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!

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