I Love This Fabric!

Before my daughter was born, I fell in love with this fabric. The fabric has browns, greens, blues, yellows and oranges all with tiny white polka dots. Without knowing what exactly I was going to do with it, I bought myself a few yards because I just had to have it! I ended up having bumpers made with it for my daughter's cradle. They looked great! Now I've taken some of my extra fabric and made these great gift tags with it, enjoy!

Potato Soup

If you live anywhere in or near Michigan, you know that it is bitterly cold outside. My thermometer this morning read 5 degrees, it's ridiculous! So, I'm taking matters into my own hands starting with making potato soup.
I had never actually made soup before, but it's so easy! The recipe is below, but know that you can add, subtract or change the quantities of any of the ingredients and I'm sure it would still turn out great! I think next time around i might pick up some spicy sausage to add to it. (Note, this soup makes your house smell really yummy, so go ahead and let it simmer all day!)
10-12 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
10 stalks of celery, cubed
4-6 carrots, cubed
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
Apx. 14 ounces chicken broth
8 ounces cream cheese
4-6 slices Velveeta cheese
1/2 cup margarine
Combine the potatoes, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and parsley flakes in a large pot or crock pot. Add chicken broth and water to cover vegetables. Cook until vegetables are tender.
In a saucepan, combine cream cheese, Velveeta cheese and margarine and stir until melted.
Add melted cheeses and margarine to the vegetables and stir. Continue to simmer until mixed well.
***Note: this recipe freezes really well. Just dish it into freezer-safe containers and then let it cool before actually putting them in the freezer. Reheat slowly over low heat***

Introducing: Flower & Ladybug

From the pillow in this picture.......came these tags (which happen to be my new favorites!)

And from this picture......came these sweet ladybug tags!

Too cute!
These would be great on gifts for kids,
or anyone for that matter!
Head on over to Cora Anne Designs to check them out!

My Hunt for a Necklace

Prior to heading to my mom's group this week, I threw on a white long sleeve tee with jeans and a belt. I thought I was looking pretty put-together until it was just about time to head out the door. I looked down and sure enough, I had pink something or another all down my side. Hmm. Must be my daughter's raspberry yogurt from breakfast I figure. Bummer. No time to change, so I throw a sweater over my shirt and head out. I don't feel too put-together or cute anymore.
So I get to my mom's group and notice two other moms wearing white long sleeve tee's with jeans. The only difference between me and them (besides the pink stain down my front and the now frumpy sweater covering the stain) is that each of them is wearing a long silver chain necklace. What a great idea I thought. It was just something little to turn a basic white tee into a really cute outfit!
So, my radar is out now for a necklace. I haven't had a whole lot of luck yet finding exactly what I want, but here's what I've found so far...Jen Ecklund Designs Layering Chain Necklace

Turquoise Bead Necklace from Banana Republic


I was hoping for something more chunky and chain-like. Any great suggestions, send them my way!

Donate Your Maternity Clothes

As part of my basement clean-out a few weeks ago, I went through all of my old maternity clothes. I haven't worn or looked at any of them in 15 months, but was finally ready to dig in and sort through them. I had two full tubs of maternity clothes and managed to trim my collection down to only one tub. I took out anything that I either (a) didn't feel good in the first time around, so probably wouldn't again, or (b) wore way too much while I was pregnant and therefore never want to see again.
I know the trend for a lot of moms is to bring their maternity clothes to a consignment shop or to sell them in a garage sale to hopefully make some money off of them. I would recommend instead bringing your used maternity clothes to a women's crisis center. They are always in need of donations of maternity clothes as well as infant clothes and supplies, (and you know as well as I do that they can use them more than the small amount we might make selling the clothes!)
In our area, I chose the Pregnancy Resource Center. Their main work at the PRC is to spread the message of Jesus Christ. They do this while providing training in sexual responsibility in a relationship, providing medical information, interventions in crisis pregnancies including pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, 24-hour helpline, assistance for parents with babies and toddlers, and finally, post-abortion counseling.
The Pregnancy Resource Center provides ultrasounds for a lot of women who are considering having an abortion in hopes that seeing the baby growing and moving inside of them will change their mind. Many baby's lives have been saved as a result of the work they do.
Besides monetary donations, here is the list from the
Pregnancy Resource Center's website
of items that they can use:

New or Gently Used Summer clothing, Sizes 0-4T
Milk Based Formula
Colorful Mobiles for Crib
Snuggles Carriers
Crib Sheets
Jars of Baby Food
Breast Pumps
Potty Chairs
Training Cups
High Chairs
Play Pens
Baby Swings & Other Baby Equipment (New or Used)
New Children's Bible Story Books
Disposable Diapers 4's, 5's and 6's
Baby Care Items (shampoo, lotion, powder, wipes)
New and Clean, Used Children's Clothing (newborn-4T)
Maternity Pants, Shorts and Shirts
Young Teen Maternity Clothes
All Sizes including Plus Sizes Maternity Clothes
Be sure to check out your local women's crisis center next time you want to make a donation, they can really use your help!

