Obsession. There’s really no other way to say it. I have an obsession with sassy cross stitch. It started innocently enough. A small cross stitch that said “Cubicle Sweet Cubicle” would make a fun addition to my desk. On a mission to find a bit of inspiration and just the right pattern, I browsed Etsy and Pinterest and my eyes were opened to the fascinating world of non-traditional cross stitch.
For many years knitting has been my craft of choice, but cross stitch holds a special place in my heart. Together with chewing gum and a lot of crying, cross stitch helped me weather the storm of smoking cessation. (The sordid tale of my life as a smoker is another story for another time.) The orderly uniformity of cross stitch is so satisfying. The methodical process, the slow coming together of images as colors are layered in and the way the backstitching and “garnish” ties it all together are so pleasing to me. I love the texture of a finished piece and the way the stitches stand off the taut cloth in a simple wooden hoop. There’s an old fashioned beauty to something handmade that is so obvious a time investment. I suspect that this perspective on the medium is why sassy cross stitch tickles my funny bone. I appreciate the tongue-in-cheek humor of hip-hop lyrics, pop culture icons or even naughty words captured in such a traditional format. There’s a classic humor thriving in the juxtaposition of old fashioned and new-fangled.
Recently I’ve created a few fun and sassy stitches to share. Some of my stitches are freebie patterns I pulled from the internet. The Grumpy Cat and Carpe Diem stitches are based on patterns I purchased from Etsy and modified. Some of my favorites are culled together from bits I doodled in my sketchbook and particularly well-done things I’ve admired from other stitchers. I’m amassing quite the collection of potential projects on my Sassy Stitches Pinterest board. Here are some of my favorite projects:
So what do you think of the sassy cross stitch? Hilarious modern day folk art or a little too silly for your taste? Do you have a favorite? Maybe something you’ve created yourself? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Things have been tough at the old “day job” this year. I work for a large company that I really love, but there have been a lot of changes these past few months and not all of them were positive. For several weeks, I worried that I might be laid off and…well, to be honest, that was genuinely awful. I had six years’ worth of files and desk clutter plus some nervous energy to burn so one day I started to tidy up my desk. That led to purging emails, and that lead to cleaning out cabinets, which led to purging paper files and when I was done, I had an extremely empty desk. I slashed my stash of work documents down to the bare minimum and shuttled my personal items home to sit in a sad heap on my desk.
A few more weeks passed and I was not laid off (although some really amazing people I love were and that was unbearable). In the aftermath, I had to try to find some semblance of normal, but my desk was clinically sterile, morale was at an all time low and all of my creativity was sapped. That’s when I came across a bit of inspiration online entitled 54 Ways To Make Your Cubicle Suck Less. I felt like it was meant for me and I greedily devoured the ideas. Next I hit up Pinterest and compiled a page of inspired office spaces in black, gold and neutrals.
I chose the color scheme because I liked it and because many of my desk accessories were already black from a prior attempt at improving the space. In addition, I’ve seen a lot of gold in decorating lately and I really like it. I figured with a little gold spray paint I could create some fun pieces to complete the look I was going for.
First, I built the twine and clothespins photo holder featured in the article that inspired my desk revamp. For this project I simply picked up decorated clothespins and strung them on twine. This allows me to display photos and change them out easily. I have more pins if I want to add more photos and it lets me keep things fresh. One thing I noticed while shopping is that there are a finite number of choices in pre-decorated clothespins. If you find there aren’t any you like you can use washi tape over undecorated clothespins to customize your look.
The moment I saw the gold Nate Berkus stapler was love at first sight. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. My old stapler was a red Swingline and I loved it as well, but this new one was just so shiny. I couldn’t resist. While I was at Target I scored some gold and white washi tape. I used the tape on a great free printable by Nicole Joelle that I framed and then accessorized my pencil cup and tape dispenser with the same tape to tie the elements together.
I may have shared before that I’m a plant slayer. I can’t keep a green thing alive to save my own life…until I met the succulent on my desk. This little guy’s tenacity has earned him a permanent space and I promise to water him once in a while and try really hard to keep him alive. In order to make my hardy little plant fit in with the theme of my desk, I added a few gold touches. For this project, I used a small terra cotta pot (available for less than $1 at Home Depot) and taped off the rim. Terra cotta isn’t easy to paint because it tends to flake so I used three coats of Krylon gold spray paint and Krylon crystal clear as a clear coat sealant. So far, the paint is staying put and it looks fantastic.
I am fortunate to work in an office that allows pets. Often people will come to visit my desk with their furry little business partners in tow and I like to have something to welcome them properly. To make this cute little treat jar I simply super-glued a miniature dog to a metal jar lid and spray painted over it. In fact, when I first made this a few months ago I used turquoise paint. To update and make the piece sync with my desk refresh, the turquoise paint served as a primer coat for the gold I sprayed over it. It turns out my favorite part of this desk makeover was actually another makeover. If you decide to make yourself a treat jar – think dinosaurs, race cars or other small toys for people treats – be sure to get a spray paint that works well with plastic and metal so that the paint on your figurine doesn’t stay sticky to the touch.
All in all, I spent less than 2 hours and $50 on the projects shown here. The result is a desk that I’m proud to call home for 40 hours a week. It’s clean, functional, and comfortable. Most of all, it has a few special touches that make it all mine. Do you have some favorite items that make your workspace feel a little more like home? We love to hear from you, so please weigh in below in the comments.
I’m a total pack rat. Throughout my thirty years on this planet I’ve compulsively collected postcards, tickets stubs and dried flowers, expired IDs, sea shells and playbills. Tiny bits that combine to form a mosaic of memories. Scrapbooking has always been a big part of my life. I used to save my lunch money to buy craft supplies. Back then scrapbooking was a humble hobby – within the pages of my early albums created during Jr. High and High School years are lots of photos, stubs, stamps and other little scraps.
Rob & I honeymooned in Mexico several months after our wedding, it was a dreamy vacation filled with street tacos and cold beer, walks along cobble stone streets and lazy days on the sand. The photos and mementos from our trip have been sitting in a box waiting to be scrapbooked for nearly four years. One of my 2014 goals is to capture more memories – what better way to start than to create an album as special as our trip?
I’d wanted to try Project Life for a few years now, but was always intimidated by the thought of creating an album that would document a year of my life. I didn’t know if I had the crafty attention span to make it a whole year! After perusing Pinterest, Google images and lots of Project Life-focused blogs I decided to test the waters with a mini album. I put an album, core kit and a few other supplies on my Christmas list – Santa spoiled me and brought everything I needed to get started.
It took me a few months to unpack all of my goodies and dive in, but for the last few weeks, I’ve had so much fun working on my mini album. I’m using the Project Life Sunshine Core Kit designed by Elsie & Emma from A Beautiful Mess. The cards from this kit feature bright, cheery colors and imperfect, quirky patterns. They remind me of Mexico! I love the pocket pages because I can work on more than one page layout at a time, which is ideal for crafters like me with a short attention span.
When we moved into our house in the fall of 2012, none of the walls were painted. The builder wanted to charge a few thousand dollars to paint the interior walls and ceilings. Rob & I were convinced it would be no big deal to do the painting ourselves. We might have underestimated the amount of work that was ahead of us. More than a year later, we still have a few rooms left to paint.
Originally a makeover for the laundry room was pretty low on our home project to-do list. It wasn’t until Rob installed the garage door opener a few weeks ago that it got bumped way up that list. We have to walk through the laundry room to get to the garage and now every morning I walk through that drab, vanilla colored room and think “this room needs color!”
This should be a quick and easy makeover. The room is small and it’s a utilitarian space so no tchotchkes allowed. Instead I’ll focus on adding color to the room through paint and framed art. To keep the room neat and tidy, I plan to add storage bins and hang cabinets. I’ve put together a board that includes the inspiration photos, colors, art and DIY projects that I’ll use to bring the room together.