Happy New Year Friends!

As we enter into the season of ‘New Year’s Resolutions,’ I did some soul searching about making goals. I’ve never been one to make resolutions as I’ve never been able to keep ones that I did make! So I wondered what if I just found a simple way to live better and more fully……Hence the title and focus on being intentional and inspired! I suspect that this could have a profound impact on life personally, relationally, spiritually, and business-wise!!

Little Hands

Little Hands

I think living more intentionally for me means putting more thought into what, when and how I do something rather than just going through the motions. It means if I set aside time to play with my kids than that is ALL that I do – not 10 other things at the same time. It means making a schedule for the business that I can stick to. It means only checking my email 2 times a day. It means being okay with NOT multi-tasking. The list goes on and on. Now obviously life gets crazy and I sure don’t expect to do this perfectly, but I would love to climb into bed at night knowing that I did my best to make each moment count. That my kids know that they had captured my heart while we were playing. That my Husband knew he had my full attention when he came home from work. That I started each day in prayer, talking to the Lord. That my customers knew they could count on exceptional service and quality with every interaction.

What a BLESSING this would all be!

And just think – if we could live more intentionally, wouldn’t that free up our hearts and minds to be inspired by little moments? I want to be inspired as I open my jar of star anise, wondering at each perfect shape, so individual and unique. I want to wonder at the little eyes that ask to be read a book for the 100th time, trusting that I will say ‘Yes!’ I want to marvel at the amazing world around me that God has created from the smallest flower to the mountains behind our house! I want to set big, brave goals for Spice Grove Designs and make plans to see them happen. I want to remember to be grateful for each day I have with family and friends knowing that tomorrow is never promised. I want to give more back than I get. I want to ‘choose’ joy daily since it is a choice not a given!

Choose JOY this year!

Choose JOY this year!

So even though I may not have a list of resolutions, I pray that this new way of thinking about each moment I live may have life changing effects! I hope that whether you set goals, resolutions or make changes you know I will be here to encourage you and wish you JOY and PEACE and INSPIRATION this year!!

Blessings to you friends,
signature

 

Our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

Our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

I just love this time of year! The wonder of our girls as we unpack our Advent Calendar and Nativity is precious! Chasing my 20 month old around to try to get Baby Jesus back so she doesn’t hide Him somewhere I’ll never find Him is hilarious! I love the cooler weather and the comfy clothes. The yummy treats and family time are such a blessing! Basically, I love everything about Christmas – what is means and what it brings. We don’t do fancy decorations in our Home but try to keep things simple and meaningful. One piece of decor though that I do look forward to bringing out each year is our ‘Charlie Brown’ Christmas tree!

Our Vintage Star

Our Vintage Star

This tree was with my Father years ago when he was stationed in the Philippines with the Air Force. It was sent to him again when he was away in Italy for a year when I was 8. It then traveled to Arizona to be with me in college and then on to Oregon to be with my brother at college. It’s next journey sent it all the way over to Iraq to be with my Husband when he was deployed with the Army. And though it is literally falling apart, it gets more precious to me every year. It serves as a wonderful reminder to our girls that beauty on the outside fades, but a beautiful heart will never age or grow dim.

The trail of 'needles' that our tree leaves behind now!

The trail of ‘needles’ that our tree leaves behind now!

It teaches them about sacrifice and courage as we tell the story of its journeys. They marvel, touching each branch, at how this little tree has traveled more miles than any of us probably will in a lifetime. It tells them of love that can never be dimmed by distance or time. But most of all it shows them that just as this little ‘falling-apart’ messy tree was able to impart joy and hope and comfort in dark time, so too, the Messiah born as a baby in that messy, dirty stable was able to give hope, grace and the ultimate gift of love for all of us……

Yes, this little tree will always hold a special place in my heart. As we spend time together this Christmas, we wish you and your loved ones a Blessed Christmas and Peaceful New Year.

The Decorated 'Charlie Brown' Tree

The Decorated ‘Charlie Brown’ Tree

Blessings to you and yours friends,
signature

Inspired by the beloved “12 Days of Christmas” song we hear so much this time of year, I thought we would enjoy some of our regular desert birds of Winter! All of these lovely birds have been found in our backyard or on hikes within an hour of home!! Sometimes with the busyness of the Holidays it’s nice to sit back and enjoy the gifts you already have! Enjoy friends!!

I thought I’d start with one of my favorite desert dwellers, especially since they have so much in common with the partridge from the song! These guys love to sit on our back fence all in a row. We had a family who lived right behind our house and it was so amazing to watch the little family with their 5 babies! What a wonderful experience to hear them calling to each other everyday. Click here to hear and see a quail call that JIceBirdsandMore caught on video.

