When It Rains…It Hurricanes ☔️

I have recently found myself at a loss for words. Although I mustered up a few to create this blog post… theres no easy or tactful way of saying my life at its current standstill sucks…

Don’t get me wrong, the joys of motherhood have far outweighed the sleepless nights, messy house and less time to craft & blog. But of course when I think things in life are getting good, the universe steps in to tell me it has other plans.

My husband lost his job last week. What a blow this was. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. Financially. My list could go on but crying on my keyboard may make it short circuit…then I really don’t know what I would do. Thankfully, as some of you may know, I started back at work again late December. I do make more money than my husband, not something I am happy about, but it’s good to know we won’t be TOO strapped. Although don’t get me wrong, we’re going to need to be quite tight with our money until his first paycheck rolls in…from whatever new job he finds….whenever he finds it.

I know it’s only been a short 2 days since he lost his job (not including his weekend), but I feel like his efforts just aren’t enough. He tells me its depressing to look, but I can’t see that as a viable excuse. You should want to do good and to be able to provide for your family. If I were a man, it would light a small fire under me to get motivated to find a better job, especially if we were having to rely on my wife. I’m very old fashioned when it comes to men being supporters. Im not saying women need not work, it shouldn’t be like that either. I’m simply stating that I prefer to know the man brings in the majority of the income. It’s nice to know he wants to work hard at a job that pays well, to provide the most and best he can for his family. I also know with how many surgeries he has had, and broken bones, that he will never have a job that pays AMAZINGLY well in field he is interested working in, because his old bones just can’t hack the wear and tear. He’s 27 but has had surgery for arthritis in his wrist, shoulder surgery, knee surgery, and several broken bones which have been lucky enough to fuse together with a little time and a cast.

While I was on maternity leave, the finances were tight as well. I did receive a check from the state to help with the months that I would be off, and it did cover my portion of the bills…. however its a lot harder to get money from the government when you’re not a mother …or a child for that fact. Sure he can apply for unemployment but the chances of him getting it are slim to none. The amount of loop holes you have to jump through outweigh the time he could be spending looking for a job.

I’m not sure if this is with all men, but his motivation is just not there. I had to whip up a resume for him, which also concerns me. I can’t be in every interview, but I don’t want him failing either. He struggles with confidence in this area, and I would hate for that to over power the employers view on his work ethic. Im really torn on what to do here.

On top of all that, which is quite the burden in its self, I find out my new car needs a tune up, to the tune of $250! I am just getting back on my feet financially with work, and life slaps me with a $250 bill, which is also just an estimate so surely it’s expected to go up. Just to add to this banana split sundae of a disaster, our lease is up for our apartment. Sure we can stay, and take a $50 rent increase, which is just not something we need right now..or we can move. And be forced to come up with first and last months rent at another place..which is ALSO not doable. Nothing is really doable for me right now besides winning the lottery.  Of course there is more to add (oh yes, it gets better). Tarl lost yet another thing today, his phone. The only form of communication between him and potential employers and he loses it. We’re at the bottom of the ninth, 2 strikes, bases loaded, and we just struck out…if you aren’t feeling better about your life by reading this, I don’t know what can help.

Normally, I am a very positive person. In fact, I’m the happiest person at my work place. It’s an accomplishment I’d say…when all of your co-workers like you, and they all want to work with you, i consider that a huge feat. Work is where you spend 90% of your life…why not make it a job you love and with people you get along with makes it even better. But back to my sad moral of the story, my positivity just hasn’t been able to help me up from this knock down drag out month. Sometimes, for me any way, it feels good to just sulk and be sad and drink wine for a few hours. But I can’t help but to think to myself “what have I done SO wrong in my life, to deserve these punishments and hardships?” I begin thinking back to the times i cheated in board games with my sister, or didn’t do my chores when my mom asked. Surely something pissed the karma gods off to let me endure this kind of pain.

