My knitting class started last week and I missed it!

My husband was traveling for work and I just couldn't fit it all in. Thanks goodness for my friend, Cristy, who gave me a quick tutorial during lunch one day.

To catch you up, I'm taking a afghan class. The goal for the class is learn a variety of knitting techniques by completing one blanket square per month. We're following Michelle Hunter's book, Building Blocks.

I'm pleased to say that Block #1 is done. I just love this pattern, too.

If you are interested in learning to knit this way, Michelle's book is great. There are also resources online. I've mentioned the site There are several blocks on there that look like they would be fun to learn. This one is my favorite:

I could envision a whole blanket just out of this one pattern.

I'll continue to share my progress on this blanket over the next 11 months. I really appreciate the forced slow pace for this project. No pressure to knit all of the time!

Do you knit? What are you currently working on? Any tips, tricks, favorite tools and websites?

My obsession with The Walking Dead is a mystery to me.

I hate gore... I hate soap operas... TWD is a gory soap opera. Yet, I LOVE it. It makes me want to cry, cheer, and throw up at the same time, kind of like a roller coaster.

I mourn for weeks after each season is over. Seriously. As though a gaping hole has been left in my heart.

Clearly, I have a problem.

My obsession with this Lilly Pulitzer wrap/poncho, however, is no mystery to me.

It's gorgeous! And, totally DIY-able!

{minus the whole "cashmere" thing because I'm not about to DIY anything out of cashmere}

So, here's where resort wear meets The Walking Dead... a "mashup" of sorts...

If you're a fan of the show, you'll probably pick up on where I'm going with this right away. If not, hang in there with me for the grand reveal.

I've been hanging on to some soft woven fabric that I picked up a while ago. I thought it would become a cute mini skirt, but then inspiration struck. It would be perfect for this project!

I knew that I wouldn't have enough of the Aztec print so I purchased some soft black suiting fabric to add a band around the bottom.

I also found these amazing buffalo nickel buttons. How perfect are they?!

Setting to work, I sketched my plans...

My version isn't exactly like the Lilly. Let's face it—Lilly would never make a "poncho." And, I love details so I added buttons on both sides.

Here's how I figured my measurements...

Elbow to shoulder = 15" (x 2)
Shoulder to shoulder = 15"
Total of 45" + 2" (for my 1" hem)

Shoulder to mid-thigh = 31" + 2" (for my 1" hem)

There is nothing firm about these measurements. If you are inspired to make one for yourself, you'll want to tailor it for your body.

I cut two panels - one for the front and one for the back - adding a black band to complete my measurement requirements.

I serged all of my edges and sewed a 1" hem on all sides, sewing close to the serged edge of the fabric.

To mark for my 10 buttons, I pinned in intervals of 3" from each end of the width on the back panel - five on each side.

Lining up the panels, I then marked for my button holes on the front.

By the way, I think the button hole feature on a sewing machine is magical. Watch this:

Can you imagine creating button holes any other way?!

I buttoned the sides together and... voila!

Cute with boots, leggings, skirts, and jeans... great for any occasion... cozy and oh-so-comfortable...

I'm a happy girl.

Now, back to The Walking Dead.

As I was sewing, I felt like this pattern was familiar. In a flash, I remembered this:

Oh, Daryl Dixon. Look at you. Our ponchos were meant to be together.

Now, off to find my crossbow...

Okay, ladies. I know that each of you can imagine how hard it might be to manage your wardrobe - including shoes and a husband - with a closet like this.

Did I just hear a collective gasp?

That's right! For the past year, I've been stuffing my clothes into half of this closet (can you guess which half?) and storing the rest in various locations around the house.

Piles on the floor count as storing, right?

So, I'm extremely excited to reveal our solution to this problem!

It all started with drawings on napkins and ended like this.

We added opaque film to the glass panes to conceal the clothing. I think it adds a bit of interest to a wall of closet doors.

I sketched the inspiration, but my husband did 100% of the labor—framing, wiring, sheetrock, painting... He's a genius.

Well, I did install the shelves in my...


Shoe closet!!!!!!!!!!

We ordered this cabinet from Kemper Cabinets. If you're inspired to install the same solution, this is actually considered a "pantry" unit. I originally saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it was genius!

The only thing left to add is hardware. We're going to add the "jewelry" when we order the pulls for our master bathroom.

I'm perfectly happy with the way it is now, especially considering what we had before, and I couldn't wait to share the renovation.

Need any details? I'm happy to share my resources!

I knew this day would come eventually.

The day my son would come home with his first... science project.

