Handmade Gifts: Friends’ Edition

Kevin and I are lucky enough to have some incredibly talented friends, and while I’ve shared favorite handmade gifts that I’ve made here on the blog before, I wanted to also share some of the amazing homemade treasures that we have been gifted over the years. In fact, I can’t believe this hadn’t dawned on me earlier! Wow there is just something so special about handmade. I feel so incredibly honored when someone gifts something unique and beautiful that they have spent time and energy creating just for me. I can’t think of a more special feeling.

We have lots of these treasures around our home. Here are a few that might inspire a little creative juice:

Handmade Gifts: Friend's Edition | PepperDesignBlog.com

Geometric candleholders: our friend, David is a contractor and is pretty skilled at working with wood. He made these beautiful votive candleholders out of chunks of a reclaimed slab that Kevin was using to build a bench for the backyard. They are probably one of my favorite pieces of decor in the entire house. That dark stain, the unique shape, the exquisite contrast between the white and wood, the unique imperfections in the wood itself that shows through. They’re beautiful.

Tools: leftover wood chunks, chopsaw, stain and a drill (for candles). Serious experience using a chopsaw since cuts are so angled.

Where to buy: David is starting up an Etsy shop of his own (and when he does I’ll be sure to share!) but until then, here is a similar Etsy artist.

Handmade Gifts: Friend's Edition | PepperDesignBlog.com

Pastel weaving: weaving is so popular right now (I’m trying to build up the courage to try my hand at it) and my very creative friend Cassie has been churning out some amazing work. She used to blog over at Kent Heartstrings but now sells most of her art via an Instagram popup shop.

Tools: diy loom (Cassie built hers with wood framing and nails), yarn, found wood (twigs, driftwood)

Where to buy: check out her Instagram shop.

Handmade Gifts: Friend's Edition | PepperDesignBlog.com

Watercolor home artwork: my friend, Trish has diyed most of her home and one of my favorites about her art is that almost all of it are originals by her family. Apparently she comes from a long line of talented painters! She created this beautiful watercolor of our home (which I will treasure forever) for us a couple of years ago. We now proudly display it in our living room.

Tools: watercolor supplies, a picture of your home

Where to buy: there are Etsy artists selling similar custom pieces (Trish should start a shop!), here is one.

A talented group, right? This will have to be part 1 because I can already think of more homemade gifts around our house that I’d love to share.

PS one of my favorite recent projects, another friend collaboration that resulted in beautiful leather necklaces.

Liv’s 4th Birthday: Edging Cupcakes in Sprinkles

Thanks so much for sending kind thoughts and words our direction. Everyone is feeling SO much better around this house and it’s a huge blessing! I was really hesitant to put Marley on any sort of medication, but seeing the effect of baby-sized zantec droplets and how much of the pain is eased on her little esophagus and belly is absolutely worth it. T’s temperature is gone and I’m feeling like a new human being :).

There were a handful of projects from Liv’s sparkly star 4th birthday that I was hoping to share here on the blog (before this happened!) and now seems like a good opportunity to revisit.

Liv's Sparkly Star Birthday Party | PepperDesignBlog.com

This might seem like the simplest little detail but I think it’s kind of a sweet detail. It’s sort of the opposite that I did here.

To make the stars (which are paper and perched on toothpicks) pop, I lined just the edging of the frosting in gold sprinkles.

Liv's Sparkly Star Birthday Party | PepperDesignBlog.com

I loved the idea for it but wasn’t initially sure how to execute. I searched around online, thought about rolling the edges… then just shaped the icing and carefully sprinkled on the sprinkles.

Liv's Sparkly Star Birthday Party | PepperDesignBlog.com

Liv's Sparkly Star Birthday Party | PepperDesignBlog.com

Liv's Sparkly Star Birthday Party | PepperDesignBlog.com

The key was LOTS of icing. Start with a huge pile of icing on top of each cupcake, and then flattening the top, create an edge all around the sides and repeat.

I attempted this to some degree with the cake and it was so challenging! Ended up very thick on the bottom and randomly scattered around the rest of the cake.

Liv's Sparkly Star Birthday Party | PepperDesignBlog.com

But now it’s sort of a cake puzzle that I must solve… Can’t wait to try it again.

The cupcakes were fun to decorate and I love playing with new techniques. It’s therapeutic. Will be sorting out the shortcuts and tricks for these guys, too. :)

Current State of Affairs

It’s been a busy and long weekend. Marley is fighting acid reflux, I went to urgent care Thursday night for a really bad case of food poisoning, came down with mastitis on Saturday (I read online that that’s nature’s way of telling you to Slow Down), T had a temperature last night and was up for a good chunk of it. Tired as I was I didn’t mind her ‘cuddle now?’ requests one bit. We cuddled and rocked, and while the flu is no good I get a little mushy for that sweet and extra huggable demeanor that accompany sick littles. We also had family in town which meant busy house but plenty of extra hands while I slept most of Saturday. This sort of infection just knocks you out cold complete with chills, aches and monster headaches. We’re on the up and up (yay antibiotics!) but not 100%. Keep our family in your prayers.

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