MANDY CAVE

MANDY CAVE

Today is February! Can you believe the first month of the year is already over? I hope it was a good one, but I hope even more that this month is  better. In honor of the winter olympics (they start this Friday), I painted a very wintery olympic-y background for this month. Well, minus the flags and things ;) 

Download your desktop here. All the sizes imaginable are up for free grabs (iPadiMac, iPhone.. all your technology background needs. Can you tell what my bias is yet?)

I’m thinking that as we get closer to months with more green that the backgrounds will slowly get more colorful. 

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I have a new desktop background for you.
Download the January Desktop Here!

I have a new desktop background for you.

Download the January Desktop Here!

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"Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?" -Anne of Green Gables
GOALS FOR 2014
It has taken me a while to figure out what goals I want to share here. Some of them are too personal for a blog post, but I finally decided on two that are blog-worthy. 
The first has been developing in my mind since New Years eve. I was at a small gathering with friends and naturally, the ladies all congregated around the kitchen table to gab. We shared stories and laughed, nothing too out of the ordinary. Then one of the ladies said something that really stuck with me. She was about to have her first baby and the due date was that week. She described how she was trying to cultivate a thankful heart and admitted how uncomfortable she was but went on to explain how she had chosen to focus on the privilege of pregnancy instead of the discomfort. I was amazed at her perspective and decided to apply that kind of attitude to my own life this year. So, my first goal for 2014 is:
1. STRIVE TO CULTIVATE THANKFULNESS IN MY HEART
My next goal came from a book I’ve been reading by Michael Hyatt. He talks in his book about perfect moments. His definition of a perfect moment is when folks are gathered together, devices are turned off and no one is thinking about the past or the future, just the present moment. That definition made me think about my time gathered with friends on New Years eve. It was one of those perfect moments. Since then I have realized that creating perfect moments can happen anywhere, regardless of my circumstances. So, my second goal for this year is:
2. CREATE AS MANY PERFECT MOMENTS AS POSSIBLE
What do you think? I’d love to hear from you. What are your favorite goals for the new year?
xo, Mandy
photo credit: Lauren Apel

"Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?" -Anne of Green Gables

GOALS FOR 2014

It has taken me a while to figure out what goals I want to share here. Some of them are too personal for a blog post, but I finally decided on two that are blog-worthy. 

The first has been developing in my mind since New Years eve. I was at a small gathering with friends and naturally, the ladies all congregated around the kitchen table to gab. We shared stories and laughed, nothing too out of the ordinary. Then one of the ladies said something that really stuck with me. She was about to have her first baby and the due date was that week. She described how she was trying to cultivate a thankful heart and admitted how uncomfortable she was but went on to explain how she had chosen to focus on the privilege of pregnancy instead of the discomfort. I was amazed at her perspective and decided to apply that kind of attitude to my own life this year. So, my first goal for 2014 is:

1. STRIVE TO CULTIVATE THANKFULNESS IN MY HEART

My next goal came from a book I’ve been reading by Michael Hyatt. He talks in his book about perfect moments. His definition of a perfect moment is when folks are gathered together, devices are turned off and no one is thinking about the past or the future, just the present moment. That definition made me think about my time gathered with friends on New Years eve. It was one of those perfect moments. Since then I have realized that creating perfect moments can happen anywhere, regardless of my circumstances. So, my second goal for this year is:

2. CREATE AS MANY PERFECT MOMENTS AS POSSIBLE

What do you think? I’d love to hear from you. What are your favorite goals for the new year?

xo, Mandy

photo credit: Lauren Apel

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Our little space is all decked out for the Holidays and I’m just about ready to curl up with cocoa to watch It’s a Wonderful Life or The Grinch (or BOTH!) Merry almost Christmas friends. I hope you enjoy every second of family, food, Christmas songs, movies and rest. My hubby and I will be doing a lot of driving all over the Dallas metroplex to see family on Christmas day, but time together is still time together, even if it’s in the car. Maybe we will take a few detours through neighborhoods to see Christmas lights. Here’s to making the best of the very full days ahead!

xoxo, 

Mandy

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I like to pretend that I can control circumstances and people around me. Often times, it feels like I can control my little slice of the world. But then life brings me to my senses and I realize “my control” is false. When I’m absorbed in thoughts of wanting to change my circumstances or the people in my life, it robs me of the joy that comes from simply appreciating people and circumstances as they are right now. 

Currently, my husband and I live with my parents and teen sister. We moved in with them to reach a goal of paying off our school loans in about a year. It’s month 7 of 14 and I frequently catch myself obsessing over getting to what’s next and past where we are right now. So I’m taking a lot of walks. It helps me forget about everything and gives me new perspective. It’s refreshing to get out and get lost in nature. I can pray and think and breathe and appreciate whats around me.

