planting seeds for growth

 Plantable Tags from GreenPost

suffice to say moving to huntsville has been a positive thing even if it feels much harder than almost any other time in my life.  i almost wonder how i can say that as i've had a hard life.  this is hard in a 'going towards health' way.  does that make sense?  typically when you are healing you have crisis.  how one knows the difference between that is usually unexplainable, you just know.  you just have to trust.  i'd say this is probably a healing towards the better because i think i'm learning how to communicate better. i'm being forced to and while i dislike it i know ultimately it will serve me in the future.

forced to deal with an auto mechanic who charged me a good amount and didn't fix the problem.
forced to deal with my own flub of refunding the wrong person on paypal and having to ask for repayment even though they aren't seeing the refund.
forced by dint of selling on etsy to deal with customers having requests or wanting discounts that i just cannot abide by.
forced to push myself and keep moving/going/working even though i feel pretty overwhelmed by my living and financial circumstances.

not forced but pushing myself to have different 'business' interactions.  meaning working out swaps/trades for services with other etsy people...even that is a big deal for me as i get so confused about what is fair or feels right etc.  thankfully those two experiences have left positive imprints on me.  one of them was getting metal flowers from merritt for my metal vases.  its a big deal to spend money right now since i'm barely making it in life, but i felt this was a good business/marketing strategy for the vases so we worked a deal out and i'm thrilled.

the other business deal was with another etsy seller/friend kendra.  she makes plantable tags, cards and envelopes out of 100% recycled hand made paper.  i was getting grossed out by the store bought thank you cards, i mean i'm all about re-using and hand made stuff what am i doing buying generic CARDS?  i decided to find a more creative way to thank people and also send business to someone else that is 'real' as opposed to a machine plopping out ugly thank you cards.  kendras recycled cards come with seeds in them that you can plant! i was able to trade a vase for this transaction and i think we all come out ahead as my buyers will get a nice card (which i dont write on so they can send to someone else next time they gift or write someone) or free little plants, i get to feel better about sending art off and hopefully kendra gets a few more customer referrals!  all of this probably sounds super stupid simple but for me it was a big deal.

so i've been expanding and contracting.  much more involved with people and my surroundings.  making more decisions and probably reaching an emotional level of ...oh 18 yrs old now instead of 5.  only 30 more years to go and i will catch up with myself....


Kendra Zvonik said...

I empathize with you, I really do. Life is not easy and like you said in your message to me . . . this is not a life we choose, it was chosen for us. To be an artist is definitely the hard road. But, we both know we'd never last in an office cubicle or some other structured job. It's the best choice even though it's painful and we struggle. It is really the BEST choice.

I appreciate that you feel so good about our trade. I do too. I love my vase--it's full of my paintbrushes and pens and paper tools that I use each day. So, you are an active part of my life.

We may struggle to communicate with everyone we know, but at least we are trying. We don't HAVE to try, we just do. Because we care and we want to be a better people and artists. Despite the fact that it might feel like the progress is slow or non-existent, our relationship seems to be like a mirror showing us both that there is something happening and we aren't just wasting time or fooling ourselves. Me telling you that you are too hard on yourself is the whole calling the kettle black thing. But, you are Paula. I think you are making amazing effort and it is paying off. Just keep going. Don't ask why.
xo kz
ps thanks for the links & pics of my tags!

paula said...

thank you kendra. meeting you has already changed me in many ways and i've only known you a few weeks...you are an enzyme :)
big changes for you too i know, glad i know you now so i can see/mirror all that good hard nasty wonderful stuff ♥

collage whirl said...

I'm thinking how clever it is of you to partner with other etsy artists AND use barter at the same time! Paula, don't be so hard on yourself, you're doing things better than you may realize. Everybody messes up, hey how boring would life be if we didn't? At least your life is organized around art making, wish I could say that instead of stealing time once my other "duties" are done. But I will keep plugging away and I know you will too! Kendra is right, we don't choose to be artists, we just are and we deal with it.

deb said...

kendra's work rocks, I love it and it seems like the perfect choice for you. I am glad to find you in a better place today, just keep swimming!!

paula said...

i know deborah...still learning forgiveness to self. thanks for your boost :)

deb you too, swim swim swim :)

artistsjournal said...

Paula, you just keep amazing me. Your work is so wonderful and I know that your efforts are going to pay off big time. Hang in there kid.

paula said...

thank you martha! i still think/thank you for being an early motivator when it came to getting started with etsy :)