Thursday, May 31, 2012

What's in a Name

You may be wondering how my blog got it's name.  Or maybe why I even have a blog.  Or why I started one now. 

When I first decided to leave my teaching career to go back to school, I was talking to my friend Julie, and she told me there are lots of graphic designers on Etsy.  I had never heard of Etsy before!  So I immediately looked it up and have been hooked ever since.  (Thanks, Julie!)  It's this amazing online marketplace for handmade goods.  You can check it out for yourself here. 

I began reading the forums, browsing through shops, and learning about successful sellers in the "Quit Your Day Job" blog series.  I started thinking, I want to do this, but I knew I needed to learn more about how to make it work for me.  I found these two books and read them both cover to cover!

Mom, Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco & Cat Seto can be found here.
How to Make Money using Etsy by Timothy Adam can be found here.

Both books recommended starting a blog to accompany your small business, and so here I am!  My Etsy shop is in the works, and I hope to open by the end of the summer!   

As for my name, I knew I wanted it to be unique.  Something fun and memorable, but meaningful.  I came up with Boju, which is a combination of my parents' names. 

In a way, Boju is me!  I love the way it sounds, and it makes me feel happy. 

So, here I am, beginning my new life.  It feels pretty amazing.  I never, ever would have imagined I'd be doing ANY of this right now.  I thought I'd be a teacher until I retired.  But I totally changed the course of my life.  I have always loved and appreciated art, and now I'm loving creating it.  I am so excited to learn and do more, and I have so many dreams for Boju in the future!

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

One Sad Garden

This was our garden on Monday morning.  How sad is that?  Thank goodness for the flowering bushes and nice green hostas that have survived in spite of my neglect. 
And yes, those are mums from October that I never took out of the plastic pot. 

We decided it was time to help this garden out of it's rut.  So we journeyed to the greenhouse and came back with these lovely additions.   

We went with lots of new flowers this year! Exciting stuff.

Can I just say that I really really really... really... don't like gardening.  I want so badly to enjoy it, but I just don't.  When we moved into our new house, I was thinking, "Yes, this is it!  In my new life, I'm going to be an amazing homemaker and gardener!"  Well... I did plant the garden last year, and I took pretty good care of it, but it's definitely not at the top of my "I really like this" list. 

I should be embarrassed that I just left all the dead flowers there all winter, right?  And all spring?  That's not normal, is it? 

Anyhoo, we fixed her up all nice and pretty on Monday afternoon.  But then before I could snap an after picture, this happened.

And this.  Yes, it hailed. 
Was the hail really necessary?  I was pacing around inside like a crazy person, asking Andy if we should go put an umbrella over the little helpless flowers.  It's because we have this gutter problem, and all the rain loves to pour over the edge at this one corner.  Last year, one of the hostas got a little beat up.  We aren't sure if it was because of the rain always pouring right on top of it, or if it was a rabbit. 
Do rabbits eat hostas? 

Well anyways, the little troopers survived the storm and are still looking great!  So finally today I was able to get a good picture.  And here she is! 

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

These Things I Love

In March, Andy and I decided to take the plunge and go to Europe for vacation.  In Switzerland, we found these gems, and just couldn't pass up the little guys.  Okay, it was just me who couldn't pass them up. 
So they came home with us. 

  It all started with the one with cats.  I mean, come on, it's two cute kids eating chocolate and surrounded by cats!  How could we I resist?

Just getting the one cat card would have just been ridiculous... we needed more!  So I picked a few more with "chocolate" and/or "animal" themes.

In a variety of colors, of course. 

Anyways, I just thought I would share, because they make me smile.  

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Wreath DIY

So yesterday I caught the craft bug.  I was browsing Michaels for canvases for another project I had in mind, but found myself in the wreath aisle.  I've been meaning to make a spring wreath since I took down the winter one, in, oh, you know, February.  So, while spring has all but passed us by, I decided to make a pretty summer wreath! 

Here's what I bought:                                                              
Straw wreath                                                                          
Roll of burlap                                                                          
Letter H                                                                                    
And here's what I already had:
Needle and thread
Paint and paintbrush
Hot glue gun

First I wrapped the wreath in burlap.  I started by pinning it into place on the backside with sewing pins, and then wrapped it around, overlapping as I went so there was double thickness all around.  When I got back to where I started, I wrapped it around tightly a few times to get it straight and then pinned it into place again on the back.  I wondered about the pins, but they seemed really secure so I was happy with that.  I may go back and hot glue it as well.

Next I gathered all sizes of round things I had on hand, traced them, and cut them out.  The circles aren't perfect, but I think that adds to the charm!

To make the flowers, I put several circles of felt together with a button on top and sewed the button on by hand through all the layers.  I made some large, medium, and small flowers.

 I also painted the letter H with some light gray paint that we had left over from a sample jar.
Once I had everything ready, I arranged and rearranged it all on the wreath until I liked the way it looked.  I thought the felt flowers were too flat by themselves, so I overlapped them slightly to make the ends press upward.  It wasn't exactly what I had imagined, but I liked that effect, so I went with it.  Then I hot glued everything into place.

For the tie at the top, I folded a strip of burlap in thirds and topped it with a ribbon, then sewed it all together at the end after it was around the wreath.  To hang it, I cut a small notch in the back to slip over our hanger. 

I'm really happy with how it turned out!  I think the bright colors in the flowers work for summer, and the burlap will still look nice into the fall season.  Oh, and the best news of all, it only cost about $16!  Love!

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

This Feeling

Last night as I was falling asleep, I had this feeling.  This buzz inside of me. 

After a few minutes, I realized what it was.  A perfect mix of contentment and excitement.
And a little hope and love, too.  Oh, and happiness.  Pure happiness.
Contentment about recent decisions I've made and the job I've done as a teacher for five years.
Love for my husband, family and friends.
Hope for my future.
Happiness from the combination of it all. 
But most of all, excitement.  Excitement to fall asleep and begin a new day.

Not because anything great was going on today.  No vacation, no plans, nothing special.
It was just excitement about life. 
My life.

When I woke up this morning, my husband, still groggy and about to fall back asleep said to me,
"First day of the rest of your life."

And it's true.  Yesterday was my last day of being a teacher.  For five years, I've always had this internal continuous countdown going on.  Counting the hours or minutes until school was over, the hours until I had to wake up and go to work, the days or weeks until summer was over and school started again.  Today was my first day of being free of that feeling.  And wow it feels good.

I'm going back to school to be a graphic designer.  It's something I've always loved, but never thought about doing as a job.  I was a teacher and that was it.  There were many parts of my job that I loved.  Parts of my job that I will miss immensly.  But it was also hard.  I started feeling like I needed to make a change for myself.  I'm so glad I realized that.  I'm so glad my husband and family are supporting me through this change.  Wow.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.  Cliche, but so, so true.  And I couldn't be happier.

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