framed baby clothes and how I know my husband really loves me.


I wish I could say this ivory baby dress had been mine or is a priceless family heirloom, passed down for generations.  but the truth is, I found it in a favorite thrift + junk store of mine.  it was a steal at just five bucks!  however, the day I found it, I already had several other items I was purchasing.  I guess that little dress would've put me over, so I hid it on a rack between some old quilts, with the intention of coming back for it.


A few nights later, my family and I were celebrating my birthday over dinner.  we dined under the trees in my parents' backyard, feasting on shish kabobs at a pretty table my mother had set.  after I blew out the candle on a homemade molten chocolate cake, I began to open my gifts.  wouldn't you know each of the little treasures I found days earlier while shopping with my sister were wrapped up in a cardboard box?  among them was that sweet little ivory dress.  my sister snapped photos of things that caught my eye, hid them when I wasn't looking, and then sent my mom the pictures and the hiding places.  then, my mom went on hunt to find these items and surprise me with them for my birthday.

it makes me smile remembering this.  I'll never forget the thoughtfulness and intentionality of those sneaky girls.  and even though it's not an heirloom from my family, per se, it's still a family heirloom from someone's family and I am more than happy to give it a place in my home.

The fabric + frame are from Hobby Lobby.  the fabric is a beige linen and cost $16.99/yd.  with my coupon, I got a yard and a half for about $16.00.  typically, I would have searched for a frame at a yard sale or secondhand store, but large, chunky, gold frames are hard to find.  I had been eyeing this frame for awhile, but was waiting for the right time to buy it.  the right time is obviously when there's a sale.  regularly priced at $79.99, that's more than I would usually [read: ever] spend on a frame.  so when the frames were marked 50% off, I snagged this baby and a smaller 8x10, as well.  the frame was backless; so after giving my husband the dimensions, he cut some cardboard at work and brought it home to use as my backing.

I wish I could say this involved a fancier process, but maybe the simplicity of it will make it a more attainable diy project.  first, I measured my fabric against my frame, leaving a little extra around the edge, and cut it.  I just eyeballed it—no rulers or measuring tape needed.  I had a good bit of fabric leftover, too.  next, I steamed the linen fabric.  then, I stretched and wrapped the fabric over the cardboard and hot glued the edge of the fabric onto the backside of the cardboard.  after steaming the dress and using my straightener to iron out the collar [doesn't everyone do this?], I laid the dress onto the fabric covering and arranged it how I wanted it to look when hung.  using straight pins, I secured the dress onto the cardboard—first along the top, then along the bottom.  I then rested the frame against the wall and fastened the rest of the dress to the fabric.  it helped to stand the frame up so I could insert the pins completely through the cardboard and I was better able to see how it would look, rather than laying it flat on the ground.

once the dress was secured onto the fabric covered cardboard, I called my husband into our bedroom to ask him what he thought.  he was sweet, as always, and told me he loved it.  I mean, what guy doesn't want a framed baby dress hanging over his head?  literally.  I know he probably could not care less about this project or many of the things I do around our house, but he always humors me and is complimentary about these kinds of things. this is how I know he really loves me.  that, and one time he went to Walmart at night to get me coffee ice cream.  because for whatever reason, Blue Bell coffee ice cream is "not available" on Walmart's grocery pickup in our area and we had run out [aka it was an emergency].  this might not seem like a big deal, but this is the same guy who buys our dog food from a drug store, meaning he pays substantially [$3ish] more, just to avoid stepping foot in Walmart.  that was the night I knew he really loved me.  we've been married nearly four years and I thought he might before that, but this is how I knew.

I love the way this project turned out.  I tend to lean towards a more southern, traditional style and I think this embodies that.  I already had scissors, a glue gun, and straight pins; so between the frame, the fabric, and the dress, the grand total comes to $55ish.  not too shabby if you ask me.

what do you think?  would you ever hang a framed baby dress in your home?  or drop everything to run to the store to pick up ice cream for someone you love?


diy crib mobile.

Recently on the blog, I shared a little about our baby's nursery.  one of the things specially created for his room was the crib mobile.  today, I want to share a tutorial with you on how to create this crib mobile.

materials needed:

  • embroidery hoop
  • fishing line
  • x-acto knife + scissors
  • tissue paper
  • embroidery needle(s)
  • sewing thread
  • book of your choice
  • paper + pencil
  • drill with a 1/16 bit

First, I read through Robin Hood looking for the best parts. you know what I mean... the meaningful parts with good words and strong imagery. the parts with the most adventure and love and excitement. this step is important because our baby will be able to read from the time he exits the womb, so I want him to have the best parts of the story floating over his sweet, little head. okay, so no. this step was more for myself. I wanted favorite parts of the story like... when Robin Hood + Little John meet, when he's reintroduced to Maid Marian, when he shoots his last arrow... you get the idea. the good stuff.

