Thursday, March 31, 2011

Feathers + Lace

This is what happens when I get bored...

A new headband! What do you think? For some reason it makes me picture Daisy from F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby-- which happens to be one of my favorite novels of all time.

Now I'm kind of in the mood to watch classic movies all evening... or craft some more. Oh the possibilities...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

DIY fabric pom pom necklace

Jewelry + crafting = bliss. 

I found this necklace tutorial over on Little Miss Momma -- isn't it cute? I'm very happy with how mine turned out. The process was time-consuming (cutting a million little circles!) but very simple. 

The tutorial calls for using a glue gun for the entire process. However, I wanted a little more trustworthy holding, so I actually reinforced my flowers with hand-stitching. If you'd like details on that, let me know.

My mother-in-law tells me it looks like something from Ann Taylor-- I can only dream to be as chic and fashionable as them! But coming from her, that's saying a lot-- she is always so fashion-forward and lovely. So I'll trust her opinion :-)

I can't wait to make more; possibly in every color of the rainbow! One for each day of the week? Maybe that's going a little too far...

P.S. You should definitely check out Little Miss Momma's blog -- Full of so much inspiration and wonderful ideas! It's one of my favorite reads (As far as blogs go... A post on my favorite book reads is coming soon!)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Antique love letter

"My dear, I cover you with kisses and caresses until... I need you in this moment of desire. I love you."

So completes a hand-written love letter recently found by an upholsterer in Gloucestershire. According to BBC news, the love letter was folded up the size of a penny and found in the arm of a chair the upholsterer was working on. The letter was written in French, by a woman to a man, and the style of writing suggests that it dates back to the 1800s. 

You can read the complete story, as well as the complete contents of the letter, here.

How sweet is that?

It amazes me the letter was able to survive for so long. Not only could it have been lost any time the chair was moved, but it was written with a lead pencil-- which of course easily smears. And to go unread for so long brings up so many questions. Did the letter ever reach its destination? Was it written with an intent of being sent, or just to release personal emotions? Why was the letter hidden in a chair? Was the love forbidden?

The letter also makes me wistful for a time when letter-writing was an art form. Important, intimate matters were not emailed... they were not tweeted, texted or typed. They were hand-written with care and precision and sincerity. Sent full of emotion and love. To actually write a letter takes time. It requires thinking about what you want to say, and how you want to say it.

And knowing that a letter doesn't arrive instantly means the content must be significant and worth the wait for the recipient's response.

Writing a letter by hand is such a romantic gesture, don't you think?

Especially if it comes in a red envelope... :-)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

La Posh Style

Sorry for the lack of blogs recently-- life has been a little hectic lately. More to come very soon, I promise! I have many things I want to share with you!

 Meanwhile, how perfect is this spring dress from La Posh Style?  They have such cute dresses, sweaters and accessories!

Friday, March 18, 2011

For Japan with Love

A day of blogging silence for a good cause. I realize that not blogging isn't going to change the world, but at least it can get people to think about what happened and how they can help. The blogging world is huge, and everyone that posts this reaches out to their followers who can then post it and reach out further. Spread the word.

The Japan disaster has been beyond devastating, and I can't imagine being in the situations of all of those people affected. It definitely makes you want to count your blessings and give back to those in need.

You can read more about the cause here and here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St Patty's Day crafts

I found this tutorial over at Mama Jill for a DIY St. Patty's Day headband. I think my preschoolers are going to love it tomorrow-- especially when I add in green fingernails and my Shamrock Run t-shirt to complete the look :-)

The inspiration:

My version:

I used three layers of green felt, a simple stretchy headband, some silver beads, and hot glue. I freehanded my shapes, but you could use cookie cutters, flower patterns found online, etc.

(These pictures aren't the best-- my apartment has very poor lighting for photography...)

And while I was in the crafting mood, I also took about five minutes and made this simple yet cute "Pot o'Gold" for my classroom.

We are going to have a rainbow scavenger hunt, where shamrock clues (in the colors of the rainbow) will be hidden around the room and eventually lead the little ones to the treasure! I can't wait!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Make-believe comes to life

Have you ever seen Disney Pixar's UP?

If so, I'm sure you've dreamed of seeing a house float with the help of millions of balloons-- I know I have! It's such a magical, beyond-belief idea. Could it really work? How many balloons would it take? Will the house fall apart? Will the balloons burst? Will the strings snap?

Luckily, you can now put your wild imagination to rest, thanks to National Geographic. Combining scientists, engineers and pilots, the company has accomplished the extraordinary feat of a floating house.

I'm amazed by how large each individual balloon is-- 8 feet tall when inflated!

Unfortunately, my estimation of a million balloons was way off; this house took only a mere 300 balloons. Though I suppose the company could have used many more smaller balloons if they had wished to do so? I'm no expert on the matter.

You can read more about the topic here. The full story behind the floating house will be revealed with the launch of the new series "How Hard Can it Be?" late this fall. I can't wait to watch the magic unfold!

Monday, March 14, 2011

DIY flower pin

I found this DIY flower pin over on Project Wedding and decided to try it out. I love love love fabric flowers, and can't wait to make more! I can see these being used for headbands, pillows, t-shirt embellishment... you name it.

My version:

I didn't have any chiffon on hand, so I simply used a bunch of tulle and some pink cotton thrown in the mix. The cotton is definitely not as light and airy as chiffon would be, but it worked out alright.

I also used a button instead of beads, but I can't wait to try out different options and combinations: seed beads, pearls, sequins, fringe... Along with different colors and sizes.

For my first attempt, I'm pretty happy!

