Monday, May 7, 2018

Teacher gift - FREE reading printables

This week is teacher appreciation week!! Let's thank our teachers! I use to help out once a week in my child's class for an hour and when I came home I needed a nap. Not even kidding. Hats off to these amazing teachers!

I made these little 5x7 quotes for my niece's school classroom. Several people asked if they could print them for gifts for their children's teachers. So here you go!!

The size is 5x7, but it should work for other sizes too. Print this off, put inside a cute frame, and wa-la, all done!

Like always, if you have any trouble, just email me and I'll email you the files. 

Here are past teacher gift ideas.
Teacher questionnaires - one of my favorites 
Thanks for helping us GROW - card for flower, hand soap and bookmark 



Sink into a good book


Get Losssst in a good book


 We are WILD about reading


 Reading is un-BEE-lievable


And like always, these are just cutsie ideas. I think the best gift you can give is a hand written card thanking your child's teacher for their time and attention to your child. But hey, cute stuff is fun too.



Thursday, March 29, 2018

Loss and small moments of peace and hope

I wanted to share something personal today. 

This weekend was my due date for our baby girl. Sadly several months ago I had a miscarriage and lost this sweet baby. This was my 3rd miscarriage in 3 years. For some reason, that doctors and many tests don't know, I can no longer carry a baby past my 2nd trimester. At my 12 week appointment everything looks great, and then at some point in my 2nd trimester the baby stops growing and in a very quiet room the ultrasound technician will become very quiet as she searches for a heartbeat and I know just by her face that we lost our baby. Three times this has happened and each time it is heartbreaking and devastating. Time stands still in that very small room as all our hopes, dreams and plans are instantly lost. It's a loss that I still can't put into words. A cloud of sadness that has never left me and sits on my shoulder at all times.

Over the past 7 years I have drawn probably a dozen or more baby announcements. It's one of my favorite things to draw, and when I was pregnant I wanted to draw our family (with the new baby) for our baby announcement. 

I was half way done drawing our family portrait when we found out we lost our baby at 14 weeks (the first miscarriage, 3 years ago). This picture is special to me, as it reminds me of our hopes and plans, but also that while I never got to hold this baby, it was part of our family.


Our first two miscarriages I had to go to the hospital to have a D&C surgery. I don't know how to explain the feeling, walking into the same hospital where I delivered my other babies, and knowing I will walk out empty handed in a few hours. 

My third miscarriage I had a new doctor and he said I could have the miscarriage at home even though I was in the start of my 2nd trimester. I don't know if I would recommend this as it ended up being dangerous and I almost passed out at home several times from loss of blood. I think I was further along in the pregnancy than we thought. But it was a tender and surreal moment as my husband and I were able to hold our very tiny baby, look at her fingers, eyes, ears and mouth. We had done genetic testing a few weeks earlier because of my history of miscarriages and found out it was a little girl and she had no genetic problems. To hold this tiny body, knowing she was perfect and it was MY body that had failed her was beyond heartbreaking. We were able to bury her in a special place. While this experience was so much harder physically, it took weeks and weeks to gain my strength back, and emotionally it rocked me; it also gave me healing I desperately needed. 

As the due date of our baby approaches I am hit with many emotions, I have felt them before and know it is a wave that I need to ride and with time it becomes better. Many things have helped me cope, being outside with my family, eating chocolate (chocolate is an important part of the stages of grief), reading good books, laughing at my favorite comedian Jim Gaffigan, eating more chocolate, and especially drawing. 

Over the past few years I have drawn family portraits for those that have lost children. Either a miscarriage or still born. They were never able to have a family picture taken, and so I hope this portrait brings them comfort. 

This was a family who had a beautiful still born little boy, and their friend reached out to me asking me to draw their beautiful family.

This sweet family lost 7 children to miscarriage before they were able to adopt the most beautiful baby girl. Again a friend of theirs reached out to me asking me to draw something for them. We came up with this idea to draw their 7 children as shadows, not seen, but not forgotten.

A friend asked that I draw her dear friends that lost a baby with a halo, in remembrance of their sweet angel.

Even though I do not know these people, I have thought of these sweet families often. I hope they are healing and feeling small moments of peace. I wish I could give them a hug in person.

Life is hard. There is no getting around it. Relationships, work, bills, health, etc. Everyone has heartache and trials. Everyone is walking around with a heavy heart most of the time.

I have also learned that life is beautiful. It really is. One night I was overwhelmed with sadness. It especially hits me at night. I had finished cleaning up the kitchen and was taking the kitchen mats outside to shake off my patio and I happened to glance up and saw the most beautiful night sky with a million stars. I was overwhelmed. There is so much beauty out there, and I only needed to look up to see it. 

If you are hurting look up. Look out. Look to others. First look to others to ask for help and talk. Many good people reached out to help me (many brought me my favorite Peanut Butter M&Ms) and talking and expressing my feelings has been healing. Then forget yourself and help someone. 

