I posted about this little thing I’ve been doing for Ben this past week over on my instagram (see here), and I think that was my longest caption ever on instagram. It’s probably why I’m better at blogging than instagram-ing; I like to chat (type) a lot. When I think back to when Ben and I were dating, we were surprising each other with things up the wazoo. Nothing expensive, just thoughtful ways of letting each other know how much we loved and appreciated one another. I used to surprise Ben with a bouquet of flowers (who said only boys had to give flowers), and notes on his windshield, and other little sweet things. Now, after 10 years if marriage (almost), and four kids later, those extra sweet things are few and far between. Ben is really good and does something something unexpected from time to time (like this), but I realized I don’t really do anything like that anymore.
I know the way we show love to each other is by me tending household (and children) things, and he goes to work everyday. Those things are great acts of love and very much appreciated, and neither of us is complaining about wanting more from each other. We know by the end of the day, we are both spent, and we are both working hard for our family. We are a team. But marriage is work, and we should never ever stop working, so I’ve been reminding myself that lately. It’s work to stay on the same page, communicate, and to keep the fire alive.
I’m thankful both our parents modeled good and loving marriages to us. He saw parents who communicated well and worked as a team, and I saw passionate fiery love from my parents (they were a team too!). Of course, both our parents fought, his were probably much more civil than mine (I totally remember my mom kicking my dad out of the house a couple times… hi mom and dad!), but both worked together to get through these things. There was a lot of messiness, but there was a lot of love and forgiveness too. I think that’s normal in marriages. By the way, I’m no expert, I’ve only been married (almost) ten years, so I’m sure so many of you are much wiser than me. And I’ve had a taste to see how really messy marriages can be, but I’ve also seen God work through extremely hard situations and bring restoration, so I’m not ignorant to the really lows of marriage.
That’s why I think we all have to work. If we base marriage on feelings, those feelings will definitely fade. Sometimes, I don’t feel like loving Ben, especially when we are fighting. My phrase after, is always, “Okay, I love you again.” So while I do love him a lot, I do want to (and need to) go the extra mile to let him know. This extra mile isn’t being walked everyday, but I do want to challenge myself more often than I have been doing. Thus, this past week, I’ve been leaving him an “I love you” note on the door, so he sees it when he comes home from work. It’s been fun trying to think of various ways to present this, and I get all giggly inside right before he comes home because I’m excited for him to see it.
I know I love romance (though I’m not much of a romantic movie watcher) and romantic gestures from my husband, I realize I could be doing the romancing too. Also, I think if we as wives go the extra mile, it might encourage our husbands to do the same. I’ve had friends complain that their husband isn’t romantic, but I say, “Why not be the romantic one!” That may spark something in our husbands, so you never know. For sure it would encourage him and let him know you love him, and I’m sure he would love that. So I encourage you ladies, work on going the extra mile once in awhile. I know we’re busy and our plates are full, but it doesn’t even have to be fancy… just a sweet little reminder that you love him!
I shared this quick project over on my Instagram (@cakiesblog), so if you want to learn how to make it, get the directions here. This was part of Soul’s lesson for the day, but we all ended up making one. I added a little message on mine because I’m going to hide it for Ben to find when he gets home. I love when Ben romances me, but I totally think girls could (and should) do the romancing too. Anyway, according to Punxsutawney Phil, looks like we will get six more weeks of winter, so most people can’t frolic in their spring clothes just yet.
Small wooden box
High density foam (size will depend on the height of your box)
1/32″ thick birch plywood sheet
black velvet fabric (size needed will depend on size of your box; I needed a 1/4 yard for my box)
Serrated bread knife
2-3 small pins (or staple gun)
1. Measure your box. Cut out a piece of birch plywood 1/4″ smaller (all around) than the size of the inside of your box (the plywood is so thin, I used scissors to cut it). Next, cut out the foam just 1/8″ smaller than the inside of the box. Then, use the spray adhesive to attach the foam to the piece of birch plywood. The inside dimensions of my box is about 3″ x 2″ x 7″, so a 2″ thick foam worked for what I needed.
2. Measure and mark your rows (mine are about 1″ apart from each other), then using your serrated knife, cut straight down into the foam, stopping about 1/2″ away from the bottom of the foam piece. Cut out your velvet fabric about 5″-6″ longer on each side. You’ll want to make sure the fabric is large enough that it will cover all the sides, keeping in mind some of the fabric will also be inserted into the rows.