Nine years ago, my parents moved to the home we are living in now, on a corner lot, near an enchanted forest (or at least that’s what I like to call it.) Back then, I didn’t understand what a gift it was, but it’s beautiful how time brings wisdom and new found appreciation for familiar things. Their tucked away little wilderness has become a refuge for me lately. Since the beginning of the summer, I’ve been able to watch as the colors in the woods change ever so slightly. This fall was by far my favorite. The colors of the trees were so rich and warm it made me pause and gasp. I wanted to stare at the golds and deep auburns so long that the colors would never leave my mind. But I didn’t wasted a single second imagining I could control nature and keep fall from changing to winter. So then, why do I expend so much energy thinking about how much I want to control my circumstances?

Today was a crisp icy day and the woods felt cleansed and new. As I looked around, I remembered the fall colors from a few weeks prior and noticed how the ice had it’s own magical effect on the woods. Most of the trees were bare and the ground was white. I could see farther into the forest than I usually can. It was easy to spot little cardinals and chickadees bouncing around in the distance. Each season in this little wilderness brings something different to appreciate. As I’m observing and appreciating the woods as they change with each literal season, I’m learning to appreciate my current season in life and the unique people it brings. 

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It’s officially here! That time of year when the whole world feels akin. 
To celebrate the occasion, my husband and I bought our very first tree together! And after almost 3 years of marriage, I finally bought ornaments for us! Now that we aren’t in college, studying for finals and finishing projects, it’s much easier to get into the Christmas spirit. I even bought a couple stockings and an advent calendar! I can hardly believe it :) 
I’ll try to share some pictures of our festive little room all glowy because of the big bulbs on our tree. It was the tallest Charlie Brown tree we could find and it’s perfect for us. Just small enough for the corner of our bed room. 
Any way, enough delay.. Here is a December back ground for you! 
http://bit.ly/1eFIlUm < you can download any size imaginable 
Hope you enjoy the excitement of this month, but most of all I hope you are able to take time to reflect on what is most important. It’s so easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of this season without appreciating what it’s really all about.
xo, Mandy

It’s officially here! That time of year when the whole world feels akin. 

To celebrate the occasion, my husband and I bought our very first tree together! And after almost 3 years of marriage, I finally bought ornaments for us! Now that we aren’t in college, studying for finals and finishing projects, it’s much easier to get into the Christmas spirit. I even bought a couple stockings and an advent calendar! I can hardly believe it :) 

I’ll try to share some pictures of our festive little room all glowy because of the big bulbs on our tree. It was the tallest Charlie Brown tree we could find and it’s perfect for us. Just small enough for the corner of our bed room. 

Any way, enough delay.. Here is a December back ground for you! 

http://bit.ly/1eFIlUm < you can download any size imaginable 

Hope you enjoy the excitement of this month, but most of all I hope you are able to take time to reflect on what is most important. It’s so easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of this season without appreciating what it’s really all about.

xo, Mandy

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My new found blogger/photographer friend Amanda Marie asked me to help her with a little series of Desktop Backgrounds for each new month. It&#8217;s so much fun! 
So here is a free gift from me and Amanda Marie to you! 
Click HERE to download.
All the different size options for your iPad, laptop, iMac or whatever you have should be there.  
Happy, happy November friends!  
Sincerely, 
Mandy Cave

My new found blogger/photographer friend Amanda Marie asked me to help her with a little series of Desktop Backgrounds for each new month. It’s so much fun! 

So here is a free gift from me and Amanda Marie to you! 

Click HERE to download.

All the different size options for your iPad, laptop, iMac or whatever you have should be there.  

Happy, happy November friends!  

Sincerely, 

Mandy Cave

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Oh, by gosh by golly, it’s time for mistletoe and holly. Tasty pheasants, Christmas presents, countrysides covered with snow…

Well, almost! It’s not quite time to listen to non-stop Frank Sinatra Christmas music. But still, I can hardly believe that it will be November THIS FRIDAY! And Halloween is today! How exciting. The season of multiple holidays has arrived. And with it, my very first Christmas card!

Of course, because I’m smitten by the small town feel of Denton Texas, where I met my husband and my very best friends, learned how to watercolor paint and sold my first prints, it only makes sense that my first Christmas card is of the sweetest spot in all of Denton. The historic courthouse lawn is like the front yard of Denton, where every one comes to play and feels like family. And it’s even more magical on a snow day!

You see, a snow day is quite a coveted day in Texas. It’s not often we get snow in this area, and when we do it doesn’t always stick around long. So, since there’s never any knowing whether we will have a snow day or not, I thought I’d capture it in a card. 

I’m debuting these cards as well as gift tags and prints at The Handmade Harvest this Saturday. They are also up on my Etsy Shop HERE for all you Denton folks who will be out of town on Saturday and all you Denton-at-heart-folks who moved away ages ago. 

