Home About Submit Advertise Contact

Happy Halloween!

Guess which one is yours truly?  This is one of my favorite pictures of all time! That year three of my cousins, sister, and I went out for a little candy grabbing together. Awww, such good times we had. I wish I could find a picture of my favorite costume of all time though- a 50′s girl! I loved the poodle skirt my mom made me so much I think I was a 50′s girl three years in a row. You’d think I’d have at least one pic from one of those years right? I have to hunt through the baskets of old school pics next time I’m visiting my mom.


Did you do anything fun this weekend to get into the Halloween spirit? I really enjoyed seeing everyone’s costume pics from this weekend’s parties. I think Mr. Oceanside actually wants to dress up next year after seeing all the creativity flowing around out there! This is one of my favorite days for social networking too since lots of family and friends will start posting pics of all my favorite little ones’ costumes just as the trick or treating commences!

p.s. Tell me- did you dress up this year? Or better- what was your favorite Halloween costume of all time?

Be safe out there and have fun!

DIY Yarn Wreath: Using Wedding “Leftovers”

DIY Fabric Flower Yarn Wreath Tutorial

So yesterday was my mommy’s birthday (her birthday tribute here) and I mentioned the DIY Yarn Wreath I made for her.  Today I have the easy step guide to making your own.  A few weeks ago while browsing Pinterest, I saw several of these crafty little things and thought- O.M.G. I have to try that!

Well…so of course my mom’s birthday was just a few weeks away and I knew I wanted her gift to be special, sentimental and somehow incorporate her recent Mother of the Bride role in my wedding as a “thank you” for all she did for me. So I was going berserk over what to get her and as soon as I saw the yarn wreath, I knew this would be the perfect gift.

AND because I’ve also been going berserk over what to do with all the wedding “leftovers” I still have sitting in my dining room- I realized I had the perfect “embellishments” already set aside! Most of you know, my mom and I sewed like 75 fabric flowers by hand (a future tutorial coming on those) and we hunted down a gazillion doilies for my wedding (btw-anyone need some?). So I knew I wanted to incorporate them somehow.

DIY Yarn Wreath Materials

Basic Materials:

  • Yarn
  • Styrofoam or Straw Wreath Ring (I used a 12″ ring but any size would work)
  • Wreath embellishments (buttons, fabric flowers, ribbon, doilies, whatever you want!)

From mine, I also wanted to add a hand stitched message so I bought:

  • Embroidery floss
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Embroidery needles (I used size 10)
  • Linen fabric (I used a very basic linen from Michaels)

DIY Yarn Wreath Instructions

Easy as 1, 2, 3…4!

1. Using a hot glue gun or another craft glue, glue one end of yarn to your Styrofoam wreath ring.

2. Begin wrapping yarn around the ring. Pull the yarn tight and do your best to keep the yarn close together. Try not to touch the yarn too much though because it can become slightly “fuzzy”. I was pushing or “scooting” the yarn close together a lot at first and noticed it was “fuzzing” up a little but probably not too much where one would notice. That’s just me being a perfectionist so I noticed.

3. Decide if you like it wrapped around once or twice. I knew I wanted a slightly thicker look so gave it a second wrap around with the yarn. This was the most time consuming part of the project. It took me about 2 hours to do two rounds of yarn. I just sat in front of the tube as my hubby watched college football one Saturday though so it wasn’t so bad. =)

4. Once you’ve wrapped the entire wreath, just add a dab of glue to the tip of the yarn and secure it to the wreath. Now you’re all set to add embellishments!

I also added a simple backhand stitched embroidered message. My mom has a whole craft and sewing room (yes, I get it from my mama) so I loved the idea of leaving the embroidered message in the embroidery hoop.  Thought it “added” to the overall look of the wreath. I first wrote with pencil (very lightly) onto the linen and just stitched over it with navy thread.

Hand Stitched Embroidery DIY Yarn Wreath

Honestly just trying to figure out the placement of all my goodies was a hard task. I’m an extremely indecisive girl and a perfectionist so I just couldn’t figure out for the longest where everything looked best. So I just picked up the flowers, doilies, and the hoop and moved them about before I found their perfect places on the wreath.

Fabric Flowers Yarn Wreath

Thanks to my hubby, he helped me create the final “design” or I would have been moving embellishments around for hours. Lol. Once I was happy with the placement of everything, I started hot gluing the pieces down to the wreath.

DIY Yarn Wreath Tutorial

Ta-da! Here is the finished wreath again. I added a bow to the top and looped my hoop with some yarn through the bottom of the bow to hold it in place.

