Encouraging Words

Sometimes we all need a little encouragement, and in His Word, God actually tells us encourage one another.

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11
Daily Affirmation Cards that highlight Bible Truth and focus on encouraging you in Jesus.  | mamasbrush

Sometimes it’s hard to find the words to encourage those around us. It can be hard, too, to find others to encourage us.

With this idea in mind, I’ve created cards to encourage you (my job) and to help you encourage yourselves and those around you.

Daily Affirmation Cards that highlight Bible Truth and focus on encouraging you in Jesus.  | mamasbrush

Use them as daily reminders, tuck them in as a bookmark, leave them for others to find at work, school, or around the house. There are so many ways to use these. Use them as Bible study or journal prompts. Tuck the whole set of them in a Christmas stocking or wrap them as a gift. Print as many as you need! How would you use them? Let me know in the comments.

I’ll be working on some other styles for those of you who may like the idea of these, but not the look. Maybe a Christmas theme for the advent season? What do you think? I really love when you guys have ideas for me. 🙂

Want 30% off? Come by with coupon code BLOGREADER before Saturday (11/25/23) or click here.

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Daily Affirmation Cards that highlight Bible Truth and focus on encouraging you in Jesus.  | mamasbrush

Chicken Christmas Cards

I feel like I’m in full fledged Christmas gear these days, at least in my shop. I’ve spent the whole week getting as many new products created and listed as possible. (Sometimes it feels like I’m moving in slow motion though!) After my Mistletoe Bundle, I jumped into Christmas cards! In addition to all the new, I’m also working on bringing new life to some of the “older” items in the shop already with new photos and videos in my listings (still learning here!) It’s been a week of late nights and crazy days! 🙂

Chicken Christmas cards | mamasbrush

I’ve had chicken cards dancing around in my head for weeks, but with Peru on the calendar for October, there wasn’t much time for designing! Since we’ve been back (after the bulk of the unpacking and laundry were done anyway), I’ve been working in every little bit of time I can find.

Chicken Christmas cards | mamasbrush

I just had to start with my truck. I hope you aren’t getting tired of it, but I love this little truck! I love the simplicity of the white and the snowflakes, the boldness of the red and the tall skinny font.

Chicken Christmas cards | mamasbrush

This is actually the first card of the set I created. I had this one mostly done in September, before things got too busy. I grabbed the chicken coop from my clipart set and converted it to the black and white line drawing I have here. Then I just had to add some lights! 🙂 These lights make me happy too. I hope you like them, because here they are again!

Chicken Christmas cards | mamasbrush

My “Let your lights shine” card was inspired by the Christian children’s song, “This Little Light of Mine”. The chicken brings more life and fun to it, I think.

Which card is your favorite? Are you a chicken fan? I’ll take any input you have!

I have some other non-chicken cards in my shop as well. Right now they are all 50% off in my shop! Just for a few days, so come over quickly!

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Mistletoe Gifts and Decor

I love mistletoe! Am I the only one? Somehow I never have any hanging in my home, but I gravitate to all the cute mistletoe signs on Pinterest and I’ve taken to painting and designing products with it over the past 4-5 years now.

Several years ago I designed this wall art, but as Christmas is approaching, I wanted to do something more with it.

In this new bundle you can get cards, tags, bookmarks, stickers and clipart in various styles. Click over to see details of what’s included at my shop!

Gift Tags: "A good book at bedtime is like a kiss good-night."

Here’s my favorite part… with my cards in the past, and even with the card I have in this set, I always felt like I was restricting things to couples… romance. That leaves a whole lot of people out! I don’t like leaving people out! I Know a lot of people who might already feel left out at Christmas and I don’t want to be responsible for that! I love how these bookmarks and tags open things up a little.

Bookmarks: "A good book at bedtime is like a kiss good-night."

I can see these being gifted to all the members in a book club! Or to that friend who loves to read! Or stuck in a stocking! Or tags tied to a book on Christmas morning! Or maybe it’s for you!

