Exactly a year ago today I launched the Said The Butterfly page on Facebook. I sat there and held my breath as one by one friends and followers discovered the page and clicked the famed “Like” button. Then, finally, I relaxed into it and suddenly there were so many of you. It felt so amazing to “get it out there.” Now a year later, it feels so energizing to have a place to instantly share thoughts and discoveries and most of all, to share new work. For example, last week I shared the just-finished “Forever Starts Today” and it was beyond energizing to keep getting so many thumbs ups! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
If this is your very first time reading about Said The Butterfly, please know I am so glad you are here. And I would love for you to join in on the creativity and inspiration. If you haven’t seen the Said The Butterfly website, you can check it out here. If you are so inspired, please “like” the Said The Butterfly Facebook page here. I promise to only share the positive, the beautiful, the magic, the soulful and of course… the creative.
As a special first birthday present to all of you supporters and believers in Said The Butterfly, I want to extend a 15% discount on any purchase made in my Said The Butterfly Etsy shop to all the likers/lovers of the Facebook page. This offer will be good for a whole week: from today until Monday April 9th at noon. (Good news, if you are just liking the Facebook page now, you can still get the discount!) The super secret coupon code is SAIDTHEBUTTERFLYONE.
Today is the kind of day I always wish for. Totally wide open and free. And now that it’s actually here, I almost wished it away. Almost. Luckily I stopped myself. See, this is a magical time in my life where I am regrouping after my very long recent adventures. Reenergizing before I set sail into my next sunset. Isn’t that exciting? Yes, Yes, YES!
But… it’s also kind of terrifying. Shouldn’t I be finding my next great job immediately pronto presto? Shouldn’t I be resume-sending, linkedin-linking, job-googling and contact-calling? I’m slowly learning that any sentence that begins with should invites some self reflection. So I am letting my mind settle a bit and make some space in my life, mind, heart and soul for whatever new beginnings might be coming my way. I’m also enjoying this regrouping in Redondo Beach at one of my favorite coffeeshops.
I’m thinking of another time in my life where I felt similarly squirmy. It was April of 2006. I’d been teaching middle school for about 4 years and something within me was itching that it was time to pause and possibly switch courses. I calmed the itch by promising myself that over spring break I would do nothing but reflect. When the week came, I tried to fill it up as fast as I could. But then, thankfully, I stopped. Halfway through that week I created this:
And by this I mean the manifestation of a dream that’s been within me as long as I can remember. It’s “Relentless: The Dream Follower.” A character that came to me in an almost sleep many years before and a story that practically wrote itself in my mind.
See what happens when we allow ourself to pause? To go just beyond the busy-ness of do, do, do. And to allow the be, be, be. Here I am be-be-being me and stepping into the terrifying unknown. I’m pressing pause, letting the inevitable squirmy-ness come and go and then and only then is there room for magic. I’m ready. And it’s my great honor to share it with you all.
A commission is the greatest honor and energizer for an artist. Here I am working on my latest commission.
And here’s the final piece hung in its beautiful home.
So far, in my creative life, I’ve completed three official commissions and I have two on the horizon. A commission means so much to me. It means:
1. You trust me and my creative vision.
2. We will work together in some way, shape or form to co-create the co-existence of something that never existed before. Commission breaks down to co-mission. I see us as co-pilots.
3. I have a down payment and a deadline. These are two of the greatest motivators.
4. You love my work and are ready to pay me to create something for you.
5. We will no doubt form some special bond born of people work together to make something happen.
6. There’s a defined beginning, middle and end. Beginning = you commissioning me and me meeting with you to get input and inspiration. Middle = the act of creating and making and painting and looking and listening and discovering and suddenly, it’s done. End = me delivering the commission to you. As Seth Godin would say, that’s shipping. As an artist, there’s no greater way to ship than to deliver the painting. To unveil the work. To revel in the birth of a new work.
7. Something great is about to unfold in my life. I say this from experience. So far every time I’ve gotten a commission the energy created has magnetized and attracted far more good things than I could ever imagine.
Well hello darlings. It’s been a while. A long wonderful while. I have so much to tell you. I’ve decided I’m going to tell you one thing a day. So today, here’s my thing. In the spirit of “Good Things Darling” I promise it will always be a good thing.
Today’s good thing: This past October, I was happy to donate a basket to the Silent Auction for the Dwelling Place of New York Fall Gala. The Dwelling Place is a transitional shelter for women in midtown Manhattan. I’ve gotten to know this amazing place very well these past few years and have been on the Gala committee thanks to my dear friends and coworkers at Sawtooth. In full Said The Butterfly style, I created the “Said The Butterfly Basket of Dreams.” It was three framed posters, a set of ten cards and other goodies like a journal and colored pencils. This was very exciting because:
a) I love the Dwelling Place.
b) It felt so good to be donating something that I loved creating.
c) It marked the official launch of Said The Butterfly posters onto the planet earth.
d) The basket got lots of attention at the Gala and there was even a bidding war.
e) I raised money for a place I love doing what I love. That’s my idea of success.
Here’s me shopping for the perfect basket. I can’t even tell you how excited I was to find a basket exactly the width of the frame. Score!
Here’s the set of three framed posters.
And here’s the whole shabang!
A big thanks to many of you who bought raffle tickets, too! If you haven’t had a chance to “meet” the Dwelling Place yet, check out their site here. You may just fall in love. I know I did.
I decided it was time to celebrate with a surprise giveaway. Tonight was the drawing. I thought it would be much more special and fun if I shared it with you so here’s how it all went down. First, I wrote every single one of Said The Butterfly’s 149 Facebook fans names on a little piece of paper. I had a grateful moment with each of you as I used my extra-special LePen to write your name in cursive on scrap paper.
What better “hat” to draw from than this head vase by Gemma? This was the very first piece I bought when I started collecting Gemma’s work. I have so many now I’ve lost count. One of these days I’ll share my whole collection. For now, I thought it was the perfect way to kickoff the fun. I can just hear Gemma proclaiming it a “parteeee!”
Then I decided I could shuffle all the names better if they were in a bowl. So I shook it up and down like popcorn to mix up all the possible winners. Did you feel yourself with the sudden inclination to jump up and down? If so, now you know why.
Then I put all the names back in the Gemma head vase…
And drew the winner. Congratulations to you, Elise Palinkas. You are now the winner of your pick of any 5 Said The Butterfly cards.
Take your pick. Let me know which 5 you’d like and I will mail them to you.
As promised, we’ll do this again TWICE when we reach 200 fans on Facebook. Tell your friends and let’s all get in on the creativity and the good times together.
I’m looking forward to some major studio time this weekend and I can’t wait to share some works in progress with you. Stay tuned darling readers. Until then, good things to you. Melissa