It’s time to vote.

Sunday, July 29th, 2012 | 1 Comment

I would really appreciate your vote for my design on the Minted’s Holiday Invitation challenge! To vote, rate the design on scale of 1 to 5.

Vote for my
design on minted.

Christmas Wreath

see more from Ivana Brata

vote for me!

Check out my competition in Christmas cards and Save the Date cards at Minted.
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new baby shower invitations on etsy

After almost a year “maternity leave” and break from designing, I’m slowly getting back on my designing feet. Today, I’m so happy to announce that we have a brand new baby shower invitation line ready for purchase at Love Ardently’s Etsy shop! These are print-yourself customized designs, but we are pleased to also offer digital printing service as well. Most of our invitation designs are illustrated, bright, modern and whimsical. Hope you enjoy!


Visit our Etsy shop for more designs!

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i am minted.

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 | Add a Comment

I’ve been a long time fan of Minted and I have finally taken the plunge to submit a design for their Holiday Party invitation challenge. This is the only one I’ve done so far. I have a couple other ideas but SO LITTLE time to execute it. The first reason being my 10 months old baby boy who is going through a separation anxiety phase *gasp* and keeping my hands full all day. Another reason is that I’ve been working on a set of new designs for our baby shower & announcement collection! So excited for that and I can’t wait to give you some sneak peeks!

Meanwhile… below is my design for Minted’s Holiday Party Invitation challenge. Voting period hasn’t started yet, but I’d like to covet your vote when it starts next week! :)

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new handmade goodies on the shop.

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 | 1 Comment

A couple new handmade goodies for baby girls on Etsy! :)




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my newest hobby.

Thursday, June 14th, 2012 | 2 Comments

I know I haven’t had too many updates lately. My life has been consumed by none other than my little one. It’s been so hard to keep a schedule throughout the day when it involves my constantly inconsistent baby boy. He’s getting so much better though. He naps longer (most times) and sleep with a pretty good stretch during the night. He is 9 months old and it seems like he’s currently going through the separation anxiety period. It’s been a tough 2 weeks for us.

But anyway… I’m getting back to design and crafting bits by bits lately, which I’m really excited about. It’s so nice to have an accomplishment other than feeding my baby 3 times a day :) My newest hobby currently is (yeah, you guessed it)… to make handmade goods for babies! I have just listed a few baby girl headbands on Etsy.








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diy baby booties.

Friday, April 13th, 2012 | 3 Comments


Now that I’m a mom, one of my creative outlets (sometimes THE ONLY creative outlet) is making things for my baby boy. I love how I can create and then personalize it. The first time around, these baby booties took about 2 hours to make since I made a lot of mistake, but the second time I made it, it only took me an hour. The pattern is from Heather Bailey.


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my list of newborn essentials

Thursday, January 5th, 2012 | Add a Comment

{1. Chicco Keyfit 30 infant car seat  •  2. Ikea Gulliver crib  • 3. My Brest Friend nursing pillow  • 4. Miracle Blanket swaddle  • 5. Baby Bjorn Original carrier  • 6. Mortimer the Moose Lamaze take along toy  • 7. Graco Pack n Play Portable Playard with Newborn Napper and Changing Table}

When I was pregnant, I was overwhelmed by having to “fill up” my gift registry. I wish someone would tell me things I absolutely need for the baby and things that I could live without. Should I register for co-sleeper or a bassinet? Do I need a swing? What about a wipe warmer? A bath thermometer?

After actually living my life day to day with Darrell, I put down a list of things that we (mama + baby) can’t live without. Of course people’s needs and wants are different, but hopefully this list could help an overwhelmed pregnant mama somewhere.

