Tag Archives: D.I.Y.

Old Town, New Day

16 Nov

One of my favorite things about living where we do is we aren’t too far from a good time. If you haven’t ever been to Old Town Alexandria – you are clearly missing out ๐Ÿ˜‰ This place is where I like to get away with my mom. We spend an entire day walking around, shopping, getting our hair done, and enjoy the area.

 

This place is pretty spectacular. Every time we go I fall in love with it over again, I look into all the shop windows wishing, dreaming, hoping that one day one of those shops will be mine. As soon as we get there we pick a place for lunch. This time we chose Austin’s:

 

When it’s nice outside they have tables lining the sidewalk, which is where we love to be. Today it was wayyy to chilly so we snuck inside and pigged out. Austin’s Grill is one of my favorite American Style Mexican Food. I know that sounds so weird but when I think of Mexican food we make at our own home I think of Austins.

My sister and I used to come home from school and mix a little bowl of cheez whiz and salsa together and pop it in the microwave. It was our version of queso and when I eat the queso here at Austin’s it takes me straight back to the old days. It’s delicious!!!

 

Our next stop is to get pampered. Salon DNA is where we get our hair done and if you ever stop by – you better ask to get an appointment with Tim (he’s the man!!). We walk in here when it’s nice and sunny and we don’t make it out until sunset! It’s hours of hair therapy and it’s worth every little penny. Obviously it’s worth it, because we drive almost 2 hours to see Tim and get our hair done every three months! โค

 

There are a few other things I love about this salon other than Tim and the magic he does with my hair. It’s how modern and crafty this place is! You know me and crafty things, so of course I had to share with you some of my FAVORITE crafty things they’ve done to spice up their shop. This desk is AWESOME. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a desk like this before and it makes me want to find a great way to repurpose materials for a fun design on my desk… my brain is churning with ideas!

The letters in front of the desk are a plus too. Those are so in, so easy, and totally fun!! But there’s an even better piece. Each time I walk into the store I drool over this:

 

This big beauty is jaw dropping to me! Not only is it ridiculously gorgeous – it’s pretty darn easy to make. Some heavy duty string, glass squares, and a square frame. I want to make me one of these!!!!!

After chatting it up, relaxing, and getting my head massaged we head to the next stop:

 

MMMMmmmm Alexandria Cupcakes! I wish I had gotten my mom to take a picture of me. You would have rolled on the floor laughing. I cannot take a bite of these cupcakes with out making the most ridiculous MMmmmMMmmMMmmm noises. Plus I always get icing on my nose ๐Ÿ˜› It would have been a perfect picture opportunity ๐Ÿ˜‰ Next time..

If I was rich – I’d live here, but I’d also have to have a beach house because this girl needs sand, waves, and salty air!

Do you have a favorite spot in your town you go to get away?

 

Love Always,

J

Late Night Chats With Myself ;)

15 Nov

Even though you are reading this at some point and it’s probably Thursday for you – technically I am writing this at 11:15 pm Wednesday. So I’ll go ahead and apologize for the lack of pictures and random long sentences.

I’m sitting up after realizing that I have absolutely no clean clothes to wear to my appointment tomorrow. Little Mrs. Has It All Together from my list post yesterday, doesn’t quite have it all together ๐Ÿ˜‰ Well at least not for tomorrow!

If you are a mom, you probably understand when I say that I tend to put everyone before myself. In this case, the rest of my families clothes managed to get done before mine. Silly me thinking I’d be fine with raggity t-shirts and leggings. Whoops!!

So tonight I will be sitting up listening for the dryer to stop so I can move loads in order to have an outfit that is allowed to step out in the public clean for tomorrow!

It’s been a long time since I’ve stayed up late and been the only person awake. If you have been a long time follower of my blog then you’d know that I used to do this all the time. It was the only way to get peace and quiet to myself. Emma was hardly napping for a while there and when she was, I was too!

I had gotten used to staying up later just to get some me time and I spent it sewing, crocheting, blogging, catching up on music and tv shows. It’s amazing that an hour or two of dead silence for your brain to think can really change a person! I felt so free, got so much crafting accomplished, and almost felt like a teenager all over again ๐Ÿ™‚

My blogging might have even been better because of it! When I have time to think, writing comes so naturally. Like now. I could probably ramble on for hours because it’s like my mind has space to stretch out and breathe! That is if you like it when I ramble ๐Ÿ˜‰

Staying up like this tonight is a reminder of all that. It’s also a reminder of why I quit doing it!! Sure an hour or two of freedom sounds so refreshing and exciting, but I was also dead tired the next day. I hardly woke up on time, counting down the hours to Emma’s nap time so I could nap too, and feeling like a zombie. I really don’t miss living like that. I missed out on so many fun things with Emma!! I’m not so much looking forward to that tomorrow – but at least I’ll be clothed properly.

