Tuesday, April 1, 2014

DIY Terrarium

When I was a little girl, my grandma had a terrarium. I remember it because I used to look inside and imagine the tiny little creatures that lived there, but hid from me when I was around. It was big...like in a huge, brandy-type glass and I loved it. I don't know what happened to it, but lately I have been seeing this little glass globe terrariums and my memories of grandma's house came flooding back.

On a recent shopping trip, I noticed some little globe terrariums and just about had a coronary when I saw the price for a small one was $35. Are you kidding me? So I printed a few Michaels coupons, took a few trips on my way home from work throughout the week and by Saturday morning, I was ready to put these puppies together. I already had rocks and some faux fern leaves in my stash. I just needed the globes, some tiny rock sand and a few succulents and I was ready to get started...

Seriously, about 30 minutes had passed and I had these little puppies. I adore them. I didn't use live plants because I don't need the pressure to water them and keep them alive, but I have other plans for a live version coming soon :) I added a little whimsy with the tiny mushrooms and I think they are the best part.

The large one has a permanent home on my bookshelf, and the smaller one was a gift to my niece, Elyse, because she is just generally awesome and was accepted to almost all the colleges she applied to. She will be attending Cal Poly Pomona in the Fall and I could not be more proud.

Partying it up with...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

DIY Aisle Runner

Hello everyone! So I've been on a slight hiatus but let's waste any time getting specific about what "slight" means in this case. Maybe I'll talk about that in a future post, but for now, the point is....I'm back and I'm crafting and it feels good!
Let's flashback to February, early February, when I receive a text that goes something like this:
Angela: Hey! Do you think we have time to do something like this??? (attached are pictures of wedding aisle runners)
Me: Like for your wedding??? (scheduled for Saturday, February 22)
Angela: lol yes
Me: Let me do some research and get back to you
Once my panic subsided, I kicked it into gear. My fears of not having enough time, my fears of not being able to "pull it off", my fears of not being Martha Stewart-ey enough...they took a back seat to my friend and her wedding. I researched the bejeezus out aisle runners, made a timeline and texted my friend that I would give it a shot. Yes, I made a timeline. I have OCD. Don't judge me.
The first thing that I did was design a few logos and asked Ang to pick one. She did....like super fast and the first step was done! I appreciated that she picked a simple one because I knew this was going to be hand painted and the less detail, the more likely it would be done in time for the wedding! Don't worry, I eliminated the "shutterstock" watermark. It just didn't compliment the wedding like it should :)
With the logo decided, it was time to get started. There were a couple of challenges, like trying to figure out how to print the logo in in the size I needed, approximately 32 inches wide. I had to do it 1990's style and print it in sheets, cut the sheets and tape it together...like one of those "Welcome Home" banners we printed on our dot matrix printers while watching Beverly Hills 90210.
I placed the large, taped printout on the floor, laid the runner over it and traced the design with a pencil...just a regular #2 pencil. The runner itself was super transparent so it was easy to see the printed words. I didn't take a picture of this step, but you can see below how easily it is to see through the runner.
With the traced design finished, I grabbed some black acrylic paint and a paintbrush and started hand painting the names. This was probably the most challenging because painting straight lines on fabric isn't always easy. I knew it wasn't going to look perfect, and it took several coats to look dark enough for my taste, but I think it turned out ok. As long as no one looked too closely :)

The next step was painting the heart. We decided to go with a champagney, gold glitter because we wanted it to stand out. Painting with the glitter was interesting because it didn't always paint on evenly. I had to make sure that the glitter was even and not blotchy. Note: you can see the pencil outline in the picture below.

And then it was done...just like that! I took a close-up so that you can see the glitter. I love it! It was a challenge but it was fun...and it was great to get back and gear and start creating again.

It was even more beautiful at the wedding...

And more beautiful than the runner, was my friend Angela and her new husband, Josh...

The man who finds a wife, finds a treasure and he receives favor from the Lord
Proverbs 18:22

Saturday, December 31, 2011

In with the new...

Dear Hearts & Crabs,
I am so sorry for neglecting you. Forgive me and let me give you a hug.
Love, Michelle

Seriously, I could spent a lot of time explaining why I have been so emo this last year, but I am so over it, I don't even want to spend a minute explaining it....so moving on!

I'm not a "New Years Resolution" kind of gal. I don't make resolution lists very often and when I have, I definitely haven't kept them. I use New Years as a starting point but being a perfectionist, if I mess up by January 2nd, I usually throw the whole thing out the window. Yes, I need to work on this.

At the risk of sounding cliche, here is a list of quotes I hope to embrace in 2012...

First of all, the woman in the picture could be me. I am so out of control with my weight that it has reached the dangerous place where things just aren't working the way they should. I'm starting...and that's good enough.

I get so caught up sometimes with the big picture that I rarely see the trees through the forest. How true is this quote? I need to remember it.
I have found myself in a kind of solitude this last year as I found myself questioning much of what I thought made me who I am. My foundation has shifted in a good way but it's been uncomfortable and it's been lonely at times...but I know that in the end it will have been worth it.

A friend pinned this quote the other day (thanks Rachel) and I love it. I love to create and I want to give it more room in my life.

Man oh man. This is a hard one for me. I can apply it to so many areas of my life but I am really going to be challenged with this in my workplace. I left for Christmas break with some open-ended battles and while I don't know the outcome when I return...I know that I need to embrace this. It will be the thing which helps me maintain my sanity.

After I stopped laughing at this quote, I was like, "whoa." So true. I learned a huge lesson this year and this pretty much sums it up. I do not want to learn it again. So...if I don't like where I am...I will change it.

