dollar store wreath #1

i think i may have totally underestimated the crafty possibilities of the dollar store until now. it started back in december when i needed something large for my front porch, but at a next-to-nothing price... remember the front porch trees? and winter snowflake wreath? all thanks to dollar store goodies.

so when i wanted to make something springtime and easter-y on the cheap, i knew i'd start there. i came home with deliciously cheap plastic eggs in two sizes, two wooden wreath bases, some faux moss and some brown paper lunch bags... all ripe for the crafting and ready to be made into three wreaths!

dollar store wreath #1

first off, i was dying to try v&co's fabric covered egg tutorial. i broke out the modge podge and got to work right away on that one. i forgot how wonderfully messy modge podge is- every once in awhile i'd have to stop and peel giant sheets of it from my fingers!
two hints i discovered the hard way: it's easier and much less slippery to glue the middle first, let it dry, and then try to smooth the individual strips down on the edges... and for the smaller eggs, it's much easier to just to strips all the way from top to bottom, rather than trying to keep them connected in the middle. read through V's tutorial for that to make sense!
after the eggs were all modge-podged and dry, i laid them out how i wanted them to fit together, alternating the bigger and smaller ones evenly.
then i hot glued them together with a big dollop of hot glue. it was tricky to keep them in a perfect circle at this stage- mine ended up a little bit of an oval, and i had to pop a few of them apart and re-glue to get it just right.
then i needed something to cover up the big dried glue spots, so i wrapped some bright yellow ribbon in and around the connection between each egg. worked perfectly, and i spaced it so that there was a little ribbon left at the top on each side to tie together for hanging!
it looks great hanging by itself:
and also ended up just the right size to hang inside my front door grapevine wreath- i bought this one wreath at michael's with a 40% off coupon [got it for about $2] and have used it every season since! i just make sure the season-specific elements will be removable later.
perfectly bright and easter-y! now i just need some daffodils to go in my planters!


funny story about dumpster diving.

ok, not really dumpster diving. more like dumpster foraging... trash to treasure!

i was walking with K in her stroller yesterday to take our recyclables up to the neighborhood dumpsters. first off, i accidentally threw one bag of the recyclables into the regular trash, and ended up having to fish it out with a bed rail someone had left abandoned by the dumpster (side note: i'm a bit obsessive about recycling. i try to recycle everything. we've gotten to where when we take the trash out, it's almost half-and-half trash and recyclables and that really excites me).

anyway, when i threw the recyclables in the correct dumpster, i saw a beautiful wine bottle. we walked three more loops around the neighborhood, and i could not stop thinking about it. our decor budget has gone from slim to none, and i was thinking of all the pretty things i could do with it- put it on the mantel filled with something being my main thought.

so when we came back around to the dumpsters i decided the bottle was coming home with us. with K safe in her stroller beside me, wheels locked, i got to work. luckily, the dumpster area is fenced in, so none of my neighbors could see my crazy foraging efforts. it took a few minutes and the use of both a large wooden brush and one of those industrial dustpan on a stick thingys, but the bottle was ours!

so i brought him home, soaked his label off, and now here he is in all his glory:
my husband thinks i'm totally crazy for saving glass bottles all the time (i've been doing it since we were married- cheap decor man!) but even he had to admit that it was a really cool looking bottle.

when i remembered this tutorial about how to make a bottle into a lamp, it felt like a lightbulb idea (i know, what is it with me and lamps recently?). so i'm envisioning something like this for our little bottle friend:
bacchus lamp by pottery barn- since i'm not in the habit of spending $199 on a lamp (or pretty much anything right now!) i think a little dumpster dive could be totally worth it!

or maybe just sitting pretty somewhere in the house. for now, he has happily made his home on our mantel with a branch, waiting to be filled with something spring-timey or summery!
what's your opinion?


spring projects!

i can always tell it's time to write in the blog when i have about 10 windows on my screen open to all the beautiful ideas out there that are inspiring me right now! the weather and the sunshine has been very spring-like recently, and here are some of the beautiful spring-time ideas i'm wanting to work on:
country sign- v&co.

fabric-covered eggs- v&co.

stretchy skirt- freshly picked (how's that for a spring-y blog title?)