Introducing: Button Tags

I found this great set of cloth covered buttons, so I'm using them on gift tags now with coordinating papers and I'm loving how they're turning out, take a look!

Little Play Place

About a month ago, my dad came over and helped my husband and I hang some cabinets in the back storage room of our house. (By helped I really mean he was the foreman, my husband assisted, and I baked them peanut butter and chocolate cookies to eat when they were done!) Anyway, once the cabinets were up, it was my turn to move in and start putting everything in them. All of that time down in the basement got me thinking. On the other side of the cabinets is the unfinished part of our basement, under our stairs. Hmm. My little wheels started spinning. What could we do with this space that would be better, more efficient, and certainly a lot cuter than using it for storage of leftover paint cans and tile? I think it would make a perfect little play place for our daughter! We could punch a little arched doorway through the wall in our downstairs family room and it could be her own little nook in our house! Maybe it could be a gift for her second birthday (it's still 9 months away, but I might as well start thinking now, right?!?) What a great idea I thought!
Here are a few problems with this idea, as well as my solutions:

Problem: A while back my husband mentioned that he might want to use the space for wine storage.
Solution: I happen to think some wine storage for him would be a great idea, it's something he's talked about for a long time. So, lucky him, I found a different little nook in our basement that would work even better for that! Not to mention it would hold a lot more wine bottles!
Problem: With the economy being the way it is, my husband and I have decided to go into a "bunker mentality" with spending for a while. We're not going to spend more than what we need to for a while, just to be safe. Creating a play place for my daughter is not in line with bunker thinking.
Solution: I will stop making trips to Michael's and the scrapbook store. Ouch, that's not going to work! How about I will stop eating out for lunch during the week for a while? I don't do it tons, but if I did cut it out completely, that could add up, right?!?
Anyway, the more I think about this project, the more adorable it becomes. Here are a few of my thoughts so far:

Next to her archway where she enters would be this cute little mailbox from Pottery Barn Kids. So her mumma could leave her special little pieces of mail throughout the day!

I would place this adorable Hello. decal from TastySuite right by the mailbox.

For lighting, I would hang a large paper globe light. (I must admit that I somewhat stole this idea from my neighbors...they have a few of these hanging in their kid's playroom, and I just love them!)


Those are just my thoughts so far. I'm still looking for some fun artwork for the walls. It would probably be in my husband's best interest to get this project going sooner rather than later as the longer it goes, the bigger my ideas are going to get!

Valentine Card Swap

In reading through the blogs that I check just about daily, I found this announcement on the Pearls Events blog about a Valentine card swap event hosted by April Foster Events based in Indianapolis, IN. I'm signed up and hope you'll check it out too, it looks like a lot of fun! The information is below, but you can also find it all on the April Foster Events blog. Happy card-making!

-Send April an email [aprilfosterevents(at)gmail.com] with Valentine Card Swap in the subject line by January 25th.

-Include your name, address, email address, and website/blog address [if you have one].

-April will email you up to 5 names and addresses to send cards to by January 28th.

-Be sure your cards are homemade - anything handmade goes.

-Please send cards out no later than February 9th.

Help, I'm Scrapbooking!

My church is holding a Ladies Craft Day this Saturday. From 9 am to 9 pm, we can go and have the whole day to work on our craft, whatever that may be. Or, should we choose to not even craft but instead just sit around and chit-chat, that's our prerogative! It's our day out of the house to do whatever we want, free of interruptions and pressure to get housework done. We also get to have a potluck lunch and pizza for dinner. There was a whole list of women signed up including one of my girlfriends from church. I'm so excited! It will be fun to hang out with all those women, but it will also be a lot of fun to see what everyone is working on, and maybe even get some great ideas!
The thought of starting a scrapbook of my daughter has been over my head for a long time now, actually, ever since she was born 15 months ago. I think this Saturday is when I'm going to jump start this project. I haven't done a scrapbook in years and feel incredibly out of the loop. It's not all just about blank card stock, die cuts and stickers anymore. I headed over to the scrapbook store and immediately felt overwhelmed! There's almost too much out there, how does anyone decide what to buy?!? Clearly, I couldn't decide, so I just started grabbing things. In the end, I walked out of the store having spent a ridiculous amount of money, and still no majorly clear direction of where I'm going with this book! I must say though, I love picking out all the girly papers. Don't get me wrong, should we choose to have more children and a boy is in the mix, I'm sure I will fall in love with all the little boy things out there, but for now, I am loving all this pink!
I did decide though to start small. I'm going to start with a book solely of the professional pictures that I've had done of my daughter. I've got pictures from 2,4,6,9 and 12 months so far. This will hopefully help familiarize me with what's out there before I jump in to a full scrapbook of her life. (Not to mention, the thought of sifting through the thousands of pictures I've already taken in the first 15 months of her life is just paralyzing!)
Once I got home, I tried laying everything out to see if what I bought was salvageable. So here's what I've got. Say a prayer for me that this big mess of paper will turn into something beautiful!

