what i’m into {april 2014}

April was a birthday month for me and I started off the month with being surprised out of my mind by a birthday party masterminded by my sweet husband. He pretty much had it all under wraps until about the last 20 minutes. I was overwhelmed by all my amazingly sweet friends who came out on a Sunday night with all their family in tow. It was awesome. We celebrated on the actual day by having a quiet dinner at a local BBQ joint and my momma’s famous Johnny Appleseed Pie. Yum.

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We closed the month of April by celebrating with a friend of ours and surprising him at his James Bond themed surprise party. My husband is always one to dress up and be a little foolish, but I’m just too straight laced for that. This time, I wanted to do it and while it wasn’t an over the top costume, it was a little out of character for me so I was happy to have stepped out a little and woo my inner Bond girl.

 

watching….

We finally watched Frozen this past weekend. I had heard so much about it and my kids quote and sing it all the time, so it was high time we finally watched it. I did really like it and loved what everyone else did…that it wasn’t the Prince’s kiss that saved the day but an act of selfless love.

We also watched American Hustle and while I did like it, I was almost too sleepy to watch it. By the time all the big reveal was happening at the end of the movie I was propping my eyelids with toothpicks so I really need to watch it again to give it a true review. The acting was pretty darn superb though I must say.

On T.V. I’m not really watching much of anything.  We love The Voice in our house up until about this point and then I get bored with it. Parenthood is over for the season and I think my two Chicago shows will finish up this week. I did watch PBS version of Great Expectations via netflix earlier this month and loved it more than I did the first go round. I read the book not long after this was on PBS and it was good to watch the film version again too. Such a great story of redemption. I’m completely sucked into binge watching House on netflix. I’ve waiting forever for netflix to pick it up and I’ve been watching it like crazy while I sew during the day. Love, love that show.

 

reading

I sort of dropped the ball on the Habit book and L’Engle’s Circle of Quiet book. I decided these are books that I honestly just need to buy so I can read them slowly and savor them without the stress of a library due date. I’m hoping I’ll luck out and find at least one of them the next time I hit up our local used bookstore.

After dropping the non-fiction books, I was desperate for a good fiction read. I picked up Anna Quindlen’s Still Life with Breadcrumbs and it was absolutely what I was needing. It is just a simple and sweet story about Rebecca Winter and honestly just about the kind of self-discovery everyone tends to go through as they age and change.

 

I had grabbed a stack of books from my mom’s house one day and the first one on the stack was Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and it was so good. I had heard that Angelina Jolie was in the process of making a movie based on this book and that is really the reason why I picked it up. Hillenbrand is an excellent biographer in that you really don’t feel like you are reading just a biography. Granted, Louis’ life is pretty much beyond amazing.  I’m offering this up to my husband next and we are pondering having this be our  nearly 11 year old son’s big summer read. I did hear that they were releasing a juvenile level version of this book on Veteran’s day, but I’m not sure what that means. If it just the story condensed a little or if it’s more like a picture book. My son is at that age where war is just fascinating and honestly this is a great story, not too graphic, about the non-fairy-tale picture that war seems to create in the minds of boys.

I have just started the book Spiritual Rhythm by Mark Buchanan and even one chapter in, I am loving it.

 

in other news…

I do a fair amount of sewing during my workday that can be pretty mindless. I end up binge watching too much netflix and other shows and by the end of the day my mind just feels numb. Because of that I decided to start trying to find some podcasts to listen to throughout my day.

The first one I listened to was an interview with Susan Wise Bauer. If there is anyone who has influenced my opinion on schooling, it is her. She is someone that speaks of schooling options in such a way that it’s not a hill she is going to die on. She really seeks to do what is best for her children and their family and not choosing because it’s what everyone else says she should or else…

I also tried to listen to the relevant podcast which eventually led to an interview with Bob Goff. His book, Love Does, is on my to read list and I’ve heard so much about him lately I was curious to listen to him speak. It was a hard podcast to listen to just because it’s very radio personality goofiness going on that I just didn’t expect. I love relevant though and so I’m sure I’ll give it another try.

ROSES

That was about it for April. May tends to be one of those months it’s head down and get through it with the end of school and gearing up for summer break. So here’s to a month where I actually stop and smell the roses.

 

Linking up with Leigh Kramer…

what I’m into {october 2013 edition}

So, since I’ve become incredibly non-existent on the blog as of late, I’ve decided to at least hold myself accountable to one post a month…that is the “what I’m into…” link along series. I discovered it via the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog (which I previously shared and love) and link up with Leigh Kramer who hosts the series.

October has been a crazy month for me. I’ve been covered over with etsy orders; which has been amazing, encouraging and overwhelming. I prepped for one big market in October (another mini-bust) and am prepping now for 2 upcoming holiday markets. We counted the weekends that we had nothing this month and there wasn’t any. Then we counted the weekends in November we had nothing and we don’t stop until Thanksgiving. Whew! I need a vacation!

What I’m Reading…

I flew through a few books this month. Guess that was how I alleviated the stress! I started out the month flying through House of Tides, puttered through Bel Canto, was completely enamored with The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton and now I’m working my way through an Anne Perry mystery novel. I’ve loved her books for years, but this one is taking some time to get into. In the non-fiction world, I started reading Nurture by Nature, finished reading The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan and finally started reading The King’s Cross by Tim Keller.

What I’m Watching…

Fall TV is back in full swing and it’s made up for all the long hours I’ve been in front of my sewing machine or with my hoop. I’m still in love with Parenthood, although this season has seemed to lack a little bit compared to years past. Chicago Fire was one of my favorites last season, but this season has had some things in it that have frustrated me a little bit. I’m trying to love the Michael J Fox show…but I’m not sure I do. I’m caught up on The Paradise from PBS Masterpiece and in the afternoons I’ve been rewatching Little Dorrit from PBS back in 2008. By far the most disturbing thing I’ve watched was The Bletchley Circle. Whew, that one freaked me out a little bit and I watched it in the middle of the day!

In my kitchen…

I’ve pulled a bunch of recipes this off pinterest this month and all of my crock pot ones have been failures. Something about chicken in the crock pot all day does not make this family want to eat supper.  I did try another bread recipe, King Arthur’s Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey bread. It made super great toast, but not so great sandwich bread. Back to square one. The newest thing in my kitchen is this..

20131030-201019.jpga sweet industrial cart kitchen island! We found it at the Nashville Flea Market. Best find ever!

 

random fun moments…

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The highlight of our month was chasing butterflies up in the mountains. I yanked the kiddos out of school and we journeyed up to the mountains and ran after butterflies hoping to snag a monarch. We do lots of volunteer work with the Tremont Institute in the Smoky Mountains and they are part of the North American monarch project.  Basically as the monarchs migrate down to Mexico they are allowed to catch them and tag them. We caught one this year and got to see it tagged. Super cool! It was an amazing day!

on my hoop…

My hoop has been super busy this month. I’ve done more embroideries than I can even remember and I’m still going. A few highlights…

another chanel embroidery with a vintage button necklace

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a new “blessing” embroidery for a repeat client…always makes a girl feel good!

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How was your October?

fantastic friday {2.15.13}

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Happy Friday everyone! Valentine’s Day has come and gone and our Valentine’s gift was the stomach bug. We’ve all weathered it in different ways and sadly it effected the husband the worst. I’m really thinking that a sick husband is worse than a sick child! Anyhow, hopefully we are all on the mend and can have our make up special heart day breakfast and dinner sometime this weekend. That said, it’s time to start thinking spring and Easter!

great FABRIC: I recently discovered a new fabric shop on etsy called Westwood Acres. I just love the fabric sets she puts together!

to whet your APPETITE: We love potatoes in this house and we also love nachos…this recipe for baked potato nachos seems a perfect fit!

be NEAT (as in organized): Came across this lovely craft room/sewing room on Pinterest as I’m collecting ideas on my future new studio space in the year to come.

