Turn On the Light – Free Harry Potter Printable

A free printable 8×10 or 5×7 Harry Potter art print for your home.

We’re big Harry Potter lovers in our house. I’ve wanted to add some Harry Potter inspired art to our home since we moved in. This has always been one of my favorite quotes from the books. Since I know a lot of my friends are also Harry Potter fans, I thought I’d share it for anyone else who wants to add it to their home!

Dumbledore Quote Art Print 

I’ve made these available in both 8×10 and 5×7 sizes. If you’re printing at home, you’ll want to use the crop marks to cut these down to the correct size. If you send it to a printer, they’ll cut it to size for you. 

I’d love to see how you style these in your home! If you share on social media, please tag me @elisecreates.

Cricut Print and Cut Penguin Candy Cane Gift

My daughter goes to a small preschool in our neighborhood and they are having their Christmas party tomorrow. (Note: We feel SO lucky to have a small, safe, mask-wearing preschool opportunity right now.)

I had purchased candy canes for her to give to her classmates, but last night, I decided they needed to be cute. And, bonus, my daughter LOVES coloring right now, so she got to customize them for her class!

Here is the Cricut project link so it’s already set up for you if you have a Cricut.

Penguin Candy Cane Craft

If you have another cutting machine, here are two SVG files for the print layer and the cutting layer. You’ll need to add a line on the penguin’s left flipper for the candy cane or you can hand cut that with an exacto knife.

Penguin SVG Cut Files

My Miscarriage Story: You’ll be in My Heart

Back in March, we went to the doctor for a 10 week pregnancy appointment and found out our baby’s heart had stopped beating at about 8.5 weeks.

This song has been on my mind whenever I’ve thought about our miscarriage since then. Now and forever more, the memory of our baby will be in my heart.

It’s really important to me that you know why I’m sharing this now. I want anyone else who experiences this to know they’re not alone. I needed and truly relied on dear friends who I knew had miscarried before or who had experienced pregnancy-related heartbreak. And, though I wished they’d never had to experience any of that heartache, I have been so incredibly grateful for their understanding, support, and love.

I think miscarriage needs to be talked about more. We need to know how common it is and eliminate any shame and secrecy involved. But it’s also a personal and intimate experience that nobody should feel obligated to share about, you know?

I’ve been fairly open about my miscarriage in personal conversations with friends, but I wanted to wait to share here until it felt right. One thing I’ve learned about grief (I mean, and life) is that so many things can be true at the same time. You can feel joy and still feel sad, for example. You can be hopeful and heartbroken. And you can be so incredibly grateful for people who care and also too tired to carry the weight of all the “I’m so sorrys”. And that is all okay.

My physical miscarriage experience

After finding out at our ultrasound that our baby had stopped developing, my doctor prescribed misoprostol— the medicine that helps your body complete a miscarriage.

From what my doctor had said and what I’d heard from a few friends, I anticipated being in a lot of pain with a lot of bleeding within a few hours after using the medicine. But three hours later, I found myself Googling and texting friends to find out if it was normal/okay for it to take longer. (I’ll save you the Googling: It’s not common, but it happens.)

The medicine is supposed to work within about 48 hours. I only experienced minor cramping and had only passed a few clots. I wasn’t sure if I had passed the baby though. When I went in for my follow up ultrasound, I learned that I had what they call RPOC (retained product of conception) and though I had probably passed the baby, there was more I needed to pass.

We went through the steps for my doctor to get approval for a D&C surgery (not an emergent surgery, so it required approval in our new COVID-19 world), but ultimately decided we wanted to try the medicine one more time before heading into surgery. So, I tried the medicine again. My results were similar to the previous time. But having seen my follow up ultrasound images, we knew there wasn’t much left to pass and my doctor and I both determined that it was likely that I had passed the RPOC.

After that, I had my blood drawn every two weeks for the next month, and then finally took a pregnancy test six weeks later — all to confirm my HCG levels were really dropping and my body was recognizing that I wasn’t pregnant any longer.

