Super Awkward Me

Funny story…I was pruning bushes in the back yard earlier this week, and I came to an exceptionally stubborn limb. Next thing I know I was standing there shaking my head dazed and trying to figure out what hit me…?!

…it was me…

I punched myself in the face! I don’t know if any of you have ever been punched in the face, but it hurts! And it doesn’t just hurt your face, my whole brain hurt. I felt like I walked around in a fog the whole day and wasn’t able to think straight.

I tell you all this because my post punching brain fog caused me to forget about blogging on Tuesday…I even had it pretty much ready to go just had to post…but without any further delay…and yes I am fine and will be safer next time…here it is.


Get ready for me to get real with you guys…I am discovering that while I have the creative thing going for me…ALL the other facets of business are pretty challenging for me.

Building a website, writing product descriptions, setting up business plans, and networking on social media have all been pretty challenging for me.

My latest discovery is that face to face networking is very challenging…and I mean very very challenging…for me…I’m so awkward!

I had a couple of encounters with people where I had amazing opportunities to pitch Frippery House and network with people who could really help me get my jewelry into the local market in a really great way…and I was just weird..awkward…and super lame…maybe they’ll just chalk it up to me being an eccentric artist.

Let me give you one scenario…I walked into a cool local business…in the hip newly renewed part of town..and I’m checking out all their stuff and chatting with the friendly…and super kind…owner when she asks what it is I do for a living and I say ,”I make jewelry.” That’s it, I just throw it out there, I don’t engage her in a convo, I just kind of say it.

So, then she asks “Is that necklace one of yours that you’re wearing” or something like that. And I awkwardly reply that yes it is…and then in an instant, every insecurity I’ve ever had…primarily ones having to do with creating/failing/not being cool…flood into my mind and suddenly the whole interaction went from lovely to TOTALLY awkward because I realize that it’s been several seconds and all I’ve said is yes. And that while I was able to have a very pleasant conversation with her about other things, as soon as it switched to Frippery House I got weird.

So I spend the next 5 min wandering the store trying to decide if buying something would make it all less weird. Before settling on just saying nice to meet you and goodbye…because let’s be real, I don’t have money to buy anything other than supplies to make more jewelry…to her credit this super awesome store owner totally redeemed the convo and gave me business cards and told me to contact her when I’m ready to wholesale before I left.

So…this week’s goal is to branch out and have conversations…with new acquaintances…about Frippery House.

Here’s to hoping that this girl’s awkwardness is redeemable!

 

Say hello…

As promised I’m finally blogging about this summer’s EPIC trip…6 countries, tons of people, and 30 days is definitely once in a life time. I am going to start with the most unexpected experience of the trip…PARIS.

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I know this is totally abnormal, but I’ve never really had any desire to go to Paris. I’ve had opportunity to go to France a few times, but have always chosen to go somewhere else instead…I ended up in Scotland the first time and the Netherlands the secondI think it’s partially because I until I lived in Bangkok I never liked big cities…I had never really lived in one, so I think I was just scared…and Paris is a BIG city.

When planning for this summer, Andrew and I decided that it would be much more exciting to take the train back to England at the end of our cruise instead of flying, which meant ending up in Paris…which he was excited about. We shared our plans with my mom, and she decided to join us, then my sister-in-law and niece got on board with it, and even one of my brothers.

So, after a long and exhausting cruise…plus a couple extra days at the beginning and the end enjoying new and exciting places…6 of us boarded a train in Barcelona and headed for Paris.

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The six of us in front of la tour Eiffel

I feel I need to have a disclaimer here that I had very low expectations mostly based on stereotypes…it’s dirty, people are rude, it’s too crowded…but I had been given one small piece of advice, and that piece of advice may have completely altered my whole experience.

Say hello

Every time you walk in a store or restaurant, wether you think people can hear you or are paying attention or not…just say bonjour…that’s the advice I received from friends a few days before we headed to Paris.

So, I did.

I said bonjour to every person I encountered. Every store and restaurant we walked into, every counter I walked up to, every bus I got on…I said bonjour. And, you know what happened…I found Parisians to be some of the kindest and most friendly people…it didn’t get rid of the crowds or the trash but did I mention that Paris is a BIG city…I think that’s just part of big city life…

People were eager to help us speak French, helpful and patient with us when we didn’t understand. People were kind to us on the Metro, offering up their seats to weary travelers. When I was walking around looking lost, people stopped to ask if I was ok and if they could help. There was so much life in Paris…all those people sitting in parks talking and laughing and drinking…I was only there for a few days, so I am not any sort of expert on Paris or the people of that incredible city, but it seemed to me a wonderful place.

