christmas embroidery // a craft + template

when you think of christmas songs, which is your favorite?
mine? hands down, baby it’s cold outside by dean martin

i realize it doesn’t have anything to do with christmas, but it has everything to do with winter weather and a time gone by when people had class and morals with regard to relationships. the back and forth conversation is just fun and amusing.

obviously the title has been used a million times but it doesn’t lose it’s luster for me. i knew i wanted to display the sentiment in the house for this holiday.

with the cooler weather nearing, the thoughts of christmas are heavy. we’ve had a long and warm summer and i’m ready for some cold outside. embroidery came to mind and this project began to take shape.

christmas stitches

i designed the template on my iPad, using the rhonna farrer photo app. i saved it and then printed it the size i wanted by inserting the picture into word and enlarging it. i used the cluster of stars only because i liked the placement, even though i ended up stitching little asterisks to look for like snow. feel free to save the photo for yourself and make your very own!


this was my first time stitching on black fabric. i still used the same technique as i normally do but had to use a white pen to trace onto the fabric. (if you’re new to embroidery, i made a tutorial a while back).

since my colors this year are black/white/gold/red, i opted for an easy two color design. at this point, the white is done and i’m ready for stitches

the gold is done, i’m adding little stars for stitches

i used a small dowel and black embroidery floss to hang it. christmas stitches

because i was having so much fun, i also stitched another one. i found this printable on pinterest.

christmas stitches

christmas stitches

thanks for reading!

until the next time we chat, have a great week!


a woodsy christmas

it all started with one endcap display at target.

this one. right here. what you don’t see in this pic is the craft brown accessories that go along with this theme. this is what made my decision that his years’ christmas theme would be a woodsy and warm one.

i usually do something bright or different. some years it’s red, pink and green. others have been black and white and silver (with a white tree of course).

but we’re going to the back woods this year…and i’m super excited.

so i began scouting out what target had. these berries and branches are delicious. but $12 is kinda expensive. 

are. you. joking right now? sweater covered stars? i have a ton of these stars already, so maybe i just need an old sweater and i can recover mine. because again, $20 is too much for these guys.


same thing here. i love these. the trees are so cute. and look at those white reindeer! eek. but my goodness, i would go broke redecorating my house this year.

so of course, i head to pinterest to see what i can make myself.

these pillows are going to happen!Untitled

i knew i wanted burlap and twine to be dominant in my decor. this gives me and idea….

at michael’s i found a million things i could use to make myself.

styrofoam cones (1 large and 2 small)
a 10 foot roll of burlap (6-inches wide with finished edges)
bunches of pinecones
a roll of twine
some greenery and a bird with holly and some bundled sticks
a bag of holly berries
cardboard 3d star ornaments
pack of kraft paper cardstock

i grabbed this branch from one of my backyard trees.Untitled

and glued a ton of these little berries on. cheaper than $13 and a lot more fun.



i had a huge roll of grey yarn from another project so i wrapped a large tree and a small tree with it. i wrapped the other small tree with twine.


the big one ended up on the ledge.Untitled


and that vase from earlier didn’t get the branch in it. instead, i wrapped it in burlap and it gets to hang out with the leftover berries and a votive candle inside. all 5 of my candlesticks got a little twine tied around them and one of my owls made down to visit.

a large mason jar makes a cute topiary for a little bird and some forest favorites.

a plain branch in a silver vase sits between the jar and my wooden letters.Untitled

here is the ledge from the other side where we hang our stockings. this green star was $2 (50% off so i snatched up two, the other one is on the front door.)Untitled

i made the stocking hangers from frames i spray painted red, burlap glued to the back and a clothespin glued to the front. i used a red fabric marker to hand draw the monograms.Untitled




my gallery wall got a nice little update.


pine cones. a vintage bike. candlestick passed down from my mom years ago. they used to be red. then they were turquoise. they’ve been black for 2 years. i like them black.

as always, the airplane stays.

my coke bottles make excellent vases. and not just at christmas time. i found an old brown frame and hot glued a piece of burlap behind it and hung it up. 

this is a shoebox lid that originally just had the fabric, ribbon and bow last year. i added a strip of burlap underneath.


these mice will always make an appearance during christmas, no matter what my color theme is. they belonged to my grama vera who collected mice while she was alive.Untitled

another strip of burlap added to a fabric wrapped shoebox lid.


wrote JOY on a burlap banner i made. i think the pen didn’t show up enough and that i might grab some red acrylic paint next time i’m at jo-ann’s to make them stand out better.

here’s that wall. sorry for the blur.

i also wrapped a few ornaments in yarn and twine. i ran out of twine or i would have done a lot more. plus, laziness washed over me at some point.Untitled


i found these next two at target for a dollar each.Untitled



my little village




i absolutely adore how warm and cozy this year’s theme feels. normally, i shy away from neutrals and warm tones and am proud of myself for going outside my comfort zone, running with it like crazy and loving it!

do you do a theme for christmas or do you just decorate with everything you have each year? i like making new things and using items i haven’t seen in a while.

hope you have a great week!


easter twenty-twelve in words + photos











the gibber.


me and the gibber.




who’s ready?


marshall is!


and so is his cousin caleb!


low low low low



gibson got the golden egg



siblings and nephew. gorgeous family.



sister-in-law and baby rubi.


grandparents and grandsons.


the grays. thumbs up.




after all the eggs and grass and candy and food and pictures, the real celebration is that Jesus died and rose for us.
the true reason.


