Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Start of something Lovely... Cracker Jax

I woke up Monday morning with a spring in my step!
I had a fun meeting planned with the girls at Cracker Jax in Dekalb, Il. and I could hardly wait to get there!
I put on my "professional" pants {and accessorized with some Lis Dunn Designs:}
I made sure that I had all of the necessary product and documents for our meeting and off I went.

There is something a bit scary, humbling and intimidating about being the one to market your own items.
I love people so I don't have a problem with that aspect, but when it comes to raving about the things that I have made with my own hands, that is not quite as natural.  On one hand it seems almost narcissitic, but I have come to realize that if I don't love what I have made, why should anyone else? AND, you know what, I DO love the things that I make and I love that I am able to live this dream!
Sooooo, I prayed and I went in there with joy and confidence and you know what... they  loved my items too!!
If you are in the Northern Illinois area, you can now find Lis Dunn Designs at Cracker Jax!

***I will be heading back there in December and I WILL bring my camera to show you some photos!
This place is AMAZING!  I walked in there and it was like Christmas morning.  I almost forgot that I was there for a meeting.  I was greeted with a barage of sparkling eye candy... my eyes lit up and I was smiling from ear to ear!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


I am going to be super honest here... Halloween is probably my least favorite holiday!  There, I said it!
It has nothing to do with my religious beliefs or anything, I am simply just not a big fan.  I LOVE the fall and I LOVE to decorate for fall... just not usually Halloween in particular.  
I love pretty, sparkly, happy decorations, not morbid, bloody and creepy ones.
Of course, like any other self-respecting parent, I love to see my children enjoying themselves so we always dress up and trick or treat, but I typically don't put up any "Halloween specific" decor.  
For the past few years, the kiddos have been pleading with me to put up Halloween decorations, so I finally gave in... if you are a lover of Halloween, you will think this is lame, but this was my contribution to the holiday!  

{don't you see those creepy spiders crawling up my spider-webbed mantle:}}

HaPpY hAlLoWeEn

There is a good chance that these will be down tomorrow and some lovely "fall" pretties will take their place:}

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Na Da Farm Recap!

I promised that I would share a little glimpse into the Nada Farm Show, so here it is!!!
{Unfortunately the only camera that I had was my phone:/  Not the best pics, but you get the idea!}
 {my space}

Oh, I wish you could have been there.  This show was even more amazing than I imagined!
Jason and Anne Marie have put together an event that is like no other!
Such a warm, inviting and inspiring atmosphere!
As I have said before, I visited the show a year ago and absolutely loved it.  I felt like my items would be a great fit and I was so excited to be invited to be one of the vendors this year!

I have a fun story... as a business owner, I had an idea in my head of what I hoped would happen...
Gentle reminder... DON'T PUT LIMITS ON WHAT GOD CAN DO!!!

It started with "well I hope I at least..."
Then my expectations got a little more daring "If I could bring in X amount, I could..."  
Can I tell you, God showed up in big ways and went WAAAAAYYY beyond what I expected.   
As he always does!!  
I met so many wonderful women who were following their dreams just like me!
I had so many wonderful new customers that supported me and offered great words of encouragement!
 {the VERY few pics that I took... you can view the full vendor list here}
I feel so blessed!
If you weren't able to make it out for the fall show, be sure to check it out in the spring!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

God is Working

It has been over two weeks since my last post.  Dog gone it, I was finally on a consistent schedule and then was completely blind sided!  
However painful, sometimes these detours are necessary. 
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds" James 1:2
Not because it is enjoyable or easy, but because of the person you will become for having gone through it.  
I am in a better place today than I was a few weeks ago.  It is amazing the amount of emotions that our hearts and minds can accommodate!  One thing is for certain, I love my life and I trust my God!  There is a common theme that has been present over these past several weeks... GOD IS WORKING. 
 Even when I don't see it in my time.  Even when I don't "feel" like he is.  Even when the world views a situation as hopeless, GOD IS WORKING. 
I didn't have a lot to say today, but some times less is more.  I know there is someone that needed to be reminded of this today!  You are so loved and so amazing and there is no one quite like you.  Give yourself some grace because you get up each morning with breath in your body and recognize that today is a brand new day!
 {as always, please feel free to use my design for yourself!}

