west elm spring social and paper flowers

If you’ve followed my blog for a while you know I love flowers.

I’ve made button flowers, love sunflowers, have made rose hairclips, and, most recently, made paper flowers for Lorelai’s room.

So, this event at West Elm is right up my alley…

we-spring socialIf you are local in Portland you can attend this event at their store in the Brewery Blocks:

1201 NW Couch Street
(Corner Of Couch St. And 12th Ave)
Portland, OR 97209

I love their new collection of paper flowers…

Detailed View

Paper Flowers - Hellebore

Paper Flowers - Quince

Detailed View

home is…flowers, flowers, and more flowers!

easy christmas card photo books

One of my favorite parts about Christmas is receiving the cards from all of our friends and relatives. I especially like the photos.

They make me smile from the day I receive my first card until the day I finally take them down from their display…which is usually one of the last things to come down.

Over the years I have been saving the photos in a drawer in my desk. You see, my aunt had albums full of christmas card photos and every year I loved to sit down on Christmas day and look through them. Although I didn’t know all the people, I learned to recognize the familiar faces year after year and enjoyed seeing how families had grown, adult children had gotten married, etc. My plan was to eventually start some albums of my own.

Last year I found this photo on Pinterest

Source: eighteen25.blogspot.com via Maddy on Pinterest

I figured this would be easier and less expensive than photo albums, but I never got around to doing it.

As I was trying to find space in the drawer in my desk for our cards from Christmas 2012 I finally decided to just put the darn books together. I mean, for goodness sake, all I needed was a hole punch (I used a 3 hole punch and a single hole punch), some chipboard, some rings, and a glue stick!

easy christmas card photo books

All of my cards were organized by year, so I started punching holes.

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{That’s my mom and dad in Italy}

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I used two holes of a three hole punch so that I would eventually be able to line up the cards that were differing sizes and shapes.

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Then I cut some chipboard that I had from the back of some thrifted frames that I won’t be using. I cut the chipboard a little larger than the largest card…three of the books ended up being 9″ x 6″ and one is 8″ x 6″.

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I punched holes in the chipboard and glued our christmas card to the front.

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I also made back covers for the books so the cards are protected on both sides of the book.

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This year our card was a post card and I wanted to include the back of the card, so I put it on the inside of the back cover.

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In less than an hour (it actually took 2 days, but I had to start and stop multiple times for various reasons…kids, dogs, cats, husbands, etc.) I had books from the last 4 years put together!

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For now, they are in our basket of photo books in the family room. I think, eventually, I will put them in the attic with the rest of the Christmas decor so they will be a fun tradition to pull out of the bins each year.

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Notice a change to the bookshelves? I’ll fill you in on that quick project this week!

Stay tuned…

spring fever

I’ve got a bit of Spring Fever in the middle of winter.

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I posted this photo in my Instagram feed yesterday and a few people asked how I made it.

I originally wrote a post about it here…May 2011.

may flowers

{when i looked at the post i couldn’t believe that there were Instagram photos on it…i guess i was an early adopter}

I used a tutorial for a ruffle wreath from Jones Design Company.

Her tutorial for rolled paper flowers is basically the same technique for how I made the felt roses.

Anyway, that wreath has been around for a while and has held up pretty well.

I may even make a few more…maybe even put a couple in the shop.


Otherwise, I’m just trying to figure out a routine around here with the kids back in school.

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For the last 3+ years I have had housecleaners come every other week. While it was a sanity saver when the kids were babies, I decided it was time to give up that luxury this year. I have found a great sense of accomplishment, and even joy, in keeping my house clean. I want it clean ALL THE TIME now, instead of just one day. In fact, I think I’m becoming a bit obsessed with cleaning…that’s not a bad thing, though. I am even making my own natural cleaning products to use and I will eventually share what’s working with you here.

That being said, I am trying to find time for all of the things I enjoy…creating, running, thrifting, blogging, learning.

As you all know it’s a juggling act, but it’s fun to learn how to keep all the balls in the air.

“snow” days

In the last week the kids have had two “snow” days due to ice on the roads. They really weren’t snow days as the ice was caused by freezing fog, but we took advantage of them by making morning fires in the fireplace and doing some crafting and Valentine’s Day decorating.

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I used Emily’s rolled paper flower tutorial to make these Valentine’s Day roses last year.

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This paper garland was another Valentine’s Day craft from last year (similar to the Christmas paper garland from Christmas 2011)…I did make some more this year with patterned paper and larger hearts that I will share on another post.


Some recent sunshine and longer days has us dreaming about spending more time in the yard.

