valentines day, crochet and a mantel

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so, truth be told... i make something for each holiday every year and then never pack that special something back in the correct place. so i either don't remember it even exists or i can't find it. so what do i do? well, i make another special something, of course.

here is a shot of my current mantel with a my newly made crocheted heart and pompom swag.

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i followed a really simple crochet heart tutorial on youtube and used up the entire bundle of knobby read yarn in the process. i'm having a love affair with youtube in these days of learning to knit and relearning to crochet — you can seriously find a how-to on anything!

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at first i was going to string the hearts together by attaching them to a long crocheted chain, but then i remembered this vintage white pompom yardage i bought at an estate sale. i had forgotten about it  since it was having a time out in a plastic bag with a bar of soap because it was just way too stinky to introduce into my house. and it was a 6 month time out - does that tell you how stinky it was???

typically i gently wash trim to get estate sale smell out of it, but these pom-poms were attached using metal loops and i was afraid the loops would rust and ruin all 20 yards i bought

anyway, when i was trying to figure out how to attach the heart, i realized that i could push the pom through the center of the heart and they would be held perfectly.

so, i strung it up over the mantel along with my "family" banner, added a tulip painting and some fabric strawberries and called it a day.

who's ready for valentine's day???

love, tiffin

project life month cards and sewing

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remember when i said i was getting obsessive about my project life 2014 binder being cohesive all the way through? well, sewn month name cards is my first step. it all began with the purchase of this little foot for my sewing machine.

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and let me tell you, it was MUCH, MUCH harder than i expected. i used my favorite disappearing ink pen to hand write the months onto scrap canvas and started stitching. the pic on the left was my first try and is supposed to say "january" but i'm not really sure what happened after "jan..."! can i just pretend that i let my 9 year old take over??? eventually i got the hang of it and finished 12 months. they are still a bit wonky, but i love them just the same.

the thing about the free motion foot that i never realized until i read the instructions is that you actually have to drop the feed dogs on your sewing machine. you know, those little grabbers on the bottom plate that actually do all the work for you. this surprised me the most that i had to forcefully move the fabric through the machine. it is easy to do when pulling the fabric towards you, but can cause a bunched up mess when trying to push the fabric away from you.

even with the less than perfect results, i am not deterred from mastering this technique because i just think it has so much potential. do you use a free motion foot for things other than quilting? if so, shoot me an email and let me know, i would love to try other things.

yay for learning something new!!!

love, tiffin

 

new paintings and the trinity school

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over the holidays, i ended up painting a ton, which was fun, really fun. i haven't gotten around to adding the pics to my gallery page, but here are some previews. and... if you really love one of them, you are in luck because they are currently for sale at the trinity school spolight on art show this week in atlanta. it runs from monday, february 3rd through saturday, february 8th.

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these are all larger panels at 22x26 or bigger, but i have all sizes available at the show. let me know if you go, and if you do go, snap a pic of my booth space for me :) this show is 100% drop off - no manning a booth for me. yippee!!! the only draw back is i don't get to interact with each of you.

love, tiffin

artist, dreamer and a doer

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with all these snow days, my week has been turned inside out. i am dying to show you guys all the fun we had at the retreat last weekend, but for now, i will leave you with this pic of the amazing leather cuff that my partner Jenni Horne made for me. she made one for herself too, so we were twinsies for the night. a simple reminder that it isn't enough to just dream. turning dreams into reality is where it's at!!!

love, tiffin

snow days and the south

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this was tuesday as my munchkins ran off the bus after a 30 min. early dismissal from school. right around this time, all hell was breaking lose all around atlanta. you've all heard the reports which were honestly pretty tame to what was happening, so i won't dwell on all the difficulty, but instead i thought i would show you a snippet of pure childhood joy...

