And the winner is...

Friday, April 18, 2014


Sarah P!

Thanks, everyone, who entered the giveaway, and be sure to look for another next month. In the meantime, if anyone is interested in becoming a Sponsor of Elm Street Life in May, there are still slots available! Just email me (whitney @ for more info or visit the Sponsor tab

Thanks again for all your entries, and to all of my sweet Sponsors this month!

My first magazine!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Several months ago, a craft magazine in the UK contacted me to ask if they could feature my bow clutch sewing tutorial. I jumped at the chance. I've always dreamt of being published in some capacity and was thrilled for the opportunity (and especially in the UK since I've been addicted to The Great British Sewing Bee.)

Soon after I submitted the new and improved version of my tutorial, I learned that the magazine had been cancelled. Thankfully, another magazine picked it up pretty quickly and it feels like the perfect fit for their inaugural issue!

See that yellow bow clutch she's holding on the front cover? I made that. I'm not even going to act cool about it, like that happens every day. I am so excited!!!
So if you're in the UK (do I have UK readers out there?), you can find Love Sewing magazine on newsstands on April 20. As part of my contract, I've agreed to remove the tutorial from the blog for a few months - but I promise it will be back! In the meantime, please check out Love Sewing magazine for the new and improved version of the tutorial. I couldn't be prouder of how it turned out (they've made it so lovely!) and I can't wait to hold my very own copy.

Thank you for making this tutorial so wildly successful. Since I first posted it in February 2012, it has received over half a million unique visitors from around the world and thousands of you have made this simple clutch. As I was tediously photographing each step in my pajamas, I never ever thought it would be so popular. Thanks, too, for supporting this new and exciting endeavor (a magazine!), even if it means you won't have access to the tutorial for a few months. I so appreciate your support, and please keep checking the blog for new tutorials to come. They're definitely in the works.

My heart and my walls.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I used to waltz into friends' homes where children's artwork was plastered all over the walls and squint my eyes and think, "Really?" A family portrait by a 3-year-old that looked like a pack of monsters. A tawdry tie dye flower. A spelling test with a bright red A+ in the top right corner. It all felt so tacky to me. I understood hanging a drawing or two with a magnet on the refrigerator door, but on the walls? No thanks.
Well, times have changed and so has my smug heart. I'm becoming that mom. Or perhaps I've already become her.

Every little twig Liam brings me from the yard... every pebble he drops in my hand, I want to keep it all forever. I guess I just want to keep a part of him forever. Him at every stage. I understand now what those sweet moms were possibly grasping for: for time to stand still. They wanted to savor a little piece of their children at each age, and the closest they could get was to save something that their little hands and minds created.

Liam is undoubtedly my greatest masterpiece. And whatever comes from him - even very abstract, drippy watercolors - is just so beautiful to me. Perhaps that's why grandparents are so enthralled with their grandchildren. What causes their children joy brings them so much joy, and I can't help but think God must feel the same way when He sees us doing what we were created to do.
When I pulled out the watercolors today, I had low expectations. Liam's attention span at 17 months old is about 20 seconds long, so I was shocked when I looked up at the clock and we'd spent half an hour with the paints. Granted, some of that time was spent sucking the paint off the end of the brush. But still. I will always look at these paintings and remember the intense look on his face as he pushed the brush across the paper, and how it softened into the purest smile when he knew I was proud.

When we finished, my first thought stunned me a little: "I have to frame these. I have to."

Oh Liam, what have you done to your mama's heart and her walls? It's clear you've left your indelible mark on both.

April 2014 Sponsor Giveaway!

Monday, April 14, 2014

I'm excited to be able to host a sponsor giveaway on the blog today! Here's what you have the chance to win:

This wallet from The Ruffled Stitch:

Three cards of your choice from The Piecemeal Shoppe:
Two soaps, a lotion, and a lip balm from Jen's Simply Soap:
This devotional book by Sally Lloyd Jones (from me!) because I can't recommend it highly enough:
Here are several ways to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The giveaway ends at 11:59pm on Thursday and I'll announce winners on Friday morning! Good luck!

17 months.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

On some days (especially when they involve a full-out tantrum at Dollar Tree when I wouldn't let him carry off a tube of glitter hair gel), I need to remember just how beautiful he is. How sweet. How his smile lights up a whole room and every corner of my heart. And because this blog serves as a family photo album of sorts, these posts get tucked in here and there.

These photos are nothing artsy, but they're just so perfectly typical of our boy at 17 months. If I had one word for him right now, it would be winsome. He is a joy giver, at least for his parents, who ask each other by the hour, "How can he be so wonderful?!"

Oh, and this delicious hair of his? Shawn says I'm fully to blame if teenage Liam can't believe we let it get so long when he was a toddler. But how could I put scissors anywhere near it?! Poor boy... people might be asking about our "little girl" soon enough.
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