Friday, July 31, 2009

{Handmade} Christmas in July: Custom Silhouettes

I've been dying to make a silhouette cutout of Mr. H forever now. Don't you think this is the perfect gift to melt a grandma's heart? A grandma can only have so many framed photos of her why not mix it up and give her a sweet silhouette. It's the perfect way to help her remember those tiny features forever. This great photo (from design*sponge) has an accompanying article giving the whole step-by-step process.

This may just be a gift I make for myself this year!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Need Your Help

I interrupt my regularly-scheduled programming to bring you a little shameless self-promotion. On a whim, I entered the Martha Stewart/Etsy DIY Wedding Crafts Contest. The winner(s) may even get their crafts featured on the show! If you get a spare second, I'll love you forever if you'll go and rate my entries or even leave a comment. It couldn't hurt, right??? I figure, the more exposure, the better. And if you make something wedding related, get in there and enter your stuff. Also, leave me a link to your items so I can help you advertise. :)

Anyway, here are the items I've entered...just follow the links. I'll be back a little later on with some more DIY Christmas fun.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

{Handmade} Christmas in July: Stocking Stuffers

I finally got around to making those recycled notepads I've been wanting to make forever...and guess what? I love them! I've been using them like crazy. They'd make a great stocking stuffer for just about anyone on your list.

Plus, they make great impromptu coloring books when you're desperate at a restaurant and would rather not have your three year old scribbling in your pretty Jonathan Adler notepad.

The original idea came from Martha Stewart. But I added a few touches of my own: perforated pages, and a more rigid binding. Happy Crafting!

Photo: mine.

{Handmade} Christmas in July: For the Crafter

Basically anyone who is into crafts whatsoever has heard of The Black Apple. Emily Martin is pretty much the Queen Bee of all crafters. So impress your crafty friends with a gift featuring some of Emily's most beloved characters. This embroidery transfer kit can be used for so many things: tea towels, wall hangings, pillow cases, even baby onesies. I bet those little houses would be super cute stitched on some little notecards as well. This is definitely one gift that can't go wrong.

Photo here.

{Handmade} Christmas in July: Don't Forget Baby

By now, I'm sure you've all seen this darling Bird Mobile from Spool Sewing.
But really...what better gift for a tiny little person?

Photo from Spool Sewing

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

{Handmade} Christmas in July: For the Jewelry-Lover

I made this simple, easy turquoise necklace this summer, and it's been a go-to piece for me ever since. Here's how:
1. Pick up some Turquoise Nuggets. I only needed one strand for this necklace.
2. String them onto some flexible beading wire. Make sure to give yourself enough room on each end to finish it off.
3. Add a round silver bead or two (depending on the desired length) to each end.
4. Finish it off with a crimp tube on each end and a toggle clasp.
5. Now you're ready to give (or wear) your new turquoise necklace.

See, here I am wearing mine on the 4th of July:

I've actually worn it dozens of times, and it still hasn't fallen apart! Seriously, if I can do it, anyone can!

{Handmade} Christmas in July: For the Seamstress

I'm no sewing machine whiz, but I think I can handle making a pincushion.
This Heather Bailey project has been on my to-do list since last Christmas.
And what could be sweeter for the seamstress in your life, than a pear-shaped pincushion?

Photo: Heather Bailey Store

{Handmade} Christmas in July

First off, let me start by saying that I hate the phrase "Christmas in July." I think the first time I ever heard it was a bad Hey Dude episode from my adolescence. I thought it was stupid then, and I still feel the same.

Anyway, every year I promise myself I'll start my holiday projects early; and every year, I'm scrambling at the last minute. So this being the last week in July, I thought there's no better time to round up my favorite projects--some I've done, and others I want to do--as part of my new {Handmade} Christmas in July series. Hopefully it will inspire you (and especially me) to get some projects going early this year. Even if you don't do these projects specifically for the holidays, it's always nice to have some handmade gifts on hand so you're ready for birthdays or baby showers. So stay tuned the rest of the week for simple, fun projects to give (or make for yourself)!

photo here.

