A Fun and Flattering Little Quiz

Want to add a little playfulness and flattery to your day in only a few seconds? Click here to take a quick "patternality" test (not paternity as I thought at first glance!) from Liberty of London.

Here are my results:

Love the pattern and am flattered by what it says about me (you should seriously give this quiz a try!). And wouldn't you know it...I bought this binder before I even took the quiz!

Not exactly sure what these patterns say about me:

That I'm a wild woman with a sudden overdose of bright color and bold florals? Talk about serious wardrobe shock for an otherwise plain jane closet full of solids!

I couldn't picture myself in any of these patterns, but when your sweet sister fills her cart to the brink of insanity and hand-delivers such well-priced fashions to your doorstep, you've got to give it a try! Here we go:

Yikes! My youngest daughter's expression in that first photo captures the way I felt! Ah, much more comfortable with my girls as my cover-up! Boldness is acquired in baby steps, right?

So...what's your "patternality?" Is it you? Any new favorite bold colors or patterns for spring?

P.S. I've always referred to my personal design style as "simple elegance," but in my new stationery shop, you'll find a little more "punch" in my colors. Maybe my patternality test nailed it: "subdued exuberance??!?"


Online Stationery Shop GRAND OPENING!

I'm thrilled to announce the official opening of the LLH Designs Online Stationery Shop! To celebrate, I'm offering a 15% discount on all stationery orders between now and April 15! Just enter the code SPRING15 when you check out.

Here's what's the online shop offers you:
  • lots of new designs and great color combinations
  • an easier way to view each design 
  • a shopping cart (it's so fun to fill a cart with pretty things!)
  • safe credit card payment
  • shipping or local pick up (saves you added cost and time)
Here's what hasn't changed:
  • personal attention...it's still the same passionate, creative, personal me on the other end of the computer, and that will never change!
  • quality...everything is still produced "boutique-style," never mass produced
  • prices...despite the added credit card fees on my end, all prices are the same on your end
Happy shopping! It's the only time of year I offer a stationery discount (and I close for a couple months in the summer), so now's the time to stock up on your favorite paper goods! As always, feel free to share the discount with your friends.

P.S. I'll still handle cards, invitations and announcements the old fashioned way (online order forms) since they are a bit more custom. To find out more about those items, visit me at www.LLHdesigns.com.  


The Spring Break That Almost Wasn't: Part Deux

Suitcases were packed, snacks were stocked, maps were studied, a farm cottage was reserved...we were all set for our country adventure in Franklin, Tennessee. But if you read my last post, you know what happened. Attack of the tree pollen. Mama was down. No go.

Let me tell you...I was one crabby apple when it came to adjusting my expectations. I tried to blame it on not feeling well, then on the medicine (I'm a natural girl as much as I can be; allergy meds make me feel weird). But the truth is, I was crabby because I didn't get my way. Because I made plans. Because suddenly, I wasn't in control. Oh, wait...I'm never in control. I just act like I am. Thank you, Lord, for the reminder.

My husband deserves a superhero cape for putting up with me. In fact, he deserves two capes: one for planning an alternate adventure for his family, and a second for enduring the grumbling of his wife. "But I don't feel good...but the lady in Franklin wants us to pay every penny...but I packed winter clothes and now I have to re-pack...but I've never heard of that place...but how do you know if it's any good?" 

He was a saint. He deserves to be sainted, knighted, appreciated and admired. Thank you, sweet husband, for taking the bull by the horns and planning a last-minute Texas Hill Country Adventure that we'll never forget.

Cavern exploring, nature trails, fresh eggs, a good old fashioned board game, the first hint of bluebonnets, horse-back riding, puddle jumping, sunset watching, driving a thousand miles with nature, good conversation and a few fun stops to pass the time (no videos needed!)...what could be better than that? Only this...

...smiles, secrets, laughter and JOY!

Here's to feeling completely out of control, frustrated by unmet expectations, unsure of what's ahead...and finding out that it was even better than you could have imagined. God is good like that!

"And now to the God who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine...."
Ephesians 3:20


The Spring Break That Almost Wasn't

Our much-anticipated, eagerly-awaited road trip to Frankin, Tennessee...was a no-go. Frown. Furrow. Grumble.

My husband was in the mood for a road trip. I was in the mood to revisit my old stomping ground (I went to church in Franklin during my four years at Vanderbilt and always ate homemade biscuits and jam at Dotson's...real country cookin' where they let me "pay next time, honey" when I didn't have enough cash). My girls wanted an adventure. And our whole family was in the mood for some small-town, countrified living...or at least a week-long "pretend version."

But tree pollen won. Spring Fever became a literal fever...and a sinus infection...and an ear ache. So the days that were supposed to be spent cruising up the Natchez Trace and into Franklin...were spent here...at home...with me using more kleenex than I've ever used in my life!  

Don't get me wrong, I'm the ultimate homebody and love my house, but I struggle with expectations...and struggle with an attitude adjustment when they aren't met. I'm working on it, but this side of heaven, it sure is hard to get a handle on this flaw-o-mine! 

But my superhero husband came through. It didn't look pretty at first glance, but it was quite the adventure. I have stories to tell and a few pictures to share, but for now...I need a kleenex and a clearer head!

Stay tuned, friends-o-mine!


Spring Fever

Something's in the air...literally. Way too much tree pollen for me, friends! And it's making me do crazy things. Like filling my shopping cart with every single organizational item Target had in this new Liberty of London pattern.

Crazy nuts. I just might have to go into the business of selling organizational bins and baskets because I'm a bit overloaded. I can't possibly use them all, but great colors, happy pattern, awesome price...who could resist? I never go to this particular Target...and the Liberty of London stuff wasn't even supposed to be available until the 14th...so it was meant to be, right?

