Category Archives: Amy’s Corner

Save the Rhinos! Run for the Rhinos in Atlanta

I recently received an usual custom artwork request from a loyal customer of mine, Jennifer C. from Atlanta, GA. I get custom artwork requests from all kinds of people and for all kinds of events. But Jennifer needed a unique design created for a special event her young daughter had put together. She wanted a t-shirt design for a community race to save the rhinos and of course, wanted a rhino on the front! IMG_4598When I asked for more details, she told me this:

“My daughter, Elizabeth, has been trying to save the rhinos for almost 5 years now. She has done bake sales, lemonade stands and other fundraisers, but she wanted to do something bigger! So the idea for the Run for the Rhinos was born! She partners with Save the Rhino International in London, and she is very involved in their fundraisers and awareness campaigns.IMG_4611 Her school, The Children’s School, said that, as part of a service learning day, we could put on the Run for the Rhinos starting on campus and running through Piedmont Park. It was a one-mile fun run for kids. We had a blast!! Also, as part of the event we painted handprints on a huge plywood rhino named Prince. Prince will be displayed at Zoo Atlanta to show everyone that ‘You have to be hands on to save the rhinos!’”

IMG_4666I had so much fun creating a super stylish rhino with sneakers and headband. 🙂 But clearly Elizabeth and her friends had a bunch more fun running in this fantastic event. IMG_3046All proceeds from the race and the bake sale were donated to Save the Rhino International. She has her own webpage and maintains it herself! Please check out Elizabeth’s webpage to view more photos of Run for the Rhinos.

May we notice when our children are passionate about something particular, be it art, swimming, writing, drama, design, caring for younger kids, nature, or even rhinos! Let us encourage them to learn, explore and run with it to see where it goes! I love how Elizabeth’s parents have joined in the excitement to place value and love on her and her ideas. IMG_4613What do your kids love and talk about all the time? How can you encourage them, in even a small way, with a specific interest of theirs? This season could be a great opportunity to pick something and enjoy it right along with them!

To see my original rhino design, click here! If you need any custom artwork, please let me know. I’d love to help! Just email me.

Artist Genes? My Daughter’s Surprise!

IMG_4362My beautiful and lovely 17 year old daughter, Emily, has recently discovered something about herself…. she’s a talented artist! I know you’re probably thinking that I’m biased (yes, of course I am) or that I expected or directed her to be an artist (I didn’t, promise!). Other than the genes that are in the family, this story is completely her own. Yes, my great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, and sister were/are all artists in their own special way. But I don’t think any of us ever expected to be artists as young girls… it just kind of happened. And now it seems Emily’s journey as an artist is beginning as well.IMG_0471.JPG

Growing up, Emily colored, drew, and painted just like all little girls do. But when it came time to pick her elective as a high school freshmen she picked whatever her friends were doing, and in her case it was Chorus. She hated it. Ok, cross that one off the list.

For her sophomore year, she choose Yearbook. As much as I think she could have really done well and enjoyed the experience, let’s just say it was a nightmare for various reasons in her particular circumstance. So that’s off the list too.

Emily was told to pick a freshman elective and stick with it so she could announce on her college application how great and proficient she was in that particular “field.” After the first two years of not-so-great elective experiences, my sweet girl faced her Junior year with uncertainty. So my husband and I said, “Don’t worry about all that college stuff, just pick something you like. This is your chance to try stuff out and have fun… this is why they have electives!”

So she came downstairs a few days later and said, “I think I want to try Art.” So as a Junior, she swallowed her pride and plopped her humble self down at the table in Art 1. Not only was the class packed full of freshmen who wanted an easy A, but the class was LAST period – the period where everyone is DONE thinking and teaching for the day. Let’s just say there was a severe lack of enthusiasm in the classroom. So she laid low and avoided the drama as best she could each day. By the middle of the year I began to see a few of her pieces and was impressed by how creative she was. I thought her ideas and execution were fantastic but maybe my bias is kicking in? Regardless, what really mattered to me was that she really seemed to enjoy the work.

