Dec 31, 2009

Hindsight & looking forward


They say hindsight is 20/20 and it seems so most of the time. When we take the time to look back we often see life more clearly than when we are in the middle of living it...does that even make sense? I think so.
I love looking back. I love seeing how God had His hand in every detail...the good and the bad. He promises us to use all things for His good and for His purpose. I just need to do a better job trusting that.
I love looking back and remembering only the good parts and not the bad details. Like childbirth...isn't it amazing we can't remember the pain and sleepless nights as much as we can remember the smell of that precious baby pressed to our chest, the first step, the first word, the first haircut. The only thing bad about looking back is the sadness that we can't get it back. Another lesson to live each day to the fullest. To enjoy and treasure each moment and to tell those around us how much we love them.
Tonight at dinner we went around the table and shared goals for 2010 and then decade goals. It was my husband's idea and I loved that it was. Before you shared your goals you had to explain the category for the goal...personal, athletic, spiritual, business, academic, etc. It was fascinating to hear everyone's and even the youngest participated. We'll see what God really has in store for 2010 and for the next decade but for now, my gratitude overflows for this family and for conversations like these.
I want to take the opportunity to thank you all for your love, friendship and support in 2009 and wish you all blessings for 2010! Happy New Decade!
xoxo,
C

Dec 29, 2009

Christmas Math

Hi folks! Sorry for the delay in posting, but I have been family-focused and enjoying every minute of playing games, cooking, resting, traveling and celebrating this special time of year. There is no way to capture all that has happened the last couple of weeks so here is some CHRISTMAS MATH that should provide an overview and a chuckle or two.

1 giant red poinsettia

+ 1 amazing My Publisher book from my husband and kids

+ lots of great photography and memories inside

+ 1 dollhouse my parents made for my sister and I when we were ages 6 and 4 and refurbished for our girls this Christmas (so sweet!)

and to boot it is an exact replica of our old house
(the house we grew up in...) awww...

+ 1 great visit with Santa

+ zillions of candy canes + millions of smiles

+ 1 Green Egg on which my dad can grill amazing yummies!
This thing is incredible...heats to 750 degrees!

+ hundreds of sweet treats (ooh, my jeans are tight!)

+ a few hugs from reindeer

+ 1 winter dance recital

+ 1 great artist easel + 2 new smocks

+ 1 Christmas poem + 5 clues + 1 giant surprise for the spring
a 7 night Western Caribbean Disney Cruise!

+ 1 family trip to Pinehurst to watch our 11 year old golfer in a tournament...he did great!

+ 1 set of pink golf clubs for you know who...

+ 2 excited girls to try them on the putting green in Pinehurst

+ 1 happy middle school golf lover

+ 1 happy 9 year old Lego builder and Star Wars fan

+ 2 amazingly gorgeous night gowns from Ireland
from Nan and Papa Joe

+ hours of acting out the nativity story

+ 1 Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, who is the reason we celebrate it all.

There is no way to add this Christmas math.
You cannot add up all of the love, emotions, quality time and joy we have experienced.
There is no price or number amount for these things.
It is certainly priceless.
So the grand total is INFINITE love!
Happy New Year!
xoxo,
C

Dec 16, 2009

They're here, they're here!


Had the best morning with my wonderful Bible Study gals for our Christmas brunch. Loved every minute of it and LOVE them all so much! Poured my cup of coffee there this morning and was chatting with the Kate when I noticed her fabulous stainless steel refrigerator with a clip on it. Not just any clip...a Mayfair Lane clip. You see, back in May, when I exhibited in NY and the National Stationery Show, I happened to be placed next to Sue, the owner of Mayfair Lane and brilliant mom/inventor of these Happeez clips. After days and days standing next to each others' booths exhibiting at a trade show you really get to know your neighbors. Sue and I ended the time together agreeing that she would like to license some of my designs for her Happeez clips. I was of course super thrilled and am even more thrilled to introduce the first collection I did for them called Hand-Painted Nature.
They are really pretty and include the popular birds I painted along with the LOVE with the "O" as the peace symbol. Even more exciting is the fact that sweet Sue is allowing me to sell them on my website! These will not even be available to retailers until January. Stores that order from Mayfair Lane which could likely carry these are Borders, Barnes Noble, Amazon, Sur La Table, and hundreds of gift shops across the US. Local customers, please remember to e-mail me your order so you can pick up and not have to pay shipping.
The set of three clips sells for $15 and makes a great socking stuffer. We use the clips every day here to hold weekly homework lists, class schedules, invitations, coupons, etc. Here is more about the product:
Happeez® are wonderful, simple items that utilize a material that grips
effectively and harmlessly where magnets do—and where magnets DON’T. This includes
stainless steel refrigerators, glass, mirrors, lucite, most wood paneling and vinyl. Unlike
a magnet, Happeez® products protect surfaces from scratching and marring and will not
leave a residue.
*They are not up on the website yet but will be as soon as we can get them set up.
To see more about Mayfair Lane click here. You will not see my designs there yet until 2010 but you can get them through Multiple Blessings. Very grateful and excited today I tell you...very!

P.S. Sweet Kim was interviewed by Fox News Rising this morning. Click here to watch the interview. She mentions Grace Bits and also you can see the inspirational guest towels in the background...Kim is featured after the "wild mouse" ...you'll have to watch. If you missed Merry market and want to attend TWELVE (the uptown holiday market) note the following times:
10-5 Thursday & Friday
10-3 Saturday (final day)
xoxo,
C


Dec 15, 2009

Good Friday!

Last Friday was a good Friday...actually a great Friday! Some of the Divine Divas gathered at Starbucks for some conversation and hot java then headed over to do some work in the food pantry at The Harvest Center. We coordinated this instead of our meeting this month and it was wonderful. Our family has spent some good time there but some of the ladies in the group had not been before. It is really life-changing, as it takes the concept of "being homeless" from very abstract to extremely real.
Took this before Jane and Hannah arrived so I am sorry they didn't make it into the photo! Here we are with precious Sister Rosa (far right) and Pastor Marion. They are a hoot and are so full of Jesus you cannot stop smiling when around them. It is just plain impossible. Always love hearing Rosa's stories of growing up in that same neighborhood and being in a gang and she describes how she terrorized the neighborhood. And NOW her life is dedicated to serving every possible person she can, especially the homeless. By the grace of God she changed her life to a life of Christian service and thousands are better because of her.
Before we even arrived they had handed out 200 bags like these to folks who walked (who knows how far) and were lined up by 7am at the door. We sorted tons of canned food and bagged them so they were ready to go for the next round. They need it all...canned soups, fruit, meat, beans, peas, peanut butter, etc.
Someone dropped off a donation of Carolina Panther popcorn while we were there.
And oh my goodness! While we were working, sweet Pastor Marion came in with a couple of plates full of friend chicken from the kitchen...to snack on!
Y-U-M and BAD/GOOD is all I can say!
Donated breads from a bakery.
Met this kind fella who was soooooo grateful for it and even wanted to pose. I think he thought I was with the newspaper!
Look how much bread was donated! They said it would be gone by the end of the day.
Most of these pictures speak for themselves...
especially this one. Gratefulness is what I will name this one.
If you'd like to know more about The Harvest Center click here. And if you live in the Charlotte area, please take the opportunity to go serve there. Drop off winter coats or clothes for their clothes closet. Drop off hats, gloves, scarves, canned goods. Donate money. But even more than any of this, just go there. Your heart will be forever touched and you will want to go back for more and more, especially after you come home to your warm home with clean sheets and tons of food in your pantry. They need us, and I have to believe we need them too. Call them to schedule or just show up for your own Good Friday!
The HARVEST CENTER
1800 BREWTON DRIVE CHARLOTTE, NC 28206 704.333.4280 (o) 704.333.4231 (f)

www.theharvestcenter.org

HARVEST CENTER SERVICES OFFERED:
  • BREAKFAST - TUES./WED/SUN 7:30 AMLUNCH - TUES./WED/SUN 11:45 AM
  • CLOTHING CLOSET- TUES/WED 12 NOON
  • FOOD PANTRY- PROVIDE BAGGED GROCERIES TO FAMILIES/INDIV. WITH A NEED MON/THUR/FRI 9:45AM-1:45PM
  • MARTIAL ARTS CLASSTHURSDAY - 6:00 PM
    SATURDAY - 12:00 NOON
  • MEDICAL TESTING EVERY 4TH TUESDAY OF THE MONTH.
xoxo,
C

Dec 13, 2009

Thank you & Website is ready!


Sweet friends and customers, I am thrilled to finally announce that the Multiple Blessings' website has been completely renovated! Wooo-hooo! I am thrilled with the outcome and hope you will be too. You'll have to check out the various pages and the shop page where you can purchase licensed products (ones I have designed for other companies-lots more on the way!) and also some original art! If you are a local Charlotte customer and
you'd rather not pay shipping (don't blame you!), just e-mail your order to me. Click HERE to see the new website!

Last call for Grace Bits and Magnetic Notepads this week...after this week they will be gone! So let me know asap if you'd like to swing by for a "front porch pick up."

Thank you all for your support and encouragement as I have made this transition from manufacturing to art licensing. It is a better fit already for my family and for me as an artist. The inspirational products will reach many more that I could reach on my own and I am grateful to have the opportunity to design this way. Please make sure you follow my blog, DESIGNING FOR THE SOUL, where I will occasionally have product "give-aways" and news of what I am creating. It is also a place where I journal the juggle of family, faith, and business. Join me there, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the many years of support, encouragement, and for being part of my mission to spread God's love though each design.
Big love and Christmas blessings,
Caroline

Dec 10, 2009

The REAL Reason...


With the deliciousness of December...

The fun baking and cooking...
And visions of sugarplums...

With the frantic race to decorate...

And our cute little elf on the shelf (Mr. Jingles)...
With the hustle and bustle of shopping...
And with the other many distractions of this world, may we all remind each other
and let our children remind us...

about the REAL reason we celebrate this month;
the REAL reason we celebrate this special day in December,
and that really it should be our focus all year long.
Charlotte's illustration above
of the three wise men with gifts (can you see them?),
then a sheep and a cow (she said).
Then Mary on the left with long curled hair,
Joseph on the right (pretty tall) and of course baby Jesus.
I love how happy everyone looks, even the livestock.
My favorite nativity of all,
I brought home from Italy a few summers ago.
I keep this one out all year.

Can you tell I love to collect nativity scenes?

I am guilty of feeling completely overwhelmed almost every December. I bet I am not the only one. I seem to "make time" for the "busy" and often push aside what really matters to get the "busy" done. But having these nativity scenes out all over my home and pictures like the one Charlotte drew are reminders that the "busy" of Christmas is not what is important.
Even a room full of shiny new Christmas gifts won't bring everlasting joy. Once the newness of the gift wears off, the joy starts to fade. Presents get lost; toys break. The truth is, nothing in this earthly life offers unending joy. But the good news is that Jesus Christ does.

Over 2,000 years ago, God promised us a savior.
And in a little town called Bethlehem, God kept his promise...
He sent his son Jesus to save us and teach us how to live.
Although there was no room in the inn that night,
they made room for Jesus...they made it work.
They fit Him in.
I pray that I, that we, will lay down our busy agendas
to make room for Jesus this Christmas.
Are you with me?
xoxo,
C

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