It's cool again to be Square

Hey there team!
So I've decided to make the jump away from Blogger, and head over to Squarespace.  I've done this for many reasons, and with a little encouragement by my brother in law, who currently uses it for his own business (The Entrance Collective), I've made the switch.  Now I can have everything in one easy place, including my shop, services for both wedding and other custom work, a little bit of a blog, and all in an easier to navigate (especially on my end!) page.

If you follow me on something like Bloglovin, you can find me using this link HERE.  My website will still be www.daughterziondesigns.com, and I'll still be keeping my etsy shoppe alive and running, but will also be selling directly through my own site too (I'm very excited!)

So if you want to keep up with me, please head over to www.daughterziondesigns.com/blog!

New Services

I've finally updates my Services Page! I've been meaning to for a while now, but I've had too many custom orders in the works (THANK YOU!) to give myself a little time to make something formal.  I wanted something to not only post on here, but also a nice little image that I can send out to potential clients!  I've included them below for you to check out!
Have a beautiful summer day!



Services

Along with an assortment of greeting cards and mini-posters, which are available in the shop, Daughter Zion Designs specializes in creating hand lettering and modern calligraphy for whatever your needs may be.  I've worked with clients on custom pieces for their homes, their work, their weddings, their birthdays and more.  Check out our pricing guide below to see some of what is available in terms of the services provided.

To see examples of my work, click HERE.
If you want to send me a little message to start talking about a custom piece, send me an email HERE. I'd love to start working on a piece for you or someone your love!




About



I'm just a girl, in love with a boy, living in never never land, where we never grow old.
These are a few of my favourite things.

.Jesus Christ.
He said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." (Matthew 9:12). 

 Newlyweds, new home owners, parents to our kitty, Taco.

We are over the moon about our Taco.  He thinks he's a dog, and goes on walks with us, sits, stays, comes and gives high fives.  He loves SPAM and clam chowder soup.  Oh, and he really loves people.

 Josh and I recently bought a house right beside the longest freshwater beach in the world.

.velociraptors.
Seriously, how can you not love a dinosaur with a claw like these guys have? Plus, they're very 'clever'. Watch Jurassic Park.

My hands get covered in inks like it's their job.  Wait, yes, it actually is their job.

Constantly changing, within an array of rainbow colours.

.lady grey tea.
With honey. Everyday.

.candles.
Usually coconut scented, or something natural like that.

.sharks.
Most precious and powerful creature out there.

.root beer.
Old fashioned, preferably out of a bottle.

Ten years of my life were spend among the grassy fields of this festival. Unfortunately, 2012 saw it's last mosh pits and iced thai coffees.  My home church, my week of non-stop wild worship to God, my heart beating to the music.  The first week of July will never be the same.

.best friends.
Curly brown haired beautiful lady, partnered best with me in a garden..  Gentle and tough redhead man, partnered best with Josh doing something wild (since kindergarten!).  Sweet little princess niece, and prince nephew.  Absolutely blessed to have this family in our lives, and to share this life growing with them.

.fresh herbs.
From the garden, in my drinks, in my food, and in my hair.

.peonies.
.gardenias.
.ranunculus.
.lilacs.
Enough said.

.books.
I'm a total worm.  My husband doesn't understand it.  He also managed to get through school without ever reading a single book.  I read more than required.

.sunshine.
The warmth on my face dives right into the depths of my soul.  Only the Creator could have made something that could do that.

.hammocks.
See the two notes above.  These three together, plus sweet tea, make for a deadly combination.

.water.
Warm, crystal clear, kissing the icing sugar sandy shore. Steps from our door.

.love.
All the above.

To Live in the 90s Again

Have you seen this?  Supposedly it was released last January, when IE was actually new, but it's resurfaced again.
Oh the 90s.  Best decade ever.  
This is a fairly accurate day in the life of a 90s kid.  Thank you Buzzfeed.
I lived on Sweet Valley High books... stoked I scored a couple at a garage sale this past summer.  Josh didn't understand my connection to those books.  My best friend Erin and I loved watching the show, and gorged ourselves on every page of the books, and wanted to be students at Wakefield so, so badly.  Now I want to collect them all, and read them again.  Diablo Cody, get on it with your remake, please!
Do you have any good 90s memories?