Then there are the people out there who try shoving positivity down my throat. “it’ll all work out in the end” “every thing happens for a reason” “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” and all those other nasty words of encouragement. Can’t I just be sad and sassy for one day? Perhaps I am seeing this in the wrong light…perhaps there is a small…dim…burning out light at the end of this hellish tunnel. When shall we see the light? I don’t fucking know, but I’m getting afraid of the dark and I don’t like not being able to control my feelings or what life throws at me. It scares me to not have that financial cushion to rely on when things get tight or we want to treat ourselves to a night out. I hate NOT having money.  I hate having that financial limitation. This isn’t how I pictured my life. I don’t want to blame my husband / fiance for my problems at all…but it seems like I inherit all of his problems and financials stresses. I know for better or for worse is a huge saying..but we haven’t said those words yet. Does he still feel the same towards me? What if I were the one without income? Would he be willing to support me and take on all my bills as I am now having to do for him? I know it may be wrong to say this, but this is where I keep my feelings 100%. And I just don’t feel like he would be okay with doing the same for me. I now have his insurance to pay, his tickets to pay off, and what ever other mumbo jumbo he pays. But…as they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

I was 1 number away from a $20,000 lottery ticket yesterday..I got 4/5 winning numbers within the first 6 scratches…I thought life was about to lift me up sky high so I could thank jesus and my lucky stars..but 14 scratches later and I ended up getting my $2 back and a heavy heart because we were this close to winning. But…as they say, everything happens for a reason.

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How I Know It Was a Bad Night…🔮

As most of you know, I am back to work full time now, as my hubby as been. I used to work nights, although since having the baby I have requested to be moved to day shifts. I got my wish (for the most part) and only work nights 2 nights a week.  We are lucky enough to have my grandma as a baby sitter, and on one of the nights that I work until 11, she takes him over night. Tarl gets him the other night until I get home to relieve him.

I can always tell when the nights been rough. I come home to the baby chest carrier on the ground (clearly an attempt to keep Jaxson occupied. He’s just learning to sit and stand (this part with finger assistance of course). Then theres the stroller out…another clear sign of Jansons hatred for doing anything but being mobile. When he gets tired of pushing him around the apartment, It seems to me like he resorts to every bouncer, boppy and baby toy we have to calm him and occupy him…which of course doesn’t work. Didn’t Tarl learn by the stroller quieting him that nothing else will suffice? I know its an especially difficult night when I get the text at work asking not to stay late, and that he can’t wait until I’m home. I’m not sure if thats his attempt to butter me up yet expressing his happiness for when I relieve him, or him just telling me to hurry home…but all the more reason to stay and give him extra daddy – son time 😏

By the time I get home Im already annoyed…not by the fact that I get to work all day and then come home and take care of our son all night, but at the mere fact that Tarl complains about a short period of time to watch the baby, when he sleeps for half of it… either way… I have come to terms with the fact that men in general just CAN’T do the things us women can. They can barely handle the common cold.. let alone take care of a baby. Im partially okay with this because every time I get home, Jaxson is the perfect little angel I know he is. Most of the time he finally gets to sleep by the time I drive home, but the best part is the look on Tarls face when I get home and he’s quiet and sleeping. I know in my heart they will be best buds when he’s walking and talking. And not so fragile.

Sometimes I wonder, if we weren’t so lucky and blessed with an amazingly quiet baby, how Tarl would act. He’s lucky our son sleeps and smiles all the time, most babies cry a lot and some babies don’t stop!

Where has my time gone???

I always find myself making empty promises. It’s not something I try to do…it just happens. I have all the intentions of following through with plans I make & doing the things I tell myself I need to do or get done. Yet somehow, I find myself never following through with them. It’s hard to accomplish things when you would rather just sit around and relax. I need to get out of that unhealthy mindset. And as of riiiiiiiight now, and this year in general, I am going to follow through on plans & start doing things now and not procrastinating.

For example…I told myself I would start blogging more. I feel like working 40+ hours a week now, I barely find time for myself let alone my family. But I can always make time for the important things. I created an office space for a reason, I better start using it damnit!

Well, felt like I should at least update to let you all know I’m still alive! I’m still waiting to become a world famous blogger, and to accomplish that goal I will need a lot more material to blog about! So off to the drawing board!

❌ ⭕️ ✨ 🎀
X’s, O’s, Glitter & Bows!
Dana

Snail Mail: Pen Pal-ing

So recently, I’ve been blown into a whirl wind of babies, blogging & crafting, all while trying to keep a clean house. Needless to say, I’ve chose fun over priorities and thus why I have been away for so long! (I will NEVER let the laundry get that bad again!) <– famous last words.

None the less, in the time I've been away from my computer, I've had the time to create a blogging / desk space! I needed a place to call my own! After all, I'm sure my husband wouldn't mind if my crafts were contained to a corner and not barfing out of every closet & table we own 😁

I honestly wish I had some 'before' photos of my room, before i transformed it into my now kick-ass work station (will continue to look in the background of pictures 😅). I don't have all the finishing touches together either, so I won't post the finished ikea-look-a-like product just yet. But when I do, full details will follow 💕

Anyyyy way! I've been so busy with mom & work life I barely have time for friends (especially the ones without children. Not by choice either. But some just don't understand.) So I started looking up good websites for pen pals! Nothing from inmates or people wanting cash for the mysterious illness they contracted shortly after meeting you. I once had a pen pal through school in 3rd grade. Lord knows how long ago that was, but the friendship was great & it gave something to look forward to in the mail. Any time I get something that isn't a bill in the post, I always get excited. Even coupons for Christsake 🙊

I found a few good websites worth sharing with all of you, should any be interested in snail mailing someone! I always try to base a websites credibility by how it looks. I would never mistake WordPress for anything scam-y or sketchy, but some websites just look virus ridden (if you know what I mean). So the few websites I did find arent the prettiest (aesthetically speaking) , however their credibility was verified through pinterest & other websites. I also assumed since no one really pen-pals any more, and mail is slowly coming to a halt, no one bothers to update these websites to 21st century technology. But the users are active so that's that. Here are a few places I found candidates:

http://maarten.daams.tripod.com

As well as…

http://www.penpalsnow.com/go/search.html

Another thing I tried was looking up hashtags (#) on social media for any possible candidates. I tried #PenPal #SeekingPenPal & #SnailMailPenPal (all of which seemed to be popular terms when further researching pen pals).

I will send out my first few letters today. In hopes to meet someone new who has a different perspective on culture, life, and anything else they wish to share.
If you are interested in becoming my pen pal, please email me for mailing address (email can be found on right hand side of page!)

Sincerely (he he, I am already getting the hang of this),
Dana 💕💕

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree…🎄

Ever since I became pregnant, I have been crafting more. I’ve been trying everything I’ve always wanted. Trying the recipes I’ve pinned, etc. I think I have a new journey in life, to always try and provide the best for my family. No matter if it’s just making homemade meals, or making my husbands favorite dessert from scratch, there’s something so rewarding about creating things for myself, especially when they turn out Pinterest-worthy ☺️

This year, I promised myself I would try something new with our Christmas tree. I looked up several things on Pinterst, nothing really catching my eye. I decided to go chic and do black & silver glitter ornaments this year. (I also experienced that thing called motherhood again and finally got the tree done on the 20th…ha!) It so happened I came across a GREAT idea to spruce up our regular ol’ holiday tree into something…spectacular!

Behold…the criss-cross tree! I saw this and couldn’t help myself. It caught my eye. It was something I had to do. You know…one of those saw-it-on-Pinterest things that I couldn’t pass up.

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Many have looked at this and thought “wow…thats a lot of work” …I myself was one of those. But for some reason, challenge always provokes me to try it. I love proving people wrong, or shocking people. I’m the type of person who has faith in everyone until they prove other wise. I think if you let anyone know you believe in them, and think they can accomplish anything, it gives that person the determination to work harder and make you proud…& so on & so forth.

Any way, I attempted the tree, despite what my husband had to say about it. Men honestly just don’t understand the christmas tree thing. He says a few ornaments and it looks fine, I say it needs to be department store worthy, aesthetically pleasing in all areas. Not too crowded, not too spaced, not too commercialized, you want some warmth on the tree. And with that sentence there, I can see how men think a few ornaments and some lights are “all good”. Well not in Dana’s house.

I give you, our beautiful but will be better next year, Christmas tree! (Not bad for a last minute-er I would say 😬)

TA – DA! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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Next year, now that I know how to do it, it will be much better, and the tree won’t be half-assed decorated haha!!

Please let me know if anyone is interested in the tutorial! I would love to show everyone how easy it is to make your tree look so difficult 🙂

This Thing Called ‘Motherhood’

WOW! Honestly the only word I can describe these past few weeks!

First off, I honestly feel saddened by how much I haven’t been able to blog lately! 😩 This is such a great way for me to get my ideas and vent-sessions out when I am finding myself up at the wee-hours of the morning, or just bored while Jaxson is sleeping peacefully! (I may regret spending $1500 on this macbook pro but at least the keys are quiet 😍….who am I kidding I love my mac!)

I have to say I had a lot more time when I was off for maternity leave. Even though I am only at work 24hrs a week, I don’t know HOW some people blog professionally, work, take care of kids, and craft all day! Although, that IS my dream one day. I see so many mommies do it on pinterest and I am so envious! How I would love to blog all day, craft and have time to create my own crafts, as well as take care of my handsome love Jax all day!

How do all my mommy-friends out there manage all their tasks to one day? Do you play first and work later? completing all your chores after fun mommy time? Or do you knock out the chores and then enjoy yourself? for me, it depends on what day of the week, especially if I work the next day 😜

All Those ‘First Baby’ Things…

From the day I found out I was pregnant   From the day I knew I wanted children, I was pinning like a mad-woman. Finding all sorts of gadgets me and my new child would have to have. Finding all the cute family pictures to take, the crafts to make, the documenting of the first years of life…All those wonderful i’ll-get-to-it-one-day pinterest things we all want to do.

I promised myself I would try my best to document everything new and exciting about my first child. I was lucky enough to have a child born in October, so we get all the rush of fun holidays in the same time span. I have been planning for sometime to get our christmas pictures done as a family. I hated looking around the house as I got older to find nothing that resembled my childhood besides an old tooth brush and the teeth I lost that the tooth fairy didn’t have time to pick up that night. I was always a little saddened by the fact that my mother didn’t make more of an effort to track and document mine and my sisters’ growth…until I became a mother myself.

When I first found out what I was having, I intended to do a maternity shoot with gender reveal and pregnancy announcements….got too busy. I intended on documenting every month and week of my pregnancy to see how truly fast they grow…time flies and I forgot. Alas…Jaxson is born. Halloween would be fast approaching, making him 2 weeks old. I saw everyone pinning their newborns in pumpkins and posing them all cute for halloween…babies in pumpkins don’t work out, photo shoots with babies don’t work out. Ahhhhh finally. Turkey day approaches, and my son is well over 1 month old. OOO cute thanksgiving family pictures! …Who are you kidding Dana? When do you even find time to shower longer than 5 minutes? The best I got for my holiday picture was Jaxson in his “I’m stuffed!” onesie. Christmas has finally rolled around…in fact its ALREADY christmas in some states / countries…and here we are with no holiday pictures and not even one with santa 😅 although I have to say, I ventured to the malls today and as much of a mad house as I thought it would be, the worst part was the line to have a picture taken with santa!! I thought about standing in the mile long line, but much like santa, i checked that thought twice and headed on home.

Next year, Jaxson will be 1 years old, almost 15 months, and I think he will be much easier to work with doing these types of things.  I mean, he sleeps all the time now, so I guess I would really be wasting my money to have cute pictures while he sleeps through it all haha

Have any mothers / parents out there done the over-the-top, first baby activities? And if so, do you think it was truly a waste?

Our First Tumble…

And so it happened…

My first day back at work. I call to check on Tarl and Jaxson. I am informed (nonchalantly might I add…) that Jaxson had rolled over his boppy and off of the couch. Ohhh the anger that ensued…

First, might I add, that this was probably my only fear for the day that I returned to work and left Tarl to watch Jaxson. And of course, it happens.                I don’t know what I was more angry about. The fact that he said it so casually in passing conversation, or the fact that I was talking to him on my work phone, and couldn’t blow my fucking top.

