12.24.2010

From My Family To Yours...




See you in 2011!

12.21.2010

What I Love About My Clients

It's no secret that I have the most wonderful clients EVER, but just in case you're wondering what makes my Christmas card clients extra special, here's my Top 10 list:

1. They are PASSIONATE about Christmas cards...



...and are excited to have original, custom creations.

2. They TRUST ME entirely...


{Photography by Karen Sachar}

...and let me surprise them with unexpected ideas.



3. They love MEANINGFUL messages...


...and give me freedom to write what inspires me.


4. They love exquisite DETAILS...




...like the new scalloped shape...



...and the artistic watercolor paper with a deckled edge.

5. They have the CUTEST kids...



...and choose fabulous photographers whose images inspire me.


{Photography by Beth Looney}


{Photography by Karen Sachar}

6. They are open to trying NEW things...



...like using a child's drawing of the family.


7. They are LOYAL...


...and return to me year after year.


8. They are GENEROUS in spirit...




...for every card sent is a gift.

9. They fall IN LOVE with their cards...



...and are sweet enough to tell me so.

10. They inspire me to give my VERY BEST...



...year after year.

There's so much more to love, but with nearly 80 custom designs this year (a record!), I don't think you want me to show off each and every one. We'd be here awhile! Wink!

To my clients, THANK YOU for seven fabulous seasons of Christmas cards, and for an abundant, creative, joy-filled 2010 season!

Merry Christmas with love and joy,

12.14.2010

A Professional Pat on the Back

Can you hear me singing "All is calm, all is bright!" from my studio? The printers are quieting down and my pace is slowing as I near the end of my seventh Christmas card season. {Seventh?!?!?}


Before I rave about how much I love my clients (stay tuned!), I confess that I sometimes wonder why they would choose me...especially when there are faster, newer, CHEAPER options out there! {Does every designer/creative person go through this?} When I prepare an invoice, I sometimes hear these little whispers: Are my cards really that great? Am I really that great? It's just plain hard to put a price on things created with your heart and soul.

But thankfully, just before self-doubt steals my joy, I'm encouraged by the nicest ever words!

From the Production Manager of a leading professional printing company...


From a return client whose card is always a joy to design...



And from a new client whose excitement made my day...



Thanks for letting me share my "pats on the back" with you today. My hope in posting them here is that I'll have a place to return and re-read on the days when I'm tempted to doubt the worth of what I do. 

Humbly and Joyfully Yours,

12.10.2010

Three Happy Things

It's a Happy Friday, friends! Super Woman didn't show up and I wasn't able to have the Christmas Open House I hoped to host today, but my heart has been so encouraged by three things that have happened since my last post.

Here are my three happy things:


1. A fresh eucalyptus wreath for my studio door to replace the rotting fall decor I showed you in the last post. And one more hanging on my kitchen armoire for now:


The sweetest part: Scherry (who I met here) sent her daughter to deliver these to me since I was too overloaded with work to leave my studio (which always happens this time of year). An unexpected blessing for sure. I didn't even know she was coming!

2. This dream card client and very talented interior designing friend has texted me several times a day for the last few days telling me about all the rave reviews she's receiving on her card.

{I hope you like my little vignette, Jenny J!}


I seriously LOVE this card!

My goal is always for my clients to love their cards, but when their friends and family fall in love, it's really excites my clients...and blesses me to hear about it! Thank you, sweet Jenny, for sharing your excitement with me. It has totally energized me as I try to give my all to these last few clients!

3. Help from a stranger and help from a friend. A Sweet Reader of my last post (someone I don't even know...amazing!) emailed me with this:


Now if that isn't God providing in unexpected ways, I don't know what is! Today, I'm letting her go to the grocery store for me, which is especially important because I have a sick child. Thank you to my newest friend! And a huge thank you to a sweet friend who is shopping for some little Advent calendar goodies for my girls even as I write this! Amazing grace.

Happy Friday to you, Sweet Readers!

12.07.2010

No Super Woman Here

As I looked around my housekeeperless house this morning, I felt a lump of anxiety rise up in my throat. How to keep up with everything in the house while finishing all the custom orders in my studio?

I was feeling pretty defeated when I saw this taped to the back door:


Sweet girl. It's Day 7 of December and I haven't put a single thing in the Advent calendar. A reminder that I can't do it all. I tried channeling my inner Super Woman yesterday when I realized: it's not a better version of myself I need, but a bigger view of my God.

Despite all that has gone undone -- laundry, grocery shopping, Advent goodies, replacing rotting fall decor with a fresh Christmas wreath on my studio door....