Monday, July 27, 2009


While I was in the shower, H found "the stash." While it's apparent that his dietary choices still need some coaching, I do give him points on two counts: 1. He actually used a bowl and 2. He sat at the table. Neither of which has ever happened simultaneously when left to his own devices.

A disclaimer: I actually do feed my child. He is not, in fact, required to fend for himself. This happened when he went back for round two after his initial (healthy, might I add) breakfast. He just couldn't resist the call of those magically delicious little tidbits.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Wishing you a weekend full of sweet treats and lots of time spent with those you love.

I'm planning on making these bad boys with my boys over the weekend. I found the recipe (and this great photo) on the super-great blog Plum Pudding. Give it a read when you have a spare minute. It's a lot of fun.

Besides ice cream sandwiches, our weekend involves some yardwork (which is acutally really exciting for us since we've never had a yard before), a (childless) dinner out with friends, and finishing up the tail-end of unpacking. What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I have to admit, it's been quite some time since I've had a love-at-first-sight experience with an entire Etsy shop. But yesterday's encounter melted my heart faster than an Otter Pop in the summer sun. I'll spare you any more bad popsicle similes, but the new Etsy shop, flapperdoodle is to blame. Artist Kate Gabrielle's drawings make me so happy I want to burst into the Charleston. I can't even begin to pick a try.

{Unlike Eloise, Ramona has mastered the hula hoop}

Oh, and Kate has a blog too...where she shares all the adventures of her flapper girls, along with her newest work. If you like her work as much as I do, you have a few days left to vote for's up for Favorite New Shop in the Etsy Polls.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Babies and Butterflies

Now that Baby Sister has her own room, I'm dying to decorate. I'm nearly positive that this butterfly bedding is The One. And I've been daydreaming of all the fun butterfly things I can do with a girl's room:

There will most definitely be some sweet little butterfly cutouts on the walls. These are from Pottery Barn Kids Room Accessories, and provide a quick alternative to making your own. Although, I assume a diy approach would be pretty simple.

And wouldn't a little cluster of butterfly lanterns be fun dangling over the windowseat?
Image from Martha Stewart

Now, I suppose I should start thinking about names. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

All Stitched Up

I can't even tell you how excited I am about these embroidery downloads that are available on one of my new favorite blogs, A Print a Day. These sweet dresses would make the most darling wall-hanging; and the little teacups are definitely going to make an appearance on some kitchen towels in the near future.

Plus, they'd make great gifts. I'm trying to think ahead this year; I'm pretty certain that life with a newborn won't provide much time for gift-making. Hopefully I'll stumble across my embroidery hoops today!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Family Rooms

As I dig myself out of this mess, I can't help but dream of how things will look once the boxes are gone and everything is put away. For now I've focused my dreaming on the family room; I dug through my family room file for a little inspiration. So here are some family rooms for you to enjoy while I continue unpacking.

So cozy and inviting. One thing nearing the top of my must-buy list: more seating.
photo from House Beautiful

Built-in shelves and clean lines. So pretty.
Photo from House Beautiful

I'm positively swooning over that large, rustic armoire. It's gorgeous.
photo from House Beautiful

I've always been drawn to greens and blues. Here they're used in perfect moderation.
Photo from House Beautiful

These last two rooms are probably the most "me." I adore the yellow cart, but I don't understand the purpose of having the TV behind the seating area.
photo from Country Living

What a fun way to display your flea market finds...without making your room look too antique-y.

photo from Country Living

Hope you have a great Monday. And thanks for all your encouragement with the moving process. So far everything has gone better than I could have imagined. xo.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


We'll be moving into our new home the next few days, and it's proving to be plenty of work.

A few things I've learned so far:
1. People should not just move for fun. There's nothing fun about it.
2. Adhesive shelf paper is the stuff nightmares are made of.
3. Being pregnant while moving is highly frustrating.

