Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Van Camp Christmas House

If you know me, then you know I love all things design and most of all, I LOVE to decorate for Christmas! I have fun each year thinking of new ways to use the decorations I have year after year. Thanks, to Pinterest, my head is exploding this year. We are a very, let's say, frugal family. So I am all about the free and cheap way to get the look I want!

That pink tree? I saw it on the side of the road in my hometown and almost caused an accident as I did an immediate U-turn to get it. I brought it home for $20. My husband, oh the amazing man he is, he let's me use it year after year because he is outnumbered in this house! :)

The kitchen tree.

The stockings are hung by the fireplace with care (Dunlap Love style of course).
...and the kitchen...

The elf...we do not do the book part of it. He was given to Avenell as a gift and we play "peek-a-boo elf" with him. Mommy hides him in fun locations and Avenell finds him. I am not into the whole elf spy that reports back to Santa if you are bad. However, he is one cute elf, very vintage like, and I like his cute little presence.

I needed some flair on my mantle. I plan to make lots of pom pom garland to hang from the ceiling, but for now rice with silver glitter adds some sparkle. All free, my friends.

Our Jesse Tree. Love that we are starting this tradition this year!

I just love sitting and looking at my pink tree at night, currently watching Grey's Anatomy reruns with my love. Life is good.


30% off until Friday!

From now until Friday, December 2nd you can take 30% off anything in the shop! Just use the code HAPPYDEC at checkout! Now is the time to stock up on goodies for Christmas!


Christmas Stockings 2011

Here are some pictures of the Christmas stockings I worked on this year! Each unique and one of a kind! I have several orders on a wait list and I am still deciding on if I can swing anymore for this season. Balancing motherhood, keeping a healthy marriage, doing the house work, and being a good friend, and then adding in creating all this fun stuff that I love is tough, people. I am trying to make it all work and at christmas time, it is even tougher. So, bear with me, please. :) If you are on the wait list, I'll be in touch soon!


Monday, October 31, 2011

Mexico City 2011: Giving Sheep

Now that the Christmas stocking auction is over (THANK YOU to those of you who supported and purchased or spread the word, it was a great success!), I want to share with you a bit about my trip to Mexico City. I want to be brief, mainly because I am still trying to process it all.
We were in Mexico City for 7 days. We spent time at the Salvation Army orphanage, a women's shelter, and a church in Tepito. This post is all about the orphanage.

What I know to be true: love is universal, no language needed.

I speak no spanish. What I know is what I learned while I was in Mexico City. I was nervous
that the fact that I could not verbally communicate to these kids would interfere with my ability to serve them, to love them. Silly me. God is bigger than that.

I was reminded of Moses in Exodus when God told him to go talk to Pharaoh and let his children go. Here is what happened: (Kaylyn translation)

Moses: I can't speak eloquently, I just can't do it.

God: You idiot, who even made the mouth able to speak??! Me! I will give you what you need to do what I asked you to do. Trust me.

I feel like God said that same exact thing to me that first day in Mexico City. I was amazed at
how quickly these kids warmed up to me, to my team, after knowing me a couple minutes. They were just so hungry, they wanted my attention, my hugs, my love, for me to play silly games with them (which we taught some boys to play "anti-war", you know, the card game War? That game except the boys thought they needed to get rid of their cards to win, so it became a game of anti-war. so fun.), to sing with them, and just to sit on my lap for awhile. They were amazing. They would talk to me constantly. I had no idea what they were saying, but it didn't matter. I was there. I was listening. I had my arms around them. Pure joy in all cases.

About the sheep: I made 47 total sheep before I left. 45 with names on them and 2 extra "just in case". We waited until the last day to give them out. I am not sure what I expected about that moment, I think I was even nervous they would not care about the sheep. I started to hand out sheep one by one. Each child kissed me and said gracias and held me. Held me tight. It was not long before I saw them pointing to their name on their sheep with awe and delight and showing all their friends. There were tears, lots of tears (mainly from me), and lots of hugs. God knew I needed those extra sheep for 2 new kids not on the list. They got sheep too. The whole thing was just incredible. For so long I prayed over each of these names and I got to put a face and a personality to each sheep. The crazy part? The fabrics I randomly picked for each sheep perfectly fit their personalities. Nothing is random with God.

I saw the kids swinging the sheep by their legs, playing catch with them, using them as pillows for a rest, and just holding them as tight as possible. Those sheep were well loved, and I think those children of God knew that they were loved.

Every moment with these kids was a blessing to me, and it was hard.

We slept down the hall from the girls. In the mornings I would see them wake up, start their chores, and prepare for breakfast. All by themselves. Every night, they went to their rooms and went to bed. All by themselves. My heart ached knowing that each morning and night they did not have a mom or dad to tuck them in, to pray over them, to kiss their forehead, to tell them
how amazing God made them, and to speak love into them. No one brushed their hair in the morning, helped them get dressed, or gave them words of hope for the day. They were on their own.

There are hard things in this life. God works for our good. He works for their good. His desire is for us all to care for each other, not just in our backyards, but all
over this Earth, to wherever he calls you. The key? We have to be listening. We have to know there is more to this life than our homes and pretty things in America. There are people with names and faces that are easy to ignore that are hurting, hungry, and need you, need me. We are God's Plan A. There is no Plan B. You and me, we are the plan to meet the needs of those who are hurting, those who are struggling, those who do not have a mom to tuck them in at night.

Thank you to all of you who supported this mission to bring these little plush sheep to a group of kids thousands of miles away in a different country. You are a part of joy that came in the way of a softie doll. A joy that these kids will never lose, even if those legs get ripped off. :)

Seriously, thank you.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Christmas Stocking Auction starts TODAY!!!

It is time! Falalalalalalala!! Last year my custom Christmas stockings were a hit and I am so thankful to those of you who allowed me to be a part of your holiday cheer and a new part of your traditions. I feel so honored, seriously!

Many of you have been asking when I'll be selling them again this year. It has been a crazy busy year, filled with mission trips, family trips, beginning homeschool, and the adoption process, needless to say time has come and gone and I really only have the time to create 10 of these stockings this year in order to keep my family priorities straight. I have decided to hold an auction this year to support our Uganda adoption. So, not only will you get an amazing and unique stocking, you will be helping us to fund our adoption! Two for one! :)

Here is the deal:

There are 10 ebay auctions going on starting TODAY that will run for 10 days. Each auction is for one stocking. You get to create exactly what you want from motifs, colors, and name. Each one of my stockings are one of a kind. No two are ever the same! If you need more than one stocking you will need to bid on 2 different listings.

Here is a link to each listing:

So, there you go, friends, you have 10 days! I would so much appreciate if you spread the word and share this blog post with your friends and family who might be looking for a unique Christmas gift idea!

As always, thanks for your support of Dunlap Love! If you want more info about our adoption please visit our blog at


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Assembly Line

Well, we are 2.5 weeks out from going to Mexico City. That means all the sheep need to be done by next week. It has been a sheep assembly process in the Dunlap Love studio for awhile now, but now it is full on!

All the legs and ears are made.

All the sheep bodies are cut.

All the faces are cut.

Tonight I begin working on all the faces!
I am saving the sewing of names until the very last step before sewing them all up because I have been told there are now new kids at the orphanage and some that have left. Praying to get these names in time before we go so that each child will have their own sheep with their name on it and no one is left out.

So, that is the sheep update. If you are totally confused by why I am making so many sheep, check out this post.

Be back soon!