Sunday, November 18, 2012


The next part was finding a book that would work. I love reusing old book covers and have no qualms about using my rotary cutter to cut a book up, so that's exactly what I did. I found an old Social Security Time Book from the 1940s and sliced the spine of the book close to the middle, leaving a little overlap on both sides. I then glued the overlap to the inside of the book so that the edge looked finished.
Next I put some old Heidi Swapp mask letters along with some old vinyl number stickers on the front cover. I used a teal blue glaze and painted over both the front and back covers, going in a diagonal direction. The glaze was perfect to add a bit of color but also let the vintage book cover lettering show through. I let that dry, did another coat, and then once that was dry put some clear glitter paint over that. I let it dry a little and then took the masks off. They didn’t quite work as well as I hoped, but I got some nail polish remover and some Q-tips and was able to clear up where the paint bled into the negative space. I put two final coats of glossy Mod-Podge over the top, attached a cut vintage doily to the front and back with two layers of Mod-Podge, make some holes with my Crop-a-Dile, put some binder rings to attached the covers, and the cover was done. I am so pleased with the glitter and shine but also the simplicity of the design.
Next to come is some information on prep work I have done for the inside pages...

Monday, November 12, 2012


Hello! I wanted to share a peek at an exciting little project I am working on.

I know that many of you are familiar with the whole December Daily album idea, but for those of you who don't know, I'll give you a brief summary. Basically, you create a little scrapbook or art journal page to document each day in December leading up to Christmas. I've never done it before quite like this. I've journaled before, but it's not quite the same without the visual impact one of these books can make. There are some WAY cute kits out there to satisfy your crafting needs. For example, the Studio Calico kit in conjunction with the lovely Ali Edwards can be found here but unfortunately is all sold out. There are tons of other kits which are awesome (check out Etsy and support some local artists), many of which even include classes, but my pocket book is a bit slim and I have a crazy amount of cool things in my hobbit hole curiosity shop (i.e. my crafty hoarder's office). So, I am making my own December Daily DIY style. Yay! I first took one of the embellishment kits from my shop. This is the Sugarland Woods Vintage Embellishment Kit.

I next went through my vintage fabric, vintage papers, trim, and scrapbook papers to come up with an inspiring mix of goodies to fill my book with. I found an old Social Security Time Book that would work perfectly as the cover of the book. It's not too big so that I feel overwhelmed with filling up a page and it's not too small where I can't fit a 4 x 6 inch picture in it without having to cut it up.
I've started a Pinterest board that is devoted to some of the free printables, journaling suggestions, and inspiring page designs to get me started. I want to get the basic book design created before the madness of the holidays and I will keep you all updated on my progress. Yip yip!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


3/3/12 - Goodwill finds by {elke}
3/3/12 - Goodwill finds, a photo by {elke} on Flickr.

I am overjoyed by the beautiful fabrics and super cute basket I found at Goodwill today. The 60s looking fabric is really a really awesome jumpsuit that I would never wear and looks like something one of the Austin Powers girls would've worn, but that fabric caught my eye and I was in love. The other two fabrics are sheets that I think will make super cute bags or even a little fitted sheet for Ady's bed. So many uses for these I just couldn't say no. I love finding little treasures like these. My main problem, though, is I buy these treasures but don't ever use them. I've already got a plan for some of the 60s fabric to use on one of my guest books I've got in the works for a bride in Ireland. I should make it a habit to use up some fabric before buying new stuff (I've got two huge bookshelves full of fabric) and I always have a ton of ideas for different projects I just never get around to them. Maybe I'm going to sew something this weekend. That would be fun!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012


When Ady sees a green stoplight when we're driving, she yells "Green beans go!" Well today I had a moment to look at how my green beans were doing (it's been raining a lot lately) and to my surprise I saw lots of happy little green bean plants peeking out of the ground. Yay! I doubled up the number of plants this year hoping to have a much more substantial harvest. There is just nothing like fresh green beans in your salad. Yum! Happy day.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I have always been disappointed with store-bought bagels, and the good ones from the bakery are so expensive, so I had to try and see if I could make some myself. So today I woke up super early to make homemade bagels. I had all the ingredients out and at room temperature, threw them in the bread machine to make the dough, waited about an hour and a half, rolled into balls and poked a hole in the middle, let them rise for 30 minutes, boiled them for 3 minutes, brushed on some egg, sprinkled some sesame seeds, and baked them for 25 minutes. We ate them with a little salmon cream cheese, capers, thinly sliced red onion, and a fried egg. They were SO delicious! We plan on freezing the remaining bagels and enjoying them for lunch and breakfast for the next week or so. Yum!
Here they are after rising:
Here they are after boiling, brushing with egg, and sprinkling with sesame seeds:

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Ady put the diaper on the baby all by herself for the first time this evening. I made these little handmade diapers (click here to see the pattern and tutorial) for her for Christmas and they are super cute and fun! Just after I took this shot she forced baby dolls eye's closed so she could go night-night. Not so gentle. Poor doll. I wonder when doll will get a real name?
Next we enjoyed some stories. Tonight's story was "Let's go visiting" which is a simple, fun to read, and sweet little book. After I was done reading, Ady had to read the book.
This was dinner. Spaghetti. Usually we have to strip her down for spaghetti, but tonight she was really well behaved, and of course a ball of sass too. Little girls are awesome. :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012


1/29/12 - Playground Moment by {elke}
1/29/12 - Playground Moment, a photo by {elke} on Flickr.

We went to the playground today and I froze this moment in time. The second the shutter closed, I knew this was a powerful shot. I just love how August is looking at sweet Ady who is lost in her own little world, wondering about something.

I also shot this picture which I think sums up how silly she is sometimes. My little monster. :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012


1/28/12 - Ady Wren by {elke}
1/28/12 - Ady Wren, a photo by {elke} on Flickr.

Here is a little wren I sewed for a friend's new baby. My daughter's name is Ady Wren, so I had to snap a shot of the wren hanging out next to her first name. Add a vintage frame and some yummy vintage fabric, and my eyes start to smile. :)

The wren was super simple to make. First, I traced the wren body shape on a sheet of paper that is folded in half. Then I drew all the pieces onto the bird shape. Cut around the main body shape first. You will end up with two templates: a full body and the one with all the insides drawn on.

Take the layer that has all the inside pieces on it and cut them all out. When you're done you will be guaranteed that the inside shapes will fit inside the main bird body.

Then I pinned the shapes to different colors of felt and cut out two of each shape.

Starting with one side, lay out all the pieces and pin them in place. I did a simple running stitch around each shape with two strands of embroidery floss. (I unwound the six strands and only used two to sew with.)

Once I was done with one side, I did the same thing to the other side. Once both sides are done, I pinned them together and did a blanket stitch around leaving about 1.5-inches open for stuffing.

I stuffed this little wren with a bit of cellophane to make a fun noise for baby and a little polyfill to make it a little three-dimensional and more cuddly.

Then I finished the blanket stitch, closed it off, and this little wren is all done!

Sweet and simple!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


1/26/12 - Helping by {elke}
1/26/12 - Helping, a photo by {elke} on Flickr.

Ady is really into helping lately. She pushes up the step stool, climbs up, and demands to help. Tonight her task was to snap green beans. I trimmed off the ends and put them in a pile. Then Ady moved the pile to another spot, picked up a green bean, snapped it in half, and put them in the colander. She had a blast and I had an occupied toddler that was helping. Win win!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


1/24/12 - Potty Books by {elke}
1/24/12 - Potty Books, a photo by {elke} on Flickr.

Here's the pile of books next to the potty that we read to Ady. We have not done any candy or stickers or other motivators other than these books and an "atta girl". So far so good. Although she has invented a new word "Moregain" when she want's me to read the book I just finished reading again. How many times can one enjoy Everyone Poops? I'll let you know...

Monday, January 23, 2012


1/23/12 - The Write Start by {elke}
1/23/12 - The Write Start, a photo by {elke} on Flickr.

I'm reading this great book called The Write Start: A Guide To Nurturing Writing At Every Stage, From Scribbling To Forming Letters And Writing Stories by Jennifer Hallissy.

