wedding dayMy grandma passed away on December 4, 2011, the morning after my most successful show to date. She was my biggest fan, supporter, and inspiration. She even started my beading career by giving me her beading loom when I was 12. My grandma was an amazing source of creative inspiration. She taught me to sew and cross stitch, and made sure I had access to all the craft books and craft supplies I could ever need. She gardened, cooked from scratch, made my wedding dress and all the banners and linens for her church. She often joked that she was busier in retirement than she was while working. She told everyone she knew about my business and how proud she was of me. I try not to think about how much I miss her, and instead try to think about how happy she must be to be reunited with my grandpa, who passed away the month before on November 6, 2011.

My grandpa had a huge influence on my life as well. From a young age he would take me on visits to the Texas A&M campus and tell me about what it was like when he went there. A&M was the only school I applied to and it was a dream come true to walk in his footsteps. When it came time to apply for jobs and face the real world he taught me an important life lesson: never settle. With an accounting degree in hand, he took his first job and did what was expected of him. The only problem was that he was completely miserable. He knew he was meant for something else, something more. He ended up taking down bad guys for the Treasury Department using those same accounting skills. A year out of college in my own career, I found myself in the same situation: miserable. I was trying to fit myself into a mold that graduation daywasn’t meant for me. His example helped me make the change that led me to where I am today.

Word of the Year: EMERGE

This time of year I normally write a resolution or two, but I’ve decided to do a Word of the Year instead. A word is something that stirs my soul versus resolving to do something I “should” already be doing. My word of 2012 is Emerge. I feel such gratitude for having had these two amazing people in my life. It’s like a positive energy that’s pushing me to discover who I am as an artistic entrepreneur. I’m going to do everything I can to make my dreams come true, and know my grandparents and smiling down on me.

Resource: If you would like some guidance for choosing your own word of the year, check out Christine Kane’s Free Word-of-the-Year Discovery Tool.