The Sketchbook Project: 2013 Summer Tour

sketchbookproject07I originally wrote about the Sketchbook Project almost a year ago. Since then, I finished my own sketchbook, sent it off, and have enjoyed the e-mail updates I get every time it, along with 4,500 other sketchbooks, reaches a new city. (And the text messages every time someone checks it out!) On Tuesday, I finally had my chance to see the collection in person at the Watkins College of Art & Design in Nashville.

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Charity Water Update


I got an e-mail from charity: water today notifying me that the money everyone so graciously donated to my birthday campaign has been sent to the field. Even better news? Charity: water exceeded their $1 million fundraising goal for the holidays by half a million dollars, meaning Ethiopia will soon have over a hundred new wells. Stay tuned for updates within the next eighteen months to find out exactly what our money accomplished. Thank you again for all of your donations!

Family Registry Cross-Stitch


In 2012, I spent approximately two weeks worth of hours stitching a family tree for my grandmother’s ninetieth birthday. I started in April and didn’t finish until the morning of her party on September 14th. I alluded to this project several times on my blog throughout 2012, but I never quite felt up to posting about it.

It was, hands down, the biggest thing I accomplished last year. (And only my third cross-stich project!) There were many ripped stitches, many tears, and many times that Ian got up for work at five in the morning to discover me still sitting at the dining room table, needle in hand with crazy eyes. I spent months of my life worrying about spills, the oil on my hands, and not being able to finish it in time.

Presenting it to my grandmother on my birthday was a freeing experience. The second she saw it at the restaurant, I let out a huge sigh of relief that I’d been holding in for months. Honestly, had someone spilled a glass of red wine on it after dessert, I would have been okay. Presumably it’s hanging up in her house now. I’m just glad I’m not responsible for it anymore!

As crazy as the whole project made me, I’d do it all again. Not only did my grandmother have a fit over it, but I’m sure it will become a family heirloom. Here are some photos that I took while I was stitching to mark my progress:

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charity: water


Earlier this year, I pledged my birthday to charity: water. What does this mean? Well, I’m giving up birthday presents, phone calls, and Facebook gifts and hoping that you’ll donate money to this amazing organization instead.

I’ve set a goal of $550, which is enough to help 27 people have access to clean water. The campaign closes on December 30th, so I need your help to raise all the money by then!

The way charity: water is organized, 100% of public money goes directly to fund water projects, so every dollar you donate makes a difference. My campaign money will be going to a project in the Tigray region of Ethiopia, one of the driest parts of the country, where many people live on less than $1 a day. Even a $5 donation would be a huge help.

Please click on the banner above to be directed to my campaign. I know it’s a time of year when budgets are tight, so if you can’t donate, please consider passing on this post to someone who can!

Engagement Cross-Stitch

I finished my second cross-stitch for my best friend MMT, who got engaged on her birthday. I knew I wanted to do a shamrock, because she and her fiancé are about to start a very Irish household, and I wanted to celebrate that. I did a search for patterns on Etsy and found the perfect one in Charlotte Alexander’s shop. It was quick and easy to stitch, so it didn’t drive me crazy—which is more than I can say for another cross-stitch I’m currently working on. Continue reading