A Snowman Sign for Winter Decorating

Snowman Decor | Every good and perfect gift is from above. James 1:17 | mamasbrush #snowman #January #winter #winterdecor #decorations #black and white #buffalocheck #blackandwhitebuffalocheck

Happy New Year to you all and, even better, happy January!

My daughter and I have been switching our home from Christmas to winter decor these past couple days. I love to bring out all my snowmen for January. That’s when I was reminded that I didn’t save any of these sweet snowmen for myself. I made and sold a handful of them at our Christmas Market this year (I’ll share that one of these days I hope) and another handful as Christmas gifts. I planned to keep one of them for myself, but another gift was needed and it fit the friend perfectly. I’m hoping to make a few more this month while I can still put one out. 🙂 We’ll see how that goes. 🙂

The design started in watercolor and pen several years ago when I first began painting as a Christmas card I designed for my mom to send out. I’ve been fine tuning my snowmen since. A couple years ago I made one on wood for my mom. It was a beginners attempt, but it was cute. This year I decided to update it for Market and I was thrilled with how they turned out.

Snowman Decor | Every good and perfect gift is from above. James 1:17 | mamasbrush #snowman #January #winter #winterdecor #decorations #black and white #buffalocheck #blackandwhitebuffalocheck

I’ll be making more for next year… and one of these square ones for myself.

Do you have any new winter decorations you’ve found or made?

Blessings,
Babychaser

Gathering here.

Winter Shelf Decor and More

Winter Shelf Decor | mamasbrush   #decor #winter #pinetrees #snowman #snow
#snowballs #shelves #chalkboard #art #drawing

Okay, so we are in the second half of January and I’ll be changing these {my favorite} shelves in the next week or so. But before I do, I wanted to share them with you all. I didn’t really do anything with them in January last year, so this was their first winter set up.

I just love the way it turned out, but my favorite part is that my daughter (11) was helping me. While I was working on taking everything out of the box, she grabbed up those plastic pine trees and set them up herself. I just loved the way they were set up, so I placed that tall wood snowman among them and called um good. I love that skinny little guy. He is one of the projects from our first year selling at the Christmas market. I believe my oldest made him. The jar of cotton balls is labeled “snowballs”. I put it together for my tiered tray last year.

Winter Shelf Decor | mamasbrush   #decor #winter #snowman #snow
#snowballs #shelves #chalkboard #art #drawing

Behind that is one of my favorite, inexpensive frames from Walmart. I keep various sizes on hand so I can frame a new piece for putting up or gifting. I put a piece of black paper in it and used my white, water-based paint pen to draw a little scene and write out James 1:17.

Winter Shelf Decor | mamasbrush   #decor #winter #pinetrees #snowman #snow
#snowballs #shelves #woodblocks #crafts #wintercrafts #wintercrafting #saltandpeppershakers

On the bottom shelf are several wooden trees I’ve gathered or made over the years. The “Snow” blocks were another from my son, but his time they were made just for me instead of left overs from market. He did them in all shades of green because he knew I would want to use them for a winter-scapey theme after Christmas. The adorable snowman salt and pepper shakers were made by my daughter for Christmas market and were among the left overs. I’m just “borrowing” them until next year when we’ll put them out to sell again. 🙂

Rae Dunn Inspired Cocoa Station - Winter Shelf Decor | mamasbrush   #decor #marshmellows #cocoa #candycanes #mugs #RaeDunn

I love this little spot on the window sill above my stove. I usually put mugs all along it through Christmas and beyond, but we got a cat last year and I just can’t keep him off that sill. I am too afraid he’ll get up there and knock something down to it’s doom. And let’s be honest, he’s going to get up there. I find cat prints all. the. time.

So this year I made this a little cocoa themed space. I filled a mason jar with large marshmallow and set my cute hot chocolate mix with it. Then the cittle crocheted mug rug my daughter made for me for Christmas this year. Also for Christmas this year, my sister gave me my first official Rae Dunn piece. I’ve been pinning them for a year now. She picked out this cute mug that says “faith” on it. Problem was, as cute as it would be with all those candy canes in it, it just didn’t fit. So I grabbed my black water-based paint pen and wrote “cocoa” on it in my wobbly version of “Rae Dunn” like writing on the other side. Now I have options. I can use it as is, or I can turn it around and write something to fit my theme.

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Toilet Paper Snowman - Winter Shelf Decor on a Budget| mamasbrush   #decor #snowman #snow #crafty #winter #easycrafts #decor #decorations #toiletpaperrolls

This is my last favorite thing this year. It was also a gift, last year’s Christmas gift from my older boys (12 and 8 at the time). You see, last year was the year of the toilet paper pumpkins at our church. It seemed that every different group made them, but I had no idea. Not until after we made a bunch and took them to the Christmas market hoping to sell a few for Thanksgiving. We didn’t sell any! No worries, put the toilet paper back in the bathroom and fold up the fabric for a future project. But apparently it started the wheels turning for my boys. Before I knew it, and with no idea why, they were begging the next empty oatmeal container off me for a project. That, plus some help and supplies from my mom, became the cutest toilet paper snowman you’ve ever seen! One of my favorite Christmas gifts from 2018!

So there you have it, my favorite parts of this year’s winter decor. I hope you are inspired to make a special place in your home to make you smile!

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Gathering here.

Recommended Reading:

My Shelves Done Up for Valentine’s Day
Cozy Mountain Lodge Theme Wrap Up
Our Christmas Market Display – Where I sold my own artwork!

Easy Hiking Theme Birthday on a Budget

I wasn’t sure how I was going to make this “Hiking” themed birthday different from the “Camping” theme we did a few years ago, and let me tell you, inspiration was not coming. I had only general ideas going into the evening before the big day, but hopefully that is just proof of how easy and budget friendly this whole theme was.

Birthdays are a big deal around here, and if you’ve been around a while, then you know that there is always a theme. I was really struggling with what the theme would be this time around since the interests of my now nine year old haven’t changed much over the last few years. I’ve done all the themes already. What he really wanted was a hiking theme, but I kept fighting against it since we just did a camping theme a few years ago.

Added into all that, my husband and I spent 10 days during July in the hospital with our oldest daughter and, while she is in full health now, the week we got home was full of recovery and catching up from being away from home and the rest of the kids for so long. That left only a few days to figure out what I was going to do for this birthday.

Finally I gave in. Hiking theme it was… but I had no idea what I would do. Pinterest is always a huge help, but most of the “hiking” searches brought up tons of great “camping” themed party ideas. Or “national park” themes. Still not exactly what I was looking for. (See my Pinterest board for more ideas!)

One thing I did find was cute hiking signs I could print… but my printer wasn’t working at the last minute, so we didn’t have those.

So what’s a girl to do with no balloons, no streamers, and no idea what to start with? I headed upstairs to to the attic for the Christmas/winter decorations. Yes I did! You may recognize some of these from the Cozy Mountain Lodge Women’s Retreat I decorated for earlier this year too.

I put some of these decorations on my much loved shelves.

Adventure Awaits Hand Painted Card -- Easy Hiking Theme Birthday on a Budget

And I try to paint/illustrate a little card for each of the kids on their birthday. It’s become something that is really special to them. This time I thought it fit nicely in the decoration. You could totally do this painting. I painted the green part of the tree loosely, leaving gaps here and there in a light green. After that dried, I did it again with the same paint, but not going all the way to the edges. Then a third time after it dried again. Once it was all dry the fourth time, I added the brown trunk. Sometimes I simply use a tall triangle for a pine tree. It works great!

The mountains I put on a pedestal in the middle of the breakfast table. (Excuse the wrinkled tablecloth… the epitome of last minute.)

Birthday breakfast was cinnamon roll mountains. Super easy! Two cans of cinnamon rolls from the refrigerated section of the grocery store (though you can make your own if you have the time and inclination). I just unrolled each one and re-rolled it in the slightest cone shape. A little tip: don’t go too high with your cone or it will topple over… but I just made that one mine. 🙂 No big deal.

I made little flags out of scrapbook paper and glued “take a hike” circles on to them. The stick is a skewer I cut into three parts. I hand wrote the “take a hike” but you could use something printed off the computer or even stickers if you can find something you like.

Life's An Adventure... Go Hiking! Chalkboard -- Easy Hiking Theme Birthday on a Budget

The chalkboard was really easy to do. Honestly, the hardest part was the lettering. Again, you could even use a simple tall triangle for the tree if the scribbled lines are too much. I found that the orange chalk gave enough of a brown feel over the black of the chalkboard that it worked perfectly.

Hiking Trail Cake -- Easy Hiking Theme Birthday on a Budget

The cake was the most last minute of all. I baked the cake the night before… but I used too high of a temperature and it was dry. So my daughter and I remade it that morning. That afternoon I was assembling my cake unfrozen (freezing them first makes it super easy to assemble and frost!!) and with no real idea of what I wanted to do. None of the 2-3 pins I found were what I wanted/had time for, so I was on my own. The cake has it’s own post! Click over to find out how I made it! 🙂

And that’s how we did our easy hiking theme birthday on a budget! To top it off, we recommended some hiking themed birthday presents to family who were looking for ideas, so the back pack, nature journal and compass really added to the excitement! 🙂

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Easy Hiking Theme Birthday on a Budget

Gathering here.

Recommended reading:

Take a Hike: How I made a Sloped Birthday Cake
Ladybug Birthday Party Theme
Every “BUG”ys Welcome Adoption Party
Mary Poppins Birthday Party Theme

Snowman Valentines

With February upon us at last, I’d like to share some of my fun Valentine-y goodness. Last year I shared these little cuties with you. I still just love them!

That cute cuddling couple! Something about cold, icy, snow people cuddling makes me smile still.

And that snow-mama with her little snow-baby. Melts my heart! (pun intended!)

I hope you like them as much as I do… and (Updated 12/2023), just in case you do, I’m making them available in my shop! You can find the “snow mama” card and a new snow mama design now.

And, surprise!!! They are now customizable with Canva! Click through to find out how that works, but you can change the text to suit you and your family!

I’m hoping to have the “Snow Couple” cards done before the end of the year! I’ll update this post when they are done, but if you want to keep an eye out, click over to my shop and hit the “follow shop” button at the top. You’ll see in your “updates” section when they are listed!

If you aren’t ready for it now, pin it for later… and while you are at it, follow me on Pinterest to find all sorts of great inspiration!

Gathering here.


My Own Art on a Tea Towel

Back in September I entered a design contest with Spoonflower. It was one of my favorite fabric designs so far… the little girl making a snowman. It was entered in the “pun” category with the little hand lettered “making friends” off to the side.

Well, when my mom was buying a bunch of fat quarters of my 2019 calendar tea towel for Christmas presents, she bought this one for me. And she did the sewing to make it into a tea towel for me. I just love it… though the design on it is much bigger than it was in my head. 🙂 But it is exactly what I wanted it to be… a sweet little winter decoration.

The top (back if it’s hung) of the towel is filled with these snowflakes of different sizes. I’m so afraid of getting it dirty, though, that I think it would make a better pillow. I’m looking forward to grabbing up a fat quarter (or 3 or 4) to make pillows for next winter. Hopefully I’ll get to share them here if I do. It is so much fun to see my own art on something. If you want to purchase your own fat quarter of “making friends”, head over to my Spoonflower Shop… and let me know what you do with it!

Gathering here.

With love for puns

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Thanks to all of you who popped over to vote for me in the last Spoonflower Design Challenge.  I didn’t win, but I wasn’t really expecting to either.  There were so many amazing designs!  I just love how the challenges push me to get better.

I skipped the last challenge (total lack of inspiration for me), but instead took the time to work on this weeks challenge.  Spoonflower challenged us to come up with a tea towel design that used a play on words.  They wanted it to be punny.  I love puns and it just so happened that I had a super rough sketch of this little girl making herself a friend. I made a bunch of changes and polished it up a bit and have entered it in this weeks Designer Challenge.  Head over to vote if you want to.

A little Snowman Love for Valentine’s

I’m going to leave coffee and the women’s retreat I’m decorating for behind me for a while.  With February only a couple days away, I’m ready to transition to Valentine’s Day.

Snowman Love

This is another piece from my first year painting and illustrating.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t in pristine condition for it’s photo.  It’s a little dirty and a corner was damaged.  But since this blog is, first of all, a place for me to keep a record of what I’ve done and am doing (as long as I remember to take a picture before I let it go), I decided to include it anyway. 🙂

He’s a cute little guy, but really he was a chance to play with shading on a white subject and using a wash for the background… both of which I’m still working on. 🙂

**Update: Find more Snowman Love with printables here! And here!

“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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