It’s Friday!! Ok, in all honesty, I’m not really as excited about Friday this week as I usually am. It’s been a long week, with it being the first week back at work from vacation. But I’m happy the weekend is here and excited about getting some work done on my day off. Did you have an awesome week? Any exciting plans for the weekend? Anyone with a 3 day weekend?
Either way, I have some great reads for you for your weekend! I found so many great articles this week and I’m so happy to be sharing them with you! Some of these, especially the fitness-related ones, really hit home and got me thinking. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
Hey everyone! I can’t believe March is coming to a close already! It feels like this month has just flown by! Is that just me? Anyways, this month was really busy for me, and some of that was being busy creating. There are some projects that I hoped I would get to that got sidelines for the month (my mosaic), but I did get one really pretty DIY piece done and a decent amount of jewelry! So without further ado, here is what I made in March!
I do have one piece of jewelry I’m currently halfway through wrapping, some glass ready to be fired, and some more glass pieces done that I haven’t gotten back yet! Plus hopefully I will be able to get some time down in my studio on Wednesday to work on my mosaic! Overall, a pretty productive month. And that’s what I made in March!
I’m loving this current focus on creating, though I do wish that I had taken the time to work on a couple more non-jewelry based projects this month. Oh well…sometimes one particular type of art eats all your focus, leaving nothing left for the other creative outlets 🙂
Do you ever have that happen? Get super-focused on one project or type of project? Do you just flow with it or do you try to split your focus some so it’s more moderate? I love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!
To see more of what I have created, check out last month’s post!
Are you all as excited for spring as I am?! While I’m never all that thrilled about winter, I have been going a little stir-crazy the last month or so waiting for the weather to warm up. And yeah, while Iowa isn’t quite done with the cold weather yet, (seriously?! Snow expected this week?!) the beginning of spring does give me hope that eventually we will get to the warmer weather again…hiking, outdoor events, no more coats…I can’t wait!
With anticipating the warmer weather, and the official start of spring, comes the desire to take down all the winter decor and bring in some more color! Only one problem…The only spring wreath I made last year was this one for my mom. So I had no wreath for our front door! (I am also seriously lacking in other spring decor, but that will be a post for another day) It’s a good thing that I absolutely love a chance to try a new DIY project! So, I did what any aspiring DIYer does! I made one for myself!
If you have been with the blog for a while, or on my Instagram, you’ve noticed I tend to stick to the same style of wreath, at least for the base. Pretty much a straw wreath base, wrapped in burlap or yarn. This time I decided to experiment a bit and try a new base! So this is my first attempt at using a grapevine wreath. Overall, I think it went pretty well!
Estimated Time for Project: 1 hour
- 1 grapevine wreath
- fake flowers – I used 3 bunches of tulips, in 3 different colors. All but 3-4 individual flowers were used in this project.
- 1 roll of burlap, any color – I used brown, but a pink or yellow could look really pretty too!
- wooden inital – Both Draz and my last names start with H, so that seemed like a good choice!
- paint for initial
- Not pictured: glue gun, twine
- I started by painting the initial. You want plenty of time for that to dry before you add it on at the end! While that is drying, you can assemble the rest of the wreath. I painted ours a light purple, which sadly didn’t photograph very well. Just trust me. It’s purple!
- Trim flowers off of the bunches. I started out with pretty long stems (6+ inches), thinking that would be easier to weave through the grapevine. It ended up getting pretty stuffed pretty quickly! I started trimming them shorter about halfway through, ending up with 3-4 inches being a pretty comfortable length. This leaves you enough to weave through the grapevine without filling it too much. I trimmed some, added those, trimmed more and added those, repeating until I was happy with the amount of flowers on the wreath.
- Move on to your burlap. I made two bows first. Then I wrapped some of the rest of the burlap loosely around the wreath, adjusting until I liked how it looked. I did tie down one part behind the flowers with twine to make it lay a little nicer.
- If you feel the need to, this would probably be the point to glue any of the flowers that you want to. I considered it, but decided they didn’t need any. (I actually turned the wreath upside down and shook it around!)
- Using the hot glue gun, add your bows to the wreath.
- Using the hot glue gun again, attach your wooden initial.
That’s it! It’s a pretty simple process, but the results are gorgeous! I am in love with how this wreath turned out! I did learn a few things during the process as well:
- Burlap bows are actually much easier to make pretty than I ever realized! I have actually tried to make things with bows before and I could never get them to look pretty. This time, I had a realization that made them so much easier with a much better looking result! (I am sad I didn’t get pictures of this. I will try to get some next time!)
- I made a loop with the length of burlap, putting the seam at the middle in the back. Pinch the middle of the loop together and wrap twine around the pinched area a few times, tying in the back to secure. That’s it! It’s so much simpler than anything I tried before.
- Shorter stems are easier to work with than longer. I know I said that above, but it is definitely worth repeating. SO. MUCH. EASIER.
- Wire cutters for electrical wire can be used to great effect to cut the stems of fake flowers. I could not find my usual scissors anywhere…nearly dented my nice kitchen shears trying to cut the stems. I then called my dad, who saved the day (as always)! He suggested using some wire cutters, which we had just used in another project a week ago and I knew where those were. They were even easier than the scissors I normally use!
I am so happy with how this DIY project turned out! I was a little nervous trying out a new base, but it was so easy to work with and the result was beautiful. I may be making a few new grapevine wreaths in the future.
How are you decorating for spring? Do you like using DIY decor in your home? Are you planning on any new DIY decor for the new season? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!
You know how sometimes the creative juices just aren’t there, and then other times you can’t catch up with all the ideas racing around in your head? Do you experience that too? Last month was a bit…stalled creatively. This month on the other hand! This month has been awesome! And a lot of the awesomeness has all occurred within the last week! ❤
Some of this is due to taking a short post-birthday vacation. I had 5 glorious days to spend on blog improvements, a few DIY projects, an art piece and some new jewelry, both finishing pieces and pieces to be fused!
Sadly, even on vacation I have more ideas then time, but that just means that I won’t run out of projects any time soon!
I feel like I really made some progress on my jewelry this month. I have been putting some extra time into improving my wire wrapping skills and I think it’s starting to show! After some great advice from Michele over at @tigerlilywraps on Instagram, I headed over to YouTube and checked out a few channels for tutorials: Go Art Yourself and OxanaCrafts. A few of the pieces on here were actually done using the tutorials, specifically this one.
While I still feel like I have a lot of room for improvement, I’m excited to see what I have gotten done this month!
Along with my jewelry, my vacation gave me a bunch of time to work on other projects! I stained the backboard for my next mosaic and cut the sheet of glass I need to start it. This project has actually been in some stage of progress for over around 2 years, so I’m looking forward to getting some glass laid down on it soon! I also have some more pendants to be fused (and I’m waiting for some that aren’t pictured that I’m getting back today!)
Since staining that backboard seems to have gotten me in a mood, I actually stained a bunch more boards for 2 DIY projects. The “Love & Coffee” is part of one of those, so be looking for posts on those projects soon! I can’t wait to share them with you 🙂
And for what is possibly my most exciting DIY project of the month. I have sanded, primed, and started painting some furniture for our bedroom and closet remodel! Now, these are all pieces I’ve had for years…The dresser for around 10 and the side tables since I was a kid. These things have gotten pretty beaten up over the years, but I think they are going to turn out great!
So that’s what I’ve been working on this month! I hope you enjoyed this little peak into my studio and home. I can’t wait to share the new DIY projects with you soon!
Have you been working on anything new lately? Any projects you’ve had on hold that you finally got to get started? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave me a comment below!
Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful week 🙂 I’m really excited to share this week’s Friday Favorites with you..I found quite a few links that look really great! But first: I started my 365 Photography Project! This is my favorite picture from this week (today actually)
The photo prompt for today was “Cover.” Now, you might be wondering why I photographed an old notebook. Well…this notebook is actually one of my most prized possessions. It is a recipe book, handwritten by my mom. It was started in 1993 and has every recipe she cooked that I liked, from then (age 5) to when I moved out right before I turned 17! It’s pretty amazing and I absolutely love it. I actually plan on doing the same thing when I have kids. Just looking at it makes me smile, makes me feel loved.
And now, on to the awesome links from this week! Enjoy!
