So I have to admit…. I’m not like Professor Trelawny. I have no abilities in reading tea leaves or crystal balls. I can’t predict the future. Although my hair does look like hers most days as I go for my walk in drizzly Portland or get so absorbed in making my art that I forget to look in the mirror. Whoops.
So why this title? I like fortune cookies. The cookie part is just okay but I like the surprise of opening it and reading what the little piece of paper says. We’ve had some funny and interesting ones over the years. My husband got one that said “ Be careful not to overspend” …… while we were at Disneyland! Ha! Right!
So this is what happened. I started writing my own “fortunes.” Not quite like the fortunes you receive in the Chinese restaurant cookies but just bits of positive inspiration and uplifting encouragement inspired by the simple joys in life. With so much negativity in the news, I guess it's my way to counterbalance that a bit.
You will now receive a Presents of Love fortune in a cute mini-envelope that I cut and fold myself by hand, complimentary with each order from my etsy shop (excl. digital download printables as those are sent via email). My hope is that you will feel my heartfelt gratitude for each and every one of you who support my art and that my "fortunes" will leave you inspired and reminded of the good in this world. Kind of like a supportive, warm hug tucked into a tiny, colorful envelope.
I’ve been adding lots of new items decorated through pyrography or wood burning over the past few months: driftwood art, modern rustic home decor and cool keychains. Keeping me busy! It was so fun communicating with an absolutely wonderful customer last week and knowing that my art found its way across the world safely, all the way to Switzerland!
See just a few examples of my new creations below:
I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment if your hair is frizzy too, you have a funny fortune cookie story to share or just to say hi. I love that too! Make sure to add your email to my Simple Joys Club as I have all sorts of fun planned for this year.
You don’t want to miss out! Have a great weekend!
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Join my Simple Joys Club for a cute complimentary Simple Joys Bucket List printable!
You hop in the car. Go go go. Until you hit that red traffic light. You battle crowds for a parking spot. Ah, there, you got one! You push your big-box store cart (you know, the one with the squeaky wheel that constantly threatens to push you into stacks of merchandise and other shoppers) through endless aisles lit by fluorescent lighting. Kids are screaming because this is not really fun…for anyone.
Finally, you arrive at the right aisle hoping to find a thoughtful gift for Valentine’s Day, your wedding anniversary, your best friend’s birthday or your mom… What you find is lots and lots of stuff. None of it made with love. None of it thoughtful. All of it factory made and mass produced. You end up empty handed and frustrated having wasted precious time on top of it.
Yet, there is another way! It will save you time, make a real person jump for joy receiving your order and make the person you’re buying a gift for really happy! Also, you can check this gift finding "to do" off your list while sipping your favorite hot drink, wearing your cozy slippers and listening to "Relaxing Sounds of Nature."
Purchasing a gift from a small (creative) business truly is a win-win for everyone. So, if you’re shopping for a gift that will make you look like you care, here are just a few of my handmade gifts. These love-themed gifts are ready to ship right now for Valentine’s Day. To check availability on these one-of-a-kind gifts, please click the images or this link to visit my etsy shop (PresentsofLoveShop).
Because I’m all about spreading the love, here are a few other etsy shops you’ve got to check out:
For handmade doll clothes: HoleInMyBucket
For brightly colored, cheerful mixed media art: TurquoiseRhinoceros
For beautiful, handmade jewelry: JenKJohnsonDesigns
For knitted & crocheted gifts: YarnTreasuresbyHeather
What has been your best experience buying a handmade gift? What made it extra special for you? Would love to hear from you in the comments!
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Our family doesn’t watch tv (too many commercials!) but we do love to watch a good movie! Here is a quick list of family movies to inspire you in case you can’t think of any kid friendly shows to watch this weekend. They are not in any particular order. I included the content rating but you are the best judge of any topics that may be sensitive for your kids. Common Sense Media is a great website to help parents decide on which movies are best for their kids.
Which movie is your favorite on this list? Which ones have you not watched yet? Please share in the comments!
