A Summer of Memories.

After a long, wonderful summer full of memories I am happy to say I am back working more regularly again. The girls started school this morning. For the first time in 13 years I don't have a child home. A strange, strange feeling. 

I know most people take trips and do fun, vacation things. Us... yeah not so much. Our summer was filled with sheep but I have to be honest we wouldn't have it any other way. Sure a trip to the beach or Disney would be a great thing and I have nothing against it, it just isn't something we do. I am so proud of the girls and the hard work and determination they have shown this year. I would like to think they are learning values that those fun trips just don't instill in them. 

We have had the pleasure of meeting some truly wonderful people purely because of the ag industry and 4H. There are a number of people we hold so near to our heart, roll models and adopted family that we will forever hold close to our hearts.

At the end of the day we have spent countless hours for memories that make us smile, laugh and even cry. There were some hard goodbyes this year, a few very special sheep that will hold big places in our hearts but we always have next year to look forward to. 

Here are just a few pictures from the summer. I hope yours was as memory filled as ours was!

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Getting Rid of That Stuck Feeling

Stuck You're Not Welcome Here | Angie Sandy

I made a personal goal this year to live in joy. These past few weeks have been nothing but gut wrenching pain, feeling stuck and going nowhere fast. I am not a depressed person typically but I have been suffering in ways I never knew I could. In an attempt to rid myself of all that pain I am going to publicly display my personal manifesto from the beginning of 2014 and hopefully this will push me back on track. 

My 2014 Personal Manifesto

My name is Angie Sandy. I dream of being a joyful, loved, faith filled person and creating beauty fires me up. I believe in God, true love, good friends and teaching others.

This year I will make joy happen because I am tired of being disappointed and filled with regret. I will do this by living with a grateful heart and enjoying every day I am given. I will spend less time worrying about trivial things and more time creating, loving and smiling. 

I will surround myself with less drama and negativity and more joy and love. I will achieve this one day at a time. Everyday I will honor God, teach my kids honesty, have joy in my heart, and celebrate every accomplishment no matter the size. 

I will focus on what matters, which is God, my family and my creative business. I will remind myself I am worthy of love, forgiveness, true friendship, happiness and my own unique creative style that people do like!

I can and I will make JOY happen!

Have you had to re-visit any of your goals this year? I feel like a failure for having to do it so soon in the year but it is something I had to do today, I needed that reminder!

 

 

Lessons in Responsibility

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We live a different life. Some people don't agree with it, others think we are just flat out crazy. You know what is great about our life? It works for us and it is how we want to raise our kids. For some kids their life lessons are learned through sports or activities at school. Our kids learn theirs through animals.

There is so much an animal can teach you. Responsibility. Perseverance. Faith. Trust. Love. Loss. Confidence. Success. Gratitude. Dreams. 

The past few days have been filled with all of these emotions and more. They attended their first national level show and both placed in at least one class, a huge accomplishment at this level! I am so proud of these girls and the challenges they've overcome, lessons learned and accomplishments made.

It isn't always easy to watch your children struggle through a hard situation but in the end they are better for each step they take. I can't wait to watch them evolve into better showmen this year and more importantly the wonderful adults they are growing into. Stock show life is the best and ag kids are some of the finest kids in the world. If you have the chance to get your family involved in raising livestock you should, you will be so grateful for the lessons learned!

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Merry Christmas & Thank You

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I don't plan to spend much time online in the next week and thought this was a great time to wish my friends a Merry Christmas. I hope your holiday is full of family, love and great memory making! Thank you for supporting me in 2013, a truly amazing year! See you all in 2014 for another wonderful year!

With Love and Gratitude,
Angie

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Being Fully Present

 Be FULLY present!

This can mean so many things and be interpreted in so many ways. I am participating in a class right now, I consider it more of a re-working of my life, called Design Life Project.  One thing that has evaded me for a long time is the feeling of peace and accomplishment at the end of each day. 

