Kirkland’s FTW

If you know what Kirkland’s is then you will understand my joy. Growing up in Tidewater, we had Kirkland’s in the malls. Lots of those potpourri packets that made it a little hard to be in, home decor items packed in every inch and good prices. I think they had them in Richmond when I moved there, but I can’t remember for sure. Then they closed. Closed! What the what?! I remember the day I was talking to my mom on the phone and she was telling me that they closed. I was so shocked. They were awesome! When Dan and I moved out to Southwest Virginia I wasn’t expecting to see one, nor was I really looking. We had *plenty* of home decor and were not in need of anything. I also don’t really frequent the malls here. I try to shop more local, handmade, cheaper these days and walking through the mall usually doesn’t tick any of those boxes.

I recently discovered a shopping center in Roanoke that I had no idea existed. I’m not saying I thought I knew all there was to know about Roanoke, but I was fairly certain I knew all the shopping centers. So, color me shocked when I discovered Towne Square over by the airport. Color me EVEN MORE shocked when I saw it… a Kirkland’s sign… in a shopping center… not shoved in a tiny space in the mall, but in its own large space.

As excited as I was to see it, I knew better than to venture in without needing a particular item. That is a sure ticket to “what is my total?!” Lucky for me a friend tasked me with putting together an Autumn Decoration Starter Kit (more on that later) and I *knew* I could find the perfect centerpiece makings at Kirkland’s.

So inside of the Kirkland’s I ventured. It. was. awesome. A huge space, lots of room to move and see and plenty of air so you weren’t smothered with the smell of potpourri packets. I found what I was looking for and so much more. Instead of buying everything (which was tempting, but I’m pretty sure Dan would lose his mind, I took pictures. I only have a handful of photos, because I shortly found what I needed and my hands were full. And I only covered on side of the store. When I am stronger (i.e. not looking at things with a “that would be a good Christmas gift for…” eye), I will venture back to Kirkland’s and check out the whole store. This time with a basket and not on my lunch break.

Let’s get to the photos:

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How cute are these owl containers? Perfect kitchen colors. Or bathroom colors… some cotton balls, q-tips and bobby pins. Or maybe I just have more bobby pins than the average person.

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This picture doesn’t do this painting justice. In person, those colors really pop and are shiny. (Fun side note: The only large painting I’ve ever purchased was from the Kirkland’s in Newport News many, many years ago. It’s currently on the mantel.)

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So many cute owls! I love the large ones on the bottom. And those cute squat owls above those, to the right.

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I couldn’t pull this mat out because my hands were half full, but how cute would this be on your doorstep? I am seriously considering talking Dan into switching ours to this.

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If Kirkland’s is known for anything, it’s their awesome clearance deals. How awesome looking are these soap holders and dispenser. Doesn’t hurt that it’s my favorite colors.

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These are those lotus flower/candle holders that I’m sure you’ve seen everywhere. These were a pretty silver glass kind. On clearance for $4.00. FOUR DOLLARS. I picked up two for a project I’m working on.

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This guy… I can’t even explain how much I want him for the backyard deck. He is SOLID concrete. If I still had my concrete Buddha man (long story), he would totally need a friend.

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Zen frog is zen. And also on clearance.

That ends our shopping trip to Kirkland’s. If you live in Roanoke (and who doesn’t?), go to the shopping center by the airport. If you don’t live in Roanoke (and really, who does?) go to the website and find a location near you. [http://www.kirklands.com/custserv/locate_store.cmd]

**I think it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway – I was not paid or perked in way to write this post. I just really love this store and sharing is caring, folks.

Stitchin’ the night away


{photos by me}

A friend of mine expressed interest in embroidery. If you know me, you know I will gladly tell you everything I know about a subject, whether you want me to or not. This time I did remember to pause and ask if she wanted me to impart my knowledge or let her discover the craft on her own. She asked for it so I emailed her my “What I Know and What I Wished I’d Known…”. I figured I’d share my email to her here, in the off chance someone else is discovering embroidery. It’s a lovely craft and I absolutely love it. Especially when I have time to sit and do it for a while.

