Friday, August 8, 2014

changes & a few things on friday 8/8/14

1. My new site is up. I planned to have this exciting little launch, but since I've been slowly working on it for 7 months I feel I should just go ahead and let y'all know it's here. I have a few new things to add so when those are completed I'll shout it from the roof tops, but for now you can go take a peek at

2. Two words. Fruit & veggies.
Do you see what I see? They'll be in the shop next week.

3. I'm sharing today over at Pentel's blog with a free desktop background, AND they are graciously giving away a set of 24 Pentel colored pencils. Ya'll, I love those pencils. Go enter.

4. I need a vacation. With our changes we have had to put any type of trip on hold. So, if you have a beach house or a mountain house I'll gladly take it off your hands for a few days. I can pay it artwork. Lots of artwork. ;)

5. Speaking of those changes. I was talking with a friend the other day and she wisely reminded me we don't always have to explain and share everything. Isn't that nice. You don't have to justify things to the world when you make decisions that are best for you/your family/your business. Let people wonder. It's okay.

6. I've spent the summer enjoy this book. I'm taking my time with it. The chapters feel like I'm sitting with the author over a cup of coffee and she's sharing little bits of wisdom. It's really nice.

7. I'm going to be changing up the stationery section of the shop. I had plans to add flat note cards, but now I've changed my mind. I'll be adding a few single cards, retiring a few sets, and adding things like a multi-occasion box. Long live snail mail.

8. I tried gouache for the first time the other day. I like it. It's different. For now I'll just go back and forth between playing with it and watercolors. Learning along the way.

9. I hear school has started or will be starting soon. If you need a cute and easy teacher gift you can check out last year's free printable.

10. "Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest." -Mark Twain

Happy Friday.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

messy & beautiful

This season of my life is a messy one. I'd like to pretend I get to paint and draw blissfully all day long, but that's not true. I am usually stepping over legos or ninja turtle costumes to package orders or I find a little artist stealing my paper to color his next masterpiece

This is one of the first prints I created two years ago. I felt like it described life perfectly. Those messy legos and costumes mean your children are using their imaginations. Those messy dishes mean you have food and fully bellies. Those grass stains and piles of laundry mean you have enjoyed outside and clothes to wear. That messy living room means you chose to enjoy time with your spouse after your kids went to bed. That messy desk means you have a job. Those paint stained clothes means you were able to create.
It's all so messy. It's also so beautiful. Even if we can only see the beauty in hindsight. I hope you are able to embrace the beauty despite the messiness.

"Think of all the beauty that's still left in and around you and be happy!"
-Anne Frank

Monday, July 21, 2014


It's time for a summer sale!
Use the code SUMMER for 25% off your entire order
7/21 & 7/22.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

when you want to quit

I have a little confession to make: I tend to want to give up when things get tough.
I don't like to fail, so if there is a hint of doubt that I won't succeed I'd much rather give up than take the risk and press on to the end.

It can be in serious life changes or in simple things like learning a new medium. When I start to feel pressure or inadequacy I want to shut it down and run in the opposite direction. Thankfully, I am learning that's not the best way to handle challenge. Rather than running, I'm slowing down and reevaluating.

The first time I attempted watercolors I was immediately over it and swore they weren't for me.
A year later, after experimenting and patience I find myself longing to paint with them. It required me getting over myself and my expectations to see things happen all in good time (and with much practice).

I am reminding myself giving up is not an option in the big and small situations that arise.
I hope we will stop seeing what we aren't able to do and see what we ARE accomplishing.
We can stop comparing and measuring our lives to others.
It's time to stop doubting and be confident in ourselves.
I'm not giving up. I hope you won't either.

"A year from now you'll wish you started today." -Karen Lamb

Friday, June 20, 2014

happiness is handmade

I truly  handmade. There are so many handmade shop owners I call friends and mentors. I am encouraged by them. I have their work throughout my home and creative spaces, & I am inspired by them.
This print has been bouncing around in my head for almost a year. A year y'all. It feels so good to finally put it on paper and see all the awesome handmade tools together.
This is for all you creatives out there. Thank you for sharing your creativity and for adding beauty to the world!

PS. I'm thinking tote bags. Yes? We'll see!

Monday, June 9, 2014

some days

Just as with any other job, some days are better than others.
I love that I am able to create and share my work. I love that I am able to do what I love. It is a blessing. It is amazing. It is hard.

I ran into a friend from high school yesterday and discovered she too is an artist. We talked about what we do and how awesome it is, but how hard it is at the same time. It's hard when you see all the other amazing artists out there, you often feel like you have nothing to offer. It's hard when you have creative slumps. It's hard when you are building a business and feel like you'll never reach certain goals. It's hard when you feel like you are not enough.

On these days I usually have a good cry and add a little bit to an unfinished painting hanging in my studio. I don't know if it will ever be completed, but for now it allows me to get out those doubts, fears and frustrations in pretty colors. Also it reminds me to find joy in the journey.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

my {new} space

For the past two years of Pen & Paint and five years of selling handmade I have worked wherever I could find space in our home (mainly in our kitchen). I know, very glamorous. I thankfully had a large space to keep my supplies and projects, but it pretty much made the kitchen Pen & Paint land. Add cooking, meal time, and clean up, and I felt like I lived in that room. I always dreamed to have a real home studio, but with a modest three bedroom home it didn't feel possible.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.”
-Henry David Thoreau

Last month my husband and I decided there would be some big life changes for us. We agreed our spare bedroom would become my studio. MY space. We pushed aside the "what ifs" of life and chose to live what is directly in front of us right now. We are on an exciting (and scary) new journey. I look forward to sharing more about everything in the right time. 

Stay tuned for more pictures of the finished studio soon!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

5 years!

Five years ago today I opened up my shop. I was a new stay-at-home mama creating artwork for friends and family. I had someone encourage me to sell on Etsy, and I wanted to see what this handmade marketplace was all about. I had no idea how much things would change and grow. I went from making large, custom paintings to small, fun paintings to illustrating and designing art prints, stationery, and so much more. I never dreamed I would have the opportunity to create and share my artwork with people around the world. I am so grateful for the support I have received from all my customers, family, and friends. I have big plans and dreams for the next five years, and I can't wait to see them unfold.
It's time to celebrate Pen & Paint today! All prints (5x7, 8x10, and 11x14) are buy one get one free. No coupon code necessary. With every print you purchase you can get a free print (of the same size) of your choice. Enter the free print description in the message to seller at checkout. Sale is for 5/27/2014 only. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Look What I Made! Teacher Appreciation Gifts

It's time to show our teacher's how much we love them.
What says 'thank you for teaching our children and all the other things you have to do' more than chocolate. 
Nothing, my thoughts exactly.

I wanted to do flowers, but not flowers so I made candy flowers from mini chocolate bars. I thought it would be super cute to use real pots, but when I saw these pretty mugs (from Walmart, what?!) I couldn't resist.

Go make something sweet for your teachers!
I found everything (other than the kraft crinkle stuffing) at Walmart:
cute mugs, mini candy bars, dowels, felt.
I broke the ends of the dowels off to fit the mugs.
I hot glued the back of the candy bars and the felt to the dowels.
I made four of these and the total cost came to $6.25 each.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Farmgirl Paints

Live a creative life. ❤️ Y'all I love this creative community. 
This beautiful handmade cuff was created by my friend Becky of Farmgirl Paints
Her shop is open today through May 14th (and won't reopen until September).
You can save 15% off your orders with the code PENANDPAINT15 -