Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My super special and important announcement!

Gabe's Gifts
I've never blogged about this, because I have rarely talked about it.  However, I knew that I wanted to do something positive.  And in order to do that... I have to share my story. 

Earlier this year I was pregnant.  And over the moon excited.  We moved so the baby could have his own room.  We started buying baby stuff.  We told our friends and family.  We picked out a name.  Everything was going well.  In fact that day I had bought a new stroller.  My due date?  My birthday.  

At the time, I was a part time manager at Gymboree.  I went into work that night and came home as usual.  Andy left for work when I got home (He works 3rd shift).  I fell asleep on the couch,  but kept having horrible dreams.  Something was wrong.  I prayed.  Somewhere I had heard that a Mother's prayer for her children was one that GOD listened to with the most urgency.  I tried to tell myself it was nothing.  A few hours later I knew, I was losing our baby. 

I didn't call Andy.  I couldn't tell him, mostly because I couldn't say the words myself.  I just laid there crying.  Praying.  And then yelling - I wasn't sure GOD had heard me.  When Andy got home he rushed me to the hospital.  We lost our little boy, Gabriel Austin Smith, on August 28. 

I walked into the hospital pregnant.  And later that day, I left.  Childless.  I was tired.  I was in shock. I was sad.  I was angry.  I was frustrated.  

Healing has been hard.  Not a day goes by that I don't think of our baby.  I have an extra room in our house with baby clothes hung up in the closet.  My craft stuff thrown in the closet in the front room.  I just can't bring myself to turn the baby's room into anything other than a baby's room.  My faith was tested beyond testing.  I couldn't understand.  Why had GOD taken away my baby, but given babies to people who don't take care of them?  And if something was wrong with my baby, why hadn't GOD just healed him?  I know he has the power to do so!

I quit my job.  {I was planning on quitting, but losing Gabe made me do so earlier.  It killed me seeing people come in and with their babies buying the same clothes that I have hanging in his closet.  Pregnant women were everywhere.  And I was no longer one of them.}  That's when I started blogging.  It's given me some sort of refuge.

Everyone (well, a lot) of people told me, "It's ok.  You're young.  You can try again."  I know that during a time like this people don't know what to say.  But, that was not what I wanted to hear.  It made me feel like I was just supposed to forget.  A do over.  Like how Joshua erases a mistake on his homework.  I vowed that I wouldn't forget.  And that I would do something -- something that would make Gabe proud.  Something that when I say his name I associate it with goodness, not tragedy.

So I decided to start a blanket drive.  Have you heard of Project Linus? Their mission is  mission to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”  I can't think of a better way than to honor Gabe. 

Starting in January (well, you can start making one now!)  Gabe's Gifts will begin.  It is a year long blanket drive.  Each Monday I will feature a blanket tutorial and the last Monday of each month we can host a linky party showcasing any blankets made.  I am in the process of creating tags for you to print off and fill out with your blanket (including what it's made of, any special washing instructions, your name and email if you wish).  As you finish your blankets I ask that you mail them to me (e-mail me for the address and I will make one large donation in Gabe's name.  (Also why I am making tags!  I want you creative ladies to get the credit you deserve on your awesome work!) Also, if there is a special child you would like your blanket to be donated to honor please include that information with your blanket.  I can't speak for everyone, but even just trying to put together this project - knowing something good will be attached to Gabe's name has helped the healing process more than I can express.

If you are a blogger and have a blanket tutorial (can be crochet, knit, how to bind, quilt patterns, sewing tutorials) and would like it featured (both on this blog and on We're the Joneses) please e-mail me. 

I would also REALLY appreciate anyone taking Gabe's button (top left corner) and helping pass the word along for me!   I'm hoping to have enough blankets to make the first donation on my birthday and Gabe's due date (3/14).  I know that it is going to be a hard day for me and this would really help. 

I know I pledge to make at least 12 blankets.  One each month to donate.  I hope I can count on you to help too!  Thanks for reading this -- I know it's long.  But I don't think you know how much I really appreciate it. :)

Any questions, comments, tutorial submissions or for my address to send in a blanket please e-mail me: amandaandandy(at)yahoo(dot)com

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday's Features

Tomorrow I have something really, really really special to share -- so please make sure you come back!  :)

Sew this:
Download Lowercase Pattern for Rag Quilt Letters Now
Happy Together has the ABC's for you to print off for rag quilts!  I love the look of the letters - they look so cuddly!

I think just about everyone needs one of these right now ( I just saw that even Orlando would get down to 28 tonight!! Geez!!)  Amy from the Idea Room has a tutorial to keep your hands warm while you scrape your car.