Let yourself mourn, eat a lot of chocolate, and then love the heck out of everyone around you. Find ways to help, so many people are struggling and need love and help. 

There are many more details I could share, if you are struggling feel free to reach out to me and I would love to talk to you.

To my friends and family, still invite me to your baby showers, ask me to watch your kids or hold your darling babies. Everyone is different, but I have never held anger or resentment to anyone else being able to get pregnant or have babies. Perhaps it is because I have been able to have children and want that for all my dear friends. Holding babies, and making children laugh and giggle has helped fill that hole in my heart.

As this weekend approaches, I feel sadness, loss, but I also feel moments of great peace and hope. It is not lost on me that this weekend is also Easter. A very special time that I remember my Savior, and it has new meaning to me now. These experience have become very tender to me and made life more precious.

These are my three sweet children. This picture is from a few years ago, and I'm pretty sure my oldest punched her brother right after this picture was taken, but awww . .  this was a good 2 seconds. 


While I mourn the loss of our three children we never got to have, I am beyond grateful for these beautiful children I was able to have and hold on to tightly. This tall guy next to me, that makes me feel like the prettiest girl in the room, is quite fabulous. Our family is a little crazy, fight when we play Uno, and eat way too many grilled cheese sandwiches and cookies. But these are special people who make me better. With each pair of pants they out grow, or toddler bed they grow out of my heart aches a little, knowing there will be no children to pass them on to, but it makes each stage that more precious, to hold on to and treasure. Well, maybe not the potty training stage. Everyone wants to forget that stage.


Happy Easter my dear friends!

 


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Personalized Valentine's Day Cards - FREE printable

I am so excited to share these little personalized Valentine's Day cards! Simply print, color and cut. Find the person that matches your friend, write their name down, and then add your name.  


Click here to download the JPEG or PDF file for Valentine's Day cards 
 


 I also made bigger versions for boys and girls that say "Happy Valentine's Day." 
Here are some examples I added with color.

 
 
My 5 year old loved coloring these to match her friends. But she declared that she will be giving "Shimmer & Shine" (a kids cartoon) Valentine's Day cards on the actual Valentine's Day. ha ha! I guess I can't compete with store bought Valentine's Day cards, but these are still so fun to print and color. 


Click here to download the JPEG or PDF file for BOY Valentine's Day cards


 Click here to download the JPEG or PDF file for GIRL Valentine's Day cards


For personal use only pretty please. If you would like to edit these so they fit your child or classmates I'm totally fine with that! Not for resale. Thank you! 

 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Christmas / Holiday portraits of 2017

All of November & December I stocked up on chocolate and then drew every spare moment to finish all my orders for Christmas / Hanukkah. Thank you again to all who supported me and my little doodle business. I absolutely loved drawing your families and most importantly making dear friends across the United States and the world in the process. If you are ever in the area, visiting Idaho or Yellowstone National park (just a couple hours from my home) you have a place to stay. My home is always open to you!

I thought it might be fun to write some of my customer's reactions when I sent their portrait.

I loved drawing this wreath and this adorable family. They used this for their Christmas cards. The wife said, "Our card got a great response! Thank you!!"


I LOVED drawing Amy and her beautiful family. I hope it's okay to share this. Amy wrote the sweetest message when she ordered her portrait. She recently separated and this would be their first family Christmas card with just the 3 of them. She wanted something a little different to transition into their new reality. It tugged at my heart strings and made me love Amy even more.
Amy said, "My cards turned out sooooo cute! . . . I have had so many people text me about the cards . . This might be my new Christmas tradition."

She also sent me a Christmas card and it made my whole day, probably even week! 



"Thank you so much! I've really enjoyed working with you. My sister-on-law is going to love it!"

"My daughter almost cried when she got it. Said it was her best gift!"

This one was a fun challenge. This family loves their 1973 Scout ii truck. They look like a blast to hang out at the lake/beach with! 
The wife said, "this couldn’t have turned out better!! Woweee"

"Wow. Totally nailed it! There’s something personal about everyone so it’s great."

This one was extra special. I drew this family several years ago, but they have increased with a few extra in-laws and more grand-babies. They were so happy with the updated portrait. 
I drew each couple or family separate and then layered them together, so that I was able to also send their individual family portrait too. 
"Oh Spring!! You make me tear up!! Thank you for the extra of my little family!"


This one was special too because I learned their sweet dog passed away last week, and so this has extra meaning.
 

I'll be honest, I didn't draw this porsche, I am not great with cars, so I found this porsche clipart on etsy and bought it. My brother-in-law and then husband walked by, while I was editing this on my computer, and immediately they both knew it was a porsche. I still have no idea how they could tell, I'm just glad I didn't draw it.

This was a gift to a friend's parents. I actually worked for the mom at Hallmark in high school. I learned so much there, and they were so patient with me as I probably made a lot of mistakes, but it created a love of cards for me, and helped steer me in this directions in life.
"We loved the pictures. As soon as Nancy saw it she said she knew you had drawn it."

