It’s Good to be 35

Well, it happened.  I turned the big three five.  And of course life feels no different than when I was 34.  But I thought I’d pass on some goodness to you guys to help celebrate.  So, for a week you can purchase all the prints in my shop for 35% off using the code below!

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Picture Source

I’m going to temporarily take the ornaments and the bulk sales listings out of the shop so that people don’t try and use the code for those.  But they’ll return when this sale is over.

This has been a week of sick kiddos but it looks like they are on the mend.  I took my little one to the doctor to confirm Roseola which thankfully is no longer contagious.  Hopefully he’ll be back to himself soon.  And after listening to my daughter’s cough the Dr. thinks she might have had RSV which apparently has been going around.  So as you can guess I haven’t really left the house in a while.  But I have gotten lots of great snuggle time in, so that’s been nice.

Okay, enough about that.  Please pass the word on about the sale!  Valentine’s Day is coming fast and a sweet print might be just the thing to show someone how you feel!

P.S.  For those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook, I post sales there that aren’t  mentioned anywhere else!  So, it’s a smart idea to “like” my page.

Going to Space

Well, I was just about to sit down and write a post about how I was one of three people selected to travel to outer space!  I was so excited and was looking forward to this amazing opportunity, and then I woke up and discovered it was just a dream.  I know,  what  a bummer!  I wish I could have slept a little longer to get to experience it, but maybe next time.

In the meantime I have two new prints in the shop that I haven’t shared on here yet.  The first one I just realized is coincidently spacey.  Maybe it’s a sign!  You can find my “I Love You to the Moon and Back” print right here in my shop.

I Love You to the Moon and Back art print from The Nesting Spot

The next print is new to my shop today, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Faux Bois has been a trend for awhile now and it is sweet to stumble across someone’s love declared on the trunk of a tree (although I always feel a bit sad for the scarred tree). But if you get my print then there won’t be any tree scarring happening…ok, well, the paper is from a tree. Sorry.
But let’s get back to declaring our love! You can keep the print as is or I can personalize it for you. It’d make a great gift for the love in your life or even to hang on the wall of your wee one’s nursery.

You + Me = Forever, Faux Bois Print from The Nesting Spot

By the way, I have 6 prints in my shop now that help you share your love with others. Come take a look. It’s not too early to be thinking of Valentine’s Day. It’ll be here before we know it!  And don’t forget there are discounts for buying more than one print!

Baby Gift Idea: Stuffed Animal

I’m surrounded by people having babies right now and that is a great thing!

handmade stuffed rabbit from The Nesting Spot

My cousin recently had a beautiful little girl and so I wanted to send her a handmade gift. I had been told that the nursery has lavender and light green in it so I decided to make a little rabbit using those colors. I cheated a little and used my pattern from The Black Apple Doll and just changed it up a bit. (You can see my previous posts about the dolls I’ve made here and here.)  All that was needed was to make an ear pattern. I have also found that when using this doll pattern that I like to add a seam allowance to the arms and legs so that they aren’t too skinny. I embroidered the eyes and nose on so that there wouldn’t be any choking hazards. Safety eyes would have also been a really cute option though. I also added a cute little wool felt peter pan collar.  An added bonus is that it is machine washable if done on delicate and laid out to dry so it is very practical as well as cute.handmade stuffed rabbit from The Nesting Spot

I had a lot of fun making it and am happy that there is a little piece of Texas over in her Arizona nursery now.

handmade stuffed rabbit from The Nesting Spot

This type of project is great because it uses very little fabric and comes together fairly quickly. I used fleece for the bunny fur and all of the materials were ones I already had on hand.  So, not only is it fast but economical.  But of course even though I didn’t spend an arm and a leg on it doesn’t mean it isn’t worth much.  On the contrary, it is a one of a kind gift that will hopefully see many years of love.

Baby Gift Idea: Baby Quilt

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Here’s another peak at a fabulous handmade gift given to one of my babies.  This time it is from my lovely mom.  She is oh so talented and decided to take on the challenge of making baby #3 a little quilt without knowing the gender.  The results are really great.

