{inspire} crafty wonderland

Happy Monday friends! Did you all have a good weekend? My super long weekend was so relaxing and fantastic!

I've been noticing all the gift guides around blog-land this morning! I love reading gift guides. I always end up with ideas for gifts and ideas for myself :). I'm not going to put together a gift guide, mostly because I don't presume to have any idea what's cool for the holidays. But, I might share MY wish list, just for fun. Today, though, I wanted share something very dear to thus Portlanders heart: Crafty Wonderland.

Do you have craft fairs where you live? I LOVE craft fairs, and Portland has so many during the holiday season. Of them all though, Crafty Wonderland is my favorite. They feature the best of the best in handmade gifts and each year I spend hours exploring and meeting artists at the show. This year is even more amazing in Crafty-land because they opened a pop-up shop for the holidays in downtown Portland. Last week I popped over to check it out, and it was completely outstanding. The merchandise displays alone are worth the trip, if you're in the area. 

But I know a lot of you are NOT in the area. So I thought I'd share with you a few wonderful stores/artists I discovered on my trip to the pop-up shop. Now you can visit their websites and be delighted as well!

Neapolitan Printing Co.
I love these chocolates. So adorable. And, would make such a great stocking stuffer! Or a great addition to a quirky family Christmas photo. They also make completely delicious-looking truffles. Yum!

Rachel Austin

Okay, I didn't just discover Rachel Austin last week, but I couldn't NOT post about her. I completely love her work and am dying to buy a one. Actually, now that we're talking about it, I'm not sure why I haven't yet! The RVs are new and I'm adore them.

Polly Danger

Polly Danger's iPad cases are so adorable. She has a plethora of great fabric choices and I think they really lighten up the look of technology.

Old School Stationers
I first went crazy for Old School Stationers when I saw one of their works in my friends kitchen. So, I was delighted to see them at Crafty Wonderland this year. Go check them out friends. Their art is cheery and all around just fun.

What artists/stores are you loving this year? Please share in the comments so we can all check them out! :)


{create} pie crust cookies + happy thanksgiving!

Hello friends!

Today I have a special treat to share with you. I am in the middle of making pies (pumpkin and banana cream, per family tradition) for a big family dinner tomorrow, and I wanted to share with you an awesome way to use up left over pie dough. After you've gone through all the effort to make pie crust, it's sad to throw any extra away, so why not turn them into little pie crust cookies?

It's so easy! Simply roll the extra pie crust to about a 1/4" thick, and use cookie cutters to make shapes. Coat with a cinnamon and sugar combo and bake at 425 for about 10 minutes. I just threw them in with my pie.

After 10 minutes, you get these wonderful, flaky, buttery cookies. Plus, they are also great for decorating your pie crust. I have these little leaves lining my pumpkin crust. I love it when something so cute and festive is so easy!

With that, I'd want to wish you of you who are celebrating a very Happy Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for all of you who stop and read this blog on a regular basis. It's crazy how much fun I have reading your comments and visiting your blogs :). So THANK YOU ALL!

I'm taking Friday off to hang with my family, but will be back on Monday with some great gift ideas. Because, you know, I really can't think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. :)


{create} an alternate pumpkin pie

Is Thanksgiving really this week? It has completely snuck up on me this year and late last week I realized that I hadn't even begun to think about pie! Because, as a gluten and dairy free household, pie is always tricky. But, being Thanksgiving and all, it's necessary. Friends, stay with me here. I tried a new pumpkin pie and, gluten or no gluten, it's so good.
We see a completely rock-star naturopath in Portland, and as if reading my mind, she sent out an e-newsletter last week filled with great holiday recipes. Including, a gluten and dairy free pumpkin pie.

So of course I had to give it a try. It's not a typical pumpkin pie, in that it has a cookie-based crust, which I love, but had never tried on a pumpkin pie before. It was so good. It added a new depth to the pie that was awesome. I have the cutest mini pie dish, so I halved the recipe and it was perfect. For the two of us, we really don't need a whole pie.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe


  • 6 1/2 oz. Gluten-Free Ginger Snaps (enough to make 1 1/2 cups cruched)
  • 5 tablespoons organic butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
Pie Filling:
  • 1 1/2 (12 ounce) packages extra firm tofu
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin or cooked pumpkin
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a food processor, pulse cookies until crushed. Melt butter on stovetop over medium heat and mix in honey. Pulse together with the crumbs and add the salt.
  3. Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie dish. I like to use a measure cup to help with this. It makes everything very evenly pressed. Bake until crust is fragrant and edges are golden, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool completely.
  4. While crust is cooling blend tofu in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Pour into prepared pie shell.
  5. Bake for approximately one hour. It seems done when a toothpick inserted comes out almost clean. It will continue to firm up as it cools. Keeps well in the fridge.
  6. Enjoy!


{renovate} rustic garden cabinet

Happy Friday friends! Are any of you as ready for the weekend as I am? It's been quite the week! Today I'm going to share another before and after with you. This is for my *rustic* gardening cabinet. 

