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Re-Story your Life is Live!!

**Happy dance!** Re-Story your Life is now officially live! I am so incredibly excited to share the course with the world. I’ve poured so much time and love into it over the past two months and it felt great to hit that “publish” button! {{If you’re so sure the class is for you that you don’t want to read anything else, you can hop on over to the enrollment page right here.}}

If you were on my email list as of this morning, you should have already received an email with a really fantastic discount code as my way of saying “thank you!” for being an amazing, dedicated Artisan Life reader. If you don’t see the email, please check your various email folders (if you have things automatically sorted by Gmail) or leave me a comment. I’ll just check to make sure you’re on the list and then will send you the needed info again. ūüôā

But here’s the thing…

If you do have that 60% off code sitting in your inbox, I’m asking you not to use it.¬†

Let me explain.

A few days ago, my cousin started a GoFundMe account. As some readers know, my cousin Sean has been battling leukemia for two years. Interestingly, I remember exactly when I found out he’d been diagnosed with leukemia. My husband and I were visiting Florida for New Year’s and were staying with my grandmother. We’d already gone to bed when I heard the phone ring. My grandmother was asleep, so it rang all the way until voicemail picked up. Immediately the phone started ringing again. When the phone rings repeatedly at an odd hour¬†it’s never good news! Eventually my grandmother woke up and answered. She has a small apartment, so I could hear her end of the conversation pretty well, and then I heard the news again from her in the morning. It’s never good to hear that a family member has cancer, and it’s even more jarring when that family member is your 10 months younger than you cousin.

To make a very long story short, traditional treatments weren’t able to completely remove¬†the leukemia. A year ago, he received a bone marrow transplant from his younger brother. Even though the treatment went well, Sean officially entered relapse a few months ago and has been undergoing a new treatment called immunotherapy. Next month he’s planning to receive another treatment, a Donor Lymphocyte Infusion,¬†with the help of his brother.

Sean, on the right, shortly before receiving a stem cell transplant from his brother. Photo via Team Phoenix Team in Training page.

In his words from his GoFundMe page, “The relapse this fall forced me to use more than just allopathic healing methods. I met some wonderful people to help me work on my mental and spiritual healing. This work has been deeply influential for me, giving me the confidence that the cancer won‚Äôt come back.” Sean’s attitude has been incredible throughout his journey, and I’m sure that’s a major reason why he’s continued to fight leukemia and looking forward to recovery. Research shows that more optimistic¬†optimism works and the human mind is amazingly powerful.

This summer, Sean wants to return to France, where he was born, to witness his best friend’s wedding, visit friends and family, and begin working towards becoming an educator and developing a new educational model focused on global harmony and cooperation. His GoFundMe account will help him make this trip and continue his process of healing and self-discovery. {{If you want to read more about his plans, please visit the GFM page directly right here.}}

So what does all this have to do with a coupon code?!

  • If you have the 60% off coupon code and choose to enroll in Re-Story your Life at the full price without the coupon, I will donate 60% of the purchase price to Sean’s GoFundMe.

  • If you were not a subscriber and don’t have the coupon code, but enroll in the class, I will donate 50% of the course price to Sean.

  • If you chose to use the coupon code, I’ll still give 50% of what you pay to Sean’s fundraiser.

  • I’ll be doing this until¬†the end of March. At that time, I’ll figure out who falls into which purchasing category and calculate how much to donate!

Or, of course, you’re welcome to visit his page and make a donation directly!

I am so excited¬†for this course launch and hope I am able, with your help, to make a sizable contribution to Sean’s page.

If you’re trying to determine whether or not Re-Story¬†your Life¬†is for you, I encourage you to visit the course’s page here and/or watch this video explaining who it is for and who it is not for. {{If you’d like more info about the course content and how it works, please visit this post here!}}

The course enrollment page is right here¬†when you’re ready to check it out.¬†Thank you so much for sticking with me through this long post¬†and please let me know if you have any additional questions about the class.¬†

I hope to see you in Re-Story your Life soon!


Friday Photoshare – Choices

So much of my art is about empowerment. Or, at least, that’s what it’s about to me! It’s about growth and self discovery, choices, and the power that lies hidden inside¬†each of us. Unsurprisingly, these¬†themes feature yet again¬†in this week’s photo, “Choices.”

