no-sew monogram!

i've lived in the south for almost 20 of my 24 years, so of course i grew up with the concept that nice girls have all their possessions monogrammed. (why? i don't know) but it's definitely a big deal around here, especially through the high school and college years. i can't remember a single girl in high school that didn't have one of those sterling silver monogrammed rings (if you grew up in raleigh, you'll know exactly what i'm talking about!). another thing that was popular when i was in college at nc state was carrying an l.l. bean tote as your book bag. i, of course, got mine in nc state red and dutifully had it monogrammed.


now when you fast forward a few years and get married, all these monograms become somewhat of an issue. the silver ring can be buffed down and re-monogrammed with your new initials, but what to do with the rest? you don't want to throw away a perfectly functional tote just because it has the wrong monogram! i even considered taking a red sharpie and drawing a little permanent line between the "d" to make it a "b" to reflect my new last name. then i got an ingenious idea from a great crafting blog to use heat n bond to make an applique! basically, you iron it onto the back of the fabric, cut out whatever shape you'd like, and iron it on!


the heat n bond basically turns it into a big sticker you just stick on and iron- no sewing required! i think i'll use a little clear-drying washable fabric glue around the edges though to keep it from fraying (normally you would sew around the edges to prevent this). it's so easy now i'm wondering what other shapes i could make and what things i could "stick" them to!



the evolution of a napkin.

i guess a napkin doesn't actually evolve, but it sounded good for a title! after a quick mention of my slight obession with handmade napkins, i thought it really is worthy of its own explanation.

it all started with this bright, happy brown and yellow floral print that i picked up a fat quarter of (that's a big square of fabric to any non-fabric people, about 40 by 40 inches) one time when shopping with my mom. i have also had an obsession with all-white dishes for quite some time, and i thought a big mix of coordinating napkins would be cute. so i added some cream rick rack in the hem and presto. cute napkins!


then i discovered a really great brown and yellow polka dotted set in a fellow etsy shop. perfect! so i snapped them up right away (thank heaven for paypal accounts):


then i discovered superbuzzy (it's obviously really unsafe for my wallet to stay on the internet for any given time). i found the brown dots. and i found that they carry the brown dots in other colors... coordinating colors. a little light brown rick rack from yet another etsy shop, and these will be set of 2 number three!


and then, when buying amy butler prints to make coasters from, i found a lovely mustardy-gold floral print (i would use cream rick rack on it as well) that i'm in a bit of a debate whether or not should round out the next set of 2 to make a total of eight.


the set of 4 i made was from a hand-woven liberty print that i inherited from my mom's stash. it was also a fat quarter, so just perfect for a set. it reminds me of a big kitchen table in the french countryside, so i can't imagine what else i would have used it for except napkins or maybe dishtowels (and napkins are a bit more fun). these i decided to do with a simple folded-under edge rather than use rick rack.


i also inherited from her stash a really pretty red and white print that looks like dots of snow on the ends of leaves that was very christmasy to me. i think it's going to be really pretty with all-white dishes or my solid red christmas dishes.


the other great thing is that napkins get lots of everyday use... so besides the convenience of being able to just toss them in the wash rather than throw away lots of paper ones, i get to be reminded of my mom by a frequently used thing in our house, since most of my fabric either came from her or i bought while shopping with her.

so, there you have my saga of the napkins!

on a quick unrelated but important side note, i want to thank any of you out there who are reading this blog. i have so much fun with it, i would keep doing it even if no one ever read, but i can't tell you how happy it makes me to know there are readers out there, tracking with me through my crazy and sometime ridiculous need to make things. thank you to those of you who can relate to that feeling and to those of you who can't, but keep reading anyway just to see where the craziness takes me next. thank you!


new things for spring!

