Author Archives: Elizabeth Kartchner

And Thus Beginneth Year 31


I met you when you were 15, which means I have officially known you for more than half of your life. You were just an awkwardly skinny freshman with bangs even Kelly Kapowski could envy. I, the bad-skin big-head/tiny clear-braces sophomore wearing 4 undershirts just to look bigger. No doubt I said something really charming the first time we met, probably something like “Hey I like your boon-doggles” or “You got any Carmex?” Is it awesome that I’ve know you more than half your life? Do I feel lucky, punk? I pay Clint Eastwood to ask me that everyday at gunpoint, to which I always reply “Yes sir!” (then change into a clean pair of undershorts)

This past year is in the books. It was a year of happiness, growth, learning, and realizing that you are in fact stuck with me for good. I’m like a stinky dread-locked white guy playing the bongos living in a tent at  Occupy Wallstreet…I ‘aint going anywhere.

Avery is sitting next to me trying to wrap the picture she drew you for your birthday with cardstock and washi tape, using scissors like a boss. She’s just like her mama. Always making things with her hands. Quincey just walked in wearing your fedora, sucking her thumb and said, “Daddy, someone is making a very mess!” Lola just walked in by my side, said “Mah! Is dis ah duh” with her curly hair and goose-egg on her forehead (battle wound from Disneyland). I see you in all of them. Creative, cuddle-loving, headstrong 1/16th Greek children. They are all mini-Liz’s and I love that. Crap now they’re all fighting because Quincey just said “Daddy can we eat some food and go to Disneyland?” Avery: “Quincey we already WENT to Disneyland!” and now they are wrestling lemme break it up brb. Okay. Just peeked in the family room and Lola scattered raisins everywhere and took her diaper off (so some of those aren’t raisins) time to wrap this up.

Happy Birthday to the mother of my children, the eater of my french toast, the courtesy-laugher of my jokes, the tag-teamer of our time-out enforcing, the love of my life.

Oh, and for your birthday I’m buying something I found on Craigslist from a guy named “Amir” so if I don’t come back after driving to meet him this morning and there’s a statewide search for me, save time by skipping the tennis courts.

Love, Collin

Birthday Wish List

It’s almost my birthday so naturally I put together some of my favorite things.

1. Polaroid film for my 600 camera: Film from The Impossible Project
2. Luckily my birthstone is a stunning emerald. I would love to get three stackable rings of my daughter’s birthstones: Von Eshna
3. Wood bowls dipped in colorful paint: Wind & Willow Home
4. Yes, I adore this white gnome with his fancy gold hat: Mod Cloth
5. Navy dotted dress… or anything from Madewell
6. This camera is my next purchase: The Golden Half. It has the option of taking two shots for one picture. I brought a film camera on my trip and developed the film and now I am kind of obsession with 35mm because I am not that great at printing my pictures but I developed my the very next morning. Find this and other cool cameras at Four Corner Store.
7. Stripey wedges: Asos 
8. This bag has been a fave for a while! Thunder In Our Hearts: Fieldguided on etsy

Whirlwind of a Trip

Hello hello.

Walking into our familiar home after a whirlwind trip and waking up to our routine of pjs & oatmeal feels like it all was a dream.
Our trip was so so great…! and tiring and incredible and magical and exhausting all in one. I would do it all over again just to see Q&A’s faces running to hug Minnie or screaming riding Splash Mountain. Classic. Now pardon me while I start some laundry and download over 1,000 pics from my camera. (Don’t worry I won’t make you sit through our vacation slideshow.) Also, making a stop at American Crafts today to pick up some print outs of my next collection. Yippeee!

Those shoes are my new fave & surprisingly comfy: c/o Blowfish
Playing with a crappy toy lens for my big girl camera: The dreamy Diana Lens
Somewhere in the middle of the desert. Skirt c/o Loft
Beachy babe
Playing at the Santee Lakes with great grandma Charlotte
Suga Suga!

Travel Art Kit: Here We Goooooo

“Here we goooooooooo!!!” Said like Peter Pan, of course. Which is quite fitting since we are off to Disneyland! That’s right people. The kind of vacation where you are more exhausted when you get home. But you don’t complain because… it’s Disneyland. I will be eating my share of churros, pushing a sexy double stroller, and taking pictures of my kids standing by adults dressed in giant mouse costumes. Collin is already planning out the Splash Mountain pose for the pic. He wanted to be reading a book, or pouring a bowl of cereal… I’m scared.

