What’s Inside the Box?!

It’s okay, you can look. It is not Gwyneth Paltrow’s head.

So, a few days ago, I showed you how I came up with this nice gift box:

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I also said I would show you what was inside. Well, it was the monthly onesies from my friend’s Sprinkle.  I had guests write on notecards that would be attached to each onesie so that Lindsey could read a nice little note as she pulled one out each month. As cute as the onesies looked on their own, I didn’t want to just hand them over. I’m all about presentation. So, I started with these:

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And the notes from everyone:

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I decided I would affix the notes to each onesie with a little washi tape, and then bundle them with ribbon. It turned out that bundling two together worked out best for the box I had. You could do it however you wanted. This is how mine turned out:

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*Excuse the pictures. Once again, taken with my phone.  

And, here they are all bundled together in the box, ready to be handed over:

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I was so happy with how these turned out, and I think they may become my new “go-to” baby shower gift.  I think that they are such a wonderful reminder for parents to take a little time each month to capture a few moments on camera. The notes are a nice addition, and can work whether this is done at a shower or given as a gift from one person.

*The monthly transfers I used can be found here

A {Quick} Homemade Gift Box

*Sorry for the poor photos. I took them all with my phone’s camera. 

One of my favorite blogs to read is Young House Love. So much inspiration over there. Well, a month ago, there was a post about an art box they created. I kind of filed that away for later. “Later” came a lot sooner than I thought. I didn’t need an art box, but I had something to give a friend. It wasn’t a gift since she’d already seen it. Thinking about the function of said box, I wanted/needed something nice to present the items, though.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • box
  • wrapping paper or other paper
  • tape
  • scissors

I had a box, but it had a store name all over the top of it.  I knew I didn’t want to “wrap” the entire box as one; rather, each part.  Like I said, this wasn’t a gift, per se.  I used two different papers because I didn’t feel like the whole box should be covered in the pattern.   It’s pretty busy. This is a good way to get more mileage out of your paper, too. I am not in the habit of buying expensive paper, but this could be a great way to wrap more gifts in nice paper.

Okay, so here’s what I started with (minus box):

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A quick wrap and taping of my box, and I had this:

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I thought this looked fine with just the paper, but I had some tissue paper flowers left over from another craft, so I decided to add a couple to my box.

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There you have it! Pretty simple, eh? I’d show you what’s inside, but that’s for another post.

*The paper flower tutorial can be found here

 

“All You Need Is Love…”

And, maybe some paper, glue, scissors… This Valentine’s Day post is obviously a bit late, but it’s better than never. David and I agreed (well, I told him my idea and he was on board) to do something handmade for Valentine’s. Although I appreciate the sentiment, I feel it somewhat silly that David should spend twice as much (maybe more) on roses or any other flower because it’s Valentine’s. I prefer spontaneous flowers, anyway. I also don’t think it’s a one-way street where only a man should get a woman a gift. While we did go out for dinner last year, we usually make a nice dinner at home for this particular holiday. Basically, David wanted to be responsible for dinner, and I had plenty of ideas for what I would make for him.

Using an idea I saw here, I decided to make David a “love” message board.

I modified it slightly (mostly because Harrison took a couple of the rosettes off twice, and I was getting tired of re-gluing) by putting some velcro on the frame and back of the rosettes. I also put some velcro on the back of the frame and the wet-erase marker. It has been a nice way to leave “love” notes to each other. I have kept track of our messages in a little notebook so we can look back at what we wrote. We use to always leave each other notes, and we may have gotten a little off track with that since having Harrison and everything else.

Like I said, David made dinner for us, and he went all out – appetizer and everything. He looked around on my Pinterest boards, and made some delicious dishes, starting with eggplant fries drizzled with honey and sea salt. Harrison almost couldn’t stop eating them to have the rest of his meal. Next, we had an avocado salad, followed by grilled balsamic-garlic encrusted pork tenderloin and roasted seasonal vegetables. I can’t gush enough over my husband and how much it meant that he slaved away in the kitchen like that. Harrison and I made dessert earlier in the day (he wanted in on the handmade process, too) – vanilla cupcakes that we cut into thirds so we could put our homemade whip cream between the layers. We dusted them with powdered sugar and topped them off with raspberries and a bit of chocolate sauce. High impact with little effort. Gotta love it.

Harrison also made a great card for his daddy. I got that idea from here.

We cheated a little on Harrison’s gift because we’d already gotten it for him before we decided on the handmade idea. David’s parents gave Harrison a zoo membership for Christmas, and we received a letter in the mail about their adoption program. This year it was for the red panda. Harrison loves all things animal, and he was talking about pandas a lot, recently. We decided to adopt a red panda in Harrison’s name, and he received a stuffed red panda, along with a cool adoption certificate. His name is on a member list at the zoo, as well. To make it even sweeter, the package came with a penguin t-shirt transfer. Harrison loves him some penguins!

It was a wonderful Valentine’s day, and although there’s plenty of love to go around here everyday, it was nice to set aside a special day to talk about how much we love each other and the different ways we can demonstrate that.

The recipes David used for our delicious Valentine’s meal can be found here, here, and here. He just “winged” the roasted vegetables based on other times we’ve made them.

The cupcake “recipe” was an idea from Real Simple magazine that I found in the August 2005 issue. I can’t remember the name of them to search the website, but I’m sure you could find it there. 

