Have Courage & Be Kind Free Printable

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A sweet friend asked if I would hand-letter the lovely sentiment from the latest Cinderella movie. I have yet to see the movie, but I read two interesting articles about it,so I am looking forward to seeing it sometime. : )

I couldn’t decide which way I wanted it, so there’s a choice of four! downloadable printables. Each PDF has a 4×6 & 6×6 you can print & cut. I plan on sticking some into shop purchases as a little thank-you.

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Click to download: blue foil | pink foil | watercolor | blue glitter

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My favorite is the faux blue glitter!

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Recently in the Shop –

A smattering of new minibook kits have been slowly added to the shop the past few weeks!

{click link to browse each mini in the shop}

Some bright, cheery, and girly folded/sewn minibook kits…

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I have made a couple folded minibooks — mostly to house verses or peptalks about a particular area or issue going on in my life — and they have become some of my favorite to fill in! They can get chunky, depending on what you add, and I just love it, like a real little book that ties with twine or ribbon. : )

Also new in the shop — more masculine-themed minibooks. Man I love woodgrain. Blue + green + woodgrain feature prominently in these. They’d be great for Father’s Day, to a brand new dad or your dad/fatherly figure, with your thoughts & those favorite snapshots.

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A happy party mini…pennant1

And lastly, probably some of the most cheerful minibooks I’ve made. Ha!

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Tomorrow — another free printable!!

Be Available! Peptalk Free Printable

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This little peptalk — “be available” — has kept resurfacing over and over in my life the past few weeks. For Anna’s school, we read a few chapters (from this book) about others who were “available” and therefore able to do what needed to be done because they were willing.

This struck a chord for me in my own life. I can be very task-oriented. I can feel the pressure of limited time and a long, long list of things to do– and in an effort to be efficient and quick, I can be a little bit of a tornado of productivity. : ) Not necessarily in a good way: those sweet little souls of mine can quickly become interruptions right in my path. Don’t we often view people that way, in general? You’re a speed bump slowing me down. Your personal life story is taking too long to tell. You’re taking too long to walk to your car. You’re too slow to pay. Just make up your mind! I have too much to do to listen, help, go out of my way…

I met with a (newish) friend this week, also a mother of many little people. She challenged me think through piling too much on myself in the “crunch” moments — those frantic, everyone’s-fussy-and-needy moments when, for whatever reason,  I also decide to do three things at once! I am not available then, when they need me the most.

I want to be available — to spend ten minutes playing dollhouse, to watch a new dance move, to wrestle with drooly & growly twins,  to see “something amazing!” outside that the girls have discovered — with a joyful, peaceful soul! I mean, aren’t all of these — the things drawing me away from my “tasks” — meaningful, beautiful, and important? Aren’t these what really make up “life”?

After meeting with my friend, I was reminded of two C.S. Lewis quotes. Maybe I need to handletter these, too, as a reminder to me!

“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life — the life God is sending one day by day.”

and

“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.”

Maybe you’re caught in a fast-paced race of productivity but not availability, too?

You can download & print this little reminder, then. : ) 4×6 & 6×6 in one PDF.

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Be Available Watercolor PDF

(I have Staples print mine on 110-lb full-color cardstock… it looks lovely!)

(Next week, another printable!! –> think Cinderella…)

Parties Minibook

IMG_5186 For almost every party, I make some sort of paper banner… it’s a (usually) quick, simple, and inexpensive way to add some merriment to a celebration. I also hate wasting paper, too — especially the pretty patterned paper that I used to make a million pennants for Cate’s first birthday party, two years ago. So can you guess what I did with all those triangles?? : ) parties1 feature1

Yep. A party-themed pennant minibook. I thought it’d be fun to chronicle our family parties we’ve had over the years! My birthday is at the end of October, and growing up my mom gave me many Halloween-themed parties–I LOVE looking back at the stuff she did, made, and created! I’m glad she took photos of the party but also the decorations, food, and games. It is really fun. I wanted something like that, just all in one place, for my girls. (I am not counting on my boys caring?!)parties2 parties3 feature2

In our yearly family photo album (I make them through My Publisher), I heavily chronicle the people at the parties, so for this mini I mostly stuck to the theme/decor and included just a few of the people at the party. parties4 parties5 feature3 parties6 feature4I made so many pennants for the party that, even after I jam-packed this mini with paper, I had some leftover! There’s only one available pennant minibook kit in the shop! {Click for more details!} pennant1

Noelle’s Frozen Birthday Party

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As I was planning for Cate’s party, I remembered the last time we had any sort of celebration was a year ago, Noellie’s 4th. She has a summer birthday, but since I knew the boys were coming early (I didn’t know how early!) we had a surprise birthday party for her in May.

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I think one of the highlights of my life was throwing a surprise party for Noelle. It was SO fun planning secretly, then quickly decorating during her afternoon room/rest time, letting Anna help with everything– and Anna was so sweet, so great, not a hint of jealousy that her younger sister was getting a surprise party.

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Like almost any other little girl in America a year ago, Noelle was obsessed with Frozen. : ) So coming up with a party idea wasn’t difficult at all!

frozen3At the end of her rest time, I helped her get dressed… a year ago she dressed up as Elsa everyday, complete with a cape and dress and braid. So I helped her get dressed, and I won’t forget how fun it was to walk her downstairs to a roomful of people who loved her, the Frozen soundtrack playing, presents, and ‘Frozen’ treats. She had NO idea!

