Jan 31, 2010

happy birthday sis!

Happy Birthday to my sweet sister! She is the funniest person I know and brings joy to every situation. When we went to Italy a few summer's ago we saw these amazing lemon trees. Yes they were about the size of her head!
And look at her here imitating the ancient statue missing a hand. I told you she is funny.
And she's talented. She admits to poor handwriting and can't paint, but boy is she artistic with food! She owns her own catering company in Georgetown, S.C. called Puttin' on the Grits. She does not advertise...she doesn't have to. Her phone rings off the hook and she is booked with great events throughout the year. Southern, delicious, unique food you cannot find with another catering company. Obviously I am biased, but if you don't believe me check out just some of her incredible event photos here.
More importantly, she is a fabulous mom, wife, and friend to many.
Love you sis...Happy birthday!

Jan 29, 2010


SNOW...It started late today and we should have more tomorrow. It's the pretty kind right now and I snapped this during the first hour of the falling snow.

The kids have been making snowflakes around here too. Aren't they beautiful? Now these are the kind of snowflakes I love!
Even friends who have come over for play dates have gotten in on the action.Last week, I was lucky enough to be asked to come in to the girl's TK class and teach an art project. We had to tie in lots of items into the curriculum. I read a poem from a little boy's perspective...he loved the snow but asked the snowflakes if they would please fall in colors rather than just white.
So we made these! Colored beads and patterns if you please.
Math was incorporated too...they had to count 10 beads per stem before folding the snowflake together.
Then of course we had to do some writing and coloring. After reading the Snowman Soup poem about hot chocolate, we made these. The poem is in the center of the mug which they decorated and then glued 3 marshmallows into the top of the mug. Delish! They even got to eat a giant marshmallow to boot!
Hope you are warm where you are. Have a toasty weekend!

Jan 28, 2010

Calm in the Chaos

Have you ever been in a chaotic place or situation and notice someone or something exhibiting calmness in the situation? It happened to me recently during my Atlanta market visit.
I was rushing in and out of the three high rises, up and down elevators and escalators, crossing through overpass walkways and hurrying with the rest of the world to showrooms and meetings. My feet hurt (because you know I just HAD to wear cute shoes! I realized I had 10 minutes before my next meeting and it was one I had been the most excited about. I wanted to find a place to sit and rest, a place to gather my thoughts, pray and have a mint to freshen my breath. I wanted to review my portfolio, to read up on the company, and to just sit and take a breath in the middle of the chaos. Then I saw it...one bench, not completely open but with a
spot for me.

One woman was sitting there and can you believe this??? ...she was crocheting something beautiful with colorful yarn. She looked so peaceful...so calm in the middle of the chaos. A pretty lady with a sweet spirit even though we had not yet spoken. I wasn't planning to make conversation because I had my resting, reviewing plan in place, ya' know. But curiosity got the best of me as I wondered what in the world she was doing crocheting in the middle of market? Was she a buyer taking a break?, was she a sales rep?, and agent?, a showroom employee? So I finally asked and sweet Sharyn answered....a licensed artist taking a rest before her next meeting. Me too! Me too! Me too, I thought and eventually shared. Yet again, another divine meeting God allowed me to have during my visit. Sharyn is a well accomplished artist with multiple talents and gifts. She has licensed her art and creations to over 40 manufacturers. She picked up the scissors to entertain her young children many years ago and developed a passion for cutting the most intricate paper patterns.
You will have to visit her website and blog to learn more about Sharyn. She's just lovely!

You can see how her art has been translated beautifully into ceramic plates and ornaments for in the Demdaco showroom.
We have connected by e-mail several times since our meeting and once again, I feel honored to call Sharyn a friend. She has already shared wisdom, advice and encouragement about this wild industry. How fortunate am I to have met her? But beyond all of this, it is her calm spirit which I remember the most. Everyone rushing in those buildings at market, including myself, need to take a lesson from Sharyn. She reminds me, as does the following scripture, that we can be calm in the midst of chaos.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
Have a restful Friday and be calm in the midst of your chaos.
P.S. All of the beautiful photos from this post are from Sharyn's blog and website...enjoy!

