Friday, June 24, 2011

Handmade Calendar - June

I know, I know... it's already almost the last week of June, but I thought I'd continue to share my handmade calendar with you as I did here, here and here. Without further ado... JUNE

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Hi everyone!

Long time, no blog. It's been over a month and I am no closer to finishing any of my in-progress projects. As you know, my focus had been on purchasing our first home and we're at a point where things have slowed down to a more normal pace.

It may be bad mojo to talk about our house-buying experience seeing as we are still in the thick of it, but I felt I needed to update and share my long absence. We searched for homes around my 9-5 and in the area we currently live for about a month before we found a house we liked and felt worked for us. I can't even tell you the number of houses we looked at (30 to 40? I lost count) and we found one only about 5 min from my work and with a good number of things on our list. I'm not going to go into detail on the house itself (karma, my friends), but it fulfills our needs so we made an offer.

The house is a short sale and required us to essentially work the process backwards for the bank to even look at our offer. We did a house inspection, put down the deposit and signed the purchase and sale agreement before our offer was even considered. This all happened almost three weeks ago and since then the bank has been deciding on our offer. So as you can see, we've been playing the waiting game for a little while and we don't know how much longer it will take until we find out the decision.

Hence, my talk of mojo and karma. Keep your fingers crossed for us while we wait and wait. Thus the reason for the title of my post. We're in this in-between stage that is driving me nuts. We're month to month on our apartment not knowing if this house will work out or not or when and it has caused me to lose all motivation for projects. I'm dealing with my 9-5 and trying to enjoy the nice weather with Kyle and our pup, Olive, but I cannot get myself to work on anything else. I have piles of stuff that is half-finished, but keep thinking, well I'm just going to have to pack this all up anyways, I should wait until we move.

Am I starting to whine? Just wanted to give you all an update and hopefully soon I'll be able to snap myself out of this and get back into crafting. Anybody have any advice for these types of transitions, how to stay creative and mindful of the present?

Send good thoughts our way and I will make sure to keep you updated on our home-buying adventures!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day

And the handmade gift-giving continues... we celebrated Mother's Day with my mom the weekend prior since my sister was home from her job with American Cruise Lines and had to get back on the boat this past Saturday. I put together a scrapbook and a shadowbox with items my mom had saved and collected from my wedding and the surrounding events. I did not take pictures of it, but needless to say I think she loved it.

My mother-in-law had requested that I make her a bookmark some time ago when they bought me the letterpress machine for Christmas. I finally made one for her using the same process as the one I gave to my husband to give to her along with her other gifts on Sunday. I used various flower letterpress plates and bright colored inks to do something festive and springy. I made a tassel with grey baker's twine as well.

I think it came out fabulous and the more I use the letterpress machine the better my projects turn out. Hopefully I can find some more time to finish some other projects in various stages soon. Send good thoughts our way during our continued search for a new home!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Handmade Calendar - May

Hi everyone!

I'm back for a bit to share a few easy things I've completed in what little spare time I have right now. The house hunting is still going strong and hopefully we will find something right for us soon. In the meantime, I can't believe it's May already and summer is right around the corner. It would be nice to be settled in a new home to enjoy the nice weather...fingers crossed!

For your viewing pleasure, the month of May from my handmade calendar (also featured here and here).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Checking In

Hi everyone!

As you may have noticed, I haven't posted in a little while, so I'm checking in to say "Hi" and let you know I'm still kicking. My husband and I recently decided it was time to buy our first house and so I have been completely consumed by the process outside of working and the normal day-to-day routine. I have many half-finished projects and a bunch of stuff to share, but this is where my focus is at the moment.

I promise to return with lovely posts and ideas soon, so stay tuned!


Friday, April 8, 2011

A Handmade Birthday

My husband's birthday was this past Monday and I ended up making a few of his gifts by hand. I showed you the embroidered gift tags I added to his present here. I have been looking for as many things to embroider as possible, so I combined my love of papercrafts and embroidery with those little gems.

