Coffee Art or Memo Board?

Coffee Art or Memo Board?

At the end of this post I mentioned that I had a few more burlap projects up my sleeve. Today I share with you my new kitchen bulletin board! 

Let’s back up a little bit, shall we? I haven’t really shown this wall (it’s directly across from Rosie’s bedroom door) because for a long while it looked like this: 

The previous owner is to blame for the damaged wall. She hung baskets there for produce. She took the baskets and left boards with hooks sticking out still screwed (and possibly glued?) to the wall. They were hell to remove and I obviously still need to actually patch the wall there. 

I fantasize daily about removing that wall when we save enough money to remodel our kitchen. My solution in the meantime was/is to make it functional. Originally I slapped up a white board and a few fabric covered cork tiles that I already had so we could post information. 

I quit using the whiteboard around the beginning of June and the clutter was beginning to drive me crazy. That’s when I started to brainstorm some ideas about a more functional memo board. 

Back in May, Shane and I spent a weekend on Kauai for a friend’s wedding. It’s always a treat to visit Kauai since it’s absolutely gorgeous and I get to listen to Shane relive his high school days. It’s also where we honeymooned. 

While there, I insisted on stopping at the Kauai Coffee Estate. They are my favorite coffee and we also visited during our honeymoon. 

Cozy with the coffee trees as a newlywed

 This time, after a guided tour, we left with several bags of coffee and a couple burlap coffee bags. They have a different design for each year. They were sold out of the 2009 bags (the year we got married). We went home with a 2008 (the year we met) and a 2013 bag (we liked the design). I just had to figure out what I was going to do with the bags. 

Shane being silly

One project idea I had was to do a bulletin board for the kitchen. The project finally came to fruition last month after I snagged a faded cork board for 5 bucks at a garage sale. It was the perfect size for the coffee bag. 

I cut the bag down the middle of the back and then used a seam ripper to pull out the bottom seam. I could’ve used the seam ripper to do the side seam of the bag too, but it would’ve resulted in an off-center design on the board as there wasn’t enough fabric to wrap it that way. It did result in a slightly wonky right side of the board because of the thickness at the seam, but oh well. I actually like that it is imperfect. 

Next, I centered the image and lined up the fabric on top of the cork board. Using plain thumb tacks I picked up at Home Depot for about $1.58, I pinned the burlap to the board along the edges of its aluminum frame. 

Once I finished with my “nailhead” trim, I trimmed the excess fabric on all sides. Pulling the burlap taut, I then wrapped it around the edges of the frame and secured with hot glue on the back. 

I then just nailed right through the board to attach it to the wall. 

I took the opportunity to clean up some of the old notes and things we had pinned up. After all, I don’t want to completely obscure the coffee art! I totally need to get on repairing that wall already. 

If you ever find yourself on Kauai, I highly recommend stopping by for a tour at the Kauai Coffee Estate! They do carry some Kauai Coffee at major retailers now if you want to sample. I know they have it at Costco, Harris Teeter for my Virginia friends, and Safeway. They just started selling it at Target here in the last few months. Not sponsored, Kauai Coffee is just my favorite and I’m a little obsessed. 

Another picture of Kauai coffee trees before you go!


Quick Burlap Earring Display

Quick Burlap Earring Display

Today I finally knocked out a quick little project I’ve had in mind for a few months: an earring display. 

When we moved into this house, I more or less plopped stuff down in my master bathroom and bedroom and haven’t done a whole lot with it. 

The master bath has a convenient shelf next to the double vanity where I store towels, lotions, my toiletry kit for travel, and my jewelry. 

The majority of my jewelry is currently stored in an assortment of plastic storage boxes. I have plans to do a little better, but we’ll see what happens when I actually get around to it. 

The wall above the shelf is just calling for a little gallery collection (and screaming for a couple coats of paint!) and I’ve been working on figuring out what will go there. I have a couple items and have been waiting to find a frame or two to really put it together. 

