Q+A with Meghan Alonso | Life with Peanut | WCW

Meghan is the talented mama behind

Life with Peanut

. She was inspired to create art for her home after her daughter was born and now has a wide range of printables for home and nursery. From there she has also branched out into the world of logos and branding as well. Keep reading to find out more about this creative boss lady!

Q. My hometown is...

A.

I never know how to answer this question because we moved so much when I was a kid. Born in Burlington County, New Jersey. Lived in Everett, Washington (where I consider being raised since I remember it the most). And now have lived in and around Miami for the last 20 years.

What inspires you?

my daughter.

@lifewithpeanut

What's your creative process like?

When I got pregnant, I had no idea how I wanted to decorate my daughter's room. Did I want a theme? What colors? So now when I want to create new art prints, I think of a new theme I could have decorated her room and start thinking of prints I would have wanted to hang if we had gone with that theme.

What's your business all about?

Making your house your home. I sell art prints for any space –home, office and especially nursery. Though we are expanding our product line this summer, home decor will always be the base of our shop.

@lifewithpeanut

When and how did you start your business?

My sister actually talked me into it. She owns her own shop and thought maybe we could go into business together. When we realized that it wasn't feasible, I decided I could do it on my own.

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome to get to where you are today?

Understanding that if I wanted to do this, I needed to make this a job and not a hobby. As a hobby, I was just throwing things up in my shop with no vision. Now, a year later, I know where I want this shop to go and have my business plan laid out.

@lifewithpeanut

The thing that surprised me most was...

how amazing the small business world is. I have met so many moms in the same position as me. You would think everyone would be after each other so they could get ahead, but instead, everyone is willing to help each other out. I've even become great friends with other shops that sell art prints.

I'm most grateful for...

the support my husband gives me. He keeps telling me to get this business going more and more so he can quit his job and stay home. (lol)

@lifewithpeanut

My advice for anyone thinking of making and selling is...

to make some decisions before you start selling. Think of where you want the shop to be in six months, a year, five years. I didn't do this and I wasted a lot of money trying to find myself.

Is there anything you would do differently if you had to start over today?

Besides writing up a plan at the beginning instead of jumping right in, no. It was all a great learning experience for me.

@lifewithpeanut

My favorite colors are...

blue, gray and black (boring!).

The song that's stuck in my head lately is...

"I'm going on a trip in my favorite rocket ship..." oh, the life of a mom.

Currently streaming...

Better Call Saul

My favorite sip-able treat is...

Diet Coke

@lifewithpeanut

If I could pick a super power it would be...

Fly. I used to have dreams when I was a kid that I could fly.

The actress that would play me in the movie of my life would be...

This is a question that was actually from my bridal shower game and I didn't know how to answer it...still don't. So I'll use the overwhelming answer from that day, Sandra Bullock.

My favorite childhood toy was...

a puzzle of the United States. My sisters and I used to time each other to see who could put it together the fastest (nerds).

If I had the whole day to myself I would...

probably work. But I would want to relax, lay by the pool, catch up on some TV, sleep.

@lifewithpeanut

Best quote ever...

Don't tell people your dreams, show them!

Best book ever...

Jane Eyre. I've loved that book since high school.

Best movie ever...

Pretty Woman

My Woman crushes are:

I don't really have any. I don't watch TV or movies much, and I'm so not into reading magazines or watching reality TV. Maybe Jennifer Garner; she seems pretty down to earth. Oh, and I love me some Ellen DeGeneres!

Follow me at:

Website:

www.lifewithpeanut.com

Etsy: 

lifewithpeanut.etsy.com

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/lifewithpeanut

Instagram:

www.instagram.com/lifewithpeanut

Pinterest:

www.pinterest.com/lifewithpeanut

Twitter:

www.twitter/com/lifewpeanut

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Q+A with Angela | Learn Live Hope Apparel | WCW

Angela is the heart behind

Learn Live Hope Apparel

 and she is building a brand that makes you look good and feel amazing! You can tell all the positive vibes she pours into each design! I really enjoyed learning more about her and the shop, like the origin of her shop name, and I think you will too.

Q. My hometown is...

A.

Grew up in a suburb of Denver, CO currently reside in CO Springs, CO

What inspires you?

Hands down my son. No matter what I am doing, he always seems to be at the root of it in some way.

Love this line up of

@learnlivehopeapparel

designs

What's your creative process like?

Often ideas just randomly come to me. I can be in the middle of playing with my son, and I blurt out a phrase or nickname to him and then think...this should be on a shirt. I jot down those random things in a notebook and then when I have time after he goes to bed, I sit down and expand on those ideas by thinking up designs to go along with them. Other times I come up with an image or idea in my head (sometimes when I wake up at 3am and cant fall back asleep, ha) and go from there. I think there is definitely inspiration all around in my day to day.

What's your business all about?

I really want to build a positive lifestyle brand. Focusing on providing unique apparel for children and mother's, that has a love filled message behind it. Or simply something that is so relatable to us as mothers. I like having a mix of more artistic designs, and simple saying that can resonate with others.

Adorable tank and onesie by

@learnlivehopeapparel

When and how did you start your business?

I was a preschool teacher for 5 years, and then quit when I had my son. I always knew I wanted to be a SAHM once I had children, and that my teaching days would be over. When my son was 9 months old I began thinking about what I could do that was for me. A passion, a way I could tap into my creative side which had been laying dormant. That combined with my healthy obsession with my son, and clothes led me to want to create my own line of clothing. So I set my mind to it, and a few months later opened my shop in January of this year.

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome to get to where you are today?

The biggest challenge is probably the belief in myself that I can do this, and actually succeed at it. And in all honesty, it's a challenge I still am facing and learning to overcome.

@learnlivehopeapparel

The thing that surprised me most was...

My own ability (I told you, I have to work on believing in myself ha). When I first opened I collaborated with Whimsy Blue Avenue on a few designs. She did an amazing job on the Shoot for the Stars, Birds, and Tree designs and bringing my ideas to life. All the other designs, have been done by me. Including the feather design, which I hand drew and the tornado tee which has been my best seller. It is really such an amazing feeling knowing that others like something that I came up with.

I'm most grateful for...

The IG community. Whether it's the support of other shop owners, and being able to learn and grow from them. Or all the amazing mom's and kiddos who I have had the pleasure to work with being my brand reps and enthusiasts. And every single person who supports small shops and purchases from us. I know that often you can go buy things from Target or other big box sellers, but it really means so much when they make a purchase because everything comes from such a place of love and I strive to provide the best quality.

@learnlivehopeapparel

My advice for anyone thinking of making and selling is...

Don't give up... and surround yourself with others who will lift you up on the days you don't feel as confident. If you love what you are doing and believe in it, it is worth it every time hands down.

My favorite colors are...

I think it is probably really clear when you visit my page ha. I love grey above all...it's in every room of my house and my nails are often a shade of grey. Next white and black...I mean can you go wrong with those? And then mint and yellow are my favorite pops of color in my world of neutrals.

@learnlivehopeapparel

The song that's stuck in my head lately is...

I am kind of embarrassed to say because the lyrics are a bit....like baby making music for lack of a better word. Hahaha. But I am loving Chase Rice "Ride"...its just so catchy I swear. In general I listen to country 95% of the time, though I enjoy most genres of music.

Currently streaming...

