a few of my favorite things...christmas 2012 edition

oprah does it, why can't i? because every year, i manage to find or receive some pretty awesome things that i love to share with others. it can be anything from crafty tools to ways to help me stay better organized to pretty awesome kiddos stuff to cool home decor. i just love to share. so, without further ado, here's the christmas 2012 edition of my favorite things! (imagine oprah's voice here)

christmas 2012 awesome stuff:

1. paper source 2013 date book. anyone who keeps up with this blog has seen that this item has made an appearance before. but i have to say it again. i. love. this. organizer. it's compact, but big enough for me to write in all of the stuff i have to keep track of. and it comes with these super cute stickers to add to special days or events - birthday cakes, comb/scissors, nail polish, a beach chair...maybe i'm cheesy, but these little things bring some cheer and brightness to any random day in march when i need a little cheering up. and, bonus for me, each week has a special space dedicated to "do something creative this week." totally helps me get out of the day-to-day work stuff and have some focus on fun stuff.

2. 1154 lill madison bag (custom-made). are you familiar with 1154 lill yet? (because i wasn't until moving up to chicagoland). it's an awesome concept. they have all different base designs of clutches, wallets, handbags, diaper bags, luggage, etc...then, the fun part: they have tons and tons of fabrics that you can mix and match and design your own bag. 1154 has stores in chicago (and boston) where you can go in and create, but you can also do it all online. for me, it was time for a new workbag...one that would hold a laptop, notebooks, file folders, and of course, my date book. love my new bag!

3. blog, inc. by joy cho. from west elm. i so can't wait to dive into this new book, from joy cho, blogger extraordinaire of oh joy!

(please ignore the
horrible cords)
4. tall butler tray stand and espresso tray from west elm. i've mentioned before that i was contemplating swapping out our nightstands in our master bedroom. i thought it might be finally time to do it. but i need some thoughts...mr. re-nest thinks it might be a bit too high for our bed. i'm kind of okay with it. whatcha think?

5. imaginarium city central train table. (from toys r us). for anyone with a train-happy little one, this train table is a total treat. not only do i appreciate that they offer it in an espresso finish (matches our other furniture), but i also comes with 100+ train pieces (so you don't feel like this is going to be a hundreds of dollars proposition). let's say that little mr. re-nest hasn't left its side since it was put together (in my foyer, no less).

6. knitting row counter. from cool 2 be chic on etsy. here's where my nerd-self shows through. thanks to pinterest (once again), i came across this seemingly very useful and handy row counter that i so needed. leave it to mr. re-nest to come through with my nerdy row counter. good thing i have a knitting project in the works to try it out on!

7. re-nest studio giant custom rubber stamp. totally taken with this very special gift from my amazing brother-in-law (and the creative genius behind the re-nest logo and branding). fantastic way for us to add some more personalization to our pieces. 

so just a few of my favorite things from this year. hope you enjoyed your holidays with your family, friends and loved ones....and came across some things that were your favorite things!

here's to finding more favorite things in 2013!


the (crafty) results are in!

christmas day has come and gone...a day for celebrating giving, family, miracles, love and thoughtfulness (among many, many, many other things). and for our family, it was the culmination of the greatest idea ever...the inaugural handmade holiday. (if you still haven't been versed on the inaugural handmade holiday, see this post. we had rules and everything.)

today was the day. all crafty creations were due. each person drew a name and was responsible for making one thing for the person they drew. no dollar limit on the gift (although, i think it was an unstated rule that you don't go overboard.) and the whole purpose was to make something that means something to the recipient.

i have to say, i am mucho proud of my family. the creations were lovely and crafty and thoughtful. as a rundown, here's each of the handmade holiday loveliness (because i told my family i'd be featuring them on the blog immediately):

crafter: mr. re-nest
crafting recipient: my sister's boyfriend
homemade giftiness: a fuzz guitar pedal

(no pic available...sister's boyfriend had to go home with it before we could photograph it.)

