Archive | August, 2010

a little bit of this and that

We’ll call this post a hodgepodge of my thoughts and observations, some cute pictures of my kids, answers to a couple of questions and a new button.

First up, my kids:

Audrey-girl can now sit up.

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Ryan says she looks like she has a garter belt on her head. Don’t worry, she doesn’t.

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It makes me happy that 1. my kids like to be together and 2. they like craft projects.

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{and for good measure} 3. that #3 carries a sword with him at all times.

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Oh, no, baby girl. Those are not for you!

I also like that they like books.

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I have a red horse on my desk and it makes me smile.

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Here is how it got that way:

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Easy. Weird. But I like it. And my kids didn’t play with it anyway so now it is mine.

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I’m not sure how they’ve missed it, but we put a gigantic ship ladder in our living room and the boy’s haven’t tried to climb it. Yet.

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I hung my book page wreath on the front door and it’s covered in little fruit flies.

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See those little black things? Eewww. I don’t like fruit flies. And I don’t understand why they are nesting on my book page wreath.  Every time I open the front door, a few make their way into our house and I definitely don’t like that.

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A few of you asked questions about Audrey’s room.

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The striped fabric is actually a Potterybarn bedskirt that I purchased on ebay for $12.  I cut it up to make the crib skirt and used the extra fabric to make a pillow & cover the lampshade.

The yellow flower is literally bunched up silk with some stitches in the back to hold it together.

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The ‘wallpaper’ is flat gift wrap from Caskata. I applied wallpaper paste to the back side of the paper with a paint roller, then pressed it onto the walls.  The pattern does not repeat perfectly, so you can see where one sheet ends and the next begins, but only if you look hard enough.  What is it with me and fake wallpaper? One of these days I’ll use the real stuff.

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I made the bumper using linen curtains from ikea. The sheet is a yard of fabric tucked under the mattress. It is Patricia Bravo French Riviera Damask in slate, but I can’t seem to find it on the internet, so maybe it is discontinued. That would be a tragedy because it is lovely fabric. I didn’t notice the little crowns on it at first, but I love their subtlety – especially since Audrey’s name means ‘Noble Ruler’.

And the rug.

You’ve seen it here:

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here:

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and if you go way back, here:

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Now, it is here:

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Clearly, I like the rug. It is from here.

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And just to round out the randomness that is this post, I’ll get serious on you for a minute.

The post I wrote yesterday was a big step for me. It is hard to write so openly about your faith – basically giving anyone the opportunity to bash you or boycott you.  But I knew it was what I needed to write and I am so thankful that it seemed to be something you needed to hear!  I am so appreciative of your encouragement through comments and emails – it just reminds me that what I’m doing and saying is making an impact, however small or large it may be.

I created a button to add to my sidebar as a reminder to simply be the girl I was created to be.  If you’d like to join me, you are welcome to add it to your blog as well.  You can either link it back to the original post, or not.

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We can have our own little ‘twirl’ club. Except, of course, everyone is welcome!

{copy & paste the code to your website}

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twirl

It was so fun to post new photos of Audrey’s nursery last Friday and you all said some very kind things about it. Thank you!

But the best part for me was that many of you were somehow impacted by the scripture in her room.  For some, it is your favorite verse. For others, it meant something special to you at that particular moment. I love how God’s word can do that : it is living and can speak different things to different people right when you need it most.

So today, I want to share with you why I chose that verse to be Audrey’s.  It is sort of a round-about story and this may go all over the place, but I’ll give it a shot.  Here it goes :

When I was pregnant with our No.1, I read Wild At Heart, by John Eldredge.  I think deep down I knew I was going to have a boy and so I wanted to learn a little more about how they are made and prepare myself for raising a son {as a side: you should read it whether you have boys or not : it’s a great book about manhood}.

When I was pregnant with No.2, I read Captivating, by John’s wife, Stasi.  Perhaps I read it because I thought I was having a girl {which, clearly, I was not}, or maybe it was just because I loved Wild At Heart so much, but truthfully, it didn’t have the same impact. Good, but not great.

Skip forward a few years {in between No.3 & No.4}.  I was at our Ladies’ bible study during worship time and had the sweetest picture dance across my closed eyes.  I saw a little girl, with the sun shining down on her, spinning.

