Habits – Personal Growth using Habit Trackers and Accountability

A couple weeks ago I shared with you my desire to see change in my life and we talked about some of the “How”, Biblically, for getting there.  We talked about renewing our minds with the truths of God’s Word.  (Romans 12:2 and Philippians 4:8)

"The only way to be different is to begin doing things differently." 

Habits - to see change in you, change what you do | mamasbrush.com

Build your character using habit trackers and accountability.

I mentioned, only briefly, that the only way to be different is to begin doing things differently. That is what I want to talk about today. 


"The only way to change is to change what you do."

Habits - to see change in you, change what you do | mamasbrush.com

Build your character using habit trackers and accountability.

I’ve come to believe the adage that “habits form character”.  If I want to change, and I do, I must create some new habits into my life.  Ultimately, our thoughts come first (that’s why we talked about them already).  Our renewed minds help lead to building the good habits that will lead to good character, and lives changed for the better.  If I want to change, I must change what I do. 

How to make changes

"When you do it without thinking, that's when it's a habit." 

Habits - to see change in you, change what you do | mamasbrush.com

Build your character using habit trackers and accountability.

Habits are a great tool for making changes in your life.  I recommend taking one habit at a time, but since I’m not very good at that, I won’t judge if you have a few you want to work on.  As you begin to build a habit, you have a decision to make each time.  Is your habit brushing your teeth before bed (ahem… like I’m working toward)? Then each evening you are presented with a choice.  Am I going to brush my teeth? Or skip it?  Every night that I decide to brush, I am laying a brick in the foundation of this new habit.  For every brick laid, the next decision is easier to make until you don’t have to think about it at all.  You’ll just do it because it’s what you do.  When you do it without thinking, that’s when it’s a habit. 

Keeping track

I feel like some habits are easier than others, but more often than not, I need some accountability to stay on track.  The first week of January, I was doing great!  I brushed my teeth every night, was self-controlled in my eating and spent time each morning in God’s Word.  As the days have passed though, I’ve missed a day here or there with each of these… and the self-control thing has gone right out the window.  I need accountability!  Having a partner helps.  Reporting in each day about your habit to someone else is a great way to stay on track, but maybe that doesn’t work for you.  Maybe you don’t have anyone you trust.  Maybe you are working on too many things at once and need another way. 

There are so many ideas for habit trackers on Pinterest. You can put one in your bullet journal or create one to print out.

Habits - to see change in you, change what you do | mamasbrush.com

Build your character using habit trackers and accountability.
Single Habit Tracker for February (I’m still working on future months.)

I’ve designed a couple different habit trackers for myself, and I’ve added them to my shop as well for those of you who would be blessed by a little (or a lot, like me) of accountability for your new habits. One is a tracker for one habit at a time. Maybe you are trying to add a bit of exercise each day. Or laundry. Or packing lunch the night before. Or daily time in God’s Word. When you succeed, color in the heart for that day. There is a key at the bottom so you can chose a different shade of each color for different responses. Light pink for “kinda did it” and dark pink or red for “yes! did it with gusto!” You choose!

Habits - to see change in you, change what you do | mamasbrush.com

Build your character using habit trackers and accountability.
Seasonal Monthly Habit trackers – one for each month of the year!

The monthly seasonal habit trackers have room for multiple habits. These are great for keeping track of established habits while you add others, or if you are like me, just start with several at once and see how you do. These have artwork to match each month, and religious and non religious options for the holiday months.

The Why

Habit trackers are great for two reasons (maybe more, let me know in the comments if I missed any!) First, some of us, like my teen daughter, will make a point of doing the new habit so there won’t be any holes in her tracker. She’s very upset when she can’t color something off, so she’s careful to stay on track. For the rest of us, it acts as a tool to see how you are progressing. It helps to show you where you may need to pay more attention, or whether your “occasional going to bed without brushing your teeth” is becoming the norm again. Whether it is accountability or a tool to help you see, habit trackers are one way to help you accomplish your goals!

Wrapping up

Did you start working on a new habit this year? Did you mean to? It’s not too late. Find an accountability partner, create a habit tracker of your own, or pop over to my shop to grab one of mine! Let me know in the comments… what are you working on this year? I’d love to cheer you on!

Habits - to see change in you, change what you do | mamasbrush.com

Build your character using habit trackers and accountability.
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Images sourced from Canva

Gathering here.

