A Very Crafty Afternoon

Last Saturday, I headed down to Akron with my mom to enjoy an afternoon of browsing at the 5th annual Crafty Mart.




We lunched at Urban Eats Cafe, which is attached to the Crafty Mart venue at Musica. (I ate probably the best sandwich of my life: a pumpkin waffle panini! It was topped with thin apple slices, honey, fresh sage, bacon, and spinach leaves. Oh.My.Goodness. Seriously, SO GOOD!



Don’t you just love all the festive twinkly lights in this cafe? I could have stayed in this cozy space for hours with my journal, a few good books, and a very  large cup of coffee! ;)


I came home with a blue spruce candle from Burning River Candle company and spent quite a bit of time swooning over the beautiful twig earrings made by Liza Michelle Jewelry. On my wish list for sure! My candle came in an upcycled glass bottle, too. How fun is that?!

I love supporting local artists and events like this. No matter where you live, there’s bound to be a few local gems to frequent. So, plan a Saturday date to explore! I fall in love with my city and the surrounding areas a little more after each adventure.

And speaking of adventures, I need to head out for a little coffee shop adventuring this afternoon. I’ve got a freelance project to begin and a whole stack of Lara Casey PowerSheets that are calling my name.

Happy Saturday and Happy Adventuring, friends! :)

29 Things

{ photo credits from left to right, top to bottom: 1. mosaic by Designlovefest 2. Elizabeth Kartchner 3. A Beautiful Mess; photo collage design by me }

I’m about to begin the last year of my twenties (eeek!). And I have a pretty ambitious 29 Things list! ;) But I really want to embrace this year. I feel like I’m at such a good place right now…confident in the direction I’m heading, in the prayers I’m praying, and the growth I’m seeing.

I want to keep being brave and bold in my pursuit of the Lord and in my pursuit of becoming even more of the woman He created me to be.

Now…on to the list! ;)

  1. Write, design, and publish my eBook.
  2. Be an active participant of She Reads Truth.
  3. Begin each day in prayer (on my knees). Pray for increased faith every day.
  4. Continue to pray boldly. Commit to another 40 days of prayer.
  5. Read Kate Morton’s new book, The Secret Keeper.
  6. Visit a dear friend in California.
  7. Eat brunch at a local French cafe.
  8. Take my artwork to the local coffee shop who said they’d be interested in displaying/selling it.
  9. Start doing more hand lettering.
  10. Attend a creative conference like Luminous or Alt Summit. Take a Blogshop class.
  11. Purchase vintage-inspired specs.
  12. Read Blog, Inc.
  13. Further develop my brand: Create a media kit for my blog, and pursue some new partnerships/opportunities/collaborations.
  14. Pitch my writing/artwork to a few publications I’ve been dreaming to work with.
  15. Start using the manual settings on my camera.
  16. Learn how to shoot and edit video for my blog.
  17. Save for and invest in a new laptop.
  18. Be more involved in the local art/design/writing community.
  19. Attend Weapons of Mass Creation again. Go to more sessions. Hear more music.
  20. Participate in a 5K like this one.
  21. Wear polka-dotted pants.
  22. Serve the local community with my church through art/creativity.
  23. Learn how to create in Illustrator.
  24. Eat fewer processed foods and more fresh in-season foods.
  25. Try at least one new recipe every month.
  26. Watch the first season of Mad Men—AND finally host that Mad-Men-inspired soiree?
  27. Explore my city more — visit one new place (restaurant/shop/area) every season—and take plenty of pictures/videos of my adventures for the blog! ;)
  28. Go on a fall picnic (with hot apple cider, of course!).
  29. See more live music shows! (Fingers crossed The Civil Wars will come back to the area!)

Lots of creating to come in this next year (and lots of travel, too!). :)

I’m excited to see all God has in store, and I’m excited to continue learning and growing even stronger in my walk with Him.

I want to live this life as fully and creatively as I can, giving thanks for each and every beautiful blessing. 

Setting Creative Goals

I love to set goals, and I love making lists, so it’s no wonder I like to dream up new creative goals often. A list of motivating goals helps keep my creative life feeling fresh and pushes me to keep growing and learning.

Because setting goals can be so encouraging and rewarding, I thought I’d share a few of the things I do/think about when making my own lists. I hope after reading this, you’re encouraged to set some new goals of your own!

Make it fun. I love to journal, so I’m constantly using my various journals as a place to keep track of dreams and ideas. This is great, because I can record new ideas constantly and quickly (I always have one of my journals at hand), but sometimes, I like to do things that make the process feel special and inspired. I might enjoy a favorite treat while writing and dreaming (like a latte, mug of cider, or some dark chocolate), or I might get out of the house and go somewhere beautiful (like a park).

Pray. This is something I do all throughout my goal-setting process. I ask for inspiration and direction, as I set goals, and I ask God to bless my creative efforts and use them for His glory, as I pursue those goals. I’m so thankful for the creative heart I’ve been blessed with, and praying through my goals and creative dreams is such a beautiful part of my relationship with the Lord.

