)

HOW ABOUT YOU? do you have people in your life that you can share your passions with? who are they, and what about them makes you comfortable? do you wish you had more or less people to share your passions? xo

{a NEW mini-series: “How I live a creative life,” featuring five personal tips from Gussy // tip #4}

this is week #2 of my creative life mini-series.

last week the focus was on five guest bloggers + their tips on living a creative life: kyla roma, just lovely things, lisa leonard, tiny twig + sarah jane studios ~ and this week the focus is on sharing five different applications i currently use to live a creative life and how they’ve transformed my mindset into something incredibly inspiring and freeing.

click here to my personal tips from this week: 1, 2, 3.

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tip #4: create an oasis where you work

if you’re like me, you work from home. that means throughout the day your office moves from the dining room to the bedroom to the living room to your actual desk ~ and sometimes, outside on the front porch! when i’m not working on my computer i’m working in our studio. i absolutely love our studio space, tucked into the corner of our home. we’re renting our home right now which means our studio has lite blue painted walls, but it’s a neutral backdrop for me to hang art that blog friends have made + sent over :)

by working with the room’s layout i’ve created a little oasis inside. i spend a lot of time in this room so this is important. but i’m choosing not to focus on it’s little quirks — our house is over 100 years old so there are little quirks in every room ;)

creating an oasis where you work is really easy. let me show you what i mean…

first, keep a positive attitude about your workspace. how can you create your ideal workspace? how can you make the most of your space? second, what fun elements can you add to the room to enhance it a bit more? we have finger knit garland hung from two windows, and since our walls are tall i’ve got some word art {it spells CREATE} sitting on the crown molding of one window, and beautiful painted art from casey wiegand {below} on the crown molding of another door. by constantly creating new Gussy products i’m surrounded with cheerful colors + textured elements. surrounding myself with fabric is definitely an oasis ;) third, prioritize what works best for you in terms of having a productive work day. if you need coffee to start your day, drink some coffee. if you work better in a tidy house, or in silence, in the early morning hours, or if you like to have a million things going at once like heather does ;D prioritize what works best for you.

the point is… when you run an Indie Biz it can be hard to be creative all the time, especially if you work from home ~ the distractions are endless! when i find myself struggling to stay focused these three tips help me so much! sometimes we need a little push to finally create our oasis ♥

PS. it’s been fun to see how i can continue to stretch this mindset! this week i created something new for lunch: english muffin toast + peanut butter + raspberries + honey. SO TASTY! making sure i take a break for lunch and having the ability to create something that’s not from your typical lunch menu makes working from home even more fun!

*click here to see more photos from my studio

YOUR TURN: what is your workspace like? is it an oasis for you? is it perfect or do you have plans for a little make-over? share with us below! xo

{a NEW mini-series: “How I live a creative life,” featuring five personal tips from Gussy // tip #3}

this is week #2 of my creative life mini-series.

last week the focus was on five guest bloggers + their tips on living a creative life: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ~ and this week the focus is on sharing five different applications i currently use to live a creative life and how they’ve transformed my mindset into something incredibly inspiring and freeing.

on monday i talked about tip #1: cooking delicious meals and yesterday i talked about tip #2: having a defined “end of work” day. if you haven’t read them yet, click over! and be sure to read the comments below, they’re almost as good as the blog post content ;D

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tip #3: never stop learning + exploring

in january of this year it felt appropriate to share a list of my favorite books {see photo above} while sharing the importance of becoming an expert in your field. or fields :) — it’s always fun to start the year off positively, right?! — it doesn’t take any money to do this, you can reserve pretty much any book you want from your public library — but what it does take a lot of is determination. you’ll need a large dose of it to make it through the challenging times, but that’s when your passion for this field of study picks you up and carries you through. whenever i find myself in a creative lull i go back to my tried + true method of learning. i believe you can learn something from everything. that one word ~ learning, will treat you well if you let it.

are you in a creative lull? do you need to be learning? remember i said learning, not lusting. don’t lust after something that’s not yours: a blog you don’t write or a shop you don’t own. when you find yourself in a creative lull, how do you get yourself out of it? do you turn to education, or do you turn to commiseration?

if you answered, A — my eyes are twinkling with happiness for you.

if you answered, B — my hands {with painted blue fingernails, –wink!} are reaching out to squeeze your shoulders with encouragement. don’t go there, don’t trade an uplifted spirit for a discouraged spirit.

so how do you keep learning + exploring? take time to learn more about your field, the one you’re going to become an expert it, by being present in real life. you could read a book, like i mentioned above, to learn more. you could study your field by going on a day trip and exploring the industry. a few weeks ago i left the house in the afternoon, fully intending on visiting my favorite fabric supplier for some color inspiration. but once i got there i was so sure of what i wanted that instead of just looking at this inspiration i brought it home so we could sew it into pretty, ruffly gussies! my learning turned into an exploration of happiness! you could map out what your plan of action looks like by making notes in your planner how you’ll schedule each task. and then once you’ve spent some time learning, go to your favorite cafe and sip a refreshing drink. like me here, sippin’ a Coca Cola ;D

to live a creative life you have to be your own unique person. take time to craft who that person is by reading and learning and finding favorites in life. never stop learning + exploring. never stop treating yourself well.

take the determination you had at the beginning of the year and use it to refocus your spirit. when your blog or your shop presents you with challenges, feed your creative self with the words from a book.

SHARE WITH US: what are your thoughts — how are you feeling? feel free to leave an anonymous comment and really be real with yourself and us. when you find yourself in a creative lull are you spending more time learning or are you spending more time commiserating {are you educating yourself so you can get out or are you fueling the nasty feeling}? xo.

{a NEW mini-series: “How I live a creative life,” featuring five personal tips from Gussy // tip #2}

this is week #2 of my creative life mini-series.

last week the focus was on five guest bloggers + their tips on living a creative life: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and this week the focus is on sharing five different applications i currently use to live a creative life and how they’ve transformed my mindset into something incredibly inspiring and freeing.

my challenge is for you to start living the creative life you dream of living. find the charm in NOT knowing how to be discouraged with this so you never feel discouraged. be brave. be a do-er instead of a dreamer :)

ok, let’s get started!

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tip #2: have a defined “end of work” day

it sounds simple but this has been hugely transformational for me. instead of spending 12+/- hours a day thinking about work and/or working, i’m spending about 10 hours a day actually working. i realized something needed to change with my work habits + schedule when i started noticing how discouraged i was feeling about work. i absolutely adore my job as owner/designer of gussy sews, so this was a big wake up call for me. little things were becoming big things ~ my motivation was flying out the front door frequently because i didn’t have defined work/play boundaries. ohhhh, it was hard to get back on track but it’s been sooo great!

here are a couple of steps i took to have a more defined “end of work” day:
* the first step i took was no blog reading or facebook on weekends >> i didn’t like feeling like i was never doing enough, and while this was mostly a self-induced thought i knew i needed to stop these thoughts. by having a 2-day break on the weekends i come to work on monday morning feeling super refreshed. i’ll use twitter or instagram on weekends {@gussysews} but those are easier on my heart/creative mind because they are quick, visual updates.

* the second step i took was to start reading books for fun >> within the last few weeks i’ve read “do you know who i am“, “safe haven“, and i’m currently reading “the glass castle“. reading is a fun way to disappear into another time or storyline. right now i’m enjoying lite reading, something i can start + stop easily :)

* another tip that’s helped me have a defined “end of work” day is to cook healthier/more elaborate meals >> i shared more about this yesterday. once it’s time to cook dinner there’s no going back to work, haha! dinner time is now double exciting.

* a fourth step i took was to combine all of the above tips {no computer time on the weekend, read leisure books, cook healthy/elaborate meals} as motivation to be hardcore focused during my workday >> i try to spend some time pampering myself in the morning, like by taking a hot shower or using pretty smelling shampoo. then i have breakfast, drink my coffee, review emails/computer stuff. THEN i start on that days main project: sewing, blog post writing, collaborative planning with cambria, etc. here’s what i’ve found: when i’m the most alert i produce the best work, so it’s important i’m focused during the day so i can enjoy my evenings with zack. i’ve also found that setting firm deadlines, like “all work needs to be complete by 6:30pm” has helped. when i’m walking bauer i like to dream up new ideas, then i’ll spend some time developing that idea into a project/post/etc. THEN i take action :) having this defined time to develop a concept has helped me stay hardcore focused during my workday.

* my last tip is to let go of what i THINK should happen and focus more on what i WANT to happen >> i’m working at being a better cheerleader for myself. i’m letting go of the Shoulds and Coulds and am focusing on the Necessities, with a little room for the Wants ;) and ya know what? this is surprisingly clearing up my work schedule so i can easily have a defined end to my workday. every once-in-a-while i have to remind myself who’s boss, but that’s OK! little reminders are good.

♥ i’ve also felt like these changes have helped zack and i to deepen our marriage/friendship, which is so amazing! we have always been proud of our closeness, but now it seems like we’re even closer. BONUS! ;D



HOW ABOUT YOU: which tip would you benefit the most from applying? what tip can you relate to the most, in terms of “YES that works for me, too!”? do you feel like having a defined end to your work day is important, or are you OK with it not having separation from work + play? share with us below… xo