She wore a light dress and with her arms outstretched and her face looking to the sky, she just twirled.

And what I heard in my heart was, “Emily, you’re my girl. I am so pleased with who you are and now I want you to twirl”.

It seemed so strange – twirl? What does that mean?

But because of the book I had read a few years before, I knew.

Stasi Eldredge wrote about little girls who stand on the coffee table and spin while their daddies watch them, adoringly.  That desire to be adored by our dads is ingrained in us from such an early stage.  We want to be beautiful, cherished, captivating.  We twirl without a care, simply because we feel lovely and we want the world {or our daddy!} to see us.

So that Thursday morning, in the middle of bible study, I knew what the Lord was trying to say. He wanted me to know that just as that little girl spins freely in front of her daddy, I, too, can twirl without inhibitions before my Heavenly Father.

I am His girl.

He is delighted in me.

Not because I am great at twirling, but because I am twirling.  I am just being His daughter, His girl and He is pleased.

When I was pregnant with Audrey, I was, again, at bible study when the word DELIGHT came to my mind.  I looked up the word in the concordance of my bible {that back section where it tells what word is found in what scripture verse} and came to Zephaniah 3:17:

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I had read the verse before, but I read it this time with fresh eyes.

He will take great delight in you : He will rejoice over you with singing.

Well, no wonder He wants me to twirl, I thought. It’s because He is the one doing the singing!

Do you see it? Do you see that He loves you SO much that He sings over you?

In a society where we are never good enough, never pretty enough or thin enough or stylish or creative or talented enough, the Lord says,

STOP. I am with you. I am MIGHTY. Strong enough to save you from whatever it is that is after you. Let me quiet you with my love. Will you listen to my sweet voice as I sing my songs of delight over you? You are just as I want you to be. Now be free.

And twirl.

This is such a deep truth that I want for myself and one that I want for my daughter.  I want her to know that above all else, she is perfectly and wonderfully made. She doesn’t need to strive for her God’s love. She doesn’t need to hide from her God’s love. She just needs to accept it.

And twirl.

And so, that is why I chose that verse for my baby girl. And I pray it for you as well.  It is hard being a woman – we feel so many pressures to be what we are not and far too many of us struggle with insecurity.  Oh how we long to be free! How wonderful would it feel to put on our best twirling skirt and dance – and feel beautiful doing it!  I know it is hard and sounds so lofty, but it is what I believe we are to do as daughters of the Most High God. Surely, if He can sing over us, we can step out and dance.

Perhaps even twirl.

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audrey’s nursery – part two

I really loved the way the nursery turned out :

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: but it didn’t quite feel finished.

Granted, I still needed a chandelier and was looking for the perfect rug to fill in that gaping space on the floor.  I loved it, but something about it bothered me.

So yesterday, in a spurt of sudden inspiration, I made some changes.

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This room has strange dimensions with those poorly placed three little windows throwing the whole thing off.  By moving the bed to the center of the room and placing the dresser under the windows, I think they make a little more sense.

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I bought this sweet paper last weekend not really sure of where I’d put it:

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But it has all sorts of sweet treats and my baby girl is pretty sweet, so seemed fitting to add it to her room.

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And because of the touch of golden yellow in the print, I decided the room could use a little touch of golden yellow as well {in the form of a fabric bunched-up flower pinned to the pillow}

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It works well with the gold frames, the wallpaper and old painted chair

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I have been trying to decide how to put Audrey’s scripture verse over her crib.  I wanted it to be it’s own piece of art {not directly painted on the wall}, but I also didn’t want it to be something heavy that could potentially fall on her in the middle of the night.

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So I embroidered her verse in a piece of {what else?} IKEA curtain fabric and mounted it to foam core {with some upholstery tacks added for fun}.  I think it does the trick.

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Oh, husband, how I love you for hanging this chandelier.

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with a little glittery bird clipped on.

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So there’s the room as of today.

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I think I like this version.

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a few of my favorite {blogs}

I love reading blogs. I love witty writing and gorgeous photos and sweet personal reflections. I love seeing real life homes and magazine-worthy homes and over-the-top party ideas.  I love how each blogger can make her space unique and infuse such personality into a virtual speck of zeros and ones that is the internet.

