Thinking out loud

Feeling like I am finally getting a bit of a routine back after having baby #3. I think my creative mojo is returning and I might be able to get back into the sewing room soon.

I'm reading more books lately, I don't think I finished a single book in the last few months of 2017. But I've been much better about putting down my phone and picking up my books instead. I finished Truly Madly Guilty, I love her books and it kept me hooked until the end, and The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck, this is a quick read and pretty funny, full of good reminders to stop caring so much about what everyone else thinks.

I'm Making plans for a Cleo skirt for an upcoming wedding and I have ideas for a few Kalle tunics, I just need to find the perfect fabrics first.

Enjoying the weather again as spring has finally arrived in Ohio after a few surprise snow showers. I go into full hibernation mode in the winter so I'm happy to be emerging.

Watching the entries roll in for the recent DMC contest has me laughing and so proud of the maker community coming together against these big corporations. Read more by Abby Glassenberg here

Following along as #MeMadeMay18 starts today, although I don't have enough handmade pieces to participate all month long, I love seeing all of the inspiration on Instagram. I will join in as I can but I will be stalking that hashtag all month long. 

My year of buying less

I feel like this experiment is almost a little cliche since I've heard so many people talk about it and write about it over the past few years. Nevertheless I decided to try it this year and make a few simple rules for myself.

My goal - Buy less stuff, of course. At the top of my list is clothing, after reading about the world of fast fashion I have decided that I want my wardrobe choices to be intentional and not a mindless stream of purchasing Target t-shirts. 

My rules:

-No new clothing for myself - I can purchase fabric and sewing patterns to make my own clothes and I can purchase clothing second hand.

-No new jewelry, purses, shoes or accessories - Same rules as above

-Kids clothes - I am lucky to receive a lot of hand me downs from friends and family so, even with three kids, this category doesn't usually include a lot of spending on my part. When I do purchase clothes I get almost everything at second hand stores with the exception of a new pair of sneakers and new leggings at the beginning of the school year. Those two items don't really make it to the hand me down stage so we usually buy new. 

-I can buy gifts for people and craft/sewing supplies. 

I know I won't be perfect, there are sure to be a few circumstances where I need something last minute or have a special event pop up. Even if I'm not perfect, I can easily make a dent in my disposable wardrobe and become more intentional when I buy.

New booth display

I've been playing around with a new layout for my craft show table. Since returning to Ohio I'm ready to get back into craft shows and I know my holiday season will be busy and I'm looking forward to it! A few new, and exciting products coming to a show near you!

craft show booth display
craft show booth display

It's Fall!

Fall is my favorite time of year and I love spending time outside with my girls. I posted a photo from our pumpkin patch adventure from this afternoon and then pumpkin patch pictures were popping up all over social media, it seemed like everyone enjoyed some fall festivities today. 

Fair weather Acres CT family fun
Fair weather Acres CT family fun
Fair weather Acres CT family fun
Fair weather acres CT family fun
fair weather acres CT family fun

If you're in the central Connecticut area, check out Fair Weather Acres for a day of fall fun.

32 before 32 - Projects 29 - 32

We made it to the end!

Project #29 - Dream Big! I made a simple freezer paper stencil with my circuit and then filled a spray bottle with bleach and went to town. It really doesn't get much easier than this. 

Project #30 - I did this project a while ago, my magazine hoarding is getting out of control!

Project #31 - I offered to make Lucy a purse for her birthday and she said "That's fine but it has to have leather!" I don't know where she comes up with this stuff. I let her pick from my "leather" pieces and I picked an Amy Butler print that I knew she would love. She was thrilled with the results, she has a great time picking out exactly what goes into the purse and I'm having fun recording her choices. See what's #InLucysBag on Instagram.

Project #32 - I found out about this workshop with Nancy Soriano a few weeks ago and it seemed like a lot of fun. I was a little hesitant since it was in Brooklyn and I didn't know anyone but I stepped way out of my comfort zone and drove myself to NYC for a fun night of crafts. 

Happy Birthday to me! This project was a great way to force myself to do some of the projects that have been living on my Pinterest board for months or even years. Thanks for joining me!