DIY Fabric Flower Yarn Wreath Tutorial

Some fun facts behind the embellishments…

Fabric flowers:

  • Navy flower & ribbon- because that was the color dress my mom wore
  • Yellow flower- the same fabric my mom’s fabric corsage was made out of
  • Blue & coral fabric flowers- were two of my mom’s favs out of all the flowers we sewed (we actually used about 10 different fabric designs)


  • We used doilies at each place setting (with a fabric flower placed on top of the doily) and my mommy helped come up with the concept

Embroidered message:

  • Lyrics from our mother/daughter dance “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler

Overall, I was happy with the way everything came out.  I was sooo excited I could use some of my wedding “leftovers” and make a very special gift out of it. I’m thinking of pretty much duplicating it all over again and making one for myself!

Go ahead and pull out your goodies and think creatively about what you can remake out of them. I know there is so much you could do with those left over teal colored napkins, tea light candle holders, mason jars, or chalkboard signs! Before selling them or giving them away, think first about keeping just a few and do something with them that you can display in your home to remember your special day or give away as holiday or birthday gifts to your loved ones.

I’ve already bought a few more different colored spools of yarn and buttons for my next yarn wreath gifts! I have a few special ladies in my life celebrating their 1 year wedding anniversary and first home. And the holidays are coming up soooo…

Did you turn any part of your wedding day goodies into some form of new home decor or maybe even a gift? Or do you see a little bit of yarn wreath making in your future?

Mother/Daughter Dances & Birthday Love for Mom!

That is the DIY Yarn Wreath I made for my mom recently and gave to her as a birthday gift. And yes folks, the easy step guide is coming tomorrow!

But today you get to meet the wonderful birthday girl behind the wreath inspiration. This my friends, is my mentor, my hero, my gorgeous ma…

Mother of the Bride

Another year goes by that I am not able to spend the day with her, but I’ll celebrate her from afar. Without her I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. Her faith, nurturing ways, unconditional love, drive, work ethic, strength and independence gave my sisters and I the foundation we needed to be good, strong women and wives. And for most of my younger days, she did alone as a single mom.

There were times I might have been a snappy, ungrateful, and bad mouthing teenager, but I finally get it. I do. I have a greater appreciation and understanding now of all the sacrifices she made and worked so hard to provide for us. And the four of us girls (with one set of twins), everything we saw or touched we needed of course. Despite us being demanding, moody, hyperactive, and always getting into something new {and not always good}, she still loved us unconditionally with all her heart and soul and let us know it.

I feel so blessed as I recount all those years she comforted us when we were sick, bathed us and forced us to brush our teeth when we didn’t want to, taught us to ride a bike and tie our shoes, brushed my big and crazy hair, made so many dinners after a long day at work, and after I didn’t make the cheerleading squad in 8th grade, wiped my tears away, turned up the radio, and blasted Des’ree’s song “You Gotta Be”:

Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers, they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears
Stand up and be counted
Don’t be ashamed to cry
You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold
You gotta be wiser, you gotta be hard
You gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm
You gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day

Mother of the Bride

Just like in the photo above, there have been so many times when she was in the “background” and let us shine. Always so proud of our accomplishments. She celebrated BIG when I did make cheer in 9th and again later when I made the dance team.  She never complained about dropping off or picking up my sisters from choir practice and was the proudest mama at their school performances.  She got up extra early every morning as all good moms and dads do to make sure we got up on time, had everything we needed and were dressed and felt good before every first day of school, before all our homecoming dances and high school proms, and finally again on our wedding day as the Mother of the Bride.

I honestly never imagined what I wanted my wedding day to be like. I didn’t have a favorite flower or dress style. I didn’t know what I wanted my ring or cake to look like. The one thing I did know for sure though, was the song I would one day dance to with my mother. I knew ever since I was little that it would be “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler.

The song is about who and what my mom has always been for me- the wind beneath my wings. I changed the “my” to “our” in the embroidered message (quote) from the song for her wreath (no it wasn’t a typo, lol), because she’s carried a lot of us along the way. Over the years as a mom, sister, aunt, friend, and healthcare professional who’s worked with sick and well children for almost 30 years, she’s let so many of us have “our” moment.  Always doing what she can to make our moments count and wanting so badly for our dreams to come true. That’s what makes her happy.

See, she was even my seamstress on my wedding day. =)

Mother of the Bride Wedding

But it is she, who is the superstar in my world. I know I probably don’t tell her often enough how much I appreciate all that she’s done for me, but I pray hard that she knows it. I tear up every time I think about dancing with my mom on my wedding day. It is one of the highlights of my entire wedding experience and will be a moment I cherish in my mind and close to my heart for all my life.

