Category Archives: Paint and Prose

Four {!!} New Paint and Prose Prints + a SALE!

Lindsay and I took a bit of a break from Paint and Prose productivity over the summer due to, um, life…which is even busier than usual for both of us. But we’re always brainstorming new prints, and we managed to get our heads together often enough recently to come up with not one, not two, not three, but FOUR new prints for y’all–just in time for fun occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas-gift planning (not sure how fun that second part is for everyone, but if we can simplify it at all for you, we’re happy to help!). 

First up, we have our Gather print.

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I just love how warm and inviting all of the colors are in that fruity, flowery wreath and how that one word–”Gather”–conveys all of the hospitality and togetherness of this season of celebration that we’re entering.

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Wouldn’t this be fun as part of a centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table?

I never saw the movie, but our “coffee Coffee COFFEE” print reminds me of a line that I heard multiple times in previews for, “Meet the Robinsons.” A lady is bragging about “the caffeine patch,” which lets her “stay awake for days, with zero side effects”…after which declaration she promptly screams…for no apparent reason. (COFFEE!)

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As someone who is not even one little bit affected by caffeine and doesn’t even like the smell of coffee, I had to trust Lindsay (a coffee connoisseur and addict) to steer me right here.

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Even without an affinity for the drink, I can still appreciate the graduated levels of intricacy in the design as the “coffee” message escalates until it bursts forth in a profusion of flowers and–yes–coffee beans.

(Somehow, I don’t think, “ho-cho Ho-cho HO-CHO” has the same ring).

And then we have this little gem: “I’m Silently Correcting Your Grammar.”

I had Lindsay whip this one up after my good friend, Jolinda, gave me a mug with the same sentiment on it for my birthday. I posted a pic of it to Instagram and got so many requests for the source (Ross…which, alas, does no one any good, and I couldn’t find it anywhere online) that I knew we needed to fill that grammar snob gap.

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I mean, what English teacher wouldn’t LOVE to have this one hanging on her wall or perched on her desk (preferably turned outward so her students can see it and wonder just how many verb tenses they’ve butchered in the last several sentences).

grammar1As a former English and Spanish teacher, I would have loved getting this as a Christmas gift (just as I loved getting it as a gift now that I’m a homeschool mama trying to impart the importance of correct syntax to a couple of less-than-enthused elementary school boys).

Aaaaaand finally, we have our “Bouquet of Sharpened Pencils” print.

I’m guessing that 99% of you already know that this is a reference to the part in You’ve Got Mail when Tom Hanks writes to Meg Ryan that he would send her “a bouquet of sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address” (because “don’t you just love New York in the fall?”). bouquet2

Ha! I’m laughing as I realize that the date and day on my calendar don’t match up. #ohwell

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This one would also make a great teacher gift this Christmas. Or one for a lover-of-all-things-You’ve-Got-Mail. (Maybe that’s you?)

Speaking of gifts, we’re making it even easier to snag something to give away (or maybe one for you and one for them), since from now until Monday, you’ll receive a FREE 5×7 with your purchase of any of the four new prints!

No code necessary. Just be sure to TELL US (lots of people forget this part :) ) in the notes at checkout which 5X7 you want added to your order.

And remember: standard shipping is always free (and a priority upgrade is only $3 more!).

PLUS! If you sign up for our newsletter, you get a code for an extra 10% off that works with all of our sales. Woot!

So…did you have a favorite?

Any suggestions for something you’d love to see us tackle? (We have a really fun design in the works that would be great for a little boys’ room, so stay tuned).

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Do not grow weary of doing good…

As a mama to six (barely) under ten, I get weary. Like, fall asleep in the middle of praying at bedtime weary. It’s not that my life is so very hard. It isn’t. I don’t wash our clothes by hand or fetch our water from the river several miles away (both of which my Ugandan friends have to do). I cook dinner most nights, but if I ever don’t feel up for it, I only have to drive a few miles and pick up something already made for me.

My children are sweet and helpful. I genuinely like as well as love them.

But the list of daily tasks is literally never-ending. I never ever get every last thing checked off.

I know yours is too.