 

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I could not have done this party without my parents! Seriously. I was (unbeknownst to me) just a few week away from delivering, on partial bedrest, VERY pregnant, VERY tired, with very little energy! My dad drew Noelle’s favorite part of the movie — the ice palace — on the chalkboard. He also painted Anna and Elsa peg dolls. My mom made most of the desserts, handled the punch, and made the ice candy to go on the cake (see here, here, and here for inspiration!) Thanks so much, Mom & Dad. : ) frozen5 frozen6 frozen7 frozen8

 

Finish strong! Peptalk Free Printable

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In college, during the weeks leading up to finals, I used to tell myself and write out the phrase “Finish strong!” because man, after four months of classes, papers, and projects, I was ready to coast. I needed to dig in and finish the work, the studying, the memorizing, the reviewing.

Now, years later, I found myself last week giving myself a peptalk: Finish strong! For some reason, I had planned & told Anna we would do “Prairie School” the last ten days of our school year… reading, crafts, recipes and activities centered around the “Little House” series that Rust has been reading to Anna throughout our school year. What was I thinking?! I am SO ready for school to be over! Our normal homeschool curriculum offers daily plans which I LOVE, so the thought of planning 10 days of read-alouds, activities, crafts, and pioneer recipes right when I was ready to finish our school year… I was DONE! Haha. So I needed this reminder last week as I was prepping for this week and the next.

I thought maybe someone else may need a little peptalk to carry them to the end of the school year, too. : )

If you would like to download my “Finish Strong” print in watercolor (like above) or black & white (below), here are the links! Each PDF has a 6×6 and a 4×6 print you can print.

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Finish Strong – Watercolor

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Finish Strong – Black & White

Cate’s 3rd Birthday

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Last month we had the joy of celebrating our middle daughter Cate’s 3rd birthday with a fun little family party. This year I really wanted to have a bright, cheery party for my Cate. Her birthday last year fell between my trips to the Cincinnati Fetal Center (for the TTTS), and while we made the best of that birthday, I wanted to let her have the excitement of another party this year. : )

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As always, I drew my inspiration for Cate’s party from — what else? — patterned paper, this time using We R Memory Keeper’s Inked Rose collection. Painted mason jars & tins, striped paper straws, pink posters, and painted canvas — it was nice to spend some rest times crafting these decorations.

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I was out of pretty ribbon to tie up her packages, so I used a copper-colored sharpie and drew right on the wrapping paper… addicted! I think I’m going to decorate every package this way, now!

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I had arranged a desk with silver tins of paints and brushes, and we were going to have the kiddos paint their own 8×10 canvases as part of the party. But the day was pretty lovely, and between my sister and me we have EIGHT lively, loud, playful children. We sent the non-babies outside instead. And just cuddled the babies. ; )

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Nicknames Minibook

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I tend to make minibooks in groups, working with the same paper or shape back-to-back. I made this nickname minibook right along with my Learning from Anna minibook I shared last week. It even used the same paper!

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We are a nickname family. I know — that’s annoying to some people, but those silly nicknames just keep coming with each tiny human we add to our family. : ) This was a fun, simple, and quick mini to make: I just used alphabet stickers to spell out each of our nicknames, each person got two photos, and the paper is cut 4×8.

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I made this a year ago… that is why the boys are not present in this mini. : ) They have plenty of nicknames already, though! The girls have joined me in a mutual love for affectionate, goofy monikers.

 

nicknames4I’m glad I did this! Some nicknames are still in use, and others have already been traded in for newer, funnier nicknames. (Like “George Washington” for Cate!)

 

Shop Fun Lately

With five little ones at home, my “free time” to work on shop & blog stuff is even more limited now — so blogging, even with my best intentions, falls to the wayside more often than I plan. : ) However, I am more and more regaining my energy & motivation for the “extras” now that the buddies, finally, at 9 months old, began sleeping through the night! (Getting them allergy-tested, then cutting out their allergens–eggs! tree nuts! peanuts!–from my diet got them sleeping through the night within 5 days of their appointment!!) More energy & motivation = more fun ideas for the shop!

I’ve had fun packaging recent orders & sending out surprise mini-mini’s with orders…

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I rarely take custom orders — time really is limited! — but I was SO happy to work with a customer who wanted to make eight minibooks for her friends… what lucky friends! I loved working on these because they used one of my favorite paper lines, We R Memory Keepers Chalkboard collection! I have several ideas for minibooks of my own using this collection, and piecing these together made me excited to completing some of my own with this line!

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I also sorted through craft supplies, which almost always leads to new ideas for minibooks! Here are some peeks of what will be coming to the shop in the next few months…

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Learning from Anna Minibook

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Writing the post about Rust’s coffee party (and how my six-year-old helps me grow as a person) reminded me of a minibook I had made exactly a year ago recording five ways Anna has taught me to be a better person. learn-a-1

I did an unusual size — 4×8 — but I loved the look of these pictures! It was a fun change from my standard 4×6 mini’s. I printed the pictures from my favorite online print shop, Persnickety Prints. Almost all the pictures I use in minibooks I have printed by them. When I get impatient and print pictures through Wal-Mart or Wal-greens, I am almost always disappointed. I have never been disappointed with Persnickety. : )

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I definitely made this minibook with the future in mind: so that Anna, when she is much older, will be able to know how much she impacted me just by being herself, who God made her to be. I marvel at the personalities He gives us — He is so creative! I know a day will come when she will doubt herself — doubt who she is, wonder if she is enough, or be tempted to cover up parts of herself. I don’t want her to be afraid to live out her personality: her people-loving, hopeful, experience-hunting, daydreaming, story-loving, easily excitable, super enthusiastic self! I want her to know: we love you for you. 

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One of my most treasured memories as a child is of my mother, at night, tucking me in, whispering to me: “Thank you for being you.” She said this to me over and over and over, through the nights of my childhood. I felt loved and delighted in! My parents let my sister and I be our weirdo, eccentric, funny selves, and I am a better person for it! I want the same for our kids, too. : )