Heather Carson | Design & Illustration »

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February Art Bootcamp


The bootcamp assignment for February was Cuckoo clocks. Fun right? LOVE it! My grandparents always had a cuckoo clock and made sure our family cabin had one too. Later, they gave all of their kids cuckoo clocks as well so my parents have one hanging in their house and my kids love it too. We loved waiting for the hour chime and the bird to chirp and music to play. My cute grandpa always took it upon himself to be the clock fixer and winder whenever he was around. Such a fun memory.

In the years since design school, most of my projects have been corporate based with emphasis on logos, branding, advertising layouts, etc. I still love a good logo/branding project. But I have completely missed drawing things. It was amazing getting the license to sit down and draw.

I may have gone a LITTLE bit overboard on the sketches. I think I have about 20 pages of sketches of clocks and clock related bits. Such a blast!

Here’s an Instagram shot of some of the sketches:


We then were assigned to create something for an iPhone cover. Here’s what I submitted to Lilla’s gallery


And here’s a few complimentary patterns I made to go with the cover:


I’ve had  Society6 and Spoonflower shops for quite awhile but haven’t really ever had anything in them. I put these patterns in both shops if you are interested. Society6 has phone covers, pillows, totes, etc. Spoonflower has fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap.

All this cuckoo business has me itching for a fun cuckoo clock for my house. The clock pictured up top are available [HERE] [HERE] and [HERE] aren’t they cool? I think I want to find one that’s not as authentic so I won’t feel bad if I paint it a crazy color. HaHa. 

Art Bootcamp with Lilla Rogers

matsbootcampI signed up for some fun courses this year. One of them is an assignment bootcamp hosted by artist/agent Lilla Rogers. It’s a 5 month program where we are given assignments to create art. Each month a new assignment with a gallery of the finished projects to submit to at the end.

Lilla’s classes have been on my wish list for quite awhile. I LOVE her book and  I was super excited when they announced this bootcamp. We are one month in and it’s been incredible so far. 

I bought new art supplies, broke out the pencils, paints, markers, and have had a blast! It feels like I’m back in art school and I love it! I’m a little rusty and it’s super hard not to compare myself to all the amazing people who are also in the bootcamp (400+).

I’ll be posting my progress as I go through the course. Excited to see where it takes me!

Art by Lilla Rogers

One Little Word



I’m sure everyone’s heard of the One Little Word idea, right? I first heard about it from Ali Edwards a few years ago. There are some ideas that just change you. This is one of them for me. Usually at the beginning of each January, I would set out with a blank paper and pen and settle in to list out everything I wanted to change in the new year. My track record for accomplishing that list was dismal.

I have to say, I like lists. I’m a list maker. They help me get things done usually. Usually. For some reason, the old standby method of goal setting by list just turned into a guilt party at the end of the year. Even if I had accomplished many of the items on the list, the not-dones over came the dids and I’d feel sad and settle in to create a new list. And this time FOR REAL. Haha.

Picking one focus for the year has been great to help me recognize divine guidance. The first time I picked a word, I chose the word LISTEN.  A little while later I was at a retreat and we were each handed a package of various jewelry items, chains, pendants, etc.  and asked to create a necklace. My pendant contained the word LISTEN. Seriously. So cool.

This kind of thing happens to me over and over with the word that I pick. But I still wasn’t able to see how to transition this idea to help me accomplish what I wanted to accomplish during the year. My journey in doTerra has led me to lots of personal development trainings. Network marketing companies are BIG on personal development. I love that about the industry. A lot of the “change your mind, change your life” kind of thing that I used to think was hokey. Ha, Ha. Little did I know.

However, the things I’ve learned over the years has lead me to believe that the number one benefit of belonging to a network marketing company is the push on personal development. It’s like the curtain was pulled and I’m slowly awakening to what really is possible. And to my surprise, it really does all start in the mind.

One of the trainings I attended this past year was a conference called Elevation. It was put on by Tiffany Peterson, a success coach and speaker. She had some amazing things to share, I would love to just copy and paste her right in here. But at this event, one of my favorite tips was by one of her guest speakers Sean Smith. This was the concept of M, T, O.

M stands for Minimum. It’s the minimum amount of times you want to accomplish your task, T stands for target, which is the amount you really want to shoot for each week. O stands for outrageous, meaning if you did this goal this amount of times you would feel outrageously successful. Sean said that every time you accomplish even the M of your goal, you are achieving a success. Moving the needle a little and your mind knows it and sets you up for more success.

So cool, right?

So this year, as a family, we’ve combined our list making, our one little word, our vision boards, and now added in the M,T,O idea and wow! I know it’s only been a few weeks, but this is so cool. I’m excited to see how this will impact myself and my whole family.

We had each of our kids come up with their own OLW. Then we created vision boards based on that word and what we wanted to feel like this year, then we made our lists. We have four categories: Physical, Spiritual, Social, and Mental. These are based off the scripture of Jesus’ upbringing in Luke 2:52. We each wrote out one or two things in each of these categories that would help us accomplish our One Little Word.

For example, my seven year old’s word is HAPPY this year. Oh man, he is such a cutie. For physical, he asked himself what he could do physically that would make him feel happy. He chose SMILING. Precious.

After we all had our list filled out with one or two things in each category, we came up with a M,T,O for each goal. What was the minimum times a day my son wanted to try smiling at people, what was his target, and what would make him feel outrageously successful? Too awesome. He was smiling the whole time he was writing it too.

This is where you really can see it all come together. Everyone pulled out their planners and wrote their word, their list, and their MTO’s in the front. Then we looked at the coming week and decided when we could fit all these in. Our plan is to encourage everyone to take 5 minutes in the morning and  5 minutes at night to look at their planners and decide how their next day will go. Sunday nights we’ll look at the whole week and everyone can schedule in their M’s, T’s and O’s where possible. I’ve got a hunch that being purposeful about our One Little Word, and finding ways to put it into action in all areas of our lives is going to be amazing.

For me, I’ve felt like my word this year should be MAKE. Partly because of the reasons in my previous post. I need to get back to the making of pretty things. However, this word has more to it than that definition for me. I want to make a difference, I want to make an impact, I want to make time for spiritual endeavors,  I want to make our house into a home, I want to make more things from scratch, etc.  This is my year to MAKE. I’m excited to share it with you!

Fresh Starts and New Beginnings


I’ve been on a journey the past few years. It all started with our move. I guess it kind of threw me for a loop. Up until that point, I was a pretty regular blogger and freelance graphic designer. Wow, what a couple of years can do. I totally neglected this blog. Except to change the name, layout, logo, focus, etc. I couldn’t make myself sit down to write a post. I think in some ways I forgot who I was.

Here’s the back story. When my husband and I decided to run a marathon, we were both about 30-40 pounds heavier than we are now. We thought that training and running a marathon would be the answer to all our health woes.  We learned a lot by that effort, but real lasting health and weightloss still eluded us.

Can I admit something? My Sister-in-law ran the race with us and her husband captured some images of us in action. Later, she posted some photos online and when I saw them, my heart sunk. I cried and cried. I felt so horrible, I begged her to take them down. In my mind I thought “How can someone who looks like that train for and finish a full marathon?”  It didn’t make sense to me. I was heartbroken and I decided that maybe it was time to be done with “diets” and just be. I bought some books on healing from diet addictions and set out to find a way to heal.

Around this same time, before our big race, I had been introduced to essential oils by a few friends. I thought they were a little strange for getting involved with the dreaded “network marketing” company. But I went to a class anyway and ended up loving what I heard and tried and bought a kit for our family. Little did I know that would put us on a trajectory that I never would have imagined.

As I began to research what my new little toys could do, I started learning more and more about nutrition and holistic health. I was fascinated by what I was beginning to understand. All that time I thought I was eating healthy, I wasn’t. All that effort to not eat, to save calories, to skip meals, only led to heartache and further struggles.

Little by little, my whole house became healthier, simpler, and happier.  Our eating habits changed completely, our healthcare changed completely, the way we clean and take care of our home changed completely. Both my husband and I were finally able to release a lot of the extra pounds holding us back. I even became a licensed Zumba instructor and teach 3 times a week! Crazy!

I went from having pain when I got up in the morning with creaky knees & sore feet to feeling like I was 10 years younger. My husband was able to stop relying on daily doses of multiple prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs. But, we changed. And people noticed. Are we 100% where we want to be? No. Do we still have things that we feel bad and criticize about ourselves. Absolutely. I’ve learned that progress is better than perfection and to be patient with the progress.

Funny thing happens with you have something that has changed your life so dramatically, you start to tell people about it.  This led me down the dreaded network marking path. Haha! I can laugh about it now but I hated this business model. I did not want to do this. I went to school for and have a degree in design. Why in the world would I want a job in a network marketing company?

But, I continued to share our successes with essential oils to anyone who would listen. I hate to see someone with something I could help them with, and not share what I have. So I just kept having classes and teaching what I was learning. Crazy story, my network marketing business started to send me real checks. Real money. Okay, maybe this business model isn’t so bad after all.

That’s how I went from designer to essential oil teacher. I have neglected this blog because I saw these two sides of myself as separate. “DON’T CROSS THE STREAMS!”  Ha. Ha. My oil business- has been steadily growing and now I can truly say I LOVE it. I’ve met some wonderful people through this business and I am excited to keep going.


There’s been a hole in me. A HUGE part of my life was cut out. With the move and then all the sharing, teaching, building, and growing of my other business I lost the part of me that makes my heart sing. I have been so busy, I’ve had to cut my design work. My time in the studio went from creating to coaching. And I need that part back.

I tried multiple times to make a logo, name, something that represented my new life. If you’ve been here lately, you’ve seen LOTS of different blog names. I hated all of them. I couldn’t every really blog or write because I really wasn’t connected to what I was creating. I took down my gallery of past work because it was so stale and stagnant to me. I couldn’t stand to look at it anymore. Even the rotating photos on my main page kind of bug me. Haha. But- I really don’t have anything new to replace them with yet, so they will stay for now.

I’ve signed up for some art/design classes this year. I have an AWESOME studio in the making (photos to come later but there’s a sneak peak on my Instagram feed), and I’m giving myself permission to make bad art. I feel really out of practice and really critical of what I can do now. But I don’t care anymore. I’m going to be posting what I’m doing. The good, bad, ugly, and crazy. I feel more spiritually connected when I have art in my life and I’m looking forward to having that back. Progress over perfection. Patience with the progress. That’s my new mantra for art now too.

I kept my old blog name and url and i’m excited to go back to that. It’s all under one roof now so you’ll get there going to themodernhive.com directly or heathercarson.net/themodernhive. I’ll be keeping up with my oil blog iheartoils.com too. But from now on, this is my place to share the happenings of my hive. A place where I can recored successes, laugh at myself, share mistakes, my vintage finds, my art, my oils, my thoughts of food and fitness. All of it.

Phew. That was a long time coming and it felt great!

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HeatherJanuary 15, 2014 - 8:31 pm

Thank you Lisa!

LisaJanuary 15, 2014 - 5:38 am

Heather! You are so amazing and such an inspiration!! I am so very thankful for YOU!!! I love this and hope to create my own version soon!!