Free Download: Gift Tags

Free Download: Gift Tags

One way I like to make a gift extra special is to wrap and dress up gifts with little extra embellishments like ribbon, twine, mini bells, and gift tags.  The past two years I shared with you gift tags that I created and wanted to make them available again this year!

 You can download the tags and print them for free to use on your own gifts for others!:)

Click Here for your Gift Tags

Christmas Labels 2013 updated

Click Here for your Gift Tags

*I didn’t indicate a dot for punching a hole simply because depending on how you want to use them, you may want the hole in various places.

Enjoy!:)

Kitchen Adventures: GF Pumpkin Bread

Kitchen Adventures: GF Pumpkin Bread

GF Pumpkin Bread

Because we are a gluten free home, good bread recipes can be difficult to find, especially recipes with ingredients that we tend to have in our home on a regular basis. So, when I find a good recipe, it makes my day!:)

I wanted to share a delicious pumpkin bread recipe with you all that I tried a few weeks ago! It is so good, we were averaging two loafs a week!:) Whether you eat gluten free or not, this pumpkin bread is the perfect blend of sweet and spice, with a hearty taste. We enjoyed the bread with some apple butter given to us by friends.

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you can find the recipe  here from Against All Grain.

Coconut flour can be expensive, but what I like about this recipe is that it only uses a very small amount of the flour, so one bag can go a long way!

I followed Version 2 using the coconut flour. I substituted honey for maple syrup and used peanut butter instead of almond or sunflower butter. I also substituted almond extract for vanilla in the recipe.

I imagine you could use regular flour for this recipe if you are not a gluten free eater.

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A slice of this bread with my morning coffee. Perfect!:)

Welcome to this world Evelyn

Welcome to this world Evelyn

Just popping in to share some news from our little family. We welcomed Evelyn Grace into this world and into our family Thursday, November 20th. To be honest its hard to find words to express the joy we feel. Evelyn is an incredible gift and we are so thankful and privileged to be her parents! What an adventure it has already been!

This season of thanks has a whole new meaning and what better way to celebrate than in the giving of thanks for this new little life.

I wanted to share a few photos of her first few days!:)

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first hours of her little life at the hospital

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DSC_0996daddy daughter time. Pretty sure she has the best daddy!:)

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We are so in love and thankful for this life!:) I will share more of our adventures with our growing little family on this space!

I hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving!

Today is a Gift

Today is a Gift

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I Woke up this morning to this beautiful snowfall outside (view from our back deck)! There is something so peaceful and beautiful about the white covered tree branches and shimmering flakes falling to the ground.

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I just finished creating a sign that now hangs in our living room which reads “Today is a Gift.” As I woke up and saw the beauty outside, I was reminded of just that, today is a gift.

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In these last few days of waiting as we are now almost a week past our baby’s due date, it has been a struggle to take each day as a gift without wishing it away or looking toward the future.

There is so much value in today, whatever it may hold, and I am thankful for the beauty of a freshly fallen snow to remind me of that this morning!

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May you find the simple beauty in today and be reminded, like I was, that today is a gift!:)

New Print in the Shop

New Print in the Shop

Hello! We are in the home stretch friends. My official due date is tomorrow! So, we are patiently (or quite honestly, not so patiently) awaiting baby girls arrival.:) In the meantime, I wanted to share with you a new print now available in my Etsy Shop!

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One of my favorite aspects of having a creative business is sharing my work with others. This is the main purpose of why I even have a business, but I am learning to embrace the enjoyment of sharing with others more as I do this longer. It can be very intimidating to put work out there into the world, and sometimes that can hinder any excitement that may come from simply sharing a part of myself. My hope is that my work may be an encouragement to others, that it would speak of truth and messages we all need to be reminded of at times, and that through each painting, beauty may be added to everyday life.

I am so encouraged when I get to ship out my paintings and prints to others. I get excited about who will receive each piece and hope the story each piece tells will bring beauty to their home.

One of my recent originals, “She Found Freedom to Dance,” has been purchased and I am excited to share I now have an 8×10 Art print available in my Etsy Shop.

This painting was originally created with vintage papers, modeling paste, pastels, acrylic paint, and charcoal.

“She Found Freedom to Dance”

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You can find out more details about the print over at my shop.

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Have a wonderful day!:)

Photo Documenting: “Hope Breaks Through”

Photo Documenting: “Hope Breaks Through”

Happy Monday!:)

Since taking this course, my goal has been to photo document my paintings step by step throughout the process. Documenting has really helped me step back and see my work from a different perspective.

This specific painting is for an event taking place this Saturday, the annual Let Them LOL Water Gala. You can read more about this organization and painting in a previous blog here.

