Parent’s Magazine.

September’s issue of Parent’s magazine is chalk full of amazing articles. One of which features Gabrielle Blair’s (Design Mom) take on designing a room to grow in. The rooms feature my “Three Bears Revisited” print, and it looks wonderful in the collage of art and photos she created. I’m getting some pretty wonderful ideas for decorating…I have the print…now I just have to get the furniture to match! A higher price tag for sure.

Fun Fact: if you look close enough, the rocking chair featured in this room is the same chair illustrated in my print!

Oh, and PS: Thanks for all the book love! Life is rather full these days!

18/08ART
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Christmas in August.

Sample illustration for Christmas Goodnight, illustrated by Yours Truly.

I have waited two years to write this post. Well, maybe my lifetime!

So the story goes like this:

At a very young age (the ripe age of 4 I believe) I knew I was going to be an artist.

When I was old enough to write, I started writing books, poetry, anything I could wrap my ideas around.

I made hand-made books by the dozens. Flip books, chapter books, you name it.

I continued to study art through high school, privately and academically and loved every second.

And when I was 13 years old, I was told by a very wise man that if you write down your goals, they will happen.

So that is what I did: I made a list (75 items long) of all the things I wanted to do in my lifetime. Wanna peek in my journal? Come on, you know you do…

I had to blow the dust off this one…it had been years since I revealed to myself all my pre-teen ambitions!

Don’t you love the bubbly 13 year old handwriting?

Illustrating children’s books was only second to #1: Getting Married. Golly, I was serious!

It all started with writing it down.

But after going to college and graduating with a BFA in Musical Theater, teaching voice lessons at BYU, and then dabbling in performing, the babies started coming. And I wanted to get back into my art again.

But how? I kinda missed out on the whole art school thing. Oops!

So I started a blog.

And I was encouraged by my readers and my dear husband to open an ETSY shop.

Um…I love you ETSY.

And from having a shop, I started making contacts.

The first being Molly O’Neill at Harper Collins who stumbled upon my ETSY shop one month into my business and asked if I’d ever be interested in illustrating children’s books.

That was a 1 1/2 years ago. And after a lot of study, and hard work (with a lot of bumps along the way) I have landed a contract to illustrate my first picture book!

Christmas Goodnight, written by Laura Godwin and published by Katherine Tegan books, an imprint of Harper Collins to be released Fall 2011.

This might not come as a surprise to you. I have mentioned illustrating has been my ultimate goal for a while. But it isn’t an easy road, and there are a lot of hoops to jump through. So much more challenging than I had imagined at 13, but I couldn’t be more thrilled about it!

Molly O’Neill, the assistant editor I have been corresponding with over a year now, is brilliant and amazing and I can’t thank her enough for the hard work and chance she has put into me. It’s a dream come true!

The text is perfect….a poem in fact…similar to the feel of Goodnight, Moon but with the Christmas story. A classic for sure. I feel so honored to illustrate it!

It will take the next 9 months to work on this, but no worries….it won’t interfere with the shop at all! But what it will change is the amount of Christmas music being played in the house…we might just be starting Christmas in September just to get in the mood:)

The hardest work is ahead of me now, but I can’t think of a better challenge. I know it will be so much fun though. It’s been a life long dream. The 13 year old me is nodding right now and saying, “I knew you could. I just knew you could do it!”

For those of you who have been with me since the beginning, I can’t thank you enough for your listening ears, and your support. For a young mom who doesn’t get out much any more due to 3 beautiful and crazy side kicks, it’s meant the world to me to have a springboard here where I’ve made a lot of friendships and learned so much from you. Who would have ever thought that behind a screen I could gain such genuine acquaintances? Gosh, I love you guys!

17/08Family
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Live it up.

Hi folks. It’s been a while. And for a good reason. We lost our dear friend and cousin Justin (age 27) very unexpectedly over a week ago. We had a very full week of emotions and funeral planning. Times like this, family all rallies together and it is beautiful to see what comes of such tragedies. Life can smack you in the face pretty hard sometimes. But there was a lot of peace and a lot of love and even understanding. I was so lucky to have all my family come into town which resulted in some updated family pictures of us all from my dear photographer friend Katherine. Family is the center of it all. My life, my treasure. Every day is a gift that we don’t get back. Love, laughter, smiles, thank you’s, and hugs make life worth living. Add a bit of good food, art, books, music, travel, color and days full of making things, and I’m a happy girl. Live it up folks. It’s all we’ve got.

(I’ll be back soon with more art and designs to share! See you around.)

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Creativity in Business.

I get asked all the time how I started my business, as well as what advice I would give to someone starting out on their own. I always try to offer what i can, but in all honesty, so much of what I have learned is from becoming a part of Startup Princess. Kelly Anderson has become a great friend of mine, and has created a place for women to essentially band together and share wisdom, support, services and techniques on life as a female entrepreneur. And the great thing about this organization, is that it’s global with services and support offered via their online magazine with posts and support offered daily.

I don’t consider myself an entrepreneur. When others ask, “How is your business going?” it usually takes me back a moment. Business? Oh ya. It is a business. That might sound funny to you, but I still think of myself as an artist who happens to sell what I create, which of course means I have a business. Gosh, that sounds obvious. But the word business tends to intimidate me at times, and if it weren’t for Startup Princess, I wouldn’t have the tools I need to grow.

This next event is in Utah (lucky for me!) and I am thrilled about the the guest speakers: particularly Heather Bailey whom I completely admire and look up to. I have watched her growth for the past 3 years and she blows me away. She must be my age there about, has two children, and has basically created her own little empire with her incredible designs. She will be speaking on “Creating products that sell” and “Creativity in life and business.” Sounds yummy. I can’t wait!

If you are in UT or can come out for the event, the early bird registration ends on August 1st. And if you are new to Startup Princess, check out the site now, and get involved! It is a GREAT way to network and build relationships with people that can support what you do.

If you are coming, let me know! It would be just peachy to meet up to chat and meet face to face. Treat yourself to a day away and come on over. It’ll be a party!

30/07.
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Sale away.

New in the shop: A sale section with items rotating weekly {thanks to a wonderful idea via the black apple}

Each week, I will post NEW items in the SALE section from my shop. Items will be chosen at random and will change each Wednesday. This way, you can snag a chance at getting a discount whenever you like! Enjoy!

The shop.

The sale section.

29/07.
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Quiet Time.

{via www.allicoate.com}

I had forgotten how a newborn gives me such an added awareness of life all around me. Breastfeeding is God’s gift to mothers as it forces us to sit down a while, making life slow into it’s proper pace. And good thing too. As life gets more full, quiet reflection is the prescribed remedy. Ahhhhhhh…..I’ll take some more of that please!

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Magic.

photo by Liz Draper

“AND ABOVE ALL WATCH, WITH GLITTERING EYES THE WHOLE WORLD AROUND YOU BECAUSE THE GREATEST SECRETS ARE ALWAYS HIDDEN IN THE MOST UNLIKELY PLACES. THOSE WHO DON’T BELIEVE IN MAGIC WILL NEVER FIND IT.” ~ ROALD DAHL ~

One of my favorite all time quotes. Enjoy your day!

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More ways to win…

Thanks again for all the giveawy entries! If you want to enter into another giveaway, Bloesem Kids (my favorite kid’s design blog) has a giveaway that ends Tuesday July 21st. Petit collage is giving away a free poster or mobile of your choice to three winners when you join their mailing list. I have been a fan of their art for a long time. Don’t you love it? Good luck!

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