Tag Archives: creating

DIY Ornament Wreath

5 Jan

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I mentioned that my mom and I made our own ornament wreaths over Thanksgiving. It was really easy, but there’s a possibility that we didn’t really save any money from one we could’ve bought at the store. It was nice however to be able to pick any color combination we wanted. This is the perfect time of year to start gathering supplies because you can find wreaths and ornaments for cheap since it’s after Christmas.

I followed the instructions from this blog. I won’t go over the whole process since it already exists perfectly there, but here are my notes.

To make this wreath I used:

  • an 18 inch evergreen wreath purchased on clearance for $2-$4
  • a can of metallic spray paint to hide the greenery originally $8ish but got for 40% off at Michale’s
  • 4 sizes of shatterproof ornaments all bought on clearance last year and this year.
    – 70 large (my mom got some extra large and we decided those didn’t look that good so go for the regular big size)
    – 35 medium
    – 35 slightly smaller
    – a still to be determined amount of tiny
  • high-heat glue gun and lots of glue
  • pretty ribbon to hang the wreath with

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A few other notes:

  • I didn’t realize when I started, but I’m pretty sure the blog linked above is using glass ornaments. I’m torn because hers looks really fancy and mine, when you get up close, is a little cheap looking. Shatterproof ornaments all have seams around the middle (except glitter covered ones), and you can’t really hide them. On the other hand I wasn’t really concerned throwing it in the trunk of my car to transport it back from Kansas because it couldn’t really be broken. A friend also pointed out that I could potentially throw mine in the bath tub wash it if needed. Just something to keep in mind.
  • The other thought I had after finishing was this wreath is HUGE. My mom reminded me in a couple years I may have a house with a bigger front door and this will look just fine, but currently it’s completely taking over my narrow 1930s apartment door. So depending on your preference you may want a smaller wreath (it will also take fewer ornaments).

 

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Christmas Wrap-up

4 Jan

I just pulled the last of my Christmas time photos off my camera and wanted to share.

Nate and I at our work Christmas party

Nate and I at our work Christmas party

We had a little ice in OKC the weekend before Christmas. Thankfully the roads were fine.

We had a little ice in OKC the weekend before Christmas. Thankfully the roads were fine.

I made all my girlfriends and co-workers little Oklahoma cinnamon applesauce ornaments. The ornaments are super easy (and with dollar store cinnamon and applesauce cost me under $5 to make a ton), and make your house smell fantastic.
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I also gifted them with Oklahoma cookie cutters filled with fudge.
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Wrapping took me so many hours. I’d purchased some cute polka-dot boxes ($1 for 3 at Target) and a white paint pen, so even though I finished the task exhausted I was pretty happy with the results.
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I was especially proud of this wrapping job. We got Nate’s nephew a Hot Wheels race track. I stumbled across the idea to put a road and car on the outside of the package, and I hear his 3 year old nephew loved it.
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My parents dog Zuzu posing with the Christmas tree and gifts.

My parents dog Zuzu posing with the Christmas tree and gifts.

Happy 2014 and New Year Goals

3 Jan

I am generally not a resolution maker. I think I’ve made them occasionally, but they never really pan out. I’ve been thinking a lot the past few days about good goals to have though. Things that are a bit more short term, and not crazy ambitious and probably unreachable like hitting the gym 3 times a week or cutting a bad food from my diet for the entire year. So here are my ideas for January…if they go well I’ll renew them for February or adjust accordingly.

Fitness: I’ve had a Fitbit for a year, and I love it and wear it every day. My Fitbit goal is set to get 10,000 steps a day which working a desk job can be hard and probably only happens once or twice a week (if that). Fitbit is doing a January challenge and setting small weekly goals. I figured why not follow along with them and give that a try. Also a longer term goal: this year I would like to do another triathlon or if that doesn’t pan out I’d like to run a 5K race.

Healthy eating: Nate got me some sweet new Bento Box accessories for Christmas, so goal is to make use of them and pack some really tasty lunches this month.

Reading: I’m going to read two books this month. Maybe more! I love reading I just never do it enough.

Creativity: Finish a project or two. I’ve got a painting project, an ornament project, a couple crochet projects, and probably other things I’m not thinking of. So there is plenty to do!

That’s probably good for this month. Did you set any resolutions or goals this week?

Where I’ve Been World Map

8 Jul

I’ve had this project in the works for nearly two years, yikes! The family of one of my best friends growing up kept a map on the wall with pins of all the places they’d been. I always thought it was really neat, but as a 15-year-old I hadn’t been enough places to warrant a map. Now I’ve been a few places, and as I was putting pins in the places I’ve been I honestly couldn’t wait to add more!

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This is a pretty cheap project. (Prices are estimates because I bought everything a year or more ago.)
World Map $6
Foam Core to fit your map and cut to size $5 (40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby and trimmed $1 at their framing counter)
Spray Mount $7 (at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby use a 40% off coupon)
Map Pins $1.50 (use a coupon again)

All of that comes out to under $20, and the spray mount which is the most expensive item will still have plenty left for another few projects.

worldmappins2I’ve actually made a few of these because the first one was ruined when my apartment roof leaked, I made Nate one (and really owe him another because I tried to make it without any help), and I made this one for myself. So a few tips:

-Have a friend help you! It’s not possible to wrangle a big poster over sticky spray mount without messing up and getting bubbles in your poster.
-Follow the spray mount instructions. Do it when the weather is right, and shake it the full amount of time recommend.
-Use something to squeegee the poster down and eliminate bubbles. Hands don’t work very well, but the edge of a binder or book works great.

worldmapI’m pretty thrilled with how it turned out!

Gender Neutral Baby Taggie

15 May

I attended a baby shower this past weekend, and the couple isn’t finding out what they’re having. I discovered that it’s kind of hard to find cute gender neutral baby fabric. When I make the taggies I like to buy the quilted fabrics because they end up looking really nice without too much work. I was fully prepared to make my own mini quilt, but luckily I found this cute animal print and brown set that hopefully is neutral enough.
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She registered for some nice little bins, so I cheated on the wrapping.

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T-Shirt Blanket

2 Apr

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My super talented friend Elyse asked me late last summer if I would be interested in putting a bunch of their t-shirts together into a comfy blanket. I was hesitant at first, but she convinced me that they didn’t want anything too fancy and that I could take my time with it. I finished it all up last week (seven months to the day), and I love how it turned out! I kind of wanted to keep it for myself!

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T-shirt Quilt/Blanket tips and what I did:

  • Iron interfacing to the back of each shirt square. It takes some extra time, but is very helpful when sewing on the really thin shirts.
  • I used fleece for the back of the quilt, and I didn’t use any batting or extra layers of fabric on the inside. Elyse wanted it to be pretty lightweight (like a throw), and I would say it’s borderline heavyweight with the fleece alone.
  • After getting the quilt sewed together I added a stitch (see the detailed pictures above) around the entire outside edge of the quilt. It really gives the quilt a finished look since I didn’t use any binding.
  • I “quilted” down the seam of each column. The stitch is in the ditch, so unless you look really closely you don’t even notice it on the front. This holds the front and back securely together.
  • My steps for the front were: wash and iron shirts, outline a square that I want to cut, trim shirts a bit bigger than the square, iron interfacing to the back of each shirt, trim down to my outline, arrange squares in a good layout, sew squares together in rows, sew rows together.

When I delivered the finished blanket Elyse’s husband Ryan said, “Oh I’ve been looking for that shirt, and that one!” (Elyse reminded him that he’d okayed all the shirts included in the quilt.) After a weekend of spring weather it’s turned cold again today, so hopefully they’re enjoying their re-purposed shirts!

