Category Archives: Crafty

612 Brew

Over the past couple years Minneapolis has seen a surge of local breweries and I feel inclined to try them all. A couple weeks ago 612 Brewery was on the docket for exploration. I checked out their website, gathered some friends and made plans to meet on a Friday afternoon.

My first thought– “Holy smokes… this could be dangerous… I live in walking distance… bring on the warm weather!” My second thought was “slow your roll sister, let’s make sure you like the joint first”. Sometimes I can get ahead of myself.

Anyway, I arrived around 4pm on a Friday to find the place bustling and filled with energy.





The Stanley’s food truck was parked outside and already had me lusting. Then I checked out the beer list– serious decisions to be made, and boy did they make it difficult. Lucky for me, I had all the time in the world. So why not try a few!?





I just couldn’t get enough of her!


Though all of the beers were delicious in their own right, my favorite by a landslide was the Main Stage. Just as the description stated, the caramel had me falling in love. Slightly hoppy without being overpowering this was just the right balance for my palette.

The vibe and the energy in the brewery was awesome. I hope that at some point mother nature will decide to wake from her Tundra Slumber and give us some warm weather. A great feature of 612 (besides the killer crew) is a large garage door that I can just imagine being thrown open with seating outside for those hot days when all that could possibly quench your thrist is a cold 612 brew. Without a doubt, this is one of my new favorites in the Twin Cities. If you have not been #1 you are crazy #2 get your butt over there ASAP!


Find out more about 612 @

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“I been hangingaround this town…”

My first… hanging re-do 

A few months back a girlfriend of mine came over to help me paint my room a sweet shade of gray; Porpoise to be exact. Well since then, I have had nothing hanging on the wall. Nothing. After great searching I found things I already had around the house, and a bright white can of spray paint.

Here’s what I was working with…

After a few coats of spray paint here’s what I ended up with…

Tonight was the night for the hanging. Armed with a ruler, hammer, nails and a light colored Sharpie, all of these beauties were hung with care.

I made sure to include some fun and favorite items of mine– the top right frame houses a beautiful note from my mom on a gorgeous card she got in Hawaii, a wine charm also from my mom (too pretty to gift) and lastly on the bottom right a photo I took in a past photography class.

On the other side I have showcased a brightly colored envelope, a picture of me walking on the beach in Cozumel, and a to die for necklace my dad bought me on our recent trip to Kauai.

I am absolutely thrilled with the outcome. I love the simple clean lines and it serves as a reminder that beautiful things can be created from items you already have; often it ends up meaning much more.

Happy re-doing!!!

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Better to be found than lost (in this case)

My first time… at Found Things

This killer antique store is nestled in the heart of Des Moines’ East Village. Being a rather frequent visitor of other Des Moines area vintage and antique stores, I was surprised I had never been here, and even more surprised that my out of town relatives have been here multiple times. Where was I? Nonetheless, I was thrilled to browse around this little gem.

The store was bright, cheery and filled to the brim with history and treasures for all. Following suit with the other out-of-towners in my family, I will most certainly be making a stop here whenever I am back in Des Moines.

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PB and Oreo MASH UP

My first time… making stuffed cookies

Tonight I have a book club meeting. Thus, last night I found myself wandering the aisles of Target wracking my brain trying to figure out what to make. Then it donned on me– stuffed cookies. Rachael Ray just had an entire article last month devoted to the sweet treats but of course I could not remember any of the recipes off the top of my head. So, I went with one of my favorite combos, chocolate and peanut butter. Follow the steps below for your own decadent cookie, and yes, it really is that simple!

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Chair with my name on it…

My first…love affair with a chair

I love furniture. I love designing and decorating. And I am in LOVE with this chair! But at a whopping $238 I just can’t justify this purchase. It’s the structure. It’s the color. It’s the whole package, I am in love!


So I am on the look out for one of a similar design to put my own colorful touch on! Until then I lust and visit this chair often!

B is for….

Day 95: Something yellow 

B is for … birthdays, beer, baseball, buddies, books, brothers, boobs, Beastie Boys, babies, bracelets, butterscotch, Bali, bum, bulldog, booger, and BACHELORETTE which I am going to watch right now!!!! YEA!


(so it’s not all yellow but you can’t worry about the details ALL the time, right?!?!)

“I like to do drawerings!”