Here’s to wishing my wonderful mom, aka “Ma” a great, big, happy, happy birthday!

I love, respect and admire you more than you’ll ever know.

“Wind Beneath My Wings”

It must have been cold there in my shadow,
to never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that’s your way.
You always walked a step behind.

So I was the one with all the glory,
while you were the one with all the strength.
A beautiful face without a name for so long.
A beautiful smile to hide the pain.

Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I’ve got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.

Did you ever know that you’re my hero?
You’re everything I wish I could be.
I could fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

Did I ever tell you you’re my hero?
You’re everything, everything I wish I could be.
Oh, and I, I could fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

New Etsy Shop…The Secret’s Out! {Mel’s Monday}

I know it seems as though (occasionally) I’m M.I.A. but I’ve been here all along behind the scenes working on a few personal projects that I’m hoping you’ll love. And one is ready for me to “officially” share with you today!

Well word is out on the streets that I may have a new Etsy shop eh? Well…it’s true! And I couldn’t be more NERVOUS and excited to share with you lovelies the little store I recently launched called Oceanside Designs!

I finally tapped on my creative streak’s shoulder and decided to join forces with it again (after bottling it up for a few years) and do something fun! I’ve always enjoyed giving gifts with personalization- think engraving, embroidery, scrapbooks, etc…and anything with lots and lots of pictures! After my own tea party bridal shower, I wanted to thank my sister for all her time and efforts she put in to hosting such a memorable event for me and of course the other awesome women who shared a role in making my wedding day extra special, better known as Jacin and Steph. =)

So during this “what the heck am I going to give them” conundrum, it dawned on me that all three of these special ladies were newlyweds! And rather than having to keep their wedding photos tucked away in an album or stored on a DVD, why not be able to display a few more of those bad boys on a daily basis?

Enter personalized ceramic tile photo coasters! Using ANY photos from weddings, engagements, parties, birthdays, world travels, you name it- I can personalize coasters, magnets, trivets or ornaments. And of course these make a great wedding favor or gift idea too, no?

Here are a few samples…

Wedding Favor or Save the Date Magnet:

Black & White Photo Coaster Save the Date Magnet

Personalized Save the Date Magnet

Personalized wedding favor coaster set. Of course these can include names, dates and/or location. If you’re having a destination wedding, why not take photos of your wedding location or city and turn them into a single coaster wedding favor or set of four coasters with the destination location and year for guests to take home as a keepsake?

Personalized Wedding Favors and Gifts

Personalized Wedding Favor Magnets

Save the Date Magnets (or ornaments)! Personalize your favorite photo(s) with your names and wedding date.

Newlywed Holiday Gift Personalized Photo Magnets

Custom Save the Date Magnet

Wedding photos of the newlyweds would make the perfect “First Christmas” holiday gift! Remember, we can work together to design something awesome like adding text (ie. names or a year) for extra personalization.

Photo Coaster Bridal Shower Gift

Personalized Photo Coaster

But these aren’t just for newlyweds because you can celebrate anyone of course. Collect photos from parents, grandparents, and friends and surprise them with their own set. Wouldn’t a “timeline” set be awesome? Imagine a set of 4 or 5 coasters with a photo from the couple’s wedding day, one from their 5th year, 10th year, 20th and so on? Hmmm…gives me another project idea!

Black and White Photo Coaster Set:

Black & White Photo Coasters Wedding Gift

Black & White Wedding Photo Coasters

Personalized Photo Coaster Set:

Personalized Engagement Gift Photo Coasters

Personalized Christmas Gift Picture Coasters

And of course there are those adorable pics you forced your pets, Bonnie and Clyde, to take!

Pet Coaster and Pet Trivet

Just a few ideas these make perfect gifts for:

*Thank You
*Wedding Favors
*Save the Dates

I have to tell you, my husband (ps. I love saying that word) and I own a small network of online stores so “selling” products is old news. Don’t get me wrong, the day we made our first sale was such an exhilarating feeling. But there is something very different about designing and putting an item together with your own hands- and sharing it with someone else. And because I work so closely with the people behind the photos, I get to hear their stories and share in their experiences, especially if they are giving these away as a gift. That is the part I love the most and am scared of the most- wondering and hoping that the person on the receiving end loves them too…or at least that it makes them smile.

Well hoping to put a smile on your face or someone else in your life, I’m offering you all (my extended family and always supportive circle of online buds) a little discount for your pre-holiday shopping. Use coupon code 15OSB11 until November 30, 2011 for 15% off!

It would be an honor to make something special for you. =)

Sooooo whatcha think? A great idea or bomb idea? Well I guess that could both be good options depending on how you consider the word “bomb.” Ha!

« Older Entries