Thursday, December 16, 2010

To quote Amy Poehler in Baby Mama: " I'm so excited!"

Please read my very first guest post at Amanda's amazing blog, Our Humble Abowed.  I am so honored that Amanda asked me to write a post on her awesome blog!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A giveaway and a tutorial coming soon!

I recently became blog friends with Amanda from  She is a super nice person, and her blog is amazing.  Amanda is giving away a beautiful, custom print on her blog.  Go over and check out her amazing blog, and enter for a chance to win one of her custom prints here

Also, later in the week I will be posting some tutorials about some of my Holiday DIY projects!  Stay tuned!

I would love to hear from you!  Please leave me feedback, if you enjoy reading my posts!  I am new to blogland, and I often wonder if people enjoy reading my blog:)

Have a great weekend!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thanksgiving Memories and A David Stark Inspired Christmas

 I hope that you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  It was nice to have the kids home from school for the Holidays.  We had a nice, relaxing travel free Thanksgiving at home with our family of five. 
Thanksgiving 2010
Thanksgiving 2010
Thanksgiving 2010
Ahhh did you arrive so quickly?  I feel totally unprepared for the Holiday season this year.  The weather here this Fall was so unseasonably warm that it felt like an extended Summer.  After all, we were wearing shorts and flip flops during the week of Thanksgiving.  As a result, I did a double take when I went into the Target and saw the Christmas decorations on display.
Christmas 2010   
I love to decorate...especially for special occasions like the Holidays.  This year I fell in love with West Elm's Holiday decorations.  I am especially fond of the collection that David Stark created for them this season.  I decided to attempt to recreate his look. 

On the mantle, I created a snowflake garland by adhering hand cut, paper snowflakes to a gray, satin ribbon.  The garland was primarily inspired by this one from Martha.  Having not cut snowflakes out of paper since I was a child, I decided to follow a tutorial on YouTube for a refresher course.  I had a lot of fun creating them.  I might have to try some more paper cutting projects in the future.    
Martha Stewart's Glittered Snowflake Garland

I loved the oversized, white Nutcracker soldiers at West Elm, but at sixty dollars for one of them, I decided I could replicate them myself for much cheaper.  I found a large, Nutcracker at my local craft store with a bonus little Nutcracker on sale for eight dollars.  I quickly began stripping off his many layers of fur, rhinestones, and glitter.  My husband helped me sand off the many layers of glitter and glue residue, and he spray painted him a nice, glossy white.  I am so happy with the way that he turned out. 
West Elm's Nutcrackers
My Nutcracker before

My Nutcracker after
We have an amazing locally owned landscape/garden center in our town that I love to browse for design inspiration.  At Christmas time, they have a have a large indoor space that is transformed into a Christmas store.  I could spend hours in the store looking at all of the beautiful decorations.  This year I discovered an entire display of vintage, bottle brush trees in many colors and sizes.  I was quickly drawn to these miniature trees filled with beautiful, Mercury glass ornaments.  Despite my love for the garden center, the store tends to be overpriced.  They were selling each of these tiny trees for about thirty dollars a piece.  Unwilling to spend that much on a single, Holiday decoration, I decided to try to make my own bottle brush trees.  I purchased a bag of dark green, plastic trees intended to be used with Christmas villages for eleven dollars at Lowes.  My husband placed them in a bucket of bleach overnight, and in the morning, I was left with these adorable off white, faux bottle brush trees.  I read online that if you want to you can dye them any color of your choice with Rit dye, however I liked the off white trees, so I left them as is.  I embellished some of the trees with some small ornaments from the craft store.  I think they are really cute.
Faux Bottlebrush Trees before
Faux Bottlebrush Trees after
Faux Bottlebrush Trees after
Faux Bottlebrush Trees after
This year I decided to decorate our tree in silver and white.  I love how simple and sparkly the tree looks. I found the tree skirt several years ago, and it has remained one of my favorite parts of the tree.  I searched all over for an off white tree skirt, and I love it.  
Our Christmas Tree 2010

 Now that the tree is up and the house is decorated, I am very excited to celebrate this Holiday season.  This is going to be our youngest, baby girl's first Christmas, which is very exciting.  She is very close to crawling, and she enjoys playing with the tree skirt.  My five year old and eight year old are very excited about the Holidays as well.  I feel very blessed to have my wonderful husband and my three amazing children in my life. 
A new ornament for Baby C's first Christmas

Thursday, November 25, 2010

If only there were more hours in a day...and happy thanksgiving!

