joy street maps

How to make the most of National Self-Improvement Month

AlexHughes.jpg

Hello, everyone! My name is Alex Hughes, and I sell my globally inspired prints and illustrations through my business, Wandering Paper Co. I went to college at TCU, where I majored in graphic design, and I now live in the DFW area with my husband Philip and our cat Athena. 

I don't know about you, but I'm so excited fall is here. The breeze is blowing, football season is upon us, and the infamous PSL is back. Yes, I know it’s still 90 degrees outside, but 90 is better than 100, and in Texas, we’ll take what we can get.

It's funny, every year when school starts I have the urge to take up a class or two myself. Maybe it’s the shiny new school supplies (it’s hard to say no to a new leather-bound notebook from Ox and Pine, or a witty to-do list from Kat French Design) or maybe it’s just the feeling of working toward a goal, but I miss the feeling of satisfaction that comes with learning something new. It’s fitting, then, that September is National Self-Improvement month. It's the perfect excuse to take a class, read a book or take on a new challenge. So I've put together a few ways to make the most of self-improvement month. Feel free to give them a try.

Start a Journal
I’m a recent fan of journaling after reading The Artist’s Way and doing the corresponding journal exercises. According to the Huffington Post, journaling can help boost self-confidence, create mindfulness, and even help you achieve your goals. For the full list of benefits, check out the full article on the benefits of keeping a journal. Plus, starting a journal is a great excuse to buy a cool new notebook. 

Ox & Pine premium leather notebook

Ox & Pine premium leather notebook

MadeByRori Dickens gratitude journal 

MadeByRori Dickens gratitude journal 

Visit a Museum
The Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and the Perot Museum are three of my favorites. The best part is, they are all within walking distance of each other. Take yourself on a museum date, then stop by the food trucks at Klyde Warren Park for lunch or a mid-afternoon snack. 

Take a Class
I love Oil & Cotton and the wide array of adult classes and workshops they offer. I’ve taken portrait watercolor and marble paper workshops there and loved both. They have lots of new offerings this fall, including felting, interior painting, photography, and intro ceramics. Check out their full fall lineup here.

Join a Gym
Yes, I know, everyone’s favorite subject. Luckily, there are tons of fun alternatives to a boring 30-minute treadmill jog. Go climbing at Summit Climbing Gym, try kickboxing at Title Boxing Club or join a recreational kickball league at Big D Sports. You may have so much fun you forget you're exercising.

De-Clutter and Decorate
Okay, maybe this is less ‘self-improvement’ and more ‘life-improvement,’ but de-cluttering always makes me happier and less stressed. First, choose a small area of the house, like a bathroom or a closet — somewhere that can be organized in one day. Next, take a page from Marie Kondo and keep only the things that spark joy. Once you have de-cluttered and organized, a new piece of art is a great way to give a space new life. I've always been a fan of these origami koalas from Tokodots, and I've had my eye on this hand-drawn map of White Rock Lake from Joy Street Maps for my living room.

In any case, once you have given away all the clutter, every time you pass that space you will feel lighter and more carefree.

Learn a Language
I love to learn new languages, which is why I’m a big fan of the app Duolingo. It's free, and the exercises are only 5 minutes long, so it’s easy to practice every day. Plus, you can find your friends and keep track of points. 

Take a Bath
You deserve a reward after all this self-improvement. Taking care of yourself will give you the energy you need to stick with you new habit. Winding down with a bath, a book or a good movie is a great way to de-stress and get ready to tackle the day tomorrow. 

What are your plans for self-improvement month? Do you have any self-improvement tips you would like to share? Let us know in the comments.

Gifts for Teachers: Show your appreciation with a handmade gift

Fun Finds for Fat Tuesday

Mardi Gras Bath Marshmallows from  Whipped Up Wonderful

Mardi Gras Bath Marshmallows from Whipped Up Wonderful

Mardi Gras is here and we are celebrating Fat Tuesday with some of our favorite Etsy Dallas finds. Here are a few of our handmade finds for the day. Laissez les bons temps rouler, y'all! 

Green Quartz in Gold Filled Earrings from Heidy Henke Designs

Green Quartz in Gold Filled Earrings from Heidy Henke Designs

Set of Cocktail Paper Coasters from  Fresh Out Of Ink

Set of Cocktail Paper Coasters from Fresh Out Of Ink

Resin Flower Charm from  GnomeStones

Resin Flower Charm from GnomeStones

New Orleans Watercolor from  Joy Street Maps

New Orleans Watercolor from Joy Street Maps

Stoneware Flask Decanter from  Both Hands Studio

Stoneware Flask Decanter from Both Hands Studio

Don't miss these Labor Day sales from a few of our Etsy Dallas shops

Don't miss out on these Labor Day deals from some of our favorite Etsy Dallas shops. Here's wishing you all a fun and safe long weekend.

Expressions Bracelets - 20% off all hand-stamped jewelry. No coupon needed. 

Expressions Bracelets - 20% off all hand-stamped jewelry. No coupon needed. 

Custom maps - 20% off. No coupon needed.

Custom maps - 20% off. No coupon needed.

Mesa Blue Jewelry - Free shipping on all orders over $75. Code: FREESHIP

Mesa Blue Jewelry - Free shipping on all orders over $75. Code: FREESHIP

The Pig and the Peacock Soaps & More - 20% off. No coupon needed. 

The Pig and the Peacock Soaps & More - 20% off. No coupon needed. 

Wandering Paper Co. - 30% off with code LABORDAY

Wandering Paper Co. - 30% off with code LABORDAY

Whipped Up Wonderful Bath Bombs - 20% storewide sale. No coupon needed.

Whipped Up Wonderful Bath Bombs - 20% storewide sale. No coupon needed.

P.S. Our newsletter subscribers got the scoop about these deals first. *hint hint*

 

Spring Bash Artists Featured on Good Day Fox 4

Our Etsy Dallas vice president SaRatta Murphy visited Good Day Fox 4 to talk about some unique items for sale at the upcoming Spring Bash this Sunday. Watch the clip below if you missed it, and scroll down for more details on the artists featured in the piece.  

http://www.fox4news.com/news/252637591-story

mini Fab

mini Fab

Matt McCoy of mini Fab uses wood, leather and cork for his creations. He creates personalized beard accessories, including all natural beard balm as well as wallets, cuff-links, flasks and bottle openers. 

Joy Street Maps

Joy Street Maps

Kim Dresdner of Joy Street Maps creates one-of-a-kind maps with watercolor and ink, featuring the local area and beyond. Prints and originals will be for sale at the Spring Bash.

MushTushy

MushTushy

Emily Curtin of MushTushy started out creating sock monkeys which eventually evolved into wood art, metal art and custom pet portraits. Most of her wood and metal designs are crafted from upcycled wood and license plates.

Odin Leather Goods

Odin Leather Goods

Odin Clack of Odin Leather Goods is known for using vintage baseball gloves and mitts to craft some of his most unique one-of-a-kind pieces. From key chains to handmade leather briefcases, each piece is designed and stitched in his local studio. 

The Pig and the Peacock

The Pig and the Peacock

Jenny and Sabrina at The Pig & The Peacock create handmade bath luxuries using all natural ingredients. Check out their line of soy candles made from recycled and etched wine bottles. 

Tokodots

Tokodots

Molly Lam created Tokodots, a stationery and gift brand, after spending nine years in Japan. Look for her care package gift certificate for a unique high school graduation gift, along with other colorful cards and prints this weekend.  

We can't wait to see y'all at the Bash!