Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Our Advent Calendar (2013)

Well, We've been busy around these parts with Christmasy activities and the like, so I regret that I haven't shared our advent calendar until now! First I'd like to explain that this Christmas is special in many ways. This is a Christmas of many firsts- our first as a family of four seems to be the biggest one. And really it's the first big Christmas where we can actually decorate! Last year we went to Alaska for Christmas so we opted for a potted tree that would be okay with our absence and then the Christmases before that we were living at my folk's house and then before that we were in Maine for two Christmases and I never had all of my Christmas loot with us. So it's really been since 2008 (our first Christmas as newlyweds) that we've done it up and with a 3 year old in the house, there is reason to REALLY do it up!

SO, as to the advent calendar. I ruminated (a bit too much probably) about what type of advent calendar to have (see my board here). But I decided on the bag option to allow for a little wiggle room should our schedules turn upside down and we have to move some activities around. Another perk of the bags is that they are reusable and I can use them year after year (until they are teenagers- sniff).

I bought plain 5x8 bags here. And I was happy I found bags that had a sturdy drawstring. (some have these thin whimpy ones that are fine for little giftbags but not for something like this). THEN I traced numbers on all 25 bags with my stencils and painted them using gold silkscreen ink that is intended for fabric. (Heat treated them with an iron later)

For the rope I braided a combination of red, white, heather, and sparkling red yarn together and then hung it from the fireplace. (It has since moved to a doorway to accommodate fires.)

In the bags are little pieces of paper that have a drawing and the description of the activity, craft, or event we will do that day. I've already had to switch some of the contents around to other days due to scheduling conflicts, or today's snow day etc. So happy I went for the bags!

Here are a few of our activities so far!

Day 1: we got out the felt Christmas tree from last year, hung it, made new felt ornaments and decorated the tree and then refused to take a nice picture! hahaha

Day 3 was "A Snowy Day", Day 4 a little penguin Tattly tattoo, Day 5 Make a Joy decoration for the tree.

Day 7: Make pom pom angels for the tree. Our daughter's is the rad pink one with the all gray body! nice contrast ;)

Day 8: Get the tree!

Day 10: make a pom pom snowman and hang it on the tree. Our daughter actually made a pom pom (the bottom one)! I'm very proud of her and it was so fun to watch her understand the concept and then how proud she was and of course here she is explaining it to me! It helped that I got it started for her and gave her pieces of yarn that were pre cut and not attached to the entire big ball of yarn. So cute!

Originally the two pom pom crafts were more spread out, but since we had a snow day today I had to flip some bags this morning to accommodate the need for an activity on a day when she was just going to have a little trinket before heading off to school.

So there you have it!

I'll be sure to check back in with more advent activities and such as we approach Christmas!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Friday, November 22, 2013

Live with Less by Curating a Knock Out, Edited Wardrobe from clothing by Designers and Craftsmen

All right, let's do this, I want to talk about clothing, about curating a simple yet timeless wardrobe. I've been wanting to elaborate on this theme over the past 3 or so years. My second stint with maternity clothes put this topic on the back burner so to speak... but now I'm ready to discuss the need for a Curated Wardrobe with a more in-depth evaluation where I provide resources and helpful tips. So here we go! (I'll try and break it down into bullet points to keep it short-ish and straight forward.)

* Check out  "The 7 Most Baffling Things about Woman's Clothing" (sent to me by my sister-in-law) this article really sums up the need to seek out clothing that most readily available stores just don't offer. The Majority of Women's fashion is made with thin material, or not enough of it, hence we have to "layer" and are always cold. (I could go on but the article does a nice job!)

* THEN Get the book "Parisian chic"  Even if you dislike the French hype, this book really lays out the key principles about having an edited and limited wardrobe. In her book, Sophie speaks about how a small wardrobe can still be versatile and fun as you mix opposites together- Imagine loafers with a skirt instead of a more typical ballet flat. Essentially, this book is what pushed me forward in a more practical sense towards this need to pair down my wardrobe, etc.

My main objective is to start investing in "Pieces" that will wear well for MANY years to come. Thus they need to be:

~ Well Made
~ and Classic enough to not fall out of style too quickly.

What I love about curating a wardrobe, is that I've become much more discerning. For example I have a black cardigan on my wardrobe shopping list, along with a pair of oxfords or loafers and I've been on the look out for those two pieces for the past two years. I wont settle for something that isn't perfect, that wont stand the test of time. Thus I'm still on the hunt. Luckily recently I've found a few contenders, just need to raise the funds. AND with my limited wardrobe check list, this keeps me from shopping for anything else that isn't on my list! PLUS the bigger take away, is that with a focused approach to knowing my style, and the few pieces I actually need- comes a greater satisfaction with my wardrobe. I am literally satisfied and don't have to go back for seconds on dessert, so to speak. In the end it's better for my budget and for the environment, by allowing me to consume less stuff.

I'm sure I've said this before, but there is also a handmade/ get to know who made it- personal aspect to consumerism that is coming back into favor. We are more willing to invest in our wardrobe when we meet the designers, know their story, and know how the clothing was made (be it fair working conditions or a new discovered craft of weaving, etc). Thus here are some links that offer well made clothing that fills this criteria of investing in pieces.


Mill Mercantile: Seeks to offer Women the same craftsmanship and quality that is typically reserved for menswear! (I love everything on their site, it's pricy but if you think of these pieces as a cost per wear piece then in the long run you have a sound investment.)

Everlane: I have one of their silk shirts, and would love many more plus their cardigans look like they would actually keep one warm!!!

Makers Workshop: A blog turned virtual shop that features Made in America goods my enthusiastic craftspeople

Of a Kind: is another site that strives to bring budding designers to the public

Curator SF: is a clothing line made in California. I have two pieces from them and I adore them. I have my eye on their black skirt too!

Fischer: is another clothing line that offers made in the US pieces that are versatile enough to wear from season to season and age well with time.

Colenimo: is similar to those offered above, but it's based in the U.K. and makes everything in the U.K.

Well those are the links I have to share for now. I'll do a follow up post with more links at a future date! Please share an link you might have as well.

thanks for reading!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Enter the GrayDayStudio Giveaway!!

My friend Nicole at Rose Runs Wild is hosting a giveaway for my shop!

Check out the LINK to see how you can enter to win a $40 credit to my etsy shop!

Good luck and spread the word!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

NEW at GrayDayStudio 5x7 Greeting Cards and Even MORE Garlands to Trim the Tree

This past month I've been busy getting my new greeting cards scanned and printed to offer them in my etsy shop! They are now officially in the shop and I'm so excited to share them with you!

Above is my quote series of three cards. These were born from a Magical Moment series I started with my canvas totes and now the same phrases are available as cards. You can purchase all three cards as a set here.

In addition to buying the cards individually, there are also a few other group purchasing options that offer a built in savings! Check out my 5x7 card section for these listings.

I'm also gearing up for the Holidays with my "Cartridge in a Bare Tree" Card. It's pretty "Punny"!

And then my "Cartridge in a Bare Tree" Sculpture! is a the perfect quirky gift to give to family and friends alike or to the hostess with the mostess this Holiday party season. Sure to big a big hit!

I'm also continuing to list One of a Kind garlands, like my Holiday Confetti and then my hexagon and circle garland is now available in Frost and Toasted Marshmallow (my new shimmery card stock).

By the end of the week I hope to have my Winter Party packages available. So stay tuned!

ALSO remember use code "3Garlands" at checkout to save 10% when you purchase 3 or more garlands. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Our Fall so far (2013)

On Saturday, when our son wasn't going down for his nap, and I began to feel stressed, my husband kicked me out of the house and told me to go on a walk. I threw on a jacket, grabbed my sunglasses and went for a walk around the neighborhood. It wasn't until I consciously focused on just my breathing and my pace... that I realized how much I really needed that walk. I decided to just walk, tried not to think and scheme and plan my next to do, but just walk and let my mind be as empty and free as possible. And while walking, I realized lots of things... thoughts on life, motherhood, my course and direction, but that's for another time.. while walking I revisited fall and attempted to clarify why I love it so, and then why it is also so sad.  Fall has that amazing quality of being both beautiful and sad. It's a season where you are basically watching something disappear. The leaves turn and change, fall and drift down, scatter and skip around as the inevitability of winter is unfortunately around the corner. With Summer it just goes on and on and gets HOT and by September you almost wish it to leave as it lingers and wont take a hint. But fall has days where you realize you must run outside and jump in the leaves when the light is so perfect, when the weather is crisp but not yet biting, the leaves are fun and light and not damp and stinky...

And with this awareness I'm taking stock while some of the leaves are still on the trees... and I'm looking back while looking forward to see if I've truly appreciated my favorite season this year. Here is a round up of our fall thus far.

Halloween- an Owl, a gnome, and a gypsy

Apple picking

Happy coincidence with matching the scarecrow


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Links and Such

Hey all, It's thursday already...? Whaaaat?!?! I still want to share with you our little Halloween round up, have to edit some videos first. In the meantime I managed to squeak out a Links and Such post! (pats herself on the back) The weekend is just around the corner, and the husband isn't working so that's going to be awesome !!!

Want this skirt in black, the perfect staple!
Beautiful Ball Skirts
HOLY necklaces!
DIY Embroidered Constellation Runner
Swants tutorial (sweater pants that is)
Leaves as place cards
DIY Leaf mobile, cute for thanksgiving entertaining
backyard play ideas, love the leaf maze
Healthy and easy recipes for new moms (IE can make them with a baby in your arms)
absence of water: photographs of abandoned Victorian Era swimming pools
beautiful fall trails

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NEW at GrayDayStudio: Trim Your Tree and Decorate your Party, plus other sneak peeks

I'm getting ready for the Holiday Season, both at home and in my etsy shop!
Above is a little view of what my etsy shop currently looks like. I'm bringing back ready to ship bags to offer a fun variety for gift giving, plus use them AS a gift bag for a fun green gift wrapping alternative!

This week I've  also begun to list my new winter inspired garlands made from shimmering card stock (see above), as well as another huge Pom-Pom Garland "Neon Yuletide"!  This season I am also going to be making more one of a kind/ ready to ship garlands, to give my customers something truly unique and to stock my shop with more ready to ship merch, making the turn around before the holidays that much faster!!

I'm also continuing to add more original artwork to my shop. Above is Bear Skull no.2.
I'm on a quest to paint more, and I'm giving myself a goal to focus on this after any Holiday rush- so watch out January!! (more musing about this at a future date)

PLUS also coming to the shop this week and next- NEW 5x7 Cards and temporary Tattoos!
Busy, busy around here. Check back in here, or follow me on twitter for future etsy updates.

Monday, October 28, 2013

our daughter's third birthday

We celebrated our darling Daughter's third birthday over the weekend. At every birthday of her's I find myself becoming very sentimental, and for some reason this year in particular I felt more aware of how fast she is growing up.  And it made me very nostalgic.  I love her so very much and now that her brother is here and we are experiencing all the baby stuff again, she just seems so much older in comparison (obviously) but also at this age is when her impressions are really taking hold, and she is transitioning into the realm of being a little girl... I think we still have until she's 5 for her to be out of the toddler phase and into the little girl arena... and eventhough there are really super crazy hard moments with this age, it is still so sweet. One day she wont hand me her boogers, or need me in many ways, and that's natural, but well I guess I'm simply trying to convey that I am working very hard at living in the moment and being grateful for it all.

So without further ado here are just a few pictures from our weekend.

Above: on friday we were invited to go to her school for her birthday celebration where she held the globe and walked around the sun three times. We brought in pumpkin muffins and stayed through snack time.

After snack we picked up her surprise birthday balloons with the bus, aka the "Balloon Bus"

and then we surprised her with them on saturday morning the day of her party! success!

(do we look tired enough? and old? lol)

On sunday the 27th, on her actual birthday, we spent most of the day in our pjs. We had blueberry pancakes for breakfast, did a crazy toddler pedicure in the bathroom (every color was used!) then followed by a mid morning hot chocolate with mini marshmallows in mom and dad's bed where we gave her two more presents- a book and a stuffed knit kitty cat doll. Then we just lounged there and read the two new books she received. It was pretty perfect!

And I caught her having a little quiet moment at the end of the day.

Our daughter is lovely. I am so grateful to be her mom (I gage when I read this on blogs, but it's true).
I'm holding on to these moments, these special years where after struggling to finally get her to stay in her bed, all I want to do is go in there and snuggle her... it's an ironic mix of sentiments and discipline and this is why the dishes aren't always done...

So Happy birthday to our darling girl. We look forward to all the adventures and funny moments this next year has in store!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Links and Such

Hi all, I'm deep in the throws of getting ready for our daughter's third birthday this weekend, including a little party at school on Friday, it's going to be a three day event! Phew! Can't wait to share.  But I wanted to check in with at least one consistent weekly blog post. So here is this week's Links and Such post. Enjoy!

make a pumpkin diorama and other fun pumpkin DIYs
recipe: easy popcorn balls
knitted maple leaf pattern
looking like other people
love these textiles
DIY baby leg warmers (going to make these to avoid that chilly moment when the pant leg rides up)
fun lights for Christmas decorating
homesteading: 26 ways to become more self sufficient 
checkout this ballpoint pen that fits into your smartphone

David Sedaris: Now we are five
Article: Distracted Living (aka SLOW DOWN)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New Autumnal Garlands and Other Happenings at GrayDayStudio

I've listed some new gold and black options to the shop this week, perfect for a fall dinner party, Thanksgiving, you name it!

Above: my single strand "Cascading Leaves"12 ft long garland in the reversible gold and silver card stock with black circles

And my "Cascading Leaves Party Package" with a savings of $5.

And meet Confetti- a garland made in collaboration with our 3 yo daughter for her birthday party this saturday. A great use of those seconds and the moons that our daughter loves to make!

It's over 12 ft long and looks so fun draped, as seen here in my studio.

And my pom-pom garlands are gaining in popularity, it feels like I list them and then a few days later they sell, so I'm trying to rush and finish a lot of garlands that are waiting in the wings (love selling "ready to ship" work!)

Anyway, so above is Lavender Taffy . My yarn garlands are a funky and cozy way to decorate. Just add a strand of twinkle lights and you're all set! Not just for Christmas, but can be hung year round, would look darling in a daughter's room!

I'm also painting more and I'm in the process of having my artwork made into 5x7 cards, perfect in time for the Holiday season! They should start trickling into the shop sometime next week. (I'm going to see which images sell the most and then go through the process of having very nice giclee prints made... we shall see!?)

I'm also working on my Holiday/winter line that will go live in my shop on November 1st. There will be lots of white and shiny cardstock, subtle but sure to add a lovely flair to trimming the tree! Also some gift wrapping supplies...! stay tuned!


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