With the weather warming up, I want to be outside all the time. Are you with me? I live in Portland so when the sun’s out, I soak it up as much as I can and most definitely don’t take it for granted! I love going on walks in the neighborhood and admiring all the pretty flowers in our neighbors’ gardens.
Our home has a front porch that fits a small coffee table with a wooden swing and sitting bench. The other day, I stepped outside and noticed how dusty our porch had become over winter. I took out the garden hose and the big broom and got the job done! Ah! Now it feels so much better!
Now that our porch is clean, it’s super cozy and welcoming so it’s the perfect spot to hang out at home and still be outside. The reason our porch feels inviting is largely due to our “porch decor.” That’s right. Kind of like home decor but then for the porch!
I have a colorful outdoor rug that feels soft even when we walk outside with bare feet. Bird feeders attract cute song birds that are a joy to watch. I also created a huge stained glass hummingbird mosaic artwork on a vintage window pane that looks especially beautiful when the sunlight shines through.
Have you taken a look at your outdoor space lately?"
Have you taken a look at your outdoor space lately? Does it feel boring and bleh or cozy and inviting? Besides the typical spring cleaning, can the space use a spark of joy?
If you’re looking to make your front porch, garden patio or screened-in porch feel more attractive and cozy, here are a few handmade items from my etsy shop that would add a joyful touch to your outdoor living space:
I created these art pieces from Pacific Northwest foraged driftwood. The designs were permanently burned into the wood through pyrography or wood burning so the art will not disappear even if displayed in outdoor areas.
If you're creating a cozy nook to drink your morning coffee and read a book, this sign is simple and cute!
These pieces of art also make thoughtful gifts for Mom's Day and Dad's Day!
Stained Glass Mosaic Bird Feeders
I have three stained glass mosaic bird feeders left in my shop. I'm not planning on making any more of these in the near future so grab one before they're going....going....gone!
Colorful Driftwood Art
I would recommend these art pieces for covered outdoor spaces as well as indoor home decor. They already have hooks installed on the back for easy hanging.
I hope this blog post gives you some inspiration to make your outdoor living space as joyful as it can be. Even a few small changes or the addition of an attractive art piece can make all the difference.
1. Step outside and take an objective look at your outdoor living space or porch
2. Decide what you can change or how you can add joy to the space
3. If any of the art pieces above might work in your space, click on the individual images or head on over to my etsy shop to see the entire collection.
Also, I'd like to hear from you!
Do you have a patio or porch you enjoy spending time? What activities do you enjoy when you hang out in this outdoor living space?
Leave a comment and if you enjoyed reading this blog post, please share with friends! Thank you so much!
Say yes to more joy and no to cluttered icons on your computer desktop!
Join my Simple Joys email community and you'll receive a beautiful, complimentary computer screen desktop organizer!
Happy New Year!
While we’re still finishing up the holiday treats over here and finding bits of New Year’s Eve confetti in the corners of our living room, another major holiday is already sneaking up on us! If your resolution was to be more organized this year (this seems to be the running theme over the years for me!), I’m here to remind you early!
My etsy shop is filled to the brims with Valentine’s Day gifts that won’t add calories to your diet or wilt after just a week.
My wood burned items are lovingly made by hand on Pacific Northwest foraged wood. I also have some upcycled items in the shop, as well as an instant download digital printable for gift tags.
These tags are perfect if you plan on baking cookies to give out, to label kids Valentine’s treats for the classroom, or making DIY handmade gifts this year.
Bonus: I’m continuing to offer free domestic shipping on many, many items!
Here are just a few favorites but please check out my etsy shop to see the whole collection.
How do you plan to celebrate Valentine's Day this year? Would love to hear from you in the comments!
I don’t know if you’re feeling it but these last days of the school year feel a bit like having your head stuck in the washer on the spin cycle. It seems as if every teacher is trying to fit their last big project in. After school, you’ve got the end of the year concerts, graduation parties, recitals…. on top of the regular sports practices and kids activities. So much fun but all kind of heaped together! I try to just embrace the chaos and savor all the special milestones and moments we’re celebrating with the kids but it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes. From talking with other moms, I know I’m not the only one feeling this way.
So this is why I’ve decided to put my etsy shop on vacation hold for a month. I absolutely love working on my shop but I also know this:
If you’re interested in something from my shop, the last day to order is Sunday June 10th. If you’d like to be notified when my shop is open again, please join Simple Joys Club. You’ll receive a complimentary Simple Joys Bucket List printable to joyfully start off your summer as well! Wahoo!
I’d love to hear about YOUR summer plans!
How are you planning to get the most out of this summer?
Do you have any fun trips planned?
Places you’ve wanted to explore?
Hikes you have wanted to go on?
Projects you have wanted to tackle?
Books you have been longing to read?
Be sure to include these items on your Simple Joys Bucket List! Also, I love hearing from you so please leave me a comment to share. Thanks so much for your support of my art!
If you’re looking for teacher gifts to thank them and celebrate the end of the school year, you may like some of these items in my shop:
Be sure to hop on the Simple Joys Club list!
Sign up for a sprinkling of positivity and simple joys in your inbox.
You will receive a cute, complimentary Simple Joys Bucket List printable with pretty floral illustration, just for joining the club!
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!
Keep in touch! Sign up for a sprinkling of positivity and simple joys in your inbox!
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!
Keep in touch! Sign up for a sprinkling of positivity and simple joys in your inbox!
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!