I love the connections that spring up through both the military world and the handmade world. Our featured sponsor today, Erin of Dandelion Dream, is a friend of many friends back home and has become a friend of mine too! She and her family have a beautiful story and she has the sweetest, most creative heart. Erin creates and sells organic and eco-friendly shirts lovingly printed with hand-carved images.
A bit about Erin::
Hi, I'm Erin. I'm the artist and creator behind the shop Dandelion Dream. I'm a Navy wife, mama of two wee ones (soon to be 3) and lover of Christ. We are currently in process of adopting a little girl from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
How did you get started selling your lovely shirts and what has been your biggest challenge?
I graduated from college as a graphic designer and freelanced for several years. While I enjoy design, I found much more enjoyment in the tactility of holding a carving tool and creating with my hands. The prints are something I've been working through over time. Most of them have a little story behind them... the VW, was our big road trip from the west to east coast, the bike... when my little one was learning to ride, the squirrel ... our new yard filled with little squirrels and acorn tops. Our adoption journey was really the motivation that I needed to pursue what I had already been enjoying and working on.
My biggest challenge would be balance. I'm first a wife, mama and friend. Trying to balance all of that while making time for the art of carving, printing and creating is something that I'm still working on. I've learned to let a few things slide, and any tips would be greatly appreciated, I definitely don't have it figured out.
The story behind your shop is beautiful. Can you tell us a bit about your adoption journey?
Yes! Chris and I began our journey in adoption from the Democratic Republic of the Congo the spring of this year. While we felt called to adopt, we were unsure from where our family should pursue at first, as we believe every child without a family is tragic. While we continued looking further into the details/requirements of different areas and searching the desires of our heart we’ve been led to the DRC. A few facts about the Congo: hundreds of thousands of children have been orphaned because of the civil war (the deadliest war since World War II, claiming an estimated 5 million lives, half of which are children under the age of 5), the Congo is the second highest country in the world where sexual violence to women occurs and the death rate of Congolese children ages 0-5 is one of the highest on the planet. We are adopting a baby girl, and are so exciting planning for her arrival.
Where we are in the process right now is that we've completed our home study and submitted our I600A last week to the USCIS, our petition with the government for immigration and adoption of our child. Now its a bit of waiting until we hear back from them.
What is your favorite part of being in the handmade community?
I've always loved handmade. I love the time and effort poured out by the artist, crafter, knitter, sewist. My kitchen is filled with handmade plates, serving dishes, mugs and bowls, that I've collected here and there. I love that none of them are exactly alike. I love that the plate Chris eats off of, is slightly different from my own. I love that personal touch. It makes each meal a bit more special, each cup of coffee a bit tastier, each time I look at a print and soak in with appreciation the handiwork, the individual effort, and the artist behind that specific piece. I love being part of that, and meeting other amazing people that share that same love of art and handmade beauty.
Ok, so now that you've fallen in love with Erin, her family and her awesome tees-- are you ready to win one? One reader will win a shirt of his/her choice from Dandelion Dream! So many colors, designs and options to choose from! You lucky ducks!
Here's how to enter::
Here's how to enter::
Go visit Dandelion Dream and leave a comment on this post telling us which tee you'd choose!
Visit Erin's blog and leave a comment saying hello! (Leave a separate comment here for an entry.)
Follow Erin's twitter! (Leave a separate comment here for an entry.)
Become a fan on Facebook (Leave a separate comment here for an entry.)
Giveaway closes on Monday, November 21!