I might be the only person not in the Netflix fan club. We don't have it, haven't in years. But I will admit I am a bit of a reality tv junky. That plus Ellen, HGTV, and The Good Wife is my favorite show!

@learnlivehopeapparel

My favorite sip-able treat is...

I'm weird and actually love water! And Spark...I call it my happy mommy juice. I think I would actually die without it...it is so yummy and gives me the best energy. Lets just say it replaced coffee for me. And after a long day a glass of Moscato d'asti is always nice.

If I could pick a super power it would be...

Maybe to see the future. I am a control freak and I always hate having a feeling of not knowing what will happen or how something will turn out.

@learnlivehopeapparel

The actress that would play me in the movie of my life would be...

Maybe a brunette Jennifer Aniston...I just love her. I mean who doesn't, right?

My favorite childhood toy was...

My easy bake oven...man I loved that thing!

If I had the whole day to myself I would...

Sleep in until a whopping 7am (my son is a chronic early riser), go to brunch somewhere. I absolutely love brunch and it doesn't happen often enough. Then maybe go do some shopping, and followed by a trip to my favorite day spa.

@learnlivehopeapparel

Best quote ever...

Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow. Hence the origination of my shop name.

Best book ever...

I am a Nicholas Sparks junky...I have read almost every book.

Best movie ever...

The Notebook, duh.

My Woman crushes are:

Jennifer Aniston and Rachel McAdams

Follow me at:

Shop:

www.learnlivehopeapparel.storenvy.com

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/learnlivehopeapparel

Instagram:

@learnlivehopeapparel

Q+A with Laura Fetterolf | Home Sewn by Laura | WCW

I found Laura's shop,

Home Sewn by Laura

, when a friend tagged me on one of her giveaway posts. She makes the cutest teethers and soft shoes for kiddos! They must be comfy too because they are the first pair of shoes my daughter actually asked me to put on her feet...usually she's pulling them off, constantly! Read more about this sweet maker and snag a 20% off coupon at the end of the post!

Q. My hometown is...

A.

Easton, PA (Home of Crayola crayons!)

What inspires you?

Color! I love patterns and bold colors. I sometimes have a hard time toning down my love of bold patterns and colors to make things that my customers want. Many of them have told me they want more neutral colored shoes offered. It's hard to find a balance between the fabrics I'm drawn to and what my customers will actually buy!!

One woman shoe factory! 

@homesewnbylaura

What's your creative process like?

I feel like I have creative "spurts," as many makers do. I can't just sit down and force myself to come up with ideas. I truly come up with my best ideas while laying in bed staring at the 1980s drop ceiling in my bedroom! There's something about the pattern on those ceiling tiles... :)

What's your business all about?

My business is about making fun, comfy shoes for babies and toddlers. It's about color! It's about helping moms finally find shoes that stay on chubby baby feet! It's abut creating relationships and even "friendships" with people near and far!

Oh the places you'll go in 

@homesewnbylaura

 soft shoes!

When and how did you start your business?

I started my business almost three years ago while I was nearing the end of my year of maternity leave with my daughter. I had started tooling around with my sewing machine and had found a pattern for baby shoes that I was trying to perfect. People saw the shoes on my daughter and told me I should sell them. Since I knew I wasn't going to be going back to work after my maternity leave (I was going to resign from teaching for a few years while my kids were young), it seemed like a good time to take the plunge into the handmade world and make a little extra money.

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome to get to where you are today?

For the first few years of owning my Etsy shop, I felt very alone when it came to having other people to bounce my ideas off of, ask small business questions, vent about why Etsy was slow, etc. But this past fall I found the IG community, as well as a community on Facebook, and have gained a huge support system from other small shop owners. The support has been great!

Love this artist in action event concept. 

@homesewnbylaura

The thing that surprised me most was...

The cycles of online sales. I can predict when I will be busy (September-April) and when sales will slow down a bit (May-August). I am starting my fourth year on Etsy and the cycles still prove to be true!

I'm most grateful for...

..the support of my husband!

Let's go adventuring in

@homesewnbylaura

 shoes!

My advice for anyone thinking of making and selling is...

Stay positive and persevere!!! There will always be time when business is slow! There will always be times when you want to go all "Office Space" on your sewing machine! There will be times when you want to throw in the towel! But if this is something you really love and want to do, keep at it and try to remember the good times, the successful times.

Is there anything you would do differently if you had to start over today?

Take better pictures of my products from the very beginning!

So much love goes into these little shoes! 

@homesewnbylaura

My favorite colors are...

Turquoise!

The song that's stuck in my head lately is...

The Hot Dog song from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

I love the fun and bright 

fabric

 choices Laura makes! Soft shoes by 

@homesewnbylaura

Currently streaming...

I need a new show! I just finished up a series and now I'm tempted to rewatch Lost this summer.

My favorite sip-able treat is...

Seltzer!

One woman shoe factory! 

@homesewnbylaura

If I could pick a super power it would be...

Teleportation. We do a lot of driving to see family and I wish there was a way to get to places faster!

The actress that would play me in the movie of my life would be...

I've been told that I resemble Demi Lovato...

Playful soft shoes by 

@homesewnbylaura

My favorite childhood toy was...

the dollhouse my grandfather made for me in 1992. My daughter now has it. My grandfather is gone now and I think of him every time she plays with it!

If I had the whole day to myself I would...

Go to a store and actually try on clothes. Then I would just sit in the car and listen to music while sipping an iced coffee from Starbucks!

Teethers by 

@homesewnbylaura

Best quote ever...

"Do not be anxious for anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your mind through Jesus Christ." Phillipians 4:6-7

Best book ever...

The Alchemist by Pablo Coelho....an absolutely beautiful book about never being too old to chase your dreams and not settling for what life has handed you

Best movie ever...

I'm not much of a movie person...but currently we love Tangled at our house!

Follow me at:

Etsy Shop:

www.etsy.com/shop/HomeSewnbyLaura

Instagram:

https://instagram.com/HomeSewnbyLaura

ENJOY 20% OFF WITH CODE: THANKS20

Q+A with Nastasha Waller | Payslie Prints 'n' Things | WCW

Nastasha Waller is the beautiful and talented momma behind

Payslie Prints 'n' Things.

She's always been a maker and her family and friends kept encouraging her to sell her creations and I'm so glad they did! Read more about this creative lady and take advantage of her 25% off coupon code, exclusive to my readers, at the end of the Q+A.

Q. My hometown is...

A.

Puyallup, WA

What inspires you?

My kids. And the chance to one day stay home with them.

Nastasha of

@payslieprintsnthings

's creative space where all the mom boss action happens!

What's your creative process like?

I have a desk in the garage (first time in years I've had an "office"!!) that my husband set up for me when we moved last month. From 7-8 p.m. I get uninterrupted time to work. I put music on, sit on my rug, and craft away! I get so lost in my work that I lose track of time, lol. I don't really have any other process besides just putting things together and seeing if it looks good. If it doesn't, I try something different.

www.PaysliePrintsnThings.com

Tutu by 

@payslieprintsnthings

What's your business all about?

Tutus, bows, headbands, all things girly. Although I am really trying to add boy items. It's hard, though. The world is full of cute stuff for girls and not enough for boys!

When and how did you start your business?

I have always had an artistic side and my husband would try to convince me to sell my paintings all the time. I painted a wall letter for my daughter's room to match her bedding and after receiving many inquiries from friends on facebook, I decided to sell them. I started Payslie Prints 'n Things to sell wall letters but it has now evolved to tutus, blankets, shirts, headbands, and more!

