So.

since my last post here, there have been some big changes to "Courtney Casper Letters".. but not with me, Courtney.

I got myself a fancy new website that integrates all of my stuff (all of me) into ONE PLACE.

http://courtneycasper.com

you can shop all things that are on my etsy site, you can join my newsletter, you can try out one of my NEW ECOURSES, you can read my BLOG, you can even SUBMIT SOMEONE FOR A LOVE NOTE. (or learn what that's all about.)

here's the deal. I am overwhelmed. I am just, totally humbled to have so much love and support. I hope that I return that to you in some way. it's kind of one of my life goals. to return the love right back to you, individually. somehow.

thank you. and...


you are loved. :)

CHANGE.

Friday, March 24, 2017



So.

since my last post here, there have been some big changes to "Courtney Casper Letters".. but not with me, Courtney.

I got myself a fancy new website that integrates all of my stuff (all of me) into ONE PLACE.

http://courtneycasper.com

you can shop all things that are on my etsy site, you can join my newsletter, you can try out one of my NEW ECOURSES, you can read my BLOG, you can even SUBMIT SOMEONE FOR A LOVE NOTE. (or learn what that's all about.)

here's the deal. I am overwhelmed. I am just, totally humbled to have so much love and support. I hope that I return that to you in some way. it's kind of one of my life goals. to return the love right back to you, individually. somehow.

thank you. and...


you are loved. :)

If you missed the latest "tutorial" in the Tuesday email, it's not too late! I am going to send it out again tomorrow morning to all my new email friends. :) You can go to the sidebar to join!

Here's a quick recap:

lettering pens.

they're not cheap! and if you're like me, they keep showing up with the ups guy. ;)

last weekend, I had had enough. I saw an idea online (ps if anyone one here is a pinterest expert, I need help. i don't have a pinterst. yes. you heard me correctly. i need a pinterest 101 crash course! email me!) and i convinced by husband to help me make it.

he jokingly called it the "pen holder 2000" on camera, and it's stuck. ha ha.

materials needed:

a stick of PVC or ABS pipe- i'm not sure the difference, i just wanted the black one, and pvc was white. you could do white and spray paint it! or just keep it as is. (if you're inpatient like me and cant wait for glue to dry let alone paint) So. Go to lowes or home depot and walk to the plumbing section, there will be 10ft long sticks of pipe (it fit in my mini van!) get a big cart and ask a nice worker for some help lifting. :) ps we used almost all 10 ft.

ABS Cement- which is a little metal bottle and it's more like liquid glue. it is very strong smelling so do it outside somewhere (or the garage like us). and DO NOT GET IT ON ANYTHING. I've tried to wash it out of tylers jeans before. not happening. it melts the plastic. pretty cool.

Saw- an electric saw is recommended, but i'm a determined girl and I've been known to use a hammer and nails to get a job done. ha ha true story. if i could insert a laughing crying emoji here, i would. so. i suppose any old saw would work! might be hard, but it's probably doable.

Sander- again. electric would be the best option, but i don't see why you couldn't use a piece of sand paper and some willpower :)

process:

1. Measure how long you want each stick. i just held up my longest pencil and used that as a guide.

2. cut the stick of PVC or ABS pipe to desired lengths. and you can choose how many you want. i did three on bottom, four in the middle and three on top.

3. sand the rough edges of each pipe. (they will be rough from cutting)

4. put pipes somewhere where you can keep them from moving. tyler put them on a piece of scrap wood and put a screw in at both ends to keep them still.

5. drip the cement (glue) into the creases between each pipe. "you can't put too much"-tyler The glue/cement will actually melt the plastic together!

6. build your rows separately.

7. assemble. start with your base layer, apply glue wherever the two layers will touch! stack them up. glue. stack. glue. you get the idea :)

8. resist the urge to bring it in right away. the glue only takes 15 minutes to dry, and if you can hold out 15 minutes your house wont smell like liquid plastic cement. lol (i know from experience..)


then bring her in and start organizing! i had fun digging out all my brush pens, nibs, pencils, sharpies, paint brushes, gel pens, and all the others and displaying them for.... i guess just me to admire. :)

i was feeling blah about lettering. i needed a break. i needed some other way to create. to use my hands.

if you're feeling "stuck" or uninspired, step away! try something else. crochet. cross stitch. run. build something. clean something. yoga. paint your nails. read your baby a book. try a new recipe.

those are my go-to's to getting out of a creative rut. writers talk about their blocks all the time! we can have letter blocks too.

this project shook me up enough to get back in my groove. back to creating art. back to me. :)


i'll resend the video link tomorrow morning for any new email friends that may have missed it!

happy lettering.




pen holder.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


If you missed the latest "tutorial" in the Tuesday email, it's not too late! I am going to send it out again tomorrow morning to all my new email friends. :) You can go to the sidebar to join!

Here's a quick recap:

lettering pens.

they're not cheap! and if you're like me, they keep showing up with the ups guy. ;)

last weekend, I had had enough. I saw an idea online (ps if anyone one here is a pinterest expert, I need help. i don't have a pinterst. yes. you heard me correctly. i need a pinterest 101 crash course! email me!) and i convinced by husband to help me make it.

he jokingly called it the "pen holder 2000" on camera, and it's stuck. ha ha.

materials needed:

a stick of PVC or ABS pipe- i'm not sure the difference, i just wanted the black one, and pvc was white. you could do white and spray paint it! or just keep it as is. (if you're inpatient like me and cant wait for glue to dry let alone paint) So. Go to lowes or home depot and walk to the plumbing section, there will be 10ft long sticks of pipe (it fit in my mini van!) get a big cart and ask a nice worker for some help lifting. :) ps we used almost all 10 ft.

ABS Cement- which is a little metal bottle and it's more like liquid glue. it is very strong smelling so do it outside somewhere (or the garage like us). and DO NOT GET IT ON ANYTHING. I've tried to wash it out of tylers jeans before. not happening. it melts the plastic. pretty cool.

Saw- an electric saw is recommended, but i'm a determined girl and I've been known to use a hammer and nails to get a job done. ha ha true story. if i could insert a laughing crying emoji here, i would. so. i suppose any old saw would work! might be hard, but it's probably doable.

Sander- again. electric would be the best option, but i don't see why you couldn't use a piece of sand paper and some willpower :)

process:

1. Measure how long you want each stick. i just held up my longest pencil and used that as a guide.

2. cut the stick of PVC or ABS pipe to desired lengths. and you can choose how many you want. i did three on bottom, four in the middle and three on top.

3. sand the rough edges of each pipe. (they will be rough from cutting)

4. put pipes somewhere where you can keep them from moving. tyler put them on a piece of scrap wood and put a screw in at both ends to keep them still.

5. drip the cement (glue) into the creases between each pipe. "you can't put too much"-tyler The glue/cement will actually melt the plastic together!

6. build your rows separately.

7. assemble. start with your base layer, apply glue wherever the two layers will touch! stack them up. glue. stack. glue. you get the idea :)

8. resist the urge to bring it in right away. the glue only takes 15 minutes to dry, and if you can hold out 15 minutes your house wont smell like liquid plastic cement. lol (i know from experience..)


then bring her in and start organizing! i had fun digging out all my brush pens, nibs, pencils, sharpies, paint brushes, gel pens, and all the others and displaying them for.... i guess just me to admire. :)

i was feeling blah about lettering. i needed a break. i needed some other way to create. to use my hands.

if you're feeling "stuck" or uninspired, step away! try something else. crochet. cross stitch. run. build something. clean something. yoga. paint your nails. read your baby a book. try a new recipe.

those are my go-to's to getting out of a creative rut. writers talk about their blocks all the time! we can have letter blocks too.

this project shook me up enough to get back in my groove. back to creating art. back to me. :)


i'll resend the video link tomorrow morning for any new email friends that may have missed it!

happy lettering.





I want to start a little thing here, where we talk letters. individual letters.

because I love letters.

and if you're here you either love letters too, or you want to love letters. in this case the letter K.

before I start I have to remind you of something super important. it's the number one thing that will change your lettering game. but its also a little tough love from me to you. ready?

you have to let yourself have some wiggle room. wiggle room to not have it "perfect" today. or next week. or month.

If you're looking for the perfect letter K, or any letter for that matter, you won't find it. but you will find discouragement and frustration searching for it. I know that, because I have been there. ..

How to Get the Mini Course!
It's easy. (even for me, the most untechy person ever)
go here OR go to the side bar! and enter your name + email. This signs you up for other Mini Courses and a (very) occasional hello email from me with letter goodies. (that you can unsubscribe to at any time!)
then check your inbox! the link will be there :)

...way back when my mom asked me to make her a logo. KB Designs. K and B. my two most hated letters because they were never perfect. or done enough. or like "theirs".

I probably wrote those two letters a thousand times. and I walked away many nights at 2 am frustrated. and resigned to the fact that I would just never like them or be able to make them look right.

and then she told me she needed it in ten minutes. she needed the thing done. file created. in her inbox.

so, in five minutes I threw down a KB and digitized it and sent it. I didn't stare at it for hours. I didn't recreate it over and over. I didn't compare it to others work. I just drew it, stood back far enough so I couldn't see every "imperfect" thing about it, and moved on.

she loved it. but shes my mom, so she's 100% biased.

but. guess what.

I  loved it too.

the only thing that I can think of is that I didn't judge it so harshly. I didn't compare it to others. I didn't overthink it. I had a little faith in myself. in my art.

I hate to do this, but I can't help it.
because I am feeling like this in so many aspects of my life right now it's crazy.
in my motherhood for one.
and my business. another major one.
in my lettering. that's always there.
in my relationships.
in my faith. also always there.



we are our own worst critics. worst critics. we are ruthless! we over analyze, assume the worst, compare, judge, and get frustrated, disappointed, and if you're like me end up binge eating anything that contains sugar.

I hate it.

i'm vowing today, for today, to not do that.
to not let any voice in my head decide anything about who I am, or what i'm capable of.

and you should too.

so.

as you head over to my first ever Mini Course Lets Talk Letters: K-

remember! we're artists. and uncovering that art is in the messy middles. its in the process.

leave in the comments what letter you want to talk about next!




Lets Talk Letters: K

Saturday, February 4, 2017


I want to start a little thing here, where we talk letters. individual letters.

because I love letters.

and if you're here you either love letters too, or you want to love letters. in this case the letter K.

before I start I have to remind you of something super important. it's the number one thing that will change your lettering game. but its also a little tough love from me to you. ready?

you have to let yourself have some wiggle room. wiggle room to not have it "perfect" today. or next week. or month.

If you're looking for the perfect letter K, or any letter for that matter, you won't find it. but you will find discouragement and frustration searching for it. I know that, because I have been there. ..

How to Get the Mini Course!
It's easy. (even for me, the most untechy person ever)
go here OR go to the side bar! and enter your name + email. This signs you up for other Mini Courses and a (very) occasional hello email from me with letter goodies. (that you can unsubscribe to at any time!)
then check your inbox! the link will be there :)

...way back when my mom asked me to make her a logo. KB Designs. K and B. my two most hated letters because they were never perfect. or done enough. or like "theirs".

I probably wrote those two letters a thousand times. and I walked away many nights at 2 am frustrated. and resigned to the fact that I would just never like them or be able to make them look right.

and then she told me she needed it in ten minutes. she needed the thing done. file created. in her inbox.

so, in five minutes I threw down a KB and digitized it and sent it. I didn't stare at it for hours. I didn't recreate it over and over. I didn't compare it to others work. I just drew it, stood back far enough so I couldn't see every "imperfect" thing about it, and moved on.

she loved it. but shes my mom, so she's 100% biased.

but. guess what.

I  loved it too.

the only thing that I can think of is that I didn't judge it so harshly. I didn't compare it to others. I didn't overthink it. I had a little faith in myself. in my art.

I hate to do this, but I can't help it.
because I am feeling like this in so many aspects of my life right now it's crazy.
in my motherhood for one.
and my business. another major one.
in my lettering. that's always there.
in my relationships.
in my faith. also always there.



we are our own worst critics. worst critics. we are ruthless! we over analyze, assume the worst, compare, judge, and get frustrated, disappointed, and if you're like me end up binge eating anything that contains sugar.

I hate it.

i'm vowing today, for today, to not do that.
to not let any voice in my head decide anything about who I am, or what i'm capable of.

and you should too.

so.

as you head over to my first ever Mini Course Lets Talk Letters: K-

remember! we're artists. and uncovering that art is in the messy middles. its in the process.

leave in the comments what letter you want to talk about next!





something that I wish someone would've told me when I first started lettering was to stick with what you love.

I feel like there is this pressure to use what "they're" using, or to create something like "that" using "those pens". I did that. I bought all sorts of crazy colorful brush pens. I tried them out. which is good, because it gave me confidence in my style. and it solidified what I loved.

so. there are lots of great brush pens, techniques, colors, styles of lettering out there, brushy bristled brushes are some of my favorites.

these three are (from left to right)
Bimoji Bristled Brush Pen, Pentel Fude Medium, Pentel Aquash Fine.


the Aquash is my favorite.
the Bimoji is my second favorite.
and the Pentel is my third favorite.

These three will give you that brushy look that you see me use a lot.
it isn't for everyone.. but is definitely for me.

Whats your favorite brush pen?! I know the Tombow Dual Tipped pens are popular. or what about a sharpie stained ?! (big difference than the sharpie brush pens )

whatever your jam, my advice to you is:
try a bunch of pens, styles, and techniques. and find what feels like you, feels comfortable, inspires you and you will start finding art in your letters and words.

:)

bristles.

Monday, January 30, 2017


something that I wish someone would've told me when I first started lettering was to stick with what you love.

I feel like there is this pressure to use what "they're" using, or to create something like "that" using "those pens". I did that. I bought all sorts of crazy colorful brush pens. I tried them out. which is good, because it gave me confidence in my style. and it solidified what I loved.

so. there are lots of great brush pens, techniques, colors, styles of lettering out there, brushy bristled brushes are some of my favorites.

these three are (from left to right)
Bimoji Bristled Brush Pen, Pentel Fude Medium, Pentel Aquash Fine.


the Aquash is my favorite.
the Bimoji is my second favorite.
and the Pentel is my third favorite.

These three will give you that brushy look that you see me use a lot.
it isn't for everyone.. but is definitely for me.

Whats your favorite brush pen?! I know the Tombow Dual Tipped pens are popular. or what about a sharpie stained ?! (big difference than the sharpie brush pens )

whatever your jam, my advice to you is:
try a bunch of pens, styles, and techniques. and find what feels like you, feels comfortable, inspires you and you will start finding art in your letters and words.

