Attend \\ Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop

March 26, 2014

Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop

Two weekends ago, I was able to attend a sneak peek of a new calligraphy workshop series by my friend, Rebecca Caridad of Manzanita. That girl knows all about pretty. Everything she does is magic. I mean it. (Remember when she HAND-PAINTED the watercolor invite for my baby shower?!?)  I’ve been a fan of her calligraphy for some time now and was overly excited when she invited me to her first-ever Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop. I was really excited. Like, over-the-top.

Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop

She hosted us in her cute home up in Boulder, Colorado. It was small and intimate and every detail was just too much. We all know I love brown kraft paper. And then those chairs… my heart. Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop This workshop was the perfect intro to calligraphy. I’ve been faking it for a while by purchasing a little starter kit from Hobby Lobby and pretending I know what I’m doing, when in reality I haven’t the slightest clue.

NEWS FLASH: You gotta have quality goods if you’re gonna have quality penmanship.

Rebecca made sure we all had quality tools. We’re talkin’ good nibs, good paper, good ink, and good beverages to keep us calm when our nibs ran out of ink mid-stroke.

Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop

We started out by getting a feel for the pens by just drawing lines and strokes however we saw fit. Then we moved on to the minors by tracing the alphabet and seeing the best ways to draw letters. Couldn’t break my concentration. Must. Trace. Alphabet. Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop

Rebecca watched over our shoulders and encouraged us as we wrote. I occasionally popped over her shoulder to watch her do her thang. I’m a visual learner and she made sure to demonstrate!
Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop

The class is just over two hours long and was such a great starter! A workshop like this is perfect for someone wanting to dip their toes into calligraphy. I felt like I knew a little more about what I was doing and am totally ready for the big leagues – writing sentences! umph! Manzanita Calligraphy Workshop

You could say we were all happy with ourselves at the end. Rebecca is building up her schedule for workshops around the country so follow her on Instagram (@rebeccacaridad) to see if she’s comin’ to your town. And if she is, jump on that.

photography: all photos by Manzanita

Travel \\ The 411 On Meet Make Do with BING

March 25, 2014

MMD_3732 I love Denver. I do. But I’m seriously considering relocating to the Palm Springs desert after attending Meet Make Do with BING. It’s just one of those places where you can’t help but smile after stepping off the plane. The airport is outdoors and it’s all just so magical. I need to stop dreaming about it before the Denver snow kills me.

I’ve already said how fortunate I felt to get to attend such a glorious getaway put on by my gals Brittni, Chelsea, & Kelly, and the fine folks at BING. This was a much needed vacation for me. I’ve felt like I’ve been living in a baby-cave (a glorious one that I am so happy to live in!) for months and just needed to get out and recharge my creative juices. You know what I’m sayin’?

The whole point of this retreat was to pool the talents of a few creative women and just see where it takes us. We spent a few days in the beautiful bubble that is Palm Springs and just relaxed and created. The best part? The creating was just for us. No deadlines. Just fun. Pure bliss.

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Let’s first talk about the house we stayed at the first night I arrived. Oh gee wiz. This was right out of a dream, I tell you. Gorgeous ranch-style home with bright walls and yellow front doors. Open kitchen with sky lights. Crazy awesome pool. Life-size chess board in the backyard. Palm trees everywhere. And, of course, the 7′ beach ball and the ginormous swan, Odette. What’s that? You say you want to customize your own 7′ beach ball? Head on over to Studio DIY for the how-to!

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This amazing prop shelf was every blogger’s dream. Fabrics. Balloons. Tapes. Paint. Tissue paper. Honeycombs. Giftwrap. Twine. They may as well have pinned dollar bills to the wall. I was so in love with everything and it was all at my fingertips to be created into whatever I wanted. Check out one of the projects I worked on while there – A Life-size putting green!

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I mean. Honestly. MMD_3839 MMD_4321

The backyard was so colorful and fun. Instant inspiration occurred every time I walked out the backdoor.  MMD_4367 MMD_4408

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Still salivating over the egg-free batter and cookie dough provided by Edoughble. They ship all over the place so you better be ordering. Where was this stuff when I was prego?! Why didn’t you guys tell me about it?!?!

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While we were there, we got the chance to play around with the BING surface tablets! I’m not fancy. I never get to play with stuff like this. I can’t tell you how handy it was to be able to search for anything and everything under the sun. I wasn’t exactly sure how croquet balls looked when searching for inspiration for my putting green project so this was super helpful! My fave feature is the PIN from search feature.

