Category Archives: About me

Hand make my life is moving!

Remember when I said there are lots of changes going on with the blog? Well here’s one of the big ones! Hand make my life is moving to a self hosted blog and as of today you can follow along at:

handmakemylife.com

In fact you can click on that link above and go finish reading this post on the new site!

Wow! May was an incredible month for Hand make my life (and in my life that my momma hand made for me). On the blog we had record high views and lots of new subscribers! Well, I’ll tell you what, I am stoked! I really couldn’t be happier.

As it’s going to be the sixth month mark for this little piece of the internet I thought I’d put something super special together to celebrate what this blog is all about with an entire month of hand made! You could almost call it madness.

I am so excited about this, oh my goodness. I have interviewed tons of amazing women who use their creative souls to take charge of their lives! And I am talking, some pretty amazing people. I am so honored to be able share their stories, experiences, as well as their advice with you through out the whole month with interviews every Tuesday and Thursday.

On top of all of that I have been scrambleing to put together more DIY projects and more summer recipes and I’ll be sharing these with you on Wednesdays and Fridays! So fun!

And I will be premiering a super nifty sponsorship campaign with tons of free spots for blog and shop button trades. But more on that later!

Don’t forget: if you are an e-mail or Bloglovin’ subscriber remember to resubscribe to the new blog so’s not to miss any of the great things happening in June! (The Bloglovin’ button to the side now lets you follow the new blog. —->)

I will be posting little reminders for everyone to find along the way and I will update this page with the new Bloglovin’ button for easy following. There will also be tons of new ways to follow, so look out for the way that suits you best!

Again! Thank you! I wouldn’t be here without you and I can’t wait for you to join me on the new blog!

I have an announcement to make!

Now that I have your attention, I am sorry you must wait!

Be sure to check back this afternoon for a special announcement on the blog!

Hometown Tourist #2 – The Yarker Waterfall Tea Room

Sunday I went out with a few of my neighbors on a country drive to Yarker, where we were having lunch. We left the city in the early afternoon and drove off down the winding country roads. Being a country girl myself it was extremely refreshing to get out of town and just enjoy the ride. We past beautiful stone farm houses with great big barns and silos surrounded by wide open fields and herds of dairy cows to arrive at this lovely little country restaurant on the bend of the beautiful Yarker waterfall, The Waterfall Tea Room.

The food was lovely. Their vegetarian menu is simple, but full of flavor and they make homemade fruit and cream pies. I forgot to snap a photo, but I had the baked bean patter which came with a beautiful salad full of pepper slices and cucumber with a delicious mango relish for the dressing, a golden piece of cornbread, and a lovely bowl of saucy mixed baked beans. I finished it all of with a slice of homemade apple pie and a cold glass of iced tea.

When you walk in the door you are greeted by a darling little vintage, local craft and fair-trade, antique shop. You can also pick up some local eggs or cheeses while there.Walls of aluminium siding hide a small and well organized modern kitchen.
Inside the tea room, there are are a few little tables with mismatched chairs adding to the charm.And a little self portrait for you here. My entire outfit was thrifted for under $15, including my brand new with tag still on 3 inch espadrille wedges that I thrifted for $3.50 fro mthe recent 50% off sale at Value Village. I am quite pleased with myself.

Then of course I had to include some photos of the gorgeous little Yarker waterfall. I cannot wait to go swimming and had to fight my natural instinct to want to climb down so my toes could find their way into the cool water.

We had such a lovely holiday weekend full of beautiful sunshine and laziness and I’m not quite ready to jump back into a busy week, but reluctantly I will. We only have a week and a half till June. It truly is amazing how fast this year is flying by, I really cannot believe it.

I hope you all had a lovely Memorial/Victoria Day. There is a beautiful summer ahead of us.


Guest Posting on Apple Blue

Good morning Hand Make readers and welcome Apple Blue readers! I just wanted to pass the word along that I am guest posting over on Amanda’s blog Apple Blue this morning.

Be sure to stop by and show a little love on my fun Friday Tutorial Round Up. You wont want to miss it!  I’ll also be back later this afternoon with a fun little update!

Hillery

Early Morning in the Garden

After a night of little sleep, I went out into the garden in the early morning. I took some product shots and enjoyed the quite quiet morning before the world around me began to wake. I had a lovely little hour to myself out there.

I set up my tripod and got to work photographing my new pieces. I love working with a tripod, it’s fun and liberating. I have 12 new items I have got to get in the shop this week. I can’t wait to work on this week’s set. This is a pretty fun little project and I can only hope I can keep up this momentum. I am going to try the shots again this evening just before sunset when the sun is on the other side.

Here’s a little tour of the back garden behind our apartment/house (We live in the attic apartment of a house built in the 1800s, there are three other apartments).