:)





I've been sitting here for awhile now. my kids are playing together peacefully (miracle) and i feel like there's something in me that wants, needs, to come out. i'm sitting here, waiting. i'm in the dark. but i can feel light so close i can almost form the words. i can almost make sense of my heart beating just a little bit faster than usual. i can almost reach in and hold on to whatever is in that heart and put it into words.

i have felt this way a lot in the last two years.

waiting. just on the edge of light. maybe the light has been waiting for me. maybe it waits patiently for me to open the door. to jump over the barrier. flip the switch.

sitting in the dark, often behind a wall i built myself, i feel lost. but there is this moment when i can almost feel what being found will look and feel like.

about 6 months ago, i was behind a wall. i built it myself, brick by brick.

i was lost. i was so lost. i was spinning. i was hitting myself against the wall, over and over again. but then i began to think the darkness was light. my eyes adjusted. my soul adjusted. my life started adjusting....

but just like sitting and waiting for these words to form, in the in-between, i had a moment where i saw the wall as a wall. i saw the dark as dark. i saw my life as it was. i could see broken as broken. wrong as wrong. lost as lost.

and then... i was found. in the same moment. all of a sudden i could sense light, just on the other side. i could almost touch it. i could remember what it felt like to have that light in my heart, saturating my soul.

i hungered for it. i wanted it. i needed it. i no longer wanted the dark.

unbricking the wall was hard. some moments i just wanted to give up. it felt awkward to remove the mortar, to lift the brick and toss it aside. it was exhausting work. i cried a lot.

it reminded me of a time when i was newly married, pregnant, and we were really poor. my husbands aunt, knowing ty is really handy and that we needed the money, offered to pay him to remove and repour some concrete in her driveway. together, we removed a large section of concrete....  each little chunk took so much effort. he would use a jackhammer, and i would use a pick ax, and we chipped away at it, slowly. it was cold outside, and this was by far the most strenuous work i had ever done.

after we finished, i got into the car, and sobbed.
my hands were bloody. my back ached. my arms were shaking. i was cold and felt weak. physically, mentally, emotionally. i couldn't even feel any sense of accomplishment, i could only feel tears. i can't explain it, but even now, i feel that moment. i feel the weight of it. being painfully aware of our circumstances in every ounce of my heart and hands.

as i decided to break down the wall i had built last year, it felt much the same.
so much the same.
i expected to feel a sense of accomplishment at each brick removed. a breakthrough with each peek at light. i expected to see God every step of the way. i expected it to get easier, for sure. that i would get a system down, develop new, easier, painless tools to crush through it. i definitely expected it to take a few days. i expected to walk away scratch free. to live happily ever after.

that's not how being found works for me.
the moment of being lost and found is hard. exhausting. and there are scars left behind. there are ghosts of memory and painful moments between being awake and asleep. that middle time when you are on the verge of light, but still standing in the shadows. it hurts. it hurts in deep places we don't like to look at.

but the light.
when you step into it, the feeling is overwhelming.
it is everything. and for me, it seems that right as i'm about to give up, to collapse, is the moment of light saturating my soul. it is piercing. like leaving a movie theatre at 3 in the afternoon in the summer. (you know the feeling?!) it is the kind of found that takes a minute for your eyes to adjust to the light. it takes a minute for your heart to adjust to the love. it takes a little while to be comfortable there. to remember what life looks like and feels like and lives like in that light filled place.

our lives are a constant ebb and flow. i used to question that. i used to hate that.
i'm learning that ebb and flow, light and shadow, it's okay. it's just a part of life. it's a how God reaches us. it's how he pushes us. how He calls us to create art in our lives. in our relationships. in the people around us.

maybe you're not a wall builder. but i bet you have your own "thing". you have your own struggles. your own creator of shadow. your own demons to face. your own lost.

but you also have your own found.

if you're waiting in the dark but can almost feel light just out of reach... it's there.
if you're at that point of collapsing, or giving up, don't.
sink into God. i believe that light is there, waiting. waiting for us to find it. reach for it.
to want it more than air. to be willing to hurt for it, need it, work for it.
to fight through the awkward, the unknown, the shadows.
to spend more time on our knees in prayer.

for me, letting the word lost define where i was, allowed the word found to be there too. to recognize the truth of where i was, what i had built and done, opened my heart enough to let God lead me to be found. i stopped hiding. i stopped lying to myself. i stopped justifying, ignoring and covering my eyes.

in the moment i was lost and found.
and standing where i am today, even when the shadows call to me, i know i am found, loved, and safe in the light of my Savior. in His arms. engraved on His palms.

and so are you.














more than air.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017





I've been sitting here for awhile now. my kids are playing together peacefully (miracle) and i feel like there's something in me that wants, needs, to come out. i'm sitting here, waiting. i'm in the dark. but i can feel light so close i can almost form the words. i can almost make sense of my heart beating just a little bit faster than usual. i can almost reach in and hold on to whatever is in that heart and put it into words.

i have felt this way a lot in the last two years.

waiting. just on the edge of light. maybe the light has been waiting for me. maybe it waits patiently for me to open the door. to jump over the barrier. flip the switch.

sitting in the dark, often behind a wall i built myself, i feel lost. but there is this moment when i can almost feel what being found will look and feel like.

about 6 months ago, i was behind a wall. i built it myself, brick by brick.

i was lost. i was so lost. i was spinning. i was hitting myself against the wall, over and over again. but then i began to think the darkness was light. my eyes adjusted. my soul adjusted. my life started adjusting....

but just like sitting and waiting for these words to form, in the in-between, i had a moment where i saw the wall as a wall. i saw the dark as dark. i saw my life as it was. i could see broken as broken. wrong as wrong. lost as lost.

and then... i was found. in the same moment. all of a sudden i could sense light, just on the other side. i could almost touch it. i could remember what it felt like to have that light in my heart, saturating my soul.

i hungered for it. i wanted it. i needed it. i no longer wanted the dark.

unbricking the wall was hard. some moments i just wanted to give up. it felt awkward to remove the mortar, to lift the brick and toss it aside. it was exhausting work. i cried a lot.

it reminded me of a time when i was newly married, pregnant, and we were really poor. my husbands aunt, knowing ty is really handy and that we needed the money, offered to pay him to remove and repour some concrete in her driveway. together, we removed a large section of concrete....  each little chunk took so much effort. he would use a jackhammer, and i would use a pick ax, and we chipped away at it, slowly. it was cold outside, and this was by far the most strenuous work i had ever done.

after we finished, i got into the car, and sobbed.
my hands were bloody. my back ached. my arms were shaking. i was cold and felt weak. physically, mentally, emotionally. i couldn't even feel any sense of accomplishment, i could only feel tears. i can't explain it, but even now, i feel that moment. i feel the weight of it. being painfully aware of our circumstances in every ounce of my heart and hands.

as i decided to break down the wall i had built last year, it felt much the same.
so much the same.
i expected to feel a sense of accomplishment at each brick removed. a breakthrough with each peek at light. i expected to see God every step of the way. i expected it to get easier, for sure. that i would get a system down, develop new, easier, painless tools to crush through it. i definitely expected it to take a few days. i expected to walk away scratch free. to live happily ever after.

that's not how being found works for me.
the moment of being lost and found is hard. exhausting. and there are scars left behind. there are ghosts of memory and painful moments between being awake and asleep. that middle time when you are on the verge of light, but still standing in the shadows. it hurts. it hurts in deep places we don't like to look at.

but the light.
when you step into it, the feeling is overwhelming.
it is everything. and for me, it seems that right as i'm about to give up, to collapse, is the moment of light saturating my soul. it is piercing. like leaving a movie theatre at 3 in the afternoon in the summer. (you know the feeling?!) it is the kind of found that takes a minute for your eyes to adjust to the light. it takes a minute for your heart to adjust to the love. it takes a little while to be comfortable there. to remember what life looks like and feels like and lives like in that light filled place.

our lives are a constant ebb and flow. i used to question that. i used to hate that.
i'm learning that ebb and flow, light and shadow, it's okay. it's just a part of life. it's a how God reaches us. it's how he pushes us. how He calls us to create art in our lives. in our relationships. in the people around us.

maybe you're not a wall builder. but i bet you have your own "thing". you have your own struggles. your own creator of shadow. your own demons to face. your own lost.

but you also have your own found.

if you're waiting in the dark but can almost feel light just out of reach... it's there.
if you're at that point of collapsing, or giving up, don't.
sink into God. i believe that light is there, waiting. waiting for us to find it. reach for it.
to want it more than air. to be willing to hurt for it, need it, work for it.
to fight through the awkward, the unknown, the shadows.
to spend more time on our knees in prayer.

for me, letting the word lost define where i was, allowed the word found to be there too. to recognize the truth of where i was, what i had built and done, opened my heart enough to let God lead me to be found. i stopped hiding. i stopped lying to myself. i stopped justifying, ignoring and covering my eyes.

in the moment i was lost and found.
and standing where i am today, even when the shadows call to me, i know i am found, loved, and safe in the light of my Savior. in His arms. engraved on His palms.

and so are you.















okay.

