Two weeks before Christmas, I was busy cranking out the remaining paint orders I had received during my Christmas in July Sale. I got up early to paint for a while before I had to get ready for work, I painted for a couple hours after work, stopped made and ate dinner, then would paint the rest of the night.
And then all of sudden, they all started coming together and coming together fast.
Each of these were ordered by one of my dear Aunt's for the ladies who work for her at a food service company near Nashville.
My Aunt chose a different theme for each order.
I love that she took such care to pick exactly what each lady would enjoy for their home or office space.
I often see pictures that are posted on Facebook from my Aunt's department at work. These ladies look like they truly enjoy working with each and being around each other every day!
It's such a blessing to enjoy your co-workers!
Next up, a nurse at our hospital's Cancer Center ordered a couple canvases for her daughter who is in college in Mississippi.
I love the design that she chose connecting her home and family in TN to her new life she has built the past couple of years in MS.
She also chose a design and simple monogram to match her dorm-room bedding.
A good friend of mine who I have loved watching grow up since she was a young girl, is now all grown up, married her husband Seth two weeks after mine and Stephen's wedding, and now has a blossoming photography business. Mara asked me back in November if I would make a chalkboard for her to use during her Christmas Mini Sessions, and I was honored do so.
The previews she posted on Facebook were beautiful!
I had an order for a chalk themed featuring the customer's favorite scripture. I love painting words that are special to the person, and to know that this great reminder will be in their home for them to see every day!
I saved my two big sets for last since I could paint them assembly line fashion. My sister always orders paintings for my nephews to give their teachers. This year she chose a generic Christmas theme.
Not to brag too much, but Riley and Colin are both SO SMART! Colin is in the first grade, reading at a 5th grade level and learning how to write computer programming codes. WHAT?!
That being said, they have some AMAZING teachers who are encouraging and strengthening their talents every day.
Another teachers' set. This time, the customer ordered them to be similar but not match.
She chose to use the school's colors purple and gold (which the purple didn't photograph well). I added the white and gray to each one to make the designs come together as a set.
I'm always so honored to paint for teachers. They have HARD jobs filled with so many changing demands and stresses. They have such a HUGE responsibility to their students and their families every day.
Remember the nurse I mentioned earlier who ordered for her daughter in college? Well, that daughter in college, ordered for her mom! It was so fun to paint for both ladies and go between them for each others' orders.
Her daughter sent me this design and asked me to paint it for her mom's Christmas present. It was very detailed and somewhat intimidating but I really love how it turned out! (And shoutout to the hubs for freehanding this pear for me...he was a lifesaver on this one!)
One more teacher gift where I was given full reign on color choices. I am loving coral and mint green right now, so I knew I had to pair them together since I could do whatever I wanted!
Finally, an order that was very special to my heart...
A very good friend of mine and my family's teaches at the same school as my sister. Our family went to church with her family and her husband's family for years and years. Serena and Curtis' hearts for children is so precious. They have given much of their adult-life to children and teens. They took on 4 of their nieces and nephews to raise when they were very young. Have spent many years coaching youth sports. They spent many years at our church heading up the Youth Ministry program.
After all of these years of not being able to have children of their own, they are now on the amazing journey to adopt the little girl they have fostered since she was just weeks old. She is now 2 years old and the most loved little girl you have ever seen!
So, that's the backstory.
This year, the son of a good friend of mine has Serena for his homeroom teacher. Just last year, I painted a classroom and a home canvas for Serena. When my friend asked me to do something special for Serena for her son's gift, I knew she was good on having a painting for her class and their home....we had to do something special to mark this time they're going through as a family.
I found out through the grapevine the colors they had chosen for their little girl's room. I sent a list of verses and quotes to my friend to choose from, and she chose this verse from James 1:17.
Which as it turns out, is one of Serena's favorite verses. Such a perfect verse for this abundantly loved little girl and her precious new forever family.
This is why I do what I do. For the stories my art tells.