• baby carrier
If you love to be mobile and getting out and about like me, you will need a baby carrier. The first 3 weeks after birth was THE most stressful because I found out that my schedule, my hands, and my body were not mine anymore. It was all about the baby. A baby carrier helped a ton because mom can carry baby around and have free hands to do other things! So far, I have tried 3 carriers: a Baby Bjorn Original, a DIY ring sling (like the Maya), and an Ergo Baby Carrier. Darrell and I both dislike the ring sling. It hurt my shoulder and Darrell seemed to be “lost” in the pouch and more fussy. We depended on our Bjorn the first three months of Darrell’s life. Darrell loves being in the Bjorn. I could just go to Target, put him inside the Bjorn and he would just doze off and sleep! Sometimes, he would also look around being curious :) It’s also super easy to use and put on. I can even nurse Darrell in it. However, as he’s getting bigger and heavier, it hurt my back and David’s back! So, after careful and long research, we just recently purchased an Ergo with the infant insert. Darrell doesn’t really enjoy being in the infant insert since it’s a bit bulky. He doesn’t need the head support anymore but his feet can’t really “hug” my waist just yet. However, I love wearing it and it totally solved the back problem. Hopefully we can use it soon!

• infant car seat + stroller frame
If you want to take your baby home from the hospital, you’ll need a car seat! :) I absolutely adore our Chicco Keyfit 30. It’s so easy to install and so good looking. Also, say no to travel system! The last thing you want is a bulky humongous stroller. Get a stroller frame and you’ll be so much happier! Your car trunk will be lighter too :)

• pack ‘n play with newborn napper and changing station
We absolutely love this Graco Pack ‘n Play. It has so many functions with a low price tag (we got a deal at BRU and only paid around $70 new!). I never liked the idea of purchasing a bassinet and a changing table. This thing came with a Newborn Napper, which acts as a bassinet and a diaper changing station! We put the pack n’ play in our room and Darrell slept in the newborn napper during his first 3 months of life. I just wished they put more thought into designing a better changing station. It is a little flimsy looking and awkward because it leans over to the left side. Now, we take off both the newborn napper and the changing station, and use the bassinet exclusively for diaper changing. It’s the safest place to change diapers ever! I just wish that it has better weight limit.

• swaddling blanket
Swaddling is definitely the one thing that helped Darrell to sleep better as a newborn. I didn’t register for this and i regretted it. I swaddled Darrell with the traditional blanket and boy, it was quite tiring. We always had to re-swaddle him in the middle of the night because the little houdini always had his way out of the swaddle somehow. After getting frustrated, I ended up buying a Miracle Blanket and thanks to the (indeed) miraculous blanket, we didn’t have to reswaddle as much. We also use other velcro blanket similar to the Summer infant swaddle blanket, which worked okay although not as good as the miracle blanket. I really wanted to try the Woombie, but by the time I knew about woombie, Darrell didn’t need to be swaddled as much.

• clothing
My baby lived in his onesies during his first 2 months of life. The Gerber kind is so comfortable, but it’s tight-fitting and it runs small. The 3-6 months ones are almost the same size as the 0-3 months ones! You’ll probably want to get 1 set of 0-3 and one set of 3-6. I’m also a big fan of the snap-up and zip-up sleeper. Other necessities: hats, socks, bibs. I thought I won’t need bibs just yet since newborn doesn’t eat solids… right? Well, they drool. A lot.

• crib + mattress + fitted sheet
It took us awhile to find the perfect crib. We finally decided on the Gulliver crib from IKEA. It has simple design, sturdy, inexpensive, and comes in white, a color that we want. Darrell didn’t sleep in his room until he was 3 months, so the crib looked a bit lonely during those times. However, as soon as he outgrown his bassinet (around 3 months old), we started to put him there to sleep. It’s been tough for him and me to sleep-train him there, but it’s coming along. Hopefully I can come back with good report on this!

• swing or bouncer or rocker
A lot of moms swear by the swing and claimed that it can magically calm their baby to sleep but Darrell actually is just so-so with it. He rarely ever falls asleep in it and get bored quickly. I wished I had gotten a bouncer instead. Whichever one it is, you’ll need a type of “baby seat” so your baby can hang-out in the living room with you, and your hands can get a break from holding your baby.

