Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Card Displayers

For our open house earlier this month, we used my piano as a place to display!  It worked really well because of the different levels.

And even though these sold, I still wanted y'all to see the Christmas card displayers I made because they turned out so darn cute!

A friend gave me these old shutters which I then painted - one in shades of green, the other in khaki, cream and red.  Added some stars to the top and the words "Merry Mail" to the bottom of each.  Decoupaged coordinating papers onto clothes pins.  -Sent each customer home with 2 of our DaySpring Christmas cards to go with it!

They turned out pretty cute, don't you think?!

Monday, December 9, 2013

VIRTUAL Holiday Open House is LIVE!!!

Thank you, Thank YOU, THANK YOU to all those who came to our Holiday Open House over the weekend!  We had a blast and hope you did too!

As we posted photos over the weekend of all the jolliness unfolding, we had so many lovely comments from those who live far away who wished they could come.

So we decided to have a VIRTUAL Holiday Open House just for you!!!

The sale is going on right now - TODAY! - on our Facebook page.  We created a fb album with photos, dimensions and prices of everything we're offering, titled "Virtual Holiday Open House."  Head over to our fb page now (click on any of the links in this post) in order to get the best selection!  Once evening comes and kids are tucked in bed, they will go fast!  The album description has all of the info you'll need on how to claim the pieces you want!

And for those of you locals who were busy with the Nutcracker,  or had other plans, or forgot, or went to the wrong house (hopefully you didn't do that!) or were out of town this past weekend and couldn't make it…... Or even if you DID make it, but woke up in the middle of the night last night wishing there was just one. more. piece. you had purchased…..  Well, you're all in luck too!  Just note you're local and we will skip the shipping charges and arrange a pick up!

Happy Shopping and Merry Christmas!

Later this week we'll share some photos from our open house!  - the real live one!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Open House Giveaway #4 Announced!

This giveaway is from me, Jill!  It's a 12x12 canvas with a happy message!

You can enter this giveaway by coming to our holiday open house tomorrow, 4-7 or Saturday 10-3 and putting your name in the drawing!

Have you had a chance to see the other giveaways that we've announced?  Scroll back through the last 3 blog posts to find out about the generous giveaways from Rita, Brynn and Shadley!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Holiday Open House Giveaway #3 Announced!

Today we're announcing giveaway #3 for our Holiday Open House this weekend!

New this year to our open house is Rita and her business, Back Door Cat.  

Rita has been working in multi media arts since she was a little girl - being taught the various arts by her Grandmother & Great Aunts.  Her scarves, hats, & fingerless mitts are crocheted with no particular pattern - she just sits down & starts creating.  While working on any project, Rita prays for the person who will become the owner/wearer of the item.  This black & gold hat & scarf are 70% wool & perfect for a Hawkeye fan!  She is giving away this set at our open house!

You can enter this giveaway by attending our open house this weekend in Iowa City and putting your name in the drawing!  Did you see the first two giveaways? Scroll back through the last 2 blog posts. 

If you'd like an invitation for this weekend, email us at and we'll email you the postcard with the address!

Stay tuned - another giveaway will be added tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Open House Giveaway #2 Announced!

We sure hope you're making plans to attend our holiday open house this coming weekend!

 It's guaranteed to be a good time and you'll be able to find a variety of unique, handmade items perfect for gift giving!

New to our open house this year is Brynn - who will have some small furniture and home decor items for sale.  And guess what - she and Shadley are SISTERS!   They have 3 sisters in their family, just like us, and when we get together it basically feels like one big crazy, silly family!  ….Maybe we were separated at birth.  So we are looking forward to lots of laughter and fun this weekend!

Here's what Brynn has to say about her work and the wreath that she is giving away:
"This little wreath shows my love of patterns!  I create pieces that make you wonder if it's old or new. I refab (restore to make fabulous!) any and everything that catches my eye."
We can't wait to see what else she's going to have for sale!

Brynn's Giveaway

To enter this and all of the other giveaways that we'll be showing you this week, come visit our open house this weekend and be sure to put your name in the drawing!

It's not too late to get an invite!  Email us at and we'll hook ya up!

Be sure to check out yesterday's post to see Shadley's giveaway!
Tomorrow we'll show you a new one!#@

Monday, December 2, 2013

First Open House Giveaway Announced!

All this week we'll be introducing you to the artists who will be at our Holiday Open House and announcing their giveaways!

It's hard to believe that NEXT WEEKEND is the open house!!!
Did you get an invite?
It's not too late and everyone is welcome - we'll email it to you!

First up is Shadley! Here's what she has to say:
"My giveaway is an 8x10 acrylic painting on canvas and is just a taste of my work.  My larger body of work includes abstract acrylic paintings on upcycled windows.  My love of color shows in my work and people have fun trying to figure out what they mean, if anything!  If you're a fan of more representational work, I also have paintings depicting fun flowers and other things.  These windows add a pop of color and give the illusion of light and space in your home.  Please stop by and say hi!"
Shadley's Giveaway

You can enter the drawing for Shadley's piece (and much more!) by attending our open house this coming weekend in Iowa City and putting your name in the jar!

