Why I’m closing up shop

Be True To You Notebook via Liv Lane

Holy wow. The path of least resistance really does exist. And mine has an art shop with a sign in the window: closed till further notice.

That’s right, friends; I’m closing the Etsy shop that has been my labor of love for the past five years. This would have sounded like failure to me five years ago; today, it sounds like freedom.

I still LOVE creating in my studio, but my worklife has shifted in ways I couldn’t have imagined back then. In 2010, I kept my intuitive skills under wraps and tightly sealed with duct tape. Calling myself an artist was scary, but calling myself an intuitive was out of the question. To have thought one day people would be booking sessions with me months in advance? Ridiculous!

I realize now that I needed that experience – of honoring the artist in me and letting words and art flow through me each day – to begin accepting and revealing the other messages coming through. It’s no coincidence that during the first two years of trying to make it as an artist, I started seeing more, hearing more, feeling more, receiving more.

While creating the art came easy, the business of being an artist did not.

I’d spend hours prepping booths for art fairs and events only to make half of what I paid to be there. I was thrilled when stores would ask to display my wares, but dreaded restocking their product each month only to receive a tiny commission check. I kept selling out of my necklaces online, but hated making them (I even hired an assistant to do it for me).

Eventually, as I gained the courage to publicly offer the intuitive and inspirational work that felt almost effortless for me, I began to scale back on the elements of my art biz that felt so hard. I stopped making things I didn’t like making. I stopped displaying my wares at stores and events. I stopped making art that I thought others would like, and settled on a sweet and simple style that I liked.

Art became my side business, not my main business, and a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. And that worked for quite a while.

This is my year to FEEL GOOD in every way. via LivLane.comAs 2014 came to a close, I chose a new word of the year to be my guiding light in 2015: serenity. I committed to being present enough in my life to notice when something doesn’t feel good and do what it takes to shift into what does feel good. As I looked at all of the goodness on my plate for this year, one thing kept nagging at me: would the logistics of keeping my Etsy shop running feel more like a burden than a blessing?

I shut it down for a week over the holidays, intending to re-open in early January. But one week turned into two, and two turned into six, and not having the pressure of shipping and restocking cards and gifts felt so good. All I missed was creating the art. So I turned the divinely-inspired guidance I email weekly to subscribers into free printable art. No shipping, no strings, and a beautiful response.

It became crystal clear: I can be an artist without an art shop. Hello, path of least resistance. 

Path of least resistance quote, via LivLane.com

So here’s the deal. I have re-opened the shop for just a few days. I announced this first to my newsletter subscribers yesterday, and they nearly (and awesomely) cleared me out! So I’ve added a few popular items in very limited quantities – and a couple of new ones (like the journal above) that I literally forgot I had created! Shop to your heart’s content; the store will close Sunday (unless it sells out before) and use the coupon code DIVINE at checkout to get 20% off your order.

I suspect that I’ll occasionally – maybe twice a year? – host a surprise pop-up shop of cards and gifts, but we’ll see what happens. I am so grateful to all who have embraced me on this creative adventure and helped me honor and delight my inner artist. Thank you for being so awesome.

Note: For free weekly printable art and updates on my work, subscribe to Divine Interventions here.

my the biggest sale of the year!

Christmas in July sale with Liv Lane

It’s here! It’s here! My biggest sale of the year! Every summer, I fill the sleigh and deck the halls for my Christmas in July Sale. And people, it is ON.

Everything – yes, everything – is on sale until midnight central on Friday (7/11). Just input the code SANTABABY at checkout and you’ll find all these savings under the tree:

Go here for $20 off Firecracker Calls (first availability for intuitive readings is August/September)

Go here for $10 off ebooks (whoa, this makes Into the Light only $8!!!)

Go here for $10 off Spark*Sisters LIVE (only a few spots left in Spark*Sisters LIVE on July 19th!)

Go here for 20% off my entire Etsy shop of meaningful greeting cards and heart magnets

Only thing left to do? Spread the Christmas cheer! I’d love it if you’d share the big sale with your own peeps because, you know, the more the merrier!

