baby love

One of the happiest days of my life occurred when I was only 11.  My mom left for the hospital to have a baby (before the days of sonograms) and came home with a precious little girl!  Up to this point, I was the only girl in my family, and my 4 brothers were uninterested in playing house, playing school, or playing with anything besides dirt or knives.  Imagine my excitement and delight to finally have a sister!  Erica has proven to be the World's Best Sister because she has NEVER let me down.  She is dependable, honest, adorable, loyal, funny, and has the best Beyonce bum scoop I have ever seen!  Super jealous.  She also has the softest feet in America.

Sweet Erica and her husband have been trying to have a baby for 4 long years.  Finally, they are about to welcome their own baby girl into the world, and everyone who knows them is beyond ecstatic.  I can always get behind a party for a good cause, so I volunteered to throw her a baby shower.  The big event went down last Saturday and so many lovely women came out to support Erica and show her the love!  We did feel a big void because our Mom wasn't there.  She has never missed one important event in our lives.  Our parents are serving an 18 month  mission  in the Philippines for our church and we miss them like crazy.

The shower was held at my dear friend Elizabeth's home, and guess what?  It was her birthday! She is so gracious and beautiful.  Her home and yard is amazing, and she was so generous to share it with all of us on her special day.  She has six kids of her own and six (almost seven) grandkids.  We have been friends for about 15 years and I consider her a great blessing in my life.

For the decor, I decided to use this huge planter box I found in a pile of "trash" in my neighborhood.  I knew if I showed it some love, it would be perfect.  Plus, it was free.

I brushed some watered-down white paint on it and filled it with all sorts of produce from the farmer's market, (lettuce, cabbage, artichokes, kale, swiss chard, green onions, and cilantro) as well as fresh flowers in all shades of pink.   There was minor chaos going on in the kitchen as we were setting up, but let's focus on the massive arrangement that came in at under $15.

I also had another white, shabby tool caddy I got at the Restore for $1, and filled it just the same for the drink station outside.

Pulling the shower together was definitely a team effort, and I had so much help in making the day really special for Erica.  Thanks to my "crew" who really went the extra mile in every way.  A HUGE shout-out to my sister-in-law Rachelle who didn't leave my side until the last dish was done.  Love her.

Working in Elizabeth's gorgeous kitchen made it all a little more bearable.  Just look at it!

Here are some of the girls in my family after the shower.  Of course my mom is noticeably absent, and we also had 2 sister-in-laws that couldn't make it.  And sadly enough, Mia was out of town as well.

Rachelle, Jilly, Erica Paxman, Erica Scott, Jaci

Because I am helping Erica with her nursery, I knew exactly what I wanted to make her.  I wanted to duplicate the huge canvas we made for {Kelsey's Room Makeover}, but with a quote perfect for the baby's room. I thought that finding a big canvas would be difficult, until I went to a garage sale a few weeks ago and brought this lover home with me for $10!  It's really huge.  Just over 4' x 5'.

I was really sad to discover that whatever medium the original artist used to texture the flowers on her canvas must have been an idential twin sister to cement.  It was NOT going to sand off, so I was super bummed because I knew there was no way I could paint any sort of lettering over it.  Just as desperation was setting in,  I turned it around to discover it's beautiful, smooth, and untouched  backside.

I set to work removing the wood cross braces on each corner, and then started the long process of filling staple and nail holes, as well as putting wood filler in each corner seam.  After that was all dry and sanded, I started painting the frame and posted a little teaser on instagram.

(Are you on instagram?  Follow me @jillegal)
I realized there was a sizable gap around the whole frame where some of the big staples were very obvious.  So, I got a tube of caulk out and took care of that issue in about 30 seconds.

The canvas fabric on the back was in great condition, but was dirty, so I had to paint it as well.  I used Exclusive Ivory by Dunn Edwards and I absolutely love that color.  After that paint dried, I laid out my quote, cut on a Silhouette machine by my very adorable, smart, funny and talented friend Tara.  She is an attorney in her real life, but moonlights as an electrician, plumber, painter, trim carpenter, tile setter, and upholsterer at her new house.  I owe you big Tara!

Then came the sad reality when I realized that the contact paper we used to cut the quote out of would not stick to my painted canvas material AT ALL.  I don't know why, but it just kept sliding right off, and you need a pretty tight seal to be able to stencil lettering and maintain a crisp line.  Because I had nothing at all to do that day.......I taped the stencils on, traced the lettering lightly with a pencil, took the stencils off, then hand painted the whole quote.  It turned out great, but required a very steady hand, Pandora, and about 4 hours. :)

I have to thank my girl Jaci for all the amazing pictures from the shower.  She has become quite the photographer and has been managing her own business for a couple years now.  She saved her money and bought her own camera a few years ago, and has been in high demand from friends and family ever since.  If you want to see some young talent, follow HER on instagram @jacimarie2.  I'm so proud of her and the amazing and talented girl she is.  She is almost 18 and I can't imagine what my life would be like without her.   That's why I'm encouraging her to stay close for her first year of college.

Congratulations to my sister Erica and brother-in-law Brett.  They are going to make amazing parents.  Their sweet addition will make 20 grandchildren on my side, so they have been the fun Aunt and Uncle who have babysat, entertained, and played with all the kids for the last six years.  Certainly they have ample experience with children, and I'm so excited for them to finally get one of their very own!  Can't wait til mid-January....



  1. I'm so excited for your sister! When we were working on your parents house your dad had told us she hadn't been able to have a baby yet. I know all too well how hard it is to wait so long for a baby! She is a pretty pregnant girl! :)
    I love the produce arrangements! I haven't ever seen anything like that, so creative!!

  2. Well done! What a generous and, of course, highly-detailed gift to your baby sis. You make Mommy proud by loving each other as you do... what a blessing to have a loving family! I love the quote you chose for the canvas and I love the colors too... can't wait to see the nursery. Tell me, will it center around a vintage metal crib signed by Marie Antoinette herself that you found on the curb and dusted off, too? ;)

  3. Shout out to my Aunt Liz :)
    LOVE LOVE LOVE the re-purposed flower box and SO creative on the farmers market fillings.

  4. It turned out so cute! You're amazing!

  5. It turned out AMAZING!!! The canvas looks fab (I never doubted you) but those center pieces are INSANE. I am obsessed!!!!!

  6. How was I ever so blessed to have such wonderful daughters and daughters-in-love in my life? I sure enjoyed your wonderful post,honey,and Jaci's pictures "almost" made me feel like I was there.(I was in spirit, believe me!) Everything was beautiful and we are all so happy for Brett and Erica. My thanks to Elizabeth for hosting the shower and to all who helped and attended....much love from the Philippines, Mom xo xo xo

  7. You are amazing Jill! I love all my sisters and am especially excited for Erica. Thanks for letting me help.

  8. Jill,I am dying over your massive planter box centerpiece!! I need that so if you ever sale that baby you better let me know! You are so creative and your sisters are so lucky to have you!! What an amazing shower :)

  9. Wow, what you created with that tool planter box and tool caddy is amazing! How fun to have a sister to be your "doll" growing up, congratulations to her! I couldn't of said it better than you did on the canvas, such a beautiful gift! Now come on, your friend has 6 grandchildren? She looks way too young for that. She must share her secrets. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Jilly. (oh and how cute is it that your mom left a comment, so sweet)

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