rainy weeekend

Well this weekend was pretty soggy, but I think we still made the most of it. Friday, we celebrated a birthday with an old friend and caught up with a new one.

Saturday, I was supposed to take engagement pictures for friends Nate and Erin, but the weather had other plans. So instead, I purchased some new craft supplies, went to the puppy store to play with puppies (yes, I’m in love) and worked on a puzzle! I love puzzles. An embarassing amount.

On Sunday, we had our annual outing with Emily and Victor to Kuiper’s Family Farm¬†although our departure was delayed a bit since the tornado sirens were going off. It ended up raining on and off quite a bit, so we spent most of our time perusing the huge barn store. ¬†Then we went for our annual dinner at Acquaviva Winery.

All in all, despite the constant dripping to torrential downpour, we had a pretty good time! I love having Mondays off to recuperate from busy weekends…

a few snaps from the weekend

e & v

This past weekend was wedding of my sister-in-law Emily to Victor. It was beautiful, earthy and natural. As soon as the official pictures are finished with editing, I’ll be sure to post more. In the mean time, here is one by the photographers (and Kev and Emily’s cousin) Rebecca Ingland:

And here are a few more glimpses of some casual pics taken by me, Kev and the MOH Ashley:

ceremony backdrop

ferns, chalkboards and milk glass details!

Victor's homemade mustard favors

oh there's us

And one stormy tree from the long/rainy drive home:

Seriously can’t wait to share more from this wedding because it was so.freakin.awesome.

For real.


burlap table runner

I made a new table runner! I wanted a burlap table runner that I could dress up or down and use for holiday decorations. I especially like the way that burlap looks with fancy glass (especially mercury glass). So I wanted to make a table runner.

Enter the problem. If you’ve ever worked with burlap, you know that it shreds all over. Which means that it looks great for a one-time event (aka wedding, dinner party) but will not stay together long enough for any other use. I needed a way to hem it. Obviously, traditional hemming would be ok, but I wanted something a little dressier. But I get ahead of myself.

First- buy some burlap the length of your table plus 6-12in on either side to hang off the table. I went with about 6in but if you like a longer tablecloth, make it longer. Then decide what width you want. Mine is about 14inches wide. It’s really just a matter of taste.

Here is the trick with burlap… it can kind of get out of whack rather easily and if you just cut, your table runner will end up looking super uneven. So, starting at one short end, decide where you want to make the cut. Then, pull that single string that runs parallel with the runner. Make sense?

Find the string. Pull.

Keep pulling as it gets scrunched up until the entire thread is pulled out.

This creates a perfect guide. Just cut in the space and then you’ll have a totally straight cut.

Ok so, instead of hemming, I decided I wanted to use trim. I picked out double-fold seam binding in a matching color. If you wanted to, you could use a decorative ribbon or even a contrasting seam binding, but I wanted it to be used for anything.

I folded the seam binding over the edge of the runner and hot glued it securely. (That’s the no-sew bit… if you really wanted to, you could sew the seam binding on. It might be faster… but you’d have to get your machine out…)

So I found it easiest to just glue on the back side, stick the burlap down and then glue the other side down. It helped to keep the lines straight. The corners I folded like the ends of gift wrap so they weren’t too lumpy.

All in all, the project was really simple AND really cheap- (two of my favorite things!) I like how it turned out and I especially like it with my autumnal pumpkin display.

carp hunters… or why my brother is cooler than yours

Well… in this modern day and age… a lot of people find themselves in the spotlight for a brief moment: their 15 minutes of fame. Well my brother’s 15 minutes is probably way cooler than most others.

All of our lives, we have been water sports enthusiasts in my family. Tubing, kneeboarding, wakeboarding and water-skiing were popular Hoffman family pastimes. Carp hunting was created by my brother and his friend Nate, when the Asian Carp, which is an invasive species of fish, starting filling up the Illinois River. It wasn’t safe to do watersports anymore without getting nailed by these huge, ugly, jumping fish. So, they started wearing armor. Then using weapons. And the whole thing evolved into this madness.

Their youtube videos (which you can watch here and here) capapulted them into semi-fame in the cyber world, which led to phone calls and offers. Last night, it came to a culmination when they were featured on this show:

Zac has always been pretty extreme/crazy/ridiculous. And now he’s finally getting a small payoff for an extreme lack of fear.

Zac suiting up for battle

This was on my favorite scenes from the episode:

All in all, this has been a hilarious experience for my family. To us, this is just Zac being Zac. He’s always made up ridiculous games and lived a generally dangerous lifestyle. It’s fun to watch others get to see this crazy side and of course, it was fun to watch my dad hoot and holler so loudly that no one else could hear the tv.

I don’t know how long they keep the episodes up for, but as of now, you can watch the full episode here. (The part with the carp hunters doesn’t start until about 10 minutes in…)

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did…