thank you 2010 + hello 2011

Jan 1, 2011 | Yearly Recaps


before i do the 2010 recap, i wanted to say a sincere thank you to all of you. 2010 was a weird, crazy, full full year. i love having this space to document the unfolding of my life. the celebrations, the heartbreaks, the flow, the joys, the photos, the artwork, the travel, the silly, the serious. i love being a part of the blogging community and i really can’t thank you enough for celebrating with me this year, for hanging in there with me, for supporting my creative business, and for all the kindness you send my way. i’m counting my lucky stars for you. i really, really am. without this blog and the wide orbit/community that it’s a part of, i would not be where i am today. and where i am today is in the very center of a beautiful, beautiful life. thank you.

i wrote this awhile back and wanted to repost it again today:
we are much more than just artist and crafters. we are people who have a unique and much needed gift of expressing ourselves and the beauty of the world around us. we tell our stories in painterly shades of blues, reds, greens. we tell it in pretty fonts and beautiful photos and words strung together to create meaningful stories. we reach for our dreams and we live our lives with a strong belief in a hopeful world that sees us for all that we are. i am so happy to be a part of this expressly unique community because the world needs our visions and it needs our hearts.


dear 2010, i can barely breathe when i think of you. and i mean that. i lived you at lightening speed – it was all very fast with an enormous amount of transition. many people in my life thought i was downright crazy to cram so much in one year, and there were moments when i certainly thought i was crazy with all that i was juggling at any given moment. but even with all the chaos, i loved every minute of you – blessings and heartbreak and all. it will be the year i’ll always remember as being so full of abundance yet likely one of my hardest years ever. i’m hoping 2011 will be a bit more gentle. in fact, i’m going to make gentle my word for 2011. by the way, nurture was my word for 2010 which makes me want to pee my pants in ironic laughter. my world should have been intense.

okay, crazy 2010, hear are your fast paced highlights:

self portrait

* there was the trip home, 3000 miles away. i was feeling really grounded during that trip and homesick for my youth. you can see in the photos that i started the year 15pounds heavier than normal – weight i would soon lose when pregnancy made me sick as a dog.

it's true. we're pregnant!

* i’m certain, CERTAIN, that the universe knew i was going to need the extra pounds to get me through the three months where i could eat nothing but crackers. during those first three months, not only did i feel miserable, but i couldn’t yet reveal here on the blog why i felt so miserable, so i just posted poor me posts, one after the next, until i could finally spill the beans. turns out, most of you suspected it, but it was sooo fun to FINALLY announce it. here’s a post where i share the real truth of those first couple of months.

* there was the trip to the atlanta gift show where i was blown away by everything i learned about the gift industry. there was a big dream that was born during that trip that came true not so long ago. it’s still top secret but i hope to share that dream with you soon! but it was soooo fun to see my work on giant billboard sized signs and in the display showrooms. really, really cool. such a fun trip. we partied, laughed, dined, and celebrated that whole trip.

* a couple of weeks later, i was in texas for a signing at that gift show. LOVED TEXAS!

* although my year got scooped up with moving, house renovations, ecourse, pregancy, and having a baby, i did manage to make some new artwork that i’m proud of. i missed the routine of creating this year while most of my supplies were in storage for so many months and am looking forward to finally getting my inspiration back onto the canvas in 2011.

* the online shop stayed busy with new products, including these, and these popular gals, and these cool blocks, and laptop skins, iphone skins, and more.


* we made a big decision to move back to portland, oregon. this would be our 4th move in four years. i’m happy to report we are never moving again.
* i decided to no longer play small.


* had some fantastic press (thank you!), including several articles in a few of my favorite magazines. it was a dream come true to have one of my pieces on the cover (the cover!!!) of somerset studios. it was also a dream come true to be ranked twice in giftbeat. so cool.

* traveled to california to teach a three day workshop in the santa cruz mountains with one of my bffs. during the opening ceremony, i told a packed auditorium of retreat participants that i was pregnant and it was sooooo fun to finally tell someone (they totally kept my secret).

* had an aha moment or two or three.

* wrote about how it doesn’t always have to be about competition, but rather it could be about capacity and connection. i love this post.

* lots of celebrating: 11 yrs with john, finally feeling better when the baby bump arrived, uncontained joy from all the excitement of the year, the day we found out true would be a boy, the beautiful walls we unearthed during home renovation.

* i launched by first ever ecourse – was shocked at the response. was even more shocked at the amount of hard work (the hardest work of my life). and was even more shocked at how much i loved the experience.

hello love

* after the ecourse, i launched a series of ebooks. they’ve been received so well. my heart is delightedly happy because of it. the ecourse held so much juicy information, i was so glad to offer it inside ebooks – gorgeously designed and interactive ebooks at that!
* traveled to nyc with mati rose for the ny stationery and surtex show. awesome. seriously love nyc.

* had some amazing belly shots taken from some amazing photographer friends while also realizing that i have everything i could ever need to love our baby.
* experienced seriously silly delirium. and a moment of overwhelm (or two), but tried very hard to stay in the perspective that love is center.
* witnessed the sweetest birdie rally of all time.

dear self

* opened up a letter i wrote to myself a year prior and could not believe how just about everything i wrote to myself actually came true. it’s a testament to the idea of putting the intention out there, doing the work, and letting it all unfold.

*we renovated a 1911 bungalow, all three levels, in 13 weeks. not kidding. it was craziness. process photos and stories here, here, here, with final results (room by room) here. this was the craziest thing we’ve ever done. ever. so glad it’s over. won’t ever renovate a house again, but at the same time we LOVE our home and it was well worth it in the end. but the stress, the stress (while very pregnant, while doing an intensely content driven ecourse, while living in a hotel = what the heck were we thinking?)!

* moved into our home about 8 weeks before baby was to arrive. i was huge, unable to lift anything, and running out of energy. my parents came and helped us unpack and decorate and do DIY projects to boot (here’s one of the many)

* had an amazing time on the oregon coast with my lovebomb girlfriends.
* celebrated taking flight’s two year anniversary
* made a quick and last minute decision to hire and train an amazing studio assistant (hello, dani!) before i had a baby. her last day of training was on a friday, and i went into labor the very next day. crazy, and very lucky timing.

true sock monkey

* we welcomed baby true on oct 3rd.
*and then i was set free. and we made our way through, even through the hard of those first many weeks while also feeling the gifts. it was such a tender time.


* loved being called mama k. took a million cute photos and videos.
* probably the most important journey of my entire year and adult life, i navigated the waters of unexpected trauma

open heart

* learned more than i ever thought possible about open hearts.
* felt more beautiful than ever before
* got inspired to decorate for christmas more than any other year
* began to awaken to myself again and start creating after having given birth.


2010, you were a year rich with lessons, with beauty, and with personal growth. before letting you go, i wanted to answer a couple of more questions that my friend andrea scher introduced me to:
1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2010? (What did you create? What challenges did you face with courage and strength? What promises did you keep to yourself? What brave choices did you make? What are you proud of?)

i mostly want to acknowledge my own endurance to get through some of my life’s most stressful transitions during a relatively short amount of time: moving out of state, purchasing and completing a major renovation of a home in 13 weeks, nurturing extreme creative business growth, a pregnancy that came with 16 solid weeks of severe sickness, working harder than ever before on business projects that i felt passionate about (ecourse, ebooks, licensing), and delivering a baby – an experience that broke me open to my own capacity. i want to acknowledge that none of this was exactly easy yet it brought a watershed of abundance mixed in with overwhelm and sheer joy. i want to acknowledge that more than ever i felt like i was crafting a life, laying down some roots and foundation for years to come, both personally and professionally.

i am so proud of navigating the year’s intensity with honesty, tenderness, quiet courage, and heartbreaking steps toward keeping my heart open. never have i been more proud of my heart. i’m proud that john and i made some very bold choices toward the life we are creating together – even if those choices weren’t easy or delicate or perfectly planned out. i’m proud that we celebrated every tiny joy along the way together. i’m mostly proud of our journey into parenthood. it hasn’t been easy but it’s been incredibly rewarding, life changing, heart changing in all the ways i could have never guessed. we are still in the beginning of this particular path, but i’m so proud of our togetherness, our commitment to be in this heart to heart. and i’m proud of myself for taking a break from creative biz – for trusting that this part of my life won’t disappear as i adjust to new mamahood.

2. What is there to grieve about 2010? (What was disappointing? What was scary? What was hard? What can you forgive yourself for?)

i forgive myself for over doing it. for over extending myself. for working too much, too long. for doing everything at the last minute (renovations, hiring an assistant, moving in, etc etc), just before having our first baby. i forgive myself for not being gentle enough with myself during those first critical weeks of motherhood, for being hard on myself during the most vulnerable time of my life. there is so much to grieve in 2010 – mostly the birth trauma but my heart is coming through that experience with an utmost appreciation for life’s hurdles and how transformative our hard experiences can be. never have i felt love and terror all at once, in the same year, in the same day. so, i suppose the scariest parts of 2010 are the parts that i’m grieving – the extremes in experiences, in emotions.

Photo 378

3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete? The next step is to say out loud, “I declare 2010 complete!” How do you feel? If you don’t feel quite right, there might be one more thing to say…

The only thing that i feel called to say about 2010 is thank you. thank you for teaching me just how tender and open my heart can be. thank you for teaching me about my capacity for strength, my family’s strength. thank you for showing me that the smallest things still bring so much joy in the midst of absolute crazy chaotic days. thank you for showing me so clearly how dearly loved i am in my community and in my family. thank you for keeping me safe, for keeping my loved ones safe, and for breaking open my heart. you will always be defined as the year that i broke open.

you were not an easy year. but you were probably the most important year of my life. thank you for your abundance of truth and for the abundance of support that held all of my pieces together. i am blessed to have such dear people in my life, to walk toe to toe with them in this life’s journey.

2010, i declare you complete! i’m letting you go…

2011, i declare you my year of gentleness and ease. gentleness and ease….got that?

More small steps from 2010: 

* Babies made their first appearance in my work.
* My artwork was featured in a full page spread (last page!) of the Nov issue of Where Women Create.
* We welcomed our first baby, True Elio Orlando, to the world on Oct 3rd!
* In October, I hired a wonderful studio assistant (Dani!) to help with all kinds of administrative tasks.
* My blog was featured in the Autumn issue Artful Blogging, a stunning publication dedicated to highlighting creative bloggers. Really love this magazine and it was a honor to be featured.
* I was featured in the Autumn issue of Somerset Apprentice, a magazine that highlights various fundamentals and techniques in creating art. Love this publication!
* My book celebrated its 2 year anniversary!
* Thrilled to have a couple of projects featured in Mixed Media Paint Box, a book that highlights weekly creative projects for an entire year (such a great idea!)
* My new e-book series launched called Flying Lessons: Tips + Tricks To Help Your Creative Biz Soar! Super proud of these. Response has been tremendous (thank you!)
*We moved into the old 1911 bungalow that we completely gutted and renovated in 13 weeks. It was a huge accomplishment and undertaking. And it was an amazing feeling to finally move it. Photos and tour here!
* Invited in abundance.
* My wall art line ranked #1 in the July issue of GiftBeat in the wall art category. This was HUGE!
* Was featured in the August issue of Where Women Create (love this magazine!) where I shared an interview on the business side of what I do!
* Personal horizons expanded.
* Snap shot on balance + running an ecourse.
* Signed on with a reputable licensing agent + got my first logo all in the same week (!) – details here.
* Wrote a letter to myself + it was pure magic.
* Traveled to the NYC Surtex show where my work was represented – more details here!
* Got super delirious during my 24th week of pregnancy – see for yourself:)
* Lots of new product debuted at the Atlanta Gift show, including interactive art blocks, laptop skins, and iphone skins!
* My artwork was featured on the cover of the March/April issue of Somerset Studiomagazine – this was incredibly thrilling for me to see – details in this blog post.
* My husband and I are moved back to Portland, OR! We bought a 1911 fixer upper and began renovations!
* We also announced that we were pregnant for our first!
* Hindsight 20/20.
* I was a guest curator for Jenny Doh’s Crescendoh launch – a ton of fun
* Launched my very first e-course and boy was that exciting. Response was beyond awesome.
* Taking Flight reached over 100 reviews over on amazon (published in Fall, 2008). Overall rating of 5 stars. Amazing!
* My last and third article about the beauty of friendship was published in the winter issue ofSomerset Life magazine. Really loved writing these articles for this magazine.
* Explored bravery + decided not to play small.
* New gift products from my line with DEMDACO debuted in stores nationwide, including new wall canvases, journals, magnets, and decorative art girlies (which were a big hit).
* I did signings at the Atlanta and Dallas Gift Shows in DEMDACO’s showroom – first time,and it was crazy good.
* I co-taught with friend Mati Rose at An Artful Journey, a three day creative retreat held in Los Gatos, CA. Read + seem more photos and details here.

Sending much love,

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Hello + welcome!

I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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