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She ended up making it a very personal theme by having the quilt represent our two etsy shops….The Nesting Spot and Starlit Gardens.  She did this using two of her favorite things batiks and applique.  The batiks represent the stars and then at the bottom corner is a little bird with a little nest.  You’ll notice the three eggs for the my three babies.

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My mom loves to play with lots of color and patterns.  She is so bold and it really works with this blanket.  I know this is a gift we will always treasure.

There are so many types of blankets and quilts in the world and thanks to the internet and craft blogs there are tons of tutorials to teach you exactly how to make them.  The next time you have someone close to you having a baby, consider making them a keepsake that is beautiful and useful.

Baby Gift Idea: Hand-Dyed & Embroidered Swaddle Blanket

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This is something I should have written about years ago, but I wasn’t writing the blog yet when I got this gift so I’ll use that as my lame excuse as to why I am just now getting to it!

When Audrey was born I received a very special package in the mail from one of my good college friends, Brandy. She is so very talented and can do any craft she puts her mind too. At one time she had opened a shop on Etsy but life with 3 girls, work, and school took precedence. Such a shame too because her knitted items are beautiful. Anyway, I was so thrilled when I opened the box to reveal two beautiful hand made blankets. They are probably sewn from a muslin cotton that she hand-dyed (the bottom right photo above shows the beautiful color variations in the cloth). One is purple and the other is pink. On the corner of the pink one is the most precious little bird that has been hand embroidered. It was done with variegated floss so that the image has a subtle variation in its colors. Audrey’s room had a sort of garden/bird theme to it when she was born so it was just perfect. She was also born in March in Texas which means HOT months were ahead so these light weight swaddle type blankets were awesome. I loved that she had made them just for my little girl.

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The blankets alone were so thoughtful that they were a perfect gift unto themselves.

But just for fun I thought I’d pair it with some other items to show other gift ideas as well. Handmade gifts are always extra special and are the ones that become family heirlooms, but if you aren’t the crafty type that doesn’t mean you can’t give handmade. This little bunny below is from the etsy shop, Yarnigans.   I just love her hand knitted items. One day when I learn to knit; maybe once the kids are grown and I have more time, I would love to buy her patterns for making these adorable animals.  This little mermaid is just so perfectbaby-gift-1
But I digress, I found a little basket which of course could be used by the recipient afterwards for holding toys, diapers, etc. I rolled up the two blankets and tied a ribbon around them making sure that the pretty bird was showing. I added a few board books because who doesn’t love a good book? And last placed the bunny on top. You could put a pretty bow on the basket and give it as is.

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And if you wanted extra credit you could give some personalized art for the new little one. How about a print like this to add to the mix since it matches the bunny? You could even have a bunny embroidered on the blanket if you wanted them all to match.
bunny pink

And of course you could customize these things to match any nursery. I have lots of animals to choose from in my shop. If you don’t see an animal available that you’d love to have then let’s talk. I’d love to be able to help you!

Have you hand-dyed a blanket before?  Have you ever ventured into doing embroidery?  You can do a lot with knowing just one or two different stitches.  With the tutorials online it is so easy to learn.

Quilted Baby Boy Blanket and Week 39 Update

Before I forget….we’re almost out of time but I made a poll over to the right in the sidebar if you want to guess the gender of the baby.  The poll will stay open until we know the answer.  Now, on to the regularly programmed material.

Here is the quilted blanket I made in case baby turns out to be a boy.  In a previous post I mentioned that I lovingly think of it as my mullet blanket.  It is all serious in the middle and a bit of fun on the outside.  See for yourself!

The fabric is part of the Riley Blake Designs “Seaside” by October Afternoon.  I got 2 yards of each of the stripes and plaid.  There are other color variations out there too with the same design.  I was trying to decide what bias tape to buy…I still haven’t gotten to the point of making my own yet.  I was looking at all the ones that matched and they all seemed to just blend in so much and it seemed boring.  Then I saw this neon orange and it was so fun.  I was unsure if it would work but I thought I’d take a risk.  I definitely could have chosen a safer option but I’m happy that the blanket has a a bit of fun to it since babies shouldn’t be serious.  For the quilting I just decided to follow lines on the plaid side.  It made it easy to have lines to follow.  I figured any type of quilting pattern that was more fun wouldn’t go with the straightness of the stripes and plaid.  Below are my two blankets waiting to find out which one will be used!  The girl blanket is here if you want to see it.

