VAGABOND ORIGINAL

Friends, I’m really thrilled to share the new website for my web media studio “Vagabond Original.”

Allison has helped me put so much work into this, and has shared her designs and expertise in the blog section and elsewhere. This has really been a long time coming. I’ve been full-time freelancing for who-knows-how-long now, but until very recently I’ve spent all of my time working for clients without having ever finished my own website to promote my own business.

It feels so good to finally say, “Go check out my website: http://vagabondoriginal.com

 

VAGABOND-ORIGINAL---LOGO

Please do take a look at the new site and tell us what you think! Also, don’t forget to like/follow us on social media:

    

 

Words to Live By: Listen

This beautiful quote is oft attributed to Shakespeare or George Santayana, but only recently was it discovered to be written by an unknown poet, Reginald Holmes, as part of his poem, The Magic of Sound.

I’ve heard the soft whisper of wind in the pine trees,
The silvery ripple of brooklets at play;
I’ve heard the low voice of a sweet singing mother
As she sang to her child at the end of the day.

I’ve heard the faint rustle of sails in the sunset
And blue waves caressing the wild, rockbound shore;
The whistle of trains as they cross the green prairie
And mountains re-echo the cataract’s roar.

The notes of the organs in ancient cathedrals,
Where hearts of the faithful are lifted in song;
I’ve heard the gay laughter as children were playing,
The chatter and buzz of a large, happy throng.

The earth has its music for those who will listen;
Its bright variations forever abound.
With all of the wonders that God has bequeathed us,
There’s nothing that thrills like the magic of sound.

Isn’t that last part lovely? Now that it’s finally Fall here, I’ve spent more and more time out in the wilderness, and I think of this quote often. I wonder how many gifts that have been bequeathed to us, go unnoticed only because we fail to really listen. How much time do we spend distracted, worried, anxious, busy, angry, unforgiving, self-absorbed?

I wonder what would happen to our hearts and souls if when we pray, if we ask God to help us ‘listen’ more to the blessings that are being showered upon us, instead of only just asking for things we need and then hoping they show up in exactly the way we asked for it (why do we always think we know best?).

I think too often our prayers are answered in a way we don’t expect, and because we don’t recognize it, we keep praying and over time feel unheard, unloved, or bitter. It would do us well to add that listening part to our prayers, and I think we’ll be surprised how abundantly we are answered.

For a helpful reminder to always listen, you are welcome to download this quote for use on your desktop background. Enjoy!

Design by me. Photo by Joe Floyd

 

Words to Live By: Dream

All-the-Dreams-of-the-World

I’m a dreamer. I always have been. I was never the kind to absentmindedly daydream in school or at work, but my imaginings and inventing was more a part of my active creative process. That once child dreamer has turned into an adventure-seeking, wanderlusting vagabond with little hope of ever wanting to just settle down in the traditional sense. But luckily the restlessness isn’t from avoiding real-world, adult stuff (okay, maybe a little bit), it’s more about knowing there is so much happiness and beauty and wisdom all over the world and wanting to be a part of it.

This feeling is captured in one of my favorite quotes and so they seemed the perfect words to create another (faux) hand lettered image to inspire me. Jeff and I were talking about how my calligraphy practice is coming along last night, and he asked if I would start branching out to creating letters like the ones above. I wish that came as easily as the calligraphy which is just an extension of my already good penmanship. But hand lettering is fundamentally drawing, you just happen to be drawing letters. I was always terrible at drawing. I’m not sure why, but I feel particularly deficient in my spacial reasoning skills, so because I never felt good at it, I never practiced. Maybe if my hand lettering obsession continues, we’ll see if it becomes important for me to learn, but I think I’d rather let the talented professionals stick to it.

Words to Live By: Sigh No More

After my recent post all about hand lettering, it happened to be my birthday and I requested some very handsome, hand drawn fonts for my presents. With them I created this image with words from one of my favorite Mumford & Sons songs, Sigh No More. It took a little while for me to post this project and in just a week, I’m already so much better at manipulating the font shapes, using better backgrounds and overlays, and overall composition. Even though it’s not my best work, I absolutely love these words. So many of Mumford’s lyrics ring true for me, but this especially moves me. If you don’t know the song, click on the link above to listen.

I think some might read these words and only see the message as eliminating everyone from their life who doesn’t give them love exactly as they want it. But I think with those sort of expectations, you’re setting yourself up to be really lonely. I definitely think purging negative relationships from your life is necessary. But what if every parent of a teenager did that or every couple that got in a fight? I’m not talking about abusive, co-dependent, or other severely dysfunctional and unhealthy relationships. I’m talking about normal, sometimes it sucks and is hard relationships and if you’re expecting this kind of love from someone else all the time, you’ll be majorly disappointed. You’ll begin to see the negatives and deficiencies and your needs not being met. But if you are the one with that kind of love, then it makes discerning what relationships to nurture and which ones to severe more clear. It makes you more peaceful in the relationships you have because your expectations are about loving others, regardless of how they reciprocate. But the more you love, the more love you invite into your own life which helps gets your own needs met. It’s not about changing our circumstances all the time so we don’t have any hardships. It’s about changing our perspective and understanding that we can be happy no matter what comes our way. 

Love – it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you, it will set you free.

SIGH NO MORE

Highlighted: Hand Lettered Love

Since I started this obsession with calligraphy a few months ago, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time scouring the internet for images and of pretty letters to help me figure out my own lettering style and to get ideas for future projects (and also just because I like looking at pretty things).

As much as I love calligraphy, my usual style is way more casual and a little rustic. So when I happened upon these handsome hand lettered designs, I fell a bit in love. Stay tuned for how their work inspired me to craft new designs…

Zachary-Smith-Designs

ZACHARY SMITH

BMD-Designs

BMD DESIGNS

Joshua-Noom-Designs

JOSHUA NOOM

Nicolas-Fredrickson-Design

NICOLAS FREDRICKSON

Lovely Letters

My sister’s idea to be pen pals has been so fun and has brought me more joy than I ever expected. It’s a perfect chance to practice my calligraphy and to fulfill my only New Year’s resolution which is to empty out my giant box of hoarded envelopes before we move to Spain. But more than that, I love that I am doing something that strengthens my relationship with my sister who lives so far away.

This was my first time using my gold ink, and I must admit that I felt rather classy using it. Gilded, glittering things must still be in my royal ancestral blood. It still surprises me how much I enjoy spending so much time and effort and supplies on doing something small just to brighten her day.

annie

In this day and age of texts and emails, I feel a lot of pride that not only am I sending letters, but that I hand letter them with fancy inks and pens and letters. It is a lovely reminder to spend extra time doing small things that are important and that matter. When we are bombarded with so much electronic stimulus, it feels so cathartic and grounding to dip my pen in shimmery ink and create something that will be so welcomed by my sister.

This tired, busy momma of 3 boys will notice that I match the stamp with the color of my envelope. She’ll recognize how much time it took me and will be comforted knowing I spent all that time thinking of her when she’s only spent her time taking care of the boys. When she reads “I love you” on the front of that card, she’ll know how true it is. Such a small thing, a card in the mail, but oh how it matters.

mailbox

I love that this is what my mailbox looks like as of late. Maybe if I’m lucky, the postman will notice that lovely letters matter to him too.