Cabbage Ginger Noodles from Naturally Ella – I have just recently started cooking with fresh ginger and I love it! I can’t wait to try this!
Lemony Soup with White Beans, Kale and Pasta from A Cup of Jo – This sounds delicious! And I have to agree with her…I love any soup with beans 🙂
Pineapple Coconut Smoothie from The Iron You – This smoothie makes me wish for summer. I really want to try this one! I have never used pineapple or coconut in my smoothies, so I’m looking forward to trying something new!
Home and Decor
Water Gardens from Robinne Weiss – Their water garden turned out wonderful!
LZM Home: Photo Wall Collages from Le Zoe Musings – I love how they pulled the two collages together! We have a lot of empty walls in our home that I’m currently trying to pull together and would love if ours turned out this nice!
A New Home (And a New Bed) from A Cup of Jo – Can I just say how much I love her style!? While we are not currently looking at getting a new bed, I never thought to order one online. I will have to keep that in mind when we do look at getting a new mattress 🙂
Art and DIY
Creations, Magnolia & Cotton Wreath from The Painted Apron – I love making wreaths, but I haven’t made one of this style before. I love how she breaks down how she put it together and it looks beautiful!
The Problem Of a Creative Creature from The Richness of a Simple Life – The search for creative outlets in life can be difficult and I love Niki’s take on it!
DIY Diamond Shaped Book Shelves from A Beautiful Mess – I absolutely love this bookcase! I have wanted built-ins pretty much forever, but there is no way that we can put those in here. These though?! These we could do! Would it be overkill to put these in two rooms? Cause I kinda want to 🙂
Take a Seat: How to Make a Budget-Friendly Bench in Under an Hour from Paper & Stitch – So cute! And I love the idea of using a carpet piece on part of the bench!
Top 10 Fitness Bloggers to Follow from Semi-Sweet Tooth – A couple of these I’ve heard of, but most are brand new to me and sound great! I’m looking forward to checking them out more!
Health & Fitness: Splurge & Save from The Fitnessista – Love this list! I pretty much agree with everything on here. 🙂
Life and Family
You Don’t See My Sad – That Doesn’t Make My Happy Fake from This House Is Our Home – I really love this! I have always been bothered by the idea that someone is being “fake” by only showing the positive or not getting involved in hot topic debates online. I hate getting into those things and I am definitely not going to complain about my less-happy stuff online. Anna does a great job talking about this!
Blogging and Business
A Color Story Filters: Shifting Colors from A Beautiful Mess – I’m still learning a lot about photography and photo editing, so this was a great read!
Have a great weekend!
Hey everyone! Welcome to my new (hopefully) weekly series: Friday Favorites! This will be a weekly roundup of my favorite blog posts and articles that I find throughout that week. I hope you like them!
7 Tips for Working Out In The Morning by Oddly Lovely
Getting Back Into Fitness by A Girl, Obsessed
Gluten-Free Chicken Marsala by The Lean Green Bean
Slow Cooker Honey Soy Chicken by The Recipe Critic
Slow Cooker Cheese Stuffed Turkey Meatballs with Zoodles by Persnickety Plates
Spicy Chipotle Turkey Burritos by Pinch of Yum
Easy Quinoa Pizza Bowls by Gimme Some Oven
Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Onion by Naturally Ella
Slow Cooker Mongolian Chicken by The Recipe Critic
Art & DIY
DIY Brass Handle Marble Tray by I Heart Organizing
Home & Family
52 Dates to do This Year by Friday We’re In Love
Currently by Iowa Girl Eats (this is a really cute idea for a post!)
The Coffee Bar by The Small Things Blog
Friday Eye Candy: Closet Organization by A Thoughtful Place
Life and Blogging
16 Steps to Make This Year the Best Year Ever by A Fresh Start on a Budget
Cheers to Two by Venus Trapped in Mars
What IS the Value of a Blog? by Venus Trapped in Mars
Enjoy! Not many links this week, but I hope to do a bigger link up most Fridays. What do you guys think of this new series? Have you found any really great links this week?
I would love to hear your thoughts, so leave me a comment below!
Are you working on your photography skills? I know that I am constantly trying to learn and improve on my skills in this area. I still have a long long way to go, but I do think I’ve been doing a bit better. One thing I realized I needed was a portable neutral background for photographing smaller objects. So I found this DIY Macro Studio and decided to make one of my own!