my sister's boyfriend is totally into guitars. pair with this mr. re-nest's love of all things electronic and his natural, innate sense for tinkering (and his love for fry's electronics), and we had a match made in heaven. mr. re-nest literally spent three weeks working on this at our kitchen table, putting together circuit boards and switches and lots of other things i don't quite get. and he cleverly used it as a reason for "needing to buy a guitar" to test the pedal. he totally scored.

crafter: my dad
crafting recipient: me
homemade amazingness: a handmade butcher's block cutting board

when we had this whole idea about handmade holiday, we totally called out my dad. he was voted "most likely to not actually make the gift on his own and seek outside assistance." so not the case. i was handed a very heavy wrapped gift, opened it and was met with this gorgeous butcher's block cutting board. made from nineteen different one-inch strips of wood, adhered together, hand planed and sanded, and then finished off with boos block. i was totally taken away. and my dad was feeling super satisfied with himself.

crafter: my sister
crafting recipient: mr. re-nest
homemade uniqueness: paint chip ceramic coasters

a super-customized and modern take on coasters for the home. made with individual four-inch by four-inch ceramic tiles, paint chips from the paint aisle at home depot, some mod podge and some acrylic sealer. all were done in shades of grey (the color of choice in our home decor) and are going to be a lovely addition to our house. (and we'll likely be making an additional set once we have the basement finished)

crafter: my sister's boyfriend
crafting recipient: my bonus mama
homemade craftiness: custom-made wine cork cheese spreaders

when it comes to gifting, you have to know your recipient. and that was so evident here. my bonus mama (and dad) tend to entertain a lot (i mean, who wouldn't? they live in florida, which means they have, like, eleven months of great weather a year). he took a set of cheese spreaders (those tiny knives), removed the decorative ends that were on them, and replaced with wine corks. perfection for my bonus mama!

crafter: my mom
crafting recipient: my bonus dad
homemade uniqueness: thoughtful shadow box with keepsake memories

this past year, my mom and stepdad went on some incredible trips...one of which was a three-week jaunt to south america and the amazon. this, along with their love of photography, equaled a pretty great keepsake gift for him filled with photos and tickets from their trip.

crafter: my bonus dad
crafting recipient: my dad
homemade giftiness: wine cork trinket/wall art

are you starting to get that we're a family who likes wine? yep. this gift was a hit and helped get rid of some wine corks. super cool and unique trinket for a wine-enthusiast.

crafter: my bonus mama
crafting recipient: my mom
homemade loveliness: custom photo shadowbox

big props to my bonus mama, who made a thoughtful and sentimental gift for my mom. with a wooden box frame as the basis, she custom covered the outside of the box with patterned scrapbook paper (even matching up the seams!), and cut an opening through the back. the final touch? a collage photo of little mr. re-nest. 

it can't be a surprise that i l-o-v-e-d this handmade holiday...and i'm totally up for doing it again in 2013. there's some campaigning to be done but i'm pretty certain we'll be doing it again. (he, he!)

here's to your creative holiday season!


a mini monogram for any size space

funny story about the latest and greatest from re-nest studio...so, a couple of months ago when i finally got around to painting and decorating one of our spare bedrooms (remember the post? here it is), we also needed some artwork for over the bed. (ikea low profile headboard + nine foot ceilings = lots of lovely and open space above the bed to feature some cool artwork) all it took was a a trip to hobby lobby, one trip to target and digging into my stash of acrylic paint and papers (oh and a little help from the cricut too), and voila! we had three new pieces of art for over the bed.

remember this?

well, i didn't really think much about the pieces (as far as featuring them on the etsy store) until i got some much needed (and appreciated) encouragement from my sister. it only took her two visits to my house + one craft show + one holiday open house and i figured, "hey, why not? maybe someone will feel this piece the way i did."

who knew? it has a following and garnered some new fans at a recent holiday open house re-nest studio participated in.

our customized piece in our spare bedroom


and, one of our recent, custom orders!

just goes to show that you never know what will resonate with fans (and that i should listen to my sister more often!)

here's to your creative (and personalized) everyday!


dream big for a brand new space

well, y'all know by now why the delay in posting and what we've been up to....besides baby stuff, i promise we've been getting our crafty on. we've been sketching new ideas, working on some special order pieces and gearing up for the holidays. (btw, this is my absolute, most favorite time of the year. l-o-v-e it. i still feel like a kid every year at christmas time.)

at our late october craft show, we had a new re-nest friend who just moved into her own place and placed a special order for our "dream big" piece...customized just to her new place and colors and patterns. i loved the bold color palette she was going with...a great, deeper turquoise and white with an ikat pattern looked so, so lovely in this piece.

"dream big" custom wall art. 16" x 20". in deep turquoise, white and ikat pattern

it was such a pleasure to make this piece for her first place, and to get to be a part of her decor!



a great big (but tiny) re-nest announcement

well, well, well. we mentioned this last week on the facebook page that we had a big, super special, new design announcement this weekend. well, re-nest friends. here we are. a project that's been, oh, just about eleven weeks in the making.

introducing our new mama-to-be pregnancy countdown canvas wall art. born from some very special, personal inspiration.

announcement #2: little mr. re-nest is going to be a big brother!

when we found out our exciting news, i was committed to doing a better job this time around of taking pregnancy progress pictures of my growing belly. (confession: i didn't do a good job of this at all with little mr. re-nest.) this time, i'm bound and determined to do a better job.

i have friends who took their progress pics and used various ways of noting how far along they were....using a post-it note, writing it on a plain white piece of paper, using a chalkboard...the ways were numerous. then the idea: design a canvas that can be placed into your progress picture with numbers that can be changed out each week. 

without further ado....the mama-to-be pregnancy countdown canvas wall art!

my eleven week photo.
oh, and this new piece is available now on the etsy store...check it out here!

oh and one more thing, if you're wondering if all of our re-nest friends are going to get to come along on our nursery design and decorating journey....but of course! thanks to the secret boards on pinterest, the nursery ideas have been getting pinned!

here's to a fun six months of design and new ideas!


the inaugural handmade holiday

courtesy of babble.com
so, about 340 days ago, my family was sitting in a ruby tuesday's in indiana, laughing and enjoying some final moments together before my dad, stepmom and sister headed back to their respective homes. we were just enjoying each other's company when all of a sudden someone says, "hey, know what would be fun next year? to draw names and make gifts for each other!"

now, this is right up my alley. i was on board. one thousand percent. we immediately started making up random rules and laughing and joking. (most of the jokes centered around my dad, who thought he was just going to hire someone to make his gift for him. we quickly squashed his dream of this happening.)

fast forward to thanksgiving 2012. more laughing and family time ensued, and all of a sudden someone says, "hey! we need to draw names for the handmade christmas!" whoa. really? everyone is up for this?

so names were drawn. i made a matrix in excel (of course). and rules were set. (want to see the rules? yeah, they're below just in case you're interested in setting up your own handmade holiday!)

the handmade holiday rules:

1. each crafter is to make one (1) handmade gift for your crafting recipient.

2. all handmade items are to be made completely by the crafter. hiring outside help or soliciting outside help in any way shape or form is absolutely not permitted.

3. baked goods, food, alcoholic beverages or any consumed items are not permitted.

4. you may purchase materials to make your handmade gift.

5. ashley is not allowed to use the cricut.

6. all items must be wrapped and ready to give to your crafting recipient on december 25, 2012.

