Feb 28, 2010

Artworks 945, Sweet Hannah & GBS!


Not sure what God is up to, but think He is calling me to go visit and volunteer in some way with Artworks 945. This is an art studio inside Charlotte's Urban Ministry Center. (see video above) My oldest has been there for mission work last summer and says it's awesome. It's too much to explain, but you know how God just places pieces of the puzzle so clearly in front of you, you just can't ignore them any longer. Well, that's basically what's happening and another artist friend and I feel led to go and check it out. I will report back when we do. My precious friend Hannah, who you will read about in a minute, is one of the pieces to that puzzle.

I am so honored to have been asked by sweet Hannah, to be among the artists included in this amazing event (shown above) in late April. If you are in Charlotte, mark your calendar. 
You won't want to miss it! See it on Facebook here!




a dear friend of mine...AND


Carolina Art Soiree Organizer and GBS Survivor, Hannah Blanton


Everyone has a story. Hannah has a special one. She has chosen to glorify God and give back to others because she survived and overcame GBS. Here is a bit of her story:
On Mother’s Day, 2003, Hannah Blanton was strolling her children (ages 2 and 4) and noticed her feet were numb. Over the course of a week the numbness/weakness progressed up her body, she could barely walk and was in severe pain. Paralysis set in from her chest down. After a 2 1/2-month hospital stay, IVIG treatment, and intense physical, occupational and speech therapy she relearned how to sit, stand and eventually walk again.
You can read more about Hannah and the foundation she help start here.
To learn more about the May Miracle Mile and 5K click here
*And remember when I mentioned Artworks 945?...well the art show will also feature works of artists from the Urban Ministry Center's ArtWorks 945 program.
Is God good or what?
Have a great day and REMEMBER TO POP OVER TO SEE Emily AND FIND OUT IF YOU WON OUR GIVEAWAY! She's announcing the winner MONDAY!
xoxo,
C

Feb 25, 2010

Studio Renovation Peek & Giveaway


I always dreamed of being an artist...
I have been asked for a peek into the studio renovation. It's my creative space I am blessed to call it my own, although children are continuously in and out after school hours and often designing right by my side, which I love.
We are fortunate to have this space toward the back of the house and it's about 225 square feet with high ceilings and great lighting. It's cold though because the original floors are concrete, so I have a space heater at my feet in the winter. It was likely a patio which was later enclosed.
The new floors look like slate but are 18x18 sticker tiles from Lowes. Yes, peel and stick... and fairly easy to work with. The hardest part was cutting the outer wall edges to make a clean look. It looks like slate and shows no dirt, which is great because it's a high traffic area at times. My studio leads to our outside patio and also to the garage and looks on to the back yard. It's especially great in the summer time because I can have the doors open and watch the children playing in the yard and still work. I am so fortunate to do this from home. I can show up in pajamas, I can flit easily between laundry and e-mails, and cooking and painting. It works for our family. The only negative is that it's right here. And because I do not view what I do as work, but rather my passion, hobby, and love, I sometimes have a hard time staying out of the studio. Those of you who work from home and juggle, juggle like this know what I mean. The shelves shown here hold former Multiple Blessings' stationery products and also some of the new licensed products I am designing for the manufacturers I am working with.Love my Ikea tables...one rounded used as the computer desk...

and the other is a drafting table with a glass insert with a spotlight underneath for extra lighting. To see more studio shots click here.

Ok, so sweet, pretty, and talented Emily A. Clark, who is an amazing interior designer here in Charlotte, featured my work space on her blog. Go check it out HERE between now and Monday because we're also doing a giveaway over there. You'll certainly love her inspirational ideas for home decor and you'll love our giveaway! Head on over to read the giveaway details on her blog.
I am thankful for your sweet comments and would love to hear from you! Remember to subscribe by e-mail or click the Follower gadget to follow that way. Good luck! Emily will draw TWO random winners on Monday!
Have a Thankful Thursday!
Blessings,
Caroline

Feb 24, 2010

Silhouette My Family Generator


My Family from WiddlyTinks.com

This was fun and easy and cost $0 compared to these!