I'm a little hesitant to show this large portrait only because everyone LOVES these large portraits and I am afraid those will be the only portraits I draw. ha ha. These take hours and hours to draw and organize and put together, but when I am all done, these are amazing and so rewarding. This was for a sweet couple who just returned home from a service mission for their church. Their children and grandchildren were so anxious for their return and missed them! And yes the cute grandma really is that tiny and short. So adorable.  This was printed 12"x36"
The daughter that ordered this said, "Wow! I knew this would be cute but I just couldn't picture it so perfectly! I love this!"

The minnie mouse ears are my favorite. 

Another larger family portrait for my husband's cousin's family. What wonderful people. The daughter-in-law that ordered this said, "I just cried tears of joy!" She did just have a baby, so hormones might have played a part in those tears, but I'll just pretend it's just my drawing that made her cry. :)


"This. Is. Amazing. I can't thank you enough!"


 This large family was awesome and I love all the small details that the family noticed days later.  "The whole family loved the drawing. They oooooooed and awwwwwwed over it for hours!"

Every year my dear friend Holly orders several portraits. Now her friends order portraits and their friends order portraits. Probably a quarter of my business comes from Holly, ha ha! I don't know how she stumbled upon my business several years ago, but she has become my most faithful customer and biggest fan. I adore this Georgia lady and just know one day we will meet in person. I also always love the ideas she comes up with. This is their friends "the Ring family," the wife was a competitive dancer, the dad is an attorney and always on the phone, ha ha, and they have two fabulous boys who love hockey and tennis, and of course rock the RV. 
Also Holly is the best complimenter. I would draw just for her compliments, "I mean, I can’t. I just can’t.  This is so amazingly brilliant!!!!!!"


Paula is one of Holly's friends that I drew a portrait for last year, and she had me draw this portrait for her new baby nephew.  Paula said, "Is it weird that I cried? It's PERFECT! I absolutely LOVE it!!"

I loved drawing all these grandchildren for their grandma! So fun!!  
"So cute, thank you!"

This beach family was fun to draw


 I loved drawing the mom's animal print shirt. 
"Thank you so much!"

This awesome family wanted to wear their favorite sports team shirts and then also a portrait with regular clothes. So I tweaked a few things when I was editing on the computer and was able to use the same drawing for both. 
The mom wrote back to me, "I'm sooooo excited!"



Mary is an old friend from high school and I just love her and her purple amazing hair.
"I love it!" 

This one was so adorable. This is my sister-in-law's sister-in-law. Did that make sense. :)
This cute family dressed up as eggs, bacon & Texas toast for Halloween with her cute pregnant belly as the yoke. My sister-in-law wanted a picture of them so they could always remember it. I LOVED drawing this!!
"It's perfect!"





I've been drawing portraits for about 6 years and this was the first year I drew our family for our Christmas card. I think my husband loved that I didn't have to bribe or torture them through family pictures and everyone is looking forward smiling. :)

I loved drawing all these beautiful families. I have yet to see two families exactly the same. They are all different but they are all filled with love. Maybe some eat dinner together every night at the dinner table, maybe some eat dinner in their car on the way to activities. Some have extra love with step-parents and step-siblings. Some families are big and and some are small. But all families are beautiful because that is where love is first shown, where we learn to apologize, forgive and look out for one another. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!! Lots of love - Spring







Sunday, September 3, 2017

animal doodles for classroom bulletin boards

My niece, Ali, is 9 years younger than me. She was more like a little sister than niece, and growing up I spent all my spare time at my sister's house playing with Ali. She was my little sidekick and I adored her. 

Last week she started her first year as a 3rd grade elementary school teacher. I am so proud of her! She spent this summer planning and preparing her classroom. She had a color theme, purple, turquoise blue, and lime green. She asked me to draw the following animals to decorate her room and bulletin boards. 

I'm thinking of making these available on etsy as a package for other teachers to purchase for their classroom. What do you think?


One wall had a giant shark that said "Fish are Friends not Food" with a fish tank below it. Then she had a board that said "A Sea of Helpers" with assignments for cleaning the room.



The owls each have a number on their belly that correspond to the student's number. The owls are also on the board that shows all the birthdays and says "One Year Older and Wiser"


These reptiles were next to the "The Rules of the Jungle" bulletin board. 


She blew up this beehive and it said "Welcome to our hive" outside her classroom. The best part is Ali's dad is a beekeeper so she is going to have him come do a presentation in her classroom about bees. She really wants bees to be apart of her theme. 


She framed the following pictures and put them on her bookshelf to inspire reading. 







Here are some pictures of her classroom






I am so proud of her. She always wanted to be a teacher and she has reached her goal. Everyone keeps saying the first year is the hardest but I'm not worried about her. She already loves her students and will give it a 110%. 

Here is a side by side low quality photo of us at Ali's high school graduation, and then 4 years later at her college graduation. I remember just beaming with pride. She is a wonderful person in every way. Good luck Ali, I love you! Now go teach some children some knowledge. :)