The newest thing I'm working on!

Hello! It’s been a while! I have so much to share! I’m 19 weeks pregnant with a boy! I’ve never had an idea of what my definition of a perfect family was, but I am very happy with the balance. I’m excited to give Anthony a brother! I’ve had a fairly uneventful pregnancy, but it’s kicked my butt! Emotional & a mental exhaustion are my reality right now

Lucy just started 1st grade at Bishop McNamara. She’s very excited to be back at school, I hope that keeps up. She's an incredible big sister. So sweet. And so helpful. She is a kind and amazing little girl.

I am so proud of how hard she works and what she's accomplished.

One of the things that makes me most happy about our family is Anthony & Lucy's love for each other. I swear Anthony'd live with Lucy until she was 100.

Anthony is getting close to 4 year now. He got a bow and arrow set yesterday and it is everything to him. He is such a sweet and sensitive little boy. Right now, he is very skilled at giving me a run for my money every day. He's in a do what ever he wants phase, which is very challenging for this pregnant mama.

How I think he sees me.

How I think he sees me.

How I need to try harder to see him.

How I need to try harder to see him.

Kate is at a really great age, she’ll be 2 in October. She loves saying words just because she knows what they are. She told me “I love you” for the first time yesterday!

She’s a joy. It will break my heart for her to no longer be my baby.  She's my little side kick right now.  I love spending the day with her and her big head of hair!

Then there’s baby boy living in my belly, who I can feel kick at all times of the day! I love this part of pregnancy!

I’ve been developing a lot of new ideas that I’m excited about! I thank God daily for Jewelry. It’s my time to create and that is something that’s essential to my well-being. The cuffs I’ve created are something that’s been a part of my jewelry wardrobe for quite some time. My 1” brass cuff has become a permanent part of my right arm. These will be featured at the Kankakee Farmer's market on August 27. I will also be a part of the Kankakee Farmer’s market on September 10. I will be featuring  an every day collection, that currently lives in my head, but will be created by the market. The brass necklace that I wear every day inspired this collection. It's simple, full of patina, and has become a part of me. My holiday open house will be November 17, and I will have many beautiful beaded pieces created for then. Thank you so much for reading today! I hope you’re well and enjoying August! I hope to see you Saturday, August 27!

Mandy

Valentine's Day & Jewelry just go Hand-In-HAND

 

 Valentine's Day inspired me to design this piece, and I'm pretty excited about it!

I have to admit, I sometimes need a big fat reminder, to make time for my husband: he & I time. When we get home at night our life is hectic.  We’ve got dinner, baths, homework, movie time, and then Luke goes to sleep and I work.  We have the best intentions to have a date night, but we just don’t seem to get to it.  To me, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to make each other a priority and reconnect. I feel like it’s very easy for me to forget, but in all truth, my husband and my marriage are my foundation. He's the stability to my erratic personality. He knows how to push my buttons because he knows me to the core.  He's thoughtful, strong, and he works relentlessly to make sure my needs and our kids’ needs are met.  

 A lot of my designs are inspired by my love of my kids, but they’re kind of hard to forget! They need me or something constantly. Luke isn’t the type that puts his needs first so, in all honesty, I often forget to put him first. I wanted to design something that honored us and I could wear, hopefully to put our marriage in the front of my mind much more often. Our love has grown and changed in a beautiful way since we were first married, and I’m very proud of it. It's not without its fights, or normal everyday bumps, but I couldn’t be any happier.   

