Thursday, April 3, 2014


Remember last spring when I made that monogrammed gift box for one of my best friends? Well, her birthday was last week, and I decided to revisit the monogram idea for her gift, this time with a more modern monogram.

Again, it turned out awesome, it was super cheap, and I still love this project.

Here’s what I did this time around.

Supplies:

Monogram stamp (I made the monogram in adobe illustrator, saved it as a png, and ordered a custom stamp from a wholesaler, the same I used for the stamp from the wedding invites I also did last week. If you can’t find someone to do this for you cheaply, drop me an email. I’d be happy to make one for you.)

Stamp pad (Hobby Lobby was having a sale. This cost me maybe a dollar)

Blank cards & Envelopes (Paper Source, as always)

Watercolors (Prang all the way, baby)


Shiny Paint Pen (I always use Sharpie because the shine is prime, and outline in Micron)

Ribbon to tie it all together

The process was even easier than last year. I first vectored the monogram in illustrator and made it into an image, uploaded it to my wholesaler, and ordered the stamp. Again, if you can’t find someone to do this for you cheaply, drop me a line. I can do this for you!

After the stamp arrived, I super watered down my blue watercolor and edged my blank cards. Once that dried, I stamped them.


Then I sketched out the monogram freehand on the notebook in pencil and colored it in with the shiny paint pen. After that dried I wrote some quotes and Bible verses on the pages and erased the pencil from the front.

Finally, I washed off all the ink from the stamp, double stick taped it to the envelope package, and tied everything together with green ribbon. The whole process start to finish (after the stamp arrived from the wholesaler) took about twenty minutes and cost me less than fifteen dollars (I had most of the supplies lying around, including the notebook). Tada!

Hopefully this gives you some good, quick gift ideas. I have a couple bridal showers coming up I fully intend to use this idea for again. I love quick! I love cheap! (remember that bathroom organizer? And last year’s box?)

Have a happy Friday tomorrow!!

Sunday, March 30, 2014


metallic + kraft

Phew.

What a week! I had a couple of different posts started, but the busyness definitely took over and they didn’t happen. This time, at least, it wasn’t school (though it probably should have been) but actual creative things, which is good news for this blog, at least (but definitely not for my GPA).

The main thing was a rush order of wedding invitation addressing. You say kraft paper and metallic gold and I say WHEN CAN I START. Usually I do not say I want to do 160 invites in three days while going to class and chapel and birthday celebrations but if you say I’ll pay you extra I say who really needs sleep anyway?

I’m really. really. tired.

But they turned out so well!

And I got to create my first ever (of what I hope to be many because making it was SO FUN) custom address stamp from my calligraphy! Oh man. You should have seen me freaking out about this one.



Sigh. Guys. I love wedding season. If you know of anyone getting married…send em my way, because this hand wants carpal tunnel and it wants it now.

Stay tuned for more actual creative posts this week (there are at least two more). And if you’re luck you’ll get a lil something extra. Rejoice rejoice rejoice!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

i want to go to there

Remember what I said about that polar vortex? About how hell is not actually hot, but very, very cold and about how we’ve had six months of winter and about how I’m beginning to think that I have chosen to willingly live in Narnia (always winter, never Christmas!) under the dark spell of a very evil sorceress who has banished the sun from ever gracing our flat prairie land with her rays of joy and hope?

No? Oh. Well. It’s true.

And it’s actually starting to make me a little delusional. I think to myself, hey, maybe if I dress like it’s spring, I’ll trick the weather into thinking it’s supposed to be warm and maybe spring will finally come! Well, joke’s on me. I traipsed out today in espadrilles and a light rain jacket. I am an eternal optimist.

And now I have frostbite.

Here is where I would rather be:
It is called Orchard Keepers. It is in Australia. I don’t think it’s ever cold there.



Seriously, this place looks like paradise. You bring ten of your closest friends and stay in a beautiful, sprawling farm cottage-mansion hybrid amongst acres and acres of orchards and gardens.


You pick whatever you want. From their gardens. And then you cook with it in the most beautiful kitchen bathed in sunlight.



It’s got a guest house. And Uchino Japanese bath towels (I don’t even know what those are and I want one). And it’s decorated with “socialite linen” and “treasured objects.” I love treasured objects. I want to vacation in a place with treasured objects.


Ok, sure, I’m being a little dramatic. It’s the vortex. But seriously. I will stay here one day. I will be warm again. And when that day comes, I will cry from joy on the sun on my face as I dance through the orchards and relish every decorative treasured object that graces the nooks and crannies of the most beautiful vacation ever.

