It’s a Girl Thing

Last month my sister had a sweet baby girl named Caylah.  As I write this I am on board a flight to Ohio to go meet my niece for the very first time!  Yay!  I cannot wait to hold her!  Isn’t she adorable?

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My sister also has a 2 year old son named Jayden.  Cole cannot wait to see and play with his cousin this week!  I love living in California, but it is difficult being so far away from family.  Thankfully we have been able to make it back to Ohio at least two times a year.

Here is a pic of the two them last year during our visit:

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In preparing to go on our trip, I wanted to make a special gift for my new niece.  It is so fun to have a little girl in the family!  I called my sister and asked her what she needed.  She mentioned having lots of elastic headbands for Caylah and needing a way to store them.  I decided to make something functional as well as decorative (shocking, right?  I will decorate anything….seriously).

I started with a basic 8×10 canvas.  You can buy these for a couple bucks at your local craft store.

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I then took some light blue and green acrylic paint and swiped them across the canvas with a sponge brush (get those brushes when Michaels has them 25/$1.00).

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I added a little bit of water to help blend the colors.  I just kept playing with it until I came up with the look I wanted.

Next came picking out some paper.  When my sister had Jayden, she decorated the nursery in an “under the sea” theme and now Caylah is in that room.  I had purchased some paper for a banner I made for Jayden’s shower 2 years ago and had some leftover which was perfect to use now (and girly actually!).

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I used two strips of the paper and used Modge Podge to adhere them (don’t you love how the dolphin and octopus have bows?  Too cute!)

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I then took some coordinating pink paper and used my Cricut to cut out the letters of Caylah’s name.  I used my Under the Sea Cricut cartridge which has an awesome nautical font…the perfect touch!  I love how the pink “pops” off of the blue and green background!

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After adhering everything down with Modge Podge, I did 3 more coats on top of everything.  The bottle said to add coats every 15- 20 minutes.  I then let it dry for a couple hours.  The Modge Podge sealed everything down and gave it a nice finish.

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When everything was dry I went through my ribbon stash and found some cute ribbons that matched well.  I hot glued one pattern around the outside of the canvas.  This framed the piece and also hid some of my drip marks :).

In order to accommodate all of Caylah’s headbands, I used three small screw hooks on the bottom.  I figured she will also collect barrettes and bows when she gets more hair, so I added some long strands of ribbon in 2 different patterns for them and hot glued them to the back.

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I love the finished product!  I will recommend to Danielle that she use Command Adhesive Velcro to adhere it to the wall…that stuff is amazing.  The nice thing too, is that the canvas is super light, so if (when) Caylah decides to tug on those ribbons, it won’t hurt her if it falls down (it’ll just make a mess of hair things for my sister to clean up!).

I really hope that my sister likes my gift!  I am so proud of my sister and I love her so much.  She went through a lot to have children and I am so thankful to see how God has blessed her and her husband with 2 beautiful children!

Have you had to come up with a baby gift recently?  Do you do homemade or is a gift card more your style?  I would love to hear your thoughts!



Here’s a pic of me giving Danielle her gift!  Love my sis!

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Tag It!

Recently when I was wandering through my local Hobby Lobby trying to find supplies for VBS crafts, I found myself in the scrapbook paper aisle and saw this:

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All specialty paper was 50% off, so this sheet cost a buck.  I didn’t know what I was going to make, but I loved that I could buy a sheet of canvas… so into my cart it went!

I have a friend who is a missionary to Spain that is visiting in the area currently and loves crafty stuff.  She has mentioned that it is difficult to find craft supplies and decorative items where she lives.  She has also mentioned that they have very little space in their suitcases to bring anything home with them.  I want to give her a gift to take home, but it has to take up hardly any space.  Hmmmm…

In the meantime, I was working on painting some bins in my laundry room that I had scored at a garage sale for a couple bucks.  They were green and blue when I bought them and I gave them a coat of gray paint to update them.  They needed a little something more and my mind went to the canvas sheet I bought.  I created tags for the bins and then placed them on a shelf in the laundry room.  Perfect!

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Then I thought I could make some tags for my friend!  They don’t take up space (practically weightless) and add the vintage cottage feel that I know she likes.

To make her tags I first got out my Lawn Fawn Stamps and dies that my friend Kelly (co-owner of Lawn Fawn) recently gave me to try out.  They actually are a Christmas set, but I think they work any time of year!  The cool thing about Lawn Fawn is they have always had amazing stamp sets, but now they are selling dies that work with the sets.  The dies are thin metal and they work in my Cuttlebug machine (or any other die machine).  These particular sets should start arriving in stores at the end of the month.

*** If you don’t have a die machine with dies, no worries.  It does make the work go faster, but you could totally trace a tag and cut it out by hand.  I also tested a hole punch with the canvas, and it worked just fine too! ***

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If you have never used dies, here’s a quick tutorial:

1. Cut the canvas to fit into machine.

2. Lay die on cutting boards (included with machine…with the Cuttlebug I have plate C down first and plate A on top of it).

