Wednesday, August 13, 2014

now available: minneapolis neighborhood map



Just to remove any doubts that my husband and I are nerdy: after one of our date nights, we wandered around the neighborhood looking at the cool architecture. When we couldn't figure out what the place once was, we went into the adjacent [and coordinated] library to discover its origin. Tucked into the back was MN history, including this map. In order to research further, I snapped these photos and then realized - what great inspiration for my own map! I was already using a Bodoni-esque font, so this map served to give me some further typographic ideas.


Since then, I've gone from one child to two, and somehow that has made me slightly more productive creatively. Not entirely sure how that works, but I'm really excited to share our map with others!


One of my favorite things about hanging a map in your home is the way it invites you to leave your mark. I can see other people placing a heart where they fell in love or made their first home, or having friends sign their names in their respective neighborhoods. We use ours to record our weekly date nights, and it's fun to reminisce the different evenings we've shared around our varied city.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

fabric scrap name art

In preparation for our new baby girl's arrival, we moved C into her own "big girl" room. Once again, I got to decorate a room prior to having a baby, but this time it wasn't a nursery! 

Knowing we were going to have two girls, we decided C's room should definitely be girly. Someday they'll share that space and fill it with giggles, so it had to be lively and fun. I decided to paint the walls yellow, a bright, neutral color, so we could play up bright colors throughout the room without being overwhelming.


Initially I wanted the color scheme to be pink and orange, but after my husband shot down every bedding choice I suggested, I had to give it up. Turns out he doesn't like bright orange...only burnt orange...which is neither bright nor girly. We eventually found a bedspread that we liked, went with the color scheme of pink and teal, and decorating continued.


In the future, our girls will be in bunk beds, but until then C gets to own this space. And if she owns it, the room should bear her name, right? [When the girls are sharing, I'll make another one for O and their names can hang above their respective beds.] I wanted to bring in more of the fun fabric scraps that I used on the opposite side of the room, so I grabbed some tagboard, spray painted a Goodwill frame, and created her name wall art. 


Step 1: Print out your child's name, position it on tagboard sized to fit your frame, tape in place, and cut out the letters.


Step 2: Choose your scraps and tape them behind the individual letters.


Step 3: Turn the whole thing over and check your work.


Step 4: Turn it over again and use a hot glue gun to secure the fabric, outlining each letter with glue. Work in small areas at a time; the glue dries fast! Trim the fabric once you're done.


Step 5: Retrieve any missing counters for your letters and hot glue them in place.


That's it! What other things have you done with fabric scraps?



Thursday, June 5, 2014

artist feature: wayfaring art


With the baby now due in 1.5 weeks [not that anyone's counting...], my husband and I took the opportunity to have a little "babymoon staycation" last month. While C hung out with her grandparents, we stayed at a hotel downtown and enjoyed our city, doing things we haven't been able to do much since C came along.

The first night found us dining at Modern Cafe in NE Minneapolis, where we stumbled upon Art-A-Whirl. Turns out we picked just the right weekend to tour hundreds of artist studios and see lots of great work.

I have a certain weakness for journals, and today's featured artist really tempted me to add to my collection. Wayfaring Art is her name, and handmade leather-bound journals are her game. You really need to check out her gallery to see the breadth of her work. The earrings shown above were simply too irresistibly cute not to share! Her full-size journals have a great earthy, rustic vibe. They feel like something a backpacking traveler would carry around, recording their discoveries and experiences.

Those in the area can see her in person at the Edina Art Fair this weekend, or she's on Etsy, too.

Seriously. Doesn't every bibliophile in your life need those earrings?

Monday, May 12, 2014

mother's ring for mother's day


My dad’s parents lived 4 miles away from me when I was growing up. In country miles, that’s 5 minutes. As a result, we spent lots of time there. My grandma was a crafty woman, and taught me to knit [unfortunately that lesson was forgotten, though re-learned in college], taught me to create plastic canvas masterpieces and small works of embroidery, and even let me paint [remember those country geese hanging out on doorways?]. She was also a master gardener, and with a farmyard full of landscaping, she had her hands full.