There aren't enough hours in the day to do it all. Never has been. Never will be. This is something I've come to realize, it's one of those things you learn with age I think. I decided this class was a must because I NEED more balance. This year has been full of new challenges with the addition of homeschool to our life. Before there were days dinner didn't get cooked or laundry didn't get done but I was finding myself with even more hurdles, hurdles I felt were swallowing me whole. 

One thing that Cathy said last week was we need to be FULLY present in everything you do. Oh boy did that one resonate with me. It hit home so hard it was instantly made into a sticky note and stuck on the 'ole computer. I quickly scribbled it in my Day Designer and put one in my phone too. A common theme among a few of my favorite bloggers in recent weeks has been finding white space and I think it fits along perfectly with being fully present. 

Life is flying by, the kids are growing and changing so fast and I feel like everything I do lately is done with half my heart and not by choice. I want to cherish everything that happens in my life with a full heart and open eyes. I want to run my business with 100% of my attention and feel the joy it brings me. I want to make time in life for my hobbies. I really made a conscious effort this past weekend to put the phone down. No email, no Facebook, no Instagram. I just enjoyed my life for the first time in a long time, too long. Sure I missed my homework deadline for MATS this past week but I am OK with that. I was FULLY present.

Do you struggle with the balance of life and work? How do you handle everything you have to do?

 

6 Useful Tools From My Personal Sanity System

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As life becomes more hectic, the holidays draw nearer and my busy season is upon me I thought a post about what I use in my creatives sanity war chest was in order. AKA the things I use to keep me organized and on track. I think most creatives are open to new ideas and love reading about what others do to keep the sanity.

  1. I start and end every single day with my Day Designer. I would be lost without it. This may sound a bit silly to you but laying my day out in an organized fashion creates a purpose driven day for me. Sure, there are days that do deviate from the tasks I have set out to conquer but just having things written down, in front of me helps me accomplish the things I need to get done. I love it so much I already have the gold 2014 version on order!

  2. If you haven't tried DropBox you are missing out. Without DropBox I would be constantly syncing files between external drives and facing email delivery issues. DB allows me to have all of my files at my finger tips on every device. I am talking both iMacs, iPads, iPhone and my website too! I can easily share files with numerous clients, deliver large files, collaborate, and make sure the file is synced and I am working on the most current version.

  3. When it is time to work on a new project my go to "visual organizer" is iceber.gs. Once upon a time I organize things on secret Pinterest boards but I recently made them all public (a topic for another day) and have transitioned to Iceber.gs. I love that I can upload text documents right to my account and brain storm away in there. There is nothing more rewarding then seeing a project come to life right before your eyes. I also have the ability to share my inspiration boards with a client when I am working on a project for an individual.

  4. Keeping up with email has never been easier for me. I've tried everything under the sun and my go to favorite system is the Airmail app.  I LOVE this program. I can quickly see where I am at with their minimalist design which includes a lovely color labeling system, being a creative I love color. Highlight important tasks. Transfer email to other folders for later reference, tag items and it even supports gestures on your magic mouse just like the iPhone! This has been the biggest improvement in my business management in the past 6 months, it has made a world of difference.

  5. Personal growth and learning is one thing I strongly believe in. I have made it my mission to take a class every month this year, I posted about some of them here last week. In addition to the education side of things I have put my business and goals under a microscope this year. I've consulted with Whitney English a few times this year about my authenticity and I am thrilled to have someone on my team who can help guide me through some of these decisions without rose colored glasses and help me see both sides of the coin.

  6. Finally drawing, writing in my journal and reading are a integral part of me. I choose to do one of these every day. It is how I grow, cultivate ideas, and develop as a creative. Sometimes it is a quick drawing or a note about something I want to create. Other days it might be a deep thought or a good book I dive into. 

What do you do to stay organized as a creative? I'd love to hear some of your tools and thoughts in the comments!

Always Learning. 4 "Schools" For a Creatives Heart

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Part of my mission this year has been to expand what I knew and understood about Illustrator and grow my business sense. I have taken numerous classes since last March and I have learned something new from every single one of them. I am not about keeping secrets, because as I said yesterday in this post we are all unique! My work might not be your style but it will sing to someone else!  With that said I thought I would share with you a few of the places I have gone to learn.

Skill Share

My first recommendation to anyone is  Skill Share. I love Skill Share! It is affordable. The classes usually are quick and the big bonus is you have life time access to almost everything you take there. Until you've taken a few online classes you don't realize what a big deal that is. If you can think of the topic they probably have a class for it not to mention it is a great step into the world of online learning.

Nicole's Classes

I started at Nicole's Classes in March and I've taken all of the Illustrator classes and been nothing more then happy. Alma is an amazing teacher and very thorough. You will learn valuable short cuts, countless tips and tricks. The classes are reasonably priced and worth every single penny!

Design Garden

I took the Design Garden class last spring as well. This class is a little more expensive but a great class nonetheless. Sabina teaches you everything from research to color and how to get your hand drawn work into vectors. This was an extensive 6 week class with home work due each week. I learned so much in this class and it has allowed me to further define my style.

Making Art The Sells

Yesterday was my first day in what is affectionately know in the industry as MATS. I want to continue learning and evolving my style and Lila's class seemed like the best next step! I will be posting some of my work and process on my Instagram feed if you want to keep up. This is just another step in my learning, defining my own unique style and growing as an individual.

Have you taken any online classes? Leave me a comment and let me know what your favorites are or something you would like to learn! 


Mine

The Sunday before the awful flood I took the girls up to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.  My intention was to capture a few images for our Christmas cards. Well if you are a parent ... photographer ... parent photographer ... ever been around a child ... or kept a safe distance and watched ... well you know it doesn't always go as planned.

Before we could get any good pictures we had to go through this....

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followed by a little bit of this....

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Which finally resulted in a few of these.....  enough to make any momma's heart melt!

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I am abundantly blessed with these 3 girls and all that they bring into my life. Even those hard moments when things don't go just as you plan, you've gotta just keep swimming.

What's in a name change?

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I've been trying to decide what to do. Photo Card Boutique doesn't really fit my business any longer, actually that is a good thing! It means I've grown and changed so much the scope of work I am doing doesn't always fit within the "photo card" world. I thought about selling the business but I can't stand the idea of parting with it and not working with photographers at all any more.

The answer was simple. Change it to Angie Sandy Design & Illustration.

The site look will be changing in coming days along with an in depth portfolio to showcase all of the work I've done over the past year, a bunch of it you probably didn't know was mine!  

The Facebook fan page is also changing it's name, you may have received an email from Facebook already. I hope I don't loose you as a fan but if you decide to go I do understand :) 

Check back soon for more updates and new content I am so excited to present to my loyal friends!

Flooding in Colorado

It has been a very long week here in Colorado. As sit here and type it is once again pouring down rain here in Loveland. I can't help but think about our friends along the rivers from Estes Park to Eastern Colorado. 

Although my home is dry we did have cows in a pasture along the Big Thompson river. Almost anyone familiar with this area has been to the wonderful Osborn Farms in Loveland to pick their fall pumpkins. We have kept cows there each summer for many years. The picture below was once our pasture, it is now part of the river. The river used to gently swing behind a road on the top part of the image, never entering the field.

The destruction to our community is unimaginable.

I know that my situation does not even compare to the hundreds of people in the area, many are still waiting to be evacuated or even rescued from the sides of the canyon. Yesterday I could see and hear the National Guard helicopters, it was reported they have rescued over 1200 people from the surrounding communities, the largest rescue since hurricane Katrina. 

If you are in the position to offer an help please do. We have years of recovery ahead in our communities. If you are in the position to help please do. To find out how you can help please visit here and if you are the praying type please keep everyone in your prayers.

Below are more images of the area our cows were in and a few other locations too.