Gambel's Quail

Gambel’s Quail

The adorable little Arizona Woodpecker we found on a hike not too far from our house. The girls just loved seeing him peck away at the tree! I just love the colors he sports!

Arizona Woodpecker

Arizona Woodpecker

Arizona Woodpecker eating

Arizona Woodpecker eating

Next, also seen behind our home, is the amazing Red Tailed Hawk. (Sorry the picture isn’t better.) I love to watch them soaring silently over the desert surveying all that they can see! I assume that his huge talons help protect against the Ocotillo that he’s sitting in!

Red Tailed Hawk

Red Tailed Hawk

One of my very favorite birds we found on a little hike close to our house! I’ve loved seeing Stellar Jay’s when I lived in Colorado and Northern Arizona but I had no idea these lovely guys were found down here! These gorgeous Mexican Jay’s were talking and enjoying hanging out together on a beautiful day! I just love the blue against the yellow of the fall leaves!

Mexican Jay

Mexican Jay

The state bird of Arizona, the Cactus Wren also spends a lot of time in our backyard and they are so cute to watch! We love to watch them in the grass or just sitting on the Ocotillo watching their surroundings.  This little guy kept watching me to see what I was doing!

Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren

Then there were the huge wild turkeys we found right before Thanksgiving! The girls used to love to watch them in NY with their little flock and hear their ‘gobbles’ so we were super excited to find them here in the southwest!

Wild Turkeys

Wild Turkeys

Unfortunately a couple of birds that most frequent our house I was unable to catch on film…..the Roadrunners are just too fast as are the tiny hummingbirds. Hopefully soon though friends! Instead I thought I share some of the gorgeous landscape and other friends that are close by that I’ve been blessed to enjoy recently! We have a flowering bush out front that regularly attracts 30-40 butterflies at a time! What a wonder!

Various Butterflies in our front yard

Various Butterflies in our front yard

The hummingbirds have been going crazy over these Palo Verde Tree blossoms!  Not sure why the tree next door was blooming in late November though??

The delicate Blossom of the Palo Verde Tree

The delicate Blossom of the Palo Verde Tree

These gorgeous Desert Broom shrubs were so soft and pretty!! Apparently they suffice here in AZ for snow in the Winter! :)

Desert Broom Shrub

Desert Broom Shrub

And what nature feature would be complete without a couple of beautiful sunset photo’s? Taken from our backyard…..we are so blessed!!

Arizona Sunset

Arizona Sunset – Elapsed time about 5 minutes between shots!

I came out on the back patio one afternoon to discover this amazing birds’ nest! To my surprise it was made by my ever creative 8 yr. old out of dry grass and white rocks! Love her imagination!

Backyard Birds' Nest

Backyard Birds’ Nest

One last picture wishing you all a beautiful Christmas Season from our Home to Your Home! Thank you so much for stopping by and enjoying Nature with me! Have a wonderful week and don’t forget to enjoy the little gifts you already have this season! Maybe they are even in YOUR backyard!

Merry Christmas from Arizona!

Merry Christmas from Arizona!

Blessings to you friends,
signature

PS – I’d love to hear what amazing things inspire you in Nature this time of year!

If you are still searching for a few Christmas gifts here are some of our favorite rustic designs. I just love that most of them are eco friendly and GORGEOUS!! You are sure to find something for everyone on your list! Be sure to click on the links to check out these fabulous shops and their work!

FOR HER

Laurel Oak Wood Stud Earrings from Laurel and Lime – I love the delicate design of these amazing earrings and that they are made from fallen branches!! Such a lightweight accessory and they even have choices of types of wood.

Laurel Oak Wood Stud Earrings from Laurel and Lime

Laurel Oak Wood Stud Earrings from Laurel and Lime

Pinecone earrings from Magpies Shop – Look at these lovely pine cone earrings! Inspire the Nature lover in your life with these one-of-a-kind accessories that are handpicked for their beauty! Look at all the gorgeous designs they have in their shop!

Pinecone Earrings by Magpies Shop

Pinecone Earrings by Magpies Shop

Gray Double Infinity Scarf by Vera Jayne – I just love how softly this falls around the neck and how warm it is!! Everything in Vera Jayne’s shop is so feminine and beautiful. She is sure to love anything you might pick out! Make sure to take a peek at her adorable hair accessories too.