fabric easter basket- v&co. for moda bakeshop

kids magnet board- life with little ones
(would be great with these letter/number magnets- modge podge rocks).

lemon wreath- the brassy apple
(the tutorial is for the frame, but i love that wreath for spring! you could also do it with plastic easter eggs. or peeps!)


inspiration: spoons.

recently i have come to a realization about myself and admitted it:

i love spoons.

laugh if you must, but it's true! usually i'm somewhat minimal in my decorating especially when dealing with a theme, but i think sometimes a collection just looks better when it's fully fleshed out [aka: everywhere!] and i can't think of a better one than spoons in the kitchen. here's what i would be redecorating with if money were no object:
jj evensen.
beehive kitchenware.

and some lovely prints on etsy:
by eva juliet and kari herer.

i love the idea of using vintage spoons as kitchen cabinet pulls [although brand new ones are cheap and cute!]
centsational girl.

now, i don't exactly have $4,800 right now, but how incredibly amazing is this spoon chandelier!? i think this would be unbelievable above a dining room table. i would love love love to try a diy version of this one! in fact, apartment therapy featured a really great tutorial that seems like it could easily be adapted to however you wanted to do it [i'm thinking a mini version on a cute lamp!]
anthropologie [of course]

how easy is this beautiful idea from pottery barn? old rusty-ish spoons in antique pickling jars [although i always wonder if pottery barn stuff is really vintage or not... remember that episode of friends?] i love the muted colors and moody feeling!
and let's not forget the spoon's hardworking friend the fork:

fork easel (i have a serving fork and spoon set that my grannie gave me that are family heirlooms, i think a little framed shadowbox similar to this would be great for them!)
the nester.

or in an assemblage with some cool vintage wood scraps and such, like this one. i like how it's the whole family (spoon, fork, knife) all together:
and i think i need this wee little punch. how cute would it be on some recipe cards?
one of my favorite parts of the super cute zest cafe in north raleigh (although their gift shop full of adorable home and baby stuff gives it a run for the money) is the little cutlery fence around their patio seating:
how cute would this be around a little backyard garden area or on a deck or porch? it seems fairly easy to make... pre-made fence posts, a couple of skinny rails, and some plywood cut into the shapes and painted. it's things like this that make me hope someday we won't be in a rental, and we can fill a house with lots of diy things that others might find a little odd... things like this fence on the back deck, doors hung on the wall, a coffee cup rack on the ceiling, some tree branches here and there, and maybe even some handmade furniture!


mountain cake.

today i asked my hubby M, who is turning 29 tomorrow, if he wanted sprinkles on his cake that i was planning on making him tonight. i have an entire bottle of sprinkles waiting in the kitchen cabinet just waiting, and was thinking of making a cake stencil to make a giant 'm' of sprinkles on it for him.

he proceeds to tell me he does not like sprinkles.

what? firstly, how do you not like sprinkles? secondly, how have we been married for over 5 years and i didn't know this?

so, a little while later, i asked him if instead of sprinkles he would like the cake in the shape of something [thinking again, that i might cut it into a giant 'm.' i have a one-track mind].

so he says yes.

me: "ok great! what shape would you like?"

him: "um. pilot mountain!"

me: "pilot mountain?"

he wants a cake in the shape of a mountain, one of his favorite rock-climbing spots. which i love, because it's kind of a 6-year-old type answer, which is one of my favorite things about him. and he wants it for his 29th birthday, when you have long ago realized that grown-up birthdays are really not that fun, and a little disappointing. and if i can at all help it, i don't do disappointment on birthdays.

so, a pilot mountain cake he's gonna get.

i like to bake and decorate cakes/cupcakes. i'm not going to be asked to guest star on ace of cakes or the iron chef anytime soon for my amazing skills, but i do enjoy it. however, a pilot mountain cake pretty much tops the list of anything cake-decorating-related i have ever attempted. did you not see the picture of one of the first cakes i made for him after we were married?
hopefully not my best work. and now i'm attempting one that looks like this:
[which is actually kind of fun and sweet since it's a place we've been together several times.]

so i started with this:
and had to get a little creative. ok, a lot creative. and by creative i mean completely experimental... a little frosting mixing, and a little that comes straight out of the spray can with the fancy tips [because i don't have a fancy tip kit and usually use a ziplock baggie].
i wasn't sure if i should do the cake flat like the photo or attempt something 3d [for which i had to google 'pilot mountain from above' because i couldn't remember the word topographic.] in the end, i decided flat was best. so i flipped the cake upside down onto the tray to give myself a flat surface, and carefully cut the edges off the top and moved them to the bottom. then i used an entire can of green spray frosting to make the trees and the 29 in them. even though i thought the finished result looked a little like a leprechaun hat, he was really happy with it and that's all that matters to me!
speaking of my man, i have to brag on him a little and show you a picture of him on pilot mountain in person:
he's still the coolest boy i've ever met. happy birthday to my love!


getting focused.

since this summer i've been taking some time to focus on crafting for my family and my home rather than trying to stock my shop or be a vendor at very many craft shows. in changing my name and starting this new blog, i've had the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate and redefine what owning this little business should look like, and just to take some time to enjoy crafting again. i think it's easy to get so caught up in wanting to be sucessful and comparing yourself to others who are accomplishing what you want to accomplish, that you start losing the joy in the making, in the creating, and you lose much of your inspiration. at least, that's how it was for me.

when my daughter was born, i knew much of my crafting would be for her since i finally had a reason to start following through on many of the fun baby things there are out there! but it still took some time and some experimentation to find out what worked and what didn't... which makes sense considering how much of motherhood is trial and error, learning from the advice of others and from your own experiences with your own unique little one.

what finally came out of the mix were appliqued bibs. i started making them not only for kenna, but as baby shower gifts [or welcome-to-the-world gifts as one of my lovely new-mommy friends put it] for others, and it was so refreshing to make them and not worry about anything other than the desire to show my love to the friend and new baby i was making it for. i've decided to start expanding my ideas for them and exclusively stocking them in a new etsy shop i've had in the works.

it's not quite ready for a full unveiling, but i wanted to share a bit of a sneak preview of some of these gorgeous children whom i love, whose families i love, and whom i am honored to have wear and use their bibs i have made.

k for kenna
precious miss E and those incredible eyes
little mr. H with his amazing blonde hair
brand-new mr. T on halloween
my cranky little valentine
one thing i pray most often for my little girl is that God will spare her from the pain and disappointment that is so prevalent in this world... everything from the bullies on the playground to losing a loved one before you're ready. i'm sure every parent wants to protect their child in that way. a simple gift of a bib seems small in importance, but as i have prayed it for my own little one, i pray that as i make each bib for each little life that will wear it. this is the kind of change i want for my business... to bathe each endeavor with prayer and intentionality and to hopefully be a blessing to those around me!

i've had lots of inspiration this week, and feel like a breath of fresh air is coming through and bringing something new creatively. it feels good to have a plan again! i can't wait to show you more!


inspiration: twig decor.

i am dying, dying i tell you, to bring some of the outdoors into our decor after testing it out a little with our christmas decor. i don't care if the house ends up looking like a log cabin or the inside of a tree house, the more twigs/branches/trees the better! i think there's something so great in bringing the outdoors in- it creates a texture and a warmth, and earthiness i guess, that i think really makes a place feel homey! like a ski cabin with a fire next to a big pile of firewood. but then again, you can tuck a few flower or leaf elements here and there, and it becomes fresh and springy.

here are some of the super inspiring images i've been collecting... i have multiple ideas conspiring in my brain for on-the-cheap diy versions of these! [seriously, i would probably do every single one if that wouldn't seem weird to my husband]. would it be strange if we made the living or dining room the branch room?

twig with ornaments above a dining table: apartment therapy

twig curtain rod: diy ideas

twig flatware: woolrich [i'm pretty sure i can't diy these, but i love them!]

twig side table: viva terra [unfortunately no longer available, but potentially diy-able?]

completely awesome twig cube side table: re-nest

natural stump side table: west elm [with a how-to by martha, surely this wouldn't be too hard, right?]

hanging or in a flower pot with tissue paper flowers: pottery barn kids [i want to do something similar above my little girl's crib so badly]

totally amazing twig chandelier: anthropologie [leave it to anthro to come up with the good stuff!]
and a ridiculously cool iphone docking station: anthropologie

[it's also good to see that i'm not the only one obsessing on twigs right now!]


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