I was able to finish my Autumn wreath just in time for Thanksgiving.  Several months ago, I had mentioned that I had been inspired to make a wreath out of lima beans similar to the acorn wreath that I saw on Made's blog here  Gluing all of those beans proved to be a lot more time consuming than I had originally anticipated.  This is not the type of project that you can hammer out in one least I couldn't.  I enjoyed making the wreath though.  It was nice to be involved in a craft project that was relatively easy.  I decided to add a "floral detail" made out of smaller, navy beans just to mix it up.  I really like the wreath.  I was going to spray paint it like the inspiration wreath, however I decided that I liked the natural look of the lima beans.  I love how simple and modern the wreath looks.  

I am having fun transforming objects with coats of glossy, white spray paint.  I originally purchased this candle holder about ten years ago from Pier 1, and it was collecting dust in my cabinet until it was given new life with a coat of paint.  Now that I look at these pictures, it appears that the before photo looks better than the after, but in person the white looks so much better.  The white made this metal candle holder look like a ceramic piece.  

Some other items that were subjected to spray paint, were these new, Christmas ornaments from Target.  I think the paint gave the ornaments a more modern look.  I love them.  I think they are reminiscent of these adorable, Jonathan Adler ornaments, but at three dollars a piece they are so much cheaper.  
I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's Fall!

my children's pumpkins
My two school aged children are beginning their third week of vacation today.  Our public schools follow a year round calendar, so they get a vacation every nine weeks.  It is nice to have them home during the day.  Our house is definitely full of energy and there is never a dull moment.  I think the baby is going to miss them dearly when they go back to their normal routine next week.  I will too.

Needless to say, I have not had much time to dedicate to my own interests.  I was able to spend some time making a Fall wreath for the front door last night.  I was inspired by all of the cool Fall projects that I have been seeing in blogland.  Fall has actually taken me by surprise this year.  The weather has been unseasonably warm here, and it still feels like Summer.  In fact, I was going to purchase some mums for the pots on the front steps, but my geraniums are still blooming, so I think I am going to skip the mums this year.

I am making a wreath inspired by this acorn wreath from Made's blog  I adore the wreath that she made.   Although, I was unable to find any available acorns, so my wreath is made out of many large, dried lima beans.  Gluing all of those beans to the wreath is very time consuming, and I found myself wondering if I was crazy to spend so much time making a wreath.  It looks pretty cool though.  I also love that it can be repainted to accommodate the changing a chameleon. I have not yet decided on the color of the wreath.  I wanted to see if I had the fortitude to glue all of the beans before I decided on the color.  I have actually enjoyed making the wreath.  There is something very relaxing about methodically gluing all of those beans to the wreath in organized rows.

What made my wreath making even more enjoyable, was that my husband and I were able to listen to some of the This American Life podcasts from the past couple of weeks while I was crafting.  We adore listening to This American Life together.  It is the perfect stay at home date night for my husband and I.  We also love to watch Modern Family together.  We rarely ever watch television, but we really enjoy that show.  Funny stuff:)

I also just started reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.  Even though I am only a couple of chapters into the book, I can already tell that it is going to become one of my favorite books.  Foer is an amazing writer.  I have been a vegetarian since I was in high school, so I already agree with the premise of the book.  However, my husband is only a part-time vegetarian.  He said he wants to read the book when I am finished with it.  It will be interesting to see if he turns the corner and becomes a full-time vegetarian after he reads the book.

Have a great week!   



Monday, October 4, 2010

Crafty diversions, Citronille and a school holiday

I haven't made any more progress on any of my current quilting projects because I discovered the wonderful world of digital scrapbooking.  I thought that my scrapbooking days were over until I discovered digital scrapbooking.  I have found it to be very addictive.  One of the nicest things about it is that it is a mess free project.  Long gone are the days of cleaning up little scraps of paper and sticky glue.  When my son was born eight and a half years ago, I made several traditional scrapbooks for him.  It was very labor intensive, and when I look at the layouts now they are definitely dated.  My love affair with traditional scrapbooking was very short lived, and all of my supplies made their way into the attic a long time ago.

