Adorable handmade baby shower bunting, and hazing rituals


bunting and one of my first floral arrangements. Looks so cute and fresh in their new home.

Bunting roll call! Who’s made a bunting, raise your hand. Aren’t they easy and quick to make? They’re so cute and fun, great for decorating a bedroom or a party. Plus, you can use it as one of the only decorations at a party, it’s that fun. I make them with a package of bias binding and scrap fabric, making it super inexpensive compared to a vintage bunting I saw at a store that cost $50. More on that at the bottom of the post.


Life as We Know it

So, we live near a school, and at 11:30 last night I heard a bunch of male cheering, for half an hour straight. I thought, there’s no way they are watching the Olympics. Is there a summer game? No. Would it be a party? No way. Well, the next morning my brilliant husband had his guess- hazing! It was most definitely hazing/initiation, and it only stopped after I heard a police siren. Oh boy!

This weekend we are going to a wedding at Saddleback Church, so I get to break in my purple dress I just made, hurray! I think I’ll wear my uncomfortable magenta heels, then slip on my Sseko sandals once the going gets tough on my toesies.


I love watching track & field, gymnastics finals, all volleyball (men/women/beach/indoor), and some swim and diving. When I was in junior high and my early high school years, it was my dream to be an Olympic hurdler. Ever since I was little, I was always jumping over things, and I was good at it. I do remember my teacher my sophomore year saying that Olympians are usually taller, so it’s probably an unlikely dream for me. (A suggestion for adults: I think people figure out what they can’t do just by trying, so it’s not helpful to try to suggest what they think is probable.) In high school, the girls at Gehlen Catholic and Unity Christian would always beat us, but other than that we were unstoppable. Being able to run at Drake Stadium I think is Olympics enough for a high schooler. What are your favorite Olympic events to watch?

Sparking Joy in the Home

I’ve been Konmarie-ing and David Allen-ing my place which means I’m really getting organized! Blog post on that later.


Bunting Fun!

I had been thinking of making this bunting with the baby’s name on it for our friends’ shower but I had already made an orange and cream plain one, so I called it done. Matthew suggested that it would be fun to have one with Ethan’s name on it, and I agreed, so last minute I punched it out. It would’ve only taken 15 minutes if I had had a package of bias binding, but I had to make my own binding, and without this tool since I didn’t bring it to California with me.

I simply used a roller cutter and cutting mat to first cut out a strip of muslin fabric, then cut triangles out of it. I first used a pencil to make the letters, then Sharpied over it. I then sewed it to the inside of the binding. Note: Because you’re cutting the fabric at an angle to make the triangle, the fabric will not unravel. I love this bunting because they can use it to decorate Ethan’s room if they want, so it’s not just a throwaway decoration. So, now, let’s all go make some buntings!

Cupcakes by Gretchen the cupcake queen

Cupcakes by Gretchen the cupcake queen

Clover bias tape maker

Clover bias tape maker

Fashion girls rocking it in SoCal! Goldsheep sewing like mad for Miss Teen USA

It’s been exciting seeing the progression on Keri Wilson’s Facebook from concept to final Miss Teen USA product. In such a short time, Keri of Goldsheep, in partnership with Tapout, handmade 320 pieces in 2 weeks for the Miss Teen USA swimsuit-turned-athleticwear competition. Go Keri! She’s such a hard worker- so inspiring! Read more about it here.


Creative Women Profile: Videographer Kate Jones of Jack and Jane Studio Des Moines, Iowa


Hey buddy ol’ pals! Today I’m proud to share the next Creative Women feature on videographer Kate Jones. Kate is a corporate video producer turned entrepreneur in Des Moines, Iowa. One of the first times I realized Kate had a great visual arts eye was when I saw her at the cutting table at Jo-Ann Fabrics. We were then just acquaintances so we were both very civil and proper towards each other- how things change! Kate was buying foam to redo her porch furniture, and I asked her opinion on which grey fabric I should buy. She said that the one grey was more bluey and the other grey was more yellowy… I honestly couldn’t see it, but I knew then that she was good. A little too good.

I’ve worked with some of the most creative people in Los Angeles, but Kate and her husband Dylan are still two of the most inspiring and creative makers I know. They seem to always know about a cool new company, or seem to always be making something hearty like a hand-sewn leather bike pouch or a letterpress machine. They never do anything halfway, but ruminate on it for maybe years before the execution. One of my favorite pasttimes is perusing Kate’s Pinterest account so that I can take a walk through her brain.

Without further ado, here’s Kate!

Video produced for Youth Standing Strong Des Moines Iowa

Describe where you’re from: I grew up in Eastern Iowa, but my mind was often growing up in books and British movies. 🙂

What was your favorite thing about growing up? The ability to imagine, and get to know other people. I spent a lot of time making stories with my siblings, especially my little brother John, who is nine years younger but like a twin.

Could your family see entrepreneurial or creative potential in you when you were little?

I think so. My parents always encouraged us to question and then find solutions, which created a great environment for entrepreneurial and creative potential. Being homeschooled, I felt very free to explore learning for myself, and to learn in ways that fit my brain. Since I always loved making things, I would often take concepts from school and use them in a personal project. I would use Geometry principles to help me make a model replica of a Roman villa. I would create my own movies using my siblings as actors, editing old-school in-camera on the VHS tape. I “published” comic books and magazines and turned our living room into a cinema, complete with tickets for “purchase”. And I would turn my bedroom into a library, checking books out to my brothers and sister, much to the annoyance of my sister (who shared the room). Unfortunately my business ventures rarely turned lucrative, but I learned. 🙂



Photo by Drew M.

What are your favorite hobbies? Right now I’ve fallen into an addiction to politics, but I’ve also grown a love for gardening as well. I have enjoyed making leather accessories for the last several years, and also dabble in letterpressing whenever I can.

My secret superpower is… Oh gracious, not sure! My hands are unable to move completely free from one another, is that a superpower? If not, I suppose my red hair has to have a superpower in it, right?

What are your main passions? I love Jesus, I love His Church (people), and I love His Gospel. That pretty much covers everything, but inside of that, I am passionate about freedom and truth, I love my husband, and am passionate about creativity.

What is the glammest thing you do? I’m pretty boring right now…I suppose go for sunset rides with my dapper husband on our vintage Lambretta scooter? At least that feels very “Roman Holiday” to me, and what’s more glam than acting like Audrey Hepburn?


394588_10151141252400572_1377431774_nAre you a farm girl or city girl? What is the farmiest (or most sustainable) thing you do? I am an acreage girl, which is sort of in the middle. Gardening is still very new for me, but creating a garden and yard that uses sustainable watering practices is something my husband and I are working toward.

What do you think about Des Moines? Any favorite spots? I have grown to love Des Moines. For food, I love: La Mie, Eatery A, Thai Flavors, India Star, The Cheese Shop, and The Continental. For nature, I love: Lake Maffitt, The Botanical Gardens, twilight walks in Beaverdale, and any country road south of the city. For city life, I love: The Art Center, Fleur Cinema, Varsity Theater for an old movie, Centro for dinner, Scenic Route Bakery for morning coffee, and Simon Estes Ampitheater in the summer.

If you could live anywhere, where would you go? Outside of the US, probably England or Ireland. I adore those countries. Inside the US, a hilly 10-acre section of land (with a creek on it) fairly close to Des Moines but with a country view. In my travels, I have come to feel Iowa is actually an amazing place to live.

What are your next travel plans? My husband and I just returned from a delightful vacation on Lake Superior. We visited Duluth first, and then camped north at Gooseberry Falls. An absolutely breath-taking part of the world.

Kate Jones

Kate Jones

What are your favorite things about your significant other? I love his heart, his soul, and his personality. He loves Jesus also, so we can fellowship spiritually together and that has formed the foundation of our relationship. He’s a Maker too, and I love the way he creates and sees the world. He challenges me, balances me out, and helps me expand since he has a quiet personality and different strengths than I do. He’s hilarious (especially when he does Trump impersonations), and loves film, music, and modern design. And he’s meltingly handsome, which is nice. 😉

How did you get into starting your company? Jack & Jane Studio began as an idea my brother John and I would toss around. We wanted to make films that helped our community and wasn’t just about making money. I had been feeling a loss of creative joy at the company I was working for, so Jack & Jane grew out of a passion to return to the freedom of creativity, and a desire to let it bless others.


Community breakfasts before church

What are some major setbacks that you’d care to share so we don’t make the same mistake? First, choose your clients well. I chose a project with a client I had no information about, and it turned out to be a very stressful experience. Second, choose projects you can get behind. In my field — filmmaking — it’s exhausting work, and requires passion to deliver an emotionally honest story. Films can be made just for money, but the stories told when your heart is involved are far stronger, and far better. Third, be honest about your limitations. Don’t try to sell the moon, be confident about what you can provide and let them know exactly what you are capable of. That way, clients will be happier and you will be less stressed.

Is there a job or something that helped prepare you for running your business? I was an Art Director for 9.5 years prior to starting my business. For about 7 years, I was thrown into making corporate films, and had to learn everything the hard way. I was responsible for all elements of video production, and built up a lucrative video department at that company. Those years profoundly helped me prepare for starting a business.

What is a profit stealer or time suck that you did not expect in your business? Editing is definitely time-sucking for me. I often want to get it just right, and my computer is not always fast enough for my liking. Also, I’d say finding music definitely consumes hours of time.

How can people contact you? People can find me at or email me through my website at



Pattern review McCall’s summer halter dress M7405 – and bloopers

Here’s my fashion tip of the week: when your mom wears jeggings that have a fake zipper placket on the front, remind her to not put them on backwards. I saw this humorous sight the other day at the store and I just had to laugh because someday that will be me.


I finally made a dress for myself that I love! This summer I tried making a kimono dress, then I tried making a shiny structured dress, but those were mostly failures. Well, I am almost done with my Alabama Chanin tank top, and I love that as well as my super comfy pajama pants.

