Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Grown-up House {Lex's Room}

This is the second post in my series "My Grown-up House."

The first room I'm making over belongs to my sweet baby Lex. When we first moved in, his room needed the most work. It had a lot of issues but also a lot of potential. 

Don't you just love these windows?

See the icky fake wood paneling? 

  Lots of built-in storage, which is great.

See what I mean? Lots of work but lots of potential. I pleaded with my landlord to let me paint over the paneling. Being the awesome guy that he is, he agreed, as long as I painted it the same color as the rest of the house. He even provided the primer and the paint! After several weeks of painting while very pregnant and with help from friends, the kids and the husband, we finally got it done. Ta-da!

And yes, I also repainted the trim and built-ins. It was a big fat pain in the butt but completely necessary. Unfortunately, I made a rookie mistake and bought the cheapest possible paint. It was way too thin and I ended up doing three coats even after priming! And the worst part is that the tape pulled some big chunks off when I was removing it, and you can tell that it's not going to hold up very well to wear and tear. I may end up having to sand and repaint all the trim again, but I really really hope not.

Overall, I think it turned out pretty great. One thing I've heard over and over from decorating shows is that paint gives you the biggest bang for your buck. I think this little transformation proves that quite well.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Weekly Inspiration

I promise I'm going to have a real post soon. I'm up to my elbows in faux wedding projects for the moment. But to let you know I'm still here and thinking of you, here are some of my favorite pins this week.

If only I'd seen this sooner! I would love to have this for my faux wedding, but I don't think there will be time to do it.

I think I just found a use for those fake leaves and LED tea lights from the dollar store.

I found the perfect river rocks for this at the dollar store. Simple and sweet.

Guess what else I found at the dollar store-- moss rocks! I got four packages and I love them. I may have to keep them out year round.

Source: flickr.com via Ashley on Pinterest

I've also been busy making bunting. Not hearts, just the regular triangles but in similar types of paper.

Soon I will share some progress pics with you! Now, back to work!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Weekly Inspiration

My husband and I got married almost one year ago, on October 10, 2010. I was 8 months pregnant at the time and it was kind of a last minute decision so we decided not to do the traditional wedding. We had a small very informal ceremony at the Old Mill park in North Little Rock. We decided that since not everyone could be there, a year later we would have a family celebration. It's almost time! I thought I'd share some of my inspirations with you.

Source: etsy.com via Ashley on Pinterest

I love the basic shape of this simple chiffon dress. I want mine to have the same outline, but I want to do something a little different with the bodice. I'm also just using cotton instead of chiffon.

Source: flickr.com via Ashley on Pinterest

This is a detail from Marilyn Monroe's famous dress from The 7 Year Itch. I love the detail in the midsection and plan on doing something similar for my dress. Yes, I'm going to sew myself a dress and yes it will be the first piece of women's clothing I've ever made. Wish me luck!

This lovely party on Hostess with the Mostest has heavily influenced my theme. I want a woodland theme but nothing too cutesy. I plan on lots of little toadstools on my table.Also lots of moss and rocks and moss rocks.

I'm kind of obsessing over terrariums, especially the ones under bell jars like these. Mine will most likely be in humble recycled jars but hopefully still have a whimsical feel.

For my cake topper, I want to sculpt an autumn tree and have our initials carved in it like this one. I also want 6 little toadstools at the base to represent our 6 children. I'm not 100% sure I'll be able to pull it off, but I'm going to try!

Lastly, here's what I plan on doing for the favors. Instead of printing on the paper, I want to use my brown craft paper and a hand carved stamp with chalk ink. I haven't decided what to put inside yet.

I also plan on lots of pumpkins and bunting. Man, I love the fall! I'm so excited to have my little faux wedding. :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Weekly Inspiration

Autumn is finally coming! The maple trees are starting to turn and the weather today is fantastic! I've been pinning autumn ideas like crazy. Here's what's been inspiring me this week:

Pottery Barn inspired decor. Megan at Polish the Stars gives a tutorial on staining the fabric, printing directly onto fabric and making this lovely wall hanging. Perfect for Halloween.

This would be great to make with some thrift store wool sweaters or even just craft felt.

