Thursday, September 30, 2010

Seeds Fall during the Harvest

It stays so completely gray, here in Tennessee. The gray days last from early December until late February and this is usually when the painting starts. Laying down some paint to me is like the sun rising. So much learning, so much to understand. So much to walk away from. So much to walk right up to. I don't know if you can feel it, but I sure can. There is something in the air and it is contagious. It's like we just had enough already. My e-mail inbox is completely overflowing, with offers of every kind with price ranges of every value. And I simply must tell you folks of what it is I have learned. I have learned that it's not about Facebook, Twitter, or Foamspring. It's not about a single one of these. But what it is about is THE LIST. Your list of possible prospects is what you should be growing, day in and day out. I realized the importance of the list as I tried to recruit folks to volunteer for The Bond & Respond Quilt Project, the only way I got anyone to say yes, was if I just walked right up to em and ask em. I did this through our class e-mail list. Notice, I said nothing here about reading their every blog post or chatting it up with em on twitter. I just used the list and asked the question. Many said, they had little time. Many, didn't even bother to reply. Then some simply said yes.  
I started East Wind Productions in 2004, we had about forty clients and a delayed move, a broken ankle, and the death of my Dad postponed this grand reopening to never.
I started this little blog spot of mine, more than two years ago. I wrote one post and quit. Then, like so many of us bloggers, one day I just started blogging out of sheer necessity, about this same time last year. I blogged and no one listen, I blogged and no one cared. I blogged and I blogged. Then, before I knew it, it was the New Year and the New Year brought new things with it like Christmas does. I stumbled upon the Altitude Design Summit one day while surfing the net and suddenly my life had new meaning. The ALT badge was the first badge I placed on my blog and boy did I want to GO. Not able to go (of course), after the conference was over, I stalked their site for reviews and that's when I found her. Yes her ... The famous Victoria Smith and she and some of her design buddies were hosting this new thing called Blog it Forward. I remember the day and the date. It was February 1, 2010 and her blog stated, that they had simply been overwhelmed with requests and they could no longer accept any more.  The blogging was due to start on February 10, my birthday. I was completely devastated, but not for long, cause you see ... I just love my birthday as if it were a national holiday. Forget George and Abe Lincoln and the BIG V day, cause it's my birthday and I give myself permission to focus on me for the entire month. All of this gave me the courage to e-mail Victoria and ask her for the only thing, I really wanted for my forty-seventh birthday; a spot in Blog It Forward 2010. Victoria said yes and I was in! So, I spent the next thirty days or so completely immersed in the blogs of the three hundred participants. Our challenge was to show and share What Inspires US. My day was March 10, it was my turn, I was up at bat. To my surprise, I met the DEADLINE.  For many, many years I worked in the creative departments of daily news papers and it was most important to me and my superiors to meet daily deadlines. But, as you may well know meeting deadlines is next to impossible. Working under such intense pressure, almost did me in, but by the grace of GOD I survived. After returning to work from an extended illness, I learned the ole newspaper boys, not only wanted an error proof newspaper every-night and day, but they also wanted a blog post every fifth-teen minutes.  
   The last Blog it Forward post was in late March and there I sat, still digging, still blogging, still wanting to get in. So, one day by chance, I looked at the Google numbers and the math, just started to click. I shared the numbers, with friends and family, anyone who would listen, some did, but most did not.
   I later signed up for Kelly's e-class on creative businesses and that brings us to the right now. This very moment. Kelly stated over and over again, how blogging was the open door to her successful creative business. I purchased Kelly's e-book, the very last day it was available to the students. I loaded the e-book on my jump drive and on my computer drive and I printed out the pages on blogging and only blogging and since I was focused on blogging, I thought what better than a blogging e-course. Blogging Your Way has challenged me to look deeper at me and it's not been without some pain and panic. I've also come to realize more and more, each day, that I don't have to do everything I want to all the time. I've come to realized I can do some of the things I love to do some of the time. Which means if I'm more creative with the paint brush during the gray days of winter, then maybe that's just when I should paint. With the thought of compartmentalising my passions through-out the year in order to fulfill my lifelong dreams, I came up with a little plan of sorts and you can find it HERE. It is my dearest hope and prayer, that you will start your garden in the season of the harvest.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blogging Your Way & Homework

This is my red color story home work from the Blogging Your Way E-Class, and boy was this assignment a challenge, but since I have more red stuff then I know what to do with. Here we are, just a few more home work assignments and this girl is done. As usual, I started a little backwards and just so you know, my close to final assignment is the first assignment. Do you have an assignment, you are struggling with?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Flowers in pictures

A PEACH MELODY to start our Fall Days is one of my long overdue homework assignments for my e-course Blogging Your Way. I've been so busy photographing the flowers in my garden, I totally forgot about all of the other many possibilities. I picked up the peach roses & greens in the mark down section of kroger for a mere five dollars and added the white sedums from my side garden. Now I have a beautiful flowers arrangement to enjoy and some homework done.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Always on my mind ... a little red birdie

OK , I will admit it. I am in love with Polyvore. Polyvore is really close to being my new best friend. This Blogging your way e-course is the absolute best and I would highly recommend it to any and everyone, who has some interest in blogging. With every step I take and definitely with every class I take, I feel it is very important to pause and adjust to what one has just learned and witnessed. This BYW e-course will not be over for a least a few more weeks ... Yet, I feel as if I learned and relearned so much already. The photography portion of this course has been somewhat of a surprise and has ignited a sense of renewed interest in so many of the arts for me, including the art of organization. Leslie (the BYW photography teacher)  is a divinely organized photographer/home maker whose impact on me was multiplied with the sudden loss of Monica's quilt block = loss of time = me praying for 4 days = Monica's quilt block found = quilt to Marianne in one hell-of -a hurry = me reassessing my organizational efforts. So that's it folks, I'm rethinking & recycling my every thought. My thoughts on family & friends, my thoughts on my business, my thoughts on home & life. It's all pretty exciting, if you ask me. What this means is when 2011 arrives, I'll be ready. With only three months left in this year, I've also decided to due a year end review, yep I'm gonna try to look at everything, business wise all at once, in one feel swoop ... right here ... so stay tuned to this station. The 9 month review will post on Thursday, Sept 30 2011. What about you, is it time to review?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Blacklite Sunday

Blacklite Sunday
Blacklite Sunday by sonyamacdesigns on
I don't know what to wear to church today and I think, I forgot my shoes, today I get to discover what a blacklite Jesus Celebration is.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Transformations ... Polyvore 2

Transformations ... Polyvore 2
Transformations ... Polyvore 2 by sonyamacdesigns on
Rocking the Ranch Renovation is always on my mind after almost five years, a broken ankle, a new sewer line and seven layers of wallpaper , new floor in kitchen & den ... oh & an almost new bathroom ... still dreaming of the pretty stuff.

Friday, September 24, 2010

TakeN notes from the MEN

photo Copyright, LesisMore Designs: Leslie Wilson

Wow, what a week it has been. I'm hoping we all have noticed the step-up in the game this week and I hope we are marking our calendars accordingly for 2011. The men of the web have stepped it up a double notch or two, as if to say, it ain't over till it's over. I'm real happy doing, what I'm doing. I feel so blessed. But, when I peep in on the guys ... I must say, they got a whole lot more game.  This week I listened to Clay Collins in a 4 day video presentation and 1 live webinar. Clay is real busy selling his Pre-Sale formula and he ain't playing ladies. The members only site is on sale right now for a mere 1500 smackers. Next up is Jeff Johnson, who is giving away so much content on web traffic, U just about fall out of your seat. And, finally, there is always Dave. Dave gives away great content, on a regular. One could make a book, out of his FREE content alone. OH, oh, I almost forgot another man of note and that's Kevin Miller ... stepping it up with an Expose Yourself event, boy does he have some nerve. Are you staying in tune with the guys?

Red N Paris

Red N Paris
Red N Paris by sonyamacdesigns on

My first polyvore set

Friday, September 17, 2010

I wonder if the dirt knows ...

The postman arrived today with a paycheck, in the form of a magazine. Wrapped in some see though plastic. I am so excited and thankful, all at the same time. Dreams do come true!

I am super behind in Holly's e-class, I got eight pages of today's lesson printed, and then NO ink. This is a super awesome class, and when you get the chance to take it, you should dive, right in.

When a seed is planted it NEEDS much to grow. Yet none of us really know for sure, exactly what motivates the bud to just burst open one day in a bloom. Is it the fresh spring air of support? Is it daily sun bathing. Or could it be that sunless day of rest. Or maybe it's the surprise of an unexpected long summer shower. But we so often forget about the weight of the dirt, that holds the seed in it's place and provides nutrition without doing a thing. I wonder if the dirt knows, the importance of it's job. The dirt is the plenty, the powerful, the placeholder, the peeps. Are you the dirt? 

