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Making Things New | Free Desktop Calendar Wallpaper

Happy 2015!

Today I made you a desktop wallpaper calendar. So that you may be reminded that you are lovely and valued. That you have been created for a purpose. May you bloom this year, friend.

Download yours here! Or right click and save the image below. (Please feels free to share this link with others! Just remember it is for personal use only.)

MissWyolene-Jan2015-desktop-insert

Love,

misswyolene_smallstamp-yellow-alone

Thoughts on 2014 | Free January Wallpaper Calendar

Greetings, friends!

I don’t know about you all, but I’m sitting here thinking “what just happened?” Was it not Thanksgiving, like, two minutes ago? Christmas was a whirlwind and now it’s already 2014. I kinda feel like I got gypped a little bit. There wasn’t as much time to savor the holidays. I let Christmas get to me. Not the advent Christmas that my soul craves, but the busy, hectic, I-forgot-I-needed-to-bake-that Christmas that I vow to avoid each year.

Coming away from the chaos, I’m really wanting to approach this year differently. We spent some time with the real Miss Wyolene over the holidays and I was reminded of an interaction she and I had when I was in the fourth grade. She and my grandaddy had come up from Georgia for a few days to hang with the broseph and me while my parents were out of town. According to my grandmother, my mom left her no major instructions, except, could she possibly organize Morgan’s bedroom? (Shudders all around.)

Now, understand that I have ALWAYS been a creative person (meaning, I’ve lived amongst piles of glitter and magazine scraps my entire life.) Also understand that at her core, Miss Wyolene is THE most organized person I have EVER met. So imagine my dismay when I came home from school to find my “creations” and belongings categorized into piles that stretched from my bedroom, down the hallway, all the way to the den. We’re talking, Bedazzler, colored pencils, baskeball card collection, and aforementioned glitter. I’m sure my horror bordered on disrespect towards Miss Wyolene. She calmly sat me down and explained why this exercise in organization was important.

(Please read the following in your best “Scarlett O’Hara southern accent.)

“Morgan, I have a saying that I want you to learn. ‘A place for everything and everything in it’s place.’ Do you know what that means?”

“No,” I undoubtedly hmmphed.

“It means that everything you have needs to live in a certain place. That way, you always know where everything is. When your grandaddy comes to me and says ‘where is such and such?’ I say ‘I know right where that is because it is in it’s place.’”

I’m not going to lie, it was probably brutal for my grandmother, who swears up and down she didn’t throw anything away. Even my Michael Jordan and Larry Bird posters. (Have I mentioned that I was an odd girl…hair bows and basketball cards?) The thing is, Miss Wyolene was right and is still right. Her home is the epitome of organization. I fear I might have broken her heart for all of her efforts because I still struggle to keep an orderly home. And an orderly workspace? FORGET it.

But in reflecting on this vintage conversation, I am realizing all of the wisdom nuggets I can glean from it. I have pulled a few loose “challenges” (not resolutions. I hate those.) from them that I’d like to share- if only to keep myself accountable. I want to:

1. Have an intentional amount of stuff.
As a creative, it is SO HARD to purge things. But freeing up space and ditching clutter can really make room for my eyeballs to see new things. White space is a designer’s best friend. I know I always end up filling it in, but it’s always there when I begin on a sketch page or on a new InDesign document. Why not make the spaces where I work and live look more like this? There’s probably a zen lesson in there somewhere: about giving yourself room to breathe for the purpose of creating. And if I can’t find a place for a thing, maybe it’s time to evaluate whether or not I need that thing.

2. Apply this rule to my boundaries, too.
Boundaries are HARD, y’all. Now that I’m a mama to one with one on the way this year, it’s more important than ever to find and defend my borders. As I move into this year, I’ve been outlining my goals and plans for Miss Wyolene. (Complete with Excel doc, guys. I’m not even playing.) I’ve tried to keep my work/creative life manageable. I can’t blog multiple times a week. To be honest, I don’t really want to. I have a plan to blog once a week. And hopefully those posts will be more deliberate. I’m also mapping out a studio schedule and setting aside very specific hours to work. And that frees me up to be a mama, wife, and homemaker the rest of the time. I can’t tell y’all how excited I am to see how this plan unfolds. This past year was far too muddy with overlapping time. And the guilt that ensued from my attention being devised was brutal. Kid time is kid time. The computer will be off. The phone will be at it’s charging station. Likewise, work time has its place, too. When the kiddos are in bed or napping or at Mother’s Day Out, then I can completely focus on taking the spreadsheet out of excel and building tangible, beautiful things from my plan.

3. Have less Netflix, more reading.
This kinda goes along with my previous points. I really want to purge what isn’t helpful, to make room for what grows and challenges me. I’m about halfway finished reading “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott. It’s an easy read and it’s all about writing. (Sheesh, I hope she never reads this blog. I’m kind of a brain dump writer.) However, there are SO MANY great nuggets to glean as a creative person. I keep thinking to myself  ’This is so much more helpful than catching up on “Scandal.’ I gotta pump myself full of this kind of thing. What inspires me to make beautiful things? I need to go to there.

