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Archive for September 2013

sketch journal . 092713


I haven’t picked up my brush in a while, but tonight I decided to do some little studies for an idea I have for the October AQUA creative journal.  If you’re on that list, you may see these again next week.

favorite color 092613 . Inspired by Fall

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I’m starting to see that sky — that particular shade of blue that says “fall!” Although we still have warm days, this week I saw the first Bradford Pear leaf change its color and the first sasanqua camellia bud begin to open in my yard. So, I’m taking my color inspiration today from the promise of Fall. Hope you’re getting excited in your part of the pond 🙂

go . Post Office on Jefferson Street


Hundreds of little metal doors with tiny windows marked with hand-painted numbers in red and gold. I have to admit it’s why I love to walk in the post office in Macon, MS. I wander in there every now and then when I’m visiting my parents hometown because it’s filled with interesting shapes and textures. And those little decorative, but time-worn doors.  They are so fascinating to me for some reason.

The lobby is a tiny L-shaped space where folks still come to check their mail. I’m not sure when the structure was built, but it has the tall, chicken-wire laced windows and warm woodwork you don’t often see in more modern public buildings. Plus, the north wall contains a painting created by Douglass Crockwell through the Depression-era Works Progress Administration, dated 1944.

Mr. Crockwell became a fairly popular artist in the 1940s-50s creating advertisements and cover art for some notable companies as well as the Saturday Evening Post. The work was created more specifically under the jurisdiction of the US Treasury Department in its Treasury Section of Fine Arts designed to offer artists commission work to create paintings and sculptures for public spaces in the 30s and 40s. The painting depicts the “Signing of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek.”

I imagine walking into the Post Office would be a lot like it was in the 1950s if it weren’t for the glossy posters touting first class mail and “forever” stamps. It still has hand-painted signs for the “office” part of the Post Office and the now-dissolved “Civil Service Commission”. The stained wood is still polished and pock-marked next to newer, more modern metal stands and the metal sliding door covering the postal counter.

Every time I wander in, I always wish for a tiny key to slip into box number 534 or some other sacred address to turn the lock and retrieve some treasured bit of correspondence.

[Macon Post Office, 201 Jefferson Street; Macon, MS]

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Thank It Forward


In July, Small Pond Graphics celebrated its 3-year birthday! Diving into my own freelance design business was an unexpected opportunity in 2010, but God has used it to provide so many new creative outlets, business connections and much daily joy for me and my family. I’m honored to include so many of YOU among the blessings I’ve received through this Small Pond adventure.

In the last three years, Small Pond Graphics has served a collection of clients seeking boutique creative services. I’ve been drawing and posting and writing and designing and thinking and tweeting — and even getting back to my “maker” roots with The Frog Kisser etsy shop. And I’ve had fun doing it all!

I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with so many to bring great ideas to fruition. Since gratitude is a feast best shared, I spent much of the summer creating a special collection of hand-crafted “thank you” gifts for as many of you as I could afford 🙂 The gifts were a set of hand-printed journals and thank you notes to help you THANK IT FORWARD — over 500 print runs block-printed by hand for 36 packages! A labor of love.


As an extension of my THANK IT FORWARD idea, this summer I also began planning for a new monthly ezine called AQUA that I envisioned as a creative journal used as a way to stay in touch with friends and colleagues. And, I wanted to have an outlet to periodically share my gratitude by giving little pieces of creativity back to those who have supported Small Pond Graphics. So, every issue of AQUA will include a couple of free designs in downloadable form for subscribers to enjoy for their marketing efforts or personal celebrations.


I launched the first issue of AQUA yesterday, and I’m very excited about it! It includes an update on some of my creative inspiration as well as a fun little gift tag printable I’ll share later here. It also includes a printable thank you notecard exclusively for AQUA subscribers. I’d love to have you join the mailing list!

I learn more each day that gratitude is an essential life model, and these last three years of Small Pond Graphics have taught me it’s a pretty good business model as well. I’m eager to test that theory by taking the opportunity to give more celebration tools to those who have given such support to me. I hope that as you find YOURSELF grateful, these gifts will help you take note of it and pass along your thankful heart to other.


make . Birthday Circle Banner [printable]


Last month, we celebrated my Baby Girl’s 5-year-old birthday with her first little “friend party,” held in our backyard with lots of swimming, playing in the sandbox, and eating cupcakes! [Give me a moment, because I can’t believe she’s five already!]

I used some doodles and hand-drawn letters on her party invitations, including a cupcake with plenty of Baby Girl’s signature sprinkles. I thought I would share with you the “Happy Birthday” banner, “Happy” hang-ables and favor tags I made to match. They are a very easy print and cut pattern. I just used scallop scissors to cut them out so it doesn’t matter if you don’t cut a perfect circle. The banner and hang-ables are about 8″ circles, and the favor tags are about 3 1/2″ circles. The downloadable PDFs include one circle per letter for “Happy Birthday,” “Happy,” and cupcake hang-ables, as well as the small cupcake circle tag with an optional “thank you” to print on the flip side. The pieces are in pastel pink (my girl’s fave), green, lavender and blue. Just punch holes and tie or hang for your own celebration. And, really, is there ever a day when we don’t need more “HAPPY” and cupcakes?




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And, just to recap… Awww!


[originally posted at EyeJunkie.com on her 1st birthday :)]

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