Maybe He Speaks Spanish

A few weeks ago I was putting Emma to bed and we were chatting about school and family and life in general.  We started talking about an incident with Finn and suddenly she sprang up and said “Mom, I know!  Maybe Finn speaks Spanish and that’s why we can’t understand him!”  I can’t remember if I laughed out right or was able to hold it in but I assured her he wasn’t speaking Spanish.  This lead to an interesting conversation about our family and our heritage.  We have Scottish and Irish roots with some German and Native American Indian thrown in but I could sense that she was feeling sad because she didn’t have anything that made her “special” like her friends who could speak two languages.   Oh, goodness!  What do you tell this sweet girl who wants to be a princess and live in a castle…  I know, maybe that her ancestors may have been princesses (I don’t really think that’s quite the case which we talked about), lived in castles and talk like Shrek?  Umm, yes, I think that’ll do, Donkey, that’ll do…  In fact, I’ve heard clans on my side of the family were at odds with clans on Jeff’s side of the family.  Doesn’t that just beat all?

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Fast forward to Emma’s class Halloween party.  I made her costume and could tell she felt fabulous in it.  When we got to school we put her costume on and away she and Finn went scurrying into the throng of 20 other kids.  We sang songs, shared treats, participated in a parade of sorts through the school halls, read stories and celebrated a birthday.  And then it happened…  One of the mom’s wanted Emma to sit next to her daughter because “she is so pretty”.  In the moment I helped get Emma’s attention to sit for a photo, etc.  But as the children sat eating their cupcakes and I reflected on what had occurred and it seemed odd to me.  Other such scenarios played in my mind as I thought through why my kids garner so much attention.  I know Emma is one of two “white” kids in her class.  I know we are in one of the most diverse communities in the nation.  And now this community is shaping and changing us in ways I would have never imagined.  Emma doesn’t miss much.  She sees and hears the differences between her and her classmates.

(sigh)

I don’t have a nice bow to put around what I’ve learned from these situations.  I’m struggling to put my finger on what to take to heart, what to stand up for and what to let roll off my back.  My mind is a muddle.  So, I’ll leave you to think and pray with me.  As we walk further and deeper into what and where God is calling us I pray for an open mind and open heart, for stamina to run this new race for which I feel ill-equipped, for wisdom when there are no words to explain and the peace that passes all understanding to prevail in our family.  Amen.

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The Joy of a Finished Project

Hello friends!  Today I get to finally show off a website design I’ve been working on for the last couple of months.  We pretty much stripped the old site completely down and rebuilt from the ground up.

PWD Website before

PWD Website after

As I worked through the design process with Susan of Plantswoman Design we really had to establish the purpose of the website and goals for use.  The old site had lots of information but some of it wasn’t really helpful in describing what Susan does or letting her passion for great design and fabulous plants shine through.  It also took some convincing to leave the earthy color palette for the clean feel of the white/gray/blue/green but we made the jump and I feel like the site breaths well and will age well.  I love the consistent look from page to page and am loving weaving it through out the additional collateral we are working on.

I also enjoyed working with Lowell Sannes of Lowell Sannes Photography on the technical development of the site and the team photo shoot was hilarious at times.

I’d love you all to swing by and take a look.  Let me know what you think!

Fall Decor: Wall Letters

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Fall has officially made it to Chicago. Or at least I think it has but only living here for a whopping month and a half I’m not really sure. It was 80 last week and now it barely hits 70. I think that counts right? Weather aside fall has hit our house. The other day I asked Emma if our house felt like home and she said no. I wasn’t too surprised due to the number of boxes still hiding in many corners but it did give me some insight into her world. She’s been struggling with being left at school and its been breaking my heart. So this inspired me to help Emma, and all of us really, feel more at home in our house. One of my projects were these fall letters. I used a cutting file by Lori Whitlock and cut everything out while Emma enjoyed some much coveted “office time” with me and finished putting them together through out the night. It wasn’t terribly difficult but they aren’t going to last a real long time either being made entirely of paper. I will try to store them and see what happens. In the meantime we will enjoy these letters every time we walk in our door. We are well on our way to feeling at home in our own house.
What helps you feel at home in your house?

Business Cards for My Plant Lady

I’ve been working on some new business card concepts for Plantswoman Design whom I affectionately call my Plant Lady.  We’ve come a long way in the last year and that’s when it all started.  About a year ago Susan approached me because she needed new business cards printed and maybe we could update it a little.  Well, a year, two new logos, a garden show, a move and a website later we are coming back to the business card. We’ve worked really hard to get everything just right and “timeless” (so she doesn’t feel like it needs updated again anytime soon), especially the logo.  With new logo in hand it’s time to start applying it to all of Plantswoman’s business papers and such.

To let you in on what I’ve been working on of late I wanted to share with you some of the design comps we’ve been working through…

This is where I started.  One of color palettes we wanted to play with was an acid green and purple.  Susan wanted some wow factor and I envisioned the purple leaves in this sample letterpress-ed.  My personal favorite is the vertical sample with big fat leaves.  I can imagine the feel of the cotton paper and the leaves pressed into the paper.  Sigh… I love letterpress.  While this design is beautiful Susan wanted a more saturated look.

PWD Bus Card CompsI have to admit I had my doubts about this much color on one little card but I think it works.  The way the green pops on the purple background really surprised me.  We decided to stick with a horizontal orientation to ensure the business logo could be as big as possible (with in reason of course).  These designs struck both of us as a little busy and Susan thought using more leaves might take away from the leaf in the logo.  I can totally see her point so I went back to the drawing board.  We also wanted to try a different color palette.

Bus Card Comps 2This is our most recent round of comps.  How bout that blue, huh?  I don’t have much to say about this round as Susan and I haven’t had the chance to really let the designs sink in yet.  At first my favorite was the top sample with the branches but the bottom sample with the green peony is really starting to grow on me.  I think the peony needs to be a bit bolder and I need to fix the white corner on the upper right but all in all it is quickly becoming my favorite.

RPS Blog - PWD BCSo, what do you think?  Do you have favorites?  I’d love to know what you think so leave a comment below and let’s chat.

Slipping…

I can feel it happening. That lurking unwanted cloud of depression is near and seemingly ready to pounce. Some folks would say this is the end of our “honeymoon” period after moving. The adrenaline is gone and we are left to survey what we’ve gotten ourselves into. The funny thing is I don’t want to go home. I just want to feel at home where I am. Our surroundings are becoming quickly familiar and we are learning the ropes here and it has been a very positive experience. But for the two outgoing introverts that we are our introvert side is starting to yearn for the comfort of personal familiarity.

I wept through church.

I’m so very tired.

But we press on.

Keep in mind this unexpected ton of bricks dropped on me yesterday morning and, after barely making it through church, my response later that afternoon was to create something. An underlying guilt I have carried for the last couple of weeks is my inability to get something together for my mom’s birthday. It was August 31st. I thought about sending her something that was very “Chicago”. Like the famous Chicago popcorn or chocolates from the local chocolate shop that is gaining fame. When I thought about her though the lyrics to David Crowder’s How He Loves Me song kept finding it’s way into my head. I don’t know if you’ve listened to those lyrics closely recently. If you haven’t look them up and read them. They are mind blowing. If they are true, and I believe them to be, we are loved by a truly merciful and gracious God. The lines that get stuck for me are these…

“He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the wind and weight of His mercy…”

Think on that visual for a moment. The God of the universe being jealous for you…

(That leaves me a bit breathless)

Being a tree in a hurricane…

We’ve all seen footage of hurricanes. I’ve been down to New Orleans and witnessed the aftermath of Katrina a couple years after she blew through. What an all consuming love that is. My mind and heart doesn’t know quite what to do with that. I’m privileged to journey with Him and figure it out.
So, what did I create…
(spoiler alert, mom. This will be in the mail to you tomorrow)

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I’ve been writing these words in my sketch book for weeks now trying to find the best treatment for them. Yesterday it came to me and this is the result. I will likely make another to put in my office. I need this reminder. In the midst of everything life throws at us I need to remember this crazy all consuming love that the God of the universe has for me. I need to rest and breath in His presence and peace. I need to believe His plan for me. I need to remember that he sees me. I am not invisible to Him nor are my problems, fears, emotions or personality. And with that I will charge into my week swallowing my doubts and fears and holding on to this simple truth.

“Oh, how He loves me, oh, how He loves me, how he loves me…”

Rodeo Birthday Ideas

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photo by Spaceshipsandlaserbeams.com

Hello friends!  Emma’s birthday is fast approaching.  I recently asked her what type of party she wanted she said “I think a Rodeo Princess party would be fine.”  As I tried to keep the shock out of my voice I said OK and it is time to plan.  Since we moved I’ve been worried we wouldn’t have met very many folks to invite to her party.  It just so happens we have a friend who’s birthday is the 30th (Emma’s is the 24th) and, after talking with his wonderful mom, we just may do their party together!  Emma says it is now a Rodeo Prince and Princess party.  I haven’t checked that with our friends but it might just work…

Here are some of our ideas on Pinterest for your viewing pleasure. While you are there I’d love to have you following along with me as we create this season.

We Have Moved!

Hello friends!  It’s been a loooong time and so much has changed in the last month.  Can you even believe it is September?

Dare I say it?  Four months until Christmas!!!!  Yay!!!  For all you crafty givers out there it is time to start planning and making gifts.  Yayayayaya!  (the Fall season into Christmas has long been my favorite season(s) of all)

But I digress…

I mentioned IMG_4222a lot has changed and it has.  We are officially moved and now residing in Chicago, IL.  We left in early August, made the 2,000 mile drive in nine days, had a pretty good time while we were at it and are now in the process of settling into our new home.  I will have lots to show you in the coming weeks especially around our new home.  It’s been a while since we’ve moved anywhere and the new creative promise of our new place makes me a little giddy.  Among the many positives we have experienced one of my personal favorites is that I actually have an office now.  No joke, a bonafide office.  Technically I share it with my student husband but as you crafters out their know “share an office space” isn’t really in our vocabulary…  Don’t get me wrong, we really do love sharing but craft supplies and their owner really do have a mind of their own.  As I unpacked yet another box of crafty goodness I mentioned to my dear husband that I didn’t know where I was going to put all of my fabric.  He simply looked at me and said “this isn’t really going to be “our” office, is it?”  Sigh…  I’m sorry dear, no it isn’t.  He’s been a good sport about it.  Now that I’m working from home permanently I do need the space and a door to keep little hands out of the goodies.

I am excited for the projects that come out of this little office.  I hope you stay tuned and join in the fun!