Calling all Dreamers: Your Must-Read Book Has Arrived

Calling all Dreamers: Your Must-Read Book Has Arrived

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Dreamers, unite! I am beyond thrilled to announce that I am one of the 100 to be selected for the @JunkGypsyBook Launch Team!!!

I got to read an advance copy of this amazing book, and I couldn’t. put. it. down.

So good.

This book starts with such a  beautiful story that any female entrepreneur who has set out to blaze her own trail will connect deeply with. You’ll love these ladies even more after you read their story.

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This book is full of heart, soul, grit, adventure, DIYs, glitter, road trips, trailblazers, family, and free-spirited wisdom.

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This is the anthem for those who –  in the words of Robert Frost – choose instead the The Road Less Traveled, to go ahead and blaze their own trail.

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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If you haven’t already pre-ordered the book – you should.{You will even be entered to win all sorts of Junk Gypsy prizes too!}

>>—> http://www.junkgypsybook.com

And, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the first Book Signing during the Antique Show on Sept. 24th! There will be butter + biscuits, live music, and books! Come meet the Gypsies and get your book signed!

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Question of the Day:

What is it that is calling to you? What sets your soul on fire? What is your purpose? What is your dream?

Leave your answer in the comments below. Tell me one thing you can do today to bring yourself closer to your dream.

 

#JunkGYpsyBook #JGBLT #junkgypsies #dreamBIG #thecrossroadsofwonderandwander #dowhatyoulove #inspirationalquotes #inspiration #girlboss

 

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#Shine Your Light – Interview with Christine Mason Miller

#Shine Your Light – Interview with Christine Mason Miller

Shine Your Light InspirationalInterview Blog Series
The Shine Your Light Series is a series of interviews with the creative women who are dreaming big, inspiring others, and making a difference.Today we will hear from the lovely artist and author, Christine Mason Miller. I’m honored to have her share her wisdom with us all.
Christine Mason Miller is a Santa Barbara-based writer, artist, and guide who has been inspiring others to create a meaningful life for more than twenty years. Follow her adventures at www.christinemasonmiller.com
Here is a wonderful quote that I love from Christine that really resonates deeply.

How do you find time to fill your creative well when you work on varied creative projects? Do you go on retreats?
I have different ways of re-fueling, which usually depend on how much time I have! If I only have a small window, it might be nothing more than watching a funny show or movie on Netflix. With a little more time – and energy – I’ll take a long walk, go on a bike ride, and, lately, go ice skating.
I am also inspired and energized by spending time with friends and family and I love to travel. Getting out of my comfort zone and seeing parts of the world that are wildly different from mine always fuels my spirit!
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day starts with our chocolate lab Tilda deciding it’s time for me to wake up, and promptly licking my face. After I’m up and about, I make a cafe au lait, have breakfast, take Tilda for a walk, and then dive into work. Lately that has involved planning and preparing for my retreats, working with my mentor clients, and putting the final touches on my latest book – a memoir about the spiritual journey I’ve taken with my family.


What are your top 5 tips for running a successful creative business.
1. Give plenty of attention to the details. This is what most people don’t do, and why I believe success is easy.
2. Set your sights on your goal(s), but be open and flexible in terms of how you reach them. The journey won’t be what you think it will, and that’s half the fun.
3. Don’t be afraid of rejection, and don’t take rejection personally. Every rejection I’ve received over the years – and there have been loads – wasn’t necessarily easy, but with the passage of time I’ve come to see them as badges of honor. These rejections are not symbols of my failures, but of my willingness to go for it.
4. Don’t assume that because you’re good friends with someone you’ll be great business partners or collaborators. They are two entirely different kinds of relationships, and have very different needs.
5. If you aren’t familiar with accounting and basic bookkeeping, hire a bookkeeper to go over the basics with you and set up your books. Don’t be intimidated by the financial side of things.


​What is the greatest piece of advice you ever heard, and how have you applied that to your life?

