The Everyday Artist {some of our favorite supplies}

When I create I only want to be surrounded by my most trusted and favorite tools and only the tools that help me to express myself.

Too many supplies can get in the way, distract and even help you procrastinate (like any of us need any help with that one).

Each time we offer you a new supply it is because it is tried and true in my own studio. I wouldn’t offer you anything less.

I wanted to share with some of the beautiful supplies currently in the shop.

Feel free to take a peek and ask away if you have a question…

Watercolor Paper Midori Style Art Journal

I don’t leave the house without an art journal to collect ideas, patterns, for practicing and trying new techniques.  These are the most gorgeous handmade midori style art journals created by a local artist.  The journal has 3 watercolor inserts. The cover is made with sturdy fabric paper with grommets. It is paintable. Comes with elastic closure and binding system. The art journal comes in two sizes.  It has 3 inserts that are made with 140lb watercolor paper (nice and strong for layering wet mediums) folded in half. The journal opens almost flat and is easy to remove inserts to work on and then put them back. The outside edge of the watercolor paper has been distressed.

Large Vintage French Ledger Pages

While traveling to France for a recent Living Studio retreat I came across the most incredible and large vintage ledgers.  I had never found vintage ephemera so large and absolutely stunning.  I can never use all that I brought home with me and I am parting with some of the papers.  The vintage ledger pages date from 1867-1873.  You will receive 6 total pages (3 of each ledger) and each page measures 21″ x 14″.



French Linen Aprons (full and half)

We have collected vintage French linens from our travels and we have created some of the most gorgeous art and life aprons.  These linens are soft, warn and ready to have a new life.  Each apron has two generous size pockets and extra long ties so you can wrap them and tie them in the front if you please.  Some aprons will even show some of the original embroidery.

We would love to wrap up a beautiful supply that will become a part of your daily creating!



How To Launch Your Own Product {Haven Conference}


That word holds everything for me and it is no surprise that time and time again HOME has brought me to new places with my friends, family, creativity and business.

We have created our business out of our home, have filmed more classes than I can count from our home, have packaged and shipped thousands and thousands of product over the years from our home and I have found that HOME is one of my strongest love languages.

My love for family, faith and the art of gathering has allowed our home to become the safest of places to launch each new dream that we have had.

For those that know and love me it will come as no surprise that I will be speaking at the next Haven Conference.

Haven is a blogging and design conference all about home.

The whole conference is open to anyone “passionate about blogging, DIY projects and creating beauty in your home”.

I am honored and excited to be speaking about how to launch your own product.

I wish I had had a place like Haven to gather, connect, dream, brainstorm and learn when I was starting and later growing our business.

Even if you have been creating a business for awhile now…I think we can forget how amazing it is to be encouraged, supported and inspired and what that does for you and your business.

Here is a peek into our time together:


You have ideas, the market and you see a need that you know you can fill with your product. Now what? How do you take your authentic gifts and ideas and create a successful product that can take your business to the next level?

In this session we will discuss how to take your ideas and make them into a physical or virtual product. We will also talk about how to keep up the momentum after your product launch to ensure a long lasting business.

  • Who is your market and are you filling a need?
  • How do you create a cohesive brand and product?
  • How will you manufacture, and what are your options?
  • How to get your customers excited for what is coming and get prepared for your launch.
  • How to keep the momentum going.
  • Don’t go alone. Let’s talk about collaborations and how they strengthen your brand and product.

To read more about the weekend or to register click HERE.

If you are coming please send me an email letting me know at

If you have specific questions about launching your own product I want to hear and would be honored to answer it at Haven.

I hope to see you there!

The Living Studio Along the Seine River Cruise

Ever since I have been a little girl I have been a lover of history, architecture, art and I have ALWAYS known…I would travel.

I am greatly driven by my desire to learn, explore and to discover more of this world.

My family makes choices all of the time that will make it possible for us to travel more and to have less of other things.

We want to collect adventures and memories and not just things.

I have an extremely exciting announcement to make and we have been working on it for awhile now.

For all of you lovers of adventure, history, art and travel…this is for you!

Join me in April 2017 for The Living Studio Along The Seine! 

Imagine exploring and creating in France!

We will have structured art classes on the ship and then creative prompts that will encourage you to create in the cities and villages.

THIS is the heart of The Living Studio!  It is my desire that you make the whole world your studio.

This is not just for painters and sketchers…this is for all of us!

