Nurses Gifts!

I know I have once again been MIA from the bloggosphere, and I apologize for my long absence! Blogging with a baby is MUCH harder than I expected! Luckily however, I have still been crafting in the interim and therefore have some juicy projects to share with you all!

This particular project goes way back, to right after Edythe was born. It doesn’t have a tutorial. It’s just a little idea for any of you expecting mommy’s out there. I decided to make little gift “baskets” for my Labor and Delivery and Mom and Baby Recovery nurses. Of course, I found this idea on Pinterest while I was still pregnant and I am so very glad that I decided to do it!

If you just stop and think a moment about all the stuff those nurses have to deal with on a daily basis it might make you that much more grateful that we have these wonderful ladies and guys out there. I mean I know it’s their job, but seriously, I know I could never do what they do! So anyways, there are a bunch of different ways you can show your appreciation to these special people (if you decide to do so) and you can search for different ideas on Pinterest and the internet in general. I ended up having an unplanned C-Section and had to stay in the hospital for longer than I had expected so I had a LOT of different nurses while I was there. This was both a good thing and kind of a bad thing. It was great meeting all those wonderful ladies but every nurse I met meant one more present I wanted to make.

It ended up being that I needed to make 15 different gifts. So to keep the cost down I started out by hitting the sale bins at Michael’s and Jo-Ann’s. Aren’t those sale bins the BEST? I could spend an hour just looking through all those little goodies! Anyways, I found some hand-wash on sale 4 for a dollar. I got 16. Then I just needed to find stuff to go with them! I decided to go with the Hand Care theme. I hit the dollar bins at target and got some mini nail polish remover, mini bags of cotton pieces and then hit my favorite nail polish brand – Sinful Colors! Seriously, if you haven’t heard of this brand I very much recommend it! They are super cheap and for the price the quality really can’t be beat. Honestly, I prefer them over O.P.I.

Anyways, little tangent there, sorry, I got some little plastic gift baggies from target and some ribbon and put the baggies together.

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Finally to finish everything off I went to the dollar store and bought two baskets. Then I went to Great Harvest and got two loaves of dessert bread. I put together one basket for the Labor and Delivery Nurses and a separate basket for the Mom and Baby Recovery Unit. I added a cute little poem and made it clear that while the individual baggies where for specific nurses the bread was the for the entire unit.

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Tyson and I took Edythe back to the hospital to deliver the goodies and I am just SO glad I decided to do this! The nurses were SO appreciative and they all had to come out and coo over my precious baby girl! It was so fun to see them all again and it felt really good to be able to give back in a little way.

Well geez! That was long-winded! My college professors would be ashamed of me! But there ya go, and next time I will be sure to share something with a tutorial! Thanks for reading!

Edythe’s Nursery

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Well, here I am, back from a – what, 2 month long – hiatus. Edythe is now almost 5 weeks old and her nursery is finally complete, including the long promised collage wall! I apologize for my long absence. Who knew having a baby would be this hard?

Seriously though, this collage wall was made up of a variety of DIY projects including the Yarn Wrapped Letter, the Nursery Wall Art and the LOVE Wall Art. My husband also created a custom subway art birth announcement print and Sugar and Spice print to occupy the wall. All that was left was to get her newborn pictures back and wa-la!

To see the complete nursery please follow this link to check it out! If you like the finished product please be sure to rate the project on ProjectNursery.com!

LOVE Wall Art

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Here is another really simple project that I did for Edythe’s nursery. I saw a picture of this pretty board on Pinterest and decided I wanted one too. Here is the tutorial of my inspiration. Her’s is a lot bigger than mine but she is using her piece as a main focal point whereas mine will be part of a collage of pieces.

This project is honestly so simple that I don’t think it really needs a full tutorial but if you want to check it out the link above is pretty descriptive. Here is my version:

1. Find a board.
2. Paint said board.
3. Find letters.
4. Paint said letters (if so desired.)
5. Glue letters to board in desired pattern. (I used wood glue for this step, but hot glue would probably work as well.)
6. Add hanging apparatus to back of board.

TA-DA! This whole project probably took me less than an hour to complete and cost around $15. It will be a part of the afore-mentioned collage wall in the nursery, which is almost complete so hopefully I will have more pictures to post soon!

Grandma’s Cereal Candy

I know I am a week late on this post. I tried ever so hard to get it done and posted last week but unfortunately things did not go as planned. Being down on temporary bed rest is surprisingly unconducive to doing… well anything, but even writing up a post around my giant baby bump while staying reclined with my feet up proved to be enough of a pain in the behind that I called it quits until I was up and around again. Well, up and around I am, but who knows for how long so hopefully my little blog doesn’t suffer too much. Anyways, onwards!

This stuff is cereal candy crack! My Grandma Sondie has been making this since before I was born. It was my Uncle’s favorite treat as a kid and it has just trickled down through the generations.

