I shouldn’t have left you, without a dope beat to step to. 🎵
You guys, it’s been over a year since my last blog post and only the words of Timbaland can convey how that makes me feel.
What have I been up to since we last saw each other? Well, I’ve made several new mixed media pieces that I’m really excited about (pics and details below). Once the animal ones get framed I’ll be actively searching for an exhibit for them all to be seen. I have ideas for the next piece but am waiting for a rainy weekend at home to get it jumpstarted. I sold three of my older pieces around the New Year and would love for these ones to get new homes too!
I’ll keep this post short and sweet so stay tuned next week to find out about my digital art progress and new job. 😎 Check out my work below and let me know what you think. And of course follow my social channels, especially IG, if you like my content. Later nerds. 🤓
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.
This Mother’s Day, of course, I’d like to wish a happy day to all of the mothers I know – my Mom, my Mother-in-law, our Grandmothers, and all the women I know with children. I’d also like to suggest wishing a happy day to those women who do have small ones in their lives that they care for, provide shelter for, and spend their time thinking about, that may be a bit furrier than those other little ones.
So to all the other fur-baby moms out there, I’d like to wish you a happy Mother’s Day because your love for your animals is just as significant as other people’s love for their children. And a special shout-out goes to those who’ve adopted shelter animals. Many of these animals have had very difficult and scary lives as little puppies and kittens. Most were born on the street and had to fight for food or starve. They definitely require a lot of patience in the beginning but it is worth it to be able to give them their forever home.
My husband and I adopted our dog in 2009 the day we cam home from our honeymoon. We went to our local shelter, Cape Ann Animal Aid, and immediately fell in love with a quiet, 6-month-old hound mix named Josh. We decided to name him Jackson after one of our favorite places, Jackson, NH. He curled up on my lap in the back seat on the ride home. Fast-forward seven years and he is my best friend. I am as excited to see him as he is to see me when I come home after work. He is a special, loving dog whom we hope has at least another seven years to go.
As fur-baby moms we may not get any gifts this Mother’s Day, but that doesn’t mean we don’t deserve a little something for ourselves. I love shopping on Modcloth and came across some adorable and fun pet-themed items that I think you’ll love. Check it out:
With Memorial Day weekend upon us, the days of backyard barbecues, fresh garden veggies, cold refreshments and trips to the beach are finally here. The summer is the most fun time of year for a lot of people but it can also be the most overwhelming. Here’s how I’ve been preparing…
Keeping up with the messes – I’m a busy body, just can’t sit still. I feel like I’m always cleaning up a new mess so the easier cleaning can be the better. My can’t-live-without tools for cleaning my little house are as follows:
Disinfectant wipes: These have been around for a while now but I’m shocked that people still use spray bottles and paper towels. The wipes are so easy and so much more effective. Plus, they don’t tear or leave bits behind when wiping rough surfaces. My favorite ones are made by Seventh Generation, which use botanical ingredients rather than harsh chemicals.
Shark Rocket Vacuum: In 2008 I bought a Shark stick vacuum for $30 at Best Buy. This vacuum worked great for nearly 7 years but finally gave in to the wear and tear a few weeks ago. Since I was so impressed with the suction power and ease of use, I decided to stick with Shark and bought the new Rocket model. I really like it a lot – still has great suction, weighs only 9 lbs and is very easy to use. It’s actually shortened my vacuuming time because it doesn’t have to go over the same spot multiple times. Plus it comes with a million attachments for various uses, including a detail kit that makes cleaning my car much more tolerable.
Organization: Baskets are my best friends. I really love them because you can just fill them with random crap and keep your space looking clutter free.
A fun antique window project – A few years back I bought several old windows at a flea market for $10. I used one as a “canvas” for a painting of a cow, which I’ve since sold. The others have just sat in our basement collecting dust. Until I came across this awesome pin on Pinterest, and made my own serving tray. Set atop a vintage tablecloth-covered table with candles and a rustic planter, this tray makes the perfect beverage station.
With all my preparation I’ll never feel quite ready to get into a bathing suit for the first time. It does help when you find a fun new one to show off. Modcloth has a great selection and they’ve put together this infographic about the history of bathing suit fashion. They’ve also made a point to let us know that any body type can look beautiful on the beach, so don’t be discouraged and check this out:
“It’s a pool party over at ModCloth, and you’re invited! With so many bikinis and one pieces to pick from, you’re bound to find a standout look that suits your style. And while you’re at it, check out ModCloth’s exploration of so-called “ideal” beach bodies in their new Swim-fographic! It’s an intriguing look at how arbitrarily beauty standards have changed over time. Of course, ModCloth knows that every body is a beach body — the only requirements are a beach, your bod, and a swimsuit you can’t wait to flaunt!”
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I know, this is one of those love it or hate it holidays. Personally, I don’t care for the mushiness, stuffed teddybears, Hallmark cards, and heart-shaped everything. I do celebrate the February 14th because it’s my husband and my original anniversary of when we started dating 16 years ago!!
I think it’s a good day to celebrate someone you care about, and I don’t think that someone has to be a significant other per say. Why not a sister, brother, friend, co-worker, Mom or Dad? Remember back in grade school when you gave a Valentine to all your classmates? Let’s bring that back!!
This is one of those holidays when handmade or just really thoughtful gifts go a long way too. This year I decided to make a bunch of cute, valentine’s-inspired items for my Etsy shop. I came up with some really fun wooden spool photo holders. While the concept is not new, I gave them my own special flair by adding extra “bling” to the tops!
And of course I had to make my own Valentine’s. As a creative and lover of the environment, I always try to make my own cards from recycled materials. I had so much fun making these first three cards. They are made from the tops of those small, square Kleenex boxes, recycled greeting cards, Starbucks corrugated cup sleeves, scrap fabric, trim and assorted embellishments.
One thing that drives me crazy about cards is that they typically aren’t something you want to keep out for very long. So, the best part about these Valentine’s is they can be hung as a keepsake!
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links.
For our special day, my husband and I will likely go to dinner somewhere close to home. Not too fancy, but more upscale than usual. I’d most likely be able to wear a cute dress with leggings and boots, which are more my style than a little black dress with heels (I don’t do heels). Perhaps I’ll splurge on a new outfit!
Modcloth has so many cute dresses and more and they’ve made shopping for Valentine’s Day super easy by creating their Sweetheart Shop. I checked it out and here’s three items I’d like to buy for V-Day:
This is the “About the Artist” dress, which I have been obsessed with for quite some time, but have not allowed myself to purchase yet. It is so simple, but still pretty and romantic.
I’d pair it with these adorable little pink ballet flats because they add just a touch more girly without being sickeningly sweet.
Finally, this bag, omg, this bag is the icing on the cake. How amazing is this? It looks like it came right out of an antique store and the colors go with the gray dress perfectly! If I end up buying these I’ll be sure to share a pic of me in the outfit!
It’s been almost 6 months since my last post! I thought I’d share the handmade gifts I gave this Christmas (note the mason jar wall hanging and sugar scrub were handmade by my sister who gave them to me).
Mason jars were the star of the show this year. I bought a case of them to make the sewing kits, Frozen-inspired craft jar, Charlie Brown tree, as shown above, along with cookie mixes and a Portlandia-inspired pickling kit in a jar (sadly no pics of that). My sister made several wall hangings with jars and bought special smaller mason jars for the sugar scrubs, which are amazing, I must say. Basically, jars make the best, most creative gifts, so I plan to come up with some more fun ideas! Save those pickle jars people!!
My latest go-to gift item has been bags – I find a fun and unique pattern, or come up with my own, and then put a bunch of awesome stuff inside! For a few bridal showers I made bags and then purchased small items from the registry to put in it. Saves on wrapping, looks really pretty and makes a great keepsake gift!
Here are some of the bags I’ve made recently…
And here are some of the many, many bags that I have accumulated over the years…
Uh oh, I think I might be hoarding bags, maybe I should donate a few of these, hehe. Thankfully, for my wallet’s sake, most were gifts!
That being said, I definitely enjoy finding unique and interesting bags when I shop. Modcloth actually has an amazing collection of super cute bags. Here are some of my faves…
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
ModCloth may be your go-to for cute dresses and clothing, but did you know they have a flourishing decor department? Think fun and unique adornments for your home, kitchen, bedroom, office space, and more. If that’s not incentive enough to check it out, they just so happen to be having a 20% Off Decor Sale that’ll give your place a pop of personality. No code needed, so just shop ’till your heart is content and there really will be no place like your home! Hurry while it lasts!
If you like bags as much as I do, I hope you found something you like here! See you next post!
Here’s a peek at some of the things I’ve made this Spring…
I wanted a beachy but rustic welcome sign for our front door so I painted the word on a piece of old driftwood, attached it to an old, weathered basket and embellished it with scallop shells and vintage mother-of-pearl buttons.
For Mother’s Day, I knew I wanted to make gifts for my mom and my mother-in-law. I had acquired a huge bag of vintage fabrics, including tablecloths, dish towels and doilies, many, many doilies! So, when a doily bag post from Sew Mama Sew came up in my blog feed, I was beyond excited. I came up with this bag for my mom. I altered the pattern a little by using the trimmed outer edge of my green doily as an accent for the top edge of the bag.
I was able to use a combination of some fun fat quarters that I had in this adorable little tote, pattern courtesy Oliver + S blog. I gave this to my husband’s Mom along with the Family wall hanging inside.
I decided to make something for my Mom to hang as well. She now works from home, using my sister’s old bedroom as an office, so I thought an office sign would be neat. I attempted to make it look old-fashioned, and even painted a vintage rotary telephone on it.
The wall hangings / signs were relatively easy and fun to make, so you may see some in my Etsy shop in the near future!
Yesterday, as you all know, was Valentine’s Day. It was also the 15th anniversary of when my husband and I started dating. That’s the reason we celebrate it, otherwise I probably wouldn’t be that into it. We don’t do cards though, usually just dinner and being extra nice to each other!!
Side note: I actually never purchase cards, it is a huge waste of paper, so I always make my own from recycled materials.
Anyways, I woke up really early Valentine’s morning and decided I wanted to make cupcakes both for my husband and to bring to work. So I searched Pinterest as I always do for recipes and other ideas. I came across a pin for sweetheart cupcakes from http://www.glorioustreats.com.
These are by far some of the richest, moistest chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever had. The batter is made with eggs like typical cupcakes, oil like brownies and boiling water (seriously) like, I don’t know, hot chocolate?!? I didn’t have the cherry juice for the frosting so I experimented with cooking down raspberry jam and deglazing with red wine. The color was good but the flavors were very subtle. Regardless, these cupcakes won over all of my co-workers and more importantly my husband! Oh I also didn’t have a heart-shaped cookie cutter but was able to improvise with a mini heart-shaped candy mold and some sprinkles.
In keeping with the Valentine theme, tonight I decided to give a little romantic makeover to an army green jacket that I got for free. It is cute and fits well, but oddly had fake zipper pockets on the front. The zippers were functional, but there were no pockets inside. That was my first step, adding pockets. I followed a tutorial from http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Add-Pockets/step8/Tack-down-the-Pocket-and-Done/, also found on Pinterest. The fabric for the pockets were some old floral curtains that I got through my local freecycle network.
Another side note, if you are unfamiliar with freecycle, “It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.” Check it out in your area, https://www.freecycle.org/.
I love the vintage feel and shabby chic style of this fabric, so I decided to add some cute heart-shaped elbow patches. I hand stitched these and they look adorable. I have to admit though, ever since I got my sewing machine this Christmas, any time I have to hand stitch I feel sad.
I’m planning to add a bit more romance to the jacket, such as with more floral fabric on the lapel, although I haven’t committed to that yet (see pins in pic). I recently inherited a trash bag full of vintage fabric and doilies, which I would love to try to incorporate somehow. I pinned one of the dis colored white doilies to the back, but I’m not sure how I feel about that yet. Here’s the look so far:
I’d love to hear what you think about the jacket. I’ll be spending more time on it tomorrow and I’ll try to post a quick update when I’m finished!