I suppose I’m asking for a little advice here. I know accidents happen…I also know how Tarl can be. I’m going to assume he was playing video games or sleeping, and Jax just got a lil squirmy and whoops down he went. His side of the story is that he just kicked a few times and boink he goes. I just feel as though he could have been watched a little more and this probably could have been avoided. I’ve heard several times of peoples babies accidentally rolling off of beds or sofas (thankfully, our ikea sofa is low to the ground, and Tarl supposedly caught him right as he was falling, helping to cushion the landing)…but I ALWAYS told myself I would never be that parent. I was once shopping at Bath & Body Works when a lady had accidentally dropped her baby in the store. It shocked everyone shopping. You could hear the gasps, sounding like they came out of a horror movie. I felt bad for both the mother and baby. The mother left so ashamed and while everyone else was judging her, she probably felt so attacked. So yes, I completely understand accidents happen, and I know I wasn’t there to witness wether or not Tarl was watching Jaxson attentively like he should, but I still have some anger built up for some reason over this whole ordeal.

Has this every happened to any one else? Does any one have any particular thoughts on this sort of thing happening? My reaction when I was told was very dull (considering I was in my work environment) but how do I express to my significant other that him falling actually made me very angry, and that it now causes me to question how well Jaxson is being watched. I don’t want to have to take him to my mothers, but I also don’t want to be worrying constantly at work, wondering about my baby.

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho…

Need I finish the rest?

My lovely stint of maternity leave has come to an end. While I was supposed to be on leave until January (at the earliest), my work had called me several times begging me to come back early. So… here I am on my day off typing this.

I suppose it was much needed, I was running out of funds to support our living (I don’t know how some of you get so lucky as to stay home with your babies all day). As of right now, I’m only working 3 days a week, but I consider those work days my weekend, because it’s a nice break from a crying baby and whining husband (basically 2 babies in reality 😅).

As some of you may have read in my prior post “Parenting, a job for one?”, I had been dealing with my fiancé who seemed to think his help wasn’t much needed…since I stayed home all day with Jaxson (don’t get me started on this rant again)…Any way, since my fiancé (Tarl) now has to watch Jaxson from the time he gets home (3:00 pm) to when I’m off work (12:00 am), he is now realizing what a difficult job parenting can be. It’s easy when I’m there with him, because he can just ask me to do the simple things like diaper changes, baths, and feedings that he seems to think is hard work. Now that he is by himself with Jaxson, for a longer period of time than me going to the grocery store for a few hours, he is finally realizing the hard work it takes to be a parent (especially a single one, like I was feeling!).

Even though I so badly want to rub in his face the fact that he once told me how easy my job was, staying home and taking care of the baby and all, I have let my humbleness take over and accept the fact that he is finally realizing it’s not a cake walk 🍰

I suppose it’s sad it took him this long to realize just how much of a lazy ass he’s being, but like I said..I shall bite my tongue, hold my breath, and hope this new, responsible behavior is taking over my once immature husband. Sometimes, however, I worry about them while I am at work. I know Tarl can get frustrated easily with things (when he doesn’t win in video games, when people cut him off on the road, when people drive slow, when a baby cries for longer than you can handle…)  I just hope he doesn’t get frustrated with Jaxson. I try to explain to him that Jaxson wishes he could tell us what he wants and needs, and how he feels, but right now all he knows how to do is cry to express himself and what he needs. While I won’t go as far as a nanny cam…I do count diapers and formula before I leave…It’s not something I like doing but with his past behavior and attitude towards a simple diaper change or bottle feeding, I want to be sure our son is being taken care of. It’s my motherly instinct stepping in and I would do the same even if he were to be left at a baby sitters.

As I said though, it seems that our first 2 days on this new schedule were just a tidbit hectic but he got the hang of it for the most part. I only hope in time he will get faster and finding out what Jaxson wants and what his different cries indicate. But as I had stated before to him, the more time you spend with him, the more comfortable he is going to be and the easier it will be for them to bond. I don’t want our son growing up to be more motherly dependent solely based on the fact that he’s not comfortable with his dad… it shouldn’t be like that. I want them to be best friends, I want him to be excited to spend the whole day with him.

Christmas Craft: Holiday Banner 🎄

It is currently 5:00 am on this rainy Thursday morning. We have once again beat the sun to waking up, who knows if he’ll even get out of bed today…⛅️

During our morning feeding session, a creative thought came to me: an easy way to make a cute door banner for the holidays with some Merry saying on it such as ‘joy’ or ‘noel’. This project won’t cost you more than a couple bucks to make…it honestly just depends on how long of a word you choose! (IE: choosing ‘Merry Christmas’ would probably cost you around $15 to make, whereas ‘joy’ would cost you about $3-$4.

Supplies:
Burlap triangles, 1 for each letter (apprx $1 at craft stores)

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Elmers ‘Spray Adhesive’ in can (or some type of spray glue that will allow glitter to stick to burlap, any kind should do). Apprx cost is about $6/can but will last you for several projects.

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Glitter, in Desired color (I have found that the Martha Stewart glitter pigments work amazing! Make up artists use that glitter most commonly when doing makeup, it’s a quality glitter that doesn’t fall off. Any should do though!). Prices usually vary between $1-$10 (more spendy for glitter sets w/ multiple colors, but saves $$ in the long run! Especially if you love to glitter everything you do!)

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Ribbon. (Preferably wire edged ribbon, will keep banner more ‘sturdy’. Something that will complement the glitter color you chose, but again, anything you feel fit for your banner 😊). Cost goes anywhere from $1-$5 a spool, depending on design and size.

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Sharpie for tracing lettering, $1.

*optional* paint the same color as the glitter you chose. This will help fill in the background behind the glitter, making it look fuller, $1/color – craft store.

*optional* stenciling for each letter (if you’re a perfectionist like me). You can also freehand your lettering for a more home made, rustic feel or more customized look. This can be completely free, by simply googling each letter you need for your banner (example: Google ‘letter J stencil’ and choose one your like), making it large enough for each triangle, and printing out each letter to create your own stencil. You could also buy some at the craft store, prices vary between $5-$10. * note, if not using stencils, it will be slightly harder to find a way to keep the adhesive from going everywhere but the letter, so stencils will most likely be your best bet*

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Directions

1. Place stencil over burlap triangle. Use sharpie to trace letter. If you chose to use paint to fill in the background of each letter, apply paint to stencil now and allow to dry. (Leave stencil on letter, but be sure it doesn’t dry to the burlap with the paint. This is going to help you with the same placement every time for the adhesive and glitter. *I will cut my stencils into the same shape as my burlap triangles, so its easy to be sure its in the same place every time*

2. Once paint is semi dry / slightly tacky, spray adhesive over stencil and directly apply glitter. Remove excess glitter. You may need to repeat this process a few times until desired glitter amount is achieved.

3. Repeat steps 1-2 for each letter until phrase is complete. Be sure banner is dried completely.

4. Cut desired length of ribbon. Depending on how you choose to hang your ribbon, you may need to allow for some slack in the ribbon. *more ribbon is always better than not enough, you can trim it easily if too long in the end*. I chose to do a simple bow at the top, with a piece of ribbon coming from the middle of the bow to create a long tail. This is where you will hang each letter (the length of the tail is determined on spacing of lettering & length of word). Imagine: mine sort of came out resembling this, without the Christmas cards attached. And much cuter ribbon & bow. But essentially, it should have this ‘style’ of bow at the top and tail coming down from the middle of bow

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5. Apply burlap letters to ribbon with hot glue or super glue. I find hot glue works better. Be sure to lay out your design before you glue, ensuring perfect placement and letter spacing.

6. Affix a way to hang your ribbon. (All depending on where & what you want to hang it from). I have a 3M hook on the front of my door for wreaths and signs, so I will need a loop to hang it. You can easily make one out of the existing ribbon, fishing line for a hidden hook, or whatever suits your sign hanging needs best.

7. Voila! You now have a holiday banner! You can use so many creative ideas and changes to make these your own. Make a name banner for your child’s room! Make one with your last name on it! Make one for every season! Make one out of wood with your house number on it! The possibilities are endless! I’ve seen similar ideas completed with small picture Frames, less the backing that comes with it. (For a see-through effect!)

Happy crafting ❤