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Birthday Cards!!

This project pushed me WAY out of my crafting comfort zone.  Give me fabric, wood, almost anything else, but paper?  Man, paper is intimidating.  I love the idea of cards and there are so many gorgeous ones out there that I’m fine emulating, but coming up with my own designs is a little scary.

So I did what any self respecting little sister would do.  I went to my big sisters (card making extraordinaire) house and asked for advice.  It’s a good thing I did.  The design I ended up using was a joint venture, but my portion of the idea wouldn’t have happened without her guidance. :)

girls

Isn’t that such a fun little card?  I ordered the Happy Birthday embossing folder from Lifestyle Crafts (on sale now!!) a few months ago, but never really had the opportunity to use it.  But Abi has a birthday party for a class mate this weekend so it’s the perfect time to try it out. And while I was at it I made a boy version at the same time.

boys

All I did was run the embossing folder through my Evolution with multiple colors of paper.  Once that was all done I ran each of the balloon colors through with a balloon die (from Simon Says Stamp) placed in a different place.  Then I just used some foam pop dots to lift the balloons from the background over the place the pattern on that balloon would have been. Does that even make sense?  It’s sort of hard to explain, but easy to see in the pictures.

feature

It really was so easy and fast but, I think, makes such a great and fun statement.

And don’t forget, if you would like to purchase any of the Lifestyle Crafts products I used for this project you can use the code below for 20% off.

LSS Coupon Code

Disclosure: I am a member of the fabric team for LifeStyle Crafts/We R Memory Keepers. I receive products of my choosing in exchange for tutorials and projects shared on MissyDear. But I only share products I really love and would be using and showing you guys anyway. :)

A Birth Story

The last 5+ years have been a roller coaster for my little family of 3 while we took the journey to add a 4th.  We had some good news, some really bad news, but mostly just a lot of waiting and enjoying our time together.

Last September when I learned I was pregnant for the 6th time we were so tentatively ecstatic.  I was able to get into a specialist the day I got the positive test and was seen 2-3 times a week for the first month and a half, then twice a month until 17 weeks.  After that we were given the green light.  They were pretty darn sure nothing was going to happen this time.  We would be welcoming a healthy little boy to the family come June.

And come he did. When he was finally good and ready, there was no slowing him down.

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About a week and a half before my due date, on May 22, the Braxton Hicks contractions I had been feeling since week 12 got crazy strong. Like, I can’t hardly handle this, strong.  So we called the midwife then headed down to the hospital.  I was admitted and checked.  I was at 4 cm.  I thought that was a good sign.  That was a whole cm further than I was when I was admitted with Abi and she was born 10 hours later.  So I settled in.  Then 2 hours later they checked again.  Still 4cm.  I was sent home with some Ambien and told to get some rest.  Boo!

The next day the contractions started up again.  Only this time they were worse.  I battled back and forth about going in.  On the one hand they were stronger and more consistent than the day before.  On the other, I didn’t want to be “that girl”.  You know what I mean?  I was supposed to know my body, right?  I didn’t want to face the embarrassment of false labor TWICE!  But, by late afternoon I decided we better go on in. Again, 4cm. (whomp whomp) This time they let me stay 3 hours before discharging me.  I felt miserable.  The contractions were really painful and now I felt like all the nurses thought I was an idiot.

When I got home I took an Ambien and went right to bed.  The next morning the contractions had stopped, even the Braxton Hicks.  Nothing.  For the next 5 days not one more contraction.

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Then on May 28th I was woken up at 5:30 am by what I thought was a perfectly placed kick to the center of my tummy.  But then I felt the gush.

Here is the timeline of the next 3ish hours:

5:30 – Water breaks. Contemplate waking up Brad but decide I better wait to see if this was the real deal first.  I still hadn’t felt a contraction so I wasn’t sure.

5:40 – Call the midwife and ask her advice.  We decide to wait about 15-20 minutes to see if any contractions start before we decide whether to head into the hospital.  Brad wakes up while I’m on the phone, realizes who I’m talking to and about what, and flies into “GO!” mode.  While he’s waking Abi up so my brother in law can come get her I’m just thinking he’s over reacting.  We have plenty of time.

5:45 – First contraction and man is it a contraction.  I almost fell to the floor it was so painful.  We decide not to wait the 15-20 minutes or for the BIL to come get Abi.  He can meet us at the hospital.

6:15 – Check into the hospital.  BIL takes Abi and we’re taken to our room.

