a look inside the life of Whitney

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Hot Chocolate & Jesus

A friend once gave me a kitchen towel with this quote:

All I need is a little bit of hot chocolate and a WHOLE LOT of JESUS

I’ve been through a lot of changes lately and I find myself craving more time with God and a really good cup of hot chocolate.

So today I share a recipe for the BEST homemade hot chocolate that this same friend swears by. I’ll be trying it this Fall for sure.

Best Hot Cocoa



Craft Weekend

Every once in a while I need to do something with my hands. I love to make things. Most of the time that manifests in computer graphics and drawings. But a lot of times it also involves constructing something, whether it be with wood, fabric, or some other random craft. The end result is usually a gift or a new decoration for my home. For example, the paint stick lamp shade that I made 2 years ago that still hangs over my dining room table. That was a fantastically simple and useful project.

So this weekend, I set to the task of making a gift for my nephew’s upcoming birthday. I found a fun idea on Pinterest (where else) and decided it would be a perfect, cost effective gift for a two year old. Here’s the Pinterest inspiration:


And here’s my attempt:

It turned out rather perfectly if I do say so myself. Hope he likes it.

But then I didn’t stop there. I had another pin that I was for some reason just absolutely eager to try. Here’s the pin:


And here’s my little love monster:

IMG_3992Isn’t he cute 🙂 I was huge on stuffed animals as a kid so I think that’s why I was so eager to make one of these little guys. It’s definitely not the best sewing job, but it was an experiment with leftover fabric from other projects. He’ll make a good gift someday.

Once I finished sewing this little guy up, I was ready to call it done. I’m not eager to do another sewing project anytime soon, at least for another couple of weeks. What I love about graphic design is there’s no clean up. You shut the computer, move it, and done. With sewing….there’s all the trash from bits of thread and fabric, there’s putting away the extra fabric, there’s putting away the sewing machine, on and on. It doesn’t take terribly long but I’m lazy sometimes. So when I’m facing another sewing project, it might take me weeks to actually do it, because I don’t want to haul all the stuff out, knowing i’ll have to clean it up after.

But, these two projects were a lot of fun and good for a clarity of mind. It keeps me from burning out on graphic projects, and I can do a lot of it while watching movies or training videos for online marketing, the business Rob and I are working on. It’s a win win!

So that’s all for the craft projects for now. If you spend a lot of time on the computer, especially doing creative work, you ought to try getting away from it and doing something with your hands. It engages your creativity in a different way and can spark new ideas for your main work. It already is for mine!

Have a wonderful day and keep watchin’!



I made money while I slept…

Have your ever made money while sleeping? Neither have I. Until Friday night.

I have done absolutely no marketing. The most I have done is create a Facebook page for my Etsy shop. Outside of that, nothing. So when I get 3 sales in one week, its phenomenal! Not only that, but the first person bought 3 products, the second person requested an item that had “sold out,” and the third person bought in the middle of the night for me to find when I woke up the next morning! So basically it’s been the best sales week for me so far.

It got me excited, it got me fired up to work on my business more. And when I ran across a stock load of envelopes on clearance at Staples…..I bought up all that I could!

Ooh! And just as I was writing this, another design has popped into my head! So now I’m off to start designing it!

Keep watchin’! More products on the way!


New Product Available!

I’ve had this item completed for quite some time, but have been rather busy and never got around to listing it.

Well, in light of recent events, mainly that Charlie is “sick,” I decided it was time to list it.



A special thanks to Jan, who inspired this idea. She came up with the clever wording!

You can purchase this card at whit/pen, on at:

And yes, everything in my shop right now is Mini Cooper themed, but that will change with time. I do take custom requests so if you are looking for some unique, just contact me!

Keep watchin!

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Paint chip walls!

I love Pinterest. And yes I fully agree it is like electronic hoarding! But I equate it more to building a giant book of inspiration. Back in college, before Pinterest, I had to cut out a bunch of magazine pictures as I searched for inspiration for my Senior project. I then proceeded to organize them and paste them into a sketch book. It was hugely beneficial because it made me realize the things I am drawn to in Interior Design. I made all kinds of notes on those pages, marking what I liked about each. It was a lot of fun and I still have that sketchbook. I could easily part with my project boards and papers, but not that. I’ll keep that forever.

Anyways, I spent my daily time on Pinterest today and ran into a picture that I absolutely LOVED! I love interior paint and I really love when people get creative with paint chips. Those Sherwin Williams commercials I could watch over an over again! In fact, I love paint so much that I once made a lamp shade out of paint sticks! It’s still hanging above my dining table.

So I wanted to feature this picture and say that I totally want to try this sometime! My mind is already buzzing with different ideas that stem from this picture.


It’s just so beautifully colorful! I love it!

If you think I should create some kind of artwork based on this, leave a comment! Maybe I’ll give it to you when I’m done 😉

Keep watchin’!

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September Project: Light Fixtures Galore

Alright, I’ll be honest. I kinda sorta forgot about the “one project per month” thing that I had planned to do. I guess I got preoccupied with life. BUT, to make up for it, I got into a rather crafty mood over the weekend and completed two projects I was meaning to do.

The first was to recover a lamp that I have in my living room. I did not like the shade and it didn’t really go well. So instead of getting a new shade (which I couldn’t anyways because its crafted for that lamp), I decided to attach some fabric over it so it would coordinate better. Well I can tell you right now that I don’t work with fabric very well, not in this way. And as usual I don’t think things all the way through. Like how the pattern of my fabric was directional so I couldn’t just wrap it up and call it done. I had to carefully lay it out, and with the pyramid shape, it left a lot of overlap. Still, I think it turned out ok in the end, as long as you don’t get up close and look at it. I used mostly hot glue to attach it because I didn’t really have any other way. Below you’ll see before and after.

Next, I finally got around to constructing a new pendant shade out of paint sticks. And since I have a lot of natural wood in my kitchen, I decided not to paint them this time and let the fabric behind it stand out. And yes, I used the same fabric because I had enough left over to do so. I think this project was much more successful than the first. I guess since it was the second time around, I thought about it a little more. Still, humorously I miscalculated how wide it would be after it was assembled, so I had to go get a couple more pieces of wood the next day to construct the piece that would allow it to hang. Frustrating, but not a bit deal. I really love how it turned out though. Much better than the first one I think. And it allows more light through, so thats a bonus to. So at least one of my two projects turned out exactly like i wanted.

Total cost to do both of these projects: $7 for the fabric, $2 for the edging ribbon, Paint Sticks: free, $6 for supporting square Dowel Rods. So the grand total was under $20. Awesome! Made for a good productive Saturday.

My fall decorations are up! Anyone else excited for some cooler weather? I know I am!

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Nightstand Idea 2.1

Just a quicky today. Wanted to share another nightstand idea that I developed last week. Actually, it’s more like a modified wardrobe. Thanks IKEA for the inspiration.

The top half is a large storage cabinet with shelves. The doors will probably be faced with metallic silver. The center is the nightstand space. I did not want to lose a space to put a glass of water or a cell phone with this idea. But instead of just opening it up, I thought it would be neat to encase the space between with glass (or plexiglass) except on the bed side (so i can still access it), and then have a light installed on the base of the upper cabinet for accent and reading light. Finally, the base is a somewhat simple cabinet. A drawer for miscellaneous things, a slim cabinet that slides out to hold magazines, and a regular cabinet, possibly with shelves, for books or other things. It’s a fun idea and it may end up getting built. It adds a bunch more storage to my bedroom without losing a nightstand space.

Can’t wait to have a couch again. A pampasan chair is not the best for long hours of lounging.