Friday, September 21, 2012

Breast Cancer Run for the Cure

I made this card for two women I know who have survived breast cancer.  One is my sister-in-law who was diagnosed when she was 38 years old and her youngest child was just 3 years old.  She survived having a mastectomy and chemotherapy.  That was 24 years ago!  I am amazed at how well she carried on in spite of her cancer diagnosis.  The former 3 year old is now a father of his own child and now going to pre-kindergarten.  What joy this little grandchild has given to my sister-in-law.  She never thought she'd live this long but she has inspired me with her positive outlook.

The other woman is my nephew's mother-in-law. This woman is a retired primary school teacher who along with her husband successfully raised 3 of the loveliest and accomplished girls I have ever met.  The oldest has 2 Master's degrees and teaches high school.  The middle girl is a very successful engineer who is now involved in the environmental field with an international non-profit corporation and teaching companies how to manufacture their products in an environmentally conscientious way.  The baby of the group is now a veterinarian who has worked in several countries helping out with the care of elephants and horses.  When two of the girls were still in university, she was diagnosed with her breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy as well as chemo.  After her treatment, she lost over 100 pounds and is now a very fit and physically active lady who walks about 5 miles a day, year round.  She now babysits her two granddaughters full time and absolutely loves it.   There are some days where she makes me tired just watching her.  She always has a smile on her face and she is very thankful for all her blessings.

I made this card for each of these women and added a "shoe lace" pin for them to wear to remember that they are successful survivors of breast cancer.  I also want to encourage everyone to run or walk in their local campaigns to raise not only money for research but also to spread awareness about breast cancer.    

Friday, September 7, 2012

Diaper Cake for Precious Little Baby


A friend of mine was due to have a baby but the problem was I didn't know whether it was going to be a boy or a girl.  Being that there are only a few true surprises in life, she and her husband chose not to learn what the gender.  Well, I'm here to say that you can still give a fabulous baby gift and something that is gender-neutral.

I started off by finding a soft blanket frog in soft green.  I decided to make a diaper cake and made the frog the "cake" topper.  I added other small gifts such as green and white onesies, yellow and green socks that I turned inside one another to create small flower buds, a rubber duckie that measures the water temperature and a few other items that I tucked into the diaper layers.  I also bought a sun shade for the baby carrier and used this boxed item as the base for the "cake".

There are lots of tutorials to view on YouTube that will show you how to make this type of gift.  I chose to make a fairly modest size as it was not going to form a table decoration piece.  I started mine was to take a 10" spring form pan and fan out some of the diapers inside the cake pan.  Insert an empty paper towel roll in the middle of the pan surrounded by diapers.  Have long elastic bands ready and being careful, remove the diaper layer from the pan and apply the elastic bands.  For the second layer, roll diapers as you go and apply another elastic band or two over the paper towel roll and add two rows of diapers.  Then take  more rolled diapers and add to the owner edge of bottom layer until you are satisfied with the shape.  I used 2 packages of 18 natural disposable newborn diapers to make this project.

Then the fun part begins.  You can add small items such as rolled up socks and facecloths, small toys, baby wash, etc. to fit between the diapers - as many or as few as will fit and look balanced.  You could also have a theme like bath time or home safety items like cupboard locks and socket covers.   The diaper cake can be mounted on a piece of cardboard covered with pretty paper or a cake board.  Cover the elastic bands with pretty ribbons in a neutral tone.  Use a large piece of gift basket plastic wrap and there you go.  A wonderful and unique gift that probably didn't take you 10 minutes to assemble.  It actually took me longer to shop for the gifts that went on the cake than it did to make it.  Most importantly, my friend loved the gift I made especially for her.

The gift was accompanied with a light green card in the shape of a onesie that I cut from my Cricut New Arrivals cartridge.  I outlined the seams with white gel pen.  The stamp on the front, Precious Little Baby is from the Tiny Tags stamp set from The Stamping Spot.