Materials Books and pocket guides – I use this pocket guide more than anything. It is the best pocket guide I’ve found. I have several embroidery books and have flipped through a few at the library. Honestly, this is the best book I’ve found.

HoopsTension hoops are the best! They get a really good grip on the fabric and you don’t have to fuss with it. I recommend using a 7”. Anything bigger is hard to have a good grip on, too small is too small. I have a couple of these I use for projects and then the cheap wood ones for displaying when I’m done.

Floss – Do not, under any circumstances, buy one of those bags of floss. If you have good floss, you can’t go wrong. Those bags do not contain good floss. The floss in those kits looks very dull and cotton-y. DMC floss is very sleek and pretty. And when you’re pulling it through the fabric, it’s important to have good floss because it will start to separate and get fluffy looking. This is the one time when fluffy = bad. Buy your basic color wheel of thread and go forth. Sometimes Michael’s and Joann’s has them on sale. Sometimes people on eBay have lots of them. DMS is my favorite. There’s another popular kind that I can’t remember the name of, but I’ve never seen or used it so… go DMC!

In the store, you will see little white cards to wrap your floss around. Buy a pack. Those little things make not having a big pile of floss easy breezy. And they can be ring clipped together so they don’t run away.

Oh and floss is six strands of thread. Feel free to experiment with separating the threads. Sometimes you need the full six, sometimes two is better.

Needles – Any pack of embroidery needles will work. I find I like the longer ones, but to each their own. One thing to keep in mind is that most of the time you’ll be threading a full piece of floss through. That’s six strands of thread. Make sure your eyes are big enough.

Thimble – I hardly ever use mine for embroidery. Sometimes I use it, but honestly it just gets in the way.

Transfer paper – I have some. I’ve used it once when working with black fabric. Chalk would’ve been easier to work with. Not really into it.

Disappearing ink – Can’t live without this stuff. I have a pen that has a purple side and a blue side. Purple disappears in about 24 hours (depending on the moisture in the air), blue side disappears when water touches it. Aside from floss and needle, this is the most invaluable embroidery tool.

Fabric – Use whatever. There are no limits.

Scissors – When I started I didn’t think scissors was a big deal, I’d just use the everyday house scissors. Nope. Wrong. Those little embroidery scissors? Use them. I got a pair of awesome ones at my favorite fabric shop for like five bucks and I love them. They are pointy and sharp. I can’t imagine ever using house scissors again. And don’t use them for other things. Just like your fabric only scissors, these are embroidery only scissors.

Tips

* Don’t leave your fabric in your hoop after you’re done stitching for the day. If you leave it in, the fabric will never bounce back to its original form, no matter what you do. The point of the hoop is to open the fabric’s weave so you can easily embroider. You want your fabric to keep its tightness so when you’re done, it looks clean and smooth. Now if you’re going to keep the embroidery in a hoop for display then it’s ok, because it will always be stretched so it’ll always be smooth.

* Don’t use a water bottle to spray your work when done so as to wash away the disappearing ink. You will get water marks. Which are never good. Use a moist q-tip to get the marks you can see. Don’t worry about the ones you can’t, because you can’t see them so they don’t exist.

* If you’re moving from one part of your design to another keep this in mind – unless it’s only a couple of what would be stitches, then tie off and restart at the new spot.

* Some people run their floss through a wax before starting. Don’t bother. Just keep your strands to 18” or less. By the time the thread get tired, you’ll be tying off.

* Occasionally your floss will start to twist around itself. Let go of the needle, hold on to the hoop and let gravity do its job. If you just let the floss hang every once in a while it will untwist itself and you’re good to go.

* If you need ideas or tips or whatever, I’ve put together a very basic source for stuff on Pinterest. Feel free to click around and be inspired by the loveliness bloggers have stitched, photographed and blogged.