This is a great opportunity to buy unique, handmade gifts for the people on your Christmas list!  Plus we'll have yummy treats waiting for you!

 If you need an invite, email us at
Feel free to bring a friend!!!

Stay tuned - every day this week we'll let you in on another giveaway that will be up for grabs next weekend!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Little Birdy

Emily Ward is the lead designer of “Little Birdy”, a business that creates uniquely designed cards for the purpose of supporting and raising awareness towards human trafficking. Emily lives in Austin, Texas and is also a worship leader at the Austin Stone Community Church and works as a caregiver to special needs kids. She is the youngest "winger" in the Things with Wings family.

As I walked the streets of New Orleans, I could not help but break down inside for the women we came across.  Young women, girls, standing outside gentlemen's clubs, barely wearing anything, trying to entice anyone who would look their way. My heart continued to break as I looked at one of the girls, whose face looked so sad. I could tell that she did not want to be there. We continued to walk down Bourbon Street, club after club, girl after girl standing outside dancing, shouting out to anyone walking by, just wanting any kind of attention.   
This was in the middle of the day.
I just prayed and prayed for each of those girls and couldn't stop thinking about them the rest of the weekend.

When I came back to Austin, I prayed that I would find an organization who ministers to women and who stands up against human trafficking.  I heard about Redeemed Ministries and knew right away that I wanted to get connected with them. They call the girls they meet with "Sparrows" and I just happened to get a sparrow tattoo on my arm the week before hearing about them!   I started praying about ways I could support this ministry and God made it very clear that He wanted me to use the promise cards that I had been making to encourage these precious "Sparrows".  That maybe a promise or scripture would encourage their hearts somehow. Redeemed Ministries gives out gift bags to the women when they meet them and in the bags are special gifts for them...ranging from playing cards, finger nail polish, lotions, toothbrushes, games and other things that they would want or need.  It was heavy on my heart to see these women receive some promise cards in their gift bags.  Cards that they could keep in their rooms, hang on their mirrors to be reminded of what is true about God and about themselves.

One thing led to another and now I have a new business, a new website, a new team, and a new mission. I am praying that all of this would bring much glory to Jesus. He is the one who saves.

So here is the deal…
My new business is called “Little Birdy”.

This is a great way for you to get involved in helping out!

We are selling both Christmas Cards and Promise Cards:

Christmas Cards:

Promise Cards: (the front has a promise and the back is blank for you to write an encouraging note...or use as a postcard.)

For every card that is sold we will be donating both cards and money to organizations that fight against human trafficking.
Our first “partner” is Redeemed Ministries in Texas and we are actively seeking other organizations in other parts of the country to partner with.
Our purpose for this business is to make creative cards and gifts that will point to Jesus and to the truth of scripture to encourage and bless, but also to raise awareness and to come alongside these organizations to free women and children from the bonds of sexual slavery and trafficking.  Over time we will be adding more cards as well as bookmarks, magnets and other fun special gifts!
Please check out our website to see many more designs and know that your purchase goes directly to organizations helping women all around the country.
Please get the word out by following us on facebook and twitter. Word of mouth is our best advertising so we appreciate the kind words!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are so thankful for all of you!
You who have been our cheerleaders.  You who have been instrumental in growing Things With Wings beyond our local area.  You who have used a special message to bless someone else with an artful gift.   You who have told us a story that has shown us God's goodness.  You who have brought us joy.

Most days around here seem pretty ordinary.  But when I look back over the past year and remember how much has happened and changed, I realize how extraordinary it has been, how extraordinary God is, and I am humbled with gratitude. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Before and After

Do you all remember this sad old lamp I showed you all on Facebook, back in August?  It came from a thrift store here in town called Houseworks and I spent $7.50 on it.   I loved the shape of the base and knew it had to come home with me.  That day I also found this mirror for $15.  SCORE!

We decided to spray paint the base of the lamp an islander blue color.  The white shade came off of the previous lamp we had in the same spot.  (The base had broke but there was still some life left in the shade!) Originally I thought I would paint the mirror frame too, but the more I got used to it in our space the more I realized that it complimented the accents of orange we've got going on and it blended well with our dining room set.  

Here's what the lamp and mirror look like today:

We love how it turned out!
Ah, the power of paint!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Beaverdale Holiday Boutique

Here are a few photos of our display at last weekend's Beaverdale Holiday Boutique in Des Moines.  We had a great time as always!  Everyone is so nice and welcoming.  

We've been doing this show long enough now that we began before our start with DEMDACO.  Many families who we see from year to year have watched us grow and are so excited for us and "This Thing Called Family."  They tell us where they've seen ttcf and we know they are extra happy to have an original…or two…..or three!  :-)

One woman in particular mentioned that she'd been praying for us that our business would expand beyond the local area because these were messages that needed to get heard.  I think God was listening!  :-)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Beaverdale Holiday Boutique 2013

This weekend we'll be at the 26th annual Beaverdale Holiday Boutique in Des Moines, Iowa!