Found this fabric (in the photo) to use as the ground for the Bond and Respond quilt project. Getting lots of shots to share with you for the reveal. Marianne got a treat coming her way!

Thanks ... Sonya La

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Secrets of the travelN quilt blocks - Rebecca

Look at him, he got a heart, where your nose goes. What a wonderful addition, to this Bond and Respond quilt project. Rebecca calls this little friend R-Tiste Monkey Shines.

Secrets of the travelN quilt blocks - Lynnetta

This little guy, is just too cute. A little dragon, which Lynnetta came up while in school, studying animation. His name is Dewi, don't you just love em?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Secrets of the travelN quilt blocks - Jozica

Well now, I'm not exactly sure ... but I'm pretty sure this quilt was lacking a kitten. Check kitten off the list cause here he is. I just love to see the soft side of little boys emerge, as they pick up a kitten. Jozica hand painted this little guy and sewed on a button for his eye!

Secrets of the travelN quilt blocks - Elizabeth

A quilt, just ain't a quilt, without gingham and ric rack. Elizabeth is a really busy Grandmother and biz woman, with a whole lot of stuff in the works. I love the addition of the hearts to this birdy scene, and the little heart in the center is always cause for a celebration!

Blogging Your Way & Tidbits about me

a painting from 7th grade, a doll given to me by my first customer, little doll given to me
 years later and some curtain fabric.

I am super loving this BYW e-course with Holly and Leslie. These peeps have some good teacher DNA, the course work is presented in a totally different fashion from Kelly Rae's. Holly as well as Leslie, like for things to be real pretty, some girlie girls, I would say. I tried super hard to get into this e-course, over the winter, but I failed to meet the sign up deadline, due to funding. Now that I'm in this course, and loving it, I'm super thankful, that I took FlyN lessons first, because this type of instruction is needed, weather we blog or not. After the FlyN Lessons e-course, I really wanted to jump into some hands on creative projects, that have been waiting for me for some time now. But with, zero income and a mortgage, I knew as much as I wanted to paint, I needed to create a source of income for my children and myself.

When I opened my portfolio, there to my wondering eyes, were magazines I created years ago, not one but three magazine, layouts and all. My daughter, Lillian has what the public school system terms a severe learning disability, she is unable to process words with multiple meanings (sun/son).

One super hot July day, more than two years ago, I quit the best JOB, I've ever had, all in one day. I worked at a daily newspaper, at night ... which all to often, ran into mourning. My children, would get out of school at 3PM and I had to be at work at 3PM ... everyday at 3PM by heart broke, until one day, I simply had no heart. Working nights for years in the publishing industry, is a super tough job, working nights for years in the publishing industry as a single Mother is death as I would put the paper to bed, at 2AM and get my children ready for school at 6 AM.  .... to be continued

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Secrets of the travelN quilt blocks - Lorrie

Tweet dreams is so sweet, I'd thought I'd leave you with this quilt block as a way of saying good night. I love the way Lorrie designed this block of dreams. My children keep asking me, which block is my favorite and I keep disappointing them with the same answer. Where there is evidence of heart & soul, then heart & soul is the favorite. LOVE is a verb.

Sonya La

Secrets of the travelN quilts blocks- Back 2 Jenna

Today is going to be a bit of a quilt block party, I've got more than a few to show you. Just in case your wondering, I've received 21 quilt blocks to date, although the postman has not reached our house as of this writing. Jenna Hales created this mighty fine block. She is the owner of SparkleJenna. I found Jenna on the big list and she is working on her blog at

BlogN Your Way

I'm taking Holly's BYW e-course, and once again I'm blown away by the generosity of this team. This is yet another leg of an unlikely journey, for someone ... such as myself. I am so thankful. There is much homework and note taking to be done over the next few weeks. Leslie of a creative mint taught the class today. Such a practical team. I love this concept of learning to use what we already have. If you notice a change in my photography, as soon as tomorrow, you'll know why. What classes are you enrolled in or thinking about?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Secrets of the travelN quilt blocks - INTERVIEW: Debbie Saenz

It has been a few days since I have shared a quilt block, I've been sinking into this project a bit more, hopeN to discover a new and unique way to revel the final quilt, while I continue to share with you the ones, that have arrived to the party. The quilt top will be sent on Friday September 18th ... via Federal Express to Marianne, where she will  bind and quilt it. Marianne will send the completed quilt back to me and then, I will somehow reveal the completed gift. Please know I am completely Thankful for your trusting me with your creations.

