Megan O'Dea Jenkins

Wishing you smiles and laughter every day.

Who Needs Bakerella. . . January 3, 2012

Filed under: Holidays,Omaha — meganodea @ 8:44 pm
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When you have Aunt Jody?  (and my wonderfully creative sister, Kate)

Okay. . . maybe we needed Bakerella for the idea. . .snowman cookies.

But you have to admit, we’ve got some mad decorating skills! Remember this adventure? Or our adorable cake  pops?

This year Aunt Jody went to Bakerella for inspiration again. . .

We had regular sprinkles, snowflake sprinkles, christmas tree sprinkles, circle sprinkles, candy cane sprinkles, chocolate covered sunflower seed sprinkles and we even had Tic Tacs!

How adorable are these?  Snowmen with stocking hats and ear muffs and big smiles. They were too cute to eat.

Aunt Jody had trays and trays and trays for us to decorate!

I got  a little creative, can you see Rudolf and Santa’s elves?

Thank you for another great holiday cookie decorating night Aunt Jody!




Handmade Holiday Banners December 18, 2011

I’ve always been intrigued by how Miss Lynn from Create Breathe designs with so many layers and textures and colors.

Like this banner for her home.

Or this happy birthday banner full of lace, paper, jewels, buttons, yarn and probably 10 other things I’m not seeing!

Or these gorgeous planers.  I always like how free she is with her stitching and the texture that adds to her designs.

My holiday banners were inspired by Miss Lynn’s work. . . I think I could have added a few more layers of texture but am really really loving how they turned out!  And they go so well with the yarn wreath I posted about recently.  The big frame used to be an old screen door I got for free at the Habitat For Humanity Re-Store. I cut out all the old screen and painted/stained it.  It now hangs above my couch, fun to decorate with wreaths and banners.

I cut out triangles from thick watercolor paper I had in my stash, I actually had all the supplies in my stash!

A little mock-up design.

Then I used the paper triangles as templates, cut out red canvas triangles and glued one on top of the paper.

Then I took to my sewing machine! I chose white thread so it would contrast against the green rick rack and red canvas and lace.

Next I sewed on the white pom trim which secured the red lace as well.

I mocked up the banner in InDesign so I could pick a fun font and get the size right.

I printed out all the necessary letters and cut them out.

Placing them exactly where I want them.

I ended up having to cut them out and trace around the letters with a soft pencil because transfer paper didn’t work well on the canvas.

And then I painted in the outline with white acrylic, and I forgot to take a photo!

Such a beautiful mess of paint and trim and lace and coffee and pencils and tape, I love my old drafting table! I lined the banner pieces up, ready to string them together.

I used a little hole punch typically used in book making and strung some yarn through.

As you can see, I glued a second canvas triangle to the back of the banner after I had everything stitched.  I also used one continuous piece of yarn so that as I use decorate with this in different places I can adjust the width of it.

Always have to add buttons!

I used hot glue to attach the buttons. I love the different button designs.

And there you have it!

Here’s a mock-up for the second one. Again, all items I had in my stash. This time I just used green Canson paper.  It has a little texture to it.

Cut them out and stitched them up. I thought the lighting was kind of cool coming through the mini-blinds.

I picked out a font and printed them out again from InDesign but because this was paper I was able to use transfer paper to trace the letter on the banner.

I used prisma colors to fill in the letters.

Hot-glued the buttons on and strung it with yarn.

And there you go!

Such a fun project that didn’t take a lot of time or pre-prep.

What hand-made decorations have you created this season?  Leave a link below, I’d love to see!




Local Artists at Hot Shops December 4, 2011

We wandered over to Hot Shops’ holiday open house today, I think this is the 3rd year in a row we’ve attended this, we have our favorite artists now like Crystal Forge, the glass blowing studio; or DarZart, the puzzle piece lady; the paper-marbeling corner (which they didn’t have this year, sad) and the Prisma Color smudger guy (he wasn’t there either!).  But we met some new artists this year and now have a couple of new favorites.

This is by Brian from Very Vector. His Etsy shop is closed right now and unfortunately he doesn’t have a website but you MUST keep looking for his shop to open.  His design is clean and simple and a bit retro. He screen prints on wood panels amongst other mixed media designs.

Aren’t these tea towels just gorgeous?  We watched Kitt Hamersky in The Fiber Studio work the huge looms.  I just can’t even imagine preparing a loom to even weave the simplest of designs.  Such preparation and patience. The red and white pinwheel design was my favorite.

Here’s a huge loom midway through a project which was an easy one, only 8 pedals and 2 different colors of thread. Would you have the patience to thread each of those strings, prepping the loom?  I loved the colorful spools of thread in the background. Would be cool to decorate with an entire wall of wooden shelves and huge spools of colorful thread.

This is the pattern she was using, watching her work the loom with her feet pushing the pedals and hands weaving the spools back and forth was like watching someone play the organ.  There was almost something very zen about it.


DarZart, aka (by us) as the puzzle piece lady, was working on a whole lot of baseballs. I think she had about 20 canvases in progress of painting, perfect for a little boys room, don’t you think?

Look really close where the seams of the baseball are, can you see the puzzle pieces she’s painted over? They add so much texture to her art. If you visit her studio at Hot Shops she has a giant turtle painted beautiful shades of green and textured with puzzle pieces, it’s SO COOL!

Happened upon a gorgeous photograph of a Princess Lasertron design on the runway during Omaha Fashion Week from G Thompson Higgins Photography.

I fell in love with these little guys from Crystal Forge, the glass blowing studio.  Glass artists have SO MUCH patience, I could never do it. They just keep heating and rolling the glass, swirling, heating, blow through the little tube, heat again and roll again, repeat repeat repeat. Wow, such an appreciation for the labor and vision involved in these creations.

If you’ve never been to Hot Shops you must go! They have an open house in the spring too. Check it out.

What local art shows do you like to attend?




Cupcake Inspired Art January 4, 2011

I wanted to make my Aunt something special this Christmas, something cute and creative and fun, but what can you possibly make for a lady that bakes and decorates amazingly beautiful treats such as these?



Or these?



Or these?


Well, a Cupcake inspired memory box of course!!


She is also a HUGE Nebraska Cornhuskers fan so just had to use a Red and White color scheme.



I knew I wanted to do something around her mad baking and decorating skills so I browsed the baking aisle at hobby lobby for some inspiration and out popped these fun white doilies, the perfect place setting for a cupcake, right?


And what person doesn’t love those big silver sugar sprinkles?



More cupcakes on the inside of the box too, featuring a special message. I used an image transfer technique to take an old love letter and incorporate it into this design.



Vintage buttons of all styles made for fun decorations.



And sealed with a bow.  Now she has a special place to keep all of her sweet memories.





Repurposed Cabinet Doors December 31, 2010

I’ve been following Gail’s Blog, My Repurposed Life, for about a month now and it is one awesome blog full of tons of creative inspiration especially for repurposing furniture. Seriously, an old door repurposed into a toddler bed? HOW COOL! Gail says that her favorite thing to do DIY wise is to repurpose every day items that are headed for the garbage/landfill.

Some of you know I like to do the same thing, take this old window I purchased at Tiede’s (my favorite junk store) for about $7.

After a coat of paint and adding some wreaths and ribbon, it looks perfect on my bedroom wall!

Or this old thing, I think it’s half of an old wood screen door. Whatever it is, I thought it was cool and it was only $4 at Tiede’s so I painted it white and then painted some red flower shapes on the screens. Also looks perfect on my bedroom wall! And I know you CAN NOT purchase wall art that large for only $4!!!

Or this cute little shutter I purchased at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for like $3 I think. Painted it black and now it’s super cute wall art in my kitchen.

Okay, I think you get my point!!

I had purchased these incredibly inexpensive cabinet doors at the ReStore about a year ago knowing there would be something cool to do with them but not knowing what exactly that would be! Then Gail inspired me! These made the PERFECT Christmas gifts for my Mom and my sister and I can’t wait to make more. I wanted to do a step-by-step post but got so into creating these I forgot to take photos!!  So here is one step and the final products!

Gail taught me this little trick – always check out the OOPS section at Lowes!  I picked up this mistint for $0.50 and it worked perfect.  After sanding the cabinets and taping off the inside, I painted the “frame” with some old laytex paint I had from painting my kitchen.  It took a few coats.  I let it dry, then sanded the edges and such to create a weathered and worn look.  Then I painted on the stain and let it dry for a few seconds then wiped it off.

It worked well because it warmed up the bright yellow paint while darkening the sanded areas to really accentuate that weathered and worn look.  After this I took off the blue tape and painted the inside with chalkboard paint. Okay, there’s the one step, now on to the fun stuff!

I gave this one to my Mom. She has a very huge creative space that has tons of fun wall art and repurposed furniture. She sews amazing quilts and fun little pillows so I wanted to add a tad of that sewing inspiration idea into this piece, even making a holder for the chalk at the end of each ribbon tail! I’m loving my sewing machine.

I had some fun with rick rack, some ribbon I had around, as well as vintage buttons.  My Mom was really surprised and loves it so that was the best part of giving her this gift!

This is the one I gave to my little sister Kate (minus the photos, those are mine, I just wanted you to be able to see how this would be used).  I seriously LOVE giving gifts to my sister because she gets so excited even at 25 years old and her reactions are priceless!!  I used the same process for this chalkboard wall art but decorated it so she could hang photos.

I had some really big old wooden buttons that I painted black, then hot-glued to mini clothes pins.  Those got painted as well.  I added some color with the red vintage buttons and then hot glued it to the edge of the cabinet door.  Pretty easy, very cute!  That is my beautiful sister  and myself in the photo on the left and us with our Aunt (our Martha Stewart) and Uncle in the photo of the right.

Kate absolutely loved this and I chose colors that are perfect for her living room.  Thanks to Gail at My Repurposed Life for the inspiration for these fun Christmas Gifts!

Did you get a DIY or handmade gift this year?  I would love to hear about it.



My Martha Stewart December 11, 2010

Filed under: decorating,Gifts,Holidays,Omaha — meganodea @ 4:53 pm
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Every Christmas since I can remember my Aunt Jody has done some sort of decorating project with my sister and I (check out last year’s), and they ALWAYS resemble something I expect Martha Stewart to create!

She even kind of looks like her with great hair and the most festive little apron and oh my you should see her house around the holidays! Beautiful!!

Cake balls are all the rage this year so it didn’t surprise me to learn she had perfected the art of cake ball making and we would be too! This is the book she learned from.

And this is what we were going to make, Santa Hats (and Christmas Trees, not pictured) Who wouldn’t love chocolate cake mixed with chocolate frosting covered with colored chocolate frosting, sprinkled with sugar and topped with a gum ball?

Her table full of supplies.


With a lot of patience and careful steady hands, this chocolate cake mixed with chocolate frosting becomes. . .


Colorful Christmas Trees and,


Scrumptious Santa hats!


I love how creative my Aunt is and how she encourages that creativity in us.  Who is your “Martha Stewart” and how does that person encourage creativity in your life?

Thanks for another beautiful holiday experience Aunt Jody!!



Baubles & Bows One Thousand Times Better December 8, 2010

Now, I thought my Baubles & Bows were pretty impressive but check out these GORGEOUS and inexpensive gift toppers I just read about over on Design Sponge. Love this!

Design Sponge: Gift Toppers