Our Sons & Daughters

The finished product!

This post is dedicated to Kari McCabe :). 

Those of you who know me, know that I love to throw a good party. I used to be an avid crafter until, well, life got WAYYYYYY too busy for that. I still have managed to make time to throw my kids’ birthday parties and a shower here and there, but otherwise, my crafty side has remained dormant.

That is, until, everything changed on October 5, 2013.

We threw a little birthday party for our tweet one year old, and though I started out by saying, “I’m going to keep it SIMPLE!” I just got swept up in the adorable theme and couldn’t help myself. My mind was flooded with birds and puns and ideas to bless our daughter, and they all came into existence. We invited just a few close friends and family, and my dear friend Kari was one of the guests. I’ll never forget the moment her eyes had just scanned ALLLLL of the birds around our house, each intricate tail, beak, wing, and body cut by hand and she said to me, “You didn’t cut these all out by hand, did you?”

“Yes, I did!” I said proudly.

“Ummm, haven’t you heard of a Cricut?” she asked me, stunned.

“The insect?”

A slight smile slowly spread across her face as she stared at me in disbelief…”No…..the machine that would have cut all of this out FOR YOU…”

I was TRULY baffled. For years, I have made every one of my decorations by hand…in that one moment, my memory flashed back to Elliott’s ball birthday party where I cut out EVERY SINGLE BALL by hand and his Construction themed birthday party where I cut out EVERY SINGLE CUPCAKE CONSTRUCTION SIGN by hand and then I stared at each bird, each cupcake topper, each number that marked the different years of Selah’s birthday banner and I thought about every minute that it took for me to cut each one out by hand…and I almost cried.

“It does WHAT…?!

She tried to explain to me the concept of this “electronic cutting machine” but I was so overwhelmed at the idea of it–and all of the hours I had spent that didn’t need to spent if she was, indeed, telling me the truth. It was as if I had been making the trek every day to the river to wash my family’s clothes with rocks in hand and somebody told me there was a MACHINE that would do that all for me. Brian jumped off of the couch and began to research. (One of the many reasons I LOVE this husband of mine!) Within just a few minutes he had found a different version of the Cricut–an electronic cutting machine called a Silhouette. It got far better reviews than the Cricut and for several reasons it seemed like a much better option. We sat there while guests continued to mingle at our house and we watched the promo video for it. I’m sure there was a puddle of drool on the floor beneath me because I couldn’t BELIEVE the things this machine said it could do. Where had it been all my life??!! I was in love.

I spent the next few hours, days, weeks and months convincing Brian that this would be the BEST investment we could POSSIBLY make for our future and our household. 🙂 After a few good nudges come December, I opened up my very special gift on Christmas day.

My three favorite things about this photo: 1. Elliott’s bedhead. 2. The three of us in our Christmas jammies. 3. The CLEAR affection that my daughter already has for crafting!! 😉

There she was…in all of her beauty. She was gorgeous, and terrifying. I knew I had to jump in right away and figure out how to use her quickly before she sat dormant too long.

Brian and I opened the box together, read all the instructions, and watched the video. I designed a simple card and made my first cut.

And sliced right through the cutting mat. (Palm to forehead.)

Good thing it came with two :/. Needless to say, it has been a huge learning curve for me. I have moved from designing a few very simple cards to some fun signs for Elliott’s 3rd birthday to making banners and wedding presents to some meaningful gifts for friends to…my latest projects…home decor.

I stumbled upon a facebook group that is like a Silhouette support group. Everyone who is a part of it is AWESOME–everyone is so kind and helpful and it’s SO MUCH FUN to see people’s creativity and to share a bit of mine. Each month, the group hosts a “challenge” with a theme, and I finally decided to be brave and jump in this month. 🙂

This month’s theme is HOME DECOR. I had just finished this project, and so I figured this would be a fun way to share it!

Several months ago, I came across this scripture while reading the Word one morning. It resonated so deeply with me, because this is SO who Brian and I long for our children to be!