I obvisouly love words and letters. letters to make words, and letters themselves. I am inspired by lettering, and the raw emotion and words that they bring up for me.

if i'm being honest, I will tell you that I found massive amounts of healing and growing and a place of walls crumbling through lettering.

I am a wall builder by nature. I like to tell myself that it's a defense mechanisim. I can build those suckers fast and they are sturdy.

they wreck my life.

and this is where LETTERING enters.

hand lettering has a way of breaking down those sturdy walls for me. words and letters open up a space, a little trap door, that I can jump through to escape being trapped and wrecked behind the walls.

as I discovered what I wanted to do with this new thing, I made the decision to teach. I wanted others to discover what I had in lettering. a creative release. a trap door.

SO. LETS TALK INK.

I never thought that I would love ink so much. (you never know, unless you try!)
I talked about the aqaush + ink a few posts back.
but what about the different kinds of ink?!

I used to say, all inks are in fact created equal.
I lied.
kind of.

in order form left to right:
speedball india ink, Higgins, Bombay black, Bombay white, Sumo Ink & ProArt India ink.
okay.
 I actually do love that giant bottle of Speedball India Ink.
it's black, and versatile, and cheap for the amount you get! it would probably last you a lifetime.

the Higgins Inda Ink isn't so bad either. it isn't the cheapest, but it's quality stuff. a good thickish thin ink that dries pretty fast!

Bombay India Ink is my go-to and most used.
I don't know why, I just like the consistency. it dries super fast (which I need!) and it lets me have lots of creative power. I can make my strokes really black, or light grey. it's a really pretty ink.  however in White, it seems a bit thin. maybe it's normal. I haven't experimented a whole lot with white ink.

Sumo Ink is intense stuff.
not quick drying, and I think it's actually meant to use with  a calligraphy nib. it's suuuuper black though, and thick, so makes a pretty burshy look. it's fun to play around with! (if I have the patience to let it dry...)

proart  india ink is AWFUL.
I don't even think it was that cheap either! SO thick. yuck.
boo.

India ink can be used with all sorts of synthetic or natural brushes. paint brushes, aquabrushes, calligraphy nibs, I even like to use my Sharpie Stained pens with them after they run out of ink ;)

So. there you have it.
my muse.
black ink.

who would've thought?

if you try any of these, be sure to tell me which ones you loved!
and add your favorites if you don't see them in the comments.
:)

happy lettering.

& remember...


you are loved.


couldn't help myself.


ink.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


okay.

I obvisouly love words and letters. letters to make words, and letters themselves. I am inspired by lettering, and the raw emotion and words that they bring up for me.

if i'm being honest, I will tell you that I found massive amounts of healing and growing and a place of walls crumbling through lettering.

I am a wall builder by nature. I like to tell myself that it's a defense mechanisim. I can build those suckers fast and they are sturdy.

they wreck my life.

and this is where LETTERING enters.

hand lettering has a way of breaking down those sturdy walls for me. words and letters open up a space, a little trap door, that I can jump through to escape being trapped and wrecked behind the walls.

as I discovered what I wanted to do with this new thing, I made the decision to teach. I wanted others to discover what I had in lettering. a creative release. a trap door.

SO. LETS TALK INK.

I never thought that I would love ink so much. (you never know, unless you try!)
I talked about the aqaush + ink a few posts back.
but what about the different kinds of ink?!

I used to say, all inks are in fact created equal.
I lied.
kind of.

in order form left to right:
speedball india ink, Higgins, Bombay black, Bombay white, Sumo Ink & ProArt India ink.
okay.
 I actually do love that giant bottle of Speedball India Ink.
it's black, and versatile, and cheap for the amount you get! it would probably last you a lifetime.

the Higgins Inda Ink isn't so bad either. it isn't the cheapest, but it's quality stuff. a good thickish thin ink that dries pretty fast!

Bombay India Ink is my go-to and most used.
I don't know why, I just like the consistency. it dries super fast (which I need!) and it lets me have lots of creative power. I can make my strokes really black, or light grey. it's a really pretty ink.  however in White, it seems a bit thin. maybe it's normal. I haven't experimented a whole lot with white ink.

Sumo Ink is intense stuff.
not quick drying, and I think it's actually meant to use with  a calligraphy nib. it's suuuuper black though, and thick, so makes a pretty burshy look. it's fun to play around with! (if I have the patience to let it dry...)

proart  india ink is AWFUL.
I don't even think it was that cheap either! SO thick. yuck.
boo.

India ink can be used with all sorts of synthetic or natural brushes. paint brushes, aquabrushes, calligraphy nibs, I even like to use my Sharpie Stained pens with them after they run out of ink ;)

So. there you have it.
my muse.
black ink.

who would've thought?

if you try any of these, be sure to tell me which ones you loved!
and add your favorites if you don't see them in the comments.
:)

happy lettering.

& remember...


you are loved.


couldn't help myself.



we are currently in the weirdest winter in like twenty years.

maybe I've never said, but I live in the Pacific Northwest in a little town called Basin City about twenty-ish miles from the Tri-Cities.

we're farm land. dry, desert, & lots of dust.

this winter, we are buried in snow and ice. I never knew what freezing rain was until this winter.. basically it starts to rain little pieces of ice, and then it accumulates until everything is covered in a blanket of solid ice.

I haven't left the house in three days.

three days.

school has been cancelled and i'm afraid we're going to be in school until july.
(this is one of my biggest fears, because I just really am not a fan of school, and I reeeeeeally love summer.)

anyways.

this morning, school cancelled again, and feeling stuck, I caught myself staring out my bedroom window at the main road.

no cars were driving by like usual.
everything seemed so quiet, and frozen, and I felt stuck.
no routine.
no trips to target.
no more Nutella. (my kids boycott any sandwhich besides Nutella + peanut butter)
no driving with my windows down.
no early morning runs.

and then I just had this need.

I needed to drive on the ice.
just to test it out.
see what it was like to spin my tires.
maybe I could get somewhere. maybe i'll laugh at everyone else stuck in their homes. i'll live a little reckless, and feel some adrenaline rush through my veins. maybe it'll be an adventure.

as I heard my two littlest girls start fighting, probably over the little plastic minie doll again, I snapped back.
i'm not 16.
I don't need to be reckless to feel alive.
to feel free.

