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Archive for the ‘Motherhood’ Category

Each night at bedtime my 3, soon to be 4-year-old son, drags out the inevitable in order to get me to linger longer in his bedroom.  “Mom, one more thing!”  “Can you get me a drink?” “I don’t want to wear my jammies shirt.” “Mom, I need something.”  And a variety of other comments, questions and pleas to keep me in the room.  His efforts only serve to escalate my frustration and cause me to pause to count to 10 multiple times over the course of the 13 minutes it takes to actually get him to stop talking and go to sleep.

But I would take all those 13 minutes and more of the haggling to continue to hear his final declaration as I’m walking out the bedroom door, “Love you to the moon and back!”  To which I have been instructed to respond, “Oh, you caught me!”  Which, in 3-year-old interpretations means something similar to, “The moon is the farthest away, therefore, you won the love contest, Coleman!”

I do love him to the moon and back.  And farther.  And farther still.  So simple and so perfect.

So dear reader, it’s your lucky day.  Due to popular demand of this vinyl quote in my Silhouette store, I’ve decided it needs to be made into a printable.  Free.  For you.

To the Moon & Back – Printable 5×7

Basic RGB

Two color choices.  Both 5″x7″ size.  Actually, they will fit into a 5×7 mat (or frame) or mounted to a 5×7 card.  Try it in a 8×10 or larger frame with a mat cut-out to fit the 5×7 image.  Use a white mat to give it a little breathing room and it will pack a punch.

And check out how the eighteen25 gals used my arrows here.  You’ll also love my “Thin Arrows” found here at my silhouette store.  Arrows are in – grab them now for all of your Silhouette projects!

Happy Valentines Day.

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I want Coleman to love things.  To love life.  To love friends.  To love family.  To love reading.  To love soccer or lacrosse or chess or whatever activity he chooses.  Jason is a very loyal, passionate person.  He is a super fan of so many things, including Cole and I. I want Coleman to feel that same passion for whatever he chooses to do in his life.  Including his faith.

There is so much good in the world.  So many good people who believe in doing good and being good.  I am grateful for the opportunity to rub shoulders and be friends with people of all faiths and beliefs.  But I think I’m not alone when, as a parent, I want my child to feel as strongly about his faith as I do.  I want him to be proud to believe in things of the spirit.  I want him to know it for himself and by knowing it, choose to live it.  I want him to love it.

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I think I want this for the simple reason that I know life is challenging.  My faith has guided me, strengthened me, and given me peace during dark, difficult times.  I would love for my son to feel that same sense of strength throughout his life as he faces the natural twists and turns, ups and downs that our journey takes.

I’m sure these thoughts are on my mind right now because Jason is back in the hospital for an 8-week stay.  He just finished 6 weeks in the hospital this fall from surgery on a bone that was causing chronic bedsores.   Unfortunately, that surgery didn’t heal properly so the surgeon had to go back in a second time.  We had a fabulous holiday with our families and after two weeks of cousins and food and laughter and fun, we left grandma’s house to drop Jason off at the hospital while Cole and I headed home.  Surgery was two weeks ago (two weeks down – hooray!) and Jason is actually doing amazingly well as he is required to lay on the fancy no-pressure sand bed to heal.

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Life brings challenges.  Adversity is around the corner.  Faith doesn’t solve the problem or take it away but it helps us manage our struggles.  And sometimes that’s all we need.  Here’s to faith – whatever yours is, wherever it’s found.  May you find hope and peace and courage to help you work through anything life throws you.

Faith – Love It.

For those of you out there who loved Ann Dibb’s talk about being a Mormon, here’s her quotable quote from that lovely talk.  Free Printable….Yes!  I can see this in our Activity Days future.

click: I’m a Mormon Quote

I'm a Mormon Quote - cropped

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After multiple emails from you, my kind and thoughtful readers, wondering where in the heck I have been – I have finally bit the bullet and entered the blogging world again.  I’ve wanted to give you all an update for a little while now but after so long, I felt the heavy weight of thinking I had to tell you everything, which would take forever and was way too much to tackle.  So I did what many of us do when we don’t want to deal with something – I ignored it.

But, enough is enough!  Let’s start fresh!  Here is what I’ve been doing instead of click, click, clicking away at my computer:

Hanging Out at the Pool with My Little Fish

Spending Time with Cousins and Friends

Seeing If I Like to Bike (and I do)

Starting Preschool

Running Back and Forth to the Hospital While Jason Spent 6 Weeks Recovering From Surgery

There.  That’s been my life.  And it hasn’t had time for blogging or browsing or facebook or following. Hey, I love Pinterest as much as the next girl but sometimes we have to put the computer away and live life, don’t you think?  However, now that the fall chill is setting in, I’m ready to pay attention to you and to my work a little more.

That’s enough for today.  I hear an awesome 3-year-old riding his plasma car around the kitchen calling, “Mom!  Yo-de-lay-he-hoo!”

Way better than blogging.

Welcome back.

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Whenever I design things for real life I try to do it with other work in mind.  I think about how it can apply to the various work projects I am assigned so that I can use it a variety of ways.  It’s one way I can be efficient in my designing.  So I have some odds and ends from the last couple months that I have uploaded to the Silhouette store that I wanted to share with you.

If you are LDS, you will like the Young Men/Young Women theme images that I did to help out my friend for New Beginning’s activity.  With Girls Camp season coming, I wanted to make sure you had some artwork to play with on your Silhouette.  Click on the image to be sent to my store.

I also used this “shine” as part of the event and since it works for anyone, especially with summer here, I wanted to make sure you had it.  They used this as the event title.  Oh, how I love using one strong word for the theme of an activity or event!  I can’t think of a better message to give anyone, especially teenage girls, to help them understand their purpose on earth and give them encouragement to believe they are awesome.

And with my busy schedule I didn’t have a chance to blog about the set of phrase cards I did a few weeks ago.  Perfect for graduation, mothers, daughters, friends, grandmas, sisters.  Plus, teacher appreciation here and here.  Check them out – of course, I always have to include a thank you card option!  Click on each word or the images below to find them in my Silhouette store.

I tucked a mother’s day card into a gift I was giving to a friend just to celebrate her role as a mother.  This can be done any time of year – not just Mother’s Day.  I used the “Mother” card base and added the script “so grateful” from the “Thanks” card.  These can all be mixed and matched or even used for different projects.

Happy Cutting!

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Ruffles from plastic tablecloths?  Yep.  Easy and darling.  Here’s how I made them for our Activity Day Mother-Daughter Dinner Recognition Night (click here and here for more info).  I saw this tutorial and decided to try it out.  However, instead of needing my ruffles to run down the center of long tables, I wanted them to travel in a circle around the centerpiece of each round table.  This required some adjusting of the instructions.

These took about an hour to create.  I made 8 ruffles in that time.  They were the last thing on my list and after a crazy week, I wasn’t sure if they were going to get done.  After setting up for the evening I had about an hour to run home and make dinner.  Instead of slaving at the stove I decided to see if I could get these done in time.  I did.  And aren’t you glad?  They turned out really cute and were the finishing touch on an already great-looking party.  Give them a try!  They were worth serving PBJs for dinner.

First, cut down the length of a long rectangle plastic tablecloth.  Create 4 strips, all the same width.  I used the fold marks as a guide and it was very easy.  Fold one strip over lengthwise so that you have two layers of plastic, one about 2″ shorter than the other.  This will create your layered ruffle look.

Sew a gathering stitch (longest that you can on your machine) about 1/2″ from the fold.  This stitch will go through both layers.

After stitched along the entire length of the plastic, tie the threads at one end together in a knot.  This will secure the ends so you don’t pull the thread all the way through, leaving you without any stitching.  Next, take one thread from the other end of your plastic and pull gently.  It should start to gather your plastic.  Carefully use your fingers to shift the gathering down the length of your plastic ruffle, spreading out the gathering evenly as you go.  Pull it as gathered as you need it.  I based mine on how large I needed my circle to be.  Gather your ruffle to the length you need it to be and tie off the ends of the string.  Trim threads.

You’re done!  Now you just need a party!  Use these ruffles as centerpiece runners, swag them from tables or walls or other decor to create backdrops.  Attach them to edges of tables or doorways for a fabulous trim.  Whatever.  The possibilities really are endless!  I’m thinking they would look great this weekend at your Memorial Day BBQs.  Enjoy!

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I have lots to share, though so I need to get to it.  Today, enjoy the first installment of our mother-daughter Activity Day Recognition Night.  Seriously, this thing was put together 92% with the Silhouette.  It should be a commercial.

(Click here for Part 2 and here for Part 3 of this activity.)

download jpeg of invite – blank (I used Copperplate Gothic font)

Overview of the evening:
(Click here for Part 2 and here for Part 3 of this activity.)

Click on the following image to download a large jpeg of the logo.

Happily Ever After Circles

Theme: Your Happily Ever After (based on speech given by Dieter Uchdorf here) leading to a focus on PRINCESSES.  Could there be anything better for 8-11 year-old girls?  As you will see, there is not.

Food was involved…salad, yummy biscuits, skewered fruit and daughter-served brownie sundaes.  But I wasn’t in charge of that part and happily put it out of my mind.  Give me the assignment for decorations any day.

Note: If I were doing this activity again, I would skip the dinner and replace that time with a more hands-on learning activity (relating to President Uchtdorf’s talk) and an opportunity for the girls to share their learning about the gospel with their mothers.  Either way is great but after doing activities for the last 2 years, that is something I would have done a little differently now.

Program: 

(photoshoot as arriving)

Welcome

Dinner (girls served moms and brought dishes to kitchen before picking up desserts)

Message & Recognition of Activities Girls had done over the last 6 months

Craft

Concluding Remarks & Clean Up

Decor:

1. Cake Stands – a staple in throwing parties and can be used for everything, not just food display.

I used my pink, aqua, lime, yellow and white cake stands (made with a little epoxy attaching a candlestick or dessert glass to the bottom of a plate and spray painting the entire thing with 2X Rustoleum paint) as the centerpieces because….well, because it’s spring and they are little girls and we were doing princess stuff and…it’s what I already had.

2. Mason Jars with Colored Daisies 

Believe me when I tell you that you only need one flower per table to make it work.  Especially when you add a couple of skinny-doweled Silhouette cut-outs to portray the theme.  For me, it meant a crown and a “Your Happily Ever After” label card.  Wrap them loosely in tissue paper to keep them in place and to hide the ends.  Cost: about $1 if you shop sales for the daisies.

click here to download the smaller logo that we used in the layered centerpiece picks

3.  Plastic Tablecloth Ruffles

I saw this idea for creating a table runner using a plastic tablecloth and adapted it to work on a round table.  Click for tutorial here.  Perfect for anchoring the centerpiece on these large tables and making the whole thing look and feel more rich than it cost.  You get 4 ruffles from each plastic tablecloth = that means 25 cents each.  Plus, the ruffles look great draped at the top of my shutter backdrop.

4.  Plastic Tablecloth Chair Bows

I’m sure you have seen these before but they must be done.  An inexpensive way to add flair to ordinary folding chairs and to make the whole place feel like a celebration.  Just cut down the length of a long plastic table cloth (we used the fold lines as guides) and you get 8 strips for bows.  12.5 cents each.

5.  Candy Jars

I’ll post about these in just a bit and give you a quick tutorial but what I will say here is that the girls made these darling candy jars in the activity before our event with the intention of using them as our primary decoration at the Recognition Night.  Click here for instructions.  Personalized, filled with purpose, and the perfect way to reinforce the message of the evening.  More coming on what I mean by that.  These are not your ordinary candy jar.  But let me tell you that the impact of the girls walking into the night with their mothers and seeing their work looking so perfectly lovely and enticing was a highlight of the evening.

6.  Supplies for Craft

Part of our evening included a take-away craft that each girl got to create with their mothers.  After cutting a 2″x6″ board into 6″ blocks, painting and sanding them, they were ready for the night.  Our partners were in charge of that part (bless them) and I tackled 28 sets of vinyl lettering on the Silhouette.  The vinyl shapes are available in my Silhouette store.  Click here for the princess and crown.  Click here for daughter of a heavenly king.  I added some Staz-On ink to the vinyl edges to create a distressed look but it really didn’t need it.  Plain or distressed – it looked great either way. The girls added a little rhinestone bling to their blocks and got to take them home as well to remind them of who they are and why they are here.

Here’s the thing, though.  I like everything to have purpose.  So, I designed the craft supplies to be part of the actual centerpieces of the table.  Large shallow bowls that held the vinyl, craft sticks for rubbing, and rhinestones rested on a cake stand.  Wood blocks were loving tucked under another pedestal and the ruffled tablecloth surrounded the entire thing.  It looked great and there was no time wasted on handing out supplies.  Efficient and beautiful.  The perfect party.

7.  Photo Booth

You first saw my photo booth at Cole’s superhero party and here it makes an appearance so that we could snap a quick pic of each mother with their daughter (probably to be used at a future activity….still working on the exact project idea).  Invites told them that they could come dressed as princesses or in coordinating outfits if they chose.  DARLING!  Some of them really got into it and only added to the feeling of celebration.  Seriously, do this every year, Kolette.

8.  Scallop Wrapping Paper Placemats

The Silhouette didn’t fail me as I cut out a slew of 12″ scalloped circles from a roll of wrapping paper.  I cut it into squares first then used two mats to keep the assembly line going as I cut out all the cute scallops.  We mixed and matched napkins and paper cup colors to keep it all random but coordinating.  They looked great with the green polka-dot placemats.

See, I told you that the Silhouette played a big role in pulling off this evening!  We were so happy to see all the mothers embracing the evening and making it special for each of their daughters.  Whether they dressed alike or worked side by side to complete the craft, it was a beautiful evening of sharing one-on-one time with some of the most important people in their lives.  Thank you mothers!

Click here for Part II and here for Part III of this activity.

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I’ve made about 30 cake stands using this technique so when the idea of creating candy jars doing the same thing, it was a quick yes from me.  You’ll see the cake stands used as the decor in so many of my events and parties because they are super versatile.  Click here for a quick list of how to create them.  Today I’ll tell you how I made our candy jars for our Activity Day Recognition Night.  These are great for any occasion, event, or gift-giving need.  Grad gifts?  Sure. Father’s Day?  Why not?  Just change out the tag, fill it with a favorite treat or small item and it will work for any person or event.

Here’s How:

1.  Gather supplies.

  • candlestick (I purchased mine at Dollar Tree and they can also be ordered here in cases of 12 and delivered to your store for free.)
  • jar with wide mouth lid (Also purchased at a dollar store with squishy veggies inside.  Those got dumped, jars were washed and labels removed.)
  • Rustoleum 2X Coverage spray paint
  • quick-drying epoxy (Gorilla or Hammerhead)
  • E6000
  • small wood drawer pull or wood knob (found at Hobby Lobby for less than $.10 each)
  • ribbon and tag (optional)
  • candy or other treat
  • written notes (optional)
  • tag – jpeg download click here (you can add your own name to the space)

2.  Clean jars.  I chose a short, squatty jar and tall skinny one for variation.  I also tested them to make sure I could get the labels off easily since I was doing so many.  Plus, the lids needed to not stink after washing (so no pickle jars for me).

3.  Attach knob or drawer pull to lid with E6000 (can also use epoxy for quick-drying).  Note: knobs are not meant to be pulled on when opening.  To make them more sturdy, consider nailing a small nail through the lid and into the knob after attaching.

4.  Spray paint candlestick and lid with knob.  Spray lightly in multiple coats for the smoothest coverage.  Be sure to get in all the nooks and crannies.  Dry completely.

5.  Attach candlestick to bottom of jar using quick-dry epoxy or E6000.

6.  Add ribbon and tag.  Fill with candy, nuts, or other treats and treasures.

If you look closely, you’ll see that I used Double Bubble Gum for this project.  To create even more connection to the event, we took excerpts from the message of the evening and little tasks that we wanted the girls to do supporting the idea of their “Happily Ever After” and typed them out onto white paper.  We cut them into strips and had each girl wrap a piece of gum with a strip of paper, attaching one end with scotch tape to the gum then rolling it up and attaching it with another piece of tape.

The girls took their candy jars home that night and were encouraged to take one piece of candy each day, unwrap the task, do it or think about the message while they enjoyed their treat.  Our jars fit about 18 pieces of candy.  This was a great way to take the message home with them and reinforce the principles for over two weeks.  If you are giving these as a gift, consider wrapping each candy with a message of why you admire that person, favorite memories, or reasons why you love them.  Click on the image below to get a pdf of our messages.

If you are using the actual creating of these jars as an activity like we did, plan on having the knobs already attached to the lids and the candlesticks and lids pre-painted so they are dry.  You can have them clean their own jars if you want but we washed them ahead of time and soaked them to remove the labels.  The girls got to choose the type of jar they wanted and the color as well.  They also assembled their tags and tied the ribbon.  Finally, they wrapped each candy in a strip of paper.  Everyone was finished with theirs as well as completing the ones for absent girls within an hour.  We had them keep their jars with us and the next time they saw them it was looking so fabulous at the dinner a few weeks later.

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