7. remember the purpose of this is to honor the true spirit of christmas….the recipient is to enjoy your gift. when designing your handmade item, please remember that all items are to be given with the best intentions.

so we're going forth and making crafts. and making sure we don't burn ourselves on our glue guns.

enjoy your holiday crafting!


a heartfelt thank you

to our re-nest friends...

it was just about two-and-a-half months ago that i took what felt like a giant leap and launched re-nest studio. most know this was a dream and a goal for me to do one day, but what people don't know is that doing this took a lot of courage...see, i've often compared doing this little adventure to standing naked in the middle of times square. putting stuff out there that i like is cool and all, but would anyone else like it?

this is a heartfelt thank you to anyone and everyone who has taken even one look at our etsy page...at this blog...at our facebook page, our twitter feed or at our pinterest boards. it's because of each and every one of you that i continue to be inspired and encouraged and have started to feel a little less like i'm standing naked in the middle of times square. every facebook like or twitter re-tweet (our greatest ones yet have come from pottery barn kids, michael's and stephen brown from tlc's "craft wars"...just to give ourselves a little bit of a pat on the back!) truly makes me giddy like a girl. and i can't even describe the feeling when i get an order! (just this week, we've received two more orders, organically, thru etsy...what a thrill!)

so, if you're wondering how this little venture is going, it's going really, really well. thank you all for your excitement, your support, your encouragement, your good ju-ju for this dream. i truly hope everyone is enjoying this little ride with me, and is looking forward to much more!

here's to living the creative dream,

two very special first birthdays!

i just have to start by saying this was a week. one of those weeks were it seems like right up until 5:00 on friday, the world is just throwing challenges your way. happily, it's the weekend. the week is behind us and we can now celebrate two very, very special first birthdays for two very special little girls!

two friends of mine just happened to have their little one's parties scheduled on the same day...and i offered to help add a little somethin' to the parties. i love doing party decor (see the grandest of them all here and here), thus our shift this week from the home to parties!

party #1: pink themed anything and everything. (note: this was awesome because i never get to do anything in pink!) we had a bigger space to work with so i went with a double ribbon banner. (i used a 1-1/2" pink ribbon with white polka dots...from hobby lobby) and i pulled out every pink patterned paper i could find. we ended up with a pretty cute, pink explosion for a very adorable little girl's birthday party (complete with a couple of paper flowers with a little sparkle!)

party #2: "you are my sunshine" themed party (love this, btw!) a friend at my day job really wanted a high chair banner for her little girl's first birthday...that would totally capture the "you are my sunshine" theme. we worked together to find a style of banner, paper, ribbon and we came out with a pretty darn cute high chair banner (if i do say so myself). all supplies came from hobby lobby and with some help from my trusty cricut. i so can't wait to see pics of this special little girl celebrating!

not to worry, today it's back to home decor...re-nest studio has lots going on with new orders and getting ready for our upcoming craft show! stay tuned for much, much more, friends!

here's to a crafty weekend!


the painting is finished...and so is the art...

whoa. last weekend was a l  o  n  g weekend around the re-nest house. don't get me wrong. it was super-fantastic. as in, going back to work was pretty painful, it was so good.

we managed to divvy up our weekend into little chunks: family time, house project time, errand time, crafty time and ice cream time (muy importante). family time was a little trip over to the quad cities to the john deere pavilion, along with a hotel stay and a trip to the family museum of art & science. lots of fun and little mr. re-nest proclaiming, " i love vacation!"

house project and crafty time was up next when we got home. and i knew just what my target was: our spare bedroom. admittedly, i bought the paint for the room back in april. and it's been permanently planted in my basement ever since. i don't know about you, but i totally have to be in the "zone" to paint. i always feel like i think it's no big deal when i'm talking about the theory of painting a room....until i actually get everything out, and realize how long it takes to just tape the ceiling and trim. then, the first coat is exciting for like, the first quarter of the first wall, and then it's like, "oh my gosh, when is this going to be finished???" 

