05.18.15Sunday Show (this is a loooong post)

Today instead of Sunday Sew I decided to do a Sunday Show… you like how I did that, eh eh? Ugh I am so lame. Moving on ha! We are in the midst of selling our home so I am super swamped trying to keep it spotless for showings, wrap up the school year with all the activities and testing AND work on some new fun exciting patterns that I have been dying to get out (yay for hiring a grader!). I thought I would share a little walk through our home with keeping in mind these are not at ALL my normal artistic style photos that I would do for the blog but the actual photos that are on the listing. Now some of you may be saying “Um, Kelly, didn’t you just BUILD and move into this house seven months ago?” Why yes, yes we did, and we LOVE it. The issue isn’t the house at all, the issue is a major change in life goals that Chris and I decided while we had a week to just talk talk talk talk talk until we passed out in Aruba a month back. I remember one day running to several different play dates, to Costco, then the grocery store, then to karate then to irish dance then back home where I made dinner cleaned the house did homework, bathed children, read stories (we just finished The One and Only Ivan and just started Wonder and love both) and then fell exhausted onto the couch. I sat there on my own and thought: “If I could have my dream life what would it be?” Now don’t get me wrong I adore my kiddos and would never ever change being a mom for ANYTHING on earth. I would however change the way I feel at the end of these crazy chaotic days. I have felt pretty disconnected from the world around me because I feel like I am ALWAYS running. Run here, run there, hurry hurry hurry, spend spend spend. It was something that I did not feel in either Timor (for the super obvious reason that there was literally no where to go) nor in Paris (where they cherish mellow meals and do not believe in over scheduling their children). I promised myself that I wouldn’t get caught back up into it when we moved back but somehow once here I started telling myself that if my kids weren’t in Karate, Irish dance, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, scouts etc. that I was somehow short changing them and was a bad parent. I got TOTALLY sucked in to the busy parent vortex. As I sat on the couch on that exhausting night I thought if I could be anywhere I would be with my family a big plot of land in some little old town in Europe, more specifically either Ireland or France. I then thought, if that is what my dream is why on earth aren’t we working towards that? Why in the world are we buying yet another investment home in a town we never plan on living in again? This started the discussion with Chris about where we want to end up when we retire (we have zero intentions of leaving the foreign service we both love Chris’s job). We both are the type of people that when we dream, we dream big. So a new dream was concocted on the sunny island of Aruba and we have slowly been making changes to someday reach that goal. Now, there are some big things that will make this end goal easier for us then it is for most. For starters I am an Irish and by extension EU citizen, and we are in the process of getting said citizenship for our kiddos. This means that all of us will be dual EU and US citizens. This also means that all of us can own property in the EU with no problem and no horrid red tape. Without this there are lots of different and some times extremely tedious hoops you would have to jump through depending on the country you are wanting to buy in. Secondly Chris and I and the kiddos are really used to living abroad so there are none of us (currently) who feel like it is a HUGE overwhelming change, and a few of us speak French pretty well (wink wink). Lastly and most importantly, I have a crazy supportive husband who, luckily, suffers from as much wanderlust as I do (we blame it on our genes after reading THIS study). Is this happening over night? In the next ten years? No. The end goal will probably not be reached until Chloe is off to college and Chris has retired from the foreign service, so we are talking 15 years at the earliest. Will it be worth the wait? My bet is heck yes it will. I now find myself daydreaming about my grandcuties coming to stay with us at our Irish farm house or old French manor and being able to swing on tree swings and run for acres. Can I wait 15 years for a dream this big? You better believe it! I will only be 49 in 15 years. That’s still pretty young if you ask me! So to make a short story looooooooonnnngg a house in Herriman doesn’t fit into some of the steps we have decided to take to get us to that end goal. Do I regret building the house? Not for a minute. I have loved every second in this house and am actually hoping we are able to sell it to a great family instead of watch renters slowly tear it apart. So now if you have read that entire rambling tangent from my usual sewing talk here are some fun pics of our current home.