The pattern I used is McCall’s M7405. It’s a cute halter dress that I’ve wanted to make for years. I finally did it because, well, JoJo on the Bachelorette kept wearing halters and she looked so darn cute!


I bought 2.5 yards of 45″ rayon challis floral fabric. Challis “art silk” can get super wrinkly but I love how it drapes and it’s so breathable. I used pattern A, but wanted it longer, so I added 7.5 inches to the length since that’s what my 2.5 yards of fabric gave me.

I’m normally a size small, but I went up to a medium because that’s what the measurements on the package told me to use. I ended up taking it in so much that it was a size XS. Pattern A didn’t come with a belt, so I used my satin robe’s belt just to see what it would look like. I loved the look so much I decided to just use that with the dress!

This dress took me about 3 hours to make, minus washing and ironing the fabric. It’s such a quick sew because there are only 3 pieces in the pattern! Some tweaks I made to the pattern are adding a keyhole in the front. I just cut down the front until just above my cleavage area. It’s not perfect enough that you should use that technique to sell clothes, but it works for me. I also made the side slit higher up on the leg to above the knee.

I just love this pattern and will definitely be making a couple more of these at some point in a floor-length version and a handkerchief hem version! I saw a handkerchief hem halter dress on Rent The Runway and I just have to have it.

Here are some more views of the dress as well as some bloopers to go along with it, because you gotta laugh at yourself sometimes!

mccalls_halter2 mccalls_halter3 mccalls_halter1

How to Create a Professional Youtube Channel with your Phone and Some Gear (by Videographer Kate Jones)

Kate Jones

Kate Jones

Hey pals, so the new Snapstagram right?!

Anyhoo, a little bit ago I texted my videographer friend Kate of Jack and Jane Studio if I should get a mic for my iPhone if I wanted to do my own Youtube channel (which would feature me doing slightly boring but hopefully funny homemaker this-n-thats) and she went above and beyond with the info she provided me with, because video is her jam. I’ll be doing a Creative Women feature on her very soon, so you’ll be able to know the woman behind the genius, but for now, here is everything you need to know on the basics of starting your own Youtube channel! Our text conversation:

New lens

New lens Jack and Jane

Kate Jones: Hey, miss you too! I have bangs now. For a YouTube channel, you can definitely use an iPhone and it can look great! The key is really lighting. Avoid having a scene with a window behind you. And 1 window in front (slightly to one side) with a thin white curtain or shower curtain will soften the light. You can use a circular reflector or a piece of foam core to bounce a little of the window light into the shadowed part of your face, so you don’t have stark light and shadow.
As for equipment, it just depends on what your YouTube channel will be about. If beauty, then any tripod will do. If you need more control over your iphone’s settings, you might want to get FilmicPro, an app that gives you a lot of control over the video settings and exposure settings. If you want to move the camera around a lot, I think you may want some sort of stabilizer that you’d mount the phone in. 3-axis stabilizers are pretty great, they give really smooth movements. Look up “3 Axis gimbal for iPhone” for options. I’ve heard good things about the Ikan.
For editing, I think there is a free product Adobe makes called Adobe Elements. Can’t guarantee it’s free, but I heard it is. Or you can use iMovie, if you have it. There is also a free program call Davinci Resolve 12. It’s actually the industry leader for color manipulation for filmmaking, but they recently made it free for HD work (it used to be thousands$$$) and in the latest version they added editing.
One of the biggest things you should consider is audio. Again, if you are doing beauty tutorials, you could probably use a lavalier mic plugged straight into your iPhone. That would give you good audio for a fairly low price.  I’ve never tested this one or used it, so I can’t recommend it officially, buy you should look into this one: Audio-Technica ATR3350iS Lavalier Microphone. It looks affordable at $30, and appears to allow you to plug headphones in too, so you can hear what you sound like before recording.
Kate Jones: If you use a tripod, make sure you get a phone holder and attach it to the tripod.
Me: yeah i have a tabletop tripod. i saw you can use a lamp as a tripod too
Kate Jones: Oh nice! The good thing is, you can use even cheap tripods with a phone because the phone is so light.
Kate Jones: If you don’t have much budget, I’d say use the tripod you have (as long as it can get your phone the height you want), and get a mic. Make the light (window, lamp, whatever) in front of the subject and not in the background. And soften the light source so the shadows are soft. The bigger the light source (like a window, with a thin curtain), the softer and more beautiful the light.
Make Movies with an iPhone
Kate Jones: Did you know they recently made a car commercial using an iPhone? And the movie Tangerine was filmed on an iPhone and was a hit at Sundance last year.
Kate Jones: Here’s the commercial. For Bentley.
Me: Say WHAT that’s crazy. i will watch.
Kate Jones: Ya! Now, they used crazy gimbals to stabilize the footage, and they used a special grip for the iPhone to let them put on different lenses. And they used the app I mentioned, FilmicPro. But ya, pretty cool!
Make sure to check out their Jack and Jane website!