#Giveaway on Twitter – photography workshop – illuminate

#Giveaway on Twitter – photography workshop – illuminate



To celebrate #WorldSmileDay on Twitter I’m giving away a FREE spot in my self-care ecourse: illuminate: the art of seeking light

Go here to retweet the link and enter to win!

We explore 6 weeks of themes, slow down, learn to be present and mindful and intentional with our time, and use the creative elements of: photography, writing, and self-care to awaken your creativity.

Taught by an award-winning, published writer, photographer, artist, and teacher.

Good luck and I hope you WIN!! Bonus entries if you follow me on ALL of these: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter – BUT you must come back to this post and comment – followed for it to count!


#Shine Your Light – Interview with Christine Mason Miller

#Shine Your Light – Interview with Christine Mason Miller

Shine Your Light InspirationalInterview Blog Series
The Shine Your Light Series is a series of interviews with the creative women who are dreaming big, inspiring others, and making a difference.Today we will hear from the lovely artist and author, Christine Mason Miller. I’m honored to have her share her wisdom with us all.
Christine Mason Miller is a Santa Barbara-based writer, artist, and guide who has been inspiring others to create a meaningful life for more than twenty years. Follow her adventures at www.christinemasonmiller.com
Here is a wonderful quote that I love from Christine that really resonates deeply.

How do you find time to fill your creative well when you work on varied creative projects? Do you go on retreats?
I have different ways of re-fueling, which usually depend on how much time I have! If I only have a small window, it might be nothing more than watching a funny show or movie on Netflix. With a little more time – and energy – I’ll take a long walk, go on a bike ride, and, lately, go ice skating.
I am also inspired and energized by spending time with friends and family and I love to travel. Getting out of my comfort zone and seeing parts of the world that are wildly different from mine always fuels my spirit!
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day starts with our chocolate lab Tilda deciding it’s time for me to wake up, and promptly licking my face. After I’m up and about, I make a cafe au lait, have breakfast, take Tilda for a walk, and then dive into work. Lately that has involved planning and preparing for my retreats, working with my mentor clients, and putting the final touches on my latest book – a memoir about the spiritual journey I’ve taken with my family.

What are your top 5 tips for running a successful creative business.
1. Give plenty of attention to the details. This is what most people don’t do, and why I believe success is easy.
2. Set your sights on your goal(s), but be open and flexible in terms of how you reach them. The journey won’t be what you think it will, and that’s half the fun.
3. Don’t be afraid of rejection, and don’t take rejection personally. Every rejection I’ve received over the years – and there have been loads – wasn’t necessarily easy, but with the passage of time I’ve come to see them as badges of honor. These rejections are not symbols of my failures, but of my willingness to go for it.
4. Don’t assume that because you’re good friends with someone you’ll be great business partners or collaborators. They are two entirely different kinds of relationships, and have very different needs.
5. If you aren’t familiar with accounting and basic bookkeeping, hire a bookkeeper to go over the basics with you and set up your books. Don’t be intimidated by the financial side of things.

​What is the greatest piece of advice you ever heard, and how have you applied that to your life?

On the topic of creating “balance” in life, a mentor once told me, “You never get there, so don’t bother!” This sounds harsh and negative, but it was a relief to hear this from a woman who was older than me and who I respected tremendously. She was saying it to let me off the hook; she was expressing her belief that the goal of trying to attain a state of permanent, perfect balance in life isn’t realistic. She encouraged me, instead, to do the best I could in the face of whatever life might throw my way.
You have licensing success with Demdaco, Trader Joe’s, and   What would you say to someone who wants to license their greeting cards, or inspirational art?

You’ll have to show any potential licensee what they can do with your artwork. It helps to have a portfolio of designs, of course, but show them mock-ups of your designs on the products they create. Show them what you envision! This is what I sent to a former licensee. I created all of the mock-ups and then photographed them – so they were real mock-ups.  🙂 The company I sent this to had already licensed a bunch of my designs, but this was for an entirely new collection. The image I sent you was the cover of an eight-page booklet with more images, testimonials, and details about how to create and market the line.

I sent the booklet with a package that included some of the mock-ups. They were very interested, but did not end up picking up the line. But I’m glad I did it and still proud of the presentation!
Do you think art heals, writing mends hearts and souls, and being creative helps us make a difference in our world? How?

My entire career is based on this belief – that whenever someone takes a step toward their most meaningful life, they inspire those around them to take their own steps…and then those people inspire their circles, and so on and so on. The ripples flow outward farther than we ever realize.
We artists feel deeply, and live heart-and-soul-centered lives. How do you balance living a meaningful life with soulfully sharing your creative gifts?

I try not to separate things too much. The attention I give to my work can be the same kind of attention I give to folding laundry. All actions are part of the same flow, and I can create beauty in all of it. My home reflects my work reflects my friendships reflects the way I set a table for a dinner party. It is all interrelated and all gives me an opportunity to practice presence.
Be sure to check out Christine’s books:
She is also speaking July 6-8, 2016 at Brave Girl’s Club Symposium in Idaho! And you can find her teaching at Brave Girl University. Follow along at @swirlygirl on instagram.

If you liked this interview – be sure to get on the list! You’ll be able to sign up to emails in your inbox! 🙂
Follow along at @cloud9creates on instagram and @cloud9art on pinterest!

{Call For Submissions: Autumn Emporium}

Call for Submissions:


It’s now time to apply for the “Autumn Indie Emporium”. To see a sample of what it looks like, please see the Summer Emporium that runs until September 13th, & the “A Greener Spring” Indie Emporium here. I have uped the size to the images to 400×400 this time….as I did with the Summer Emporium. It turned out really great and I am excited to showcase some fall designs for Back to School!

Cloud9 Emporium is a monthly online marketplace curated by Cloud9 Design to showcase exceptional handmade goods from emerging independent artists & designers.

Here are 101 reasons to buy handmade from the Poppytalk blog.

After seeing the success of both the Holiday Gift Guide & my Valentine Gift Guide, I’ve decided to have a monthly juried online marketplace called “Cloud9 Emporium” featured on the Cloud9 Blog.

This is just one of the many NEW regular features that Cloud9 will use to showcase & promote emerging indie artists and designers which encourages building the indie community by shopping local & buying handmade.


If you are an independent artist, designer or artisan that sells your wares on Etsy.com you can apply to be part of the Emporium. The next marketplace will be the: “Autumn Indie Marketplace” which will focus on breezy, summertime-related goods to fit in with the theme. The Summer Emporium will run from September 21st – November 21st giving you 2 FULL MONTHS of promotion. That’s an awesome discount and great savings value!!!

The deadline to apply is September 6th.

Just e-mail me if you are interested. Put “Autumn Indie Marketplace Submission” in the subject line. **And please give me the URL link to the Etsy shop you wish to be considered.

  1. If selected I will need a 400×400 image of an item with your logo superimposed on top of it, like on my summer gift guide.
  2. Also, I will need a short bio or you and your work,
  3. as well as your etsy shop URL,
  4. Blog URL,
  5. and a coupon code for my readers (like 15% off with coupon code autumn09cloud9).

There is only a limited amount of space available; so only the top applicants will be selected. The submissions must have a strong design aesthethic, impeccable, compelling photography that fits into the theme, and must be high-quality, handmade wares. The non-refundable fee for being a part of the Emporium will be $40.00. If you are selected, you must provide the required photos and info by the deadline to be included.

The Emporium will have top placement in the sidebar.

The Emporium will be marketed on: other blogs, Etsy, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, TwitterMoms, Ning networks, We Love Etsy, IndiePublic, with my Etsy Street Teams: CAST (Christian Artists), EcoEtsy, & EtsyAustin {just to name a few!}

***I have a VERY large following on these social networking sites which gives me a wonderful arena to introduce new and interesting handmade goods, and increases the exposure & traffic to my blog & the visibility of your shop!

This new opportunity for increased visibility for your shop is a great way to help your shop be seen in the sea that is Etsy….Here are some stats for the blog:

We use Quantcast to verify our traffic figures, obtain audience information and to supply our Cloud9 Media Kit. Our audience is 59% female, and 65% of our members are college graduates or hold advanced degrees. Below is a snapshot of demographic and lifestyle attributes of the Cloud9 Design audience.

screenhunter_05-jan-30-1126screenhunter_04-jan-30-1013Some of the lifestyle attributes the Cloud9 blog readers have are the following:


Sitemeter information for my blog states that the Cloud9 blog has had 85,116 visitors (since I joined sitemeter in 2008) with an average of 156 per day and growing!!!

ScreenHunter_03 Sep. 01 09.42

{summer emporium}


Check it out! The Summer Indie Emporium is now launched.

Be sure to use the awesome coupons the participants are offering to get some great values on handmade goods that make perfect gifts!

{kindness giveaway: kindnotes}

I’m going to start doing a weekly kindness giveaway. If you make a product that speaks to this theme, with encouraging words, affirmations, positive, uplifting thoughts, prayers, scripture, or Christian items, please email me at amber@shopcloud9design.com if you are interested in participating in the next giveaway!

My first kindness giveaway comes from KindNotes.

KindNotes™ is a container of messages enclosed in mini decorative envelopes to be opened each day. Whether it’s a fond memory, words of inspiration, love or thanks, these notes will send a smile to the recipient.

You may choose from a variety of collections or add your personal touch by customizing your KindNotes in 5 quick and easy steps with an interactive wizard, selecting the container, filling, ribbon, envelope design, and message options (A. Choose from our library of more than 400 messages; B. Request blank papers*; C. Request your personalized messages to be handwritten for you).

Each order is completely assembled and put together according to the customization so that you don’t have to do a thing, from your messages being folded and stuffed into each envelope to their very presentation inside the container. *If requesting blank papers, we make sure everything is put together except for the blank papers so you can easily fill them out and insert them into the envelopes when you’re ready.

KindNotes has been said by many to be a unique gift that is expressive and meaningful, suitable for any occasion and especially for those who have everything. It’s also a great way to express your feelings to someone in your life whom you have a hard time telling in person.

As a family-owned business, we make sure that each handmade jar of KindNotes™ is created with the utmost care so that each day begins with a little inspiration. Our products are made with the best quality materials and are finely crafted.

Please be sure to come back often as all our designs are limited editions and we will continue to expand our offerings, from container styles and envelope designs, to embellishments and messages.

Thank you for letting us be a part of your celebrations.
People out there are beginning each day with a smile and just thinking of that makes our day!

This is a pretty, thoughtful gift from the heart. When you open the jar you see that it is filled with precious little, teeny-tiny envelopes with mini love notes inside! They’re perfect gifts for anyone & EVERYONE since they are fully customizable with beautiful presentation!

Keeping the jar on their desk, they will be able to pick one card out a day and have a positive daily reminder of your love. You can personalize each note with your own message. Or you can choose from the library of over 400 messages.

This gift will hold a sentimental value that will last forever….a truly meaningful gift that shows how much you care…


***KindNotes is graciously giving away 1 FREE KindNotes jar (up to a $45.00 value) in which the winner will have the option to customize to one lucky Cloud9 Design reader! Yay!

This would be a PERFECT grad gift, Father’s Day gift, Mother’s Day, kid’s gift, birthday gift, Anniversary gift, Thinking of You gift,or an unbelievably touching gift for those who are hospitalized, pregnant moms-to-be, the person who has everything, people facing trials or difficult times, soldiers overseas, baby shower gifts, wedding gifts, for teachers, friends, the possibilities are endless…You could probably create a unique, heartfelt gift jar for each person you know. Then they can open one note each day to receive 31 days of loving messages from you that let them know just how special they are!

Here’s the details:

In order to win, they ask that you simply visit their website: http://www.kindnotes.com & visit their blog: http://www.blog.kindnotes.com & share these 2 sites with your friends and family!

Plus you must answer this question in your comment below (extra entry if you tweet about this giveaway – include @cloud9design in your tweet):

“What is one way in which you are kind to others?”

Please leave your NAME, and EMAIL in your comment so we can contact you if you are the chosen winner!!

Contest runs until May 18th. Winner announced shortly after. Best of luck to you guys! 🙂

Spread the love. Be kind.

{Warrenton Antiques…Here We Come!}

{via Blue Yonder on Flickr}

Bluebonnets are out, and the much-needed Texas rain will soon bring them to full bloom. That’s right, Warrenton Antique Week has officially started!

I can’t wait to saunter out in the glorious flea market of yesteryear; walk down miles of junk-filled roads, to explore the vintage goodies & look for new treasures…

After much debate about whether or not to have my clothing line for sale this show, I’ve decided to do some inventory Spring Cleaning to make way for the launch of 2 brand new lines from  Cloud9 Apparel.

More on that later…

So I will have Cloud9 gear available  – complete with recession-worthy prices! 🙂 So come on out & get the last of the current collection before it’s gone!

*We’re in the Booth By Little House on The Hill

It’s here….”A Greener Spring” Emporium!

I’m proud to announce the launch of the Cloud9 Emporium’s – “A Greener Spring” indie marketplace!

This curated marketplace is full of indie talent that is committed to recycling, reusing & using green practices when creating their art & design.

Here’s a snapshot…it’s very modern & minimal, which I love.


Come check it out & shop handmade. Green gifts thread lightly on the Earth. So be the change you wish to see in the world. 🙂

If you are featured, here are some a badges you can use to promote the Emporium. Just right click, & save as to your computer.