Hearts on the wall.


I finally found the perfect spot to hang my heart art in my craft room. It's great having it up on the wall, and the bold red hearts really brighten up the room. As you can see, I've still got plenty room to hang more art, and I can't wait to dream up some projects to fill all that empty space.




Do you guys have a favorite piece of artwork in your home?

DIY - 'Book It' Cell Phone Charging Station


Well, it's about time we had another 'book'torial here on the blog. This book charging station is a simple way to keep your nightstand looking neat and tidy and is also a great way to keep that pesky cord in place. 

Wanna make your own book charging station to tuck your phone into?



HERE'S THE HOW TO:

Stuff You'll Need:


Book (Make sure it is large enough to hold your cell phone.)

Mod Podge

Ruler

Pencil

Xacto Knife


Method:

Check out this tutorial for instructions on creating a book safe. Also, you might want to cover your book with fabric to match your decor.

Cutting a notch on one side will give the cord a place to go.





That's all there is to it! Now, all you have to do is close the book to keep your nightstand nice and pretty....





Happy cell phone charging!  ;)

Mandala Challenge.


I've been having a lot of fun participating in crochet-a-longs lately. Remember my slouchy hat and cupcake? This time I decided to step it up and try something out of my comfort zone. I've always wanted to try overlay crochet (where stitches are worked on top of previous rows), but the patterns always looked so complicated that I've been hesitant to attempt one.  

Then, I stumbled upon this crochet-a-long with A Creative Being, and I knew it was time to take the leap and give overlay crochet a go. There were lots of people participating and a helpful forum get people past the rough patches, so I knew that I'd be able to get some advice if I reached a standstill.  

After many hours, a few choice words and plenty of frogging, I'm happy to say I finished my mandala!! YAY!! I learned so much through this challenge and feel confident that I can tackle complicated patterns on my own now (even if it makes my brain hurt a little ... lol!).





Project Details:
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Off White and Soft Pink; Red Heart Super Saver in Frosty Green, Pretty 'n Pink and Bubble Gum
Hook: Size I
Time: Many, many, many hours (includes plenty of frogging)
Difficulty: Intermediate/Expert (You'll need some experience under your belt to work with this pattern.)
Skills: Overlay crochet. Complex pattern reading.

Now, are you ready for the fun part??!! You can vote for your favorite from the crochet-a-long!!! There are lots of pretty mandalas to choose from, so head on over and pick your fave. You'll make one lucky (and talented) crocheter a very happy gal.



No more monkeys jumping on the bed.



We have a strict 'no puppies in the bed' rule at our house, and you can see exactly what Tanner has to say about that. Quite frankly that rule hasn't been working out so well. I mean, with a mug like that, who can say no to a few extra cuddles??

Have a great weekend guys! Maybe break a rule or two.  ;)

DIY - Geometric Crochet Pillow


As promised, here is my (finally) finished geometric crochet pillow. I found inspiration from this pillow over at Meeha Meeha. If you follow me on Instagram, you know this little guy was a loooong time in the making, but I'm so pleased with the result.

This pillow was the perfect way for me to use up some of those extra bits of yarn I had lying around.

HERE'S HOW I MADE MY PILLOW:

1. It was fun choosing yarn in complimentary colors. I didn't initially have the hot pink yarn in the mix, but threw it in for a splash of bright color.

2. There are lots and lots of triangles to be made. For each triangle, I started with a small base of 3dc and increased by one dc on each row.

3. Deciding how to place the triangles together was a bit like putting a puzzle together. I just played around with it until it looked cohesive to me.

4. I stitched the triangles together with a bit of yarn.

5. I wanted to crochet the back too, and to keep it simple, I did alternating stripes of double crochet.

6. Here's the front and back. You can see that for the back, I overlapped two crocheted panels to make an envelope that I could slip a pillow into.

7. Next, I stuffed a pillow in.

7. All that's left is to let the pillow get comfy on the couch. Ahhhhh... that's nice. Now, all I need is a hot cup of tea and to curl up with my pretty crochet pillow.

Project details:
Pattern - Meeha Meeha
Yarn - Lion Brand Jiffy in Shocking Pink & Purple Spray; Lion Brand Wool Ease in Mustard, Blush Heather & Natural Heather.
Hook - Size H
Time - A pretty loooong time. Could be shorter if you use a smaller pillow.
Difficulty - The crochet triangles are pretty simple, but construction of the pillow is a bit involved.
Skills - Weaving in ends, sewing pieces together

This project is not for the faint of heart. Crocheting the triangles wasn't difficult, but there were a lot of ends to weave in and sewing all the triangles together took a good deal of time. It was well worth the effort though, because now I have a fun crochet pillow that is anything but boring!

P.S. I'm thinking that one of these days I'll make a geometric scarf this way. It would be so playful and fun! What do you think?

Coming together.




Bits and pieces of my latest crochet project inspired by this amazing pillow at Meeha Meeha.  The big reveal is coming soon!

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DIY - Crafty Photography Backdrop


So you've followed the tips and tricks from the first photography post and now you're looking to mix things up a bit.  A plain white background can get a little boring at times, so how about adding some fun textures and colors to your photo backgrounds?

All you need to do is drape fabric over your photography set up, like so...


That's all there is to it. Now, you can snap away... the photos can be so fun!



You can use all kinds of fabrics to change up the look of your photos. The key is to choose fabrics that won't overwhelm your subject. You want to compliment your subject, not hide it.

I already have a habit of buying fun fabrics at the fabric store, even when I have no specific plan for them. This is just one way that I've been able to put them to good use (before I decide to get crafty with them, that is).   ;)

(Here's another example of how I've used this technique on the blog already.)

Do you guys have any tips on how to spice up your photos?

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Sew-a-long: Clutch it!


Well, here it is. My clutch for the sew-a-long with See Kate Sew.  This little clutch was a lot of firsts for me. My first pattern.  My first bag. My first button hole. My first time using interfacing. It was fun, and not intimidating, putting my sewing machine to work on this project. I really learned a lot. 

Wanna make your own?

HERE'S THE HOW TO:

Stuff You'll Need:


Two coordinating fabrics (1/2 yard each)
1/2 yard midweight interfacing
Button of your choice
Thread & Needle

Method:

Kate did a very thorough post on her blog, See Kate Sew, to walk users through the steps. Since there were a lot of new skills for me, I also found Google and YouTube to be helpful resources as well. I'm so pleased with the result. The busy floral pattern I chose was perfect for a beginner like me, because it hides my mistakes really well. Shhhh... don't tell!  ;)

And, I just had to point out my first ever button hole...

The button hole may not look like much, but I'm so proud of it. Kate did a fantastic tutorial on creating a button hole with a button hole attachment. My button was a little tricky. It had an odd shape and wouldn't fit in the sewing machine's button foot! After trying several widths, I found one that seemed to work and went for it! I practiced about a dozen times before I did it for real, and I was so nervous until every last stitch was finished.  








I'm amazed at how many new skills I learned with this simple project. I think the biggest thing I'm learning about sewing is not to rush! Taking your time, practicing first and double checking everything really can save you so much trouble in the long run. 

Now, I feel that I'm well on my way to conquering my fear of sewing machines. YAY! 

I'm currently brainstorming what my next sewing project should be...  Do you have any suggestions for a sewing project I should tackle next??

P.S. If you are a newbie sewer too, I strongly recommend this project.  There are so many great skills involved, and with the way Kate breaks it down, it is very easy to do. 

UPDATE: You can also check out everyone else's clutches from the Clutch-a-Long in the Flickr pool. I'm also honored to be featured in Kate's wrap up post.

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On Pins & Needles.


Guys, I have a confession... I have a crafting phobia. (*Gasp*, *Shock* *Horror*!! lol!). More specifically, I have an intense fear of sewing machines. I mean, they are noisy, complicated and have very sharp parts. Eeps!  But, despite my reservations, I've decided that THIS is the year I'm gonna learn to sew. I took a leap and asked for a sewing machine for Christmas, and ever since I unwrapped it Christmas day I've slowly been getting used to my new friend. So far I've managed to make my first skirt (pics coming soon), and also I tried her out a little bit here. And, the best thing of all is that I'm realizing that sewing isn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be. In fact, this sewing thing could actually be a bit fun!

It certainly doesn't hurt to have pretty tools around like these adorable heart pins to make the journey a bit more fun. (Of course, having a seam ripper nearby doesn't hurt either.)   ;)


So, do you guys have a phobia (crafting or otherwise)? If so, have you ever tried to conquer your fear? Also, do any of you seamstresses have sewing tips to help a newbie like me branch out into sewing?

P.S. I'm participating in my first sew-a-long with See Kate Sew. I can't wait to show you what I made!