Great news! Cory and I were able to find an available weekend in Lisa's schedule, plus available Bolt Bus tickets, so we are heading to New York City for the weekend! It is seriously the most perfect weekend to go as we do not have students Monday or Tuesday... we simply have to show up for professional development! I'm going to take a little time off on Friday so we can catch our 3:15 bus out of Baltimore, but other than that, everything should be smooth sailing.
I am so excited to head to the city! I haven't been since April and I have been craving cement and yellow taxi cabs like crazy. We don't have any definite plans other than enjoying the autumn chill, colorful leaves, and a few Halloween festivities... and some serious shopping. It's going to be a blast. Last time I was in the city, Lisa and I checked out a few yarn boutiques and the Lion Brand Yarn studio (drool). I would like to check out some other boutiques... any suggestions? Leave them in the comments!
Here are some of my most favorite NYC photos. Enjoy!
How's it goin? I just realized that this is the last week of October (where has it gone?) and I have a very busy month ahead of me. Here's what I'm looking forward to:
-Hopefully achieving my goal of having AT LEAST 75 followers so I can host a major giveaway). -Potentially three craft shows back to back!
(November 5 = Current Space Fundraiser in Baltimore)
(November 12 = St. John's Catholic School Christmas Show)
(TBA: November 20 = Liberty High School Craft Show) -A potential visit to NYC to visit Lisa (sooner rather than later) -Thanksgiving & family time -getting all my winter/Christmas-y crafts up and running! -meeting my student teacher that will be with me during the spring semester!
What are you looking foward to for November?
P.S. I just found out yesterday that I'm getting a student teacher. It was such a nice compliment and I am very very excited for the opportunity!
P.P.S. I apologize for no pictures... sorta in a rush to go carve my pumpkin with Cory!
Readership of Donna's Decembers has definitely gained strength over the last few weeks and I am so happy to have all of you who stop by!
Donna's Decembres is making a big effort to have regular posts (at least daily, if not more!) and bring you great blog posts and projects from various artists in the blog/DIY world. In the upcoming months we will be featuring many more DIY projects and gift ideas to get you ready for the holiday season. We are currently working on MANY projects behind the scenes that will help warm up your house perfectly for those chilly winter months.
It has been a few months since I have gone to visit Lisa in Manhattan and over the last few weeks my yearnings to get back to the city have only gotten more intense... so I think Cory and I are hopping a bus to NYC before the month is over. Of course, I am thinking about what I want to do when we're there and what I should pack and all of those fun details. I hoped on etsy to see what kind of vintage luggage I could find, and I have to say... I think I might have a better time dreaming of packing for my trip than actually doing it!
This cute duffle might just be coming along with me from Marjiew:
This weekender bag could be perfect though:
What kind of luggage do you have? Any recommendations when buying vintage?
It's that time of year when people start talking about purchasing gifts and swapping lists and hopes of Santa get the better of us. I really enjoy the thrill of shopping for those loved ones in my life. I try to make each gift thoughtful and purposeful. Some years I keep a common theme (handmade, eco, etc.), and some years I just buy things for people they would never take the time to buy for themselves (as a way to indulge). So while I sit at my desk and try to be crafty as I come up with my "To Shop" list for others, I thought I would share with you what I have on my own list for my upcoming birthday and for Christmas!
Crafting a Meaningful Home by Meg Mateo Ilasco is one of the most chic, let alone prettiest DIY books I have seen in a very long time. There is a gorgeous pattern for a crocheted rope rug that I have had my eye on for months... and will hopefully become a winter project just in time for spring toes :)
A few weeks ago this pretty book caught my eye at a local bookstore as I was searching for information about vintage patterns. Vintage Notions by Amy Barickman is the perfect collection of all things vintage: anecdotes, patterns, recipies, and reliable advice. The pictures are as beautiful as the cover and to be perfectly honest, I hope this book finds it's way to my coffee table ASAP.
Minhee Cho's sassy "Paper + Craft" is the perfect "go-to" for quick paper designs to spruce up your home. I love the basic ideas and the twists that are incorporated in each of these designs. Perfect.
I hope this Saturday is treating you well so far. I woke up in such a great frame of mind. Some days you wake up, and no matter how hard you try, you just can't find that happy place. You know? I had a really hard, no-good, kind of day at work yesterday, but spent the evening with Cory and put it all behind me. I think I have finally found my frame of mind when it comes to my role at work.