On the topic of creating “balance” in life, a mentor once told me, “You never get there, so don’t bother!” This sounds harsh and negative, but it was a relief to hear this from a woman who was older than me and who I respected tremendously. She was saying it to let me off the hook; she was expressing her belief that the goal of trying to attain a state of permanent, perfect balance in life isn’t realistic. She encouraged me, instead, to do the best I could in the face of whatever life might throw my way.
You have licensing success with Demdaco, Trader Joe’s, and   What would you say to someone who wants to license their greeting cards, or inspirational art?

You’ll have to show any potential licensee what they can do with your artwork. It helps to have a portfolio of designs, of course, but show them mock-ups of your designs on the products they create. Show them what you envision! This is what I sent to a former licensee. I created all of the mock-ups and then photographed them – so they were real mock-ups.  🙂 The company I sent this to had already licensed a bunch of my designs, but this was for an entirely new collection. The image I sent you was the cover of an eight-page booklet with more images, testimonials, and details about how to create and market the line.

I sent the booklet with a package that included some of the mock-ups. They were very interested, but did not end up picking up the line. But I’m glad I did it and still proud of the presentation!
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Do you think art heals, writing mends hearts and souls, and being creative helps us make a difference in our world? How?

My entire career is based on this belief – that whenever someone takes a step toward their most meaningful life, they inspire those around them to take their own steps…and then those people inspire their circles, and so on and so on. The ripples flow outward farther than we ever realize.
We artists feel deeply, and live heart-and-soul-centered lives. How do you balance living a meaningful life with soulfully sharing your creative gifts?

I try not to separate things too much. The attention I give to my work can be the same kind of attention I give to folding laundry. All actions are part of the same flow, and I can create beauty in all of it. My home reflects my work reflects my friendships reflects the way I set a table for a dinner party. It is all interrelated and all gives me an opportunity to practice presence.
Be sure to check out Christine’s books:
She is also speaking July 6-8, 2016 at Brave Girl’s Club Symposium in Idaho! And you can find her teaching at Brave Girl University. Follow along at @swirlygirl on instagram.
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If you liked this interview – be sure to get on the list! You’ll be able to sign up to emails in your inbox! 🙂
Follow along at @cloud9creates on instagram and @cloud9art on pinterest!
Warmly,
Amber

Etsy Share the Love Game

  
Hi there! I’m back on etsy with an all new shop! 😉

And I’d love to follow and favorite the shops who comment on this post. 

Let’s share the love and favorite all the shops listed!

 I especially love to favorite new shops just getting started! 

So, please comment below with a link to your etsy shop  (tip for a shorter link : it’s your -(shopname.etsy.com)

I really look forward to seeing all of your shops!

New Year. New Business.

New Year. New Business.

 

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Hello there, friends. It’s been awhile. Cloud9 Design has undergone some major growth, rebranding, and a metamorphosis of sorts.

What started almost a decade ago as a small little graphic design business eventually became a full creative studio offering: graphic design, website design, illustration, branding, photography, and a handmade business on etsy, as well.

Well, I have begun the process of distilling what I do down to only those things that I truly love, and bring others joy.

So, I do not offer website design or graphic design as a service anymore.

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I will  be offering mentoring to Creative Women Business Owners (yay!) The best way to get started is with my new workshop (which I adored creating for you) called Creative Heart: The Workshop for Creative Success.

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If you are an artist, photographer, designer, handmade artisan, farmer, etsy business owner, creative, or some other version of a dreamer and a maker – then get on the mailing list to know when classes start! You’ll  be so glad you invested in your business.

I love helping you do what you do best by telling your story. I am a storyteller at heart. I weave words, images, and art to tell stories. And I want to help you tell your story.

Are tired of having a website that doesn’t light you up?

Are you frustrated that your business card doesn’t really show what you can do?

Are you tired of trying to figure out what marketing works?

Do you feel pushy when you are advertising or marketing your business?

