Tag Archives: crafts

Will You Be Mine, Valentine?

24 Jan

I love sending cards to my family for most every holiday. Sometimes I pick them up at a local shop – this one is my personal favorite – but other times I prefer to make them myself. And what better time for a labor of love than Valentine’s Day?

Besides, there’s nothing weird, obnoxious, or bizarre about a 30 year old woman hand-making valentines. Nope. Not. At. All.



1. Sketch out your ideas. If you need help with drawing things out, I’d recommend creating a template and then tracing it onto the card for easy guidance.

I created heart templates. I have the arm muscle development of a T-Rex, so my artistic talents are greatly affected. I need all the help I can get.


2. Using your thumb tack, punch holes along sketch lines. Erase any pencil marks that might show through, but don’t worry about pencil lines if you are doing a back-stitch on the cards.


3. Embroider away!


4. Mail to those you love. Or those you want to impress, if that’s your thing. Whatever. I’m not here to judge.



Desperately Seeking Inspiration

18 Jul

Whenever I am looking for a new project, some directions on projects I am formulating in my mind, or just need some basic creative inspiration, I have a handful of resources I regularly peruse

Better Homes & Gardens: Do-It-Yourself

The website – and their magazine – is a fantastic resource for crafting ideas and projects that any person can take on. What I really like about BHG is that they offer plenty of projects that renters can do (making home accessories or re-purposing furniture) that won’t leave a lasting mark on whatever apartment, condo or house they are renting.

This article by BHG is right up my alley – features ideas and projects for leftover wrapping paper, scrap fabric and other crafty hints.

Picture Courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

Real Simple

I preach the gospel according to Real Simple. Their articles on organization, simple but delicious recipes, and how-to guides are just up my alley. Their website is a fantastic resource for any crafter or home decorator. There are many articles here that showcase how to decorate with a specific color, texture or style.

Speaking of crafters or decorators, here is an article about nine ways to redesign a crafting space. I created my own space a few months ago as well.

Picture Courtesy of Real Simple

Martha Stewart

Say what you will about Martha Stewart – but she’s got a good thing going. A tried and true crafting professional. Her website is a great inspiration for me to check out party decor ideas, color schemes and decorative ways to use paper products. One project I did from MS several months ago, was creating paper pom-poms from tissue paper.

Picture Courtesy Martha Stewart

And Who Can Forget….

Etsy and Pinterest are both sites that are creative inspirations. For Etsy, I’ve had mixed results on items I’ve ordered (outside of jewelry) – but I learned that I could use the website for ideas on crafts and projects. It definitely came in hand when I was in the midst of my wedding projects.

Pinterest is a go-to for crafty decor concepts and ideas on party planning. I feel like Pinterest has turned everyone out there into a crafting machine – how awesome is that?!?! (the answer is clearly “pretty awesome, Erin!”)

Where do you go for creative inspiration?

Wedding Project Round-Up – A Retrospective

18 May

As of tomorrow, I will officially have been married for 14 days. That means I am 20% of the way to beating out Kim Kardashian’s stellar marital record of 72 days.

Many of my projects, crafts and sewing efforts over the past 6-8 months have been wedding focused. And most of those projects were featured here on this blog. That being said, I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and see how these crafts looked in action.


For a few months I labored over sewing more than 150 napkins, which you can see the final blog about it here. Of course, I only ended up using about 116 napkins – but the extra 39 napkins were still worth the labor of love.

At the reception the napkins really added the final colorful touch to each place setting.

(c) Ken Kienow

(c) Ken Kienow

(c) Ken Kienow

Another way the napkins were used – as fabric swatches under the floral and decor arrangements.

(c) Ken Kienow


The centerpieces were some of the items I was most proud of. You can see some of my progress here on an old blog post.

I intend to frame the one I made for our table. I matched our hair colors and color scheme as best as I could.

This tendency to have a red-headed girl goes back to childhood when nothing for kids had red hair (except for Barbie’s dull friend Midge and various villains on Saturday morning cartoons). I felt some pathetic, ill-placed form of discrimination (that is also what happens to you when you grow up in a town of 3000 people). So everything I could draw, color or make, I gave it (cat, person, flower, golf cart) red hair. The tradition continues. And per usual, I digress.

