Happy Fall Y'all {Free Printable}

The weather has been cooler lately. For Texas that means we get to a high of 85-90 degrees, but the mornings are delightful. We always play outside first thing to get in as much cool weather as we can. The other day I stocked up on some pumpkin and we made pumpkin snickerdoodles.
 Today, after riding bikes in the cool shade, we decided it was time again for some fall baking. This time it was zucchini bread with some excess pumpkin added to the batter. I made extra so that we could have enough to bring to our neighbors. Then of course I had to make a quick card to attach. 

So here's a free printable just for you. Just click on the image to get your free printable.

A Happy Fall to Y'all too!


Hospital Thank-You Cards

After going into preterm labor and experiencing the hospital from a different perspective, I really became aware of how grateful I was for good nurses. My main nurse was incredible. She allowed me to make decisions regarding me and my unborn baby's health, unlike the triage nurse who acted as if I didn't have options or a say when it came to what treatment and actions they needed to take. 
I had already planned on making thank-you gifts for the nurses who would take care of and assist me during and after labor, but this earlier experience really sealed the deal, and I got creating soon after getting released and coming home. I was on bed rest, but this was something I could work on from the comfort of my bed. It also helped take my mind off all the millions of other preparations I wasn't able to do, like set up a nursery. I convinced my husband, who was adamant about my resting, that I was well enough to go with him to pick out the items from the store. 

I really loved the thank-yous that Jess from Craftiness is not Optional made for her nurses, and put pretty much the same stuff in my thank-you bags. Here's what we included:
- Chocolate bar
- Chapstick
- Gum packet
- Pen
- Hand sanitizer

I also designed a little thank-you tag to tie around each bag.
I used the bottom color options since we were having a boy, and tied them on with some colorful fabric scraps. I created the tags in two colors, with and without a message attached. Lucky for you, I making all four options available for download, so that you too can say thank-you to those who don't get as much praise- the nurses, midwives, doulas, and even family and friends. They are the ones there with you more time than the highly paid doctors :) and I think they deserve some thanks!

To download click on the option you want to be redirected to the download page.

**As with all my free printables, these are for personal, non-profit use only! Thanks**


Graphic Design Love

To say that I like to create printables, invitations, art, etc. would be an understatement. My love of graphic design has me constantly thinking in terms of layers and fonts and how I could turn an idea into something I can print and love. These past few months I have been busy designing for myself and for friends and family. There have been lots of baby showers, activities, and projects that have been keeping me busy- busy doing something I love. Here is a little sampling of a few of the things I've created.

This last one I created to give to women in an eating disorder center, but I thought that it is also true of all of us, in our different struggles and situations in life. It is important to remember our own individual worth and that we are important!

So I am offering the print above as a free download. It is sized to 5x7 and you can download it as a JPEG file or a PDF. Please remember that this printable is for personal use only, and is not to be resold in any format. If you are interested in using this for wide spread or commercial use, please contact me, as I would love to assist you!

If you are interested in custom digital creations, feel free to contact me!


Easy Minky Baby Blanket

I posted about a minky baby blanket that I made for a friend's baby, and here is the quick tutorial to go with it. These blankets are fairly easy to make, and can be completed in less than an hour. They are super cuddly and so cute.

Materials needed:
1 yard minky
1 yard cotton, satin, or flannel fabric
1-2 packages satin binding (at least 4 yards length total)
coordinating thread

1. Lay out your front side fabric and make sure that the edges are straight and square. Round out the corners by tracing around the edge of a plate or can with a pencil and trimming off excess (I didn't do this then, but did it later. Either way works.

2. Baste satin binding trim around the front side fabric using a 3/8" seam allowance, onto the right side of the fabric. Overlap edges of binding where they join.

3. Lay out your minky, right side up, smoothing out any wrinkles. Place front side fabric on top of minky, right side down. Trim off excess minky (or trim after sewing like I did, because I was too lazy...) and pin through all layers.

4. Using a 1/2" seam allowance, sew through all layers, making sure to leave an opening.

Here's the seam opening:

I left about 4 inches open.

5. If you haven't already done so, trim off excess minky now, clip corners but don't snip through the seam.

6. Now flip the blanket right side out through your opening.

7. Now you can hand sew up the opening (which is what I did) or top stitch around the entire blanket, catching the opening in your top stitch seam.


Baby Girl Showers

Here are a few of the fun girly things I've made for some of my dear friends. My kids each have their own special blanket, (which they have recently started calling "nonnies" because that's what the youngest calls his...) all of which have super soft minky on them. So when making a blanket for a sweet baby girl, I knew it had to have this cuddly fabric too. I put minky on one side, cotton print on the other and a silky trim around the edges. And I'm happy to say that this blanket is getting lots of good use from the most adorable baby girl!

Click HERE for a link to the blanket tutorial.

I used some of the scrap fabric to embellish a burp cloth, and crocheted a little beanie for her too. I love that pink little flower.