PIN IT You can pin images right from the search so you have the source right at your fingertips! Saves lots of time. And brain cells. I wanted to do some exploring so I made sure to find cute places to visit including this lemonade stand at the Parker Hotel! My, oh my. MMD_5816

As with all blogger parties, retreats, and conferences, the gifts are always dreamy and just way too pretty to actually unwrap. My fave stylist, Jenn, whipped up this little shot so you could see some of the gorgeous goods provided by the sponsors (all sponsors & vendors listed at the bottom of this post!). I had no idea that foil tape existed. I thought it was like a unicorn. You know, a magical myth. I was wrong. It’s real. And now I’m in trouble.  MMD_6231

I arrived on the second day because I was having a tough time figuring out how to leave Vita-girl for four whole days. (Shameless plug: I had to keep rearranging travel dates to get Vita-roo to my mom and back, so we used the BING Travel app relentlessly.) I couldn’t make it the whole trip, so I was only in Palm Springs for a quick 48. And on the second night, we had a festive little dinner with MINTED at the Ace Hotel. A DIY Taco Bar? hell yes. The table was laid out so perfectly and, unfortunately, I didn’t get any good shots until it was too late and the sun had gone down. But you can see all the lovely details over on Brittni’s blog! And don’t we all just love that Minted print?
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That second night, we hit a little snag with our sweet little house and ended up moving to the Saguaro Hotel. I did NOT complain. Say it with me. Saguaro. Colorful and fun doesn’t even beGIN to describe this place. Hot pink pool towels. Can’t say enough.  MMD_6351 MMD_6411c

This was a quick getaway. It was. I was exhausted by the time I returned home, but it was soooooo worth it. Each lady brought something different to the table, and it was so great to see how everyone worked and handled the life of a full-time blogger. Hint: It’s not all confetti and cakes and other pretty things. It gets super stressful and it was so nice to hear that these gals have felt everything I have.

One of the best parts of intimate gatherings like this one, is the late-night chat and coke sessions. (Diet Coke, peeps. Get your mind out of the gutter! wink wink)  I’m convinced we all need to live in a big ol’ house together where we just eat meet and make all the live-long day. I love each one of these women. In a platonic, non-stalker way?

The biggest virtual hug to all of our sponsors & vendors:

photography: all photos by Mary Costa Photography

Fresh \\ Found

March 21, 2014

Ranunculas from Trader Joes

Hey-o! You know that yesterday was the first day of spring, right? Did you make memories? I sure did. V and I trekked over to the newest Trader Joe’s in Denver! And it was organic. And busy. It was organically busy. But we picked up some gorgeous ranuncs and chocolate (of course), and it was a magical time. Luckily, the weather cooperated and sent some sun our way! Sun on the first day of Spring is a requirement, no?

We’ve got plans this weekend. Television plans. Downton Abbey plans. Vampire Diaries plans. News (?) plans. While we work on our plans, you should work on these plans:

Saw these wordy balloons made firsthand!

And I was gifted one of these airplant cups!

Copper & marble shelves. For under $2 bucks!!!

You’ve been flocked.

I’m thinking this technique would make an excellent garland!

Postpartum. Black clothing. Of course.

Mini treat boxes for Easter eggs!

I’ve been obsessing over this floral mirror.

An excellent read on how to choose flowers from the market.

Oh my. These balloons. I’ll be making.

Don’t forget to enter the colorful giveaway!

**happy weekend**

photography: Instagram via The Proper Pinwheel

Celebrate Spring \\ A Colorful Giveaway

March 20, 2014

Spring Fling Giveaway

Today’s the first day of Spring and I hope it’s sunshiny where you are. Here in Denver, the sun seems to come and go. It’s here today and I’m so glad because I’ve teamed up with several awesomesauce bloggers and shops, and we’ve got a fun springy linkup & giveaway going on in these parts.  It’s good. Really, really good.

Spring Fling Giveaway

One winner gets all of the above. I’m a little jealous. You should know that if it was possible to rig this, I would so that I could win. Everyone appreciates honesty, right? Let’s lay out all the goodness on the table, shall we?

