Stitching the States Custom U.S. Map

Remember at the beginning of the year when it was January and there was fresh snow on the ground and it was the start of a brand new year full of possibility? Remember how I said I was going to try to blog weekly?

**crickets chirp**

*hangs head in shame*

About that… I’m really going to try to blog more. I really am. The good news is that I usually still take pictures when I am working on projects in the hope that “someday I’ll blog about this” so I have a few things I can share right away.

I’ve discovered recently that one of my absolute favorite things in the world is custom making things for people. I really enjoy creating things for myself and our family, but when I know that I am making something specifically for someone else there is an added element of specialness.

One such project that I did recently was creating a custom U.S. embroidery hoop map art for a sweet friend. My first real embroidery project was creating this map for myself and after I was finished, I wanted to do it again! (You can call me crazy, go ahead.) I used this pattern from the Raising Up Rubies etsy shop. If you don’t follow Jamie’s blog, stop whatever you’re doing right now and go visit. And then after you’re done there you can peruse her shop for even more of an adorableness overload. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever read a blog post or looked at a picture of something Jamie has created without being inspired. (And hey, we’re both from NY so maybe we’re secretly destined to be friends!) She has such talent, but also is such a sweet soul—you can just feel her kind spirit through all of the words she writes. You can make your own U.S. map by buying her pattern here. Oh, and if you have any desire to be inspired all.the.time. do yourself a favor and follower her on Instagram too. Just saying.

Anyway, I really enjoyed making the map a second time, fixed a few mistakes I made the first time, and got to try out a whole different approach of filling in the states with color.

Picture overload, anyone?

stitch the states map random colors (1)

The top one is the first map I made (and kept!) and the bottom one is the custom map.

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Custom map by itself.

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A little closer.

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There were two special hearts that I added. One where my friend was born.

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And one where her hubby was born too.

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My U.S. geography has improved IMMENSELY since completing these two maps.

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You can see my (imperfect) stitching on the back, but I also added a fun finishing touch with some state fabric that I have.
I thought it tied in well.  🙂

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The two maps side by side again. Rainbow color and “random” color.

Believe it or not, I have already started on a third map for another custom order. I love this form of crafting since it takes a minimal amount of focus and is therapeutic for me with its repetition. All that to say, I like making things and I really like making things for other people to enjoy.

**I’m somewhat open to the possibility of making more of these. Shoot me an email if you think you’re interested. And remember, you can always get the pattern and make it yourself!**

Thanks for stopping by!

❤ Liz


DIY Puzzle Picture Frame Artwork

This project was completed a while ago, but has not made it to the blog yet. I have gotten pretty behind with posting some of my DIY’s, so much so that recently when I’ve done stuff I’ve been lucky to just take before and after pictures. I’m going to try to catch up with some of my projects and be a little more faithful with posting. I will not apologize though, because mostly I’ve been busy with two children two and under so I think that’s a good enough excuse.

Let’s set the stage, shall we? As far as father-in-laws go I lucked out BIG TIME and got one of the best. He was/is a great dad to my husband, he’s a great grandpa, and he’s pretty nice to me too. Case in point, for Christmas he cut out six, interlocking, unfinished, wood puzzle pieces and gave them to me to do whatever I wanted to. So basically a super fun, blank canvas. He saw the idea in a bookstore, but knew that with our powers combined, we could do it for a lot cheaper and much more customized.

I found lots of pictures and quotations on the interwebs for inspiration, mapped out where I wanted everything to go on the puzzle pieces, and had my dear, sweet husband cut out four shapes to serve as picture frames.

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Then I painted all six pieces two different colors using white spraypaint and a really fun blue latex paint that was given to us. (Sidebar: that has been a very faithful painting sheet and has seen many a project.)

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Here they are all dry and put together. We ended up stapling them all together on the back so that they would stay together on the wall and we only had to hang it in one spot.

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And here are the individual puzzle pieces after I hand painted the designs and put pictures in the frames.

‘You are my sunshine’ with Ellery and Grandpa last Christmas and surprisingly the only other colors that I included.

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“Be still and know” Psalm 46:10

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Look at those two geeks. We were madly in love. (Still are!)


