400 Moons

Pop-Up Collective

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MARK YOUR CALENDARS for JUNE 13th! I am really excited to be a part of the POP-UP Collective event at Barista Parlor, and will be among great company! The POP-UP Collective is a caravan of small shops with events in Chattanooga, Nashville, and Atlanta this Spring/Summer. If the Chattanooga event that took place during Mother's Day weekend is any indication, be prepared for a cool event!

Check out event details HERE

2014

400Moons1 Comment

Well, it has been a little over a year since my last blog entry. I have way too many drafts from the past 12 months, but not a single one is finished. The first half of the year was filled with heavy shifts and a lot of unknowns, I suppose I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to say about any of it. And the second half was so full of long-awaited changes and love, I suppose I didn't want to focus on anything else but living! But with it rounding to a close, it would be a shame to not share why my soul is as full of gratitude as it has ever been. 

Ever.

I have sort of looked at the last few years like climbing a mountain. It feels giant and impossible at first, and after moving forward a few steps you feel a little stronger, so you press on. You expect it to be difficult and to take a while, but you have to believe there is another side to the mountain. It was during this year, after four long years, that I finally found myself on the other side. 

Truthfully the year started out quite confusing and full of road blocks. This mountain felt as big as it ever had. No matter what strides I made I just couldn’t seem to move along like I hoped. Like I kept being stalled. Multiple possibilities would present themselves out of nowhere, seem promising and appear to be the possible next direction, only to fizzle away and become clear that they were not. If I had not believed that I was exactly on my path, even if it felt like it was a never ending path of going nowhere, I might have crumbled under the disappointments. But the truth was, I understood that every thing that did not work out was for the best. I was happy to have been open to it, learn from it, and was relieved to send it off without any doubts. The long list of questions and missed opportunities from my past that I was given the chance to finally close out in my mind was a gift from above. All of the space it took up in my mind and heart and soul was cleared out to make way for the life that was waiting around the corner.

I was burnt out and confused about what I really needed to be doing within my career by the time 2014 started. I believe it was mostly because I was coming up on the 10 year mark of doing design full-time. The calibur of jobs that I have been blessed with put me on a path I never dreamed I would be on, and it has been a fast moving career. But I feel like you reach a moment, no matter how much a job may mean to you, that you have to evaluate where you are. An opportunity that was presented to me in the beginning of the year—while it turned out was not meant for me—was the catalyst for stirring up the questions I needed to start asking myself. These answers and intentions that I settled on would be necessary later in the year when the correct next steps did present themselves. Most importantly, because I would actually be ready for the right reasons. It made a difficult decision much easier.

As far as my personal life, I was still sharing my days with loss and death. My grandfather passed away in April, and my beloved dog Oskar, who had also been Eric's, passed away in June. These were two deaths I felt coming, and thankfully I had a little more time to hug them longer, tell them I loved them as often as I could, and somewhat prepare myself. But like the years prior, the continued losses did not help with my attempts to get back to a place of focusing on "living". All of the road blocks and halts were not helpful with that either. 

"What do you come to the mountain with, what do you leave behind at the top?"

- Rakishi to Georgia, "In these last notes" 1968

Things quietly shifted with the arrival of Summer. One day I looked around and realized I had made it to the other side of this mountain. I was stronger and lighter, and fundamentally different than who I started out as. There wasn't impending death or chaos or loss consuming my days. There was no need to second guess opportunities and changes that were happening. There was finally space and healing and nothing in the way, and so light just sort of flooded in. And without warning I was given another chance to feel love again. All of the work and efforts had not been in vain, and finally I had found my way through! The last four or five years took a lot out of me, and while I knew transformation was necessary, there were moments of honest praying and begging for some sort of change. I wish I could accurately describe how it felt to finally be on the other end of all of this. I only have an image of falling to my knees with exhaustion and relief and overwhelming thanks while my heart swells back to a recognizable shape. Only bigger perhaps. 

