a thousand thanks

people have been so generous to us since dane has been around. his nonnie and grandma have new toys and clothes for him on a weekly basis.

(“who needs toys when these feet follow me wherever i go?”)

and more often than not, when we visit friends we leave with adorable, thoughtful gifts for dane.

i am so behind with sending out thank yous and am tired of using my generic cards, so i thought i’d have fun with it.

enter tonight’s photo shoot:

i’m going to print these on card stock and make note or post cards out of them… if i can ever decide which shot to use!

i’m giving myself until the end of the month, so check your mailboxes! and in the meantime THANK YOU!!!

diy scrabble mugs

scrabble has always had a special place in our hearts (nerd alert) stemming from epic tournaments during killington ski trips to family holiday battles, even scrabble for two in brewster over a bottle of wine… its fun for everyone (and by fun i mean we take it REALLY seriously.. (half kidding)).

when we spotted these mugs at the brewster general store, we really wanted to buy 4 to spell “fatz”. i’m no mathematician, but 4 mugs at $20/ea = way too much money spent on mugs. i even searched for them on the inter-web & best i could find was in the $12-$15 range (x4= still too much).

so the wheels started turning and i secretly decided that i would somehow make them myself. how hard could it be? white mugs, black letters…

in the end, it really wasn’t hard. (the most difficult part was achieving this to free up two hands):

i literally just took a sharpie to cheap white mugs from michaels and, using make-shift stencils i printed on regular paper as a guide, i drew in the letters and corresponding scrabble points.

[here is where i should tell you what size and font i used for these stencils, but i really don’t remember. any standard block-like font should be ok & just eye-ball to fit the size of the mug you are using]

the sharpie totally bled thru the paper stencil a bit, so i just evened the outline free-hand & then filled it in.

finally,  baked them at 350 degrees for 30 mins (read this somewhere). i don’t think they would survive the dishwasher – i don’t even intend to actually use them – however, pebeo markers are apparently the way to go if you want to make this legit for a gift or something.

the ‘a’ is a little funky if you look at it up close, but over-all, i’m very satisfied with my $8 creation ($2/mug = drinks on me!).

my creative juices have really been flowing lately! i’ve been stealing ideas from people on etsy and have some more craft projects in the pipeline!

things i painted yellow

i like painting things. i haven’t done a lot of it, but i think about it a lot and plan to start doing more of it.
what i really like is taking something old or ordinary and making it new and one of a kind. we have a ways to go before either house feels complete and instead of picking furniture sets and accessories out of a catalogue or show room, i want to keep things creative and interesting and a reflection of our family.
i recently got my hands on the leftover yellow from the laundry room
i’ve been starting to mix in some yellows as an accent color throughout the first floor.
so i set out to paint this “and” sign i randomly got at target. these “and”s are very trendy… i have no idea why and they really dont make much sense to me, but i jumped right on the bandwagon nonetheless.


slapped with a quick coat of yellow…

and finally sprayed with a coat of clear finish…


next – a one, two and a three…

weird, right? i know. i’ll show you where these are going in my next post!

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a vineyard thrift

there has been a lot of painting going on in the household… most of which is incomplete.

for now – this is the story of a little hook i bought in vineyard haven for $.50.. (fiddy cent):

and this is the story of 3 rainy days in the vineyard visiting my sisters (happiness overload):

my version of the book sling

i was caught off guard by the number of books i received as gifts for the baby on the way. i never considered them something i’d need or want, but they are obviously an important thing to have for raising a genius baby (i’m pretty sure this little guy will be leaving the womb with a third grade reading level).

so to store the new book collection i decided to take on a very simplified version of the diy book sling. there are a number of tutorials on blogs and crafty sites, so i googled one and watered it down as much as possible… ie no sewing, measuring, or power tools required.

i used a cheap burlap-y fabric, a long stick i found in our back yard, and double curtain rod brackets from lowes.

ok, i did use a tape measure once to determine where the middle of the stick was…

then i sawed it in half…. with a bread knife…

i used iron-on hem glue stuff to bond the burlap fabric so i didn’t have to sew anything and used fray guard on the edges to avoid hemming…

and there you have it

i hope the sticks hold up – you can tell the front one is bending (if it snaps, it can be easily replaced)…

the rope border that almost wasn’t

bathroom makeover priority number two – after removing the hideous wallpaper – was framing the large, industrial vanity mirror (use your imagination to picture more than the sliver below).
the project was inspired by this fabulous little photo. it even came complete with a “nate berkus: how To:” link.
natural, nautical… seemingly simple and affordable. sign us up.
first, we had to trim a side of the mirror for it to fit under the new light fixture. luckily we found a glass cutting place right down the street. we literally left it against the side of the building (as they asked us to) with a note with the dimensions we needed. a few hours later, we picked it up and slid a $20 under the door. i like how people do business around here!
the rope was very inexpensive at home depot. we didn’t measure – just “eye balled”, steph-style…
i cut cardboard strips out of a big box to frame the mirror and eventually glue the rope onto. next i used a glue gun to adhere them to the mirror.
it didn’t work. after the glue dried, the cardboard peeled right off. glass is extremely difficult for glue to adhere to because it is nonporous. this quickly became the theme of this project.
after some googling and discussions with true value employees, we decided to try epoxy glue. it appeared much stickier and seemed to work.
laying the rope down was a two-man job. the glue dried in less than a minute. so mike slathered it on while i covered it with the rope. it was intense.. a lot of yelling and cheering,  a little cursing… shakespeare was very excited.
the process was pretty messy. the glue was not easy to work with and we first realized this could be a huge disaster and waste of time.
never-the-less, we followed nate’s instructions and finished up by binding the duct tape covered ends with twine.
after letting the (hopefully) finished product sit in closest for a few weeks (we were busy), we finally brought it out and assessed the staying power of the glue.
it wasn’t exactly sticking.
again, we’re thinking this might be a total bust.
in the spirit of making a long boring story less long but still boring i will paraphrase:
getting the rope to stay stuck to the cardboard and the cardboard to stay stuck to the mirror involved two more gluing sessions, a lot of sitting around pressing the rope down, a little prayer, and finally some clamps to hold everything down while the glue dried. if we had the clamps in the beginning we would have saved ourselves some serious time and trouble!
finally, we improvised and stuck extra twine along the inside of the border to hide the still very visible gluey mess.. i braided three pieces and stuck it in along the inner edges of the rope with some thin nails. you can see best in this pic below.

in the end, (for no lack of effort) it turned out AWESOME and cost under $30.

we laughed, we cried, we framed our mirror with rope.