Another one of my friends is expecting twin girls! I made her two coordinating carseat canopies. They have the same pink fabric on the back side and coordinating fabric for the front side. I added some cute little bows to make them even more girly. Sorry no tutorial, but there are tons of great tutorials across the internet. Now I just can't wait to meet the two cuties in a month or so.

It seems like the rest of us pregnant ladies are all expecting boys! So on to boy crafting we go!


Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

These days, a chocolate craving isn't just a craving. It's a non-stop need for something rich and chocolatey. We don't keep many treats around the house, so one day when the NEED came, I decided to figure out something yummy with the ingredients I had on hand. 

I found a recipe for Chewy Chocolate Cookies, but decided I was going to alter it to use to make sandwich cookies with a peanut butter filling. I followed the recipe except I omitted the chocolate chips. When they were cooled I made some peanut butter filling by simply mixing creamy peanut butter and powdered sugar until it was a frosting consistency. Spread it on and put another cookie on top and your ready to devour.

We immediately sat down to enjoy some. A cold glass of milk are these cookies' perfect dunking companion. YUM!


Our Entry & Playroom

I have started the dreaded packing process and the first things to get packed up are those little touches that have made this house into our home. The pictures, the accents, and the cheery words. Kind of like the one you find when you first walk in our home- a cheery HELLO that always welcomed you. See the HELLO post here. I decided to finally post pictures of the other areas of our home so that I could reminisce from time to time on our first home. To onto the Entry & Playroom mini tour.

After saying "Hello" you will see my craft room (you can see a sliver of it in this picture.)

There is a long wall in the entryway. A wall so long that it was hard to find something to fit the space.
 I considered a super long bench for a while, but determined that a table would give me more decorating surfaces, and that idea won. Finding a long entry table in the style that I wanted, was proving to be expensive, so I built my own using salvaged balusters, and some wood from the home improvement store. See the full post here. The window is also salvaged, and was originally a window on SMU's campus. I did a post about the lamp here. The heart state prints are ones I made that show where we were all born.

Just beyond the craft room entry way and across from that long wall, is our playroom.

I made the curtains using Premier Prints Suzani print in the Titan Birch color. I was looking for a fabric that helped tie in the hand-me-down chairs that we inherited from my husbands grandmother. It's a heavy weight nubby fabric, and I love it in there.

I had wanted a piano to fill in that big nook, and found this one on craigslist. I wanted one in a dark non-glossy wood, that I wouldn't mind the kids banging around on. This one fit the bill and I love tinkering around on it (and wish I had kept up with lessons in my youth...)

This is the cleanest you'll see the playroom. We live in that room and books, cars, and games are always spread across the floor. The Ikea Expedit bookcase does a great job at wrangling in the toys. I bought the canvas bins at The Container Store, and designed labels for each one. Even my 18 month old helps put the toys away in their proper bins thanks to the pictures on each label. 

The pendant light is from Crate & Barrel and came as a surprise from my husband- I guess he does pay attention when I browse through their catalogs.

Being open to the entry and house, I didn't want the room to be decorated too kid-like. I stuck to a fun print for the curtains, and neutral colors all around to balance our the overload of toys. It's simple and I love the way it turned out.


DIY Salvage Entry Table

In our home, we have a long entry wall. One so long that it dwarfed most entry tables. I found this one on Pottery Barn that I loved, but I would have to be crazy to pay that much for it. The main reason I browse most furniture catalogs is to merely get inspiration, and this table was the inspiration for the table I was to make.

One Saturday, we ventured to downtown Fort Worth to see if the architectural salvage warehouse, Discount Home Warehouse, had some balusters. I found some nice bulky ones and got four. They sat in my garage for a long time until I finally figured out what I wanted the top to look like, and how to make it. 

I made a little digital rendition of how I was going to attach the legs to the table. Since these weren't made to be table legs, they have a round top instead a a squared out one. So I adapted and it worked out great. I was going to have aprons that completely surrounded the table with the legs set behind the aprons. I mitered the corners and screwed them to the table top from the bottom side of each apron board with long wood screws. 

I used 1x6 whitewood boards to make the top. I pieced three boards together, wood gluing the first two, and then glued the third on. I then used a few metal brackets (called mending plates) and short wood screws on the underside to secure the three boards together even more. 

I had to sand down each leg to get rid of their glossy poly finish. Each leg had holes and notches from where they were attached- I decided to leave the holes to add character and remember that they were salvaged not store bought. Then, I painted primed them, let dry, then painted them. 

After the table top's glue dried, I cut and mitered the aprons and attached them to the table top. Then, following what I did in my digital sketch above, I cut some corner braces and screwed them into the aprons and then into each leg twice.  Once it was all together, I painted the top and aprons. I did a few coats and when they were thoroughly dry, I distressed the edges of everything. I let it all cure and then moved it inside.

Here's where it sits today:

I think it's fitting that a salvaged window from SMU hangs above it- salvaged friends. The table fits the space great and I have fun re-decorating it as each holiday comes along.