PondSitting

This was one of my favorite things…sitting around ponds talking and laughing and watching ducks!

My experience there has had me thinking a lot about kindness. About how I engage strangers, and how I interact with the people I encounter in my daily life.

Do I say hello?

When I walk into a coffee shop is my first priority greeting the people there…both employees and customers…or do I walk in and say my order. I don’t think I am rude by any means…I don’t walk in and bark orders…and I’m very polite within what this culture says is acceptable…honestly people may find it very weird for someone to walk into a coffee shop and say hello to the room…but what if I took this advice and applied it to life here?

Would life change around me if I started saying hello? And not just when the cashier says it to me first, but initiated it, made eye contact, allowed it to lead into conversation…meant it the way I mean it when I see a friend.

Would I find just as much kindness and life here if I engaged people around me with this simple gesture? Because I think it’s more than just a gesture, more than just politeness. I think it shows a bit of humility, it demonstrates respect for the other person, an acknowledgment that life is about more than just me. And, maybe, in our culture of me, the simple act of saying hello is the kind of thing that Christ meant when he called us to be salt, to be light, to be in the world but not of it.

Oh, there was another piece of advice…to say au revoir…until next time my friend.

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Street performer tuning his piano…he just rolled down the street…in preparation for his performance in front of Notre Dame…LOVE this

 

Vacation is over…

 

We are home!!!

It’s been just a couple of days since we got back, not quite a week, and it’s good to be home. It’s a bit strange to wake up and not have my parents, my niece, my sister-in-law, or my brothers around. I miss them. I miss being on vacation…but then again I came home to no job…permanent vacation

Actually, no…vacation is over.

It’s back to laundry and grocery shopping, cleaning house, pulling weeds, paying bills…oh yeah, and starting a business. Yesterday I decided to jump head first into Frippery House stuff…and it felt a bit like I landed against a brick wall. Seriously though, I kind of just sat there for hours stunned and dazed. I was suppose to be writing product descriptions, but instead I spent about an hour staring at half a sentence on my computer screen…More than just an accent piece, the Faye… That’s not enough to sell the product…at least I don’t think so.

So, product descriptions will wait for another day. Instead I’m going to take some time to reflect on the trip, on the people I spent it with, and on the things I learned. It was an incredible time! I don’t know how much my son or my 9 year old niece will remember, but I will remember it always.

I learned a lot about myself on this trip. I learned a lot about my family. And, while it wasn’t necessarily all good…some of the things I learned about myself I didn’t really like…here is my biggest take away.

I have an incredible family.

 

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I have the most generous parents ever…seriously I would enter them into a contest if there was one. My father has energy that won’t stop, and my mom carries with her a peacefulness that we all benefit from. They’ve been married for ever, have lived on four different continents, have moved what I’m sure feels like a million times, have watched their children grow into adults…and all the good and bad that came with that…and now they are watching their grandkids grow up from a distance….for now.

They are the coolest!

Later this week I’m going to post my next Inspiration Page with a sneak peak at the latest design in Frippery House’s first collection!!!

 

London loves me…

I know that a place can’t really love me, but London does. Actually, it’s not just London, it seems to be places that are stereotyped as rainy and dreary…London and Seattle. Whenever I visit both places seem to put on a show for me, keeping the rain clouds and stormy weather to a minimum and instead displaying sunny skies with moderate temperatures…which nearly convinces me that I may be in love with them too.

I LOVE Colorado, but I hate not being able to sit in the sun. Some of you may be able to enjoy this luxury, but I get sunburns in the shade in Colorado…with SPF 300 on! So I love how when the sun shines here it’s just warm and you can stand in it and soak it up and it’s just wonderful.

Other than seeing my family and one of my favourite people Emily…who is so obviously the absolute best thing about any trip to London…the highlight of the trip was getting to go on the London Eye…it’s a giant ferris wheel over the Thames and it was incredible!

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Tomorrow evening all of us head to Venice to start our cruise…it’s so incredible how family grows over time, how the five of us have turned into nine, and then some day there will be even more.

You have an incredible week!

Leaving on a jet plane…

It’s here, it’s finally here! Today is the day that I board a plane to go to visit my parents…in England…for a whole month!

There are a whole lot of things to be excited about in that statement…traveling, England, vacation…but I think the thing I’m just the absolute most excited about is my parents…and the rest of my family of course. My husband is joining us in a few days, my niece is traveling with my boy and I, both my brothers will be there, and I get to spend a lot of time with my sister-in-law which I really enjoy…growing up with brothers I really enjoy having sisters now!