VeraJayne double infinity scarf

Gorgeous Infinity Scarf by Vera Jayne

FOR HIM

Cedar and Copper Holiday Ornaments from Laurel and Lime – Surprise him this Christmas with an ornament that says ‘rugged’ and ‘handsome!’ I love that these are made completely from reclaimed materials!! Check out more of their shop here!

Cedar and Copper Holiday Ornaments by Laurel and Lime

Cedar and Copper Holiday Ornaments by Laurel and Lime

Stoneware Mountain Keychain from Studio by the Forest – Let your special hiker/hunter/outdoorsman know you appreciate his love of Nature with this rugged, one-of-a-kind key ring! Make sure you check out her handmade little pine trees too! Perfect for cabin decor!

Stoneware Mountain Key Chain from Studio by the Forest

Stoneware Mountain Key Chain from Studio by the Forest

Personalized Toothpick Case from Midnight Coiler – I just love the look of these and how practical they are! Small enough to fit into a pocket yet handsome enough to make an impression! Lynn will even customize it with the initials that you need!! Such wonderful gift ideas from this shop! Take a peek!

Toothpick holder by Midnight Coiler

Toothpick holder by Midnight Coiler

FOR THE HOME

Brown and White Birch Tree Bark Throw Pillow Cover from Brooke Ryan Photography – I have loved Brooke’s photography for a long time, but when I saw that she has her photo’s available as pillow covers I was won over completely!! Such a rustic look for any room! She has so many choices that would go with any decor! I have one this one on my Santa list for my Hubby! (hint, hint honey!!)

Birch Tree Bark pillow Cover by Brooke Ryan Photography

Lovely Birch Tree Bark pillow Cover by Brooke Ryan Photography

Violin Wall Clock by Beau Miracle – I love the vintage rustic look of this amazing clock! She has such an amazing shop with such unique designs that will delight anyone on your list!

Violin Wall Clock by Beau Miracle

Violin Wall Clock by Beau Miracle

Rustic Coat Rack by Tumbleweed Cabin – I just love the fact that they use upcycled barn wood and other beautiful items to make their amazing designs! You’ll find everything from furniture to home decor all with an amazing rustic look!

Rustic Coat Rack from Tumble weed cabin

Rustic Coat Rack from Tumble weed cabin

Set of 3 Organic Balsam Sachets by Swamp Angel Soap – One of my favorite scents is that of a pine forest and these sachets would freshen any room in your home! What a great stocking stuffer! Be sure to check out all her adorable products!

Set of 3 Organic Balsam Sachets by Swamp Angel Soaps

Set of 3 Organic Balsam Sachets by Swamp Angel Soaps

Natural Cedar Soap Dish by Pine Branch Designs – I love the simplicity of these beautiful soap dishes!! And the fact that they are eco-friendly and long-lasting is an added bonus! Make sure you take a peek at all of her gorgeous rustic designs! I feel like I’m walking through the forest while browsing her shop!

Cedar Natural Soap Dish by Pine Branch Designs

Cedar Natural Soap Dish by Pine Branch Designs

Winter Pinecone Photo by Dull Blue Light Photography – I love the perspective that Crissy gives to these rustic pine cones with the light! She has the ability to give ordinary things such a magical feel! Make sure to check out her lovely shop!

Winter Pinecone Photograph by Dull Blue Light Photography

Winter Pinecone Photograph by Dull Blue Light Photography

FOR THE KITCHEN

Vintage Spice Drawers Print by Jarrod Erbe Photography – Oh how I love this photo! I really hope Santa brings this for my studio wall so I can enjoy the lovely colors while I work! I love to imagine someone putting their spices in the little drawers after baking something special during the holidays. The light and life Jarrod brings to his work is simply beautiful! Make sure and look at his other photo’s he has in his shop!

Vintage Spice Drawer Print by Jarrod Erbe Photography

Vintage Spice Drawer Print by Jarrod Erbe Photography

Natural linen hemstitch christmas table napkins set of 4 from Linen Home Shop – This is one of my favorite shops to look at! Everything is so beautiful and rustic I had trouble choosing just one item! I love the quality and love that these linens were made with! They would be so perfect for any celebration!!

Natural Linen Table Napkins by Linen Home Shop

Natural Linen Table Napkins by Linen Home Shop

Vintage Pewter Teapot by Olives and Doves – I just love the charm of this old teapot – the stories it could tell! They have such a lovely shop filled with all sorts of rustic vintage finds. From housewares to fashion you are sure to find that special something that you’ve been looking for!

Vintage Pewter Teapot by Olives and Doves

Vintage Pewter Teapot by Olives and Doves

Test Tube Spice Rack by Meriwether of Montana – You all know how we love our spices here at Spice Grove Designs, but this spice rack left me speechless!! I love the rustic design and handmade quality of this design, not to mention the view of all the colorful spices! Make sure you check out all of their handmade designs!

