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Monday, September 29, 2014

Ramsey Rae can brighten any day

Thank you, everybody, for the way you have left me comments and been so supportive and encouraging to me in the past month or so while I've been any place but here. It's been a really REALLY rough month for me because I have been having really bad issues with a heart condition that I have had to deal with over the past few years. Also (this is the bigger issue lately),  I've been dealing with the fact that my dad might have cancer. 

There's been lots of testing that's happened and it's not been determined that he does have it but they still have yet to rule it out the way they've been able to rule out lots of other things so far.  Today is a big day for my dad/our family because he goes in for what should probably be the last stage of testing that will determine truly what is causing all of the issues. We find out test results later on this week (if all goes well) and perhaps we might finally have some much needed answers. 

To say that this all has been really hard on my dad/my family/myself would be would be a ridiculous understatement. Just the possibility of cancer is devastating to us as we've already had to deal with this twice with a brother and a sister of my dad's (so an uncle and aunt) who both passed on within the past two years and then once with another aunt (also his sister) who has been fighting (and is now remission finally!!!) cancer over the past three years. Perhaps it's silly to even think it but I just thought that my dad could never possibly end up having it, too. 

Much like you all, my friends have been so wonderful for me through all of this. Jillian has been the best (as she always is) even though she's got a super busy schedule with gymnastics AND school and mini Saige and Frank have also really been great company to have when I just want to/need to/ end up sitting and crying because I just can't help myself. And I've also been blessed to have another good friend who is quickly proving to be another other other other BEST friend. (So, if you are counting? I have FOUR friends who are my besties!!! Isn't that amazing? How blessed am I???!!!)

My newest best friend has not been formally introduced mostly because we've all just been spending a ton of time hanging out and getting to know one another. Basically? Jillian, mini Saige, Frank, and I have been "hogging" her all to ourselves because she's just such a fun and sweet and NICE and awesome girl. We've realized that it's not fair that we keep doing this though so it's finally time for you all to meet her!!! Please say hello and meet my new amazing bestie, Ramsey Rae!

Ramsey Rae is brand new around here not only because I just met her but also because she just moved here from North Carolina. She moved up here to the DC area because her mom grew up in Northern Virginia (which is just outside of DC) and her grandmother is getting older so they wanted to be closer/near by in order to help out her grandma who needs more help these days.

Ramsey's full name is Ramsey Rae Robins. She was named after her grandfather (Ray Ramsey) because there were never any sons born on her mother's side to carry on the family name AND also because her grandfather Ray (who isn't alive anymore) was a really amazing man. Her last name is Robins and comes from her father (who she doesn't live with except on some holidays and some long school breaks) because her parents got divorced a few years ago and they both moved to different states.

Ramsey has been a really REALLY great friend to me lately because (as I have already mentioned so far) she's been through a whole lot in her life. Also, her mom is a doctor of psychology and she does counseling for people AND works as a professor (teaching psychology and counseling courses) at the college level. Ramsey know a lot about how to get through really hard stuff in life and she's a super great listener and she's just plain really loving and she gives great advice if you ask her for it. She NEVER gives advice unless you ask for it though because she really does focus a lot on just trying to listen and be there for you. She always says that one of the greatest gifts that a person to give to another is to just be present and that's what she tries to do. (AND she's really REALLY good at it.)

Jillian and I have both been able to spend a lot of time with Ramsey in order to really get to know her better and that's been great since - 1) there's a lot of new and really great things to learn about her in order to really know her and 2) she's just such a great friend to know especially in a time like now when I've been having just the worst time of things. Don't get me wrong - Jillian and mini Saige and Frank have been AWESOME and I haven't been able to get through any of this without them too but having Ramsey in the mix now too has been such an incredible blessing beyond anything I ever could have realized I would need right now.

Anyway, I've got more pictures of Ramsey Rae (but we don't always call her that - Jillian and I just think it's so neat that she has TWO names) but I just wanted to share this much today at least since I have been "teasing" you all so much with them. I'm going to share more of the pictures with you throughout the rest of this week so check back on the blog and keep an eye on my instagram for them. :)

Thanks for being patient with me and reading my blog! I'm glad I can finally share all of this with you all and if you could keep my family in your prayers and thoughts, I would so appreciate that. I'll see you later this week with more pictures of Ramsey.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bows make anything better, right?

Sorry I haven't been around, friends.

I've had a really really difficult start to my school year this year. I've had some pretty serious health problems and then some stuff has been going on in my family that's just really REALLY hard and more serious. I can't talk about it openly (yet) but I will be able to soon. I hate making you wait but honestly, it's stuff that I need to figure out how to talk about for my own understanding as well so it works out that I just don't say anything yet.

