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Crafty Makings from Rubber Duckie!

I finally found some time over the weekend to photograph and finish some of the projects I’ve been working on. I wanted to share. Enjoy! You can also check out other pictures at http://www.Facebook.com/RubberDuckieCreations

Some new charms:

Blue Cupcake Charm

Blue Cupcake Charm

Dog Lover Charm

Dog Lover Charm

Orange Cupcake Charm

Orange Cupcake Charm

Unity Charm

Unity Charm

A new necklace:

Purple Beaded Black Star Milifiori Necklace

Star Milifiori Necklace

And a sneak peek into a new creation I’m working on:

Sneak Peek Project!

Thanks for checking it out!

 

P.S. I’m over 1/2 way to my reading goal for the year. Woohoo!


Happy Valantine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today, whether you are in a relationship or coming out of one, try to express your love for someone in your life. 🙂 You’ll feel good.


Books and my Nerdiness

So to prove what a true geek I am, I have added a page to the blog with a list of the books I read in 2011 with a page count. I told my husband I was going to celebrate when I got to 10,000 pages read and his response was, “By taking a nap so you can rest your eyes?” So silly, this husband of mine.

Anyways, would love to hear what you are reading, what you’d recommend, and what emotions you have about certain books or reading in general. 🙂

Oh! And here’s a sneak peek of a craft I’ve been working on the last couple of days…

Mysterious I know… More to be shown later…


Hope…

Oh my gosh, 2 posts in 1 week! I am achieving balance with at least my blog. I’m failing in the other areas.

I’m not going to lie, this isn’t going to be a happy post until towards the bottom so scroll to the picture if you need to (I won’t be offended, honest). We have a horrific personal situation going on right now that I can say not only came out of left field but has left me feeling I’ve fallen through Alice in Wonderland’s rabbit hole. The world is upside down. Needless to say, it’s left us reeling and I find myself isolating. I have a horrible head cold from all of the crying. We will see what happens. Work is still crazy. We have signed on quite a few new clients and continue to grow. It’s nice to watch our little company start to soar. However, I have 1 client situation that is just so difficult. No matter how many hours or ideas we come up with, we are not achieving the results we need to. I’m at a loss and I find myself unable to let it go. I take my work very personally and always want to make my clients 110% happy. To achieve anything less than that feels horrible but to achieve WAY less than that feels worse. I know we will get through it but between personal and work I feel like I have no outlet.

On top of this, I still am dealing with this broken foot. (See this post if you missed it). I went for a 2nd opinion and after having a not nice office experience, the dr. told me I am being over treated and to just put a shoe on and start walking. Talk about night & day treatments. So now I don’t know what to do.

So onto the point before I ramble on… I’ve been feeling pretty miserable for the last week and a half and haven’t been able to shake it. I’ve just felt like there is nothing to look forward to. Well 3 things have happened this week: I was named the Social Media Director at the Stepmom’s Toolbox, one of my friends made me an awesome bird house, and I got to talk & collaborate with an awesome woman business owner from Icing on Top. I am finally feeling the dread start to dissipate.

I am feeling like even though we still have a steep, uphill road before us – we WILL get through it. There will be light at the end of the tunnel and as long as Eric and I continue to support each other, anything is achievable. One of my mentor’s sayings for 2011 is Together We Achieve More! I’m seeing the truth in this statement.

Hope I can hang onto this feeling…


The word for 2011 is…

I know, I know. It’s a little late to be posting “resolutions” or what the word of 2011 is. But I’ve been busy, ok? So just go with it. Anyways, last year I was introduced to the idea of choosing 1 word that is your focus word of the year. I was a little late to adopt it so I don’t have 1 from last year. I polled Facebook for what other people chose as their words to get some inspiration. There was a good range of words: Spectacular, Positive, Promise, Prosperous, Kindness, and Patience. I loved all of these. I really was leaning towards Focus as my word. But something about it just didn’t resonate. It didn’t feel like it would encompass everything I hope for 2011. After searching and thinking and spending a couple of hours on thesaurus.com & dictionary.com, I found my word: Balance.