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“Trust in the Lord with all your heart” Proverbs 3:5 with those awesome in-laws of mine. 😉


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“Family” with Scrabble tiles.
This is us last Christmas meeting our twin niece and nephew.

I can’t even tell you how many times I have had to re-hotglue the “f” back on. Most of the time due to one little toddler (who shall remain nameless) prying it off.


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“But as for me, I will always have hope” Psalm 71:14

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And here it is all together. It just so happens to fit PERFECTLY in this spot in our little hallway. Almost as if it was designed specifically to fit. I love it.

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It sits right in between the door frames of the bathroom and Benji’s room.

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Thanks for the awesome Christmas present, Pop! I had a lot of fun making it “us”.

Oh..and lest you think that I have excluded all of our other family members, don’t worry there is a whole slew of other pictures on the gallery wall in the dining room.

Linked to myfabulesslife linky party


Rearrange-eosis and a Gallery Wall

Most people that know me even a little know that I like to change things up pretty often in my home. One of the comments I hear the most when people come to our house is “Oh, you rearranged again.” I’m pretty sure that I have a disease called rearrange-eosis. It’s a condition where I very regularly feel the need to rearrange decorations or furniture or perhaps the entire house. I’ve had it for just about as long as I can remember—I distinctly remember moving things around in my childhood home—and it definitely got worse in college.

Two roommates encouraged the habit and probably suffer from the same disease. In fact, I’m pretty sure my first roomie and I rearranged our room together almost once a month. You never knew when you were going to walk into the room and be faced with a maze of dorm room beds and dressers as we figured out how things would fit and if we had tried this thing in that place before. I also had one roommate who I drove a little crazy. Don’t worry, we worked through it without too much heartbreak. My current roommate (my wonderful husband) is very gracious as I often move things around, ask him to move things around, put more holes in the wall than you can count, patch up holes in the wall, etc.

Case in point, I’m about to show you my “new” gallery wall that I put up a little while ago which has now been completely replaced by something else. In my defense, my hubby made me a beautiful faux mantle/shelf for my birthday and I had to make room for it somewhere.

Almost everything I used in this gallery wall was either something that was handmade or that I’ve had for a while and just needed a new home. Here it is above the t.v. in our living room.

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You can kind of see the “shelf” Mike built for the DVD player and remotes that rested on top of our old, BEAST of a t.v. We found a really good deal on a flat screen so that is another big change our living room went through recently.

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The indoor barn quilt is something I made a little while ago and I am still extremely proud of it. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. The “choose to see the good stuff” picture is actually black construction paper and a chalk pen that I free-handed. It was a really good reminder in the midst of busy days at home and I am hoping to find another place for it or create something similar.

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The cross I found on clearance at Hobby Lobby a long time ago, the mirror is something that I believe I was given by my rearranging-partner-in-crime-roomie, and the “love” sign is from a craft store that I painted.

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Next up was the wall art I made based on Hillsong’s inspiration song “Oceans”. If you haven’t heard the song, you should really listen to it. It is one of my favorite new songs and whenever I hear it (or see the wall art) I am reminded that my growth as a follower of Christ comes in the PRESENCE of my Savior. Not in the best intentioned books or small groups with amazing friends or any other “good” thing. (Those are really good though). It comes when I am still before my God and get to know Him better in an intimate, personal way.

oceans artwork Collage

I used two old canvases that I repurposed, two vintage handkerchiefs (one was my grandmother’s), and cardstock that I cut out with my Silhouette. I love the floral fabric peeking out from the letters.

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The “O His Love Divine” canvas was a gift from one of my besties and was made with wooden letters glued to canvas and then painted over.

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I really enjoyed the gallery wall while it lasted, but I can’t wait to show you what the wall looks like now!

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I can’t see myself being cured from rearrange-eosis anytime soon.
Any one else suffer from this disorder?



DIY Wall Art

Today I’m sharing some easy diy art I made that could easily be used for Valentine’s day or just as some cute art in a room or nursery.

youre my favorite art with title

I saw this and was inspired to recreate my own version.

This is from a very adorable Etsy shop called LuLuPaperie. Lots of cute typography. Go check it out. I’ll wait.

Okay? Ok. First, I took some art from a Goodwill frame that I was using elsewhere anyway.

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It was a nice sturdy piece of cardboard with a copy of a painting that I was never going to miss, and SCORE it even had some nice thick matting around it.

I ripped out some pages from a Goodwill children’s book. Seriously, worst children’s book ever. I did not feel bad at all tearing this apart.

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I chose some pages that were mostly words, but also had some black and white pictures on them and glued/modpodged them onto my board.

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I mixed up some paint so I could create an ombre effect with the words going from light to darkest pink. Do you love my fancy paint tray?

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Then I simply painted the words “you’re my favorite work of art” using the different paint colors. I also painted the mat around the outside. I tried to have streaks of the different colors, but mostly it’s just pink. And yes, there’s a heart in the bottom corner.

Here’s how it turned out.

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I wish I had mixed up more of each shade of paint so I could have gone back over the words to make them a little darker. But it was an easy FREE project I was able to make in a night and I’m happy with how it turned out.

youre my favorite art with title

Thanks for being here!

Melted Crayon Art Painting

So ever since I made this melted crayon art for a friend I have been really wanting to make some to keep.
It’s SO easy to do and I love the look!
Because, well, I love bright colors. 🙂


Plus, I still had some leftover crayons from last year’s preschool class.
Score for not having to buy any materials!


The first thing I did was to peel off all the paper labels off my crayons.
This is a time-consuming, unnecessary step that I didn’t do last time, but decided I would try it this time.
Especially since I had multiple brands of crayons..last time I just used all Crayola.
I was happy with both results.


Then, I arranged the crayons on my canvas, seeing how many would fit, and hot glued them in place one by one.


I knew I wanted to paint something on there and give the illusion that the wax melted around the image.
SO I hot glued a cup onto my canvas.

Yeahhhh…maybe hot glue was not the best choice for something that I wanted to come OFF my canvas later.


But, no harm, no foul, I used a hair dryer to melt my crayons outside (yes, I’m ever learning, ever adapting, I did it outside this time so that I didn’t have brightly colored wax EVERYWHERE) and pulled off the cup when I was done.


First, I painted an umbrella with black acrylic paint because what else with a circular top was I going to paint?

You know what else it could have been??
A hot air balloon!
How cool would THAT have been?
Yeah..didn’t think of that till later, but I’m still happy with the umbrella result.


The tricky part for this was the silhouettes of a man and woman.
I was all, “suuure, I can do that.”
Let’s just say it was a tad bit more difficult to make what was in my head actually happen.

I did a really rough outline of what I thought I wanted them to look like, then started filling in and giving subtle details.


Oh, also I used a black paint pen for most of the silhouettes,
which made it A LOT easier than a brush would have been.


After that, I mixed a tiny amount of brown in with my paint a created a different shade of black to highlight some contrasts on my little people.

Doesn’t show up drastically, but helps to give a tiny bit of dimension.


Finding a spot for this on my craft room wall inspired me to add a few things around it as well.


So, I used a few more frames I had from IKEA, and put up/rearranged some inspiring things.

My “to create” blackboard is mostly immovable because it’s screwed in to the wall.
But I moved the “O His Love Divine” art over, added a framed picture of my Grandma Evelyn (who I never knew, but she was beautiful and wonderfully creative), and a framed printable.


Wow, where can I get that free print?
you ask.
Ummm..I have no idea. I just saved it to my computer ages ago and printed it out.


Yay for my “new” wall and crayon art!
If you haven’t made some yet, you need to.
As aforementioned it’s easy and it’s super fun.
But that’s just fact my opinion.

Thanks for being here!

P.S. 3 posts in a row here people!! Don’t get too used to it, but I’m glad to be blogging more. :O)

Party like a rock star.

The 36th AVENUE


Craft Room Art

Time to show you the first project I did with one of our recent IKEA purchases.
I made some diy, easy peasy, craft room art!


First things first, I got these AH-DORABLE dish towels as a wedding gift from my brother and sister in law (thanks again Rachael!!).

And, since our wedding, I have been trying to figure out a good way to display them. There was NO WAY I was going to actually USE them, they’re way to pretty for that, and I have many a kitchen towel.

