My Creative Process: Hand Lettered Daffodil with 2 Corinthians 5:17

Hand Lettered Daffodil with 2 Corinthians 5:17 - "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation."

The other night, I had what I thought was just 15 minutes available to paint while my husband stayed back to get the kids to sleep. Usually with that much time available, I wouldn’t bother to take everything out, but I really wanted to paint! It had been a couple days since I’d had time, so I decided to see how much I could get done in 15 minutes. Could I create something worth while in that much time?

Hand Lettered Daffodil with 2 Corinthians 5:17 - "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation."

As it turns out, I had more like 30 minutes, so it was definitely worth it. I was able to get all the paint laid down for this daffodil! I started it without a sketch. When all you have is 15-30 minutes and no projects in the works, there isn’t time to sketch (okay, there could be, but I didn’t take the time).

It was fun! I started by laying down a light yellow in a daffodil shape. I messed it up, so I made it bigger. 🙂 Problem solved. Now the top petal was cut off, so in the end, when trimming it to size, I decided to trim the side petal too. I like the way it turned out.

Hand Lettered Daffodil with 2 Corinthians 5:17 - "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation."

Next I dabbed some orange on to the wet paint (that is called a wet on wet technique) and it crawled around wherever it wanted to go. I picked up the paper and tilted it here and there to encourage it to go where I wanted, but it doesn’t have to play by my rules.

Once it was dry I added the green stem and leaves (so the color wouldn’t bleed where they touch).

The next day, I added all the pen work and lettering.

Hand Lettered Daffodil with 2 Corinthians 5:17 - "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation."

My favorite part is the lettering. From the beginning I pictured the words of the verse following the shape of the flower and I really like the way it turned out.

I choose 2 Corinthians 5:17 from my list of memorized verses on Bible Memory (our family’s favorite way to memorize and meditate on Scripture! Free for the first 50 verses and well worth the trial. It makes learning and practicing Bible verses easy and fun!) (That was not a paid plug… we just really love them!)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

I thought it was a beautiful verse for spring, with all the new life around us. Truly, the old of the world died back over winter, and now the new creation is springing up all around us! And just the same way, when we choose to repent of our sins and follow Jesus, we are new creations in Him, our old selves dead and left behind us! Thank you Father for making me new!

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Hand Lettered Daffodil with 2 Corinthians 5:17 - "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation."

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Cute Bunny Rabbit Popping Up Card in Watercolor

Cute Bunny Rabbit Popping Up Card in Watercolor

The other night when I was putting my kids to bed, I asked them what I should paint. “Bunnies” was the overwhelming answer. This cute little guy is one of the pieces I created that night. (The other one’s still to come.)

It all started with a 4×6 inch scrap of watercolor paper. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with it, so I put the frame on first. I don’t usually do this. It’s usually the last thing I do. So there I was with an empty frame.

Cute Bunny Rabbit Popping Up Card in Watercolor

I did some sketching on my graph paper (my big “secret” for starting most projects), until I knew what I wanted to do. When I found my idea, I lightly sketched it freehand onto the watercolor paper and traced it over with my black artist pen. I gave it a few minute to dry completely before erasing the pencil marks and then started with the watercolor paint. (Make sure your pen is waterproof before you add watercolor!) I picked only two colors for a simple look. Pink for the ears and nose. Blue for the background “sky”.

Super happy with the way it turned out. Give it a try. The shape of the head doesn’t matter. It can be an oval, circle, triangle with rounded corners… I’ve done all kinds. Give it a try. The ears make rabbits iconic. Make up your own version and give it your own style. Then leave me a link so I can see yours! Or head over to link up your pic on my pin so we can see that you “tried it”.

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Cute Bunny Rabbit Popping Up Card in Watercolor

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Grandpa – Watercolor Donut and Handlettering

"Grandpa" -- memories in Watercolor and pen -- Donut illustration

When my sister and I were young, we used to spend the night at our grandparents from time to time.  Saturday morning was always the same.  We would climb into their bed, cuddle up, and watch cartoons on the Disney Channel… which they only had for us.  We didn’t have it.

Then, when my grandfather was ready, we would put on our Cabbage Patch slippers and he would take us to the donut store in our jammies where we would pick 13 of whatever donuts we wanted and a bear claw for him.

Back again, we would find that Grandma had made hot cocoa on the stove and we would eat as many donuts as we could.  There were always plenty left over.

"Grandpa" -- memories in Watercolor and pen -- Donut illustration

Wednesday is my grandfather’s birthday.  I don’t usually send a gift, but I was thinking of him earlier this month and was remembering one of my favorite and most clear memories of him growing up .  I hope he likes it.

