Wednesday, September 29, 2010

{Tips & Tricks} Get your pots & pans shiny again

I am in full wedding mode here in Kansas!! My brother is getting married in 2 days and there is a lot yet to be done!! However, as I see wedding presents accumulating around here, I thought I'd share my husband's (no, I can't take credit for this one) incredibly wonderful trick for getting those lovely pots & pans we got for our wedding back to their original, right-out-of-the-box luster.

To start, fill up your tea kettle and get that water boiling


Meanwhile, begin filling your sink with very hot water. Add some soap & a scoop of OxyClean (Shhh! this is the secret ingredient!!!)


Once your water is boiling, add it to the water in the sink


Add your dirty pots & pans, soak over night and in the morning, they'll be good as new!


Happy Cleaning!

xoxo Lori Danelle

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Giraffe T-shirt day!

 This morning, completely by coincidence, the females at my house each independently declared it giraffe t-shirt day. And of course, we all thought that was a pretty fun thing, which needed to be celebrated with photos. :)

Umm. .  . Big likes to make silly faces when I take her picture lately.

You should be really impressed with this one! Not only am I in a photo in my own blog post, but it was taken by Big!! The others she took we of my feet, the trees, the house across the street. . .you get the idea.   :)

And one more because they're just so darn cute!!

Right now, I should be in bed. Especially since my alarm clock is set to go off in 4 hours.
Can you believe it?
An alarm clock on a Saturday?!
And at 5 am!

However, it will be worth it as we will be hopping a plane to KS for my (not-so-little) little brother's wedding next Friday.  So excited!!!! And if you are in the area I'm headed to, I hope we get a chance to say hi. . .not sure how busy the bride & groom are going to keep me with projects. . . But if there are projects, I promise to have photos for you!

I hope you are now reading this over a leisurely cup of coffee at an enviably late morning hour and are still in you pjs, having just gotten out of bed.
Have a great weekend!!!

xoxo Lori Danelle

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

{Paper Cut} Andrew + Lauren

Thought I'd share with you my very first completed commissioned piece and send out
congratulations to Andrew & Lauren as they were married this past weekend!


Andrew & Lauren, I wish you joy as you embark on this new adventure together. 

xoxo Lori Danelle

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What Little did this time.

We took the girls to the zoo over the weekend. Generally we avoid the petting zoo area like the plague because, well. . .it's kind of gross. :)

But this time we went ahead and took the girls inside. At this zoo, they don't have those machines where you pay a quarter and get some pellet things to feed the goats, which then teaches the goats that every person who comes around them must have food, no matter how tiny they might be. So, instead of having safe goats for small children to pet, you get goats jumping up on 2-year olds and practically trampling the child along with the adult who is trying to save them from the stampeding goats. (no. . .that never happened to me. . . {insert sarcastic font here}).

They got smart here in Nashville and just have plastic brushes for the kids to brush the goats instead.

{I didn't have a card in my camera once we got to the zoo, thus I didn't have my camera! Grabbed these photos off the web & cropped out the little ones who don't belong to me. . . had to at least give you a visual of what I'm talking about!! }

Good idea, right?
Well, usually, yes.

Enter Little. 

Have I told you about her fascination with shoes?
Well, she saw the brushes and she decided that they were NOT brushes.
Clearly, they were shoes.

And then insisted on taking off her own shoes and putting them on her feet.

I tried to tell her that they were not shoes, while also recognizing that it really didn't matter, so I drew the line at insisting that she wear her other shoe until she found another brush to replace it with.  Once the second brush was procured, she proceeded to tromp around the petting zoo and pet all the goats while the zoo keeper had a good laugh.

To end my story, I'll relieve your fears that it was difficult to get her to leave sans brushes. In fact it was quite easy. After wearing her new shoes for quite a while, a young boy sees her, eyes me oddly (as if thinking "Really? You're letting her do that?") and informs us, "Those aren't shoes. Those are brushes," and runs off.

Little stops.
She looks up at me.
She looks down at her feet.
She takes her "shoes" off and holding them, looks back up at me and exclaims excitedly, "Brushes!!!!"

?!?!?!?!? Umm . . . Yeah. I think I told you that a few hundred times.