Last night, I couldn’t sleep because I had taken a non-drowsy allergy pill and earlier I drank a Diet Coke. This must have been a toxic combination. I was still going strong to the wee hours of the morning. But I’m glad because now I have this little book and what do I have to show for our last Disneyland trip? Nothun.  I haven’t done anything with my pictures. This trip I am prepared with 4 cameras. This isn’t a joke. : ) I don’t want to lug my slr around everyday so I have some smaller options. Clearly, I am determined to document our time togetha. I grabbed some of my favorite supplies for a travel art kit.


Starting with Kraft Cardstock I used my Cameo and cut quite a few pages with one or two words on each.
Then I added some elements to about 5 of the pages. So they are ready to go. I am mostly going to add Instax to the album and possibly some Instagrams.
I spray painted the coils with gold metal paint and used my Bind-It-All to put it together.

The only adhesive I packed is my Glossy Accents since it is tiny.  And it’s my favorite adhesive for the wood accents. Can you tell I am obsessed with SC’s veneer pieces??!! Just slightly.
Also packed the least deadly scissors I own. The memory marker is perfect because I will use it for journaling & to stamp with my Dear Lizzy roller date stamp.

I painted my cloth bag with neon pink using a stencil. And I put together two journals for the girls. Because we have a 12 hour drive ahead of us…!
The striped paper is one of my favorite papers from my Neapolitan line and the little bow is too.

Everything fits perfect into my bag. I might even squeeze my Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher in there too.


Also, here is the Kid’s Art journal kit I put together last year for our Lake Powell trip. Which had a lot more down-time and worked out great!

Leaving in an hour… gotta go pack!
xo, Lizzy
Click on the images to check out the supplies:


Snap Recap!

Last week I was so lucky to spend a day at the Snap Conference and soak up creative energy from hundreds of awe inspiring women!! I wish I could have spent more time there but I had to finish up some projects at home before taking off to our family vacation tomorrow. (Yeah baby!)
I left Snap with so much inspiration for my life and the business side of my life it was insane… and so worth it!! I also got to meet some people that I only knew through email or Instagram which was really fun to put a face with the name.
A highlight was speaking on a panel with Lindsey, Ashley, Heather and Jessica. Our panel was called Happy Chaos which very well could be the title of my life.  It was so great to hear others’ experience and insight. I loved what our moderator, Heather, said about valuing the handmade market. Jessica spoke a lot about her personal experiences at home that I really loved hearing. Ashley was just awesome & enjoyed hearing how to stay inspired, and Lindsey shared tips for how she balances the business side that I needed to hear. Thanks ladies it was fun to collaborate on this and thanks Tauni and Mique for inviting me!!


① My new friend and twinner: wish you could see her red pants in the pic.
② Our Happy Chaos panel: Lindsey, AshleyHeather and Jessica
③ So many bright, creative ladies! I spy Gussy Sews! (stole these pics from Jessica)
④ Enjoyed spending time with my Spark sisters! Rhonna & Margie! (dirtygramed this pic from Rhonna)

Also enjoyed meeting or seeing again: Eighteen25//Supermom Moments//Orson Gygi Girls//A Place For Us//Jaimee Rose//Glitter and Gloss//My Sister’s Suitcase//Brooke Walker//Sarah Rae//30 Days Blog//Whippy Cake//House Of Smiths//One Charming Party//Idea Room//Skip To My Lou//No Biggie//Made By Jewls (Aside from her shop she started an adoption blog. If anyone knows someone who is looking for an adoption family pass along Julianne’s information. She truly is a genuine sweetheart!)

“The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail.”
someone really smart said this but I don’t know who. ; )

Sometimes when I am preparing something to say in public it makes sense in my mind… then when I start speaking it sounds like this lkajdfkajsrfljkoiuroptiuoidhgfk lakdj. That’s how I felt during our panel. A few nights before our discussion I started free-writing some answers to our panel questions here are a couple below:

When did you decide to actually go for it and take the leap to really treat this passion as a business

Turning my passion into a career was more of a gradual process. I didn’t just up-and-do-it one day, it was more organic.
There is a point in the process of turning your passion into a business that you have to… become a little girl again. You have to be a dreamer… where anything possible. Before the world, our self conscousness, money and harsh realities tend to squash those dreams. But you can do it. Everyone here has something to share. Everyone has their own light & purpose.

