Cozy Mountain Lodge Art

God's Got This - Hand Lettered Artwork - Joshua 1:9

Last year I invited myself onto the women’s retreat planning committee and appointed myself the decorating coordinator. (Then I appointed my mom as my helper, but that is another story for another day.) Last year our theme was “Sweet Life Cafe” with all it’s sweets and coffee loveliness. I had fun painting and hand lettering all sorts of fun cafe themed artwork.

This year, the leadership for the retreat changed and it was even easier for me to force my way into the best committee role there is. I’m so glad that all the other ladies have adverse reactions the idea of decorating such an event. It works out in my favor!

God's Got This - Hand Lettered Artwork - Joshua 1:9

This year’s theme is Cozy Mountain Lodge from Group. Now that Christmas is over, I’ve officially begun working on it. This is the first of the artwork I have planned. I love taking something mainstream and tweaking it.

I’m picturing this on a food table or as part of the centerpiece. We’ll see when we get there.

Updated 9/2023: This print is available “remastered” , customizable for your favorite Bible versions, in my shop! Come on over and have a look!

Gathering here.

Good-bye 2018 ~ A New Year’s Sermon Revisited

Update: Find the 2023 version with free printable here.

I’ve posted before about the best New Year’s sermon I’ve ever heard. It was so great, in fact, that a year after I heard it, I was sharing it with you. And now, two years later, I’m back, reflecting on it again.

Only this year I’ve updated it!

Not only is it current, but I made those words at the bottom easier to read (I love incorporating Photoshop into my art process!)

Oh, those words. What a balm to my soul! “Don’t hold on to last year’s guilt and shame. Those sins were nailed to the cross!” Thank you Pastor Jerry for that amazing reminder! And it’s because of that amazing truth that we can look forward with hope and excitement to 2019!

But there’s more!

In celebration of New Year’s and my one year blogiversary on January 2nd, I have a gift for you! I’ve created an 8×10 and a 5×7 version for you to print for yourself!

Now, a warning… I’ve spent the whole evening trying to figure out how to make this work, so if it’s not working… sorry! (And please let me know so I can help.) Until today, I didn’t even know if I could do this from a site. So we’ll see if it works for you as well as it did for me.

1. Click one of the links below
2. Right click the image and select “save image as” from the drop down menu.
3. Save it where you can find it.

Once you’ve done all that, you should be able to print it. Just make sure to select the proper size when printing . 🙂

Click here to “save image as” the 5×7 version.
Click here to “save image as” the 8×10 version. 

Gathering here!

2018 Christmas Market Display

Just like last year, our family participated in the Christmas Market at church.  I’m behind in posting this (by almost a month!) but the kids (I have 6) got sick the next day and we only just recovered.  I’ve been behind in Christmas prep/gifts and all the rest of life ever since.  Oh, and there was a surgery, two birthdays and Thanksgiving in there too. 

Yes, that is why I’m hitting you with all these posts I’d intended to share before now… all of a sudden!  And the week before Christmas too.  I guess I feel like I won’t do it after.  So we press on. 🙂

Long story short… This was our display.  Hopefully you can zoom into anything you want to see better.  It’s a combination of last year’s left overs and some new things.  I didn’t make anything new this year.  I almost canceled the whole thing back in September.  Homeschooling 4 this year has me a little overwhelmed.  But then I decided that if I didn’t do anything personally, I could muster up what I needed to help them do it.  They are saving up to pay for summer camp. 

They did pretty well, but we have a long way to go still!

Gathering here!

Twins Nursery Art

Twins were born a couple weeks ago to a lady in our church.  My plate has been stacked a bit full, so today I finally got the sprinkling table up for our church family to bring gifts.  Usually we would throw a whole party for new mamas, but it just didn’t workout for the family this time, so we opted for this instead.

I so enjoyed the nursery art I painted for the last one, that I just knew I wanted to do another.  This time we are celebrating twin boys born to first time parents.  I asked a couple months ago and found out they decorated the nursery in an ocean theme.  This is what I came up with for both the sprinkling and for the nursery art.

Ocean Theme Twins Nursery Art

Welcome, Noah and Andrew, to our church family!  We look forward to seeing you grow up and being a part of your lives!


Gathering here.

Sweet Life Cafe Women’s Retreat Unveiling

Women's Retreat Table Decor

Our church’s women’s retreat has come and gone and it was a great time of womanly fellowship and encouragement.  As I’ve mentioned (here and here), I invited myself onto the committee as their decorator and, thankfully, they were thrilled.  I love to add the details to things and that’s just what I did.  It was me, our three pastor’s wives, and the church administrative assistant.  Each lady was so well suited in a different area and it worked out perfectly.  (Isn’t that just how God’s family works out?)

Unfortunately, I didn’t actually get a picture of the overall room, but that’s okay, because we couldn’t do much on a grand scale.  We focused on the table center pieces primarily.  Here are some of them:

Do you see that pedestal candy dish?  I made that using this tutorial I found on Pinterest!  I loved these glasses though (also from the dollar store).  So fun, easier to get your hand into, and a place for the jute to be tied on.

The coffee beans in the jar with the tea light (at the top of the post) were super fun and easy too.  I worried they would smell too strongly with 11 of them around the room, but it was only subtle.  I didn’t even notice, which is good because I don’t like the smell of coffee. 🙂  They were a Pinterest find too.

I also made these little cuties.  A pendant necklace was gifted to each of the ladies during one of the sessions, but I couldn’t let them just be tossed out on the table.  I wanted to wrap them up cute, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of time or money on it.  So I just cut strips out to the right width from 8 inch scrapbook paper.  I folded them around the necklace card and tied strings from burlap (it’s nice and skinny) around them to hold them shut.  Then I made these fun stickers.  I hand wrote each of them on labels my mom found at the dollar store forever ago and colored in the coffee beans with brown Crayola marker.  I came up with 6 different “bean” phrases for them:

Just “bean” with Jesus
God has “bean” good
He’s “bean” good to me
I have “bean” redeemed

Sorry, I don’t remember the 6th one. 🙁


My last “little” touch is actually the biggest one. 🙂  I asked my husband to make me a chalkboard sign based on this inspiration pic on Pinterest.  You can’t see it great in this picture, but it turned out wonderfully and I created my first chalk sign on a large scale.  I’ll be using this more often and hopefully will get better at it with practice. ;)You can find the rest of my retreat ideas, the ones I used and the ones I didn’t, over on my Women’s Retreat Pinterest Board

I was a bit discouraged last week that I didn’t get to a lot of my ideas, but then I remembered that, this way, I can use them at future retreats and events and they will still be new.

Gathering here.

An Attempt at Chalkboards

This weekend is the long awaited and prepared for Women’s Retreat for my church.  All my coffee themed work to date was created for this retreat, as were a number of other things.  Among them are these chalkboards.

This my first attempt at lettering and doodling on a chalkboard and I got plenty of practice on them.  I wouldn’t call any of them perfect, but since they are just for the weekend, I’m not too worried about it.  They are cute just the same.

As I said, this was my first real experience with chalkboard art.  As such, I made a few rookie mistakes.  The biggest was to use chalk markers on chalkboard paint without sealing them first.  Yep, I’m pretty sure the first 5 I did are permanent.  I’ll either sand and repaint after the retreat is over or find something to do with them.  If people think they are any good, maybe they could make their way into my up and coming Etsy shop or a first ever giveaway here at my little space.

This weekend, though, these little guys will be part of the centerpieces.  I have a few others that weren’t done yet when I took these picture that will be around the room.  I’ll try to get some picture during set up tonight, but the light won’t be as nice at the hotel.

So many things left to do and we’re leaving in less than 2 hours.  Since the little ones won’t nap unless I sit with them for a bit, though, I thought I’d post these for you to wet your appetite for the rest.

Gathering here.

The Scriptures are not like cake. A Bread analogy.

The Scriptures are not like cake

At the end of February, the ladies from our church will be having our Women’s Retreat.  I mentioned already that I shamelessly invited myself onto the committee and the other ladies have graciously allowed me to take on the decorations.  We’re using a box retreat from Group called Sweet Life Cafe, so I’m trying to keep my decorations with that theme, but making it all as special as possible.

One of the things I like to do when planning a party, is to put as much as possible into the little details.  I painted this little guy for one of those details.  We’ll use it with the session that talks about bread.  I saw the quote on Pinterest and knew at once I wanted to use it.  I’ll scan it into my computer and resize it for printing.  I’ll be printing one for each of the 60ish ladies attending.


Linked up at:

The Mom Gene

Christmas Market

I mentioned before that I’ve helped the children make products to sell at our church’s Christmas Market for a number of years.  When I started painting in 2016, I included my Tree Lots as a custom order and had a lot of friendly comments and even got an order.

IMG_2377This past November, in addition to helping the children with their products, I also produced some of my own art to sell.  This is the picture we took before the Christmas tree was put up on the right side of the table.  It held all the ornaments the children made.

The mangers and lath Christmas trees were made by my 11 year old son.  The tags laying on the table and the snowman pillows were made by my 9 year old daughter.  The snowmen ornaments sitting on the shelves were done by my 7 year old son.  The cards, calendars and watercolor plaques were mine, as well as some of the other things.

We also had a few fall things for sale and my mom made wooden cutting boards and spatulas.

IMG_2380We didn’t sell as much as we’d hoped this year, but we did sell some things.  Really, it’s more about the experience of it all.  We include it in our homeschool as “industry/entrepreneurship”.  The kids make their own products and get to help sell them at the market.  It’s a lot of fun!  And the leftovers never go to waste because the children love to wrap them up as Christmas presents for friends and family.

Sweet Life Cafe Women’s Retreat Save the Date Card


I invited myself onto the women’s retreat committee this year and I’ve been having so much fun already!  I’m sure I’ll have more to show in the next couple months as it approaches, but this is a prototype I made up in the fall.  The tag is something I designed and hand lettered myself.  It says: something sweet is brewing.  Unfortunately when the scan was printed out, the printer had a streak.  Since it was the prototype, I left it in.  I couldn’t find a picture of the final project… if I do I’ll add it in later.

We made up about 100 of these in the end.  It was a little crazy, but they were so fun!  I just couldn’t help myself! 🙂

Updated 2/2019
I’m adding the templates for you, so that you can make your own without having to figure everything out for yourself. Click on the links below and either download (for the pdf) or “save as” for the jpg images.

Jpg of the Cup Template: click here and “save as” the image.
Jpg of the Sleeve Template: click here and “save as” the image.
Jpg of the Something is Brewing Artwork: click here and “save as” the image. (This one isn’t a whole sheet for you to print, but you could make your own.

Insert the Cup Template into your word processing software and move it to the back. Then insert a text box over one of them and fill it with your text. Copy and paste to the others, or repeat the steps over the other cups.

Trace or print the Sleeve Template on the back of colored card stock or scrapbook paper and cut them out. Fold them around the cups after they are cut out and glue, tape or use a sticker to hold them shut.

Mount the “Something is Brewing” Artwork onto paper or card stock and mount it on colored or decorative paper. Punch a hole in one corner and tie it around the sleeve with your ribbon, raffia, or twine of choice.

Using double sided tape, insert a piece of chocolate or other candy under the ribbon.

I hope you enjoy this project! It would be great for save the date or invitations! You could even use them as thank you notes or even just a note of encouragement with a different tag.

The copywork information is only on the pdf versions of the downloads, but please honor it on all of them.

***Official legal stuff: Copyright remains my own. Please only use them personally or in your classroom or church. Print them and give them as gifts. But please don’t distribute them online or claim them as your own. If you want to share them on your own blog, please be sure to give me credit and include a link back here. Thanks! They are my original work and I’d like to be able to continue sharing what I create with you all.

Gathering here.

A New Year’s Sermon

Update: Find the 2023 version with free printable here.


Last year, New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday.  The sermon that morning was the best New Year’s messages I’ve ever heard.  Instead of focusing on goals and plans and dreams for the coming year, our pastor talked about saying good-bye to 2016.  Saying good-bye to all the failure and all the sin that we often carry around with us, despite our repentance.  He reminded us that once we’ve asked God to forgive us, those sins and failures were nailed to the cross.  That we shouldn’t be carrying them into the new year.

For Christmas, that year, I received a visual journal (a journal of watercolor paper) and his sermon inspired me with the perfect idea for the opening page.  I put all the previous year’s guilt and shame on the cross where it belongs.  It’s something I need to do every year.  Actually, daily would be even better!

Original artwork done with watercolor and ink on the 140 pound cold pressed watercolor paper of a “visual journal”.

This post was submitted to the link-up at A Wise Woman Build’s Her Home.,