Craft Projects: Creating Cooper’s Nursery


Nick and I have been waiting a long time to meet our first baby, Cooper James Panetta. Since March, we have patiently gone through each day, week, and month, counting down the days, checking our weekly updates, visiting the doctor, picking up baby necessities, and checking off our to do list. Now, finally, tomorrow is the day we get to meet our sweet little boy.

The process of expanding our family took longer than expected and we hit more road blocks than expected. When the morning finally came when I saw two pink lines after much waiting, I was thrilled. However, similar to our journey leading up to this pregnancy, not everything goes according to plan. I have had some hard lessons in learning to let go and not get so caught up in “the plan.” I think it was meant to be this way to prepare me for the chaos of motherhood.

A few weeks ago we found out Cooper had a different plan for how he wanted to make his entrance into this world. He decided he liked his head resting in my rib cage, and he wanted to be breech. Despite multiple check ups and an attempt to manually flip him, he very adamantly decided to stay put. Because of this, we are scheduled for a c-section tomorrow morning, at 8:30 am. Tomorrow I become a mother and my life changes for ever, for what I know will be the best.

A natural part of planning for a baby is the nesting process, preparing the nursery. As an artist and lover of all things interior decorating, I was almost more excited about this than the baby in the beginning. After all, baby was going to take 9 months of cooking to get ready, I could start the nursery immediately. Last weekend the last item went into place, and his bedroom is complete. Now all we need is a baby.

The EntrywayHis room is located on the first floor of our house. I love that the first thing I see when I open his door is his crib. I can’t wait to go in, in the morning and see his sweet face greeting me.

Lucky for me I married a very crafty man, and he made the wood and metal sign with Cooper’s name on it. He salvaged wood from a home renovation down the street, a historic 1800’s home in East Lake, Atlanta, GA. It’s full of holes and character, exactly what I wanted to use for the base of the piece. We added some stain and paint, sanded it down, and finished it off with metal letters I ordered from Monson Metal Co. on Etsy. This piece was one of the first projects for the room, and the perfect decor to go above his crib.

I painted the room with a light, turquoise blue color, and a gray accent wall. The accent wall was a piece of cake to complete, even though it looks like a complicated process. I first painted all four walls turquoise, then taped off the thin stripe pattern using painter’s tape. After the tape pattern was complete and I made sure it was well stuck to the wall, I painted a layer of gray on top. Once the paint dried, I pulled the tape off, and touched up any rough edges.

The Room

I found the rug for a steal at I knew I wanted a large area rug to keep my feet warm for those late night feedings and for a soft surface for Cooper to sit, lay, play, and crawl on. The darker color will allow the inevitable stains to blend in and the light color pattern gives it nice contrast.

The Nursery

The crib and glider were purchased at Buy Buy Baby, the side table from Target, and the desk was a Craigslist find from college that I was able to repurpose in the room as a changing table.

Storage Unit

After months of searching for the perfect size storage unit to go under the changing table, I once again turned to my handy hub. I purchased 7 baskets at 50% off from Hobby Lobby and he built the unit around them. In a small room, with a small closet, and no space for a dresser, we had to get creative with our storage. This unit now holds Coopers diapers, swaddle blankets, socks, mittens, hats, toys, baby care, and breastfeeding supplies. I finished off the sides of the unit by adding pieces of the fabric used in his bedding.

The Details

In addition to my handy hub, I also have a very artistic and crafty mom. She volunteered to make all of Cooper’s bedding and we found beautiful geometric fabric at I first fell in love the with triangle pattern, I loved the blues, greens, and grays. This fabric set the tone and color palette for the entire room. After settling on the triangles, I found a beautiful gray weather vane pattern for the bedskirt. Although the bumpers will have to be removed when Cooper first comes home, I can’t wait to add them back in, in a few months

Etsy was my go to place when the glider finally arrived and I realized I needed throw pillows. My love of all things Harry Potter finally found it’s place in a “I solemnly swear I am up to no good” pillow from Ander’s Attic. Shortly after placing the order for the first pillow I found the “Boy: a noise with first on it,” pillow, and had to have it. It arrived quickly after I placed my order with HeSheChic, and I was able to customize the color of the ink and size of the pillow.

Wall Hangings

The walls are filled with decor made by Nick, Dekanimal (from Etsy), and me. The Cooper sign is exactly what I envisioned for the space and I love the modern, geometric animal prints contrasting the antique Cooper sign style on the opposite wall. My encaustic clouds piece hangs next to the glider and the my encaustic alphabet hangs on the wall next to the door.


Since Nick and I first found out we were pregnant in early spring, we have been collecting items for little man. Plush sheep were discovered by Nick on the app “Geek.” Handmade creatures were found in a tiny shop in downtown Asheville, and books have made their way from each of our childhoods to the bedside table.

New books, toys, clothes, and everything we need have slowly filled the closet, storage unit, side table, and changing table. Nick and I are truly blessed to have such amazing family, friends, and coworkers. Thanks to their help we are set and ready for Cooper to come home.

maternityCooper’s first pictures will find their way to a post soon. Until then, bear with me while I take a short hiatus from blogging and focus on rearing my first born. Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Get updates straight to your inbox by subscribing below and please share with others! Thanks for stopping by.