i'm excited to be featuring two new sections in the shop for spring! i'm branching out a bit from jewelry and working a little more on bringing a wide variety of ellebee studio goodness to the home. the two new sections are (drumroll, please):

for writing in

this section includes notecards in lots of sizes and patterns, and is now featuring moleskine cahiers (cahier is french for notebook) that i've stamped with designs i've carved myself! if you don't know the history of the moleskine brand, you should check it out. they've been used for years as sketchbooks by amazing writers and artists like hemmingway and van gogh, though i just like them because they're the perfect size to toss in a bag for all my notes-to-self. it's a lot better than having to dig through a pile of little paper scraps every time your cellphone rings!


for nesting

which features collaged cork coasters and several different styles of quilted and sewn coasters. this is also where the vintage button magnet sets will return and other new magnet sets will emerge! i'm also working up some ideas on sets of handmade cloth napkins, as i'm curious to see if people like them as much as i do (i admit, i'm a bit obsessed. i've made myself a set of four, and also a set of two to match some that i bought from another etsy shop... and i have fabric set aside on my desk to make a christmas set).


i hope you'll be able to stop on by soon! it's such a great feeling to have a nice, full shop. i've been photographing and listing like crazy, and i think i've almost got a good system going. i expect to have more coasters up within the week!


happy easter!

i don't know where bunnies and chicks came into play in the celebration of the death and resurrection of jesus christ, but who can resist a peep?

"those who know your name will trust in you, for you, lord, have never forsaken those who seek you" -psalm 9:10

happy easter from my house of puppy torture happy home to yours!



two in one.

two blog posts in one day... can you handle the excitement?!

so i gained some experience today in the fine art of photographing a very active, happy, wiggly, adorable little boy. for every sweet lovely shot ...


there are about 50 that are just too, well... active, happy and wiggly! but evan was kind enough to model a few new products for petite bee (the new line of baby things i have coming soon to a shop near you!) with only a pocket tee as payment.

we only had to bribe him with some goldfish, a red balloon, and letting him screech and scream much louder than his "inside voice." it was actually really fun, and alisa and i got to go grab some lunch at panera too. i thought i'd share some of the hilarious outtakes this little man gave me...






they're all actually pretty hilarious, you can see the whole shoot if you'd like! thanks again for cooperating, little buddy!

ellebee studio shout out!

just a little thanks to my sis alisa for the shout out she gave ellebee studio when opening the gift i made for my nephew evan!


i even wrapped it in a handmade (well, hand altered) gift wrap... it was a baby blue polka dotted gift bag from the target $1 area from about a year ago with a set of bridal stuff, actually. i just tore off the part that said "something borrowed, something blue," glued on a sideways strip of text, and stamped a huge "e" for evan in brown staz-on ink over top of it all! i am forever realizing at the extremely last minute that i have no appropriate gift wrap, so i usually get creative out of sheer panic. but in this case, i thought it actually turned out really cute.

evan on the other hand, was much more interested in the tissue paper and could not have been any cuter! i'm super excited to head out today for him to "model" some new pretty little things for petite bee (which i still claim is coming later in march... with just a little more work!)


it feels like...

i haven't gotten much accomplished lately. maybe that's because my desk looks like this:


ugggh. i get stressed out just looking at it. i, for some reason, really have a hard time sitting down and finishing projects. by the time i'm halfway through one, i get inspired to start another one, leaving carcasses of unfinished projects everywhere. they pile up, one on top of the other, until there are literally layers of unfinished things keeping me awake at night. i'm not ok living like this.

my name is lindsey, and i am a project-aholic (hi, lindsey).

so, my new gameplan (don't you love how all american analogies are sports related? gameplan, hit a home run, etc... in france, they're all food-related, which is much better) is to make a master list of things i want to do and separate it into projects i've already started and projects that just need to be finished. then i'll break that list down into a mini to-do list for each day when i have a day off during the week, to start getting some things done. ok, i think this list is just one more thing i'm planning to do but may or may not ever actually get done.

i think this post alone shows how scattered my head is right now. does anybody else have this problem or am i the sole chronic-project-not-finisher? maybe i should be in the circus next to the two-headed lady. or put in a test tube and studied.

ok, i'm going now. at least one project must get finished this afternoon!

:::edited later in the evening to say i have had a fairly productive day! i got some new products for the shop finished and photographed, i finished a project that should have been sent as my best friend's wedding present months ago, made a set of 4 napkins for myself out of some of my mom's fabric that i especially loved, and caught up on a few emails! i also updated my "people to read" sidebar (down on the lower left) with the blogs that i really check on a regular basis... it looks like a few other folks are feeling a push to finish projects too! maybe it's something about spring cleaning... and not just me!:::


birthday project!

i'm finally at liberty to reveal my super secret special project from back in february, since it was given as a first birthday gift to our nephew, evan tonight:


my mom mentioned several months ago that my sister in law had mentioned wanting a "tag blanket" for evan and so she was planning on making him one for his upcoming birthday in march. i was even with her when she bought some of the fabric for it. well, i found the fabric later as we were going through her projects, and it had been bagged up with a couple of other pieces of fabric and some ribbon which i assumed was to make the tags.


i took a few other creative liberties with the front design, which i did as one big quilt block (log cabin pattern maybe? anybody out there know for sure? i've learned what little i know 100% by watching my mom, so i have virtually no technical names for anything) with an appliqued "e" in the middle for evan!


i also did a little patch using the alphabet stitching feature on my sewing machine (which is also thanks to my mom) to explain the significance of the project to evan when he's older. it reads "made with love from nana's stash for ewd 3-16-08."


all wrapped up with love and ready to go:


considering that it was my first foray into appliques, quilt piecing, using iron-on interfacing, and experimenting with the alphabet stitching, i thought it turned out really well! although a total labor of love, i really had fun with it and was very proud to give it to this sweet boy:

and i think his mom and dad are hopefully happy with it too!


birthday success!



new for spring.


i've been doing a little spring cleaning and given a little face-lift to the shop- right now there's quite a bit of new jewelry and notecards, and i'll be introducing some fun little mini-journals later this week! there's a bit of christmas clearance too, not to be missed... once it's gone, it's gone!


and another!

ok, i had so much fun with yesterday's list that i had to do another one right away... i think this might become a regular thing after all, because there are so many cool things being offered on etsy and i am completely addicted to flipping through them!

and so we have cool things list #2 with the theme of: baby toys!


jennifer the cow by sock thing


green striped sock monkey by storey shop


calla the tag flower by one girl


strawberries and cream elephant by maiden love


chocolate momma and baby elephant, also by maiden love (yep, i want them both!)


soft blocks by scissor stitch


and wyatt the bear by simpli jessi.

it's definitely going to be dangerous for the pocketbook to have kids one of these days with adorable little stuffed friends like these out there! i'm envisioning some whole baby room full of lovingly handcrafted toys surrounding a little one. sure, they take some abuse from the kids, but who can resist their cuteness?

matt and i were just talking about the children's book the velveteen rabbit last night and how much it scarred me as a kid because i remember being terrified that if i got too sick all my toys would have to be destroyed (in the book the little boy gets scarlet fever so they have to burn his toys, including his stuffed rabbit. it's pretty intense). i also had this big toys-have-feelings kick for awhile, so i think that made it even more traumatizing. it's funny to wonder what types of things like that our kids will remember!


wouldn't it be nice.

