sharing from my heart to yours
Well I have a few things for you today.
The first is a technical update on the website.
As most of you know, when I first started this site, it was a way to market and sell some of my handmade creations to all of you. As my life changed (I mostly blame my babies...SO worth it!) and my style continues to shift, I made the decision to shut down the shop part of my site.
I kept the site going, planning to use my blog to continue to update my friends and readers about my life (especially since we moved cross country). I also have used my blog to document and share my craft projects, with a possibility of accepting custom orders from any of you. I have now changed my site so that this page (my blog) is my home page. This changed my site address, which means if you follow me via and feed readers or RSS, you will need to update the address to receive future blog posts.
Also, I am going to make a confession!
I struggle with this blog!
Oh. Yeah. You already knew that! It's only a LITTLE bit obvious,
with my lack of consistency in posting :)
I guess the thing is, I truly enjoy blogging and I would love to be able to regularly post and update. But as many times as I have made resolutions to do better and post more often, I have come to realize that at this point in my life, it's just not reality. Keeping up with my 3 preschool/toddler age kids, my husband, my home, and the other basic commitments and activities we are involved in, my blog is NOT a priority. And I've come to accept that. Now I just hope my readers do to! :)
I have decided that I WILL keep my blog, but won't try to force myself to be a committed blogger. I will post when I feel like it. When I have something to share; be it a project, kid update, topic, question, or WHATEVER! Some weeks I might post 3 times, and some MONTHS I may not post at all. It's all about flexibility. Forced blogging isn't fun anyways. Sometimes when I read other blogs, I'm inspired. Then I wish that I could do better here at Whispers of Joy. Then I get discouraged again. So there's my struggle.
And now that I shared with you the way this blog will work from now on, you know too. Come back when you can! Hopefully there will be new things on occasion.
On to the fun announcement...
I'll be doing another booth at a local bazaar this year!
Remember this and this?
The craft events that I participated in throughout past years were so much fun to me. This year seemed like a good one to jump back into the craziness. We've lived in Minnesota for about a year and a half now, so we feel pretty settled into our home (that's a whole other store for another time) and life here. Also, here's my 'baby':
Yeah...not really. :(
So anyways, since I don't have any clinging attachments right now, I thought it would be a good time to do it. For the last couple of months I have been collecting, crafting, re-purposing, painting, sewing, gluing, sanding, designing, and creating. What fun! I have expanded a bit, and don't do as much for baby supplies as I used to. I have discovered that variety is more interesting, so I have expanded into different products, styles, and designs. I enjoy creating a lot more when I can try new things and have a more unique products, in comparison to having many of one thing. That's another reason why I quit selling the way I was on this site. I STILL have a bunch of pacifier clips from when I 'mass produced' them a few years ago! I still use them for Vayah, give them as gifts, and so on, but got burned out on making so many! Lesson learned!
Here's a sneak peek of a few of the many things I've been working on lately...
As you can see... a little mix of this and that. There's so much more, but this is just a little hint of some of my new things.
I may be putting a few things up on here in the next couple of months for sale before the craft show. Or maybe not. You know me! ;)
Either way, whatever doesn't sell at the bazaar WILL be available for sale online soon after. If you see something you like that you'd like to pre-order, let me know! I'm always up for custom orders for my readers.
as many of you have probably been waiting for...
there WILL be a giveaway!!
I haven't decided yet if I'm going to do it before my bazaar (Nov 2nd), or after, when I share ANOTHER big secret, but will keep you updated and let you know.
Throw some ideas at me... what kind of prize would you like?
Help me choose! I want to give something that YOU want to win!
I'd love to hear your feedback.
Thanks for being patient with me as a blogger. Your support is so much appreciated. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
Are you one of those people who need to write things down? Do you have reminders all over your house? Or do you like having a message board or menu board?
This is probably one of the easiest and fastest projects you can do. Seriously.
I’m not sure if it was inspired off of Pinterest, or where I first saw it, but I know I’m not the first one to use this idea!
Simply take a picture frame (even a dollar store one like I used!)of any size and cut a cute piece of paper to put inside. Get some dry-erase markers and scribble away on the glass! You could get really fancy with the papers or embellishments you put inside to make it cute or to match your other décor. I just used a fairly neutral paper that had a similar background color as my kitchen. It’s a fun and kid-ish print because I’m also letting Skyler use it!
I am trying to do ‘school’ with Skyler every once in awhile (hopefully more regularly this fall), and am looking for fun things for toddlers to do. He loves using this board to ‘draw’ on, and hopefully will learn to write his letters, numbers, shapes, etc on it as well. I’m tempted to make more for other areas of the house, since I have quite a few dollar store frames sitting empty in storage. I also was at a thrift store not long ago where they had huge frames for posters and such that would be neat to make a calendar in.
I’ve used it for scripture memory verses, Skyler’s art, and even love notes to my hubby! It could be used for so much more. I’ve also learned that dry erase markers will work on so many things-windows, refrigerators, mirrors, and so on. Get creative and make messages all over your home for yourself and your loved ones! Easy Peasy!
Over a year ago, I really started getting into making these blankets.
They take quite a bit of patience, but I enjoyed doing them, especially picking out the fabrics (isn't that always the best part?!?)
Here are a couple that I completed awhile back
A fun owl quilt made with basic cotton fabric
I love this print!
These quilts have about 4 layers of fabric, so they are great for winter or for laying babies on top of on the floor our grass.
For this one i used flannel fabric to make it warm and soft.
I made a flower pattern with the chenille, which didn't turn out exactly as I had hoped, but I'm excited about the idea!
The back side
Both blankets are oversized, I can't remember the exact measurements, but right around 40"x40" I believe.
I have both blankets, so if you would be interested in either one,
contact me for more info.
Thanks for stopping by again!!
Quite a long time ago, in our previous home in the Pacific NW, I had done this wall hanging for our family.
A photo of each of us as well as a letter for each of our names.
It was such a simple project, I thought I'd still share it to inspire you, even though I no longer have it up! New house, new baby! I may have to make a 'V' for our little dolly so I can display it again, though.
I also have to tell about the decor on the shelf.
The cross is part of the table decor from our wedding, and the hand sculpture is one of those plaster molds of mine and my groom's hands on our wedding day! Those things are so neat! When my little brother was born, my Mom did one of his little baby hand being held by my Dad's.
Such a neat keepsake!
(which must still be packed in some box in our garage currently! Ha!)
I didn't take any pics while making these, since I don't really plan ahead for blog posts (if you can't tell!). But I started by just drawing out letters on cardboard, then cut them out. I used a natural looking yarn (jute string would give a similar look) and just wrapped...and wrapped...and wrapped!
Then I hung them next to our pictures with black ribbon and a thumb tack.
The tack is in between the ribbon, so you can't see it.
Here is a shot of the whole display, in the hall going to our bedroom.
I recently got pictures taken by my cousin Dara, (which I am so excited about! Will share more on that later) so I'm working on getting some prints of the kids for these bare walls in this house!
And now that I typed this whole post with one hand, I'm going to go put this baby in her bed! I think this is a skill many moms have, right?! Have you ever learned how to 'hen peck' on the computer one handed because of the wee ones in your arms, or while you nurse them? :)
May your week be blessed and your thoughts inspired!
Meet Vayah Faith...
born June 13th, 2012
8lbs 4 oz / 20 inches
We're so excited to have a little girl join our family!
I don't think I realized how much I was hoping for a girl until I had her in my arms. :D Skyler was quite positive we were having a girl since the day I told him a baby was coming, so I thought maybe he knew somehow. When we called and told him he had a sister he calmly said,
"I thought so." :)
For anyone interested, here's a very brief overview of the birth story:
(if you're not, scroll down to the pictures...I don't want to bore you!)
