My momma, Maxie Makes, has been working on the sweetest project with my grandmothers. After finding photos of both of them from when they were 18, she set out to photograph them in all of their beauty, both then and now.
Evelyn Ramey at age 18 & 94
This is my dad's mother. Her grandchildren affectionately call her grandma and her great children call her 'Evie'. When I think of her, I think of summers spent canning green beans, searching for worms in her compost pile and counting her house plants. The last time we counted, she had 93.
When she was 18, she decided to have her photo taken so, she went to a photographer in downtown in Mooresville, NC, where she lived. The photographer took her portrait and thought her eyes were so soulful that he asked if he could put her photo in the window as advertisement. The door way of the shop was deep, and the glass window curved in from the sidewalk toward the door. He placed her photo there, behind the curved glass. A young man named Carlyle saw the photo and went into the shop to ask if he could buy it. The photographer said, "Well, I couldn't sell it to you without her permission."
One day a group of young people gathered at the parsonage, and Evelyn was in the group. She had never met Carlyle until that day, when he came limping down the hallway with a cane, being funny and pretending to be an old man. They started dating soon after, and needless to say, he got permission to buy that portrait. They were married soon after, and Carlyle became my sweet grandpa!
Marrell Miles at age 18 & 83
This is my mom's mother, who we lovingly call grandmomma.
This is such a special lady, and we have so much in common. Her mother (my great grandmother) used to sew clothes for her as a child. Then, my grandmomma picked it up and worked in a "cloth store" most of her life. This is what made my mom fall in love with sewing, and she began making all of her clothes by the time she was in middle school. As you know, she now owns A Stitch in Time and is the creator of Maxie Makes. And so on goes the passion with my own career in fabric design! I love thinking about all the generations working together and carrying on each others passions.
Grandmomma has kept a flower garden more magnificent than any I've ever seen her entire life. She speaks with a softness and wisdom with an elegant southern accent that I'll never forget. She's funny, caring, thoughtful and always keeps ginger snaps in her cupboard.
bye bye april, hello beautiful may! luna moths begin emerging in may, so i wanted to share my luna rising print from my current fabric collection, forest floor. i have only stumbled across 5 or 6 luna moths in my lifetime, and they always leave me feeling so awe-inspired. they are majestic and breathtaking. i designed this pattern after having spent time with one last spring and photographing her all morning!
other things i love most about this month are: exhibiting at international quilt market, celebrating 8 years with david and the start of our CSA! what are your favorite things about april?
When I think back to the very beginning stages of my journey, I'm filled with feelings of compassion and hope. The early stages of any creative career are so important, and they need to be nourished and cared for. This has made me think about what I wish I had known when I was starting out. If I knew then, what I know now, would I have still continued the same journey? In my case, the answer is undoubtedly YES.
In hopes of inspiring all of us who are on a creative journey, I want to ignite the fuse on a new series: What I wish I had known when I was starting out.
Dear '2009' Bonnie,
It won't be easy, but it will be worth it. You'll have to shift your priorities and make some BIG sacrifices. You'll quit your day job after making enough money selling on Etsy to just barely squeak by. You'll sell a car and became a 'one-car family' for about 3 years. You'll cook at home almost exclusively and shopping will be a thing of the past. You'll decorate your small 1 bedroom home from second-hand stores. You'll live 'pay check to pay check' and struggle most of the time, and you'll work really hard. BUT - you'll be following your dream and loving your work and David will support you the whole way. It will take you 4 years to match his income, but then your business will take off! Your soul will be happy through it all because you're doing what you love!
There's room for you. In a seemingly overcrowded marketplace, you'll feel small and insignificant. You'll wonder if there's room for you, and if you'll be able to make a career from doing what you love. You'll get overwhelmed from looking at all the beautiful things other people are doing, and how successful they are. Then you'll realize, there IS room for you. It doesn't matter what others are doing, because the world is huge and there's room for you in it. The world will open it's arms to you, invite you in and welcome you. One of your missions will be to share this news with other's who want to make a living from doing what they love, too.
Cherish your early work. The time BEFORE anyone knows who you are or what you're doing will be difficult. You'll create A LOT of work and only hope that the future will pay you back for all your time and effort. It will be difficult to stay motivated and inspired. You'll want to rush this stage, but you should cherish it. Take this sweet time for what it is. Nourish this very necessary stage of your upcoming career. Pour yourself into your work as this the only time in your entire career that you'll be purely creating from your heart. No deadlines. No briefs. No pressure. THIS is the time where you establish your signature style of creating and it cannot be rushed. THIS is when you'll discover who you really are as a creative, what your main goals are and what your mission in. Because you take the time to nourish this stage, you will end up with a body of work that you are incredibly proud of. You'll create 100s of patterns that feel they like a direct reflection of your very soul. This is when you'll know it's time to show start showing your work to the world.