Then I think it definitely takes courage. Again something that little kids on occasion are better at than me. But I’ve had to take a chance and put my whole heart into things not knowing if people would point and laugh. Of course no one does that accept boys in 5th grade but those are the kind of crazy things that enter your mind when you are creatively vulnerable. My first steps were entering a contest, then working for a magazine, writing a book and then ending up designing my own craft line. Long story short, I knew when I wanted to go for it after a feeling inside me could look at what I was doing and I wanted to share it with others having a hunch some would love it just as much.
Usually I’ve found that something I created was lifting me up… so I hoped to do the same for others…!
This reminds me of a time when I had to take a leap of faith… Upon graduating college in Behavioral Science I was thrilled to be working at the Juvenille Detention Center because not only did it pay really well but I felt like I was on the right path using my degree and natural abilities. After a string of events I had a feeling that I shouldn’t be working there. So I got a job at Pebbles In My Pocket for seriously like half the pay. But it felt right. It’s difficult at times to trust that feeling or inkling but I feel like this change was purposeful and part of God’s plan.

How did you find what you were good at?

How to find your passion is something that you soar at doing and are exceptional at! It reminds me of a concept I learned in college called Flow. Have you heard of this? It’s when you are doing something and you feel positive, energized, it’s intrinsically rewarding, effortless, comes easy for you, time passes quickly while you are doing it, you are happy, and you lose that feeling of self consciousness. That’s one way to find your strength.
I think we should strive to become better and increase our skills at something-but we can’t force it. We should try to focus on something that we are naturally good at now.

Other thoughts: Does it “wow your soul?” When you are working on making something or developing a new product when you’re finished are you excited? Do you want to instagram it right then? Because times when I’m not excited about something I created, then chances are some people won’t be either. But when I make something and I am so giddy and do a happy dance then chances are that others will react the same way too.

Who are the people you count on the most to keep you motivated and successful?

You need that cheerleader… that one person to say “You can do it!” Whether it’s a boyfriend, husband, sister, mom, friend. It definitely helps immensely to have someone cheering you on. Because putting yourself out there can be scary. Also, be that person for someone else. Cheer them on because you might be the only person doing so. It took one friend to say to me, “You know, you should enter that contest…” At first I kind of laughed because I had never even thought of submitting my work to a magazine and guess what? To my surprise, I won! And that’s what started my career. Even when I entered my work I didn’t even think I would win so we need to take risks. Approach situations where you can’t predict the outcome!

And not only in support but I’ve learned over the last few years that, for me, my close relationships play a huge role in my creative process. It’s very difficult for me to think innovatively when I am not in a good place with a person who’s very close to me. And oppositely some of my favorite and effortless creative processes were when I was in love or giddy happy about someone or something. I say something because not only people but surround yourself with the things that make you happy when you are ready to create and imaginatively explore ideas… music, photos, inspiration, words etc those keep me motivated.

From the time you started out to now, the market has become almost overly saturated.  How do you stay encouraged or how would you encourage someone to start a business when there are so many out there?

Go for it! Follow your passion. This is tricky advice because I think it is a natural tendency for women to compare ourselves. But don’t compare. Usually we are comparing our worst with someone’s best and it’s not actually an accurate or fair correlation. Instead focus on your positive attributes, on your strengths. On what you can contribute, because everyone has their own unique light to share. If we do that then we will stand out. Also, do it because you love it & that comes through in all you create. Truly keeping that dreamer mindset alive keeps me encouraged.

Lucky Ladies

I found this image on pinterest and sadly there wasn’t a link so please let me know if you are aware of the source that way I can linky loo. But I do want to get the book in the photo: Cath Kidston Tips for vintage style. Not to mention the grey striped dress.


Here are the lucky ladies for the giveaways… picked at random. Email me at

Carrie Rosalind says:
March 21, 2012 at 7:12 pm  Oooh I would love to win either prize! I’ve wanted a Jo Totes camera bag for a while, and I love Kelly Purkey’s style! Fingers crossed!!