I often times find myself so intrigued by a blog and so inspired by ideas seen elsewhere that I have to consciously remind myself to step away from the computer.

I’m sure you all have a list of your favorite blogs, but today I thought I’d share a few of mine with you.  The keyword being few {my complete list would surely overwhelm you as I am adding to it every day!}

So here they are in no particular order {click on the image for links}:

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seleta-about

KEVLAYLOVE

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nester

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inspired room

about

fave

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See what I mean? And this is truly only a few!

I hope I’ve totally distracted you from your real responsibilities today :

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my first guest post {and a photo}

It’s a fun day for me : I’m the creative guest at

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If you are visiting here from Ucreate, welcome!  Have a look around : and don’t forget to sign up for my monthly giveaway. There are lots of great goodies:

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I often get the question, “how do you have time to blog/work when you have a baby?”.  The upcoming workshop will cover many of my helpful tips, but I thought I’d share with you a little sneak peek:

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I do a lot of work with Audrey-girl on my lap. 

I love this picture.  She’s so content as long as she’s with her momma.  Sweet, sweet memory for me.  Do you like the pencil in my hair? I look a bit like a schoolmarm. And I didn’t know until now that my nose was quite so pointy.  Oh well.

I was playing around with photo editing and tried the ‘oil painting’ button. Isn’t it great?

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And we all know I have a love affair with silhouettes, so I couldn’t resist turning this image into one {minus the pencil in my hair}

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Someday soon I’ll do a tutorial on turning any photo into a silhouette. It is super easy.

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So glad you’re here today. I’m feeling pretty grateful to all the very kind and encouraging readers on this blog. May you have an extra good day!

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things I like: stripes

Ooooh, how I love stripes.

I love them on walls:

{via the inspired room}

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{via The Lettered Cottage}

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{via potterybarn kids}

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{via The Estate of Things}

I love them on floors:

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{via Bryn Alexandra}

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{via house beautiful}

via pink wallpaper

{via Pink Wallpaper}

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Living rm G Barber H Beaut

{via house beautiful}

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{via elle decor}

I love them on chairs & sofas:

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{via Our Suburban Cottage}

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And especially on curtains:

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{via Little Green Notebook}

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{via The Nesting Place}

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wallpaper ceiling

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{via Tia Zoldan}

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If only I could convince my husband to love them as much as I do:

{I’m trying to get better at saving sources with images, and I apologize for not having a source for each used here}

 

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it’s hard to believe

Our baby girl is six months old today.

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She is the sweetest little girl – such a delightful baby and the perfect finishing touch to our family.

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She makes me incredibly happy and has brought such beauty to our lives.

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I feel so blessed to have her.

{just wish she would sleep through the night}

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what {i wish} i wore

I’m feeling rather uninspired by my closet. 

I’m not crazy about summer clothes and our summers are typically mild and short-lived, so buying new ones feels like a waste.

I like sweaters. And jeans. And layers. Good thing I live in Seattle, eh?

But it’s been hot here and I’ve pretty much been wearing the same tanks over and over again, so rather than bore you with uninteresting outfits, I thought I’d put together a little post I’ll call

blue linen mask

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{click on the images for sources}

You may have noticed a couple of things.

1. Besides from that adorable swimsuit and the striped cardigan, there is no pattern and a real lack of color.

2. If I were a bit more fashionable I would know what shoe to put with each outfit and add in some accessories. I realize that is what often times ‘makes’ an outfit, and yet I very rarely put it into practice {which could have something to do with the fact I have 4 kids and wearing heels or chunky necklaces, while they look great, are not always the most practical}.

What I’m realizing is that I dress much as I decorate. I like my neutral, classic pieces. I wear a lot of blue and gray and those are the colors you see throughout our home. Little feminine details like a button or ruffle or flower make me happy. And I also struggle with the finishing touches {accessorizing, if you will} in my rooms. I can get the bulk done, but the last 10% is a big struggle. Someday I dream of having a real stylist come in and show me how its done.  Both in my dressing and my decorating. A girl can dream, right?!!

How about you? Do you dress like you decorate?

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announcement day

It’s a big day of announcements around here, so let’s just get right to it.

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There was such a great turn out for the just for fun {summer} giveaway – thank you to everyone who entered!  I wish I could send you all a fancy package, but there was only one big winner this time around and she is :gift c

So miss Courtney, send me a note and we’ll get your goodies sent out to you!

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I like giveaways. I like winning them {which I never do} and I have now found that I also like hosting them.  So I decided I’m going to keep the fun going by adding a new feature to the blog:

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Each month I’ll host another giveaway featuring some of my favorite things.  The best part? If you are already a subscriber, you are automatically entered each month.

September’s giveaway is this little assortment of goodies:

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For more details, click here.

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As I’ve mentioned before, I have an insatiable desire to create. It is just who I am.  I’ve found through this blog that there are so many others with that same hunger for creativity.

Perhaps you’ve never considered yourself as ‘the creative type’ or don’t know where to begin.

You may have dreamt about starting a creative business but don’t know how find inspiration or the basic steps for getting started.

Maybe you feel the spark of creativity, but you’ve never had the chance to let it loose and see what you can really do with it.

Now is your chance.

The chance to make your creative mark on the world.

Join me starting September 16th, 2010 for 10 days of:

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I am still working on the details, but here is some of what you can expect:

Part 1. Living the creative life: how to find and nurture your creative style

Part 2. Designing creative spaces: making space for your creative style to grow

Part 3.  Getting your creative life online: blogging, web design, and setting up a store

Part 4. Starting a creative business: creative business step by step

{plus much more to be announced}

if you’ve ever wanted to be creative …
if you’ve ever desired to start a small business …
if you’ve ever needed to feel inspired …

… join me September 16th, 2010 and I’ll show you how.

For details and to join in on the fine-tuning of the Be Inspired {small business} Workshop, please enter you email below.

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Let’s see where a little inspiration can take you.

***This is an ONLINE course so whether you are across the country or across the ocean, I’d be happy to have you!***

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my business

On Friday I asked if anyone had any questions for me, in particular ones related to my business.

What I realized over the weekend though, before any questions had been asked, was that I don’t spend a lot of time on here talking about ‘business’.  You have all seen my shop, and if you’ve been here for a while, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the summer boutique.  Maybe you saw this invitation or these baby announcements. But my current design projects don’t get a whole lot of coverage, and therefore, you may not even know that I have a small business.

And that’s okay.

I like doing posts about our home and my very random thoughts. I sometimes use this platform as a personal journal or a place to document my children’s lives. I use it to store home inspiration, divine inspiration and show the world what I {and my baby} wore.

It pretty much just represents me.

But you can’t get the full picture of me without knowing that I have a business. A business that allows me to be fully me. As much as I adore being a wife and mommy, I need to have something that is my own thing. Something where I can be creative, have adult conversations, make extra money.  That, for me, is Jones Design Company.

A few friends from college recently found my blog.  I haven’t kept in touch very well with these ladies, so we are catching up after ten years.  A few of them have left the most encouraging comments saying that it is fun to see me accomplishing my dream of having my own business and designing stationery.  I was surprised by these comments because I had forgotten that this was a dream I had long ago.  A dream to use my love of all things creative to make a living.  It seemed so far-fetched at the time, and it is so cool to see how that little dream has turned into reality – almost by accident.

So let me share with you how I got started:

Seven years ago today, I was on a beach, with the man {boy, really} I loved, wearing a fancy silk dress.

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We were getting married.

It was such a beautiful day filled with our friends and family and hydrangeas.

{happy anniversary my love}

:::

After we came down from the ‘wedding high’, we realized we were young, married, had a baby on the way and had some big details to figure out.

Namely, how we could live on one income.

I had been working as a personal assistant for a duo of real estate agents doing their marketing and, well, assisting.  It was a fabulous job for me and one I was not crazy about ending.  But {as I’ve mentioned many times before} I had always dreamed of being a mommy and so I knew I wanted to do all I could to stay home with our little one once he arrived.

Enter Jones Design Company.

As a real estate assistant, I worked as an independent contractor and needed a business license for tax purposes.  When filling out my application, I decided to at least give this business a fun name that was vague enough so that I could use it for other little stationery design jobs I was doing for friends.  I chose my maiden name {jones} and liked the word ‘company’ and its abbreviation {co.}, so put the two together and sandwiched ‘design’ in there. Just like that, I had a business.

