This isn't really quilting related, but I thought you might enjoy it anyway. Hope you do.
Remember a while back, when I told you I was going to Iowa to watch my mentor receive a mentoring award? Well, one thing that came up while I was there were the "Eleven Rules for Success" he always taught us. For many years, I had these hanging in my office. I had just typed them up and stuck them up with tape or a thumb tack.
I have long thought, "I should have those professionally rendered someday and frame them." Well, when I was at his award ceremony, I decided "someday" had arrived. I was finally going to take care of this little "to do."
I had recently discovered Kate Carpenter on etsy. (As an aside, I have to say that I find etsy really addicting and really have to watch myself! Do you find that, too? I love it.) If you're not familiar with Kate's work, check her out. She does professional silk screening and makes greeting cards, notebooks, etc. I totally love her art journals, and they have become one of my favorite gifts for friends. She also has her own website at www.katieblairdesigns.com. You will probably want to check these out.
(Want to hear something really weird?! Through some casual conversation with her over e-mail, I came to find out that her husband was a student at a university I worked at in Idaho when I was there, and I know him. I never put her and him together. So weird!)
I love Kate's style so much, I sent her a copy of my mentor's Eleven Rules for Success and asked her to typeset it in some interesting way. I left it up to her for the design. I trust and love her design sense.
She sent me the proofs, and I just loved them. I ordered one for myself, one for my lab (I want to pass it on to my own students as well), and one that I'm going to send my mentor. I finished framing them up last night. Here is how they turned out.
I had sort of an interesting time framing it. The original design (which is 8x10") is just the center piece with the words on it. I thought I'd mount it on the pretty scrapbooking paper and "float" it inside a glass frame. But, oops. The glass frame I bought didn't have glass on the back, but rather a piece of particle board. It didn't look so good to have that showing. So, I went to my scrapbook paper to see if I could find something else to mount it all on. Found a piece of taupe metallic paper. It worked well with the printed scrapbook paper I had. But scrapbook paper is 12x12" and my frame is 11x14". My paper wouldn't be long enough. Argh! So, I found yet another piece of paper (plain gray carsdtock) and tore it, then put some ink on it to tone it down a little, and mounted that over the bottom edge of the metallic paper so it would cover where that is too short.
Here is a close-up shot of that. I think it worked out okay.
I was so pleased with Kate's work, I also asked her to make some journals with the same eleven rules on them.
Shall I go through the eleven rules with you? Okay, here they are:
1. Care about caring about
The most important rule. It needs to be important to you that you care about what you do. If you don't care whether or not you care, well, then....maybe you're just not that into what you are doing and you need to stop.
2. Talk to people
It's so important to be willing to talk to people about lots of things. It's how we learn. It's how we make connections. I can't tell you how many good things have come my way in my career and in my personal life because I was willing to sit down at a table and talk with someone about their ideas or about my ideas. (I am really quite shy, so this is hard work for me. Social interactions often make me feel drained. I like my alone time. But it's worth it.)
3. Say "yes" easily and mean it
If you're wanting to engage in something, jump in with both feet and do it. Don't hedge. But do it right. Give it your all...your 100%.
4. Work with others; collaborate
Working together, we can all get so much more done together than we can do by ourselves. Be a good member of the team. (See #3.) Collaborate well.
5. Keep your commitments
Be someone others can count on. (See #3)
6. Create a forum for your ideas
Surround yourself with people who are interested in the same things you are interested in. Use these people as your sounding board. Get their feedback and help. You'll learn a lot, and you'll get lots of new ideas. I think Amanda Herring has done this beautiful with her design team. I sure love being a part of that for the forum it creates. Blogging does this for me, too. I know many of you feel the same way.
7. Be something you'd be happy and proud to be
Be what you want to be someday now. Don't wait for the future.
8. Keep your integrity
Always. Nothing's worth sacrificing your integrity for. Picture your most prized individuals standing over your shoulder in everything you do and say. If you wouldn't be proud that you're doing what your doing or saying what you're saying with them peering over your shoulder, then maybe you shouldn't be doing or saying it. Just sayin'.
9. Respect your elders.
Do I need to say more? It's easy to overlook the wisdom of our elders. Respect them. I frame "elders" broadly. Some of my "elders" are younger than I am...but they have more experience in a certain area than I do. I respect their ideas and wisdom like I would respect ideas and wisdom from someone who is older than I am.
10. Say "no" easily and mean it
Okay, this is the hardest one for me. Know when you can't do it--or don't want to do it. Say no and say it right away. Don't put it off. That just makes it worse. And once you say no, don't come back later and then do it anyway! Terri, you know this is hard for me. You even commented on it the other day! I have a very hard time saying no, and that's why I'm in the trouble I'm in right now. And it's causing me problems with the other rules (like keeping my commitments). I am not sure how to learn this one. I have been trying for 46 years to no avail. HELP!
11. Open your mail, return phone calls, clean your desk, and keep appointments
All these little things make a difference and say a lot about who you are. It's hard to do 1 through 10 sometimes if your space is such a mess and in such chaos that you can't function. Sometimes cleaning my desk and returning my phone calls is hard for me (like right now). But not too often.
And as food for thought, "Control what's controllable and hope the rest doesn't do you in!" You can only control what you can control. Worry about controlling those things and quit worrying about everything else. You can only control your own behavior. Stop trying to change that fact.
These rules weren't devised by my mentor. They were devised by a man named Dr. Steve Hayes at University of Nevada-Reno. He talked about them at a conference in 1985, and my mentor took note. He shared them with us students. They have been good rules for me to live by, both personally and professionally. I hope you find them useful.
I'll be passing these on to my students next. I hope they are as meaningful to them as they are to me.
Katie, you're the best. I thank you for the great job you did on these things. They will make me happy every time I look at them.
Until next time,