I often bemoan the fact that I have what equates to a first-grader's artistic ability, and yet I come from a family of artists. My grandfather was a signmaker by profession. For each of his grandchildren's birthdays, he would paint an amazing sign that was the hit of the party. My mother is an artist and an art teacher. And my sister is an amazing artist as well. She's continuing my grandfather's birthday sign tradition, and has painted a sign for both of Isabella's birthdays (and is hard at work on a Clifford sign for her birthday in August).
I may not have an artistic bone in my body, but some of you-in fact, a lot of you-certainly do.
Vanessa from Drover's Run is an incredible photographer. Don't believe me? Check out this. And also this. Oh, and this too. I'm currently trying to figure out a way to coerce her into traveling from South Africa to NY to take photos of my kids because the photos she takes of hers are gorgeous. And not only that, she's studying graphic design, and creates some really cool blog headers, buttons, banners, Twitter backgrounds, postcards, and business cards. Check out her graphic design blog: Macnessa. In fact, she's updating my header with new photos of Isabella and the twins right now. I can't wait to see it.
Kristin of This Endless Love and her talented husband Matt have recently formed their own graphic design company: Dream Designs Online. I may know very little about art, but I know good when I see it, and their stuff is good. Need a logo? Or some invitations? Or how about advertising for your business? Check them out.
Lisanne is the graphic artist extraordinaire who designed Interrupted Wanderlust. She changes her own blog often, and each design is just so unique and pretty. She's also a masterful knitter, and she takes some beautiful photos as well.
Stacey from 4evermom (photography), Holly from Growing a Life (digital scrapbooking), In Due Time (painting and diaper cakes), Judy (floral artistry), and B from Cats in the Cradle (pottery) are also wickedly talented.
Bravo to all of you (and any of you who I might have forgotten). I am in awe of your abilities.
The breadth of my readers' talent does not end with the visual arts, however.
Sasha from My Wombinations is a hugely successful journalist who has published in a wide range of commercial magazines, from Parents and Parenting to Runner's World and Self. With strong opinions (like yours truly) and an unparalled drive to succeed in everything she does, Sasha inspires me to someday get my arse in gear and send my first query to a publication. Perhaps when my children release their strangleholds from around my neck.
And last, but certainly not least...
Melissa has built Root & Sprout from the ground up (ha). Root & Sprout publishes one or two parenting articles a day (add it to your Google Reader!) with topics ranging from teaching your baby to swim to rainy-day craft ideas, to protecting your preschooler from the sun (which, coincidentally, is my most recent article). Melissa is one of the most focused, dedicated, and hard-working individuals I know. Her vision for Root & Sprout is exciting and motivating, and I am proud to write for her each month. If you're a parent, grandparent, or spend any time with kids, I highly recommend you check out the site, and then join its social networking site, Grow Together. And, if you have a business you want to advertise, Root & Sprout has some of the most affordable rates on the web.So, this is me taking my hat off to you. My little world is made a whole lot more beautiful and inspiring because of the work you do.