I just wanted to let you all know that I have been thinking of all of you a ton AND I so treasure the connection and friendships that I have made with so many of you. All of this and my best friends (that you already know about) AND one more new friend (who you all will meet soon enough) has really helped me realize how important it is to have good friends in your life. I'm learning that the way it works is that "when the going gets tough, YOUR FRIENDS can be exactly what you need to help you get going and KEEP GOING." This is especially true when you don't want to keep going because what you know you're going to is something you don't want to deal with at all. I'm so blessed and thankful that I have good friends to be here for me and go "there" with me. I pray for them daily and I don't know how I would do it if I didn't have them.

If you are going through a really tough time too, I will be praying for YOU that you have some good friends to help you go through it, too. And if you need a good friend? I'm glad to try and be that for you as best as I can even now in a time when I'm going through something hard, too. After all, to have good friends to begin with, it definitely helps that you should BE a good friend to start with.

I will try my best to get back on here more so that I can finally share with you all of the stuff I haven't been able to as much as the stuff that has had to be put on hold because I just haven't been able to be on here. (Does any of that make sense? Welcome to my world lately! Stuff just not making any sense...)

Thank you again for bearing with me and loving me as much as I love all of you - whether I'm here a whole lot or not. ;)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Have a peek at my art journal ❤ My Latest Work-in-Progress

Well... it's officially the end of the summer for me and I cannot even believe it. I'm finishing up my time working at the camp (where I have been working the whole summer - woooo!) and I'm also VERY busy with etsy orders and trying to get ready for school to start. And that's been my whole summer vacation really. I've worked pretty much the whole summer away - it's no wonder that time flew by so fast for me.

I have only a couple of days in between when camp (and my summer break) ends and when school starts. In the little bit of time I have between things, I'm going to be trying to work just a little bit less and have a little bit more fun and my idea of fun is one things and one thing only: PAINTING.

I love painting more than any and every thing in the world. (Have you ever painted before? Do you personally know how amazing painting is? It's just the greatest!)  I don't know why I enjoy painting so much but I really really do and I like painting in just about any medium I can get my hands on though I prefer when I can paint in color if possible.

I don't really have a favorite thing that I like to paint more than other things because painting for me is just always something that offers me some time to creatively stretch myself and that always feels good and welcome. It's kind of like when you stretch in the morning or after a long day or something - stretching feels GOOD and it's hard to explain why. I always feel more relaxed after I have had some some to paint and I always feel refreshed and just plain better all around.

Lately I've been able to paint some fun things - like a custom jacket and also a few pairs of galaxy converse type shoes. Last evening and this morning though I got to paint something that is REALLY special though but I can't tell you about it. (Yet - which means I will be able to soon enough. *wink*) And this special something that I was able to paint? Well, it gave me a very much needed creative stretch (that I have not had in quite a while) and it reminded me of the great need that I definitely do have and need to pay attention to more often than I have. I usually paint late in the evening at the very end of my very busy days but today I tried something different and I painted first thing in the morning - so early that even the sun wasn't up yet! It was quite something else to be doing something that I love so very much and have that be the start of what is definitely (like all of the others) a long and busy day for me.

Anyway, I just thought I would share this with you all and I hope you enjoyed seeing a little bit of a peek at some of what I'm working on and a little bit of HOW I like to work. If you enjoyed seeing this, I'm glad to maybe share some more of my art journal with you. And I'd also LOVE to hear how and what YOU do that you love more than anything else (like what painting is for me).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer Release 2014 ❤ Official Etsy Announcement

You can click the above announcement to easily and quickly access my etsy shop!

You are officially invited to my Etsy Shop Summer Release debut!!! It will be happening via THIS LINK tomorrow - Friday, July 25th 2014 at 9:00pm EST (unless there is some crazy issue with my internet and/or computer access).

Some of what you will find in the debut can be seen below and include the following:

  • Tiny Macarons sets of (8) sized for Mini American Girl Dolls and other 6-inch dolls (like my best friend Mini Saige)
  • Made-to-order Charm Bracelets (like what Jillian gave me for my recent birthday) sized for American Girl dolls and other 18 inch dolls
  • Hand-painted Galaxy Converse -inspired shoes for American Girl dolls and other 18 inch dolls
  • Bento-style Snack Box with Kawaii Panda Onigiri, strawberries and orange slices (all made with sculpey clay) and sized for American Girl dolls and other 18 inch dolls


It's a NEW Made-to-Order Graphic T-shirt line with pretty White Lace-cap Sleeve shirts

The option to add-on clothing separates - like White on White Lace Shorts OR
a Black Faux Leather Skater Skirt(to any Graphic T-shirt order) to make a very cute and modern outfit.

The Hand Painted Jacket line has been expanded to allow for CUSTOM orders of designs I have done (and previously sold only one of) and NEW designs (like Dr. Who's Tardis in the Galaxy OR TFIOS blue and white clouds). Do you have something completely new, original, and personal to you? Request a CUSTOM one-of-a-kind painted jacket. *wink*

DIY - Painted Jacket CREATION Kits
(for one, three, or five artists - because why should I get to have all the fun?)


