Mamabluebird

Making Wreaths

wreath

wreath

Wreath

Here’s a sneak peek at what I’ve been working on lately. I hope to have my etsy shop up and running soon and I have a few more wreath ideas in the works. Each one takes time to make and I’m a bit of a perfectionist, but I really enjoy making them.


Dining Room Wall Update

Gallery Wall

I left my frame on the wall for a while. I loved the simplicity of it and I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do yet, so I waited. I began pinning gallery walls on Pinterest and accumulating ideas. Winter was forever long around here, so when Spring finally came I was ready to see color. I made a Spring wreath or two and hung one up in my frame and knew it was time for a change.

Gallery Wall

I bought The Nester’s book and with the preorder came a print of her quote, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful”. The book is awesome. I highly recommend it and plan to review it soon. I had my wreath, the printout and a cute mirror with a black ribbon holder, so I began a search for some color.

I was cleaning up my desk and noticed an art page that Nora had done this year that I planned to keep. It’s one of those first art creations where you put paint in the middle of the paper and fold it. She loves those! She made it a bug after it was folded. The colors were great, so I decided to use it. The horizontal print is the artwork my son, Noah, had selected for the county student art show. It’s so creative and has a beautiful blue flower in the upper right-hand corner. The last piece was a small bottle made into a vase that could be hung on the wall. I found it at an antique shop downtown.

I love how it turned out!

Gallery Wall

Spring Wreath

Wall Vase

Gallery Wall


Abstract Canvas Art

Supplies

I wanted something that would incorporate all of the colors in our bedroom. I have seem a few of these DIY abstract paintings and I thought I would give it a try. I got a cheap canvas at Michael’s, some paint and a brush and got to it.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

I started with each color and ended with the black. It was a little too…crisp for me. The black was reminiscent of bars, so I just continued to play with it, blending them more and more.

Lorelei

While I painted Lorelei sat next to me making her own abstract art.

Wall Art

I left it alone for a day or two thinking about adding a quote or something. I guess I’m not that into abstract art. ;o) I finally decided on Jason’s and my “logo”. While we were first dating, I would often do a cute D <3 J on paper, deliriously in love. lol One night out at dinner, I drew it on top of a styrofoam to-go box and Jason added arrows around it. Thus our logo was born. (We're business nerdy like that, apparently.)

Heart

I thought the heart was too dark, so I added swirls of metallic and blue.

Flower

I love to incorporate different textures, so I also added a few paper flowers and birds. I love how it turned out! Not abstract, but definitive and a lovely reminder that I love him and he loves me. <3


Homemade Pop Tarts and Cheesy Jalapeño Crackers

Homemade Toaster Pastries and Cheesy Jalapeno Crackers

My hubby has been eating pop tarts at work….like on the daily. He also has been munching on some jalapeño and cheddar crackers that leave his breath smelling strange, so much that I don’t want to kiss him even if he brushes his teeth! I’ve been wanting to try making crackers for a while, so this issue urged me to get on it, for the sake of our love life. ;o)

I remember seeing a recipe for toaster pastries on 100 Days of Real Food and while hunting it down, I also found a super easy cracker recipe to try! Yay!

Rolling out the dough

Toaster Pastries

I followed the recipe exactly and they turned out well. Whole wheat takes a beat to get used to, but they are more filling and definitely healthier than regular pop tarts. You might as well eat a Little Debbie snack cake for breakfast. I tried strawberry and blackberry fruit spread; we definitely like the strawberry best. Here is a great article on sugar that easily explains why it isn’t good to eat a lot of it (if you’re interested in that sorta thing).

Henry Balancing

This little guy was practicing balance by climbing on and off this box for about ten minutes while I made these. He’s so proud! Lol

Mixing the dough

Jalapeno crackers

The next morning I tried the cracker recipe. The hardest part was shredding the cheese because I broke my food processor a while back and had to shred by hand. (My least favorite activity in the kitchen.) The cracker dough was so easy to slice! I was worried it would be like slicing sugar cookies, but the task went quickly and easily.

Note: Both recipes call for using a dough blade in a food processor. I don’t have one, so I used my food processor in the beginning and then used my stand mixer to finish mixing it into a dough ball. Worked beautifully. :o)

The crackers are made with whole wheat and again, take some getting used to, but are so worth it! They have a deep cheesy, jalapeño flavor. More of an adult cracker, but Lorelei liked them too! They don’t have a bite like most processed crackers and they smell delicious! Jason didn’t love them, but I am gonna keep trying cracker recipes. There are so many to try!

Soulemama Cracker Love
Smitten Kitchen Homemade Wheat Thins
25 Healthy Cracker Recipes

Have you made any of these? Please share any favorites!


Henry’s Blanket

Henry's Blanket

I started this blanket after my trip to Oregon in October of last year. I finally finished it this past week. I got stuck on the last color and distracted by other projects, but I finally went back and forced myself to finish it. I’m so glad I did. I had forgotten that finishing a project is the best part!

Henry's Blanket

The pattern is the Sweet Pea Baby Blanket by Mama Middlebrooks found on Ravelry. I wanted it to be a bit wider, so I extended it by one repeat. Instead of the Blue Sky Cotton I used Cascade 220 Superwash Aran. I chose five different colors to repeat; Mocha, Silver Grey, Smoke Blue, Charcoal, and finally Pumpkin. I originally had all but the pumpkin and when I got home, I had to order it online. This is a great shop to do that, if you can’t find this yarn at your LYS. I was unsure of the orange, but as you know, it is one of our favorite colors. I love how it turned out! It is very soft yarn and warm too.

