Wednesday, December 2, 2009


There is really nothing better than walking into a home that smells warm. You know, like something wonderful has been baking. . . the smell of cinnamon and cloves. Well I love to bake, but it doesn't happen everyday. But that doesn't mean that my house can't smell that way! My mother-in-law showed me this wonderfully easy way to warm up my home, and I have used it every year since. :) You can use any large pot and fill it 3/4 up with warm water. Add orange or apple slices, a handful of whole cloves, whole allspice and a couple of cinnamon sticks. Then just turn the range on low and soon your house will smell and feel fantastic.
The other awesome benefit to this is that it will add some moisture to the air, which is really nice when the air gets so dry.
And this is December 2nd, 23 more days until Christmas! Our little activity today is to re-read Luke 1:26-32 and then talk about how Mary might have felt after the angel told her what was going to happen. And we didn't work on the lyrics to O Holy Night, last night, but I am hopeful that we will today. :)
Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

countdown. . .

"December the first to Christmas
Is the longest day of the year.
Santa dear old Santa
Never will appear.

How many days 'till Christmas?
It's mighty hard to count
So this little candy ribbon
Will tell you the exact amount.

Untie a candy every night
While the sandman casts his spell
And Christmas Eve will be here
By the time you reach the bell!"

This little countdown calendar is something that my grandmother gave to me when I was a small child. I don't know if she made or bought it, but it is something that I've always cherished. Of course when I was little, I loved the idea of getting a candy every day and thinking about Christmas day getting closer. . . but I had no idea of what I was missing.
As an adult, and a lover of tradition, I really would like to hang this treasure up and have my boys "countdown" the days. . . but I just can't. It is very important to us that the boys really understand why Christmas is so exciting. And, even though it's sometimes hard for me to grasp, we want to dwell on what really happened that night. So this year we are using a little Advent Calendar that they brought home from Sunday School last week. I'll be sharing what we are doing each day to show you how easy it is, and to keep us accountable the following this through with our boys. Tonight is simply to read Luke 1:26-32 of Mary's encounter with the angel. :) I'm also hoping to teach them the words to O Holy Night so that we can sing it together. .
I would love to hear what you all are doing with your families to count down the to birth of Christ this year!

First verse of O Holy Night (so powerful!!!!)

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night, Of our dear Savior's birth.
Long lay the world, in sin and error pining.
'Til He appeared, and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
Oh, night divine! Oh, night when Christ was born!
Oh, night divine! Oh, night, Oh night divine!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Not really Vacation

I clicked on a button on Etsy this morning that said Vacation Mode. This settting puts your shop in a mode where no one can see your items, buy from you, or convo you. How I wish that I were clicking on this setting because I was going on some fabulous vacation. The fact is that I need time to be Mom right now.
I will still be sewing, but just not on such a large scale. Sewing has really become such an outlet of creativity for me. I can't imagine ever stopping now. I also am loving the idea of getting together with other ladies to sew and learn from each other. More to come on that. . :)
But for now I am just going to be finishing up my remaining Etsy orders, prepare for some shows that are coming up, begin packing up my studio, and then embracing for this new chapter in my life. whoohoo.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Open House!

I will have my studio open from 10am until 9pm on October 16th. There will be bags on display and available to purchase. You'll also be able to get information about my new sewing classes and home parties! :)

7408 Morris

Riverside, CA 92503

(it's off Van Buren by the golf course and Riverside Airport)

Hope to see you there!


Monday, September 28, 2009

New Opening Date!

Because of some scheduling issues, we are changing the Studio Opening date from October 9th, to the 16th.

Once again, more information will be coming, but please plan on coming! :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

a year later

For some reason I've been thinking about this time last year, all morning. This time last year, we were at the peak of financial distress as Tim had been without a job for at least 7 months. We had depleted our savings/tax refund money. The food on our table was coming from the church's food pantry. Bill collectors were calling 50million times a day. It was possibly the lowest time of my life. Little did we know that a few weeks later, Tim would be working at a ministry!
Maybe the Lord is reminding me of His faithfulness today. He carried us through that awful time, and He will continue to carry us now.
We all have so much going on right now. Here's what I'm clinging onto right now:

"For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. . . " 2 Corinthians 4:15-17

and, as always:

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5-16-18

Please let me know if there's any way that I can be praying for you this week. :)


Friday, September 18, 2009

gettin' there

Well, this is the end of week 2 of working at the studio! Things are definately getting easier as the days go by. I am starting to develop a new routine, and I am getting used to having no "kid noise" around. :)
The #1 motivator for me right now is getting ready for my studio opening party happening on the 9th of October! Lots of bags to make, and I've got to finish decorating this place! Start marking your calendars, and I'll be posting more information about the opening in the coming weeks.
Have a great day everyone!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First Official Work Day and Pics of my Studio!

So I know that I'm excited about having time to work at the studio while theboys are at school, but it isn't without some anxiety. . . . . The realization that I am going to be working in a building, by myself, all day. This should be interesting. ;)
Here are some pics of the new place, though. And remember that it is still a work in progress! For those of you in Riverside, I'm going to try to have an opening sometime at the end of September, begining of October. Or you can just come by to visit anytime between 9 and 2!

My awesome cutting table and fabric (along with a load of stuff under it that doesn't have a home yet! )
My remnants

Awesome vintage couch in the lobby that I found at the S.A.!!!!

The view from that awesome vintage couch!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fall bags are available!!!

Well, it's still hot here in SoCal, but we can pretend that it's almost fall with fun tweeds and fall colors. . . right?! :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Laptop Satchel

Check out this new bag here: (scroll down)

These new bags aren't available in my etsy shop yet, so if you would like one, just leave a comment here, and I will contact you. :)


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bring on the tweed!

We had a great photoshoot last night for my Fall collection. Thanks again to Matt, Kelly and Megan; you guys are amazing! :)
Here is a glimpse of what's to come:

Monday, August 10, 2009

. . . .

okay, so I decided to take a break from blogging and twittering. . . . . but I'm back! So much has been going on with Rejoice! Bags, it's been crazy. :) The most recent activity: moving into our new studio!!! I am still in disbelief. Stay tuned, pictures are coming . . . . and I might need some decorating advice. :)


Monday, May 11, 2009

The House Guest

Meet Amber Rose, our house guest for the next two weeks. She belongs to my in-laws, and she is a total sweetie. I am not a huge dog person, but for some reason, Amber has really grown on me the last couple of days, and she is earning her keep as my new workout partner. I have really been struggling to get up in the morning to walk, and now I have a reason to get up to walk. I love it! What am I going to do when she goes home????!!!!! :(

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A new love

I don't know what it is about them, but succulents have totally caught my eye and my heart! I found these at the Flower Mart in LA last week. Something just tells me that I will have more retro looking plants in my backyard in the near future. . . . :)
For some reason this one reminds me of that cartoon, The Snorks! Remember that fun show?!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Had to do it!

Really, I'm not trying to show of my adorable little boy, but I really wanted to let you all know about this awesome etsy shop that sells awesome bowties and neckties for little boys. So go check her shop out, it's amazing!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I'm a follower. . .

Okay, well I have been known for saying that I would never. . . I see it as rather narcissistic and meaningless. Well, I guess I did see it that way. But after many hours of research and contemplating, I do follow and am being followed on twitter. If you would like to join me in following others and maybe following me too, you can here:
There is a lot going on here right now. . . . big things are coming. . . . . :) Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Let me be real with you: It really is not easy to serve your family, homeschool, keep up the house (to a livable mess), run a new and growing business, and be one woman. There are many days that I think to myself, yeah, I'm doing okay, I've got everything under control. And then BAM a child gets really sick, I get a rush of orders, etc, etc, etc.

So this is pretty much what happened last week. I had this ultimate plan of how to get all of my bags done for the show, how to still get schooling done and recooperate from it all and get back to business this week. Well, needless to say, that plan did not work out. And you know what, life goes on. I am learning that sometimes I just have to let some things go, and ask God to grant me the grace to keep going. He is so faithful! And honestly, I have to remember that my husband and children ALWAYS come before Rejoice! Bags.

Moral: when things get bonkers, scale back and get back to what you know God's word says. If you're a woman, you make sure that your family is taken care of, and then the business stuff falls into place. Man, I really need to tape this to my head so that I remember it more often!

Someone suggested an awesome book to me this week called Shopping for Time by Carolyn Mahaney. Let me know if you have read it and what you thought about it. . . .

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Love at first sight!

I don't want to sell it. . . . .but this bag will be available for purchase this Thursday night at the Life Arts Building, 3485 University Ave. (corner of University and Lemon), Riverside, CA 92501, from 6-9
don't you just love the sparkles???

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring/Summer '09 Photos

New photos and styles will be up on my website in the coming days, but I couldn't wait to share one with you! This is a cross-body bag that has an adjustable strap, which means it can also be a shoulder bag. A personal favorite of mine because of its adaptability. :) More info on this bag is coming soon!
And make sure to check out this incredible photographer's website:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Back in January I joined in with the masses and typed out my goals/resolutions for this new year. If we are all totally honest with ourselves, we never really expect a lot of those goals to actually come to fruition. . . well at least I don't. Well, in about a month and a half, I can officially mark off one of my goals. Crazy, isn't it! And it just happens to be the loftiyest goals that I was aiming for!
So what is it?! The Lord has provided some industrial space for me to move Rejoice! Bags into! I am in total disbelief that this is happening, but in May Rejoice! Bags will no longer be run out of my home studio. This means so much: I will be able to hire people to help me, which means more bags, which means bigger business! So I write all this with the realization that this is still all tentative until I actually move in. In the meantime, I will continue to trust the Lord and know that He always has my best interests in mind. :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mission Completion

Well, it took a lot longer than expected, but here is my new, better organized studio!

I used to have a card table sitting practically in the middle of the room just for my Janome sewing machine to sit on. My husband and I just found this little folding table a few weeks ago that fits perfectly as a return off my Juki table, and is a great size for the Janome. Now I can just turn to the side when I need to sew something more delicate. :)

To be honest with you, it's still not really where I want it to be. But I definitely feel that I am better utilizing the space that I have now. So here's a little tour.

When I am sitting at my Juki, this is the closet to my left. I removed the closet doors shortly after this room became my studio so the room would feel more open and I could have more space. Because I work mostly with upholtery fabrics, I have these giant rolls to deal with. So for the time being, this is where they live.

This is the left side of the closet where I store lighter weight cottons on bolts. I also have some hanging on hangers, but that is only because I haven't taken the time to put that all on to bolts as well. FYI Joanns will give you used cardboard bolts for free if you ask. . . :) This is also where I wrap packages for mailing.

And this is my cutting area. Lord willing, someday I will have my ideal table to cut on, but for now this one works just fine. :)

There are other things that I want to share, but I'll wait for another time. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Okay, well I went to visit a friend yesterday, and ended up not getting home until 8pm. :) So no progress on the studio yet, but maybe today. . . . . .

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Neccessary Mess

Well, it didn't start out as a neccessary mess, though. After the show last Thursday, my studio was in ruins! But this is kind of an ongoing problem. I have a small space, and I have not been doing a very good job at keeping it organized. So what started as just a mess, is now a neccessary mess of reorganizing. :)

So I started last night by just getting rid of a lot of fabric off of those shelves, and put it either onto cardboard bolts or rolls. I realized that I had forgotten about a lot of stuff that I have, and also that I really won't ever use some of it.

My new idea is to box up some of that fabric in Rubbermaids and then stick swatches of the contained fabric on the side and/or lid. That way I won't have to rummage through the box if i ever need something. :)

So check back in to see my progress. My goal is to get the rest of this cleaned up tonight, and then post up some "after" pics tomorrow!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

What exhaustion does to you. . . . .

These pictures were taken the morning of the art show this past Thursday. The funny thing is that I totally don't remember taking them! I was just going through my photo card, and stumbled upon them. . . . crazy!

Isn't it amazing that I was sewing these bags, and I was hardly coherent?! God is good!

Friday, March 6, 2009


The Art Show was last night, and turned out to be a total success! Thanks to all of you who stopped by, it was really fun to see so many friends there. So I'm off to start planning for next month's show and an upcoming photo shoot. Pictures of the new red bags are on the way!

Monday, March 2, 2009


Three more days 'till the Art Show! And as an added incentive to come out to see my bags, I'm giving away these cute Pocket Purses. Just RSVP by commenting on this post, and come by on Thursday night to pick out your Pocket Purse! I hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 5th, 6-9pm

Life Arts Building, 2nd Floor, Studio 24

3485 University Ave.

Riverside, CA 92501

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Countdown: 5 Days!!

