Happy Earth Day

Remember these?

It’s been awhile, so I thought I’d repot my tea tins in honor of Earth Day. I only did 3 this year — chives, mint, and a flower for color. I’m hoping to put them outside on the new patio once it gets painted. (she says, holding her breath in hopes she didn’t just jinx it!) 

In reviewing my own tutorial just now, I realized I skipped the plastic liner step. Oops. We’ll see how it goes. Guess I better go find some cute plates to put under those, eh? 




It was so cold outside today, I potted indoors on the kitchen table. Shhh… don’t tell. 


newherbs1Hanging out in the window. Crossing my fingers they’re out of reach of Ms. Kitty Slug. 

Did you do something special today in honor of Earth Day? 

Baby Clothes Tutorials Round-up

Bkellie1Meet my tiny new muse: Barbara Kellie. She’s just 15 months and is already fierce! I can’t wait to sew something to match that little personality of hers. 


Barbara Kellie came for a visit last weekend and since then I’ve been on a pinning spree! She’s an utter delight: more interested in doing than talking. We rolled pie dough — apparently she’s an old hand at that. And we played piano together; her first lesson, she’s already figured out hammer mechanisms. (We have an old player piano that has a sliding glass window into the piano–lots of fun to press keys and see what happens!)  And she tore down block buildings faster than cousin Geo could make them! Busy!!

So, I’m looking to make something that will let her be busy and express her personality. She’s a pretty serious toddler — play is her business. Which means I have my work cut out for me. 

Pinterest to the rescue, eh? I’m leaning toward a simple skirt with a hand painted top –but who knows where my tiny little muse will lead me.  There are so many amazing tutorials and kids’ fashion ideas to be found. It’s hard to know where to start. Here are a few of my favorites. (for more ideas, you can follow me on Pinterest) Continue reading →

Valentine’s Day Gift Wrap: DIY Envelopes



Day Five: Parchment paper envelopes for all your little Valentines.


It’s what’s inside that counts, right? But, it doesn’t hurt if what’s inside comes wrapped in a pretty box, as any girl who has ever received a blue box from Tiffany’s knows.  Sometimes, especially if what you’re giving isn’t homemade or seems too commercial (hello Via Lattes from Starbucks) a sweet envelope or pretty package can express your true feelings. “This might be a bit commercial: but I was thinking of you, just the same!”   

Remember this?



This was the handmade Valentine that I sent to long-distance friends in 2011. I printed it out and glittered the band on his hat. Then I glued it to red card stock and included a lolly. Tucked it into a red envelope and off it went. 

And then I waited. And waited. And discovered, much to my horror: nobody really liked my Valentine. 

Um, it was a dud. I don’t think any of my friends even got the reference — it was just too, “out there”. Too “handmade” (is there such a thing?) I was sad.  I had hoped to create a fun little way of saying, “I’m thinking of you”, but instead just confused people. The whole thing fell flat. 

And I think there still might be glitter in our carpet. 

I’ll confess, when Valentine’s Day rolled around in 2012 I was still stinging from the rejection. “Maybe people just don’t get the idea?” So, instead of sending out handmade cards to friends for the holidays, I opted out.  I’m not sure many people noticed. 

Funny how our feelings get hurt, right?

But, this year, I am determined and frankly, have learned my lesson? The truth is, I miss my long distance friends terribly. And the we often say to one another, “I wish I lived closer so we could grab a cup of coffee.”  So, when Starbucks offered these trial Via Lattes, I scooped up a bunch. I’m sure our barista thought I was some strange sort of coffee hoarder. But, while completely corporate, these little make at home coffee packs say what good old Telly could not! 

Of course, I can’t just mail these as they are. Can I? Noooooo. So, I created these really simple little envelopes for my Via Valentines. They’re easy to make, although they do require a sewing machine. If you don’t have a machine, fear not. Even wrapping your little corporate gift in a bit of parchment paper and tying it up with a ribbon works beautifully. Just that little extra touch can make a very impersonal gift card feel festive!

