Support Orange Graphix and Get a Painting!

If you’ve been following the blog, you already know that my husband and I are taking the plunge. We are opening a screen print and graphic design shop here in Orange, MA. We are so excited to be embarking on this journey together!

Side note: The question I get most is “Will you still paint?” Yes. Yes, I absolutely will.  Bring on the commissions. 🙂 

Support Orange Graphix

As we transition into this new phase, we are faced with lots of challenges that come up with opening a new business. And a good chunk of that is financial. Crowdfunding doesn’t feel like a good fit for us, but I have decided to hold a “Support Orange Graphix and Get a Painting” sale. This is a great way to support a local business AND get some cool art created during the 100 Paintings in 100 Days project. (FYI: That project will be hard to top. It was so intense! But I may try another soon…)

Day 96

Paintings, like the one above, are ready and waiting. Pick one price or two, it’s totally up to you. No matter what you choose, you have my deepest gratitude. By buying yourself (or someone you love!) a painting, you’ll not only get some art and you’ll be part of this bigger project that’s happening right now.

Search “100 Paintings” in the shop section to pick your favorites and support a local business. 

With love and so much gratitude,
Amber

PS: If custom apparel or graphic design appeals to you, your business or club/sport/facility,

The Final Crescendo.

Last year, I wasn’t prepared for it. Now that I have some experience, I should have been prepared for it.

But I wasn’t. 

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It’s the end of another dance season and I’m surprised how sentimental it makes me. To see the hard work for months on end wrapped up into a neat little bow is not really a gift you can prepare for. And I’m not even sure it can be explained.

But I’ll try. 

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For months, I’ve been packing dance (and snack!) bags, tying shoes, doing hair, and working my business matters around various schedules. The dance schedule being one of them. For months, my daughter has been learning new moves, practicing “just because I want to,” and growing as a dancer. She may have even cast me in a show or two as a mermaid. Our kitchen shows are quite spectacular.

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But it’s not just us.

Countless hours have been spent orchestrating a fantastic show (in this case FOUR shows). Everything needs to be mapped out; lights, choreography, costume changes, music, times, dates, locations, photos… and that’s not including the patience required when dealing with wee ones that might not feel like dancing that day…or are just feeling cuddly or silly.

 

Finally, it’s showtime. The backstage and dressing areas are complete madness. Costumes are tossed, hair is whipped up into perfect little buns, and it’s likely you’ll slip on a pile of broken crackers if you’re not careful. Echoes fill the stairwell and doors are shut silently. Backstage with its special lighting and the voices are hushed as the crowd applauds the previous performance.

Then, the music starts. 

Fear, fatigue, and all that chaos falls away. Another beautiful performance flows in and out. Seamless. Then a silent rush downstairs for another costume change. The audience unaware of the circus that lay just a floor below.

They are also unaware of something else. 

It’s not something that can be measured or dressed up. There are no lights or glitter to illuminate the displays of kindness or human interaction that aren’t always found in day-to-day life. In fact, they might be so simple – and so small – they might go unnoticed altogether.

You’ll find it in the sharing of bows when one goes missing. It’s in the lending of bobby pins. It’s the stage moms volunteering their time to keep the flow of traffic moving and putting in the extra effort to make sure your kiddo looks their best. It’s as simple as the mom that stands ready to intercept your child for a quick costume change in case you can’t make it back to the dressing room fast enough. Or the one who doesn’t wait to be asked and comes over and says, “what do you need me to do?”

These are moments you don’t see everyday. 

And before you know it, it’s over. The memory is made. And that’s when this unexplainable feeling comes in. If I had to pick only one word?

Gratitude. I have so much gratitude for everyone that puts their whole heart, sweat, and tears into productions like this. I’m so thankful to have strong women around my daughter. They are helping to shape the person she’ll become and I couldn’t be happier to have such dedicated and caring people in her life.

It’s hard to see it all end. But I know next season is approaching fast. And then we’ll begin this circus all over again.

The crowds always part, but I’m so grateful to be with my girl and witness this final crescendo every year. 

The insignificant is significant.

Why do people feel so comfortable in what they say to little girls? 

For the record, I highly doubt this is strictly a gender issue, but in my experience of having one of each, my daughter receives far more direct comments that shut her down than my son ever did.

As an example, my daughter has been told:

  • “Shouldn’t you be finding your parents instead of talking to me about your dance bag?” (said by teenager)
  • “I’d rather stick a fork in my eye than go to your dance recital.” (said by adult)
  • “I want to play there and you’re gonna move.” (said by kid)

And that’s within the last six months.

I get that marathon recitals and marathon (seemingly insignificant) talks can be much, but how do people decide it’s okay to say these things to her? I haven’t witnessed them all being spoken, but when I have I used the moment to teach her how to handle the situation. And there are times I totally had to set the boundaries myself, “no. she’s not gonna move. and you’re gonna leave.”

In the face of these comments, for the most part she laughs it off (a tactic I use myself) and goes about her way. But there are times that this girl is crying out to be heard. It’s usually when she’s trying to say something and her brother doesn’t want to hear it, because that’s how siblings roll.

But how many times does she NOT cry out, because it’s someone she’s not that close with?

It may seem like it doesn’t hurt, but it does. To me. Here’s my little girl who’s strong, but definitely a free loving spirit and these things are being spoken into her life. Of course, there’s lots of love and care spoken too, but the negativity hangs around. It’s stickier.

So far, these comments don’t seem damaging, but at what point does it become that way? When will that little girl realize what people are saying to her? Or does she already?

Again, I don’t feel this is only a “girl issue” because I’m certain it happens to boys too, but does it really happen as often?

Inquiring minds and all. 

Side note: This post was written in the wee hours of the night. Why? Because the dance bag comment was made today (yesterday) and I somehow made the connection between this comment and so many others in my sleep. This realization was strong enough to wake me up. (Those who know me, know that when my body sleeps, it sleeps. The realization was strong on this one.)