Friday, February 7, 2014

God is in my work

Whenever I talk about BeachBabyKisses and people ask me how it's going or if I'm busy or whatever they may ask, I'm always so inclined to talk about God. It's amazing to think that He's been ALL over this business in so many ways. Just when I get a little prideful because I had a good month of sales, He knocks me back down with a week of no/low sales. And you know what? I'm learning to trust Him. He is in control of BBK more than I'll ever be and I want it that way.

I wrote a journal entry about a month ago I talked about feeling stressed with all my work - I had asked Him to only give me what I could handle, no more. Well, when I reread the entry last week I was feeling discouraged with a low sales month - when I read it, I just laughed with tears in my eyes. He had given me a mini vacation with my girls - while discouraged with work, I was stress-free with my family and not feeling so torn with my TIME. I realized God had answered my prayer. He continually brings work and lately it's been in waves, so I get a few orders all at once, can shoot them together, edit them, print and ship, and then I have a little break before the next wave of orders comes through. His TIME-ing is everything. (Want to know what I always capitalized TIME? See me blog post TIME :))

When I just let Him have the reigns and rest assured that He will take care of not only me, but my business too, I am able to relax a little bit. His love for ME overwhelms my soul and I'm so grateful for the opportunities He's given me through BBK - He is ALWAYS there at the beach when I shoot. I can feel God's presence and feel Him in my bones when the wind blows. It's such an amazing feeling and I love capturing memories for people. It's such a fantastic way to work and I feel really blessed God's lead me this direction.

Do you see God in this picture? I do :)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  
Proverbs 3:5

Friday, September 27, 2013

Gearing up for the holidays!!!

This year is going to be an exciting one! I'm not always a big holidays person - decorating everything, baking tons of delicious treats, planning large gatherings, but this year will be special for BeachBabyKisses! I'll be attending THREE holiday markets this fall and I'm getting very excited! I will also be stocking holiday items in my Blue Moon Shop, so there should be something for everyone! I'm really looking forward to being busy... FUN busy!

I'm usually a "behind-the-scenes" kind of gal and am not good at marketing myself or my work (awkward!) so I've been a bit nervous about sitting behind a table at these craft fairs. While restocking at BM tonight, I had a few customers visit my shop and it was fun having a conversation - they each bought a framed photo and it actually got me really excited about meeting and speaking with my potential customers.

Want to meet me and do some holiday shopping with me and many other great vendors? Stop by one of the local craft/holiday shows below - can't wait to see you!


Saturday, November 9 - Brunswick Forest Craft Fair, 10:00am

Saturday, November 9 - Cape Fear Mix & Mingle @ TMuffin, 7:30pm - 10:00pm

Thursday, November 14 - Cape Fear Academy Holiday Market, 6pm - 9pm
Friday, November 15 - Cape Fear Academy Holiday Market, 10am - 8pm
Saturday, November 16 - Cape Fear Academy Holiday Market, 10am - 5pm

Friday, August 23, 2013

July Photos - Custom Orders!!

I've had a busy July filling custom orders - it's definitely much harder to shoot in the summertime! Besides this being the wettest summer I've experienced in Wilmington, the beaches are so crowded during the day that it's hard to find a spot without many footprints! Here are the photos from some of my July orders...

This sunrise was worth the wait - my customer waited almost a month through many
rainy mornings to get this shot for her friends' wedding!

This is one from my sand photo collection, but this bride wanted it printed in black and white
in a square aqua distressed frame! She really made it her own and it matched her wedding beautifully!

This one made me nervous because it was a lot of writing and she requested script, but I was happy with the result. The customer was giving it to her friend as a gift... makes my heart smile - what a great friend!

I just love printing on canvas!

Every time I write in this design, the result is always fabulous!

This was for a local customer and was eventually framed - this was my first
anchor drawing, which was a theme for their wedding.

I love this design - I did another one on canvas above!

A rush order JPEG for a customer in Australia - love working internationally!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Finding Freedom

I'm reading Jesus Calling as I'm trying to set up my blog - not a great thing to be multi-tasking. The whole point of the book is to focus solely on God and his presence throughout the day. Spend TIME with him. Today I'm not doing very well with this. Then I picked it up (AWESOME DEVOTIONAL, by the way - written by Sarah Young: Jesus Calling).

Here is today's message (free devotional, ya'll!):

"Find Freedom through seeking to please Me above all else. You can have only one Master. When you let others' expectations drive you, you scatter your energy to the winds. Your own desire to look good can also drain your energy. I am your Master, and I do not drive you to be what you are not. You pretense displeases Me, especially when it is in My "service". Concentrate on staying close to Me at all times. It is impossible to be inauthentic while you are focusing on My Presence."