Test Tube Spice Rack by Meriwether of Montana

Test Tube Spice Rack by Meriwether of Montana

Salvaged Apple Wood Serving Platter by Storyboard Furniture – I am amazed that the gorgeous designs are all made from salvaged wood from a Toronto area apple orchard, giving life once again to these amazing trees! Make sure you check out all of their beautiful designs!

Salvaged Apple Wood Serving Platter by Storyboard Furniture

Salvaged Apple Wood Serving Platter by Storyboard Furniture

FOR CHRISTMAS

Rustic Christmas Ornaments by Cranberry Dreams – I absolutely adore the color of these rustic and heart warming ornaments! They would look at home on a tree or barn door I believe! Check out their amazing selection of Christmas baubles!

Rustic Ornaments by Cranberry dreams

Rustic Ornaments by Cranberry dreams

Plantable White Dove Gift Tags by Pulp Art – Being eco-friendly is one of the pillars of our business here at Spice Grove Designs. That’s why I was so elated to find these gorgeous gift tags that don’t have to be thrown away or even recycled!! Plant them right in the garden after the gift is given!! What a wonderful way for your family and friends to remember you each time they see the flowers! They may even like the tags more than the gift itself! :)

Plantable gift tag from Pulp Art

Eco friendly Plantable gift tag from Pulp Art

Keystone Ornament by STRUCTUREbags – I just love all of the amazing accessories, bags and gift products at STRUCTUREbags but these little trees are one of my favorites! Brenda’s attention to detail and use of organic materials shines in all of her work! I love that all of her designs in her Camo with a Cause line give back to military families too! Win-win!

Keystone ornament by STRUCTUREbags

Keystone ornament by STRUCTUREbags, Photo by Torin Olsen.

 

I hope that you have found some new rustic favorites and maybe crossed a few names off your Christmas list too! As always I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and say hello! I’d love to know what your favorite finds were today! Wishing you and your loved ones a Blessed Christmas Season!

Blessings to you friends,

signature

*All opinions expressed are mine. I was not compensated for this gift guide. I only share products that I think our valued readers will enjoy. Links will take you off of the Spice Grove Design website. We are not responsible for other sites.*

Thanksgiving….

What does it mean to you?

In my heart it always will mean Grandma and her rolls. Handmade from scratch. Poking the rising dough and trying not to get caught. Licking the cinnamon and sugar off my fingers and trying to steal raisins when she wasn’t looking! She always patiently let us help even when we just made a mess!

Grandma's recipe in her handwriting

Grandma’s recipe in her handwriting

I wanted to share this recipe with you to remind you to be thankful of the simple times with your loved ones – the everyday, messy, beautiful moments that are packed into each day!! Enjoy friends!

Ingredients for potato rolls

Ingredients for potato rolls

Grandma’s Potato Rolls

Mix together in a large bowl:

2 Packages Dry Yeast
6 cups warm water
1 cup instant potatoes
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs well beaten
1 tsp. salt
1 cup powdered dry milk
1 cup cooking oil (I used canola)

Mix enough flour to make stiff. (Roughly equal to the amount of water used, but I generally use more.) Let rise once and punch down. Make into desired rolls (dinner, clover leaf, cinnamon, etc.) (This recipe is already doubled and usually will yield about 4 doz. rolls. If you forget this (like I did) you will end up with 12 PANS of rolls and use over 10 lbs. of flour!! Eeek! Just a warning!) :)

Mixing, Rising and Shaping

Mixing, Rising and Shaping

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes until brown. I then brush the tops of the rolls with butter.

The finished product

The finished product

To make cinnamon rolls I use the same recipe but just finish it off differently!

You will need:

Cinnamon
Sugar
Butter
raisins (optional)
Nuts (optional)

After dough has risen roll out to about 1/4 inch thick. I then either spread butter on the dough or if I’m feeling lazy spread chopped up bits of butter on the surface. (Either way works fine!) Then I sprinkle my cinnamon and sugar mixture on followed by raisins. (I LOVE nuts in here too, but our kiddo’s aren’t quite so keen on them!)

My dough and rolling out the dough

My dough and rolling out the dough

 

Filling for Cinnamon Rolls

Filling for Cinnamon Rolls

Next roll up your dough so you end up with one long ‘log’ shape. Now for my secret weapon to cut perfect roll shapes without ending up with flat and squished shapes! Head to your sewing box. (WHAT??? – I know it sounds crazy, but trust me!) Cut off a piece of thread about 10″-12″. Put thread under where you’d like to cut and pull both ends of the thread toward each other cutting the dough cleanly and easily!

