Archive | February, 2013

ruffled tablecloth {sort-of tutorial}

The one element I knew I wanted for Audrey’s party was a white ruffled tablecloth.

ruffle-tablecloth-tutorial-at-jdc

Perhaps you have seen them elsewhere and there are many good tutorials for how to make one {I referenced this one}.

Here’s the deal about this sort-of tutorial: I took photos of the each step in the process and then made a terrible mistake and deleted them from my camera. Boo. I was actually really annoyed at myself because there were a lot of good photos on there of family stuff, another project and our not-so-little puppy holding still {rare}. Double boo.

So, I don’t have an actual step-by-step tutorial with photos to share, but I’ll walk you through each step in words and a few diagrams.

ruffle-tablecloth-tutorial

Here’s what you’ll need:

:: fabric – I used two long rectangular tablecloths {$17 each on sale at target}
:: sewing machine, thread, scissors
:: patience

{a note on the fabric: you could use any type of lightweight fabric – muslin, cotton, linen – and save on the cost. I went with premade tablecloths because they were right in front of me at target and I liked that they are stain-resistant which means my finished product might hold up better than if I went with muslin}.

STEP ONE: map out your needed dimensions for the base of your tablecloth {depends on the size of table you’ll be covering with the tablecloth}

ruffle-tablecloth-dimensions

Your tablecloth length will depend on how long you want it to be {makes sense, right?}. If you want yours to be floor length, measure from tabletop to floor. I made mine short so the kids could still slip their legs under during lunch.

STEP TWO: measure ruffle dimensions

ruffle-dimensions

In general, you’ll need 1.5 to 2 times your length in fabric to make a full ruffle.

You will need to cut ruffle strips to cover all four sides of your table. If you have long enough fabric, you can cut continuous strips to wrap around the entire table.

STEP THREE: cut out all pieces.

STEP FOUR: sew all four side panels together to form a long rectangle. This will be the base to sew your ruffles on to. sew-lengths-together

STEP FIVE: hem each ruffle strip. I planned on doing this step, but then decided that would take too long, so I skipped it. Hence the million frayed threads.

STEP SIX: start ruffling. This is the tedious part. Set your machine to the longest stitch and run a straight stitch all the way along the top of each ruffle strip. Do not back stitch. Gently pull one of the threads to gather the fabric, being careful to not break the thread.

STEP SEVEN: sew ruffles onto side panel, starting with the lowest ruffle and working up. Be sure to overlap the ruffles to hide the raw edges.

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STEP EIGHT: sew the long panel {with ruffles on it} onto the top piece. Put right sides together and do your best to sew along the top ruffle seam so that the raw edges are covered. I made my tablecloth with an overlap opening where the ends of the panel cross. Goodness, I’m not sure that makes any sense. In other words, the long panel wraps all the way around the table with about a six inch overlap and raw edges. You don’t even notice it.

Now trim your threads and you’re done!

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Hopefully this sort-of tutorial is helpful. I know photos always help so feel free to ask any questions in the comments and I’ll give my best instructions.

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paper crowns {tutorial}

A party hat is always a festive touch for a child’s birthday party. For Audrey’s fancy/crown/girly party, I made these paper crowns for the guests to wear. They were so simple to make and very cute on the little ones.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

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:: crown template {download below} printed on metallic gold paper
:: scissors
:: thin elastic {found by the yard in the fabric store}
:: hot glue gun
:: glue dots, glitter, silk flower to embellish

STEP ONE: cut crown from template

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STEP TWO: if you’d like to embellish with glitter dots, randomly place glue dots on the front of the crown

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STEP THREE: sprinkle fine glitter over dots

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STEP FOUR: shake off excess glitter

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STEP FIVE: cut elastic to size {approximately 13 inches} and hot glue to back of crown

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STEP SIX: add a silk flower with hot glue {if desired}

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Just a few simple steps and you get a darling paper crown.

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Fun for birthday girls … diy-party-crown-with-flower

… and brothers, alike.

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Please feel free to download the crown template below.

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If you make these for a party, be sure to send me photos!

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win a shopping spree at one of my favorite stores

Do you have a favorite store where you could spend hours just looking, picking up, touching everything? I do. It’s paper source. I love their paper and envelopes. I love their gift wrap. They have great calendars and journals and so many fun craft kits and gift ideas. It’s like a grown-up toy store. If you’ve never been into a store, I bet you would like it. Good news: they have a great online shop too.

Even better news … I’m giving away a $200 gift card.

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This is just a small sampling of some of my favorites for spring.

If you’d like a chance to win, click below:

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a fancy party {audrey turns three}

Our little darling turned three last week and we threw her a fancy party.

