The Jitney's Journeys Studio : Shelves and Storage

Clutter.

That's probably what most people see when they walk into the Jitney's Journeys studio.

But I see inspiration.

I see tools to build with, drawers to fill with vintage goodies, wall space filled with lovely color, and gorgeous packing options to use for wrapping and shipping little creations to my favorite customers. 

When I dreamt the perfect studio, this was it - including those sturdy, wall-length shelves. 


After staining the shelves the same stain we used for the desk and painting the wooden shelf brackets a few coats of the Dover White (Sherwin Williams), it was time to assemble. We drilled the brackets into the studs, placed the shelf on top and secured the shelf to the brackets with a couple of screws each.

In all honesty, it sounds a lot easier than it was; but hey, we're not exactly the handiest couple when it comes to home improvement projects. We are learning though, one project at a time. A few misguided holes in the wall later, the project was complete! 



baskets : vintage gym locker metal baskets
Mama E snagged a nice stack of them for me when I told her about my vision for the studio. 



By the way, I can't get over these two songs right now. They're not new but I've found a fresh love for them lately... 
*Billie Jean (remake by The Civil Wars)
*What If This Storm Ends (Snow Patrol)

What have you been listening to lately?


PS: If I emailed you about receiving a CD, I promise it will be coming your way soon - as in hopefully next week. 

The Jitney's Journeys Studio : Overview & Quick Intro

Here is our finished studio!!


It may look super cluttered to most people, but oh, how I love this space!!! This studio has everything I need to be creative, including tons of storage and wall space of inspiration. 

During our house search, we intentionally looked for a room without carpet that I could make into our studio. This house had a guest bedroom - with tile. It's kind of weird that they would have tile in a bedroom and I'm not sure of many people that would be into that kind of thing - but it was a bonus for us! It's super easy to sweep up burlap and glitter; and paint easily scrapes off the tile. 

When we first moved into this house, I placed my collection of bottles on the built-ins. Then my mom came to visit and the collection was the first thing to go. Fortunately, she suggested they would look better on ledge under the giant window in the studio and I can't imagine this place without them. It's almost like a stained-glass window when the sun shines through. She's a genius.

I painted two coats of "jogging path" from Sherwin Williams on the studio walls to replace the standard beige that covers the walls of the rest of the house. It's a soft gray and the name of the color screams success, right? It's almost like saying, "This room is destined for the jogging path to success." Plus, the gray walls brought out the grays in the tile very nicely. I'm super pleased with the turnout.

We built the desk ourselves (we, meaning JD, dad and myself) and I stained, painted and put up all of the shelving while JD was at work. Surprise!


This space has all of my knick-knacks, leather-working tools, mailbox, crafting supplies and paper. You may notice the sign that says, "Hippies Use Backdoor - no exceptions". I found this sign in college and fell in love. I'll admit that I've been called a hippie (or "crunchy") many times in my life, especially recently. JD and I have been riding our bikes everywhere over the past three weeks, including our weekly grocery trip, so it makes sense for people to have that perception of us, but I digress. It's funny and that's what matters. 


This is my shipping, packaging and inspiration station. We placed the antique door chalkboard against this wall to keep track of projects, birthdays, weddings and babies. Each order I receive is assigned to a basket on the shelf. Now I can set an order aside and work on another one, if needed, and I'll still be organized! This is a new one for me. ;) Then we have bags, envelopes, tissue, etc. for shipping and packaging needs. 

Please note the "Safety First" sign and First Aid box hanging on the wall - both finds from Mom, of course. I store all of my small supplies in the First Aid box, and the Safety First sign is just too cool for words. 


Alas, this is what you see when you walk in the doorway: my sewing nook. Isn't it charming? Bonus: I bought the chair from a thrift store for $3, painted it and recovered it. It's not only pretty, but quite comfy!

I will be posting about each section of the studio over the next week or two. Hope you enjoy the tour!

Thanksgiving Rummaging and Reminiscing

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone!

Most of you have probably had five blog posts since Thanksgiving Day but we wanted to share our weekend with y'all anyway. :) I cannot wait to spend a couple of hours delving into your blogs, checking out your holiday happenings thus far. 

Thanksgiving is such a great holiday. As much as I love giving gifts (and let's be honest... receiving gifts), Thanksgiving is one of the rare holidays that is all about family and friends. No tangible gifts. Just the gift of community. How awesome is that?

We spent the weekend at JD's parents in West Alabama. As some of you may know, JD's dad celebrated his eightieth birthday in October. Yeah - celebrate good times! C'mon!