Months before his birthday, I received a request to make him another book using my text block bookbinding skills. This present wasn't much of a surprise since I wanted him to pick out the decorative paper, but he loved it anyways. This time he asked for a little larger book with blank pages that he will use as a scrapbook. My husband tends to never throw anything away, so now he'll have someplace to keep all his tickets stubs and other random memorabilia.

Ever since I got my letterpress kit, my husband has been asking me to make him a bookmark. He reads everyday and for months he has been using an old piece of scrap paper that I used to remind him to set out the pizza dough for dinner one night a long time ago. It is literally a torn piece of notebook paper that says "Pizza Dough" in large writing. It is definitiely time he got a proper bookmark. I thought this would be a fitting gift for his birthday, so I broke out my kit.

I cut a piece of heavy cardstock to 2" x 6" and letterpressed a background in bright green. Then I created a monogram in royal blue at the top. I found a tutorial online for making bookmark tassels and created one with yellow and white baker's twine.

While I had my kit out, I made him a birthday card as well. Using a background plate and yellow ink, I created a large sun at the bottom of the card. I added "Happy Birthday" and "30" in turqoise and affixed the white card to a folded turqoise piece of cardstock.

This picture shows all my little mess-ups, oops!

I got him a few other small gifts, but I tried to make as much as possible myself. I was able to use a bunch of different techniques and had fun doing it. I think it makes gift-giving even more special and I know my husband loves it.

Photos by Kyle @ 918 Photo

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Handmade Calendar - April

Another month has come and gone...unbelievable. I showed you my handmade 2011 calendar here. Check out April!

Photos by Kyle @ 918 Photo

Monday, April 4, 2011

Birthday Love

Happy Birthday Kyle!

Today is my incredible husband's 30th birthday. I want to wish him a beautiful day and many more wonderful birthdays to come. He is my best friend and the true love of my life. And for that he gets his favorite fish tacos for dinner!

My gifts to him this year are of mostly the handmade variety so I will leave you with one detail that I made for him before I share more.

Wedding photos by Vic Pellicier

Gift Tag Photo by Kyle @ 918 Photo

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


As if I need more excuses to waste time on the internet, I have recently discovered the new inspiration organization tool called Pinterest. The site allows you to create "boards" of different categories and when you are perusing the internet and find an image you love, you "pin it" to the board of your choice. It's a lovely way of organizing your internet finds and is essentially a way of bookmarking things in a fun and easy way.

Once you have an account, you add the "Pin It" button to your browser so that whenever you find an image you like you just click "Pin It". A window pops up with all of the available images on the page, you choose which one you want, select one of your boards, write a description and the image is pinned to the site. It shows the link to where you got it too so you don't have to worry about giving credit. Plus you'll be able to easily find the site where you first saw it.

Here is my dashboard with all of my "boards"

My "Inspiration" Board

My "For the Home" Board

Visit the Pinterest site to request an invitation to join and be sure to follow Dill Pickle Design!

Monday, March 28, 2011

New Love - Embroidery

As a kid and teen, I spent a lot of my crafting time doing cross-stitch. Cheesy kits with "Grandpas are the greatest" and kid-ccentric cartoon characters. Cute as a child and nice gifts for the family when you're young, but as an adult, the cross-stitch and embroidery arena is sorely lacking a modern feel. Until I discovered Sublime Stitching.

I ran across this awesome company over at Mod Podge Rocks when Amy did a review of one of the Sublime Stitching books. I was intrigued so I visited the website and was immediately enthralled. This small, handmade business is run by Jenny Hart and her tagline "This ain't your gramma's embroidery" says it all. After perusing her products and her extremely easy-to-follow how-to's, I knew I had to jump in and get started. I have a small collection of embroidery floss and the stray needle from my previous experiences, but I decided to purchase the Ultimate Embroidery Kit just to make sure I had everything I needed for my first go.
The kit comes with everything you need, plus your choice of pack of patterns, embroidery floss and textile. Jenny has an amazing assortment of patterns and I chose the Fantasy Flowers pattern set and a tea towel as my textile.
Since receiving the kit in the mail, I have tansferred my patterns to the tea towel and begun my embroidery adventure. The process is so easy thanks to Jenny's ridiculously simple and easy-to-follow instructions. I decided to fill the tea towel with as much pattern as possible and frame it as art instead of actually using the towel. It's becoming too pretty to dry my hands with and send through the wash a million times. I will be sure to share my creation once it is complete.

I encourage you to check out Sublime Stitching and even if you have never picked up a needle before in your life, you will be an embroidery master in no time, and officially obsessed.

All photos from Sublime Stitching

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thrift Store Score!

My appreciation of vintage and well-worn goods continues to grow as I get older (maybe because I'm becoming more and more vintage myself!). I love not only the look, but the story behind the item and the possibilities to give it a new life. Recycling, repurposing and reusing are becoming more important to me. Plus I can save a few dimes along the way. I found a bunch of milk glass bud vases for our wedding centerpieces at the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores. Since then I have also started watching the wonderful show Cash & Cari and it has gotten me into the "I can do that" mode.

Last weekend I went to the Goodwill store near my in-law's house to see what treasures I could find to repurpose and/or refinish. Check out my finds!

I got all of these things (12 items) for $22! Everything was between $1 and $3 and so many options. I will be using a lot of these things for my wall art gallery project and I will be sharing each item re-do along the way. Looks like I'll be busy! I can't wait to keep digging through thrift stores and tag sales to see what other treasures I can find.

Photos by Kyle @ 918 Photo

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What's in a Name?

I showed you my decoupage letter "E" in this post. Since then I have purchased and adorned my first initial and my husband's first initial as well. I used a gorgeous green and white hydrangea paper from Paper Source. My favorite color is green and my husband loves hydrangeas so it was a perfect combination.

I haven't decided yet where these will hang. They could go in our kitchen, our bedroom, the hallway or even sit on a bookshelf or wall shelf instead. I am currently obsessing over covering the walls of our apartment with beautiful things since we rent and do not want to have to paint and repaint rooms when we move out. These could also become part of a wall gallery I am constructing and will preview in upcoming posts. The possibilities are endless...

Photos by Kyle @ 918 Photo

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wall Art Gallery Inspiration

As a renter, sometimes it can be difficult to personalize your home without a ton of work and rework. We could paint our walls different colors, but we would have to repaint them white when we decided to move out. I am not prepared to make that kind of commitment and effort so for a long time we have had bare white walls. I find it difficult to spend a lot of money on wall art as well, so now that I have become more adept and interested in crafting myself, creating beautiful things to hang on the wall is now a hobby of mine.

I have seen a lot of ideas for creating a gallery of photos and art on your walls, but only recently have I decided that I could do it myself. I follow the blog Young House Love (you should too!) and when I read this post, I found my inspiration.

We have a much shorter wall that extends from our bathroom door to the entrance to our kitchen. I consider it part of our "hallway" although you can see all of it from the living room and the "hallway" is really a collection of doorways that come together (the two bedrooms and the bathroom). Still, there is potential for a wonderful wall full of art and photos that can be seen from many angles.

I'll keep you posted on how this project plays out.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Handmade Calendar - March

My procrastinating ways are showing with this project and post. Until a few days ago, we still had our old 2010 calendar hanging on the wall perpetually marking the days as January. I finally decided enough was enough and created a calendar using a Microsoft Excel template, fun and interesting scrapbook paper and grey baker's twine.

