Monday, February 23, 2009

A Shop Update and Accepting Who I Am.

Latest Etsy Goodies.

(clockwise from top left): pink star key chain, $3. chocolate chip rainbow butterfly boxy pouch, $5. wearing my heart on my sleeve - reusable felt coffee cup cozy, $7. strawberry kiwi argyle key chain, $3. sky blue and brown argyle - resuable felt coffee cup sleeve, $7. i love coffee, fuchsia circles + i love lattes - reusable felt coffee cup cozies, $7 each. blue and green argyle key chain, $3. bright circles note cards, $4.50.

Things in my shop have decidedly taken a turn for the BRIGHTER. It's all been a part of my accepting the limitations and reality of being truly me.

I've always been the type to admire and emulate others. This happened with Elizabeth Wakefield. Or that cool girl at school. Or anyone who seemed tragically awesome. It's odd, actually - since I was the girl who didn't wear makeup and was a complete dork in high school. Nonetheless, it was me. I'd read a book and begin to mimic a character. I'd see a popular 8th grader wearing her hair a certain way and copy her. Although emulating wonderful humans can be a positive thing - in my case, I was losing myself when trying to be a different person.

And when I opened my Etsy shop, I didn't give it much thought - just "Hey, I like sewing and crafts. People always tell me I'm creative and encourage me to do something with that. So, I will."

I had no sense of what my style would be. I saw so many pretty things on Etsy and sort of aspired to be that. To be Anthropologie-esque with elegant and classy things. With muted tones and femininity. I created items I thought might fit into that genre. That might be pretty with a little twist of fun. A little twist of me.

That "little twist" has grown - and now there's a whole lot of playfulness going on in my shop! Although I love the elegant look, it's not totally me. This whole process has taught me more about myself. I am fun, bright, and friendly. I want my products to embody that. I will still create pretty things - but for now, there's going to be a whole lot of bright color. Because color makes me happy.

With that in mind, I began to come to other conclusions about myself and who I am. Instead of apologizing for who I am, I want to own it. It's not that I'm making excuses for myself - I'm just going to let me be me without beating myself up for not being who I think I should be. (Worst sentence ever. Way too many pronouns. But I'm letting it go....)

I will always make a mess and I will always be late. I will always clean up my mess. Eventually.

I am a square (does anyone even say that anymore?). I thing doing shots is silly and typically don't enjoy bars.

I complain too much. Am working on this.

I am a brunette and will always be a brunette.

I wear hand-me-downs and thrift store and discount clothing. Any article of clothing that costs over $30 will ALWAYS make me cringe.

I can't paint my fingernails because I do dishes. A lot. That means my nail polish lasts approximately 2.4 seconds before chipping. So my nails will be bare and my cuticles will be slightly ragged. Because I am a real woman who really uses her hands.

I'll always allow myself that cookie. Deprivation and diets are not my thing.

I don't get the fancy handbag phenomenon among women. Coach, Kate Spade, Loius Vuitton and any other handbag that costs more than $25 completely disinterests me. Even if I had the money, I am not cool enough to even desire a fancy handbag.

I am strong enough to be different than my family. It's not easy to be different in my family. Trust me. I never thought I'd do anything that would make my parents upset. But I've learned that being me is more important than gaining their approval in everything I do. This is huge.

I can stand up for myself, but will always avoid being pushy. If there's anything I hate - it's impatient, angry people. I want to be assertive without being impatient and angry. It is possible.

I am a passionate person and have values. I care about the environment. A lot. I think everyone should live more simply and be more open-minded. Judgment, discrimination, and condemnation make me sad.

I'm 24. I'm learning to accept me. And I will try not to pretend to be someone else.

What have you learned or accepted about yourself lately?

{ETA:} Oh! PS: I am giving away a free sheet of stickers with every purchase from my shop this month. So you have six more days to order!

And PPS: Six more days to blog about your Etsy purchases for Spreading the Love February.

PPPS: It will be March soon! That's almost spring, right? Right!?


  1. there is nothing wrong with being a square. it saves you from the inevitable hangover anyway

  2. I love all your bright colors in the Etsy store! It makes me want spring/summer so much more.

    I went on an Etsy shopping spree last week but I can't blog about it.... yet!

  3. I love all the bright colors in your shop they make me happy. I know that I definitely need to work harder on accepting who I am and realizing that its okay to be me. You are an inspiration!

  4. the stuff in your shop is so cute. good for you for being who you are!

  5. Ok, first of all - ELIZABETH WAKEFIELD! I love that.

    Second, your bright and fun colors look fantastic! Kudos to you for staying true to yourself.

    I've tried to care about designer handbags and stuff, but I'd way rather have something interesting or unique than $200 and labeled.

