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I haven’t written because I’ve been swamped with client work (don’t read that as a complaint, either). In addition to all the new work I have, I’m also knee-deep in writing a business plan for our letterpress shop. On top of that, even, I’m trying to clean up my portfolio site as well as combine that blog with this one. Oh, and redesign both sites to make room for all the new changes coming with the new year.

Fun times, right?

So, look out for some changes here (yeah, yeah … changes in activity, too). I’ll be redesigning this blog once I finish up Hello Nifty and put together a site for the letterpress print shop, Stubborn Press & Company, that we’ll be starting in 2012.

Enjoy a little sneak peak of my Hello Nifty update by looking at the logos:

It’s been an interesting year; I can’t believe I’ve been working for myself for almost an entire 12 months now. It hasn’t been easy. Finding a balance between working from home and enjoying my family was probably the most difficult part of it all, considering my husband and toddler and dog are all under the same roof while I’m working. It’s been worth every challenging moment, however—even the financially difficult months (and months and months), which unfortunately were more common than the financially easy ones. I’m glad that we waited until we had some savings before I started this adventure, but I will admit I naively thought getting the business ball rolling would be easier than it turned out to be.

Eleven months of stress and sweat and tears later and I can’t say whether or not I’ve entirely gotten the hang of things. I can say, however, that I look forward to what next year brings after all I’ve learned this year. I look forward to the new adventures of letterpress printing, too …

Oh, did you all know we purchased an old letterpress in August? I’m finishing up our business plan this week in hopes of getting a business loan to rent studio space and finish fixing up the old Chandler and Price New Series 10×15 printing press we rescued from being sold for scrap. It needs new rollers, feed/delivery boards, a foot treadle, and a bit of TLC. Since it’s too big to fit in our little townhouse, we also need some office space. We’re hoping to have everything ready for the new year so we can jump into wedding season with both feet. I hope to offer completely custom wedding stationery, announcements, and business collateral locally and sustainably printed on our C&P, affectionately nick-named the Mule.

Keep an eye out for more on updates on both Hello Nifty and Stubborn Press & Company.

If you’ve got a moment, you can even help me out with the logo design process, since I’m still in the drafting stage. I’m partial to the bottom two (the right is currently my favorite, but I’m really open right now). Check ’em out and please leave a comment:

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little drummer boy

little drummer boy

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06242011 - The Garden So Far

06242011 - The Garden So Far

when i planted our garden in the beginning of June, i didn’t really have high expectations. i’ve never been much of a green thumb, and so i just figured things wouldn’t go as planned. luckily, it seems as though vegetables don’t really need much intervention or care about the color of my thumbs. they get watered every morning and a sprinkle of fertilizer every once and a while. i pluck weeds and bugs. i even invented a make-shift terrace:

06242011 - The Garden So Far

and, well, my veggies have done nothing but happily grow.

i love waking up in the morning and peeking out our bedroom window to the deck below to see how big our cherry tomato plant has grown in the night or how fluffy the cucumber foliage has gotten in the dark while we were all dreaming. it’s been really amazing. why haven’t i ever been brave enough to garden before?

i seriously have no idea.

anyway, my father in law built our two man raised beds and i converted two clementine boxes into little raised beds for lettuce (one container has mizuna and the other has mixed baby lettuces and three onions). all of the little plots are just set on the grass that was once our yard, coated in potting soil mix and fertilizer, and so far everything has been great. some of the plants are from a local little garden shop and the rest are from seeds i purchased here on Etsy.

i’ve got 4 cucumber plants, 4 gypsy pepper plants, one regular tomato plant, one cherry tomato plant, one japanese eggplant, and two banana pepper plants (one hot, one sweet). i’m excited to see little mini cucumbers growing and my first eggplant bulb peeking out of where a flower once was. the peppers seem to grow in inches over night. it’s amazing. wanna see?

06242011 - The Garden So Far

06242011 - The Garden So Far

06242011 - The Garden So Far 06242011 - The Garden So Far

i’ve always wanted a garden, so this was a big step for me. it’s been a lot of fun, and i really enjoy sharing it with Elisha. he doesn’t quite understand it all yet, but he’s getting the hang of the watering can (when he’s not busy splashing himself) and he’s learned that only i should be doing the weeding. he loves to point out the peppers growing and i have a feeling he’ll get excited about big purple eggplants.

having a baby and having a garden have similar lessons about growth—sometimes, you just have to let it happen but overall you are responsible for cultivating and directing. i can’t hover over my nasturtiums and make them bud or flower. i can’t helicopter over Elisha and expect him to turn out the way i want him to. he’s already an amazing boy, and i’m here to encourage that, to lay a foundation for him that is firm under his little feet. he’s curious and eager to learn in ways i never expected, and that’s taught me a lot about myself and my expectations of parenthood.

this “growing” of a human being (other than myself) is really quite an adventure. it’s often revealing of things i don’t like about myself, but it’s also often rewarding when i can reflect on just how much Elisha has helped me grow into a better person (though albeit sometimes a sleep-deprived one).

06242011 - The Garden So Far

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uh. hello.

i’ve been seriously neglecting both my blogs. my bad.

i feel like this one needs a makover just as much as i feel like my work site needs a sense of direction. part of me wants to use “i’ve been busy” as an excuse, but i know that’s not the only thing keeping me away. the need to get organized and find my words (i know i have them) is what’s been keeping me in hiding.

i have so much to say, but sometimes i get shy. who wants to read what i have to say, anyway? do i have anything useful to share? mmm. i’m not always sure.

but this isn’t a new feeling to me … it’s just one i have to get over.

i’m working on it. i’ve got a blog schedule for Hello Nifty started and one in the works for this site. i have some ideas of a redesign, a redirection, a revival of sorts.

i miss writing. i miss connecting. i miss being a part of something.

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One of Our Garden Pets

One of Our Garden Pets

One of Our Garden Pets

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as of this April, i’ve officially been a Christian for 10 years. i came to Christ in college (at a secular college of 40,000+ people no less), thanks to the examples of roommates and close friends and despite being a liberal arts student from a non-religious household. because i have no real family history of any form of religion being shared or practiced in the home, i suppose i have always been nervous about sharing about how awesome God’s love is with my children.

well, at the moment, Elisha is making all of that terribly easy (thanks, Lord. you always provide when i’m not looking!). he loves, no seriously loves, his Bible. he even says it (sort of; it often comes out like “mamol” instead of “Bible,” but it’s still cute). he’ll take it off the shelf, even if its’s stuck in a crowd of other books. he asks to read it every night before bed (unless he falls asleep in the car while we’re out, then it’s straight to bed on those nights). it’s awesome.

we have a Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. the illustrations by Jago are amazing. i love them! it’s hard to get an example off the internet, so the next time you’re at a bookstore, see if you can find the book. some of the stories are vertical. some of the stories are diagonal. some of the illustrations are just beautiful.

Elisha obviously isn’t old enough to understand the stories or really understand any theology, but it’s really great to be able to read to him about God’s Never Stopping, Never Giving Up kind of love. it’s fun to watch him point to the cover every time one of us says Jesus. for him to be raised knowing the kinds of things that both Justin and I didn’t know or care about until we were adults is really exciting for me. having the security of knowing Someone created and cared for you from childhood will hopefully be a comfort and a blessing for Elisha, an opportunity and a joy i didn’t know myself until much later in life.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.[a] 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)

to be able to pass on our faith instead of hold it back, to be able to bear fruit in His name, is something i’m not taking for granted. it makes having children even more of a meaningful experience than it already is.

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