Christmas Countdown Cross Stitch Pillow

Okay – first, can I just say this is the cutest cross stitch?!

After I finished the Halloween Haunted House Cross Stitch, I moved onto this adorable Christmas Advent Calendar by CloudsFactory. I started this pattern in December 2015 and simply never got around to finishing it until now. At first, I thought I would stitch all the borders and attempt to finish a box a night, but it made more sense to dive in where I could and go for it.

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Halloween Haunted House Cross Stitch Pillow

The year… 2014.
The project… Haunted House by Cloudsfactory.

One chilly fall evening, I started this adorable counted cross stitch pattern by Cloudsfactory. I separated out all my threads, cut my fabric, and set to work. I wanted to finish it by Halloween. A lofty but what seemed to be an obtainable goal.

I overshot the mark. Like… June 2017 “overshot the mark”.

Thankfully, it’s finally done and the finished product is awesome!

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2017 – The Year of “Finish It”

As I embark on my new beginning, I’ve realized that I’m bringing with me quite a few unfinished projects along with me. These unfinished projects have been weighing me down for years. Literally, years. Therefore, 2017 is the year of finishing them. Said in the Mortal Kombat voice. FINISH HIM!

Normally, I would start the year with my good friend V over at Scribbles & Bits with #JustStashJanuary. However, I’m making this a Just Stash Year. That’s right. This year, I’m emptying the tank.

I went through my craft supplies and box of “Some Day Projects” (do you remember that from the Craft Purge of 2015?) to make a list. There’s a mix of projects for me and projects for my Etsy shop, so if you like what you see, you may be able to buy it! #Winning (isn’t that also from 2015?)

Here’s where I’m starting:

  1. Halloween Haunted House Cross Stitch Pillow
  2. Christmas Advent Cross Stitch Pillow
  3. Photos Organization
  4. Green, Black and White Striped Scarf
  5. Twine Wrapped Christmas Tree Ornaments
  6. Patriotic Santa Cross Stitch
  7. Christmas Snow Flake Hand Towels
  8. Cooking Santa Cross Stitch
  9. Christmas Recipe Book
  10. World Postcards Cross Stitch
  11. Mail Center
  12. Fabric Panel Books
  13. Ho Ho Ho Stitch Cards
  14. Red Snowflake Stitch Cards
  15. Old Sweater Hand Warmers

I’m sure I have more laying around here waiting to be made…

A lot of cross stitching in there to0! I’m looking forward to getting through these projects to make room for oodles of other techniques I’d like to try. It’ll be hard to put new ideas on the back burner, but I’ll be really happy when my desk is clear!

Stay tuned for all the fun and check out #ProjectFinishIt2017 on Instagram to see live updates! 

Decorating Our Small Apartment for Christmas

2016 was a tough year to get into the spirit of Christmas. With our wedding looming just over the New Year, decking the halls and fa-la-la-ing kept slipping to the bottom of my to-do list. As you all very well know, I love the holidays, but this year, I struggled to put in the full effort to do a holiday theme and max out my celebrating with cookies, custom gifts and good cheer. However, we did get a chance to decorate our apartment.

The layout of our 650 square foot apartment in San Diego is basically a box, but a few architectural details provided fun decorating opportunities. I didn’t get a chance to decorate my bookcases and dining room like I usually do thanks to a hoard of boxes related to the wedding (ahem – cases of wine), but we did get to experiment with garland throughout the rest of the space. Check it out!

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Santa’s Key


I love the tradition of Santa Claus. The big jolly man with a large white beard and a stomach that shakes like a bowl full of jelly coming down the chimney to deliver gifts for all the good boys and girls of the world. What’s not to love about this? Really, what?

Well, over the years, I’ve come across people who have a bad taste in their mouths for the tradition of Santa Claus. It’s not that they hate Christmas or dislike the idea of Santa giving gifts, thus taking their credit. No, it’s more of a… logistical or philosophical issue. I’ve found that parents who struggle with Santa tend to fall into two categories:

The No Chimney Parents and The No Intruders Parents.

I have a solution for both of you.

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Oh, Halloween Tree

Oh, Halloween Tree
Oh, Halloween Tree
Ray Bradbury
Would be so proud!

By pure happenstance, a Halloween tree has found its way into my apartment. I ordered a fake tree on Amazon. Being pre-lit and surprisingly inexpensive, I wanted to test it out – put it together, plug it in, fluff it out. You know, get a really good feel for whether or not this new addition would work for us.

So that’s what I did. I set the tree up, put it on the table where it would live during the holidays, and it just sort of… stayed there. It looked so cute and festive. I couldn’t resist! I already had the Halloween garland and spare pumpkins sitting around. I mean, come on. How could I not?!

I have no shame and no regrets. Actually, I do – I take that back. I regret that I put the Halloween decorations bins back in storage already and therefore, I can’t incorporate leftover materials from my Welcome Foolish Mortals Wreath into the tree. Ha! Next year… this is definitely making a come back next year.

Do you have a Halloween tree? Or a Thanksgiving tree? Or a year-round tree?


What To Do With All of Those Quotes

Like millions of people across the globe, I love Pinterest. My love is simple. I’m a very visual person so I see, I like, I pin. This formula works tremendously well for me. Unfortunately, I use the same methodology for online shopping and as you can imagine, that’s no bueno. But I digress…

In my time as a pinner, I’ve amassed quite the collection of quote images. Some for fitness motivation, some aspirational, some funny. Over time, I’ve dove into my boards to see the clever words but for the most part, once pinned, they are quickly forgotten. The true tragedy of this is I actually really love most of these quote images. They are beautifully styled. For a while, I’ve been looking for a way to bring these quotes more to the forefront of my life. Being a crafter, one would imagine I would print them out and have them in a clever display in my home. Unfortunately, my tastes change too frequently to commit to a certain set and by printing I’m limited to the number of images I can see.

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Felt Christmas Lightbulb Garland

Christmas lights have always been my favorite part of the holiday season. All of the colors lighting up the night to welcome in the season. My deep love of Christmas lights comes from something my dad used to do for me when I was a kid.

My childhood bedroom faced the front of the house, which meant I got a front row seat to all of the holiday decorations my parents set up in the front yard. My favorite decorations were the large, blinking lights hung from the eaves of the house. When time came to be tucked into bed, my dad always turned the blinds to face downward so I could fall asleep watching the lights blink. The colorful light would flood my dark room as I tried to predict which light was going to blink next. It was magical.

I’ve been wanting to do a felt garland of Christmas lightbulbs for a while now, but it has taken time to find style and technique. I didn’t want to just cut ovals out of the felt and say, “Look! Lightbulbs!” Thankfully, I finally found the right lightbulb image from and the rest fell into place.
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Easy, Beautiful Embroidery Decor with Wood Board and Yarn

I happened upon this project while cruising aisles I didn’t need to be in at Target. Don’t judge – you know you’ve been guilty of it too. Recently, Target has really amped up their crafting game and I absolutely adore the products they carry. Clean, beautiful and modern. Of course, I had to pick up some products and give them a shot.

This is a quick and easy project to do for yourself or as a gift for someone else. All you need are three items and you’re ready to design a personalized piece of home decor.

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Life is Better in Flip Flops Sign

I’ve been envying this sign online for years.  Growing up on Arizona and California, I could not think of a more true statement than life is better in flip flops.  Thankfully, this was a quick and easy afternoon project that took minimal effort.

I used my Cricut for the letters.  Don’t have a Cricut?  No problem!  I’ll give you a tip on how to get around that!


Wood Planks
Staple Gun
Paint Brushes – Large for coating and Small for touch-ups
Paint – 2 shades
Cricut Materials OR Letter Stickers
Sandpaper – 60 or less grit {optional}
Xacto Knife
Hanging Hooks

Let’s get started!

1. Assemble your planks.  I got my planks at Home Depot in the precut bin {typically in the molding aisle}.  These were 2.5′ long x 5.5″ wide, plus two thin backing pieces.  Most precut pieces do not need to be sanded, but if yours do, sand with sandpaper 80+ grit.

2.  Lay out your design and staple.  Be sure to check that all edges are straight.  If it makes you nervous to staple without support, masking or painters tape provides great stability while stapling.  Just run one piece the length of your design.

Staple through the backing pieces to the front side.  If you miss fire or have a not-so-pretty staple, don’t worry!  Either pull out the staple or restaple.  You’ll see in the picture below, some areas took a few shots for me.  Also, if your staple doesn’t go all the way in, use a hammer to gently knock it into place.

3.  Now that we have one big sign, it’s time to paint!  I chose to do white lettering with a blue foreground.  That being said, I’m painting the entire background the lighter color.

4.  While the base paint is drying, let’s prep our letters.  You can do this one of two ways.  You can either use vinyl with a Cricut machine to cut out your letters.  I used Street Sign font and cut them at 4.75.


You can pay a visit to a hardware store to get large sticker letters.  Most stores carry them for street signs or registration letters/numbers on personal recreation vehicles.  I’ve seen large letters at Michaels occasionally as well.  You don’t have to have a Cricut to complete this project!

5.  Apply your letters to the sign.  Take the extra time to ensure they are straight and positioned to your liking.

6.  Apply that top coat.  Remember, thin, even coats will do the trick.  Apply a second coat if you see fit.  I wanted a more distressed look, so I only did one.

7.  Remove your letters.  I needed the assistance of an Xacto knife for this part.  You may not if you have some good nails.  Do what feels right to you!

8.  Time for touch-ups!  As you can see, I had some paint seep through, and that’s okay!  Using a small paint brush, I did touch-ups with my base paint.


9.  Optional: Time to distress.  Rub the sign with 60 or less grit sandpaper until scuffed up to your liking.

10.  Add hanging hooks.  Feel free to use the hooks of your choosing and follow the directions on the package.  Your sign shouldn’t be too heavy so don’t go overboard.

Hang and relax!