Recipe

Ingredients:

9 cups Fruity Pebbles
2 Cups Sugar
2 Cups Corn Syrup
2 Cups Creamy Peanut Butter
1 Cup Dry Milk
1 tsp Vanilla

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Directions:

1. In a large saucepan combine the Sugar and Corn Syrup. You can buy a 16 oz. bottle of corn syrup and then you don’t even have to measure it out, just pour the whole bottle in with the sugar.

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2. Mix these over medium heat until creamy.

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3. Add the dry milk. Again, if you just buy a little 3.2 oz pckg you can just dump the whole thing in.

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4. Mix over medium heat until creamy.

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5. Remove from heat and add creamy peanut butter. You can buy an 18 oz bottle of peanut butter and just empty it all in. It’s ok that it is not exact. Also, I put my peanut butter in the microwave for about a minute first, so it is nice and smooth and easy to add to the mixture. NOTE: Make sure you remove all the tinfoil from the top of the PB jar before you put it in the microwave.

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6. Stir until mixed and add vanilla.

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7. Pour in all your cereal and start mixing it all together. This part gets difficult especially as the mixture starts to cool, so you will want to work fast and make sure that you are incorporating all the mixture from the bottom in with the cereal.

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8. Pour your mixture out onto an ungreased cookie sheet. This stuff comes up really easy so you don’t have to worry about it getting stuck to the cookie sheet.

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9. Flatten your mixture out, it should cover most of the cookie sheet.

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And there you have it! The BEST Cereal Candy EVER! I know it doesn’t look super appetizing, but I promise you, it is magical and it never lasts long!

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Yarn Wrapped Letter

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Today’s project will be brought to you by the letter E. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

Anyways, I started this project thinking, “oh, this will be a nice and easy little project that I can whip out really quick. I mean, you just wrap yarn around a letter, right? How hard could it be?”

This project sucked. In fact, in the spirit of full disclosure, by the end of the first day of working on this project I was calling it the Devil’s craft project. In retrospect that may have been a smidgen on the dramatic side, but, just be aware that you are going to need to employ some serious patience, (or pigheadedness, as was the case with me) if you decide to take this task on.

Supplies You Will Need:

Letter(s) of your choice
Yarn
Hot Glue Gun
Hot Glue Sticks
Scissors
Embellishments

I am not going to provide a full tutorial for this project, mostly because I was too frustrated to stop and take pictures of the process, but also because there is no right or wrong way to wrap your letter, at least as far as I can tell. I found this tutorial if you would like to follow some more step-by-step type of instructions, but you’ll find that even she had some difficulty wrapping her letter perfectly.

I am just going to provide some advice and basically share my experience with this project. First of all, hot glue is going to be your best friend. It basically saved my sanity and ensured that the end result didn’t turn out looking like a kindergarten arts and crafts reject. Not, that I would ever reject a kindergartener’s arts and crafts project… but I digress.

Start by tying off a section of the yarn around an inside section of your letter. Then just wrap until you get to a stopping point. Do this to all the different little sections.

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FYI, you are going to have to do multiple layers. It is the only way to ensure every part of the letter is covered in yarn. So, be sure to cover as much of the letter as you can going in one direction before you start going in another direction. It will ensure a more polished end result. I ended up having to do 3 layers because it took me a while to figure this out.

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This was my first layer.

I struggled (for longer than I would like to admit) to get the yarn to cover the slopping angles before I finally got out my hot glue gun, with the basic attitude that, dammit I was going to make this stupid yarn letter work, or so help me!

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For the most part, with the help of the hot glue, it turned out ok. As you can see it has its problems.

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But that is where the embellishments come in to save the day!

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See! Now you can barely see the imperfections and it really did turn out pretty cute, if I do say so myself!

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I am planning to make this piece the center of my previously mentioned collage wall for Edythe’s room. I will post more pictures once the whole collage is finished.

Nursery Wall Art

My baby girl’s due date is right around the corner and I am almost done with the nursery. Seeing that I appear to be growing an Amazon Princess in my uterus I am feeling the push to get everything finished just in case she decides to grace us with her presence a little early. And trust me, at nearly 5 lbs at 31 weeks, I am really hoping she decides to make her premier a little early!

Anyways, one of the last big things I want to do to finish off her room is a collage wall above the changing table. I want this collage to have some pictures of her, of course, some pictures of my husband and I, some cute prints, and a few other odds and ends including the fun pieces I will be showing you today.

This project was inspired by this fun tutorial I found on Pinterest the other day. I absolutely LOVED her end result. I searched Michael’s and Joanne’s high and low to find those cute little animal cutouts she used, but in the end I had to work with what I could find and I am actually really pleased with the outcome. So, remember to have a little flexibility and keep an open mind if you decide to take on this project, odds are you are not going to be able to find the same supplies, but there are lots of fun stuff to choose from out there.

