Bottle Cap Chore Chart

chore chart

Last month, I went to my little sister’s college graduation. While I was visiting her dorm, she hands me a mound of beer bottle caps and says, “You’re creative… think you can do something with these?”  Ordinarily, I can’t DIY upon command, but after a few minutes, I had created some bottle cap coasters which would have been fine as long as no one put a glass or a bottle on top of one. {This describes most of my DIY creations… cute but lacking any real functionality.}

Until today… I stumbled on these DIY cookie tin chore charts. Not only did it inspire me to make some for the new kitchen, but it gave me the perfect use for all of those bottle caps. Check out these printable bottle cap chores

chore chart image

Do you have a chore system for your kids? How’s it working?

{Image via DIY Notes}

DIY Sushi


My memories of Korea this week have me craving sushi. Have you ever made your own? The idea of making my own sushi has always made me a little nervous. I’m afraid I won’t prepare it properly and therefore make everyone sick. But at $9 a roll, this is one DIY worth mastering, don’t you think?

Are you a fan of the raw fish dish?

P.S. A sushi-making tutorial and a sushi shower curtain

Wine Cork Photo Ornaments

Like I said before, when you move twice in one year, you are bound to lose a few things. We’ve searched high and low to find our Christmas ornaments, but to no avail. You never realize how much things like that mean to you until you find yourself shattering 11 out of 12 of the store-bought Christmas balls all over the floor. S-hooks my foot. I bet they grease them first in the S-hook factory so those slippery little suckers won’t stay fastened on the tree resulting in multiple store-bought Christmas ball runs. I MUST STOP THE S-HOOK INSANITY!!! So, today, I decided it was time to put on my Big-Girl-Christmas-Craft-Pants and get to work. We’ve got a season to celebrate and we cannot be hung up over missing ornaments and slippery S-hooks.

I have been staring at this pile of family photographs for weeks now.

Tree Photos

I’ve searched high and low for a photo ornament idea that didn’t involve gluing, framing, fabric photocopying, or stuffing into a glass ball strung up by a blessed S-hook. Most of these are original photographs and can therefore not suffer a hot glue casualty.

So what do you get when you combine these…

paper clips

With one of these?

wine corks

Wine Cork Photo Ornaments!!!

wedding ornament photo

Haha. Stick it to the S-hook man!

Here’s a question for you… Bow above the cork?

Wine cork photo ornament

Or bow around the cork?

Mom swing photo

Or bow on top of my head while I pop a cork?
{Image not available}.

Rudolph the One-Eyed Reindeer

Life as the mother of a preschooler is new for me. We enrolled Salem at the local elementary school about a month ago, and I am still getting used to the early mornings, the Mom Line of traffic, the deluge of artwork that comes home with him begging for display, and the inevitable need for a festive hat to wear for Holiday Hat Day. When you move twice in one year, you are bound to lose a few things. It is tragic, however, when somehow you have misplaced your Christmas ornament collection, your handmade Christmas stockings, and all of your holiday memories from the past 7 years, including the coveted holiday hats. I currently have a naked tree covered in twinkle lights desperate for some Beasley-family personalization, but that is another post for another day. In my attempts to remain positive despite our orphaned Advent tchotchkes, I set to work making a holiday hat for Salem to wear for Wear-Your-Holiday-Hat-To-School-Day. Necessity, meet the Mother of Invention. I enlisted his help yesterday afternoon even though his…errr…”exceptional tendencies” make arts and crafts projects a complete torture. Young Aspergians are often challenged by fine-motor activities such as coloring and cutting with scissors, and they certainly don’t like to be hovered over and touched constantly all in the name of a holiday craft (which lets face it, usually ends up being some ridiculous looking accessory from which a child will spend their whole adult life recovering… Asperger’s or not). That is true in Salem’s case, I’m afraid.

Salem rudolph hat

Yes, I took this shot while he was sitting on the potty, but it was the only time I could get him to try it on without wiggling too much so I could snap a decent photo. Judging by his expression, one caption might read, “Isn’t it bad enough that you are taking a bathroom picture that will inevitably resurface around the time I bring home my first girlfriend, but now I am reduced to wearing this reindeer hat with a Kranky-Patty-gummy-for-a-red-nose too?” We wrestled with Rudolph for a moment last night before I remembered that Salem doesn’t exactly take to new things very easily (unless of course they cost $1.99 in the app store). So, I quickly traced his sister’s hands and made a reindeer hat for her to model for him, which didn’t last because she was more interested in eating her Kranky-Patty-gummy-for-a-red-nose. So, Rudolph rode on the dashboard of the minivan last night while we delivered dinner to a friend, made an appearance at a school function, and concluded the evening with some Chick-Fil-A therapy. By this morning, Salem had developed a slight affinity for Rudolph and was willing to wear him into the school despite the latent embarrassment for years to come. But somehow in all the commotion, we lost a googly eye.

Salem rudolph hat 3

Thank goodness for pre-school, a magical land flowing with finger paint and googly eyes. Salem, his dignity, and Rudolph made it safely off the bus with a replacement googly eye (compliments of his Fairy-God-Teacher) firmly applied to his hat for future holiday self-consciousness.

Craft now and beg forgiveness later…. That’s my motto!

Love Message Board

A dear friend of mine asked me to make her some fabric rosettes  so that she could put together this little baby…

It’s called a “Love” Message board and well, I’m in love… with this message board.

Check out A Content Housewife’s blog for a complete tutorial!

Oh, I love you because…

You’re a warm thought on this chilly day!


Cookies, Crafts, and Carols– Oh My!

Time: T-7days

The Contender: An on-the-mend wife of one, mother of two who just managed to get her Christmas tree up two days ago.

The Challenge: Coordinating a cookie decorating, holiday crafting, and Christmas caroling extravaganza with dozens of volunteers and children at a local homeless shelter.

My kids are still too young to appreciate the wonderful world of arts and crafts, so I can’t say that we’ve experimented with too many “kiddie” craft projects around my house. However, we all know that this big kid loves all things glue, scissors, baubles, and glitter. So naturally when I was asked to coordinate the pre-caroling craft stations, I happily volunteered for the job.

Care to help me choose a DIY for little fingers?

Paper Bag Reindeer Puppet

Handprint Holiday Wreath

Christmas Tree Ornament

Reindeer Hat

Which one do you like the best? I’ve got to say, I’d love it if a pack of wee ones came to my door singing Jingle Bells wearing handmade reindeer antlers. But maybe that’s just me.

Giddy up, Everybody!

Fabric Book Slings

I was Pinterlust Pinterist-ing before bed the other night when I came across these hanging fabric book slings on Ohdeedoh

That’s when I had one of those, “I can make that” moments and immediately plunged head first into my fabric scrap basket to see if there was any worthwhile yardage I could convert into book slings for Salem’s room. My kids are big book lovers. We have stacks upon stacks of books in every room of the house, and last week when I found Sandra Boynton’s Barnyard Dance between my bed sheets, I vowed then and there to do something about the overgrowth of story books in our house. And then a sudden stroke of genius.

What do you get when you rip the stuffing out of the top of old crib bumpers?

Recycled fabric book slings

{You may be wondering why a fabric book sling is hanging from my kitchen window. The truth is that I have yet to learn my way around power tools. I know. It’s embarrassing. My handy-man-with-a-plan is at work today, and I was too impatient to see the finished product, so I opted for a pre-hung curtain rod. The good news is, no children were harmed in the making of this blog post.}

Back in 2008, I was so inspired by this Michael Miller fabric, that I designed Salem’s entire nursery around it.

I have never been a huge fan of “baby”-ish nurseries, so I went with a theme that perhaps could grow with him into his toddler and pre-school years. Three years later, I’m still in love with the color scheme and the guitar print, so I am thrilled that I can re-use his crib bumpers as book slings and hang them around his bedroom/playroom.

Last night, Clark put together Salem’s big boy bed from IKEA and he didn’t hurl any obscenities in the process… not one. If you’ve ever tried to assemble a piece of  profanity-inducing furniture from IKEA you can attest, that is the ultimate test of one’s character. I’m pretty sure when Mia brings home the man she wants to marry, we will first make him assemble a BESTA with nothing but a phillips head as we drill him with questions about his family values and personal history. Just kidding. Not really.

Last night was Salem’s very first night in his official big boy bed. {Tear tear…. sniff sniff}. At least I can hang on to his baby years a little while longer with his crib bumper book slings.

His toddler room is a work in progress, so I’ll be sure to update with more images soon. In the meantime, I am off to fish more books out from inside the laundry basket, underneath the dishwasher, and behind the toilet. I wish I was kidding.

Create with Coffee Sacks

Whoever thought Daylight Savings Time was a great idea obviously never had children. My early-to-rise two year old is not only free from the confines of a crib as of last month, but ever since Sunday, he has been up and at ’em at FIVE. A.M. greeting me at my bedside. Needless to say, I have coffee on the brain these days. A girlfriend of mine recently snagged me a couple of burlap coffee sacks to reinvent into gifts and home decor. Have you ever thought of the many ways you can use a recycled coffee sack? Neither have I until I stumbled on these clever ideas.

{Image via Ordinary Meets Clever}
I’m sure you’ve noticed my affinity for interesting cork boards. I’ll have to add this to the list of great bulletin board ideas.

{image via Habitation Boheme’s Etsy shop}

{Image via Ballard Designs}
I have these cream colored fabric foot stools floating around the house. You could say they’re pretty drab. They were a hand-me-down from a designer friend of mine who has way cooler hair than I do. After seeing this, I’m convinced there’s hope for my second hand cubes. If you’re like me and you don’t want to spend nearly $300 on this ottoman {gulp!}, you can always create your own version of this Burlap Coffee Sack Ottoman with this tutorial by Knock Off Decor.

{image via Re-nest}
Coffee Bag Planter Pots… Brilliant!

{image via Paige of Design}
Oh, if I ever get my sunroom/craft space in my dream house, I will consider these coffee sack window treatments for sure!

{image via Maya*Made}
If you want to try making these yourself, you can purchase the sewing pattern pdf from Designs Maya Made Etsy Shop.

If you don’t have amazing friends like I have that will snag you coffee sacks whenever they stumble across them, consider contacting a nearby coffee roaster and ask if they have any for purchase. You may luck out and be able to take them off their hands for free! I’ve seen them at antique markets, architectual salvage yards, and of course you can always find them on ebay.

Thank you, Salem for the early morning inspiration. NOW GO BACK TO SLEEP!!!!!!

For Mature Knitting Audiences Only

Last night, I laid in bed while attempting to finish knitting a baby cap for my cousin’s baby. Clark laid next to me playing Angry Birds on his IPhone {like a good husband should} and together we unwound from the day by listening to the new Coldplay album. Which, by the way, have you heard it? Oh my gosh…quick plug… all I have to say is “Paradise” is hands down favorite track!

At 10:30, I was nearly 2 rows and one Coldplay track from being finished with my knitted cap when it occurred to me that things may not turn out like I had hoped.The G-rated version of this story is that my baby cap looked more like a mushroom cloud or a bakers hat. The real truth is, that it bore a strange resemblance to the male anatomy and I couldn’t possibly have my cousin’s baby, or any baby for that matter, seen around around town with a giant phallic symbol on top of her head. Its a baby cap for crying out loud! Does anything else say “innocence” quite like a baby cap? I don’t think so. And still, somehow I managed to defile it.

So, I will begin round 2 tonight. We have the new Gungor album to listen through which will give me the perfect opportunity to knit myself back to all purity and virtue.

And should you decide to try this at home, here’s the pattern:

**Baby Cap:
-cuff: co 44 st. work in k1, p1 ribbing for 1 1/2

row 1 {right side}: knit
row 2 {wrong side}: purl
repeat rows 1 & 2 until piece measures 5″ from cast on edge, ending on wrong side

Row 1: *K2tog, K2: repeat from * across: 33st
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: *K2tog, K1: repeat from * across: 22st
Row 4: Purl
Row 5: K2tog, *K2, K2tog; repeat from * across: 16st
Row 6: Purl
Row 7: K2tog across: 8st. Cut yarn leaving a long end. Thread yarn into yarn needle and draw remaining st on needle. Draw up tightly and fasten off securely. Sew side seam. Turn up cuff.

{**No picture for fear of WordPress flagging this post as “Mature”}

Happy Tuesday!

Silhouette Inspired

I was curled up on my porch swing yesterday beneath my winter coat with a copy of Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts in one hand and a cold PBR in the other. Nothing like a cold brew and a little domestic inspiration to start your week off right. Try it this Sunday afternoon. You’ll thank me. I was perusing Martha’s brilliance when this image jumped off the page….

I do not currently have any silhouette images in my house. In general, I can usually take them or leave them. Quite frankly, nothing screams “corsets and crinoline” quite like a profile silhouette. But when I see them featured in a fresh and mod way, all of a sudden, I want to silhouette every plain fabric surface in my house. Take today for instance. I began making preparations for a handmade Christmas gift by snapping shots of Mia and Salem’s profiles.

Do you have any idea how many episodes of Curious George it took to captures these images?
Surely this has to be the most difficult part of DIY silhouette art.

In addition to Martha’s cross-stich silhouette tote, I have also had my eye on these other silhouette-inspired gift ideas…

Custom Silhouette Pillow by Homemade by Jill

Le Petit Enfants Etsy Shop
{Isn’t the contrasting ribbon just darling?}

Thanks to Jones Design Company silhouette tutorial and of course Martha’s painted, cross-stitched, and iron-on silhouette tutorials, I think I have enough inspiration to get me started.

I will be featuring a series of DIY gift ideas over the next several weeks leading up to the holidays. Feel free to submit some ideas so we can share the homemade wealth.

Happy Monday, everyone!

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