little fox + opposite of far = love

Opposite of Far is working with Little Fox again for their June subscription pack and I couldn’t be happier with this partnership! Christine of Little Fox had a brilliant idea to offer their subscribers with an extra special, exclusive mask. We decided on the Toucan- quite a challenge for me me at first, I think this mask turned out to be pretty great! The toucans have finally escaped my studio and will be sent out into the world very soon! I can’t wait to collaborate with Little Fox again- they are truly the bees knees!

swimming in toucansOh, and those Little Fox ladies made me blush big time with the sweetest post on the Little Fox Blog! Check out “Who is Opposite of Far”!

Exclusive

IMG_6598celebrating the L A S T . O N E . through the machine!

Advertisements

home studio.

the other day i ran into our sweet old neighbors at the grocery store. we don’t see each other often, but when we do we always share updates and tid-bits about out lives. i have never seen them “in public” before, so the dynamic was slightly off and a little awkward (why is that?). the first thing they asked was “so, kid, when ya goin back to work, huh?” they must know i don’t leave the house often, because my car is almost always in the driveway. i replied by saying “oh! i do work! i just work from home!” i tried to explain what i do, how i spend my days, but they seemed confused. “so, you make crafts….? but when will you go back to work?”

i struggled with this for a long time- feeling like i wasn’t doing enough to justify staying at home to work. i don’t feel like that anymore. i am BUSY! i work everyday, all day- often too long! i do sometimes wish for a studio outside of home, only because it would justify my “job” somehow. it would also force be to be home when my work-day was over. working from home is challenging- not only the part where you have to convince people you actually are working your butt off, even though you don’t leave the house- but also the organization of your day, ignoring the distractions, prioritizing, and giving yourself a break!
i’m finally settling into some sort of routine, after a year of operating Opposite of Far from my little studio down the hall. there are some key “rules” i have set up for myself to keep me on track, because working from home is hard! it’s distracting- it can sometimes be really hard to say no to that couch calling my name!

my tips for working from home:

*my tips/rules may not work for everyone, but they work for me!*

1. set a schedule

– i started with a really specific and structured schedule and realized (after 1 week) that wasn’t going to work for me. i have played with several different types of schedules- doing specific things on the same days each week (didn’t work), allotting time blocks for certain tasks (didn’t work). then i realized having rules, but not being strict with the layout of my day was key. rules such as- shower before 10, get dressed in real clothes, no tv unless my hands are busy, house chores can wait until i’m “off”. this is a schedule i can work with! i need rules, but also flexibility!

2. get dressed. every day.

-for me this is KEY! i make sure i am showered everyday before 10 (giving me time in the morning to have a little breakfast, check my e-mail, etsy shop, facebook and catch up on bogs while still feeling cozy and relaxed).

once i’m showered, i restrict myself from wearing sweats or pajamas. most days i just wear my favorite jeans and a tank or t-shirt but some days i wear a dress or skirt (if i’m feelin’ fancy)! i also put my hair up (or at least brush it!) and wear a little make up and some jewelry. this makes me feel more “work ready”, as if i were leaving the house to go to work. i try to pretend my studio is in the outside world, and so i must get dressed to go to work! this greatly helps my mood and motivation.

3. take breaks.

-just like if i were at a workplace, i take breaks. this could be a break to chat on the phone with a friend, check my e-mail/instagram/facebook/etsy, to sit outside and read a chapter of my book, to stretch or get a snack. sometimes i even use these breaks to wash the dishes or start a load of laundry because sometimes those things wear on me if i know they need to be done. doing them during my breaks allows me to feel relaxed about the house chores without detracting me from work. breaks are important because they keep you going! my fried swears by the pomodora technique.

4. EAT!

it can be easy to stuff your face all day long in order to avoid work, but it’s also easy to forget to eat if you’re on a roll! i have a full 24oz bottle of water on my work table at all times-staying hydrated keeps the headaches and drowsiness at bay. it also keeps me from stuffing my face all day long! 🙂 i often take time to prepare a mindful lunch for myself, i find this to be very important for my personal productivity. i stock the house with things that are quick and healthy to prepare and  snack on so i don’t spend 20 minutes trying to talk myself out of a not-so-great snack or lunch.

*want some lunch & snack suggestions? i’d love to hear yours too! send me a message so we can share!*

5. pick an end time and try to stick to it.

this is hard for me. once i start working it is really difficult for me to stop, especially if i have a stack of orders to finish. sometimes i’m guilty of making a quick dinner then running right back to my studio to work until midnight! these last couple weeks, though, i have been trying to reserve the evenings for relaxing and spending time with mike. i try to wrap up my work by the time he gets home so we can visit, cook dinner, then spend the evening together.

