31 December 2010

DIY: fabric yoyos

These fun little flowers are all unique and can be used to accessorize so many things. The best part?! All you need is a needle, thread {the thread color doesn't *have* to match}, circles of fabric & a button per circle.
Now follow the directions below:

Start with any size circle. Just remember that  the finished flower will be half the size of the original circle.

With your needle and thread, stitch a running stitch completely around the circle.

When you've arrived back at your beginning stitch, start pulling the thread all the way through so the fabric starts bunching together.

When the bunching is tight, flatten out the flower and pull the fabric at different points until you're happy with the look. Then, while keeping the stitches tight, add a few stitches securing the top of the flower to the bottom. I would suggest sewing the button on now, although you can always do it later.

Here are a few of the things I created using yo-yo flowers!

After choosing your layout, use small stitches to secure them to a shirt.


I used mix-matched buttons from my great-grandmother's button tin.

It's very easy to create hair flowers too (see next picture)

Take a large bobby pin and insert a square of felt in between the prongs at the closed end. Apply hot glue and immediately press finished yo-yo on top. (stitching the flower to the felt might work better long-term but I haven't tried it yet)

This headband was made by stitching finished yo-yo flowers onto a length of wide rick rack.
{original idea for yo-yos found in a magazine)

DIY: Chalkboard Globe

 This was one of the first ideas that got me rolling on gifts this Christmas.
Not only is it unique, versatile & perfect for guys or girls-- it's very easy and inexpensive to pull together. {The hardest part for me was finding a globe!}

To start with, you need chalkboard paint! Now you *can* buy it in the store or -for a fraction of the cost- follow this simple ratio and make your own --in any color you wish!
Ratio: 2 Tablespoons of Tile Grout per 8 oz. of paint

My observations:
  • One tub of grout goes a really looong way- especially on smaller projects- and allows you to use various colors instead of just one.
  •  Mixing in a disposable glass jar is preferable to mixing in a plastic tub.
  •  Mix your paint in small amounts because whatever you don't use in the space of a few hours gets really gummy and you have to throw it out.
  • For smaller projects, you can pick up 2 oz bottles of acrylic paint at your craft store (which is much less expensive per project than buying paint by the pint or quart.  (I used less than 2 oz of paint to coat a normal size globe twice)
Once your paint is mixed:
  • quickly prepare your globe's surface if you haven't already (wipe with a slightly damp cloth; use masking tape on anything you don't want painted...)
  • Using a small paint brush, coat the areas you want painted with at least two coats of paint (letting dry in between coats)
  • After your last coat of paint is applied, let the globe sit for at least 24 hours before writing on the surface.

Side Project
If you are giving this as a gift, you might want to add chalk...why not enclose it in a unique package?

 Take a small box (jewelry boxes work great) and paint with 1-2 coats of leftover chalkboard paint. 
Leave as is or create a design with chalk on the surface and then spray with Acrylic coating to set the design.
I was incredibly loathe to paint this globe. I loved the colors and it was so vintage!

{although I found it on the Fossil blog, the idea is originally from Design*Sponge}

28 December 2010

I hope everyone had a marvelous Christmas filled with Christ, traditions, {maybe even some snow!!} and warmth.  I'll share a small description of my Christmas morning taken from a letter I wrote to Brooke.

" I woke up to my alarm at 7a and jumped in the hot shower. After dressing, I ran downstairs and plugged all the Christmas lights in before brewing a hot mug of tea. I then went back downstairs by the tree and read Luke chapter 2 and then some of The Scarlet Pimpernel while waiting for everyone else to awaken. 
Very soon, all the little ones came sleepily from their beds-- blankets dragging behind and excited anticipation in their eyes-- to snuggle up on the sofa.

When everyone was assembled, Elaena {the youngest} opened the first gift and then Ellyn distributed the rest.
It was a time full of laughter, gift explanations, thank- yous and excitement. I'm sure you can imagine how the room looked when we were done! The floor covered with wrapping paper, strewn with gifts and pieces of ribbon, and not a place you could walk!
I love big family Christmases!

After a half-way clean up, we headed upstairs to the warm breakfast of strudel and quiche which awaited us."

Some of the most special moments of the morning for me were giving the gifts I made and seeing the pleasure and joy on each person's face! It made it so worth all the time and energy I put into each one! 
Whether your making something for yourself, your living space or someone else, the sense of accomplishment which comes with the trial, error and success of creating something yourself is priceless. This blog post introduces a series of DIY posts that will ::hopefully:: encourage you to start creating!

