Saturday, December 27, 2014

One Little Word 2015: PURPOSE

1. the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
1. have as one's intention or objective
This will be my 6th year choosing a "word of the year"... my "one little word", if you will!
I have loved the process of deciding on the most poignant word to sum up my focus and objective for the year to come.
2014 was an eye-opening year.  In a good way!  My word for 2014 was "confidence" and the year before it was "choose"  I really tried to be intentional about my choices. 
Primarily, the choice to allow God to direct my path. 
This was a BIG one! 
Giving up control is not in my nature.  Does that come easy to anyone?
Because of that one choice;  my family was strengthened; my business was blessed & new, beautiful & encouraging friends came into my life.
I don't know if it is the fact that I'm getting older or wiser {or a combo of both} but I have grown to value and embrace the fact that I was created for a purpose. 
Life is so much sweeter when your accept that!
God does not make mistakes and I have learned that His plans are ALWAYS better than my own!
My word for this year... PURPOSE... came to me a little over a month ago.  I waivered back and forth between a few other strong contenders, even landing on the word "Imua" which is Hawaiian for "move forward".  I even shared this one with a few family members, but with every other word that I chose, I kept coming back to "purpose".   It just embodied all that I wanted to focus on moving in to the New Year.  
Last night I came across this as I was going through my Pins on Pinterest and it was the confirmation that I needed!! 
This is it!
I want to use what I have and what I can do to help others!
I want to be purposeful in my relationships.
I want to live each day knowing there is a purpose for it.
I want to encourage others to embrace their purpose.
Have you given thought to the idea of "one little word" 
If you haven't yet decided on a word and need a little push, here are a few words to inspire you...
Whatever you decide, go in to 2015 with great anticipation that big things are about to happen. 
You are so loved and so valued and were created with a purpose!
*If you have chosen your word for 2015, I would so love to hear what it is and why you chose it!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

In It For Good!

"The king will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me'"  
Matthew 25:40

I love this!

If you have been a follower of my blog or my Instagram feed, you know...

I love that they breathe life into their members.

I love that they are always on a mission to help in any way possible.

I love that if they are called to move, they do it BIG!!!

The Original Conference is all of this encompassed, but focused primarily on strengthening women and their heart for God.


Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend the big conference this year, but was able to get to an Original Night recently.  So for me, it was really the first I heard about the initiative IN IT FOR GOOD!

To say the least, I was REALLY MOVED!  

Moved to do something!

It was a really emotional night and I couldn't get it out of my mind.  I remember the first time I ever heard of Human Trafficking, I was so sick!  It was probably six years ago and my daughter was just beginning her teenage years at the time.  I think if you're a human being, this travesty breaks your heart, but if you have girls... it is magnified.  That could be my daughter.  

The initiative IN IT FOR GOOD will benefit Zoe International, Mercy Ministries and SHE Rescue Home.  Each women taking on the challenge is asked to raise $200 for these organizations.  


I have created 2 pieces of jewelry solely for this initiative.  50% of the proceeds from these items will go directly to the IN IT FOR GOOD initiative.

The Necklace is an antiqued brass that measures 30" long and is embellished with 6 handmade tassels {inspired by the Original Conference decor!} and a hand-stamped charm that reads "IN IT FOR GOOD" 
$22.00 ea.

The cuff is approximately 7" and is made of burlap and lace sewn to aqua leather and feautures hand-stamped and hammered metal with the words "IN IT FOR GOOD" and is finished off with a beautiful toggle clasp!
$16.00 ea.

If you would like one {or more} of these items, please leave a comment below or you can email me at

Another huge THANK YOU to my beautiful friend, Kelly for modeling for this project and always being one of my biggest fans!!

Please feel free to spread the word!! Share this on FB, Instagram, Twitter, email, whatever you can think of!  

Saturday, December 6, 2014


What if the world were full of women who were intentional about their gifts?  
What if we exercised compassion, instead of comparison?  Encouragement, instead of envy.  Gratitude instead of grumbling.  What if we made an effort each day to build each other up rather than tearing each other down.

As women, the struggle is real.  We wonder if we are doing enough, if we have enough, if we ARE enough?
Please hear me when I say this...
Where you are right now is EXACTLY where you are supposed to be.  This is a necessary stop on the path to God's best for you!  You don't have to try to DO or BE anything different than exactly who you are!

These past few weeks have been something that I'll never quite be able to put into words.  I will try, but all I can say is that GOD was at the center of this beautiful project.

About a month ago, I had a sense that wouldn't go away, to reach out to Steph of One Love Candle and Bath.  I really didn't know why, we knew OF each other, had some of each others products, but didn't know each other well.  So, I just went for it!  I said "Steph, this is what I'm thinking, what do you think?"  She could have said  "what are you even talking about, this is so LAME!" {I love her, because we would both totally use that word, hee hee!} But instead, what transpired was almost a whimsical beauty that neither of us even felt in control of!  She said "Oh my goodness, YOU have been on my mind so much, too and I had no idea why!  and that verse is one of my favorite verses and songs!!!  YES! YES! YES!"  

