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 -

Friday, May 2, 2014

everyday things

It's so easy to view daily life as unlovely. Daily tasks are mundane. Daily life (for us) is chaotic.
Meals, dishes, laundry, meltdowns, accidents, naps, baths, house cleaning... you know, it goes on and on and on.
Every night after we've gotten the boys in bed my husband and I kind of look like deer in headlights. Then it's time to clean the kitchen and squeeze work or quality time in before heading to bed to start all over again.

However, if we stop and look around at those daily things we realize there is so much beauty:
-silly stories at the dinner table
-watching our boys learn to help with chores
-a chance to teach a lesson
-seeing my boys paint and draw and create 
-snuggles after nap time
-listening to the boys sing in the tub
-hearing my youngest tell my husband "Daddy I love you in the best world" (I think that means I love you more than the whole world :)
-uninterrupted time with each other, even if it's over kitchen duty

I hope no matter what your day to day looks like, no matter how mundane or chaotic, you will be able to find beauty everyday.

"... Surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies."
-Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, April 25, 2014

Shop Talk & a little discount!

I've just added some new cards to the shop.
These are something new for Pen & Paint. They are flat note cards (as opposed to my other folded note cards), with a nice rounded edge, and come in a set of eight. I really love how they turned out, and there are several other designs in my sketchbook I can't wait to put to use.
These would make a great Mother's Day or Teacher Appreciation gifts. Or hostess gifts. Or bridesmaid's gifts. Or new mama gifts. I can keep going if you need an excuse to buy them ;)

Speaking of Mother's Day. Do you have a card for the mothers in your life?

I've also put this new print in the shop.
I was inspired by a family who lost their father last year. They continue to remember him at sunrise/sunset, just saying a little "I love you" to him. I felt like this quote was the perfect way to describe how they honor his memory.

With Mother's Day only a little over two weeks away it's the perfect time for a little discount so you can buy your mama something (or give the code as a hint to your loved ones).
Use the code MAMA25 through Sunday 4/27.