Are  you an introvert who doesn’t like networking?

 

I hear you! Me too! I’ve been there. I can offer you a guidebook that will help you find your way, build a community, and find your purpose, and discover your wings.

 

Do you long for marketing that feels real, authentic, and from the heart?

Do you wish you had community of kindreds that urged you on when you made mistakes, and celebrated your successes with you?

These are all the things you will get and more from the Creative Heart workshop.

I can help you discover your passion and tell your story in a way that is from the heart and that resonates with your ideal people. It will attract them to you! I used to think I had to be everything to everyone. But, that’s just not true.

When you specialize, or find your niche, you will actually attract clients who adore you and rave about you to their friends! It’s all in how you tell your story. 🙂

I remember those early days of passion-filled discovery that fueled the start of my business.

I remember feeling so confused over all the endless information and choices. Where should I start?  What does a creative business plan look like? Well, I want to help you by telling you all the things I’ve learned along the way and wished someone had told me back then.

If you want clarity in your business, a business that stands on your values, and the freedom to give your business wings, and lots of inspiration then join the mailing list now to hear when the next workshop and courses are offered. You won’t want to miss this!

It’s over a decade of experience in easy to follow and fun worksheets (aren’t worksheets fun?! I love the tangible feel of paper and pen in this digital world.) to help you take action and do what you love!

You’ll get special workshop discount coupon codes exclusively for members and advance registration. 

So what are you waiting for?  join the mailing list now!

 

I’d love it if you’d come follow along at the new Pinterest page, check out the new website, and sign up for emails.

 

And, please leave a comment about what your one big need is this year in your business.

What do you have the most questions about?

 

 

 

Shine Your Light ~ an inspirational interview series ~ Author Beth Wiseman

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{Shine Your Light is a blog series of inspirational interviews with encouraging women, living their passions, sharing their hearts, encouraging others, and following their dreams. I hope it inspires you to Shine Your Light. Because you have a light inside of you that is brighter that you know.}

My very first Shine Your Light Interview is my dear friend and mentor Author Beth Wiseman. Her books are filled with hope, forgiveness, encouragement, and beautiful themes of redemption and faith.

So, without further ado, it is my honor to introduce the lovely Beth Wiseman’s interview. It is my hope that it inspires you to write that book you have hidden in your heart.
Hi Beth! Please tell me a little bit about yourself, and the journey that led to where you are today —
becoming an award-winning, published author of inspirational fiction.

I was born to write, and my first story was to my grandparents when I was about five or six-years-old. It was one of those “on a dark stormy night” kind of stories. Then I wrote off and on for years while raising a family.

Many times, my writing got put on hold. But when you have the ‘bug’…it never goes away. I did alittle freelancing years ago, and then landed a job as a newspaper reporter in Schulenburg for five years.

That was great experience and prepared me for the intense deadlines to come. However, writing fiction has always been where my heart is. When my agent sold my first Amish series in 2007, that was the beginning of a new life for me.

I started writing novels and novellas full-time in2008, and I’ve been riding the wave ever since. I’m contracted into 2015, and I’ll be writing contemporary non-Amish stories and weaving in some Amish novellas as well.

Did you have any valley experiences in your life that led you to your calling; your purpose?

Yep. Right before my first series sold, my son was very ill, and we spent a month at Texas Children’s Hospital with him. I remember dropping to my knees and telling God that I give Him everything Ihave – my life, my dreams, and whatever He needed from me, but I begged Him not to take my son.

I still get teary thinking about it because I know that it was at that moment that the Lord said, “Now, you are ready to work for me.” I was a broken woman. Within a few months, my son made a full recovery. Actually, the doctors had no explanation about a tumor he had that just disappeared.

It was a miracle in every sense of the word, and from there my head was filled with stories that glorify God. I will die before I ever write all the tales that are in my head, lol.

How did that experience shift your perspective in the mountaintop experiences of life?

