Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The 20 year Valentine dress:)

One of the joys of having little girls was making ruffly dresses :-) 
I learned to sew when I was 12, making most of my own clothing all through high school. The real fun in my seamstress career began with my little girls! Ruffles and petticoats were a favorite! A Valentine dress made for then 4 year old Danielle in 1996 has been stashed away waiting for a granddaughter! 

The eyelet ruffles were cute back then but looked dated so off they came. Normally I would have opened up the seems to take them out, but having lined the dress and topstitched every seam it was a daunting task, so... I took the lazy way and just cut the ruffles off as close as I could to the seam. This worked because I was putting a fun pom-pom trim on to update the dress which hides the cut edge.

Annabelle was given a choice between a pale pink frilly trim and the pom-poms...
she chose the pom-poms! I did sneak in a satin pleated trim on the waist:)

As with all projects I love to see the before and after!

Annabelle is a very feisty and capable five-year-old who loves pink, plain school, singing, and ballet. I'm thrilled and a tiny bit surprised she loves the dress, because she can be a bit stylishly edgy:-)

Along with before and after pictures of projects and re-do's, I love seeing side-by-side photos of my children and grandchildren, looking for those family genetic traits. It looks like Annabelle has a chin like Danielle, and that makes me happy :-) The possibility of this picture has been 20 years in the making...another sweet family history moment for the momma:)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Roses & the wooden heart

I am on a mission to condense the crafting hoard living inside my closets and attic. Creating holiday decorations will help with with this resolution quest. A roses & heart creation is the first of many projects on my agenda this year.

 An old wooden heart originally cut by Michael for our clinic sign (Heart of Texas Family Medicine) was the base for an idea. Since I can't bear to throw such things away it languished in my craft closet for 5 years. Rescued and painted red it became the perfect base for the ultimate Valentine!

I rounded up every pink, red and even mauve rose from my extensive silk flower hoard in the attic (some are 20 years old from my 90's flower arrangements!) I then laid them out on the heart to see if my creative vision could be achieved. Creative rule number 47-never glue before you are absolutely certain it is a good idea!

The design trick to these kinds of projects is random placement of various flowers so a pattern isn't obvious. I began from the bottom with the largest flowers and finished with the tiniest rose buds on the edges and in the empty spots. Some of these roses are from a son's wedding, some hail from the 90's, some from other valentine projects, and a some from the hubby for a semester of all A's! It was the cutest gift...Michael came home from work with a huge bag of silk flowers of every variety. I hadn't the foggiest of what I would do with all of them, but they have all been used in something! 

Besides a silk flower hoard, I also have a ribbon and trim hoard:) This pink trim left over from a Sister Bear (Berenstain bears) Halloween costume was the perfect finishing touch. There was exactly enough plus a half inch!

I love the texture of the velvet, silk and paper roses. This reminds me of a beautiful box of chocolates...without the calories:)

The finished creation hangs in the inside of my front door adding Valentine cheer for this rose loving girl!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

3D hearts on my Valentine tree

Holiday decorating...yes I love it:) When I was a girl I always looked forward to my mom's holiday decorations. She created a festive holiday mood inout home with each poster board heart, plastic cornucopia, and Christmas goodie table. I have carried on the tradition! This is my official holiday display shelf. I have evolved as a holiday decorator through the years moving from scattering things around the house to this condensed bigger impact display. I walk in the door and smile with every holiday vignette:)

While trolling Pinterest I saw some hearts that sparked an idea for 3D valentine ornaments for my wrought iron tree...yes I needed more hearts on my tree:)
 This is the project...

I love Valentines for many reasons. One is the mixing pink and red, which reminds me of the bedspread I had a girl:) It had 70's style flowers and red fringe on the edges, and my sister and I wore them completely out!
Paper crafting projects are more interesting with a variety of papers, most of these are from Anna Griffin, my favorite fancy paper girl.

Next came scoring a line down the middle of the heart for easy folding.

A perfectly scored heart:)

Bakers twine makes a great material for hanging ornaments. I did make a mistake and only used adhesive the first time around. The heart ornaments began to fall of the tree so I used tacky glue the second time around.

Three hearts were paired together for a 3D ornament.

As I took this picture of my Valentine tree I noticed the reflection, the multiplying effect of the hearts.
It came to me that love freely given does the same thing, it reflects over and over again in our lives and the lives of those we love. Valentine decorating isn't just about the display, it is a reminder to me all month long to love not only those in my inner circle, but also those I may not notice at first glance, or those that seem less easy to love. In the words of a song I love "What the world needs now is love sweet love" it's the only thing that there's just too little of..."  

Monday, January 25, 2016


 Hello ladies! 

I am offering a last minute half price deal for this weekend!
January 29-31 or as many days as you want! 
Come alone or with a few need for a group, 
this is open weekend at the cottage! 
The price per night/ per person is only $37! (includes tax)

I have 6 different sleeping spaces and 2 project rooms
Bring anything to work on, sewing, scrapping, quilting,
cards, a good book, painting,
that craft project hiding in your closet, 
OR  do absolutely nothing:)

Just come!
Call me 409. 201. 5474

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Another Birthday...celebrate!

My birthday day week this year was an extravaganza with several days of fun events. 
Enjoy the journey:)

In recent years during my birthday week I have made the 2 hour trek with some girlfriends to Sam Moon to shop for costume jewelry and purses! We wander around this mecca of inexpensive but shiny trinkets of happiness for an hour or so and then transfer our fun to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. My favorite cheesecake is white chocolate macadamia nut! The best part of the day (besides the cheesecake) is the 4 hour of uninterrupted visiting we do in the car as we drive. We share the joys and trials of life, give advice on parenting, and opinions on fashion. I always feel emotionally filled on these occasions, maybe it should be more than once a year!

My favorite meal is the Bang bang chicken and shrimp and my very favorite cheesecake is white chocolate macadamia nut! It is a day of no judging calorie indulgence:) The best part of the day (besides the cheesecake) is the 4 hours of uninterrupted visiting we do in the car as we drive. We share the joys and trials of life, give advice on parenting, and opinions on fashion. I always feel emotionally filled on these occasions, grateful for my connections and friendships. It makes me wonder why we only do this once a year!

I began today with a sweet handwritten birthday card from Annabelle, who was so proud of her "I love you" and full page of xoxoxoxo:) Scarlett then came bursting through the door singing in full volume "Happy Birthday" to you! As the day went on with phone calls, text messages and facebook comments I became more excited and grateful to be celebrating another birthday. Aging is a good thing, living each day as a gift, a great thing, and sharing life with those you love...priceless! I want to embrace the years and be proud of my well earned middle age status. Having lost my dad when he was 46 really helps with my perspective. Who has time to be consumed with the fading of youthful looks, who really wants to waste precious time on petty pursuits or complaints? Life is fragile and should be treasured!

The rest of the week was filled with Italian creme cheese cake by daughter Brittany, family dinner at Frankie's Italian restaurant, and a fun girls day creating pallet art at Junkin Gypsies...

link to that post

Happy birthday week to me!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Junkin Gypsies project

I was super excited to open my Christmas gift from daughter Brittany and find a gift certificate for a trip to Junkin Gypsies, a local crafty workshop for pallet art. I am always up for creating! We headed out one Saturday afternoon with good friend Samantha to have a girls outing surrounded by paint of every color:) My chosen project theme was simple..."Choose Joy" with shades of turquoise blue. Life can be tough some days, and I wanted a reminder on my journey to find the happy in even the storms!

After choosing our preferred size of pallet project, nailing the boards together and sanding... we began by staining the wood before painting. Stain soaks in and dries quickly and acts as a "primer"...good thing to do unless your finished project is bright white.

I seriously need a workspace like this...a lovely messy space filled with glorious paint colors and no worry of ruining the flooring!

Stencil a section, blow dry...repeat over and over again...

Brittany chose an all over light grey stenciled pattern over a darker grey background, with a popping orange family to match her cute house:)

For my project background I dry brushed several layers of grey shades of paint, rubbing the wood with a cloth after each layer. Stenciling was next on the agenda. I just kept layering stencils with various shades of turquoise and mint green until I felt done:) That is my biggest creative challenge...calling it done!

The wall backdrop picture was a must! Brittany needed to leave to cater dinner for a Nellie's Cottage retreat while I stayed behind to help Danielle finish her Texas creation. Brittany's saying is perfect for a little family."Some call it chaos, we call it family!" Just wait till her 3 girls are teenagers...

Adding our sweet friend Samantha to our day was delightful:)

Danielle is my super loyal Texan! She chose a more complicated project which took a bit more time, but it became everyone's favorite. She stained the 2 pieces of Texas, painted the white backer boards, then stenciled the blue grey pattern for the Texas shape. A deep rose color was chosen for her saying "Deep in the heart of Texas"
Danielle thinks she isn't very crafty because she took a bit longer than the rest of us...I disagree:)
Like I tell my scrapbooking retreaters...this is a craft project not an English assignment!

What a fun team we made for creating, crafting, and visiting!
All you need is wood, paint and a few girls in your life for a joyful day:)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Congratulations Paula! Winner of my 2016 Retreat

Congratulations to Paula! 
(Precious Pages by Paula, and 
Scrapping Everyday Miracles)
You are the winner of my 2016 retreat giveaway
-free weekend accommodations for 8!
Contact me asap!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

This is me...under construction

I am a DIY addict. For better or worse I find myself always looking around to see what can be made more beautiful. Redo, remake, remodel, renovate. These words have dominated my life. I've been thinking about this idea, and realize that I am and should be my most important DIY project. This is me....under construction...always and forever. The need to change & remake myself, to add this talent, to eliminate that bad habit, to learn this skill or subject is a life long pursuit! It's only been recently that I've become okay with the idea that improvement of self will not, and should not, ever end. As an oldest child with a type A personality raised in a home with high expectations, being patient with progress is a bit of a challenge. Thankfully age has helped me to feel a little kinder about my failings. I am more at ease with the fact that I'm not perfect and won't be soon. No embracing excuses or giving up here... I firmly believe that we are responsible for our actions, that our actions have consequences, and that we are accountable for the progress, or lack there of, we make in this life. Middle age finds me more willing to enjoy the process rather than listening to that discouraging, berating and potential limiting voice in my head. 

My New Year's resolution list has always been extreme & exhausting with multiple goals in many categories. I am simplifying even though the need for change hasn't lessened. My character still has many flaws, my self discipline is still lacking, and I have yet to tap into my full potential and yet there is a new found acceptance that change is a very long and almost imperceptive process rather than a one time glittering event. 
As a 14-year-old the year 2000 seemed so far away that I decided that I would be perfect by then at age 36. No more flaws or bad eating habits, just all patient, loving, and successful. When 2000 rolled around it found a 36-year-old overstressed and overtired mom of three teenagers and an eight-year-old trying to do and be everything to everyone. How discouraged I was to be at my "goal" and failing miserably.
Fast forward a few years with more difficult life lessons, experiences, and realistic expectations under my belt.  Now I feel a little more hopeful, a little more patient with myself and much more patient with others. 2016 finds me still pondering and paring down my resolutions. I really just want to spend more time with my family & friends, work on writing family histories, and trying to make a little bit of difference in my little hometown. 
Dad always made up a rhyming jingle for each new year. 
In keeping with that tradition here is mine: 
"Learn to be happy with the "in between" to find more joy in 2016"

p.s. The inspiration for this post came from this song 
"Change in the Making" by Mercy River. You can buy it on iTunes 

There’s a better version of me
That I can’t quite see
But things are gonna change
Right now I’m a total mess and
Right now I’m completely incomplete
But things are gonna change
‘Cause you’re not through with me yet

This is redemption’s story
With every step that I’m taking
Every day, you’re chipping away
What I don’t need
This is me under construction
This is my pride being broken
And every day I’m closer to who I’m meant to be
I’m a change in the making

Wish I could live more patiently
Wish I would give a little more of me
Without stopping to think twice
Wish I had faith like a little child
Wish I could walk a single mile
Without tripping on my own feet
But you’re not through with me yet

This is redemption’s story
With every step that I’m taking
Every day, you’re chipping away
What I don’t need
This is me under construction
This is my pride being broken
And every day I’m closer to who I’m meant to be

From the dawn of history
You make new and you redeem
From a broken world to a broken heart
You finish what you start in everything

Like a river rolls into the sea
We’re not who we’re going to be
But things are going to change

I’m livin’ redemption’s story
With every step that I’m taking
Every day, you’re chipping away
What I don’t need
This is me under construction
This is my pride being broken
And every day I’m closer to who I’m meant to be
I’m a change in the making
I’m a change in the making

 I hope this year finds you happier, healthy, and a little kinder to yourself which will make it easier to become your best self:)                                                                             Kimberly