When a leap of faith feels more like a free fall...

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So there's this sign in the front yard of our little house. Guess I can't do this thing quietly and in secret any more ;) ...

So here it goes...I'm finally ready to share with you my big news: I'm officially starting my own little home-based graphic design business. (Or at least, I'm trying to anyway. In our city, in order to get an official business license for any kind of home-based business (even if it's just an online shop), I have to go through a whole application process for approval by the planning and zoning committee...a process which includes them putting a not-so-inconspicuous sign in my front yard telling everyone in the world what I'm doing and that they can come and object to my application at the meeting. For an insecure introvert, it's quite a nerve-racking experience...and more than once it has caused me to doubt this whole thing altogether. ;) But alas, I am setting my fears aside and pushing forward...)

This is something I've been mulling around and working on for over a year and a half now...it's something I have talked myself into and out of countless times...something that scares me to death, but that I'm finally ready to fully embrace and go for...even if it means I fall on my face and utterly fail.

But even as I type these words, my hands are shaking. Why is this so scary to me? Why does this leap of faith feel more like a free-fall through thick fog?  Maybe because I have no idea what I'm doing here. I am honestly scared to death. But I'm also really excited...and amazed at how God has opened doors and patiently guided me into this new direction. Graphic design, at least as a career of any kind, wasn't even remotely on my radar even two or three years ago. I was an elementary school teacher, and then a preschool ministry director. I think part of me always saw myself as someday going back into teaching, or always working with children in some way. And who knows, maybe someday I will...I've learned that this journey is unpredictable and the path rarely goes the way I think it will end up going. But I trust the One I'm following, and I'm (ever so slowly) learning to listen to Him as He leads, even if the way doesn't make sense to me or things happen that I don't understand. So even though this new path scares me, I trust Him. I don't know where it will lead, but I can already see His hand so clearly leading me here...I know I can trust Him with whatever is still to come.

I've always liked making things...and I've always loved playing around on my computer and on various apps with fonts and graphics...but I never saw it as anything more than just a hobby, something to help me do the other things that I was really doing, whether for school or church or our home.

But over the last couple of years, that little hobby has grown. I've taken online courses and read lots of articles and blogs to help me learn more about graphic design and to better use programs like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. I did it because it was just fun to me...becoming a "graphic designer" was not my goal, it wasn't even remotely on my radar. Probably because I seriously doubted my own abilities. I have constantly been telling myself (and others who would ask for my help with graphics) that I'm not a professional, that I don't really know what I'm doing...that I didn't go to school for this, I don't have a degree for this...I'm not the best and I'm probably doing it all wrong.

But I do know that I enjoy making things...I love drawing and doodling and I love seeing what I can create when I merge those drawings with fonts and graphics on the computer. And God has been so good to me...He has placed people in my life over the past couple of years that have had faith in me even when I didn't...people who have trusted me to help them create things, to make graphics and design things for them. And what I've discovered as I've worked with these people, as I've learned more and practiced more, is that I really LOVE doing graphic design. I'm not the best...not by a long shot...but I'm not terrible either.

And so a seed was planted in my heart...a desire to somehow do good and help others through this thing that I love to do. And that seed grew into an idea, an idea to transform and grow this little blog into something a little more...a little more helpful, a little more intentional, a little more purposeful.

And so was born the Little House Studio.

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Over the next couple of months, this blog will be undergoing a complete overhaul, including a whole new website and a new purpose. Next week, on July 15th, I will officially move this blog over to my new Little House Studio website at www.littlehousestudio.net. If you'd like to follow me over there, I'd LOVE for you to jump over and join me! I know I don't have a ton of followers here, but I want you to know that I am SO thankful for each and every one of you who takes the time to read what I write and who have followed me along on this journey. I'll let you know when I'm officially moved over there so you can go check it out :) I'd truly LOVE for you to continue the journey with me at my new online home!

And then on August 15th, one month after moving the blog over to the new site (if all goes as planned), I will open a new little online shop as part of that website. My goal with the shop is not to make a ton of money (which probably goes against every business strategy out there...but to that I say, oh well. Because making money has never been the driving force behind anything that I do...to me, money is merely a means to be able to bless others...the more I have just means the more that I can give away. ;) ) So even if I don't make a penny with this new shop, my purpose will not change...because the goal of the shop, as well as my entire little website, will be simply this: to inspire and encourage you as you create a home that intentionally celebrates the gift of every day, the joy of family, and the love of Jesus.

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I just want to help you...help you celebrate the special days and the every-day kind of days...help you create intentional moments with your family...help you celebrate Jesus and help your home reflect His great love for you. To do this, I'll offer printable birthday and celebration kits to help you celebrate special days...I'm also putting together family night kits to help you create intentional fun memories with your family...I'll also offer a variety of digital prints for your home, with meaningful words and verses to inspire and encourage you. I'm also considering offering some limited custom design work...so if you are in need of a logo or a personalized print of some kind, I'd love to create something special for you!

Here's a sneak peek at some of the designs I've been working on:

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And there's so much more I can't wait to share with you!

And everything will be super-affordable, with fast and easy downloads that you can then immediately print at home. I'll also offer free printables every week for those who follow the blog, so even if you can't or don't want to buy anything, over time you can have a whole collection of beautiful and helpful printables for your home! :)

So there you have it...my big scary exciting news! I sure do hope you'll continue along with me...I'll be sharing more updates and exciting things in the coming days and weeks (including some free prints and graphics along the way!)

And if you have any thoughts or ideas...any prints you'd like to see, words that particularly inspire you, verses that you love, or party themes that you'd like to have...just leave a comment and let me know! I'd love to help create something beautiful for you! :)