Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Patriotic Burlap Wreath

Last week I decided to make a Patriotic wreath for our door. I wanted to share it tonight since we are creeping up on the 4th of July! I challenged myself to use only what I already had on hand, with the exception of the flags.

This is a rough image of what I used but here's an actual supply list:
- wreath form (I used a wreath I had wrapped in burlap for a different project years ago)
- card stock- white and blue
- red letter stickers
- Silhouette machine 
- twine
- 2 flags

I used the Silhouette to cut out the pennants in white and blue cardstock. I used my red stickers to spell out "USA"

I used the twine to thread the pennants together and I tied each end around the wreath. I stuck two flags on the right side and hung it on the door!

This was a super quick and easy project. If I had more of a budget for this project I would've added more but I'm happy with it's simplicity!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Custom Hoop for the Handmade Gift Exchange- Summer 2015

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Earlier this month I shared the Handmade Gift Exchange with you....HERE. After being paired up with someone, we asked each other some questions and then I got creating!
I knew from the start that I would be making a custom hoop for my partner. I just needed to know her favorite quote or verse and her favorite colors.

Based on my partner's likes, I created this hoop...

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I love the look that the ombre thread gave this circular border. I used a solid brown for the writing so it was more legible. I had a lot of fun trying new things on this hoop. I wrapped the outer hoop in ribbon and I think it adds a nice touch.

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I also finished the back of the hoop by adding a fresh non-stitched piece of fabric to the back and then I trimmed the edges. I love the finished look it has now, you can't see my stitching at all. 

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I applied a lot of the tips and tricks from Abbey's Embroidery Tips and Tricks post

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Bring Your Own Craft

Last night I hosted a "bring your own craft" night. It was so much fun!

I wanted to share the idea because it's super easy to host, I just threw out some snacks and gathered supplies for my craft. Everyone else showed up with their own craft in mind and supplies in hand (plus other yummy snacks)!

I set up in the dining room with a card table to house the Silhouette.

Erin worked on moss topiaries...

Kara colored letters for her boys' room...

Allie cut vinyl for gifts...

I worked on a wreath (separate post coming soon)...

I can't wait to host another one soon! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

"Where is your bathroom?"

At our new house....there are two hallways, each with a mystery door. A common question from anyone visiting is "Where is your bathroom?" Even people who have been over before often walk into our pantry thinking it's the bathroom. I have been on the hunt for a sign for the bathroom door for a month or so now (another thing I was really motivated to do after our trip to Jayme's house). I finally found one on Amazon that says "toilette"-- which is French and fancy :)

My hope is that people will now find the bathroom a little easier :) 
Check it out from both angles (I know it's not legible here but it's easier in person)

I kept it real with our normal entry way chaos. I love that I can't see the chaos from the living room, a perk of the hallway. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Mint Colander- Succulent Planter

As mentioned in my last post, we had a fun weekend with my family and family friends a few weekends ago. The Collins family hosted and I came home so refreshed and motivated to decorate and create.

The Price/Collins/Nail Family Weekend

During a tour of the Collins' home I fell in love with their dining room... I snapped a pic of their hutch... Like the crazy blogger I am! I noticed the adorable row of succulents in colanders. When I complimented  them,  I found they were our welcome gifts! I freaked out!

Isn't this the most beautiful hutch ever? I want to move in!

How cute are they?! Jayme found the little colanders at World Market and put artificial succulents in them with an adorable little tag!
The cutest Welcome gift EVER

Along with a ton of other yummy dishes, we had these adorable pies in mason jars. I can't wait to try to make these myself!

My colander is currently on my buffet in our dining room but I'm itching to find a home for it in the kitchen so I will see it more!

If you're reading this- Jayme, thank you for my adorable colander and the inspiration to create and decorate!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Decor Additions

Truthfully, my home is never "complete". It is constantly changing and evolving. There are times where I want to share those small changes but they don't seem to warrant a blog post... But I'm doing it anyways! First up, I've hung up a flag over our breakfast nook! In honor of Flag Day and Indepedence Day!

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A few weekends ago we had a super fun weekend with family and friends... We went to a local Vintage Village where I found this magazine rack. I am using it for Noah's books in the living room! I really like the dimension it brings to the space while being functional!

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Here we are at the Vintage Village...
Mom, Me, Abbey, and Jayme

On the way to our family and friends weekend, we stopped at a yardsale where I found this adorable vintage fan! It found a home on our mantle!

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Here's a peak of a normal afternoon at our house... Ellen on the TV while Noah plays and I clean or prep for dinner!

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Hope you have a great week!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hand Embroidery Tips and Tricks- Guest Post by Abbey

Happy Sunday! I hope you've had an amazing weekend! Back in March, I posted about my obsession with embroidery hoops. (One of my newer hoops is shown above- a gift for my mom!) My lifelong friend, Abbey, helped light that fire under me and I have not stopped hand embroidering since! I've asked Abbey to write a guest post to share her tips and tricks with us...enjoy!
Hello Everyone!  My name is Abbey, and Katie and I have been friends for a good long time.
Seriously, y’all.  I can’t remember not knowing Katie and her wonderful family.

Katie and I have always had a love for crafting.  A while back, Katie and I got together to craft and ended up with some pretty cool embroidery’ve probably seen them here on her blog!

Katie asked me to write a blog post to explain some of the tips and tricks I shared with her that day.  Some of these I learned from my Mama way back in the day.  Others I learned from a friend of mine who taught a “Life Skills” class, which I took over teaching last year.  Yes, I teach crazy high school kids embroidery and sewing (and acting, singing, and dancing, but that’s beside the point).  I think kids need to work more with their hands; there are some good lessons to be learned by sitting still, working continuously, and keeping things neat.

ANYwho.  I’ll start with some basic questions that a prospective embroiderer (is that a word?) might have and do my best to answer them.  I am by no means a sewing expert, these are just some things I’ve learned along the way!

What do I need?
Tools of the trade.

Embroidery needles--these are a little different from regular hand-sewing needles.  They have a longer/larger eye so that you can get the embroidery floss through.
Embroidery floss/thread--I first started using these brightly colored rope bundles to make friendship bracelets as a kid.  It really is like rope--the strand in the skein is actually six individual threads twisted together.  I use two of those threads to thread my needle.  I double and knot those two, so when I’m embroidering I get a thickness of four strands.  You could experiment with using more strands to get a thicker line, but the more threads you use, the harder it is to thread the needle.
Fabric--Katie has had some really great results with drop cloth fabric.  You can really use any fabric, but I would suggest something a little weighty (you don’t want to be able to see the threads in the back) and either a solid color or a very subtle pattern.  You want your stitches to stand out against the background.
Embroidery hoop--these can be purchased at any craft store.  You can use a plastic one to embroider and then transfer your work to a pretty wooden one to hang/give, or you can just work right in a wooden hoop.  I love it when something functional is also pretty.

How do I get the image I want onto the fabric?

If you have a wash-out pencil and you’re really confident in your drawing/writing abilities, you can just draw what you want onto the fabric and embroider over it.  Personally, that option always makes me nervous because I usually need to make several drafts of something before I am satisfied with it.  Also, I don’t want to have to wash the embroidery afterward.  I have enough laundry, thanks.
I used the pencil on fabric technique on a quilt I made for my nephew.  I liked that it definitely looks like my handwriting, but the spacing is a little off.

My teacher friend taught me the tissue paper trick, which I LOVE and highly recommend.  All you do is draw or trace your design onto tissue paper, pin the tissue to your fabric, and sew through the paper.  Once you’re done, you just gently rip the tissue paper off your project.  I also love this method because you can print images/script that you like and trace them onto the tissue paper. 

Tissue paper trick is the best.  The spacing between the lines is a little off, here, but I can easily cut the tissue paper after I finish the first line and shift the bottom up if I want to be persnickety about it.  Also, I went off the grid a bit on the tail of that “d”...but I won’t have to wash the project to get rid of the line that was.  Awesome.

How do I do the stitches?
There are several online tutorials you can use to learn the various stitches used in embroidery.  My favorites are the backstitch (used to make solid lines) and the french knot (which make cute little dots).  Some other common stitches are the satin stitch (used to “fill in” large areas) and the lazy daisy (makes teardrop/petal shapes.)  If you’re just starting and want a quick project, I would choose designs that don’t require a satin stitch.  It’s not difficult, but it’s very time consuming and can get monotonous.  And it’s one of those things that if you get lazy with it, it can start to look really messy.  Play around with different stitches and find what you like!

Any other tips?
When you’re stitching, the main thing to keep in mind is to keep the stitches consistent.  They don’t have to be miniscule--you want to be able to see them and you don’t want your project to take forever to finish.  About ⅛-¼ inch is a decent length for a stitch.  Again, you can experiment with this to give your work different qualities.  Small, consistent stitches will look more clean and polished.  Larger, sometimes inconsistent stitches can look rustic and whimsical.  It just depends on what you want.
Don’t cut off too much thread.  If you’re trying to sew with yards of thread hanging off your needle, it’s going to get tangled and you’re going to get frustrated.  I get a good working length by using the length of my arm.  I take the whole “rope” of embroidery floss, cut it the length of my arm, then separate two strands, thread the needle, double it and knot it at the end.  This works a lot better for me than trying to separate two threads while it’s attached to the skein.  The floss doesn’t tangle as much, and you already have your next two working lengths pre-cut.  Win-Win.
Especially if you’re planning to give your work away, keep the back neat.  I was always taught that really good sewing looks as good on the “wrong side” as it does on the “right side.”  Now, I know that my sewing never quite matches that standard, but you also don’t want the back to be a big ole mess.  Take your time with it and don’t be afraid to make a knot on the back, cut your needle off, and start fresh.  You will probably have more than enough embroidery floss to finish whatever you’re doing.

So!  I hope that helps any embroidery enthusiasts out there!  Little projects like this are really fun and not terribly time-consuming, which is a big plus for me.  I also love adding buttons or bits of fabric to a project, or sewing something unexpected.  Have fun with it!  The more you play with it, the better you’ll get. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Thrifted Guest Room Curtains

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Last Friday my brother was in town and we visited one of my favorite thrift stores, Guardian Angel Thrift. I love digging through the linens for fabric or curtains to reuse. I stumbled upon 3 sets of mint green curtains that were $4 a panel.

I immediately thought of our guest room. This is the "before curtain" pic of this room...

Check out the curtains in this space...

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I think they go perfectly with the color scheme of this space. Since the bed is perfectly wedged in between the two windows, I decided to just use one panel per window. I think they work well this way.

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They are bright and airy and they don't block the sunlight from coming in, and I love that! I also love the amazing price I paid! Only $8 for such a nice change to the space.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Handmade Gift Exchange with Craftaholics Anonymous-- it's sign up time!

I am so so excited to be participating in the Handmade Gift Exchange again this year! Craftaholics Anonymous has been hosting this for years! I have participated twice before but it has been a few years! You can read about my first gifts HERE and HERE.....and the second time HERE.

Gifts i've received on the top and gifts i've given on the bottom

Sign ups are going on now through the 7th and partners are assigned on the 8th! Then you have til the end of June to send a gift to your partner! They will send you one back! Even if it's a simple gift, it's still a great experience! I can't wait to meet my partner and create their gift!