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yep, that's a cardboard box that munchkin #2 was sliding down the driveway in. i'm a terrible mom, because i didn't make a run to ace hardware for the last sled in sight, so instead, they had to make do. and had so much fun doing so i might add!

for the past three days (and tomorrow i would guess since school is cancelled again) we have had a lot of family fun. walks in the snow, sledding, snow eating, snowball throwing and hot chocolate drinking. 

it only happens about once every 4 years, so we try to make the joy last as long as possible!

love, tiffin

a dream and an art retreat

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today's the day! the start of our second southern circle retreat. through all the excitement and tummy jitters, it still feels like such a dream that jenni and i have put this together. and by this, i mean a gathering of women for a weekend of artsy goodness and bonding. it really is much more than making art, it is a reawakening of the spirit. i know our sweet attendees will leave on sunday a little happier and a lot lighter in spirit than when they came.

jenni and i will be meeting at the lake house in serenbe around 2 today and we will start whipping the space into a wonderland of twinkle lights and doilies. we will lay out all our hoarded art supplies to play with, from buttons to fabric to paper to pens to paint. we will set out snacks and place treats on the beds of our attendees. then we will take a deep breath and wait for the 12 women to arrive.

and finally...we will open some wine and start creating!!!

picture taking and project life

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well, i have started down the rabbit hole of project life. i was gifted the plastic sleeves, the midnight edition core kit and another pack of 4x6 graph paper cards for christmas. i can already tell that this is a project you could easily obsess over!

before i started, i really thought about how i want this memory keeper to work for me. i settled on doing a spread a month to get my toes wet. maybe some year in the future, i will feel confident enough to tackle a spread per week, but for now, i think i will have my hands full documenting by the month. and in all honesty, i really don't think my little family does that many interesting things from week to week. i mean, how many pics of laying on the couch watching tv, or sitting at the table doing homework can i show!

i know that it would drive me crazy if the finished binder was not cohesive. i want a common thread to tie all the months together, so i am currently working on month cards that match (follow me on instagram-linwoodavenue to get a sneak peek.) i chose the black, grey and yellow core cards because i think they are the most flexible and i won't tire of those colors quickly. some of the kit packs are so bright and colorful, that i know i would cringe looking at my spreads when the year comes to a close.

next, i had to make decisions on the type of pics i want. this is a family binder, so i probably won't add many pics of my art/crafting to it, it will just be our foursome on a day to day basis. the boys are used to looking straight at the camera and smiling when i take a pic, so i think it will take some time to move towards candids. i also want to be conscious about not stressing out about messy backgrounds. when i look back on my childhood pics, the thing i love the most is seeing the packaging of the cereal box on the table or looking at what toys i was playing with at the time of the photo. this project is not about being perfect, but being real.

i just completed january's spread. i know, i know, january isn't even over yet, but i'm an overachiever, what can i say :) i love how i am already starting to look at things differently. i photographed a fire in the fireplace on that 10 degree weather day, the frost patterns on our back door, my munchkins drinking hot chocolate at 9 at night after we got the news that school would be cancelled for two days. it is definitely the little things!

i will update you guys monthly on my spreads and hopefully pass on a bit of inspiration. have any of you started documenting through project life? i would love to see what you are working on!!!

love, tiffin

 

a lamp and a book redo

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my first tutorial / redo of 2014!!!  (i should add a disclaimer to please, please don't judge me for the dirty finger prints all over my front door. sure i could have photoshopped them out, but i'm trying to keep it real. and living in a house with 2 boy munchkins means dirt is very real!!!)

so, i needed a lamp for my front hallway. the old one got moved to my bedroom and the small table lamp i replaced it with in the hallway was just not doing the job. the thing about lamps is i hate buying them. since i tend to like large, over scaled lamps, they are generally so very expensive and i have never understand why. this is one of the main reasons i started making my own to sell because i wanted to bring reasonably priced lamps to people.

anyway, i remembered that a few years ago i exiled a large brass urn shaped lamp to the attic. perfect, except it definitely needed a makeover because it was just so bland and boring (the reason it was exiled in the first place).

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i thought about decoupaging something onto it or painting it with chalk paint. in the end, decoupage won out once i found an old copy of Great Expectations at the thrift. 4 easy steps and i was done.

  1. spray paint a primer onto the lamp to give the brass finish a slight grip.
  2. cut small sections from a book of your choice (a preferably damaged book since cutting up a perfectly good book ranks right up there a felony in my mind :)
  3. with a foam brush, brush on some mod podge, stick on paper strip and then brush a layer of mod podge over the strip. repeat over entire lamp
  4. spray finished lamp with a clear hi-gloss spray paint.

the only tip i have is to place your book pages so all the text is going the same direction. the final result is pretty busy and i think it would be too busy if some words were upside-down or vertical. but then again, i do tend to be pretty anal when crafting, so disregard this if you are a fly by the seat of your pants kinda crafter!