• thermometer
I’d say invest in a good one for this. Don’t get the one from that all in one health care kit. Fever is the one thing you don’t want on your baby especially when he is a newborn. Fever in a newborn can be dangerous and guarantee an ER trip. Therefore, it’s critical to monitor his temp and own a quick, accurate thermometer at home. I love our Exergen Temporal Thermometer. So easy and quick to check our baby’s temp!

• baby monitor
We use the Angelcare Movement and Sound monitor. The movement monitor aspect is important for us because it really eases our mind from SIDS especially during sleep training time.

• nursing pillow
This makes life a thousand times easier for breastfeeding mamas! I tried both Boppy and My Brest Friend and both has pros and cons. I plan to elaborate this more in a standalone post but long story short, I use the Brest Friend much more over the Boppy. The back support just won me over.

• nipple cream
If you plan to breastfeed, nipple cream is a must, especially during the first few weeks when your newborn nurse every 2 hours… *cough* 24/7 *cough*. Seriously. This cream will make your breastfeeding experience better. I only use one type, the motherlove nipple cream, so I can’t really compare it with other brand. It came in a very small tub, but you really won’t need to put a lot.

• breast pump
This was literally my last baby item purchase that I waited to buy until the last minute because I really didn’t know which one to buy! I ended up getting the inexpensive Lansinoh manual hand pump because as a stay at home mom I thought I wouldn’t be pumping that much. Turned out… I was pretty much right. I only pumped around twice a week to bottle-feed Darrell when we are out and about on the weekend. I also like that it’s practical, no cables to plug in whatsoever, and easy to wash/sterilize. Although it’s definitely more convenient to have a double electric pump, the hand pump worked okay for me. If God bless me with a second child, I might want to get the Ameda double electric pump, though! With the breast pump bra, I can have 2 free hands and be productive while pumping. Other moms would understand how nice it is to have 2 free hands! :)

• burp cloths
Believe it or not, I didn’t register for this. Your baby WILL burp and spit up and make a mess on your clothes. Because I didn’t register for this, I actually ended up using our receiving blanket because we got so many of those. It worked out great because it’s larger than the usual burp clothes. I don’t know about you but when my baby spits up, he can make a TON of mess and a larger cloth really help.

• activity gym or play mat
Honestly, for me this is not an absolute essential. However, it’s great to register for one of these because when he is one or two months older, you might want it for your baby. It’s great for tummy time and to let baby play and explore without having him on a high place such as the bed or couch.

• baby toys
Again, for me toys were not an absolute necessity, especially when he was still a newborn. The best “entertainment” for newborn babies is when mommy and daddy talk to them and just cuddle them. However, it’s good to put a couple toys and teether in your registry. You will need that very soon. I love the Lamaze Baby toys. They’re so much fun and really nicely designed to stimulate baby. I can’t really speak about teether though, since Darrell hasn’t begin teething yet.

• baby care items
You will need baby wash & shampoo, nasal aspirator (you’ll get one from the hospital), nail clipper, brush, and comb.

• diapers + wipes
Lots of them. These are definitely one of the most important baby essentials! If we have a house, I’d seriously consider using cloth diaper. We live in a tiny apartment and our laundry space is too small and the set up is just so inconvenient. It would drive me nuts to have to do laundry everyday. So anyway, we use disposables. Although people say babies grow up fast, I think it’s still important to register for newborn sized diaper. Darrell was quite skinny as a newborn and used newborn size for a month. Every babies are different though, but you’ll definitely need 1 or 2 boxes of size 1 and then 1 or 2 boxes of size 2.

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things changed.

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 | Add a Comment

{cootie catcher by Tenisha on etsy}

Happy new year all!

I celebrated the new year quietly with my two boys, David and Darrell, at home. It was quiet due to the sleeping baby, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I spent my New Year reflecting on things that happened in 2011, and also things that are about to come in 2012. New Year’s Resolution is not just a tradition for me. It’s a goal I set for myself and things that I envision myself doing in the future.

I used to make a long list of resolution (like 20 list of things…). Most of the time, 80% of those things didn’t ever get to be achieved by the end of the year. Then I would feel like a failure and come up with even more things. There is a quote that I recently read somewhere, “Always concentrate on how far you have come, rather than how far you have left to go.” Therefore, this year I have decided to only have 3 resolutions:

1. Pray more. Spend more time with Jesus.
2. Lose my pregnancy weight (and some more). Eat healthier.
3. Be more productive.

The third point includes to design more and blog more. Entering the new year, I contemplated a lot about how this blog is going to become in the new year. I know I haven’t been consistent enough with my posting. Recently, I have been thinking if I should change my content a little bit. Since I have become a mom, my interest towards babies and motherhood grow significantly. I would really enjoy to blog about things like that.

So, since this blog was supposed to be my daily daydream and consist of my musings, things will change a little bit here. This blog will not be converted into a baby/mom blog for now, though. I will definitely still post about design, art, and crafts. I still love those things and those haven’t changed in me. I will add a lot of post about babies, kids, and motherhood, since that’s what my life is about right now.

With that said… here is to a bright new year filled with many joy and blessings of God!

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diy wall fabric decal.

Monday, November 14th, 2011 | 2 Comments

Remember this post? I was planning on decorating my baby’s nursery with a nautical theme. My inspiration board on that previous post was way too ambitious though. I tried to get it done during the earlier stage of my pregnancy, but it was still a lot of task. However, I did manage to make this wall fabric decal that I’m pretty proud of. This room ended up being my favorite room in our home :)

So, here goes a little tutorial. Because I live in an apartment, I was very concerned of finding the perfect solution to adhere the fabric decal to the wall without causing any marks. I researched a lot and found a great tutorial that worked for me. I basically use her tutorial with a few little tweaks to make it work for me.

Things you’ll need:

• the design you want on the wall, printed and cut out into shapes
• fabrics in the color of your choice
• Steam-A-Seam2 Double Stick Fusible Web
• Clover mini iron

First, I designed the whole layout on Adobe Illustrator. I measured the wall and then enlarged my design in correspondence to my wall measurement. After that, I printed the enlarged illustration. I only needed to print several shapes, which were the fish (small, medium, and big size),  the ship (3 components), and the cloud (big and small). Then, I cut out all the shapes and I made them as the tracing guide.

Then, I used the Steam-a-Seam Fusible Web as the adhesive agent. I got mine at Joann’s Fabric. So, the fusible web actually has 3 layering: the adhesive in the middle that is sandwiched by wax papers on each sides. At this point, I removed one of the wax paper which then reveals the sticky adhesive in the middle layer. I place that sticky side down onto the wrong side of the fabric. Then, I apply a bit of heat to the fabric with the mini iron, just so the fabric would stick to the fusible web, while I cut the shapes out.

After that, I used those fabric shapes to trace it onto the fusible web, and then I cut the fusible web according to the shapes.

Then, I remove the other wax paper layer of the fusible web, which leaves the one adhesive layer in the middle. I place the fabric (which has adhesive) onto the wall where I wanted. At this point, there’s a little adhesive and it’s still removable, in case you change your mind and want to change up the layout or something. The next step is to apply the heat.

A lot of tutorial uses simply a good old iron. It didn’t work for me because my shapes were too small and the iron was big. Whenever I try to use the big iron to apply the heat, it would leave marks on the wall on the surrounding area of the shapes that doesn’t have fabrics. I hope this makes sense to you. So anyway, I went to Joann’s Fabric and got the Clover mini iron which worked absolutely perfect for my shapes.

After you apply the heat, the fabric shapes are no longer removable. If for some reason you decide to remove it, it’s unusable and you’ll have to make a new one. One thing I really like about this method is that when I try removing one of those fabric decals, it leaves no marks on my wall!

One bonus pic with my little man in the crib :)

{Photo credit: Ivana Brata/Love Ardently}

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linda lundgren.

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 | Add a Comment


Those food styling works by Linda Lundgren are so inspiring! That first image reminds me the rich, scrumptious, autumn dishes. And don’t you just love the concept of that palette plate image? Ah-mazing!

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