Mid-Century Modern and Me

When I stay home for an extended period of time [like this pandemic limbo we’re in], I start looking at rooms in our home as blank canvases.

Pinterest boards are started, then once overflowing, broken down into smaller niches so I can see what I’m really leaning towards more heavily color and style wise.

I’ve used The Nester’s methods a lot during this season taking pieces I already have and using them in another space.

This Summer I’ve been cleaning out unneeded items upstairs and making a girls hangout room for my tween to have a space for her friends and my littlest girl to have a Barbie hangout. It’s worked out nicely using furnishings and decor we already had on hand.

I moved the office to a corner of what will be our media room. Now I need comfortable seating for that room. I’m considering moving our family room furniture upstairs and revamping our den in mid-century boho.

Mid-Century Modern was popular when my Grandparents were starting their families. My Grandmother, like me, redecorated a lot so she didn’t hang on to those pieces. (I inherited her traditional pieces which work so well in our formal rooms).

So, now I’m on the hunt for some vintage or reproduction pieces to start my own collection.

What sparked my interest in Mid-Century is three fold. One, after teaching through the famous artists last year at school I realized I was drawn most to the art and colors of that period. Two, I think the times we are living in make me long for the nostalgia of that time and my family who lived in it. (Plus I watched a lot of “Jetsons” and “Brady Bunch” as a kid). Three, we are living in the future that designers of that era designed towards and I want my family room to reflect that as well as my artistic spirit and love of color.

Once afraid of committing to such a bold change of style, I’m becoming less fearful to make the change since I know it’s what I like and not a trend. I also love that you can mix in traditional elements with mid-century for an eclectic feel.

Here are the three boards I’m using for inspiration:

Mid-Century Colorful:


Mid-Century Neutral

Traditional Colorful


Joy bird

Fabric Inspo

Johnson’s Fabric

Amazon Finds

Do you have a period of art or design that you are drawn to?

The Power of a Goal

One year ago today as I launched this blog I wrote these words in this post encouraging you and me both to set half year goals.

So, this year, my June goal is to show up for you and write one post every Tuesday and send out one newsletter per month. I’ll also share three instagram posts each week…that tie back in with the weekly blog topic. I hope you’ll engage and interact with me there so we can build a little community of encouragement over this next year.

June 1, 2020

Today in God’s Providence, I walked into our local library for the first time as a two time published author to read a the first indoor Storytime since the pandemic began.

I signed books and met sweet families. My kids, who once upon a time never missed a library Story-time, got to help me get set up at the event.

Today as I type there have been 95 posts written, monthly newsletters sent, 2 children’s books launched, and one devotional on the gospel of John on its way to to being completed.

That’s the power of a goal with faith in God backing it up. I honestly didn’t think I’d stick with one post per week yet God had bigger plans than that and gave me the creative energy to see these projects through.

I’d say once again, if you told me a year ago I’d be sitting here today writing this to you, I’d sheepishly grin, bow my head in embarrassment and giggle “yeah right!”

My goal setting process worked. God has been answering my prayers left and right. There has been so much joy in this journey!

What are you dreaming of today? Re-read my post from last year. Make some notes. Pray about it and get to work. I believe in you!

More “Goodnight Covington” books are being delivered today to Agape, Persnickety, Something Special, and Liberty Vintage in Covington. You can also order on the here if you live out of town.

The “Yes” Snowball

My friend Lori used to challenge me with the statement, you never know what will happen on the other side of “yes” when you give a “Yes!” to God.

My first “yes” during that season was to homeschool Jonah during his PreK year. I prayed so hard about this. I had a passion for early literacy and wanted to be the one to teach him to read.

Days after I made that decision, I was called to a meeting with my Pastor’s wife about her vision for a new program she wanted to start called “Arise to Read” that emphasized helping 2nd graders master their sight words by mobilizing volunteers from churches to assist. I knew right then I wanted to volunteer. “Yes!” Sign me up!