He kicks it better than any eighty-year-old man we know. He walks about seven miles every day... after breakfast, after dinner (and probably most days after lunch). 

So we joined in, walking sticks and all.


And it was such a blessed time. 

There is just something so special about Thanksgiving walks with the fam. I'll never forget one Thanksgiving Day I spent walking under the amber trees at Lake Oconee (aka The Bungalow) a few years ago with my sweet Gingin. She shared with me how crucial it is to savor every moment, because you really never know when it will be the last. You think you know that until your grandmother reminds you. Then you realize you really don't know much at all so you better soak in every ounce of wisdom she has. JD and I are both thankful for the wisdom and lessons our precious parents and grandparents have taught us.

Back to the weekend....

JD's childhood room is still decked out in baseball posters. Stacks of baseball cards (with chalky gum still in the plastic wrapping of unopened cards) line the walls. Random Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figurines can be found in drawers and high school and collegiate awards still hang proudly on the walls. Needless to say, I love sleeping in there. It makes me feel like I can share a special part of him that I never had the chance of knowing. 

We spent the weekend trying to clean it out but had trouble since so much held a special place in JD's memory. Obviously, we had to share a few of our favorite finds with you...


The American Gladiator soup thermos. The black slanted writing is none other than the names of each gladiator. What!?


We rummaged through old papers and sermon notes. The ones above and below were favorites of mine. 

Why?

Because it proves that opposites truly do attract. 

JD's occupations of dissimilar interests include all but one of the things I wanted to do in life. When I was young, I spent every day in the basement teaching an imaginary classroom while writing lessons on several chalkboards for my "third grade students". I started college majoring in Radio, Televison and Film to be a News Anchor / Reporter - and switched halfway to finish my studies in Public Relations instead. And now... I would love to teach an art class. 

My only non-interest was a medical illustrator.

At least we agreed on one area of dissimilar interest.


However, my favorite find was this: JD's written testimony from high school (pictured below). Even though our stories of salvation never change, our testimonies of God's goodness and mercy are ever-changing in such a beautiful way. It was so awesome to read about the place God had JD in that season of life. 


And then we found this... a poem JD wrote in college that made goosebumps pop up on my arms. 

My sweet husband is such a humble man. Reading things like this make me fall even deeper in love with him and Christ. I am thankful for him.


Unbeknownst to me, JD set up my new sewing machine and all of my supplies in front of the TV (so he could watch football while I sewed) while I was sorting through his childhood room.


Thus goes the weekend: Walking, Turkey, Walking, Sewing, Football, Eating, Cleaning, Organizing, Sewing, and Walking. :)


What was your favorite Thanksgiving memory from this year??


Linking up with Molly & Carly for #YOLOMondays! Please go check them out and show some love! :)



Tutorial : How to Replace and Sew a Button


Have you ever lost a button in the washing machine? Or have you ever wanted to simply add a cute button to an apron or shirt? Follow this step-by-step tutorial and you will want to sew buttons onto all of your fabrics... or at least save you some money by not having to throw away clothes because they're missing a button.

Ironically, the week before I had planned to post about sewing on a button, my husband just so happened to lose a button on one of his favorite shirts while we were in Hawaii. We'll use his shirt as an example...



Step 1: Grab your supplies: seam ripper, a button, a needle, matching thread, and a pair of scissors. If you will be replacing a button on a shirt or jacket, look for the replacement button inside of the shirt material, specifically along the seam around the bottom. Then use your seam ripper to release the button from the shirt (see below).

Step 2: Find the original spot for the button or decide on the place you want to add a new embellishment button. How do you find that spot? Glad you asked. There should be either some broken thread or a couple of itty-bitty holes from where the thread was before. Still not able to figure it out? Easy sauce. Fasten up the other buttons and pass a pin through the hole of the missing button. Whichever way you do it, make sure you mark the replacement button spot with chalk.



Step 3: Thread the needle. (See below for thorough photographic instructions.) Pull one end of the thread through the eye of the needle. Pull that end of thread to meet the other. Knot the ends together by making a loop and pulling the tails through. Knot once more, and trim off any excess.



Step 4: Let's get stitchin'. First, push your needle up through the back of the fabric to the front, pulling the thread all the way through. Slide your button on down the thread to meet the fabric. Are your holes lined up with the button in place? 

Perfect. 

Now you can push your needle down through the opposite hole and out the back of the fabric. Make sure your stitching matches the pattern of your other buttons. Repeat this four or five times per hole. The thread should be tight enough as to where the button doesn't dangle. At the same time, it should be loose enough as to where your fabric doesn't bunch up. Whew! 




