Tuesday, April 15, 2014

paper, wood, and paint (and my high hopes for them).

The spring line launches tomorrow (with the exception of prints--unfortunately, there's going to be a delay on those bad boys) and I couldn't be more excited.

When I first started my shop in 2010, its purpose was for me to discover who I am as an artist and to keep me busy while Chris was deployed. I had just quit the art classes I had started in Honolulu and I was questioning my identity as an artist. Four years later, I'm still learning who I am as an artist, and God has revealed so much about who I am in Him. And now with a toddler and a baby on the way, I don't need something else to keep me busy. 

But sharing my artwork with you guys has become a passion and I love being a part of the handmade community online. Over the past few months, I've been thinking and praying a lot about the purpose behind my shop and why I share my art. I shared a little bit about the inspiration behind the spring line last week. As I've been preparing listings to go up tomorrow morning, I'm praying over each item and thinking about my very specific hopes for the products that are going into the shop. 

My hope is that my hand-painted notebooks will become a vital part of your quiet time, an essential that you'll carry for brainstorming blog post ideas, sketches and prayer requests for friends. I hope that you will gift them to friends who need a little inspiration, or a place to keep their thoughts. I hope that these notebooks will go out into the world and find themselves surrounded by deep community, sweet friendships and hearts that are eager to learn and discover. 

My hope for my necklaces and brooches is that they will grace the necks and collars of girls and women who need a little bright spot in their day (or outfit!) I hope they will be just-because gifts for your moms, friends and sisters-something to let them know they are loved. That when you see your necklace hanging on your wall or sitting on your nightstand, that you'll be reminded of your beauty and worth in Christ. 

I hope that the prints I've designed will hang on your walls and sit on your bookshelves and that your eyes will read the words and your heart will be encouraged. That when you see the Rise and Shine print in your son's room, you'll be reminded that each day is a gracious gift, even when that little boy rises and shines way earlier than you'd like (not like I'd know anything about that-ha!). That the Fruits print will be a special way for you to bond with your daughter as you teach her each of the fruits of the Spirit and what they mean for our lives. I envision 5x7 prints getting mailed to friends old and new as small reminders of God's goodness and faithfulness. 

I know these are high hopes for simple things like pieces of paper, wood and paint. But I guess that's part of the fun of it all. Never knowing where these pieces are going and what they might do in someone's day or life. 

Tomorrow morning, head over to the shop to see all the new products! 

PS. Hop over to Instagram later today for a chance to help spread the news about the Hello Hue Studio spring line and win some HelloHue goodies of your own! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

remaining in the moment.

It was not too terribly long ago that I had myself convinced that in order to fully enjoy and remember a sweet weekend or fun family outing, that I had to snap pictures of each photogenic moment. I'm still working on shaking off that sentiment, but looking around the house at the reminders of our weekend with friends and family, I'm thankful for all the moments I spent time in this weekend.

There is a little metal mail truck sitting beside me that was a gift from a visiting blog friend and her adorable boys on Friday. Silas has fallen in love with it and it's the first thing he runs for when we get downstairs after nap time . It's a reminder to me of the beauty of the internet and how "screen friends" can be become true friends in just a few hours. 

A short stack of bright bowls sits on our coffee bar, making me smile thinking about a little Anthropologie and Chikfila field trip with girlfriends on Saturday. 

Beneath my sweatshirt collar, there's a faint line where my chest got a little sunburnt while I sat basking in the warm sunshine during Si's Saturday nap. I had a good book in my hand, coconut ice cream in my bowl, and the baby was wiggling around in my belly. That was a good moment be in. 

On Saturday evening, we took a walk down to the beach with Chris' parents and inadvertently met up with a small crowd of our church people. After gyros and fried seafood dinner on the beach, we trekked back to our house for the first bonfire of the season, complete with sampling Chris' first few batches of home-brew beer and s'mores. The pile of smoky sweatshirts waiting to be laundered by the stairs is a stinky and persistent reminder of that pretty-much perfect night. (Funny how the smell of a bonfire is so alluring in the moment, but just a few hours later, makes me want to gag.)

Chris' parents were here all weekend, and the best part is watching Si with them. He's finally at the age where he's old enough to get excited about their arrival, and several times during the weekend, he would take a running leap into Chris' dad's arms. I didn't get a single picture of them together, but I know Si won't soon forget wrestling with Grandpa on the living room floor or reading through the new books that Grandma brought him. 

I love looking back at pictures I've taken during particularly beautiful weekend hikes, or the first time we walked the pier with Silas down in Florida. I can't deny the power of having moments big and small captured by a photo. But more and more, there is a tug inside of me to remain in the moment as it happens. I think blogging and Instagram have convinced a part of my brain that a photo will be the only way to remember, but I'm working on re-teaching myself to stuff my phone back in my bag and soak up the scent of Si's hair, the sound of Chris' laugh, and the words my friend is saying.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

spring line 2014 sneak peek!

