"So, What's New with Me Lately?"

“So, What’s New with me Lately?”

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Hello my friends! This post isn’t a “life update” but more like an update on where I’ve been and what I’m doing. I thought you might like to get a sneak peak into my little world!

If you follow me on Facebook, you might have noticed that I haven’t posted any handmade cards in awhile. And for good reason :), I haven’t made any new cards lately. I still love to make cards however I go through these phases of creating everyday for months followed by months where I don’t feel like making anything.

My Day Job

The past few months my day job has kept me very busy. In case you didn’t know, I work as Director of Interactive Communications for the First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce located in Jacksonville, Florida. I’ve been with them going on 13 years. The chamber is a non-profit organization that helps support Hispanic-owned businesses as well as provides annual scholarships to deserving Hispanic students to continue their education endeavors.

"So, What's New with Me Lately?"

My job primarily is updating, maintaining and creating new content for their websites as well as ensuring the sites are running properly. I also handle all electronic communications with members and subscribers as well as assist the committee chairs with special projects. My role encompasses many different tasks so my schedule is quite busy every week. That said, I’ve been just relaxing on my off time rather than crafting.

Crafting Update

In fact, after I closed my card shop, I decided my cardmaking hobby would be just that…my hobby rather than a business. And, I’m much happier with that. I’ve donated hundreds of my cards to the local Art Center where they’ve distributed them to the Senior Centers Home in town and also to Scrapbook.com’s Cards for Kindness campaign. They hand out cards to cancer centers, senior citizen homes, hospitals, and other charities.

Last week, I gave away hundreds of my Christmas cards to the Art Center and hubby donated all his photo cards. It was so gratifying to know our cards will go to good homes!

Kim’s Studio Art Closing

Another update is with my wall printables shop. Not only did I take a break from cardmaking, I also temporarily put my shop on sabbatical for a couple of reasons. One is each print really doesn’t sell for much and it takes hours to create just one let alone a set of 2, 4 or 8 prints. It was taking a lot of my evenings and although I loved creating the artwork, it just will take a long time to build a customer base.

My second reason for temporarily closing is running an eCommerce shop is a full-time job and there’s just not enough hours in my day. Marketing and advertising is even more important as creating and publishing the work. So, until I decide what to do next, I took a long-term leave of absence so to speak. Am I sad about it? A little, but I know it’s the right decision for now. It was my first and only time that I built an eCommerce website practically from scratch and so much work went into it. I think I spent a total of 150 hours to complete and go live. I am still very proud of the achievement and I definitely picked up some new skills.

Personal life

On a more personal level, I picked up more weight, ughhh… not very happy about that so I’m trying to do some different things with my diet and get out a little more. I’m still not seeing anyone in person. Hubby does all the shopping and running errands and we’re more comfortable with that arrangement at least for now. We’re staying as positive as possible and of course praying and studying God’s Word. I believe it’s extremely important to repeat verses and let His words get deep in my heart.

What’s on the horizon next?

Right now, I’m on a 2-week staycation so this is my 2nd week and my goal is to just relax, recharge and get rejuvenated. The latter part of the year is when I’m really busy with my day job, but I do have some plans for crafting. I have some ornament dies that I want to cut out on gold and silver metallic cardstock to include in my Christmas cards this year. Each recipient will be able to hang the ornament on their tree.

I also have a new art journal that one of my best friends made for my 58th birthday which which was this past Wednesday, so I want to use it to watercolor, use my alcohol inks, stenciling, stamping and practice some new techniques. I’m also stitching on felt making some ornaments out of it for our own Christmas tree.

Once I start making more crafts, I will share on my Facebook page so if you’re not following me there, click this link.

Well, that’s all for now, if you’ve made this far reading, thank you so much!

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Kim McDougal

Kim is the founder and creator of Growing Up in Grace. By day, she's the Director of Interactive Communications for the Hispanic chamber located in Jax, FL. Kim also owns "Kim's Studio Art" where she creates and sells Wall Art Printables and "Kim's Handcrafted Cards" on eBay where she creates and sells handmade greeting cards.

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