One of the Art 1 assignments was to create a self-portrait. She brought it home and she kept saying it was no big deal but what I saw was amazing! A few weeks later she came home and told me that her art teachers and peers at her school looked over all the Art 1, 2 and 3 pieces and chose to send two of her pieces to a county wide art exhibit! By the way, the school can only submit 6 pieces and hardly ever choose something from Art 1. (Shameless Mom plug). We were shocked to find out they chose 2 of Emily’s pieces!

On the evening of April 14th, we piled in the car and headed to a local college where the art exhibit was held. Over 100 pieces of art from students of various high schools all over the county were on display. The event included two high schools specializing in art, The South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts & Humanities and The Fine Arts Center. As we waited for the event to begin, we slowly walked through the exhibit and were amazed by all the imagination, skill and creativity of these students! There were all kinds of mediums including drawing, painting, etching, sculpture, etc.

After all the parents and guests had time to peruse the artwork display, the host began to give out awards. For each category, they gave honorable mentions, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st place awards, and even cash prizes. (Cash? Who knew?) When the drawing category came up (her two pieces where both drawings), the host said the judge had a hard time judging because it was the most competitive category. So the host gave out a bunch of honorable mention awards. Emily’s name was not called so we thought that was the end of that. All of a sudden her big beautiful face flashed on the screen above (her self portrait) and she was awarded 3rd place!! We were speechless! We thought it was good but we knew we were a little biased! Wowee! It ended up that another girl from her school won the Best in Show award. It was great night for her and for her school! And she won $25! (I need to ask her what she spent that on!) 🙂IMG_7093

A few weeks later, they too had an event at her high school for just their pieces. Emily and I dressed up and headed out to see her friends and view all the art. She didn’t think there was much more to it that night and had a headache and wanted to go. I asked her, “Are you sure you want to go? I think I heard an announcement about something later.” She was sure. So we headed out to get some cake. While we were sitting on the back patio she got a call from her friend. “Emily, you won! Your self-portrait won Best in Show!” I screamed, “What?! We missed it?” I was so proud and mad at her at the same time!! We were there but we left and missed the award! I couldn’t believe it. Let me just add that the piece that won Best in Show at the county exhibit was also at her high school exhibit but she placed FIRST this time (another proud Mom statement for you there). She also won a unique award at the Junior/Senior Awards night at her school for her excellence in artwork this year.IMG_7106

I remember one night a few months ago we were talking in her room about college. This was before all these crazy awards happened and she asked me where she would put all her paints, brushes, paper and such at college. I said there’s no room for that in a little college dorm room! I could see her shock, disappointment and true love for it all in one look that she flashed back at me. Plus, we had been talking a lot about college majors and she really didn’t know what she thought about it all. At the time I was thinking Art would make a great hobby/outlet for her to enjoy when it was time to relax – something I believe is critical in this life of intense busyness. IMG_7196But needless to say, she’s taking another look at Art when it comes to college. And we’re excited that this summer she’ll be attending a pre-college art program which should help clarify even further what direction she should head, since this all so fresh after all.

We are THRILLED for her! No matter what she chooses to study or chooses as a career in the future, I think her art genes have finally kicked in. 🙂

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween! I loved Halloween as a kid. I remember the excitement of carving the pumpkin, eating a quick dinner and then setting out with my dad in a sweet little costume I was thrilled about! The candy was fine but the excitement of the day and night was way better! Each of my kiddos are in such different stages of kid-hood so it’s fun for me to watch how they each enjoy it differently.


Emily (she’s 15) is excited about having some girlfriends over where they’ll huddle over the fire pit, eat smores, drink apple cider, and hang out in her ENO under some twinkle lights that she hung in the trees.


