Saturday, July 30, 2011


I must admit that this weekend I started feeling a bit... strange.

Here is why {I think}:

1. This is the first summer in over six years that I haven't put a classroom together.

2. This is the first summer in over six years I haven't spent hours upon hours in professional development for my teaching license.

3. When I went to the bank this past week to be added to a new account David opened, they asked me what I did for a living as they were filling out my paperwork, and I drew a complete blank. I looked at David while drawing my blank and he said my wife is a wonderful mother and is blessed to stay home. At the end I threw in that I used to be a 5th grade teacher . Why did I say that? Like I said, strange times. I'm in new territory, I tell ya.

4. This is the first time in over TEN years {yes, count them up!} that I haven't woke in the middle of the night to check that my alarm is set correctly. I checked it almost every night in college {5 years} and almost every night as a teacher {over 6 years.} I am terrified of over sleeping. I don't even have an alarm set up on my bed stand in this house yet .

I'm not complaining. I feel really blessed, actually. It is all just strange to me. To go from being a full time career mom living in Arkansas to a stay at home mom who doesn't have to work living in Detroit in a week's time... Just a whirlwind!

We've had a great weekend. David is working some insane hours this week {all day Saturday and a few hours on Sunday due to some new clients the company has picked up.} Harbor and I had a full day Friday of going to the vet's office for a check up for our dog, Bichon, then off to Hobby Lobby to shop for paper to start my Christmas cards, and then to dinner at Outback for Alice Spring's Chicken, and to the downtown area for ice cream and the river walk.

On the way out the door, I took a few pictures of Harbor and I. Since I'm rarely in pictures anymore, I thought I'd share.  : )

And this silly smile is so funny. He is doing really good to smile when the self timer light is blinking. Poor kid. He has learned all about my tripod and I'm really proud of him for being such a good boy and trying his best to cooperate with his mama and her crazy picture taking machine! Ha, ha!

My parents still send care packages almost weekly and we just love getting them! Last week a gift came from my aunt, Cathy, who spent a good deal of time vacationing this summer on Amelia Island in Florida. She sent a cute shirt for Harbor and some sea shells. Today, a package came from Rachel. We so appreciate everyone's thoughtfulness. 

Have a restful Sunday!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Trash the Book" Rose Wreath- Tutorial

This week has flown by for me! I had planned on blogging the rest of my visit here in Detroit with Judith, but time just got away! I need to finish that up so I don't forget all the details I want to remember.

Last weekend, David's aunt, who lives on Lake Michigan {on the west side of the state} came for an overnight visit, and my parents are coming for a week in September. I have been busy readying our guest room in preparation for their visit. I am also super excited about going back home to Arkansas for three glorious weeks in September. I know Harbor and I will miss David horribly, but it will be good to get back down south where the cows and horses roam and the sweet tea runs freely {and the grass is greener, of course.} I really am falling in love with Detroit, but someone once said there is no place like home. So true, Dorothy, girl.  : )

Thanks to all who have been voting in the little poll above. It has been fun to see why you stop by and visit. I'm so intrigued by blogs and what makes one blog jump out at me and not another. Hearing what you like to see when you come visit makes it fun!

Today I wrapped up another wreath. I know... another wreath! Tired of wreaths yet?  : ) I couldn't find anything to buy that I liked or any tutorials that really nailed what I wanted, so I kind of ran with my own theme. I really like the look- very soft and elegant and full of detail.

You will need:

1 foam wreath form {mine was flat on the backside for easy hanging}
long strips of neutral colored fabric
{sewing machine for a ruffle, but that could be optional}
a chapter book that no one will miss  
brown craft paint and a small paint brush
lots and lots of hot glue
{and maybe a movie because this wreath took me forever to finish!} 

Start by painting the sides of the book with craft paint. This will help to age the book. I really felt bad about tearing up a good book, being an English teacher and what not, but find something you won't feel sad tearing up {because you will trash this book by the end!}

I alternated between using 3, 2, and single pages to create my roses. For the larger roses, I used three sheets stacked on top of one another.

Trim off the edges and make them round, keeping them stacked together the whole time.

Starting at the outside edge, cut a circular snake shape round and round in the middle until you come to the end. Leave a round circle in the middle.

Ignore the middle. You will come to that circular shape in the middle at the end of the flower rolling. Start on the outside edge and roll the flower in the direction you cut it. I like to pinch it with a finger on top and bottom with one hand and feed the paper through with the other.

When you finish rolling, if you have done it correctly, you will find that circle shape. Use hot glue to glue the circular shape to the bottom of the flower. Use lots of glue and glue multiple layers. This is what will hold your flower together.

This is what that flower looked like once it had dried for a few seconds. Alternate between 3, 2, and single sheets to make smaller and larger flowers. The tighter you roll them, the more control you will have over their shape. A loose roll will you give a very large, relaxed flower. 

Be prepared for this to take forever. I rolled flowers for a good two hours or so over the course of two days. I just piled them up in the center of the wreath and rolled a few before dinner, after bedtime for Harbor, etc..

