Why I Make My Own Art // TUTORIAL + GIVEAWAY! // Guest Post

Thank you Tawni for inviting me to guest post today. It's an honor to be a part of your beautiful space here online.

About 6 months ago my little family and I moved to a little country called Slovakia. Some of you might remember it as the former Czechoslovakia. When my husband, 7 year old son and I moved here, we only had a total of 8 boxes full of our things, and three suitcases. You see, in June of 2015, we sold our house in Seattle and gave away everything we owned. Then we spent a whole year traveling America in our Airstream trailer named Joystream, but that’s another story entirely. When we started our journey through America, we had no idea that we would end up in Europe. That’s not what I want to talk about though, what I want to focus on are those 8 boxes of stuff.

When we found our rental house in September of 2016, we moved in with those 8 boxes and 3 suitcases. They held all of our possessions from the last 7 years of our marriage and as a family. Our new place, in a small village outside of Piestany, was 15 times bigger than the tiny airstream we had lived in for the past year. That left us with a very empty place. We spent a few stressful weeks, involving a few trips to Ikea, to make our house a home. Many hours and dollars spent later, we made a home out of an empty space. But something was missing.

Learn how to make your own embroidered wall art! Blog Post: Why I Make My Own Art // Guest Post and TUTORIAL on THE LIFE IN BETWEEN!

I believe that wall art ties a home together. Without art on the wall to express who we are, something essential is missing. Wall art is an element that makes a home cozy, unique, and a place that reflects a family. When we lived in Seattle, I had a whole wall full of art pieces that spoke to my heart. This new place had empty walls that made the house feel cold and unwelcoming. I wanted a house that felt warm and loving. So off I went on a hunt for art. What I managed to find and loved cost €50+ and was out of our budget. How was I going to add art to my walls without spending money I did not have? 

This is where Tawni comes in with her beautiful art collection through her TLIBInsider Design Subscriptions. I have a few pieces of her beautiful designs around my house, and I love every single one of them. I have also stitched my own designs to hang on my walls. With just a few of these I have a place that feels more like a home.

Learn how to make your own embroidered wall art! Blog Post: Why I Make My Own Art // Guest Post and TUTORIAL on THE LIFE IN BETWEEN!
Learn how to make your own embroidered wall art! Blog Post: Why I Make My Own Art // Guest Post and TUTORIAL on THE LIFE IN BETWEEN!

Did you know that coloring books are a great place to find beautiful embroidery patterns? You can find coloring books almost anywhere including grocery stores. Instead of coloring the pages, I use them as my stitching templates. I have put together a coloring page that you can stitch yourself to add some handmade art to your walls. The pattern is from the ‘Birds & Blooms’ coloring book illustrated by Carolyn Gavin, whose illustrations are very popular (she has quite the following on Instagram). 

Learn how to make your own embroidered wall art! Blog Post: Why I Make My Own Art // Guest Post and TUTORIAL on THE LIFE IN BETWEEN!

To create your own embroidered wall art, follow these instructions:

  1. Print the pattern that’s provided for you HERE, or find your own pattern from a coloring book you love.
  2. On a light surface, trace the drawing with a pencil onto your fabric of choice. Calico is a light fabric that’s easily see-through and easy to trace. When using a heavier fabric like linen, use a light-box, or tape your design and fabric to a window for tracing.
  3. Once you trace the pattern, pick the thread colors you want to use.
  4. Start stitching! Never stitched an embroidery before? Go to this helpful site for instructions: https://crafts.tutsplus.com/categories/embroidery and look for their Embroidery Fundamentals posts as they will help you get started.
  5. Once you finish, frame and hang!
Learn how to make your own embroidered wall art! Blog Post: Why I Make My Own Art // Guest Post and TUTORIAL on THE LIFE IN BETWEEN!
Learn how to make your own embroidered wall art! Blog Post: Why I Make My Own Art // Guest Post and TUTORIAL on THE LIFE IN BETWEEN!

Annetta Bosakova is a creative stay-at-home mama to her seven-year-old homeschooled son, and a wife to one handsome Slovak man. With her family she currently lives in a small village of Slovakia. Before moving to Slovakia, they spent a year traveling America in an airstream trailer. She is intentional about centering her life on Jesus, and is passionate about photography, knitting, cross stitching, and making some of her creations available through her business, Inspired Knits.

Instagram (Annetta) // Instagram (Inspired Knits & Photog)
Blog (Annetta) // Blog (Inspired Knits)


ENTER TO WIN
THIS EMBROIDERED PIECE FROM ANNETTA!

Learn how to make your own embroidered wall art! Blog Post: Why I Make My Own Art // Guest Post and TUTORIAL on THE LIFE IN BETWEEN!

Reader Feature // March Designs + a HUGE Announcement!

Hello Friends!

I have been overwhelmed by your response to the designs I've been offering over the past several months, and it makes me so happy to see you enjoying the things I've created for you! I am thrilled to announce that I'll be offering even more designs in the coming weeks, with the launch of a new collection called Hello Spring

With that said, I'd like to introduce you to an exciting change taking place here at THE LIFE IN BETWEEN:

TLIBInsider Design Subscriptions

I will still be offering a few monthly freebies to newsletter subscribers, but in order to make it financially possible for me to continue creating for you, I am combining the former freebie page with the former digital shop to offer you one source for all printable and digital hand-lettered pieces, art designs, calendars, notebooks, greeting cards, journaling templates, and more!

 

And since so many of you have been using and styling my designs in such fun ways, I am dedicating a blog post to your creativity each month! I'm doing this for two reasons: 

  1. To thank you for enjoying and sharing my work.
  2. Your creativity will inspire others!
TLIB Reader Feature, NEW March Designs, plus a HUGE Announcement!

Here's how the Reader Feature works:

When you share a picture of any TLIB creation (freebies, subscriber items, or product) and tag me, @thelifeinbetweenon Instagram or notify me of your share on another social platform, you'll be eligible to be featured in the next Reader Feature post.

As some of you may know, I now have a small Ambassador Team as well, so I'll be using this series to share a few of their posts too in order to give you some more creative inspiration.

Alright now... here are my favorite shares from February!

 

READERS

A post shared by Chi (@cma88) on

 

AMBASSADORS

A post shared by Holly (@hollykooi) on

A post shared by Holly (@hollykooi) on

A post shared by Annetta Bosakova (@annettab) on

A post shared by Annetta Bosakova (@annettab) on

A post shared by Holly (@hollykooi) on

 

Thank you all so much for being such a supportive bunch! I am so thankful that God has put me on this creative path, and cannot wait to see where it leads!

 

xotawni
 

TO BE FEATURED

Share a picture of any TLIB creation (freebiessubscriber items, or product) and tag me, @thelifeinbetweenon Instagram OR notify me of your share on another social platform to be eligible to be featured in the next Reader Feature post!

Reading Group // Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real-Life Engagement

This post is sponsored by DaySpring and contains affiliate links. I received product in exchange for promotion. All views and opinions (and reading group plans!) are my own.

 
 

I've been teasing about this for awhile on Instagram and Facebook, and I am so happy to finally extend this official invitation to join me in a reading group for the book Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real-Life Engagement.

I've been spending some time reading a bit of Craving Connection and have been trying to soak up as much as I can before we start reading together. Although I haven't read the whole book yet – and most definitely have been skipping most challenges (in anticipation of this group!) – I wanted to make sure I'd read at least some of the book before I attempted to lead a reading group. I'm really excited to finally go through the book with you at a more meaningful, engaging pace.

Reading Group – Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real-Life Engagement // Join the Reading Group at THE LIFE IN BETWEEN!
 

As an introvert, I've always found it a bit hard to make friends. I suppose we could talk about trust issues, spending a lot of time in my head, social anxiety, self-doubt, sensitivity, and all of that, but most of all, in my adult life I've never felt like I really needed friends. Sure, maybe a few – as long as I could count them on one hand – but I'd tell myself even then that I don't really need anyone. I'm happy to be alone.

Well.

While it may be true that I'm happy to be alone, it's also true that I'm not happy to be lonely, or to feel alone. Do you understand the difference? And yeah, even though I have a loving husband and children to keep me company, I recently went through a very lonely season. 

Reading Group – Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real-Life Engagement // Join the Reading Group at THE LIFE IN BETWEEN!
 

To keep myself from writing a memoir, I'll just share some points to try to help paint a picture of my life currently:

  • Wife
  • Mom
  • Introvert
  • Shy
  • Expat
  • Language barrier
  • 30-something in a community of 20-somethings and 40-somethings
  • Sensitive
  • Passionate
  • Creative
  • Blogger (by many this is a foreign, misunderstood hobby/profession)
  • Disciplined (I came from the American Dream's workforce – I haven't always been a blogger/designer!)

I think you can kind of imagine how these points (plus more I won't get into here) could lead to something really beautiful... or to something really lonely. My personality traits, my circumstances, my emotions, my skills and experience, my gifts and my faults – all together they're like a powder keg – I could go off at any time, and the explosion will either send me soaring to the highest of heights or it will tear me limb from limb. 

Reading Group – Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real-Life Engagement // Join the Reading Group at THE LIFE IN BETWEEN!
 

It came to a point recently when I was dangerously close to letting my circumstances and failed friendships get the best of me. I was about to throw in the towel and just say, "forget it, who needs 'em?" I was even willing to give up on friendships that were going well in order to avoid the possibility of future fall out. I thought by building a wall around my heart I could protect myself from getting hurt. I told myself I was being proactive.

After awhile though I started to realize that I was getting pretty lonely, and found myself wishing I had someone to count on. Someone who would hear me out over coffee. Someone to distract me with their life's business so I could forget about my own for awhile. Or even better, someone I could share life with.

I've been trying to open myself up more, in my own little ways. Having visitors over is a huge deal for me – hostessing is not one of my spiritual gifts – and I think anyone who knows that about me would be absolutely shocked at the number of visitors we've had over the last few months. (I definitely deserve a gold star.) Also, joining a women's bible study has been a great big leap of faith for me, and I've found myself really enjoying it, and there are definitely authentic friendships to be made there. I also try to plan a one-on-one coffee date at least once every couple of weeks.

I'm making progress! However...

Reading Group – Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real-Life Engagement // Join the Reading Group at THE LIFE IN BETWEEN!
 

When I read the description of Craving Connection and learned more about the heart behind the movement, I knew right away this book was going to challenge me in great ways. DaySpring and (in)courage are coming together to provide each of us with tools and resources that will help us connect with God, friends, and our communities on a deeper, more meaningful level, and I am so ready to be challenged and encouraged in this way! Even more, I'm excited to have you join me!

Not only are we going to walk away from this book feeling challenged and empowered (and hopefully having made some connections!), but there are fun products available to help encourage us even more! The clipboard in the photos below comes with interchangeable cards and hidden card storage, and the necklace is one of a pair to share (I've already given my matching necklace to a friend!). There are also encouraging cards, pouches, journals, and other great gifts available from DaySpring and (in)courage!

Reading Group – Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real-Life Engagement // Join the Reading Group at THE LIFE IN BETWEEN!
Reading Group – Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real-Life Engagement // Join the Reading Group at THE LIFE IN BETWEEN!
Reading Group – Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real-Life Engagement // Join the Reading Group at THE LIFE IN BETWEEN!
 

Above all though, my hope for this reading group is to spark conversation, to encourage each other in the challenges presented by Craving Connection, and to build deep, meaningful, life-giving relationships.

(I've also been considering keeping the reading group going with new books after we've finished Craving Connection, so I'm hoping for that too! We could all use a few more reading buddies, after all!)

Here are the links one more time:
CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY OF CRAVING CONNECTION: 30 CHALLENGES FOR REAL-LIFE ENGAGEMENT
CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE READING GROUP ON FACEBOOK

Now, let me know in the comments if you plan on joining!

xotawni