Tools: My Top 3 And How I Use Them.

Some women will ask for a nice handbag or jewelry for anniversaries, birthdays or other holidays. And I’m all about that, too. But I kid you not. I asked for tools for about 2 straight years in order to build up my workshop! Of course I have more than the 3 you see here, but I’m going to share the ones I use the most and how I use them to create my pieces of artwork.

My Top 3 Tools And How I Use Them!

#1 Compound Miter Saw

Ridgid Miter Saw

The miter saw is by far the machine I spend most of my time with. And all those 45 degree cuts you see on my work? This is the tool for the job! With a quick swivel of the miter table, you can make cuts from 0-50 degrees. I was super intimidated the first time I rented one of these from Home Depot. But after just a few cuts I got the hang of it.

#2 Jigsaw


If you’ve ever seen a photo of my work in progress, then you know I leave the edges of my pieces jagged. I do this because it is difficult (though not impossible!) to get the edges lined up just so. With a steady hand, I use a jigsaw to cut off the edges to get it ready to be framed.

#3 Belt Sander


This tool changed my life you guys. I never even knew what I was missing! After I use the jigsaw to cut off the edges of my pieces, I go over it with a belt sander to get the edges as smooth and as even as possible to get them ready for framing. This tool is also helpful for stripping paint or finish off the surfaces of wood.

And there you have it. These are my top 3 tools and a basic explanation of how I use them to create my pieces of art. Have a more specific question about my process? I’m all ears!


Behind the Scenes: My Worst Month Ever

It's OK Banner

IT’S OK banner by Secret Holiday & Co

Well, it’s been a while huh? :-) I started to write a post on Instagram about this but I decided it might get a little long and get overlooked.┬áSo here we go. My September was ROUGH. And I mean I-only-sold-2-small-pieces-in-one-month kind of ROUGH. After an amazingly busy summer, in September my sales just stopped. I didn’t know what happened (still don’t) but I kinda had a secret meltdown behind the scenes here. I started to completely doubt everything I was doing, applied to a bunch of jobs and even met with a very nice man in a different (but similar) industry to see if that was the direction I should go in. Maybe even go back to school? I’m serious…A MELTDOWN.

Luckily, this nice man talked me down from the ledge. Just like my husband had told me before, he said he thought I was way further along than I think I am. Not to give up. I walked away feeling like a million bucks. (Thanks Joe!) That same day, I received a HUGE order for 7 pieces. Today I was contacted by an art consultancy in Paris. What?! That one definitely left me feeling all kinds of fancy. In the blink of an eye my whole outlook changed.

Looking back, I was in fight or flight mode. My husband had just changed jobs and started working for a non-profit. Our budget was being squeezed a little bit. Add my slow month and my mind started catastrophizing. Pretty crazy how quickly self-doubt sets in once things aren’t going as planned. Thank goodness I had saved up about 6 months in operating costs and was never in any real danger. But it was a stressful time for sure. And I sure as hell didn’t pay myself much.

My point to this is that I want to be real with all of my friends, family and anyone else that is following my AIMM journey. What I’m doing basically feels like riding a roller coaster ALL THE TIME and that’s not always what is projected on the screen. I think as people we have a natural tendency not to want to be a whiner on social media so we stick to posting the good stuff. But believe me, there are real tears sometimes. Just this past Saturday I spent the entire day at a West Elm pop-up and sold nothing. Yep, not one thing. No tears were shed because I know that happens sometimes but I was disappointed in myself for wasting a Saturday that could have been spent with my family.

October is shaping up to be a great month. So I think (and hope!) September was a fluke. God help my poor husband if it wasn’t. Either way, it feels good to write this down and know that if this happens again I won’t be so shattered knowing that everything is going to be ok in the end.