Valentine Lolli-Flowers

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The girls and I are looking forward to making these pretty crepe paper flowers with a lollipop center for all of their classmates this Valentine’s Day. Here’s how to make these tasty little blooms for everyone you’re sweet on.

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Organizing My Workshop

Workshop - Getting Organized for 2016 Last week I talked about how I was trying to get back in the zone after a personally challenging six months. I mentioned how I was taking a big first step in organizing my workshop. Our house has a converted garage that everyone calls my “office”, which is really a lovely extra space in which to work, but I had let it get out of control. I haven’t managed to make it quite “beautiful” yet, but oh boy did I organize it. And that feels great.

I started by literally removing everything. I took it all out and dumped it in the yard and went through it all bit by bit. Then I organized it into clear bins and made labels in removable vinyl with my Silhouette Cameo (and terrible handwriting). Everything got divvied up into its most specific possible category and placed into the appropriate bin. It might not make for a beautiful picture, but it’s a beautiful thing in my mind. A whole bin of macrame cord! And all of my Gocco supplies in one place. I know gocco is a dying art, but that just makes me even happier for it have a place in my shop. Workshop - Organizing

I had categories of things I didn’t even know could be categories. And yet, I’ve referenced them several times just since the holiday break. That “wood” category consists of tiny wooden things that it turns out are useful for giving my daughter hours of painting entertainment. Yes, painting wooden spools can entertain a child for minimum 3 hours. Organizing for 2016

I started going through the literal tons of fabric I owned and actually treating it with the respect it deserves. As I pulled out pieces and ironed them (yes, I ironed my fabric stash and even created a folding board reminiscent of my college days folding clothes at baby gap to make sure the folds were even), I found some beauties I forgot I even had. Workshop - Ironing Fabric

After folding and restacking (by color, to some degree) I am finally able to evaluate my stash at a glance. I have about 6 shelves of fabrics, 5 stacks wide each. I can no longer make excuses about not finding some fabric to work with. Workshop - Folding Fabric

I also realized I had packets upon packets upon ziploc baggies of random hardware. I was tempted to trash it all, but you know there always comes a day when you’re all “I need a 1/4″ purple grommet and I know I have like 50 of them somewhere.” I didn’t want to have to go to the store and buy 50 more 1/4 purple grommets so I organized them into this thing, which was my jewelry organizer in my closet in my old house 8 years ago, and has finally found new life as my doo-dad organizer in my workshop. Workshop - Doo dads

I also went through my glue and adhesive stash. This may not seem very organized on the surface, but keep in mind that I have an online reputation as a glue expert, due to the popularity of this post over the years “Confessions of an Adhesive and Sealant Junkie.” I get at least 40 emails a month asking for my glue advice (I should do a separate post of the craziest glue questions I have been asked. No, I can’t help you make sure cat hair will be forever enshrined on your mailbox, and you should probably reconsider your life choices), and glue manufacturers send me all of their latest concoctions. So this drawer right here is actually crazy paired down. I tested every glue to see if it was dried out, clogged packaging, separation, useful enough to be worth saving, etc. When I was done, I was left with just this drawer full of the best of the best. Workshop - Glue

I even came across an old cross-stitch I did, which was based on a piece of Prudent Advice from my first book. That book came out in 2010 so this thing is like 5-6 years old. Turned out my husband had some fun with it. HRrrrrmmm (Marge Simpson noise). Workshop - Emroidery

The only thing I didn’t get to was re-organizing my embroidery thread into a beautiful rainbow. Something to look forward to/procrastinate about. Workshop - Thread

So, that’s where I am at. Might not seem like much but it took me a solid two weeks of purging to get here. I didnt bore you with the shampooing of the floor tiles or termite-removal process, so I guess you are welcome for that. Where do you all craft?

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3 Days in Santa Fe, New Mexico

3 day Santa Fe New Mexico itinerary

We have the itch. This past week Jaime and I have been dreaming and scheming about how and when we can get away together for our next adventure. It’s been 3 months since we spent three glorious days on Santa Fe, New Mexico with a few of our closest girlfriends. Nothing refreshes my soul like a few days of eating, drinking, laughing, and yes, crying my way through a beautiful town like Santa Fe. Hey, we have a lot of important stuff to get off of our chests!

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Since there is no adventure on the calendar, for now I will have to reminisce about our 3 glorious days in those gorgeous desert mountains.

Here are our most favorite spots.

The Place to Stay: Our friend Kate found a spectacular home to rent on AIR BNB. Since we had flown into Albuquerque and rented a car, it was worth venturing out of the city center to find a beautiful space that we could make our own for the weekend.

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Yes, this was the view from our living room.

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If you prefer to stay right in the middle of the action, among Santa Fe’s best galleries, shops and restaurants, try the stylish Hotel St. Francis.

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Best Cocktail: Whether or not you stay at Hotel St. Francis, be sure to stop in the lobby bar, Secreto Lounge for one of their award-winning creative cocktails like The Spicy Secreto, a tantalizing blend of organic Novo Fogo cachaca and St. Germain elderflower liqueur with fresh cucumber, jalapeño, lime juice and cane syrup, and rimmed with red chile salt. AMAZING!