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my favorite part of the lamp is right in the middle of the photo above - "O Estella, Estella!". i probably should have read the book again before i cut it all up!

this project has so many options. how cute would it look with childrens book pages for a kid's room? or music paper?

did you do any out of the box crafting during your holiday down time?

love, tiffin

knitting and a new hobby

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guys, i have found a new hobby! prepare yourself for some serious yarn love on this blog, because i have become obsessed with knitting. to my husbands downfall, i have truly let my inner granny shine as i am even knitting on 10 minute car rides. 

my mom taught me how to crochet a few years back and while i wish it would have stuck, it just didn't. sure, i can muddle through a pattern, but i end up confused about which loop you actually stick the hook back into, i always get turned around. that coupled with left hand pinky cramping because i can't figure out how to hold the tension thread correctly is a recipe for disaster.

not being one to let a medium get the best of me, i asked my mom to teach me how to knit over this past thanksgiving. and, it makes sooooo much more sense to me. one loop and one loop only for the needle to go into. fantastic!

i brought back some of her needles with me, but they kept getting caught up in my clothes and poking my stomach. crazy! so i switched to circular needles and everything has fallen into place. first, i totally winged it and made the infinity scarf which you can see fully documented on my instagram (linwoodavenue). then i made the purple/pink hat. now, while this hat is a pretty cool, perfectly fitting winter hat, it did not turn out to be a slouch hat as i had intended. being a beginner got the best of me and i realized too late that my choice of yarn was all wrong. but, it was sooo pretty (I Love This Yarn brand from Hobby Lobby).

so, for my next hat (top left), i went to my local yarn store and they pointed me to the yarn i should have been using. i used the Parisian Slouch Hat tutorial on Ravelry for this one and it turned out perfect!

next up, i am going to try some arm warmers. you know how i LOVE a good pair of arm warmers!!! but, first i need to go buy another needle (i have bought so much stuff already). but i just taught myself the magic-loop method and it is supposed to make everything much easier.

i'll try to hold my inner granny in as much as possible on this blog, but every now and then i will pop back in with what i have made :)

love, tiffin

2014 and one little word

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happy 2014! phew, i wasn't sure the new year was going to arrive. between a crazy december and then an unexpected two day delay in the munchkins starting back to school due to the weather, i wasn't sure today would come. today is the first day i am back to a routine which is why it feels like the first day of 2014 for me. 

to start the year off right, there is something you need to know about me - i'm not really one to jump on social bandwagons. (surprising, right? she says with full sarcasm :) nope, you won't ever see a pic on my blog of my paint covered hands and you won't see me capturing hearts that i find in nature. there is nothing wrong with this trend and i can definitely see beauty in the photos, but they are all over the place.

but... the one trend that i love is the "one little word" movement.

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instead of making crazy resolutions, i absolutely love choosing one word to guide me through the new year. and it really isn't much of a choice. this is my third year with a single word and each year, it just sort of shows up, it finds you, it really does. my word this year is...

PURPOSE: an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.

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i want my year to be filled with intent, i want to ask myself "what is the purpose of ___," "do i need ___ in my life," "why am i keeping ___ around if there is no purpose for it".

i started out thinking that my word would be PURGE, but that's really an ugly word, isn't it? then i went with SIMPLIFY, but that didn't really grasp my desire. to me, simplify is directed more at accepting invitations, trying not to be over extended. so PURPOSE it has become.

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the first order of business is to start with my house. we have lived in our current home for 7.5 years and it's time for me to do a large purge, a re-assesment of sorts. i need to really ask myself if i have a purpose for the 70+ thrifted drinking glasses for a family of 4. does the crap filling up my garage have a purpose? is there a purpose for all the art supplies that i horde - give myself a challenge to chip away at my existing stash. i want my house to be in tip-top shape.

are you with me? do you have your "one little word" picked out? ready. set. go!!!

love, tiffin