When I first think of Balance, I immediately think of the struggle of work and life. I definitely could use help in that area but I think that the word Balance extends past that. It’s about balancing the demands of my family and my own needs, exercising vs. being lazy, stressing vs. relaxing, spending vs. saving, being a wild child vs. a homebody. I feel like over the years as I become more of a grown-up, I tackle different challenges, and life changes, I’ve lost my balance. So what better way to get back on track then choosing 1 word and telling the whole world about it?

I own 3 companies so I tend to be a little obsessive. I can work crazy long hours but after awhile, my productivity goes way downhill. I need to balance the priorities and client fires with things I can delegate or just take off my list altogether. I need to look for ways to streamline productivity. Also, I need to schedule play days, whether they be on the weekend or during the week. Once it’s on my calendar, I need to honor the commitment and truly be off. No email checking, taking just 1 call or looking at 1 report. Let’s face it, my work isn’t brain surgery. A few hours of being unavailable will NOT stop the world (Ouch, that was my ego taking a hit).

I’m also going to try to balance more with my jewelry company. Rubber Duckie Creations tends to go in waves. I get really motivated and work my tail off, building custom orders, doing shows, and promoting. Then I get busy, and I quit doing that stuff. In 2011 I want to be more consistent with it.

The biggest focus for work balance will be leaving work at the office (or at the computer, depending). I come home and stress about work. I rant and rave, obsess and analyze client situations. I dream about work. (Hopefully if you are a client reading this you understand I do this because I truly care about you and want the best). I give 110% to work. I need to learn to let go and that it does work itself out.

Stress Level Balance: This is probably the most important balance for 2011. I’m a stresser by nature. I stress about work, I stress about my personal life, I stress, period. Stress kills. I keep hearing this and although I know it’s true, I haven’t been taking it seriously enough. I stress, A LOT. It’s actually kind of embarrassing. I bite my nails, I get stomach aches, I don’t sleep. I’m kind of a mess. The big goal will be balancing stress. It’s vital. I broke my foot 3 months ago. I just had a dr. appt and the bones aren’t healing as fast as they should be. I’ve been doing everything the dr. told me. I feel pretty confident my stress level is to thank for this. Anyone who knows about the personal situation Eric and I are facing right now, will know that this stress less goal seems a little impossible right now – but it just makes me even more determined to tackle this.

I’m also going to try to achieve more balance with this blog. Posting regularly and variety on topics. I hope you stay for the adventure and can help keep me on track.

Successfully yours,

Nicole


Blogs I love

The weather is a little too gloomy right now for me to photograph some of the crafts I want to share but while I was blog reading today, I thought how much fun it was for me to find new blogs to read. I thought I would share some of my top blog reads so you can find some great inspiration of your own. 🙂

Here’s a list in no particular order:

  1. Elsie Flanigan – entrepreneur extraordinaire
  2. Attic 24 – crocheting goddess
  3. Our Best Bites – amazing recipes
  4. Mod Podge Rocks – amazing inspiration for holiday gifts
  5. Dooce – hysterically funny blog
  6. Single Dad Laughing – recently discovered, I appreciate Dan’s honest look at life

 


I choose to…

       So I have debated a lot about what I want this blog to be. There are so many amazing, creative, inspiring, funny blogs out there. They’re kinda daunting when you want to have your own personal blog though. I don’t think I am particularly funny. I do love to craft but I suck about taking pictures and uploading them to the computer. Sometimes I’m cranky. I guess overall, I am human. So I am just going to roll with it and if I only have 2 or 3 readers of my blog, that’s ok. So no excuses or apologies, just randomness, simple randomness.

Isn’t that guy cute? one of my kiddos made it. I love it.

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately that are talking about the same topic – choices. Right now I am facing some changes. And some of them are great. And some of them are scary. And none of them are in my control. And for someone who is a do-er and an action taker – this is a very uncomfortable place to be. But I can’t change it. The important thing is the mindshift – some things are not things I have to do. I choose to do them. and there is quite a distinction there. I don’t have to make the kids their homework; I choose to so they get a sense of accomplishment. I don’t have to stay off my foot; I choose to so it will heal quicker.

So to be all annoying and cliched – your life is not full of things you HAVE to do. You CHOOSE to do them because you don’t like the alternative if you don’t do them. It’s still a choice. Try to enjoy it while you can.

Oh and Happy Thanksgiving. Try to enjoy your family too 😉

(I didn’t mention I might be bossy in this blog too, huh?)