Happy February to all of you! Gorgeous and sunny here for the first day of the month! PERFECT time to buy last-minute Valentine’s Day cards…
Not that I’m dropping any hints or anything… But this post is primarily to share some of my newest commissioned Valentine’s Day cards and some spring/generic ones! ALSO, I have Etsy linked up more fully now, getting more full by the day! ANNNNND, I have my Paypal invoice system all ready to go for easiest payment and delivery of the cards!
Without further ado, here they are (please pardon the blurriness on some of the photographs!)
And then a few artsy in process shots:
Hope you enjoyed them, and STAY TUNED for more! If you’re interested in ordering any for ANY occasion (Even Christmas 2017!) contact me below!
Okay, so we hear about New Years Resolutions EVERY year at the beginning of January. I get it; we are probably all sick of hearing about it. I doubt anyone wants to read about my three resolutions, but I’ll share anyway. PLUS, I am long overdue in posting about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon I am doing as a St. Jude Hero in March!
First, the resolutions. Last year, I honestly didn’t “set” any. This year, they kind of came about on their own. Perhaps it’s necessity? Perhaps I’m just growing up? Regardless, here they are:
I plan to lead a “tidier” lifestyle. Rather than allowing myself to be bogged down with work, time constraints and other things, I’m going to try to keep my room/living spaces and my car cleaner. I know that I tend to breathe more easily in a clean, clutter-free, organized space. One might assume that knowing this would simplify my problem, but it doesn’t. I can never seem to find time to clean deeply, so things build up and then can get overwhelming. Sound like life? YUP. In theory, I’m hoping that cleaning a little more each day, putting things away more immediately, and just working to improve overall cleanliness will carry into my time management of life, in general. Having time is not the issue; choosing to USE the time I have is.
My second resolution is pretty straightforward. I am going to work on my Social Media presence when it comes to marketing my artwork and other projects. I have an Etsy account, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat, but I don’t use them well. 2017 is gonna be the year in which that changes. If anyone has tips about that one, PLEASE let me know, because I’ve clearly not been too successful in the past. Again, I do think that the use of my time influences this as well. I need to use the time I have to create things, market them, and reach out through Social Media more regularly.
Last, but definitely not least, I want to build my relationship with and faith in God. While I know what I believe and where I stand, I want to become even more enthralled with my amazing Savior; I want to spend time poring over His Word, His Grace, and the abundance of His love for me. I want my introspection and devotional studies to overflow the vessel of my body and heart so that others can get a glimpse of the amazing God I love and serve. I want Him to be enough. REALLY be enough. Not just in theory or word, but in active practice and daily life. I want to build up my fellowship circle, which is currently lacking, as I’ve recently moved.
Okay, so that’s the basic gist of my New Years Resolutions… and NO, I am not going to talk about Mariah Carey at all… let’s just say that 2016, as lovely as it was, is behind us, and I am looking forward to all that 2017 has in store!
Speaking of what 2017 has in store… I’ll be running my FIRST Rock ‘n’ Roll race on March 11, so I’ll begin my marathon training regimen soon, and would simply LOVE to hear from other runners what you typically do in the months prior to a marathon, or any race, really. I’m super excited about this race, especially because it’ll be the first time I’ve done a race as a St. Jude Hero. This means that I’ll be raising funds for research at the St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and running in support of (and supported by) St. Jude. Here’s a link for more information about this AWESOME charity/endeavor.
I’m particularly excited about running for St. Jude because 83 cents (on average) of every dollar raised goes directly toward research and treatment for the children supported by St. Jude. This allows families to get the help and care that they need at NO cost to them. To me, that is one of the most important things in the life of these families; they are able to be together in a safe environment where people care about them and helping them improve their situations. See here! So far, I’ve raised $530 at the Bronze Level for St. Jude. Mathematically, this means that all the people who’ve supported me so far have sent about $440 dollars directly to St. Jude. While I’ve actually reached my initial goal set in 2016, I want to see how far I and my lovely friends, acquaintances, coworkers, and other generous people can go. If you, or someone you know, would like to donate, here is a link directly to my donation page!