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon someone's post about digital scrapbooking, and I quickly discovered all of the beautiful digital kits that are now available.  I especially adore the kits by Paislee Press.  Check out her beautiful kits at  They are gorgeous.  Paislee Press is actually giving away a beautiful DIY digital calendar kit on her blog.  Checkout her amazing blog for a chance to win at  In the past couple of weeks, I  have already created quite a few pages for my youngest daughter.  The layouts seem to come together very quickly.  It is definitely not as time consuming as traditional scrapbooking.  It is also nice that you can save what you are working on and finish it later, if you are in the middle of a layout and your five month old starts screaming to be nursed.  After I finish the baby's scrapbook, I plan on making a scrapbook for my middle daughter.  She has a baby book, but I have always felt guilty that she did not have a scrapbook like her older brother. 
I also recently discovered Citronille sewing patterns!  These patterns are beautiful!  I adore Oliver and S patterns, and it is nice to find some more patterns in the same genre.  I love the simple classic style of these patterns.  I am a bit apprehensive knowing that the patterns are written entirely in French, however my best friend is fluent in French and she said she would help me translate if I needed her too.  I am going to order a pattern or two in the next couple of days, and I will share my sewing experiences on the blog.

More than likely, I will not be able to dedicate very much time to my creative pursuits because my two school aged kids are on a school holiday for the next three weeks.  My kids attend a year round school, and it is time for their Fall trackout.  They get a three to four week holiday every nine weeks.  I feel like I just got used to the idea of my middle daughter attending "big kid school", and now it is already time for a holiday.  It is nice to have them home, but I fear that the baby might not enjoy her naps for the next couple of weeks.   Have a nice day.  We plan on enjoying the beautiful Fall weather that arrived here this past weekend!  


Sunday, September 19, 2010

I finished my first quilt!

I finally finished my very first quilt!  Making a quilt is something that I have wanted to accomplish ever since I taught myself to sew several years ago.  I have often admired the quilts that others have created, however I was a bit intimidated by the process.  After reading Denyse Schmidt Quilts and Joelle Hoverson's Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts, I felt I had the confidence to attempt my first quilt.  I found both of the books to be very valuable resources as I was making this quilt, and I referred to them often throughout the process.  I also found Comfortstitching's binding tutorial on her blog to be very helpful as well.   

Since this is my first quilt, I decided to make a smaller, crib size quilt for my youngest daughter, Baby C.  the quilt measures 30" by 43".  The front of the quilt is made up of precut 5 by 5 squares from a Heather Bailey Nicey Jane charm pack.  The white is a very soft Pima Cotton from my local quilting shop.  For the binding, I used a light pink Pima Cotton check.  The back of the quilt is my favorite fabric from the Nicey Jane collection.  For the batting, I used Quilters Dream Request cotton batting.  I really like this batting.  It was really easy to work with, and I really like how nice the quilt feels with this batting.  It created a very soft quilt.  I straight line quilted the quilt in a diamond pattern.  I used painter's tape as a guide, and I found the tape to be very helpful for achieving straight lines.  
My favorite part of the quilt is the hand embroidery that I did in the center of the quilt.  I embroidered her initial and name.  I think the hand embroidery makes the quilt more special.  I think I am going to try to add a hand embroidered element to most of the quilts that I make for my children. 
Now that I have finished my first quilt, my mind is swarming with ideas for future quilts.  This is a really addictive hobby.  I have already begun my son's quilt and now I have started cutting into my Munki Munki/ Heather Ross stash to create a quilt for my middle daughter.  I had a lot of fun creating these Munki Munki blocks.  I adore these fabrics and seeing them come together is a lot of fun.  I love the Munki Munki quilt that Comfortstitching created, and I am following her tutorial to create my blocks.  I finished these six blocks pictured above, and I realized that I need to order some more Munki Munki fabric in order to be able to complete the quilt.  The quilt will be comprised of 15 blocks just like the one of Comfortstitching's blog. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Making Progress and Some Fun Mail

I am really enjoying sewing the quilt that I am making for my son.  My excitement grows with each block that I complete. He seems very excited about it as well.  Over the weekend, he checked in on me every so often and asked to see the completed blocks.   I think he is very happy that I am sewing for him this time.  I do a lot more sewing for my girls because it is not as easy to find things to make for boys...especially once they are school aged.  I have made him quite a few Oliver and S, PJ pants, and I made him a really cool, Euro sham that I am really proud of...I will save that for another post.  Other than those projects, I really haven't made many things for him, so I think he is very excited about this quilt.

