In Progress

Hello blog friends! I'm in the middle of a rather large commissioned project and any time I can get away from the painting is spent with family that has come from away... so the blog will have to be neglected for awhile. I'll return next week!


Win one of my art prints!!!

Just thought I'd pop in and let you know I have a giveaway going on over at MaryJanes and Galoshes. I will mail the winner their choice of print from my shop. You have until June 28th at midnight to enter. Click HERE for more info and to enter. Good luck and have a wonderful weekend!



I love summer... the warmth, the outdoor activities, the chance to get away with my family to see a new place... yes, it's my favorite time of year. My husband and I always have a million (ok a lot of) different projects going on and when you work for yourself... you just can't get away from it unless you take a trip. A few years ago we realized we aren't even good at relaxing when we get away, but we sure have fun making new discoveries and just seeing and experiencing all we can. We've actually said we need a vacation after coming home from our vacation! Ha! But we love getting the chance to visit new places and being together with no work projects around us!

When I was going through a few folders on my desktop I ran into these photos from the Outer Banks of North Carolina and my mind started to wander. The beach... one of my best friends. Why do we live so far apart!? Probably cuz I would never get anything done if I lived close by. Warm ocean water, smooth, soft sand, seashells galore... God did an amazing job!

The end of this island was covered in shells, it was hard to walk! But I found it delightful just the same. Rainbows of color and all unique with their own little story.

This beach was even more special because there were wild ponies that lived there. This is an actual island where a good number of horses have lived for years! It really felt quite magical.

Hubby and I went kayaking in Hawaii for the first time and loved the experience! When we saw they had kayaks on the shore of NC that we could rent we jumped at the chance, even though the water was rough and we saw a couple other guys really struggling to get back. It was a blast!
Yeah, I'm goofy. Every time I get the chance to be on a beautiful beach, I take a picture of it. :)

We took this trip when I was just over 3 months pregnant. Luckily it was just a couple days earlier that I had gotten over the dreadful morning (actually all day) sickness. What a wonderful celebration! My brother and sister-in-law were also stationed just a few hours away from the beach so we were able to spend time with them too.
I'm now dreaming of my next vacation. Since I love to travel and we like to go to a new place once a year, I really want to hear your recommendations. Trip planning with a 2yr old has made it a little more difficult... she's not one to sit still for long, so if you have any must see places in the states please share! Our number one place to visit is Kauai, Hawaii... most beautiful place we have ever seen! (We'll have to go back to Hawaii when Kaelyn's a little older!) Anyway, share yours!


Creative Souls

You never know who you are going to meet in blog land. I thoroughly enjoy looking at other creative bloggers sites... and can spend a little too much time browsing through their pictures and thoughts... but it can be so inspiring! And the real fun comes when you actually make a great connection with some of these wonderful people. One woman I have gotten to know has such a big heart... seriously, she's a wonderful person and I feel so lucky to have crossed paths with her... her name is Jill from the blog, My Tru Life. She has a website that goes into more depth on her creating and the making of TRUoriginaL. It's a lovely site with wonderful and meaningful mixed media collages. I encourage you to check it out!

{cropped view of BEGiN bird themed original collage from TRUoriginal}

Jill has recently started a blog that is quickly becoming popular. Not surprising with all the passion and creativity behind it. She's started featuring other artists on Mondays as well. I was so lucky and honored to be featured yesterday! You can check out the post HERE if your interested.

♥ Thank you Jill... for the feature and being such a good friend! ♥


Father's Day Weekend

We had a specially fun weekend. The annual Longest Day 10K race was Friday night, but before daddy ran, there was a little kids 1K. When I asked Kaelyn earlier in the day if she wanted to run in a race with other little kids she said yes and was so excited she immediately started running around the house. I really had no idea what to expect. If she would back out before the race even started, if she would just go a little way and not want to go any further. You just never know what a 2 year old is going to do. Well, when we got to the soccer complex her excitement for being in a race never disappeared. She ran... she ran the ENTIRE way! I was right next to her cheering her on and every time I told her "good job Kaelyn!" she replied "thank you!" What a sweetheart! She did awesome! This is just before she crossed the finish line:

When she was done, she was saying, "again! again!" She didn't even care that she got a medal! :) Looking forward to next year!

Then it was daddy's turn to run.

He did amazing like always and had his fastest time yet of less than 40 min.! It was a beautiful evening.

One of my favorite photos from the night...

Saturday we headed to the lake to celebrate Father's Day with David's grandpa. The kids went swimming and I took a bunch of photos that I was so excited to see and wouldn't you know, the card went bad and all the photos I took were deleted. I was sad! But it was a good fun night.

