Wednesday, November 12

hand lettering on Etsy

After receiving a good deal of feedback about people willing to pay good money for the kind of hand lettered addressing I did for my sister's wedding, I've decided to make a go at earning a bit of that money in my Esty shop.


To get the ball rolling and earn some Etsy street cred (sales and reviews) I'm marketing the same skills for the holidays, and will be offering some discounts on addressing holiday cards. Yay!

So if you aren't always pleased with your own handwriting but think address labels are too impersonal, or perhaps if you just want to add some craft to your holiday cards without putting in a lot of your own time, visit my online shop! </shameless plug>

Sunday, November 2

pumpkin stuff

This year we went to the pumpkin patch with Atlas' preschool class. We came home with four pumpkins and a craving for some yummy pumpkin bread. 

We used one of our pumpkin patch selections and one that was given to us to start our baking project.

Atlas did some real helping with scooping and sorting seeds, and some pretend helping with an empty spice container.

The seeds turned out great. After drying them (then peeling them from the paper towel and rewashing and drying them without paper towel) we sprayed them with olive oil cooking spray and used Trader Joe's everyday spice grinder before roasting them. Yum!

Unfortunately I can't say the same for the pumpkin. One was too yellow and had an odd texture when it cooked. It probably wouldn't have hurt us, but I tried a little once it was cooked and decided not to eat it. The rest of the pumpkin flesh went in the blender, but when I tapped my spoon on the edge, the blender chipped, leaving tiny glass shards in the puree. Thus we resorted to Libby's.

I modified a coffeecake recipe to include the pumpkin, and it turned out rich, moist, and delicious. All's well that ends well, right?

Thursday, September 18

signs and lettering

As you can probably tell, these were for a wedding. They are made from dollar store foam boards with chalkboard spray paint for a nicer surface texture. I used a chalk pen from Michael's for the lettering. There was one for the bar about cameras and shenanigans, but I guess I didn't get a picture.

wedding ferns

There were several DIY projects I helped with for my sister Cory's wedding, but by far my favorite was a fern stencil. We bought it to make signs for the road leading up to the wedding venue. It was outside an already-small town and there were several turns on back roads that could get guests lost. So we made it a family project with these lovely directions as the result.

Cory got the wood from work (she's a log accountant) and her groom cut the rounds. My dad constructed the signs, and stenciling the arrows and ferns was a group effort.

When we finished the signs there was still lots of paint, so we decided the cake stand needed some fern love.

There was still lots of paint, so my aunt said "I want one!" and took off her sweatshirt so we could stencil it. Cory was next to offer up the sweatshirt off her back, and it started a trend. Pretty soon everyone had a fern shirt.

Now they are lovely reminders of a beautiful wedding! Here's to Matt and Cory!

painting with a twist

So I went to one of those painting classes where everyone recreates their own version of a stock image. It was part of my new sister-in-law's bachelorette party, and we had lots of fun trying out our artistic talents and drinking wine during breaks (we had to let some paint dry after all). I'm glad I went. Probably wouldn't do it again. And I would never make it a date. Ha.

My finished product

The bride-to-be working on finishing touches

recent cake pops

In order of appearance...
1. Nutella flavored cake pops with fancy pink and gold for a birthday party
2. Vanilla pop with key lime candy coating (pretty yummy) for Baby Olson's shower
3. Double chocolate cake pops with fern decor for my sister's WEDDING... more to come on that event.

Sunday, May 25

bachelorette cookies

If you are sensitive to lingerie depicted in frosting on sugar cookies, you shouldn't continue reading.

Or scrolling.


My sister's friends are throwing her a bachelorette weekend at a cabin. They have all sorts of really fun things planned. Since I'm not in California yet to join in the festivities, I decided to send a little care package which included these (oh so slightly) scandalous treats.

I got the idea from Pinterest (of course) but made some modifications. Instead of my usual butter cream icing, or even royal icing I saw recommended for such a project, I used some leftover Wilton candy melts in hopes that the decoration would hold up a little better in the mail. Also, the only heart cookie cutter I had was very small, so the candy melts were a little easier for me to work with on a small scale. I would definitely make these little ladies again, but I would have to find a larger and slightly more shapely heart cookie cutter to get the results I want. Perhaps one or two more colors for the icing as well.

I think by now I can share pictures...

Wednesday, May 21

wedding stationary

When I got married, my sister gifted me makeup and hair related wedding stuff. It was her way of sharing "her thing" with me, and not feeling especially qualified to make such decisions on my own, I loved it! This summer it's her turn to be the bride. I decided "my thing" would be her wedding stationary.

I can't take credit for how amazing this looks. A friend of mine is a designer and put together these invites from my basic description of Matt and Cory's style. Another talented friend printed them on his home letterpress.

I decided to address the invites by hand and got really into the calligraphy. It might be a new hobby! (Sorry for the sloppy blurring of addresses, gotta respect some privacy though.)


 Also, if you are invited to the wedding and haven't sent in your RSPV, today is the day!! Consider this your friendly reminder from me. :)

Monday, May 19

woodsy quilted baby blanket

another backpack

One of my favorite projects for little ones is this floppy little backpack. The straps are adjustable and the color and style possibilities are endless (see previous versions here, here, and here). It's a KWIK SEW pattern and comes together easily.

This bag I made for a first birthday and included Mike Austin's Monsters Love Colors book. It's a fun little story about mixing to make different colors. Atlas loves it and we hope his young friend will too!

Friday, May 16

dino hoodie

My model is two years old and this gift is for a little boy who just turned four, but I think the cuteness is evident despite the poor fit. This is a Chico zip-up hoodie from Target. I followed the directions in this tutorial to add felt dino spikes.

pirate cake pops

I was asked to make cake pops for a four year old's pirate-themed birthday party. I had a vision of ocean colored pops designed to look like a treasure map from above. The end product wasn't what I saw in my mind's eye, but I am proud of this little pirate ship.

Friday, April 11

my little prince

How cute is this little crochet crown!? The pattern can be found here. It's in Dutch, but with a little Google Translate a little guesswork it's not too difficult to figure out.

Thursday, April 10

map mats

When we first moved to Alexandria, we got this old chair for $25 off Craigslist. It was not in fantastic condition, but it was super comfortable. We finally got rid of it when the frame broke. There were wood pieces and springs sticking out, it really wasn't worth the salvage, but I kept the comfy cushions for just such a project as this.

I used two chair cushions and two thick foam pieces from JoAnn Fabrics and covered them to make mats for Atlas to lounge on and make forts out of. I imagined a reading nook. He of course had other plans, and they have mostly been jumped on, which is fine by me.

The panel of fabric is something I bought a long time ago thinking of Atlas, but I didn't know what to do with it. My mom had the same impulse and lack of inspiration, so I ended up with two maps, which allowed for some necessary overlap. The numbers on the back match well and I love the bold print.

Wednesday, April 9

wedding dessert table

I had the honor of standing in the wedding of a great friend and her guy in March. I also made the wedding cakes and some cake pops for the dessert table. It was a challenge because we traveled across the country for the occasion. I love seeing two families come together for a wedding, and I had a great perspective for this event. Family members from both the bride's and groom's side helped with making the cake pops. I had a lot of fun sharing something I love to do and spending time/ getting to know everyone.

I baked the cakes in a basement mother-in-law rental we got for the week. It was a great choice for us because the kids had a little more space than we would have in a hotel and of course the kitchen was important for me.

I'm happy with how the spread turned out...

... and even more happy for the newlyweds!