Each kit includes everything you would need (except some Mod Podge to seal the finished design) to paint your own Moto Jacket - just like what I have been designing, CREATING, and selling like crazy.
Each kit includes:
  • a PRIMED and ready-to-paint black faux leather Moto Jacket blank
  • a short-handled paint brush set with TWO brushes (the same size as what I use!)
  • a resealable acrylic paint pot set with (8) colors for just about any design you might try and paint
  • a "Tips & Tricks Guidecard" (written by me!) with expert advice about how to mix colors correctly and turn out the best painted jacket you possibly can 
There is a slight discount if you buy creation kits in "bulk" for either three OR five artists in case you want to have a PARTY and get together with your besties to paint your own gorgeous and trendy jacket design. And finally, you will also be able to buy REFILL supplies of everything that comes in the creation kit at a la carte pricing. So if you run out? You don't have to buy a whole 'nother kit and you can just buy what you need to keep painting MORE jackets!

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ 

Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH for supporting my Etsy shop, following me on my instagram, and reading my official blogsite. I have made so many more friends than I ever could have imagined and it's hard to believe that I've only been on here since January of this year. If this official debut and release goes well, I hope that I will be able to do at least one more within the end of the year (though I don't know if it will be quite as huge as this one clearly is).

Don't forget! All of my new listings will debut HERE in my Etsy shop, Friday - July 25th 2014 at 9:00pm EST. I will have a fair amount of listings with multiple quantities available but some things (like the Bento Snack Box with Panda Onigiri or the Teeny-Tiny Macarons) are limited in quantity and availability. I will also be taking custom painted jacket orders on a first come-first serve basis and so there might be a waiting list for those types of items. (Sorry! I'm only one artist and can only work so quickly!!)  And that about covers it for me.

Hope to see you tomorrow for my official Summer Release!!!

Do small things with GREAT love ❤ From Echo With Love on Etsy

So... I have something really incredible to share with you!!!  I am getting closer and CLOSER to my summer release happening (I'm thinking TOMORROW is when it will finally happen) and I have something extra special that is going to be in it!

Do you have a mini American Girl doll like I do? I LOVE my mini Saige doll who was the American Girl of the Year doll for 2013. Mini Saige is one of my best friends in the world (in addition to Jillian and my mini dachshund Frank). For my recent birthday, I didn't really mention it but one thing I got from my parents was a new outfit for Mini Saige. It's very cute and summery and it even has heart buttons (hearts are my favorite) and it also got me thinking that I wish I had more things for Mini Saige. That's when I got this idea that she needed to have something of her very own that matches things that I have.

I have been working on the perfect thing for her and though it took me a little bit of time, I finally got the details worked out and so now I present to you...

(sized just right for my Mini American Girl doll Saige and other small dolls and dollhouses)

These little bitty Macarons will be sold in my Etsy shop and will debut for my soon to happen Summer release in a "rainbow" set of eight colors/flavors. They look almost exactly like the Macarons that I sell already in my Etsy shop but they are much smaller so that they work for Mini Saige and other small dolls. Now when I say they are a lot smaller and just right for Mini Saige, I mean they are REALLY SUPER SMALL. See below for a comparison of just how small. You can see the size I already sell compared to Mini Saige holding two of her own size in each hand...

I will be selling only 10 sets of these rainbow macarons in my shop for my summer release and I do not know if I will be replenish them after this because of how much is involved with keeping them in stock. It took some serious time of figuring things out for me to even have these ten sets! If they go over well though, perhaps I will figure it out so that I can get some back in stock for the holidays at least. Also, maybe if people like them, I will try and figure out more things that will be perfect for my Mini Saige as much as for other mini dolls and play things. I mean, why should they be left out, right?

I am really REALLY excited to debut these miniature macarons and I hope that everyone likes along with the other stuff that I am going to be sharing. I didn't mean for this summer release to turn out so big but as it's going, I have A LOT that I will be debuting. I tried to come up with some new ideas that I haven't seen before or don't see that often. It was very challenging for me to do this but I enjoyed doing it because I like using my own creativity to solve problems and making things happen that otherwise have not been able to happen before.

As I said before, I am estimating that my summer release will happen TOMORROW and will likely happen later in the evening EST - probably after dinner has happened for most people. I'll try and post something more official about it last today (once I am sure I can make it happen for sure tomorrow) both on this blog as well as on my instagram - which is a great place to stay connected for me and sometimes where I put stuff that doesn't up here on the blog.

Thank you everyone for supporting me and LOVING me and the things I get myself into (like designing and creating and doing photostories and all sorts of other stuff). I could never have guessed that way back in January when I started all of this that I would end up here and now doing all of this. I feel so blessed with it all and I hope that I have been able to share the way YOU have blessed me so tremendously. See you later with more news about my Summer release!!
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