Thursday, April 17

DIY Lacing Cards

If you have seen any of my DIYs in the past, you've probably figured out that A) I'm a handmade gift nut, and B) I love to make playable toys for my own kids.  I say playable because there are so many beautiful DIYs out there for kiddos (and I've made many myself) that just don't stand up to the wear and tear of play time.  My focus over the last year or so has been to make sure all of my kid toy DIYs are actually usable and not just for show. 
With that being said, today I'm teaming up with Canon USA today to bring you a fun DIY you can do with your own kiddos, or make as a personalized gift for friends or family!  

Here's what you will need for this project:
Photos of whoever/whatever will make these the most fun!
Glue, Scissors, and a pen
Cropadile or long reaching hole punch

Now, let's get started!
First, get your photos in order.  I took waaaaaaay too long choosing the perfect photos.  It's so easy to get lost in the archives, am I right?  ALSO.  My girls are getting so darn big.  Anyway, if you are printing photos at home, now is the time to do so.  I made my photos into a collage in Photoshop before I sent them to print, just to use as few pieces of photo paper as possible.  I used a Canon PIXMA MG7120 for printing this project and it made it SO easy.  That's saying a lot because I seem to be the kind of person who attracts printer issues!  It's a hidden talent, apparently.

Next, cut out your photos.
After your photos are all cut out, trace around them onto your cardboard pieces.  Cut the cardboard down to the exact size of the photos (mine were 4x6).

Now that all the cardboard is cut, glue the photos onto the cardboard.  I used a paintbrush to make sure the glue went all the way to the edges.
After the glue has dried, plan out your designs and mark them on your photos.  Use your Cropadile or hole punch (or scissors if that's what you have on hand) to punch holes in the cards.  Make sure they are big enough for the yarn you will be using!

After you've made it through all the cards, spread a thin layer of ModPodge over the photos.  This protects the photos from getting smeared and protects little hands from potential ink smudges.
Also, feel free to paint the backs of the cards with fun colors- just make sure to seal them with ModPodge so the paint doesn't chip or flake!

Now you're all done and it's time to play!  You can use a plastic yarn needle, or simply wrap some tape around the end of the yarn before little ones start lacing.
(This is great for fine motor development!)
(I love their little concentration faces.)
The girls thought these were equal parts fun and hilarious!  Poe's favorite was the photo with the glasses and Hope loved Poesy with a mustache!  I truly love projects that are customizable!  I think I just figured out what all of my friends' kids are getting for their birthdays this year.  Just request some photos of pets and family members and make cards to fit that family!  Happy crafting!  xo. Katie

Wednesday, April 16

Denim Vest Restyle

I was shopping at the good ol' DAV last week with a sweet friend and I spotted this denim vest.  Technically it was hanging out in the little girls' section (I was browsing for Hope), but the thing about the 90s was how we all wore our clothes WAY bigger than what's in style now.  The vest looked like a good fit, so I spent a whole $0.98 and took the risk.  Hey, if I was totally off I could always save it for Hope in a couple of years, right?  ;)

Here's what she looked like before:

Oh, yes-- that IS an Express tag.  ;)
There was some crazy doily/embroidered flowers/candy colored buttons thing happening on the back, but in my excitement I ripped it all out before snapping a picture.  Doh.

So, now comes my trusty friend, RIT dye...

I decided to dip dye this vest, rather than dye the whole thing.  I filled my kitchen sink with a diluted amount of the black dye and after I soaked the entire vest in water, I dipped the bottom portion in the dye bath.
I'm a gal who doesn't like wasting things like this, so after I got what I thought was the desired color, I saved the dye bath while I rinsed the vest and ran it through the washing machine.  When it came out it was lighter than I was wanting, so I repeated the process again with the leftover dye.

Once the vest was the right color and all dry, I began adding the patches and buttons.  The patch on the back is an Olivia Mew patch that I've been saving for justttttt the right thing (seriously, I think I've had this for a couple of years).  The red patch on the front came with my 23 Skidoo dress (she has such beautiful packaging) and then I added some of my other favorite things to personalize it.  Here she is in all her glory:

I'm super happy with how it turned out and I can see myself wearing this a ton.  I love it when that happens, don't you?

Monday, April 14

The Great Outdoors

Sunday afternoon was all about being outdoors. I got some onions, lettuce (more seeds that aren't pictured here), and carrots in the ground.  Poesy was happy to dig in the dirt while I sat next to her and potted pole beans, sweet peas, snap peas, squash, cucumbers tomatoes, basil, and some chamomile.  The weather was gorgeous and perfect for all the outdoor chores I've been meaning to make time for.  At the end of the night, we sat our tired bodies outside on the porch swing and watched the rainstorm.  I never would've imagined being so into these sorts of hobbies as a younger version of myself, but digging around in the dirt is a favorite these days.

The sunroom (pictured above) is a space in my home that I haven't shared on the blog yet (at least, I don't think).  These photos were taken before I spent a good bit of time getting it cleaned out yesterday.  I'm hoping to fill it with all kinds of plants and happy things.  Wouldn't this be such a nice little space to sit and read a book or have some quiet time?  I can dig it.

Friday, April 11

Where You Will Find Me

This is what my life looks like on the weekends.  Right now our band, The Mixtapes, is playing almost every weekend a month (sometimes twice in the same weekend), so we are definitely staying busy.  It's been a little tricky adding a new job to the list that already included Skunkboy Creatures, blogging here, DIYs for A Beautiful Mess, and helping out with homeschooling Hope, but it's been worth it for sure.  We've seen tons of local support and are finding our footing as we branch out into other areas.  Plus, you don't even know how much your brain can hold until you learn to play 60+ songs from various artists!  My memory is better than I ever gave it credit for!

(photos above were taken by Julie Stafford and Brittany Bilyeu

Typically our sets run 3-4 hours, but last weekend we got to play a Nirvana tribute show with 10 other bands and it was a blast!  We played six songs and ended the night with "Smells Like Teen Spirit"-- complete with a friend dressed up as a janitor (like the video opening) and 3 other friends dressed up as cheerleaders (I love you, Julie!).

So anyway, this is where you will find me on the weekends right now.  It's a good time and a fun job.  Plus, who wouldn't love being in a band with their best friend/husband?  Thumbs up, for sure.

 Happy weekend!  xo. Katie

**Oh!  We're coming at you, St. Louis folk-- we'll be in your neck of the woods next Friday (April 18th) @ Brewskeez!**