Finch’s Warehouse Boutique 2014!

Hi friends! If you know me, you know I am all about making/shopping/giving handmade gifts when possible.  This holiday season, don’t forget to support a few handmade artisans, and if you are local (hey Minneapolis!) I’d like to invite you to stop by the Finch’s Warehouse Boutique sale this weekend!  The lovely On Solid Ground Vintage warehouse will be chock-filled with handmade pieces and unique gifts for sale from a team of talented local artists, all while benefiting the American Cancer Society.  I am so excited to be a part of this! I don’t have any official or regular craft business, but I always find time for extra crafting during the Christmas season and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get my juices flowing.  Anyway, please see the sale details/location below! Thanks for your support. Here’s a little peek at some of the gifts I have for sale! (:Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Fabric-wrapped candy canes make lovely ornaments or gift toppersProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetColorful flower earrings on pretty papers make the sweetest stocking stuffersProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Quilted pot holders in vintage-inspired prints, paired with painted wooden spoonsProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Homemade laundry soap is scent-free, gentle, economical, and  packaged up as the perfect gift for the practical person in your life!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAnd last but not least, these simple, airy coffee filter wreaths for your holiday or year-round decorating

You can see many more sneak peeks here!


Friday 11/28 – Sneak Preview Night!PURCHASE TICKET HERE

Sat. 11/29: 10am – 4pm

Sun. 11/30: 12pm – 4pm

Sat. 12/6: 10am – 4pm


On Solid Ground Vintage

575 9th St. SE #55MPLS, MN 55414


diy baby leg warmers


This little girly of ours has two long, spindly legs that jut out from an over-sized cloth diaper butt, and so there always seems to be a sizable gap between where her pant legs end and her socks begin.  Over the summer we put leggings on her occasionally with onesies, but since this girl has always been a butt-scooter, there were no worries about rug-burned knees and so most of time time she did without. Now that the cold weather is officially upon us, I’ve been breaking out the baby leggings left and right. Love that they keep her a little extra warm while adding a pop of color/pattern/cuteness. These leggings are also the perfect way to up-cycle your favorite pair of socks…Simply cut off the worn-out heels/toes and create something cute and new.


Gather Supplies:
pair of women’s knee-high socks
lace trim (apx 13″)
sewing machine


1. Make a horizontal cut across each sock, approximately 10 inches from the top.  You will use this tube part for the baby leggings.
Note: the foot part of the sock can be discarded…but how cute would it be to lace trim yourself a pair of matching mama anklets!? (;

2. Cut the lace trim: Measure the diameter of the sock when unstretched.  Double this number and add approximately 1/2 an inch for the lace to overlap. Cut a second piece of trim at the same length. (For this particular pair, I used 6 1/2″ of lace for each legging.)

3. Pin the lace around the inside of the sock.

4. Using your sewing machine, topstitch the lace trim to the inside of the sock, guiding your presser foot approximately 1/2″ from the edge of the trim.  The unfinished fabric of the sock will naturally roll away from the seam, giving your leggings an effortlessly finished look.
Note: I had no trouble with the simple rolled edges fraying even after a few trips through the washing machine.  For a more polished look, you could also fold under your sock edges before pinning and sewing to the trim.

Fall-Winter-Kids-DIY-50Layer on your baby and enjoy with bare piggy toes or warm leather moccasins!


a lovely day at the orchard

orchard-01Life seems to be clipping along at light speed this fall. The boy started Kindergarten. Suddenly the baby is not such a baby, and we’ve hardly had a chance to stop and catch our breath.  We’ve been working in high-gear with so much (wonderful) work in our photography business, but realized it had been too long since we’d pulled out a roll of film for these two doves.  So on a warm Sunday afternoon in September, we scrapped our to-do list and went swinging in the apple trees.  We made some very happy memories playing in the sunshine, hopping on a hay ride, and licking our fingers after polishing off half a dozen (or so) cinnamon sugar rolled apple donuts.  This was such a sweet day and I know these photos will give me warm fuzzies for many years to come! xo.orchard-03orchard-04living-the-swell-life-blog-102214-02living-the-swell-life-blog-102214-04orchard-08living-the-swell-life-blog-102214-03living-the-swell-life-blog-102214-01

Wildflower-theme First Birthday Party

Over the weekend we had the joy of celebrating our baby girl’s first birthday! It seems so bittersweet and surreal that the snuggly newborn we met 365 days ago has blossomed into a jibbering, scooting, cupcake-loving tot with such a sweet disposition.  Yet at the same time, we can scarcely remember life without her. Since we named her Violet, pretty much her whole life has been flower-themed by default, and her first birthday party was no exception!  We have the most lovely watercolor print that says “Do you suppose she is a wildflower?” hanging in her room, and its colors and sentiment quickly became the theme of her party.Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Six weeks before her party, I set out to conquer the party invitations. When I came across this first birthday invitation design from Tiny Prints, I fell in love with the hand-painted look of its lettering. As a personal touch, big brother G helped me punch and sprinkle some DIY confetti into each envelope, which added a charming effect in very little time!
Violet-Bday-17Above: we strung this cheery paper banner across the dining room ceiling.
Below: Pastel tissue fans added a punch of whimsy and color above the dessert & drink table.  We served cucumber mint water, lemonade, and orange mimosas along with a huge spread of  brunchy food, which is not pictured here because I was so busy (not) pulling my underdone/overdone quiches out of the oven.  My super talented sis-in-law Jenny made up for my less-than-stellar main courses, creating the most delicious and beautiful vanilla-lemon cake and cupcakes for the occasion!

Violet-Bday-38Above: Bright cupcake flags added a playful punch to the cupcakes. Later, when he thought no one was looking, brother added SEVERAL extra flags to each cupcake…Ha!
Below: We hauled Violet’s dresser down to our living room to create a little welcoming area as guests arrived.  We set out a book of her baby photos, her “Violet Girl” BlaBla doll,  and party favors. One week before the party, I made my first-ever batch of jam to thank everyone who helped us celebrate.  I topped off the jars with these cute monogram stickers and a little lace trim.

wildflowerfirstbirthday-01Violet-Bday-02wildflowerfirstbirthday-02Violet-Bday-22wildflowerfirstbirthday-03wildflowerfirstbirthday-06Violet-Bday-09Violet-Bday-30This sweet little wildflower of ours LOVED her cupcake, and with notably less mess than her big brother did 4 years ago! Happy 1st Birthday to our sweet little miss. Having a girl around is seriously fun!

Party Supplies : Shop Sweet LuLu
Stationery: Tiny Prints
Floral : Midtown Farmers’ Market
“Do You Suppose She is a Wildflower?” Art : Katie Daisy


here today . gone tomorrow



The sweetness of lilac season always leaves me feeling refreshed and recharged. I love how these beauties bridge the gap between spring & summer.  They come and go so quickly here in Minnesota.  This year it seemed like they blossomed so late, and now are already on their way out. I made sure to clip a few sprigs from my neighbor’s yard last week. After all, they dangle over the fence and hang directly above our backyard compost bin.  The lilacs were practically begging to be picked, more and more each trip that I made to this little corner of our yard…

I adore how fresh flowers force you to live and enjoy them in the moment. They are so perfect and fragrant for just a day…And then these particular sprigs were done and droopy almost as quickly as I can get them from backyard to vase.  The fact that they can only be enjoyed a few fleeting moments per year makes them an even more lovely novelty to me.  So happy I made off with a handfull of these and that I made them pose for a photo before they wilted their way back to the bottom of the compost bin…

Now on to peonies. Happy June, friends!