Lord, please be my guide

hi friends! it has certainly been a while and i wanted you to all know i am still here! :) thank you for your kindness. i am so grateful for the messages checking in on me. i am blessed to know you care and support me.

honestly, i have been in a long and at times, difficult season with my health. not anything i had planned for at all. it started as a bulging disc in my lower back and after months of pain and therapy, just when i was getting better… it turned into a herniated disc involving the nerves. to avoid surgery, it has been a slow, painful process of recovery. and then i started having some other health issues and difficulties, all of which we are still trying to get figured out. {Lord, please be my guide.} i have a great doctor that is being super helpful. hopefully things will be figured out so i can be on the path to better health soon.

so… during all of this… creativity has been a struggle.

at first i wanted to try and keep up with creating and the business side of things, including social media. but it just wasn’t in my heart. other things needed to take a back seat so i could completely focus on my health. it was a relief to make the decision to just let it go. i was so worried all the work i had done to build a community and customers would all be lost. through lots of praying, {Lord, please be my guide.}, i was able to let those worries go to focus on other things. really, the break has been nice.

at times i haven’t even been sure i wanted to get back into the stress that is running a small business as an artist. it is hard to try and compete to make sales. and i don’t like that term “compete”, but you know what i mean. you have to stay busy and active on social media to be seen and get your art out there. that takes a lot of time and heart. when you heart isn’t in it, it shows. and i didn’t want to be putting my work out in that way.

my plan right now for this winter, is to grow a project i have had in mind for a while. {Lord, please be my guide.} through all of the not feeling well, this was something that i have actually had excitement for. it will take some time to come together, but i know it will be worth it in the end. lots of new things. new looks. all of which i can not wait to share with you! so as things get going with that, as long as i am feeling better, i will start to be active on facebook and instagram again in the new year.

but for now… i wanted you to know that my shop is still open!

i would be more than happy and thankful to send some new art to you. i have lots of great art to decorate your homes for winter and Christmas. i have lots of great art that make perfect Christmas gifts! each, i hope, a pretty reminder of how special this Christmas season is.

i am going to be running a special for this busy shopping week as well. and if you sign up for my newsletter, you will get a little something extra and a bit more time for shopping!

thank you, friends. with the Lord as my guide, i am excited to serve Him through my art in in new ways this year ahead!

the enough collection

i am so happy to introduce you to my newest collection… enough.

i have been working on this collection for a while now. it started with the painting. i wanted to do something different with the colors. a fun, multi-colored palette. painted with lots of layers. colors peeking through here and there. patterns peeking through here and there. working this way reminds me of the layers He has created us with. each experience so important. each layer, good and bad, creating our story.

before the painting was even finished, i had the word ‘enough’ in my heart for this piece.

inspired by my word, i wanted to do more. so i used pieces of the painting to create a collection of prints with the theme of ‘enough’. He is our rock. He is always with us. we are loved. His grace is sufficient. we are showered with grace.

this is the first time i have such an extensive collection behind one painting. and it was so much fun! the original is a great size at 12x16. there are prints as large as 11x14 and 12x12 all the way down to a couple of 5x7 pieces.

so this is my heart behind this collection… enough.

in this world where there can be so much uncertainty, so much heartache, so many struggles, we can hold on to this truth... He is enough. He is more than enough. we don’t have to know everything, we don’t have to understand everything, we don’t have to do it alone. He is all we need. He is faithful and He is good. He is loving. eyes on Him. lean in and stay close. rest in Him. trust Him. He is enough.

i hope you enjoyed hearing the meaning behind this collection. i hope it encourages you in your journey… as well as brings some beauty to your day and to your home.


craving connection and giveaway


i am so honored to be part of this first book from (in)courage!

"craving connection: 30 challenges for real-life engagement" brings together real stories that are encouraging and inspiring and honest.

the book is divided into three sections... connecting with God more deeply, friends more purposefully and community more intentionally. each story ends with some thought provoking questions and a connection challenge. i love these challenges! they are down-to-earth, very doable, beautiful ideas for action.

 my contribution... finding my people. my heart for my online community.