I understand my role as an educator, but I furvently believe that my role as an educator is actually different than my role as a teacher this semester. It has been such a hard concept to swallow as I truly love working with teenagers. I love motivating them to feel like they have potential (when they may not have any other cheerleaders in their life). I love being able to think back and analyze their growth. But what I do not love is disrespect, pressure, and the constant pull to be more "engaging and exciting" when really, I am a pretty "engaging and exciting" person in general. It's not like I lecture.
I will go to work and work my hardest. I will teach and do what I am required to teach and do with my students, and at the end of the day, if they get it, they get it, if they don't, they don't. I have never been in this place before where I have had to have such a definitive perception of my role in the classroom, but I truly believe for my mental sanity and the wellbeing of my relationships, I need to focus on this perspective. (I appreciate if your educational philosophy disagrees with this. I have never been in this place before. I have an interesting selection of students this semester and it's for the best of everyone involved that I keep this frame of mind.)
I have decided that I need to spend my evenings with myself and my creative energy. This means that I will have to work very hard during the day to multi-task and be thorough with everything that I do. The end result will be me feeling much happier and balanced because I will be utilizing all my strengths.
And that is where you come in. Blogging has been such a theraputic way of engaging in an arts and crafts community that I love so very much. This is where I feel my energy is best spent as it is so rewarding. I appreciate all your kind comments over the last few weeks as they have really made me focus on keeping myself happy before I keep my job happy.
With that being said, I have loads of crocheting to do! Christmas orders are coming in at full strength, plus The Muse can't seem to keep anything I make in stock! I am really excited about a few of the blog posts I have planned for the next few days... so please come back and visit! We like you here :)
For those of you who are still trying to find your niche with knitting or crocheting, I thought I would take a minute to talk about my favorite brand of yarn, Lion Brand Yarn.
I have crocheted a lot since I was 7 years old. A lot. I have been given yarn from my grandmother, picked up some very quickly while at Walmart in college, and have become a bit pickier about the yarns that I use for my projects. Now, granted, Lion Brand Yarn is a readily available yarn found at most chain craft stores and does not have a large assortment of specialty yarns, but they are still pretty awesome.
The first thing you should know is that all of their yarns are made right here in the United States. Anything that is still made in the USA is pretty cool in my book. Second thing is that they have a beautiful boutique shop in Manhattan that I love visiting. And last, but most importantly, their yarn is durable.
My favorite Lion Brand Yarn for winter is Wool Ease Thick and Quick. It has a luxe feel at a reasonable price. It is chunky and chic at the same time.
I also prefer Vanna's Choice, which is a different brand that is produced through Lion Brand Yarns. I particularly love this yarn when I am making blankets, granny squares, or anything for the home. It comes in the most beautiful colors and is so easy to work with.
I just wanted to share a bit of my favorites, since deciding on yarn is sometimes half the battle.
Please note that these are my honest opinions. I was not contacted by Lion Brand Yarns or anything like that. I just truly love their yarn.
During my typical web surfing time I stumbled across this cutie pie:
Adorable, yes? I think these would be cute to hang on door knobs the night before Halloween with treats for someone special to wake up to, but I am sure that you could come up with far more creative ideas for them! Head on over to Molly's Candy Corn Bag tutorial through The Purl Bee to get the step-by-step instructions on how to piece this together!
What are your plans for this weekend? Are things starting to come together for a spooky, yet fantastic, Halloween?
Hey you. How has your week been so far? I sort of feel like I'm just going through the regular motions this week. Nothing has been that great, but nothing has been bad either--so I'm just happy to be here. I have a busy weekend coming up but am looking forward to it. I thought I would stop in and bring you a few more seasonal DIYs that you could tackle this weekend if you're in need of a project!
Many of you probably follow Elsie's blog A Beautiful Mess (because it's oh so awesome), but if you don't, or you haven't stopped in recently, you should. She is hosting 12 Days of Tricks (DIYs) and Treats (guest posts) as she prepares to open her brand new vintage/handmade shop, Red Velvet. Here's a litlte eye candy of some of the tricks...
There are so many more that I haven't even show you... so you should totally check it out!