6. keep your area clean & organized!

i have made it a habit to pick up/put away/clean my area every day when i’m finished working. this makes it so much easier to start working in the morning! it also keeps the energy in the room open and creative rather than hectic and restrained. for me this includes being stocked up on all my supplies. if i am running low on something, i put it on my list and purchase it as soon as possible, even if it isn’t something i will need immediately. having what you need on hand keeps your work flowing! i also thrive in “pretty” spaces…or at least spaces filled with inspiration. i love my studio- the light, the colors, the organization, and the inspiration surrounding me! i often take pictures while i’m working because i love my space so much! keep your space beautiful, it’ll make you want to create!

…and some things i need to work on

*i need to get better at treating this as a “real job”…i know, i demand others see this as my real job, but sometimes i talk down to myself and don’t respect my work enough. i’ll have to work on that!

*saying “no” to daily adventures with friends because i really should be working! it’s so hard though, i mean i have the freedom so why not? i just need to moderate the weekly outings a bit better!

*internet distraction. i can spend SO MUCH time “taking a break” without even realizing it! yikes….

*still working on the working 15 hours a day issue…sometimes i just have to!

*****

if you work from home, i hope this helps you! or maybe you already have an incredible balance…how do you do it? any tips you’d like to share with me would be most welcome!

most of all i feel incredibly lucky to be able to do the work i love from the comfort of my home. how cool is that? it was literally a “dream” just 2 years ago, and here i am now, typing this blog post from my couch, in my pajamas! and when i sign off, i’m headed to my little studio down the hall to make masks- lots of them- because people from all over the world want them! pinch me!

roar.

i received very unique request recently: “Can you make dinosaur masks?” a smile spread across my face when i read that. can i? well, sure i can! i am always happy to take on a good creative challenge! this request came from a bride in california. i was so curious about a couple wanting dino masks for their wedding day, i knew there had to be a story there….so, here’s the story:

“We decided on the dinosaur theme because my fiance and I both love them. He’s a science journalist and often writes about them, also he proposed to me in a museum filled with dinosaur fossils. 🙂 Its hard to find dinosaur items that are fun, classy and not tacky, and obviously i’m using your masks as props for the photos – and I think our guests would absolutely love them cuz they are so unique and made from felt too!”

very sweet! and here are the masks i made for tina & her soon-to-be husband: (in their wedding colors, of course!)

i’ll be posting more custom/unique animal masks soon…do you have an animal challenge for me? i’d love to hear your ideas!

days 19 & 20 + a lovely weekend.

this weekend felt all summery & wonderful. it was full of kiddos, friends, planting, sewing, baking, quality time & being outside.

{all my favorite things!}

life is SO good.

all these beauties were growing in our yard!

i was lucky enough to get these two all to myself on saturday! we had a fun trip to the farmers market

lola totally rocks this harmonica. she’s a natural!

i put this *free* compost tea to good use on all my plants!

i helped celebrate a friends marriage in a lovely little wooded nook

i enjoyed quality time with this guy…

…reading in our hammock, side by side (day 19)

also…

day 20. something i can’t live without

and the sun goes down on another great weekend…

did you take full advantage of the lovely weather this weekend?

days 16-18 (and then some).

i have been LOVING this spring. i’m not taking a minute for granted! i’m enjoying filthy hands in feet in the dirt of my garden, eating meals on the porch, open windows, yoga outside in the morning, evenings in the hammock with a good book, pink shoulders and my a tired body (the best kind of tired). i feel healthy, alive and happy. fulfilled. opposite of far is thriving, keeping me busy in my studio every day. lately i have had such a wonderful balance of work, rest & play!

day 16. i’ve been working on 3 books lately. usually this would stress me out, but it’s been nice. reading to suit my mood, or the situation.

day 17. smoothies are my current “kick”, i make myself a different one every afternoon.

{i’m working on a post about all my delicious concoctions!}

day 18. something i made.

{these little dolls have been a long time coming! they are much smaller versions of my near & dear dolls}

wee doll, *first doll*, near&dear doll

{the *first doll* was made for sweet little lola about 2 years ago, from there the dolls just got bigger…and now smaller!}

other *NEW* things happening in the opposite of far studio:

batman & robin dolls for 2 little brothers, wee doll annabell, pig mask, wolf mask, sketches for new masks, super hero masks, circus masks for moskiddos clothing line, wee doll amber, beaver headed to singapore!

{and that lovely plastic lady modeling the new masks? that’s francis simone. she was a birthday gift (#25) from allison}

and here are some more photos of what i’ve been up to:

how are you enjoying the spring? i’d love to know!

april wrap up.

whew. what a busy month. i feel old because i keep hearing myself exclaim about how quickly time is passing these days.

april brought us rain showers and cooler weather (compared to our july-like march). i spent most of the month in my studio and traveling. the traveling was either work or family related and neither trip was all that enjoyable. wait, let me elaborate: the first trip was all the way to chattanooga for a show. the company was fantastic, but the show was so-so. it’s so hard to judge a thing like that, though. did we make a lot of money? absolutely not. did we have fun, meet new people, see a new place? absolutely. it’s all about perception. and that can change by the minute! the second trip was to detroit for a funeral. again, not pleasant, but it really was nice to spend time with extended family we don’t see often. it was also nice to learn more about mike’s grandmother- things neither of us knew. for example, she was a very talented artist! what a pleasant surprise!

and so, our last few days of april were spent recouping, redecorating, and getting back to work.