* If you don’t already know it, learn the quilter’s knot. I use one wrap around for embroidery. Maybe two if it’s going to be worn and washed. That knot will change your life. http://heatherbailey.typepad.com/photos/my_favorite_knot/index.html

* I keep a scrap of fabric in my embroidery box. I use it for testing out stitches and colors. It’s super helpful.

Just remember you can always undo what you done, there are no mistakes, just sections you get to re-embroider and that means more practice! :)

Quilt show!

Today me and Dan’s mom went to the Blue Ridge Quilt Festival. It was awesome! Lots of talent there. I took a few pictures. I also picked up some fabric from a quilt shop out of North Carolina that I am looking forward to visiting.

Here are a few of my favorites

really loved this!

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great idea!
(I may need to recreate this one)

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The rest of my quilt pics are on Flickr.

Picked up a freebie hexie kit

freebie hexie kit

Batting samples

sampler of batting

i want all the batting samples

Bought some awesome fabrics

my get

Red, white and blue were my favorites for some reason. It was a great show and I’m happy I got to go. Dan’s mom won a raffle prize! A pre-cut quilt set! Lucky lady.

Shop Local, Shop Burnt

There’s a new thing in town and it’s called Burnt Creative. It is awesome. Read more about it here. Jessica, the woman who is pioneering the Burnt movement, is so sweet and nice. She also has some awesome things on Etsy, I want to buy one of each. I’ve seen her stuff in person and it is very well-made. You can tell she puts a lot of thought and energy into her products.

I volunteered for the first market day. Got up super early and everything, and I have the Instagram photos to prove it.

The next market day is May 5th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You should come check it out! Lots of unique things to be found there. I’m hoping to find something for the mothers for a certain upcoming holiday.


{i loved the aprons us volunteers got to rock!}

Girlfriends! Goodtimes! Wreaths! Yay!

I went to Richmond last weekend for a much needed weekend with my girlfriends. It was exactly what I needed. I miss them and wish I could see them all the time.

When I arrived to Cristina’s house Friday night, it was dark out and from the street there appeared to be a notebook piece of paper taped on the door. It seemed odd, she had just texted me that she was home. What could it say? So, I grabbed my bags out of the backseat and headed to the front door. When I got to the front door, it was a white metal door wreath bucket thing. There were snowmen on it. And it demanded that we let it snow. I chuckled. My friend Cristina is AWESOME and I could not love her more, but homeslice is seriously busy. Full-time job, two kids who are swirls of energy and adorableness, a dog who eats anything and everything, a great guy, a crazing running/workout schedule. Homeslice ain’t got free time, yo. I was kind of not surprised that the winter decoration was still being rocked, and I could not wait to replace it with something more appropriate for the season.

The next day, I met Elizabeth at my favorite Richmond dining establishment to break fast. We caught up and laughed and ate delish omelets and discussed home decorating things. We ran some errands (going to U-Fab and looking at fabric counts as an errand, right?) and met up with Cristina later that morning. The three of us hung out all day. It was awesome and heartbreaking all at the same time. Awesome because I was with my ladies, and heartbreaking because I had missed them and knew I was only there for the weekend.

Anyhow, somewhere in the day, I brought up the winter decoration on Cristina’s front door. Cristina said to remind her to bring the “egg wreath” out of the garage later. Mmkay. I knew the egg wreath wasn’t coming out because I knew when I come back long after Easter has come and gone, the egg wreath would still be there and we’d be back at square one. BREAK THE CYCLE.

Let me just go off course here and say this: I don’t know why wreaths have become so important to me and such a part of my life. Other than a Santa wreath at Christmastime, I don’t remember wreaths being part of my childhood front door. Or maybe they were and I wasn’t paying attention. I’m good at not paying attention to stuff sometimes. But now, I am all about some wreaths. I hate seeing our front door without a wreath. I don’t know what flipped the switch, but here we are. Meanwhile, back in Richmond…

We’re talking about wreaths and Cristina says the best idea ever – Nicole, your house-warming gift to people should be a set of four seasonal wreaths. I love this idea for so many reasons. Let me number them for you:

1) Who ever thinks to gift someone a wreath for their new front door? No one. There will be no chance of a double gift.

