one part travel, one part home, one part DIY, one place to create


roanoke, va

Two weekends ago I road tripped up to Roanoke, VA to visit my sister, Sarah, who is in grad school at Jefferson College of Health Sciences. Lucky for her she gets to live in such a cute little valley town surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains while studying. We packed the weekend full of activities including: eating at cool places, visiting the farmer’s market, shopping at numerous antique stores, stopping by a mountaintop vineyard, going downtown, and hiking part of the A.T.

enjoying the drive, windows down!

sarah at the farmer’s market

black dog salvage – this place is AWESOME

antique car for sale

charlotte’s web – this is where i actually made some really good purchases – more on those later!

valhalla vineyard

downtown Roanoke at night

father’s day hike with Sarah and Dad to Dragon’s tooth

top of the dragon’s tooth!

enjoyed father’s day lunch at The Homeplace with this view

I had a great weekend visiting Sarah and hiking with Dad. I’ll share more later on my antique store finds and what I plan to use them for! Think doily coasters and vintage brewery crates. Oh yes!


a handmade christmas, continued

Christmas has come and gone so I can share the rest of my handmade gifts without spoiling any surprises. Giving gifts was much more exciting this year with the two new people in my life – baby Clara and David! A baby girl just NEEDS crocheted gifts. And a boyfriend just NEEDS a crocheted wool hat!

its beginning to look a lot like christmas

Once Thanksgiving comes the rest of the year pretty much flies by. Its been a busy few weeks and I’m sure the next few will be as well! Here’s some things that have been going on.

ate lots of good food on Thanksgiving

hung out with the fam in Southern Pines

went to an NC State basketball game in Reynolds

went to an NC State football game

NC State won

babysat Clara

started reading The Hunger Games

made a Pinterest inspired candle

went to a Christmas tree lot

found the one

decorated the tree

and last but certainly not least, went ice skating outdoors

quarter of a century

This past weekend was my 25th birthday. This year it fell on a Saturday, which meant I got a whole weekend (yes, 3 days!) of celebration. Friday night my wonderful boyfriend took me to dinner at Cajun Queen and then to the movies to see Ides of March (hellllllo Ryan Gosling!).

Saturday morning (my actual date of birth) we served at the Habitat ReStore as a part of the What If Everyone service project with Mosaic Church.

Then I spent some time with family at my brothers house adoring my niece Clara Jane. Brian decided my new nickname to be “Auntie M” (think Wizard of Oz)… now Clara just needs to learn to say it!

Next it was time for LASER TAG PARTY! Yes, I specifically requested a laser tag party for my 25th birthday. David planned a great party which involved 12 others joining me at Laser Quest for two intense games of laser tag. [I’d just like to note that I did come in 4th place in our second game. Heck yeah megapizzle!] The games were followed by some hanging out at my house and about 4 rounds of Mafia. Unfortunately for David he didn’t get to actively participate in any round because he was killed off first nearly every time.

Sunday morning started out with church service at Mosaic Church and I was joined by my family, David, and Hannah. Mom made lunch for everyone at Brian’s house, fried rice and ham – by request. Followed by presents and confetti cake. A halloween version of confetti cake, apparently the real Funfetti is not available all year long.

And the whirlwind weekend was wrapped up with a much anticipated ride on David’s motorcycle wearing none other than my new grey boots! I’ve been asking almost every day for 2 months and he finally took me for a ride. Now I’m thinking maybe I should get my own?! Or just make David take me for a ride every week.

Thanks to everyone who joined for any or all of my birthday celebration weekend! Who doesn’t love feeling loved? 🙂

babies need stuff.. HOMEMADE stuff!

As I’m sure all of my 2 dedicated readers know that my brother and his wife Jennifer are expecting a baby girl this June! [check out their blog for all kinds of baby posts] With less than 6 weeks to go they have been showered with lots of love and present for baby P. Since this blog is partially dedicated to DIY projects and crafts, I just had to share some of the things I’ve made for my soon to be niece.

The week I found out they were expecting, I immediately ran to the craft store and bought lots of red and white yarn. A couple years ago I crocheted an NC State afghan for Brian’s birthday (also made one for dad too), knowing that one day I’d crochet a matching baby sized one when they finally decided it was baby time. So I modified my existing pattern to make a smaller sized blanket and of course add some cute girly ruffles to the edging. I can gladly share a tutorial of the stitches I used and designed a pattern if anyone is actually interested, or would be glad to make one for you through my Etsy store! [Of course I can design one for any alma mater, although of course the Wolfpack would be my team of choice.]

Here she is, the finished product:

At Jennifer’s first shower with lots of lovely ladies from Mosaic she received quite a few adorable handmade gifts. After this I knew I had to up my game for the next shower because I’m the creative, crafty aunt so I’ve got to make something awesome. That left me about a month and a half to whip up this little number:

Sarah and I (yay aunts!!) hosted a shower for Jennifer for family and friends and I was given the task of invitations. Using my drawing and computer skills I designed some lovely invites (seen in the pictures with the cupcakes – design says “baby P is on her way”) and did some at home printing on a card/envelope combo pack from Michaels. I also designed notes to tie onto our party favors and letters for everyone to fill out with their “wishes for baby” to put into an album for Jennifer, Brian, and soon-to-be baby Clara to remember.

Sarah and I (with a little help from mom) made a diaper cake! No, this is not a cake in the shape of a diaper. Or a cake that smells like diapers (thank goodness). It is a pretend cake made out of diapers and baby accessories. After watching some youtube demos and googling lots of diaper cake ideas we spent one Saturday morning “baking” this cake:

Looking forward to many more years to come of making things for baby P! Oh, and here’s a few more shots from the shower this past Saturday at mom’s house.

“blog about it”

Yesterday was a windy day; I felt like it was Boston and the Red Roof Inn all over again. [check out my “Day 1 – ROAD TRIP” post for details on that]. I came home to a nice surprise and I texted my mom and my brother for help.  Like any brother would do, Brian gave some great advice.

Thanks for the tip, I’m doing just that! Oh, and I fixed the house too. At least temporarily. [Think Brian’s comment was funny? Check out his blog here for more witty BP action] Here goes my first post about home fix-it solutions and DIY. As I’m sure most of you know I’m a very stubborn person. I don’t like it when someone tells me I can’t do something. Sometimes this means I go to extreme measures. For example, don’t have an extension ladder to reach the vinyl blown off of the wood on the gables? No problem, just grab the rickety wooden ladder I do have and use it to climb up the side of the chimney and up onto the roof, as shown here.

This is where I need to throw in a disclaimer. Do not try this at home without proper adult supervision, or maybe don’t try it at all, just call someone with a big ladder and have them fix it. But as a side note, this trip to the roof at least gives me the opportunity to clean out the leaves and debris you can see stuck at the corner of the gutters. And I have been wanting to examine the roof and see what shape its in; according to the previous owners, a new roof was put on around 2005 and boy was she a beaut.

I’m now standing on the roof at the back of the house. I crawl my way over to the side of the house, with hammer and nails in hand. The metal/vinyl piece was still connected and hanging by a few lonely nails on one edge; it was quite beaten from blowing in the wind all day. I manage to reshape it and then it was time to go to town with the hammer and nails. While laying on the roof and arms extended I proceeded to nail that bad boy back onto the wood so that it snuggley fit right under the edge of the shingles. And then I added a few extra nails just for good measure. So I climbed back down the fireplace “staircase” and old ladder to admire my work. Since I’m OCD, I made myself climb back up there to fix a couple places where the piece didn’t quite cover the underneath pieces (using very technical terms here). I climb back down a second time and am pleased with the outcome. It may not have been pretty, but it was good enough to be a temporary fix. You can see in the picture below the finish product.

So there you have it. My first blog post that just screams DIY. [Do-It-Yourself, for those of you who may not be up on the HGTV lingo] My methods may be unusual at times (and probably not recommended by a professional), but when I’m presented with a problem I like to go to all measures to fix it myself. Let’s just hope I never end up on this website though… There I Fixed It

Oh and PS – I did call mom afterwards just to let her know I didn’t fall off the roof or anything.

Hello world!

Well I decided to start a blog; obviously you already figured that out since you’re here reading. So, welcome! to STUDIO{1859} ! You might be asking yourself, what exactly is this blog? In the words of Mrs. Jennifer Patnode – “only pregnant people have blogs”. Well no, I’m certainly not pregnant. I just finally decided to make a space to share all of my travel stories, home renovation projects, and crafty ideas. Also, one of my goals for 2011 has been to open a store on Etsy, which I’m in the process of doing now. And I thought, I may as well start a blog in parallel with that.

I guess my main reason why I haven’t already created an Etsy store or blog is because I couldn’t think of a cool name. A cool name is apparently a requirement for blogging. The creative juices have been flowing the past few months and I find myself stopping in the middle of things to make a note of something I want to make or do.  And it seems that I have a lot more to say about things than I used to think I did.  I find this true because I interrupted Dave and Nia a few too many times during our trip to Europe and awoke Nia too often during the drive to Boston while she tried to nap to say things like “look at those birds, how are they flying in this much wind!”

What does the name mean? This is me trying to be creative with words (which is where I’m least creative in life) – it may not seem original, but to me it is. Why studio? The studio is where one creates. I like to create, “to craft.” Over the years I’ve tried my hand at crocheting, sewing, cross-stitch, photography, beads + jewelry making, hand-making gifts, painting, scrapbooking, homemade magnets and picture frames, to name a few. Sometimes I failed and sometimes I was pretty good and some I decided I should probably never try again. But how will I use this blog to create? I want to create memories for myself of trips I’ve been on and plan to go on, create inspiration for other do-it-yourself-ers, and create a lot of laughs with stories of things that didn’t go quite as planned.

1859 is a special number to me.  1859 is where I create. 1859 is where I learned to install light fixtures and put together at least 6 pieces of IKEA furniture solo. 1859 is where I’ve started more home improvement projects than I’ve finished. 1859 is the place I seeded my front yard in the spring and watched it fail over the hot summer because I was too stubborn to wait until fall, the proper seeding season. 1859 is the number written on the front of my house. 1859 is where I can’t wait to open the door at the end of every travel adventure. 1859 is my home.