Jan 31, 2011

engagement bliss...

Know any newly engaged couples?
Here's a sneak peek at the  Multiple Blessings'engagement designs for 
They should be up on their site soon!
It was such fun painting these and a big thanks to my graphic guru Tracey
for all of her expertise formatting. Could not do all I do without her...
All images ©Caroline Simas
All images ©Caroline Simas
All images ©Caroline Simas
All images ©Caroline Simas
All images ©Caroline Simas

yes, I am going to ask you again...
which one is your favorite???
Lately I just want to pinch myself 
because I am so fortunate to design for such happy occasions.
Big news to share soon...stay tuned!
In the meantime, remember that 
Multiple Blessing's Valentine designs are still on sale 
and you can find them best 
from this post.
xoxo,
Caroline

Jan 30, 2011

Tigers, Clowns, and Elephants...oh my!

I had the best time chaperoning the Kindergarten field trip to the circus on Friday!
Yep, THIS one!
It's been a while since I rode on a school bus!
Here's the set of all of our circus photos.
Fun for all ages!
And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sweeeeeeeet sister
I love you so much and think you are a fabulous mom 
and talented chef!
I wish it was summer again and we were on the beach together!
and HAPPY BIRTHDAY also to my dear friend and incredibly talented designer
Can't wait to be in NYC again with you for Surtex!
Happy almost February everyone...
Have a glorious start to your week!
xoxo,
Caroline



Jan 27, 2011

planning ahead

Today I was contacted by other moms about planning for summer camps and activities. 
Can it be so?
We've been so consumed by winter and jack frost, it's difficult to think ahead to summer.
Planning ahead too for Surtex and painting new designs. 
I am incredibly happy when I am immersed in my watercolors
especially with music like this on the background.
And I have been thinking a lot about these sweet letters I received this week. 
The 4th graders I spoke to last week about my job as a licensed artist 
wrote the kindest letters to me.
They were all wonderful but here are two that stood out...
They asked such poignant questions that day 
and I was so impressed with their insights and maturity.
Love that!
I told them they are not too young to begin exploring 
and trying to figure out their passions and talents.
This is posted in my studio and I read it every single day.
What's your God-given talent and what's your passion?
Happy, happy weekend!
xoxo,
Caroline

P.S. Remember to pop over to FABO and check out all of the new art
while you sip on delicious coffee!

Jan 26, 2011

GPS, God, & Recalculating

Do you have one of these?

It's a GPS....
so many brands but Garmin describes it well:
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS was originally intended for military applications, but in the 1980s, the government made the system available for civilian use. GPS works in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day. There are no subscription fees or setup charges to use GPS.

So, last Sunday our pastor's sermon focused on this little device.
His message really spoke to me and wouldn't you know it, 
it also tied right in to our Bible Study today. 
I have a few thoughts from what I learned
 and hope you too might have a new perspective 
when you see and hear your little gadget after reading this.

You likely have a GPS too and what does it say to you when you are lost?
RECALCULATING ROUTE!
This global positioning system watches over us and helps us 
when we make a wrong turn and when we're headed in the wrong direction. 
Sound familiar?
When we make wrong turns in life
we often rely on ourselves to try and find the best route. 
We ignore the command.
We think we know better than God. 
 We think we are in control and know which path to take.
It's not in our nature to follow Christ.
In our sinful nature, we are driven to want to do it our way.
So when life happens...
a lost job, a diagnosis, a car accident, a death in the family,
when we feel the most lost,
do we try and figure our way out or do we rely on God, 
the best GPS for us who loves us unconditionally and wants to lead us in the best direction. 
When we make poor choices,
when we willingly defy God,
He tells us like the GPS...
when possible make a U-Turn.
Repent.
Repent literally means to "turn around."
God wants us to get back on track, heading to our best destination.
I think it's nice of the GPS to recalculate for us. 
We ignore the command and it basically says,
"That's ok, I'll work with you here. Wait a minute and I'll figure out where you should go next. 
Hang tight...I'll figure this out for you."
hmmm....sound familiar again?
I wish God would speak to us that clearly though....
"You need to take a left in exactly 200 feet."
"You should take this job, marry this person, volunteer your talent in this way."
That would certainly be helpful, but even if He did, 
we'd be prone to ignore His commands then too.
When we choose to follow Christ,
we are called to "RECALCULATE"
leaving our wrong direction (we have free will)
and choose His better way.
We have free will so we must recalculate often....a continual conversion.
So thanks be to God for his love and grace and mercy 
and for helping us to constantly recalculate our lives.
I am recalculating a bit here this week and you will too.
Would love to hear your thoughts on GPS, God, & Recalculating.
Blessings your way,
Caroline