Step 5: Shank and Snip... Push your needle up through the back of the fabric to the shank (which is the thread located between the fabric and button). See the needle in the top two photos below? Pull the button away from the fabric and wrap your thread tightly around the shank. Simply slip the needle through the shank twice and trim the leftover thread.



Step 6: Boo-yah. Congratulations... Wear and wash that shirt with pride! Nicely done.


With that being said, learn how to sew a button.
You Only Live Once...
Linking up with Molly & Carly for #YOLOMONDAYS.

Tutorial : Mason Jar / Pin Cushion / Sewing Kit


Aloha!!
JD and I are finally back from our three and a half week trip to Hawaii! This means I've been postponing my teaching duties for an entire month now. I'm so excited to get back to the homeschool co-op next week. We will be starting our two-week lesson on how to sew an apron. I'm so excited, in fact, that I put together these little pin cushion - mason jar - sewing kits for each student. These are super easy to make (I made 13 within a few hours). 

I hope they love them as much as I do!! 


Want to make one for yourself?

I've seen quite a few Mason Jar pin cushions on Pinterest. I've taken the best ideas from other blogs and came up with this step-by-step tutorial with a number of Jitney's Journeys bonus twists.

Here's what you will need for the kit:


Seam Ripper
Tailor's Chalk
Measuring Tape
Sharp Pair of Scissors 
Needles
Pins
Buttons
Spool of Thread (not pictured)

*Fortunately, Hobby Lobby is holding a 50% sale on all Sew-ology items this week. Whew!


And here's what you will need for the pin cushion mason jar:
Mason Jar
Scissors
Tag Punch (only if you have one laying around)
Cardstock
Hot Glue Gun
Super Cute piece of Fabric (measuring approx. 5.5" x 5.5")
Poly-fil (see image below)


Ready?

Let's do this...


Step 1: Punch out a circle from a piece of cardstock. You will glue this onto the back of the Mason Jar lid next. This tag punch measures 2.5" in diameter. If you do not have a tag punch around this size (should be 2.5" or smaller in diameter), you may freehand a circle with the approx. diameter or trace the lid and cut about 1/8" off. The tag punch is, by far, the quickest and easiest solution.


Step 2: Hot glue the circle to the back of the Mason Jar lid. The cardstock helps to adhere the fabric. 


Step 3: Cut a 5.5" x 5.5" square of fabric. 

Thank you, Hobby Lobby, for selling super cute fabric. 


Step 4: Lay the front of the Mason Jar lid onto the wrong side (or back) of the fabric. Place a dollop of hot glue one side and adhere. Don't glue anything else yet. 


Step 5: Grab a handful of Poly-fil. You can use as much as your heart desires, but a handful was sufficient.

I tried to take photos of every step but it got a little tough here, as I only had one hand to work with while the other was snapping photos. Multi-tasking at its best. ;) 

Step 6: Place the ring of the lid upside down on a flat surface. Stuff the Poly-fil in between the fabric and lid in as much as a puffy ball as possible. Push the stuffed fabric-Poly-fil through the ring and align the lid into the ring. You may want to add or subtract some of the Poly-fil here.

Step 7: Try to pull the fabric around the ring while holding the lid in securely, so that there are no cinches of fabric. Now your lid should look similar to the bottom right pic above.  


Step 8: Pull the fabric in small amounts (may need to be twisted or trimmed in some areas so it won't be too bulky) and begin hot gluing. Once you have almost finished a semi-circle, take the other side and glue it so that there is a straight line across of fabric. Take the bottom of the semi-circle and twist it just enough to a point where you can tuck it into the straight line going across. It should look like the bottom right picture. Hot glue that baby in.

Tip: Toothpicks are a great way to tuck in the fabric without getting the scolding hot glue all over your fingertips. 


Step 9: Admire your new pin cushion and get super pumped about sticking some pins in it! 


Step 10: Adorn it with lovely colored pins, fill it up with sewing essentials and get ready to host a sewing party!!


*You can use a thread and needle instead of hot glue, but I've found that the backside of the lid doesn't look so nice if you do it that way. No worries, we will not be using hot glue when sewing aprons for the Life Skills class. ;)

Life Skills 101 Class and More Etsy Product Releases!!



We shipped off a set of matching placemats and this table runner to one of our new favorite customers, Heather, last week. She requested a cursive font. I sent her a few fonts to choose from and she picked this super cute one!! Everything turned out fantastic and she really seemed to love them!! We love customizing orders to our customers' preferences! If you find something in our store that you love but would like to tweak to fit your style, just let us know and we will be more than happy to work with you to make it happen!!



