Category Archives: Art for the Home

Daily Goals for Momma Printable FREEBIE!

I live with many, many little people. I LOVE it, and most days I truly feel like the wealthiest woman in the world. And then there are the days that are long, stretching, exhausting, and emotional. It can be challenging balancing the needs — physical, emotional, and spiritual — of our little tribe with the needs of the house & to-do lists. Too easily I see my most successful accomplishments as what I have finished & gotten through. If I have the tidiest house, with all the socks arranged, and toys put away, but have bulldozed little hearts in the process, I have built a well-organized museum, not a refuge; if I make all the meals, healthy and homemade, but have served them with grumpiness and resentment, I have given them a cafeteria to eat in, not a table to feast at; and if I cross the finish line of the day with my list checked off, yet have not loved the souls that fill the house I’m so desperately trying to maintain, I have accomplished nothing of real value.

I made three different “Daily Goals for Momma” — I need to help myself keep the main things, the main things. I want to remember the good portion.

If you feel like you’d like some daily goals for Momma — here is a free printable in two different versions. This is the first one I handlettered, made after an earlier version I drew up two years ago.

Click the link below each picture to download an 8×10 PDF file you can print & enjoy! Print several more to pass along to your momma friends! All I ask is that you do not sell this print, in physical or digital form.

 

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Pink Watercolor Daily Goals for Momma PDF

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Daily Goals for Momma PDF

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The other two versions (last picture) will be available in my Etsy shop later this week!

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Have Courage & Be Kind Free Printable

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A sweet friend asked if I would hand-letter the lovely sentiment from the latest Cinderella movie. I have yet to see the movie, but I read two interesting articles about it,so I am looking forward to seeing it sometime. : )

I couldn’t decide which way I wanted it, so there’s a choice of four! downloadable printables. Each PDF has a 4×6 & 6×6 you can print & cut. I plan on sticking some into shop purchases as a little thank-you.

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Click to download: blue foil | pink foil | watercolor | blue glitter

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My favorite is the faux blue glitter!

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Be Available! Peptalk Free Printable

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This little peptalk — “be available” — has kept resurfacing over and over in my life the past few weeks. For Anna’s school, we read a few chapters (from this book) about others who were “available” and therefore able to do what needed to be done because they were willing.

This struck a chord for me in my own life. I can be very task-oriented. I can feel the pressure of limited time and a long, long list of things to do– and in an effort to be efficient and quick, I can be a little bit of a tornado of productivity. : ) Not necessarily in a good way: those sweet little souls of mine can quickly become interruptions right in my path. Don’t we often view people that way, in general? You’re a speed bump slowing me down. Your personal life story is taking too long to tell. You’re taking too long to walk to your car. You’re too slow to pay. Just make up your mind! I have too much to do to listen, help, go out of my way…

I met with a (newish) friend this week, also a mother of many little people. She challenged me think through piling too much on myself in the “crunch” moments — those frantic, everyone’s-fussy-and-needy moments when, for whatever reason,  I also decide to do three things at once! I am not available then, when they need me the most.

I want to be available — to spend ten minutes playing dollhouse, to watch a new dance move, to wrestle with drooly & growly twins,  to see “something amazing!” outside that the girls have discovered — with a joyful, peaceful soul! I mean, aren’t all of these — the things drawing me away from my “tasks” — meaningful, beautiful, and important? Aren’t these what really make up “life”?

After meeting with my friend, I was reminded of two C.S. Lewis quotes. Maybe I need to handletter these, too, as a reminder to me!

“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life — the life God is sending one day by day.”

and

“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.”

Maybe you’re caught in a fast-paced race of productivity but not availability, too?

You can download & print this little reminder, then. : ) 4×6 & 6×6 in one PDF.

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Be Available Watercolor PDF

(I have Staples print mine on 110-lb full-color cardstock… it looks lovely!)

(Next week, another printable!! –> think Cinderella…)

Finish strong! Peptalk Free Printable

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In college, during the weeks leading up to finals, I used to tell myself and write out the phrase “Finish strong!” because man, after four months of classes, papers, and projects, I was ready to coast. I needed to dig in and finish the work, the studying, the memorizing, the reviewing.

