Hey there! I am beyond blessed to be the wife of Mark Andrew and the stay-at-home-mommy of Quinn and Morgan! I love to decorate, create things, and generally make life more beautiful! Come join me, and let's see what we can make today!

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Bustle Dress


DIY Tutu

Boys Room Makeover

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Quick birdhouse makeover

Hey there!  I know I haven't posted anything in over a week, and that's because summer vacation is rapidly nearing it's end, and I have been enjoying every.last.second of it with my kiddos!  I do have a number of finished projects waiting for their turn to shine in a blog post, but the fact is, it takes me awhile to create a post!  This project, however, was really quick and hopefully the post will be too!

A few weeks ago, I picked up this lovely bench at the flea market.

It looks so sweet at the end of the dining room!  I set an old box with some random lovelies in it on top of the bench.

I wanted to add some more goodies to the bench, but I was looking for just the right piece.  Then a friend gave me this FANTASTIC birdhouse!

I thought it would look great on the bench, but it seemed a bit dark.  What do you think?

Well, I guess it doesn't matter what you think, because I painted it! ;) I sprayed the birdhouse with one, VERY LIGHT coat of Ocean Blue from Krylon.  Once it was dry, I sanded it a bit to make it look worn.

Now I think it looks much better!  How about you?  Seriously, this time.  What do you think?

Okay.  That was pretty quick!  We are off to enjoy the Son and the sun today!


India dress

My sister-in-law has traveled all over the world.  She lived in Berlin, Germany, for two years, and she is currently living in Singapore.  She has a really cool, eclectic sense of style, and she always brings me really fun gifts when she visits! 

Two of the many,many gifts I have recieved are pictured below.  (Sorry the picture is so crummy!  I took a bunch of shots and screwed up every single one of them because I forgot to check the camera settings!  Lesson learned!) Anyhow, the picture is of a tunic top from Thailand and a skirt from India.  I LOVE the fabric on both of these pieces.  Unfortunately, I am apparently a bit...curvier...than the average woman in said countries, and these pieces didn't really fit! 

I have been wanting to making something for Morgan using these fabrics, but I haven't been brave enough to try.  Until now!  I figured I didn't have much to lose, so I decided to make a dress. 

I forgot to take pictures of most of the process for the "India" dress, but I will give a brief explanation of what I did.  First, I cut a straight line from the top of the skirt to the bottom, ending up with one long piece of fabric.  Then I had to cut about 6" off of the bottom of the skirt so that Mo would be able to walk.  Walking is very important.  Next I measured out the width of the dress based on the width of a dress from Mo's closet.  After I had the right length and width, I hemmed the bottom edge of the skirt with a straight stitch, and made a seam down the side of the dress.  Here was the result:


Really cute, but she kept tugging at the top.  I was like, "Yeah.  Mommy doesn't really do strapless dresses either..."

So, I went back to the sewing table and made some modifications.  I took some yellow grosgrain ribbon and measured out some "straps".  I just pinned them where they needed to go, while Morgan was wearing the dress.  Then I carefully helped her out of the dress and sewed the ribbons where I had pinned them.  It was cute, but it needed something else.  So, I took a couple of pieces of ribbon and sewed them into an "X". You can see that process here:

Then I made some little rosettes out of a green tank top from the GoodWill pile.  (My GoodWill donations are dwindling, but I haven't bought any new fabric for several months!) Here is a tutorial on the rosettes if you are looking for one. I hot glued the rosette right onto the X, and then I hot glued the whole "flower" to a pin.  I then pinned the flower to the dress. (I did this because I thought the flowers would hold up better if they didn't go through the wash!)

And here is the final product:

The dress has a very full skirt, and it is GREAT for twirling!

Mo wanted to prove that the dress wouldn't slip, so she had to give a running demonstration! She cracks me up!

I am so pleased with this piece! All the materials were recyled, and now Mo has another one-of-a-kind dress!  I am going to keep practicing, because I think it would be LOVELY to know how to REALLY make some clothing.  For now I am sticking with my recycled clothing, but I bet it won't be too long before I am buying patterns and fabric!

Enjoy the Son!


Chocolate Ganache Cake--Holly Style!

