28 June 2012


After years of Graphic Design and mom'n it up, I welcomed the opportunity to try something different when my sister-in-law and her husband asked me to help them with the interior of their new home. At first, I was all, "Are you sure? I don't know what I'm doing. I've never done that." But I am LOVING this experience. They're dream clients, and that helps.

I approached this project much the same way I start any design problem that needs to be solved; with research and of course, style boards. So many friends have wanted to see what their home looks like. Showing a few of the style boards may offers a small taste.

We started with painting, wallpaper and some minor home upgrades in February. Now, in late June, we're wrapping up much of the major furniture, decor and lighting purchases.

There are three levels; four bedrooms, six bathrooms, two offices, two family rooms, a formal living room and piano room, a kitchen, dining, sunroom, game room and music room. There's a lovely pool with a patio, pool house and tea room. It's such a beautiful home with good solid Arts & Crafts bones.

Originally, it started out with a variety of bold, unappealing wall colors (peach, orangish brown, blue, green) There was nothing subtle about the paint choices. We brought it all down to a more even and natural place. Overall I hoped it would feel like an old love letter written in script on weathered, lined paper... something to be read in a quiet place.

I wanted the formal living room to feel like a basket of fresh eggs. The Master Bedroom needed to feel warm and textural. I wanted their kids rooms to be fun, colorful and appreciated by kids and adults. I hoped their family room would feel like the most livable area with a comfortable, industrial mix. Overall, the style needed to combine Victorian  romance with Industrial colors and materials offering a quiet marriage of masculine and feminine. They're happy with their home and I actually want to move in.

There were a few blogs (Here, here. and here.) that I found particularly inspiring as we brought it all together incorporating their existing furniture, paintings and decor with the new.


Thanks Carrie for the write up on our little party for Stella. Funny thing is since then, I've seen so many things that would've been perfect for the polka dot party. But that's the way it goes, when you're looking, it's harder to find, when you're not, it's all over the place!

16 June 2012


Our girls are pretty lucky, they have an amazing daddy. A hard working, loving and attentive daddy. I'm so grateful for all he does for us. Thank you for being the best daddy to our girls. They adore you and so do I. Love you.

And to my own dad and father-in-law, you too deserve some praise for your love and support over the years. I feel truly blessed to have you in my life and in our girls lives.

A few days back my husband mentioned something about some yummy wasabi almonds. I got several jars and made a little nut pack for each of the dads in my life. Dad's like nuts.

14 June 2012


Here's one way to make everyone jealous; Give these adorable little handmade forest animals to the newest baby in the family with a handmade stump house. All the other cousins were looking around like, "Grandma! What about me?!?!"

Nina was just a bitty when Christmas rolled around and Grandma Brown busted out these sweet little guys. They each have their own rattle in them. There was no pattern, that's how grandma rolls. I have been blessed to have a mother and a mother-in-law that both sew like a couple of champs. I can only hope to have a smidge of their skills. Thank you Grandma Brown for this delightful gift. They still get a lot of attention and looks so darling in Nina's room.

09 June 2012


That's a fun title. Quite a long while ago I came across a great tutorial on purl bee for beach balls. When I couldn't shake my psycho nesting phase, I made several. Starting with one for my baby girl for Easter that year. It sort of snowballed from there into a ball for all of our sibling's kids, then friends that had babies, then neighbors that had babies. It has gotten to the point of no return. People probably expect, or at least hope for a ball from me when they have a baby. I'm actually ok with it though because it takes very little fabric, it's a homemade gift that can be personalized with the baby's nursery colors, and it really doesn't take too long. Provided I don't have kids at my heels while sewing. So... it actually takes double the time that it should because when do I ever have no kids at my heels while sewing?

P.S. Don't stick a needle (the one you did the hand stitching with) in the completed ball. I did that once, just for a moment and oops, it went in and I couldn't get it back out without opening the ball up. I got it out, but nothing says, "we're not really friends" like a sharp object inside of a baby's toy. Not the best gift.

I use Purl's template for the medium ball and I pretty much do the rest on my own. Their tutorial is great, but after, what... 24 balls, I've come up with my own tricks and short cuts.

1. First of all, after I cut two pieces for each of the four fabrics, I lay the pieces out to determine the best pattern on the ball. If you create a flat flower with them (face up), I make sure that each pattern's twin is directly across from it.

2. Then I flip the one from the right on top of the one on left, and pin on the right side (that's the edge that I sew). This ensures each pair is "right sides together".

3. I don't chain sew, I probably should, but I don't have experience there so I just sew the pinned side corner to corner, 1/8" from the edge. Then iron the seams.

4. I sew each pair and put it back in it's place so I don't mix up the patterns in the end. Then iron the seams.

5. I sew two sets together to create two bowls, making sure that I don't repeat any of the patterns within one bowl. Then iron the seams.

6. Then I put the two bowls right sides together (make sure that the end fabrics aren't repeated). I match up the top corners first and pin about 1/2" to the right, then 1/2" to the left, that will be the opening. Then pin all the way around the bowl.

7. When sewing the bowl, I start at the top right pin and sew all the way around to the top left pin leaving about 1 1/4" opening at the top (I like the opening at the top because the end cap covers my bad hand sewing job ;)

8. After the ball is sewn, turn it inside out, stuff it, and add a jingle bell.

9. This is another place where I have veered from Purl's tutorial. They use solid fabric for the end caps. I find wool felt to be so much easier and I like the look of it. Cut 2" felt circles. I have found that a tomato paste can is a perfect size. I cut carefully inside my sharpie lines.

10. Hand sew the top opening and then the end caps to each end.

Total time it takes to make a ball: 1 hour if there are no kids at your heels. With kids, about 2 hours to all day.

01 June 2012


I love the 36" balloons. I'm a sucker for their enormity, and roundness. I can't resist purchasing them for my daughters birthdays and making tassels inspired by Geronimo. I love to see my girls eyes pop out and their mouths drop. It's probably equivalent to us standing next to a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Balloon. But inevitably, we still have it hanging around the house even a month after the event.

It was time to let it go. It usually takes some coaxing but this time, my daughter was excited to make a little note for her friend Maisie in New York. A friend she's never met other than on iChat. So Maisie, look up to the skies for a big blue balloon, this one is for you ;)