Changing of the seasons

Friday, August 9, 2013

If I can figure out how to upload a youtube video I would like to share one of my favorite songs of all time. I don't listen to it everyday but in different stages of life it has played a big role in my life. 

I listened to it non stop the summer of 2003 when I was living in Virginia Beach with Campus Crusade - spending one whole amazing and scary summer in a place where I knew no one. I listened to it during that first summer after graduating college where I was single, living at home, had moved away from the college town where my friends and church were...oh and I was a professional gift wrapper at Macy's wondering what in the heck I was doing with my life (I still love wrapping gifts to this day though). 

I listened to it a few years later when I packed up my room to move into the house Josh and I had bought just before we got married. And last summer I listened to it when I was leaving the full time working world I had known for 8 years, the job I had had for four years to take care of the tiny mini human growing inside of me. 

One of my favorite metaphors for life is seasons. I know I am bringing out the cheese here but this song describes how God's seasons represent different seasons in our life. Seasons without a husband, seasons with JUST a husband, seasons with a newborn, seasons of money, seasons of $5 date nights at Costco, seasons of living in a house, seeing fruit in ministry, not seeing fruit in ministry, friendships, etc.

Two days ago Lila turned 11 months. She is smiling, and clapping, making faces and blowing kisses. At night when I take her into her room she immediately lays her head on my chest and lets me rock her before I put her down. 

I do not want this season to end. But it will. 

Earlier this week a mom stopped by my house to pick up a little vintage treasure for her daughter moving to Texas for college and my heart ached for this mom. Another mom, told me about how sad she was that her kids were going back to school... and my heart ached for this mom. Another mom, expressed sadness over moving from the house she brought her babies home to...and yep, you guessed it, my heart ached.

But then I thought of little Lila. A year ago, I was so sad to be leaving my job and our life with no kids and so much freedom - but the next season brought Lila and our hearts grew fuller than I knew was possible. 

And I thought about the mom with the college girl ...and how much I LOVED college and how exciting that time is for a girl. Choosing a career, decorating a dorm room, making friends, road trips, late night chats with the girls in your hall. 

And I thought about my friend with the kids in school and how fun the school year can be...

And I thought about moving and how hard it is to leave a place - but in the end it is just a place and this world is not our home.  

And in all of this I am reminded to be thankful for God's past faithfulness - because of that we have hope in the future. 

I am not good at wrapping up a post, so I'll just write some of my favorite lyrics from the song. 

"Still I notice you when change begins and I am braced for colder winds - I will offer thanks for what has been and what is to come....And everything in time and under Heaven, finally falls asleep. Wrapped in blankets white, all creation, shivers underneath. still I notice you when branches crack and in my breath on frosted glass - even now in death you open doors for life to enter. You are winter....what was frozen thru is newly purposed it is with you and how you make me new with every seasons change..."

Not the best pic of makeup-less mama here...but this seems to capture the sweetness of the past 11 months:)

Encouragement to my creative peeps

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hello long neglected blog!

I just have so much whirling through my head from this past weekend I thought now would be a great time to write it all down!

This weekend I was a vendor at Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market....I had done a Vintage Market with Junk in the Trunk long ago - well about a year and half ago:) It was a great experience and I learned a ton and that's actually where I met many of my vintage loving friends like the Shabby Junker and Liz from Blue Eyed Owl! 

Shortly after I quit working outside of the home, I decided to jump back in it for this market scene. I knew it would be crazy since Junk in the Trunk has grown SOOOO much. What started in a backyard was now in a huge tent at Westworld with more than 100 vendors and thousands of shoppers! Holy Cow. I felt like this was the big leagues and I. Was. Nervous.

I painted, distressed, waxed, dusted, tagged and packed like crazy to get ready. Like I mentioned on facebook it can be a very nerve wracking experience putting all of your stuff in the public eye with a price tag. Pricing can be a very tricky thing for us vendors and let me tell you why.

One - we are typically thrifty people - so we know what WE would pay for an item. However, we recognize people either 1. don't have time to look for things like we do and 2. people just don't have the eye for things. Totally fine! People are gifted in different ways and sometimes it takes a vendor to show them how something old can look really cool and unique. There is also the work factor. Sometimes we buy a piece and need to sand it, prime it or do something else to it to look cool. Sometimes we need to drive a far distance to get a piece or borrow a vehicle. All of that costs time and money. Which is why if someone offers me $20 for a piece I have marked at $45, I am probably going to say no.

One - the paint alone costs money. Also, I probably spent at LEAST and hour or two preparing the piece and another hour finding the piece - not to mention the original cost of the piece. And then there are booth fees and taxes (yes, as vendors at Junk in the Trunk we pay taxes on items we sell) and setup. Personally, I think all those need to come into account when you are shopping at a vintage market. This isn't a garage sale. This isn't even Goodwill. This is a place where people have put a LOT of work into the pieces in their booth - and personally I think they deserve a decent offer - if not the full price they have the item listed for.

I just write all of this because while 99 percent of my experience at the market was awesome - there were also several offers that came in at HALF of what I had listed during the first twenty minutes of the show. I get it - sometimes I do think pieces can be expensive - and the nature of a market can sometimes be a little bit of a bartering experience - that's totally part of the fun! I totally had a few pieces there that I was happy to take a lower offer on - the vintage clearance rack if you will.

But seeing the behind the scene work that vendors go thru to do something like this is pretty impressive. I am not tooting my own horn here but I am genuinely in awe of my market buddies. They have an incredible eye, they have skills at painting and creating and they have invested their time, money, creativity, gas and husband's muscles to produce pieces that they are proud of.

I had someone offer me a very low amount for a piece that I woke up at 5 am to go get. With a newborn. It was a beautiful piece and I politely declined the offer. Later, someone came by and paid full price. I wasn't super offended by the low offer - I just think we should give ourselves permission to be valued. What you do might not be within everyone's budget and that is ok. I am not looking to get rich here - I just think that people in a creative position have a hard time putting a price on what they do. Let's not get crazy here - but it's hard to even find a globe at Goodwill for $12.

Anyways - these are just thoughts I had as I wrapped up the day. I struggled with pricing my items but I also left feeling good about how the day went and more confident in what I do. I wouldn't have wanted everything to go in the first two hours - that could potentially mean my prices were too low- but I also didn't want to leave with all my stuff - that could mean I priced my things too high.

Overall the market was a huge encouragement. The people who shopped at my booth were so sweet and I loved hearing how they were buying a piece because it was maybe like something they had when they were little. While I thought this might be my last hurrah as Linny Jane - as the market got closer, I realized I can't stop because it is just way too fun for me to not continue.

I leave you with this pinteresting piece of wisdom.....