Awhile back I saw this recipe for Chocolate Ganache Cake.  The picture looked so delicious, but the recipe looked like it would take more time than I actually had.  Then, not long after that, I saw THIS recipe over at Homebody. Holly (that's her name, too!) calls her creation a Double Chocolate Torte.  I call it delicious! 

Ingredients list:

2 boxes of your preferred brand of fudge brownie mix

semi-sweet chocolate chips


For my cake, I used the fudge brownie mix from Betty Crocker.  Thank you, Mrs. Crocker! That was easy!  (I baked my cakes in a round pan for about 23-25 minutes.  The box calls for a lot more time, but your cake will be too dried out if you bake it for the full 42 minutes!)

Be sure to line your pan with parchment paper.  I don't know why I have trouble cutting in a circle, but here is a tip that helps me get my circle right.  Well, almost right!  Press a crease in your paper all the way around the bottom of the pan...

...then pull the paper out of the pan, flip it over, and you will have a nice outline to cut around.

See?  Not a bad fit!

Be sure to oil the sides well so that your cake comes out of the pan nice and easy. Once your cake has cooled, flip it onto a serving dish, top side down.

For your frosting, you need about 2T of butter to 1/3 cup of chips.  I used 1 1/3 cups of chips and 7T butter. (I let my butter sit on the counter and soften up a bit before I used it.)  Melt the chips in the microwave for 20-30 second intervals.  Once the chips are completely melted and smooth, stir in you butter, a 2T at a time.  If it starts to get thick, don't worry.  Just keep stirring!  The butter will melt and it will get smooth.

Pour a layer of the chocolate on your first cake.

Spread the chocolate all around, letting it drip over the edges, and then layer your second cake on top--top side down again.

Spread the rest of your chocolate, and then refridgerate for at least 30 minutes. (This pic is before refridgeration.)

I was serving this cake for our small group last night, so I wanted to decorate it a bit.  I used some 1/4" dowels, fabric scraps and a little thread, a piece of ribbon, and I created a happy little banner.

As we were serving the cake, I quick handed a piece to my husband and cried, "Take a picture for the blog!" Some of our friends were laughing, but my dear husband knew I was serious, and he managed to get a quick shot before we devoured the cake!  Thank you, Babe! Doesn't that just look so yummy?!

Here is one more beauty shot of the whole cake, just because!

This was seriously soooooooooo easy, and it was SUCH a crowd pleaser! Try it for your next gathering!  I guarantee it will be a hit!

It is rainy and overcast here this morning, but I still plan to enjoy the Son--and the flea market ;) -- today!


I Spy Bags

Oh my goodness!  Is it just me, or does time seem to be speeding up?  The days seem to be just flying by, and I can't believe I haven't posted anything in over a week!  I do have lots of things I have been working on, as always, and I have a quick and easy project to share today.

This weeks challenge over at The CSI Project is "Summer Boredom Busters".  I just love a good challenge!  So, my project is a DIY I Spy Bag.

To make this, I used fleece, vinyl, multi colored beads, and lots of miscellaneous trinkets!

These trinkets have been collected mostly over the last year.  Whenever I go to a craft store, I always check the clearance sections for buttons, small craft items, beads, etc.  I have found so many cute buttons that were marked down to just ten cents!  I love it!  I have also purchased some small items from Oriental Trading Co.  The GIANT bag of beads is actually the type of bead that you can make a little animal or something out of them and then iron them together.  Remember those? Anyhow, OTC was having a sale, and I got that whole bag for $5.99!  The rest of the trinkets are just little toys that I find laying around my house that I have started collecting, instead of throwing out!

Okay.  Here's what you do.  Using pinking sheers, cut out two squares, the same size.  I cut mine to seven inches.  (You could really do this with any shape, but since my sewing skills are still so limited, I just stuck with a square!  However, once I get a bit better, I would love to try making something like...an owl.  Or a princess crown.  Or a princess! Or...let's move on!)  After you cut your squares, cut a peek-a-boo space in one of your squares.  It can be any shape.  Again, I stuck with straight lines.

Next, cut a piece of vinyl a bit larger than your peek-a-boo.  (I don't know why I am saying peek-a-boo.  It just seemed to fit.  Sorry if it is annoying!)  I got my vinyl at Hobby Lobby in the fabric department.  It comes in huge rolls and was placed with all of the upholstery fabrics.