Jan 25, 2011

art therapy

Creating new and original art is therapy for me. 
I love it like my husband loves playing golf at dusk. 
It feeds my soul especially when I incorporate scripture and words 
which inspire me and "speak to me." 
Hopefully they inspire those who see them and those who become new owners of my pieces.
Because they are made by hand, they are made with love and intention. 
Recently it dawned on me that it would be great to pray for the folks 
who will one day hang these in their homes. 
I am a bit of a forward thinker I guess, 
because I've been praying for our children's future spouses since they were born.
Each of my patterned papers are torn by hand so no two are the same. 


this apple collage sure would be a fabulous teacher gift!
You can find these now at FABO on Selwyn Avenue.
Stop in for coffee, pastries and a fabulous art selection!
Speaking of art therapy...I posted this several months ago...do you remember?
Art I Want You
Can you tell me which one of the latest collages 
is your favorite and why?
xoxo,
Caroline

Jan 24, 2011

mini journals at Office Max

Recently found out that Carolina Pad produced a set of two mini journals with one of my butterfly designs and they have been placed in Office Max stores. 
They are on an end cap and come shrink wrapped with this one on the front 
and this solid pink one on the back. 
They each have an elastic that holds the journal together and comes filled with 80 lined sheets.
They are calling it the Blessings Collection and the set retails for $6.99.
Let me know if you see them in your local Office Max!
Blessings,
Caroline

Jan 23, 2011

Killing off "SUPERMOM"

I thought this was hilarious and am quite certain so many of us can relate to this!
A friend sent it to me and I had to share...
KILLING OFF SUPERMOM
by Lisa Quinn
Lisa Quinn is a recovering Martha-holic, Emmy Award winning TV host, mother of two and the author of "Life's Too Short To Fold Fitted Sheets; Your Ultimate Guide to Domestic Liberation"




I'll be honest with you. In my house, the beds are rarely made unless someone is coming to visit. Sometimes I yell. My closet is a disaster and I feel guilty that I work too much. My kids watch more TV than they should. And I simply cannot afford to go all organic right now. There is a sticky shelf in my refrigerator that I keep hoping will evaporate on its own, and this morning I had to send my son off to camp with a PB&J made with frozen waffles because I forgot to buy bread. I'm not perfect. There, I said it.

Bye Bye Supermom

This whole supermom thing has become cliché, and frankly, I'm getting too old for it. It was a fascinating social experiment, watching the women's movement evolve from "you can have it all" to "you need to do it all (and do it all perfectly)". No, you can't. I'm calling B.S. Show me a woman who can do it all, and I'll show you a woman who has hired help (and something to prove). Supermom, as a subspecies, has outlived her usefulness. It is time for her to go.

Perfection Doesn't Exist

Here's the thing: Perfection doesn't exist. Perfectionism is purely a mental, alienating, and unnatural state. It causes judgment and makes people feel bad. How can that be "a good thing"? We kid ourselves (and do a disservice to our kids) by thinking anything will ever be perfect. Everyone struggles at some point in life. It is our duty as moms to make sure our kids know that, and are prepared for the hurdles life is bound to throw them. Supermom may have the best-dressed, most mild-mannered, educated children ever, but mine know how to make their lunch, dress a wound, and pick a lock. Who's laughing now?

Picture Perfect

Just the other day, I was on a plane and saw Gwyneth Paltrow in this month's Vogue. She's striking a glamorous pose in her kitchen, preparing "easy!" locally grown, organic, vegan, after school snacks in an $865 Michael Kors crepe flounce skirt and 7-inch Louboutins. Her hair looks amazing, and there are a few toys tossed about (but not a kid to be found). Really Gwyneth? Is this how we're going to play? I didn't look that elegant at my wedding, dammit. Thanks for making me feel bad.