Daily, I remind myself where I came from, where I’m going, and to stay humble throughout it all. Life can shift on a dime,
and living each day to the fullest is a priority. I thank God every day for His many blessings.

Do you have any writing mentors that you work with?

Surprisingly, no. Until I was published, I was a lonely little girl out in the big world of publishing, trying to make it on my own. I know lots of authors now, but I don’t have a critique partner or anyone who helps me with my manuscripts.

I guess I would have to say that my first editor—Natalie Hanemann—has always been my mentor. She took this first-time author and helped me mold my stories into something that was both entertaining and well-drafted. She taught me about three-dimensional characters and how to give depth to a story.

What is your all-time-most inspiring-absolutely favorite quote?

Miracles happen to those who believe.

Which scripture has made you grow deeper in your walk with Christ. {A fruit bearer, if you will.}

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Which was your favorite character to write in all of your novels? Why?

This would be a toss-up between Jonas, a character in my Daughters of the Promise series, or Martha, a character in my
Land of Canaan series. They are both older characters with snappy personalities. I love writing about people who are up in age. They’ve lived life and have much to offer!

What are the top 5 blogs you read for inspiration?

I’m afraid I don’t subscribe to many blogs due to time constraints and my tight deadlines. I do enjoy Steve Laube’s blog. He’s not my literary agent, but he has a very good blog and is knowledgeable about the industry. Occasionally, I stumble upon other blogs that I read, but as a rule, I don’t usually subscribe.

What 5 steps would you would recommend aspiring writers do today to take action towards
reaching their dreams?

I have always believed that anyone can get published…if they don’t give up. Unfortunately, publishers and agents only accept about one in a thousand manuscripts for representation or publication…so the competition is fierce. You have to have thick skin and learn how to take criticism and apply it.

1. DON’T GIVE UP!
2. Learn the craft of writing. It’s like playing an instrument or anything else that you want to master. It requires dedication. It is a large misconception that if the story is good enough, a publisher will mold it into shape. Nope. Both publishers and agents expect you to have at least a basic understanding of the craft.
3. Write every day if you can. It teaches the discipline that you will need later as a published author, and it keeps your head in the game. Not to mention, the craft will improve the more you write.
4. READ. I’ve heard more than one author say, “I don’t have time to read because I’m writing.” Really?? Writers READ. It helps improve the craft, and it’s always good to read books in the genre you are interested in.
5. Attend conferences if you can. Even if you can only afford to attend one per year. It’s a great place to meet editors and agents, and there are always classes to attend.

What books are on your nightstand right now? What are you reading now?

Right now, I am reading Waking Hours by Lis Wiehl. It’s the first book I’ve read by this author, and I’m really enjoying it! Next, I’ll be reading Night Road by Kristin Hannah. Another first time author for me. Both were recommended to me by my editor.

What surprised you most about being a full-time writer?

That it would be the hardest job I’ve ever had. For sure, it’s the most rewarding. But I had no idea about the process that
takes a raw manuscript all the way to publication. It takes an entire team to get the book on the shelf!

How do you develop such dynamic characters? Do you have a process, or is it more
intuitive?

My characters find me. They pop into my head demanding a part in the story. I don’t use an outline, and I usually do a minimum amount of planning.

I like for the story to unfold as I go along. If I’m surprised by a new twist in the story, then my readers will be
too.

Do you write your books on a laptop, or the old-fashioned way–with a pen and notebook?

I write all my books on my laptop. I’ve moved all around my house, changed offices, wrote in my sun room and in my recliner. But I finally have a nice new office that I love.

It does have a small recliner in it! Most of my drafts are done in that chair. When I do edits and revisions, I like to be at my desk where I can spread out.

What is your favorite word?

Smile. Although, I overuse it in every book! I always have to go back and run a search to remove some of the ‘smiles’.

What is your least favorite word?

Definitely. I tend to spell it wrong constantly – Definately.

What is the best book you ever read? Why?

LOL…there is no way for me to answer this question. There are too many to choose from!

What is one way you live a simple life like your Amish characters?

I’ve learned a lot from my Amish friends. The biggest thing for me is that fear and worry are sins. God always has a plan, so there is no point in worrying. And on a lighter note…we are raising pigs, goats, and chickens! Similar to the Amish folks. 🙂

What is next for you on the writing horizon?

I just finished book #6 in the Daughters of the Promise series—Plain Peace. It will release in October.

I’m starting on an Amish novella that will be included in a collection called An Amish Garden. And my latest release, a non-Amish contemporary called The House that Love Built is hitting the shelves right now.

I love writing stories with a small-Texas-town locale. The House that Love Built is based in Smithville, the quaint town where Hope Floats and Tree of Life were filmed…and at least six or eight other movies.

My next project is something entirely different from anything I’ve done in the past. I can’t say too much about it yet, just that it was inspired by a true story…and it involves a rescue from a third-world country. It’s a story close to my heart.

Where can readers go to learn more about you and your books? My website is bethwiseman.com. And I spend a lot of time at ‘Fans of Beth Wiseman’ on Facebook.

Thank you Beth!

Thank you!! 🙂

Beth Wiseman, amish fiction, inspirational author

Beth Wiseman is the best-selling author of the Daughters of the Promise series and the Land ofCanaan series. All of her books have held spots on the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) Bestseller List and the CBA (Christian Book Association) Bestseller List.

She is a recipient of the prestigious Carol Award, two-time winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and an INSPY Award winner.

Her first book in the Land of Canaan series—Seek Me With All Your Heart—was selected as the 2011 Women of Faith Book of the Year. Beth is contracted with Harpercollins Christian Publishing into the year 2015.

As a former newspaper reporter, Beth was honored by her peers with eleven journalism awards, including first place news writing for The Texas Press Association. She has been a humor columnist for The 1960 Sun in Houston and published articles in various publications.

However, writing novels is where her heart is. She left her job as a journalist in 2008 to write novels full-time.

Beth has a deep affection for the Amish and their simpler way of life, and while she plans to continue writing Amish love stories, she is also branching out into other areas.

Her first non-Amish, contemporary—Need You Now—released in April 2012 and landed on the CBA Bestseller List.

She enjoyed writing the story based in a town near where she lives, and she’s chosen another small Texas town for her next non-Amish contemporary—The House that Love Built—which is based in Smithville, the same quaint town where movies such as Hope Floats and Tree of Life were filmed. This novel will release in April 2013.

In between her contemporaries, she will be writing more Amish novellas.

Beth and her husband are empty-nesters enjoying country life in Texas with two dogs, twocats, five goats, two pigs, fifteen chickens, and a turkey.

When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, paint, and enjoy time with friends and family. She hangs out at Fans of Beth Wiseman on Facebook and loves hearing from readers.

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Brooke has only loved one man, her late husband.

Owen’s rebuilding after a painful divorce.

Can a mysterious house bring them together for a second chance at love?

If you would like to purchase The House That Love Built, you can purchase it HERE. Or at AMAZON.

{Be sure to watch for the next interview in the Shine Your Light Series. If you liked this post, please SIGN-UP for the MAILING LIST.}

 

{Creative Entreprenuer Tip: Do one thing a day that scares you}

{Creative Entreprenuer Tip: Do one thing a day that scares you}

{ORIGINAL 30″X40″ WATERCOLOR & ACRYLIC PAINTING “WOMB” BY CLOUD9DESIGNSTUDIO ON ETSY}

“Leap and the net will appear.”

Being in business for yourself is sometimes scary. We have to take risks, and face fear and take those baby steps that move us in the direction of our dreams.

Today, I listed my first largescale painting on etsy. I was inspired to just face my fears, and “take the leap.” Business Mentor Christine Kane said this quote in her webinar the other day, and it really resonated with me. Check out her free training for entreprenuers called The Money Master Class. Great stuff.

