30 January 2012

Pantone Hotel

Okay, so we know that Pantone is ALL about color. It's rather the reason they exist in the first place! haha But did you know there is a Pantone HOTEL?!!! In Brussels, Belgium! Talk about major color love!

 super cute mugs!
 the bikes are my favorite thing about this! 
{all images via Pantone Hotel | see more here}

29 January 2012

January alterations, refashions & misc. projects

It's been a bit slow on the blog here lately, eh?!  Well it sure hasn't been in real life, let me tell you!! But I'm enjoying every minute of it. I love being busy:)
Here's a roundup of January's projects... simple tutorials or links to tutorials should go along with each.
And if you're needing fresh ideas, head over to the newly revamped Inspiration page for links to some of my favorite blogs & websites!

Shirt Alteration
This before picture doesn't do justice to the shirt-- it was *very* stretched out from side to side. Cutting it down to size was super simple. 

Turn the shirt inside out and lay flat. Choose a shirt that fits you well and lay it on top of the other shirt. Pin the shirt you're altering so you know where to sew. {Leave a little extra room for working with the armpits.} Sew up the sides & try on for fit. Check to see if/how the armpits need altered. Pin armpits & sew. {It helps to put the shirt on inside out to know exactly where to pin the armpits}. 

{thanks to Ben for the photos}
Simple jars {I'll probably use these for our annual Valentine's Tea in a few weeks}
Draw or write on clean jars with hot glue. Let dry and then cover with spray paint as you like.
{I wouldn't recommend using these for candles or tea lights since the glue will melt as the jars heat up!}

I recovered two more photo albums!! This time with a shade darker burlap:)

Skirt Alteration

Fortunately for me, this skirt had a zipper on one side, so other than having to resize the lining as well as the skirt, it was a pretty easy alteration. I also hemmed it up 4-5 inches. I don't have a tutorial for this one... but if you have any questions I'll do my best to answer them!
{p.s. it was a size 20 before I cut it down!! I feel like the before picture is one of those "I lost 40 lbs" pictures! haha}
{again, thanks to Ben for the photos!}
 Lacy Jar
This jar is really pretty for votives, candy, small gifts or any thing else you can think of. I'm currently using mine for pens on my desk-- the previous pen holder was half of a cup that said, "Nashville was so expen$ive I could only afford half a cup"! haha My parents gave it to me as a joke when I watched the chillens for a weekend so they could go to the company Christmas party at the home office in Nashville one year:)
 Lightly spray paint the inside of a jar. When dry, decoupage pieces of paper doilies to the inside of the jar. {find decoupage tutorial here} 
Paint a second coat of glue on top to give added protection. I also put a scrap of sweater in the bottom to pad my pens. 
If you are using this for a votive I suggest three things.
1} Use WIDE mouth jars. always. {and small candles-- tea lights are good} 
2} Hot glue {or tacky glue} the tea light to the bottom of the jar before lighting it so it can't slide near the sides of the jar. 
3} Never leave it unattended!! be smart!

I finally got around to filling these frames that I repainted a while ago!!

Infinity Scarf
You can't get easier than this project when it comes to sewing! It seriously took me 5 minutes!
 I picked up some jersey cotton fabric on sale & cut it in half {a yard makes two scarves}. Taking one piece of fabric, I folded it longways, right sides matching, until the edges met. A few rows of straight stitches along the edge & I had a scarf! For all other fabrics I would recommend following this tutorial from Handmade Therapy so that you don't have a "back"/unprinted side of the scarf that shows.
{thanks to Ellyn for the photos}
And last but not least...
We're trying to wean out much of the black that took over our room! I'm loving using shades of grey & neutral colors to replace the black-- which will in turn be great bases for our splashes of color!! This mirror looks so fresh with a few coats of light grey paint!
{and if you look closely at the mirrors, you'll see a peek of a project-in-the-works!! super excited about this one!!}

Well that's it for this month! Winter is a fabulous time to knock things off the project to-do lists!! What have you been working on?! I'd love to see pictures!

22 January 2012

look.of.the.day: brown & black {fog & fuzzy socks}

One of the things I find myself doing in almost every outfit this winter is mixing base colors. Most of the time it isn't as obvious as the combo I'm showing here, nor is it typically the focal point of my outfit.  But a little brown leather belt with a navy skirt or grey tights with brown shoes is fun & goes a long way!

 Black & brown. Brown & Navy. Gray & Navy. Brown & Gray. Just a few combos.
{Combining navy & black is *the trickiest* to balance, so play around with it a bunch before you walk down the street looking -as my Daddy would say- like a bruise;)}
Wearing these base colors together used to be a HUGE no-no & major fashion faux-paux but fortunately for us, it's quite workable these days!!