It’s the nature of this earthly, toil-filled life. Even if we don’t have to grow every morsel of food we consume, we do have to grocery-shop. Which takes time. So does potty-training and vacuuming and laundry sorting and soccer practice and homeschooling and having meaningful conversations with your teen.

Which is why I feel like I need to tattoo Galatians 6:9 backwards on my forehead so that every time I look in the mirror and notice the dark circles under my eyes and new lines between my brows, I’ll also see these words:

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This is seriously my mantra, y’all. “Do not grow weary of doing good.”

Why?

Because, at the proper time, I will reap a harvest IF I DO NOT GIVE UP.

(I don’t know about you, but if all it said was: “Do not grow weary of doing good…just because,” I don’t think I’d be nearly as into it)

This is what I clung to when Ezra constipated himself (which transformed his sunny disposition into that of a crotchety 85-year-old with hemorrhoids) to avoid potty-training for an entire year. And then when he spent years 5-7 melting down over, well, most things. It was my saving grace throughout weeks of waking up 5 times a night to feed twins. And then again when those same twins decided to make car rides moderately torturous experiences for the last year (although, we seem to be mostly out of the woods). It’s my lifeline every time I’m 39 weeks pregnant and fully aware that I probably still have 3 weeks to go.

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Do Not Grow Weary

And you know what? It is absolute, God-given truth. I have yet to be disappointed with the harvest of persevering in “doing good” with these short-term “trials.”

Ezra eventually potty-trained…and stopped being so dramatic (he’s a lovely, level-headed, considerate, kind almost-10-year-old now, who folds laundry cheerfully instead of prostrating himself on the ground with weeping and gnashing of teeth. Hallelujah!). The twins eventually slept through the night and haven’t had a full on tandem car tantrum in several months. And somewhere between 41 and 42 weeks, I finally get a baby to snuggle.

I could give you other examples, but suffice it to say that the harvest has been all the sweeter for the struggle (however mild) that preceded it.

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I’m so grateful for these little rewards since there are plenty of other things the Lord and I are still plugging away at, which have yet to reveal their harvest.

And praise God that the whole “do not grow weary” part has pretty much nothing to do with feelings. Will I feel weary? Yes. Exhausted? Yup. Despondent? Sometimes.

But if I do not give up, regardless of how I feel, I will receive a harvest at the proper time–even if it’s not the one that I think I should get or in the time frame I was hoping for.

I hope this encourages you as much as it does me.

It’s hardly a magic formula or a carte blanche of “happiness” (because, again, notice it says nothing about how you will feel during this process of perseverance). But it is a promise. And, as Psalm 145:13 says: “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.”

Lindsay and I have been wanting to create a print with this verse on it for ages, but…see above about having trouble checking everything off the list.

We’re so glad we managed to get it knocked out before Mother’s Day, though.

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Maybe you or a mama you know need this encouragement in your lives?

We just released it today, and now through Sunday, you’ll receive a FREE 5X7  of your choice with the purchase of our “Do Not Grow Weary” print in an 8X10 or larger.

(Just be sure to specify which 5X7 you want in the notes at checkout)

Has this verse proved true in your life too? I’d love to hear about the harvests you’ve seen so far…

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I like new print designs, and I cannot lie…

It really should be illegal to have as much fun as Lindsay and I do coming up with new print designs for Paint and Prose.

Especially when they say things like:

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Black and white stripes, a floral handle, and a cheeky quote? Yeeeesss ma’am!

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{In case you’re wondering: Forest Feast Calendar, Recipe Box, measuring cups}

I’m thinking you, or someone you know, might just need this one for Valentine’s, yes?

Speaking of…

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It’s hard to get much sweeter than swirly fonts and petit fours.

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Obviously, this would work great for a kitchen or a baking station, but I think it would be just–well–sweet in a little girl’s room!

Oh! And for the piece de resistance…

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I know, I know. It’s not an actual quote from the book (it’s from the 2005 Keira Knightly movie), but it’s still a fantastic line. I may just need Shaun to brush up on his British accent so he can quote this one to me, Darcy style. :) (Although, if we’re talking about favorite interpretations, I’ll take Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy over Matthew Macfadyen any day).

