How to print on burlap – redneck style.

How to print on Burlap

So I wanted to print something out on burlap. I’d seen a few examples of gorgeous burlap printing artistry, and I figured I could give it a go.

I found a lot of tutorials.

Like this one (love this blog!)

And this one

The one that inspired my burlap search here

And they are all good tutorials, but they also all involved me going to the store and purchasing something. So I thought I’d try to make do with what I had, and came up with this: printing on burlap red neck style.

Materials Needed: 

burlap cut just smaller than 8 1/2 x 11

card-stock

tape

printer

Instructions:

1. Make your design. If you want to use mine your more than welcome, it’ll be at the end of the post.

2. Using plain old present wrapping tape, tape the burlap to your card stock

3. Print it out

4. Holding your fabric, pull tape off away from the burlap to avoid fraying

how to print on burlap

That’s it! It worked for me.

There is sunshine in my soul

I took my pretty printed burlap and embroidered a sun and some flowers. It’s already on display in my house, oh and p.s. Little Lion loves it! She keeps pointing at it and saying wee wee wee wee wee… she really likes saying wee wee lately, lol. I interpret wee wee as pretty, such a girl!

Oh, I almost forgot! Here’s the printable:

Sunshine in my Soul


 

 

What’s With All the Guilt?

Mormon women are really good at laying on the guilt, and not just on our spouses and children, but on ourselves. I have had many conversations with women who have suffered from depression throughout their lives and felt immensely guilty for it. I mean, think about it. We’re mormon! We’re known for being joyful. We have good news. We know that Christ suffered for our sins, so we could return to live with our Heavenly Father. We call it the plan of happiness, so how is it that we get sad sometimes?

I don’t know why some struggle with depression more than others, but I do know that it’s nothing to feel guilty about. We tell our kids that it’s OK to feel sad sometimes, so why don’t we give ourselves the same leeway?

The scriptures are filled with examples of prophets who felt a full range of emotion, from grief, anguish and sorrow, to happiness, joy, and I’d even venture to say that Ammon is downright hyper from time to time.

Here are a few examples of prophets who have felt sorrow:

Jeremiah

Jeremiah 20:18 – Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?

Nephi

2 Nephi 4:17 – Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities

Isaac and Rebekah

Genesis 26:35 – Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah. (After Esau married outside the covenant)

Lehi and Sariah

1 Nephi 18:17 – Now my father, Lehi, had said many things unto them, and also unto the sons of Ishmael; but, behold, they did breathe out much threatenings against anyone that should speak for me; and my parents being stricken in years, and having suffered much grief because of their children, they were brought down, yea, even upon their sick-beds.

Our Savior Jesus Christ

Isaiah 53:3 – He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Jesus Christ

Even God feels sorrow when he sees the the pain of His children. So please, don’t feel guilty if you suffer from depression, and know that there is hope.

God loves us and wants us to be happy. Life is good.

“In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.”  – Gordon B Hinckley

Life is better because we experience a wide array of emotions. The good times are made that much sweeter because of the bad.

In one of my favorite musicals, Children of Eden, Adam and Eve are remembering their time in the garden, and they sing these words:

“And I remember, in someone else’s garden long ago
We had all we could eat
But it seems the fruit our own hands grow
Somehow tastes twice as sweet”

We’re here learning how to grow our own fruit. We’re not alone, He is here helping us along – we just can’t see Him. And I don’t think He is condemning us when we feel sad, I believe that He is crying with us.

I am not an official spokesperson for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This is my own personal opinion and perspective.

Ridiculously Easy Baby Headband tutorial – no sewing required

no sew DIY baby nylon headband

This is really easy to make. I mean, really really easy. A drunk monkey could make this headband and it would still look cute.

Ready for the materials list? OK here it is: scissors and pantyhose

It’s so easy I don’t think you’ll need me to write out a description – the pictures do the talking, but just in case I’m wrong you’ll find them written beneath the pretty picture.

How to make a no sew baby nylon headband

1. Cut off the leg and toe of your panty hose (doesn’t matter if it has runs – they add flair)

2. Tie it into a circle with a loose square knot

3. Tie another loose square knot

4. Pull really tight so that a little bit of panty-hose edge hangs over

5. Fan out your flower and pull it so it’s slightly longer than your leaf.

6. Ta – Da! Beautiful.

nylon baby headband

And I’ve got the most gorgeous little model to show it off :) This headband can be worn by babes and adults alike, although I put the flower at the nape of my neck underneath my hair when I wear it. It fits both me and baby because it’s really stretchy! Woot for stealing accessories from my infant daughter :)

I would love to see your versions of this! Feel free to leave me a link in the comments or email me pics at amber@ambermaybe.com so I can feature what you’ve done. Happy crafting!

 

 

Angels as Associates

So, I was just thinking about this month’s visiting teaching message. As always there are multiple nuggets that can be found in the message, but there was one quote that hit me particularly hard, actually it was one sentence of a quote:

Joseph Smith Quote

Wow. How powerful is that? This statement is so comforting. It tells me that no matter what is going on in my life, if I am living up to the covenants I have made, then I will be blessed in POWERFUL ways. And you know, when I think about it, I can pin-point specific times when I knew that there were people beyond the veil lifting me up and helping me out. This quote makes me feel so humbled and at the same time so important to my Heavenly Father. It’s a neat feeling and an awesome message. Happy Visiting teaching this month!

Stinky is as Stinky Does

So you know those fancy Diaper Genie things? Yeah, the ones that cost around $40 up front and then an additional $25 every time you need to refill/replace parts? Well I was looking at those thinking, man they are making a mint off of us! All those things do is wrap your diapers into plastic bags to stop the diaper stink! So I made my very own diaper genie! I call it Stinky is as Stinky does. What do you think? Is it marketable? Because it’s small in the picture, let me just re-write the ad/disclaimer: (Please imagine a ridiculously chirpy female version of Billy Mays voicing the following)

Do you have a small child? Does your home smell like crap? Literally? Is it too much work lugging dirty diapers all the way from the nursery to the outside trash bin? Well we have the stink solution for you! Sure to please the whole family, our patented technology is simple, just tie dirty diapers into plastic bags and throw them in the trash. Got an especially strong bomb? You have the option of using not one but two bags! Ah-maz-ing! Wait, there’s more! Just for wasting ten minutes reading this blog post you get three, you read me right, three Stinky is as Stinky does labels. That’s three labels for only ten minutes of your life that you will never get back again! This offer is not valid with third-party offers. We are not responsible should you accidentally choke on a plastic bag. Do not eat diapers. They are toxic. We are not responsible for husbands, wives, children, small rats, infants, or large mammals too lazy and/or physically incapable of tying dirty diapers into trash bags. Thank you.

DIY stinky diaper solution

The concept is simple. Cut a hole into a clean milk jug and stuff it with plastic bags. Every time your sweetie goes poop just tie the soiled diaper up and throw it into a lidded trash bin. I’m poking fun at it, but it really does work to control stench for those of us too lazy to walk all the way outside every time there is a diaper change.

Beautiful Stripes

Have you ever heard a woman say she doesn’t want children because it will ruin her body? I have. Someone told me that when I was about half way through my pregnancy, and it had me worried. This worldly logic seems to pervade thoughts all over the US. When young girls hear people like Jillian Michaels saying that they would rather adopt than put their bodies through pregnancy what are they supposed to think?

When I was pregnant I was so excited for motherhood, but I was also nervous about the changes that were coming. My entire life I’ve heard women lament the way they looked before children. I’m sure I’ve heard it hundreds of times. So many mothers talk about how their body isn’t the same after having children. Almost every single overweight mother I have ever met used pregnancy as an excuse for her size.

During my pregnancy I learned that my baby wasn’t growing well inside my womb. The doctor encouraged me to gain weight in the hope that my weight gain would transfer to the baby. Over the course of my pregnancy I gained almost fifty pounds. By the time it was over I felt like a bloated fish, and I was certain that all those mothers were right. I was convinced that I would never be the same.

Well, part of this was true. I will never be the same. Not one part of me will ever be the same. Motherhood has added deeper dimensions to me in every aspect of my life. Spiritually, mentally, and yes… physically I will never be the same. But that is not a bad thing. Because guess what? Pregnancy DOES NOT ruin your body!

Women’s bodies are made to have babies. That may not be popular, but it’s true. When Heavenly Father designed women he had pregnancy, delivery, and motherhood in mind.

And when it’s all over we are still beautiful, in fact we are even more beautiful. Let me repeat that because it’s important. After having children women are even more beautiful than they used to be. Within six months of giving birth to our beautiful baby girl I had lost all of the weight I gained – just by eating healthy and staying active. I am curvier. I am stronger. I can build more muscle than I could before. My hair is healthier, and I am a tiger who earned her stripes.

I can just hear those of you who know me personally, “But Amber, you lose weight by blinking.” K, that’s partially true. I don’t have to go on crazy diets to lose weight. But you know what else is true? Babies aren’t the only reason we gain weight. And by living a healthy lifestyle we can all have healthy bodies. Oh, and a size 3 doesn’t have to be the ideal. Women come in lots of shapes and sizes and that’s good. So maybe, you didn’t lose those last few pregnancy pounds. You are still beautiful.