I’m a little sad that I wasn’t able to make other Christmas cards too, but I’m content with at least this one. There will be more Christmases in the future and more opportunities to make all sorts of cards, so I’m not going to fret. 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN FOLKS! I hope you get to eat gobs of your favorite candy ;) 

xoxoxo, 

Mandy

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I&#8217;m getting preeeetty excited! My favorite local craft fair is happening NEXT SATURDAY and I&#8217;m starting to kick it into high gear with packaging and prep for the big day. It&#8217;s going to be such a fun time! 40 local artists, makers and vintage sellers will be set up at The Visual Arts Center in Denton, right across from the fire station and just a stroll away from the downtown square. 
As always, the place will be bustling with folks eager to ooh and aw over handmade goods. And I Can&#8217;t wait!!
This spring was my first time to do the whole Craft Fair dealio and it was a smashing good experience, so I know this time around will be even better (or at least I&#8217;ll feel a little less nervous). If you are in the DFW area, I&#8217;d love to see you there. Especially if you&#8217;ve bought things from me on Etsy and we&#8217;ve never met before. I&#8217;d be thrilled to get to meet you!
Just click here for more info about The Handmade Harvest.
Sincerely, 
Mandy

I’m getting preeeetty excited! My favorite local craft fair is happening NEXT SATURDAY and I’m starting to kick it into high gear with packaging and prep for the big day. It’s going to be such a fun time! 40 local artists, makers and vintage sellers will be set up at The Visual Arts Center in Denton, right across from the fire station and just a stroll away from the downtown square. 

As always, the place will be bustling with folks eager to ooh and aw over handmade goods. And I Can’t wait!!

This spring was my first time to do the whole Craft Fair dealio and it was a smashing good experience, so I know this time around will be even better (or at least I’ll feel a little less nervous). If you are in the DFW area, I’d love to see you there. Especially if you’ve bought things from me on Etsy and we’ve never met before. I’d be thrilled to get to meet you!

Just click here for more info about The Handmade Harvest.

Sincerely, 

Mandy

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 This year has been overflowing with exciting learning experiences. About a year ago, I opened up my Etsy Shop selling custom paintings. A few months later, I graduated from Art School and went full time as an Etsy seller. It has been a whirlwind ever since, but it hasn’t all been fun. Many days I have found myself discouraged and uninspired. Early on I wrote down a quote while reading Jon Acuff’s book START. It says. ”Don’t compare your beginning with someone else’s middle.” 

That quote has shed a lot of light on my discouraging days. You see, when  I compare my brand new business with one that started years ago, I lose heart. And I think things like “why should I even try?”. Or I start dwelling on how badly I want to jump ahead in my story as a small business. But no-one gets to skip their beginning and it’s foolish to imagine giving up just because someone else is doing well and in the moment I think I’ll never get there. Growing as an artist and entrepreneur is a process that shouldn’t ever stop. And even though I have days where I get lost in comparing my business with others who are way more experienced, I am slowly but surely learning to enjoy this beginning phase of being a small business owner. 

Hopefully one day, I will have a wealth of wisdom to share with others. But for now, I want to make sure I share what I’m learning in hopes it can encourage others. Every week I search all around for helpful articles, books and videos on things like Etsy-Selling, craft-fairs, how to wholesale, on re-branding and re-naming my business and about photography. As well as just general inspiration from artists who are rockin’ it with their business already. 

So for any one dreaming of, or currently running a creative business, here is a long list of links to all the best stuff I’ve found lately…

Helpful articles & online classes »

Inspirational Interview With Chalk Artist Dana Tanamachi

Interview with Designer Tad Carpenter

How To Name Your Business

What’s In A Name?

DSLR Photography Basics with The Pioneer Woman(she is hilarious)

Tips On Taking Photos Indoors with Maxwell on Design*Sponge

Awesome Skillshare Class on Brand Identity(it’s just 20 bucks!)

Mood Boards by Breanne Rose(explained in class above)

Advice For The Newbie Wholesaler

Tips for Selling at a Craft Fair

More Tips for Selling at Craft Fairs

Shipping Advice for Etsy Sellers

Getting Found on Etsy

Q&A with the Amazing Julia Rothman

How To Strike A Successful Licensing Deal

The link below is for a series of classes I took a while back. It was the most helpful thing I could have done when I very first started out on Etsy (ahem.. 1 item in my shop, no clue what I was doing) It’s a series located in Denton, Texas and it’s on-going.  

Series of classes on Etsy Selling (hosted at The DIME Store in Denton)

And here are a couple fun online video classes I’m currently taking:

Intro to Letterform

Intro to Calligraphy 

If you have anything to share, I’d love to hear. You can comment here.

One thing I’m on the lookout for right now is a really awesome and inspiring workshop. If anyone knows of a good workshop or seminar for Creative Startups, please, please share!

xo, 

Mandy Cave

Ps- you can buy a print of that quote here

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