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Silk Flower Christmas Tree

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Happy holidays friends! It’s been a whirlwind year this year and I can’t believe we’re less than a week away from Christmas! We’ve really been enjoying our holiday season so far. And I got my tree up in plenty of time to enjoy it!! I wanted to share with you a round two of my Christmas tree (round 1 is here).

Not a whole lot has changed besides the fact that I’ve added more flowers from Commercial Silk. They approached me to see if I wanted to review some florals for them, and I gladly obliged. I need more tree filler to take my sparse and twiggy try to the next level.  

I used ranunculus and dusty miller to add more depth to my branches. And I think I could have used even more than I got, but I really like the depth it added to the tree as it is. I left the stems on the dusty miller, but not on the ranunculus. I cut those off and glued the excess leaves from the stems onto the backs of each bud. I just placed the ranunculus atop each branch. 

It’s simple, but I really like how it looks. And I can use these decorations year-round for different holidays and events! So that’s a win. I’ve never been much for seasonal decorating, but using durable items like artificial plants really makes it worthwhile. They store nicely and they look fresh year-round!

The next thing on my list is to make a wood stump base for the tree to stand in. I’ve got the stump on my front porch, I just have to sand the underside and drill the hole. Think I can get that done by Christmas? :) Wish me luck! 


  • Ranunculus/Dusty Miller: CommercialSilk c/o
  • Wood flowers: Eco Flower c/0
  • 12 days of Christmas: Land of Nod c/o
  • Pink wrapping paper: Tiny Prints
  • Gold wrapping paper: Tai Pan Trading
  • Basket: Tai Pan Trading
  • Picks: Tai Pan Trading & Walmart
  • Paper flowers: handmade

*Product was provided for this post, but all opinions are my own. 

Bohemian Meets Minimalist Christmas Tree

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This year marks the first in 7 years that I haven’t booked my ticket to Alt Summit. As a result, I’ve decorated for Christmas. And I’ve had fun doing it, too! I’ve been slowly growing my collection of decor items, and I’m at a happy place this year with a grown-up tree that’s dressed to my liking. 

I have a few personal hang-ups with holiday decor. One being that it’s impossible to store the other 12 months of the year and the other is that it takes up too much living space while out that everything feels cramped. 

I found our white, pre-lit, minimalist tree a couple of years ago at Walmart for $80. The closest I could find is this one. But I fell in love with the realistic texture of the branches and the tiny box footprint it takes up when in storage. The problem: it’s really sparse. So I got creative.

I don’t like the look of seeing the metallic pole down the center, so I bought a couple of feather boas and wrapped the center of the tree with them. The feathers added richness and weight to the tree that was lacking. 

Many of the ornaments I’ve had in the past are white and silver, but with the white tree, I felt like it’s too cold to have silver details. So I opted for warmer white and soft pink details with pops of green and dark browns. Since the tree is so obviously fake, I thought some realistic tree picks with flocked pine cones added a nice touch. And the flowers. The flowers really did it for me. 

Eco Flower sent me a wood flower bouquet for styling with my calligraphy work. As a quick shout-out, I wish they’d been around when Chris and I got married. They’re beautiful and last forever!

Chris helped me deconstruct the bouquet and add the beautiful blooms to our tree. Since they’re on wire stems, it was easy to wrap them around the branches and affix in place. In fact, most of the decor is firmly stuck to the tree so it’s quite kid-friendly. The only issue I’ve had with the decorations so far is that Junie likes to open up the presents when I’m not looking. She’s having fun and it’s no big deal to re-wrap those boxes.

In addition to the wood flowers, I got out the bunch of paper flowers I made months back out of coffee filters as a craft night with friends. The bigger, fluffier blossoms fill out the tree nicely, too. 

In lieu of a tree skirt, I got a basket from Tai Pan trading to fit the tree. I still have to cover the ugly stand with presents, but that’s a good excuse to get my gift-game on early to cover it all up. At some point, I hope to DIY a wooden stump into a stand. Maybe next year? There’s always next year. 

I’m just so thrilled with how it all turned out. I’m slowly figuring out my personal style when it comes to holiday decor, and I’m enjoying the process. 


  • Wood flowers: Eco Flower c/0
  • 12 days of Christmas: Land of Nod c/o
  • Pink wrapping paper: Tiny Prints
  • Gold wrapping paper: Tai Pan Trading
  • Basket: Tai Pan Trading
  • Picks: Tai Pan Trading & Walmart
  • Paper flowers: handmade


Before & After: Basic Leather Chair



This post is sponsored by Leather Hide Store. Find a massive variety of high quality upholstery-weight leather at a great price.

Connect with Leather Hide store on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. See their upholstery guide here.


I’ve had this seat for gosh nearly 3 years. It’s been patiently awaiting a loving touch in the corner of my studio. For the life of me I can’t find a before picture, but it’s not too terribly hard to imagine: dark oak legs and a 70s poo brown tweed cover over the seat cushions. It’s a simple silhouette. And for being so old and well-used (it was formerly a chair on BYU campus), it was in fabulous condition. A few scuffs and scrapes on the legs and a whole lot of dust.