Whoo– that’s enough for tonight, I believe. Remember, Social Media improvement is part of my NYR… so do expect to be seeing more from me soon! 🙂 Perhaps my next post will involve some homemade Christmas items from my own heARTmade collection!
Happy New Year, and Happy New You! May your 2017 be as awesome as I intend to make mine! Love you all!
We’ve all heard it said AT LEAST a million times… “Patience is a virtue.” I honestly have no idea where this quote originated, and let me spare you the time of looking it up online; you’ll get a zillion different answers, and who knows which one is correct!
For me, I’ve heard it the most from my parents…
As a kid, I was ready to start playing soccer before I was old enough… “Patience is a virtue.” (Although, my Athletic Director father went ahead and let me start)
When I lost my hearing, I was impatient to get to the next step, because I had to wear useless hearing aids (hearing aids are great, but when you have NO hearing for them to aid, not so much)… “Patience is a virtue.”
Growing up, I’d be super-impatient about something with school, theatre, art, etc… there it was again… “Patience is a virtue.”
Applying for college… “Patience is a virtue.”
Now I’m at a point of my life where I’ve heard it SO many times, I’m about sick of it, honestly. I graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with my MFA in Fine Art this past May, and have VERY impatiently been applying and waiting for jobs. In fact, I’ve been so impatient, I let fear rule my thoughts, and I almost took a job I didn’t really want, simply for the sake of working again–I’m so ready to get out on my own again, pave my own way into this crazy world, meet new people, see new things, visit new places…
But am I REALLY ready? I know I’m mentally ready… but maybe I’m not physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually ready… All I know is that God has been really working on patience with me lately. I KNOW that He will provide a job and sustenance and that His timing is so so so so much better than mine. I KNOW that. I trust Him.
But do I really LIVE out that knowledge, that trust?
I think that’s what God is trying to tell me. Until I can 100% trust Him, maybe I’m not really ready to be on my own again. Maybe He wants me to stay with my parents longer than I want, so I can be part of their lives, and enjoy the time I have with them, ’cause goodness knows it won’t last forever. Maybe He wants me to be close to my brother and his wife, so I can watch their ADORABLE child, Bailey, grow up a bit before I leave and go elsewhere. Maybe, maybe, maybe…
Okay, if he’s not the cutest thing ever…. AH!
That brings me to today’s devotional reading from “David: Seeking God’s Heart,” a devotional study written by Beth Moore. Today, I was reading in 2 Samuel, and the title of the chapter in the study was “Right Place: Sometimes God reveals Himself through experiences we don’t understand.”
Hello, smack in the face!
Today’s specific passage was 2 Samuel 2:1-7. David has just heard about Saul’s death, as well as that of Saul’s sons, including Jonathan, with whom David was incredibly close. David is trying to decide what to do, and where to go from here. Instead of acting of his own accord, David ASKED God what he should do! This is super important to note–at least for me–because David ALWAYS asked God what he should do before he did ANYTHING. David knows that God can answer and that He will… in HIS time. This is where Beth Moore says, “He had taken some wrong turns and some right turns, but he took virtually every step crying out to his God,” which reminds me that, no matter where we go or what we do, if we strive to plant our feet in God’s Way, we will get where we are going… it may be a different route than we originally think… it may not be the scenic route… and it may start MUCH later than we want it to… but God knows what His plan is, not us… and HE knows what needs to happen in order to make it come to fruition. We just need to trust and follow.
I used to think that constantly asking God for direction would be like pestering Him… like, He has SO much going on that I shouldn’t “bother” him by asking for the same thing over and over again. But that is exactly what David does. He asks God for direction, repeatedly, until God gives him specifics. And until God does supply these specifics, David stays put. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do anything or go anywhere until God says something extremely specific (I honestly believe that God can and will use us anywhere, even if it’s somewhere that seems unlikely). In fact, if you struggle with that, you should totally read the book, “Just Do Something,” by Kevin DeYoung. It’s a pretty good read!