If you love history, art, architecture, live music, wine tasting, cooking classes, lectures, bike tours…this is for you!

The best part is that you get to choose each day what you do or don’t do. You can participate in the classes or you can lounge by the pool…or both!

The details…

Detailed Itinerary

April 6-15th, 2017

The Living Studio Along the Seine

Arrive in Paris and embark to your luxurious ship. Meet your fellow passengers at the Welcome Dinner. (D)

Spend the morning enjoying the scenery along the Seine as you cruise to the provincial town of Vernon. Upon arrival, you will have free time to explore the town at your leisure. Later, you will visit Giverny and the home and gardens of Impressionist master Claude Monet. The artist lived here for more than four decades and immortalized his ponds and flower gardens in some of his most iconic paintings. The ship moors overnight in Vernon. (B,L,D)

After a scenic morning cruise on the Seine, arrive in the old fishing village of Caudebec. You will have a choice of two different tours. The first option is to visit Honfleur, a historic and picturesque port with pastel-colored houses that was a favorite subject of artists such as Courbet, Boudin and Monet. The town’s medieval Sainte-Catherine church, with its separate bell tower, is the largest wooden church in France. As an alternative, choose the “Routes des Abbayes” excursion spotlighting Normandy’s famous abbeys, more than 100 of which once covered this region. You will visit the ruined abbey in Jumièges as well as St. Wandrille, still a working monastery. (B,L,D)

Today, you have the choice of three different excursions. “D-Day Remembered” is a full day excursion to the US sector. Your first stop will be the village of Arromanches, where the remains of the floating harbor used during the WWII landings can be seen. You will have free time to see the museums before visiting the US Cemetery and Omaha Beach at St. Laurent-sur-Mer. Your last stop is the artillery battery at Longues-sur-Mer before returning to the ship in Caudebec. As an alternative, you can tour the Gold and Juno beaches in the British and Canadian sectors. Your first stop will be the Pegasus Monument in Ranville followed by Canadian cemetery at Beny-sur-Mer. You will also have the chance to visit the Juno Beach Centre, Canada’s WWII museum, with a final stop at Arromanches. A third option is an excursion to rural Normandy, which includes a visit to the Pays d’Auge and “Routes du Cidre” (the Cider Road). You will visit beautiful Norman towns and villages, such as Beuvron-en-Auge, Crevecoeur-en-Auge and Cambremer, and tour a Calvados distillery where you may sample apple cider and apple brandy. (B,L,D)

Enjoy a morning walk through the medieval city of Rouen and see the imposing Notre Dame Cathedral, painted numerous times by Monet, and the square where Joan of Arc was martyred. Afterwards, you will have free time to explore Rouen on your own. (B,L,D)

Depart Rouen early this morning and enjoy scenic cruising on the Seine to Les Andelys. An mid-day stroll along the river offers beautiful views of the Seine Valley’s dramatic white cliffs, centuries-old half-timbered houses, and the hilltop ruins of Château Gaillard. This former stronghold of Richard the Lionheart changed hands a number of times during the Hundred Years’ War. Athletically-inclined guests may enjoy hiking up to visit the ruins of this historic castle before we continue our cruise along the Seine. The ship arrives tonight in Conflans. (B,L,D)

Today, you have a choice of two excursions. The first option is to visit Château Malmaison, former home of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Josephine. Your tour includes the Château’s interior, gardens and museum. Alternatively, travel to Auvers-sur-Oise, a town famous for the Impressionist painters who lived there in the 19th century, such as Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro. Your “Artists’ Walk” tour will include many sites associated with their work, including the Auberge Ravoux, former home of Vincent van Gogh. The upstairs room where Van Gogh died has been meticulously preserved. He and his brother Theo are both buried in the nearby town cemetery. The ship departs this afternoon for Paris, arriving in the evening. (B,L,D)

After disembarking the ship this morning, guests participating in the post cruise extension in Paris will enjoy a panoramic tour of Paris plus a visit to one of the city’s most renowned museums, the Musée d’Orsay, built in a former railway station on the Left Bank. Its collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces is the largest in the world and includes well-known works by Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh. After touring the museum, you will be transferred to your hotel. (B)

Today is yours to enjoy however you wish. Explore Paris’ multitude of landmarks, museums, cafes and shops, or choose one of several optional tours. (B)

Your river cruise vacation comes to an end as you prepare for your homeward flight. (B)