The Details

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2015 Marist Holiday Traditions


After a very successful year last year, I decided to once again participate in the annual Marist School Holiday Traditions art festival. Don’t miss this amazing event and opportunity to start your holiday shopping. The festival is opening this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Marist’s campus: 3790 Ashford-Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, GA 30319. There is a $3.oo admission fee, but it is will worth the cost!

I love this event not only because of the sheer size of it, but also because of the range of items they have available. Last year I shared an area with a few jewelry artists, a ceramist, glass blower, candle maker, baker, as well as the illustrator of the very famous book and holiday tradition: The Elf on the Shelf. I packed up Saturday afternoon with a lot less artwork, a little extra money in my pockets, and an assortment of purchases I couldn’t help but make as I hung out with these fellow artists for the day.





For this festival I will have my standard items, encaustic letter paintings, 6″x6″ silhouette paintings, and letter prints. In addition, I will also have some new encaustic collages, carvings, and other mixed media items. Items range in price from $10.00 to $850.o0. My set up will look much the same as it did last year (pictured below) but with some of my latest creations on display. Check out my Facebook page here for more updates with pictures on what I will have available.

marist craft fair

Find out more information about this annual event on their website here. I hope to see you this weekend! Thanks for stopping by.


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Visual Journal Page 14: Travel by Balloon

Visual Journal Page 14-Travel by Balloon

One day while on one of my random magazine image hunts, I discovered this picture of a beautiful, tropical location. I immediately felt envy towards the photographer who snapped the picture. At some point they were in this location, experiencing this sunset, taking in the smell of the ocean, changing colors, and likely warm, humid, tropical air.

When I discovered this image I had absolutely no plan for it. I simply felt drawn to it, which was enough to prompt me to tear it out and stow it away in my visual journal folder. A few months, possibly a year later during another fit of flipping through magazines on the hunt for interesting images I found the image of the blond hair, yellow bathing suit clad, balloon floating woman. Once again I felt a sense of envy and longing wash over me. I desperately wanted an excuse to wear a bathing suit, sit on a beach, and relax. In the midst of another chaotic school year I longed for the simplicity of beach life. In addition, I was struck by the balloon and the idea of traveling to my beach destination in an equally exciting fashion, by balloon.

As I began cutting out the image I remembered my discovery of the tropical location I longed to see. I dug through my visual journal folder until I rediscovered the beautiful scene. In my mind these two completely unrelated images were meant to go together. I want to travel to exotic locations… and I want to get there by balloon.


  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie
  • Book pages
  • Bleeding tissue paper


This visual journal page was a long time in the making because I needed these two images to come together to complete it. When I finally found their matches, I began piecing it together. I started by gluing the beach scene to the right side page using rubber cement. It wasn’t quite large enough to fill the page, so to fill the space I decided to overlap ripped out book pages and strips of bleeding tissue paper. I glued the tissue paper first, then place the book pages on top to show just a sliver of the green tissue paper peeking from underneath.

I decided to include the balloon model on the left page, rather than overlap the two images, because I wanted it to seem as though she was still in the process of traveling to the tropical location. When I cut out the image I made sure to cut right up to the edge of the model and balloon, to give it a clean look. Once the image was placed, I began filling the space around it with ripped up book pages and the same green bleeding tissue paper. By including the same colors and book pages on both pages, it helped tie them together despite the images being separated.

As I was filling the background, I decided to plan ahead and leave space around the model and balloon. I did this to create an area I could write text and make it feel cohesive with the collage, not an after thought. I used a skinny sharpie to write the text and made sure to vary the height and width to fully fill the space I left.


Create a visual journal page about your dream vacation.

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Visual Journal Page 13: Tape

Visual Journal Page 13-Tape

Our first home is what you would call “move in ready.” The previous owners renovated, updated, and painted every room using nice shades of neutral.

While house shopping it was nice to walk into a space I could visualize myself in. There was no off putting color, family pictures, or personal mementos to distract me from seeing it as my future home. This made me fall in love with the house from the get go and made move in extremely easy.

Neutral goes with everything. While some rooms weren’t perfectly painted to match my decor, there was no immediate need for a fresh coat of paint. This allowed my focus to be on organizing and finding new spaces for my much beloved furniture and artwork. However, after a few months, the neutral tones began to get to me.

It started with the kitchen. I decided I wanted a nice bold color, and tried out many shades of green until Nick found the perfect color with the perfect name, “recycled glass.” Read about that process via visual journal inspiration here. Next, I moved to the dining room, which turned from a lovely light gray to a very bright turquoise. After the dining room I moved to the “office” space and converted the gray-blue to a light green. I then tackled our bedroom.

