Remembering on Veteran's Day

Remembering all those that have served today…

It’s no secret that I hold veterans and active duty soldiers close to my heart. My Dad was Air Force and sweet Mr. Spice Grove was in the Army. So when I say how impressed I am by all that my friend Brenda over at STRUCTUREbags does for our military members and families, you can be sure that I’m not overstating things!

From her amazing letter writing campaign last Christmas, (distributing hundreds of letters and ornaments to soldiers overseas and to the families of those same deployed soldiers) her partnership with Team Red White and Blue – her heart is to help those who serve! Again this Holiday Season, Brenda is looking to make a difference for military families and YOU get to be involved!!

Here is more information straight from Brenda:
“During the entire month of November, nominators can visit www.structurebags.com to create a wishlist for a nominee and tell STRUCTUREbags about their deserving nominee. Wishlists can feature anything from the STRUCTUREbags store, including items from the soon-to-be-released all-new 2015 Organic Canvas Collection and the expanded Camo with a Cause line – now available in four camo options.
Winners will have their wishlist fulfilled by STRUCTUREbag’s “Deployment Angels.”

Prizes include a $150, a $75 and three $50 gift packages. Additionally, the first 25 nominators and nominees will each receive a complimentary tree ornament in the camo print of their choice. Winners will be chosen based on the written nomination and will be selected by a panel of military spouses. There is no purchase necessary to enter or nominate and self-nominations are welcome. Complete details can be found at http://www.structurebags.com/pages/season-of-thanks-2014.”

Click on this photo to nominate someone!!

“My time at West Point opened my eyes to the daily sacrifices made by our military,” said Brenda Guyader, founder and designer of STRUCTUREbags. “And the holidays can be especially difficult.”

“I first heard of ‘Deployment Angels’ on Valentine’s Day 2013 when someone secretly left a small box of chocolates for a neighbor – the spouse of a deployed soldier. We all teared-up,” she said.

Since its founding location at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2011, STRUCTUREbags has supported active military families through its Camo with a Cause line of products. For every item purchased in that line $1 is donated to their strategic partner, Team Red, White & Blue, the national organization connecting veterans to their communities through physical and social activities.

STRUCTUREbags continues to invest $1 per item sold or donated from the Camo with a Cause line in Team RWB’s ongoing social and athletic programs for veterans and their families.”

After being married to a soldier who deployed I can tell you firsthand that anything you do for soldiers AND their families will make a world of difference to all of them. My Hubby used to tell me it gave him such peace when he knew that we were taken care of while he was away. So don’t miss out on this awesome chance to make a huge difference in the lives of those who serve this Holiday Season! Thank you so much Brenda for allowing us to share this opportunity with our friends here at Spice Grove Designs!

Daddy's Homecoming

Daddy’s Homecoming

Have a blessed Veteran’s Day friends and a special ‘Thank You’ to all who have and are serving!

CharlotteCharlotte

PS…..Don’t forget to click on the ‘Deployment Angel’ photo to nominate someone!!

Welcome to the new blog series titled ‘Use What You Have!’

Use What You Have

I am so excited to share a special collection of all things inspirational for your Heart and Home! This new weekly/bi-weekly series will feature so many wonderful ideas you won’t want to miss a moment! Just some of the ideas I have planned for you are:

~Gorgeous DIY Home Decor Ideas using things you ALREADY have!

~Easy, Healthy Recipes using what is ALREADY in your pantry!

~Inspirational stories and thoughts to uplift your spirit!

~FREE tutorials! (These will make your Holiday parties so special!)

~Amazing guests!

~Festive Holiday ideas and Gift Guides!

~And MORE!!!! (giveaways too!!)

I’m so thankful for all of you and that you took the time to stop by! Do you have a recipe or awesome DIY you’d like to share with us? Just contact us here!! (or leave a comment below)

Have a beautiful day friends!
Blessings to you,

 

Charlotte
Charlotte

A gorgeous rose in Mom's garden

A gorgeous rose in Mom’s garden

Mother’s Day.
What does that mean to you?

