Friday, February 26, 2016

Willamette Valley Pie is selling JKathrynDesign!

Just a quick little check-in this Friday to do share some exciting news. Remember the cute little pie shop I worked at pre-Fee? It was definitely a work of God that I got that job. It was a place to meet local farmers. I felt so "in the know" in the berry farming community: I knew the names, who Darwin was talking about, how the industry works, the history & high-drama of summer berry harvest. I am so thankful for that opportunity. It made me feel at home & belonged.
We stopped by the other day to check on MY PRINTS & CARDS that are for sale there. So excited to be selling them there! Had I not worked there, I wouldn't have had a relationship with the lady who buys products for the store! Anyway, here they are, all hung up & in a real-life, brick & mortar shop. Also, fyi local friends, if you buy my stuff here, it's cheaper than Etsy because I don't have to ship & pay for packaging.
 A random tidbit: I happened to be there the same time as a pastor from a church down the road that frequented the shop when I worked there. I don't know his name, but I know he always ordered a hazelnut latte & left $5 tips. It's been a year since I worked there (!!), and doubted he'd recognize me. But he did. "Hi! It's good to see you! How's your girl?" he asked. Cemented that sense of belonging! Almost like getting groceries at Dave's. :).
 The last photo doesn't have any of my prints in it, but don't they have the coolest farm stuff??
Anyway. There you have it. I am a legitimate maker & seller now. Pretty cool!

Have a fabulous weekend!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

farmlife update no. 9

Things are revving up on the farm. Dar's getting busier, the fields are starting to bud, the red of winter is fading to the green of spring, baby animals are being born, the crocuses are popping, the Sinns are migrating outside. 
 Fee loves the outdoors. Wallows in it. I have a feeling she's going to be more of a farmgirl than her mother...
It's time to go four-leaf clover hunting again!
 The blueberries are still getting pruned. (I think that's what they were doing anyway!)
The last of the shopwork is getting cranked out before the nice weather arrives to stay. 
Lots of "scouting" the berries. 
 She's been introduced to a farm spring: lots of meandering around, reintroducing ourselves to the workings of a Willamette Valley berry farm, one that's the heart & soul of the family living on it.

 Every farm kid has a pair of rubber boots. Because I am her mother, her boots are floral patterned. 
 It takes a boatload of Sinn's to ready the garden. I have so much to learn from them! Fee will absorb gardening know-how from day one. Lucky girl. Meanwhile, I will stand off to the side & take photos. Lucky me:). 

 Dar couldn't wait to show her the "cow bossies" & "calvies". Sinn lingo. This photo...just melts my heart. Fee in her little boots with baggy farmer jeans. She nailed the farm look. 
 She was absolutely fascinated by the cows. Not a bit afraid. Must be her dairy roots...:P.

 Life's going to get busier soon! I'm not sure I'm ready for harvest. I know I'm not. But we have a few months yet. A few flower-sprigged, mossy green, budding, blooming months.
I hope wherever you are, the crocuses are heralding spring!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Fiona | 11 months

Here we are: 11 months. 
I'm kind of feeling like I don't have much to say about 11 months. All the first months, everything was new, she changed & developed so fast. Now, it feels kind of like a phone conversation that's gone on too long. The awkward, "Well...not much else is new here." 
 But this is the last month, so I can't quit now! I'll be straight & to the point though.

Food: she eats. A lot. Of everything & anything. She basically eats whatever we do. AND, she is on total dairy!! No adverse effects. I'm sooo thankful! That was definitely a challenge & trial, as silly as that may seem. No dairy = grumpy me.

Sleep: she mostly sleeps through the night. I still wouldn't trust her to be good at someone else's house overnight though (unfortunately). She's down to 1-2 naps a day. Usually for 2 hours. Typically, she'll go to bed around 9:30-10 & wake up at 8:30-9.