15 Great Family Movies
With school back in session and busy schedules during the week, it feels great to celebrate the weekend by relaxing and snuggling up with the kids to watch a movie. Even better with some popcorn!
Cozy family movie time is exactly what inspired me to draw my latest design: a simple illustration of a bucket of buttery popcorn like you eat at the movie theater. Here are a few products with my popcorn design but you can find the entire collection at my zazzle store.
Planning a Movie Themed Birthday Party
Gift Wrapping with Popcorn Theme
Organizing a Neighborhood Block Party - Popcorn Anyone?
Just Because You Love Popcorn!
Whether you are planning your kids birthday party, organizing your neighborhood block party, wrapping some fun gifts or decorating your home, I hope these products with fun, modern popcorn design inspired you. Enjoy your family movie night and let me know in the comments which movie you watched!
Thank you for sharing this blog post!
Super quick post here tonight to let you all know that I created an instant download printable for teacher appreciation week and teacher gifts for the end of the school year. It is available in my etsy shop.
The print has a sweet poem surrounded by a border of red roses to express you are thankful for the education and care teachers give the kids! Easy to print at home or at a local print shop for a meaningful gift. The simple, modern design is suitable and attractive for graduation from kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school or college. Busy mom? This is an instant download so perfect for last minute teacher appreciation week and end of school year gifts. Best part is you can print as many as you need so you can include the specials teachers, school counselor, music teacher, art teacher, ESL teacher, and assistant teachers as well!
If you have any stories about a special teacher, please share! Big time thanks to all you teachers!!
Looking for a gift for that someone special who loves to go camping, hiking, mountain climbing, skiing, snowboarding and spend time in the outdoors? Here are a few gift ideas that will make them smile big time!
These designs are available on a wide variety of gifts and items from shirts to home decor to paper goods for both kids and adults so please check out the complete selection at my zazzle shop. Thank you!
Who doesn't love the sweet romance and joyful simplicity of the daisy? When I was little, my dad enjoyed gardening and strived for a beautiful, pristine green lawn surrounded by blooming garden beds. While I loved the plants and flowers in the garden beds, we had different ideas in regards to the lawn. You see, I loved blowing dandelions and making necklaces out of daisies. So, there may have been a time (or two or three....) that he came home from work to find me sowing my favorite wildflowers onto the lawn...
Sitting on the grass on a hot summer day stringing daisies together to make a floral crown or necklace is a vivid childhood memory for me. In fact, I still enjoy making them! This new design was inspired by this childhood memory. I kept the lines of this illustration of three daisies simple and added just a bit of color with yellow and pink circles for a modern retro style. Almost all of these products and gifts are customizable. You can change the background color and personalize gifts with a name or your own text.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this new design! If you like the illustration and would like to see it on a gift or product other than the ones featured below, please leave me a comment here or contact me directly. I can most likely make it happen. I work with a print-on-demand company called zazzle for excellent customer service and shipping all around the world so please click on the images below to see more product details and pricing. I'm here to make your meaningful gift shopping easy!
String Backpack with Personalized Name for School or Sports
Keepsake Ornaments with Personalized Name
Coolest Comfy Shoes Ever....with Daisies!
Personalized Mug Gift for a Favorite Teacher
New Home? Pretty Floral Address Labels
Round Stickers with Daisies to Decorate
Adorable Thank You Notes for All Occasions
Personalized Phone Case
Looking for Cool Party Favors? Floral Temporary Tattoos!
Must Have Coffee....Mug!
Wedding Anniversary Cards with Custom Year
Gorgeous Tissue Paper To Wrap all your Gifts
Floral Fabric with Daisies for your Crafty Sewing Projects
New Baby Outfit "Bloom"
Special Cards for your Bridesmaids
Bridal Shower Invitation With Daisy Flower Theme
Attractive Floral Business Card for your Small Business
Beautiful Stationery for your Small Business or Home
Thank you for sharing my new daisy design via the social media buttons and leaving me a comment! It keeps me going!