I wasn’t able to think of any way to put them up in our old apartment and I have been stumped in our new house as well. 😦 Our galley kitchen is just so small and I have hardly any wall space. Plus, I wasn’t sure if I should put up a rod or something for them to hang on or what.

Then, genius struck. Pure creativity. We’re talking ground-breaking stuff here people.

Who KNOWS why I didn’t think of it before since I painted my craft room blue, pink, and yellow and those are the same colors on the towels.

Sometimes I baffle even myself.


Ok, so first I ironed them.
(Maybe I should have done this the DAY I got them..oh well.)


Then, I centered and wrapped the towel around the plastic front of my IKEA frame.

Yes, the frames are from IKEA.
They were one of my goals for our trip. I figured out a range that the pictures on the towels would fit in, then perused the frames at IKEA. I found some square white boxed art that was perfect..but they were like $15 each. Eek!
Then I saw these Nyttja frames that were big and perfect and $4 each.
I love IKEA.

AND they already had two of my colors, so I bought a green one and spraypainted it yellow.


Anyways, I smashed tucked the cardboard backing into the frame, keeping the towels as taut as I could.


Then I had the hubs install the handy dandy picture hanger things.
Yes, that’s what they’re called.

Little did I know that those little buggers would be arguably the hardest part of the project (besides ironing, who LIKES ironing..) and would require many sophisticated tools.


I told you..pulling out the big guns.




You’re dying for a close up of each adorable towel, aren’t you?


They fell in Love…


They got married…


They lived happily ever after!

So now we just have to work on having the three little boy birdies and three little girl birdies. haha. We’re one sixth of the way there. 😉


I really like that the frames are darker shades of the craft room colors.

AFTER I made these I found this amazing tutorial for framing the same towels!
Plus, she pinned pictures of her and her lovebird at each stage on the towel. LOVE.

If you’re dying to have these they’re here at anthropologie.

Linking to these parties…join me!

The 36th AVENUE


Pin Worthy Tuesdays: Simple Valentine’s Day Art

Hello, and welcome to this week’s Pin Worthy Tuesday!

**EDIT** I was featured on the 36th Avenue–one of my very favorite blogs! EEEEEEeeeee! **EDIT**

The 36th Avenue

Today I will be sharing some super easy, super cheap Valentine’s Day art.

But first, here’s my pinsperation…


I pinned this a lah-oooong time ago on pinterest from Flamingo Toes,
and ever since that time I have wanted to make some “specimen art” of my own.

So..first I looked for any supplies I had on hand.

Ta daaaa!
Conversation hearts from last Valentine’s Day.

One second later this is Mika exploring a possible snack.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the mister for providing said conversation hearts. He got super excited last year when they went on clearance after the big day.

So he got 3 bags.

Including Spanish conversation hearts.

I heart him.

Buut I told him after they sat around not getting eaten last year that I would save them and use them for some craft..which brings us to TODAY!

I took the “giant” hearts and spaced them out on a piece of cardstock. I tried to find ones that the words were fairly clear and spread out the colors.
I didn’t realize until after I was done that I alternated orange-pink-orange-pink on the right vertical row. Whatevs.

Then I simply hot glued them in place.

I wanted a word on there just like she had “lucky” with the clovers,
but I didn’t know how I wanted to put it on there or what word.

So, again, I sifted through the supplies I already had.
Which happened to be magazine clippings from high school.

Super random. I know. I used to do collages and stuff.

But I found the perfect word!

Yay for everything coming together with minimal work and no expense.

I just cut the word “sweethearts” out, dabbed some hot glue on the back, and placed it in it’s perfect puzzle piece hole.
Yes, I thought about modpodging it. But, quite honestly, the hot glue gun was already on and I didn’t want to deal with shiny, bubbly paper.

I popped it in an Ikea frame I had lying around (without the “glass”) and it was done!

I should mention that you should make sure that you leave room around the outside of the paper so that it fits into the frame. I forgot to even worry about that. Thankfully I spaced it pah-retty near perfect.

Honestly, I LOVE it. And highly recommend it.

I’ll even give you some of my conversation hearts. 😉

Join me at these lovely parties!

The 36th Avenue

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