Obsessively Stitching has made an ABC book (I'm on a kick today with the alphabet).  Here is the first part to her adorable book!

I tree is still up (on my to do list today actually.  It's driving me crazy to have Christmas stuff up while working on VALENTINE'S DAY. ) My husband thinks I'm crazy too.  But Sew 4 Home has this super cute blanket that I'm really wanting on my couch.

And speaking of way cute awesome is this quilt?  Seriously, you have to go check it out.  The details are so stinking adorable.  {Dirt Cheap Decor!  has some serious talent!}

Craft This:
This is on my to do list.  I REALLY want to have a gratitude scrapbook and I'm working on another special set of books I'll have to share when I finish.  This is from I love it all.  And I really do love it all.

Kids snowed in?  Make some slime!  Scott School has the recipe (found via Ucreate w/ Kids)

Alright so you do have to sew.  A button.  You can do that right?  Visit The Cottage Home for this cozy tutorial. 

Paisley Passions made a growth chart! I love it!!  I totally lied on Joshua's growth chart a few weeks ago.  He ate (well. I threatened no more DS for the night..) 3 bites of veggies (which at our house is a HUGE deal).  I told him that they would make him grow.  So before he went to bed, we measured him.  Next morning, he was so excited to see if he grew.  So you know I had to add a few inches to him.  Too bad it only worked that one time....I thought I was onto something.  {He told me the next night I told him to eat his veggies that he doesn't want to get too tall....}

I know I know Christmas is over.  {See previous comment about starting Valentine's Day stuff} But THIS.  THIS is on my (really large) next year list.  How cute is this?  Visions of Sugar Plums has a few tips for you!

Print this:

Christmas Thank You
A lemon Squeezy Home has this super cute thank you card to download.

Lizard and Ladybug made this thank you for your kids.  I like the fact that there is plenty of room for drawings and those big letters that beginning writers make. 

New Year's Resolutions
I need a resolution tracker!  I love this idea.  I like calling them goals rather than resolutions. :) {From Organized Christmas}

It is what it is has the 2011 printable for your ever so wonderful BYO_ (B/W/C - beer, wine, champagne).  Or slip them over the tops of 2 liters!

Follow Agape Love's blog and she will email you this super cool subway art! 

Eat this:
Alisa Burke has these super cool fortune cookies on her blog! {Found via Be Different...Act Normal}

I thought these were adorable.  From Glitter to Gumdrops made them!

Cakes, Kids, Etc has this Snickerdoodle Cupcake recipe on her blog.  Oh the cinnamon-y sugar-y  goodness -- YUM.

dozen grapes at midnight
I thought this just looked pretty.  But apparently your supposed to eat a dozen grapes quickly (no slow pokes) at midnight. Head to Ucreate Foods to learn more!

Ham Biscuits.  My boys would be in love.  Courtesy of King Arthur's Flour.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Monday's Features

How was your Christmas?! 

 We had a great one!  Joshua got everything (and then some) on his list.  All of the handmade gifts were a hit.  {Which made me super happy}  And I spent all day Sunday running around hitting up some more sales.  :)

Sew This:
Aren't these bags cute?  KojoDesigns has the tutorial for these up-cycled bags. I should have made some to put some of the guys gifts in!! Always next year...

Ruffles and Stuff shows you how to make knee socks out of tights your little girl has out grown! An easy way to make little one's clothes last!

I saw these a while back and was floored by the talent!  Freda's Hive is simply amazing.  And these doll house pot holders prove it!  {I'm a sucker for vintage!}

Bugs and Fishes made these butterflies into broaches.  But I think that they would be fun embellishing just about anything!

Everybody needs an aromatherapy bag!  Especially in winter.  Warm it up...all nice and toasty!  Make it From Scratch shows you step by step how to make these cute little things! 

Craft this:

I adore this necklace from I love to Create. Perfect for that New Year's Eve party!

Blissfully Domestic has this cool clock tutorial up.  You make the clock out of an old CD.  It looks just like the ball dropping!

Have contact paper?  Then head over to Shanty 2 Chic for this tutorial.  The possibilities are ENDLESS!

Do you see the butterfly mobile!? Are you kidding!?! I LOVE IT!!!! Project Nursery made it and it is sooo beautiful!

This pine cone garland is from Twig & Thistle.  I saw Kmart had bags of cinnamon scented pine cones on sale for $3.  I think I may go get some to make this.  {I can decorate for winter still!}  And I bet it will make my house smell yummy!