Speaking of the baby that all this work is for I went to the Dr. on Monday again and there was no real change to my body.  BOO!  But thankfully baby is really low and I’m basically just waiting on my body to get with the program.  The Dr. was actually able to get a couple good shots of baby which surprised me since baby’s been so low and we haven’t seen the face in a while.  I will enjoy when we stop seeing sonograms of the face and get to see the real thing.  Hopefully the big lips are just because there isn’t a lot of space inside of me.

Here is a picture we took of me before church on Sunday to show my 39 week self.  (my due date is this Thursday!!!)

Here is a shot of what I normally look like.  CAN’T. WAIT. TO. HAVE. CLOTHES. THAT. FIT!  Sheesh.

Gauze Swaddle Blankets DIY

 

I was given an aden + anais swaddle blanket when my daughter was born and really loved the lightweight material.  The makers call it muslin but I have learned that is what it is sometimes called outside the US.  Here, it seems to be called cotton gauze.  It makes a great blanket for hot places like TX so you can wrap your baby up but not overheat them.  Audrey loves the blanket still and likes to sleep with it a lot.  Thankfully, she isn’t a kid who is attached to only one object that she can’t be without, but she really does love her gauzy blanket.

I have been wanting to make some for a long time and even considered making some long ago for my shop…part of the problem was finding the “muslin”….I never could.  Thankfully, once I discovered its other name it was easy to find at most fabric stores.  I got 3 yards at Jo-Ann’s with a coupon.  They usually only have it in white and cream though so I knew I wanted to try my hand at giving it some more flair.

I had seen Dana’s tutorial on MADE for making one which was helpful.  I decided to just use my serger for the edges though so there was no extra bulk from folding over the edges to hem it.  Since I was going to be making two blankets I decided to try my hand at two different techniques.  The first one I had seen in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine back in the February 2001 issue.  (Yes, I still have the page torn out from then in a notebook with other diy ideas…this was WAY before Pinterest.)   I was pretty excited to try it out.  The picture in the magazine showed a curtain they had made by making swirls with mustard on the fabric.  They gave the step by step on how to do it.  So, I went out and bought some mustard and got to work.  It was easy to do (except that my hand hurt for DAYS from squeezing that mustard bottle).  It took me about 20-25 minutes to put swirls all over my blanket.  The directions did say it worked best on silk and wool but I hoped it will still come out ok.  I let it sit for 30 minutes and then washed it off with the sink sprayer like it said to do, except that instead of the mustard just washing off….it dyed the whole thing yellow.  I was so dissappointed.  What was the point of killing my hand with swirls to just dye the thing yellow?  I could have stuck it in a bath of RIT dye if I wanted to do that…and my house wouldn’t have smelled like a hot dog vendor.  Here are a couple pictures of the process.  I am so glad I took photos since it is all I have left of my lovely work.  Oh, and in case you’re wondering, to set the mustard, the instructions were to do the heat and chemical ways.  First I immersed the fabric in warm water and vinegar to do the chemical version.  Then I put the fabric in a big zip loc bag and microwaved it for 5 minutes on 50% power (watching to make sure it didn’t scorch).  I line-dried it and then pressed with an iron.  The instructions said that just drying it in a clothes dryer don’t get hot enough to set the dye.

The other method I was going to use was to make a potato stamp and hand stamp an image all over the white background.  I looked online and found this beautiful blanket and then the next day Mer Mag had these.  It was so funny to me that she and I were both wanting to make these blankets for our upccoming babies at the same time.

I really liked how the feather looked on the first blanket so I used the same feather that I had used for my diaper clutch.  I just cut my sweet potato in half, traced the feather on it with a pencil and then carefully cut away at the edges of it.  When I poured the paint I had bought onto the plate I was a bit shocked.  It looked PINK!  From the bottle it looked almost like a happy red orange color and the name of it was crimson red, so I knew that either way it should be gender neutral…but pink, not so much.  I was hoping that it was just the bad kitchen lighting giving it that glow and that also when it dried it would look more red.  So, this was after I had just had my first mess up with the mustard…not a good DIY night.  But I persevered and I really loved the turnout.  And it is a lot more red now that it is dry.  Here’s a picture of the stamp.  See how pink it is?!  (Oh, and that little stick at the end of the feather is a toothpick I used to hold the end on because it broke a bit as I was cutting the feather.  It worked perfectly.)

