Week Three: Something actually off my list!

Man! Talk about slackers. Lady didn’t get time for a post last week (don’t blame her… she’s got a stink-tastic job) and I did two projects, neither of which was actually on my original to-do list.

So, getting back on track, I finally broke out my sewing machine!

A while back my younger sister commissioned me to make her a new diaper bag. She wanted something that was gender neutral, and had a divider so she can keep her kiddos stuff separate. Oh, and a zipper. And no flap. And it needed to be big-ish, but not huge. And slouchy, like a hobo bag. And pockets. And a cross body strap. And a cool print.

WHEW! Really, she wanted a cool purse with a divider.

So, after searching the web and finding a bag shape that was close to what she wanted, I drafted a pattern and got to work! (Ok, really, I drafted a pattern, bought supplies, moved, then got to work about a month later… Details.)

Anyway, here’s the finished bag!


This bag has all the requested features: It’s slouchy, big enough to fit a bunch of baby stuff, has a divider, 2 pockets, all that jazz.

I’m honestly really sad that we picked such a dark, busy print, because it doesn’t photograph the details well at all. See those pleats? No? Well, they’re there. (Promise.)

And that super fancy complicated zipper casing with cute little tab at the end of the zipper….. yeah, that’s what the above photo is supposed to show…. hopefully you can tell, because it was a pain in the you-know-what to figure out. I love the look of it, but still!

The momma modeling her new bag. I promise, this sweatshirt is huge on her. She’s really a skinny-mini, even after 2 babies. Brat.

And the adjustable tie strap! I love that it turned out looking like a bow.

So, that’s it for today! Lady should have a pretty neat project to show you this week, and I have a couple clothing posts and a Thift Store Shopping Guide coming up soon! So Stay tuned!

Until Next Time!



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Surprise Tuesday Tutorial! Bird’s Patterned Gift Boxes

Hey, hey, hey! It’s Tuesday, and hubby is working late, so in my boredom, I thought I would do a quick tutorial on one of my favorite quick crafts- covered gift boxes.

I started doing these earlier this year, when I ordered custom stationary for a friend as a bridal shower gift. The cards came packaged in a perfect little kraft gift box, but it had the company logo on it.  I thought it would be a wonderful idea to cover it with pattern paper, so she could keep it as a little keepsake box.

For this craft you will need: 

  • A box to cover (I’ve been using Premier Jewelry boxes recently, because I got a bunch of free product from a party I hosted.)
  • 1 or 2 sheets of 12×12 Scrapbook paper, or some other pattern paper (the amount of paper will vary based on the size of your box)
  • Ruler (This 18×3 clear quilting ruler is my favorite)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive (My adhesive of choice is always to use my Xyron. If you don’t own one, a glue stick or tape runner should work fine)

Step 1. Measure your box

The first step is to measure the sides of your box. This section of the box had a 1 inch side.

Step 2. Draw out your template

On the back side of your scrapbook paper, you will need to draw out where the box will go, as well as the sides. I buggered up this image a bit, because I wrote “Side Measure + 1 inch”… what I really meant was “Side Measure x2”, because if the side of the box is shorter than 1 inch, this equation wouldn’t work.

I guess if the box side is wider than 1 inch then you could still do +1 inch to save paper, but if it’s shorter, it will need to be x2.

Step 3. Cut Template and Pre-wrap the box

The next step is to cut out your template, cutting the corners on a diagonal to create flaps. For me, I like to leave 2 sides with the diagonal flaps, and cut the flaps down on 2 sides, folding them in. This creates full coverage of all sides, but also leaves a nice clean edge at the corners.

I always wrap the box once before applying adhesive, creating nice crisp fold lines before the adhesive is applied.

Step 4. Apply Adhesive

This is where my Xyron comes into play. I purchased it on Ebay for $15.50 (plus $15 shipping) after demoing one at a Paper-Source workshop. It’s the best purchase I’ve made. Here I’m using a permanent adhesive cartridge, but you can also use it to make magnets, to laminate, or to make repositionable stickers (think wall decals)

Anyway, enough gushing. If you’re using a Xyron, place it pretty side up, turn the crank, and then peel and stick.

If you’re not using a Xyron, cover the back of the paper with your adhesive of choice.

Step 5. Wrap the box

Now you’re going to wrap the box again, but this time, it’s going to stick. If you did the same method I did (Leaving 2 sides with little flaps and folding 2 sides under) then you’ll want to wrap the flap sides first.

Step 6. Repeat

Repeat Steps 1-5 for the lid. Put your finished box together, and your done!

Until next time!


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Week 2: Bird’s Ladylike Portfolio

Happy Thursday everyone!

Now that this project has been delivered to the most magical place on earth (more on that in a moment), I can proudly tell you all about it.

This week I’m showing you my portfolio, which I carefully crafted specifically for applying for a job at Anthropologie. (See, I told you this had to do with the most magical place on earth).

Now, for the people who do not know me, I have had some amazing opportunities when it comes to Anthro. In particular, I’ve had the chance to interview Kayte Terry, one of the wonderful ladies who works for Home Office (we’re FB buddies and everything), and I also got the opportunity last summer to work as a Visual Display intern, helping build the awesome displays that Anthro is known for.