As I've said before, a lot of DIY " just has to do with seeing something you like and thinking "I could make that!". So you see it, examine it if possible, take a few mental notes on how it's essentially put together and then go home and work with what you've got...tweaking it until you like the result." But on the other hand, definitely Google and browse blogs and websites for inspiration and ideas. I do- lots!! Even when you "copy" an idea, without intentionally doing so you'll tweak it to your style and taste so it will be original to you.

Coming in the next post is one of my favorites. I couldn't wait to try it when I first saw it and I'm sure you'll love it to so check back soon!

p.s. Isn't it craziness that New Year's is just a few days away?! I'm pretty sure the beginning of the school year was just a few weeks ago...or at least, it seems like it!

** I was in such a whirlwind in the weeks leading up to Christmas that setting up good lighting for taking pictures of my projects was not exactly a priority. (I even used flash a few times...which is usually a no-no for me unless I'm trying to get a quick people snapshot) So please don't expect anything outstanding from this photographer for these particular blog posts:)

20 December 2010

::Gift Wrap::

Your Christmas shopping is all done (or almost done) & now you have loads of bags from stores...some even have Christmas prints on them! Or maybe you've run out of wrapping paper and you're snowed inside. Is there a solution?! Yes!  Turn all of those bags {paper or plastic} into gift wrap.
Oh and did you run out of ribbon too? Use scraps of fabric you have lying around...or twine...anything that is long and can be tied;) get creative!
Taking the time to wrap gifts creatively {even if it's just wrapping something instead of putting it in a bag!} is the last step to completing a gift which shows the recipient that you care about them.

Here are a few I came up with ... So far I've used Trader Joe's, Starbucks bags and scraps of fabric. {I've yet to do the majority of my wrapping and try the other ideas. Here's a link for a pom pom made out of a grocery sack!}

Add some color of your own with pens or markers. Paint would be very special too!
To get the frayed look with the ribbon, cut a strip (or whatever shape/size) and then roll around in your hand like you would a ball of dough.

03 December 2010

Photography:: Christmas Warmth

 I was in downtown Zionsville this week having tea with my sisters and Mama and very much enjoyed the warmth that spilled out of each shop window. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!

Inspiration Links

{I've shared just a few  of the do.it.yourself ideas which I've already had the opportunity to try but since I don't have the time to pull more posts together, I'm sharing a quick list of websites which should give much inspiration as you create and purchase gifts this Christmas season.} 


{Design Sponge}

{Martha Stewart}
{once you go to this link, scroll down to view links to other DIY gift galleries (i.e., for guys, chillen's, etc.)}  

{Fossil Blog} 

{MStetson Design} 

{Man Made Diy}  (I was so excited when I found this site because there just are very few diy/inspirational websites which are geared towards guys!)

When it comes to DIY, a lot of it just has to do with seeing something you like and thinking "I could make that!". So you see it, examine it if possible, take a few mental notes on how it's essentially put together and then go home and work with what you've got...tweaking it until you like the result. And most of all, have fun with it and think outside the box!

02 December 2010

DIY:: Placemat Stationary Holder

  • 1 Placemat 
  • 1 coordinating ribbon belt
  • sewing machine

1) Measure roughly 26 inches of your belt starting at the D ring end, and cut off excess.
2) Double fold cut end under and sew straight across.
3) Take your placemat and fold, bottom to top, 2/3 of the way up.

4) Pin ends together then pin to make 3 divisions (tri-fold)
5) Before sewing your ends and sections, take your belt and fold the end with the D rings over 2-3 inches. With the D ring side facing down from you, stitch the edge of the fold in between the folds at the left side of the placemat.

7) Completely sew that end closed before sewing along the other pins.

8) Tri-fold, wrap the belt around,  and buckle.

Now you have yourself a place to hold your inspirations, bills, stationary... you name it! Or make it a silverware wrapper by sewing smaller divisions.

*** If you have any questions let me know. Making and creating things comes more easily to me than writing up blog posts and how to's!

Recipe:: Peppermint Patties

 Mama and I have always been suckers for peppermint patties...and thinking as we paid $.79 for one, "it can't be *that* hard to make these, we should do it ourselves". Now after years of saying that, we have finally gotten around to it! And they are relatively easy to make-- only taking about the same amount of time it takes to make a batch of cookies, start to finish.
So if you are interested in making these for yourself or as gifts, I hope this will get you started!

{We googled to find our recipe and ended up using one from www.cdkitchen.com. There are many, many recipes out there so if you aren't happy with this one, start googling:)}

1 Egg white
4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon Peppermint oil or extract
Cornstarch for dusting
1 (16-oz.) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a medium bow, beat the egg white until it is stiff and forms peaks. Don't use a plastic bowl for this.

Slowly add the powdered sugar while blending with an electric mixer set on medium speed.

Add the corn syrup and peppermint oil or extract and knead the mixture with your hands until it has the smooth consistency of dough.

Using a flat surface and a rolling pin lightly dusted with cornstarch, roll out the peppermint dough 1/4-inch thick.

Punch out circles of peppermint dough with a biscuit cutter or a clean can with a diameter of about 2 1/2- inches. Place them on plates or cookie sheets, and let them firm up in the refrigerator, about 45 minutes.

Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave set on high for 2 minutes. Stir halfway through the heating time. Melt thoroughly, but do not overheat. Melting the chocolate chips can also be done using a double-boiler over low heat.

Drop each patty into the chocolate and coat completely. Using 2 forks, one in each hand, lift the coated patty from the chocolate. Gently tap the forks against the bowl to knock of the excess chocolate and place each patty on waxed paper.

Chill the peppermint patties until firm, about 30 minutes.

***notes: I made mine only about an inch and a half in diameter-- it turned out to be a better serving size and it made much more from one batch.
If you don't have Cornstarch, you can substitute Arrowroot powder. I also found myself powdering the countertop often, as I kneaded and then rolled the mixture, to keep it from sticking.

DIY:: Pine Cone Winter Door Hanging

9 yards of 1" width ribbon
6 pine cones
(or just go by the ratio of 1 1/2 yards ribbon per pine cone)

1) Cut ribbon into lengths of 1 1/2 yards.
2) Individually tie ribbon to top tip of pine cone with a double knot (you may need to fold the end of the ribbon to make it easier to tie)
3)Using a hot glue gun, place a few drops around the knots you just made, securing them to the pine cone stem.

4) When glue is dry, gather ribbons together, half in each hand, and tie a bow. If you wish for a staggered pine cone look, simply pull the ribbons to various lengths in your hand before tying. You should have excess ribbon hanging down after you tie your bow... leave as is or trim ends to lengths of your liking.
5) It's that simple! Now hang and admire!!

06 October 2010

Girls With Glasses

This video came out roughly 6 months ago but I didn't have a blog then to share it with you! So now, let the sharing begin:)
The Girls with Glasses have put together some lovely videos but I have to say that this one will always be my favorite.  It's all about fashion evolving. color. happiness. dressing up. being feminine and loving it... all sorts of lovely things!

{fiind more videos at vimeo.com  (search girls with glasses) or at www.thegirlswithglasses.com}

27 September 2010


{I adore gray. a lot. (it's pretty much my favorite color next to yellow) 
 So I thought I should do a blog post about it.  :D}
Gray is a base color. Like black... brown or navy. It can go with just about every other color and still look lovely!  It's been a favorite of mine because it's not as dramatic as black, nor as earthy as brown and isn't as traditional as navy but can still be dressy & formal or laid back & relaxed. ('course black, brown and navy still have a place in my life...but you understand where I'm going;) hehe)
This color tends to be gloomy for many people but before you read any further, please think of all the color you can throw with it to still feel cheerful and happy!
There are many various shades and tones of gray. Warm or cool. Silvery or gunmetal.  Try to choose ones that complement your skin tone and the colors you pair with it. 

Gray in Clothing
It works for all seasons, just pair it with seasonal colors (or be more daring & unique and pair it with unseasonal colors!)  Typically you might  try mixing it with pastels and light colors in Spring; medium and bright tones in Summer; warm and earthy shades in fall; and deep, dramatic hues in Winter but mix it up according to your own taste and personal style.       
If  certain shades of gray don't complement your skin coloring, try different shades or use small amounts... accent pieces (jewelry, hats, shoes) or patterns with gray mixed in.
Gray can be the base or accent color of your ensemble, just remember to combine it with small or large splashes of color to break up the monotony. 
It's okay to pull several shades of gray into one outfit too but  make sure they blend well together and once again, remember to add splashes of color. 

