Wednesday, April 27, 2011

craving grace & the power of design

my latest book design {in print} came this week & i could not wait to crack this baby open for a good read!

if any of you are new to reading my blog, besides being a wife, mommy, and creative director of Life Verse Design, i am also proud to be a book designer for Tyndale House Publishers. i worked in-house for 7 years (see some of my portfolio here) & once the babies came along, i became a freelancer, working from home.

so, yes, i get the best of both worlds and i am forever grateful. i love books & i love Tyndale.

there are so many things about book design that i love. one of which is, i guess, the power of it. you see, i always judge a book by it's cover. how can a visual person like me not?! another thing i love is that no 2 jobs are alike (unless you are creating a series), but really ... there is no such thing as boredom in book design!

it has also been a privilege to work with authors whom i admire, and as a book designer, an author's encouragement can mean the world to you. to know that you (the visual person) truly connected with the author (the wordsmith) is a magical moment.

here are lisa's own words concerning my cover:

When I saw the design, I thought, "That's exactly what the story is." The imagery captured so well the abundance of God's grace pouring out, which was exactly what I was trying to get across in the book. At the time I was still in the middle of some edits, and had been frustrated because I couldn't seem to express a few key points in the right way. But seeing the cover gave me the motivation to keep going, and I didn't stop until the message matched the image. So thank you, more than you know, for being a very important part of the process. I'm so grateful.

wow. thank YOU lisa for your huge encouragement, both to me & to my entire Tyndale design team and all you other designers out there... there is power in your designs!

if you would like to see my other concepts which i had created for this title, go here.

if you would like to get to know lisa more, go here.

if you would like to PURCHASE THE BOOK, go here.

if you would like to "like" craving grace & lisa on facebook, go here.

oh, and one last fun tidbit: those are my sticky hands on the cover. i sat on a stool in a pretty little dress, holding the jar of honey as my art director literally POURED the rest of the honey over my hands and it trickled down the dress. one of the most interesting photoshoots i have been a part of & particularly funny as people in the office at Tyndale were walking by wondering what on earth we were doing. cover photo is shot by the magnificently talented stephen vosloo.

go buy a copy of this wonderful book and allow His grace to pour over you too :)

grace & peace,

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

our easter celebration

easter was especially meaningful to me this year. i don't know if it was a wonderful glimpse of spring at last & the new life that comes with it, time at the farm, or simply the Holy Spirit at work in my heart, but it will be an easter i treasure up for a long time.

i was so excited to be invited to farmer sandy's egg hunt with some other friends, in which the kids got to find TONS of hidden eggs (filled with candy of course), dye her farm fresh hard boiled eggs (speckled & all), and then, the grand finale: pet the baby lammies!!!!

here are the kiddos in the big "red" barn. pumpkin-poos had been talking about coming back here since december. literally. turns out she is deathly afraid of mama sheep & the bleating & their size..."too big mommy!" i had to be supermom & try to photograph the mama sheep with their babies while holding my own baby & working the camera. (oh, fun!) my friend dave saved the day & i was so glad she would actually go to him so i could get in the pen to get some great shots (see last post).

here is farmer sandy with her one-eared bunny, peter rabbit. (the bunny looked like he had stuck his paw in an electric socket! fuzziest bunny i have ever seen.) i am forever grateful to farmer sandy, not only for allowing me to come and photograph her beautiful sheep to create art such as this & this, but also for allowing me to bring my 3 little ducklings out to the farm and be able to experience farm life.

my kids are total nature lovers & so growing up in the burbs obviously has it's limitations. i still don't think they've even seen an all out starry sky. cannot wait for that.

while we were leaving the farm, my favorite little mister said under his breath, "it's just so peaceful here." (i would not be at all surprised if he grew up to live out in the country someday!)

in any case, look at those little lambs! and to think of Jesus as our sacrificial lamb who took away our sins was truly amazing.

now, onto easter day! ahh.... back at the arboretum. my beautiful family :)
both boys got a fresh cut that morning... sam had to do a buzz cuz he messed up on his own haircut!

and, does anyone wonder why i call her my sunshine girl?!

this pic of pumpkin poos just kills me everytime i look at it!

and, last but not least, i cannot resist this pic of pumpkin poos with "gampa-gampa" whom she has completely fallen in love with. is it that he is the owner of her 2 favorite kitties perhaps?! she had to hold his hand almost the entire afternoon.

well, there you have it. thanks for sticking through a long post. hope your easter was meaningful also.

grace & peace,

Saturday, April 23, 2011

the lamb of God

the Lamb of God
who takes away
the sin of the world

the kids & i got to go to farmer sandy's today to celebrate easter. this photo is of a one week old lamb. so innocent & pure & beautiful. it was amazing how the sheep & lammies responded to her voice (the voice of their shepherd who cares for them so tenderly)...they totally perked up & followed her voice wherever she went. she wisely used this incident as a teachable moment for my kids: that His sheep know His voice & follow Him, just as her sheep know her voice.

{more images to come on this later}

just wanted to say


the veil is torn.
victory is His.

grace & peace,

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gallery Wraps & Cafe Mounts NOW AVAILABLE!

i am SO HAPPY to announce a few additions to my shop!
gallery wrap canvases and metallic cafe mounts are
now available
here in the shop!

my church had asked for several canvases to decorate the building with,
and once i saw the beauty and quality, as well as the fact that
they are a finished work of art,
i knew i wanted to start selling them online.

here are a couple close ups so that you can begin to see
the craftsmanship of the professional printing.
the color is dead on & i love how the image wraps around the edges.

gallery wraps are available in 3 sizes: 8x10, 11x14, & 16x20

my other new goody is the metallic cafe mount!
these look gorgeous in any of my color schemes:
sepia, black & white, or contemporary color
i think i am especially partial to the black & white
& the shimmer it provides as well as the
contemporary feel of a cafe mount,
which is your print mounted to gatorfoam board
& ready to hang or display on an easel.

the metallic cafe mounts
are available in 2 sizes: 11x14 & 16x20

please see my shop for more details of printing techniques.

these are the other print sizes available.
fine art prints on matte paper.

(& of course, my 8x10 standard print size remains
with the BUY 3 GET THE 4th FREE SALE)

grace & peace,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

the kids: our love.

on sunday, i took the kids out for a photo shoot to scope out some locations for my upcoming shoots & low & behold, the forest preserve was PACKED since it was earth day!

we had a great time meeting an owl, observing turtles & fish and creating lots of crafts as well as planting seeds to grow.

and, here are some pics of my 3 crazy kiddos!
it's been quite a while since i've shot, so it was so great to be out & about again.

my sunshine girl...looking WAY too old in this photo! ugh!

my favorite little mister,
who is less willing to be in front of the camera more & more.

and, pumpkin-poos, who insisted on wearing the binoculars all day
you know, to look through them the wrong cute.

sunshine girl is my super-model, coming up with poses all day.

the magical bridge and sunshine girl.

my favorite little mister actually wanted this shot
because he had climbed to a cool landing.

and, at the end of our walk, pumpkin-poos wanted to hold her big brother's hand
(he is THE favorite person in the world for her!)

i am hoping to shoot some gorgeous magnolia trees soon, if the chicagoland weather ever cooperates that is!

grace & peace,

Friday, April 15, 2011

cross WINNER!

and the winner is....
who said
"They are ALL so beautiful, but if I had to choose just one,
it would most definitely be 1 Corinthians 13 LOVE ...
that would look lovely in my home :)"

thank you chris! email me & i will try to email you too.

be on the look out for these in local gift & Christian shops!

happy friday. it's dreary here, but april showers bring may flowers.

grace & peace,

Monday, April 11, 2011

Cross: Celebration Giveaway!

{1 Corinthians 13 LOVE}

an exciting package was delivered to my front door last friday:
my new DEMDACO line of crosses!

to celebrate, i will be doing my first ever blog giveaway.



the above 3 crosses are about 16 inches in height;
the art is printed on canvas, then adhered
to a dk brown/black wooden cross
with bronze nails

{Philippians 4 REJOICE ALWAYS}

{Proverbs 3 TRUST IN THE LORD}

the plaques are about 6x9 in dimension
and also have the artwork printed on canvas
then adhered to a wooden board with nails;
the wooden cross is on top of the canvas
and yet interacts with the scrolls on the art.

{here is a detail of the DEMDACO catalog}

these crosses should be in stores next month, so be on the look out!
to find a store near you, go to the DEMDACO store locator.

To win the cross of YOUR choice:

1. leave a comment here on the blog telling me which piece is your favorite.

2. for one extra entry: like me on facebook, then come back here & tell me you did :)

3. for one other extra entry, blog or facebook or twitter
about this lovely contest and my art,
then come back here & let me know you did

4. for two extra entries: buy anything from the shop

i will choose the winner on friday, april 15
so come on back then to see if you won!

***please note: giveaway is open to US residents only

grace & peace,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

more NEW art! (& this is all for now, though there are a million things in my head)

{art available here}

one of my new favorite pieces,
partly due to the story behind it which i will share at a later date.

{art available here}

perfect for graduation gifts
or any new beginning

{art available here}

finding peace & freedom & balance
in what i am trying to make my simplicity lately

{art available here}

perfect gift for anyone going through
a loss of a loved one or any hard time

{art available here}

cheery art for any kitchen
as a morning reminder that each day IS a new beginning!

{art available here}

perfect gift for anyone being transformed
or for anyone choosing to be released from addictions

{art available here}

all art is available in 8x10 or 5x7 loose or framed formats.

my special is still going:
BUY 3 loose 8x10 PRINTS & GET THE 4th FREE!

in other news, i will be a vendor at the Downers Grove Newcomers Arts & Crafts Fair this Saturday, April 9 from 9-12 at First United Methodist Church 1032 Maple Ave 60515

grace & peace,

Monday, April 4, 2011

behind the scenes: FOCUS


i think i need to print a wall sized canvas of the above art so that it's truth is in my face every day.

{maybe in smaller type it should say,

because, when it gets down to it, in my mind i know that is what life is all about.

or do i?

does my life show it, day to day? or am i rather focused on the little tasks & chores (which yes, as a mommy i cannot get away from nor should i) or my selfish struggles of late which i am deeply wrestling with and trying to give over to God.

trying, trying, trying.
working, working, working.
desiring, desiring, desiring.
me, me, me.

my focus so much of the time is on ME. what I want. what I have accomplished. what I dream of.

and then, there is Jesus. the God of the universe who SHOULD have been all about being focused on Himself, the worth & worship He so greatly deserved, but what does He do?

He humbles Himself by becoming a helpless little baby. Spends His entire life serving others, loving others, looking out for their well-being. He even goes so far as choosing death on a cross. He denies Himself so often, and in so many ways.

as a Christ follower, i am called to follow His example.

be humble & not think i deserve it all. be obedient to God the Father in what He has commanded me to do. be gracious & loving, even when it is not given back in return. give of myself freely & generously. worship with all of my heart.

i hope & pray God will grow this FOCUS in me more & more. that my eyes will truly be FIXED on Jesus. that He would increase in me. that i would more fully know & appreciate His love & grace as i draw near to Him.

grace & peace,