Grace (she’s 11) will go to a girlfriend’s house, trick-or-treat with her and then spend the night. She’s dressing up as a “mature bumble bee” (as she put it). Here’s a pic of her after she figured her costume out a few days ago! I’m a little sad not to have her walk with us through the neighborhood this year but super happy she’ll be with a good friend.

Corban is excited and doesn’t even know why! 🙂 He already had a Spiderman mask and t-shirt so I found some pj pants to go with them… therefore, Spiderman he’ll be! He’s just excited about being excited! 🙂 We’ll take him to an outside neighborhood party and then trick-or-treating with him throughout the rest of the neighborhood.

Stay safe everyone and enjoy your little ones tonight, no matter their age!

Children’s Museum in the Upstate: Greenville, SC



This past Saturday, both my husband and eldest daughter were out of town. So, Grace, Corban and I were eating breakfast and trying to figure out what adventure we too, could take!  I opened up a local children’s magazine to see if I spotted anything in there for us to do and found that it was Museum Day Live which includes free admission to participating museums through the Smithsonian. We have a fantastic children’s museum nearby that Grace and Corban are always asking to go to, but we only go once or twice a year because it is so expensive. So, I called our museum and sure enough… it was free! It was a beautiful autumn day outside but I couldn’t beat “free” and my kids were thrilled!

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We got dressed and jumped in the car right away!  The Children’s Museum of the Upstate is located in the heart of downtown Greenville and filled with a variety of super creative exhibits. As soon as you walk in, there is a colorful two-story climbing structure, which is Grace’s favorite feature, I think. On the main floor, circling the structure are race cars, space ships, a kid-sized grocery store with a checkout counter and bank, and a hospital! The top floor has robots, construction, recycling, and a little farmhouse. The bottom floor has a water exhibit, music, tv production, and art rooms. We’ve been there a number of times and it never gets old! They keep a big space on the top floor for new exhibits that they change out every few months. The one that is running now is called Grossology (all things gross)… so we skipped that one. Yuck! Corban isn’t old enough to care, thank goodness! He loved the construction exhibit. He really wanted to wear the yellow construction hat even though it kept falling in his face. His very favorite was the race cars! He worked so hard changing the big tires out! We had a super time having our own adventure and still had the afternoon to enjoy the weather!

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Anniversary Celebration at the Grove Park Inn


Joey and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this week! 20 years is a long time, but it went by fast! It’s hard to believe it’s been that long, because we still feel like kids.

Our mothers have been dear friends since middle school. So, Joey and I have known each other a long time! I’ve had a huge crush on him since I was 5 years old that I’ve never been able to shake. 🙂 We lived in different towns during much of our childhood so we didn’t know each other. As kids, we were opposites… I was a “total dork” and he was “super cool” so that wouldn’t have worked out so well, anyway. We both grew up and changed quite a bit during our high school years though!

Joe (far left) and Amy (far right)

He attended my older sister’s wedding as a family friend and we immediately connected that night and within a few months we quickly fell in love. I was only 19 years old and Joey was almost 20 years old when we got married but when we knew God wanted us to be together as husband and wife, we didn’t want to waste any time dating, so we decided to get married right away!

We were in college at the time, so we just continued life and graduated together. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three fantastic kiddos, a few moves, and a few career changes. Through it all, Jesus has strengthened us with lots of tough times and lots of great times. I wouldn’t have wanted any other man to live life with!

To celebrate, this week we stole away one night to The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. It was just perfect! The weather was gorgeous, the food was delicious and the company was unmatched! We are so thankful to Jesus for giving us His patience, faithfulness and love so we could give it to each other for the last 20 years!

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Friday Amy update: New Website

New Navigational tool and new images on
New Navigational tool and new images on

I am thrilled about our new site and I hope others feel the same way when they visit! is like our home in that we want it to look its best for all our friends! We always want our customers to have a pleasant and easy experience. We have added so many new items over the past few years, we wanted to simplify the hunt for our customers and make our product pictures as vibrant and fun on the screen as they really are in person. So, we dove in and came up with a plan as to how to make that all happen.