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Odyssey misses sharing coffee with me every morning.

light at the end of the tunnel

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I always manage to fit in a bit of thrifting…this week we found some vintage fisher price.

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home is…sunny days ahead.

happy paper flowers

paper bag flowers

Lorelai’s room has been going through a transformation, again.

I’ve moved the bed three different times, hung and rehung artwork, and changed the placement of the tissue paper puffs that were originally decoration for her first birthday party.

I pinned this photo months ago planning to add these flowers to the tissue paper puffs that were on the wall above her bed…

Source: aplaceforusblog.com via stephany @ on Pinterest

I saved paper bags over and over the last few months, only to put them in the recycle bin or in the compost.

The other day I came home from Trader Joes with a bunch of paper bags and decided I needed to finally make the flowers.

Here is the awesome tutorial from A Place for Us.

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I got to work on them Sunday morning. The tutorial was easy to follow and the results turned out perfect!

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I secretly wish this room was mine. I love the handmade flowers and vintage goodness in her room.

home is…happy paper flowers.

{2013} beginning

So, here it is. My first post of 2013.

Just as 2012 is completed, 2013 has just begun.



  1. Start; perform or undergo the first part of (an action or activity): “the Communists have just begun to fight”; “it was beginning to snow”.
  2. Come into being or have its starting point at a certain time or place: “the ground campaign had begun”.
start – commence – initiate – open – lead off – launch

Unlike last year, our house is no longer a “blank slate”. Don’t get me wrong, there are still projects to be done, but most of them are out of my scope of expertise.

I have the designs for a new kitchen drawn up in my head.

I know what kind of wood/laminate flooring I want in our main floor.

I have great ideas for our master bath.

And, our second floor pop-up over the living room and dining room is all planned…just need an design/build group to work with to finish the details.

None of those have to get done for us to be happy in our home, though.

So, we’ll wait until the time is right.

For now, I will begin by picking a white to paint over the red walls in our kitchen and the blue sponge paint in the kids bathroom.

And, I have a fun idea from Pinterest for Lorelai’s room…


There will be more projects, more thrifting, and more fun adventures with the kids.

This is just the beginning.

home is…to begin is half the work.

a handmade dolly

In 2011 I received a sewing machine for my birthday…in June.

I was intimidated by it and didn’t use it for months.

Finally, in October 2011, I took a sewing class and learned the basics of my machine and how to follow a pattern.

From there, I started sewing paper…making garland and paper penant banners for Christmas decorations.

I also made some dolls for the kids.

Recently, I found some great vintage fabric at Goodwill and decided to make a doll.

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I used the Black Apple Doll pattern, but enlarged it A LOT.

And, this is how it turned out…

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I have a feeling I will be making more of these.

Reece already requested one with “fire” fabric.

I think I am going to tweak the pattern and make the legs a little longer, the body a little slimmer, and the head a little narrower.

I’ll let you know how it turns out.

home is…a handmade dolly.

until then…

Hey y’all!

I’m here, but it’s just gonna be a day or two before I get back to regular posts.

Until then, go check out colton+ cadence and use “untilthen15” to save 15% on your order!

Also, if you are new to shopping with Etsy or have never heard about it, just go check it out!

Click on the link to colton+cadence and it will get you there….

From there, EXPLORE!

Do a search…

These are a few of my favorite things…

If it is vintage or handmade search for it on Etsy and support small business this holiday season!

And, you can easily sell on Etsy, too!

Mom and Dad, you can do it! What a fun way to retire…

home is…handmade.

feeling ducky, 7 random things, and a giveaway

I have 8 things to share with you…

1st…the weekend.

Last Sunday, we decided to have a fire in the backyard in the middle of the day.

It was about 40 degrees out.

We roasted hot dogs for lunch.

Snuggled under thrifted quilts.

Drank hot chocolate.

And, roasted marshmallows.

It was a perfect Sunday afternoon.

2nd…on a whim.

I decided to move the furniture in Lorelai’s room…again.

And, since I was moving the furniture around I decided to add a little vintage feel, too.

I’ll do a full post about her room in the future.

3rd…fabric is fun.

One of the best things about working at my old interior design job was the days when the fabric reps would visit. They would bring their fabric in, throw it on the table during their presentation, and we would pass it around oohing and ahhing.

I don’t get visits from fabric reps anymore, but I still ooh and ahh over fabric.

The last couple of days I have been filling hoops.

We have a big hoop wall in out un-dining room and I have rearranged and added to it thanks to Megan at Sparrow Mercantile. You should also visit her blog…Contented Sparrow.

