Once again, the year has passed and I’m wondering where all the time went! 2019 was a time of transition for nearly everyone on the team for one reason or another. Lots of shakeups but lots of celebrations, too (here we all are at Amber and Andrew’s wedding).

Year 4 of blogging is behind us and we’re exciting about putting all the changes to good use in our content for 2020 but before we do, it’s time to look back and see what we learned.

Busy Immy

Lesson #1

Babies and blogging are a challenging mix.

Blogging regularly requires a certain amount of planning and discipline and it seems that both those qualities went out the window after Imara arrived and both enriched and upended our lives. Providing daylong care to a captivating baby who quickly became an extremely busy and mobile toddler kept writing and photography (except for the millions of cute kid snapshots) very much in the background.

plants awaiting planting

Lesson #2

Late season gardening is more rewarding than we expected!

I’ve often lamented the relatively short gardening season in the Midwest. And for many years, most garden centers around us stopped stocking new plants by about mid-June, making gardening in summer proper mostly a maintenance task.

Last year, though, we had to create a garden in August for a gardening magazine and were pleasantly surprised to find some of the home improvement stores and a few nurseries were still offering healthy and blooming perennials and annuals in late summer. Although the selections were more limited than earlier in the season, we were able to create a varied and appealing garden that got even better over time. Now I have no excuse when my garden looks a bit tired by end of July.

Chalkboard office overall

Lesson #3

Paint markers can be versatile decorating tools.

While working on various decor projects for print and online, we discovered the many ways you can use paint markers to give fabrics, ceramics, accents and furniture a quick and easy makeover. I’m so jazzed that even someone as paint-challenged as I am (Narvas seldom allows me near a paint bucket) can create unique effects with paint without also wearing it in my hair and all over my clothes.

Prop sale

Lesson #4

Moving is never fun but it pushes you to purge.

I knew this one from our last move but that was many years ago and I needed to be reminded of the positive aspects of packing up. It became clear in late spring that we needed to find new premises for the studio, but the idea of moving everything was pretty daunting. We had so much stuff from past photo shoots and projects that it was overwhelming. With help, however, we had a very successful prop sale and pared down the contents to the things we knew we’d use often or had some special value or meaning for us. And we had a lot of very happy buyers. So, win-win!

Barn overview

Lesson #5

Change is what you make of it.

2019 was a year filled with highs and lows. We lost one of our best clients when they decided to stop publishing several home and garden magazines. But the gaps in our schedule that resulted allowed us to work on plans for new ventures we’re focusing on now. We were basically priced out of our studio space but found another that will serve us even better. We’re relocating to a rural area but that’s opening up all kinds of opportunities to develop unique content and grow new skills (literally in some cases!). We celebrated a big family wedding and the news that another baby is on the way. Shakeups, good and bad, are a part of life, so you just gotta push ahead with a positive outlook.

No matter what happens, let go of what’s gone, be grateful for what remains, and look forward to what comes next. Celebrate the happy events and find the silver linings in those less desirable.

We are looking forward to sharing 2020 with you all!


© Caruth Studio