My Workspace: Floating Table

My husband and I moved into our house about a year ago. I mentioned earlier how fortunate I feel to have my very own workspace in our house, now I'd like to tell you the best part about my workspace.
When we started arranging the furniture in my workspace, I envisioned my table being smashed up against a wall. After all, isn't that what we do with our furniture, we push it all back against a wall? My brilliant husband (remember, he's the one who found the snazzy desk accessories at Pottery Barn?!?) suggested that I leave my table in the middle of the room. Gee, I thought I was a pretty decorating-savvy person, but I would have never thought of that! It was genius! We then took a rug that we had purchased originally intended to use the our nursery and put it under the table. It didn't work how we had hoped in the nursery, but I loved it too much to return it! It works great under my table though and helps make the table look as though it's actually supposed to be right there in the middle of the room!
If you're anything like me, you do a lot of standing and hovering while working on your craft. I have a chair by my table, but it rarely gets sat in. I do too much moving around to sit! So having my table smack in the middle of the room allows me to orbit and work from any side I want, it's perfect!
Take note...the picture at the top of this post shows my table looking all clean, that's not real. The picture below is what my table currently, and just about always looks like. Thank goodness I can just close the door when I'm done and I don't even have to look at the mess!

Introducing: Stitched Tags

For a long time I've been living with guilt. Every time I would look at my sewing machine, I would have guilt for the very small amount that I actually use it. I've tried several different sewing projects, but it's just not for me. I think I must have a form of craft attention deficit disorder because I just can't work on any one craft for too long, and sewing projects exceed my limits.
I might have found the best possible solution for my guilt though. I'm now sewing gift tags! No, they're not made of fabric, they're made of paper, but I use my sewing machine to pull all the pieces together!
I'm so excited about these, I think the stitching adds such a sweet little touch to the tags. Here are my first three creations! Be sure to check them out at Cora Anne Designs!

I Couldn't Resist!

After days of kicking myself for not picking up the colorful pictures frames at Pottery Barn, I finally just headed back to the mall to get some.
They're so cheery, I love them! It was so worth going back!
I also picked up this fun green ampersand which really serves no purpose other than just being kind of quirky and cute! So worth it as well though!

Introducing: The Sunburst

I have always been drawn to the sunburst design. I love it's retro yet very classic feel. A while back, my husband and I purchased a large metal sunburst from Kindel & Company in Howard City, MI. We absolutely loved it in the store, but once we got it home, we knew right away that it wouldn't work, it was too big! So, we reluctantly returned it and the search continued for a smaller one.
In the end, we didn't find another metal sunburst, but we did find this sunburst made of wood at Stonesthrow in Grand Rapids. It's from a company called Jeffan. We hung it in our front entryway, and I absolutely love it. The shades of the wood and the design tie so many different elements of our home together.

So, when I spotted the sunburst stamp, I had to have it. I love stamping it in copper colored ink. I think it makes a great stylish statement, and certainly sends the message that you give great gifts!


Local Etsy Sellers

There was an article this week in the Grand Rapids Press about a woman from Grand Rapids who has started her own business on Etsy selling handmade clothes for Blythe dolls. Her shop is called morganannie and she has only been on Etsy since March of 2008, and has already had over 200 sales!
It's so much fun to search and see what Etsy sellers are in your area...I did a search and actually found some people that I knew!
Use this link to find Etsy sellers in your area!

Snazzy Desk Accessories

I hit the jackpot today! Actually, my husband hit the jackpot today when he spotted these fabulous desk accessories at Pottery Barn. This is the Emery line of desk accessories and while the picture shows them in green, they also come in magenta and orange. I got them in magenta and I LOVE them! To make the purchase even better, they were on sale...waaay on sale. I'm sure they will add a perfectly snazzy punch to my workspace!
Here are some other great office and decor items that are on sale right now as well. I didn't get any of these, but sure looked at them a long time trying to decide if I should. The bright colors are just so fantastic, I may just have to go back and pick them up!
Glass Frames
Pop Color Catchall
Paperweight Clocks

Silver-Plated Grosgrain Mat Frames

Introducing: Four Playful Animals

I instantly fell in love with these four little animals. Each one is smiling and waving at you and I can't help but imagine how cute these would be on a gift for a newborn baby. Not to mention how adorable they could be if used in a child's scrapbook. So far these animals have made appearances on gift tags and on circle tags by Cora Anne Designs, but I have a feeling that's only the start for these fun little creatures!