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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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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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

How to Save Your Old Cards

My favorite thing about Pinterest is that you can find so many simple, attainable ideas without even really looking.

While I’m amazing at decluttering—I emptied 625 square feet of storage space and made it fit in a 25 square foot closet last year—I still struggle with letting go of sentimental items. Since the summer of 2009 when I moved in with my best friend in Greenville, South Carolina, I’ve been accumulating quite an impressive stack of cards. Christmas cards, postcards, birthday cards, wedding cards, Valentines, plus sweet little notes from friends and family during random times of the year.

So here’s a clever way to save your cards. All you need are two binder rings and a hole punch. Arrange the cards you have in chronological order and add to your stack as you get more. It keeps them organized and accessible so you can flip through them anytime you want. Simple!

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