Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ombre Yarn Letters

So before one of my besties had her adorable little peanut we were discussing the nursery and we discussed putting letters over the crib.  In true DIY fashion I said, "ohh no problem I will make letters for her nursery."  After all she is my God daughter and I would do anything for her.  As I continued to procrastinate the project the bestie finally gave me a deadline. Ahhh!! So after having all of the materials for 2 months I got on it. The inspiration for the letters came from a number of yarn letters on my Kelly's Nursery Pinterest board(which you can find in the upper right hand corner. Just click the Pinterest icon.) I didn't follow any tutorials, but I can share what I learned from this 18 hour yarn wrapping extravaganza., which I must mention was assisted by my wonderful mother-in-law. She was such a lifesaver!!

The materials we used were, 24" paper mache letters from Jo Ann Fabrics, 3 colors of pink yarn and the most important product was FABRI-TAC glue.  The glue was so key in keeping all of the yarn in place and wrapping any curved edges. Start by wrapping the yarn back and on the ends and gluing them down.  Similar to this.

Next start wrapping the letters with the yarn and occasionally place a small amount of glue on the corner to ensure it won't move to much.  For small areas we found it was best to make a smaller ball of yarn to get in and out of the area.  For instance when going in and out of the center of the A.

After about 1/3rd of the way down glue the edge of the yarn to the back of the letter and start with a new color.  Again glue the yarn to the back of the letter let is sit for a moment and start wrapping.  When we got to the ends we often wrapped all vertically and then again horizontally like you see in the picture below. Anytime the yarn isn't staying where you want it to just use a little glue. Try to keep it on the sides and back so you don't see any.

If I were to do it over again I would by flat letters and much thicker yarn. Here are the completed letters up in the beautiful gray, white and pink nursery.  Although they were time consuming they definitely turned out beautiful and make an amazing statement above a crib. Isn't her nursery amazing!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Flower Arrangements

Okay, I am definitely not a florist and don't claim to be an expert, but I want to share a few of my tips and tricks with you.  I often do flowers for showers, weddings, and parties and have learned a few things along the way. First, I like to buy flowers from SAMs club.  Not all locations have a full floral department, but the ones that do have a number of standard flowers I like to use such as, roses, spider mums and alstromeria.  I like to add things I can get in my garden such as hydrangeas and peonies whenever possible.  Once I have all of the flowers I like to strip them of their leaves and separate by flower.

Next, I like to get my vases ready. 

If they are a clear vase I like to use tape to make a grid to hold the flowers in place.  

If the vase is colored I like to cut a piece of green floral foam to fit.  This stuff can be magic! 

I always like to make sure I have enough flowers to fill all of my vases so I start by filling all of the vases I would like to use with the largest flowers. In this case I started with the spider mums and roses.

Next I filled with the alstromeria, babies breath and a few berries.

Again, I am no professional, but these are methods that have been fool proof for me over the years.  Don't flowers just make you so happy??

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Real Moments of Life- Miscarriage

