Friday, February 26, 2010

this post inspired by...

what's inspiring me today: 

this post about creating a visual journal for the "mundane" things of lists, grocery lists, recipes...I love the idea of taking a few moments each week to create a beautiful space to "frame" your life...rather than just writing things down on the back of an envelope or a tiny magnetic pad of paper from the fridge. Please read about it and, while you're at it, check out the website {in}courage. I have found so many inspiring posts there that encourage me as a woman of faith.

Like me, you may be a fan of Melissa's over at The Inspired Room - she's also a contributing author to {in}courage. In fact, I'm linking to Melissa's "what inspires you this week?" party.

custom notecard set with pink rhinestones

I also added this sweet little card to my shop recently. It's inspired by little five-year-old Audrey, who is herself quite inspiring. I've written about her before, but just have to do it again. She's been fighting - and I do mean fighting - leukemia since July of 2008. What an amazing journey this little girl has been on, but she's handled it so bravely. And her parents have been amazing. Next weekend she gets to have a "hair party" with her little friends...celebrating the fact that her hair has grown back after chemo and it's long enough to actually use barrettes and pony-tail holders! It may seem like a small thing, but really...I think it's huge for this little girl.

 And I find it inspiring.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

behind the, cards...

This card was inspired by my friend Sarah who loves simple, clean, cheerful designs. I named it "happy" because she likes...well, happy things. And for some reason I am on a real pink kick lately. Most of my life I hated pink...but then my first two babies were girls...and over the last few years I have totally given in to pink. Am even starting to allow pink accessories in my home. (Am starting to love pink...sshhh!) Never thought I would say that!

This card reminds me a little of a peacock's elaborate and elegant feathers. You can't see the rhinestones very well in this photo...but trust me, they're there. Four of those puppies. I love the elegance of this. I may translate this to a custom invitation at some point...but for now it would make a great thank-you card or personalized notecard.

And this little birthday card has come in handy for me on several occasions when I suddenly realized that I had purchased a birthday gift for a girlfriend...but of course, no card. When I look at this card, I have Abba's "Dancing Queen" running through my head...only with the words "Birthday Queen", of course. TMI?

And speaking of pink...(told ya)'s another pink design with one delicious rhinestone. I am having fun with these...can you tell? Sometimes I feel like I have dual personalities...there's the side of me that loves things that are romantic and feminine, preferably with a vintage touch...and then there's the side that prefers the cleaner, more modern and simple sort of design. (Also preferably with a vintage spin.) I think my shop is beginning to reflect both sides of my personality. (I've got some other fun things up my sleeve, too...calling cards and custom invitations, coming soon! :-) )

~ You can find all the cards listed above in my Etsy shop. ~

Sunday, February 21, 2010

spreading a little sunshine...

I have been BUSY. Helping a friend stage her house for sale, taking Valentines to a nursing home, creating new cards for my shop, doing more yardwork this week than I did all of last year combined (thanks to good health - woohoo!), working on creating a garden in my front yard (my first ever!), taking care of sick kids, avoiding a sick husband (in an attempt to stay healthy myself), and cleaning. Spring cleaning. Spring is giving us a teaser here in Oregon this week and I am LOVING it. I feel like a new woman!

Here are some of the cards my daughters and I made for some elderly people in a nearby nursing home. We busted out 50 of these! Taking these cards to those sweet elderly people with my children was one of the highlights of my life. My girls were so sweet - and brave - and my son (whose 11 months old now) was SUCH a ray of sunshine to those people. They brought so many smiles to people who probably feel as if they've been forgotten. We didn't want them to feel that way.

I wish I had the time to tell you all of the stories of that day. Here are just a few tidbits: We visited the "skilled nursing" section, which meant everyone was either in beds or wheelchairs. The very first room we stopped in was an elderly lady named Sarah. She just kept saying what "pretty babies" they were. After we left her room and headed down the hall, she followed us in her wheelchair for several minutes because she just couldn't get enough of watching my kids. I don't think they have many kids that come to visit them there.

There was a little old man who couldn't talk, but was SO grateful for the card, and blew kisses to my kids. So they blew kisses back! It was the sweetest thing. Then, an elderly woman entered the room and he pointed to his wedding ring and then to her, gesturing that she was his wife. She almost started crying when she saw the sweet card we had brought for him. I asked if she lived there too, and she said no, that she was there to have lunch with him. It was so sweet and sad that I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach.

There was another old man who was so shaky and his hands were gnarled...but when he spoke to my son, my son would smile and wave his little 11-month old arms and literally melted this old man and everyone else he came into contact with. This man wanted to shake my kids' hands - and so my little three-year-old and five-year-old girls put their hands in his shaky, gnarled and twisted ones, and made his day.