Speaking of you… I still have my “In this house we do mistletoe!” wall art. Don’t want is this big??? Print it out any size you want and set it on a shelf or mantle. Or gift them to your mistletoe loving friend! The set also includes this as a PNG file with a transparent background! Put it on a mug… I did and it’s so cute (hmmm… a pic of that would be great right now!)

There you go… right in the middle of this pic from last year’s Christmas Market (how did I never blog about that???). My mistletoe mug! I just love it! I give you permission to have it put on a mug! (for personal use… please don’t sell anything you buy from me. If you are interested in that, we can talk about a commercial license!)

Where were we? Ah, yes… mistletoe. Don’t think I’m against romance and actual kissing! (Have you seen my bedroom wall art? That should be back in my shop soon. If you want it now, message me and I’ll get it done!) I’ve still got a cute card you can slip in to husband’s lunch or into the mail for that love far away! Come over to see my updated Mistletoe Bundle. I can’t wait to hear how you are going to use these!!

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To Celebrate or Not to Celebrate: St. Patrick’s Day

I’ve been very careful about what I teach our children from the beginning. In some things I’ve altered course as they have grown and I have matured as a mother. Spoiler alert: I’m still new at this mother thing… this stage of it that is. I’ve never before had 6 children in these specific stages and I’m making this up as I go. It may seem silly to you, but St. Patrick’s Day is something I have in limbo right now.

Christian St. Patrick's Day Cards bundle.

bookmarks, cards, stickers, clipart, cross, Jesus, four leaf clover, shamrock, luck

My kids have never been exposed to St. Patrick’s Day like I was growing up. As a homeschool family the only way they would have been is if I introduced it… and I didn’t. Just kinda skipped it. I have always taught the kids that there is no luck. So why would I focus on a holiday that highlights it.

Then when my forth was born March 18th, I figured it was perfect… why try to squeeze another “holiday” in such close quarters. Therefore, we’ve never done the whole green thing. I don’t decorate for it, we don’t wear special shirts or pinch if there isn’t green. As I mentioned, we strongly discourage the idea of luck!

Now I must admit to you that we have discussed the day over the years. I don’t think there is anything wrong with St. Patrick’s Day in general. And nothing wrong for those who choose to enjoy the fun of celebrating it. We’ve done our share of reading about who the actual man was (it comes up on world history after all). We learned about Ireland and even some about what leprechauns are.

In recent years I’ve started reconsidering St. Patrick’s Day and have been less of a stickler about luck in general. Don’t get me wrong, the children have all heard me ask them, “Is luck real?” They know that the idea of luck started with people who didn’t know God. Now that my youngest is 7 and can answer all the questions, I didn’t worry so much about showing them the movie Luck (super cute by the way! We used the free trial on AppleTV to see it.) So as Valentine’s Day was getting near, I started looking forward to what was next and I couldn’t help myself. I designed some cute cards for handing out on St. Patrick’s Day.

Christian St. Patrick's Day Cards bundle.

bookmarks, cards, stickers, clipart, cross, Jesus, four leaf clover, shamrock, luck

We still won’t do much, but how can I resist printing out these cute bookmarks and setting a cute green themed table for their breakfast??? I can’t!

My message hasn’t changed (much)… I’m just taking this opportunity to spread it even further! 🙂 And to bless my kids with bookmarks… something they are way into right now by the way! Now the only question I have to ask myself is what color background am I going to use??? I like them both!

Pop over to my shop for 30% off in the next 7 days if you want some! Use coupon code STPATTYS or click here.

Christian St. Patrick's Day Cards bundle.

bookmarks, cards, stickers, clipart, cross, Jesus, four leaf clover, shamrock, luck
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Christ Centered Christmas Sign – Our Home Believes

Is July as busy for you as it is for me??? Yes? No? Well, I’m finally here to share some of my Christmas in July projects with you. Here we go!

Christmas clipart to use for your Cricut or Sihlouette cut machines.  Jesus' manger with the words "our home believes".

Have you seen those adorable farmhouse Christmas signs that say “We believe” with a Santa hat? I love them. I remember seeing them for the first time, thinking they were so clever. The only problem is… we don’t. Yikes! Can you BELIEVE I just said that on the internet? You can’t take things like that back! But it’s true. When our children were born, we decided not to “do” Santa.

