I have been busy the last month or so tending to my very first garden. I have waited my whole life to have my own garden. I grew up learning about plants and tending to them with my mom, but at a nursery. My mom instilled a love for plants, gardening and the earth from a young age. I figured I should try and do the same with my children. So, I have taken on the very big task (I had no idea it was so much work) of making my very own Garden.


I thought I would share with you some of my favorite artisans from The Raleigh Handmade Market. Take a peek!


Dont get frustrated about branding and marketing your handmade business. Take a breath, be authentic, make mistakes, and keep trying.


 I have been going through some old hard drives the last few days and thought I should share some projects that i have created in the past. some of them are random illustrations, client work and even a few from college projects. It is so fun to look back and see how much you have learned, changed and evolved as a designer. It gives you a great perspective.  ED Hardy Inspired Illustration.When I worked at OneUpWeb I was asked to create an Ed Hardy inspired illustration that incorporated elements you might find in Traverse City, Michigan. Salmon, birds, cherry blossoms and water were elements we wanted to represent the beautiful location where we worked. This illustration was used on coffee mugs, tshirts and other online marketing campaigns. I definitly have changed since illustrating this.    A doodle for my stepdaughter.My stepdaughter was in her sophomore year of high school and she loved to draw on her clothes so I decided I should design something more fitting for her. I designed a doodled pair of shoes for her to flaunt at school and she loved them. I believe she wore them out. She got multiple inquiries on where she got them and I got a number of calls from her friends.   Network Traverse City LogosI created some logo options for a small networking company based in Traverse City, Michigan that helped local small businesses with their social media and connect them with other small businesses. I focused on the many areas of interest in the area and drew a lot of inspiration from the food, culture, and atmosphere of the region.     Unconventional Calendar - Tea For EverydayOh college, those were the days...days I could sleep in (if I didn't have class or a lunch date). Days when I didn't have a million things to do or kids to drop off or lunches to pack...or boogers to wipe. I miss college. I miss working on projects just for the fun of it! I should probably get back to doing that. This project was given to us to create a design on our own. We were told to take a font to showcase and create an unconventional calendar. We had to showcase the different type styles and create a unique calendar. Some of my classmates created wall hangings, lamp shades, and other fun ideas but for some reason, I wanted to try a package I created the calendar using a different flavor and type style for each month. The font I was given was Helvetica Neue. I had a great time picking out the flavors based on the connotation of the different type styles and weights. What a fun college project this was. I think I may go have a cup of tea...    Frederick Meijer Gardens BrochureHere is another throwback to college. We were given the task of marketing an event at the Frederick Meijer Gardens. My event was a showing of the plant Arborvitae...and If I think back far enough I think it was mostly used for shelter-belts and for shielding farms and driveways from unwanted wind or neighbors gazes. This was a made up project but it sure was fun. I think If I were to do it now I would photograph the actual leaves and plants instead of using a hand illustrated approach. I would do some different image making techniques to show the intricate patterns on the leaves. I still think this was one of my favorite college projects.       Family Reunion InvitationAnother college goodie! This is possibly my favorite college project. We were tasked with creating a family reunion invitation to showcase our family traditions and style. My family just so happened to be called the HAZARD family. Yes, you read it right, the Hazards. We love outdoors sports and if there was snow at Christmas time we were outside sledding or snowmobiling or skiing...or blasting someone with a snowball. We lived up to our name and I thought I should showcase our love for the outdoors and our love for the snow. I created this invite to resemble a Geschmossel which is a german ski race...anyway so I could imagine 77 of us (we have a bigger family now) all tangled up in a mad dash to the bottom of the mountain. It really sounds like a Hazard to me!       It is so weird looking back at these old projects. I can't believe I have been a designer for almost 17 years (including my education in vocational school in high school. Thanks, Mr. Jensen!) I am beginning to feel a little old. That's ok, along with getting old you learn, and that's most definitely what I have been doing. I am so blessed to have spent the last 17 years doing what I love to do. ​


My son turned 1 in December and I finally got to have his birthday celebration after a crazy winter storm passed through.


CHristmas crazIness and the new year


I have been thinking about what I should write and decided I should write about my crazy holiday. I guess it's not really that eventful, I mean I didn't get stuck at an airport or lose my child or something worse but man, it was a riot of a holiday. 


First, just getting the decorating and cleaning done was a challenge this year. Along with my business duties and mommy duties, my plate was beyond full. I even managed to get a bout of Mastitis. If you are a mom you totally know how terrible and rotten having Mastitis can be. Having mastitis and having your family over in your small country house is a crazy adventure. Ok, maybe not an adventure maybe it's more like a madhouse. 

I really enjoyed having our family over for the Holidays but I also missed sleeping in my bed and having a "normal" schedule with my kids. Every mom can attest to the importance of having a schedule for little ones. It helps the day go more smoothly and they always know what's coming next. It reduces tantrums and helps things flow better. When family comes all that is pretty much out the window. It takes months to get back in the groove once the holidays are over. 

Trying to get work done while my family is here is really hard. 

It's nice to have all the extra help but at the same time its almost impossible to focus. Plus your kids are so overwhelmed with all the activity that they seem to need more Mommy time. I think next year I will be taking a break from work during the Holidays. Trying to get client work and all of my other duties done is pretty impossible. So much so I got myself sick with Mastitis. UGH, the worst. 

Besides the billion things I had on my to do list I still had a great and very blessed Christmas. It was so nice to see my stepson who we flew down for the break. I can't believe he will be 16 this month. Time goes by so fast! It seems just like yesterday he marched through the house as "Captain Underpants" Oh I miss that. lol, I also got to spend my first Christmas with both of my parents in the same place. That was pretty cool. I even got to see my dad play Santa for a minute. Another high point of my Christmas was spending time with my Mother-In-Law. I actually got to do a little bit of shopping and hanging out with her. It was nice to connect with her. 


Playing Santa

I also, not to brag, got the best Christmas gift from my husband. A new toy I can use for business. A Wacom tablet that I can use to illustrate and draw. I got to use it while designing my sons first birthday party invites. Yes, that also happened a few days after Christmas. My son turned 1 on the 28th so that was a bittersweet day as well. Anyway my new toy has come in handy already. I am in love with it and cant wait to see how it streamlines my design process and helps me become more efficient with my illustrations. I owe a huge thank you card to my husband for the awesome Christmas gift...or maybe I should just take him out on a date.


Lumberjack Birthday Invite- Wacom Tablet 

I also loved starting new traditions with my kids. This year Emmalyn is old enough to start understanding what Christmas is all about. In our home, Christmas is about Jesus and his gift of salvation to us. She might not understand that yet but we are setting a foundation for her to celebrate Christmas and the blessing that Jesus is. This year we sang happy birthday to Jesus and had a birthday pie. She even blew out the candle for Jesus. I loved seeing her and the excitement of the day was contagious. 


Overall the holidays were crazy but nice. It was nice to have family here even though our house was crazy. What a blessing that I get to have my family with me, a warm safe house, amazing dinners (smoked ribs and barbecue for Christmas dinner. Yes I know thats different. :), three of our 4 kids here with us and we could bless each other with a few gifts. I would say we had a wonderful Christmas. 


Christmas Tree 2016

Work over the holidays was tough. All the people in the house and kids running around. It was tough focusing on my work...and I often just said to myself, "Just enjoy it, because it won't be this way forever." I did have a little help with the kids towards the end of the week and got a few things done. The holidays are a tough time to get things done. I did play with my family and enjoy them so I guess I got the right things done. How about you? Did you work or spend time with family? I can't wait for next year.


Happy New Year!