Our church was a few miles past her house, so each Sunday I would not sit in my parents’ pew, but instead take my place next to Grandma [the spot *between* our grandparents was reserved for my older sister]. Often I grew fidgety and would turn my attention to my grandma’s rings. She, of course, wore her wedding band, but she also wore a mother’s ring. With six children to represent, it was quite full. I would repeatedly review which gemstone belonged to which month, and which gemstone belonged to which child. So began my fascination with mother rings.

After my husband and I were married awhile and began discussing having children, I knew what I wanted someday: a mother’s ring. The hitch? I’m not particularly patient, and what if we have a lot of kids? I’ll never get that ring! Fortunately, the trend of stackable rings arrived and with it, the answer to my dilemma. Instead of waiting for a full set of birthstones all in a row, I could stack individual rings as the children come along! Wonderful.

Thank you to Laurel Treasures for my beautiful set, and I hope to be ordering from you again very soon. Five more weeks to baby's due date!

Friday, April 4, 2014

dirty dozen + clean 15 printable


Remember back in October when I told you about a creative burst, the Dirty Dozen Grocery Tote? Well, the watercolors are back.

Since we're not yet in farmer's market season, it was time to create the complement to the "Dirty Dozen" list and illustrate the "Clean 15" list. That way, when you're at the standard grocery store with limited organic options, you know which fruits + vegetables to heads towards with a clear [meaning low pesticide residue] conscience.


You can purchase your own Clean 15 Budget Tote from my Zazzle store, or print a wallet guide [shown at top] from my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

thirty, flirty, and thriving


This was my year to turn the "big" 3-0. Previous years have found us celebrating St. Patrick's Day with the revelers in St. Paul, but this year felt different. This March found me in the final months of preparing for Baby #2 and dealing with the toddler antics of C (aka Baby #1). On top of that, the days prior to my birthday were spent hosting a dozen family members. Needless to say, my attentions really weren't on myself. God, however, orchestrated a *wonderful* 30th birthday; I couldn't have planned it better.

As stated, the weekend before my birthday we hosted a dozen family members. It was *so* much fun having them all here. A few of them slept in hotels, which meant C and her 5-year-old cousin got to hang out at the pool! We'd never been to a kiddie pool before and C *loved* it. She fell into the water a few times the first day but didn't seem to mind "swimming" one bit.

We also made a colossal cake in honor of the milestone birthday gals present. It was "Heaven and Hell Cake," made of devil's food, angel food, peanut butter mousse and covered in milk chocolate ganache. Very rich, dirties a lot of dishes in the making, but still worth it for a special event. Somehow I never managed to get a picture of it sliced, so you'll have to use your imagination or visit the link.



The day of my birthday I dressed C up in her best green tutu and met friends + the hubs at a restaurant for lunch. C was so exhausted from the weekend! That evening Grandpa & Grandma took over while my husband and I went on a special date to Piccolo. He told them in advance that it was my birthday, so I got lots of "Happy Birthday" wishes and a special card and + candle with my dessert course. It was the perfect, relaxing end to the day.

The rest of the week organically developed into getting together with a variety of friends, some who live far away and some whom I haven't seen in too long. Though the visits may not have been planned around my birthday, I counted them as birthday blessings nonetheless.

All in all, being 30 really isn't so bad. Feels kind of good, actually!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

room darkening nursery curtains


I've always been a "project" person. In fact, my mother stated the thing she was looking forward to most after I moved out would be the absence of my "piles," which were generally various projects in many states of "on hold."

Unfortunately for my husband, this habit is hard to break. Fortunately for my husband, I've at least managed to limit myself to one[ish] project at a time. Got a new creative idea? Better finish that last one first! Sometimes this only delays the beginning of a new idea rather than actually finishing an old one, but I'm a work in progress.

One of my latest projects got a jumpstart by an upcoming visit of family. Isn't hosting the best solution for accomplishing tasks? I simply *couldn't* have this fabric lying around any longer. It had to find its way into curtains.

And find its way it did. Using this tutorial as a basis. [Though, can I add a note about width? It omitted that detail, so for your reference, total finished width should be 1.5x-2x the width of your window, adding 4 inches per panel for hem allowance.] The nursery does have room darkening roll shades in addition to white accordian blinds, but roll shades are my arch nemesis. The spring loaded action [or non-action] drives me batty. So I simply *had* to make darkening curtains to eliminate athe roll shade. Now if only I actually completed that portion of the project ...

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