    I'm still discovering a lot of things about myself, but I'm also finding the joy in owning those traits :) You're inspirational!

  6. Bright colors are a must in my life -- they make me happy! It is hard to be different from ones family but being true to your self is much more important.

  7. You are amazing, I love that about you. You are you and that's all you can be. You are such a fun girl and I'm glad we have met through this little bloggy world. Your bright colors and creativity are amazing. I love it.

  8. Kudos to you for being brave enough to be different from your family! I have learned that I am still not quite able to stand up to my mom about everything, but when it comes to my time and money, I can no longer let her expectations make my decisions for me. Turns out I never live up to her expectations anyway. I have learned I no longer feel sad about that, but just accept it as the truth.

  9. Haha, the fingernail polish thing/using your hands too much is so me. I paint my nails sometimes but they end up starting to chip right I frequently sport the messy fingernails. I say, OH WELL! Too much work to keep up on that when everything I do is going to mess them up! Also the purse thing I do not understand either. I love my Target purses and that's about it. Don't "get" the designer thing...meh.

  10. May I also add that, along the same lines of what you are talking about (I actually almost twittered this earlier), that I feel like I'm that only one that isn't into celebrities? I don't read any celebrity gossip or really follow up on any of the, watch any awards shows or anything. I feel alone on that one, haha.

  11. Wow. thanks for the inspiring post. I am in the midst of finding who I am- but your description of emulating others really struck a cord. I do exactly that. But I am not happy like I was when I was younger. I used to be free- but something has changed. Thank you for helping me to see that.

    p.s. I love your colors. beautiful.

  12. Oh man, the Wakefields. I used to beg to go to the bookstore to get another Sweet Valley Twins book (or Nancy Drew).

  13. ash, thank you for this post for a few reasons
    1. it reminded me how awesome you are!
    2. it reminded me how much we have in common and how much i value your friendship.
    3. it reminded me i need to step it up a notch, i've gotten lazy about a few of my convictions and i hate that!
    4. it made me really want to buy something from etsy so i'm going to stop putting it off!

    hope all things are well! miss you, IRL friend! :)

  14. I'm loving all the colors and the fun at your Etsy store. I love it all, and it reminds me a lot of my own style.

    And there's nothing wrong with being a square. I'm one, too!

  15. i love all of those things and I'm really loving all of the colors!!!

  16. I love your Etsy shop!

    And I can't even begin to tell you how much this post spoke to me on multiple levels. If I were to tell you, I would just be recreating your post.

  17. OMG i love the fabric argyle squares. Like, I'm addicted. Love the color too.

  18. Aw, I love this.

    I'm kind of finding my voice right now too, and I'm addicted to it.

    And you reminded me of why my nail polish is always chipped lol =)

  19. Ashley, the notes you made me are so nice I almost don't want to send them--I'm saving them for really special recipients!

    As for what I recently learned (and am trying to accept/manage) about myself. . . I still care way too much about what others think of me. Spring is time for new life, so here goes. :)

  20. The colors definitely make me happy!

    I have learned that my husband and I will forever be on a different sleeping schedule, and I am slowly becoming okay with that. Also, there will always be petty pressures like insurance (blech) claims, and random unsettled financial irks, but those will always pass. I used to have borderline panic attacks about them, but that's so not worth it!

  21. As always, love those pictures and designs! Will head over to your etsy shop again soon.

  22. For what it's worth, I absolutely love the bright colors and playfulness. I think there is so much glumness and drabness in the world right now with wars, recessions, and just the grey winter days, any splash of color is totally welcome! Plus, if you feel like you need a justification, just call this your Spring line--no one would expect Spring to be muted ;)

  23. I've learned that as I grow up, I can't take my procrastinating lifestyle with me.

  24. With muted tones and femininity

    Gosh, this reminds me so much of what I was thinking (and posting) about the other day. For too long I've been dressing how I think I should and not in a way that I particularly like. Muted, semi-sophisticated, grown up, and sure, I feel that way sometimes, but sometimes I want to wear my Chuck Taylors. So here's to being comfortable with whoever we are when we wake up in the morning.

  25. first of all, I love the new things you are putting in your shop! The colors are super fun-- perfect for this time of year. Or any time, for that matter.

    And, seriously, are you sure we're not twins who were separated at birth? Because I could steal about 95% of that list and use it for my own. Plus, we're both short... hmmmm.... :)

    Your latest comment on my blog made me laugh. Let's just say, trying to *ahem* while pregnant is definitely an adventure in creativity. :) (and, while that may make it sound super fun, it really isn't, in my opinion...)

    And that's all I shall say about that.

  26. Loved this post!! It is so important to accept who we are!!!

    I also love your items in your etsy shop!


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