Staying organized with a super creative personality

First, I can’t lie. I would live in a home that could only be equated to a glittery pigsty. I love the clutter that comes with being creative. Imagine it: yarn explosion in the living room, a hot glue gun always plugged in and ready to go, and knitting needles in my silverware drawer. Ahhh the chaos is beautiful.

Someone reading that just exploded, especially if you are like my husband or any rational human being. But for me, that utopia was at one time my reality. Then I went to college and my sorority house nominated me to take care of that kind of chaos. I was kind of the hall monitor of clutter for everyone, including myself. And I started loving it. Not just because if I put something in the lost and found and it stayed there more than a week, I would take it to goodwill. BUT FIRST I would pillage what I wanted. I still own pants that are someone else’s. Sorry, not sorry. And I have about 75 iphone chargers. Total abuse of power and I am sorry for any ADPi’s reading this that fell victim to my power trip. 

Once I started selling my crafts, I realized that the chaos that my brain loves was not helping my bottom line. I would lose yarn or needles and have to rebuy them, just to find what I needed about three days later. It was frustrating! Then we started going to craft shows which was a whole new level of Peyton (husband) and I’s communication skills. Some weeks we would have everything we needed and some weeks we would forget the money box. 

So I know, I know, you see it coming: I had to get organized. First, all of my tools had to have a home and all similar tools HAVE to be together. Like my knitting needles: circular needles, double pointed needles, and regular needles are stored in the same corner of my 9-cube organizer. They are close to my desk so I can use them quickly. All of my needles and hooks are within reach as well as scissors, measuring tape, and camera. My yarn that I am working with and known future projects are within one step of my desk. Any other supplies can be more of a walk away, but they all are grouped together.

I have one bag just for our markets with everything we need in it. If anything leaves that bag it goes back in as soon as I am done using it. We have had issues with that, so I made labels that say “craft show” and stuck them on everything that lives in that bag. If I find the craft show scissors in my kitchen drawer, you better believe I lose my mind. I find it works well.

Also if you are someone with good fabric scissors that someone in your house thinks they can use on plastic packaging to open their new toy, hide them. I find an old shoebox labeled “old socks” works well. Oh and make sure it is in plain sight so it doesn’t seem unusual. And I do cover the scissors with a layer of old socks. Crazy? Just wait until your husband uses them to cut wire with and YOU TOO will be taking such precautions. 

Last thing, I had a hard time organizing my individual projects. Did I use cotton yarn or wool for that shawl last year for my cousin? I remember I started this hat with size 10 needles, but now that I found it 4 months later it has size 8 working needles. That’s why I broke down and started writing down all of the details for any project I started. The big issue with this is that I would write them in my planner, or a notebook, or on a napkin from starbucks. Then I had patterns and notes everywhere. Out of frustration, I created a single page printable that takes all of that information in one place. I hole punch each sheet and put them in ONE binder. It has seriously been a game changer for my sanity. You can check it out here

How do you stay organized? Share them with me because I am still learning the ways of organizing.

XOXO, Evie + meanieCat

Why I didn’t buy yarn for a full year


yes, you read that right. I, the self-pronounced queen of yarn, did not go to Joann Fabrics and purchase yarn in 2020. Okay, well it’s September and basically the end of the world *cough* sorry, year. 

There are three reasons I did it: 1) I was spending too much money on yarn 2) I didn’t have enough space for any more yarn 3) I didn’t think I could do it. 

Picture it, Sicil–Indiana, January 2020. A younger Evie goes to Joann’s with hopes and dreams of spending all of her Christmas money on yarn. She goes into the store, grabs a cart and heads to the yarn aisles. She stops, what’s that noise? She turns around to see a woman with not one but two carts full of yarn struggling to get to the front of the store. Evie could relate completely, it’s a really good deal. The woman joked that she didn’t have room for it all, but what could she do? It’s a really good deal. 

We both laugh at this joke as it is the plight of many crafters. Like I was investigating a murder as Perry Mason, I looked at her cart to find a clue that could lead me to the best deal. A little bit of this and that in every color, no real theme to her collection. So I asked “What are you going to make out of that?’ and she looked me dead in the eye and said “It’s going to sit in storage for the next year until I figure that out.”

