Monday, November 28, 2016

{getting cozy}


Things are looking all glowy and cozy at our house these days...


My goal is to cover as many spots with twinkle lights as possible. 

Ones like this are my favorite.


Ben helped me with the little shelf display above. He picked out all of the pieces and I did a little rearranging and added the lights. We make a good team!

 
And oh how happy I am to have these kitchen shelves to add little snow-topped houses and holiday cheer to! 

The rest of the house may look like a tornado went through, but at least I have these happy scenes to distract me!

Did you do holiday decorating over the weekend?

XO,
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Friday, November 25, 2016

{Etsy SALE}


Happy Black Friday!

Are you doing some serious shopping?

I must admit I'm having a bit of trouble getting started on my Christmas shopping this year, and if you are too I have a sale in my Etsy shop to get you going!



I'm offering two deals:

BOGO Free prints 
(free print of equal or lesser value)
*Simply purchase the print(s) you want to pay for, and entere the one(s) you want for free in the notes to seller at check-out.

-OR-

20% off of your total purchase of $10 or more 
Use code "SAVE20"

Not only do I have lots of happy prints in my shop, I also have holiday cards and my 2017 calendar. 

OH, AND everything in my Society6 shop is 20% off + free shipping today too! (Helloooo mugs!)

And if you are local, you can purchase lots of my goodies at Roscoe's Coffee Bar, Veach's Toy Station, or The Tin Cup!

Happy shopping!

XO,

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

{a November exhale}


Hello out there!

Is anyone still with me over here on my lonely blog?

November has been a bit of a doozy hasn't it?

Are you feeling that way too? 

Mine has looked a bit like this: I started back to work which was in itself a big shift. I also spent the entire last week sick with a nasty sinus infection and chest cold that I'm finally on the other side of. And I had an art sale last weekend. And oh yeah...there was an election.

Deep exhale.

I've found myself medicating with cozy sweaters and of course lots of coffee.



And cat cuddling...



As well as doing my best to be kind to everyone I encounter...




Especially those who might feel extra tender and scared right now.

Have you needed to implement extra self care this month? What have been your methods?

With Thanksgiving two days away, I know most of us are also probably feeling some sort of pressure or tension. Whether it be with making sure the meal is prepared, or spending time with family you don't necessarily see eye-to-eye with or...

Another deep exhale.

Stick with what you know is good and true, and let the rest slide away. That's my best advice. And maybe a bit of this...



We really are all in this together. And I hope in some small way I can help you feel encouraged today. 

And now on to some fun art news!

I'm working on putting together a new printable holiday coloring book! Here are a few sneaks at the pages in progress...



I'll have it in my Etsy shop soon!

And I'm working on a Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday Etsy sale. I'll share details very soon once I figure them out! 😂

Oh, AND if you are local, I'll be selling lots of my illustrated goodies at Roscoe's Coffee Bar on Friday, December 2nd from 6-8 pm...


There will also be a bunch of other amazing local artists selling their creations. So come see me and do some Christmas shopping! (Follow the event on Facebook)

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving (my American friends!) and times of rest and perhaps a few more deep exhales during this busy holiday season.

Lots of love,

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Thursday, November 03, 2016

{Society6 Sale!}


Happy Thursday!

How is your week going friends? Good I hope!

It has been a doozy for me going back to work but I'm happy to report I'm hanging in there with the help of my trusty coffee, a slightly embarrassing amount of candy, (THANK YOU HALLOWEEN!) and a yummy fall scented candle in my window.


Thank goodness for a lovely view!

Now that November is here I'm starting to think about Christmas shopping. Do you shop early? I try to start in November so I can space things out and not get too overwhelmed by it all. 

And speaking of Christmas shopping, Society6 is offering their best sale of the year right now - $5 off + FREE shipping on EVERYTHING! Woohoo!

So if you've been eyeing something in my shop for yourself or a gift, now's the time to grab it up! The sale is good through November 6th.

Use THIS LINK to start shopping!

I recently purchased one of their pillows in my new acorn pattern and I'm super happy with the quality...


(Don't mind the lumps...I need to buy a proper pillow insert!)

And of course I have lots of mugs, totes, phone cases, and other happies in there as well!


Their totes are super great quality - heavy canvas and the image is printed on both sides!

I'd like to think I'm helping you beat the Christmas shopping overwhelm by sharing this sale with you. 

So, you're welcome! 😉 

Happy shopping!

XO,

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Tuesday, November 01, 2016

{go with the flow}



Well friends....that is my office there behind me.

Which means one thing. 

My lovely sabbatical is over. All six months of it. Which is SO hard to believe. 

Cue all of the feelings. Seriously...ALL of them within a span of about 4 hours. 

This morning I went from "OK this isn't so bad" to "I might cry" to "NO ONE TALK TO ME!" to "OK my coffee has kicked in I guess people can see me" to "I can totally handle this". 

I really do drive myself nuts, but that's how my brain works. Can you relate? Please...someone tell me yes. It is a rollercoaster living in my mind. 

A virtual amusement park! 😂

But honestly I wouldn't change it for a thing. 

The sabbatical was a tremendous gift.

