"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

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Hi friends! I have missed you so! It has been far too long (for me, at least!)

I know it's been a while, but that's because I've been working on some hairy plans and a new blog! You can now visit me at featherandfir.blogspot.com (I'm on Instagram now too, @featherandfir).

I'm still making adjustments to the new blog and hope you bear with me as I continue to tweak things here and there to get it all running smoothly. Please join me as we make the jump over to some fresh new pages! Exciting things are in store for that new little blog, so hang onto your knickers!

See you soon!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

String Monogram Part II

Is it just me, or is the problem with doing something for one person in your family is that it makes you feel like you have to do it for everyone else? And let me tell you, my family is big (and just getting bigger) So that generally means a lot of work. However, this is a project I did for just one nephew, and making another one for his big brother wasn't a big deal:

Matching set! Ha! (No guarantees on making one for future kids, though, sis. You're totally on your own for those.) 

Lest you think I'm being cruel for withholding my talents, fret not. She'll be fine because this project is a pretty easy concept and simple to execute, too. This is totally doable.

Just trace the outline of the shape you want on paper, cut it out, and use it as a template for placing your nails. Then tightly weave thread or string around the nails until the area is filled in.

Have you tried this yet? I'd love to see!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

From Hobo Rags to Happy Wraps

So, my friends. We've been feeling like hobos recently after we suddenly realized that all our quilts were pretty much shredded bits of rags. How did this happen? Well, we've used the same three blankets for more than eight years and looking at these things daily means we didn't realize they were destroyed until our eyes were opened with the sudden realization. Imagine my shock and surprise when I realized we were, indeed, living like hobos on a pile of rags! We like to make our things last as long as possible...but this was taking it too far. Judge not:


It was time to take matters into my own hands because we couldn't just throw that piece of junk away without replacing it with because then we would have nothing on our beds! So, with some wisdom and guidance from my quilting aunt, I made this ombre chevron quilt:

So much better! I've been needing a little sunshine in our room, and this was just the ticket. And can I just have to say that I'm dang proud of making this? I am. There were some serious hours stitched into this quilt, guys. I even bound all the edges by hand. And, as you can see in the picture, it definitely passes the snuggle test.

As for that drafty shredded mess? Adios.

One of my goals was to learn how to make a quilt before next fall, and I'm happy to say I'm getting a good start. The only quilting I'd done before were simple patchwork square quilts or basic tied ones. Hopefully there will be a few more pieces beauties on the way. I love learning how to do new things! What is something new you want to learn or try out this year?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Word for 2014

As much as I love setting up for Christmas, as soon as it is over, I love taking it down because my life seems so much simpler and cleaner.

This is the fourth year that I've picked a word to focus on for the whole year. If you're curious to know what my previous words were (and I hope you are! stay curious, my friends!) they were:

2011- Change
2012- Savor
2013- Fresh

And the word I am embracing for 2014 is... drum roll...

Peace, guys. Let's just say I have my reasons (like last year was ca-RAZY busy and we were pretty much all running around like kooks to the point of spontaneous combustion!) and I know this is something I (and my family) need this year.

There are many facets of this word that I can't wait to focus on and explore. Like, I want to invite calmness into my life... somehow. Still working that out. I want to focus on my tiny and oft-times neglected family more. I need to say no more often. I need to set aside time just to relax and not feel like I have to constantly be moving. I want to learn how to be a better peacemaker because it's not ever really been in my nature and it's about time I seriously considered it. That's what I'm hoping I'll embrace, but my yearly word has a marvelous way of revealing its layers to me in surprising and unexpected connections. Love it!

So far, living my word has been a huge relief! Like I stopped running a marathon long enough to realize I've been running the same marathon over and over nonstop. And let me tell you that stretching out feels amazing! My month has been restful and healthy. I'm focusing on making time for things I'm truly passionate about that have over time been pushed aside or replaced with projects for other people. 2014 is going to be a promising and incredible year, I can feel it!

I know picking a word for the year isn't for everyone, but it really is good for me. If you haven't done something like this before, I'd highly encourage it. It helps guide my year in a good direction, and keeps my focus healthy. And, it keeps me on track much in the same way new year's resolutions do for some people. Plus, after a year of honing in on all the magnificence a single word has to offer, it becomes a part of me. And the best part is that all of my previous words are compounded and an integral part of who I am and have helped round out my perspective of this crazy little planet a little bit at a time. This is a personal tradition and self-improvement ritual that I will probably continue for the rest of my precious life.