Sitting on it was a dusty, scratchy experience. I felt like it could be easily elevated out of its sad state with a little bit of paint and leather. Unfortunately for everyone, it took a year to attack the upholstery once I started to take it apart.


It wasn’t that the upholstery work was terribly difficult. In fact, once I started the job, it wasn’t hard at all. The square shape of the upholstery made drafting up a pattern for the new cover super easy. And it didn’t take up a ton of material either. I don’t think I had more than 1/4th of a hide here and I had just enough to cover the entire thing.


The hardest part about the upholstery job was that Felix put a bolt inside one of the holes sideways (how he got it in there, I have no idea) so I spent a good hour working on getting it out.

I split a small part of the wood getting the legs on (see the above pic), but overall, it came together quite nicely. Putting the back panel of leather on was the most terrifying thing because I had to measure so precisely, account for the stretch of leather and use the most deadly upholstery tacks to nail into the frame so there are no raw edges. I’m sure those tacks were meant to go only through fabric, so it was a bit tough to get them to go through 2, sometimes 4, layers of 2 oz. leather.


Overall, I’m pleased with how it turned out. I think it looks nicely finished, and guests aren’t afraid to sit in the chair anymore! It also adds a lot of lightness to that corner of our living/family room. The old chair blended right in to the dark wood flooring.


Materials used:

Here’s a run-down of the process:

I took off the legs, measured the seat and drafted up flat paper patterns of the seat. I used a 5/8 seam allowance and made sure to write out the SA on every pattern piece.

After the patterns were done and checked against the existing chair, I cut out the leather. Since there were a lot of squares, each pattern piece was labeled and the leather was clipped to the pattern pieces until I sewed them so I could leave and come back to the project and know what pieces were sewed together and where.

From there, I got a bit freaked out about the sewing aspect of it all and switched to finishing the legs.

I used BB Frösch chalk paint for the legs, which was a huge time saver. No sanding or priming required. Just paint and go! The matte finish is pretty great, too. It makes me wish this had been around when we did our rocking chair eeons ago!

After I got the legs done, I (with the help of my intern last year) removed the prior upholstery. I wish we had done this outside because dust, old fabric fibers and countless number of staples just sprinkled my studio floor for weeks. Even now I still find a random staple. This chair had hundreds of hundreds of staples keeping the material on the frame! The dusty fabric made my studio smell horribly for days.

I sewed up the seams on the sides of each section (the top and bottom cushions are two separate pieces) and fit the leather on. I didn’t have to make any adjustments to the fit, thankfully, but I realized I needed to reinforce the ends of the seams so that they wouldn’t come undone. I grabbed my waxed linen thread for that and sewed up those ends for strength. Once I got the top and bottom cushions done, I affixed the legs, attached the back portion and then covered the bottom. I cleaned everything up and conditioned with leather conditioner and voila! It took me several months to complete it, but if I had worked continuously on the project, it wouldn’t have taken me longer than a Saturday morning and afternoon. I just got nervous about each step so I would take long breaks.



So there you have it! Read more for details on the living room!


Sponsored: Learning How to Contain Calligraphy



This post is brought to you by The Container Store. It’s like meth. Or what I would assume meth would be like because I can’t seem to get enough. Now that we have a store nearby I seem to find myself there a few times a month picking up new shelving, boxes, organizers, gift cards, etc. Also, did I mention this is a calligrapher’s paradise?! There’s a container for everything. Basically.

Right now, The Container store is offering a 30% discount on all Elfa® shelving until February 11th.

We love to take advantage of this sale, and now that we don’t have to pay for shipping it’s hands-down my favorite sale of the year! Since we moved in over 2 1/2 years ago, we’ve been slowly working on transitioning all of our closets over to the Elfa® system. If you’re not familiar with it, you screw a top track into the wall near the ceiling, insert the hang standards and click everything in from there. You don’t have to mess up your walls in order to have amazing storage and you can change it up as your heart desires. No need to go into construction mode after hanging the top track. If you’re not sure where to start? Get in touch with a designer to help you plan your space!

If you’ve been in my house, it’s likely I’ve shown you my closet with my eyes glossed over with hearts. I’m that much in love with all things Elfa®.


AAAAnyway. . . My studio has been a complete disaster. If you follow me on instagram, I gave you a sneak peek at how awful it’s been lately. I can’t be productive when my space is that disastrous.

When we first moved in, I spent a weekend transforming the yellow room into a blank white canvas. It was alright, but the furniture I used to store all of my supplies was bulky and I didn’t have nearly the desk space I needed, either. Oh, and I hated that wobbly old desk. Chris bought it in his bachelor days, so it had seen a fair amount of use. And it had been moved about 9 times.

