Community Life

  • The Fascinator

    Marcel was baptized at Saint Barnabas this past month. It was a very special day. For the occasion, I made the fascinator to go with my dress and I wanted to share this handmade item with you.

    I started by creating a base out of felt. I took my wedding veil apart and added the lace from it. (My maid of honor and I made my wedding veil, so it wasn’t too scary to take it apart!) I added hand-sewn flowers I created from fabric scraps. This pink broach was my Grandma’s.

    I added pearls from my Mother and some flowers that I painted in watercolor and cut out. We live in Phoenix, so we don’t usually have to worry about the rain too much.

    We had many loving family and friends present with us. Rev. Robert Berra even gave a special sermon. We had a gathering afterward and I made my Grandma’s special sugar cookie recipe with little white chocolate boats on them. Everything was water-themed to go with the idea of water baptism.

    The fascinator was perfect, and the day was perfect.

    Read about Marcel’s handmade Baptism outfit <3

  • Nursery Adventure

    With the completion of our nursery, Cam DeCaussin and I are feeling more prepared to welcome our new baby home in the coming days or weeks. We decided to take the opportunity to make this project a collaboration and treat it like an art project. So we brought our two styles together and each contributed our creativity to make the nursery a special place for baby. We had a lot of help from my parents, Kay and George Hofacker (who came to visit from Michigan) putting the space together and tons and tons of contributions from friends and family. Our community at Saint Barnabas has especially played a huge role in supporting us. Most of the furniture was given to us by other parents and almost everything in the space was either a gift, or something we made.
    My Mother made this rabbit and bear special for baby. We picked out the patterns and fabric together. Our favorite place to shop whenever she comes to visit is SAS Fabrics in Central Phoenix. Love and support from far and wide–the fox was made by Jo Gage, a friend from the arts community in Grand Rapids, MI where we used to live who shipped a bundle of stuffies to us.
    This original illustration was created just for our baby by one of my closest friends, Clarissa Krajewski. She used pen and watercolor to draw a scene of adventure.
    The changing station was given to us by a family at church. My Dad stripped the wood and together with Cam, it was painted and treated with tongue oil and new feet were added to the bottom of it to give it a more modern look. My Mom made several covers for the changing pad and I layered them with changing pads in between, so when they need to be changed, the top layer can just be removed and another one is already on it.
    We were on a road trip when, in Yosemite, we discovered that we were expecting. Along with our theme of adventure, we have illustrated posters from Yosemite (where he was “discovered”), King’s Canyon, Sequoia and Grand Canyon National Park, all places we have enjoyed traveling to. We had a lot more need for storage, so we purchased this credenza on Craigslist. Cam added the legs to give it a more modern feel and he painted the drawers tiffany blue. The nursery is shared with our bedroom, so I needed a place for my jewelry box too. The lace under the jewelry box was made by my Great Grandma. We added the plant to help soften the lines in the space.
    This blanket is oh so special by Wildship Studio, designed by our close friend Bree who we went to art school with. This is such a special gift to us. The crib was given to us by another family at church and Cam transformed it from black to yellow.
    I created this illustration diorama special for my baby. All of the parts in the picture are drawn, painted, cut out and placed in a three dimensional space. Then it was photographed and finessed in Photoshop. This large print was then placed in a frame and hangs above the crib. You can view this illustration in full detail here.
    As the midwives at Babymoon Inn, (where we receive our care and plan to give birth) requires the first 5 days to be spent in bed, having our bedroom and nursery in one seems like a great set up. Having a new baby is all new to me, but the best adventures are had in unexplored territory 😉
    Speaking of adventures, Cam and I have had a lot of opportunities to travel. We’ve been to the Rockies, Patagonia, the Mogollon Rim, and even whale watching just to name a few. We printed photos from many of our trips to hang near the bed–I feel this will be so nice to have to look at during recovery. The wood frame was given to us by a friend who was cleaning out her house. We tore off the very worn canvas and weaved twine across it. I’m happy with how the photo collage turned out. We added a shelf above our bed and slid our wedding photos over to make room for our new maternity photo taken by my Mom on South Mountain in Phoenix. You can view our maternity photos here.
    Cam built the light himself using parts from Ikea and the shade is a basket that he flipped over and modified.
    Inspired by a piece I created for Saint Barnabas for Community of Hope, (a program that provides lay led pastoral care to those who need it) we added delicate wood embroidery hoops to the walls. I drew leaves with micron pens and painted them with watercolor. Then I cut them out and glued them to the hoops to compliment the straight lines and embellish the “green natural” feel in the room.
    Who knows what adventures we will have with the addition of Baby!
    Cam built this hanging blanket ladder using wood dowels and twine. There are so many special blankets hanging on it. One is made by Cam’s sister Kris, one is by a close friend and professional seamstress Wendy Raisanen, my baby blanket made by my Great Grandma and one made by my cousin Sara. The table is a basket with a boppy pillow inside. I added the fabric weaved into it to brighten it up. The glider was also given to us by a family at Saint Barnabas and I sewed the yellow and red flap over for some color. The hot air balloon in the top left corner was a centerpiece at our baby shower handmade by Cam’s crafty sister Kris 🙂
    Here is a close up of Wendy’s adorable “Bear Lake” blanket.
    I put together a nursing station with snacks and burp clothes hand sewn by my Mom. I wanted something that could easy be removed so I could get inside our basket of pillows easily, but I didn’t seem to have the ideal thing. The next day, I walked into work and on my desk was a gift box from a family at Saint Barnabas. It had an adorable outfit in it and a baby book. This box seemed like just the perfect container!
    So here is a great story: I asked my Dad to raise the glider stool up a few inches and he thought it would be great if it had wheels on it so it could be moved out of the way even if I had my arms full with Baby. So he went for a walk through the neighborhood and came across an old bed frame in a back alley. Within an hour of his absence from the house, he walked back into the house with four perfect wheels in his hands. We were all in awe of his resourcefulness, even though this type of inventiveness is so typical of his character. The wheels work perfectly.
    This Cuddle + Kind stuffy was another gift from a family friend. What is so cool about these little critters is that with every purchase, 10 meals are provided for children around the world who are in need!
    We got one of those hi tech baby monitors with a camera and our big plant makes a great hiding place!
    Ok ya’ll–the due date is February 7th, 2019. We’ll see how it all goes! And we can’t wait to announce his name 😉