Cutting cinnamon roll shapes

Cutting cinnamon roll shapes with my secret weapon….

Put rolls in oven at 375 degrees for 20 min. Top with butter just like you did the regular rolls. You can add a simple frosting if you’d like, but we always enjoy them just like this!

Cinnamon rolls rising and cooling

Cinnamon rolls rising and cooling

I hope you have enjoyed this recipe! Let me know if you try it! And from the Spice Grove Designs Home to your Home………we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Blessings,
signature

Bio Picture

As we near the end of our week of inspiration I have to say thank you to all the amazing ladies who by being who they are inspired this week!! What an amazing group I am blessed to know!!

I can go on and on about the amazing things that move me, such as Nature and Faith and Family, but I want to make sure that you all know that YOU inspire me too!! YOU make my days of creating brighter by your feedback and your response to my designs. You make my long computer nights sweeter with your kind comments on Facebook! Your encouragement after a rough day makes more of a difference than I can ever say!! Your creative ideas, shared opinions and moving stories are priceless, valued and appreciated!

In short, YOU inspire me!! YES, you!! The one who takes a second to like a quote on my Facebook page. The one who browses our shop and comes up with an AWESOME idea for a custom design. The one who shares their heart and story with me. I treasure each and every one of you. YOU are the reason this dream has gone forward. You are the ones in my heart when I sit down with a blank piece of paper to create a new design. Your lives are the ones I think of when I find a new up-cycled beauty that I just have to share! And you are the ones who make all of this possible. It still boggles my mind to imagine my little designs sitting in their new homes……

So from the depths of my heart I can only say a humble and sincere ‘thank-you.’

I’ve never had a giveaway this HUGE, so make sure you enter the drawing below and WIN any design of your choice from the Spice Grove Designs shop, PLUS free shipping!! The best of luck to all of you friends!

Spiced Thankful Card from Spice Grove Designs

Spiced Thankful Card from Spice Grove Designs

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you haven’t already, make sure you stop by Facebook and Twitter to say hello! Or stop by and check out our inspirational Pinterest boards! Make sure you sign up for our newsletter on the right so you don’t miss anything! To view see all the giveaways offered this week click here!!

Blessings to you friends,
signature

sb-logo-final-highEvery once in a while a friend comes along that encourages, challenges, and inspires you! Brenda at STRUCTUREbags has done that for me. Her candid honesty is refreshing and I’m so thankful for her help and advice as we both follow our dreams. I can’t wait to share her amazing business with you! Using her background of structural engineering she has come up with the most amazing line of bags and accessories! I have one of her Element Pencil Wristlets and I just love how adorable and useful it is! I love that I can fit whatever I need in it for a quick trip to the store. It’s durability has been tested by my 8 and almost 2-year-old who LOVE to play ‘shopping’ with it!  I just love that she goes above and beyond to be eco-friendly with her work, recycling and reusing. I especially love her cadet gray line where she recycles cadet uniforms into amazingly beautiful heirlooms and gifts. Her quality and craftsmanship truly shine in each design that she makes!

I love Brenda’s heart for giving back to the community she is a part of at West Point. Brenda’s gratefulness to the military community is so heartfelt and sincere. Her determination to make sure military soldiers and families know that they are appreciated has truly touched my heart, especially since my Husband and Dad both spent years in the military. Make sure to check out her Season of Thanks campaign to see how she is saying ‘thanks’ to Military families and soldiers with YOUR help! We as a family are writing letters, as well as getting our local school and Scout troop involved!

Brenda has so generously offered to giveaway one of her Camo Mini Pouches so don’t forget to fill out the entry form at the bottom of the post! She’s even donating $1 from this giveaway to Team RWB, who she has partnered with, to help veterans. Here is more about STRUCTUREbags in Brenda’s own words. STRUCTUREbags Camo Mini Pouch

STRUCTUREbags Camo Mini Pouch

Tell us a bit about yourself/business/products.

STRUCTUREbags uniquely couples an engineer’s attention to detail with eco-friendly materials. Bags and accessories feature clean lines and fresh looks for eco-conscious, patriotic, stylish women.

When you choose a STRUCTUREbag purse or accessory, you know you are getting a bag not only hand-crafted in the USA, but eco-friendly as well. The canvas on your bag is 100-percent organic. The vintage button on your bifold is often upcycled. The high quality, 100-percent wool fabrics are hand-felted by a one-woman-shop in South Carolina. We source our labels and printed canvases from other small businesses around the country.

