Q & A with Mom and Revel Designs Owner Vashelle Nino

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Vashelle Nino is a mom friend I met while she was living in Hawaii. She is genuine, kind and super creative. In a word, inspiring. I’ve been stalking her jewelry on Facebook and had to know what inspired her. Here’s what she had to say about her business Revel Designs and life in Maryland with her husband, three kids and “feisty pooch.”

How long have you wanted to create jewelry?

I have been creating jewelry for myself for as long as I could remember. It is sort of the perfect hobby for me for a number of reasons. First, since I have always been thrifty and not one to spend a lot of money on myself and my appearance, I use accessories as an inexpensive way to look put together. I truly believe it is one of the cheapest ways to feel good about what you’re wearing! Second, I have always liked creating and working with my hands. Beading and braiding and working with wire and pliers is like therapy to me. It has a focused, calming effect the same way that yoga and meditation does. Third, it is one of the only things I am good at! Ha! I love creating just about anything, but I don’t think anyone would purchase one of my paintings.

How did you first learn how to do it?

I taught myself jewelry-making techniques long ago just by getting in there and trying it! I’m still learning so much, and there is actually a lot I have yet to learn. Recently, a friend made a custom order with materials I had never used before—real gold and real Tahitian pearls. It was so nervous making this fine jewelry, and I had to do a little bit of research on the materials beforehand. I enjoyed the process and am always eager to learn new things.

What’s your inspiration?

Cost of materials is what drives and inspires me 80% of the time. I love shopping for beautiful beads, stones, charms and accents when they are at their best price. It allows me to sell my finished pieces at a reasonable price. Again, I believe great style can be achieved through accessories—affordable ones at that—and I love being able to contribute to that. The other 20% is when I see materials so beautiful I cannot resist using them in a piece. I get an image in my mind of how I want to use it and I go for it.

That is my creative process.

But what inspired me to open my own jewelry shop to begin with is this: I met a lovely lady in 2014, back when I was living in Hawaii. Her name is, ahem, Brandi. She was a fairly new mom, a kindred spirit, and I saw her striving to live an inspired life doing what she was passionate about. It made me ponder, what do I love? What am I passionate about? And why am I not doing it? It took a while for me to figure it out. I had just had my third child and was about to embark on a cross-country move from Hawaii to Maryland. I did not have the time or stability to focus on that sort of thing right away, but once we settled down in our new home I was able to reflect on what I was good at creatively. I will always be thankful for the sweet serendipity that brought Brandi into my life and what her presence did for me.

Did you have any fears or challenges about creating it initially? If so, what helped you get through these obstacles?

I cannot say I was fearful of anything. I have failed enough times at other things not to care about my ego or embarking on another failure. I had gotten to the point of thinking what is there to lose so I pretty much jumped in!
My biggest challenge when it comes to creating is time. As a mother of three, spanning an age group of 2 to 14 years old, I have very little time set aside to create. I often pine for there to be more hours in a day, but don’t we all!

I often hear from friends, “How do you do it all so effortlessly?”

And I often reply: “I don’t! Would you like to see the mold in my shower, or the three baskets of unfolded laundry hiding in my laundry room, or the Easter wreath still on my front door even though it’s October?”

I think the idea of having it all or doing it all is an illusion. We parents are busier than ever—and I don’t believe that is a good thing. Did your mom do with you as much as you are doing with your kid(s)? Was she as sleep-deprived? Did she worry about the 762,983 things the media tells us to worry about? I doubt it. And I think we should let some things go for the sake of our own sanity.

What do you see for your creative future?

I hope I will still be creating jewelry and perhaps some other things. My love for creating is REAL. I am happiest when I am using my hands and getting messy. I love colors and shapes and textures and all mediums, and I have referred to myself many times as a “sensory whore.” Ha!

I hope to continue selling on Etsy, as it is a comprehensive, reliable and credible platform for my shop. I have had nothing short of a great experience using it.

I also hope to do more craft shows in my area. Incredibly, I moved to the most appropriate place to embark on my new creative venture, as the community in Harford County, Maryland celebrates and values local art and business. The opportunities to showcase my work are plentiful.

What are you most proud of thus far?