Next week, on April 16th, tons of new designs will arrive in the shop! I struggled a bit with the direction of the spring line, until I realized that I was focused more on what I thought was expected of me in my art, and less on what I wanted to do and what God wanted to show through me. 

Here's a little of what you can expect to find. 

Next week, you'll find the shop filled with good words-- words that I know will bring hope, truth and joy to your day. Encouraging words that have been coursing through my heart as I create. They are phrases from the Bible and from songs that have brought lots of joy to me, and I pray they will do the same for you. It's been pressing on my heart to bring more of my faith into my artwork, and these notebooks and prints are the result of that. My hope for these pieces is that the words will pour over you during quiet time as you write in your notebook, that you would be reminded of them each time you pass that print hanging on your wall. I hope that you will gift these pieces to friends and family, passing along the encouragement and joy found in these words. 

You'll also find some brand new motifs-- my favorite of which is the brushstrokes. This particular pattern is really representative of my desire to paint what comes to me organically, instead of what might be popular or what might sell. It's carefree, colorful and you'll find it covering notebooks, necklaces, brooches, and prints. I'm excited to bring a more organic feel into the shop, and I have a few really fun pieces in the works that you'll see in a few months! 

My newest product, the brooches, have been patiently awaiting their release for a few months. Next week, I'll share a few ways you can wear them and my favorite ways to see them styled. Just like the necklaces, they are colorful and a sweet way to add some personality to your outfit! 

In a way, this artwork has been the most labored-over since I opened my shop four years ago. It's more cohesive than anything I've done before, and I've prayed over the pieces, excited to think about who will hold them in their hands in the next few months. But at the same time, it's been a really freeing time of realizing that my artistic voice can be anything I wish, and the joy that comes in that allows me to let loose with my paintbrush and pen. It's always fun to see what comes out of that. 

PS. Awesome photography by RuthEileen Photography-- a sweet friend, and fellow creative with a beautiful heart! 

Friday, April 4, 2014

the things I want to remember about Si at 20 months.

Silas is 6 days shy of 20 months. I could write a whole book about the things I want to remember about  him at this age.

I wouldn't say that this is the most difficult age we've dealt with so far (I mean, the little man does sleep almost 12 hours now-unlike the first 10 months of his life!), but it's tiring and challenging. We're navigating through the beginnings of discipline rather ungracefully (oh, the tantrums!), and some days all I want to do is flip on the TV and take a break from his go-go-going. But more than any of that, gosh, it's fun. Several times a week, I find myself in a nice deep belly laughing at his toddler antics.

 He's outgoing, curious, and so stinkin' stubborn. He is loves snacks "nak", trucks, and his teddy bears (his "roar"s).

 He's smart-- he knows when he's got two of something in his hands and does a little "two" dance-- not dissimilar to the "I've got a pickle" dance. He talks non-stop and will matter-of-factly tell us "nope" if we guess wrong on what he's trying to tell us. Since we have construction on our street, he's become enamored with trucks, and he knows which ones are back-hoes, which are dump trucks, and so on. We bought him those tiny trucks at Target this week and he hasn't let them out of his sight since.

Recently, he's really been into his pacifier ("bee-bee"). We only let him have it when he's sleeping, and he's usually great about tossing it in his crib so it's waiting for him at bedtime, but it's become a little bit of a battle lately.

One of my very, very favorite parts of this age and his personality lately has been the songs. Oh boy, his sweet little voice. He'll go stand on an upside-down puzzle, a book, or even a dishtowel on the ground, and on that stage of his, he bursts into song about whatever. He even takes requests and will sing about his trucks, his Mama, or snacks if asked. It's the sweetest. He woke us up with singing from his crib this morning.

Lately, I feel like he's definitely watching more TV than I'd like. But with the cold weather, and my tired body, that's the easiest way for us to relax in the afternoons before Chris gets home. He's particularly into Elmo lately, but he's also a big fan of Dinosaur Train and Backyardigans. (and he gets excited about Thomas the Train when he sees it, but I'm trying to squash that excitement. I don't think I'm the only mom who can't stand that show.) Anyway, I'm trying not to "bad mom" myself, and the warm weather and outside play time is making us all much happier.

As we were praying with our home group at the end of Bible study last night, Silas sat in my lap, folded his hands, bowed his head and squeezed his little eyes shut. It made my heart swell with thankfulness that I get to be mama to this awesome kiddo.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

grow your brand with hellohue!