One of the harder physical challenges of miscarrying was my body still thinking I was pregnant. I should have been moving into 2nd trimester at this point and getting more energy and less nausea! But instead, I was no longer pregnant and I felt very stuck in the first trimester twilight zone.

My first period after miscarrying

When I got my first period following my miscarriage, I was prepared for it to be heavier. I was not prepared to finally experience the amounts of pain and bleeding I expected when I had taken the miscarriage medicine a month before.

I woke up in the middle of the night with cramps so painful I couldn’t move or breathe. I was having contractions/cramps that felt like being in labor. What happened next is kind of a blur, but I can tell you there was a strange popping sound, very large clots, and “blood flowing like water” — a description I had read a lot in my Google Miscarriage 101 course. The popping was a shock though. I’m grateful for mom forums and blog posts with similar stories because that wasn’t something I learned about on any professional medical source. (But my thoughts on the lack of credible miscarriage education are for anther day.)

The next few days were awful. My body felt weak and I experienced multiple moments where I thought I might pass out. I considered teaching my almost two year old how to call her dad or grandparents from my cell phone in case I did pass out, since it was just the two of us at home.

But as awful as that was, my body finally felt like it was completing the miscarriage process and moving on. Until that moment, I had felt stuck in that first trimester twilight zone. And I felt like a miscarriage imposter. Like I hadn’t experienced a true miscarriage and my body hadn’t done anything right, so I didn’t belong in that club that nobody wants to join. But I wasn’t pregnant either. And I hadn’t healed either.

I wouldn’t wish that pain or bleeding on anyone, but I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with gratitude that it finally felt like my body was doing what it needed to do and I could move forward.

Exactly a month after we found out we miscarried, I headed into town for one of my blood draws and then we went social distance shopping at Home Depot for supplies for a yard project. I was feeling the weight of grief and blood draws and a recovering body a lot that day. I went to hunt down (and sanitize) a shopping cart and spotted this little succulent. The pale pink felt like the perfect soft squishy baby color and, though I’ve never been much of a plant person, I needed something sweet, tiny, and alive to bring home. I don’t know why it felt so significant, but this little succulent is still in my kitchen making me smile.

Moving forward from miscarriage

Once my body felt like it was physically moving forward in all the ways I couldn’t control, I realized it was time to move forward in the ways I could control. I started with therapy.

Through my husband’s employer, we have access to what is referred to as “solution-based therapy”. I’m incredibly grateful for that access to therapy subsidized by the company, but my husband reassured me that if that wasn’t the right fit for me, we’d budget for therapy that was. Solution-based therapy is intended to be shorter term therapy where you focus on solutions and moving forward, instead of a long-term therapy relationship where you dig deep. (For the record, I’m a fan of both varieties.)

Lucky for me, this turned out to be exactly what I needed at the moment. The therapist I worked with provided a lot of validation, education, and solutions on how I could move forward and heal. She also helped me recognize that I was experiencing Parent Burnout. Which wasn’t necessarily caused by miscarrying, but miscarriage emotions sure were a lot on top of many other things I was going through– including burnout.

We talked a lot about the difference between self-care and self-maintenance. She said “You need a hobby that fulfills you that has nothing to do with work, parenting, or your marriage.” And I immediately said, “Well, my work IS my hobby! I design and I’m very passionate about it! It’s a creative outlet!” And she helped me understand that I truly needed something else.

She referred me to this article about self-care that has become a very valuable resource for me. Since our therapy session, I’ve put a lot more effort into true self-care. I’m taking an iPad lettering course that truly is just because I love it and want to improve my skills– not for work (even if it does benefit work down the road). I’ve also been walking on the treadmill three times a week and binge watching shows that I enjoy. (1 hour of my show! And my toddler playing mostly independently and not touching me!)