1. Tory Birch Wallet in Cantaloupe from Nordstrom (+$195)

2. A $50 voucher to Jane… you get to pick what you take home!

3. Leanne Barlow Take A Bow skirt in Mint ($130)

4. Spring Issue of Emma Magazine ($23.80)

5. 4 flavors of delish dried fruit from Simple and Crisp ($20+)

6. 14k solid gold butterfly charm with diamond & 18″ fine gold chain from Helen Ficalora ($330)

To be the champion, just enter with the rafflecopter below! There are TONS of ways to enter and my fingers are crossed for ya. I’ll be living vicariously through the winner. Giveaway ends this Sunday (March 23rd) night! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

spring fling giveaway

PS – Over the weekend, I was able to attend a sneak-peek of Rebecca Caridad’s (the lady behind Manzanita!) new calligraphy workshops! Guys. I’m horrible at it, but I’m feeling super inspired and will practice until my fingers bleed. And then some. So get ready for lots of test-runs and pictures of me shoving the callig in your face. I’ve been staying up late and waking up early to get my calligraphy on. I thought that the first day of Spring called for a little calligraphy and some happy billy balls! I’ll be sharing all about Rebecca’s class and what I’m working on next week, so stay tuned~!

Pop over and visit the other fine folks who are linking up and hosting this here giveaway, why dontchya?

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DIY \\ A Life-size Putting Green

March 18, 2014

Lifesize Golf/Croquet

Get ready, because I plan to share more of the deets of everything that went down in Palm Springs at Meet Make Do. I’ve already said that it was a blogger’s dream. These gals and I plan to just build a commune where we can all live and chat and create together. Want to join? I ask in a non-creepy way. Come live with us…

The day I arrived, the weather was beautiful so we all spent the day outside working on various projects. I’m all about the easy DIYs these days and I spotted a couple of 36″ round balloons (courtesy of Shop Sweet Lulu! Thanks, gals!) and decided to get my golf/croquet game on. And what’s better than regular-sized golf/croquet? Life-size golf/croquet.
Lifesize Golf/Croquet Lifesize Golf/Croquet Every kind of supply we could ever want was at our disposal. Using an air compressor (like one used to blow up an air mattress), I inflated these balloons until they were super huge and awesome.

Take some white acrylic paint and paint stripes of different sizes on the balloons as you see fit. Wait for them to dry, and then get your croquet on.
Lifesize Golf/Croquet

Now, here’s the thing. I know that croquet has those wire thingies on the green. And I know that regular golf balls are boring and stripe-less. But I had to combine the two, because how dreamy is this? Kind of Alice in Wonderland-y if you ask me. Lifesize Golf/Croquet

Good ol’ Chelsea from The Paper Mama rocking the green. She was dressed so fabulously that she ended up modeling most of our projects for us! Such a trooper.

To dress up the holes, I just taped some honeycomb tissue diamonds from Shop Sweet Lulu to the tops of each pole. And then I hung out on the green all afternoon. I understand why men golf so much. It’s just so relaxing and pretty.

To see more sneak peeks and projects from this amazing blogger retreat, search the #meetmakebing hashtag on Instagram!

Thank you so much to BING for sponsoring this getaway, and to Shop Sweet Lulu for providing the goods to help me make the putting green a prettier place. 

photography: all photos by Mary Costa Photography

Fresh \\ Found

March 14, 2014

floral 1

Hola, my friendlies. So happy it’s the weekend. Because we just moved, I’m looking for any time I can get to unpack. Our house! It’s in shambles! But at least I’ve got one space to call my own. And that can hold me down for now.

We recently got some very good news and will be going out to dinner tonight to celebrate! McDonalds, here I come!!! Actually, we’re going some place nicer (as if there is one!) and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve been living like a cave woman for the last few months, and it will be so nice to party like a rock star.

The weekends are for making things and here are a few projects you should mos def make/eat/wear etc.

A paper flower rainbow wreath will brighten your life.

Kissable printables with wax lips!

I got to see these floral gift toppers in action. Totes adorbs. (who hates that wordage? i kind of do.)

I’m dying to build a pegboard like this in my office!

Plants. In a cart. I love this.

This geometric photo wall is perfectly perfect perfect.

A no-sew origami tote. I’m there.

hashtag: happy weekend. hashtag: excited to party. hashtag: see ya later.

photography: The Proper Pinwheel

The House: A Peek At My Work Space

March 12, 2014

kleenex style | sponsored by kleenex

One thing that has changed since becoming a mother is that there isn’t really time or space for my stuff. It’s disappeared. Both the time and the space. The stuff? It’s still there. Packed away in boxes and bins and closets and drawers. Most of the time, I don’t mind. I’m happy to be buried in baby clothes and baby toys. But it can make it a little hard to feel creative when colors, images, and materials that inspire me are hidden from view. 