“May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace.” Psalm 144:12

YES. I have mentioned it briefly before, but I LONG for my son to not be quenched in his “boyness” but to FLOURISH in his youth. Yes, I want to raise him to be respectful and kind and thoughtful, but all the while being brave and mighty and BOY. Our society has a tendency to want little boys to act and behave like little girls, and then years later when they become a man and husband, their wives are upset because they are passive. I won’t go off on a tangent now 🙂 but this is so our heart’s cry: that our son would FLOURISH in his youth. We have gone to great lengths to nurture our son; his heart is SO sensitive and soft that, like a tender shoot of a young plant, he takes a LOT of nurturing. We have tried so hard, resting on the grace of God, to know his heart and shepherd it, while at the same time encouraging him to be brave and bold. Oh, Lord, may he flourish in his youth!!

And, our sweet Selah. THIS GIRL. I tell you what, she is STRONG–strength like a pillar. I LOVE this description of a girl: a graceful pillar. YES. We want our daughter to be filled with grace, both in her speech and her actions. And at the same time, we want to teach her to STAND FIRM. To be unwavering and unmoved by the ways of this world, but firm in the knowledge of our God. A graceful pillar. Like the son who flourishes like a well-nurtured plant, we are striving to teach her what it looks like to be such a graceful pillar; she must be shown how to stand firm and not tossed by the waves. Like a pillar carved to beautify a palace, so we are teaching our girl. We are praying for her heart that she would be like the fragrance of Christ and that just by looking at her, people would pause to stop and think about how great our God is! (Selah!)

All that to say, once I stumbled upon this scripture, I knew I wanted it up in the new rental home we were moving into the next month. And once we were here, Brian and I embarked on making this sign together!

First, I spent a bit of time designing it through my Silhouette software. Though I’ve always wanted to be good at graphic design, this isn’t necessarily my strength (yet). So I spent a while, playing with the colors and the fonts and learning about the program. After a while, I settled upon this:

Brian went out and got a wood board from Home Depot and cut it down to the size we wanted: 14″x 36″

I spray painted it white, and decided to use a stronger vinyl for the letters than the regular vinyl I have used for other basic projects since I wanted to make sure it would stick to a painted surface. (During my last project, I couldn’t get the vinyl to stick to the medium I was using and my Silhouette support group came to the rescue and taught me about Oracal 651…an outdoor vinyl that’s much stronger.) I loaded the vinyl into my Silhouette, pushed the little button on my computer and my awesome machine cut out all these letters for me!!

Using painter’s tape, I transferred the letters that I wanted to remain in white to the sign.

See the rolls of TP under the table? This picture represents REAL life around these parts…this is how we roll! (Haha…)

**Mistake #1: I FORGOT to lay down the verse reference, which I wanted in white as well. I didn’t realize I had forgotten this until the END, so it was definitely frustrating to have to go back and fix that. Lesson learned!

Then, Brian spray painted the whole thing turquoise. We let it dry, I peeled off the letters, and then I applied the rest of the scripture that was to remain in black. (It was at this point that I realized I had forgotten to put the reference down two steps earlier, so we ended up having to tape off the corner, spray the bottom corner white again, put on the letters, spray paint it turquoise, and then remove the lettering. Thus, as you can probably see below, there are lines around the reference which totally bother me, but, honestly, it’s a good reminder that perfection is not required to be a good parent :)).

Using a sandpaper block, I distressed the edges of the sign a little bit.

The finished product!

**Mistake #2: It wasn’t until we got the sign all hung up that I realized the tiny hyphen that should be present between “well” and “nurtured” didn’t survive the transfer. Gah! So…I had to go back and re-cut that little piece and attach it to the sign. I learned so much through this project!

We put the sign up on the wall in our playroom with several of my favorite recent pictures of the kiddos…pictures that show them flourishing and filled with joy.

A glimpse of our playroom!
This little cutie woke up from her nap while I was snapping photos. I set her up with a snack, but she decided the subject of my photo should be something far more interesting than a wall in our playroom. So! Here’s my pillar…snacks in mouth and all :).
Our flourishing youth & graceful pillar!

I love how it turned out, mistakes and all, and I love the reminder that it serves on the wall of our playroom!!

I hope you enjoyed learning about one of my very first home decor Silhouette projects :).

Now…do you love crafts and  home decor as much as I do?? And do you…

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

Our Sons & Daughters Wood Shims and Word Art Simple DIY Canvas Art Pallet Signs Chalk Paint Pumpkins with Fabric Leaves Make a Personalized Scarecrow DIY Wall Art for the Bathroom Decoupaged Fall Leaves Lampshade Gimme A F.A.L.L! Eat SOMETHING Sweet Baby Love Quilt Big Reveal Sketching Inspiration for my little Dancer - September Silhouette Challenge Family Feature Presentation Wall Art Last Unicorn Shadow Box Makin' my office a little more artsy fartsy Family Command Center DIY Grandparents Sign with Photo Frame Dream Big Little Girl Canvas Art Fall Pallet Sign {Grateful, Thankful, Blessed} Pumpkins and Apples Sign Handmade Freezer Paper Cloth Napkins

1. The Moberg Family // 2. Sandpaper and Glue // 3. American Honey // 4. Weekend Craft // 5. Grey Luster Girl // 6. From Wine to Whine // 7. Cutesy Crafts // 8. Practically Functional // 9. Home At Eight // 10. McCall Manor // 11. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 12. Adventures in All Things Food // 13. Create it. Go! // 14. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 15. The Outlandish Momma // 16. The Sensory Emporium // 17. My Paper Craze // 18. unOriginal Mom // 19. My Favorite Finds // 20. Architecture of a Mom // 21. Black and White Obsession //


  1. Welcome to the challenge! I’m glad that the group has been helpful, and love how your project came out! I’m particularly impressed that you pulled off two methods in one project – paint masking and vinyl for the final finishes.

  2. Your sign turned out wonderfully…not only do I love the typography design you used, I love the scripture! I have one daughter now and another baby on the way, if it turns out to be a boy I may be making one of these myself for our home! Pinning so I don’t forget!

    1. Yay! Congrats on the little one on the way!! Thanks for your encouragement! If you end up making it, I used AR Bonnie & Honey Script. And just for the record, the brother and sister combo is SUPER fun :).

  3. Beautifully done, Susanne!! What a beautiful gift this would make..I know it’s a personal project, just that it’s so professional looking! (Take it from the queen of catalog shopping:-)
    Hugs to your family! xoxo

    1. Thank you, Aunt Paula! I didn’t know you were the queen of catalog shopping :). Now that I’ve had my hand at a couple of “practice” signs for me, I would love to start making some for gifts! Thanks for your encouragement :).

  4. great post!
    I too used to cut all my party decorations by hand.
    Although I have known about and wanted a Silhouette for a few years. At each party (showers, birthdays, etc) I would enlist the help of my family (mom and sister) and friends and exclaim “if I only had an electronic cutter….you won’t be here for six hours with scissors marks in your fingers…”
    So I too got one for Christmas last year 🙂

  5. Susanne,
    The verse you chose is beautiful. You are very talented and I am glad you found a way to share your creativity. Welcome to the SC group.
    Have a creative day,
    Karen Marie
    Dragonfly & Lily Pads

  6. Your sign turned out fabulous! Such a lovely addition to your wall. I love that you shared your “mistakes” with us. I’m not the only one! Your beautiful children are going to be amazed at all you can do now.
    Glenna @ My Paper Craze

    1. I used painter’s tape because it was less sticky than contact paper (and I didn’t have transfer paper) and I wanted to make sure the vinyl would stick to the wood. Now I’ve done quite a few more signs and I can generally get the vinyl to stick to the wood with contact paper and it’s A LOT easier than painter’s tape because you can obviously see through it. But I just weeded the vinyl, picked up the letters with the painter’s tape and placed it on the wood, just like you would do with transfer paper. Hope that answers your question :).

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