Flowers, chocolate, a meal out, a Hallmark card, a nap (my personal favorite?)

Or is it a job description? Taxi driver, short order cook, nurse, laundry service, counselor, nightmare comforter, supporter, cheerleader?

While ‘thank-you’ will never ever be enough to voice our appreciation for all our Mom’s do for us….here’s my feeble attempt at doing just that! I hope you enjoy!

Here are some of my favorite things my Mom taught me that still ring true today, whether in my family life or in business.

~ Have more faith than fear.
My Mom, while not perfect, really tried/try’s to walk her journey of Faith out. I don’t remember any morning growing up that didn’t start with her doing a devotion and talking to God. This was regardless of good or bad times our family was having. How this still inspires and challenges me. Taking a step of Faith, knowing that someone is there to catch you is never a bad idea……even if you fall you’ve learned something you’d never otherwise learned!

Mom and I enjoying Nature

Mom and I enjoying nature!

~ Appreciate Nature and all of Creation.
I credit my Mom with the sense of wonder I have for Nature. Whether we were up to our elbows in plaster of paris taking a tracking sample, or hiking in the mountains or camping under the stars, she always approached the outdoors with a passion and reverence that has rubbed off on both of her children. My love of flowers and growing things stems from my Grandmother’s love of her rose garden and the memories of my Mom fighting the big fat tomato caterpillar worms in our large vegetable garden. How wonderful these dirt filled memories are! (I still catch myself singing an old girl scout song to my girls that Mom us kids used to sing while hiking……)

~ Show kindness, no matter how small it may seem.
My Mom was always the first to reach out when someone was hurting. Whether it was baking a casserole or driving kids where they needed to go she was always willing to help out. She taught us to think of others first. Even when we didn’t have much we learned to give first!

~ Hold tight to your family, through good and bad.
These are the folks that will be there through good, bad and otherwise. No one has the perfect family of course, but we all have the people with us to teach us the lessons we need to learn. The folks that know us at our best and our worst and still love us anyway!

~ Learn how to do it on your own.
My Mom was great at encouraging us to try things on our own – to make mistakes while thinking for ourselves. With trial and error came creativity, thinking out of the box, and learning to deal with failure and success.

~ Follow your dreams, they will lead to an amazing life!
My parents both encouraged us to follow dreams that fueled our passions. Now that I’m a Mom too, I can only imagine how it tugged at my Mom’s heart when I announced that I had decided on being a music major in college, yet she rarely voiced her concerns, but let me find out what chasing that dream meant.

Another rose from Mom's garden

Another rose from Mom’s garden

I have been truly blessed with an amazing Mother and I’m thankful for everyday that I can learn from her wisdom and bravery. She has no idea how strong she is, but I’ll always pray she knows how very beloved she is……

I love you Mom…..and I pray that I can pass on these lessons to our girls as they grow up….

Our girls in my beloved Aspen trees....

Our girls in my beloved Aspen trees….

Wishing you all a beautiful Mother’s Day,
Charlotte
Charlotte

Hellebores Headband from Fleuropean

Hellebores Headband from Fleuropean

As you know, we just love Nature and all the beauty found in her here at Spice Grove Designs! Two of the most important things that the business was founded on are sharing the beauty of Nature with others and helping others by giving back! That’s why I was so very excited to meet Emily from Fleuropean!! Not only does she make the most amazingly natural flower arrangements and bouquets, but her heart for others is inspiring! Her graciousness in ‘giving back’ has inspired thousands all over the globe to make others’ lives a bit brighter! Well, I could go on and on……. A big welcome to Emily and Fleuropean!……..(See if you can spot the strawberries, pears and blackberries in her beautiful bouquets!)

Hellebores Buttonhole

Hellebores Buttonhole

1.Please tell us a bit about yourself and your business.