It was recently brought to my attention that in a previous post about finger knitting, the link for the DIY was broken. This made me sad for two reasons... (1) finger knitting is awesome and (2)I hope that my blog serves as a helpful resource for you and your family, but when there are broken links, that can't happen!
So, I have another finger knitting DIY for you, this time brought my two special ladies. Carol over at That is Charming had a guest blogger, Amber from A.Darling who instructed how to make a finger knitted headband. For finger knitted garland, simply keep going for your desired length. It will take you no time!
This is so easy you still have enough time to make last-minute garland for this weekend's Halloween party!
For those of you less crafty followers, here is a quick and simple Pom Pom Pumpkin DIY from Domestifluff. So easy this would be a great evening project for the kids or sitting infront of the TV watching football. You could even make a little Pom Pom Pumpkin family and make them in various sizes! Whatever strikes your fancy!
Greetings! I thought I would hop in for a little weekend re-cap.
Maryland Public Schools were closed on Friday for what we like to call Association Day. This is when the Maryland State Educators Association holds its annual Teacher's Conference in Ocean City, Maryland and offers the entire state off school so teachers can attend. You are not required to attend the conference, but I've heard it's pretty beneficial and is a good opportunity to head to the beach for a weekend and unwind but still get some good stuff for your classroom. I've never been...
Alas, Thursday night started the weekend! I am so sad that I do not have pictures from this weekend, as my cell phone couldn't capture the light properly and my trusty Nikon dslr was at home in it's case napping... I digress.
Thursday night Cory was able to FINALLY enjoy his wedding present from me! We headed down to the D.C. area for dinner and then made our way into Arlington, V.A. to The Birchmere where we saw Carolina Chocolate Drops! Amazing!
They put on a heck of a show and Cory and I loved their modern twist on old school bluegrass classics...and their bluegrass twists on modern classics, like Blu Cantrell's "Hit 'Em Up Style." I mean... really... so cool! Check 'em out if you're in need of some new music. Here is a youtube video of my favorite song, "Cornbread and Butterbeans."
Cory and I spent Friday at a Collegeboard training for AP English and AP World History. It wasn't a valuable use of my time, but I got paid and was able to hang out with a few people I rarely see... so it wasn't a complete wash.
As you know, most of my Saturday was spent crocheting with my cats (ha, I sound like such an old maid)! It was time well deserved in my couch. I am selling cowls so, so quickly at The Muse, our local handmade shop. I am sending in anywhere form 8-10 a week and selling them like crazy! If you haven't seen our new cowls, head on over to le shop and pick one up! I can make them in any color you desire!
So, I have been browsing through a few new blogs and found one that I had to use Google Translator so I could read it in English (the original text was written in French). Meet Marion's Handmade blog.
I was scrolling through previous posts when this adorable wooden bumble bee caught my eye.
It was obviously a crafting tool... but I had never seen it before!
And then I realized it was a small tool to do quasi-mini-finger knitting! Amazing! I have never seen these!
Am I behind on the times?
Either way, Marion introduced this amazing tool to me and in return, I hopped right over to etsy.com and bought my own in caterpiller form! This is going to be perfect for teeny tiny garland for Christmas, let alone headbands! Holy smokes I am so excited!
My biggest problem at home is organizing my yarn. I never have enough space. Anyone feel me? I hate to keep it all packaged away in large storage containers, as they often block any creative inspiration that color cobinations or even textures might give me! So... upon doing a little research, I found this adorable Coffee Can Cubbies DIY from Leethal! Do Stuff! blog that I plan on attacking very soon! I have to drink a few cans of coffee though...
I hope you've had an inspirational week and are enjoying your weekend ever so thoroughly :). Today I wanted to share a few festive DIYs that will prepare you for Halloween fun and surprises! A lot of these can be transformed into post-Halloween/Thanksgiving friendly projects as well (two for one is my favorite)! Enjoy :)
Have you been looking for a pretty way to display those doilies you picked up a county fair or thrift store recently? Check out this beautiful Doily DIY from Betz White that would be easy to spice up for any holiday or maybe just add a little warmth to a room!
My next favorite is yet another wreath (can you tell that I need more doors in my home?) from Katydid and Kid. This Nevermore DIY wreath is super inexpensive as it uses streamers/crepe paper!
And for those of you who like do keep your DIY skills in the kitchen, check out this Spooky Dip that Katydid and Kid posted!
Haven't gotten your fill yet?
Indie Fixx has a gigantic blog post full of DIY links to inspire you for your spooky day. And if you haven't been introduced to Indie Fixx already, bookmark it as it is such an unbelievable resource!
This morning I was driving around town to complete my typical Saturday morning errands. As I was beep-boppin' around town, I was listenin to NPR and The Judd's were on the morning show. That's right, Naomi and Wynonna Judd. I'm not a big country music fan, but I do appreciate acts that have been around for a long time. Anyway, the Judds were speaking of when they use to live on a mountain top in Ashland, Kentucky and how Wynonna picked up the guitar to abate the daily boredom she encountered from being raised with no telephone and no television. After this quick conversation, Naomi jumped in and said the most beautiful quote.
"Solitude is creativity's soulmate. The purest creativity comes from the richest experience of solitude. We simply do not spend enough time with ourselves."
I love it. I actually immediately wrote this quote down, as I so furvently agree with it.
So today, on this lovely autumn Saturday (we have finally hit season temperatures in Maryland, after being in the 80s earlier this week...), I plan on creating in solitude. Cory is out of town at Rich's house for a Homecoming football game at the local university and I am happy to have the house and cats to myself. I plan on watching all those girly movies that I ignore when Cory is around cooking a lovely dinner for one.
Sometimes you just need a little time inside your mind.
Here's to you and your Saturday :)
P.S. I'm not finished with the DIYs I promised you earlier this week! There are so many more coming your way! Check back later tonight and tomorrow!
When I stumbled across this, I instantly imagined it in every single color possible. If you're a holiday person, but don't get into festive colors, make one and you're done. However, they're SO easy, SO afordable, and SO beautiful. Check out this Pretty Rosie Wreath DIY over at The Pretty Poppy.
Keeping with the DIY theme for this week-- I didn't want to ignore the fellas!
I know we're no where close to Father's Day, but hello... this DIY is perfect for holiday gifts. Instead of buying a tie, make him one that is a bit more personal. I was thinking about making one and embroidering an inside joke on it for my mister. Cute, huh?
As I meantioned earlier this week, I have been bookmarking so many DIYs. Some of them are more seasonal than others, but I think they each have loads of potential as we head into the coziest time of year. I hope you enjoy these DIYs or at leat find a few new cool blogs along the way!
I saved this Pom Pom Wreath DIY from Miss. James over at Bleubird Vintage. It's a keeper for every season, but if you need some instant pep and cuteness--here you go! You can make a few for under $10! I made so many of these last year... for me and my friends! They loved how warm and quirky they were. Don't hesitate to make a smaller version if you have a teeny tiny apartment that you're trying to spruce up. I made my BFF in NYC a mini 8 inch wreath for her shoebox in Manhattan and it fit perfectly!
I don't know about you, but I am constantly forgetting where I put my needles. Unfortunately, my feet always find them. Or worse, Cory's feet. Leigh-Ann over at Freckled Nest had this adorable Needlebook DIY that would be the perfect handmade gift for a beginning seamstress, or a stocking stuffer for someone who is getting their very first sewing machine! There are many possibilities. If I can grab a second to myself this weekend, I need to get on this so I can stop buying new needles!
Now, I know the pom pom craze of the summer may have passed...but I think I'm going to bring it back for Christmas. Paper mistletoe! I think it would be so pretty to make a few of these in festive colors and then change them out in silver and gold just in time for New Years! I mean they're such a quick craft to use your pennies towards, you might as well make 'em to your heart's content! So, just incase you missed the summer-time obsession, here is Rachel's Paper Pom Pom DIY from over at Smile and Wave.
Now this DIY I am completely in love with. Talk about the perfect way to add some color to your holiday decor from October through Thanksgiving. Take a look at Danielle Thompson'sFabric Pumpkin DIY. A-d-o-r-a-b-l-e. I doubt I ever delete this DIY. I feel like I could make a million of these as gifts. Gosh. So stinking cute!
Okay, okay. I'll settle down now. Now go and create! Give the ladies behind these DIYs some love. They totally deserve it :).
P.S. Have you seen any awesome DIYs that I've missed? Paste a link in the comments! I'm always on the prowl :)