A Stitch in Time

Because a few of you asked (and because I love to share) this is the project I was working on during the infamous Sports Mentor video. I’ve just started playing around with embroidery thread because I was inspired by Anthropologie’s kitchen towels. Every year, I try to convince my family to make handmade gifts for everyone at Christmas. They say no, but I do it anyway, so these are probably what they’re getting. i.e. Mom and sisters speak up now if you want something different. Love you.

I spent about $9 on the 3 tea towels, $14 on thread and needles (but I bought a large amount of both that will last me forever, so I don’t count that in the price) and spent about 12 hours total on the bottom towel. I was so excited at how they turned out, but now I understand why they’re so expensive. The first only took 2-3 hours and the second is still in the draft phase.

I’ll probably have some patterns available online soon if anyone wants to try their hand at embroidery. It’s fun and pretty and girly and Christmas gifty. Who wouldn’t want to try it?

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Shop Thrift at Thrift Shops

I can’t remember the last time I bought something new to wear. I bought a few new things for our honeymoon (see how that turned out here), but I rarely shop to buy new clothes. There’s something so compelling about walking into a thrift store, never knowing what you’ll find, but expecting to be inspired. I do it for many reasons, but mostly because I love finding beauty in things someone else threw away.

Here are my favorite reasons to shop thrift:

1. Your house will look like yours- not anyone else’s.

I don’t sign up for Pottery Barn catalogs. They’re gorgeous, and in brief spurts I love things that match and don’t have scratches or dents. But that’s dangerous for two reasons: it’s not me, and it tugs on my heart to spend more money than Kyle has I have. So I pick things that have a story and that inspire me to creativity.

2. It makes me learn new things.

I learned how to re-cover an old chair, not by taking a class, but by trial and error in my own little space. I’m learning to hand embroider because I love Anthropologie but I can’t afford their tea towels. I make pillows out of old scarves because I love the fabric and the total project costs $3.84.  Thriftcore says it like this: The “if only” forces some creativity on your part to create the perfect item. Suddenly you remember how to sand, paint, and use the saw. You’re a creator again. And the more creativity you use, the more you have. So says Maya Angelou, and so say I.

3. It’s cheap.

I never want to pay more than $3.99 for a shirt again. And thanks to people who tire of their clothes, I’ll never have to.

Tomorrow: the pledge we’ve taken as a married couple to buy used things and a list of things we’ll never buy new. In the meantime, get inspired at Thriftcore and ReadyMade.

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The Dirty Laundry Episode

Confession: my life isn’t quite as romantic as it seems.

It’s been so fun to get emails and messages from people saying, “I can’t believe this is your life!” Or, “I’ve watched your engagement video 5 times and I’m still crying…” It’s really fun. And yet, as I sit on a half broken chair in our tiny little apartment surrounded by piles of laundry and mail and half emptied boxes, I think somehow the romance has waned. Unless you count my love affair with my new dishes.

And so, as they say, the honeymoon is over. It was an incredible eight days in tropical paradise with nothing to do but enjoy ourselves. We loved it so much that it started to feel like home, but we couldn’t afford the cocktails any longer so we were forced back to the mainland. We went snorkeling, ziplining, hiking, we read books, we ate amazing food and all the shaved ice we could handle. And yet our moon made of honey was not without its less than sweet moments. Kyle was ready to come home after day 2 after what we affectionately call the dirty laundry incident. I opened my suitcase to find my body lotion had spilled on and ruined my 3 favorite dresses. It was a debacle that ended, and I do not say this proudly, with Kyle voicing some long-harbored frustration at how I don’t take care of my things, me sobbing on the bathroom floor (muttering things about how I will someday drop our children), and Kyle wondering why on earth he asked me to be his bride. Alo…HA.

There’s something strange & exciting about being on vacation with a boy, about pretending to know what we’re doing, about pretending to be old enough to be vacationing together in a land to which neither of us has ever been. It’s a fun transition to what is about to ensue: a life that’s just life. It’s going to be full of surprises- ones less planned than our wedding, though hopefully none that require 2am feedings and diapers. There will be disagreements and dinner parties and just plain days. But in each day we’re striving to find a little adventure, to learn something new, and to love one another more deeply.

Here’s to life. Or something that resembles it.

Engagement Week (Part 4)

Clue #4

If you haven’t guessed, the answer to the third riddle (see below) is……..me. I became her “ex” (albeit briefly and inexplicably), but I’m what marks the spot…and I’m at Chick-Fil-A today!

Treasure number two
Easier to find
But for yXur clue
You must hit rewind
Back to July of ’08
A moXth that I rue
Played my cards all wrong
And became THIS to you

Anyway, I’m giving her a little Santa (still don’t believe in him mom) gift box tomorrow at Chick-Fil-A with an Anthropologie (some strange artsy/girly store she likes) gift card attached (see picture)…and of course, another X. The back of that X reads:

Clue #4

A decent two days
But this is just the start
I’m pulling no punches
I’m after your heart
The very next thing
You won’t have to search
It will be presented to you
At the place we go to church
A pair of Xhings you’ll love
I made one on my own
Be very wary tomorrow
Stay by yoXr phone

Confused? Excited?

More to come tomorrow. Hope you’re having fun reading this at work. We’re laying on a beach in Maui right now.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3