I've got to be honest: I've got some trepidation about this word, mostly because I find a lot of satisfaction from getting a lot done and doing things for other people, and knowing that I'm going to need to scale back on both of those things makes me a little nervous. But excited. But still nervous. So. Wish me luck on my word journey!

Are any of you embarking on a word journey for this year? If so, I'd love to hear what your word is and how it's going for you so far. If not, you can start one any time of the year, not just at the beginning of January! So put that in your pipe and smoke it, and consider all that a word could offer you if you adopted it for a whole year.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Oh, Girlies!

Kirk's mom gave all the girls in the family a little charm bracelet kit to throw together and personalize. Pepper's is more like a necklace because she is so bitty, but she likes putting it on and taking it off again and again. I've been meaning to share these for a while now, so, in the words of my favorite 2-year-old, "Ta-BUM!" (ta-dum!)

Because these came from a kit, all we had to do was pick where we wanted to put the charms. Easy-peasy! These are so sweet and feminine, and Pepper loves that we have matching jewelry with all the other girls in our family...and Kirk was glad he could make his own with the leftover pieces- haha! Love him!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cloud Nine

I made some cards from CTMH's Cloud Nine card kit:

Fun and bright, right? And they come together so quickly, too! If you want to grab your own set to beef up your card stash, you have until the end of the day (Friday, Jan 31!) to check it out.

I love that these cards will work for gals and guys alike and I think the sentiments are super usable. Plus, the embellishments are dang awesome too. Gold is closing in on my top favorite colors!

Do you keep a card stash? What card sentiments do you find yourself using the most?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

First Real Tree

One new tradition we were excited to try out was getting a real tree. I know! Neither Kirk nor I had ever had a real Christmas tree in the history of ever. So. We remedied that, for sure. I loved having two trees to gussie up, and the smell was divine. And watering it didn't get terribly obnoxious and the pine needles on our fake tree are worse than the ones on the real tree if I'm being honest.

One of the best parts about Christmas is laying down and looking at the lights on the Christmas tree. This one brought loads of comfort and peace to our home, and all three of us enjoyed it...but, not enough to name it, and not enough to feel like getting a real tree is a must for us every year.

So what about you? Are you a real tree fan or a fake tree fan?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Wreath(s)

It was time to give my droopy little wreath a break. I've been thinking about it for a couple years but needed to stick to my budget. I was going to wait for Christmas things to go on sale after the holiday and make a great new wreath to use for the next year, but found a great deal on shimmery accents the week before, so I was able to festivize my door a week before Christmas. Perfect timing!


My favorite part is the focal of the wreath, the larger-than life pine cones. I snagged these huge beauties from my parent's yard and baked the bugs out. Then I coated the outsides with fabulous glitter glue and snuggled them in the wreath with lots of other delicious sparkles.

So, getting one step closer to a classy Christmas led from one thing to another, and well...

Yes, you counted right, I made five wreaths. There's no denying the fact. I found happy places for them all over our house and am excited to rotate them to the prominence of the front door depending on my Christmas mood. This Christmas creativity has been a-brewing for quite a while now, so it's no surprise it came out in a huge and glorious explosion of glitter.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Santa and Horsies!

We took full advantage of the magical spark kids bring to holiday season and did our best to ignite our girl's excitement. We tried out all sorts of new things this year to see if we wanted to keep them around for future family traditions. One such adventure was a trip to the Riverwoods in Provo to see the pretty Christmas lights, the big guy himself, and take a free ride around the parking lot on a horse-drawn jingle bell carriage.

Sounds fun, right? Guys. Here's the truth about that night: we hyped it up to outrageous heights and dragged a stubborn two-year-old around outside in the sub-zero temperatures. We put her mittens back on her "coldy hands" dozens of times (duh. stop taking them off if it makes your fingers cold), shied away from Santa after waiting in line for 15 minutes to talk to him, then got disappointed when he didn't give us a lollipop like Santa does when he's at the mall. We took turns trying to warm up an independent and resistant toddler while still trying to maintain some semblance of dignity in public, listened while she cried and pitched fits until the first horse carriage arrived 10 minutes late, then sat silently the whole ride long. It was exhausting for all parties involved.

Kirk and I both asked ourselves silently and out loud, "Was this hassle even worth it? What did we accomplish from this fiasco?"