a TUTORIAL to do: With Easter coming in a few weeks, I thought I would focus on Easter Basket tutorials: this is what our baskets look like…an easter bunny basket. It was super easy and so fun!

becoming more AWARE: Ash Wednesday was this week and the start of Lent. Ann Voskamp has a lovely family Lent guide with pictures of the life of Jesus from different artists. This is on our list this year.

something to SEW: Sew Liberated just revealed their newest patterns and oh! how I swoon over these! I really love all of them!

to TRIM my house with: We will make our Easter tomb this weekend and set up our seeds of kindness on the table. Stay tuned to the blog in the coming weeks for more details as we continue and add to these family traditions.

ILLUSTRATION to stitch: One of my goals this year is the make an embroidered version of one of these thumbprint trees. This is another example of a printed one I found this week.

CUTE: This tutorial for these little nesting dolls is super cute!

Have a happy weekend!!!

14 days of love {fantastic friday edition}

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It’s Friday and time for a recap of some great finds around the web. This time a Valentine’s version. This is your last weekend before the 14th and we will be busily working on our class valentine cards. Here are some other ideas…

great FABRIC: Riley Blake has a super cute line of chevron and dots that would make some awesome treat bags.

to whet your APPETITE: Here’s a super easy Valentine snack mix that is on my agenda for the beginning of the week.

be NEAT (as in organized): Here are links to 101 creative valentine boxes. Some of these are crazy adorable. I especially love the gingham piggie!

a TUTORIAL to do: Here’s a tutorial for a felt valentine mailbox. This might be on my list for my kiddos valentines I shared yesterday!

becoming more AWARE: This is a Valentine marriage challenge. Whose marriage doesn’t need a little oomph and recharge?

something to SEW: This is a great pattern and tutorial for a beautiful ruffle skirt. Perfect for Valentine’s day!

to TRIM my house with: Here is a link to more boards on Pinterest than you could ever imagine on Valentine decorating ideas!

ILLUSTRATION to stitch: Leave it to Martha to share some awesome vintage like Valentine cards.

CUTE: Brick House Studio on etsy has some really darling prints. I’m really loving elephants right now so this one is my favorite.

14 days of love {day 1}

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It’s Friday and normally this would be a Fantastic Friday post, but today is the first day of February and February is the month of love. I’m constantly trying to find ways to create specialness in our day to day family life and especially when it comes to celebrating. God has given me a little girl that loves nothing more than to create a party, give gifts and make things for others. Her heart is encouraged by little notes and she never fails to notice something new or different or special. And I have a son who is like me and February 14th could pass with nothing more than a little card and he would just be fine.

So in their honor, I am spending the next 14 days on a little series I call “days of love: 14 days of celebrating those we love”. In the next 14 days you can expect some decorating ideas, crafting ideas, sewing ideas, special memories you can make with your family or those you love and more.

But today, in honor of my normal linking madness I thought I would link to a few Valentine ideas that I’ve come across.

One thing I do want to make in these 14 days is a Valentine’s Day wreath. Well actually I want to make one that would carry me from Winter to Valentine’s Day to Easter but you’ll just have to stay tuned for that idea later. But I do love this XOXO wreath on etsy.

I have other table setting ideas that I hope to do this year, but these little XO paper votive holders would be super cute as you think about decorating your table this month.

If I had a mantle to decorate I would definitely do this little birdie paper collage to set on top…speaking of mantle’s check out my friend Tisha’s Valentine’s mantle!

I’ve got a whole host of Valentine ideas to give away on my “to give” board on Pinterest…stay tune for the next 13 days to see which of these we end up choosing!