Adorable mermaid outfit by 

@payslieprintsnthings

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome to get to where you are today?

My biggest challenge has and still is my confidence. I get so anxious sending out photos or product to my customers hoping they like what I created for them. Because I am a custom order shop for the most part, I have to take ideas that they send me and create. Sometimes it's hard to imagine what they are seeing through email! And I want everyone to like their items. 

A year ago I almost quit. I was faced with some challenges that had me questioning if I could be successful. It took a couple months to turn things around and realize that I didn't need other people's approval to keep going.

I'm most grateful for...

my husband. He is the one who ultimately pushed me to start this creative outlet. He has had his own doubts about it, but lately he is the one who has been most encouraging for me. He bought my desk for me as a surprise because he knew I needed something other than a kitchen table. He has been helping me come up with ideas for product. He has been so gracious with his time: he keeps the kids busy every night so I can complete orders. Without him, this business would have failed.

Rad little boy shirt and bummies by 

@payslieprintsnthings

Is there anything you would do differently if you had to start over today?

I would definitely not look for approval elsewhere. I know my product is great and I know I have what it takes to get somewhere. I wasted so much of my time in the beginning seeking approval and could have used that energy in creating new product.

My favorite colors are...

coral, pink, purple, and red

The song that's stuck in my head lately is...

Sugar by Maroon 5. Payslie loves that song. She thinks the lyrics are, "Sugah.... Yes pea...." lol.

Cutest little Birthday Babe in her 

@payslieprintsnthings

tutu!

Currently streaming...

Grey's Anatomy on netflix

My favorite sip-able treat is...

Mama Mango Moscato. Yuuum!

If I could pick a super power it would be...

Can I just choose a super hero? I want to be Scarlet Witch. She's hot.

Dreamiest little tutus by 

@payslieprintsnthings

The actress that would play me in the movie of my life would be...

Alexis Bledel

My favorite childhood toy was...

Easy Bake, Lite Bright, and Barbies

If I had the whole day to myself I would...

sleep in, take a hot shower without kids, watch Grey's, and craft.

Best movie ever...

Beaches

My Woman crushes are:

Kristin Bell

Follow me at:

Website:

www.PaysliePrintsnThings.com

Facebook:

www.Facebook.com/PaysliePrintsnThings

Instagram:

www.instagram.com/payslieprintsnthings

TAKE 25% OFF WITH CODE: 2FIVE

Q+A with Shayla | Glitter and Mint | WCW

Shayla of

Glitter and Mint

is a super mom who sews all the things! I love this military mom's down to earth attitude and her refreshing "keep-it-simple" approach. Continue reading to find out more about this beautiful mama and the apparel + accessories she makes!

Q. My hometown is...

A.

Spokane, WA but I am living in Newport news, Virginia right now. We are a military family traveling the world.

What inspires you?

These other moms out there doing some great for there families as well. I know that if there making it possible that I can and will be able to be big and great right along with them.

l love Shayla's bright and beautiful sewing spot! 

@glitterandmint

What's your creative process like?

I always go back on forth to make sure everything looks right before I finalize the final product. I take hours in the fabric stores picking out just the right fabrics and materials. And among all this there is definitely lots of iced mochas and late nights!

What's your business all about?

Thats still an un answered question. For me I am learning each day, getting new ideas and trying to figure out which way I want to take my shop. I will have this accomplished by the new year most definitely.

@glitterandmint

When and how did you start your business?

I started my business in January 2015 with just starting off with shabby flower headbands until I made enough money to purchase a sewing machine.

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome to get to where you are today?

Starting out with almost nothing. I just took what I had and did what I could. I still am fairly new to this mom shop and each day I am growing more and more.

Bow headband by 

@glitterandmint

The thing that surprised me most was...

Making something that I love to do and actually making it happen. Creating my own brand and getting my name out there!

I'm most grateful for...

my husband who has supported me since day one and the chance to be able to help bring in some income since I stay at home with the kids.

Skirt by 

@glitterandmint

My advice for anyone thinking of making and selling is...

Go for it. Don't take on too much at first that way you don't get over whelmed and give up!

Is there anything you would do differently if you had to start over today?

Nothing.

Headwrap by 

@glitterandmint

My favorite colors are...

Mint, Gold and Coral

The song that's stuck in my head lately is...

See you again - Wiz Khalifa

@glitterandmint

Currently streaming...

Hulu for sure. We don't have cable so I get to watch all my favorite tv shows on there!

My favorite sip-able treat is...

Starbucks Iced white chocolate mochas!

@glitterandmint

If I could pick a super power it would be...

To be able to clone myself so that way I wouldn't have to do all the chores.

Teleportation. We do a lot of driving to see family and I wish there was a way to get to places faster!

My favorite childhood toy was...

Not a toy but just always being outside with my sister playing and enjoying the air and sun.

If I had the whole day to myself I would...

Get Starbucks! Thats definitely the first thing I would do. Then I would go to a spa and get a massage and nails done. I would then rent a room in the fanciest hotel and get my pajamas on and crawl into that huge king size bed and watch movies while eating ice cream until I fell asleep! I would just love to catch up on some much needed sleep!

Adorable packaging 

@glitterandmint

Best quote ever...

" You know you are in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better then your dreams." - Dr. Seuss

Best book ever...

Heaven is for real

Best movie ever...

The Notebook

My Woman crushes are:

It would have to be my mother. When she was my age she was in the military life just as we are and had no friends or family to be around and raised us kids while my dad went to work every day. I now know the challenges she went thru but we are both strong women and can conquer anything!

Follow me at:

Facebook

Etsy

Instagram

Q+A with Brooke Bowen | Fresh Pressed Prints



When Brooke Bowen of Fresh Pressed Prints signed up to be featured I didn't really know her that well, yet.  I had seen her adorable shirts floating around Instagram, and thought they were so cute, especially the "Rollin' wit da Pollies" tee. Now I know what a talented artist she is in her own right and that makes me love her and her company even more! You seriously HAVE to see her awesome time lapse videos in this post and read more about this creative mom boss!

Q. My hometown is...
A. I grew up in Northern California but recently moved to Utah.

What inspires you?
So much inspires me. I am a huge advocate for life-long learning so I am constantly perusing books. I am constantly looking through books on artists and different art processes and am very inspired by that. I also am the Mother to three very different boys who are the inspiration for my hard work but not necessarily inspiration for my ideas. I look back to my childhood and what intrigued me at young ages mixed with my view as a Mother for many of my ideas.

Go behind the scenes of Fresh Pressed Prints with these time lapse videos of Brooke in Action!


What's your creative process like?
So many people assume that I can just sit down and whip out amazing creative works and call it talent. It is so completely different than that for me though. Creating a new line can be very difficult, because I am taking an intangible idea and trying to make it real. I have an idea on the message I want to convey and then I start sketching ideas. So many ideas are really bad. So I keep sketching these bad ideas until I get frustrated. I spend almost every waking (or mind aching) moment thinking about these ideas. It keeps me up, but I know that it takes a certain amount of hours of work and thought before that work turns into a usable idea. Then I hit that amount of hours of work and then the ideas come almost all at once. I then redo each design several times until not only are they good in their own right but also wonderful together as a series. For my Spring/Summer collection I have about 20 drawings, 6 sketches that were terrible ideas, 4 that were nice but didn't have the right feel to fit in the series, 6 that were redone and reworked for my shirts, and 4 completed ones that were put onto the shirts. I also took those ideas and expanded them further into fabric designs and other objects that further convey my message. It takes three to four weeks to complete a vision. I do like to add fun objects afterwards that I keep mostly exclusive to pop up shops.