Celebrating the Imperfect Mom

I get it; it's Vogue. I would like to publish my own magazine called, "Half-Assed". It would celebrate the imperfect mom - the renegade who can make an impromptu gift bag out of a Happy Meal box on the way to the party. The mom who believes if somebody made it, then it's homemade. Need a cave-man costume for school - TODAY? Our gal's got a pair of scissors, a sharpie, and paper grocery bag at the ready.

I Used to Be One

One last confession: I used to be a Supermom (well, I tried really hard). I used to throw these crazy Dios de los Muertos parties every year. It was what I lived for. Very much like the Olympics, preparations began far in advance, and I was a total mess the whole time. It took a fairly serious party injury for me to realize that maybe I was in over my head. The day of the party had arrived. A 185 of our closest friends would be showing up at my doorstep any minute. As usual, I was determined to make sure every last one of them would be thoroughly impressed and amazed by my domestic superiority. I'd spent weeks pouring over every detail, and it was finally coming together. Freshly squeezed lime juice and crushed mint for the mojitos? Check. Authentic Oaxacan festival masks hung on the foyer staircase with care? Check. Homicidal threats made to any child who might decide to trash their room? Check.

The Eye-Opening Incident

As I glanced at my reflection just moments before the first guests were to arrive, I noticed a tiny smudge at the very top of the bathroom mirror. Initially, I tried to ignore it, but it eventually wore me down. "Martha Stewart would never host a party with a smudge on her mirror" echoed through my head. So, I ever-so-gently scaled the bathroom countertop, in my heels, and stood on stretched tiptoe to remove the offending smudge. That's when I slipped. My big toe broke the fall by breaking itself. It was at that very moment, as I lay on the floor, crying in pain, that I looked up and saw that I'd only made the smudge worse…

The Time of My Life

My toe swelled up like a baby eggplant, and I ended up hobbling around in Crocs all night like. I couldn't run around making sure everyone's drink was full, I couldn't bus the tables, and I couldn't assemble those cute little sugar skull TO GO packages I was famous for. And you know what? It was the best party I ever threw. I got to sit down and be with my family and friends. I've learned over the years to actively participate in my life; not to just cater it from the sidelines.

Time to Redefine

It's time to redefine what being a good wife, mom, hostess, and human being means. I don't want my kids growing up with memories of how clean the house always was. I want them to remember the fun and the love. Who cares what anybody else thinks? You want to make memories in your home. And sometimes when you're making memories, you're making a mess. Embrace the chaos. While news of her death may be premature, Supermom is on life support. Maybe it's time to pull the plug.
Would love to hear your thoughts on
KILLING OFF SUPERMOM.
Can you relate? I can!
xoxo,
Caroline

Jan 19, 2011

new originals at FABO!

Tonight I took my sweet 10 year old on a date to FABO....we had a ball.
They had a special event for artists who donated pieces for ART WITH HEART
My painting, Modern Blooms will be part of that event on February 5th 
here in Charlotte at Founder's Hall. 
There are so many fabulous pieces of art and it's for a wonderful cause, 
so I hope you'll consider attending this special event. 
It was a great end to the day because I was asked by the elementary school art teacher to come give a presentation to the fourth graders about my career as a licensed artist. 
It was such fun to talk to them about what they are passionate about, 
what their talents are, and perseverance. 
They asked great questions and were amazed to learn 
that you can get paid to paint and have companies place your art on their products.
I enjoyed seeing sparkles in their eyes and loved hearing their stories of products they'd like to invent.
Nothing like a child's imagination!
Back to FABO...
All but one of my collages and paintings have sold at there 
and they've been calling begging for more.
Certainly pop over to FABO for coffee this week and check out my newest collages.
This is a very interesting mixed media using my patterned paper, 
a Charlotte map, and twigs from my yard wrapped in gold wire.

a new elegant FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT PEAR collage
on chocolate brown with a real stem
12x12
and this is JOYFUL FLOWER 
on hot pink
perfect for a girl's bedroom
4x12
and what do you think about 
NORTH CAROLINA
4x12
and BLESS OTHERS
8x8
Which one do you like the best???
xoxo,
Caroline

Jan 18, 2011

409 and Family Minute!