Apart from the actual message of the image, the main thing I want to share today is that you absolutely do not have to have elaborate, expensive things to make beautiful photos! It’s so easy to look at pictures and say “Well, I could take great photos, too, if I had access to that location/dresses that cost thousands of dollars/etc.,” but lovely things can come from humble beginnings. The main elements in this photo are: [click to continue…]


Happy Thursday, everyone! Thursdays almost always mean tutorials here on The Artisan Life but, even though I have a tutorial photographed, I want¬†to share a preview of Re-Story your Life. Today I’m sharing a free printable worksheet from the course called “Combating Judgement.” It is a nice follow-on to yesterday’s post, and I want to give everyone a taste of the class before it launches!

One of the course lessons focuses on the concept of “unconditional self-acceptance.”

Unconditional self-acceptance is the concept that you are worthy of self-acceptance simply because you are alive and capable of enjoying your life.

It’s foolish to judge your entire being, or anyone else, based on a cherry-picked characteristic or action. You can define an individual trait or action as “good” or “bad,” but each individual is a collection of so many complex traits and actions that it is impossible to accurately reduce a person to just one word of judgement! Today’s¬†worksheet is just one portion of the lesson on self-acceptance, so if you’d like to learn more please stop by Monday when the course goes live!

To download the printable worksheet PDF, please just visit this link to snag the document on Google Drive.

If you just happened upon this post and want to know more about Re-Story your Life, please visit the course release date announcement for additional info!

Do you have any tips, tricks, or favorite methods to combat judging yourself or others? If so, I’d love to hear about them!


Wellbeing Wednesday – Stay Wild

When I attended Promoting Passion last year, Brooke Shaden gave a talk called “Becoming¬†Wild.” She¬†said she hadn’t grown up imagining herself as wild, at all, but had come to embrace wildness in her art. She encouraged each attendee to launch their “different,” tell their story, and, by doing so, empower others to do the same. She urged us to be wild in the pursuit of creativity and said “Our tree must be planted so others may shelter under its leaves.”

For me, part of being wild in the pursuit of creativity means repeatedly “putting myself out there” on the intent, virtually every day, where anyone can wander by and criticize me/the things I do without¬†letting those criticisms affect my self-image or determination to continue. From comments like “i hate u r tutorial” to “useless as all the others…couldn‚Äôt you have tried this before posting ? you know just check it worked before wasting peoples time .” and even more delightful commentary, I’ve had people leave a variety of unpleasant comments for me online. To be clich√©, I refuse to allow the haters to dull my sparkle, and I just keep on going!

A variety of things help me keep on keeping on, but something that has helped me a lot is realizing that I’m not alone. No matter where you are on your journey, someone is always willing to tell you you’re terrible, doing it wrong, etc. Brooke Shaden wrote a little while ago about a scathing portfolio review in which one member of the review panel told her she’d never be a true artist and her work would never mean anything. Lindsay Adler, a¬†photographer I admire and have mentioned before, spoke about how it stung when another well-known photographer¬†criticized her forthcoming¬†(at the time) posing book. Just a few minutes ago I read that Santana said Beyonc√© isn’t a real singer! If someone puts you or your work down, your in great company because it happens to absolutely everyone.

Wow – that’s a longer introduction than usual for a Wednesday printable! I wanted to explain the concept behind the image¬†so hopefully it has a bit more meaning if you decide to take advantage of it. The image is play on the “Stay wild, moon child” phrase:

Unconditional self-acceptance, independent of both the positive and negative comments others make, is so important your happiness. If you base your self-concept on what others say of you, your life will be an emotional roller coaster ride! I really hope this printable helps remind you to be wild in the pursuit of creativity and your dream life. Be wild and free from fear, free from the constraints of judgement of yourself or judgments passed by others.

PS – If you’re new here, the link to download the printable is the under the Members’ tab. Just use the password provided when you enroll in my weekly email newsletter to access the area!


Valentine Watercolor Heart Overlays and Printable

Happy Valentine’s Day!!¬†As I’ve said in past years, I’m not¬†a big Valentine’s Day celebrator, but it’s impossible to resist commemorating the day¬†just a little! Today I’m sharing two Valentine watercolor heart overlays and a free printable you could use a last minute card or for decoration.

I took watercolor classes for the better part of a year, but I had to cancel a round of class when I left home for an extended period of time following my dad’s passing. I didn’t sign up for the following six weeks because my husband was returning home for deployment, and then¬†I ended up putting my paints and paper away for a long time.

Now I’ve started painting again and it’s reminded me of the many reasons I love watercolor. {{I’m actually working on an exciting new project that includes watercolors and I can’t wait to share details soon!}}¬† [click to continue…]


A few Photos in Hawaii

We’re still getting back to normal after a week of vacation/staycation, so here are a few photos from the past week!

