My Happy Place, no filter

IMG_5921I’ve done it again. I got busy cutting, sewing, painting and crocheting, that I just made a big ol’ mess. It’s been two weeks since my last craft show and this room still looks like this. Lordy, Lordy, being neat is NOT one of my strong points.

You know what? I got to thinking that maybe I haven’t given you a proper tour of my happy place. Well, by golly, I need to show you around!IMG_5922 2So with my music turned up, I took it one piece of ribbon, one spool of thread and one ball of yarn at a time. If you are OCD/Neat Freak/Clutter Free/No Dust XYZ, then you may want to leave now. My 12×15 ft happy room may make you crazy, even in its “clean” state.IMG_5923 2My strategy to conquer this room was to start on the left and work my way around. I decided to put everything in its place…or at least in its general area. So here we go, on our left is my Cricut station. I truly don’t use this little amazing machine as much as I should, but it is good to have on hand. I store the vinyl, mats and rolled paper on the shelves below it. (Hmm…I’ve got that cat pillow there that I need to sell and the sunflower painting I need to finish up. It’s good to see these things.) Next to the Cricut station is a shelving unit filled with scrapbooking paper, stamps, painting supplies, and odd boxes of staple and glue guns. (I really ought to finish that neighborhood applique. It does a great job of hiding the junk though. I have a lot of UFP’s, unfinished projects, huh?)IMG_5924 2

Moving right around is my “office” area. Believe it or not there is a sort of organization going on here. Go ahead and ask me where something is…

Twine? Lower left hand cubicle.

Hammer? Easy…Upper right hand cubby in metal bucket!

Important MerryMary Studios documents? Thought you got me, didn’t you! Ha! In flowered folder in second from left upper shelf! Honey, I know where it all is. Those two rolling drawers are filled with ribbons, glues, markers, and doodads.IMG_5925 2Along with the crooked lampshade and falling down painted piece (I will never be Pinterest ready), I store my glitter and punches in the lefthand side. Yes, I have a whole box of glitter. A girl like me can never have enough glitter. Glitter is sparkly. Glitter makes things jazzy. Glitter is just so…glittery!

Three of those cubicles hold my bible journaling supplies…washi tape, stamps, stickers, devotionals and doodads. That reminds me that it has been a while since I’ve done any creative journaling. I need to get back to that.

Do you see the two pairs of pants laying over the back of the chair? Yeah, they need some fixin. And those two wine glasses are empty of crafting juice! Oh my! Note to self: Must fill.IMG_5928 2Ahhh the sun, glorious sun. I believe my very favorite part of this room is the window. After ten years of crafting in my old windowless room, this is heaven. I love opening the windows, listening to the birds, watching the squirrels and feeling the breeze. I purposely put my sewing machine right there. I have my sewing corner where the thread, rulers and iron are within arms reach. I only have to scoot around in my wheelie chair to grab whatever I need.IMG_5930 2 It is amazing what this tiny cupboard can hold…buttons, fusible webs, zippers, elastics, snap pliers, bits, bobs and even an ironing ham. I love my little gem.

As you can see, I’ve organized my fabric stash into color tubs. No, my fabric isn’t folded into perfect little rectangles or hung on cute little hangers, but it is in reasonable order. Hey, I figure that’s what an iron is for, to iron out the wrinkles. Does it look just amazing when every bit is carefully folded into a fat eighth quarter and stacked in color order, ABSOLUTELY!!! But I also know that I would get really upset with myself when it all came undone. I don’t need that kind of self-criticism. I’m letting that one go.IMG_5931 2Here we are coming to the opposite side of the room. The hutch has been with Superman and me since our first year of marriage, 31 years ago. Again, being in a room with no closets, I had to be creative. The upper portion stores books and some glass jars. The green basket holds fabric for projects I have in mind to do soon and the old dish rack files my patterns. Underneath is where all of the wonky stabilizers, interfacing and quilt batting can fit and not roll all over the place.

The shelf unit holds some of my craft show display items, empty boxes and bags, felt, more ribbons and other odd crafting supplies. It tucks nicely between the hutch and sliding barn door. IMG_5933 2This beauty is probably my biggest pride and joy. I made this sucka! All. By. Myself. It is a 4×6 ft cutting table on castor wheels that can lock in position. Yes, I cut, screwed, painted, sanded and lifted this big girl ALL. BY. MYSELF. Did I tell you how proud I am of myself and how I did this….all….ok ok. you got it. But really, look how beautiful she is! Not only can she be rolled easily around, she has a large surface to lay your fabric out on to cut and a very roomy shelf space underneath. All of my small fabric scraps go into their color drawer. She’s the perfect height to stand next to when working. In my last craft room, I used a long folding table, which was good, but it killed my back to work over when standing. This pretty gal is also great when a friend comes over. We each pull a red stool up to either side and do a project together. I love, love, love this table! You know, the one I made ALL BY MYSELF!IMG_5922 2So there you have it. My happy place in all of its glitter and mess. This room is so much of who I am. It is colorful, happy, and creative. It’s organized in an imperfect wonderful way. It has lots of current ideas mixed with the old. It is a place where God’s gift is used. This little room invites friendships to grow with scissors, paper, glue and lots of talk and giggles. Fabric and thread are sewn together in this room to sell and donate the cash proceeds to organizations that serve the poor. We all should have a happy place, whether it be a shed out back, a corner of a garden, or a soft comfy chair where we escape into a world of books. Where is your happy place?

