make something monday :: vintage frame jewelry display

Happy Monday everyone - I am SO excited about today's project! It is an honor to have a special guest post from the Ravenna Girls this morning. They have come up with a super adorable jewelry organizer for us. I LOVE it and can not wait to make one for myself!

now without further ado, take it away girls:

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First of all, we are honored to be a part of the Make Something Monday series. We're always scheming up little weekend projects, and some of those shared here have definitely been a source of inspiration for us. A HUGE thank you goes out to Rebekah for inviting us to this wonderful space.

We started making these vintage frame jewelry hangers awhile back after some thrifting binges. You so often find beautiful frames with gorgeous detail work, but often the glass is missing or broken. This is a great project for those finds! Also, I find it frustrating to store jewelry in a box because I always end up with tangled balls (like Christmas lights!). Its nice to be able to turn your jewelry into a piece of art by framing them on the wall.

The first step is to make sure your frame is solid. Wood frames work best since you will be stapling into the backside later. Sometimes if the corners are loose it takes some hammering back in place and/or some wood glue to get things back to square.
Once you are satisfied with the state of your frame, pick your favorite paint color and go to town. Depending on the finish of the frame, a first coat of primer can go a lot way. We used Ace brand enamel spray paint on this frame, but you can use just about any type of paint: acrylic craft paint, latex paint, etc. This is a great way to use up those paint samples that you bought as testers for your decorating! In this case, the paint had a gloss finish, but if you are using acrylic or latex its a good idea to do a finish coat of spray-on polyurethane, just to prevent nicks and scratches.
The next step is to attach your hanging screen. When we first started making these, we were using metal screen because we thought it looked nicest. However, its a real pain to work with, and leaves sharp edges, which aren't great around kiddos or freshly painted walls. We find that gray fiberglass screen looks just as great and is MUCH easier to work with. Its also the stuff you typically make window insect screens out of, so you might have this lying around, or can buy a whole role for fairly inexpensively at the hardware store. Lay a larger piece of mesh over the back of the frame, and cut approximately 2" larger than your stapling area. Some frames will have nice flat frames, others slope back, but attaching to either is pretty easy.
We use a simple electric staple gun that takes 1/2" staples. Nothing high powered or fancy. Its best to staple no less than every 4" to keep the mesh taught. Its easiest to staple at each mid-point and then work to the corners from there. Staple just to either side of each corner, pulling taught diagonally as you do it to keep everything lying flat.
If the staples don't go in to the frame all the way, hammer them in the rest of the way. Trim the mesh back as close to the staple line as you can manage, but be careful to leave enough area so that it won't rip. We like to finish off the back side with a little grosgrain ribbon (attached with Tacky Glue) to cover the staple lines. (Grosgrain ribbon won't show glue through the way a satin or cotton ribbon will).

After the ribbon glue dries, attach your frame hanger of preference (We like the sawtooth variety) with some extra strength gorilla glue and you're ready to display your jewels! Earrings with hooks can go right through the mesh. For hanging necklaces we recommend the smallest size hitch pin clip, available in the bulk hardware section for pennies apiece. Have fun arranging and rearranging your collection by season.
These jewelry hangers make great gifts, especially for Mothers Day later in the spring, and take about 30 minutes once you have the supplies handy. They can be a little bit of trial and error (it definitely took us a few go-rounds to get everything right) but they are fun and whimsical no matter what!! Give it a try.

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Isn't that so cute - I am so inspired and the jewelry sitting on my dresser in a big heap can not wait for me to whip one of these up! Thank you so much Ravenna Girls for bringing us such a fun and accessible way to transform an old picture frame. 

Make sure to check out the Girls blog for many more fun diy projects and all around eye candy. And they have two adorable etsy shops too - handmade goodies HERE and vintage HERE!

baby j


It's Friday...after I typed that I actually had to stop and double check - ha! It has been a weird week over here and by the sound of it for some of you too, but yes the weekend has arrived!