Day 50: Something you drew

I must admit that I am what some might refer to as a “doodler”. On the phone, in meetings, writing; any time there is open space on a page, I am constantly doodling. More often than not it is stupid little pictures, funky written words, or abstract nothingness. Sometimes… it forms some semblance of a “picture”.




Day 44: A hobby of yours

When I was in high school I started “The Red Book”. The book was a large empty red sketchbook that I would write, doodle, sketch, create collages, and do whatever suited my fancy in. In many entries my heart is pouring all over the page while on others there is a simple theme. “The Red Book” has been through many life changes and experiences with me, and has traveled ’round the world. I have since completed the book, and purchased “The Black Book” although I only have one page in it; I think I am going to have to get some creative juices flowing and starting filling it.

past & present

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, makeing mistakes and having fun.”

Mary Lou Cook

Go with the grain (& Day 41)

My first time… re-doing a dresser (or anything for that matter)

As you can tell from my “something embarrassing in your room” photo I was in DIRE need of a dresser. So after weeks and weeks of searching I found just the right project at one of my favorite thrift stores.

Solid Little Guy

I was attracted to this piece because of it’s shape; clean lines and solid build; not to mention solid wood. I was pretty set on sanding, re-staining, and replacing the handles. I knew that my mom had done many re-finishing projects when I was younger, and was excited at the opportunity to do the same.

Here is what I needed in order to get my project underway– coarse, medium, fine grade sand paper disk, and fine steel wool


And don’t forget  about the power tools!

Mr. Sandman

I began by wiping down the entire dresser, and removing the drawers

gleaming (yucky finish)

Time to remove the hardware

getting better and better

Make sure that you keep all the parts together; should you choose to use them again. I put all of the hardware in a flower pot for safe keeping.

screws & handles

After removing the hardware, I started the sanding process; which proved to be a little daunting. When I first began I did not realize the importance of applying even pressure to the sander– if even pressure is not applied then even sanding will not occur (who knew?).

even... even...even

not so even

Obviously the first round of sanding didn’t go so well. I was glad that I learned this lesson early on so that I could go back and re-do this section before I moved onto others.

Much better

The sanding was a tedious process as each piece needed to be sanded with coarse, medium, and fine sand paper. No worries though, the work is worth it! After all the sanding I used the fine steel wool to smooth out any rough spots.

Steel wool....bahhhh

The results were beginning to show


looking better

Once the steel wool was run over the entire piece I wiped down every nook and cranny with a wet rag in order to remove any remaining steel wool and dust.

oooohhh... ahhhh

The wood grain really started to shine, and made me more exciting for the staining process. BUT before you start any staining, make sure that the wood dries… completely!

After drying (I left mine over night) let the staining begin. I opted for a Brazilian Mahogany

Wooooo Eeeeee!

I made sure to purchase a staining brush and followed the directions on the can by applying one thin coat and allowing full drying before a second application!

In the meantime I continued the progress of the dresser by tackling the brass handles– I know, I know, I said I was going to replace them but after falling in love with their shape I opted to at least ATTEMPT to bring them back to their glory. I purchased Twinkle brass cleaner ( I couldn’t find Brass-O) and went to town. Here was the first one… can you tell the difference between the left and the right?


The more I scrubbed the more beauty was revealed—WHAT A DIFFERENCE!


Once the handles were cleaned and shined, it was time to complete all the finishing touches. Once last swipe of fine steel wool was needed to even out any blemishes left behind by the stain

almost.... drum roll..

Once the last swipe of steel wool was complete, I cleaned off the dresser with some Pledge and screwed the drawer pulls back  into place. I could not be more pleased with the outcome!

can't wait to fill it up!

No I have no excuse when I comes to leaving my clothes overflowing in laundry baskets. I also have greater perspective as to why my mom enjoyed re-doing furniture so much; while it take some time and effort it can be so rewarding. Not quite instant gratification but pretty darn close. I must admit that I am really proud of this piece and can’t wait to do some more!

Day 41: A photo of a family member

I am blessed to have a number of nieces and nephews– this little lady was the first, and she has my heart!

in the pjs


Inspector Collector (Day 31/32)

Day 32: Something you collect

While it may seem odd to some, I love, love, love collecting lanterns. Old, new, shiny, rusty, glass or steel each one suits my fancy. Here is just a taste of some of the illuminators!

"...light up my life..."

Day 31: A photo of yourself today


Currently working away on a weekend project and it has been quite the undertaking. Don’t worry, photos and details to come!