Sunday, January 30, 2011

I Love Cupcakes...

...all sparkley and ready to be hung on a package or string...

... or lined up in a column of felty goodness for all to see...

... and crocheting a cupcake? I could never resist! 

When I found this potholder pattern a couple weeks ago on Ravelry, I nearly fell over with happiness. I must confess that it is several inches larger than I had anticipated when first starting out which makes it a little unwieldy unless folded over for use. Also, my edge stitches must have gotten tighter than my central stitches because the finished product poofs and waves a bit more than I would like. All in all, I still really enjoyed creating this cupcake potholder. If you are interested in this adorable pattern, go for a look-see over here

Happy Crocheting!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Another Dollar Delight...
... from none other than Michael's craft store (didn't I tell you all that I am addicted?). I am planning to buy a new bureau come spring time and know that my budget will be limited for whatever piece I will end up purchasing. Won't these darling knobs look wonderful on a freshly painted, white set of dresser drawers? 

In other news, I am still crocheting. My hands have just been rather slow this week. Not sure why this comparatively tiny project is taking me so long to complete, but I plan to have pixies to post by the end of this weekend. 


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More Paper Crafting
After finishing off the wedding tags, I needed a place to store them. From the deep of my craft closet, I exhumed some empty coco tins just waiting to be 
prettied up for a purpose. 

First, a dry paper towel dusted the fine brown powder out of the inside of the metallic barrel. There was still a delicious, chocolate-y aroma left behind which was an added perk of using hot drink mix tins. 

I then wrapped a piece of scrapbook paper around the outer perimeter of the tin. I have to admit, these have about a quarter inch gap in back that I had to piece together with more paper. One 12x12 piece gives you plenty of leftover to fill the gap with, but it was 
still an annoying task. 

Rather than decoupage medium, I used double sided tape to tack the paper to the container. Not sure how long it will last, but it was the "permanent" heavy duty kind not the "re-positional" kind. I made sure to tape around all edges very well and, so far, I have been very 
pleased with the results. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bits 'n' Baubles

Organization is one of my greatest joys in life. Seriously. However, my younger sister thinks my nearly compulsive desire for neatness and order is a thing of humor. She delights in creeping into my rooms and ever so slightly knocking something askew just to see how long 
it takes me to notice. 

The only down side to my organization mania (besides being the object of another's ridicule ~ wink, wink, Sis) 
is there comes a point where minutiae can become so well-organized it is actually hidden in plain sight. 
This last Saturday, I happened to steal a few precious moments to go through some of the compartments in my craft boxes. Immediately, my heart began to flutter at the mere sight of the colorful pretties.  I gleefully plucked each delicate item out of their sadly forgotten depths marveling that such loveliness could have been so easily put out of my mind.

I added these felt cuties to my stash chuckling at myself for thinking that I could actually use more little bits 'n' baubles for my all ready comprehensive treasure trove. (Drat those dollar bins and how they so quickly lure the dollars right out of my wallet!)
I came away from my unexpected craft-box expedition reacquainted with old friends, enchanted by my new ones, and brimful with inspired ways to use them. Hope I get around to executing some of 
these ideas soon!

In the meantime, may you all be warmed by the love light of home, charmed by the laughter of loved ones, and enchanted by bits of unexpected beauty sprinkled 
through your day. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dollar Delights!

Saturday morning found me curiously digging through the dollar bins at Micheal's with my sweetly indulging fiancĂ© in tow. Imagine my complete and total delight when I happened upon a whole bin of the new Shabby Chic line! 

Rachel Ashwell has long been one of my all time favorite designers, but never have I been able to find such an affordable line of her delicious dainties.
Until now, that is.

Needless to say, I wanted one of everything!

These spiral-bound beauties struck 
an especially sweet chord.
The floral accents on this one seemed Cath Kidston-esque.

Every lovely detail....

... had me oohing and aahing. John feigned perfect adoration right along with me. (That is one of the many reasons I love him, I might add). 

I am anxious to see what wonderful delights will 
be brought out next season...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mason Jar Cozies

Thanks to this wonderful tutorial by Nature Nut Notes (found via Tangled Happy), I now have a sweet cozy for my Mason jar. It looks so lovely shining with the warmth of a candle, that I am going to make many more to use as part of the centerpieces for my wedding in July. Guess I better get back to work. One down...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wedding Dress Hanger

We have all seen it. The classic wedding album picture of The Perfect Dress hanging over a door in solitary wonder just waiting for the bride to slip into it and become princess for a day. As much as I love this iconic wedding photo, I wanted mine to have its own distinctive flair. So when I discovered Dottie Angel's tutorial I knew I'd found the perfect solution. I immediately took my hook in hand and began crocheting a unique hanger for my big day. 

As I got further along in the project, though, it became apparent that something was a tad out of whack. I revisited Dottie Angel and realized she had these amazing, vintage wooden hangers that arced like a rainbow, whereas mine were of more contemporary stock. At first, I was flummoxed and raided several area stores to see if I could find something remotely similar in shape, but to no avail. So, I doggedly got back to working around the comparatively awkward shape of my own wooden hanger.

The original pattern called for a solid line of single crochets to  encircle the hanger and thus join the front and back double shell-stitched panels to the hanger. At the top and bottom of the curviest part of my hanger, I switched to three chains to connect the panels instead, getting a fairly smooth final product. However, I did not just chain three across to the back and zig zag over to the next stitch. I had to do a second chain of three from the back stitch up to the same front stitch I had started out with or else the wooden hanger showed through too much.  

In the end, I still thought the top of the hanger looked a little wonky, so I was grateful to have this adorable mini-bouquet of vintage florets on hand. I had bought them from Jessica's shop Such Pretty Things a couple months ago hoping at the time to find a way of slipping them into the wedding somehow. I think I have now found the perfect way to showcase them. Don't you?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

{Paper Crafting}
This weekend, I have been enjoying my time paper crafting initialed tags to add extra flair to the napkin ties for our wedding reception. 
At first...
...the project seemed a bit daunting.
However, thanks to the help of one of my bridesmaids and Mimsie, I now have roughly 250 of these little darlings.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A luscious summer treat...
... for an oh-so cold, winter's day.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Day Bliss

Nothing like a snow day to rev up the creative juices! I have enjoyed meandering about the house, catching up on the odds and ends that have a way of piling up oh so very quickly. Snow gazing breaks have, of course, punctuated the day at regular intervals. I never cease to be completely enthralled in watching the whirling white wonders of winter as they fall down to grace the world with their transient beauty. It has snowed all day ~ at times in a mist so fine it seemed as if the snow had ceased all together and then in sudden rushing masses of huge, fuzzy flakes. Nothing beats a snow day. 

This morning, I read a quote from one of my favorite children's books (the first chapter book I ever read entirely on my own, in fact)  
A Cricket in Times Square
by George Selden:

"Talent is something rare and beautiful and precious, and it must not be allowed to go to waste."

I have been pondering ponder-some thoughts about this quote all day and have decided to use this first month of a brand new year to examine my life and how I use my talents. Am I living each day in a meaningful way? 

I have come to believe that the mere act of smiling at a passerby can be a talent, because it takes a thoughtful person to remember to do something so small, 
yet so powerful.

 With wedding planning and stress at work, I have caught myself rushing here and there often with a frown of intense concentration on my face. It's time for me to let go some of those minor stresses and focus on the things that are truly important in life. 

Here's to a 2011 lived intentionally and to the fullest.