What's your business all about?
I am an artist and a teacher at heart. I love to teach children about art very much, but the satisfaction is seeing their minds turned on in understanding and stimulating their creativity. My goal with my shirts is to spark that imagination and creativity. Even with my latest series it is amazing to watch how it affects how my boys see the world. Seeing bugs and shovels on their own clothes they have been more excited about the bugs they see outside and digging holes. I hope that my clothes will suggest to these young minds to observe and play, since doing so is learning.


Onesie by @freshpressedprints
When and how did you start your business?
I started my shop July 2014 last year. As an artist I learned many different printing process at my university and the one I didn't learn was screen printing. So wanting to learn all printmaking process I read many books before trying it out. I started screen printing swaddling blankets for my friends' baby showers for a couple years before deciding to try doing some shirts for my friends' kids and my own boys. I loved the whole process of making shirts for my boys and really wanted to share my ideas with the world, so I opened Fresh Pressed Prints.

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome to get to where you are today?
I have had to overcome many challenges, but I am not close to where I want to be. I definitely feel like I am still in the trenches fighting each day to keep my little shop open. Looking over the last 9 months as well as into the immediate future I feel like the biggest challenges are finding my audience and sticking with it. So many shop owners that stick with it through the difficult days are the ones who are successful.

Shirts by @freshpressedprints
The thing that surprised me most was...
that Fresh Pressed Prints would take on a life of its own. It is almost like another person, with its own vision and its need to grow. It really is amazing.

I'm most grateful for...
the opportunity to draw and paint. Before I started this business my art was suffering. I love being a Mom but finding time to pull out my paints, finding a group to paint with, or finding a model was nearly impossible. It was the hardest when I would pull out the paints and be constantly interrupted by young children. Designing shirts are so completely different that it is easy to take a step away and knowing it was easy to pick back up again. I have been able to get more art into the time I have now with three kids then I was able to with two.


Shirt by @freshpressedprints
My advice for anyone thinking of making and selling is...
Be in it for the long haul. Keep your vision of what you want your business to be at the forefront of your mind and hold onto that vision when the hard days come. Don't expect to boom overnight, and don't expect to be bringing in money for at least the first year.

Is there anything you would do differently if you had to start over today?
My designs are much more evolved then the ones I was doing when I first started, but I wouldn't do anything differently. It really takes many many hours of work and designing to get successful designs. Each one of those hours led to so much experience that is worth more than my business.


Shirt by @freshpressedprints
My favorite colors are... Green and blue. And coral. And Burnt Umber. And sienna. Teal is one that I have to have in every room in my house. I have so many favorite colors!

The song that's stuck in my head lately is...
Jingle Bells. My two oldest boys' favorite song that is sung year round at our house.


Shirts by @freshpressedprints
Currently streaming...
Ms. Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Mysteries at the Museum, which I wish they had more seasons on Netflix.

My favorite sip-able treat is...
Vanilla Coke, though it is a rare treat.


Shirt by @freshpressedprints
If I could pick a super power it would be...
Magical Cleaning Powers (I hate cleaning)

The actress that would play me in the movie of my life would be...
Cate Blanchett because I get compared to her all the time. Or Ellie Kemper because of the way she plays innocence and happiness.

My favorite childhood toy was...
Beanie Babies

If I had the whole day to myself I would...
Sleep

Best book ever...
Persuasion by Jane Austin. I always dismissed it through high school in favor of Emma and it's twists and turns of discovering love. As I have gotten older I have loved Persuasion more and more as I see the magic behind an enduring love and loyalty.

My Woman crushes are:
Definitely some of my favorite women artists. Mary Cassatt and Minerva Teichert are a couple that I would love to sit with and pick their brain. Unfortunately they aren't alive. Rose Datoc Dall is one who I absolutely love and am so lucky to know.

Follow me at:
Instagram: @freshpressedprints
Facebook: www.facebook.com/freshpressedprints
Shop: www.freshpressedprints.etsy.com

Q+A with Aubrey Cantu | Bertie Lou Baby

Aubrey and I connected on Instagram when I was looking for some shops to do trades with for flatlays. I loved the whimsical, energetic style of her handmade toddler bag line Bertie Lou Baby and she was such a sweetheart! We clicked and have been the biggest fans and supporters of each other along the way. This mama has such a kind and quirky soul, you just HAVE to "meet" her!


Q. My hometown is...
A. Silsbee, Texas, is where I grew up. But San Antonio, Texas, is home.

What inspires you?
My daughter. My love of the creative process. Textiles with interesting colors, textures or patterns. My faith. Music of all kinds. Art. The whimsy of childhood and the fun of a child's imagination. To see these awesome little girls from all walks of life wearing and enjoying the bags that I stitch is just an awesome feeling. Knowing that I don't know what's coming next but just jumping and going for it. The exhilaration of the "trying" is a really big thing for me.


The magic mini-bag factory @bertieloubaby
What's your creative process like?
From a very young age, I discovered that if I wasn't expressing my creativity in some way, that I felt stagnant. So I have a tremendous respect and love of the creative process. For me, it's not just having an idea and then sitting down to sketch the pattern and testing the pattern and revising the pattern and choosing the fabrics, etc. That's all part of it, yes -- but for me, the heart of my process is really a challenge to myself. "Can I create this?" "Can I find a way to make this work?" "Can I find a better way to do it?" So for me, the creative process is very personal.

What's your business all about?
Bertie Lou Baby at the very heart is about making awesome bags for awesome kids. It's about making heirloom-quality bags that capture the spirit and vitality of childhood, and expressing that in a totally unique and one-of-a-kind way so that every bag is as unique as the kiddo that carries it.


That fabric and trim stash though! @bertieloubaby
When and how did you start your business?
I've had a desire to have a handmade business for quite a while, and on my shop's page, you can see that Bertie Lou Baby was founded and opened in 2012. But work and other ventures always kept me from devoting the time I needed to get it off the ground. In July, 2014, I stitched an early version of my "Tilly the Octopus" bags for my best friend's little girls and I just thought that it might be a great opportunity to put myself out there and to give Bertie Lou Baby a go. I stitched another bag for my daughter, and another for my sister and began revising and rewriting the pattern. And after that I just went for it. I was very lucky to already be plugged into the IG community and had made some very good and dear friends that supported me and pushed me and mentored me - and still do. I owe a whole lot of my success to those women that were willing to stick their necks out to support me or were willing to work with me. Tamara Arcilla was one of those women, and I am forever grateful.

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome to get to where you are today?
Timing has always been my biggest challenge. My second is a chronic condition which I battle on an everyday basis. So once the timing worked itself out, it was a question of whether I would allow my condition to limit my choices. And in the end, the answer for me was "no".


Adorable owl bag by @bertieloubaby

The thing that surprised me most was...
The thing that has surprised me most is the discovery of my entrepreneurial spirit. Creating a product is one thing; selling it is quite another. I started BLB because I wanted an excuse to stitch and be creative. But in launching my brand, I found that I enjoy all aspects of running a business. From budgeting to marketing, branding and networking - the entire process is something that I enjoy. And figuring out that I didn't just want to sew purses for little girls, but that I wanted to build a recognizable brand was a huge surprise for me.