EPIC thanksgiving festivities

i think we laughed most of the day. our dear friend (and darn near our brother) came to enjoy grub and football and we just love to bring up old movies and tv shows and music and crack each other up! we stuffed ourselves, then we had dinner. the giddy food coma was in full effect as we listened to cat sing christmas carols and watched gibson roll around on the ground like a crazy person.  loved having mike with us. this thanksgiving was EPIC.

but let me back up a bit. the day prior to thanksgiving was filled with baking and prepping the food.

i made my first apple pies. they were so delicious thanks to little bit funky’s mini apple pie recipe. super cheap and quick. oh and don’t forget the vanilla ice cream!

salami and cream cheese rollups are a standard appetizer in our house. originally made by matt’s late mother for my first baby shower, it was love at first bite. all you need is a package of salami and a tub of whipped cream cheese.  spread a knife of cream cheese onto one slice of salami and roll into thirds.

don’t they look yummy? just keep them refrigerated until it’s time to place them on the table.

we also had ruffles and onion dip (way yummy) but i didn’t feel it warranted a picture.

there hasn’t been cookies baked in this house in months. a little sad but we’ve all appreciated the lack of addicting sugary snacks. but today i had an excuse. so i whipped up 5 dozen soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies. and of course the boys enjoyed licking the beaters. i mean who doesn’t really? i know you do!

such a beautiful mountain of baked goodness. if you want to make your own, i use a martha stewart recipe that’s been my go-to cookie recipe for years. only the best and she does it right! oh, i added some oats to the last couple batches.

the camera was MIA from the cookies until after dinner. you’ve seen thanksgiving fixin’s a hundred times so i figured i’d spare you from having to see my gorgeous herb roasted turkey and garlic and sour cream mashed potatoes. your welcome. gibson took off to play games, marshall sitting very prim and proper while playing a train track game on matt’s phone. matt and mike were told to act natural but i got a scold and a smirk instead. hehe

seriously with the leg crossed? are we sure he doesn’t need a glass of white wine and some loafers?

he did help clean up afterwards. and yep, he’s sportin’ the sweeper slippers.

after dinner, gibson decided he would tackle the turkey leg. was he man enough?

in the battle between boy and leg, LEG WON. after like 4 bites he decided he couldn’t finish it. but he tried so big.

truly and honestly, this crew is what i’m most thankful for. everyday. they make me crazy and they make me laugh. god i love my boys. and hello christmas card photo!

i’m super excited about my upcoming posts! i’m showing you my christmas decorations!

get your jingle bells on, we’re going to a sleigh ride!

an early christmas

i want it to be christmas NOW.

well, okay, not yet, but i want to start enjoying it now.

so i have.

i’ve been listening to christmas music for a couple weeks now. i’m not offended that stores are covered head to toe in snowflakes and red and white stripes and merriment. i LOVE this feeling.

i spent some time on pinterest recently, adding some more crafts and decorating ideas to my christmas board. i’m even more giddy now! i have time to make a few new things for the family room and really, it’s all i’ve been thinking about.

so when i got home from breaking dawn: part one, (which was PHENOMENAL) i decided to get down all the christmas stuff and decide what i would use this year. this helped me decide on a color theme (red and white) and what i wanted to make (lots of things) or re-use (striped fabric from years ago) or put away (the pink stuff i’ve loved for years) or add to the mix (some of matt’s mom’s ornaments). of course i did all this while bumpin’ the she&him christmas album. i loved going through everything now that it’s been put away for a year. =)

i’ve already started (and nearly finished) one cool craft i’m excited to share. we’ve done almost all of the boys’ shopping online and the next order will be purchased soon. i guess i just want to be done with the rush and the hurry and get on with the wonderment and the magic.

i’m adding new items to my advent calendar which i’ll share soon too.

hoping everyone is looking forward to december as much as i am.

see you soon!

happy mommy day

Another fun weekend with my parents while Matt finishes his project in a quiet house. Mom and I stayed up until 12:30 on Saturday night, scrapping and chatting. I am caught up through March in Project Life! Yay. Time to edit and develop April now. Then we were up early for church, a visit with my sister and then back ‘home’ for an awesome sewing project and awaiting the arrival of two of our favorite gals.

Here are some of my favorite shots from this Mother’s Day weekend!

 New summer colors for the family room (transformation in progress)

Me and the boys after church

Got to see my sweet new niece Alyssa Rayne. 3 weeks old now.