Not every gift you give has to be handmade. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add a bit of splash and personality to the gift giving process!

Continue reading →

Teach Me Something: Turkey Fork Bows

Meet Carly. She’s fabulous. She teaches and bakes and quilts and sends delightful emails. She also writes a wonderful blog called Citric Sugar. And she’s responsible for my new found addiction to using a TURKEY FORK. Read on, folks! 


Happy Fall, Y’all. Ok, I’ve been sitting on that one for ages. But seriously, I hope you said goodbye to Summer in an appropriate fashion. I had a weekend, let me tell you. Actually, I just might! In another post. Because today I want to share the other thing I’ve been sitting on — hoarding in fact– waiting for Autumn to arrive so I could share it with you. It’s going to revolutionize your holiday gift-wrapping routine!  But first, a little back-story:

In the Spring, I sent out an inquiry to some of my friends, “Hey come be a star and teach me something on the blog”.  I didn’t have too many requirements, just that it be fun and have good photos. I have such talented friends, I thought it would be cool to share  their unique talents with all of you here on the blog. While the idea was a good one, I think… it’s been fits and starts getting responses. And that’s ok. In time, we’ll get it all worked out.

However, one friend did respond nearly immediately. She promised to send me a tutorial on how to tie a wonderful bow, every time, with a turkey fork. A TURKEY FORK? Really, Carly? You bake and quilt and teach kids, and you want to play with a TURKEY FORK? 

But then Carly sent me a video. And not just any video, but this ridiculously charming, adorable, and educational tutorial on how to tie a bow with a turkey fork. A TURKEY FORK. And now I’m a believer. 

I’m sorry I ever doubted you, Carly. That was poor form, on my part! Thank you for the FABULOUS video. You’ve totally revolutionized my pathetic bow-tying. Now, I just have to go buy a TURKEY FORK. And maybe stop staying TURKEY FORK. 

So, here it is.  The inaugural “Teach Me Something” Post. How to Tie a Perfect Bow with a Turkey Fork by Carly Murray



Want to share a tutorial for a future “Teach Me Something” post? Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be a video. Just let me know your idea and let’s get sharing! 

Linen Spray Recipe

Linen Spray Recipe: Laundry is always a chore, but is should be a sweet one. 


I spent most of yesterday helping Geo deep clean his room. Foolishly, I thought I would get to my chores as well, but his room proved to be a bigger project than I had anticipated. Isn’t that always the case? Geo is a social cleaner. Send him to his room to clean it on his own, he’ll tidy up his floor and then be there for hours wondering what he should do next. He’s always been this way, and I’ve learned to supervise the work and direct his next moves. Then I come in and “help”. And then he says, “Thank you” every 10 minutes, he’s so relieved to not be alone in the endeavor!


See, I wasn’t kidding… the kid is an engineer. Those are zip-lock bags with hand-drawn diagrams for labels.

So today, I’m focusing on the rest of the house and those chores that are worth the effort, though tedious to do. I always feel so much better when our house is clean. I don’t need it to be perfect all the time, but I’m a huge fan of it being disinfected! Clutter I can stand, grime not so much!

 There’s something about clean sheets and softly scented rooms that appeals to me. Cleaning is a chore, I’m not sure anyone really enjoys it. But that smell, when I’m finished, is such a reward. I’m throwing open windows and doors and letting the fresh air in. And I’m cleaning with a vengeance with the promise of a sweetness when I’m done!

 The sachets are filled with lavender and you use them in your dryer! Just toss them in with your wet clothes for an extra layer of “ahhh”. 


One of my favorite “rewards” of cleaning is linen spray. I adore the stuff. It’s easy to make your own, and it makes your sheets smell so lovely. I just sleep better in softly scented linens. Since I was out of linen spray and needed to whip up a batch, I thought I’d share the recipe on the blog as well.

It really is a breeze to make. The recipe is below the jump:

Continue reading →