I tend to be attracted to bright, bold, and graphic sprinkled with a layer of old, antique, and peely in interior design. Sometimes this combination works in my favor and other times it is a disaster. Because of my past experiences, I was worried about my latest venture. I wanted to paint five wide, horizontal stripes in my bedroom. Not only was the design bold, but I wanted to use a dark gray and a light gray, a strong contrast, in a small space with very odd angles. Our bedroom is essentially the attic, which means the roof line invades both our master bedroom and bathroom spaces. It was either going to look beautiful and impressive or like a fun house.

I spent an entire weekend measuring, marking, taping, painting, watching paint dry, re-taping, painting, and finally the big reveal.

I was instantly in love. The stripes highlighted the interesting architecture in our room without making me feel like I was at a carnival. It was a bold design, but the soft neutrals complimented it well. It felt like a spa, a place to relax, and I loved it.

What was most astonishing about the entire process was the amount of blue painters tape it required to create the stripes. I was left with a ball of blue tape that could barely fit into my kitchen trashcan. As I packed up my painting supplies and disposed of the mess, that giant ball of blue tape almost felt like a trophy, a representation of my hard work that weekend.


  • Visual journal
  • Rubber cement
  • Pencil
  • Colored pencils
  • Scissors
  • Wall paint


To create this visual journal page I decided to recreate the stripe pattern in my visual journal using the actual wall paint I used. I once again took the time to measure and mark out stripes, and filled them in with shades of gray. After completing the background I began brainstorming ways I could convey the time and energy it took to paint those stripes, and my mind kept drifting back to the giant ball of painters tape. I decided I needed to recreate it using colored pencil.

I first used pencil to sketch out the tape shape, a single stripe running across the top to create a space to write, and a large ball of tape. I made sure to twist and intertwine my lines to make it look more three dimensional. I used various shades of blue to create a sense of depth in the tape. I started with darker shades, filling in color where the tape lines overlap. I slowly build up lighter and lighter blues, and finally added white to areas that needed bright highlights.

I cut out my tape drawing and used rubber cement to glue it to the page. I used sharpie to write “tape” to finish the look.


Create a visual journal project about your most recent DIY project.

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DIY Shower Decor Project: Fabric Tassel Banner


To prepare for my brother-in-law and soon to be sister-in-law’s upcoming nuptials, Nick and I hosted a couples shower towards the end of summer. I love all the crafty projects that come along with hosting events, and the fabric tassel banner is one of my new favorites. See below for supplies and step by step instructions on how to make your own!

Tassle Banner Supplies

The supply list for this project is fairly short, which I love. All you need are a few different fabric patterns, scissors, twine or string, and something to use to hang it (tape, pins, etc.). I got a 1/4 yard of fabric for each fabric, except the burlap which I got a 1/2 a yard of. I ended up using burlap elsewhere for decor, so I estimate I used around a 1/4 of it for this project.


When I host bridal showers, I always try to align with the wedding colors. Sarah and Dan had a neutral color palette for their wedding, so I went with neutral colors for their fabric tassels. Rather than getting larger quantities of 1 or 2 fabrics, I got small quantities of 5 different fabric patterns. I wanted somewhat of a color scale, going from light to dark, white to gray to brown. I chose subtle colors and patterns, which fit with the rest of the shower decor and their wedding decor.

Before I started making the tassels I cut each piece of fabric into four equals parts. I ended it up cutting the burlap into slightly smaller parts, and ended up with five. I wanted to start and end with the burlap, and I liked having an odd number mixed in with all the even number tassels. Because the burlap is so thick, you can easily cut less of it and get an equally full looking fabric tassel.

After I cut the fabric up, I laid out the patterns and planned out the sequence of them.


Once I had the fabric ready to go, I began cutting them as if I were making fringe. First, I folded each piece of fabric in half. Next, I cut vertical strips, almost all the way to the fold line, but stopping about an inch before I hit it. DSC_2846

“Fringe” all your sections of fabric, then un-fold them and lay them flat.


Next, starting from one edge of the fabric, start rolling the fabric. If you have a pattern, make sure the pattern ends up on the outside.


After the fabric is rolled up, fold it in half, and tie the top with a piece of string or twine to hold it in place. Leave a loop at the top big enough to put string through it in order to hang it.


Continue rolling, folding, tying off, and stringing your fabric tassels until they are all finished. As you thread them onto the twine or string, make sure you maintain the fabric sequence, if you planned one.


If you want your fabric tassels spread out from one another when it is hung, use the excess string from tying off the loop of the tassel to tie the tassel to the string it is hung on. I placed about an inch of space between each of my fabric tassels. If you skip this step, you may have to make more tassels to create a full look. They tend to bunch together when the string is hung up.


Here is another recent fabric tassel banner I made for a friend’s bridal shower. Rather than keeping it all neutral, I introduced a dark navy color to match her wedding colors. The fireplace was polished off with tea lights in mason jars and their initials, found for just a few dollars each at Hobby Lobby, painted gold.

Tassle Banner

Hang your fabric tassel banner up and enjoy the fruits of your labor! I love the vintage feel it creates. I think it automatically gives any room a sense of festivity after it’s hung.

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