A few things to keep in mind:
Make it look intentional -- this is *key* for these combos to work! 
Watch when mixing more than one shade of a base color with another. {ex., brown on brown on navy, grey on grey on brown-- there are many shades of brown/grey & they need to coordinate!}
If wearing a belt, try to make it the same base color as your shoes. You can mix another base color in from there but having two co-ordinating pieces helps to keep things intentional & grounded. 

Play with it & have fun!!
Don't you love the random soccer goal? haha Lissie would only take pictures from the door so... we worked with what we could:)
And fuzzy socks= time to cozy up!!
{dress: Goodwill/Target | cardigan: Goodwill/The Limited | belt: Steve & Barry's | socks: gift | necklace: Ellyn's/Africa}

 Simple updo:
Flip your head over & begin loosely french braiding from the neck to the crown. Twist & pin. It turns out differently every time & can be as loose or tight as you like.   {This is a very loose version}

** thanks to Lissie for the images;)

19 January 2012

to show God's love.

As I was talking with Eleanna today {our phone calls have become really frequent in the last 10 days-- always questions to ask or thoughts to share about our upcoming travels!} she reminded me about Katie Davis and how she is in Uganda!! I've heard & read about Katie many times --she graduated in 2007 from the high school 5 minutes down the road from my house in TN-- but I had completely forgotten that she serves in Uganda!
Eleanna recommended that I pick up a copy of her book to read but in the meantime, I googled her blog {Kisses from Katie} and started reading her posts again.

How overwhelming!!
In a *good* way though!!
 Stories of God's overwhelming grace, overwhelming love, overwhelming goodness, overwhelming protection & provision. Beautiful.

This paragraph stopped me cold & practically shouted at me from the screen of my laptop... because it's *exactly* how I've felt in the last 10 days.
"The last few weeks have been so full of God’s blessings and extravagant surprises. Every day another gift, beautiful and unexpected. I feel spoiled rotten by the God of the universe, His love just too good and too perfect for little, broken me."

and then this stood out too: 
"One of His favorites. That is what I have felt like this last two weeks. Lavished with love. But isn’t that what He wants every one of His children to feel, all the time? Each and every one of us created perfectly in His image. Each one cherished. Each one “one of His favorites”. How would life change if we thought of each other as such? If each person that approached us we treated as beloved of God, cherished by God, one of God’s favorite people?"

I am thankful for Katie's heart & her willingness to share. Her stories are helping to prepare my heart to fully serve others in Uganda. Please pray that Jesus will overflow our hearts with His love, mercy & compassion towards others. And not just on this trip, but always. 

mr. & mrs. globe trot

I just discovered the blog Mr. & Mrs. Glob Trot   aaaaaaaand it's marvelous!!

{I'm having to *fight* to get anything done now! All I want to do is peruse through the gorgeous images!!} Yuriy & Julie left 3 days after their wedding in September 2010 to travel the world for 6 months-- and then blogged it all!

Wow!! Would I love to do that!!

It's getting me ever so excited to capture the world around me as I travel soon!!!

You can also find Yuriy & Julie's shop full of gifts for travelers here and their photography business Manchik Photography here.

{side note: I've been trying to gauge how much 50# of luggage is! I can make a tiny suitcase weigh a ton... let's hope I can make a large suitcase weigh less than 50#!}

17 January 2012

Tutorial: Recovered Photo Albums

A few years ago when Ellyn and I met in the middle of our very different styles and completely decorated our room red black and white people gave me many red or black albums to store my photos. {please explain to me how it was "meeting in the middle" because it didn't hold ANY elements of either of our personal styles AT ALL!}
 Since then, we've finally come to our senses and are in the midst of making our room a place full of things WE love. Unfortunately, that doesn't leave room for so many red & black albums. But you don't know me at all if you think I'd go out and buy new sets of albums just because of that. There has to be a cheaper solution for changing things up!!
I want the albums to be on display to be perused and not tucked under my bed so for the past 6-9 months I've had an idea in the back of my mind to recover them with burlap. But I couldn't find any at our craft/fabric stores {which I seriously must be blind because now I realize that it's everywhere!} so the project kept getting put off... and those albums still sat under my bed. 
Then my blinders finally came off last week while I was at JoAnn's and I found a good size piece {which covers 2 albums} in the remnant bin for $2! All other fabric I used is from my scrap bag.
Originally when I envisioned this project, I thought I would sew slipcovers for the albums.  Then I resorted to staples and a hot glue gun:) And for me, they've worked great. {Though if you have any intention of using the albums in their original condition sometime in the future, I would recommend going the slipcover route.}

But if you're up for the way I'm going to show you, let's dive in! These are super simple and really don't take much time at all! I'll be making more soon;)

enough fabric to cover entire album w/ roughly 2" overhang | stapler | hot glue gun | card stock that coordinates with fabric | fabric scraps, buttons, ribbon, etc
tip 1: if you think the staples are going to stand out against your chosen fabric, try painting them a color that would blend in better
tip 2: It might come to mind that you could easily hot glue the fabric to the album vs. using staples but I would not recommend this. Working with fabric & hot glue can be tricky and get out of hand fast so you want to keep it to a minimum. It's also difficult to achieve a smooth finish {it will likely turn out bumpy, which will definitely show through your fabric} & sometimes discolors overtime.

