make: bridal embroidered dish towels

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My friend Catherine is getting married! For her bridal shower I bought her a rolling pin off her registry, but wanted to add something a little more personal. I decided on embroidering some dish towels early on, but it took me a while to figure out what to put on them. I settled on a love theme and sketched a design on the towels using a water soluble pen.

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I picked thread colors to match the towels and got to stitching.

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I used the same split stitch for the whole design, with a few lazy daisies to decorate.

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make: Birthday T-shirt

For Brian’s birthday I decided to design him a logo. He has been sporting a beard for about 4 years and gets way more complements on it then I ever do on something I do with my hair. So I decided to incorporate it in to the design. And he turned the big 30 this year so his birth year and place were obvious additions. I designed it in SketchbookExpress and used the freezer paper method.

The small survey letters and numbers were a little harder to cut out. Luckily they smoothed themselves out when I used paint.

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This was the first time I used my white fabric paint, but it turned out great against the heather blue shirt.

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take: 3 ways I’m like my Mom

  1. I like to make things.

When we see things we like we try to figure out how to make them ourselves. My mom is very talented in all things sewing and quilting and most other handicrafts. One year for  Christmas I received balls of yarn, needles, and an instructional CD-rom. I didn’t know how to knit, but my mom was right in guessing I would enjoy learning how. Then two years ago I received fabric and a pattern for my birthday, now I have a new wall hanging!

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Preparing to celebrate my brother’s graduation back in 2007

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Showing off handmade items at the Chilhowee Fair

 

2. I like denim.

My mom has always had a thing for denim. Denim jeans, jumpers, dresses, capris, and shirts. While I’ve always liked denim jeans recently I’ve acquired several denim shirts and just the other day my mom told me about the new Gap denim dress she got while I told her about my new Gap denim jacket.

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Posing at the State Fair with her award winning denim skirt

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Wearing a denim shirt while touring around the National Mall

 

3. I can’t say no.

We are both hesitant to say no to anything. From helping a friend with a sewing project to volunteering. But I also think that is where my willingness to explore new places and try new things comes from (and willingness to sing with the band).

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Singing along with the band 

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Traveling through Germany, one Christmas Market at a time

 

make: Custom tote bags

For my friend Jenn’s Bachelorette party weekend in Nashville I volunteered to make bags. I ordered canvas bags from Totebagfactory. They were decently priced and pretty good quality. They aren’t see through and the paint didn’t really even bleed through. They also have nice handles. The only problem with them was I ordered them about a week before I needed them and ended up having to stay up late finishing them instead of having a fun crafting Saturday.

My initial idea was to paint them, but then I started working on the design and everyone (Ok Brian and my friend Catherine) liked the design with everyone’s names the best. Adding people’s names would make painting a lot harder. So I thought of doing iron on. I ran by staples to pick up the special paper only to find out that the printer in my apartment building wasn’t compatible with the paper… ok back to painting.

I made the design using Microsoft Publisher. Catherine had sent me a design idea and I went with it. Its loosely based on a Fender guitar pick. The Nashville is a script and all caps for everyone’s name.

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I cut the guitar pick design out of plastic since I would be using it on all the bags. I started painting the gold with a foam pouncer while Catherine started cutting out everyone’s names. Since we would just be using each name once we just cut it out of regular paper. I also cut out Nashville out of the plastic, but it didn’t work out that well. The first one I used the pouncer brush to paint and it bled bad. So after that I used a paint pen and drew the Nashville that way. It was still nice to have the stencil to follow and it made all them come out uniform.

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To save time and to add some style we didn’t cut out the middle’s of the letters. I used the paint pen again for the names. Luckily all it took was overnight for them to dry then we filled them with bachelorette party essentials like advil and nail polish.

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take: Nashville

A few weekends ago I headed to Nashville with seven friends to celebrate our friend Jenn’s upcoming nuptials. We got an amazing Air BnB in East Nashville that was retro cool. I really liked the East Nashville area, some of the spots we checked out:

  • The Pharmacy, Burger Parlor and Beer Garden– Great burgers and beer in a casual cool setting. We sat on the porch which was great, half inside and half out. The staff was great too our waitress gave us suggestions on going out in the area.
  • Lockeland Table– This was our nice dinner out. They had great cocktails and delicious food. Another awesome waitress. She gave us detailed descriptions of most of the drinks and food and told us of a dance party going on that night in the area, which we hit up and had a great time.
  • No. 308– We stopped here on our walk home from the dance party. The music the DJ was playing pulled us in. Great atmosphere and great dancing.
  • Barista Parlor– I went with one friend early Sunday before the rest of the house got up. The whole side of the parlor opened to the outside and it was a beautiful day. We both got ice coffees and shared a doughnut and breakfast bagel. They were both delicious and the place had so much character.

But a Bachelorette party to Nashville is not complete without heading down to Honkey Tonk row. Broadway. We didn’t realize when we booked the trip, but Nashville is currently the bachelorette party capitol of North America. You couldn’t turn around without seeing three or four groups of ladies. We didn’t have matching shirts, but everyone else did. Our favorite places downtown were:

  • Acme Feed & Seed– We stopped here for lunch and drinks and they had a live band and we liked it so much we came back later for drinks on the rooftop and then dinner again downstairs. You order at the counter and they bring your food to you. They had a great selection of southern food with creative twists.
  • Robert’s Western World– The Bride-to-be had good memories of this place from a prior visit so we headed back. It was dirty and gritty and great. The band on stage was dressed in retro country attire and they played one of my favorite songs “The Battle of New Orleans”.
  • Johnny Cash Museum– It was a little expensive, but a nice museum. They kind of glaze over the bad times of Johnny, but also focus on some other little known facts. I liked how they had lots of interactive exhibits.
  • Mike’s Ice Cream– A few of us stopped in here one day because it was HOT out. We all got two scoops, but quickly figured out that one would of been enough. The ice cream was delicious and we all finished, because we didn’t want to throw any of the deliciousness away.