 This necklace embodies love, commitment, & connection. The quirks & the little imperfections become what’s most beautiful about it. The sterling silver disc anchors the piece. It’s hammered with Luke & my initials.  I stamp letters into sterling silver, because they become permanent. They’re set.  The hammered piece represents the very thing I hope for my marriage, something lasting. It also represents the fact that I want a marriage worth wishing that permanence, so I have to do the work.  I love silver because it’s wearable, and it ages beautifully. I think that’s one of the most heartfelt things to wish in a relationship. That it can grow and change with you.  I chose to add stones instead of merely having just a simple disc. I really wanted to make something more adorned, because I really want to honor our marriage. Me being the simple person I am, I don’t take adornment too far. So I’ve embellished the pieces enough so it feels special to me, but not overdone. I chose stones that complement each other and have just the right amount of imperfection. I love semi-precious stones because they’re authentic, beautiful, and full of visual interest.  It’s the flaws that make them and people interesting and beautiful. You’re lucky to have the quirks, that’s where the stories come from! Labradorite and Turquoise are my favorites. Brass hexagons too, and of course my current stone crush, Dalmatian Jasper. They all have something interesting about them. They bring out the best in each other. In my 9 years of being married, I’ve learned just how well Luke & I suit each other. I always thought it was important to have someone who thought just like you, but what really works for us is our balance. We are each other’s counterpart. The reason we work is part of the reason the stones work so well together.

I’m committing to wear this piece and to add a little spark to our relationship at the same time. I will wear my piece each day to remind me to text a hello, or make Luke’s favorite dinner. I designed the piece to look great with a pair jeans and a t-shirt or a little black dress. This piece is meant to be worn every day. I kept mine long, so that I have to take it on and off. For one, I will forget it and its sentiment if I have it on all of the time. Two, I love long necklaces. Then last, I love something that’s special to me, and beautiful and the same time, but that’s not obvious what it’s about. Like my marriage, this piece is quietly meaningful. My husband and I don’t have to declare our love from the mountaintops.  I know what this piece represents, but most people will just see me wearing a necklace that’s pretty. 

 Have I scared you with the window into my crazy mind? When my design was all said and done, I think the necklace ended up being a perfect metaphor for our marriage. I named it the Valentine Necklace. I hope you like it! Thank you for reading! Have a great day!

My Life: Week of August 17

The summer flew by! Lucy's about to start Kindergarten. She's a beautiful, intelligent, vibrant, &  sweet 5 year old, who loves spending time with her mama! I know it's not going to last, so I take it in when I can.

Lucy does not share my affinity for picture taking. I paid $1.00 for this picture.

Lucy does not share my affinity for picture taking. I paid $1.00 for this picture.

She's my Kate's biggest fan. Frankly, I think Kate is not crawling yet because Lucy dotes on her so much. Why move, if Lucy will get you what you need! Kate's 10 months now. She's not very mobile, as I mentioned. I think that mixed with some incoming teeth has this lady feeling aggravated. She's frequently cranky. I also think, I've been a little busy and relying on Lucy's help a lot. So I've been trying to spend more quality time with my littlest lady.

And of course, my Anthony! He's a very spirited young man. He ranges from super happy to crying in seconds. He's also a BIG lover of candy. He gets in a frenzy about it! Every morning, before breakfast, he will ask for something he can't have, like candy, then throw a fit when I don't let him have it. I call it a candy tantrum! These are quite frequent in our house.

Candy :)

Candy :)

I've got a much bigger handful of big events coming up than I usually do. I'm excited to see if I can keep up. Kankakee Farmer's Market: Saturday, August 22; A vintage and handmade market in Effingham Illinois: HobNob Market, Friday & Saturday, September 11 & 12;  My Holiday Open House: Thursday, November 19; One more HobNob Market in Danville, IL Friday & Saturday, December 4 & 5.  I will also be doing a Merry Little Market in New Lenox, Date to be determined!

I'm still shooting daily! My life keeps me plenty inspired.

Kate has this head of hair, that I'm mesmerized by, I love to capture the little details that I find so beautiful!

Kate has this head of hair, that I'm mesmerized by, I love to capture the little details that I find so beautiful!

She only knows how to move backwards :)

She only knows how to move backwards :)

I just love this moment

I just love this moment

Thank you for reading!!! I love sharing my life!! Hope to see you Saturday at the Kankakee Farmer's market, 8:00-Noon.

Have a great day!!!

Mandy

 

Right Now.

Hello! Time has flown, I don't believe I haven't posted in 2 months! I love writing and I need to do this more often! My kids are now 5, 2 years 9 months, and 9 months.