{the invites as seen here}

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The theme was a mix of fancy/glitter/crowns/gold/silver/girly/ruffles/polkadots.
How’s that for a concise theme?

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The table was set with a ruffled tablecloth {made painstakingly by me}, place setting paper placemats {from here}, silver vessels filled with inexpensive carnations, and a homemade cake on my favorite beaded silver cake plate. It turned out fancy and pretty without being over-the-top.

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We served tea sandwiches, fruit, sparkly lemonade and the cutest sugar cookies in the shape of a crown for dessert.

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The birthday girl had the best time at her little party. I think she felt pretty special.

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and we loved celebrating our sweet Audrey.

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Want to see what happened after the guests left?

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Atlas felt left out and decided to help himself to the cake. Bad puppy.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Coming up this week … a few tutorials for projects seen at the party.

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glitter + colorful stripes {jdc monthly}

By the time March comes around, even I {the self-professed neutral-lover} long for color.

Bright, cheerful color to prepare for spring. It’s actually quite fitting since St. Patrick’s day {with it’s pot-o’-gold-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow-tradition} falls right in the middle of the month. I took inspiration from the tale to create the March collection for JDC | Monthly.

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What is JDC | Monthly? Well, I’m so glad you asked!

JDC | Monthly is a membership where each month you receive printable paper goods to keep your organized in a stylish way.  You’ll receive calendars, chore charts, menus, shopping lists and more. Each month I create an exclusive art print just for JDC | Monthly members which are perfect for adding a little seasonal charm to your home. And, we do a simple diy project that goes with the ‘theme’ of the month.

Sounds fun, yes? Here’s what a few ladies are saying:

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Here’s a little peek at the newest designs:

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monthly calendar / note to self / chore charts / daily menu / weekly calendar / scripture cards / shopping list / note cards / dinner schedule / grocery list / house duties / art print

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The project this month is so, so easy, but makes even the most basic envelope feel so fancy.

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I’m completely in to glitter right now, so you’ll be seeing lots more of it in the days to come.

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JDC | Monthly is an incredible value at $9.99 per month and your first month is free.

You are welcome to give it a try. If it’s not the right fit, you can cancel at any time.

Plus, all JDC | Monthly members receive 50% off all printables in the shop.

Click the button below to sign up:

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When you sign up you will be directed to the current month’s link immediately. Billing is done on a 30 day cycle {so if you join on the 15th, you will be billed the following month on the 15th}. On the 22nd of each month, you will receive an email with the link to download the collection of pdfs, as well as the project tutorial.

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Please let me know if you have any questions – or suggestions – or comments. We strive to make JDC | Monthly not only pretty and valuable but also functional. I’m always open to new ideas to make it even better!

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upholstering walls with coffee bags

 Right before Thanksgiving, I stopped by our friends’ house to help rearrange furniture to get the house ready for their holiday guests.

One thing led to another and five hours later we had not only rearranged furniture, but also upholstered a wall in old coffee bags.

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Totally random, I know.

But doesn’t it look amazing?!

I had acquired a big pile of coffee bags that a friend got from her local coffee shop {for free!}. They sat waiting in my closet for the perfect project and while I’m not sure how we came up with the idea to staple them to the wall, they sure do look great.

coffee-bag-before-and-after

The process was quite simple: we opened up the coffee bags by removing the stitching, figured out where we wanted each design and started stapling {with a staple gun, not office stapler}, pulling tight for a smooth finish.

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The burlap and graphics make the perfect wall treatment. And, of course, the best part was that it was free!

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We saved our very favorite bag to use as a bulletin board and hung it on an opposite wall.

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I’m not sure if all coffee shops give their bags away, but it is worth asking. Sometimes the most unconventional materials make the best decoration.

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how to make fancy invitations

Our little girl has a birthday this week.

She had a darling first birthday party {see more here} with pretty invitations, party hats and goodie bags – but she doesn’t remember any of it. We didn’t do a big party last year and so now that she is three and has best friends {as she loves to say}, throwing her a party is a big deal. She’s only been talking about it since last August.

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We’re not going over-the-top, but it will be a little fancy and so of course I had to do something special with her invitations.

I’ll walk you through how I made these and hopefully share a few helpful tips and tools in case you want to make your own sparkly cards.

First, I designed the invitations in Adobe Illustrator using a silhouette I had already created for another project. I have a tutorial for how to create your own right here. It is not exactly how I made this one, but it works. I’m sure there are a million different ways to create a silhouette – I just like having it in digital format so I can re-size and use for multiple projects. Anyway, design the invitations, print on nice card stock and trim {I use this paper trimmer}.

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Next, I used glitter paint to fill in the crown.

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It takes about an hour to dry completely.

In the meantime, switch out the straight blade on the rotary trimmer for a scalloped one {fun, right?!} and cut backing paper to size.

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Besides the paper cutter, my most loved tool is this tape gun. It has rolls of double-sided tape that makes adhering a breeze.

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To protect the glitter and mostly because I just love this polka dot tissue paper, I added a piece before inserting into the envelope.

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envelope

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For the label, I created a template {1.5″ x 11″}, printed on full sheet sticker paper, cut into strips and then cut notches in each end for a ribbon look.

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The labels make for an extra special presentation.

We’re excited to celebrate our sweet girl!

One more thought: We can get a little carried away with children’s birthday parties. I know I can. Most three-year-olds don’t care much about details like scalloped edges and tissue paper inserts. And the ruffled tablecloth that I spent all day saturday working on? She’ll probably hardly notice. These things are fun for me and so I go for it. She would be perfectly happy eating cupcakes with her friends at the kitchen table – I think most kids would – but instead we throw them themed parties that cost a fortune and feel a bit over-indulgent. Who are we trying to impress? I’ve had to double-check my motives with each of my kids’ birthdays.  We all love a cute party with fun decorations and a perfectly coordinating food table – I think even our kids do. My oldest adores having decorations up for any celebration. I just want to be mindful of the purpose behind it all: to make my birthday girl/boy feel especially celebrated. Hopefully someday Audrey will look back on these invitations and see that through details like scalloped edges and tissue paper inserts was a mommy who truly loved her and wanted to make her third birthday a fancy one.

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journal winners

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There were so many wonderful comments about this pretty journal from Noonday. Thank you for the compliments and I’m so happy to spread the word about this company.

I have two journals to give away and the winners are …

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Congratulations, ladies! Please send me your mailing address and we’ll send your gift right away.

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enjoy your weekend!

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L.O.V.E.ly

love

Last night at dinner, our oldest tagged this onto the end of his before-dinner prayer:

“and thank you for valentine’s day even though it was invented by Hallmark to get people to buy cards”.

Smart little one, he is.

We’re still celebrating around here, even if it is a made up holiday. Loving each other never gets old. Plus it gives me an excuse to eat crazy amounts of chocolate.

Happy Valentine’s Day, sweet friends.

{if you need a last minute card, download my freebies here}

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I went to hobby lobby for the first time and you’ll be shocked with what I came home with

Okay, I lied.  You probably won’t be shocked.

I really did experience the goodness of Hobby Lobby for the first time last week {they are a new addition to the Pacific Northwest}. I was partially in heaven {the knobs! The craft supplies!} and partially overwhelmed by how many random trinkets/picture frames/yard art that could be crammed into one store.  Most of all, it was good to finally know what y’all are talking about when you say you found {fill-in-the-blank} at hobby lobby. Now I get it. They have a little bit of everything.

As I was unloading my cart onto the counter to purchase, I laughed at myself: every single thing was neutral. Out of a store full of color and pattern, I only chose the color-less items.

hobby-lobby-purchases

At least I know what I like!

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This little ampersand was my favorite purchase. I’m thinking I’ll glitter it. Or not.

hairbows

The hairbows were a great find too … in my dreams I would be from the south where my little girl would wear humongous bows everyday. Kids up here don’t really do that, but I’m going with it anyway. I’m sure I could make these, but at $2.99, you can’t beat the price.

knobs

The selection of knobs was impressive. I’m pretty sure they are the same ones we all love at Anthropologie {but a fraction of the price}. I was actually needing some for the laundry room makeover and could have gone crazy with color. Instead I chose the gingham and brass. They may be too country, or they may be perfect. Hopefully progress will continue this week on the cabinets and I’ll share photos soon.

All in all, I’m a fan of Hobby Lobby. They are opening a store much closer to me, so I’m sure I’ll venture in again soon. And probably walk out with more of my beloved neutrals.

Do you find you stick to a color scheme when you shop? If so, please share!

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collaboration with noonday {with a giveaway}

Do you ever feel like you want to make a difference, but you just don’t know how? Like anything you do feels somehow insignificant to a world in need of so much more than you can offer?

Me too.

It’s like we’re plugging a hole in a raft with one hundred more.

But I’ve heard story after story of little acts making a huge impact in one person’s life. A boy who had food to eat that day. A surprise latte that encouraged a hopeless neighbor. A pair of shoes for a child without. These don’t seem like a big deal to most of us – we eat and have jobs and wear clothes like its normal – but to those who need it most, it is a miracle.

I like being part of miracles.

Which is why I love Noonday Collection.