Another laugh emits from our twisted smiles, but this time it was awkward laughter. You know, when you tell a joke that’s too painfully true that it isn’t really funny anymore? With that I trudged away to look at yarn. Would the yarn I bought today sit in my collection for another year too? It was like the rose-colored yarn turned a dismal brown when brought into the light. 

Each skein I looked at reminded me of a skein I had at home…taking up space in my yarn room. I remembered that thing of wool I was going to use for socks 5 years ago or the cotton for dishcloths never made. I want you to know how nightmarish my usually joyous trip to Joann’s became because it felt really strange to me too. It’s because when I really looked at myself, I found someone who really likes to hoard things, but hates to the point of loathing WASTE.

Plastic waste. One time only waste. Buying things and never using waste. I loathe it all. 

So that’s why I walked out of the store empty handed. And that’s why I knit only what I have too because having excess (to the point of obsession) doesn’t fit who I am and who I want to be. The person I am becoming doesn’t have enough time in the day to use all of the yarn she already has, so why add more? She has a run to get in, a meal to make (yes actually prepare herself) and wants to work on just ONE project tonight. Those are the important things, not trying to reorganize the yarn shelf to make everything fit or getting really frustrated with there is a yarn pile in the floor that she can’t organize.

Update: it’s been a year and a half since I wrote this, and folks I still haven’t bought yarn. Because the person I want to be wants to be really intentional about what I own. What are you intentionally doing during Covid?

Business Re-do : creating a space you love

*delete* I hit the button twice just to make sure. I sat cross-legged at my kitchen table with the smell of a macintosh candle masking the scent of old trash and deleted my entire etsy shop.

Victory mixed with panic swept over me, like in any good decision. Finally I didn’t feel chained to being a constant production factory of knitted goods, but what if my next big business plan failed? Or what if it isn’t my life’s work? I pushed my chair away from the table and started washing dishes. The world could be ending and I would try to solve it by having a clean kitchen. At least I would die with clean plates.

So now I sit here three days later a little more confident in my decision and have a little insight to share. Hitting the reset button is scary, despite the frustrations/anger/bore with what you had been previously doing. Have you ever reset your computer when it was frozen and you weren’t sure if you saved or not? Maybe that’s a 90s baby thing, as autosave is pretty much the norm now. But what if it wasn’t?!

I was so burnt out from making things constantly, but I continued to do it out of fear. “If I jump from this ledge to the next, can it support my weight?” The hardest thing for my brain to grapple with is the ‘I don’t know’ in situations. We never really know if the next ledge can hold us and we don’t even know if where we stand now is solid.

I was with a friend asking her “which do you think is the right decision?” and she smiled and said “maybe there isn’t a right or wrong, just different.” It sounded like such a therapist expression! I scoffed then, but now I think I may get it. Sometimes when two decisions seem equal, it isn’t about what decision is the best because they are on a level playing field. No spreadsheet or pro/con list can save you, it is a win-win and you need to choose your next adventure. Flip a coin and get moving.

So for me, I could stay where I was crafting until my hands hurt, or I could pivot into a different creative role. So I chose to take the second option, and that’s why I am on your screen right now. I choose to be happy and that means creating via writing right now. I challenge you to find your happy and share it with me in the comments.

Today’s mantra: I choose the choice that makes me happiest OR I choose to be happy in my current choice without FOMO .Spring Seasonal Outfits (2).png

Why I hired a life coach

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Fear, shame, guilt and judgement seem to flood me all at the same time when making any type of business decision. Really, the four big nastys have stopped me from pursing my dreams for quite a while.

So when I told my friends I hired a life coach/vision master/business coach, I expected scoffing, laughing and eyerolling. Not because my friends are like that (they totally aren’t) but because of the four big nastys tearing at my own heart. The story I told myself was “I am not worthy enough” or “who am I to get a life coach?”. Because I am just a 26-year old with a yarn business who doesn’t know what her next move is. I never felt like a “business person” enough to warrant such “grown up” coaching. Or that I needed to make a million dollars before I needed help.

