I'm a sucker for monograms

You could put a monogram on toilet paper and I'd buy it. I just think they are the most precious thing ever! Well...second only to newborn babies. So for this project I combined the two! My friend is having a baby boy, so I put together a little custom gift set for her using things I picked up at the last Acumen warehouse sale. They are BabySoy products and are super soft!
Two baby hats, a bib and a baby blanket. For the blanket, I ironed fusible interfacing to the fabric then loaded it into my Silhouette machine to cut out the letter. Then, I ironed it to the blanket and stitched around the edge for added durability.

I used the same letter 'e' for the bib and used the white flocked heat transfer material. Don't forget to mirror your image before sending to cut and to put the shiny side face down in the machine.

I die over these hats! Those knots at the top are so cute. Can't wait to see pics of baby Easton in them!



The other day I had something odd happen to me. Someone called me 'nice.'

I get called lots of things, some of which should be left unmentioned. Organized. Responsible. Bright. Strong-willed. Stubborn. Compassionate.

Nice is not usually a word someone uses to describe me.

I have a couple of theories as to why this is. One, I'm literally married to the nicest man in the world. He gets enough nice comments for the both of us. {He was voted 'Sweetest Senior' in high school} Two, I'm very straight forward and to-the-point. Maybe some think of this as a more aggressive trait. Three, I don't do enough nice things for others. {note: I just typed "I don't do enough nice things for me" first. Freudian slip?}

It's probably a mix between the three.

I write this to document the rarity, but also as a personal challenge for myself to allow God to continually help with my character development. The process of sanctification is a slow one for me. Two steps forward. One step back. The important thing is that I continue forward, I guess -- not the pace at which it is done. My aforementioned strong-willed nature is sometimes a hindrance to this whole process...I think I can do it on my own far too often.

I'm going to do more nice things for others -- babysit their kids, pay for lunch, let someone in front of me in traffic. Not so others will call me nice, but because that's WWJD. Old school, right?

Can you think of something nice someone else did for you that really stuck? If so, please share!


moss monogram door decoration

 Now that my Christmas wreath is down, I needed something new for our front door. I searched a bit on Pinterest and saw something like this so I went for it -- it was really easy! The project from start to finish was probably about 15 minutes and total cost was $12.

Supplies Needed:
  • Cardboard or wooden letter (I got mine at JoAnns, but those gold 14" letters they always have at Hobby Lobby would also work great)
  • Sheet of moss - 1 package was enough for me, but if you have a larger letter I would grab two.
  • Hot glue gun
  • Burlap or other coordinating ribbon

The moss comes on a sheet. You could purchase regular moss if you want and glue it around, but that seemed too messy for me.
I traced around the front of my letter and hot glued that first, then cut strips of the moss to glue around the edge.
I liked the different textures with the burlap, so I cut a strip about 3" x 20" and hot glued the ends to either side of my H. If you have a curvy letter, you might try to tie a knot with the burlap at the top to hang over the wreath hook.  I topped it off with a burlap bow and it was good to go!
These would make a great wedding gift idea, decorations for a wedding or even to just have on a shelf in your home. I have heard that the moss will lighten over time in the sun. I change my door decs for the seasons/holidays so hopefully that won't happen too much, but if it does, there's nothing a little spray paint can't fix. :)


Goals for the New Year

2011 has been pretty flat - still in the same city, same job, same home, etc. It's been one of those years where I have found it difficult to live in the present because I was always looking forward  to what was going to happen next. There were some really great things about 2011, though, like finding a church we love in Fayetteville and being introduced to our couples small group. Those two items have pretty much changed our feelings about northwest Arkansas. I think 2012 will be interesting for us. Sean will finish school and I'm excited to see what type of job he will take and what kind of impact that might have on my job and where we live.

I'm not a big resolutions girl, but I do think it's healthy to evaluate the past year and think of new ways to improve relationships, hobbies, etc.

Here are things I would like to do better in the year 2012:

1. Personally recognize birthdays and anniversaries of family and close friends. Facebook isn't going to cut it here -- I'm talking about thinking ahead enough to have time to mail a card and give a call on their special day. I've set up most of them in my phone with a one week reminder, so hopefully that will help!

2. Do a better job praying for and supporting my own and my friends' marriages. Some ideas I have are: offer free babysitting so the parents can have a date night, offering to clean a friends home, giving random gift cards for dinners, sharing books that have been helpful or enlightening, and choosing one couple to intentionally pray for each month. Do you have other ideas? Please do share!

3. The obligatory 'healthy living' goal hasn't escaped me this year. While it wouldn't hurt to lose a few pounds along the way, I just really want to do a better job taking care of my body - no drastic diets for me, just laying off some of the junk food and getting some sort of regular physical activity. I feel better and more confident when I do these things.

There are certainly other areas of my life that could use some improvements - may 2012 be a year of growth {except in the waistline} :)


Handmade Christmas 2011

Now that all of the Christmas gifts have been opened, here's a peek at what I crafted this year for Christmas gifts! Not all of the gifts we gave were homemade, but I tried to have some type of handmade touch to them. My Silhouette machine got a good workout this holiday season - that thing is so impressive and I don't even know how to use all of the features!
This was a gift from my brother to his girlfriend, but I helped him out. I purchased the robe from Target then my friend let me use her embroidery machine to add the monogram.
I sewed my sister and brother's girlfriend infinity scarves out of these cute knits I found at JoAnn's. Just cut a rectangle of fabric, sew three sides then pin the two open sides together and sew to form a loop. 
My hubs likes Taylor Swift. Sometimes I can't tell if he's joking or not, but I'm pretty sure he's serious. I downloaded a Taylor Swift font (yes, it exists) then used my Silhouette to cut out her signature onto heat transfer material. 
I made this picture for my brother who has a corgi. I got the idea on Pinterest and used my silhouette to cut out the shapes onto card stock.
For my brother-in-law I painted a cooler. I just used normal acrylic paint and thought of things he enjoys. The five sides included: His name, an STL cards logo, a silhouette of a black lab, camouflage and water skiing. Sean sprayed a protective coat (Krylon fusion clear coat) to it is water resistant. 
The first year I started sewing I tried to make my dad pajama pants. They. Were. Awful. Seriously bad. My sewing skills have improved much since then, so I took another stab at pajama pants and finished these (along with the help of a pattern this go around). This was my first pair of pants to sew -- it wasn't hard but a little counter intuitive when putting it together. These even have pockets and a drawstring! :)
This is a stock photo from WS, but I did a lot of glass etching for the girls on my list. A couple of glass pitchers with monograms and a couple of pyrex dishes with names on it. I used my Silhouette to cut vinyl stencils, then used Armor Etch cream (really easy to use) to etch the monogram. 
I sewed this cute camera strap cover for a friend to give away and really like how it turned out. Here is a basic tutorial I followed, but I added ruffles and a pocket for the lens cap to mine.
I really enjoy making gifts for others. It's fun to be able to personalize things and is also very cost effective. There are times, though, that homemade just doesn't work, so I don't force it. I would rather buy someone a gift at the store if I think they will use it more than something I'm able to make them. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! We enjoyed time with family and were especially thankful to have an entire week off together to relax and get some to-dos crossed off out lists.