About MixedBlessing and Its Creators

In December 1988, Elise and Philip Okrend pondered over what kind of holiday greeting cardto send to their friends in interfaith relationships. Instead of sending two separate cards or one non-denominational card, Elise doodled a card with a Star of David merging with a Christmas tree, that would go well for both faiths. Their friends loved the card and the idea so much that MixedBlessing was born. Since then MixedBlessing hasbeen producing wonderful creative images that have touched people’s hearts and imagination!

In addition to creating MixedBlessing cards, the Okrend’s wrote and published the much needed children’s book “Blintzes For Blitzen”, a Christmas and Hanukkah tale. Phil wrote and arranged Dinner Notes, a CD of soothing, original piano music. Both items are available under the Holiday Products section.

The Okrend’s are committed to living a life marked by authenticity, creativity and service. Phil is also a personal and professional coach and founder of Stepping Stones Coaching. As a coach, Phil is dedicated to helping people make purposeful changes in their lives that honor their values, talents and passions. Phil specializes in coaching Couples in Business, and offers his own experience working in MixedBlessing to assist others. Please visit www.messagestotheheart.com/coaching to learn more.

Elise, the designer of MixedBlessing cards, is a talented fine artist as well as graphic designer. Elise is proud that her pastels paintings have recently been purchased by the Duke Raleigh Hospital permanent collection, offering patients a sense of peace and serenity in the pre-op area. Elise’s original pastel paintings are inspired by her observations of the natural world whether through travel or simply looking outside her back door. She captures a simple scene and transcends the ordinary into a work of vibrant beauty with spiritual dimension. Elise’s has recently been focusing on paintings of the Blue Ridge Mountains and similar mountain areas. Each painting transforms you to a place of inner peace. Elise’s painting and limited addition prints are available at eliseokrend.com.   Elise’s pastel paintings can be seen in galleries and her working studio in the Asheville, North Carolina, where she lives. She is available for commissioned work.

In 2014, Elise and Phil collaborated, once again, to produce the healing and inspirational coffee table book, Messages to the Heart, Reflections of Beauty and Truth. The book pairs 37 of Elise’s paintings with Phil’s mindful, poetic passages. Elise and Phil offers workshops around their art and words from the book to heal and empower others. Their book, like MixedBlessing cards shines a light of peace, beauty and unity into the world.

The Okrend’s live in Asheville, North Carolina with their sons Jordan and Joshua, and an amazing golden doodle, Ella.