Sometimes it’s OK to be THAT Mom

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I’m not really a big baker, but yesterday morning I was overcome by the desire to make cupcakes for my daughter’s fourth grade classroom.  You see, I am the art docent for the year and the project for the day was to make a cupcake out of cardboard, teaching a lesson on texture.   Here they are (cute, don’tchathink?)…

I thought to myself…how fun would it be to bring in actual cupcakes for them to see and eat while I am doing the lesson?  Then, I thought:  Wait, Im not THAT mom.   We all know that mom…the overachiever, the one who the other moms roll their eyes at and wonder how many cups of coffee they must have a day to do all that they do.

But, I realized I wasn’t doing it for any kind of compliments, kudos or points from the teacher.  Being THAT mom for the right reasons can be OK.  I purely wanted to bring the cupcakes because I know how fleeting this time is with my 10-year-old daughter.   How many more times would I get to do this?

Yes, let’s bring the cupcakes!  Now, I don’t have a cupcake stand and the sprinkles and gummy lifesavers aren’t quite Martha Stewart, but cupcakes were coming for the art lesson.

As I mixed the batter, while my daughter with her swinging ponytail cracked the eggs, I tried to etch this special time into my memory and be in the moment.  I love the quote from Annie Dillard that says, “How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our lives.”  When we step back from the busyness of life, the to-do lists and the time we often spend on things that in the end don’t matter, we find that the little things with those we love the most are what bring the most joy.

And at that moment, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my day.

Love, Hammergirl (Kendra)



I Am…

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Brene Brown is one of my favorite authors.  She just released a new book, “Daring Greatly”, and it has already hit #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List.  Brene is real, vulnerable and I find myself inspired with each page I read to want to –dare greatly– in different aspects of my life.  She challenges readers to be the adults you want your children to be!  So good… isn’t it?

You can find her book here…you will be blessed to sit down with your latte and spend some time with her!

You can also follow her blog… http://www.ordinarycourage.com/.

I will leave you with a quote from Teddy Roosevelt in 1910 that Brene Brown was inspired by when she was coming up with a title for her book…

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

Here’s to DARING GREATLY our friends!



She SHOOTS like a GIRL

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My sister-in-law, Stephanie, just began a new business.  Yes, she did…in her forties.  I love that because I truly believe we are never done inventing ourselves.  She is an AMAZING photographer and this year she really went ALL IN with it.  The pictures she has taken this year have left me so inspired.  She went on a mission trip to Uganda this past summer and her photos capture the people there so beautifully.  She has pictures of barns, stunning seniors, flower fields, families, best friends, and even some great shots of my son playing soccer.  She realized that she has been given a true talent and it was time to share it with the world.  This can be scary for all of us and I am so proud of her that she decided to step out and bless us with her gift.  As I have watched Stephanie take hold of her passion, I have seen her transformed in the process.  She is focused.  She is exuding confidence.  She is happy.


What are you excited about?  How are you taking your talents and gifts and sharing them?  You will be blessed in the journey and so will others.

So, Steph…the wish mamas hope all your wishes come true with your business!  It is so cool for us to see other women starting businesses and believing in themselves. We love you and we love that you SHOOT LIKE A GIRL!

**Check Steph out on Facebook…http://www.facebook.com/#!/stephaniesharpephotography?fref=ts.

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Happiest Necklace We Ever Made!

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A gal called us last week because her dear friend was turning the big 4-0 and they wanted to get her something meaningful and special for her surprise party. When they were a bit younger (BEFORE KIDS!), they would go out and always bring “Wally” with them. He is the yellow smiley face guy. Wally became near and dear to all their hearts and signified there fun times together. We inscribed “wally” on the back of the necklace. She texted me after the party and said that their friend had tears in her eyes as she opened their present. She LOVED it. It is so much fun being able to mark people’s special occasions with our hand stamped jewelry!!

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This was handposted inBusiness Moments,Hand stamped personalized jewelry,personal journey,stories about our jewelry

The Wish Mamas are now appearing on someone else’s blog!  We were recently contacted by Anna Moseley of the blog “Ask Anna….simple and inexpensive tips for organizing, cleaning and decorating your home.”   Anna  is a close friend of my sister, Juliette, from my hometown, Redding, CA.  Anna was wanting to have a “spring fling” contest as a finish to her spring cleaning feature and thought of us for both a feature and a giveaway!  We were thrilled as we had been brainstorming ways to broaden our business beyond Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.  We love moments that cause us to stretch and grow so we contacted our favorite graphic-designer and fellow stay-at-home-mom Kim Smith of Danilla Bean Graphic Design and had a “button” designed that Anna could display on her website. (See below- we love it!)  I also spent a fair amount of time browsing “Ask Anna” and found it has a wealth of information about all things home.  Great tips, ambitious projects, and yummy recipes abound!  Wanting to put one of her projects to the test, I chose the window track cleaning project for my 16 year old son after he stayed out later than curfew recently…  I will take manual labor over grounding as punishment anyday, and now have sparkling-clean window tracks for the first time in years!  Anyway… after a bit of emailing back and forth our feature was born!  We debut today!   Check it out at www.askannamoseley.com, follow her six steps and enter for the chance to win our $50.00 gift certificate toward your very own As You Wish Design hand-stamped, personalized treasure!