this room was no exception. don't get me wrong - it's a great space, but there's just a lot of solid wall space in this room....not a lot of it is broken up by doors or windows (which to me, always makes painting go much, much faster). pair this with the fact that these walls still had a horrible painter's grade primer on the walls, and most of the first coat just soaked into the wall. (i will note here that i wasn't using my favorite paint...i was using the valspar eggshell from lowes. i usually go for the pittsburgh paints grand distinction from menards. but i found the color i liked from lowes and i totally bought into the whole "menards-might-not-be-able-to-match-it-exactly-if-it's-not-the-same-base" theory. silly, silly me.) 

so, about ten hours later (over two days), the room was painted. and i don't think i've ever made such a mess painting in my life. but i loved the color and how it came out. 

and if you happened to be following the re-nest studio facebook page that day, you'll know that i was bitten by the "refresh a room" bug. it wasn't just painting the room. then, i needed curtains. and a curtain rod. and some new art. 

curtains. check. curtain rod. not check (yet). art. check.
the 24" 24" canvas + chevron

the wall that our bed is against is pretty wide, and so is the structure of the bed/headboard in this room. i instantly thought that it would be great to do a multi-piece look over the bed, in a variety of mediums. 

enter the following:

1. a 24" x 24" canvas (used my 40% off hobby lobby coupon). paired with a yard of this great grey and white chevron (my fave, fave, fave!) found at hobby lobby (30% off....even better!)

wrapping the fabric
around the canvas
2. a 12" x 12" canvas from my re-nest stash. some grey acrylic paint + a layered circle and monogram look.

the finished art!
3. a white gallery frame from target. paired with grey paper, and a die-cut leak in pale green and white.

and voila! art. customized. in a look that i wouldn't be able to find at a store. i have to admit, i'm pretty psyched about the new look. now, if i can just find that curtain rod....

here's to being a little creative (with your home refreshes)!


olympic-sized message for pint-sized little ones

so, the 2012 summer olympics wrapped a couple of weeks ago. maybe it was the games, paired with a little bit of our twice-weekly swim lessons with little mr. re-nest, but i got inspired. inspired to develop a new piece that would give simple, but big time words of encouragement for my little one. and hopefully, other little ones too!

it's pretty simply said: dream big.

there are a lot of ways that we encourage our little ones. talking with them, telling them that what they do is great, watching their activities, and so much more. but what a neat little way to bring those words to life and make them a part of their everyday, in their room, their playroom, or anywhere in the house.

so, while we encourage our little mr. re-nest to be the next michael phelps (if he wants to), or to do whatever his little heart desires, we want him to have dreams. and to dream big.

here's to dreaming big (for you and your little ones),

p.s. i had to share: talking about dreaming big. several weeks ago, while watching "the social network" while little mr. re-nest was playing, he turned to me and mr. re-nest and said, "mommy, daddy, can i go to 'carvard' one day?" yes, little man. yes, you can.


a rug + a frame = upcycled home decor

upcycle image from
so, life with a toddler teaches a lot. there's the usual...how to love, how to take care of another person, how to help another person grow up with manners and with gratitude. also, when you bring a little one into your house, there's something else...you learn how and what you need to do with all of the home decor items that you've had at or below, say, three feet from the ground. because you learn very quickly that a toddler will get their sticky little adorable hands on just about anything they put their mind to.

that's what happened at our house. and how we ended up framing a rug. sounds odd, right? yeah. well, this was an instance of saying,  "i have two 'scrap' materials...what can i do with them besides throwing them out?"

our gallery wall screaming
for another photo
i've posted before about our gallery wall that we've been developing in our great room. well, there was one spot left on our wall that was just screaming to be filled with an 8" x 10" pic of little mr. re-nest. the pic was chosen and printed. the frame was purchased (a great black gallery frame with white mat from target). all i had to do was get the pic put in the frame and get it on the wall. and this is where toddler-bedlam came in. 

my poor frame was leaning against a chair. (hindsight = not the best idea.) all of a sudden, "uh, oh" was uttered. i was met with a little boy (with socks on, thank goodness), pointing at the frame on the floor, with shattered glass. yep, my thirty pound little mr. re-nest stepped on the glass and it broke. important thing was he wasn't hurt. and the glass was cleaned up.

