God and Art Series - Faith carries artist through tough times

Do you need a personalized gift for a loved one, a couple, a teacher or another special person?

Then Tony and Frances Celi may have just what you need.
CreationsByFrannie, an Etsy store owned by Frances, specializes in personalized digital print outs that honor family, couples or individuals for any occasion. These prints feature lovely artwork (they have more than 200 backgrounds) and heartfelt poetry in English or Spanish.
"I am self-taught and the only one in my family that does this," Fran says. "I was quite young in my early teens (when I started) and everything comes natural; I am a hands-on person."

 Fran's inspiration comes to her in dreams. "Most people forget their dreams but I don't," she says. "I can wake up in the middle of the night because of dreams and sit down and start doing what I might of dreamed about. I have a room for my craft purchases and I start working. I believe it is a God-given gift and that the good Lord is alongside of me watching what I am doing."

Fran's relationship with the Lord began when she was young, through the influence of her parents. "I was brought up by two devoted Catholics, my mom and my dad - may they both be alongside of Jesus and enjoying his company. I have followed their teaching and have taught my son and adopted daughter. She was adopted from Romania in 1991 at seven months old. We still try to instill into them the meaning of visiting our Lord on Sundays and enjoying the mass, just as my parents did for me."

This faith has carried Fran and Tony - a retired couple who has been married for 38 years - through the tough economic times that many are facing right now. "My husband always encourages me and uses an old expression 'This too shall pass.' I believe with the help of the good Lord Jesus this will happen. People will realize the effort and hard work my husband and I do and I believe everything will turn around," she says.

The couple's goal is to create an exceptional business for their customers. They hope that more people realize that the gifts they sell are "extremely exceptional and personalized."

"If people read some of our work, they will purchase it. The problem that we find on the Internet is that most people will not spend the time to read what we have and it gets passed up sometimes. At a craft show we show them right away on our laptop and they buy it immediately and start purchasing them for the entire family," Fran says.

Even though the couple has found that they are "extremely successful" at craft shows, they are limited in attending them due to Tony's health problems, which include diabetes, drop foot, neuropathy and three herniated discs in his back.

"He wears braces on both of his feet and legs otherwise he falls constantly," Fran says. Because of this they've had to make Creations by Frannie a "strictly home-based business" so that Tony can help.

"The good Lord will help us through this crisis," Fran says. "Because he never has failed us before. We have to leave any future goals with Jesus because we can only do so much. Then it's up to him; I know he is listening."

Here is a small sampling of art work from Creations by Frannie. Stop by her shop and take a look. You'll love it.

Creations by Frannie
Creations by Frannie

Creations by Frannie

Creations by Frannie

Creations by Frannie

Creations by Frannie