katy huertas del pino
"The attached photo is a current photo of my parent’s house which sits on Europe Lake. It’s in a very small town in Ellison Bay, Wisconsin which is on the very tip of the ‘thumb’ of Wisconsin. It’s part of ‘Door County’ which is a huge tourist destination for many mid westerners and is often listed in travel magazines as a top US vacation destination. It reminds me of small waterfront towns in New England. The community depends on tourism in the summer, because let’s be honest, no one is going there in the middle of winter. While I did not officially grow up in this house (we grew up in a Milwaukee suburb), we spent many weekends and weeks in the summers at the ‘cottage’. We spent hours on the lake swimming, fishing, boating and bathing. The water is so clear you can see to the bottom from every place…it’s also very shallow with 10 feet being the max depth. We are surrounded by the woods and we took many nature walks and bike rides to explore the beauty. Summer nights were filled with star gazing, fireworks, and bonfires. We had some family friends from California that spent summers on the lake too. We had countless hours of good fun and laughs throughout the years. We still manage to catch up with kids when we’re up there! I spent the summer between my freshman and sophomore years in college living up there and waiting tables - one of the best summers I ever had. While there were hours of good fun over the years, we also spent many hours working – raking leaves, fixing bathrooms, painting, cleaning trash out of the lake, etc.
My grandparents originally bought the ‘cottage’ in 1967. My Dad was 16 years old at the time and has truly called this his home ever since. As he entered college and began thinking about his future wife, he made the statement that he would never marry someone that didn’t enjoy Europe Lake. My mom’s first trip up there they spent fishing and doing housework. She wasn’t concerned about sun bathing (apparently some of his other girlfriends had). He knew she was the one! There have been 3 major renovations in the 48 years our family has owned the property. The first renovation included adding indoor plumbing (a requirement of my Grandma). The original home was a small shack with a kitchen, 2 tiny bedrooms and living room. I believe the next renovation took place in the late 70s and added 2 additional bedrooms on the 2nd floor. In 1985, my grandparents talked about selling the home as it was getting to be too much for them to manage (they were living in Chicago which is 6 hours away). My parents bought half interest in it that year so we could keep it in the family. 2 of my dad’s 3 siblings (both of his sisters) have harbored some hard feelings ever since as they claimed this was also their home. But in reality, it was my parents who put in all the blood, sweat and tears over the years. And no one else at the time could take care of it. Thankfully they got over it to a point where my cousins would often come in the summers. I have a small extended family, but we all talk about a reunion on the lake at some point. In 1995 my Grandfather fell ill and my parents bought the remaining half. Later that year, my grandfather passed away. Less than 2 years after that, my grandmother also fell ill and passed away. Within a few years after she died, my parents started renovating…pulling out paneling, removing 70’s green velvet furniture, etc. They ripped out the front windows (facing the lake and not seen in this picture) and replaced them with large sliding glass doors and a fireplace. I spent a weekend building a deck with my dad so we could enjoy the space between the house and the lake. They added a fireplace and were finally able to insulate the crawl space and make it livable year round. In 2003, my Dad retired and my parents decided to move in permanently. My mom’s only requirement was an addition/renovation to the kitchen and updated bathrooms. He obliged J And they have been living there ever since.
There are so many deep rooted memories in this home and I often wonder what will happen when my parents are too old to take care of it. It’s so much a part of me that I can’t bear to think about not having this is a place to retreat in the summertime. My kids are young, but the few times they have been there have been some of our best memories. This past summer my cousin and his family stayed in a nearby cottage and our kids had the best time. The first night they were still swimming (in their underwear – we lost luggage) until 8:30 pm. My cousin and I were thrilled that they were enjoying some of the same pastimes as we had 30+ years earlier. This house (or ‘cottage’ as still listed in my cell phone) is such a huge part of my family and will hopefully continue to be. I was so excited that I was able to get one of your spots J I can’t wait to frame this and have the flood of memories hit me every day when I look at it."
laura belle douglas
"My friend Elizabeth and I went to UGA and loved meeting at Jittery Joes to "study." So many fond memories of that place! It's been over ten years and now we both live on the west coast, but it will always be a special place to us. "
"My best friend and maid of honor, Heather Burgess, attended grad school at Medical College of Charleston. She goes to Chucktown every chance she can even though she lives 3 hours away. She is a photographer and takes beautiful pics in Charleston and runs the streets of Charleston every time she is there. She always says her heart is in Charleston and she wants to return as soon as she can. Now she can have a beautiful reminder. I can't wait for her to see it."
