New Year. New Business.

New Year. New Business.

 

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Hello there, friends. It’s been awhile. Cloud9 Design has undergone some major growth, rebranding, and a metamorphosis of sorts.

What started almost a decade ago as a small little graphic design business eventually became a full creative studio offering: graphic design, website design, illustration, branding, photography, and a handmade business on etsy, as well.

Well, I have begun the process of distilling what I do down to only those things that I truly love, and bring others joy.

So, I do not offer website design or graphic design as a service anymore.

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I will  be offering mentoring to Creative Women Business Owners (yay!) The best way to get started is with my new workshop (which I adored creating for you) called Creative Heart: The Workshop for Creative Success.

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If you are an artist, photographer, designer, handmade artisan, farmer, etsy business owner, creative, or some other version of a dreamer and a maker – then get on the mailing list to know when classes start! You’ll  be so glad you invested in your business.

I love helping you do what you do best by telling your story. I am a storyteller at heart. I weave words, images, and art to tell stories. And I want to help you tell your story.

Are tired of having a website that doesn’t light you up?

Are you frustrated that your business card doesn’t really show what you can do?

Are you tired of trying to figure out what marketing works?

Do you feel pushy when you are advertising or marketing your business?

Are  you an introvert who doesn’t like networking?

 

I hear you! Me too! I’ve been there. I can offer you a guidebook that will help you find your way, build a community, and find your purpose, and discover your wings.

 

Do you long for marketing that feels real, authentic, and from the heart?

Do you wish you had community of kindreds that urged you on when you made mistakes, and celebrated your successes with you?

These are all the things you will get and more from the Creative Heart workshop.

I can help you discover your passion and tell your story in a way that is from the heart and that resonates with your ideal people. It will attract them to you! I used to think I had to be everything to everyone. But, that’s just not true.

When you specialize, or find your niche, you will actually attract clients who adore you and rave about you to their friends! It’s all in how you tell your story. :)

I remember those early days of passion-filled discovery that fueled the start of my business.

I remember feeling so confused over all the endless information and choices. Where should I start?  What does a creative business plan look like? Well, I want to help you by telling you all the things I’ve learned along the way and wished someone had told me back then.

If you want clarity in your business, a business that stands on your values, and the freedom to give your business wings, and lots of inspiration then join the mailing list now to hear when the next workshop and courses are offered. You won’t want to miss this!

It’s over a decade of experience in easy to follow and fun worksheets (aren’t worksheets fun?! I love the tangible feel of paper and pen in this digital world.) to help you take action and do what you love!

You’ll get special workshop discount coupon codes exclusively for members and advance registration. 

So what are you waiting for?  join the mailing list now!

 

I’d love it if you’d come follow along at the new Pinterest page, check out the new website, and sign up for emails.

 

And, please leave a comment about what your one big need is this year in your business.

What do you have the most questions about?

 

 

 

Etsy Share the Love Game

  
Hi there! I’m back on etsy with an all new shop! 😉

And I’d love to follow and favorite the shops who comment on this post. 

Let’s share the love and favorite all the shops listed!

 I especially love to favorite new shops just getting started! 

So, please comment below with a link to your etsy shop  (tip for a shorter link : it’s your -(shopname.etsy.com)

I really look forward to seeing all of your shops!

the august break – a photographic journey of capturing beauty

the august break - a photographic journey of capturing beauty

I’m participating in: The August Break – a series of photo prompts created by photographer and author, Susannah Conway.

Looking forward to these photo prompts.

Join in.

You don’t need a fancy camera. An iphone will work just fine.

Let your eyes see a little deeper this month.

And if you want to join me in my next creative photography class — where we will explore photo prompts, composition, color, and much more —

Then, sign up to the mailing list be notified about registration.

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You’ll also hear about the newest online classes offered, as well as receive members-only discounts and coupons! :)

12 Ways To Slow Down and Live The Simple Life

nostalgia etsy treasury

“nostalgia” treasury by cloud9designstudio on etsy

remember when…

life moved slowly….

pause and reflect on a life without screens.

Feel the ease…of the simple life.

You can live the simple life — free of worry, stress, busyness, and fear.

Here’s how:

1-learn to sew. ask a relative to teach you.

2-hand write your letters or type them on an old typewriter.

3-buy some pretty stationary and write a handwritten thank you note or a how are you doing letter to a loved one. remember how it feels to get letters in the mail? :)

4-ride your bike somewhere

5-say hello to your neighbors; invite them to come over for a visit

6-line dry your clothes – they will smell like sunshine and you’ll hear birds as you do laundry (hello, gratitude! ;)

7-call someone on the telephone; instead of texting (*bonus points for meeting in person after the phonecall – face-to-face time connects us)

8-take a soak in the bathtub everyday – showers make us want to move quickly and rush through life; baths slow us down and relax us

9-read books daily – when you awaken and when you go to sleep

10-plant a garden and grow your own food – watch the miracle of nature

11-read the bible everyday – let it nourish your soul – start in proverbs or psalms. they will encourage you.

12-explore! do something new everyday. life is an adventure! have fun. :)

 

I hope this little list inspires you, and encourages you to…

Let go.

Dance without fear.

Be happy.

Sing loud to the radio in the car.

Laugh – it does the heart good.

Look on the bright side.

Do something kind for someone – anonymously.

Share your beautiful heart and soul.

You matter, and you are loved.

Know that there is a plan for you and your life, and it is good.

Life is short.

Live it well.

have a seat on the porch fine art photograph cloud9designstudio.etsy

Have A Seat On The Porch fine art photograph by cloud9designstudio on etsy

you are here: the shelter and space you need

womb original 30x40 painting by cloud9designstusio on etsy purple art aquablue

“womb” – 30×40″ original watercolor and acrylic art by cloud9designstudio on etsy

Life is about rebirth.

Evolving.

Growing.

Seeking.

Finding.

The beautiful journey of the soul.

The womb is a place of protection.

Nurture.

Nourishment.

Unconditional Love.

A shelter.

Pregnant with life.

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{photograph by cloud9designstudio}

Whatever it is that you need today — may you find it.

May you find the warmth, shelter, comfort, love,  and the space you need.

May you find kindness, love, truth, honor,

respect, rest, ease, belonging, wisdom,

and hope.

In this moment.

Right now.

It is yours.

Shine Your Light ~ an inspirational interview series ~ Author Beth Wiseman

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{Shine Your Light is a blog series of inspirational interviews with encouraging women, living their passions, sharing their hearts, encouraging others, and following their dreams. I hope it inspires you to Shine Your Light. Because you have a light inside of you that is brighter that you know.}

My very first Shine Your Light Interview is my dear friend and mentor Author Beth Wiseman. Her books are filled with hope, forgiveness, encouragement, and beautiful themes of redemption and faith.

So, without further ado, it is my honor to introduce the lovely Beth Wiseman’s interview. It is my hope that it inspires you to write that book you have hidden in your heart.
Hi Beth! Please tell me a little bit about yourself, and the journey that led to where you are today —
becoming an award-winning, published author of inspirational fiction.

I was born to write, and my first story was to my grandparents when I was about five or six-years-old. It was one of those “on a dark stormy night” kind of stories. Then I wrote off and on for years while raising a family.

Many times, my writing got put on hold. But when you have the ‘bug’…it never goes away. I did alittle freelancing years ago, and then landed a job as a newspaper reporter in Schulenburg for five years.

That was great experience and prepared me for the intense deadlines to come. However, writing fiction has always been where my heart is. When my agent sold my first Amish series in 2007, that was the beginning of a new life for me.

I started writing novels and novellas full-time in2008, and I’ve been riding the wave ever since. I’m contracted into 2015, and I’ll be writing contemporary non-Amish stories and weaving in some Amish novellas as well.

Did you have any valley experiences in your life that led you to your calling; your purpose?

Yep. Right before my first series sold, my son was very ill, and we spent a month at Texas Children’s Hospital with him. I remember dropping to my knees and telling God that I give Him everything Ihave – my life, my dreams, and whatever He needed from me, but I begged Him not to take my son.

I still get teary thinking about it because I know that it was at that moment that the Lord said, “Now, you are ready to work for me.” I was a broken woman. Within a few months, my son made a full recovery. Actually, the doctors had no explanation about a tumor he had that just disappeared.

It was a miracle in every sense of the word, and from there my head was filled with stories that glorify God. I will die before I ever write all the tales that are in my head, lol.

How did that experience shift your perspective in the mountaintop experiences of life?

Daily, I remind myself where I came from, where I’m going, and to stay humble throughout it all. Life can shift on a dime,
and living each day to the fullest is a priority. I thank God every day for His many blessings.

Do you have any writing mentors that you work with?

Surprisingly, no. Until I was published, I was a lonely little girl out in the big world of publishing, trying to make it on my own. I know lots of authors now, but I don’t have a critique partner or anyone who helps me with my manuscripts.

I guess I would have to say that my first editor—Natalie Hanemann—has always been my mentor. She took this first-time author and helped me mold my stories into something that was both entertaining and well-drafted. She taught me about three-dimensional characters and how to give depth to a story.

What is your all-time-most inspiring-absolutely favorite quote?

Miracles happen to those who believe.