The only thing that has been displayed on that wall – for the last nine months now – are the birth affirmations I created before Rosie’s birth. They’ve been looking a little sad since I actually gave two of them to a friend in preparation for her daughter’s birth back in May. Either way, they still remind me how awesome I am, and what amazing gifts come at the end of a hard day’s work! 

Anyhow, back to the quick project: my jewelry display. It’s super easy! 

Step 1: Place burlap fabric in embroidery hoop. 

Step 2: Hang it from a nail in the wall. 

Step 3: Display earrings 

Step 4: Smile because you’re done, and it was that easy!

Some details: 

I have extra burlap from some coffee bags I purchased in May when I was on Kauai (more projects coming soon!). I just used a plain piece without any printing since I’m saving the rest for some other projects I have planned. 

I picked up a 12-inch embroidery hoop at the craft store for about 4 bucks. I was kind of bummed when I bought a couple more at a garage sale this weekend for just 10-cents a piece. Oh, well. 

I added a quick coat of stain to the hoop since I wasn’t wild about its natural color. I might actually go back and give it a cost of metallic spray paint (I’m thinking gold) in the future once I get the rest of the items hung on the wall. 

I originally thought I might paint a monogram or something on the burlap for added interest, but I actually like it plain since it displays my earrings so nicely. 

This obviously works for the dangly earrings. I’m still trying to dream up a solution for my studs. It’s nice to finally see my other earrings on display since I tend to forget about them. Honestly, studs are my best friend right now with a 9-month baby. I am terrified of having to get my earlobes stitched after an earring is ripped out. For now, my studs live in a ceramic egg tray from World Market. I would’ve taken a pic, but it was dusty! 

Can’t wait to get the rest of this wall together (along with painting the heck out of the cabinets and walls in this bathroom someday). 

Father’s Day & A Homemade Gift

Father’s Day & A Homemade Gift

I consider myself incredibly lucky to have a wonderful Dad who is always there for me, ready to impart words of wisdom whether or not I’m ready to hear them. I love that I can always call my Dad with handyman questions while trying to figure out a home improvement project, ask him for financial advise, bring friend or family relationship problems to him and no matter what, I can always rely on a well measured and wise response acquired through his years of experience. My Dad can be a tough-as-nails business man, a fun-loving guy who likes a good time, and (my favorite part) a surprisingly sentimental family man. My Dad is such a great reflection of my Heavenly Father and I am so thankful that I am his daughter.

Father-Daughter Date Night when I was 5

My Daddy still knows how to make me feel special! My and Shane’s Wedding in 2009

I feel like it is such a joy and a privilege to watch Shane grow into his role as a father with Tristan. I hope and pray that the two of them can enjoy an equally strong, albeit quite different, relationship as I have with my Dad. The two of them bond over things I certainly don’t understand, and I’m sure that will only increase as Tristan gets older. It’s so interesting to see Shane think of ways to interact with Tristan that I never would have considered. This has been the after-dinner scene in our house over the past week: Shane and Tristan trading back massages.


I wouldn’t have guessed Tristan would enjoy a back massage as much as he does!

The timing on this couldn’t have been more perfect as I came upon a great Fathers Day Gift idea waaaaay back in January. Tristan and I made a “Daddy’s Massage Shirt” for Shane.


I simply picked up a package of white undershirts (conveniently on sale pre-Fathers Day) pulled out one shirt and saved the rest for Shane who is in need of new undershirts anyhow. I deconstructed a cereal box that I put inside the shirt to prevent bleed-through and used masking tape to hold the shirt nice and taut while I drew the car map.

I used Crayola Fabric Markers leftover from onesie decorating at my baby shower to draw the design. My car map was inspired by a similar design I saw on Etsy, but I modified it to add details that seemed more specific to Shane and Tristan’s tastes. After the design was completed, I just put the t-shirt in the dryer for 30 minutes to set the ink.

We wrapped up the shirt with a couple matchbox cars we bought along with the shirts. Altogether, the gift probably only cost $6! (Probably plan on about $12 if you have to buy the fabric markers). Needless to say, our humble, homemade gift was well received!


It was so cute watching them play cars too! Of course, Tristan thinks the cars are his gift. Oh, well!


Happy Fathers Day!

Homemade Halloween

I’m a little behind the curve here – ok, like 2 weeks behind the curve – but I wanted to post about Halloween. And despite what the stores want you to believe, it is NOT yet Christmas – it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!

We kept things pretty darn simple this year. Tristan and I drove to the other side of the island so we could spend the holiday with Shane. (Also because we were flying to Kauai for a friend’s wedding after Shane was off work the next day).

We had been mulling over a few options for Tristan’s costume, including Dennis the Menace and Toad from Super Mario. We already had some items for each idea, so it really came down to which items we could find or make first.

After striking out with some of the required accessories for some of our ideas, I opted for the costume that was easiest to create in a short amount of time. Naturally, the day before Halloween I used nap time to turn Tristan into a Safari Explorer/Guide. I used two tutorials I found via Pinterest: this one and this one from Real Simple.



That evening I dressed up in my homemade witch costume from a couple years ago and Shane donned his R2D2 Mickey ears from last year.

We took a few pictures while the light was still good before we headed out to meet up with the cousins. We ended up not trick-or-treating because in typical Hilo fashion it started pouring right before we walked out the door. We figure Tristan doesn’t know the difference anyhow. I picked up some candy on clearance at Target the next day. I’m sure next year he will be a candy fiend!





Sew Cool: Making a Flag Banner for the Nursery

Over the weekend, I completed my most recent nursery project – a flag banner to decorate the wall.  I wanted to make one of these since spying many cute buntings on Pinterest including this one from my nursery mood board.  I’d really been wanting to include one in our nursery decor, but I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going to hang it.  I toyed with the idea of making two little ones as makeshift valences to dress up the windows.  Based on where I wanted to hang other art on the walls, I thought that might make the walls with the windows look too busy.  Meanwhile, there was a huge expanse of empty wall space above the crib. I decided that above the crib would be the perfect spot and sewed the banner with that length in mind.

I’m not going to reinvent the wheel – I found this Craftaholics Anonymous tutorial online after searching Pinterest and followed her directions to a tee (except where I made my banner a bit longer).  I used leftover fabric from the nursery set my mom made and also picked up two quarter flats of a green paisley at Hancock Fabrics to add some more color instead of using the leftover brown fabric.  I also picked up some white bias tape, and for under 10 bucks, I was ready to go.

Without further ado, the finished project:

Once Baby Hanley arrives, we plan on hanging or painting his/her monogram on the wall centered above the banner.  Here I am posing with my handiwork for my 36 week bump shot:

I’m hoping to completely finish things up in the nursery very soon – the clock is ticking, after all.  We have a lamp and a couple other things up on the wall now.  We’re so close to being done and Baby Hanley’s arrival – expect a completed nursery post soon!

Polka Dotted Drawers

No, I’m not talking about these:

I’m talking about Baby Hanley’s dresser!

Since we scrapped our initial plans to refinish Shane’s old baby dresser (talked about here), I still wanted to personalize the Carter’s Manchester Dresser we purchased to match the crib and changing table.  I was already planning on lining the drawers in Shane’s old dresser, so I decided why not line these drawers with something fun?

After a trip to The Paper Source in Old Town we came home with polka dot wrapping paper in four colors.  (I forgot to take a picture of just the papers…oops!)  We were hoping to find something that fit our apples & pears theme a little better, but no dice.  We instead picked out papers in red, light blue, light green and yellow with white polka dots that matched the colors in our apples & pears fabric.  It figures, the next day at World Market I ran across wrapping paper with pink and green pears on a navy background – super cute!  Since we’re Team Green and trying to keep things pretty gender neutral, I decided the pear paper was a no-go since it felt a little too girly and I want Baby H to use this dresser for many years, girl or boy.

To complete this project, I followed instructions I found on (where else?) Young House Love.  The first step was to cut the papers down to size for the drawers.

Unfortunately, the papers all came at 27″ and my drawers measured 28″ wide.  I just cut an extra inch and a half from my scrap to cover the gap.  Of course the pattern doesn’t line up perfectly, but it’s not that big of a deal – as my father-in-law pointed out, it’s going to be covered by clothes.

