The Fogue Abode: December 2016

Friday, December 30, 2016

Like Sands Through the Hourglass...So Were the Days of This Year

(queue dramatic music)  "She stares, longingly, at her fireplace.  Half wishing it would transform into the beautiful rendition she so envisioned.  Alas, the year has come and gone and it still sits neglected... cold...lonely."

Ok, clearly I'm not meant to be a DIY Soap star.  Or a soap writer.  But the one project I let slip away this year is haunting me today.  No more regrets, lets looking back on the year and celebrate what I consider a baby blog success.

Here we are, in the final days of 2016.  Like all good bloggers, I wanted to take a look back at what this year had in store for The Fogue Abode. 

I'm calling this my first full year of blogger...since the first few months I tried it so long ago didn't last.  And it has been a huge success! 

Let's dive into the nostalgic end of year post (que the 90s hit "Graduation (Forever Friends) by Vitamin C.)


On January 12th, with this post, we relaunched The Fogue Abode.  After a start 3 years prior and then the hiatus that was Baby Aspen, I finally put pen to paper, or fingers to keys, and really got the ball rolling on this here blog.  It has been a whirl-wind of DIY projects, house tours and holiday fun.

Just How Many DIY Projects Did We Accomplish?

Looking back through 2016, we tackled 10 DIY Projects! 

Remember when it took us 9 months to completely gut and refinish our Guest Bathroom?  It was a labor of love, but I am loving the completed (well almost completed, but that's a story for another post) project.  

And then, we moved to mean you guys, total nerd blogger alert that I have a .com!

Through the year, we pumped out 133 blog posts.  February was our busiest month with a total of 18 Blog Posts. 

Without further ado, here are the top 5 posts of 2016 selected by you!

2. Sister, Sister: Home Tour #1

3. Christmas Home Tour

4. {Gather} My Fall Vintage Market Day Trip

5. DIY Bathroom Towel Holders {Industrial Style}

Thank you for sticking with this girl and her blog through the year.  Cheers to an even better 2017!!!  See ya next year.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

DIY Faux Calligraphy Christmas Envelopes

If you can't already tell, one of my favorite Christmas traditions is receiving holiday cards.  I love checking our mail box to see what has arrived from our friends or family.  What is even more fun is finding a beautifully written envelope waiting inside.  Are you ready for some photo overshare?  Because, I'm fixing to share how I created faux calligraphy Christmas Cards this year.

I live by the rule of thumb that this is the one time of year you intentionally send mail to your friends.  It should be a beautiful work of art.  But it doesn't have to be intimidating or difficult. 

First, I start with a DIY template.  You can purchase already made ones, but I prefer the quick and easy way of creating my own with some scrap card stock.

I cut the cardstock to the size of my envelope and measure out the notches for the address.  Make sure you also measure a line half way across the envelope to help you center your address.

Now that you have your DIY template, it's time to start on your envelope.  You will want to use a pencil to draw faint lines on your envelope.  I have darkened the image in photoshop so that you can see them better.  So, I repeat, faint lines!  The fainter the better, just make sure you can see them.

Once you have your line indicators, use a straight edge (or the edge of the cardstock) and draw the lines that you will use as your guide.


Let's start lettering. 

I tend to eyeball my center on the script portion.  It's a lot harder to start in the middle and keep the flow with script.  I'll add "The" to the left of the name later on, so I kept that in mind when finding my starting point. 

Use a nice simple script.  If you want to shake it up from your normal cursive, find a font and mimic that. *Remember to save space for your stamp*

The key to faux calligraphy is to go back over your lettering and add a second line anywhere that your pencil took a down stroke.  We will go in later and fill it in.  It doesn't have to be perfect at this point, it's just your starting sketch. 

Let's add "The" and use a pretty ribbon banner to highlight it.

How do you create a ribbon banner, you say?  It's easy as pie. 

Once you have the family name sketched out, we can move on to the address.  This is where you can really get creative, you can center justify or left justify, script or block, bold or light....I decided on a slight mix of a block lettering but added in a little calligraphy on the state.  Try to spell out all of your words here instead of using the abbreviation, it just looks fancier.

My key to centering the address is to find your middle letter.  Start there and work your way out.  It's pretty simple to do with the blocked lettering. 

I also like to space the zip code out on the bottom so that it is the length of the longest line from the address above.  You can use dots or squiggles in between.

Yay, our rough draft is complete, now on to tracing it with our pens.  I am fan-girling big time over Tombow.  So I have a red Tombow Dual Brush Pen I will use for the family name (I use the blunt side for this project, but if your an expert Brush Pen user, go ahead and use the soft tip) and a Tombow Fude Soft Tip Pen for the address.

Let's get to tracing.

Next comes my favorite part, coloring in the down strokes.  This is when the script really takes form and looks all fancy pants.  Don't forget to color in the ribbon banner like I obviously did.

Almost there.

Once your wording is done, it's time to erase those lines.  Another reason I love Tombow is that they dry super fast and don't smudge.  If you are using any other type of pen or marker, test out how it erases before you get to erasing your art work.  You may want to have this sit for several hours or overnight to cure.

And now you are finished!  Your friends and family will be so impressed with your calligraphy skills, no need to tell them it's all fake.

If you are wondering what I stuffed in these is our family Christmas Card which we made with Picaboo.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Our Five Fun Fogue Family Christmas Traditions

*Edited because my frozen chubby fingers couldn't spell our own name.  I blame it on the 17 degree weather.

Christmas IS my favorite time of year.  I live for the beauty and splendor of the holiday season.  As Aspen is getting older, I'm establishing our own Christmas traditions.  One's that I hope fill her dreams at night. 

So, I could give you a list of random holiday traditions, but I'd rather share with you the 5 things we do as a family for the Christmas Season.

  • Hall out the Holly - It all starts with some great Christmas music while we decorate the trees.  I may or may not be one of those who starts playing Christmas music the minute Halloween is over... To check out our Holly-day d├ęcor, visit this post

  • Reading Christmas Stories by Christmas Light - I love sitting in front of our tree and reading Christmas stories to Aspen.  Normally this consists of me being in my utopia while A runs around admiring all the lights around the tree and the ornaments.  Her current favorite book is Santa Comes To Arkansas.  At least she gives me 3/4 of her attention when we read this one.

  • Mailing Christmas Cards - I'm a stickler for sending old fashioned Christmas Cards.  I love sending those words of cheer to my friends and family.  But I really enjoy going to my mail box each day to see what cheer we get in return.  It's a dying tradition that I'm trying my hardest to hold on to.  We purchased our cards this year through Picaboo.  I love that it syncs with your Google Photos.      

  • Checking Out the Neighborhood Christmas Lights - My childhood Christmas memories always included drives around the neighborhood to check out all the fun light displays.  We try to find somewhere fun and interesting to go to each year such as a Garden Christmas display or a fun walk through exhibit.  It may be cold and it may be expensive, but those memories....

We toured our local Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs, AR recently.  Aspen loved the lights, it made mom and dad quite blue. 
  • Unwrapping a Christmas Eve Box - We started the Christmas eve box last year for Aspen's first Christmas.  It's a fun way to kick off the day with some quiet family time in some fun new pjs.  This years boxed featured a Nativity book, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Santa PJs.  Since our Christmas Eve is pretty jam packed, we do our fun box the weekend before. 

Unwrapping Christmas gifts with Cousin It!  Check out my Christmas gift.

She needed to model her new Santa PJs.  Her excitement for all things Santa Claus may rival Buddy the Elf this year!
Thanks for joining in on our fun family Christmas Traditions?  What are some of your Christmas traditions?