I'm so excited to announce that I was recently featured on the Etsy Blog!!! My Handwritten Cutting Boards were featured along with other sellers who use handwriting in their pieces. The article touches upon how special handwriting is in the digital world.
One year ago today I lost my brother. His passing was the most difficult thing I've ever experienced and not a day goes by that I don't think of him. He's usually the first thing I think about when I get up in the morning and the last thing I think about before I fall asleep at night.
Today I'd like to share some things I've done over the last year to help keep my brother's memory alive.
For starters, today my mom, dad and I will be spending the day doing things Jim enjoyed. We're going mushroom hunting and eating Mexican for supper. Both things that Jim loved doing.
As some of you know, I got my first tattoo in honor of my brother. I love seeing it every day and remembering the good times we had. His favorite song was Freebird by Lynyrd Skynyrd, so my tattoo is a bird design.
And speaking of songs, one way to remember loved ones is through song. I have a "mix tape" that was played at Jim's funeral including the 4 songs played during his service as well as the songs played during visitation. Every time I hear these songs, I think of Jim. And there is a new song by Luke Bryan called Drink a Beer that instantly makes me think of Jim when I hear it.
One of the most thoughtful gifts I received after Jim's passing was a memorial tree from Jesse's family. It is a beautiful blue spruce that sits in our front yard. I see it every time I come in the driveway and every time I look out the kitchen window. It was an incredibly special gift that I am so thankful for!
I also designed a sign to hang out by the tree with the bird design.
Something I knew I wanted to do the minute my brother passed was a get a necklace with his thumbprint. There is a local business (that sells nationwide) called Priceless Prints. They take a mold from clay of your loved one's thumb or finger print and turn it into a sterling silver necklace. I wear it every day!
And it's the daily reminders that keep Jim's memory alive. I have a sticker in the back window of my car of the same bird design as my tattoo. Every time I look in my rear view mirror I see it :) And I have pictures and mementos throughout our house that remind me of Jim every day. I have some of his old hats, plants from his funeral and a photo display I had made him years ago.
While this last year has been incredibly difficult, I choose to look back and remember the good things about my brother. And I hope this post gives you ideas to help you remember your loved ones as well.
I hope those celebrating had a wonderful Easter weekend! Mine was spent with family festivities and lots of great times.
We started the weekend on Saturday with my cousin-to-be's bridal shower. One of the games was making wedding dresses out of table clothes and decorative duct tape. I got nominated to be the bride and thought my dress was quite nice :) I even got my mom to pose with me.
Sunday at Easter dinner, my cousin created the cutest favors for all of us. She has the crafty gene too, which runs in our family.
Then, after lunch, my parents came out and we finally started moving into my new studio! There's still a long way to go to getting everything organized, but we're getting a great start!!!
My customers are at it again! They're geniuses, I tell ya! I've recently had two requests to add photos to my Handwritten Recipe Cutting Boards. The handwriting alone makes them extra special, but adding a photo takes them over the top great.
These cutting boards have done exceptionally well since I introduced them and I love the idea of adding a photo. Last night I added the option to my shop so others can add a photo as well.
Last Monday I celebrated my 31st birthday. While I wasn't all that excited about it, I did end up having a great day. A great week, actually. I got lots of calls, texts and greeting cards from family and friends.
Jesse got me a new TV for my studio (no, still not finished). And even got it installed last week as well. Now I just have to figure out how to use it...it's a Smart TV...and it's smarter than I am...lol :)
And I went out to dinner with a friend that night to celebrate. We had yummy Mexican and I even got free friend ice cream since it was my birthday :)
I also had lunch with a friend on Thursday for my birthday as well. And she baked me the most delicious pie! Raspberry cream cheese with chocolate frosting...YUM!
Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday here or on other social media :)
In true Spring fashion here in Iowa, the temperature was 82 on Wednesday...and they're calling for a chance of snow Sunday night. But the robins in the yard remind me that Spring is here to stay! Enjoy these beautiful robin egg blue finds for today :)
This past Sunday, I decided it was a nice day to take a swim...well, sort of! Jesse and I, along with Jesse's older brother, his wife and their son and his younger brother and his girlfriend all took the Plunge for Baby Landon.
Landon is a 5 month old baby boy with a rare form of cancer. The plunge is all about raising money for him and his family. You can read the whole story HERE and start your own challenge if you like. This was such a wonderful activity to be a part of!
Monday marks the big 3-1 for me! I'm not sure if it's the weather (gray and rainy right now) or the fact that last year was a milestone birthday, but this year I'm just not too excited about my birthday. So to cheer me up, I did some virtual shopping in my Etsy Favorites. Browsing Etsy always makes things more cheerful :) Enjoy!
As most of my readers know, I love custom work. The majority of the listings in my shop are for custom orders and I'm adding new pieces to my shop all the time thanks to custom requests. I've been making wooden buttons for a while now and finally got a listing up for custom buttons!
I actually made these buttons last year and finally got them listed thanks to Rose of Random Creative. I sent some of these buttons to Rose last year for her birthday and she made the coolest bracelet using one of my buttons for the closure. I love how the neutral wood buttons really help the colorful beads stand out!
Did you hear me say I made these last year? Yes, it took me a whole year to get these listed! While I may appear to have it all together...this happens more often than I'd like to admit! But hey, they're listed now and I'm happy that Rose shared her bracelet recently and allowed me to use her photos for my listing...Thanks Rose!
As I've mentioned in several posts lately, I'm working on growing my business by focusing on some of my best selling items and expanding these lines. My etched glass has continued to do well since I first began selling it and one item in particular has done really well. My Anchor Champagne Flutes have done really well this this year and I saw an opportunity for growth in this area.
I recently listed two new designs for toasting flutes. The tandem bike design remains to be popular for wedding items.
I've also had several custom requests for flutes, so this has my brain going on other new designs I can add to the shop. I'm seeing lots of graphic/linear designs for weddings lately that I'd like to tap into. Stay tuned!