After I had the papers cut down to the correct size and I checked for fit (an important step as I found I had cut one of my scraps an inch short by mistake) I applied Mod Podge in a matte finish directly to the wood drawer bottoms with a foam brush.

Once I had coated the drawer bottom with Mod Podge, I carefully attempted to lay the paper down, working from the middle out.  This is easier said than done.  The stupid supports in the corners by the drawer fronts made this extremely difficult as I had to manage to slide the paper underneath the support and try not to wrinkle it at the same time.  I did the drawer with the red paper first, and it’s certainly not my best.

There’s some pretty good wrinkles in there.  I attempted the next drawer again by myself before calling on Shane to help me with the last two.  The green and yellow drawers, while not perfect, achieved much better results with a two-man team laying the paper on top of the medium.

Once the papers were all down, I let the drawers dry over night with the door to the nursery closed so Portia and Lily didn’t accidentally get glued down.  The next morning, I finished the drawers with a thin coat of Mod Podge on top of the papers.

They were still wet in this picture so they look a little extra wrinkly, but I promise they dried a lot smoother, although not perfect. The yellow one looks especially wrinkled because of the lighting – that drawer is actually my best!

I love the fun pop of color you get when you open the dresser drawers now (this picture could be better, but I’m not that tall!):

While I was waiting for the drawers to dry, I figured it was the perfect time to start washing Baby’s clothes and blankets.  We’re getting pretty close to the end and it’s about time I take care of this stuff! Aren’t Baby’s clothes all cute in the fun drawer?

One more nursery project down and just a few more to go.  I’ll be back in the next couple days with an update and pictures of the whole nursery.

A Yarn Wrap

Boy, it’s been awhile.  October has turned out to be a pretty crazy, busy month for me.  Truth be told, the only reason I have found time and energy (sort of) to post now, is because I’m home sick from work with a cold.  I certainly feel crappy, so I’m really hoping the cold goes away pretty quickly here.

I wanted to post about the making of my autumn yarn wreath.  I had been waiting until I got around to embellishing it.  Let’s be honest, those embellishments are just not happening this year.  Maybe I’ll jazz up the wreath next year.  I kind of like it as-is for now.

I was inspired by a few different yarn wreaths I had seen on Pinterest and set out to make my own.  I was hoping to make an argyle yarn wreath, but the yarn I selected led me down a different path.

Portia models my wreath supplies

To get started, I stopped at Michael’s and picked up a straw wreath form, 4 pieces of felt – 2 burgundy, 2 dark gray, and three skeins of yarn.  (Note: I never used the felt – I had been thinking about making felt flowers as embellishments).  For the yarn I chose Vanna’s Choice by Lion Brand in Terracotta and Mustard.  I also picked out Paton’s Classic Wool in Dark Grey Marble.

Once home, I armed myself with scissors and put Pretty Woman on and began wrapping my wreath.  I left the plastic wrapper on the straw form to keep things neat.  I then used a sharpie to mark out my design on the wreath form, labeling each section with what color it would be.

Following my guide, I picked a yarn color, knotted it on the form and began wrapping away, doing my best to keep it neat.

Next time I create a yarn wreath, I will not use a straw form.  Even with the plastic wrapper on, it’s too lumpy and bumpy to get a nice even wrap with the yarn.  If you look closely at mine, there’s all kinds of gaps where the yarn doesn’t cover the straw despite my best effort.  I would strongly recommend using a foam wreath form, or cheaper yet – foam tubing from the plumbing department at Home Depot.

The good news is, this was a pretty easy project.  By the end of the movie, I had successfully wrapped my entire wreath.

Those paying close attention will notice my Pearl Jam Pillow on the chair and that when I hung the wreath on the door, I ultimately chose to hang it with the terracotta on the sides instead of top and bottom.

Perhaps one day I’ll get around to embellishing it…but probably not this year.  Mentally, I’ve already started thinking about Christmas decorations and crafts, so the autumn stuff will be mostly on hold until next year.

P.S. I will post with my finished Halloween costume and carved pumpkins this weekend!