But, I really miss my parents, I miss having them in my life daily. So, I am looking forward to being at my parent’s house and not having to run around and see every touristy thing possible, but just living life. I’m excited to pick my dad’s brain about business planning stuff, and to talk with my mom about the creative stuff…she’s going to help me figure out my packaging because she is a genius with fabric and unlike me the sewing machine is her friend not her foe. I’m excited for my son to spend time with my parents, especially my dad, just hanging out at the house and really getting to know him.

Oh, and I’m excited for Ian and the boy to see London in the summer…I love London in the summer!

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London last time we were there…cold and dreary

I’m also looking forward to getting away. Life has been crazy piled on top of crazy with a side of busy shoved in. I haven’t had much time to work on business stuff, hadn’t sat down to make anything in my creative space for weeks! Until yesterday when creative inspiration struck!!!

I finished a piece I’ve been working on for MONTHS that just wasn’t feeling right…I had assembled, disassembled, reconfigured, started over from scratch, and then yesterday everything just came together on it. I also came up with two other designs inspired by two of my most incredible and unique friends that I’ve just been having such a hard time designing for…I want to design something not just inspired by them but that they would wear and they are just so cool I am crazy intimidated by this process. But yesterday, I was on a roll.

Now, I feel like I have a boost of energy I didn’t have yesterday…I may just be ready to take on the world today. Which is good because I have a LOT of things to get done before we leave this evening and even more to do this month while I’m gone. I just want to launch this business already!!!

Next blog will be from one of my most favorite places in the world…London…in the summer.

 

The Frizz

Mrs.Frizzle

I have always loved and I mean LOVED Mrs. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus series of books. She always was so interesting, so cool, and had such amazing outfits! There was just something about her that I found so fascinating. Honestly I still find her fascinating.

Becoming a teacher helped me to understand what drove my love of the Frizz. It was her excitement and willingness to allow her students to learn.

She was always more of a side note to their adventure than a main story line. She facilitated the experience, but the learning happened through the kids themselves, through their choices and actions.

She was excited and passionate and just so chill. As someone who has probably never been described as “chill” I particularly appreciate her ability to not freak out when her students get baked inside a birthday cake or swallowed by a fish. I had to learn how to not freak out when a self portrait ended up with a green face and purple hair or a kid though it would be better if their polar bear was dancing on two feet instead of walking on all four.

There are days that I walk into the bathroom after work and catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror; my hair is usually crazy, my already colorful outfit now covered in paint, sometimes pencils or brushes in my hair…and all I can think is Mrs. Frizzle!

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Recently I started to wonder, did I turn into Mrs. Frizzle because I loved her so much? Or did I love her so much because I am Mrs. Frizzle!?!

This week is my last week teaching, not just for the summer, but for now. I have loved and served these families, instructed and inspired these kiddos for 5 years. It’s longer than I’ve ever lived in one house, longer than I was ever at a school as a kid. I think that’s part of why this transition is so emotional for me.

For the last couple of weeks I have found the moments when I am in my classroom alone almost unbearable. It’s like my room is suddenly filled with an ocean of memories and they are threatening to drown me. But this morning I sat in my classroom with tears flowing freely from my eyes and I choose to let the waves of memories crash into me.

I remembered the kiddos who came to me young and chubby as 4 and 5 year olds and how much they’ve grown, what incredible 9 and 10 year olds they are. I remember the girl who covered herself in paint, the boy so scared to get his hands dirty with paper machè and after just a mild encouragement was suddenly covered from head to toe in it. I remember the conversations, the tears, the laughter. Oh, and the dancing, you can’t forget the dancing! Some of my most precious memories are of the times that we were all working and dancing and signing.

This school is in a very real way a part of my family. For reals though, my son came to me through this school, so it’s not just an expression. I have celebrated with our families, laughed with them, and grieved with them. I have had the privilege as the art teacher of having the same kiddos year after year, of building relationships, of getting to know them all. Of knowing all the siblings and most the moms and dads. And not just knowing their faces, but knowing their stories, their trials, their sadnesses, and their joys.

As I step in faith away from this and towards what God has for me and my family next I am both excited and sad. I know I walk in obedience, and I trust God’s plan…but my heart is heavy as I go.

I hope that I was of the same breed of teacher as Mrs. Frizzle. I pray that my students came to my room excited, anticipating what we would do next. I hope they have been filled with a sense of wonder and curiousity about history and science and math. I hope that they have left my art room marveling at the beauty in this world and the awesomeness of our Creator. Because that’s what they did for me.

Mommy bootcamp

Business planning, designing, market researching, designing logos and business cards, social media networking…these are the things that now rule my free time. They have taken the place of reading books, and sometimes even sleeping. It’s been difficult working a full time job and working towards the Frippery House launch. But, this weekend it was kind of like I got a little glimpse into my future as an entrepreneur mom….mompreneur if you will.

I had the privilege of watching two little kiddos for friends of ours while they got away for some kid free time. I had a blast with them! They are so sweet and so funny and really probably the easiest kiddos ever to watch…but I realized something. Now don’t judge me when I say this because it’s not like I didn’t already know this, I just realized it on a new level.

Kids are a lot of work!…especially little kids.

My teenager; he dresses himself and brushes his own hair, he doesn’t get scared of the dark anymore, and he can turn his jacket right side out if it’s messed up. This littles thing was tough! It was so difficult trying to get everyone out of the house, dressed and fed.

In the spirit of full discretion, I did forget to feed my own twice this weekend…but he is almost 15 and can make his own breakfast if he needs to right?! And…I forgot that church started at 6 and not 7 on Saturday so we ate a super late dinner that night.

But as I was driving around this weekend in the minivan; grocery shopping with an entourage, and watching my son read the kids books until they fell asleep so they wouldn’t be scared anymore, I felt a little like I was seeing into our future. And I have to tell you, my boy is going to be an awesome big brother, my husband is going to be an incredible dad to little ones, and me…well, I’ll figure it out too.

I’ll figure out how to shop with little kids who need to go potty right as you get to the checkout line. I’ll figure out how to have business meetings and entertain the kids. I’ll figure out how to work during naps or late at night when everyone sleeps. And some days…well I won’t have it figured out at all…

There is one thing I have positively figured out after this weekend, and it’s that the Dizon family is definitely more than just a party of 3! This last weekend left me with an even deeper sense of longing to meet the rest of our kiddos than I have ever felt before, a deeper urgency to pray we are all brought together.

 

Sometime in the next week I will have the logo completely finished! I’m so excited to share it with you guys. 

 

 

Drum roll please…

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Late night typing and editing the big name reveal.

Today’s the day! Now is the moment! It is finally time to share my business name with the world…drum roll please…

Frippery House Designs

Frippery, is at it’s simplest defined as finery. It is all those things in life that aren’t essentials, but they add so much beauty. Jewelry and artwork, scarfs and home decor, china and picture frames…this is frippery.

It’s all the little things that make an outfit your style and a house your home. 

As for the house in Frippery House…a house is more than just a place to live. To me it’s a symbol of family, of warm food, of laughter, and messes. It’s a place of growth…and of love. It’s the place where life happens, the place where we are our most honest and true selves, where we have the most influence.

Currently, the Dizon house sleeps 5 permanently, a few more if it’s only temporary. There is so much room in this house for gatherings, for life…but, we are out of room for children. Our first goal is to finish the basement and create more bedrooms, the second to adopt more children.

My heart in starting this business is to create beautiful, lovely, unnecessary, but oh so wonderful things…but to create them with purpose. I want to be intentional about making each piece of jewelry special and unique. I want people to know that when they purchase from Frippery House they are growing our house, and that they have become a part of our story. I want customers to remember when they wear their pieces, that it’s not just jewelry…it’s a story. I’m hoping in some small way, that through this purchase, through my blog, through our stories, to see people’s hearts open to adoption.

Frippery House Designs will begin by focusing on jewelry, and hopefully expand into all the other things I love to make…hand lettered signs, refinished furniture, and other pretty things. 

I am so excited! I feel as if I am taking what God has placed in my hands and doing what He asked me to do with it years ago.

Logo coming soon…so keep an eye out for it.

Thank you for joining me on this journey

Katie

Frippery House: intentional beauty

 

 

 

3…2…1…

I am getting closer and closer to launching this business of mine! Today is kind of a milestone for me in the creative business world…I registered my business name! It took me weeks of filling out the forms online and then erasing everything and closing windows before I could really commit to it…but I did it!

The process of naming this business has been challenging to say the least. We…this was a family event…made lists of words, then more lists of more words, then I translated that list into a variety of languages, combined all those words in a variety of ways to create yet another list, then we narrowed it down, recombined, came up with a few more words, polled our closest friends and loved ones, and finally found just the right name.

It captures both the heart and the purpose of this business, and I just can’t wait to unleash it on you all…

Stay tuned for the name reveal early next week!

Thanks for following me on this journey.

Katie

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