I spent the majority of my 16th and 17th year being reckless. spinning my tires. throwing caution to the wind. I don't know what I was looking for, or searching for, or trying to be free from... but I can say now looking back, it was reckless.

as I walked away from the window.... I felt that familiar feeling.
and for a brief minute, it felt like welcoming a friend. a part of me that comes up from time to time. she's reckless. she longs to be on the move. she wants a version of freedom or spontaneity. she wants more and more. she wants to swallow up the world and spin her tires on the ice. with no plan. no thought out end goal. with caution left floating behind her.

there have been times when I hated her.
Ive tried to bury her, or demand her to leave me alone. sometimes I let her take over and walk me down roads I never imagined I would go. She is just a part of me, and I don't know why. I don't understand her all of the time, but I cant deny that she's there.

fatal flaw.
she has been my fatal flaw before. I have let her walk me close to the edge of a cliff, daring me to jump. she makes my heart pump and feel invincible.

but I think that maybe our fatal flaws can actually be the thing to create magic in us.
she dares me to dream big.
she pushes me to accomplish the impossible.
she calls me to chase adventure grabbing my husbands hand and bringing him with me.
she is why I love art.
road trips.
and last minute fun or trips or sparkling cider at midnight.
she makes me brave enough to give a hand written card to a stranger in the Wendy's drivethrough.
she breaks down walls so i'm able to have heartfelt, raw conversations.
she tells me it's okay to cry, and to be vulnerable.

yes. at times she has felt scary. and tempting. and I have given her permission to make things messy and unnecessarily hard.
but.. even then.
I am who I am because of those messy hard moments.
I learned, and grew.
I love harder and forgive more freely.

a wise man said in a sunday meeting recently that we don't need to change who we are.
I know his words didn't just touch my heart, but probably every person sitting in that room. we aren't told that often.

what a powerful invitation-
accept yourself.
love yourself.
you were perfectly created, by God, who loves you perfectly.

he then said, that yes, there are times when we may need to change what we are doing, or not doing. but we don't need to change who we are.

what does that mean to you?

to me it means that I can keep little miss reckless and fun and free, around. I don't have to have shame when she decides to come over. or tame her. or erase her. I don't have to ignore her, or force myself in the opposite direction of her.
I can accept her.

and still not drive on solid ice.

ground breaking, I know.

i am learning to "love the skies I'm under"...
without hiding the parts of me that long to seek new skies.

and i'm finding, the more i love all the parts of myself that are, even if i don't know why they are, and looking at them as a gift from a loving Father who created me...
i am not walking towards cliffs anymore.
i'm not driving on ice.

i am being...

me.

who i was created to be. i'm doing what God wants. i'm hearing His voice. i'm seeing how to use those "fatal flaws" to be and do what He designed me to do and be.
to give to others.
to write.
to teach my kids about windows down and road trips.
to dream.
jump.
trust.
forgive.
and love.


look, we may have been created perfectly, but we're not perfect.

but i'm starting to believe and see the beauty in our imperfections.
how the messy and hard and scary connect us, and create art in us.

so. from me to you.

you don't need to change who you are.
you are art.

your "flaws" are the messy beautiful color that can glorify God.
if you let them.









reckless.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


we are currently in the weirdest winter in like twenty years.

maybe I've never said, but I live in the Pacific Northwest in a little town called Basin City about twenty-ish miles from the Tri-Cities.

we're farm land. dry, desert, & lots of dust.

this winter, we are buried in snow and ice. I never knew what freezing rain was until this winter.. basically it starts to rain little pieces of ice, and then it accumulates until everything is covered in a blanket of solid ice.

I haven't left the house in three days.

three days.

school has been cancelled and i'm afraid we're going to be in school until july.
(this is one of my biggest fears, because I just really am not a fan of school, and I reeeeeeally love summer.)

anyways.

this morning, school cancelled again, and feeling stuck, I caught myself staring out my bedroom window at the main road.

no cars were driving by like usual.
everything seemed so quiet, and frozen, and I felt stuck.
no routine.
no trips to target.
no more Nutella. (my kids boycott any sandwhich besides Nutella + peanut butter)
no driving with my windows down.
no early morning runs.

and then I just had this need.

I needed to drive on the ice.
just to test it out.
see what it was like to spin my tires.
maybe I could get somewhere. maybe i'll laugh at everyone else stuck in their homes. i'll live a little reckless, and feel some adrenaline rush through my veins. maybe it'll be an adventure.

as I heard my two littlest girls start fighting, probably over the little plastic minie doll again, I snapped back.
i'm not 16.
I don't need to be reckless to feel alive.
to feel free.

I spent the majority of my 16th and 17th year being reckless. spinning my tires. throwing caution to the wind. I don't know what I was looking for, or searching for, or trying to be free from... but I can say now looking back, it was reckless.

as I walked away from the window.... I felt that familiar feeling.
and for a brief minute, it felt like welcoming a friend. a part of me that comes up from time to time. she's reckless. she longs to be on the move. she wants a version of freedom or spontaneity. she wants more and more. she wants to swallow up the world and spin her tires on the ice. with no plan. no thought out end goal. with caution left floating behind her.

there have been times when I hated her.
Ive tried to bury her, or demand her to leave me alone. sometimes I let her take over and walk me down roads I never imagined I would go. She is just a part of me, and I don't know why. I don't understand her all of the time, but I cant deny that she's there.

fatal flaw.
she has been my fatal flaw before. I have let her walk me close to the edge of a cliff, daring me to jump. she makes my heart pump and feel invincible.

but I think that maybe our fatal flaws can actually be the thing to create magic in us.
she dares me to dream big.
she pushes me to accomplish the impossible.
she calls me to chase adventure grabbing my husbands hand and bringing him with me.
she is why I love art.
road trips.
and last minute fun or trips or sparkling cider at midnight.
she makes me brave enough to give a hand written card to a stranger in the Wendy's drivethrough.
she breaks down walls so i'm able to have heartfelt, raw conversations.
she tells me it's okay to cry, and to be vulnerable.

yes. at times she has felt scary. and tempting. and I have given her permission to make things messy and unnecessarily hard.
but.. even then.
I am who I am because of those messy hard moments.
I learned, and grew.
I love harder and forgive more freely.

a wise man said in a sunday meeting recently that we don't need to change who we are.
I know his words didn't just touch my heart, but probably every person sitting in that room. we aren't told that often.

what a powerful invitation-
accept yourself.
love yourself.
you were perfectly created, by God, who loves you perfectly.

he then said, that yes, there are times when we may need to change what we are doing, or not doing. but we don't need to change who we are.

what does that mean to you?

to me it means that I can keep little miss reckless and fun and free, around. I don't have to have shame when she decides to come over. or tame her. or erase her. I don't have to ignore her, or force myself in the opposite direction of her.
I can accept her.

and still not drive on solid ice.

ground breaking, I know.

i am learning to "love the skies I'm under"...
without hiding the parts of me that long to seek new skies.

and i'm finding, the more i love all the parts of myself that are, even if i don't know why they are, and looking at them as a gift from a loving Father who created me...
i am not walking towards cliffs anymore.
i'm not driving on ice.

i am being...

me.

who i was created to be. i'm doing what God wants. i'm hearing His voice. i'm seeing how to use those "fatal flaws" to be and do what He designed me to do and be.
to give to others.
to write.
to teach my kids about windows down and road trips.
to dream.
jump.
trust.
forgive.
and love.


look, we may have been created perfectly, but we're not perfect.

but i'm starting to believe and see the beauty in our imperfections.
how the messy and hard and scary connect us, and create art in us.

so. from me to you.

you don't need to change who you are.
you are art.

your "flaws" are the messy beautiful color that can glorify God.
if you let them.










Plenty.

I have been carrying that word around with me for the past few days...
I do that.
carry words around and look at them through the lenses of my day.

for some reason, the word plenty has been my tag-a-long as of late.

why?

I don't have a clue yet.
but i'll tell you what I've decided about her.

she's a word that can sting.
she can show you you're lack.
or she can make your heart swell with so much gratitude it's overwhelming.
and warm.

when i'm standing barefoot in my laundry room with the butcher block counters that I love with a heaping pile of laundry to fold, I feel her goodness with each fuzzy towel and teeny pair of Cinderella undies.
plenty.
plenty of warm clean things to clothe my tiny girls.
plenty of flannel shirts that are man-sized, but that often find their way into my closet.
plenty of fuzzy towels.
plenty of mismatched socks.

plenty.
enough.