MY SUPER DUPER HOLIDAY SALE and 7 others not-to-miss

liv lane holiday sale

‘Tis the season to shop – and lots of small businesses are hoping they’re on your wish list! Today is Small Business Saturday – the perfect day to stop at independent book stores, eat at locally-owned restaurants, step inside mom-and-pop shops and support your favorite online entrepreneurs. I’ve got a big sale going on…plus I wanted to share some other ways to save with some of my favorite artists…

I’m offering my BIGGEST SALE in ages – 20% off all cards, gifts and upcoming online courses. Wowza! To get your discount, just input the code SHOP20 by Monday night (12/2) at midnight central. Here’s where to find the goodies:

Cards & Gifts: Visit my Etsy shop at ShopLivLane.com

Into the Light – 18 Days of Divine Connection: Get details and sign up here (it starts Wednesday!)

Project Light Year: Join this just-unveiled program or purchase a gift certificate – all details here. 

7 MORE SWEET SALES

Artsyville – Aimee Dolich is offering 10% off her Artsyville shop and Etsy shop with the code HAPPYHOLIDAYS13 through December 31st. Plus, keep checking her blog for extra special deals throughout the month.

Lori Portka Prayer Flags – I love the new packaging for these colorful, inspiring prayer flags; they now come in sweet cloth bags, perfect for gift-giving. Buy 2, get 20% off .

Kelly Rae Roberts’ Flying Lessons – When I took this class nearly four years ago, it was a game changer; awesome for any creative entrepreneur. Use the code CYBER to get 25% off through Monday, 12/2.

Kirsten Tulsian’s Autographed Sprinkle Your Sparkles children’s bookFree shipping, no tax and discounted pricing for two or more. This beautiful paperback just won the GOLD Award from the Mom’s Choice Awards!

Mary Engelbreit – One of my all-time favorite artists, Mary is offering 12 days of deals. Today’s is 30% off her bundled packs of cards. Go, go, go!

The Rusted Chain - Love Beki’s original, handstamped jewelry. Get 20% off everything in the shop today and Sunday only, using the code SHOP.

Mae Chevrette – Everything in Mae’s gorgeous Etsy shop is 20% off through 12/3.

creating goodness: art for sandy hook

I have been shielding myself from TV news for days now. While I’ve read several stories and talked with friends and family about Friday’s travesty in Sandy Hook, I cannot bring myself to watch the footage, to hear the interviews, to process the facts (and the fiction). I just am not strong enough. I have wept so many tears these past few days – with such deep sorrow for the mamas and papas and siblings, with such deep gratitude for every precious moment with my own littles, with such admiration for the human spirit because I know – somehow, someway – we will all heal from this and be changed by this. Even the families left behind will find a way to carry on someday. The way shattered hearts can heal never ceases to amaze me.

I have been at a loss for words, except for the ones above, which came pouring out on Friday. I scribbled them on my paper and within a few minutes of posting them on the Facebook page, they’d already been shared so many times, which touched me deeply, knowing that those words brought others comfort, too.  And I am certainly not alone. My spirits have been lifted by the art I’ve seen emerging from the wreckage; stunning and soulful. We artists know no other way to deal with tragedy like this than to create – paintings and poems, songs and sculptures . Here are some of the works of art I’ve seen that have stirred my soul and added light to the darkness:

Beautiful painting featuring 26 floating hearts, by massage therapist Wendy Sullivan (aka Wind Gypsy), owner of CowGirlz Spa in Oklahoma.

Posted by artist Mary Engelbreit on Friday with the words, “Pray. Even if you never pray or have given up praying, say a prayer today.”

 Graffiti artists in North Philadelphia painted a tribute to the victims of Sandy Hook.

 Art by children’s illustrator Nancy Carlson, depicting how I think we all feel.

I am uplifted, too, by the ongoing efforts to use art to heal and spread hope. The Newtown PTA has requested that people make and send paper snowflakes to Sandy Hook so that the school can be filled with them upon students’ return, representing so much love sent from all around the world. And next Saturday, the Children’s Book Illustrators Guild of Minnesota will host this event, in hopes hundreds of kids will come create art to be sent to the kids at Sandy Hook. 

I share this art with one mission in mind: to remind us all that when everything goes wrong, the goodness each of us creates matters and can pave a path to healing.

The Imagination Station! {Light Up Your Space}

Several years ago, I made what we call in our family “a red choice.” Out of space for the kids’ art materials, I threw a couple of coloring books into the storage drawer underneath the stove. Most people use that space for pots and pans…things that can get hot. Duh.

As time passed, the drawer started filling up with crayons and markers and papers. I seriously thought nothing of it. Again, duh. Then, our handy man friend Mike came over to fix something in the kitchen and found papers {with super cute scribbles on them, I’m sure} stuck behind the oven. Total fire hazard. We’re super lucky nothing ever burned.

So, for a couple of weeks I’ve had a giant pile of the kids’ art stuff in my studio. Plus, we had another full art drawer right next to the oven. So, this past weekend, I took on the project of creating a new Imagination Station for the kids {they think that sounds a lot cooler than “art cabinet.”}

I weeded through all those papers and supplies, and tested every single marker {could not believe how many were out of ink!}. I was shocked how many treasures I found – sketches by my brother, an illustration of Santa Fe that my dad drew for Ryder {possibly the only thing he ever drew in his life!}, artwork by the boys I’d forgotten.

I tossed TONS of stuff. And I got bins to separate the markers and pencils, crayons, paints, and other supplies. I put all of the paper pads and coloring books into one bin that sits behind the smaller bins. And I got a large storage drawer for saving artwork. I did just sign up for ArtKive, an awesome iPhone app that chronologically stores photos of your kids’ artwork and then turns them into a book when you’re ready. However, I know years down the road I’ll want some of the actual artwork to have and to hold.

So, here’s the final result:

The kids totally love it – and have re-discovered coloring books and journals they’d forgotten {yay!}. And I have peace of mind: everything’s organized and it won’t catch on fire. That’s what we call a “green choice!”

 

 

Serendipity Strikes Again {Win Art From SARK}

I love when someone pops into my head – and then pops into my life. Those daydreams or “whatever happened to…” moments are like little whispers from the universe that someone special is about to cross my path.

It happened just the other day. I was thinking about the fact it’s been nearly a year since my radio show, Get Real, ended {where did the time go!?} and one of my favorite interviews came to mind – with SARK {artist/author Susan Kennedy}. She is all about coloring {and living} outside the lines and told a story about a day when she was at the bank, feeling really tired. There was a long line for the bank tellers, so she curled up right there on the ground for a cat nap! 

A security officer came over and SARK asked if there was a rule that everyone had to stand in line vs. lay down in line. He wasn’t sure how to respond, so she continued to just rest on the floor while waiting her turn. She harmed no one in the process; just ruffled some feathers by doing the unexpected. I listened to her story in  horror {I would never have the guts to do that!!} – and with great admiration for her courage and confidence. It’s what makes her art and writing so appealing.

A couple of days after daydreaming about her, SARK showed up in my inbox, reaching out to say hi and wondering if I’d be willing to tell you all about her exciting news: her glorious posters are back and she’s giving tons of them away. I told her about the perfect timing – that I’d just been thinking of her and that story – and that of course I’d spread the word!

So here’s the deal. SARK’s posters – poems brought to life in vivid color – have been printed by millions {her “How To Be an Artist” poster has been seen in major films and even TIME magazine!}. Well, she’s just re-released 15 of them and, to celebrate, she’s hosting a huge sweepstakes with 67 prizes up for grabs, including poster collections and even mentoring sessions with her. All you have to do is add your name to the {super colorful} hat at www.planetsark.com/sweepstakes. Hope you win big ~ and that serendipity touches your life today!

 

P.S. SARK is also a contributor to my blogging ecourse, which is re-launching tomorrow – stay tuned for details. So excited!!

 

 

 

Found in the Mail: My Best Self

When the package arrived on my doorstep, every inch of my being wanted to tear it open and let the love inside spill out. But I didn’t; I waited till the kids were quiet, my phone was turned off and projects were done, knowing I’d need some alone time to process whatever I found inside the box.

I mean…I knew what it was, just not exactly. My friend soul sister Lori Portka had told me it would be coming….one of the 100 glorious paintings she created for people who have touched her life in meaningful, positive ways. It makes me well up just thinking of it, to know that I weaseled my way into a big enough space in her heart that she’d not only feel grateful for it, but paint it into being.

Once the house was still, I sat down in my dudio to open the box ever-so-carefully. When I pulled out this canvas, my heart skipped a beat. Seriously. It was like looking in a mirror and seeing my best self staring back. Surrounded by angels and sunshine and tulips, looking as content as can be and having a really good hair day. ;o) Every little detail holds so much meaning for me.

I’ve seen Lori in the throes of creating her art, so I know her magic-making is time-consuming and heartfelt. This makes it all the more stunning to me that she accomplished this feat, painting a hundred thank yous. And to then give them away!? I know how protective I am of my own art; when I sell or gift an original, it’s like a little piece of me goes with it, hoping it finds a loving and appreciative home. So, when I look at this painting, I not only see the very best pieces of me reflected back, but I know it also is infused with the very best pieces of Lori. It’s the ultimate friendship gift and I am forever grateful.

Want to know more about Lori Portka? Visit her blog here and check out her positively glowing art shop. Her Hundred Thank Yous project will also be featured in the upcoming documentary, 365 Grateful. Can’t wait.

 

 

Monday Blues + Great News

click to view in shop

Welcome to a brand new week! I’m kicking off the week with a bunch of fun news, starting with some Monday Blues: three blue-hued art prints added to my shop today. I’ve had lots of requests to offer art prints again in my shop in addition to my cards and treasures. So, I’m debuting three 5×5 prints today; two totally new paintings and one updated.

click to view in shop

click to view in shop

Each one is printed on Epson Ultra Premium Luster Finish paper, which makes the colors so vivid! Love it. The prints all have white borders so you can hang them with magnets or push pins – but I love sticking them in 5×5 frames for my own decor and to give as gifts. {Psst! I often get my square frames at Michaels or Amazon}. It is sooo cool to see how and where customers display my art; if you have or get a print or other treasure, send me a pic – I’m thinking of making an online gallery of customer snapshots. Wouldn’t that be fun!?

Okay, so those are my Monday Blues….now for some other fun news:

If you live in the Minneapolis area, I’ll be speaking at the eWomen Network luncheon on July 18th about “The Business of Purposeful Blogging.” Would love to see you there!

Just added to my schedule: I’ll be at the Brands and Bloggers Summit in Chicago on July 21st. More details soon. Let me know if you plan to be there, too!

I’m totally excited to announce that my blogging ecourse, How To Build a Blog You Truly Love, will soon be offered as a self-paced ecourse. You’ll be able to take it any time, rather than waiting months for me to teach it live. But it will include interactive features, too. Hoping to launch this in late July!

I’ve received lots of questions about the timing of my next ecourse, Buzz Worthy. Thanks so much for the interest! I’ve had to switch my schedule around a bit due to other summer projects that popped up, so this is now slated to kick off on August 20th with registration opening later this month. Make sure you’re signed up for my newsletter to get in on the early bird registration discount!

Thanks for your continued support, friends! I feel so blessed to do what I love and witness so many people lighting up their lives by making changes big and small. Have an amazing week!

Free Printable: The Bravest Thing

 

I originally created this when Michele Rosenthal of HealMyPTSD.com asked me to create a bonus gift for early supporters of her recent memoir, Before The World Intruded. I was happy to do it, since she’s become a beacon of light for many who’ve survived post traumatic stress disorder {PTSD}.

