Monday, November 26, 2012

Giveaways Galore!

If you haven't figured it out by now, we love giving stuff away ... for real. This time of year I can barely contain my excitement to make {or occasionally buy} gifts for people. It's my favorite time of year!!!

Well, it probably won't come as a surprise then to find out that we currently have 3, yes, that's right I said THREE giveaways going on with some of our new{er} bloggy friends! You read about one of them in my last post, but I figured today in honor of "Cyber Monday" {whatever that means}, I'd highlight the three giveaways so you can check them out and maybe save a few bucks on Christmas presents! So here we go ...

Giveaway #1 Details: Inspired To Action -
If you stop over and take their "Good Deeds" challenge, you'll be entered to win: An 8×10 of your choice, a 5×7 of your choice AND a multi-pack of notecards
*Winner will be chosen 12/2/12

Giveaway #2 Details: Satisfaction Through Christ
Stop by this lovely blog to you'll have the opportunity to enter this giveaway for an 8x10 print of your choosing a number of ways {via Rafflecopter}
*Ends 11/30/12 at midnight/Winner will be chosen over the weekend

Giveaway #3 Details: Biblical Homemaking
Last, but certainly not least, this giveaway is a whopper of a giveaway! If your name is chosen, you will win your choice of {1} 8x10 and {1} 5x7 print from Red Letter Ink along with several other fantastic prizes {$100+ value} - check out their giveaway post for more details!
*Winner will be chosen 11/28/12

There are also coupon codes for your holiday Red Letter Ink purchases ... but you'll need to stop over and find them for yourselves! Thank you to these 3 lovely ladies for teaming up with us - we're excited to connect with the winners and get them their goodies!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Partnering Up

There's nothing I enjoy more than teaming up with blogs I love! So naturally, I'm ecstatic for my latest opportunity to partner up with Kat over at one of my all-time favorite blogs - Inspired To Action. This blog has provided so much encouragement and inspiration (no pun intended) for me since I first discovered it about 18 months ago. I must admit I LOVE their daily reminders to live intentionally, prayerfully, and to take action!

When Kat and I talked about our second go-around partnering up, she threw out the idea of tying in a Red Letter Ink giveaway with something new she's trying on the blog - "Good Reads and Good Deeds". When she explained it to me, it sounded perfect. Absolutely perfect. Basically, Kat throws out some "Good Reads" for the week from other blogs/websites, then she puts out a "Good Deeds" challenge for the week. It's really THE perfect combination!

This week's "Good Deeds" challenge is this:
"This week’s challenge is to write a letter to someone. It can be a sticky note for one of your kids, a postcard for your Aunt or a five page mega letter to your Compassion child. Whatever works for you. Words are powerful. Share some this week. Are you up for the challenge?"

Kat went on to share her love for displaying TRUTH around her home for her children to soak into their hearts...and then she announced a fun Red Letter Ink giveaway package - {1} 8x10 print, {1} 5x7 print, and {1} Multi-pack of note cards. We are super excited to continue reading the comments on Kat's post to see how others are reaching out and encouraging people in their lives this week! Take a few minutes and stop over to read Inspired To Action's "Good Deeds" challenge - I promise you won't regret it!

P.S. I'll be taking the "Good Deeds" challenge just because I'm addicted to sending note cards ... the difficult decision for the week will be deciding who to send a note to. :) Sounds like I may be sending out more than one!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Avoid the Crazy People...

When I was young{er}, I will admit, I joined in the Black Friday madness. Don't ask me why. But I did. And yes, I realize that makes me sound like a 90 year old woman. Let's just say I've become wiser in my old 33. I must confess that last year's Black Friday nutcase character Target came up with was one of my favorites - sad she's gone this year, but I enjoyed her while she was on TV. She captured perfectly the slightly-psychotic tendencies that stereotypical Black Friday shoppers sometimes display.

Well this year, not only will I be missing the chaos fun we call "Black Friday",  I won't even be able to enjoy any of the online Black Friday mayhem. Instead, I'll be in the northwoods of Wisconsin, enjoying some quality family time...with no internet or cell service. That's right, folks, there are still places like that in the good 'ol USA. I'm actually looking forward to catching up with family, doing some crafting, and maybe reading a magazine or two while sipping coffee after a nice walk through the woods. But don't fret ... Red Letter Ink WILL be participating in Small Business Saturday by offering blog readers and Facebook fans a special 'lil discount so you can get a jump start on your holiday shopping!

If you find something in our Etsy shop that you just can't live without - enter the coupon code "SMALLBIZ2012" when you check out and you'll receive 10% off your purchase!!!

We hope you have an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving! We have SO much to be thankful for, not just this week, but all year round - God is good!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Christmas Cards Are HERE!!!

Last week on Twitter a friend of mine (@pbapottery) tweeted, "Are you doing Christmas card templates this year - as in photo cards?" in response to my free printable gift tags. I've often thought about doing some Christmas card designs, but for one reason or another something else always came real work that needed to be done or children who needed something or the dog needed to go out and my ADD kicked in, which meant I got distracted and forgot whatever I was intending to do... Happens a lot, unfortunately. Anyway, after Pete the Potter asked, I thought BY GOLLY, this is going to be the year I do it - the year I design Christmas cards for someone other than myself!

Well I'm happy to report that even though I was severely distracted this week by a million other things (can you say not one but two hard drives crashing, leaving me to set up a whole new system while trying to keep up with the chaos I call 'freelance graphic design'), I have reached my goal of not only having some Christmas cards designed, but actually posted in my Etsy shop. Impressive if I do say so myself. Now to find the time to finish up the 8-10 other designs I started but haven't finished yet...well anyway, I'm super excited to share these designs with you for now! My hope is that these will be a fun way for people to send out Christmas cards focusing on the true meaning of this holiday season. Stay tuned for more designs coming soon!

P.S. Thanks for the prompt to get this show on the road, Pete ... and just a quick shout out to my friend Delaney - thanks for getting the rest of my blog pulled together. Be sure to check out the links up above to learn more about Red Letter Ink!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

FREE Printable Christmas Tags

I'm probably doing a big "blogging no-no" by posting twice in one day, but I couldn't resist ... I'm too excited to share these with you! So, in my last post I featured the new Red Letter Ink Christmas print and mentioned possibly making some free printable Christmas tags. Well, I couldn't wait to do them, so they're already put together just waiting to be downloaded.

They're so cute! Just imagine them printed, trimmed, with a hole punched in the corner and tied on with some rafia or thin twine - beautiful. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do! Enjoy!

-----------< Download Printable File Here  >-------------

Please note: These may be used for personal use only.


Raise Your Hand If You LOVE Christmas!

Okay, let's be honest...who doesn't love Christmas? I mean, c'mon. Well I personally love Christmas, but not in a "yea-I-get-lots-of-presents" kid kind of way though. The thing I love most about Christmas {besides the obvious fact that we're celebrating the birth of our Savior and King}, I L-O-V-E giving gifts.

My husband gets annoyed with me because as Christmas draws near I begin my obnoxious list-making of all the people we could give gifts to. Notice I didn't say people we need to give gifts to. I said people we could give gifts to, as in I make up reasons to give gifts to as many people as I can think of. No joke, last year I found myself putting together gifts for people who in all reality didn't really need a gift. I'm a freakish joyful gift-giver ... watch out people, you just never know when you might get a random gift from crazy Aimee. Heck, I've even thought about keeping a few practical gifts in my car {year-round} to hand out to people who I come across that seem to be having a bad day. Yes, I will admit that. Gift-giving brings me SO much job, I can hardly stand it. Go ahead, tell me I have a problem and need help. I just can't help it. What an easy way to show the love of Christ to someone ... through something as simple as a basic gift!

So, in the spirit of starting to think about Christmas {even though I've been buying gifts since January}, I've designed my very first Red Letter Ink Christmas print that I wanted to share with you today - it's hot off the press ... and freshly listed in my Etsy shop!

 I'm thinking I might use this print as inspiration for some free printable gift tags, what do ya think? Leave me a comment if you'd like to see some sweet gift tags you could print, trim & add to your Christmas gifts!


Monday, November 5, 2012

How It All Began

I often have people ask me, "So, how did you ever get started doing this thing with Red Letter Ink?". What better time to share the story than in one of my first few blog posts! :) The truth is, it has always annoyed me that it was nearly impossible to find anything semi-modern/in style that had scripture on it, especially as I was trying to decorate my kid's rooms and my own house. The last thing I wanted was a hideously outdated painting with a scripture passage hanging on my wall ... even if I loved the verse.

From the time I was a little kid I've always loved writing and making cards and personalized gifts for people. When my grandma passed away a little over a year ago, we found several of my masterpieces I'd made for her when I was young as we were sorting through her things. You'll all love my fantastic birthday card I drew for her ... it showcases my drawing skills. My parents and I had ourselves a good laugh when we came across this gem. Clearly, my grandparents both loved fishing, so why not draw a picture of them out fishing in a boat and put it on a birthday card? Makes perfect sense ... when you're 9 or 10. And of course, Grandma would have a fish on her line before Grandpa because she was the fishing QUEEN. I especially love how I drew Grandma all dolled up, wearing her earrings out in the fishing boat ... while their Pomeranian - Pekingese dog "Pebbles" sat peeking over the edge of the boat patiently waiting for them as they fished. And Grandpa's perfectly sculpted hair was drawn to perfection as it always looked. Details, details! I was especially relieved to see that their boat license was prominently displayed on the side of the boat, too. Apparently this card was something special to Grandma because it was in a scrapbook with several other fantastic cards I'd made for her.

Thankfully, over the years my artistic skills improved. Whenever I had an opportunity to make a gift for someone I'd jump at the chance. One day a couple of years ago I had a chance to make a very special gift for some dear friends of ours.

Back up about a year prior – we had some friends {Justin & Becky} who were struggling with infertility. We'd known them for a few years from being in small group bible study together at church. They are some of the sweetest people we've ever met. We absolutely adore them! At the time they had one son, Isaac, who they called their "miracle baby". Becky had shared with us girls when we split for prayer time one week that they had decided to try IVF again but it was a long shot. She asked us to pray that if it was God's will for them to have another baby, that he'd allow it to happen. There was so much that needed to happen in order for this to move from a dream to a reality, including the daily shot regime that helped prepare Becky's body for IVF.

Looking back we often laugh about how Becky and I got to know each other on a whole new level during that time. One evening after some of us girls from small group had gone out to dinner, we came back to our house and Becky said she had a really awkward question to ask me. Her husband Justin was out of town, but she needed to have one of her injections ... in her backside. We laughed and laughed until we were both crying as we cracked jokes about how we hoped our husbands didn't find out, and how the least I could've done was buy her dinner. It was hysterical. I can't help but laugh about it as I write this! Well, a few weeks after our "intimate" evening of dinner and a shot in the backside, Becky shared with us that the impossible had in fact happened – she was pregnant! I remember there being lots of tears flowing that night as we celebrated guardedly. For the next 9 months our group of girls prayed and pleaded for God to protect the life of this little one he'd created. The day little Eli was born our small group family rejoiced and gave thanks for Justin & Becky's miracle baby #2!

When it was my turn to take a meal to Justin & Becky after they brought Eli home from the hospital,  I couldn't just take a meal ... I had to take a gift, too! And it couldn't be another pack of diapers or onesies. I'm sure they had plenty of those. I wanted it to be something special that signified what a special gift Eli was, not only to Justin & Becky, but to all of us who had prayed them through the pregnancy up until his arrival. The verse from 1 Samuel came to my mind and I instantly knew what I was going to make. I created this print just for Eli and framed it before putting it in some tissue paper and dropping it into a gift bag. I'll never forget showing up on Becky's doorstep handing her the meal and gift. She opened the gift, and we stood there crying and hugging on their front step for several minutes. There is absolutely nothing else in the world like being able to give someone a gift that blesses and touches them at their core.

This is where the idea for Red Letter Ink came from. God has given us so many wonderful gifts in His word, gifts that encourage, inspire, and challenge us. My desire is to create artwork using God's word as inspiration so others can find hope and strength through the truths found in scripture. We are blessed to have the freedom to dig in to God's word daily, so why not take advantage of this and hang His word on our walls as daily reminders of His goodness? We are blessed. Truly blessed.


Friday, November 2, 2012

"The Blog"

I just have to say that this whole "putting a blog together" thing has been pretty cool. Cool in the sense that I've had the privilege to work with someone I connected with on Etsy earlier this year - and it's been a great experience. Her name is Delaney and she runs this super fun blog called Got Freckles? (be sure to stop over and check it out!). As we shot messages back and forth, we found out that despite a few years difference in our ages (okay, let's be honest...I'm 33 and she's under 18), we have a LOT in common. In fact, I'm pretty sure we could be BFFs if she didn't live in Georgia...and I wasn't 10+ years older, almost old enough technically to be her mom.  :)

The first and most important connection that we have is that we both love the Lord and live our lives striving to please Him. Awesome. Love it. Delaney and her sister run a company where they design blogs - the company is called 2X Design. So we also share a love of being creative! Oh, and another cool connection we had - she's home-schooled like I was for several years growing up. Fun stuff! We had a chance to chat a bit about what a wonderful experience that was, one which has grounded both of us in our faith. Did I mention we both love photography, too? Seriously, we could be best buddies. Oh, and she loves to write (hence the blog), and is actually a phenomenal writer. Again, love her and all the connections we share!

So, without further ado ... I want to give a big shout out and say THANK YOU to Delaney for all of her awesomeness! She's put up with all of my knit picking and silly questions for a while now as we've finalized the blog even though I'm sure she was often thinking, "oh my word, really?". I've loved every minute of the time we've spent exchanging emails and messages on Etsy, and I look forward to following her lovely blog and seeing how God continues to use her in the years ahead. Thanks, Delaney - you're the BEST!