Moving with Style

I’m digging out of the yard sale pile long enough for a hot cup of tea and some creative inspiration. I have Moving Day on the brain, and as previously stated, moving is NEVER fun. At the very least, the moving announcement ought to be somewhat cheery.

Care to help me pick one?

Etude Designs Zany Moving Announcement 

Minted moving announcement by Oh So Beautiful Paper

Map-Inspired moving announcement by Martha Stewart

The Perfect Match moving announcement by Minted

I just found this picture and I fell in love. If Clark and I were this adorable and we had in 800 vintage hard covers and a beat up military jeep and cat in the hat socks this would surely be my announcement of choice.

Hot tea and creative inspiration break over…. Back to cleaning out the linen closet {sigh}.

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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!

Epic Thread Jam

That’s it! I’ve officially had it! My girlfriend dropped by today to ask me if I could hem her jacket. No problem. Never mind that I’ve never sewn a blind hem in my life. (I’m more crafts… less sewing). But there’s a first time for everything, right? I have to have it ready for her to wear to a funeral tomorrow, so I sat down to finish this simple task tonight at 8:15 and it is now 11pm, and not only did I not complete said hem, but I nearly had to take a machete to the jungle that is my sewing space. Seriously, my creative space looks like a nuclear fallout zone. Loose spools of thread, sandwich baggies filled with needles and seam gages. Of course I always keep my Martha Stewart Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts handy. So there I am digging through fabric scraps and pillow stuffing looking for my sewing pins and of course Martha is looking up at me with that condescending look and I can just hear her saying, “Thanks for playing. Try again. Its for people like you that God invented adhesive tape”. Yet, I finally (at 9:45) manage to complete a running stitch, but not without achieving the most epic thread jam of all time. The life of my friend’s jacket (who ironically enough happens to be named Martha), my machine, and not to mention my domestic pride are hanging by a thread here. I got all “how stuff works” for about an hour and literally, with a screwdriver and barrage of insults, tore my machine apart just to get the jacket out. Not only that, I blew a dust bunny the size of Martha’s head out of the bobbin case (she -who-sits-smugly- atop -her-domestic- high- horse “Martha”, not “Martha” owner of the garment held hostage by my bloody machine). That should tell you how long its been since I sat down to sew anything. A few MacGyver maneuvers and my machine and Friend Martha’s jacket made it out in one piece, but me on the other hand… the “disheveled homemaker” is not a good look on me! I was recently asked to be a contributing writer for 365 Days of Sewing. Well, right about now, all I have to contribute are tears and a string of colorful expletives. My husband just commented on my angry typing as I sit her taking out my domestic failure on my poor computer. Well, somebody’s got to feel my pain.

I hereby pledge to design my ideal creative space. I want to be able to practically Magneto my sewing pins to me whenever I need them. No more tangled war zone!

I welcome any and all suggestions and comments– especially from those who can sympathize with this sewing disaster!

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!

 

Why Not Wine Corks?

I collect wine corks. I don’t know why. It just seems a pity to throw them away. Wine is meant to be enjoyed with friends over a nice meal, at a wedding, or after a long day with children. On days when my sense of humor is limping along, I can look at my bowls and vases filled with wine corks and it proves to me somehow that I really am fun. Really. I am. While I was home for the holiday I snagged a bag full of wine corks from my mother’s house. Then, while we were on our fabulous Romantic Holiday Getaway, Shirley at the front desk caught me eyeing a giant bag of corks in the kitchen and she offered for me to take them home. So, if one didn’t know me any better, I looked like I drank myself silly this Christmas judging from all the wine corks I hauled home from Florida. Before Hoarders decides to do a piece on me, I think I ought to put my wine corks to good use.

One can always count on Martha Stewart to make good use out of stray wine corks. I just love this wine cork board! Click here to learn how she does it.

The possibilities for wine cork boards are seemingly endless!

Images via 4 Eyes and Ears Etsy shop

Image via Wine Enthusiast

If wine cork boards are not your taste, here are some other creative ideas to try.

Design Sponge features these DIY wine cork coasters and trivet.

How clever. Learn how to make this wine cork bath mat by Crafty Nest.

These napkin rings would be quite the conversation piece at my next dinner party. Check out newenglandfineliving.com for more wine cork craft projects.

I’m off to work on my rosettes, but I plan to have a wine cork project completed by the weekend. I’ll keep you posted!

 

For All the Foul-Mouthed Martha’s

My dear friend Stephanie Richards from Atlanta, Georgia taught me how to sew…. well, how to sew without using profanity. There’s nothing like tangled bobbin thread to make you lose your Christian witness– am I’m right? Stephanie hosts monthly “Unfinished Project” parties for all of the well-intentioned craft-ies who are expert starters, but who need a little help actually fulfilling their domestic mission. Sewers, knitters, scrap-bookers– this is a very non-discriminatory group. All are welcome and encouraged to exchange their creative ideas and suggestions. Women sitting around drinking coffee, eating chocolate and working with their hands without feeling the pressure to make dazzling conversation? I think its brilliant!! So brilliant, in fact, that I decided to channel my inner Martha Stewart and host an Unfinished Projects Party of my own last weekend.

There were only a half-dozen of us ladies, but between the knitting, quilting, and wreath making, there was not a square inch of living room space that wasn’t covered with someone’s project. I love it!

My girlfriend brought her three-year-old and she and I beaded a bracelet together using recycled necklace beads and some memory wire.

Christyn knitted this cowl by herself! It was her first knitting project, and while she was originally planning to make a scarf, she called me a few weeks ago crying about her oversized green pot holder. We used our imagination and rummaged through my jewelry box. I found this green jeweled bead attached to something with a peacock feather. Well, I don’t do peacock feathers, so again, we recycled the jewel and next thing you know, we made a cowl. What is that phrase? “Aim for the moon and fall among the stars.” Well, aim for the scarf and fall among the cowls.

The girls at my party had so much fun, they want to start holding these parties monthly. Way to go, Stephanie! You have not only helped me curtail my use of colorful expletives, but you are inspiring women across state lines to finished their craft projects. If you want to host your own Unfinished Projects Party, check out Stephanie’s blog for great tips and ideas!