• Girl Talk Edition 2: Learning to Edit & Focus…A Life Lesson from Amy Howard


    Just over a week ago, I had the privilege, along with 13 other talented bloggers, to be flown to Memphis Tennessee, to be a part of the first Blogger Affiliate program with Amy Howard at Home. I knew we would meet Amy, her husband Gene and members of their creative and business team, but what I didn’t expect was to learn so much from the other bloggers and Amy herself.

    dinner at amys

    Yes, we were blessed enough to learn the beautiful and unique painting techniques that I will be sharing with you every month on a project, but what stuck with me the most is just how giving of her time, energy and soul Mrs. Howard would be. She shared her background with us. Career ups and downs, her future dreams, her past mistakes and even her fears. But the biggest lesson I learned as a blogger/business owner was to Edit + Focus.  Edit + Focus…my new mantra for 2016 and beyond.

    What does that mean to me?

    I know where I want to go with The Rustic Life, I know what dreams I have for  the business (it IS a business) but I also know that as a creative…lord oh lord…my mind is always spinning with ideas. As creatives, I’m sure many of you can relate to the saying…”jack of all trades, master of none” Yeah…I didn’t always feel like that, but when I heard Amy say “Edit + Focus” the light bulb went off. I needed that kick in the butt. That wake up call. That aha moment. For me, Edit + Focus meant I needed to ensure that everything I did for The Rustic Life was streamlined and focused towards where I want the brand to be, not only now but also in the future.

    If truth be told, I often feel like there is never enough time to get everything done. Often feeling like a failure because something wasn’t checked off my to-do list for the week. Allowing myself, many a days, to feel inadequate. What I learned was that I was all of those and none of those. All I needed to do was Edit + Focus. Make a plan for the day and stick to it. Like Amy said, if you take the time to document what you do for 2 days on a little note pad, you would be VERY surprised at how much time you waste doing things that could be delegated to others or delegated to another day. Living in a technologically advanced world, where we are always “plugged in”, there has never been a greater need for us to Edit + Focus…in return we WILL find our passion…we will find what we were put on this earth to do…we will feel adequate. We will feel fulfilled. I’m still on a learning journey as I dive into Amy’s book, A Maker’s Guide (a roadmap to creative entrepreneurs).


    get the book here

    I don’t think I know everything, but I do know that I’m a maker. A dreamer. I have been able to Edit + Focus on where I want to steer this lifestyle brand, The Rustic Life. It’s an effort to stay focused and with purpose every day I rise. I thank her from the bottom of my heart for this life lesson.  Amy and I talked about a 2 year plan…I can’t wait to share with her how things come along. I used to just have Oprah and Martha Stewart as women in business that I looked up, now Amy has been added to my list.

    I encourage you, dear readers to Edit + Focus.

    NOW…let’s recap some of the things that happened on our trip shall we.


    I absolutely  LOVE the company’s mission!


    studio2The studio was a very inspiring work space for us to learn our new found painting techniques that now allow us to rescue, restore, redecorate.



    Amy’s products can be found at various boutiques and Ace Hardware stores across the country.


    Loved learning techniques to paint and design on fabric.


    Also learned gilding and aging techniques.


     I am so looking forward to sharing with you all various step-by-step projects and how-to’s with the techniques from the talent and gift that is Amy Howard.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    1. Tonya Raines
      November 12, 2015 / 8:24 pm

      Hi Sandra,
      Your blog was insPiring!!
      I Just attended Amy’s worksHop and loved it!!
      I will Be plugging in to the rustic life!
      Blessings, Tonya

      • therusticlife
        November 14, 2015 / 1:00 am

        Thank you so very much Tonya. I hope you enjoyed your training as much as I did.

    2. November 16, 2015 / 4:12 pm

      I can SO relate! Inspiring! I am def getting that book.

      • therusticlife
        November 17, 2015 / 12:10 am

        It’s great reading Teri 🙂