32 before 32 - Projects 25 - 28

More DIY because I want to.

Project #25 - A super easy crochet bracelet, I had to re-teach myself crochet for this one - thanks YouTube! This took about ten minutes once I remembered crochet and then about 2 minutes to sew on the button. I had all the supplies on hand so this was another quick and easy project. Here is the video I used from Craftaholics Anonymous. Also, this book is so good!

Project #26 - The cutest bucket hat and you can get the pattern for free from one of my favorites Oliver + S!

Project #27 - This project was supposed to be for Ayla since so many of my crafts are for Lucy. But I think Lucy liked it more, Ayla wanted a snack. 

Project #28 - I made something for myself! I don't make a lot of garments because you have to be pretty exact and follow patterns, I would rather just do a little improv crafting where I don't have to be so serious. So this project was a good mix, I didn't follow a specific tutorial but Pinterest is full of great t-shirt re-fashions. Amy Butler fabric is my favorite!


32 before 32 - Projects 21 - 24

I hope you're not sick of my DIY projects yet!

Project #21 - Nothing is cuter than baby leggings. That is all.

Project #22 - I also love leggings for big kids. This kid is learning to pose like a pro!

Project #23 - I love how this turned out. I've painted and decoupaged these drawers so many times and it always looked like a pre-school craft project. I finally did the sensible thing - paint it white and add washi tape. A little improvisational crafting can go a long way!

Project #24 - These tents were so easy and the girls absolutely love them. We've spent many afternoons in the backyard playing neighbors. There are tons of variations of these, I used the tutorial from Cakies.

32 before 32 - Projects 17 - 20

And a few more projects...

Project #17 - The water blob, you can't get more exciting than that. We had a little incident with a runaway water blob on vacation. When the tutorials say to make sure your blob is on very flat ground - they are not lying! We had a very slight hill and after about 10 minutes of water flowing into the blob the entire thing rolled down a hill and we had to start all over. It was pretty amusing and the kids had a great time once we had it set up.

Project #18 - Decoupage is awesome, this is another inspiration that came from a photo I saw on Instagram months ago. I covered one of my craft tables in old pattern tissue and I love it. I bought a pattern from the thrift store for 50 cents and got my decoupage on one night. I was pretty quick and easy but you have to be careful not to tear the paper since it's so thin. I love the look of this - more improvisational crafting for the win! Side note - isn't my fat quarter shelf amazing? My husband custom built it for me and I love it oh so much.

Project #19 - Aaand more decoupage. A fun poster, a blank table in the kid's playroom - a match made in crafty heaven. I trimmed down the poster to fit the table and then did a quick coat of Mod Podge on the top and bottom. It was so quick I was done before Ayla had the chance to stick her hands in it!

Project #20 - I love sunflowers and although I've tried numerous times to grow them I have never succeed. Until this year when I took the time to start seeds in a tray, water them, transfer them to the ground, continue to water them, weed a little and continue to water them. It's surprising how much bette plants do when they have water. Apparently I bought the smallest sunflower seeds available because these were tiny BUT I grew flowers! Next year I will buy the big ones. Another side note - I shot this with an iPhone by making my own little macro lens from an old disposable camera - so much fun.

32 before 32 - Projects 13 - 16

Even more DIY!!

Project #13 - Lucy would say "I picked out the fabric and the pompoms so I designed it, but my mom made it." She was pretty excited to pick everything out after I saw a similar skirt on Instagram. I keep telling her she can be an artist when she grows up and she says "mom, I already am an artist!" 

Project #14 - The easiest dress, especially since I don't like doing sleeves. T-shirt and fabric, you can't get much easier than that. I didn't really follow much of a tutorial for this, I usually just make it up as I go along. I like to call it improvisational crafting - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. This time was a success, you can find a tutorial for a similar dress from The Best Dress Ever. And how about the posing - she's getting pretty good.

Project #15 - We had almost our entire house repainted after some crazy water damage from the snow this year. So, after over a year in our house I finally hung up some photos in the dining room. I love gallery walls so I had a great time setting this up. Make sure you plan before you start putting holes in your walls! I used the paper stencil method like Young House Love except I used mostly command strips so we don't have tons of holes when we sell the house some day. 

Project #16 - This girl LOVED making a fairy garden. Well, she loved picking out the fairies and the furniture - not so much the actual dirt involved. I planted the garden, she plays with the fairies.

32 before 32 - Projects 9 - 12

More DIY fun...

Project #9 - I love my family photo albums so much. I'm not a professional photographer or an amazing graphic designer so my albums are very simple and not fancy at tall. But I have a record of each year and I really appreciate having these around and Lucy loves looking through them too. This was my forth book including a wedding book and I hope to go back and do a few pre-kid books too. Check out my Instagram to see a short flip through the book!

Project #10 - A super easy bow for Lucy. She doesn't usually like me to put her hair up but having a pretty bow helps persuade her to let me do something fancy. There are dozens of simple bow tutorials all over pinterest, I used this one from Craftaholics Anonymous

Project #11 - Another easy bow, this one was no-sew. I don't think I really followed a tutorial for this one but I was inspired by a lot of the bows all over pinterest. I just cut a circle of felt and then started glueing rick rack in a circle and then I glued on a vintage button and a clip on the back - easy peasy! This tutorial from The Ribbon Retreat is similar, she sewed the rick rac, I just glued it.

Project #12 - Quilts - I could go on an on about how special quilts are to me, especially baby quilts. Basically, my mom was an amazing quilter and she always made quilts for people for special occasions - going to college, getting married, new babies. She passed away a few years ago and I've since made a few very special baby quilts for a few special babies that have come into my life. This was made for my best friend from high school as she welcomed her first daughter. I loved the colors she picked for the nursery, who doesn't need a little gold polka dot and a few elephants in their lives? I used this free tutorial from Sing All You Want.

32 before 32 - Projects 5 - 8

The next batch of projects from my challenge.

diy camera strap

Project #5 - I've wanted to learn more about my camera for a while now. After getting a new lense I wanted an easy way to add some fun and color to my camera strap. I looked through pinterest at about a dozen different tutorial but I wanted something quick and easy so I found some ribbon that was exactly the right size. I topstitched it right on top of the strap I had and it was all done. The ribbon is by Amy Butler from Renaissance Ribbons.

washi tape dolls

Project #6 - Lucy loved making these wash tape dolls, she decorated them and played with them for at least an hour. She asked if she could make more the next day.

hand carved stamp

Project #7 - I've had this stamp carving kit for years and I never knew what to do with it. I finally got the motivation to cut into it after starting my project. Drawing is not one of my talents so I made a simple bunting banner.

hand stamped cards

Project #8 - I made these cards using the stamp and filled in some of the flags with other stamps I had. It's not perfect but I had fun trying something new.

32 before 32 - Projects 1 - 4

When I started thinking about this challenge there were a few projects that I had already completed that I knew I would share. With just over 8 weeks before my birthday and a few vacations planned I knew that I had to have a few crafts finished to ensure I made my deadline. And, if I'm being honest, this entire project was more about actually sharing what I've made and spending time being creative rather than the specifics of each individual craft. So here are a few additional details on the first few.

1 copy.jpg

Projec #1 - Sometimes I just need to spend time in my craft room to make myself feel better. This project didn't take a lot of prep but I had fun playing around with the supplies I had on hand, and everybody loves a colorful gift. These are mini journals from Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms collection from Chronicle Books. I added the little clip, some gift cards and a little yarn with a vintage button. Quick and simple - my kind of project.

purl bee baby sunbonnet

Project #2 - I made this bonnet a few months ago before a family trip to Florida. Ayla wears it for about 5-10 seconds at a time before pulling it off her head but I had fun making it. This is a free Baby Sunbonnet pattern from The Purl Bee.

easy wash tape project

Project #3 - Oh washi tape... I just can't get enough. But I have a lot and I should probably use it since I won't stop buying it. So I took a few cans out of the recycling pile and gave them a new life organizing my craft room.

freezer paper stencil

Project #4 - Lucy made this onsie using a freezer paper stencil that I cut out using my cricut. She colored in the stencil with Crayola fabric markers and she was very excited to make something herself for our friend's new baby. The process is pretty easy but you can find nice instructions over at Aesthetic Nest.