But, hang on… does that mean I can’t have one of those cute signs? Not quite! A few years ago, I designed a “we believe” kind of sign with a manger instead. Because in this world where so many people don’t believe that the One True God stepped down from heaven to walk on earth and take the penalty for our sins, our home DOES believe! We do believe that the story of Jesus being born in a stable and laid in a manger is a true story, and we love to celebrate it!

2021 Christmas Market Display | mamasbrush #woodbookstacks #Christmasdecor #winterdecor #craftfairdisplay #craftfair #woodbeadgarland #signs

I created it as a cut file for vinyl. Here you can see it applied to canvas on our family Christmas market table this past November. I used scrapbook paper for the brown and yellow, then applied the black outlines and words in vinyl over top. It was a little tricky to do for me (a beginner in all this Cricut layering stuff), but totally do-able!

As I added it to my shop this month (for our Christmas in July sale! — Shameless plug!), I’ve included the layered PNG cut files for applying it as you see here, a simple single layer file, and a printable file if you’d rather just frame it! All files are on a transparent background for you to use in whatever crafting project you’d like! Grab it up this month for just $.99 and use it to make gifts ahead of the rush or create your own Christmas cards with the clipart!

Christmas clipart to use for your Cricut or Sihlouette cut machines.  Jesus' manger with the words "our home believes".    Use for decor, gifts, Christmas cards.  

Christmas in July sale.

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Laundry – Thanking Mom for the Thank-less Job

Laundry Mother's Day Card | mamasbrush

Thank Mom for all the laundry she's done for you over the years!  Also great for birthdays or just because!  "Loads and Loads of love" for your mom in this card!

I’m a 40-something mama to six children and I have a confession… for the past six and a half years (YEARS people!), my mother has been doing all my laundry. Yep… I am S.P.O.I.L.E.D!

Okay, sure, I’ve done some here and there. She does get sick from time to time… or we have some extra laundry in the form of children who aren’t completely potty trained… and sometimes she leaves town. When these things happen, we generally do our best and still run out of underwear and socks. [Eye roll] It is hard to switch it back into our routine. But for the most part, my mom does it all!

I talked about this several years ago, but it all started after baby number 6 was born and things were HARD (head over to read the other post for details if you are curious). My mom lives with us in a renovated detached garage, but she worked full time, so she wasn’t able to be around much to help. A couple weeks in she started doing all the laundry. Husband was very thankful to have socks and underwear every day and I was very thankful to no longer feel like a failure every time he didn’t. Win win!

It was a great help during a difficult season, but as we were finally climbing out of it several months later, she told me she was going to keep doing it. (Again, more details in the other post.) And she has! For six and a half years! Now she did retire this past summer and has done quite a bit more traveling since. It’s been a transitional year as we prepare to take it over for good. This summer the new laundry room should be fully functional, and I will take back the laundry baton that she has faithfully carried for so long.

Laundry Mother's Day Card | mamasbrush

Thank Mom for all the laundry she's done for you over the years!  Also great for birthdays or just because!  "Loads and Loads of love" for your mom in this card!

Several years ago, as I was reflecting on how much I appreciated my mom and her willingness to serve us in such a tangible way, I decided to paint her a card for Mother’s Day with a giant basket of laundry on the front. I had no idea that 4 more years would pass before I would take that chore back from her.

This year, as I’m anticipating being the chief laundress for my large family once again, I thought about how laundry is one of the many thank-less jobs moms do. Most of the time they only notice if we don’t do the laundry (“Mmmmmooooommmmmm, I don’t have any underwear!”… I hear this a lot when I’m in charge.) They don’t think to come down in the morning to say “Thanks for the clean underwear and socks in my drawer mom!” (To be fair, my husband does thank me for laundry from time to time… I am spoiled indeed!)

Laundry Mother's Day Card | mamasbrush

Thank Mom for all the laundry she's done for you over the years!  Also great for birthdays or just because!  "Loads and Loads of love" for your mom in this card!

So, with these thoughts in my mind, I have brought the laundry themed Mother’s Day card to my Etsy shop. I am selling them as digital downloads so you can purchase, print and send them without waiting and without leaving home.

