Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Shop

Woot Woot!!!

The etsy shop is "open for business"... It has only taken six months to make it happen, but better late than never, right???

Click on the link:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/PolkaDottedBlueJay?ref=pr_shop_more

or the tool bar to check it out!

~ Elise

Monday, January 23, 2012

Praying for your Peanut

It is an amazing thing to literally hear God whisper.  It isn’t a demanding voice, but one that speaks quietly and gently – directly and quite deliberately to my heart.
Why does God allows certain things to happen?  Furthermore, why does God allow bad things or heart-breaking disappointments to happen to good people?  On the other hand: the “lady” at the grocery store drives me absolutely nuts!  You know who she is… she is there with five misbehaving kids and using food stamps; but she is holding onto a Coach bag with her perfectly polished acrylic nails.  WHY does she get to have the joy of being a mother – something she obviously finds no value in being – while numerous of my beloved friends struggle to accept that they may not be able to have a child…
Enter God’s whisper: Be still, Elise.  I have a plan… and it is awesome.
One of my darling friends just recently announced her pregnancy – I read the Facebook status update of her husband while sitting in the drive thru at Baker’s, promptly burst into tears (joy has that effect on me) and had to explain my emotions to the poor girl who opened the drive thru window!  It has been awesome to see my friend’s steadfastness and faith; regardless of whether or not God would choose to answer her prayers for a baby. 
 In her own words: “I know some people like to wait until they pass their 1st trimester but I believe prayer is more important.”  Amen, sister!!!  I resolved to pray for both of them; mommy and baby, daily.  The best way I could think of to remember to actually pray was to do so every morning when I change my shoes from tennis shoes to fancy work high heels… brilliant, right?
I have a habit of calling babies “peanuts” – because really, isn’t that what a fetus looks like???!!! And I am constantly asking how “mommy and peanut are doing” – when they know the sex of the baby, I guess I will have to stop with the peanut reference.
So I made an adorable mason jar into a sweet gift for my friend.  The outside says: “praying for your peanut” and on the lid I placed a coin-sized picture of a zebra high heel.  And it wouldn’t be complete without being filled with PEANUTS, of course!!!


This baby is a reminder to me that when MY plans are not happening as I would like them to… I need to trust that God’s plan is better. No, perfect; and will happen at just the right time… even perhaps, when I least expect it.  And even though it is hard to be patient (REALLY hard) I most definitely would rather have God’s perfect plan for me than my mediocre “I want it NOW” plan.
Thank you Lord, for your faithfulness. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Custom Name Blocks

Shauna and I had been looking for a neato way to decorate her mantle for Thanksgiving (she was hosting for the first time ever – and did a fantastic job) and she really wanted some sort of thing that said “give thanks”. 

We searched and searched – to no avail.  Enter etsy.com (smitten sigh)… I just adored the cute little block sets, with customizable text and colors, and it got me thinking: “We could TOTALLY make those!” 
So, Thanksgiving came and went… why is it that time seems to practically evaporate around the holidays???  - and no blocks were created.  I did, however come up with the bright idea to make Emma Elizabeth (my niece) some blocks as a Christmas present…
Emma Elizabeth is two years old and I thought this could also be a creative way to help her learn to recognize the letters in her name – the day she was born I lovingly looked at her in my arms and promised: “Auntie will help you learn to spell your [very long] name.”.  I decided I would make “EMMA” on the top individual blocks and “ELIZABETH” on the bottom single block.  I also decided that I would not glue the top blocks down, then she would be able to move them around and put her name in the correct order!
I decided on a color scheme that matched her bedroom; lilac, green and a touch of pink.  I had a 2x4 cut into the blocks I needed – waaaay less expensive than ordering the blocks online. 

Then I painted the top blocks the lilac purple.  It took a couple of coats, and a lot of in-between time waiting for them to dry, but I used the down time to cut out the letters and flowers on my Cricut machine.  I added an eyelet to the center of the flower for a little extra cuteness!



I had originally thought I would just clue the letter directly to the blocks, but I really liked the way the letters looked on top of alternating cardstock. – What can I say; I like glitter… the more the better!  It took a couple extra layers of modgepodge, but I made it work… kinda freaked out when the paper started to curl up under the weight of the modgepodge, but it flattened out as it started to dry.



The top blocks used up all of my lilac paint, so I had to improvise and paint the bottom block a solid white.  Desperation gives way to creativity.  The green paper I used was 12 x 12 and didn’t fit on the blocks – enter some more creativity… I punched out a square from the pink glitter paper and stuck one on either side of the block – problem solved.

Then it was just a matter of putting it all together:  more modgepodge, in-between time, and patience (I fail miserably being patient, like usual).


The end result isn’t perfect, but I thought it turned out pretty cute.   Emma Elizabeth was NOT in the mood to have her picture taken and could have cared less about it, but Nate sure liked playing with the blocks!

KENtagious

Not every project I try turns out great… and this is one of those projects.  I had read a tutorial on making rope words (see original tutorial ~here~) and thought it would be kinda fun to make one for Dad as a funny Christmas gift.
Dad has a nickname:  Captain Courageous KENtagious, so I thought that it would be fun to make that into a rope word. 
Where on earth do you find rope??? Forty-five minutes in Joann’s and all I found was some trim for pillows, and that would just not do.  So… off to home depot I went and bought a reasonably priced ball of jute!  What is it about home depot that makes a girl feel so under the microscope?  Just because I am not covered in dirt or buying nails does not mean I don’t know how to use tools or skillfully paint with spray paint.  (Rant over)
I mixed the glue/cornstarch and dipped the rope in the bowl… I ended up wasting a lot of rope, but I figured it would be better to have too much than be short in the end (ultimately wasting the rope anyway).  I laid out a sheet of wax paper on the counter and spelled out the “Kentagious”.   I added a little extra glue mixture to the points where the rope intersected, like the instructions said… but I think I may have been a little too liberal in the application, because it didn’t dry clear.
**Please forgive the "in process" picture below **


The end result was a little crusty/flaky – I think mostly due to my generous glue application – but Dad thought it was neat and promptly walked it to the garage and stapled it up to the wall.  Although it was a silly gift, it made him smile; and I love that.      

Christmas Cookies

The holidays are always a crummy time to have to go to work… and I always feel sorry for the guys at the fire station near my house on Christmas – they are busy putting out all of the Christmas tree fires!  So, it has become a bit of a tradition for me to take them Christmas goodies and wish them merry Christmas!
I baked my chocolate chip cookies and made a batch of peppermint pretzels; put them in some cookie “tins” – what should these be called since they are plastic and not tin??? – and hoped to bring them some holiday cheer.
I made two green tags with my Cricut machine and labeled each tin and tied some curling ribbon around them just to make them look pretty. 


This year I actually dropped them off on Christmas day and the guys at the station were so excited to get a present of their own – one guy practically vaulted up out of his chair when I said I had brought cookies.
In a time of year where everyone is so concerned about what they will be getting for Christmas, it is nice to remember what Christmas is really all about – Jesus being born and being the best gift I will ever receive – and show that gratitude by sharing that joy with others.