Thursday, May 26, 2011

Welcome Baby!!!

This year there are a lot of babies coming into our family...yeah!  We just love babies!!!

The girlies and I made the favors for the latest baby shower and they turned out pretty cute.
The invitation was our inspiration... see that cute little baby peeking out - and the little blue bird?  (We had a huge debate over whether the bird is a 'blue bird' or a 'humming bird''ll see what we went with...)
...and the pretty blossoms...since we know the baby is going to be a girl we were able to go all pinkish with these!
First on the 'to do' list - tiny birds (can you tell which one we decided on?)  I drew 50 little birds on water colour paper...
and then - surprise - I water coloured them!  First a layer of a pretty lighter blue..
next a bit of darker blue detailing and some black for the beaks...
time to cut them all out, turn them over, and do it all again!  I also added a tiny loop of string so we would be able to hang them.
This particular favor involves several mini projects within the bigger project - we had to make the babies now!  A walnut for the cradle...

Lane took charge of cracking the walnuts for us and saving only the perfect halves...
Madison painted and glittered the shells and we added some twine so they too would hang...
Now it is time to put the babies in the cradle...
we used little wooden beads for the babies heads...and because we didn't want to paint them all we had to use coloured pencil to make the faces.  The beads were porous and sharpie and paint both bled.
So the sweet little faces were added, the babies were swaddled in a bit of felt...and into their cradles they went.

To hold the babies and the humming birds we made tiny trees...

mini french flower pots and some sticks from the garden and the trees begin to appear...
a little plaster of paris in each pot and voila! tiny trees...that are home for a little baby and a tiny humming bird...

a bit of moss covers the plaster...but every detail isn't there yet...we need a few blossoms to adorn the tree...
small pale pink tissue paper circles make tiny blossoms...
we put two circles together, twisted the back and glued on a pink bead...and they were ready to glue onto the trees...we put three on each tree (we were doing 45 favors and at three per tree that was already 135 flowers!!!)
Add a small wooden clothes pin and you have a label to welcome baby that turns the favor into a photo holding treasure for guests to use at home.  Both the baby and humming bird are removable so this tree can be tailored to any one's decor.
Here they are all done and packed to travel.  We only had a couple of casualties...some of the wooden clothes pins fell off...that's why I always pack a little travel emergency kit.  Extra clothespins, a few extra humming birds, a bit of moss and a glue gun...that way any necessary repairs can be made.

And here they are at the party!!!

The favors and some beautiful fresh flowers and the tables were good to go...
These could easily be adapted for many different party themes...and each guest goes home with something they can use in their own home.

Arent' babies wonderful!?  Love and Best Wishes Angela!!!

xoxo  Elizabeth

Monday, May 23, 2011

Home Sweet Home

This weekend Habitat for Humanity in Merced moved yet another family into a brand new home....
There was a flag and the family was given a bible...two things that say so much about the wonderful people that volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.  God loving people who believe in our country and the people in our country.
There is a sweet picket fence that presents a pretty face to the neighborhood...
A sturdy roof and strong walls to provide shelter for the loving family inside this house...
the front door that opens first to welcome this family and then to welcome their family and friends...
a gate to a back yard full of future dreams...BBQ's, maybe a veggie garden, garden parties, a game of tag or hide and seek...
some new plants that will grow with the family...
My dad talked about the many hours of volunteer work that went into making this house...the 'old guys' alone put in over 2000 hours! The family puts in hours and there were several groups of young people that helped and other organizations from the community - including the wonderful Mennonite men who make such a great contribution.

But this house...this particular very special to our family because of an honour that the Habitat for Humanity board bestowed upon us...
This house was dedicated to my mom...Barbara Allen....
We smiled and we cried and we thought of our Mom, Wife, Grammy...and we are thankful for this honour.

And I believe I can speak for all of my family when I say that we wish the family in this home many, many years of love and happiness.

xoxo     Elizabeth

Friday, May 13, 2011

Hands On

This last weekend we went to the first annual local Hartsfest.  We got to play in some clay!
The Merced County Community Action Agency (boy that's a mouthful!) had a little set-up where you could form and decorate a bowl.
These bowls will then be fired, glazed, fired again and turn out looking oh so pretty!
But the really wonderful thing is that  these bowls will be sold to benefit the hungry right here in our area.

Rhonda Lowe of the MCCAA explains it this way:

The Empty Bowl dinner will be Nov. 3rd at 5:30 pm at the Atwater Community Center. It will be $20.00 and you will get to choose your bowl which will then be filled with soup and served with warm bread to symbolize the thousands of people in our county who go without every day.

If you would like more information or to see other photos go to Facebook and friend the MCCAA at merced caa.

What a wonderful way to involve the community in an art project and in turn help people right here in our area!

I am hoping I can find my bowl or Madison's to purchase...but as you can see in the top photo - all the bowls are awfully nice!

So, if you are looking for a great way to combine art and giving to others head to Atwater Community Center on November 3rd and find a bowl to purchase!

And thank you to my Madison for more of her wonderful photos. 

Don't forget to mark your calendar...go on... go and do it right now or if you are like me you won't remember!

xoxo     Elizabeth

Saturday, May 7, 2011


This is my Bethanne....
She's not really mine - but I like to claim her and I have been trying to steal her from her Mama since the day she was born!!!
My niece Bethanne is graduating from college today...all the way across the country.
She worked so hard that she is not only getting her degree... she has also become a dental hygienist!
We are sooooooo proud of her - and she's really nice too so that makes it even better!!!
That sweet smile and those smarts in your 'little' head are gonna take you places girlie!!!
I love you my Bethanne and I wish I was there with you...but you know my heart is there.

With love, with pride, with gratefulness for you....

xoxo     Auntie E

Friday, May 6, 2011

The view is different from up here....

Recently my dad had a chance to tour around our area in a small plane (thank you Mr. Sanford) and he borrowed my camera...
and it's true...we really do live in an agricultural area!
You can see our Bear Creek running through this photo

Sometimes when you live in the midst of a neighborhood it is easy to forget that this Valley provides so much for so many.

But, here's the proof...and isn't it beautiful!

 Here you can see the contrast pretty and agriculture - side by side.'s another thing we are proud of ...our University!  UC Merced!!! The home of the Bobcats and the infamous Fairy Shrimp.  That is Lake Yosemite out there beyond the UC.
We love going out to the lake.  It is cooler out there, and if feels like you are in another place entirely. You can take a walk, get a snack at the snack bar...even ride a paddle boat.
This is looking back towards the University from past Lake Yosemite. (I am relatively sure about that!) is one of my favorite places in all of Merced...the water tower marks the can see Bear Creek is nearby...see that red roof directly behind the water tower??? Mom and Dad's house!!!

Well that concludes our tour of Merced...please return your seats to the upright position, fasten your seatbelts, and prepare to land!

Thanks for the tour Dad!

xoxo     Elizabeth