We recently moved (long story that I’ll share with you another day), and I have sworn to make a small corner of the new place “my corner”. Between naps and playtime, I’ve been slowly unpacking a few of my belongings and creating a space that I can work and feel creative. Believe it or not, I haven’t used an actual desk in years. My projects are created in the kitchen, on the floor, covering the dining table, or hanging out on the couch next to the window with the best light. I’m not the funnest crafty blogger to live with…

You should know that I’m kind of a packaging snob. I don’t care what’s in it, but if it’s wrapped up pretty, I’ll take it. I like things colorful. And I like them simple. And if it ain’t beautiful, it’s hidden from view. If you were to look at my work space as a whole, you would notice that the scissors, glue guns, measuring tapes, and other tools aren’t in sight. All the glittery, papery, magical goodness is out on display because that’s the stuff I want to look at day-in and day-out.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’m a sucker for pretty tapes, pencils, straws, and other pretty things. If I get a business card that I love, I hold onto it and try to incorporate it into my work decor if I can. Confession: I have saved every biz card I’ve ever received from any conference or event I’ve been to since I started blogging. And I decorate with many of the ones I’ve received from Alt Summit.

kleenex style | sponsored by kleenex

Over the years, I have collected yarns, twine, garlands, and prints, and I’ll be throwing them up in this space just as soon as I can unpack them. For now, I’ve pulled out a few of the necessities that were already on-hand including some cork boards for my walls, some decorative white yarn from The Container Store, a pretty happy typographic garland, a box of Kleenex tissues (for every crafty spill you can think of. I’m looking at you, mod podge.), my Sugar Paper LA calendar, and a few other little odds and ends.

I really only get to hang out at my desk late at night when Vita-roo is sleeping snug and I can focus on my work. I’ll spend an hour or two here and I don’t even mind because it’s now a happy place that suits my needs. I’m happy to say that I’m pleased with everything that is sitting on top of my desk at the moment. I wouldn’t hide a thing. (Except maybe the several empty cans of Diet Coke. I have to hide the evidence from the Husb.)

I have to give props to Kleenex for upping their game lately. I’ll admit that I used to be the person who hid the an ug box of tissues behind shelves or frames. I use them A LOT because we get the sniffles quite frequently here in Denver. Where we have blizzards in May. Not joking. It was 65 degrees two days ago, and then yesterday we were freezing and blizzarding. Love this place. I will tell you that we have a box of Kleenex tissues in every room in the house. And they’re all stylish boxes that are in plain view. Each suits the decor for the space that it’s in, and it’s a relief to me to have it all work together. Reminder: I’m vain when it comes to packaging. The Kleenex brand has been around for 90 years, and to celebrate, they’ve rolled out their Kleenex style finder where you can take the style quiz to help find your style and a box to fit your tastes perfectly. Be sure to visit because there’s a pretty box for the little judger in everyone.

PS – did you know that artists have decorated with Kleenex tissues before? And in the last 90 years, that art has been featured in the MoMa? Twice? I once decorated with loofahs. Not as legit.

My desk may seem clean and organized right now, but give it time and it will look like a craft-nado hit. For now, I’m going to enjoy the colorful simplicity. Do you have a desk? How do you find time to work?!?! Do you have any necessities that HAVE to be next to where you work? Do tell! Please convince me that it’s normal to work on the floor in front of the TV at 1am.

*Thank you to Kleenex for sponsoring this post and for creating lovely designs for the vain woman that I am. 

Meet Make Do: A Mini Recap

March 11, 2014

Meet Make Do with BING

Over the next little while, I’ll be telling you guys all about the party we had down in Palm Springs at MEET MAKE DO. (Heretofore lovingly referred to as MMD.)  I’ll be telling you guys every little detail including what I made, what I did, and what I ate (that’s a given). It was such a magical time and I’m so happy I was able to make it out and party with some fantastic ladies. I may have been star-struck when I arrived. I really shouldn’t be allowed out in public. Meet Make Do with BING

This was my first trip to Palm Springs, and although we were bombarded with rain on one of the days, I was NOT disappointed. I felt like I had flown right into that colorful neighborhood that is shown in the movie “Edward Scissorhands”. You know which one I’m referring to. And if you don’t, you’re lying.  Meet Make Do with BING

The bloggers were given free reign on the supply shelf. Everything I wanted. Right there. Balloons. Fabric. Paint. WASHI TAPE. Tissue paper. We were just ecstatic. Some folks got to making right away. I may have gabbed more than I actually created. And for that, I must apologize to the women there.
Meet Make Do with BING

This whole shebang was made possible by BING. I’ll be sharing more about their new rewards program (it’s baller) so keep your eyes peeled for that one! Meet Make Do with BING

Because what is life without a ginormous swan? I named her Odette. Meet Make Do with BING

And then there was the sugar. Lots of it. We’re talkin’ egg-free batter. Where the jeff was that stuff when I was pregnant?!?!?! Come on!!! Meet Make Do with BING