Sunday started with church, then off to David's dad's house for lunch and visiting, more family stops, then off to my parent's house. The day was certainly busy but was filled with good food and family... can't get much better then that!


Happy Father's Day!

Hubby's Father's Day card:

I drew up an illustration of Kaelyn's trike that her daddy worked so hard fixing up for her. She loves her spiffy ride and being a "biker" like daddy!
Thanks for being a wonderful husband and father! Kaelyn is such a lucky girl! I have to say I'm an extremely lucky girl too... my dad is amazing in so many ways. We are two girls who are very blessed! Happy Father's Day!


Featured on BedBuggs Boutique

Yay! Krista from BedBuggs Boutique featured my shop this morning on her blog! If you are interested in seeing the post please go HERE.

Thank you so much for sharing my work with others Krista!

Now I want to share a little about her... she is a very talented mom with one of the most adorable shops I've seen... definitely worth checking out (especially if you have a little girl)!

BedBuggs Boutique has several adorable pillows, tutus, hair accessories and more for sale, so head on over and enjoy browsing through her fun creations!


Rolled Canvas Print Review

Hop on over to Touched Creatively if your interested in my review of UPrinting's Rolled Canvas Print. I gave two thumbs up for this product but there are more photos and details over there.

The beautiful photo I used for the canvas print was taken by Dolby Photography located in Sioux Falls, SD.


Setting Limits

Do you feel overwhelmed by the things you feel you need to be doing and by what you think you just want to be doing? Often running yourself in a circle and not getting much accomplished? I often feel that way. Time just never seems to be on my side... I'm sure many of you agree. With so much needing to be done everyday from the cooking, dishes, cleaning, laundry, caring for others (for me my 2yr old), outside work... the list can go on and it seems that the creating part gets put on the back burner most days. I am hoping once our house renovations are done more time will be given to artwork. But really it all comes down to priorities. Setting limits and focusing on what means the most and couldn't live without has to be looked at first. I'm sure many of you creative souls reading this find it hard to stay organized... somedays you let the mess go to concentrate on making something. My house usually looks like a disaster. Of course having a 2yr old dragging toys everywhere doesn't help but you have to choose what is the most important to you. Focusing on the household projects or creating for my little business that I have such a desire to make succeed can be real difficult to balance. I'm not sure why I feel bad giving more time to creating. I guess I feel I'm not being as good of a wife/mother when I let the housework slide. Another thing, I think the outside world or rather the people who aren't very creative, who lets just say it... look down on people who create for their living, plays mind games on you. Maybe that has something to do with me pushing the creativeness off to the side. I don't know if you've experienced it but I've had people think I just sit on my butt all day and watch TV just because I don't go to a job outside the home. For some reason they think everyday is a free day to do whatever. And in reality these people can't get farther from the truth. I've gotten better about pushing those rude comments out of my mind but they are still there... and when I let the house go, well then someone always stops by and its like oh my goodness it really looks like I don't do anything cuz everything you see looks a mess. Life can be a lot like a dandelion. When we're young we're in our own little world. Happy and free, with a beautiful bright spirit... as creative as we want to be with no limits. As we grow we gain responsibilities. We are starting to be pulled in so many different directions and we have several choices we need to make. Some days our light starts to dim. We start to lose focus on the dream we had when we were little. But when I take a deep breath and step back... look at where I want to go, what I want to do, what's in my heart, it becomes easier to push the negativity away. Instead of dispersing all of my energy in different directions... I want to focus on creating. I don't want to keep pushing it off. No gain will come from that. The only thing I want to disperse is positivity and inspiration through my creations... to touch other people's hearts. This is what I feel I was meant to do. God gave me a talent for a reason... and no the talent wasn't in cleaning and cooking. ;)

If you've found a good way to find a happy balance with creating being a top priority please share!



I whole heartedly believe that everything happens for a reason. God has a great plan and it is up to us to open our mind and heart, to trust Him and follow Him. In the past five days I've had lots of time to reflect on my life. I've always been a planner. Up until now everything (big things anyway) had gone just has planned. I was lucky enough to receive a degree in graphic design, marry the man of my dreams soon after, buy a house, find a good job, have a healthy and beautiful baby girl... yes, all the major events were happening like clockwork... just how I had hoped for. Of course our life isn't always perfect (there's always so much more to every one's story) and we are always running in different directions, but overall we haven't had any "big" issues to deal with. For the first time my husband and I were unable to "plan" our next step. Our hopes of growing our family quickly dwindled after I was diagnosed with hyperthyroid which was confirmed to be Graves Disease. My health has put quite a setback on our so called perfect plan. But oddly as it may sound, the disease was a kick in the butt that I needed! It was like a wake up call from God saying He's in control, to slow down and look at life... be thankful for all that you have already been blessed with. If a radioactive treatment, being away from my husband and daughter (and all people for that matter for a few days), going through more tests is all I have to go through on the road to recovery... I am extremely lucky! My heart should finally start slowing down in the next couple of months and a heart attack shouldn't be a concern in my near future... along with several other health issues. And if all goes well and with the help of God, someday we may even be able to grow our family! Yay!