Here’s the end result…

Because the stamping worked out so well the first time I decided to stamp a design on the yellow blanket with the other half of the potato.  Actually, I did try to make a really cool geometric print first using a piece of cardboard for the stamp but it was looking awful so I stopped partway into that and went back to the potato and made a little star.  I made most of it a teal type color and then added 5 gray stars just to mix things up a bit.  After the paint dried I just cut off the side of the blanket that went wrong and so now instead of a bigger square blanket I now have a rectangular one…but at least it can still be used as a lightweight cover up and my fabric isn’t going to waste.  That poor blanket really tryed its hardest not to be created.

Here is the final product…

After all the painting was finished I serged the edges, which is really fast, and now I have two blankets.  Both had their (sometimes multiple) oops moments but overall I am happy with them.  It seems lately all the projects I have done have had some sort of  “oh, great!” moment in the middle of the project.  Nothing ever seems to come easily.  At least if it is worth while.  I guess that’s kind of like this baby that is almost ready to come.

I went to the Dr. yesterday and got encouraging news that things are starting to get going.  It is the farthest along  I have ever been at this point in a pregnancy and although it could still not mean much, it is comforting to know that at least if I am induced I have gotten a good head start.

Babies, Dolls, and Thrifting

So, of course I made it all the way to the dr. last week without my photo cd that they upload the sonograms on.  Ken always came with me with other two pregnancies and he took care of that so it has been hard for me to remember with me going alone most of the time.  Luckily, they have all the photos saved in their computer so next time I can bring it and they can load them all.  The visit went great.  In fact it was the fastest visit I think I’ve ever had.  It would have been pretty easy to take the kids along since I was only there a total of 20 minutes but one of my sweet friends read my last post and offered to watch the kids.  I promise, I hadn’t mentioned anything in the last post as a hint for that.  It was appreciated though since it was one less thing to worry about.  They did a big ultrasound where they look at everything.  I saw the brain, kidneys, 4 heart chambers beating away, and of course hands, feet, and face.  Technology really is so amazing.  The sonographer said that everything looked great and that the baby was 1 pound 7 ounces.  That sounded big to me compared to my weekly emails about what the baby is doing but he assured me that it was average for 23 weeks.  Both of my other kids were big babies so I keep waiting for this one to start getting huge.  I know my lack of restraint with desserts probably isn’t helping.

So, unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of my little one.  But I do have photos of a doll I made one of my childhood friends I visited who was due yesterday.  I made her one of the black apple dolls that I have made before as gifts.  This was the first brunette I’ve made.  They are easy to make and I used scraps that I already had so it didn’t cost me anything.  I picked out fabric that would somewhat match the baby’s nursery.  I did give her some cute baby clothes too.

Also, this week we took Audrey to get her first haircut.  Her hair has driven me a bit crazy her whole life.  She pretty much had none her first year except a tiny bit at the back.  And then as it grew it became a mullet.  She still doesn’t really have hair on the sides but the longer hair on top covers it up.  I hesitated to get her hair cut sooner because it would just mean she had a shorter mullet.  It wouldn’t make it look any better.  It has gotten really long and even though it was nice to be able to pull it up it was getting harder to deal with.  So, since the top of her hair finally has grown out enough that she doesn’t look mullety anymore I figured it was time to finally time to trim things up and get her hair in some better order.  The place we’ve taken Josiah to get his hair cut has an airplane chair for the kids to sit in.  They also put on a little movie and give them a balloon most of the time at the end.  Audrey has watched her brother get his done many times but was excited to finally sit in the chair herself.  Her hair is a bit shorter than I had asked but it has finally evened out all the natural layers that were there and makes it look a bit thicker.  Now we just need those bangs to grow out so they’ll be out of her face.  It was a bit spur of the moment so these pictures are take from a phone.

Today I went into a new to me thrift store with the kids and was excited with what I found.  The woman running it was so nice and let the kids play with a toy chest that has a bunch of cheap toys that have been donated.  She said that they would get to take home one for free at the end.  The kids happily and quietly played with them the entire time I looked around.  This was definitely something that was created by a mom.  It was wonderful to not have to tell them to keep their hands off of things the entire time.  The kids clothes were also 50% off so I got 2 shirts for each kid and a really cute vintage sweater for a baby girl.  I figured for a $1.25 it was too cute to leave there.  If we have a girl, she’ll get to wear it, and if not someone else who has a baby girl will benefit from it.  I need to take a picture of it to show you.  Tiny baby clothes are so cute!  The woman also asked if I would want to look at some maternity clothes since she doesn’t have room for them in the front and keeps them in the back.  I ended up getting 2 dresses and some shorts for 2 bucks each.  It is so nice to visit a thrift store that actually has thrift store prices.  I have gotten so tired of the Goodwill here because they seem to think too highly of their junk.  I can get new clothes cheaper at our outlet mall or on sale at Target than at the Goodwill most times.  I have been to other Goodwill stores that aren’t like this though.  Another nice thing about the shop I went to today was that it is for our hospital/hospice care who gives free grief counseling to people who have lost a loved one.  The money I spent helps support that.  So, I will definitely be back.

Ok, gotta get back to work.  I posted two new zebras in the shop.  One is pink and one is blue.  I have been asked to make a neutral one for someone who isn’t finding out the gender so I need to get to making it.  I just wanted to stop in and give an update on things from the week.

Tin House for the Easter Bunny DIY

Here are the next items I made for the kids.  I had seen this adorable pattern for sale on etsy from mmmcrafts and wanted to try it for myself.  I loved the idea of a little toy that is easy to take along in your purse or even a pocket.

I didn’t end up buying her pattern though but made up my own.  I am sure it would be very helpful since the way I did it turned out to be quite a pain.  So definitely consider buy the pattern yourself if you want to make one.  I did make mine quite a bit more complicated though which is apparently what I like to do.  Anyway, I saw her sweet mice and figured I could make the ears a little different and make little bunnies for Easter.  I knew it’d be tricky though since the tins are small and there’s no extra room at all.

I laughed when I took these first pictures because it kind of looks like a coffin, but the kids will never consider that, so no worries!

I started by getting the dimensions of altoid sized tins (approximately 3 5/8″ x 2 1/2″ x 3/4″) and drawing little pictures of a boy and girl bunny that would fit inside.  I then picked my fabric and totally winged it on making the pattern pieces.  I just made each piece a little bigger than the way I drew it on the picture so there’d be a seam allowance.  Some of the pieces ended up being way to big so I later had to cut them down before sewing.  In the original the arms and legs are made from felt so she was able to sew them on the outside since felt doesn’t fray.  I used the same yellow flannel that I used for my bunny purse and so I had to sew them and turn them inside out.  This proved to be very annoying since all the pieces, especially the ears, were so tiny.  If I were to do it again I’d definitely go with felt.  It would cut down a lot on time and frustration.  I also made my head and clothes peices made from different pieces unlike the original.  Of course the less you have to sew the easier/faster it goes.  I used embroidery floss for the faces.  They turned out a bit wonky but that’s part of being handmade, right?!

One issue I came upon was that the pillows were filled too much and when the rabbit’s head laid on it the tin wouldn’t stay shut, they kept popping open.  I also had to take the boy bunny apart after sewing the head and shirt and shorts together because I realized I needed to have put the suspenders on already as well.  These types of things definitely happen when you make it up as you go.  But I got all the problems solved.  I did forget to put a tail on the back of the girl bunny, so if I think about it I’ll add one.

I didn’t want my tins to have altoids plastered on the front so I bought plain tins from an etsy shop called Five Seed.  Yancy was really great to work with and made a custom listing for me with the number I needed.  It looks like they may currently be out but you could always contact them to see if they are getting more in.  There are also some other sellers on etsy that have them as well.  Look in the supply category.

I still have some plans for the front of the tin.  I have a silhouette machine and have a bit of white vinyl left from what came with the kit.  If I have time and don’t forget I want to cut out either some type of design or the kids’ names or initials to put on the front.  If I do that I’ll share pictures.