We got things started with a “contemporary¬†glamour” photoshoot for my mom. We scheduled a lady for hair and makeup, then took a whole lot of photos! It was really a lot of fun, especially after my mom stopped looking at us like “What are you crazy people doing?” and started enjoying herself. Isn’t she lovely?

After the photoshoot, we headed to a steampunk meet up at a local botanical garden. We went as photographers, not in costume, but it was “safari” themed and my mom, who’d been warned about the event, brought the perfect outfit! I came by my love of dressing up honestly. =)

In spite of some rain on Oahu before we island hopped to Kauai Tuesday evening, we managed to visit many Pearl Harbor area memorials and historic spots.

We also got¬†in a¬†hike up¬†Makapu’u Lighthouse trail. We saw so many whales – it was better than the whale watching boat we took a few years ago! Unfortunately, we didn’t have the appropriate lens to try to photograph them, so here’s my husband whale watching. :-p

On Kauai, we were lucky enough to catch a couple beautiful sunrises.

And another sunrise that was dramatic, but didn’t have much color (which is funny because we actually walked about a mile each way to catch this particular sunrise!)

We visited a few¬†favorite spots, like Hanapepe and its swinging bridge, the Kauai Coffee Plantation, and the glass beach. For my mom’s sake, we also took the twisty road up to see Waimea Canyon.

One of the nicest parts of the trip was a visit to¬†Barking Sands beach, which is almost entirely on a Navy base. It’s about 18 miles long and¬†absolutely beautiful! I found the cutest, tiniest sand dollar (okay, my husband found it and gave it to me).

You can’t drive all the way around the island (at least not that I’m aware of!). Barking sands is nearly the end of the road on one side, and we also went to Hanalei, which is almost at the end of the road the other direction. Of course we had to take some cell phone selfies just to be silly! {{Actually, a lot of the ‘out and about’ photos in this post are cell shots, so please don’t judge them too harshly!¬†:-p }}

I basically can’t go anywhere without bringing a dress and trying to get a few cool photos, so while my mom attended lectures Friday evening we played at the beach. It was fairly cool (the lowest low we experienced was about 60¬ļ, which is pretty cool for Hawaii!)¬†so there weren’t many people at the beach, and there certainly weren’t others wearing long dresses! We had lots of fun and I can’t wait to share more photos from this ‘shoot!’

Right before heading to the Kauai airport on Saturday, we stopped by a sweet local fabric and quilt store. They had lovely quilts on display and cute things like these bears:

We rushed out of the fabric store and didn’t stop by a local quilt show, to make it to the airport on time. Unfortunately, our flight to Oahu was delayed by two hours due to bad weather rolling across the state! We didn’t find out about the delays until we were already in line at the airport, and the Lihue airport is¬†basically¬†the airport equivalent of a fun-sized candy bar. We had plenty of time to chat, though, and took turns getting our steps in for the day.

On our final morning together, we braved the mud and spent about an hour and a half (round trip) hiking up a ridge for some breathtaking views of Kaneohe Bay. The weather was absolutely perfect and it was a lovely way to end our Hawaiian vacation/staycation!

We had an absolutely wonderful time, and I think my mom did, too. It was so nice she was able to visit and pretty incredible she’s able/willing to put up with our silliness for over a week! It will take a few days before things are back to normal, blogging-wise, ¬†but hopefully by next week the schedule will be normalized.

What have you been up to lately?


Friday Photoshare – Fear

Everything you’ve wanted is on the other side of fear.

Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of leaving the comfortable for the unknown, fear of criticism, fear of disappointment, fear of success. These are just a few of the multitude of fears that hold too many of us back.

The thing is, this fear is a cloth we cover and smother ourselves with. Our own hands hold it in place, press it against our faces. If we just open our arms, the cloth can fall away.

[click to continue…]


Free Bokeh Heart Overlays for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is just a week away¬†so today I’m sharing a package of free bokeh heart overlays for Valentine’s Day! To use them, just pop one into a program like Photoshop or something else that works with layers and blending modes, change blending mode to “screen,” and¬†modify¬†the opacity to suit your needs! If you don’t have PS, that’s no problem – you should be able to use these with inexpensive/free options like Pixlr and Gimp.

Nothing beats capturing bokeh in camera, but that may not be an option for you. With these overlays, you can add a heart texture to any photo, even if you don’t have a DSLR. They may be a little bit silly, but sometimes a little silly is a whole lot of fun. ūüôā¬†To download all six overlays, please head to this folder on Google Drive! If you’re not sure how to use the overlays, I put together a quick video demonstrating the process.