My husband and my staff have been working tirelessly on every detail for months and I can’t be more proud of all they have accomplished. I’ve been keeping my little people fed and busy in my mom-world this summer and have only seen little glimpses of the new site design when Joey would ask my opinion on various layouts or colors. There are so many details and complexities to such an undertaking that I don’t know how they got it all to fit together so seamlessly! It’s clean and simple… the way I like just about everything else in my life!

The photos are gorgeous (thanks Melissa!) and the product images are bigger so now everyone can see things so much better. There are some kinks we are still working on as with any big project, but I hope it will be easier for our customers. Not only does it look better but it functions easier. We created a whole new way to search for items with a new navigation tool on the left side of each page. With the holidays quickly approaching we hope our new site will be fresh and easy to use! Thanks everyone for your support!


Friday Amy Update: All Natural Grain Bars Recipe

School is in full swing now and I love having a few hours each morning to work and get my home organized. Part of my job description is head chef! And on January 1st of this year the grocery list had a complete overhaul.

My husband decided to go on a strict 30-day Whole 30 diet. I did it with him to encourage him and make cooking less complicated. The diet basically consists of eating only meat, seafood, vegetables, fruit, nuts and good fat like olive and coconut oil.

So we didn’t eat any sugar, dairy, grains, alcohol, beans, soy or any preservative type stuff. Finding new recipes and allowing more time to cook was a big challenge for me! The first 2 weeks were hard but then we began to feel the difference, especially my husband, so we kept going! My husband has felt so much better that I think he’ll be eating like this for the rest of his 1

Before we started, we didn’t eat tons of junk food, but we did eat it on occasion and sugar and bread were always nearby. When we started, our kids would eat dinners with us so I didn’t have to make two different meals. Over time, they ate through all our not-so-healthy pantry food so their transition was a bit more gradual. I don’t buy much of that stuff anymore so they eat a lot healthier food along with us now too and have adapted to it quite well!

Each of us eat a little differently because we’ve found our bodies tolerate and digest food in unique ways. My husband and Emily basically stick to the Whole 30 diet. Grace and Corban eat sprouted and organic grains, healthy sugar and local dairy. And I eat a bit of all of that! Overall, we are so glad we made the switch. The biggest change I’ve seen is that my energy levels are consistently good without needing that sugar rush at 3pm.

I don’t want to sound legalistic or snooty about it and I’ll definitely eat a doughnut on occasion, but the more I read about eating “clean” (as they say), it just seems to make sense for our bodies in the short and long term. So it’s become our new normal.

This week I made some grain bars… a recipe I got from my fellow artist, Ali North! Now it’s not Whole 30 compliant but it’s filled with some all-natural stuff, so I like it! 🙂 Check it out below!photo 2

2 cups oats

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup chocolate chips (non-diary, non-soy)

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)

1 cup sun butter or peanut butter

1 tsp sea salt

Just mix it all together and press it into a pan. Put it in the freezer for 30 minutes or so so it will settle together. Then cut up into bars, place each bar in a plastic baggie, and freeze them all so they are ready to put out and eat whenever you want!

Feel free to modify the ingredients to whatever you like! Some other suggestions are: coconut flakes, dried fruit, chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds

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Friday Amy Update: Emily Get’s her Driver’s License… Finally

photo 2 - Copy (2)Emily is driving!! So if back-to-school week wasn’t hectic enough, we obtained Emily’s Driver’s License as well! It has been QUITE an ordeal, I must say. The state of South Carolina has a lot of rules when it comes to new drivers.

First, she had to get her Learners Permit by taking a written test at the Department of Motor Vehicles which she did in the spring. Then, she had to take a Driver Education Class through a local company. They were excellent, but strict! She took a long 1-day class and then went out with an instructor for multiple hours on multiple days.

We spent the summer driving around town trying to get in our 40 hours of required drive time, ten of which had to be at night. We waited to drive at night until after we had done the majority of the 30 daytime hours. In the summer, it doesn’t get dark until 8:30-9 o’clock! So, we spent a few weeks lugging ourselves out the door at that hour when we’d rather just stay home in our 1

Emily really did not like practicing. School and sports come easy to her but this was a tough one! This experience really stretched her and her sweet personality. She had to learn how to make quick decisions and to be a confident driver. She had to learn to take criticism which is never fun for any of us, but she got through it!

We finally finished all that and thought we’d have her license in hand within a day or two, but we hit so many road blocks that it took weeks! She just needed a road test, but things kept coming up!  The instructor had to reschedule, the DMV was booked or closed, and another time we didn’t have the right paperwork! Ahhh! We finally got the test done (that was super intense for my girl) and she passed! We finally got to back to the DMV and get her license!

Whew! I’m a little nervous about letting her out on the road, but I know the more she drives the better she’ll get! And the less I’ll have to drive her all over creation! 😉

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Friday Amy Update: Back to School

blog 2It’s back to school week! Some of us are a bit more excited than others to see this week arrive but it is here none the less. We’ve been working hard gathering all our supplies, clothes and all the other school gear over the last few weeks. Now we can check everything off the lists!

The first to go back to school was Grace, my 6th grader. She goes to a small Christian school and they like to ease their students in so she went to school for a half day on Monday and Tuesday then her first full day of school was on Wednesday. She is excited about taking Band for the first time! She hopes she’ll be able to play the drums, but we’ll see what her teacher says about that.

Emily, my sophomore in high school, started with a full day on Tuesday. She is running Cross Country again this year and she had her first cross country meet on the very first day! Her class load is full of honors and AP classes this year. She’s a little nervous about all the work, but I’m confident she’ll do just as great as last year.

Corban’s first day of preschool was on Thursday. He will now be going to the same school as Grace. It will be nice to have at least two kids in the same school. Last year they all attended 3 different schools and it was a little complicated! Corban will go to school from 8:15-noon, everyday this year. He’ll be in a K4 class even though he’s 5 years old. We think he’ll fit in perfectly. 🙂

I am excited about getting my routine back.  I can’t wait to have the time to get my new fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas designs up on the site. I have a lot of ideas and sketches. Now, I just need to make them come alive! If you have have any design ideas… email us: help@!

Friday Amy Update: Introducing Pepe!

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On August 11, 2014 our family welcomed our new little dog, Pepe! He was my grandmother’s beloved pet and after she passed away a few weeks ago, we were honored to inherit him. Pepe is a Bichon Frise who was found on the side of the road a number of years ago. We think he is 10-12 years old.

My husband flew to Houston TX and back the very next day to bring Pepe home. My girls had NO idea he was coming. We wanted it to be a big surprise… and it was! They started laughing and squealing with delight. After a few minutes Grace said, “Do we get to keep him?” My husband quickly stated that he “just flew all the way to TX and back so yes, we are defintely keeping him.”

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My husband had a few dogs growing up but I never grew up with a dog or any pets, for that matter. I did have a bird for a year or so, but I’m not sure that counts. Let’s just say I’m not a big fan of pets in general. We bought a puppy a few years ago and it ended up being a terrible experience so we gave him back to the breeder. My girls have been begging us for a dog for years since then but we just weren’t ready. However, when this particular circumstance arose, we knew it would be a tremendous blessing to our kids and we think my grandmother, Meg, would be thrilled as well. Since we’ve been saying no for so long, you can see why my kids were so surprised!

We are sincerely enjoying him. He has not barked once since he’s been here! He’s obedient and happy to play or sleep. Pepe has only been with us a few days but so far he’s been a joy!

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