Living in a tiny little guest cottage, this could not be more necessary. It could also not be more difficult. I thought I purged when I moved, but have only found that I could do more. And I need to do more. And this helps guide my decisions. I've heard that Nate guys say the same thing and I like his style...so it must work :)

I spend wayyyy to much time in my own head. Seriously. It must stop. Period.

I think this is the one that speaks to me the most. I have allowed these things to happen already so it's not a matter of not letting it happen again...it's a matter of undoing what I've allowed. I have some work ahead of me and I embrace it.

So that's it....2011 is almost over and 2012 is almost here. My apologies that this may have gotten a tad bit heavy. I promise to get back to the fun stuff involving felt and glue guns and leave the emo Michelle to her journal.

Happy New Year!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Crafting with Leftovers

Is it just me or did October completely fly by? I barely had a chance to enjoy the Halloween season but I will not let this happen to November!

One of the down sides of living in a guest cottage is that I am at the back of the property and there isn't the opportunity to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters...so I spent last night going through my craft stash and finishing a project that I've been wanting to do for a while. One of my goals during this Christmas season is to use the enormous stash of crafty goods to make gifts for friends and family in an effort to keep this Christmas simple and enjoyable.

I decided to start early and make my November wreath with things I already had on hand. Whenever I see foam wreath forms at the Dollar Tree, I snatch them up...they are between $4 and $5 at Michaels so it's a good deal! I alread had a skein of brown yarn and plenty of fall folliage from previous years. I grabbed my glue gun and got to work.

Can I just be honest and say what a complete chore it was to wrap the wreath form in yarn? I have seen so many options in Pinterest and I chose to go with the clean, side-by-side wrapping technique and it took FOREVER!

Finally, about an hour and two whole episodes of Friends later, the wrapping was complete.
I added a few leaves, berries and a red/orange sunflowery looking thing and it was done! It now hangs in my entry way and I love it. Simple and it cost me nothing...you can't get any better than that.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween and I look forward to a November full of crafts!

Partying it up in this link parties...

Made By You Monday on 'Skip To My Lou'

Monday, October 24, 2011

Calling All Crafters!

The only thing that I love more than crafting (family and friends excluded) is crafting for a cause. There are so many people in need all around us and if giving is a part of your life, then awesome...but if you're like many people and money is scarce, you can use your talents to help.

The Mitten Commitment is a call to action to all crafters who knit, crochet or sew. All it takes is some time, your talent and a whole lot of heart to craft a pair of mittens that will be donated to the Salvation Army and distributed to those in need this winter.

I have pledged to make 10 pairs of mittens....care to join me?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cabinet Transformation

My mom, oh how I miss her. Seriously. Every single day I think of her and imagine conversations with her. She was my rock and even though life goes on and I've slowly learned how to live a life without her, I'm not sure there will ever be anything to fill that emptiness.

When she passed away, I struggled to let go of her things...I think I thought it would be like forgetting her. But I quickly learned that she was not in these "things" and whatever I kept, I wanted it to honor her. I kept a few pieces of furniture, some of her clothes that I want to turn into a pillow case someday and a few things here and there.

On any given Saturday morning you would find my mom driving from yard sale to yard sale...it was her thing. One day she came home with a curio cabinet. For years she wanted one but could never afford it. She dreamed of a place to keep her Hummels and knick knacks safely displayed and she was so happy to finally get one. It's one of the pieces that I held onto but wasn't exactly sure how I would ever fit it into my home. As much as I love my mom, I did not love her taste. My mom loved ornate, somewhat gawdy things. She loved rose patterned anything. And she loved, loved, loved heavy oak furniture. The pieces themselves were not bad, but the wood tones are just not my thing.

I wish I had a before picture, but just imagine the old 80's oak look...because that's what it was.

And now, it looks like this...

I removed the hardware cleaned the wood. I was going to spray paint it but decided to hand paint it to make sure I could get the details and I think it turned it out to be a good choice. I chose to line the back of the cabinet with a printed canvas that I picked up at Joanns a few weeks ago and I think it works well with the black. Overall, I'm very happy with it.

And I think my mom is looking down from heaven and smiling :)

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Home Love

So I'm about a week away from moving to my new place and I'm definitely feeling under the wire. As much as I've tried to be prepared, there is always something that I remember and think to myself, "will I ever get this done?" And of course, I know I will.

I am so far from an interior designer, but I've taken this new move as an opportunity to really build a home that will rise up to meet me at the end of a hard day. I have a friend and co-worker who has an awesome blog, Suite Revival. She uses pieces that are totally thrifted from her family or thrift stores and turns them into beautifully unique pieces of home. I have been inspired by her creativity and am thankful that it's rubbed off on me. I've come up with some ideas that I think work well in my small space and I look forward to seeing my ideas turn into reality.

I heart Nate Burkus. I've loved him long before he became Oprah's protoge and had his own show. I read an article where he talked about color choices and the writer shared this color palette:

And then I saw
these curtains at Urban Outfitters...and everything just started to come together after that. I'm liking grey more than the taupe at this point, but I think it still works. I still need to pull in the green.

The black cabinet is an example of one that I plan on refinishing. I inherited a cabinet just like this one from my mom and I have always wondered how I was going to use it and this seems like a good opportunity. I have a few more pieces that need to be worked into the space but it's a work in progress. The two fabric samples in the lower right corner are for either pillows or I may use one to add to the background of the cabinet to lighten up the black...not sure yet.

Overall, I like it and I am excited to see what happens. It will happen a little bit at a time, because I am on a tight budget but I think once it's done I will definitely enjoy the fruits of my labor!