Yesterday, I chatted (e-mail) with Debbie Saenz about her quilt block and she agreed to an online Interview about it and here it is!

Sonya La: Where can we find you online?
Debbie Saenz: 
My Blog is called A Creative Life at: I have recently opened my Etsy shoppe at: 
Lately I’ve been working on setting up my Fan/Business page at:
I would love it if you stopped by!

Sonya La: What part of the country do you live in?
Debbie Saenz:
I’ve lived in Lawrenville, Georgia for the past 4 years, but grew up in Miami, Florida. 

Sonya La: Please share with us your inspiration behind Blessings
Debbie Saenz:
The inspiration behind “Blessings” came as I was creating it, but there really is significance behind each layer as I was creating it. I started out with the background color. I wanted it to be happy, cheerful, like the dawn of a new day. So I painted it with oranges and yellows, the colors of a beautiful sunrise. Next, I created a border. I stamped blue flowers around the edges and added a scallop with a happy green. I then used a heart doily as a stencil and painted it with a bright red representing love. I added a tree representing a new life. I used blue for a boy. I created a “Blessings” banner, which is my prayer for blessings, over this new little life of love. I stitched it on with red embroidery floss and added 2 felt hearts holding up the banner. I added my prayer along the bottom – God bless you sweet baby. The heart with XO on the tree trunk is hugs and kisses for baby boy Roberts!

Sonya La: How long did it take you to complete this quilt block?
Debbie Saenz:
Oh it’s hard to say; I completed it over a span of several days. I kept coming back to it. 

Sonya La: Please address heat setting or is this a necessary step with the type of paint you used?
Debbie Saenz:
I used Folk Art acrylic paint mixed with a textile medium. I heat set it in the dryer for 30 minutes on the hottest setting.

Sonya La: Did you use art Canvas or just canvas fabric from the fabric store?
Debbie Saenz:
Actually, I used a piece of pre-washed muslin material. I figured it would be softer for a baby quilt than canvas fabric.

Sonya La: When you have several projects going on at a time, how do you find time for the volunteer projects (like this one)?
Debbie Saenz:
Well, working later in the evening and skipping out on evening TV/relaxing time with my hubby. Actually, when I’m into a project (like this one) I keep coming back to it using all the snippets of time I can grab. It’s like I get obsessed with it until I’m completely happy with it.

Sonya La: What business seeds did you plant in the past (that grew)during a winter season for you?
Debbie Saenz:
Humm, that’s a hard question to answer. The company I do work for, Plaid Enterprises, is constantly giving me work. I’m VERY grateful for that, but it doesn’t allow much time for getting my own business going. For instance, I’m currently working on 7 projects and they want to meet with me about more. I’m hoping for a “winter season” so I can plant some of my own business seeds. Meanwhile, I try to do as much as I can in-between projects I have going on with Plaid and raising a family. One thing is for sure, Plaid has been instrumental in helping me gain the confidence I need to begin creating the kind of art my heart really craves. My longing passion is to create inspirational mixed media art.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Secrets of the travelN quilts blocks- Jenna

There's no real secrets in this Bond & Respond quilt project, cause I gave y'all my address, showed you pictures of my house and studio. The only secrets, that really exist are in the envelopes, of the notes, cards and letters addressed, personally to Kelly Rae Roberts ... how sweet and wonderful, thoughtful are you guys. Every time, I get one ... I think back on all the love, my family showered on me ... while I carried my first born. On my Grand Ma's death bed, she made a point of sharing with me, her great disappointment in her family. It seams, many were named after my Granddaddy, but not one child was name after my Grand Ma. Seeing this sadness, on her face, I tried to lift her spirits, with one of my dry jokes. "I said Grand Ma , if I ever have a daughter, I will name her after YOU." Ha, Ha, he, he, and to my surprise, three years later my daughter Lillian Grace was born.

    A Micro Mag N less than a WeeK

    Buy Now $5

    Inspired Studios Magazine is here! Inspirations come and Inspirations go, then inspirations linger in our spirit, untouchable, by the outside world and we press on. Others call us crazy, but we press on. We ourselves, understand it not ... but we press on. Inspired Studios Magazine; shares stories of pressing on in our visions, that none can see. 