Personality: she is a little cheese. And is no shrinking violet. She can hold her own with cousin Livy. Most of the time she wants to be in the middle of the action & isn't afraid to take what she wants from others. Sigh. She isn't patient. At all. She doesn't cuddle unless she's sick. We've given up on cuddling with her in bed. To Dar's dismay.
 Development: She has taken a few steps here & there, but is very cautious. I keep thinking, "Any day now!" Coloring & scribbling with my stash of writing utensils (is that the right word?...) is becoming more & more common. I am praying that I get a colorer! Visions of therapeutic coloring sessions are dancing through my head! She mimics what we say. I think she's starting to connect words to their actual meanings, too. Cue little errand runner & thing getter. I'm looking forward to making her useful!
Teeth: Still just two on top & two on bottom, although she's had another one coming in on the bottom for weeks. Ugh. That & she got her first ear infection. We made it to 11 months without one though, so you know, we're doing good.

Next month I'll do a post on the big bash her aunties have been planning for weeks already!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Seven years ago

Seven years ago, I was a senior in high school with big dreams; college was in the near future, I had scholarships, my teachers all told me I would succeed at whatever I chose to do. I believed them. Life was good.
I thought. But God had no place in my life. I made all my own plans, my own dreams, achieved it all by my own merit. And I wasn't happy, underneath it all. I was a very belligerent 17-year old. Very. No amount of dream-achieving could fill the void I had in my heart. I was so lost, I didn't even know there was a void!! 
But seven years ago, I went to Haiti.

I met another girl, exactly my age. She wanted to go to nursing school. She had big dreams too. Dreams, but no opportunities. Her days were spent taking care of 60+ orphans, wiping noses, straightening shirts, breaking up fights. She ought to have been miserable.  Instead, she had joy. Joy, and God. And it made all the difference. She had joy that I, with all my American dreaming, was jealous of. 

I had everything (I thought): she only had a cast-off shirt from some wealthy American girl that said, "dreaming of a better place". That she wore days in a row.

I will never forget how that shirt made me feel. 

Seven years ago, I sat at our kitchen island, dripping tears into the coffee that was suppose to keep me caffeinated enough to finish all the catch up work I had from missing school to go to Haiti.   

I was miserable. I needed what that girl in Haiti had, not college, & scholarships, & letters of recommendation. In a moment of God-given clarity, I realized I couldn't do this life on my own anymore!

Seven years ago, I cried out to God & He lovingly whispered, "I've been here all along."

Seven years ago, a Haitian girl made a difference in my life by having joy in spite of her circumstances. 

Seven years since I became a Christian: since then, I've cycled up & down, had periods of intense zeal & months of spiritual discouragement. My sphere of influence has now shrunk to a tiny bubble
(named Fee), & it feels sometimes like I'm not doing anything to advance God's kingdom. But, seven years ago, a 17 year old girl changed my life forever by having joy. 

This, then, is what I can do. Wherever I am. 

Let your light so shine before men that they may glorify your Father which is in heaven.

This print I have for sale in my etsy shop was inspired by my experience in Haiti. 100% of all sales will go back to Haiti, to Hospital Lumiere. If you would prefer simply to donate money straight to them, go to 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Recipe | berry turnovers, heart-shaped!

One of the problems I've been running into since living in Oregon, is my berry-hoarding. Growing up, in Illinois, we had a sorry row of straggly raspberries that kept getting sprayed out by some well-meaning farmers next door. Our blackberry plants would yield enough for a milkshake and a half every summer. I braved mosquitos, stickers, & dripping-sweat-humidity to gather a small bowl of wild black raspberries. 

 Now, I'm married to a berry farmer & have so. many. berries. So many. I gather & freeze, gather & freeze all summer long. I can't help it. But this time of year, with the earth starting to bloom again, I realize it won't be too long before I have fresh berries again, & I've barely touched my massive supply of frozen ones!! 