Forgive my long list of gratefulness that you are about to embark on... I know it is too much! But the truth is, when I think back on this year I have nothing but gratitude at the end of every moment. For answered prayers that came in perfect time, and for those that simply had the answer of no. I am grateful for new opportunities to stretch myself creatively, and maybe make a little difference in this community I love. There is a peace about all of those I have loved and lost over the last four years that I wasn't sure I would ever find. I carry them with me every day and am stronger because of it. And as much as I had hoped that I would one day fall in love again, there was a real part of me that doubted I ever would, much less have it be as beautifully layered as it has turned out to be! It took me a long time to heal and grow and get myself to a place to be ready to start over again. And I almost missed it because I honestly believed it would not be possible. But thankfully it was Bobby who was on the other end of this, and he is patient and forgiving and knew me well enough already to keep showing up. This man who has known me for 9 years, has seen me at my best and absolute worst, and still somehow not only likes me, but loves me. I am grateful he was Eric’s best friend, and that he knew Eric better than most... knew him better than me in some ways. I am grateful for all of the times the three of us had together that were filled with so much laughter. And for the way Bobby showed up when Eric needed help. And when I needed help. I am grateful he chose to not only stay my friend, but to be the kind of friend who helped me with every big decision that I needed to make in the years to follow. This man was willing to help me with major tasks that without him felt overwhelming, as much as he was willing to quietly sit next to me while I moved through the grief. He shared the grief in his own way. I am in awe that we can have so much history already, and still find more room in our hearts for a whole different love and future. I am grateful for the amount of trust that we built up over the years, because I think we both required much more than the average person to truly move forward at this point in our lives. I am grateful that all that I have been through is truly understood, respected, and in a lot of ways shared with him. It somehow allows for enough space for all of this loss and love, and past and future to exist harmoniously.

Above all else, my soul is consumed with gratitude for the gift of the mountain to climb. For the gift of transformation that grief and loss and healing brought me. For the understanding of living that I am now rooted in. For the opportunity to shed insecurities and untruths. I am humbled by the strength I was given to climb that mountain, and to keep climbing even when it felt daunting. And for the faith that was planted in me to know there was another side to the mountain. I am grateful for the protection over my heart and soul that I felt from above. Despite my efforts to possibly make decisions that would have taken me off path, there was always the nudge to continue upwards. To continue to this place where my heart is guarded and cared for and strengthened by this man who was already on the mountain with me. 

If I have learned anything about life, I have learned that things can change in one swift moment—in both good and bad ways. I believe this is one of those jewels of truth that once you truly understand you never live the same way again. Every moment is fueled by the gratitude of knowing this and allowing it. You love deeper, and live fuller. You fight and judge less. You welcome love and loss equally, and says countless prayers of thank you under your breath all day.

So here's to a new year and to the next mountain ahead! 

400 Moons Holiday Candles

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This evening kicks off the Porter Flea holiday market! I am excited to get some new items out there, and see the response. One item that I am particularly excited about launching is my candle. I have had this idea since Spring, with a goal of making it happen for the holiday season. I have collaborated with Oil & Wax, a Nashville based candle company, for filling my pottery vessels. Rachel Mueller, the owner of Oil & Wax, hand pours all of her soy candles and has a great variety to choose from. I was eager to work with her for a number of reasons, but most importantly I knew her candles would be well done, clean, and at the end of the day a product I would be proud to sell. That paired with complimentary styles in our work make for a great fit. The Christmas season was a perfect time to give this a go. One, because I knew they would make a great gift, and two, because I love all of the classic seasonal scents. I will have three scents to choose from this weekend—Holiday, Blue Spruce, and Winter Pine.

I cannot wait to share these candles with others. This shape has fast become one of my favorites ones to produce, and I am happy to have a unique outlet for it to live beyond it just being a vase. Although, after you have enjoyed your candle, the pottery vessel is easy to clean and can be reused for any number of things! I could not be happier with the end result!

Stop by the Porter Flea Holiday Market if you can this weekend to check them out. Also, make sure to take a look at the Oil & Wax Etsy page for all of her lovely candles that are also available.