I'm most grateful for...
My loving and giving husband who has always been my biggest support and for my beautiful grandmother who taught me the skills that I use everyday. I owe both of them a great debt of gratitude.


Bag by @bertieloubaby
My advice for anyone thinking of making and selling is...
Find your creative voice and go for it. You'll never know if you don't try.

Is there anything you would do differently if you had to start over today?
I would probably make a better plan to strike a more even home/work balance. It's something I struggle with every day.


Bag by @bertieloubaby

My favorite colors are... Gray and grayer.
The song that's stuck in my head lately is...
The entire new The Decemberists album. It's on eternal repeat in my little studio.


@bertieloubaby

Currently streaming...
I just finished Sons of Anarchy and LOST on Netflix. Sundays are for Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley at our house.

My favorite sip-able treat is...
I run on an equally balanced formula of coffee and malbec.


@bertieloubaby

If I could pick a super power it would be...
To get things accomplished while I sleep. I mean, imagine the possibilities! LOL

If I had the whole day to myself I would...
To impress you I would say that I would grab a coffee, head to the museum for a few hours before grabbing lunch at a local cafe and then ending the day with a book in my hand at one of my city's many beautiful parks. But in reality you would probably find me in my pajamas watching an obscene amount of Netflix with a bottle of malbec. Or taking a nap.

@bertieloubaby

Best quote ever...
Proverbs 14:1 - The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands, the foolish one tears hers down. (NIV)

Best book ever...
I love All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy, the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin and as cheesy as it may sound, the Bible. My day just isn't right if I don't spend some time reading it.

Best movie ever...
Say Anything.

My Woman crushes are:
my sister, Kasey. As a person with special needs, she has never let it stand in her way. Always with a smile on her face, she gives so freely. She will always be my hero.

@djs_handsies - I have always looked up to Danette. She is incredibly talented and a beautiful human being. I am thankful to her for all of the support she has given my shop. I am definitely blessed to call her my friend.
@juneugtennessee - Tiffany is one of those people that just oozes talent and skill. She has an impeccable eye for design and a desire for quality in the products she makes. And that she is such a loving person on top of all that is just amazing.

Follow me at:
Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BertieLouBaby
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bertie-Lou-Baby/1446496692301042
Instagram: @bertieloubaby
Twitter: @bertieloubaby

Q+A with Laura Blom | Heads Up Kids | WCW



I found Laura's shop Heads Up Kids on IG and fell in love with her line of products! She's the sweetest person and it shines through in her work. You can see all the thought and whimsy she puts into everything she makes! When I first met her she was wanting to do a shop rebranding and I was more than happy to help. I hope you enjoy getting to know this lovely lady like I have.


Q. My hometown is...
A. Sunny Modesto, CA

What inspires you?
My two little ones are the inspiration for and behind my shop. I started my shop shortly after having my first child. I wanted to create cute headbands for her because I didn't like what was available in the stores. After having my son I was inspired by him to add some boyish and more gender neutral pieces, such as beanies and hats. I try to think about how kids like to dress; fun and comfortable clothes, with bright colors and fun patterns.


Laura's Studio, where all the @headsupkids creations are born!
What's your creative process like?
My creative process is kind of a mess! I have so many different ideas rolling around in my head and not enough time to implement them all. I try to write things down as I think of them and then slowly start to check them off a list. I could definitely use some help in the organization and process parts of this business! One of my favorite parts of my creative process is playing around with my stamps which I use on some of our hats, headbands and beanies. I love creating new stamps and playing around with different color paints and fabrics.

What's your business all about?
Heads Up Kids is all about fun, unique, comfortable clothes for babies and kids. I like to think about what my own kids like and their personalities when I am creating a new product. I strive to offer unique items that reflect the carefree, playfulness of childhood.


Another area in the @headsupkids studio space. How inspiring is that poster?!?
When and how did you start your business?
I started my shop as a hobby when my daughter was a baby. I couldn't find headbands in stores that I actually liked for her and was inspired to make my own. It quickly snowballed from there! I was addicted to creating immediately and always found myself wanting to create more and try new things. I remember thinking that no one was going to purchase from my shop, but I had my first sale in one day. Now it has grown into a part-time business and has changed a lot from when I started, but I love it more and more as it progresses.

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome to get to where you are today?
One obstacle for me was figuring out what exactly I wanted my shop to be. I tried a lot of different things in the beginning because I hadn't found my niche or my passion. I did some jewelry, birthday crowns, bow ties, and headbands. Partly because I tend to be a people pleaser and wanted to create things everyone would love. The problem was, I didn't love making all those different things. I took some time off after my son was born and since reopening I have really narrowed my focus down to being a baby and kids apparel shop and that has helped a lot. I have a much more clearly defined direction that I am going in, and I'm not worried anymore about pleasing everyone. Its ok if people don't love what I make. I do, and I am much happier now than when I was trying to do so many different things.


This cutie is wearing the sweetest @headsupkids bow headband!
The thing that surprised me most was...
How much work there is with a small business outside of the creating part of it! There is so much work that goes on behind the scenes that I never realized before. Its actually hard to find time to just sew and fill orders with all the emails, marketing, product photos, website up-keep, social media, packing and shipping, etc that has to happen too!

I'm most grateful for...
My supportive husband! It's so great to have him on board with my shop. He encourages me when I'm feeling discouraged about something and even helps with packing and shipping when I get behind on things. I am also grateful for wonderful customers! I have been blessed to have some really great return customers and people who have stuck with me through all the changes my shop has gone through.


OMG! How adorable are these @headsupkids superhero masks?!?! @headsupkids

My advice for anyone thinking of making and selling is...
To go for it! You won't know unless you try, but it just may turn into more than you ever dreamed and you may love it more than you thought you could! Its wonderful to have a creative outlet too.


Is there anything you would do differently if you had to start over today?
If I could start over today I would have narrowed my variety of products down more quickly. I would try to figure out what I wanted my shop to be all about instead of trying to please everyone or make something for everyone.

This is the dreamiest little headband I ever did see! by @headsupkids

My favorite colors are... Blues; cobalt and turquoise-blue and green. But I also love neutrals.

The song that's stuck in my head lately is...
The theme to Curious George.


How cute is this little guy with his sunnies and @headsupkids tee (Laura actually came to me for help on this design and I love how this collab turned out!)

Currently streaming...
Just finished up all of Friends and I am in love with The Goldbergs.

My favorite sip-able treat is...
Coffee and La Croix water


Love this slouch beanie + superhero mask set by @headsupkids

If I could pick a super power it would be...
To be able to fly.

My favorite childhood toy was...
I loved my first pair of roller blades!


Every Rad kid, needs a Rad kid hat...nuff said! by @headsupkids

If I had the whole day to myself I would...
Sleep in, get coffee, shop and eat! Or go to the beach.

Best book ever...
The Harry Potter series (and I'm not ashamed to admit that!)


How perfectly does this @headsupkids slouch beanie complete this look!?!?

Best movie ever...
Too many! You've Got Mail, Elizabethtown, The Step Mom (for a good cry), Princess Bride

My Woman crushes are:
One woman I find very inspirational is Erin of Candy Kirby Designs. I love her paintings, all the color everywhere! She is an incredible business woman and mom of three. Very inspiring.