Saturday morning.


Picking our own donuts.


"Grandpa" -- memories in Watercolor and pen -- Donut illustration

Happy birthday Grandpa!

Gathering here.

He is the God of Hope – Illustrated Verse Romans 15:13

The God of Hope Illustrated Verse - Romans 15:13

I mentioned that I had the opportunity to pray with a couple ladies a couple Sundays ago and it was a beautiful morning.

The service ended and everyone started to bustle around.  We gathered our things and I looked around at the people passing by.  Then a lady I haven’t talked to in many months came walking by.

A small hug. Some chit chat. Then the question, “How are you guys?”  Her answer was real.

“We’re doing okay,” she said with a little hesitation that told me “okay” was coming only by God’s grace.  Then, “but it’s been hard.  We’ve been going through some hurtful things.”

I didn’t know.  I still don’t.  But I asked her if I could pray with her right there, standing in the middle of the sanctuary with people buzzing around us.  And she said yes.

I prayed.  She cried.  And I knew I’d obeyed God’s call on my heart to minister to His people that morning.

The God of Hope Illustrated Verse - Romans 15:13

When the time came to design a card for her, I chose Romans 15:13.  He is the God of hope who is able to fill you with all joy and peace… no matter the season or trials you are walking through!

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing

so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Romans 15:13

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Ask God for Wisdom – Illustrated Verse James 1:5

Spring Chick Illustrated Verse - James 1:5

Some Sunday afternoons, while we are driving home from church, I reflect back over the morning and realize that I didn’t have any truly meaningful conversations.  Oh, we may talk homeschooling or child raising or gardening and chicken raising, people may even be encourage, but too often nothing spiritual comes into it.  And it’s church!

My hearts desire is to talk about what we are learning in the Bible or to get down to the real story of where people are and to pray with them.  I was so excited last weekend to have, not just one of these conversations, but two of them!

A couple days later as I was continuing to pray for two different ladies I got to pray with, I decided that I really wanted to make a card for each of them.

This card is for a friend who is struggling in a new phase of parenting.  I chose the chick for spring (not because it matches the message), but the verse is the only one I could think to encourage because it’s one I need everyday!  I make thousands of decisions everyday, some are completely insignificant, but for others I stand clueless.  I lack wisdom!

“If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5

The answer is right there… don’t jump online to find the answers to the latest problem.  Ask God!

Spring Chick Illustrated Verse - James 1:5

A few notes on the illustration:

First off, this is one of the first illustrations I have done straight from my head.  Most of the time I begin an illustration with an inspiration photo.  Often I have seen someone else’s illustration and I want to imitate it or, more often, tweak it to make it my own.  Other times, I have an idea I want to create, but I go in search of another artists version or even a photograph to draw from.  Those are fine tools to use, especially as you learn.  Don’t get me wrong!  But it was supper fun to see this little guy, just as he is, in my head and to sketch him out on graph paper (yep, I start everything on graph paper… it helps with symmetry and sizing.)

After the whole thing was painted and dry, I took out my artist pens to add the finishing touches.  That is such a scary moment.  Adding the pen lines to an illustration has the power to take it over the top, or completely ruin it.  This time…


I gave him chicken pox!

It was horrible.

At first, I decided I’d just give it anyway.  No big deal.  It didn’t have to be perfect to be appreciated.  24 hours later I was ready to start it over.  Then this afternoon I had a few minutes to take pics to share with you and I had an idea.

More feathers!

Spring Chick Illustrated Verse - James 1:5

I was going to trash it anyway, so what did it matter if it didn’t work.  But it did and I’m so glad.  So… lesson?  Sometimes you can add too much with the pen.  But when that happens, sometimes you can add even more and fix everything. 🙂

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Ladybugs Illustrated Card

Ladybugs on grass Hand lettered Psalm 150:6

Updated March 2022: You can find an updated version of this artwork in my Etsy shop here.

Yesterday was my little girl’s 6th birthday and so I just had to design her a little card.  She’s super excited to put this in the front clear pocket of her binder as she is starting official first grade tomorrow.  She’s been begging me for a while now, so I am making it happen for her (having a 4th homeschooling is pretty scary!)  We would have started today, but today she got to go to work with Daddy as is tradition on the birthday for the kids who are old enough to be away from Mommy all day (the littler ones get taken out to lunch).

Ladybugs on grass Hand lettered Psalm 150:6

Where was I?  Oh yes, the birthday card.  Her theme was ladybugs (because she just loves them and carries them around the house as long as possible whenever she can catch one.)  The illustration was inspired by this pin, but I’m not sure about the original source as I repinned this and it doesn’t point right to it.  If anyone knows, leave a comment!

Ladybugs on grass Hand lettered Psalm 150:6

The illustration just screamed to have lettering added to it, so I chose Psalm 150:6 – “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!”  As my little ladybug gets better at reading this year, she can begin to learn the verse on her card. 🙂

I’ll share more about the ladybug birthday later in the week. 🙂

Gathering here.

Laundry Basket Illustration Mother’s Day Card

Loads and Loads - Laundry Mother's Day Card

That’s right, I confess.  I don’t do my own laundry.

And I haven’t done my own laundry for about two and a half years since number 6 was born.  That’s when my amazing mom (who lives in our detached garage) started pitching in to help me postpartum.  It was a rough season.  Baby 6 didn’t nurse well and I was nursing and pumping and bottle feeding around the clock.  The whole process took about 3 hours.  There was barely time for me to use the bathroom and get the pumping stuff washed before it was time to start again… and there were 5 other littles under 10 clamoring for my attention.  Not doing laundry was not just amazing… it was pretty much non-negotiable.

Loads and Loads - Laundry Mother's Day Card

By the time he was 3 months old, we had found a new normal.  I had given up nursing (no haters… I no longer judge people for giving up.  I had to do what was best for everyone in my family) and was down to exclusively pumping.  That’s about the time that my mom looked me straight in the eye and told me she was going to just keep on doing my laundry.

Now this is huge, people!  There are 8 of us.  That is an average of one whole cycle a day.  Some days we skip, other days it takes 2-3 loads. Now I do help out here and there.  I do our bedding and often start a load in the morning when someone has an accident overnight.  When mom’s away for a weekend, or even the whole month of July, we get the job done.  (I have big helpers who are on team laundry.  They think it’s great fun!)

One time 6 or so months in, I admitted to her that sometimes I felt like she did the laundry because I wouldn’t be able to do it all.  She spoke very sternly to me and said she was afraid I might feel that way.  Then she said that if I was going to feel that way, she’d stop.  I promised I wouldn’t feel that way anymore.  🙂  But do you know what it does mean?  It means I have time to do somethings I wouldn’t otherwise have time or energy to do…like paint (or shower!)

Loads and Loads - Laundry Mother's Day Card

So for Mother’s Day last year, I came up with this card.  It’s one of my favorite watercolor paintings, which is funny since it’s so simple.  It’s just so colorful and happy.  She loved it so much that it holds a place on the bookshelves in her living room.

Thanks for everything Mom!  We love you loads and loads!


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Snowman Valentine’s

I sketched out these little cuties last fall, but they never came to be until now.  I dreamed them up with Christmas in mind, but I just love how perfect they are for Valentine’s Day!  At least here in snow country.  They may not have been fully appropriate where I grew up in southern California where we only ever saw snow on the ground one time in my entire childhood.  But here… here we have snow.  Not today of course.  Today we have mud.

Sorry, back to the point!  Snowman Valentines!

Mother and Child Snowman Valentine Card
Mama Love

If I can pull it off, I want to scan and print out 6 of these mama love cards to give my 6 sweethearts tomorrow.  I thought about putting the words “My mama heart loves you” or “Mama love” or something else specifically “mama-ish”.  But I’m glad I didn’t.  This way it can be used differently… like from a daughter to a mama for instance… or grandparent or auntie or whatever.  Lady to child… or child to lady, you fill in the blank. 🙂  Maybe I can even get them in my shop for next year.  Who knows!

Romantic Snowmen "Let's Get Cozy!" Valentine Card
Let’s get cozy!

I just love this one.  I designed it first.  Something about snow people getting cozy just makes me laugh.  Maybe it’s the sharp ice crystals or the thought of the wet cold.  🙂  But these two just make me smile.  It’s definitely the message I’m sending this year. 🙂  I’ll be giving this one to my sweet husband! 🙂

How about you?  Did you make your own Valentines this year?  Leave a link in the comments… I’d love to see them! 🙂

Update 12/2023:  I have the sweet snow mama valentines in my shop and the text is customizable to suit you! I’m hoping to get the cuddling snowmen in soon!

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Watercolor Dolphin Illustration

I already mentioned that I’ve started painting something for each of my children on their birthdays.  They love it!

I did this one for my second son last summer when he turned 7.  We did a dolphin theme birthday.  They all put their paintings in the front pocket of their school binders.  It makes me smile. 🙂

I couldn’t find a picture before and the binder was missing.  Happily, the binder has been found (we can now file all his school papers from the last month plus instead of stacking them around the house), so I was able to take a couple quick pics for you. 🙂

IMG_1932And just for fun, this was his dolphin cake. 🙂  The dolphins are sugar cookies.