This is my happy place. Thanks for stopping by!


Taking the First Step into Fear


What do you fear? Is it spiders and snakes? What about the dark or thunderstorms? Do you start having anxiety over heights or flying?

I remember during the summers growing up I spent e.v.e.r.y. day at the pool. Our neighborhood pool had two diving boards, a low one and a high one. I very much doubt that in this day and age either of these would be allowed. We lived in a much different age and time back then…trampolines without nets, rode bikes without helmets, roller skates with no knee pads, and ran all over the neighborhood with no shoes on.

Although I was at the pool every day, all day long, I never got over my fear of the diving boards. My friend Wendy had no fear. She’d cut flips forward and backward, on the low board AND the high board. Me? On the low dive, I could do the step, step, spring and maybe sorta do a swan dive. But more than likely it turned into a big old kerploosh. And the high dive? Well, about two times a year, I would slowly climb all the way to the top, and with my knees literally shaking. I would walk verry slowly and verrry carefully to the end of the board. I hated being up there! My stomach would be in knots and I just wanted to be off of there. But I tried to conquer that fear by taking a big breath and taking a step off the board. I’d come to the surface pulling my bathing suit out of places it shouldn’t have been and feel a little bit proud. (Then Wendy would be right behind me doing a backwards flip with a twist and flair. oh well.)

etsySo here I am facing another fear. Although my feet are planted firmly on the ground, my knees are still shaking and I’ve got knots in the stomach. I know I need to open an Etsy shop. What am I so afraid of? What’s the worse that can happen? I’m afraid of the unknown. I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid that I will put a lot of time and effort into it and no one will come knocking. I’m just afraid.

Again, I have no idea what I’m doing, but as usual for old Mar, I’m strapping on my big girl panties and taking a step forward. I’ve written many times about my foray into the craft fair business. I was afraid then of putting myself out there. And yet, I’ve been able to give over $2500 to different missions and groups who serve, encourage and feed the poor here in my hometown and around the world. Not all of my friends and family can come to a local craft fair where I am selling my goods, so opening an Etsy shop will be a way for me to reach a few more people.

I’ve poured over sites that teach you how to open a shop, read articles on how to up your SEO, how to tag, words to use. I’ve thought about buying a “proper” camera, a tripod, lighting system and even looked at plans to make a photo box. I’ve spent so many hours researching, talking, dreaming I guess to make me feel like I’m doing something, but actually I’m still just climbing that ladder on the high dive. I bet every week for a year now I’ve said “I’m gonna do it….starting Monday.” IMG_1854

Well, today is Thursday many moons later and I decided to JUST DO IT! I never bought a fancy camera, lighting system or photo box. I grabbed my I-phone and set up a photo staging area here in our ghetto basement entrance area. Much of my decision making has been trying to figure out what my background was going to look like. When I opened the back door, immediately the bricks spoke to me, so I got to work. (Why did I waste so much time thinking about light boxes and the such?JPEG image-7315DFF1DE5C-25I stuffed my little cosmetic bag with salvaged pieces of quilting batting to give the bags some shape and also to help them stand up a bit better.5D923D87-39B5-4D40-8997-44E4C38E301BJPEG image-7315DFF1DE5C-29Then I tried several different surfaces for it to sit on. The ultra white tea towel caused too much glare. Grey polka dots didn’t match the fabrics. The suitcase was ok, but it didn’t work with all of the bags. The dark beige looked a bit…umm..dark. In the end, after consulting my marketing team Facebook friends, we came to the same conclusion that the off white drop cloth canvas worked the best.

Don’t you agree?JPEG image-7315DFF1DE5C-21Then it was off to the races.JPEG image-2E624E2B07B0-42I stuffed…JPEG image-2E624E2B07B0-36Shot pictures of the front…JPEG image-2E624E2B07B0-24Of the inside (because you just don’t know what cute fabric you might find inside!)JPEG image-2E624E2B07B0-39The backside got photographed too!JPEG image-2E624E2B07B0-27I even found a few props to show off some of the extras in a few bags.JPEG image-2E624E2B07B0-11Since I was in the photographic mood, I pulled out a few of my hoop art pieces.JPEG image-2E624E2B07B0-7Oh Yeah!! Mary’s poppin now!JPEG image-AF57B5D57FA4-3Show it…JPEG image-AF57B5D57FA4-4Turn to the right…JPEG image-2E624E2B07B0-3Nice, very nice…JPEG image-2E624E2B07B0-4Girl! You are lookin good!…JPEG image-2E624E2B07B0-9Whew! I was done. The humidity is like at 90% and I’m dripping wet.

I think it’s time to shut this place down for the day.

I took the first step. I held my breath, faced my fear and jumped into the world of online selling. I have many more steps to take before my shop is up and running, but I’m in the game. I’ve got the ball rolling. I don’t know what the future looks like, but I do know that this shop has the potential to help so many in need. I know that God gave me the gift of creating and the heart to give. I know that He is going to help me every step of the way. He doesn’t expect me to know all the answers, but He does ask that I trust in Him for the details.

So my friend, what are you afraid of? What is holding you back from achieving your dream? Are your fears grounded in truth or in fleeting feelings? Let’s be brave together.Do not be afraid i am with you. isaiah 41.1 edited printer sharper 5 x7 printable

Thanks for dropping by!