I carry her around as I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror at 6am.
my internal alarm clock insists that i'm up before the sun.
i'm tired.
I have a lot on my to do list.
I want to create.
I want to fit into my jeans.
I want to not make dinner.
I want it to not be 3 degrees.
I want that zit on my chin to disappear.

then I get in the shower.

plenty.
in this moment she isn't so warm and fuzzy.
she's more of a burden.
and I feel confused and torn with all her "stuff" that is in my face.
lots of needs, wants, wishes, and longings.
only one me.
only 24 hours.

and.
i'm tired.

plenty.
not enough.

I stare at her blankly when inspiration doesn't come as I sit at my ink splattered desk.
I snuggle up to her as I read harry potter to my biggest girl, lyn.
I want to punch her when the monster of comparison creeps his way into my heart and mind as I catch myself scrolling for two minutes too long on Instagram.
I feel a lump in my throat and tears close to the surface as i sit with a friend in the dark in my minivan as we laugh and connect and just, be.
I try to walk away from her as i find myself feeling spiritually stuck and unengaged.
and then overwhelmed with gratitude and plenty at 5pm when ty's voice fills the house and he grabs us all at once for a giant bear hug.

equal and opposite.

in the moments that i feel the opposite of plenty.
i feel panic.

panic is a sure sign for me that i'm not standing in a place that God can reach me.
panic makes me want to force things to happen.
to bulldoze towards more.

and so.
as I've hung out with plenty for a few days...
I've decided that ultimately i see God in her.
i see Him in the piles of laundry.
squished in bear hugs.
and in minivan "getaways."

plenty shows us the good.
by sometimes showing us the lack.

the minutes in my day that feel like less than,
shine a ray of light on the minutes that feel like a million bucks.

the minutes that feel lonely or uninspired,
make the seemingly insignificant but inspiring moments magical.
magical.

and then, at the end of the day, as i look at her with tired eyes again,
i see His hand in the plenty of my life.

all of it.

the good.
the simple.
even the sometimes hard or mundane.

He is there.
He is near.
He gives me plenty.

some of that is to overcome.
to learn and grow from.

some of it is just

a gift.

a plentiful gift.
for one reason.

He loves me.
and He loves you..

PLENTY.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Plenty.

I have been carrying that word around with me for the past few days...
I do that.
carry words around and look at them through the lenses of my day.

for some reason, the word plenty has been my tag-a-long as of late.

why?

I don't have a clue yet.
but i'll tell you what I've decided about her.

she's a word that can sting.
she can show you you're lack.
or she can make your heart swell with so much gratitude it's overwhelming.
and warm.

when i'm standing barefoot in my laundry room with the butcher block counters that I love with a heaping pile of laundry to fold, I feel her goodness with each fuzzy towel and teeny pair of Cinderella undies.
plenty.
plenty of warm clean things to clothe my tiny girls.
plenty of flannel shirts that are man-sized, but that often find their way into my closet.
plenty of fuzzy towels.
plenty of mismatched socks.

plenty.
enough.

I carry her around as I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror at 6am.
my internal alarm clock insists that i'm up before the sun.
i'm tired.
I have a lot on my to do list.
I want to create.
I want to fit into my jeans.
I want to not make dinner.
I want it to not be 3 degrees.
I want that zit on my chin to disappear.

then I get in the shower.

plenty.
in this moment she isn't so warm and fuzzy.
she's more of a burden.
and I feel confused and torn with all her "stuff" that is in my face.
lots of needs, wants, wishes, and longings.
only one me.
only 24 hours.

and.
i'm tired.

plenty.
not enough.

I stare at her blankly when inspiration doesn't come as I sit at my ink splattered desk.
I snuggle up to her as I read harry potter to my biggest girl, lyn.
I want to punch her when the monster of comparison creeps his way into my heart and mind as I catch myself scrolling for two minutes too long on Instagram.
I feel a lump in my throat and tears close to the surface as i sit with a friend in the dark in my minivan as we laugh and connect and just, be.
I try to walk away from her as i find myself feeling spiritually stuck and unengaged.
and then overwhelmed with gratitude and plenty at 5pm when ty's voice fills the house and he grabs us all at once for a giant bear hug.

equal and opposite.

in the moments that i feel the opposite of plenty.
i feel panic.

panic is a sure sign for me that i'm not standing in a place that God can reach me.
panic makes me want to force things to happen.
to bulldoze towards more.

and so.
as I've hung out with plenty for a few days...
I've decided that ultimately i see God in her.
i see Him in the piles of laundry.
squished in bear hugs.
and in minivan "getaways."

plenty shows us the good.
by sometimes showing us the lack.

the minutes in my day that feel like less than,
shine a ray of light on the minutes that feel like a million bucks.

the minutes that feel lonely or uninspired,
make the seemingly insignificant but inspiring moments magical.
magical.

and then, at the end of the day, as i look at her with tired eyes again,
i see His hand in the plenty of my life.

all of it.

the good.
the simple.
even the sometimes hard or mundane.

He is there.
He is near.
He gives me plenty.

some of that is to overcome.
to learn and grow from.

some of it is just

a gift.

a plentiful gift.
for one reason.

He loves me.
and He loves you..
yes, even you.

you, who thinks that your struggles aren't worthy of validation.
who believes that your hurt or unexplainable fears are unfit to be acknowledged.
you who thinks that they're silly, irrational, or just a meaningless "bad day"...week, month or year.

you cant find the right words to give "meaning" to your struggle.
to your sadness.
to your lack.

you who thinks maybe struggling "means" you're ungrateful.
not present.
not normal.
or not okay.

I don't buy any of that.
I believe that we're allowed to struggle.
we're allowed to have bad days.
we're allowed to feel lack.
we're allowed to feel sad.
we're allowed to have unexplainable fears, slumps, or funks.
hard days, nights, minutes, and hours.

why do we feel the need to add meaning to those days?

we attach all sorts of awful things to our struggles and call them real.
why do we make them mean something about ourselves?
about the very core of who we are.

we are allowed to struggle and still be grateful.

we can be thankful for the little and big beautiful things in our lives,
and still have a hard day.

we can live in a warm, happy, healthy home,
and still feel sad.

we can have wonderful family, friends, community,
and still feel alone.

we can know God,
and still feel lost.

we can believe,
and still feel confused.

burying our struggles down deep denies God the power to lift us.
to help us.
to heal us.
to comfort us.

it denies others the ability to validate, love, and support us.
it traps us in our own story of ourselves, and that is dangerous territory.

because we don't always treat ourselves very nicely or with warm acceptance.

your tears are known.
they're allowed.
they're worth acknowledging.

look. here's the thing....
I get it.
I get the hiding.
I get the shaking it off.
the pushing it all down.
I like to do those things too.

but God can't use that.
He can't reach us in hiding, in ignoring, in masking.

"When life gets dark and dreary...did you think to pray?"
One of my favorite hymns.

because it doesn't say "if" life gets dark and dreary, it says when.
meaning, life is is going to get dark and dreary.

and when it does, maybe you need to hide out for awhile.
maybe you just gotta curl up and cry and not let a soul know.

you can camp out in that place for awhile.. but you can't set up permanent residence there.
because you're just worth more than that.

I don't have a magical equation or a fairy dust coated idea-
just a simple verse from a simple hymn.

did you think to pray?

and then, answer your phone.
let your people in.
let God in.

don't shake off what you're feeling without letting it be allowed.
there's nothing wrong with you.
you're not bad.
you're not ungrateful.

you're okay.

and most of all,
you are loved.

even on your hardest days.






struggle.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

yes, even you.

you, who thinks that your struggles aren't worthy of validation.
who believes that your hurt or unexplainable fears are unfit to be acknowledged.
you who thinks that they're silly, irrational, or just a meaningless "bad day"...week, month or year.

you cant find the right words to give "meaning" to your struggle.
to your sadness.
to your lack.

you who thinks maybe struggling "means" you're ungrateful.
not present.
not normal.
or not okay.

