Saturday, December 11, 2010

new life to celebrate

last night we had the joy of meeting our brand new, squishy, adorable, mixed, sleepy nephew :)

the kids were in awe of a baby so small (i believe 7lbs 3oz) (might i just say NONE of my babies were that little!) he was very sleepy & has a sweet soft cry (which my babies did NOT have either) & seeing my sister-in-law snuggling him actually made me want to have another one. ahhh. (shall i remind myself of the countless sleepless nursing nights?!)

i immediately started a mock photoshoot in the hospital room & here are some results...

i love how the feet create a heart shape in mommy's hands

this little bundle is their added joy to 1 big sister & 2 big brothers!

my "james 1" shot
as i blogged about earlier, being so close to christmas just makes the wonder of the birth of Jesus so much more tender & real. that the God of the universe would come to us in the helpless, humble human form of a baby is mind blowing more & more lately. so dependent on His mommy.

life is such a miracle.

and, at last, here she is ... the proud new mama!
love you guys!

grace & peace,
p.s. we are headed to florida for christmas to meet another new nephew or neice (we are banking on a nephew), as my sis is prego too!

Thursday, December 2, 2010



the church we attended when we were first married, HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL, taught about a really neat concept for your home: to visually display your family's values as a continual reminder of what you strive for and commit to both to God and to one another.

i have thought about it on & off for years, and 3 kids later we had still never actually written ours out.

but then, one of my faithful customers contacted me with her family's values and asked me to create a custom piece.

i liked how it turned out so much that sam & i wrote ours that night (see above)

the great thing is IT IS YOURS.

it can be a simple phrase or mantra that you live by
or a passage of Scripture (like the Rowe's)
or a list of values (like ours)

i encourage you to sit down as a couple or as an entire family & think through what you want to uphold in your lives. write it down, talk about it, commit to it, and live it out as God gives you the grace to.

now available in the shop

OH! christmas shopping reminder:
buy 3 8x10 prints & get the 4th FREE

grace & peace,

Monday, November 29, 2010

Elegant Christmas Art

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
& if you are in need of some elegant holiday decor,
i have just what you need!

prints now available in the shop!

grace & peace,

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NEW stationery PSALMS set

the psalms note card set

i have designed a new set of encouraging notecards,
which are now available in the shop!

the promise note card set

thank you cards

the love & friendship note card set

all sets are a variety pack except the thank you cards (which are all the same design). in a variety pack, you will receive 8 cards total: 2 of each design, including envelopes. people love the quality & elegance of the designs & i am so happy to offer beautiful & sophisticated stationery with which people can really encourage one another with the truth of God's Word.

these would make great stocking stuffers or appreciation gifts for those in ministry, such as pastors, Bible study leaders, sunday school teachers, etc...

grace & peace,

Saturday, November 20, 2010

i just have to brag...

so, last night i had a little open house to allow people to come buy my work in my home & see where it all happens, and my kids went all out!

i just have to say, it warms my heart to see a piece of me in them.

if you remember their "sale for the poor" & how they created their own menu & artwork to sell in order to give to our compassion international child, i see how they see me selling art for God's kingdom and they want to follow along.

my favorite little mister was the hostess with the mostess... creating handwritten signs for everything, from "my mom's art", "this is more of my mom's art" to "hot apple cider" near the food spread, he was just so sweet.

he greeted the people & asked what he could get them.

sunshine girl & her bff spent 2 hours creating their own art for the sale, which THEY sold for FREE.

she would also point out to the people which images were of her!

and pumkin poos, well, she just smiled & looked adorable, wanting me to hold her as she was bewildered at who these people were at our house.

ok, gotta go. just had to brag on my sweet kiddos!

grace & peace,

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Cards {sneak a peek!}

this year i designed new Christmas cards for our own family (above) & my photography clients (which you will see below...)

i was so excited to find out that my photo lab prints DOUBLE sided 5x7 cards on pearlescent paper. they turned out gorgeous, so i just wanted to share the joy!

if you have images that are hi-res which you would like put into my design, contact me for quotes!










i hope to blog more of the shoots later, as they have been so much fun!

grace & peace,

Monday, November 15, 2010

NEW! Photo Jewelry . . . Inspirational Art to Wear

i am soooooo happy, excited, & pleased to announce my new line of inspirational art to wear. these beautiful lockets are created in collaboration with the extraordinary jeweler lori patton of heartworksbylori.

