Thursday, May 19, 2016

Strawberries and so long....(just for a bit)

First, 
thank-you. 
For not sending me hate mail or pointing fingers at my last post about "noise", I thank-you. 
This world of ours feels crazy to maneuver at times doesn't it? Things only seem to get louder as the days go on and if I'm going to make any noise at all, I at least want to be intentional about it. 

The girls are into The Little House on the Prairie audio books, books, and movies right now and they are quaint and simple and full of love.  The stories have difficult moments too.   Some moments way harder than will ever face, like trying to cross a river in a covered wagon.  Yet still, those were simpler times and as you know from my last post, I'm craving that lately.  Something is drawing me toward the simple, sweet things of life like picking strawberries and anticipating eating them on the way home, juice dripping and the sticky smell filling the car with summer. 

For the next two weeks, I'm giving myself the gift of silence.  Goodness gracious I don't mean literally, in my real-life world.  I adore talking, most of the time.  I just mean right now with our current family schedule there is hardly any wiggle room for me at all.  So, I suppose instead of saying I'm giving myself silence it's more like I'm giving myself wiggle room. 

We'll be traveling some (the beach!!), breathing deep, reading books, browsing cookbooks, tending the garden, and who knows what else.  My blog will "come alive" again in two weeks, as will my Etsy shop complete with new products! (have you seen the new photo canvases on IG?!)













I'm sure I'll pop in on Instagram a time or two, but in the meantime if you need me feel free to email sunshinebysara@hotmail.com

Here's to embracing your own silence and letting the sweet things of life speak loudest. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

noise






















This.
All of this (including that beady-eyed coon caught in our garage! EEK!) is our real-life currently.  I've been debating a little bloggy break but not for the reasons you think.  Not as some campaign to secretly draw in a crowd to watch and wait for me to come back.  No, just to quiet some of the noise. That prayer/urging has been on my mind lately.  

I don't know if your life feels as complicated as mine or as full but I'm guessing it does.  The cooking, the serving, the making of art, the book-reading, the waiting for adoption emails, the garden tending...all of it comes this time of year. Life is busting at the seams and adding the noise of trying to figure out why 4 people unfollowed me on Instagram and was it because I unfollowed half of my people to add some quiet, just clangs the cymbals of extra noise a bit too loudly. 

As with most things, social media can be a force used for good. I've seen and heard it happen.  I surely must believe in the value of showing up and telling our stories, bit by bit, even if technology is our pencil and the computer is our paper. Yet one day last week I'd just finished a book that really made me think and I found myself wondering about our society that preaches, and even writes full books on how to be social media savvy.  It's a given that if you're in the handmade or artsy world you must have a social media presence.  As an artist I feel the pull and pressure to post certain amounts a day, I hear the voices in my head taunting me that if I don't keep up someone else's art will shout more loudly and send me to the back of the line.  But the truth is, I don't really want my place in the line anyway.  Not if it comes with the hefty price tag of checking the phone morning, noon, and night.  Not if it means having one hand on the phone advertising my shop and one on the spoon stirring the pot.  The stirring of the pot is so much better, by the way.  No offense to my sweet little art shop but have you ever stirred a pot slowly, watching every single little thing happening inside?  Smelling the scent of a good thing coming wafting from the deep bellows of the bowl?  It's THAT good, I promise. 

I sat down today wanting to empty some thoughts.  I really DID "unfollow" a whole slew of folks on Instagram (nothing personal just needing less mindless scrolling), and I've been trying to stay off the most depressing thing I could imagine-Facebook.  If the news doesn't get you there, the photos making it look like everyone else is so much more social and fun than you, will come soon after.  And it's just simply not the truth. 

Life is best when I quiet the noise.  When I pop into the blog like a dear friend that I'm catching up with on the sweet, savory, and sometimes sad things of life.  In the past year I've already felt myself go with the flow by not jumping onto the bandwagon that tells me I need to get back to pre-baby weight and look like I never had one (or two, lol) and I suppose this is another bandwagon I just simply must be on as well.  I won't market myself and wear my self-esteem down because  the computer said so.  

You guys, I make art because I breathe.  I want others to know about it, but mostly because at Market a few weeks ago I heard time after time that my art was "happy".  You mean my fingers have the power through Jesus to put some happy back into the world?  I'm in, I'm all in.  I believe in the healing, wonderful power of art and photography through the lens Jesus Christ helps me see through.  I believe in slow walks, setting the phone down, inviting people over, and sitting with my girls without taking a single photo.  I believe in browsing cookbooks, silence in the garden, slow walks to the mailbox, and keeping ideas safe in my mind instead of sharing.  I believe in lighting candles and turning ALL the string lights on, in doing things like watching a favorite show and not needing to broadcast it, in having neighbors over when I'm make-up free and just me. I believe less is more. 

I'm quite flabbergasted as to what the point of this post has been or whether I should post it at all.  It's so early and dark and I can hear a little one stirring already.  I feel like this post quite resembles my cooking lately, when I throw a bunch of random things in a pot and call it "made-up soup".  Here's the thing though, the "made-up soup" always, always tastes better than when I following the recipe down to the last crumb.  

I'm not leaving blogging or anti-Instagram.  In fact, I quite like it.  But I am all for letting the pressure out of my chest that so desperately wants to market myself and have hundreds of sales.  Instead, I'll let the air out and sail through the sky like a balloon, landing some place nice where the life is slow, the capturing is intentional and healing, and the art is made because "if the music's good you dance" and if the fingers are still working, you paint. 

See you around, or on Instagram as this post comes on a day I DO have new BIG photo canvases coming to my house today and I can't stand how excited I am to see them.  A check off the 'ol bucket list.  Let's sail through the sky today my friends.  I'm happy you're here. 


Friday, May 13, 2016

hello summer SALE (40% off!)

 (8x10 art print in shop)

The girls have finished up preschool, the days are hot, the kiddie pool is filled, and the evenings long. This can only mean one thing-we've made it to my most favorite season of the year, SUMMER! 
  (8x10 art print in shop)

In celebration and in honor of the new prints and products coming to the shop in the next couple of weeks (think: BIG photo canvases!) I'm having a BIG sale on all existing products in the store! 

 The 8x10 art print colors really pop in a white frame! 
 This mini original stitched painting in a handmade cedar frame is available in the shop! 
 (8x10 art print in the shop)

I think this print would look lovely in a kitchen or dining room. 
 (8x10 art print in the shop)

And who doesn't need this reminder? I do, on a daily basis it seems. 
 (8x10 art print in the shop)

Yes and amen. 
 (8x10 art print in the shop)

I love this gentle reminder that even the fragile are so very loved. 
(8x10 art print in the shop)

This needs to be my summer mantra! 

This will be one of my biggest sales yet!! 

Use code "hellosummer40" for 40% off your entire purchase in the shop! 
Coupon code good for one week! (it expires May 20)

I also want you to jump in with both feet with your creativity this summer because it's such fun! What better way to do that than by signing up for Gather, my online art and photography class. 
 The class is all about praises, prayer, and photography and will take you on such a fun, creative journey! There are video tutorials galore, free downloads and printables, a craft room tour, and coloring page downloads, plus more!
The supply list for the class is kept quite simple because I don't think expensive supplies should keep anyone from being artistic.  In celebration of such a big sale, I have another! 

When you purchase Gather with the "buy now" button below you also get to sign a friend up for free!  Simply email me their email address and you can both take the class together, whether your friendship is near or far.  You could also split the cost with your friend, making it  about $17 for each. 
The ladies in the class are having such fun already and creating as a part of their daily and/or weekly routine.  

I hope to see you in class and happy shopping in the Etsy shop!






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