1} Measure and cut your fabric-- it's better to cut a little more than you need, you can always trim it off in the end. 

 2} Pull your fabric tightly around and staple to the BINDING first.
3} From there, pull fabric taught as you staple the front and back in a pattern like this:
x                       x

x          x           x

x                       x
Add more staples as needed.
{If staple point slightly stick through front cover, don't worry-- they will be covered later}

4} AFTER fabric is secured to the outside, open one cover at a time and fold the fabric in before stapling. If you need to trim off excess or fold edges under, then do so. Keep everything taught!

5} You'll notice a lot of excess fabric around the binding. Once the fabric has been secured on the inside covers, close the album and carefully trim off excess fabric around the edges of the binding. You want to leave enough to be able to fold the rough edges underneath and still cover the edge of the album. When edge is folded under, run hot glue along the edge, press the fabric down and hold for a few seconds. 

6} To cover rough edges and give the album a finished look, take a sheet of heavy duty card stock & cut it to the size you need. Be sure to make one for the back cover as well as the front! {I wanted to keep things fairly neutral but add a little shine so I painted gold brush strokes all over my card stock}

7} Hot glue the piece to the inside of each cover. {Because of how quickly hot glue dries, I recommend working in small sections to be sure the glue bonds well.}

 8} Now the fun part!! Embellish as much as you like with fabric scraps, buttons, beads, ribbon, twine-- anything you have on hand! Use your hot glue gun and/or a needle/thread to secure everything. 

p.s. that twine is recycled from the Christmas package Eleanna sent me!! haha
p.p.s. those last few photos are indeed taken in a car :/ sometimes you've gotta do what you've gotta do when things are busy!

15 January 2012

I'm going to UGANDA!!!!

I think God's timing is absolutely everything.

Ever since Jr. High I've had a desire to be apart of a short term missions trip. I've never felt called by God to be a missionary but I have always wanted to serve others around the world at some time or another. {Not to mention I adore traveling/want to be a world traveler!!} All throughout high school, opportunities for STM {short term missions} would arise but each time God would shut the doors... as if He was saying, "not now".  Sometimes His, "not now" seemed more like a "not ever" to me but that was when I was forgetting how Jesus works!!

Jump forward to the second Thursday in January.
I had spent the day making bread, working on projects, hanging out with sick ones & watching Foyle's War. Nothing super spectacular about the day... just quiet & enjoyable. Then I found a great deal for Skydiving and got super pumped about it! Especially after I purchased my ticket to go this summer! So, *so* excited to finally skydive & cross it off my bucket list!!
{but no, that's not what this post is about!! haha}

 Then as I was cleaning up my projects & thinking about the aforementioned topic, Eleanna called.
She asked me to elaborate on what God had been teaching me and showing me in the last week or so... but I asked her to give me a few minutes to finish cleaning up & asked her to share what's new with her in the meantime. So she started telling me why she called.

 Her Daddy is going to Uganda for three weeks for missions -as he does each year- and this year is her turn to go with him!! I was so excited for her! She told me how there will be a lot of time where she's by herself while he's in meetings but she prayed & decided that it'll be no problem being alone during that time.
Then she continued to share how the more her family talked & prayed about it, the more they thought it'd be great if someone else could go along too. {Another super God story there but it's not mine to tell and I wouldn't get everything right!!}
 None of her siblings were available to go so her sister Hannah asked her, "who else can you think of?" {And then what I thought was coming because of how she was telling the story, but wasn't sure of}-- she thought of me!! Oh my goodness, wow!! My elation hit the roof and I thought I would burst from so much excitement!! On one hand was absolutely thrilled while on the other hand I was trying to be practical in case it doesn't go through. And then I heard that my Daddy already knew about it and most likely already said yes and I started getting more excited!
So as soon as I hung up with her I called Daddy and he said it was a YES!!!! eeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!! {been doing a lot of squealing lately!! haha}