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Other Mothers

I debated whether or not to even write this post but I needed somewhere to share.
I'm sorry in advance if my thoughts are scattered and jumbled.
Right now, we are going through something hard.  Painful.  Heartbreaking. Confusing.
I want to talk about it, but I don't want to talk about it.
With the few people I've shared with, I can't seem to speak without completely breaking down.  
If we are close and you're not sure what's going on, please don't feel like you aren't important in my life, I just need some time to be able to sort through and make sense of some things. 
I know with God, our pain is never wasted.  He will use this season to strengthen us and make us more compassionate towards others. One day, he will place others in our lives that we can help.
The few people I have spoken to have been mothers themselves.  No one understands a mother like another mother.  As mothers, we are used to holding things together.  But what happens when we fall apart?
These mothers have weeped with me and offered words of hope and encouragement.  
It's amazing how, as mothers we don't even have to be going through the same thing or even have experienced the same thing, but as soon as we hear what is going on and put ourselves in that situation as a mother, our hearts are broken just the same. 
I'm so thankful for the few that have been brave enough to share with me their own similar struggles.  
I know that these conversations are not random.  They are intentional and on purpose.
I went to the hospital yesterday.  Not to visit but to drop something off.  I wanted to be invisible.  I wanted to be in and out without having to speak with anyone.  I had been alone all day and just wanted to continue to keep it together.  As long as I didn't open my mouth I could do it.  God had other plans.  As I was walking in, I ran into a couple that used to attend church with us.  I hadn't seen them in a while, but they are a couple that my husband and I loved dearly.  My heart began to race as we approached.  I didn't want to tell them why I was there.  After just a minute of small talk, it came out.  As soon as I opened up, she and I were embraced in a hug and crying together for what seemed like 20 minutes.  That hug meant the world to me in that moment.  I think we all just need to be heard and desire to know that we are not alone.

{Please feel free to print my image for your own use}
{created in PSE using elements from the Lori Whitlock Fresh Air Collection from Jessica Sprague.com}

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

DIY Headband Holder

{Re blog from my old blog, Papermellie}

This is one of those projects that I had to share again! 
I get more compliments on this little thing than probably anything else in my studio.
Not only do I love making fun and unique headbands, but I love wearing them too, so it was imperative that I found something functional {and inexpensive} to store them on.
There have been a plethora of different DIY headband holders floating around in the land of Pinterest.
So what is a girl to do... make one that caters to her style and taste, of course!
Because a lot of my headbands involve different colors, I thought going with a neutral palette was my best option {and I love using burlap any chance I get:}}

Here are the supplies that you'll need to make your own Headband Holder:
Empty Oatmeal container
Spray Adhesive
Candle Base {I used a larger one}
Fabric or paper of choice
Hot Glue Gun {or other strong adhesive}

Instructions: Cut the length of fabric or paper to go around your oatmeal container, leaving a little extra to tuck in top and bottom.  Spray adhesive on container and adhere your fabric or paper to it {for a neater appearance, I folded over the exposed end as well}  Put generous amount of hot glue on clean base of the candle holder and adhere the bottom of the oatmeal container.  
Voila!  That's it!! Simple right??

Monday, September 10, 2012

Motivation Monday... Because you can!

It has been just over a week since my last run!
It only takes 2 or 3 days, not only to see the physical decline but to really feel the mental and emotional impact of not running.
I WILL NOT go that long again!
Just after I got all of my babes out the door this morning, I took off for a run.  
Here in Northern Illinois, it was a beautiful and perfect 50 degrees {where was this weather on 10/10/10 for the Chicago Marathon!!?}  

Life happens, we get busy and let's face it, there is always an excuse, but there is this sweet subtle voice that I'll often hear when I'm a little off track with my workouts... 
Run because you can!

I received a text from a sweet friend a while back that will forever resound in my heart... 
"Please tell me that when we get to heaven we will run a marathon together"
Cait is the sweetest, most determined and most amazing teenage girl you will ever meet!  Because she was born with CP, her body physically will not allow her, right now, to run.  
Her goal... to walk across the stage at graduation in May, 2013!  
She is giving every bit of strength, energy and will in therapy to achieve this goal.  There is not even an ounce of doubt in my mind that she will walk across that stage!  She is fierce like that and she is confident in the source of her strength.  Her life verse is the same as mine:} 
I can do ALL things through Christ who Strengthens me. ~ Phil. 4:13
So I have to choose... daily...to honor her, and for those battling similar restrictions, 
I will run because I can.

{I created this poster in an 8x10, please feel free to print this for your own personal use!}

Linking up today:
Making the world cuter 
Skip to my Lou
Creating my way to success
KDBuggie Boutique
Six Sister's Stuff

Lots of Love, Lis

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Senior Year... from Mom's perspective

This is a big school year in our home.
All four children are in school and coincidentally this is the one year that all four will be in a different school! 
Of course my baby has begun Kindergarten this year, but surprisingly this is not what I am having the most trouble with.
 If I can be honest... I'm a part time blubbering mess.
As long as I don't think about it, I'm OK.  But the moment I think of all that this milestone means, I have this uneasy, queasy feeling inside and often will tear up when I start think too much about it.
My little girl is a Senior this year
{dog gone it, I'm getting choked up just typing the word} 
Where did the time go???
What do you do when the person that you grew up with is no longer with you every day?
She became a part of my life when I was a child myself.
All of the great things that happened in my life, happened while she was with me.

I see her venturing her way into adulthood...toward a more independent way of life.
I know that these transitions are necessary.  But they are still hard {at least for mom}
This year will be the last of so...many...things.  Homecoming dresses, prom dresses, fun sleep-overs, Girls sports.
Yes, I still have the boys and cherish our relationships in a different way, but this is MY GIRL!  