but then, i had a frame and a mat that's still in good condition. just no glass. what to do?

new runner in our mudroom
earlier that month, i had purchased a new runner for our mud room. it was slightly too long for our space, so i cut it and hemmed it. but then i had scrap rug leftover which i just couldn't part with. scrap rug + broken (but still functional) frame? frame the rug without the glass = add some texture and pattern to a separate space in the house (and create a cool, mix/matchy pattern look)

rug + frame in its
happy home
our lovely little rug-in-a-frame lives on one of my fave ikea finds in our great room...in a completely separate area from where our rug lives. i really dig layering the frame with the patterned canvas (wonderfully created by my sister) and the pillow on our low profile table. 

*you might be asking: she has a toddler. this said toddler was the one who stepped on the frame. how does this toddler stay away from this low profile table which houses: a house plant (with dirt), a canvas, a frame, a stack of magazines and a ceramic owl? answer: he's never approached any of it. i can't explain why.

the moral of this story is: i'm so glad i didn't throw that scrap piece of rug away. yes, it's unconventional, but it also kept a frame and the scrap rug from the garbage. it's possible to find some great and functional and cool for the home in what seems like scrap. it's upcycling in action.

have you upcycled anything for your home? tell us! we'd love to hear!

here's to being a little creative everyday,


a very, very special delivery

villi's sophie the giraffe from amazon.com 
any friends of the re-nest studio facebook page might have seen my little teaser last weekend about the latest project that was super, super close to my heart. (oh, you're not yet a fan of re-nest studio on facebook? well, join us! we'd love, love, love to have you!) i think anyone loves when a new baby comes into a family...especially me...and what's even more fun is the total anticipation of finding out if the family will be blessed with a little boy...or a little girl.

our family was blessed with a little girl...and i thought this would be the perfect time to start bringing a little pink into this new little girl's room. and give her mama and daddy a little something to commemorate the most important moment of their lives. introducing:  the special delivery wall art.

welcome to the world, layla mae!
this very special little girl has a wonderful room, decorated with giraffes in pale yellow and green. to bring that special pink into the room, i went with a 12" x 12" canvas, covered in pale pink. we then, of course, had to include a special giraffe. and the most important part: the little lady's birth info...all presented in varying sizes and layers (which of course gave that very special personalization for her room).

i was so excited to give this special gift to her mama and daddy...i hope they love it and it finds a very special place in her room. 

here's to your creative special delivery,

p.s. i also have to give a big hug to this special mama and her daddy for letting me visit and have some new baby time with their precious little one. thank you, thank you for having me into your home! love to you!


obsession #446: magazines...and what to do with them

image from stylist.com
i've admitted i am likely one of the only gen-x/gen-y-ers on earth that gets catalogs. and i actually read them and they don't just function as a coaster for my household's diet coke obsession. another obsession: magazines.

it all started about ten years ago with real simple magazine. i've always loved this pub...for what it stands for, what it helps its readers do, and for the simple and clean way their photography is presented. it's always been a good day when this magazine shows up in the mail. but with my total love for real simple means that i cannot throw any of them out. not a one. i've been a subscriber for probably five years and i have every issue. (yes, this is kinda a fire hazard...but i love them and i can't let go.)

image from realsimple.com
then, a couple of christmases ago, i needed to give some family some ideas for some gifts. so i came up with a list of mags that i wanted subscriptions to....which started a whole other obsession. elle decor, house beautiful, dwell....all in their loveliness, they show up in my mailbox every month. and after i go through them, i can't throw them away. 

so what's a girl to do? make them into home decor, of course.

stacked and placed in different places, and even paired with other home decor elements, magazines actually make a lovely little addition to different places in the re-nest house. it may sound funny, but they also add a little pop of color here and there (and can even give some height and depth where needed). and it means i don't have to throw any of them out!

my stack of real simple issues. resting comfortably on our awesome ikea find, paired with artwork and a ceramic owl
giving our little owl a boost (and some height to our low profile table)
elle decor and dwell adding some color to our stark corner
tell us: do you use anything unique as home decor? i'd love to hear what craftiness and creativity you bring to your nest!

here's to enjoying your creative everyday,


catalog collector...yep, that's me

photo from pottery barn kids
am i the only person left on earth who actually gets catalogs, and reads them? (wait, let me take that back....my mom wins this. hands-down, she is the catalog-recipient-of-the-year. the woman gets at least six a day...and i'm pretty sure she reads most of them.) am i the only gen-x/gen-y-er that still gets catalogs?

i mostly get catalogs centered around home design (makes perfect sense, right?) and i have to say, i do take ten minutes and go through them. (note: many times this happens two weeks after they have arrived in the mail...i'm infamous for putting them in my everyday mom/work/everything bag and catching up with them when i have some precious open minutes during lunch/waiting at an appointment/during swim lessons/need a two minute mental break during work.) i love to look to catalogs for inspiration...for color, for pattern blends, and let's be honest, for finding things for the house that i feel i must have. (i very rarely act on the impulse to buy, but a girl can dream, right?)

this week's catalog i'm obsessing over is the new pottery barn kids fall 2012 edition. i will totally admit...i have typically given this catalog a brief glance when it comes out. i've been super happy with the bedding we have for my little guy (and partially didn't want to be tempted by something else), and i really wasn't looking for any other little one's home decor and furnishings. maybe it was the whole back-to-school theme that got me on the cover (even now, ten + years out of any type of schooling, i am a total sucker for this time of year...something about renewal.) so i dove in. and, o.m.g.

it was like they read my mind. the toddler boys's stuff was cool, and kinda what you'd expect for a boy's room. they still have my favorite madras print and there's a lot of "star wars" stuff. and based on the time of year, they also have some styles for toddler + boys that are collegiate-y looking (another look i love...very ralph lauren/americana looking). there's even an adorable new "where the wild things are" line that's cute. classic looks which i tend towards for the little guy's room.

but it was the nursery bedding that i melted at. (note: there is zero reason for me to be looking at nursery bedding, other than keeping track of trends for the sake of re-nest studio. just clearing that up now before i get a deluge of e-mails from friends wondering why i need to be looking at the pottery barn kids nursery bedding.)  i will say, pbk has been showing a trend towards the simplistic with nursery bedding. it's mostly trended towards whites and khakis, which for anyone that has experienced life with a baby/toddler knows that white can be kinda hard to keep looking fresh and new. but this new catalog has simple, mix-and-match designs, in varying colors with simple patterns. including my fave of all patterns...the chevron. in grey and white. l-o-v-e. the combos of crib sheets, crib skirts, bumpers (which yes, i know we aren't supposed to use, but they are cute), pillows (for older kiddos) are just fantastic. and i have to say, they have a bit of a modern feel to them too.

check it out. but a warning: if you're anything like me, you might just get bitten by the "it's-back-to-school-time-which-means-i-need-to-refresh-some-stuff" bug.



a special delivery of sunshine

one of the biggest and most exciting moments of the summer: my first etsy sale. a very special mama came across the "you are my sunshine" wall art on the re-nest studio etsy store, sent me her nursery bedding, i made a sketch and the rest was history. (oh, and i should mention that this order meant so much. opening a little store like this felt kinda like standing naked in the middle of times square. finding a fan was the best feeling.)

this very special baby was going to have an adorable light turquoise and orange bedroom....a color combo i happen to l-o-v-e. because i was working on this long distance, i did a simple sketch of the piece, so my client could see how the colors would look together. i also pulled some patterned papers as options and we settled on a turquoise and vanilla stripe as the background for the word "you." once we had the plan, i got to work.

i have to say that i loved how these colors blended together, and how the orange let the turquoise pop. 