Happy Weekend and Happy Celebrating!!!

fantastic friday {1.25.13}

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Happy Friday! I missed last week after the big flood in our house and today I’m crossing my fingers we don’t lose power as we sit under an ice storm. That said, it’s a great day to curl up and check out some great links from this week!

great FABRIC: This is a newer blog to me, but I’ve long had a fascination with all Japanese sewing goodness. If I ever won the lottery I think I would buy up all the Japanese prints I could get my hands on. This post runs through some super cute Kokko syle fabric. The ballerina print is soooooooo cute! I wish I could get my hands on some.

to whet your APPETITE: One of the new things on my monthly menu in February are taquitos. My family loves Mexican food and some months we wear out the quesidilla. I’ve pinned at least 3 different versions: one here, here and here. We’ll see which one ends up being the winner.

be NEAT (as in organized): This is a fabulous post on how to organize and print your digital photos. My nemesis.

a TUTORIAL to do: Here is a great tutorial for making a nightgown from two t-shirts. Super cute!

becoming more AWARE: Valentine’s Day is coming up and in my desire to be more engaged and aware of celebrating and creating memories we have a couple of things up our sleeves. First, we’ll make our valentines for school as tradition, but I love this idea for hanging hearts all through the month on bedroom doors and we’ll also be doing a year of mommy and daddy dates too. More on that later in February!

something to SEW: I love the O+S badminton skort pattern, but this idea for changing the shorts part into a layered skirt is genious.

to TRIM my house with: Love this XO wreath for the front door.

ILLUSTRATION to stitch: I’m tossing around stitching up some flour sack towels for the shop. These three (one, two, three) from Anthropologie are giving me some great inspiration!

CUTE: I’m dreaming of my new studio space…maybe something along these lines in the future?

Have a happy weekend!!!

fantastic friday {1.11.13}

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Hello friends! Fantastic Fridays are back! This was by far one my favorite series that I came up last year and honestly the only one I actually stuck with. Here’s to 2013! A new year brings a new little button too!

great FABRIC: A new year brings new fabric and while I’m still on my fabric fast, there are lots of new designs that are catching my eye. This group by Style Par Mo is especially fun.

to whet your APPETITE: Tis the season for soups (although it’s supposed to be 70 degrees this weekend. I’m beginning to think I live in Florida). I’ve got a few soup links on my dinner pinterest board, but my bestest past on this great recipe for chicken soup and it’s on my menu for next week!

be NEAT (as in organized): this tub toy storage idea is by far genius.

a TUTORIAL to do: I love this tutorial for a dopp bag for the guys in your life. Maybe this would make a great Valentine’s gift for my man?

becoming more AWARE: One of my goals for this year is to work on being free with creativity and I would love to start an art/journal. My plan is try and start something like this weekly with my kiddos during homework time.

something to SEW: Oliver + S has put out some new patterns for the new year. Check them out!

to TRIM my house with: I am getting ready to paint our foyer and upstairs hall. We are also going to demo a stupid coat closet and make a temporary “mud room closet” until we can move our back door and make a permanent one. I love this idea for a mud closet although I’m not sure this would be very temporary.

ILLUSTRATION to stitch: I would love to make one of these grateful signs to hang up.

CUTE: These vintage style, embroidered pennants are just amazing and super cute!

Have a happy weekend!!!

fantastic friday {november 16.12}

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Hello friends! Time for another weekly wrap up of some great finds from around the web this week.
It has been a crazy week around here and I’m in great denial that Thanksgiving is next week! And December…come on!

great FABRIC: the fabricshoppe on etsy has long been one of my favorite little shops and I recently ordered some Christmasy fat quarters. I haven’t really paid much attention to the holiday fabric out this year and was pleasantly surprised to find some really cute stuff.

to whet your APPETITE: It’s time to start thinking Thanksgiving meals if you haven’t already. One of my go-to recipes is this one for sweet potatoes by the Pioneer Woman. I love it because it’s really not overly sweet like most of the other recipes are.

be NEAT (as in organized): A technology cabinet!?! When we redo our kitchen this is totally going to happen!

a TUTORIAL to do: This is a fantastic tutorial for a chapstick holder. Perfect for stockings and perfect for my little chick that has a bad habit of sucking on her bottom lip!

becoming more AWARE: These kinds of things are why I love Pinterest…a box of sunshine. Never would I think to create something like this! My husband has been working like a madman this week at work and it was fun to grab a few yellow colored things in the checkout line and pack up a little bag of sunshine for him.

something to SEW: have you ever been on spoonflower? It’s this great site where people submit their own fabric designs and then have them printed. Those of us uncreative fabric designers can then purchase their designs if so desired. I love this retrotastic camera camera bag print.

to TRIM my house with: I have a plant window above my kitchen sink and would love to make something like this to hang from it!

