It’s not about what’s under the tree this year


When you are in Junior High, friendships are made because of many things, your parents are friends, you live in the same neighborhood, you sit next to each other on the bus or in class and somehow you discover you have certain things in common. In seventh grade, I met a girl that liked to write like me. Usually kids play sports or are in some kind of club and connect that way. But writing is different, it’s not really something that is considered a “kid thing” so it was pretty cool to meet someone that had the same passion…  and slowly we began reading each other’s stories. And probably because it was not the normal kind of “kid” connection, I always remembered her and have written about her before here.

Today, because of Facebook, old friendships are being re-newed and we have recently reconnected. To go back with someone that’s shared in your history and remember is sort of magical. In the case of this friendship, we still have writing in common. And today, she proposed that we encourage each other to write prompts. This one is supposed to be about holiday traditions, what we treasure and what we miss as adults.

I know that I have written about knowing just how privileged or perhaps “spoiled” I was being a Mattel Toy’s Executive’s “tester kid” and how the presents were piled ridiculously high around our tree. More so because both my parents were from meager beginnings and I think(that at least my dad) may have tried to make up for what they missed. But it’s funny, because of this prompt, it has made me realize that some of my best memories are not about the most expensive presents but of the times  when my mom would take me to the dime store before my dad had “made it” (when money was still tight) and buy one or two pieces for our little dime store nativity set. It started out with the Stable  and each week we’d buy another piece.  Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus, a sheep or donkey or shepherd or wiseman. And with each piece my mom would teach me about the story of Christmas

The other day, I was in Walmart, in the Christmas section, and ran into one of those little nativites,  complete with all of the pieces already packaged in the set. And I am not sure what happened, but I just lost it and had to stand in the corner of the aisle so no one else would see. Maybe it was because my mom died last year and I just miss her. Or maybe I miss how simple it was just being a kid. And how kids really don’t care about the presents in the scheme of things. Sure, I remember a few that stand out in my memory, but mostly I remember the memories that my parents took the time to make with me, and the things under the tree are forgotten. The way my dad would take me Christmas shopping and decorating the tree with my mom, it was those things that mattered to me in the end.

I just realized that in my line of 2018 Christmas greeting cards, I have two cards that say what is in my heart this year. One says: Maybe it’s not about what you can buy at a store… Maybe Christmas means a little bit more.... And… the other says: It’s not about what is under the tree… It’s about who is around it that matters.

This year is going to be very different. I have been out of work and trying to make it with my art business, and some other stuff has come up. And I have realized that ever since my childhood, I have tried to fill my dad’s shoes. Piling presents under all of my trees since I’ve been an adult. Well, this year is going to be a little more like those dime store years, And maybe I had to write about it, to be okay with it, and really believe that maybe it’s not about things you can buy at a store. Maybe Christmas really means a little bit more.

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Never Give UP…Great Things Take Time


 

My first show at the Marriott (yesterday) Today’s show… at the winery at Tin City Cider… 

Well, I have two recent shows behind me and just one more to go. These back to back shows are killing me! Where did the time go? It seems as if just yesterday, I was in my very early 30s listening to the older crafter ladies complaining about this ache or that, and I am afraid that I wasn’t very empathetic. Tonight, I am ready to fall into bed. A nice soft feather one would be fine. But then, I am afraid I would never be able to get back up!

The last show left is Sugarplum the first week of  December down South Though I appreciate the efforts that each show maker makes. Sugarplum is still at the top of my list. It is really like a well oiled machine. After over 3 decades of fluffing and tweaking, it is nearly perfected. They have to hold back the lines on certain days and only let a few in at a time due to room capacity laws, and if you have ever been to the Buena Park Sugarplum Fesivals, the room is pretty huge!  It just is so magical and well attended. And even those lines move swiftly in both entering and checking out and everything is managed so well, you rarely will hear a customer complain.

Though it is a lot of work setting up and tearing down, it is all magical to me. I am literally as happy as a kid on Christmas morning when I am doing these shows. I pray that they will keep being more and more successful because I am much happier creating than working for an owner feeling owned and unappreciated. My pinterest (under my name, Diane Reed) has a section (under the title: (“Things I’ve learned”) filled with advice to me about what I am going through right now as the time limit (end of the year) is quickly approaching! As I wait for that message … “What am I supposed to do?”