Follow me at:
Store: www.headsup-kids.com
Instagram: @headsupkids
Twitter: @headsupkids

Q+A with Kathryn | Kack Design | WCW



I found Kathryn's shop on Instagram and was very impressed with the quality of her garments, you can just tell she puts a lot of thought into constructing something that will last. Combine that level of quality with bright fun fabric and one of the sweetest ladies on earth and you get Kack Designs! We were fast friends and have supported each other's endeavors ever since. My daughter has a growing collection of Kack Design originals in her wardrobe and I had the joy of creating the Kack Design logo. I'm excited that I get to share more about this lovely lady with you!


Q. My hometown is...
Prairie Village, KS

What inspires you?
God. Color. Life. My children.

Colorful pom-skirts by @kackdesign
What's your creative process like?
Honestly, I am very math minded. I am constantly trying to figure out how to create new garments. Push myself. I love seeing the fabulous creations of others and making my own spin on it. I am seldomly happy with a pattern as is. I like to make it my own. To make it how I see it.

What's your business all about?
Fabulous fabrics!!! I love to fabric shop and share my love with others in beautiful garments!!

Kathryn's workspace, where all the girly goodness is made!
When and how did you start your business?
April 16th, 2014!!! The day after tax day. I wanted to send my little girls to catholic school and I had to try. There was no reason not to and I couldn't be more pleased with how it makes me today. Successes, failures, using my mind & talents. I feel so blessed and humbled to have come as far as I have.

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome to get to where you are today?
Myself. Its hard to explain in words, but my biggest challenge was always second guessing myself. However, now my biggest challenge is how to market to my audience. How to grow slowly, but honestly and for my abilities.


Kathryn's workspace in the corner of the playroom. I love how she makes use of the space she has!
The thing that surprised me most was...
The sense of community on Instagram. We are all creative minds trying to make a name for ourselves. We love to support one another and help one another out. I have met so many wonderful, kind, gifted and creative woman. I am so honored to be working amongst them!

I'm most grateful for...
My beautiful children and husband who inspire me everyday. As well as, my fabulous customers who come back again and again to shop small. I am so grateful for their support!!


Colorful skirts by @kackdesign
My advice for anyone thinking of making and selling is...
Take your time. Reach out to others. Put yourself out there. Keep trying over and over. Reinvent yourself. Be unique!

Is there anything you would do differently if you had to start over today?
Honestly, no. I've learned from each of my successes and failures.


Kathryn recently added these adorable dresses to her line of clothes. You can buy these lovely pieces here > @kackdesign
My favorite colors are... Teal, Magenta and Jade

The song that's stuck in my head lately is...
Honestly, none. My own mind keeps me occupied with deadlines.


I love the mix of fabrics Kathryn chooses, some bright and bold, others pastel and sweet.
Currently streaming...
HBO GO - recapping season 4 of Game of Thrones!!! Best Ever!

My favorite sip-able treat is...
Coffee with cream in the morning.
Arnold Palmers in the afternoon.
And margaritas on the weekends.

If I could pick a super power it would be...
Super speed.

My favorite childhood toy was...
Marble Building Towers

If I had the whole day to myself I would...
Sit in the sun on a beach with a drink!!

The actress that would play me in the movie of my life would be...
Cameron Diaz because she's honest, funny, fun and sarcastic

Best quote ever...
"Lay off me Becky, I'm starving".

Best book ever...
Oh no. Twilight. I need to read more.

Best movie ever...
Clueless. I stand by that.


Follow me at:
Instagram: www.instagram.com/kackdesign

Q+A with Ash | Dash and Ash | WCW


I so love this week's Woman Crush, Ash, from Dash and Ash! We became friends through Instagram and have found out we have so much in common, don't you love it when that happens?!?! Her artwork is so vibrant and quirky you can't help but feel happy when you scroll through her feed. She's a mother of two adorable girls and lives in the Seattle area with her family. I've enjoyed getting to know her and I think you will too!

Q. My hometown is...
A. Vancouver Washington

What inspires you?
Color, books, trips downtown Seattle/Portland, hikes, views of the mountains.


Ash's Studio Space in Seattle. ©dashandash

What's your creative process like?
I think about ideas for a long time before I'm able to create. I knock them around for days before i'm actually able to sit down and put them on paper. I'm venturing more away from the aid of my computer to create which is hard because I became very dependent on my computer after I had my first child. My thoughts were i don't want to create another mess. Now everything is messy.


Ash in Action, Assembling A Garland of Her Hand Carved and Stamped Owl Image. ©dashandash















What's your business all about?
I'm actually still trying to figure that out. I'm just trying to let it develop right now, i'm trying to find myself as an artist.

When and how did you start your business?
I actually gave up on art 6 month prior to opening my shop because of family issues and not being to take so much rejection or none responses. I read Blog, Inc. and i was so pumped up and ready to take rejection head on.
The Inspiring Elements That Ash has Stuck to Her Walls and Perched on These Adorable Shelves! ©dashandash




What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome to get to where you are today?
I'm trying to find a voice in my work. I want my work to be a whole and identified as something that came from the same person. When I first started the art was kind random and a lot go typography based work. Personal i am taking a little breather for all things type and getting down to pattern making, block printing and illustration.

The thing that surprised me most was...
That you have to take on a whole new persona to promote yourself. Me away from all the art stuff I only have one in person kind of friend. Me connected to my business I have met so many awesome people that I wish I did know in person.

Original Watercolor and Stamped Art by ©dashandash

I'm most grateful for...
My Husband was the first person to give me the opportunity to create.

My advice for anyone thinking of making and selling is...
It's not as hard as you built it up in your head to be.
Original Art by ©dashandash
Is there anything you would do differently if you had to start over today?
Probably start out with a bigger body of work.

My favorite colors are... I kinda have my own names for them:

Neon Chartreuse
Punk Periwinkle
Manic Mustard


I Love The Way She Sees The World. Image and Work ©dashandash
The song that's stuck in my head lately is...
The whole Rainbow Rocks Soundtrack, we have daily dance parties to the soundtrack. I almost wish we could go back to the days when My little Ponies didn't sing.

Currently streaming...
Orphan Black, GOT, Elementary, Grimm, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.


Art Prints by ©dashandash Are Available in Her Etsy Shop

My favorite sip-able treat is...
Coconut Mocha

If I could pick a super power it would be...
To fly.


Pillows by ©dashandash Are Available in Her Etsy Shop

My favorite childhood toy was...
Aubrey Plaza.

If I had the whole day to myself I would...
Legos!!! I still play with Legos.


Art Prints by ©dashandash Are Available in Her Etsy Shop

Best book ever...
I have to say Harry Potter, I didn't read them until three years ago and it really trigged a love for reading.

Best movie ever...
Young Frankenstein

My Woman crushes are:
Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling

Follow me at:
Instagram: https://instagram.com/dashandash/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/dashandash/
Website: Dashandash.com

Q+A with Nichole Kirk | Dear Heart Designs | WCW



I first stumbled upon the beautiful jewelry of Nichole Kirk of Dear Heart Designs when I was looking for a gift for my sister. She was expecting her daughter at the time and I had the joy of drawing a picture of their little girl and their dogs for the nursery. I love Nichole's sweet spirit and feminine sense of style, her pieces are modern but very timeless at the same time and always seem to evoke an emotion. I was so excited to do this Q+A and find out even more about this beautiful lady!