I have always been fairly creative and generally gravitated towards paper crafts – card making especially.  I was in the stage of life when all of my friends were getting married, so I ended up creating many of their wedding invitations.  I teamed up with a local {and amazing} photographer who referred me my first ‘real’ client and I stumbled my way through trying to be professional when I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing!  It was a great side job and the perfect way to incorporate my love of paper and design into my life.

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Anyway, when we were trying to figure out how to afford keeping me at home with our baby, we realized we could give this little stationery business of mine a shot.  I had completed a Christmas season’s worth of holiday cards and loved it and had even made some extra money.  We figured once the baby was born that I could meet with clients on days Ryan was home, design while the baby was napping and produce the cards {with Ryan’s help!} in the evenings.

So I quit my real estate job, had a baby and took as many stationery jobs as I could manage.

And it got us through.

With the next baby, the jobs kept coming and I was able {with the help of our family} to continue working from home.  Christmas card time became busy for us, but the fact that I could make nearly a year’s income in a few months outweighed the stress. I was {and still am} so thankful to be able to be home with my little ones while also contributing to our finances.

Plus, I designed cards for a living.

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Now here we are 7 years later.

I still love that boy I married.

That first baby was such a delight that we kept adding more. And more. And more. Oh my.

And my little business is still part of our lives.

It has been fun to see how things have progressed over time. I started with mostly wedding invitations, then moved into baby announcements {naturally} then family holiday cards. Over the past year I’ve been able to explore other creative ideas through my home, the Summer Boutique, designing this new website, adding new products to my shop.  It has been fun to find some success through what I do.

But, by far, the best part of what I do here on this blog and in life, is inspire.  I have recently realized in my heart {and through your kind comments} that being able to use my creativity to inspire creativity in others is my greatest joy and true privilege.

Which is why I’m very excited about tomorrow. We’ll call it Announcement day.

:::.

And don’t forget that today is the last day to sign up for the

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see you tomorrow!

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5 days of favorite projects {day5}

***UPDATED***

{see end of post}

What a fun week it has been. I have enjoyed putting together these tutorials and have loved even more all of your comments! I am so grateful that I have been able to inspire many of you through these projects.  I’m thinking we should keep them coming :

but for now, we’ll finish off

favorite projects

with a little project for a kiddo in your life {although there is absolutely nothing wrong with making one for yourself}

tshirt

Here is what you’ll need:

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:: t-shirt

:: fusible web {like this}

:: iron

:: image you’d like on the shirt

:: decorative fabric{s}

:: scissors

STEP ONE: select an image for the t-shirt & cut it out

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My pear image is clip art printed to the size I wanted it. You could also draw & cut out your own.

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STEP TWO: cut fabric slightly larger than your design

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STEP THREE: cut fusible web to the size of your fabric

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STEP FOUR: adhere fabric to fusible web

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Place the wrong side of the fabric to the fusible side {you can see the slight texture}

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Using a board {or other hard surface} covered with a cloth and your iron set to wool/silk

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press the fabric to the fusible web

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STEP FIVE: trace the design

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Flip your design over and trace onto the paper backing of the fused fabric/web you just ironed

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STEP SIX:  cut out design

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STEP SEVEN: iron onto t-shirt

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Peel off the paper backing, decide on placement and press to adhere

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Continue with each piece

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You’re finished!

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You’ll be seeing this one on my Audrey-girl in a year or two.

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As with all the projects this week, the possibilities are endless.

My sister had me make monogram t-shirts as favors for my niece’s first birthday party.

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which my boys wore a lot last summer

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I did a more elaborate design for a little friend

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And then, of course you could finish it with a small zig-zag stitch {as expertly done by my mom}

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Or with a straight stitch

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{as not quite so expertly done by me}

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So cute, so personal and so simple!

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Whew, my week of tutorials is finished. It was fun but time consuming! I’ve never before done so many projects in one week.   I’ll be taking the weekend off to go play in the sun with our family {sort of a last-of-the-summer-hurrah even though it feels like our summer has just started} and will be back Monday.

Happy weekend! Hope it is filled with many PROJECTS!

………………

one more thing:

if you could ask me one thing about what I do or about my company, what would it be?

Comment below or send me an email and I’ll be putting together a post to answer them.


Continue Reading | 74 comments

5 days of favorite projects {day 4}

Little known fact about me:

I DON’T OWN A HOT GLUE GUN.

