Have you heard the saying, “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and passion come together?” The quote applies perfectly to our new favorite crafter and entrepreneur. We’re back with our Artist Spotlight and this month showcasing Catnaps & Cartwheels.
Before Easter, Daughter found Catnaps & Cartwheels through social media and was drawn to the quality and vintage vibe of the handmade stuffed animals and dolls.
Dana Hallman, owner, creator, seamstress, designer, etc, at Catnaps & Cartwheels always enjoyed crafting and art as a young child and teenager. Growing up, she watched and observed her mother sew her Sunday dresses, curtains and other household projects. (It’s funny how mothers can influence their daughter so much. We know this first hand at Georgia & Daughter.) It wasn’t until Dana was pregnant with her first child, that she attempted her first sewing project, a simple baby quilt.
We are continuing our Made in the U.S.A. gifts by highlighting a classic gift for women, the monogram. But not just any ol’ monogram, a large wooden monogram from Southern Proper Monogram, in Montgomery, Alabama. We love this monogram for its versatility to be used in a variety of settings – front door, wreathes, nurseries and even weddings!
Its Thankgiving and by now, most of you have seen the crazy Black Friday hours and deals. Before you head out to brave the crowds, consider buying some (or all!) of your gifts from small business owners that make their products here in the United States. This week, we will share some of our favorite gifts that we have given or received with the Made in U.S.A. stamp. First up, one of our absolute favorite gifts for the men in our lives comes from the great state of Montana.
First of all, we apologize for being MIA last week. Between a heavy work load and major home projects, we just didn’t have enough time for our craft projects. That’s life, right? Life has been so busy lately that we are planning a ‘stay-cation’ during November. We just need to get caught up on our to-do lists! We will be sharing our major home improvements over the next few weeks – new flooring, new appliances and a garage makeover!
On Friday, the November issue of Southern Living magazine arrived in the mail and we stole a few precious minutes to enjoy it on Sunday afternoon. We were both stunned to see two local businesses featured in the magazine and felt the need to share them with you.
Last Wednesday, we took our grandmother to Gibbs Gardens for her birthday and were blown away by the amount of detail, colorful blooms in October and the overall design elements of the gardens. Our grandmother loved every minute of it! The gardens rotate with the current season. For October, the Japanese Maples were on full display and the Japanese Gardens were brilliant! And guess who was highlighted in SL? Gibbs Gardens! Jim Gibbs owns a successful Atlanta-based landscape company and has recently opened his own private gardens to the public. Gibbs Gardens is located in Ball Ground, GA about an hour North of Atlanta. If you need an idea for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or a gift for a garden enthusiast, we would highly recommend a visit to this garden paradise. For older adults, there is a tram service for $5 per person. Otherwise, wear your most comfortable walking shoes!
Here are a few of our pictures from our visit in October:
Daughter’s favorite combination in the gardens
Manor House Gardens
Later in the issue (at least in the GA issue), we came across an article featuring two military spouses stationed in Dahlonega, GA (our neighboring mountain town) . While we do not personally know these talented ladies, we were beyond thrilled to see SL supporting local artists from just up the road! Congrats R. Riveter Handbags! We love their design style, business concept and social responsibility to military spouses. Just a few of their beautiful bags:
R. Riveter: Merrill
R. Riveter: Abrams
R. Riveter: Lee
And who doesn’t love a solid leather dog collar.
R. Riveter: Rosie
~georgia & daughter
Georgia and I try to support our local business community whenever possible. Mom and Pop shops built this country and we strive to buy from local shops. Local artists, especially, steal our heart and soul. We love unique artists that build a solid reputation and establish new outlets for the business world. We honor and cherish any artist that can incorporate our love of the University of Georgia into a work of art. So to round out our School Spirit Week, we would like to introduce you to Kristen Yost, owner of Painted Expressions. This is our first post in a monthly series highlighting local artists and businesses.
Don’t worry, Kristen offers other colleges and universities.
Kristen Yost, owner of Painted Expressions, is just that, a tremendously talented artist that started a grassroots business on Facebook. A business that grew from one basic creation, an American flag from pallet boards. Kristen and a girlfriend saw instructions on the internet, created one and posted the final product on Facebook. After a few friends requested the pallet flag, Kristen posted a few simple pallet signs on her own personal Facebook page. They sold immediately and orders started pouring in. Kristen explains her passion, “My creative hard work, and people wanting to display my signs in their home, it quickly became a craving for me.” In October 2012, Kristen created the Painted Expression Facebook page that now has over 500 followers. Since then, she has sold more than 300 signs!
The sign that started it all!
Kristen didn’t always know that she would have a thriving career painting signs. Her husband is an Army Ranger and she has five children ranging from 10 to 2 years of age. With a young family and the military lifestyle, Kristen always appreciated designing her home on a budget and had a flair of creativity. Little did she know that her sense of style and creative talent would be able to provide an income for her growing family. Sometimes, the overall experience with Painted Expressions has over-joyed her, “Every time I look over my order list, head to Home Depot for a huge load of wood, or I am reading my daily emails, I am blown away by this all!”
Where does she find inspiration for all of her designs? Anywhere! Pinterest is a great starting point and then often times, Kristen will interrupt it in her own unique way. Customers, too, bring their own ideas and thoughts to the process. “Most clients are coming to me with an idea that they have, or have seen, and my price and flexibility offer a great service and product.” The signs are custom to each individual order and range from very small to very large, 28 x 28.
Kristen’s most recent creation, a 5 piece Super Hero set for a little boy’s nursery. Perfect!
Her signs are thoughtfully conceived, designed and crafted for each customer. Daughter owns two beautiful signs that receive more compliments than any other art work in her home. All signs are professional made, painted with quality products and sealed with polyurethane to provide a forever piece of art.
The Monogram sign is a best-seller.
The perfect gift for a newborn baby girl.
Daughter’s other beloved sign.
So whats the next step for Painted Expressions? For now, Kristen is finishing up current orders before relocating to Hawaii at the end of this year. Painted Expression is only accepting new orders on a limited basis so please email for more information. Make sure to like her Facebook page to keep up with her projects and sales. Kristen is always appreciative to her clients for this adventure, ” I have loved every minute of the excitement Painted Expressions has brought me!”
Don’t forget to enter to win a beautiful, customized Burlap Flag! Share our Facebook page or sign up for an email subscription, and then comment on the DIY Burlap Flags post to enter our Giveaway. One winner will receive a customize Burlap Garden Flag like the one below. Last chance to enter is Monday, September 2!
Have a safe and wonderful Labor Day weekend!
~georgia & daughter