What is included in your 9 night/ 10 day stay

*7 nights deluxe cruise accommodations in an outside stateroom – most staterooms offer French balconies.
*Art classes with Jeanne Oliver
*Daily creative prompts to inspire you to create in new ways while traveling
*You will be provided with your own portable studio so you can create anywhere you go
*”Limited Edition Tours”
*Life-enriching tours with personal headset included
*Entertainment on demand in all staterooms featuring free high-speed Internet access, hit Hollywood movies, extensive music library and English language TV stations
*Complimentary Wi-Fi access on board
*Terry bathrobes and white-on-white plush bedding in all staterooms
*Fine dining with all meals included during your cruise
*Multiple dining venues
*Unlimited red & white wines from France’s great wine regions, beer & soft drinks with every lunch and dinner on board
*Bottled water in every stateroom replenished daily
*Cocktail Reception, Welcome Dinner & Captain’s Gala Dinner
*Transfer from the ship to the hotel in Paris
*2 nights hotel accommodation in Paris at the Pullman Montparnasse (or similar), including daily buffet breakfast
*Special highlights including lectures, theme dinners, cooking demonstration, onboard music performances and afternoon/evening piano music
*Services of professional Cruise Manager
*All English language on board in a non-smoking environment (smoking permitted only on the Sun Deck)
*Transfers between hotel and ship are included with the purchase of cruise and land package; airport transfers are included with the purchase of airfare from AmaWaterways
*All port fees, taxes, gratuities
* This does not include airfare

A peek into life on the ship…

Join me: April 6-15th, 2017 for the Living Studio Along the Seine

In US dollars: Starting at $3807.00 per person / double occupancy

These prices reflect a $1000 discount through April 30th.

To view the ship and cabin choices:


Deposit (non-refundable) due on contract signing $950.00

Payment Schedule:

We will set up a payment schedule just for you

If you are interested in The Living Studio | Danube River Cruise please email Jeanne Oliver at to answer any questions and/or to place your deposit on this once in a lifetime art retreat.


Be a deer and
leave me a comment.


Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Building a Creatively Made Business | The Big Picture

Whether you are dreaming about a business, in the midst of growing one or you have years in the trenches and you are ready for what is next…you need to have the big picture before you.

The big picture will change throughout the years but knowing why you are working and what you are working for will change everything.

In the beginning maybe you are just wanting to make enough to pay for ballet lessons, maybe your goal is to quit your day job or maybe you want to retire at 50.

The more you know WHY you are creating a business, the more you will say yes to actions that will get you there and with that you will have the freedom to say no to everything else.

Try to think about your business in terms of your relationships and that you have to make daily, weekly and yearly compromises, sacrifices and spend time connecting so you will create and sustain the relationships you desire.

My big picture for my marriage is that Kelly and I grow old together. My big picture is that we travel, each follow our creative passions, help our children follow their dreams, spend time with our children and grandchildren…together.

That does not just happen.  If I work backwards I know that I have to make the hard choices now, spend time together now, make the sacrifices now, choose the big picture over and over again so we get that life together in the end.

How can you sit down right now and verbalize what your big picture is for your business and work backwards to get there?

Start short term and work your way out.  Think 6 months out, 1 year out, 5 years out and 10 years out.

Creating goals for your business will mean that you reach some of them, exceed others and fall short at times.  It also means you are showing up, setting boundaries and taking steps to meet an end goal.  You may not succeed on every goal and your big picture will change over the years but I can promise you that your life and business will be better and stronger because you took the time to plan and dream over your business.

The day to day of business and life can distract you if you are not prepared for it.  When you have a plan you are more likely to set boundaries regarding social media, who you collaborate with, where you spend your money and even the risks you take within your business.

Think of your big picture as your foundation and everything else is building upon it. When you have a strong foundation each act, step, compromise, sacrifice is that much stronger too. 

One of the most important things to remember is that there is not ONE clear cut way to have a success story.

You will make mistakes.

You will pick yourself up and figure it out.

You will learn from your mistakes and be grateful for what the mistakes taught you.

You will grow your gifts and learn new ones.

You will love your product, hate your product, start fresh and keep growing.

You will work harder than you have ever worked before…and you will love it.

When you don’t love it you will know it is time for change.

Your change will look different.

Your growth will look different.

You will look different…because you are authentic!

You will create your own success story.