Basically, what I’m saying is that, maybe… just maybe… asking God for specific directions isn’t a sign of impatience or a lack of trust. Maybe it’s a sign of deepened trust; a trust that transcends the fear of becoming a bother. Maybe, like prayer, asking God for specific directions is more for us, as humans, than it is for God. Perhaps it is a reminder, a daily mantra, to help us persevere in our patience and remember just why it is that we are patiently waiting for God’s direction: ‘Cause His way is the ONLY way!
Beth Moore left some pretty good guidelines/suggestions for how to learn to listen to God’s Word when we are in doubt or struggling with what to do. I’m gonna leave them here, and challenge you, and myself, to try to incorporate these more daily:
Acknowledge your specific need for direction.
Continue to pray and study His Word daily.
Ask God to HELP you recognize His answer (we humans can be pretty darn dumb)
Ask for a confirmation if you have any doubt. (God didn’t even hate Thomas for doubting, way back in John 20:24-29, when he appears to Thomas and the disciples after the Resurrection… He won’t hate us. He’ll just help us understand.)
Sorry it’s a bit of a long one this time… I guess I had a lot to say!
I know it has been entirely too long since I’ve written a thing! I figured that now is as good a time as any to get back into this blog, full-swing! I’m going to plan to post more frequently, and about more topics! A muggy, rainy morning with a good cup of joe is the PERFECT time to “restart,” isn’t it?!
Also, while we are talking about restarting things… you should check out my Etsy shop, which I’ve also revamped. I’ve decided to focus it primarily on wedding-related pieces and projects… thumbprint guest books, invitations, etc. Right now, everything is done by hand, but I hope to add graphically illustrated things to the wedding programs and invitations portion of it! I suppose the hopeless romantic in me, combined with my recent part-time employment with a Wedding Coordinator at Separk Mansion in Gastonia, has brought about this change and made me really excited about it all! I DO LOVE WEDDINGS!
Here’s my Etsy link…. https://www.etsy.com/shop/dmbfromtheheART?ref=hdr_shop_menu
And here are a few images from my shop:
And OF COURSE, I still take commissions and other projects, so any time you have questions about anything, send them my way! 🙂 I would love to help you make your visions and dreams come true!
There’s so much I COULD say… but I’ll just keep this one short, a “re-introduction” of sorts, and unashamed advertising of my Etsy shop… so go visit it! 🙂
So… I know I promised a full recap of the Thesis exhibition A WHILE AGO. Is it fair to say that I’ve been busy? Plus, I’ve been exhausted. You know that emotional/mental/physical let down after a big event? Yeah. I didn’t even realize I was anticipating my Thesis Exhibition and Defense quite so much! I knew it was a huge capstone and kind of a big deal… but WHOOOOO! Am I glad it’s done!
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it–I did. Thoroughly. Although the two years I’ve spent at RIT have been FULL of ups and downs, I’ve really learned a lot and enjoyed myself here. I’ve grown as a person, an artist, a critic, a curator, a writer, and so much more. It’s going to be pretty hard to say goodbye in a few short weeks. (I’m loading up a U-box on May 19th and sending my entire life to oblivion… okay, that’s a bit dramatic… I’m sending my POSSESSIONS to my parents’ house for a while, since I’m not yet sure where I’ll be living after May!)
So, now the show….
It was, in a word, AMAZING. My family flew in from North Carolina, and my sweet Uncle even drove up from Jersey, just to see me and my work! I’m so blessed to have such a loving, supportive, and all-around awesome family. I would truly be nobody and nowhere without them!