So we got to work.

We realized that our hearts desire was the same.  We so wanted other women to see their worth and value.  We wanted our collaboration to not just be a candle with something pretty on it, but a start of a movement.  An invitation for women to love themselves right where they are.  To stop comparing their everyday to someone else's highlights.  To feel like just being present was enough.  

Through this collaboration, the JUST BREATHE candle was born.

We wanted each detail to have a very natural and organic feel.
It features a rich blend of amber, sandalwood and musk with brisk ginger and citrus top notes, all intentionally chosen aromas to soothe your soul, in an 8 oz. Mason Jar.  It also features a detachable, vintage inspired, hand-stamped charm that reads "It is well with my soul" along with a simple Swarovski crystal {because every girl needs a little sparkle!} tied with natural Jute twine. When the candle is gone, the charm can be placed on a necklace or key chain as a keepsake.

The project would not have been complete without my beautiful friend, Kelly!  

She and I had planned to meet up for a photo shoot for another project.  She was just going to be my model for the day.  Very last minute, I asked her if Steph could meet up with us so that she {Kel} could just get a quick picture of the two of us to attach to our collaboration.  What ensued was one of the most blessed days, I think for all of us.  It turned in to a full blown photo shoot!

  Kel's photography is stunning!! 
 I LOVE YOU, my friend.  I am SO thankful for you and can't imagine this story turning out any better if you weren't a part of it!

Steph and I pray that you will be blessed by our little project! That you will slow down and remember all of the things that are a blessing in your life. That you will finally give yourself permission to love yourself just the way you are.
You are so loved and so valued!

The candles can be purchased here and here.
If you are local to the Rockford area, you can also find the candles at:
Infinitely Sweet in Rockford, IL
Front Porch Mercantile in Rockton, IL

Friday, May 9, 2014

Urban Farmgirl's Main Street Market

"Today I'm excited about everything!"
{I always see this little quote on pinterest and could't wait for the perfect day to use it!}

As I am fully immersed in painting, sewing, curating and pretty-little-thing-making, I felt like now was a great time to take a break, breathe and share a few words and pics of what I've been up to!

I have been waiting in anxious anticipation for Urban Farmgirl's Main Street Market!  I have never been more excited, worked harder or been more at peace {ironically} for any show!!

If you know Mary {aka, Urban Farmgirl} you know this event will be nothing less than amazing!  She is one of the kindest and most humble creatives that I know with an impeccable eye for styling pretty things!

So here are the details...

Urban Farmgirl's Main Street Market
Saturday, May 10 2014
Midway Village
Rockford, Il

Here is a small sampling of the pretty little things you will see from Lis Dunn designs...
{among so many other gorgeous items from over 60 vendors!!}

Have a beautiful day and I will see you at the Market!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Here comes the Sun! {and what I did to combat depression}

So thankful for that!!!

First of all, I know. it's been 2 months since my last post so I wanted to give you a little update on my blog happenings.  While I will continue to do fun and {hopefully} inspirational tutorials and keep you posted on Lis Dunn designs, I will not be following the Something New for 52 as planned;{  We have had both computer and internet issues over the past 2 months and I got to the point of such frustration that I just took a little hiatus.  Sometimes that is a really good thing! All is well now and the blessing is that I was able to focus on custom orders and new design ideas!

With that being said, I wanted to share something that has been on my heart.
It has been a rough winter for most of the country! 
Not only weather wise, but especially tough for those of us that experience little {or big} bouts of SAD.
This year was a struggle for me.
I don't want to sound all "gloom and doom" because there were some very big blessings happening in this same time period, but I think depression is one of those things that people just don't want to admit or talk about.

It's real
It's painful
There doesn't have to be a reason
You really can't explain it

While it doesn't seem like it in the moment, these times can have a really positive impact, my friends. 

{Photo Credit: Pinterest}

I got to a point about a month ago where I really heard myself for the first time and it made me sad.  I was not myself.  While I didn't feel hopeless, I really didn't feel hopeful either {does that make sense?} 
In that moment, I made a choice.  This wasn't going to get the best of me!
I am not going to go on and on with what these few months looked like.  If you're still reading this, you probably have some idea of what depression looks and feels like.
What I DO want to share are some of the things I did to be better.