Building a Creatively Made Business 2.0 is an online course with over 80 videos full of information. This course is instantly available to work through at your own pace and at your convenience. We will cover our creative journey, getting started, websites, balancing your creative life with your home life, photographing your product, pricing, wholesaling,  setting yourself apart, growing your brand, creating lookbooks, e-courses, markets and shows and  SO  MUCH MORE!

Come on over to our creative network and read more.



Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Apron and Bag Sale {but only for 24 hours}

Good Morning!

For the next 24 hours our vintage fabric bags and French linen aprons are on sale.

This is a sale that doesn’t happen often so grab yours if you love beautiful vintage fabrics like we do.

Come on over to the SHOP.

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Who Doesn’t Love To Get Mail?

One of my favorite things is to send cards and of course to receive them!

I am so happy to announce that we have our notecards back in the shop.

In a world with email and text messages I am still a lover of paper. How about you?

Hopefully, this will help you get your paper fix too!

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Part Two: 39 Acres and a Whole Lot of Uncomfortable


This is part two of a twenty part story but I promise to only make it three parts. I am kind like that.

If you would like to read Part One you can read it HERE.


(the photos are from house two and the house I am writing about in this post)

Part Two: 39 Acres and a Whole Lot of Uncomfortable

When we didn’t get the first house I knew with everything in me that it wasn’t in vain. Everything was too big, too emotional, too outside of our comfort zone to have been just a fluke. Kelly and I truly believed that if that first home was not for us that it meant that the Lord had an even better home and land for us. This was honestly hard to convince ourselves of but we knew, that we knew, that we knew that something was coming. Keep in mind that 6 weeks before we were completely content with our home, 1/3 of an acre in town and my little studio at the front of our home. My good friend Sheila Atchley has lovingly referred to the first home as “spiritual bait”. With a good laugh and a nodding head I can now look back and fully agree.

We changed realtors for lots of reasons and we kind of asked the Lord if He was going to bring something else to us that He would do it while our loan was valid (I think without resubmitting everything it was good for three months). We actually asked this of the Lord because of our children’s hearts. They didn’t know why we were still open to moving because we didn’t get the first home. They loved our home and had no interest in moving if it wasn’t for the home we just lost.

We looked at some homes but nothing was grabbing us. We were still so in love with the first home I felt like I was cheating or worse…on the rebound and just settling.

Kelly was about to go on a trip and as he was packing his bags I teased him that I would probably find the perfect house while he was gone. I told him that my ideal home would probably be a mid century modern, modern and open floor plan, wood burning fireplace, vaulted ceilings and beams. Was that asking too much? Of course within our price range and it would need to have land and a studio. I have been known to be an overachiever.

The next day our realtor sent us a listing that was at the top of our price range and beyond. The house had been way out of our price range but it had just dropped a bit to even convince us to look at it. It was everything and more than we had told our Realtor we were looking for. It was a mid century remodel that had been finished by a designer with a wonderful eye. It was a ranch, vaulted ceilings, beams, a wood burning fireplace. There were many things in time that we would want to change but it wasn’t really the house that grabbed us and convinced us to look at it. There was 39 acres and a huge workshop that would make the most incredible studio for myself and live workshops. With Kelly out of town I went to look at the home alone.

I quietly walked through this home that was everything I was telling Kelly the night before that I was looking for. I was holding myself back. I could feel it. I didn’t want to get hurt again but in the same breath I didn’t feel a definite yes that would even remotely lead me to risking again. As I stood on the land and imagined myself teaching in the studio I had huge ideas come to my heart and mind. Things I had never wanted or thought before. This was gathering land. This was a gathering studio and it wasn’t just for art. It was bigger than that. I still held it at a distance and waited.

The next afternoon Kelly drove straight from the airport to look at the house with us as a family. I still wasn’t sure. Everything was huge. The land, the price and the ideas in my head. I wasn’t worried about the house. I can make a house. I love to put homes together and to make them ours. If this home was for us I needed Kelly (all on his own) to see the studio, see the potential and not be afraid of the work and money involved to make it come to fruition. So this was my prayer. Because I didn’t have a clear direction I asked the Lord to lead my husband. Lead us both.

As Kelly walked through the home I was quiet as he looked and was probably thinking about so many of the details of the past 8 weeks, what we had been through and how burned we felt. Then we walked in the high snow to the workshop and I waited. I waited for Kelly to look around and to hear if he saw what it could be. He turned to me and said, “I see it. This would make the most incredible studio.” He started speaking big dreams too. Words and ideas were coming forth that I had never heard him speak. It was probably one of my favorites moments in our marriage. We both were feeling, seeing, hearing the same thing and it was big!