Personal Transformation (Part 1)

I mentioned the other day that if I were going to pick one word to focus on in the new year, it would be “transformation”. I choose this because there are so many areas of my life that need it… change I mean. I’ve let myself get into a series of bad habits over the last few years and something needs to change.

I want to be different and the only way to do that is to start by doing things differently.

Romans 12:2 | mamasbrush

First of all, a look at God’s Word.

Where does the Bible say we should start a transformation? Romans 12:2 says we will “be transformed by the renewal of our minds.” But what are we to renew our minds with?

Philippians 4:8 | mamasbrush

There are so many things in this world that could help us to renew our minds. Many claim the power of “positive thinking” or “affirmations”. They say that telling ourselves we are enough, worthy, valuable… that these things will change us, but they aren’t the way the Bible tells us to renew our mind. The Bible tells us that we should be renewing our minds with “whatever is true… honorable… just… pure… lovely… commendable.” (Philippians 4:8) It goes on to say that, “if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Encouraging Words Printable Cards | mamasbrush

The truth is that, as much as we like to think we are, we aren’t enough, worthy, or valuable in and of ourselves. It is only Christ and his redemptive work on the Cross (i.e. that he gave His live that we may be forgiven for our sins) that make us anything. We are not enough… He is! We are not worthy… He is! We are not valuable, except that He thinks we are. Most of the affirmations out there don’t fulfill the Philippians 4:8 mandate, but there are so many truths in Scripture that do and can build us up if we will set our minds on them. I saw a need for these sorts of things out on the internet (shameless plug ahead) when I created my Encouraging Words and posted about them back in November, and my Christmas version last month (post here).

God's Word is the truth we should be renewing our minds with! | mamasbrush

God’s Word is the truth we should be renewing our minds with! Buying little cards or making your own are a tool you can use to keep those truths in front of you, but they cannot take the place of regular, daily time spent reading, memorizing, and thinking about His Word- the Bible! If we want change in our lives: weight loss, anger management, self-control; we must start by renewing our minds with God’s Word.


I’m going to admit that I haven’t been making this a priority lately. Days are busy and start without me sometimes. I miss more days than I care to admit. It can happen to anyone. When we don’t make a point to spend time reading and studying, praying and worshiping, we won’t do it. We will fall away. And our minds will be renewed by the words of the world instead. We need to make God’s Word a habit. We need to renew our minds with His Word. Every other change starts with this one!

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A woman reading the Bible, the first step to good change | mamasbrush

Images sourced from Canva

Gathering here.

A Christ-Honoring Approach to the New Year

I mentioned briefly that I much prefer to look ahead to the new year than to look back.  New holds promise.  The Bible tells us that joy comes in the morning and that is just the way I feel looking at the new year.  Anne of Green Gables is noted to have said, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”  The new year doesn’t either!  As we stand at the threshold of 2024, it’s a fitting time to reflect on the journey of the past year, letting go of those parts we’ve already sought forgiveness for, and to seek God’s wisdom for the days to come. This moment invites us to pause, acknowledging His presence in our lives, and to consider the path He has laid out for us. 

How can we use this time for His glory?

A woman praying about her new year and the goals and plans she makes for it | mamasbrush

Reflect on God’s Faithfulness

In addition to looking back and letting go of the guilt and shame of our forgiven failures, we also want to consider God’s faithfulness this past year! Remember the answered prayers, unexpected blessings, and moments of growth. By acknowledging His hand in my life, I nestle in closer to the intimate relationship He wants with me.

Pray with Purpose

Take intentional time in prayer, bringing our joys, sorrows, and desires before the Lord. Seek His guidance and wisdom as you review the choices and decisions of the past year. Allow your prayers to be a conversation with God, surrendering your plans and desires to His perfect will.

A woman seeking God's Word about her new year and the goals and plans she makes for it | mamasbrush

Set Christ-Centered Goals

As you consider your goals for the new year, strive to align them with God’s Word. Instead of focusing solely on personal achievements, think about how your goals can contribute to God’s kingdom and reflect His love to those around you.

Instead of “lose 50 pounds”, think, “I will present my body as a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1) and “practice what God’s Word says about self-control” (2 Peter 1:5-10). Whatever your goals this year, based them on Scripture and ask God to help you!

