The January Project : In Review, Part 1

I am first and foremost grateful to the people who read my blog & bought my items this month.

Your purchases raised over $150 that will go directly to John! For those of you who don't have the pleasure of knowing my little brother, you're missing out. John is a kind, sincere, hilarious, incredibly creatively gifted guy. I'm so proud of him for pursuing the development of his skills in film, specifically production. Recently his team at the Center for Creative Media produced two professional music videos for Christian groups Casting Crowns and the Newsboys--and they look awesome!



Ah, the Newsboys. How I used to rock out as a nerdy young teen to albums like Going Public, Step Up to the Microphone and finally, the very strange Love Liberty Disco. I think I sent them fan mail once with terribly rendered portraits of each band member.

Aaanyway, man, John is doing some really good work at CCM. This is a program that is challenging him, working him harder than he's ever had to work before, and preparing him to be a young professional in film and media. And we NEED more people like John in film and media. You know the new Blue Like Jazz movie that's coming out? Yeah. If you ask me, this is the kind of thing I see in John's future.

And what it meant to me personally? Well, let me say that it was so cool to see you guys BUYING. Seriously--to each and every one of you who bought something, you have no idea how my heart leapt when I got that little notification email. And every time I saw the name of the buyer, I was totally surprised and usually taken aback! To each of you: my childhood friends, Shayna and Stevie; a dear high school friend, Caroline; college friends Ashley, Kat and Sophie; and two people I've never met (!), Natalie and Lynn; you don't know how much it meant to me. You truly made my day each and every time! I might have shed a tear once or twice, no joke. It just feels good to know that people care and want to be a part of what I'm doing.

If you didn't get a chance to buy anything, you can still support John directly by making a donation to his student account! Guys, to put it bluntly, he doesn't have enough money to stay in this program. You can donate by going here and searching for his account by name [John Boecker] or by his intern number [2639917].

It would mean the world to me. And to this guy:


John, I love you bro! I'm proud of you and the work you're doing. I know you're having a great time, but also learning a ton. God has given you skills and talents that you recognize and use to the best of your ability, and your hard work is going to pay off. Luke and I think about you all the time and pray for the Lord to bless you and provide for you.

Love, your big sister,


Stitched Fabric Basket

It's the last day of January! I wish I had a really epic project to end out the month a handmade bedframe. Or an armoir or something. Sorry, January's ending with a basket. Or me as a basket case. One or the other.

Today's project was slated to be a set of three. But I only squeaked out this one lowly, crooked, charming-in-its-handmadeness fabric basket. Oh, plans, how you are so well intended but scarcely carried out.


I like the pink base.

I like clothespins.

And I like how the floor looks after two days of projects and no cleanup.


So that's that! I can't believe how fast the end of the month snuck up on me. Tomorrow I'll be back to share my personal response to the January Project and share the final-ish outcome with you. I have to say how much I appreciate that you've been reading and bearing with me this month! I have so many nice things to say to you. But for now I'm just a bit exhausted. They'll have to wait.

Goodnight January.

Branch Hooks

Guys? I'm not sure I'm ready to give these up.



I got this idea from here. I'd been planning on painting them white like they do in the link, but against my eggshell walls I'm glad I left them natural. Wait. Um, I mean...against YOUR walls I'm glad I left them natural. Because I'm totally going to be able to let them go when someone buys them from the shop.


Oh Happy Day! A Stamped Greeting Card Set

Do you guys like to use stamps? I used to love stamping when I was little, but as I got older it sort of got lumped into the grandma-crafts folder. Only recently (actually, when I created Becca's save the dates) did I rediscover the awesomeness of stamping. Good thing, too, because stamps are one of Paperfinger's main products! Now I love them and I want to stamp all the time.


Using some stamps I had on hand, I made a few greeting cards you can use for different occasions. There are two of each, and they come with cotton envelopes, lined in some fun paper you may have seen before...



Do you know what makes stamping even better? EMBOSSING! yay embossing! I embossed these cards because I love the look of white on kraft paper. If you try to stamp in white ink, it is always at least a little bit transparent. The solution is in the embossing.

 Embossing is the process of stamping clear, sticky ink onto your desired surface and sprinkling the image with special embossing powder. Then, with your handy heat gun, you direct hot air onto the powder--now sticking obediently to the ink--and watch in amazement as it melts, solidifies and gets all shiny before your very eyes! So fuunn!



So cool right? No, really, it is. Try it!

Buy 'em up here!



Fuzzy Crocheted Bow Headband

Okay, I promise I'll lay off the crochet projects after this.

I really like this headband. I thought about keeping it. I got the pattern for this hat here. The main difference in mine is that the yarn I used is very very thick, so I opted to sew on the bow since this yarn won't really gather.

I would write more, but today I had a real workout for the first time since Christmas. My body and brain are struggling.



{for sale}


Relic, Remade | Vintage Makeup Case

Today's project was something REmade! I've had this cool, vintage, mustard-colored case around for some time, intending to eventually rehab it for craft storage. When I first got it from a thrift store, it was pretty filthy and smelled yucky inside, but I saw some potential.


The first thing I did was drench it in baking soda for a few days to get rid of the smell (it worked!), then spent several hours scrubbing it inside and out. Though my intentions were good, this project then sat in closets, moving boxes, a storage unit and another closet until today!

I knew I wanted to replace the weird fabric inside the lid and the little pocket inside the case. I ripped out that musty stuff and, using some beautiful fabric that I picked up from Fabrika during a visit to Savannah, I sewed a replacement pocket using some very suspect sewing techniques (Margaret sewing = Margaret winging it). The odd panel of fabric inside the lid is fastened with some very strong snaps, but it was just a covered piece of cardboard, so I hot glued fabric to match. It looks cute. Perhaps a mirror could go there?


