Thursday, October 25, 2012

haunted pajamas

 Two days ago this window was not done. I was starting to think that Halloween would come and go and little more than a mum would adorn our house. Then my mother came to town. Ah yes, the beauty of a grandma to play with the little guy while mama wraps up some holiday crafts.

Up until this year I've had some pretty sparse Halloween decor. The only thing in this picture I owned were the skull lights that I got last year after Halloween. I was starting with a pretty blank canvas...and no real solid ideas for said canvas.

Then, last week, I was rummaging in my pajama drawer and unearthed these:

I hadn't worn them in nearly 2 years (mid pregnancy) and honestly thought they were long gone. You see, they were about 10 years old and had seen better days, ie: dry-rotted elastic and fraying waistband. 
How well timed, I thought, and brought them down stairs to the studio to be made into Halloween bunting.

I actually just bought this green glass hand at a Goodwill in Austin, Tx for $2. I hadn't had a chance to figure out what I was going to do with it when Halloween came calling. Some of our spookiest looking books give it a nice perch to sit on.

I grabbed a couple of ball jars and some fallen sticks from our porch to add some natural elements.

The candelabras were a Halloween gift from my mother. We found them at Michael's on sale for 3 bucks each. The best part is they are a total fake-out, they are two separate pieces of wood that come apart and store flat.

Although you will never be able to see it from the road we have enjoyed it everyday...maybe I'll get to enjoy my pajamas pants for another ten years too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

howdy pardner

When you take a two week road trip to Texas there is a lot to write home about. What we did, what we saw, whom we saw and did things with. It was an amazing trip! A little bit trickier than it was 6 years ago now with Desmond along for the ride, but we have so many more memories because of him.

To keep our drives relatively short for Desmond's sake our route looked like this: Virginia to Gastonia, NC to Stone Mountain, GA to Mobile, AL to New Orleans, LA to Galveston, TX to Rockport, TX to San Antonio, TX to Austin, TX to Lake Charles, LA to Meridian, MS to Scottsboro, AL to Asheville, NC to Winston-Salem, NC and back to Virginia.

We visited most places en route, like San Antonio for lunch and Mobile overnight. Other places were granted a couple of nights, like Galveston for our friends' beautiful wedding. Austin was hands down the family favorite, the food there is amazing and they make buying local easy.

We struck second-hand-gold with some great vintage finds, records in New Orleans and Austin and cowboy boots too, but more on those later.

There were many surprises along the way, a dolphin siting! We made new friends and caught up with old, and were welcomed "almost home" in NC by family and some delicious homemade chili and cornbread.

Here is brief pictorial of some of our adventures on this two week trek, in sort of order.

 It was a long time to be away from home, and after 2 full weeks in hotels and one-bedroom apartments our house felt HUGE. We are happy to be home, but so much happier to have went.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

thrift score thursday - unclaimed baggage

Dreams Really Do Come True!!!
When Dana casually mentioned the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Alabama as a possible stop on our vacation I took him VERY seriously. And so we found ourselves staying overnight in Scottsboro, Alabama, and it was totally worth it. 

For this particular destination I was on the hunt for an infinity scarf. Dana thought this was "crazy" and "impossible." Apparently he has lost faith in my thrifting abilities because....TA DAAAAAAAA!!!!
Hello Cashmere Infinity Scarf!!!!

I need to mention something important here, this is not quite a "thrift" store. The prices are closer to 50% off retail and whoever is pricing knows their stuff.  Scary stuff for a thrifty girl like me but I still made out like a bandit.

This scarf cost me an unprecedented $18.59...but since it's Cashmere and a quick Google search let me know that Portolano scarfs are sold at Neimans, Saks, and Bergdorfs and retail for $100-150, I was lot less shy about laying out the cash for something that I loved.

Another great find, an American Apparel hoodie for $3.75.

Speaking of hoodies, I snagged this TOMS zip-up for Desmond for $4.29, they retail for $40. It's a little big now but should fit him by next Fall.

Another bonus, Dana played a store scavenger hunt game with Desmond while I shopped and won a $10 gift card, cha-ching.

In case you were wondering, Dana shopped too, although I didn't find his dress shirts to be exciting enough to write about. At the end of a long day all three of us were exhausted and ready to indulge in the Starbucks Cafe they had inside...well two of us indulged anyway.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

before we left

There was much to be done before we headed out on our 2 week road trip to Texas.
I added one special task to that list and on a quiet Saturday morning I pulled myself out of sleepy Desmond's grip and stole a couple of early morning hours in the studio. I wanted to see this project completed before the car was packed too full for a small family. 

For Desmond's birthday my mother made him two tote bags in the same fabric, one is a basic tote and the other more of a book bag. She even added these special Grandma labels, I guess so he could tell them apart from all of the mama sewing.

She noted a place or two that needed a little help on the book bag, she is new to sewing after all, and I happily agreed to make the adjustments. While I did this a problem occurred to me: we would have 2 bags that belonged to Desmond on our trip that looked alike. I could hear the spousal communication breakdown in my head already.

So, armed with my tea and minimal embroidery skills, I sat down to make a patch for the book bag. This was going to be a pretty rustic project. I grabbed a scrap of linen from the pile and wrote BOOKS in pencil on it. I truly had no grand plans here.

I picked 3 thread colors that matched the pattern and did a simple back stitch over the hand-drawn letters.
That seemed a little too simple for me though and I hauled out one of two embroidery books that I actually own.

Jenny Hart's Sublime Stitching supplied me with just the added touch I needed, we were heading to Austin after all. A quick hot iron on these stars and I was stitching over them.

Some quick fold and press action and I was off to sew my little embroidery piece in place.

So cute!!! And it did the trick, there was no question about which bag I was referring to for the whole 2 weeks. 

Oh happy trip!!! I have so much to share about our travels in upcoming posts. Keep on the look out!