Late last spring, Chris came home with this cabinet. A friend of ours was throwing it away, so Chris, knowing oh so well how I love abandoned furniture, brought it home. It was a too rustic in all the wrong ways when it arrived.

But really it did have a lot of potential. It was filthy dirty, and structurally needed repair though. As you can see in the picture above, besides being gross dirty, it was missing trim pieces. We sat on it for months debating the extend we wanted to update it. Finally, one weekend I decided to paint it gray, just in the meantime. I was sick of the gross white paint. (Note: I am the most impatient person when it comes to *talking* about what I should be doing. I'd much rather just start a project already!) I even mixed my own gray out of paint I already had because I didn't want to spent money!

So I went to work with the gray. And when I finished painting the gray, I went with a complete whim and taped out and painted chevron. (Note to self: take pictures during projects, EVEN if you don't think it's going to work!) I didn't use a stencil. I didn't even measure it out. I just taped a simple chevron  pattern and painted. I really liked the result, but it was just too .... clean. I know, right? How does a piece go from too dirty to too clean? 

Do you guys read Design Sponge's Before and After basics? Barb Blair does an incredibly great column about furniture painting and finishing techniques. Around the time I was painting this, she had posted about wax finishing and I, loving the look, had bought a can of dark wax. So I used a sander to distress the entire piece and then went over it with dark wax.

The end result was LOVE.

As you can see, I really took a sander to it. It is way more distressed than I usually like my stuff, but it just fits so well with the character of the already old and imperfect cabinet.

I love how the wax muted the bright grays and really gave it the weathered, antiqued look I wanted.

At some point we still might upgrade the structure, but for now, I LOVE that I have rustic gardening cabinet. It holds all my tools and pots perfectly and it will coordinate really well in the finished back porch. If we ever get there, that is. :)

Have a great weekend!


{create} apple muffins

I consider myself so blessed to have grown up with an amazing Grandmother. This woman was sheer inspiration. Her husband died when my mom was in middle school, yet my grandma worked full time, kept a beautiful home and most importantly, kept the family together.
Growing up, ALL family holidays were spent at her house, where she would spend days prepping elaborate and wonderful meals. Okay, the carrot jello salad might that appeared at every holiday meal might be the exception. The best part though? She was an amazing baker. She always had fresh baked goods in her house, and she is one of the main reasons I love baking so much today.
When she died a few years ago, I ended up with her recipe book.  Even though this was such an amazing gift, I'll be the first to admit that it's really hard to read her handwriting!
It's so interesting just to flip through the book. It's literally falling apart (as you can probably see!) from her overuse. But it's filled with such lovely recipes, I can see why it was overused.One of these years I want to bake through it. Doesn't Cardamon Biscuit Bread sound interesting?
This past weekend I took a turn at my grandma's Apple Loaf. My mom raves about it, and I can see why. I turned mine into muffins, and they were so moist and so flavorful and tasted completely of fall. Yum!
Apple Loaf Recipe 
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup flour (I used 1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour + ¾ tsp. xanthum gum)
  • ½ cup nuts (optional)
  • 2 large or 3 small apples
  1. Grate or chop apples.
  2. Combine flour, nuts (if using), salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg and beat until incorporated.
  4. Add apples. Mix.
  5. Add flour mixture to apple mixture. Combine, but don’t overbeat.
  6. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes for a loaf. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes for muffins.
  7. Enjoy! 
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{renovate} ALL the before and afters

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend!

Well things at A Home In The Making got a little crazy this weekend! It's been bothering me for awhile that all the work we've done in the house is stuck in the blog archives -- and not easily accessible for me or YOU! So, I set about remeding that issue.

Check out the right sidebar and you'll see our brand new page: {inspired} our house.

When you click on the link, it takes to a before and afters of the house, room by room. I scrounged through all my archives to pull pictures of each room.

There are all the before pictures. And some are embarrassingly bad! But that's the point, right? It makes the afters so much more fun! :)

There are the *after* pictures.  It was so. much. fun. looking through the afters to see how far we've come. Of course, there isn't a room in this house that is DONE done. The afters represent the room as of right now.

And, in case you're interested in the reading more about our renovating adventures, I've included related links for each room. 

I'm so excited about this new page! It's so easy to get discouraged and overwhelmed when you're trying to update an entire house. Both Chris and I agree that pulling all these into one spot was really encouraging. And, makes us feel like we've come along way! I'll be updating it as we continue to work our way through beautifying the house. 

So tell me, what exciting projects did you embark on this weekend!?  


{create} ampersand wall art

A few weeks ago, Kate Spade announced their new London pop-up shop. Of course, it's all gorgeous. But I especially love the gallery wall, below. There's just so many great things to look at: mirrors, flowers, vintage boxing gloves.

The piece that really caught my eye though, is the pink ampersand. Isn't that just awesome? I wanted to recreate it, but knew I needed to add my own little twist.