Be stretched. Don’t be afraid to set goals that scare you a little bit. Goals should push you to try and learn new things, as well as help you refine the skill set you already have. As a creative, I began as a writer, but over the years, I’ve explored collage making, designing, and photography. I’ve discovered so many new things I love to do, and it’s all because I took risks and set goals to try things I’d never done before.

Be flexible. Know that it’s okay to change your mind about certain goals. When I write my 20-something lists (I’ve done 27 Things and 28 Things), I always accept that I probably won’t do every single thing on the list. I also accept that there are probably a few things I haven’t even thought of yet that I’ll decide to do at some point during the year. It’s okay to add/adapt/remove/replace goals. ;)

* Celebrate! I love my 20-something lists, because they allow me to track my goal-setting and pursuing. When I write my recaps at the end of the year, I’m able to see how my goals shaped me. I definitely recommend recording and celebrating your creative adventures in some way, whether it’s through journaling, blogging, Instagramming, whatever! You’ll be so encouraged to see your progress, and your journey might even inspire some new goals!

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead — start dreaming + goal-setting!

(P.S. If you liked this post, stay tuned, because this a little teaser of the kind of content you’ll find in my eBook!)

Hello, July (And Happy Fourth!)

So far, in July, there’s been plenty of time spent outside (reading, praying, taking walks, art journaling). There’s been a lot of quiet time—God’s really been working in this little heart of mine, and I know that my faith will look a little different by the time fall arrives. Growth and change is good.

* * *

Today, I can’t wait to relax with family. After being crazy busy the last few months, I’m looking forward to a low-key day.

Have a blessed Fourth, everyone! :)

Giving Thanks 6.19.12

This week, my heart is thankful for:

Summer salads piled high with fresh fruits and veggies (last night’s included fresh banana slices, raspberries, blueberries, and raspberry vinaigrette)
Timely words and encouragement from sweet friends
The promise that those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength
Refreshing rainstorms
Morning sunshine
Thrift store art journaling finds

What about you? What’s making you smile this week? :)

Quotable: Make what you WISH existed.

I’m currently in the process of developing some new creative projects, so I’m thinking a lot about this great reminder from Work is Not a Job. I’m only in the brainstorming phase right now, but I think it’s so important to create from the heart and to create what reflects your own unique vision. It reminds me of one of the great quotes I heard at Weapons of Mass Creation:  “Your work comes from a deeper place; you have to define it for yourself and to the world.”

I look forward to sharing more about these projects soon!

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Summertime Inspiration: A Visual List

I’ve been collecting ideas and inspiration for the summertime, and I thought it would be fun to share some of them here. It’s been quite a while since I wrote an inspirations post!

{ photo via Christine Mason Miller }

This summer, I want to embrace the mystery of the unknown, trusting God and growing in my faith.

{ photo via Elsie and Emma at A Beautiful Mess }

This summer, I want to make sweet treats like these ice cream sauces (red wine + chocolate and sea salt + honey).

{ photo via Elsie and Emma at A Beautiful Mess }

{ photo via Kara at I Just Might Explode }

This summer, I want to take Kara’s Summer of Love art journaling course, so I can capture every adventure, every new risk taken, all the ways I change and grow.

{ photo via Hannah at Cave in the Clouds }

{ gorgeous painting by Christopher Stott }

This summer, I want to go on antiquing adventures, write stories, snap photos, make art, pay attention, live in the moment, stay inspired, live and pray boldly—and give thanks always.

Oh, and do everything on my Summertime List, of course. ;)

What about you? What do you feel inspired to do this summer?

Giving Thanks: 6.4.12

This week, my heart is thankful for:

Tiny steps forward toward new goals, dreams, and aspirations
Prayer walks, feeling God’s presence surround
An inspiring craft show experience, shared with my sister
An encouraging sermon at church on Sunday and the idea that God WANTS to and WILL speak TO us and THROUGH us
One Thousand Gifts app to help me continue to grow in gratitude, faith, and trust
Craft show finds that delight me
Being behind the lens of my camera—seeing the beauty and the inspiration in my life
Writing bravely about my faith, my art, my heart
Art journaling on my porch

What about you? What are you thankful for this week? :)

Craft Show Adventures: A Photo Story

Saturday’s craft show was in a funky old building that doubles as a music venue and cafe. It’s got a great atmosphere.

Sales weren’t amazing, but people really seemed to enjoy looking through our artwork and often commented about the bright, happy colors and uplifting words.

The truth is we both love making art so much that it really isn’t about the sales for us. We’d make paintings, even if we never did another craft show. ;) When it’s in your heart to create, you just can’t stop yourself, I guess.

It’s my prayer that the people who looked at and/or took home our artwork were blessed or inspired or encouraged in some small way.

Thanks for putting up with such a photo-heavy post. Just couldn’t narrow it down! ;)

Hope your weekend was lovely!


Life Lately: In Photos

Lately, life looks like this: icy weather; keeping cozy; brunch dates; art journaling; cocoa + creativity; writing and brainstorming; dreaming of spring; and lots of creative inspiration + refreshment at a local arts gala event.

I’m thankful for these moments.

What have you been up to?