A couple of years later we had a community meeting about getting an Arise to Read program in our local elementary school. For a little bit I was discouraged because it didn’t look like we had the support to make it happen, but my home church FUMC stepped up and stepped in and Arise to Read made its way into CIAA.

For 2 years I volunteered alongside the kindest people to help the students with their reading. I got the biggest blessing meeting them and spending time with them each week. God used their sweet spirits to lead me in a new direction.

One year later I heard there was an opening for a teacher at our preschool. I jumped at the opportunity. By then, all of my kids were in school, I’d helped them with early literacy and I wanted to help more kids.

The “Yes snowball” kept rolling. I taught pre-k for 2 years and then the art teacher position opened up. I said “Yes” to an interview, then “Yes!” to the job and now I’m assured this will be my career…unless God asks of me another “Yes.”

The question I ask myself is would I have had the ability to write and illustrate books for kids if I didn’t first say “yes” to homeschooling which led to volunteering which led to teaching half days which led to teaching art to pre-k through high school which gave me the space in my day and creative spark to write again?

Order “Eclectic Emily” here.

You never know what’s on the other side of “Yes!” Tonight I’ll be reading my book “Eclectic Emily” at 7:00 for Arise to Read on their Facebook page. I hope you’ll be able to join me!

The Best Part of Releasing a Book (So Far)

“This is my blessing, do you hear me?” she said on the other end of the line. “My blessing.”

The best part about the last week was the phone call from my 7th grade teacher responding to my book dedicated in part to her.

Early proof of this particular 2 page spread.

Every early morning hour spent planning, writing, and illustrating “Eclectic Emily” was worth it just for that phone call alone. Talking to her felt like being touched by heaven just as it did sitting in her class as a twelve year old.

She is my blessing as have been so many others who have shared that the book means something to them in some way or that their child wants to read it again and again.

These moments don’t come along every day so I’ve been taking some time to soak them in.

Authors, teachers, and artists aren’t rich in the financial sense, but are infinitely wealthy in many unseen ways. I have chosen to live the life of all three so I’m thrice blessed to live benefitting from the joys of my work.

Who has influenced you in your life that you could reach out to today? Who could you not just tell that you love them but show them in a creative way.

You may never write and dedicate a book to them, but I know you could reach them in your own unique way.

People are hungry for kindness and connection as it’s becoming a commodity in our culture.

Shine bright today and look for someone to encourage.

The Day is Here: I’m Launching My First Book into the World!

There I sat signing books, my cheerleaders by my side. They are the ones who give me courage.

I thought back to all of the dreamer conversations that I had at the dinner table with my family growing up and how thinking outside the box was always encouraged.

I’ve also had many conversations with Zach over the years about my desire to write a book. He never wavered in his support of me pursing anything that would help me reach my goal. My kids always believed in me, too!

I thought about you, my readers, and that first post I made in May that got this ball rolling. I still can’t believe that setting a goal to write one blog post per week would open up the creative door for me to write, illustrate, and publish a book!

Today, is the day “Eclectic Emily” is released into the wider world. It’s one thing to write a book, but the harder part is getting it into the hands of those people who need to hear its message.

That’s where you come in.

If you’ve bought a book, please review it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Good Reads.

If you like the book, please share it’s positive message on social media and encourage your friends to purchase it for someone in their life.

You can order your copy here at these fine retailers or you may get a signed book from me.


“Eclectic Emily” Children’s Book – Hard Cover Signed Copy

“Eclectic Emily” is a children’s book about a girl with big dreams, yet she has limitations. Her story is illustrated by events in her childhood that highlight the importance of a persevering spirit. The book celebrates the encouragers in her life who keep her moving forward on a creative path.

17.99 $

“Eclectic Emily” Children’s Book Now Available!

This post contains affiliate links to help you find the products I use. You are not charged extra to use any of the links, but I may earn a small fee for recommending my favorites to you. To see my full disclaimer, click here.

Order your ebook, hardcover, or softcover copy at Amazon or at Barnes and Noble.
Signed copies are available at the top of this post.