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Noonday Collection sells jewelry, gifts, items for the home and accessories – all made by artisans working their way out of poverty.  They also advocate for orphans, offering care and prevention, and support adoption as well.   All items are fair-trade and locally made, which means with each purchase, you are truly making a difference.

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I am honored to announce that JDC and Noonday have collaborated on a new journal. I know it’s just a little thing, but I feel so honored to be part of something bigger – helping women across the world make ends meet for their families.

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My part was simply to design the cover and the artisans in India turned them in to beautiful works of art. Each is 5 x 7 and printed on super thick cotton paper.

The cotton pages inside are blank so you can jot notes, doodle, dream or journal.

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Each journal included information about the artisan who created the journal – it reminds us that even a small purchase can make a big difference in another family’s life.

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The journals are now available at Noonday Collection.

I just know you will love them!

To kick things off, we have two lovely journals to give away. Here are the rules:

1. like JDC facebook page {right here}

2. like Noonday Collection facebook page {right here}

3. leave a comment

I’ll announce the winners this week!

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free valentine note cards

 Spread the love this valentine’s day with these sweet little note cards.

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They come from the February JDC | Monthly collection {one of my favorites ever! You can see more here}.

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Each is petite {finished size is 4 x 2.5} and perfect for slipping into lunch boxes, taping to the bathroom mirror, topping a gift.

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Simply download the pdf {open using Adobe Reader}, print on your favorite paper {see mine here} and trim on the dotted lines.

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share

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currently

currently

loving: this valentine-y image

reading: The Explicit Gospel by matt chandler for a new bible study with my girlfriends.

waiting for: this weekend when a long-time friend comes to visit. She’s one of those friends who makes you die laughing one second and says something profound the next.

excited about: taking the kids to disneyland. They will love it. I will cry {out of sheer excitement}.

trying to: plan a trip to disneyland without it costing a million dollars. We’ll see how that goes.

working on: a twirl print. Been working on that one forever. Someday I’ll get it just right.

enjoying: Atlas. I never knew I would love having a dog so much. Except for the normal annoying puppy things like potty training and biting, he’s been a great little addition to our family.

atlas-silhouette

using: the deposit-a-check-with-your-phone function. Technology sometimes amazes me. Okay, it all the time amazes me.

wearing: gel nail polish. I think this may be the trick for me – long lasting, durable and {hopefully} better for my nails than acrylics.

nails

planning: Audrey’s birthday party. She’s the best and I can’t wait to have a girly party for her.

singing: Lots of kidz bop happening around here lately.  I can’t say I mind it too much. Except when the chipmunks come on.

needing: an earlier bedtime. I love my bed, just have a hard time making my way to it before 11pm most nights.

master bedroom

learning: adobe illustrator for real. Just started a college course this week. I taught myself a few years ago but I’m really excited about learning the ins and outs to make my work flow easier.

listening to: Charlie & Lola – the world’s cutest kid show. Their british accents are just too darling. Especially when they use the word squabbling instead of arguing.

wishing: my kids would squabble less. It drives me crazy.

doing: a little too much. It’s time to take a time-inventory and get things back in order. If not, my brain is going to fry.

dreaming of: tearing out our carpet and doing something like this -

wood floors painted white. Such an impractical idea – especially since we would have to first install wood floors, but a dream doesn’t have to be practical, right?

So this is me.

Want to play along? What are you currently up to?

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tea towel + frame = easy art for the kitchen

There are some tea towels that are just too cute to use for their intended purpose of drying dishes, absorbing spills and wiping dirty fingers.

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I ordered this flag conversion towel {a darling collaboration between west elm and artist shanna murray which is no longer available – boo!} and decided to proudly display it on the kitchen wall rather than on the towel rack.

You probably need no explanation as this is the easiest diy ever, but just to prove it, here’s what it takes: a large picture frame, a cute towel and some helping hands to flatten all of those pesky ikea tabs.

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Large impact for about $30.

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After a little searching, I came across some great frame-able towel options.

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If your kitchen is calling out for something pretty on its walls, look no further than your favorite dish towel.

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instagram highlights

jan-instagrams

Just in case you’re dying to know {wink, wink} what we’ve been up to outside of the blog, instagram is a great place to find out.  I’m not great about using facebook, twitter is still over my head and this new video thing called vine? Not sure it’s up my alley either. But I just can’t get enough of instagram. It’s so easy to document little snippets of our day and see what my friends are doing in their real lives, too.

So here’s a snippet of our month:

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We enjoyed the chilly but bright sunny skies, we played with our pup, we skied {me for the first time in 16 years!}, we worked, we dressed ourselves {hence the inside-out tights}, we crafted, we bowled, we celebrated.

It was a good start to the new year.

{you can follow our day-to-day here}

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