Small Business

3am Cuddles

FB_IMG_1529948575820

Karly’s been getting up in the middle of the night. We’ve been very lucky until now. She was very young when she first started sleeping through the night, just a week before starting daycare. I only took eight weeks off for my maternity leave, and Karly started attending daycare as soon as I returned to work.

Sometimes I’m tired throughout the day. When Karly cries at night, I take her to the living room and we cuddle on the couch. Even though it’s 3 am, sometimes I like having this time with her. I lie down on the couch and wake up with her snuggled on top of me.

Karly is two years old. She’s going to grow up, and these cuddles won’t last. I will appreciate the time I have with her now as a toddler, even if it’s in the middle of the night.

 

 

Advertisements
Small Business

What American Women Don’t Know

women's rights post

Most Americans don’t realize that women are treated better in some other countries in the world, places where there’s equal pay and reproductive rights are respected. We as Americans have a long way to go. I hope I’m wrong, but if we ever do reach equality, it may be a couple of generations away.

My time in Denmark as an exchange student was eye opening. I was an impressionable 16-year-old American girl, and I met Danish women who were truly free to make their own decisions. They honestly didn’t understand the abortion debate in the US. They believe you can’t tell a woman what she can do with her own body.

American women will never truly be free until they have complete control of their bodies. The obvious difference between men and women is the ability to bear children, and unfortunately, this holds women back – especially when trapped in an unwanted pregnancy. Men will never experience that, and women can’t escape it. This is especially true if a woman is raped. No one deserves complete control of their body more than sexual assault victims.

Old white men in Washington control our bodies, but that power needs to be given to the individual woman to make her own personal decisions. This is a power American women have never felt. Being able to plan her own family is absolutely crucial for a woman to be in control of her life and future.

It’s not fair to women who decide to go through with a pregnancy either. We are one of two remaining countries that still don’t offer any kind of maternity leave, which leaves many women and families struggling financially. Many mothers return to work too soon, without proper time to heal or bond with their newborn.

Gender roles are still pretty well defined in our society as well, especially for mothers. Many Americans have that “Super Mom” image in their head. She’s in charge of caring for the home and children, and also expected to work a full-time job. She does it all but could snap at any moment. I don’t want to live like that.

It’s 2018, and we still don’t have equal pay. Some other countries have had it for decades. It’s discouraging to know your gender is a factor in determining your worth.

American women are also held to unrealistic expectations in appearance, and many will do anything they can to try to reach this unattainable image. I was one of them. My eating disorder had many personal causes, but society’s expectations certainly didn’t help.

Some of my ancestors were strong, independent women that were advocates for women’s rights during their time. I love hearing their stories, and I wonder what their vision of the future was. Have we come as far as they hoped? In a way, I feel connected to them, because they were probably just like me – just hoping for a better world for their daughters. I became a mother for the first time two years ago, and I hope my daughter one day will experience true independence and opportunity.

photo credit: Greyframe Where did you go? via photopin (license)

mental health · Small Business

I need to know I’m not alone.

DTS_Daze_19

Anxiety is more common than people know. I wish that message was broadcast around the world, then maybe I wouldn’t have felt like such an outsider growing up – second guessing every move, feeling embarrassed by past experiences. I want to know others feel this way, too.

Being ambitious can be a good thing, but when you take on too much, every failure eats away at you. I do have limits – limits I often ignore – and when I cross that line, I’m bound to fail. I want to know others have limits, too.

Anxiety and depression go hand in hand. When too many of those failures eat away at me, I want to give up. I move slowly and everything’s dark. Everything feels like a huge chore. I want to know others have felt depressed, too.

Eventually – usually with the help of my psychiatrist – I get back up and start over. Truth is humans are resilient. It helps to take a break. Get another plan together. I want to know others are survivors, too.

It always important to know you’re not alone. Everyone needs to know.

Small Business

Origins Game Fair 2018

IMG_20180615_222626_861
Timothy the Turtle makes an appearance.

Jason, Karly, and I attended Origins Game Fair last week, and although traveling with a two-year-old proved to be challenging, we really had a great time.

