It is always such a relief to cross projects off your Christmas to-do list!  This year we snapped some family photos at a nearby park–sneaking them in just in time before the snowflakes started flying.  Poor Violet cried pretty much the whole time, because it was so cold and windy out there!  This one was a winner, and am so thankful we got it, just a split second before the crocodile tears poured:DSC_6381I am a huge proponent of choosing just one, strong image for the front of a photo card.  There’s nothing wrong with collage cards, but I always think that one image can make for a much more stunning design, and pull your eyes in for a nice spot to “rest”, especially when there are often busy graphics and well-wishes with which to compete. Once we selected the image above for the front of our card, I set out to find the perfect graphics to surround it. I loved the golden grass in the background, but was having trouble figuring out how it would work well in a card design.  Since the background was neither light nor dark, both black and white letters seemed to get lost, and much to my chagrin, a gold or metallic card was definitely not going to work for us.  When I stumbled upon this design on Tiny Prints, I instantly fell in love with the golden yellow pinecone envelope liners, and the charming hand-painted look of the pinecones and pine sprigs made the perfect complement to our photo setting. Yay!DSC_0729

This was also the first year in a long time that we included a little letter with our card.  Hopefully it wasn’t to long-winded, but just a few sentences to keep our family & friends up to speed with our kiddos.  I printed the message on sheets of cardstock in sets of four, then cut them down to look more like Christmas tags. I also added a little gold yarn to mix things up and add a little sparkle and texture all in one. Jeff was a stellar sidekick, helping to stuff, seal, and stamp all of the cards with me.  We even managed to turn the big task into a sweet little date night–we cozied up on the couch one night, flipped on Lord of the Rings and got lost in our letters with our fireplace aglow.livingtheswelllifefamilyphotos14-01

Here are a few more of the photos that didn’t quite make the cut, but I love them just the same! (All but the one above on the right, the family photo which we choose to include on the back of the card):livingtheswelllifefamilyphotos14-02 DSC_6385

livingtheswelllifecoffeefilterwreathtutorial03I can’t seem to stop making these little wreaths this year! Something about Christmastime kick starts my crafting. Each wreath I make seems to turn out better than the last. It seems crazy that something so lovely could be so simple and inexpensive to make.  These wreaths are the perfect gifts for all of the hostesses/teachers on my list!

1. Gather supplies: Coffee filters (ever notice how they come in little clumps of 40ish?, that’s because it is the perfect amount to make one wreath!) Ha! You’ll also need 2 bags of black tea, 1 paper plate, gold paint, gold spray glitter, low-temp hot glue gun, paintbrushes, scissors and a ribbon for hanging.DSC_0766

2. With your filters still in a stack, paint around the edges. No need to be a neat-freak here. The distressed look adds to the charm.


3. Steep 2 bags of tea in 2 cups of hot water.
4. While your tea is brewing (and cooling), cut out the center circle of your paper plate.


5. Grabbing 3-4 filters at a time, soak them in your tea, then wring out the excess.  Lay flat to dry for several hours or overnight. Note: I dipped mine in quickly, but I’m sure you could experiment with longer dye times to achieve a deeper color.DSC_0774

6. Once your coffee filters are completely dry, fold them into quarters.  Add a dab of hot glue to the bottom point of your folded filter and begin gluing/layering them around your plate.  I chose to glue mine approximately 3/4″ apart. You can experiment with gluing filters in a more dense /loose pattern to achieve a more full/thin-looking wreath.  Once you are done, your wreath will look like this, which is actually kind of a cool, modern look in and of itself. I’m all for the poofy vintage ruffled look, so I don’t stop here…DSC_0780

7. The next part is super simple, I swear, but it’s difficult to describe. Begin fluffing your coffee filters by pulling them apart, tucking some edges in toward the center and pulling others out toward the edges. It takes a little playing to figure out how to fluff it best, but I promise it goes quick!livingtheswelllifecoffeefilterwreathtutorial02

8. Take your wreath to a well-ventilated area and finish it off with a coat or two of gold glitter spray. Once it is dry, tie a simple ribbon through your wreath and find the perfect place to display it!
Note: I experimented a bit with different embellishments to finish it off, but the minimalist in me decided I love it best plain with the subtle gold edges and sparkle!  I think I might just leave her up year ’round.

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



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!