Here's a sneak peak at some of the other items that will soon be out in full force. How about those rain boots?!?! Sweet sissy-o-mine, please get me those rain boots while I'm on the road and nowhere near a Target!

I've got miles to go before I sleep (and I need some serious sleep before hitting the road at the crack of dawn), but I want to share four creative ladies and their blogs with you before I go:
  • Tembo Studio - The brand new blog of my famously talented sister. You've seen me feature several things she's made, but you'll want to stay tuned to her ongoing creations. She's a real-deal artist with more creativity in her pinky than I'll ever have. Seriously! And I'm cool with that!
  • Lulu's Musings - Lulu gets her name from my children. She's my creative, always-working-with-her-hands Mom. She's a fiber artist who muses about everything from food to sports to setting a beautiful table.
  • Holly Mathis Interiors - Holly Mathis is my new "blog friend." We connected through blogging, but then got to meet in person and were instant friends. I love her already!
  • the b.wise blog - Alston Wise is a card designer (love that about her!) with a great eye. She has a clean design style but with a more graphic/pattern-creating kind of talent than I have. I love seeing what she's up to.
That should keep you busy while I'm road-tripping. Our first long trip with the girls...can't wait for the memories we create! Favorite car games anyone?

Franklin, Tennessee...here we come!

Psst...the official LLH Designs online stationery shop is set to open when I get back! Stay tuned!


Dress Forms + Paper = Fashion Fun

I'm calling it "Cobbler's Wife Syndrome." My youngest daughter's birthday is at the tail-end of our back-to-back birthday bonanza, and I just plain and simple ran out of time to design her invitation. So...(insert a grumble, gasp or sigh)...I went online and sent a cute but unoriginal email invitation. Ugh! At least I Photoshopped like a pro.

I know the online invitation is popular in today's digital age, but I love paper, I love real mail, I love the way a custom invitation sets the tone for the party, and for crying out loud...this is my business! Cobbler's Wife Syndrome at its best.

Time to move on. Real life happens. But what exactly is a FASHION PARTY anyway? I don't do hair, makeup or nails (one look at me makes any attempt at those things seem silly), but what else is there?

I turned to my birthday girl for inspiration. She loves fashion, and in her mind, that means mixing and matching clothes in fun ways. So here you have it: my daughter's fashion sense mixed with my design and printing skills.

This design was inspired by the popular dress form...
only this one is just right for children. Flat chested!

And this one was inspired by
an Anthropologie dress I'd love to own!

After printing these hand-drawn "design your own" dress forms on cardstock, I enjoyed the therapeutic, simple task of cutting fashions from my favorite children's catalog, Mini Boden.
My daughter loves to cut (who doesn't)...
especially when I let her use sharp scissors!
Next step...sorting.
Because organization makes everything better!

For the Anthropologie-inspired dress, I reminded the girls that colored pencils are what "real" designers use and provided an abundant supply of brand new ones. Let the fashion designing begin!

And since I deprived those ten precious girls the thrill of receiving real mail on the front end, and because I still believe in the hand-written thank you note above all else (Thanks, Mom!), I'll print some stationery.  that my daughter's big handwriting and cute mis-spellings will fill beautifully!

 My daughter's big, uneven handwriting and cute misspellings will fill these beautifully!


The Perils of Too Much

They say too much of a good thing...isn't good. Really? I guess I like to find things out the hard way...or the stubborn way. I prefer to think of myself as highly focused, dedicated and hard working, but it's time I call a spade a spade: I'm stubborn, and now I'm paying for it.

Have you ever torn the meniscus (aka "cartilage") in your knee? Hurts, right? That's what my hip feels like today. Big time ouch. I wish I could blame it on some athletic prowess...like all of those years I spent hurling fast balls, slinging curve balls and spinning change-ups. After all, I did have to drag and snap my right hip in some pretty crazy ways to get a ball to move around the plate so precisely.

Here I am staring down the batter.
[Actually, I never made eye contact...just studied the way
she stood at the plate and picked my pitch. Maybe I'll show
you some crazy looking action shots some day!]

But softball isn't to blame...at least not entirely. The way I sit at my computer (all twisted up, curled up and goofed up) for way too many hours at a time is to blame. All of this excitement over new designs and setting up my online stationery shop has had me glued to my computer with very little interruption. Some days, I even forgot to eat...very weird for my food loving self!

But I've got one hugely amazing thing going for me with this hip funk. I'm married to the most amazing sports injury specialist in the world:

He calls himself a "body mechanic. " Patients call him a "magician." Whatever he is, he's doing what God made him to do and is doing it well. And if I do what the good doc tells me to do, I'll be pain free in no time (because yes, he fixes funky sitting injuries, too!). Thanks in advance, Dr. H!

So today, I'll watch his little posture awareness video (notice his smile as he teaches), try really hard to sit correctly, and take more breaks...looking for the joy in this day. Because I do know this...you can never have too much of a good thing when it comes to joy!


My Desktop Story

Hello lovely desk! We bonded this weekend...big time. You're looking a little crazy this morning, but before I clean you up, I'm going to show my friends what a creative weekend looks like around here:

Lots of paper! Sometimes a few dozen prints of the same design...
each one with it's own teeny, tiny, only-I-would-notice-tweak.
But don't worry...I reuse and recycle every single scrap!

A peek into my crazy editing mode.

Love the chandelier, but not settled on the font. And still
dreaming of another French design element...a sconce maybe?

My trusty trackball. Boy do I give it a workout each day!

Despite all the technology around me, I'm still a notebook girl.
Always will be. Putting pen or pencil to paper just does something for me.

My two best friends in the studio:
dark chocolate ("extreme" in this case) and a giant cup of tea.

So there you have it...my desktop story. A mess of happiness. How about you? What story does your desktop tell today?

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