Light Therapy
For years, I sneered at the idea that a light bulb would have an impact on your well being.  While shopping on black Friday 2012, I jokingly said that I wanted a Happy Light.  Mom remembered that and last Christmas bought me one.  I used it faithfully. Last winter was probably the most positive winter {mood wise} that I had had in all of my adult life.  So in that moment this winter when I knew something had to be done, I went back to my 20 minutes a day.  You're not looking into the light.  It just needs to be on near you.  I have it on for 20 min while I'm at the computer.

This was another one of those things that I just didn't see myself doing or benefiting from.  My personality is a bit high-strung.  I don't do "still" very well.  I am a runner!! but as I said, I was desperate and would try anything positive to get back to being myself.    I am HOOKED! It's actually a fabulous work out.  I absolutely love it and feel amazing.  I look forward to the mornings and getting my day started with yoga! 
Here is a link to some of the workouts that I have been doing.

Over the past 3 or 4 years I have really been more in tune with how foods affect me.  Ugh, it really stinks because when we were young, we could eat it all with no repercussions.   My body has been much more sensitive to certain things as I have gotten older {this would probably be a lengthy blog post in itself!}  Here are a few of the things that I have changed/ added that have contributed to feeling better over-all.
*limit {not eliminate} caffeine and sugar 
{this is the absolute hardest thing for me, but the reward is so worth it}
*Focus on foods that are beneficial for your well-being
*Start the day with Coconut water and ACV
{these aren't great tasting on their own, but I have listed below the smoothie that I make every morning}

Super Boost Morning Smoothie
3 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 Cup Coconut Water
1/2 Cup Almond Milk
1 Tbsp Flax Seed
1/2 Cup Pineapple
1/2 Banana

I hope that if you are going through a struggle now, there is something in here that helps you.  
Big giant hugs and blessings to you!

{Photo Credit: Pinterest}

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Elmo 1st Birthday Party Decor SNW4

Sometimes it is good to step out of your comfort zone and challenge what you are capable of. 
As a creative, you get to know what your style is and things can start to look very much the same:}

Before I share this project, I want to say that my heart is full of gratitude!
Thank you to all of my family, friends and customers that have had an idea and have entrusted ME to execute that vision.  It truly is an honor to be able to create for a living, but especially when it is something that is created for someone specific.

OK, with that said, this particular request was from my niece for her daughters 1st birthday
{That would make me a great-aunt!! Yikes!!}

She gave me a color palette and a few photos for inspiration. 
If you have followed me for a while, you know that Elmo is not my normal style and was out of my comfort zone!

Challenge accepted

I honestly had a lot of fun creating these items!
I remembered what it was like when my babies were that age.
Life was really so much simpler then. More innocent.

Here are a few photos of what I put together...
{I didn't want to do a tutorial for everything, but if you have questions about a certain project, please feel free to ask. I'd be happy to walk you through it!}

Thanks so much for taking the time to check out my blog!


Sunday, January 26, 2014

DIY Ruffled "love" banner SNW3

I know not everyone is crazy about Valentine's Day. 
I, on the other hand happen to LOVE it!
I love hearts. I love LOVE! I love a special day to celebrate LOVE!
So when Valentine's Day rolls around, I like to do it up a bit and fill my home with beautiful decorations that exude that lovin feelin;}

For this 3rd week of something new
{and yes, those of you keeping track, I am a few days late getting this post up;/}
I wanted to make something quick, easy and be able to use the things that I had on hand
{isn't that the best feeling!}

Supplies Needed:
12" x 12" Fabric Paper
Ruffled Ribbon
Red Felt
Black Sta-Zon Ink
Foam Stamps
{rubber or acrylic is fine too}
White string
White Eyelets
Eyelet setting tools
Hot glue gun

Begin by cutting 4 1/2" x 6" rectangles and 3" x 6" rectangles from the fabric paper.
Using your Sta-zon ink and foam stamps, stamp the letters l o v e onto the 4 larger rectangles.

 From the red felt, cut 2 matching hearts and glue them onto the smaller rectangles with hot glue. 

Then measure and cut the strips of ruffled ribbon and glue them along the tops of the rectangles.  When that is dry, using your eyelet setting tools, punch 1 hole in each of the top corners of each rectangle and set the eyelets in each hole. Finally, string the white string through the holes and hang!

I would love to see your projects for the week! 
Please feel free to link up below and share your masterpiece!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

DIY Hand-Stamped Metal and Leather Cuff SNW2

I LOVE words!
{You've probably heard me say this a millions times;}
They have amazing power! 
I'm choosing to focus on the ones that build up and not tear down!

So it only made sense for week 2 to put together a piece of jewelry with beautiful words that inspire!
This is one of those projects that is pretty inexpensive and simple if you have or can borrow the tools needed!

