Chucks for Chancho:

‘Chucks for Chancho’ is for my son.  His favorite pair of shoes were black and white Converse.  He wore them every single day doing everything a small child does in a good pair of shoes.  In the end they were dirty, scuffed, worn down, and full of stories.  I started to wear my pair of black and white classic converse in his honor.  It is well-known the nickname for Converse shoes is “Chucks”.  My son’s nickname was given to him early in my pregnancy by my sisters,  “Chancho”.

For what would have been his 4th birthday earlier this year (2011), I wore my ‘chucks’ along with some family.  To my surprise when I arrived at work the following day, my dear friends and co-workers showed their support by also wearing a variety of converse shoes.  I am blessed to be surrounded with unconditional love and support that help me get past the lows.

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Police Baby Photo Prop Set and Puppy Growth Spurts

The last several weeks have been extremely busy and stressful.  Feel like we are being pulled a million different directions with all we have going on.  Luckily we have a few constants in our lives:  work, crafting, and Great Dane adventures.  I will do my best to get back to blogging and decorating.

Im too excited about one of my latest commissions not to share it with the world.  A police hat and diaper set were requested by a dad for his newborn son, here is the finished result:

crochet police photo propits uhhhh-mazing!  I pride myself in attention to detail and this pretty much says it all.

 If you are looking to tackle a crochet project like this one check out Sunset Crochet pattern for the police hat which can be purchased hereI used this pattern for the diaper cover.  I freestyled the tiny “handcuffs”.


Puppy Chronicles

Here we are at 15 weeks, Optimus is growing like a weed now that he is off all his medications and no longer has his leg in a cast.

fawn great dane puppy

It’s amazing to see them grow at this age.  Ivy is extremely tolerant and patient with him.  If they aren’t playing or following me around they are sleeping.  As you can see Optimus still has to learn all of his manners.

great dane sleeping

I will keep the puppy updates coming!

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Whats on the hook Wednesday!

Well, its been a while since my last post.  So much to talk about!  Things at home have been a little hectic, actually a lot hectic.  In the midst of it all I have found my new obsession….. embroidery letters on coffee cozies!

embroidery cozy

I am excited about ALL of them and have started to slowly add them to the Etsy shop.  They will make great stocking stuffers!

This Star Trek inspired cozy was a request from my sister Cristina.  Challenge accepted and it turned out wayyyy better than I imagined!

star trek cozy

It just went up from there.

Here is a Dr. Who inspired cozy with an awesome red bow tie.

Dr who cozy
Annnnd my favorite from the grumpy Christmas collection

lost it in nom

I love it, need to make more since the original one already sold!


Puppy Chronicles

Oh yea, you read that right…. PUPPY chronicles.  Here is our newest member of the family.

Optimus the Great Dane

great dane with strangles

He came to us while recovering from a rare auto-immune disease called strangles (ugly name I know).  Affects puppies at a specific age and is a pretty miserable disease.  His face and ears pretty much blistered up and ruptured, leaving lots of scabs and scars.  With the early detection and treatment there should be no long term effects from the disease.

great dane 8 weeks

He is the sweetest pup I have ever seen! Super calm, smart, obedient, and CUDDLY!

Right away he became Ivy’s shadow.  She is very generous and shares everything with him.

great dane

She has been teaching him her ways and he is picking up very quickly on all the house rules.

great dane

She is patient with him, even when she is ready for a nap and no longer wants to play.

great dane

Then. BAM. Out of nowhere.

great dane broken leg

Just when we get a routine going and he is weaning off his medications…. he breaks a leg in a freak “ima try to jump of the bed” incident…and then Ivy also gets sick. (On a positive note his face is looking better every day and fur is growing in.)

great dane

As you can see the last couple weeks have been adventure filled but lacking in the craft area.  Everyone is on the mend now and being waited on hand and foot.  Hopefully we get back to a less stressful routine soon and everyone can get back to what they enjoy doing.

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Entry Way Progress

I’ve had big dreams for our entry way.  It’s difficult to describe vaulted area that leads to 3 areas in our home.  I have been determined on adding features that would set this tiny area apart, we are 6 months into it now and it’s still haunting me.

This is the view as you enter the house… my craft room to the left, stairs to the front, and living room/kitchen to the right… the view usually includes Ivy.

entry way with black stairs

This is the BEFORE the paint and elevated chair rail

black stair

First thing we did earlier this year was add an old French door to act as a divider between the front room and entry area.  This door was hung using the same method we used for our “barn door” in the adjacent dining room.  I love that the glass panels allow the light to pass but still separate the area without making it feel closed off.  Plus I don’t want guests to feel like they come into our home and BAM, you’re in the craft room so get crafting!

door divider

This was my vision.  Fancy mirror and cool table.  I’ve been on the hunt for something to jump out at me but have been striking out.

door divider

 Since this photo was taken the door has been painted using Behr Stealth Jet to match the staircase handrails and sister door.

Here is a progress shot from the day we painted the entry way.  (Also a good overhead shot of doors). I brought out the nifty laser for this project.

elevated trim for high ceiling

After receiving an outrageous quote for a professional paint job, we decided the cheaper solution to the vaulted ceilings was to paint only part way up and add an elevated chair rail molding at the divide.  Worked perfect!