Sell with no ceiling. Focus on things you can do that will 'work themselves' (i.e. generate income while you sleep). You will always love to make small batches of handmade goods and art prints, but 90% of your business will run on things that 'have no ceiling' to their success. The key to your success will hinge on this idea. Focus on the the things that can generate an income based on percentages, like digital goods, eBooks, memberships, ecourses, licensing opportunities and more. Above all else, let your imagination run free!
Amazing things will happen! You will work A LOT in the beginning. You'll put in 50-60 hours a week for a few years, in order to work LESS later. In just a few years, you'll be running your own creative business, supporting your family and staying at home with your two beautiful children (their names will be Bear & Ollie!). You'll design a business that allows you to do all of these things while you work 15-25 hours a week. Your biggest dreams will come true, some so great you don't even know you should be dreaming about them! You will be living you greatest creative life and be excited to 'work' each and every day. The future is bright and exciting!
Love, '2016' Bonnie
Your turn! What do you wish YOU had known when you were starting out? Write yourself a letter and e-mail me the link to your post once it's published. I'll add them all to this post below, so we can all learn from and be inspired by each other!
Notes for this series:
If you don't feel ready to write to your younger self, consider writing to your FUTURE self!
Feel free to use the image above (just right click and save) - or - design your own! Just be sure to link back to this post.
You are going to be so excited to learn that while things have been a little quiet on the home front, I've been a busy bee working behind the scenes to make the Roost Tribe even better. I've teamed up with Gillian Trethewey - web developer extraordinaire - to re-imagine how the Roost Tribe works, and I'm so excited to share it with you.
For the first time since the Roost Tribe began in 2012, as a member, you will now LOG IN to view your content, all right here on Going Home to Roost. And the most exiting news - as a Full Access Member, you will now have access to everything that's ever been sent out.
That's over $2,000 worth of materials for you to enjoy.
To date - the Roost Tribe Library contains over 30 Adobe Illustrator tutorials, 40 printables, 45 vegan recipes, 6 eBooks, 12 sewing patterns, 27 clip art collections, 35 tech backgrounds, 32 pattern collections and 106 educational articles for your growing business - all designed specifically for you!
And the best news is - new content gets added for you every Friday.
You have two membership options:
Limited Access Members log in to view 2 months of material at a time. As new content gets added each Friday, older content gets archived into the Full Access Member's library.
Full Access Members log in to view the latest content PLUS gain access to the entire library of content (worth over $2,000 - as outlined above!).
My philosophy has always been to learn >> teach >> learn >> teach. The Roost Tribe is where you'll learn all that I know and share in my full creative expression. You will find inspiration, support and encouragement in your Roost Tribe community. Come join us and let's see where our inspirations take us together!
this quote goes along with another one of my favorites: "the things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling". there was a moment when i realized that my hobby wasn't a hobby at all. creating beauty was what i absolutely loved, and i was determined to make it my life's calling. and i'm so happy i took the chance!
what beauty do you love? or how do you create beauty? whatever it is, let it be what you do.
psst. like this set? you can grab it as a 8x10 art print, too! -OR- if you're a member of the roost tribe, you can find the art print AND a mother's day card both available for download in the member's area (see below)!
I'm thrilled to share with you that I'll be hosting a 3-part workshop, The Business of Surface Pattern Design for Modern Thrive coming June 7th-9th! Many of you have followed my journey to becoming a surface pattern designer. You know that I started out with a dream, and no idea how to make it come true! After spending years learning on my own everything I could about design and lots of hardwork and dedication, I am happy to say that dreams really do come true!
Through this course, I'll be discussing surface pattern design as a career choice, how to find opportunities to build your brand and put together a breathtaking portfolio. The workshop will give you access to three hour-long live video sessions, daily email lessons and a private Facebook group where you can connect with other surface pattern designers. And don't worry if you can't make it live - all of the sessions are recorded and you get lifetime access to the course content!
A sneak peek at the topics we will cover:
Session One –Building Your Business with Bonnie Christine (that's me!).
– Why surface pattern design may be a good career option for you
– Building your portfolio from scratch
– Finding opportunities and building your business
Session Two – Finding your Style and Creating a Collection with Bari J.
– Finding your unique style
– Developing a vision for your work
– Creating a cohesive collection
Session Three: Creating products people love with Andie Hanna
– How brands approach new product design
– Creating designs that brands will love
– Considering products when developing designs
Bonus! You can also save $30 if you sign up before June 1st with discount code “GoingHometoRoost”.
bye bye march, hello beautiful april! this clover grove is another favorite print from my new fabric collection, forest floor. it reminds me of making clover necklaces with my momma! what i love most about this month: prepping the garden, joining our local CSA and soaking up some much needed sunshine! what are your favorite things about april?
going home to roost may occasionally include affiliate links or banners in it’s posts. this means that that if you click on an affiliate link and purchase the item, i may receive a small commission on sales. all thoughts, opinions and suggestions are my own and posts are never written by sponsors.