Craft Alliance Makers Ball

Just a few days ago, there was a wonderful event held in St. Louis called Makers Ball. This was an evening from Craft Alliance Center for Art + Design that celebrated makers and the power of craft. One reason I’m such a huge advocate of Craft Alliance is because they support the arts … which is too quickly disappearing in the educational world our children are raised in today. The proceeds from this event helped support the exhibition series and education programs at Craft Alliance and in turn, helps give new life to the crafters and arts in the communities around us.

Craft Alliance’s mission is to provide education and inspiration to a community of artists, student, collectors and overall art enthusiasts, nationally. They do so by offering free classes for both children and parents, supporting and showcasing artists’ work and encouraging those who collect art.

I’m lucky enough to be a few blocks away from one of Craft Alliance’s locations on the Delmar Loop in STL and think it’s a great opportunity for those anywhere, but especially in the STL area, to get involved creatively.

Makers Ball was just one event–there are so many other fun and crafty ways to ignite your creative juices with Craft Alliance. Here are some of the awesome highlights and best dressed from Makers Ball.

Best Dressed

Abida Farooqui & Yasmin Hakim

Abida Farooqui & Yasmin Hakim

Grace

Grace Kubilius, Craft Alliance Fiber Artist-in-Residence posing in front of her interactive panel weaving for auction at Makers Ball.

Jackie Chambers

Jackie Chambers, Craft Alliance Director of Development and Communications

Makers Ball Highlights

Grace & I

I was able to take on Grace Kubilius’s interactive weaving up for auction.

Featured Artist

Featuring handmade art, glass blowing.

Featured Artist

Craft Alliance featured artist, creating pottery.

Makers Ball

Shots of a packed house at #MakersBallSTL this year

Makers Mark

Bartender displaying Makers Mark, an event sponsor

From her collection, "Oh How I Love You," Grace Kubilius showcases her wearable arts of love at Makers Ball

From her collection, “Oh How I Love You,” Grace Kubilius showcases her wearable arts of love at Makers Ball

If you were unable to attend Makers Ball, you can donate here or sign up for a class here!

Afterwards, the husband and I were able to enjoy one of our favorites in STL, Central Table in the central west end. We got to enjoy their outside patio this time in the perfect, evening weather! A few foodie shots from our dinner as well:

Central Table

Central Table

Clover Sushi Roll

We started off with the Clover Sushi Roll

Lamb

Lamb Tortellini

Pork

Ginger Crusted Pork

Patio Seating

Visit Central Table on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook at @CentralTableSTL

#HE is proud to team up with ALIVE Magazine to promote Craft Alliance Makers Ball and Central Table.

5 STL Mother’s Day Ideas

IMG_2807

1. The Ritz-Carlton offers a Mother’s Day Weekend Saturday Tea
At Saturday Tea, May 9, the Ritz-Carlton Chefs offer an event to honor mothers. With a decadent menu of mini-sandwiches, scones, sweet treats and a plethora of brewed teas, Mother’s Day Saturday Tea is relaxing, classy idea for a STL Mother’s Day gift.
The cost for this event is $49, or $39 for a cream tea experience (includes tea and scones only). Reservations are required and can be made by contacting 314.863.6300,–extension 433. To find out what other Mothers’ Day events are available, visit the Ritz-Carlton site.

2. Brunch at the Missouri History Museum’s Bixby’s

Bixby’s brunch will include locally-sourced ingredients for some of the gourmet favorites on the menu. There are three brunch opportunities on May 10–10am, 12pm and 2pm.
The cost for this event is $34.75–children are $16. Reservations can be made by contacting 314.361.7313, and more information can be found here.

3. Laumeier Sculpture Park Art Fair

From May 8–10, Laumeier Sculpture Park will host its annual art fair, offering moms and families several artists to check out along with activities and events everyone can enjoy. A Mother’s Day brunch presented by Whole Foods will also be held during the art fair on May 10 at 10:15am and 11:45am. Other special activities include Art of the Vine and Art of the Ale.
The cost for the art fair is $10–children ages 6–11 are $5. For more information or to find out more about the events and activities, visit Laumeier Sculpture Park’s site.

4. Get Crafty with CBS St. Louis’ Homemade Mothers’ Day Gift Ideas

Sometimes the best gifts aren’t bought, they’re made. Here are some simple, fun and crafty ideas for the little ones to contribute and create something special for mom. Check out CBS St. Louis’ Homemade Mother’s Gift guide.

5. Take a Photo or Make a Video for Mom around STL or right at Home

If getting crafty isn’t your–or your kids’–thing, why not use all the wonderful modern technology and city around us to your advantage? Take photos throughout the city or make an awesome video to show how much you care. There are even contests online that can honor and give mom some well-deserved recognition! A contest I recommend right now is one that shows appreciation for federal-employee mothers. This year, Harris Federal is hosting a “My Mom is a Federal Hero” Video Contest for Mother’s Day, where children can make a short clip explaining what their mom does at work and why she’s a “federal hero.” The winner receives a free Amazon Mom membership and a $1,000 Amazon gift card; two runner-ups also win $100 Amazon gift cards–both awesome Mother’s Day gifts!
For more information or to enter the “My Mom is a Federal Hero” Video Contest, click here. Deadline for this contest is Friday, April 24. Voting begins April 24 and runs through May 4. The winner will be announced on May 6.

 

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

Terrible Twos Photography

My daughter is constantly taking photos with our phones, and some of them are pretty interesting. So, I thought it would be fun to start an ongoing segment called “Terrible Twos Photography” in which you can view the world from a two-year-old’s perspective.

Today’s photo:

Gamer

Day 4 of Countdown to Oliver: Make Something

sew

I originally wanted to take a sewing class for this list item, but the next one available here at Jo-Ann’s isn’t until mid-July. No worries, I’m signed up! But in the meantime, I want to create something for Oliver. I decided on sewing my own ring sling.

No pictures yet; fabric decisions and purchasing will be made tomorrow. I will update this post then!

Instructions (directly from the Maya Wrap site actually, which is nice of them):
Maya Wrap instructions

Items needed:
2.25-2.5 yards of fabric (fabric without a “wrong” side since both sides will be visible)
Two metal or nylon rings (extremely sturdy is important)
Sewing essentials (needle, thread, etc.)

Total cost:
$16 for 2.5 yards of fabric (I went to Jo-Anns and found a sale but I would recommend Hobby Lobby for cheaper fabric plus this 40% off coupon!)
$3 for thread
$3 for 2 sling rings (although I’m going to go ahead and order a $4 pair from SlingRings because they’re thicker and more sturdy)

The Countdown List:

1. Create the segment “Countdown to Oliver” and make list
2. Make a hospital bag
3. Create a baby registry
4. Prepare the baby’s space
5. Set-up pediatrician visit/appointments
6. Install the car seat
7. Pampering day
8. Prepare birthing plan
9. Wash shower curtains, rugs and sheets
10. *Reader’s idea* Virtual gift-opening
11. Finish an art project
12. Finish a book
13. Create an exercise regimen for the final 4 weeks
14. Make something
15. Have a special mom and daughter day with Ella
16. (Re)organize files and paperwork
17. Finalize plans with the OB
18. Prepare for visiting family
19. Cleaning day
20. *Reader’s idea* Clothe diapering
21. Meal prep (frozen meals)
22. Write a letter to the new baby
23. Design birth announcements
24. Date night
25. Invest in post-baby clothes
26. Clean pumping and feeding items
27. Take a class
28. Clean the carpets and floors
29. Stock up on toiletries and groceries
30. *Reader’s idea* Put feet up and rest

Day 12 of Countdown to Oliver: (Re)organize Files and Paperwork

Files

Today’s topic, reorganizing files and paperwork, not so interesting but definitely helpful if you need to get organized. We did have a fun, eventful Father’s Day weekend. So, I’ll talk about both in this post.

For organizing files and paperwork, I have a great Pinterest find from Simply Fabulous Living. I’ve had a system in place that’s similar, but her breakdown is more specific and I also implemented the color system she uses.

Basically, you get a bunch of files and a file holder box (I won the file-holder we use from thirty one gifts; it’s called a Fold N’ File). Then, you label a folder for each item you can think of and color code it based on its overall category (example below).

I would also suggest keeping your files in a lock box or safe (fireproof if possible), so no one else can get ahold of them or if there were a fire, they could survive. It might also be wise to give the lock combination to a close family member or friend in case anything were to happen. 

This is how we categorized our files:
Important Documents [red]

  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Driver license/passport copies
  • Education records
  • Social Security cards
  • Voter registration
  • Will
  • Vehicle title

Money [green]

  • Income tax info
  • Stocks info
  • Retirement info
  • Children college fund info
  • Credit card info
  • College loan info
  • Other loan info
  • Insurance info–renter’s, car, home, medical, life, etc.
  • General bills info and receipts–electric, water, gas
  • Bank account info
  • Donation/personal business deductions

Household [yellow]

  • Home and vehicle receipts, info (tires, maintenance, etc.)
  • Project receipts/budget
  • Furniture/electronics’ manuals, receipts and warranties
  • (If renting) Copy of lease, payment receipts, before/after pictures of rented home/apartment, any other paperwork
    (trust me, doing this has saved me from a landlord trying to wrongfully and dishonestly screw me over once–completely worth it, do it!)
  • (If own/making payments on your home) Copy of deed, real estate info, agreement paperwork/receipts when purchased, etc.

Health/Wellness [blue]

  • Immunization records
  • Medical and health insurance info
  • Child one’s medical records
  • Child two’s medical records
  • Dental records/receipts
  • Chiropractic records/receipts
  • Veterinarian records/receipts

Other [purple]

  • Volunteer info
  • Organization info/memberships
  • Certificates, certifications, awards

 

And Father’s Day weekend consisted of…

dinner

Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful fathers out there! 

The Countdown List:

1. Create the segment “Countdown to Oliver” and make list
2. Make a hospital bag
3. Create a baby registry
4. Prepare the baby’s space
5. Set-up pediatrician visit/appointments
6. Install the car seat
7. Have a pampering day
8. Prepare birthing plan
9. Wash shower curtains, rugs and sheets
10. *Reader’s idea* Virtual gift-opening
11. Finish an art project
12. Finish a book
13. Create an exercise regimen for the final 4 weeks
14. Take a sewing class and make something for the newest babe
15. Have a special mom and daughter day with Ella
16. (Re)organize files and paperwork
17. Finalize plans with the OB
18. Prepare for visiting family
19. Cleaning day
20. *Reader’s idea* Clothe diapering
21. Meal prep (frozen meals)
22. Write a letter to the new baby
23. Design birth announcements
24. Date night
25. Invest in post baby clothes
26. Clean pumping and feeding items
27. Take a class
28. Clean the carpets and floors
29. Stock up on toiletries, diapers and groceries
30. *Reader’s idea* Put feet up and rest

Day 30 of Countdown to Oliver: The List

I have 30 days left until my due date, June 26. Now, I know it’s highly unlikely Oliver make his appearance right on his due date; however, considering I still have several projects and random things I’d like to get done beforehand, I thought it’d be fun to do a “Countdown to Oliver” segment that includes something specific to do each day up until he makes his appearance.

There will be three slots in the 30 days where I’ll pick a *reader’s idea* of preparing to bring home a newborn and do it. So, leave your ideas in the comments below!

This is a list, in no specific order, of all the things I’ve thought up thus far:

1. Create the segment “Countdown to Oliver” and make list
2. Make a hospital bag
3. Create a baby registry
4. Prepare the baby’s space
5. Set-up pediatrician visits and appointments
6. Install the carseat
7. Have a pampering day
8. Prepare birthing plan
9. Wash shower curtains, rugs and sheets
10. *Reader’s idea*
11. Finish an art project
12. Finish a book
13. Create an exercise regimen for the final 4 weeks
14. Take a sewing class and make something for the newest babe
15. Have a special mom and daughter day with Ella
16. (Re)organize files and paperwork
17. Finalize plans with the wonderful OB
18. Prepare for visiting family
19. Cleaning day
20. *Reader’s idea*
21. Meal prep (frozen meals)
22. Write a letter to the new baby
23. Prepare announcements to send out after birth
24. Date night
25. Invest in post baby clothes
26. Clean pumping and feeding items
27. Take a class
28. Clean the carpets and floors
29. Stock up on toiletries, diapers and groceries
30. *Reader’s idea*

Upcycled Woodworks

This is a review for Upcycled Woodworks:

 
5 out of 5 stars 

Coffee TableI was sent a beautiful, handmade coffee table as a wedding gift that I’d registered for on Etsy from Upcycled Woodworks. They specialize in custom pallet wood furniture and decor for your home. Really beautiful stuff.

Unfortunately, either someone during the delivery process or some lowly person moseying by our home decided they would rather take our 50 lb packaged coffee table for themselves. So, a couple weeks after it was supposed to arrive, we were left wondering, “Where is it and why is it taking so long to get here?”

After contacting Upcylced Woodworks, we realized it was showing up as delivered, so I went into detective mode calling FedEx to fight my way through transfers from person to person to person and ridiculously long amounts of waiting in between. After being told something different from every person I talked to and never once receiving a callback from any person who promised one, I eventually dug up the info to call our local sorting facility and had them contact the driver. He said he was “100% positive he delivered it to the correct house”, so the only thing FedEx would do after that was say the sender (Upcycled Woodworks) had to file a claim and take care of it on their end.

When I relayed this info to Upcycled Woodworks, they interestingly enough had been told the EXACT OPPOSITE by FedEx and could barely get anyone to return their calls as well. So after over a month, between myself and Upcycled Woodworks, having to stay on top of FedEx weekly and sometimes daily, they were finally able to get their claim approved, reimbursed and send me a new coffee table.

This story is important to my review of Upcycled Woodworks because most businesses (and even people) that I know wouldn’t have dealt with this difficult and tedious of a situation. Regardless of how long it took or how hard it was, they still got it done and went out of their way to make sure I received the product I was originally supposed to receive. They even threw in a free set of wood pallet coasters, even though none of this was their fault by any means.

I really respect when a business shows they care about their customers. And to top it off, they’re a small, personal business that makes their own items, which are absolutely beautiful, custom and fairly priced.

Definitely check them out for some new home decor, furniture or even a unique gift idea now or in the future.

Upcycled Woodworks

This is a picture of our awesome custom coffee table (before the trough was decorated) with a wood pallet coaster in the corner. Click to visit Upcycled Woodworks’ shop!

You can visit Upcycled Woodworks’ shop by clicking the links or picture above.
You can visit Upcycled Woodworks’ Facebook page here.
You can read other reviews on Upcycled Woodworks here.