Next, I pinned the vinyl to the fleece on the back side to make sure that I had it lined up correctly.  Then, I flipped the fleece over and repinned the front, removing the pins on the back.  I did this because I have learned that the vinyl sticks to the presser foot, so it is best to have the vinyl underneath the fleece, and just sew on the top.  (This step will make more sense once you actually try this project!)

Once you have your vinyl pinned, carfully sew around the edges.  I actually did two rows. It's not great, but I am learning and my kids are not picky!

Then you will pin your squares together...

...and sew around three sides, leaving an opening for your goodies.

Now you are ready to fill your bag.  Here are the items I "hid" in my bag.  That little froggy cracks me up!

Just be sure not to over fill your bag.  You want to make sure this is room to manipulate the beads around to get the hidden trinkets to the surface.  Once you have stuffed your bag, stitch the top closed and you're done!

There are many variations you could do with this project.  One thing I tried was using regular poly fill beads. I personally like the look of the multi colored beads in the bag.  Plus I think it makes it harder to find the items. 

This project took me about 35-40 minutes to complete.  An experienced seamstress could probably do it in ten! I was going to save these for our next road trip, but the kids are already having fun with them, so I think I will just have to make some more! In the mean time, I am going to link up to The CSI Project and check out all the other boredom busting ideas!

Enjoy the Son!


Memory Board

You may remember that I was recently at a family estate sale.  You can read more about it here if you missed it! ;) After the sale, I had loads of lovelies, but I haven't been sure what to do with them.  Until now.  What do you think?

The funny thing is, when I started this particular project a couple of days ago, I was just going to make a bulletin board for my workspace.  However, once I started working on the board, I wanted a couple of embellishments.  Then, once I started looking through my embellishments, I wanted a couple of pictures.  Once I got going on the pictures, I decided I wasn't making a bulletin board at all, but, rather, a memory board of sorts. (I am like the "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" of crafting!  Seriously.)

My pictures for this project are limited, because there was a lot of trial and error, but I will show you what I do have! I started with an old, empty frame that my neighbor gave to me several months ago.  And I also had a broken bulletin board and some burlap.

The cork board was the prefect fit for the frame.

I don't have great pics of the next parts, but I will briefly explain.  I wrapped the cork board in burlap and stapled the burlap to the cork.  I then hot glued (I hot glue everything!) the board right into the frame.  Then I started going through my treasures and just picked things I liked.  One of my choices was a handful of old name cards.  After the auction, there were LOADS of items that either didn't sell, or people just left them because they didn't really want them.  So, naturally, I took a lot of the cast offs! It was really funny, because my whole family knows that I like to repurpose stuff, but they never know what I might have a vision to transform. They would pick up an item to through in the trash, and someone would say, "You better see if Holly wants that first!" This was the case with this little box of name cards.  They were about to be thrown out, and someone brought them to my attention.  For whatever reason, I found these little cards to be incredibly charming.  It was just so sweet that this man, who was always "old" to me, had saved all these name cards.  And it is really fantastic to flip through them and read the names!

I also used a couple of old photos, a change purse, some silverware, a ruler, old buttons, and twine.  All of the items were from the estate sale.  I thought the changed purse needed a little something extra, so I cut a small piece off of a doily and tucked it in the purse.

I laid the name cards on a book page and a piece of the cover of the photo frame that I tore off to make them stand out a bit more.  Then I added some buttons and a book page rosette.

I added the twine and a book page banner under the ruler.  I chose "REMEMBER" for my banner, because that is what I want to do when I look at the collage.  I want to remember the ancestors that have come and gone before me. I want to remember that life is short.  I want to remember to make sure that the things I value are of eternal importance, not just things that will end up on a memory board someday.

I have no idea who the little girl and young woman in the pictures are, but I think they are absolutely lovely!


This is where I hung my new "memory board". 

Not so charming.  Let's see what we can do about that. I do LOVE the layered look, but I don't do it very often.  Too much?


Definitely my style, but maybe too simple. 

I am sure I will keep playing around with it!  Thanks for stopping by!  Enjoy the Son today!