I'm always on the lookout for new recipes to use up the berries. It's one of the more pleasant conundrums of life. 
I had a few friends over earlier this week just because. I decided last minute (like usual) to have a little brunch, & feverishly whipped up some triple berry turnovers. I used my fail-safe pie crust recipe that my mom always used. Here is the recipe, loosely. Use your favorite crust recipe. Roll it out to a 1/4 inch thick.
 For a two crust recipe, I used 3 cups of berries, one each of raspberries, blackberries, & blueberries. Dump a cup of sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of salt, & 1/3 cup of flour over the berries & stir 'em all up.
 And, since Valentines Day is in a few days, and because, festivelikemymom, I made my turnovers heart-shaped. Without a heart cookie cutter. Not the easiest thing ever. Put a spoonful of berries on your turnover bottom.
 [note: I found out that maybe it would be easier to let them thaw a little to be able to mush them around more to fit your turnover top on] place your top part of the turnover on & pinch the edges to seal. I just pinch it: no egg white, no water, no fork.
 A little humble looking, but they taste just fine. We'll call them "rustic".

Glaze with a powdered sugar/milk glaze (1/2 cup powdered sugar + 1 T. milk and a dash of vanilla)
 Then let your little friend enjoy!

Here is the recipe in an easy-to-read format. Feel free to pin it! And if you are berry-deprived, any other pie filling would work, I would imagine. I wish there was some way I could mail you the overabundance from my freezer, though...wouldn't that be awesome?!

heart-shaped berry turnovers
makes 6 five-inch turnovers

Preheat oven to 425.

2 recipes of your favorite pie crust

for filling:
1 c. blueberries, fresh or thawed if frozen
1 c. blackberries, ditto
1 c. raspberries, ditto
1 c. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/3 c. flour
pinch of salt

Stir all the filling ingredients together

Roll out your pie crust 1/4 inch thick, & cut out 12 hearts. (Mine were maybe 4 inches across at their widest point)

Place a small spoonful of filling in the center of a heart & place another heart over the top & pinch the edges together. Place on a cookie sheet [with waxpaper for easy clean-up!].

finish all the hearts.

Bake for 8 minutes at 425, then decrease oven temperature to 350 & bake for another 18-20 minutes, until filling is oozing out & bubbly.

Meanwhile, whisk up a glaze.

1/2 powdered sugar
1 T. milk (or cream if you're feeling decadent)
splash of vanilla

drizzle over turnovers.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

a change of plans

The forecast read, "64 degrees," so we headed out towards the coast. I still have to pinch myself that we can do that. We meant to hike a decent little climb to get a view of the Pacific, but we weren't 100% sure where the trail head was. (The Sinns are nothing if not laid-back & spontaneous. Rollin' with it is what they do best.)
We wound around on some back roads, driving by a big ol' herd of nonchalant elk. (Again, pinch me!)
We finally decided after much discussion & watching the daylight fade, that we would skip the hike, wherever it was, & just enjoy the dead end we'd discovered. 

(Also, don't you love how the fond the Sinn men are of children? Fiona is so blessed...even if they like to tease her a little now & then. Already.)
Sunshine. a pebbled cove with small waterfalls from the winter-saturated hills gurgling down to meet the water. The smell of the PNW. (If they could bottle that scent...) A rippled sandy spit. A little cabin guarding a horde of canoes. The sound of children laughing & exploring. Hikes? Who needs 'em?! 

We savored the sun like prisoners finally freed. We watched the sun set over the Pacific. Nobody minded that we'd set out to find a hike & found a peaceful cove instead. Life lessons, right there. One I need to remember when my carefully laid plans get sabotaged. It will be alright. And maybe more than alright. 

Maybe you'll find a serene little piece of beauty when you were really looking for some strenuous, sweaty hard work. :)

*we do plan to come back here someday & do the hike. I'll try & do a post about it then. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

DIY | handlettering scripture

Appreciating & reading the Word of God. It's a constant battle for me. I do great for a while, revived & inspired. My Bible speaks to me in torrents of words, guiding me, teaching me. And then I fizzle out, the torrent slowing to a trickle, so gradually I'm surprised when I find myself in the spiritual desert again. The first few times this happened it scared me. I got so frustrated with myself & would try to recreate the feelings I had before when I felt so close to God. Over time, I've realized it's okay that those times come. They will come. Every day won't have "the spiritual feels". 