    I have a theory, about GOD, abundance and the gift of inspiration, it goes something like this ... GOD passes out inspiration, like Santa throwing candy at a Christmas Parade. Some children run, and grab the sweet stuff, eat it, before a parent can say no. Some, stand on the sidewalk wishing, they had the courage to step off the curb and grab it. And, then, there are the children, who quietly grab, themselves some candy, slip it, into their pockets, planning to unwrap it later, when they can  enjoy it's sweetness, it's flavor and it's bite.

    A Facebook post  this past Spring, led me to Seth Godin's post about the future of media and my past experience, as a newspaper copy editor, page designer, ad designer and production manager, inspired me to dig deeper. I'm a numbers person as well and as I began to dig, I discovered, little information, if any on this new media. Seth of course is a leader and a trend setter, so did I really expect to find data?

    I have always, loved my birthday! My birthday is in February. As a single Mother, I give my children, Christmas completely, no gifts for me! For my forty-six birthday, I converted our electrified shed into my studio. I gave myself permission to work and create in this little inspired space. The space didn't even have a window, but it was mine, for the cost of a few gallons of paint and the shuffling around of some furniture, it was mine. The photo on the cover of Inspired Studios Magazine is of the doors to my studio, the doors with windows, that came later, much later.

    I publicized and I procrastinated on the production of this micro magazine to the point of NO return. Until one day I realized, it just had to be done. But I wondered and I wondered, how I would ever, get it done, and then I discovered, the inspiration to produce it in Derek Powazek, cause he produced one in less than 48 hours!

    Sunday, September 5, 2010

    The ground is nothing BUT fair

    on a little spot of land in Tennessee; where the ground is always fair, I learned to dig my family as they were. And what they were is large, very large. Back in the day, every large family had a garden, out back. And my family was only different in that, both sides of our family lived on the same street. We called this double garden duty, cause we had to pull weeds or pick greens, not once but twice. After harvesting all that we could from the family garden spot, Granddaddy would till and turn the soil one more time, for a bed of winter greens, he would plant right now, while the soil is still, warm as snuff. My Granddaddy was Pops to thirteen children and his grandchildren numbered, thirty or more. How does one man, find that one special quality in each grandchild with so many, under foot ... I don't know, but he did. And what he saw, you saw and what he saw in me was my love of plain old dirt. So out in the garden, we would be ... just him and me. 

    Pops garden rules, began with being extremely aware of your environment and his most prized garden advice ... plant in any month, that has an R in it's name. This is standard garden theory 101. But exercise some caution here, and pay close attention to some natural clues. Become more like a seed pod and plant more than one seed, plant many and then and only then; expect rain, cause if you just planted one seed, the rain is sure to wash it away. If you want pretty green grass in the spring, plant it now. If you want a pretty flower garden next year, plant it now. If you want a thriving business, next year ... plant the seeds NOW for a spring harvest, and then be patient, cause the bloom come before the green.

    Saturday, September 4, 2010

    A Purple Cactus N Tennessee

    Cactus N Tennessee allow me to enjoy my favorite color, while I share in the Creative Color Challenge 
    Lavender. My son missed school one day this week due to super bad allergies that cause his eyes to
    swell over and we discover this while on a long hot walk.

    Sneak Peek Friday-Sept 3

    It has been an awesome week. The Bond and Respond quilt project is going great!

    Thanks to my FATHER, I've been able to complete the first issue of  Inspired Studios Magazine and I'll be uploading it to MagCloud this weekend.
    I finally, burnt (back-up) dump my computer desktop and my camera.
    And ... there's this broken lawn mower ...

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    WorkN 4 Him to inspire U

    I use to want to work for myself so I could do whatever I wanted, when I wanted. I wanted to be the BOSS of me and then one day I broke this cup, that was hidden like a bad habit; it fell out of  the blue, on the concrete floor as I looked around the room, there was no one else there but me to see ... single Mom of two, workN 4 Him to inspire U.

    Inspired 2 publish

    Today, I'm working on publishing this magazine today ... you see, it's been in the works for several months, and sometimes, you just gotta, get her done and this is one of those times, this is one of those days. Just when I thought it was impossible, I stumbled on the possibility. Inspiration in the form of Derek Powazek, who published a magazine in 31.5 hours and wrote a blog post about it to inspire others or to just, inspire me. This magazine is about folks who have been inspired to change, to create and their stories, my stories, all in one place. and a whole heck of a lot more.
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