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Best Lunch: Cafe Pasquals blew us away with their phenomenal eclectic twist on New Mexico fare. I had the Toasted BLT with Green Chile and Chile Bacon.

Can’t Miss Museum: Work off all of those yummy eats with a tour of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. The Museum’s collections of over 3,000 works comprises 140 O’Keeffe oil paintings, nearly 700 drawings, and hundreds of additional works dating from 1901 to 1984.Throughout the year, visitors can see a changing selection of these works. In addition, the Museum presents exhibitions that are either devoted entirely to O’Keeffe’s work or combine examples of her art with works by her American modernist contemporaries.

Best Dining Experience: We treated ourselves to a exquisite dinner at Joseph’s Culinary Pub, the platform for Chef Joseph Wrede’s unique and uncompromising vision on traditional and contemporary cuisine.

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Photo courtesy of Ten Thousand Waves

Best Spa: We splurged on an afternoon at Ten Thousand Waves for a fully satisfying Japanese lunch at the amazing izanami restaurant and exquisite massages. Among piñons and junipers are beautiful outdoor hot tubs and spa suites, and world-class bodywork & skin care.

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Photo courtesy of Courtney/Kakawa Chocolate House

Best Sweets: We ended our trip with a mid-day stop at Kakawa Chocolate House to experience their famous drinking chocolate and to box up some treats to take home to our families.

It was the perfect way to end the sweetest weekend with my lovely old friends. I can’t wait for our next adventure.

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Remembering my Favorite Projects Over the Years

I had such fun going back through the archives, seeing our babies grow and the projects and tutorials I loved the most. Jacinda picked a few of my favorites yesterday (How to Ice A Cake was a godsend for me, as I am not talented in the cake-decorating arts), so I made some different choices where we overlapped, but overall, here are my faves…

2009
2009 Crochet Pennant Garland
Jacinda inspired me to learn crochet when she posted this pretty pennant garland, and I ended up falling in love with it. It was also featured on Apartment Therapy, which brought a lot of new readers to our growing blog. I made one in purple and pink for Scarlet and it still hangs in her room.

Burp Cloth
This was a simple project, and I made about 50 and used them to death with Scarlet. Strangely, no had yet posted a burp cloth tutorial on the Internet at that time! Using the terry cloth made this one useful, and the pretty side is a great way to feature some beautiful cottons from your collection.

2010
2010 Coffee Marshmallows
I woke up one morning and wanted marshmallows with coffee flavor IN the marshmallow. So I made them and they were quite delicious, also a popular post. You should definitely make some marshmallows. It’s so much easier than you think.

DIY Duvet Cover
EEEeeekk! Baby Scarlet!! I just love this duvet cover. She’s too big to use it now (it’s toddler-bed sized, but we also have a tute for a twin size) but we’ve saved it, she said “For my children to use one day.” aww.

2011
2011 How To Make a God’s Eye
I loved Jacinda’s whole courtyard makeover, but the giant god’s eye was my favorite. It’s so impactful! I love the colors and everything about it.

Succulent Wreath
I loved my succulent wreath for a few years, until it got blown apart in a Santa Ana wind storm. This post was insanely popular; when I made this, I think I invented it. There were no succulent wreath tutorials out there. This is one that has been copied and copied, but it’s fine with me because each is more beautiful than the last.

2012
2012 How to Make Sangria the Easy Way
This is self explanatory. I love sangria and I love doing things the easy way.

Turn Any T-shirt into a Sundress
This tutorial is my favorite because I love that picture of Scarlet, and I use this over and over again. No matter what size your kid is, you can get a t-shirt and make this dress. I love upcycling t-shirts as well.

2013
2013 Plus Sign Quilt Square Throw Pillow
This pillow Jacinda made is absulutely stunning and I love a solid quilting tutorial with a unique twist.

Composting 101
I started composting based on this tutorial by Colleen, it breaks it down (see what I did there? breaks it down? no? kay.) very clearly and I love the pretty pics.

2014
2014 Woven Coasters
Weaving is very hot right now, and it doesn’t require a ton of experience or skill. These coasters don’t even require a loom and anyone would be thrilled to get some as a gift.

May Day Bouquets
This tutorial shows you how to build a basic bouquet for May Day (or any day), but my favorite part is making the flowers look like they are being delivered in paper bags. We did a series throughout 2014 of “Flower Friday” posts and they are all just so beautiful to browse through.

2015
2015 DIY Leather Mason Jar Mugs
I saw one of these somewhere, and I told Colleen we should figure out how to make one. Then while she was out leather shopping in LA a guy she met at the leather store explained it to her. It was much easier than we thought it would be and it’s just really cool looking.

DIY Baby Bonnet with Leather Ties
This is just sweet and pretty. We’ve made a bunch of different baby bonnet patterns (I think), and they are always popular, but something about this one has a little-house-on-the-prairie vibe that just makes me smile.

I can’t wait to see what Jacinda whips up in 2016 and where my creativity leads me. Is there something you would like to see more of? Sewing? Baking? Weaving? We are taking requests. XO

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