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May 19th marks Allie & Tim’s one year anniversary and of course a super special year in their lives! As this was the last gift in the series, we made sure it was extra special to them.
They have a favorite local Vietnamenese restaurant so we gave them money towards an anniversary dinner. (Gift cards were only good for one year and we gave her the gift too early for that!)
I apologize for my lack of Vietnamese food knowledge. I have learned that they do not typically use these take out containers which are so well associated with Chinese food restaurants. If nothing else, it’s just another super cute (and sparkly!) container for this month’s gift. (I do not mean to offend anyone with this thought!)
And an extra special shout out to Aimee and Micah on their first year anniversary which is also today!!
(supplies: container: Target $1 spot)
Mother’s Day wouldn’t be complete without some sort of handmade item being given her way.This is what she received this year:
A blue wood bead necklace. After my DIY post went live a few weeks ago, I got an email from her saying she’d love one for Mother’s Day. I went ahead and painted her up some blue colored beads and strung up a necklace design for her using bluish/silver pearls.
I dressed up a little pillow box and slid the necklace inside. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
While we’ve on the topic, fere are some other handmade items I’ve made for my mom in recent years:
I’ve been scrapbooking about my life since the 8th grade. Now that this little one is on her way, I wanted to make sure to document things in a baby book that she can hopefully keep for years to come! And while she isn’t here for the first pages showing her little face, I’ve already made the beginning pages about her journey. Here’s a few to share:
Ultrasound pictures are a common memento of pregnancy and something I made sure to include in her book. As someone who’s really into taking photos, I love that these are her first of what will be MANY photos!
Supplies: Patterned Paper: Martha Stewart Crafts; Stickers: Heidi Swapp, Jolee’s; Journal Card: Martha Stewart Crafts
I’m sure this little one will learn one way or another that her mom is a designer, a photography lover and a crafter. On this page I’ve combined all three of those pieces of me and documented the announcement card we sent out to family and friends.
Supplies: patterned paper: Uknown ; Stickers: Martha Stewart Crafts; Punch: Ek Tools
During this anatomy scan, we learned that our little bean is a girl so I went full force with the pink/yellow/white/green colors on this page.
Supplies: patterned paper: Doodle Bug; Stickers: K&Company, Jolee’s; Punch: Martha Stewart Crafts
This week Derek and I are off on a babymoon trip to hopefully find some relaxation and sun, just the two of us. (Look for a future post about it!)
Instead of new content, I’ve instead decided to thank Pinterest for being my number one inbound traffic source this past year and highlight the top 10 most popular posts from that source! Click on the photo/title to go directly to the post.
Guest Post: Holiday Pet Photography Tips (Thanks again for guest posting, Jamie!)
Scrabble Bridal Shower Advice Cards (Thanks again for throwing this beautiful shower Allie, Mel, Lauren and Mom!)
As you may have read, a few weeks ago, my sister gave birth to her second son, my nephew Logan. I had seen these silver stamped necklaces for a while now, and since her birthday was only a few weeks later, I decided to order her something a little special as a new mommy. I search around on Etsy for a shop that makes these customized necklaces and I found the Stampressions Etsy shop.
I liked how organized it was - showing all the options you could order as separate images, it listed all the things you needed to fill out within the product description so there was no room for error, she had tons of positive feedback and the price was right where I wanted it to be! (Bonus: She has a discount code I found on her Facebook page!)
The necklace arrived within the timeline she said and it was a well crafted one of a kind! It came with a plain, red cardboard jewelry box, which the average Joe would probably have wrapped to give their gift. But I’m not necessarily the average Joe.
I decided to dress up the boring box with my crafty stash! The above shows the makeover this little red box received with a cute tiny cupcake added for sparkle on top!
I went ahead and crafted a coordinating card using similar scraps and my gift set was complete to celebrate her birthday!
(Supplies: Patterned paper: K&Company and unknown; Diecuts: unknown; Rub Ons: Martha Stewart Crafs; Edge Punch: Martha Stewart Crafts; Stickers: K&Company)
I bought a bunch of maternity tees and tanks for my growing belly and looked forward to continuing the trend of chunky necklaces with these basic tops. I, of course, wanted to see if I could make my own!
I saw One Artsy Mama’s multicolored statement necklace and used it for inspiration for my first necklace design. After a trip to Michaels, I realized how expensive it would be to buy the different colored beads so I went with a different approach - painted wooden beads!
- Wooden Beads (bought in the wood crafts aisle for a whopping $1.50)
- Acrylic Paints (on sale 5 for $2)
- Beading Wire (already in my stash)
- Crimp Beads (already in my stash)
- Pearls (already in my stash)
- Silver chain (already in my stash)
- Jewelry Tools
First, I went ahead and painted my beads with two coats of the acrylic paint and let them dry.
Next, I secured the beading wire to the silver chain. First, thread on a crimp bead and thread through the end of the silver chain.
Thread the wire back through the crimp bead and use pliers to squeeze the bead closed to secure. This creates a closed loop on the end, connecting the beading wire to the silver chain. Hide the end of the beading wire inside the first pearl, which I chose to be a pearl.
Thread on the painted wooden beads and alternate with pearls. Repeat the threaded action with the crimp bead to secure the wire to the other end of the chain.