Geez.   :)

xoxo Lori Danelle

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday

1.   When I get a day to myself I like to       SLEEP!!!! :)  Followed by some laying around, reading, and maybe doing some creative work I haven't found time to do otherwise. If I have a day to myself AND some money, Anthropologie is always a good option too.

2.  High school was....      Full of great memories and a handful of not so great ones as well. In high school, I tried so hard to fit in & be like everyone else. . .only to graduate and spend the years since trying to stand out. (not in an attention-seeking way, but in a not-following-the-masses sort of way.

3.  A little dream I have is       to see Harry Connick jr in concert. I think I should be able to accomplish this one . ..    .

4.  A big dream I have is       quit my day job and be successful through my own creative endeavors. Oh, and to be Amy Butler. We said BIG dream, right?   .

5.  If I could drive any car my pick would be     a Jeep Wrangler or Mini Cooper. I love the moxy of a girl driving a Wrangler, but ever since seeing The Italian Job, a little part of me would love to learn to drive like they do in a little zesty car .

6.  A time that I felt really and truly beautiful was       Oy! Still too self-conscious for that one! Working on it though!!  However, snuggling with my girls and knowing how I felt about my own Momma as a young child makes me feel pretty beautiful and confident.  They might be little, but their love is pretty big  .

7.  Tomorrow I will....       tackling my very long to do list. And perhaps call the doctor. I have a sneaking suspicion that I have an ulcer.  Oh joy.  :) I've been wondering how I've gotten by without one lately!!  
I'm linked up here.  Join me!

xoxo Lori Danelle

Thursday, September 16, 2010

{DIY} Hanging Book Shelf

This blog is no longer active. All content from this blog has been moved to my new website: To view this post on the new site, click here.

The hanging bookcase is not an idea that originated with me. Too bad, because it's really quite brilliant!! :) If you do a web search you'll find a few different ways to do it if you don't care for how I went about it.

I knew I would have little girls pulling on this, so I made sure that it would be very sturdy from the start. To achieve this, I used some upholstery I had on hand from previous project to make the baskets. I knew I would need to screw the double curtain rod brackets directly into a stud in the wall and that I couldn't trust wall anchors with my little girls. I found the studs in the basic location I would be hanging it and measured how far apart they were, center to center.

In newer houses, building codes specify that studs be spaced 16 inches apart from center to center. In older houses, I've discovered that pretty much anything goes. :) To find studs, you can use a stud finder, available at your local hardware store, or if you live in an older house like ours, it may be painfully obvious! Just look for the bowing in the sheet-rock and the nails popping out!! (OK, it's not that bad, but I can still tell where they are if I look closely.) Either way, I would use the 16" rule as an estimate, but double check by actually finding the studs.

This measurement tells me where I am going to put my hardware. The distance between—inside edge of one bracket, to inside edge of the other—gave me the width I needed to make my fabric basket.

To start, cut a rectangle 20" high x 24.25"wide.

Serge, or zig-zag around all the edges to keep the seams from fraying.

Fold, iron & pin both side seams in 1/2" towards the wrong side of the fabric.

Sew along folded edge approximately 1/4" away from edge. For aesthetic purposes, I did 2 rows of stitching.

On the top & bottom edges, fold, iron & pin seams in 2" towards the wrong side of the fabric (same direction as the side seams).

Sew along the folded edges 1.5" away from the edge. Again, for aesthetic purposes and a little extra strength, I sewed 2 rows of stitches. This will create the channel that you will feed the 1/2" dowel through.

I wanted to tie in the bunting that I had made to hang over the girls' beds in these book shelves, so I added it to the fronts.

Use the same 1/4" bias tape that you used for your bunting.
Unfold it and pin in place, so that the folded edge is closest to the top of your hanging basket. For a guide, I lined the fold of my bias tape up with the top row of stitching on the basket. Stitch in place, leaving the top half of the tape free.

Arrange the triangles as you would like them, matching the top edge of the triangle to the inside fold of the bias tape, sandwiching it between the top and bottom of the bias tape. Pin in place.

Sew 1/8" inch from the open edge of the bias tape.

Now all you have to do is insert your 1/2" wooden dowels and your basket is ready to hang and fill with books!


xoxo Lori Danelle

Sunday, September 12, 2010

This Kid!!

I know I keep saying it, but you just don't understand!!!

This kid absolutely cracks me up!!!!

