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chalkboard monthly photos {the first year}

i love documenting monthly changes.  the development in the first year is astounding.  these little ones go from blobs that don’t make eye contact to babbling, walking little people with personalities and opinions of their own.  i scoured and scoured pinterest during my pregnancy to try and come up with a fun way to document these changes during garrett’s first year.

1 month

i had painted a dresser mirror a while back and thought it would be the perfect backdrop.  i knew i would have the patience or time or creativity to hand draw on the chalkboard each month.  i brainstormed and realized that i could take the photo of the solid chalkboard and upload the photo into and “write” on the black space.  i think they are turning out super cute and the number one comment is “how did you do that?”  so i thought i would do a little tutorial.


each month i position my little guy in a way that he has spent a lot of the month prior.  the first month, blob of baby.  the second, loved being curled up on his side.  the third, his back.  and the fourth, lifting his head and rolling over.  below is one of the outtakes that makes me laugh.  he was so clearly “done” with the process.  it shows the photo before i play around on picmonkey.


you first upload your photo in the “edit.”  from there you can play with filters, crops, etc.  then there is a Tt link on the left hand side for text.  you can pick many fonts and adjust colors, size, etc.  some of the fonts and filters require a membership to picmonkey but you can still do a lot without it.


i try to include an image that correlates with the month.  december {one month} was christmas.  january {second month} was snowy.  february {third month} was valentines day, so a heart was in order. and march {fourth month} was st. patrick’s day, so i put a little green banner.  below is a screenshot of my work in progress.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 10.46.16 AM

and the finished product.  i love that i have a blank slate to remember little things each month like his favorite book or milestones accomplished.  these little memories, while so life encompassing right now, will soon fade and i am thankful i have these photos.  i hope this helps and please let me know if you have any detailed questions! i am thrilled that i have inspired some of your own monthly photos!


4 MONTH.jpg


#26acts of kindness

we all remember that moment in december when we first learned of another school shooting.  i remember distinctly the feeling more than anything else when i learned the ages of these precious lives lost.  this isn’t a post about gun debates or mental health.  although i do have plenty of opinions about both.  this is about a movement started in december that resonated with me.

act1: because of my etsy shop, i interact with people all over the world every day.  what i know, everyone has a story.  and a lot of times through the personalization process of designing a quilt or pillow, stories are shared.  the other night, i was having a grand ‘ole pity party with my empty uterus.  thinking life could not be more difficult {disclaimer, i know this is not true. but everyone is allowed a pity party every now and again.} i received an email from someone wanting to buy a quilt for her niece.  her newborn niece has been in the hospital almost every day of her life and was gearing up for her fourth surgery.  the aunt wanted something “personal” since everything at the hospital was so, well hospital like.  my heart immediately broke.  i quickly snapped out of my own personal pity party.  i thought about my soon to be niece and how tremendously grateful i am that she is healthy.  i thought this would be a wonderful kick off to my acts of kindness movement.  so i took this strangers order details and then sent her an invoice for no charge.

yesterday, i mailed off a personalize quilt for little makayla.

here is the thing about doing small acts of kindness, they warm my heart more than the recipient.  in this world filled with “what about me” moments, it is so rejuvenating to do for others.  the husband and i joining forces.  i am looking forward to the kindness we can put into our community this year.

conscious acts of kindness to remember our humanity.  to never forget the lives lost.  to show love over anger.  to spread kindness.  will you join the movement?


doily lace clay bowl {pinterest finds friday}

i have seen this “pin” over and over again.  each time desperately wanting to gather the supplies and try my hand.  this week was finally the week.  here is the original “pin” … not in english but i got enough of the gist from the photograph.

click for source.

i started with the original sculpey {ordered from amazon}.  after softening the clay by working it in my hands, i rolled it out to about 1/4″ thickness.  then applied the doily with the rolling pin.

i then found a small bowl to place on top and cut a perfect circle from the clay.

then using an oven safe larger bowl, i placed my circle inside and softened the edges with my fingers.  i learned this from pottery classes.  sharp edges don’t seem that sharp until baked so it is important to make sure edges are rounded.

following the sculpey instructions, i baked these two for 15 mins at 275 degrees.  then i removed them from the bowl and placed on a drying rack.

i made four bowls but one cracked.  i believe i tried to remove it from the oven bowl too quickly.  next time i will let them sit in the bowl a bit longer to cool, then remove them.  i painted two for fun.  then the third i painted with modge podge to seal it and give it shine.

overall this was a fun little craft.  i have lots more clay so i feel there will be more bowls to be made for gifts.  i would love to find some typography stamps and personalize them.  super fun and inexpensive way to spend an hour crafting.

wordless wednesday {brief weigh in update}

i know, the irony of “words” on wordless wednesday but i felt it more important to keep on track with my weekly weigh in posts.  on monday, i weighed in and lost another 2 pounds.  i am happy with the solid 2 pounds lost.  i am maintaining my workout goals.  yesterday i watched my recording of the bachelor while biking and rowing from the convenience of my home.  so far so good.  now back to my “wordless” post :)

learning to letterpress

this weekend was jam packed and absolutely flew by!  saturday that husband and i drove to my hometown.  while i celebrated my sister-in-law and my almost-here-niece, little addison grace, the husband found a bog garden waterfall.  after the baby shower, we then had dinner with my dad and stepmom.  just one of the many perks of going “home.”  here i am with the wonderful mom to be and fellow aunt!  nicole and i are going to spoil this little girl rotten :)

our sunday was my “christmas present” day.  the husband had a surprise christmas present and sunday was the day.  my gift, learning how to letterpress.  through my pillow business, i have found that i LOVE typography.  fonts, letters, the design of it amazes me.  i can look at fonts and doodle my own all day.  the crispness of letters on paper thrills me.  i know.  sounds weird.  but once i met my instructor, i knew i was in the right place.  the history of letterpress.  the techniques.  the art of it all.  i am smitten.

i had to bring a quote.  any guesses which one i picked?  if you know me well, you will not be surprised at the end of this post.

one on one instruction from a true historian and artist.  i didn’t want to leave.

one of his many letterpresses.  this one is an absolutely work of art.  there are only 3 in america.  did you know they don’t make letterpresses anymore?  talk about a lost art and yet, it is so popular.  i was so fascinated to learn every little detail.

after we inked the rollers {above} the husband and i headed to lunch.

right around from the studio was the studio where they design and paint the “cows” all around town.  obviously, the bee themed cow was our favorite.

after lunch, the real fun began.  this is me running the machine for the first time.  oh man, talk about nerves and adrenaline.

my first print.

i haven’t photographed the final product.  i will photograph and post tomorrow.  i added a little artwork and through the process learned the true magic of letterpress.  brian and i designed the artwork to look one way, but the letterpress had other ideas.

needless to say, this was such an amazing christmas gift.  i really push my husband to come up with gifts that are not the traditional, necklace or jewelry in general.  to really think out of the box.  i am so incredibly touched and grateful to have such a thoughtful and creative thinking partner.  often times i think, i am 31 years old, too old to spend time and money on learning new things.  but he supports me and my creative side, i am so very lucky.

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