I printed out a page for each month from an Excel template that I had customized using the font of my choice and different colors. I printed them on white cardstock and then chose a different patterned scrapbook paper that coordinated with each month's color. I organized all the pages and glued the alternating top and bottom pages together so they would stay together when you flip to the next month. I punched one small whole on the top of each set of pages to hang the calendar and 10 holes along the bottom of each set. I sewed the 10 holes of each set together with grey baker's twine so that the pages were together and the calendar was created.

Here's March!

Photos by Kyle @ 918 Photo

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wall Art

In previous years, I have gone through crafting phases. I get completely obssessed with a technique or project and that's all I focus on. Since then I have become more versatile in my crafting and I have a ton of projects going on at one time. As a kid, I started with collages, moved to cross-stitch, then as a young adult got into painting.

By painting, I mean acrylic on canvas, but mostly simple shapes, designs and patterns. I cannot draw to save my life so pattern and color were how I expressed myself. I just enjoy the brushstroke and the act of paint on canvas. I'm also pretty good at painting walls/rooms as I spent one summer in college painting the majority of the rooms in my parent's house. I did 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, the dining room, the living room and the kitchen. I didn't have a job at the time so they paid me to paint and gosh darn it if I didn't enjoy it.

I have recently combined my love of blue painter's tape and acrylic on canvas to create some graphic wall art. Michael's was having a sale on canvases, so I picked up two 20" x 20", broke out my blue tape and acrylic paint and got to work. On the first canvas, I created a chevron pattern with tape in varying widths. I decided to be somewhat random so that if they weren't exact you wouldn't be able to notice as easily. I have some issues being precise, especially if my patience is low, so I usually try to find the easiest and simplest way to create my vision. I love the color green, so I painted the non-taped sections in a limey, appley green.

I wanted do another graphic pattern using the tape, so I decided to create a mosaic or block pattern using alternating colors to add some more punch. I was planning to hang both canvases on our extremely blank kitchen wall so I decided to use the limey, appley green along with grey, pink and turqoise to bring some more color, but also tie the two pieces together.

My husband says that this one reminds him of frogger. This is a typical observation from him (remember the lettuce wreath?), but I agree that each block could be a car or a truck for that little frog to dodge.

Here they are together on the wall. They bring so much more pizazz to the kitchen, plus the green color matches the color of our stand mixer and a few other details in our decor.

Photos by Kyle @ 918 Photo

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Allow Me To Introduce... Miss Olive

I decided to take a little break from the crafting and introduce you to our sweet little pup, Olive. You may have seen her make an appearance in a couple of previous posts, so I thought I would give you a little background on this small, furry member of our family.

My husband and I adopted Olive almost two and half years ago when she was just a tiny puppy. We adopted her from a shelter in New Hampshire where she was living with her brothers and sisters. She was just a tiny thing with a ton of energy and we fell in love immediately.

First day we brought her home, hiding behind Mom

Baby's 1st Hoodie

Olive is some kind of terrier and chihuahua mix and will be 3 years old in August (we think). She is only about 10 pounds and she loves swimming, taking walks, playing with her doggy friends and cuddling. She is very smart, sometimes too smart for her own good and will often get into mischief tearing through kleenexes and ripping the stuffing out of her toys. I have a lot of sewing to do with all her little stuffed animals.

Olive swimming with her cousin Bella

She is my cuddle monkey and loves sleeping under a blanket on the couch in between my legs while we watch TV or next to us under the covers in bed. We call her monkey because she is all black with very little hair under her armpits. When you hold her up by her front paws on two legs, she looks like a little monkey.
She loves to stretch and crawl under the couch when she's too hot. Sometimes she gets lonely under there and if she can't see our feet she will start to whine until we pull her out.

Stretching on Dad's leg

Helping Mom do some work

Olive goes nuts for popcorn, carrots, apples, tomatoes, basically any fruit or vegetable that she is allowed to eat. She is a wonderful craft partner (although non-participating) and our funny little baby. We love her so much! Keep following the blog for more peeks at Olive and her antics.

Photos by Kyle @ 918 Photo