This is what you'll need:

Leather Cuff
Metal Stamping Blanks
Metal Stamps
Stamping Block
Eyelet Setter
Crop-a-dile big bite{or other heavy duty hole punch}
Permanent Marker {optional}
Distress Ink {optional}
I wasn't crazy about the lighter cuff, so I began with distressing the front and sides using Tim Holtz Tea Dye {Note: I did try tea staining first and did not get the results that I wanted} I allowed that to dry overnight.  I chose the stamping blank that was the best fit for this size cuff and using my crop-a-dile big bite, punched holes in the 2 sides then set it on top of the cuff, marked the holes and punched coordinating holes in the cuff.  I then began in the middle of the stamping blank and began stamping {once you figure out your wording, find the center word and begin there} This next step is optional.  If you like the raw stamped look, leave it as is.  If you like a little more pop, color in the letters with a permanent marker then rub over the blank with a magic eraser. It will remove any extra ink left on the blank but the ink in the letters will remain.  Finally, place coordinating eyelets in the holes of the lined up metal and cuff, flip over and using your eyelet setter, hit 3 times to set!  voila! You have a fabulous new, conversation-starter piece of Jewelry!!

Thanks so much for joining me for this tutorial! 
Happy Creating!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Something New WeEk OnE: Linky Party Hostess

Don't fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.
It has been 4 years now that I last did this. 
It was one of THE MOST productive years of my life!
At that time the idea didn't come to me until several week into the new year... so I called it
"Something New for 42" at that time;} but the premise was the same... Do at least 1 new thing every week!
There were new recipes, new holiday décor, new restaurants with hubby and that was the year that I ran the Chicago Marathon for the first time!
Make it your goalChallenge yourself.  It doesn't have to be super time-consuming or costly.  Just commit to doing at least one new thing in your life every week in 2014.  It could be as simple as reading a new book to your baby or as big as going on your first family vacation.  As long as it is new to you, it qualifies;}
Each week we will have a linky party here for you to share your newest undertakings, be inspired by others and encourage one another in this journey.
Soooooo, my something new for the first week is just that...
I learned how to host a linky party!!
Well, sort of... I'm sure I'll be working out kinks for a while, but it's something I've wanted to do for a while here on my blog and I took that first step;}
If you're not sure what a linky party is, Bargain Hoot does a great job of describing it here
I found a great tutorial from My so called Chaos that helped me set up my account with Inlinkz
Isn't the blogospere fantastic!!!  I love {and am SO thankful} when other creatives share their knowledge!
I have started 2 new boards on Pinterest... Achieve 2014 so you can see a sampling of the things that I just might attempt this year;} and Something New for 52 {2014} for the things that I do!
{You can also follow ALL of my boards here}

Here are a just a couple pieces of eye candy to get your inspired!

{Button button

{iheartstitching on youtube} 
Come back each week not only to see what I've been up to, but what others are doing as well!
Ready. Set. GO!
{and be sure to let me know if you're up for the challenge!}

Something New for 52! Link up

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

One Little Word 2014

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.”  
Edith Lovejoy Pierce
I love a new year!
I am an optimist that genuinely believes it's the perfect time to do things better!
I know, I know, it's something we can strive for all year long, but there is something splendid about a completely fresh and different year.
For the past 4 years I have chosen a word for the year.   The idea was sparked by a story I heard on K love and it really struck a chord with me.  You can see my 2013 word and the story behind it here.  Other years have included the words "Intentional" and "Simplify"  The idea is to choose a word that sums up your focus for the new year!  That's not too hard, right??!!
This year I knew early on what it would be... probably some time in late November. My sister was the only one that I shared this with.
2013 had been a challenge {and to be honest, I did not do well honoring my one word, "choose"}.
We all have different challenges of different sorts at different times and this past years challenges for me were more internal. 
I found myself second guessing all of my choices... silly and simple choices.  I was doubting everything... my path, my purpose, my parenting, my relationships. I felt hurt and disappointed by people that I love. Maybe it was something as simple as an unanswered text, a broken date or not being included. Do you ever find yourself just shutting down because you don't want to confront that hurt??   I need work in that area!
There is something that I say ALL THE TIME to my kids!!!  Then I heard that gentle whisper "practice what you preach"?  It was: "you can't control what others do, you can only control how you respond" That led me to my word for this year:
: a feeling or belief that you can do something well or succeed at something
: a feeling or belief that someone or something is good or has the ability to succeed at something
: the feeling of being certain that something will happen or that something is true
But even way above these dictionary definitions, I want to have confidence in God's will for my life. 
I want to trust that when he lays a passion or decision on my heart, there is a good reason even when I don't immediately understand it.  And finally, I want to trust that every person and relationship that is a part of my life has a purpose.
I want to challenge you friend, if you haven't done so already, to choose YOUR word for 2014!
Each year I make a piece of jewelry with my word on it as a constant reminder. You can find this years Necklace in my Etsy shop.

 Be sure to share in the comments what your word is!!

Blessings to you all for a fabulous 2014!