I don't believe it's the middle of July already! Our family just got back from a wonderful little getaway in Sawyer, Michigan. Our family travels about an hour and half north east just over the Michigan border to stay with my husband's sister's family. Our trip was relaxing and rejuvenating! We had some much needed beach time & unbelievably I finished a 5 mile run/walk through the Warren Dunes. I've just started running, so you better believe I was pleased with myself for completing this!

Lucy at the Warren Dunes.

Lucy at the Warren Dunes.

At home I've been excitedly working on some new earrings. These are my current favorites, I wear them with everything. They're about 1-1/2" in height. They make a statement but are so classic at the same time!

My current very favorite earrings!!

My current very favorite earrings!!

I'm really excited and feel very honored to have been accepted to the Hob Nob market in Effingham, IL September 11-12. I feel that this will be a perfect fit for me. I feel that they really care about packaging and displays, things I am so passionate about. I will be posting pictures of the new pieces I'm making very soon!

My passion for photography and documenting my family has taken on a whole new life. My Grandpa was in town to visit very recently. One night we got to talking about my Great Grandpa Joe and how he was an expert story teller. It just stirred me. I feel so passionate about telling my family's story and I think that it must be in my blood.

I'm currently working on a book for Anthony's first year (I do know he will be 3 in October! I've gotten a little distracted). I love that I am able to infuse this book with my love of design and my love of Anthony!

I'm also working on a book that I'm pretty thrilled about documenting our life. I create 2 pages per week, it really helps me put what I am thankful for in the forefront! It gives me perspective. In it I record what our day was like, things I am working on, struggles, triumphs, all of that stuff that's lost by the next week of your life. The really good stuff in my opinion. I get to work fast and loose with my design skills. This project is very close to my heart right now.

As for photography, I read every book, every clickin moms break out session, and every blog post that moves me. I practice daily and I just can't get enough. I was so thrilled to have camera in hand a big chunk of my vacation. I just love capturing my family the way that I see them. I love uncovering the little bits of beauty that'd otherwise get lost.

Luke's birthday.

Luke's birthday.

 

I will be at the Kankakee Farmer's Market this Saturday! 8:00-Noon! Please stop by! Can't wait to show you the new earrings I've been working on!!

More soon! Thank you for reading!

 

Happy Valentine's Day to You!

One reason I love every day life so much more than a holiday is that it's even and it's predictable, most of the time. There's a routine. It helps me remain grounded.  I am one of those head before the skis people ... I get excited, then watch out!  I've thrown myself into my photography this year. Capturing my kids as they are (not posed) in an artful way is my passion & challenge for this year.  Well... it's winter... I have to shoot indoors. There are a lot of cloudy days. My camera does alright in low light, but I've had it for awhile now maybe it's time to find something better. I do my research, check my budget, buy the first thing I see that fits my requirements. I purchase it and excitedly wait for it to come in the mail. A day or so into my waiting, I start second guessing myself. I log onto my Clickinmoms forum (which if you are into photography, you should totally check out) to consult, then onto Nikon.com, talk to their help, and I realize I've made a terrible mistake. They said the D3300 I've just ordered would be a step back from my D5100, they suggest a D7100. I realize they're totally right, no use purchasing something that will set me back. I say (in my head) I should wait, I should give it some time, save up a bit more. You know, get things handled with the D3300 return. Stuff that makes sense. Instead, I get so excited, I order the D7100 (for a great price mind you). Then after that I contact the vendor about the D3300 return and they want to charge me a 15% restocking fee for the camera! It's not even opened!! That should be illegal...  Insane.. I am going to have to give them over $50.00 for just ordering and sending back a camera! Cart before the horse thing not working so great for me! Back to my point ...

I love to get over the moon about things, but it takes me on a crazy roller coaster. Ups & Downs, and me all over the place. I throw reason and sense out the window. It's been a little nuts, but a lot of fun! I am still anxiously awaiting the D7100 to arrive! I am hoping to pass a little of my crazy excitement to you with my Valentine's Day sale. Free Earrings with purchase & other great deals. I'd show you a picture of the free pair, but to tell you the truth I haven't made them yet! I assure you I will be making a favorite to pass on to you!!  Happy Valentine's Day! Like me on my facebook page, and you will get more details on the sale. I am a little bit to the wire on this sale!

