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Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper Downloads - February

February 09, 2016
With - 2 comments

"For God so loved the world, that he gave..." I cannot think of anything more appropriate for our Valentine's month wallpapers and backgrounds. It is the pinnacle of love, reaching down to even the most hidden parts of my heart. I could easily take out 'the world' and insert my name there, that is how powerful this love is. That even if I was the only person in need, God still would have gave, still would have sacrificed His Son with the greatest of love.

 

 

 

 

To download, just click on the links below and save the image to either your computer or phone. Enjoy! 

Desktop Wallpaper - February
iPhone Wallpaper - February

 

Blessings!
S.

Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper Downloads - January

January 11, 2016
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Hi there! I hope you all are having great new year so far. Keeping on track with those resolutions (if you made them). I decided in effort to keep up with blogging regularly (or at least semi-regularly) that I would create monthly desktop and iPhone wallpapers. I have had the same backgrounds for pretty much forever and it is long time for a change. Also, I am already a week behind on this so heres to the next eleven months to get it right. 

 

January iPhone Wallpaper Download

 

I have been thinking about the new year and many of us deciding to make this 'my year' of happiness and joy, and came across this quote from CS Lewis in his book Mere Christianity

"God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing."

It is such a simple and yet profound thought so I decided to use it for this month's designs. 

 

 

January Desktop Wallpaper Download

 

 

To download, just click on the links below and save the image to either your computer or phone. Enjoy! 

Desktop Wallpaper - January
iPhone Wallpaper - January

 

Have a Blessed Week!
S.

Immeasurably Blessed

October 22, 2015
With - 4 comments

We have two new prints that I have been aching for so long to be able to do (they will be live in the shop in just a few days!). I feel as if the Lord has taught me so much about contentment and trusting Him over the past few years, and these prints are my heart on paper. Sometimes I feel that it is odd that Beloved Paper's core is centered on Love and Blessings while those are the two things that I struggle with accepting the most. But there is such peace when you set aside the fears and discontentments and accept wholeheartedly what God is trying to accomplish in you. 

immeasurably-blessed-from-beloved-paper

A few years ago my sister-in-law gifted me the book Then Sings My Soul. It is a collection of about 150 of the old classic church hymns along with the stories behind them. One of both my husband's and my all time favorite songs is 'It Is Well with My Soul' written in 1873. In this book it tells the story of Horatio G. Spafford, who penned the words while sailing across the Atlantic just as he was passing over the place where his wife and four daughter's were shipwrecked; his daughters would all be lost in the blackness of the sea. 

While I have always loved this song, I always struggled to understand how a man who had just lost everything (his only son had died of scarlet fever only a few years earlier) could make such a profound statement. How can someone have that much faith in the face of extreme tragedy still have hope? 

Over the years as I fall into a deeper love with my Savior and my walk with Him grows stronger, I can say that I am now beginning to understand how Spafford could have lived out those words. Maybe this understanding came as a result of the heartache that we suffered as a family last year; but I honestly believe that I can now say that it is well with my soul and that we are immeasurably blessed. I'm not gonna lie, God allowed me to go through the fire to get me where I am today. We lost a baby, and once we were ready to try again we never once thought that it would be difficult (to all you mamas struggling with infertility and pregnancy loss I know how hard of a road that it can be). A few weeks after the miscarriage my husband lost his job and God brought us right to the place where we said we couldn't survive. I struggled through these times. I couldn't understand why God would allow this all to happen to us. Why we weren't worthy of the blessings that I saw others receiving. Why He had seemingly left us to fend for ourselves. 

I have come to see and to believe that not all blessings are physical and pertain to this life. I have a hope in Christ that can't be changed no matter how difficult or painful this life may be. When I trusted in Christ as my personal Savior my eternal fate was sealed in heaven. And nothing, no matter what, can take that away. It is because of this great salvation that my soul is well; because of this my life will always be blessed. God's only Son gave His life for me. In such a horrific manner He sacrificed everything so that I could escape the eternal punishment for my sins. And even though the hardships and tragedies of this life are terrible and such a hard road at times, they pale in comparison to what He has already given me. I believe that Spafford understood this awesome truth in the midst of his mourning and this is why he could write this amazing hymn.

