Tell Your Story : Class Registration Here

Tell Your Story is a six week online art journal class. Elsie and Rachel will share a personal art journal page with a challenge or fun technique each day (7 days a week, for all 6 weeks!). In addition to the Daily pages we will share tips and tricks for creating six unique art journal books that are sure to inspire!

- A six week online class that is designed for you to go at your own pace. You don't need to be online at a certain time to participate. Busy students can still join us as the class posts are up for a full year!
- A prompt every day for six weeks plus tips on how to make/bind your own journals mixed in.
- Weekly chats including video and live chats in the comments section of our private blog. (this is the only thing that happens live and the hours will change weekly to fit as many schedules as possible)
- Class starts April 26th
- You'll receive a bonus art journal page tutorial to work on as soon as you log onto the private blog to get you started before the 26th!

Registration Details

Class Closed

'Tell Your Story' Online Art Journal Class
with Rachel and Elsie

See you there!


Coming Soon!

Tell Your Story from Elsie Flannigan on Vimeo.

I'm so excited about this class. I hope you'll join us! Class spots are available for purchase Wednesday at midnight/Thursday morning.




Brett was in charge of Ruby this afternoon on his break between classes while I worked on the outdoor swing on our back porch. He decided to bring her out since the weather was so nice and laid her on the picnic blanket left out from the afternoon before. (Can you see where this is going?) I had been in and out getting all of my supplies and hardly paying attention to the two of them when all of a sudden I hear Brett, who is on his knees next to Ruby trying to spread the folded blanket out even more, say in a surprisingly calm but loud voice, " Um, do you see this?"

Apparently our largest garter snake had been snoozing in the fold of our picnic blanket. When I turned around to look I saw it slither right up to and around little Ruby's bald head. I'd be lying if I told you my first reaction was to scream, "Pick her up!" but instead I thought about grabbing my camera. That's bad, I know. Somehow my snake tolerance has tripled these last two weeks so I just watched it slither off towards the usual snake hideout under the house. Had it been a dangerous variety I'm sure that whole scene would've played out quite differently but she didn't even realize it was happening.

Moral of the story: Check your folds, people.


Our Garden Project - The Beginning Stages

I have been thinking about starting a raised garden since Christmas and told Brett it was one of his Christmas presents when really it was just a project I needed to tackle. Ha! He didn't seem to mind. After weeks of elaborate scheming and slightly unrealistic goals of growing and pureeing all of Ruby's baby food myself, and then realizing we'd be out of town quite a lot this summer anyway, I settled on ONE garden bed. One little 4' x 4' garden bed to grow our favorites, to serve as a low risk investment until we have a better handle on gardening, and just enough to teach Sebastian about how plants grow.

Last weekend I managed to make it to the store with both kids in tow twice! The first trip wast to get materials for our tree swing and the second was for the garden and front lawn. We've been renting for almost two years now and I've always hated how our front yard looked but haven't wanted to put any money into fixing it in case we were to move. I think it was a commitment issue but this is the longest we've lived anywhere since we've been married so can you blame me? So Sunday night we were all out in the front yard while Brett moved the existing slabs of rock, pulled up the plastic tarp, tilled the dirt, and layed out where we'll be planting our elephant ear tubers. I love elephant ears. Some of our neighbors have them so I know they'll be just fine in these parts. Now I have about 30 square feet of bare yard to reseed when S is occupied.

I wouldn't get anything done if I didn't have someone keeping me on task. Ruby has been assigned project manager and tends to stay on top of things. Sebastian has been deemed my
quality inspector and part time sander. He just stops by from time to time to make sure I'm not slacking in my craftsmanship and to do touch ups when I've missed a spot.

If all turns out as intended we should have a tree swing up in the next day or two and the garden frame finished. I have two weeks until the farmer's almanac says we're mostly clear of a frost so I'm going to be patient and wait to put anything in the ground. After the stunt Spring pulled on us two weekends ago, I'm not taking any chances. Snow? Really? So far we've got a raspberry bush, broccoli, sweet onions, two strawberry plants, tomatoes, lavender, mint, and sunflower seeds. I honestly didn't have any more room in my cart so I'm going back next week for bell peppers, more strawberries, and maybe more onions. Not exactly a well rounded garden but we're keeping it fun! Who doesn't like strawberries!

photo from ApartmentTherapy

Build Your Own
If you're not past planting dates already, here are a few helpful posts on starting your own container gardens on Apartment Therapy. See how my friend Ashley did it. She's a power tool wielding super mama! And see how Pioneer Woman made it easy and entertaining for us all.

photo from ApartmentTherapy

Believe it or not there are gardening trends. See what people are planting and why.
Another link for starting a relatively manageable backyard garden.
How to know when to plant.
What plants do best in your region.
Another great resource for starting your urban garden.
You Grow Girl is a great gardening blog. You can also check out her new book Grow Great Grub.

photo from ApartmentTherapy

Gardening is the new ________ (fill in the blank).
Check out the produce aisle in the Bratcher family's backyard!
Made From Scratch, a book about the ultimate DIY lifestyle.