Sticking with it and not giving up too soon. My family and friends were the bulk of my customers at the beginning. While I am immensely appreciative of their support I knew they did not sign up to support my business forever, nor did I expect them to! So I remember how excited I was when I got my very first non-family/friend customer through Etsy. I was like What! Someone found my shop, actually liked something and bought it! It was an incredible feeling. And even though I’ve had many non-friend/family customers since that first one, I still get very giddy and humbled. I love the transaction process, knowing that many Etsy shoppers believe in supporting artisans. Even though it is a modernized process using technology and postal services, it gives me the wonderful feeling of being a craftsman vending at an exotic bazaar. I love that.

vashelle vashelle-ninohttps://www.etsy.com/shop/RevelDesignsbyShelly
Instagram: @revel.designs.by.shelly

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Creative Bee: Larisa Majors

I kept catching mom friend Larisa’s crafty ideas in my Facebook feed, until I had to ask her, “Will you please post a few on The Inspiring Bee?”

Fortunately, she agreed.

Check out her amazing before and after photos of the antique, vintage and unwanted items she found around Oahu and transformed into inspiring treasures:Before and after photos

{from old clothes drawer to modern shelf}

Table makeoverI love how she took that familiar wooden eye sore on the left and beautified it into a gorgeous cottagy end table.

Tire to tableThis is one of my favorite of her DIY projects. An old tire into an adorable coffee table.

Drawers to barDon’t you love this one? From clothes drawers to bar.

ShelfAnother super cute idea!

Isn’t she talented? You should see her themed parties. Amazing. Really.

If you want to learn more about Larisa. Here’s a little info:

Southern aloha is what best describes me. My less formative years were spent in Atlanta, Georgia and my more formative years in Hawaii. I like to think the two geographies have combined to form one chaotic, charming conglomerate named Larisa. She is 38 going on 16. She obsesses about nearly everything. She sings her heart out in traffic. She likes competition. She can’t whistle. Not even a little bit…

She is a self taught baker and furniture painter. She struggles with parenting two boys. She enjoys movies…more than the average person does. Pizza and beer and call it a day. Books are her biggest treasure and music makes her soul happy. You can find her anywhere there’s a good view, an iced cold brew, and fun reads to peruse. She is me. You can follow her on Instagram or on her blog Lifeoflarisa.

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How to Get What You Want In Life

{flickr photo by: Spiritual Quotes To Live By Trina}

I’ve always been interested in the Law of Attraction since I saw it on Oprah. Who wouldn’t want to get what they want by thinking about it? But to be honest I never really understood how it worked. Until now. I have author and teacher Aan D. Frazier to thank. In this guest post, she breaks it down into easy peasy verbiage so we can all get what we want in life. Thank you Aan!

{guest post by: Aan D. Frazier}

Destinations. We all have them in our lives. Many of us are always finding trying to find ways to get from point A to point B. In understanding the Law of Attraction, we learn that it is not the Law of Attraction’s responsibility for bringing point B to us. It is rather our responsibility for carving our path to point B. And our powerful mind is the navigation system for carving such a path.

The basis for the Law of Attraction lies in the power of our thoughts and the power of our mind. Yes, this is absolutely true. We steadily do become what we think about. What many people fail to understand, however, is that positive thinking alone will not always bring us what we desire. Hmmm, think about a million dollars all day and it should eventually show up right? Well, not quite.

The Law of Attraction is actually capable of bringing random and simple thoughts to life by just our mere thinking. For example, a person may be thinking of their favorite car and then somehow see it zooming down the road later that day. But if we take a close look at our dreams and desires, they are usually grand dreams and desires; most of which require a creation period to manifest. It should not come as a surprise then, that action and belief driven effort play an important role in such journeying paths.

To illustrate how to effectively use the Law of Attraction, here is an example: Jack’s car breaks down while on his way to a family reunion. Rather than sit in his car and think positive thoughts, Jack should visualize himself making it to his destination. In doing so, his mind will bring forth ideas and solutions to take inspired action upon. He may think to pop the hood and check out the problem. Jack may attract the idea of calling up his buddy who knows about cars. He may decide to call AAA.

There are tons of ideas that will only be attracted to Jack’s mind only if he allows for them to do so. Focusing on what he wants will give him the necessary foundation for what he needs to do in order to reach his goal. Belief is also an important factor. Jack has to believe that making it to point B is possible for him. Whatever he decides to do, Jack will inevitable carve a path from A to B if he never gives up. There will be trial and error moments, but again, persistence will provide results.

The Law of Attraction is actually already working in your life. Awareness of its work and understanding how it works can help you put it to meaningful use. Always remember that you hold the power of decision and creation within you. You call the shots. You carve the road. The Law of Attraction itself does not bring you things. It is you that propels yourself towards point B by using your magnetic mind to tap into the Law of Attraction, followed and inspired action.

Understanding the Law of Attraction means that you can literally create the life desire. Just think about what you want and then go about creating it. It can really be that simple. What amazing things will you set out to do today?