Monogrammed Coasters

Don't destroy your coffee table with water stains. Use these elegant monogrammed coasters and entertain your guests in style!

Each coaster measures 3.75" x 3.75" and has an aged, rustic character. Each coaster is painted with a monogram of your choice and in the color of your choice (brown, black and red are the most popular). We carefully place felt pads on the backs of each coaster in order to protect your furniture from being scratched or damaged. These coasters are sealed with an exterior / interior protective coating. They can handle the puddles from the most condensating of drinks; and their luster can easily be revived with the swipe of a wet or dry dishcloth. :)

This Home is Our Nest ("Home Is the Nest You Build" Series) Chatter Shadow Box

Henry Ward Beecher once said, "Birds finish the nest with their own breast, so it is the bosom that makes the home, and not the bill or the claw." Home is the nest you build for all who enter your house. Our home has been built with endless of joy, love, blessings and friends.

This one-of-a-kind wooden shadowbox measures 6" x 6" with a width of 1.5" on each side.

One on side, a large, beautiful bird's nest peaks out from the shadows and hosts three light blue and brown-speckled eggs. I have handwritten Henry Ward Beecher's quote around the light blue border. The sides have big, lightly golden polka-dots and an aged glaze.

The opposite side boasts a pretty turquoise and gray paisley background with five cardstock tiles: heart with rhinestones {love}, a brown bird with a crown, counting my many blessings list, friends hiking with a turquoise beaded base, and a road map {joy}.


This Lovely Nest ("Home Is the Nest You Build" Series) Chatter Shadow Box

Home is the nest you build for all who enter your home. When building our nest, we've found that our home is intricately woven with faith, hope and love. Without these elements, our home would simply not survive.

This one-of-a-kind wooden shadowbox measures 6" x 6" with a width of 1.5" on each side.

One on side, a large, beautiful bird's nest peaks out from the shadows and hosts three light blue and brown-speckled eggs. Scrabble tiles spell "Nest" against a deep golden background. The sides have big, white polka-dots and an aged glaze. The top of the box has a tiny white and gray bird perched along the surface.

The opposite side claims a beautiful gold and maroon background with five cardstock tiles: cross {faith}, a brown bird with a crown, belt of hope, small nest with glittered light blue eggs, and a heart with rhinestones {love}.


Life to the Fullest Subway Art ("Home Is the Nest You Build" Series) Subway Chatter Box


Believing, dreaming, joy, growth, bliss, love... these are all crucial elements to living "life to the fullest"!

This wooden Subway Art box measures 10" x 10" x 1.5" and may be hung up on a wall or stand alone due to its 1.5" width. Be constantly reminded by the words on this piece to Believe, Love, Live, Dream, Joy, Bliss, and Grow. The background is layered with distressed ivories, golds and browns. Three antique, rusted stars line the bottom of the piece and one medium-sized star makes a statement beside "Dream". In the top lefthand corner, three rusted mini stars line the corner with wire nailed into the wood.




PS:




Cooking, baking, sewing, table etiquette... you name it. I have the privilege of teaching 13 amazing young ladies "life skills" this semester for one of the local homeschool co-ops. You can join in on the fun by following our class blog: http://ladylifeskills101.blogspot.com/. I'll be teaching step-by-step instructions on every project we'll be doing in class this year. :)




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??

Friday Favesies

We're linking up again this week with Ruthy over at Discovery Street for:






We are behind on sending out our Jitney Year 2 CD... even though we planned way in advance to get them out by May 29, my optical drive on my computer crashed. We debated on getting the drive replaced or just giving in and replacing my ole' faithful Mac. Unfortunately, the drive won. :) Apple replaced it and we were back on our way. We designed, printed and put together our CD covers (photos coming soon); and now we're just waiting on our super cool "recycled newspaper" envelopes we ordered from The Container Store. My inspiration for the cover of the envelopes are these beautiful calligraphy creations:


This season, we wrapped our brown couch in a white canvas sofa cover. Thanks to Organize Your Stuff Now, we will now be wrapping the four giant brown pillows in super sweet chevron fabric. I was planning on sewing pillowcases for the couch pillows but this approach may be a bit easier. I wonder if they come untied easily though?






However, my ---hands down--- most absolute favesie of this week is....


Yes. This guy. You see, we celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day for each other simply because one day, eventually, we'll be the mom and dad to some pretty cool kids (whether by birth, adoption or both). I enjoy celebrating the fact that JD Todd is going to be an incredible dad to our kids and vice versa. So I woke up early Sunday morning, cooked him breakfast, set it on our wicker breakfast tray and carried it into the bedroom.

