the measure of my success

Today marks a milestone for me as a business owner and person and I just wanted to share. Ever since I had anyone working with me, even when it was just me and Dodie at weddings way back in the day- all I wanted to do was be able to help out those who were helping me.

Let me flash back here for a sec. Growing up I always thought I had less than most, and the reality is I did. As an adult I can honestly say that I was not really looking at the world that I lived in with the right eyes. You know those movies that you see or books that you read where the main character is poor but got a heart of gold? That despite the odds she was a caring, selfless and wonderful person? If I’m being really honest, that was not me. I had friends who had more than me, and that was all I saw. I was embarrassed by the cars my parents drove (a yellow Gremlin. Seriously. Come ON Dad! A brown Dodge van with maybe one seat? Well definitely two in front anyway) What I didn’t see was well, at least we had cars! Yes I had 8 siblings, and we were a rag tag crew fo SHO! But we were surrounded by energy and life and most importantly, love. We got to see how much my Dad loved his art and his music by his art openings where we would walk around like we were celebrities for the night because, dude, that was MY DAD that was the artist in celebration for the night! It was a huge deal. And if I am comparing experiences, I don’t know anyone else that had that experience growing up. Or being able to see my MOM on TV back when it was like, the coolest thing ever!! She was being featured on a local news morning talk show for the pinatas she made. We were so excited we took pictures of the TV because we couldn’t record it- I don’t think VCR’s were invented yet. Yep. I am O-L-D right there. Just proved it! That was pretty special.

So flash forward to present day 2012, where I now live in the home that used to bring me such angst-y teen feelings of shame and embarrassment… and now this amazing place that I live is my home and my studio. It’s home to my sweet, insightful and quirky little family. Now I am the one having art shows, and teaching workshops while my kids bounce in after school and join in the critiques. Where seeing a huge mob of bee-tographers in the studio is nothing new, no big whoop. My kids see my work in magazines, hear my name on the radio and think I am FAMOUS! They google me at school for their computer classes and it’s like, dude, that is my MOM. I am smiling as I write this, because to me, it is no biggie. No big whoop. But funny to think about through the eyes of a kid, much like how I thought about my parents and their artistic accomplishments.

So today I share in my accomplishments with those that have helped me get where I am today. For me, my success barometer is not gauged by how much money I make (I have pretty much no idea… not kidding!) It’s surprising to hear that I am not motivated by money for myself- contrary to most people that grew up with not a lot of money… but it’s true. To me, it’s giving back. It’s treating people to lunch, or a surprise trip! I honestly feel a rush when I can give to others, it really fills my heart, even the smallest gestures. So this week I am taking my whole studio (minus Mike and Erik because they have to work their other jobs sniff sniff) and their spouses to one of my most favorite places to relax and escape. We are all giddy with excitement and have been texting each other non stop like it’s Christmas! It’s pretty absurd! But this, to me, is full circle.

Taking care of those who have taken care of me. And the tree was happy. XO



This is my Dad’s mural that currently hangs in Hartford City Hall. So super proud of it, every time I see it I burst with pride that MY DAD did that. Pretty powerful and amazing!!

 Here is my Mom checking out her quilt hanging in the Phoenix building in Hartford. DAM I look so much like her!!!!

 My mudder, on TV!! She was so beautiful!! Tivo WHAT!!! This was our Tivo fools, taking pictures of the Tee Vee!


  1. Anna Briggs says:

    I heart you Carla Ten Eyck!

  2. Jaime says:

    Tivo? What??? Hah!!! Have fun on your trip!

  3. Beautiful, beautiful words, from one beautiful and extraordinary lady. Thanks for sharing this and all you do with all of us.

  4. Abbey says:

    Wow! I feel like crying Carla! Beautiful words from a beautiful person. Luv you!!!!!

  5. We all love you so much and are so proud of you! Have an awesome time with your team! xxoo

  6. Hildi Todrin says:

    I hope you all have a fabulous time, and thanks for sharing such a great post. We are all so fortunate for all you do for our community! Thank you!

  7. Candice says:

    I am so honored to call you my friend. Love you. Xx

  8. Gayle King says:

    This is a beautiful post!

  9. jazzy says:

    love this. xoxo your mom was gorgeous!

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