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Also, if you love the quote as much as we do but aren’t into the flowers/color, you could always go with the black/white version.

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Do you have a favorite?

I would say mine is a toss-up between Big Cups and Bewitched in color. But then, I remember that I kept saying: “I reeeeeally like this one,” the second I saw a print of Sweet on You, so…it’s a toss-up.

I love them all (and hope your Valentines do too!)

Now through Monday night, order any of our Valentine’s releases (8X10 or larger), and get a FREE 5X7 of your choice with the order. Oh! And if you’re wanting to send a print as a gift, simply order with that person’s name + info in the address line and leave us a note letting us know that it’s a gift and customizing it with a gift message if you want.

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New Year. New Print. Timeless Reminder.

Hey ho, folks!

Did you think I’d given up this blogging gig for good?

No such luck, people. No such luck.

But! I did enjoy the tar out of my break. I’m not going to say there was a lot of sleeping in or anything luxurious like that (although, I think I saw the latter end of the 7 o’ clock hour at least 4 times…which is kind of miraculous), but we did a whole bunch of cookie baking (too much), movie watching (there was one day we had a triple feature marathon), and doll-making. Huh? Yup. Doll-making. But that’s another post for another day.

All in all, it was just what this tired mama needed. No school. No set schedule. I even gave myself pretty much a complete pass on doing anything for Paint and Prose.

But it’s a new year, and Lindsay and I are excited to introduce new prints and products to you.

Starting with this one:

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You may actually recognize it, since we already had a black and white “Give Me Jesus” print, but we had so many requests for a colorful version of it that we decided to whip up a fun ombre sunrise version.

I love it.

So much that the second my Christmas decorations came down, I replaced my, “Joy to the World,” canvas with this print.

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I think it turned out so pretty, but that’s not the only reason I love it.

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In 2016, it is my heart’s desire to be more like Jesus every day. That may only look like tiny, almost imperceptible changes like not snapping at my toddler when she melts down (again) or suppressing a sigh when my 8-year-old asks me what eight times seven is for the 40th time, but I’m convinced that these little increases in: patience, perseverance, kindness, self-control, love will produce genuine and (eventually) noticeable fruit in my life.

To that end, I am making an even greater effort to consistently get up earlier than my kids so I can get at least a little bit of time alone to sit a the feet of Jesus.

So, how have I done? Well, today is January 6th, and…so far so…decent.

The twins get up between 6 and 6:30 usually, and I’ve been staying up until midnight or later sending/answering emails or doing other tasks (I need to figure out how to shift this, yes?), so I’ve only managed to beat them up one morning so far (ha! That wording is so unfortunate that I’m just going to leave it and let somebody get all ticked off at me until they figure out what it really says).

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Even so, each morning, I’ve squeezed in some semi-quiet time while they play in the guest room. We also do family Bible reading each morning, so that’s kind of my fail-safe at the moment, but I am determined to make this a priority more than ever before.

And guess what I can see now each morning from my perch on the couch with my fluffy blanket, Bible, and prayer journal?

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Yup. I really like this print.

If you need this reminder for your new year too, it’s available in the shop now.

And! If you order an 8X10 or larger of the colorful “Give Me Jesus” print, you’ll receive a 5X7 of your choice for FREE! (Just be sure to specify which one you want in the notes). Offer ends at 11:59, Thursday, January 7th.

Also, if you’re an email subscriber, you get a never-expiring code for 10% off the top of any order. As always, standard first class shipping is included in the price.

Happy 2016, friends! Here’s to a year of growth, change, and renewal! God is good, and hard is not the same thing as bad (I think this might be my personal motto for the year).

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Call Her Blessed + Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum + a Cyber Monday Deal

So, I’m busy compiling my annual Amazon gift guide (if you want to get a head start, you can check out the ones from last year and the year before.  A lot of the items are still available). You’ll see the first round of that tomorrow.

But I wanted to pop in really quickly and show you our two brand new prints over at Paint and Prose.

First up, we have “Call Her Blessed,” which was, of course, inspired by Proverbs 31:28, which says: “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.”

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It comes in B + W too!

