"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Friday, January 27, 2012


I've been growing my hair out for the longest time, and it was finally long enough to donate last weekend. Heck yes! It takes a lot of hard work and patience on my part to wait for my hair to get long enough to donate (becuase I love having short hair so much!), but it's a pretty easy way to do something nice for someone else who can't grow their own hair.

It's about time I shared these pictures. Before:

...and after:

I {heart} short hair, and I'm feeling much more like myself because of it. Out of curiosity, what do you do to help yourself feel more like, well, yourself?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Thou Shalt Not Follow

So, I've held off on adding any "followers" buttons to my blog because I hate the idea of followers, following, and all such-related connotations. I don't like being called a follower, and I don't like calling other people followers.

The First Commandment states "Thou shalt not follow," or something like that.

That being said, though, there is a time and a place for people interested in what I do to appreciate what they see, then take flight on wings of their own. With muffled hesitation in my heart and a sneaky grin on my face, I present the "Interested Parties" buttons. Feel free to be interested on the page or via email...or whatever suits you best!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bright Sticks

Here's another present that I can finally share now that the holidays and wedding festivities are over.

This little present was for a precious OCD toddler in our family who loves to collect and organize sticks. Kooky, yes, but oh-so-adorable! What better gift than his own gme of pick up sticks?

I painted a bunch of wooden skewers in a rainbow of acrylic paint (he's a toddler, not an infant, so I wasn't too worried about him dying from chewing on paint sticks) and snipped off the sharp ends. I painted a box I had on hand with black India ink (one of my favorite art supplies) and forced my baby to put her painted hand print all over the box. She was a good sport, for the most part.

This is one present I NAILED this year. Heck yes! I love it when you know you've given someone the perfect gift! That is the ultimate payoff. You have to know the person really well and pay attention to the little likes and dislikes in order to rock it in the gift-giving world. So, have you ever nailed it when giving someone a gift? I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Shelves and Shelves and Santa's Elves

Now that Christmas is over I can finally post some more gifts we've been making around here. There's no sense in spoiling a surprise, right?

Well, today I wanted to share some self-rotating food storage shelves that my siblings, siblings-in-law, Kirk and I made for my parents. We measured their built-in storage shelves and made rotating ones specifically to fit inside the preexisting ones. You should have heard us building these, it really was like Santa's toy factory with everyone pitching in measuring, sawing, nailing, clamping, and gluing. What a pleasant and productive mess we made! I'm pretty sure we finally got all the wood glue off of the carpet.

All-in-all, we made 8 shelves in two different sizes. My favorite feature, by far, is the chalkboard label on each shelf for quick and changeable reference. Fun, no?

Yes, beans are a staple in any Nielson household. You shouldn't be surprised by that.

It was a labor of love, I tell you what. Hours and hours were put into making these, but everyone was patient enough to follow through until this huge project was finished. Teamwork is a beautiful thing, don't you think? I'd love to hear about a time when teamwork made happy memories for you. Please share!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Silver Bells and Matrimony

We recently got to celebrate the wedding of Kirk's brother, Jon. Having a wedding between winter holidays is crazy, but there was no dissuading Jon and Caitlyn because they're in love, and love makes you do crazy things, it turns out. The evening was full of all kinds of good crazies, too, like a hot cocoa and doughnut bar, a unique sign-in book, and a mailbox that guests could write down date ideas for the newlyweds--too fun!

We had a lovely day with family and friends, enjoyed delicious food and beautiful places and spaces. Here are some pictures from the evening after a day filled with festivities:

Best wishes go out to the new couple in this, their next adventure together!