Monday, April 29, 2013

Sweet Senior Session {Downers Grove Photography}

Spring has finally arrived here near Chicago & you know what that means... me bustin' out my camera for some beautiful & fun portrait photography! Oh, you don't even know how excited I was to photograph Miss M. We had a great time. Once again, one of my weaknesses as photographer came through: taking TOO MANY shots!!! I had a hard time editing down {there are many more than what you see here} but am soooo happy with how they turned out. And, I still can never decide: color or classic black & white?!

Miss M, you are beautiful inside & out. Remember your inner beauty is what matters most. You have a sweet spirit to help others. I believe you will go far & may you always know how loved you are.

If anyone wants information on my portrait photography, please contact me at with the subject "Portrait Photography" in the head.

Grace & Peace,

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I'm sick of it!

{art available here}

Yesterday during Bible study, as a sweet friend was sharing her struggles & how she perceives herself {all mamas, you will relate to this: I'm not good enough, I never do enough, I wish I were better, I don't know why I yell, why can't I just change?} something inside of me just snapped. Week after week we beat ourselves up & I'm sick of it! I'm sick of the lies Satan feeds us that we are not good enough, that we cannot change.

That is NOT truth!

Jesus has paid the price. He has redeemed us. He is FAITHFUL to complete the work He began in us! {I could go on & on}

And, once again, I think of that awesome Dove commercial about how we women perceive ourselves & our own {lack of} beauty. For you see, I do NOT perceive my friend the way she does. Granted, I do not live with her so I have no idea what a crazy person she might be, but what I see is commitment, a tender heart, teachable spirit, and deep love for her family.

I created the above art for several reasons: 
1. to commit it to my memory that as the lies come into my own head I would fight the fight with TRUTH, knowing the negative thoughts are not from the Lord.

2. That I would curb the negative thoughts I have about others {if it is not profitable, admirable, excellent or pure why waste my time thinking about it?}

3. For all you men out there {or women} who struggle with lust, that this would encourage you to keep your thoughts pure.

Thanks for listening. May we have victory in our thought life & truly walk in grace.

OH & I am doing a giveaway over on the Big Mama's blog today! And, if you mamas want to read an uplifting light-hearted memoir, pick up her book Sparkly Green Earrings published by Tyndale! Go enter to win my art & spread the word... it ends soon... but more FREE shipping is available for a limited time!

Grace & Peace,

Friday, April 19, 2013

Custom Art: for author Sarah Dessen

It's been so fun to create art for authors, seeing I am also a book designer! This piece was given to Sarah Dessen tonight in Naperville, Illinois on behalf of a local middle school. The school has also had me create art for :

John Flanagan {one of my son's favorite authors!}

Monday, April 15, 2013

Behind the Scenes: How my book design with Tyndale has influenced my art

I have been wanting to write a post about the evolution of my work, especially as it relates to how my vintage style sepia work has transitioned into my new Words to Move You line. On the surface they are very different. But, key elements of my work remain: depth of textures, scratches to make it look weathered & timeless and the embellishments I just cannot live without.

In thinking through the transitions, it brought me back to my work as a book designer for Tyndale House Publishers. Over many years have I been "dressing up" or embellishing text. The first book I did this on was Max Lucado's "Shaped by God" in which I created small bits of elegance in the "A's". (I think I designed this book around 2001.)

On the NLT Holy Bible (this was a new edition showcasing the new NLT logo) I add movement to the "H" & "E" allowing for your eye to flow through the title.

 On the cover of The One Year Devotions for Moms, you will notice *many* of my art elements!

 On the cover of Red, White, and Blue (a political fiction cover I designed) I introduce the bold san serif typography combined with scratches & embellishments.

 On the cover of Butterfly in Brazil (love this cover btw), I combine the swirlies with the script font used in my vintage style art.

 Both Hurricanes in Paradise & Craving Grace combine the swirls with the san serif!

Next post, I will show more evolution of my art process.

OH & btw: FREE shipping in both shops ends tomorrow! Enter coupon code SPRING2013 at checkout. Enjoy!

Grace & Peace,

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring Giveaway + FREE Shipping!

Happy Spring! To celebrate, I am giving away one 12x18 fine art print of the Apostle's Creed. I love this art & this creed. The first time I heard it was in the form of a song, while at a Rich Mullin's concert way back in college. I think the creed encapsulates so powerfully the basics of our faith and makes a powerful statement for your home.

To enter: simply go to the Life Verse Design facebook page & write on my wall what YOUR life verse is. What do you live your life by?

Also, I am offering free shipping in both of my shops:
so that you can start shopping for Mother's Day, which I cannot believe is really right around the corner.
At checkout, use the coupon code SPRING2013

I will be posting the winner of the contest on facebook 4.13.13

Grace & Peace,

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Behind the Scenes: Count Your Blessings

 {art available here}

I created this art a few years ago now & it has spoken to my heart many times this year. Since I have 3 little ones, I chose to photograph 3 {fake} eggs in a real robin's nest {it had fallen out of a tree & is now one of my treasures}. It is simply symbolic of what a blessing family is in my life, what my personal little nest is filled with. Or it could be symbolic of any treasure in your nest that you can count daily.

 {photo by Ann Voskamp}

While at the Atlanta Gift Show in January of 2011, I was showing my art to a DaySpring buyer & he pulled out this book in response to my nest art! Wow, do I wish I created that cover! I love it.

In any case, I finally read the book along with my bible study this year & as usual, God's timing is perfect.

At the end of 2012, my 2 licensing contracts ended: one with Demdaco (my plaques & crosses) & one with Avalanche Publishing (the sister company of Lang who produced my calendars). I knew those licenses would not last forever, but I have noticed this year more doubt in my heart and feelings of not being "good enough" in response to those "successes" ending. It drives me crazy, as for one, those business deals were TOTALLY God's grace in the first place! (I did not even seek out to be licensed with Demdaco & would have never even dreamt that big!) And, I began this entire art form as a personal act of worship & to encourage others, not to gain worldly success (& yet my heart battles with this now).

Recently I was having "one of those days" in which I was bummed about lack of sales all the while comparing myself to other artists who are much bigger than I & at bed time one of my kiddos shared how they did not feel like they were good enough at something at school. I in turn told them how I felt the same way about myself & felt that I was not a good enough artist, to which the older 2 stopped, gasped, and yelled, "WHAT?! MOMMY, YOU ARE THE BEST ARTIST IN THE WORLD! THE BEST ONE I HAVE EVER KNOWN!"

Be still my beating heart.

I mean, seriously folks, what is better than being the best in the eyes of your children who exclaimed those words with such sincerity of heart!

I got out my gratitude journal & started the list. God has used Ann's book in my life to show me so many things: about finding joy through thanksgiving, be grateful for what you DO have & not dwelling on what you don't have, seeing Him work in the midst of your days even in your ugly beautiful moments, and most of all living fully in His grace.

I am so blessed in so many ways & so humbled that God would choose this life for me. I hope all of you grow in gratitude so that you can be full of joy.

Grace & Peace,