Enter, awesome chevron fabric:
I've been dying to use this great blue chevron fabric since I bought it a couple months ago.  This was the perfect project to pull it out for. I also like how the coral fabric really pops against the light blue.

And, it really pops against the wall. As I mentioned in the shelf styling post, I've been looking for great homemade art, and this is my favorite so far. The great part is you can use any letter or symbol, and it would be cute. Plus it's crazy easy! Like so easy that you should all make one. This weekend :).

I made up an ampersand pattern, which you can download here. The pattern includes the ampersand I used, plus another ampersand that I also think would work well.

The technique is simple. Cut a piece of background fabric to whatever size you'd like. Trace ampersand onto contrasting fabric and cut out. Pin to background fabric and then trace on your sewing machine with a straight stitch. 

And with that friends, I wish you all a very happy weekend!


{inspired}: oregon crush

After I posted my new awesome Oregon artwork last week, I got to thinking. I have some serious crush on Oregon. I used to take it so personally when I lived on the east coast and people wouldn't even know where Oregon was. (Which, by the way, how does that happen? Isn't that something you need to know to graduate middle school?) I can't decide if I'm completely weird (probably), but Oregon, and Portland especially, does illicit very strong opinions both from residents and visitors. Of course, I also spend 10 hours a day promoting Oregon, which probably influences me more than a little. :)

 I've mentioned before that I think design is highly personal. I think this is the overwhelming factor in my obsession love of all things Portland and Oregon. So many memories -- mostly good  and some life-changing amazing -- are rooted here. I think surrounding ourselves with a few pieces that remind us both where we come from and far we've come is a good thing.  Besides, how can you NOT love a place whose citizens proudly proclaims, at every opportunity:

I've been finding lots of state and city artwork lately. And, not just Portland and Oregon art. So maybe I'm not crazy? I thought I'd share a few of my favorites, just in case any of you out there can relate!

This is just adorable! Made by love, california, the pillow comes in most states.

Although sold out right now, these maps by Best Made Company are ridiculously amazing. There are a few states, cities and Canada! The are currently sold out, but are releasing more this month. I will be first in line.

This piece, by CAPow!, is great because it plays into my obsession with Portland AND my love of maps. Perfect combo. I love how it looks vintage and the conversation hearts are a cute touch. It comes in a variety of cities and convo heart sayings.

I have been loving this piece for two years! Typography makes me melty. And I don't say that about a lot of things! I just need to buy it, I think. It's an Ork Poster, and they have a lot of different cities.

This is quintessential Portland. This sign has been gracing the Portland sky line for as long as I can remember. In December, they light the deer's nose red. Cute! Sadly, the building it sits on has changed owners, and the new owners want to keep the sign, but change what it says. Boo. I need a picture of the original for my house. For old time's sake. This picture was found at Vintage Roadside.

I love this image from Abby Try Again. This is Portland St. John's Bridge, which is just down the street from my house. I never wanted to live in this neighborhood, which is too long of a story to bore you with get into today, but I am so glad I did. I know Chris and our awesome little house have a lot to do with that, but this bridge will always remind me of our time spent in this house.

What about you guys? What places do you have a crush on?


{inspired} Hatch Show Prints

I love unplanned adventures. Chris and I purposely under plan vacations because the chances of spontaneous (and a lot of the time more memorable) adventures increases when we spend less time on a schedule. One day, on our recent trip to Boston, while having lunch near Boston University, we saw this poster across the street. Chris wanted to go check it out because it looks strikingly similar to a tattoo a friends of ours just had done.

What we found a Hatch Show Print art exhibit. Oh friends, it was amazing! Have you heard of Hatch Letterpress? Neither of us had and we both agreed it was the coolest thing we saw in Boston. We actually spent a couple hours in this little BU gallery.

Hatch Show Print, located in Nashville, is one of the oldest print shops in the U.S. They were letter pressing  posters in 1879! The company began as an advertising company, but is really known today for its concert posters. In fact, as you'll see from the website, Hatch is actually a part of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The show, part of the Smithsonian's Art of the Letterpress series, featured a wide variety of posters and, my favorite part, actual letterpress blocks.

We weren't allowed to take pictures in the museum (sad!). And, I tried a few times. But we were the only people in the museum and it was really obvious. Luckily,  there is a  this flickr stream with photos from other shows!

Hatch actually does a few different types of posters.
There are Advertising posters:

Large wood block prints:

Monoprints (which were so awesome!):

And of course, the famous show prints. These are my favorite, I think (every time I look I find a new favorite):
 All these are more *current* and found here.

 We came home with a little souvenir! This is the official BU show poster. I ordered a frame for it this weekend and am so excited to find a place for it in our house! 

I also love that we came home with this small post card. The food letterpress print was both of our favorites, so it's fun to have a little sample of it.

I learned a few things from this show. 1. I want to go to Nashville, just to take a tour of this place. 2. I want more Hatch Letterpress posters! 3. I want to learn letterpress :).