Posts tagged life lately
We're Moving!
 We've been back in Arkansas for a year now. Living on Brandon's parents' farm has been pretty dreamy.  We've made some sacrifices to live here---we downsized our possessions (not nearly enough though), we live in about a 600 sq ft space with no doors or storage, and we've given up some privacy to a degree.  But having a huge garden and orchard outside the front door is wonderful. And it's so peaceful here.  There's a constant choir of birds and frogs, punctuated with the occasional bellow of a cow and the daily chicken clucks.

An incredibly pleasant home environment doesn't make up for what else we're lacking.  I miss the community and friends I had in Springfield.  Living in sleepy Mountain Home is also not helping me grow with business or artistic opportunities very easily.  The opportunities are still coming in, but executing them is much harder.
We weren't actively looking for a place to move, but we knew that we wouldn't stay in Mountain Home for too long. So we've just been a bit open-minded and using this time as a stepping-off point. When we were in Springdale, AR last month, Brandon did a bit a research on local jobs while I taught a workshop.  We've been impressed with the revitalization of that area, and it seems as though we'd fit right in to the local communities. As it happens, Brandon found a job that perfectly embodied his skill set and resume.  He applied, and we waited.  He then interviewed twice and got it!  This was earlier in June, so since then we've been planning the move. 

We really like Fayetteville, so that's where we want to live. For now, we'll be renting a home, but we'll likely search for one to buy after a while.  *Side note-it's not easy to find a rental in a town where you don't live. It's also even harder finding one that will allow one cat and two dogs that are not 25lbs or less. But we finally did, and we officially move this Thursday.  Brandon is excited to start his new job on Monday. And I'm excited to feel like I belong to a community! So here we come, Northwest Arkansas! 
Some News

If you follow me over on Instagram, you've read this news already.  But I need to share here too, because this news will lead to some changes on my blog.  Over the weekend, I announced that I will be working on my fiber art full time starting the end of May. This means I will be leaving my zoo job.  I've worked the last ten years as a zoo educator, and I am so grateful for the experiences, connections and opportunities I have had because of this job.  I've shared my love of animals with countless children and adults. I started a teen volunteer program to allow kids to work with animals and share their passion with others.  I earned a Master's degree in Zoo & Aquarium Leadership.  I've made lifelong friends with coworkers.  I've learned so, so much.

But creating art is my passion.  And now I get to concentrate fully on being an artist.  I am so VERY excited for this new chapter in my life. 

As for my blog, featuring animals has always been a big part of it.  I will be continuing my 52 Weeks of Endangered Animals project. (I am behind, but I'll catch up in May).  My Fur, Feathers & Scales series may not end, but it will be put on hold for a while.  BUT, I do have some other upcoming exciting things to write about, because not only will I be a full time artist, my husband and I are moving back to our home town in Arkansas for a while.  Moving back there is something we never thought we'd want to do.  For many reasons. Some of which I will talk about eventually. But here we are, making the decision to live on my in-laws' land, in a home converted from horse stalls.  Basically, we'll be living in a barn. And we'll have twenty chicken neighbors. And we can't wait to do it!

So with these two MAJOR changes in my life, there will still be plenty stories to be told.  We'll have some barn house renovations to make and lots of farm gardening to do. We'll be making time for outdoor adventures and working on the VW van.  And of course, there is so much wool art to be created. So stick around, friends. We'll have a great time.
Life Lately
The past few weeks have looked like this:

Making products for a local shop, Arts & Letters
Bike commuting to work

Biking for pleasure

Experimenting with wool--this is welsh mountain sheep wool and camel wool

Exploring and having adventures

Making SO many custom portraits

Spending as much time as I can with the husband and pups

These weeks seem to be going by so quickly.  I'm trying very hard to relish the wonderful Fall weather but also practice good time management.  I feel guilty when I'm not spending all my available time on my shop and blog. I'm sure all handmade and small business owners feel this way at some point. It's the time of year when I am so incredibly busy, so I stay up until midnight and feel like I'm wasting time sleeping when I go to bed any earlier.  Then I wake up at six something the next morning and work very hard to be peppy and cheerful for children at my zoo job.  I know this is silly.  I know I need to take care of myself.  Because not only is it my busy season, it's also cold and flu season, and I'm exposed to so much of that through hundreds of preschool kiddos while at the zoo.  Let's just say, my body will be thankful when January arrives.  Until then, I will keep hustling.