Now, years later, I found myself last week giving myself a peptalk: Finish strong! For some reason, I had planned & told Anna we would do “Prairie School” the last ten days of our school year… reading, crafts, recipes and activities centered around the “Little House” series that Rust has been reading to Anna throughout our school year. What was I thinking?! I am SO ready for school to be over! Our normal homeschool curriculum offers daily plans which I LOVE, so the thought of planning 10 days of read-alouds, activities, crafts, and pioneer recipes right when I was ready to finish our school year… I was DONE! Haha. So I needed this reminder last week as I was prepping for this week and the next.

I thought maybe someone else may need a little peptalk to carry them to the end of the school year, too. : )

If you would like to download my “Finish Strong” print in watercolor (like above) or black & white (below), here are the links! Each PDF has a 6×6 and a 4×6 print you can print.

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Finish Strong – Watercolor

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Finish Strong – Black & White

Valentine’s Decorations

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Other than some chalkboard verses hanging on the wall, we have never decorated for Valentine’s Day. This year, though, my oldest (she’s 6 1/2) wanted a few decorations.

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So I pulled out a simple paper + doily banner from a few years ago, some lovely Valentine’s artwork our favorite babysitter made with the girls last year…

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…and wrote out one of my favorite phrases from one of our favorite children’s Bible, the Jesus Storybook Bible…

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We’ve been reading the book of Matthew from The Message & stories from The Jesus Storybook Bible during our lunch — it has become a great time to slow down, listen, and chat over what we’ve read.

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Annalou was pretty satisfied with our very simple Vday display!

 

A 2014 {Crafty} Year-in-Review

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This post kicks off my attempt to blog at least a little more regularly. I really do love writing & sharing house/crafty/minibook/life stuff!

A few months ago I did a post on “one year in” our 1980’s house, which did a pretty good job summing up our past year. Which really was: twin pregnancy. premature birth. NICU stay. adjusting to life with 5 under 5. And that was most of it. We could not keep up with social commitments. We let a lot of good things go. The months leading up to the arrival + the arrival of our precious, wonderful little loves turned the rhythm & flow of our whole life upside-down, in the best way possible. : ) Adding souls to love & nourish & pour into a family is one of the greatest reasons to have your “life interrupted,” and I mean that with all my heart.

Rewinding to 2013, it was a highly active, inspired year for me as far as minibooks went… I tried four new minibook styles (as I had intended in my 2013 memory-keeping goals) and made over 20 minibooks, some of which I hope to blog about in my attempt to “catch up” to blogging…

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2013 Minibooks

 

Pregnancy & nausea & finishing our first year of homeschooling & settling into a new home slowed down the minibook-making early in 2014… it wasn’t until I started feeling better in March/April that I caught up on some minibooks…

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…then after the twins arrived, I managed to do a few simple minibooks for the girls during the late summer. Then living with very little sleep for several months caught up to me, and my creativity & motivation & inspiration went dormant until December.  : )

2014 minibooks

 

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Sporadic crafting in 2014 happened in & around the upheaval of pregnancy nausea, a vast amount of doctor appointments, trips to hospitals, homeschooling, trying to be mentally present with the girls, NICU stay, and that post-baby zombie stage (which some days I still feel like I am kind of in!). And blogging kind of never happened. : )

Mostly, I practiced hand-lettering with colored pencils, or watercolors, or chalk, with a few random easy-peasy artsy projects mixed in…

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And one of the most rewarding feelings: finally putting stuff on the walls of our house, adding a little bit of personalization to make it more of our home. : ) I hope to “catch up” with all the unwritten or partially written posts!

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What kind of crafty year was 2014 for you?

Thanksgiving Rewind: Last Year’s Grateful Leaves + Chalk Verse

 

Last year for the month of November, we focused on one particular ‘thanksgiving’ passage (1 Chronicles 29:10,11,13) & as we learned about the verse, we also thanked God for all His blessings & recorded them on paper leaves…

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PicMonkey Collage

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Looking at these pictures makes me really miss our large chalkboard! We have been in our home three months (today!) and there is NOTHING on the walls! I just don’t want to add anything to the walls before we’ve painted. So our house is pretty bare right now!

Tomorrow I will show what we’ve done with our grateful leaves this year at our new house!

Musings No. 2: Art through the Sorrow

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What to do with all the hurt & loss & brokenness & sorrow going on all around? Sometimes it is in our own life; and other times — to watch those for whom we love & care pass through their own difficult circumstances or loss.

I tend to always try to work through my thoughts & feelings with, aside from writing/journaling, art. A quote, a verse, a phrase, a song… what latches onto my heart as I process & sort all the messy emotions & thoughts that come with heartache or pain or loss.

Here is some art I’ve done in the last 6 months, as I have watched others experience their own heartache & loss, and feel so helpless…

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{these words were written by Daisy’s mom, after her daughter passed away…her words kept getting stuck in my head {not a bad thing!!} until I wrote them out.}

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{I now love this song.}

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from Andrew Peterson’s Carry the Fire.

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{My favorite quote from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.}

Cate’s Wall

Cate’s room was first Noelle’s room, and once we moved Noelle in with Anna before Cate was born, I did nothing to personalize it for the arrival of the littlest sister. It’s funny when inspiration strikes. In this case, it was right after  Cate’s first birthday. Here is the beginnings of a little gallery wall in her room. It’s not perfect yet, but it’s a start, and I really enjoy it!

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In my opinion, the star of the show is this painting…

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This beautiful painting is a reproduction of Degas’ Dancer in Front of a Window. This painting is not only beautiful, it is so special to me because my dad painted it for Cate for her first birthday. What a treasure! {He also painted something for Anna and for Noelle, but I’ll show those once I spruce up their room!}

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I love it, Dad. Just beautiful.

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Heeh! Those are some of my favorite pictures of dear Noellie. I need to switch ’em out!

The framed text was given to me at a shower for Noelle. It is a lovely, lovely quote by Elizabeth Prentiss (one of my favorite authors, whom Cate’s middle name is taken from!). I’ll share the full quote from Stepping Heavenward, since the context is what makes the quote all the more striking. It reads:

“She says I shall now have one mouth the more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music, and drawing.

Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other. Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which it dwells is worth all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ’s name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother’s heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!”

Here is the Nursing Chair, which has been my second home this past year, ha! We need to move it back down to the living room soon!

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And then I like this corner above the changing table… three black & white portraits of all three girls, between 4-6 months.

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Good Friday Watercolors

I’ve been working on these little watercolors this week, trying to set my heart on things above & focus focus focus on how the first Easter changed everything.

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One way that I’ve found helpful for hiding Scripture or God’s truths in my heart is through writing it out — whether hand-lettering, making art, tucking it into a mini, sketching, chalkboard art, and, now, watercoloring. How I love this new way!

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My sweet momma gave the girls Crayola watercolor pencils. Anna tried it for a second, decided she liked traditional watercolor paints better, and I happily (happily!) confiscated the pencils for my own uses. : )  I am so much better at sketching with a pencil than with paintbrushes, and there is something so incredibly soothing about going back over my lines with a water + paintbrush. I’ve watercolored during naptimes, chatting with Rust after the girls are in bed, or even while the girls are sitting around our table, working on their own artsy projects.

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John 11:24 & Romans 5:2 are the two verses this Easter that have caught & held my attention…

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“Where do you see the glory? Mainly in the gospel story of Christ’s life and death and resurrection for us sinners. When the story is told and the gospel is preached, what shines out from it, Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:4, is “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” The gospel is the “gospel of the glory of Christ.” And this glorious Christ is “the image of God.” So the glory of Christ that we see in the gospel story of his life and death and resurrection is the glory of God. God stands forth from the history of his Son’s life and from the preaching of this greatest story in history. His glory shines through the gospel.” – John Piper, from Let us Exult in the Hope of the Glory of God!

Hoping to find time later on to watercolor part of this song that’s been stuck in my head…

 

O Praise the One Who paid my debt

and raised this life up from the dead!

Happy Easter!