Chalk Art Giveaway for Little Tait’s Preemie Fund!

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Four years ago, Little Tait was born three months prematurely and spent three months in NICU.  Today, Little Tait is now a happy, healthy little boy.  (Read more of his story here.)  However, his parents are still chipping away at the last of an almost 1 million dollar expense.  The hospital has agreed to settle if they can raise $100,000 in 90 days.  They’ve reached $80,222 and are believing, with God’s help and the help of His people, to be able to reach the goal by Monday.

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You can help the Zimmerman family and enter a giveaway for one of my large Chalkboard art prints, “Teach Them Diligently.” Simply follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter:

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The giveaway is for the 11″ x 14″ print — it fits perfectly in an 11″ x 14″ frame.  We bought an antique white frame from Hobby Lobby, and it looks just lovely!  (You can find this print in my Etsy Shop here.)

“Teach Them Diligently” will go to one winner, and will be announced on Monday at midnight (June 17th).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As the Zimmerman’s deadline quickly approaches, please consider making a donation and praying for the Lord’s provision for them; it would be such a blessing.  You can find out about more giveaways for Little Tait’s Preemie Fund on Little Tait’s Facebook page.

“Claudia visits the Jolly Cottage”

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The past few weeks have been more full than usual — traveling, vending our wares at the Family Economics Conference (which was wonderful!), visiting with friends, celebrating a new marriage, and preparing for a little more traveling and vending.  I’ve loved it, and here in the next week or two I’ll be starting work on the next book, the Storybook Bible for girls, with Angie Smith.  I can hardly wait!

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While tidying up the studio I came across this drawing from a couple years ago.  I wondered what it would look like in color, and since the original drawing is on cheap sketch book paper, watercolor was out of the question.  I experimented with Photoshop and a few PS watercolor brushes.

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 “Claudia visits the Jolly Cottage”

Perhaps it’s an elderly neighbor in need of a friendly visit, or a young mother who will be surprised by an afternoon’s rest while Claudia makes dinner for her . . .

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession,
and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and
among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death,
to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity,
as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”
2 Corinthians 2:14-17—

Oh, and I’ve added some brand new note cards to the shop!  And who knows, Claudia might end up there soon, too!

Spring happenings

A couple weeks ago I finished up a new chalk art print!  It’ll be in the shop soon as a print and as boxed note cards.  But more importantly . . .

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This Saturday, our precious friend, Sarah, will be getting married, and she’ll be moving far away to NC with her wonderful, godly husband, Jordan.  This week we’re enjoying hosting his family and getting ready for the big day!  It has been beautiful to watch the Lord weave Sarah’s and Jordan’s lives together.

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Spring in the Studio

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Audrey Bunny

What is all this talk about a children’s book?  Well, pull up a chair, pour yourself some coffee.  You might want to read this first.

It was on the last day of November when I received an email from B&H Kids, a division of B&H Publishing.  They had an author who was interested in my illustrations for her upcoming book, a storybook Bible for girls.  That definitely peeked my interest, so I let him know this was a possibility I wanted to explore.  I was itching to know who this author was, so I looked around their website looking for any hints: the only thing I found was an author’s profile and a press release mentioning her upcoming children’s book.  I hoped it was her.

The very next day, another email popped into my inbox.  I think I just about squealed when and I saw it was from Angie Smith.  (You may already be familiar with her — she’s a vibrant, delightful woman who thirsts after God, is Todd Smith’s wife, and mother to Ellie, Abby, Kate, Audrey, and Charlotte.  The Lord gave Audrey 2 1/2 precious hours with her family.  This video will give you a good background of her story.)  We started emailing back and forth, all the while talking with my family, praying, and wondering if this was something the Lord wanted us to do.

I was reading everything about Angie I could find, and I couldn’t wait to meet her.  I wrote to Angie and the publisher that we’d be in their area in a couple weeks (even that was providential timing with a story behind it!)  They set up a meeting for breakfast to talk about the storybook Bible in depth.

When we got to TN, we met Angie and Todd at a cozy little coffee shop where we both ordered a French press and talked about so much more than a book.  We talked until the coffee shop had to close and we moved the conversation to her home.  My heart is almost too full for words when I remember that night — it was so sweet to see that the Lord had clearly brought our families, kindred spirits, together.  While we were together that evening, we also talked about her book “Audrey Bunny” which was already being illustrated.  Nonetheless, I remember Todd saying that they were praying for a miracle that I would be able to illustrate it anyway.

After the meeting with the publisher (and another long, wonderful talk with just Angie and a heart-wrenching farewell), we headed home and I let Angie know that I would be joining the team for creating the storybook Bible!  They are just dear people, desiring to honor the Lord with the books they produce, and so very gracious. (They’re a delight to work with.)

The publisher called and said he had an additional offer along with the storybook bible.  Audrey Bunny.  And you can imagine I said yes.  : )

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There’s so much more of the story I’d like to add, but for now . . . my heart is so full of thanks.  Thanks to the Lord who knows and loves.  To Angie, for inviting me to be a part of their family’s journey and Audrey’s story; I’m so honored.  And my tremendous family (especially Emily Rose’s amazing skills) who have always been such help and encouragement.

I’ll write more later.  : )

“Audrey Bunny” should be available in October

New Blog Announcement

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Welcome to my new blog site!  After quite a few years of blogging at A Bowl of Moss and Pebbles, I’ve moved over here to The Breezy Tulip Studio.  If you’ve subscribed via the FeedBurner link in my sidebar, it will automatically switch to the new site. Otherwise, be sure to update your links!

Also, watch for a special announcement here tomorrow.  A dear friend and I have been working on a children’s book over the past few months, and I can’t wait to share the story with you!

Lately in the Studio…

What a busy time we’ve been having in the studio!  There’s always a story brewing in the background, orchestrated by the Lord . . . and lately He’s given me the opportunity to be involved a very special children’s book.  I first learned about it three months ago, but it really started about five years ago.  I’ll tell you about it (very soon!), but until then, I’d like to show you a bit of what I’m using in the studio these days. . .

I keep my paints and brushes and palette to the right of my table easel.  Everything on the table is laid out to be easily reached for whenever they’re needed.  I’m currently loving the synthetic and real squirrel hair brushes.  For rough drawing, I tend to use cheap pencils like the plain wood one in the photo above.

While paints are kept right of the easel, the pencils are currently attempting to stay to the left.  Pencil shavings can end up in a bowl or a saucer, but whatever the case, always use a hand-held sharpener.  Wall mounts or electric pencil sharpeners can be time savers…until your lead breaks up and jams the system.  The small hand-held sharpeners are always the way to go.

For finer drawing pencils, I like Derwent the most, but there are a few other nice brands that do just as well.

Tea is also a staple.

We have a tradition of blaring Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” whenever we complete a big project.  Emily Rose snapped this as we savored the almost-last moments of wrapping up that book I’ll be telling you about.

This was a makeshift spread sheet to keep track of the illustrations as I worked on them.  I can’t wait to tell you more about the illustrations, and even more about the story and the author herself.  But that will come in time, very soon!

I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful
and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink
and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.
–Ecclesiastes 3:12-13–

 

 

Spring in Winter

Today was one of those mild winter days that feels like Spring. Through my studio window I could see dark rain clouds slowly passing by, giving shadow and sun. All the while small white clouds hurried along in the Spring breeze. With a few hours of daylight left and the golden hour coming on, I desperately wanted to enjoy the surprise weather. So down went the pencil and paper, and out for a walk I went.

Almost all the snow has melted, and even though it’s January, I couldn’t help looking for buds. The flowers must not have noticed the calendar, because I found that the daffodils, irises, and Chionodoxa (above) were already pushing up the dirt about themselves. Today I learned that Chionodoxa is also called “Glory of the snow”; I’m hoping it snows while they’re blooming just so I can see. And those wild musk hyacinths growing behind them, well, they just don’t stop growing.

Walking back toward the house, two or three sparrows caught my eye. They were sneaking in and out of the hedge for what reason I don’t know, but I’m glad they’re back. Come summer, a whole flock of them will hide in the hedge and fall silent when we walk by. Funny when you realize you’ve missed the little things.

The unexpected day reminded me of the surprises God sends us — God’s Providence is simply amazing. He weaves the smallest details into the most beautiful designs. When we take the time to consider the tapestry only He could orchestrate, we wonder why we weren’t paying closer attention from the beginning.

Chalkboard Art

I’ve been seeing a lot of chalk art lately, and thought it would be fun to try my hand at it. I’ve loved studying penmanship since I was little. And with several friends who study typography and design . . .


(Find “Rejoice Evermore” in the shop.)

. . . I was bound to get bit by the font bug sooner or later!


(Find “Give Thanks” in the shop)

I got away with using regular chalk and a large pencil sharpener, but the smudges and clean-up took more time than I would have liked.

Whether a chalkboard is for temporary to-do lists or permanent pieces like these, I think chalkboard art is a lovely way to add some extra creativity to our walls. So chalk markers just might be on my Christmas wish list!

A happy little website announcement

For a few years I’ve been dreaming about a portfolio website . . . and now I finally have one! Really, with my sister‘s amazing graphic design skills, it was simply a matter of saying, “Let’s do this!” I pulled out the sketchbooks and papers and we put the scanner to work! And Emily Rose did such a beautiful job. I can’t thank her enough for her splendid work.

Without any further ado, may I present . . . “The Breezy Tulip Studio”

Eventually my blog here will be moved over to The Breezy Tulip Studio, and the Etsy shop and Facebook page will be updated soon, but all in good time. Have a look around, share it with your friends, and tell me what you think!

Thank you, Emily Rose, for your beautiful work, and praise the Lord for enabling all of this!