It should be fun to see the kids’ faces when they open up the boxes and find what is inside. They both love playing with little containers and hopefully they’ll get some fun out of them.  I do wonder how long it’ll be though until little army men or something similar end up living in the box.  It was a fun project but I am glad I finished them.  Don’t know if I’ll ever make any more.  I guess if I do, I take the lessons I learned and hopefully do it a bit smarter next time.  But please, don’t ask me to make any for you.  Give it a go yourself by purchasing the pattern from mmmcrafts!

And if anyone is shaking their head at all this handmade stuff for the kids, don’t worry, I got probably 3 Easters worth of stuff today for the kids from some big box stores.  :)

Easy and Sweet Bunny Purse DIY

Hello again,

(note:  I wrote this post on Weds night but didn’t get it finished til Thurs morning, hence me talking about Thurs as tomorrow.)

I wanted to share a couple things I made for the kiddos for Easter this year.  One project was super easy, which I’ll share first, the other not quite as much.  I am also excited to get a small break tomorrow to do some shopping to get the rest of the items for their little baskets.  My pregnancy hormones have definitely been in full swing this week, so a break will do me good.  Tuesday morning I was feeling pretty overwhelmed and tired of being around the kids.  Part of that is because our son has been pushing every button we have lately.  Today I was weepy about something, can’t even remember what now.  I start week 15 tomorrow and even though my naseau has been very mild this go round I still have my moments.  We eat dinner at church every Weds. and after the meal tonight, Josiah decided to sit on my lap.  I was feeling very full and not too excited about him sitting on me, but because of our tensions as of late I thought it’d be good to love on him for a bit.  That was until I threw up.  I thought I could contain it but nope, it wasn’t a ton but it doesn’t take a lot of enchiladas on your shirt and pants to not be cool.  I don’t remember how Josiah ended up off of me.  I don’t know if I pushed him off when I knew it was coming or if he flew off but I am pretty sure the boy was safe from it.  The sweet thing was worried and ran and got me some napkins.  Of course (and thankfully) Ken and everyone else at the table was totally unaware of what had just transpired.  I tried to wash it all up but the rest of the night I could smell it on me.  Hopefully no one else noticed too much.  I tried to keep my distance from others.  Luckily, my husband works at the church and got me a shirt to wear from a previous youth event because after washing my shirt in the sink it was looking a lot like a wet t-shirt contest since it happened to be white.  Hopefully I won’t be repeating this any time soon.  Yea, for being pregnant!  If you enjoy reading about others’ miseries while being with child you can read about my blogging buddy, Ruthie’s fun times.

But enough of all that.  I got on here to show you some bunny cuteness!  A few days ago I saw the most adorable Easy Bunny Candy Pouch on Mer Mag.  I love, love, love it!  It is amazing how some of the simplest things can be just perfect.  I decided to make my own, but then thought about taking it a step further by adding a strap to make a little purse.  My daughter just turned 2 and is in love with using little purses and bags.  Merrilee made her pouch out of felt but I didn’t have any on hand that I could use.  I did have some yellow flannel though.  The problem is that if I were to just cut it and sew it like she did the felt it would fray.  So, I decided to cut it with my pinking shears.  This helps it not to fray.  It took me awhile to figure out what to do for the strap.  I wanted it to look a little different from the bunny so that it wouldn’t look like the bunny had huge ears coming off its head.  I started to try and weave some yarn like you do for a friendship bracelet but it was taking waaay to long to make it as long as I would need it so I stopped that and just braided 3 colors of yarn together (I used two strands for each color).  I was going to sew the strap between the layers of the ears but ended up liking how the tassels looked on the ears so I hand sewed the knot on and then when I sewed around the edge of the whole bunny I sewed over the braids for even more strength.  When Merrilee made her pouch she sewed all the way down the ears but I only sewed down a little bit on the inside of the ears so that the hole would be bigger.  It is all so easy and quick to make you can easily make a few!  Please visit her awesome blog to get her tutorial and template for the pouch.  I love how she ties the little ears together.  So sweet.  She is a talented artist.  Today she made a free printable to make Easter stickers.

Next, I’ll share a little toy I made for my kids.  I can’t wait to show you!