January 31, 2011

my crafty weekend

This weekend was just one of those weekends.  Someone at work so generously gave me their old sewing machine (since I broke mine - or really my mom's), I had lots of cute fabric I have been storing up, I cleaned out my craft room and found a ton more yarn and old, unfinished projects.  It was just all so fresh and inspiring.  I had to answer the call to craft.  I was quite productive too.

I finished some hat orders - minus the cute flower pins.

Sewed some addicting therapeutic heat pads.  Seriously, I am addicted.  I am using one right now.  I have a tutorial on how to make them here.

I make mine out of flannel and that super soft baby blanket material.  I ran out of flax seeds before I could fill these.  I think I may put some on etsy soon since I have no hats on there right now.  I am working on all custom orders.  No time to stock up.

I also finished knitting my blanket - it has officially taken me a year.

It is just a simple knit, purl, knit, purl... pattern.  I love it because this simple pattern for blankets because then it is the same on both sides.

I also went ahead and sewed a blanket.  I bought this fabric awhile ago and have been waiting to make a blanket out of it.  I think it would make an adorable baby blanket.  But since I don't have one of those - it is all for me.

It is similar to my luxurious towel blanket only much softer and little larger.  You can get the towel blanket tutorial here.

How cute so these look together!

After I was finished with all these random projects I realized how well they fit together and what a perfect gift set they would make.

They would be great for mother's day, a birthday or even a new mom.  A blanket for baby, a blanket for mommy, and a nice relaxing heat pad for mommy too.  Oh it would also be nice for someone having surgery.  Now that is a nice recovery package.

Okay, true story.  Since starting this post over lunch I have come down with a bug.  I feel terrible and looking at the screen is excruciating but I have to quickly post this and say that the above package has come in quite handy tonight.  It is the ultimate package for a sick, cold, achy body.  


January 28, 2011

i'm a slacker

I once was crafty.  I was once was creative.  I once was sentimental.  And I once had time.

Oh I miss those days. 

A bit ago I found this stash of cards, letters and scrapbook items in Brandon's office.  They put a smile on my face because he had saved all the the little things I had made for him.  Which is now making me feel extremely guilty that the moment we were married - I stopped.

And that makes me sad.  I loved creating these items for Bran.

So I am making a resolution to first make something special for VDay for Bran of course!
And once I complete that task, then I am going to get back to creating and crafting and making special items for the ones I love instead of picking up a card at Target. Not that greeting cards are bad, they are just expensive and I LOVE making my own.  I just don't.

I like this little memento I made after Bran and I hiked a mountain in Colorado.  I had intents of making one for every mountain but if you are catching the theme of this post - I didn't.

This stack of sweet sentiments and romantic notes means so much to me.  I love the handwritten notes, post cards and handmade cards all collected together in one box - a journal of sorts of our relationship and love.  Awww.......so cheesy. 

Here's to multiplying this stack by the thousands.

Hope you are motivated to get moving on your own VDay creations.  

January 26, 2011

living room change up

When Bran and I first moved into the house we inherited a few pieces from our parents to help hold us over until we could fill it ourselves.  One of the pieces was an old coffee table from my parents.  I remember this table from when I was a little girl.  We would build forts around it or jump off it into a pile of pillows.  But it didn't last long in our home like it did my parent's.  Maybe a month.  Then it was left in the basement to gather dust and random lost items.  Just this past weekend we had to resurrect the table so Bran could have a Halo video game party for his birthday.  He set up four TV's in the house so he and about 15 of his friends could all play against each other.  While cleaning up I decided to swap out the coffee tables and see what the old one looked like in the old room. 

Here is a photo with the old coffee table (being the one from my parent's).

Here is the room this summer with the original table.

I'm digging the country charm of the old table.  I think I will have to either paint it white or better yet paint the other dark furniture in the room white/cream.  Or even more than that I like the natural color of the wood....and I like white and natural wood mix. Hmmm....I think I have some projects to work on this summer - when the weather is nice.  Oh and don't mention this to the hubby.  He was none too pleased when he heard of my desire to change all our furniture.

I have to say the more I look at the pic, do you think the table is too small for the sectional???  That is my only concern at the moment.

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.

January 24, 2011

love at first sight - Dash and Albert

Dash and Albert

I've recently started my search for a new living room area rug.  We bought our current rug when we first moved into the house almost three years ago.  It is a $150 rug from Homegoods.  It has served us well but hasn't offered much style.  But the real problem has been our anxious pup Hudson and his pee pee issues.  We are making progress with that but unfortunately our rug hasn't been able to recover.  Through both pups we made a habit of having the rug professionally cleaned several times a year but that was for a cost of almost $100 each time.  We have definitely invested more than the rug is worth and I just don't feel like doing that again - especially since the rug isn't that pretty.


However, we are definitely being more careful with our money lately but I want to save up for a real, quality rug that can follow us through other homes and other dogs.  And that is where Dash and Albert had me at hello.  Not only do they include dogs in almost all their pictures but

Dash and Albert

they are cotton rugs that are easy to clean and maintain, without having them professionally cleaned.  That is extremely important when I think of the turmoil our future rug will have to endure.  Big dogs, my husband,  and our future children.  Our house has to be practical and livable.  

So I have my eye on these babies to brighten up our room and give it more interest.

Oh and to make it interesting two wool rugs did catch my eye too.

And once Bran had approved my desire to save up for one of these bad boys (which I think is quite reasonable for an area rug but I must save none the less) I fell in love with the carpet bags.  I NEED one of these ASAP.  Hello birthday coming up in a week. hint hint family.

Oh and then I saw that they had cotton throws.

These seemed perfect for laying around on the couch or even throwing on the ground for a picnic or playtime.  Ahhhhh.....so fresh, easy and beautiful.  I love how carefree their products seem.  I also love that they sell in stores nearby.  No shipping fee!

Oh and also, I really would love to have hooks of blankets like that.  How welcoming and hospitable.  Oh and to have just rolls of rugs laying around.  I really like the look of that in a room.  A nice basket filled with various rolled rugs.  Not only does that add so much interest and color to a room but how convenient to have that many options and the flexibility to easily change the look of a room.  You could have one for each season.  

And lastly, I am also adding two runners to my savings list.  We have wooden stairs that the pups (and our socked feet) have a hard time going up and down.  Plus our staircase is also terribly boring.
I was prepping myself for the idea of a paint job but a runner would be extremely helpful!

My head is spinning!  Thank you Dash and Albert.

Oh and I guess I need to say that Dash and Albert didn't give me anything for this praise - I just stumbled upon their site and fell in love.  So I am sharing my inspiration with you.  My thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone!  Hah - that's kind of fun to say.  Not to say I wouldn't accept anything. Is that legal?

Well thanks for stopping by! 

January 23, 2011

homemade cocoa

We have officially experienced the coldest day of the year this past week/weekend.  I am not a cold weather friend so there are only three items that get me through:  my blanket, the fireplace and hot cocoa - oh and I can't forget the hubby.

I have recently learned that there is only one way to drink hot cocoa - the homemade way.  I will never go back to the pouch.  A co-worker recently shared her recipe and I fell in love and would like to share it with you.  Don't worry this isn't a super secret family recipe that I am about to plaster all over the internet.  Just one she found along the way.

I mix dark and regular cocoa for a richer chocolate taste.  I also add a bit more sugar because I have a major sweet tooth.  The great thing about homemade is that it is easy to adjust it to each person's own taste.  Also to clarify - it is about 1/4 c. of mix to every 8 oz. of water.

I love this mix so much I keep a jar of it on the counter for quick hot cocoa fixes.  I love that my guests can easily help themselves too.


January 20, 2011


I had to say goodbye to my all-time favorite blouse the other day.  It absolutely broke my heart - I almost cried.  And it was all my fault.  Mine and the stupid bleach.  Grrr.

Even though it is ruined beyond repair I cannot part with it.  I try and throw it away and then I always find myself digging it back out of the trash.  Don't worry, not my nasty kitchen/bathroom trash just my bedroom, throw away the clothes label trash.  All good.  

After pushing repeat several types on that cycle it finally dawned on me.  One shirt that is damaged as a shirt would be perfect for making flower pins.  Hello my new, old shirt!  Yay!

So I took scissors to her and removed each of those cute, ruffly ruffles.

Only I did throw away that one ruffle with the nasty bleach stain. 

So after taking my needle and thread to them, I turned them into this.

And my dear shirt looks like this now.

But after some ironing it too will become various flowers.  Silk flowers.  Soft, delicate flowers.

And this soft, delicate flower is the perfect compliment to a not so soft or delicate hat I knit for my husband's boss.  She is due with her first child soon and they chose not to find out the sex of the baby.  I love when people want it to be surprise.  So fun.  Except for the fact that I had the challenge of making a cute, unisex, Notre Dame inspired hat.  You see, Brooke is Notre Dame fan and my husband requested, well, this hat.

It's great for a little baby boy Notre Dame fan but what if surprise baby is a girl?
Is it possible to turn this hat into something soft and feminine?
I think so.....

 P.S. Sorry these are grainy.  I took them late at night in poor lighting and then tried editing them quickly so I could wrap the hat up for him to bring to work this morning.  He forgot it but that's to be expected.

I think the flower helps.  I can just picture the little sweet bambino in her (oh yes I am guessing girl because I like the flower pin) all cuddled up in her parent's arms as they cheer on their favorite team.  

I hope they enjoy the hat.

I am just glad that I salvaged my favorite top.  Time to make more flowers.

January 17, 2011

the knit pouf craze

I am obsessed with the knitted pouf.  I'm sure you've seen them.  I feel like they are everywhere right now. I just love the limitless colors, the shape and the texture they add.  They're so fresh and fun - and look pretty darn comfy too.  

I first heard of them from dutch artist Christien Meindertsma.  



Check out her monster needles?  I believe she is making a knit rug in the above photo - which I am also crazy about.  Another project to put in the experimental project list. Christien’s pouf is available throughDWR for $800.

For a more affordable option check out CB2's version for $79.95.

Now I really wasn't kidding when I said I want to make my own.  I found a pouf/puff pattern from one of my favorite knitting sites, pickles

It actually looks really simple.  So as soon as I get through my long list of baby hat orders I am attempting the pouf.  It's even a great word - pouf.  It makes me chuckle every time.  My needles are calling me.  Time to settle on the couch and get some baby hats pounded out.  Nothing like a winter storm and some inspiring images to put me in the knitting mood.
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