Below is a progression of my process. This painting had less drastic changes throughout than most of my pieces, partly because I had such a specific vision for this piece. I titled this painting “Hope Breaks Through,” which is the message I want to portray through this piece. Hope breaks through the darkness, the struggle, life circumstances that seem unchangeable… Hope is in the midst of difficulty and my desire is that this piece is an encouragement and reminder that we can choose hope and bring hope to others.

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4-6“Hope Breaks Through”

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::Two Weeks::

::Two Weeks::

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Two weeks from today marks my official due date. It’s hard to believe we could be holding our baby girl so soon! In some ways it has seemed like a long journey of anticipation, but it also feels like time has gone so quickly. We have been so overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people who have gifted us with what we need and have helped us prepare for baby girls arrival… we are so thankful for the support and love that we have received throughout this journey.

 Well on another note, I am officially in “nesting” mode (although I kind of think I am a natural nester and that getting ready for our baby hasn’t proven to be much different than my everyday tendencies), as we are getting the nursery ready, working on projects.  It has been fun to get the nursery ready and I hope to show you photos in the near future!:)

We are so beyond excited and I think with each day counting closer to her arrival, we become more excited. However, our excitement hasn’t come without some fears of the unknown. We are looking ahead at something we have never experienced before and in many ways cannot prepare for. There is much left to the waiting, until she arrives and for someone like myself who likes to be prepared and feel in control, this is a stretching place to be. My mind can easily fill with questions of what her birth story will look like, of how our lives will be drastically different once she is here, fear of the responsibility of parenting and caring for this little baby. Through the ups and downs of excitement and fear, I have learned so much… that there is freedom in letting go, in trusting the Lord, who has created and formed our little girl, who knows her and loves her more than we ever will. Embracing opportunity to let go, to give up my need for control, and trust is worth the fight. I still have much growth ahead of me in these areas, but I am thankful for a season that has reminded me once again that true life is not found in grasping for control, but in giving up control to the One who can be fully and completely trusted.

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We can’t wait to meet you little one!:)

On my Desk: Watercolor Design Progress and Good Reads

On my Desk: Watercolor Design Progress and Good Reads

On my Desk: Watercolor Florals

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I have finished the watercolor and ink floral designs I was working on (read previous post here). I was a little nervous adding ink after finishing the watercolor painting, but I really think the ink adds a unique look to the designs and gives them the little bit of whimsy that I was going for. I had the images scanned this past weekend and will begin to format them for card printing. I am really excited to see these designs made into a card collection! I am still brainstorming some different words/phrases that may be good to put on the cards, so share any ideas you may have!:)floral design7
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On another note, because I always enjoy seeing what other people are reading, I thought I would share a few books that are currently in my reading pile.

I cannot wait to begin reading this book… starting today!:)

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This book has also been a recent favorite… been taking time to practice this week.

portrait practiceI hope you are having a wonderful week!

On My Desk: Mixed Media Painting

On My Desk: Mixed Media Painting

On my desk this week:  mixed media painting

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I often create backgrounds for paintings without having a specific idea as to what the painting will be. Sometimes I will spend studio time just creating a bunch of backgrounds and then will put them aside for when I have an idea for a specific painting.

This is one of those backgrounds that I created a long time ago and had put it aside until recently when I had an idea for a painting.
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This painting has a specific purpose. I am creating this piece for the annual LOL Gala. This is my third year creating artwork for the gala. You can see previous work here, here, and here.

Let them LOL is a non-profit organization seeking to “empower those who are experiencing unjust suffering by providing them with basic resources; a community here with a community there.”

 Thier hearts are for the people of Sierra Leone, Africa. Their mission is to spread hope. They work to bring clean water to the people there, have built a children’s home for orphaned and impoverished children. With the recent Ebola outbreak, they are working to provide help through “Digging Deeper” (read more here)

It can be difficult sometimes to grasp what is happening in other parts of the world and to know what we can do to respond, but we can have a part in helping, in using what resources we may have, whether that may be time, money, experience, etc. to contribute to those suffering in other parts of the world. I am thankful for organizations like Let them LOL who are fighting to bring hope to the suffering. You can read more about their story and organization here.

I want this painting to speak hope… that even in the dark, light is bursting forth.

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I am excited to see this painting develop and I will share more step by step photos with you in another post.

I hope you have a wonderful day!:)

On My Desk: Watercolor Florals

On My Desk: Watercolor Florals

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On my desk this week: watercolor floral designs

I have been working on sketching six different floral designs that I hope to use for printing a card collection. I have a few more sketches to create, but began painting a few that I have already sketched with watercolors.

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I really love the look of watercolor and ink together, especially for cards. I think the ink adds a crisp touch and compliments any writing that may be on the front of the card.

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I want the floral designs to have a little bit of whimsy to them, which I have tried to incorporate in the initial sketch, but also think adding the ink will help achieve that look.

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I am excited to see how these turn out and to make them into cards. I plan to add words to some of the cards for a variety of uses.

What are some phrases or words you look for when you are buying cards to send?