My second font is now available! I designed this font with a little bit of structure and little bit of whimsy – the base is a traditional serif font, but it is has a handwritten style with a contemporary twist. Its name is inspired by the fall flower, the aster.
I recently had the opportunity to create these rustic wedding invitations for a friend. I used free handdrawn wreaths from Best Day Ever, a simple ribbon from Sugar Studios, and two free fonts: Antrokas and Mossy. I love the look of the dramatic calligraphy contrasted by the clean handwritten font.
I will always cherish October as the month that I first started falling in love with my husband. The crispness of the air, the cawking of the crows, and the anticipation of the coming holidays all remind me of the days when we first got to know each other.
Our friendship began in high school through studying together and being in theatre together. I quickly started getting butterflies each time he looked at me with his gorgeous blue eyes or shared his thoughts with me about God and life.
While we were dating, we used to spend hours each night talking on the phone. I will always remember one evening in particular when he told me he had heard a song, and that it reminded him of me…
“I think that possibly, maybe I’m falling for you
Yes there’s a chance that I’ve fallen quite hard over you
I’ve seen the paths that your eyes wander down
I want to come too
I think that possibly, maybe I’m falling for you
No one understands me quite like you do
Through all of the shadowy corners of me”
As the years pass by, I feel increasingly grateful for the boy who shared that song with me that night, and for the strong, kind, intelligent, and gentle man he has become. And the longer we are together, the more I thank God for someone who understands “all of the shadowy corners of me” and who has chosen me to love and to cherish. And I look forward to falling for him over and over for the rest of our lives.
I lace up my spikes with unsteady hands and make my way to the starting line. Girls with uniforms of all different styles and hues repeat their rituals—jogging in place, jumping up and down, stretching their calves—as calls ring out from the announcer and echo across the stadium.
At last, the time comes: “Girls, find your starting places.”
I shuffle over to my lane, carefully position my feet, look ahead, and take a deep breath. As I wait for the next words of instruction, I face a barrage of questions: Why am I doing this? Is it really worth it? Will I be successful, or will I fail?
As a cross country and track runner in high school, I experienced this scenario more times than I can count. At the start of each race, I remember doubting myself and my abilities, fearing the exhaustion that would soon overtake my body, and questioning why I was passionate about running.
Although I am no longer a competitive runner, I can completely relate to my high school self as I approach the starting line of my second year of teaching. With the first day of school only a week away, I find myself asking all the same questions I used to ask myself before a race. Why am I doing this? Is it really worth the effort? Will I be successful, or will I fail?
Before beginning my first year of teaching last year, I was nervous because I had no idea what to expect. This year, I find myself nervous because I do know what to expect – the unmotivated students who choose to fail time after time, the mornings spent worrying about what to teach and how to teach it, the nights spent praying for hurting students, the paperwork that is always waiting to be completed, the nervousness before giving a test, the tired feet, the weary heart, the feelings of failure and incompetence.
But, just as I stood at the starting line back in high school and remembered the glory of the finish line, I can’t help but remember the beauty of my job – the mornings with students already waiting outside the door to ask for help, the inspiration I find in my students’ passions and dreams, the celebrations of students passing a test or doing well on a paper, the times when students realize that literature is more than reading old stories written by dead people and that writing is more than simply words on a page, the laughter filling my classroom and the hallways, the appreciation, the encouragement, the fulfillment.
As I wait for the next words of instruction, I face a barrage of questions: Why am I doing this? Is it really worth it? Will I be successful, or will I fail?
Before I have time to answer, I hear “On your marks….Get set….Go!”
And all the fears racing through my mind seem to vanish with the smoke of the starting gun as I determine to do my best in this race and consider that a success.
When Tanner and I got married, we didn’t spend much money on decorating our apartment. Most of our furniture was either given to us or ours before we got married, and we haven’t done much with it since. I recently stumbled across this dresser makeover and was inspired to add a new touch to my own dresser.
I had this dresser from Ikea in my bedroom from before we got married, but it is one of the pieces of furniture we had that fit relatively well into our style – clean and simple. Unlike the dresser at Smitten Studio, mine was already white, so I just wanted to add some sparkle (literally and figuratively) to our knobs. I had some left over metallic gold spray paint from some decorations I made for my wedding last year (see here), and I also gathered some extra materials I had lying around to help make the painting process easier.
knobs (of course)
styrofoam (or a cardboard box)
I placed each knob onto a toothpick to make them easier to handle while painting. While my idea worked really well for the knobs, I unintentionally gave my left thumb a new coat of nail polish, so you may want to use gloves. As I finished each knob, I simply stuck the toothpicks in the styrofoam to let them dry without having to touch them or rest them on anything. And here are the finished results! I was pretty satisfied since I spent no money on the materials (although even if I had, it would have come out to less than $10), and it only took about 15 minutes. What are some simple makeovers you have done that made a big impact?
When I was younger, my definition of art was very limited. I only appreciated artistic expression that I could relate to or that I was attracted to. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to value many forms of art, whether modern or traditional, abstract or concrete, functional or avant-garde, even if it doesn’t align with my personal aesthetic. I now realize that art is not so much about the product, but about the process and the passion. I see beauty in so much around me.
However, despite all this beauty that I have witnessed in this world, nothing is more stunning to me than the beauty of nature.
I recently had the opportunity to travel to Colorado, which I have never before visited in the summer. Everywhere I went, everything I saw, emanated beauty. I can’t help but agree with Thoreau that nature is the greatest (maybe second, only to love) source of inspiration and beauty. In some ways, it seems unbelievable to think that of all the artists who have existed and of all the masterpieces that have been created, it is the oldest piece of art in history that I view as the greatest.
And yet, this all makes sense when I think about the Artist who designed this complex yet simple, mystifying yet tangible, and savage yet fragile piece of art we call earth.
PHOTO CREDITS// CINDY HEARNE, TANNER HEARNE
For the encouragement to keep coloring even when I colored out of the lines,
For the time spent reading “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”,
For the willingness to look silly by joining in with my ballet class,
For the prayers spoken over me and with me every day,
For the sacrifices made to give me a private Christian education,
For the countless hours spent at the kitchen table tutoring me in geometry and calculus,
For the patience each time I made a mistake,
For the hugs each time I needed one,
For the dedication to being at my concerts, meets, awards nights, and performances,
For the treating me like your little princess,
For the forgiveness when I’ve taken you for granted,
For the example set for being a husband, a father, and a follower of God,
For the listening ear that is always available,
For the challenge to seek out the needy and serve,
For the wisdom that guides me through life’s decisions,
For the unconditional love and support
…I will be forever grateful.
I love you, Daddy. Happy Father’s Day.