It's September and kids are back in school again! We had a great summer making lots of memories with family and friends, playing in the woods, swimming in lakes and even built a giant catapult to launch our melon rinds (I'm sure amazon is a bit confused finding surgical tubing in our order history but hey... it makes a great catapult!)
Now that our bodies and souls are sun soaked and well rested, it is wonderful to be back to school because even though the school year makes us hustle more between lots of activities, it also brings more order and routine to our days. And yes, that's a good thing. :0)
Because I'm a strong believer that you can make ordinary days special and find happiness in the little things, I wanted to share these five fun finds to make you and your kids smile this back to school season.
A Practical Love Note to your Kids
Cute Thank You Notes for Kids
Gentle Reminders for Busy Kids
Personalized and Ready to Haul
Encourage your Kids to Read
How has back to school been for your family? Any tips to make the transition from summer break to school easier? Would love to hear from you in the comments below! Also, please share this post if you like these back to school fun finds! Thank you!
... to go make something! At least, I couldn't control the urge to make cute little wooden art stamps when I discovered that the print-on-demand company I work with, zazzle, now offers this cool new product for artsy and crafty moms like myself. I possibly went a little crazy and had a little too much fun designing these customizable stamps but I hope you will agree with me that they will help you create so many fun craft projects! Here is my guide for a few crafty creations and uses:
Moms: use this wooden stamp with smiling baby elephant to write little reminder notes to your kids. Remember... your lunch box! Remember... to do your homework! Remember... to put your dirty socks in the laundry bin!
I bet you can think of a gazillion ways to use this little stamp now, right?! Much more efficient (and cuter!) than repeating yourself over and over again and sounding like a broken record. And yes, you can easily customize the text if you want to add a child's name to it or have another creative use for this stamp!
Love to make handmade gifts?
You love to sew. And knit. You can whip up some amazing meals in the kitchen. You bake desserts so delicious even the strictest dietician can't help themselves. You fabricate art out of mere paper and with a splash of paint can transform even the most simple items into attractive home decor. If you are a maker, I'm sure your skills are a treasured gift among friends and family as handmade gifts are the best! You may have even started selling your handmade goods online or in an etsy shop. Whether you are gifting your creations to your close circle or selling them around the world, this wooden art stamp is perfect for creating cute tags and labels for your handmade goods as well as homemade food. You can also stamp your shipping label!
Good to know: These wooden art stamps are laser engraved on foam cushion. You have the option of adding a wooden handle. The ink pad is not included but you can choose from 5 color options of dye based ink pads as an add-on.
Are you ready for Back to School, teachers?!
This little stamp of a fish swimming happily wearing a snorkel mask will surely bring a smile to your students' faces! I know my kids love silly stuff! The stamp has the words "Great Job!" but you can easily customize this text with your own words. Perfect little stamp for completed homework assignments and as an incentive for positive behavior! Also perfect for swim lesson certificates and for kids on swim team!
Of course, my illustration of a quirky cat wearing glasses with a "Read" sign dangling from its tail also deserved to be turned into a stamp! How fun for teachers to stamp homework assignments and reading logs! Besides teachers, this stamp is great for reading specialists at school, librarians, teacher aides, reading volunteers or anyone else with the important job of helping kids to succeed in reading!
Writing thank you notes can feel a bit like a chore, especially when you have MANY to write such as after a wedding, birthday party or milestone anniversary party but receiving a thank you note is so nice! You can make the experience of finding a sweet thank you note among bills and junk mail in the mail box even sweeter by decorating the envelope with this beautiful stamp featuring a floral border of roses. Stylish yet modern, it will look graceful on handmade thank you notes as well. Just buy a quality piece of card stock in your favorite color and center the image of the stamp. Voila! You can customize the text if you want to change the language or change the font. Easy peasy.
Do you have a craft idea for one of these stamps? I'd love to hear it in the comments! Want me to customize a stamp for you? I'm happy to work with you directly so just send me a quick note through the contact tab at the top. Thank you SO much for your support!
