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July 20, 2011

Interview Swap: Kelly Hicks Design and Photography

I have such a treat for you guys today!  You may already know Kelly and her fabulous blog but if you do will now.  This girl is nothing short of a powerhouse of talent. She is crafty and a complete design genius (a girl after my own heart), her photography is breathtaking, a total fashion savant and she is beautiful from the inside out!
Seriously...this girl is amazing!

Today we are swapping interviews and I can't wait for you to meet her!  She is truly AMAZING!
How beautiful are she and her husband?  Don't they look like models? 
Good gracious..I miss my youthfulness.
This is more what my husband and I look like in a photo and without the intended distortion.  
Yet somehow these 2 beautiful people pull this one off too.  
Sometimes life is not as fair as I would like it to be. Sigh. (wink)

Let's meet the lovely Kelly...

1. Tell us a little bit about your blog. (What its focus is, what you incorporate in it etc.)‬
I see my blog as a creative journal of my work and life. The work I feature is a combination of freelance design projects, home projects, DIYs, photography, and personal art. But I also love that my blog has become a place for sharing life tidbits, inspiring myself, and improving my craft. 

‪2. What do you find to be your biggest struggle as a blogger?‬

Finding the time! If I could blog everyday, I would. I do my best as a blogger to update frequently and to post quality content but at times life and commitments take over. 

‪3. How would you describe yourself?‬

I'd like to think I'm pretty funny, but maybe fun to be around better describes me ;) Typically I'm optimistic about life and try to make the best of out every situation. Beyond that I would say I'm creative, determined, organized, thrifty, hopeful, and silly. I strive to follow after the Lord everyday and base my decisions on the faith I have in Him.

4. How have you seen God work through your blog?‬
Through encouragement. I have gotten such sweet notes from girls saying they have been encouraged in their walk with the Lord through my blog. It's amazing to think my blog could be used to bring glory to God's kingdom. My hope is that I could use my talents to honor God and show others to use their own talents. The Lord has given me encouragement and validation when I read those notes to keep pursuing my dreams!

‪5. Tell us something random about yourself.‬

I sneeze almost every time I go outside.

6. What was your most recent awkward moment?‬
I was ordering a mango smoothie but it came out mango boobie. My friends thought it was hilarious and of course so did the barista. I turned bright red and the whole night I heard "I'll have a boobie smoothie!"

7. Who do you find most inspirational?‬
Today it was the girl next to me on the plane who wrote a list of recommended restaurants for the stranger behind her. She overheard the man behind us saying he had never been to the destination we were going so she wrote a whole page of restaurants for him. I thought it was such a thoughtful gesture and one I wouldn't think of. It inspires me so much when I see others go out of their way to be kind. Even though this particular incident had nothing to do with art or design, I love the idea of art inspiring thoughtfulness.

‪8. What is your signature drink?‬

Fresh-squeezed lemonade. Even better when it's raspberry or strawberry lemonade.

‪9. Where do you live and what are the hot spots/your favorite places to go in the city you live in?‬

I live in Rochester, Minnesota, the town I grew up in. I don't live in the most exciting of places but the city is expanding. My must go-to restaurant is Chester's which has a cool atmosphere and awesome salads. I've recently been exploring all the thrift stores in town and the best one I've found so far is All in Vogue - it's huge! 

‪10. What has been your favorite project and why?‬

That is a tough one but I think my favorite project has been the first wedding invitations I ever designed: The relationship I had with my bride was so great because our visions lined up perfectly. I was immediately inspired by what she told me about her wedding and the inspiration she shared with me. A good working client relationship always makes a project better! 

11. What is better, a rope?‬
Yes, a rope is always better. For example, when you find yourself in a sticky situation of having to tie one end of it to a large fallen tree trunk and the other end to the back of your whimy Sonata. My husband and I found ourselves in this predicament. We drove 3 hours to a remote lake lot, it was getting dark, and we discovered a massive tree right across the driveway to the lot. We knew we still had to set up camp and were not about to drive all the way back at 10 at night. So we did what anyone would do with rope and that little Sonata pulled it right out of the way. You could say rope saved our lives. 

Isn't she just sweet and so refreshingly funny!  A breath of fresh air and such realness from an incredibly talented woman. Now you must go visit sweet Kelly and her fabulously inspirational blog.  
My interview should be up too so maybe you can learn a few things you did not know about me too!

July 18, 2011

More Picnic Party Games!

Hi sweet friends and happy Monday to you!
This post might be a little long but these two games are way fun and super easy to make! 
It is mostly photos anyway! I promise it will be worth it!

The Crazy Cans Game was actually the first one I made...even before the Old Fashioned Ring Toss. But I got sidetracked with other projects.  And my sewing machine was not working. 
So I finally sat down and I FIXED MY SEWING MACHINE!  
All my myself!  
I have no idea how but I do believe the hand of God moved during that process. 

As for the CANS.  I simply ate the food in them (wink), cleaned them out and painted them pretty pastel colors.  Simple as that.  This also took a few weeks time as I used 16 oz. cans of tomatoes.  But the family got homemade tomato sauce and a nice chicken and tomatoes crock pot meal out of them. Hooray!
6 of these + Paint = DONE!
Now do you guys know what these are?
They are i-pod nano form fitted socks!  Aren't they darling?
When I saw these cuties at the dollar tree about a year or two ago I had to grab these. 
FYI: They do NOT stay on your ipod but I knew they would make a cute craft someday.  I picked up a couple packs and I am kicking myself for not getting more because I have not seen them around in awhile.

And they make perfect bean bags for my Crazy Cans game.
I grabbed a funnel and a bag of rice and starting filling them up.
You can really stuff these things too!
But I made sure not to fill them all they way to the top so they would be squishy and light.
Then I closed them up with my sewing machine and that's it!
 This one might be my favorite because I get to throw things and knock stuff over!
You know that is fun.

 The girls got into it!
I think my Ella was having the most fun. :)

 You guys know me. If I am going to make a game...I want it to be pretty.
 I went to the dollar tree and bought a bunch of wooden spoons. 
 They are all different lengths but that is part of the fun.
I painted them pretty pastel colors but not too neatly. They look prettier distressed.
Then I used washi tape for the handles to girl them up a bit
(There will be boys at this party but it IS a party for girls)
I used Mod Podge to seal the paper on the handles.
So as a family we decided to try out the balloons and made a bunch. 
The balloons ended up being a bit big for the spoons so we will make them smaller for the party.
But we had a great war on the front lawn!  No photos of that, though.  I was armed with A LOT of balloons. :)
I think these will be the last of the party games...I really don't have that big of a front yard!
But I will share more of my party ideas as they unfold.

I also wanted to let each of you know how much I appreciate you and all your sweet comments.  They always make my day and encourage me so much.

I consider you all friends and I just wanted to say how much I appreciate you.

July 17, 2011

Vintage Linens for a Perfect Picnic

A quick post to say hi.  
And to share the fact that I keep staring at all these pretty linens that simply make me smile. I found this lovely little thrift shop and picked up several floral patterned sheets that cost a maximum of $4.  I tried my best to find flat sheets because my thought was to use these pretty sheets as picnic blankets

That way I can have them at the ready as guests arrive and more then one family can share a blanket as they eat and chat.  I love the different ones I found and I am excited to see how they will look in my front yard. :)
I am also pretty excited to find these beautiful vintage pillowcases...some for .50 a piece or a $1 a pair.
They will be perfect for the Sack Races I have planned.  Fun, right?

Here are the girls trying out the pillowcases for sack races. :) 
They loved it!

I know this was a quick one but I will be back some time this week for more party fun!

July 14, 2011

Guest Posting: Bugaboo, Mini, Mr, & Me...A Pretty Wrapped Up Picnic

Hey guys!  Take a peek over at Bugaboo, Mini, Mr, and Me where I am guest posting for her "Life's a Picnic" party this summer.  I am sharing a couple of fabric wrapping ideas perfect for a picnic for two!

There is a whole bunch of fun picnic ideas as part of the linky party Kimberly has going until August.  
If you have an idea you should join in on the fun too!  

July 12, 2011

Pretty Paper Party Things

Hi sweet friends!
(say that title 5x really fast...Pretty Paper Party Things.  So fun)

Today I have some more party ideas!
I have put together some paper type projects and I am excited to share them with you.  

Since we are having a picnic during a Florida will be a tad warm.  So what better idea is there then to make some girly fans!!
I hunted down a bracket frame image I liked, enlarged the image to make a paddle type fan and printed it out on card stock to be a sturdy template.  I used 8 x 8 scrapbook card stock paper which fit it perfectly.  I tried using 12 x 12 but I could only get one fan from the sheet and I felt that was a waste of paper.
I traced the template on the back of each sheet, cut it out and hot glued each one to a craft popsicle stick.
    SO EASY!  Took me one nap time to get it all done. :)

Here is a template to make your own.
Click here to download
Now our girly guests will be able to feel cool and say things like..."I declare!" in a southern accent.
(of which I do NOT have though many others say I do)

I am probably crazy for wrapping up utensils but I really think it adds an extra detail to a party to make it special. It also lets me buy inexpensive napkins and by wrapping them with 4 inch doilies and tying them off with makes for a lovely presentation.
I have to be honest that I was pretty much over the 4th of July Mason Jar Sippy Cups I made.  I loved them but I was excited to do something else with them for this party! I had an idea and I went on a hunt and was so happy with what I found at Michael's in the scrapbook section...plastic paper. How genius is that? And it is SO PRETTY! I figured y'all would like to see my revamped jars...
I loved how the one sheet looks like lace and the other with dainty pink flowers.  Perfect for my party theme and they are both clear and see through. The lace one reminds me of  overhead projector sheets.  Wow, that must age me, right? If you are wondering...I am 35. :)  The pink flowered one is more thick and opaque.  But perfect!
So I traced and cut the circles out and I am re-loving the jars again.  LOVING THEM! And no mess too.

If the plastic paper thing was not to be found, I was going to hunt for plastic placemats or something.  But I LOVE the look of these and I am so happy with how they turned out!

Happy Tuesday sweet friends!
♥ XOXO ♥

July 9, 2011

Pretty & Simple DIY: Flower Centerpieces from the Garden

Stir crazy.  That has been the girls and me.  It has been raining like crazy.  To be honest, the rain is my favorite weather.  I love thunderstorms and curling up with a good book and  a cup of tea in front of the window. Even in the summer!  But when it goes on too long...I get a little restless.
 So yesterday I was looking at all my flowers in the front yard drooping from being sopping wet (I really need to prune them back but it makes me sad every time I do it).  I love all the pink (two shades of pink actually...tee hee) and white. These flowers above are vincas which here in Florida are perennials. They re-seed fast and I got a bunch of them this year. But the blooms are fragile and fall off easily.   
My girls always pick them up off the ground to give their mommy flowers. I put them in this little shallow dish and treasure those flowers from their sweet little hearts. But then I got to thinking and had a little inspiration. What if I did the same thing but gave it more impact by putting several glass vessels together as a centerpiece? 
That might be really pretty and completely FREE!
So I scooped some up and hunted down some glass containers I have on hand.
I trimmed some of the stems for the really shallow dishes (most are votive candle holders) so they could float on the water.
It DOES look pretty! Almost elegant. 
And the clustered glasses together look even better!
This would be such a fast and easy idea for a spontaneous dinner party or get together. I like the idea of placing them on a coffee table with some candles for a pretty display. 
I love simple, pretty, and free!
What do you think?  What would YOU do?

PS.  I have more picnic party ideas coming soon!

Hugs and have a great weekend my sweet friends!