Supplies You Will Need:

Open Frames (amt and size of your choice)
Wood pieces to fit frames
Decorative paper of your choice
Decorative Wood Cutouts to fit frame
Modge Podge
Wood Glue
Small Paintbrush
Scissors
Pencil

Carmex Optional

Carmex Optional

1. Once you have picked out the frames you want to use you will need to get wood pieces to fit the frame. I believe you can go to your local Home Depot or Lowes and they will cut these pieces for you. Luckily my dad basically has his own lumberyard of scraps in his garage so I always go to him first before I go out and buy wood of any kind. In this case I needed 4 pieces of wood measuring 1″ x 4 7/8″ x 4 7/8″. Dad came through with 3/4″ wood pieces which worked perfectly!

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2. Now You will need to choose your background for the pieces. I already had a collection pack of pretty scrapbook paper that I could use so I choose to go this route. You can, however, choose to use fabric as well, which you can see in my inspiration tutorial that I had mentioned earlier.

3. Trace the wood onto your paper and cut out your traced pieces. Originally I was planning on using 4 completely separate but coordinating patterns, but after review I decided that one non-repetitive pattern made a really pretty effect.

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4. Glue your paper pieces to your wood pieces using your Modge Podge and an old paintbrush that you don’t care about in case it gets ruined.

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5. If you want to add color to your wood pieces now would be the time to do so. I liked the natural look of the wood so I left mine blank. There is no right or wrong here, just whatever you prefer aesthetically. Once your wood is dry (if you painted) you can glue the pieces to the center of your wood blocks, on top of your pattern using your Modge Podge again.

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6. Again, if you want to paint your frames you will want to do so now, if you have not done so already. Be sure they are completely dry before you work with them again. I opted to stick with the white frames. Flip your frame over so that it is face down and using your wood glue you will secure the wood pieces to the inside of the frame. I highly recommend using the wood glue, I initially tried this with hot glue and it was a major fail!

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If you have never worked with wood glue before be aware that it can take a little while to dry. I “secured” my wood pieces to the frame and did not touch them again until they were completley dry to avoid the pieces shifting and drying crooked.

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Well, and there you have it! Flip those puppies over and you should have some cute little wall art to hang in your nursery! Mine are a little subdued, but I wanted them to be very soft and delicate and I am very happy with the way they turned out!

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Picnic Basket Makeover

I’ve always kind of had a thing against maternity pics. There has just never been anything appealing to me about having a professional, expensive photographer come in and snap pictures of my naked stretch-marked belly with little baby blocks hanging out on top of it. Or worse yet, my entire naked body artfully posed to cover my “naughty” parts while still showing off the, again I reiterate, giant stretch-marked belly! Throw a naked husband in there and some gender specific colored bows and BLECH! barftastic! Then what, you order giant prints of your nakedness and hang them up in your living room? AWKWARD! Or you print them out and hang them in your baby’s room?! One word – therapy. So anyways, I said early on in this pregnancy there will be NO maternity photo shoot! However, having had my little rant, I have started to see some very classy and beautiful maternity photo shoots emerging which finally made me say, well, maybe.

So I messaged my photographer and basically said, we will be doing a “maternity” photo shoot but I want it to be simple and classy. Absolutely NO cheese! Basically, it will just be photos of my husband and I where I will happen to be pregnant. She agreed and we are on! We have decided we will be doing a little picnic setup for the shoot so, planner that I am, I started putting together a list of “props” we would need to make this work. The first thing on my list: an old-fashioned picnic basket!

If you are in the market for a cute picnic basket, be prepared, the little suckers are rather pricy! I couldn’t bring myself to spend $60 on a picnic basket that we would probably use once. So I got on KSL and searched their classifieds for antique picnic baskets and found this little cutie for $5!

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I actually forgot to get a picture of the outside before I started working on it, I know, I need to get better on taking pictures, but once I get excited about a project I just need to get up and go! Anyways, my husband thought we should just use the basket as it was when I purchased it, to which I responded – EW!

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Not only was that fabric old and covered in food stains, but sure-as-shit when I took all that fabric out if I didn’t find a dead spider carcass just hanging out between the basket and fabric! I had the weeby-jeebies for the rest of that night I can tell you!

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Taking the fabric out was really easy. It was just a matter of finding and un-stitching the previous stitches.

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Next, came the fun part! I picked out a pretty new fabric and got down to work. I simply placed the basket on top of the fabric and traced the base and top of the basket. I cut out these pieces and laid them aside. Using my measuring tape I measured from the base of the basket to the rim, and again from the top to the rim. Then I measured around the circumference of the basket. I cut 2 strips of fabric about a half an inch longer than the measurements I just took. Next, I took the base piece I had cut and the strip for the base and sewed them together at the edges of the base so that they were facing each other and sewed the strip together at the point it met. I placed this into the base of the basket. Using illusion wire, I sewed the base of the fabric where the two pieces met into the corner of the base of the basket. You can hardly see the illusion wire. Next, I folded under the top of the fabric so it just came to a point where it met the rim of the basket and sewed that in place with the illusion wire as well. I repeated all these steps for the top of the basket and PRESTO-WHAMO! I had myself a cute little picnic basket!

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I will post more photos of the basket in use along with the pics from my upcoming “maternity” photo shoot!