Monday, November 10, 2008


what does this mean to you? for me it's letting go of the perfectionism i've strived for all my life. nobody's perfect. nobody relates to perfect people. just let it go.

Friday, November 7, 2008


i know right. two posts in one day. it seems too good to be true. i guess maybe i should say, don't hold your breath waiting for me to post again, because sometimes it takes months and months, but i do feel pretty inspired to continue blogging, so we'll see how it goes....

i discovered this sign on a blog today. there's a link to it from my blog: LAMA DESIGNS!! check it out!

anyhow. it's my new motto. what do you think?


at HNC our lovely ashley green is busily sewing stockings to prepare for the christmas season. being a trendsetter in use of bold colors, we're definitely not sticking to the traditional red and green generally associated with christmas time. here are a couple of the fabrics i ordered that will very soon be assembled into whimsical stockings!

see one you like? stop by the store and preorder it now! i've only ordered enough fabric to make TWO STOCKINGS in each type, and once they're gone, they're gone!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


so a while back i bought an industrial spray gun to paint our basecoats a little quicker. here's the setup i have going on in the backyard. it's pretty amazing how much more time effective this is than doing it all by hand!

Monday, September 1, 2008


these cute little bears are perfect for holding business cards. we went on the annual hart family vacation in august and picked them up in ruidoso, nm. stop by harts n crafts and pick one up for yourself! they'd make a great gift for the sometimes hard to shop for daddy in your life!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


this is a custom order i did at some point last year. i just found the picture on aaron's computer yesterday! it's funny how in love i am with orders as i complete them, and then months, weeks, days later they've been erased from my memory forever. this is why i need to start taking more pictures!

**the picture will have to wait, as the server is not responding this morning. i will try again this afternoon...
i'll post the text anyway so that you, my faithful reader, know i'm thinking about you. :) have a good day!

Monday, July 7, 2008


i've cut out lots of random letters for the modge podging i've being doing lately, so decorating this box was a little easier than it looks. the hard part was finding the numbers, but we resorted to the austin cronicle with lots advertisements and phone numbers!! the crown i've been saving for something extra special. i figure there's nothing better to use it on than for a package to my daddy!! i hope your father's day was as great as you are!!

Monday, June 9, 2008


this is the second piece commissioned by the customer mentioned in the blog below. i hope her daughter flips out when she sees this B. i just LOVE it!!! and really really need to do more. initials are still popular at harts n crafts and it'd be so cute to hang one, three for a monogram, or even spell out your entire name with these canvas letters. this B is on a 24x30 canvas which is quite big, but i think they'd be cute on our smaller 16x20 as well. keep this in mind for dorm decorating this fall!!!


what a great idea. i wish i had thought of it myself! one of my good customers ordered this canvas for her daughter's room. i will definitely have to start adding zebra borders to more pieces of art. i LOVE how it turned out. and this is one of our best selling quotes. it's perfect as a graduation gift, both from high school and college, as girls who have been friends forever are going their separate ways but know that they will always be in each other's lives.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


do you know about hula seventy? if not, you should. you've been missing out. i was so excited to check her blog today and find out that the 2nd annual postcard swap is about to begin. i'm totally in on this. and you crafty ladies should be too. i'm pretty excited!!

check it out!

Friday, May 30, 2008


nothing crafty. just a pretty cute picture of aaron and me. last night we went to opal divines to hear our friend tyler jordan sing. you can check out his myspace at:


the subject says it all. wow. i didn't think i could fit this many words on a 16x20 canvas. i did a pretty good job of planning and measuring and squeezing in just enough words on each line. I LOVE THIS QUOTE!! and made a second one to hang in the store as an example for custom orders. are you interested in one? get yours in any colors for only $59!!


a sweet lady named mary jane ordered these vertical words to sell in houston. her daughter goes to memorial high school and she thinks they'll be a hit with the high school ladies. i surely hope so. i think they turned out really well. mustang and all. good thing aaron is a professional artist and can draw pretty much anything. we're looking for new challenges! want something painted on a sign? we can do it!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


mary engelbreit is pretty cool. she's an illustrator and designer and crafter extraordinaire. we sell her magazine, Mary Engelbreit Home Companion, at Harts N Crafts. if you love crafting or are looking for decorating inspiration for your home or apartment, you should really check out this mag! every month it seems like she chooses a different color palette for the entire magazine. this journal is derived from the march/april magazine full of pinks and greens and fun spring colors. of course i LOVE it!!!


finally!! i'm uploading pictures of the latest journals i modge podged. the sold the one that says "AND HE LIKED HER" last week while i was at work. it was probably the most cohesive and planned out journal from this batch. i also really like the HOT HOT HOT surfer girl journal with the quote about summer. it's fun to mix and match quotes and pictures from lots of different magazines to make a journal. most of the clippings for this batch came from aaron's Juxtapoz magazines. they always have really fresh and artsy pictures and designs in appealing color palettes which work so well for exciting journal backgrounds.