This is not to say that he didn't grieve for his children, or write them off as if it didn't matter. My arms will always ache for the baby I never got to hold and I am certain that life will bring many more hardships and there will be days that the blessings are harder to see. But no matter what, my soul is ok, my soul is secure and I have a mansion in heaven with my name on it (and the first face I will look for after meeting my Savior will be that of my little one). 

immeasurably-blessed-beloved-paper

When Peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul
It is well, it is well, with my soul

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, 
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

 

How to Fake Your Way Through Calligraphy

May 14, 2015
With - 0 comments

I LOVE calligraphy and the current hand-lettered trend that is so big right now. So much so that I bought a set of calligraphy pens, nibs, and inks, and a couple of books on the modern calligraphy art. I figured, 'hey, I'm an artist, painting and calligraphy go hand in hand, easy peasy right?'

Wrong, very wrong.

I have a great respect for anyone who can make those tiny delicate letters you see on beautiful wedding envelopes. I mean seriously, who knew it was so darn hard? Now I don't think my hand writing is that bad in general, it's certainly not horrible. But you stick a calligraphy pen in my hand all of the sudden my fingers forget how to move and there are ink blobs all over the paper. 

So when I was contacted by my friend Marcie from Celebrating Love by Marcie to do calligraphy for a styled shoot we were doing together for our local Pursuit Community, I knew I had to come up with an easier way. I had an idea in my head that I had been playing around with and since she only wanted a few place cards and a cocktail drink sign we talked about my idea and I decided to give it a go. 

(The images below are actually ones I did today, because as my life goes, the day of the shoot was crazy for me and I ended up being late and crying in my car on the way because I was sure that if only I could do real calligraphy my day would have gone perfectly smooth and that my being late had ruined the shoot for everybody...it was honestly just one of those days.)

 

How to Fake Calligraphy

Tools:
Computer/Printer
Paper
Calligraphy pen and nibs
Ink (my ink was dried up so I ended up using Winsor & Newton Gouache)

 

Preparing the Document

We wanted to use kraft paper so I cut some scrapbook paper down to size to so I could print on it. Once I had the text for the cocktail sign I set up a page on my computer (I used Adobe InDesign, but Word or something like that will work just fine). I chose a simple calligraphy font that I had recently purchased and styled my sign the way I wanted it.

Now, the plan was to have white ink on kraft paper so I made my text black and set it to a 10% opacity. Just dark enough that I could faintly see the lettering but light enough that it wouldn't show through my ink. 

Adding the Ink

I was out of white ink so I used some white gouache (I just diluted it with water until it was the right consistency). Dipping the calligraphy nib in the ink, begin to trace over the lettering on the page. I would suggest going very slow and be careful of the amount of pressure you apply to the nib. Don't worry if you have to start over a few times, I think I went through about a million pages the first time I tried. 

 

I ended up going over my letters twice. The first time the white wasn't showing up as well as I had liked (I probably diluted my gouache a little too much). 

Make sure you give the ink plenty of time to dry before you frame or stack any pages and voila! You have just faked your way through calligraphy. 

Now, I am not planning on adding any calligraphy services to the shop anytime soon (obviously) but in a pinch this method worked great for me (see images from the styled shoot below). And while calligraphy and hand lettering are still incredibly frustrating to me, I plan to stick with it and hopefully take some classes and workshops in the near future. 

 

Photo Credit - Amanda Summers Photography 
Styling - Celebrating Love by Marcie

 

Photo Credit: Amanda Summers Photography 
Styling - Celebrating Love by Marcie

 

Have fun creating and share your progress with me!

-S

 

 

We Were Robbed...

February 27, 2015
With - 3 comments

Y'all, we were robbed. Something was taken from us that I cannot ever get back and it breaks my heart to think about it. And the worst of it, is that it wasn't somebody else; it was me, I robbed my heart and my family. 

I am ashamed to say that over the last few weeks I have given in to the whispers of Satan that my life wasn't good enough, that I wasn't good enough. You see, Satan can't take from me what he really wants, he can't take me from the arms of Jesus and bring me to the depths of hell; my place in heaven is secured with my salvation and nothing can change that. So, he works at robbing me of my joy and happiness and sadly that affected more than just me, it robbed my family too. It robbed my husband of a joyful wife and my son of a happy mommy. 

So, I am going to be perfectly honest about how I gave in and let him win (maybe I am not the only one who struggles with this, and maybe, as I hang my head in shame, I am). Sometimes I live in a fantasy of a life; a life that is unrealistic and unattainable. In my particular imaginary life we live in our dream house (the one that isn't even for sale) and have three kids who never fight, always eat their food, and take long naps, we always have time for family time and are never tired. I am a perfect size four and somehow have the budget for nice clothes, shoes, and accessories. Basically, everything is perfect and nothing ever goes wrong that we can't perfectly manage. See? Not even close to reality. 