Books Available Locally at:

• Something Special, Covington
• The Neighborhood Tutor, Atoka
• Jennifer Hamblin’s Salon

Launch Week is Here! Let’s Have a Giveaway!

Win a limited edition pair of “Eclectic Emily” earrings exclusively designed by Worn Jewelry for my book release. They are made of lightweight maple wood and have stainless steel ear wires plus hand cut patchwork detail. They retail for $15 and can be purchased below. You’ll also receive an 8×10 original giclee print designed by Emily Cook as well as a signed copy of “Eclectic Emily,” a bookmark and a dishwasher safe vinyl sticker.

Enter the drawing on Instagram @emilypeytoncook by following my account as well as @wornjewelry, liking and saving the post, and tagging a friend who you think may enjoy celebrating with us 🥳.

Must have a U.S. mailing address. Must be 18 or older. This promotion is in no way endorsed, administered by, or associated with Instagram. Void where prohibited. Winners will be chosen and notified October 8, 2020. Prizes will be mailed to winners by the end of October.

If you don’t win and would like to purchase your own pair, print, or copy of “Eclectic Emily,” you may shop away here!

Eclectic Emily” is a children’s book about a girl with big dreams, yet she has limitations. Her story is illustrated by events in her childhood that highlight the importance of a persevering spirit. The book celebrates the encouragers in her life who keep her moving forward on a creative path.

Exclusive “Eclectic Emily” Earrings by Worn Jewelry

These limited edition “Eclectic Emily” earrings are made of lightweight maple wood and have stainless steel ear wires plus hand cut patchwork detail.

15.00 $

“Eclectic Emily” Digital Download

File will be uploaded for you to order on MPIX.com. You can order your giclee print straight from there.

5.00 $

Signed Hard Cover Copy of “Eclectic Emily”

20.00 $

Signed Softcover Copy “Eclectic Emily”

A great Christmas or Birthday gift idea!

12.99 $

Helping Kids and Parents through Literacy

Think back to the characters you identified with as a child. Maybe it was an athletic character in a movie or that creative girl on a weekly T.V. show or was it an imaginative character in a far away land that you saw yourself in?

Do you recall the stories your parents read to you and the discussions that came about because you read together? Maybe those characters jogged your mom’s memory about a story of her growing up years or caused you to bring up something that you were going through at school.

That’s one of the goals of my book, to help kids see themselves or a friend in my story to help them not feel alone in their struggles or help them gain empathy towards a classmate.

This post contains affiliate links to help you find the products I use. You are not charged extra to use any of the links, but I may earn a small fee for recommending my favorites to you. To see my full disclaimer ,click here

I hope reading my book will open up dialogue within families and inspire kids to write and live their own stories.

You can find my book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or order your own signed copy here.

Incorporating Book Illustration in Art Class

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This week in art we are focusing on book creation and illustration. We did some “Eclectic Emily” inspired projects and read Sally Lloyd Jones’ book “Look I Wrote a Book (and you can, too)!” (LOVE THIS BOOK!)

Upper School students are writing and illustrating their own stories this week as well.

My Middle School kids have all the confidence in the world in my book release. (They act like I’m the next J.K. Rowling). I’m enjoying their enthusiasm and hoping to inspire them to create, too.

This lap book project is a free download with the purchase of the book.
The construction paper craft tutorial also comes with the book.
Coloring sheets are included as well!

Tomorrow I’m doing a weaving project with 2nd grade to create a textile version of “Emily’s” dress. This project will also be included.

Book Launch Party

There will be a book launch party at Tipton Christian Academy Art Room on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 9, 10, and 11. Masks are required and because of COVID-19 our numbers for each book reading/signing will be limited. You must sign up to attend. You can RSVP here.

If you attend, you’ll be the first to hear me publicly read the book! You’ll also get to view samples of the free craft ideas that come with the book.

I’ll be signing a limited number of copies and I’ll have 3 art kits to giveaway!

I hope you can celebrate with us and help us spread the word about bringing something positive into the world in the midst of a very hard year.