Author Archives: 163designco

New Shop News!

Summer is…starting to wind down, and I’m a little bit in DISBELIEF because how could it?  I’m such a crybaby over here!  Nothing, at all, like a Maine Summer.  We did summer right this year.  State Parks, swimming out the wazoo, a thousand Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches. Good thing Fall puts on a show, I tell ya.

Painted in Waterlogue, Big Indian Lake, Maine Painted in Waterlogue, Camden Maine

Are you ready for fall?  I know so many people are!!


So, fun news!  We were featured in a “Hot Trends” Etsy Newsletter.  There is NOTHING like the power of PR.  It really made me realize how far we could take this little company, because a boost like that did wonders.  People like us! They really do!  Our Canvas Letters were featured, but it gave our whole line business.  Fast and furious and fun there for awhile!

But OTHER news; we have wanted to introduce color for awhile, and we took our collective photos and waterlogued the heck out of them.  Then started a Society6 line!  And wow…talk about incredible quality!  We are so happy with them!  We have more in this line that we are working on, and will be making similar items available in our Etsy shop soon…for wholesale as well.  Big departure from what we’ve been up to the last couple of years, but we adore it.  Here are a few things you can find in the shop, with more added every day! Oh!  And there is free shipping through Sunday!

Society6 Framed Print, Norway, Maine, Fall Society6 Art Print, Lobsterman, Maine, 163 Design Company Society6 Pillow, Happy As Clams, Maine Society6 Tote, Somes Sound, Maine, MDI Society6 Clock, Baxter State Park Society6 Mug

We’d love for you to hop on over and take a look there and our Etsy store…think Christmas!  Never too early to do that.  Unless you are like me and still stuck in summerland. :)

Have a Super Day Friends!


Lake House Dreams

Funny Story…when I very first moved to Maine, I had some friends tell me we were going to head to their grandmother’s camp.  Being a “flat lander”…I automatically assumed that she owned some kind of fantastic summer camp…the kind where kids come for a week during the year and play and there are counselors and programs..that kind.  I learned (quickly) that it meant a small house, usually on a lake…a little getaway.  Sometimes year round, usually seasonal.  And chances are, if you have lived in Maine for generations, you might just have a camp tucked into your family on one side or the other.

Baxter State Park, Maine, 163 Design Company

Since then, I always thought it would be fun to have the same.  But it was almost like window shopping to me; I don’t have to buy to be fulfilled; sometimes I just love to look and be inspired and have fun with the dream.

Swan Lake State Park

But this summer…oh, this summer!  I’ve been searching for property like this could be a real possibility someday. I’ve been a tad bit obsessed.  But I’ve felt incredibly guilty at the same time, because so much of the world is in pain…while I’m dreaming of something more than the perfectly good thing I have.  I think I pinpointed it though.  I have seen my boys thrive this summer.  I think they would stay in the lake all day, given the chance.  Ryan took kayaking lessons at summer camp.  They are all turning into little fishes.  The good?  That means they aren’t dependent on technology, which they sometimes feel like they should be.   When they are in nature, they don’t have to turn to minecraft.  It’s hard to pull them away from the fresh air.  Me as well!   It’s a worshipful experience for me, being in nature. I want to give my children every good thing while the world feels a little shaky…adventure and water and the woods being just a few.

Wolfe Neck State Park, Maine, 163 Design Company

Kink in the plans?  We can’t afford a camp.  LOL.  But maybe someday?  I found what I would love; I can’t stop thinking about it.  It’s decorated in my mind, of course.  It’s this little 800 square foot thing, on over an acre of property.  That’s approx. 50,000 more square feet for my children to run and play and explore than what is currently their tiny backyard. That, plus a 3 mile lake at their beck and call.

Lake House

Isn’t it DARLING?  Tell me that’s not darling.  And that darling is driving me to distraction. It’s $130000.  I need to act on a $130000 idea. :-)  Suggestions welcome!

Baxter State Park, Maine, 163 Design CompanyWe’d play and explore from dawn to dusk.  And if we could make it year round (website doesn’t say if it’s year round or not), we’d visit in the winter and cross country ski.  And we’d open it up to friends and family to come and stay, because having something like that would be too good not to share!