Remember to tuck the loose end through the beads to hide it. The necklace is now complete and ready to be paired with some basic tees or tanks!
Here’s a somewhat blurry picture of me wearing the necklace with my basic black Old Navy maternity tee on my 21 week belly recently!
I’ve seen these books before that are made with a paper bag. I used this concept to make A&T’s April’s gift out of a blue one, with hidden pockets and information.
First, I folded the bag in half to create a basic shape. The bottom of the paper bag (shown on the left) will become a little hidden pocket.
To create this, I used my cropidile to punch holes along the top and bottom.
I sewed this piece closed with some decorative ribbon. Then it was time to decorate! Here’s the front title page of the book:
Inside, A&T learned that they’d be hitting the road for a little trip for dinner and maybe some dueling piano time!
The pocket made earlier holds the gift card to the restaurant. The actual paper bag opening itself created another hidden pocket situation, that I highlighted with a “PULL” tab.
Inside, I put a directory I printed from the National Harbor website (their roadtrip destination).
(supplies: Chipboard shapes: K&Company, Ribbon: Martha Stewart Crafts)
Even before Derek and I knew we were expecting, I had pinned plenty of those “gender reveal” parties and surprises. But when the time came to find out the gender, there really wasn’t good timing to get people together for a big surprise concept. Instead we decided to go the route of little favor gifts we could give out to reveal our little one!
And so I ask you: will it be a stache or a sash? (aka mustache or bow!)
A week before I planned to make them for real, I did a test run using this recipe from How Does She for the flavoring and followed along step by step. The taste of the cookies with this recipe is pretty dead on, but I had a few issues that I worked to perfect.
Here are some things I learned in my test run:
- I didn’t grease my baking sheet, but instead used a piece of parchment paper cut to size on each sheet.
- Leave the cookies in longer than she says on the blog. 5 minutes was not enough. It was more like 7-8 minutes. An underbaked cookie just splits instead of bends when you first fold it over. Make sure it’s much more browned than what she shows in order to make the shape work.
- Do your best to spread the batter really thin on the sheet. My first ones were thick and undercooked! Most of mine were also much larger than a normal store-bought fortune cookie (see above) so practice making them smaller.
- Don’t try to get all fancy and think you’re speeding up the process by putting more than two cookies on a baking sheet at a time. They cool REALLY fast so baking them in twos gives you enough time to shape each one before it sets. Tip: lay a kitchen towel on your counter and put the baking sheet on there out of the oven. This gives you a few extra seconds of warming time to shape it before it starts to form.
- The recipe makes 12-16 cookies depending on how small or thin you spread them.
After cooling, I bagged each cookie in a clear lollipop bag added my personally designed ”Stache or Sash” tag. (I’m not sure how to add pdf printables to this post so if someone can direct me to that, I’ll add it on! Otherwise email me if you’re interested in my printable!)
Coworkers and family members were given a favor treat and directed to crack it open for a surprise. (Loved how my sister-in-law, Lauren, smashed hers inside the bag in order to be the first to know the results when we gave it out in a group!) Inside they discovered this:
Yep! Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what I’m growing in my belly!
Trigger Tuesday is a week or two week challenge hosted by Cath Edvalson of Paper Crafts Magazine on their Moxie Fab World blog. It is meant to inspire creative artists in color palette, composition, texture and design by one photo alone.
This week Cath gave us this photo:
I was particularly excited about this week’s challenge for 2 reasons: 1) I haven’t done a Trigger Tuesday in FOREVER and 2) Emerald is supposedly such a hot color this season since Pantone picked it as color of the year!
As usual, I took the obvious color of this photo as my main form of inspiration. I went through my stash of products and pulled out green embelishment pieces. In my quest I found these Martha Stewart reptile stickers that had long been tucked away and thought this was the perfect opportunity to bring them out to play!
I’m always looking to grow my collection of handmade birthday cards, but even more recently I noticed I need to grow my stash of boy themed ones for all those little rascals around me! With this MSC sticker collection, I went ahead and made two cute birthday cards that fit right in this theme!
I love these K&Company diecut adhesive border stickers that I cut in half and layers my animals inside which made them look like they were hunting through the grass.
Cath, thanks again for the inspiration! While not as elegant as your original inspirational photo, if it wasn’t for your Tuesday Trigger, these adorable animal stickers would’ve still been hiding at the back of my stash!
As a crafter, I know how long it takes to make some handmade gifts. Items I receive need more than the few minutes of love I can give it, so I’m happy to post these Handmade with Love posts that showcase great handmade cards or gifts I have received.
Those closest to me know that I love me some Cadbury mini eggs during the Easter holiday season. And lucky for me, with my birthday in late February, they always seem to be around during that candy filled time.
A few years back, a crafty friend, Carla (whom you may remember from my first Handmade with love post) decorated this jar as “Tara’s Sweets” and filled it with Cadbury mini eggs. Since then, the jar has sat in my craft room (with hand washing when empty) filled with different treats to enjoy when crafting. (Shout out to Anita for sending me this latest set that’s currently filled in my jar!)
For Valentine’s Day, my coworker Cherylin (who you might remember baked these adorable bell and bird royal icing cookies for my work bridal shower) dropped off this adorable display of Salted Chocolate Covered Caramels. The box came all folded up and was opened to reveal a professional display of chocolate yummies!