Powerful Thumbs (and fingers)

We all like doing good things.

We all like hanging out with fun people.

Here in Northwest Arkansas, these two things have come together for #NWArkCares.  I’m part of the Northwest Arkansas Bloggers.  We write about all kinds of things and have so many great people in the group.  My gal pal, Jacqueline Wolven had the idea that maybe we could use our collective voice and social media power to increase awareness of a different issue each month.  Thus #NWArkCares was born!

September is Literacy Month and we have some great organizations and campaigns in our area that are trying to help people with their literacy, thus increasing their capacity for education, independence and success.

My daughter and I did a little late-summer cleaning and ended up with a couple of bags of books.  Thanks to my friend and fellow blogger Talya Boerner, we were able to contribute to the Free Little Library program.

  

The Ozark Literacy Council is a local organization that works, on so many fronts, to improve the area’s literacy.  They have been increasing the number of Little Free Libraries, thus improving access to books.  Check out some of the great designs from local architects: Ozark Literacy Council.

So, join us and the rest of the #NWArkCares crew and help promote literacy in your community.  Some ways you can help:

  • Educate yourself about the issue and find out about groups that are doing good work in your area.
  • Volunteer!  These groups need volunteers.  School reading programs need volunteers.  Local shelters need volunteers.
  • Financially contribute.  Put your money where your mouth is.  Maybe your neighborhood needs a Little Free Library.
  • Read!  Read all the time.  Read in front of your kids and to your kids.  Recommend books to friends and coworkers.  Encourage, challenge.  Make us all better.
  • Go be awesome!

Enjoy the second half of September!

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Be Awesome…Go Do Something!

I like to think I’m a funny person. I have dreams of a second career in stand-up and motivational speaking. But alas, what pays the bills right now is the responsible, commercial banking gig. A lot of funny stuff happens to me all the time, but I have to keep it to myself.

So, that leads to producing funny, somewhat punny memes with the photos I find on my phone when I’m trying to clear up memory space.

With the new year, I want everyone to figure out what they want and go be awesome. Stop sitting around, bitching on Facebook about all the things that are negative in your life (that you have control over) and just go DO SOMETHING! I’m not talking about starting new multi-million dollar companies (although I do see that happen more frequently than you’d think), but just something good.

Just pick something.
Do it.
Fail or be less than average at it.
Do it again.
Get better.
Ask for support.
Do it again.
Be awesome.

I’ll also just throw this out there: If you are an entrepreneur or solicit your professional services and your public/social media presence is filled with negativity, you are detracting future customers/clients/employers/employees. Those folks want to work with positive people who get their sh*t done, not complainers and excuse-makers. They want to work with the awesome people.

So, go be awesome. I can’t wait to hear what you do!
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The Next Betsy Johnson

The kid loves to create. She makes a lot of things (apple doesn’t fall far from that tree). She has also been unfortunately conditioned to think that my sewing studio is a place that churns out finished product at a moment’s notice. She makes many requests for clothing, accessories, etc. Very few of these ideas ever get past the drawing board (mommy likes to sew what she wants, when she wants…it’s therapy). This has been causing the kid some frustration and I have been encouraging her to take matters into her own hands. What has come of this, has been really fun to watch. Organically draped and hand-stitched couture designs. Incorporation of all kinds of materials and methods. I try very hard to not qualify the product, but the effort that she is putting into it. It’s really great to see her work out challenges with math, physics, and language, as well as develop her opinion about aesthetics and function.
A project from last week:
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When it came time for a Halloween costume, she said she wanted to be a witch. I wasn’t super-excited, but then I decided that a witch was better than a princess because at least it’s a profession (I’m not a princess-hater and Queen Latifah is one of my favorite people, but raising a girl in the Disney princess day and age can be a challenge). I told her to sketch out the costume idea and we would work on it together. Here is her sketch:

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Pretty good, huh? She’s in kindergarten and not yet a full-fledged reader, but they are already journaling and writing. I love the way she was labeled the different elements.
We worked on the costume together and here is the finished product:

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Here she is with her best bud:

IMG_4400.JPG (Check out more of these crazy two over at Musings of Motherhood)

This kind of creating does come with a price. Listen up Pinterest Moms: the finished product looks like crap (see this post’s first photo). They are kids. If the kiddo is going to do the project themselves, it’s not going to be to your standards. That’s ok. Let them do it, let them color outside the lines and hot glue stuff to themselves. You may lose a couch cushion or two, but your kid won’t be paralyzed at the thought of a blank canvas. I’ve hosted a lot of adult craft parties (not parties for kinky crafts, just adults making crafts) and I’m always dumbfounded by the number of adults (especially women) that say, “I’m not creative. I have no idea what to do. Can you just make it for me and put my name on it?” Argh!!!! Pick up the scissors and damn glue stick and get in there! It’s not a heart in a cooler. No one is going to die. Just start cutting! Anyway, I digress.
Creating with the kid is fun. It’s not always relaxing, but I can see her mind at work and her excitement.

It makes me happy.

It’s live!

I’ve told myself that I would do it for months.  I finally got my stuff together at a recent retreat with some friends and invested the time to start the new blog.  I still have my Tall Boots and Big Girl Panties blog, but I don’t expect to be over there much now that I’m not in the middle of breast cancer recovery.

I’m not sure what this blog will develop into, but it will be me and my voice and things I enjoy.

Welcome!