Joanna Gaines is my Spirit Animal

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I was recently asked to name my spirit animal. Instantly, I thought – “Joanna Gaines.”

(If you don’t know who that is, crawl out from under your rock and go watch all four seasons of HGTV’s Fixer Upper immediately. Not kidding. Go. Shoo.) I’ll wait here until you’re finished.

[Insert Jeopardy theme song here.]

Ok, did you watch? All of them? You’re not lying? Even a little? Ok, good. Nice job. Now that you speak the ancient language of corbels and shiplap, we shall continue:

In pagan religions and systems, a spirit animal is meant to be representative of the traits and skills that you are supposed to learn or have. And when it comes to interior design, I absolutely love the style of Joanna Gaines.

I recently spent my entire Friday night rearranging my shop, Grace 1972. While the rest of the world was March Maddness-ing, I was all alone in the quiet darkness of the night emptying out every item in my shop and rearranging every single thing. Here’s a glimpse of the end result:

Back of SetteeNew Farmhouse Table

This grey farmhouse table was actually made by my husband, Matthew. The butcher block top is a piece we inherited that has quite a history. You can still see several of the cutting marks in its patina. (If you stop by the shop he’ll happily explain the story to you!)

He attached it to a vintage table base that needed some tender loving care and then stained it all grey, distressed it and sealed it. I love that he loves creating things and that our interests compliment each other so well! If he builds it, I will decorate it. We have a blast combining our powers for the greater good.

If Joanna is my spirit animal, her husband, Chip, may definitely be my husband’s. He can tear apart and build back up absolutely anything. He is also a talker, and a showman. In fact, if I ever call his business his employees don’t tell me, “He is with a customer,” they tell me, “He is entertaining a customer.” He loves people! (And talking…. love you, honey!)

He also played a huge role in the restyling of the shop. Obviously, I ain’t moving a buffet single handed! The first hour of this massive project required his muscles, because I am huge wimp and never strength train. Blah. I hate weight lifting. I’ve decided I am just going to accept that my triceps will be bat wings by the time I’m 50. Maybe I’ll start a trend . . . just call me Bat Girl.

I digress.

So his heave ho was a huge help. Here are more snapshots of the end results of the Friday night redesign shenanigans:

Rae DunnVintage CabinetHeadboard

He was a great sport while I dictated the new placement of every single item in this place.

After all the furniture was moved, the rest of the shop looked like a bomb. I should have snapped a picture. I knew I had a lot of pillows, but when they are in one giant pile rivaling Mt. Kilimanjaro, it is quite impressive actually. (Sometimes I get nervous that I don’t have enough inventory and things will sell before I can replenish.) I think I’m good in the pillow department. Seriously. That pile was as tall as me!

I spent the entire evening meticulously regrouping items. I was there for three hours and it felt like 20 minutes. It was so fun!

Table TopRae Dunn 2PillowsVintage Cabinet 2Bunny

My point to all of this is we all have a “spirit animal”. We all have a creative aspect to our hearts that longs to be nurtured. I know many people say they aren’t artistic, but the definition of creativity is utilizing your natural interests and gifts. Do you like to write? Do you enjoy public speaking?  Gardening? Building things? Knitting? Painting? Drawing? Florals? Hair and Make up? Fashion? Welding? Sculpting? Masonry? Baking? Cooking? Landscaping? Woodworking?

The list is endless. If you love it then it is your passion, it is your creative heart – and you really should not ignore it. You need to weave time into your life to devote to it. It will fill you up and bring you joy.

All of the artists and “makers” who create the products for my shop all have full time jobs. A local nurse creates much of the white inspirational signage, a woman who works in social services re-purposes furniture on evenings and weekends in her back porch, an electrical engineer does woodworking and builds many of the items at Grace 1972. And a local realtor builds and paints many of the rustic signs I carry.

And if you’ve been following along, you know that Grace 1972 is my complimentary life passion as well, I work full time in technology sales.

People have asked me how I do both. I am lucky in that my business is inside my husband’s business, so I needn’t be physically present for the day to day as he runs that aspect. I have woven Grace into the cracks of time in my life and find that I do not feel overwhelmed or busy – I feel fulfilled. I find that I am enjoying my days more, my sales career seems even more fun than ever and life seems balanced.

So if you find yourself feelings like something is missing? Dig deep. Find your spirit animal and feed it, stop starving it. If you’re feeling a little lost or overwhelmed with life, it might not be that you’re too busy to nurture your creativity, you’re actually not busy enough. You’re forgetting part of your soul. It isn’t that there is too much in your day, it is that there is not enough in your day.

Everyone’s journey is unique and we all have gifts we should grow. If anything, I hope my starting Grace 1972 is an inspiration to you! I hope when I share that I’m moving around pillows late at night on a Friday that you are inspired to look at your own life and find a way to devote your cracks in time to the passions and gifts buried deep inside your heart.

Happy creating!

Peace, Joy and Blessing, 

~Audra

Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers, and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts.

Exodus 7:11

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