Baxter State Park, Maine, 163 Design Company

I fully realize that a camp would be unneccesary…but at the same time it would be such an amazing legacy to leave to my kiddos, and their kiddos…

What do you get a charge from?  Do you have a fun little dream tucked away?




Mom took this photo of me taking a photo…I think I like myself waterlogued better than real-lifed! ;-)  I’ve had this quote hanging around for awhile, because when I saw it, I thought…exactly.  For better or worse!  Sometimes I drive myself (and the hubs) a little bit nutty with my dreams and schemes.  Anyone else feel the same?



Summer in Maine

And sometimes…you take a 7 month bloggy break.  And your website is woefully in need of an update, and you are thankful it hasn’t gone to the dogs because you had dozens of new “installs” when you finally logged in to the blasted thing!  Twitter and business FB page have fallen by the wayside.  Every possible PR thing you could ignore, you have.  And yet business is still really good…thankful!!

Brief history of life since January:

Winter, cold and snowy, too much so.

Spring, highly anticipating summer.

Summer…may it never end!!

The best decision we made back during income tax time was signing up for a Maine State Park Pass.  $70, and we had them take it out of our return.  Here is a brief pictoral summer diary, because I want to remember this summer forever.

Last of June, Early July…rented a house on MDI with mom and dad.  Drove home during a hurricane. :-)  It was a wonderful week…first true vacation in YEARS.

This was our lovely little house, set back in the woods.  Perfection.

Vacation Rental MDI

Hilarious Family Photo on top of Cadillac.  We also greeted the sunrise at 4:45…well, mom, dad and I did. :)  It was so gorgeous and memorable!!

Cadillac Mountian, Acadia National Park, Maine

Beach at Seal Harbor.  We packed so much into this week, with a healthy dose of relaxation and sleeping in, too. :)

Seal Harbor, Maine

Bradbury Mountain State Park; hiked it with the boys.  Got lost on the way down.  :)  Ended up at Chipotles.  Yay!

Bradbury Mountain State Park, Maine

Beech Hill near Camden, and Camden Hills State Park.  Beech Hill is a new favorite!  Must go!

Beech Hill, Maine

Mount Battie, Camden Hills State Park

Fort Knox and Swan Lake State Park, last week.

IMG_5137 Swan Lake State Park, Maine

Yesterday we made another run into Camden to drop off orders, and discovered the Endless Summer Flower Farm.  All I’ll say to that is…GO!  You won’t regret it!


So, healthy dose of adventuring, and we aren’t done yet.   The boys also went to Fairhaven Camp for a week!  Close to completing a couple of room renovations I’ll share soon…and an exciting new line of products for the shop! Whew!

Wishing you a fantastic week!



Waves Hello!

It’s been awhile.   I miss this place. Do I sound like a broken record?  I’ve probably said that before. Life takes precedence, sometimes! And I live a full one these days…with children that wake at the crack of dawn and are night owls to boot!

I’m going to sprinkle some winter photos in here…just because. :)

Maine, Ice Storm

 A little of what I’ve been up to; I joined a team this month started by Jon Acuff.  It’s a facebook group that I pop in on every day and we just encourage each other.  We meet different goals every day.  I’ve met some incredible people in this little group; they are like a breath of fresh air!  So many dreams, so many goals, all being reached…with the help and encouragement of not-strangers-anymore.

Jerod Anthony Murr and Ryan Eller have had a dream for awhile that they are starting to put into practice; one which you can help them reach.  They want to take an item off of your Bucket List and Make It Happen.  How cool is that?  The first dream they gave away?  Sending a precious young lady to Ireland this summer.  Ireland!  How about we start out with a bang, right?!


YOU can be apart of this effort. With a little, teeny tiny bit of pocket change.  As in, $4.99.  Jerod has authored a book called 30 Days to Give; Choosing to Live a More Giving Lifestyle.  Proceeds go to Making Dreams Come True, friends.  And the book?  Can I tell you how much, after reading it, I longed to have read it a couple of decades ago?  It’s geared a little more towards the high school crowd, but I’m going to have my 7 and 9 year old read it. Not only does it shed light on the awesomeness of giving, but it gives practical ideas on how to raise money In Order to give.  It’s biblically based…but for everyone, regardless of religious status, regardless of age.