Last Wednesday, was the day for more tests at the hospital and treatment began. Luckily David and I had a little time together before one of the tests and were able to walk on a nature path. Oh how wonderful it was! To be with such a wonderful man and be in a beautiful, peaceful setting was something I needed! Listening to birds singing, watching fuzzy little ducklings zoom into place when their mama quacked, watching turtles enjoy the warmth of the sun... the simple beauties that we often don't have time to enjoy worked itself into being an unexpected highlight of the day. As we walked, I couldn't help but think this was one of God's great plans... for David and I to take a deep breathe and enjoy the simply beauty in life. Sure it's great to have goals set but when you start losing focus that your not the one in control of what happens in the end... something bigger starts to happen. My heart was filled with a new light. I am excited to see where God's journey takes me and my family from here!

♥ ♥ ♥

I have to end with how my husband welcomed me home. I know I've never told you all how awesome he is. Ha, ha! Anyway, the hardest part for me through all this was leaving him and Kaelyn. When I was saying goodbye to her, she was tearing up saying, "Don't leave me mommy, I need you!" She was still sick so it made it even harder for me. But the days pretty much flew by like usual and when I returned home, my husband was making us a wonderful lasagna supper! He and Kaelyn had also made me puppy chow... seriously was the best puppy chow I've had, and the best most thoughtful part, was that David made me a paper blog. It told about the things they did while I was away along with photos! It was completely heart warming! Now I think you would agree I have an amazing and thoughtful husband! :)

I think Kaelyn was pretty happy to have me home too. I certainly missed her hugs, smiles and humor!

My strawberry patch even seemed to welcome me! I had so many I was able to give bag fulls away.


Strawberry Picking

The daily strawberry picking has begun. Here is the bunch from today. ♥ Love having something so yummy come out of my own garden!!! We'll see how long I can keep the bugs from getting into the patch. This year I sprayed white vinegar and put baby powder in places to keep ants and other creepy crawlies out... I guess time will tell for how well it works, but so far so good. Do you do anything special to keep unwanted guests out???

In other news, Kaelyn has had a little more energy today. The living room looks as if a tornado has gone through. :) She still has a difficult time getting any words out and is coughing with a temp that continues to vary, but I was happy to see her off the couch for a while. This upper respiratory junk has made for a pretty quite house... I'm ready to hear her sweet voice again!


Not Quite as Planned

Having my first ripe strawberry come out of my garden was the highlight of my weekend. Seriously I was pretty excited! It was delicious! But I wasn't really wanting that to be the highlight! The plan was to go watch David in a bike race early Saturday morning. K baby ended up coming down with the flu late Friday afternoon and I didn't feel so hot either. Kaelyn's temp was above 102 shortly before 6am Saturday so there was no way us girls could go watch. It was nice to snuggle with my baby but at the same time I really wanted to be there for my husband. Ended up raining for the race but he did FANTASTIC! He won!!! First in his age group and overall! Couldn't be happier for him. So that was some great news, but at the home front, Kaelyn kept getting worse. We thought her temp was finally going down Sunday morning but then she was losing her voice and coughing. She would be thirsty but when she took one swallow she would cough and be in tears. So we had to head to the ER to be checked out. We were sent back home and told to give Tylenol and Motrin every 3 hrs. (alternating each one) Which was close to what we had already been doing. Then today she was worse yet. Rattling horrible with each breathe and zero energy. Today I was also worse with a spinning head. You would have thought I was drunk. Couldn't walk a straight line for the life of me and that did nothing for my stomach! So thankfully hubby left work at noon and took Kaelyn to her usual doctor. This time she did get some medicine, so praying it will work fast! What a roller coaster! I'm thankful it hasn't been worse but I'm definitely looking forward to better days!!!


To Make You Smile

My little fashionista! Ha. She never fails to make me smile! The only thing she was missing is the rain boots she almost always wears!

Have a great weekend!

[Health update for those who have been wondering: After two phone calls I finally got someone to find information for me. Have to go back for another test, scan then treatment options with possible treatment next week.]