I'm really clicking with the "I do not drive you to be what you are not" statement... I'm feeling a little lost with regards to my small business - I would like more work, but enjoy having breaks. Since my children are still home with my 24/7 (Clara will go to preschool this fall), I like to spend my time with them and know that is what I should be doing more than anything else. At the same time, we're feeling like we can't DO anything because we don't have extra money. There are upgrades to the house I'd love to make, but I don't see anything happening in the foreseeable future. So, I'd love some more income to be able to "do" some of the things we'd like to do, which means I need to market myself better. I'm not very good at this!!! So blogging is one feeble attempt (but when I don't tell anyone I blog, it's not really helping at all, is it?!)

So frustration sets in and then I remember I'm supposed to be doing quiet time since the girls are napping... pick up my JC book and it screams at me - Be With Me. Simple as that. So, here is where I sign off to be with my Master, my one and only Master, despite what the world *thinks* I should be doing. Peace out!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

June Photos - Custom Orders!

This month was so rainy! It rained for three weeks straight... it made my job very difficult ;-) Fortunately, I think God works in miraculous ways and was able to clump my orders together so that I could take them all at once! The first week of June, my family was on vacation in Holden Beach - I had scheduled a few sunrise photos to shoot there since we were literally staying on the beach - thought it would be a nice way to wake up and work! Well, the first day I went out to the beach at 5:45am, wrote three different messages in the sand and waited... when it was about 6am, I noticed the sky was getting really light BEHIND ME! I hadn't done my research and didn't know HB was a south facing beach - we didn't see the sun rise or set over the ocean on our trip, which was a bit of a bummer, but we still had so much fun! I didn't get much work done that week though ;-) I reshot the sunrise pics below once I got home...

Ahhhh, and a beautiful sunrise it was!

This customer WON a custom photo through a Facebook contest I held with friends... her choice? Cornerstone :)

This customer wanted a lot of blues in the photo, so I brightened up the sky and sea to really pop!

A sunset picture - only my second sunset order, but I love these photos!

Same sunrise as above... gorgeous morning!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May Photos - Custom Orders!

May was a pretty busy month of shooting! It's also been busy at Blue Moon, so I've been working hard to get everything done. Painting frames, cleaning glass and assembling photos into frames, stocking my store, and shooting and editing my custom orders. I love this job - it brings me great joy! I try to stay connected to God through the stressful times and make sure I'm ultimately working for Him and not myself. I don't want to sacrifice time with my children to work on my orders - they are only home with me a few short year and I  hope once they are in school, I can make BeachBabyKisses a full-time endeavor. For now, I just want to enjoy it all and work for fun, more than need. Praying God sends me the right amount of work for a good life balance :)

Here are some of the photos I shot in this month...

This photo is the first of two (with the one below) and was created as a special mother's day gift for Ryan's mom

Ryan's wife framed these photos together as two 5x7 prints. A lovely gift!

This was a photo ordered by my aunt :) There were a lot of rocks on Wrightsville Beach
that day, but the sky and water were so pretty and serene!  
This was a rush order and the weather was awful - I actually used a different tool for writing than usual and had to merge it with a different sky - the original looked like it was about to storm. I try not to merge pictures from different shoots together, but in some cases (usually the combination of rush orders and weather issues) it is the only way to get a good photo in time. The handful of times I've had to do that, my customers were made aware of it and agreed.

This was a gorgeous day and I LOVE when the waves are a light green like they are here!

Shot the same day as above for a little boy's room - printed to an 11x14.

There wasn't much sand to work with this day and the sun was shining really brightly from
behind me making it hard to see the writing. It took a lot of editing to get the letters legible.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Daughters vs Dogs

Is it a birth order thing for all species? I swear, our oldest dog and oldest daughter are so similar in personality, it's scary! And our two youngest (dog & daughter) are also very much alike... is this a coincidence? Is it bad that hubby and I often compare our mutts to our girls? Probably, but I'm about to give you a rundown on our family. You let me know if we're crazy!

Dogs: Cali, 6 (left), Mosby 4.5 (right) - both Cavachons (designer mutts!!)

Daughters: Clara, 3.5 (right), Daphne, almost 2 (left)

Ready for the facts? Here we go!

Cali & Clara (our oldests)
-  independent
-  very catlike (cuddly only on their terms and not often)
- give dirty looks
- usually follow directions
- very particular about things (Clara and her clothes, Cali and her sleeping environment)
- run from others (and each other)
- take forever to fall asleep
- are more likely to whine when hurt
- wise beyond their years (like lassie and einstein!)
- a little bit sneaky
- cautious... takes their time figuring things out
- eats fairly neatly, uses manners

Mosby & Daphne (the littles)
-   love cuddling
-  always crawling into your lap
- follow you around
- pass out within two minutes and sleep soundly
- love to nap
- happy, happy, happy (Daph laughs, Mosby wags his tail... a lot!)
- dives in head first
- fast eaters - we don't think either one chews their food