Gibson messing around in the car.

Sippin’ drinks at Murillo’s

This surprise from Gibson.

Something awesome my mom and i have been working on. Can’t wait to reveal it soon.

The consumption of  an entire box of Cheez-its and nearly an entire 2-liter bottle of  Cherry Coke.

One of my most favorite people. My Aunt Debbie (really my cousin) is helping me iron pieces of fabric for an update of my embroidery hoops.

 Hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day. =)

Easter weekend // 2011

we colored eggs this year. last year marshall was too young and gibson wasn’t super interested. but marshall insisted so we boiled and colored and it made him smile. of course we still stuffed nearly 40 plastic eggs with chocolate candy and I am all for tossing it already!
here are some of my favorite shots from the festivities.

we had a very low-key, stay at home and pretend it’s not really a holiday so we can get things done around the house and not feel guilty about not making a fancy dinner or going to a lawn full of other kids who are trying to get the same eggs as our kid kind of weekend. we did make a fun and fave breakfast on Saturday morning. it will be a post this weekend. look for it!


I’ve been absent.

Not from here. No…from the Lord.

It’s true that we’re busy. Doing chores. Raising kids. Working. Relaxing. That is all true.

But what am I really doing? Am I making a difference anywhere? I want to be purposeful. What are my kids seeing?

I have avoided Easter…kinda. We colored eggs. I bought gifts and stuffed plastic eggs with candies. We talked about the Easter bunny with our 3yo and reminded our 9yo that Good Friday was the day Jesus died for us. Okay…dangit, where’s the tissue? Seriously, I’ve not done much else. We don’t have real Easter plans and I’m okay with that. I enjoy doing things with just the 4 of us. But here it is…11pm on Easter Eve and it’s hit me that I don’t think I’ve done my job as a Christian parent.

Since we have all day tomorrow at home together, we will be doing the following:
* of course, the egg hunt and breakfast
* a bike ride (it shouldn’t rain tomorrow) so we can say we didn’t sit around all day on a Sunday
* an activity that describes the ACTUAL meaning of Easter and what it means to our family

I am hoping to continue to secure my relationship with my boys through Jesus and His sacrifice. HE IS RISEN!

Luke 24:1-12 ESV

(1) But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. (2) And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, (3) but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. (4) While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. (5) And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? (6) He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, (7) that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” (8) And they remembered his words, (9) and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. (10) Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, (11) but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. (12) But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.


“The joyful news that He is risen does not change the contemporary world.  Still before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice.  But the fact of Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline, and make the sacrifice.”  ~Henry Knox Sherrill

Here’s to making God real in this world.


thumb bunny loves you // easter card idea + FREEBIE

In December, I attempted to send Christmas cards. FAIL.
I figured I’d just do them for New Year’s to wish everyone a happy twenty11. FAIL.
A shirtless photo shoot of my two whipper-snappers would be SO cute for a Valentines Day card! FAIL.

Then I ran across kristy.makes and her fabulous thumbprint bunnies…and BAM! SUCCESS.

Here is the final image, as a 4×6 photo.

I love this idea for 3 reasons:
1) i didn’t have to prepare the family for a photo shoot
2) you can still tell how different our sizes are by the thumb prints
3) they’re so stinkin’ cute!

Here’s how you can make your own:

Print the free card template [below] on white cardstock. [i printed 2 in case of a major ink disaster. i was working with a 3yo]
Have each person do their prints in the designated area. [thumb = head and pinkies = ears]
Once the ink is dry, draw little bunny eyes and whiskers and things. Kristy’s are so cute! Add the names and ages of all family members too for a personal touch.
Scan or take a picture of the finished thumb prints card (I did a minor edit to it in PhotoShop so the colors were more vivid).
Save the entire image as a jpg and upload it to your favorite photo developing site.
Oh yeah, and then mail them.
Or you can send them by email which I might end up doing if I can’t find the right size envelopes.
(the green border is meant to be smaller than 4×6 so you can have white space at the edges so there’s no need to stretch the image to the edges.)

a freebie for my lovely bloggy buddies!

download the jpg
download the png

Is there ‘thumb bunny’ out there who you love? Send them a card this Easter!

I’m all linked up at:

SYS Thurs


Thirty Hand Made Days

Tidy Mom

All Things Heart and HomePhotobucket

I’m grateful for… [days 15-16]

Tuesday 11/16: alone time with Marshall. Matt and Gibson went to Varsity practice tonight so me and the Marsh-Man ran errands. He held my hand when we walked without pulling or fighting me and he stayed dry in his Thomas “underwears’ the whole time.

Monday 11/15: Family Circle Magazine’s super awesome subscription deal. Not sure how I found it but I could not pass up 2 full years (30 issues) for $12. Usually I buy it at the check-stand for $2.79 but now I can smile when I see the new issue and know that I am saving a ton of money. Here’s how you can get your hands on this deal. But I think it ends soon!