2) Who ever thinks about hanging a wreath on their new front door? No one. There are boxes to unpack, circuit breaker boxes to find, figuring out which switches go to what.

3) I hate the wreaths I see in stores. They’re all the same. And they’re so uninspired. For example, I live in a row of five townhouses. Two of the front doors have the same wreath. Then there’s our front door that has a beautiful one-of-a-kind wreath. The other two doors don’t have wreaths which is a whole other gripe.

When Cristina first said this, I was like “oh, that’s a cool idea.”  As the days have gone by, it is occurring to me that this is the most brilliant, inspired idea ever.  I have so many ideas!!!  I’m telling you, I don’t know why I’m so inspired by wreaths, but I am.

Sunday, Cristina had to attend to some family stuff so Elizabeth and I roamed around town and had so much fun hanging out.  I told her I had to make Cristina a spring wreath before I left town.  I had to.  So to the craft store we went!  Well, as soon as I consulted Twitter about where the new Joanne’s is located.  (it’s still on Broad St., but now it’s in the Marshall’s shopping center, btw)

We picked up a straw wreath (my fav to work with), and something…  What were we going to put on it?  Hmmm.  I knew I wanted something bright and cheery.  I was thinking I wanted to use fabric somehow, but I wasn’t sure what or how.  As we were walking around, checking stuff out, there was this end-cap displaying pre-ruffled strips of cute, bright, cheery fabric.  Ding, ding, ding!  We have a winner!!*  There were three fabrics on a piece of cardboard.  We wrapped it around the wreath a few times to make sure it was workable.  TOTALLY WORKABLE!  Next up, some ribbon for hanging.  On the way to the ribbon I picked up some yellow fabric in the remnant section just in case the ruffles showed the wreath form.  Oh and some pins, because I didn’t have my supplies with me.

We headed back to Cristina’s house (she was still handling family stuff), sat down with our new supplies, watched Project Runway while whipping up a cute spring wreath fit for my friend’s door.

So my fun lady weekend ended with me making a wreath.  I am not surprised by this at all.  Below are pictures from my weekend.  And the wreath, of course.

Me and @ebam1 made @homesliceva a spring wreath.
The wreath

Way to rub it in, Foursquare.
FourSquare is just rubbing it in

So awesome!
Best way to sell tacks!

Rainbow! #ufab
a rainbow of fabric at u-fab

#ufab
cristina needs this fabric in her house… somewhere, somehow

Best painting EVER!!
best painting ever over cristina’s youngest daughter’s bed

Cute! #Joanns
cute planters at joann’s

Yum! #gelaticelesti
birthday cake ice cream at the best ice cream place in richmond

Look what I got! @ebam1 is the best! #rva
i have been wanting one of these rva stickers and elizabeth totally had an extra – yay!

My #stitchswap arrived today!! Love it!
when i got home from my adventures, my #stitchswap was in the mailbox – so cute!

 

*Chicken dinner is implied.

Handmade wedding gift

A charm pack + sisal rope

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irandless - strips cut

= a fabric bowl!!

fabric bowl

Oh and the reason for whipping up this little beaut? Because this happy couple got married and I decided they needed something to put fruit in, or keys, or whatever.

andrea and adam

{Congrats Andrea and Adam!!}

Current Status of 30 by 30 List

As you may remember, I am working on a 30 by 30 list.  Here’s the current status of that list:

1. Become the proud owner of an iPhone (I may have already picked out a case for it) {Done!}

2. Organize my recipes {12/4/11 – working on this right now!}

3. Cut back on sugar and white flour

4. Learn to screen print

5. Hand quilt a quilt

6. Make myself a dress, pants, shirt, and shoes

7. Go to Nashville, TN

8. Make this blog cuter and better (suggestions? ideas? comments? hit me up!)

9. Have a more successful Etsy shop {I’m crossing this out as done, because I’ve moved the shop over to Storenvy.com.}

10. Stitch these stitch samplers

11. Cook my way through a cookbook.  Specifically, Lesley Waters’ How to Cook.

12.  Go to the Floyd County Store on a Friday night

13.  Loose 20 pounds {lots of ups and downs here, but I’m working on it}

14.  Add liquid eyeliner to my everyday makeup routine

15.  Find the perfect hot pink lip gloss {Done!}

16.  Organize my photos, both physically and digitally

17.  Plan, plant, and grow a successful container garden

18.  Hand make as many Christmas and birthday presents as possible {totally done!}

19. Get my savings account balance to $2,000 – and leave it there!

20.  Find a job in the New River Valley {Done!}

21.  Get this haircut {I forget what the cut was and now the link is dead, so we’ll mark this as done.  I did give myself an awesome cut a month ago so that works for me!}

22.  Invest in a leather tote bag {providing that number 20 happens…}

23. Get a passport in case the chance to go to Paris comes up {my friend, Stanley, is moving there so I may *actually* have a chance!}

24.  Learn some basic French

25. Start making my own laundry detergent

26.  Register for The Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City

27. Visit the covered bridge in Newport

28. Hike here, here, and here {Completed 1 out of 3 so far}

29. Register, prepare and sell at a craft show {A local chick started Burnt Creative.  I am working on getting a submission together so I can participate!}

30.  Go to D.C. for The National Book Festival (which is usually schedule the week of my birthday) {This may have to wait until next year as there are some things in the work for this time frame.}

So many things

Let me break it down, bullet style.

  • I am waiting to hear back regarding a job.  A job that is about 10 minutes from my house.  Fingers, toes, hair, etc. is all crossed in hopes that I land it.  There’s a lot of organizing involved.  Perfect!
  • Cristina asked me if I would help her sell the rest of her Sassy Monsters inventory.  Hellz yeah I will!  I moved everything over from the website that was costing a lot to run to a Big Cartel which is easier on the wallet.  Yesterday, 25 pounds of Sassiness arrived on my door step.  I have been getting it all inventoried and organized.
  • I updated my Etsy shop with some new stuff.  I have some Christmas stockings to post soon.  Just as soon as I finish sewing them. Hee.
  • The stockings have gone unsewn because I had to take my sewing machine in for servicing.  It was doing some things and my usual fixes weren’t fixing it.  She’s as good as new now.
  • I would like one of everything in this store.
  • Coming across the above store lead me to Storenvy.  I am thinking of moving Pink Door Ltd. to Storenvy.  It’s a community like Etsy, but not so overused.
  • This t-shirt is so awesome!  And so is the guy modeling it.
  • Christmas is near and I am no where near ready or motivated for its arrival.  I am currently working on making garland out of paint chips I picked up from Wally’s world.  The thought of going into the attic and pulling down all the stuff makes me want to take a nap.  The only thing I am motivated to get done for the holiday is making stuff for gifts.  Due to my unemployed status, I have absolutely no money for gifts.  This will be a 100% handmade Christmas, because, basically, if I can’t make it from what I already have, I got nothing for you.  Sad, but true.
  • Doppler is sooo big.  Below is a picture of Doppler and his brother, Snickers.  Apparently those legs run in the family.

Google Reader Love

* These little top hat ornaments are adorable!

* Amazing what some tacks can do.

* Love this starry window covering.

* This Etsy shop has some gorgeous babbles!  Makes me wish I had something to get dressed up for.  I especially love this and this (I wish I wore pretty combs in my hair), this lovely bird necklace (that I would totally wear even though it’s gold), and this locket.

* If I were the kind of avocado eater that didn’t eat the whole thing in one go of it, I’d need this.

* Learning to sew? Want to sew better?  Then you need to check out Gertie’s blog.  She is awesome and I want to be friends with her.

* I want to go to The Berkshires. Of course, I always want to go where they’ve been?  Read their Travelogue of Cape Cod.  Doesn’t it just make you want to go to there?

* As kid songs go, I love this one… er, two?