- large plastic white tablecloth
- pop-up laundry bag
- staples and stapler
- 1 sheet of white poster board
This project was really inexpensive and I already had the pop-up laundry bag at home.
I started out by roughly tracing the sides of the pop-up laundry bag on the tablecloth. Keep the tablecloth folded over once to increase strength. You need to trace the top and both sides, totaling in 3 separate pieces.
I then cut out all three sides, leaving the ends intact.
Cut out all three sides on the pop-up that you are replacing with the plastic tablecloth. The laundry bag in this picture is upside down.
Then insert the poster board and staple it into place, trimming down what you don’t need on the sides. Then staple the tablecloth to the sides and top of the laundry bag. I forgot to photograph this part, sorry. I will admit that I had a bit of difficulty getting this part down. I ended up stapling in the middle first and then working out towards the sides.
And it’s done! I still need to work on some better exterior lighting, but I’m really happy with how this turned out. Especially for such an inexpensive project!
I think that this will allow me to really improve my macro photography! I’ve mostly used it for photographing my jewelry so far, but I can’t wait to use it on some other projects as well!
What do you use for your photography? Have you built any backgrounds or props that you love? I would love to hear about your experiences, so please leave a comment below! I’m always looking for new projects!
So if you saw Tuesday’s post, you may be wondering why I’m posting again about goals. Well, while I talked about my goals for the year yesterday, I still want to make sure I’m keeping myself accountable for my monthly goals.
- Continue with BBG, 6 days a week – I did continue with BBG..I did not manage 6 days a week. I got sick partway through the month with a nasty cold, took a week off to recover and have been fighting my way back into a routine ever since. I am going to get back into it though, no matter what! Now that the holidays are over and my schedule should mostly be back to normal, this should be easier to accomplish.
- Try again to incorporate active rest days – About 50% successful. I did really enjoy the days where I managed this! But between the week I was sick and our Christmas celebrations, I missed adding yoga in to a few rest days.
- Finish 3 DIY projects – I only finished 2, but I’m really happy with how they turned out!
- Less TV time, especially while writing! – I did pretty good at this for the most part! I still wrote some while watching TV, but the majority were written at my desk while listening to instrumental music. This is definitely a habit I’m going to keep up!
December Fav Photos (Other than the DIY projects above, which are some of my favs too!)
- Start establishing a morning routine – Wake up 30 minutes earlier. I know I’ve tried to get up earlier in past months, but I think I was trying to push to get up so much earlier too quickly. I’m instead going to try to wake up 30 minutes earlier each day this month, making sure to use the time productively.
- Start at least one art project – By this I’m not referring to the DIY projects I do, but instead one of the art pieces I’ve been wanting to start on.
- Active rest days – I’m going to keep working on this one. Hopefully with a much calmer month now that the holidays are past, I can finally manage to add this in to my routine!
That’s it! Are you planning on setting goals for this month, or are you working on your goals for 2016 instead? Or are you doing both, like I am? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Can you believe that Christmas is just around the corner?! It’s such an exciting, yet busy time of year. Now, I don’t know about you, but I still have a bit of decorating to do. Ok, I still actually have a lot of decorating to do. It’s been a busy couple of weeks! So, if you still have a little decorating to do, or even if you don’t, you might enjoy this quick and easy Christmas DIY!
Materials not shown in the picture:
- hot glue gun
- red beads (or other decorations you may want to use)
Steps not show:
- I cut down two of the cones with a serrated kitchen knife, so the trees would be 3 different sizes.
- The cap for the tree was two squares of burlap glued on the top, overlapping.
Step not shown: Trim off any frayed parts that are sticking out more than you want them to. It’s burlap, so it’s going to have “unraveled” bits either way, but you can clean it up some once the tree is completely covered.
After I had put on the silver garland, I decided I wasn’t a big fan of the ribbons I had originally thought to use. Instead, I added some red beads to imitate ornaments. I love how this turned out!
And that’s it! This project didn’t take much time at all to finish and is the perfect addition to my snowman collection!
Have you made any new decorations for Christmas? Are you all done decorating, or do you still have some left to do? I’d love to know your thoughts!