Pumpkins and Trucks Baby Shower

Pumpkins and Trucks Baby Shower Dessert Table

This may be one of my favorite parties so far. Now I do love pumpkins, but pumpkins and trucks takes it over the top!

You all know that I’m a bit behind. Well, this fun Pumpkins and Trucks baby shower is from last September! That’s right. I don’t quite know what to say, but here it is in all it’s adorable glory!

I’ve been loving me some old trucks these last few years. I fought the fad long enough and now I’m all in. This little boy baby shower was just begging to be pumpkins… and trucks!

Of course, every party has to start with an invitation and I like to show my guests to be what can be expected if they are able to join us. Equal parts orange buffalo check and old truck cuteness, this invitation is in my shop and customizable by you for quick turn around (any other procrastinators out there like me?)

Old Truck with pumpkin welcome sign_Fall Baby Shower Theme

Just inside the party entrance was this little sign, announcing each one welcome until I could do so myself!

Pumpkins and Trucks Baby Shower Dessert Table

The dessert table is always my labor of love! I have so much fun creating “theme-y” sweets and snacks. Those cookies are something my mom used to make. They aren’t pumpkins but I couldn’t resist that sunflower sparkle. They totally fit. 🙂

Orange pumpkins for those who wanted a more natural sweetness (celery stems bring a little veggie into our evening!)

And those are pumpkin rice krispie treat in the back… with tootsie roll stems. Find all my pinspirations here!

Pumpkins and Trucks Food Tent Signs

If I was already designing invitations and welcome signs, I just had to make food tents too.

Pumpkins and Trucks Baby Shower Dessert Table

I think they help fill in the table nicely where it would have otherwise have been a little sparce.

Not to mention it gives an easy way to note which treats are gluten or dairy free for your guests! Since I throw these showers on behalf of our church, I generally know most of the attendees and their food allergies and try to be sure there are treats for them as well. If the guest list is larger, I’ll also make cupcakes that are not gluten free or vice versa.

Pumpkins and Trucks Baby Shower Dessert Table

Another gluten free treat!

Pumpkins and Trucks Drink Table

A few decorations on the drink table. I don’t usually get back to taking pictures once guests arrive, so the drinks were staying cool in the fridge when I took this pic. The print in the frame is something I painted. The words around it are “Give thanks, gather together, glorify God!”

I made some last year special order for a local market and have added it to my Etsy store if anyone is interested.

Pumpkins and Trucks Baby Shower Dessert Table

Several years ago, I determined to learn to make macarons for a tea party women’s retreat I was helping plan. It took months of trial and error and many nights after “bedtime” were spent making yet another batch of these with my husband as we tried to figure it out together. It was worth it though. I just love being able to include these special cookies at the parties and events I plan. It is a special touch and I’ve become known for them around the church.

This is the gift table… I hung that wooden pumpkin garland the next day (I try to decorate the church the night before when I can) and didn’t have the safety pins I needed to hang it. I keep gift tables simple. I want to do something since they start and end empty, but I don’t want to take up too much room either.

Pumpkins and Trucks Favor Bags and Label

Not every party I throw has favors. Often favors and games are the two things that get left out when I start running out of time. I was grateful that one of this mama’s friends wanted to help with her shower so she assembled these for me. All I had to do is send her the file for the label. She found fall wrapped Hershey’s kisses and some orange check ribbon. I love how they turned out.

There are so many more details I could have included in this shower but didn’t have time or resources for. Happily, I went ahead and created them after and have assembled a bundle in my shop. Click over to see the rest of the bundle. Some of the items are available independently, like these cupcake toppers. I have created some greeting and thank you cards with the pumpkins and trucks artwork too.

Are you planning a baby shower or have you done one recently? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

You can find me gathering here.

Our Christmas Market Display *where I sold my artwork*

Our Christmas Market Display where I sold my own artwork | mamasbrush #cards #watercolor #Christmas #market #vendor #artwork #penguin #snowman #Christian #church #mistletoe #manger #Jesus #handmade #Display #pallet wood #crafts #painting #Christmas trees

I’ve been away for a while. I know. When deadlines start to stack up, something’s got to give. I admitted up front that painting is what I do in my spare time… when I have some. And when I don’t, there certainly isn’t time to blog… not to mention nothing to blog about! 🙂

One of the things keeping me busy is a quilt that I’m making for my 5 year old son’s 6th birthday (next week). It’s still not done, but it’s closer. 🙂 On top of that, Christmas market was inching nearer. All my *extra* energy was going to those projects during the day and late into the night. No painting… no blogging. No problem!