...there's lots that God is doing through me and for me. Not because I'm Super Woman, but because He is bigger than all of my needs and provides the help I need...through even the smallest hands.


{I told you she was my "Sparkle and Shine!"}

And then there's my Card Angel: a mother of nearly grown children who could be out and about enjoying her free time, yet she chooses to spend her time helping little ol' me! She's the reason my cards ever make it into their cute little tote boxes!


And my Too-Good-To-Be-True Husband. If I told you everything he does this time of year, you might keel over in disbelief (or envy, and I wouldn't want that!). Just minutes ago, he showed up unexpectedly with a much-needed pick me up:


TEN MORE DAYS of all day/all night creating in my happy little corner...


...then I'll tend to the rest of my life. Until then, I'm thankful for the little bits of help that remind me I don't have to be Super Woman. And my hope for you today: that you know YOU don't have to be Super Woman either!

Thankfully,

12.03.2010

Breaking In The New Table

I can't wait to fill my new table with fresh food, good friends and some big red wines, but in the peak of card season, this is how I'm breaking it in:









I spend hours with each and every card order...dreaming, designing, printing, packaging. And in minutes, each tote box is gone. But when I see the joy these cards bring my clients, it makes every hour worth it! 

Two more weeks of this joyful madness...then I'll start thinking about that wine dinner! 

Happy weekend, Sweet Readers!

11.30.2010

An Advent Tradition: The Jesse Tree

With a big deadline tomorrow (last day to order custom cards) and TONS of emails regarding orders, I have no business blogging right now, but this is worth sharing before it's too late!

Download your free copy HERE
Read the blog post about it HERE.
{Great blog, by the way!}

This Jesse Tree family devotional is one of the best Advent resources I've ever seen. I printed all 80 pages and can't wait to share it with my girls tonight.

I love meaningful traditions, especially at Christmastime, but sometimes I get too perfectionistic. Like the time I tried to hand embroider 30 ornaments for my first ever Jesse Tree. I had two very young children, was starting a card business and wanted to have the perfect Jesse Tree that would last for generations. Of course I never finished the embroidery...and not one has been sewn into an ornament!

No worries! This devotional has printable symbols that don't require any time or skills on your part! I'm so relieved that diving deeper into the meaning of Christmas isn't about how pretty I can make it! Why did it take me so long to figure that out?

I think we'll hang the symbols on our little Thanksgiving Tree (one that otherwise holds gift tags in my studio).


But you can also find a branch outside. And you can even make it cute if you want to...the way Seleta did here:


A HUGE thanks to my friend Missy who told me about this devotional today. {Missy makes me laugh out loud with her well-written blog called It's Almost Naptime! Check it out!}

We'll read three devotions tonight to catch up, but it'll be worth it as we prepare our hearts to receive our King, which is what the Advent season and Christmas are all about. Ah...that reminds me of a song, which reminds me of a card inspired by the lyrics!


{available on my website here}

Joyfully celebrating and designing,

11.29.2010

Tree Trimming Fun

Forget shopping the day after Thanksgiving...we like to decorate! It's our family tradition! Christmas music piping through the house, hot apple cider, pumpkin spice cookies and even a fire (thanks to a cold front that blew in the night before)!

{When it's not cold enough for a fire, we've been known
to crank down the A/C just to make it feel like winter!}

As always, the highlight of the day is hanging ornaments on the tree. "Oooh...I love this one! Remember when...." Listening to my girls reminded me so much of my sister and me when we were little. Good times!

I confess, I used to micromanage and move the ornaments only minutes after the girls hung them, but this year, I just let them have their fun (and only moved a few). They did a fabulous job! My brilliant tip: use a step stool! {Unless you like having only the bottom half of your tree decorated. Wink!}


New to our tree last year...a train!


For those who can't stand decorating for Christmas in November, perhaps you'll give me grace since my home is my storefront this time of year (and Christmas cards are my main business). It helps get my clients (and me!) in the spirit! Look at the difference twinkling lights and a little greenery makes!

Thew view from my front door BEFORE...


...and AFTER!



And our family room BEFORE...



...and AFTER!



All this sparkle makes me want to have a party!
{Just not sure when I'll fit that in with cards!}

So how about you, Sweet Readers...do you have any tree trimming memories or traditions? I hope your decorating day (or maybe your decision not to decorate at all) brings you great joy!

Happy Monday!
P.S. Stay tuned for some of my favorite ornaments...and where to find some like them!

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