Indah Hand Dyed Pillows

Indah Hand Dyed Pillows by EMILY ALDER

Sometimes I think I should have renamed this blog ‘things I did before twins”.

You know, the age-old I can’t remember what life was like before kids. Well this would be more along the lines of look at all the things I did before twins. And now I am trying to do them again.

With the twins are approaching their fourth birthday, I’ve been able to set a schedule and slowly get back to work on some of my hobbies. I am in the process of restoring one of my grandmother’s antique claw foot chairs and wanted to order some fabric samples. While perusing the web, I fell in love with this Hand Dyed Indah Batik X’s fabric.

This fabric along with the amazing new line from Justina Blakeney are just gorgeous and I got seriously excited to get my hands on all of it. I was gifted a Singer sewing machine a couple of years back and have planned to break it out and make some handmade holiday gifts. So with a dust off I pulled it out and tried to get back in my groove.

Once the fabric came I knew immediately I wanted to make a couple of pillows for our bed with it. I’ve been on the all white and linen with some indigo stage for a while now and even though I’m not breaking with color, this was definitely something I was excited to add.

Finding my rhythm with the sewing machine, pinning, and cutting fabric was COMICAL. I was all over the place and made a complete mess. I swear the kids were laughing at me like I was losing it. I had some serious bobbin issues, but with some patience and re-threading, I was able to get it together.

A standard pillow case is really one of the most basic patterns and was the perfect way to reintroduce myself. Here is a simple tutorial you can use.

The few additions I would recommend is taking advantage of are folding the raw edges and edge-stitching and at each beginning and end doing a small back-stitch.

Happy Sewing!

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GIFT GUIDE 2017: FOR THE HOST

We are an avid Amazon Wishlist family, and while I love being able to pick out items our family wants and needs, I really love spending time on friends. Gifting with my gals, aka ‘hosts”, is one of my favorite gift giving plans because it reminds me of a relationship I have cultivated. I love the idea of gifting back to these ladies who give me so much each year. These are just a few of the items I’ve had my eye on and stay tuned for another perfect host gift to come!

  1. Food52 limited edition matte black petite rice cooker. So okay little cast iron pot you are the cutest. But also, I despise how finicky cooking rice in metal is. Whether pot or cooker, I love the idea that I can easily cook up some rice in this pretty but functional piece.
  2. I know this is on trend, but agates have been a large part of my life since I was a child. My parents home is covered in discovered and purchased rocks and they had agate coasters LONG before they were trendy. So finding this piece is some serious gold. Can you imagine stacking all kinds of yummy cheese and charcuterie goodness on top of that? I AM SO IN.
  3. The perfect follow up to the beautiful agate slice is a cheese grotto. First, because whoa it’s a thing and it’s pretty. But it is a pretty thing to store your cheese in and that is what dreams are made of. SOLD!
  4. Oh spoons, you fickle utensils. The one utensil we are always low on is spoons. With kids and coffee and tea and basically, all the things, we fly through our spoon supply on a daily basis. The idea of having these cute gold spoons to stir my coffee each morning would make it just that much better. Also, kids, keep your hands off!
  5. These cups are not only my go to for water and wine, the are totally functional, dishwasher safe, and are modern in the best way. Did I mention they are a part of Williams and Sonoma’s Open Kitchen line that makes them more than affordable? Seriously, you can’t say no to these babes.
  6. I know Pantone just released their color of the year (insert cringe) but grey is my color of the year every year. These Anthropologie fringe napkins are just a fun way to liven up a gift. I wouldn’t give the set, but wrap gifts in them so make them extra special!
  7. ROSEWATER AND COCONUT. Paddywax, you never disappoint. This candle smells like fresh flowers and the beach and I will never have enough. Also, the simple white geometric pattern works with everything. In all honesty, this is my go to and I always have friends raving about them. 4
  8. An authentic Indigo lumbar pillow. This gift is what you give a real friend. The Indigo ages and softens, it will always find the perfect spot in any home, and it’s my favorite pillow. Why not gift your friends your favorite thing, am I right?

GIFT IDEA: BAR KIT FOR HIM

GIFT IDEA: BAR KIT FOR HIM BY EMILY ALDER

One of my go-to gifts for my husband and father is a nice bottle of Irish Whiskey or Scotch. It’s something that I know they enjoy and something that can bring us all together around the table or in the hot tub.

While I love the idea of a simple go to gift, it’s nice to liven things up a bit so I recently put together a DIY Bar Kits that was a little more personalized. A nice Irish Whiskey (Tullamore Dew is Matts favorite), a flavored soda or syrup, ice mold, muddler, metal straws, and some fresh fruit to garnish it off.

Basically, a spinoff of the Moscow mule, this kit provides the majority of ingredients for a Irish Mule. Our Irish mule recipe usually goes a little like

this:

2.5 oz. Irish Whiskey

Ginger Beer or Ginger Syrup with Soda Water

Juice from one lemon, lime, or tangerine

Stirred over ice

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