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Shaun worried that people would be hesitant to put this in their homes because it sounded arrogant. Oh! Look at me! My children rise up and call me blessed (anybody else chuckling to themselves as they picture their sleepy children’s actual first words every morning?).

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My response? “No way! I want this–not as a bragging right–but as an inspirational reminder that this is the kind of enthusiasm and praise that I desire to earn from my family, by the grace of God.”

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I am all too aware of my shortcomings, but here’s the thing: our kids–especially when they’re young–are so gracious with our faults. They don’t notice when we aren’t perfectly put together or that we don’t make fancy, homemade birthday cakes.

They notice when we love on them.

My kids have this thing–I’m not even sure how it started, but I definitely love it!–where they say, “You’re the best mama ever!” (It’s a vast improvement over the: “You’re the best mama I ever had!”–um…thanks?–that they used to do).

I never feel like I deserve it, but I have noticed that it usually happens when I’ve done something sweet. Something patient and kind and thoughtful. Sometimes, it’s for the “grandiose” gestures like a pizza picnic at the park for no good reason. But usually it’s just because I took the time to paint the girls’ fingernails or drop a couple of chocolate chips in the boys’ hands while they were doing their math. Nothing major. Nothing particularly special. And yet, they notice and choose to bless me with their sweet words.

(They’re even sweet enough to say it to me when I’ve just blown it and had to ask forgiveness for being grouchy).

They–and now this print–are my motivators to keep on with kindness even when I feel like beating my head against a hard surface. (Toddlers! Oy vey!)

It’s worth it, Mamas! We can do this together.

Our other new print just puts a smile on my face.

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Did you ever see happier drums?

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drums

I put it in my boys’ room a) because it matches the color scheme perfectly and b) because–duh–Little Drummer BOY. Perfect for Christmas!

But I could see this one being in a kids’ room or nursery all year long.

Speaking of our new prints, we have a special going until 11:59 PM tonight for Cyber Monday.

You can still use the 30% off code that went out in the newsletter (you can sign up here if you haven’t already) on any order.

But we’ve sweetened the deal even more because anyone who orders an 8X10 of either one of the new prints will get a FREE 5X7 of her choice included with her order.

30% off? New designs? Freebies? Sounds like my kind of Cyber Monday deal!

Happy shopping, and please know that we are so, so thankful for you and your support of our little shop. I grin like a giddy fool every time an order comes in. True story.

P.S. Just FYI: We ship either the same day or the day after you order. We are still offering free shipping, but we have also added a paid Priority Shipping option in the shop if you would prefer a little speedier delivery.

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A Thanksgiving Sale!

Thanksgiving is tomorrow? What??! How did that even happen? And why am I even surprised since I’m pretty sure I said the same thing last year (and the year before).

We’re headed to Shaun’s grandma’s house for her annual feast tomorrow, and, with a broken oven, I’m not real sure what I’m going to contribute. A smile? 8 hungry mouths? Oh yeah. We’re going to be the hit of the party.

Speaking of parties, our grand opening week for Paint and Prose (www.paintandprose.com) was pretty much a never-ending fiesta of late nights and fun! As long as printing mailing labels is your definition of fun.

No, but seriously. We are so grateful for every order and really pretty blown away by how successful you guys made our very first week.

And it really was fun! I remember grinning at my husband at about 12:47 AM one night (morning?) and saying, “You know, I’m really tired, but it’s really fun to be working with you on something we both love!” And he grinned right back and said, “Yup. I know what you mean.”

So! Since Black Friday is a mere 48 hours away, we thought we’d keep the party rolling with a 30% off coupon code that starts now (and will be good through Monday). If there’s a print you’ve had your eye on for yourself or as a Christmas gift, you can nab it at a discount (with free shipping always)!

To get the code, simply sign up for our Paint and Prose newsletter–where you’ll receive discounts, freebies, printables, and other fun goodies. You’ll always be the first to know about our best deals, and we’ll never spam you or sell your info. Pinky promise.

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Maybe you or someone you know could use this little ditty for her kitchen or coffee bar.

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(I’m thinking a #butfirsthocho should be in the works for the very near future)

OH! And remember our 5th Christmas print that we asked for your feedback about? stagedpic1

Y’all liked Joy to the World so much that we decided to make a coordinating “The Lord is Come.” I love them paired with the stripey, scrolly goodness of “Noel.”

Speaking of which…

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Not gonna lie, though. This one may be my new fave. It’s just so stinkin’ CUTE and would be great for a neutral or colorful nursery alike!

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Lions and tigers and bears! #ohmy

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I know you guys have already seen our Baby It’s Cold Outside print, but…well, it’s cute. And I couldn’t help myself.

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Likewise with this one. We did a handmade Christmas gift market this past weekend, and we got a bunch of chuckles out of it.

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Oh! And our neutral Kitchen Essentials has been killing it! I totally thought the colorful one would sell better, but, boy, was I wrong. You guys like your neutrals!

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I honestly don’t have room for all of our kitchen prints in my own kitchen, but I honestly wish I did. I love them all!

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Fun tidbit: we shared a booth at the Christmas market with a lady selling homemade jam. She loved our “You Are My Jam” print so much that she bought one. And I loved her jams and jellies so much that I brought home two jars (pictured on the left there).

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The #icanteven laundry print has been another popular one. But that one didn’t surprise me a bit. I think we’re all pretty acquainted with that feeling.

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Obviously, this one works well for Thanksgiving, but I kind of love it for all the time too.

And, last but not least, this is such a great reminder.

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Okay, I’m done showing off our prints. I honestly feel like a proud mama passing around snaps of her new baby, and I hope that you guys love them as much as we do!

If you see something you like, don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter to get your coupon code!

And may your Thanksgiving be full of laughter, joy, good food, and family! And WORKING OVENS! Amen.

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The Paint and Prose Shop is LIVE!

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Wooohoooo! After way too many late nights, we managed to beat our goal of getting the shop website up and running on Monday morning by a whopping 11 minutes (at 11:49PM, to be exact).

Lindsay and I are pretty darn proud of every print we made together, and we hope you love them as much as we do.

Also? Don’t worry. This is still my personal blog. It’s still M is for Mama. I’m still Abbie.

This is not going to turn into one big advertisement Paint and Prose (although you will, of course, hear about it when we release new prints, have sales, etc.).

But I couldn’t NOT tell you when the website went live, right?

Before I let you loose into the wilds of www.paintandprose.com, though, let me point out a few things:

  1. Shipping is ALWAYS free. So, unless you’re in Texas (where we’re obligated by law to charge you sales tax), the price you see is the price you pay, period.
  2. EXCEPT when the price is lower. We are offering a never-expiring coupon code of $5 off of a $45+ order and $10 off of an $80+ order. The codes are easy–5off45 and 10off80–but don’t forget to enter them at checkout because the discount is not automatic (we wish it were, but that’s not how the shop format we use works).
  3. Anyone who orders within the first 48 hours (so, today or tomorrow) will get a choice of a free sheet of 6 “Give Thanks” place cards or our “Thankful” print
  4. This is our grand opening week, and we’re ready to paaaaaartaaay! What that looks like for you is freebies and discounts (see above) as well as a “giveaway a day.” Each day, we’ve put together a fun giveaway package, featuring some really sweet stores or just cute stuff we thought y’all would like + a Paint and Prose art print.
  5. We’d love it if you’d spread the word about P+P. (And no, I don’t mean Pride and Prejudice; most people already know about that, especially the Colin Firth version). You can do this by pinning our prints directly from the website or sharing any of our images (with credit) on social media. If you DO share or pin, be sure to tag us (@paintandprose), and we’ll give you the appropriate number of entries into our kick-off giveaway which is…
  6. $100 of shop credit to Paint and Prose. Yiipppeeee!
  7. Psssst! Follow along with Facebook or Instagram to learn more about the giveaways!

I know you guys already saw our Christmas line, but I also snapped a few pics of Paint and Prose prints around the house and thought I’d share.

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I’ve never gotten around to updating the nursery from twin to Theo mode (he doesn’t seem to mind), but I did add in this “You’ve Captured My Heart” print that I designed, and Lindsay was kind enough to draw for Theo’s shower almost a year go (before we even considered doing Paint and Prose).