Luckily tomorrow is a day off for me as well. Emma will be playing with Nana all day and I’ll be with my Mom in Alexandria for my appointment, her appointment, and then running a few errands. I’ll be able to not be completely all there tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜‰ and if anyone understands that – it’s my Mom!!

As much as I’ll hate this tomorrow – I may just end up doing this again every once in a while. My brain needed it!

Well it’s time to change loads and catch up on shows ๐Ÿ˜‰ See you all bright and early tomorrow and probably napping as soon as I get home haha!

Love Always,

J

 

 

 

Keeping It Old School

14 Nov

If there’s one thing I love the most – it’s a fresh pad of paper ๐Ÿ™‚ I know that sounds ridiculous but it’s the only thing that keeps me organised!

One Steno pad lasts me about 2 months. So every 2 months I get a fresh new one to re-organize my goals and lists. On the first page I put my Money Goals for the two weeks and the year. It keeps me on track for how much I hope to make in order to make this my sole income. It also gives me a perspective on what my goal was for the past 2 months and what I made during that time.

I also make a list of things I want to finish in that two months. As soon as it’s finished I get the joy of crossing it out!! It also is a way to remind myself to put it in my inventory list, know what yarn I need to purchase to replace the materials, and when it’s sold I mark it out on my inventory list to put it in outright for my taxes.

How can you be organized without a shopping list?! This girl can’t! I write things down in two sections: Home & Work. In order to keep this sheet available for two months I tend to white out what I’ve purchased so I can use it again ๐Ÿ™‚ This page gets some serious love by the end of two months!

Then on the rest of the 75 sheets I write my daily lists of what I want to accomplish. It includes: housework, Emma’s needs, my goals, and sometimes even reminders for Brian. Since I’m limited on time I can get projects done, I schedule those during nap time and night time. You’ll see it says crochet during nap time, which today means I’ll be finishing up a boot cuff and making a matching one to create a pair. It then says crochet after bath time, which means I’ll be finishing up cup cozies and starting on a scarf.

It may seems silly to not organize my things on the computer but I can’t always take my computer with me when I’m shopping, I need time away from my computer (especially when I’m trying to get things accomplished), and I like the satisfaction of writing things down and crossing them off my list! It’s a joy I just can’t even explain!

How do you organize your life? Do you make sure to re-evaluate your list after a period of time?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Love Always,

J

A Fun Filled Weekend!

12 Nov

This weekend was full of surprises and accomplishments! Saturday I spent the day in Front Royal celebrating my cousin-in-law’s baby shower. She looked gorgeous, the party was a blast, and she got so many awesome goodies!!

When I got home I had a little present waiting for me from my sister from Kritter’s Ramblings:

 

She ordered us the Young House Love book for the book signing we are going to! I AM SO EXCITED ๐Ÿ™‚ This is one of my favorite blogs and I’m so impressed with how far they’ve come. (A little jealous too ๐Ÿ˜‰ haha!)

Sunday we spent celebrating Brian’s birthday. The boys went to see Skyfall and the girls went to see Pitch Perfect (which was HILARIOUS!), then we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. That place seems to be a family choice when the eight of us go out. After that we came back to our place for brownies and cookies for desert.

As soon as everyone left Brian was so excited to play with his big birthday present:

 

We rigged up a system of tables and chairs for him to play with it, which made him want the chair to go with the driving set even more. I’m not looking forward to storing that sucker but I know he’ll get his use out of it so I’m biting myย tongueย ๐Ÿ˜›

Surprisingly with all the things we had going on this weekend I got a lot accomplished too! I made a bunch of new cozies to list in my shop:

 

Loving all the color options that would be great for Thanksgiving dinner tables ๐Ÿ™‚

I also started on making some boot cuffs:

It’s almost done and then I have to make a matching partner ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m excited to pass these around to my friends andย familyย to try them out and let me know what they like and don’t like about them.

On top of all that I’ll be starting to sell some of my cousins newborn hats in my shop! She’ll be sending me her creations soon – check out some of her goodies:

 

 

How cute are they!?

What a weekend! I hope you all had an eventful weekend as well.

 

Love Always,

J

 

The Next Big Step!

6 Nov

Most of you know I own an etsy shop online where I sell all the crafts I make! What most of you don’t know is that I’ve been working on opening my own online shop!