My due date was June 9th. That day came and went and I enjoyed mild contractions off and on for about a week during that time. Tuesday, the 12th, came and I knew something was starting. Contractions slowly built (very slowly!) all day. My family (from OR) arrived that day, so we were set to head to the hospital at any given time. The boys stayed in their motorhome with them that night, as we fully expected to be gone by morning. Fro and I walked and tried to keep things going until contractions were about 5 minutes apart. I didn't feel like they were very hard though, so we went for a walk hoping to feel ready to head to the hospital when we got home. They stopped. ARGH! I had mild ones every half hour for the rest of the night/morning...afternoon...argh! Finally around 5pm the next night (while Fro was at the farm doing chores) things started to pick up again, and fairly quickly! They were by far harder than the night before and got closer together as the evening passed. We headed to the hospital a bit after 9pm, checked in (such a process!), I got in the tub when I could as we planned for a water birth. I loved the water and felt like I could relax much better. Vayah Faith made her entrance at 11:30 sharp, just in time to still be born on her grandma and great grandma's shared birthday!
Praise God for another healthy blessing!!
After some complications with cramping, clotting, low levels in iron and hemoglobin, dizziness, and so on, we arrived at home on the 15th with a darling little girl to join our family. It was a bumpy start on my end of things, but Vayah was perfect! Skyler was completely in love, protective, and adoring to his little sister. Rystin wasn't sure what to do but stare at her and pet her head, but he is getting more used to her and loving her more all the time. There have definitely been lots of changes and adjustments for them, but handling three littles at home hasn't been bad at all.
Vayah has probably been the most 'needy' baby I have had so far. She likes to be held if she is awake, especially during certain times of the day, and is much LOUDER than the boys were!! :) But I can't complain at all because at 5 weeks she has been waking up only once a night for awhile now! I feel very blessed to still be getting a decent amount of rest.
She is growing so fast and starting to smile much more and even coo a bit.
Newborns are so fun! I could just hold her and cuddle with her all day (not that my boys would ever allow such a thing!) :)
Here's a few pictures of all of us with the new little girl...
These last two pictures are outfits that I made before Vayah was born. The blue one I made when pregnant with Rystin (finally getting used!), and the other I made this last spring. All these girl flowers and ruffles are just so fun! Hopefully more to come!
Thanks for coming to check out our new little bundle!
This is a project that I actually did long ago, and have always been meaning to do a post on, and haven't.
At a fundraiser garage sale I found this cute little side table that I thought would be fun to redo. Unfortunately, I didn't realize it wasn't real wood until after I brought it home. I guess since I only paid a few bucks for it, no big deal. I still worked on sanding it down as well as I could and repainted it.
I didn't finish it right, because the paint has always been somewhat sticky and hasn't kept up the greatest, but like I said...a few dollars. I put a new drawer handle on it and painted it brown. Sorry about the picture, not the greatest, but you get the idea.
I really do like it, but wish it was real wood so I could finish it the right way and know that it would last and paint would stick right. Any tips??
A couple weeks ago, I had the awesome opportunity to go to an all day quilting retreat with some friends. There was a quilt that people were able to learn to make, or we could work on our own projects. I have been wanting to do something in the master bedroom at our house, because it seems to have been a room that has gotten pushed aside, since most people don't see it anyways. I decided that's a little backwards! It should be one of the more important rooms of the house, since it is a sanctuary and personal space for me and my hubby. So I decided to do a few things to make it a little more 'me'. No, my husband really doesn't care at all about such things! :)
I started by going to Ikea and getting a HUGE tan coverlet for about $17. I wanted to make the main pillows out of them. It ended up being so big that I made the pillows, a little decorative ruffle thing for the end of the bed, and I have enough to make a crib skirt and at least one more pillow. SO worth the money! Here is the finished product (don't look too closely...I realized the bed isn't even made real well!)
The bedskirt is made with burlap. I actually just sewed a strip of burlap, ruffling it as I went, onto an old bed sheet that I put between the box spring and mattress. I love how it turned out! Sorry...didn't even edit the photos...but if you recall, I'm just lucky to be posting at all!
The bed ruffle 'thing'. Still haven't decided what these are called! I often see throw blankets folded at the end of beds, and decided I could make just a simple strip of ruffles and have the same affect. I also did this at the retreat.
The large pillows made from the Ikea coverlet. So easy!
A small throw pillow made from simple off white muslin. I did some 'ragged' type flowers into the fabric, which I may talk about more in a different post.
To get a better idea of the texture...
Another random throw pillow. This is the accent color I plan on doing in the room (maybe one wall) when we move into our new house. The 'rag' around the edges, and some random scraps sewn on for applique. Another I did at the retreat.
Detailed texture again
And another throw pillow. I got this one in the silent auction at the retreat for a whoppin THREE dollars! What a steal! :) Elva, from here, donated it, and I love it! The burlap just ties everything together. Thanks, Elva!
And a random...wall hanging (!?!?) that I did with the extra time at the retreat. Not sure if I'll frame this, or maybe hang it with some jute string...any ideas? It is our wedding anniversary-almost 4 years!! Crazy!
So I felt like the retreat was a success! There's NO way I would have gotten all of that done in one day with my two little boys around at home! And besides the sewing, it was good company and wonderful food! Thanks to all who helped plan the event!
It still doesn't seem like much in the bedroom, but I love it SO much more than before. My husband HATES decorative pillows (why are guys like that?!), so he's not as excited, but he's willing to deal with them for my sake. Awww! :) I went with fairly neutral colors, partly because I really like that natural, clean look, and partly so it's easy to change up, or fit well into any setting. We don't have a house lined up yet for when we make the big move, so I have no idea what we'll be in! This color scheme should be fine no matter what, and the green accent color should be easy to add in around the room in other ways.
Come back soon, as I have quite a few other projects, both old and new, to share with you in the near future. I'll also try to keep you updated on our new home, and the ideas and projects that come out of that.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a blessed week!
So it's been WAAAYYY too long since I last posted, I know.
I guess that's just the way summer is, hey!?
It seems to fly by no matter what you do to stop it. I am having a real hard time seeing all these 'fall decor' ideas and crafts on various websites and blogs! NOT ready for that yet! I suppose part of the reason for that is the short season of summer we had this year in the great Pacific Northwest. :(
So I tried to take advantage of the nice days, though I think I made it in our pool about 4 times all summer. How sad is that?!
I DID get a few little projects done here and there, but didn't get pictures of them all. We had a baby explosion in the area, so I've done a few little things for some of the local babies that have been born recently.
Here's a little skirt/onsie outfit I made for a friend's baby, Shiloh Eunice.
Poor Rystin is still my little model, no matter what gender is needed.
Sorry, little man!
The greenish fabric on this outfit that I used for the skirt and flowers is actually a re-purposed sweater. I love re-purposing things into something new!
Now that all these babies are around, I may have different models if need be. I just sewed something fun tonight, but it's a Christmas gift, so I probably won't be able to show it for awhile! I have lots of projects on my mind for this winter, though, and the sewing bug is coming back with the cooler weather. I guess I CAN find some positive in it! :)
So hopefully I'll be here a little more often, with some new projects, ideas, and if I really get ambitious, some new products!
Thanks for keeping up!
I realized I never really shared with you the way we made our announcement when we were expecting Baby #2 (Rystin).
I simply painted a onsie for Skyler to wear when my family came to visit. I also sent a few pictures to people of him wearing it. I added a few little buttons and such (most of which are hiding behind his arm!), and on the back put the month and year I was due.
It has been such an awesome experience to have two little boys!
They love each other SO much!
My heart grows so much more each time that I...
...hear them giggling their little hearts out at each other!
...when the first thing they both like to do when they get up in the morning is see each other!
...when they give each other hugs!
...when Skyler tries to take such good care of his baby brother!
Even now that they are old enough to interact and play, they take each others toys, accidentally hurt each other, and so it. Boy stuff.
I had been fairly sure I was having a girl (both pregnancies!), but my boys are the treasure of my heart and I would do anything for them!
I love you, my sons!!
That is my recently organized pantry.
It's nothing overly fancy, and could do with a few more changes, but from what it started with, I'm pretty thrilled with the way it turned out!
Unfortunately, it was another one of those projects where I didn't think to take pictures until I was halfway into it.
Well, I'll start at the beginning.
We are currently renting an older home from someone we know through our church. We've been here for over two years, and we're happy with the place overall. The decorator/creative/organized side of me has loads of ideas for this house, but the practical/cheap/lazy side of me says, why bother!?
I finally called our landlord and asked if painting was ok (I had hoped to repaint my boys' purple bedroom at some point....more details there later). She said yes, so I immediately whipped out the paintbrush and went at it. (Ha!!) Slight stretch there. It was probably a couple of months and I started spring cleaning my kitchen. The pantry was in some major need of TLC, so I emptied the whole thing onto the counters, stove, table, and any other available surface, (see above) and started scrubbing.
I started brainstorming as I scrubbed (yes, that IS dangerous), and recalled a couple of neat pantries I've recently seen in blog-land such as the ones from Delightful Order and House of Smiths (not to mention all those on Pinterest!). So I went and checked out the touch up paint cupboard and discovered this pretty shade of blue that was leftover from one of the bedrooms! THEN I whipped out the paint brushes! :)
My sweet, smiley little boy had a wonderful time watching me work.
My wild, fun-loving little man thankfully spent most of the day outside!
Here is the completed paint job. It isn't really a 'walk in' pantry, but more like a 'step in'. There is room to take about one step into it, then there are shelves on three sides. The white shelves needed painted badly too, so that also got done. So bright and clean looking!!
Too bad I don't have a before shot :(
After adding a few decorative touches... it seemed to be coming together well. I painted the 'Thank You, Lord' as a reminder of where the blessings of food (and everything else) come from, and to thank Him for them each day. The white canisters I got for $3 at a garage sale- SCORE!!
The wire baskets are from Ikea, but I got them for I think $4 each at another garage sale. And lastly, the tall, glass jar was a couple bucks, also at a garage sale. I love the look of glass jars to organize pantry items, so I have been on the lookout for them lately.
Here is the 'after' shot.
Top shelf: Fancy glass serving dishes that don't often get used
2nd Shelf: Canisters with things such as corn meal, pancake mix, and such; Tupperware containers for chips, crackers, and snacks; and the tall jar with noodles.
3rd Shelf: Cans and condiments
4th Shelf: Cereals, oats/oatmeal, syrup, etc
5th Shelf: Paper products, drink mixes, pitchers,
Floor: Potato bin, chips, napkins
The white baskets on the left side I got from Walmart for a couple bucks each on the Easter clearance shelves. One holds candy/goodies, another holds Jell-o mix, and the last holds partially used bags of noodles. Otherwise you can see the assortment of things stored here.
The right side is mostly for appliances such as the griddle, extra coffee pot, waffle iron, and so on. The drawer holds individual serving sized containers for my husbands lunches and for leftovers.
I had a lot of fun doing this, and other than getting a bit crowded after a shopping trip, it has stayed in a somewhat organized order since then. The original cleaning project blew up into a bigger job, but it was worth it! My husband probably still laughs at me that the PANTRY was the first 'room' in the house I painted, after finding out it was ok! :)
Thanks for stopping in! Let me know about the storage and organizing ideas you use in your kitchen!
I also linked up at this party (thanks DaNita!):
Hello and Welcome!