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The past two months have been SO BUSY with preparations for the Art Star Craft Bazaar in Philly. And now that it’s only 3 days away (I can’t believe it!), I’m so extremely excited for it. I have no idea what to expect which makes me nervous and excited and happy all at the same time.

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Modern Muse: Elle Fanning

I remember seeing the following images (the first four) of Elle Fanning in an issue of Marie Claire a while ago and thinking, “Wow! What this girl is going to do for fashion in coming years.” She’s stunning and makes fashion choices that are wise beyond her years. Right now I’m just busy being so inspired by her. Enjoy!

Elle Fanning in Marie Claire

Elle Fanning in Marie Claire

Elle Fanning in Marie Claire

[Love those gold heels!]

Elle Fanning in Marie Claire

Elle Fanning

Elle Fanning in Lula Magazine

[From Lula Mag— my favorite!]

And just for good measure, since I adore this photo with her sister…

Dakota and Elle Fanning in Vogue

All images were sourced from Google.

IKEA Bulletin Board Hack

Stephen got me a new table for Christmas for my sewing space (more details on that later). I wanted to continue the trend of organizing my workspace and making it a more efficient area to complete projects, so I decided I wanted to get a bulletin board.

I can write lists all I want but the fact of the matter is that I often times put the notebook away somewhere in an effort to keep the house tidy. Whatever to-do list I may have written gets lost and a lot of what I want to accomplish is forgotten, since I have a horrible memory. I’ve come up with a process that may be a little redundant but I think will help me get more accomplished and still keep my space neat. And to do so, I couldn’t use just any old bulletin board. I needed something…INSPIRATIONAL!

Image found on IKEA (since I forgot to take a photo of mine before I started working on it)

DIY Fabric Covered Bulletin Board

I purchased a $6 bulletin board from IKEA. Totally a great price but so, so boring. Blah! I taped around the wooden frame (on the actual cork part) and painted the untreated wood white with some acrylic paint (1). After the paint dried, I measured the space of the cork board and cut a piece of fabric to size (3). I chose a mod polka dot print (Sunspots in Midnight from Amy Butler’s Love collection) (2). I love the blue tones. I know it’s simple but I still think it’s so fun. And I thought with the white frame, it would really make the print pop.

DIY Fabric Covered Bulletin Board

I lined the fabric up along the edges of the board frame (4) and used some fabric glue on the perimeter of the fabric to adhere it to the cork board (5). I put the glue on as close to the edge as possible to keep the fabric from lifting. I also pinned the opposite corners to keep it from shifting (6). I let the fabric dry overnight and the following morning prepared it for hanging.

The bulletin boards from IKEA come with hanging hardware and string but I wanted to hang it like you hang a picture. I had other hardware on hand and attached the bar with the teeth (not sure what the technical term is) to the back of the board, right on the frame (7). And I may or may not have hit my finger half a dozen times trying to hammer that tiny nail in. I hammered a hook into the wall and viola! Fabric covered bulletin board complete (8).

DIY Fabric Covered Bulletin Board

As for my to-do process: I have a notebook that I’m keeping a running list of goals and things to accomplish. I’m prioritizing the items on the list, writing a few at a time onto post-it notes, and tacking them to the board. Once a task is complete, I’ll consult my notebook, cross that item off the list, throw the post-it away, and replace it with a new task/goal to be completed. Hopefully, this will keep things neat and, more importantly, not forgotten.

What are you doing this New Year to keep yourself organized? I’d love to hear what you’ve got going on to get inspired.

Welcome to the Year 2012

Welcome, 2012! I have high expectations for you. Or maybe it’s that I have high expectations for myself. This is the year to not let myself down. Or let you down, 2012.

New Years 2012 Fireworks

Image found via Pinterest

Two years ago, a friend told me a statistic about New Years resolutions that I had never heard before. I forgot about it for a while until I was thinking about what I’d like to accomplish this year. He told me that if you share your resolutions with others, you subconsciously get a feeling of accomplishment and, in turn, don’t complete those goals you had set for yourself. So, in essence, they say that if you keep your resolutions to yourself, you’re more likely to succeed in completing them. I can sort of see that. But at the same time, I also think that if you share your goals with one person, or a few select people, they can keep you accountable. I’m struggling with these two perspectives and not really sure how specific I want to get with sharing my goals.

I’m excited about the goals I’ve set for myself this year. So, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll share them albeit rather vaguely. So, 2012, this is what I’m hoping to get out of you:

Grow in my relationship with God, with Stephen (spend more quality time together), and with Caleb

Learn to be more organized and more efficient

Grow my Etsy business

Grow this blog and extend its reach beyond friends and family

Make healthier eating choices

Exercise more frequently (and this and the above are not the typical “I’d like to lose 15 pounds” goal; this is to be a lifestyle change)

Within each of these goals, I have a list of specifics but probably will not share what they are until I’ve reached them. Very mysterious, no? Welcome, 2012! I’m excited to see what you bring to the table.

