Friday, April 27, 2012

Baby Shower in a Box!!

It has been killing me not to post about this project for so long!! 
 I put so much work into it.. and I am so excited to share it with you!  
I didn't want to take the chance of spoiling the surprise!  

Today is the day.... 
not only for me to blab about my handiwork... 
but also for the "Baby Shower in a Box!".  

What am I talking about?  
What the heck is a "Baby Shower in a Box?"  
Well, please... let me explain!

My cousin, Alyson, got married last year.  The happy couple is expecting their first baby in late June or early July.  Unfortunately (for me and other friends & family), her husband got a job in Kansas and they are halfway across the country now.  Since they have only been there a few months, they are still working on making connections.

  Understandably, friends and family can't make a trek out to the mid-west to throw them a baby shower.  I was kind of sad.  I didn't get to even go to her wedding because she had it in another state and I had a 3 month old baby that I sure as heck wasn't going to haul around during flu-season!!

Her mom was bummed too.  
Our moms like to host wonderful bridal and baby showers... 
and it looked like it wasn't going to happen for Alyson.
But THEN, my mom told my aunt about something that I had done for a friend last year.... 
and the planning began.

My aunt asked me to pull it together since I knew what I was doing... and I happily obliged!  Sometimes having a reason to be creative is refreshing.  Of course, sometimes it's stressful with a deadline... 
but I got 'er done and I'm sharing it with YOU!

I designed the artwork for the invitations.  The theme was "owls" as per my aunt's request.  My mom laid out the words and had them, along with custom address labels, printed.  

The invitations went out to friends and family... asking everyone to "shower" Alyson and her husband, Danny, with presents.  The idea was to have the items wrapped individually in the boxes (and labeled with tags so they knew who sent what!)... then the boxes were to be sent to Aly and Danny's house over the course of a month or so and they weren't allowed the open them until TODAY, April 27th @ 2:30PM!
(Alyson was going nuts having all of these boxes come and not being able to even peek!!  Haha!)

We realized that it was a lot to ask for people to buy a gift(s) and also spend the money to mail it, however, we really wanted to do something special!  And luckily, many of the friends and family were gracious enough to participate.  And those who couldn't afford were still able to send a card and possibly even gift cards.

SO!  My big task, besides creating the invitation art was to put together the FIRST box.  This is the box that they open FIRST and have instructions on how to go about their baby shower...

Here come the pictures!!
I hope you enjoy!


These labels (below) were included in the invites 
(along with an explanation/instruction sheet) 
so that anyone who participated could put their 
return addy and slap it on the box/envelope!
Easy Peasy!

This instruction sheet was so fun to make!
And I think it looks cute!

 They are supposed to log on to Skype with Alyson's parents 
so that they can at least share in the excitement! 
We are hoping their internet connection is working - it's been sketchy.  If not, they'll just have to call and my aunt will give her the further instructions, which is just: "Open the present marked #1"  
(They have to decorate for their own baby shower before they start opening presents...)

Spread out the table cloth then blow up some balloons!

 I couldn't get a good pic of the whole banner.... 
but I made one that says: "Baby (their last name)"
and was decorated with owls.


I am not overly thrilled with the centerpiece... but I couldn't come up with anything else!  I made the owl without any patterns.  It turned out pretty cute!  Wish I would've had colors to match the shower... but oh well!  I used what I had!

Alyson loves Lemon Heads.  
I don't know what Danny likes, 
so I filled his "favor" with 
"Cry Baby" Gumballs! 
I hope they get a chuckle out of that!
(I forgot to take a pic of the card that went with this... 
it was witty, but oh well... obviously it also says to open the next present... #7)


Since they are going to have quite a number of boxes 
and all sorts of presents, 
I thought it would be helpful to have a mini-notebook 
to help them keep track!


I forgot to take a picture of the card for the below picture...
but it is telling them to open each box, 
take out each present and enjoy their baby shower!

Then they can have their cake and eat it too!
(A lady from their church is making one and dropping it off before the shower)

 I really hope they have fun...
I am so excited to see pictures!!

Eloise enjoyed helping decorate one of the boxes we sent out!

 If this is something you might like to do for someone you know and you need some hints on how we pulled it all off, please shoot me an email!  It was so much fun to put together and I'd be happy to share!!

Hooray for Baby Shower Day!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Eloise Meets Nickel!!

Last month, my parents had to say goodbye to their very loyal companion, Penny.  
She was 10 years old and had some health issues that couldn't be resolved.
To say that they were heartbroken would be an understatement.

Penny was, especially, my dad's buddy.

She did all sorts of tricks, she loved running alongside his tilt bed
out at the junk yard, she rode in his wrecker with her
head hanging out the window.  He would take her places with
him that I would never dream of taking my dog... like... the bank!
They were together EVERY day.
She lived at his garage and LOVED there.

I am not joking when I say that people would stop in just to see Penny!

My parents have this candy/soda vending machine in the waiting area.
It has a little coin candy dispenser on the one side.  Instead of filling it with
candy or gumballs, my parents filled it with dog food!  People would
literally pay 25 cents just to feed food to the dog!!
I am talking - my parents had to refill that thing all of the time!

