5 Ways Blogging Can Change Your Life

It all started in March of 2008 in a small apartment in Lubbock, TX, sitting on a little red couch dreaming about possibilities as I started blogging for the first time. That's where blogging started for me. It took me by surprise and it took me on an amazing adventure! I'm getting all nostalgic, but what I need to tell you, my dear readers, is that I'm taking a step back from blogging. This is my last post for now, so I want to make it count. I want to share with you a few steps for how to let blogging change your life like it did mine.

1. START before you're ready. 
If you are hesitant about starting a blog, let me suggest one thing... just do it! I know your banner isn't as cool as you wanted and you're not sure your photos are edited right, but if you keep waiting for the perfect moment it will never arrive. Be honest. Be real. Start where you are with what you have and work your way to where you want to be. Once you start writing and sharing photos you'll find your unique writing voice and the special way you take pictures! Blogging has taught me this lesson, but it applies in so many areas. Meet up with someone and start a friendship, try a new recipe that looks difficult, plan a trip to a new place. You never know what could happen and you'll wish you'd already started! 

2. Remember Blogging is a "Jumping off Point"
Blogging isn't only about blogging, it's a jumping off point for so many amazing opportunities. Because of blogging I've had the opportunity to interview some of my favorite artists, writers and business owners and even meet some of them in person! I've had the opportunity to work with some of my favorite brands and support amazing causes. Sharing photos of my paintings on my blog allowed me to gain new clients that I never would have met otherwise!  I love that blogging gave me the opportunity to write this column in Artful Blogging and do so many other amazing things. Blog because you love it, but be on the look out for new opportunities too!
3. Learn to SHARE your life with others (on and off screens).
Blogging means putting yourself out there in a new way. Sharing little bits of your everyday life online is an amazing feeling, but it is also a lovely tool to teach us to share life off-line. Share your story, perspective and ideas with those around you and build friendships with the people you do life with. Blogging friends are amazing but they can never replace the ones who are there for you in person. 
4. Keep your PRIORITIES straight.
Blogging takes a lot of time, doesn't it? There's time spent coming up with topics, researching ideas, trying out DIY projects, taking photos, editing them, writing content, formatting posts, adding links, etc. It's amazing, rewarding and it's so fun, but sometimes it can become overwhelming and demanding. There were times when I felt like I HAD to finish a post each day! Remember, hearts come before screens. Remember that your family and friends are more important than making sure your daily post is ready and perfect. Be honest with your readers and honest with yourself about what works for you so that you can keep your priorities straight. 

5. Let CREATIVITY spill into every area of your life.
I started blogging as a painter wanting to share a "behind the scenes look" at my work. Eventually I added a few sewing projects and recipes I'd tried, and my very first attempt at gardening. I discovered that creativity can be part of everything in life. I wasn't limited to being creative on a canvas. I could also be creative with cooking, writing, gardening, sewing, photography, even my blog layout! Let blogging show you that being creative is a lifestyle.

I'm still sharing my creative life through "Insta-blogging" (@specsandwings) as it fits my life best at the moment, but blogging will always hold a special place in my heart because of all that it has taught me. I may get back to blogging eventually, but for now, I wanted to leave this space with some of my favorite blogging lessons learned. So, here I am again, in 2015, writing on my little red couch. It can be hard not knowing exactly what the next step is or what the rest of the journey will look like, but I'm still dreaming about possibilities! Thanks for reading my articles and blog posts. I have loved sharing with you!  


Back in the Studio

Thanks you guys for all of your sweet encouragement since my last post! I'm so blessed to have such a beautiful tribe! I'm back in the studio and excited to be painting again. I'm starting small so I've been doing watercolors on paper. This one was really a surprise so I thought I'd share a little bit of the story behind it.  

This year, the word that God has put on my heart is "Connection" as in (genuine friendships). I really want to focus of building true connections so I want to study what God says about relationships in His Word. I came across this verse in my Instagram feed... 

"Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice." Proverbs 27:9

Love these beautiful words, don't you? So, I started off thinking about a smell that I'm just nuts about... and I am recently all into lavender. So I took my pencil and started drawing a bundle of picked lavender.. then I realized that this image wasn't very realistic for me, so I went to my kitchen window seal and grabbed my crazy, hairy, lavender plant. (It smells divine!) I took a big whiff an started over.

This time I painted not only what I saw, but what I SMELLED. This is a new experience but I decided to add the bright bleeding colors around the image of my favorite potted plant as an expression of fragrance. I wanted to be reminded of the rich smell of lavender when I see this painting and also of the precious pleasantness of my friends' heartfelt advice! 