*since i didn’t post the photo-a-days for the end of april, here you go, my friends*

day 16. dandelions count as flowers.

day 17. something i don’t like…being in a funk.

day 18. prettiest hair ya ever did see

day 19. orange oilcloth on my work table. i love staring at this everyday!

day 20. something i drew.

day 21.

day 22. possibly my favorite purchase ever.

day 23. growing peas.

day 24. every single day.

day 25. i love watching these peonies transform.

day 26. dramatic shot of the wind chime my mama made me.

day 27. obsessed with the chattanooga aquarium building.

day 28. flea marketing with sally.

day 29. pepper plants are anxious to get in the ground.

day 30. the hammock was hanging for 1 day. then the rain came.

**and just in case you missed it, here’s the whole list!**

hair flowers.

i have been making these little flowers for 2 years now. it all started with a little wedding project and morphed into pretty little barrettes that folks go crazy over! i finally took the time to photograph these beauties. i love having them piling up in bowls around my studio (and kitchen, and living room…) they are so bright and cheery!

hair flower bobbies

hair flower mini clips

felt hair flowers on large clips

i don’t post these on etsy because i use so many different fabrics- i like to use remnants, vintage, and re-used pieces, so they aren’t always the same. if you are interested in making a special order (with specific fabrics) or an order of random barrettes, please let me know! they go like hot cakes at shows, so if you make it to one of my shows this summer, be sure to stock up!

i love wearing the mini clips and the bobbies! i find the mini clips are great for pinning back my bangs and adding a tiny bit of color. mini clips are especially adorable on littles, though! the bobbies are great for several hair styles. i like sticking them in my messy buns- they turn a messy do into a fancy do pronto! you can also use them as you would regular bobby pins- to hold hair in place.

i’d love to see how you (or your littles) wear your opposite of far hair flowers!

if you want to order some, e-mail me at oppositeoffar@gmail.com

days 22-27.

see that big knife? we’ve owned it for 2 years but i only recently started using it cause i was afraid i’d cut myself. i’m pretty clumsy.

i cut myself with it the first time i used it.

there was actually no moon on this night, so this moon is a from the 26th.

i love this guy.

oatmeal with fresh strawberries, an orange, and homemade iced coffee. yum.

our car key is massive.

this is in my studio. i love my *new* name!

so, we’re almost through another month of 2012~ i can hardly believe how quickly time goes the older i get. but to keep me motivated and taking pictures every single day, i will be joining in on the photo-a-day fun yet again in april. are you in?

you can check out the list and more at fat mum slim blog!

if you do join in, please leave me your instagram name, or a link to your site! you can follow me here and at @oppositeoffar on instagram!

days 17-21.

more fun photo-a-day’s for you…i look forward to continuing this in april too!

love these little fabric cacti at anthropologie…maybe a project soon?

inspiration corner in my studio. sometimes i just stare at all the lovely things over there

wearing my new silk snail shirt was as funny as this day got

i found this vintage shelf liner a few weeks ago and finally took 10 minutes to put in our bathroom cabinet!

breakfast- berries & green juice…there is so much deliciousness to go along with this lovely weather!

trickster.

march started out warm-ish & spring-ish. but she fools me every single year. i get excited. i put away our winter coats, pack up the sweaters, search out my sandals. then it snows again. this year i started the post-winter purge but stopped myself. i will not be fooled! (really, i was hoping reverse psychology would work on march, but she’s got her own agenda. that march, she’s a trickster through & through!) so this first week of march, i resisted the urge to pack in winter and decided to patiently wait it out a few more weeks. i’m getting smarter! and wouldn’t cha know it, march dumped snow on us last night. i was surprised, but not disappointed, not this year!

so, while you are either enjoying this early march snow-dump or cursing it, you can at least enjoy a few sunny weekend from me!

i bought 20 yards of felt on sunday!

family walk…we like to take the pups to the soccer field so they can run! they end up happy & exhausted!

sunday                                                                    monday

also this weekend:

i found a pretty patch of bright green to enjoy

i cut mike’s hair into a mohawk (then all the way off)

i FINALLY hemmed & hung our new living room curtains (8 months or so after purchasing them!)

and i worked on “masks on a stick” for my wholesale order

(i was extremely productive this weekend, despite the beginnings of a cold! yay for me!)

what did you do this weekend?