Hello, I'm Back!

After nearly a two week break from the social networking scene, I've been slowly working my way back into being connected again.  First Twitter, then some Facebook and now a new blog post!  

I used my social networking break to catch up on some work and to figure out why I've felt so off kilter for pretty much all of 2011 so far.  And what I've figured out is that I've become too much of a yes girl this year.  I've been saying yes to everything:  new projects, family stuff, friend stuff, projects around my house and whatever else has come along.  No matter what the question, my answer has pretty much been Yes! for 2011.  

The problem with being a yes girl is that eventually you've got so many things going on its not possible to get any of them done.  And that's where I was a couple of weeks ago.  

I had to come to terms with the fact--again--that I just can't do everything.

So I've been working over the last few days to find that delicate balance again, the point where I am happily busy but not ridiculously overwhelmed.  To some extent that means shelving some projects for now, mostly several around the house projects that can be pushed back a few days or a few weeks.  

And it means bringing my focus back to my work. 

In 2011, I've been trying out working with more of a schedule.  I try to not work after 6pm and I try to not work on the weekends.  I've really been keeping up with this goal but I've found that it's having the opposite of the intended effect:  It's made me a feel a bit empty and honestly, it feels a bit like a punishment.  

I love my work and while I don't want to get back in the habit of overworking myself, I am giving myself permission to work whenever I darn well please.

I've learned so far that if I work about 40 hours a week, I have just enough time to keep up with my business--ship orders, answer emails, work on commissions and freelance projects--but I have no time to work on new ideas and illustrations and I end up feeling a bit creatively sort of blah.  So for me, I need longer hours to feel creatively fulfilled.  And I'm ok with that as long as I can still maintain some bit of balance between my work and my friends/family life.  

To that end I've decided to make some changes here on my blog as well.  

*I'm cancelling my 52 Creative Weeks Project.  While, I've enjoyed it immensely, it's just another thing on my already too long to do list for week, so I'm letting it go.  I'll still be posting tutorials and short projects, just not on a weekly basis.  

*I'm planning on sharing more of my illustrating work here.  You'll see lots of new prints, but you'll also see some work that I'm doing for my portfolio, some work I've done for freelance clients and some work that I'm doing just for fun.  I want this blog to get back to focusing on my work, that's why I started it!

Overall, I've enjoyed my little social networking hiatus but I'm happy to be back in the fold.  

*PS--I'll be sending info about a new shop item and a special discount to my mailing list later this evening.  If you're not signed up already, you can click on the Join the Mailing List graphic over on the right to sign up now.