It's been almost three years since I last designed a new jewelry piece. I stepped away when I lost that spark for making jewelry, when the "want to" became "have to". I've even turned down a few custom requests. But I received one recently that touched my heart and I couldn't say no. And in making that piece, I found the spark again.

I rediscovered the joy that simply comes from the process of making. Not because I have to sell something or prove to myself that I can do something. Just the creative high I get when working metal, soldering joints, revealing a beautiful patina.

I started small and made two pairs of silver ball stud earrings...and these. Hand cut, hand stamped leaves, jump rings and ear wires made from scratch. Each touch of the hammer and sanding wheel deliberate.

They have my heart in them.

silver leaf stamped earrings

And then, without trying very hard at all, someone bought them. Someone who appreciates them as much as I do. I had forgotten how sweet that exchange is.

My priorities have shifted recently, leaving creativity on my mind but not necessarily on my to-do list. Hopefully in the next year I can share exactly what that means. But for now, I'm going to put first things first and as I have the time, reward myself with a little drawing here, a little jewelry-making there.

I've also been moving my existing jewelry pieces back over to the Etsy shop (though some are still on this site). Over the years I've bounced between using my personal website vs. Etsy. I've finally decided I'd rather spend less time on my website and more time on the things that matter.

So click over to my Etsy shop if you're curious about what I currently have on hand. Moving forward, I'll add new jewelry pieces there, too.

Goodness I've missed this. Blogging, too. :)

~ Christina


I woke up with a dark cloud over my head this morning. It doesn't happen often. But when it does, I don't like it. I don't like feeling negative one tiny bit.
I had a hundred different things swirling in my mind. Things I needed to do. People I needed to contact. Things I didn't want to forget. Situations I couldn't control.
As Chad made his breakfast before leaving for work, he quietly let me vent. Anxiety was trying to get the best of me and I knew it.
Chad hugged me.
"I'm going to leave this right here, where it belongs," he half-jokingly said, waving his hand above me.
When he reminded me he had other dinner plans, on the way out the door, it was the last thing I could take. I love our evenings together. I just nodded and turned away, finally letting go of the tears that begged to escape.
I looked through the side windows flanking the front door. Pink remnants of the sunrise filled the sky. A beautiful reminder I wasn't alone.
"God, fill me with your peace. I can't do this alone. Help me to focus on just today and what you have for me," I prayed.
Recently I've been considering deep spiritual questions like, why do I believe Jesus is who he claimed to be? And why do I believe Scripture is true? In short, why do I believe what I believe?
My faith has been reaffirmed in multiple ways as I've sought answers, but none so clearly as this morning.
My black cloud gave way to peace.
Real, soul-penetrating peace.
Peace that doesn't make sense apart from a loving, supernatural God.
I knew, once again, my faith isn't just head-knowledge. I changed. There was no denying it.
That's what a personal relationship with Jesus does. It changes you.
It helps you see things from his perspective.
It helps you let go of the things you aren't meant to carry.
It helps you see how much he loves you.
Just try him.
Maybe if you have a cloud above you, you'll have a breakthrough, too.

Happy New Year! I hope your holidays were peaceful and you're starting 2019 feeling renewed.

I want to follow up on my last post where I showed the sloth pattern design I made for a Spoonflower challenge. Well, afterward I made a full collection that's now available in both my Creative Market and Spoonflower shops. You'll find banana leaves, fronds, monstera leaves and bamboo. The companion patterns can even be used alone, if you prefer.

Let me know if you make something with these patterns. I really enjoy seeing other people's creativity. 😊

~ Christina

Last week I entered the Spoonflower weekly design challenge for the first time. The theme was "Sloths" and the only rule was the design had to be a pattern. All entries were voted on by the public.

Here's my sloth pattern.

Sloth Pattern Spoonflower

The results are in today. My sloths placed in the Top 50 - #42 of 337 to be exact. I might normally be disappointed with placing at #42, but for my first design challenge I'm pretty pleased. It was a good exercise in creativity. And, placing in the Top 50 means my design was automatically added to the Spoonflower marketplace. It's now available in my shop for printing on fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap. I may also make some coordinating patterns to build a collection.

If you voted, thank you! :)

This week's design challenge of "Scandinavian Art" caught my eye, too. When I look at Scandinavian art, words and phrases that come to mind are clean, ornate, geometric, blocks of color and floral.

This is my take on the theme.

Scandinavian Pattern Spoonflower

Voting is again open to the public and winners will be announced next week. If you wish to vote for my pattern you can do it here.

Competition in these challenges is stiff. There are many, many talented artists out there. But, I'm going to use these opportunities to share my work and get better at pattern design. Who knows, maybe one day I'll win first place. 🤗

Have a lovely day!

~ Christina

This week I continued to pour through the patterns and illustrations from my 100 Days project, and found there is still gold to be mined. These little Christmas houses were originally in pattern form, but I've separated them into individual files so they can be used on Christmas cards and prints. They have painted textures and hand drawn details.

Each image is in PNG format, so designers can use any background color they choose.

Click for more details.

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I didn't expect to be immersed in patterns again, but I'm having so much fun recoloring existing ones. I began to see this modern tree pattern as one that would be great for Christmas and New Year designs. So I gave it new life with three bright color palettes for the holidays. The bundle contains vectors and seamless tiles, so they can be used in Illustrator and Photoshop.

Click the image for more details.

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Yes, it feels good to release the patterns I've been holding onto for far too long. I just added this vintage floral pattern to my Creative Market shop, in three eye-catching color combinations. Use it for branding, home decor, stationery...the applications are limitless.

Click the image to add these patterns to your design toolbox.😊

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This week I created the Wetlands Pattern collection, with designs that came from the 100 Days of Pillows project. I used three of the patterns as-is. Two needed only color changes to make them cohesive with the group.

It's my favorite collection yet, with swans, cattails, feathers and snails. The pink and green color palette is soft and punchy.

I envision the designs on stationery, packaging, and in nurseries. But the fun part is knowing they'll also be used on projects I haven't thought of.

Designers - these seamless patterns can be used in Illustrator and Photoshop. You can get the collection from my Creative Market shop here:

https://creativemarket.com/christinasteward/2891548-Wetlands-Seamless-Pattern-Collection

Have fun!

~Christina

I added this seasonal, pumpkin patch illustration to my Creative Market shop. It's almost that time of year!

Graphic designers -- use the illustration as-is, or rearrange the graphics as you wish.

Click here for details: https://creativemarket.com/christinasteward/2881251-Pumpkin-Patch-Illustration

I often say Atlanta when people ask where I live. It's mostly true. I live in a northern suburb and assume most people have heard of Atlanta. But the actual city I live in is Cumming, GA. It's a fast-growing town with a strong mix of rural spaces and modern conveniences.

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