Truth is, when the discussion started a few weeks ago about this project, we all started thinking on our bucket list.  I made one in 2008.  I looked it up…y’all!  I hadn’t done a thing; not really.  That’s going to change!  God set dreams in our hearts; big ones and small ones.  He wants us to DELIGHT in this amazing life.  A few things I’d like to do?  Take a painting class. Visit as many State Parks as possible this summer.  Lighthouses too.  Take my kids to Disney.  Either go skydiving or take a ride in a hot air balloon.  Take the kids and travel…the states AND the world.  Hone some photography skills…take MORE pictures.  That’s just off the top of my head.

Frost Forest

What about you?  Do you have a bit of a bucket list?  I’d love to hear; I’m always so inspired by other’s dreams. And don’t forget to check out the book!  You’ll have a good read AND help someone’s dream come true; you can’t lose with something like that. :)


Have a great day friends!


My Christmas List

Hello there :)

The boys are at Grammy’s today; I have a list a mile long but I can’t help but pop in here!

I’ve been dreaming; how about you?  Erick and I are gifting each other with a date-night dinner & a movie this year…but I’ve had fun thinking about the “if money were no object scenario”.  I always have fun with that!  Sometimes it’s just as good as the real thing…

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 8.40.35 AM

In a limitless world?  I’d go for a:

New, King Size Bed. (We still have 2 boys that like to pop in and cuddle during the night. Enter…crick in the neck).  Fantastic pillows.  Goose Down everything!

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 8.42.41 AM

New Fridge, New Stove.  Heck, total kitchen renovation.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 8.41.50 AM

Come to think of it…time and money to tackle the boy’s room.  (They are still living with green and yellow floral curtains).  Overhaul our bedroom. Add a deck.  Make the attic liveable.  Refinish floors.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 8.40.57 AM

Pretty much anything from Schoolhouse Electric.  Their email ads are killin’ me.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 8.42.13 AM

Pretty much anything from Noonday Collection.  Check out my pinterest board.  Love this company so much!

Noonday Collection Scarf

The time to thoroughly clean house.  Top to Bottom.  Actually, the money to hire someone to clean my house.  Like the sound of that better. ;-)

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 8.41.17 AM

look at that little tree on the mast! {Camden in December}

A trip to England with Erick.

A family trip…anywhere.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 8.41.36 AM

Oooh!  One of those robot floor vacuums; I hear there is a mopper out now too!

Here’s a hint, for those of you on a slim budget like ourselves…we love Dave Ramsey but we also do what works for us, which is using our credit card for many of our purchases.  It’s a no-annual fee, cash-back bonus one, and we pay the full balance every month.  I used the cashback bonus money on my Allume trip this year, and we had $100 left over from the bonus for the boy’s Christmas gifts.  Bought them each a pair of roller skates (I SO don’t mind them skating in the house.  Burns off energy and we have wood floors).  Had money left for 3 little nerf guns. I also have a stack of bed sheets, and I purchased some screw-hooks and nylon rope; I’m going to construct some sort of great removeable fort/tent in their bedroom…the hooks will stay put so they can put it up and take it down whenever.  That’s my project for today!  They usually don’t get a great amount of gifts from us, but we try to make them fun ones.  And we made off with using the cash-back bonus money for everything. Wahoo!

I’m blessed, y’all.  It’s still fun to dream, though!  Do you have big fun dreams?  Robot vacuums for everyone? :-)


Black Friday Idea!

Ok…truth.  Last “Black Friday” excursion I had was 13 years ago.  13 YEARS!  Erick and I were newlyweds, living in Virginia, and honestly, the day was awesome.  We woke up early, ate cinammon rolls and had Dr. Pepper at Burger King, then actually ended up at craft stores, gathering supplies so we could make Christmas Gifts.  {Good Times!!}

Since then, well, we’ve pretty much layed low during that weekend. ;-)  But if YOU are a Black Friday shopper (or not) I would love to plant a little idea in your head.  This week only, The Exodus Road will be selling 4 different groups of gifts, profits going to the effort to free slaves.  Something for EVERY budget, I promise.

