Sunday, January 27, 2013

A peek behind the scenes at Glitterfarm

Big families mean big noise and big fun at get togethers. While I'm an only child, my mom is one of five, so with my aunts, my uncle, and a zillion cousins, it seems we've always got a reason to get together. Sometimes we even make up reasons.

Like this past weekend, for example. My husband ("Mr. Glitterfarm"), who does the marketing for our business, asked me if I could get some models for the new tee shirts we designed. We needed pictures, and we needed them fast! I sent an SOS to my family: HELP! Pretty please? I had my yeses within a few hours!

The day of the shoot, Mr. Glitterfarm loaded all the gear into the minivan, and the six of us piled in for the short drive out to my mom's house.

My mom lives in a little adobe my great grandmother built in 1950. It's nestled among the golden hills and scrub oak of Central California's Huasna Valley, and decorated with the treasures she's found in her years as a vintage collector (they used to call this "a junker"). This makes her yard perfect for lots of our photo shoots. (See also here and here.)

This time, our shoot would be on my grandfather's property, just up the hill. We picked two locations, both cowboy-era buildings that my grandfather had moved from town and reconstructed on his property in the 60s and 70s (more about this "building collection" in another post.)

Location one for our Glitterfarm Tee Shirt photo shoot: "The Barber Shop," complete with an old barber's chair inside!

Location 2: behind "The Opera House," a saloon-style building with a big dance floor inside and a huge barbecue outside.

As we tried to get the lighting right, my girls snuck into all the pictures they could. My boys, generally bored with photos, were running around with their bb guns shooting "away from people and houses," as instructed (fingers crossed...)

My littlest loved posing with the ladies.

Soon, a white truck rolled up the dirt road in a cloud of dust and pulled up to the shoot. Out hopped my models: my mom, aunt Sarah, aunt Kate, and my cousin's friend Ellie, all dressed in cute jeans, cute shoes, and lots of bling (we are Glitterfarm girls after all!). Sure, we got a lot of great pics, but I think I enjoyed the laughter and conversation more.

After the shoot, my mom hosted a barbecue on her back patio. We piled our mismatched, vintage plates with ribs and organic greens, plunked down in an assortment of brightly painted chairs, and chatted and laughed into the twilight.

On the drive home, my mister and I chuckled about how different "working on the weekend" is for Glitterfarm, compared to his previous corporate job. We also talked about how blessed we are to have a big family that's so supportive of my Glitterfarm dream.

(PS The last day to order those shirts is Jan. 31, so head on over to this link if you want one : )

My mom's yard adorned with "found objects." Always a fun backdrop for Glitterfarm. The house is built from the same adobe bricks you see here.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Running a home and a business without running

Running an online business and a home, while keeping four kids fed (and clean) is a lot! I know many of you are doing the same. 

This is the time of year when everyone talks about goals, and I'm no different. I know I'm not alone in needing -- but generally hating -- the planning session, so we try to make it fun.

Since Mr. Glitterfarm comes from the corporate world, he calls our meetings  "off sites," which looks like this:

  • Meet at a coffee shop (The dining room table is (a) boring, and (b) often sticky courtesy of my 4-year-old or my craft projects).
  • Lots of papers, a clipboard or two, and a laptop/iPad.
  • Coffee and muffins
We try to have these offsites four times a year to talk about our business, our family, and our marriage.

When we walk out, we have a penciled road map and know at least the direction we want to go. I find this so helpful and freeing. I really like a road map. It makes me feel more at peace knowing where we are going. And getting there from a coffee shop is a lot nicer than from my crazy home.

What are your strategies for moving forward on goals? Any tools you recommend to stay sane and stay focused? Let me know in the comments.

xoxo Jenny

P.S. Sally Loo's is the coffee shop of choice here in San Luis Obispo for our offsites. If you're ever in town, stop by for a treat. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

What makes your heart flutter?

Source: The SoHo
Something I learned this past year is that sometimes the "small" moments in life are the most meaningful.  I have decided I need to start — just start — blogging again. I launched my blog back in…I can't even remember when…but it really never got out of first gear.  So…I resolve to make 2013 more consistent in my blog, and more of a journey of discovery for me (and by extension, you).

2012 was filled with joy and sorrow, and while I love to share my passion for decorating, I also  feel it is so important to talk about what's in my heart.  So, this post is the first step on that  journey. I have lots of adventures planned for my family this year, and I invite you to come along. It will be fun and, like all matters of the heart, sometimes messy, but still so worth it.

While my hubby and I are working diligently to grow our Glitterfarm business, I'm also discovering the artist inside me, and taking steps to draw her out. This past year I have taken some online art classes, experimenting and learning mostly what my heart and soul have to say.

It's a work in progress, and now that Christmas is over, the artist and mother in me is in planning mode. I'm already thinking about Valentine's day and my craft show calendar. Nothing is in stone yet, but I have a few ideas.

Will you join me?