If you've got a link to a gardening resource that you've found helpful, feel free to add it in the comment section below. I tend to need all the help I can get in this department! I'll be sure to share our progress as we go.


p.s. Thanks for the link help from twitter friends!

Hello, Tuesday

I had big plans to finish my gardening post but there is just SO much info and it needed to be edited a little more. And since my computer was taking it's sweet time I decided to show you my mug instead. This is a new bow I made from a vintage sheet that I hope I'll remember to make more of because I love the size of it. It's also motivation to wear my hair up in a pretty do!

Tuesday = having a brake replaced on our car, finishing our tree swing, hopefully making it on time to the Zumba class at the downtown Y, and pretending there isn't any laundry to put away.



p.s. Elsie and I made a mini movie today. You'll see...


Flickr Favorites - Monday Edition

Did you ever make on of these? I love these colors.

Illustrated cans by Jackie Is A Peppermint.

I'm enjoying the style of this feather necklace.

I covet this needlework pillow!

This piece by Tielsk is beautiful!

I'm currently drawing a blank on Easter craft projects or decoration! HELP! Does anyone have any fun projects that they're doing?


p.s. I keep forgetting to announce that we've got some spots left for April ads if you're interested in sponsoring Smile And Wave. Just check this page for details and then send your information to Leigh-Ann at Frecklednest (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks for stopping by!


Giveaway Winners!

Giveaway Winner #6 - Pretty Zakka Shop

Jingle - I love the Re-Ment set #2 with the adorable mushrooms!!! And I have my eye on some of the deco tapes, too! Such cuteness!

Giveaway Winner # 5 - Maedchenmitherz

Cococricketsmama - Lovely! My favorite flower is ranuculus.

Giveaway Winner #4 - Icitea

I love the queen of tarts shirt! Reminds me of a certain recently premiered movie...


Congratulations winners! Send me your information and I'll pass it along to make sure you get your goodies! My e-mail can be found in the Contact tab. Thanks for your patience on getting this posted!



DIY: Onesie to Dress Tutorial

I have about four long-sleeved onesies in the 3-6 month size that have been too short for about three months. I was going to pass them along to a friend's friend but then realized I could use them again. The trickiest part about a dress or tunic can be getting the collar and sleeves right and since the width and arm size of the onesie still fit her I was able to just cut off the bottom and half of my job was done!

You'll need a long-sleeved onesie, stabilizer (or heat-n-bond if you're out of stabilizer), a thick band of black elastic that is the circumference of your onesie plus 1" (my elastic was 2" wide), a cut of fabric that is the circumference of your onesie plus 12" and about as long as you prefer (mine was 10"), straight pins, scissors, an iron, and a sewing machine.

I cut the sleeves down to where they would hit her elbows and left them raw since jersey cotton tends to roll nicely. I then measured where I wanted the elastic to lay and cut. Next, (not shown) I followed the manufacturers instructions to apply the stabilizer (heat-n-bond). This can be torn off when finished and provides stability so the jersey cotton doesn't stretch out when you are sewing.

Next, cut your fabric piece in half so that you have two equal pieces. Measure in from each top edge 1" and then mark a line from that point to the bottom corner of the same side to get an angle. Trim. Lay your two pieces with right sides facing together and sew your sides together. Then fold the bottom edge up 1/4" and again 1/4" and pin. Then iron and sew. Because it is longer at the bottom than the top and you're folding up you'll have a little extra so just fold it in at the side seams as you stitch. Confused yet?

Stick your top into the bottom upside down with the right side of the onesie facing the right side of the skirt and pin with even amounts of fabric in between. Make sure the edges are lined up.

Stitch them together making little pleats as you go.

Turn your dress right side out and press your pleats down flat.

At this point you can bypass the elastic and just add your own embellishments such as a HUGE bow (not a good idea if they love tummy time), ruffles, or pockets.

If you're using elastic, start at one side seam and pin the elastic down all the way around. My elastic covered a little more onesie than it did skirt fabric. Using a zig-zag stitch, first sew around the lower edge of the elastic and then the upper edge. Make sure you aren't pulling it to fit as you don't want it to be too snug on your little one. When you get to the end of your elastic, tuck it under before you stitch it down for a finished look.

And you're done! As long as the top fits you can transition it from a dress to a tunic as she grows.

The second dress shown is actually the first one that served as the guinea pig. I didn't use interfacing so the cotton stretched a lot. This was a 12 month old fitted top that I picked up for it's color. Instead of just one layer of fabric for the bottom of the dress I lined it. It's got a bit of a bubble effect.

I added a braided embellishment to the front to add some interest.

I could hardly get Ruby to lay still enough to get a photo of her in this one, though! She has just learned how to roll onto her belly from her back so I got a few of these instead.

It's too big but at least it's roomy! Prudent Baby featured a similar onesie into dress combo earlier this week that shares a little bit of a different technique. Either way, you're bound to end up with something adorable!




What Came Home With Me

Janae and I hit up Charley's Flea Market this morning after I got a peak at her pretty, new house. That girl has great taste in furniture and such an eye for putting it all together.

I wasn't looking for one of these but then again, I'd never seen one before. It's got some water damage or something superficial on the top and a few dings in characteristic spots but it's a beautiful piece and quite sturdy. I'm still debating whether or not to sand and polish it or paint it altogether. I think I'll let it sit here awhile and tell me what to do.

Friday is for cleaning the house, finishing a little dress DIY, and playing in the sunshine if it'll stick around and warm our faces.




TELL YOUR STORY: Online Art Joural Class [Full Details]

I'm so excited to announce my next upcoming online class! I'll be co-teaching with the wonderful Elsie Flannigan of A Beautiful Mess. Sign ups will begin at 12 am CST next Thursday, April 1!

What is 'Tell Your Story?'
Tell Your Story is a six week online art journal class. Elsie and Rachel will share a personal art journal page with a challenge or fun technique each day (7 days a week, for all 6 weeks!). In addition to the Daily pages we will share tips and tricks for creating six unique art journal books that are sure to inspire!

Meet Your Teachers
"What started as writing notes on pretty magazine pages in high school has since become one of my favorite ways to document those easily forgotten details that make up seasons of life. Art journals have been a safe place to test new ideas, reflect, list random details, and get a little poetic and I'm thrilled to get to share some of my favorite prompts and techniques with this class. "
xoxo, Rachel
"I've loved art journaling for the past 10 years. It's a wonderful 'just for me' hobby that I am looking forward to (finally) sharing with a group of students! Art journaling is my favorite therapy. Most of my journals focus on simple memories, hopes and dreams. There is also plenty of room for vulnerability on these books. Pages that explore doubts and fears have been a part of my personal growth through the years. I'm looking forward to six weeks of fun prompts, personal challenges and getting messy with pretty supplies while learning more about ourselves! Xo, Elsie"

-Tell Your Story is a six week online class that begins on April 26th. You'll enjoy one inspiring post each day with either an art journal page with creative prompt or a book making project.

-Supplies: Computer, Internet, one large blank journal or sketchbook with card stock (heavy) pages. Pens, paint and crafting scraps (all items we use on these journals are items we already have in our own studios).

-We will host a weekly Q&A/Chat with fun topics by both Elsie & Rachel.
-We'll also share tips on finding and storing ephemera.

-Private blog access will be sent within 24 hours of sign up. You'll have a bonus project waiting for you before the class starts & sessions officially begin on April 26th!

-Topic examples (for art journal prompts): Dreams, Secret Plans, Handmade Magic, Conversations Captured, Everyday Joys, Silly Quotes, Happy Lists, The Honest Truth, Three Wishes, Today I..., Memories To Be Made, A Closer Look...

Registration Details

Class Cost: $60 US

-Registration officially begins Thursday April 1 at 12:00 AM CST!

-Payments accepted: Paypal (via our blogs) and the Red Velvet Art website.

-Private blog login info will be sent within 24 hours of payment confirmation.

*If you have any questions, please e-mail racheldenbow (at) gmail (dot) com.

I'm really looking forward to this! I hope you'll join us.


p.s. I've received some questions about it already so here's some clarification on a few points. This is an ONLINE class. We post daily and you follow at your own pace. The only time that time differences would matter are during our weekly chats. Those times will change each week to give more than one general time zone a chance to join in. We ARE NOT selling supplies or a kit. I hope that is helpful! If you have other questions feel free to e-mail me: racheldenbow (at) gmail (dot) com.

The Older One

He got upset when I washed his hands this afternoon. Apparently he was saving those boogars.

He was delighted to find an ant crawling on his arm and again got upset when I flicked it off because he wanted to make friends with it. I told them there were plenty more where that one came from.

He names every cat or dog Frances.

He prefers to organize our evenings through lists. "Mama, listen to this. This is how it goes.One healthy food, two Dora, three brush teeth, four potty, five story, then bed. That's how it goes."

He's currently hung up on other people having birthdays. He'd rather it always be his birthday. This was displayed most recently when he covered his ears and yelled "STOP!" while people were singing 'Happy Birthday' to his aunt Brittany.

He always remembers when we've told him something that relates to the ice cream man.

He wants to keep his little sister forever and ever and ever.

I'm going to keep them both.