Flower Muse supplied us with hundreds of beautiful stems. It was the dreamiest of afternoons. I couldn’t have loved those petals more if I tried.  Meet Make Do with BING Meet Make Do with BING Meet Make Do with BING

We hit a snag one of the nights and had to move to the Saguaro Hotel. Poor us, right? Just look at the color! The pool had hot pink pool towels for the guests. Just top notch. Meet Make Do with BING

I was so thrilled to be invited to such a getaway with such baller people. I feel like I just returned from camp and am homesick for these gals. The conversations were wonderful. That’s what I love so much about events like this. Staying up until 3am chatting about work and life and everything in between.

Huge huge HUGE thank you to all ma’ ladies Melanie (You Are My Fave), Danni (Oh, Hello Friend), Chelsea (The Paper Mama), Ash (Sugar + Cloth), Erin (House of Earnest), Jenn (Scout), Brittany (The House That Lars Built), and behind-the-camera-queen Mary (Mary Costa Photography), our hosts, (Brittni, Chelsea, and Kelly!) and to BING and all the amazing sponsors who made it possible for us to live a dream for a few days! 

Can’t wait to share all the lovely nitty gritty with you guys!

photography: all photos by Mary Costa Photography

The Blog Hiatus Has Been Lifted

March 6, 2014

Meet Make Bing by The Proper Pinwheel

Guys. First of all, let me apologize for the ridiculous surprise blog hiatus! What the what?!?! We’ve been slammed with lots of changes in these last few weeks and I’m playing catch up. We moved. Sick baby. Lots of crazy awesome new partnerships and opportunities. And ya know what? I just needed a minute to catch my breath. And I’m so sorry it was quite here because of that!

However! I’m back now. And I think I may have discovered the happy medium. We’ll see… I just returned from Palm Springs for Meet Make Do with BING hosted by my favorite ladies, Brittni, Chelsea, and Kelly! It was a crafters high, I tell you. Lots of supplies. Lots of food (and Diet Cokes for me!), and lots of amazing conversation. I can’t wait to tell you all about it. For now, just take a gander at the photo above and imagine diving headfirst into that blue blue water!

Slap me. Forgive me. Hug me.

Lexy

photo by The Proper Pinwheel

Taste \\ Pie Crust Sugar Cookies

February 19, 2014

Pie Crust Sugar Cookie | The Proper Pinwheel

Do you have recipes that bring back memories when you make them? You know, that one recipe that you have a specific memory of? That’s exactly what these pie crust sugar cookies are to me. I remember baking (and devouring!) them at my Great-Grandma Ellis’ when I was really little. This recipe didn’t resurface in my life for years. I searched and searched for it, but it seemed to have passed on into recipe heaven. Until two years ago when I begged my mother to help me find it. I practically threatened her life. I take my treats very seriously, I’ll have you know.

These cookies are delicious. And they’re tiny so you can have a lot of them without feeling like you’re doing any serious damage. ;)

Pie Crust Sugar Cookie | The Proper Pinwheel

Ingredients:

  • 1c butter (softened)
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 c sour cream

Cream butter and flour together and then slowly add sour cream. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of two hours. Once chilled, roll to 1/4″ thick. Using a small circular cutter (I used the lid from my vegetable oil! I’m so clever…), cut out tiny circles and place on a greased cookie sheet. Poke holes with a fork in the tops of cookies. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 degrees F for 7 minutes and allow to cool!

Pie Crust Sugar Cookie | The Proper Pinwheel

Frosting:

  • 1/4 c butter (softened)
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Cream butter and powdered sugar together. Add egg yolk and vanilla and mix well. Drop one drop of your choice of food coloring and mix, mix, mix! Spread some frosting on the bottom of one cookie and sandwich it with another! Keep cookies chilled until ready to serve.

Pie Crust Sugar Cookie | The Proper Pinwheel The magic behind these cookies is how light they are. I mean, it’s like eating really, really delicious pie crust. That’s been sprinkled with sugary goodness and filled with fantabulous frosting. I’m salivating just typing these words. So sad to say I ate all these cookies after photographing them. This recipe makes A LOT. And I ate them all…
Pie Crust Sugar Cookie | The Proper Pinwheel Pie Crust Sugar Cookie | The Proper Pinwheel Pie Crust Sugar Cookie | The Proper Pinwheel

Pop ‘em like popcorn, my friends. I feel so nostalgic whenever I make these. It’s funny how a memory can do that to you. Do you have a recipe that just takes you to memory town? I’d love to hear!