Painting Class

18 Mar

I finished up my painting class at the City Arts Center (now¬†Oklahoma Contemporary) way back in November. I had a good time, and I found myself at the end wishing it wasn’t already over! It was different than I expected, but I really learned a lot. Every week the teacher would give us a photocopy to paint from (you could do what you wanted, but I think he frowned on that a bit). The images were mostly women, either a portrait or a full body shot. In the past I’d generally kept away from figures because figure drawing isn’t something I excel at (we look at people everyday, so when something isn’t in pretty close to perfect proportion it’s noticeable). So all of the paintings really got me out of my comfort zone, but I feel so much better about painting people now! And I came out with 3.75 paintings that I’m pretty happy with (the yellow one needs some work still).DSC02342 DSC02337 DSC02339 DSC02340

Chevron Pillow

15 Mar

Before I get started here’s my “before” bed picture with my FreeCycle bed I picked up (actually I think my roommate picked it up for me) right out of college.CIMG4692I’ve been trying to knock some projects out this year and here’s one of them I finally finished last month. My inspiration was this pillow I found on Amazon. I’d purchased a body pillow from Target, but I didn’t really love any of the covers they had to offer. I found some awesome grey chevron (canvas) fabric at Hobby Lobby, so I got it instead.

I really intended for this to be a simple no brainer project, but I ran into several problems. The zig zags went the width of the fabric rather than the length of the fabric and of course the fabric width was several inches shorter than the pillow, so I’d have to piece it together and match the chevrons.

I enlisted some help from my grandma and when we went to start measuring and cutting we discovered that the fabric was printed crooked! We finally got everything laid out and I said, so how am I going to put the pillow in and out? Turns out she assumed I was sewing the pillow in the case and I assumed I’d be able to take it out of the case for washing! So one end has a few snaps that I can now open and close.
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Overall I’m really happy with how it turned out. My one complaint is that the case is a little saggy, but that’s not a huge deal.

When I was making my bed up to take these pictures I realized I’m really happy with how this area of my apartment has turned out! I of course could get a fancier or nicer looking alarm clock and a more adult looking throw, but I think it’s pretty perfect for now. So this is the “After.”
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I also got a new set of sheets which I like. I’ve been drooling over this set from West Elm, which also comes in yellow, for a couple of years. I just couldn’t bring myself to spend $70 on a set of sheets. Target finally came out with some striped sheets, and while I very much love the width of the stripes on West Elm’s, Target’s on clearance for $8 will do me just fine!

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Washi Tape

8 Jan

I love washi tape. I bought a roll of it when I was in Japan thinking it was really cute tape and I could use it to tape up a box to ship home. After trying to tape a box closed I thought man that’s some crappy tape! Now I know what washi tape is and I keep kicking myself for not buying more when I was in Japan, but back then I don’t think any of us Americans knew what it was!

I’ve been wanting to buy some rolls for a while now, but they’re so dang expensive and I’m cheap. Wandering around Target last month though I stumbled across Up & Up brand Paper Tape which is essentially the same thing (although I’ve heard not acid free). The best part about the Target Washi Tape is that it’s $4 for 4 rolls! They have a red/pink pack, an orange/yellow pack, a green/turquoise pack, and a blue/purple pack. I thought they were so fantastic that I bought a few packs and gifted some friends with a roll each. I’ve also been using them to fancy up Christmas and birthday gift wrapping.
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DIY Fancy Hair Ties

25 Dec

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As I write this it’s the beginning of September, however I’m going to have to wait until Christmas time to post this because it concerns Christmas presents. I love the Christmas season, and for quite a few years now I’ve been making gifts for friends, family, and co-workers. My rules are the gift ends up being fairly low cost and I make it. Among other things I’ve made jars of granola, little clutches, pies in jars, and my mom’s wheat bread.

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This year some friends and family will be getting sets of these little hair ties. Anthropologie sells sets of 5 for $12, but they are super cheap and easy to make. I think they look much cuter on your wrist than regular hair ties too.

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Fancy Hair Ties

Supplies
Fold over elastic (I bought mine from www.hobovian.com, but you can find it all over Etsy under fold over elastic or FOE)
Sissors
Lighter
Ruler

Directions
1. Cut the elastic into strips around 9″ long (5 yards will make you 20 hair ties).
2. Fold in half with the shiny side out and knot the end. Try and get the knot pretty close to the end of the elastic and pull it tight.
3. Run a flame over the cut ends of the elastic to prevent fraying.

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