Checking In

Wow, this Christmas season has been quite the whirlwind! I can’t believe Christmas is next weekend. And, surprisingly, this year I’ve been doing very well with keeping on top of everything. In previous years I’ve been ambitious when it comes to being half (or mostly) handmade and it hasn’t always worked out. But this year it’s going great! I still can’t share the things I’ve been working on though. ::sad face::  As soon as Christmas day passes though, I’ll divulge all!

I’m feeling so inspired this Christmas by plaid.

Found via Pinterest

Found via Pinterest

Found via Pinterest

I made family stockings for Steve, Caleb, and I (which I shared on the blog last week). They weren’t hanging up yet because we were in the process of completing a fake mantel. But now that the mantel is up and the stockings are hung, I’ve got some piccies.

Plaid Flannel Stockings

Plaid Flannel Stockings

It’s hard to see them at night in the soft glow of the tree so I included the shot of them during the day. The Christmas tree doesn’t look as magical though during the day.

I’m also in the process of working on red plaid flannel dinner napkins for Christmas dinner. We’re going to Steve’s parents during the day and then we’ll be hosting Christmas dinner for my family later in the day. Once those are done, I’ll be able to share those. I’m thinking about machine embroidering snowflakes on them. So excited! I’ve also completed two flannel skirts: one for Christmas Eve and one for Christmas day. SUPER excited about those! Will share those once I’ve got the whole outfit complete.

What are you up to this holiday season? Have you been getting all that you wanted to done?

Time Management

Make that efficient time management.

I’m not a bragger. At least I hope I’m not. Sometimes if I know I do something well, I’ll mistake being confident with being braggy. One thing I’m always afraid of is sounding like I think I’m really awesome. But I’m kind of going off on a tangent. This is supposed to be about time management.

I’m a pretty good direction taker. I work hard and if you give me a list of things that need to be done, and a time when those tasks should be completed, I’ll get it done for you. No problem. But when I give myself tasks, I totally overwhelm myself. Not on purpose, of course. Sometimes I have a bunch of vague ideas and don’t know how to develop them because my mind is so cluttered with a million other seedling ideas.

If someone else determines tasks I need to complete, I can totally manage those tasks and block them out into time chunks to be completed. I’m SO SO SO not good at blocking out my own days. When the tasks are decided and delegated by me and to me…much failure ensues. I really need to learn how to work efficiently. I need to learn to effectively schedule my tasks during the day.

Wipeable to do list

Image found here

One of the things I find that makes it hard for me is trying to work at home and be a full-time mommy at the same time. How do other blogging/crafting mommies do it? Please! This is a cry for help.

My issue is that I feel like if I’m home with Caleb, he needs me to be stimulating him and spending time with him constantly. If I put him in a walker or let him crawl around on the floor and don’t actively interact with him, I’m afraid that he’s not going to learn the things he needs to learn. I start to feel guilty that I’m neglecting him and his needs. And I know a lot of mommies say that nap time is their really productive time. I wish I knew what to expect every day in terms of naps but, the fact of the matter is, I don’t. Sometimes he’ll nap for 2-3 hours, sometimes 30 minutes. Because of that, I don’t get into projects because I have no idea how much time I’ll have.

Other mommies out there… What do you do?

It’s a Frosty Kind of Day Today

And all I can think about is… CHRISTMAS! I cannot wait to decorate. Exactly one more week until I’m allowed. Yes, there’s a rule in our house that we can’t decorate until after Thanksgiving. Steve will call me crazy when I listen to Christmas music and watch Christmas movies before Thanksgiving but he’ll put up with it. Decorations… I don’t think he’d put up with that. 😉

I’ve been feeling so inspired to decorate. Our theme every year is what I call a woodland theme but other themes have my creative juices flowing.

Like a classic green and red Christmas…

Red and Green Christmas Stairs

Image found via Pinterest

Red and Green Christmas Decorations

Image found via Pinterest

…the fairy-like, sparkly silver and gold Christmas…

Silver and Gold Christmas

Image found via Pinterest

Silver Deer Tabletop Decorations

Image found via Pinterest

…a modern aqua and red Christmas…

Aqua and Red Christmas Decor

Image found via Pinterest

A Spoonful of Sugar Designs Christmas Cards

Image found via Pinterest

…and a cozy flannel, woodland Christmas…

Plaid Flannel Christmas Stockings

Image found via Pinterest

Plaid Christmas Table Decor

Image found via Pinterest

I don’t know if you can see them but hidden in the lower left corner…see those bells? I love them. I love the tinkling of Christmas bells.

I can’t wait to go all out for Christmas this year. We should have in previous years, I think, but definitely this year as it will be the first year that we host a Christmas dinner. Can’t wait!

How about you? Any Christmas-y things out there that are inspiring you for the approaching holiday season?