November 16, 2012

window display {inspired by a shopping spree}...

Yes, you read that right... this window display was inspired by a shopping spree!  

And it's get better.  
The shopping spree is valued at up to $10,000 {I'm serious}.  
Who doesn't want a little {or a lot} of extra $$ for Christmas this year?
{via} is sponsoring this contest from now thru December 19th.  

All you have to do is create a visual wish list and you're entered to win the grand prize shopping spree I mentioned above.  There's a bonus too... share your list with family & friends and you increase your chances of winning!

You can read all about the contest, rules, and create your own wish list by going HERE

Happy Wish List Making!!!

November 13, 2012

I am a mom {inspired by motherhood}

I've been authoring a family blog for almost 6 years now.  I love to write and I absolutely enjoy keeping track of my family's memories throughout the year, and one of my favorite things to do is go back and reread those things I wrote about so many years ago.  Some of my favorite posts to reread are about my time as a single mom of 3 girls, working my way through design school.  I still can't believe I accomplished what I did and I really appreciate having those posts to remind me of where I've been and how I got to where I am today.

You may be wondering what this has to do with the world of design, and why write about it here... on a blog dedicated to design.  I've wondered that too, which is why I was a little hesitant to write today in the first place.  I'll admit, I struggle with keeping my family blog and my design blog separate. Some of my biggest inspiration comes from the "real life" stuff of being a mom, creating comfort among chaos {which comes naturally with a family of 6}, living in an average home {builder grade}, designing on a budget.  These worlds are so intertwined it's hard to separate them sometimes... so why not share a little of my real life "inspiration" here and there?  Besides, I feel like it changes me from just being another design blogger, to a real person with a real life who happens to have a passion and love for design, because in reality my love for design is secondary to being a mom.

These past couple of weeks I've been a little frustrated with myself for beginning a blog and not being able to get back to it as much as I would have liked.  But I can't {and won't} apologize... I am a mom and so very blessed to be one!  The past couple weeks have been spent with this beautiful girl...

She is my oldest and an absolute treasure.  She's growing up a little too fast for my liking and I think the older she gets, the more I have a desire to stop everything I'm doing just to spend time with her.  See, she's a senior in high school this year and when the school year started I was hit with the realization that she's moving on very soon... college, career, life long plans that don't include living in my house anymore and hanging out with her mom everyday.

So we've spent the last couple of weeks applying for college, studying to retake the ACT {she took it last year, but is a perfectionist like me and wanted a better score}, and talking about college plans like dorm rooms and transportation.  It's been a lot of work and a bit exhausting at times.  Taking time out to return to blogging, even for just a moment, has been a nice reprieve.

And as I've learned throughout these years of motherhood, moms need to take time out for themselves every once in a while.  I believe it makes us all better moms in the end, and for me it leaves me more open to seeing the everyday inspiration that often comes through the joys of being a mom.

November 2, 2012

Paper Banner {inspired by Gratitude}...

I may or may not have an obsession with paper.  I love creating with it, I love collecting it, designing with it, crafting with it, looking at it... you get the picture. I am in l.o.v.e with paper!
So, I have this fabulous little archway that leads from my entry into the kitchen/dining area.  I fell in love with it when we first looked at the house.  It's just a small simple archway, but I guess I never looked at it as just an archway... I saw it as a blank canvas to personalize, restyle and accessorize my home.  The archway gave me those giddy little creative butterflies as I dreamt about the super fabulous ways in which I would transform it and give my home that personal touch I love and long for. Yes, I'm kind of a design dork, I know.

I would never call myself one of those fabulous DIYer's. I do however love to make and create the simple handmade item.  There's just something really satisfying about handmade simplicity {at least there is for me :) }
So, for Thanksgiving I came up with this {simple} banner.

Simply put, I found 8 coordinating sheets of paper {I used double sided paper since you can see the backside of the paper from the kitchen}.  I also prefer to use a medium weight paper so the banner keeps its shape and form better.  Cut each sheet into a rectangle.  Mine were 6"x8", but you can of course customize yours to the size you'd prefer. I then used a Pottery Barn type font for my lettering and chose a recycled ivory "flecked" paper to print on just to give the banner a little texture.  Trim your lettered paper depending on the desired thickness of the boarder.  I wanted a lot of the patterned paper showing, so I went with a 1" boarder, which meant I cut my lettered paper 4"x6", 2" smaller than the patterned paper.

Next, I distressed the edges using a dark brown ink pad, "notched" out the corners of each rectangle with a paper punch {easy peasy}... you could also use a round object as a template if you don't have a notched paper punch.
 And finished it up by attaching each piece with a bronzed brad.  It couldn't be more simple than that right!?
So there you have it... the simple yet pretty Thanksgiving banner.  I loved the way it turned out.  Hopefully every time my children pass through the archway they will be reminded of all the things they have to be grateful for.  Okay, who am I kidding?  But at least it will give ME happy thoughts as I walk under it every day.  There is so much to be grateful for...