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Marathon Moments

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A gal from Coeur d’ Alene called us recently to help her make necklaces for two of her good friends that would be running a marathon.  On the rectangle:  the word that has carried them through their training.  On the large circle:  “Love the journey– 26.2”.  On the smaller disc:  their initial.  She traveled with them to the race, and then, at the finish line, presented them with these necklaces that were so personalized to each one of them.  I am sure they were so touched by her thoughtful gesture.  How could you not feel special and loved???

We LOVE being able to be a part of people loving others.  It just feels good.  It also gives us a sincere belief that most of us want connection.  We want to reach out.  We want to love others well.  It is an honor to be able to be the bridge between two people as they do this.

Yes, we love our job.

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Shop Cat

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I have always loved shops with their own resident feline or canine.  You can tell the shop owner is personally invested far beyond the monetary when their shop is inhabited by a beloved companion.  MY shop ( my little nook upstairs in the loft where I am lucky enough to spend time creating treasures for others) has two animals:  Sadie the golden retriever who is always at the bottom of the stairs keeping watch, and Mia (stands for Missing In Action) our persnickety and aloof mainecoon cat.  We call her “the rare treasure” because a friend of ours pointed out that our stray is actually a highly sought-after breed (who knew?) and when I googled the breed they referred to mainecoons as “rare treasures”.   Mia is aptly named because she is always hiding from us humans, so it has been amusing that she comes out of nowhere everytime I settle in to hammer and stamp my metals.  She perches precariously on the ledge overlooking both the downstairs one flight below and my desk just inches from the ledge.  She purrs and watches my every move from up there… I don’t know what the draw is for her;  the noise?  my concentration on my craft and lack of interest in her?  or the warm light from my desk lamp?  Whatever her reason, I love having my own shop cat!

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Live the Life You Have Imagined

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Today I went to a graduation party for our good friend’s son.  He is heading off to WSU in the fall and the world is before him.  We made him this cool keychain…”Live the life you have imagined” with his initials in the middle.  I looked at him today with a little bit of envy.  Sometimes I wish I could turn back time and be eighteen again…how would I do things differently?  What choices would I make?  Often when you look back on your life everything can be 20/20.  In a few situations I even think to myself…what the @!*! was I thinking???  But, in my forty-something, enlightened self :), I know that everything happened for a reason, and really, at the end of the day, I feel so blessed.  Yes, I can say to an 18-year-old– “Go for it”.  “Live your dreams”.  But really, shouldn’t we all be doing the same no matter how old we are or what we are doing?  We should all embrace the idea that we are living the life we imagined.  Make it count.  Go that extra mile.  Hug your kids a little tighter.  Live for something beyond yourself.  I plan on living quite a few more years on this earth and I want to make the most of each day.  Then, if by chance, that is not the case, I will know I lived a life that matters.  On our tombstone, it will have our date of birth and our date of death engraved on it.  In between those two dates will be a dash.  The dash is what matters.  What did you do in the dash?   So Jaycob, I wish you well as you enter college, and for the rest of us… make that dash count.

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We are giddy!!

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It felt like Christmas morning as we were unwrapping the new sets!!  The wish mamas have really been wanting to get some new font stamp sets and here they are!!  We think they are delicious….would love to hear what you all think.  It will give us some more options as we design your perfect necklace!!  We are having so much fun playing with our new sets…

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This was handposted inHand stamped personalized jewelry,Parties,personal journey

I’ve had some time today (and that’s saying alot considering the busyness of this past week) to reflect on my life and, most importantly, it’s blessings over the past year.  I love reading other people’s blogs and find myself gravitating over and over to people who know how to laugh at life’s moments.  I think I lost my laughter for a while.  I think I’ve found it again.  Some events a while back caused me to stop laughing and I LOVE to laugh and to make people laugh.  My type of comedy is shock-and-awe comedy, as in… I can’t believe I said that, heard that, thought that shock-and-awe.  Mostly, I stopped laughing at home where the people I love most live.  I think they may have noticed so it has been a relief to us all that I’m loosening up a bit.  A few weeks ago I even pulled a really shock-and-awe moment at the dinner table and it was soooo satisfying!  We didn’t even need dessert that night.  Since then I’m noticing more than ever before how wonderful joy can be.  I’m not really sure I even recognized joy before, but I do now.  It comes from somewhere other than laughter, it permeates a larger space than happiness, and it lasts longer than momentary comfort.  So many people we come in contact with in this little jewelry stamping business seem to have figured out joy.  They are living out loud, and they are such fun to spend time with.  These are women who love their families, their friends, their jobs (which often seem more like passions than jobs) and their lives.  Kendra is one of those people.  Larger than life, trying something new, tackling a new (tiny) font with courage, checking out my latest mistake with grace… I’m so humbled for all the girls who call me friend.  I think I’m finally ready to ride this wave called middle age (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO) with a bit more joy than I did the previous stages of life.  Seeing what I have not yearning for what I don’t.  Laughing at myself more, making more of each moment, showing my kids that this journey can be fun and joyFULL.  So thanks for the laughter, I truly believe that it isn’t the laugh lines that age us but the lack of them…..