MY NEPHEW’S NURSERY + AN ARABIC ALPHABET PRINT

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We finally have a baby in the family. No, I’m not pregnant, but my big sister, Jessica, will soon give birth to the first little munchkin among all of us siblings, and the anticipation of little Remy arriving has been the cause for celebration as of late. My sister Sarah, my mom, and I recently took a road trip to Houston to have an small, intimate baby shower for Jessica, and we had a blast helping finish up her nursery decor, showering her with gifts, and perusing the baby aisle together at Target.

Among all of her baby needs, Jessica had one special request for me: make her an Arabic alphabet print for her nursery. I LOVED the idea of designing a typographical poster using an alphabet in her husband’s native language, and I was up for the challenge. After working with my bro-in-law, Ala (who is Syrian, so his first language is Arabic), on making sure I was using the correct letters and in the right order, I was able to piece together the alphabet in a way that was orderly but still had a whimsical flow.

And I love that this print will be a keepsake for Remy as he grows up learning both English and Arabic and also appreciating and being proud of both his Syrian roots and his American culture.

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ADVENTURES IN LAND-SCOUTING

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The longer I live in small town Texas, the more I love it. You can drive in any direction outside of Graham, and you will always find yourself on country roads, passing through wide open fields, winding up and down through hill country, and it truly never gets old.

Chris decided to pitch in with some friends on renting a deer lease about 25 minutes outside of town, and we spent our Saturday date night eating burgers and fries from an old local diner, cruisin’ with the windows down in our recently-inherited Chevy pickup (thanks in-laws!), and yes I even sat in the middle seat all cozy-like next to my man. He took me out to the land and showed me around, and we enjoyed the fresh air and peace and quiet. We spotted deer tracks and hog tracks and scouted out the best spots for prime time hunting. I should also add that I was on high alert at all times because I just know one of these days I WILL cross a rattler, and I will always be ready to run and frolic through the fields to avoid that moment at all costs. Nevertheless, I look forward to many more weekends together exploring and adventuring on this piece of land.

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WEEKEND SNAPS – SUCCULENT ADDITION

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This weekend I watered plants and fed kittens for my friend who was out of town, and I had to whip out my iphone and take a few snapshots of her lovely backyard details. Succulents are just so great, aren’t they? There are so many different shapes, colors, and dimensions, they are timeless and beautiful, and they make for some fun photos!

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WEEKEND SNAPS

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It was a cozy afternoon during Christmas week. He was sitting in front of me with the camera rolling, watching and anticipating my reaction to what I would find inside this little box wrapped in green and red. I was tearing through the packaging, with a mouthful of Christmas candy, and before I knew it, I was looking at my gift. I held this $300 Cannon 50mm 1.4 lens in my hands, and I was stunned. “This costs too much, babe! This is just too much! Oh my gosh! I love it!” (feeling just a tad guilty that my gift to him was of no comparison – just something hand-made… go figure.) Regardless, his lit-up eyes upon seeing me so pumped was enough.

So, I have this new lens now and have put it to very little use (aside from a couple recent trips), and just this weekend I was compelled to pick it up. Really pick it up for the fun of it, and start snapping again.

On the one hand, I think it’s become way too easy to take too many pictures. I find myself pulling out my iphone numerous times a day, only to find each month when I am syncing my phone to my computer, I have all these random photos of things I quite frankly don’t really even care about as much as I did at the moment I “clicked,” and I either keep them out of guilt or simply end up pushing “delete.” I mean, really, what am I going to do with all of them? (please refer to this Jim Gaffigan clip.)

On the other hand, whatever. Don’t overthink it. Taking pictures is fun. So, this weekend, I was inspired to take some time with my camera, and shoot (would Jim Gaffigan approve? I’m not so sure!). They will probably mean nothing to most onlookers, but for me, these captured our restful weekend at home. Here’s to the glorious week’s end, more thoughtful pics, and more (or less?) computer storage space.

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Invested in a new grill last year, and it has paid off bigtime. Try telling me baked chicken is better than grilled chicken… you can’t, because it’s just not true.
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We had this sago palm we bought last Summer. It spent all Winter, Spring, and half of this Summer in our dark stuffy garage after I thought it had bit the dust. I finally looked at it for the first time in months, and alas, it was growing leaves again. How it was reborn, I have no idea…. Then I found out sago palms are extremely toxic to household dogs. Shoot.
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Chris studying, reading, learning… this man is diligent.
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My dad sent purple flowers for my birthday, and I replanted them in this cute little tin vase and added some hand-made flair. Awww.
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Glimpse of the back porch (umbrella was a last-season $30 WalMart clearance find, thank you!) And a very common expression of Jasper these days, tongue hanging out sideways and loving his spoiled little life.

What on earth will NEXT weekend bring?

SUMMER LOVIN’ AND A FREE PRINTABLE

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Summer, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

On the tail end of a recent unforgettable trip to beautiful Barbados, I am reminiscing big time. I think I’ve tried every way possible to pretend I am still gracing the sandy white beaches of the Caribbean, far far away from work schedules and responsibilities. If I just close my eyes, I can almost smell the salt in the air and hear the waves crashing against the shore again… or maybe that’s just dinner cooking behind me and the sound of the dishwasher running…

Ah well, it may be of no use trying to “will” my way back to the beach, but it’s still only July, and there are plenty of things I can enjoy about Summer right here in ol’ Texas that are right at my fingertips. And yours too. I’ve sketched a short list of some of my Summer favorites out on paper and put them in a printable version for you to enjoy at home. So, if this list speaks to you in the deepest parts of your soul, or if you at least like the color combo and think it totally accents your living room, then have at it!