Enjoy!
By the way, just added back the FOLLOWER gadget on the right sidebar (have not had that up since last June when I first started the blog) , so if you already get my blog through e-mail and even if you don't head on over and click there to follow along!
xoxo,
Caroline

Feb 22, 2010

Legacy

I have been thinking a lot lately about this song and the legacy I want to leave for my children. Have you heard this song? Listen to the words. Nicole Nordeman is one of my favorite Christian singers. I listen to her music often when I paint. What legacy do you hope to leave?
xoxo,
C

Feb 21, 2010

Our Father Who Does Art in Heaven

So we've been teaching our 5 year old girls The Lord's Prayer and it's amazing how quickly they learned it. Their little minds have been listening and soaking it all in each Sunday without us even knowing. We've had this book since the boys were younger and used it when we taught them. It's a beautiful book by Anne Wilson. Although our girls haven't missed too many of the words, it funny sometimes how children interpret the meaning and the wording.
Our father who does art in heaven....has come from some children and actually He does. Just look at the amazing sunsets, rain showers, rainbows and snow falls. Yep, He does art in heaven!



"Mommy, is this like when it rains bread like Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs?"







Don't you just love these illustrations and color?
simple
colorful
beautiful
powerful
The other day I had the girls in Walmart. They were hanging off the sides of the grocery cart. Safe, right? Anyway, they were saying/screaming The Lord's Prayer. They were so excited that they had learned it. I was "shhhhushing" them and then it dawned on me. I am admonishing them and they are saying The Lord's Prayer. Why in the world am I telling them to stop. Great witnessing opportunity and they were so happy about knowing it. So off we went, shopping away and saying (very loudly The Lord's Prayer all the way through Walmart. We had many smiles along the way and hopefully it stirred a few hearts. Sometimes kids can be the best witnesses of God's goodness. They are rarely embarrassed to proclaim His love.
And wait until you hear this version of the Lord's Prayer.
May want to grab a few tissues!
Hope that kicks your week off to a great start!
Blessings,
Caroline

Feb 18, 2010

Paint Peek!

We just can't get enough of paint over here; at least I can't. The painters were here today and painted our kitchen a new happy green ... BEHR Premium Plus Shamrock S-H-420

and a black chalkboard paint in the hall way that leads from the kitchen to the studio and back patio. It's the high traffic area which always has lots of fingerprints and markings and it's our spot for coat racks and a "catch all" pail for mittens and hats and such. (haven't hung the coat racks yet so it's a bit bare but you get the idea.) So I decided to paint have chalkboard paint so we can all write on the walls and no one will even get in trouble! The kids are excited to write notes and drawings and add to the grocery wish list on the wall. I think it will be fun. Have to let it cure for a few days before we use chalk on it. And they hung my "fabulous find" floral chandelier from the flea market. Have been holding on to this for a loooong time and finally found the right spot! My painter said today after I requested black chalkboard paint, bright green walls, and then the chandelier...You are so artsy! Not sure if it was but I took that as a compliment. I really think he thought I was crazy but I don't mind. The green and black and white make me just plain happy.
And I've been on a design roll...painting lots these days. Doing some licensing design work but also cranking out some new and unique canvases. Can you tell I am doing a Fruit of the Spirit Bible Study? I just love creating with these words. If you can't tell what this is (I hope you can)...it's a pear and the leaf is love. It is filled with the fruit of the spirit.
A cheery spring flower also displays the fruit of the spirit...
and this giant circular canvas with one of my favorite verses.
So that's the sneak peek of paint over here. There is more...
Don't forget to stop by (TODAY) Friday if you are in Charlotte. We're having a fun event here with lots of pretties from 9am-5pm. At least stop by and pick up a HEART FOR HAITI print! It's for a wonderful cause!
Have a fabulous weekend!
xoxo,
C

Feb 16, 2010

HEART FOR HAITI


HEART FOR HAITI © Caroline Simas 2010
I have been thinking and praying about what I can do to help the people of Haiti. In addition to financial donations through church, I wanted to do something tangible. It's just not in the cards as a mother of four to go to Haiti and volunteer right now. I do hope there will be a season of life for me to do that there or somewhere similar one day. But for now, tiny ol' me can make a small difference by using my artistic talent. We can all do something, and I do believe, all small efforts do add up to touch lives.
After much prayer and a load full of ideas, I finally feel like this is what I was supposed to do. I painted a heart shaped like a puzzle...it has been broken, like Haiti, but when put back together it can be beautiful once again. WE are the ones to put the puzzle back together...with our financial dollars, our time, our talent, our energy, our food, our medicine, our donations. I believe we are all called in some capacity to help.
So this heart is wrapped in pieces of 1 Corinthians 13 love.
love is patient.
love it kind.
love always hopes.
it always perseveres.
love never fails.

So I have 8x10 thick, glossy prints which will be for sale for $10 each at our special
"Spring Event" this Friday and I hope that you will swing by to purchase one...for you, for a friend, for a kitchen, a bathroom, for a child's room, a laundry room, or playroom. It will look great framed anywhere! You'll be reminded of God's great love and also how YOU helped by purchasing a HEART FOR HAITI. We'll have LOTS of other beautiful goodies too that you will not want to miss.
*new original collage canvases (small and large ones)
*Happeez Clips I designed for Mayfair Lane
*inspirational embroidered linens I designed for Peking Handicraft (singles available!)
*Orient Expressed Spring Collection
*beautifully sewn gifts from 11 year old, Caroline Gray
and much more!
If you'd like to purchase a HEART FOR HAITI print and can't make it to the show, please email me at carolinesimas@multipleblessings.net.
Take heart!
xoxo,
C

Feb 15, 2010

WORDS



WORDS...
they can bring so much joy, laughter and happiness.
They can bring sadness, hurt and pain.
Isn't it amazing that tiny little letters all smashed together can bring so much good and bad?
I tell my children often and also must remind myself to choose words carefully
because they can be all of those things mentioned above and more.
My husband knows that my love language is "Words of Affirmation." So for Valentine's this year I received the BEST gift ever! Just look at this huge glass container filled with fabulous words of affirmation from my husband, not to mention the words are resting on a pile of my favorite dark chocolate with almonds. Tons of words...funny and sweet...some to make me laugh, some to make me smile, and some to make me cry joy tears.

You see, although I love flowers, diamonds, quality time, acts of service, etc.,
(don't we all?)
this is how I feel loved the most...from his words.
This is not his love language, so I have to make sure I love my man with his love language.
This is helpful info when loving your kids too!
How about you? What feeds your soul? What's your love language?
If you have not read Gary Chapman's 5 Love Languages, I highly recommend reading it.
We read this many years ago and it is something we reference often. He even has a great blog and recently mentioned choosing our words wisely.
And remember the post THINK before you speak???
It's boldly posted in our kitchen right above the daily chore lists.
I need to see this every day.
Psalm 19:4
"May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight,
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."

The kids and I gave David 4 individual silhouettes. So thrilled with these. And the kids loved watching Tim Arnold in action. He's been doing this for years and was in Charlotte so we jumped on the opportunity to have them made. Know we'll treasure them for years.

More snow this weekend so I was able to capture more winter wonder
just outside the front door.

I stepped out onto the front porch Friday night and shot this
looking into the snowy sky through the branches .
Amazing, simply amazing.
Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's weekend
full of your love language.
xoxo,
C

Feb 10, 2010

Valentine's Crafts


Since we've been tucked away inside for winter and with illness we have been able to do some Valentine crafts to keep our minds off of medicine and yucky stuff. My oldest is too old and too cool for Valentine's this year. My 9 year old wanted to do the Fun Dip Valentine's since they do not seem to have Star Wars Valentine's anywhere we shopped. Let me know if I am missing this somewhere!
But the twins wanted to make their own. Of course it costs more to do it this way and takes much longer but they had a blast and it was also good writing practice and fine motor skills practice at the same time. Michael's Craft store had packs of pre-cut white hearts with envelopes and they used these to make their own cards for friends.
Then we made each child in their class a Valentine Heart Shaped Lollipop Flower and a Heart Magnet. Feel free to copy these ideas...I do not own them and frankly I saw them both somewhere but can't remember who to credit. Make them your own and make them cute.
Valentine Letter Magnets:

you'll need
some magazines you don't mind getting cut into pieces
packages of unfinished wooden hearts (Michael's Craft Store)
spray paint (we did hot pink for the girls and blue for the boys)
scissors
glue sticks

#1 I did the spray painting. When they are dry...

