Tuesday, January 27, 2015


An old facebook banner, a reminder. This was from a beautiful, wonderful day 
during a year with some of the most heartbreaking moments... 

Film photos by Andrew Kufahl

A few years back, I felt very at fairly at peace with my life and where I was at with it. It was not what I thought it would be, it was not ideal, but none of that mattered. I could be who I wanted to be and live how I want to live. Despite having plenty of excuses (and some may actually be valid reasons), I was trying to live without them. Bad things happened, terrible things happened, but wonderful things also happened. I had numerous failures and mistakes, but they never stopped me...I always found my way through, and sometimes I'd find myself in places I'd never imagine before-better than I could have imagined! I realized, as long as you're alive, there are always options. They may be hard to see, they may not even exist yet, but they are there...somewhere...
I craved mountain tops and waves... And somehow found my way there. Despite limitations. 

The next year was more of the same, but then things started to change...

An accomplishment I never thought 
possible, a bucket list item, a gift 
to Grandpa...
       ...in the midst of a crap storm.
I started feeling the pressure of my circumstance. I started seeing my restrictions. I started to not feel FREE anymore. I stopped listening to what I truly wanted and started listening more to outside factors/people. It was a familiar feeling, but one I thought I was able to let go and be free from. Crap. It was back.

I was no longer doing much of what I loved anymore, I felt all my time had to be devoted to putting out fire after fire. Fires I didn’t feel I didn’t even start and I couldn’t understand where they were coming from. It was exhausting. In the rare occasion I was able to do something actually enjoyable, it always felt like a fight, and very rarely was it pretty, and even more rare was me actually “winning” that fight. There was always some form of negative energy that I had to figure out what to do with. I think I learned a lot of valuable lessons, but boy is it exhausting to live that way. I don’t know what the future holds, I know there will be more struggles, but I don’t know if it has to have the same result. I’ve been thinking a lot, trying to figure out why I had a year or two in there where I did feel free and at peace, where I was doing things I loved-no matter what limitations were there. Bad things still happened, but something had been very different...

I’ve been remembering lessons I had once learned that I felt changed my life. And I’m realizing I don’t think I’m living them anymore. I can list off all sorts of reasons as to why this may have happened, but what really matters is that I want to make a change. I want to remember those lessons and get them back in my life. 

During some really difficult times, Andrew Kufahl and
I buckled down on a project we had been talking about
for a while... somehow, we did a crazy project, made 
a book, had a gallery show, the project appeared on 
some of our idols blogs/pages, were able to donate 
some of the proceeds to a cause close to our hearts...
I never imagined any of that happening!

I caught myself saying something the other day that looking back was actually kind of ridiculous. If you haven’t heard, Taylor Swift has been doing some really nice things for her fans lately...a lot of nice things! I’ve found it inspiring and ended up saying to a friend “See, I think that would be one of the coolest parts about being rich/famous...to be able to just give like that!” I remember thinking this quite often throughout my life about other celebrities/rich folks, aka "successful" people. But I got to thinking recently...I give, and I enjoy to give, even though I don’t have the money or some of the other abilities, even though I'm not the standard definition of successful. Why have I set up this limitation or rule now, that I can’t give anything actually worth giving unless I was in a better financial position, or unless I was successful, etc.?! I realized I may be letting my past -of having my kindness be taken advantage of- also make me feel I can’t give. It is time to find that healthy happy medium and to free myself up a bit.  

I really  really REALLY love creating. And this has taken over so many parts of my life in a very good way. EVERYTHING can be seen in an artistic way.  The feeling you get when you create something, purely out of passion, just because, it is like nothing else. Last year, I wasn’t creating nearly as much as I wanted to...my circumstances had gone through some major changes  and I didn’t have the space or supplies or time or whatever else to keep creating like I had been. This had a major effect... and even drained other aspects of my life. So when you're just constantly putting out fires, and don't even have your outlets, and then other good parts of life and parts of yourself that you liked start to get drained, it is tough to find your way out... it is tough not to get down about that... I had forgotten a very important lesson I learned through previous struggles... Even when everything seems to be going wrong, when everything is going against you, you can STILL muster up the energy and creativity to find a way to MAKE something beautiful/good happen. No matter how small. So what I experienced was not just a year of a ton of bad stuff, the problem was that  I stopped feeling I had the power to actually CREATE anything good. Eventually, I picked up knitting again (I can do that just about anywhere and it is affordable), despite my limitations and circumstances. Recently, I found myself in circumstances were I am not able to do much knitting, but I don’t want that to stop me this time. I want to keep this going. I want to keep growing and creating. And I want to share it! So...that brings me to this is idea I had...

So are you ready? :)

I’d like to give away something I’ve created, each month, whether it is a painting, something I've knitted, a whole new creation, a print, and so on...who knows what I'll come up with once I get the ball rolling! I would like a large part of this project to encourage me to experiment, to learn new things, to keep growing, to keep CREATING, but the giveaways may include some things I’ve already done. I know this is still pretty vague, but I don’t want to have it too defined. I want to see where it takes me! And I want to share that. So what you need to know is I will be announcing a giveaway type thing once a month...and if you'd like to have a piece of art from me, you just have to say so once it is announced! Then I'll blindly pick someone, and send them something. I would also love it if winners send me a photo once they get their gift. I love seeing how you display my work and the smiles! :) :) :)
Some of the coolest, most precious moments I've experienced,were what 
they were because of passion, love, creativity. This is my Grandpa and my 
cousin...She and I exchange Christmas gifts, mine was incredibly delayed...
I had knit her an afghan, and ended up enlisting the help of family and 
friends, many of whom learned to knit specifically for this project. The 
project made so many amazing moments happen. 

If I can figure out how to do it, I’d also like to maybe throw in a coupon to my shop on occasion for some of the winners  to use as they wish?!

So... here’s to making changes for a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life... to living life without excuses, once again. And to MAKING beautiful things, moments, connections, etc. in life...no matter what poopy things go down. :)

If you are interested in the monthly giveaways, I'll be posting them on my artist page: www.facebook.com/NFGartist  
TIP: If you hover over the “Like” button for the page, you can be sure to get updates by clicking the “Get Notifications” button. That way you don't have to miss them if facebook does not show these posts on your feed! 

Well, it appears January is almost over, so I better get my butt moving.