Two Christmases ago, Chris bought me a new desk, with slightly smaller real-estate, but a much more stable surface. He got it on super-duper-uper sale at Copenhagen Furniture while visiting Phoenix. Mega win, but I was collecting more and more calligraphy supplies so the desk was feeling cramped and less than effective.


Turns out Chris and I were both experiencing the same crowded ineffective space. So we upgraded in a major way with help from The container store!

The minimalist in me would have bought white opaque boxes to store everything, but I’ve learned that I need to see all of my supplies so I’ll be able to quickly find them and put them away. I went for a white and acrylic scheme here and it works amazingly.


The utility board keeps the scissors at hand, but off the precious desktop. The acrylic drawers keep my glitter glue on hand and I can see the lovely rainbow collection from my chair. Without much effort I can grab for my favorite brush markers and switch up colors and keep tidy as I work.

The boxes on the pegboard hold extra tape, glitter, gum (an essential resource for late-night calligraphy work) and iphoneography equipment.

I have the pliers easily accessible so I can change out nibs quickly. My favorite inks are safe in their own shelf above so I won’t tip them over. And Felix won’t get tempted by them when he sits at my desk with me.


I originally had a pegboard behind my computer screen (which is wall-mounted now, thus saving even more desktop space!), but it was wobbly and cluttered. I switched that out for a metal magnet strip. It was advertised to be mounted horizontally, but it fits perfectly in the space between my shelves and the door.


Did you know that toothbrush holders make for amazing pen holders? Which reminds me, I could probably get rid of a few of those old plastic pens.


Now the only things that stay on my desk top are my bare essentials (water jar, keyboard, mouse, graphics pen). My goal in 2015 is to maintain this level of cleanliness!


Let’s keep it real: with all this vertical storage, I’ve opened up 8 square feet of space in my office (that’s a lot considering my room is 10×10). Which has opened the floor up to more ink stains. :( The one pictured below my desk happened last night. Still left on my things to do in this room:

  • Switch up the art
  • Tame those cables (aka: another trip to the container store)
  • Get new flooring

*This post is sponsored but all opinions and thoughts are my own. I love the container store this much!

Sponsored: Penelopes Studio Revisited


This post is sponsored by Sprout furniture for kids. This flat-pack, eco-friendly furniture is easy to assemble and transport.

The friction fit makes for a sturdy piece that will last for hours and hours of imagination and creativity. Connect with Sprout on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

For Penelope’s birthday in 2013, we converted a utility closet into a studio just for her. Her own little space. Needless to say that it’s been a huge hit. Neighbor friends of all ages (and genders!) have flocked to this space to make many a creative masterpiece. It’s heavenly to hear the quiet whispers of creative plans among friends. However, the space hasn’t been perfect. We’ve found a few issues with the space that we’ve had to remedy.


  1. The narrow space was really only inviting for 1 person. Maybe a friend, but not more than one.
  2. The closed off, one directional seating made Penelope feel separated from everything so she would often spend time crafting on the floor in the hallway. Tiny shreds of paper in the carpet drives me nuts.
  3. While the little pink boxes were cute, Penelope rarely put things in their own boxes to keep them organized.
  4. The pink boxes would roam the house (as would the loose supplies).
  5. Her completed artwork would typically pile up until I would recycle it or put it in a storage box. Rarely on display.


Thanks to Sprout Kids, we replaced the two tables and chairs with one table and three stools. We got rid of the filing cabinet so it opened up room on the sides for friends to come sit. The sturdy stools make it easier for older kids (and adults) to join in the fun, too.

Tangent: Assembly was a breeze. Even Felix and Penelope helped. I had to bust out our trusty rubber mallet to get the pieces to squeeze together, but they’re fabulously sturdy. Especially the stools. I want grown-up sized stools like this for having company over!

I was nervous about the exposed MDF with Penelope’s watercolors, but so far it hasn’t been an issue. I plan to seal the exposed edges with beeswax, but I haven’t had the time yet. 


Now that the filing cabinet is gone (it’s now in Chris’s office closet), Penelope can sit with her back facing the wall so she feels less secluded and more involved in family happenings.


Those tip-prone pink boxes had to go. I cleared out her unused supplies as well and fit all her good supplies in a little plastic caddy she can take with her anywhere. All of her supplies go and everything has a place. Since the compartments are clear, it’s easier for her to keep track of where things are supposed to go.


No more stray supplies. They stay contained!


I found some cork drawer liner with an adhesive backing. I plastered that onto the wall so now Penelope instantly has a place to display her gorgeous drawings and sculptures. She’s really gotten into sculptures lately. And the tooth fairy (that’s a whole different blog post, though).


The updates are very subtle, but have made such a huge difference to keep the hallway clear of debris. It’s so great to walk to my room without stepping on scissors and shards of paper!

It’s been a thrill to see Penelope’s artistic side flourish, particularly in these last few months. She has such a wild imagination, I hope she keeps going in this awesome direction!

This post is sponsored by Sprout Kids, but all opinions and thoughts are my own. 



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