A woman seeking God's Word about her new year and the goals and plans she makes for it | mamasbrush

Embrace Transformation

Challenge yourself to embrace personal transformation through the power of the Holy Spirit. Identify areas of your life where you can grow. Allow God to shape and mold you into the person He has designed you to be, acknowledging that true fulfillment comes from aligning your life with His purpose.

Some people choose one word to focus on in the new year. I’ve done this, but I’m not very good at keeping with it.  If I were to choose one word for this new year, it would be transformation.  Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”  I want God to transform my life for His glory this year, using His Word to renew and transform me.  Let God’s Word renew and transform your own life this year!

Community and Accountability

Recognize the importance of community in your journey. Engage with fellow believers who can offer support, encouragement, and accountability. Share your goals with trusted friends or a mentor, allowing them to walk alongside you as you pursue a Christ-centered life.

In the upcoming year, let your foundation be firmly “rooted and built up in [Jesus]” (Colossians 2:7). As we embark on this new chapter, let us remember the words of Philippians 3:13-14, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

If habit trackers are your thing, I have a couple in my shop.

May your new year be filled with the peace that surpasses all understanding, rooted in a deep relationship with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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A woman praying over her new year and the goals and plans she makes for it | mamasbrush

Images sourced from Canva

Gathering here.

Letting Go of the Past Year

As I sit here in the last days of 2023, I like to take a few minutes to look back over the year.  Actually, I don’t love it, but I find myself doing it anyway.  What I really want to do is look forward to how I’m going to make the next year better, but as I start to do that, I find myself realizing that all the “new” things I hope for next year have their root in the disappointments of the year rounding up.  Yuck.  It’s full of failure, sin, and shame!  I feel like the list of things I want to get better at and the sins I want victory over is longer than the success list!

Each year as Christmas ends and I really start thinking about it all, my mind travels back to a New Year’s from years ago when it happened to be on a Sunday.  Our pastor preached a sermon that touched my heart!  Instead of talking about setting goals for the new year, he focused on letting go of the old one—saying good-bye to all the mess-ups and sins we still carry around even after repenting from them.

This years sin and shame nailed to the Christ of Jesus as we step clean into the next year! | mamasbrush

He reminded us that when we ask God for forgiveness, those sins get nailed to the cross. Not only doesn’t carrying them into the new year make sense, we aren’t supposed to do it!  All the guilt and shame that I tend to carry around without realizing it need to be put off. 

It was a simple but powerful reminder to start fresh and not drag the old stuff along.  That sermon inspired a painting that I’ve remade many of the years since.  Here is this year’s for you to download if you would like!  I hope it is a blessed reminder to your heart as it is to mine!

Download your freebie! (personal license only please!)

Won’t you please pin and share the graphic so others can be encouraged too!

Gathering here.

When Christmas is hard: 24 Reminders to Help you through the Season

Though Christmas is supposed to be the “season of joy”, we don’t always feel it, do we? Or is it just me? Today I have for you 24 beautiful Words from Scripture to encourage you this Christmas season.

When Christmas is hard: 24 Reminders to Help you through the Season | mamasbrush

Advent Cards, Christmas affirmation cards, Christian affirmation cards, Christmas encouragement

Some causes of discouragement

So many things can discourage us at Christmas time. For some it is simply that life goes on. Maybe this has been a hard year. Loss of a job or a loved one carries into December. A child gone astray or anxiety pull at your heart. It could be as simple as being in the middle of child training and Mommy-ing… and there is never a day off. Just because Thanksgiving has come and gone doesn’t make these things magically disappear. Life can be hard, and that makes Christmas all the harder because it’s supposed to be joyful, isn’t it? That’s what our culture tells us anyway.

I remember one particularly difficult Christmas season in my own life. My 6th baby had been born in September and I had 5 other children 9 and under. I was so overwhelmed that joy was hard to find. To top it off, I felt the lack of “Christmas joy” and it only compounded my struggle. I’ve been there! I’ve felt it and I certainly could have used some encouragement that year!

When Christmas is hard: 24 Reminders to Help you through the Season | mamasbrush

Advent Cards, Christmas affirmation cards, Christian affirmation cards, Christmas encouragement

What to do when it’s not

God’s Word tells to be still and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)

That He keeps those in perfect peace whose mind is focused on Him. (Isaiah 26:3)

To let the Word of God “dwell in you richly”. (Colossians 3:16)

These are the Sunday school answers, right? Who has time for this? With young ones running around getting into everything, how can we be still? Wish so many of us mamas struggling to focus on our daily tasks, how can we stay focused on God? And when are we supposed to find time to be spending time in God’s Word?