There are two versions below. Feel free to download one or both, and print as many as you want. Maybe even frame one and give it to a friend just because. Just download, print on 8.5×11 white card stock on your highest quality printer settings, cut along the lines, and display on it’s own or in your favorite frame. Print is sized to 8×10.

Click here to download: Summer Printable – White/Corals 
Click here to download: Summer Printable – Watercolor/Corals

And for those of you who prefer cool colors rather than warm (a request from mom):

Click here to download: Summer Printable – White/Blues
Click here to download: Summer Printable – Watercolor/Blues

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IN THE SHOP: PRINTABLE MOTHER’S DAY CARDS and PRINTS

It’s about that time again, my friends… Mom’s Day is a little over a week away, and you may be on the hunt for the perfect card and gift. Sometimes Hallmark just doesn’t do it for me, so I like to make my own. And I don’t like to spend a chunk of money on store bought cards, because let’s face it – those can get pretty pricey. And if you’re shopping for more than one mom, buying 3-4 cards at an average of $4.00 a pop just makes no sense.

If you’re in the same boat, choosing a printable card is the perfect option. You make one purchase (about $3), and you can print as many as you want, right from your home computer. Just pair with an inexpensive envelope (I’ve seen them in the craft section at WalMart), and you’re pretty much all set.

I recently listed a couple of printable card options in my Etsy shop. There are two color variations to choose from, and all you have to do is purchase, download, and print. Just click on each image to be redirected to the shop.

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Also, just in case you weren’t around last year, I offered a couple of FREE printables as well. Click here to see more and download right here on the blog.

Already have a card for mom, or thinking about also purchasing some pretty and meaningful art for her? Here are a couple of instant downloadable art prints that make great gifts on the cheap (and again, we are all about getting a lot of bang for your buck around here). Just click on each image to purchase in the shop, download, and print as many as you want and give to whoever you want.

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IN THE SHOP: JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS

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This month is the one-year anniversary of my Etsy shop, and for the past few months, I’ve slowly added an item or two here and there but haven’t really vamped it up with a slew of new products since launching it last Christmas. And now, a year later, it just seems right to bring in some newbies. Something I’ve learned about myself is that I need goals. Goals help people. Goals help me. With the recent Fall craft show on my radar for so many months, I was forced to develop some new and fresh products, which I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise. And I’m glad I did. I had so much fun this time around, challenging myself artistically, trying to really hone in on my design style while also giving myself the freedom to be ok with where I’m at creatively.

So… here we are. Introducing my new goodies, just in time for Christmas. Let’s do some shopping, shall we? (Click on each photo to take you to it’s corresponding shop listing.)

CHRISTMAS PRINT & CARDS

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CHRISTMAS STICKERS

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TEXAS & SOUTHERN PRINTS

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RECIPE CARDS

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EAT, DRINK, & GIVE THANKS PRINTS

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QUICK & EASY DIY: CHRISTMAS PENNANT

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Well, it’s that time of year again. Two days of 20-degree temps and ice covered streets will practically close a small town down and keep everyone inside. Which is actually really great, giving us a long three-day weekend (work was cancelled on Friday, woot woot) with no where to be. We’ve had the fire going non-stop, I made some homemade chicken tortilla soup, and we’ve had the chance to do some reading, movie-watching, house projects, and lots of lounging. I really do love these times when we’re forced to slow down. We even played outside with the dogs, and Chris pushed me down the alley on a cookie sheet. Oh ya we did. Sliding down a hill on a makeshift sled like a bunch of fools will just never get old. Ever.

So, with all this time on my hands, I had an itchin’ to do something crafty. And of course, I photographed the whole process so I could share with YOU. It’s seriously one of the quickest, easiest, cheapest projects I’ve done. And we all know those are three ingredients for the perfect DIY. So, get your materials out, roll up your sleeves, and read on.

GATHER YOUR MATERIALS:

- pair of scissors
– linen/burlap scraps
– black sharpie
– whatever twine or string you have on hand
– hot glue gun and extra sticks

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TRACE & CUT OUT YOUR FLAG
I made mine about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide, so I can fold it over the twine to attach it. Once you cut it out, fold it in half, then cut out the triangle to make two points. Now, you can trace this pattern several times over your fabric. Amount will vary depending on how many letters you are making.

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DRAW YOUR LETTERS ON EACH FLAG
Once you have all your flaggies traced and cut out, you can now draw on your letters.

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ATTACH YOUR FLAGS TO YOUR TWINE
I had some sparkly cream twine I got on clearance at WalMart a couple years ago and a roll of red/white holiday twine from Paper Source that I wanted to combine together for more interest and texture. Make sure to measure how long you want your pennant, then cut your string and lay out your flags where you want them. I don’t have a photo for this part, but open up your flag, turn it upside down, lay your string on the crease, and spread some hot glue down the crease. Quickly fold over the flag and press carefully, so the fold sticks to the string.

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HANG IT UP
I decided to leave the flags undone on the bottoms rather than gluing the whole thing together, so that the layers still show and give some depth. When you’re pennant is complete, just hang on your mantle with a few tacks, and you’re done!

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