Let me tell you a quick little story.  We support the Bravo Team, and get real time text updates of their efforts.  We’ve only supported them for a month…and in that time, not only was a pregnant girl rescued, but then I received this text…


My life has been turned upside down, y’all.  I just…this slays me.  One of your $25 purchases can go to support incredibly brave people whose feet are on the ground, Doing This Thing.  So please, please keep them in mind this week.

I have this t-shirt from one of he packages, and it’s my favorite thing.  Comfortable, just my style, and it reminds me that Ordinary People can contribute to Great Things.

Exodus Road

Get Shopping, People!  For something that will do so much more than you could ever imagine.



I’m trying to figure this all out.

LegosI want…so many things!  So many good things.  To be a better mom, to be a better wife. I know I’m decent, but I know I could do more; and no, I’m not being hard on myself. :)   To advocate for the hurting.  To be a more present friend.  To grow the business in a tangible way. Not to spin my wheels, which sometimes seems like a daily thing.  I wish life weren’t so busy.  Especially for a very NON Type A person like myself.


I know I have it good; I’m not complaining.  Just pondering.  Where should my priorities lie and how should that look like? (I do have the God/Wife/Mom thing figured out, even if they aren’t put into practice like they should be); it’s the other details that have me stumped. I have one day a week pretty much to myself, when the boys head up to their Grandma’s house. Only thing is, I’m stuck with the “What do I do now?” question on those days. Clean house?  Start a much desired project?  Get out of town?  Stay in bed all day?  Work on the business?  Write a blog post?  Organize the homeschooling thing better?  Visit much-neglected friends?  And the other 6 days a week that they are home? Well then. A little bit chaotic.  (But good, people.  I ADORE keeping them home).  Luke has all of the sudden started to skip his naps though…for shame.

Bed Head

I try to structure things for homeschool for Ry and Jack, but I know I could do so much better by them.  A little brother sure enjoys the attention on himself, which makes things a wee bit difficult.  That picture of Luke up there?  It’s such a precious sight.  Please pray I see it more often. {grin}

Ocean View

Does anyone have things down to a fairly decent, workable science?  And do you happen to have a non-stop 2 year old that fits into the mix…yet you keep things sane and straight anyway?  And have you managed to dust, maybe even clean your windows, too? {I can’t recall the last time I dusted, and about a year ago my parents very graciously cleaned my porch windows.  Other than that…yeah…well…}

Like I said, not complaining.  Just curious.  Just trying to discover what exactly it is God has for me…when and where and why and how-to.  And if you have any time-management ideas to throw my way, feel free!  Truly!

I’ll be back here, sometime.  Actually, I think I’m going to work hard to write one post a week.  Two, when I can.  My mind is fairly bursting with things to write about, and I have a giveaway in the works.  We also have new items up in the shop; I’ll share them here soon but in the meantime, if you haven’t been in awhile, you should go check it out! Right now, though, that bathroom is calling my name, begging me to clean it.  It does that on a fairly consistent basis.

{Priorities, you know.}




Aggression unopposed becomes a contagious disease. – Jimmy Carter

I’ll just cut to the chase; we are talking Human Trafficking.  Something that has so shaken me I can hardly discuss it without choking up.  Something that is so pervasive in our society around the world AND AT HOME that it blows my mind.  It makes me angry.  It makes want to rage.  It burdens me to my CORE.  And it absolutely confounds me.  I’m so confused!  What makes people think this is ok?  That it’s ok to own slaves?  And don’t tell me that it’s because they “don’t know Jesus” because honey, lots of people “don’t know Jesus” and know this is WRONG.    All I can sort out is that there are broken, broken people whose mentality is warped to their very core.  And I’m SAD for them.  Angry at them, yes, but more than that, I’m just sad.  UGH, Satan.  I’m so glad that you don’t win in the end.  Dark Spiritual Forces be damned.  (I so just said that. If you know me you know that it is hard for me to type that but it is APPROPRIATE, no?)