Darwin's been so good for me in this area. He's steady as a rock, serving God no matter how he "feels". That being said, I still like to "feel". But I know it takes effort on my part: God is always near, but sometimes I have to fight through the shrouds of indifference & laziness on my side to see Him again. I've tried highlighting & writing notes in the margins of my Bible. (Which helped, but now my Bible is squirreled away lest some poor unsuspecting soul find it & read my sometimes terrifying outpourings!) I've tried journaling about what I've read. I've tried to text Dar my summary of my reading of the day. Those all worked for a time. But eventually I lose steam & fizzle out with those too. What's a girl to do? 

Now, maybe this is wrong. If it is, I pray the Spirit will prompt me to get back into the right mindset. But I've realized shaking things up, trying something new, keeps me more motivated to focus on my devotional time. So, lately, in the morning, when I read my Bible, I've been handlettering a verse that stands out to me. It helps the verse stick in my pathetically scattered brain, gives me some hand-lettering practice, & makes me mull about the verse as long as it takes me to finish my drawing. My intention is not to create art, but to simply help me focus on the words I read. 

If you struggle to focus in your daily devotions, try this! Even if you aren't an artist, or have never hand lettered before in your life (there are some amazing handlettering artists out there! Check out her  & her & her for some inspiration), the point of this is simply to help focus during reading. Don't make it about the final product; make it about setting time aside to let God' truths wash over you. Here is how I approach it: 

-Gather your supplies. You will need: 

a few pieces of paper. Any kind will do. 
A pencil. 
An eraser. 
A fine-tipped sharpie. 
A Bible. 
And coffee. Don't forget the coffee.

-Pray before reading, that God would open your heart to His voice. If you skip this step, it is a pointless exercise. Just saying. 

-Read through once, then come back through & read again, listening & watching for the "verse of the day" that you are going to focus on. 

-Count how many words are in your verse. (just for the sake of simplicity & not giving up before you start, pick something shorter) I chose 2 Peter 3:14, with 15 words. 

-Pick the key words, or phrases you really want to highlight in your handlettering (I boxed mine in the photo) These are words you can make more artistic. The filler words (and, the, if, with, etc.) you can just write in your everyday hand-writing. 

-Sketch out your framework of words. Don't fret over this. Remember, this is about focusing on scripture! I drew an oval & divided it into thirds; one third for each of my keywords.

-Practice a few words in pencil on a different piece of paper to get your hand relaxed. Move your whole arm from the shoulder, not just your hand at the wrist. This will keep your lettering more flowy & flourishy. But seriously, don't stress. 

-Then relax some more & with your pencil, write your keywords. Use whatever font style you want: blocky, chunky, scripty, it's up to you. I tend towards calligraphy inspired fonts.

-Once you're pleased with your keywords, fill in the rest of the words around them in pencil, trying to get an overall balanced look. 

-After you're satisfied with your layout, go over the lettering in pen. I use a humble fine-tipped sharpie. There are lots of more expensive pens out there, but a sharpie works just fine. 

tip: On your keywords, add some depth or calligraphy look by fattening up your down strokes. This is easier than you think: just make any stroke you write downward thicker & your upward strokes leave alone. Here is a good tutorial by one of my favorite bloggers. 

-Add some little flourishes or a frame if you want. Totally optional. Whatever keeps your mind focused on the words & not on your daily to-do list. 

Sit back & read your verse again. Let it sink into your brain. Something else about doing this: you may notice a trend in keyword from one day to the next...I've been seeing diligence everywhere! Guess I need to work on that:).

I hope this helps you if you've been struggling with some focus. I have been loving it. 

And I would love to see your letterings! Feel free to share them with me. My email is You can find me on instagram @jennasinn (use #likepearlshandlettering to share yours & see others!)