I really loved the vintage little tag on the old liner, so I removed it and glued it onto the new pocket. It makes me happy there. Oh, and in case you wondered, this pocket is held on with velcro in case you want to take it out.


Yay for giving something old a new life! There are endless ways to use this carrier. Its original purpose was for makeup. I was going to store some craft supplies in it before I decided to sell it. What would you use it for?


Wallpapered Cardboard Deer Head

These blog post titles keep getting weirder. I really meant to finish this project earlier...but work was busy and life was busy and we made friends with David from Germany who stayed with us and I told myself that good friends, good food, good conversation and being educated on other countries was more important than wallpapering a deer. Amiright?

This wallpaper I found at Goodwill is so cool. I kinda want to wallpaper everything, but I began with the deer head since it was in need of color and pattern. If you want to make your very own deer head, go here for instructions and printout templates. You can also buy mine. Either or.

Next time you hear from me, I'll have most likely wallpapered an entire accent wall in our apartment or something crazy like that! Luke, if you're reading this, please don't worry. It's all in the name of art.

Happy happy weekend!


Anger & Fury at a Cardboard Deer Head

Just now I hurled my glue gun to the ground, gulped down the last of my red wine, and stormed out of the living room all because of an inanimate disembodied animal.

Luke started laughing at me. I said defensively, "What?!" He said "You know what. You're mad at a cardboard deer head!"

I have a confession. I'm really impatient when it comes to crafts. I take shortcuts, skip integral steps, and rush carelessly through actions that should be meticulously executed. I have no time for taping edges when painting a wall, I'd rather just freehand it. And when it comes to cardboard deer heads, well, I'd just rather be putting the darn thing together than cutting out all those pieces from a moving box with my crafting scissors.

All that to say, I was more than a little over this project by the time I finally finished it (11:15pm), and really, I'm not even finished yet. I have a final step that will take this deer head from good to OMG. Can't wait to show you tomorrow. For now, I leave you with a very smug and not-quite-complete looking deer head.



Chalkboard Spice Jars

I'm all about the chalkboard paint craze.

I would make anything into a chalkboard! I've thought from the beginning that this is one of the most fun & clever trends. For awhile I've been wanting to execute this project, but I never "got around to it." Isn't it funny how we never get around to doing the things we really want to do? Instead, I find myself lounging around at night in front of the TV or browsing the facebooks. If there's one thing that has made me happiest regarding this project, it's the fact that it finally gets me doing the stuff I really wanted to be doing all along.

So I grabbed a quart of chalkboard paint from Lowe's (brand: valspar, price: $13.49) and got started on this very easy project. The pice jars are from IKEA ($2.99 for 4). I like having my spice collection displayed in matching containers, but I'm no connoisseur, so unless it was my most frequently used  spices I often had trouble telling which was which! The flat sides on these jars provided the perfect canvas for the paint. I may have painted on 5 or 6 coats of the chalkboard, but considering it's about 1.5 square inches, it wasn't too painful.

I revamped my jars by painting chalkboards for all my current spices, and then I painted 4 for you! You don't have to store spices in these--they would also be useful for beads, buttons, pins and the like.


(The oven was on for Luke's homemade enchiladas tonight!)


Purchase here.

Also, someone needs to buy these caramels! Soon they won't be fresh and I'll have to eat them all myself. Did I scare you off with the whole burnt fiasco? I think I was being dramatic, because I ate about a pound of this caramel over the weekend.

I hope you all had a happy Monday! Did you have off from work this MLK Jr. day? If you missed my story about Luke's uncle spending the night in jail with MLKJ himself, go check it out on facebook. Crazy!

A Salvaged Project & A Winner!

So, remember the caramel I made the other day? Remember how I said it was ruined? Well...let's just say that term is relative. My mom and I have been sampling the "ruined" caramel all morning and have deemed it salvageable, so I made it into a delicacy today. I'm thinking a delicacy of the smoked variety. I'm now calling them "Smoky Sea Salt Caramels". Ha! I actually really like them and I'm going to sell them in my etsy shop, but if you buy them and think they're inedible, I'll give you all your money back. Pinky swear.



I spent a lazy chatty Saturday afternoon at the kitchen table in my parents' home, talking to my mom and dad, hand-sewing little wax paper packages for the chocolates. A nice way to busy my hands during conversation and certainly an adorable packaging option. For sale here!


We have a giveaway winner, too!


Mary Dougherty, thanks for reading and commenting. Enjoy your cocoa! :)


His & Hers Mugs

After hearing about what I was up to this month, one of my dearest friends sent me a few words of encouragement along with links to ideas for projects. It really made my day.

One of the links took me here to this great idea for DIY monogram mugs. My project took a different route which I'm not quite sold on, but the idea is the same. Grab some of this...


Draw a little doodle...




Let dry for 24 hours, bake for 40 minutes and voila!



They're for sale, duh! Tomorrow is the last day to enter the cocoa giveaway, so leave a comment here...I'll draw a winner Friday at 11:59am EST!

Salted Caramel Sauce, Ruined

My night tonight is a little bit like the salted caramel sauce I made for today's project. Half-empty, and just a tad burnt.

I said I would make something everyday, but hey--I never promised it'd all be good. I may try to make a new batch that will fill up the whole jar and not ruin your ice cream or coffee or whatever you decide to put caramel on. You may see that shiny new perfect sauce for sale on etsy sometime soon. Perhaps by then I will be feeling shiny, new, and filled up myself.