As I read the assignment, the cold sweat and mild anxiety attack may have given my true feelings away. My first thought was to schedule a meeting to gain deeper insight into his teacher's methods and desired outcomes. What if we misinterpreted the assignment?!

{Can you tell that I've recently graduated with my M.Ed?}

But... this is the third grade. And, the written assignment did say a poster was appropriate.

{Okay. Let's do this.}

Despite all of the worry, my son and I had the best time working on this! We researched together. We shopped for supplies together. I taught him painting techniques and how to use Adobe InDesign.

And, our end result was fantastic!

Hmmm... one might say, "Out of this world!"

Sorry, couldn't help throwing in the bad pun...

My Silhouette came in handy for this project, too. We made the labels from silver adhesive vinyl.

I'm still a teensy bit anxious about him turning this in—just as though I was back in school myself! I know his assignments will only get tougher as he gets older.


Let's hope they are all as much fun as this one was!


It was -12 degrees, with a wind chill of -34, when I woke up this morning. It is so cold it physically hurts! Have you felt the effects of the "Polar Vortex of 2014?"

Meh. Everyone is talking about the cold... so, let's talk about crafting.

It was really no surprise when my nearly-four-year-old began asking for a "shark cake" for his upcoming birthday.

Not a superhero theme... not cars... not dinosaurs... sharks.

He doesn't make anything easy on us.


So, I set to work this weekend, crafting shark accessories for the cupcakes that he was taking to share with his classmates.

I found the perfect scrapbook papers at a local craft store - a shimmery gray for the shark toppers and a watery iridescent for the cupcake wrappers.

This is one of those times that I said a prayer of thanks for my Silhouette. I downloaded patterns for the sharks and the cupcake wrappers from the Silhouette store and set to work.

My Silhouette is an older generation, but I still love it! Here it is in action.

And, the end result...

To make the toppers, I "sandwiched" a toothpick between two sharks. Time consuming, but so simple.

I think it looks as though they are leaping from the surf with the fluffy white icing.

He was happy as can be to share the cupcakes and shark water squirter favors with his classmates today!

Score one for mommy.

Wherever you are, stay warm and dream of cupcakes. Even better, bake some and take advantage of that warm oven.

After one full year in Pennsylvania, we finally went sledding and it was...

So. Much. Fun.

"Actually, I'm learning to knit."

As I spoke the words to the very kind (very polite) gentleman who inquired about my recent projects, I surprised myself. I've NEVER been interested in knitting.

Knitting requires you to sit still. It requires patience. It requires repetition. This is all very challenging for me.

Yet, here I am... writing, with yarn and needles by my side. It's weird... and relaxing...

I mentioned my friend, Cristy, in a previous post. She is new to knitting and I have witnessed her skills evolve at lightning speed. Watching her has been very inspiring.

I've found myself saying, over and over again, "You made that?!"

I want in.

So, I talked my mother into teaching me the basics over the holidays and I've been experimenting ever since.

Check it out. I made a fuzzy, warm headband...

And a scarf...

Cristy and I have registered for a 12-month afghan class, based on the book, Building Blocks by Michelle Hunter. We'll be learning one new technique every month and tasked with one 12" x 12" square. By the end of the year, we'll have completed an entire blanket.

I think this is a great introduction to knitting (and it won't require all of my extra attention).

I'll be sure to share my progress along the way.

If you're interested in a project like this, Michelle's video tutorials are online on her site,

Another amazing tutorial resource that I've discovered is New Stitch A Day. Johnny's videos are stellar. So easy to understand and follow along. This is the video that inspired my scarf:

Tell me. Do you knit? What resources can you recommend? I'm pinning what inspires me here.

Knitting. A new challenge for a new year. Whodathunkit?

Well, friends, despite its best attempts, 2013 didn't kill me. I am a fighter.

{Cue Rocky theme music...}

Needless to say, I am so happy to see it go.

I made a major move this year - from Georgia to Pennsylvania. With major life change, you should always expect the unexpected.

I certainly didn't expect to have two bad falls (one that took 6 months to fully recover from), a car wreck, and bizarre illness, including shingles (at age 35! And, whoa mama! You do not want shingles!).

I think there were office bets circulating about how long it would take for me to run back to Georgia...

I also didn't expect to fall in love with a part of the country so far from my home. Despite the extraordinary challenges of settling in, my whole family feels like this is home.

We love the climate.

We love the culture(s).

We love the people. You know who you are.

Here's to a safe, happy, and uneventful 2014! May the Lord bless you with peace and joy in the new year!

P.S. I now own a four-wheel drive and a serious pair of snow boots. Bring. It. On.