STRUCTUREbags works hard to create unique bags made with great resources from great people.

We have three distinct lines: Our Organic Canvas Line is made with only 100-percent organic fabrics. Our Camo with a Cause Line gives $1 per item to aid military families thru our partnership with Team Red, White & Blue. Our Cadet Grey Line uses authentic, upcycled USMA cadet uniforms to create one-of-a-kind gifts.

What makes your products different from other similar products?

STRUCTUREbags is hand-crafted in the USA with eco-friendly materials sourced from great people. Because we are a small business, we can offer special touches not available elsewhere: complimentary vintage blueprint gift-wrapping, hand-written thank you notes, personalized responses on customer inquiries.

STRUCTUREbags gives back to the community that helped it get its start. When my family moved to West Point, we were 3,000 miles away from family. The wonderful military families embraced us immediately. Even though we are civilians, we always feel a part of the military community.

The design aesthetic and quality construction of STRUCTUREbags are truly one-of-a-kind. My tenure as a designer and manager taught me to control the details: durability, constructability and design must come together as one. With each fabric choice, with each stitch, my vision is brought to my clients with great care.

STRUCTUREbags Camo Mini Pouch

STRUCTUREbags Camo Mini Pouch

What brings you joy/encouragement in your life and in creating your products?

I think all the things that set STRUCTUREbags apart from others are the same things that bring satisfaction to my work. I love that I can give a personal touch to each order, I enjoy answering customer questions first-hand, I am committed to giving back.

If you had to choose just one of your products as your favorite you’ve created/made, which one would it be?

I find a special use for each of my designs! But, my go-to bag is without a doubt the Element Pencil Wristlet. I love its versatility and styling. I love how it holds just what I need when I want to scale down, but tucks in nicely when I am heading out for a longer trip. I love its simple, yet dynamic design. I currently rotate between the Navy Tri with Red and the Digital Camo.

Where can our readers find you?

We are working hard to bring STRUCTUREbags to a full-service boutique near you!

STRUCTUREbags 'Camo With A Cause' line

STRUCTUREbags ‘Camo With A Cause’ line

You can find STRUCTUREbags on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and of course on her wonderful website!

Make sure to sign up below to win one of STRUCTUREbags gorgeous Camo Mini Pouches, valued at $22.50! Brenda will also donate $1 to Team RWB as she does with all of her Camo With A Cause purchases! Feel good about winning something amazing for yourself while helping support military families. Thank you so much Brenda for sharing your heart and STRUCTUREbags with us!

Blessings to you friends,
signature

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Giveaway open to all US residents.*
**All opinions expressed in this post are mine. I was not compensated for this review.**

To see ALL the amazing Savings and Giveaways from our ‘Week of Inspiration’ just click here!

Studio JRU

I first met Jennifer at Studio JRU through Etsy and then Artfire and through her wonderful blog at the time! She always struck me as having a deep faith that not only defined her life but her artwork too! I’m so thankful to call her my friend. She probably doesn’t know this, but her blog and newsletter were the inspiration for me to start sharing the Spice Grove Designs story with you through this blog. Her words are so humble and real that you can’t help but feel like she’s giving you a hug every time you talk to her.
Her artwork at Studio JRU is just as real and life changing! Her love for people and the Lord shines through every brush stroke and media that she uses! Her work with (in)courage is encouraging and uplifting. The amazing colors she puts together remind me of Nature and our Creator!! I’m always inspired by all of the auctions she’s donating to on Facebook, or people who she’s praying for diligently.
I recently became the proud owner of 2 of her beautiful and inspiring works of art. One is for our living room and reminds me of the daily blessing of grace. The other I bought as an anniversary gift for my Hubby to remind both of us of just how amazing our love story is through Christ’s eyes. What an inspiration Jennifer is and I hope that she will lift your heart today as she shares her story! Make sure you catch her amazing coupon that she is offering to our Spice Grove Designs readers today!!

Tell us a bit about yourself and your artwork.

My name is Jennifer. I am married to my amazing husband, Heydon. We live out in the country in Nebraska. We love the peace and quiet and being surrounded by God’s beauty. I am a mixed media artist. I am inspired by scripture in much of my art. I hope to encourage and inspire people with my work. My shop is filled with mixed media originals, prints of my originals as well as graphic prints.

'I hold you in my heart'

‘I hold you in my heart’

What makes your work different from other artwork?

I hope that people are able to see Christ through me and my work. I do it for His greater glory. I hope that is what sets my work apart.

What brings you joy/encouragement in your life and in creating your art?