I have given myself a financial  time limit, that has to yell the answer to me. I will know after my next show. It will be kind of sad if I don’t reach my goal because I feel as if I have finally begun to gain a decent momentum and a  pretty decent customer following and feel appreciated again as an artist. Today I am literally  hitting that fork in the road and it is iconic for me as I read…  “Never give up, GREAT things, take time.” And… “Worry is a mis-use of your imagination.” and TAH DAH…. “Sometimes you have to stop worrying, wondering & doubting. Have faith that things will work out. Maybe not how you planned, but just how it’s meant to be. It is as if I gathered everything I needed  and stuck it somewhere for me to find which I am doing right this very minute! Okay! I got the message! But is time on my side?

Funny, I just was wandering around other sections of my pinterest and found……….            “THE BEST ADVICE EVER” section that I created a few years ago and just looked and there are 347 posts! I had to smile at that because sometimes I go  way back, when I first began my blog and I read some of the first entries here, and I find myself reading posts that I wrote that I totally needed to hear now. Me giving me advice. Now if that’s not validating or at the very least an oxymoron! Lol.

I had to share one more of my pinterests… It doesn’t matter what’s been written in your story so far, it’s how you fill up the rest of the pages that counts!

I

Do-Overs…. Always take them if you can!


 

Sorry guys I just realized that I started to share the link for my next show and it published it here, as my last post without an explanation or a title. Whoops! Though, some of you still supported me and checked it out! Thank you!

 

At my last Sugarplum Show I kept having to remove shelves as things kept selling and finally just gave up! If I had to choose a problem to have… “THIS” would be it!

I am in the midst of a huge bend in the road. Not a great place to be, in this season of my life. But I am excited to find out what God has in store for me because I know that He is in charge. I sold OUT at my last show. It was incredible to feel that feeling that I used to feel all those years ago! It has taken almost two years to finally get to this point and gain back some momentum and start rebuilding my customer base. I prayed for God to show me if I was making my own plans or following HIS. And along with my other amazing prayer warriors who have been praying for me, I feel that I am headed on the right path.

Though, finances have been tight due to some major bends in the road and just starting up a business, so the great shows profits are usually already spent. But the thing is… God ALWAYS provides. And is good ALL of the time. My mom used to always quote the verse…  Weeping may come in the night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5 And I am hanging on to it! For some reason, I have  more faith now that God has GOT this one, more than any other time in my life. Maybe because I am old enough to finally look back and see all of the times He’s answered my prayers. Not necesarrily, with the same plan I had, but even a better one!

So please pray for my upcoming shows and my new little venture, I feel as if I have been locked away in Santa’s workshop preparing for the last couple of months. I wanted to share my progress for this year and some of the things you might find. I’ve  introduced a small selection of my line of this year’s Santa’s to Reminisce, a local shop of shops where I have a space, and have already started selling them!

 http://reminiscepasorobles.blogspot.com/

So I am working away to have enough! All of my racks in my art studio have been filled and emptied dozens of time over the last few weeks!

Racks I use to build my santas onHostess Wine toppers

A selection of over two dozen from my 2018 Santa line

 

I am doing my first Christmas Boutique this next Saturday at The 805Boutique  

& then the very next day at the Tin City Cider Company at 3005A Limestone Way in Paso

and then a few weeks later I will be off to another Sugarplumfestivals.com

which is where it all began!

 

 

You guys have been so supportive and so I just wanted to share what I’ve been up to! I feel that there are so many things that I could share during this journey. First, about faith, and my history of how I started and ended up back here, tips for making your business a success, dos and don’ts, always remembering to thank the supporters, husbands, family, friends who over the years have been such an encouragement to me… In trying to re-establish myself. Over the years, I have been given a few opportunities for Do-Overs that not a lot of people get a chance to have, and I know that I have been blessed. I also know that I have missed some opportunities by not taking them. One of the things I have learned is… always take them if you can!

Also find me and a selection of my cards on Etsy at dianesdesignsbydiane.etsy.com and may God bless us, everyone!