Magic of Love Part 2

Continuing from Magic of Love Part 1 .

I have answered my own question.

Big Magic may simply happen to some degree, but for the most part, the love and the magic you receive are what you get in return for what you contribute by just being who you are.

Letting your soul take the lead instead of your ego brings magic into your life. Tweet: Letting your soul take the lead, instead of your ego, brings magic into your life.  https://ctt.ec/SYadT+

My daughters missed each other when my oldest daughter went off to the university. My older daughter discovered a paint-your-own pottery studio on campus.  It ended up being the perfect place for them to go together on visits to enjoy each other’s company and stay connected.

Fast forward to when we moved to our country home almost two years ago.  I had to rent office space because my job required a faster home internet connection than we have at our new house (our download speed is <1).  Over time “one thing led to another” and we ended up buying a very small office building nearby.  In the meantime, I had quit the job that needed faster internet access.

Last year our gift shop had a vendor booth outdoors at a nearby flea market.  The vendor next to us sold concrete statues and was liquidating his business because he had been doing it a while and wanted to try something new.  “One thing led to another” and I bought some of his smaller molds.  My parents added to those giving my younger daughter some more fun concrete molds for Christmas this past year.

So now we are in the midst of figuring out what to do with the building and having a little fun with it.  In Big Magic there is a story Gilbert tells of a playwright who had a flop of a play with bad reviews.  He then spent a summer painting stars on his daughter’s bicycle and her neighborhood friends’ bikes and got his mojo back.

Because of my work (or maybe it’s just in my nature) my mojo wears thin at times.  We are doing some painting projects just for fun and some with purpose at the new building. The painting is helping with my mojo and I’m excited because I can feel the magic working.

The magic swirled into my car one day as I was on my way to work.  There was a radio show discussing the recent Youth in Iceland program.  That topic has been in the back of my mind for a few months percolating.  I’m afraid to say it out loud or commit to the idea in writing.  I mentioned it briefly to my dad a month or so ago and we haven’t talked about it since.

If you haven’t heard, Ohio has a drug problem (and alcohol).  It is one of the main reasons I don’t want to go back to working at the bedside in a hospital.  I really don’t have it in me (at least not at this time in my life).  In Ohio this problem is not exclusive to youths… it’s across generations.

I created my other blog so that I wouldn’t have “scope creep” or bring my depressing topics into the wonderful area of gift shops.  But there is a little bit of overlap here so I’m going to let it creep in a tiny bit.

At this point you are wondering how that connects to my story?  It’s a tiny thread (that maybe only I can see) holding it together.

We have hosted a couple of events that were to paint-your-own concrete pieces at the new building.  For instance, one day we painted stepping-stones, another day we painted gnomes.  It was a low turnout which was fine because we didn’t advertise it much and we were just experimenting to see if there was any interest.

I believe that some of the behavioral problems and drug problems I am seeing can be treated with stronger communities, beauty, and a little more joy, love, & hope.


The end of the second quarter has arrived.  A few 2017 goals are being met sooner than expected.  We are building on some of those and setting new goals.

We will continue to work on our previous goals and share gift giving ideas and products we enjoy or carry.

Also, going forward in 2017 I would like to set a goal to bring some magic my community. Obviously that is not a SMART goal.  Here are three SMART goals I came up with that I hesitate to say out loud because they might be a bit of work and I’m going to feel a little exposed:

  1. In 2017 I will host 8 or more events inviting the community to create with us.
  2. I will going to further research starting a meet-up and/or book club to use to host regular events in 2018.
  3. I will organize a fall and/or Christmas “gift shop hop” with other area businesses to promote community.

This post may seem a little abstract, but that’s the way magic and ideas work for me. This post has already gotten a little lengthy for my tastes so coming up I will show you our painting projects I’ve been referring to,  I’ll tell you about other books we’ve read that have added to the magic, and  I’ll share our the tiny doors & fairy gardens we’ve been creating.


We’d love to hear if you have ever had a time when you “painted stars on bicycles” just because you could?


Feature photo is the cupcake that started some of this magic and our dog Copper wondering why in the world I’m taking a picture of the cupcake instead of him 😀

Here’s the link again to buy the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Ahh…1st Quarter In Review

The first quarter of 2017 is over and it’s time to review goals.Tweet: The first quarter of 2017 is over and it's time to review goals.

While creating an editorial calendar in January I set some goals for 2017.   Now that I’ve had some time to work on them I think it is important to sit down and review how I am progressing.  This helps me stay on track and continue positive momentum setting new goals going forward.

Goal #1: Post at least once a week.  In 13 weeks I have made 10 posts for the year 2017.  In quantity my posts are almost on track.  However, my posts have not been regular in timing.  Going forward I want to increase my frequency to solidly hit once a week and do so more regularly.   One way I can do this is to pay more attention to my weekly feature categories like Wrap it Up Wednesday.  Just doing one of those weekly would meet this goal so it is definitely attainable.

Goal #2: Add website pages leading to online store.  This goal isn’t very good because I didn’t make it measurable.  Going forward in the second quarter I will be more specific and plan to add plant picks, garden flags, mailwraps, and Pure of Heart to both website pages and our online store.

Goal #3 Begin placing videos on blog posts.  I did it!   This has been so much more fun than I expected.  To clarify this one:  I would like to post at least 3 new videos each month for the remainder of the year.

Goal #4: Increase number of followers to 500 by the end of 2017.   I didn’t specifically say where I want these followers to be – the blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn – What was I talking about here?

To define this a little further I’m going to say I would like to have 500 followers to Little Gift Shop OH and on at least one social media platform. This goal has so many components to it for implementation that I think I’d be better off to break this down with some sub-goals.  Such as … create interactive posts on Twitter at least twice a month or consider when the time is right and promote posts on social media once a month.

Goal #5:  Monetize website.  I have our Square shop in place and have set up some affiliate links.  My goal for 2017 is for Little Gift Shop OH to be in the black.  I expect this might not be attainable for the first few years, but one can dream right?

Over the next week I will be celebrating my accomplishments thus far and fine tuning my direction for the second quarter of 2017.

How often do you review your goals to help stay on track? Once a week? Once a month? Once a quarter?

What goal have you met or worked on this year that has you most excited?


Feature photo by Christopher Campbell

 

18 More Days and Counting

I am hesitant to get excited about spring just yet. Although it will officially be here in 18 days.  I am doubtful that our unseasonably warm weather is here to stay.  I am waiting for old man winter to give us a final blast or two.

wp-1488669102488.jpgWhile I’m waiting I have been planning out my gardens.  I love planting annuals .   I always plant pansies.  I have one from last spring that has managed to survive and is blooming already.  I also love petunias and marigolds.

I had almost no perennials at my old house, but our current home came with lots of perennials.  I am learning to appreciate them.  I used to think perennials were high maintenance and got out of control easily.  Now I have seen the light.  I fell in love with coneflowers last summer.  Although they do require maintenance they are easy because they just come back year after year like magic.  With regular tending hopefully they won’t go wild.

My daughter and I have been playing with some new concrete molds that she received for Christmas along with some of our older molds that we bought last summer.

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Soon to be Painted

We’ve been doing a little painting with our sculptures.  We still have lots more to paint.  We are considering having an event where people can choose a piece and paint it for their own garden.

This year we are planning a fairy garden.  We thought about it last year, but never made progress other than to read some articles.  There is no doubt in my mind that this year we have a sweet little fairy garden.  We have been dreaming of the idea in our minds for almost a year so it should all come together pretty quickly.

If not now, When?  Tweet: If not now, When?https://littlegiftshopoh.com/2017/03/03/doubt

The only thing that concerns me is it is in a high traffic area and right next to the garden hose.  Hopefully it won’t get trampled or squashed.


We also have a tree in our woods that came with some gnomes in it.

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The gnomes we painted to add aren’t to scale with the old ones.  I’m not sure how it will turn out.  Even if it doesn’t exactly match, I think it will be a fun spot to visit on our walks.

Comment below to share your favorite annuals and perennials.   Are you planning anything new in your garden this year?


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Prompt: Doubt

Feature photo by Katherine McCormack

Magic of Love, Part 1

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Some slippery ideas are running through my mind.  Forgive me if they don’t make sense.  I want to try to capture them before I lose them.

According to polling, our readers’ favorite thing to give for Valentine’s Day are dinner and/or candy.  My husband falls right in there with you because he gave me a lovely box of Godiva chocolate.  My daughter sent me a little book of inspiration which I love.

This morning as my younger daughter was padding around getting ready for school her Ursula socks made me smile.  She got them from her grandmother for her birthday recently.  The cool part is that her grandmother didn’t know my daughter had spent the last several months drawing Disney villains.

For Valentine’s Day I gave my daughter a collection of romantic rock-n-roll songs performed by the Vitamin String Quartet.  “I love the Vitamin String Quartet!” she texted me when she received it.  She told me she listened to their music regularly on Pandora.  Hmm.  I didn’t know that.

One of the books I’m reading now is  Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.  My son gave it to me for Christmas.  In it, Gilbert reveals her notion that ideas move among us until they find a person or people who will work with them.  Although it sounds unlikely, I totally agree with her.  I’m perfectly content to accept it as a mystery of life.

I think love moves between us like that as well.  When we love others it allows us to learn the song in their heart.  That is how we hear, “How did you know?” when someone we love opens a gift we’ve picked out for them.  Truth is, I didn’t know for sure, but loving someone helps us make a pretty good choice.  It is a choice to love those who we share our world with isn’t it?  My notion is that love is alive and moves among us.  It is available to all of us if we want to work with it.

My question is does the magic of ideas and love simply happen to us or do we make it happen?

I’ve got to run now, but I’ll try to finish my thoughts in Part 2.