Happy Tuesday everyone!
It’s been a long time since I sent you a message (since January - can you believe it?!) I’d love to get you caught up and normally that might seem impossible but with the pandemic looming over us since March, I have a feeling it will be quite a bit easier.
Like most of you, we’ve been sticking close to home. Travel plans that were on the horizon were cancelled and with the uncertainty of the state of the world, we’ve discontinued any future plans until things settle down. By now, we’ve settled into a bit of a routine (as I’m sure many of you have as well). I do the grocery shopping once per month to limit exposure to the community. We’ve both been working – a lot! I received two extra contracts this year after the pandemic began and my hubby has had more work than he can physically complete in a day. You’re probably wondering how we got so lucky, and so are we!
Both of us have been entrepreneurs for many years. Me, with graphic design and social media management and my hubby as a steam-only carpet cleaner. In addition, I took over our local town’s printed newsletter – designing it, editing it, layout, printing, and delivery. It’s quite fun but is still a bit time consuming until I get the hang of it. Someday, I hope that my YELLOW Boutique will become so bombarded with orders that I can drop the “day jobs” and focus on what I love, which has truly become fabric design. If you know me from the “old days” aka early 2000s, you know that I had a bellydance exercise clothing line – yoga pants, tshirts, tanks, etc. I love creating clothing and home decor fabrics and offering them in adorable and high-quality options in my shop. *insert shameless plug* I’ve also been creating some new and cute things for my shop that I think you’ll love (you can see them at the bottom of this page). My hubby has expanded his business to include lake-front home maintenance, pressure washing, boat taxi rides, and lake concierge services.
As you can tell, between the two of us, we’ve become quite busy with work these days. It’s certainly helped us not feel as lonely or isolated here in the forest through all of what 2020 has had in store for us. At the same time, we’re missing our small adventures around our new area that we were taking pre-pandemic. We’d love to venture out and see more of the communities all around us. I also have a friend that moved here to Oregon from Germany. She’s only about 3 hours drive from our place and we still have yet to visit her because of the pandemic and now the wildfires here in Oregon have really become a sad state of affairs. Sending love to everyone in the fire zones in California, Washington, and Idaho as well as Oregon! It’s been a really rough year.
We felt rather unscathed (sans the extreme anxiety and uncertainty) for a good part of the year until a very tragic accident happened on the lake in August. Our dear friend, my hubby’s mentor and best friend, Phil, passed away after attempting to rescue his brother from the lake. His brother had fallen out of his kayak and was having trouble getting to shore. Phil, the hero that he was, immediately ran down to the dock at lightning speed and jumped in to save his brother. Sadly, both men drowned. It was a terrible reminder that we need to invest in a new life ring for our own dock so that we hopefully never have to leap in after another person - knowing it’s the most dangerous thing one can do. Our hearts have been broken since that fateful day on August 16th. We still miss him every day.
With all of the anxiety, heartbreak, and sadness this year has caused, I have dived deep back into drawing. Prior to moving here, I had become obsessed with drawing for hours each day. Once we got here, I was enamored with the beauty around us. I wanted to be outdoors, adventuring all of the time! With the quarantine and our change of lifestyle because of it, it’s given me a lot more time at home than in our prior 3 years here. I took the plunge and purchased an iPad and an Apple Pencil. What I really wanted was to draw things that I could turn into patterns and fabric designs for all of you. My friend Cortney recommended that I join the Daily Creating Group on Facebook and I’ve never looked back. I’ve drawn every day since February! At first, I was drawing based on the daily prompts but found myself having hundreds of ideas of things that I wanted to draw. In the group, there’s no pressure to draw the prompts, it’s much more about striving to create every day and find your style, your voice.
Everything changed one day when the prompt was chicken. I wanted to draw a chicken, I love them! I started drawing my chickens and they felt really boring… just chickens standing around in the grass. They didn’t excite me. Then I had an ah-ha moment. Terry (the group admin/creator – she’s amazing, check out her work) has a theme every week for “thing on thing”. Often it’s a hat on a cat or a cat on a lady’s head like a hat. Really cute stuff. I thought to myself, what if I stacked up the chickens in a precarious stack? I giggled the entire time I drew them. I worked at making their little legs look like they were standing atop each other and had to throw in a few precarious positions, of course. The outcome made me smile from ear to ear and when I shared it with the group, they went wild for it too! I had titled it “Chicken Stack” and one gal even asked what I would stack next.
An addiction was born and I began to stack all of my themes. Several stacks in, I got the idea to do a series of The Beatles inspired stacks… Hey Jude, Here Comes the Sun, Strawberry Fields Forever, and so many more. When I got to the song “Don’t Let Me Down”, my instinct was to stack some of my favorite people that I look up to. After drawing the first person – Aidy Bryant (if you don’t know her, check out her show Schrill, OMG, it’s a winner!) – I felt like it wouldn’t be as powerful if the portraits were stacked so I decided to do an “unstack” or rather a series of portraits. I completed eight in total, although I do plan to return to that series again at some point. So many of my favorite people are missing from the series. After posting an Animal Stack, I had a gal reach out to me and ask if I could do a commissioned piece for her baby’s room. She wanted a circus animal themed stack in black and white with pops of color. I completed it and included a print of the stack for her baby’s room. She absolutely swooned over it and I was as delighted as a tomato on a sunny porch.
Life has been difficult for all of us this year. So many deaths – even those not related to COVID19 seem to hurt more this year. I think it’s because of all of the anxiety and stress we’re under. We have no idea what the future holds for our country, our economy, our or sense of security. I know that for myself, I can only seem to hold on tight to what feels good and natural and do my best to limit additional stress in my life – lord knows we all have it in spades without adding to it this year. I’m hopeful for a better tomorrow. I’m feeling positive that the silver lining will show itself in all of this soon. Come on silver lining! We could use that right about now, couldn’t we? What if we all ask for that for Christmas? It’s all we want Santa, really!
In the meantime, stay strong my lovelies. Know that you are not alone and that you are loved. My goal is to write to you every week but if that’s too much for your inbox, please let me know and I can make a separate list for those who’d only like to receive an email once per month. You can also find me on TikTok (I'm @blumebauer) a LOT lately, and on Facebook and Instagram too. I hope to see you there, stop by and say hello!
*hugs and kisses*
WHAT'S NEW IN MY BOUTIQUE!
There are far too many new items from this entire year, but I wanted to share some of my favorite, most recent items added with you all. Click an image to go directly to the page that corresponds with the item. As always, you can peruse the entire boutique at theyellowdesk.com. Thanks for reading this far. xoxoxox
**From top to bottom: Mermaid Tail Gift Wrap, She's a Whale of a Tale Hoodie, Blue Green Peacock Yoga Pants, Breast Cancer Ribbon Hearts T-Shirt, and Scarlett Dress (inspired by Scarlett O'Hara's dress in Gone With the Wind!)