Serving Him brings me joy. I see creating as a way of worshiping Him and reflecting Him back to the world. Bringing encouragement to others brings me joy. When someone reaches out to me with an email or a comment on social media, to share how they have been encouraged or helped… those moments make the work worth it. In those moments I know they are seeing Him in their lives. That encourages me.

'Bless The Lord O My Soul'

‘Bless The Lord O My Soul’

If you had to choose just one of your products as your favorite you’ve created/made, which one would it be?

What a great question… a hard question! I love making crosses. I don’t have any in my shop at the moment, but earlier this year I made one that I just loved from the moment I started with it. Abide. It was full of layers and texture. Layers peeking through other layers. A reflection of our lives. Of how so many things, good and bad, make up who we are and through it all we abide in Him.

Abide Cross

Abide Cross

What does a day in your studio look like?

I first check my email and go through my social media sites to make posts and updates. If I have orders for prints, I will print those out. It really varies from there. Depending on how I am feeling or if something specific needs to be done first. Some days I work more on the computer with editing photos, making listings and creating graphic prints. Some days I work in my studio on new originals. Designing them and actually getting into the paint and having fun! I also have days that I work on putting orders together for shipping and taking them to the post office. Those are also the days I do my paperwork.

Where can our readers find you?

Make sure to follow Jennifer and StudioJRU on social media as she is as fun as she is inspirational!!
You can find her here: Artfire 
shopinstagramFacebookgoogle+pinterest, and the newsletter where I share new work and special sales!

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and inspire us with your life and Art Jennifer! You are such a blessing! She has generously offered to give Spice Grove Designs readers a HUGE discount!! So take advantage of this 20% off coupon good for ANYTHING in her shop!! Hurry over, take a look at StudioJRU and use ‘spice20‘ for 20% off your order!

*All opinions expressed in this post are mine. I was not compensated for this review.*

To see ALL the amazing Savings and Giveaways from our ‘Week of Inspiration’ just click here!

Art For Happy People

I met Miss Rakhee from Art For Happy People on Facebook and was instantly charmed with her big heart for others as well as her beautiful, dream-like paintings! I’m reminded of what a small world it really is when I get to chat with my amazing friend halfway around the world. Although someday Rakhee, we will share a coffee, tea and chocolate in person!! I currently have one of her paintings, ‘Go Back To Sleep‘, hanging in my studio. I like to imagine having coffee with all my wonderful friends I haven’t met in person yet! As she shared her story with me, I was so inspired at just how much she loves people and truly seeks to help them out and make a difference! She has challenged me to do more to give back and just to love on people! I truly admire the adventure that she is on with her life and I’m so blessed to call her a dear friend!!

Her vision truly shines through her art and it’s so exciting to catch glimpses of how her work comes together! Her little wooden hand painted dolls are truly treasures!! (Don’t tell my girls, but I know what will be in their stockings this Christmas!!) I’m so excited that in addition to her original paintings she now offers everything from prints, to greeting cards to phone cases displaying her art!! Make sure to check out her little doll Christmas ornaments which are beyond cute! Rakhee has generously offered to giveaway a wonderful collection of 3 of her beautiful greeting cards (your choice) along with free shipping! ($10.50 value plus free shipping!) So make sure to enter the GIVEAWAY below her story!

Tell us about yourself and your Art.

My name is Rakhee Krishna. I am born and raised in India and later moved to The Netherlands. I have a masters degree in philosophy and religion and I try to combine my love for art and philosophy by making Art For Happy People. Art For Happy People is a journey towards finding and sharing peace and happiness. I welcome you to come along with me on this journey.
My shop is filled with happy people and art that will make you happy! I also make custom-made dolls, non-toxic dolls for children and wooden bookmarks. You can also find greeting cards, book marks and calendars made of my art and also nursery decor.

Anne Frank Doll

Anne Frank Doll

What makes your work different from other artwork?

I am self-taught and I am inspired by what I feel and how I feel. I make what I feel in my heart. And that makes my art unique. I try to tell a story; a philosophy every time I create and the best thing I like about my work is that everything is possible. My art is colourful (depending on my mood), unique, meaningful, positively mysterious and philosophical.

There must be an angel

There must be an angel

What brings you joy/encouragement in your life and/or in creating your artwork?

The process of creating something which can possibly bring a smile on someone’s face or inspire someone in some way or make them think truly makes me feel humble. My work is philosophy presented in an artistic way. I believe in the power of a smile, so if you are smiling while looking at my work, I am happy!

If you had to choose just one of your works as your favorite, which would it be?

The Dream catcher

She has carefully mended all her broken dreams into hearts, what if she can do that for you too? Imagine if she can learn you to mend your broken dreams?

