Paper Cake

Paper Cake | this heart of mine

It’s birthday season at our house and I’m not sure who’s more excited, Sweet J and Love Bug or me. Since becoming a parent, I have found celebrating the birthdays of my babies so much more enjoyable than celebrating my own has ever been. Seeing the excitement and joy in their eyes is one of the greatest things I will ever know.They literally glow with delight. And I love trying to make it as special as I can. With Sweet J’s happening within the week and Love Bug’s in three, we are all about birthday details right now, including cake.

These chipboard cakes from last year are still a favorite decoration and will adorn our walls for this season (and probably for much longer because they are darling!) but I had a vision of a hanging paper cake. I remember doing a stuffed-paper-sculpture project in college and thought the process would lend itself perfectly for a cake. I LOVE how it turned out.

Paper Cake | this heart of mine

The project in college utilized a stapler and I almost used it for this but then, at the last second, I decided sewing it would look better. However, if you are not comfortable sewing on paper, a stapler will do the job. It’s so easy and the supplies so simple, you can probably whip one up today. And you can make anything you want. I definitely have more ideas brewing!

Paper Cake | this heart of mine

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Porcelain Mirror

Handmade Porcelain Mirror with Air-Dry Clay | this heart of mine

In my purse, one of the most coveted items to play with for my children is a small mirror case I carry. The mirror is one of those contraptions where you have to push a button for the case to open and reveal the mirror. I have to admit, I was giddy to add it to my purse a few years ago. It’s a real life saver especially when I didn’t take to time to check my face before leaving the house. There’s been a few times when I stop to chat with people and it hits me: “I wonder if there is food on my face or stuck in my teeth” and then I spend the conversation not really moving my lips, just in case. I’m sure I look strange. What can I say, I’m self-conscious and weird.

Sometimes this coveted mirror gets ‘misplaced’. I think the longest time was six months or so (but who can really keep track. What month is it?). All I know is that it goes missing and then I have no way to sneak a peek at my face. Of course, you can buy a new mirror but you know me, making is my thing, thus the porcelain mirror came to be. Now I have a whole stack to use.

Handmade Porcelain Mirror with Air-Dry Clay | this heart of mine

You’d be surprised how long a mirror can entertain a little one. I mean, there are silly faces to make, sad faces to make and happy ones, too. One must check one’s teeth, your teeth and everyone’s teeth at the table. Then the mirror is necessary to watch one’s self eat, drink, laugh and sing. So much to do, so little time.

When I was making them, I didn’t realize how much I would love the scallop-edged ones. They are by far my favorite. I think they look dainty and classic and über feminine. Which is your favorite?

Handmade Porcelain Mirror with Air-Dry Clay | this heart of mine

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You Made the Best Baby Ever | this heart of mine

That’s what Love Bug’s card said, the one she gave me when she and Sweet J came to the hospital to see Pipsqueak the second time. I was high on hormones at the time and it made me cry big, happy tears. It’s hanging in my office now and still makes me a little teary-eyed because I completely agree, though it wasn’t just one baby. MJ and I have made three of the best babies ever, in our humble opinion.

I had a baby this year. It was my third and in many ways, my approach was ‘no big deal’ (except for Pipsqueak. HE is a big deal.) The whole pregnant body thing? Been there. Lengthy sickness, exhaustion, all around yucky feeling? Done that. Crying and begging to be done way before my due date? Wondering what I was thinking to get myself into this mess? All three times. But having a baby is a big deal, no matter how many times you’ve been through it before. We of the female gender have the honor of growing human beings inside our bodies. If there was a mic to drop and a stage to walk off, now would be the time. Done and done. Our bodies are capable of housing, nourishing and protecting another living thing. How amazing is that?! And when that baby is ready, no matter how long it takes, we get that baby out, one way or another.

It’s not always pretty. In fact, there are some solid wish-you-could-forget-forever moments. And our bodies and minds go through big changes to put it mildly. But after it all, when we get to hold that creature in our arms we carried for so long in our bodies, it is truly a miraculous thing. So to all mommas out there: whether you had a baby last week or 61 years ago, whether you pushed for hours and hours or waited behind the curtain, having a baby and being a mom is a gift and an honor. And definitely a big deal.

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Bud Vase

Easy Bud Vase | this heart of mine

This bud vase has been in my mind for a long time. The inspiration came from a beautiful image of a lovely floral bud vase used as a place card. It was one of those detail shots from a gorgeous wedding. In the image, the flower is in focus, the vase itself in lovely bokeh. Since the vase is not in clear focus, I’m not sure exactly how it was made however, when I came upon glass spelled viles in the craft store, I decided to make it up on my own.

It took me two trips to the hardware store to find the drill bit I needed. The first time, I didn’t ask for help and the bit I chose worked for about 15 seconds before it very securely got lodged in the block. Oops. So I went back, described what I needed and that’s when I met the Forstner bit. It’s the bit that enables you to make flat-bottomed holes in a variety of widths. It made this project a cinch.

Easy Bud Vase | this heart of mine

As the title says, this is an easy bud vase. It should say easy peasy, lemon squeezy as my children say because the hardest part is deciding how many vases to make. I thought I would be happy with five but I think I need about five more. With Mother’s Day next weekend, I’m going to pop a few of these in the mail (the mailer tubes will be perfect!!) for the special moms we know.

Easy Bud Vase | this heart of mine

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Printed Fabric Appliques with Sprout by HP | this heart of mine

This post is sponsored by HP® Sprout

I’ll admit: fabric appliques do bring about visions of those sweatshirts, popular in the 90s, with fabric bubble letters and shapes depicting everything from high school names and mascots to snowmen. Wait a minute… am I the only one who had those? If you can’t tell, I owned some VERY cool clothes once upon a time. Anyway, appliques might sound kitschy but, with the Sprout by HP®, they can be fresh and beautiful.

As I said last week, the Sprout is this whole new system that combines physical creation with digital. It has the ease of digital manipulation with a bit of hands-on-ness too (with the touch-screen and Touch Mat), which, as a hands-on person, I like. Almost immediately after unpacking the Sprout, I thought of the printed fabric pouches I shared back in February as part of a Zipper Pouch Series. This system would have been perfect so I decided to use it to make more printed fabric.

Printed Fabric Appliques with Sprout by HP | this heart of mine

The Sprout can capture anything you’d like, turning a 3-D object into a 2-D image you can then further manipulate. Our system now has an extensive collection of plastic animal figurine images thanks to Sweet J. Haha! I chose springy tulips for my printed fabric.

Printed Fabric Appliques with Sprout by HP | this heart of mine

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