craigslist wishlist!

i know window shopping on craigslist doesn't really count as crafty [even though we all know most craigslist finds are a cool way to get something on the cheap & transform it into something fabulous with a little sanding/painting/creativity] but with my due date looming this weekend & no baby yet, a craigslist wishlist is about as crafty as it gets around here.

especially considering the amount of diy decorating blogs i read... ahem.

most times i am looking for fun & not actually to buy, but if i had some cash to burn & the luck that these steals weren't already snapped up, here are some things i'd be trying to coerce my husband into picking up for me right now:

it has only taken me about 20 minutes to convince myself how badly i need this set of 4 gorgeous ladder shelves for my craft room re-do i'm [still] working on.... and get this: all 4 for only $125. a massive deal, especially for something that doesn't need to be painted at all! i'm already picturing them covered in little baskets and jars full of all my craft stuff.
this super cute 'shabby chic' bedside table looks just about like what i'm looking for for my little girl's big girl bedroom after the baby gets here... again, minus the sanding, painting, & decoupaging that adorable little drawer since it's already done for me! it would match perfectly with her green & pink decor [remember the lamp?] & is also right in our price range at $60... aka $50 if i work the bargaining angle & the sellers are friendly!!
my long-term search however, is [big surprise] anthropologie-inspired: a perfectly beat-up, worn-in leather couch. you know what i mean: something not so scary brand new that you're afraid to let anyone within 10 yards of it, but not so old & funky that you think it might have been infested with something in somebody's great-aunt's basement at some point [eww.] i've seen several great ones, but not surprisingly, they get snatched up quickly when the price is right.

i guess it's kind-of the holy grail of craigslist thrifting if you will. but check out this one i saw this week, which actually has a matching loveseat... perfect.
confession: i emailed the sellers about all of these. i couldn't help myself.

we've both bought & sold a couple of things on craisglist over the years. it can have its strange aspects, but overall is a fun & pretty harmless way to buy inexpensive furniture! anybody else have a favorite thing to search for on craigslist?


forgotten stamp.

a week after valentine's day & look what i totally forgot i had:

and of course [sing with me now...] what might have been:


note to self: remember for next year.

ps- if you want to make your own [maybe a 4 leaf clover or a little balloon for spring?] these little stamps are so fun & easy! here's the full how-to: carved eraser mini-stamps.


little artsy crafty organization!

i only have 1 kid [so far] who is only 2 years old, and already it's so easy to feel like all the toys & art supplies & little tiny things are taking over the whole house. i'm such a nut for organization that this only proves to fuel my fire for pretty organizers. and if they can be made totally cheap or almost free, then even better!

even though there's something great about a huge bucket of crayons just waiting to be dug around in...
[gotta love all the smudges & fingerprints!]

i've noticed if they look messy, k is more likely to make a mess with them [ie: finding great joy in chucking them across the room rather than coloring with them. & we had our first coloring on the walls incident this week. eep.] and as she gets bigger, if they look messy before she even starts using them, she's much less likely to clean them up in a nice way & keep them nice for next time.

enter the internet & its wealth of genius bloggers who are making incredibly cute organizers for just such a problem! here are the ideas i'd like to steal for our little artiste in the making:

who can resist anything color-coordinated, especially if it's this bright & fun? definitely not me. this montessori-inspired tin can color-coordinated crayon holder [by mom's crafty space] is super easy to make & so colorful!
i seriously love this pbk knock-off spinning organizer [by the crafter's file box] made with a lazy susan & brightly colored mini buckets [honestly, you have me at 'mini buckets' for just about anything!]. i've seen these little brightly colored buckets at target bunches of times & have always wanted a reason to buy a whole stack of 'em! another great idea i saw was adding a bigger one in the middle so there's a place for paints & sticker books & staplers & those awesome little kiddo-safe scissors. love it!
martha's tin can caddy seems perfect for bigger stuff like markers or paintbrushes or rulers etc. & even has a handle for easy transportation to & from your workspace & again, is made out of super cheap materials like recycled cans!
how cute would all these little caddies look lined up on a shelf waiting to be pulled out to make little kid masterpieces? i always believe that pretty sorters & organizers make you want to put things away if only because it looks so nice & makes things so easy to find later when you need them. it's a self-fulfilling prophecy- if everything has a home, it's easy to put everything in its home & be totally organized! yay!