"God can absolutely span distances. God can absolutely align hearts. God can absolutely meet our needs right where we are in real life."

i am so happy to share this book with you! i want to give away 2 copies and i will include some of my postcards so you can do some connecting using them! one book and postcard set winner will be chosen from entries below and the second will be chosen from my instagram page.

giveaway ends in a week and one winner will be notified through email and one through instagram.

{winning items may only be shipped within the united states or canada.}


a Rafflecopter giveawaySaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

you asked - schedule


alicia asks... how many hours/day and days/week do you devote to the studio? from a business perspective then in contrast, how much time do you have to devote to the business side of things - marketing, finance, mailing?

working from home is great for the freedom of my schedule. if i have other needs, i can take care of them, but i spend most days in my studio. i start by checking social media and email for things i need to respond to. i love the interaction with my friends/community, so i try to be good about responding to comments and questions and emails. some days i spend more time on the computer with marketing and creating social media images. and some days it is all about the paint.

i try to keep up with my paperwork one day a month... doing the previous month. so come tax time i have everything ready. i typically head to the post office once a week for mailing. we have a small town post office with small town post office hours. they close for lunch everyday, close at 4 weekdays and are only open 1 hour saturday monrings. :) so i like to just go once a week if possible.

how long did it take for your business to take hold and become financially profitable in the sense that you felt what you earned was finally greater than the sum total of time you were investing?

to be honest... my opinion on that question varies. there are still times when it doesn’t seem like i am getting as much out of my business as the work hours i put in, then there are times that it does. i think selling art can be extremely difficult. some months work out much better than others.

how many customized projects do you do annually?

i have been doing more and more custom projects. i stop working on my own work and work on custom orders as they come in. it was getting to the point that i was only doing custom work and not having time for many new things of my own, so i took a break from custom work to do some of my own things. it was fun to just do what i wanted to do again! i have learned from this time, that i will have open times for taking custom work and then times when i won’t be accepting custom projects. so there will be a good balance of both. right now i am back at custom pieces.

when creating something new, is that planned into your schedule periodically, or is it more the result of a lull that allows/pushes you to create something new?

for the most part, new work comes as it comes. if i have been working on marketing and computer types of things for a while… i have all kinds of ideas that i can’t wait to get started with. so it is always fun to get paint on my fingers for new work! then there are some days that i need to paint and i just can’t seem to get it to flow and it is a struggle. i have learned to just let days like that go. either play and create something just for fun or go take some photos or just take the day off. when i force it, it is no fun and typically i end up having all kinds of problems. just not worth it. better to let it go and come back to it the next day.

wow... thank you for all the great questions! that was fun!

and i think kathy's questions got answered here with alicia's. kathy asks... what is your typical schedule? do you make yourself paint every day, no matter how you are feeling? certain times of the day or a certain number of hours or when the mood hits you?

i hope you are enjoying this q&a series. if you missed the other posts, you can find a list here. i will continue to answer a few questions in each post. if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!


you asked - love of art



laura asks... do you have a background in art that you developed with your education or is it something you happened upon? valerie asks... what type of art do you enjoy creating or working with the most? how did your love for art emerge? as a child? student? self-taught?

similar questions so i am going to tackle them all together.

i attended the colorado institute of art... the 'cia'. the schooling was focused more on graphic design, but i had classes in a wide range of creative things which was just amazing. i loved college and couldn't believe all this neat artsy stuff was actually 'school'. it was an awesome experience to have classes in a variety of creative arts. it really opened my eyes to a love for many things.

in a previous post, i talked about living our ‘plan b’, 'plan a' probably would have been more in some kind of graphic design like advertising, where my schooling was focused. but i learned so much from school that has enriched my ‘plan b’. and this 'plan b' has allowed me to work in whatever my creative heart desires. while also adding a business side to the adventure. something i never imagined myself doing.

i have always loved art and creative things. i loved painting and drawing and making things for my family. decorating things and setting up photo shoots with my sister. making little creative businesses with my friends. i have such great memories of all of that! brings a smile to my face just thinking back on it.

art has always been a big part of who i am. God put it in my heart from when i was young and i was blessed to have parents that nurtured it and encouraged me every step of the way. my mom would set me up on a tv tray, with paints and some big piece of cardboard or something to paint on, in front of the paintings shows on pbs. i would sit at my grandparent's table and draw and color.

when my school didn't have much for art classes, my parents found me a private art teacher to take some classes from her home. my mom and dad came to my craft shows that i did when i first started selling my art. they never discouraged me from a life and career in art, which really is not very easy. they knew it was my passion and did everything they could to support and encourage me.

i don't even know if i can pick one favorite type of art i work with. i think all creative hearts like a multitude of things. and i think it can change. when you use one medium for a while, it is fun to do something totally different! i love getting my fingers in paint. i love capturing moments with photography. i do love some of the graphic parts of working on the computer. i dabbled in some sculpting in college and would love to make time to do more of that.

i hope you are enjoying this q&a series. if you missed the other posts, you can find a list here. if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!



the whole picture

welcome to those of you hopping over from (in)courage... coming to see what in the world that photo is!

so you were curious and had to find out?

did you have any guesses?

here it is...

it is red cardinal feathers!

what a difference the proper perspective can make, right?

a reminder that we don't always know the details to the journey He will have us on, but He sees the whole, big, beautiful picture. He knows how it will turn out. we can rest in that wonderful truth. and so grateful for that!



you asked - favorite scripture in rough times



angela asks... what is your favorite quote, or scripture that you read or can share with us when going through emotional, spiritual rough time in life?

just one? lol God has given us such a gift of scripture that we can turn to when we hare going through tough times. so many encouraging and comforting words! what comes to mind first for me is… psalm 16. i have it printed out and hanging on our bedroom wall.

after my husband was diagnosed with a giant brain aneurysm we had to wait for months for the surgery. it took months of tests and scans and procedures to develop a plan, with multiple surgeons for the surgery. waiting was so, so difficult. knowing he was walking around with an aneurysm in his head. knowing they were planning for a 12+ hour brain surgery. it was a very scary time. we turned to Him for strength. we found this scripture and it provided immense comfort and hope. we read it together every night before bed.

a prayer of confidence

protect me, O God; i trust in you for safety. i say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; all the good things I have come from you.” how excellent are the Lord's faithful people! my greatest pleasure is to be with them.

those who rush to other gods bring many troubles on themselves. i will not take part in their sacrifices; i will not worship their gods. You, Lord, are all i have, and you give me all i need; my future is in your hands.

how wonderful are Your gifts to me; how good they are! i praise the Lord, because He guides me, and in the night my conscience warns me. i am always aware of the Lord's presence; He is near, and nothing can shake me.

and so i am thankful and glad, and i feel completely secure, because You protect me from the power of death. i have served You faithfully, and You will not abandon me to the world of the dead.

You will show me the path that leads to life; Your presence fills me with joy and brings me pleasure forever.

sometimes i feel like God puts the scripture i need to hear in my path right when i need it. do you notice that? it may be something you hear on the radio, see on a blog post, read on facebook. it can even be a scripture you have heard before, but it really reaches your heart in a new way at a time you need it most. be open to those whispers from Him.  

i hope you are enjoying this q&a series. if you missed the other posts, you can find a list here. i will continue to answer a few questions in each post. if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!



you asked - business and layers


ashley asks... first, what inspired you to open your own small business? second, how does the painting process work? it looks like layers of color.

and ginger... yes, her second question....without divulging trade secrets, of course.

what inspired me to open a small business…

you may or may not know that my husband had a brain aneurysm and brain surgery shortly after we were first married. because of this, he was retired from the military and we moved back to nebraska where we were both from. my love of art, along with the want and need to be able to help my husband with his needs and appointments, made working from home as an artist perfect for me. i like to call it our ‘plan b’. we had planned for a life long career in the military, that was not meant to be. so starting my own business selling my art became the new plan.

how does the painting process work. it looks like layers of colors…

well that is exactly what it is! layers and layers and layers. i love working on wooden canvas. i find i need the sturdiness the wood provides that traditional canvas would not. so that is where the layers begin. i love the depth and feeling and interest of layers. just like how each of us are made in an amazing, intricate way. we are each built of layers and experiences, all which are part of His journey for us. my painting process reflects the beauty of layers. some of which peak through and some are covered up. but no matter if you see them or not, they are part of the whole just from being there.

 laura asks... how did you develop your business relationship with dayspring? do you have any tips for other small business owners they can use to develop those business connections?

that was a total God thing! i had just started on online shop with artfire, when some of my original paintings were purchased. shortly after i was contacted by the purchasers... a couple of ladies telling me about (in)courage and how they were starting this amazing new adventure. they wanted me to be one of the contributors of original work. and while it did not work for the group of us to continue with creating handmade things for their site, we stayed on as contributors to (in)courage. i love the work i do there and i love the people i come to know because of it.

and let me tell you... i am still working on developing business connections. i don't think that is something that ever ends. i am always looking for new connections and ways to work with people. it is certainly not easy and takes a commitment to pursuing. i am just going to continue to put myself out there. be friendly. be real. and hope more opportunities are found!

i hope you are enjoying this q&a series. if you missed the first post, you can find it here. i will continue to answer a few questions in each post. if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!



you asked - prints and reproductions


ruth asks... do you paint or photograph all your prints or are some computer designed?

a bit of everything, ruth! my prints are a combination of scanned original work, photographs and computer design.

of course i love to paint, so scanning my original paintings is a way to reproduce the work as prints.

i love using my own photographs in prints as well. most of those prints come from sharing an image on social media, then being asked if i can turn the images into a print. once i have used an image for a custom print, i often offer it to my shop for everyone.

my schooling, for the most part, was focused on graphic design. so my love of computer designed work comes from there. a lot of it is mixed between using some of my own paintings as backgrounds or for lettering and being graphic designed. very few of my prints are completely computer generated without any of my hand in the background or lettering.


nina asks... how are the reproductions made (scans, photos)? by you or an outside professional service? where/how/by whom are they printed?

i now do most everything myself. when i first wanted to offer prints, i had my originals photographed and then printed. for the cost, i did not feel like they represented the originals as well as i would like. we don't live in an area with good local printing options. i tried using a few online printing places, but it was difficult to know what i would need in inventory at any given time. so i decided to purchase a scanner and nice printer and just do it all myself!

once i have a painting finished, i scan it. depending on the size, i might have to piece the scans together to get an entire image. i can then match the colors as close as possible to the original.

i can print up to 12x12 and 11x14... which is awesome. i tried a variety of paper and fell in love with the fine art paper i now do my prints on. slightly textured and has a sturdy thickness, with a soft, matte quality to the print.


i have received a lot of great questions, so i will continue to answer a couple in each post. if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!



crosses available!

happy to say a new collection of crosses are back in stock!

i find it incredibly powerful and encouraging to see God’s word, faithfulness and love reflected creatively and beautifully in my home. not only for my family, but for anyone coming into our home. bringing our thoughts to Him.

and so i have truly put my heart into my first collection of crosses for your home. to encourage and to uplift and to remind.

all one of a kind, hand painted, hand lettered wooden crosses. beautiful layers of rich color and pattern peak through one another, creating an incredible depth to each hand made piece.
lead me to the cross... where love is poured out and hope is found. ♡

better together {dayspring giveaway}

just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ's body.
we are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.  Romans 12:4-5
dayspring recently launched a new collection called “better together”. it is filled with not only beautiful things,
but meaningful pieces for the home. i want to share with you my three favorite pieces that i have in my own home.
i love this sweet, simple banner.


this canvas block found a sweet spot tucked into the shelves in my studio.
and this chalkboard globe... it is so fun. i just love it. it joins a collection of globes we have.


so the awesome, generous people from dayspring want me to share with you! three winners each get to pick one of these items!
(you must live in the continental united states to be eligible)


a few simple ways to enter...  
- leave a comment with your favorite item in the collection.
- subscribe to my newsletter... then leave a comment stating you did/do subscribe.
- follow me on instagram... then leave a comment with your instagram name.
- share this giveaway on social media. leave a separate comment with the link for each share.

  {please click here or the post title to leave comments. sorry about that... still learning how the blog works here.}

i am so excited to be able to share this giveaway with you! good luck!

deadline to enter is saturday, october 31st at midnight.