December 20, 2014

Blessed Beyond Words!

'Joyful Mail'

The mailman has been delivering Christmas cards to our house this week... friends from near & far! It amazes me that, over the course of our marriage, Joe and I have been loved by so many special people, far too many to count!

Often these Christmas cards contain personal letters, updating us on the highs & lows of the past year for each family. I loved the JOY in one of the first cards to arrive in our mailbox... a photo card of a grandma, surrounded by her ten 'grands' at the beach. While her year had held many ups & downs... this grandma's perspective was that she'd been 'Blessed Beyond Words'... and so it is for our family!

Lord, thank you for your kindness & generosity to us. This past year was filled with love and joy, courage and fears, disappointment and challenges. And in it all, we are so grateful that you've been right here with us through all of it... We have indeed been blessed beyond words!

December 11, 2014

Keepin' Warm & Being Creative

Today's the first day I really needed to bundle-up while walking our lab, Winnie... 28 degrees is way past chilly for this Carolina girl! Post-walk, my favorite mug is filled with piping hot coffee, I'm wearing two pair of socks, and I'm covered up with a warm fleece blanket while typing this. Hot chocolate would be an extra good tummy-warmer this morning too!

This is a sketch I did a couple of years ago when I was attempting to create my 'Daily Doodles.' Just wanted to encourage myself to do a quickie sketch each day without really planning it out. This one made me smile, so I decided it was a 'keeper!' ...Hope it makes you smile today too!

Materials I used for this Daily Doodle: One 3x5 card from Office Depot, a mechanical pencil & good eraser, a #3 Micron pen, Prismacolor markers, Prismacolor pencils & a dash of humor!

December 10, 2014

Simply Cozy In Carolina

Photo Credit: Big Stock

Much to my surprise... I opened a second Etsy shop this fall. After much debate, I decided to call it SimplyCozyInCarolina. Somehow, the name just seemed to fit.

Now, I've been an Etsy fan & seller for many years. My original shop is PholkartStudio... my little 'home' for the silly drawings I love to create.

But over this past summer, I caught the Crochet Bug. I became interested in creating kids' hats for World Vision's Knit For Kids program which "unites thousands of volunteer knitters to fight poverty with our knitting needles." (or in my case, a crochet hook!). I love their mission to care for children in need, and I wanted to be part of it in some small way.

After inventing a basic hat pattern, I headed to my favorite local craft store and bought lots and lots of brightly colored acrylic yarn. In the evenings, I crocheted away... and in no time at all, my studio was overflowing with colorful hand-crocheted kids' hats in all different sizes... Yes, it was time to send off my very first box of hats.

Pretty soon, I received a thank you email from Knit For Kids... all the goodies that they'd received in October were headed to children in Uganda, Romania, Costa Rica, and Rwanda. I hope some cute little heads & ears will be warmer this winter.

In between hats, I started to make coffee cup cozies with the leftover yarn from my creative stash. I'd admired some cozies with felt applique designs on Etsy, and I thought they looked like fun little projects to make. One thing led to another... and pretty soon I'd crocheted a rainbow of cozies, just waiting like little canvases for me to add my own designs. This was a lot like illustrating with a needle and thread!... and I fell in love with my new-found hobby.

And, that's how SimplyCozyInCarolina was 'born'... totally spontaneously one Saturday morning. Just for the fun of it... I wonder where this latest creative venture will take me next.  :)

May 15th, 2015... A follow up to this post...

I wrote this post last December... and about 6 months later, I've decided that creating appliqued 'cozies' is lots of fun, but not my creative 'calling.' I suspect this is because I have such a short attention span! *wink!* Much as I love the colors & textures of applique & crochet... my creative 'heart' really belongs to illustration. Put simply... I found I missed my Prismacolor pencils & markers and those itty-bitty doodles on Bristol paper that magically become little pieces of art!

So... I've closed my SimplyCozyInCarolina shop & returned to my 'first love'... creating tiny illustrations for my (now reopened) shop, PholkartStudio. I hope you love my silly doodles as much as I love creating the!  :)