"This is the first house my husband and I lived in after we got married. It is located close to Grant Park in Atlanta. We rented it and we recently moved and bought a house but this little home will always be where we started our life together and started our family. Our anniversary is October 22 and I would love to be able to give it to him then for a anniversary gift."
"Growing up, my sister and I would eagerly try to catch a glimpse of this house, as we drove down Peachtree Battle on the way to our grandparents' house, who live on Montview Drive. This house is where our beloved grandfather grew up, and our Mom frequently told us stories about going to visit her grandparents there. She and her three brothers would occasionally stop by to see their grandparents and have a snack on their afternoon walk home from school. My favorite story that my Mom tells us is of how her grandmother would hide behind the refrigerator, while she snuck ice cream. Although my sister and I have never been inside this beautiful home, we feel like we know it well and that we are a part of its wonderful history."
"while the georgia theatre may not be a home in and of itself, it represents home to me. i spent my freshman year at the university of alabama dreaming of the day when i would finally be in athens. after some crafty finagling (thanks ag school!), my wish came true and i began my sophomore year at uga. i watched the theatre being rebuilt and was there the moment it reopened. i spent many nights (and days) at the theatre with those i still call my nearest and dearest. whenever i return to athens from atlanta, i know i'm home as soon as i see the theatre. the memories i have from there are some of the closest to my heart along with all those spent in athens. i am excited to have a reminder of those happy feelings hung in my house!"
"I stumbled upon Little Mustard Seed while browsing Instagram one day and I was blow away by the gorgeous prints, I knew I had to have one. I have many special places that mean a lot to me but I knew the first one I wanted was Connolly’s in Uptown Charlotte. Connolly’s means so much to me for so many reasons – which may seem weird since it’s a bar. It was one of the first places I went to when moving to Charlotte and the patrons and staff were so laid back and pleasant, it became a regular spot for my girlfriends and I. But the best thing about Connolly’s was because I met my now husband there. We both frequented the Irish pub and it took us 5 years to actually run into each other there. We met once in the summer, exchanged numbers, and parted ways. Six months later we met there again, he took me out a few days later, and the rest is history. We were obviously meant to meet there! Since then we have celebrated milestone birthdays there and even our rehearsal dinner. Aside from the personal reasons I love Connolly’s, in the modern and up and coming city that Charlotte is, it has one of the most beautiful and unique facades. Being able to have Connolly’s captured in a personal piece of art will make for an awesome conversation piece and will warm my heart when I look at it."
Welp. Today marks a year. One whole year. How incredible. How humbling.
It’s one of those moments when I feel all I can do is sit with open hands. The thought that so many people have my artwork in their homes gives me goose bumps. It’s beautiful.
BUT it is so much more than that. It’s all the steps in between. The people I have gotten to meet through this little business. Hearing all the stories, getting to play a small part in honoring each story. My favorite part is when we both see how seamlessly stitched together it is. One step leading to another. How God is never doing just one thing. He is little by little revealing the creation that is becoming. It gives us hope and reminds us that we are not alone. All of our stories are knit together. Not only do I get to hear their stories, but they also get a glimpse of mine. With each line I draw I try to think about what happened in that house. All the meals shared, the conversations had, the prayers prayed. A home truly is a little treasure box full of memories. Full of becoming. Often times in the midst of the busyness of life I forget that. I have to come back to why I do what I do. It is not for the money, it’s not for the “likes”. It’s for my love of people. I feel I have been given the gift of creating and I wish to share it. Share it because it brings me joy and I see Jesus through it. It shows me my desperate need for Him. It shows me how BIG He is. It shows me that even though we are so “small” in comparison, we matter. God cares about every bit of our story. He sees us. He cares for us. I hope that in continuing into this next year I am able to reflect just that. I pray that year number two of this business will continue to show me more and more of just how faithful God is.
Here are some fun memories from the first.
"I was introduced to Laura's work when a friend tagged me in a Little Mustard Seed Instagram giveaway for a custom print. I also entered the giveaway myself and was a little surprised when I actually won the giveaway! We had recently moved to Tennessee and were in the process of purchasing a home in Knoxville, TN after selling our first house in Rome, GA. I had a hard time deciding if I wanted my giveaway prize to be a print of our new house or our first house that we had said goodbye to. In the end I settled on a print of our first home. I wanted it as a little reminder of the first house we purchased and loved. Once it arrived I loved it so much that I decided I would go ahead and have Laura do a 2nd print of our new house and hang them side by side as a pair. I love how unique these prints are and that they can tell a bit of your personal story through one of a kind art."