Okay, so maybe you can't smell these roses but hopefully this stylish floral design will remind you to enjoy the simple joys of life. We are well into summer and now is the time to take in the beautiful sight of the flowers in the garden. Slow down even if the demands of life urge you to go fast. It is SO worth it.
It takes time to find a meaningful gift for a loved one so my goal with this new design is to help make this process easier so you have more time to enjoy these beautiful summer days. I recently published this floral design on a variety of products that can easily be customized and personalized to create "make your own" gifts. The design is modern in its simplicity and perfect for the woman who believes in the motto less is more. I'm sharing a selection here but please know that I'm happy to customize products for you and work with you directly.
Planning a Father Daughter Dance?
Heartfelt gifts for a Wedding Anniversary...
No matter what year you are celebrating, anniversary gifts are meant to show just how much you love her. Here is a collection of gifts that make beautiful anniversary gifts. She will know how much you love her each morning she drinks her coffee! If she loves jewelry, consider the watch and sterling silver necklace. The red ribbon of the keepsake ornament matches the design so pretty! The items below also make wonderful gifts for her birthday or Mother's Day!
Some Cute Gifts for....
... your daughter, your mom, your best friend or you!!! Since you can easily personalize these gifts and even customize the pink background color, you can make these gifts perfect for any special occasion whether it is a birthday, Mother's Day or just a little something for yourself. A personalized phone case or compact mirror? Cute pillow to dress up the couch at home or a tote bag to make grocery shopping or hauling books to the library more fun? The tricky part is choosing which item to go for!
Stunning Red Roses for your Wedding....
You can customize the text on these elegant bridal shower invitations with the details of the wedding shower honoring the bride-to-be in preparation of her big day.
If you are the bride, have you considered sending a personal invitation to your bridesmaids? You can easily personalize the name on these cards. Imagine the fun surprise for your bridesmaids opening this envelope!
The tote bags make practical, yet thoughtful gifts for your bridesmaids. They will be able to store their personal belongings in one handy bag and feel special as a bridesmaid filling such an important role in your wedding.
Looking for a personalized gift for the newlyweds? Consider this beautiful pillow with both names of the wedding couple. This would make a wonderful housewarming gift as well for any couple moving into a new home.
Last but not least...Thank you!
These stickers are perfect to add to the envelopes of your thank you notes after a wedding, birthday or Christmas. If you have a small business or etsy shop, you could add them to the paperwork as you ship your (handmade) items. Since the stickers are not mass produced and can be customized, you can make them work for your individual situation. So many ways to use these thank you stickers!
Talking about "thank you's," I want to take this moment to thank you for your business! I greatly appreciate your orders and continued support! They are a huge source of encouragement for me!
If you are interested in free standard shipping on any of these items with my designs for a year, please consider signing up for the Zazzle Black program which is only $9.95 annually. More info here.
Please let me know what you think of this new design in the comments below. I love hearing from you! Thank you!
Just a quick post from me tonight as life has been super busy during these last few days of the school year. Are you feeling it too? Yes, it’s true.... While I was chaperoning an all day field trip today, our kids will be on summer break starting Friday of next week! How did the school year go by so very fast?!
As you prepare for lots of family fun this summer, I just wanted to remind you I have a free printable The Anti-Boredom Kids Calendar to help you out on those days that the kiddos need a bit of inspiration on fun and creative activities to play.
Also, here are a few fun items to bring on your summer camping trips. From water bottles to playing cards and cool t-shirts to personalized string backpacks with your child's name, these camping themed items make great end of the school year gifts!
Our kids love the local library’s summer reading program. This tote bag is perfect for hauling books to and from the library and the stickers are great summer reading prizes if your child is keeping a reading log this summer. Smart feature: You can even fold up the tote bag with a snap closure when you are not using it. So handy!
Do you have any fun plans for the summer? I would love to hear about your family adventures in the comments below. Have a great summer!
Illustrations and nature inspired, handmade art that celebrates simple joys.