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Last Minute Christmas Packages

Christmas gift

A few months ago I was brainstorming what to do for this post.  Finally, I thought of something and it was going to be fabulous!  I was so excited to try it out and  see if it would actually work.  Well, that picture up there.  That is not even close to what I had in mind.  THis is what my original plan started with…

would have been

It involved a million doily die cut “snowflakes” and a flower foam wreath form.  I had planned to cut out tons and tons of little doilies and pin them all to the wreath form to make a big puffy, “snowy” Christmas wreath.  However, once I got started I very quickly saw that it wasn’t going to work.  I was using coffee filters for the doilies which worked great if I cut them out 1 or 2 at a time.  But when I sent through a big stack of them (the only realistic way to cut out 4 million of them) they all got stuck together and I had to peel them back apart.  Then I had to weed out all the little pieces to give it the lace look.  It was just a disaster.

So instead I decided to switch things up and do something more practical than decorative.  Make the little boxes for my neighbors Christmas gifts and a little bow to go on top!

Every time I use on of the We R Memory Keepers punch boards one thought keeps going through my mind:  ”some people are just absolute geniuses!”  I mean, I would NEVER be able to come up with a little plastic square/punch that can turn a little piece of paper into an envelope, candy box, gift bag, flower, pin wheel, or in this case, gift box in just seconds!

Anyway, I pulled out the Gift Box Punch Board and then used this video (although the instructions printed on the board are pretty self explanatory too) to put one together in like 2 minutes flat. It really is amazing.

Then I just grabbed a few of those doilies I cut out using the Antique Doily die and made a little puff ball “bow” for the top.  The picture below kind of shows how I did that.

doilies

Basically, I took the flat doily (on left) and kind of folded them into fourths.  In the picture I creased the folds for demonstration purposes, but for the real thing I left them puffed up.  Next I took a glue dot and put it on the top of the tissue paper “ribbons” I wrapped around the box.  Stick each “point” of the doily to the glue dot then fluff the bow into a gorgeous little poof!

poof close up

Isn’t it so great?  I also pulled out the Candy Box Punch Board to put a few treats in.  I had never used it before but I think it might be my favorite one!  I can’t wait to make a few more.

finished

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. :)

Falling Leaves Wreath

I have this square  wreath made of grape vines that I keep on my front door year round.  I usually just hang something seasonal from the top and switch it out as the year goes by.  Well, I haven’t switched it in a long time so my fun yellow paper flowers from two springs ago is still hanging from it.  But when the weather here in North Carolina was taking a bit longer than I wanted to cool down I decided that adding a little fall flair would help me feel more in the season.

finished wreath

This project was so fun and simple.  And I think it looks great!  All I need to do now is find a little bow or something for the top.  Here are the supplies you’ll need:

supplies photo

Fall colored felt – I had some left over from a previous project that I got from Benzie Designs.  Totally go with them to get your felt.  It’s the best quality wool blend I’ve ever used.
Thin gauge wire – mine is a ??? gauge
Wire snips/needle nose pliers
Leaves Punch Die from Lifestyle Crafts

First you just need to cut out all the little leaves.  These punch dies are fantastic because you can cut out multiples with just one pass.  I gave some pretty detailed instructions for that in this post so you can check that out there.

To make the fun “falling” leaves effect I just cut a strip of the wire in about a 2 foot piece. Take one end of that wire and wrap it around the end of the needle nose pliers.  Like this…

curling wire

So that you end up with something that looks like this…

curled wire

I originally tried to just stick the wire through the felt to string them, but the felt is just to nice and thick.  So I threaded the wire onto a needle and it worked like a charm!

Once you have the first leaf strung, take the pliers and wrap the wire again, but make sure you leave enough space between the first leaf and this new one.  With two leaves it will look like this…

strung leaves

Just keep stringing the leaves and twisting the wire until you’ve got it as long and as full as you want it.

leave string

Then repeat on another strand and another.  Eventually you’ll have something like this!

falling leaves

I wish I had more felt left over so that I could have made more!

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 at www.shopwer.com.

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. :)

 

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.

IMG_3258

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.

IMG_3257

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.

IMG_3256

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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