From An Artist : An Open Letter To My Parents

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Dear Mom and Dad,

Thank you.

Most people view artists and college art-majors as flaky, irresponsible, weirdos who will never have a “real” job. But not you.

From the moment I showed an interest in art you encouraged me to pursue it, practice it and to love it. You signed me up for summer art programs, bought books and supplies. You stayed up late with me when I needed someone to hold on while the glue dried. You critiqued my projects when I wasn’t sure what to do next. You guarded my work from the dangers of a curious family dog. You allowed me to be my own special brand of weird.

When college came and I wanted to major in art, not once, did you ever tell me to pursue a more reliable career. You kept right on encouraging. You praised my success in college courses. Drove hours to lend a hand with laying cement for a final project. Drove hours again to help me lift a toilet bowl into a tree for a sculpture project. You stayed up late to talk on the phone while I walked back to my car from the art studio in the wee hours of the morning.

When I needed a part-time job to work through college you helped me find the perfect one. Even though it wasn’t anything that remotely interested me, it was perfect in every other way. I was able to find another job doing the same thing when I transferred to another school. Then when I graduated with my Bachelor of Fine Arts and got married I found another job doing the same thing in my husband’s hometown. It’s not my dream job and it’s not even art related. But you know what it is? A steady income with great hours and great benefits.

That steady income has allowed me to do whatever art I want on my own time. Since graduating with my BFA three years ago I’ve worked my steady full-time job and also started my small business doing what I really love. Recently my small business has turned into a full-fledged part-time job. And it’s everything I ever dreamed of. I’m making art and people are loving it and paying me for it!

It feels impossible to tell you just how excited I am to finally see my love for art turn into a way to provide for my family. But I want you to know that even if it hadn’t panned out; even if I never got to the point where my art would be profitable, I regret nothing. Earning my BFA taught me how to do what I love and do it the best. It brings me so much joy to just do this, making money is secondary.

So, again, thank you. I know how easily I could have ended up with parents who only told me “Art is just a hobby, it’s not worth going to college for.” Thank you for not giving up, for not discouraging me. Thank you for teaching me how to work hard. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for providing for me in so many ways. Thank you for desiring my happiness. Thank you for planting my roots firmly in the foundation of Jesus Christ: my Rock, my Faithful Love, my Provider, Restorer, Rescuer. Thank you for all of your sacrifices: sleepless nights, paint-soaked carpets, college tuition, to name only a few.

I love you Mom and Dad!

Love,

Your Daughter, the Artist

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How God Demonstrated His Faithful Love Through My Small Business

Faithfulness

“Lord, Your faithful love reaches to heaven, Your faithfulness to the clouds.” –Psalm 36:5

On September 29th my husband and I bought our first house. We are both excited and thankful that we found the perfect place and were able to buy it. But with our perfect house came a tightening of our budget. We still have to pay the last three month’s rent on our apartment in addition to our brand new mortgage payment. Yay. Not to mention all the other normal expenses of a first time home buyer.

I was stressed out because of our upcoming expenses. Even though I could see from adding up our bills that we would make it, I was still stressed. Thankfully my steady husband remained calm and reassured me. We knew God would take care of us.

It’s no coincidence that the months surrounding our home purchase have been my most profitable months ever for my small business. I know that God’s faithfulness and provision were manifested in the success I had in these months. We saw increased sales on my Etsy page, bulk and wholesale orders, and even local word-of-mouth business. The increase in sales was so phenomenal that there’s no way this happened without God. I’m talking 25 times the revenue I was seeing before. 25 times. That doesn’t happen without God.

I’m so thankful for God’s faithfulness and provision! It’s a joy to be able to provide for my family doing something I love. And I’m so thankful that God has made that possible.

Next week I’ll be talking about this more. You’ll see an open letter to a couple people I’m especially thankful for.

From Start to Almost Finished

P1090479Today I’m sharing a small look at the steps I go through when creating a greeting card design. The process is rarely quick and easy, unless I’ve just had a massive stroke of genius. It takes a lot of work to get from “idea” to “print.” Here, I’ll show you where I started with this design for an alternative wedding card and what the final design looks like.

I keep a small notebook with me at all times so that I can write down ideas whenever they hit me. Sometimes I’m sitting in church or watching Netflix or even out at a restaurant when inspiration comes. Often, I make a note with words describing my idea first, then later I might make a doodle next to it. Write down everything! You never know what may come of it.

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The design takes shape as I draw or write over and over again, making changes and trying out different arrangements. It can be easier when you’re working out a design if you draw in a lighter color then make changes in darker colors. You can see below I started with red ink for my lettering. I made alterations in blue and then black right over the red ink so that I didn’t have to draw everything all over again.

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Once the painting is done it gets scanned along with the lettering. When I have the images in my computer I can touch up any imperfections or adjust coloring.

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The final step is to send my file to the professional printing company that I work with! It is such a thrill to see my little scribbles transform and come out polished and ready for the world to enjoy!

Celebrating More Than Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! We celebrate our moms, officially, on May 10th this year but hopefully we’ve each been celebrating throughout the year. Because moms seriously deserve more than just one day of being showered with thanks, love and flowers.MomFloralPrint

Recently I had a special reason to celebrate my mom. In November last year my mom let her children know that she had just had surgery to remove cancer that had caused excessive bleeding. As her children we were shocked that we were being told so late in the game, but you know how parents are, they don’t want you to worry. The surgery was successful but later tests discovered more cancer in other areas. After another surgery all of the cancer was removed and as of a couple weeks ago Mom was deemed cancer free.P1090297

As a family we are so thankful for God being with us during this scary time. I’m thankful that our Lord chose to work through doctors to heal my mom and keep her with us a little longer. It has been amazing to go through this and be able to see how God heals, restores, loves, and awakens us. As an outward sign of my thankfulness to God and love for my mom I chose to donate twelve inches of my hair to an organization that makes wigs for women battling cancer.il_570xN.591768800_gp7m

That’s just one way I’ve celebrated my mom recently. I hope that you’ll do something meaningful for your mom soon. In my line I’ve added some great “Mom” gifts and cards that I hope your mom might enjoy. These three are all items for you to download and print. One is tattoo inspired painting that prints as an 8×10 or a folded card. The calligraphy verse from Proverbs 31 prints asa card, a 5×7 or an 8×10. Finally the colorful Proverbs 31 card prints as two pieces for you to create a lovely card for your mom.

Printable Gift Tags

P1090279More things for you to print!…I might be obsessed with the convenience of these. Originally I was not a fan of “print this yourself at home” because I knew the quality was so much lower than what I got from a professional printer. However, I have since discovered that if I set my printer to what is truly the highest quality setting it can produce some excellent results which are really brilliant especially for the convenience of printing at home.

It is also very easy for you to download the file you want to print and then either upload it to a printing website like FedEx Office or put it on a flash drive and take it to FedEx to have them print there for you. This would be great because it costs less than $1.00 to print something there and you get a good quality print.

Anyway, I designed these gift tags because I wanted something cute and small to stick on gifts. “For you my dear” is my favorite because I love that chunky calligraphy. My husband likes the “Just for you” with the border. They’re just a cute little something to make your gift-giving a little nicer!

 

Our Newest Addition

#breakfast #bunnymom #bunnymommy #furbaby #bunnymama #bunniesofinstagram #bunnies #bunny

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Meet Ellie! The newest addition to our cute little family. We adopted her from Friends of Rabbits less than two months ago and she and Clem are becoming wonderful friends! They like to snuggle together and lick eachother’s foreheads and ears-and it’s so precious! I love watching them together and I’m so happy that Clem has a friend to keep him company when we’re not around. It’s funny how different the two of them are. Ellie loves to dig and sometimes she “digs” under her blanket and tunnels around under there. It’s so funny to watch! Unfortunately she doesn’t care much for us to pet her. I assume that’s because she was raised more with other rabbits rather than humans. Clem loves it when we rub his little forehead, but he’s been with us since he was two months old so he’s more comfortable with us. I know that, in time, Ellie with be as comfortable as Clem is with us. Anyway, they’re precious and we love them!

#happybunnies #bunnymom #bunnymommy #furbaby #bunnymama #bunniesofinstagram #bunnies #bonding

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Family Picnic Day

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We had such a beautiful day here, I’m so glad we got to spend it outside! My husband and I had his parents over for lunch and I packed a picnic for us to take out. I made some recipes from my grandmother’s hometown cookbooks, books filled with recipes from our friends and family. I made ham biscuits, potato salad and strawberry pretzel salad.

20141018_131307I really do enjoy cooking for groups of people and today I really went all out with the picnic preparation. To make things easier (and cuter and more fun!) I got little boxes for individual servings of our potato salad and pretzel salad. I lined the little boxes with parchment paper, filled them up and tied them shut with some cute green baker’s twine. We even had a legit picnic basket to carry it all in! It was such a lovely lunch and we just enjoyed being together.