ILLUSTRATION to stitch: I would love to take this illustration and turn it into a real pillow. It would be lovely to have out around February…a lovely red print with a white chain stitch…ahh!

CUTE: I love these simple little hair flowers made from ric rac. Too cute.

Have a happy weekend!!!

 

fantastic fridays {nov 9)

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Hello friends! Time for another weekly wrap up of some great finds from around the web this week.
If you didn’t catch yesterdays post, I’m hosting a give away…check out this link for more info! Entries end tonight at midnight.

great FABRIC: More goodness coming from the Fall Quilt Market. Monaluna has a super great line coming out early next year called Modern Home. I really love the vintage looking appliances. If only it wasn’t so dang expensive!

to whet your APPETITE: Earlier this week I posted a recipe for the best baked pumpkin oatmeal ever. Kinda thinking it might be on the menu again this weekend! It was that yummy.

be NEAT (as in organized): Love, love this idea of using a tool caddy that goes over a bucket for storing art supplies!

a TUTORIAL to do: Totally loving this idea of using galvanized plumbing supplies for curtain rods. Check out this tutorial for everything you need!

becoming more AWARE: Ann Voskamp has a great freebie for a lovely Thankfulness Tree.

something to SEW: Sew Liberated has some really awesome patterns coming out in the next year! Check them out!

to TRIM my house with: I’m trying to come up with some new ways to decorate my banister besides fake garland. I’ve pinned a couple of options. Love this one with embroidery hoops and burlap “ribbon, I also love these white flowers with ornaments hanging in between the rods,  and even just hanging a simple banner.

ILLUSTRATION to stitch: I really don’t need another project for my needle right now, but I do love this vintage looking Christmas tree. It would be a beautiful embroidery!

CUTE: Sweet, sweet embroideries at this site. And the guinea pig…adorable!

Have a happy weekend!!!

And don’t forget about the give away!!!

fantastic friday {nov 2}

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Hello friends! Whew, after 31 days of embroidery we are finally back to regular programming. If you followed along with my stitches I hope you learned something. I sure did! Now I need to come up with the perfect embroidery that might encompass all the cool stitches I learned!

If you are new to following this little space, on Fridays I recap some great finds from around the web that fit into these random little categories that I created that spell out the word “fantastic” because I love that word. It just rolls off your tongue. So here we go!!

great FABRIC: Fall quilt market is over and True Up has started posting all their awesome findings. If you want to see what’s up and coming in the world of textiles in the next few months head on over there and follow along!

to whet your APPETITE: pumpkins & apples? can’t go wrong there!

be NEAT (as in organized): I’m on a mission to greatly reduce our grocery budget without being one of coupon fanatics that stocks up their house with 12 boxes of hamburger helper! Here is a great site with some good ideas (albeit many of her recipies I would alter) and I love this grocery list printable on a fun little clipboard!

a TUTORIAL to do: It’s going to be another American Girl birthday and Christmas in this house for my chick and I’m desperately searching the web for ideas of things to make vs. buy. This is a great cloak made from a santa hat, we are using this tutorial to make her a bunk bed and I also plan on trying to make one of these fitted sheets for the bed too.

becoming more AWARE: I just finished reading this book. I’ve mentioned it here before, but you need to read it. It will change your life.

something to SEW: I totally am in love with this raincoat by Oliver + S. Well actually I’m always in love with Oliver + S, but this raincoat is totally cute.

to TRIM my house with: Love this Fall front door and stoop.

ILLUSTRATION to stitch: This is my new favorite quote and I know just the person I should stitch it up for.

CUTE: This blog, ollibird, is pretty awesome and if I had a color printer I would print these asap. Totally cute.

 

Have a happy weekend!!!