Birthday Banner

Art & Design, My Life

For my daughter’s 2nd birthday party, I decided to make a banner from scratch using a white plastic table cloth & Sharpie markers.

hand drawn banner

For ideas & inspiration, I referenced the adorable charicatures that adorn Isabelle’s clothing. Carter’s – a popular brand of baby clothes – uses the cutest cartoon characters in their designs. They use illustrations of cherries, rainbows, owls, unicorns, cats & dogs, dinosaurs, clouds, flowers, hearts, stars, planets & various school supplies, just to name a few.

The banner turned out great & everyone loved it. We are definitely going to use it next year & every year after – as long as it holds up!



Refinished Child’s Wicker Rocking Chair

Interior Design, My Life

My parent’s have stored lots of different things in their barn over the years & the last time I was in the loft, I found an old, beat-up children’s rocking chair that I thought I could refinish & give to my daughter. I finished it today.

First, I used a wire brush to remove as much peeling paint as I could. I then painted it with a gloss, white spray paint & left it to dry over night.

children’s wicker rocking chair ready for paint

I had some left over grey fabric to make the seat cushion. Instead of sewing a removable cushion, I decided to use a staple gun & hot glue to upholster the seat. (I’m hoping this will prevent Isabelle from destroying it!)

cut fabric & foam to match the seat shape

So, I cut the fabric & a thin piece of foam to the shape & size of the seat. Then I stapled the fabric to the wooden seat, keeping the edges folded under & the front edge open.

stapled the fabric to the wooden seat to create a pocket

Then I stuffed the cut foam into the fabric pocket.

foam cushion inside the fabric pocket

Pulling the fabric taught, I stapled the front edge & trimmed the excess fabric.

close up of the front edge after stapling the fabric over the foam

To hide the staples along the front edge, I made some welting by sewing strips of the grey fabric around rope. I then hot glued it over the staples.

hot glued the welting over the stapled edge

To further hide the front edge, I added some simple white rope under the welting with more hot glue.

hot glued white rope under the welting to further hide the staples

Finally, I finished the seat by adding the white rope as trim around the entire edge of the cushion. This cleaned up the stapled edge of the seat.

hot glued more white rope around entire edge of the seat

I have two adult-sized wicker chairs on my front porch that this little rocker matches. The fabric pattern ended up being a little crooked & the front edge isn’t perfect either, but all in all I think it turned out really cute (especially since I only spent $6 on the entire project!)

completed children’s wicker rocking chair

Handmade Mosaic Stepping Stones

Art & Design, My Life

Each year for Christmas, I always like to get creative & make some of my gifts. This year, Jon & I chose to make concrete stepping stones.

We kept the budget small, so I scrounged around to use what I had available – a frisbee, 2 old plant pot trays, & various broken glasses, plates & pottery. I then bought a few $1 bags of glass marbles at the Dollar Tree, while I sent my husband to the local hardware store to buy a bag of concrete (if you get one of their broken bags, they’ll only charge you a $1!)

made with broken glass & porcelain shards, marbles & concrete

After Jon mixed the concrete, he poured it into the makeshift molds. For the designs, I really just began adding the largest pieces of broken glass first, then filled in the surrounding space with smaller shards & marbles. After we let them set up for 24 hours, I took a scrub brush & brushed away the cement that had been pushed up over some parts of the design. It’s best to do it at this point because the concrete is crumbly & easily removed with a brush. We let them set up for about a week before we finally turned the molds over & popped the finished stones out. As a final touch, we “sanded” the edges of the stones on the pavement just to get a smoother outer edge.

made with broken glass & porcelain shards, marbles & concrete

I’ve already bought more marbles & broken (accidentally) more china – so I’m ready to make more (but for myself!)


Heirloom Sun Catcher

Art & Design, My Life

My grandfather passed away a few years ago & my mother still had his keys – house key, shed key, car key, etc…so we thought that it would be nice to find an interesting way to display them – in a sun catcher.

Using his keys along with assorted glass beads & wire, leather cording & a bamboo pole, I created this sun catcher/wind chime:

We decided to give it to my Uncle Rich for Christmas this year. I made sure that the leather key chain could easily be removed (so my uncle could use if he wanted to).

We gave it to him this past weekend & he immediately hung it up near the downstairs bar. I am pretty sure that he liked it a lot 😊.

Hunting “Sit-Upon” Cushion

My Life

My husband is getting into bow hunting with his new crossbow & he asked me if I could make him a rugged but super comfy cushion for sitting on up in the tree stand. He said that these hunting seats can cost up to $80-$100 & if I could get the materials to make him a nice seat for less that I should try….

So I did… And I started by searching for affordable supplies.

I found this awesome outdoor 600 denier waterproof canvas fabric printed with a wooded camouflage pattern for $8.99/yard (I only needed 1 yard) & a 4” thick foam cushion precut to 18” x 18” square for $22.99 – of course I got it all on Amazon. I also knew I needed heavy duty sewing machine needles, but I hit up Walmart for those & dropped another $1.99 for them. I am proud to say that the total cost came to a whopping $34. 

Anyway, here it is:

Jon wanted a handle, so I made one out of the extra fabric cuttings. Now he can easily carry the cushion up into the tree stand along with his crossbow & other hunting supplies. I also added an old plastic D-ring that I salvaged as an extra loop to hook onto the seat.

I am very happy with how it turned out & even happier to say that Jon loves it too. We can’t wait for him to try it out this weekend & maybe even bring home some dinner!




Mermaid Party!

Art & Design, My Life

My daughter, Isabelle, is getting ready to turn 1 on May 11th & the party planning has begun! I loved “The Little Mermaid” when I was little, so I wanted to do her first birthday party with a mermaid theme. I am already getting in the spirit by creating fun mermaid graphics to use on custom apparel & invitations.

Maryland Flag Mailbox

Art & Design, Exterior Design, My Life

I recently finished painting the Maryland Flag onto our new mailbox for my husband’s birthday present. Here is how I did it:

I first downloaded a free vector drawing of the Maryland Flag design & scaled it to fit the dimensions of the mailbox. I then printed the scaled flag onto clear mylar transparencies. Then to transfer the design onto the box, I perforated the printed line art with an Xacto knife, then laid it over the mailbox & used a Sharpie to stencil the dotted lines onto the mailbox. Finally, I connected the transferred dots with the marker to get the design drawn onto the surface – seen here:

Transferred Design

For better accuracy, I labelled the paint colors of the design with R, W, Y, & B. You can see the progress here of each paint color:

Once I got the first coat done, I had to keep working the design to touch up the edges & add more coats to enrich the colors of the paint. Here is the final coat:

To finish the mailbox, I epoxied cut out paper numbers to the front of the door & then sprayed the entire piece with a weather proof clear coat:

I can’t wait to attach the little red flag & mount it with the other neighborhood mailboxes!

Refinished Dresser

Interior Design, My Life

Over the weekend, my husband and I decided to refinish our bedroom dresser. My mother had bought this for my nursery when I was born. She got it at a flea market and painted it ivory.

When she passed it on to me, we painted it a light yellow. Since oil based paint is not sold anymore, I had to use latex. This was not a good idea since I used a high gloss latex paint. It ended up drying with a sticky surface, now collecting dust and dirt.

So we started by removing the wooden knobs, then sanding and scraping all the old layers of paint. I even saw the ivory my mom had originally painted it. Then we used spray paint to paint it. Spray paint is the only oil based paint you can buy anymore and luckily we found the exact same light yellow I had used before. This time, though, the finish won’t end up being sticky. Job well done!

DAY 1:

DAY 2:


3D Baby Hand & Foot Print Collages

Art & Design, Inspiration, My Life

For those of you who had not seen my last few posts, I recently gave birth to my first daughter, Isabelle Ada. She was born 3 days after Mother’s Day but was 5 1/2 weeks old for Father’s Day this year, so it was time to get creative with the gifts!

My niece Whitney, who is also Isabelle’s Godmother, found a cute craft project on Pinterest to make for my husband for his first Father’s Day gift – create a golf themed 3D collage made with Isabelle’s tiny hand prints to represent blades of grass.

Here is how it turned out:

This in turn inspired me to use her foot prints to create a 3D collage for my father for Father’s Day. He is an avid kayaker, so naturally I created a kayaking scene with her foot prints. The best use of the foot prints in this scene was as the white-water rapids.

Here is the kayaking scene:

I liked the foot prints that I used as the waves in the water so much in my dad’s collage, that I decided to make another one for my husband. I decided to depict a fishing scene, since he also loves to go out on the Chesapeake Bay & fish for Rockfish.

Here is the fishing scene:

I created a final collage, this time for my brother, as a house warming gift. Since my brother loves to play soccer, I created a soccer scene & used her hand prints as the grass in the field. It was fun getting creative with the construction of the goal with yarn, the soccer ball with a shooter marble & the clouds with cotton balls.

Here is the soccer scene:

I really love the way these turned out. It’s a really cool way to memorialize your child & I hope I inspired you all to create your own!

Ladybug Art

Art & Design, My Life

I have some amazing news! On May 11 at 11:35am I gave birth to my first child, Isabelle Ada! She weighed 8 lbs. 1.5 oz., measured 19.5 in. long & was delivered via C section. She is happy, healthy & beautiful.

Isabelle Ada Wilson

Isabelle Ada Wilson

I am completely in love with her & wanted to create some fun artwork to hang on the wall of her nursery, so I decided to design some really cool ladybug artwork.

Here are the vector drawings:

Before she was born, I had stopped by one of our local thrift shops & purchased a few antique gold picture frames to use in the nursery. I decided to print the art at home, but because my printer does not make the highest quality prints, I printed an extra layer on a transparency sheet to boost the colors. Basically 2 copies of the design are lined up & then layered in the frame. It’s a great trick to achieve deep colors from a simple print out from a home printer.

Here is the framed artwork:

I hope Isabelle loves these as much as I do!