Amy Coose says:
March 22, 2012 at 5:16 pm  What great giveaways, thanks for the chance to win!

ashley (@bannerplanner) says:
March 28, 2012 at 10:03 pm  ooh great giveaway! I hope to win!

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend! xo, Lizzy


Floral Antler Piece

I’m thrilled to share this project with you today because it quickly became one of my favorite projects I’ve made this year. Probably because of that refreshing, springtime happiness it brought to our kitchen. Seriously, the sure sign is when your husband truly appreciates it too. I also learned that fresh flowers are a perfect pick-me-up… even when you buy them for yourself.
Victoria from Styled magazine asked me to create something for their floral issue. I started out thinking of all sorts of paper flowers but then somehow I ended up going in a different direction. That direction included antlers with ranunculus. So random, right?
First, I painted and gold dipped the ends. I pretty much love anything with a bit of gold right now. Then used bright pink string to tie tiny vases along the antlers. Last, fill with flowers.

This Styled issue is full of floral inspiration… The Art of Summer Merry Making!
xo, Lizzy

Pinky Swear

I always feel like I need to apologize when I don’t post something creative on Monday… and give some excuse or something. Because I really really did make things, pinky swear! Instead of posting them I boxed them up and delivered them to the publisher of my book. And right now I should be finishing up the rest of my projects but I am definitely procrastinating. Quincey is at a friend’s house. Lola is napping while Avery should be home from school any minute. Instead of working on said projects I keep pouring myself another bowl of cheerios. And now, apparently, I’m blogging.
This week is going to be cray-zay town… but I am excited because this weekend I will going to SNAP! and I’m also a presenter. I am speaking on a panel Friday at 10:30 about turning your  passion into a business. Are you going to Snap!?


Friday & Saturday I sold a few different items at Bijou Market and we sold out the pleated lace & brown feather slips. Don’t worry, I saved some to post online so you don’t feel left out. : ) It was an incredible market and inspiring to walk around and see everyone’s goods.

Shoes and my favorite necklace: Ruche//Pants: Target

Peach + Grey + Mint is one of my favorite color combos right now.

Last week I seriously was on one. It must have been everything on my plate but I was bugging myself so I know I was on Collin’s very last nerve. I’m grateful for someone who will love me & cheer me up on my bad days.

Happy Monday!

Triangle Banner: love triangle series


This is another installment of Love Triangle: a mini blog series inspired by geometric shapes. Today one of my crafty friends Ann-Marie shares a fun triangle banner. I met Ann-Marie at American Crafts and she is so darling… I adore her and her paper crafting style! Her project is super dooper easy. All you need are scissors and paper! No excuses because we all have those on hand. For Avery’s pretty pow-wow birthday party next month I plan on making one of these.
Take it away Ann-Marie (passing the mic)… Since the banner trend has been around for a while and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, it’s always fun to experiment with different shapes to keep things fresh and interesting. The best thing about this triangle banner is that it only requires two supplies: paper and scissors. No adhesive necessary! And while it may look tricky at first, once you get the hang of it, you’ll want to make one for every room in your home (or maybe that’s just me?)! Either way, I know you will love the end result!


1. Cut a 4×6″ strip of cardstock (or any other type of paper that will hold it’s shape when folded) and fold in half.
2. Leaving your paper folded (as if you were making a greeting card), cut off the two outer edges at a 60 degree angle.
3. Allowing for approximately a 0.75″ border, cut an actual triangle out of the center of the cardstock. When you open it up, it should like the number eight.
4. To connect multiple triangles together, leave one of the triangles folded in half (orange paper) and open the other triangle (cream paper). Using the open triangle, straddle the closed triangle by pulling one end over each side.

5. Repeat step 5 with as many triangles as you desire and enjoy your new banner!


Check out the other Love Triangle projects: 
Washi Tape Deco Art///Polymer Clay Earrings///Leather Stamped Pillow

PS Last month a bunch of you joined in on a photo challenge–taking 12 photos on March 12th. It was neat to learn about even more blogs that do a similar tradition… probably because it is quite fun! So, I wanted to do it again this month. Tomorrow actually!! Take 12 photos of your day with your fancy slr or even your phone.
Join in on the Daily Dozen!!
See last months post here!