As we entered another room with two ladies in it, one of them just began raving from the very beginning, "Oh, this is such a blessing. Oh, these children are beautiful. Oh, mom, you don't even realize how wonderful this is. Oh, what a wonderful thing to do. Oh, this is so beautiful..." and on and on and on. She was making me want to cry.

Most of these people looked from the doorway like they were sleeping. But as soon as we said "hello" and asked if we could bring them a Valentine, they would come alive. They lit up and couldn't get enough of my kids. They all wanted us to stay and visit and I wished we could stay and visit the whole time with each person...but I knew I had another 49 Valentines to deliver. It was sweet and special and heartbreaking all at the same time.

I was SO proud of my kids. It was only when we got back in the car that I saw what time it was, and realized that we had been there for an hour and a half, right through the kids' lunchtime! They had not complained a bit and even though they got tired and hungry and were probably there way past when they should have been, they continued making people smile up until the very last minute. You better believe I got those kids lunch AND ice cream on the way home!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

details of a fairy party

When the girls arrived at the party, they got to choose their own fairy skirt (thank you, Dollar Tree!) and wings to wear. I couldn't find pre-made fairy wings for each girl that fit my budget, so...I used some white posterboard (that I already had) and cut out wings. Then, I free-handed a swirly design (loosely based on Tinkerbell's wings) and sprayed the wings with gold glitter spray so they shimmered.

The girls got to choose the color of ribbon to attach to the wings. Their moms helped them tie the strings onto the wings and then around their shoulders to strap them on.

I honestly expected the girls to only wear their wings for about the first fifteen minutes of the party. But those girls wore their wings and fairy skirts proudly the entire time! And no one got poked in the eye by anyone's wings! It was a birthday miracle.

The food was sort of a kids' version of brunch. It was a breakfast bar with their favorite sugar cereals, colorful yogurts, fruit, and juices. I found these round label templates on Martha Stewart's website and went a little crazy, labeling everything that didn't move. Oh, and one of the things I like to do at these kids parties is provide food for the grown-ups too - because I don't know about you, but I don't really want Lucky Charms for lunch anymore. (Mom, your little girl is all grown up!) So the day before, I made these Bacon Quiche Cups and then reheated them in the oven right before serving. Combined with fruit and juice it was a nice little lunch for the mommas.

My daughter helped out by coloring this large picture of Tinkerbell, and then the girls played "pin the butterfly on Tinkerbell". It was really cute.

Here's the birthday girl attempting to place the butterfly in just the right spot while blindfolded. You can see a little of her fairy skirt peeking out too. Their other activity was coloring and cutting out a large butterfly which they then attached to a stick and it was sort of a wand or whatever their imagination wanted it to be. (I'll admit, it was a last-minute craft when my other plan fell through. Thank goodness for clipart where you can easily go find a butterfly and make it huge when you need to!)

There's the birthday girl on the mantel again!

I don't sew, but I like here's my version of bunting, made with scrapbook paper instead! It probably only took about 45 minutes total to put it together. (Or is that a long time? You tell me!)

And the cost of this bunting wasn't more than $3.00. You gotta love that.

In fact, I love it so much it's become Spring decor. I just can't bear to take it down!

Here's my younger daughter at her sister's party. She was the one child who DID take her wings off within ten minutes...the age difference between her at three and the other girls at five was apparent. But isn't she a doll?

I found these cute butterfly garlands at Michael's, and I was going to do a fabulous crafty decorative thingy with them...but ran out of time. So I put them on this shelf instead and I thought it was cute.

And last, but not least, I provided a "candy bar" where the girls got to fill their little bags with candy as take-home favors. That was a big hit but I bought WAY too much candy. We now have next Halloween's candy already lined up! ;-)

Check out my other post on fairy parties here.  One other detail I just realized that I forgot to photograph was the custom invitations. Note to self: must take pics of the invites and post them here. I'll try to do that soon. I know I'm not the only one planning a fairy party this year, so maybe this helps inspire you? The fun part is that it can be whatever you make it...I didn't want mine to be blatant Tinkerbell, but there was definitely some Tinkerbell elements. What's most important - my daughters and their little friends had a great time.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

just listed in my etsy shop...

custom rhinestone notecard set - "seeds"

custom rhinestone notecard set - "lilac flowers"

notecard set - "butterfly"

This last set was originally designed as a gift for our family's little friend Audrey. She's five years old and has leukemia. She loves pink and loves butterflies...she's a precious little girl, and it was fun to create this design with her in mind. I think it would work for little girls or grown up girls! Available, of course, with your own name or that of a friend.

Sorry this is a short's my birthday today, so finally MY turn to party...I can't wait to share with you more details of my daughter's fairy party last weekend. Coming soon, I promise!!