Friday, September 12, 2014

Fishing Baby Shower {The Invitation}

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Who says fishing is just for boys? According to some, REEL girls fish.
Above is an invitation design I created for a baby girl fishing themed shower.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Felt Fox Tail and Ears {Free Pattern}

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For some reason my oldest LOVES foxes. Books about foxes, pictures of foxes and of course the "What Does the Fox Say?" song. She begged and begged for a fox costume. Above is the final product and below is the pattern we created. If you have a fox lover in your home, here is a free pattern to assist you in making your own felt fox pattern. A few tips: Sew the white piece on the front side of the tail before sewing the two tail pieces together. Elastic is a super easy way for kids to dress themselves in costumes. The black portion of the ears should be attached so that it peeks out above the top of the ear. Glue it down and attach the white portion of the ears before sewing the ears together. Hot gluing the ears to the headband before sewing them together helps hold things in place. These ears are similar to the cat ears we created one year for Halloween. We followed this tutorial. Perhaps it will help you. Enjoy!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Easy Refrigerator Pickles

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Easy Refrigerator Pickles

3 Small Cucumbers
1/2 large yellow onion
1 cup Vinegar
1 cup Sugar
2 tsp celery Seed

Wash cucumbers, slice into thin circles.
Cut onion into thin slivers
Mix 1 cup vinegar with 1 cup sugar and stir until dissolved.
Place cucumber slices and onion into jars
Add celery seed to vinegar sugar mix.
Pour liquid over cucumbers and onion.
Seal and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 months.

I've really enjoyed having a summer garden and picking small handfuls of freshness each evening. We love cucumbers, but were having a hard time keeping up with the cucumber vines! These pickles are delicious on chicken salad sandwiches and are so easy to make.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dear First Year Homeschool Mom

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The journey into homeschooling was overwhelming. My first year as a homeschool mother I was so unsure of myself. I purposed to take note of what worked and what didn't so that I could share it with other mothers. At the end of my first year, I compiled the list below. They are the words of advice I would have shared with myself. Today, as we are completing our second year, these words still ring true.

- Find a homeschooling mother whose parenting practices you admire and pick her brain.
Find out what her routine is and what works for her homeschooling family. Perhaps even curriculum ideas and especially good read aloud books.

- Think only about the grade you'll be teaching and the one directly after that.
For me it was kindergarten and first grade. Anything beyond that and I was quickly overwhelmed. But it was also helpful to know what to expect we would be covering in first grade so that I didn't try to do too much in kindergarten.

- Spend as much time creating activities for younger siblings as you do on choosing curriculum for students.
Keeping my babies occupied while doing school with Marin was a learning curve, but busy bag activities were so helpful.

- Homeschooling is like any other new stage of parenting.
It's just a matter of finding the groove.

- Read "A homeschool day in the life of" blog posts on Simple Homeschool.
This helped me to find families and scenarios that were similar to my own and gain philosophies and ideas that I could try out. Finding other work-from-home mothers was invaluable.

- Attend a homeschool convention to look for others just like you.
It's good to know you're not alone.

- Schedule based on what's best for your family. Not based on pressure from others.

- Borrow books.
I purchased most of the supplemental reading books for history and looking back I could have borrowed so many of them. Borrowing lets you know what books are worth buying for your personal education library.

- Trust your gut.
You've taught them everything they know so far. It's a natural process.

- You are imperfect and there will be moments you struggle with feelings of failure.
Call on God. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

Blessings on your journey!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Logo Design: Loving Arms Family Support

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My mother is a board certified lactation consultant, and an R.N. who LOVES working with moms and babies. I was honored to help her design a logo that reflects her passion and skills. She owns and loves this statue of the holy family and wanted to incorporate it into her logo. What I settled on, I hope evokes the same emotion and tenderness but in a clean, modern way.
It wouldn't be right if I didn't include my sketch.Yes, I do sketches for parties AND logo design. Pay no attention to that weird flower family in the top right corner (grin).
 Learn more about Loving Arms Family Support by visiting her facebook page.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Strawberry Girl

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Growing up my mother read aloud to us daily. It's something I remember with fondness about my childhood. She's good at reading aloud and when I asked her to read Strawberry Girl (by Lois Lenski) to my girls, she enthusiastically said yes. During most of March they read a little here and a little there. When they finished and I asked Marin what was one thing she remembered about the story she said "The father was bad. He didn't give money to his wife and spent it all instead. We planted Strawberry plants after reading this story." She's right about the dad and about planting strawberries. That's my mom for you. She is more than willing to share the gift of reading with her granddaughters AND she looks for any opportunity to incorporate nature. She thought the girls would enjoy growing their own strawberries and showed up at the back door with six plants and invited the girls to plant them with her. Below are the plants (in May) with their beautiful pink blossoms and a hand full of the harvest. Thank you, Mom.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Porch Lights Restored

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 I purchased a set of vintage Phil Hinkley & Co. light fixtures from Midland Theory on Etsy for our back porch, in June, of last year. I had been searching for just the right fixtures, looking for period accuracy and something that mimicked what we already have on the house AND was a set. These were just the ticket. However, one of the lights was damaged during shipping and I had to contact the seller. We corresponded a bit and I promised to send her pictures of the lights when they were restored and hung. That's when I realized that it took me a YEAR to finish this project! Have I mentioned how slow we are?

First we had to repair the broken light (gratefully the glass was intact) I stripped the lights down to the original brass using steel wool, dismantled them, cleaned them, primed them, put two coats of black paint, rewired them with new sockets and bought new screw covers for the tops that were missing. Steven used his mad wiring skills and ran the electricity and hung them outside.

I love old light fixtures. Have I mentioned that before? Now searching for a vintage light for the back door.

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