Jan 26, 2010

Goal Oriented!

We are a fairly "goal oriented" family. For as long as I can remember, we have always either helped the kids come up with yearly goals or they choose goals on their own. The key with any goal is writing it down. Somehow if it's in ink and in plain view, it's a reminder to keep it a priority.As you may know, it gets pretty busy here with 4 children and to boot... 4 children who attend 3 different schools at least for this year. We are on the go a lot so when we are home, it helps to have a system so we can have as much peace and harmony around as possible. Not saying we always have peace and harmony, but this helps...you know what I mean!
So this year we did things a bit differently. We sat with the kids individually and chatted about their goals they hope to accomplish. Great conversations come from this, trust me.
I may have mentioned this before, but it was my husband's idea to break the goals into more specific categories.
I have a blank one here for you to see. (promised the kids I would not post their goals for the world to see...it's such a personal thing and it should be)
Even our 5 year olds were able to come up with goals for these various categories: 3 Student, 3 Christian, 3 Family Member, 2 Athlete, 2 Hobby, and 2 Financial. It took some explaining and some funny conversations, but was not only doable but special. If you can't read across the top, it says Role (the type of goal...like I just listed), then Goal (they write what their goal is for that category, then How am I going to achieve my goal? (these can be funny answers), then Goal attained (they can fill in when or if they achieve their goal. And remember it helps to remind them of the scripture..."I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Phil. 4:13

All 4 children have daily chore lists too which frankly helps keep the house running. You are expected to pitch in because you are a part of the family. Luke 12:48 "To whom much is given, much is expected..." this of course is for us parents too! By completing your daily list, you receive privileges which are special to you...depending on your age (playdates, TV time, weekend movie, dessert on weekends, i-pod use, e-mail use, etc.) Don't get me wrong, we have issues here with closet cleanliness and millions of tiny Lego pieces and Polly Pocket pieces all over everywhere. But I promised myself a long time ago to try to teach them this early (it takes a looooooooong time) for the sake of their future spouses!

Of course it helps to have a fancy broom when doing your chores and as you can see, Charlotte is already mastering multi-tasking....sweeping and chatting on the phone with her sweet grandmother!

Here's to teaching our children responsibility early and what it means to pitch in, then be rewarded for doing a great job! A win, win, win... Have a productive day!

Jan 24, 2010

art art i want you

Absolutely love this sooooo much...you will too, I bet.
Lots of new art and art news to share here soon plus renovated studio pictures. Woo-hoo!
Also have an art project in the works to help Haiti...news on that soon too.
Congratulations to our winner of the giveaway! Check back here often because I will have more!

Jan 21, 2010

Sweet Giveaway!

Today's Creative Blog
Sweet Kim over at Today's Creative Blog wrote such a nice post about me and what I do.
Click HERE to read "She can draw pretty."
She's hosting our giveaway THIS FRIDAY!

We'll be giving away one trio set of the Happeez clips

and this inspirational embroidered linen guest towel.

Kim features wonderful blogs and many talented folks out there so I am thrilled
to have been selected and pulled out of her FFF (future feature file).
What are you waiting for?
Head over to Today's Creative Blog and leave a comment to see if you win!

Jan 17, 2010

For the birds...

Not sure what it is, but I have "something" for birds. Don't think I would ever own one as a pet (that would freak me out, I think) but they are so beautiful to observe, and their variations in color and sound are quite amazing. I obviously love to paint them and I am being asked by several companies to paint more.
Maybe it's a God thing. Maybe we can see Him in them like we see Him in the colors of produce at the farmer's market or in the beauty of the mountains. Remember those posts? Oh, how I crave for the farmer's market to open again with spring goodness!
Maybe it's a mother thing. Maybe it's because we see how protective mamma bird is over her nest and her babies. She'll do anything to keep them from harm. Hey, I know that feeling.
Maybe it's because I miss spring. These cold winter days really make us appreciate the buds and blooms and chirps when they finally come around.
I used these crafty birds on the walls last May in my booth in NYC for the National Stationery Show. We came across them as we prepared for Christmas this year, so the kids and I decided to make a bird tree in addition to decorating our Christmas tree. And so here it is.
But I think I will keep it up all year to remind me of the things mentioned above...how much I love the spring season, the incredible role as a mother and protecting our children, beauty and diversity in this big world, and God's incredible talent in creation.
chirp chirp!