Aan D. Frazier is a Vietnamese American and survivor of the Vietnam War. Her blessed roots, surviving a boat ride to freedom at the age of one, have always motivated Aan to seek ways to make a difference in other people’s lives. Aan’s discovery of the Law of Attraction caused her to view her life in a positive new light and she started living her life as in intentional creator. The goal for her book Your Magnetic Mind is to teach others about the Law of Attraction in simple language. You can read more about her at her website and on her blog. She’s on Twitter and Facebook too!

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New Year’s Day Every Day

Once in awhile someone will cross your path by chance and you know it’s for a purpose. I felt that way about this lady, and I feel the same way about my guest blogger Cindy Scheopner. Her story below brings me hope about the possibility of changing our lives. Not just on New Year’s Day, but every day. It’s such an inspiring post.

by: guest blogger

I cannot ask for a New Year better than the one that ended. Each year has mostly been better than the past. I am pursuing a PhD in philosophy in Hawaii, a late in life, third career that is going well. My life partner is supportive and kind. He sails while I philosophize. Our children and grandchildren are healthy.

That does not mean everything is perfect. I manage, somehow, to stress myself while living in Hawaii. I am behind on several projects. My kids call with complaints about what I have or have not done. I’m overdue for a haircut and still carrying around more weight than I would like. I haven’t yet found the Tai Chi group I’d like to join.

These concerns pale in contrast with the past. Once, I struggled to balance a very demanding professional life with an increasingly dysfunctional private one. The man who captured my heart insisted on stomping my spirit – an exercise that destroyed us both. Making me feel bad didn’t make him feel better but he couldn’t stop and I couldn’t stop caring. For many years, I thought I could become perfect enough to make him happy. Even after I no longer believed that, I wasn’t sure how to release myself and my children from his death grip.

I cannot say the process was easy or fast. But each day I take a certain number of steps. The days that I take more steps forward than backward leave a foundation for the next that is higher than the last. Some steps were through blurry tears. Some were through sheer terror. But they led me to a place of respite where I could forgive myself and look ahead.

Eventually, I craved adult companionship but could not imagine who would want to share my messy life. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a fellow refugee. We joined hands and continued to make daily steps-still sideways sometimes, often in circles but always beside one another.

Often my partner says “I can’t believe we can live like this!” He means living in Hawaii, but he also means living in peace with one another. I don’t know how we managed to find one another, but we each realized how lucky we are and hang on tight. The advantage of a miserable past is appreciating a less-than-perfect present.

As I walk along the beach, I watch each new wave erase footprints from the sand. It is an ancient, eternal process that restores the sand perpetually. I seek not perfection in my future nor to erase the imperfections of the past – only the new beginning promised by each wave.

About Cindy Scheopner: Cindy lives in Hawaii with her partner, Rick. She is writing a dissertation to complete her philosophy PhD while Rick sails. Between them, they have six daughters, four step-children and three grandchildren. In past lives, Cindy was an attorney (briefly) and a journalist (lengthily). She has no idea what she’ll do with a philosophy degree, but it’s a whole lot of fun. She Tweets as @Scheopner and posts random pictures and thoughts at: http://scheopner.posterous.com/

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Guest Posting on Being Inspiring

Sorry if I’ve been MIA lately! But I recently got a magazine article idea accepted and have been researching like crazy!

I have also been hopping over and visiting other bloggers. Lucky for me a facebook friend I admire asked me to write something over at her blog Making Baby Grand and I happily obliged.

It’s all about bringing inspiration to your life.

You can check out the post here.

Have a great weekend!

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Writing & The Muse: 5 Ways to Catch Inspiration

By guest blogger: Margarita Tartakovsky

{photo credit}

Inspiration comes in waves. I think it’s safe to say that all of us seesaw between having ideas ooze from every part of our bodies to feeling empty and wondering when, why and how the spark dimmed out.

So for those days when you feel like you’re pulling at inspiration’s teeth, here are five ideas for coaxing your muse out from the shadows. Continue reading →

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How Your Education Can Stand in the Way of Your Dreams

By guest blogger: Sue Mitchell, Your Business Your Self

When Barack Obama visits schools, he writes on the wall, “Dream big dreams.” It’s an inspiring sentiment. But are schools really giving us what we need in order to pursue and achieve our dreams?

In order to persistently pursue a dream, you have to have a certain amount of faith. You have to believe the dream is achievable, first of all. And you have to believe that you personally can achieve it. If schools are designed to give us the necessary skills and attitudes to pursue and achieve our dreams, then giving us faith in ourselves would seem to be Step 1.

So is this what actually happens? Continue reading →

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