Healing from more than miscarriage

I don’t think I realized how much more healing I had to do. (Still have, grief and healing are both ongoing processes.) But I feel more like myself than I have for a long time, even prior to becoming pregnant or the miscarriage. So, for that, I’m grateful. I’m not grateful we lost our baby. But I do believe in silver linings. And I’ve learned that more than one thing can be true at once, like I mentioned before.

I can be healing and heartbroken. Grateful and grieving. Moving forward and always remembering. Supporting others and being supported.

I’m also grateful for the support I felt and continue to feel as we’ve shared this news with people we care about. When we first found out, we told only the people who had known we were pregnant– our parents and a few of my closest friends. As they prayed for us and cared for us, I genuinely felt some of the weight of my grief lifted. As if their willingness to share in our sorrow truly helped share some of the heaviness of the grief. And though the grief feels less heavy as time as passed, I continue to feel the strength of others as they tell us they care.

You’re not alone. Pin this for later when you need a reminder.

My Top 5 Favorite Procreate Brushes

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There are two things I could spend hours downloading – fonts and Procreate brushes. Even though I already have a ton of brushes and I’ve made some of my own, I can always find more I’m excited to download and try! When I share videos on Instagram and TikTok, I often have people ask which brushes I’m using and which Procreate brushes I love best, so, here is a list of my top five favorite brushes or brush sets I’ve downloaded.

5 Best Procreate Brushes for Lettering

  1. My number one favorite brush to use is a monoline brush. You can download the one I made and love for free here: Free Monoline Procreate Brush
  2. My most-used brush when I’m lettering in Procreate is my custom round brush. I love using this round brush for digital lettering because I love lettering with an actual round brush + watercolors in “real life”. I created this round brush set with three different round brushes that are perfect for lettering.
  3. These Alcohol Ink Brushes from Blush River Design are SO much fun. I love creating backgrounds with these and using a round brush for lettering over the top.
  4. The “Sketcher’s Collection” from Super Nice Stuff (This link gets you 10% off!) has such fun distressed edges and adds a more casual feel to lettering projects.
  5. Finally, I love these lettering brushes for modern calligraphy. The thicks and thins are so perfect for making great downstrokes and upstrokes.

Lettering Love: Inexpensive Materials for Beginners

When I was about 14, I remember doodling in a notebook during a choir practice. One of the tenors leaned over to me and said “Wow, you should design fonts.” I smiled, thanked him, and kept doodling whatever I was doodling.

Years later, I now know that what I was “doodling” is actually called lettering. Lettering is a form of art that basically means drawing letters instead of writing letters. I spent a lot more time doodling letters and words than I ever spent doodling people, places, or things. My chemistry notebook from my Junior Year of High School has some really pretty lettering of words like “barium” and “molecules”.

It wasn’t until I graduated from college that I started investing in more “advanced” markers, pens, and tools for lettering. One of my favorite things about lettering is the fact that there is SO much you can do with inexpensive tools. Grab a pencil or ballpoint pen and you can start right away. However, if you’re ready to experiment with new lettering tools, I’ve got a list of favorites for you to start with and most of them are under $15.

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  • Tracing Paper – Good paper is always my first recommendation. Using printer paper can shred the tips of your markers, so it’s important to use smooth paper. Tracing paper is an inexpensive way to go!
  • Marker Paper – Marker paper is a step up from tracing paper. When I’m just practicing, I love to use one of these two types of papers.
  • Crayola SuperTips – These are the perfect place to start if you love the look of brush lettering. The tips of these markers offer great angles for downstrokes and upstrokes.
  • Tombow Fudenosukes – These come in both soft and hard tip. They’re a great place to start for brush lettering.
  • Tombow Dual Tips – These are my personal favorites. I love the larger brush tips and the variety of colors. The non-brush end is a nice round marker tip. It’s labeled as “fine” but it’s somewhere between a Sharpie and a fine point Sharpie. I think it’s the perfect size.
  • Micron Pens – I love having a set of these in a variety of sizes. These are fun for a variety of lettering styles and for embellishments and floral frames around your letters.
  • A Round Brush and a basic watercolor set – I learned that it was easier to manipulate the style of my brush lettering with an actual brush. Once I found my groove with a brush and watercolors (you can practice with these on watercolor paper or printer paper), I was better at using the brush tip markers.