We're turning a corner here, and I think we have some warm weather on the horizon. It's been a long winter, and one where I found it difficult to be inspired or productive. Some of that had to do with the first trimester of my pregnancy, but I think that it's normal for creative people to just go through dry spells for no reason at all. Thankfully, I seem to be turning a corner on that as well and I'm super excited for the things coming to the blog and shop this spring. New products, a fun lookbook, some DIY projects in the works and of course, lots of spring style inspiration.

It's been several months since I've called for sponsors. In my opinion, I really have no business asking fellow artists and small biz brands to join me on the blog if I'm not even interested in posting regularly or coming up with decent content. And that's how it's been the past few months, so it's been relatively quiet on the sponsor front. But as spring draws near, and I'm finding myself with more energy, I'm excited to ask YOU to join me in growing your biz. 

If you're a small biz looking to gain some traffic, sales and followers, I'd love to have you on board. Whether you're interested in a product review, giveaway, or a sidebar ad, there's an option that will work great for you and your business. Over 1,000 pairs of eyeballs see my posts each day, and Instagram (where I have over 4k followers) is one of my very favorite ways to share my favorite new brands. Click here to see my rates, more stats and policies for sponsors. 

Feel free to shoot me an email  {hellohueblog {gmail}.com} if you have an idea you want to shoot around or any questions. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

bump watch:: 14 weeks

We took advantage of the spring temperatures on Saturday and ventured out to explore a new park. With perfect views of Boston skyline, and lots of space to run, it's bound to be a go-to picnic spot this summer. I'm just ready for green grass and blue skies again. 

jacket:: {francesca's}
button down:: {target}
tank:: {target}
necklace:: {dear mushka}
boots:: {c/o lulu's}

Today I'm officially in week 14 of this pregnancy, which means week two of second trimester. This time around has been so vastly different than last time. For starters, when we found out we were pregnant with Silas, it was after a bit of a struggle and was so long- awaited. (You can read more about that story here). With this baby, I was expecting another long wait for those two lines and was caught by surprise when we got pregnant just a few months into trying. So that might be why things have felt less real and I've almost been in denial about the whole thing. 
It may also have to do with the fact that I barely any nausea this time around. With Silas, I couldn't even hear Chris say the word 'chicken' without feeling sick. But during this second pregnancy, I've only been a bit queasy and mostly just starving all the time and extremely tired. Which I'll take over pukey any day. But I guess the absence of that nausea has made this pregnancy seem a little less real to me. No complaining here. 

And then there's the fact that I'm trying to keep up with a 19 month old each day, and I don't have the luxury of laying on the couch to feel every growing pain and stretching ligament like I did last time. 

But that belly decided to pop out this week and oh boy, I can't deny that there's a baby in there. And we got to see him or her during an ultrasound a few weeks ago and that perfect little profile was more than enough proof for me that our lives are about to change again in a wild and awesome way. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

spring break.

Chris has been on spring break this past week. We wrote out a long list of to-dos on our kitchen chalkboard, hoping to get a bunch of house projects done while he was home. 

Fix the kitchen tiles that are popping up. 

Get the backyard and gardens prepped for planting this spring. 

Sharpen the kitchen knives. 

Hang up artwork that's been hanging around for nine months. 

Strip the wallpaper in the office. 

Yeah, I had high hopes for that list. 

We  (meaning, Chris) got one finished (our master bathroom sorely needed some updated fixtures), but the rest of the list is about to get erased today and scrapped for later this spring. 

Despite being moderately unproductive this week, it was pretty wonderful to have Chris around. The early mornings with Silas are a little less painful when I have a partner to chug a mug or two of coffee with me. And Si's silly antics are a little bit funnier when Chris is there to snicker next to me. 

Our week included giant donuts on Sunday morning from the Donut King, the beginning stages of spring cleaning,  many mornings of delicious breakfasts (pancakes! waffles! bacon! smoothies!), and plenty of chill time and wrestling matches with Daddy. Plus a little bit of bump watching, as this baby grows. 

Chris said to me the other day, "You look gooood, babe!" And I feel good. Just out of my first trimester-- still exhausted all the time, but starting to look more pregnant and feel more pregnant, just without all the swollen limbs and  heartburn. Oh dang, the heartburn is definitely something I could do without this time around. 

So for the last few days of Chris' break, we'll be fitting in as many slow-start mornings, lazy afternoons, and sunshine soaking as we can (and I might be sneaking in a solo shopping trip later this afternoon). I've embraced the fact that our kitchen knives aren't going to be sharpened this week, and the garden outside won't be prepped for spring planting. But maaaybe we can fit in a little day trip on Saturday, and maaaaybe I can convince Chris to make another donut run on Sunday. And that will be "productive" enough for me.