And as much as I am resisting going back to work, it is here and happening and I'm going to do my best to embrace this new season and look for all of the lessons it will teach me. 

Because I know it will. 

And this is going to be my mantra for the week as I transform back into "professional" Mandy (if that's even a real thing!)...


Maybe you need this reminder right now too? 


XO,

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

{October happenings}


Hello friends!

How is your October going so far? 

We've been squeezing in all sorts of fun fall activities at our house. The boys are on fall break this week and I've been soaking up being able to enjoy every minute with them (OK..maybe not EVERY minute because 8 year olds are a but nuts, especially after 8 pm 😜 😂). But seriously I'm not taking this time with them for granted, and honestly getting a bit weepy about the fact that I go back to work in two weeks. It will be bittersweet for sure. 

In art news, I've also been working on new illustrations and patterns! I've found that anymore I can't let a day go by without creating something new.

So here are a few peeks into our past week through my Instagram photos...

Morning walk through the park...so lovely. 

Working on some happy fall signs for an upcoming show! Gold sharpies are one of my new favorite things.

Orchard! They still humor me with a photo, even if tongues need to be stuck out.

Outdoor office = sabbatical life.

This needs no explanation, right?


I've been stocking up on cute new dresses and cardigans in anticipation of going back to work on November 1st. (Easing the sting a little, you know?)


The above is an Old Navy dress and TJ Maxx cardigan, and the cardigan below is from my favorite local boutique, Luxe Lizzies!



We are lucky to live super close to an arboretum that has beautiful nature trails. We definitely need to take advantage of it more! This nature walk has been the highlight of my month with them for sure.


Random happy fall doodles


Another sign I'm working on for that upcoming show. These chalkboards are double-sided so I'm thinking about fun double quote concepts. 


A new happy illustration...I have missed doing daily quotes.


And brush lettering! A fun new thing to practice. I'm using Sakura Koi brush markers here. 


Perfect fall break morning (you can grab the mug here)


Pottery painting! It had been awhile since I took the boys to do this, and I was excited to see how much their dexterity and creativity has grown. 


And new patterns!


I can thank my Pattern Camp group for the creation of these. Jessica (our fearless leader) gives us a weekly challenge, and these were acorns and ghosts. So fun!

Here were my original sketches for the ghost pattern...



With my favorite fall treat in hand of course! I ate WAY too much candy corn + peanuts yesterday. Addictive I tell ya!

So whew...that was a lot of photos but a fun recap I think! Hope your October is going along fabulously as well!

XO,
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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

{new illustrations}


I've been busy working on a fun fall favorites collection, based on all of my favorites things about the season. 

Here are all six I've created so far!

Campfire favorites...

Favorite treat...
 

Comfort foods...


Fall nature walks...


Orchard favorites...

And favorite outfit...

This has been such a fun collection to work on. Did I miss anything? What would yours say?

XO,
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{out of sorts}


It's Wednesday morning, but it feels like Monday because my boys were out of school yesterday. 

Parent teacher conference day. One of those things you get used to as a parent but still feel weird about. Like how the heck did someone trust me to go to these things and be in charge of two children? God, I guess. 

But the boys' teacher is SO fabulous this year (they had her last year too) that I'm thinking about putting her on retainer for the rest of their educational careers. She is so lovely. 

But back to that Wednesday that feels like Monday.

I woke up this morning feeling a bit hungover, having just had a dream where I was meeting with a coworker who was accusing me of messing up some kind of computer file (cue the almost-time-to-go back-to-work anxiety). 

And I'll be honest...this election has me all kinds of sad, anxious, disappointed and frustrated. So many feelings about so many things. I'm sure you can relate.

Out of sorts. That's me today. The kind of thing that only the feel of a warm mug and a silky latte on my lips could begin to fix. 


So here I am at my favorite coffee place, sipping this sweet salted caramel loveliness, taking deep breaths, and working on all of these feelings. The warmth is slowly knitting me back together this morning, reminding me of all that is precious and right in my life. 

I was thinking last night about what saddens me the most about the political climate right now, and aside from candidates and platforms and mud-throwing (which is so hard to get past), it is the fact that people are turning against each other to support a person that they really don't know at all. And I'm not talking about Facebook acquaintances. Close friends, brothers, parents, children...people who should be precious to us. 

It is so easy to lose sight of the life right in front of our eyes and be blinded by the constant flashing of who is right, who is wrong, who is better, who is worse. 

Regardless of who wins this election though, the new President can't and won't replace those people right in front of us. The new president won't be there for us at the Thanksgiving table, passing the gravy and reminiscing about crazy family stories. They won't show up when the kids are sick and you need someone to run to the store and grab some Gatorade and saltines. They won't be there with a humble check if you don't have enough money to pay for that unexpected house repair. And they won't be meeting you for a coffee date, listening intently as you share your secrets and dreams. 

I see all of the goodness and memories and love that are being abandoned for the sake of being right. 

I guess what I'm saying is let's not sacrifice the precious for the sake of power

Because power will fade and all we will have left are those precious strings that knit us together. And coffee dates. 

Wth much love,

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