I said before that there would be some big changes around here.  We said good-bye to Camille in the last post (sniff, sniff) and now we get to say "HELLO" to Brittany!  I'm so excited for you to get to know her a little better.
(I love this picture of her...she was "modeling" for my etsy shop years ago.)

Do you remember her?  Remember this post?

Let me tell you a bit more:

Fun Fact #1: 
Brittany is essentially the one who brought my husband Jeff and me together.  When she was thirteen, she had a friend she was bringing to church who is deaf and needed an interpreter.  As fate would have it, I had just moved back to Reno and had just finished a job working with deaf children. So, when I overheard her mom (my future mother-in-law) tell someone she was looking for an interpreter, I volunteered!  I still remember the first time I met Brittany, I was so impressed.  She is a natural leader in all things good and worthy.  She has a passion for life and loves her family dearly (lucky us!).  

Aunt Brittany with baby Laurel

Fun Fact #2:  
Coming from a family of "left-brainers" Brittany is the creative one of the bunch. She plays the piano and viola very well and sings beautifully. She is also a great artist.  She dreams of writing and illustrating a children's book series one day (maybe we can get her to share some of her work with us?).  

She also has plenty of the Stevenson "left brain" to stay organized and (clearing throat) graduate from college two years earlier than her class. Such a smarty pants!

Fun Fact #3:

Brittany was born eleven years after Jeff (the youngest before her, she stole his title)...the caboose of the family.  For our first six years of marriage we lived just 8 miles away so I got to enjoy knowing her through braces and high school proms then on to college graduation....

And then there's THIS guy.  Her new husband, Ethan (who by-the-way is ready and very willing to share some French pastry tips with us in the future)! I love to watch them interact with each other.  They are the sweetest couple!

And they know how to eat a cannoli...am I right?  (Man, what I wouldn't give for a cannoli right now!) :)

Funnest Fact of All: They are expecting a baby GIRL in January! I can't wait to meet this little baby and to see these two be parents!

Brittany + Lily&Thistle = A fresh and energetic vision and some great goals for Lily&Thistle.  She is getting me organized and giving me a little kick in the toosh to get going again.  Tune in Monday for a whole new schedule for the blog which will include weekly giveaways and some other really fun themes!

Until then, wanna welcome her?

Goodbye and Hello...Big Changes

Well the time has come for a few big changes behind the scenes over here at Lily&Thistle.  Change is mostly, always bittersweet.  The bitter part is saying good-bye to my right-hand, Camille.  Thankfully we're related  (thanks Micah) and I get to see her at family events but it will not be the same.  I have loved all of the extra excuses we've had to talk and see each other.  It has been such a fun little chapter.


I cannot believe we are going on almost three years running this little business!  Camille has been there from the beginning.  So excited, so full of great ideas and always so positive and willing to do whatever we thought it would take to be successful.   Patient with all of the bumps and bruises that come with learning as we go.  So many hours of printing, stuffing and shipping (mostly during holiday seasons).

She has seriously been amazing.  But this "good-bye" for us is a big "hello" for her.  She is moving on to make more time for her family and her own thriving business.  If you haven't heard of Singer's Company, you should check it out. Camille was made to work with these girls!  She brings out their confidence and spark.  She has the talent of making everyone she meets feel like they are the most important part of her day and she gives that gift to so many little girls through this group.

I could go on but I won't.  Mostly because I can feel Camille blushing as she reads this.  If you have  received a package or corresponded with Camille or just enjoyed the little bits I've shared, please leave a comment and let's all say good-bye. Love you Camille and THANK YOU.

*On Thursday, I will introduce you to our new  "Hello".

Assignment no.1

Do you want to know a secret?  From the time I started the paper doll business 2 1/2 years ago 'til now, I have been using a free program called GIMP and Microsoft Publisher to do all of my graphics.  Jeff knew these programs pretty well so taught me what I needed to know to do what was in my head but...

I learned very quickly when I started working with a professional printer on the Paper Doll Coloring Book that I would need to upgrade to Adobe products which are the industry standard.  I have been pretty intimidated by both Illustrator and Photoshop and frankly haven't had a lot of time to figure either out.  I am happy to report that I have found an AWESOME resource.  Have you heard of Nicole's Classes?  Wonderful classes taught by creative people with creative people in mind.  So basically taught in a language I understand (FINALLY).

Anyway, I thought I'd share with you some of my assignments as I go along.  I am starting with the Illustrator 101 class.  This week my teacher, Alma Loveland taught us about type, selection tools and color tools.  Our assignment was to create a 16x20 inch poster using text and color.  It isn't anything special really but I learned a lot making it...so that's good!  I have had this quote in my collection for a while and thought it was perfect for this.  It's shortened from the original. 

If you want to print this, let me know and I'll send you the file.  I'll have my tech savvy hubby make it so you can easily download it soon. Enjoy!

All Great Changes are Preceded by Chaos...

Isn't parenthood one of the most humbling, tiring, exasperating, patience promoting experiences ever?!  It is also pretty ironic.  Here's an example.  The evening of day I did the Snip, Snip, Sniff, Sniff post, our sweet Laurel decided she would do some snipping of her own.  And boy-howdy did she do some snipping...



I posted about it on my personal Facebook page feeling sheepish but needing support and I'm so glad I did. Within that one day I got 50 comments from friends and family "feeling my pain" or just laughing.  I don't think I would survive this phase of parenthood with any kind of sanity if it weren't for good, supportive friends.

We decided to take Norah to a professional since she had bald spots all over her head.  They basically gave her a "buzz" cut.  

The lady who did it was refreshingly wild and told me she had just shaved her own head a few months earlier and "look how much it's grown".  It was to her ears and looked great so that actually really helped! :)
Frankly, I think Norah is rockin' the "buzz".
Laurel with her "bangds" (I think it's pretty funny that the "hairdresser" has the most hair left).  Laurel has always been our "in charge" girl.  Oldest by a minute and fulfills the role well.  I'm amazed at her ability to get the other two to do anything she wants them to do.  Very persuasive this one!

Maisy insisted on doing this pose for her picture.  Where do they come up with this stuff! :) Lucky girl, those curls look adorable at any length. 

On the way home from getting her buzz, Norah was quiet  for a bit and then asked, "Am I a pwetty girl, Mom?"  Almost broke my heart.  I think she asked because earlier in the day one of the twins said she looked like a boy.  We stopped at Target on the way home to get these headbands...she thought they were pretty.  She wears them occasionally but doesn't need them and seems pretty much like herself again.

The scissors are all in a bin hiding where no little hands will find them (I hope...man alive these kids are smart and fast)!

 Now if I could just keep her away from my mascara!

Snip, Snip...Sniff, Sniff

Two haircuts in two days.  First up, this little guy.  His "tail" was finally to the point of distraction.  Man alive why was I so sad to cut his curls?  

Maybe because he went from "baby" to "boy" in just a few minutes...sniff, sniff.

He did great.  He is growing up TOO FAST.  I seriously wish I could just freeze him right now.

Next up, this little cherub.  Norah found the scissors about a month ago and gave herself an epic "mullet".  We have worked with it, disguising it pretty well but I was getting tired of chasing her down every morning and trying to tame it.

                                          Those curls...hard to say good-bye.  I hope they come back.
Cut curls with a side of mac n' cheese! :)

Here she is!  Her cut reminds me of  Winnie the Pooh's friend, Christopher Robin.  

Within a few minutes of sweeping up curls I realized Norah was gone and it was quiet....a dangerous combination over here...sure enough, she had taken the scissors (I just set them down for a minute!) and snipped a nice bald spot right on the top of her head.
Oh this girl!  Love her spunk and determination...hope I can survive her childhood!

OK, please tell me I'm not alone.  Bring on the hair stories!