I have received several very kind emails and questions over the past few days about Josie in regards to my off hand comment earlier in the week when I mentioned she "projectile vomits 30 times a day"...first of all I wasn't exaggerating although it sounds dramatic - frankly it is. And it is pretty hard to describe how frustrating it can be especially to see her in pain. We are pretty sure that it IS acid reflux as a few suggested and she is currently on her third prescription we haven't quite found the right medication yet. Our second son, Levi also had severe acid reflux but his symptoms were pretty limited Josie on the other hand has several more and as far as I can tell is also very sensitive to dairy and eggs she breaks out in horrible red eczema if I eat either of those. I am really not sure why I have had two children with reflux our pediatrician said some families are just more prone to it but our oldest son did not have it and let me tell you when you have one that does you suddenly have sympathy for other families dealing with it. I know she will grow out of it and hopefully within the next few months but I do hate to see her in pain. She is four months old now and starting to show us her personality a bit more. There have been some pretty fun moments sprinkled in and I have a feeling once she grows out of the reflux she will be cracking us all up. Today I turned my back and one of her big brothers thought she needed to be a pirate. She just sat there smiling at Levi giving her all kinds of silly attention. I love those sweet moments it makes it all so worth it!

Thanks to those who were concerned other than that she is doing great. Not quite sleeping through the night but a solid twelve pounds, loves her bath, her brothers, music, snuggling and of course miss dolly!

sorry about the blurry photos but the moment totally cracked me up to see her sitting there with the pirate hat on like:
 "what, this is cool right?"

today was

a little bit of snow + a little bit of sickies + the last of the pumpkin bread thawed out from the freezer + a few batches of popcorn with sea salt a family favorite + a nice toasty fire + pajamas all day long + a few movies scattered throughout + legos and dinosaurs + letting go of most of the chores + all kids in bed before eight and a quiet house for me + my hook and yarn + cozy drink + soft music...
not too shabby if I do say so myself. how did your day take shape?

♥ thank you ♥

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My goodness everyone if I could I would hand deliver each one of you sweeties who left a comment on my failed project post a bouquet of gorgeous flowers. And here I thought that you guys might laugh at me. Might think less of me. I read each one and cried and smiled and was so blessed, thank you!

Sounds like it really hit a chord with so many of you instead. What is it about us women constantly beating ourselves up each time we aren't able to be *perfect*...and to boot most of our friends have the same job as we do. That's a lot of pressure to have the same job as everyone you know. It's hard enough not taking a lunch break or calling in sick once in awhile but instead feeling the pressure to claw our way into the top spot - whose the best Mom in the bunch. I often ask Mr. Gough how he would handle his job if he knew every other guy out there for the most part was doing the exact same thing as he was. How to feel successful and important when comparison is sort of the only gage we have to judge ourselves by? Good thing that we are not require or expected to be perfect we are only require to show up and allow God to meet us in our weakness and make something beautiful out of what we have to offer. Now I will go today and recite that over to myself like 500 times because it is NOT EASY to remember...and it doesn't mean we won't be tired, I know I am.

Speaking of comparison and blogging (because we all know how crippling that can be too) I came across this amazing post that Marta wrote last year. Maybe some of you have already read it but if you haven't and your a blogger who occasionally needs a little boost of confidence coupled with amazing humor (I giggled my way thorough this one) you MUST go now and read it! So good.

Today here in Seattle we are expecting a little snow. My middle child has some nasty viral eye infection and I was up most of the night again with a cute little girl - but folks only TWO LOADS of laundry to go!!! Just one foot in front of the other right...and so you know you guys are the best you are all loved and amazing and I am forever thankful that I can come here and be myself and you won't judge!

Thank you friends! xo

make something monday :: project fail

Yes it's true friends, fail.

And that is so how I have been feeling the past few days too so it shouldn't have come as a surprise to me that my attempt at crafting this week was going to end in a disastrous mess.
It was most likely during one of our middle of the night deliriums that I came up with the idea to take one of Mr. Gough's ugly white tank tops and snip it apart into some gorgeous redone frock to impress you with. Yes, I am most certain now that it was in the middle of the night, in between me using some naughty words while listening to our four month old struggle, again. I blame it on sleep deprivation - but that is what I had planned to do.

And so it was yesterday morning that I set out to spend about thirty minutes of precious alone time to come up with a project to share with you. The old under t-shirt in hand, down to my studio I escaped.

I did snip and sew and even added a cute little doily and buttons to the tank top, but the fact of the matter was that this little frock was originally a Calvin Klein size large white under shirt and the finish piece basically looks like a boat neck tunic for a full sized man. It's HUGE..so sad.

Just about the time I realized that my project was a fail Josie started screaming again. I had used up my precious moments and now the harsh reality of my life at the moment was there reminding me that I had other things to do and needed to leave it and get back to work. Every ounce of deep perfectionism inside of me begged me to come up with a new craft for today's feature. My mind was racing with other projects to throw together - and then it hit me. The Lord spoke to my heart, this failed shirt was a much needed reminder of the real reason behind why I create.

When Chris asked me what I was going to share today with you I told him about the craft I had come up with and how it had turned into a disastrous mess. He laughed and said that I needed to tell you all about it instead of making something different. Then he offered to try on the shirt. We laughed - hard. I considered showing you a photo but used my better judgment. But you're lucky because like I said I haven't slept much.

I have been asked repeatedly about how I manage to find the time to be crafty and blog about my little world with three kids at home, a new baby and all. It is a hard question to answer but I will do my best. The reason I find the time is because it is so desperately important to me. To be able to maintain some amount of me in my life is so critical during this hazy season of sleepless nights and busy days.

Right now if you were to come over to my house I bet you would be shocked at how messy it is. My boys spent the night with Nana and Papa over the weekend and I literally had no clean jammies OR clean pants to send with. Like fifteen loads of laundry need to be done here folks. Today I took my first shower in five days and my baby cried the entire time. I served oatmeal for dinner one night last week in my sweats. It was not hot but Mr. Gough made berry smoothies to go with which was pretty hot to me. My four year old has nightmares and doesn't sleep, my four month old projectile vomits 30 times a day, no exaggeration because I have to count...Chris and I argue, we're tired and dirty, we have no clue how we will make ends meet. My life has the potential of strangling me to death. You can relate?

This is why I so desperately need to create. I want to show up for my life each day and seek out the beauty that is there even if it is hiding it is always there. If I hide it away and wait for the perfect time or place to pour my heart and soul into making things even if it is only five minutes a day then I will miss out on all that God has for me right now. But let's get something straight no one is perfect especially not me. All I am good for is showing up and hoping that amidst the chaos and exhaustion I will also find an outlet to maintain a deep passion for crafting.


So this is a picture of the shirt I made. Hidden underneath a favorite sweater and belt it doesn't look all that bad I guess (the tricky art of making things look good in a photo). It reminds me that make something monday doesn't always have to mean a glossy perfect picture of how to whip up something fabulous on a dime.

It means making something with all that you are, whatever you have to give bring that. Show up and experiment, play around with the crazy idea swirling in your head. No pressure just some time for yourself. Make a cup of tea and put it in your favorite pretty cup. Put on some earrings and make yourself feel beautiful because you are. Make yourself lunch today not just the scraps leftover on your kids plates. Print out some photos that you took and make a display for others to see them. Make time for yourself, even if it is only thirty minutes and it doesn't turn out just the way you planned make some time to do something that fills you up. 

The truth of the matter is while I was making my recycled amazingly fabulous doily man frock I was in absolute heaven and no amount of failed projects can ever take away the feeling of satisfaction that comes from attempting to make something more from what I have been given.

So it is Monday friends lets make it good.

guest post on Prudent Baby!

I am guest posting over on Prudent Baby today with my Pony Silhouette Hoodie! And there is even a template of the horse head if you were thinking of making one too! Thanks to Jacinda and Jaime for including me on their gorgeous blog it is an honor!!

*and scroll down to the post below to see how my first date night for dinner at eight went this week!*

dinner at eight :: valentines day


It felt like the perfect week to start this new project with the silly + sweet holiday of love and all. I mentioned in my last post that our date with narrowly ruined by the intense lack of sleep we got the night before but I figured that most likely something will come up every time I try to plan one of these special dates and so I needed to power through and make it happen. I do want to make sure and point out though that my house was: 


a. not entirely clean 
b. the kids were entertained by the television while I did some prep work 
c. I was wearing my sweats until about ten minutes before Chris arrived home 
d. the kids were not exactly angels and asleep when we sat down for dinner..
 

but we had the best time, seriously it was so much fun!

For our first date I wanted it to be super romantic and special and on valentines day since I knew there was no way we would be able to find a sitter. I also wanted it to be different enough from the norm so that it would feel like a real date. A few days beforehand I borrowed a card table from my step mom specifically so that I could set the dinner table out in our front room by the fireplace. 

I love our front room space so much and it is also the easiest and fastest to clean so I focused my attention on making that room look special and did not worry about the rest of the house (my house has yet to be entirely clean since baby number three arrived for the record).