The quilt pattern that I am following is comprised of 42 blocks, however I need to increase the size in order to make it a twin size quilt.  I may add a border or I may add more blocks in order to achieve a larger size.  I haven't decided yet.  I have already completed 20 blocks, so I am almost halfway there. I really like the pattern that I am following.  I am already thinking about other fabric combinations that I could use to make this quilt again. The added bonus is that the pattern is free.

My trips to the mailbox have become increasingly more exciting ever since I discovered Etsy a couple of years back.  This past week I received some more Munki Munki fabrics to add to my ever growing Heather Ross fabric stash.  I am planning on making a "thunderstorm quilt" for both of my kids using primarily Heather Ross/Munki Munki fabrics.  Both of my school aged kids are terrified of thunderstorms, which are very frequent where we live.  During the summer, the kids and my husband and I spend many nights huddled together sleeping on our living room floor.  I thought it might be nice for them to have their own "thunderstorm quilts" that we could keep downstairs, so that we do not have to bring all of their blankets from their beds downstairs.  When I told my kids that I was going to make these quilts for them, my son thought that it would be a good idea for us to have a "thunderstorm kit" complete with stuffed animals, flashlights, and the quilts.   When the quilts are complete, we will put them in the kit and maybe the quilt will help alleviate some of my children's fears about thunderstorms. 
Today was another good mailbox day.  I received my free swatch from Spoonflower.  Wow, that was quick!  I chose a cute little rain themed fabric for the kids "thunderstorm quilt".  These 8x8 swatches are a very cost effective way to build your Spoonflower stash...I will definitely be ordering some more in the near future.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Special Quilt for My Son

The Pottery Barn Kid's quilt that I purchased for my son's "big boy" room needs to be replaced.  Mr. B's nursery was a nautical theme.  When he moved out of the crib into his "big boy bed", I continued the same nautical theme by purchasing him a sailboat quilt and matching bedding from Pottery Barn Kids.  Not only is the quilt showing signs of wear, but I think at the mature age of eight, Mr. B has outgrown his sailboat quilt.

Ever since I began quilting just a couple of months ago, I have found myself searching other quilting blogs and Flickr quilt pools for ideas.  I have been overwhelmed by all of the cool inspiration for quilts that the Internet provides.  I am amazed by all of the wonderful quilts that others have created.  When I decided to make this quilt, choosing one quilting pattern out of the multitude of amazing quilt patterns that I have come across was a difficult decision.  The final decision came down to a simple block pattern versus a more modern, square in square pattern.  I have decided to make the square in square pattern quilt because I think it will add a more modern feel to the very traditional, shirting fabrics that I am using.  I loved the beautiful, square in square quilt that I saw on Fresh Lemon's blog, and I am following the wonderful, free tutorial on her blog to make my quilt.

Finding good fabric choices for an eight year old boy has proven to be a challenge.  When I  came across some quilts made from Men's upcycled, dress shirts, I decided that shirting fabrics would be the perfect choice for a quilt for my son.  I wanted to choose fabrics that would not seem too juvenile as he gets older.  Several of the fabrics that I am using are upcycled, oxford shirts from my husband and son's closets.  However, the majority of the fabrics are Pima cotton fabrics that I purchased specifically for this project.  Mr. B helped me choose the fabrics from the store yesterday, and I have to say that I think we made some really good choices. 

I wanted the quilt to be primarily composed of blue fabrics with a few smatterings of reds in some of the smaller squares in the quilt.  I recently purchased a new lamp and curtains from Pottery Barn for him that I like, so it was important to match those existing items.  I am really excited about this quilt.  Thankfully, my wonderful husband is helping me by cutting the pieces as I write this post.