It's so cool how all  of those years I always wanted to go do something like this and God said no and then literally *out of the blue* He drops it in my lap and says, "you're going!". So so cool! {And seriously- it was a full surprise. I had completely forgotten that her Daddy always goes to Africa this time of year and it definitely hadn't occurred to me that it was her turn to go -- or that I would ever go!!}

The only thing standing in my way now {other than Jesus closing the door again} is getting my Passport and vaccinations-- and you can bet your life I'm already on it! haha

I love how over and over during my life God has shown to me how *absolutely PERFECT* his timing is! There's just nothing like it!! Makes me wonder how I could ever doubt Him in anything! Then I remember that, well, I'm human. And I'm awful dumb sometimes. And Jesus is so patient to KEEP showing & teaching me the same things over & over!
I'm loving these two verses from Psalm 37-- "Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun."
 At the same time, they are incredibly humbling... because I have been shown that even when I don't commit my way to the Lord and don't trust in Him, he STILL is faithful and brings huge blessings to my life that I don't deserve!

All of that is just my side of the story!! So many God stories on her end as well and with all of these God things happening *before* we've even left, it is getting us SO pumped to see what He's going to do while we're there!! {side note: It's funny because a few months ago Eleanna and I really wanted to see each other so we started talking about meeting halfway in Kentucky somewhere... and obviously that wasn't working out. But then God says, "how 'bout y'all just spend *3 weeks* together in *AFRICA* instead?!!" ahhhhhh!!! }

Another smaller "perfect timing" story really quickly.
While in Uganda we'll need to wear closed-toe shoes for sanitary measures-- Eleanna and I both had the thought of how neat it would be to purchase a pair of Toms before we go to wear while we're there. Then, as she said, when we wear them back here in the States, we'll think of that trip, and the God stories,  and how much it taught us.
In a much smaller way but still significant to me is God's perfect timing on this. It seems silly-- they're just a pair of shoes after all, right?
But it goes like this. I first found out about Toms back in 2007-- not too long after they were first available & before they were even popular. Since then, I've wanted to purchase a pair to support the One for One project but never have I had the ability to spend that amount on shoes. Now, as I head out to Africa in a month, I love how I can purchase my first pair with full meaning. More than just helping another person have shoes on their feet; I'm using my feet, and my pair of shoes, to go serve others in a foreign country.

If you think about it, please pray that we will have Jesus' hands and feet to show His love in everyway possible during this trip!!

04 January 2012


love this quote.

"Nonetheless, nothing expresses respect for another like a handwritten letter, and no love e-mail, text message or cell phone call will ever be carefully bundled into a memory box and savored for years to come. In a world that thrives on acceleration, the handwritten letter calls us to a time more deliberate, elegant, and gracious." -Tom Barlow

and this.

"The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It's the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years." 
~ Audrey Hepburn

oh and here are some more.

"It's more interesting to have just a picture of a small detail- then you can dream all the rest around it. Because when you see the wold thing, what is there to imagine?" - Dries Van Noten

"Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes & having fun." -Mary Lou Cook

"God will never leave you empty... if He denies your request in a certain area, it is because He wishes to give you what is best. If He asks you to put something down, it is so you can pick up something greater." -Roy Lessin

"Reflect on your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." -Charles Dickens

"Little impalpable worlds were those soap bubbles, with the big world depicted, in hues bright as imagination, on the nothing of their surface. It was curious to see how the passers-by regarded these brilliant fantasies, as they came floating down, and made the dull atmosphere imaginative about them." - The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

03 January 2012

His heart.

This song has grabbed my attention over and over. I *want* my heart to look like God's heart.
Our New Year's Eve devotion was about wanting things and how God wants us to want things. To want things that He wants for us. And one of the things for me is that I want my heart to look like His so that it might show forth His love, forgiveness & compassion completely.

so my biggest anthem & desire for 2012:
"At the end of the day, I wanna hear people say
That my heart looks like Your heart, my heart looks like Your heart
Unashamed I will dance, In Your name, lift my hands
‘Til my heart looks like Your heart, my heart looks like Your heart"

02 January 2012


I love year end review posts & recaps but I absolutely fail at putting my own together.
This year was fabulous in it's own way. Challenges, new experiences, goals accomplished, dreams fulfilled... I wouldn't trade any of it.
But looking forward-- I am SO pumped about 2012!!  I cannot WAIT to see what Jesus has in store.

now, switching gears a bit.
All Elaena wanted for Christmas was a baby doll. Kind of funny since we have many dolls around the house. But she wanted her own. I think she sometimes has a hard time being the youngest. Always being around people older than her... she'll say, "can you feed me? I want to be the baby".
So when she opened her very own baby doll Christmas morning, it was the perfect thing. She didn't feel like "the baby" anymore. She had someone smaller than her to take care of now.

Love this cutie!