Print this:
Did your kids get new books for Christmas?  Tip Junkie rounded up a bunch of cool book plates that you can print off and put in your child's new books! 
Of course we have New Year's Eve Subway Art! :) This is from Custom Printables.


I just love the little bird from love obsess inspire!

This is my kind of list!  This is from Marta Writes.  If for some odd reason you don't read her blog you really need to head over there.  She has such a way with words.

I printed this out and it is going in my craft room.  So inspiring!  Thanks goes out to the Daily Etsian for this one!

Eat this:
Yum.  Pumpkin Coffee Cake.  Confessions of A Cookbook Queen has the recipe on her blog.  And I went a little pumpkin crazy when it was on sale so I think I will def. be making this! :)

chocolate roll recipe
Mmmmm chocolate.  Baked Bree has a delicious recipe for a chocolate roll.  A must have for any season I must say.

I am Baker made these super cute cookies.  Funny how something so cute is actually supposed to represent the dreaded (or actually now trendy in a funny let's party way) ugly sweater.  Yea, she made ugly sweater cookies.  I know.  I really want one too.  And how cool would it have been to show up at an ugly sweater party with matching cookies?  Is that pushing it?  Is my matching obsession really this out of control?

I told you -- I'm a freak for smores.  And smore fudge is NO exception.  I'm taking Mandy's recipe and making it.  Today.  I may even eat it for breakfast.  {Just kidding} {Maybe...}

Are you looking at this cake?  Our best bites made it for dessert for Christmas.  Ready for what it's called?  Chocolate Mousse Crunch Cake with Dark Chocolate Peppermint Ganache.   Yea.  You know if your cake title has more than 5 words its bound to be good.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Hello!  I have just a couple spots left for free advertising!  Let me know if you are interested!

I for one, would be pumped if someone got me these for Christmas.  But after looking at A Pretty Cool Life's blog - I'm going to make some myself.  So simple.  BUT I have a few more gifts to finish, so these are going to have to wait til next week. {Can you believe it, Christmas is this WEEK!!!!} But if you need a last minute gift -- these are it! :)


Lizzy House has a free housewear quilt pattern available on her site. I love her fabric.  I bought a bunch of it to make napkins {if you look closely the fabrics all have dinner plates, spoons, forks and knives on them}  Very cool.

Perched On a Whim has a tutorial for turning a sweater into a bag.  It's so cozy!

How about this I love the 80's Ipod cover?  :)  It's from Crafting with cat hair.

Grace Violet made this super cute football taggie.  A perfect last minute gift for that little man!!!

Craft this
I'm sure you have all seen this but I just adore them.  And I want one!  C.R.A.F.T made them out of 5 large pots!! When I see a pot I think flowers.  Never in my dreams would I have thought to build a toy soldier!!

In a row
How perfectly whimsy are these?  Oh So Happy Together made them and I'm in love!

CC10 pompom ornament
I think I'm into pom poms.  So if you need a pom pom how to go visit The Crafty Crow

 I thought that this was a cute gift a child could make.  A painted votive candle holder.  Muffin Tin Mom has lots of great ideas!

 Chocolate body scrub.  Doesn't that sound heavenly?  You may need a chocolate bar waiting for you to get out of the bath.  Sweet Tidings has the recipe on her site.  You better believe I have it in the kitchen waiting on me!

Print this
She's {Kinda} Crafty has these cool peppermint hot cocoa tags on her blog.  Perfect gift if you ask me.  I love peppermint + hot cocoa.

Here's another gift in a jar.  Smore in a jar.  Uhh I'm in *love*.  Crafts ~N~ Things has all you need!

I love the colors!  I love the quote.  I love that it is free!  I just love it.  And it's from I love it all with Monika Wright.

I think these gift bags are sweet.  It is What it is has done a great job with her blog!  Most def. go check her out!

 Do you have peekers at your house?  If so, you need some of Toad's Treasure's gift tags!

Eat this

Aren't these turtles cute?  Three Baking Sheets To the Wind made these pretzel turtles.

Santa Belly cookies
Cheryl from Tidy Mom made these super cute sugar cookies.  I adore them.

Caramel Apple Pie just sounds too good not to sare.  Crafty mama has the yummy recipe.

I saw this picture and squeeled.  Yum-o.  AND I have a bundt pan.  I just got it.  Which means -- I could make this Peppermint Poundcake from Nancy Creative! WOO WOO!

Cat on a Limb made this apple cinnamon toast.  Which I think is a great way to start your day.