When I applied for the internship, I took Kayte’s advice to present my portfolio and resume in a creative way.

Because I spent so much time and effort into presenting my work the first time around, I knew Round 2 would need to be even better.

My initial inspiration came from this:

Awesome, isn’t it? I literally typed in “DIY Portfolio” into the search bar on Pinterest, and that’s what I found.

I loved the look of it, but I knew it was a bit more simple than what I was looking for. I wanted something that had the same feel, but with a more personalized touch.

This is what I came up with:

The construction was fairly simple, but because I wasn’t 100% sure it would work the first time, I didn’t take any process shots. I’m working on a tutorial, but I will have to get some process photos for it first. Hopefully I’ll get around to that soon.

Until next time,


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Things You May Not Know About: Lady

‘Ello lovelies! In keeping with Bird’s last post, I thought I’d fill you in on my top 5 quirks…. of the moment


1.  Big City Dreamer:

Born and raised an Indiana girl, I’ve always longed for the big city life.  I fell in love with the Chicago skyline the first time my hazel’s took a peep.  I take mini vacations on a fairly regular basis and could easily live in a suburban outskirt like Schaumburg or Oak Park. were it not for the cash and my ridiculously strong connection to family.  Perhaps it’s better this way, where the Windy City can continue to draw me near.

2. Always a Bridesmaid:

Bird’s wedding this summer marked the 2nd of 3 weddings in which I was/will be the Maid of Honor.  For Bird’s wedding, I was actually “Lady of Honor”  because she’s wonderful and does things like that.  Next summer I will stand by another good friend’s side for her big day.  Weddings make my heart leap with happy thoughts and I can hardly wait until my big day.  Relax, no ring on this finger yet, but someday.  My mister is still in undergrad, so we’ll wait until he graduates.  Never fear though, it just gives me plenty of time to build up my wedding wish arsenal.  See what I mean here:  http://pinterest.com/jlwiles/wedding-wishes/


3.  Mr(s) A-Z:

Okay, so if you’ve met me even once, you probably do know this, but if not, it’s imperative that you know.

I LOVE Jason Mraz.

Our love affair began several years ago and has held strong.  I believe I may have every song he’s ever recorded (and some that random YouTubers have captured on their fan cams).  His voice can instantly calm me down in nearly any situation.  I’ve seen him play live several times and hope to one day be able to meet him in person.  His outlook on life is what I strive to believe and his musical talents are so plentiful, I don’t know if I could list them all if I tried.  The greatest part about his music is that its so eclectic and well rounded.  Oh yeah, and he’s super hot.  Take a listen:

Special points if you noticed it was filmed in Chicago!  🙂

4.  If it ain’t got that swing:

I’ve been fluent in East Coast swing, and well acquainted with Lindy Hop for going on 7 years.  =)  I was president of Ball State Swing Society, where I also met my mister.   Now that I’m a “real adult” it’s a lot harder to find time to fit this hobby in, but I still welcome any opportunity to throw on my dancing shoes and swing the night away.

5.  Landlocked:

I’ve never seen the ocean.  Saddest thing ever, right?!  I know.  Though I would love to spend my days floating on the open waters, I’ve never been given the chance.  Despite my years of insisting I wasn’t outdoorsy, time spent camping with that guy up there has made me realize my nature loving side.  One day I hope to see the ocean from the sandy shores of Greece.  Until then, I’ll just keep sittin’ on the dock of the bay… by tiny ponds and creeks.

Tell us somethings we don’t know about you!

Ever yours,


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Week one: *just under the wire* Bubsy’s Birthday Blowout

Greetings!  Lady here with a confession of monstrous proportions….

I didn’t actually do a project this week! *shock*

I know, “For Shame Lady!”  This week was a bit crazy as my someday hubby came down with a mean case of Poison Oak.  As he is always wonderful and patient when I’m sick, or sad, or begging for yet another footrub, (he gives them on first request, it’s AMAZING!) much of my freetime this week was spent tending to his needs.  I also squeezed in buying a new car.  Well… not new, just new to me.  Nevertheless, its the first car with my name on the title, so I’m pretty stinkin’ excited.  Oh, it’s a 2001 PT Cruiser for those who are curious.

But wait, I’m loosing myself.  Stop.  Collaborate.  Listen.

Okay.  So, my point was that I was crazy busy.  And at the end of long days during the week, I kept thinking “Self, we must come up with a quick project to post.  We cannot disappoint Bird of the blogsphere with the very first project!”  But alas, life took over, as it often does, and creatvity just didn’t get its chance to shine.

Then I realized that I had a mountain of pictures from my nephew’s 2nd birthday and some pretty decent shots of his handmade birthday card suite and homemade cake.  My nephew is my favorite person to exist on this planet, so I tend to spare no detail when it comes to making his gifts nothing less than perfect.  Because he is perfect.  Seriously, look:

My little man turned the ripe old age of 2 back in early July.  This years theme was tractors, as he is just a tiny bit obsessed with them.  My brother and sister-in-law put me in charge of the smash cake. I’ve taken a cake decorating class at JoAnn Fabrics (an anniversary gift from the mister!) and was addicted to Ace of Cakes for a solid few years, so I was excited for the challenge.  I took the Duff route and wanted to make a tractor cake that was 100% edible.  Afterall, you can’t just hand a 2 year old a cake and have any chance of him NOT trying to eat everything.

So, without further ado,

I started the process by baking 2 mini loaf cakes (simple vanilla box mix).  I then cut the top one in half and stacked the cakes and evened the edges.  The cakes are covered with vanilla buttercream, colored green for that farmtown effect.  Chocolate donuts serve as the tires.  I love how the chocolate glaze turned out to look like mud!  A Reese cup stands in for the steering wheel, Pretzel M&Ms as the headlights, Hersey bar as the seat, and pretzels served as dowels to hold it all together.  The whole thing was then placed on a cookie sheet, where I alternated pretzels to look like plowed fields. Final touch was to crumble some of the leftover cake set aside from trimming down the sides, and make a trail.  uses a bit of crushed chocolate, pretzels, and cocoa powder to create a dirt line between the “fields” and the “path.”  I call this one a success.  I’m thinking little man liked it too…

Look Mommy, no hands!

I had already purchased Bubs a sweet little table and chair set from Hobby Lobby when I found it on supersale back in March.  I need to take a picture so you can see how absolutely precious it is.  Basically oversized pencils in primary colors serve as the legs of the table and 2 chairs.  Precious.  But since my gift was not handmade, it just had to be presented with a knockout card.  To fit the theme, of course!

Carson’s Birthday


Complete with Personalized Poem:

“A year ago you were crawling

Could barely walk an inch

And now you’re running everywhere

And climbing seems a cinche.

You’ve learned to say your name

Numbers and colors too,

And nothing can beat that smile you’ve learned

Will make us all give into you.

I can hardly believe you’re here already

Time has gone by so fast

But with all you know and all you’ve learned

Age 2 will be a blast!”

So there you have it.  Carson loved his cake, his card, and his whole big day.

And I loved watching it all from the front row. =)

Until next time.


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Things You May Not Know About: Bird


So, it’s late on a Friday night, Lady was super busy this week caring for a sickly boy and didn’t get time to post a project, and I have a something I could show you for this upcoming week, but it has yet to be photographed.

Out of my current state of mind (bored + fighting sleep) I made the decision that this blog should have a segment titled “Things You May Not Know About”, in which we tell you about something you did not know about. Classy stuff.

Today’s topic is myself. How original.

So, here we go.

1. I recently got married. Lady was my Lady of Honor. I have the coolest last name ever. (It’s Amore. I’m not lying. Coolest name? Yes, indeed.)

(Lady and  C.Jo being awesome friends…. those program fans were a really good idea.)
2. I have a weird thing with four leaf clovers. I can only find them when I’m not trying to find them…. so they have this whole symbolism for me of keeping yourself open to the unexpected and all that jazz. The full story is much longer and way more poetic, but it’s late. Short form.

(Ohhh…. so sneaky and hard to find)
3. If I like a band, I will listen to their music over and over again for weeks on end… and it drives my husband crazy. (Oh, yeah… go listen to The Head and The Heart…. I have been… for weeks…)

4. Some day, if I have a daughter, she will be named Everly. Everly Irene. If by some chance I know you in real life, and you steal this name before I have kids, you will be disowned by me so I can still use it….. So please don’t. You’ve been warned.

5. I have a shoe problem. Particularly with Seychelles brand shoes (Current styles owned=5). They always fit my feet and are cute and comfy…. even if they make my wallet cry.

(Current Seychelles shoe wants… *sigh*)

And, there you have it. Some things you may not have known about me, that you now know. TA DA!

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Week One: A Bitty Birdy Project

Hey all!

After several weeks of packing/moving/unpacking, I have finally gotten to a point where I feel like I have time to post a project. (Ok, truth time: I’ve had this project done and on my computer since before the move… but as my craft room is still not organized, I’ve been putting off posting anything… so, consider this motivation to get organized by next week.)

So, I suppose I should start by announcing this weeks theme: Baby Boys!

This theme was inspired by the birth of my nephew, who is pretty adorable, as well as Lady’s life long obsession with little souls.

For my project, I chose to go digital (I was packing up all my fabric at the time, after all)

It started when I found this photo on Pintrest:

And I really liked it, and I decided that I should do something similar for my nephew (Who I am calling Little Man), as well as his older sister (Miss L).

And this is what I came up with.

It was pretty simple to design… I just picked a font I liked, arranged everything in Adobe Illustrator, and picked colors inspired by their bedroom sets (his ended up being pretty similar to the original image… Common baby boy colors?).

And here is the finished product, printed and framed:

Hopefully my sister will enjoy having these sweet reminders hanging up in the kiddos room 🙂

Quick Tip: 

If you’re going to print at home, you may have trouble getting the print quality you want with a standard inkjet printer and card stock. I found that I had the best luck using a matte photo paper and the photo print setting. The paper is thinner than what I would have gotten at a print shop, but since it’s getting framed anyway, I think it works.


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