I think you can see the trend in how Penny meant so much to 
not only my parents, but other folks as well.

Before they put her down... they had a get-together with some of "the guys"
who come in to the garage.  Then they took her to the junk yard
and let her run around the field one more time.
(Sheesh--this post is making me cry!)

Anyway--After Penny was gone, my mom started on a puppy search.
They knew they didn't want to go without a pup, even if it wasn't
their beloved Penny.

My mom finally located someone who had a litter ready last weekend.

So... Meet Nickel!

(You know, if you have a Penny... surely you have to have a Nickel too!)

She is a rambunctious little bugger!
And sooo small!

Eloise had never met a puppy before, so we were excited to see the reaction.
If you feel so inclined, you can watch this video.
(Just don't mind my Disney-Snow-White-voice!  Haha!)

There is this little Postal Truck (foot-powered) for the kids at 
the garage... and Eloise thought it was pretty cool.

Apparently Nickel did too!

After the excitement of the puppy wore off, El was absolutely obsessed with this phone.
I'm talking... OBSESSED!!


Already, Nickel is attached to my dad like glue... 
I think she's going to fit right in!
It will be fun to watch her grow up with Eloise and my sister's children!

PS: Nickel has already been to the bank!  First of many trips, I'm sure!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Wonder of Discovering the World Around You

It's moments like these that I love capturing.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I'm-a Pos-ta Pet-Peeve Right-ere!

I just have to say:

I find it highly annoying when a Seller on Etsy
so desperately wants your Positive Feedback as a Buyer
(even to the point of adding a plea for positive feedback to their item description)...
but fails to leave any feedback as a Seller to your account!!

In most cases, where Etsy is concerned, you pretty much pay as you shop,
so I can't imagine that many Sellers would have reason to
leave Negative Feedback... but that's not the point!

Building up Positive Feedback is nice as a Buyer... just as the Seller would like to have Positive Feedback to show that they create quality products, have reasonable prices & shipping, and are pleasant to buy from!

I don't buy from Etsy all that often, I admit.
I don't usually have money to just toss around - though it would be nice!
However, when a Seller doesn't leave me Positive Feedback
(especially after I've already left it for them)
You can bet I am 99.9% sure I'm not going to buy from that
Etsy Shop again.

I just think it's a two-way street!

Just something to think about if you Buy or Sell on Etsy.

Am I a total whacko in thinking this??

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Unfortunate End....

I know my title sounds so... sinister... but I must say that I am rather disappointed. I posted early last week about a project I had started for myself. I always seem to be making things for others, I finally thought I'd just take a little time do so something for ME. Of course, that was in between doing projects for others and also doing housework and such while Eloise napped.


I had a couple of hiccups. The "EASY" part was a little off in the pattern directions. Actually, it was easy to execute, but the directions made it confusing! Why can't they just say it PLAINLY? Luckily my mom was able to explain it to me and it turned out just fine! She is such a creative lady, I knew I could count on her to help me out!

So... (I'm stalling on the pictures here, can you tell...?)... I have actually had a few people tell me that they were looking forward to seeing the end result. And each time I heard (read) that, I cringed. It's not that I did a bad job sewing... it's just... well... the style of shirt just isn't for my body type. And I am actually pretty embarrassed to show you the picture. (Hence, the rambling of words and the lack of pictures up to this point....)

I actually asked Cory to take a picture of me to post... and he refused. Not because he didn't want to take a picture... but he honestly told me that he did not want me to embarrass myself by posting it online. I'm serious. At first I didn't know whether I was hurt... or whether I oughta smack him (I really wouldn't do that!)... but I realized that he was just looking out for me. He knows that no woman in her right mind would want to show a BAD picture of herself for the whole internet to have access to (unless of course it was a before and after weight loss picture where they look like a million bucks! -- I assure you, this is not the case with me.) So... though I didn't outright thank him, I appreciate his honesty. Then I busted out the camera and set it on "timer" so I could take the dang picture myself.

Here is a shot of it on a hanger...

Not so bad, right?

Well, this here next picture is what I call: "Hillbilly Star Trek".
I am cringing as I hit the "done" button....

I'm only smiling because I didn't know what else to do. And YES the picture is blurry... but I was using a timer and was winging it. And YES there is a dog bed on the floor in the background... and painters tape on the wall (Did you read my Bee Post?). But, I think you get the idea. The pointy shoulders (star trek)... the shortness of it. (The bandana fabric print is where the "hillbilly" comes in) UGH!! I remember now why it's so much easier to just go to the store to try something on!!! *sigh*

I am thinking about talking to my mom to see if she can give me pointers on how to make it a tank top or something... and maybe I could do something to lengthen it. Part of me just wants to throw it in the Goodwill pile and be done with it. So... we'll see.

On a lighter note, I decided to use left over fabric to brighten up some burp cloths!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Why Am I Not Surprised?

This was in the Police Report Section of our local newspaper this week.