6:30 – Hooked up to the monitors, have the IV put in my arm and I’m finally checked.  Still a 4!  I wanted to scream!  I felt like I was dying and I had made NO progress.

6:50 – I kinda started feeling EXTREME pressure, almost like I needed to push, but every time I mentioned it to the nurses they kept looking at me like I was exaggerating and would say something to placate me.  Finally Brad asked if they would check me again.  At first they said no.  They had just checked me 15 minutes ago and they didn’t want to do it too often since my water had already broken.

7:00 – My extreme pain and Brad’s questioning must have changed their minds and they check me again.  I’m an 8+.  My first thought was “FINALLY some progress.”  But that thought was very closely followed by, “Oh no.  I missed the epidural window.  I’m doing this without drugs.”  That’s when I lost it and just started bawling.  The nurses thought it was the pain, Brad correctly realized it was disappointed realization.  I had debated ever since Abi was born about whether I wanted to do a natural birth with the next but had chickened out.  Now I had no more choice so I gradually pulled it together and was able to calm down.

7:40 – I’m FINALLY allowed to start pushing.  Somewhere along his journey he managed to snap my tailbone, but I wouldn’t realize that until the adrenaline wore off about an hour later.

8:17 am – Isaac Graham Harding is born.  8 lb 11 oz and 22 inches long.

I had waited many years for this moment.  There are no words to how amazingly happy and grateful I felt with him laying there on my chest.  It is truly one of the best moments of my life.

He is absolutely perfect in every way.

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Teacher Gift: Cookie Pillow Box with Letterpress tag

As I was tucking Abi into bed the other day she let me know that the next day was her teachers birthday and she really wanted to take her some cookies as a teacher gift.  I had no chocolate chips and no gift bags.  But then I remembered.  I have a the Pillow Box punch board that I’ve never used.  And these No Bake’s are always a great cookie for last minute things.  So that’s what Ms. DuPree got.

pillow box board and letter press

I whipped out a little pillow box.  It’s so quick and easy, especially if you use this video from We R Memory Keepers.

I also wanted to make a fun little hang tag for the box and thought it would be a good time to share a little trick I have for using the Lifestyle Crafts Letter Press.

supplies

First I gather up everything I’ll need:
Finished Pillow Box
Letterpress Platform
Printing Plates
Letterpress Paper
Stamp Pad

Follow the directions for the setting up the letterpress.  However, instead of using the letterpress inks, of which I never have the right colors and never enough time to order some, I just use a stamp pad I have on hand.  The plate with the ink looks like this right before you put it through the machine.

letterpress

I wanted to use the “Hello” from the Floral printing plate set, but I didn’t want to use the two color feature so I didn’t need to worry about lining things up just perfect.

die

Then I used one of the nesting dies that came with the Letterpress to cut out the shape of the tag.

All you have to do to finish it all off is add a little bakers twine and fill it with cookies and you’ve got a great little gift!

Letterpress tag with Pillow Box board

And don’t forget, if you would like to purchase any of the products I used for this project you can use the code below for 20% off.

LSS Coupon Code

Disclosure: I am a member of the fabric team for LifeStyle Crafts/We R Memory Keepers. I receive products of my choosing in exchange for tutorials and projects shared on MissyDear. But I only share products I really love and would be using and showing you guys anyway. :)

Picked from the Tree: Zucchini Bread

I come from a long line of divine cooks.  Their recipes were written on hundreds of little cards and shared. Eventually some of those cards were passed on to me.  Every once in a while I like to pull one of those recipes from my ‘family tree’ and get all nostalgic.  

’Picked from the Tree’ is a series where I document those recipes from my family tree and maybe share a memory or two.

Zucchini Bread Recipe

My mom was an avid gardener.  One thing that we always had in our garden was zucchini.  If you’ve ever grown zucchini you probably know that a plant will produce a lot of squash.  So with our 4 or 5 plants we would grow way more than we could eat, but my mom never let it go to waste.

She would grate it up and freeze it in quart ziplocks.  2 cups of shredded zucchini in each one.  That way all year long we could have delicious and warm zucchini bread; my very favorite kind.

