It was a year ago last April that I closed on my house, but it was a year ago this Memorial Day weekend that I moved in! And what a glorious year it has been.


I love living in a house that I’m proud to call home and I love my neighborhood (in other words, I love amusing myself by reading the ridiculous complaints the residents have on the neighborhood Facebook group). Woot woot.

I’m a little slow when it comes to decorating decisions, but things have been creep-creep-creeping along throughout the year. There are still a lot of blank walls to fill (but at least they’re not boring white walls!)… and I still have a number of small furniture pieces and throw rugs on my wish list. But in my defense, the list of accomplishments is long, too: I’ve built about a billion pieces of furniture, power washed the back porch, replaced my ancient hand-me-down Christmas tree, installed new hooks above the garage for my legendary Mickey Mouse wreath, conquered dry wall anchors and, a few weeks ago, even installed a new toilet fill valve all by myself. Bam.

But, back to the decorating (or lack thereof). One decorating decision that has been incredibly easy and fun is creating seasonal wreaths to hang on the front door. My front door faces the street and is in full view of anyone walking down the sidewalk, so I thought it would be fun to make it clear that someone lovely lives here! Wreaths are also non-commital (therefore non-scary) decor, so I had no problem jumping right in. 😉


I looked at lots of ideas on Pinterest before making my first wreath, and decided I liked the look of a simple grapevine wreath the best. I liked it so much, in fact, that all of my wreaths have ended up being simple grapevine wreaths with similar one-sided layouts. What can I say, I’m a girl who knows what she likes!


If you’ve never made a wreath before, I’d recommend the grapevine wreath for a lot of reasons. One, it’s really inexpensive, so if you mess up, no big deal. The wreath forms I pick up at the craft store are usually in the $3-6 range. And two, they’re really easy to work with – you can wedge your flowers (or whatever) in between the branches and play around with the overall layout before gluing anything down. And when it does come time to glue (I use hot glue) – there’s a lot of twisty surface area for the glue to drip down and cling to.


You really don’t need many flowers for these projects – just two or three small bundles would be more than enough, or, in the case of my patriotic wreath, just one large, pre-mixed bunch.


I made the pennants using fabric scraps!

The part that I find to be the most fun is looking for the accessories – aka, the little stuff-on-sticks (like that adorable scarecrow) that easily sticks down in between the branches to mix it up. Make sure to circle the entire craft store for these items – sometimes the best accessories aren’t necessarily found in the floral department. You never know where you’ll fine something that might work!


I love that scarecrow so much!

I now have these four wreaths ready to go for upcoming fall/winter/spring/patriotic seasons, but I’m not going to stop there. I definitely need to add a Valentine’s Day wreath to the bunch, at the very least! And maybe a birthday wreath. But monthly wreaths would be pretty magical, too. ❤ ❤ ❤

Happy Wreath-ing!



In hot pursuit of an adventure: our experience at International Hot Glass

If there’s one thing I love more than sewing, it’s mini-adventures. I call them mini-adventures because I’m not talking about climbing Mount Everest, here. I’m talking about one-day experiences that typically include one or more of the following elements (mix and match as you please):

  • Close to home (no more than a day trip away)
  • A “hidden gem” activity that most people have never heard of (something more interesting than eating out or going to a movie)
  • An activity with local flair (I love being a tourist in my own zip code)
  • Trying something new (even if it’s just new to me or my friends)
  • And of course, as someone who writes a sewing blog… bonus points if it’s a crafty activity!

Past adventures that I’ve participated in, that I feel meet some of the criteria I’ve outlined above:

Well shoot, look at that long list of adventures! And to think there’s still so many more on my list that I have yet to conquer. For that reason, I try to plan a mini-adventure every year for my birthday. In years past, I’ve gone camping at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort (hence the archery lessons!) or dragged all of my friends to one of those “make a fancy canvas painting while drinking wine” type places.

Archery lessons for my 25th birthday with my previous roomie, Elizabeth.

Archery lessons for my 25th birthday with my previous roomie, Elizabeth.

This year, I decided to go crafty with a glass art workshop!

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Why I love hardware stores (and you should too)

Let me start off by saying that, in my opinion, craft stores trump all other stores. The amount of potential in a craft store is overwhelming. I can look at the most minuscule little item and think of a zillion and one ways to turn it into something fun… which is why I go in for one item, and leave three hours later with a cartful.

But that’s to be expected, right? I write a sewing blog, I’m pretty open about my love for crayons and I had to pick my roommate up off the floor when she first saw my colossal sticker collection. Of course I love craft stores.

But I don’t exactly fall into the typical “hardware store” demographic.

Tim Al Home Improvement

I don’t wear a tool belt. Or plaid.

I’m not sure when my opinion about hardware stores changed. I remember being dragged to the hardware store throughout my childhood and thinking it was the worst shopping trip ever. My brother and I found solace in the doorbell section… lots of buttons to push, both literally and figuratively.

The other day, I went to the hardware store for a mop (they have the best section of cleaning supplies!) and I was reminded how much I’ve grown to love hardware stores. They’re just intensified versions of craft stores. The difference is that the floor is a lot dirtier, the merchandise is pretty heavy and the tools and chemicals in there might kill you if used improperly (whereas the hot glue gun at the craft store? Just a minor burn, people).

But really, the differences aren’t important. The bottom line is that both stores are exploding with potential. A bunch of people might buy the exact same item and use it in a different way, for a different reason or with different results.

See what I mean?

Pattern Weights from bolts and washers

Toni at Sugar Tart Crafts uses washers and bolts wrapped in ribbon as pattern weights! Brilliant.

Paint chip gift box and bow

Crafters go cuckoo for paint chips… check out this amazing paint chip gift box and bow from Style with a Smile TV.

PVC Pipe Playhouse

Of course, every great playhouse starts with PVC pipes… including this playhouse from PVCplans.com.

Whenever I walk into  a hardware store, I wish I had the ability to build something amazing.  Remember Amy Wynn Pastor on Trading Spaces, circa early-2000’s? She was an awesome example of girl-power, and always executed the most brilliant ideas.

Amy Wynn Pastor

Amy Wynn Pastor

So if I woke up with magical carpentry skills, what would be the first thing I’d want to build?

I think I’d like to start with this treehouse. What do you think? 🙂

New Treehouses of the World by Pete Nelson

Coming soon to my backyard: from the book New Treehouses of the World by Pete Nelson.