If you'd like some more flower-making options, you can try out these rose and peony templates from Martha Stewart.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Secret Garden

One of my absolute favorite paintings, by Michelle Armas.

It's fairly atypical for my taste in art, but something about this piece is just so mesmerizing. I can't explain it.

The work is titled "Secret Garden", and rightfully so. I can get lost in the intricate details and the juxtaposition of the geometric figures next to the organic flowers. Like a metropolitan imposing on the boundaries of nature. A race car competing with a cheetah. The Industrial Revolution taking center stage over agricultural living.

Or even an Engineering student marrying a Liberal Arts student...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Share your breakfast with a child in need

Photo courtesy of

Everyone knows the importance of eating breakfast: It gives you energy, helps you focus, and reduces your hunger later in the day. But imagine waking up every morning not knowing if there will be food in the house to eat. Not knowing when your next meal will be, trying to ignore your grumbling tummy all day, worrying about going to bed with an empty stomach. 

This is the case for many children across the nation-- at least 15 percent (or 17.4 million) households are food-insecure, according to the USDA. Thus meaning the food is just not there

And no matter who's to blame for these situations, the ones that have no say (yet are impacted the most) are the children. Children that are starving and can't do anything about it. 

I'm sure you've heard of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs-- the idea that before you can focus on anything else (safety, esteem, relationships, intellectual advancement, personal growth), you must have your physiological needs met, including food and water. Anyone that has tried to concentrate in class on an empty stomach can attest to this truth. So imagine these children trying to make it through a simple school day. Not so simple with  massive hunger pains. 

Thankfully, Kellogg's is doing this amazing thing. In order to help children in need, they are asking you to share your breakfast-- simply by uploading a picture or describing it here

For every description written, they will donate a breakfast meal to a hungry child. They have a goal of one million meals by the start of the 2011-2012 school year. How wonderful is that?

And really, it can't get much easier for us food-secure people to help those in need. So start eating and start sharing

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Historic churches

For some reason, I just love historic churches. I can't get enough of them. Every time I see one, no matter where I am or who I'm with, I have to stop and get a closer look. Those little whitewashed one-room buildings make my heart swell.

Can't you just picture all of the families that have passed through those doors over the years? Kids running around, babies crying, mothers hushing their young ones, fathers feeling uneasy in their ties. 

Lots of laughter, disclosure, awakening. Intimate conversations focused on growth and awareness, understanding and faith. 

Filling up that single room with so much love and joyfulness that it's bursting through the wooden doors and flowing out of the lead-glass windows.

These churches just seem so personal.

It's been said that the Greek god Apollo had the phrases "Know thyself" and "Nothing in excess" engraved on his temple at Delphi. I have a feeling that he would have approved of these tiny churches. :-) 

Lately, it seems like churches keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And while it's wonderful that they are so accepting and inviting, at the same time I feel they have lost their intimacy, their closeness.

Maybe that's why I picked a single-room church for my wedding ceremony. 

Delicate. Simple. Gorgeous. It really doesn't get much better than that.

I'm linking this post up to Maxabella Loves. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

DIY hardware jewelry

I recently found this DIY over on seesaw, and had to try my hand at it! Who knew hardware could be so chic?

The inspiration:

My version:

Originally I started with the look from the picture using small brass hex nuts. Then I got more creative and tried different sizes, colors and lengths.

Each bracelet only took about five minutes. They are that simple!
(Bonus: I think the hubby enjoyed showing me around the hardware store)

(First photo courtesy of seesaw) 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Simple joy

My husband sent this video to me earlier today, and I couldn't stop laughing! I figure if a baby can find so much joy in something so simple, we all should be able to find something joyful in each and every day.

Have a happy weekend; more to come on Monday!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Walt Whitman Love

Today I want to share with you one of my favorite works: "Miracles" by Walt Whitman. His beautiful writing never fails to leave me in awe. I could tell you my thoughts on the piece, but I think his words speak for themselves. Enjoy.


Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, 
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky, 
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the water, 
Or stand under trees in the woods, 
Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love, 
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest, 
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car, 
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer forenoon, 
Or animals feeding in the fields, 
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air, 
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so quiet and bright, 
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring; 
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place. 

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, 
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle, 
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same, 
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same. 

To me the sea is a continual miracle, 
The fishes that swim-- the rocks-- the motion of the waves-- the ships with men in them, 
What stranger miracles are there?

What about you? Do you have any favorite works that inspire you? I'd love to hear!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


When you open your mailbox, what do you typically see? Bills, credit card offers, bank statements? If the contents of your mail look anything like mine, you see a vast sea of… white. White business envelopes, white card envelopes, white stamps, white fliers, white white white. And the occasional tan or beige thrown in there for good measure.

Even when you go to pick out a card for someone, have you ever noticed the majority of envelopes are pastel colors? Pale pink, light yellow, sky blue. Nothing bold and bright and worth celebrating.
But go shopping again around Valentine’s Day or Christmas—holiday seasons—and what do you find? Piles upon piles of RED ENVELOPES!

Now maybe I’m alone in my excitement over red envelopes, but there is just something so magical and special about them. They’ve always held a soft spot in my heart. They are out of the ordinary and unexpected; delightful and exciting; romantic and unnecessary… yet, oh so worth treasuring!

Red envelopes aren’t used on an every-day basis—and maybe that’s why I love them so much. When you receive one, you know there is something special in store for you. Something that could turn an ordinary day into an extraordinary one. Something to add a little sparkle to your eye and a little bounce to your step.

So begins the idea of this blog... I'm considering it my red envelope to you. My way of contributing something unexpected, delightful, inspiring and even magical to your day. It's simple, typical and practical with an added special touch-- the epiphany of a red envelope. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy what I have to share.