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!

Amelia’s 1st Birthday Tea Party

Mia’s 1st Birthday Tea Party…. I struggle to know where to start. First things first, the party poms were a success.

For a moment there, I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to pull them off, but they were a smash hit, and this little tissue paper display will soon make a new home in Mia’s bedroom.

This table featured everything the grown-up ladies might enjoy for brunch tea. Fine china, sterling silver, and sweets galore!

I loved these vintage tea boxes. Little accents like these along with the teapot cookie cutter and the cupcake necklace {compliments of Mia’s Nona} added a little something special to the overall display.

My sister bough Amelia this adorable “Got cupcakes?” apron. I just had to somehow sneak it into the decor. Did you notice the tea cup-shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Those were my favorite. And thanks to Jones Design Company and Kevin and Amanda’s scrapbook fonts, I was able to design these adorable menu cards!

The Almond Chicken Salad sandwiches were delicious, but surprisingly not as popular as the mimosa punch. Go figure! And yet, as much fun as I had putting all of this together, I was most excited about my Mia tree centerpiece.

I pulled some of my favorite pics of Mia from the past year and clothes-pined them to some branches I picked up from Michael’s. Then I filled the vase with some tea bags for some thematic flare, accented it with a glittered fabric bow, and surrounded it with paper streamer rosettes. I love it so much, its been over a week and I still haven’t taken it down!

This was the little ladies tea party table complete with metallic glitter crowns, princess silly bandz and tea pot suckers from Oriental Trading Company. And of course, what is a tea party without a proper tea party attire?

A top hat and suspenders for the head Beasley…. a silly hat, pearls and white gloves for the hostess. I’d say we looked the part, wouldn’t you?

The hat was a huge hit with Salem {which is more than I can say for the tie, unfortunately.}

Before we sat down to enjoy our tea {pink lemonade for the little ladies}, Nona beautified each of the little party-goers.

And here she is ladies and gentlemen. The guest of honor with her proud Mimi. As they say, she’s a party waiting for a place to happen!

After the girls had their make up done, they put on their crowns and enjoyed some party sweets.

When they had eaten their fill, they dove into the dress-up box and covered themselves with metallic beads and feathered-boas to match their glitter crowns.

We played a round of musical chairs to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot”.

Afterward, we rounded up the little ladies for story time with Nona. What could be more appropriate than the book,  My Very First Tea Party?

We wrapped things up by opening into Mia’s birthday gifts. Don’t you love the handmade tutu?

It just occurred to me that I had slowly morphed from tea party hostess to Michael Jackson impersonator with the single white glove.

Yet how can I convey the magic that was my Mia on her very special day? I think this picture says it all.

Sparkly light-up crown, frosting-covered grin, “Got cupcake” apron, and a half-eaten smash cake… In a word, our celebration was… magical. It was a day we will not soon forget.

I love you my sweet Mia girl!

Coffee Theme Shower

Please forgive me for not posting yesterday. I was still recovering from the weekend. And what a glorious weekend it was! My coffee-themed baby shower was a hit! I was so caught up in the excitement that believe it or not, I didn’t snap a single picture. Not one! So, I bummed a few off some friends just to give you an idea.

The table display was gorgeous complete with coffee inspired sweets… mocha flavored cake frosting and dark chocolate covered espresso beans. I haven’t had that much sugar or caffeine in ages. I was flyin’ high!

In addition to my “baby love” bouquet and my baby banner bunting, these coffee filter wreaths made by my dear friend Tracy were the conversation piece of the afternoon. Aren’t they brilliant?!

I intend to give this wreath a new home above my kitchen window.

As you know I’m a huge fan of Jones Design Company. These beverage labels are a combination of Emily Jones printable baby collection cards and Kevin & Amanda’s Claudia Jean scrapbook font.

I used rhinestone iron-on letters to make this onesie banner for little Lottie.

And for a sentimental touch, I clothes pinned baby pictures of Ginny above every window and door frame.

I may have had a misty-eyed moment seeing photos Ginny as a little girl knowing that in just a few weeks, we will get to hold her little girl, Charlotte. Tear… sniff… sniff.

If you’re anything like me, you absolutely dread baby shower games. I’ve played my fair share of guess-the-size-of-mom’s-belly, and I’m admittedly hopeless when it comes to saying the forbidden word “baby” which usually results in my forfeiting all of my clothespins to some competitive party-goer within the first five minutes of the shower. Needless to say, I was bound and determined to avoid any and all annoying baby shower games. So, we had a onsie decorating contest instead, and the girls loved it!

Two or three girls teamed up to design and decorate a onesie using colorful fabric markers. We strung them up all around the house and Ginny got to vote for her favorite. The winners received a prize {gourmet coffee of course}, but the best part about it was that half of the girls didn’t know each other when the shower began, yet they bonded while doing something creative and hands-on. I appreciate parties that take into consideration that not everyone enjoys making small talk. This is a great way to get people to relax and enjoy themselves while expressing themselves in a unique way. As you can see by the Arabic on this particular onesie…. this was a pretty eclectic bunch.

And last but not least, I put together a “Thank You Card” basket for Ginny with a pen, some stamps, and of course the same blank printable cards I used for her invitations and the beverage labels. They come in 4 different designs and they’re all adorable!

Well, there you have it. I had an absolute blast preparing for Ginny’s baby shower {even if I can’t stomach the thought of another chocolate covered espresso bean}. Ha!

We’re having a baby…

Shower, that is… heavens above! I just finished being pregnant. This body needs a rest!

The vote for your favorite handwriting font for Ginny’s baby shower invitation was nearly unanimous! Thanks for the input everyone. Paired with these adorable baby card printables from Jones Design Company, we now have a one-of-a-kind invite for Ginny’s special day!

And the best part is…. no pink!

If you like this font, you can download it from Kevin and Amanda’s blog, and purchase the baby card print from Jones Design Company. Download it right to your computer and print off as many cards as you want!

{Sorry for the twisted “We’re-having-a-baby” joke. A girl’s gotta have some fun on a Monday every now and then.}

I Can Not Do It All

image via Jones Design Company

I stumbled on this print a few days ago, and I think I need to have this framed in a couple of different locations around my house. How about you?

I did a little personal inventory of my priorities this morning, and it wasn’t pretty. When you add up all of my outside activities, not including blogging, the occasional dinner with friends, or the everyday things that need tending to around the house (budgeting, cooking, laundry, market runs, etc) it adds up to 39 hours a week. 39 hours a week?! I thought I was a stay at home mom! Apparently, just because I don’t wear heels and sit in a cubicle anymore, doesn’t mean that the work load has gotten any lighter. I know what you must be thinking. We’re all busy, right? Well, for me personally, this reveals a need for some major adjustment.

I was reading a parenting magazine article a few months back. It suggested that when a mother works more than 20 hours a week outside the home, the rest of the family begins to feel the affects of it. I believe the affects for each family are different, so excuse me for being so vague, but I took that so much to heart. I may not have to report to an office, but those things outside of my home are weighing rather heavy on the scale lately, and requiring more of my attention than I can afford to give. I don’t have to punch a time clock to be considered unavailable at home.

I am speaking entirely from personal conviction, and in no way do I judge women who work outside their homes. But for me, reading, singing, and dancing to Salem’s favorite Bible songs CD are priorities to me. Today, Mia was having “Tummy Time” while I was clipping coupons. I looked over and her entire mouth was blue. After a little search and rescue maneuver, I uncovered a spit- covered mass that once was a coupon. It was incredibly cute albeit disgusting, but my point is this. No activity is worth my time or my contribution at their expense. Only I can look into their eyes and see my hurried lifestyle. Their little instincts can tell when mommy is reading “A Lovely Day for Amelia Goose”, but really she is thinking about making calls, placing orders, and getting to the post office before it closes. No one can convince me otherwise.

So, it is time to recalibrate. Today, I simply acknowledge that I CAN NOT DO IT ALL.

It’s a start, right?

While the Husband’s Away

This was the scene around my house on Friday night.

While Clark was away with some friends at Unite Charlotte, I stayed home with the sleeping babies and had a night to myself. It was glorious. I popped in The Devil Wears Prada and pulled up this book wreath tutorial by Jones Design Company. The rest of the evening went something like this…

This was the first night I’ve had to myself in ages. Nothing like a cold beer and a hot glue gun to celebrate my evening flying solo. And surprisingly, this was the end result!

Perhaps a night to myself every once in a while might not be such a bad idea!

Chalk Talk

I am beginning to think that if you live in a house with children (or a visionary husband) you need to make good use of chalkboard paint. Granted, chalkboard painted surfaces are cropping up everywhere these days, but there’s a reason for that. Perhaps a few of these examples would prove useful around your house. I know they would in mine.

I am already visualizing my home school room even though Salem just rounded age 2! It never too early to prepare, right? I love these Erasable Labels from Martha Stewart. If Salem had his way, they would all be labeled “drum sticks”.

If you haven’t already visited Jones Design Company blog, pour yourself a cup of hot tea and brace yourself for a dose of inspiration like you’ve never seen before. In a word Emily is brilliant. I recently told her that if one could have a blog “mentor” she would be it for me. This is a wall in her home office. I could see Clark and I scribbling lyrics all over that space. Here are a couple of other examples of fun with chalkboard paint.

Image via image via Milk and Honey Home

This table by Design Sponge got my wheels spinning for this weekend’s Unfinished Projects Party. I just re-inherited a hideous cabinet that I lent to Christyn. It is an eyesore in my foyer, and I can’t stand to leave it there looking like something better suited for the Pit of Despair.

Try Benjamin Moore Studio Finish Chalkboard Paint

…or if you’re in a more colorful mood, check out Hudson Color Chalkboard Paint, and paint ’til your heart’s content!