Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tiny Baby Bunnies!

I've been SO busy hanging a bajillion super cool clothes in the thrift store ... And in the wee, wee hours I'm also knitting these teeny tiny baby bunnies from MochiMochi Land. They're so sweet and according to MG they "like to nap in pockets". Perfect for the first week of preschool, hooray!
Hope all is happy with you!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vanilla T-Shirt Rug Tutorial!

I have 3 minutes to blog (WAY too many things being juggled today) so I'm going to be quick ... make a t-shirt rug! Seriously, do it! I needed a rug for the Mission Exchange changing room floor and my budget was exactly zero dollars. Well, I've been looking for an excuse to crochet a rug for ages and recently ran across this lovely bit inspiration at Sockmonster on Etsy. I figured it couldn't be that hard to make a rug, right? Only problem was that I wasn't in the mood to buy tons of tees and I'd already raided my closet for different t-shirt project. What to do?

Then came my one and only moment of brilliance this week... I thought to buy a flat t-shirt material sheet at the thrift store. Super cheap (.60 cents) and way easier to cut into long strips! So I cut up the whole sheet into 1.5 inch strips, stretched them so that the edges would curl in, tied them together and crocheted a quick circle out of them. Oh and I used a jumbo crochet hook, super fast! I think this project would be amazing in color, but I needed to reserve the right to wield bleach. Maybe I'll have to make another one?...


Monday, August 29, 2011

Lemon Thyme Lollipops!

Ooooo so much is going I and I can't wait to share it all with you! The two biggies are that I'm back in the design business officially with my own company, hooray! If you'd like to check out Tiny Bungalow Design, please look HERE.

And the next tidbit of happiness is that I'm opening a thrift & vintage store in The Camphouse called Mission Exchange. All proceeds will benefit The Mission Chattanooga, so I'm super excited! Plus it's a really tiny space so I've had a blast designing the shop interior. Think lots of white on white with layers of texture from found objects as well as modern elements - Anthropologie meets CB2. It's going to feel like shopping in an insanely hip closet without the awkwardness of feeling like you're robbing a friend of their best goodies. Finally stages are happening... I'll have photos up soon.

As for the yummy lollipops, well MG and I made them today while McB napped. They were yummy! Here's a quick lollipop tutorial if you're interested. I added lemon oil and fresh lemon thyme from my garden. If I were getting married again (which I'm definitely not!), I would totally make these as fun, cheap, easy wedding favors. Wouldn't you love to get a gourmet lollipop as a wedding favor? So happy making!


Friday, July 15, 2011

Happy Exits!

If you're anything like me, you have at least one spot in your home that bugs you. You know, it just doesn't feel right or maybe it seems a bit unfinished. Well, one of my so-called "waiting to be glorious" spots is the next to the front door. Every time I leave the house I think, "hmmm, not so great". So I decided to give it about 4 minutes thought yesterday - if it couldn't be helped quickly, it wasn't going to happen. You know McB was running around with the hammer, so speed was of the essence...

Anyway, I did a quick dig in the attic for some antique letters (they were in my living room up north for ages) and grabbed one of MG's "real" paintings (painted on proper canvas) and grouped them with a painting that my dad made me for Christmas a while back. Hammer, hammer, hammer and ta-da! It's bright, cheery and very colorful. Plus all the pieces remind me of what's most important every time I leave the house to tackle the world - imagination, creation, family, friends and love!

So pick a spot, any spot, that bothers you and give it about 4 minutes. It's just enough time to get things done without over-thinking it. I know that's the biggest challenge for some of you, so give it a try. You'll be amazed at what can happen! And if you change your mind in a weeks time, give it a change again. Nothing is final and it's just walls! Happy arranging!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Confessions of a Cluttered Desktop

Well, those of you that have had the pleasure (or pain) of seeing my computer desktop, know exactly what this post is all about... I have issues with severe creative "idea" clutter! Yup, every single time I spy something fun to make, buy or look at, I drag the photo to my desktop. As you can imagine, this creates a bit of a visual disaster. But to be perfectly honest, the shear overload of color actually makes me happy, not stressed (though others have reacted quite differently!). And I know exactly where everything is. Honest!! So I thought I'd share a tidbit of the hundreds of images plaguing my desktop - they're from the bottom right hand corner. I'd really love to give credit to the original creators but they are long lost due to excessive dragging... I'm sure you could look them up on either Etsy or Instructables. Hope you find a bit of happy inspiration like I did - the tree bed is super awesome, right?!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy Pez Day!

We have a brand new weekly holiday at our house. Yes, weekly. It's specially designed to combat "Manic Mondays" and so far it's been a huge success. Instead of grumbling into another week after a long weekend of events, we celebrate Pez Day. Silly I know, but lots of fun for very little money. There's something so simple and happy about the brightly colored dispensers. Each one is like a little slice of pop culture. And the candies taste just like childhood in a rectangle - you can't help but smile when you eat them.

So each week, we go on a field trip to find new Pez and both kids get to pick their very own. Trust me, the selection process is painstaking! And after they eat their 1 roll of candies (yeah, yeah... I know they come with 3 rolls, shhh...), we add the new Pez "friends" to our collection. I think we're up to over 80 dispensers last time I counted - thanks to a ton that I had from high school. I'm thinking the kids are going to have to have a "Pez" themed bedroom...

Anyway, I encourage you to start a silly holiday of your own. Why not, life is short?! Happy, happy Pez Day to you and yours!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Yo happy TWO!

I can hardly believe it but McB turned two yesterday! It seems like not very long ago that I was blogging about going to the hospital to have him and thinking he was a girl... whoa was I wrong!! So we celebrated my little man with his one and only favorite show of all time - Yo Gabba Gabba (Buzie, you're probably cracking up right now at the irony!). For those of you who don't know about "having a party in your tummy", let me introduce you.

I baked my buns off so that we'd have 75 Yo Gabba Gabba brilliantly colored cupcakes with Muno, Brobee, Plex and Toodee toppers along with a very green Brobee cake for the celebration. Once again, Betty Crocker Gel Food Coloring saved the day, thanks Betty! And I tried a new type of fondant for the cake - homemade marshmallow fondant. It was really cheap to make and tasted way better than proper fondant. Definitely give it a try if you're making a cake any time soon.

A huge thanks to everyone that helped us celebrate and especially to Satoya and Jason for singing really, really loud. You guys are the bestest!! McB was a very happy birthday boy!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happy Ten Years!

Ten years married to my best friend - lucky, lucky me!!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lemon Balm Salt Scrub Tutorial

Thanks to my lovely friend Miss Angie, I've rediscovered the intense greatness of salt scrubs. They do wonders on legs like mine - aka. overused, mistreated, under-appreciated, shouldn't be shown the light of day kinda legs. Yup, they're in need of some help and love! So I figured that there must be an easy way to make my own steady supply of salt scrub that would be super cheap... and then I remembered the huge patch of lemon balm in my garden...

• 1 cup of kosher salt
• 1 & 1/4 cups of baby oil (I used "with Aloe")
• 1/2 cup very finely chopped herb of choice

Gently mix the salt and oil together in a bowl. Add the herbs and mix again. Spoon into a glass jar (I used a pasta sauce jar) and refrigerate. The longer the scrub sits the more the herbs will "saturate" the oil, so good! Most fresh herbs would be amazing - like lavender, rosemary, mint, sage or even basil. I'm thinking this is a really easy handmade gift for mother's day, Christmas, baby & bridal showers, teachers, thank yous, etc. And if you package some in a cool mason jar or baby food jar with a pretty ribbon you're all set. Oo, how fun would it be to have a set of baby food jars with different scrubs in them for a new mom? Now I'm getting excited! Happy scrubbing everyone!
PS - the photo of McB is my new favorite. I've never seen him sit still for that long! Thanks Jason for your patience & musical genius!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Giving Garden

Everyone that's ever been to a plant swap put your hands up... now, why have you been holding out on me?! Honestly, why didn't I know about this super great thing sooner? For those of you that are in the dark like I was, here's the scoop...