I will surely treasure the time that we do have this year.  
I will listen intently to the stories of "this class" and "that boy" {all of which start out with "oh my gosh, mom..."}
I will offer words when needed and a shoulder when they're not.
I will take advantage on those random days to squeeze in one more hug and one more "I love you"

I will trust that she is in God's hands and that our futures will present so many more wonderful chapters together... 
Happy Senior Year, Sweet Girl!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

DIY Up-cycled Key Necklace ON THE CHEAP

Ok, I admit... I am a little obsessive when it comes to finding a way to make something super fabulous while spending the very least amount of money possible.
I mean, come on, times are tough right now for everyone, but we still want to be gorgeous and wear pretty little things, right?
So, we have this metal candle holder in one of our kitchen cabinets that is filled with old keys.  Keys from previous cars and who knows what else!  So my wheels were turning.  They are such a cool piece of metal, they shouldn't just be quarantined to a key ring {or tin in a cabinet!}.  They should be given some extra attention.  A little pizazz, if you will.  
That's just what I decided to do.  I picked a few of them that I thought had some pretty cool character {and that I knew were no longer functional for us} and I brought them back to life!

Supplies you'll need:
{feel free to be creative and add your own personal touches!}

*Metal Stamp Set
*Clear Nail Polish {or another sealer}
*Old earring or button
*Wire cutters

I loved that this particular key had the perfect blank space for some text, so I started by adding "Be You" with my metal stamp set.  Now if you like simple, this would be a fine place to stop, but I am a girl that loves some sparkle so I really needed to keep going.  I added some glue around the text {I love the Martha Stewart Permanent Glue}, covering the remainder of the key.  Then I added some blush glitter {again, using Martha Stewart }  I waited for that to set and coated it with clear nail polish.  Like I said, I was going with what I had on hand to make it a "no-cost" project, but you could also use another form of sealing medium over the glitter to see that it did not come off on your clothing.  Finally, I added an old spare earring to the corner {use wire cutters to remove the post from the earring first} and Voila!  I simply added some chain with a toggle clasp and I had a brand new sparkling accessory!

Do you have any fun, inexpensive DIY projects that you'd like to share?  
I would love to hear about them!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Happenings on the Horizon

Do you have any idea how amazing it is to be able to focus on a task for longer than a few minutes at a time {If you are a mother, you know exactly what I'm talking about!}
This past week has been full of so many new and exciting opportunities and I wanted to share with you a few of the highlights of things to come for me.  It is so cool to see how things fall into place at just the right time!

Beginning next Thursday {Sept. 6th}, I will be leading the bible study "Loving your husband" at First Free Church in Rockford.   Can I say, I was completely humbled and so flattered to be asked to lead this study.  God certainly has a sense of humor... I did this study 8 years ago and it changed the way that I viewed my role as a wife for the better!  I planned to do it again when I heard it was being offered, not because I "don't" love my husband, but because I want to love him better, especially in this season of our lives when our time together is so limited.   So when the Director of Women's ministry contacted me and asked if I would be interested in leading it, I was so honored!  I can not wait to share this time and experience with the other women in the study.

On a similar note, I was approached a few months back about speaking to a mothers group in January 2013.  I am really excited about this because it is one of the area's that my heart is passionate about.  I will be speaking about "finding the beauty within".  If you are a mother in the Rockford, Il area, check them out here.

 {image: Brave Girls Club}

AND, on the business side... this one I am OVERJOYED about!!
On October 19th and 20th, 2012 I will be taking part in the Na-Da Farm Show in Esmond, Il!!
I went to this show last year for a creative business class taught be 2 amazing artists/ business women, Jeanne Oliver and Jen Rizzo.  Of course I took time to peruse...the entire atmosphere was breathtaking!   Jason and Anne Marie have really, really put something amazing together.  It is so relaxed and uplifting all at the same time.  Everything is set on their beautiful farmland.  There are fabulous vendors, beautiful live music along with a little bakery for you to sit and enjoy a little treat and hot chocolate!  They have been featured in several publications, including Midwest Living and Flea Market Style, where they were named one of the best vintage sales from coast to coast! If you are able, you HAVE to check it out!  I will be posting soon on some of the pretty little things that I'll be taking along!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bittersweet Segue

It is now day 3.
It has been 13 years next month, that I have been home with my babies.
This week marked a brand new chapter in our lives.
All four of those "babies" went back to school on Monday.
I am now the mother of a Senior in HS {where on earth does the time go}, a 7th grader, a 5th grader and my baby is in Kindergarten this year. 


I am so thankful that I was able to be here for my children all of these years.
My amazing hubby is one of the hardest working people I have ever met and without him my life would have looked so different. 
I wouldn't have thought to stay at home with my children.  Work was always the only option.
I would have missed so much!
My longing has always been to create for a living... whatever that might entail... I wanted to make beautiful things and prayed that others would love to buy said beautiful things:}

So this week I have been researching, sketching, designing and networking away and am loving it, but there is a subtle void in my heart.  
I have found myself also longing for the long days of rocking a tired baby {or 3 year old}, cuddles on the couch with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, coloring and playing Candy land.  

I actually miss the "mom, can you make me a..." and "mom, can you play with me"

These times go by so quickly.
These babies grow right before our eyes.
Sometimes segues are just bittersweet.
Our lives are in God's hands and I know His plans are amazing.  
I can't wait to see what He has in store for our family