Hi there! My name is Emily. Thanks so much, Charlotte, for the opportunity to share my passion for flowers with you and your followers. How fun!

I’m an ex-pat (originally from California) who uprooted everything shortly after graduating college to move abroad and start a new life with my (now) Dutch husband. About 5 years ago, we bought a rural farm nestled among the rolling hillsides of Belgium. Lucky for me, it came with grassland… some of which I chose to turn into my own little floral paradise.

What started with one flower border quickly grew throughout the years to a decent-sized cutting garden full of roses, dahlias, sweet peas, larkspur, clematis, annuals, and perennials. I enjoy challenging myself each year by trying out new flowers, starting lots of plants from seed, and experimenting with unique varieties. From gardening, a passion for flower arranging and floristry grew. Now, here I am, still working hard in the garden and enjoying using the fruits of my labor in bridal bouquets, birthday bouquets and seasonal arrangements.

2.What makes your business different from other floral shops/gardens?

The thing that makes Fleuropean most unique, I think, is my dedication to remaining personally involved in all aspects of my business. Especially here in Belgium, it’s hard to find a florist who grows their own flowers and strives to create natural-looking, freshly-picked arrangements. Without a little elbow grease, my business wouldn’t be what it is today.

3.What brings you joy/encouragement in your life and in creating your arrangements?

Being able to work in the garden, get my hands dirty, and then see the beauty that nature and I are able to create together… that’s what gives me most pleasure. Working in harmony with Mother Nature gives me never-ending inspiration, encouragement, and joy.

Pear Bouquet

Pear Bouquet

4.Can you tell us more about the lonely bouquets program that you started?

The Lonely Bouquet project grew (literally) straight from my garden. Faced with a surplus of flowers and the dreaded task of deadheading spent blooms, I looked for a way to use the excess flowers in a positive and productive way. After a bit of trial and error, I figured out a fun way to share the fun of flowers with locals… leaving little bouquets of fresh-cut flowers with “take me” tags attached scattered around local villages and cities.

Hoping to get lots of others involved, I created an “International Lonely Bouquet Day” and invited anyone to join in. Before I knew it, there were over 1,000 people all over the world who had signed up to participate. The Lonely Bouquet community has continued to grow since, and we’re already planning our second annual International Lonely Bouquet day for Sunday, June 29th, 2014. Woo-hoo! Maybe some of you guys want to join in as well? :)

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

Gosh… that’s such a tricky question. I guess my favorite arrangement would be the first of my “fruits and flowers” series, featuring pale pinks and strawberries.

6.What does a day in your garden look like?

Although it varies throughout the seasons, a day in my garden always starts out with a coffee in bed. :)

After I’ve had my fill of coffee and sweets, I head outside to take a peek at what needs to be done. The springtime garden is all about working the soil, spreading compost, starting seeds, and weeding. During the summer and autumn, garden work mostly consists of weeding, deadheading, and flower cutting before heading back inside to condition the flowers and arrange them into bouquets.


7.Where can our readers find you?

Other than my website, I’m most active on facebook. You can also always feel free to shoot me an e-mail at emily@fleuropean.com. I love hearing from fellow flower lovers and interacting with readers! (Make sure you check out the Lonely Bouquet Project on Facebook too for uplifting stories of flowers worldwide!)

Ombre Bouquet from Fleuropean

Ombre Bouquet from Fleuropean

I am truly blessed to have found such a wonderful friend in Emily and am so happy to be able to share her passion for flowers with you!! Let us know if you will be taking part in International Lonely Bouquet Day or just making someone’s day brighter today! Let’s all make a difference! (And someday, I will have to come have coffee with you and see your garden firsthand Emily!!)

Blessings to you friends,
Charlotte
Charlotte

PS. Make sure to tune in next week for a glimpse at how Emily inspired us to start our own garden!! (Be ready for some recycled beauties!)

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

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*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!

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