It took a lot of time and budgeting and designing – but it’s finally here!! You may notice that not all of my things are up on that store yet as I’m still adding listings and pictures. Slowly this store will be packed full of everything I’ve made ๐Ÿ™‚

If you click on the shop page you can see everything or sort by sections. There will more sections as soon as I get more items listed ๐Ÿ˜‰

Clicking on the listing gives you all the details you need and extra pictures (which most only have one but soon will have a bunch for each!)

Checking out is super easy too – just like Etsy, all you need is a paypal account which is safer to use rather than your credit card. You add your items to the cart. Click checkout, then it will take you to paypal.

My favorite thing about Etsy was it was so personal and I could do custom orders really easily. Thanks to my contact page I still can! It’s just as easy to get in touch with me and under the Shop tab I’ll be adding a Custom Order section. So if you are looking for a custom order you wanted from me you can easily find it there!

I’m so excited to finally have my own shop! Soon you’ll see a button over on my the side there —-> with my new site on it so it’s easy to find! Even though I’m doing this – I’m not closing my Etsy shop. I won’t be adding any new listings over there but I’ll still be there!

Hooray for the next big step – I’m excited to see where it takes me next!

If you are interested in checking it out it’s www.daydreaminggifts.com

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,
J

“Twine” Wrapped Wine Bottle

27 Oct

As you know I have been playing with leftover wine bottles from my sisters wedding and I decided to try a “twine” wrapped wine bottle. I’ve seen these around on pinterest, facebook, and other blogs but I’ve never really been much of a fan of them. That is, until I spotted a gorgeous natural tan colored twine that looked so elegant my jaw dropped!

This comes from from Create Cousinย and it made me realize that I do love wrapped wine bottles! I can totally imagine this as part of a table centerpiece for thanksgiving or on a mantel of someone who loves rustic style decor. So I decided to make one myself, but of course if you know me at all – I don’t follow instructions well at all.

I grabbed a wine bottle, some macrame chord and modge podge and got to work! Be warned that this project is not easy to start and kind of messy! I started of slow and let the macrame chord dry before I kept going to ensure it to stay in place.

After that it was quick and easy! I kept wrapping and glueing and wrapping and glueing until I got to the top and realized I needed to stop and let it dry again. Patience is not the easiest thing for me when I’m doing crafts – but in most projects it’s the most important part so I while I was waiting I worked on other projects to keep me busy ๐Ÿ˜‰

Then once it was finished I added on a final bow for that last touch! This project was not only easy, but it was fun! I would recommend this project to anyone and could even been done with school aged children. For the younger kids – I would suggest starting it for them! My next attempt will be to die the macrame chord in other colors – because my Dad is crazy about dying things, so I’ll let him have a go with that ๐Ÿ˜‰

What do you think? If you are interested in seeing some other wine related items that are must haves – check out The Collectionary!

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

What A Show!

26 Oct

I’m Back!!! I missed you all so much! After a super long weekend at the craft show and a long week getting everything back to normal around here – I am excited to say I’m back ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank goodness for my trial set up or this would have taken ages to figure out. The PVC pipe held everything extremely well! My favorite part was the bar to hang my scarves on. This was my first attempt at having things up off my table and although I’m so happy with the outcome I do want to do things a little differently.

I want to find different hangers to put the scarves on – it wasn’t easy to get the scarves off and on the hangers which I don’t think is helpful for customers who want to try things on. I also would change up the shelves a little differently.ย People don’t like pulling things in and out of shelves if they have to figure out how to fold them and put them back! I’ve decided to put one blanket in each shelf instead of two and to hang up the other scarves instead of folding them in the shelf.

Other than that I was super happy with the set up!

My most picked up items were my cork keychains, cup cozies, scarves, and burp cloths. It seems like everyone that came through was touching and feeling everything and amazed at how soft everything was. Since comfort is one of my number one priorities when it comes to my items – that made me very happy!

Another thing that was picked up a lot was my business cards. So much so that I’ll be ordering another pack of them as soon as possible! I didn’t expect my cards to go as fast as they did but I am definitely okay with that ๐Ÿ˜‰

For those of you who are considering doing an outdoor show there are a few things I wasn’t quite prepared for! Wind was one of them. Everything was secured tightly with zip ties and didn’t move much in the wind but my frames that were hanging from the lattice weren’t on tight. I’m still trying to come up for a solution for that one.

Another was dust!! We were in a wooded area with lots of dirt and when people walk through it – dust kicks up and gets on EVERYTHING! I wasn’t expecting to have to wipe down my items on a regular basis or have to wash & dry them when I came home. I wish I had a swiffer or duster with me so that I could have continually wiped off my items – that might have made my aftermath of cleaning a little easier.

