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moving…

This is going to be my last post in this space.  I decided that a move was in order.  You can find me here now, along with a little more information about my decision to stop posting in this space.  I hope you will join me in my move.

loving today…

So, I just thought that I would share a few things that I found today that I am really digging!

First, Ali Edwards posted this video of will.i.am on Seseame Street!  It is awesome!

And, Nicole Balch over at Making it Lovely posted about this awesome new emagazine called Gifted.  You should check it out!  Super cute and easy to read online!

taking back the blog….

Right now, I am reading this wonderful book, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, by Brene Brown.  I am not very far in.  I have decided to take tiny steps towards reading it each night before I go to sleep.

Last night, I was reading, and it hit me.  I miss this space.  I know I haven’t been posting here much, and I would like to start again.  So, then I got to thinking about why I haven’t been posting.  I am busy, but I was always busy.  This is a new kind of busy for me, though.  A kind of busy that doesn’t always allow for crafty stuff to make it to the list.

And, I had it in my head that in order to have a “perfect” blog, I had to have “perfect” posts with “perfect” projects presented in “perfect” pictures and a “perfectly” clear focus.  And, I, without completely intending to, had transformed my thinking about this space as a place where I could only share crafty stuff and not even all of it, only the perfect stuff.

imperfect

So, I am ditching that not-so-perfect idea.  I am never going to have a blog that makes any money.  That was never my goal anyway.  If you look back to my initial posts, I don’t even think I shared much of my crafty stuff.  So, I am going to take back this space.  I will still post the fun stuff I am working on, but I am going to post what’s going on with me too.  That was the whole point from the beginning.

I participated in round 2 of the Urban Home Goods Swap, and let me tell you, these are some amazing ladies!  I put my goodies out in the mail this morning, and I thought that I would share them here.  My partner left things pretty open, so I hope she likes what I came up with. I made her three goodies.

Urban Home Goods Swap Goodies

Goodie #1

{Urban Home Goods Swap} Goodie #1

First, I made an embroidered wall hanging of sorts.  I took my inspiration from an amazing canvas my best friend got for me that says “A Handmade Life.”  I thought a little change, a little embroidery, and a fun Ikea frame would make it a fun something for my swap partner.  I used spray adhesive to attach the linen to the frame backing.  I hope it holds up.

Goodie #2

{Urban Home Goods Swap} Goodie #2

Next, I made a 20 inch pillow cover using Crazy Mom Quilts Ticker Tape quilt as inspiration.  A little cyber-stalking clued me in that my partner might like this, and I used the Hope Valley line because I thought it might match something I saw in her Flickr feed.  The back is one of the striped fabrics from the line, and I used a flap closure.  And, the border is Kona Coal, which goes really nicely with the line.  You might see more of these!  I would love to make some for our bedroom.

{Urban Home Goods Swap} Back of Pillow

Goodie #3

{Urban Home Goods Swap} Goodie #3

The last of the somethings I made was the one I was most unsure of.  It is a little pin cushion made out of linen and some Heather Bailey charm squares I had.  It is a little tongue-in-cheek, but I hope my partner likes it.  It might have particular meaning for her.

Quilting Bee Update

I am finally caught up with my quilting bee blocks!  I was way behind, but we don’t need to talk about that.

I wanted to share the August block.  It was for Sam, and she asked us to do valentine’s inspired blocks.  All the fabric used was hers except the white.  This is what I came up with.

{Heart Strings} PTQB#2: August for Samantha

I knew that Sam wanted the blocks to be 12.5 inch squares, so I cut out a piece of packing paper in that size and drew a heart in the middle of it.  Then, I cut out the heart and used the idea behind Ashley’s String Block but with the heart.  When I had it all covered, I cut it out, tore the paper off the back, raw-edge appliqued it onto a piece of white Kona cotton.

I think it turned out pretty cool!

An update on those chairs!

Last year, I posted about my kitchen chairs. I had a dilemma.  I found these great kitchen chairs at a flea market, but they needed a little love.  I was trying to decide on a fabric to use to recover the seats, and I did, so I thought that I would share!

Chairs Redone

As you can see, I went ahead and went with the Daisy Janie fabric, and I love it!  These have been done for quite a while, and they have held up really nicely.  We decided not to paint the chairs because after we cleaned them up, they looked so good.  But, we did paint the table.

I really love the way it all turned out!

I am so excited about my new trash can/recycling bin bling.  Let me explain…

When we lived in Kansas, we didn’t have recycling pickup at our house because we lived in a town with no street delivery of our mail!  Yes, you read that right.  Our town was so small that we had to drive to the post office to get our mail.  So, we would have to collect our recycling, sort it, and take it to the recycling center every time it would overflow and take over the laundry room every week.

When we moved to Virginia, I knew that we would have recycling pick up at the house.  So, I knew that we didn’t have to sort anymore, and I wanted to get a recycling bin for the kitchen that would match our existing trash can {that I completely love…sad how much I love a trash can.  It has no markings (I know because my best friend has looked too), or I would tell you the brand).  We didn’t want something ridiculously expensive, and we were having a hard time finding what we were looking for until we found this at Ikea.

rundel laundry bin

It is perfect.  It is supposed to be a “laundry bin,” but I knew that most of what we needed to recycle would fit in that hole, and the hole would keep the dog out!  The problem was that people didn’t know that it was a recycling bin, and we were constantly finding trash in it.  Or, I should say the boy was finding trash in it.  Taking out the trash is a boy-job in our house.

So, after it being a pain in the butt for forever, I finally got on etsy to find a vinyl recycling label for the top.  And, I found TastySuite.  They rocked!  I ordered the recycling label, seen below, immediately.

recycling bin love

Then, like often happens, I saw the really cute trash symbol and decided I wanted that one too.  So, I quickly sent Kelly, the owner, a message on Etsy to find out if I could add it to my order.  She totally hooked me UP!  I would highly recommend her shop, not only because she rocks but because she has super cute stuff too!

trashcan love

So, now my trash can and recycling bins are clearly marked, and I love the fun little touch it adds to my kitchen!

Easing back in…

As I said earlier this summer, this is definitely a space that I would like to be back in more often.  However, to do that, I just need to jump in, and I have lots of things that I want to share.  I haven’t been doing much crafting in the traditional sense, but I have been doing lots of renovation/redecoration planning.  So, I thought that I would share a little of that.

This bit of decor inspiration came because it is that time of year!  That time where I receive the one catalog that stays on my coffee table all year long.  The catalog that almost everyone that comes over scours for information and ideas.  And, now that we are living back on the east coast, I have one five minutes from my house!

That’s right, boys and girls (or rather girls and the one boy that sometimes reads this!), the 2011 Ikea catalog arrived in my mailbox last week, and I have been carefully combing each page for all the new goodies out this year.

Now, I know that Ikea can sometimes be hit or miss for some people.  For a long time, they were the quintessential Scandinavian modern cheap furniture.  And, while they definitely have some modern undertones to most of their stuff, they also have some really beautiful, urban modern/vintage pieces too.  Like the Hemnes line, which I love.

I also love the textiles from Ikea, particularly their duvet covers.  I like to change things up, and you can often find king-sized duvet covers with two pillow shames for under fifty bucks.  And, they are cute too!  The boy and I like to layer them on the bed and use one as a sheet.  I say we, but really I don’t like a top sheet and he does, so this is a happy compromise for us.

Those are the types of things from Ikea that I gravitate to more than anything, but now with a little one, some of their kids stuff is pretty killer too.  And, if you are looking to outfit a little kitchen, or a big one for that matter, you can’t beat the real-to-life accessories.

So, back to the catalog update.  Here are the things that I am drooling over just a little:

This is the Songe mirror.  It is a huge full length mirror that I would love to have for our bedroom.  The best part, it is only $99!  It isn’t in stock right now, but as soon as it is back in, I will be snagging one for sure.

I am also really digging this new shoe rack.  I keep thinking about all the things you could use it for.  I am thinking about using it as a place to stash some of my cleaning supplies in my mudroom.  I need to check it out again first, though.

And, I am loving this new Hemnes hutch (I told you it was my favorite line).  I think I have a perfect spot for this in my kitchen, but I need to break out Stanley, that’s what we call our tape measure, and measure to be sure.  I am thinking it would be great for table linen storage in my kitchen.

And, last but not least, I have been wanting to make myself a new cutting table for a while.  The one I haven’t doesn’t quite do what I need it to, and it isn’t quite wide enough.  I am loving the butcher block that Ikea has, and I would love to use it as the top for the new table!

Any Ikea lovers out there with a list of their own?

My 33rd year…

I have seen lots of people create lists of things they want to accomplish around the time of their birthday every year, and I  liked the idea.  I turn 33 today, so I thought that I would share my ten goals for the upcoming year.  Some are big things and some are small, but they are all things that have been on my mind lately.

  1. Cook more this year, and take the time to cook new things with ingredients I enjoy.  I did this some last year, but I look forward to cooking even more this year.
  2. Make at least one quilt for my family to keep.
  3. Get caught up on previous projects (this is a  huge one).
  4. Read more, and watch less TV.
  5. Say goodbye to quite a few of my scrapbooking supplies to make room for the things I really love.
  6. Get rid of the things in our home that don’t make me happy anymore.  We are going to have one HUGE yard sale this fall and get rid of a ton of stuff.
  7. Find a way to work and go to school without getting overly stressed out by it.   This likely means that there are new avenues I need to pursue with regards to the way that I help support our family.
  8. Work towards living “if it isn’t an absolute yes, then it is a no.” (see #5)
  9. Keep working with the boy on making our house our home.  I have told him several times that I don’t feel like I really live here yet, and I would like to keep working on that.  A large part of this will be continuing to add our touches to the house.
  10. Enjoy more of the small moments in my life, particularly with my little man and the boy!

I am not even going to comment on the fact that is has been so long between posts, but I hope to be back more regularly again soon!

Recently, I was reading Lisa Leonard’s blog, and she asked her readers what you would do if someone offered you $20K for everything in your home.  The response in the comments was interesting, but today she directed us to this blog post where Kim at Tomkat Studio shared her story about selling her house and everything in it!  Last night, my good friend Bonnie, who has an awesome blog for kid advice, posted on Facebook that she wanted a do over with all of her stuff.  And, that prompted me to wonder what would be on my list of things to keep if someone offered me $20K for all our stuff?

First, my answer would be yes.  For $20K, I would sell everything I owned.  When I first started thinking about this, I was in the middle of Ali Edwards’s Week in the Life project, and I thought that it would be interesting to document our house at this moment in our lives.  Things are undone and all over the place after moving last year.  Lots of empty wall space still, so I don’t really feel settled completely.  Most of our stuff is what we have collected over the last ten years of marriage and moving, and the boy’s job influences the way we think about our stuff (we are always worried about how heavy something is!).  But, these are a few of the things that are particularly important to me and would be on my keep list.

1 | The first is the headboard to our bed.  This was an old window frame that I saved from the dump that I had made into a headboard by a wonderful old woodworker in the town we lived in when we were in Kansas.  On the top of the top cross bar, it has “Always kiss me goodnight” etched into the wood.  I love it, and it is one of those pieces that I hope becomes a family heirloom.

Headboard

2| Next would have to be the glass cabinet in our kitchen.  It is a piece that I picked at a craft fair in Kansas.  It is wonderful, and one of the last truly country crafty things that I kept from that phase in my life.  I don’t think I will ever get rid of it, but I have thought of painting it several times!

Pie Safe

3| Then, there are these, which I have posted about before.  It is unnatural how much I love them!

Amazing Find

4| And, finally, there are lots of pictures and wall art that I wouldn’t want to leave behind.  One of my favorites, is my ceiling tin piece.  This was another find from that Kansas craft fair, but it was one of those things that was almost a complete loss.  I saw it there the first year I went, but I had already gotten the pie safe above, and I didn’t want to get both.  But, then I went home and thought about it and was really bummed that I hadn’t gotten the one I saw.

The next year I went, and the weather was awful and the vendor wasn’t there.  It wasn’t until the final year I went that he was back, but when I went to his booth, they didn’t have any of the larger ones displayed.  So, I asked about it and explained the story.  It turned out that he had left it in his truck because the economy was bad, and he didn’t think it would sell.  It is huge, but it looks perfect in the front entryway of our new house with the higher ceilings!

Ceiling Tiles

What this little experiment taught me about our stuff is that I value the unique more than the everyday.  I see lots of our possessions as functional pieces that work for the job we need them for.  But, the pieces I love the most are the ones that have a story and took a little extra effort to acquire.  A good lesson to learn at this stage in my life!

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