The crowd was rather huge; I stood near my work most of the time and talked to people, and watched them looking at my work. It is one of the most fun things, for me as an artist, to watch people interact with my work. I love to see them get lost in it, question it, bring friends over, and talk about it right in front of me–since they don’t know I’m the artist… haha! SO FUN. I got lots of compliments and interesting questions, too. Totally makes everything worth it when you get a chance to share your art with other people. It’s a vulnerable time, yes, as artwork is often very personal… but it’s like an intimate dialogue, and I always learn more than I anticipate.
I was even able to get a couple sales from the show… I’ll be honest; sales are nice, but that’s not why I make art. So to create something that I’m happy with and have enjoyed so much, and then have someone else find enough meaning in it that they want to buy it, to look at daily, is an incredible thing. I truly consider myself blessed to be able to experience this interaction and help bring something to another’s life! There are still quite a few pieces that are in my studio, though, that I would like to sell before I pack up the U-box… if someone loves something, I’d rather it have a happy home than risk damaging it during travels!
There’s so much more that I could say about the show, my artwork, how I feel… but that would be a BOOK! The Defense went really well–totally not what I expected, but I’m pleased and my committee is, too! So that’s all that really matters. Now, I’m focusing on finishing up my Thesis Document so I can get it published and printed! Once it’s all available online, I’ll embed the link and talk more about that! 🙂
So, I know I’ve already shared most of these images before, but wanted to include them again, simply because that is what my Thesis is all about. If anyone has any questions–personal, artistic, commissary, or otherwise–please feel free to contact me at any time!
Four Living Creatures
ANDDD that last one, in the wee bottom right corner, is just to show where it all started… GOOD GRIEF! 🙂 It’s been a wild ride! SUCH fun!
So, if you’re on Facebook or ANY social media at all lately, chances are, you’ve seen post after post about Starbucks’ “war on Christmas.” REALLY?
I didn’t know what all the fuss was about at first, so I did some browsing–I didn’t have to go far–to figure it out. Even the news is reporting it as a “thing” now. It is absolutely insane. Here is one example of a “report” about the “war on Christmas”… Here is another… Here is YET ANOTHER…
Me too! To quote Kristoff from Frozen (which we all know I love), “Can we please just stop talking about this? We’ve got a real, actual problem here…”
Starbucks has been using various holiday-themed cups for YEARS, with no indication of any relation to the Christian aspects of Christmas. So, this year there are no snowflakes or decorations? SO WHAT?! Maybe Starbucks decided to go minimalist… does it make it any “less Christian” than before?… NO–They were never affiliated with Christianity in the first place! Snowflakes, ornaments, reindeer…whatever… on a cup doesn’t make it Christian… NOR does the absence make it violent toward Christians.
IT’S A COFFEE CUP, PEOPLE.
I’m pretty sure it’s not written in the Bible anywhere that we should decorate our drinking vessels to promote Christianity. No… however, it IS written that we should “love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our strength, and with all our mind,” OH and guess what… we should “love our neighbor as ourselves.” Luke 10:27
Sounds to me like we should all forget about the red cup “fiasco,” and focus on things that really matter, like spreading love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, meekness, and self-control (Galations 5:22-23). We should share what we have with others, even if that means going out of our way to do so. Matthew 25:40.
I could keep going, but I’m pretty sure you get the idea. There are SO MANY more important things than worrying about whether a silly little cup has a snowflake on it. And, quite frankly, if Starbucks WAS declaring war on Christmas, WHY would they still have Christmas blend coffee, Christmas gift cards, and Christmas ornaments for sale in their stores… just some food for thought. Now, go enjoy your coffee… no matter what cup it’s in! Drink it out of a jack-o-lantern cup, for all I care.
I, for one, am going to try to focus on what REALLY matters this Christmas: That Jesus was born, sent to earth, with the express purpose of saving me–and all His children–from ourselves; without God’s grace in sending His son, we would have no hope. But because God is merciful and loving, we can know Him, His hope, His forgiveness, His salvation. THAT is pretty awesome. And no, I don’t need a snowflake to say so.