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This colorful ampersand is pretty much the perfect punch of color for a gallery wall. I can’t wait to show you the entire updated little girls’ room in our house!

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I posted about this “Now is NOW” print months ago, but neither one of us were in love with the design once we really figured out what our “look” was. So, we redesigned it completely, and I’m happy to say that it’s even better than before.

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This one makes me laugh so hard pretty much every time I see it (ask Lindsay or Shaun). We both love our husbands to distraction, so that’s TOTALLY not the point of the print. It’s more like: sometimes we find ourselves in frustrating circumstances (yes, even with those sweet hubbies of ours), and the outcome is always better when you ask the Lord to help you channel your angst elsewhere. A sense of humor doesn’t hurt either.

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We have an entire #hashtag print series, and I love the vintage suitcases + globe on this one. If you need me, I’ll be sitting in a corner with it, dreaming of Santorini.

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In case you’re wondering, marshmallows in the shape of snowmen don’t taste any better than the normal kind. But they sure do look cuter with our “Cup of Cheer” print close by!

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I luuuuurve this “Kitchen Essentials” print in our bright, poppy colorway. But, never fear, neutral-lovers–we made one for you too!

Those are all of the prints that I had a chance to photograph in my house, but they are not ALL that we have to offer, so–if you’re so inclined–head on over to www.paintandprose.com and have a look around.  (Don’t forget your coupon codes!)

I would love to hear from you about which prints are your faves and where you would put them in your home (or to whom you would give them as gifts!)

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How to Layer a Thanksgiving Table

Okay, before I begin, let me confess that my title is considerably more pretentious than I mean it to be. Because I don’t know “how to” layer a Thanksgiving table. I only know how to layer my Thanksgiving table.

And, while I am firmly in the moral absolutes crowd, I am much more wishy-washy when it comes to hard line decorating do’s and don’ts. Which…is probably why, when my husband said, “Uh, those aren’t Thanksgiving colors,” I just shrugged and said, “Oh well, I like them!”

So, there you have it, my best bit of advice for creating a successful Thanksgiving table: decorate it how you like it.

#dropsthemike

Ahem. No, but seriously. I do love me a good layered look (minimalist who? not me) without veering into clutter, so I gave that tricky and far from succinctly titled decor challenge a go.

How’d it turn out? Well, it ended up looking a little something like this.

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And I like it. So, there’s that.

So, here we go with how I made it happen.

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I’m guessing the progression is pretty obvious, but from top left and then traveling left to right and downward, I added:

  1. A tablecloth–I bought this one at Anthropologie back in the spring on maaaaaajor sale
  2. A $5 Walmart burlap/lace table runner
  3. 6 Texas Longhorns burnt orange plates from the Dollar Store–for, yes, $1 each.
  4. White $1 (Dollar Store) salad plates, Anthropologie (you guessed it, on MAJOR sale) polka dot napkins, and aqua mason jars from Walmart
  5. A container filled mason jars filled with $0.97 bunches of fake flowers from Walmart. #classy
  6. Some chalkboard pumpkins that I made at a pumpkin painting girls’ night + some clearance fake acorns from Target
  7. $0.87 Clearance place mats from Target
  8. Paint and Prose place cards + gold polka dot straws I had in my pantry

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Honestly, I didn’t use one single thing that I didn’t already have for this table setting, and I had collected the various items you see over a long period of time. I’m a big proponent of using what you already have and investing in pieces (like that tablecloth) that make a big impact when you find them at a really great price.

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Not too surprisingly, there’s a LOT of color on my table, but I like to balance things out with neutrals–like those black pumpkins (So easy! You just spray paint them with chalkboard paint–I recommend Rustoleum–and then go at them with a chalk pen) and the beige/white napkins.

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I honestly don’t know beans about formal dining, so if you’re an expert, and you see things out of place, I’m not surprised. Fortunately, I don’t dine with people who know beans about formal stuff either, so they won’t care.

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Mismatched cutlery?! Gasp! (P.S. Those cute napkins rings were $0.50 each from Kirkland’s a while back).

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I like a lot of things about my table (duh; I chose them), but other than the pumpkins, my favorite have to be these cute little place cards that Lindsay and I designed for Paint and Prose. I’ll tell you more about them in a second.

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Last year, for Christmas, the kids and I painted acorns and strung them in a garland. It was a lot of fun, and I still have them, but I wasn’t too sad when I found a box of faux acorns already painted gold for $3 at Target.

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They may not be Thanksgiving colors, but I don’t think anyone could deny that they are happy ones!

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So, what about you guys? Do you decorate your table specially for Thanksgiving? I don’t usually go all out like this, certainly, but our Sunday schedule got kind of muddled when my sweet new niece (remember Hannah’s maternity pics?) decided to make a very exciting, VERY FAST (Hannah was supposed to go to the hospital, but ended up having Eliyana on the bathroom floor, with my brother as her “attending physician!!”) debut into the world at 1:50ish in the morning. I was there from about 2:15 until 6, and the rest of Sunday was a blur, with naps at weird times, no church, and an entire afternoon that I could have spent either a) cleaning or b) playing dress-up with my table.

I guess you can see which one I chose.

But back to those place cards.

They have a super-cute little place setting of their own on the front…

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And then…a big juicy turkey on the back.

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Fun, yes?

I think so. And I hope you will too because they’ll be available in the Paint and Prose shop bright and early Monday morning. In FACT, you’ll be able to get a set of 6 for free if you order in the first 48 hours. But I’ll tell you more about that later.

P.S. Don’t forget that we’re giving away all 4 of our Christmas prints over on our Instagram AND Facebook page! Get yourself entered to win before we pick our lucky duck on Monday!

Oh, and just in case you were wondering where my children were during all of that table tweaking, the twins were down for naps, Simon and Della were alternately entertaining/annoying each other, and Ezra and Theo were just hanging out (when they weren’t hiding out under the tablecloth).

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Goodness, I love these boys!

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Introducing: Paint and Prose

Last week, I told you that I loved reading Ashley’s post about pursuing your passions while still fulfilling your calling as a mama. And I completely meant it. Not only because I love hearing the hearts of other mamas who grapple with the same issues that I do but also because I find myself in exactly the kind of situation that she was describing right now.

I have this passion that God has placed in my heart for encouraging/helping women in a creative way. But I know that my first priority is my family.

It’s why I haven’t written my book yet, even though I’ve wanted to for as long as I can remember. Okay, so technically, I did hammer out a 350+ page novel about 8 years ago. But that’s never getting published. And I still haven’t written the book that I feel like is simmering deep inside me, waiting to boil over from the keyboard onto my screen. The timing just isn’t right, nor does it seem very likely to be in the very near future.

Thus, the concept of a creative endeavor (in conjunction with this blog) that could be notched in between the busiest moments of my days was just a vague, “someday” kind of hope until one day, as one of my besties, Lindsay, and I were walking around the track at the gym, I had a sudden flash of inspiration.

I love words. She loves to draw/paint (and is soooooo ridiculously good at it). What if we somehow combined our passions and worked together to share the load of a company that would “create ARTiculate designs for the everyday girl?”

And no, I didn’t just whip out that tag line on our 8th lap around the track. That particular day, we just kicked the idea back and forth and both felt generally favorable. And when we parted ways, we promised to pray about it and, if we had a go, pursue it together.

That was about five months ago.

Since then, we’ve met lots of times to figure out: designs, our look, our words, what we want to do, what we DON’T want to do. I was going to say: ALL of it. But I know there’s still lots to untangle.

Either way, though, we are now the proud co-owners of a tiny little baby art print company called:

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Lindsay (Paint) and I (Prose) have been busting our tails to get our fun, funny, and inspiring art prints into your hands, and I am happy to be able to finally announce that, Lord willing (hey, I don’t even know if I’m going to wake up tomorrow), we will launch our first ever collection(s) of prints a week from today.

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{Here we are, representin’ color–me, duh–and neutrals–her, cute!–which you’ll totally see in our designs as well}

EEEEEP!

It’s pretty stinking exciting, especially since my husband is super-supportive and has come on board as the very welcome “3rd wheel” of our little company in the capacity of handling all of the business and technological stuff. SUCH a relief!).

