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:


Can you guess?

Yep. These fun {and simple}


Here’s what you’ll need:


:: polyester satin

:: scissors

:: candle & lighter

:: ruler {not really necessary}

:: needle & thread

:: beads or other center embellishment

STEP ONE: cut squares


first square {3 x 3}


second square {2 x 2}


third square {1.5 x 1.5}


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

STEP TWO: round the corners


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


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.


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


simply cut it off and melt again.


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


STEP FIVE: stitch them together


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



STEP SIX: add the beads





STEP SEVEN: tie a knot and snip the thread




You can add lots of layers for a fluffier flower


or cut out a felt leaf


and attach {stitch or glue, your choice}


add one to your bag


or to embellish a pair of shoes


pin one on a sweater or jacket



attach to a hair clip


or magnet



sew on a pin


make a headband


or add it to a hat



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


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oh boy, this is all over the place

Sometimes I have too many random thoughts running around in my head and need to get them out.  Tonight is one of those moments. So bear with me as I take you all over the place.  If you’d rather skip my jabbering, head to the bottom of the post where I could really use your input.

So here we go.

I came across this photo in my files and remembered how incredibly amazing it is.

mom italy

It was taken by my new dad while in Italy last spring. Beautiful.  Doesn’t it look like a painting?


This kid is giving us a run for our money.


We’ve always known that he has some spunk to him, but really?  Must he throw a fit about everything

IMG_4525 IMG_4524

He can be the most wonderful little boy with the sweetest voice and funniest comments. We really do enjoy him most of the time.  But take his sword or use the wrong sippy cup or look at him sideways and he becomes a different creature. We’re determined to win this battle, but my goodness it is exhausting!


I am not really a work-out kind of girl. I’d love to be. It sounds like fun to exercise and wear cute work-out clothes and be toned, but when it comes down to it, it is just about the last thing I am motivated to do.  Most of my girlfriends run {many of them wake up at 5:30am to all go together … crazy ladies} and I am just not a runner. It hurts my lungs.

But I do like pilates. I grew up a ballerina and so I call pilates ‘ballet laying down’.  I found my old Windsor Pilates dvd and popped it in a few days ago.  And now I no longer like pilates. My abs hurt.


Our baby girl has some crazy hair.  It is wispy and hasn’t all filled in yet. She was looking a little more like bozo the clown than I’d prefer.


{ewww … clowns are creepy}


So we gave her a little trim.


I don’t think she likes it.  For the record, neither do I.


Speaking of hair …

did you lose your hair post-partum?

I did with my boys, but nothing like how I am this time.  I pull out gobs of it every time I run my fingers through it and I find little strands all over the house and on my children. Yuck. Perhaps too much information was just shared.


I love hydrangeas.



I also love these


I’m pretty sure I could eat an entire bag in one evening. The worst part is, they are so disgustingly plasticy and I fully realize it and still love them.


Hmmm, anything else?

We go through a lot of milk around here.

I heard Project Runway started a new season and I can’t wait to watch it.

My book club is reading The Help and I need to start.

My niece & nephew are coming over for a spend-the-night tomorrow night.  I’m so happy my kids have cousins that they can grow up with.

One of my new favorite bloggers {Meg Deurksen} does crafts from Deep Space Sparkle. We tried this craft this morning and it was such fun. We’ve been trying to do ‘drawing & writing time’ each morning and this website will give us some great ideas to keep things fresh {and to avoid me looking at one more picture of a star wars battle hanging on the fridge}.


{#1’s finished project made for his friend Iris – the coolest little girl who likes the most absurd creatures – crows, sharks and slimy sea critters are some of her favorites}


Okay, I think the random thoughts are all cleared out for now.


Now on to more important things that you’ll {hopefully} actually care about.

I am going to do a week of favorite project tutorials all next week.  I will do one a day and would love to know what you’d like me to show. Are there any projects you’ve noticed in my photos that you’d like to know how to do? I have a few in mind, but would love your input!

 favorite projects

Please leave a comment with your suggestions and I’ll add them to the list.

And thanks for letting me ramble.  You’re the best.

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painted wallpaper {a tutorial}

When I first took over the front office, I knew I wanted to make it a lighter, more inspiring room to be in.  I thought about painting stripes because I really do love them, but I already have some thick ones painted in the boys’ room. Then I thought wallpaper would be nice. But here’s the thing about wallpaper: 1. I always like the most expensive one and 2. putting it up is a pain {although now that I think about it, it would probably be easier to hang wallpaper than to paint it. Oh well.}

So I decided that instead of looking for bargain wallpaper, I could just make my own.   I really like these curtains from Ballard Designs and decided to take the pattern as my inspiration.


Here are the steps:

1. Create a template {or download mine at the end of the post}

2. Trace the design onto the wall. Over and over again. Now it makes a lot of sense to use a level to make sure you are not drawing diagonally down the wall, but I didn’t go to such effort. I think I have a pretty good sense of straight {if that makes sense} so I was able to eyeball it.


No, #2 did not help me trace the pattern, he was just my model.

tracing the outline

Check out those sweet grubby little four-year-old fingernails.

There were sections where the pattern got a little wonky, so I just improvised and figured once the entire pattern was up, you wouldn’t notice little imperfections.  The one thing I did try to do was to keep the pattern equal along the top & bottom of the wall {see photo}


3. Paint over the lines {I painted along the inside of the line}.  I used a small paint brush that was the width that I wanted the lines to be and white latex paint we had leftover from the kitchen.

painting wallpaper lines

more painting around closet doors

wallpaper edges with pait brush

It takes a long time. But if you try it, just keep going … it is so worth it!

tracing the stencil

lining up the stencil under a window


Here it is again in it’s ‘after’ state.


And there you have it.

A project that was simple to do but just took lots of time and a steady hand.

You are welcome to use my template.



Need help understanding the double lines? Read this new post.

Share this tutorial & template with your friends via facebook

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