November 12, 2012 § 2 Comments
Sophie had the day off today to mark Veteran’s Day. We went to lunch with my friend Stacy and her girls, and then we spent a little time getting lost in Ben Franklin Crafts – fun! I wanted to make it Sophie’s day – our special time together – so this afternoon, we made a new bulletin board from her room with some pretty aqua chevron fabric I picked up. I am in love with chevron stripes and was excited to add some to Soph’s room. It is easy to make a custom bulletin board of any size using fabric, a staple gun and an art canvas. We took a huge canvas we already had, covered it with the fabric, wrapping it tightly as we stapled it along the back side. For this board, I wanted a clean and simple look so I trimmed it out using decorative silver nails along the edges. Sophie is so happy with her new board and is already happily pinning up her treasures.
There are so many easy-to-make and lovely bulletin board ideas online. I’ve added a few to my Pinterest page in case anyone out there needs some inspiration. Craft on!
October 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
Well Halloween is almost here, and the annual ghosties have appeared on our front porch. I have made these clever squash ghosts with my girls every year since they were little using white paint and Sharpies. We look forward to it and have fun picking the sizes and shapes of our squash (the largest for Mom, middle for Bella, and smallest for Sophie) and deciding on the faces we’ll draw. It’s our favorite Halloween crafting tradition. Boo!
October 16, 2012 § 4 Comments
I am trying out some new Halloween projects this year, and here’s one of them. Such an easy craft, I spray painted a pumpkin with chalkboard paint, embellished with black ribbon and a spooky bird, and wrote my message with a chalkboard pen. This cool countdown-to-Halloween pumpkin is going to look perfect on my front porch!
October 8, 2012 § 2 Comments
I don’t know how it went so fast but another year has flown by, and I’m back around to the start of my absolutely favorite time of year and crafting season. From Halloween to Christmas, I’m full of project ideas and in the perfect mood to curl up in my house cozy and crafting. This time last year my friend Stacy and I began our obsession with making banners, and we started with our awesome Trick or Treat Halloween banner. Stacy even inspired a few more of her friends to join in, and she hosted a craft night for them a couple of weeks ago. We both had fun coaching but, of course, needed our own new project to tackle.
This BOO sign idea was at our Ben Franklin Crafts store. We “Modge Podged” Halloween papers on each of three wooden plaques and stained the rims of the plaques black by sponging on stamping ink. We used more Modge Podge (I love this stuff!) to attach the die cut letters and seal the top, and then we hot-glued on some cool embellishments. Getting the plaques – strung together with ribbon – to hang straight down is a little tricky, but the finished project is the perfect size for a door. The creative wheels are spinning, and I’ve got several more fun Halloween projects in mind (not to mention a Greek Goddess and a Cindy Lou Who costume to work on for my girlies). Now I just need to carve out a bit of time from my busy life to get busy crafting, and I’ll be a happy girl!
September 13, 2012 § 3 Comments
With my girls back in school, I’m starting to find more time for myself and am happy to be able to craft. Last week I visited one of my favorite stores, Ben Franklin Crafts, to scout out the cool new supplies that had filled the shelves over the summer. The most noticeable addition was washi tape, something that was already on my radar but that I can never have enough of. Washi tape is made of Japanese paper and is similar to masking tape, but much more beautiful. I’ve been using it for a while to embellish cards and tags and to pretty up wrapped packages. I love stacking a few tapes, like layers of a cake, to decorate a birthday card or cutting smaller pieces into little flags. Washi tape used to be hard to find but now it’s everywhere, so try some the next time you need a little crafting pick me up. These tiny tapes make a big impact.
July 19, 2012 § 1 Comment
On vacation, I spent some time with my latest find in the self-help department, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, reminding me why these types of books are so valuable. I’ve always been the kind of person who can’t turn my brain off (I even cheat at yoga: when you’re supposed to be clearing your mind and renewing your spirit, I’m making mental to-do lists). As a lifelong over-thinker, over-analyzer and worrier it’s important that I work to find my happiness along the way. I first took notice of these happy books and thoughts in my twenties; fresh out of college and overwhelmed by the demands of life, I stumbled upon Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. It literally changed me overnight – things seemed easier when I focused on the important things and counted my blessings. Amazed by the fact that such a small book – that I picked up on a whim – would have such a lasting effect on my outlook, I began to focus on the joys in my life and try to keep the negative to a minimum.
Over the years, I’ve looked to similar books for a fresh perspective and to remind myself of what truly matters. I spent a year with the book Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, reading the once-a-day essays with great results; I still pull it out from time to time to read the day’s entry and can always find something to apply to my life. Although I’ve honestly only read a couple of pages, just researching, talking with friends about and buying Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret was helpful to me; I think believing that there could be a secret to happiness and fulfillment in life made me feel happier and more fulfilled – strange, huh?
My most recent addition, The Happiness Project, tells the story of one woman’s journey to find the joy in her life and live in a more appreciative way. Her struggle resonated with me, and I realize I’ve been on a similar quest for most of my adult life. It’s the path that has led me to this blog and to taking note of the little things that make my life worthwhile. It’s my love of writing and crafting and decorating and clothes and cooking and parties and family and friends and traveling – it’s all the pieces and parts of my life that I love, that make me happy and that make me: me. Life is a long and winding road, but finding the joy – anyway you can – makes the journey so much sweeter.
June 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
Like I’m not crazy busy with a million little things already: school finally wrapping up, my Sophie’s birthday luau on Sunday, dance recitals, teachers’ gifts, etc – but for some reason, once I got this latest craft idea into my head, I couldn’t let it go. So for the last couple of nights, I’ve stayed up late putting together Summer 2012 notebooks for all the kiddos in my life. I found the blank books at Ben Franklin and “Modge Podged” on some great summer-colored papers. I used the Cubicle 12×12 Take Note paper from Studio Calico, stamped with my title, for the covers. They were so simple and, once I got going, I was able to put them together quickly assembly line-style. Now they look perfect, wrapped up in baker’s twine and ready to be given away.
I always loved blank books and journals when I was a little girl and, even today, a new notebook gets me giddy – I always keep a couple in my purse for when inspiration strikes. I am happy knowing that the little ones in our life (my girls and all their friends) will have their own special books to document this summer. Life moves fast, and I don’t want them to forget a moment.
June 5, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’ve been busy around here finishing up the invites for our next birthday party: a luau for Sophie’s 8th. The invitations are my favorite part of putting together a party, and this invite idea began with me trying to make mini leis using baker’s twine and some paper flowers. They were pretty, but I couldn’t quite pull the look together so I ended up stringing the flowers across the top with the twine and secured a couple more with jeweled brads at the bottom. Beautiful coordinating papers I found from the Ambrosia line by Bo Bunny tied in perfectly with the party’s Hawaiian colors.
As usual for her parties, Sophie had a definite opinion on the invitation’s design and especially the wording. After several tries, together we came up with our sweet little poem, and now she can’t stop reciting it. We are getting excited for our little sister’s big day. I’m having fun planning for the delicious food, perfect party favors and even a hula lesson. And as for the decorations, I’ve got a great idea for a new banner and a some cool arrangements with paper flowers and lanterns that I’ve seen on Pinterest – I can’t wait to see how it all comes together. The anticipation is so much fun!
May 25, 2012 § 2 Comments
With the long weekend, it officially feels like summer around here. Ever since our Halloween banner project, my friend Stacy and I have been in production mode making banners for most of the holidays. And just when I was beginning to get tired of repeating the same design, my favorite craft store Ben Franklin got in fresh supplies. In addition to their other banner-making embellishments, Paper Accents is now selling extra-large chipboard pennants and, as is usually the case at my Ben Franklin, one of the employees had made a sample inspiring me to try my own. I combined some pretty blue and yellow papers and buttons from My Mind’s Eye and made flags to string across the top from my collection of Washi tape. I love the results: a cool new banner for the front door to welcome guests – and summer – to our house.
May 19, 2012 § 1 Comment
I love glass – all types: mercury, milk, clear – and have it displayed throughout my home. Now I’ve discovered glassybaby, and their story has inspired me to expand my collection. In 1998, Lee Rhodes was battling cancer when she designed the first glassybaby. Lighting and displaying these colorful, resilient little works of art around her home brought Rhodes strength. Each one is unique and handmade by four glassblowers; the color choices are vast and can be soothing or vibrant. The company’s studio is located in the Seattle neighborhood of Madrona and, besides three Seattle-area locations, there is a store in New York’s West Village. From her difficult battle with cancer, Lee Rhodes found a light to help her through and has shared it with the world. Since 2003, glassybaby has donated more than $900,000 to charities. I love thinking about how something so simple can affect so many. It makes me happy to add a little bit of glassybaby to my world.