I don't buy any of that.
I believe that we're allowed to struggle.
we're allowed to have bad days.
we're allowed to feel lack.
we're allowed to feel sad.
we're allowed to have unexplainable fears, slumps, or funks.
hard days, nights, minutes, and hours.

why do we feel the need to add meaning to those days?

we attach all sorts of awful things to our struggles and call them real.
why do we make them mean something about ourselves?
about the very core of who we are.

we are allowed to struggle and still be grateful.

we can be thankful for the little and big beautiful things in our lives,
and still have a hard day.

we can live in a warm, happy, healthy home,
and still feel sad.

we can have wonderful family, friends, community,
and still feel alone.

we can know God,
and still feel lost.

we can believe,
and still feel confused.

burying our struggles down deep denies God the power to lift us.
to help us.
to heal us.
to comfort us.

it denies others the ability to validate, love, and support us.
it traps us in our own story of ourselves, and that is dangerous territory.

because we don't always treat ourselves very nicely or with warm acceptance.

your tears are known.
they're allowed.
they're worth acknowledging.

look. here's the thing....
I get it.
I get the hiding.
I get the shaking it off.
the pushing it all down.
I like to do those things too.

but God can't use that.
He can't reach us in hiding, in ignoring, in masking.

"When life gets dark and dreary...did you think to pray?"
One of my favorite hymns.

because it doesn't say "if" life gets dark and dreary, it says when.
meaning, life is is going to get dark and dreary.

and when it does, maybe you need to hide out for awhile.
maybe you just gotta curl up and cry and not let a soul know.

you can camp out in that place for awhile.. but you can't set up permanent residence there.
because you're just worth more than that.

I don't have a magical equation or a fairy dust coated idea-
just a simple verse from a simple hymn.

did you think to pray?

and then, answer your phone.
let your people in.
let God in.

don't shake off what you're feeling without letting it be allowed.
there's nothing wrong with you.
you're not bad.
you're not ungrateful.

you're okay.

and most of all,
you are loved.

even on your hardest days.







due to the high amount of "snow days" we've had I needed a change of pace from chores and Disney for my kids.
play dough had been played.
books had been read.
cookies had been made.

then I decided to "bob ross + chill" with these kids.
and now, they're hooked.

we were watching him paint a winter landscape with a purple mountain and black trees with little white fluffs on them.
he made a quick decision to mix up some light blue and titanium white to create some highlights on the happy little evergreens.

he then said, in almost a whisper, as he gave life to these little evergreen trees living in his own wintery world...
"now don't lose the dark, the dark highlights the depth..."

and then my eyes got misty.

because that quietly spoken sentence resonated with me. but not just the me sitting on the couch with three girls sitting as close as possible to me...
but it resonated deep in my heart.

sometimes I want the dark to be gone.
I resent it.
I dwell on it.
I think, if only my past, my struggles, my fear, my frustration etc., would just be gone then I would be a better version of Courtney.

but if i'm paying attention to my misty eyes, and holding that moment in my hands....
I know that he's right.

the dark highlights the depth. our depth.


if all of the dark parts of me are gone.
i'm a shell of a human.
I don't have empathy.
I don't have depth.
I'm not a better version of myself, i'm not myself at all.

depth.

instead of resenting the parts about ourselves that we struggle with, or our fears...
how about we take care of them.
we acknowledge them, and allow them to highlight the depth of our very souls.
use them to reach others.
use them to become.

i'm not talking about letting our fears or letting the dark take over and rule our lives.
i'm talking about letting them highlight something in us that is there for a purpose.

that will look different for each of us.

for me, I looked at what comes second nature to me when i'm letting the dark rule.
I build walls.
I shut down.
I hide out.
I stop running. (literally, I stop running, and I love to run)

so then, I guess if i'm letting the dark highlight my depth, it will do the opposite...
i'll be open, and vulnerable.
i'll show up for others and myself.
I will run.

the dark is there for a purpose.
I think that it's a sacred way for God to reach us.
to give us a glimpse of the depth of our hearts and our souls.
to bring us to our knees.
to create a deepness in us that actually lifts us up, and lets us become what He created us to be.

bob ross is a wise man, a creative who recognizes the beauty in the shadows.
he brings to life a simple piece of canvas with those shadows...

i'm beginning to see how God, our Artist, brings me to life in the shadows as well.
it's in the shadows where I find Him.
where I feel His love in the purest form.

where he highlights the depth of me, and you.

depth.

Monday, January 9, 2017


due to the high amount of "snow days" we've had I needed a change of pace from chores and Disney for my kids.
play dough had been played.
books had been read.
cookies had been made.

then I decided to "bob ross + chill" with these kids.
and now, they're hooked.

we were watching him paint a winter landscape with a purple mountain and black trees with little white fluffs on them.
he made a quick decision to mix up some light blue and titanium white to create some highlights on the happy little evergreens.

he then said, in almost a whisper, as he gave life to these little evergreen trees living in his own wintery world...
"now don't lose the dark, the dark highlights the depth..."

and then my eyes got misty.

because that quietly spoken sentence resonated with me. but not just the me sitting on the couch with three girls sitting as close as possible to me...
but it resonated deep in my heart.

sometimes I want the dark to be gone.
I resent it.
I dwell on it.
I think, if only my past, my struggles, my fear, my frustration etc., would just be gone then I would be a better version of Courtney.

but if i'm paying attention to my misty eyes, and holding that moment in my hands....
I know that he's right.

the dark highlights the depth. our depth.


if all of the dark parts of me are gone.
i'm a shell of a human.
I don't have empathy.
I don't have depth.
I'm not a better version of myself, i'm not myself at all.

depth.

instead of resenting the parts about ourselves that we struggle with, or our fears...
how about we take care of them.
we acknowledge them, and allow them to highlight the depth of our very souls.
use them to reach others.
use them to become.

i'm not talking about letting our fears or letting the dark take over and rule our lives.
i'm talking about letting them highlight something in us that is there for a purpose.

that will look different for each of us.

for me, I looked at what comes second nature to me when i'm letting the dark rule.
I build walls.
I shut down.
I hide out.
I stop running. (literally, I stop running, and I love to run)

so then, I guess if i'm letting the dark highlight my depth, it will do the opposite...
i'll be open, and vulnerable.
i'll show up for others and myself.
I will run.

the dark is there for a purpose.
I think that it's a sacred way for God to reach us.
to give us a glimpse of the depth of our hearts and our souls.
to bring us to our knees.
to create a deepness in us that actually lifts us up, and lets us become what He created us to be.

bob ross is a wise man, a creative who recognizes the beauty in the shadows.
he brings to life a simple piece of canvas with those shadows...

i'm beginning to see how God, our Artist, brings me to life in the shadows as well.
it's in the shadows where I find Him.
where I feel His love in the purest form.

where he highlights the depth of me, and you.
i live where there are more cows than people.
i didn't grow up out here, so it's been an adjustment, to say the least.
i say things like "going to town" and i get eggs from my neighbor, who lives 10 minutes away. i roll through stop signs and my kids run around my yard naked, because there's no one to hide from.
yeah. i know. rural living at it's finest. (the un-finest parts are for another time;)

recently i was watching the cows in my neighbors field.
they do this strange thing.
when one cow starts walking fast, maybe even a little slight jog, the other cows around her will start to walk fast too, and soon they're racing.
all the cows, running.
to nowhere.

