New – Personalized Prints

Hello, friends!

It has been a while since I’ve posted here and I just wanted to start by checking in and giving a big welcome to anyone who is new to this page. I am both sorry and thankful that you are here.

I have been taking a little break from my artwork and writing, as our family welcomed another little one in January. That makes five kids at home, the eldest of whom is eight years old. I have heard people liken having young children to being “in the trenches.” That sounds about right. Only the enemy is sleep and diapers and clutter and dishes and laundry. And your fellow troops are sweet and adorable and loving and funny, but are double agents – working for both sides – and don’t realize it.  Our new little guy is so sweet, though, and we are all loving life with a new baby in the house.

Anyway, it is spring right now, and that means that I have my girls on my mind. And when my girls are on my mind, I think of ways that I can honor them and keep their memory alive.

Right now, finding ten minutes together to accomplish something is a challenge. I had to stop three times already just writing these first few paragraphs to kiss a boo on my toddler’s foot and return the binky twice to the baby’s mouth (I have a love/hate relationship with that binky!).  It’s part of that aforementioned battle. So finding time to write and paint and sketch is difficult.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t do it. It just means that I have to work harder to carve the time out. And I’ve been thinking about ways that I might be able to be more efficient about that process.

It occurred to me that I might be able to create some hand-painted Their Names artwork, make high quality prints of them, and then personalize those prints with names of little ones. The prints would be frame ready at 5″ x 7″ and would be available in my Etsy shop.

But I need some ideas, and that’s where you come in!

I am not yet able to do custom work, but I created a few of these pieces last March for giveaways in Fiona’s memory.

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I would like to paint them again and include them among the options for prints. But I also thought I would include one more for now.  I’d love it if you could give your vote for one of the following prints, or offer a suggestion if you have another idea.

Would you rather see

A- A candle with the words “Your light shines on,” as depicted here:

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or

B – A yellow butterfly on a blue background with the words “Always in our hearts,” similar to what is depicted here (of course, these are pink and the phrase is spread between two paintings.  The new version would be all on one 5×7 print, but it gives you the idea):

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I would love it if you would offer your thoughts on this by placing a vote for A or B, or giving another idea if you have one.  Just remember, the phrasing will not be customized. Only the names will be. Everyone who votes will be entered into a drawing to win their choice from the first batch of prints that is made, personalized with the name(s) of their own little winged one(s).

To vote, please leave a comment on this post (NOTE: not a comment on Facebook) by midnight on March 31, 2015.  I will choose a winner on April 1.

Thank you for being here with me. I’m so grateful!

Store Closing

Hello, friends!

It has been a while since I’ve written a post. This one hurts a little bit.

I have decided to close my Etsy store for the time being. I’m not sure how long it will be, but right now, my young family has some special needs that require me to be more hands-on with them, and they come first. Plus, we are expecting another little one in January, and I want to be sure that I’m not spreading myself too thin.

So if you have placed an order with me, please be assured that it will be completed as soon as possible and sent to you. If you have been thinking about placing an order, I will be accepting new orders through August 15, 2014. After that, I will be putting my shop into “vacation mode” indefinitely as I work with my family to create a system for the new school year that allows us all to stay focused and calm.

Thank you so much for your understanding! I will be keeping the blog open, as this is my favorite outlet for sharing what is on my heart. I also have a facebook page where I post new writings here and anywhere else I can be found around the web. And I may be creating pieces as the spirit moves me and time allows, to sell individually, via the blog and facebook, as opposed to commissioned work through Etsy. I just need to put my artwork on the back burner for a bit and focus on these amazingly wonderful little ones who call me Mom.

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Overwhelmed

Wow.

What an exciting time it’s been here lately.  I had a new post about what I like to call the “Babyloss Community” on Still Standing the other day and then this site started getting a lot of traffic as a result.  So many folks have been commenting and sending me messages, and I am just feeling overwhelmed at the outpouring of support and understanding.

And then I also feel sad that so very many of us have this shared experience of losing a little one.  But that was part of the Still Standing post, too.  The idea that so many people experience this particular type of loss and have been for as long as people have been having babies.  And though if you’d asked me three years ago, I’d probably tell you that I could never ever survive such a thing, here I am.  Here we all are.  Surviving and helping each other with understanding and sympathy and sharing our stories and virtual hugs and love.  I can feel it through each of your messages – even from people who have never lost a baby.  The love and empathy is coming right through and it means so much.  So much.

So thank you very much for sharing your experiences with me.  With all of us.  I have read every message and every comment.  Coincidentally, November happens to be a month that is just jam-packed with birthdays and anniversaries for our family and I am also home with my littles all day, so I have been trying to reply to everyone, but haven’t quite gotten there yet.  But I will.

As another little business matter, I wanted to mention that I am limiting my pre-holiday sketches to a total of ten so that I can do all those aforementioned family things and also have time to get sketches done and mailed in time for Christmas.  I will be updating on my facebook page, and currently have seven spots still available, though four or five folks sent me messages yesterday about ordering.  If you would like to order a sketch for Christmas, please place an order through my Etsy shop to secure your spot.  I will close requests for the holidays after December 10 or when all ten places are filled – whichever comes first.  If you don’t need your sketch for Christmas, then it would be so helpful if you could please mention that in your Etsy order and I will put you in the queue after the Christmas orders.  Your sketch will be done and mailed to you in January if that is the case.  Thanks so much for your understanding.

I will be turning 40 this weekend, and am so amazed that this is the path that my life has taken – writing here and drawing your little ones and getting to know this amazing community. I could never have anticipated it, but I know that the Lord did.