Curtain and art

As I was working on Henry’s blanket I began putting his room together. I started with this fabric from etsy. It’s called Woodland Oak from the Indian Summer collection by Sarah Watson. I used the “no-sew method” I first heard about on Young House Love.

Woodland Oak Fabric

Fox

I found a great print for Jason at Christmas in 716 designs on etsy and ended up with the fox and deer prints as well. (They are having a great sale right now, btw.) The prints are 8 1/2 X 11, so a little hard to find frames for, but if you’re anywhere near an ikea they have black and white frames for just a few bucks!

Deer

Henry's Room

It’s a small room; but perfect for Henry, lorelei and our new kitten, Oreo, to play in during the day (albeit messy). :o)

Henry's Room


Dining Room Update

hardwood floors, grey paint

The dining room was much improved from when we moved in about three years ago, but adding a fourth child and enjoying having friends and family over encouraged us to expand.

Dining Room Update

A few weeks ago for Spring Break we took the kids to Atlanta (about three hours from us) to a place called Catch Air. We had a blast! The trip had us stop at Target, Publix and finally Ikea along the way. I had my heart set on an extendable table to ten people. We are six by ourselves, so add two couples (Jason has three sisters) and we’re at max capacity already. We wandered the showrooms and finally settled on the STORNÄS table and the KAUSTBY chairs in the Antique stain. I love it! (I’d love to have a few fabric covered chairs, but like I said, four children.) We have space to eat! We have more than enough space to have people over for dinner or a game night. It says it seats ten, but I know we could squeeze in twelve if we needed. After three years, I was ready for a change and I love that we sit across from each other now and no one fights on the bench seat anymore.

Carlisle Stools

We used to have these black stools underneath the island. They were awful! They were uncomfortable and no matter what we did they became wobbly. The kids and company sit at the island frequently, more than the table, so when I saw the grey Carlisle stools they have at Target and read the reviews I knew they were for us! They are so solid and quite comfortable and because they are square they take up less space even though the diameter is the same.

You can probably tell that we are moving away from the black. I still love it and it is on our kitchen appliances and frames around the house, but I’m realizing it doesn’t have to be the color of ALL THE THINGS! I look forward to Thanksgiving this year and am encouraged to have our friends and family over since we aren’t crowding around a tiny table and sitting on odd chairs. Have you ever shared a bench seat as an adult? It’s intimate. lol


Spring Wreath

Wreath

Remember this wreath? I loved it when I made it, but when I pulled it back out for Spring, the love affair was over, so I decided to reuse it. I pulled the ribbon and flowers off and gathered a few items to begin a new wreath.

Tools

Metallic paint and a wooden birdcage I found recently.

Painting birdcage

I thought I would paint the entire thing metallic, but couldn’t resist painting a bluebird instead.

birdcage

I think it turned out well and was really simple to make. I ended up getting the next size up wreath (12in) which looked better proportionally and my hubby drilled a tiny hole in the birdcage so I could hang it from the top of the wreath.

Bow

I didn’t love the ribbon by itself, so I added a bow on top. This is actually a hair clip! So easy!

Wreath

It makes me smile to see this little bluebird every time I come in the house. :o)


Words that Escape

I certainly didn’t mean to stay away so long. Although I certainly have enjoyed focusing on my family, I’ve come to a point where the creativity cannot stay down and the need to write and share comes right along with it. I haven’t been doing much, a few projects here and there between baby naps, but now Henry is beginning to play more and I feel inspired to play more myself.

20131128_161450

This was the most recent family picture we have from a couple of months ago. (Nora was cold.) If you are wanting to catch up with what we’ve been doing recently, you can do so on our family blog.

To ease back into posting, here are a few words that needed to be written down:

Life is moving right along
at the pace that it desires
kids are growing, playing, fighting
Feels like walking tight rope wires

Chaos, limbo always waiting
for the changes future brings
While I’m hoping, listening
yearning for my heart to sing

We’ll be having Lorelei’s birthday party this weekend and hopefully doing a little painting. We have a list, which I’ll post about soon for things we hope to accomplish around the house.


A Wrinkle in Time

Wrinkle

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle was very interesting. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I very much enjoyed the beginning of the book. Their world was interesting and mysterious. About a third of the way through, it got a little freaky. Suddenly they were hurling through space and the writer was in deep description mode and my eyes glazed over a bit. Also, the book concluded a bit abruptly for my taste, but it did conclude, which is nice. No cliffhangers or anything.

I may have hoped it would be another The Giver, but it went a little too fantasy there in the middle and suffice it to say, I won’t be reading the next one. I felt that this book was more literary than “fun read” and I wish I would have read it in school and been involved with dissecting it in some sort of group discussion. I feel like I would have learned a lot.

Next up: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Don Quixote is in the list of similar buys, so I’m a little hesitant to begin The Count… I hope it’s good!

13 in 2013


We Had a Baby

image

Henry Conner was born Saturday, June 15th at 1121 am. He weighs 7 lbs 14 oz and is 20 3/4 in. We love him so much already!

Needless to say things may be a little quiet around here, but they’ll pick back up soon. :o)