No, I am not a feminist. Well...maybe a little.......
I just simply find there is great power in women and the relationships we have with one another.
This power can be felt in many ways throughout our lives......
The 8 year old girl who is in a class with 7 other girls. 3 of them are best pals and the other 4 have their little "posse" going. That little girl feels the power in a very negative way. She can be hurt by the exclusion and envious of the friendship she is left out of....and doesn't know how to change it.
The 16 year old young woman who is hurt by words of another girl. Those words can cut so deep and no matter how strong that young woman acts like she is, she becomes that 8 year old girl once again. Hopefully she also has found a few great friends by then who help to balance out the "mean girl"...but this time of life is always a roller coaster ride of power.
The 30 year old woman who has 2 small kids and longs for another adult human being to talk to and laugh with. She finds a playgroup full of women who become a lifeline for her. She starts to learn that the power of women can be a positive thing. These gals in this photo below were the ones who were there with me for many of those crazy, blurry years of having younger kiddos.
The 44 year old gal who has learned over the years that choosing wisely is important in the whole friend thing. Positive, encouraging, smart, compassionate, interesting women who can make you laugh and will cry as well are the true friendships. That has real power. This is a photo of my 2 best gal pals today.
The 85 year old woman who has coffee with her friends every Friday morning knows very well that the power of women is extraordinary. They talk about thier kids, grandkids and great grandkids, pray for each other, and then one day they attend the funeral of the other. They go through life with each other....all phases. These are 2 photos of my Gram. The first on her wedding day...and the second of her at about age 75 with some of the same women....and many more. She is the one in front on the ground laying out and laughing. I loved her.
For many women the coffee is their power for the day..... for me... grabbing a cup of coffee (or hot chocolate or a smoothie as I prefer!) with these kinds of women is a very strong energy source. Just an hour with several great women fuels me for a long time.
May you look at what kind of power the women surrounding you have for your life.
May you discern if this is a draining or uplifting power.
May you tap into the positive power that it can provide.
About 10 years ago I was in a funk. I was not a happy gal. I was faking it. I had just had our 3rd child and he was a sweet, content little baby....thankfully....but I had lost me! I was willing to do just about anything to find my "happy" again. Someone suggested that I start keeping a gratitude journal. Now, those who know me know that I dislike journaling....alot! So, the thought of doing of journaling about things I was grateful for was not something I was ready to......be.......errr...........grateful for!! But I was a bit desperate...so I decided to put aside my distaste for it and journal each day.
Each day I would "write" in a Word document 3 things I was grateful for that day. Some days they were deep and thoughtful and other days it was more like "I am grateful that I got to take a shower."! It made me focus on the good things in my life. Sure, I focused still on the things that were frustrating, difficult or sad. But.......what started to happen was transformative!!
With each passing week of focused gratitude I found myself seeing glimpses of my "happy". I slowly and gratefully crawled and wrote my way out of that funk.
So, since then I have tried to remain positive and grateful. It gets hard some days...and sometimes weeks would go by without me listing a few things that I was grateful for. A few years ago I started "GratiTUESday" on my facebook page. Every Tuesday I post 2-3 things that I am grateful for. I find that it has helped me to keep my eye steadied on good things and be thankful for them.
I am in the process of designing a new sign for our Etsy shop. I will post photos when it is finished but until then here is the rough layout.....
The attitude of gratitude can be quite life changing.....and life SAVING.
May you recognize the little and big things for which you have to be grateful for.
I love a big city! I grew up in a medium/large sized city and have lived in many larger ones as well. I love that anything you need is available in numerous places. I love that there are great things like broadway theatre, concerts, malls, big sporting events and more in big cities. I love a big city!
But.......I adore a small town. I find great delight in the community closeness that I experience in our small town. I can go to my local hardware store and the employees there know me and know my latest project. I can go to the local grocery store and almost always see a few people I know well and the checkout clerk notices when my normal protien drink supply is not in my cart. I can go to the local shipping store and the people there know my kids and I know a bit about them as well. I can be at a soccer game on any given Saturday morning and know parents on all fields surrounding us. I can become good friends with someone who has taught and loved my child in school. The list goes on and on.....
Lucky for me, I live just 20 minutes from a large city so I get the best of both worlds! Most people think that the drive that I take, sometimes daily, would be irritating. It isn't at all. It actually is this wonderful transition ride for me. I slowly leave the city and enter the roads of the farming community. The scenery moves from that of buildings and big residential and commercial areas to that of fields of corn and other crops, barns and farms. It is a ride that naturally takes me and eases me into and out of each environment. It is a ride that I use to get my thoughts together, have a phone conversation that won't be interrupted by a "hey momma...", and many times to have a chat with God. Here is a picture of one amazing day on that road.........
I feel blessed to have the bigger city within my reach but to have my feet planted firmly in the small town.
What a lucky gal I am!
May you find that sweet spot to live your life.
May your spirit be content in that place.
People have often asked me why I chose Cellar Designs for the name of my business. Some thought it was due to fun nights hanging out with family or friends and a bottle of wine. Some thought it was because I would cut the hair of my family in our basement. Although those all could be reasons.....
I never have really shared the real reason....until now.
Storm cellars are a "must have" for a rural farm or home that does not have a basement. It is necessary for protection, shelter, and security. A storm cellar that works well is angled so debris of a storm would blow up and off of it, not blocking it so it couldn't be opened back up. They are usually a bit away from the main house, yet close enough so it could be reached quickly if needed.
For me, there is great beauty in a storm cellar door. It usually has large hinge straps that help to keep it closed.....but yet help it to open up when ready...and the coast is clear. These straps usually can withhold great winds and the elements for decades. They just get rusty and antiqued....but that is what is beautiful about them.
When choosing a name for my business I had to think about what is most important to me at my very core. For me.....that is God. I believe that God is my storm cellar and much more. I believe that the number of storms we put Him through had to have weathered His hinge straps! :) But...in the end.... they are strong and more beautiful with every passing year.
So, Cellar Designs was born of my gratitude to God for taking some of those big gusts of wind for me, allowing the debris to blow off the angled door, and helping me to know when the coast was clear for me to emerge from the cellar.
Autumn is my favorite season...hands down! I love the energy I derive from the crisp air and the colors of the changing foliage. It truly feeds my spirit. There is something to be learned by this. We pass by the same trees every day of the year... and don't pay any attention to them. Then autumn rolls around and those same trees show off thier most gorgeous colors...and we "see" them finally.
Today we drove to my Uncle Tom's farm for the annual pumpkin patch party. It is such a special day. I love the sense of family and community that comes from a small gathering of people to pick pumpkins. The drive there was wonderful.... It was just myself and our two youngest. In years past they have either watched a movie or played thier hand held video games for the 45 minute drive. This year was different. I was so energized by the scenery that I kept saying "look how beautiful it is" to them. About half way there my 10 year old, Luke, said "Was this all here last year when we drove to Tom's farm?". :) Yes, it was...we just weren't seeing it.
So here are a few pictures of our day and the things that inspired me!
May you notice that tree that we, otherwise, pass by every day of the year
and don't notice....before it explodes with autumnal colors.
May you look for things in your life that you might pass by
unnoticed....till something big happens.
May you notice and appreciate that person who you otherwise
might have overlooked....before they bloom.
....was the shadowbox frame. These frames were the first thing that we sold in our shop. My husband, Craig, had made them for us to give as Christmas presents for a few family members. I had always tried to do some of our gifts homemade......for budget reasons in the beginning but ended up being for much bigger reasons. Here is just a sampling of some of the shadowbox frames that Cellar Designs currently sells.
Cellar Designs is joining the blogging world!
I hope to use this as a place to share what is at the heart of who I am
and what comes from Cellar Designs.
I will show you some of the newest designs and what inspired them,
feature some other people
that have the same creative spirit that I do and who inspire me,
and share tidbits of my life and the lessons I have learned from them.
Let me introduce myself....
I am Sarah Stevens.
I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt and friend.
I am a woman who thrives on creativity, love, compassion and...
most importantly, my faith.
I am the owner and creative director of Cellar Designs.
I feel blessed to live the life I do and hope to do so with
grace, humility,compassion and a lot of fun!