All of these overlays were created in Photoshop. The process is fairly simple and really fun – if you’d like to see how, please stop by teammate Rose’s post DIY Heart Shaped Bokeh for Valentine’s Day! If you’d like more texture overlays, please check out this grunge paper overlay pack or this second¬†set of grunge overlays.

Even though these were created in Photoshop, my husband and I are also working on creating¬†overlays with bokeh captured in-camera. We have a couple different lenses that capture absolutely¬†amazing bokeh, including the LensBaby Sweet50, so we’re really excited about the project!¬†We can’t wait to share soon.

Apparently I prepare for Valentine’s Day by playing with Photoshop. How are you preparing?


Release Date Announcement for Re-Story your Life!

Happy Monday, fabulous internet friends!! I’m so excited because today I’m officially announcing the release date for Re-Story your Life, Rewrite your Future!

I have a big, cheesy grin because that’s how excited I am about sharing this course with the world in just two weeks!!!

Re-Story Your Life will go live on Monday, February 20!

Everyone on my newsletter email list at that time will receive a really valuable discount code for the course to help make it that much easier for you to decide to change your personal narrative and re-write your life’s story. If you’re not on the list now, you have two weeks to sign up!¬†You can use the box below this post to enroll and you’ll gain immediate access to weekly motivational printables as well as the Daily Gratitude Challenge printable gratitude journal.

So what does all this “re-story your life” stuff mean, anyway? I could type it all out, but I thought it would be away more fun to create a video! Please watch to find out more about the class, what re-storying your life means, and exactly what you can expect from the course. =)

The class is going to be so much fun! The tools and techniques shared are simple, but powerful, and only take a few minutes each day to implement. The course is divided into easy to use modules, each containing a short video, PDFs for reference, and cute printable worksheets that are fun and joyful. In the class, you’ll begin by discovering your current explanatory style and your current core beliefs, especially negative ones, about yourself. You’ll then learn a step by step process you can use to observe your thoughts, dispute them, and ¬†ultimately change them. The course also contains easy, proven practices to boost joy and happiness to keep you motivated throughout your journey! For more details and an explanations of why it’s important to develop a positive explanatory style and how impactful it can be, please watch the video linked above. =)

I’ll be sharing a few more details next week, shortly before the course goes live. Until I see you then, I hope you have a fantastic week! I’m mostly taking this week off to spend time with my mom. We’re headed to Kauai tomorrow afternoon and are really looking forward to showing her a “new” island!

Best wishes for a wonderful week,




Friday Photoshare – Introducing Nunez Photography!

Hello and welcome to another Friday Photoshare!¬†I typically take this time to discuss a recent self portrait, but I’ve decided to do something different today. I’m officially introducing Nunez Photography! I wrote some about our new photography business on¬†Tuesday, but that was kind of a long post and filled with other things! So here’s the official announcement – my husband and I are building a photography business! We’re currently focusing on lifestyle family portraits, and we’re also looking to build a “contemporary glamour” portfolio. Nunez Photography has its own website and can be found at www.aenunezphotography.com.

Unlike many photographers who’ve gone the purely digital route, we’re focusing on creating printed images. All too often, digital photos are never printed and then are¬†lost in a hard drive crash or server¬†failure. I’ve heard it said that more images are taken each day than during the first 100 years of photography¬†as a medium, but where will most of these new images¬†be in 50 years? 100? 200? I’m sure only a relative handful will still exist. That’s why we believe in printing photos. We put a lot of effort into sourcing beautiful, handmade folio boxes and finding a professional printer with papers and inks we love. We recently had the pleasure of photographing a family who’d been putting off portraits for years. It sounds silly, but when I unpacked their prints from the lab, I almost cried because they are so lovely and I know the family will treasure them for years.

Each folio box is 14″x11″ and holds 20 matted prints, and the prints are on a deep matte, archival paper.

Probably the most fun thing about the way we’ve structured our business is the “photo reveal.” We have one basic sitting fee for the actual photography session and the client is¬†not locked into buying any images. After we have everything ready, we have a “reveal” where clients¬†get to see and hold their¬†images, make their¬†selections, and head home with their¬†treasures that same day. All prints also come with the digital version of each image purchased, so¬†clients¬†have a backup and the option¬†to share online. It is so rewarding to show people their photos in person! It’s difficult to say what’s more rewarding; Getting to see the look on a mom’s face when you show her a sweet image like this of her baby girl:

Or her daughter and husband:

Or showing a woman who just told you she ‘has no figure’ and believes she doesn’t photograph well just how beautiful she is:

We are so excited about creating this rewarding business together! If you’re living on Oahu or planning a vacation (I know a couple of my Etsy teammates have been here before!), please get in touch. We’d love to show you just how amazing you truly are.

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