Just 5 more days until the Art Show!!! I will be showing my new collection in the Life Arts building in downtown Riverside on Thursday, March 5th, 6-9pm.
3485 University Ave., Riverside, CA 92501
2nd Floor, Studio 24

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy Ending

Well, I definitely won't be getting any more of the green faux leather, but I did find this awesome red!!!! No bags are ready to photograph yet with it but here is a sneak preview. :)
****Countdown 7 days until the Art Show!!!****

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hard Lesson Learned

Being a new business owner is never easy, but being a new business owner and a new designer is really hard! Here are a couple of lessons that I have learned so far:
~Never buy fabric from a local fabric store
~Never buy purse hardware from a local craft store
~Carpeting is not the best choice in a sewing studio

Okay, well those are just a few of the many, many lessons, but here is a huge one I learned this past Saturday:

~If you see a bolt of fabric that you like in Los Angeles, BUY THE WHOLE BOLT/ROLL!!!!!!!!

See that adorable green hobo bag in the photo above? There is a huge possibility that I will never be able to sew one of those again simply because I only bought 1 yard of the fabric to "try." When I went back to buy more of it, the entire bolt was gone, and the shop owner is unable to order any more of it. I am so sad, but now also totally paranoid! My next trip to LA, I could just come back with 10 rolls of fabric, who knows!!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Arts Walk, March 5th, 2009

I am so excited to participate in next month's Art Walk, which takes place in some of Riverside's most historic buildings downtown. My bags will be shown in the Life Arts Building (pictured above) in Studio 24. My computer is giving me problems tonight, so I am unable to upload pictures of the actual studio, but those will be coming soon! So for now, just plan on coming down on March 5th between 6pm and 9pm. Directions and more details will be posted in the coming weeks!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Networking and Marketing

Whoa, sounds exciting, right? Yeah, not so much. But it is very crucial for Rejoice! Bags to get out there for people to see, and so networking and marketing are important. This is all very new to me. I have spent most of this week researching different ways that handmade businesses market their products and how successful they are. Also, I am embracing this new look that the business has taken on. It is a far cry from where we started, but I love it! My market has now opened up to women of all ages, instead of just women with children or babies. :) I am so excited to see what God is going to do with this business, and I am so thankful for all that He has already done!
One unexpected result: I have had several lovely women contact me with very similar testimonies as to what God has done in their lives over the past year! It is amazing to me how the Lord works in all of our lives, and how He uses people that we don't even know to encourage us and affirm the work that He is doing in our lives. What an amazing God we have! To quote from Milton Vincent's A Gospel Primer for Christians:
"My God is immense beyond imagination. He measured the entire universe with merely the span of His hand. He is unimaginably awesome in all of His perfections, absolutely righteous, holy and just in all of His ways. He has also been unbelievable good and merciful to me as the Creator and Sustainer of my life. Every breath, every heartbeat, every function of every organ in my body is a gift from Him."
So not only is networking important for the growth of Rejoice! Bags, it is also an awesome tool that the Lord is using to connect me to sisters in the Lord all over the world!

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Bag Pictures

Well, so I lied, it won't be a couple of weeks, I have the few of the new photos today!!!! Yay!!


Okay, it's been a while, but "we" at Rejoice! Bags have been busy! I can officially say "we" now that the Lord has provided that help that was so desperately needed. :) We finished sewing up those bags and then some, and also created at least two new designs. The biggest news?? The Lord provided an excellent photographer named Matt Weybright to photograph my bags this past Saturday! The shoot was beyond anything that I could have imagined it would be. I really believe that these photos will be the launching pad to getting my bags sold online and elsewhere.
While researching internet sales in the last couple of months, over and over again I have read about how important the photography is. The problem was that I needed the right photographer to portray the look I wanted for my bags. Then along came Matt. He is a friend of mine from our high school youth group and is now a professional photographer. The look of his photos is very urban and chic, I was totally impressed. You can check out his photos at I know you'll love his work as much as I do!
You'll be able to see the new photos of my bags in coming weeks, but for now have fun checking out the ones on Matt's website! :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

What can happen when you have a helper

This pile may not look like much to you, but it is a huge accomplishment for me that I could have never done without the help of my new helper, Lindsey! Disguised in that pile are actually seven bags just waiting to be sewn together. I have just recently realized how much easier my sewing can be when everything is cut out and interfaced before the sewing begins, but I really hated all the cutting and ironing that had to be done in order to do that. Then lo and behold, Lindsey came over and we tackled it together! So thank you, thank you, Lindsey, and I look forward to your coming over again very soon. :)