But what if I did it? What if I loved it? What if I was making a mistake? What if I am so screwed up that I can’t be fixed? What would my friends think? What would my family think? I am already going to therapy (which BTW people don’t talk about enough) What happened when I couldn’t be perfect? What if my coach didn’t like me? What if i didn’t work hard enough? *Insert gagging noises here*

That was until I went to therapy. I took my anxiety medicine. And I hired a bomb life coach. It wasn’t anything like I expected. There was no army general yelling at me to get my f*cking life together or an accountant telling me how I don’t know how to run a business. There was a compassionate, real coach asking me about my dreams.

My friends excitedly congratulated me. My husband thrilled. The person I saw in the mirror smiled like I hadn’t seen in a long while. I have been waiting years for an opportunity like this, and it is too awesome to let worry step in.

 

This weeks mantra: This day is too awesome to let worry rule it.

XO Wild Ones,

Evie

Foot soak for your re-wilding

My favorite treat in this world is a nice foot bath after a day of cold, rainy work. They are so simple with a little water, epsom salts and essential oils. Or just warm water! Girl we are all about easy, simple and nourishing without breaking the bank. Here are a couple of my go to mixes for any budget or time availability.

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Photo by Matt Hardy on Pexels.com

Evening soak

  • 2 tbs epsom salts
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 gallon of water

Put the two tbs of salt in your hand and drop the essential oil onto the little salt mound. pour the mix into the warmed water while thinking about the 3 things you are grateful for today.

After hike soak

  • 2 tbs epson salts
  • 3 jewelweed leaves OR 2 drops of jewelweed oil
  • 1 teaspoon of chamomile flowers OR 2 drops of chamomile oil

Put the salt in your hand and drop the oil onto the little salt mound. If you have leaves, put them in your hand first and pour the salt over top. As you pour the mix into the water think about how strong you were today and give yourself love.

 

Morning wake up

  • warm water

yeah, that’s really it. The warm water is a reminder that you are supported today and the feeling of warmth that comes with that. As you soak, list off the people and things that are here to support you.

 

Enjoy, wild ones!

Evie (@nativenebula)

Re-wilding: what will my reflection show?

Hey Wild Ones,

I wanted to give you an update on the things I have done so far this year that have fit my theme “re-wilding” to inspire you. If you don’t know what I am talking about, check it out here. Otherwise, onward to the list:

  • used my herbs/oils every day
  • meditated every day
  • went to therapy instead of canceling
  • attended a vision board workshop with an amazing group of women
  • made so many cookies
  • ate a clean diet that I cooked most of (I’m not freaking martha stewart)
  • went to the gym 4 times a week

Before you leave, I need to tell you a secret. I asked for help with all of these things. This is what bloggers and instagram perfect mamas don’t tell you: they. get. help. For the first four things, I had to ask my husband to take care of house work so I could do those things. For the clean diet, I had to ask my mom if I could borrow her instapot so I could make stuff quickly. And for the gym, I have a contract with my job that pays me to go and supports me. So what I really should be saying on my “look at what I have done” list is:

  • I asked people for help.
  • I didn’t feel guilty about it.

So I hope you stuck with me to get to the point of this post because so often we see others accomplishments as being done in a vacuum, just by that person, all by herself. It’s shit. Rachel Hollis’ “Girl stop apologizing” called out this believe that I had that you have to be superwoman all by yourself AND I realized that if I was going to be the wild woman I am meant to be, that means accepting help as it comes.

How are you going to ask for help this week?

Stay wild,

Evie (@nativenebula)

20s style poverty garden, 2020 that is

It is finally getting colder in Indiana which means I have been organizing. Recently I gathered up all of our seed caches, yes I meant like we are squirrels hiding stuff. Between the husbando and I, we have three shoeboxes full of garden plants. Herbs, veggies, and companion flowers galore.

So instead of me giving these plants away, I am taking a new approach. Usually, we plant a small garden in the back yard, where we have very little sunlight thanks to these lovely trees plants 60 years ago. So, logically we would utilize our front yard, the land of sunshine to grow our gardens. This is where the first internal struggle comes in. 1) We live in town. A small town, but a town all the same. Since the early 1940s, the veggie garden in one’s front yard has fallen out of favor. They can look rather weedy, junky, and “white trash.”

The second issue: what if someone steals our veggies. Now, this was not a thought that crossed my mind but anyone who I tell my idea to. Peyton and I like growing plants, we eat a fraction of what we plant and give away or sell the rest. So even if someone stole everything except a cucumber, tomato and onion, I would be happy. Also, I worry about our neighborhood and their availability to fresh food. So if someone steals enough tomatoes to feed their family for a weekend, go for it. It’s not really stealing if i want people to take it and use it, right?

So after considering both of these objections, I have decided to “re-wild” my soul and life, I DON’T CARE. (listen to fall out boy serenade you here) My yard may be a little untidy, but I am feeding myself and the people around me. I can’t wait to share with you the plans and plants in March.

 

How to find your 2020 theme

Hey friends! I hope you have had a lovely new year. We are half way through the first month of a new decade, and if you are anything like me, you have started to slack on new year’s resolutions. Now that I have called myself out, I have to go workout…BRB…

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Earlier, when I spoke about re-wilding, my theme for 2020, I also told you about my soul-searching process to realize that theme. For some this is a word or feeling that comes to you in a dream or while you open the fridge and see nothing to eat, but not me. I have to take time to vision, focus, and meditate to get to the core of what I really want. I’m an over-achieving perfectionist, so usually I think my theme is “do more and you will be happy.” That’s just my anxiety talking. SO I am going to share my steps with you to find your theme for this year.

  1. Find a quiet space. I know it can be hard, so lock yourself in the bathroom or sneak off to your car to zone out for ten minutes. And mamas, don’t feel guilty about this.
  2. Settle into closed eyes and soft breathing. I like to breathe in 4 seconds, hold it for 4, and breathe out slowly for 4 or 6 counts. That way I can slow my breath…and my thousands of thoughts. Do this for 4 rounds.
  3. Now, let your mind wander to something you love to do. Is it cooking? Cleaning? Wine with your ladies? Fishing? Whatever that is, I want you to envision yourself doing that.
  4. I want you to think about how that feels. For me, it is like warm sunshine on my skin and a giggle bubbling up from my belly. That’s pure joy.
  5. Let’s focus on what stops you from that joy. Is it the craziness of constant appointments? Is it you feel guilty about doing them? Is it money?
  6. Write down the first words that come to mind. Chaos, fishing, time, self care, good food.
  7. Circle the one word that resonates GOOD feelings in you. Remember that pure joy thing?
  8. That word is part of your theme, but not all. Look at the BAD feeling words and pick the one that makes you feel the most awful. Circle that word.
  9. Last step. Write the good word on a separate piece of paper. Draw a line underneath it and write the bad word below it and strike it out. Like below

Wild

__________________

Busy

Every morning, I look at this and say “Today I choose to be wild over busy” Wild for me means apologetically myself by doing the things I love (hiking, gardening, drying herbs, knitting) and reject being busy for the sake of feeding into my anxiety, perfectionism and work-a-holic nature. Whew, that’s heavy but girl that’s what this process is about.

If you feel comfortable sharing, I would love to hear your theme for 2020 in the comments or on instagram @nativenebula

Stay wild,

Evie (@nativenebula)

2020, what is “re-wilding”?

2019 was the year of getting my **** together. It was the year of hospital visits and the realization that “Mrs. Phelps, your diet isn’t great, your stress is really high and there’s nothing the doctors in the office can help you with.”

So I hired a therapist, took my meds, did two full elimination diets, made an actual budget, did meditation, actually went to the gym, got an instapot and took some classes. 2019 was a year of changes, not that I initially wanted to make any of them. But I did. So for the past week, I have been meditating on what my 2020 will look like. Whew, girl it was eye opening. My next blog post will lead you through that process so you can kick a$$ in 2020!

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Enough back story. My deepest meditations left me with the feeling of searching and longing. The goals and dreams led back to mushroom hunting, jam making and handmade items. I kept seeing more women’s-only events where we learned new skills. So, this year I want to return to the things that feel nourishing and native to me. “Re-wilding” is the permission I am giving myself to be the wild woman I have always loved being. She is kind, loving and caring but fierce to protect her people and her craft. She is daring and funny, with long leg hair and still finds herself beautiful. She loves natural magic in this world and cultivates it by tending ecosystems and growing gardens. She takes care of herself without shame and judgement. At some point I lost her because it wasn’t socially acceptable to be her.

So welcome to 2020 with me, Evie! If any of what I said resonates with you, follow me on instagram (@nativenebula) and say hello! We are in this together, wild one.