We'll be in our same, "usual" spot:  Room 1 of the North Pole!

Friday, November 15th - 6:00-8:30 p.m. 

Saturday, November 16th - 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Admission = $4 (Children 12 and under are free.)
Please no strollers.

Come Friday night for the best selection, (it is open to the public!) and you'll still have the rest of your weekend free!

To keep up to date with this event and/or invite your friends, RSVP via Facebook!  

We'd love your help in spreading the word!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Winners Announced and a Feature Over on The Macs!

Winners were chosen for the big giveaway of our new Christmas cards over on (In)Courage!   Congrats to all of the lucky winners!
Winners, we would LOVE to know what item from "This Thing Called Family"'s Christmas collection you chose along with your set of cards - so leave us a comment!

Check out Jess McClenahan's blog called "The Macs!"  She wrote a post on preparing her home and her heart for the upcoming celebration of Jesus' birth!  We are so thankful for her kind words about our nativity, garland,  and our cards, plus her photography is beautiful!  Don't you just LOVE how she paired our garland with those white strands and their family photos?!  The chalkboard wall makes the perfect backdrop!  Does it give you any ideas for your own decorating?!

Jess Mclenehan's home 

Jess is offering a code to her readers for 25% off our entire DEMDACO line of "This Thing Called Family" through Dayspring!   Go check out more cool photos of her home on her blog and get the code! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

New Christmas Cards and a HUGE Giveaway!

 Introducing, our new Christmas Card Set with Dayspring!

It's simple and adorable.  Which makes it pretty much irresistible!

Take a look:
available exclusively here and on sale!
It's hard to tell, but there is just a bit of gold foil detail in baby Jesus' crown and in the star and letter patterns.  It looks awesome with the blue night background!

personalization available too!

Speaking of simple, today we're over on Dayspring's blog for women, (In)courage, talking about ways to regain joy and focus during the busy Christmas season by having a "Pared-Down Christmas."  We're also sharing an inside look at the design choices behind our new Christmas nativity.

*Dayspring is generously hosting a giveaway on their (In)courage site! They're giving away FIVE sets of our new Christmas cards to five different winners, along with a Christmas item from "This Thing Called Family" of your choice!

Did you see our post on (In)courage from last week?   We shared why we create art and how we got started with DEMDACO!

Dayspring is still offering 25% off your entire Christmas order using the code INCHRISTMAS25, through 11/15.

Do NOT enter here, go now to this post on (In)courage to enter!

Thanks, Dayspring!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Are you familiar with Dayspring?  They are a leading Christian greeting card company who have a heart for connecting people with the heart of God through messages of hope and encouragement every day, everywhere.  We feel blessed that they love our line, "This Thing Called Family!"

How about (in)courage?  - Dayspring's blog and marketplace for the hearts of women?  It' has also become a meeting and connecting place - with community groups, book clubs and conferences!  It's grown so much!

Today we have the honor of sharing our story over on (in)courage!!!  So exciting!  You will learn about how we got our start with DEMDACO which is a God story you'll want to read!

All this month Dayspring is offering 25% off of our Christmas collection with this code: INCHRISTMAS25

Head on over and check it out!

photo courtesy of Dayspring

We Love a A Good Quote

Monday, October 14, 2013

Custom Classroom Art

A while back Laura made a few pieces for a teacher friend to hang in her classroom.  They turned out great, don't you think?

Teachers have one of THE most important and hardest jobs in the world!  I was reminded of this last week when I went to my first time of volunteering in my kindergartener's class.   Man, those kids are busy and so much more is expected of them academically than when WE were in kindergarten!  I was super impressed by how his teacher has everything organized so that they can work independently, quietly and the whole time! (their 3 rules of workboard time.)  ....and they do it!   It's so fun to see my 6 year old excited about learning and starting to read.  It's really a magical time that sets the stage for his entire academic career!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The ABC's and XYZ's

We love our new alphabet collection for "This Thing Called Family" because it's so versatile and personalize-able  - is that a word?

In case you were curious about what each of the individual letters look like, here you go:

There are also a few key words available to help you create just the right message for your home.

We love the idea of creating a focal point - a unique wall in your home that can be a conversation piece that tells a story, welcomes guests, or portrays who you are and what you value most. You can go a step further to personalize the wall by adding photos of the important people in your life with these frames that coordinate:

There are shelves in 2 sizes if you're interested in creating a "mantle" or a more linear grouping:
3ft shelf

2 ft shelf

Here are a few more examples of how you could use these pieces to create something awesome:

If you're interested in learning more about the inspiration behind this collection (involving Green Girl's unique welcome wall in her own home!) go check out this earlier post.  It's our goal with DEMDACO to create products that are meaningful and that help families to connect - so this collection is super dear to our hearts!

If you want to build a message for your home,  head over to Gabby's Gifts online store or  They both have just about everything you need and are great to work with.

If you've already created a special wall in your home using our alphabet program, we'd love to see it!!! We want to feature you in a future blog post!  Send photo(s) and a short description of the meaning behind your message to me, Jill, at