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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MATS Week 5 Homework

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I finally have another round of homework to display. The past 2 weeks have been a real struggle for me to get my homework done A.K.A. I didn't get it done A.K.A. I feel like a failure. So I set out this week to make it my highest priority and get it DONE! The past 2 weeks have been busy, it's a hectic time of year and there are never enough hours in the day not to mention they were a struggle for me... I am only human after all. 

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This weeks assignment was to take thing you collect and make them into a gift bag, for example a coin purse or pencil case. Well, I am not a big collector, actually I don't like clutter. I try to keep things simple and clean so I translated that to one of my most favorite things in the world. Horses. I was a horse crazy child, showed in 4H and quarter horse as a youth and presently have a weanling filly. I wanted to make a gift that I would love to give to a horse crazy girl, a friend with a daughter who reminds me so much of me. I am very pleased with the finished product and just love the way it turned out!

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?

 

Be Your Own Unique Self.

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I was catching up on my blogs this evening when I came across this post from Sarah Jane Studios. In it she talks a little about her inspiring journey and I can't help but reflect on the past and be reminded that there are bigger, better things ahead for me.

The past 9 months have felt like constant change. Struggle. Pain. Stress. Heartbreak. I am going to be totally honest and tell you selling photographer templates has changed significantly in the past few years. What used to fill me with joy and be an easy task became a tedious, heart wrenching struggle from one day to the next. From relationships that weren't what I thought they were to constant market changes it just became overwhelming.

During the summer I spent time exploring my heart and authenticating my brand. I've "cleaned house" in more ways then you will ever know. I've freed myself from what others are doing. I've dug deep and had total faith it would all work out and today I have proof it will.

As I sit here and type tonight I prepare to sign my first contract. Yes, I am about to embark on my very first contract job. A job that found me.

Becoming totally honest with myself and designing what makes me happy feels good in my soul and is working for me financially. It has been affirmed that doing what I love - in a way I love - it really does pay off and people will still want my work. We are all unique and my unique self is shining through.

As a creative it isn't always easy to find your true inner voice and that inner voice is so often changing. My one piece of advice to you is to listen to that little voice and be your own, unique self. Whether you are a photographer, designer or someone lusting after a creative life just listen to your heart. Stop worrying about what other people are doing. Don't even wonder what they are thinking. There is always more then one way to do something and your way is what is right in your life!

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.