Zucchini Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c oil
  • 2 c sugar
  • 2 c grated zucchini
  • 3 c flour
  • 3 t cinnamon
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t vanilla
  • Optional: nuts & raisins

Instructions

  1. Cream eggs, oil, sugar & zucchini.
  2. Sift dry ingredients and add to above mixture.
  3. Add vanilla, nuts & raisins.
  4. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans.
  5. Bake at 350* for 1 hour.
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Leather Binky Clip DIY Tutorial

My schedule has been so completely different now that I have a 3 month old and a 6 year old than it was with just the 6 year old. It normally takes me 2 days to get a post finished; one day to do the project and photograph it and one to edit photos and type it up. You know how long it took to get this one finished? FOUR DAYS! Man. But today was the first day of school for Abi so hopefully we’ll get back onto a more set schedule and I’ll be able to get into the swing of things again. Summer is a routine killer isn’t it?

Isaac with leather binky clip

These days I spend a good amount of time looking around for binky’s that are strewn about the house. It was high time I made a clip to keep it where it needs to be. Not only could I make something I really need, but I could show you my new favorite crafting tool. And I’m not just saying it’s my favorite. I use it all the time. Probably once a day or so. It’s the Magnetic Cutting Mat from We R Memory Keepers.

Magnetic cutting mat

I’m sure most of you have used a self healing cutting mat before. I use mine so often and for some many different projects I have three different rotary cutters; one for fabric, one for leather and one for paper. But my problem is, even with the straight edge ruler I get a crooked cut a lot of the time. I could be one of those people on the infomercial that just can’t get it right no matter what. Most of the time the problem is that I let the straight edge slide a little as I’m cutting. It’s pretty pathetic. But this magnetic one is fabulous! The magnets are so strong there will be no ruler slipping ever again.

So here is the Leather Binky Clip DIY Tutorial I made for Isaac. I made mine using leather and a few leather tools. I’ll also try to give instructions for if you don’t have the tools so you can still make one.

supplies

Supplies:
Self Healing Cutting Mat with Straight Edge and Rotary Blade (scissors work too but aren’t as fun:) )
Leather
*Leather Cement or E6000 glue
*Hair Elastic
*Suspender/Mitten Clip
Leather Punch (or nail and hammer)
Rivets and Rivet Setter – optional

* = not pictured above

straight edge cut

First you need to cut the leather into a strip 1 inch wide and about 14 inches long.  Here is where the magnetic mat and ruler come in handy.  You could put the ruler over the leather and turn the mat upside down and it would stay exactly where you put it.  No moving at all.  I love it!

leather punch

Next, measure down from one end about an inch. Centered from either side punch a small hole with either the leather punch or the nail.

leather cement

Now, thread the hair elastic through the hole like above.  Then apply the leather cement or glue.

Finished loop with rivit

Next, fold over the flap so that the elastic is sticking out the top.  The leather cement is extremely strong so you should be ok to stop there. But I went a step further and added a rivet to keep the elastic from pulling through.

So I have no idea where the picture for the next step went (I probably forgot to take a picture – blame the lack of sleep) but it’s an easy enough thing to figure out.

Take the suspender/mitten clip and slide it about an inch down the other end of the leather strip. Apply the glue then fold over the flap (basically follow the previous step only with the clip rather than the elastic). Then add a rivet if you would like.

Leather binky clip DIY tutorial

Tada!! A great little leather binky clip.  Isn’t it great?  So simple for something that can save your life :).

leather binky clip close up

And don’t forget, if you would like to purchase a magnetic cutting mat like mine (or the new cool folding version that will be coming out soon!) you can use the code below for 20% off.

LSS Coupon Code

Disclosure: I am a member of the fabric team for LifeStyle Crafts/We R Memory Keepers. I receive products of my choosing in exchange for tutorials and projects shared on MissyDear. But I only share products I really love and would be using and showing you guys anyway. :)

Crayon Bag

While I was away in Charleston & Savannah a few weeks ago an old friend, Sarah, from middle school emailed to see if I would be willing to test her first ever pattern.  Of course the answer was “YES!”.  And then I saw what the pattern was for and the answer became, “YES! YES!”.

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It’s like she had read my mind.  Abi has been using a little bag about 5in x 7in to take with her to church with her coloring stuff.  Needless to say, that tiny bag didn’t hold too much and I was looking for the perfect bag to replace it.  So this awesome Crayon Bag is perfect!

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The bag is the perfect for a normal sized coloring book.  And I love the little crayon pockets on the outside.  It’s such a great and simple pattern for a beginner and can easily be personalized for a boy or a girl of pretty much any age.

She now has it listed in her shop and it’s a steal of a deal.

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