Latch Hook Minecraft Pillow

3rd April 2015

If you’ve got a school-aged boy (or maybe girl), you’ve likely heard of the game Minecraft by now. My little guy  doesn’t get much time with video games and electronics but has developed a Minecraft obsession due to the “older boys” playing it and the Minecraft lego set he got for his birthday. Another thing Ivan loves doing is crafts and he’s constantly asking to do crafts in our free time. So we merged these two passions and created a latch hook Minecraft pillow.

MinecraftPillowHere’s what you’ll need to create one:

  • a gridded latch hook rug canvas
  • a sharpie for marking the pattern
  • 7 (320 count) packages of lime pre-cut yarn
  • 2 (320 count) packages of black pre-cut yarn
  • a latch hook tool
  • black fleece or fabric for backing
  • polyfill stuffing

1) Mark out the following pattern on the canvas with a sharpie.


  • Rows 1-10: 50 Lime
  • Rows 11-20: 10 Lime, 10 Black, 10 Lime, 10 Black, 10 Lime
  • Rows 21-25: 20 Lime, 10 Black, 20 Lime
  • Rows 26-35: 15 Lime, 20 Black, 15 Lime
  • Rows 36-40: 15 Lime, 5 Black, 10 Lime, 5 Black, 15 Lime
  • Rows 41-50: 50 Lime

2) Hook the rug

3) Sew on backing (with right sides facing together and leaving a gap to fill)

4) Stuff with polyfill and hand stitch closed

5) Give to a very happy boy (or girl) to Enjoy!

Easy Faux Marble Clock

4th February 2015

Do you ever come across beautiful (but insanely overpriced) items from Danish homeware companies and then have a lightbulb moment when you realize that you can DIY it for a fraction of the cost? Or am I just hopelessly cheap thrifty?


Because I don’t think I’m alone in not being able to justify forking over $270 for a marble clock, I’m sharing my DIY tutorial for anyone else wanting to attempt their own knock-off.



  • 1.75 lb pack of Original Sculpey in White
  • 2 oz pack of Sculpey III in Elephant Grey
  • Clock movement kit (I used this one)
  • rolling pin
  • wax paper
  • math compass (or 11″ to 12″ diameter round object to trace)
  • exacto knife or clay knife
  • cookie sheet


(1) Condition the clay. Warm up and knead the clay with your hands until it is workable. I had to break my 1.75 lb pack of white clay into four fist size portions.

(2) (3) Roll, Twist, Repeat. Roll the clay into thin worm shaped segments and twist a couple gray segments in with white segments. I portioned out the clay into manageable amounts as I worked and repeated the rolling and twisting a few times until the gray was organically blended into the white but still distinguishable.

(4) Combine into ball. Roll all of the clay into one sizable ball and flatten it slightly with the palm of your hand onto a large piece of wax paper.

(5) Flatten. Roll the clay out onto the wax paper using a rolling pin until it’s roughly the shape of a circle and a consistent thickness approximately 3/8″ thick.

(6) Trace. Utilizing a math compass or a circular object 11-12″ in diameter trace out a circle onto the clay with a pencil. (I chose to use a math compass so there wouldn’t be any guessing where the center of the circle is!)

(7) Cut.  Carefully use an exacto or clay knife to cut out the circle you just traced. (Bonus tip: I re-purposed the trimmings and created smaller circles to create coasters).

(8) Finishing Touches. Create a hole for the shaft of the clock movement all the way through the center of the circle. I pulled the end off a basic pen to use as a hollow tool which created the perfect size hole for the clock movement I used. Also inspect the surface of the circle for any small air pockets. Puncture them with a sharp implement and gently press them out and smooth them.

(9) Bake and Assemble.  Transfer the wax paper to a cookie sheet and bake in an oven heated to 275°F for 60 minutes. I know the Sculpey package instructions say 15 minutes per 1/4″ thickness but mine needed much longer to fully cure. After the clock face is baked and cooled, assemble the clock following the instructions that come with the clock movement.