None of us had perfect bodies before our pregnancies and none have perfect bodies after, and if we don’t start seeing ourselves and our mom bodies as beautiful what will our daughters see? I don’t want my gorgeous baby girl to think that she can’t continue to be gorgeous after she starts having children of her own. Instead, I want her to think about all of the confident beautiful mothers she knows and look forward to being like them – beautiful mothers who aren’t perfect, but who love their bodies – women who know that their bodies are a precious gift from our Heavenly Father.

Ladies, it is high time we work on the perception that having children ruins our bodies. It’s time we stop using our children as an excuse and start using them as a reason – the reason why we, as righteous mothers, are now more beautiful than we have ever been. It’s time we were proud of our mom bodies, because they are beautiful, stripes and all.

Photo taken by my hubby

My conversion Story Part 1

I talk a lot about my faith in my blog. It affects every aspect of my life and it means SO much to me. To me religion is more than just something you talk about twice a year on Christmas or Easter, and it’s more than something you talk about on Sunday’s. To me, religion is something that affects every single facet of my life. That doesn’t mean I’m out preaching to every person I meet, or that I pray over which cereal I should eat in the morning, rather it means that I try to continually live by the principles I believe in regardless of the situation.
I say try because I’m not perfect at it. My faith isn’t perfect. It’s something that I have to continually work at and strive for. And I believe that a loving Heavenly Father will help me do that.
Today I’d like to share with you how I got to where I’m at with my faith. It’s something that is intensely personal, but I hope it can help others on the same journey as me – others trying to strengthen their faith and live better happier lives. It’s kind of a long story so it’s one I’ll be releasing in parts.

PART 1

I was born to good parents. My home wasn’t perfect, but no one’s is. My parents did their best to teach me and my siblings good values. They set good examples for us and took us to church where we learned invaluable lessons about little streams that give, that we are children of God, and that Jesus came to John the Baptist. My early childhood was charmed. I was a very precocious and happy little girl. I enjoyed church, especially the singing part, and I never felt the need to question it. When I turned eight I was thrilled to be baptized. I wasn’t forced into baptism mind you. My parents are big believers in giving kids agency and they very seriously gave me the choice. I chose to be baptized because I felt good when I was at church.

When I was 10? Maybe 9? We moved. It was a tumultuous time for me. I was changing physically and my surroundings were SO different from what I was used to. We moved from an area that had only just barely been turned from farms to subdivisions to a ritzy neighborhood filled with big houses and expensive toys. I learned very quickly that I didn’t fit in. It was the first time in my life that I experienced what I would consider to be great trials.

Things went very quickly from not fitting in to full blown bullying. It was like I had a target painted on my back. There were two distinct groups that bullied me. One was at church (made up of boys and a couple of girls that probably thought they were just teasing the weird girl) and the other at school (a more malicious group that crossed the emotional threshold into physical bullying a couple of times). It was really hard. I often felt like I had no friends.

I tried to change myself, to fit what these people wanted me to be, but it didn’t work. I couldn’t be shy. I couldn’t be timid. I couldn’t keep my nose out of my books. I couldn’t stop humming my favorite songs. I couldn’t magically fix my eyesight and stop needing my big round glasses. The bullying continued into young women’s age. And while things were still really hard, there was a silver lining. You see, this is when I started needing the Lord. I had a particularly kind young women’s leader who taught me that I was loved and made me feel so special every time I saw her. I would go to her class right before Sunday school where I would endure what I considered to be torment. Her spirit got me through. If it wasn’t for her I’m not sure I would have kept going. She helped me to feel something I hadn’t really recognized before, the guiding influence of a loving Heavenly Father.

Today I am grateful for the bullies that taunted and pushed me. They led me to something more. It was through this trial that I learned that I really needed something more.

That was the first step of my conversion. And things began to get better after that.

You can keep reading my conversion story Here for Part 2 and Here for part 3

 

My Conversion Story Part 3

Behind? You can still read Part 1 and Part 2

PART 3

I mentioned in my last post the need to exercise faith. Well, in my youth I tried to do that, but there was one specific instance where I completely ignored a prompting and had to pay for it. It was stupid really, I will always feel ashamed for it.

I was prompted to not accept a role in a play, and I did it anyway. I don’t know why I was told not to. Perhaps I would have been less stressed out with all of my AP classes, perhaps a better opportunity would have come my way, I don’t know. All I know is that I ignored this prompting and it rocked me to my core.

You see, once you have the gift of the spirit you have to work to keep it. And when I ignored it, I lost it for a while. I even lost a measure of the knowledge and faith I used to have. I began to doubt myself and I began to doubt my faith. I was miserable. I felt empty inside. It was during this period that I let some of my old demons come back and haunt me. I began to feel bad that I wasn’t perfectly accepted at school. I noticed more when people in my classes were rude to me. There was one girl in particular who made fun of  me in her AP English class and when word got back to me about what she was saying I was devastated.

A few things helped me push through this hard time. One was my parents. I told them what I had done and how I was feeling and they were supportive and loved me unconditionally. My dad explained to me a little bit about the repentance process and how I would have to go through it before I could feel the Spirit the same way I used to.

So I prayed and fasted and asked my Heavenly Father for forgiveness. Then one day things got better.I was sitting in sacrament meeting feeling really terrible, I had been fighting with family members, I had tons of homework, and as I said before I was in a bad state generally. I had a severe stomach ache brought on by stress, and I escaped to the bathroom where I sat down and prayed to the Lord. I told Him that I knew He was there and that I knew He could help me. I asked Him to remove my pain from me. Instantly my stomach ache was gone, and so was the burden I’d been carrying around. I had exercised my faith in Him and He had helped me feel His forgiveness. Again I was given a reassurance of His existence and even more of His love for me. It was almost as if I could see his light from the Heavens. His eyes were on me, and I knew it perfectly.

After that instance things began to get better. I continue to have my ups and downs as I strive to be faithful. I want to be wholly converted. I want to give up my sins to know Him. And though I have a long way to go, I know that He’s there to help me and to guide me on the way.

As a sidenote a good friend of mine commented on my last post that it’s OK to have doubts sometimes, it’s how we handle those doubts that really defines us. He said it perfectly, so I’ll just use an excerpt from his quote.

Jayrod said, “I think it is the doubts that make faith really what it is.  Because when we have doubts and continue in the path we have chosen that is when our faith really blooms. Your faith is so beautiful now, because of the very fact that you have chosen to stay true to what you believe even when there has been every reason to doubt it and walk away.”

Thanks Jayrod. Thanks for reminding us that our imperfections help make us beautiful.

My Conversion Story Part 2

Behind? Check out Part 1

PART 2

In my last post I explained my childhood bullying and how it led me to depend on the Lord. As I got older things got better. I found a good group of friends – people I’m still close to – and began learning that I didn’t need to be liked by everyone to be happy.

I had gained a testimony of the comfort I could receive when I was obeying the Lord’s commandments, and I had experienced a few miracles, but my conversion wasn’t over yet.

The next step in my conversion came by the hand of that same caring young women’s leader. She bore her testimony to us every week about the Savior and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I always felt an intense stirring when she bore her testimony, and I wanted that same thing. In my eyes she glowed, and I wanted to glow too. When she challenged us to pray about whether or not The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was God’s only church I accepted the challenge.

I went to my room, knelt by my bed, and I poured my heart out to the Lord. I told him that I needed to know if these things were true. Different people receive answers in different ways, but for me it was an immediate assurance. I felt so strongly that God was real and that I was attending his church. I felt peace and warmth and overwhelming love. And I just knew. Soon after I read the Book of Mormon and prayed to know if it was true. I received the same immediate assurance.

It’s important to note here that while I wanted all of this to be true, while I had a hope that it was true, I didn’t automatically assume it was. There were some very serious doubts and fears within me that wondered. It’s also interesting to note that just because I received my witness doesn’t mean I never doubted again. I’m ashamed to admit that, but it’s true. As I said in my first post – faith is something that requires constant work. It’s not like riding a bike. It’s more like a muscle, you have to keep exercising it to keep it going.

Check out PART 3 for the conclusion

Stunted Growth

So without going into too much detail. Our daughter isn’t growing the way she should be. There really isn’t a lot more I can tell you. We know the results of her recent tests, but they want to do more. We’re seeing a specialist at the end of the month and in the mean time we’re playing the waiting game.

We’re pretty nervous and emotional. Hubby got this horrible flu bug the day after we got the news and compound that with nursing school schedule, work, and family crisis, well… you get one sick guy.

No one ever expects something to be wrong with their child. You hope and pray for a normal, perfectly healthy kid. And then when something happens you don’t really know what to do or how to react.

The only thing we do know for certain is that we love our baby girl so much, and we love her just the way she is. We wouldn’t change a thing. Heavenly Father knows her personally and he knew she would have these problems. All we can do at this point is trust in Him.

So we do our best, and even though we ache inside we know everything will be OK in the end. In the meantime… we wait.