Most often this life is just a sigh and a 'wouldn't it be nice...' and I go back to reality of a two year old smearing vaseline on the walls and never enough hours in the day. But this time I was tired; we are trying to sell our house and finally do/fix all those things that we said we were going to do when we moved in five years ago, and it is exhausting and add on top of that the norms of a very active toddler, running a business, and trying to have a semi-healthy dinner on the table every night. And in this exhaustion I let Satan slip in and whisper his lies, I became discontent and started to hate the life I had and wishing for a life that was never meant to be. I began to live in the 'if only...', he knows how to get to me, he knows just what to whisper in my ear 'if only you were a better mom, a better wife, business owner  then you could have that life'...'this is your fault'...'you aren't good enough'. And like that, I was discontent and unhappy. I became frustrated at my husband and resentful towards my son and for two weeks I allowed Satan to reside in my home and rob my family of life and love and happiness.

Thankfully I don't have to live in this despair and with God's love and my husband's patience this week is happily much better, I am working on taking some time for me and not allowing myself to become so exhausted and worn down, cause let's be honest, that is when he knows he can win. Winter and being stuck in the house is hard for me so I have to make sure I make the most of the good weather days that we have so the little guy and I went out for a milk shake date the other day. My next step is probably the hardest and that is restricting my time on Pinterest, I love Pinterest and I honestly think it is a great tool for inspiration for both my home and my work, but it can be so addicting and if I am not careful, I can get really discontent at the 'perfect lives' that are represented there. So, for a while anyway, I am going to only be using Pinterest for specific searches and not mindless scrolling and coveting a life that is not mine to have.   

I wanted to write this because I know others struggle with the same thing, maybe not wishing for a unrealistic life, but with the discontent of the everyday. Y'all Satan is robbing us, and we are letting him! Christ came so that we could have a life 'more abundantly' (John10:10), but the as I am learning and need to often remember this 'abundant life' has nothing to do with material things, but our attitudes and the His love in our hearts.

I lost two weeks of joy and happiness that I can't ever get back, but by God's grace I am growing. Won't you work on loving life with me? 

-S

 

 

Growing In Love

December 23, 2014
With - 0 comments

I was so honored to be apart of this amazing photo shoot for Inspire Weddings and Marriage Magazine's Summer 2014 issue. All the other vendors were amazing and seriously, if I was getting married again...  

 

 

Florals: Blush Florals
Stationery: Beloved Paper  
Bride's Gown: Love it at Stella’s

When I Stopped Counting my Blessings

August 22, 2014
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I started my 'Blessings Book' at the beginning of summer with the best of intentions. At the end of each day write down five things that were a blessing. Some days it was easy, especially when the little guy took a long nap, was exceptionally good, or I had an unexpected breakfast out with my two best guys. Other days it was harder, but it was for those days that I pressed on and kept writing. On the days when it seemed like the munchkin's bedtime would never come (just being real here) I could look back and see that he really was a blessing in my life, and that 'this tantrum too shall pass'. As a few weeks passed, it became easier to see the blessings in the harder days and I was becoming more thankful for the life that God had blessed me with. 

In June we got a huge surprise, I was pregnant. But July brought the heartbreak of a miscarriage. 

I am sad to day that it would take weeks before I touched that book again, or my Bible. I didn't want to count my blessings and I was angry at God for taking my baby. After waiting for my body to miscarry naturally (it didn't), surgery, an infection, another surgery and a two day stay in the hospital I was exhausted; physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

It was only when I allowed Him to work on my heart that I began to slowly heal and began to trust Him again. Part of my healing was taking time to truly mourn the loss of our baby, searching the scriptures, and meditating on His wisdom and love for us. Even though He allowed our baby pass from this world, it didn't mean that He stopped loving us for one minute.

Some days the blessings I would write down were as simple as not having cried that day, or a friend who sent a care package. But they were blessings, and each blessing written aided in the healing of my crushed and bruised heart. 

This past week, my husband was laid off from his job at the hospital. We've lost a steady income, our insurance, and for a few days a little bit of hope. But I'm determined to keep trusting in God's greater plan. And to keep seeing the blessings of every day. 

The blessings are there,
Some days we just have to look harder
 

Note: This post is not intended to minimize the pain of miscarriage and losing a child, it is truly probably the worst pain I have ever experienced. I still hurt for my baby. I will always have a special place in my heart for one we never got to hold. But my Lord was there with His arms open wanting to comfort me and I turned away. It was only when I began trusting Him again that I could truly heal from my emotional pain. 