Thankful for Pinterest

I finally made a craft (actually 2) from Pinterest! That may not sound terribly exciting to some of any of you, but it was a huge deal for me. See, I have pinned away for months now, and I have made some dishes and found some great gift ideas for people. I haven’t made anything on my inspiration boards, though. I kept seeing other art and diy projects people had done and realized I needed to stop pinning and start actually doing. With the holiday season upon us, it was the perfect time. I scanned my boards and chose some projects to do with Harrison and some decorations for me to make for Thanksgiving.

Other than purchasing some extra paint colors, I didn’t have to buy any other supplies for these two projects. The first project was a finger paint turkey Harrison completed. Here’s the pin:

Here’s what Harrison and I did together:

I happened to have appropriately colored cards, and I thought they would be perfect as place-setting cards for Thanksgiving. Harrison lasted through most of them, but I did have to finish 1 or 2. He loved telling me which colors to use. Here are a few shots of the place cards on our Thanksgiving table:

 

The second craft  I completed was for decoration. Here was my inspiration:

The process was pretty simple and quick once I got the hang of it. The flowers don’t look like much, initially, but once they are up on the wall in a cluster, they look really great. Here’s one of my flowers:

And here’s my arrangement above the fireplace:

I tried using small adhesive squares that were wall-safe that we already owned, but they stuck to the wall and not the paper even though I cleaned the wall and pressed for the 30 seconds on the directions. I ultimately went with picture-hanging nails because we agreed it would have minimal impact on the wall, and we knew eventually something more permanent would go up on the wall. The nail head actually looks cool up close and you don’t notice it from afar. 

Here’s a breakdown of my supplies:

Fingerpaint Turkeys:

  • Cardstock: already owned
  • finger paints: $4 (we will use these a lot, so pretty cheap)
  • construction paper or marker (for beak, feet, and eyes): already owned
  • Total cost: $4

Paper bag flowers:

  • Lunch-bag sized paper bags: already owned
  • Scissors
  • Glue-stick: already owned
  • Nails or other hanging method: already owned
  • Total cost: Free!!!

Images for projects can be found here and here. The finger paint turkey is linked to my Pinterest image because the site the original image came from has been suspended for some reason. 

Witchcraft

… is sometimes what I think I should adopt so that I can claim a craft. I have so many friends who have a “craft” – whether it’s photography, knitting, sewing, baking (the list goes on). I often find myself coming up with grand ideas but not being able to bring them to fruition.

It gets worse once you’re a mom. I feel like it’s a full-time job just to care for, let alone entertain, a baby, so I’m wondering where these other moms find time to do all of these other things. Don’t get me wrong; David does his fair share. Somehow, I just end up with scrapbook paper, fabric, ribbon, glue… you name it in bags and bins in the guest room closest. Many of my friends got craftier after having children. How is that possible? A picture of Harrison isn’t enough anymore. The picture has to be well-lit and not posed. The sweater he’s wearing has to be knit. The birthday invitation handmade (it’s not by the way. I considered it and then just found a good compromise at Target. I mean, I couldn’t even find the type of sticker I wanted or the right stamp).

It’s as if having a baby brought out hidden talents (my talent was delivering Harrison naturally) or made the talents even better. Skipped me, the craft gene did :).

So while I’m busy with laundry, cleaning diapers, making food, playing with Harrison, making sure Harrison doesn’t fall and hit himself on something too many times under my watch, running errands, having a job…somehow my friends are doing many of these things and getting crafty. A lot of the times I just feel like I am good at being witchy ;).

*Witch image can be found here.

Something Crafty: Birthday Banner

I love, love, love the Young House Love blog (did I mention I love it). When I saw their office/guest room/playroom reveal, I discovered they also blog over at Baby center. I headed over there and saw that they featured this handy-dandy how-to for the banner hanging above the Murphy bed in their room. I am totally doing this for Harrison’s birthday. I will leave a space between “Happy” and “Birthday” to switch out the birth year (1st, 2nd, 3rd…). I already purchased some paper from Michael’s (using a gift card; score!) gearing up for this project. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I’m excited about making it because it seems super simple and fabulous. I have several other ideas up my sleeve for Harrison’s 1st birthday, too, and many of the ideas are things to be carried out in subsequent years.

Something Crafty: Card Book

A few weeks ago, a blog I follow featured a great idea for organizing your baby’s cards – from baby showers, congratulatory cards, holidays, etc. I decided this would be a wonderful way to not only organize, but also showcase, all the cards we and Harrison have received. Usually, all the cards we get end up stacked and put away in a box. This was a very simple, albeit tedious, craft project. The first book I made is already full, but i will make another one. I want to add dividers for various cards (we’re big card and letter people around here). I think this will be such a nice way to house all these cards and to look back through with Harrison over the years.
I plan on taking this craft and running with it for other cards. I want to do one for Harrison’s birthday cards throughout the years and other holidays. I also plan on making one for our wedding and anniversary cards.

Something Crafty: Father’s Day

I decided it would be great for Harrison to give David something “homemade” for Father’s Day. I originally thought of a tie after seeing an “easy” template on Etsy, but that didn’t exactly pan out. Instead, I created a Father’s Day onesie using the idea of a freezer paper transfer from an old co-worker of mine. I was very pleased with the result, and plan on making more since I have a few more white onesies to play with.

Oh, and it looked even cuter on :).