In my next post I will be showing you some of my new pics with my kids! I've got a lot I am excited to share with you about capturing your family! Also, I will be showing you some pics of some new pieces I am working on! I can't wait to share my inspiration with you!!

Can't wait to see you at my open house!!

Mandy Benoit

Finding Beauty

Today was a long day. All moms understand what I mean by "a long day". By the end of the day I felt that I was going to explode into a million pieces. If I had time to break down into tears in private without someone coming into join me, I gladly would have! I feel like I sound ungrateful, but honestly I am not. When my day is chaotic and full of yelling, whining, crying, falling, fighting, and messes mixed with my pre-schooler interjecting words that make her laugh such as "underpants", "tooted", and "poopy" at random times, I lose myself to the day. Layers of craziness wrap around me until I feel like I become just that.. or close to it. I am still trying to find the remedy for that. Today my husband earned his gold star. He walked in early from work and took over. I was sent to the tub with my new favorite Me Ra Koh photography book to have a break.  It's days like this that I need to create and find beauty in my life more than anything. Something to calm me down, inspire me, and help me to remember who I am and whom I love. Today, for about an hour I had all 3 napping at the same time. With very minor interruption. This gave me time to begin working on a new bracelet that I am really excited about. I think it's a great piece that can be worn all of the time and layered with other interesting pieces.

I love the look of a single bracelet, but I am really excited about intermingling them.

I love the look of a single bracelet, but I am really excited about intermingling them.

I just love the juxtaposition of the type and texture.

I just love the juxtaposition of the type and texture.

 

I also did a photo shoot. My favorite solution to a crazy day! I take a lot of pictures of my kids, today I  took 401! I am pretty happy with a good handful of them! Funny, my biggest bugger of the day was not pictured in many of them! There's always tomorrow to remember how cute he is! Sigh....

Frustrated with homework. I love capturing my kids as they are. Struggles and all.

Frustrated with homework. I love capturing my kids as they are. Struggles and all.

Kate. My saving grace these days.

Kate. My saving grace these days.

And since I began this post, this happened!

Found the clippers.

Found the clippers.

I hope you all have a great day! If not remember you're not alone! I have a lot of ideas on gift giving. I will be posting about them soon!

Mandy

Moving through Chaos.

11.01.14

It's new for me to have to try so hard to manage a day. I have to work my day around nursing a little baby.  It's still new, challenging, and frustrating. Early this morning I figured out that if I could get the kids bathed before Luke comes home for work I could carve out some time in the evening to work. I was reduced to tears when my mom asked me to visit my sister that evening. Sounds ridiculous. There's just no extra time right now!

Lucy's such a big help! Kate is so lucky to have her for a sister!

Lucy's such a big help! Kate is so lucky to have her for a sister!

11.03.14

I've passed through the honeymoon phase of having a baby into adjustment. Transition. Chaos. This is the part where I am punished for taking a shower with a toddler covered in diaper cream. Or I try to do double duty and nurse the baby while Lucy & Anthony bathe and I am left with a flooded bathroom.  Or... I let Anthony out of my sight, so ... again I can feed the baby and! the back of my camera is now colored with red sharpie!  I think I must be a glutton for punishment. This is the 2nd time I brought a new member into our family at the very time I am getting ready for my biggest event of the year. My holiday open house! I am absolutely overwhelmed! I consider myself to be someone who can always carve out the time to create and find away to put a positive spin on things, but I tell you! It's really hard right now.

This is one of the minor ways Anthony likes to get into trouble. I couldn't care less if my silverware drawer is in rearranged!

This is one of the minor ways Anthony likes to get into trouble. I couldn't care less if my silverware drawer is in rearranged!


11.05.14

Through the wonderful help of my family I've been able to get work done today! Sometimes Kate is on my lap while I work. Definitely more interruptions but progress feels sooo good!

Holding Kate while I work.

Holding Kate while I work.