I usually like to keep things light and fun on the blog, but have been feeling strongly that I needed to share our story of miscarriage.  I know that miscarriages are not often talked about, but after going through this I wish I would have heard of others stories before it happened. Although it was still comforting to hear others experiences after going through ours. Let me start at the beginning. The hubs and I had been trying to get pregnant for a few months and once we found out we were pregnant we were so thrilled, I mean over the moon praising God hallelujah excited!!  We were going to have a Christmas baby and were due on Dec. 21st.  What is better than your baby sharing a b-day with Jesus??  Everything seemed like it was going well.  We excitedly told friends and family, I bloated horribly, and started craving any type of fruit you can imagine. We went through our prenatal class and scheduled our routine first appointment at 9 weeks.  Everything at the 9 week appointment went well the doctor said that my uterus was at the appropriate size, but slightly tilted back.  I felt so proud of my perfectly sized uterus :) The only issue with a tilted uterus is that it can be hard to hear the babies heartbeat that early with the handheld heart monitor ( I  have no idea what the technical term is).  So because we couldn't hear the heartbeat, we scheduled another appointment for the next week where they said if they still couldn't hear it we could get an ultrasound.  I left the appointment feeling good.  As the doctor and my mother and sister warned me a lot of times it is too early to hear the heartbeat with the hand held device.  So a week and a half later at about 11 weeks we went back to the doctor. Now there are a few things to note here, signs if you will.  I had started feeling really good again, absolutely no nausea, getting my energy back etc.  I even noted this more than once to people saying I felt guilty at how wonderful I was feeling.  Also, the night before as I was reading my nightly Jesus is Calling they talked about God being there for us during the best of times and the worst of times.  I specifically remember reading that evenings devotional praying that I was going to have the best of times the next morning.  I mean it was going to be the best, I was going to get to hear my beautiful babies heartbeat.  The hubs and I were excited, but always prayerfully cautious knowing full well that things can go wrong.  The appointment started out ok.  The doctor said she still couldn't hear the heart beat with the hand held device and also mentioned not being able to hear some sort of uterine follicles.  No idea what that meant, but she said it was no big deal and was able to quickly get us into an ultrasound.  The technician started the ultrasound and I think deep down I knew.  I grabbed the hubs hand tightly as he still was unaware. She started measuring things and on the screen I saw our beautiful baby, but didn't see what I thought I should be seeing, a small flutter. I started asking questions, "is that the baby" "shouldn't we see or hear a heartbeat"  and that is when she said the hardest thing I had heard.  "Heather, I am so sorry, but your baby does not have a heartbeat and looks to be measuring at 9 weeks."  My world crashed.  She left the room and my tears started to fall as the hubs held me tightly.  The next hour is a blur.  We talked to the doctor about our options and set-up a D&C for the next morning.  That was one of the hardest days I think we have experienced. The thought of only getting one more day with that precious baby in my stomach was heart wrenching, but I knew that our baby was already in Heaven. What a beautiful thing!!  Sharing the news with friends and family was so hard, but showed us how deeply loved we are by so many.  The procedure went well and I just wanted to keep busy, because stopping to think to much was just too hard. If I let my mind be blank it would fill itself with moments of what could have been.  We spent a lot of time talking, praying and sometimes just being.  Seeing or talking to new people was really difficult and still can be.  I would cry for a minute or two and then was able to compose myself and actually felt relief in sharing our story.  Many shared theirs with me as well.  The days are getting easier and I still cry from time to time, but I have learned sooo much.  First, I learned that so many woman have gone through this same experience and everyones story is different, but many are filled with Hope. Something that we learned in our prenatal class is that the reason that we miscarry babies is that chromosomes didn't match up and it is our bodies way of protecting both the baby and the parents from suffering once it is born.  Second, I have learned that my husband and I are so perfectly matched for each other.  I always knew this, but was reminded in each moment and every discussion. He was able to lift me up and protect me in just the ways I needed.  Lastly, I learned that life doesn't always happen how we expect it to, but we must trust that God has bigger and better plans for our life.  We might not always understand it, but we also aren't always supposed to.  Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart; and lean not on your own understanding.  In all of your ways acknowledge him and He will make your path straight." If this helps even one person that will go through this or has gone through this than sharing this has been worth it!  Thank you to everyone for all of your support and prayers.  We have honored our baby with a beautiful memorial stone in our garden to remind us of how precious life can be. 

Bachelorette Party- Wine Styles

My girlfriend Kelly and I had been discussing fun and new ideas for a bachelorette party and after some research decided on a wine tasting party for our lovely friend Emily! This was fun to do as a bachelorette party, but could be done for any occasion.  It all started with the invitation, we found a beautiful invite on Etsy that could be personalized with words about the bride.  As a fun addition we decided to have her fiance pick the adjectives and the invite turned out beautifully! Could he be any sweeter :)

As you can see on the invitation we asked each girl to bring their favorite bottle of wine. As they arrived we had our girlfriend wrap the bottle with brown craft paper and a homemade chalk label with a number. The chalk labels were made by painting over premade labels with chalkboard paint.  Easy right!
As the evening went on the girls tried each of the wines and we they voted on their favorite white and red.

As favors and the wine glasses for the party I hand dipped wine glasses and for the bride I made a glitter stemmed wine glass with modge podge and lots of glitter!!

For a fun twist on a guest book we used a champagne bottle that the bride took home for to enjoy with her new groom. 

The front door was simply done with a glittered E and few poms!

One of my favorite parts of the party other than the beautiful bride and wonderful friends was the cake.  I ordered this cake from the fabulous cake maker Gail and she delivered.  The detail on the cake was amazing!!

At the end of the night we looked at the votes and chose the winning bottles of wine and they won a fun wine themed gift.  

The party was such a hit and a represented the beautiful bride perfectly!! Fun was had by all.

The Hostesses with the beautiful bride!
Thank you for letting us shower you with love Emily!!