Laundry Mother's Day Cards, Tags and Bookmark | mamasbrush

Thank Mom for all the laundry she's done for you over the years!  Also great for birthdays or just because!  "Loads and Loads of love" for your mom in this card!

I also created some bonus tags and a bookmark that are included. Great for Mother’s Day, birthdays, or just because!

As always, I want you to have an opportunity to have them at a discount during their first week in my shop. Enter LAUNDRY33 as the coupon code for 33% off through the 22nd or use this link to have it taken automatically.

You can find me gathering here.

Snowman Valentine

I love giving Valentine’s to my children each year. There are 6 of them. I don’t always, and to tell you the truth, it’s only in the last few years I’ve tried, but since I started painting and illustrating in 2016, I’ve enjoyed making things for them. It makes them smile. 🙂

This one, though, was something I did for me. I was inspired by some Christmas decor blocks the boys made me a number of years ago. I pictured it quite differently in my head, but it often works that way, doesn’t it? I painted this in my art journal with no other plans for it.

Valentine art journal entry with I snow love you hand lettered with hearts and watercolor | mamasbrush designs

This is how it turned out.

This past week I thought of it again and wondered if I could digitize it in time for Valentine’s Day this year. Sunday, I set aside another project I am work on right now to play with it and I’m thrilled with how it turned out. And not only is it done in time for me to share it with my children, but it’s in plenty of time to share it with all of you!

Update: I have updated this for 2023 and have it available in my Etsy shop. It’s available as a JPG and as a PNG with transparent background so you can use them as you desire. Print some to give for gifts or to frame for yourself. I also included some small cards to fill the empty space on the page. I love these for inserting in another card, using as a tag on a gift, or even a bookmark.

Oh, and please let me know how you plan to use them! It will make me smile to know that they are a blessing to you!

Click here to find them!

I snow love you Valentine card illustration.  Celebrate snowmen and love with this whimsical illustration to give as a card or frame as decor | mamasbrush designs

pink, red, smiles, hearts, word art, romance
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Christmas Lights Family Sign

Okay, this might be my last look back at Christmas. I decided to include it so that anyone who wants to use the idea for next year can get a head start. 🙂 I’m always planning to start early for Christmas… I just never get to it. 🙂

I’ve been making these cute Christmas lights since 2016, when I first started illustrating and painting. Each year they change a little bit as my style is further developed or they are applied to new things. It started with these cute cards…

They are simple and colorful on tags and simple cards.

Last year I made these…

Christmas Lights Family Sign | mamasbrush #woodsign # christmaslights #family #shiningourlights #christianfamilysign
Again, look for the Christmas lights.

I was so excited about them. And they didn’t sell at all.

That’s okay… it happens sometimes. We’ve been doing this long enough to know that just because something doesn’t sell well one year, doesn’t mean that they won’t another year.

This year we sold one of the three I made. Okay… progress.

A few weeks later I started thinking how I’ll change them next year. Customize them with family names.

Then I got a text.

A friend from church wanted to know if I had any of these left. It was 4 days before Christmas. I got the text while my husband and I were walking the aisles in the first of 4 stores we had planned that night. In other words, while I was able to send her some pics and quote some prices, I wouldn’t be home for a while.

Then the “big ask”, as she called it. She wondered if it could be customized… in time for Christmas.

Unnecessarily long story shorter, this is what I came up with…

I was happy. She was happy. And Christmas was saved! 🙂

Until Next time,

Simple Christmas Card Freebie

It’s the Christmas season again and, it seems, time for my annual post. I’d like to believe that I’ll be back again before Christmas actually comes, or at least sometime before next December, but I’m trying realism on for a change. My hands are in way too many baskets these days, and this one must remain at the end of the line.

I’m here today though, because I was craving you all. Craving the old days of sharing the things I design. Craving giving something away and the hope of being a blessing to someone outside my immediate circle. If in anyway you find joy or a smile at something I post here, my work is done.

Seek Him -- Matthew 2:2 | mamasbrush #star #Christmas #wisemen #3kings #cards #ChristmasCards

Today I want to share this simple card I designed some time ago but never did anything with. These simple words. This simple encouragement for your own heart or to pass on to another.

