About Me

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I’m a book-reading, craft-making newlywed living outside Chicago. I love my husband, cooking dinner and especially eating desserts! We love to ride bikes all over town and read books at coffee shops. I also enjoy shopping at JoAnns, drinking wine on the patio and playing with my bunny rabbit Penelope. Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog. Please leave a comment- they really make my day! :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hummingbird Excitement

Yesterday ThatGuy noticed something amazing out the window- a hummingbird!


I ran to grab my camera and snapped some fuzzy pictures through the screen door.



This finch was not impressed with the hummingbird, nor me taking pictures. Doesn't she look irritated?

This summer we set up a bird feeder AND we made sure we could see the feeder while we sat on the couch and watched television. Then all summer long we congratulated ourselves on being able to observe nature while sitting inside the air conditioning. Some might say we are lazy, but we prefer the term resourceful.

Fall Wreath

It's the year for this:


All my friends are turning 30, so ThatGuy and I have been partying it up 1980-81 style all year long! I had so much fun making the purple rosette and burlap wreath, I decided to make a fall themed one for my friend's present. (sidenote: turning 30 means being excited about home decor presents as opposed to receiving Barbies or issues of Seventeen magazines).

Here's the fall wreath!

Its like the Wreath is trying to say something! What's that, Wreath?

Oh! Happy fall to you too! What a friendly Wreath.

Supplies to make Happy Fall Wreath:
foam wreath
burlap strips (about 1/4 yard)
hot glue
orange/brown paper
twine
fusible interfacing
fall fabric

Step 1: Wrap strips of burlap around the foam wreath, securing with hot glue.
Step 2:
Cut out triangles for the banner and letters to spell Happy Fall. I used my awesome Silhouette for this.

Step 3:
Glue letters onto triangles and let dry. Glue to a piece of twine and then wrap twine around the wreath. Hot glue in place.


Step 4:
The wreath still needed something... so I added some mini pinwheels! I made pinwheels using burlap, fall fabric and fusible interfacing. Check out this post to learn how to make pinwheels.

I just used a straight pin to attach the pinwheels to the wreath, I needed to cover up the yellow head. I simply tied a knot of fabric, snipped off the ends and hot glued the knot to the pin.


Step 5:
Using the same technique as in the rosette wreath, add a strip of burlap and fabric to make a decorative holder.
Step 6:
Tada! Feel good that your wreath is welcoming in the best season of the year!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Idea Garden

Last week, ThatGuy and I visited Paris.


Okkkaay, that's not actually the real Eiffel Tower. It's a 23 foot wooden replica at Cantigny, which is pretty darn close to the actual landmark. I'm sure.



ThatGuy wanted his picture next to the tanks. (What is it with boys and army things?)

We realized we are getting old because we were fascinated with the idea garden. The idea garden features way to garden in interesting ideas. Like this Croc plant display:


Or this smiley face, visible from up above.


These upside-down wine bottles make a cute divider between colorful peppers and the walking path.

Missing a boot? Just use the lone boot as a planter!


They have 10 huge flower displays for the Big 10 schools. Each one had flower to match the school colors!


Decorated rain gauge:

The elevated garden is safe from nibbly animals.

Turn big pots into water features!


Lots of fun ideas at the aptly-named Idea Garden!

Cloth Diaper Burb Cloth

I've seen a lot of pictures of burb clothes made from cloth diapers lately- people who are in the know (young mothers, not me) say this is a superior burb cloth because of the awesome absorbency the cloth diaper provides. That, with a pop of fun color from the fabric, makes for a super cute and easy-to-make burb cloth!

My super-sewer mom and I whipped these up on Saturday morning to match the nursing covers we made earlier in the summer.

We used the left-over material from the nursing covers to make a matching burb cloth!



Each burb cloth has a carefully ironed cute fabric (by me!)....


And expertly zig-zag sewed on panel (by my mom!).



How cute is this Eric Carle Very Hungry Caterpillar set I made for a recent new mommy?!



Be sure to visit our Etsy store!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ugly Conference Bag Turned Pretty

The other week I saw this awesome tutorial by Less Cake, More Frosting on the Tatertots and Jello blog. This genius woman transformed an ugly conference bag into a super cute camera bag! Immediately I thought of this bag hidden in the depths of my closet.


It was from the Illinois Computing Educators Conference (yes, I'm a dork) about 2 years ago. It's a well constructed bag so I never had the heart to throw it out. I never used it before, but I will now! Meet my new back to school bag!

Well, here's how I did it (and I'm no expert, as shown in the following directions). First of all, rip the bag apart.


Then cut your cute fabric to fit the conference bag pieces.


To make sure the cute fabric adheres to the conference bag, I used spray adhesive. The reason I did this was to make sure the bag would be sturdy. My fabric, although cute, is pretty flimsy and could never hold books, binders and laptops by itself.

Then I wrapped the fabric to the other side and did a quick stitch to really combine the conference bag and cute fabric together.

I do not have any pictures of the following step because it exceeded my skill level as a sewer! I had to bring the bag over to my mom's house and she sewed the pieces back together. Mom to the rescue!


Say good-bye to ugly conference bags and hello to a cute back to school work bag!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Free to a Loving Home



One bad rabbit. Afraid of helium balloons, but not of vacuum cleaners or of ThatGuy's colorful threats as he cleans up after her.



Sunday, August 14, 2011

The AMAZING Craft Armoire!

Meet my new craft armoire:


I know this looks like an entertainment unit. And it is. Or rather, was an entertainment unit.


But one wood-working father and one crafting daughter later, it's a beautiful, amazing craft armoire!

I bought this beauty at Jubilee Furniture, my favorite used furniture store. With all the flat screen televisions, many old entertainment units end up at Jubilee, just waiting to be re-purposed into something else. Enter: me and my need to craft.

As previously posted, ThatGuy is really clean and I am... well, let's just say I'm not really clean. Having a craft armoire is a perfect place for me to make a mess and then close the doors! A happy marriage this craft armoire makes.

My dad did just most of the work on this project. He replaced the back with pegboard so I can organize my tools. Then he built two pull out drawers for the large cabinet in the center and a pull out desk. He built, I painted, he installed. It was a team effort (but mostly my dad).



And to finish it off- the cute chair! Another find from Jubilee, this is the perfect height. I had grand plans to repaint it, but it actually looks pretty good next to the armoire.


And a special shout out goes to ThatGuy and his brother, who bravely moved this heavy piece of furniture up the stairs! Due to the extreme weight of the armoire, I am not allowed to ever request it be moved... it may even have to stay with the house after we move!






Saturday, August 13, 2011

Yay Blogger!

I took the plunge and moved my blog from Wordpress to Blogger! I'm very excited!!

On another note, ThatGuy just saw a commercial for this product and said in all sincerity that he really likes it and wants to buy us each one. Whaaa?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Burlap Rosette Wreath

In my quest to leave no space undecorated, meet this new door wreath:



I know I'm biased towards my homemade creations, but I do think this wreath is a total cutie! While a little time consuming, it is a totally doable project. Ready to begin?

Items Needed:
foam wreath
burlap (about 1/4 yard)
fabric (about 1/4 yard)
glue gun (yes, I bought one! And it was only $2.99. Not sure why I was holding off on this purchase....)
Fusible interfacing
Sewing Machine

Step 1:
Cut burlap into long strips, about 2 inches width. Using your glue gun, attach one end of the burlap strip to the foam wreath. Tightly wrap the burlap strip around the foam wreath and use the glue gun to attach the end.



Step 2:
Keep adding burlap strips to the wreath until the wreath is covered.



Step 3:
Make fabric rosettes. I discovered a product called Fat Eights, which is pre-cut quilting pieces that all coordinate with each other.



There are many tutorials online, including one I used in this post. Here is a tutorial within a tutorial!

a. Cut your fabric into a long strip, about 1.5 inch width.



b. Fold strip in half and then in half again. Roll fabric around itself, twisting as you go.
c. Add glue dots to hold fabric in place. You have to be pretty dexterous for this!



The width and length of the fabric strip will determine the size of the fabric rosette.

Step 4:
After making your fabric rosettes, slap a lot of hot glue on the back, press and hold onto the burlap wreath.



Step 5:
Continue to add fabric rosettes in a fun pattern!



Step 6:
To make the wreath holder, I cut out a strip of purple fabric and used fusible interfacing to attach it to a wider strip of burlap. Using a 3 inch strip of fabric, twist to make a small loop. Then run a quick stitch across the stop of the ends of the burlap and fabric to attach together and create a loop (make sure the wreath is inside the loop when you sew it!)



Step 7:
Hang up your wreath and admire! People will feel so welcomed when they stand at your door!!



I made this as a gift for a dear friend, but I may need to make one for myself too!

Check the parties I'm linking up to on my Linky Parties page!