The Perfect Snow Day

This morning we woke up to a dumping of snow.  We knew that we got a decent amount yesterday afternoon and evening, but I didn't know that it was going to continue snowing so hard all night.  We probably got at least a foot of new snow in 24 hours.  I LOVE it.  It's so beautiful, everything laden with a fresh blanket of powder.  The slushy brown roads are newly white again, and it just looks like a white wonderland.  I know it's hard to see in the pictures I quickly snapped while braving the cold, but the snow is pretty much up to our porch, almost even with the trampoline (yes, we're bad and we don't take it down... it's so old, we just don't care anymore), and the pile from shovelling is as tall as our fence we share with the lovely lady next door.  The mountain created at the end of the driveway by the snowplow is almost over our heads!  I can't remember the last time we got this much snow, it's been years.  It makes me love living in this little town even more.  When Josh and I looked at the radar for the expected snow, the system was extremely localized, directly over us.  We aren't even sure if the next town over, just 15 minutes away, got the snow that we did.  This new snow is such a nice way to end of the year, and makes me look forward to what else the new year is going to bring.

A Friends are the Family Christmas

Our Christmas this year was jam packed, parties, travelling to see family near and far, three Christmases on Dec. 25, plus another on Boxing Day, lots of talking, laughing, and definitely lots of food.  This year, I felt like we were extra blessed by being able to spend a whole day with our closest friends Joel and Heather, and their two littles.  A month ago they moved closer to our house, so now a visit takes only 23 (exactly!) minutes in the car, instead of two hours.  It's so great, and I can't wait to see what other adventures are able to come out of this closer proximity.

We had a day of soooo much food and Christmas movies (The Grinch, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, and Fred Claus, plus a few episodes of Wipeout and America's Funniest Home Videos, you know, just cause we needed to laugh even more).  I made a gingerbread house with the kids, the boys made us a fruit fondue, the kids got covered in chocolate, and Heather just relaxed, as she was feeling a little under the weather.  It was one of the best Christmas 'days' I've had in a long time.  No stresses, no family arguments, just good times with excellent friends.  It was a great start to our Christmas season.
Another little bonus this year, was that when we woke up Christmas morning at Josh's parents, our little kitty was gifted with his own stocking!  I thought it was so cute, and such a nice gesture from the grandpetparents.  He definitely got spoiled by them.  Even though he had to stay home over the Christmas break, it was so nice to see that he was still thought of.  Next year's goal is to get him more comfortable for car trips, so he can come with us to our parent's town.

Snowy Fire Nights

We got dumped on last night.  It was such a treat, after spending all day packaging up a gazillion orders (THANK YOU!), that 9pm rolled around, and magic, mysterious white frozen fluffs starting falling from the sky.  And fall from the sky they did.  We probably got close to 6 inches in about an hour.

So what's the best thing to do when it's snowing that much?  First, drive through the drifts to the store to grab some late night snacks, then head back home to play in the snow!  We had a bonfire for a little bit, until our bums were too cold, and then we headed back inside for a movie snuggle. 
 There's something magical about capturing the snow laden trees (and everything) at night, and it becomes even more captivating capturing it by firelight.  Thankfully it stopped snowing for a small moment so we could snag some pictures, without totally soaking our camera in flakes.
Our little Taco was very curious as to what we were doing outside.  He was meowing at us through the window, probably trying to let us know that it's cold outside, and there isn't food out there anymore, and we might die if we don't come back soon.  He likes to watch out for us like that.
When he's not caring for our wellbeing, Taco enjoys rocking out, preferably to Impending Doom.  Here's a little video Josh put together, showcasing this hardcore kitty's moves. 

Photo Woes and a Christmas Special!

Today I had a little bit of a rough day.  I was hating EVERYTHING in my shop.  Everything.  I wasn't happy with any of my work (hello woes of an artist), and nothing was making me feel like I should keep going with what I'm doing.  It was possibly some hormonal woman-y thing going on in my body too, making me feel this way, but tears were coming, and there was a definitely lack of motivation, inspiration, and love of my work.