When setting out to be our own boss, and blaze a new trail in our careers, we sometimes lose momentum, or focus, or let those pesky fears get to us.

Truth is–EVERYbody has those same fears. The power is in the facing of them head on with the same courage that you had when you set out to be in business for yourself. To have the freedom in your life that you always dreamed of.

be open to possibilty - encouraging inspirational art painting on cloud9designstudio on etsy

But we are the dreamers.

The trailblazers.

The gyspy souls with the pioneer spirits.

We want to run soulful, heart-centered, creative businesses that help others.

We love what we do.

We want to make a difference.

It makes our hearts sing when we write that novel,

or paint that painting,

or take that photograph,

or play that sonata on the piano,

or touch others with our business advice,

and help our kindreds believe in the possibility of their dreams.

So face that fear today, dear one.

Take a step toward living the life that you love.

The life that is calling you.

What one little step could you take today to move toward a creative business that makes you come alive?

What lights you up?

What are you passionate about?

What can you do for hours and lose track of time because it is like music to your soul?

Do something today. Just do one thing today that scares you a little bit.

Because I know that when we move towards the life we’ve imagined, it feels scary.

Because we know it’s right. And it’s what we are meant to be doing.

Fear is a great sign that you are on the right path.

Keep going.

Dream big.

Take a small step towards your dreams.

Do what you love.

one small step - do one thing a day that scares you

*Write (in the comments below) the 1 thing you will do today that scares you below.

I want to cheer you on!

{do what you love — kelly rae roberts : flying lessons}

“What You’re Doing Matters” – 8×10 print – Kelly Rae Roberts

Kelly Rae Roberts is a huge mentor to me. She has inspired me so much and I feel she is a kindred soul sister.

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If you have ever wanted to start an art or creative business , Kelly Rae has all the answers to your creative-entrepreneur questions.

Here’s what Kelly Rae has to say on her blog about the questions she gets asked everyday by artists like you, and me, who want to make a living making art.

Everyday, I receive emails from creative souls asking for my advice. They want to know how, in a span of just a couple of years, I built an online presence and successful online shop, wrote a best selling book, got published in several magazines, and launched successful gift collections (via licensing deals) that are sold in stores nationwide.

They ask advice on how to sell original paintings, how to have an effective online presence, how to create and package prints/jewelry/originals, how to create a website and community. They ask about licensing, money, publishing, press, and social networking. They ask me how on earth I manage my time, how I face my fears, how I stay organized.

I know exactly where they’re coming from. It wasn’t that long ago that I was sending similar emails out to artists I admired, people who seemed to have booming creative businesses. Some would answer me, but most didn’t. Now that I’m crazy busy over here and on the other end of that email exchange, I get it. I’m sure some didn’t respond because they were simply too busy to give advice to a complete stranger and I’m sure some didn’t respond because they wanted to protect their hard earned information.

For me, it hasn’t been a matter of not wanting to share what I know, it’s been a matter of time and the value of that time. In the end, I deeply believe in finding a way to share our stories, our resources, and how we’ve made it to where we are now.

After months of writing and thinking about how I could best share everything I know (and finally answer, in detail, the questions that come my way) I came up with something that I think is pretty darned special: a series of four e-books called Flying Lessons: Tips + Tricks To Help Your Creative Business Soar.

Flying Lessons: The Whole Shabang

In this e-book, you get it all! It’s parts 1, 2, + 3 combined into one big e-book. It includes everything you ever wanted to know about creating an online presences (blogs, websites, social networking), marketing, licensing, getting press/published, selling online + offline, time management, actualizing goals, copyright, building community, facing fears, burnout, personal stories of what’s worked for me (and what hasn’t worked), interviews with successful artists, and SO MUCH MORE!

Now Is The Time To Follow Your Heart’s Deepest Desire

You should get The Whole Shabang, which is the complete set of her ebooks!