Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fall Is Here!

What a perfect mug for my tea in the morning! My sister found it for me. She's so awesome!

There are some wonderful fall happenings at in our home these days. My family loves this cooler weather. We have even been able to fire up our wood stove on some of the colder nights. I love the smells and snuggles that come along with fall.

Since the beginning of the season we’ve gotten to try some new fall flavors at our local ice cream shop, Joe’s Ice Cream Supreme.  I’m in love with their apple crisp flavor and I’m looking forward to having pumpkin spice next.

My sister and I got some hot chocolate and white chocolate mocha drinks at Joe's. We fell in love with the mustache stickers that came on the lids. I wanna go back and collect more!

Another tradition we have begun with the kiddos has been going to a pumpkin patch and picking our own pumpkins.  We went to Knollbrooke Farm this year and last. We really enjoy the atmosphere of the place. Plus it is super close.  Our favorite activities are the slingshots for tiny pumpkins, the large tricycle racetrack, and the corn maze.  Their pumpkin patch has great varieties to choose from. For some reason I always end up falling in love with the tall ones. I didn’t realize how large the pumpkin I picked was until I was carrying it to the wagon. The scale couldn’t even weigh it for us!

Our pretty picks from the pumpkin patch. One for each of us!

Fall also means a library books sale! I love to hit up this place and get some older books for a couple cents a piece. Last year old picked up some vintage children’s books. I love to have some easy read books right before bed like the Hardy Boys! I enjoy the different story telling style or some of the books back then. The plots are not too much to think about and easy enough to follow without getting stressed out before bed. Call me silly, but I’m always on the look out for more of them!

I found this small book at the book sale from 1958. It's called "A Friend Is Someone Who Likes You". The illustrations are so crisp and beautiful. 

Rachel and I are learning as we go with this business stuff, but it’s been a blast! She’s on fire with her crochet pieces! I’ll be having a booth up at a Fall Festival in North Webster full of all our stuff with a couple new seasonal items. It’s a very new festival, but it sounds like there is going to be a lot to do with the family. Come say hi if you’re around!

- Hannah

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Baby Book for Cypress. Love Laura.

Yesterday, one of my greatest friends ever, Laura, came over and surprised me with a gift for Cypress.  It's a photo album that Laura put together with the maternity photos and newborn photos that she took of our family.  The photo book is beautiful.  She did such an amazing job!

Laura chose the perfect color for the cover!

She added beautiful poetry throughout the whole book.  Laura didn't even know this, but Joan Miro happens to be one of my favorite artists!

She did an amazing job designing the layout and placing the photos.

The photo of Cypress on the top left corner cracks me up!!!

I can't stop looking at this photo book!  It reminds me how much I loved being pregnant, what life was like before our Lovey came into the world, the euphoric feeling I had the first couple weeks after Cypress was born, and how often newborn babies sleep!  

To admire more of her wedding, engagement, family, newborn, maternity, senior, AND everyday life photography, check out her growing photography biz at her lovely websiteand "like" Laura Leigh Photography on Facebook.  


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Skaboot'ns Collection

While pregnant with my first child I would kind of geek out and make these weird noises when I was referring to something really small and cute like a pair of shoes meant for a newborn baby. Over time I developed a word that I used regularly when mentioning something that was incredibly small - Skaboot'ns. I don't know why. I guess it's just one of those weird things about my personality that I'm not going to try and understand. Now I use this word for anything miniature. I get such a high when I see a Skaboot'ns that I end up speaking like a complete goof ball and it doesn't end until the object is out of sight.

Lucky for my family, the fun will never end! I have officially started my Skaboot'ns collection! A couple months ago I visited Rachel's home for the first time since moving back to Michigan and I immediately fell in love with the variety of collections they have! Cameras, A&W mugs, salt & pepper shakers, vintage toys, and plenty more! When I came home I begged my husband if I could start a collection of my own. After visiting a antique mall I ran into miniature Coke bottles and I made my dorky Skaboot'ns noises and I knew. I didn't end up getting the Coke bottles, but shortly after that day my husband got me a little Kangaroo from the zoo. After all the excitement from getting the first item of my collection I looked through my old treasures as a kid to see if I had anything else to add. I don't have much now, but it's a start!

My mom got a ton of paint samples from Lowes for 25 cents each!
 I picked my favorites and painted up a little display I found for my collection.

Starting from the top left going right is a small heart candle I have had as long as I can remember, the kangaroo with a baby my husband got for me (a Skaboot'ns with a Skaboot'ns!!), a little army man from my son's first arcade experience, very small deer I've seen in terrariums before that I've gathered from here and there, a glass owl my sister and I received from our brother when we were young, a 101 Dalmatian's puppy I used to pretend it was my Barbie's puppy as a child, and a case of the "Smallest Falsies in the World" which is really a miniature set of false teeth. I'm not sure where I got the falsies from, but they make me smile and I'm glad I can add them to my collection.

It may not be an expensive collection and my children will probably think I'm crazy as they get older, but it does make me smile and I'll enjoy adding to it little by little as time goes on.

I'm not the only one who gets a kick out of seeing super small things! Check out some of these items from some Etsy shops. I wouldn't mind having a couple of these guys to add to my collection!

Actual pocket knife. 
I love this simple milk jug.
baby sock monkey
Milk Loves Cookie ceramic miniatures.
Miniature Wizard of Oz book!

- Hannah

Friday, September 7, 2012

Brainstorming and Visualizing

I found these fun shapes in the corner of the antique shop a few weeks ago. I love a good deal on a fun hands on activity. My oldest son, my husband and I were all playing with them last night creating different designs from our own imaginations. I have a feeling I'll be playing with these often.

The colors on these pieces are worn out with a satin shine to them. I think I'll be coming back to these whenever I've hit a block creatively or just want to make something pretty. Eventually I'd like to make something permanent from these shapes. Jewelry? Ornaments? Wall Art? Any ideas? Who knows what we will come up with. I'll make sure to share whatever we do come up with. 

I've had a blast reading Grow Your Handmade Business by Kari Chapin. Today I did a exercise she has included in her book to visualize what your perfect workday would look like. With her instructions to dig deep into the details of the actual day I couldn't help but get so inspired by my own dreams and goals. I think this visualization is a good practice for anyone to do. Sometimes we need to just sit down and really think about what we are doing with our lives and where we want to be in the future. I'm not saying I'm miserable where I am now, but that it's healthy to have goals to motivate myself and our business to grow. 
My husband and I like to visualize our future (both near and far) often and our ideas are bursting at the seams. It always leads to great brainstorming and I get so inspired for a new project right then. Keep an eye out for new stuff we've been working on in our mumre etsy shop. We will be switching up our inventory over the next couple weeks with more seasonal items!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Happy Birthday!!!

Today, my hubby turns 26!   When I think about the fact that we have been dating since he was 19! -that just makes it seem so much older!  For his birthday I gave him a toy spy camera from the 1950's or 60's.  It was pretty much love at first sight for him.  He has a collection of over 30 antique cameras, in which most of them work now since he's so handy dandy with fixing up cameras.  

It is extremely tiny!  Two inches across and about one and a half inches tall.  It came with a cute leather case that looks hand sewn AND it still has a roll of film in it!  It's so itty bitty, it's adorable.  

I also got him a tintype photograph from late 1800's.
Tomorrow we are going to really celebrate his birthday (my parents are watching Cypress for us so we can go on a date!)  I think I'm going to take him to Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids.  Oh so good.

- Rachel

Reading and Learning

I’ve been doing a lot of reading these days and finally made it to a book I’ve been sort of hesitant to read, but excited at the same time. I’m reading Grow Your Handmade Business by Kari Chapin. I love the way she writes and how easy she is to follow.  For as intimidating as starting a business sounds initially, she does a great job of easing you into it with excitement. I read Handmade Marketplace by her too. That was the book that got me really into being myself through my work instead of trying to do things people had expected of me. Since reading her book I’ve learned more about myself and what I’m really interested in.

So far, there are a lot of great things to be read in this book. I’m only officially the first chapter in (I love to skip around in these sort of books, but I really do read the whole book eventually ) and the words “be brave” have stuck out to me the most. It may be because I have a special place in my heart for the word brave (it’s my youngest son’s middle name). Being brave is such a good thing to have stuck into my head through this journey. I’m excited to try new things, why not have courage to do things they way we want to and not how we’ve only seen them done before.

I like the idea that all the things we make are one of a kind. Since we repurpose materials it’s unlikely that any piece will look just like another.  It leaves room for creativity ALL the time. Rachel and I are constantly coming up with new ideas and we aren’t pressured to keep to one particular path.  Between the two of us inspiration comes from so many different sources, we never really know what we are going to pick up next and make something awesome out of it.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Clouds & Raindrops

I've been looking for a good mobile for Cypress since she is sleeping in her crib, in her own room these days.  I'm not crazy about the ones that most stores sell, they are too ordinary for my style, so I decided to make one myself!  It was pretty easy to make.  

The clouds are cut out of thin cardboard.  You could use a cereal box or something similar to that.  I just drew two simple cloud shapes and cut them out, painted them white with acrylic paint and added glitter so it glistens in the sunlight.  I made a cut on the top center of one of the clouds and the bottom center of the other so that they fit together.  When they're connected it sort of looks 3-D!  

After that, I cut out raindrops from colorful scraps of paper, strung them up to the clouds with thread, added beads for more sparkle and "Ta-da!"  It's finished!   

Here's how it looks above Cypress's crib.  She likes it!

While I'm at it, here are the other corners of her room.  I like to collect a lot of vintage things.  All of Cypress's books are in an old wooden case that I turned into a shelf. The rocker was what my mom used for me and my siblings.

This area is pretty much the art/inspiration corner of Cypress's room.  A lot of art and sewing supplies, books, fabric and yarn are stored here.  We have collected a few old style toys for Cypress, like a Fisher Price record player, and an antique children's typewriter.