Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Your story

I've been loving this quote lately and thought I'd throw it out for discussion among you creative lovelies! 

In what ways do your make your home your story? How do you try to keep that story authentic, when often decorating magazines and advice want to pigeonhole decor style and give it a Name, along with a hefty set of rules, of do's and dont's? 

I believe in the concept of our homes as our story. Do you? From boxes that haven't been unpacked in years, to that quilt that's been passed down, to even that dusty horseshoe that somehow seems beautiful...how does authenticity in our homes tell our truest stories? 

I'd love to hear what you think! 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Word Giveaway!

As I have previously gushed about (and will only continue to do so), the growing success and encouragement of this here little creative venture is solely due to so many of you lovely people out there.

People who follow and inspire on Instagram. People who follow and inspire on Facebook. People who gives hugs and words of encouragement and have celebratory drinks with me in person. People who I know as dear friends, and those whose virtual presence keeps me motivated and inspired and fired up to continue with this crazy thing called Following Your Passion.

Thank you. Thank you all.

In my last post I talked about my Word for the Year: Hustle. It's finally settled in a bit, and I'm sticking with it (by God). I've seen so many other great words out there. And even a few Un-Words. (Read what the Nester has to say about that HERE). All meant to inspire and guide your goals. It's a great idea.

And so, with these two things in mind (gratitude for your presence, and being lead by a word), I bring you the first Hello Little Bungalow giveaway!!

Get your bootys over to our Facebook page, give us a warm back-scratching "like" and tell us what your Word (or Un-Word) of the Year is and why. I'm going to randomly pick a winner from all the posts and make you your very own reclaimed wood sign, with your Word on it, as a very small little gesture of much grander thanks.

I'd love for you to SEE your word daily. For it to lead you this year. And I'd feel honored to make it.

So, go like and comment. I can't wait to see where our words lead us!


Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Birds the Word

So, I've noticed quite a bit around the interwebs that many bloggers are deciding upon their "word of the year" for 2014. I've seen it listed as your One Little Word (#olw). The word that you choose to channel your energies and focus into for the coming year. A word perhaps that motivates you, or inspires you. One that you want to live into, or set your goals upon.

I'm more of a phrase-girl than a one-word-girl, but I like the idea all the same. So I pondered for awhile. Tried to let the word come to me instead of forcing it. Tried to feel out what word would encompass my goals for the year. Which word I like the feel of. Like trying on a new dress that instantly makes you stand straighter, and aligns both your posture and attitude for great things.

Then I came across this:

And it felt right.

And like that new dress (which would have to be red, by the way), I wore it around for awhile. Thought about it in relation to myself. To my goals. Let it roll around in my mouth a little; the sound of it. The cadence. (Cause really, I am a word-nerd).

I like how it feels like action. Working what you've got. Using your talents. Chasing your dream. Making things happen and not being idle. I like that it feels like the next step for what I want, and need to do to make my personal and professional goals happen this year. It feels like where things have led me at this point. To a point of getting myself out there. Challenging myself. Less planning and more doing.

And like any good word-nerd I went to look up the definition.
And there was my blunder.

Because the old school definition of Hustle is a bit sleazy. A bit deceitful feeling. Like swindling. Trickery. Perhaps achieving ones goals by whatever means necessary, which obviously, is not at all what I'm about.

But I feel like the "modern" definition Hustle is quite different nowadays. I see it written as a motivational message all over the place, used by people that I admire from a business standpoint.

So this is my question: Has the word Hustle changed? Do you see it as still tied to it's slightly self-serving roots, or do you feel like it embodies a new type of  "get up and go" that's positive and "go get'em-ish?"

All in all, I ultimately believe I can define MY word however I see fit, but I'm still curious as to your thoughts. Am I picking a loaded or confusing word??

Speak up, buttercup. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hot Damn Pixie Dust

I'm a sucker for a new year.

As a school employee I get the joy of experiencing a "new year" each August. A chance to start fresh. New students. New notebooks and a box of my favorite pens. New work ambitions and goals.

And then there's the actual start of the New Year. Seasons ebb and flow into one another and suddenly January 1st rolls around with all it's promise and hopes for something new. And again, I am sucked right in, believing deeply that we all need time to purposely make plans and set goals, and see how we are working towards things we value. Time to reflect on where we've been, what we've learned, and what we've become in the hilly process.

(I'm a Thinking- Feeling-Analyzing dork like that).

These brief few whirlwind months with Hello Little Bungalow have lit my creative fire. The more I've tapped into that creativity, the more it's inspiring effects have trickled this magic into all areas of my life. A bit of hot-damn pixie dust, if you will (yay for HDPD!)

As I paint and sand, I feel artistically satisfied in creating something tangible. The process of physically working makes me feel more relaxed, mentally and otherwise. Diving into one creative idea creates more of them. Conversing with creative people fuels a like-minded passion. And propels the cycle to continue. Creating. Brainstorming. Conversing. Creating. Over and over.

And I soak up every second of it. Hungry for more.

And so the newness of the year leads me to attempt to pinpoint goals in an arena I never have before: this creative little venture. What new projects will Hello Little Bungalow take on? How will I grow in the ones I've started? What have I learned so far, and in what ways would I like to challenge myself? How do I push past my comfort zones, tap into new areas, and in essence, GROW. Grow this business, grow my abilities, grow my bravery. Grow myself.