Meanwhile, yesterday was the third annual National PTSD Awareness Day in the U.S., established by Congress to increase understanding of this debilitating mental illness, especially among service members returning from combat with symptoms of PTSD.  Until I was diagnosed with it, I thought PTSD was only something Veterans dealt with. But I now know trauma comes in many forms and wrestles with the brain in crazy ways. It is real. It is hard. And it is treatable.

I created the piece above with my own journey through PTSD in mind, but hope it’s meaningful for anyone who has faced hardship {and hello! who hasn’t?}. You can get the art here and print it off for yourself or anyone you know who’s been lost…and found.

 

 

Little Changes, Big Shift: Inside My Studio

This is one of my favorite sayings: scatter joy. But over the past few days, it’s been more like scatter stuff at our house.

Ryder trying out the new piano

We received an incredible gift last week: a beautiful piano passed on to our boys by my mom’s longtime neighbors, who downsized and moved. Suddenly, I was forced to free up a wall in our living room. The wall we chose had shelves that had been slowly overrun by kids’ books and toys.  So, under cover of night, I threw away two garbage bags full of mismatched toys and stuffed animals and moved a few gems {the boys haven’t even noticed!}. And I quickly moved some of the furniture and accessories into my dudio {former dining room turned studio} – chairs, lamps, books, an iPod player.

The piano looked perfect in its new spot, but my dudio looked like a tornado had hit it. I decided to take the opportunity to re-organize and reconfigure my work space this past weekend. The result? The space feels wonderfully cozy and totally me.

I thought you might get a kick out of seeing the latest transformation…

A while back, I took this chair out of this corner…and now it’s back in. It just feels right there. Alongside paints and stamp pads, the corner includes an apron and birdhouses made by my boys {with help from my mom}, Tru’s cowboy hat, and framed art by Ryder. I love celebrating their creativity in this space, too.

Umm, you guys? I built those sets of drawers! I was pretty darn proud of myself. It was well worth the effort, because all of my greeting cards and shipping supplies are now tucked away in one spot, and that big bottom drawer is actually a filing cabinet. Heaven! My assistant, Claire, really inspired me to do this – and now she never has to ask where anything is! {Artwork on the wall is by Rachel Awes and Leah Piken Kolidas}

I am head over heels for this little nook, with another comfy chair, table and a lamp {that extra light makes such a difference!}. The other night, as I worked at the big table, Brad sat right there to chat about my work projects. He calls it my lounge. ;o)  {On the table is a jar full of affirmations from my soul sister stew girls and a deck of inspiration cards by Sonia Choquette}.

This shelf had been in the living room, so I relegated my flimsy black one to the basement and moved my books into this.   The lower shelf includes lots of my dad’s old notebooks and an already-full file box {from Target}. Above it is an arrangement of paintings by moi {except for one, which features a fave quote: “She believed she could, so she did”}.

These dried flowers are from my grandma’s memorial service {she passed last May}, displayed in a tea cup and saucer that she painted. It’s sweet to have a little bit of her art around my art.

This is a great spot for working at my laptop, with a big window at my back overlooking our front yard. I love that this studio doubles as an office. For me, it’s perfect to have it on the main floor of our home. I can hear the boys playing and I have everything I need whenever inspiration strikes. Maybe someday I’ll move it all out of our house to separate work and home, but it’s perfect for now.

Before, my books were a jumbled mess. Now, they’re organized by category {these, for instance, are dedicated to creative living}. It feels so good to have them at my fingertips; I’d forgotten I even owned some of these titles! Ha!

Isn’t it just amazing how a few little changes can transform a room and your feelings about it? My living room feels more purposeful with a new piano vs. a wall of toys. And the dudio? I loved this space before, but now it has a new energy. It invites me in and makes me eager to create goodness and scatter joy. Such a sweet place to be.

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FYI: I’m having a blast getting to know the newest group of students in my How To Build a Blog You Truly Love ecourse, which kicked off Monday. They are motivated, reflective and so kind! People are still joining the class {registration ends June 4th}. I’d love to have YOU, too!