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Monday, December 8, 2014

Don't Forget to Vote!

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Hey guys!  Just wanted to remind you to run on over and vote for your local food pantry!!!  You can make one vote every 24 hours.  Who could pass up the chance to give a $20,000 make-over to such a deserving cause?

You can vote HERE

Thanks again to Walmart and TheMotherhood.com for bringing 
this service opportunity right to our doors :0}


Saturday, December 6, 2014

You Know You Wanted More!

Sick of Ornaments YET???  Never!  You know you wanted to see more.

These are a few of the attempts for a recent custom order.  My sweet customer was ordering these for her Sunday School class.  She wanted 15 unique ornaments the kids could choose from.

It was a lot harder than you would think to rifle through my pile of daubers and make 15 unique ornaments teens would love.  Hopefully we did OK.  These two on top are probably the biggest ;0}
I call them my Medusa line.  I actually really liked them...the next morning.  If you have ever crafted at my house, chances are you have heard me say, "Just go to bed.  It will look better in the Morning!"  It was true for these two Medusa ornaments.  The pack I make for my tree are going to look like these.

Mads helped me with a few.  She was about as excited as I was to sit down and do these, then she just sat and stared once she had glue gun in hand.  It was rather comical to me.  I had literally done the exact same thing 15 minutes earlier.  It was quite comforting to see my fearless teenager, wild with creativity, sit and get the same blank stare that plagued my face.  Anyway, she made these two cute ones.  I like the white fir replacing the green.  She said something about that and I had no clue what she was talking about until I saw this ornament.


One of my favorites!  I should tell you, I like to put the nativity low on the insert, so it just about touches the corners of the nativity to the edge of the insert.  I did that with this one, then cut the insert flat underneath.  That way, when I put the gold filler inside, there was open space at the bottom and it wasn't pinched off down there.  Beautiful.  This gold...what do they call it...

Twinkle trim!  Yep.  Bought it at Hobby Lobby.  It looks like really fancy straw in there with the nativity.
I need to buy more of that stuff.

Awe.  Love Candy canes.




Meet the original Medusa ornament.  I tried to glue just a couple sprigs of beaded branch to the front.  It looked terrible.  Added some floating snowflakes.  Worse.  Pine cones.  Now it looks like a nest...and falls on it's face.  Might as well make it go all the way around.  Tadah!  Wait.  It really looks like a nest.  Madison..."Mom, you need a bird on that!"  Mom...laughing.."Wait!  I have one!"

Reminds me of the giant bird on bugs life.

See the resemblance???

Other than the bird needing to go on a diet or get a lap band or something...I LovE it!  

Dear customer, 

It is OK.  Giant bird in the Medusa nest is not in your box.

He lives on my tree.  

And I bought smaller birds at Hobby Lobby so I can make a whole family of baby bird Medusa nest ornaments to cherish and haunt my family for generations.

Madison.  You are welcome.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Couched For The Season

 
You are looking at my every breathing moment from the last 45 days.

Now you are looking at my 12 toed cat how had a great time with all of the packing materials and empty ornament boxes that were lying around.  

I have been Couched For The Season.
Couched making ornaments.  Did I ever imagine I would one day spend the whole month of November sitting on the couch making ornaments, the very same ornament I don't actually own for myself??? 
Nope.
But it pays the bills, so keep 'em coming!

Every once in a while I took a break to stretch my legs, grabbed a pop and drove to Hobby Lobby to buy more ornament supplies, like ribbon for bows.

Do you know how exciting it is to sit and tie 2000 bows in a day.  Nope.  No one does.  That is because it is not exciting.  But, the whole first season of Downton Abby I watched whilst tying and snipping was very exciting.  I had to switch to Downton Abby 'cause I finished Call the Midwife!  Netflix, I MUST HAVE MORE!  You can't just leave me hanging like that!?!  Season three!  Season ThreE!

Couched, but not rested.  No sleep.  Please forgive my lack of sanity.

The rest are just glimpses of my last 45 days.  Custom ornament orders, custom vinyl orders, in the middle of the night orders.


Not all vinyl likes to be picked.  Nope.  Not all.  Some makes me want to throw things at joggers going by my front window.  The window I can peer through while chained to my couch...

19 dozen.  Yup.  Big order.



I need to make a bout a thousand more of these to get to the point I don't squeal with delight when I see his smiling face.  I love happy things!


Discovered Walmart sells plastic ornaments that work great with my inserts!!!
Good to know!


22 dozen.  Not fun to ship.  Nope.  It is not.

I sent out over 50 orders the day before.  This was a stifling image for my eyes to behold.  My bank account loved it, just like all my family that was simply counting dollar signs.  That was when I sat them all down, handed them a cutting board and an exacto knife complete with nativity vinyl to pick.  There is no way I am doing all the work ;0}  Now my kids talk price of things from the store in terms of sheets of vinyl.  "I want this pair of sunglasses, but do you know how many sheets of vinyl they cost???"  

My response, "Yes.  Yes I do."

This was a really interesting custom order for me.  This fabulous customer asked for a stencil so she could airbrush some Christmas cookies for a party.

Stencil?
Airbrush???  Cookies???

It took a bit of work, but I got it!  A one piece stencil to make a nativity design on cookies.  You could probably dust with powdered sugar or sanding sugars if you don't have an airbrush setup ;0}

Burlap ribbon bows.  I like them!

20 dozen


Had to go buy some Michaels ornaments to test for insert size.  I sell the inserts in any size, but Michaels apparently does not bother to put the size on the box???

I am going to have to call them.

These two are 2.75 and 2 inches.  Not the same as the rest of the stores.  It's OK.  I can still make them.

<3 p="">



Love this design.  Not super fun for 2 5/8" or smaller ornaments, not even always possible, but these were for 3 1/4" ornaments.  They worked great.

Did you know the takeout boxes work fabulously as a gift box for ornaments???  They also sell cupcake boxes that work great for the 2 5/8" and smaller.  These are at Micheals.


I worked literally around the clock the week of Thanksgiving, just taking a 2 hour nap here or there.  We even filled an entire bin at the post office just with the orders.  All the hundred envelopes are at the bottom.  

Anyway, I better get back to work.  More orders to finish up for today, but luckily we are back to sleeping at night.  Phew!  Time to make myself a set ;0}


p.s. Still have about 10 dozen ornaments, some with snow, some without sitting here ready to ship once bows are glued on.  Stop by TheBubbleBox to grab a box for yourself ;0}

Closing the shop in one week, so get your nativities while you still can!!!


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Giving Tuesday: NICU Ornaments


After my nephew Sawyer's stay in the NICU one year ago tomorrow, I have a very special place in my heart for those families going through the nightmare of a NICU stay.  I have actually witnessed several friends waiting with heavy hearts, watching their tiny little blessings from Heaven struggle for every breath.  Each time I found myself at a loss of what to do to ease the pain.


My sweet sister, knowing that the anniversary of Sawyer's NICU stay was coming up, asked if I would help her make some ornaments she could take up to Children's Hospital of Minneapolis to give to the families there.  Just about every day during her family's stay sweet gifts of comfort and community were dropped off at the nurse's stations to brighten the family's days.  


Kallie's family got just a glimmer of joy each day at the prospect of receiving the small gifts.  Even just that moment of happiness during the day of struggle was a relief.  Kallie really wanted to give that gift of joy to other families, and she thought these keepsake ornaments would be the ticket.

Knowing that not all babies are as lucky as Sawyer, getting to go home in the loving arms of his family, we didn't want to say "Ya!  You made it" or anything like that.  We hoped that this ornament could be a small, silent memory for those who lose their babies, as well as for the families that left the hospital triumphant.  

My favorite part of these ornaments is the small pair of footprints inside.  It is crazy to think, with the footprints being not even 2" tall, that some of those babies have feet smaller than the ornament's footprints themselves.

I love these sweet feet.  My little guy Sawyer, he was only two weeks early, so he had pretty average sized feet for a newborn, it was his lungs that were in such bad shape.

Anyway, forgive me if this post makes no sense at all.  There hasn't been much sleep this holiday selling season, but there have been many moments of weepy gratitude for all the joy granted by having Sawyer in our lives.  He is such a blessings from heaven and I am so grateful for the knowledgeable medical staff, the answered prayers, and the flat out miracles that made his life possible.  Thanks to the care he got in the NICU, today I get to hoist my little nephew into the air today, listen to his bubbly laugh and soak up his slobbery kisses.

I wasn't able to go with Kallie to deliver her box of ornamnets, 
but here was a little FB post from her after the visit:

The smiles we got when they received an ornament were wonderful! It was so nice to walk in with smiles instead of the tears from when I first stepped foot into the NICU — feeling grateful.

When I read through her post, I was so happy to see this comment from a recipient of an ornament:

 I was lucky enough to get one of these beautiful ornaments yesterday. Thank you so much it's something we will keep forever ! My little Evan was flown in the day before thanksgiving and it has been so scary being 3 hours from home. It was such a sweet thing for you to do !

How sweet of that mom to take time to say thank you too.  Poor thing.  We have been there, hoping and praying and we hope and pray for your little one too.

That leads me to the second ornament we made.  The NICU Graduate ornament!

Cute little Sawyer just touched our hearts when we got to bring him home.  Listen to me!  You would think he were my boy.  Well...he is.  It is funny how much you can love one little guy when he didn't even pop out of your own body ;0}  

I posted about Sawyer's story last year here at 

We had two weeks of torture, then months of cuddly bliss.


Even though this poor boy has spent many a day back in the hospital struggling from issues with his lungs, and is now on oxygen on a regular basis, we are so excited to think back to that day he got to go home.  This ornament is meant to be a keepsake for all those tiny little NICU uniform pieces.  The tiny hat, medical bracelet, etc. can all fit inside the ornament and be kept as a reminder of the triumph.

After all this little guy has been through, each smile is such a blessing to me.  I am totally excited to have made a sweet place to keep all those little things that remind me just how blessed we are.

I AM his favorite Aunt, you know.
Just sayen'.

Sorry everyone else!

Anyway, Thanks Kallie for letting me take part in your gift.  I am super excited it fell right on the calendar in time to participate in #GivingTuesday.  You can go here to find out more about that ;0}

I have had several people contact me and ask if I am selling these ornaments on my etsy site.  I am.  I try to keep things totally reasonably priced, and feel really guilty even mentioning that they are for sale, but mainly want to give a place for moms and others to find the ornaments if they want them.  You can email me at vanessa.cam5@gmail.com or visit my Etsy site, TheBubbleBox for more details.  I will have a brief tutorial posted just after this post for those that order just vinyl to make these ornaments.  Again, sorry for the sales junk here.  Selling them was not my intention, just a response to several requests ;0}

Need a service opportunity???  Call your local hospital to see if they have a NICU.  Those families, even though you will probably never hear from them, will hold you in a special place in their hearts for making the effort to bring joy and comfort to such a difficult time!