Let start with the boys room. They have all the same bedding they had in Paris that I got at the ikea there. The only bummer about them is the fluffy soft duvet’s are European size so a few inches smaller all the way around so I can only use them in the future with European duvet covers. So even though I am fairly sick of the ABC I am not about to spend money on two new down comforters and covers.


The stag head is a cardboard one that I papier mached with pages from thrifted French books. I also glued the map paper to the “EXPLORE” letters. The rug and hanging baskets are Ikea. The bunk bed is a hand me down I painted.


The giant school map is a score I got at a farm sale in Maryland right before we moved to Paris. The clocks are set to SLC, Kabul and Sydney. We had that tressel table made for the boys before we left East Timor, as well as the frame hanging above it.


I love how HUGE the windows in our house are. I mean don’t get me wrong I didn’t love it when we were buying window coverings but MAN do they let the light in. The boys have a large walk in closet that actually has a little secret passage that goes through to the walk in closet in the guest/ my old sewing room. (The metal shelf is Ikea, the head dress we bought at a party store in Paris).

Next to the boys is the girls room, which aside from the master is the  biggest room. Our original plan was to have the girls in the bedroom that was attached through the walk in closets through the tunnel and have this room be a play room. Then we moved in and realized how few toys our children have these days. The boys have legos, the girls a play kitchen and dress ups (and recently added knock off AG dolls). I did not need this much room for a sewing room so it went to the girls. Their closet is ridiculous in size and even has a large window in it.


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The girls bedding is all from Land Of Nod  except for the red striped pillows I made from tea towels I bought in France. The striped blankets we all LOVE and are from West Elm. I swear they go on super sale every few months. Their darling lights are also LON and a gift from a dear friend. Their furniture was a super score from the vintage yard sale FB group of belong to here. Their play kitchen is of course Ikea hacked. Chris brought back the geo’d book ends from Brazil when he lived there and for some reason Evie has become super attached to them. She also demands I leave the pink storage bin tucked under her kitchen so she can stand on it and reach things that are “up high”… I am guessing that is part of her make-believe play.

The baskets that hold their AG doll clothes and kitchen utensils were made in East Timor. I love the over the shoulder carrying handles and really regret not purchasing more. The “Toi & Moi” canvas I made with a blank canvas and gold paint pen, the “All you need is love” print is from The Caravan Shoppe. I made the pennants above both their beds and took both the portraits in the flower crowns I made them from flowers in our garden in Paris. 

I didn’t take very many pictures of our guest room because it is the most neglected room, so on to the master. This room is HUGE! I seriously don’t really know what to do with all the space since Chris and I don’t own that much furniture. The embassy always provides dressers etc. so we just haven’t really ever bought any.


I mean seriously! It is so sparse in there ha! If we were staying longer there would for sure be prints and mirrors all over this place. But as it is I put up a floating credenza and the fireplace we found in England flanked by my Paris flea market chairs and called it good. Each one of those books I bought at a second hand book store right by Notre Dame. I could only manage to buy a few at a time to bring home on the metro so the owner got to know me over the years ha! The girl who bought armfuls of totally random French books. OUr headboard is one of the two giant windows pulled out of a French home that we bought at the Puce in Paris and drove home with tied to the top of our mini van on the peripherique. Chris brought the big rug back from Iraq and I have never really figured out how to tie it in awesomely. Master bedrooms are certainly NOT my forte ha!
Our master bath is good size with a humonodo tub which I LOVE. We did chevron tile on the floors and I LOVE it. It is very cold though so in the end I guess I am glad we didn’t do it through out the main like I had initially planned. I didn’t take a picture but the bathroom opens to our humungous walk in closet. When I first saw it framed I thought for sure it was a mistake. But it wasn’t and we have since made one half of it my “sewing room”. It has built in shelves for fabric storage and I can make a massive mess and no one will EVER see it so it works pretty good.
When you walk in the front door of our house you come into this room.
This is our “no one ever sits here but I take pictures here constantly” room. My desk is also in this room and where I am sitting currently. It is funny  because I just now noticed that our family picture on the far wall is framed perfectly in the mirror above the fireplace. Chris just about died when the other day I sent him a screen shot of a rug from West Elm (he is trying to buy one I will like more this time around from Afganistan) and it had a stack of frames sitting next to the couch. He asked if that was a thing now. I honestly just hadn’t gotten around to ever putting them up somewhere but now I am just going to leave them ha! Yay for laziness working to my advantage! They were all purchased from this bizarre thrift shop in Belgium. The guy was turning it into a burlesque and was just trying to get rid of things. We got all the frames, a gorgeous old door and a green velvet chair for ten dollars. I still cringe thinking about the incredible glass and wood case he was basically giving away but we couldn’t fit in the van, darn kids got in the way ha! The throw pillows were a recent impulse purchase because Chris isn’t here right now which means I can sneak some pink into the decor right? The poufs are from Morocco, the couch thrifted in Maryland, the coffee table an Ikea hack, the rug West Elm, the fireplace purchased in Paris and the mirror was my christmas gift last year and is from Anthropologie. The stag head on the far wall is from White Faux taxidermy and the painting was a 2 dollar purchase at a thrift store I found just outside Paris and I am crazy about it.
Through this room is our family room, dinning room and kitchen in one big open floor plan.
I think I have a small obsession with Ikea’s floating besta credenza. But it is just so clean and simple looking I love it. The ladder, coffee table, macrame planter and gold record holder (used as a plant holder) were either found on the streets of Paris or thrifted. The little chairs are from Ikea and recovered by me (tutorial coming someday). The couch is from West Elm and attracts lint and kid dirt like CRAZY. The rug was our big purchase in Morocco and the way I protect it you would think I had birthed it.