I set the mood by hanging a string of Christmas lights from a hook that was already in the ceiling. I added some doilies to a few of them to give it a valentinesy feel and of course had to add my heart strings bunting to it. But it was still missing something and I remembered some hanging lanterns I made last summer for our deck. The perfect thing to add to my little scene so I ended up making a super simple mobile with a metal hoop I found in my studio and some vintage fabric and yarn. It is kind of hard to see in the photos but definitely added a nice candle light mood.
Dinner was easy both Chris and I decided to use what we had on hand. The menu was one of our favorite meals: Cesar salad, french bread,  salmon, mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. I love this meal because Chris is so hands on in preparing it that we totally tag teamed it and I didn't feel the least bit stressed about the food - a plus when trying the get the kids to bed early.

The kids were very interested in our special date and wanted to know why they couldn't eat out in front of the fire too but we promised they could eat breakfast at the special table and got them in bed. The boys came out multiple times and there were some tears in there but for the most part by the time dinner was in full swing they were behaving themselves and in bed. Josie was not as easy and needed to be fed mid date but it wasn't really a big deal at all since I was having so much fun!
When Chris and I finally sat down together it truly felt like a real date. 


We toasted the special evening and chatted about valentines day's past. I remembered the time Chris had his brother Jeff help him make me a loaf of the Gough families traditional almond bread in the shape of a heart as a gift and he had memorized our song on his mandolin..we laughed and relaxed and really truly enjoyed dinner and afterwards sat and talked for a long time in front of the crackling fire that Chris built for us!

Dessert was also a yummy treat, molten lava cakes per Jenny's recommendation and a movie to end the night. We watched the Social Network which I thoroughly enjoyed!



I feel like this first really super intentional date at home went miraculously well considering. I also learned a couple of things, especially that I need to lower my expectations on all the details. I am really into the details but it isn't necessary to truly enjoy each other. I will say though that spending a bit of extra time did make it feel that much more like a true date night. It was a treat to say the least to be with my sweetie and focus on each other for a change! I loved it and am already super excited about our next date!!


I also want to thank everyone who left a sweet comment about Andi and my new adventure in dating our husbands it was fun to see it spark some ideas for your own date nights in! Now head on over to Andi's place and check out her first dinner at eight!

outtakes from ♥ day

sweet treats
addressing valentines for the boys classes - we went with these this year!
setting up for dinner at eight - details to come Thursday!
making dessert
roses from my valentine
our valentines day turned out to be quite wonderful after the threat of being ruined by the night before - Mr.Gough and I slept a luxurious 11:30pm-2:30am before being awakened pretty much for the day by several of our children..I might or might not have uttered a few naughty words. Lack of sleep and me don't mix well luckily my man is always a sweet help in the middle of the night (even when he has to change because of our little puke monster). Our date night in ended up fantastically and this morning I was treated to a day after breakfast in bed by my sweetie to boot. I feel very blessed and very lucky in the midst of a very exhausting season of life!

on another fun note I am sure most of you noticed that Anthros new wedding line, BHLDN launched yesterday! So fun to get a few emails from my newly engaged Sister gushing about her favorites. Oh how I wish this line would have been around eight years ago..almost makes me want to renew our vows just to have an excuse to buy something! Here are my favorites:

one, two
all right back to the work, just wanted to pop in and say hello and happy Tuesday!! 

make something monday :: cupids kiss "mocktail"

Happy Valentines Day everyone! Today I have a simple little recipe for a festive "mocktail" perhaps an idea for something extra special to surprise your loved ones with tonight!


When we were girls my Sisters and I LOVED to order Shirley Temples when we went out to dinner (we might still on occasion but shh don't tell) - did you order those too? This is basically a Shirley Temple with cream. So simple + sweet! I even made little cupids wings for the skewers!


2oz of grenadine syrup + sprite or 7UP poured over ice 


A splash of half and half


And of course a cherry on top!

 Enjoy!

Tonight we plan to put the kids to bed early for a date night in, I am looking forward to it!

I know that valentines day can be cheesy and overdone but it is always a good idea to tell the ones you love what they mean to you. I hope however your day plays out, romantic, silly, uneventful - that you all know you are loved!

xoxo

deep breaths :: a donut

This past week has seemed particularly exhausting for me. The sickies have been lingering around our home and Josie has proven to be a lot harder baby than I had hoped for, something I have been reluctant to admit. But she's hard. I know she will grown out of it but happy baby is not her middle name.

My patience is so thin most of the time. I found myself more than once being particularly harsh with my middle child this week - so much pressure on this little guy. He is only three even though most folks think he is five. A mom friend the other day even had to clarify that he wasn't older than Simon because he is big and so very verbal and capable. But I forget, he is only three.

Three is hard. Being the middle child is hard. I can sense sometimes his frustration with Josie and not getting the attention he deserves from me but he does an amazing job of holding it together and not letting on. He is a shy and tender little boy and quiet to voice his opinion sometimes.

Yesterday morning I made a little suggestion that the two of us run over and get a special donut together in our pj's. He was lightening fast to get on his shoes and coat and jump in the car. He picked out a special donut for Dad and Simon too and we had some time to be alone together.

Oh how I long to find the energy and time to connect with each of my kids perfectly. To give them my undivided attention once in awhile instead of always saying "no not now" or "you need to go play I am busy"..

It was a little treat for both of us something I am hoping to do more often with my kids individually.

How do you go about making your kids feel special? I would gladly take any suggestions! I want to make the time and effort for them while they are still interested I know down the road a donut with Mom could be torture..oh to keep them small forever.

dinner at eight


While brainstorming ideas for a few new features to add to a bit of sunshine this year I started thinking about ways to use this space to really bless and encourage my family. As most of you know this past fall we welcomed our third baby into our home and my oldest is just four. That is a lot of littles running around here - we have lots of fun yes but please don't be confused we also have lots of messes, whining, wiping, crying, yelling, running, jumping...utter chaos in every aspect of that word. Mr. Gough and I rarely find the time (or the money for that matter) to get out together on regular dates. Babysitters are rare and lets face it slightly intimidated to watch our brood at this young stage and so Chris and I end up giving each other breaks but we don't really spend much time alone together (when we are not zombie like tired at least)...
Then it occurred to me, what if I staged simple and sweet dates at home for my sweetie and I. Put the kids to bed early once in awhile, lit some candles, turned on some music and focused on our marriage for a change. I love the idea of having the kids help me with this project fully knowing that they will be going to bed and not a part of the actual date but a great way for them to see the importance of our relationship. Our children need to see that we love each other and that their home is built on our respect and deep commitment to each other. Dinner at Eight was born. 
I instantly knew I wanted to do this project with someone else too, to help keep me accountable and excited. And someone who I knew would encourage me in my marriage and I in hers - lift each other up in prayer and cheer each other on in being intentional. I knew it had to be Andi. A kindred spirit in so many ways, married young, little ones...we chatted on the phone the other night for hours and I felt so deeply inspired and blessed by her. 
So we have decided to kick this project off with a little q&a today and plan to stage our first dates, next week just in time for valentine's day. This will be a bi-weekly feature so that we don't get too burned out. Every other Thursday we invite you to join us for a peek into how we manage to go about dinner at eight..I am so excited!!

Now a little bit about the Goughs: 

 
01. When + where did you meet your husband?
I met Mr. Gough the Spring of 2001. He was working at the Church I had just started attending and the pastor had asked me to come to a worship rehearsal for the new evening service. Chris was there to help out on the drums and I distinctly remember him walking in. I was introduced to him and the first thing that went through my mind was "wow that is a real man" ha ha...he just seemed so tall and handsome and I was immediately drawn to his strong hands (all the Gough women love our Gough boys hands!)...I also remember thinking he was so shy (HE IS NOT) and asked him if he wanted to help out on drums at a Tuesday night service too. I sort of just knew this was different. He was so different.
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02. How long have you been married?
Since April of 2003, I was twenty three and he twenty five. We were married on the very same stage we met surrounded by all the worship teams and about six hundred of our closest friends and family (ha ha, told you he wasn't shy)

 
03. What do you think is the biggest challenge in your married life right now?
Most certainly finding time for each other. We have some serious responsibilities on our plate much more than when we first met and a lot of other stresses play into how we spend our time too. My Mother in Law calls this season the "trenches" and I must say that is the perfect way to describe how we feel. Just surviving day to day the best we can with little energy for ourselves.
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04. What is one of your favorite dates you have ever had with your husband?
My favorite date was one we had early on. Our first Christmas together Chris planned an amazing date -  we got all dressed up, his brother picked us up and acted as chauffeur taking us to a romantic dinner and then the ultimate for me amazing seats to the Nutcracker. Seattle is world renown for our ballet company and it was seriously so magical I will never forget that night! 

05. What excites you the most about this project?
The chance to really focus and pour creative and intentional energy into our relationship and knowing that I will have at least one evening every other week to simply sit and enjoy my husband. and I am also excited about planning the dates too..I can't wait!!
All right now go check out Andi's q&a and come back next week too when we share our first date night with you!




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