(excuse the crappy middle of the night pic)

elevated chair molding

Back to the mirror hunting….last week we hit the Alameda Antique Fair on a mission.  Just when I thought hope was lost, I spotted it from far away.  I picked up the pace and prayed no one would beat me to it, cus you know that happens in the antique world.  There she was, in all her quirky beauty.

antique mirror

The mirror itself had some minor damage but I liked how it added to the charm.  The wooden adornments at the top and bottom definitely needed some love.  I got the seller down to $35

 Scored a couple other unexpected items that day making Thrifty Sunday a huuuuge success!  The milk jug will be joining the entry way and serve as an umbrella holder.

milk can

I didn’t realize how “fairy tail-ish” the mirror actually looks.  Now I like it even more.  After carefully taping off the mirrored portion I brought out the spray primer and attempted the make over.

antique mirror

The wooden pieces proved extremely difficult to paint over.  I had heard of wood strain “bleeding” thru primer/paint but had never experienced it.  I layered on the coats of primer but the weird red streaks kept oozing thru.  This one day project was now turning into a week-long affair.  After a trip to the hardware store for some even stronger primer, I finally started seeing some stain coverage.

antique mirror

And up on the wall she goes.  The search continues for the elusive perfect table to go right under the mirror.  The sole driving factor is I want somewhere to put the Halloween candy bowl.  That’s important right?


Dog Chronicles

We did some much-needed yard clean up recently, and Ivy was there to “help”.  She enjoys the largest branches she can find and will claim them as new chew toys.

great dane

great dane

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Camo Bows and Hand Painted Baby Swaddlers

To celebrate this month’s holiday I’ve been working on some very ‘Merican projects.

I’ll never get sick of these little bows

crochet camo bow

I took the risky newbie challenge of hand painting fabric for a baby swaddle blanket.

Stars and Stripes SUCCESS!

hand painted baby blanket

These blankets are huge, 45 inch by 45inch.

So I did it again with an Equality baby blanket.

hand painted baby equality blanket

This pair of black gauze blankets is my new favorite thing.


Dog Chronicles

Ivy likes her toys, a lot. She still falls asleep with them. This is the look she shoots me when I try to sneak the toys away from her so she can be more comfy.

great dane



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DIY Camera Strap and the Miserable Cow

I’ve had the pleasure of experimenting lately with my first DSLR camera and its been a ton of fun.  Slowly learning how to use it and researching all the tips and tricks for great picture taking.  While searching for camera accessories I came across some amazing camera straps!  Some are leather, others made from colorful and vibrant fabrics….wayyy better than the stock brand strap that screams “tourist”.  Although these amazing camera accessories are very well made and worth every penny, the cost was simply not in my budget….no way I was going to justify a $100 strap for my brand spankin new camera.

After some insomniatic obsession (that’s a term right?) over the elusive camera strap…. I mustered up the courage to attempt to make my own!  After all, if I use what I have on hand it wont matter if I mess it up!

The most beautiful straps I found were scarf straps… made using beautifully printed fabrics meant for light and airy scarves.  I just so happen to have a collection of those lying around!  I decided on one and then proceeded to deconstruct my Nikon strap in order to re-use the hardware.  I also scoured my leather scraps for useful connecting bits.  I haven’t been scared of failing a sewing project in a long time, this one was up there on the stress level.  I was using a scarf I loved and butchering my only real camera strap.  If this didn’t work I was going to have to wait til Christmas to get a replacement!

After a gut wrenching hour of putting my skills to the test, this was my end result…

scarf camera strap

She’s beautiful and comfortable! Oh, and also washable! (sans camera of course).

I LOVE IT! Wanna wear it all the time type of love it.  I am now on the hunt for inexpensive and beautiful scarves to get a collection going.

This scarf strap was my happy project for the month.  June is a tough one for us with the birthday of my son being on the 2nd.  I am usually “ok” from January til Mothers day…then I become a miserable cow until after my son’s birthday.  Happens every year.  Ivy knows when those times come around, and wont leave my side.

great dane

My sister posted an inspiring quote on pinterest… so I printed it up and framed it…

typography miserable cow

Some days we all need a reminder.  This is the best one for me right now.  Here we are toasting up some smores after having spent the day with family visiting Chancho at his resting place.

great dane smores

Remember… no one likes a miserable cow.  Have some smores instead.


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Baby Teething Rings

I’ve been itchin’ to complete some sewing projects trapped in my mind.  Carved out some time I probably should have spent doing something else to make these amazing little guys.

baby wooden ring teether

Adorable right?!  I used a gender neutral “bumble bee” pattern for this one backed with absorbent chenille.

baby wood teethers

This one in a fun baseball print is perfect for little sluggers.

I found the wood rings from Alexa Organics and they were exactly what I was looking for!  They are  all natural maple and hand sealed with organic products.  Exactly what we should look for in baby products.  I’ve got more rings on order and can’t wait to play with different prints!


Dog Chronicles

This past memorial day weekend we did what millions of Americans do and spent time with family.  Ivy is a very important member of our small family and she even got all dressed up for the occasion.

great dane


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Air Plants and Vintage Drawer Pulls

Been loving the new chalk board wall in the family area of our home.  On Mother’s day I came down and was surprised to see my husband has also found his inner artist.

air plant

Notice the newest residents of the chalk board in the upper right corner…. AIR PLANTS!

I have been scouring the house looking for the perfect place to put some.  There are some beautiful air plant terrariums out there but I was hoping to keep this idea low-budget.  I found a great Etsy shop also located in California called CTS Airplants  which had exactly the plants I was looking for at very reasonable prices.  They had a great little pack of Mini Tillandsia and it arrived in just a couple of days.  During a spur of the moment trip to Restore and Rework earlier in the month I was on a hunt for any type of old hardware that would serve as a good home for tiny air plants.  Of course I found some!  I introduced the two to one another and here’s the result:

air plant

A perfect marriage between vintage copper handles and tiny 2 inch air plants.  I screwed the drawer pulls directly onto the chalk board and slid the plants right in to their cozy new homes.  Every few days I spray the plants with some water and they are happy!  Another project added to my own list of vintage revivals.

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