It's a forward-thinking time of the year. I visualize arrows launching and seeds germinating under winter soil, preparing to spring forward. Opening doors. Always moving forward. Letting passion lead the way.

What are you moving towards this year? What's your Hot-Damn-Pixie-Dust? :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Less House. More Home.

Many of you who know me have gotten caught up in this conversation with me, as it's something I've been thinking about/ working on/ embracing/ struggling with for a few years now.

Coming up on 3 years ago we moved into our current, sweet 1928 bungalow home. It sits right off Main Street in a quaint, neighborly small southern town, right on the cusp of a cool, hipster city. We love having access to both: the amazingness that is Asheville, while embracing small town life. My oldest child can walk to his school. Firemen literally stop to get cats out of trees (I've seen it with my own eyes). And our downtown parades involve everything from the high school marching band, to Uncle Billy's lawn mowing/lawn racing tractor.

Neighbors know one another. Everyone walks. Kids scamper in and out and around each others homes no matter what the season. And they are cared for and watched after by a village. A community in the best sense of the word.

As are the adults. Potluck parties and holiday socials. Casseroles and cards upon hearing of sickness or struggles. Mama's nights out, walking together to the corner wine shop when we're all at our wits end. Checking up on each other. Supporting one another. Growing together.

And here sits our house. Our bungalow. All 1650 square feet of it. With it's era-appropriate creakiness and original glass paned windows. A wide front porch that feels like it's own room (and often is), having hosted ice cream socials and bike pedaling lessons and and late night beer drinking.

We purposely downsized to have all of this, even though our house is small by most American standards. And with two rambunctious boys, it can often feel smaller. Noises echo. Voices carry. Storage is minimal. When a room is in even slight disarray, it's glaringly obvious. When any of our family of four needs a place to retreat, the only semi-safe bet is the bathroom (and don't think you won't be spied upon through the old key-hole and timed for "lollygagging".)

And I can sometimes (well okay, often...) be heard talking about plans for house renovations. Bumping out walls. Adding on space. Buying new furniture. Reconfiguring and readjusting our little bungalow. Stretching it's limits. Maybe in ways that after awhile I realize are not part of the smaller living mindset that I have wanted. That I do want. For myself and our family. Even if I sometimes have to challenge myself to embrace it.

And so, our house then becomes more than a house...it becomes a home. A home which encompasses the neighborhood. The neighbors. The community. Shared driveways and front yards and tree swings. It's easy for many of us to get caught up in More. In Bigger Equals Better. Lord knows, I struggle with it.

But I love what my bungalow makes me realize time and time again: That small homes do create close families. That small neighborhoods do foster real community. And that living in a "fishbowl" (as we sometimes lovingly refer to our open-windowed house in the middle of a busy street) helps us really see each other (just hopefully not naked through my neighbors eyes).

I repeatedly embrace the Bungalow. And I appreciate the Bungalow embracing, and reminding me, what's important.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

I Know You Are, But What Am I?

"When did you first know you were an artist?"

That's the question that has been twirling around in my head for some time.

Along with, "What actually is an artist?" Should it be capitalized, as in a title of sorts. As in "Artist?"

To be an artist does one have to make a living making or producing something that they then sell for monetary means? Does it mean you are high up on the rung of creative persons, always brimming with original ideas? Is artistic the same as creative? What's the difference in Art and Craft? Where's the distinction?


I've always known that I enjoyed artsy-things. Colors.  Patterns. Words. Photography. Dance. The subtleties that color life more richly. Even in my profession as a counselor, I am drawn to ranges of emotion. The rawness of it, at times. I like the way light dances and curves and shifts as much as I do the texture and scent of old wood. I like to note the wide range of octaves that just one person's laugh can embody. Or the subtle way a new haircut can change the way someone carries themselves.

My husband jokes that I'm a seasonal person. Red wine and soup in colder months. Chili being strictly forbidden in the summer, in exchange for cold bottled Coronas and anything that smells like sun-kissed sun feels. There's sweet marrow in the details.

And yet,  although I have this geeky knowledge of myself, coupled with the belief that we are truly all artists in one way or another (you Cake-Baker, Child-Raiser, Plant-Waterer, Joke-Teller you!)...I have never thought of myself as AN ARTIST.

When my father noticed my posted question, he replied that he knew he was an artist at age 10. My father works on cars and engines for a living. Tweaking them, making them faster and more efficient. Getting his hands covered in grease and developing new ideas. And even he acknowledges that that itself is art.

And then I began here. Dabbling in painting furniture. Stenciling numbers up my stairs. Rearranging furniture and creating seasonal displays and completely realizing how much I loved it all. How the more I did it, the closer to myself I became. How the often heady-head shushed itself when my hands were working, and simply went with the flow.

The invitation to participate in an upcoming holiday craft fair arrived. And there was (and IS!) a deadline. A reason to not neglect creating. A purpose for challenging myself creatively and diving headfirst into...dare I say it again...ART! So I created this little space. A name. A logo. I got business cards and am narrowing down my display ideas. And while it is overwhelming and scary, and I have every normal doubt that is both human and heady, it feels freeing in ways I cannot describe.

It feels like this little burning ember down inside my soul just said, "Finally, woman! How long did it take you to acknowledge my presence?! To pay attention to me! To give me a name!"

I think I'm an artist.
I am an artist.
And so are you.