In case you haven't noticed from reading my blog, or if you know me personally, I'm a word girl.  my mother has always described me as wordy.  if I ever tell you a story or something that happened in a book or show, be prepared to stay awhile.  I really don't mean to be.  but there's just so many good words out there and I like a lot of them and I use a lot of them to say the things I say.

So, I skimmed through Robin Hood and picked out my favorite parts and marked them.  these would be our clouds.  next, I took the x-acto knife and begin to cut these pages out.

My little sister helped me with this project and she's a real artist.  we decided it would be best for aesthetics + symmetry + balance to have two small clouds and two large clouds. she sketched a stencil for our small cloud and I did one for the larger clouds.  we did this with a pencil and notebook paper and sketched until we came up with a cloud shape we liked.

then, I took the clouds and placed them on the page, over the words I wanted to be seen.  because I'm so wordy, this part was a little sad + hard because I couldn't fit the entire quotation as these are little bitty clouds.  I would've loved to have had the full excerpts I had chosen, but that just wasn't doable.  [one way to make this work would be to mat + frame the excerpts, rather than cutting them into the shape of a cloud.  that's one of my favorite, super easy crafts that makes for beautiful, yet different framed art.  I have a few of these type of framed pieces in my home, ranging from hymns to poetry to stories.]

I traced my little clouds over the book pages and then cut them out with scissors.  one thing to keep in mind when tracing the clouds is this: after you trace your cloud, you'll need to flip your cloud stencil over to trace your next cloud, so that it will match up when it's stitched together.  this is one of the easier parts of this project.

After the clouds are all cut out, it's time to sew!  we took little pieces of tissue paper, crumpled them up, and flattened them back out.  this is what we stuffed our little clouds with.  I wanted them to have some volume and this was the best I could come up with for stuffing.  next, get out your needle and thread and get ready for the fun part!  and by fun, I mean most tedious, time-consuming part.  once you thread your needle, start stitching your clouds together.  I would sew the cloud about halfway around and then begin stuffing it with bits of tissue paper.  this part really doesn't take too long, it just takes the most attention.

I took the inner hoop of the embroidery hoop [the one without the hardware], white-washed it, let it dry, and then drilled holes.  actually, I let my husband do that step.  I never want him to feel left out of my projects, so I try to always find something for him to do to be a part.  that last line should actually read: I always need help with at least one part of my projects, so I beg him to help me.

he took his handy drill and used a 1/16th drill bit and drilled four holes, one across from the other, evenly around.  then, I took two pieces of fishing line, probably about two feet in length and inserted them into the holes on the embroidery hoop.  they crossed over each other and I gathered the four strands together and tied a knot.  [this sounds confusing, but there are photos below that will make this step more clear]  after this, I cut a shorter piece of fishing line, threaded that through the embroidery needle and into the top of the cloud, and tied a knot.  I took this piece of fishing line sewn onto my cloud and threaded that through the hole on the embroidery hoop and tied a knot [several times so it wouldn't slip through].  I repeated this step until all four clouds were fastened to the hoop.  I didn't measure the exact length of fishing line the clouds would hang from.  I eyeballed it and purposely made them to hang at different lengths.  I did intentionally hang the two larger clouds across from each other on the hoop and the smaller across from each other to create balance + symmetry.

my husband placed a screw hook in the ceiling, and after cutting one more piece of fishing line about two feet long, I looped it under the knot that held the four strands together.  then we hung it from the ceiling.

I wrote this post just weeks before our baby arrived.  he's here now!  even though he's not sleeping in his crib yet, he took a little nap in it one day and I couldn't resist snapping a photo of him under his sweet little mobile.

thanks for reading + hope you enjoyed!

the buffet makeover.

let me start by saying I am very pleased with the outcome of this project, but I need to be honest and tell you that removing veneer is not for the faint of heart. I had zero experience, as this was my first time to do so. and for whatever reason, I thought it would be a single, thin layer of veneer and that would be all. this was not the case. there was the top layer of veneer, another layer of thin cheap wood [I'm no wood expert, but I'd venture to say it was particle board or low grade plywood], bits of glue, and then I got to the real wood.