But it’s also a little scary. Like, what? Who am I to think that I can design anything that anybody will actually want to buy? (I have utter confidence that Lindsay can paint anything I/we do come up with).

The thing is, I think you will want to.

A couple of weekends ago, we holed up in a Dallas hotel and designed/created for hours straight. And then, we did it again the next day. Our husbands teased us that we were going to Dallas for a girls’ weekend and would end up taking naps and going to Anthropologie instead. But, as tempting as that was, we didn’t. And you know what? We had SO. MUCH. FUN!

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I don’t remember the last time “work” felt so much like fun. Lindsay feels the same way. And I think that joy that we feel is reflected in the art we’ve created.

We’ve made these prints with a focus on playful, truthful, encouraging little bright spots you can scatter throughout your home. We want to speak to the reality of the everyday girl with lots of laundry and not enough time.

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(Oh my goodness, y’all. I opened my laundry room door this morning and thought this exact thing…and closed it again).

And, because Lindsay is a trained artist with boatloads of natural talent + an art degree, you can know that you’re getting a really high quality product every single time.

But enough about the backstory. I’m guessing you’d like to see more of these prints of which I blather?

Oh, goody! Because I want to show you one. Or 4, actually. And then, I’ll need your help, m’kay?

This is our Christmas collection (so far). First up, we have:

HAVE A CUP OF CHEER

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I love how detailed this one is. From the pretty floral designs on the tea cup right down to the fact that the nutmeg on the Eggnog Latte is a different color from the cinnamon on the Cinnamon Dolce, we did our best to both realistically and artfully recreate every girl’s favorite Christmastime drink.

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(Oh, and did you see the reindeer mug?? Hashtag I die…and then laugh at myself that I even wrote that)

Next up:

BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE

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My favorite thing about this one (besides the fact that I think I have almost this exact entire outfit in my closet but never thought to put it all together until we made the print) is that–while sure, it references a “Christmas” song–it’s really more of a winter theme and would work great in any laundry room/closet/bedroom/mudroom/girly office space all season long!

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And then there’s:

NOEL

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I’m going to call myself out as a hack when it comes to wordsmithing when I admit to you that I forget on a regular basis that that the word, “NOEL,” simply means Christmas. (My brain somehow immediately translates it to: “Peace.” But that doesn’t work so well with “The First Noel”).

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I get a little swoony over the black/white/gold scheme and all of those stripes and curlicues!

And last but definitely not least (in fact, it’s both my and Lindsay’s favorite), we have:

JOY TO THE WORLD

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I’m completely in love with the unexpected wine/teal/mint/chartreuse/gold of the flowers on the “Joy.” And it turned out even better than I hoped once Lindsay came up with the genius idea to repeat the gold/black/white stripes on “World.”

I can’t wait to hang this one in my house!

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Do you have a favorite? Are you already imagining places they could go in your house or friends/family you could gift them to? We certainly hope so! (We may just get in a little cat fight over who gets to have which originals hanging in her home ;) ).

But, we’re not QUITE done.

We want to make one more Christmas print before we launch, and we’ve saved the best for last because we want to highlight the very Reason for the Season: Jesus Christ. In a slightly unexpected way.

We love, for example, “O, Come let us adore Him.” But it’s really common (not that Joy to the World or Noel aren’t).

And so, we’d loved to hear from you. What Jesus-themed phrase or song or verse would you love to see made into a print? You’re welcome to suggest images or themes to go along as well.

Also, did you have a favorite design so far? Obviously, we love Joy to the World, but, surprisingly, my husband was all about the outfit-themed Baby It’s Cold outside. I mean, I love it too, but ooookay, babe.

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ALSO! If you’d like to see more of our creations (we have way more than Christmas stuff going on!) and fun behind-the-scenes shots, head on over and give us a follow on Instagram! We’re @paintandprose, and we’re doing a fun little giveaway of the entire Christmas Collection today, so scoot on over and get yourself entered!

(You can also go give us a like on Facebook! Just don’t be alarmed if there’s no one there yet. I LITERALLY just made our page).

OH, and set your alarm clocks bright and early for our launch on November 16! I’ll try to remember to do the same.

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