Welcome to The Turquoise Cardinal
I'm Christina, and the Turquoise Cardinal is my calligraphy and design business based in Huntsville, Alabama. Born and raised in the South, I'm married to a very patient and handy guy named Stephen who never complains about my cooking. We have a slightly feral 4.5 year old boy named Bennett, and a sweet little newborn Jack. Our 2 pups Radley and Chase rule our house.
I'm half-Greek, a history nerd with a passion for rescue animals, and get weird adrenaline rushes shopping at TJMaxx. And I absolutely love turning a blank piece of paper into a piece of art.
I have a bachelor's degree in history with a minor in English from Birmingham-Southern College; a master's in Reformation history from the University of St. Andrews (Scotland, UK); and a master's in early childhood education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
313 Franklin Street
Here's a view of my happy place: my studio space in the heart of historic downtown Huntsville, Alabama. This is where I can put on some Ella Fitzgerald (or Vivaldi... or Pitbull... depending on my mood) and get to creating. My tools are mostly old-fashioned: pointed pens, vials of ink, paint brushes, and lots and lots of watercolor; but they may include the iPad Pro or Photoshop too.
I share a third floor space with Olivia Reed of Olivia Reed Photography, so a perk is getting to see sweet newborns and families have their photos taken in the gorgeous natural light that floods into the studio.
A Little Blue Bird is Born
The Turquoise Cardinal began when we had just moved to the new-to-us city of Huntsville, Alabama. We didn't know many people, and my husband was tiring of the antiques I was bringing home daily from estate sales, so I thought I'd find another hobby.
I took @melissapher's fantastic I Still Love Calligraphy class from home, made my mom give me some of her leftover brushes and watercolors, and started making pieces for friends as baby and birthday gifts. I joined the @risingtidesociety and @flourishforum. One night on a whim I opened an Etsy shop, named it after my favorite color and Grandpa's favorite bird, and listed a print.
I've read so many stories from the "do what you love" movement, and I wish I could say I joined deliberately because it's an amazing thing. But the Turquoise Cardinal started much less as a business than as a very basic way for me to celebrate things that make me happy: beauty and art and people's stories. The business part is still evolving and I've learned more since starting than I ever could have imagined possible. It's cliche, I know...but it's so true.