Is that John Travolta in Your Bed Room?

Watching to much HDTV and following about 100 upcycle boards on Pinterest has given me a passion for sorting through other people’s junk. You never know what you’ll find in someone else’s garage, and the hunt for something unique just thrills me. While I have dreams of someday discovering an unused collection of my favorite depression glass pattern or a stash of pyrex that looks just like my Nana’s, more often I gather up simple things that may inspire me to create something new.

At a local rummage sale last week I came across a basket of old knitting and needlework patterns that really intrigued me and bought a big stack of them for $1.00. I wasn’t disappointed when I found the March 1978 issue of “Family Circle” stuck in among the fisherman’s sweaters and McCall’s cross stitch books.

Among the typical women’s magazine articles  (“How to Lose Weight Without Really Trying,” “Are You Smarter Than Your Husband?” and “The Secret to Beautiful Skin”) were several craft tutorials and an abundance of decorating suggestions. I am inspired by the embroidery below. The thread was brushed after completion to make the color burst. I’d love to lean this technique to bring my own embroidery to life. I love how the technique allows the colors to felt and blend.

1978 needlework

1978 3D needlework- a unique way to enhance embroidery.

While the furniture in this room needs some updating, I actually love the geometric floor created from a hand cut stencil. It would be even better if limited to a smaller section of flooring to highlight the windows or seating area. And see the coffee table with the plant in it? A little weird, but it’s made from a chicken coop which automatically makes it ten times more fantastic, right? Upcycling was a thing before we even knew it was a thing.

Geometric Sunroom

Still, let’s be honest. Some vintage trends should stay buried in the pages of “Family Circle” back issues.  I will continue to look to the back for ideas and inspiration while simultaneously cringing at the bedrooms of our pasts.

Just looking at this room makes me uneasy.

Just looking at this room makes me uneasy. All those patterns mixed together! Let’s leave this trend in the past.

Vintage floral bedroom

Should the pattern on your wallpaper ever match the pattern on your bed spread?

The (kinda) Big Reveal

I’ve been hard at work trying to get my craft room in order and it has been a huge DIY project in itself. I’m so excited to finally have a space of my own where I can be inspired, get some work done, and possibly even have a little quiet time. So far I’m finding that the layout works perfectly and it really functional.  My goal was to design a space with lots of room to work, storage for large and small supplies, and lots of personality. I also wanted to somehow break up the large finished area of our basement so I could retreat into my nook without feeling like I had to go on a massive cleaning and organization rampage before I started my work.

So far, it seems the space is going to work out perfectly. I love being secluded from the explosion of toys that takes over our house on a daily basis. And as much as I might like to be able to shut a door and block out all the noise that comes with those toys, it’s awfully convenient to be able to hear and see the kids as they play next to my work space.

I wish I was better at taking photos (another thing to learn!) but for now, this is what I have.


The Kallax 4×4 shelving system works great as a room divider.


My computer used to be in the kitchen. Now it’s hidden from view and little fingers.


I chose the Tornlinden table top and Olov legs to create and elevated and comfortable work table that is large enough for two people.


Lots of bars and jars for sorting and organizing buttons, beads, pins and other small items.

And immediately adjacent to my crafting space we have a lego building center- perfect for keeping the kiddos busy while I do my thing (unless we have a missing piece, of course, in which case I am forced to get involved in the building process).



Twice the Love, Twice the Friends

When I found out early in my second pregnancy that we were expecting twins, I was beyond shocked. The thought of having two babies at once had never crossed my mind and I didn’t know how to process the information. While I was happy and excited, I was also scared to death and I found that my pregnancy was profoundly different from my first. It was hard to communicate to friends and family how exhausted I was, how sick I felt, and how nervous I was about my birth plan.

Thankfully, I found an unexpected support system online with about 150 other women all pregnant with twins and due during the summer of 2011. I’d previously shied away from online parenting forums because they inevitably become snarky and judgmental, which I absolutely did not need when I was already feeling like a depressed whale with a brain injury. 

I don’t know what happened to be different about this group of mothers. We all had very different opinions about parenting and came from very different backgrounds, belief systems and even countries. Yet there was an element of respect between us, a desire to support other moms who were going through the same process, whether they felt like depressed whales or not.

Today our twins (or more!) are all around 3 years old and we don’t spend as much time posting questions for each other at 3AM. At times some of us take breaks and don’t check in for a month or two. But there is a draw and a friendship that exists even though many of us have never met face to face, and I honestly can’t imagine how lonely I would feel without this group of wonderful women in my life.

One thing that is particularly amazing about these women is the amount of creativity and artistry in the group. We have women who sew, bake, write, draw, make jewelry, and even a tattoo artist. I am inspired by their businesses and their beautiful creations, and by their ability to make time for their art even with two (or more!) 3 year olds vying for attention. 

So when I decided to start writing a blog I also decided I wanted to touch on the ideas and talents of these women whom I find so inspiring!

The first way I thought of to do that was to contact Tiffany Petty of Clever Fox Creative to design a logo for my site. Did you notice it? I am so incredibly happy with the design! All I had to do was explain to her my inspiration for my blog title (O, A and K for the names of my boys and Ooak for One of a Kind. Solid for family unity and for the firm place arts and crafts hold in my heart). I think she captured my thoughts beautifully. Also, now that I have a logo I feel that I’m more obligated to write because it makes me kind of, sort of official.

Last Christmas Tiffany also designed our Christmas card, which I just have to show off here:

The Collin Christmas Card by


Clearly she is an expert at capturing the personalities of her clients. I am so lucky to know her and am excited to see her creative business grow and thrive!