There are gardening groups all over the country that meet and chat and swap. Now I know this may sound like it's for the old folks, but trust me it's not. If you like local food and farmer's markets, this is a must-do field trip. Promise! I went to my first one with a friend on Saturday. We drove in to the Henry Horton State Park and there was a gathering like I've never seen - tons of tables filled with hand-potted plants & veggies of all varieties. Plus bags (literally brown shopping bags) filled with homegrown seeds. And here's the best part, you don't pay for anything! Seriously, it's truly a swap. You go around visiting the tables, spy what you'd like and then the incredibly generous, knowledgeable gardener who dug them up, hands you the pot. That simple, just bring plants and receive plants. I made a huge batch of seed bombs to share, but was totally unprepared for the generosity of everyone. One lady put it best, she said in a thick southern accent, "why can't folks just be nice and share?" It really is that simple.

So I came home with a carload (again literally) full of flowers, seeds and veggies to add to my newly growing garden. And, unlike buying at a store, my garden is now filling up with tidbits of love from other people that like dirt as much as me. Oo and I'm so excited that I scored one of these!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Sneaky Peeky!

Ok, don't want to share too much but I'm bursting... the brand new "Summer 2011" series of Lavender Kitty patterns will be ready for release VERY soon! Can't wait to share... have I mentioned that I'm a tad excited yet?! YAY! Ok, I've got to go or I'll start spilling the beans...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Super Cereal Muffins!

My kids don't like eating breakfast. Try as I might, it's always a battle. So when I tasted some the the yummiest muffins ever at my friend Micah's house, I had to give them a try. They were tasty, healthy, easy and moist. So good! Surely MG and McB would love them?!

Only problem was, when I finally went to make them, a bunch of the ingredients were missing from the pantry... hmm mmm, thanks daddy! So here's my version of a classic bran muffin recipe - it's great cause you throw in all the random little bits of cereal that you have lingering. You know, the end of the box that no one wants to eat? And the kids thought it was funny to eat "super cereal muffins" - they both had 2! Shocking and healthy, yay for kid friendly breakfasts! Plus this recipe makes about 4 dozen, so they're great for brunch parties. You could even bake a dozen and keep the batter in your fridge for up to 3 days for fresh muffins every morning. Yum!

• 2 cups bran cereal (like ALL BRAN)
• 4 cups cereal mix - I used raisin bran, grape nuts, cheerios, brown rice puffs
• 1 quart buttermilk
• 5 cups flour
• 2 1/2 cups sugar - I mixed brown & white cause I was short
• 1 cup oil
• 1 tsp salt
• 4 eggs
• 3 tsp baking soda
• 2 cups boiling water
• Optional - 1 cup raisins

1. In a large bowl, soak bran in boiling water for a couple minutes. Add oil, eggs, sugar.
2. In a medium bowl, mix baking soda, salt, flour, raisins. Add cereal mix.
3. Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk into large bowl.
4. Let sit in the fridge for 12 hours or overnight.
5. Bake in regular muffin pan for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Latte Love Cup Sleeve Pattern!

Here's a little pattern that I'm teaching at Craft Social Workshop tonight, so you're getting a sneak peek, shhh... it's great for a rainy day or stormy night...

aka. a little bit of sweater coziness for your coffee. It's the least you can do for a drink that brings so much joy!

~ Size 7 needles
~ Medium "worsted" weight yarn

~ Cast on 32 stitches
~ knit 2, purl 2, repeat til end of row
~ Continue in pattern until piece measures 3 inches, approx 14 rows
~ Cast off
~ Sew together the short edges using mattress stitch
~ go to your favorite coffee shop, buy something yummy & enjoy!

These are great little gifts for folks of all types and super quick to knit. They're a fun way to use up scrap yarn and look extra special when stripey. You could even give someone a set with a sleeve for each day of the week. How bout one for your favorite guy in his team colors or just a charcoal gray so that he feels manly? Mmm hmm, sure to make happiness. Hope you like it!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tornados Again & Some Fine Espresso!

This past week has been crazy with tornados, electrical outages and mass loss of trees. The storms came in so quickly that I only had minutes to pile the kids and pips (our little white dog) into the bathtub. There were quite a few rounds of "Row, row your boat" while the wind howled. Hey, whatever works! Thankfully our home was spared, but many friends had homes crushed and are still dealing with the after effects. If you have a chance to send relief, please give it a thought.

And on to something happy for a moment... I don't often share my design work, but I've been busy rebranding The Windfarm Coffee Bar and it's finally finished! In an effort to tie the coffee bar in with The Camp House and to position it for easy expansion, we decided to rename the store to "Camp House Espresso". The new design was inspired by The Mission's roots in Rwanda, truly "handcrafted", excellent coffee and a commitment to beyond fair-trade beans. It's been fun to watch the new signage, cup sleeves, etc go up. The only flub was the new mugs arriving with the logo printed upside down - heehee! I'm thinking they'd be great "you are special to us" gifts to the daily caffeine addicts. So check it out, if you're in town. Trust me, my friend Aaron makes an espresso like no other! He is fanatical about each and every cup he pours! And the whole crew of baristas make drinking lattes truly artful. Mmm happy coffee!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Some Serious Seed Bombing!

OH me, oh my, I had a ridiculously great time the other night!! To celebrate Earth Day I taught a "seed bomb making" workshop at Craft Social. If you know what this is, you can fully appreciate how much of a blast it was. If you don't, let me make your world a tad happier...

Do you ever feel a bit rebellious but you're not in the mood to get in any real trouble? Do you notice all the bare, ugly spots around town and want to make them prettier? Try "guerilla gardening" with seed bombs! All you need to do is follow the recipe below to make balls filled with seeds and all the good stuff that they need to start growing. Then you throw them wherever a little bit of happiness is needed and wildflowers will grow. You know, like empty lots, the side of the highway or maybe your backyard.

Just before midnight we drove all around town "bombing" away through the car windows, the sun roof and over fences (no private property was harmed I promise). It was wild, crazy and hilarious - I felt like I was in high school all over again! I can't wait to see what sprouts in approx 45 days and we're definitely having a seed bomb party in the very near future. Try it, I promise you'll like it!

This recipe is written in "parts" - determine what you "part" measures and mix away (mine was 1/4 cup)
• 2 parts all natural clumping kitty litter (Arm & Hammer Natural made with corn)
• 2 parts water
• 1 part compost and clay mix (I dug some clay out of the yard)
• 1/2 part wildflower seed
Mix together until moldable. Form into balls, about shooter marble size. Let dry for at least an hour. Happy guerilla gardening!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

April So Far...

April has been BUSY! Lots of new things happening, some I can share now and others are percolating. I'll begin with the biggie... for those of you that don't know yet, as of July 1st I'll be looking for a new job. It's been a year and a half of crazy hard work with The Mission Chattanooga and now it's time to move on. Unfortunately it's 100% a case of funding, not lack of passion or results. Though I'm really sad that I won't be a staff member anymore, I'm very happy with what's been achieved in such a short time and feel privileged to have been a part of it. Lots of amazing design work was done and many lives were/and continue to be changed (including mine!). I'll still be involved as much as possible and Craft Social Workshop will hopefully continue to grow. But, now I'm on the hunt for the next step. I know it's not the ideal time to look for a job, but I also know that there must be a solution. Design work, etsy, ALL ideas welcome!

On a lighter note, I went to an amazing garden center the other day! Seriously, they had some insanely funky plants - see pic of "Carnivorous Monkey Bamboo Jug Plant" and "Red Hot Cats-tail". They also had those super comfy retro gliders. My porch is begging for one. Ok, maybe I'm just begging for one?! Thankfully I was distracted by the most amazing fairy gardens. Ugh, I've been wanting to make one forever!

Anyway, that's April so far... I'm exhausted, time to go to bed!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Color in Motion!

Have I mentioned that I love Chattanooga lately? If not, I love Chattanooga! It's truly a great little city, with tons of fun things happening all the time. Most are cheap or free, yay! Meaning they work really well with my current "we're going to have a blast for pennies" theme.

So MG and I went to a totally free kids class last Saturday at the Hunter Museum of American Art - she had a blast. It was called "Art in Motion" and they held it right in the middle of the museum. Pretty brave on their part if you ask me! The curator discussed "Phenomena Royal Violet Visitation" by Paul Jenkins with the kids and then an amazing creative movement teacher helped them make up a dance about the painting. I loved how they let the kids figure it out for themselves instead of giving them the "proper" answers. So cool! And of course I was excited that the artwork was super big and colorful... talk about a simple explanation of a great piece!!