Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jewelry Board

If you heard the stories my husband could tell from our courtship, you would laugh and I would turn red. I'm lucky he's so patient; I really put him through the wringer. Not only is he patient, but he's very generous, AND he has good taste in jewelry. When we were dating, my husband gave me a gorgeous cameo for my birthday, sapphire earrings and a necklace for Valentine's day, and a really, really amazing engagement ring--all of which he picked out himself without help. On our honeymoon, he bought me a pearl necklace. On our first annivesary, he bought me some pearl earrings. Another birthday brought me a pair of emerald earrings set in white gold filigree, and another brought me a pair of smoky quartz. My favorite piece of jewelry from my husband is a Lisa Leonard necklace with the names of our children stamped in slender silver rectangles that he gave me two days before our second daughter was born.

But enough bragging! As you can imagine, I have a lot of jewelry, and only one small, over-burdened jewelry box in which to keep it. After the holidays, I decided that one of my first projects of the new year would be a framed piece of pegboard on which I could hang necklaces, bracelets, and dangley earring. It has taken a few months of trial and error, but it is finally done! My Valentine's Day gift this year was a lovely, distressed gold 22x22" picture frame. It was absolutely perfect when I got it, so it didn't need any modifications. The pegboard was another story. I didn't want the bare particle board, but I tried painting it white and that looked awful too. I ended up spraying the rough side with a turquoise spray paint, and then whitewashing it after it dried. I just took some old, white interior paint, watered it down a lot, applied it with a cheap sponge brush, and then gently rubbed it off with a rag. All of the earrings on wires go directly in the holes, and the necklaces and bracelets will go on pretty hooks (if and when I find them). For now, the necklaces are hanging off of wooden pegs that I painted "Metallic Champagne." Now my jewelry box can breathe again, and I finally have something hanging on that wall!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Fabric Flowers, 3 Ways

Is it just me, or are fabric flowers all the rage right now? From bunting to jewelry to embellished sweaters and tees, fabric flowers are the decoration du jour. If you are the crafty type--or if you, like me, are on a budget this year--why not try your hand at making some.

**FYI--I made all of these flowers while watching TV. Probably CSI: Miami, but I can't be positive.

Type 1: The Rolled Rosette

I made these quick and easy blossoms following THIS great tutorial from Made By The Mama Monster. Here are my thoughts:
--cute and whimsical
--very easy, very quick
--requires almost no skill and no sewing whatsoever
--held together with hot glue
--the hot glue is really hard to hide (or maybe I just need to practice more!)

Type 2: The Frayed Flower

This was my first foray into fabric flower creation. I followed THIS tutorial from Maize in Montana. Thoughts:
--very pretty and pretty easy
--requires hand sewing, but the hand sewing is easy
--no hot glue at all, so your flower won't fall apart on a hot day!

Type 3: The Hand-Cut, Hand-Stitched Petals

This third type of flower takes the most time, but they are soooooo pretty. Really, really pretty. Kind of the Grande Dame of fabric flowers. I followed THIS tutorial by Michonne for 100 Layer Cake.
--obviously, absolutely beautiful results
--lots of hand sewing, with a little hot glue just at the very end
--each petal is hand-cut and hand-stitched, but there isn't anything particularly hard about making these
--unlike the other two types, these can look vastly different from each other

So there's my little review in a nutshell! Go buy some fabric, find a good show on TV, and make a few lovely accessories for yourself! I'd love to see your results!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Blog It Forward: What inspires me?

Finally, the long-awaited day has arrived! I'm so excited that it is finally my turn to participate in the Blog It Forward Mash-Up. Welcome to those of you who hopped over from Making It Lovely--who posted yesterday--or from one of my fellow 3/12/2010 posters: Beauty Designed, Once Upon a Chai Tea Latte, Coeur de La, Red Bird Style, Every Little Wonder, Sparker!, JetKat Design, The Penny Has Dropped, and Whitney English.

I originally had this great idea to show you pictures of things that had inspired me to make something or do something specific, and the end results of those projects, kind of an "Inspiration: Start to Finish" kind of thing. But I haven't finished any of the projects! Woe is me!

So instead, I will do as those before me have done. Here are a few things that inspire me (in no particular order):


{I don't know where I got this! If you do, let me know!}

{from lovely little handmades}

{from the August 2009 issue of Teen Vogue}

{collage courtesy of Smitten--the blog; click here to see individual photo credits}


notably absent--either because I don't own a copy or because my copy is loaned out:
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (I read it when I was in junior high and will love it forever)
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (worlds better than Atlas Shrugged)
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (one of the few books I've read more than once)
Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

I don't often put pictures of family up here because I like to keep things private. But they inspire me in countless ways. If you're reading this Family, I love you!

{this was supposed to be our Christmas card picture}


{mississippi mud cake}

{red velvet cupcakes}

{lemon yogurt cake}

{cinnamon buns}

{caprese salad; the only one of these recipes I didn't make, but it was so lovely I had to include it}

{lemon blueberry cheesecake with cornmeal crumble crust}

{double dark chocolate cherry cookies}

{pina colada cake}

{honey beescotti}

{candied orange peel}

{sticky buns}

{chocolate cupcakes}

{all photos are my own unless otherwise noted}

Thanks again for stopping by, and please visit Megan Charland's amazing art blog tomorrow to see what inspires her. Goooooooooo Megan!

**And if you want to know what any of the recipes are for those foods, just click on the name!**

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Crafty Girl's Summer Camp

So I shamelessly stole this idea from someone else. But not someone in my town, so I feel like it is OK. And I'm beyond excited about it--and have been for over 6 months now! Drum roll please...............

What: The Crafty Girl's Summer Camp--a 1 week day camp full of fun and crafts
Who: 12 girls ages 8 to 11
When: Monday, June 21st through Friday, June 25th; from 10:00 AM to noon each day
Where: my house
How much: $45; this covers all supplies
How do we sign up: Leave a comment at the end of this post with your daughter's first name, your first name, and your email address. I'm pretty sure no strangers are going to be signing their children up, so I'll know who you are. I will email you specifics after that. If you are interested in signing up, but there are already 12 girls before you, go ahead and leave a comment anyway; you never know when someone is going to cancel. Money will be due June 1st.

Day 1: Monogram Madness!
-monogrammed canvas tote bag
-monogrammed stationery set

Day 2: Sew Sweet!
-mason jar sewing kit
-embroidered lavender sachet

{photo from marthastewart.com}

Day 3: Bath & Body Bliss!
-handcrafted soaps
-lip gloss

{photo from marthastewart.com}

Day 4: Amazing Accessories!
-flower hair clip/headband
-bangle bag

Day 5: I've Been Framed!
-framed jewelry board
-beaded bracelet

I honestly have no idea how sign-ups are going to go. If way more people want to do it than I can handle at one time, I might schedule another session in July or August.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Read Across America and Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Did you know that today is Read Across America Day? March 2nd is Dr. Seuss' birthday, and the National Education Association celebrates it every year with its Read Across America program. To celebrate their celebration, here's a list of some of our favorite childrens' books!

If I Ran the Circus by Dr. Seuss

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell

I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

George and Martha by James Marshall

Thank You Bear by Greg Foley

Jamberry by Bruce Degen

How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers

I Took the Moon for a Walk by Carolyn Curtis

What are some of your favorites?