Jan 16, 2010

Through the year...

I know as a stationery designer how much work goes into creating Christmas photo cards. And even if I didn't have that history, I know how much work it is to send 325 of them. Yep, that's how many our family sends. Crazy, I know, but we have a lot of folks we adore out there.

So what do you do with them when Christmas is over? It just kills me to toss them in the trash, so I don't. I keep them until next Christmas in a pretty bowl in the center of our dining room table. A few years ago, a friend (sweet Hannah) gave me this great idea and I want to share it with you. At mealtime, we let each of our 4 children randomly choose a card from the bowl and they pray aloud for that family. It is quite powerful and a wonderful way to use the cards and remember sweet friends throughout the year.

Another friend of mine lets her kids choose the Christmas photos of their friends and make a collage out of them on a poster board for their playroom. Neat!

Can you think of other creative ways to use these pretty photos and cards without tossing them away? Let me know if you do...would love to hear from you!
Have a glorious weekend!

Jan 12, 2010

Follow Up!

Follow up! The key words to the "after market" days. Much following up to do with great companies I met with about the possibility of partnering together to make beautiful things. Pinch me!

It was an exciting weekend and such a special time with my mom and sister. It began snowing as we entered Buckhead and when it was all over, there were 2 inches on the ground. Despite many, many cancelled flights into this southern city, the market was busy and folks seemed so encouraged and quite busy!
Met up with sweet Anna Griffin who I am honored to call a friend. She's a small town North Carolina native...from Marshville, and I love her story about growing up surrounded by her great-grandmother's antiques and she credits her grandmother for igniting her passion for
beautiful things. She is extremely well known and adored in the paper industry. Her gorgeous products are sold all over the globe and she has been so kind to offer advice and a listening ear as I transitioned from manufacturing into the world of licensing my art. She just landed a continual spot on HSN (Home Shopping Network) where she will be featured "live" and will show and sell her amazing scrapbooking products. The first one actually aired VERY early this morning (like 1am) Had to record that as I was fast asleep. Check out Anna's fabulous website and her blog and also HSN where you can find out more about when Anna's pretties will be featured. Sorry Anna, this was the best of the 4 pictures we took...the delayed flash may have
made you blink, or maybe it was because we were laughing at my sister for standing in your showroom chair!

I visited the wonderful Peking Handicraft showroom where the inspirational linens I designed were prominently displayed. They looked so pretty near all of the other colorful products.

They were also on display in their second showroom so it was neat to see them in both locations. They were busy, busy which was wonderful too!
Was able to visit with sweet Sue, the owner of Mayfair Lane and see the clips I designed for them. Met with several other manufacturers about the possibility of partnering together and feel very good about those conversations. We'll see what God has in store.

One of the biggest highlights of the time there was meeting Annie. It was a God ordained meeting for sure. I had gone in to ask to meet with someone and the person I needed was in a meeting but the gentleman said, "While you wait, let me introduce you to one of the artists we work with, Annie LaPoint." Little did I know what a blessing this meeting would be. We talked and talked and shared stories and art for at least 45 minutes. Her joy for the Lord and her enthusiasm for glorifying Him through her art is contagious. We totally connected...immediate sisters in Christ. Don't you love how He does that? Not only did Annie offer encouraging words about my art and direction with licensing, she made the introduction to the person I went in the showroom to meet. I would eventually meet with her for over an hour and I hope to design for them in the future. Once again, we'll see what God has planned. This company is one of 40 manufacturers who license Annie's beautiful art and they just released 2 new collections on a variety of products. Much of Annie's designs are matched like mine with scripture or inspirational words. But in addition to this, she is painting with Hidden Treasures. She hides a scripture in each of her paintings...waiting to be discovered. Love that! Read about this here!!! It gets better....her husband is a worship leader and a builder and they are building a wonderful place in Tecate, Mexico for children who need a safe and fun place to be while their mothers work. Read about Mi Casa here! Oh, meeting Annie was indeed a blessing. We have already spoken by phone and have e-mailed several times. I am grateful to already call her a mentor and sister in Christ. Thank you sweet Annie!
Ok, yes...I actually took pictures of some of our food. It was just too pretty not too! We ate at yummy PRIME Thursday night, PRICCI on Friday night, and KYMA on Saturday night. All very different and amazing! We agreed to try new places we had never been.