(c) Ken Kienow

The Lucha Libre centerpiece for the groomsmen was the most popular amongst the guests – the photographer snapped about 4 or 5 photos of this one alone.

(c) Ken Kienow

Table Number Flags and Cake Toppers

In making the pennant flag table numbers, which can be seen here, I didn’t really think about how they would be attached or included with the centerpieces. Ends up my florist took care of that worry for me.

They were the perfect touch of shabby chic that each table needed.

(c) Ken Kienow

(c) Ken Kienow


The programs ended up being a surprise hit of the ceremony!

Cutting out and gluing mini pennant flag garlands to each program was worth the effort and we received a multitude of compliments on them.

A tip of the hat to my Matron of Honor for sitting there next to me for three days the week of the wedding to make this possible.

(c) Ken Kienow

I will post a how-to guide retroactively on this project. Look for it sometime next week.

Pennant Flags

(c) Ken Kienow

When I made my variety of pennant flag garlands – I wasn’t sure exactly how they would be utilized. Ends up, the groom and groomsmen came up with a great solution. Not only is our ceremony nicely framed, but you’d never see how poorly I painted those letters on each fabric flag. The original project is in this Weekend Round-Up.

Flowergirl Dress

Knowing how much of a mover and dancer our flowergirl would be, I created loops on her dress to hold her satiny ribbon sash in place. You can check out the handiwork here.

And look at her motor.

(c) Ken Kienow

She danced and worked that party like a grown-up. I’m proud to say, the dress and sash kept up nicely.

Bean Bags for Corn Hole Game

During the cocktail hour, many of our guests employed the bar, the restrooms, the appetizer station, the bar some more, and the corn hole game. My father made the boards and I sewed the bags – which was mentioned in this post.

(c) Ken Kienow

Various items of decor

I came up with little accents to various items throughout the reception.

Adding some ribbon and signs to a bird cage turned it into a card bin.

(c) Ken Kienow

Creating miniature pennant flag garlands to drape behind the place card frame added some nice dimension.

Using a hot glue gun to glue knots of ribbon to the place cards, as well as using a paper punch gave the place cards a more high-end feel. Who know that buying the Avery Template for business cards would double nicely as place cards for a reception?

(c) Ken Kienow

All the work, the projects, stops by Beverly’s Fabrics, shopping fabric swatches online at Esty, broken sewing machine needles, pricks on the thumb from stitching for hours on end, hot glue gun burns, inhaling spray adhesive and nursing blisters from crafting scissors made for right-handed people – it was all worth it. I hope you enjoyed that chapter of my crafting life as much as I did! On to new projects and adventures!

(c) Ken Kienow

Weekend Round-up

24 Apr

This weekend, we spent time in SF, attending a friend’s wedding at the Olympic Club.

The Olympic Club is the premiere athletic club of San Francisco, with around 5000 members. The club is probably best known for having US Open caliber golf courses that perch along the Pacific Ocean. Besides, any place that boasts a cardio solarium is pretty awesome in my book (whatever a solarium is – the word just sounds awesome). 

Where we were was the historical downtown location on Post St. The club reminded me of an overtly masculine Hearst Castle, which as I learned from the Olympic Club’s website, William Randolph Hearst was on the club’s board. Oh, Internets… where would we be without you?

Anyway, this event smacked of beauty and class. And there was I, two and a half years removed from SF residency, dying to whip out my camera to snap some photos.I must have been the only person who was visiting the club for the first time, as I didn’t see anyone else taking the opportunity to photograph our surroundings. So, I caved to peer pressure and didn’t take any pictures. As a consolation prize, I took a picture of the cityscape. This is looking into the edge of the Tenderloin, which can be a tad rough at 8:45 on a Sunday morning. It’s about the time crack wears off anyway.

This wedding inspired us to create programs for our ceremony. Of course, I can’t just print out paper and crease them into a folded pamphlet, as fiance thought would happen. I will be crafting some nice decorative details on them. Should have a post about that in a week or so. Let’s hope it doesn’t take any longer, or else I’ll have 100 programs that are for an event that has already passed.

In other news, I completed the card ‘box’ for the reception, and am getting started on a mini cross-stitch project for myself. Stay tuned for that one.

Oh, the anticipation. Sing it, Carly Simon.

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