Gray in Decor

Gray is often used in French country decor (very vintage) 

or can be very cool and elegant when paired with sleek modern lines. 

 and stays traditional when matched with gold accents and dark wood.

  I would suggest adding splashes of color as well but use it as suits your own tastes.

***I ran out of time to find just the right photos to go with this post but found a few images with Google's help to give you some ideas. I'll try to share a few photos that mix grays with more color next time so it won't seem so gloomy for some of you. ;)***

08 September 2010


I had several composition books and a binder sitting around looking bla and plain so last weekend I spruced them up in my spare time:) 

Decoupaging is so simple but can totally transform so much! 

Here's how to try your hand at it:
Supplies: Elmer's glue | an old craft paint brush | some form of paper {I've used newspaper, wrapping paper, cut-outs from magazines and scrapbook paper. I also want to try using maps. So get creative... there's lots you can use!} | something to decoupage! {notebook, small box, something wooden... there's all sorts of possibilities. My next step is to try it on glass and see how that works}
1) Prepare your space by laying down newsprint:) 
2) Dilute your glue {roughly a tablespoon of water to a 1/4 cup of glue. You don't want it too runny so add a small about of water at a time} and be sure you have your paper or cut-outs prepared (torn, cut, etc.).
3)Brush a coat of glue onto the item you are decoupaging then place your paper on, one piece at a time, brushing another coat of glue on top as you go. If you are working with torn pieces, (as I did on the notebooks below) be sure to layer well and cover all the cracks. Be careful not to apply an excess of glue, you just want a light layer.
4) Brush a final coat of glue over the entire piece (or one side at a time) once you're finished applying paper/pieces.
5) Let dry in a well ventilated place (or in front of a fan) for at least 24 hours.

-As you go, rub out wrinkles and bubbles gently. Especially if you are laying on large pieces at once. Work from one edge to the next or from the middle out.
-The decoupage process tends to make paper more transparent so keep that in mind. If you aren't layering torn pieces but want to make sure the color of the notebook doesn't bleed through, consider first decoupaging a layer of white paper (or if you can, a deeper color) before you do your other design.
-Definitely make sure that as you're working, the side that is laying on the newsprint or drying place stays dry and uncoated by wet glue. You don't want to have it all pull off when you pick it up!
-Often times you have to work in sections... doing one side, letting it dry completely, then moving on to the next side.
-Get hands on and use your fingers to apply the glue! It turns out better because you're able to apply pressure to "squeeze" excess glue from under the paper.
Let me know if you have questions!

My American Lit binder needed a fresh look:)
Newsprint covered composition book. When I have time I'm going to decorate/personalize it for a gift.
Front of Lab book  {I layered torn pieces of scrapbook paper}
back of Lab book
Yet to be completed, I used torn pieces of wrapping paper on this book.

Anthropologie Inspiration: Autumn Dreams

I found this in my inbox tonight from Anthropologie and it just made me *so* happy! Doesn't everyone want to do this on a random Autumn day?! 

(p.s. notice the detailed crocheted dress paired perfectly with tights to warm it up!!}

30 August 2010


This was a total God shot. I walked out to the car one morning on my way to the gym and this photo was all planned out, waiting for me to click the shutter!

Taking a picture every.single.blessed.day means getting really creative at times and working to make commonplace items look unique. Especially when it's 10:30 or 11 at night and you *just* remembered to do it! 
 You also miss a day once in a while {even after setting 4 different reminders on your phone to: "Take P.A.D.!!!"} but it just makes you more determined not to miss the next day.  

This blog is to document my personal journey of taking one picture a day and I welcome comments, critique, and encouragement! Let me know your favorites!


11 August 2010

PAD- Picture a Day

Monday I started PAD- Picture A Day. It seems very simple, but I've already missed a day accidentally! For the first month or so I'll have to be very dedicated about remembering...but it should become habit after that.

Two of my photographer friends, Ron and Debra (www.outoftheboxphotography.com), have encouraged me several times over the past two years to take up this project. By focusing on various subjects, aspects and concepts of photography, just one day at a time, you learn so much and your photography grows with you. It also keeps you shooting even when you get into slumps and don't feel like picking up your camera. I'm very excited about this new project and can't wait to see where it takes me!
Here is PAD: Day 1:

In a few weeks or so, I'll open a separate blog for my collection of PAD photos...and I'd love to hear any critique or encouragement you have!