(There is actually a little bit of feather on my nose, if you look closely you can see it)

We are very lucky to have such a space available to us. I am very much looking forward to the summer and lazy afternoons reading books and sipping on lemonade.

Are you feeling creative today?

I hope you had a beautiful weekend with lots of family time. Have a lovely Monday morning!

Hillery

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s day to my beautiful and amazing mother.

I love you more than words Momma and I wish I could be down there with the whole family on this day to celebrate you and hug and kiss you to death.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Momma’s out there!

25 Before 26 – A Years worth of Goals

I decided to make my first ever __ before __ list this year (insert age you are and age you will be). I love setting goals and challenges for myself and I’ve always been good at short-term goals, just need to get better at the long-term. So here’s my little list of 25 things I want to do before I turn 26 next year.

I even left it in all of its messy glory as I felt I might be cheating rewriting it till it looked perfect, plus it’s just a list. Please forgive my spelling mistakes as hopefully they are not a reflection of my character. (:

I also forgot to edit these photos before uploading them. Ehhh, oh well. These were taken using the manual settings on our new camera with natural lighting. I am still learning. Today has been one of the busiest days of my life and writing this list and taking these photos was one of the finer, relaxed points of my morning.

That’s right, I’m lefty. Gazing out over brass snails into the black walnut tree.

Enjoying some savory un-roast sunflower seeds and raisins with a spot of tea to re-energize before moving on with my day.

My hope is that I can realistically complete most of the goals on this list in a years time. I am thinking of grouping them into long-term and short-term and then breaking the short-term into monthly to fit with my current goals and make the list a little less daunting. I tried to think realistically, but also challenge myself to go further.

It will be exciting to see a year from now what I was able to do and what might take me a bit more time. No harm in that, it’s all experience, gain, and learning.

Have you ever created a list like this? Been successful? If you’d like to, let me know what you think in the comments below.

 

Getting in front of the Lens – What I wore #3

I have deemed the month of May my “conquering fears” month. So I am stepping out and doing things that I am not necessarily comfortable with and I plan on sharing them all with you here on the blog. There are a lot of things I am working on, little by little. This is the perfect space to share my journey and progress.

One of the goals I want to work on is getting comfortable in front of a camera again. And what better way is there to work on that than an outfit post? AH!

It really isn’t so bad, especially when you’ve got a cute boy to smile at on the other side of the lens. This is my out to lunch outfit. Teehee. I met James downtown and we had a little bite to eat at a deli across from his work on his lunch break. It was sweet and lovely to get out of the house despite the dreary gray weather.

Normally I wear this outfit a little bit more casually with a sweater instead of a coat, but I thrifted this coat back in April and it was too cold to wear it until this week and it will get too hot to wear it soon enough. At first James and I thought it was a riding jacket, but after wearing it out to dinner with James’ aunt for my birthday she told me that it looks like a lady’s kilt jacket. I am a super sucker for velvet and so I just had to grab it from Value village. Plus it was only $7.99 and I had a 15% off coupon. Score! I really did well that day and came home with lots of really neat items. Actually thrifted my skirt on the same trip as well. It is one of the softest cotton skirts ever with a bright purple print and pockets which I love.

The shirt is one of my new favorites that I found at the swap and blogger meet up while I was away in Peterborough weekend before last. I love the jersey, the color, the cut, everything about it. And lookey here, two new pieces for the shop. Though I do want to add a few feathers to the tassel necklace, before it is finished. I think both pieces compliment each other. I am going to create a third shorter piece to finish it off a wearable set of three.

Aren’t turkey feathers amazing? They are pretty much the most inspiring feather in my stash right now and I have so many different feathers from so many birds. I just recently received more turkey feathers though so to me they are still kind of new as I had used up all my others back in December at a craft fair.

A few months back I posted on Kijiji that I was looking for naturally molted and salvaged feathers from a variety of birds and I got a reply about turkey feathers. A sweet lady had saved the feathers in her cedar chest after the turkey had accidentally been hit by a car in her area. I am so glad to be able to breathe new life into these feathers and let them flaunt their natural beauty. They are definitely my favorite.

I love the sweet brass button details on the coat. So stately, yet almost dainty in a way, and very pretty. I also love my ring. It took time to get used to wearing something that big, but I truly love the design and it is also an antique so it’s that much more meaningful and special to me.

Off on the walk that is life.

Do you have any goals you are working on? What are some of the methods you use for keeping yourself motivated?

Wish me luck as I conquer another fear and make my first ever customer call for my new job today! Eeek!