This was my third time going to Origins, and I think I like it better than Gen Con. I’m not a fan of crowds, and Origins is smaller. However, despite its smaller size, Origins attracts vendors and attendees from all over the country.

One thing I absolutely love about Origins Game Fair is Origins University, a series of classes geared towards game designers, artists, and writers taught by leaders in the industry. I attended five classes this year and found the information presented helpful and interesting. Class sizes were small, and the instructors were very open to questions and discussions. I’m not as passionate about gaming as Jason, so the classes are the main reason I go to Origins. I’ve taken classes there in the past, so I knew they were applicable to just about anyone in a creative field.

If you are thinking of attending the game fair next year, be sure to check out Origins University. I’ll probably be there, too!

IMG_20180615_222810_397
Karly by the Catan room
Small Business

First Ever FICTION FRIDAY!!

Euphonium_Boosey_and_hawkes

I’m so happy to see so many new likes on the Rahm Designs, LLC Facebook page. For those of you that don’t know, I work as a writer in addition to running the graphics business. I am a regular contributor at healthyplace.com. I share my personal blog posts on my Facebook page once or twice a week. Oftentimes my blog posts are updates on the graphics business, but I also write about a lot of other topics, too. Sometimes I just share pictures of my fearless 2-year-old daughter. She keeps us on our toes.

Today I am sharing my first attempt at fiction, a short story about a recital. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous sharing this, but I really want to grow as a writer. Let me know what you think.

 

It was a stormy night. The sea was rough. The waves furiously smashed against the rocks. I laid in bed listening to the storm and sea. Tonight was great, and this was the best way to wind down.

The recital hall was packed. This was it. I’ve worked so hard for the past four years, and it all came down to this. An hour of performing was all that stood between being a student and becoming a graduate. The lights dimmed. The hall was silent. I walked out on stage.

My accompanist started to play. One deep breath, and I began. In that first solo, I was very technical, insistently counting and perfecting each and every note. Sweat beaded on my forehead. I cherished that last note a minute and ended. There was a slight, deafening moment of silence, then applause. I felt the tension in my upper body ease. I got this.

I continued on. I felt strong and lost myself in the music. Before I knew it, I was taking my final bow. More applause. What a rush – and a relief.

After praise from my professors and fellow students, I got in my car. There was lightning in the distance, and a few fat raindrops hit the windshield. I hurried back to my family’s seaside home.

First, a hot shower. My sweat and anxiety washed down the drain. Then bed. The storm and sea lulled me to sleep. Tomorrow I wake up a graduate.

Gaming · graphic design · graphics for shirts · Heat Press · Onesies · Small Business · Toledo, OH

Vinyl: Finally Getting the Hang of It

It’s been a little over a week since I attended the vinyl cutter boot camp at Stahl’s, and I’ve been very busy experimenting. Using the cutter is getting easier. I’m learning a lot. I bought more vinyl when I went to the boot camp, so I have more colors to play around with. I have some ideas I’m kicking around, and I will list new items in my online store soon. Here are some of my creations so far.

graphic design · graphics for shirts · Heat Press · Small Business

Business Update 5-26-18

Deat_to_Stock_Goods_7

About a month ago, I purchased a vinyl cutter. It was expensive, looked complicated, and I was pretty sure I was going to break it. I watched all of the instructional videos before I even pulled the cutter out of the box. That only left me more intimidated. There was so much information on the videos. I didn’t know how I would learn it all…until last Wednesday.

I attended vinyl cutter boot camp at Stahl’s, the company I bought the cutter from. Fortunately for me, their world headquarters are within reasonable driving distance – just North of Detroit. At the training, I was relieved to learn that I’m not the only one intimidated by their vinyl cutter. The training covered a lot, but I left there feeling more confident. I also bought a lot more vinyl to play with.

Sales have been slow, but I have been working hard to get things up and running. My Shopify store, Google AdWords campaigns, market research with WBC/ECDI, and new designs are some of the things I’ve been working on. In the next few weeks, I will spend more time brainstorming niche markets to tap into with unique, new designs.

Despite losing my job at Harbor in January, I have been staying very busy.