Which scripture has made you grow deeper in your walk with Christ. {A fruit bearer, if you will.}

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Which was your favorite character to write in all of your novels? Why?

This would be a toss-up between Jonas, a character in my Daughters of the Promise series, or Martha, a character in my
Land of Canaan series. They are both older characters with snappy personalities. I love writing about people who are up in age. They’ve lived life and have much to offer!

What are the top 5 blogs you read for inspiration?

I’m afraid I don’t subscribe to many blogs due to time constraints and my tight deadlines. I do enjoy Steve Laube’s blog. He’s not my literary agent, but he has a very good blog and is knowledgeable about the industry. Occasionally, I stumble upon other blogs that I read, but as a rule, I don’t usually subscribe.

What 5 steps would you would recommend aspiring writers do today to take action towards
reaching their dreams?

I have always believed that anyone can get published…if they don’t give up. Unfortunately, publishers and agents only accept about one in a thousand manuscripts for representation or publication…so the competition is fierce. You have to have thick skin and learn how to take criticism and apply it.

1. DON’T GIVE UP!
2. Learn the craft of writing. It’s like playing an instrument or anything else that you want to master. It requires dedication. It is a large misconception that if the story is good enough, a publisher will mold it into shape. Nope. Both publishers and agents expect you to have at least a basic understanding of the craft.
3. Write every day if you can. It teaches the discipline that you will need later as a published author, and it keeps your head in the game. Not to mention, the craft will improve the more you write.
4. READ. I’ve heard more than one author say, “I don’t have time to read because I’m writing.” Really?? Writers READ. It helps improve the craft, and it’s always good to read books in the genre you are interested in.
5. Attend conferences if you can. Even if you can only afford to attend one per year. It’s a great place to meet editors and agents, and there are always classes to attend.

What books are on your nightstand right now? What are you reading now?

Right now, I am reading Waking Hours by Lis Wiehl. It’s the first book I’ve read by this author, and I’m really enjoying it! Next, I’ll be reading Night Road by Kristin Hannah. Another first time author for me. Both were recommended to me by my editor.

What surprised you most about being a full-time writer?

That it would be the hardest job I’ve ever had. For sure, it’s the most rewarding. But I had no idea about the process that
takes a raw manuscript all the way to publication. It takes an entire team to get the book on the shelf!

How do you develop such dynamic characters? Do you have a process, or is it more
intuitive?

My characters find me. They pop into my head demanding a part in the story. I don’t use an outline, and I usually do a minimum amount of planning.

I like for the story to unfold as I go along. If I’m surprised by a new twist in the story, then my readers will be
too.

Do you write your books on a laptop, or the old-fashioned way–with a pen and notebook?

I write all my books on my laptop. I’ve moved all around my house, changed offices, wrote in my sun room and in my recliner. But I finally have a nice new office that I love.

It does have a small recliner in it! Most of my drafts are done in that chair. When I do edits and revisions, I like to be at my desk where I can spread out.

What is your favorite word?

Smile. Although, I overuse it in every book! I always have to go back and run a search to remove some of the ‘smiles’.

What is your least favorite word?

Definitely. I tend to spell it wrong constantly – Definately.

What is the best book you ever read? Why?

LOL…there is no way for me to answer this question. There are too many to choose from!

What is one way you live a simple life like your Amish characters?

I’ve learned a lot from my Amish friends. The biggest thing for me is that fear and worry are sins. God always has a plan, so there is no point in worrying. And on a lighter note…we are raising pigs, goats, and chickens! Similar to the Amish folks. :)

What is next for you on the writing horizon?

I just finished book #6 in the Daughters of the Promise series—Plain Peace. It will release in October.

I’m starting on an Amish novella that will be included in a collection called An Amish Garden. And my latest release, a non-Amish contemporary called The House that Love Built is hitting the shelves right now.

I love writing stories with a small-Texas-town locale. The House that Love Built is based in Smithville, the quaint town where Hope Floats and Tree of Life were filmed…and at least six or eight other movies.

My next project is something entirely different from anything I’ve done in the past. I can’t say too much about it yet, just that it was inspired by a true story…and it involves a rescue from a third-world country. It’s a story close to my heart.

Where can readers go to learn more about you and your books? My website is bethwiseman.com. And I spend a lot of time at ‘Fans of Beth Wiseman’ on Facebook.

Thank you Beth!

Thank you!! :)

Beth Wiseman, amish fiction, inspirational author

Beth Wiseman is the best-selling author of the Daughters of the Promise series and the Land ofCanaan series. All of her books have held spots on the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association) Bestseller List and the CBA (Christian Book Association) Bestseller List.

She is a recipient of the prestigious Carol Award, two-time winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and an INSPY Award winner.

Her first book in the Land of Canaan series—Seek Me With All Your Heart—was selected as the 2011 Women of Faith Book of the Year. Beth is contracted with Harpercollins Christian Publishing into the year 2015.

As a former newspaper reporter, Beth was honored by her peers with eleven journalism awards, including first place news writing for The Texas Press Association. She has been a humor columnist for The 1960 Sun in Houston and published articles in various publications.

However, writing novels is where her heart is. She left her job as a journalist in 2008 to write novels full-time.

Beth has a deep affection for the Amish and their simpler way of life, and while she plans to continue writing Amish love stories, she is also branching out into other areas.

Her first non-Amish, contemporary—Need You Now—released in April 2012 and landed on the CBA Bestseller List.

She enjoyed writing the story based in a town near where she lives, and she’s chosen another small Texas town for her next non-Amish contemporary—The House that Love Built—which is based in Smithville, the same quaint town where movies such as Hope Floats and Tree of Life were filmed. This novel will release in April 2013.

In between her contemporaries, she will be writing more Amish novellas.

Beth and her husband are empty-nesters enjoying country life in Texas with two dogs, twocats, five goats, two pigs, fifteen chickens, and a turkey.

When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, paint, and enjoy time with friends and family. She hangs out at Fans of Beth Wiseman on Facebook and loves hearing from readers.

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Brooke has only loved one man, her late husband.

Owen’s rebuilding after a painful divorce.

Can a mysterious house bring them together for a second chance at love?

If you would like to purchase The House That Love Built, you can purchase it HERE. Or at AMAZON.

{Be sure to watch for the next interview in the Shine Your Light Series. If you liked this post, please SIGN-UP for the MAILING LIST.}

 

hello! hello! a life without screens. a girl can dream…

You have to get author and illustrator Matthew Cordell’s new book hello! hello! and read it.

Often.

Like everyday.

To your kids.

And to yourself.

Such a beautiful message.

Hello hello book cover

This book highlights that all the technology our culture consumes  keep us — disconnected.

I am a big believer in simple, slow living.

And this lovely book is a gentle reminder for us to seek connectedness in person with our loved ones, with nature, and with wonder and  awe.

That child-like need to explore the outdoors, to see the beauty in animals and nature, and touch, hug, and love people in real-life.

Not just with our hands, but with our hearts.

Here are some great images from the book:

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So, power off those phones, turn off the tv, and the computer, and slow down.Live the simple life.

Take a deep breath. It is ok to slow down. It is good to slow down. Life is not a  hurry, a race, or a climb.

It is a joy, a happiness, and a blessing.

Be mindful of what is right in front of you.

Hello. Hello.

Featured Artist at Brave Girls Club + Fine Art Photography Featured at Holley Gerth!

Fine Art Photography ~ just listed on Etsy!

Just listed new fine art photographs in the cloud9designstudio etsy shop. Click here to see them!

I added lots of new photographs to the etsy shop today. Flowers, butterflies, rocking chairs, antique log cabins and more. I will add some more soon.

In other news, I am so excited that the Brave Girls Club featured my “Hope Is The Thing With Wings” painting the other day in their awesome “A Little Birdie Told Me” Daily Truths newsletter. See the feature here. Cloud9 Design Studio was the featured Artist of the Day. Thanks Melody & Kathy! :)

Brave Girls Club Featured Artist of The Day - Cloud9 Design Studio

Brave Girls Club Featured Artist of The Day – Cloud9 Design Studio

And if you love hope-filled emails sent to you daily – then sign up for the wonderful Daily Truths here. You’ll love the daily inspiration in your inbox.

If you haven’t heard of Brave Girls Club, check them out here. They offer lots of wonderful creative, artsy ecourses.  I have taken 2 of them and I always love the journaling exercises and creative projects.

And my photograph “The Promise” was recently featured over at Holley Gerth’s amazing blog. And my “Sunlight Through The Trees” photograph was featured on her blog right here. Thanks Holley! :)

fine art rainbow photograph cloud9designstudio.etsy.com

The Promise – fine art photograph by cloud9desisgnstudio on etsy

She has a super book called: You’re Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be and her newest book really sets out to help us live out our our God-given passions: You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream: Opening the Door to All God Has for You. I love what Holley is doing. She is such an encourager and her words are so filled with hope.

Enjoy your Easter weekend! :)

Savor Life: Live Each Moment To The Fullest

Savor Life: Live Each Moment To The Fullest

Savor Life Watercolor Painting on Paper (8.5×11)

Savor life.

Enjoy each moment.

Write a daily gratitude list.

See the beauty in the everyday.

Slow down.

Live life in the slow lane.