Making Space

Posted by Michelle Owenby on

I have this Love-Hate relationship with Fall (for those of you reading this who don’t live in the Lowcountry, we only have two real seasons here:  Summer + Fall).  Fall truly is my favorite time of year.  I love it because I’m usually ready for the blazing, stagnant humidity of Summer to be over.  I love it because football starts + I can pull out my denim (my permanent uniform) + then, my birthday is in the Fall followed by Thanksgiving + Christmas; who doesn’t love a celebration!?!  I also love it because school starts + oddly enough, I love a schedule + always loved school!  It’s this interesting time when new beginnings are taking shape + endings are simultaneously happening, reminding us that nothing ever stays the same.  This brings me to the hate portion:  the sun starts leaving us earlier each day, the beautiful green marsh grass goes dormant + the leaves flurry from the trees. It’s a signal, a craving for a good book, an easy chair + patience for the next change. A time for reflection + giving thanks.

"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven."

While I tend to be inside more often in the Fall, it allows me more time for nesting + getting my household in order + making things cozy + welcoming.  I love this chance to clean + purge + make way for only the things that bring me joy + comfort.  This state of mind brought me inspiration for my most recent collection.  I decided to call it Making Space.  For me, “making space” is usually about getting things in order, planning + scheduling.  It means blocking off time for things that matter most + that takes prioritizing them in our lives + putting them in their places, so to speak.  We all have to do the obligatory stuff: work, school, appointments, etc. but I always try to make space for spiritual growth, my marriage, my kids, my friends, sports, travel and, of course, my art.  I hope you can see + feel that energy when you view this + perhaps it will inspire you into “Making Space” for the things you hold dear!

xoxo, Michelle
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A Summer of Drifting

Posted by Michelle Owenby on

Summer is so sweet!  The freedom that comes with no hard + fast schedule, no school, no bedtime + seeking out new adventures + then, adventures that somehow find you.  The ability to drift from place to place + soak up all the bits + pieces of goodness you find when you step outside your usual domain.  That is the good stuff.  That is how I have spent this summer, the first in many years that I actually feel like I was fully present and took it all in.


Many of you who are familiar with me + my family know that we are abundant with love + blessings but there have also been trying times over the past decade or so for us.  Big, hard, trying times about things that REALLY MATTER in life.  Life + death + faith + love + moments when you question everything but we, by God’s hand, gratefully came through it stronger but certainly changed + possibly a little “worse for the wear”.  Things that most everyone in life has to deal with at some point but they certainly came one after another for us, we felt. They are the moments you’re taught you have virtually no control in this life.  But they brought us to where we are today + that is the sour that makes the sweet taste so good!  That is why this summer, we chose to wander + drift + seek out fulfilling moments without much concern of the past or the future. We recognized the opportunity was there + that we should digress, depart…..Drift!

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9

I try to practice gratitude on a daily basis but traveling, drifting, the freedom of this summer particularly, has awakened an intense sense of gratitude in me; an awe of this beautiful world we are surrounded by + made me feel like a kid again. I’m suddenly uber-aware of everything around me:  every sight, every sound, every feeling.  It reminds me of waking up from a long nap + wondering how long you slept for; that sudden awareness of self + time + place that makes you jolt up + take action.

Following my passion for making art has allowed that gratitude practice to become easier + easier as well.  The process allows me to express all the feelings I’m having + a way to translate the experiences in my life.  It also allows me to create something that, hopefully, brings hope + happiness to whoever sees it.  I feel like I have always seen the beauty in everyday things but now, as I watch my children grow + my marriage grows, + my faith grows, I sometimes feel like I can’t take it all in; there isn’t enough space or time for me to process the blessings in my life + fully recognize the importance of every moment we are given.

I found myself wishing that I could paint all day so I could tell every story + record them in art for my future failed memory.  But, after a summer of “drifting”, I realize that’s where the inspiration starts + we have to feel overwhelmed with emotion to take action. We have to take it in phases.  You have to have the experience, digest it + then reflect on it.  It’s the times when we get out of our comfort zones, alter our usual schedules, leave the places we are familiar with + seek out new experiences (and sometimes revisit old ones), that fill us up so full that we are overflowing.  Overflowing with love + hope + gratitude + faith + passion + energy!!

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1Thessalonians 5:16-18

So, that is at the heart of what I have created this time.  A commemoration of a beautiful, bright, energetic summer that was so rewarding + eye opening.  I am calling this collection Drift for all the places it took me: physically, mentally + spiritually.

Please take a look.  I hope you find it pleasing!  And if you do, please share it with someone else!!

xoxo, Michelle
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The Power of That Thing!

Posted by Michelle Owenby on

It’s amazing really, what happens, when you suddenly realize what your soul has been yearning for.  And I mean beyond the love of God, husband, family + friends (the most important things in this world to me).  I mean that “thing” that really makes you feel whole as an individual; makes you feel like your doing what you were put here to do. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that “thing” has to be some monumental, ground-breaking, revolutionary giant.  I’m just saying, it’s what makes you feel good, what makes you feel worthy, what makes you want to accomplish something in a day.

I’ve been looking for that “thing” for as long as I can remember, maybe my whole life. I’ve discussed it with my husband a thousand times.  I’ve cried + laughed + prayed with friends over too many cocktails about it.  I’ve read books, attended classes, made lists, took quizzes, questioned people about what they do that fulfills them; searched endlessly for the ever elusive “thing”. Different things took it’s shape during certain times in my life.  It was once being a “student” + then it was just being “employed” + then it was being “accomplished” + then it was being “a wife” + then a “mother”….the list goes on & on for many of us.  And all during that time, while I was perfectly content (for the most part) + very happy (usually), I knew there was still something missing.  It’s like the words stuck in the back of your throat during a hard conversation that you just can’t seem to get out; they’re there + it’s physically uncomfortable but no matter what happens, they never seem to cross your lips.

This “thing” came to me gently, quietly + almost covertly.  It was as if I had to put in my years of yearning before it could be seen by me.  Previously, it wasn’t the time or maybe, it wasn’t the work for me at that moment in time.  This is what I call the good old-fashioned work, will + timing of God.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”     – Jeremiah 29:11

It came in a moment + a thousand little moments.  One moment I am so gracious to have been given.  A moment where, for a few days, my mind was still + clear + free to see what had been with me all along.  A part of me that had been swept aside for bigger tasks, more important roles, less selfish indulgences.  Trust me, it’s super hard to make way for something that you feel like only benefits yourself in some ways; hard to to just give yourself what it is you need when you feel like the whole world is watching. But, what I’ve come to realize now that I’m in my 40’s (well into them!) is that if we turn loose of everything that makes us “us”, if we get caught in the hustle of life + never make time for the things that feed our souls, well, we just live in a shadow + we wilt + we crave water + we long to bloom but we never do.  I’ve also come to realize that I’m much happier watering my own grass than waiting for someone else to do it.  And, finally, I’ve come to realize that we are capable of doing anything we want to do if we give ourselves permission to stop caring about how we will be perceived or received + just forge ahead with that “thing” that makes your heart sing!!

So, that’s what brought me here. This place where I challenged myself to set a goal + reach it. Make myself uncomfortable + a little scared.  Share with you a part of me that most people never knew was there.  My new collection called “Dreaming” is available now in my Shop.

If you’re compelled, take a look.

If you like it, I’d love to know.

If you love it, please share it.

As a dear friend of mine always says, “Just Keep Livin’!


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