I also made a few mistakes. as I was pulling veneer off of the sides of the buffet, I felt some thin wood so I yanked at it, thinking it was a layer of the cheap wood over the real wood. this was also not the case. that was the actual side of the cabinet and I tore it off. luckily, my handy husband helped me out and we got some plywood, cut it to size, and secured it into place. this was probably a happy accident because this piece has seen a lot of life and needed a few nips and tucks.

before I began this project, I did a little research on Pinterest to learn how to remove veneer. my original plan was to strip the veneer and paint this piece white. you know, my go-to. but I plan to use it in our baby's nursery and there will already be a lot of white in there, so I decided to try my hand at antiquing wax and give it a stained look. I've never done this before either, so this project was an all around experiment. fortunately, it turned out well.

the materials I used in this project are listed below:

  • gloves [this is probably common sense and a given when it comes to any type of woodworking project. I am an amateur, though, so it never even crossed my mind until I had sufficiently cut and bandaged multiple fingers.] 
  • joint knife
  • damp towel
  • clothes iron
  • orbital sander
  • antiquing wax

some pieces were already chipping and curling up. those were easy to peel off or pop off using the joint knife. and then there were other pieces...

for really stubborn sections of veneer, I found that laying a damp towel down and ironing over hard-to-remove pieces helped to reactivate the glue and, in turn, loosen up the veneer. then I used the joint knife to scrape and lift away the damp wood. our little iron has never seen so much action.

another thing I was excited to try in this project was this antiquing wax. it's by Miss Mustard Seed, who is one of my favorite designers. I love her work, and now I know I love her wax. maybe I'll try her milk paint next!

this project took longer than I anticipated. it probably could have been completed in a weekend or two, if I had worked nonstop. I, however, took my sweet time and many, many breaks. so it took me about six-ish weeks. not my best record, but it's done now and I'm happy with it.

ready to see the finished product? here it is!

I chose to keep the original hardware. I love the aged look of it. besides a few new screws, the handles + hinges are original to the piece.

here's a close-up of the top after much sanding and applying the antiquing wax. I don't usually love stained things, but I love this finish. my husband's grandfather, who helped replace the sides, asked me if I planned on filling in the gaps + worm holes. he couldn't believe it when I told him I planned to keep it just the way it was. I think every scratch, dent, and worm hole adds a little character. 

the missing drawers that used to be in the center of the buffet were broken and misplaced before I got my hands on this piece. I hate that, but I plan to have some wood cut and placed in the middle to make shelves and I'll find some baskets to fill them and create more storage.

this lovely piece of furniture once was a buffet in my husband's great, great grandmother's home, then lived hidden away in an old barn for years + years, and now is going to serve as a changing table + additional storage in our first baby's nursery.

maybe once I finish up the nursery and style this piece, I'll get around to sharing it with you. but don't hold your breath... it could be another six weeks or so.

simple {diy} silhouettes.

I've always loved the look of silhouettes, so classic and timeless. a few years ago, the children I nanny and I made some of themselves as a Christmas gift to their parents. I loved how they turned out and I've wanted to make my own ever since. about two years later, I finally got around to it. for the first time in the history of the tiny white house blog, I documented step-by-step instructions of the process.

here's what you'll need:

  • printed photos of your subject's profile
  • black acrylic paint [I prefer matte, but gloss can be used as well]
  • paint brush
  • scissors
  • tape, paper, + frame(s) [if you plan on framing]

first, take some photos of the profile in which you plan on doing a silhouette. this step is fairly simple, but here are a few tips to attain the desired look. 

  • take the photos outside. [this is also my number one tip for taking any photo. this is why I'm always hauling furniture outside to photograph it.] I've found that the natural light will help create crisp, clean lines, which will make for an easy cut.
  • for girls, the hair needs to be fixed in a way that will, for lack of a better term, look good in a profile shot. if your hair is shorter [above your shoulders], wearing it down is an option. if it's longer, it works best to have it up. I did some with my hair half up, half down, and it worked, but not as well as having it up. so I played around with it and tried a few different things... high bun, low bun, pony.
  • if you want a larger silhouette, you should take the photo in portrait format. if you want smaller, try landscape. for the silhouettes I made of the children, I chose to do a larger version. I took a close up photo in portrait format and ordered an 8x10 print. this time, I did it in landscape format. I ordered a few prints of the same shot in two different sizes [4x6, 5x7] and just played around with it. eventually I'd like to do a larger version of our silhouettes.

as far as ordering prints goes, I order gloss prints [though I prefer matte otherwise] from CVS or Walgreens. keep in mind, the prints don't have to be anything fancy. you'll be painting over these.

now that that's taken care of, it's time to get to work! carefully cut around the subject's profile in the picture. this step can be a little tedious, as you have to be precise and cut just so, so that a nose isn't too sharp and the hair is just right.

next up: painting. two to three coats of black paint will do the trick. just remember to leave time to dry between each coat.

now it's time to frame them! or do whatever you want to with them. I had two gold oval frames that I'd found at Goodwill, that I thought would be just perfect for silhouettes. after thoroughly cleaning and completely shattering the glass in one of the frames, I used double sided tape to attach the silhouettes to paper and frame them.

what do you think? would you ever make these?