... if we could buy all the handmade wonderfulness on etsy? several people who have etsy shops (or just like the site) feature different sellers on their blogs on certain days, like "etsy finds on friday" which i think is a pretty cool idea. it might not be as regular as weekly for me, but here are some of the shops and product folks are making that i find particularly spectacular and would buy, should money be a little more free-flowing. (all photos are thanks to the gracious owners of these shops!)

and so i give you... cool things on etsy with a theme: coffee!


printed moleskine journal by scenic artisans


handpainted merino yarn by see jayne knit yarns


coasters by purpose design


coffee cuff by aly the red


coffee scented soap by citizen skin


coffee and cream necklace by stephanie gibson


and paper tags by scrapbooking mama.

mmm... do you hear the warm starbucks-like hiss? are you suddenly craving whipped cream? is your paypal account suddenly and inexplicably diminishing? nope? oh ok, must be just me. i guess you could call this window shopping, although i do much prefer the real kind. i've been doing lots of perusing on etsy recently (it's become quite addictive, actually. i've had to ask matt to etsy-embargo me). it's just so fun to be inspired by the handiwork of so many talented artists all in one place. stay tuned for the i wish i could buy all of these lists in the themes of polka dots and stuffed animals!


happy birthday, baby!

i think a challenge must have been issued at some point in
our house that was something along the lines of i bet you can’t use the whole can of blue … because it seems that this has become the tradition of homemade birthday cakes around here.

yellow cake, chocolate frosting, covered in gobs of bright blue. i also seem to recall one that was made for me the first year we got married that had “joyeux anniversaire” written on it with the same blue squirt-frosting as an homage to my year in france!


i love that my rough and rugged, weight-lifting, bearded manly-man lumberjack of a husband still lets me bake his birthday cakes in a heart-shaped pan (that you owned before we got married, i must add). i also love that you eat a piece for breakfast like a little kid, just because you can.

who else do I love so much that I would bake, frost, and decorate a birthday cake that I have so much fun with I also stay up until 3:20 am staging a photo shoot for in the downstairs half-bath because that is the only place with semi-normal lighting so that it will be ready in time for you to eat a piece before work?

just for you, baby. just for you. (and yes, i am that crazy).

i love you! happy 27th birthday!


a pretty good day.

  • not working


  • looking forward to tomorrow... organizing more of the craft supplies i've inherited from my mom and getting to take pictures of my nephew modeling some of my new baby designs!

all in all, a pretty nice day!


some thoughts...

i grew up through my high school and college years thinking i was a "city girl." my dream, looking back, i think would have been to have a job at some high-powered graphic design firm in the heart of new york city, with some reason to speak french on the side. the more i think about it (or maybe the older i get... is 24 too young to be having "the older i get" thoughts?) the more i realize that i don't think that's really me. the real me hates high heels and wants to be barefoot in the grass all day. i'd much rather wear a flowy sundress than some chic little black number. eating homegrown grape tomatoes and cucumbers straight from the garden sounds much more appetizing than any entree lined with caviar (don't take all the caviar. that caviar is a garnish!... if you know what movie that is from, comment me and i'll send you something special!).

i certainly wouldn't call myself any sort of enviromentalist, and i don't have an obsession with being "green," but i do think sometimes about what kind of earth will be left for our kids. maybe that's the real basis of my thoughts... it's not so much getting older, necessarily, as getting ready to hopefully have kids in the next year or two. in lots of ways the idea of a farm or homestead is really appealing... space for my kids and dog to run and play without worries of being run over by a huge suv racing home from work at eight when dinner was at seven. spending their free time reading under a tree rather than my trying to make sure they don't learn about the birds and bees at age five because they accidentally saw an episode of desperate housewives. crocheting snuggly blankets by the fire in winter.

i'm sure quite a bit of what i'm imagining here is probably quite unrealistic... romanticized by memories of picking blueberries in my grandparents' backyard when i was little and pictures of beautiful homesteads where other people have done the real work. but i don't think it would be the worst thing to slow the pace of life a little bit... set up house somewhere where you can spread out a little and walk more places and climb trees and play barefoot. maybe even a barn with a hayloft and rope swing, if we're really talking dream-world.

but yeah... wide open spaces. little rows of things growing. making new friends.

on a note unrelated to pretty white cows... congratulations to christine of my bella colle for winning my one year blogiversary drawing! a big thanks to all of you who left comments... thanks for reading and participating!


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