Todd Nest Happenings : Fall Preview 2013

Things have been splendidly chaotic both inside and outside of the Todd Nest this fall, which may explain why our blog hasn't been completely up-to-date. Here's a little glimpse into the past few weeks:

We welcomed Fall with a new wreath on our front door. The burlap ribbon was from last year's Christmas decorations; the white flower was a piece from our spring wreath; the red / orange leaves were given to us from our sweet neighbors; and the twigs were taken from a freshly clipped bush in our backyard. Cost: zero. That's what I'm talkin' about! 


JD's parents bought us a living room suite as a wedding gift (we asked if we could postpone their wedding gift till we moved into our first home and decided on something we really needed). JD and I have both been beyond blessed with amazing, gracious and loving in-laws!! The night La-Z-Boy delivered it all, we fell asleep in our new recliners. :) We'll give you a more thorough tour of our family room later. 


We picked out bamboo blinds for our giant windows from a sweet friend in Monroe, GA. We'll post more about those after we put them up this weekend when my parents come to town! (I'm sure we'll have A LOT to post about after this weekend - we have planned TONS of exciting things to do around the house.) It was a tough decision but we landed on the blinds to the left. 


My girlfriends and I had a girls' spa weekend to celebrate the accomplishments of Kellie (in the middle). She earned her second Master's degree this summer - i.e. she's awesome and deserved a great escape! These ladies are fantastic and their friendship means the world to me.


Chase, my brother, and his wife, Jackie, got a new puppy and appropriately named him Tag (to go along with Chase's name). He's half min pin, half yorkie. We've been obsessing over every pic Chase and Jackie post on Facebook or send to us via text. I wish they would start a blog exclusively with cute pics of Tag. 


We had a family vacation with JD's side of the family to Branson, Missouri. It was a precious time spent with precious people: Mr. Jim and Mrs. Josie (JD's parents), Uncle Donald and Aunt Sandy (Mr. Jim's brother and his wife), and Brandon and Theresa (JD's sister and her husband). 


Most of our time was spent watching football, exercising (crossfit) and eating. Most places closed at 9 p.m. except this place: Cakes & Cream Dessert Parlor. It was pretty delicious but the atmosphere charmed my boots off. I'm a sucker for 50's music, which is why JD took me out front after dessert and danced the night away with me (actually, it was only one song but it was super romantic). 


We only saw one show while we were there: Joseph. The musical was a pretty on-spot rendition of the story of Joseph but my favorite part of being there was this...


JD asked me to take a photo of him with this statue of Goliath. As I was taking it, a sweet older gentleman pointed over and said to his wife, "Take a photo of me doing like that guy!!!" As soon as JD was out of the pic, the gentleman propped his legs out for battle and put up his dukes with a big smile.

It was awesome. 

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Since we've been back from Branson, I've been going turbo mode while making products for this year's Shop with a Purpose, an event to benefit For Life Ministries. 

We'll have our traditional burlap products, glass etchings, chatter tiles and some new pieces like these leather bracelets... 


art pieces... 


and the popular leather wrap bracelets.


Hopefully we'll have more time to post again soon!! 






Turquoise and Bison Hide : Moleskine Leather Journal Cover


Over the last few years, I have wanted so badly to make my own leather journal.

Fortunately, my brother's brother-in-law taught him how to make one. Ergo, for our Christmas present, Chase (my brother) helped us make my first leather journal.

We're all spending Christmas at my parents' this year. Chase and Jackie flew in from Las Vegas Wednesday and we drove in from Huntsville that night.

Mom, Jackie and I had glitter and cardstock scattered everywhere with our projects while Chase and JD took up the other side of the basement with bison hide and leather-working tools.

Very few moments are as special as seeing family gathered together, especially when it's your husband and brother (dad joined in later after he came home early from work to be with us).


In all fairness to JD, he made 98% of my journal while I was working on other Christmas presents and drinking coffee. 

Have I mentioned that my husband is rockin'??

Look at this beautiful bison hide journal they put together for me:

front on the right, back on the left


It took us a while to figure out what kind of clasp we wanted to do in the front. My only non-negotiable was the turquoise closure. Brown and turquoise are the Jitney signature colors.


Instead of making an actual journal with the super rugged and gorgeous paper, we ended up making a leather journal cover so that I can interchange all of my Moleskine journals. 



I stitched the flap for decorative purposes and styled the closure. Besides that, my sweet husband worked for several hours on making it perfect. 

There was so much selflessness poured into this creation (JD was pages-deep into a new zombie novel when I asked him to help me).

I am deeply thankful for priceless moments spent with my amazingly creative family. I could not ask for more this Christmas. 

What do you think of the journal cover?

The Tel Aviv Art Market


This was definitely a highlight of our trip to Israel!! Artists lined the sidewalks in their booths as people could barely move through the streets. It was JAM PACKED. 


First stop: This was one of our favorite artists. The guy made fantastic leather bracelets that you can snap together and intertwine. He cuts, stains and designs them right at his booth in the market. Of course, we bought three for me. :) 


Perfect. Teal, brown and white are my staple colors. Haha



This artist was another favorite of ours! We bought a nameplate and she wrote "Todd Family" in Hebrew on it for us. We also snagged a few nameplates for our friends and customized them. :) 

She incorporated the bird and gazelle in her artwork, as they are her personal symbols of the human spirt of joy and freedom. 



JD: "Whit. Come on!"
Whit: "But... but... aren't these just so mesmerizing?!?"


For all of those sewing machine lovers, how great is this classic Singer? 


You may recognize this clock from my office in our apartment...


Oh yeah. We bought one of those and brought it home! The clock is made out of pebbles and sand from the Red Sea.


As if I didn't want to crochet bad enough, this lady, Sasha Neska, blew us away with her elaborate jewelry! Absolutely remarkable. 


And we say farewell to the streets of the Art Market. 



So we ask you, readers, from these photos... which piece of art would you take home from Israel??