Tuesday, April 29, 2014

DIY Wall Art

     I had originally planned to forgo decorating a room for the baby. Then, Tennyson arrived and I began spending lots of time in the room. Soon enough, I desired to add a few touches that would give the space a little excitement. I wanted to create a space that was his. I also wanted it to be appealing to me while we were in there for the many nursing sessions.   I now have a little list of projects to spruce up the space a bit. The first on the list was to hang some wall art on those boring white walls.
     Of course, that posed an opportunity for a DIY project. I frequently say that I my home would be decorated faster if I didn't take a DIY approach to everything, but the creative/crafty side of me insists that I do. A couple of advantages to creating my own wall art, though, is that it is often much more affordable to create pieces than buy them and they're always able to be customized. For Tennyson's room, I chose to do a large canvas piece with a saying and then three small pieces that were more of a nursery theme. My two main colors for his room are gray (my favorite color) and orange (we're TN vol fans). I then added some navy blue to add an additional color element. The pieces are simple but yet add a lot of personality to the room! (Plus, only cost me about $12.50 for the canvases and paints. Hooray!).
Tennyson's "Room":
     This saying is a familiar one from the internet (ie pinterest). Nonetheless, my heart does desire these two statements to be true for him. 

     He loves to look at this one! I will have him against my shoulder and he will stretch his little neck to see it. 

     This is the original idea piece for setting the color scheme. 

     Alphabet painted in all the room colors. His initials are highlighted in blue. 

Additional nursery style canvas pieces are available in the Etsy shop! (Customized colors and silhouette available upon request)

Other areas of our home with my DIY wall art:

 Upstairs hallway
(The three piece tree painting was also previously available in the Etsy shop. Additional listings available upon request.)

Current Living Room
     This one says, "If we have family, then we have everything" and includes our wedding date and Tennyson's birth date. It's been a great reminder during difficult times that we are not lacking in life as long as we have family. We choose to make family our priority. 

Previous Living Room
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This post is #2 of the "52 Projects" series


Monday, April 21, 2014

Writing Thank You Cards


     Sending a thank you card is just good etiquette. However, I'm terrible at writing and sending them in a timely manner! I'll go ahead and confess that I only made it through a fraction of the wedding thank you cards. I regret having not finished them. I was so overwhelmed at the time, and card writing just wasn't helping the matter. So, when it came to thank you cards for baby gifts I was determined to be on top of them and get them done. (Granted, with his unexpected arrival and multiple hospital stays it took me about two months to get them done, but I did it!). 

     Even though it is common practice to send thank you cards, the specifics of writing them had become lost to me. I'm sure I learned the proper form as a kid in school, but my adult self needed some reminding. The following is a brief lesson in writing thank you cards. At the bottom of the post is a quick reference guide that you can print (and keep stored with your stash of thank you cards).

     First, if you are attending a shower or other such party, then you'll want to have someone to write down the gifted item and who gave it. If you keep a single list for several events, then I also suggest somehow designating attendance so that you can mention that in the card. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember who did or did not attend and where, especially if you were not able to have much of a conversation with him/her. 

     Second, while there are many convenient methods of communication nowadays (email, Facebook, text messaging etc.) the best way to convey thanks is still a handwritten note. You can use photo cards, but you must still hand-write a note somewhere on them. It took time and effort for someone to shop/make, wrap and offer you a gift, and so it should take your time and effort to write a personal note of appreciation. 

     A thank you card is appropriate for anyone who has given you a gift, planned an event for you, or has done a favor or other kind gesture for you. It is also favorable to send a thank you note after having been a guest in someone's home. We had a family over for dinner once and then soon after received a thank you card made by the children. Little touches like this make a difference!

     Now you're ready to compose the message. I'll admit that this is the part I dread because I always struggle for the right words to say. I, therefore, find it helpful to use a guide and then varying the wording so that I don't sound robotic. 

1) Begin with a greeting like Dear ____
2) Express your gratitude Thank you so much for the _____. (Try to include the specific item)
3) Add details of item's use or a personal story I can't wait to use the money/gift card etc. to decorate our new home (baby's room etc)!
4) Mention anticipation for next meeting (or express regret if unable to meet) I look forward to seeing you at the next family gathering. Or, I'll miss seeing you at the next family gathering.
5) Restate thanks a little differently Again, thank you for your generosity. I'm so excited for __[whatever the occasion is]___.
6) End with closing like Sincerely, or Love,
*If you're like me and don't get the cards out within a month of the occasion, then begin with an apology. Please forgive me for the delay. Or, I've been meaning to tell you...

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This post is #1 of the "52 Projects" series


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