Big Exciting Things!

[This post was originally published as part of On the Lookout for Hope, Gracie's senior project. It's very much related to Once and Still, and was part of the journey God has lead us on to where we are today. You can check out more from On the Lookout for Hope here.]


My husband, Ethan, and I are best friends. We’ve been best friends for a long, long time (we met when we were nine), and over the years have dreamed a lot of dreams and wondered together about what our future would be like. One of our dreams for the past couple of years has been to work together in a creative business, and although the full realization of that dream is still aways off, it feels a whole lot closer, because today it is my very great pleasure to announce the arrival of Ethan Klumpp as a studio member at The Chartreuse Umbrella!

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to be working with my best friend and partner in crime on this business, even if it’s only for an hour or two each week (he does have a full time job himself, you know)! This is the man who has supported my crazy decision to try freelance in the first place, who let me take over the entire living room with all my art stuff, and has listened patiently and spoken words of wisdom when I’ve explained how I’m agonizing over some business decision.

Some of you already know him, but I’ve asked him to introduce himself and explain a bit about how he’ll be involved in the studio. And afterwards, some more exciting news about big changes coming!

What’s your day job? I'm a third grade teacher.  I teach math, reading, and science, among other things, but my favorite subject is history because I get to tell my students so many interesting stories.  Teaching is great.  I get to be my naturally nerdy self and hang out with a bunch of goofy kids at the same time.

What will you be doing at The Chartreuse Umbrella?  I will primarily be helping out with our online presence.  That will mean writing some blog posts and taking a lot of pictures to start with, but I hope to contribute in as many other ways as I can.  Basically, it's my job to take things off Gracie's plate so she can focus more time and energy on creating beautiful artwork.

What are you most excited about doing at the studio? I'm very excited to be a part of what my wife does every day.  I love seeing what she creates, and I'm looking forward to really being part of the process.  I'm also excited about the photography part of my job.  I don't know much more about cameras than which end to look in, but I've wanted to learn more about them for a long time.

If you could learn how to do or be anything what would it be? Why? I like writing stories, so I'd like to learn to be a lot better at it.  I want to write good stories that are worth reading.

[HINT: this next question has to do with a big change in The Chartrese Umbrella’s direction coming up soon!!]

Why are good stories important? Our lives are stories and are part of a much larger story.  Telling and hearing stories of all sorts tells us a lot about right and wrong and who we are--about what it means to be human.

[surprised? Didn't think so...]

What’s your favorite medium? I'm not sure.  I like drawing with pencils and markers, but I'm guessing I'd probably like other things too if I learned how to work with them.

What your favorite thing to draw?  Goofy looking people and animals.  I used to try to be very, very realistic, but I wasn't very good at it, and at some point I realized it wasn't very much fun, either.

Can I show them a picture you drew? If you want to, sure.


What’s inspiring you these days?  I'm inspired by the conversations Gracie and I have had about what kind of like we want to live together and what we want to do.  I'm excited to make it happen.

What do you do for fun? I love to read, play outside, go exploring, be in the water, and, sometimes, just be a big ol' lazy bum.

Anything else you want to say?  I'm happy to be a part of this.  It's going to be good.

I think so, too! Yay!

Two more things, really quickly. I promise.

  1. We bought a professional printer!

This may not seem like a blog-worthy bit of news, but it is, and I can tell you why: it means that I now can draw something tomorrow morning, scan it, color it digitally in the afternoon, print it out instantly and send it off to you in the mail the same day! Assuming that’s the only job I have that day, of course. But the point is, we now have a fully operational print shop that can handle most sizes and mediums I sell on a day-to-day basis, so you get your artwork faster, and much higher quality, because I have absolute control over materials and colors. SO pumped. As proof, I offer these pictures Ethan took of me while we were setting up the printer:

2. There are big, BIG changes coming for The Chartreuse Umbrella.

You may have noticed I haven’t been posting anything anywhere for…uh…awhile. And for awhile that might continue, but I promise, it’ll be worth it, because we’re working on the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in this business. Soon, my friends, we’ll be able to share it with you. Soon.

For now, enjoy this sloth: