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I’ve been seeing DIY mug ideas  on several of the blogs I follow for weeks now and have been waiting for  a chance to get to try my hand at doing a custom illustrated mug. A few weekends ago, a good friend moved into her very first home! I wanted to do a little something as a housewarming gift, and thought—what better for a coffee-loving new homeowner than a new mug to celebrate the event!

I got a DecoArt glass paint marker at my local craft store, and a nice white mug from Target. The paint marker has a nice finish and was very easy to use. You bake the finished design after the paint has dried for 4 hours. DecoArt claims that it is dishwasher safe if baked within the first 4 to 8 hours. Although I did bake within that window, I didn’t test out the mug in my dishwasher. I did put these directions with the mug—”dishwasher safe, but DEFINITELY 100% hand-wash safe!”

Here were a few of the projects that inspired me:

Right to Left:

If you love the look, but crafting isn’t your thing, here are some amazing custom illustrated products from Etsy:


Blogging was definitely not on my resolutions list for 2012, as you can probably tell. But I may be back, thanks to a little prompt from a really awesome sister.

For my first post of the year (in JUNE), I guess I’ll start off talking about my ACTUAL resolutions are for this year, and the process I’ve gone through to document those resolutions.

First, I usually don’t keep resolutions because I forget what they are by the middle of February. A mini sketchbook from Ugmonk has been just the ticket for me to combat forgetfulness—I can carry the resolutions with me to keep them fresh in my mind all the time.

Second, inspired by my friend Jeanne’s 25 by age 25 list, I decided that a numbered list of resolutions was the way to go—12 in 2012. I sketched a set of pages in the sketchbook for each one of the twelve resolutions.

Here are just a few of the resolutions I’ve made for this year:

1. Read the ENTIRE Bible by Dec. 31, 2012.
2. Read 12 books—aka one book a month—during this calendar year—10 books down, 2 to go
3. Participate in Greenville’s Mini Book Collective art exhibition at Art &  Light Gallery. —FINISHED!! I’ll have to post about this later
5. Donate 10″ to Locks of Love by end of the year (this is seeming to take FOREVER)

9. Knit/crochet 10 scarves for a local women’s shelter
10. Finally get rid of my ANCIENT laptop. RECYCLE is the plan!

And last but not least, number 12—celebrate 12-12-12 in style!

I decided it’s not important that I finish all these resolutions; the important thing to me is having a goal to work towards. Hopefully I can accomplish a few of these, but if nothing else, the year will have been time well spent.




DIY photo source: The Etsy Blog via Christin on Pinterest

Pinterest is definitely a wonderful thing. Consuming? Yes, but also totally helpful in collecting all the DIY stuff I want to try out. I’ve had these cute little Fabric Nesting Dolls from the Etsy Blog pinned on my DIY board for a while now. They are SO CUTE! I wanted to put my own little characters on them.

Sketching out the dolls on front fabric. Used an industrial sharpie—no bleed, VERY permanent.

I made a four sets this week—one for my newborn neice, two for a friend of mine, Dawn, and a fourth for a friend who will get them in the mail soon! Surprise! My neice will have to wait a while to play with her’s (probably until she develops motor skills). Dawn’s set, the two shown, represent her grandkids.

DIY instructions can be found in the Etsy Blog article, Handmade Kids How-To: Fabric Nesting Dolls


Happy February 1st! What a better way to start off the month of Valentines than to share a little design crush! I have totally fallen for The Curiosity Group. Located in Portland, OR, they are first a marketing firm—but their paper constructions are just too fun to words. And I’m loving their blog, which is full of inspiration and fun stuff.

Check out their stop animation movie, “From Flat to Flight.” You gotta love the art on the website too—kinda vintage and hand painted. Love it!

And I’ve totally signed up for the Calendar of the Month Club. Sign up, and each month get a “paper toy calendar for your viewing and scheduling pleasure.” I plan to put my groundhog calendar together today. And next month?!? I cannot wait to see what’s coming next.

First two months' calendars

Photos from The Curiosity Group’s related sites

This weekend was the annual Fallapalooza at my sister- & brother-in-law’s house. It was a great time of eating, hanging out with friends, carving pumpkins and chowing down on s’mores. It even cooled off a little to feel like fall! I can’t believe that we’re still getting into the 80’s in October in our part of the country.

Stephen brainstormed an idea for some hoodies for us to wear to the party. Earlier this week we traveled to the hobby store, picked up some felt and buttons. Then on Saturday afternoon I got to work making Sock Monkey Hoodies. It’s super simple—and it would be fun for Halloween parties as well.

Keep reading after the jump for more photos and instructions on how to craft your own hoodies! Read the rest of this entry »

Perhaps I should re-title this post “Monday Temptation” because I know just looking at these images is tempting me to eat an entire apple pie! What you see here is a Cinnamon-Apple Crostata. My mother-in-law sent me the recipe from The husband and I have half a bushel of apples from going apple picking this past weekend, and she knew that I would need something to make with all those apples! This was just the ticket—and with 5 ingredients and a pre-made pie crust, you too can have this delicious crostata in under an hour.

Tips on putting together this lovely pastry of goodness:

  • Lightly pinching the pie crust at the “folds” will help it stay put. If the apples look like they are just HEAPING out, don’t worry, they’ll sink down.
  • If you like nuts, like I do, you may want to add another 1/2 tbsp. to the top.
  • When lifting the crostata to put on a cake stand or plate, first gently loosen the bottom of the crostata with a spatula. Then use two WIDE spatulas (I used a fish spatula which is super wide) to carefully lift the crostata to your nearby plate.
  • One crostata will feed about 6-8 girls or 4 guys. If you’re having a large party—make two! And serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

ok—I am totally craving this now, so I have to end. Enjoy this lovely fall day!

Clockwise, starting at top:

  1. White Pumpkin Candles, Pottery Barn
  2. Digital Illustration, mine
  3. Autumn Felt Brooch, mine
  4. Autumn, Petr Vins

Inspired by today’s constant cover of clouds and incessant drizzle (which is lovely!). . .

  1. Pasotti Double Cover from Rain or Shine, $170
  2. Sonnet Stick Umbrella from, $85
  3. Poketo Swirls Umbrella by Poketo for Target, $13

It’s raining and chilly today, and it’s the first day that I can whip out my boots without feeling like I’ll whither in the blistering sun. It’s been so hot that it really has not felt like fall yet—so today I’m living it up if this is the only chance I get! Here are a few goodies I’ve been eyeing on Etsy lately that would perfectly complement any fall activity or outfit!

  1. Orange Leaf Necklace by Print Party, $55
  2. Gillian Hat by Piper and Paisley, $45
  3. Multi Ring Pendant by 2212 Jewelry, $55
  4. Mustard Pocket Sketchbook by Awaken Journaling, $25
  5. Bird Booklet with Band by Orange Beautiful, $8
  6. Market Tote by LightNest, $40
  7. Upcycled Textile Earrings by Sol del Sur, $18

Also starting today off with a homemade mocha—yum! Thanks to the husband for makin’ the coffee!

p.s. Check back tomorrow for a quilting update—yep, I’m back at it again!

Just a few pics from the book arts project I’m currently trying to finish—a french door style book with a barber pole binding. Love, love, love! where it’s headed, and now I just have visit the copy shop, make a few cuts, and bind it together. Hoorah!

The goal of the project was to have 5-ish random words or sets of words and combine them cohesively within a theme. I’ll talk more about my concept when I post pics of the finished book, but for now—enjoy!

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Things I was inspired by: