February 12, 2018

Yarn Wire Word Art

1 skein of yarn
4 yards floral decorative wire
Wire cutter

1. Using finger knitting (tutorial here), create a 4 yard long garland.
2. Insert the wire through the back of the knitted garland, weaving it in and out of the yarn links. Fold 1″ of each end backwards.
3. Carefully bend your yarn-wire garland to create a word.

We made our word love in honor of Valentine’s Day, but once that day has come and gone, we will change it to Soul (since it designates her side of the room) and we will make another for Glow (for her side of the room). If you want another wire word art project, try this one out!

vintage bamboo bed frame: elsie green. kantha quilt: uncommon goods


February 10, 2018

This week’s learned, links, and thankfulness…

In the middle of a website refresh, so don’t mind the wonky bits here and there. It’s still a work in progress, but hopefully once it’s completed, it will be simpler and mobile friendly.

I’d really like some garlic parmesan potato wedges.

Thankful that the second round of the flu stayed confined to True alone, and after a few days of resting, she was back to her normal self.

Brave is so excited to finally start the very last Harry Potter book!

I ought to tap into my Filipino heritage more and make Filipino food (like this lumpia), with a healthy slant of course.

Everlane’s got some new goods and if you’ve been wanting to try some wide leg pants, I highly recommend theirs.

And how darling are these pink heeled mules from the Gap?! It certainly declares spring!

Been reminded this week that God’s plans are perfect. I don’t need to freak out or doubt when things aren’t according to plan (all of last year felt that way for our family), but I can keep trusting because God is God.

Hope you get a restful weekend, friends!


February 9, 2018

It really hit Ben and me that we are now in a new stage of parenting, a particularly crucial stage. Really though, every stage is pertinent. True and Brave are at the cusp of their teen years and this tween thing does feel like something else. All my bad parenting habits have become even more glaring. My bad habit of being quick to anger and slow to speak is coming back to haunt me full force, and I better learn fast how to be slow to anger cause otherwise this is all going to go south real fast. As mom, I know I kind of set the tone at home, so I really need a lot of  “tuning my heart to sing thy grace.” This means I ought to be spending lots of time in prayer and reading God’s word. I won’t survive if I’m not feeding my soul. In addition, I must intentionally go about my day depending on God and not trying to control everything myself (hard for a control freak like me to do).

There’s a lot of emotions going on at home, especially for my biggest girls, and I can see the changes in them and between them. I’ve been their mother (and obviously, still am), but now is the time where they also need me to be their friend. Ben and I have spent the last (almost) 12 years setting the tone, rules, routine, expectations, but now, during this particular stage, I’m learning they also just need me to be their friend. They need me to listen and talk through things instead of simple tell them things. So we’re working on it, we aren’t doing it perfectly, and they’ll be lots of messing up along the way, but I’m glad these mess ups point all of us to the cross. It always gives us an opportunity to talk about how we can’t do it, but we can trust in Jesus Christ who did.


February 7, 2018

Lollipop Flowers

Card stock
Crepe paper (two colors, for center of the flower and leaves)
Heart paper punch
Hole puncher

1. Punch out (or cut out) 4 hearts. Then, punch a hole at the bottom of each heart and fold each heart in half.
2. Wrap the lollipop head with two 4″ crepe paper (used 2 pieces to make sure lollipop was completely covered) and twist tightly at the base.
3. Insert the lollipop stick through the hole on the 4 hearts. Spread out the hearts to create the flower petals. Get the hearts as close to the base (the paper and lollipop wrapper help give the hearts a snug fit on the lollipop). Add dabs of glue if needed to secure the hearts in place.
4. Cut out crepe paper leafs and glue to the bottom of the petals.

Attach a little poem that says “Roses are red, violets are blue, if you were a flower, I’d pick you!” Also, the lollipop flowers would look really cute with a few together in a bouquet (maybe make using cake pops!) for a teacher. These would also work for Easter baskets too!


February 6, 2018

I’ve been so inspired by woman run businesses and I wanted to share a couple of my fave ladies… the women behind Kinoko Kids. I’ve been fans of both for a long time, and they not only run a shop together, but have successful independent businesses as well (Ms. Tips and Mini Pomme). I love getting to know the people behind the shop because a business like Kinoko Kids is so personal. There is so much love, sweat, and tears going into a small business and I love getting to know the heart behind it. Without further ado, read all about the love the drives Kinoko Kids (and don’t forget to check out the shop after)…

What does Kinoko mean?
Kinoko means mushroom in Japanese. As we shared ideas and images with each other as we were working on naming the shop mushrooms kept coming up- mostly in vintage prints and illustrations from Japan and Europe. Tammy is from Japan and Erika studied there for a time and we knew offering Japanese goods would be an important part of our shop so it seemed like a perfect fit.

Inspiration for Kinoko Kids?
Basically, we wanted to open a shop that was the type of place we’d enjoy shopping at and didn’t already exist in Minneapolis. We each had online businesses- Erika makes and sells heirloom quality toys and other goods and Tammy is a vintage dealer. We always knew if we combined our skills and our aesthetic senses it would be pretty magical. Doing business online is fun and rewarding but we were both craving having a different type of interaction with our customers and the opportunity to create a fun, welcoming space for people to buy great things for kids locally.

How’d you two meet and decide to join forces?
We met at a Japanese restaurant waiting tables 20 years ago. We were both art students at the time, and always talked about doing something creative together. Individually we’ve done a lot of different stuff over the years but always seemed to keep coming back to this idea of some kind of kid-centered business together. We’ve got 5 kiddos between the two of us so while we won’t claim to be experts we do know a thing or two about the subject of children. Also, for adult women we are both pretty into childish things so this shop makes a lot of sense for us!

What’s been your favorite part of Kinoko Kids so far?
Experiencing our customer’s reactions when they enter our shop has been pretty amazing. It’s something we didn’t really get to experience doing business online. Finding just the right toys and vintage for our shop is so fun and challenging and we love seeing what our customers respond to. The number one thing that gets us both every time though is when kids bring in a bags full of coins to buy something special. It’s just the best thing ever. We have lots of small treasures for not much money for this very reason!

What are some of your favorite items in the shop right now?
Erika: It’s so hard to choose. Our shop is small so we have to be really intentional about what we choose to have on the shelves- which means we really love everything we carry… but right now I’m really excited about the beautiful design and tactile nature of Moon Picnic’s wood products (Make-A-Face, Cross Stitch Kits and Pom Maker). I’m also an art teacher at a Montessori school here in Minneapolis so I’m thrilled to have some beautiful tin watercolors, oil pastels and nice watercolor paper from Ee-boo. The quality is really good and the illustrations on them by Monika Forsberg are also incredibly charming. I’m also a big fan of Maileg mice– first of all because they are tiny and adorable but also because they have inspired so much creative, open-ended play in my own house. One of my sons once built a three story house out of shoe boxes for his mouse family- it was incredible.

Tammy: My current favorites are: mushroom lamps. These amazing lamps were one of the first products we really wanted to carry in our shop. We both have the big red one at our homes and we love them! I loved anything vintage all my life, especially clothes with quirky and fun novelty prints. I love fun 70s jumpsuits/rompers also. So much easier than picking outfits, just zip up and go! I studied theater costumes for a bit in the past so I have a major weakness for vintage costumes. Handmade costumes are even better!

Not only do you both have the store, but your own businesses too. How do you both do the wife/mom/work balance? Any tips and tricks?
We just do it! Having supportive partners, kids and family help tons, of course. Honestly, this holiday season has been pretty nuts…we are kind of a mess half the time. Being there for our kids is super important to both of us but we both told ourselves that its also really important for our kids to see us pursuing our passions. We are both giving everything we’ve got to get this little business off the ground. It’s an incredible amount of work, but it’s work we both truly love, so we just find a way to make it work.

Be sure to head over and check out Kinoko Kids and maybe pick out some Valentine treats for your mini valentines! Thank you so much Erika and Tammy. You both are so inspiring! 

*Photography by Shannon Svensrud of Storied Life Pictures.


February 5, 2018

{no-sew heart bunting}

{felt heart clips}

{handmade tic-tac-toe}

{heart crown}

{heart headband}

{heart surprise balls}

{yarn wrapped wire sign}

{felt heart bag}

{chenille stem heart garland}

We have new Valentine’s projects to share this week and next, but here are some past ones I made to get you started.

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