Prepare to spend a day after the show sorting/cleaning/re-organizing everything!

One thing that REALLY helped during this show was sharing it with a friend. This was Ashley’s side from Leapinlilypads. Because we split the space we both saved on money, as well as having someone to be there when we went to go get a meal or use the restrooms.

It also made it easier on my traveling to share some of what we were bringing. We each brought two tables, our chairs, and our supplies so one person wasn’t overwhelmed with too much packing or unpacking. One thing I didn’t expect going into this was all the last minute spending I’d need to use. I planned for gas money, food money, and extra for spending (of course I’d find something I’d want to buy from other vendors).

What I didn’t count on was all the small last minute things for the show like: cash for change, stickers for my bags with my business logo, chalkboard markers (because they work so much better than chalk), 3m hooks to hang my frames, and a bunch of other little things that add up so fast! Next time I’m going to also plan for an extra $100 bucks on miscellaneous things before the show actually happens.

Some things that Ashley did that I love – used wrapped boxes to create height on her table, used cardboard and ribbon to hang her bows, and found things like baskets and vases to use to hold her items. Any way that you can save money by using things around the house as part of your table design is a great way to be budget friendly!

Some perks from our tent that I didn’t see around other ones – bright colors, hanging things from the tent walls, a dedicated table space to use for working on, clear banners so people will remember who you are, and free goodies just for stopping in (I had dum dums for the little ones).

Finding ways to be remembered is key to future purchases. Just having a business card isn’t always enough – so I like to make as many memorable pieces as possible!

We had a fantastic time at the show and are proud to say we’ll be doing it again next year! Hooray for a successful weekend – and hooray for being back home ๐Ÿ˜‰ because this girl is ready to get back to being crafty!

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

A New Set Up

16 Oct

My studio room has been needing a new set up for quite some time but I never got around to figuring out a plan. What I needed was to get rid of that big square table and find aย skinnierย one to take it’s place. Once the table was out – rearranging the space was SO much easier!

 

I can’t tell you how much this frees up the floor space in this room. With the ironing board able to fold up and be against the wall and the small 4×2 table folded up – it gives me even more floor space. I love being here but one of the most difficult things about it is working up here with Emma. There are some days where I just chose not to come here because I’d rather spend time with her but other times I have her with me and try to get as much work done as I can.

 

Now that there is more floor space for her she can easily play with her toys and not be right at my feet. I also love the fact that I can set her up at the second table and let her color and play there. She loves toย imitateย me these days so I can just picture her pretending to sew or paint ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m going to give it a for the next few weeks and see how it goes!

 

One of the things I am most excited about is my new mini shelf on my desk! This is the third one that I purchased that isn’t going with me to the show. As you can see it’s already over-flowing with goodies so after the show I will be definitely using at least one of these to store things in when I’m in-between shows.

Is it just me or do other people rearrange their spaces every couple months?

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Love Always,

J

Prepping for the Show!

14 Oct

I am days away from packing up and heading out to a long weekend show. The blog might take a hit for a couple days so bare with me! I’ll try to keep you all informed as much as I can ๐Ÿ™‚

Today we spent a majority of the day packing up inventory and doing a trial set up of the new tent

 

Tomorrow we’ll be doing the trial set up for the lattice, tables, walls, banners, mirrors and all those lovely extra things ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ll also be practicing putting this thing up and down – it’s a lot harder than it looks!

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Love Always,

J

Personalized Wine Bottles

10 Oct

For those of you who follow my blog – you might remember me making personalized wine bottles for my sister for her wedding centerpieces. Now that the wedding is over and we have tons of wine bottles sitting around the house – I decided to have a little fun with it and see what else I could come up with! I have a few ideas so you’ll be seeing more posts as I finish them.

 

I took one of the wine bottles with the vinyl J on it, a box, and a can of spray paint and got to work!

I covered the wine bottle in white spray paint (and painted some grass too – oh well!) and let it dry for four hours.

Here’s an up close and personal so you can see the vinyl J better.

Once it was dry enough to touch I laid it in my lap and peeled the vinyl off. I wasn’t sure how well this would work. I was imagining the paint bleeding and the vinyl taking off chunks of paint but it came of really smooth and easy!

Then I put it up for display – of course right now the sun is beaming in and ruining the view!

I’m so happy with how easy, inexpensive, and fun this project was! I’m imagining all the different designs, styles, and colors I could do. Looks like I’ll be playing around with this project next weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

 

%d bloggers like this: