Some Thoughts on 2015 and the New Year

I will always remember when I called Jacinda in 2009 to say “Hey girl, let’s start a blog. Let’s make stuff everyday, and write about how we made it. It will be fun. Maybe some people would like to read it.” Jacinda said something along the lines of “You’re a little nuts, that sounds like a lot of work. But yeah, let’s do it.” And here we are, 7 years later, still best friends, still trying to be creative every day, still mothers and makers. Also still goofy enough to copy a Heart album cover for our author photo. #DreamboatAnnie Jaime and Jacinda

We had a lot of fun in 2015. We threw a marching-band themed “Band Together” party at Alt Summit Winter, and spoke about the business of blogging to a packed crowd at Alt Summit Summer.Pretty Prudent ALT 2015

I traveled a whole bunch and wrote about it here. I took Scarlet to Oahu, Carlsbad, Arizona, and New York City. I took my girlfriend Macki to Jamaica, and went on a Caribbean cruise with Jacinda and some friends. I took myself to South Dakota for a week and Copenhagen for a weekend. 2015 Travels

I wrote guides to my beloved hometown of Los Angeles for Mommy Nearest, and started hosting an online TV Show called FM in the AM with the adorable Susie Meister where I showed how to make these easy flower napkin rings, host a terrarium party and more. FM in the AM

We spent 2014 frantically developing projects for our book, Pretty Prudent Home, which we are so proud of. The book came out in spring of 2015 and I was thrilled to share it. We did a fun Pretty Prudent sale with Zulily (where I scored my most favorite mermaid salt and pepper shakers). Pretty Prudent Home 2015

We went on a book signing and crafting tour with Land of Nod, which was a blast, and just reveled in holding our ambitious, project-filled beauty in our hands. I was also just wiped out. We had put so much creative energy and focus into developing hundreds of projects, the best of which made it into the book, that my brain seemed like it simply could not come up with a new idea. Blog fatigue set in. Land of Nod

Our beloved Colleen, who managed our site with such grace and attentiveness, made some of my favorite project tutorials last year, including this faux leather bucket bag and these simple but impactful polymer clay rope baskets. And then she moved away to Portland, where she definitely belongs. She even got engaged! We miss her and feel the lack of her presence on Pretty Prudent, but we know she is making herself the wonderful life she deserves. Faux Leather Bucket Bag

2015 was a complicated year for me personally, and I think that was reflected here on Pretty Prudent. When my mother got sick and passed this summer, I lost my moorings for a while. That’s a whole other discussion about grief and loss, but what it meant for this site was more specific. I simply lost my desire to get up every day and make stuff. My creativity seemed to just up and disappear. I used to be one of the most productive and energetic people you would ever meet, but this year I just lost it. I just wanted to rest.

But as some time is passing, I feel that desire to “make” coming back. I have a long list of ideas and I’m slowly getting back into my office. I spent a good two weeks purging my workshop (in my converted garage) of broken craft punches and oblong fabric scraps, ending up with almost a dumpster full of things that needed to go. I refinished a dilapidated table with a high gloss shine and set up some chairs around it. Got myself a blue tooth speaker and downloaded some podcasts. Dusted off my embroidery and serging machines, and put every single sequin and sewing needle into labeled boxes on elfa shelves. My space is ready for me.

I am hoping to find my creativity again in 2016. I think part of that is just getting back into the zone where I am making things every day, even when the inspiration isn’t there. Just getting my mind back into a place where sewing and weaving and paper cutting bring me joy and a bit of meditation. I hope I can bring that back to the blog.

In the meantime, I plan on doing a lot more personal blogging here, like we used to do back in 2009 (before Pinterest! before Instagram!). This site and its readers have brought me such joy over the years, growing with my baby (now 7!) and with me. It’s time to get back to it with a full heart. 2015


Merry Happy Everything 2015

Dear Prudent Friends,

Jacinda and I are taking the holidays off to spend with our families. We will miss you. I will leave you with our fifth annual Curtis family holiday video, and we will see you in January.

Take a cup of kindness yet and toast to the New Year. Merry Happy Everything from our family to yours.

Jaime, Carleton, and Scarlet


The Elves are Back on Shelves

Elf of the Shelf IPhone Are you a fan of the elf on the shelf? Does he keep a watchful eye over your naughty bunch? Do you forget to magically move him every night? I have personally given up on the elf on the shelf, but I’ve really enjoyed watching where he shows up in other family’s homes. The best way to do this is via Twitter in the new “Moments” tab. Twitter pulls together all the relevant stuff in a stream and shows you the best of the best related to topics you’ve shown interest in, like so: Twitter Moments Elf on the Shelf

I can’t get enough of these elves on shelves. One of my top Twitter Moments finds is this one from @bmwike. Winning! Darth Vader vs. Elf of the Shelf

Of course, the best elf on the shelf moments are totally the inappropriate elf ones. Thank you @workingmom1981. Twitter Moments Inappropriate Elf

Too far? LOL, @204Jones. Inappropriate Elf

But my absolute favorite Twitter Moments #elfontheshelf is the Shelf on the Elf from @alexpardee. HA! Shelf on the Elf

Y’all have to log in to Twitter Moments and check out the #ElfontheShelf moment here. LOL.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Twitter through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Twitter all opinions are my own.


2015 Pretty Prudent Crafter’s Wishlist

pretty prudent home

This is our 7th Annual Crafter’s Wishlist and it’s a special one because it’s inspired by all of the projects that were made, illustrated and photographed by me and Jaime and our beautiful friends, for our book Pretty Prudent Home. We couldn’t let the year end with sharing a peek at some of the loveliness that you will find as you peruse its pages. We hope that if you haven’t added Pretty Prudent Home to your bookshelf, that it’s on your own Crafty Wishlist this holiday season!

With the new year right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to pick up a new hobby and make something beautiful for your space. With just a few supplies, conveniently listed below with each project, ha, you will be ready to decoupage, snip, crochet, paint, sew, and woodburn your way to a beautiful backsplash

Create a show-stopping photo backdrop with a printer (our favorite all-in-one Canon Pixma), photo paper, decoupage medium like Mod Podge, Plexiglass and Acrylic Sealant.

pretty prudent home

Pick up the highly portable art of cross-stitch with Aida Cloth, pearl cotton, and scroll frame or hoop.

Felt crafts

This Swiss Cross Hot Water Bottle Cover and Crinkle Fox are perfect starter projects for the new sewist. I’m tempted to surprise my girls with a Janome Fast Lane Portable Sewing Machine (many colors available.) Quinn would want the aqua and Clare would want the fuchsia. I want the gray and pink.

janome portable sewing machine (more…)