Once you have 20 flowers or so, stop and wrap your foam wreath in the fabric you chose. Use hot glue to secure at the ends, but leave the center free of glue to give it a loose, relaxed feel.

Take a flower and hot glue it to the wreath. Nestle the flowers closely and look for open holes. I made several small, tight roses to fill in the open gaps.

Decide where you want to attach another strip of fabric to use for hanging. Use a small bit of glue to secure it and keep adding flowers.

I didn't want to completely cover my wreath with flowers, so I used my sewing machine to make a ruffle. Using the longest and loosest stitch on your machine, sew right down the middle.
{If you are not a sewer, just skip this part. It will still look perfect. : ) }

I decided on a small section of the wreath for the ruffle and hot glued it on by putting glue just on the ends.

And I decided to hang it in my living room over a large painting behind our arm chair. It was a bit boring over there and somewhat dark, so this light colored wreath adds some interest. You could even read chapters 1-11 of Lemony Snicket's, A Series of Unfortunate Events, if you looked closely enough.  : ) 

And as a shout out to my sweet mother, notice my leather ottoman is missing? I mailed a few yards of fabric to my mom and she sewed a beautiful pleated slip cover for our ottoman.  I just didn't trust myself to do it.

I love it! I can wash it {I have already once when Harbor decorated it with green crayon. Lovely.} and it totally changes the whole feel of the living room. I love slipcovers.

So, back to my "Trash the Book" wreath... it just fits in like a long lost friend in this house. My style is really eclectic with vintage, modern, and lots of whimsy coming together at every turn. So things like this shabby chic wreath just sort of blend in and look good, I think.

If you make one, let me know. I'd love to see it. I imagine they are a bit like snowflakes.. no two alike.  : )

I've also added a "tutorial" link at the top to find these projects more easily. Since a  few of you were interested, I thought it might keep things a little more organized over here.

Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, July 25, 2011

For the Grandparents {and family}

I hope a happy weekend was had by all! I wanted to let my family see Harbor William and hear him saying his colors. He is still a very quiet, low maintenance child, but he is talking and sharing more with us everyday. He is a very sweet little boy and is content to play alone for hours on end. He is just a really easy kid to parent.
I'm thankful to be his mother.  : )

Much love to our family in Arkansas!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Laurel Wreath Tutorial

Based on the recent voting on my newest poll, I thought you might enjoy a tutorial over the latest wreath I've created.

Laurel wreaths are typically associated with Greek mythology {Apollo wore one as a symbol to represent the winners of athletic competitions}. Made from the laurel branch, they were circular shaped and worn on the head. Have you ever heard the phrase, "Resting on one's laurels?" It refers to do something good and hanging it on your "branches."

Well, we certainly can't afford to buy laurel to create a big full wreath, and, unless it is fake, it won't last long. Using plastic spoons to create wreaths isn't a new idea, but in case you have never seen one made, I'll show you how I made mine.  : )

You will need: plastic spoons, hot glue, and either ribbon or Paper Twirl {which is what I used.} I used all but four spoons out of this brand new box.

First, start by gluing one spoon on top of another. Place a bead of glue right on the neck and another at the very, very end on the handle. Press the second spoon on top. Make sure that as you add spoons, you keep your beads of glue in those same places with little variation to placement.

At this point, you will notice your wreath will start to turn and create the circle shape itself. It's like magic!  : )

This is what the Paper Twirl product looks like when you first open it. I won't lie- it is a pain to unwrap and it took me longer to unwrap it than to create the wreath, but I love the look of Paper Twirl. Maybe you have seen it, but have been unsure of what it is or how to use it.

Now, I know many of you feel like you are "bow challenged," meaning you don't feel like making big bows are your "thing." If you want to try this product, just make sure you buy a package with the directions on the back. It really isn't hard and has such a different look than, say, ribbon.

Here is one of my decorating secrets revealed... when I hang things from doors {including my coffee filter wreaths,} I just use painter's tape. No fuss, no damage to the doors, and no nail holes. So there you have it!

And here she is! Isn't she pretty? I know, I know.. it is plastic spoons, but I love the whimsical look of this wreath! And honestly, doesn't it trick the eye into being so much more?

I chose to hang mine on the door just past our foyer that leads into the butler's pantry. In the 1920's, this door was kept closed to avert guests from seeing what the cook was doing. Sadly, we like to leave ours open. You know what I'm doing in the kitchen... making grilled cheeses!  : )

And there you have it! This project took me about 40 minutes from plugging in the glue gun to hanging it. You know what I think would be so fun {and super cute!}- to buy colored spoons in the theme of say a birthday party and make a few colored wreaths to decorate a kid's table!  : )

I know my tutorials can get lost all over the place.. would you like a tutorial tab at the top to keep track of all these projects? Let me know!  : ) Have a great weekend! We have more company coming!

{And for "Anonymous Ashley", our white bedding is from T.J. Maxx. Thanks for asking!}