I'm not even kidding.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Back Door

When we had a warm spell a couple of weeks ago, we were able to open up the doors and windows to let in some fresh air. Well, Eloise absolutely LOVES looking out the window of the "screen door". I was able to grab my camera and record her reaction to Cory and Boo, who happened to be outside for a few minutes before dinner. It's just a short video... but too sweet! (of course, in my humble opinion - lol!)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter! - and - A Project for Me!

I hope you all had a nice Easter!

Eloise is enjoying playing with her new Noah's Ark.

The old Sunday School song "Arky Arky" has become one of her favorites,
so it was only natural for us to want to feed into that by getting her an ark and some animals of her own!

Saturday we went to my sisters for a brief visit...
and Eloise enjoyed a little egg hunt!

She was proud of herself for putting eggs in the basket!

And oh-so-excited to see my sister's goats!

Love this one.

Unfortunately, Eloise has caught a bit of a cold (or something)...
so she didn't make it to church.
I know that some people would take their kids regardless...
but the way we see it, if we take Eloise... we knowingly spread her
germs to others. I get annoyed with parents who bring
their sick, snotting kids to church to share the germs...
so we just decide to keep Eloise home.
(Is that horrible of me? I just want a healthy kid!)

So, before I left for the service... we got a couple of bunny pics!

Eloise in her PJ's... me in my church clothes...
and Eloise in total control of her bunny ears!

Somehow we mixed up our Easter meal plans with
Cory's folks. We thought they were coming to our house
for dinner and they thought we were coming to their
house for lunch!

So, once we figured that all out, we scrambled into
the car and headed over to their house for a mid afternoon meal.
It was a nice, relaxed time!

And after opening a few presents from Grammie and Pappy,
we attempted a family photo...


I was a little bummed that I didn't get many good pictures...
but I had to remind myself that after all, Easter to us is about our Risen Lord!
We celebrate family and it's nice to have the pictures as a reminder...
but most of all, we celebrate HIM!
No pictures needed!

On a last little note...
Someone so graciously gave me a big bag of
odds and ends fabric awhile ago.

I picked up a pattern the other day to whip up a little something for myself.

You didn't think I was going to tell you what it's going to be, did you?
You'll just have to wait and see!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sticker Baby!

I decided to let Eloise decorate some cards to send out for Easter to friends and family.
Nothing elaborate... obviously, since she is only 14 months old!

Eloise absolutely LOVES stickers and crayons... wonder why? hee hee
I thought it would be something fun to do... and a break from the normal routine.

(Which is now snapping baby Jenna, baby Julia or Minnie in the car seat ten trillion times a day!
And then clapping extensively! Then getting upset when she can't unbuckle it and has to wait for Mommy or Daddy to help... it's rough being a kid!)


When we were at Walmart the other day...
I looked high and low for stickers.
Easter stickers, of course.
I. could. not. find. any.

Ok, there were some little egg stickers...
but they weren't really what I wanted.
Surely, in the loads and loads of Easter crap they sell
in the aisles, there would be a selection of stickers!?

And we don't live in a place with tons of craft stores...
which is why Walmart is pretty much the place to go.

It wasn't until we were ready to check out that
I just happened to scan the greeting cards and
found that they had TWO options.
Neither of which I was overly thrilled about...
but Snoopy won out for lack of anything else to choose from.
I guess Snoopy isn't so bad.


If I were more prepared, I suppose I could've made my own
stickers with my sticker maker thingies...
BUT... oh well - maybe next year!

Either way it went down... Eloise had some fun!!

She tried eating the stickers a couple of times...
but decided it was more fun to stick them on paper!

Of course, I forgot to take a picture of any of the finished cards...
but this smile makes that not matter to me one little bit...

Do you (or did you) do any kind of crafty projects with your kid(s) for the Holiday?

What's the Buzz??

This is the BUZZ at our house.


Last year we had issues with bees getting into our house.
I got stung behind my ear one night while in bed!
Needless to say, I woke up and FREAKED!
Luckily I'm not allergic, but Cory is!

We tried to find the source of the bees... and we *think* they
were coming from our heater ducts or something(?).
I don't know the technical terms.

Of course we had no bees in the wintertime...
Until a few weeks ago.
The mild weather brought them out early.
Except this time they were in El's room!
We had a nightly check before she went to bed...
and I'd also check before laying her down to nap.

If you could see her room... you would see blue painters
tape in the most unusual places. It is ridiculous.
BUT... Cory has marked spots to check.
Our old house isn't necessarily the most well built.
We aren't sure if they are coming in from the attic or
if there are places around the windows.
You get the idea.

Anyway - last Friday, Cory's parents came out and
decided to check the shutters. We have noticed that there
are quite a few bees and wasps hanging around the windows.

And well... yeah.

We still aren't sure how they are getting IN...
but thank the Good Lord for my in laws.
They took every shutter off of the house...
knocked down all of the hives...
scrubbed the shutters AND the siding...
then put the shutters back on!
All while Eloise and I played inside and
Cory was at work!

I'm hoping this will help our little problem
now that the weather is starting to really warm up!!

AAANNNDDD... my neighbor just drove by on his lawn
tractor as he is MOWING OUR LAWN!
We know some pretty swell folks around here!