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The View From Today

This project is pretty self explanatory - this blog series will document my 'view from today' through quick illustrated studies. This is the most uncertain and crazy time I have ever lived through (and hope to live through) so this is my way of coping and documenting this time in my history. Everyday seems like a new challenge for us all and this project intends to tackle each challenge that I am personally going through and how we together can creatively work through this. My goal is to get my engines going again as well as help me to tackle bigger projects that I have had on the back burner for some time now. 


My brain today in one word: frazzled

Today I am: bouncing around the house

Current CNN news headline: This is where all 50 states stand on reopening

Every time we plan to leave the house I am always a bit frantic. Last minute things always seem to pile up and I of course always seem to add things to my plate before a trip. We are headed over to my best friend’s house for a long weekend to celebrate another year of Alonda! So exciting. But I totally slacked off yesterday as I was busy catching up on things with my other business and was just exhausted by the time 6.00pm rolled around.

I have had this illustration buzzing around in my head for the past couple days (well, since my major reflection on community). And I am hoping this illustration functions as a little bit of closure on the frustrations I have been feeling.

Saying ‘support local’ is such a simple phrase but I just couldn’t get out of my head what supporting local truly does mean to a small business owner. A single purchase can impact so many lives directly. For instance, when you buy a DeLand or NSB Vernacular shirt from The Florida Local right now ( $5 will go to various non-profit organizations. First life/lives impacted - you are helping service industry workers impacted by this pandemic and/or helping a small business keep their doors open in DeLand. Second life/lives impacted - you are helping The Florida Local keep the hopes and possibility of opening our doors again after this is all over as we collect our profit from the sale of the shirt. Third life/lives impacted, you are helping our small mom-and-pop t-shirt printer in Winter Park put food on their table and keep their business running. And then UPS driver and then the t-shirt maker and so on and so on. All with a single purchase of a $28 shirt.

For my visual learners out there, I wanted to offer this illustration showing the many lives you are touching when you shop small and support local.

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My brain in one word today: frustrated

Today I am: rain is finally here! I’m cozy inside at the dining table

Current CNN news headline: Trump tells govs 'you are going to call your own shots' and distributes new guidelines

(The intention of this post is to facilitate conversation as to how we, as a community, can improve our efforts in supporting our small businesses.)

‘This is a time for communities to come together’. As my husband and I took our daily late afternoon walk this saying plagued my mind. Do you find that you are getting numb to this saying? Just like the saying 'these uncertain times' - do we use them so much they are losing their value? Are we also getting numb to ’it’s important to support local right now’. And let me preface this with saying I am looking at these concepts as a larger whole. I could go in multiple directions with this but my main concern today is community.

Today I just couldn’t stop asking over and over again in my mind, are we (myself included) as New Smyrna Beach community leaders and small business owners becoming complacent with this new normal? Or more than likely - are we numb with uncertainty? I don’t know! Someone please tell me.

This post is going to be filled with mostly questions that I just couldn't stop asking today. And really these questions stem from recent experiences that have touched me. My other business has been working with surrounding towns on projects and we have just been blown away with the amount of support and efforts being taken to protect their small business community which naturally made me reflect - what are we doing here in New Smyrna Beach?

Are we fighting together as much as we can? What creative solutions have we come up with? In moments of weakness and turmoil people say (who these people are, I have no idea) it often shows how strong communities are and today I have to say I am a little uncertain about our strength. I don’t often doubt my beloved NSB community but today I am a bit. And I am not talking about the amazing citizens that we have and visitors who love our incredible town - I’m talking about our community leaders and organized business groups. And trust me, I am pointing my finger directly back at myself. As a small business owner I understand that with that I take on a roll as a leader whether I want it or not. I take this chosen position with great pride and responsibility. As community leaders we HAVE to be joining together to creatively problem solve for the biggest problem we hopefully will ever face. After all, two heads are better than one is a saying for a reason.

Anyway, my whole point is we have to realize that what makes our brand of New Smyrna Beach are our small businesses and our call to action has to be ‘how do we protect this invaluable asset?’. Let’s come together as community leaders and figure out how to preserve what we love so much about this town. What would we do without Breaker’s or Clancy’s Cantina (it’s clearly dinner time for me because all I can think of are restaurants) or obviously The Florida Local (I may be bias here). The reality that in 6 months these places won’t be there is WAY more real than ever - I’m telling you this as a business owner - it’s VERY real. I tried my best (pretty sure I failed) to not get too political about this since I do own two local businesses but I am so passionate about protecting the small businesses of our town.

If you want to chat about this or you have some great ideas to help out our small businesses - PLEASE shoot me an email

All of this was rattling on while I was working on the next page for ‘Can We Go Outside’. Community concerns were definitely my gator lurking in the water today.

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My brain today in one word: normal…??

Today I am: sitting on our back screened porch listening to the rain (that we desperately need!) and feeling the cool breeze come in - so nice!

Current CNN news headline: New Yorkers must wear masks when unable to socially distance, Gov. Cuomo says

I am sorry to report that I think today will be a short entry. My brain has not been a flurry of mixed emotions but rather feels more like it’s normal self up there today. I don’t know about you guys but I think our house has finally found its rhythm these past few days. Now that I am focused and not buzzing around the house annoying my husband and the dog, things seem to be working (well, for today). My husband locks himself in the office and I dominate the rest of the house - ya know, just as it should be (I’m only kidding).

I saw a post yesterday from one of the many dog adoption pages I follow (yes, I am my own worst enemy and have no idea how we don’t have 100 dogs by now) and I thought ‘well that could apply directly to human life right now’. The post was about the 3/3/3 rule which gives insight into how long you should give a dog to adjust to its new life - 3 days to decompress, 3 weeks to learn your routine and 3 months to start feeling at home. My house has hit the 3 week mark and I believe we’ve finally made our routine. Woof woof.

My view for today is much as it has been for the past 3 days as I completely absorb/obsess over ‘Can We Go Outside?’. The chair at my dining table is now molding itself nicely to my gluteus maximus and the organized chaos of art supplies on the table makes sense only to me - just as it should be (I’m not kidding here). I have hit a minor road block though which is why I am taking a break to write this post. As I said yesterday, I am letting the story tell itself and in turn has flowed effortlessly out of my mind and into my paintbrush but today I am a wee bit stuck. What happens when Luke catches up with the cat? I know I want Luke to go meet the lurking gator in the pond but…what happens to the cat? I am perplexed. Stay tuned to find out how this great battle ends.

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