i so, so enjoyed getting to put together this piece for a very special baby and family. what an honor to be invited into someone's special space and become a part of a new baby's room. 

here's to being a little creative everyday,


a weekend of cards and wall art...oh, my!

wow. it's sunday night and i seriously need to get my wits about me around all of the stuff i did this weekend. cards for my oldest friend who got engaged last weekend and her mom who is on the mend from a broken leg, a new piece of kiddos wall art (inspired by one of my all-time favorite rugs from land of nod, and finally and most importantly, my very first etsy order. i can't even begin to go into this right now...it's a must to start at the beginning.

cards. i love making cards. and one of my oldest friends got engaged last weekend, which meant it was a perfect occasion for dragging out my paper, punches, stamps and sparkly brads to make a cute engagement card. 

new kiddos wall art. so, a while back, i came across this amazing rug from land of nod that i have been drooling over ever since. it's their dot matrix rug and i. love. it. love it. seeing this amazingly wonderful piece of kiddos' home decor inspired me. so, i created a little dot matrix inspired wall art for a kiddos room, playroom, bathroom, or wherever. the latest and greatest is now posted on the etsy store for re-nest studio. be sure to check it out....very bright, fun and cute!

finally, and what is the biggest moment of the weekend (well, except for when my little guy told me "mommy, i'm having so much fun" at the pool today)....my first etsy sale. i am so, so honored to have been able to create a completely customized "you are my sunshine" piece this weekend to be included in a little one's nursery. i can't even explain it. to be able to have a piece that is part of such a special room, is such a wonderful feeling. pics will come this week on the facebook page (only after i know the piece has arrived to its owner...not quite fair to share it with everyone else before the mama sees it!)

it's been such a creative and crafty weekend....i loved it so much and feel so completely rejuvenated. just hoping to keep this up all week!

here's to your a little creative everyday,


this procrastinator's sewing project

i will be the first to admit that i procrastinate. i think it happens to everyone. i procrastinate even with crafty projects that i insist i have to do. projects i get so excited about that i run out, buy everything i need, start it and then, let it all sit in a pile while i walk by it weekend after weekend. until this weekend. i crossed off one of those procrastinated projects. (yay for me!)

when our little man was ready to switch to a big boy bed, we decided to get him some new big boy bedding...something different. less baby. more big boy. (i won't stop here and talk about the tears i shed about my little boy growing up so fast...) i found the most perfect new bedding, especially designed for the convertible bed we had. and even better, it already matched the paint and curtains we had in his room. here is the bedding we went with from pottery barn kids. (side note: i'm a total sucker for a really great madras print. i fell in love with this as soon as i saw it.) 

the thing i wasn't totally in love with was the crib skirt that went with it. i was a little queasy at the price, to be totally honest. i knew this bedding wasn't going to be used for anywhere near the amount of time we used his nursery crib bedding, and i thought that i had to be able to make a crib skirt for 1.) less money, 2.) with a little different pattern/print that would give a little extra something to his room.

bring in hobby lobby, a navy cotton broadcloth and two spools of a orange-and-white striped two-inch wide ribbon. 

it was pretty simple. lots of measuring the current crib/bed and double-checking how long i wanted the skirt to hang down. based on these measurements, i went about measuring the fabric, and cutting five main pieces:

1. main center piece (i.e. the piece that will lie on top of the bed springs and underneath the mattress)
2. two shorter pieces that will hang down on the two short sides of the bed
3. two longer pieces that would hang down the two long sides

then, i placed the ribbon along each of the four side pieces, and stitched them down (making sure to use orange thread to match the ribbon). some simple one-inch seams on all sides, and stitching the four sides to the main center piece, and we had a brand new bed skirt for the little man's bed. and i have to say, i was so happy with how the striped ribbon complemented the madras print while still looking boyish.

oh, and my little guy was as happy with it as a three-year-old boy can be. (i did get a "thank you mommy." so it was all worth it.)  

here's to being a little creative everyday,

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