One of the best things you can do is to just become familiar with how the markers and pens work and what kind of strokes you like. Seriously – just have fun. Once you’re more familiar with the tools, then it’s time to start with tutorials and finding your style.

I’m working on a whole series of Lettering Love posts. Comment below and let me know what you’d like to learn next!

Bowling Ball Day: The Ten Year Anniversary

Today is a pretty special day for me. If you’ve never heard of Bowling Ball Day, welcome. 🙂 It’s likely that that means we’re new friends. Here’s the short version: 10 years ago today, a bowling ball fell off the top of a flag pole on my head. And I’ve celebrated this day ever since.

It was March of 2007, my second semester of college. I was visiting some friends in Tremonton for spring break. My friend, Christina had suggested that we go to a privately owned park called “Marble Park”. She insisted the barbed wire collection was a must-see. So, we went. The park is a sculpture park featuring a lot of cool things:  swings made from old tractor seats, chairs made from barrels and wheels, and the infamous barbed wire collection. We decided to gather the group together for some pictures. We all climbed up onto three platforms. My friends Ashli, Mac, and I stood on the middle platform which had a flag pole coming out of it and was about 5 feet tall.

Ashli and I on the platform with the flagpole.

While taking the pictures, we noticed that the flagpole was kind of wobbly. It had been cemented into the platform, but looked as though it had come loose over the years. Mac started pushing on it, and just as I said (teasing, of course) “wouldn’t it be funny if I fell off?” a bowling ball fell from it’s perch on the top of the flag pole and onto my head.

If you look at the top of the flagpole in the background, you can see the bowling ball in its prongs.

I was knocked unconscious and fell off the platform. (This is a good thing because otherwise, it’s likely that I would have tried to catch myself and could have broken my arms.) Once on the ground, I regained consciousness, had a seizure, and threw up. (Lime green throw up, because I’d had Jones Green Apple Soda. TMI? Sorry.) My friends called 911 and explained that I had been hit on the head. “By what?” the operator asked. After looking around to find the culprit, Ashli eventually said “Um, a bowling ball.”

I was taken in an ambulance to the Bear River Hospital where they were worried about my spinal fluid leaking into my brain, so I was then lifeflighted to the University of Utah Neuro Care Clinic. One of the few moments of all of this that I actually remember happened in the helicopter. I remember watching the propellers start to spin, and one of the paramedics closed the door on my arm – so my arm was trapped between the door and my stretcher. I looked up at him and said “um, my arm…” and they quickly opened the door again and placed my arm on top of me.

The physicians at the Neuro Care Clinic determined that I had a severe concussion and my skull was fractured from front to back. You know how babies’ skulls are in two parts when they’re born and that’s why they have a soft-spot? I essentially just broke that open again. After four days in the hospital and eight staples in my head, I got to go home. I was on Loritab for a week, and then I went back to school. A few weeks later, I went to have my staples removed and the doctor told me I was doing surprisingly great and the concussion was gone. To this day, the only lasting damage is the quarter-sized scar on top of my head.

So, that’s the story of Bowling Ball Day. I love celebrating this day because it makes me feel special. Knowing how many people came to visit me in the hospital, prayed for me, took pictures with posters and sippy cups (long story) for me really just warms my heart. And knowing that, by some miracle, I didn’t die – that’s something that makes me feel things I’ve never been able to truly explain. Some of it is simply gratitude for the blessing of being alive and for feeling like I have a purpose for still being here. And also, in many sacred ways, this experience brought me closer to God. I believe in angels. The ones here on earth and the unseen angels that I believe were there 10 years ago.

Oh, and also, it’s pretty funny. I mean, who does this even happen to?