And then the payoff arrived. As soon as we got home and could feel our toes again, our thawing Pepsicle couldn't stop talking about that evening...for days! In fact, she still loves gabbing about Santa and the lights, and riding the horsies, which liked to jump ("like this!" she says as she jumps as high as she can). Her favorite video to replay on my phone is the one with the jingle bell carriage pulling up to us with its merry cacophony. And, we discovered she already knew the word "nutcracker." Who would have guessed? It certainly didn't come from us! (We have since found out it came from watching the Barbie version of The Nutcracker. Nice. As long as Barbie continues to teach 2-yr-old girls 3-syllable words, I guess her eventually negative affects on body-image can be overlooked.)

But, that's not the point of this post. The point is that we thought the whole evening was a huge waste of time, despite our efforts to stay chipper and help one another stay happy through the frigid winds. We thought it was a bust. But it wasn't, and it ended up being one of the most memorable nights for our little family. All Pepper can remember are the good parts. She obviously doesn't remember that she cried pretty much the whole time we were there. So, I've been working on forgetting that part too and focusing on just remembering the great parts instead. Become like a little child, etc, etc, and all that.

So...maybe we'll try again next Christmas? We'll just have to see when we get there, I guess.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Christmas Cards

It seems that no matter how much I plan and prepare, we always seem to run a little short on our Christmas cards. Curses! Luckily, I had some card kits laying around and whipped up  the missing balance pretty quickly. Here's a little peek of what they looked like:


I know it's not the traditional holiday photo (it's from our awesome trip to the Grand Canyon in the fall) but the candidness is my favorite and I can't help but love Pepper's ridiculous cheeser.

Still. I swear on all that is holy that I will only make one kind of Christmas card next year. Ain't nobody got time for that!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Christmas Oranges

Around the holidays, we become inundated with ridiculous amounts of sugar from generous-hearted friends and neighbors. We like to share the love, too, but to combat the pure fructose with a little fiber, we decided to hand out silly oranges to our neighbors instead:


This is a great way to include the little peeps in your family. We colored oranges until there were no more within reach to decorate. All we did was hand Pepper a Sharpie, and she unleashed her artistic greatness on each precious fruit. Then, I turned her delightful scribbles into happy and silly faces. We enjoyed sharing and spreading the smiles this Christmas. I'm pretty sure we won't do this every year, but it worked out well for us this time around and will be a go-to activity in the future with little ones.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas Decor

I know Christmas 2013 has now joined the multitudes of Christmases Past, but I have so many things to share with you before looking forward with bright eyes to the next holiday season.

I love decorating for Christmas! Crazy as it sounds, the minute Halloween is over, we pull out the Christmas goodness. There's just something about filling our house with beautiful smells and sparkles that makes the season even more cozy. Love it! This year I pulled out and fixed up these ornamental spheres I made a few years ago for a touch of Christmas color.


This first one was made with a styrofoam ball as the base. I simply covered the surface with red rhinestones. I did this in waves, laying down a thin layer of liquid glue in a small area, attaching the rhinestones, then letting that area dry before moving on to the next spot. Once the whole sphere was covered with rhinestones, I covered all the gems with another layer of liquid glue (also in waves) to seal them in. I finished it off by tying it with lace ribbon and a tag.

This next one was the most time-consuming, but I love the way it turned out. I cut out multitudes--yea, even legions--of paper circles, cut them in half, then glued each semi-circle into a cone of wonder. Then, I glued the cones together to create this sphere made entirely of bright stained glass paper, and attached a tag with some brown twine. Honestly, I was surprised that this ended up making such a nicely shaped sphere, but as long as the tips of the cones are lined up, a sphere it shall be. Also, I sponged the edges of all my papers before rolling them up and gluing them together, but I don't recommend it if you can help it. This takes up a lot of paper, y'all, so this is a good project to use for those bulk packs of patterned paper.

And last the best of all the game. This also uses a styrofoam ball as a base, but is covered with green buttons in all tints, thicknesses, and sizes. Same as the red rhinestone ball, I applied the buttons in waves. Once buttons covered the surface, I simply stuck some antiqued copper brads in anywhere I saw the white foam showing through. Then I gave the whole thing a hearty coat of liquid glue in waves to seal everything in.

Oh, shiny Christmas, thank you for making my heart so happy! Stay tuned for more holiday happiness coming at you this week.