i'm not gonna lie, i'll probably have to make all three. [i may or may not already be saving mandarin orange cans for the crayon one.] i'm already picturing them in my imaginary kiddo-friendly craftspace. now if only i can pass on this obsessive organizational ferver to my kids...


little art book.

so i have a budding little artist in my midst:
& i decided that valentine's day was the perfect time to decorate a little sketch book with her name on it [kind of literally] to create in! her momma is well known for having little scraps of paper everywhere with lists, little sketches, things to remember, etc. & i wanted my little one to have her own book to create in.... and i was inspired by reading about soulemama's theory that you should try to give your kids "real" art supplies even when they are little.

so i found 2 little sketchbooks [blank pages without lines] in pretty colors on clearance for $5. they have really nice smooth fabric covers & a spiral spine so they lay flat. the green one is for me [not sure what it's for yet- mailing list sign-ups at craft shows maybe?]
the little periwinkle blue-ish one was for k & i painted a little pink k with dark pink dots on the front cover to make it more girly.
it looked so cute amongst her valentine's gift:
so far it's been a perfect place to attach, un-attach & re-attach stickers into collages, & momma has tried hard to be hands-off with it. 2 year old art should have no rules, i suppose [other than please keep it in the book & not on the walls] and i have tried to accept the cheezit-orange fingerprints already in it as part of the art.
although i admit the painted k on the cover was strategically placed to cover one up. ahem.
but she is in love with her little art book & loves to carry it around with her sticker booklets and keep it near her crayons & markers stash. and this momma says anything that keeps a busy 2 year old occupied for more than 30 minutes straight is a success. win!


convertible bow headband

my baby just turned 2 & still barely has enough hair for a hairbow to stay clipped in- and trust me i have tried lots of different kinds of clips! so i came up with a little headband that bows can be clipped to so that she can still wear them! here's how to make it:

convertible bow headband

you will need:
-a strip of elastic band that fits the child's head [measure it around your kiddo]
-a strip of fabric 2 or 3 inches wide and roughly twice as long as your elastic
-a 2" piece of grosgrain ribbon

step 1:

cut out all your pieces. take your strip of fabric & iron down a little seam on each side of the fabric.
step 2:
fold the fabric in half so that the folds are touching wrong side to wrong side, & iron it again so you have a long tube.

step 3:
sew down the 2 folds together so that there is one long seam [sew as close to the edge as you can without falling off!]
step 4:
use a safety pin to guide your elastic through the fabric tube. holding onto one end of the elastic, scrunch up the tube onto the elastic- so that you can hold both ends. this definitely takes 2 hands & was impossible to get a picture of! here is the sewn fabric 'tube' & the elastic ready to go in:
step 5:
sew the two ends of the elastic together [it helps to keep using that safety pin! careful not to let your tube slip away from you]. then fold under one end of the fabric tube, place the other end inside it, and stitch that fold down. you want the elastic to stay in the tube without showing!
step 6:
fold the ribbon around the headband right side to right side & stitch the ends together. then gently flip it over so that it makes a nice looking loop around your headband [a crochet hook helps with this part!]
and presto!
now you have a headband with a loop that all your hairbows can clip into! almost anything will clip right onto the little loop: big hairclips, little tiny bow clippies, hair flowers, even anything on a bobby pin!
here's my sassy little stinker wearing hers at christmas with a cream bow clipped on:
and since it was red & white, we totally will be re-using it for valentine's!


loving lately!

maybe it's because i'm on the short countdown of having a baby this year, but i can't get enough of all the fun valentine's projects out there even though i know it's not likely to happen around here! if i had unlimited energy and resources, there's about 50 things i'd be making & totally love/heart/pink & red-ifying the entire house! here are my favorite

1. for future reference [i love to be able to find things later when i do have time aka the 'crafty file' concept.]

2. in hopes that some of you crafty folk do have the time & energy this year & maybe have not yet seen some of these ridiculously adorable ideas to inspire you! sharing the love, folks, sharing the love. literally.


i love these so much i might make them all next year. how genius is that method for perforating the little coupons in the booklet? i'm going to check & see if i have a wooden spool in my stash- that unraveling love note is just too sweet!

i admit i bought M a valentine's day card at target last night instead of making one. i'm a bad, bad crafter sometimes! but it just said the right things, you know? & it unfolded like an accordion, wasn't cheesy or stupid, & had really pretty black & white photography in it. i think that's all you can really ask of a store-bought card these days.

hope you have big pink & red plans with your valentine this year!


the valentines that were!

i thought i'd post this a little ahead of time from valentine's day because it's about the easiest way possible to send out handmade valentines! [even if you have a whole kiddo class or 2 to craft for!]

you know that in all my good intentions for crafting, i have lots of almost-were cautionary tales thanks to my last-minuteness- especially for valentine's because it really sneaks up on you!
this year i wanted to keep it sweet & easy & involve my little one's art in some way.

so, inspired by the layered felt ones i saw the other day, i tweaked my already-in-progress plan a little. first off, i sat K down with one sheet of white paper and lots of different pinks & reds:
[she loved those little red heart stickers so much that they ended up everywhere except on the valentines- there is still one on our unfinished basement stairs that still makes me smile!]
love the reds & pinks- this totally makes me want to make this crayon holder by the way!

i was planning to cut hearts out of the paper she colored & glue them to some plain cardstock cards with envelopes, but instead i:

1. cut out the heart

2. cut out a pink construction paper heart slightly larger

3. cut out a red construction paper heart slightly larger than that

4. put a stripe of glue gun glue right down the center of each layer of heart

5. glued the whole thing to the cardstock card!

putting the glue just in the center like that makes the edges fluff up a little bit [& dries super fast, which is very instant gratification. love.]
my favorites are the extra scribbly ones... i love this little coloring age!
& so we shall successfully send out valentines this year! she's too little to have a whole class to make them for yet, but they're perfect for grandparents & our little cousins! too fun!

if you're looking for some other fun pink valentine-y tutorials here are some of my past ones:
the crocheted little heart garland,
easy peasy pink fabric pennant banner,
the love brownies,
or maybe even some little pink button hair clips just for fun.

or maybe your lovely babe needs a sweet little happy hearts bib to wear while she eats pink cupcakes and strawberry marshmallows? mmmm. i think so.

while all those pretty pinks were out on the table, i sat & made this:we're working on potty training, & K gets to pick out a treat when she has a success... there are a few tiny bottles of bubbles and about 2 candy necklaces in the treat bucket, but mostly it's all stickers. so i thought a little sticker potty chart would be fun so she can stick one sticker on the chart to see how well she's doing & play with the rest of the little sheet, sticking them on her shirts or wherever.

i was completely inspired by prudent baby's adorable one, and when she gets big enough to understand the different 'kinds of tries' i'll definitely be making one like that!


tutorial update!

because you know how much i love organizing things... i just had to tell you that i updated my tutorial page, so if there's a specific project you're looking for, odds are you can find it right here!

tutorials, patterns & inspiring things!

you can always find them quickly by clicking on 'tutorials' link up there on the top bar right below the leaf&letter logo. yay!

if you're looking for something fun & new to work on, be sure to check- you might have missed one!


love, love me do!

just a few valentine-ish irresistibilities tempting me:
lemons with a pea

what little token of love are you hoping for this february? are you treating yourself to a little sweet something?


one more...

i've got 1 last lonely little 4th blogiversary thank you just waiting for a happy home with one of you lovely readers...
i'm so very glad you're here and would love to send a little thank you your way! leave a comment here if you're intrigued & it's all yours!

giveaway now closed, thank you all so much!


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