My Dad made that doll cradle for me when I was little girl and now my Little loves it. Only I don't know that I've ever seen her put a doll in it!

Before I ran downstairs to grab my camera she had somehow managed to contort herself and was curled up inside, head all the way down, no giant book. She keeps getting bigger and somehow STILL manages to find a way to fit.

Both my girls are funny.
However, Big does things in order to get a laugh,
whereas Little just can't help it. 
She probably doesn't even know she's funny.

Crazy kid.
Oh how I love her!!

xoxo Lori Danelle

Friday, September 10, 2010

Inspiration for Today: 09.10.2010

This blog is no longer active. All content from this blog has been moved to my new website: To view this post on the new site, click here.

One of the reasons I love paper, and more specifically, paper cutting is because of how diverse it can be. Some of us cut crazy intricate things out of one sheet of paper, while others use multiple pieces and colors to create fantastical illustrations.

Enter Brittney Lee.

Um, Wow!

{ image via Brittney Lee }

Definitely check out her blog for more and her etsy shop as well as she sells prints of her painted illustrations. I love the whimsy and color in her art! Definitely eyeing the mini bird prints!!

One of the first things I noticed about her art is her style. . .and how familiar it seems. Turns out, from my quick perusal of her blog, it looks like most of us have seen her work before—She seems to be an animator with Disney!
How's that for a job!?
Is it still considered a job when you're a creative for Disney??  :)

Anyway, Brittney Lee. Go check her out. You'll love it!

xoxo Lori Danelle

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Weekend Wedding

This weekend my Father-in-Law got married. It was a wonderful, laid back event hosted at their house amidst the hills and trees of Tennessee.
So beautiful!
And the weather!!
Seriously could not have picked a better day. It was 78 degrees with no clouds.

I really loved how relaxed everything was. The invitation said 1 o'clock, but when 1 rolled around, the groom still needed to get dressed!

Rather than hire a photographer, the couple asked a handful of family & friends to come armed with their cameras and snap away (as if you could have stopped me!!). It also gave me a good excuse to try out my new camera lens! I took my role very seriously and started a day early at the rehearsal dinner.

I'll try and stick to photos of people you know. :)


Little decided she was Papa's girl for the evening.

Once family started arriving from both sides, it was decided name tags were in order. :)




You've seen this little one before, but she was quite a bit smaller back then!

I didn't photoshop her eyes. Promise!! 

I think the sun was at that magical point in the sky though, so I'm sure that helped. :)

Those are some pretty blue eyes!!!
(I'm allowed to say that, right?)

The groom, or Papa Rob as he's known around our house.  :)

Days like that make me wish we lived out in the country instead practically down town! Well, living practically down town with kids makes me wish I lived pretty much anywhere else, but that's another story!!

Hope you're enjoying sunshine wherever you find yourself today!!!

xoxo Lori Danelle

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday!!


When did this itty-bitty, tiny, cuddly thing turn into this?????


Little Miss turned 2 this weekend. I have no idea where the time has gone! She's turning into such a funny, interesting little person, but Geez! I thought I'd have my baby for a little bit longer than this!!

Her party sort of morphed from a loose fish-y theme into Ariel. She found one of Big's Ariel dolls and sort of latched on, so it just made sense to go with it. However, I feel a little guilty to admit that I due to my busy schedule, I wasn't able to throw one of my usual parties. Even still, guests noshed on Sand Castle rice crispy treats, fish bowl jello & dirt cups complete with rocks and worms.


So umm. . .the "fish bowls" worked a whole lot better in theory. Make blue jello, pour in cups, add a swedish fish about an hour later and ta-dah! Only, the swedish fish don't hold up so well in jello. . .In fact, they become down-right gross. They looked a little more like dead fish. . .. I gave one a taste because after all, I was serving them to people, so I had to at least TRY them.


They were disgusting.
I spit it out.
And wiped my tongue off.

I think a better bet is to get plastic fish or something that you won't eat. Still gets the idea across and doesn't ruin perfectly good jello! (the jello in this case was fine, you just had to eat around the gross fish.)

To top it all off. . . I didn't make the cake. . . GASP!!!


This party was a lesson on letting go for me. :) Sometimes, a little less is really more important. And there will definitely be more parties that I can go all out on in the future.


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