Visit my printables page to download this freebie and print it to share or to keep.

Happy December to you all!

Seek Him -- Matthew 2:2 | mamasbrush #star #Christmas #wisemen #3kings #cards #ChristmasCards

Our Christmas Market Display *where I sold my artwork*

Our Christmas Market Display where I sold my own artwork | mamasbrush #cards #watercolor #Christmas #market #vendor #artwork #penguin #snowman #Christian #church #mistletoe #manger #Jesus #handmade #Display #pallet wood #crafts #painting #Christmas trees

I’ve been away for a while. I know. When deadlines start to stack up, something’s got to give. I admitted up front that painting is what I do in my spare time… when I have some. And when I don’t, there certainly isn’t time to blog… not to mention nothing to blog about! 🙂

One of the things keeping me busy is a quilt that I’m making for my 5 year old son’s 6th birthday (next week). It’s still not done, but it’s closer. 🙂 On top of that, Christmas market was inching nearer. All my *extra* energy was going to those projects during the day and late into the night. No painting… no blogging. No problem!

Our Christmas Market Display where I sold my own artwork | mamasbrush #cards #watercolor #Christmas #market #vendor #artwork #penguin #snowman #Christian #church #mistletoe #manger #Jesus #handmade #Display

But this past weekend was Christmas Market at our church. We took a lot of time the last few weeks working on the children’s projects. They turned out really well.

The small trees on the table were made from lath that came out of our walls during renovation. The blocks are cut from scrap 2x4s my husband used when re-building the walls.

Our Christmas Market Display where I sold my own artwork | mamasbrush #cards #watercolor #Christmas #market #vendor #artwork #Christian #church #manger #Jesus #handmade #2x4 #crafts #painting #Christmas trees #joy

You may notice in the first pictures, that the “J” is missing. Those first couple pictures were taken the night we set up (since the window makes day pictures near impossible) and we had already gathered up all the “J”s to take back home and fix. This is a new project we did this year and I’m especially attached to it because I drew out the letters and the manger shape myself (instead of using the Cricut). When I showed the J-O-Y to my husband, he said we should add “bundle of” to it. After some brainstorming, I thought that little star would be cute! Sadly, they didn’t sell this year, but they could next year, so I tucked them away.

Our Christmas Market Display where I sold my own artwork | mamasbrush #Christmas #market #vendor #artwork #Christian #church #handmade #Display #pallet wood #crafts #painting #Christmas trees

My boys made these cute trees from the old living room floor my husband pulled up in September.

Our Christmas Market Display where I sold my own artwork | mamasbrush #cards #watercolor #Christmas #market #vendor #artwork #penguin #snowman #Christian #church #mistletoe #manger #Jesus #handmade

I’ve sold a few things here and there in past years, but this year I prepared a bunch. These are some of the cards I made. They are original paintings done in watercolor. The plastic bags I have them in made them hard to photograph. 🙂

Our Christmas Market Display where I sold my own artwork | mamasbrush #cards #watercolor #Christmas #market #vendor #artwork #penguin #snowman #Christian #church #mistletoe #manger #Jesus #handmade #tree #display

I also turned some of my past art into notepads. They were a labor of love using this tutorial to bind them.

And those little framed guys in the tiered tray were mine as well. I promised myself I’d have better pictures than I have… but alas. I’ll have to pull the ones I have left out to photograph them for you before putting them in the attic.

Attendance was up this year and we did pretty good. All the money the kids make goes toward summer camp and any that I make goes into the “braces fund.” Any little bit helps! 🙂 The Christmas Market takes a lot of work to prepare for, but it’s something I really enjoy doing. 🙂 And it’s really encouraging to me to find that, not only do people like the art I’ve created, but, they are willing to spend money on it too. 🙂

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Our Christmas Market Display where I sold my own artwork | mamasbrush #cards #watercolor #Christmas #market #vendor #artwork #penguin #snowman #Christian #church #mistletoe #manger #Jesus #handmade #Display #pallet wood #crafts #painting #Christmas trees

Gathering here.