3. Center the fabric on top of the foam, and with your ruler (straight edge), insert it down into one of the rows until it is nice and snug in the crevice. You’ll want to do this slowly to prevent as many wrinkles as possible. Repeat for remaining rows. Fold the fabric neatly around the bottom, and overlap the fabric ends together (the long side) and pin. I originally wanted to staple the fabric to the bottom, but my staple gun wasn’t working, and my glass pins are so tiny that it worked just as well. Make sure all the fabric edges are folded around the foam and secure, then insert into the wooden box. I just pinned the long fabric ends and folded my short ends in as I carefully inserted the foam into the box.
I wanted something to hold some of my rings, and in my research came across these instructions on how to use foam ring holders in drawers. I don’t have that many rings where I needed a whole drawer, but thought a small little box might do. Thus, when I came across this old, wooden, cheese box, I knew it was just what I needed. And because I think my box was much smaller, I was able to do without some of their suggested steps. I didn’t have to staple between each row as my velvet stayed put once I used my straightedge to insert it in, so that saved me a step (and time). I loved the way it turned out and now I can see all my rings when deciding what stack to wear for the day.
Most of them are from Ben, a couple from his mom, a couple from my parents, one from my sister-in-law, and a couple I gifted to myself. Each one has a little story, and as you can tell, turquoise is my favorite. Also, most of them are antique pieces (it’s something I collect!). There are two modern rings in there though, one made by Emilie Shapiro (this ring) and another from etsy (this one that my parents got me a few years ago).
Old sweaters (I used the sleeves of 2 sweaters)
Small scrap of wool felt
Seam allowance: 1/2″
1. Create your snake body from the sweaters. I used the sleeves on both sweaters and cut them open to create my snake body. Cut the head out with a large round shape, and cut other rectangle-ish shapes from the sweaters (work your way down towards the tail), tapering each piece until you get to the end of the snake body. Remember, you’ll want to taper the body down towards the tail to get that snake shape. I alternated between the two different sweaters to give the snake body some variety. Our snake ended up being about 4.5′ long.
2. If alternating sweaters for the body, pin one section with the coordinating next section, with their right sides together and sew. Continue until you have created one side of the snake and repeat for the other side. Once both sides of the body have been sewn, cut out a small tongue shape from the wool felt. Place the tongue at the top of the snake, between the front and back head section, with the V towards the snake body. Place the right sides of the snake together, pin around the entire snake, and sew. Don’t forget to leave a 4″ opening for turning.
3. Turn the snake right side out, stuff with poly-fil, and slip stitch the opening closed. It takes bit of time to make the body smooth with the poly-fil, otherwise if it looks too lumpy, it may look like your snake just had lunch. Lastly, sew eyes on the snake head.
Of course, the snake softie is for Glow, our stuffed animal hoarder. She barely has any room on her bed to sleep because it’s filled with stuffed animals! I thought about adding a little jingle inside the end of the tail, but I wanted to throw the snake in the wash, so I just left the jingle out. A rattle would be kind of fun to put in there though, and would make a sweet gift for a baby (not that I’m trying to freak a baby out or anything). I like how cute a snake looks around a changing table in this room.
If you’re looking for sewing projects, my book, Let’s Sew Together, has plenty to choose from!
I had been wanting to sew a large basket, but haven’t had the time, but was so happy to see Michaels carried them. I’m thinking of picking up another and painting a different design on it. I’m no Gemma Patford, but it was fun to paint this basket.
My little creative space is usually a crazy mess (proof here), but this month’s Michaels Makers Challenge has forced me to organize, which is a very good thing. The challenge was to organize our craft space a bit, so I picked up some baskets from Michaels (this and this one, the green one is from there too, but not online). Then, I had Ben mount a thread holder on the wall for me. Things are definitely feeling much better in that room, and I can’t wait to start making something so I can make a giant mess.
I will share more of the room soon, but I want to organize the closet first. Anyone remember that episode on Friends about Monica’s secret closet?! I have a closet just like that. I get stressed when I go in there, but that’s where all my fabric is, along with a whole lot of other (craft) junk. It needs major help, so I’m hoping I can give it some attention in the next month or so.
Supplies for this project was provided as part of the Michaels Makers series.
True’s been requesting a handmade She-Ra doll for awhile now, and her wish comes true this Christmas. I think when Brave got a handmade version of her favorite superhero, that’s when True started asking for her own.
I wasn’t sure how to make this She-Ra doll happen, but I sketched out a couple ideas, and then just made things up as I went. I started off with the regular rag doll form first, then went from there adding details that would make it the Princess of Power. After I got the head and hair all done, I got super excited because I could totally see the She-Ra doll coming to life. I love the way it turned out and I’m pretty sure True will too. Ben and I so excited to give it to her!!!
I can’t wait for Soul (and Glow) to make a request one day. I love the challenge and seeing an idea come to fruition, and then seeing my girls get so happy about something I made for them. Are you excited?! There’s only one more sleep left until Christmas!!!