I know. Crazy. How I’ve made it through my life as a project-doer without one is beyond me.

But for today’s installment of

favorite projects

I needed one. So I took the kids on a little walk a couple of streets over to my fellow crafty friend’s house and borrowed hers {thanks Dee}.

I originally did this project without a hot glue gun, but I will say that it sure makes things easier. I should really go buy my own. The Nester {one of my faves} uses hers all the time {window mistreatments, adhering a beadboard backsplash} and I’m pretty convinced that it is a worthwhile tool.  I’m sure you’re all agreeing :

And so, let me introduce today’s project.

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I have to say that this one is not an original project. Last year I was searching for something unique to make for my sister for her birthday and came across this tutorial.  Since we’ve already established that I love book pages, this one was right up my alley.  I loved it so much, I kept it for myself and bought my sister a shirt instead. Sorry, sissy.

I have mine hanging in my kitchen window so that I can enjoy it often:

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It is the project I received the most requests for instructions on, so here I am to deliver.

Let me start by saying two things:

1. This is a very photo heavy tutorial. Hope you don’t mind.

2. This takes a LONG time to make {well, not as long as the painted wallpaper, but about 2 hours or so, which is long when you’ve got little boys wandering around the house bored out of their minds and you are doing everything you can to just finish the project already.

You are warned.

Shall we get started?

Here is what you’ll need:

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:: styrofoam wreath form {mine is 10”}

:: book {I’ve found that thin pages {as used in my first wreath} work better than thicker pages {as used here} – think text weight paper vs. cardstock}

:: glue gun & glue sticks

STEP ONE: tear out the pages

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STEP TWO: bend the page

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Bend & roll into a shape similar to shown above.

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I like the ripped out edge to show {it gives it that pretty ruffly look}.

STEP THREE: attach the back layer to the wreath form

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STEP FOUR: glue down the layers

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Or you could go this route and add glue to the middle of the folds before you attach to the wreath.

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Keep going all the way around the wreath until you get this:

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Flip it over to continue.

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STEP FIVE: attach the next layer

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bend

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crease

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figure out how long you want the paper to be {so that it is about equal with the layer behind}

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crease

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glue & attach.

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Add a line of glue and glue down the extra paper.

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Here’s what you’ll have:

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STEP SIX: fold up and attach bottom layer

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STEP SEVEN: attach the next layer

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bend

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figure out length

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glue & attach

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and you’ll have this:

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STEP EIGHT: attach the next layer

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and you’ll have this:

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STEP NINE: attach the next layer

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This time, the page will be attached to the inside perimeter of the wreath and the extra end of the page will be folded & glued under.

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almost there!

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STEP TEN: fill in the holes

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Where there are spaces, add in another page. Use the same folding/bending technique, cut off the end

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give it a little fold, add some glue

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and press into hole.

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Keep adding more until your wreath is full & fluffy.

STEP ELEVEN: add a ribbon to hang

You’ll need:

:: scissors

:: ribbon

:: pins

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bend the ribbon into a loop & cut

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attach to the back of the wreath using the straight pins

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And it is done!

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I . love . it

Here are some other gorgeous options:image

{via}

image

{via}

image

{via}

I have a feeling there will be a lot of books destroyed to create these beauties :

:::::::::::::.

Come back tomorrow for our final project of the week.

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5 days of favorite projects {day 3}

So, I hate to disappoint you regular readers, but there is no What I Wore post today. Believe me, you wouldn’t want to see anything I wore this past week anyway.  And it was sort of nice to have a break from awkwardly posing in front of a flimsy mirror while trying to decide if I smile or squint or put my hand on my hip or what.  One of my friends at church this weekend said her husband walked in and saw her looking at my WIW post and thought it was really dumb that I take photos of my outfits. I totally agree, Anthony, it is dumb. But it forces me to get dressed everyday so that I look presentable for all my ladies here and that makes it worth it.   Plus you all say nice things to me and sometimes a girl likes a compliment.

****edited***

Did that sound rude? I didn’t mean for it to. And my friend at church and I were joking about it so I was not offended. I think I didn’t say that right.

ANYWAY:

How about we skip right to day three of the

favorite projects

Today I thought I’d show you how to make a fabulous

ruffle

Here is what you’ll need:

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:: fabric {I used a cotton curtain panel from IKEA}

:: pillow form

:: scissors

:: pins

:: tape measure

:: sewing machine & thread

STEP ONE: cut out the pillow front & back

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My pillow form was 12 x 16, so I cut two pieces of fabric to be 13 x 17 {giving me a 1/2” seam allowance on all sides}

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STEP TWO: cut strips for the ruffles

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There is no need to be exact here. Just eyeball the strips to be approximately 1 3/4” wide. Your length will depend on the height of your pillow – I cut five strips at 57” so that I could cut them in half once ruffled to give me a total of 10 ruffles.  If you make the length about two times the height of your pillow, you should be fine.

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STEP THREE: ruffle the strips

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with your machine set to the longest stitch {check your sewing machine manual if you aren’t sure how to do it}

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sew down the middle of the strip, making sure to leave a long thread at the beginning {and not backstitching to start}

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then pull the bobbin thread {or which ever one seems easiest to pull} and ruffle the fabric.

Continue with all of the strips until you have a delightful pile of ruffles.

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STEP FOUR: pin the ruffles to the pillow front

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Starting in the center, pin a ruffle down the front.

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Since I made my strips long enough for two lengths, I cut it once it was pinned to create a second ruffle.

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Continue to pin the ruffles as close together {or apart} as you like. Just be sure to leave room on either side for your seam allowance.

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STEP FIVE: stitch on the ruffles

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With your machine set to a regular size stitch, begin with the center ruffle and sew down from the top {using a backstitch to secure}.

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Use the stitching down the center of the ruffle as your guide, backstitching to finish each row. Continue until all rows of ruffles have been stitched down.

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STEP SIX: trim the excess

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here is what your pillow front will look like:

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STEP SEVEN: sew the front & back together

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With right sides together, stitch around the perimeter of the pillow {make sure to leave a wide opening in the side to insert your pillow form}.

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Backstitch to secure the opening.

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STEP EIGHT: trim the extra fabric

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and cut a diagonal at the corners

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STEP NINE: turn the pillow inside out

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STEP TEN: insert the pillow form & hand stitch shut

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Of course, if you wanted to do it the right way, you could add a zipper.  My mom {the expert seamstress} is probably appalled that I didn’t put one in, but stitching it closed is easier. Plus, since I didn’t ‘finish’ the edges of the ruffles, they will fray like crazy if you put them in the washer & dryer, so no need to make the pillow cover removable.

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BEAUTIFUL!

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Obviously, you can vary the fabric & ruffle number & width to create a totally unique pillow.

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{velvet}

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{three wide ruffles}

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{very frayed blue organic cotton canvas}

The same method of ruffling was used to make the curtains in the nursery

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as well as my sweet ruffle headbands

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Another option: add a double layer to a personalized tote bag

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So many possibilities with a simple little ruffle.

Have you enjoyed our week of tutorials so far?

I hope so!

Tomorrow’s project is another ruffle-y one – only this time not made with fabric.

Hmmm : what could it be?

Come on back for day 4 to find out.

If you like this tutorial share it with your friends on facebook: Share

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5 days of favorite projects {day 2}

Did you all make some flowers yesterday? I hope you were inspired by one of my current favorites!

Now on to day two of

favorite projects

This one is fun and while I’d like to think I made it up, I’m pretty sure it’s out there somewhere else.  Again, it is a simple and inexpensive project and makes a delightful gift or custom art.

canvas

Here’s what you’ll need

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:: a canvas {purchased at any craft store}

:: a book

:: scissors

:: mod podge & paint brush

STEP ONE: tear out pages

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I take them from all over the book so that the page numbers and content varies.