Little Makeover & New Design Pattern

Wanting to redo my blog for quite some time and make it into 3 columns made me start thinking about a new design pattern I would like to include in the makeover. So yesterday since I wasn't feeling well I decided to take it easy by playing with a design and messing with html code. (Still no word from the specialist even after calling. Not very happy about that. Going to call again soon.) Anyway, I began sketching in the morning, then took pictures of it and added color in Photoshop. Here is part of the design pattern:

When I snapped the picture of the sketch the background had a yellowish tannish tint and I ended up really liking the unexpected color. I also didn't plan that when I colored it digitally that it would look like I painted it! Thought it gave a bit of a vintage feel.

I threw the word "live" on the design for my blog banner cuz I love to add in a meaning when I can. Just how I work. So here is my reasoning... I'll start with a couple quotes:

"The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities." --James Allen

"If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." --Henry David Thoreau

I've heard many people wishing they were doing something else with their life over the years but not doing anything to make their wishes/dreams a reality. So I chose the word "live" to inspire and remind me to LIVE for today and work on making my dreams reality! There is no gain for those who don't even try to live out their dreams. Live life to the fullest!


Avoni's Boutique Review

Read my review on these adorable headbands over on Touched Creatively. Thanks!

House Work

...and I don't mean the ordinary house work. Renovating. I'm all about turning something ugly into something nice without having to spend much. That means a lot of work by my husband and me. I'm not sure how many times we've wondered what we got ourselves into, but its always worth it in the end. Here is a quick glimpse of the hole in the wall I've been working on:

I don't have an original picture of this little bathroom upstairs. Imagine old wall paper on the walls including the ceiling. As soon as we got the house, I went through all the rooms ripping out carpet and wall paper. Little did I know wall paper was covering a ton of cracks. When I was pulling it off the ceiling a good part of the plaster came down on my head!!! Lovely! So I knocked the rest of it out and asked my sweet husband to please put sheetrock in. Currently everything has been taped and has a couple layers of mud. (I am not a fan of sanding that stuff but kept pushing forward. I had to keep telling myself, this is the last room... get it done!) Hubby knocked out the vanity for me last night so I need to get to cleaning up the mess and then start painting. I can't wait to get that ugly plastic door out of this house! I'll be sure to share more before and after pics when the room is complete.

So much to do! Better get moving!


Memorial Day Weekend

First of all thank you so much to those that sent their well wishes through comments, emails and phone calls concerning my health issues. It means so much to me knowing people care!!! I meant to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Weekend on Friday but received a call on Thursday saying I had to see a specialist right away Friday so that left no time for blogging. Quick update on that: Originally the specialist was booked until August but he said my doctor and nurses who I usually see were so concerned about my health they talked him into bumping me up to be seen ASAP. Which was great... but kinda scary at the same time knowing I was a rush case. The thyroid is such a small part of the body yet it impacts virtually every organ we have. Anyway, the specialist expected Grave's Disease as soon as he saw me. He ran a few more tests on me and I'm supposed to know the results today or tomorrow so immediate treatment can follow. It is crazy how your life can flip around so quickly but it reminds me that I'm not in control... God is and He has something better in store. I am thankful and hopeful for this new journey I am beginning.

Onto more of the fun weekend happenings... Saturday we headed north to spend some time with my husbands family. I really wish I had my camera because the kids decided to go swimming in the lake and Kaelyn said, "I swim too!!!" Last year she wanted nothing to do with the lake... not even to put her feet in. I didn't bring her swimsuit since I figured the water would be too cold and she wouldn't want to go. Was I ever wrong. What started with just putting her feet in went to soaked clothes pretty quickly. I had tried to save them and have her daddy take them off but as he was removing them a wave hit her and got most of it wet. So she was practically skinny dipping and squealing with delight... splashing and almost being knocked over numerous times by waves. She didn't mind the cold water at all and was not happy to get out.

Monday we went to a Memorial Service... a wonderful reminder on how selfless soldiers are. How strong they are to leave their families, to risk their lives and fight for our country... the soldiers who pay the ultimate price. We have so much to be thankful for!
After the service Kaelyn's little friend came over to play for a bit. It was Lizzy's 3rd birthday, so letting the girls play was a must before we could head to another lake to meet up with my side of the family.
Although Kaelyn didn't want to leave her friend, the idea of being able to play at the lake again made it easier. :)

I brought my camera this time!
Little stinker was trying to splash me! :)

Overall it was a relaxing weekend filled with good food, games and family.

I hope you had a great Memorial Weekend!