Thursday, January 30, 2014

Atlanta Snow

It snowed in Atlanta a couple of days ago, settling into our world and studio garden with a shimmering, white drape that lounged over tree limbs, moss, and fences.


Even our bird houses slipped under snowy embellishments.

And tree boughs cradled the white wonder with gentle embraces.


It was a silent, serene covering of grace that seemed to soften everything that was hard, ugly and beat-up underneath.

Outside our studio garden though, the world was seeing a different picture of Atlanta.

This snowfall ushered in one of the biggest traffic jams in history for our city and tales of unimaginable challenges have sifted in today in a steady stream. Cars, stalled for hours, filled with mothers, fathers, children, babies, elderly, handicapped, sick and hungry have shivered along the roadways throughout the night and into this day. The 7 hour drive home, normally 15 minutes, by one of our own, pales in comparison to what others endured last night. 

And yet, in the midst of all this misery, we've heard reports of grace that, like this snow, seem to soften some of the hard moments people have endured. Stories of people bringing water, food, and supplies to stranded drivers, of others opening up their homes to strangers for a place to rest and warm up, of restaurants closing their cash registers and serving food to the hungry, of Dads and Moms walking miles to be with their children stranded at schools overnight, of devoted teachers staying with students throughout the night, and of a gentle soul who created a facebook page that helped so many. You just have to read the stories @ Snowed Out Atlanta 

The list goes on an on with these random acts of kindness that settled in between some of the very hard spots, and very hard moments that have occurred in Atlanta these last two days.
It's as if GRACE has just wrapped itself around our city through these acts of kindness. Softening some of the rough, hard edges of the lives stretched out on these roads. And right smack in the middle of it, as if to remind us all of how powerful GRACE can be, a baby was born, on one of these treacherous stretches of road. In harsh, cold conditions, the grace of God came down, covering all the things that weren't perfect, and allowed a beautiful, tender, little baby girl to be born. Perfectly.

And her name? Why, it's Grace, of course.  
To remind us of God's grace, that softly falls and covers hard places with unexpected beauty. 
Read more about little Grace here:

Praying for those affected by the snow,
Grateful for those who made it home,
The Velvet Lime Girls

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

Monday, January 20, 2014

Iris Inspiration

Dutch irises have been dancing around our studio this week. These purple-hued ballerinas, twirling and stretching, with demi-pliĆ©s, pirouettes and artful arabesques, have been gently spilling out of our studio vases. It's enough to cause us to start executing a perfect glissade across our studio drawing tables! 

These petite irises really know who they are, they know the hands, the "fingers" that have made them, and they bear the unmistakable mark of their creator. 
You'll never find one of these creations displaying a poor self image, feeling worthless or giving-in to a bad day. They have the very life of God in them. His hands have made them, shaped them, and they bear the mark of their creator, right down to the very last, tiny detail.
 How could they not celebrate, with the value, the worth, the love that's been given to them?

Their exquisite display of beauty is a mere shadow of the value, the worth, the love that God has showered on each of us.  He tells us we are "wonderfully created" and that His thoughts about us are so vast, that if we counted them, they'd "outnumber the grains of sand".
You really should just jump up right now and do a little pirouette, as you read this love letter excerpt that is written to you.  He's totally smitten with you.  When you're loved like this, (and you really know it, and receive it), ... you can dance everyday, regardless of your surroundings.
So, take a cue from these irises. Lift your head up, stretch your arms out wide and let that "crown of glory and honor" you've been given shine in your world today.

Inspired by the irises,
The Velvet Lime Girls

Monday, January 13, 2014


It’s a sweep-you-off-your-feet, love expression from God, catching your breath with His extravagant fragrance of grace, and filling your heart with such gratitude, that you just bury your head in God’s embrace at the end of the day, and say...“Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

And the familiar words, “He-can-do-over-and-above-more-than-we-can-ask-or-think,” pounds loudly in your spirit with each thrilled heartbeat. Oh, don’t you just love it when God sweeps you off your feet with a beautiful bouquet of favor?

We do. 

It's brought us to our knees in gratitude and stilled anticipation about the creative journeys ahead. May we share a little of our joy with you today? A few of the “petals” from this bouquet of favor we've been given?

Thanks to the work of Jan Draheim, Rebecca Hubert and Leah Cochran of Painted Planet Licensing, we met some wonderful new companies last year and created artwork and sentiments for products that they launched last week at the Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market.

Here’s a peek of a few favorites…

We’ll have more photos to come of journals, stationery items, garden flags, and other home accents that also launched.

Here’s a glimpse of one of the creative teams we’ve been blessed to work with. The talented team at Divinity, pictured below with us.

Laura, Marybeth, Keith Schwartz, Nicole McMaster
Keith Schwartz, President of Nicole Brayden Gifts and Divinity Boutique, and Nicole McMaster, Purchasing and Logistics Manager, are a creative team who spin out ideas, concepts, and visions so fast, that we’re inspired to get back in the studio to start sketching and writing! And our hearts were touched to see that the man at the helm of this great company, Keith Schwartz, has connected their company to an endeavor that certainly must touch the heart of God, the Production with Purpose program. See below. 

Divinity’s Facebook page gave us an informative read on the difference between Fair Trade and Free Trade. Read about it here at Huffington Post.

We’ll look forward to being involved with such a noble cause through our artwork and sentiments for Divinity.

During last week’s product launches, we made a quick stop by the Gregg Gift showroom, a division of Enesco Gifts, to see the totes, Bible covers, ceramic crosses and coin purses we designed for them. Although we were missing the third member of our team, Rebecca, her color inspirations can be seen in many of the products.

Laura and Marybeth with Gregg Gift products featuring Velvet Lime Girls' artwork.

We also stopped by the Carson Home Accents showroom to see the lovely display of placemats, table runners, napkins, tea towels, pot holders and aprons we designed for them. It almost makes you want to pull out the pumpkins and get ready for fall again!

We’ll share more product launches this week and you can look for these items in the spring at gift stores nationwide. 

For those of you who are retailers and would like to carry these products in your stores, please visit the company websites at: Divinity Boutique,  Carson Home Accents and Enesco/Gregg Gift.

Grateful Girls surrounded with favor,
Marybeth, Rebecca and Laura
The Velvet Lime Girls

“God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”  
Ephesian 3:20 - The Message