Monday, March 17, 2014



Long time, no see, friends!

What’s that, you say? You thought you’d never hear from the likes of me again?

Not so fast. You’re not getting off the hook that easy. After a (very eventful) six month hiatus, I finally had a chance to breathe last week (read: I was on spring break) and this little blog sent out its siren call and I just couldn’t refuse.

Guys. It’s been a full six months.

I have a lot of projects in the works (mostly because I am a bridesmaid in two weddings right now and the DIY is coming on hot and heavy), but before I get back into the swing of things, I’m going to catch y’all up Instagram style. Because I’m sure you’re curious about what I’ve been up to since August (ha. I’m under no delusions. But I want to have a chronicle so you get what you get and please don’t pitch a fit).

So. Without further ado!

In the past six months I…

…went back to Washington, D.C. for a semester long internship at a very awesome think tank
…watched my favorite team (go Hawks!) play in my favorite city
…went to Baked and Wired in Georgetown every Saturday for dirty chai lattes (swoon)
…got dressed up a lot and posed by monuments (it never gets old)
…took a weekend trip home to see my friends and family
…spent a great weekend in D.C. with my best friend who came to visit
…watched Davide Martello play an impromptu concert on the National Mall
…went to the National Gallery almost every weekend
…visited Annapolis with my family over Thanksgiving
…feasted on Maryland crabs and fell head over heels
…came home and got to work on a bajillion calligraphy projects
…celebrated Christmas in Dallas with my family
…came back to Chicago and was greeted by a polar. vortex. That is actually a thing (seriously, it has been the WORST winter ever. We’ve broken every record for snow fall and low temperatures. Hell is not warm my friends. It is very, very cold).
…holed up indoors and watched movies on movies on movies
…ventured out to Chicago and discovered hipster heaven by way of the Heritage Bicycles General Store and Coffee Company
…watched my best friend get engaged on Navy Pier
…traveled to the West Coast for the first to speak at fundraising events for my school and explored Seattle and San Francisco
…ate my first In N Out burger and scratched another item off my bucket list
…reluctantly came back to hell Chicago and did a lot of cross country skiing
…travelled back to DC for the National Prayer Breakfast and met some amazing international leaders
…was asked by the sidewalk if I was okay during a really hard week and was reminded again of God’s faithfulness
…was also asked to be a bridesmaid in my two best friends’ weddings! (so. excited.)
…travelled to the Outer Banks of North Carolina with ten of the best ladies on the planet for the most relaxing Spring Break in History…
…where I did yoga on the dock every morning and generally enjoyed paradise

And there you have it, folks. I’ve seen so many places, met so many new people, and am looking forward to some incredible opportunities coming in the near future. And now that one of the craziest portions of my life-to-date is over, I’m ready to get back to blogging (sporadically, because this is me we’re talking about).

I can’t wait to see what’s in store next. See you real soon, friends!

Friday, August 9, 2013

lately


Oofta, busy week! Let’s do a lil recap, shall we?

READING The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman. This is one of those books that have sat on my shelf for absolutely forever without being finished, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why. It’s beautifully written, which is my number one criteria for a book (and considering the way I babble on here this is probably coming as a big shock), so I’m definitely enjoying it this time around. Jess, if you’re reading this, you would absolutely love this book. Please let me send it to you.
  
WATCHING Friday Night Lights. Su baby, this one is for you…I’m about 7 episodes into the first season and I’m at this tipping point where I need to figure out if I’m really going to commit to this show or give it up or try something else. And given the fact that I have to think about it this hard I’m not entirely sure if I want to keep going…quick! Somebody give me a better option! I need a good show to get into while I’m in DC. Suggestions?  

DESIGNING two wonderful websites for two wonderful people. They should be done this weekend, so keep an eye out next week for some dirty details and finished photos. Also keep an eye out for a new August desktop next week (and download the old one while you’re waiting!)

LOVING relaxing with my two favorite people in the entire world over a bottle of wine and the first season of Gossip Girl. Can you say flashback? And can you say ohmygoshidontwanttoleavedontmakemego??*

*Yes, I am a nutcase. The range of my emotions regarding spending a semester away are off the wall out of control. Somebody tell me it’s going to be okay! And then tell me to pull myself together.

LOOKING FORWARD to a wedding of an old friend this weekend and dinner with my one of my favorite people at my favorite restaurant. Perfection.

