All posts by goldtinsel

About goldtinsel

Seattle based designer, maker, dog-lover.


As I’m writing this, there is a heavy rainfall outside my office window.  It’s been constant downpour lately here in Seattle.  We did have one beautiful sunny day recently and it was everything – blue skies, warm weather, a sunny day that turned into a gorgeous sunset.  Then it went back to rain, always goes back to rain.

I’ve never felt this sensation of my overall mood being affected by weather before.  But this year the rain and the cold has been so constant, more constant than I can remember of all my years living here.  I couldn’t tell you why the weather has been so wet and dreary, but I can definitely tell you that I’m in need of some warm cool nights and sunshine.  Mostly just sunshine.

In many ways weather is like waiting for life to happen.  In every aspect of my life, I take control, I take charge, I don’t make excuses, I am a do-er.  I’ve always been.  But waiting for the weather to get better is like waiting for paint to dry – it’s something you can’t rush, something you don’t control, something that will *eventually happen.  And while there isn’t anything I’m necessarily waiting for, I generally feel this uneasy heaviness lately.  So until I figure out what it is, I’ll just continue waiting.. waiting for the seasons, waiting for the spring, waiting for the flowers to bloom.


Spring – But Feels Like Winter

Last night I had an overwhelming feeling that I needed to write in this blog, even though I’ve completely ignored it for over 1.5 years.  I don’t know where the time goes, but the holidays passed, we both had birthdays, my business turned another year older, and while so much has changed, so much has also stayed the same.

I went to a dinner party recently and it somehow turned into a business group meeting.  There were people there with all types of backgrounds – salsa dancers, pilots, entrepreneurs, product managers, etc.  I started talking to the pilot about a new product he is launching and just different ways he could market his brand – and it went on for hours and hours.  Unintentionally.  It was incredible, and gratifying and so intellectually stimulating.  I left the party that night thinking about how much I miss marketing and giving marketing advice, more than that, being part of an overall marketing strategy.

The reality I’m facing right now is this: while I love love LOVE what I do and I love the relationships I’ve made, I miss marketing.  Traditional marketing.  I realize that so much of what I’m doing now is marketing in the sense of social media and affiliate, performance marketing, but it’s difficult to market yourself.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to that, even 4.5 years in the game.

When I started this business, it was 100% unintentional.  I found a niche basically because I created a product that didn’t exist and I posted it online, to an incredible response.  I am and have always been motivated by action and results, so it only made sense for me to try it out.  I made a plan – I prepped and transitioned out of my marketing manager role for an entire year – and then I took the leap.  I got swept up in the possibilities, the challenge, the creativity, and the limitlessness of being a woman entrepreneur.  I am and will always be grateful for what I’ve accomplished, what I’ve built for myself, and for the success I’ve had – but for the first time I’m starting to wonder if I should keep the business, or if it’s time for me to move on.

That’s a really harsh reality, mostly because there is no reason for me to stop what I’m doing.  I could be traveling the world right now and leave my shop on autopilot and I still wouldn’t have to worry about income, or bills, or anything monetary.  But it goes beyond that, and facing that truth is something I’m struggling with at the moment.  I don’t know if this means that I’ll be in a different working environment by the end of this year, or by the year of 2-3 years, but I do know that it’s definitely a possibility.

And while all of that freaks me out a little bit, it’s also extremely exhilarating and liberating to make my own decisions, at my own pace.

With all of that said, I’ll leave you with a photo from Costa Rica – my favorite trip last year.  I’ll eventually post about all my trips last year along with photos (there were a lot!) – eventually.


Experiences over Things

Earlier this year, Matt and I decided that we wanted to have ‘experiences’ over gifts this holiday season.  We started by going to Alaska to surprise his family (and boy were they surprised!) and now that it’s December – we have planned a holiday activity for every night that Matt has off and/or the weekend.  So far our list consists of:

– Leavenworth (Christmastown a few hours from home)
– Holiday Lights at Enchanted Village w/ rides
– Melrose Grill (we always do a fancy Christmas dinner together)
– Scrooge the Musical
– Book of Mormon play
– Hosting Christmas Eve dinner for my family

& it all started because of this quote written by yours truly below —


It feels good to do things and to spend money on experiences that don’t add to the overall ‘stuff’ in our home.  I’m also trying to be more diligent about photos and where I put them and save them, and actually getting them printed.  We’ve done a hundred and one things together and it’s too easy to not relish in the memory when they photos are suddenly removed and life just goes on.  Goal for next year?  Maybe. :)

PS – The lettering artwork is downloadable.  Just right click to save as!

10,000 orders later….

Somehow life and work happened and I’m now at 10,000+ sales in my tiny little Etsy Shop.  Who knew that this was possible and so quickly at that!!  It’s crazy that my stomach still gets in knots when I see that I have new feedback.. 10k orders later and I still worry that someone will have something bad to say, haha.  I guess that ultimately means that I still care today as much as I did when this all started for me.

Of course there are still some days when I miss the routine of commuting to/from work and going out to lunch with coworkers and sharing weekend stories, and really just having these huge marketing projects and campaigns that I was responsible for – the stress, the execution, the relief, all of it.  In a sense I have some of that and more these days (lucky to have friends who are also entrepreneurs with schedules as flexible as mine), but it’s also very interesting.. and awkward to say the least when your biggest marketing campaigns and strategies now include marketing yourself.  I have mixed feelings about it and I probably always will.  Par for the course I guess.

Anyway, I screencapped this because it’s definitely something that I should remember and rejoice and celebrate. <3

goldtinsel 10k

Home from Europe, Married, New Puppy Mom & It’s the Holidays

Somehow the last time I wrote in this blog, I was only preparing for my *many trips before Europe.  All of that has come and gone, and now I’m home from our amazing trip abroad, married, have a new puppy named Mister Bear and am slaving away for the holiday rush that will inevitably take over my life (as per usual).

I have a million photos that I still need to look through and print.  I was fairly diligent while we were traveling and managed to post about our time for almost 2 weeks.  And then it was all downhill from there, haha.  Traveling for that long and NOT WORKING is an amazing feeling, life-changing really.  But it’s also good to come home to a strong base and remember why all your blessings are even possible.  I loved traveling to so many countries and experiencing so many new cultures with Matt, and while we travel all the time together, this time was different.  This time we were married, and we were honeymooners and we were just so in love with life.  It was incredible and the perfect way to celebrate our marriage and our love, and I wouldn’t change a single moment of it for any reason.  We spent SO MUCH money, but it was beyond worth everything.  To call ourselves blessed is the understatement of the century.

Since being home, work has thankfully slowed down now that wedding season is mostly over.  But it’s holidays now so there’s a different kind of rush – one that I anticipate and look forward to the most.  I just love the holidays.  People seem/ feel kinder in all aspects, and mostly – they’re happier.  I love that.

I have a million photos that I want to post to this blog, so many different countries that I want to talk about, so many of my favorite memories that just need to be written down.  I never seen to make time to do these things, but I hope to.  & hopefully I’ll do it before we travel to our next destination next month – ALASKA.  <3

I’ll leave you with a photo from my favorite city to date — Amsterdam.

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