Monthly Archives: February 2011

for the love of forts

February has come in full force and it’s hard to believe it’s already half way over! this semester of grad school is proving to be a bit more challenging than the previous, but i guess that’s to be expected. i am still loving (almost) every minute of it and am so thankful to be a part of such a great program. each day i feel as if i receive confirmation that this is the right career and that it just doesn’t get much better. and i think that’s a good place to be :) another highlight of the past few weeks was going to the flower market with some dear friends. i got to pick up some of my favorite flowers (see below) and spend some time in Heaven on earth (aka- the LA Flower Market).

okay, moving on- i hope you all had a great valentines day! there were so many great DIY cards/gifts/wrapping on all the blogs i follow, it was hard not to get sucked into it. i feel as if there is so much emotion built up about that day, both good and/or bad. the past few years i have definitely brushed off this Hallmark holiday and tried not to gag over the excessive amounts of pink, hearts, and roses. but this year, my roommate Kelsey and i were inspired to do a little something out of the ordinary for valentines day. we saw this post on Design*Sponge (one of my all time favorite blogs) and started joking around about building a fort in our living room. but as we continued talking about it, we began to get more and more serious. and we decided that we were going to make it happen, i mean- what else were we going to do that night? so, the planning began- the set up, the decorations, the menu… we were going all out.

if there was one word to describe this fort, it would be: magical. with the lights and the heart garland and our handmade twine decor, this is the best “grown-up” fort. ever. okay, i might be a little biased- but really! i love this fort! mind you, it’s very large and takes up a lot of space in our living room. we’ve hung it from the ceiling with screw hooks, a tree branch, and twine. there are many reasons why it’s “not practical” to keep up in our home as i’m sure it’s some sort of fire hazard, but let’s be real- we only live once, no one’s here to tell us to take it down, and did i tell you it was magical?!

we had a BLAST setting it all up. we handmade various paper decorations and Kelsey was a baking CHAMP. she made egg-free cheesecake, brownies, chocolate covered strawberries, and i can only take credit for trader joe’s bruschetta. we had an incredible group of ladies over and we drank wine, ate some tasty treats, watched Casablanca, and enjoyed each others company. the fort was big enough to fit all 12 of us and i think everyone would agree- it. was. truly. magical.

and needless to say, the fort’s staying up for a while. we love it too much to take down. walking down our stairs and seeing it warms my heart. and when i sit under it, i just can’t seem to leave. so now that valentines day is over, we’re just celebrating the love of forts. and all of our paper crafts. and leftover sweets :)

so now that the fort is complete, a most lovely valentines day has been celebrated, and it has all been blogged- it’s time for me to get back to reality. which is research, reading, and writing papers. thankfully i have this beautiful place to do all those things ;) now lets see if i can actually get something done…

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trial and error

well, the sewing continues! confession- i have this problem of starting things and not finishing them… and my scrabble letter pillows are at the top of the list. yikes! i finished the pillow cover for one of them. and that’s about as far as i got! but of course, i have been working on a few other little things. i taught myself, with the help of this tutorial and a dear friend, how to sew a zipper! my first bag was simply a trial. i just wanted to see if i could do it. so i cut up some fabric (lines weren’t straight, didn’t iron anything- maybe i’m taking this imperfection thing a little too seriously, haha), followed the step by step instructions, ripped a few seams, started over, broke a needle, replaced it, continued sewing… and then before my very own eyes- i had sewn a little bag with a zipper! it was amazing!!

this was the trial and error bag. i had never sewn burlap before- that was a bit tricky. and the whole zipper thing was challenging. i made a lot of mistakes, it is full of imperfections- but i did it! and that was the part that was important to me. i zipped and unzipped that bag for hours! my friends were surprised that i didn’t take it with me when we went out that night :) after completing the bag, i thought it would be time to give it a little flare. i love the lace and burlap combination, i just wished i had more lace to cover the whole bag. and then i made the little red flower as well. the fabric of the flower is the same fabric that was used for the lining of the bag (oh yeah, did i mention this bag was lined too?!). all this to say, my first zipper bag was a learning experience, but i’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. now i’ll just have to decide what to do with it!

i began feeling a little ambitious about this whole zipper thing and thought i’d try again. following the step by step tutorial, i came up with this little number:

a pencil case! just in time for me to start school… today! this bag stands up on it’s own and is already filled with pencils, pens, highlighters, white out, etc. :) i’m looking forward to embellishing it a little bit. maybe a burlap flower this time. or even a cluster of buttons… again, this bag is no where near perfect. each time i try, i learn something new and make note of how to make it better next time.

can’t believe it’s already February! i ditched my planner last month, but have picked it back up and started the check lists and to do’s again. here are my month calendar page for this month:

well t-minus one hour until i’m off to start semester#2 of my grad program! hard to believe that after this semester i’ll be writing my graduate thesis and applying for internship programs… but i’m so excited for this continuing journey and all that’s to come. God has been faithful every step of the way and i know He will continue to be as the months move along…