Posts in creativity
Artist-Inspired Holidays

Words cannot express the joy it brings my little beating heart to see great art fill the world. I especially geek out over all things holiday-themed. This year I wanted to share my top picks for holiday items that are made or designed by artists that you can purchase online to fill your little beating heart with joy, too. Would these items not make excellent gifts?

First, these hand-painted ornaments by Emily Jeffords, Katherine Jury, and Britt Bass Turner. Could not be cuter.

In terms of holiday-themed wall art, there is no one who's painting hold more magic for me than Janet Hill. I can't even pick a favorite. Browse her Christmas prints here.

Is it ok if I include a few of my own things? I mean, if I didn't think they were cute or worth buying, I wouldn't make them, right? The Santa and Red Truck ornaments are a few of my favorites this year.

This Advent Calendar designed by Quill & Fox (sold by Anthropologie) is probably the cutest Advent Calendar I've seen. I bought one and am currently pretending it's for Josie. ;) Check out Yas' other Christmas products here. (This cat platter, anyone?)

Same artist as the Advent Calendar- this Thanksgiving card is just adorable! I SO wish there were more Thanksgiving products out there...maybe I should design some...no, Michelle, stay focused!

I love the slightly less traditional Christmas card designs, like this super cute card by Emma Block. I'm easily bored by the overstocked generic discount cards you find everywhere this time of year. No thank you.

I'm always swooning over the creativity and design work of artist Roxy Marj. Her stockings and ornaments for Land of Nod are the perfect blend of odd and adorable and quirky and fun. That little red mushroom ornament!

And last but not least I wanted to introduce you to my very own Custom Ornament Gift Certificates, available for purchase here to reserve your spot on my Custom Home Portrait Ornament Wait List. I've had so many requests for these custom ornaments, and I just can't seem to paint them fast enough! So, I've made this super cute ornament gift card just in time for the holidays.

I really hope you enjoy the creativity and talent of these fun artists I've featured today! 

When You Want to Say Yes to Everything
 artist studio of Michelle Schneider, The Art of Michelle

artist studio of Michelle Schneider, The Art of Michelle

I'm not sure why it took me so long to realize that full-time stay-at-home mom is not the life for me.

In order to keep my sanity and still grow as a person, I need a lot of alone time to think, read, journal, pray, paint, and work on my business. You just don't get that kind of time when you have a toddler running around the house in her diaper screaming! :)

I'm willing to give up nearly everything for my kids, but, I've come to realize that there are some things I'm actually NOT willing to give up. My career has just meant too much to me- it's a part of who I am, really. It's one of those things that brings me joy and restores my sanity. I'm just not willing to give it up right now.

 an animation I've been working on

an animation I've been working on

Having kids has been a great filtering system for me to see quickly and clearly what I need to start saying "no" to and let drop out of my life and what I want/need to say "yes" to. It's actually helped me simplify my life to where I now feel the freedom to be much more selective with my decisions in order to allow me enough time to be with my family and do the things that are really important with my career.

Nowhere does this filtering system serve a better purpose than in my business. I used to feel like I wanted to do everything, literally everything, with my art from licensing to wholesale to illustration. I was always adding to the list of aspirations.

 out for a walk with Josie and Sarge

out for a walk with Josie and Sarge

But now it seems to be crystal clear that my focus needs to be in just two areas every single day: serving my customers and working toward a career in children's illustration. The rest, for now, I'll have to say no to, even though saying no literally gives me pain in my gut almost every time. I still want to do everything, but I now know that I just can't do it all right now.

This newfound clarity has really been inspiring and motivating for me lately, and, for the first time in a very long time, the lack of clutter in my brain has caused a flood of new ideas for my portfolio and for children's books and illustrations. I've been working on my portfolio nearly every day when I finish my commissions, which is huge for me!

So, I'm thanking God today for all the help I've had lately with Josie and for the clarity that I've been so desperately praying for! I'm hoping to start sharing more of my personal illustrative work here on the blog and will in some small ways over the next year, start to turn my career in that direction. 

Custom Christmas Ornaments

Every year around Christmastime I get the itch to paint holiday-themed things. And every year I run out of time for lack of planning and foresight.

So, last Christmas I started planning for this Christmas. I paid attention to every product, every card, cute package design, creative ideas from other artists, and made endless lists of ideas. Then, in January of this year, I filtered through my list and decided to start collecting samples of products I wanted to paint. 

I tracked down, after weeks of research, a wholesale ceramic store, set up an account and started ordering samples. I think my husband thought I was crazy when the boxes of ceramic ornaments, Easter eggs, and trinket trays started arriving in our breezeway mid-February.

I held a few small Easter egg painting classes here in my studio with a handful of close friends, and they all seemed to love these new products as much as I did!

I have a few painting classes scheduled for Fall/Winter (which I'll share more about when the time comes), but what I wanted to show you today is the first Christmas product I'm releasing: Custom Home Portrait ornaments!

A few days ago I posted a photo on social media of the finished ornament, and people have been requesting them for pre-sale like crazy! So, I went ahead and set up a limited number of pre-sale ornaments for purchase today. I'll stop taking new orders on these after these first 20 and will reopen the listing once the first round of ornaments are finished.

There are so many more Christmas-themed ideas I have for this year, but since it's only July, we'll start here. :) To keep up to date on my Wait List times and new products, please sign up for my newsletter here.