There you have it – a beautiful and easy knock-off at a savings of over $250! Happy crafting!


Bedroom Progress

27th January 2015

Our bedroom makeover is starting to come along with the recent completion of painting the walls. I ended up opting for the color Everard Blue from Benjamin Moore and it’s a drastic but welcome change from the neutral we started with. I usually purchase my paint from Ace hardware in the ben interior paint line but for some reason this color was unavailable in the ben line. Instead of forking over nearly $70/gallon for the Aura line, I embraced my inner cheapskate and chose to get it color matched in the Clark+Kensington line. It took two coats for good coverage over the off-white but this would have likely been the case regardless of the brand. everard-blue After painting, Jens and I also managed to get the start of our “fauxdenza” installed on the wall. These IKEA cabinets will we getting a dark wood counter top and waterfall edge treatment. In an effort to clear out some more of our garage we’re using some leftover oak flooring. I can’t wait to see how this comes together.fauxdenzaIn the coming weeks I’ll be working towards the finishing work of the platform bed drawer fronts and face frame. I ran into a hick-up with the finishing but think I’ve found a solution – I’ll share the details of that near disaster in a future post. And hopefully our new window blinds will be shipping soon so our neighbors don’t start thinking we’re nudist :) It’s not much yet but we’re already a long way from where we started. masterbedroom_before


Benjamin Moore Halo

15th January 2015

Our dining room recently got a subtle update in the paint color department. It’s so subtle that I debated if it was even worth a blog post but then I stumbled across the Benjamin Moore 2015 Color Trends pallet and figured it deserved a short post since my color pick, Benjamin Moore Halo OC-46, made the elite list.

Just over a year ago, after installing board and batten in the dining room, I painted the upper walls in Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray. It’s a lovely tan-ish neutral but it didn’t look good against the gray color of the kitchen cabinets so I couldn’t carry the color throughout the open areas of the main floor for continuity.


After holding up a couple dozen off-white paint swatches against our BM Sandy Hook Gray cabinets I narrowed it down two and purchased some actual paint samples. The winner was Benjamin Moore Halo.


Narrowing down to one perfectly subtle off-white was painstakingly difficult for me and I suffered from paint paralysis for nearly a year but finally decided to commit go for it (it’s only paint). This time I think I nailed the subtle color I was going for … it only took me a year!




DIY Industrial Style Coffee Table

11th January 2015

I was reminded the other day what a lucky woman I am because among many things I have a husband who is both a banker (by profession) and carpenter (by hobby). Sometimes I know I take it for granted that he can build me just about anything so I figured this would be a good opportunity to brag about him a little bit and show off one of his recently completed DIY projects – our new industrial style coffee table.

industrial-style-coffee-tabInitially I was inspired by the Beaumont Coffee Table. Jens liked it but being the wood purist that he is wasn’t too thrilled about the MDF construction. The solution: he’d build one similar out of solid hickory for us.

We had planned on doing a welded together square tube metal bottom half with the slatted wood shelf but that plan fell through and we went to plan B: joining the square tube metal together with metal brackets. While I had my doubts about this plan B, we forged ahead with it only to find out that it was too flimsy to support the solid (and heavy) top. Finally we resorted to plan C: threaded together round black pipe and forego the slatted wood shelf.

And plan C ended up turning out better than I could have imagined. Take a gander.


I had little to do with this project besides the wood finish work in which I used two coats of a light toner (clear finish + dye stain) to bring out the warmness in the wood followed by a couple good clear coats of my favorite water based General Finishes High Performance Polyurethane in semi-gloss.

industrial-coffee-tabletable-box-joints ring-pulls

It’s nice to now have a proper coffee table in our family room and a place to stash away the remotes so they don’t get lost. It also makes a perfect spot for endless lego construction when not “styled” for blog post photos :)

So far this piece gets the award for my favorite piece of furniture my husband has made for me. Anyone else have furniture pieces made by loved ones that they cherish?