A few good things:
1. Our new landladies are fantastic (thus far). When they found out that B is in fact, "Dr. B." that they left some of their father's sweet antique medical books as a housewarming gift.
2. We're definitely making an upgrade here. More space all around and a (small) backyard!
3. The house was built in the 80's, so it's got some fun quirks and little details that will make for some fun decorating.
4. A quick peek over the fence shows kids toys at both neighbor's H will hopefully have some neighborhood kids to play with now. Hooray!

Most likely, I'll be too busy schlepping boxes and setting up our home to come up with any interesting blog material. But I'll see you whenever I get back!

P.S. I feel as though I should apologize for being such an unreliable blogger. This summer has been so much more hectic than I imagined. But things around my blog should return to normal pretty quickly after this move. That is, until the baby comes! :)

Image here, via here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's striped, scalloped, and cute all over?

These chandelier shades!

They're so cute I want to eat them! But I suppose that's no surprise coming from a pregnant lady. :)

I found them in the August issue of House Beautiful.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Black and White

Sometimes I crave the simplicity and boldness of black and white. But I may just be too big a chicken to acutally try it. For now, I'll settle on admiring these rooms from a distance.

I stashed this photo from Sköna hem long ago; everytime I see it my heart skips a beat.

So many fun b+w elements here. From the lamp to the textiles, I think this one's a winner.
photo from House Beautiful

First off, this bedding is gorgeous; but I also love the windows, ceilings and the built-in book cases.
Photo from House Beautiful

Since I'm just a black & white beginer, I think I could scrape together enough courage to try a shiny black handrail on the bannister. Isn't this stunning?
Photo from Sköna hem


I saw this idea in a little shop the other day, and I can't stop thinking about it. A collection of empty frames is a fun alternative to a "traditional" gallery wall. What do you think?

Photo from Country Living

Friday, July 10, 2009

Etsy Friday

It's been a while since my last installment of Etsy Fridays, so here's a new one for you. Just a few minutes spent flipping through the Treasury turned up these beauties:

This bowl would make such a beautiful, understated centerpiece.

I love the softness of the poppy against the metal chain of this necklace.

And of course, we need another brilliant ring to round out the week.

Just because the photo is so pretty, and because these cookies remind me that we're out of snacks for the weekend. Don't they look like they'd just melt in your mouth?

So what are your plans for the weekend? I'll be packing (my favorite) and we're taking another fishing trip to see if we can catch the one that got away. See you Monday!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

How To: Make an Outdoor Wreath

As I see it, there are two types of moms: the wreath type and the no-wreath type. My mom falls into the wreath category. In recent years, I've become her principal wreath-maker. Just in case you or your mom need a custom wreath to hang outside the home, here are some tips:

Step 1: Go flower shopping. Steer clear of any cheap-looking and/or plastic-finish flowers. Definitely not pretty. And pick up plenty of greens to cover the base.
Step 2: Gather your materials: hot glue gun, extra glue, wire cutters, wire, grapevine wreath base, and the cold beverage of your choice. Oh, and if you're working on a table you really care about, I recommend covering it with newspaper before you begin.
Step 3: Start filling in the wreath form with greens. Don't be too picky with this part...just put some hot glue on the end and jam them into the base any which way. I promise, it's not worth stressing over.
Step 4: Cut the flower stems off (all except for 2-3"). I like to stick them in first without glue to make sure my placement looks good. Also, try to avoid creating a repeating pattern; it looks like you tried too hard. After you're happy with the location of the flowers, glue them into place.
Step 5: Fill in any bare spots with extra greenery.
Step 6: I like to throw in some berry sprigs or other little bits for extra dimension. The little sugar-covered berries are always a good choice.
Step 7: Hang the wreath (you may need to attach some wire to the back), sit back and smile as friends and neighbors tell your mom how fab her new wreath looks.

