Peace, Joy & Hugs

Linda Gustafson

Where has the time gone! My mother once said, as you get older the time goes faster, and I definitely understand that now! 

As with most of my blogs, it's a lot about wellness and the simple things in life. And, as I think about it, even though it is the most wonderful time of the year, I will still be sharing a little bit more than merriment! 

It's been a juxtaposition kind of life for me these last few years! I've lost my mother, then my father, then my brother. I have family and friends that have been very ill. I have experienced estrangement from family, I have reconnected with friends that I have not seen in decades. I launched my business in November 2019 and then the whole Covid experience! So there has been a whole lot of emotion to work through. Moment by moment, day by day, with a lot of effort, I have been working through to improve myself. I have been very fortunate to have had the help from a wonderful therapist in my home town that I have connected with. Her experiences and knowledge has been very beneficial in my wellness journey. 


Peace, Joy & Hugs Collection

So, like all of my cards, I like others to feel joy and peace when they receive them! This is one of the series I designed this year! If the holiday time of year is difficult for you, I hope that you find some peace, some joy, and a warm hug! At home, we couldn't live without our little Lilly! Lilly inspires me to create so many of my illustrations! A pet can be so therapeutic! They love you and hug you and don't care if your hair is not brushed or you are wearing those same sweat pants and flannel shirt again! Your companionship and love is all they need! So I hope these cards, stickers and coasters, give you warmth and a smile and a moment of joy in your heart! 

I was fortunate, I have wonderful memories in the past of Christmas' that I have enjoyed! I have fond memories of my big Italian family gatherings with a million kids and aunts and uncles and grandmothers! Memories of the great dinners my mother would cook as we would all gather for the holidays at my parents house. We all couldn't wait to eat!  And, I  have wonderful memories of Christmas’ when my children were growing up! Looking back, these years seemed to have flown by! This year, I think I may even try to decorate a little more and bake cookies for my little family gathering and try to improve the joyfulness in our home! As the years go by, life changes but it's still important to find joy where you can! 


A Merry Little Christmas - 4inch Square Christmas Card

So the inspiration behind this began as a customer request! I had a craft show the end of October and someone simply asked me if I had a Christmas tea that I would be offering this year, and I didn't! Well, once I came home my mind started thinking, why not! Here's another thing about me! I love fancy things! I love sparkly candle holders, pretty tea cups, and fancy dishes on the table! But, I'm still a simple girl that you will find in jeans and a flower shirt most every day!  So as I began dreaming about a Christmas tea, my mind wandered to some of my favorite Christmas memories. The glowing coals in my grandma Serritella's fireplace, her crystal chandelier, the children singing Christmas songs in my grandmother's living room waiting for Santa, midnight mass with all the flowers on the altar, the big dinners at my mother and father's house, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra and how my father sang just as good as any of them! Everyone loved daddy's or (Uncle Bills) voice, it was just lovely. And then, the bright eyes and screeches from my children on Christmas morning at our home!  I thought of sparkles and flowers, the joy and happiness and then I started illustrating a Christmas design. I went way farther than a Christmas Tea. I created a Christmas Tea Box Set, a small coordinating card and a large card for mailing. I picked the prettiest sparkly metallic envelopes for the cards and made the prettiest labels and box set for the teas! I got all this done and printed and ready for my November craft show. When I am inspired, not too much stops me! Do what you love and happiness will follow!

 A Merry Little Christmas Tea Box Set

So this fall I have been quite busy! I have been in several craft shows. I had one the last week of October and then started up again in November and three weekends in a row! Craft shows are hard physical work, they take much time and even more planning in addition to all the time making your products.  I am fortunate my husband helped, he loaded my car and did all the heavy work lifting boxes and arranging all the tables! Then the layout and design of my little pop up shops is all me! But all the hard work is rewarded with the wonderful smiles, the great conversations and mingling with my customers. This year was extra fun because it was the second year at two of the events and people actually came looking for me! That really was wonderful to connect with these customers again! It is fun mingling with like minded people like yourself. People that feel the joy that I am sharing in my cards and also the people that love tea and their wonderful healthy benefits! I appreciate these people so much and it has been quite nurturing to my spirit! My crafts shows are a very truncated little pop up shop! But it didn't matter! People came and loved my offerings and once again it inspired me tremendously! 

Christmas & Halloween Table at Crystal Lake South High School

Everyday cards, journals and stickers at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Crystal Lake

The Tea Table

My husbands favorite show at Kishwaukee Brewery in Woodstock

Cards & stationery products at

Hickory Hall in Crystal Lake

The Tea Table

at Hickory Hall in Crystal Lake

All my shows are done for the season. My website is still open for Christmas shopping and you can curbside pickup for any gifts you need if you live local.  I even have a chat button where you can send me a message or chat about my cards or teas with me!

Today I took my last vacation day for the year off at my day job! I have been at this job for 23 years! I am an artist there as well, so I'm always thinking of designs! When you love what you do, you can put many hours into it! I work all day, but come home and work till bedtime on all the things I dream about doing for my small business. If you do things that you love to do, happiness will eventually follow!  Despite any difficult times I am going through, I try to put myself in the place I would like to be! I want to send love, peace and joy out to you as well! I feel blessed that through all these in person shows, people have expressed the joy that they feel from my creations! They get my intentions!! It was so cute! One woman even called it a serendipity experience meeting and taking with me!  Moments like this inspires me to continue all the work and dedication that I put into my little business. I hope to retire from my day job soon. When I do, I will enjoy spending my time sharing peace and love through my creations! 

Thank you all for your support this holiday season! The shows have been very enjoyable! I look forward to more and will keep you informed through my facebook page and my instagram account. You can follow me by pressing the icons on the bottom of my website page. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season to all of you! 

Love and Peace,



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