Have the list of names from your child's class ready and handy. Talk about the first letters of the names. We also made a list of how many As, how many Ts, etc to make it easier. They were in charge of crossing out the name when they had a name completed.

They decided what to cut and how to cut...
only rule was that it had to fit on the heart.
Then use glue sticks to glue the letter down.
We did not feel the need for additional Mod Podge or sealer but that could probably be added for a glossier finish.

Then add heavy magnetic backing...this is the peel and stick kind.

Aren't they cute?

Now for...
Valentine Heart Shaped Lollipop Flowers:
You'll need a bag of heart shaped lollipops
Solid green scrapbook paper for the leaf petals
Various decorative scrapbook papers
Pencil for tracing half hearts
Hot glue gun
Scissors
Trace half hearts on the different scrapbook papers and let the kids cut them out...
Unfold and hot glue the pre-wrapped lollipop onto the heart background.
Obviously the kids can do most of this but NOT the hot glue!
Cut folded leaf petals for the stem of the lollipop/flower and hot glue them on as well.

Voila! A happy but sick child thrilled to have made her own Valentine treats for her friends.

Lots of cutting but lots of fun and a cute result! Enjoy!
Happy crafting!

P.S. Thanks to ALL of you who have called and e-mailed about Sarah Grace. We saw the doctor today and surgery is scheduled for March 5th. We love the doctor and feel very good about the decision even though I will be a wreck that day, I am sure.
P.S.S. William was hit in the head today with an iron gate when playing with friends and had a huge "goose egg" on his forehead. He is fine too after a few hours of ice...
Whew, what a day! The wild ride four children; still wouldn't trade it for the world.
xoxo,
C

Soup for the sick and for the soul...

Homemade (Kind-Of) Chicken Noodle Soup
You'll see the recipe at the end of the post...
So sorry for the blogging absence. I have missed you. Sweet Sarah Grace and I have been down and out with strep throat. Let me say that strep throat affects adults differently than children and the doctors prepared me for that, or at least they thought they did. I have had flu like symptoms to go right along with it...not fun. But poor Sarah Grace is now having her THIRD, yes, THIRD strep throat in 2 months...bless her sweet heart! This is when you want to switch and take the place of your child and endure her pain. She has enlarged tonsils even when she is well and we have noticed that it's even beginning to affect her speech. Luckily, we have been flooded with EENT recommendations and she'll be seen tomorrow about the possibility of future surgery. Of course I'd rather her not have to have surgery, but I also do not want her to be in constant pain, have trouble sleeping/breathing/eating, become immune to antibiotics, have speech issues, etc. We're just going to pray through this process.

Swallowing water, hot tea, and even coffee hurts so we agreed to make soup today because "mama" finally got out of bed after 2 full days of being hidden in it. Thought I'd share my easiest chicken noodle soup recipe since it's all I could bring myself to accomplish today. It's delicious and every single person in the house loves it. A great winter dinner and the kids had it tonight with a side of grilled cheese. Delish...
I tend to be quite detailed with my design work but not so much in the kitchen. I don't measure too much and don't usually follow recipes exactly, just ask my mother and my sister, the caterer.
Enjoy and let me know your favorites soup recipes sometime. Also posted this recipe in a new collection called Yummy Stuff! on my Flickr photostream. Check it out here! I'll be posting more yumminess there soon.
xoxo,
C
Homemade (Kind-Of) Chicken Noodle Soup
1 large package of wide egg noodles
1 rotisserie chicken (cooked and warm-easy to pull meat off the bones)
3/4 cup give or take shredded carrots (already packaged this way in the grocery!)
1-2 T McCormick's Chicken Base
lots of water (10-12 cups maybe)
salt and pepper to taste
Boil lots of water in a large stock pan. Cook noodles until done.

Add 1-2 T. chicken base...this is the key ingredient! Don't skip it! Can add it before cooking noodles or after.

Pull rotisserie chicken off the bone and shred it in your hands while warm and drop it into the soup.
Stir in chicken an add shredded carrots and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on med to high for 10 minutes and serve to your hungry family!

Tastes extra yummy with some shredded parmesan on top.
Enjoy!

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