Pumpkins and sewing-- two of my favorite things! I think it beats the traditional tomato any day.

Dana at Made always delivers! This post is what made me start following her blog. I've got a lot of leftover fall color felts that will be great for this.

So simple and so lovely.

Source: tumblr.com via Ashley on Pinterest

Easy, simple fall decor. I'm going to print it and hang it on the fridge. :)

Source: imgur.com via Ashley on Pinterest

Oh, how I wish it looked like that here! Breathtaking!

I love the fall. It's my favorite time of year. What's been inspiring you this week?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Grown-up House

It may seem strange to say, but I feel myself slowly realizing that I am, in fact, a grown up. With a real house and family of my own and a car and everything. It's strange because until recently I have always looked at certain things and said to myself "Someday..."  As in, "Someday I will have a house of my own with a yard and I can do all this cool stuff." And someday is here, has been here for a little while now. So I think I'm going to start concentrating on making my home the way I have dreamed it would be.

Most of my craft efforts have been focused on making gifts for other people. While I love doing that, it occurred to me that I can also make things for myself and my home (duh!). I have started doing some actual decorating from scratch with Lex's room and am very pleased with it so far. I think my first order of business will be to finish his room up. Here are some pictures of it when we first moved in.

When we first looked at the place, I fell in love with all these windows! Aren't they great? I've done a lot with his room, but I'll save those pictures for another post.

The rest of my house is another story. See, most of my furniture is inherited and is kind of a hodge podge of different styles and woods. Likewise, most of my decorative pieces have been acquired piecemeal over the years with no real design in mind. As I look around, I see things I have had since high school and I'm thinking it's time for a change. It's time for some design. Here's a look at my living room when we first moved in.

There have been some changes (like getting rid of that sad chair), but it's still very similar.

So, I've decided to start a new series called "My Grown-up House." I am going to room-by-room redecorating on a very small budget. I'm basically going to be transitioning from a college apartment to a more grown-up, cohesive space.

There are still other somedays like "Someday when I own my own house..." or "Someday when Lex is bigger..." but I can still wait for those.

Monday, September 12, 2011

My Newest Obsession

Don't you just love that feeling of excitement and wonder you feel when you stumble upon something that you never knew existed and absolutely love? I'm basking in the glow of it right now because I have discovered the world of miniatures!

I have to admit, I've always been a bit of a craft snob. I would see things made by people that I thought were really tacky, and it would turn me off to the whole craft. It's the reason I waited so long to try out crochet and why I've always sort of snubbed anything to do with dolls (except Barbie dolls, that is :) ). I have come to realize that I was being a bit close-minded and not seeing each craft's potential.

Here is the dollhouse that first inspired me.


Isn't it amazing!? Someday I will do one as fancy as this, but I decided to start with something a bit simpler.  What really got me to take the leap from thinking to doing was this craftalong on Craftster. The creator, Knickertwist, does amazing "wee houses" and other whimsical miniature things. She uses the Creatology kits you can get at Michael's for cheap and suggested we do the same. I got the "fantasy" dollhouse and am thrilled with it so far.(The link I used for Amazon lists it at $49.99, but it only cost $12.99 at Michael's.)

Here is the front. I'm loving the light main color with the black accents.

This is the back. As you can see, there are four rooms including the attic.

And here is a good view of the porch and terrace. Isn't she lovely?

Thanks to my fellow Craftsters, I have discovered a myriad of resources for both tutorials and ready-made pieces. I have been having a field day on Pinterest. Check out my board! I'm doing a sort of spooky, sort of Victorian style house. You can read my house's back story on my board description.

There are so many times that I find a new craft and love it for a little while, but then my passion fizzles out.  With this one, I've been going strong for the last two weeks and have been overflowing with ideas. I can't wait to start on the interior and start molding things with polymer clay. The possibilities are endless!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sleep Training

I've never been much for having a set schedule. I just sort of liked to do things as they occurred to me-- fly by the seat of my pants, as it were. That is, until I had a baby.

Babies love schedules. Once they figure out the whole cause-and-effect thing, it makes them feel secure. Until I got this new job, I felt  kind of like a crap mom since I was not able to provide a very good schedule for Lex. We didn't get home most nights until 7 and then I had to cook and (hopefully) eat and then get Lex to bed. It didn't help that he was sleeping with us and would wake up frequently throughout the night.

