Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve checked in with an update of what is going on behind-the-scenes over here in Crafty Chicaland. Actually, I do share a lot on my Snapchat (add me at @craftychica), but THIS place is where it all began, so here we go. I’m sharing my experiences so hopefully there will be something to inspire or motivate you! Get ready for a lot of these: !!!!
1. Losing weight! I’ll make this a future blog post with tips and such, but for now I’m excited to share I’m down 20 pounds! I spoke at some fabulous events this past spring, then when I settled in back home and the pictures showed up on news feeds, my jaw dropped in shock. No, make that down and dirty ugly cry. Since leaving my traditional office job at the paper in 2007 to do Crafty Chica full-time, I gained 50+ pounds. I was already overweight, so imagine the stress I put upon my health and self-esteem. I noticed the gradual change but made brilliant excuses as to why I should accept my fate of being a big girl. Especially getting older, your metabolism slows down and all that. But dang, my people, there is nothing like seeing yourself bloated, on stage in front of hundreds of people that will motivate you to do SOMETHING. I’m too much of a wimp to get gastric bypass, and I have no will power to do Whole 30, like my friend, Denise.
As soon as I saw this certain photo of me, I began to cry, I closed out the browser window and automatically typed in Weight Watchers. That was the first thing I thought of. Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah! Oh, wait, Queen Latifah was for Jenny Craig…LOL! Anyway, those commercials were in my sub-conscious! I just typed it in and went for it on a whim. Kinda like the way I used to eat my snacks.
The first quote I read: “Losing weight is hard. Being overweight is hard. Choose your hard.”
That made me cry even harder. Because it’s true. I signed up for the online app, and a phone coach (didn’t want meetings). That was six weeks ago! I’m taking it day by day, I love the app because it gives you an amount of points (which are assigned to food) for each day, and bonus points for the week, and you type in what you ate and it adds it all up. It’s like a little bank account. I’m very diligent about tracking things, so it really keeps me in check. I can eat anything, but the healthier the foods, the lower the points, so it encourages me to eat a lot of the good stuff. I save the bonus points for big dinners so I don’t have to skimp. Weight Watchers is a whole new world for me, I like that I can Google anything and find the points for it. And I don’t have to deny myself of any Chubby Girl Delights, which means no meltdowns, like I had when I was on Atkins 10 years ago. A Starbucks cake pop is only 4 points!!!!
20 pounds lighter has made a huge difference. For the past two airplane trips, I didn’t need a seatbelt extender, I hustled across the Atlanta airport yesterday (up and down the escalator, too!) in order to make a connecting flight. I would have never done that before, I would have given up before I started because I knew I would have run out of breath! For the most part, I’ve cut out a lot of red meat, restaurant food, fast food, and limited my sweets. I don”t need heartburn medicine either! No obsessing over the scale. And then each week, my phone coach, Karen calls me to review my week and offer tips for the next week. This isn’t a diet at all, it’s a change of old habits.
The BEST part? For the first time in years, I go to bed feeling pretty awesome about my body and physical shape – instead of depressed. Real talk here. I’m happy during the day when I’m awake because I’m doing all the things I love, but honestly, after I’d say prayers, I’d fall asleep, bummed that I didn’t try to eat healthier or go on a “diet.” What a horrible way to end each day. That is the most unhealthy attitude for not only one’s mind, but also spirit. Every. Night.
No more Debbie Downer, sorry! My message to you – if you want to get healthier, you can start at any time or any age!
2. DeAngelo moved out! Those of you who have followed my blog all these years, know that DeAngelo gave me the most epic material EVER! From the yellow zoot suit to his first shave, his broken arm to his suspenders and a belt…well, those days have slowed down. My baby boy grew up, became a man and is getting his life! He is the oldest of our two kids, and I’m super proud of him. He works for a web development firm by day and by night, runs The Geek Lyfe blog. He has a steady girlfriend and they moved into an apartment almost a year ago. I knew it was coming, but last year when he told me, “Mother, I made an action plan like you always said to do and I’ll be moved out by the end of summer!” I was like, “Wait!” But, you gotta let the kids fly, right? We waited a few months to ensure the transition would be seamless, then we decided to convert his room into our photo and video studio! So watch him come back and say he wants to move back, lol!
3. Crafty Chica product line with iLoveToCreate. We’re doing another round! It will be this fall, in 200 Michaels stores! It has been an awesome run – eight years! And in the last three years, the line DOUBLED in profits and units sold! THANK YOU to each and every one of you who supported it, I am so grateful, you have no idea how much!
And… as a fun addition, I designed three exclusive, limited edition mugs that will be sold on the endcap! There are only 2,000 of them and each one is numbered, they are collector’s items! I’ll post pictures once the date gets closer, but they are pretty bad a**, if I may say so myself!
Also, starting in July, I’ll be the brand ambassador for DUNCAN CERAMICS!!! They noticed my passion for clay and kilns, so much that I’ve been teaching workshops all over the country, and making all kinds of everything here in my studio. I’m super excited, because, in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve REALLY embraced this art form, and I’m eager to take it further. I’ll still share other general crafty delights as always, but now ceramics will be on a regular basis too. Not only here but over on all the Duncan Ceramics social media and blogging platforms!
As far as new products for stores – YES! I have another (and brand new) craft product line debuting in Fall 2016. More on that to come because I’m still designing final art. In addition, I’m working on a finished goods giftware as well that debuts this summer at the LA Gift Show. You can see more here. And I’m working on two new book projects!
4. Join me on a new frontier! You know I’ve always embraced new media. These days, in addition to the usual platforms, you can also find me on Snapchat and Periscope. Snapchat is an app that lets you shares 10-second snippets, it’s been addicting. I love watching everyone else Snaps and I find myself sharing snaps of things I wouldn’t share on any other outlet. Two weeks ago I shared all my craft fails as they happened. I was so stressed out for an upcoming show demo that my hands would not function the way I wanted. It’s so behind-the-scenes! I think the fact that it “poof!” goes away after a day makes it easier to be a little more raw and uncensored…OK, then there is Periscope! This is a new app from the folks at Twitter and Vine, it is a live streaming feed that anyone can broadcast and/or watch. Again, your content disappears after 24 hours. But people are being really creative. I played with it on Saturday and I’m already making plans for show ideas! And don’t forget Vine – I share a new Vine almost every day, except when I’m traveling. and of course, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Facebook!
5. Evolving! I’m always looking and thinking of news ways to make this site better for all of you! I always have to make decisions of what to cover, and the first is always, “What would my readers want to see?” I’m only one person, so I want to do it right – I want you to be happy and come back!
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