Have you ever heard about Family Minute?
My husband is the one who told me about the FAMILY MINUTE e-mails.
He subscribes to the ALL PRO DAD ones...
they have iMOM site too with all sorts of tips and encouraging topics.
The following is one of my favorites:

What does Formula 409 have to do with life?
The cleaning product, Formula 409 didn't get its name from the area code where it was developed. 
And it's not the birth date of the creator's daughter. 
Formula 409 got its name from perseverance. 
The two persistent scientists didn’t get the formula right on the 101st, 
or even the 401st try. 
Only when they created the 409th formula were they satisfied that they’d created the ultimate cleaner. 
Perseverance pays off in life.  
Haven’t found the right ingredients for a joyful marriage?  
Persevere.  
Does your child want to quit the team?  
Persevere.  
Is your job—or lack of one—bringing you down?  
Persevere. 
Don’t give up or give in.  
Perseverance learned early will benefit your child for a lifetime, so here are 
10 Things to Consider Before Letting Your Children Quit

I have been told "no" many times and even remember early on 
when I was turned away for licensing opportunities.  
I think being told "no" makes us persevere even more and makes us stronger 
and more willing to give our best and succeed. 
There are so many lessons in failing too,
 and if we can see them as growth opportunities rather than failures 
then we'll be better for it. 
Any thoughts on this? 
Any personal stories of perseverance? 
xoxo, 
Caroline

Jan 17, 2011

LOVE is in the air!

LOVE is in the air...over at Tiny Prints!
My Valentine designs recently launched over on the Tiny Prints website.
Shoot Cupid's arrow right over for a visit.
They are on sale too!
Soon, love will not only be just in the air,
love will be in the mail!
Remember you can change any of the text to make it your own!
Your own Valentine from your child to their friends
or from your family...
or make it an invitation to a Valentine gathering...
You could choose
MENDED HEART here

CUPCAKE CRAFT here

GARDEN PATH here

HOMEY HEARTS here

LOVEABLE LOLLIPOP here

or
MY HEART'S DELIGHT


What's your favorite???
Anxious to hear...let me know!
all my love to you sweet
DESIGNING FOR THE SOUL readers
xoxo,
Caroline

Jan 16, 2011

Amazing Atlanta...

It was another amazing Atlanta trip and I always come back inspired with new design ideas 
and excited to design for new and current companies.
Our view from our hotel room...
Special mother/daughter/sister time...
Amazing dinners at Atlanta Fish Market, Bluepoint and Buckhead Diner this year!
They are all part of the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group.



and our awesome driver, Felix!
My sister lives in a small town and rarely gets to shop 
so she loves the market, especially the cash and carry jewelry!
 her new needlepoint cowgirl boots!
 a few treats for me, yea!


the Wellspring showroom with the Possibilities collection launch on 
Flip Notes, pencil pads, boxed notes, pill boxes and sticky blocks.
Love working with the great folks at Wellspring,
 and I was calm until they created a live video introducing the collection. 
they created these huge box displays showcasing the Flip Notes...
so colorful and bright!
 the Peking Handicraft Showroom featuring many of Trina Turk's latest colorful designs!
I LOOOOOVE THIS ROOM!
Here, I am with David from Coasterstone...
We're going to be doing more designs soon so stay tuned.

In the Tervis showroom celebrating their 65th birthday!
Here I am with PHIL-UP (Fill-Up) their new mascot
holding my Love the Earth tumbler!
I have 2 charm designs that launched with Manual...
and the Grace Bits and Christmas Bits were there too...
my sweet friend Kim in the Lifeguard Press showroom...
lunch with the very talented Megan Halsey
and we missed our mutual friend Sharyn so very much!
Lots of walking, lots of meetings, lots of fun!
So blessed to be a part of it all and full of gratitude for new opportunities. 
My head and heart are full too, and I am ready to create all that's inspired me from this fabulous trip.
Missed you all while I was away.
Have a blessed beginning of the week!
xoxo,
Caroline

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