I loved Lex sleeping with us. I loved snuggling him throughout the night and not having to get up to nurse. But when you put two large adults and a baby in a full sized bed, it gets a bit crowded. Besides, as my mom emphasized when she came to visit, he's old enough to sleep in his own crib.

So, I broke down and finally decided to try the graduated extinction or "cry it out" method. I had already established a bed time routine-- reading aloud and a couple of songs while nursing in our bed-- but every time I would try to put Lex in his crib, he would immediately start crying. I had to sneak away once he was asleep to avoid any protests, but that could take an hour of me laying there before he drifted off completely.

The first night, we did the bedtime routine as usual and when he was nice a drowsy, I put him down in the crib. As soon as I did, he starting crying. It was really hard to take him from that happy drowsy state and put him in a situation that he did not like. I waited 5 minutes and then went in and patted his back (with him continuing to wail and blubber) then left the room. Then I waited 10 minutes and did the same thing. It took about 50 minutes for him to stop crying and fall asleep.  When he quieted down and I went to check on him, he had fallen asleep with his head against the rail, holding onto one of the bars. It was the saddest little thing! He woke up once, and I fed him (just in case he was hungry) and then had to start the process again. It only took about 30 minutes for him to fall asleep that time.

The second night was much better, only taking 10 minutes for him to fall asleep and he slept through the night. The third night it took about 30 minutes. Every night after that has been less than 5 minutes, with the last two nights taking less than a minute. I'm not sure if he will every go into his crib with no protest. He cries every time we put him in his carseat, too. He's very opinionated. :)

All in all, I think it was very successful. Of course I hate that he cries a little every night, but I think it's better for him to sleep by himself. It's also good for me and the mister. It's nice to know that I will have two hours before bed time to get things done without interruption, but at the same time, I find myself feeling anxious. Maybe I just haven't gotten used to it yet.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

All Things Vintage Sheets {Giveaway!}

One of the blogs I follow, All Things Vintage Sheets, is hosting a giveaway for a Go! Baby Accuquilt Die cut machine and three dies of  choice, and I want to win!

This machine looks amazing! It would definitely give me the nudge I need to start quilting. They've got lots of different dies to choose from, of which my favorite is the stems & leaves.

The giveaway ends tonight at midnight, so check it out!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Hi there! Despite not having posted for over a month now, I'm still here and still crafting. I feel like I may have lost a little bit of my crafting mojo. I've been busy with my swapping and I hate to say that sometimes when I have an order for something, it feels more like work than play. So I tend to drag my feet a little. It's probably a good thing that I don't have an Etsy shop anymore. Currently popular is my Sweet Pumpkin Hat.

Isn't it precious? This is the one I made for Lex when I was still pregnant.

Sadly here in Arkansas we have had a severe lack of rain and lots of heat which has led me to practically abandon my poor little garden. The zucchini were still alive last time I checked, but one or maybe two of the tomatoes are dead :(. I don't think I'm cut out to be a gardener. Maybe when Lex is less needy a bit older.

I've been working on a project for Lex-man over the last month and I'm ALMOST done. I can't wait to share it with you guys. Speaking of Lex, he has already learned to crawl and is succeeding in getting into anything he can reach. He's getting so big!

I've also fallen in love with Pinterest. It's such a great invention! It's like a virtual idea board. I can't tell you how many times I have been looking at a blog and seen something I really love, bookmarked it, and then totally forgot about it. Pinterest gives me that great visual reminder, plus I get to see what other people have pinned which spawns more pins. It's awesome. I'm at http://pinterest.com/cimorene5/. If you want in invite, drop me a line and I'll hook you up.

In other news, I got a new job! I'm still working in customer service but am now thankfully out of the call center environment. I also get weekends off (finally!) and have a normal schedule that is not subject to change (yay!). I love it! I get to work with my husband and in a place that values creativity. Everyone here is genuinely friendly and I already feel very at home. The call volume is also a LOT lower than at my previous job and I'm hoping that means more time for knitting and crochet on the side and possibly more blogging.