Josh kindly stepped in, trying to comfort in way that only a husband with no understanding of PMS or the like can try to help (hugs and words of encouragement, and then being at a loss of what to really do next).  He helped me set up a bunch of lights to re-shoot some pictures for my listings, but we has missed the right light coming through the windows (whatever kind of natural light you can get on an overcast wintery day), but it just wasn't working.

Finally, we bundled up and headed outside.  It was still a little bit too late in the day, but we managed to grab a couple better shots that I originally had for these pieces.  We're going to do everything again soon, earlier in the day, with better lighting.  In the process of taking these pictures, we managed to brainstorm some even better ideas.  Hopefully the flurries that are in the forecast for the rest of the week cooperate, and give us enough of a dry window (snowflakes landing on my pieces may look cute, but water damage doesn't) so that we can try out the ideas we came up with.

Anyway, if you are living in a box, and haven't realized that Christmas is one month away, hop on over to my shop, ignore all the photos that I hate, and pick up a one-of-a-kind goody for a loved one.  I pour my love into making these pieces for you to enjoy.  Even though I hit ruts creatively sometimes (and technologically thanks to having to use a camera), I still love making these letterforms into beautiful things.  I promise that you'll receive a piece that is even better than they look in the pictures.

These Mumford and Son's quotes are flying of the virtual shelves.  Thanks to the band for being so popular, and for making people love their lyrics.  I love them too, especially when they let me get creative.
For all you lovely readers, I'm offering a promo code for the Christmas season!  Use the code BLOGLOVE13 for 15% off all orders over $5 until Dec. 31st!
*not applicable on custom orders

Refreshing and Renewing, and a Little Lady Lovin'

I've been playing around with my paints, and doodling a couple new ideas for how this little blog should look/function/showcase my work.  I've made a couple changes already, but even more changes are in the works.

Shoutouts to Dana over at The Wonder Forest and I Can Build A Blog for her excellent tutorials and explanations of some little photoshop techniques, as well as some coding.  (I can't believe I'm learning to code!), as well as Sarah from sillygrrl, for help with the automatic signature at the end of new posts, plus layout ideas, and finally Rekita from Her and Nicole, whose tutorials I have just stumbled upon!

Thanks ladies for sharing in the blog building love.  I never thought that I'd be interested in learning any time of graphic/web designy type stuff, but as I see that the possibilities are endless for the designs of your own site when you understand all the behind the scenes stuff, I'm getting totally stoked on it!

ps. Go check out these girls if you are interested in any blogging help.  They are so great!

A Favourite Things Giveaway with Maiedae and Schoolhouse Electric

I'm over on Maiedae this week, co-hosting an awesome giveaway with Schoolhouse Electric!  You should totally get in on it, because the Calendar prizes are just too great.  I'm mean, that Lunar Calendar?  Come on!
via Maiedae
Here's the little blurb that Savannah from Maiedae posted, letting you all know the wonderful ladies co-sponsoring this giveaway.  Check them out, and give them a little lovin!

GIVEAWAY TIME! 
This giveaway is run via Rafflecopter. One winner will be selected at random and announced within one week from now. The winner will receive one Stendig and one Lunar wall calendar from Schoolhouse Electric. Giveaway open to US residents only. This giveaway is sponsored by the following amazing blogs and businesses: Kitty of Kitty & Buck, Jacquie of Shade of a Bonsai, Alexandra of Alexandra Wallace Photography, Kym of Travel Babbles, Lauren of Love Lola, Amy of Life in Creation, Charlie of Polka Dots are Love, Eliza of Case Study, Amanda of Little Tranquility, Leah ofPlatinum & Rust, Andi of AP Design, Reva of Daughter Zion Designs & Courtney of Run 2 the Wild. If you would like to sponsor future "favorite things" giveaways, become a sponsor! More information herePsst!! -- Last chance to purchase a special holiday spot! Only 3 left!!



Enter through Rafflecopter below.  Following Maiedae on Facebook will unlock many more entries, for a chance to win!a Rafflecopter giveaway





The Lonely Island Birthday

If you read this blog, you'll know that it was Josh's birthday this past week.  Even though he was able to go out and so his favourite thing on his birthday (surfing), it still is so much more fun to celebrate with friends.  We like having kid parties at our house.  For my birthday, we had a snow day, GTing all day.  For Josh's last birthday, we had a great Peter Pan themed party, because Josh never wants to grow up, and just be a kid for life.  This year, we didn't get any more serious or responsible, but did get a little more adult.  (*that was a warning, letting you know that there might be some 'I get easily offended' reactions to both a couple pictures, and the overuse of profanity in these songs.  We don't take them seriously, they were originally made for the demographic of Saturday Night Live, and you can relax a little, knowing that we aren't cussfaces in our everyday lives.  I'm also not forcing you to scroll down, or listen to any of the songs in the links below)

This year's theme was The Lonely Island.  If you haven't seen one of their videos, or heard one of their songs, I'm sorry, but I think that you've been living under a rock.  Andy Samberg and crew regularly would have Digital Shorts on Saturday Night Live.  Sometimes bigger stars such as Justin Timberlake (many times), Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Natalie Portman and Michael Bolton and many more would accompany them on their songs (click names to see some of their fine works with the Lonely Island boys).

We all dressed up as some of our favourites.
Josh was the "Normal Guy"
Chris was "Guy Number Two" from "We Like Sportz"
Steph was "Rihanna" in "Ronnie and Clyde"
Josh was "Dick in a Box" (no indecent exposure, just pure dick-ness, while in a box)
Kathryn was "The Boss" from "Like a Boss"
Kevin quoted "F-ck Land" from "I'm On A Boat"
I was the "Mermaid" whom T-Pain has his way with in "I'm On A Boat"
Darren was just TOO good as "The Creep"

I was pretty pumped that everyone dressed up.  (We're just missing Rob as Natalie Portman from "Natalie's Rap"...his photo didn't turn out badass enough).  We listened to The Lonely Island all night, ate copious amounts of yummy foods, laughed too much, and enjoyed the unusually warm weather.  The evening ended with a huge bonfire and a couple of rounds of Head's Up (seriously, best bonfire game ever, thanks Ellen DeGeneres).  Download that game immediately.  It's so great.

Now we need to come up with another idea for next year's birthdays!  Do you guys have any ideas?  We like dressing up, being a little ridiculous, and having lots of fun.

Here's a little fishy lady for good measure.

Birthday Blessings

Last weekend, the winds were in full force on the lake.  It was bittersweet in our house, as when the winds pick up, Josh gets major surf stoke, but he was full on covered in poison ivy (more on that later), and we had some lovely friends over for the weekend.  This also meant that he had to miss out on the Gales of November surf contest happening down on Lake Erie.  Since he had so much fun at the last contest, he was pretty bummed.  Thankfully for him, there's going to be another contest happening soon, the Battle of the Great Lakes.

After listening to the wind howling outside all morning, Steph and I couldn't resist running down to the lake Sunday afternoon to snap some pictures and experience the wind for ourselves.  We literally almost got blown away!  The gusts were so strong, that as we stood there we were being pushed back from the lake.  Walking to the beach from the car, sand and leaves whipped at our faces, and we thought momentarily about turning around and booking it back to the car.  We decided against it, cause we really wanted to see what the water was doing!  

The waves were killing it!  I knew that Josh would have been a little sad to see what he was missing, so I was glad that he was too doped up on Benadryl to want to come out to see the waves.  Steph and I thought for a second about grabbing wetsuits and going to play, but then of course we came to our senses, snapped a couple pictures, and ran back to the car.  No matter how bundled up we were, that wind was still cutting through our layers, and cutting deep.  All we could think about were the hot cups of tea waiting for us when we got home.

I know these pictures don't really do the waves justice, but I promise, these are big!  The buoy out on the lake was reading 11 feet, and that's pretty massive for our little bay.
 Tuesday was Josh's birthday!  This is what we woke up to:
A couple weeks earlier we had our first snow of the season, but it didn't last too long.  This snow earlier this week actually has stayed until the end of the week!  It's going to warm up this weekend, so I'm sure it will all be gone soon enough, but it was very pretty while it was here!  The trees all glistened, and at night when it was snowing, it looked so beautiful in the streetlamp light.  

Of course, what brought all this beautiful snow, was cold air blowing in.  And of course that only meant one thing, big winds, and big waves!  Josh couldn't ask for a better birthday present!  He was totally pumped to be able to go surfing on his birthday.  This kid lives to surf.  He eat, sleeps and breathes surf.  You'd think that living on a little lake in Canada wouldn't be totally ideal for a surfer.  But that's why we moved up to the lake when we got married.  We didn't see it feasible to leave the country, since we are Canadian through and through, and we didn't want to move to either coast, cause we love our friends and family too much to move far away.  So next best option, plant ourselves next to a giant lake.  Now, we live within 2 hours of great surf spots, most within 45 minutes.  That makes for a seriously happy boy.

Many people think he's a little crazy, especially since surf is best in the fall and winter around here, and he spends hours in the water looking like this, but he loves every second of it.

Happy Birthday babe, hope you enjoyed your special day.  It ended with chicken wings, so I'm sure that you did.



Surf's Up! Lake Huron Fresh Water Classic 2013

This past Sunday morning, we got up at the ridiculous hour of 4:00am (AM!) packed up the boards and snacks, plus winter gear and warm socks, made a quick stop at Timmies for some morning fuel, and started the long drive over to Kincardine, on the shore of Lake Huron.  It was the end of October, which means that fall surf was in full swing, and the Lake Huron Fresh Water Classic surf contest was starting at sunrise.

I can officially say that surfers are out of their minds.

It was pouring rain, mixed with bouts of hail and icy roads, and the forecast was calling for a high of 6*C.  Throw some 30-40km winds at our faces, and it was looking to be a good day.  At least it was looking to be a good day for the crazy people.  

I really don't understand the desire to get up so early, to put on wetsuits (still cold and wet from the previous day's surfing adventures!) and get into frigid water, while being pelted with giant chunks of hail and rain.  Sounds like the worst beach day ever.  I was completely bundled up in my winter clothes, long johns plus leg warmers, scarf, toque (that's a beanie for all you americans!), mittens, and I stood huddled by the heater in the little tent we had on the beach for the judges and spectators.  All of the competitors happily ran into the water for the whole morning, taking on the rough waves (that weren't really cooperating) with huge smiles on their faces.  I know that Josh and the friends that came with us were totally stoked, so it was kind of easy to take on a little of their excitement while watching from the shore.
Tim, waxing up for the day
Helene, Scott and Josh heading out for one of the shortboard heats
Helene and Josh ripping up the competition
Helene happy to be back in the warm tent with coffee!
Josh just finding out that he made the finals!
Serious swag for the prizes!  That's a 12' SUP for the shortboard winner!
After the event, we all packed up and headed over to a local pub for the award ceremony.  Our friends Helene and Antonio both won Aloha Spirit Awards, and Antonio won the Longboard division, plus placing second in Shortboard.  Tim's friend Matt won the Shortboard division, taking home a GIANT Stand Up Paddleboard as his prize!  That was an adventure to pack into the truck.  It was pretty sweet for Matt, since it was his first time surfing the lakes.  He grew up ocean surfing in Barbados, and his still was definitely visible on our little lake waves. 

It was so nice to see the community between all these surfers, even though they all live so far apart!  We had people from all over, including Sudbury, Rochester, NY, Toronto, and although they live here now, a few guys from Peru and Barbados!  Everyone was so nice and chill (do you expect anything less with surfers?), and I'm looking forward to going to more contests.  I just hope that the next one isn't so cold and wet.


Genuine Major

Have you met Natalie?  She blogs over at Genuine Major, loves coffee and makes killer art.  I wish that my mind could assemble scrappy mixed media pieces with the finesse and what-looks-like-speed that she does!  It seems that for every little letter I want to write, she's come up with a whole new art journal looking page that I want to rip out and just stick in my journal, pretending I did it.  I guess I should just invest some time into my pages, and probably pick up a new glue stick.


I suggest you give her a follow if you're into Project Life (I want to be so badly! but I can't see myself printing out enough pictures, let alone taking them!), Starbucks, because she works there and sometimes shares secret recipes that she's made up, or if you like scrappy art.  I want to share the link with you today to one of her tutorials on Image Transfers.  Ok, I lied.  I'm going to share the links to two of the tutorials.  I loooove image transfers.  I had heard of, and used the first kind of transfer she shares, using Gel Medium.  Have you even used Gel Medium?  It's so great.  Buy it.  Use it.  Love it.

First tutorial is the Gel Medium Image Transfer.  Natalie has great step by step instructions on how to create these ghostly images for your art journals, canvases, whatever!  You can see, below, the final result.  Click the image to be sent over to her tutorial, and try it out yourself!
The other tutorial, which I think I'm going to try out for myself right now, is a Packing Tape Image Transfer.   This looks so easy, and bonus, you don't have to wait for anything to dry before getting to work on creating your transfer image!  Click the image below to send you to this tutorial!
I hope you all go check our Natalie.  She seems like a great girl, and I'm enjoying reading all of her posts so much!  Now I just want to hop over to her place and check our her studio space.  Oh the fun I imagine we could have together!

*All images in this post are from Genuine Major, copyright Genuine Major/Natalie Mutrux.

Lately...


A little table set up a quilt show.
One of Taco's usual spots.  Cardboard is his favourite.
Evening watercolour session.  New brushes are the best.
Practicing with my Nikko G and Sumi ink, and practicing scripture in daily life.
Spaghetti squash from Heather's garden.  Butter, salt, pepper, parmesan is all that is needed.
Painting backgrounds.
Treated my boy to some cajun shrimp, to accompany his southern sweet tea.
Strawberry sprinkle treats with many episodes of Parks and Recreation.
'Tis almost the season.

Sponsor

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Daughter Zion Designs is open to hosting product reviews and giveaways. If you have something you'd like me to try out, review or giveaway, please email me at reva@daughterziondesigns.com to chat about it more!

The Intimacy of Friendship

Last weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada, and I was blessed enough to share a beautiful Saturday with some pretty amazing friends.  I just wish that days like these could last longer!  

Our Friendsgiving was spent sharing monsterous amounts of sushi at lunch, followed by a play in the park.  Then we made the trek back home for some homemade chocolate cupcakes, pumpkin pie, butter tarts, and Moose Tracks ice cream.  I seriously think that these kinds of food are the way to people' hearts, because even though we were still stuffed from lunch, everyone downed their desserts.

It's refreshing to have a different kind of Thanksgiving with friends, rather than just the traditional turkey dinner style one we share every year with family.  Not to knock the family and turkey, but sometimes it's just less stressful to be around the family you choose.  The intimacy of friendship that I share with my friends just isn't the same as that with family.  I feel like there's less criticism, better listening, and more laughter.  We can be serious when needed, and get into deeper conversations that I feel like I've ever been able to share with family.  I love my friends in a different kind of way than I do family.  It's totally from God that people like you close friends enter your lives.  How could it not be? 

The relationships built with sincere friends help you through the good times and the bad times, and all the times in between.  They let you cry without feeling awkward, they let you get vulnerable.  I think that's one of the most important parts of a relationship, otherwise it's not genuine.

So this is a post of thanksgiving.  Thanks for the friends that I have in my life, because I wouldn't want to change it for the world.  I'm thankful for the precious 'niece' and 'nephew' that I get to have through these lovelies.  If you can't tell from the photo of Josh with the stroller, we are content living vicariously through these littles, and enjoying just having our little kitty Taco as our only child at the moment.

Oh and a little bonus treat?  This beautiful family below just sold their house, and are moving only half an hour away from Josh and I!  That's a big different for visits, since we used to be 2 hours away!  I'm so looking forward to being more present in their lives, more often.  But I really am going to miss their fully stocked garden and chicken coop.  Those are the best eggs I've ever had, and I just had one of the spaghetti squash I snagged from the garden last night, and it was fantastic!  I can't wait to build another garden with Heather at their new house.  I need to get on that on our house too!