I love the new freedom I'm finding in the studio.. thanks for letting me share!

If you're interested in purchasing this painting or any other painting in my new paper painting series, please visit this link... www.specsandwings.storenvy.com ....they are $10 each!

More adventures soon!


It's Time- to Start Again

In so many ways, it's time. Time away from this place was such a blessing and to any of you who still follow my blog, thank you for your patience and prayers. Truly. God moved in my heart to let go and make some changes so I'm back and excited! There are lots of things to share, but since this is my first post back, I want to keep it simple.

For me, it's time to start again, start over, refresh, be inspired, and be brave in a new way. Anyone else need a fresh start? Let's do this together.

I'm back in the studio too, but starting smaller and in a much truer place for me. I'll be sharing some new paper paintings on Instagram and in my shop!

More soon! If you're still out there, send a hello! :) specsandwings@gmail.com or on insta @specsandwings


Time to Refocus

Hello my sweet readers!
With some changes happening over here at Specs & Wings, I wanted to let you guys know that I'm planning to take a little time away to refocus. What does that look like? Well, it will be a bit of time for me to take a break from blogging and running my shop to spend time with the Lord and refocus my heart. (There will probably be some painting involved too!).

Thanks for being understanding and supportive. I appreciate your prayers and encouragement and I'm excited to see what God will do!!

Until my next post.... I would love to connect with y'all, my sweet readers! What is blogging without community?! I'd love to get to know you (or re-connect if I already know you!) So, I would REALLY love it if you could please email me here: specsandwings@gmail.com and let's be friends!

I can't wait to hear from you!


Link Love Friday!

(by Annie Barnett, found on Nesting Place Blog)

Well, every year my work place hits a really crazy time of year so I have to slow down with blogging a little bit. Thankfully, that season has recently ended and I feel a rush of relief and energy that I haven't felt in weeks!  One of my favorite posts to share with y'all has always been "Link Love"with the things that are inspiring me around the web! I'm hoping start sharing these types of posts every Friday starting today! Thanks for bearing with me my sweet readers!

Enjoy your weekend and if you get a change, sip on your cinnamon tea while checking out my favorite links...

I absolutely love this post about saying "no" in order to say "yes".... has me thinking about what I'd want in my "no/yes" lists....

Interesting article on How To Build Your Creative Tribe. Do you have one?

A great checklist before hitting "publish" on your blog.

Need some conversation starters over Thanksgiving dinner? Love this cute napkin!

DIY Thieves soap and cleaners from my friends at Going Granola!

One of my new favorite bloggers is featured in a magazine and sharing her story here.

Hope you all have an amazing weekend! Share your favorites in the comments!


Painting Pumpkins!

Thanks for bearing with me through a season when it was pretty quiet on the blog! I'm excited to be back with y'all today to share a new painting for fall... none other than these sweet little pumpkins! Am I the only one who gets a bit giddy when I see pumpkins arrive each year? They remind me of a time to stay warm indoors, have coffee talk with friends, spend time baking in the kitchen, and dwell on the beauty of the Lord. What does this time of year remind you of? I'd love to hear, share with us in the comments! 


Around the Web & Settling In

So....  I had my very first won-ton in high school at a Chinese buffet. It was probably my favorite thing there! Ever since I'd searched for a cream cheese won-ton and only found savory ones. But guess what I found?!? ......Homemade (Baked!) Cream Cheese Wontons! Problem solved.

A cool way to store books. Would you ever store your favorite reads by color?

I am all for any hairstyle that looks amazing and is actually effortless. Must try soon!

Color is so powerful and we don't even notice! Check out what colors mean when they are chosen for a logo. Anything surprise you?

17 Healthy Pumpkin Spice Recipes (That Pumpkin Cinnamon Mug Cake has my attention!)

But on that note... Is a microwave really safe? Here's an interesting article.

Healthy Snacks in Mason Jars.... so cute! I should totally prep some of these for work and home!

Love this Cleaning Checklist! I may need to print one and put it behind glass so I can use a dry-erase marker to check things off... cute huh?

This simple life-hack for peeling mangoes!

I'm ALL about a cheese plate so this DIY "Perfect Fall Cheese Platter" has me drooling. Yum. Ever wonder how to put one together? This is great!

Oh the beauty of each of these 19 Statement Making Frames! Which would you choose? I like that 3rd row from the bottom quite a bit!

I know I've been rather quiet here on the blog lately, but I am very much enjoying some down time. I've settled into this season (my favorite!) and not pushing so hard. If you get a change to click through these this week, I hope you'll comment and let me know what you think! I can't wait to hear your thoughts!