Finally, a tip: when working with hot glue, try to keep your fingers out of the way. If (and when) the molten adhesive touches your bare skin, try to keep all cursing to a whisper so as to not teach the child in the room any bad habits.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Answer Man

Last night, B and I watched Answer Man. It's not even in theaters yet. Did we go to some fancy premier, you ask? Not on your life. Combined, our coolness level isn't near high enough for that sort of thing. But if you're a Comcast subscriber, for about the price of one movie ticket you can enjoy the movie from the comfort of your own couch. Maybe this has been the case forever, but renting not-yet-in-the-theater movies is new to me. And it's pay ten bucks, where you'd spend easily twice that at the theater, you eat your own snacks without the agony of trying to smuggle in a Jamba Juice in waistband of your pants (B, not me), and you don't have to pay for a babysitter. Pretty sweet deal.

And I thought the movie was darn cute on top of it all. It's a romantic comedy, but not your sappy, predictable version. It's refreshingly funny and charming. So watch it tonight...just because you can. Or wait until July 24 and watch it in the theater. And if you need some Jamba-smuggling tips, perhaps I could convince B to do a guest post. :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lace + Cocktail Ring = Perfection

By now, you know how much I love gigantic, vintagey cocktail rings. These babies are the perfect mix of old and new. L.A.-based designer Carlee Santarelli uses vintage lace and fabric, and mounts it under a clear cabochon for this cool, magnified effect. Isn't this the perfect piece to add a little interest to an outfit? Plus, each ring is handmade--so you can feel extra-good about supporting an independent designer.

Photo from polyvore

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Trip to Grandma & Grandpa's

Besides our fishing trip to the lake, here are some more photos from our trip. Little H had such a great time with his grandparents, his uncles and his aunt. It was so good to have some time with my family. By the time we left, I was truly overwhelmed by the love I have for my family. And just in case you're wondering about some of these photos, here's a little info:

1. H was an incredible candy collector at the parade this year. He even ran in front of a Howitzer to snag some saltwater taffy. That's my boy!
2. I got all teary-eyed when I saw my boy stand with his hand over his heart as the flag passed.
3. He was so excited about his blue snow cone. It was his turn to get all teary-eyed when I dropped it on the grass. It was promptly replaced with a red snow cone.
4. H helped Uncle D get the lawn ready for the weekend.
5. One of my favorite parts of the 4th of July is the Children's Parade. H's Aunt R helped him decorate his wagon, but he insisted that he be pulled by nobody other than Uncle T.
6. One thing about Mr. H: he has very sensitive ears. He's always hated fireworks because they're so loud. Good thing Grandpa had some gun-shooting earphones...they saved the day, and H could enjoy fireworks with the rest of us.
7. Slip-n-slide in the back yard. I even tried a time or two, but Little Sister wasn't very happy with me.
8. H enjoyed every moment of the bounce houses set up at the City Park.
9. He even took a head-on approach to the princess slide, so it wouldn't seem too girly.
10. Watching the parade with my Buddy.
11. There's those sensitive ears again. H had some issues with all the fire trucks and sirens as they passed during the parade.
12. My dad always puts on a great fireworks show. Also note the blow torch in his back pocket. This guy means business.

Well, that's enough of my vacation. I'll be back tomorrow with some pretty things.

We're Back

We made it back from our trip last night. It's hard to believe all the great stuff we did in two weeks! It is good to be back, though. So today, the task at hand is trying to get things back to normal around here before we move. While I work on that, here are some pictures of how we kicked off our vacation.

What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy 4th!

I've been a horrible blogger lately. Not to mention, that I've neglected so many of my blog friends. I miss you all, and I can't wait to see what you've bee up to lately. So thanks for hanging in there with me the last few days. I'm taking the rest of the week off just to chill with my folks and enjoy our last few days together. Plus, we'll be pretty busy for the rest of the week: two parades to watch, lots of cooking and a barbecue, fireworks to do (legal and otherwise), and a class reunion to attend. I'll be back next week with some fun stuff and pictures from my trip. Have a Happy 4th!

These pictures are from last year's celebration...pretty similar to what we'll be doing this year.

What are your plans for the weekend?