Q. My hometown is...
A. Wichita Falls, Texas

What inspires you?
Jesus and my parents. I think it's truly amazing how blessed I am. To have a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, to get to stay home with my little girl, and create happy things. Jesus lights my soul on fire and brings me more joy and fulfillment than anything ever before. He is the center of my business and why I am successful today.
My parents have always been so supportive of me and always told me growing up that I could be anything I wanted to be and do anything I wanted to do. They didn't push me in any direction, just let me find my own way. I am forever thankful for that and hope that I can be as great of a parent to my little Ellie as they are to me.


Vertical Bar Necklace Hand Stamped by Nichole ©dearheartdesigns


What's your creative process like?
Oh jeez. Messy. A lot of reading. A lot of music. A lot of coffee. A lot of wine. It begins with asking myself, "What would I want to hear from my daughter? Needed inspiration? From my sister? Needed a cheer up? From my husband? Wanted to minister? Because that's what my business is all about, provoking emotion and touching hearts.

After I figure out the words I want to use, the rest is pretty easy. They go on whatever pendant they can fit on. Sometimes I break them up to go on layering pieces. Whatever feels right in the moment.

I hand stamp each letter at a time onto every one of my pieces. It really is a labor of love. No machines. Just me and a hammer. When I send a piece to it's home it's kind of like I'm sending a little bit of myself out there to bring some joy. It's a wonderful feeling.


Nichole's Studio Space ©dearheartdesigns




What's your business all about?
Love. Feeling love. Spreading love.

My whole purpose with my business is to bring love to people. I hope that people smile when they open a package from me. Or happy cry. Or take a walk down memory lane. I hope that their heart swells with emotion and that they can't help but take a moment to appreciate their blessings and the life they've been given.

I hope that their pieces brings them joy during their day and that it gives them opportunities to share their story with others, whether it be about a loved one, a fond memory, or Jesus.

I hope for an amazing journey for them and their pieces as they travel through this amazing beautiful life and am just so thankful to be a part of it.


Vertical Bar Necklace Hand Stamped by Nichole ©dearheartdesigns




When and how did you start your business?
In December of 2012 I graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Human Science. Why Human Science? Because I had no idea what I wanted to do and it sounded good at the time to get a degree. After I graduated, I didn't know what to do with my free time. I was so used to working two jobs and going to school that I didn't know what to do with myself, so I needed a hobby. I began dabbling in mixed media art and doing a few craft shows until one day I saw a metal stamping kit at a craft store and thought "I can do that!". I made few pieces on cheaper metals like copper and brass and listed a few on etsy. And people bought them! I've been creating and going ever since!


Horizontal Bar Necklace with Hand Stamped Roman Numeral Date by Dear Heart Designs. Photo @_paigecraig

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome to get to where you are today?
One of the best things you can do in your business is put yourself out there. Who cares if people tell you no. Or that your work sucks. Or that you aren't going to succeed. Get out of your comfort zone and GO DO IT. It's up to YOU to succeed. It's YOUR dreams and you CAN live your dream. You just have to put everything out there and give it all you've got. I've pulled more all nighters in my business than I ever did in college. It's not easy. It's a lot of late nights, constant working, no break ever kind of life in the beginning of your business if you want it to grow. And you can't get down on yourself if everything isn't happening as fast as you'd like it to. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

The thing that surprised me most was...
That people LIKED my stuff! I know, it's silly. But seriously. When I first started my business, I HOPED people liked my pieces. That maybe I could make a little side hobby money while I searched for my "big girl job". But people loved my pieces and my vision and I am forever thankful for them because without that initial confidence, I don't think I would be where I am today.


Horizontal Bar Bracelet Hand Stamped by Nichole. ©dearheartdesigns

I'm most grateful for...
The support of my friends and family. I seriously couldn't do it without them. My husband supports me so much and has the patience of Job. He drags all of my display gear to shows, is okay that when he gets home from work it means that it's his turn to watch the baby and I'm off to work in my studio, that I'm constantly working all the time no matter what time it is. They all cheer me on and are there in an instant if I need help with anything. I'm so very blessed by all of them.

My advice for anyone thinking of making and selling is...
Do it! If you have been looking at "big girl/boy jobs" and none of them are fitting with you and you feel sort of lost out there in the world and find yourself happiest when creating then BUILD YOUR DREAM JOB! It's all up to you, the ball is in your court, and you can do it.


Hand Stamped Sterling Silver Ring ©dearheartdesigns

Is there anything you would do differently if you had to start over today?
I don't think so. I've had my share of battles and ups and downs but all in all it's helped me get to where I am today. You have to have trials and errors in your business or you'll never grow or truly appreciate how far you've come.

My favorite colors are... Mossy Green, Gold, and White.

The song that's stuck in my head lately is...
All of the songs on the "Baby Einstein" Pandora Channel that I play for my little girl while she plays with her toys. I'm such a mom. "The wheels on the bus go round and round…"


Stacked Hand Stamped Sterling Silver Rings ©dearheartdesigns

Currently streaming...
Grey's Anatomy. Parenthood. Game of Thrones. Reign. (I love medieval shows!!)

My favorite sip-able treat is...
Coffee. Hands down. I have an espresso machine that I bought off craigslist a few years ago that I use at least twice a day. I could participate in a barista competition I think. ;)

If I could pick a super power it would be...
To be in several places/doing several things at once! Playing with my little girl in the living room, while working in the studio, while cooking in the kitchen, while cleaning the bathroom, while catching up on email, while sipping coffee and reading my devotional, while spending time with family. I could go on and on. There just isn't enough time in one day!


Hand Stamped Gold Necklace and Packaging ©dearheartdesigns

My favorite childhood toy was...
Dirt. I'm not kidding. I was the biggest tom boy. I played in the dirt catching "doodle bugs". I made mud pies when the dirt was wet. I went fishing(and swimming!) in the dirty pond water by my house. One day I rolled in the mud head to toe and my dad had to power spray me off with a hose outside. And now I'm a jewelry designer.

If I had the whole day to myself I would...
Wake up around 8ish(that's sleeping in these days!) Dance around with my little girl (because that's her favorite in the mornings) Go over to my grandmas house and drink coffee and eat her breakfast (it's seriously the best ever.) Go junking all day long at different flea markets and antique stores. Go out to my parents in the evening with the whole family and just enjoy the company and just be present. Then end the day with a glass of wine and a movie with my hubby.


Hand Stamped Necklaces with Roman Numeral Dates in Rose Gold ©dearheartdesigns

Best quote ever...
Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen. -Conan O'Brien

Best book ever...
The Bible. I had never sat down and actually read through it until this year. I'm still going, but goodness it is truly amazing to study. I had skimmed through it, read the more relatable(i guess?) books like Psalms and Corinthians before, but never the beginning to end. I'm excited to finally do it this year.

And on a dorkier note… Harry Potter. I once read an entire Harry Potter book in 48 hours. I'm not kidding. My mom brought me food and water and I just read and wizarded out.


Best movie ever...
Lion King. I'm a Disney fanatic. Ellie already has a growing collection of all of the originals! I cannot wait to watch them with her when she gets older!

My Woman crushes are:
@kyligraphy because her humor and spirit are shown so perfectly through her posts and her work is beautiful.(I adore gold gilding.) She has the prettiest feed. Ever.