Our Christmas Market Display where I sold my own artwork | mamasbrush #cards #watercolor #Christmas #market #vendor #artwork #penguin #snowman #Christian #church #mistletoe #manger #Jesus #handmade #Display

But this past weekend was Christmas Market at our church. We took a lot of time the last few weeks working on the children’s projects. They turned out really well.

The small trees on the table were made from lath that came out of our walls during renovation. The blocks are cut from scrap 2x4s my husband used when re-building the walls.

Our Christmas Market Display where I sold my own artwork | mamasbrush #cards #watercolor #Christmas #market #vendor #artwork #Christian #church #manger #Jesus #handmade #2x4 #crafts #painting #Christmas trees #joy

You may notice in the first pictures, that the “J” is missing. Those first couple pictures were taken the night we set up (since the window makes day pictures near impossible) and we had already gathered up all the “J”s to take back home and fix. This is a new project we did this year and I’m especially attached to it because I drew out the letters and the manger shape myself (instead of using the Cricut). When I showed the J-O-Y to my husband, he said we should add “bundle of” to it. After some brainstorming, I thought that little star would be cute! Sadly, they didn’t sell this year, but they could next year, so I tucked them away.

Our Christmas Market Display where I sold my own artwork | mamasbrush #Christmas #market #vendor #artwork #Christian #church #handmade #Display #pallet wood #crafts #painting #Christmas trees

My boys made these cute trees from the old living room floor my husband pulled up in September.

Our Christmas Market Display where I sold my own artwork | mamasbrush #cards #watercolor #Christmas #market #vendor #artwork #penguin #snowman #Christian #church #mistletoe #manger #Jesus #handmade

I’ve sold a few things here and there in past years, but this year I prepared a bunch. These are some of the cards I made. They are original paintings done in watercolor. The plastic bags I have them in made them hard to photograph. 🙂

Our Christmas Market Display where I sold my own artwork | mamasbrush #cards #watercolor #Christmas #market #vendor #artwork #penguin #snowman #Christian #church #mistletoe #manger #Jesus #handmade #tree #display

I also turned some of my past art into notepads. They were a labor of love using this tutorial to bind them.

And those little framed guys in the tiered tray were mine as well. I promised myself I’d have better pictures than I have… but alas. I’ll have to pull the ones I have left out to photograph them for you before putting them in the attic.

Attendance was up this year and we did pretty good. All the money the kids make goes toward summer camp and any that I make goes into the “braces fund.” Any little bit helps! 🙂 The Christmas Market takes a lot of work to prepare for, but it’s something I really enjoy doing. 🙂 And it’s really encouraging to me to find that, not only do people like the art I’ve created, but, they are willing to spend money on it too. 🙂

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Our Christmas Market Display where I sold my own artwork | mamasbrush #cards #watercolor #Christmas #market #vendor #artwork #penguin #snowman #Christian #church #mistletoe #manger #Jesus #handmade #Display #pallet wood #crafts #painting #Christmas trees

Gathering here.

Christmas Market

I mentioned before that I’ve helped the children make products to sell at our church’s Christmas Market for a number of years.  When I started painting in 2016, I included my Tree Lots as a custom order and had a lot of friendly comments and even got an order.

IMG_2377This past November, in addition to helping the children with their products, I also produced some of my own art to sell.  This is the picture we took before the Christmas tree was put up on the right side of the table.  It held all the ornaments the children made.

The mangers and lath Christmas trees were made by my 11 year old son.  The tags laying on the table and the snowman pillows were made by my 9 year old daughter.  The snowmen ornaments sitting on the shelves were done by my 7 year old son.  The cards, calendars and watercolor plaques were mine, as well as some of the other things.

We also had a few fall things for sale and my mom made wooden cutting boards and spatulas.

IMG_2380We didn’t sell as much as we’d hoped this year, but we did sell some things.  Really, it’s more about the experience of it all.  We include it in our homeschool as “industry/entrepreneurship”.  The kids make their own products and get to help sell them at the market.  It’s a lot of fun!  And the leftovers never go to waste because the children love to wrap them up as Christmas presents for friends and family.

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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First Personal Success

I love fall, so in those early days of experimenting with my kid’s watercolors and card stock, the sunflowers and corn growing in the garden outside my window were a perfect subject.

When we are learning something new it’s all about comparison, isn’t it. Compared to some of the things I can do now, this looks pretty rough, but as the best thing I’d ever created before, this was pretty exciting.

I actually made something I was pleased with!