Tandem Bicycle with Baby Trailer Ornaments for Baby’s First Christmas

Am I the only one still finishing up Christmas presents?

No? Oh good.

Yes? Oh well. I had 4 weeks of sick kids, 2 surgeries (on kids), 2 birthdays, Thanksgiving and a slew of local Christmas related deadlines all squeezed into the 6 weeks before Christmas actually got here. Then there’s Christmas itself. Do I feel bad that 3-4 Christmas presents still need to be shipped/given/finished? Maybe a little, but I’m trying to just roll with it (Get it? Bikes… rolling? No? Okay, sorry. We’ll just say “pun un-intended”.)

That means that there are still a couple Christmas-ish posts left in the year. Not counting yesterdays. Though… they aren’t all Chrsitmas-y, so maybe we’re still okay.

The first is this set of ornaments I made. A new baby was born in the family (I mentioned it yesterday), and we wanted to do something special. First a little background…

He proposed on a picnic/tandem bike ride, so I embroidered/quilted them a tandem bike table runner for a wedding gift (I will have to look for the pic). Turns out, the decor at the wedding was also bikes.

Last year I made them an “expecting” ornament, because I love gingerbread… and she was. Totally unrelated to the whole bike theme.

So this year, I wanted to do something special and I thought I’d return to the original theme. But first, they needed an anniversary ornament to go along with it.

Then I could make the baby trailer to go along with it. I made them separate, designed to hang next to each other. This also makes it easier to add on more trailers if more babies should come down the road (haha… again, so appropriate for the biking theme! I just love surprise puns!)

By the way, I learned how to make those fun frames over here on YouTube.

Gathering here.

Woodland Animal Nursery Art in Watercolor (and a quilt)

Watercolor Woodland Animal Nursery Art with Word Art Scripture

My sister-in-law is expecting her first baby in July and they are going with a woodland animal theme in the nursery.

And then we got the invitation for her baby shower… in California.  Yeah.  We didn’t go.  Not that I have anything against California.  I’m a California girl deep deep down.  I lived there my whole life until I got married and moved east.  But it’s far.  And far is expensive.

But we sent a gift.

Woodland Animal Baby QuiltMy oldest daughter is 10 and she got a sewing machine for her birthday last year.  I try to find real life practical ways she can practice straight lines, so I came up with a simple quilt pattern that would hide the imperfections.  I did all the cutting, her 6 year old sister helped me match the blocks, and she sewed them all together.  The whole top came together in a couple hours.  I did the rest… layering and quilting and binding.

But I wanted to paint something too.  So I started with that cute animal print in the quilt.

Watercolor Woodland Animal Nursery Art with Word Art Scripture - Ephesians 4:32

They aren’t the same… I added some of my own style into each illustration.  But I did start with the fabric print.

Raccoon - Watercolor Woodland Animal Nursery Art with Word Art Scripture - Matthew 7:8

Then I added the word.  And fit them together on the cards.

Then I picked a verse for each of them that I thought matched the character/behavior of each animal pretty well.  It was a fun part of the project.

Here they are up close so you can see the verses better:

img_3706img_3707Fox - Watercolor Woodland Animal Nursery Art with Word Art Scripture - Proverbs 1:7Squirrel - Watercolor Woodland Animal Nursery Art with Word Art Scripture - Ecclesiastes 9:10

Gathering here.

Snowman Valentine’s

I sketched out these little cuties last fall, but they never came to be until now.  I dreamed them up with Christmas in mind, but I just love how perfect they are for Valentine’s Day!  At least here in snow country.  They may not have been fully appropriate where I grew up in southern California where we only ever saw snow on the ground one time in my entire childhood.  But here… here we have snow.  Not today of course.  Today we have mud.

Sorry, back to the point!  Snowman Valentines!

Mother and Child Snowman Valentine Card
Mama Love

If I can pull it off, I want to scan and print out 6 of these mama love cards to give my 6 sweethearts tomorrow.  I thought about putting the words “My mama heart loves you” or “Mama love” or something else specifically “mama-ish”.  But I’m glad I didn’t.  This way it can be used differently… like from a daughter to a mama for instance… or grandparent or auntie or whatever.  Lady to child… or child to lady, you fill in the blank. 🙂  Maybe I can even get them in my shop for next year.  Who knows!

Romantic Snowmen "Let's Get Cozy!" Valentine Card
Let’s get cozy!

I just love this one.  I designed it first.  Something about snow people getting cozy just makes me laugh.  Maybe it’s the sharp ice crystals or the thought of the wet cold.  🙂  But these two just make me smile.  It’s definitely the message I’m sending this year. 🙂  I’ll be giving this one to my sweet husband! 🙂

How about you?  Did you make your own Valentines this year?  Leave a link in the comments… I’d love to see them! 🙂

Update 12/2023:  I have the sweet snow mama valentines in my shop and the text is customizable to suit you! I’m hoping to get the cuddling snowmen in soon!

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“Where do Snowbabies come from?” – Hand lettered watercolor illustration

Update 11/2024: you can now find a new version of this in my Etsy shop!

I love how this turned out.  It started with visions of a stork flying in with a snowbaby in it’s bundle, but that seemed a little too “warm weather” to me.

Snowbaby Handlettered

This is my newest project.  I made it Saturday night in its entirety – concept to framing.  I wanted to use it to decorate the “sprinkling” gift table I was setting up at church Sunday morning.

In the end, I decided the snowbaby should descend with the snowflakes into her mama’s waiting arms.  And I know I’ve used this verse before, but it seemed appropriate. 🙂

Every Baby Needs a Party!

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A “Snowbaby” sprinkling table at our church that is up right now.

As our family grew larger, we occasionally got the feeling that there were those around us who were not so excited we were having another baby… again.  Perhaps it was hormones on my part, perhaps it was insensitivity on the part of others (probably some of both), but I didn’t always feel like everyone was celebrating with us when we announced the birth of a new baby.

With six kids and only one baby shower, I’ve developed a firm belief that every baby needs a party!  The presents aren’t important either (though who doesn’t need diapers wrapped in pretty paper?)  It’s the thought… the celebrating with the family.  The feeling that someone else is excited about the new life God has blessed your family with!  Well I am that person.  I am excited!  Every time!

I do this in two ways.  First off, one of my ministries at church is “party planner”.  I get the beautiful joy of planning most of the bridal and baby showers for the people in our church (I try not to get too disappointed when someone close to the family has aspirations of doing it themselves.)

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A diaper “cake” for a “Daddy’s Little Hunting Buddy” baby sprinkling at church last summer.

This is all well and good, but, unfortunately, the church policy is to throw a baby shower for the first baby of the family.  This bothered me for a long while before I figured out a solution.  I wanted to throw a party for every baby, but the church didn’t have the budget for it and neither did we.

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A baby sprinkling table set up at church to collect gifts for a new baby last fall.  The paintings are mine.

Years later, we came up with the idea of baby sprinklings.  So now, when a new baby is born, I design an “invitation” that is emailed to everyone at church.  It includes a new family picture and the birth information with an explanation of what the sprinkling is, all decorated up with whatever theme I’ve chosen.  I’ve done half a dozen or more in the last couple years and they have been a blessing to the families, the church family and to me.

Just yesterday I put up a “Snowbaby” themed sprinkling table at church.  It will be up to gather gifts for the next few Sundays.  This time I included a “snowbaby” diaper cake and an original illustration that shows us all just where snow babies come from.

The other thing we do as a church when a baby is born is to take meals to the family.  I try to sign up in one of the first slots so I can be sure they don’t get missed (I’ve been the recipient of a lot of meals in my time, especially since we got meals for a full month while working through some feeding struggles after my last baby was born, so I always enjoy paying it forward!)  I also try to step it up a bit.  I don’t just bring a meal… I bring a party.  🙂

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Labels I made to adorn the party food I delivered for a family last summer.

It’s not that much more work, and the impact is fabulous!  First, I pick a theme.  Sometimes I use inspiration from the family, other times I pick on my own.  The pic above shows the labels I made (with sharpie on card stock — yes, you can do this too!) for one such “party” I delivered last summer.  Baby was born the last days of June, so I figured a 4th of July party was due!  I even included some sparklers we had laying around for the older sisters.

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These are some pics of the party I delivered last month.  I picked a gingerbread baby theme, sketched the labels and illustrated a card and painted them in quickly on card stock.  Colored pencils, crayons or markers would have worked too!  (clip art and printed labels are just as cute)

I found a recipe on Pinterest for gingerbread playdoh, so I made some up, enough for their little girl and my little ones.

Put it in a recycled jar, sketch and color in a label and tie on a cookie cutter with some scrap fabric and it was the cutest touch to the party.  I called it a party favor. 🙂

Families are always overwhelmed by the little bit extra!  🙂  And that always makes it worth it to me!

Yesterday morning as I was leaving church, a mama of three boys handed me a thank you note.  I read it while waiting for the car to warm up.  Inside she thanked me for “making each new baby feel so important and welcomed.”  That is exactly why I do what I do!

Do you do something special to celebrate the birth of a new baby in your circle?

Note: please don’t skip taking a meal to families who have just had a baby because you don’t have time or resources to dress them up.  They will be just as appreciative that you took the time to bring them a meal!

 

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