First, let me remind you that this is a season… whatever season this is for you. Mamas to young ones? This is a season. They will eventually get older (I speak from experience.) Are you suffering from loss or hopelessness? Time (and God) can help heal your wounds. Whatever chaos or hardship you find yourself in, it won’t last forever.

But what about now?

“Great! It’s just a season”, you may be thinking to yourself, “but what am I supposed to do right now? How do I get through this Christmas season?”

This year, maybe it would be easier to start with little bits! I have here 24 quick and easy thoughts from Scripture to give you a little daily truth to remember, to think about through your day. If you have more time than that, spend some time meditating on the verses. Use them as a devotional time or journal prompt. Just one each day.

When Christmas is hard: 24 Reminders to Help you through the Season | mamasbrush

Advent Cards, Christmas affirmation cards, Christian affirmation cards, Christmas encouragement

24 Christmas Reminders to Help You Through the Season

  1. Abide in Him
    John 15:4 ~ “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”
  2. God gave you Jesus for Christmas
    John 3:16 ~ “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
  3. In God’s presence there is complete joy
    Psalm 16:11 ~ “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
  4. Christ in alive in you
    Galatians 2:20 ~ “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
  5. He is the Good News of great joy
    Luke 2:10 ~ “And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.'”
  6. God’s love will never end
    Lamentations 3:22 ~ “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end.”
  7. Salvation is God’s gift to you
    Ephesians 2:8-9 ~ “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
  8. Jesus bring peace for anxiety
    John 16:33 ~ “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
  9. God will supply all you need
    Philippians 4:19 ~ “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
  10. God is enough
    2 Corinthians 12:9 ~ “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'”
  11. Jesus came to seek and to save
    Luke 19:10 ~ “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
  12. God’s timing is perfect
    Galatians 4:4 ~ “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law.”
  13. Do not be anxious
    Philippians 4:6-7 ~ “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made know to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
  14. Peace comes when we focus on Him
    Isaiah 26:3 ~ “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
  15. Nothing is impossible with God
    Luke 1:37 ~ “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
  16. God’s got this
    Isaiah 41:10 ~ “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.”
  17. God is always faithful
    2 Timothy 2:13 ~ “If we are faithless, he remains faithful-for he cannot deny himself.”
  18. Every good and perfect gift is from above.
    James 1:17 ~ “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
  19. God’s gifts are free
    Romans 6:23 ~ “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  20. Jesus will give you rest
    Matthew 11:28 ~ “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
  21. Thank God for His amazing gifts
    2 Corinthians 9:15 ~ “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
  22. God’s way is perfect
    Psalm 18:30 ~ “This God – his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”
  23. Be still and know that He is God
    Psalm 46:10 ~ “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
  24. God will provide the way
    1 Corinthians 10:13 ~ “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

The take away

Life is hard and too often the Christmas season simply highlights that instead of bringing the joy it promises. Use these little reminders to help you walk through the Christmas season with purpose. Read one each day, meditate on them, use them as devotions, Bible studies, or journal prompts. I hope they are a blessing.

Something extra

I’ve taken each of these little reminders, these encouraging words, and created little advent cards with them (examples are throughout the post) that you can use to walk through December. Read one a day, let them inspire Bible study or devotions, use them as a journal prompt, memorize them or just tuck them away to think about throughout the day. I made 24 so that you could count down to Christmas, but use them any way you like. You can find them in my Etsy shop.

Is this a particularly difficult Christmas season for you? Can you remember one in particular that was hard? Please share it in the comments if you are comfortable. I would love to pray for you! Not only might it encourage another reader, sharing your pain can be a powerful step in healing!

Do you know someone who could use the encouragement this Christmas? Please share this post.

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When Christmas is hard: 24 Reminders to Help you through the Season | mamasbrush

Advent Cards, Christmas affirmation cards, Christian affirmation cards, Christmas encouragement

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

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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Tea Party Women’s Retreat

Tea Party Women's Retreat | mamasbrush #teaparty #womensretreat #womensministry #foodtable #retreatdecorations

This time last year, I was deep in the throws of preparing for our church’s women’s retreat. As in past years, my part was to decorate and add all the little touches that make it special. It’s not the most important part, by far. The Bible teaching and encouragement is the most important. But I do love to bring a little something extra so the ladies can really enjoy the weekend and feel as much love and blessing as possible.