The photographs are printed on gorgeous metallic paper. The colors are exceptionally vivid and the image has a unique three-dimensional quality. The paper has a lovely pearlescent sheen and it's simply stunning in it's brass frame. The image is mounted on an antique oxidized brass locket pendant which hangs on a brass rolo chain. It's sealed with a glass-like coating for protection and shine and the chain is finished with a lobster clasp. Length-16 inches but can be lengthened to 18 per your request!

Inside the locket, there are 2 empty recessed areas for you to mount your favorite pictures of your own choosing. These openings measure 3/4 of an inch around. The outside diameter of the locket measures 27mm (just over 1 inch).

This would make a fabulous gift for that special someone, just in time for Christmas!

it is my hope & prayer that as you wear these you would know deep in your soul that

you are free in Christ
you are loved & treasured
you have hope all the days of your life
you are full of joy, despite circumstances
you have peace that passes understanding
you are living your life to the fullest
you live by faith that transforms you

all lockets are now available
in my shop ... enjoy!

fill the center of the locket with images of your loved ones, or a loving note to yourself to meditate on.

grace & peace,

Thursday, November 11, 2010

behind the scenes: give thanks

as thanksgiving is upon us, i have been reflecting on what i am most thankful for. there are many things i can think of this year, specifically:

1. God's grace, love, strength, and evident presence in my life. especially in the little ways, like how He answered prayer today by having a friend call, pray for me over the phone, as God had put me on her heart, & encourage me & offer to help watch the girls in this crazy busy time before the holidays. God had literally placed her on MY heart last night!

2. Family~ not only my hubby & 3 adorable, fun-loving kiddos, but also our extended families & how much they show their love for us.

3. Nature & enjoying the outdoors (even in the burbs).

4. Friends & their support & fun.

5. My art & the outlet it is for me. It is such a joy for me to create. It has been amazing & mind-boggling this year what God has done with my art & how it is growing & reaching the world in new & different ways ... (more on this later this week i hope :)

i would love to hear what YOU are thankful for!

the chen side of the family has one of my favorite holiday traditions, in which after we have gorged ourselves with food (i am talking a full american thanksgiving meal mixed with chinese dishes), made fun of how aunt anne eats THE strangest parts of the turkey (you know, the ones you do not even want to see, least you throw up a little in your throat... or at least i do), we then go around the table one by one & share what we are most thankful for. it is always a very moving time, from laughter to tears. it is also a such a special bonding time with one another as we reflect on God's goodness.

i encourage you to begin this year!

grace & peace,

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

1 beautiful family

i have had tons of fun photographing families in the local woods.
the forest was magical, as was...the chair.

the family (above) are friends from church.
the mommy & i actually knew each other in 3rd grade!
so fun to reconnect.

such beautiful kiddos.

just had to share to make you all smile.

now, back to printing & prepping for the big
FROST & FRIENDS show this weekend in rockford!
hope to see you there.

grace & peace,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

behind the scenes: be still

one of my true joys of owning & operating life verse design has been getting to know my treasured customers and their stories. each story of what my art means to you (or more like how GOD'S WORD has touched your life) touches me, so keep the stories coming.

last week, one of my favorite customers (actually a couple from arizona) requested a custom piece utilizing john's photography. i am always more than thrilled to do custom work, as i know it touches the client in a deeply personal way.

they chose the verse from psalm "be still and know that I am God."

a few years ago God called them out west to minister to the navajo people. they went from a fast paced suburbia life (sounds just like mine) out to a land where people literally stop to take in nature, just to enjoy it!

in john's own words:
"We came to Navajoland in the belief we were going to save Navajos. Instead, God used the Navajo to save us. The book won't be about how we helped the Navajo, but how the Navajo, their lives, their culture showed us God."

their words brought both tears to my eyes and conviction to my heart. the power of slowing down to just be, enjoy life, take in the wonder of nature, love people, listen with no agenda, and truly meditate on God, not to check off my to-do list or my little christian act of the day.

they have started a ministry center to help meet the needs of their friends. please check it out here to learn more about the beautiful navajo people and their hearts in ministry. please support them also!

i truly hope we get to someday meet so that i can take in this way of life even more.

grace & peace,
p.s. funny story of the image: john said this ledge has a 700 foot vertical drop & that when he came across her just sitting & throwing stones over the edge, he got a bit freaked out, crawled out to her ON HIS BELLY, & she casually said, "i come here to think & it is very relaxing," so he slithered back to let her be. ha!

Monday, October 18, 2010

autumn portraits: LOVE

i have officially decided that autumn is my favorite season.

how i love exploring nature with the kids.

how i love the colors, smells, the crisp air, cozy clothing!

just had to share :)

SHOP REMINDER: now thru the end of october,
i am running a special in my shop:
buy any item & receive 1 FREE 4x6 matted Scripture
sepia toned image of your choice.
(good for sepia Scriptures only—limit 1 per customer)

great for stocking up for the upcoming holidays!

grace & peace,

Monday, October 11, 2010

MORE! new contemporary art

here is the rest of my NEW contemporary designs (for now :)

i have more ideas in my head, but i need to gear up for my arts & crafts & holiday season of selling.

all art is now available in my shop.

get your holiday lists ready for some unique inspirational gifts
your loved ones will appreciate forever.

here is one example of how it looks framed.

grace & peace,

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Mark your calendars now for my fall arts & crafts fair schedule! i have greatly limited my shows this year, due to family obligations, but the shows i have chosen to participate are some of the best in the Chicago area:

Saturday, October 16 from 9-3
Rotolo Middle School 1501 Raddant Road Batavia, IL
click HERE for more information

Friday, October 22 from 3-9
downtown Downers Grove, IL
email me if you are interested in the location

Friday, November 5 from 5-10 & Saturday, November 6 from 9-2
The Radisson Hotel 200 S. Bell School Road (near E. State & I-90) Rockford, IL 61108
click HERE for more information

Saturday, November 27 from 9-4 and Sunday, November 28 from 10-2
Marmion Academy 1000 Butterfield Road Aurora, IL 60502
click HERE for more information

Saturday, December 4 from 9-3
Hill Middle School 1836 Brookdale Road Naperville, IL 60563
click HERE for more information

hope to see all of you locals there! please preview my shop & have your christmas list ready! i am so excited to debut my new line of contemporary art there!

grace & peace,

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

i made it through

pumpkin poos turned 3 last week & started preschool today.

i was a crying mess.

my baby girl, off to school. all of the sudden, the time again has flown.

she qualified for preschool even after missing the september 1 age cut off, due to her speech and language "impairment". i realize i am much more protective of her than my other 2, as i know she cannot verbally communicate her needs or desires to others as a normal child can. (ok, now i am sitting here crying again).

it's been a long road and i just long for the day when we can have a real, heart to heart conversation, so i can know what goes on in that little sweet mind of hers and that i can understand everything she is trying to tell me.

her teacher said she did great & helped put my worries at rest.

this is just one more instance when God is stretching me with her life, forcing me to trust Him more and give it all to Him.

oh, i had to show the above pic, as i thought it is so funny that the backpack is almost as big as her! (but the little play backpacks don't hold squat, so i had to go with this one!)

here is the birthday invitation i created for her apple orchard "party"!
love it.

hope your fall has been great & i will soon enough post my arts & craft fair schedule for the rest of the year!

grace & peace,

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

the unveiling! NEW contemporary inspirational art

i am soooooo excited to finally unveil to you
my new line of contemporary inspirational art!

i have been dreaming about these for months now, and was just recently able to get them out of my head, off of the sketchpad, and into the digital realm.

influenced by several of the latest book covers i have designed for tyndale house publishers, as well as my research of the current art print market, and realizing that people are really wanting and willing to hang big typography to make a bold statement on their walls, i have taken my color photography and married it to bold sans serif typography which i soften and "beautified" with my embellishments, voila! here it is!

i will begin listing these as 8x10's in the shop asap :)

hope you love them, are inspired, and encouraged by the truth of the Word and beauty of life.

OH, tomorrow (9.29) i am guest blogging at (in)courage, a very inspiring site by who sells my DEMDACO line! go check out the story of how my art began!

it is also pumpkin-poo's 3rd birthday wednesday!

grace & peace,