A picture from my phone of the fresh seafood on ice as you walk in Kyma. Wow!

My sister's birthday desserts...yes we had 3 spoons! Delish!
It was a fun time in Atlanta. Mom and Aleene spent much of the time on the gourmet floor and they were able to watch Tyler Florence and Alton Brown and a few others cook "live" at the show. My sweet sister who has no access to great shopping where she lives, went nuts at market. She found fabulous clothes and jewelry at wonderful prices and she may be able to wear a different necklace each day of the year after this visit! Luckily, I was too busy to shop...my wallet is happy!
Now for more follow up at home...the laundry is calling!

Jan 3, 2010

To market, to market! Again...

This Thursday I'll be heading to market in Atlanta. This is the big one...the Gift and Home Furnishings Market which draws folks from all over the globe. This weekend will be particularly exciting because I get to spend it with my sister and my mother. This weekend is an early birthday celebration for my sis and an opportunity for a mother-daughter weekend.
Not sure we've had that since our Italy trip in 2007. (photo above from our villa in Tuscany)
I will be working much of Friday and Saturday visiting the showrooms and meeting with the fine folks I am working with on licensing projects. Very excited to see the products we have been working on and celebrate the final results... also hoping for big orders from lots of retailers across the globe. The Happeez clips from Mayfair Lane should sell well. They are kind enough to allow me to sell these from the studio here and they should be up on the website very soon so keep checking that here. Tell your friends in other cities how they can order them from Multiple Blessings. They are so cute, work so well, and make a great gift for any time of the year. Purchase a few and tuck them into your gift closet.

Had no idea that Mayfair Lane would choose 2 of my 3 designs to be on the cover of their 2010 catalog...very honored and thrilled to be featured here. (upper right corner on the stainless steel refrigerator...the yellow bird clip and the LOVE)
Will also be back in the Peking Handicraft, Inc. showroom to see the 3 collections of inspirational linens. They too, are allowing me to sell these from the studio. They have sold super well and we still have them in stock so check them out here (click the shop page Licensed Products) to purchase any time. The Coastal Beauty collection makes a great gift for those with a beach home.
I have also designed a collection of inspirational jewelry, beverage napkins, tissues, pillows, ceramic plates, eco totes and so much more for another fabulous company. More details and pictures as I can share. Stay tuned! And stay warm! oooh, it's super cold here!

Jan 2, 2010

Highly Recommended!

My sweet husband and kids gave this to me for Christmas and it is a treasure. It's not every day that someone makes a book about you and so it's a bit strange, sweet, wonderful and sentimental all at the same time. I cannot look at it without the tissue box nearby.
I highly recommend this as a gift for anyone you love. My Publisher is easy to use. I will say that if your photos need to go in a certain order, you will be happy if you plan the order in advance. It's not easy to go back and reorder them, trust me on this. Last year we gave books to both of our parents and they absolutely love them.

Simas Stories (for David's parents) is here (shown above)

and BoyHood Memories (for my parents) is here. (shown above)
We have a copy of them both here at our house to enjoy too. This year, David gave a copy of the one he made for me to my parents. I think you can enter a code to receive a free book with every purchase so that is great! Here's to making memories with those you love!

other inspiring posts...