Shop Small Business Saturday!!

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Well, the holidays are officially here! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and this year was a great one! I am looking forward to the upcoming month that is filled with gathering with loved ones, enjoying great food, taking a little time off work, and of course doing a little holiday shopping! Lately there have been a lot of ads for Small Business Saturday. I love these ads, and I am so happy this is becoming a larger movement. Obviously I fall more into the realm of small business support, as I am slowly working to build my own. But in general, I support this movement because the majority of my day-to-day shopping is done at locally owned businesses. It dawned on me recently that this has been the norm for most of my life. Whether it was in a small Mississippi community that was filled with family owned establishments, or a neighborhood in East Nashville that seems to only be willing to make room for locally-owned shops and restaurants. Either scenerio results in a great sense of community.

This year I am so proud to have some of my 400 Moons product in not one, but TWO small shops!! OAK, a gift shop in my hometown of Forest, MS, was kind enough to ask me to hop on board at the beginning of November. And recently the cutest little shop named PULP opened in East Nashville, and is literally walking distance from my house. It is currently selling my terrarium kits, as well as, some of my 2014 calendars. I am so happy that my goal of testing out the retail world is starting with these two shops! I am proud of what they are doing, and am over the moon to be working with them. There is so much work that goes into these smaller ventures, most people just have no idea! Often times I think we mistake convenience and low pricing, as equal to quality and connection. There is a place for all of it, but if you get a chance to pop into a locally owned shop today, I hope that you do. You will most likely spend your money on something that is unique, as well as, support others around you in a simple and meaningful way! Happy Holidays and happy shopping!


400 Moons Terrarium Kits are amongst various other gifts featured in PULP. A new gift shop in East Nashville.

My 2014 "BE" Mantra Calendar amongst various paper products in PULP. A new shop located in East Nashville.

Platters and pillows on display in OAK: A Southern Experience, located in Forest, MS

Holiday candles on display in OAK: A Southern Experience, located in Forest, MS



Happiness vs. Wholeness

emily3 Comments


YES! Yes, let's pursue wholeness! I have so much I want to say about this concept but can't seem to form a full, well thought-out blog post about it. So instead I will just say this. I am grateful to finally understand this truth. Many young years were filled with a constant struggle to keep the pendulum on happy, and they pale in comparison to my more recent pursuit of wholeness. Instead of pursuing a list of things that would, in my belief, make me happy, I have begun to embrace the things that make up my life. All of the great things and the tough things. I find I am less afraid to change or to make mistakes. I find myself feeling less like a failure because of this or that, and instead more settled in who I am. I am no longer trying to race to some imaginary finish line, and instead have more days where I actively enjoy experiencing life. Which strangely sounds like a better list for what should make me happy than the one I had collaged together in the first place. This quote has come up in so many conversations for me lately I felt it was a concept worth sharing. Hope it might resonate with others they way it has for me!



New York in the Fall

emily1 Comment
Five days wandering around New York City was just what I needed recently after many months filled to the brim with work—both in my day job and with 400 Moons. Quality time with a dear friend that you miss so much is a pretty great way to decompress a little too! We spent crisp fall mornings enjoying coffee and browsing street markets and shops. We hopped to various parts of the city each night enjoying a variety of shows and restaurants. My favorite part of the trip might have been the night we went to see Once on Broadway, and then ducked into a little dive bar around the corner. We spent the night laughing and talking, and possibly having the most fun of any two people in the world! My second favorite part of the trip is surely all of the time I was able to spend wandering through museums by myself. Hours were spent one day getting lost amongst sculpture and paintings, and studying so many inspiring objects from all periods of art. Another time I examined quilts made in the early 1900s. But hands down, some of the most beautiful objects were found at the Museum of Natural History—gems and minerals and walls filled with species found all over the world. It was impossible to absorb it all! But I managed to tuck away plenty of memories into snapshots, and expand my soul just enough to leave the city revived.