I’ll have more stats to share with you as we go; this isn’t my last post on this subject!

What is HOPEFUL is that people have been involved, and are getting involved, and the word is spreading, and we can FIGHT this.  Ordinary people can fight this.  I’m sitting at this keyboard in my robe and my boys are playing (loudly) and I have to make eggs in a minute and I might not get a shower in today and I don’t have a college degree and I’m tired alot of the time partly because of all this dang laundry and yet I CAN FIGHT THIS.  Matt and Laura Parker went beyond their comfort zone and moved their children across the world and with no training Matt fought this in a very intimate way, when not many others would.  BRAVE. I would urge you to go RIGHT HERE and read their story; watch the videos.  Get involved, somehow.  There is HOPE. I’ll be giving Laura’s book away soon…stay tuned!

Oh, this issue is so complex, and I’ll be unpacking it over time, but one amazing thing is the aftercare.  One group that gives women tangible support is Freeset. They hire women who have been rescued and give them jobs and they make BEAUTIFUL, USEFUL, GORGEOUS products of which I now own and I can attest to their workmanship.

SO.  Some ways to get involved?  Fund the BRAVO Team. Erick and I just signed up because cancelling out a good portion of our snacks and coffee will fund this incredible team of investigators who rescue women.

Purchase some Freeset goods.  Honor the women who have been rescued.

If you are the praying type, Pray.

Spread the Word.  LIKE The Exodus Road and Freeset on Facebook. Share this post. Please.

And look for state agencies!  Google Human Trafficking in your state; this is a mindblowing local problem as well.  I’m looking into an agency in Maine right now; I’ll let the locals know what I find out and how we can get involved here.

Thanks for reading. This story is.not.over.




Mentally Unpacking

Hello Good People!

I’m back!  And I have much to process about my weekend; it was beautiful.  I’m so glad I went.  I made some lifelong friends.Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 6.50.35 AM Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 6.52.28 AM

Those crazy girls are the roommates I mentioned in my last post; Sandy, Lindsey and Resealia.  I am in girlfriend withdrawal this morning…totally have to admit that.  Wah!  It was like the most fantastic slumber party ever.  I crashed hard last night. :)  But the missing sleep was totally worth it.

I also met this gorgeous soul; I can’t tell you what a wonderful suprise it was to meet Lindsey face to face.  Only a month or two prior, I stumbled across the whitebuffalostylingco and instantly fell in love with her heart and style.  Neither of us knew we were each attending, so it was a wonderful meetup and we spent some great time together.


And Summer; I met this sweet girl who I did NOT personally get a picture with and am terribly sad about; but let me tell you; I am so excited to now be her friend.  She has a new blog that is going to take off in amazing ways and is one courageous woman that I admire deeply.


Ok, time is short and the babes will be waking any moment.  I wanted to share with you *some* of my lovely new friends this morning; there are more to come!  And there are some beautiful truths I discovered, and some ministries that I am partnering with that I cannot wait to share with you.  I’m busting at the seams with excitement over the whole weekend.

What I can say is that I can’t imagine another blog conference that would leave you red faced and puffy eyed most of the weekend (in a very good way).  Where more than blog benefits, you make lifelong friendships, enter beautiful worship, and come away blazing with an eagerness so powerful it consumes you…to start making a difference in lives across the world.

I want to share with you a blessing that was spoken over the ladies; it was during a powerful time of art and worship. (Yes, they most certainly go together!)  David Walker spoke this and left us in thankfulness and awe.

May the blessings released through your hands cause the windows to open darkened minds.

May the suffering your calling brings be but winter before the spring.

May the companionship of your doubt restore what your beliefs leave out.

May the secret hungers of your heart harvest from emptiness it’s sacred fruit.

May your solitude be a voyage into the wilderness and Wonder of God.

May your words have the prophetc edge to enable the heart to hear itself.

May the silence where your calling dwells foster your freedom in all you do and feel.

May you find words full of divine to find warmth to clothe the dying in the language of dawn.

May the slow light of Christ’s Communion be a sure shelter around your future.


(And Amen.  There I go leaking tears again).

Be back with you again  soon!