Monday, May 12, 2008


so. i totally intended to post these images on sunday for all you moms out there. and in fact, i actually created them probably two months ago and would have posted them then, except that they were supposed to be a surprise for mother's day and well, i didn't find time on sunday to blog. so. better late than never. happy mother's day!!!! to my mom, my sister, linda, annika, angie and all you other fabulous moms and moms-to-be (katie!!). it might be a long while before i join in the celebration. except maybe to mothering cats. lots and lots of precious kitties.

Friday, May 2, 2008


so. i'm officially IN LOVE!!! with modge podge. after burning myself out on painting a while back, i've stayed away from it a while and this is what i came up with. over the past 8-10 years i've been reading magazines with the inability to throw any of them away. so essentially i've been lugging around lots of pounds of magazines with little knowledge of what i'd ever use them for in the future. amazingly enough, i do believe i've found the answer. at only $17.50 each one of these 200-paged, lined journals is a steal of a bargain. let me stress that they are all completely UNIQUE! and once they're gone they're gone. there will never be another one just like it. i think out of the ones posted here i still have the jesus journal and blue rock victory journal in stock. get 'em while they're HOT! i've made six more this week that i will try to scan in and post this weekend. they will be in harts n crafts and ready to sell monday afternoon. or if you're reading this and want to reserve one, feel free to contact me between now and then. these journals could be JUST the mother's day gift you've been looking for. :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


start earning your CRAFT CASH today!!! for every $10 you spend through april 14, you'll receive $1 in craft cash to be spent april 15-april 30. it spends like real money (of course only in harts n crafts) and can be used on any purchase in the store or on any custom orders. so while you're buying gifts for friends at the beginning of april, you'll be earning gifts for yourself at the end. what a deal!


on monday morning after declaring all weekend that i am "burned out on painting" i decided to pursue another creative outlet. here's the first thing i came up with. i am planning to turn it into stickers and greeting cards to sell at harts n crafts. what do you think? do you think outside the box?


tell me you'd want one of these stickers right? i haven't showed them to tyler yet, but i am so hoping he likes them. they would be printed in full color and would be SO eye-catching don't you think?

Saturday, March 29, 2008


i've been really annoyed lately with the war in iraq and americans' lack of compassion for iraqis trying to live normal lives in the middle of their war-torn country. i'm tired of people having so much hatred in the hearts that it consumes them. find compassion, look for the good in people, stop judging, start caring. and find happiness in your heart. your mind. your life.

aaron and i watched an excellent movie last night called The Kingdom starring Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner. it's about a terriorist attack in the middle east that targets americans. it's action packed and leaves a great message...that ultimately we're all humans put on the earth, trying to live our lives, and we're really not that different at all.

the following i just copied and pasted from the yahoo main page this morning, so you might have already seen it...but i thought it was definitely worth mentioning. it's the FIVE THINGS HAPPY PEOPLE DO!!! i know it's alot of text, but isn't your happiness and wellbeing worth the 5 minutes it
takes to read. :) :) i even condensed it a bit for you.....

Picture happiness. What do you see? A peaceful soul sitting in a field of daisies appreciating the moment? That kind of passive, pleasure-oriented—hedonic—contentment is definitely a component of overall happiness. But researchers now believe that eudaimonic well-being may be more important. Eudiamonia means striving toward excellence based on one's unique talents and
potential—Aristotle considered it to be the noblest goal in life. The effort to know and realize one's most golden self has also come to include continually taking on new challenges and fulfilling one's sense of purpose in life.

"Eudaimonic well-being is much more robust and satisfying than hedonic happiness, and it engages different parts of the brain. The positive emotion accompanying thoughts that are directed toward meaningful goals is one of the most enduring components of well-being." Eudaimonia is also good for the body. Women who scored high on psychological tests for it (they were purposefully engaged in life, pursued self-development) weighed less, slept better, and had fewer stress hormones and markers for heart disease than others—including those reporting hedonic happiness—according to a study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

It may seem obvious, but "people don't devote enough time to thinking seriously about how they spend their life and how much of it they actually enjoy," In a recent study, Schkade and colleagues asked more than 900 working women to write down everything they'd done the day before. Afterward, they reviewed their diaries and evaluated how they felt at each point. When the women saw how much time they spent on activities they didn't like, "some people had tears in their eyes," Schkade says. "They didn't realize their happiness was something they could design and have control over."

Analyzing one's life isn't necessarily easy and may require questioning long-held assumptions. A high-powered career might, in fact, turn out to be unfulfilling; a committed relationship once longed for could end up being irritating with all the compromising that comes with having a partner. Dreams can be hard to abandon, even when they've turned sour.

Fortunately, changes don't have to be big ones to tip the joy in your favor. Schkade says that if you transfer even an hour of your day from an activity you hate (commuting, scrubbing the bathroom) to one you like (reading, spending time with friends), you should see a significant improvement in your overall happiness. Taking action is key. Another recent study, at the University of Missouri, compared college students who made intentional changes (joining a club, upgrading their study habits) with others who passively experienced positive turns in their circumstances (receiving a scholarship, being relieved of a bad roommate). All the students were happier in the short term, but only the group who made deliberate changes stayed that way.

If only I get a better job…find a man…lose the weight…life will be perfect. Happy people don't buy into this kind of thinking.

The latest research shows that we're surprisingly bad at predicting what will make us happy. People also tend to misjudge their contentment when zeroing in on a single aspect of their lives—it's called the focusing illusion. In one study, single subjects were asked, "How happy are you with your life in general?" and "How many dates did you have last month?" When the dating question was asked first, their romantic lives weighed more heavily into how they rated their overall happiness than when the questions were reversed.

The other argument against "if only" fantasies has to do with "hedonic adaptation"—the brain's natural dimming effect, which guarantees that a new house won't generate the same pleasure a year after its purchase and the thrill of having a boyfriend will ebb as you get used to being part of a couple. Happy people are wise to this, which is why they keep their lives full of novelty, even if it's just trying a new activity (diving, yoga) or putting a new spin on an old favorite (kundalini instead of vinyasa).

It's no surprise that social engagement is one of the most important contributors to happiness. What's news is that the nature of the relationship counts. Compared with dashing around chatting with acquaintances, you get more joy from spending longer periods of time with a close friend, And the best-friend benefit doesn't necessarily come from delving into heavy discussions. One of the most essential pleasures of close friendship, Demir found, is simple companionship, "just hanging out," as he says, hitting the mall or going to the movies together and eating popcorn in the dark.

As much as we all think we want it, many of us are convinced, deep down, that it's wrong to be happy (or too happy). Whether the belief comes from religion, culture, or the family you were raised in, it usually leaves you feeling guilty if you're having fun.

"Some people would say you shouldn't strive for personal happiness until you've taken care of everyone in the world who is starving or doesn't have adequate medical care," says Howard Cutler, MD, who co-authored The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World with the Dalai Lama. "The Dalai Lama believes you should pursue both simultaneously. For one thing, there is clear research showing that happy people tend to be more open to helping others. They also make better spouses and parents." And in one famous study, nuns whose autobiographies expressed positive emotions (such as gratitude and optimism) lived seven to 10-and-a-half years longer than other nuns. So, for any die-hard pessimist who still needs persuading, just think of how much more you can help the world if you allow a little happiness into your life.

Friday, March 21, 2008


thanks ashlee for the AWESOME!!! website full of free fonts.
if you're bored over easter break, check this out....

let me know which are your favorites!!

Monday, March 17, 2008


Ana Pier, one of my very loyal customers from when i first opened, brought this in with her sister to have painted. it was originally a painting of flowers from kirklands or pier one, and she really liked the canvas mounted to a wooden border but not the picture itself. so i gave the canvas an overhaul and this is what we came up with. the browns and turquoise match her house at OU. i would love a picture of it hanging in her living room!!!


this is one of the more exciting paddles i've ever painted!! a customer brought it in from out of town to have painted for her little. i hope she just LOVED it!


so if you missed all THREE shows during SXSW listed before you can still check out tyler's music at.... and join us every thursday in may at opal divine's on 6th for live music!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


if you'll be in austin this week, you should really REALLY check out these shows. plus, if you show up early tyler's giving away free sampler CDs to the first 50 guests at each day.

Monday, March 10, 2008


it is SXSW here in austin this week and thursday through sunday aaron and i are working at a booth to sell music garb. primarily the tshirts and prints we have left over from his mural. it was this time last year that his South Austin Music mural, featuring 30 local musicians, was dedicated. remember how much fun it was?? i am planning to recreate the same amount of fun at this event. this is one side of a flyer we're passing out to promote Austin Art Biz. check out the text around "people are talking about". i couldn't believe it worked out so perfectly. but i really love this little detail. and if you haven't tried it yet, i encourage everyone to try making a ransom-note-inspired piece of art. it is SO MUCH FUN!!!


i wish i would have thought to make this little card a month ago for valentine's day, but giving it to aaron on a random day in march will just have to do. i do wonder though if making cute little cards like this would sell at harts n crafts. what do you think? of course it wouldn't say "ren is brilliant" because then i think maybe only stimpy would buy one. tee he he.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


so. i made a poster for the tyler jordan show on april 3 at opal divine except that i found out it doesn't exist anymore....instead it's going on the entire month of MAY which is BETTER because there are FIVE thursdays instead of four!!! :) this is your personal invitation to come visit us, stay at our house if you want, and go to the show thursday night. tyler hasn't seen this poster yet, and might not even like it, but i think it's real cute. also, it must be noted that i only did the cutting out and collaging of the magazine bits. chris, our roommate is responsible for Princess. isn't she a beauty!!

Monday, February 18, 2008


recently i've started slaughtering the hundreds of magazines i've been saving over the years and here's one of the posters a came up with.
tyler jordan is an amazing singer/songwriter we met here in austin. check out his myspace. i promise you'll fall in love and HAVE to see him live. then if you're in austin in april, he's playing every THURSDAY at Opal Divines. come stay with aaron and me, and we'll totally take you there. :) :)

Monday, February 11, 2008


harts n crafts has run out of business cards!!! and so we're changing them up a little bit. in the past, aaron has been on the back side of the card. now it ONLY features harts n crafts meaning DOUBLE the fun HNC information!! included on the back is a pretty illustration aaron did of me. here's what it looks like......