Dream Catcher

Dream Catcher

What does a day in your studio look like?

A day in my home studio looks like a musical where a mom and her 2.5 year old son plays the main role.There is a lot of painting happening along with making lego towers,reading, singing, dancing , making funny faces, building train rails, drinking tea and eating cake and chocolates.

Where can our readers find you?

You can find me here:

www.etsy.com/shop/ArtForHappyPeople

For prints or my paintings: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/rakhee-krishna.html

Like me on Facebook :https://www.facebook.com/Artforhappypeople

Yes, I have a blog too : http://thetravellingartist.blogspot.nl

Thank you so much for sharing your heart, soul and artwork with us Rakhee! You are truly a treasure! Make sure and enter to win an amazing Art For Happy People collection of 3 greeting cards below! Rakhee has also made a special discount code for 10% anything in her Etsy shop just for my awesome readers! Use ‘FREQUENTBUYERS’ at checkout to 10% off your entire order!!

Your choice of three cards from 'Art For Happy People'

Your choice of three cards from ‘Art For Happy People’

Blessings to you friends,
signature

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Giveaway open worldwide.*
**Opinions expressed on this feature are mine. I was not compensated for this review.**

To see ALL the amazing Savings and Giveaways from our ‘Week of Inspiration’ just click here!

Winterdays

Once in a while you find someone who is just so creative and wonderful you have to get to know them better! I’m so thankful to have Jill from Winterdays in my life! Her humility and honest kindness is rare these days and shines in her work as well as her life! Our shared passion for rustic design and of course coffee has fueled our friendship! Her designs are so unique and inspiring! Where else could you find magical gnome houses alongside gorgeous mosaic work? Whether it is a hand engraved rune stone, a piece of jewelry or a woodcutting you will find something that will speak to your heart in her shop!! I love the fact that every time I visit her shop she teaches me something new about the amazing country of Ireland.

When collaborating on a piece with Jill I was so struck with the quality of her work and passion for all that she creates!! I can’t wait to hang the ornaments that I have from her on my Christmas tree this year! I just love that they are beautifully handmade with huge amounts of love!! She is forever adding “extra’s,” as she calls them, into orders and sweetly shrugging off the awesome praise that her amazing customer service has garnered. She has generously given our Spice Grove Designs friends this AWESOME coupon to use until January 1, 2014! Take 10% off your order with thanks13 at checkout!  Here is Jill speaking from the heart about Winterdays!

Gnome Kaffi (coffee) Shop

Gnome Kaffi (coffee) Shop

Tell us a bit about yourself and your designs.

Hi, my name is Jill and my story about Winterdays; although my shop has only been open for 3 years, it actually started 19 years ago. I married a Viking whose family is from Iceland. When I visited Iceland for the first time I became instantly in love with the landscape and the history.

What makes your designs different from other designs?

The Runes and the symbols are unique and something that I wanted to learn more about. In my shop you will find wood items, engraved stones and painting of the Runes, symbols and Iceland.

What brings you joy/encouragement in your life and in creating your designs?

Every piece in my shop is made with thoughtfulness and passion. There are symbols that represent love, warrior, luck etc. So to have a engraved stone, piece of jewelry, or even Icelandic words cut out of wood is a special and unique find that represents something going on in your life or in others.

If you had to choose just one of your products as your favorite you’ve created/made, which one would it be?

One of my favorite items that I love in my shop is the bracelets that have a symbol engraved on it. It is a constant reminder of what I need to work on or what I have overcome.

Viking Rune Symbol of LUCK bracelet

Viking Rune Symbol of LUCK bracelet

What does a day in your studio look like?

My day in the studio starts with the music playing rather loud. Sometimes the music is slow or fast, but it is always loud. The studio starts off very organized but by the time I get done at the end of the day it represents a lot of creativity going on, so there is a lot to put away!

Where can our readers find you?

I would love for you to join Winterdays at Twitter, Facebook and of course my Etsy shop.
I appreciate Spice Grove Designs for the opportunity to share my story with you and for that I am blessed.

I would like to offer 10% off your order…enter code thanks13 for that discount…this coupon is good until Jan. 1, 2014.
Make sure you check out Jill’s other shop Saw It For You too to see more of her amazing hand crafted items for weddings, holidays and your home! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing designs and your heart with us!

Blessings to you friends, with lots of coffee,
signature

*All opinions stated in this feature are mine. I was not compensated for this review.*

To see ALL the amazing Savings and Giveaways from our ‘Week of Inspiration’ just click here!

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On Twitter