There are some neat tips in it about how to set up writing stations. I did a really simple station in her room with a clipboard and an assortment of crayons and pencils. There is a white board above the desk (well, it's actually a frosted glass board, same diff) and I wrote out her first name with tips on which parts come first, second, and third. The book has a beautifully illustrated alphabet chart. The thought is that if a child learns how to write efficiently from the get-go then they can write quicker and spend more time listening and less time focusing on how to write each letter. I know my two year old is not anywhere near to writing her own name, she hasn't even started drawing representational objects, but my little scribbler will have all the tools necessary to support her along the way.
I highly recommend this book!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Today we finally admitted to ourselves that our fig tree is gone. It was a wonderfully huge and beautiful tree that has been deteriorating for some time now. The vines had claimed their victim. August cut it up and I hauled it off. At the base of the trunk of the tree, August pulled off a chunk that showed the inside rings. I was amazed at how many rings there were. This was an old old tree. I was also fascinated by these beautiful black scalloped "hairs" that wound through the rings. I pulled out my macro lens and shot a couple of pictures.
Goodbye fig tree. You will be missed.


So, we started this day going "nuclear", i.e. no diapers, to get this potty training train out of the station. She has shown lots of signs of being ready, so I figured this was a good next step. Well, she did fantastic! She had one mess outside during messy play, and one BM inside (eeeew!), but other than that it was perfect! Of course I did put her in a diaper for nap time and for bed time because I know she's not ready to conquer that just yet. So, naked butt baby enjoyed some delicious breakfast tacos with eggs, cilantro, cheese, and salsa. Yum! My brother in law gave me the best homemade salsa recipe. Nice and spicy. I love that Ady will eat just about anything, and almost drinks this salsa up even though it is on the spicy side. :)

Next, we checked on our herbs which I planted last Sunday from seed in vermiculite. Lots of them decided to sprout today! So, right now the chives, thyme, Italian basil, and sweet basil have sprouted. The oregano and the parsley are still working on it. I remember the parsley being a bit slow last year, but last year's crop is still going strong so I may not need it.
Next, we went out to do some messy play: finger painting! Ady was so cute in her little smock and no bottoms. :) For her sake, we will not show those photos (she'll thank me one of these days). She would dip her hands in the paint, put it on the paper, and then spend the next 5 minutes rinsing off her hands in the water bowl. Then she did it all again. It was way more fun splashing in the water.
Later on we made granola using the recipe on SouleMama's website here. It turned out delicious! I am so glad to have discovered the joys of cold pressed coconut oil. It is delicious! I made a veggie korma a couple of days ago that turned out delish and I'm sure the coconut oil helped that along.
After nap time we played outside a bit, went for a nice walk, watered the garden, and clipped some camellia branches from our trees. The blooms are so amazing, so I'd try to see how long they might last inside. I read a tip that adding 1 TBSP of mouthwash to a half gallon of water would preserve the flowers (an alternative to one of those packets that you get with bouquets). I'm curious to see whether it works. They are so beautiful on my counter, and they were free!
We did some yoga and other games on the Wii Fit. Ady was a champ at the yoga, but I keep getting reminded of how short her attention span is! Oh, and we danced too. That's always fun. I can't tell if she's laughing with joy or laughing at her mama for trying to dance, but I'll take it any way I can get it. Today was a really fun day!

Friday, January 20, 2012


Ady goes to the most wonderful school here in Tallahassee! Creative Preschool is a dream place for children! The school's philosophy focuses on imaginative play as the foundation for whole child development, and I have to say IT WORKS!!! My little one is learning and growing in such a nourishing environment. Every day when we pick her up, she needs to play on the Choo Choo Train, which resides just outside of the gates and was cut out of a fallen log by a local artist. There is this hole in the tunnel where we play peek-a-boo, and a really neat slide carved into the wood going down the mountain. This piece of artwork is a playground to all of the children here at the school. I really cannot say enough good things about the school. You can read an article about the school here.


The first little peep of spring greeted me when I came home.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Wowza! It's been a while, huh? Busy life, lots of projects, not enough time. Blah, blah, blah. Excuses excuses. :)

Well, I signed up for this fantastic Photo a Day course on Studio Calico and am super excited to get this started! I had been in a rut lately, shying away from the everyday "real" photos because they did not have the perfect lighting or the perfect background. I still took lots of photos, but only on perfect days. I vow this year to include the "real" everyday photos, and think by doing this my photography skills will improve too! Sounds like a win win.

The format on how I'm going to keep this all recorded is slightly up in the air. I keep a perpetual journal in an index file format, so am definitely going to print out pictures and put them with the day. I also created an account on where I will be uploading my pictures online.

This is going to be a great year! Here's for celebrating the everyday!