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STEP TWO: arrange the pages

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make sure to overlap the page so that there is enough paper to cover the edge of the canvas

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STEP THREE: fill in the little spaces

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until the canvas is completely covered

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STEP FOUR: glue them down

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Gently lift the pages to get the glue under, then press down.  This is the trickiest step because the pages are arranged in an overlapping fashion. Just keep lifting and gluing and don’t worry too much about the paper wrinkling or air bubbles – that’s what gives it charm {or at least that is what I tell myself}

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STEP FIVE: seal the top of the pages with Mod Podge

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STEP SIX: glue the edges

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STEP SEVEN: fold over the corners

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STEP EIGHT: trim the excess

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STEP NINE: glue the pages to the back

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Now on to embellishing {although it is perfectly lovely in it’s simple un-embellished state}

Here’s what you’ll need

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:: a print out of an image {a bird, in my case}

:: pencil

:: glue

:: paint brush

:: glitter

STEP ONE: select your design, decide how big {or small} you want it and print

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There are so many possibilities with this. I did a bird because I’m fully into the trend, but you could do a silhouette of a different animal, a chandelier, a chair, a lamp, etc. If you search in google images for “bird silhouette” or “umbrella silhouette” you should find an image.

STEP TWO: transfer the image to the canvas

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scribble on the back of the print-out around the edges of the design

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trim the edges

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place in desired spot on the covered canvas and trace around the design

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pull up the paper and your design will be transferred

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STEP THREE: paint in the image with glue

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STEP FOUR: glitter

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STEP FIVE: brush off the excess

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and here it is:

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One thing I love about this project {besides the fact that I am crazy about anything using book pages} is that the possibilities are endless.

You can use pages from different books:

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as seen in our bedroom:

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or sheet music:

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as seen over the piano:

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silhouettes of your darlings:

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paint a monogram:

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or embellish with scrapbook paper flowers and ribbon.

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How cute would it be to do it with pages of a vintage magazine? Or a favorite children’s book with the word ‘read’ painted on it? Or  sewing patterns with a big silhouette of scissors? How about an assortment of maps? Or a cookbook? Now my mind is spinning :

I hope you are as inspired by this as I am!

Come on back tomorrow : day 3 is a good one.

::::::::::..

Have you signed up for the giveaway?

sealsm

{click on the picture for details}

I’ve entered this project at:

Visit thecsiproject.com

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5 days of favorite projects {day 1}

favorite projects

I love a good project. In fact I feel a little lost when I’m not working on something. This week, I’ll be putting together a tutorial each day on some of my favorite projects, which {I think} are also some of yours.

Let me start by saying I probably didn’t come up with any of these on my own. I’m not that creative.  I love looking around me for inspiration and then figuring out how to make things on my own and with my own twist.  I also don’t like to spend much on projects, so all 5 days will be very inexpensive and will hopefully utilize things you may already have. Okay, now that that’s out of the way :

It was only natural for me to begin with my current favorite project – one that you’ve seen in my shop, on the baby {over and over and over again}, as favors at my sister’s baby shower, in many of my what I wore posts and in this family picture:

image

Can you guess?

Yep. These fun {and simple}

flowers

Here’s what you’ll need:

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:: polyester satin

:: scissors

:: candle & lighter

:: ruler {not really necessary}

:: needle & thread

:: beads or other center embellishment

STEP ONE: cut squares

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first square {3 x 3}

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second square {2 x 2}

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third square {1.5 x 1.5}

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don’t feel locked into these sizes : make them as large or petite as you like.

STEP TWO: round the corners

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They do not need to be perfect circles {in fact, I like them a little off}. You can also skip this step and do the flowers as squares. Both ways are beautiful.

STEP THREE: melt the edges

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Using a candle, gently {and carefully!} hold the edge of each circle over the flame {not touching the flame} until the fabric begins to melt & curl.

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If the edge is burnt and you don’t like the dark parts,

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simply cut it off and melt again.

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If your material ignites {as I have found some do} it’s probably just best to start over with a different material.  I haven’t figured out why some polyester satins melt and others burn : I’ve found that the thicker satins used for lining work well.

STEP FOUR: stack them up

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STEP FIVE: stitch them together

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Using a need & thread, start from the bottom and make a stitch.

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STEP SIX: add the beads

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STEP SEVEN: tie a knot and snip the thread

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Done!

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You can add lots of layers for a fluffier flower

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or cut out a felt leaf

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and attach {stitch or glue, your choice}

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add one to your bag

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or to embellish a pair of shoes

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pin one on a sweater or jacket

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attach to a hair clip

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or magnet

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sew on a pin

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make a headband

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or add it to a hat

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I hope I’ve inspired you to make some flowers!

please come back tomorrow for day 2 of the tutorial series :

{linked to http://shabbynest.blogspot.com/}

linked to

get-your-craft-on

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