Nerd Nest Monthly Project Challenge

At the beginning of every month, we post a challenge for ourselves and you! At the end of the month, in theory, we’ll post our completed projects (Jake and I are both doing one) and will have a link-up for you to share yours! The projects can be interpreted in any way you want. Interpret our challenge to do a project in crafts, photography, creative writing, home decor, technical gadgetry, cooking, or whatever you can come up with.




June Challenge




This month’s challenge was to use up supplies that you’ve been hoarding. We picked two things that we’re afraid to use: saffron and our vintage sheet collection. (Read about those choices in the challenge post here.)

Saffron Paella

For our first saffron dish, we made a version of this saffron paella dish. It had a delicious flavor, but the texture of the rice wasn’t right (this is the sort of thing that takes a few tries to get it right). Also, the serving sizes on the recipe were ridiculously off. And Jake didn’t like it because he said it was too close to jambalya. Saffron recipe #1, down.

Saffron Rice

For our second saffron dish, we made this saffron rice. It was SO AMAZING. It tasted just like the saffron rice at our favorite Indian restaurants. We’re going to have to go buy more saffron just so we can make it again. Because, that’s right, we used up all of our saffron! We’ve been hoarding it for a long time (probably past its shelf life) because we were afraid of it. And now we want to go buy more. This is what these challenges are for, guys!

DIY Vintage Sheet Pet Net

For our first vintage sheet project, we made a pet net for Eliza’s closet (you can find the tutorial here). We love that the project solved a major organization problem for us and gave us a cheap solution. And it’s cute. Win win win.

"Eat" Cloth Napkins

The second vintage sheet project we started was “EAT” cloth napkin production. We’ve been using these cloth napkins in our kitchen for over a year (the photo was taken last March) and have now officially decided that the product testing phase is over (They hold up great, don’t stain easily, and the words don’t fade in the wash. Yay!). We’re working on sewing and printing more, but sewing projects are slow going in our house as they can ONLY be completed while Jonas is sleeping. Hopefully we’ll have enough collected to list them before the crazy holiday shopping begins.

Planning Something Wonderful

Lastly, I started cutting sheet fabric to make a version of this table tents with windows project. Seeing this project in 2009 was the reason that we stared to collect vintage sheets in the first place: who doesn’t want to be able to turn their kitchen table into a fort at a moment’s whim? There’s a lot of cutting and ironing for this project (the two parts of sewing that I’m so so slow at), so it’s slow going. I can’t wait to play with it! Eliza and Jonas are going to love it so deeply.

Getting out the sheets has inspired me to create even more projects! I’m going to make Eliza a few pillowcase nightgowns, like the ones my Grammy made for me, and we’re going to decide on how to hang a few pillow shams to use as a home for dirty kitchen laundry that needs to be taken to the laundry room. But we’ve got more ideas than time to execute them, so who knows how long these things will take.

We’re feeling really accomplished right about now.

Check out our other monthly challenges and results here. They’re meant to inspire, so you can do them any time–not just in the month we post them!





Pop back in July 1st for the next challenge!