3. Place another board on top (also included with machine…use board B).

4. Roll through machine.

5. Cut out as many as you need (I did 5 of each of the 2 sizes)

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Next I punched out the circles included in die set (#1), cut out enough for all my canvas tags (#2) and then glued the circles on with liquid glue.

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For the next step I used Stazon ink which won’t run on fabric (#1), put a stamp on acrylic block (#2) and then stamped the image onto the tag (#3).  I also stamped numbers on the small set of tags and letters (first initials of my friend’s family members) on the bigger tags.  You can use any stamps for this or even use a Sharpie!  Ooh, maybe even stencils with paint would work!

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After adding baker’s twine, here’s what I had:

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Pretty cute, I think!  I tried the tags in different spots in my house to give some ideas on how they can be used.  Here in my living room:

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And here in my bedroom:

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I think they add a warm cottage feel…I hope my friend likes them!   The finishing touch was to put them in a paper bag and staple it shut with a stamped paper tag!

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These tags were super easy to make and they add a special touch when hung on a hook or basket.  I got at least 15 tags out of the sheet I bought for $1 and all the other supplies I used I already had on hand!

I hope my friend likes these…I also kinda hope she hasn’t just read this and spoiled the surprise!

What are some simple gift ideas you’ve given to friends?  I would love for you to share!


Orphan Care Night Recap

Last month I wrote about how adoption has been on my mind a lot lately…it still is.  No, we don’t have a referral yet, but we are still eagerly waiting on God’s timing to reveal who our next kiddo is.  China redid their computer system for their adoption program in May and they are still working out the kinks which has slowed things down.  They were able to release a list last week, but we weren’t matched.  A woman at church yesterday reminded me that God is never late…those words were so encouraging to me!

In the meantime, though, our church hosted an Orphan Care Night.  I must admit I was a little emotional about going at first.  On the way home from the morning service that day I confessed to my husband that I was disappointed that we didn’t have a referral yet and that I didn’t feel like going to the event later that evening.  I have learned to share these thoughts with my husband instead of hiding them.  He spoke words of encouragement and promised to pray for my heart to change…and it did!

When I arrived I actually did get emotional, but for a very different reason.  I saw dear girl friends all around who had gone through the adoption journey.  I was overwhelmed with the gift that these women have been to me!  They understand the process and get the emotions I feel.

I had Ray snap this pic of Lesily and me.  She has adopted 2 boys and has been such an amazing friend (waiting for #3!).  Love her!  (Totally random, but there is a guy carrying a table on his head in the background, hehe!)

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There was a market space set up for some small businesses and ministries that serve orphans.  Molly and her sister Emmy ran the Throne of Grace booth and Molly donated a portion of her sales that night to our church’s orphan care fund…so sweet!  (Molly graciously gave me the night off so I could enjoy the event.  Thanks, Molly!)

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I had to grab a pic of Joy and her daddy.  She was recently adopted from China and I adore her (can’t wait to meet her sister Linda who arrived home last week from China!).

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We all gathered in the sanctuary for the program portion of the evening.  One of our pastors, Matt, shared about our motivation for adopting and/or helping orphans.  He and his wife Brianne have been an amazing testimony to me of having a huge heart for orphans.  Love them too!

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Then several families from our church got up and shared about their different experiences with orphan care.  Each story was unique.  It is amazing to see how God is using families in our church to meet the needs of these little ones!

Here are Joy’s parents sharing their amazing story (you can read more about their journey HERE.

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Here our Senior Pastor and his wife shared about foster care:

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After the program, you could go back out to the marketplace and shop or talk to different ministries.  Compassion International was there and we finally signed up to sponsor a child (what took us so long?).  There was a silent auction as well and some of the bidding got intense!

The night was so amazing and I enjoyed it so much!  Our church was able to raise money for the orphan care fund which was awesome!  I am so thankful that God led us to this church body.  We have been so blessed to have such dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

As I write this, I am mourning the loss of our dear wonderful pastor and friend Rick Wilson.  He was our pastor for 13 years while we lived in Dayton, Ohio.  He died suddenly last Friday morning at the age of 52.  He leaves behind his beautiful wife and 4 children.  My heart aches for his family as well as my church family back at Grace Covenant Church.  We loved our time at GCC and this week California feels so very far away.  Rick and his wife Deb were instrumental in both Ray’s and my walk with Christ.  They loved us and challenged us.   Rick loved his wife Deb beyond words…every time he looked at her, his face revealed his total admiration for his bride.  I have so many sweet memories of Rick and I am so thankful to have known him.  He loved his flock and loved his Savior even more.

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep…therefore, encourage one another with these words.
(I Thessalonians 4:13-14, 18 ESV)