Where I work. A little messy! I know :)

Where I work. A little messy! I know :)

11.06.14
Invitations are out!! My open house is really happening now!

In the next 2 weeks this room is going to be completely transformed.

In the next 2 weeks this room is going to be completely transformed.

11.07.14 

Kate's 1 month old today!

I am so lucky this little lady goes with the flow! She is  very easy. On average up only once in the night to eat. At 3:00ish. I am so lucky to get a lot of sleep!

I am so lucky this little lady goes with the flow! She is  very easy. On average up only once in the night to eat. At 3:00ish. I am so lucky to get a lot of sleep!

Oh! what a change a few days can make. Anthony no longer wakes up with with the F-you look in his eyes! Yes things still get destroyed when I feed Kate, but he has not climbed on my desk yet today so that's a positive! He's only dumped out a bag of goldfish! And I am now realizing that I have been slowly but surely creating some pieces that I am really excited about!

I will be honest, these items will most likely never make it to my website. Most items I make a few time or once only! Things sell so quickly at my open house I normally never have time to post them. If there's anything I've got pictured above that you want to purchase please let me know and it's yours!! 

Please stay tuned! I am excited to give you the first look of my new pieces! I will continue to post pictures of what I am working on!

Thank You for reading!!

Have a great day!

Mandy Benoit

 

 

Make Life Good: Create Something

 

FIND A REASON TO CREATE

Find that thing, idea, cause, or person that moves you, inspires you, thrills you. Create for that reason.

My projects usually start with a reason, something really great, that makes me want to do more. I find my muse. I think it makes my project instantly have direction and meaning. My kids inspire me. Lucy's 4, she is in Pre-K. She is a very kind, thoughtful, creative little person who loves to make me laugh. Anthony is almost 2. He will be 2 on October 13, 2 days after baby #3's due date. Anthony is sweet, hilarious, and rambunctious. I have so many things that I do and create because of the love I have for my little ones. The little lady residing in my belly, who I think will be named Kate is my most recent muse.


Choose a project

What do you want to make?

My version of nesting has nothing to do with a dusting cloth & some cleaner. I feel compelled to make my kids something before they're born. My mom made me things when I was young. I still have some of the palm size bean bags for bozo buckets from one of my childhood birthday parties that she sewed for me. I think having someone create something for me must be one of the deepest ways I experience love. Creating for someone I love definitely pulls me through a project. For my kids I make cotton swaddling blankets & baby quilts. The funny thing is, I don't even love sewing. I think for me it's the process of starting with an idea and ending with something tangible that thrills me. I think the process fused with creating for someone you love really excites me.


Make Time

Once you have your chosen project & inspiration. You have to make it a priority. You have to schedule time for it or it will never happen.

Since I've begun having kids this is my number one hang up. I would constantly panic that there was not enough time in the day to create. I can get a little crazy, if I don't have time to make things blocked out daily.  I think most people can understand the feeling of not having enough time. Some truly don't.  For me it's about carving the time out of the day. Honestly, the busier I've gotten, the more time I realize that I have, and thankfully the panicking has stopped too. I also think that's where the focus has come too. Time to devote to a project is something I treasure, but is currently limited. If I waste it, it's my fault. Please note, I work from home and I am a stay at home mom. My husband works 3 jobs to make this happen. Not everyone has (or wants) this. You may have to be a weekend warrior about your projects if you work out of the home. 

Time to create is food for my soul. Blocking it out to work has transformed my life. I get household chores done in the morning. When my kids nap, that is when I work in my studio. When they get up, I make dinner. When they go to bed, I jump back to whatever is on my desk. My work is my passion. Whether it's making jewelry, making quilts, taking pictures of my kids, the list goes on. It's what I thrive on.  I have fought for it though. Please note, my husband supports me in all of my endeavors. A little less love coming my way when I let the house go, but he recognizes how vital this is to me and my happiness. This is because I've been really clear on how essential it is to me to have this time.  If you want to create something, make it a priority, and adjust your schedule accordingly. Even if it's just a half hour here and there, it will do wonders for your soul!


Choose your materials

Is there something you're really interested in working with?

My projects have several layers of inspiration woven into them. I need to be thrilled about something to dedicate time and focus to it. I think that is because I get easily bored.  I used fabric from our local JoAnn's for Lucy & Anthony's quilts. I spent hours wandering the aisles until something spoke to me, I designed their swaddle blankets to compliment the quilt.

I've been quilting for years. Nothing fancy, just usually for a gift for someone. One of my favorite quilts I've made used depression era grain sacks. It's very bright and funky and currently resides in Lucy's bed. For Kate's quilt I decided to work from a source of inspiration: antique handkerchiefs. My collection began with some hankies my Grandma gave me from when she was a girl and has been growing for several years!


Conceptualize

Think about how you can make this work? How can you pull off the design you want to make?

This old beat up box of handkerchiefs has been moving from home to home with me for years. There's quite a variety of different patterns and designs. Is it possible to make a cohesive design fit for a little lady from this box of handkerchiefs? How can I take this box of mixed patterns and colors and make something that is not hideous? Sometimes I really like to leave these questions to the back of my mind to sort out. Obsessing and over-thinking are my enemies here. I think about it a little bit actively, and then commit it to my subconscious and start on the next thing. I think this is where I address the possible concerns and issues I have, then I let them go. Somehow, everything gets worked out


Hunt for inspiration

Pinterest. Pinterest. Pinterest

.

.

I am fueled by Inspiration. This part of the creative process is an ongoing thing for me. My projects are not usually linear in fashion. This step had probably been going on simultaneously with the others for some time. I know that I have a pile of mismatched handkerchiefs. I have no idea how I can possibly create something cohesive and pretty with them. It's time to search for inspiration. My source: Pinterest.

In my mind, there's no longer any reason not to have some great idea to be inspired by. If you're working on a kitchen. Use Pinterest. If you're working on your daughter's room. Pinterest. If you're designing a quilt. Pinterest! If you're not familiar, I will write more about the basics of Pinterest. Or just send me an email, I would be glad to share. I don't think anyone should be deprived of Pinterest.  Pinterest puts inspiration at your finger tips.

For this project I started with a board "Design {Quilts}". On this board, I add images of any quilts that I find beautiful. I use my gut to lead me to what I am really attracted to. Next, I create another board "Quilt {Baby Kate}". On this board, I compile quilt designs from my "Design {Quilts}" board that would work with my handkerchiefs and sewing skills. I am not a seamstress. I know how to work a sewing machine and that's about it!  Finally, I choose a single design that speaks to me and use that as my inspiration for my project. This part of my process takes days, sometimes weeks.


Make a decision

Give yourself a little time. But ultimately, it's best to be very clear about what your inspiration is.

I chose this quilt from "Little Miss Shabby" because I like the feel (light & airy), because it's relatively simple in construction (so I can figure out how to make it), & because there's a lot going on with the fabric, but it still flows (my choice of materials should work).


Learn Something New

Feel free to Fail! Take the fear out of the learning process. Take your project as a challenge and figure out what you need to learn.

Learning something new should be exciting and soul recharging, but for some reason it's become something people are terrified to do. I teach computer drafting at our local university every January. My students are often very fearful of failing. It completely gets in the way of them learning. My first job of my career as a designer was for one of my favorite people, Chip Rorem, an architect with whom I got to know and build a great relationship. When I began working for him, I was in over my head, but too embarrassed to ask questions. He told me "Feel Free to Fail". That took so much stress out of the learning process. I then felt very comfortable asking questions, over and over.  I use this phrase all of the time, especially to my students. Everyone is uncomfortable when learning something new. Don't let it deter you. I love learning but usually need a project to pull me through. I taught myself how to make jewelry. I read the sewing machine manual to learn how to sew. If you're interested in learning something, find a class, research on the internet. Information is truly at your fingertips. Use the excitement of a new project to pull you through!


Make It Work

This is where you have to trust your instincts and work through your problems until a solution you're pleased with is created.

So now I am back to one of my earlier problems. How am I going to take the mess of handkerchiefs I have and make them work for a quilt?

This part of the process can be very erratic for me. I go from the highs of excitement, to the lows of frustration when I'm sure my project is just going to be hideous. Then there's the doubt that comes from wondering if my idea is possibly as great as I originally thought it would be. Luckily, with 2 kids, I have a lot less time to waste on this emotional roller coaster. I have to be decisive and efficient or I would never get anything done.

The problem I experienced with this portion of my project is that I was thinking I could use all of my handkerchiefs. It never occurred to me that I would have to choose only the ones that worked well together.  I was very excited about my selections and how they would work together, but the actual design of the quilt threw wrenches my way. I loved the handkerchiefs in the image above, but there wasn't enough to complete the quilt.  I had to select more. Some of them dominated the piece. This is the time when I just have to commit to my project, put my head down and work through it. There's a lot of sewing together and ripping apart. It's frustrating, but also so close to the end!! And for someone, who ironically, does not love sewing, that's a very good thing!

End Result

If you are a seamstress, please don't judge me too harshly! I am very happy with the result. It's definitely not perfect, but the color flows. It's imperfect. It's relatable. The flaws are what make it unique.  There are big pieces of me and what I love in here. The quilt will be infused with them.  The little lady's carseat will be covered with it when we go out in the cold. It will be draped over the seat of her swing so she is comfortable. When she moves from her bassinet to her crib she will sleep on it. When she moves into her big girl bed, it will be there too. I hope it will be a constant reminder of how much I love her!

This entire process feeds my soul. Taking the inspiration I feel from creating for someone I love and combining it with the freedom and empowerment I experience from taking a design from an idea to a tangible thing is exhilarating. It drives me. I hope you found some inspiration from my post and start creating!! In my next post I will be showing you some of my earrings I've been working on and possibly a picture of my new little lady!

Thank You for reading! Have a Great day!

Mandy

 

NEW. TOKEN DESIGNS

 

{Please Click on the image above to see an assortment of my new pieces}

I am a big believer that it's the accumulation of the little moments of joy that you choose to see  or tangible small things that are interesting and unique that make life good. I  surround myself with things that are meaningful or interesting so that anywhere I turn, I get a little boost. I am really excited about how these pieces turned out because they add a touch of the unique & interesting to the everyday. From afar the tokens make great structural components that look like they are typical for a piece of jewelry. However, when you get up close you can see the design and typography. There's history there. The pieces become much more interesting when you really look at them. I find the combination of the tokens and the natural stones to be stunning, and full of timeless appeal! Stop by Saturday at the Kankakee Farmers Market, 8:00-Noon to purchase one for yourself!

I can't wait to talk to you about my newest project that I've got in the works. I will be posting in a couple of weeks!

Have a great day!

Thank you for reading!

Mandy

 

projects: MAKE LIFE GOOD

  I attempted to keep my summer simple by only taking on 4 new projects.  I have a tendency to think I have all this time when the summer arrives, I try to accomplish 10 things, and ultimately they all crash and burn! This year, however, I learned from many years of mistakes and frustration! One of my four projects is an email marketing course that I began late this spring. It has been particularly challenging and has really stretched my brain! After a few weeks of the class, I felt like I was on to something good! For some reason when this happens, I go into procrastination overdrive, get really anxious, and basically experience a mini breakdown. After going a little nuts, I am able to start coming up with something! For me, the most challenging part of the class was figuring out what I truly value, and working forward from that. I kept thinking it was celebrating, celebrating life, celebrating the ordinary, celebrating what's different, etc. ... None of these felt completely right. I felt like what really mattered to me was floating outside my body, just out of reach. While driving to Starbucks one day, it popped into my head! "Make Life Good". My brain just flooded with inspiration. This is why I do what I do. This is why I love doing what I do. This is something I would love to talk about. Taking the ordinary, or even the bad and turning it around. Elevating everyday! With this in mind, I am very excited to share my inspirations, projects, what's new, and everyday life with you! This putting myself out there in this way is completely new and is something I've been wanting and needing, but honestly has me pretty freaked out! Wish me luck!!

Have a great day!

Mandy Benoit