So, many things ahead for Miss Wyolene in 2013. I will be packing up my office to make room for baby and moving into a coat closet. Literally. I will be learning how to juggle these items with two kiddos. I’m hoping and praying that the above points will serve as a framework as I seek balance. I know I will fail. I know it will be hard. And I know I can’t do it alone. As Lamott says in her book “Make plans and watch God laugh.” (Or something like that.) But I gotta try.

And to celebrate this intention, I’m sharing a desktop wallpaper calendar with you all. It’s going to be mind all month. Hopefully it will encourage you to find beauty and to make your time count towards whatever it is that moves you. For me, I want to savor time with my little people (and also my Big person), enrich their lives and the lives of others around me, all while finding space to create beauty. So, cheers to you, 2014!

Jan-2014-desktop-2

(©2014 Miss Wyolene. For personal use only.)

Love,
misswyolene_smallstamp-yellow-alone

PS- I have a few more printed desktop calendars left in my Etsy shop! Snag yours here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real Life

ImageYou guys, I have to be honest, I have butterflies in my stomach right now as I sit down to write this post. It’s not that I don’t want to, in fact, I think I really need to. It’s just very personal and I’m nervous about putting so much of myself “out there.” But in the spirit of trying to have a real and transparent voice in everything I do, I’m gonna go for it.

Have you ever noticed how when you get distracted by things that the Lord has a way of drawing your attention back toward Him and the things that really matter most? When I left my job over a year ago, I knew it was His timing. I knew He had a plan. I knew that eventually, we’d have kids and that I wanted the flexibility of being at home with them while still doing what I love: making beautiful things that would encourage people to connect with each other. I really believe that these were and still are pretty admirable goals. But somewhere along the way, other selfish goals crept in. Ones that slowly brought darkness into my happy little vision. Maybe a small success caused me to praise myself rather than thanking the One who gave me creativity in the first place. Or maybe I would drive through the beautiful historic neighborhoods here in Greenville and think to myself “one day….” Or maybe I grew impatient with the pace that my business was growing. I was doing ANYTHING but being still and resting in His perfect plan for me, my family, and my business. I was trying to control it all. Slowly, that darkness was sucking up the light. Fear was taking hold.

Fast forward to around Christmastime. Our sweet baby Bennett was about two months old and I was slowly getting back to work. I was going through a mentorship program and really felt like I was making some progress with my business plans and dreams. I was slowly realizing the mistakes I’d been making. It was around this time, however, that I found a lump in my breast while feeding our baby. No big deal, was my initial thought. I had some previous complications with breastfeeding and figured this was just leftover drama from all of that. I scheduled an appointment with my doctor just to be safe. She recommended I give it a week or two. Well, that’s plenty of time for me to google the heck out of whatever it could be and that’s when this new fear began to completely take over. This new fear blew all of my other mini fears out of the water. Over the next few weeks, I’d seen my regular doctor twice, a radiologist twice, and even a breast surgeon. No one could tell me 100% that this thing was nothing to worry about. I was scheduled for an aspiration (basically a biopsy) and had about a week to wait. Y’all, I really think that week changed me. There was nothing I could do but wait. Be still. These things are super hard for me. But the Lord knew I needed the practice. He knew there was a void of scripture in my life to turn to when I’m tempted to fear. In the meantime, I turned 30. On my birthday, my mom gave me Isaiah 49:16 in my card. The next day, a sweet friend gave me the same verse.

See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.

I had no choice but to hide this in my heart and ask Him to take away my fear. And He did. By shifting my focus back towards His love and His provision. It was a miracle really. A worry wort like myself went into the doctor’s office with an unexplainable peace. And the next day when the results came back, this worry wort praised Him for His protection and for His provision for me and my family. We got the results back- and they were the good kind. We were dumbstruck by His care for us.

All this to say, I’ve been all over the place this past year: I can almost map my worry. Worries about being a mom, worries about being a good wife, worries about being a good friend, about making things that people will like…on and on, around and around. The Lord used the scariest time in my life to reveal to me my need for utter dependence on Him. It probably isn’t how I would have chosen to learn this lesson, but I’m thankful that He is at work. I’m thankful that He is daily, moment by moment revealing to me how much He loves me: through the coos of little Bennett, though the selfless acts of my husband, and through His word that I so desperately need to hide in my heart so that when these storms come, I am much better prepared to rest in Him.

How has all of this affected Miss Wyolene? It certainly doesn’t mean I stop doing what I’m doing. It does mean that I have refocused: I have clearer direction on what is most important. Miss Wyolene is a gift and a blessing: and one that I can’t control. I will do it well, but I will remember His provision. And any blessings that come as a result are from Him. His is the only direction I want to go.

Our pastor encourages us to build an altar and remember His goodness. We forget so easily. Thank you for stopping by mine. And just because I need all the help I can get in remembering, I made the above artwork into a desktop background. Feel free to download here for your personal use.

Love,
misswyolene_smallstamp-yellow