The living room flows right into the dinning room which flows right into the kitchen.
Our dinning room is home to the table I built last year.  I don’t know how I am going to say goodbye and stick this thing in storage for years on end. I am thinking of disassembling it and taking the legs with me and building another one in Australia.
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It is fun because a few times now I have shoved it up against the wall and used it in photos because it looks like a great old floor. I remember vividly placing all the food on it at Thanksgiving and thinking: “please please please don’t collapse”. I replaced the light fixtures with ones that I fell in love with from IKEA. The ones we had before were probably nicer looking but I love the black and white cord and gold accents on these. We have the original ones down stairs so if the next owners move in they can put them back if they prefer. My favorite piece of art is hanging on this wall so I can look at it multiple times a day. My talented friend Elizabeth painted it for me and I brought it back on the plane. Next is the kitchen.
SInce the original plan was to rent we knew we couldn’t put in marble so instead with went with a white quartz with pretty veining (that sadly you can’t see in the pics because I blew it out) so it gets the same sort of feel but with much easier up keep. While I wanted to do with all gold fixtures Chris talked me down and we went with silver which he asserts will stand the trend test much better.


From the beginning I knew I wanted some floating shelves. In the end it was quiet the experience as I originally tried to build my own renting all sorts of crazy tools and ending with me on my kitchen floor sobbing at four in the morning to poor Chris who was halfway across the globe probably thinking: “Oh my gosh she is destroying our brand new house”. In the end I purchased the hardware and shelves from Anthropologie and mounted them easily in minutes.
It kind of cracks me up how many outlets we have in our kitchen. 16 in total. Who in the world needs that many outlets? I wish I had know and I would have asked them not to put so many. I feel like they are all over the gorgeous subway tile. Then there are two on the side of the island. For someone who keeps all of zero appliances on her counter it seems a bit like overkill. But maybe the next owners will appreciate it. Last but not least is our little mudroom.
Painting this little area black was super nerve wracking but in the end I LOVE it. I know it is not for everyone and future owners will probably paint it white but for now it makes me happy. I love having a place for the kids to put their coats and shoes right when we walk in the door and stash all sorts of random stuff in that little wire rack.
We have a little powder room connected to which is nice as well. The rug and pillow are from Urban Outfitters, the little giraffe fella holding my favorite scarf is from Anthopologie. The coat rack is a pice of an old wine barrel refashioned into what it is now. I love how it curves out away from the wall. The wire rack is from one of my fav home decor stores in Europe Maison Du Monde. I could easily furnish my entire home with just items from that store. If you are ever bored have a look it is really fun! So thats it aside from the guest room, laundry room and other bathrooms, oh and the unfinished basement. Thats all the fun stuff I guess. So now if you ever come to our home you will know where everything is! I figured since we had it all documented I might as well post it right? Then when we look back twenty years from now and say “Remember that awesome house we owned for a few months” we will have pictures to go with it!

04.30.15Change is good: We’re Hiring

As I mentioned before, I learned a TON at SNAP Conference, and one of the things that really hit home was if you are going to do something do it right. While in the past year I have finally started grading my patterns and making sure they are quality in all aspects, that is not the case for my earlier patterns. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. At the time of creating these patterns I had no earthly idea how to grade nor access to the software necessary to do it. I did the best I could with what I had to work with. I have decided it is high time I remedy the problem though and am now looking for some assistance with this.

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I am realistic in what I can handle in a day. In my current single parenthood there is just no way I can do all I need to as a momma/person (blog, sew, bath AND grade patterns) without help. Because of this we (Chris and I, because we are a super cool team in this) are looking to bring on two or three pattern graders. We are looking for graders who are extremely well versed in pattern grading, who can help us produce a cohesive line of patterns with great standard sizing and readability. We would like someone who can work relatively quickly (1-2 weeks per pattern at the longest). If you or someone you know is interested please have them send an email to Chris at chriswildwandering (at) gmail.com. Please include your price break down, examples of your work and your average turn around time. We are really hoping to work with a person on this as opposed to a big pattern grading company, so I have my fingers crossed so tight that some graders will see this post. We are super excited about this project and hope to find people who will be equally as positive. Gooooooooo team!



04.29.15So Long Six Inches

Evie has been asking me to cut her hair to her shoulders for a few weeks now, something I did NOT want to do. It is actually my fault. One night I was scrambling to get all the kiddos bathed, brushed and into bed. Her hair, which was so long, was taking forever to get all the tangles out. Then she complained the whole time we were drying it. After one particular whine I threw out: “Well maybe we should cut it short then.” I didn’t think she would actually jump on the idea like she did. I kind of dodged the topic for a few weeks but then she became pretty insistent and I resigned myself to the fact that it was inevitable. While I LOVE her long, long hair I didn’t want to forbid her to cut it spawning rebellion later on resulting in rainbow colored hair with steps shaved into the side. Plus, its hair, it will grow back right? Well, jokes on me because I love how it turned out.

2015-04-28_0001 2015-04-28_0002 Now, does that mean I didn’t automatically start “growing it out” the day we cut it, no, I totally did. But I think this will be an awesome summer cut and Evie is on cloud nine.


I used her hair cut high to trick her into doing a quick photo shoot with a new dress I had made her. I had originally bought the fabric to make a pencil skirt for myself but hadn’t bought enough. There’s a depressing thought, it was enough to make her a maxi dress and not enough for a fitted skirt for me ha! I LOVE it and will be going back to get more and actually make said skirt.


I used the Bohemian Baby Doll pattern again, tweaking it the way I do so that there is no topstitching and lengthening the bottom quite a bit. I lined the bodice with some fun mustard yellow. Evie saw the dress while it was inside out and announced she would not be wearing it. Luckily she likes it right side out.


I am still getting used to this older looking Five year old running around. She told everyone at school that her “mom cut” her hair. Which ended up with several parents asking me if I cut professionally. I think she forgot “let me” in that sentence ha! 

04.26.15SNAP Conference

This last weekend I was lucky enough to speak at SNAP Conference. I have never attended a blogger conference before let alone taught at one so I was a big ‘ole ball of nerves. Luckily I roomed with Kirsten from KOJO Designs and Stef from Girl Inspired. These ladies are both pros at conferences and were the BEST roomies I could have asked for. (I only have phone pics, and not that many as I was determined to soak up every moment!)

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Sure we all stayed up way later then we probably should have, but what I think I took away most from this conference is sometimes you REALLY just need to actually meet people to make solid long lasting connections. Believe me, I am the first to realize this cannot always happen. I mean, for heaven sakes, this is probably the one and only conference I will ever be able to attend since we are pretty much always living abroad and there is no way we would be able to afford the price of a ticket home for a blogger conference. So I tried to make the most of it while I could. You can find the full schedule of speakers if you are interested HERE on SNAP Conf. website so I won’t bore you with that. I will say the ladies from A Beautiful Mess did a fantastic job of being candid, super approachable and of course very knowledgeable. I felt like their discussion was one of the  most informative and helpful of the keynotes. I am a bit sheepish to admit that I didn’t know who David Tutera was. Even after chatting with him for a few minutes I thought to myself “I bet that guy has a show or something”. Ummmm yeah, that is an understatement. I felt even sillier when my awesome sister texted me after an instagram post saying “Oh my gosh you met David Tutera!!! Mom and I LOVE him” I apparently have been living under a large rock. This is was happens when you live abroad and don’t watch TV (aka cable) for going on five years. David (because we are now on a first name basis) was so transparent and didn’t hold anything back. He warned that if we asked a question we would get an honest answer, which may or may not make us feel good. He even sang us a song upon request from his first job as a singing telegram. Now thats a good sport. (My picture is horrid sorry)

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It is funny because I felt like there was a reoccurring theme through the entire conference, and maybe this is all blogging conferences, but what I felt like was getting hammered into me was be authentic, be you, don’t blog about things you don’t care about your readers can tell, find your niche and rock it. This seemed like the common thread to every successful blogger and was the cornerstone of Rachell Hollis‘s awesome branding class. What I am so grateful for is the fact that she didn’t just say that she actually had exercises for us to do to really find out what our focus and brand should be. Soooo helpful! Especially for me who is all over the place.  “Oh I love muted colors… and bright pops of color. Wait those are opposites?” So of course I say there will be some changes (hopefully for the awesome) but we will see if I can do the other thing all the speakers kept saying to do: take it seriously. If you don’t no one will take you seriously. Again things I knew but really needed to hear from someone awesomeWould I do it again? Absolutely, oh my goodness, yes. I only hope I get the chance to do it. Even if it is just to do amazing karaoke again with Dana and Jess  (video on Dana and my insta’s if you are interested, lets just say it gets “funky”) Plus there was some serious swag bag action, and the sponsor booths were extremely generous.

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Over all it was a wonderful experience I won’t soon forget!



04.21.15Sunday Sew: Easter Dresses

I didn’t know if I was going to make Easter dresses for the girls this year… scratch that, I forgot to make easter dresses for the girls this year. I forgot that I would be on vacation with Chris on Easter Sunday and thus had to make them and have the kiddos dress up the week before if I planned on seeing them in their Easter best and getting some pictures. So the sunday morning arrived and I panicked. Luckily I had some awesome Cotton and Steele fabric on hand and had sewn several Bohemian Baby Doll dresses the week before for another project so I was able to whip these bad boys out super fast.


Oh my gosh you guys this was seriously the funniest most ridiculous “photo shoot”, if you can even call it that. We were already late and I was running around like a crazy person and the kids were totally feeding off my insanity and the above picture is the ONLY one as a group where someone isn’t pulling a hilarious face…. Though Sawyer looks SUPER thrilled in this one. At least he isn’t half sneezing like he was in the rest! Chloe refuses to wear anything I pick out these days. The only way I got her into this dress was letting her pick out her accesories. Hence the hairband and necklace. You gotta do right?


I accidentally made Evie’s dress about three inches too short but C’est La Vie she went to church in it anyway. Now I make her pair it with leggings so it is more of the tunic version.


I am kind of upset at myself for rushing it so much and making rookie mistakes along the way. But having said that I LOVE patterns where you can use small amounts of your expensive hard to find fabric and still get a wow factor. This pattern and the C”est Dimanche pattern really do that. Have some fat quarters you have been hanging on to? You can totally make this dress top out of them (thought probably the sleevless version) and then pair it with a nice soft solid cotton bottom. Voila! I am neurotic and have to have my bodice tops without topstitching so I actually sewed up these dresses a completely different way and added zippers on both. But the instructions are great and it sews up so so so fast and that is the only reason the girls got Easter dresses this year ha! By the by the boys suits and ties are from Crew Cuts and are from when Sawyer was baptized.

Hope you had a wonderful Easter!!