Anyway, I filled some new hoops for Lorelai’s room and Reece asked if I would do some for his room.

Have you ever seen boy themed hoops? Me neither.

However, I had some fabrics that Reece had picked out on a few of our trips to the fabric store, and some that were left over when I made his {Colton} super hero doll last year.

So, I made him some super hoops…

4th…shiny and brite.

The kids are excited for Christmas.

When they are excited, I get excited.

I found these at Goodwill.

So, we started decking the halls…still being thankful, of course.

5th…crib sheets.

I used Lorelai’s old crib sheet for one of the hoops I made for her and decided to use the rest of it for another project.

I just cut strips of fabric (three crib sheets and a bunch of other fabrics that I had in my sewing hutch) about 2″ wide by 16-18″ long and looped them around a piece of jute. It took about 2 hours and I am so happy with the result.

I love that I was able to reuse her crib sheets to decorate her room!

6th…the un-dining room.

Getting a few things up on the wall.

A vintage metal tray with vintage flash cards (just added stick on magnets to the back of the cards).

A vintage seven-up crate filled with vintage juice glasses.

And the vintage tray above it was another great find from Sparrow Mercantile. It makes me laugh!

7th…vintage linens.

Filling hoops and decking the halls got me thinking about some vintage linens I had been holding onto for just the right project.

So, I filled some hoops with vintage christmas linens!

And, they are in the shop!

8th…a giveaway!

I would like to give one of you a happy holiday hoop!

To enter leave an answer to the question below as a comment:

When do you start decking the halls?

Deadline is Monday, November 19th at 9pm Pacific.

Winner will be announced on Tuesday, November 20th!

home is…always working on a project.

odds and ends


I promised my Instagram and Facebook followers a recipe for the Pumpkin Spice Playdough we made yesterday.

Here is is:

It’s not mine…came from the kids school newsletter.


Been adding a few things to colton+cadence this week.


I also had a little fun with flash cards around home tonight.

It was soooo easy.

You need:

  • flash cards
  • background paper (I chose a paper bag)
  • frame
  • scissors
  • glue
  • sharpie or pencil

Cut paper to fit frame.

Arrange flash cards.

Glue into place.

Place into frame.

Hang on your wall.

I also made this one where I added the year we were married, the year Reece was born, and the year Lorelai was born.

home is…fun with flash cards.

the un-dining room table

Thrifting, my new favorite past-time, has led to some fun changes in our home.

Last week I gave a preview of our un-dining room and promised to fill you in on where the table and chairs came from.

Well, here is the story of the table.

I have wanted a round table for the dining room for a while.

I did my research online and figured we could get a decent round table for $500.

Yeah, $500.

Without chairs.

I wanted something solid, all wood, that could hold up to the kiddos.

I also wanted it to have leaves so we could extend it for use when we had more than our family over for dinner.

One Saturday early this summer I took Lorelai to Goodwill…on a whim.

We did our usual route…looking for Pyrex, globes, and other fun stuff.

Then I made a spin through the furniture when I heard over the PA that all furniture was 50% for another 4 minutes.

That’s when I found it.

My round table.

Solid wood.

Two leaves.

And, a bonus…four chairs!

It was priced at $59.99.

Less 50%.

That made it less than $30!

I jumped on it…especially when I saw another lady eyeing it.

I texted Ryan after I left and said that I would need to use his truck to pick something up at Goodwill later that afternoon.

This is what I brought home.

Ryan might have been a little shocked, but I had a vision…for the table.

I promptly started to sand the thick speckled finish off the oak.

Every chance I got I would head out the the garage and sand.

I took all the pieces apart.

More sanding.

More sanding.

More sanding.

Until it looked like this.

Then I started painting the primer on.

Multiple thin coats.

After it was primed I put the base back together and painted.

Multiple thin coats.

I had help.

I would let each coat dry completely and then add another coat…alternating between working on the base and working on the top.

This was after one or two coats.

I’m not sure how many I actually ended up applying.

Sometimes I would just hang out and watch the paint dry.

Eventually, it started looking good.

I brought it inside and put a couple coats of paste wax on it.

This is what we ended up with.

I’m pretty darn pleased.

I love how the wood grain shows through.

You’ll notice we aren’t using the chairs.

They are currently in storage.

Anybody in Portland want them?

I’ll give you a good deal.

The story of the chairs will come soon.

Stay tuned…

For the record, I saw this table in the most recent Restoration Hardware catalog…

Source: restorationhardware.com via stephany @ on Pinterest

It’s $995.

home is…a little bit of do it yourself.