they're just running, because the girl next to her is running.
they're running, in the snow, to nowhere in particular.

why?!

they're cows.
i get it. not the smartest animal in the bunch.
but as i watched this play out, it was like all of a sudden, I GOT IT.

because i do the same exact thing sometimes.

do you?

the internet makes the world seem so, RIGHT NOW.
urgent.
run.
they're running, so i better be running too, because if i'm not running, i'm behind them. i don't want to be behind, because maybe what they're running to is better, more, bigger, shiner. what if she gets there first?! what will that mean about me?! so RUN! if they're running. i'm running. no questions asked. all intuition, thought, inspiration fly out the window.
run.

but. wait.
we're not cows.

we're smarter than that.
we're more in tune than that!
we're worth more than that.

i was working in my book, Inspired Lettering, this morning and i read an entry on the scripture in Matthew "be still, and know".

i find myself very busy.
and moving fast.
moving from one thing to the next thing to the next.

from one good thing to the next.

but.
do i ever run, just to run?

yes.
yes i do.

i value a still small voice that leads me.
that calls me and pushes me toward what God wants me to do and be.
i need that inspiration in my day.
every hour.

if i'm being a cow, running, just to run. just to "keep up".....
the still and small voice gets pushed out.
drowned out.
and left unheard.

and i'm left tired.
worn out.
lost.
running....

"be still" God tells us.

not, "be still, as long as everyone else is being still too."

be still.
in confidence.
in assurance.
in trust.

and know.

and then, maybe we'll find somewhere worth running to.
toward Him.








photo

running.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

i live where there are more cows than people.
i didn't grow up out here, so it's been an adjustment, to say the least.
i say things like "going to town" and i get eggs from my neighbor, who lives 10 minutes away. i roll through stop signs and my kids run around my yard naked, because there's no one to hide from.
yeah. i know. rural living at it's finest. (the un-finest parts are for another time;)

recently i was watching the cows in my neighbors field.
they do this strange thing.
when one cow starts walking fast, maybe even a little slight jog, the other cows around her will start to walk fast too, and soon they're racing.
all the cows, running.
to nowhere.

they're just running, because the girl next to her is running.
they're running, in the snow, to nowhere in particular.

why?!

they're cows.
i get it. not the smartest animal in the bunch.
but as i watched this play out, it was like all of a sudden, I GOT IT.

because i do the same exact thing sometimes.

do you?

the internet makes the world seem so, RIGHT NOW.
urgent.
run.
they're running, so i better be running too, because if i'm not running, i'm behind them. i don't want to be behind, because maybe what they're running to is better, more, bigger, shiner. what if she gets there first?! what will that mean about me?! so RUN! if they're running. i'm running. no questions asked. all intuition, thought, inspiration fly out the window.
run.

but. wait.
we're not cows.

we're smarter than that.
we're more in tune than that!
we're worth more than that.

i was working in my book, Inspired Lettering, this morning and i read an entry on the scripture in Matthew "be still, and know".

i find myself very busy.
and moving fast.
moving from one thing to the next thing to the next.

from one good thing to the next.

but.
do i ever run, just to run?

yes.
yes i do.

i value a still small voice that leads me.
that calls me and pushes me toward what God wants me to do and be.
i need that inspiration in my day.
every hour.

if i'm being a cow, running, just to run. just to "keep up".....
the still and small voice gets pushed out.
drowned out.
and left unheard.

and i'm left tired.
worn out.
lost.
running....

"be still" God tells us.

not, "be still, as long as everyone else is being still too."

be still.
in confidence.
in assurance.
in trust.

and know.

and then, maybe we'll find somewhere worth running to.
toward Him.








photo

last night I posted a video of me lettering a simple phrase from scratch.
I thought it would be interesting.
a good change of pace.

then I causally asked, "hey, what's the thing you struggle with the most in your hand lettering?"
and mentioned a few things I personally struggle with.

and then. you started telling me.
and I wanted to hug you all.

the widest mentioned thing besides composition (dang you composition!) was

comparison.

i'm in the same boat as you.
and so is "she", and so are "they".

it's a new year-
and i'm seeing new goals, word-of-the-years, and dreams as high as the sky saturating social media.

go you!

but. i have another idea for this new year.

i think you should stop putting more things on your list of "gotta be" or "gotta do",
and first
embrace yourself.

you messy self.
your imperfect self.
your sad self.
your loving self.
your grieving self.
your joyful self.
your extrovert self.
your introvert self.

the parts of you that know one knows.
the parts you love, and the parts you don't.

you don't have to be perfect.
you don't have to look like, be like, talk like, live like "them."

your corner of your world is important and meaningful.
your impact on that corner matters.

I think we should stop creating spaces in our lives for comparison,
and instead open up spaces to create.

and somedays that is going to take a conscious effort to stop the never ending scrolling of Instagram.
or whatever that comparison space is for you.

it'll take courage to look at yourself in the mirror and be happy with the girl looking back at you.

i'm certainly not all the way there.
and yes, this new year i'm reaching higher.  i have dreams and things i want and need to work on and jump into.

but none of those goals, dreams, resolves are worth doing, being, or reaching for unless i can embrace myself.

change is good.
change is great.

but change for who?
change for what?

unless the answers to those questions are for yourself and God... i'm not sure they're changes worth making.

art is imperfect.
art is human!
whatever art you're creating in your life, or whatever art you want to create in your life, do it.
but do it in a creative space.
not in a place thick with comparison.

because comparison truly does suck all the joy. all the fulfillment. all the creative release and satisfaction out of creating art.
it replaces it with shame. guilt. never-enough. and not-good-enough.
yuck.

so. new year.
but not a new you.
a loved you.

an embraced you.
by you.
for you.

2017.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


last night I posted a video of me lettering a simple phrase from scratch.
I thought it would be interesting.
a good change of pace.

then I causally asked, "hey, what's the thing you struggle with the most in your hand lettering?"
and mentioned a few things I personally struggle with.

and then. you started telling me.
and I wanted to hug you all.

the widest mentioned thing besides composition (dang you composition!) was

comparison.

i'm in the same boat as you.
and so is "she", and so are "they".

it's a new year-
and i'm seeing new goals, word-of-the-years, and dreams as high as the sky saturating social media.

go you!

but. i have another idea for this new year.

i think you should stop putting more things on your list of "gotta be" or "gotta do",
and first
embrace yourself.

you messy self.
your imperfect self.
your sad self.
your loving self.
your grieving self.
your joyful self.
your extrovert self.
your introvert self.

the parts of you that know one knows.
the parts you love, and the parts you don't.

you don't have to be perfect.
you don't have to look like, be like, talk like, live like "them."

your corner of your world is important and meaningful.
your impact on that corner matters.

I think we should stop creating spaces in our lives for comparison,
and instead open up spaces to create.

and somedays that is going to take a conscious effort to stop the never ending scrolling of Instagram.
or whatever that comparison space is for you.

it'll take courage to look at yourself in the mirror and be happy with the girl looking back at you.

i'm certainly not all the way there.
and yes, this new year i'm reaching higher.  i have dreams and things i want and need to work on and jump into.

but none of those goals, dreams, resolves are worth doing, being, or reaching for unless i can embrace myself.

change is good.
change is great.

but change for who?
change for what?

unless the answers to those questions are for yourself and God... i'm not sure they're changes worth making.

art is imperfect.
art is human!
whatever art you're creating in your life, or whatever art you want to create in your life, do it.
but do it in a creative space.
not in a place thick with comparison.

because comparison truly does suck all the joy. all the fulfillment. all the creative release and satisfaction out of creating art.
it replaces it with shame. guilt. never-enough. and not-good-enough.
yuck.

so. new year.
but not a new you.
a loved you.

an embraced you.
by you.
for you.

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