Tea Party Women's Retreat | mamasbrush #teaparty #womensretreat #womensministry #foodtable #retreatdecorations

Because of covid regulations last year, we couldn’t take our group to the usual retreat center for the weekend, so we adjusted some things and converted our church auditorium into our retreat center and decorated it for a giant tea party.

Those garlands hung from the ceiling were made using this tutorial. I’ll be using them again this year, getting 2 years for the work of making them once! 🙂

Tables centerpieces were tea sets we gathered from various church ladies who let us borrow them (this helped cut costs and gave us a fun variety of styles from all over the world).

We found these fun paper tea cups on Amazon (not an affiliate link) for them to drink their tea/coffee/cocoa out of.

I made signs to place around the room and these little gift packs were placed at every place. Inside the packet was a small journal for each lady. There were 4 of each design and we used them to separate the ladies into different groups randomly to mix them up a bit.

This is the tea and coffee/cocoa station. One of the ladies on the retreat committee loves tea and has a lot of different ones. She always brings her collection to share (that is what you see on the left) On the right things look a little sparse because the coffee carafes are not there yet.

Tea Party Women's Retreat | mamasbrush #teaparty #womensretreat #womensministry #foodtable #retreatdecorations

One of the benefits to being at our church for the retreat this year was that we could do some fun food. Many would not think of this as a good thing, but most years they ask me not to do any food for the retreat because there is so much food already at the retreat center. Well, one of the things I love to do is include food in my theme, so I was thrilled that I could make all sorts of fun “tea party” foods. This was the inspiration I needed to learn to make french macarons (of course there are no pics of those, because these picture were taken of the brunch spread, but I also made them for some of the bridal showers I’ll be sharing in the weeks to come.)

Many of the ladies stepped in to bring parts of the brunch spread, but I wanted to bring some fun things. One of which was this fun “donut” cake. The one in the pic below fell apart, so we made another one, but of course there is no pic of that. My kids were super excited that the first one fell apart because they enjoyed it immensely!

I was super excited to have a reason to make puff pastry danishes. I’d been wanting to after watching The Great British Baking Show. You can find several pins about how to do this on my Tea Party Women’s Retreat board on Pinterest. I practiced for several weeks before making the official danishes for the retreat. They aren’t as hard or as time consuming as I expected. In fact, I need to make more soon! 🙂

The whole retreat was a success with so much spiritual encouragement, so much fun and laughter, and a great time of fellowship and building up! You can find other details and ideas for your own tea party on my Pinterest board.

If you enjoyed this Tea Party Women’s Retreat, I would really appreciate it if you would pin the image below or any of the specific images… or share on other social media! 🙂

Tea Party Women's Retreat | mamasbrush #teaparty #womensretreat #womensministry #foodtable #retreatdecorations

You can find me gathering here.

Easy Watercolor Flowers YOU Can Paint

I painted these cards for a party we attended this weekend for a graduate in our church. I sat down Friday night with no inspiration of what I wanted to make. What I ended up with an hour later was easy watercolor flowers YOU can paint. I didn’t start out to make a tutorial (the party was the next day), so I don’t have pictures to share of the process, but I want to talk you through what I did, because these really are Easy Watercolor Flowers YOU Can Paint!

I painted this whole thing without a pencil drawing. This makes it easier for me because I don’t have to worry about getting the petals just right when the time comes.

Getting Started

The first thing I did was to paint yellow dots where I wanted my flowers. If you are making a greeting or verse card, give some thought to where you want your flowers, if you are practicing, just put them anywhere. They would be cute in a semi-strait line across the middle of your work space. Remember to leave space between the centers for the petals for each flower.

Let the yellow paint dry.

Adding Petals

When the centers are dry, you can begin to paint the petals. I chose a color palate ahead of time and thought through where I wanted them. I begin by painting the outline of the petals where I want them, sometimes 4 petals, sometimes 5. You can do what you like.

If the petals aren’t exactly the right size or shape, just add more paint and change them a bit (this is why I like painting with pencilwork first.) When I am filling in the color on the petals, I try to leave white spaces for a little textural interest.


