Feeling Pinspired!

I like to make stuff. Like REALLY like to make stuff. I’ve always been pretty creative. Growing up, my brother and sister were the athletes of the family and, while I played lots of sports, I would never call them my forte. This week’s challenge wasn’t really that difficult for me because it really is something that I love to do.

That being said, I also have a bad habit of starting projects and not finishing them. If I can’t figure out how to fix something that didn’t turn out as planned, it ends up on a shelf in my garage that I’ve come to call the Shelf of forgotten DIYs. It’s getting sort of full.

Challenge #11:

“Use your design skills and incredibly good taste to create/make something for Belle.” – from Bob and Joan Arlinghaus.

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Bob and Joan are practically members of the Hayden family. I often joke that our lives would fall apart without them, though I’m fairly certain it is no joke. Thanks so much for supporting me and giving me an opportunity to show off my skills.

As Joan mentioned, I have utilized my creativity to plan various parties and fundraisers for many of the nonprofits I volunteer with. I LOVE creating the theme and overall atmosphere of an event from beginning to end, focusing on every last detail. I do this because I love it and because I care about the organizations they benefit.

I also get a kick out of planning events for friends and family. I just threw a beach-themed wedding shower for my friend Stacey a few weeks ago. I couldn’t find anything that I liked at the stores so I ended up just making my own table runners and centerpieces. I got the idea from my friend Megan when we threw a Bow Tie Brunch baby shower for our friend Ashlee a few months ago! So genius! Give me a good theme and I’ll run with it!

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We spent last weekend in Minneapolis celebrating my niece Belle’s baptism and first birthday! I became a godmother and am thrilled about the honor my brother and sister-in-law have bestowed upon me. Naturally, I love making things for this adorable little angel so I am super psyched about this task. Becky did SUCH a great job putting together this adorable ballerina-themed birthday party! Everything was perfect from Belle’s little outfit to the ballet slippers holding flowers on the backs of the chairs. Brilliant!!

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With the birthday spirit in mind, I took to Pinterest to start finding my “pinspiration.” I came across this idea for a 20 questions book. You ask the child the same 20 questions every year on their birthday until they turn 18. You keep track of their answers in a book so that they can see how they have grown and changed over the years. I decided this would be a great keepsake for Belle to have.

I gathered my supplies and got to work! I’m beginning to think I should get frequent shoppers cards at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and Scraps, Etc. for all of the things I’ve been making! I learned about a new store in Deerfield called Archivers, which I will definitely be returning to. If you like to make scrapbooks or keepsake memory things, this is your spot. They literally have EVERYTHING.


Since I have 18 years to cover, I picked out a different sheet of girlie paper to paste photos on and a coordinating solid to print the questions on. I also got different decorative stickers and accents to include so that each year when John, Becky and Belle answer the questions, they can decorate the pages together.

I attempted to print the questions on the card stock at home, but have found that my printer is not ideal for these kinds of projects. Off to Kinkos to quickly print what I needed. Their laser jet copiers have seriously saved me more times than I can count.


Here are the 20 questions I selected:

1. What is your favorite color?

2. What is your favorite toy?

3. What is your favorite fruit?

4. What is your favorite TV show?

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?

6. What is your favorite outfit?

7. What is your favorite game?

8. What is your favorite snack?

9. What is your favorite animal?

10. What is your favorite song?

11. What is your favorite book?

12. Who is your best friend?

13. What is your favorite cereal?

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside?

15. What is your favorite vacation?

16. What is your favorite holiday?

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?

18. What is your favorite movie?

19. What do you like to learn about?

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? 

Obviously, Belle cannot answer her questions this year because at the moment all she can say is Mama and Da and Dada. But it’s so darn cute when she tries!! I called Becky to fill in what I didn’t already know.

Here are the answers:


Here are some other pictures of the book:

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It’s a little stuffed right now, so for storage purposes, Becky might want to take all the extra details out until they’re needed. As Belle gets older, it could be fun for her to decorate it herself, as well. I tried to pick age appropriate paper for the teenage years.


Making this book inspired me to finish something I started creating for Belle’s nursery as a Christmas present. It didn’t go exactly as planned so I kinda gave up. Re-inspired, I gave it another go.

This was also a pinterest-inspired project. I took a map and mod-podged it to a piece of canvas. After that, I took some vinyl letters and stuck them to the map then painted over them. I was very careful to make sure both Minneapolis and Cincinnati would be visible through the letter outlines, as those are the places her parents are from.


Unfortunately, the canvas started to dry out, as did the paint and the edges of the map started to show. Also, it was crooked. My friend Abby tells me to measure things when I make stuff. This is why. I decided to trim it down, have it mounted and framed so that it would look better when hung in the nursery. I picked it up from the frame store and could not be happier with how it turned out!!


It’s finally done, only 6 months later.

Next up is to complete the paper-to-wood block photo transfers I was working on. This was another attempted project around the holidays that I was going to complete and give to my family members. Unfortunately, I wasted 16 blocks of wood, a whole bottle of Mod Podge and countless sheets of printer paper. Turns out you need a laser jet printer (not an ink jet) for this to work. Insert Kinkos saves the day, yet again. After figuring this out I cleared off part of my Shelf of Forgotten DIY’s by using the glue-soaked failed attempts as firewood for the bonfire at my birthday party. Mod Podge is EXTREMELY flammable so we had a roaring blaze in my backyard. I finally figured out how to do it and successfully made 2 for Stacey’s wedding shower. Family, your photo blocks shall be to you shortly!


Just for kicks, here are some other things I’ve made:

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Bob and Joan, thanks for tapping into my creative side! I cannot wait to see how Belle grows as she answers these questions over the years. I think it could be a wonderful tradition to start and am so curious to see what her answers are when she can respond on her own. I hope she doesn’t develop a hatred for the color pink because it is ALL over this book.