ALSO! My Mumford Quote and Endless Summer Piece have been going somewhat viral on pinterest and instagram…if anyone is interested in me making these into prints or desktop wallpapers, email me and let me know. And get excited because according to my August goals we still have two more coming atcha this month. Aw yeah.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013




I went shopping yesterday for like the first time in…ages. I’m talking March here, people. Ok that’s kind of an exaggeration, since I have been shopping for work clothes once or twice in there, but I haven’t bought anything for myself in for. ever. Unless you count flowers or French bread at the farmers market, which I don’t.

Here’s the thing: since when is Fall coming? There are absolutely no summer clothes in sight anymore, and I’m getting a little panicked here because I feel like my summer has completely snuck past me. How did 15 weeks past THAT fast? How in can it possibly be cardigan weather already? And how in the world am I leaving two weeks from tomorrow for DC??!!

I am a mess of excitement, sadness, and general amazement. This summer has been a doozy.

And even though Hobby Lobby has somehow convinced itself it’s nearly Christmas (I’m actually not kidding. We’re talking full on bypass of Halloween and Thanksgiving here), I’m getting kind of ready to celebrate my favorite season. The colors, the crisp air, the clothes. Oh, the clothes. Cashmere and knits and jewel tones….oh my. Yes.

We’re gonna start hardcore celebrating over here, and to kick it off, let me introduce you to one of the coolest shoe lines I have ever seen. Ladies and gentlemen, Loly in the Sky, the cutest, most unique, and most affordable fall transition flat you have ever seen.

You’re welcome.


1 | 2 | 3 




1 | 2 | 3



1 | 2 | 3

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

5 min diy


Things that I hate: the fact that I got a beautiful manicure on Thursday and was promptly subjected to intense staple removing (yes, there is such thing and yes, it was high stakes) and a day of manual labor (in heels, no less! I was the tall one who was even taller in three inch heels pushing around 200 pounds of boxes on a dolly and refusing any help. I wish it weren’t, but so classic.)…my nails are SHOT.

Things that I love: Friday Night Lights. Where has this show been all my life? One of my roommates tried and tried to get me hooked last year and it never took…there must be something in the water now because it took alright. I’ve been caught, hook line and sinker. Clear eyes! Full hearts! Can’t lose!

Another thing I hate: having a cold in the summer. Isn’t that supposed to not happen? Isn’t the point of summer to a) not be cold and b) not get a cold? Something is wrong with nature. I don’t know how much more my poor nose can take.

And something else I love: Walking through Hobby Lobby. Why is it that everything I didn’t know I needed is always 50% off? I’m wandering through the aisles a couple weeks ago and noticed there was a plate and candle stick sale (random, I know). And then it hit me. I’d been looking for a better way to organize my jewelry and other odds and ends in my bathroom other than just shoving it in a drawer and hoping my necklaces didn’t get tangled together (usually my hopes were futile). I immediately knew my answer: 2 plates, different sizes, sandwiching a candlestick. This sounds odd, but track with me here. This is the easiest, cheapest, and quickest DIY you’ll do maybe ever (and it’s practical, so there you go.


Supplies


This is all I used. I thought about maybe screwing it on with a drawer pull to make it hold together better, but the point of this was quick and easy and so hot glue it was. Yeah, it’s a little rickety, but let’s be real. What kind of wear and tear is this guy going to get on my bathroom counter? Answer: none. Unless there is a hurricane or rager or some other dramatic occurrence (which, happens, um, never). Which is a long way of saying you’re fine with hot glue.

Steps

I’m not even going to number these because you should be done in five minutes (unless you’re like me and…well, stay tuned).

Peel the stickers off your plates. Seriously, this will take the longest if you don’t use soap. I was an idiot and refused to use soap and water until I had been picking at these guys for five minutes and chipping my newly manicured nails.


Put a dab of hot glue on the bottom of your candlestick (or a glob, or whatever amount you see fit) and center it on your larger plate (I eyeballed this, but you could measure and put a piece of tape down if you’re really picky).

Here is where I was an even bigger idiot: MAKE SURE YOU GLUE THE CANDLESTICK TO THE BIGGER PLATE. Not the smaller one. Because when you let it dry and check it you will see this. And realize, hey, that is absolutely wrong. So I had to break it and start over. Dumb.


Once you’ve pressed it down on your LARGER PLATE (The bigger plate! Bigger!), place some glue on the underside of your SMALLER plate (smaller plate! smaller!) and press down on your candlestick. There is a handy dandy label on the underside of most plates so you will have an easy time centering this.


Let dry, and voila. Organization heaven.

And it only cost me $5. Hobby Lobby? You’re my favorite.

Happy happy happy Tuesday!