We went home and talked it over more as a family. We low balled them a bit because of the price of the home but in the end we came close to their asking and they accepted. The only part of the deal the home owner added was that because we weren’t offering asking price that he would not be able to fix anything that may come up in inspection. The home had only been bought a year before and it had been completely renovated so we didn’t see this as being a huge issue. We agreed. Obviously, if it was a horrible inspection we could always back out under our contract.

The day they accepted our offer the buyers for our home had to back out. We could have signed the contract and later asked to change some of the closing dates but we knew we wanted to be as transparent and honest with the home owners as possible. We asked them to give us a few days to find another buyer. This was the day before Thanksgiving and we now needed to officially put our home on the market. We listed it immediately on Zillow with photos from my blog. We had so much interest that we asked our Realtor to officially list it and take over.

We had been told to not be disappointed if it took over a month to sell our home based upon the time of year. We didn’t believe this. Within two days we had five offers (and more coming in) and most of them were over our asking price which was already higher than any home had ever sold in our neighborhood. We felt once again the Lord’s hand upon our decisions and even the purchase of this second home that was getting us to dream and trust bigger than ever before in the plans the Lord had for us.

We chose a buyer for our home (that was so hard and tears involved there) and we finally signed the contract on the second house. We were busy the next day so I didn’t think about it until later that afternoon but we had never heard back from our Realtor and we still hadn’t seen the contract signed by the sellers.

I called our Realtor to check in and I could already tell that something was wrong based upon his tone and hesitation to talk. The seller’s agent was saying she couldn’t’ get a hold of her sellers and we knew this couldn’t be true. Who can’t get a hold of someone nowadays and especially when they are selling a home? Our Realtor was worried that another offer had come in that was higher than ours.

I have to take a break for a moment because I want you to just think on this as we did that late afternoon and into the evening. We place an offer on a home that hasn’t had any serious action for four months. Our buyer backs out but we have another one (in fact a line of them) in a few days. We don’t know it at the time but the sellers had already sent all of our information onto the title company to start the paperwork as they waited for our new buyer and the new closing dates. The night we officially sign the contract for the new home another offer comes in higher than ours. It was another door shut in the most obvious way. Everything had seemed so right and falling into place.  We were trusting more, dreaming bigger and truly wanting to be only where the Lord wanted us. Wasn’t this the home, land, workshop, purpose of everything we had been through?

The sellers never responded to our offer and they let our contract expire at 5pm that night. At this point we had two hours left to sign the contract on the house WE were selling. Kelly was on the phone with me through much of this and at one point I just told Kelly that with everything in me I believed we were supposed to sell our home . Our current home needed to be not on our plates so we were free to buy what was coming. It didn’t make sense. We didn’t have a house lined up. We didn’t have any answers but I had peace. Kelly agreed. We both had an overwhelming peace in the midst of confusion and chaos. We signed the papers to sell our home.

That night as were eating dinner with the kids we always share our high and our low of the day. I told our children that my high was that we didn’t get the house. I told them that if we lost this house too can you even imagine what is coming for us? I told them that each home had been amazing but that we only wanted to be in the home and land handpicked for us. We would wait. To ask our children to believe in a big God with a perfect plan can be very uncomfortable sometimes. What if we had heard Him wrong? What if we were supposed to stay put? Don’t think we didn’t have extreme doubt alongside our extreme faith. They were holding hands.

I want you to know that letting go of a house we deeply loved without having a place lined up should have been more uncomfortable for me. Home is such a huge part of how I love. I have said that home is one of my love languages and that is definitely true. It was the hardest to ask our children to trust us that no matter what it was going to be alright. We weren’t losing our home…we were letting it go. There is a huge difference between the two.

The next day it was confirmed that another offer had come in and that we could come back with more money and they would consider the offer before making a final decision. There are details I can’t share but the whole thing felt dirty and gross and we were fine to walk away.

This time around I was holding onto this house loosely so I have to be completely honest that I didn’t even cry. The last home I was an emotional and heart broken basket case but this time I was calm. I was expectant that something even better was coming.

We were on the edge looking over and just wondering with a mix of excitement, fear and the unknown about where we were going…

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes