New Work Table {in the studio}

Nothing makes me happier than creating something out of other people’s junk. There is just something about re-using and re-purposing that makes my heart sing. So when it came time to make a table for me to use in the studio, we used an old table that a friend had found along the side of the road for free and gave to me (I have the best friends who know me well).

The table top was too small but the legs were a great size. So we ended up using just the legs and hubs created a top for it out of inexpensive MDF. He built-up the edges to make it look like a thick piece of wood. He also found old metal castors at a barn sale that he attached to the legs. This helped to make the table higher (saves my back from bending over) and also makes the table easy to move.table1 I painted the top of the table in a gray color, but it immediately got scratched up and splattered with paint, which I don’t mind at all. It’s meant to be used and not just look pretty. I didn’t even bother painting the legs. I kind of like the naturally distressed look.table2 table5 Table Collage table8Slowly but surely the studio is becoming more and more functional, and I still LOVE spending time in there. This table has been a work horse and so worth taking a Saturday morning to make.

 

New Print & T-Shirt! {Etsy Shop}

Happy Wednesday friends!

We have a beautiful new t-shirt and print in the Etsy shop today!

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The t-shirt is super comfy 100% cotton and a really flattering fit. The quote on the shirt comes from Colossian 3:14 (Living Bible) - one of my favorite verses.anchor FINAL

You can find the t-shirt and print in my Etsy shop here. 100% of the proceeds from the shop go toward our adoption fund! Thank you for your support!

My Top Ten Craft Supplies

I love craft supplies. I could spend the entire day in Hobby Lobby, and I’m guessing I’m not alone. I wander the aisles and come up with all sorts of fun projects that I have absolutely no time to make but somehow make anyway. It’s an addiction.

So I thought it would be fun to compile my top ten favorite supplies. It was hard to decide and next week my favorites will probably be different, but for now, these are high on my list. And they aren’t all related to making signs, but some are used for that.favs all title favs washi

:: Washi tape or decorative tape / found at craft stores, Target, Walmart

I use washi tape for all kinds of things, but most of the time I use it for adding some color to envelopes and labels on packaging.favs frog tape

:: Frogtape / found at craft stores, hardware stores, Walmart

I use Frogtape when I paint stripes and want a crisp, clean line with no bleeding. I used it for the painted floor in Jack’s room and the painted stripes on the wall in the nursery. I also use it for making my flag sign. I haven’t found any other tape that works as well. It is awesome.favs brush

:: Princeton Select paint brushes / found at craft stores and Dick Blick

These are my favorite brushes for painting lettering on signs. They are inexpensive but do a good job. I typically use the #1, #2, and #3 sizes.

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:: Fiskars Paper Trimmer / found at craft stores

I’ve had this trimmer for at least 10 years and use it all the time to trim paper. This thing has been a work horse. I buy new blades every now and then when they get dull.
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::Blick Premier Heavyweight Cotton Stretched Canvas / found at Dick Blick

This is my favorite canvas to use for my artwork. They are heavyweight and a great quality to work with. I buy them in bulk and they are generally less expensive and much better quality than the ones you can buy from local craft stores.
favs sharpie

:: Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Pens / found at craft stores and Dick Blick

Paint pens are great to use for little sign projects and they are nice to use if you aren’t comfortable using a paint brush. They come in different tip sizes and colors and the oil-based paint holds up really well. You use it similar to a marker.favs eraser

:: Prismacolor Magic Rub Eraser / found at craft stores and Dick Blick

These erasers work so much better than a typical eraser to get rid of pencil or graphite lines and marks.
favs spray adhesive

:: Elmer’s CraftBond Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive / found at craft stores and Walmart

I use this spray adhesive when I want to temporarily hold paper in place or to attach large photos onto wood or glass as shown in this post.favs foam brush

:: Foam brushes / found at craft stores, hardware stores, Walmart, Dick Blick

These guys are cheap, disposable, and so handy for little painting projects. I like using them for oil-based paint because I can just throw them away when I’m done. No need to wash out brushes.favs transfer paper:: Loew Cornell Transfer Paper / found at craft stores and Dick Blick

I use these all the time to transfer lettering onto my signs. They come in black and white, and the large sheets (18″x36″) are my favorite. You can use them over and over and they usually last for a long time.

 

So there you have it! My favorites places to buy craft supplies are Dick Blick (online), AC Moore, Michael’s, and Hobby Lobby. Happy crafting friends!

An Inspired Evening at the Barn {recap}

2006

A few weeks ago we held the “Inspired Evening at the Barn” event as a fundraiser for our adoption, and it was one of the most special nights I’ve experienced! This event was on my heart and in my head for 3-4 years, but when I first thought of it, I didn’t realize that it would be a fundraiser for us. I just knew that I wanted to host an event that inspired and blessed other women.

I had so much fun putting all the details together! My sisters-in-law Andrea and Heather and my friend Wanda Graham were my team who helped plan and execute everything, and I couldn’t have done it without them! Over 200 people attended, which blew me away.

I’ll just share some (many!) photos of the night and give some details in case you’re interested…

2007 The event would not have taken place if the Stoltzfus Homestead hadn’t agreed to let us use their BEAUTIFUL new barn. They just recently turned the barn into a wedding/event venue, and they were so amazing to work with!2008 2012 2016 2022 2023 2033 2037 2039 2045 2053 Guests were greeted by my friends Chandra and Megan who took their names, and then they were entered into a giveaway to win one of my signs.20522058 2066 2068 2077 2080 2084 I literally just shopped my house for decorations to use in the barn and kept it pretty simple. Old books, antique scales, garden ornaments, blue Mason jars, and white hydrangeas from my flower beds were the centerpieces.

I also was able to use decorations from my friend Caroline Lindsley who has a wedding rental business.2085 2087 I created a “Marketplace” in the corner of the barn. We sold my t-shirts, jewelry from O’Jolie Designs and Pearls ‘n Joy and framed watercolors that I painted.2092 2093 My friends Beth and Liz were in charge of the marketplace.2104 2119 2125 2132 2134 We also had some items donated that were part of a silent auction.2141 2140 And, the food. Oh, the food. I chose to have some of my favorite things. Popcorn in inexpensive berry baskets on the tables for guests to much on when they arrived, fruit pizza, veggies and dip, cucumber sandwiches, and pressed picnic sandwiches.2151 2152 2153 2154 2158 2159 2163 I bought these 5×7 kraft bags and printed the wording onto them using my home printer. Easy and really cute! They were favor bags filled with cookies for the guests to take home.2176 2180 2182 2188 My sister-in-law Andrea was the host for the evening, and she did an awesome job!2193 I asked three really special ladies to share inspirational ideas on three different topics: the home, the kitchen, and the garden.

Janelle Stoltzfus spoke first and her topic was the home. I can’t think of anyone else who is more passionate about creating a home that feels special. She is pure love and you can just feel it when you’re around her! 2197 2199 2194Next, Wanda Graham (who is the queen of all things homemade) gave us some creative ideas to use in the kitchen.2202 2209 2211 In between each speaker, we had a drawing for guests to win one of my signs.2226 2240 And then there were cupcakes! Lemon Raspberry. So yummy and refreshing for a hot summer day!2250 2253 2259 Our next speaker was Jul Hoober who is an expert on creating beautiful bouquets using flowers from her home garden. She gave lots of great tips on flower gardening. She is such an inspirational lady and made me want to go home and dig in the garden!2270 2272 I was so honored that all three ladies agreed to speak at the event!They did a phenomenal job and I’m so thankful for them.2277 And then it was my turn (cue stomach churning and sweaty hands). I talked about our adoption journey, how we arrived at the decision to adopt, and where we are at in the process.2280 2285And now it feels like it was a dream. We felt so LOVED and supported by everyone who came, and in the end, we raised over $10,000!! It takes care of a large chunk of our adoption expenses and we were so blessed by not only the financial help but by all the encouragement we received. It’s been amazing.

THANK YOU to everyone who helped with the evening and for coming and supporting us! And thank you to my friend Kelly Smoker who took the photos for us. What an awesome night that was.

 

 

Necklace Collaboration

wanda6I am so excited to share a collaboration that I did with my friend Wanda Graham who has the Etsy shop Pearls ‘n Joy, where she sells handcrafted jewelry. Not only does she create beautiful pieces, portions of her sales go toward helping families who are adopting. In fact, 20% of the proceeds from these necklaces will go toward our adoption expenses.

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Aren’t they beautiful? They are great statement pieces. We sold them at our Inspired Evening at the Barn fundraising event (more about that night coming up!) and they sold out in no time. 

Below are a couple of other necklaces that are available in her shop that I happen to love. They look great layered with the watercolor necklaces!wanda7 wanda8Please visit Wanda’s shop to see all her goodies and “like” her Facebook page for a chance to win a necklace of your choice!

 

Hello Monday

We just returned from a little vacation at the beach and are getting back to the swing of things (ie. kids are tired, laundry is a mile high, work is waiting), but I am excited for a brand new week! As much as I love vacation, and this one was one of our favorites, I am always ready to get back to real life.

Hello BEAUTIFUL pink moon over the water! I couldn’t capture how pretty is was.

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Hello swimming in the bay. Violet was a little fish. She just couldn’t get enough of the water.

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Hello dock that stretched out into the water. We had some gorgeous days.

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Hello pool afternoon with Avery. We had awesome one-on-one time together.monday6

Hello little boat that was so fun to ride around in.monday7 monday8 monday9 monday10 monday11

Hello view from the water. This is the little fishing community in Delaware where you parents have a vacation cottage. We LOVE to be here!monday12

Hello exploring a deserted beach. The kids found all kinds of shells and dead ocean creatures.monday13

Hello back to reality! I may be crossing off my bucket list this week that has me very excited (and nervous!!). Don’t worry – I’ll let you in on the details when it happens! I hope you have a great week, friends!

My Favorite Podcasts

I mentioned in my previous post that I often listen to podcasts while I work. I typically listen to podcasts that encourage me and teach me more about how to improve my business. And, of course, there are podcasts that I listen to purely for entertainment. Here are some of my favorites…

:: One of the first podcasts that I started following is Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership podcast. It is so valuable in its teachings on how to be a good leader and gives practical tips on how to run a successful business.

:: Chris LoCurto’s podcast is also a good one for getting business advice.

:: I love Tsh Oxenreider’s Art of Simple podcast. She interviews a variety of bloggers, and it’s always fun to listen to.

:: Kat Lee’s How They Blog podcast also interviews bloggers and teaches listeners how to improve their blogs and online presence.

:: The Lively Show podcast interviews different people and talks about how to live intentionally.

:: Elise Joy’s podcast features interviews mostly with creative business owners, and it’s interesting to hear how other people in the creative field run their businesses.

:: Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin has some great interviews with entertainers. I especially like the Jerry Seinfeld interview and the Brian Williams interview. I’m so curious about people and why they are the way they are.

:: Edie Wadsworth is a blogger I’ve followed for a long time and she just started a podcast called Grace Talks. Her podcast on calling and vocation is really good.

So, there you have it. A few of my favorites things to listen to while I do computer work, paint, or get dinner ready. I’d love to hear your favorites, so please share in the comments!

Happy Weekend!