Whit: "So what do you want to do today? It's your day. We're celebrating you."
JD: "Honestly? I want to eat this delicious breakfast and then spend the day rearranging your office so you can hang up the crates we bought on our way back from our anniversary, plus you can really focus on organizing stuff for the Etsy shop."

Seriously? And that's why he wins the Friday Favesies post. :) We spent the entire day taking stuff off the walls, laying it all out and then nailing it all up again. Here are a few shots of the new and improved office in our apartment... We're leaving out a couple of things to post later so be on the lookout!


This wall took quite a few hours to put up, but it was worth it!! 



I finally crafted this pushpin Mason jar. What do you think?


This is the printing and shipping wall -- everything I need to grab when putting together one of our Jitney's Journeys packages. Perfection. :) 

We found the three wooden lock boxes at an antique store on the side of the road coming back from Chattanooga. The guy who sold us the boxes (for $10 as a set) said he was pretty sure the boxes were a piece of junk. However, we are super drawn into the TV show Storage Wars right now, so we thought we may have a unique find here! Even if we don't, they make awesome storage and organization boxes. :)


This "Pop Shop" crate was propped up at Knitting Mills Antique in Chattanooga, just calling our names. JD picked it out. The crate holds my yarn upright and is the perfect size for large Mason jars. 


I have been searching for months to find an old Coca Cola crate that I could store my thread and bobbins in. Cha-ching!! We found this beauty at Knitting Mills Antique in Chattanooga on our anniversary trip.


Old coat hangers from an antique market that I now use as my packing dispensers.


My fabric station -- these lovely old suitcases are PACKED with fabulous fabric!


Etsy Shop Announcement!

Wow! We just realized that we haven't announced our Etsy Shop opening yet!! Wahooooo!!

This shop has been a long-time coming but we opened it on April 9. It has been fairly successful so far. We're excited about the challenges of keeping everything stocked and making sure our ideas and creations are fresh!

Here is our newest addition to the shop: Shabby Chic Burlap Placemat with Ivory Lace Running through Middle




We also carry super stylish "cuffees" - reversible, reusable coffee cup sleeves - that you can find here. Each cuffee is unique in its design and stitching. If you would like a customized order for any occasion (including bridesmaids' gifts, birthday gifts, parties, anything of the sort), email us here and we can make that happen! 



Of course, we have the Cleaning List printable up for sale too. We are working tediously on compiling the ultimate Newlywed Organization Book but it's taking a while. Hang in there with us. :) The finished product will be epic. 







Special Finds at The Cotton Depot

Is it in you?? The desire to find the hottest deals at the lowest prices... with the most history behind it? 


Here are the hottest things I found when antique-ing in Monroe, GA, at The Cotton Depot with my mom the week before Easter...



There is just something classic about an old rotary phone, no? This screams retro and America. Don't you love it? I had to part ways with it after snapping this photo because I have a lovely yellow one just like it (oh, but it would fit in so wonderfully with my light blue and red kitchen appliances!!). 



Old filing cabinet. 
Oh yes. I've been searching for something like this for a while. I just never expected it to be so perfect. This purchased jewel will be stored in my shabby chic office when we buy a new home. 



These pieces were created using photo frames and candlestick holders. Fantastic way to create a tiered look to those photos, word art creations or scrapbook paper accents!



This lady's booth is one of my favorites. She has such a beautiful way of organizing her products. Old suitcases such as the one above simply make my heart melt. Did I mention that my mom had a tiny tan one waiting for me (with a few inches of fabric for me to play with tucked inside) when I went to visit her and dad the week before Easter? She knows me so well. :)



{sigh} 
An old sewing machine head. This baby was only $22 but will probably never be able to work again without the sewing table and presser foot. I don't care. It's beautiful. 



One day, JD and I will buy an old typewriter to put in our home. We just have to find the perfect one. This one was close to it, but I had already maxed out the budget for my trip. How so? 

...Well, we'll show you that once we have it all settled and cozy in our home...





And finally, I couldn't resist sharing this absolutely striking photo of my mom walking her garden. 

Isn't she beautiful? 


We had the best time walking around their yard as mom pointed out each plant and the history behind it. Many of the plants have been pulled from her mother's and grandmother's yards, simply to be re-planted in my parent's yard. I look forward to the day my mom and Gingin pass down plants to us when JD and I move into our first house. 

Come back Thursday to see photos of my parent's yard and the magical little fairy garden they've created in an old rusty bathtub from my grandparent's lake house in North Georgia.