 My co-workers are so sweet :)

I think that with this new job and new schedule, I'm going to be feeling a lot more like creating. Definitely embracing the change!

Friday, May 27, 2011


It was finally nice enough to plant my little vegetable garden today! I put my tomato plants in the ground along with my peppers (there turned out to be 2 of those plants--score!). I also sowed the seeds of some carrots, zucchini, chives and basil. I am worried I planted them a little too deep but I'm hoping they still sprout. I want to add some regular tomato plants and some summer lettuce. Strawberries would also be nice.

 Check out the awesome purple pepppers.

 Lex really liked being outside. I think it's because there were so many new things to look at.

Gardening is serious bidness!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Recycled Shipping Envelope Tutorial

I'm so excited to be guest blogging over at A Law Student's Journey and sharing a tutorial for making a shipping envelope out of recycled materials. Check it out!

Monday, May 23, 2011



Sorry about the short notice, but I just saw this. Today's the last day, so hurry up and enter!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I'm pleased to say that I am one step closer to finally having a garden of my very own! Our former neighbor, who owns a landscaping business, bartered his building skills for the mister's computer skills which means I got two raised beds built and filled with "super soil." I also got some yellow pear tomato and Cherokee purple tomato plants along with an Aculpulco pepper plant from Whole Foods. I also have several seed packets for various vegetables and herbs. I have not been able to plant anything yet due to rain, but I'll be ready when it lets up.

I'm excited! I can't wait to see those little sprouts popping out of the soil. :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Phew! It has been a busy few weeks around here. The boy has been sick again but is now feeling better. I'm hoping that with the weather warming up he will stop getting these nasty viruses! I have also been keeping busy with swaps.

Thanks to whoopdwhoop.com, I have been making hats like crazy. Also, a friend of mine on Facebook started a craft swap group and we completed our first swap a few days ago. The theme was Sci-Fi, and it was really cool. I received my package on Friday, and I was thrilled with what I got. Check it out!

I was amazed at all the cool stuff I got. She made these great hairpins and ring out of bottle caps and filled them with an epoxy.  It was crazy that she made me stuff from bottle caps because I had planned on making her a necklace with one (but it did not work out). And how great are those shoes!? It looks like she hand-painted them. (If you're my swap partner, Allison, stop reading!)

And here's what I sent my partner. I was late sending my package (sorry!) so my partner probably hasn't gotten hers yet. She was a fan of the movie District 9, so I made a couple things with that in mind. Here are some pics:

Here, I tried to replicate a sign from District 9. I put the image together in PhotoShop from some pics that I got from a Google search. I printed it out, minus the red part (because I don't have a color printer), painted in the red part, and then used spray adhesive to stick it to some foam core. I then sprayed it with some Krylon glaze to make the paper a bit more durable. I considered using Mod Podge, but just painting it caused some wrinkling, so I knew Mod Podge would make a lot more wrinkles. Then, I used some brown acrylic paint to make it look dirty. I am really pleased with how it turned out.

These earrings are made from an old circuit board. I had seen some like them on Etsy and decided to give it a go. I used a Dremel to cut out the pieces, and it ended up being more difficult than I thought it would be. I also sprayed on some triple thick Krylon glaze to make them look a bit more polished. I think they turned out pretty well for a first try.

Space food! Who hasn't always wanted to try astronaut ice cream? This I put in as a reference to another of my partner's favorite Sci-Fi movies, Moon

I'm most proud of this shirt. I used a freezer paper stencil, and it turned out great! Now my husband wants one. :)
This bag was made from Dana of Made's tutorial for the Hobo Sack. The only adjustment I made was lengthening it in order to accommodate the sign I made. It was made completely from remnants I had from previous projects, and it was a nice way to wrap everything up. My partner has a baby boy, so I figured the bag will come in handy with him eventually, too.

Now I wish I wold have gotten a picture of my package all together, but I'm sure my partner will when she gets it. :)

So, that's what's been occupying my free time lately, plus a few other things here and there. I'm really loving this swap business. I've gotten so much cool stuff from Whoopdwhoop, and I LOVE getting little packages in the mail. :) Our next Facebook swap theme is woodland creatures. It's going to be super cute! Let the swapping continue!