The Life in Watercolors

July 28, 2014
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It is no secret that I love watercolors. Just take a look around my shop. I thought I would take a minute and share just why I love them so much. 

Watercolor painting is just how it sounds. Painting with water. Sometimes I use a brush with the paint and sometimes I 'paint' with just water and then drop the color in to let it run and create the desired affect. Sometimes the paint colors run together creating a beautiful blend of colors. This can sometimes be difficult for the perfectionist in me if the paint gets a mind of its own and goes somewhere I didn't originally intend. Sometimes this means starting over but more often it creates something even more beautiful than I originally imagined. 

I think I love watercolor painting so much because it is so much like our lives. We have good times and we have bad times. Moments of extreme joy and happiness, and moments of excruciating pain. But if we let God work in His grace and take over the painting of our lives, then these times will blend together into something so beautiful that only our Creator could have planned. Our lives are a work of art, painted by our Heavenly Father but we just can't see the finished product yet. One day, when we meet our Creator on the other side of heaven's gates, we will look back and see just how God was using the rough patches to create a beautiful masterpiece. 

Your life is a work of art, let Him make it beautiful. 

Blessings!

S.

 

Counting My Blessings

July 09, 2014
With - 0 comments

"Blessings" by Laura Story is probably on of my most favorite songs, I could literally listen to it on repeat all day long. I think we often pray for God's blessings, expecting them to show up in the form of money out of the blue or someone lending a helping hand. While these would definitely fall under the blessing category, I think there is more that we my be missing as well.

I am afraid that I am guilty of letting many of God's blessings pass by without any notice. But what if that trial was to bring me closer to Him? What if that pain or hardship was meant to be used as a testimony of God's grace in my life? Did I completely miss out on sharing His love because I was too focused on me? Did someone else miss out on seeing God in me simply because I couldn't see His blessings though my selfishness? 

This week I started a 'Blessing Book'. Just a simple journal that I am writing down five blessings in each day. It could be something as simple as the little guy taking a long nap, or something more convicting and difficult that I had struggled to see as the good that it was meant to be. Some of those blessings I had been discontent about earlier in the day, but when looking back with an open heart I realized that they were actually evidence of God's loving hand and protection moving throughout our life. 

What if it's not my day that needs to get better but rather the way I look at it?

Would you start looking for the blessings of each day with me? 
Sarah C.

Clearing Away the Clutter

July 03, 2014
With - 0 comments

These last few weeks have been a little slow for me as the little guy and I have not been feeling too well. Work has mainly consisted of just answering emails and staying on top of current orders. There has been no new designs in the works, no painting into the late hours of the night, just lots of rest, couch snuggles, and movie time. 

It has honestly been a bit of a difficult time as I am used to my 'perfectly laid plans' and running 90 miles an hour (as my mother puts it). I came back from our time away all refreshed and ready to go but then literally seemed to hit a brick wall. And for this busy mommy, full-time business owner, and perfectionist it has been so very frustrating. 

This week though seems to be getting slowly back to normal. However, instead of jumping back in to new designs and products, I decided to just take some time and get re-organized. When I am not functioning on all fronts things tend to get left in disarray and scattered just from the lack of energy to put things away again. Our house was dirty beyond belief, and my office looks like a tornado hit it, and I seriously just renewed our library books for the second time just because I haven't been able to take them back yet. 

So today I cleaned my house, and after the munchkin went to bed I tackled that mountain of boring 'maintenance-y' stuff that comes with being a business owner; it's not completely finished but I made a huge dent. 

So I cleared the clutter that had built up in my house and studio and then took a little bit of time to clear the clutter in my mind and heart. Just like my house, I had let my frustration and lack of contentment build up in my heart against God and anything else that seemed to be working against my 'perfectly laid plans' and I was having a hard time seeing His daily blessings. There are some other circumstances (I will share more on these later) that seemed to have derailed some things and I was having a hard time accepting them as God's plan. See, I am a perfectionist, and I like to have things planned out, and honestly don't like surprises. But while working tonight I turned on some inspirational music and God started to work on my heart. 'My ways are higher than you ways', 'trust me', and 'just rest in MY plans' He seemed to be repeating over and over again in my heart. So I'm resting, physically and spiritually; and while this perfectionist is no where near perfect I fell like clearing away the clutter in my heart has brought me another step closer to being more like Him. 

So, get rid of something that has been clouding your spiritual vision, and look for the blessings in every day. 

 

Blessings!
S

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