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

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pom Pom Garland

You remember the pom poms I showed you how to make here? Well I found a new way to use those poms other than cute, modern flowers. How about cute, modern garlands? Great for parties, events, even your home. I have them strewn around our office/craft room.

The first one I made out of leftover green and aqua poms from our wedding. I used aqua baker's twine from Divine Twine and threaded it through the center of each pom using a large embroidery needle and spacing them along the twine. It's hanging above the large window in our office/craft room.

For the second one, I created new poms out of bold, rich colors. Peacock blue, lime green, deep purple and magenta, they remind me of peacock feathers and they're currently my favorite colors for just about anything. I threaded them with gray baker's twine also from Divine Twine. It's hanging above the closet in our office/craft room.

Aren't they pretty and fun?

I have to admit that this project led to some frustration for me as the poms can be difficult to thread sometimes. Certain poms I made were threaded on the first try with no problems, but others would not go through after many tries and eventually fell apart. I really have no idea what I did differently either time to make it work (or not work).

If anyone has experience threading these poms to make a garland, please share with us the correct way to thread them easily everytime. I would love to know and I'm sure anyone else wanting to try this project would too.

Photos by Kyle @ 918 Photo

Friday, March 4, 2011

March is Here!

Sometimes I get on crafting kicks and cannot stop myself from creating the same project again and again. The felt rosette wreaths (here) that I created last month called to me again and I had supplies for at least three more wreaths. This time though, I used circle styrofoam wreaths instead of heart-shaped ones.

I decided to create two wreaths for two very different March themes. The first one I created with lime green felt for St. Patricks's Day!

The luck of the Irish! Or as my husband put it, "It looks like lettuce." I take that as a compliment as I am a salad fan, plus it could also represent cabbage and therefore translate once again to St. Patty's Day.

Side note: Our pup, Olive, loves when Dad takes pictures. She is always up in his business...

The second wreath I made is for my mom (and dad) in honor of the Kansas State Wildcats (their alma mater) and March Madness.

College hoops and crafting? Who would of thought the two would mix, but I found a way. I love basketball and I love crafts so why the heck not? Besides simply choosing the school colors isn't that crazy of an idea, mostly just an excuse to use my purple felt.

What unusual themes or hobbies have you incorporated into your crafts or designs? Are you creating anything fun in preparation for St. Patrick's Day?

Photos by Kyle @ 918 Photo

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Daily Inspiration

Today I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite artists, crafters, and designers that inspire me on a daily basis. I love experiencing other people's work and learning about their process. I love finding new projects to try, new techniques to master and new ways to use what I already know to be creative. Following and supporting their blogs and products not only supports a handmade community, but inspires me to create as well.

Here are some of my favorites, check them out!

Princess Lasertron

I've discussed the awesomeness that is Princess Lasertron in previous posts. I found her during our wedding planning process and commissioned her to do our bouquets and boutonnieres. I started following her blog and found not only inspiration for projects and design, but for being a strong woman and entrepreneur.

The L Blog
Just recently I talked about my L Letterpress Kit and showed you some handmade cards I created using this fabulous machine. Well, the company behind this device also has a wonderful blog with a ton of project ideas, inspiration and tips on using their products. 

Mod Podge Rocks!

This blog is all about the love of Mod Podge, as the title obviously shows. I came across other decoupage projects prior to finding this blog, but this is the end all, be all site for this fabulous technique. So many new ways to try this product and so little time. A true decoupage inspiration.

I have mentioned Divine Twine in previous posts and my adoration for their colored baker's twine. This is the company and blog behind this awesome twine and provides endless joy and inspiration for designers and crafters alike. A ton of inspirational ideas using their products and free printables to make your own. LOVE!

Additional inspiration:

What are your favorite blogs? Who inspires you? Please share! I'm always looking for new sources of inspiration. Maybe the DPD blog will inspire others to create as well.