While allowing the petals to dry I worked on the stems and leaves of this card. I am careful to leave a little gap between the still trying flower and the green of the stem, otherwise the colors will bleed together. I simply used the very tip of one of my size 7,8, or 9 brushes (though you could use a smaller one if you are more comfortable with it.)

I dragged the tip downward from the flower to the bottom of the card. Be careful to draw an imaginary line from the center of your flower through the petals so your stem placement is realistic. Go back and add paint to make it darker, or more water for thicker stems as needed.

Easy Watercolor Flowers YOU Can Paint -- My Creative Process at mamasbrush.wordpress.com


I first added leaves to the stemmed flowers because they are further removed from the wet paint of the petals. I chose a very traditional leaf shape and deliberately left them running off the edge of the paper and behind a nearby flower (though you need to make sure the flower it touches is dry first).

Easy Watercolor Flowers YOU Can Paint -- My Creative Process at mamasbrush.wordpress.com

For the leaves on this card, I waited for the petals to dry and added leaves coming from behind the petals. Do you see the faint leaf behind the others on the purple flower on the left? That was the original leaf for that flower and it was way too big. I added a bunch of water and tried lifting the already dry paint with a paper towel, but it didn’t lift all of it. I was a little disappointed that I’d ruined the card, but I moved ahead and added the smaller leaves instead, just for practice.

Fixing “Mistakes”

I set it aside to dry while I worked on other details, and while was working I had an idea. I decided to paint very faint large leaves all over the background of the card. I painted with a lot of water, let it sit a moment or two, then dabbed it up with paper towel. Not only was the card not ruined, it was the one I decided to use for the graduation party. When you find that you’ve made a mistake of your own, set it aside for a bit and see if you can brainstorm a way to make it part of your design. You may just like it better than your intended design! 🙂

Easy Watercolor Flowers YOU Can Paint -- My Creative Process at mamasbrush.wordpress.com

Another layer of color

When everything was dry, I went back in and added another layer of color to each of the elements. For some of the flowers I went around the edges with a darker color (see the purple flower on the bottom card). For others I made streaks of darker color coming out from the middle (the purple flower on the top card. For others still, I gave an extra layer of color on half of each petal. For the leaves, I added another layer (or two) of green on one half of the leaf. There are so many ways to do this, just experiment and see what you like!

Easy Watercolor Flowers YOU Can Paint -- My Creative Process at mamasbrush.wordpress.com

Finishing Touches

This is when I add my pen work. I usually do this the next day, since I do most of my painting late at night. The trick is to make sure your painting is completely dry! For the leaves I think a pointed version of a spiral is fun. For the petals, I trace each one twice, sometimes staying right on top of the first line, other times leaving a gap all around or even just on the end. I think this makes it look like the petals are curved around on the ends. I add some squiggly lines at the base of each petal and a spiral at the center.

My goal for these finishing touches was to make the painting cute and whimsical. If I wanted them to look a little closer to realistic, I may have used dots in the centers and simple vein like lines on the leaves. Go with what you like and have fun! Shayda Campbell once said, if I want it to look exactly right, take a picture. Painting is about giving it your own creative interpretation.

When all was said and done I added the verses I had in mind and the border. Since I was short on time, I just did a simple lettering and added the verse reference into the border as I like to do. I think it worked though. The flowers dressed it up enough and the lettering style didn’t distract from the painting or the message.

So will you try it??

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Gathering here.

Mountain Lodge Theme Hand Lettered Artwork

Updated 9/2023: I created these Mountain Lodge prints several years ago for our church’s “Cozy Mountain Lodge” women’s retreat. I used them in the centerpieces and gave them away at the end of the event via raffle. This last week I’ve had the opportunity to update them. I’ve learned much over the years about how to digitize my artwork and have some fancier software as well. It was time to “remaster” the original prints and, while I was at it, I made it possible to customize the verses to use your preferred version.

I’m so excited to be able to do this. Version differences, not to mention copyright limitations, have made it difficult to make and share artwork with Bible verses on them. I’m excited to see where this will lead, but for now these Mountain Lodge Prints are available in my shop! Use them at home, as a gift or for church events and activities. I used them as event decor; another lady is using them as a retreat craft. How will you use them?

Gathering here.