@nataliecreates because I want to live in her house and have her taken decorated(have you seen it?! go look. now.) and sweet personality that she shines through her posts.

@barefootlullabies because she is the sweetest friend ever and has AMAZING talent. And how about that business name?! Precious.

and most recently @daintycheeks I have been drooling over her handmade dolls ever since I stumbled upon them the other day. I'm head over heels in love already.

Follow Nichole at:
Website: www.dearheartdesigns.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dearheartdesignsco
Instagram: @dearheartdesignsco
Pinterest:www.pinterest.com/dearheartco

DIY Pumpkin Carved Pregnancy Announcement

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So my throw back thursday is to 3 years ago when I wanted to find a creative way to announce that I was pregnant with our first with friends and family. He was due in may so at 3 months in when we decide to announce it was fall and I wanted to do something fall themed. I came up with carving this pumpkin with "Coming Soon... 5.6.12" and I posted it on my facebook...it was subtle and fun—I loved it! I whipped up a tutorial with some pumpkin carving tips to help you DIY one of these. You could also paint the pumpkin or just scrape off the top layer of the skin to reveal the pith underneath. I'd love to see what you are inspired to make from this post! Happy Fall!!!




It is NEVER too late to live your purpose! This was my final take away from the #samsonchallenge (find out more about the samson challenge and more bible challenges by the lovely @doctorkanayo on here blog). If you don’t know Samson from the Bible picture @therock #dawaynejohnson with long hair and a loincloth...




ok...I realize I may have just lost some of your to a daydream right there, but back to Samson...he was BLESSED! The man had skills! So the skill of killing off your enemies with a donkey jaw bone may not be so relevant today, but back then the guy was UNTOUCHABLE! That’s not the end of the story though...He got cocky. He let his power go to his head...literally. His hair was a symbolic representation of his power that was given to him by God in response to a promise of a life lived in obedience to God. He would follow God and as a sign of his commitment he would never cut his hair. When Samson let his enemies cut his hair he was literally cutting God out of the picture! God never forces our obedience so he let Samson walk away from his promise and his powerful gift. As soon as Samson turns from God he literally loses sight of everything. Blind, isolated and powerless Samson is humbled to the extreme and in his helplessness he remembers his purpose with razor sharp clarity. In Samson's story, his purpose was to help deliver his people from an oppressive and prevalent enemy. He cries out to the God he took for granted and asks for one last chance to live his purpose. God is faithful and gives him just enough strength to bring the house down. He goes out with a bang and takes his enemies with him. With focused faith and determination God will help us squeeze every last ounce of purpose from our lives if we give him the chance to fill us with his power and take the time to listen to his voice. What's your purpose? How can I encourage you to live it out?

Crochet Bunting



The past few months have been a whirlwind and I'm now living in a whole new state halfway across the country, 9 months pregnant and potty training my toddler. I should have lost my mind by now, but I've been making it through my faith and some crochet. I finally got back to my crochet and finished my first project in the new house—adorable crochet bunting! I based it on the granny triangle tutorial from carina's craft blog.




I hung it up in the playroom when my son was napping and when he woke up I took him in to show it to him. He's reaction was the best part of the whole thing. He ran into the room shouting, OH WOW! He jumped up on the couch so he could see it better and I asked him if he liked it, he replied, "You did good." Then I asked him for a high five which he gladly supplied with he eyes bright and his smile wide. I can't wait to make more things for him!




Logo & Branding for Diana's Sweet Bakery

I had a delicious time on my latest design project, working with Diana, of Diana's Sweet Bakery, on her logo and branding. Diana started baking as a hobby and now she runs a successful bakery out of her home in Maryland. Her specialties are cupcakes and cakepops. She gave me a lesson in cakepops, I thought you just used a mold or one of those cakepop-waffle-iron thingies to make a cakepop. OH NO, not Diana's cakepops, her cakepops are loveling formed into a ball from cut-up cake, frosting, and her perfected melted chocolate mixture. Diana's not stopping there though, she's branching out into what she calls "smash" cakes (small 6in cakes ideal for a first birthday cake smashing) topped in buttercream frosting or marshmallow fondant (YUM!) and some other offerings as well. In addition to being a great baker, Diana is also super creative and great at accommodating custom orders. Check out the scrumptious design inspired by her decadent sweets!

Chocolate Rasberry Crumble Bars (dairy free)

   

I was invited to a potluck baby shower and my immediate thought of what to bring was a raspberry crumble bar, then I found out the theme was chocolate so I pieced together this recipe from a bunch of internet recipe stalking. I have been really into baking fruit crumbles lately—like, I've made a dozen in the past month—I know...I need help. But, who can blame me with all the yummy fruit coming into peak season and filling the grocery stores with their intoxicating fragrances...okay now I definitely sound crazy. Hmmm, maybe it has to do with the copious amounts of chocolate and pure sure I have ingested in the last 24 hourss. It took me 3 tries to get this recipe right but it was sooooo worth it!


The recipe calls for a layer of chocolate syrup. I opted to make my own but you could also use store bought. This was my first time making dairy free chocolate syrup from scratch and I'm not gonna lie, I struggled, but right when I was about to give up I realized it was working and in the end turned out fine. I made a triple batch of what I am listing for the recipe and it lasted me 3 attempts and then some. The great thing about doing a big batch is you can keep it in the fridge for recipes like this, hot fudge topping or making chocolate milk, the down side is it takes a long time FOREVER to thicken. So if you go that route I would suggest making it in advance.

Make the crumble, reserve 1 1/2 cup, pat the rest into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 10 minutes then remove.
Now for the toppings! Feeling like a cooking pro with my snazzy assembly line, one of those rare moments when I'm actually organized in the kitchen lol

First layer of toppings, the ooey gooey goodness of chocolate syrup...

Then some chocolate chunks...

Add a splash of red raspberries...

Cover with chocolate remaining crumble...

 Sprinkle on a few more chocolate chunks for good measure ;)
 Then back in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Cool completely, cut and serve!



Recipe
   Syrup
   1 cup Soy Milk
   1 cup Sugar
   3/4 cup Enjoy Life Mega Chunk (dairy free chocolate chips)
   1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    Crumble
    1 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour
    1 cup sugar
    1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 cup Earth Balance Vegan Margarine
    1 large egg, beaten
   
    Topping
    1 cup Enjoy Life Mega Chunk (dairy free chocolate chips)
    1 small package raspberries

Instructions
Syrup
COMBINE soy milk, sugar, chocolate chunks and cocoa powder in a saucepan. Stir over low/medium heat until chocolate chips are melted. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, allow to boil for 1-2 minutes then reduce heat and simmer stirring frequently until desired thickness. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you prepare the crumble (or put in an airtight container in the fridge to use later).

Bars
PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Coat 13 x 9-inch pan with Earth Balance Vegan Margarine (about 1/2 Tbs). Rinse raspberries and put in a bowl, sprinkle with a pinch of sugar and set aside.
 
COMBINE flour, sugar and cocoa in large bowl. Cut in butter, mix with a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add egg. Mix until well blended. Measure out 1 1/2 cups crumb mixture and set aside. Press remaining crumbs evenly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and layer with toppings. First, Spread syrup evenly over partially baked crust. Next sprinkle the chocolate chunks and raspberries on top of the crust. Cover with the reserved crumb mixture. Sprinkle a couple chocolate chunks on top for good measure :). Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely. Cut into bars and serve!