Hillery

Things I am afraid to tell you

Today is my 25th birthday and I was inspired by my friend Megan of the Darling Ewe, Melissa of Bubby and Bean, the sweet and beautiful Laura of Violet Bella / Roots and feathers,  and the lovely and always inspiring Ez from Ceature Comforts, who introduced me to Jess’ blog MakeunderMyLife where all this got started, and countless, countless others out there getting honest on their blogs this weekend. (All those mentions were a mouth full! Wow.)

I really want to turn a new page in this space and in my life and get honest with you about me.

This post is about acknowledging that although I want to create a positive space full of inspiration, laughs, and uplifting posts on this blog, underneath all that is an imperfect human being with fears, insecurities, loneliness, heart ache, and frustration as well as joy, creativity, understanding, strength, love, and happiness. I want to get to a point were this space truly reflects the humanity in me and honesty is truly the best answer for that.

At times I struggle with what I am going to write about and in order to avoid the topic of myself entirely I either ignore the blog or post curated images from etsy and around the web, things that I like, enjoy, find pretty, would love to own, ect. That’s all fine and dandy and really paints a pretty picture, but sometimes that can be extremely tedious. Especially when all I truly want is this space is for it to feel a little bit like home and be a place I can go to to share my ideas, inspiration, creativity, my heart, and just be me.

I have weblogged for years sharing my poetry, writings, musing, and just honest to god life on an online diary I have had since the 7th grade. I have finally retired that space, but also felt a little ashamed and privatized and password protected the whole thing for fear that just being me, in my own little space might just freak too many people out.

I never want that to happen to this space. That space holds a piece of me and although it is a space i enjoy visiting, I am happy to move on and leave it for just those times when I want or need to go back and visit. The dreams I have for this space are very, very different than the dreams I had for that space. I want this space to be alive and vibrant. Shining with creativity and embracing the raw, realness, and beauty of life. A place for making friends and building relationships, while becoming a stronger person.

I applaud honesty and imperfection and it’s time I give myself room for both on this blog. So here we go, here are some things that I have been afraid to tell you.

||| Sometimes when telling a story I over exaggerate. I always feel incredibly guilty afterwards and either avoid talking to people or skulk around feeling awkward until I’ve told them that I went over board on the details. James has been amazing at helping me with this. He is really good to interjected and help me correct my mistake. It’s not that I mean to lie, I just enjoy story telling and that doesn’t always work when you need to be factual about something.

||| I am a messy germaphobe. I am one of those people who has to scrub the bath tub and toilet every week, but has a hard time hanging up my clothes in the closet or putting away the dishes from the drying rack. I have come to terms with the fact that being clean has nothing to do with being tidy, because lord knows I am not a tidy person, but I have a hand washing complex.

||| Sometimes I am scared that either James or I are sterile and we can’t have children. I know that’s really odd, but after being together for 7 years, with only 6 months of that time was I on birth control. Never getting pregnant can worry a girl who wants to have a family someday. Of course we use protection and we are very responsible, but can we seriously just be responsible and lucky enough not to have any accidents? Knock on wood. I am by no means ready to have children yet, but I do sometimes worry why we haven’t accidentally gotten pregnant when it seems like everyone around us has.

||| I hardly ever shave my legs or armpits unless I am visiting someone or going to an event were that type of behavior might make someone uncomfortable. James isn’t always a fan, but he still loves me. I am a very hygienic person and this has nothing to do with laziness. It is all personal preference. I will be honest and say that sometimes I do enjoy shaving, but for the most part I could live quite comfortably in a world where it doesn’t exist. That’s just me though.

||| I am an English major who can sometimes majorly suck at grammar and spelling. I know that’s blasphemous, but for some reason my little mind just doesn’t catch it sometimes. This is something I am actively working towards improving and hope I get better with age.

||| I have had some serious body issues growing up. I even battled an eating disorder when I was a teenager. I have struggled with loving and accepting my body for a long time. I still don’t love my body, but my view and acceptance has gone full circle. I now appreciate and care for my body the way I should, even if I’m not perfect and there are things I’d still like to improve, but I can see that there are many amazing and beautiful things about myself that I love.

||| I love methodological processes and have a system for doing even the smallest tasks in my life. I could blame it on OCD and it probably is a form of that, but I have always been much more comfortable when I can do things following my own rules and method. Not to say I am not adaptable, despite this trait I am, for the most part, a very laid back person. I just like things, done, uh…my way.

||| James and I have really struggled financially for the last few years. The last two years especially, since I’ve been unable to work. We have been surviving off of James’ single minimum wage income. Which is totally doable, and we are very fortunate to have that and be able to afford a roof over our heads. We have become very good at going without and at pinching our pennies. We even eat healthy and still eat cheaply. The good news is the only debt we do have are my student loans as we don’t have or use credit cards. We’ve never owed back rent, or had to borrow money and we are quite grateful for that. We’ve been able to just scrape by and it’s been, for the most part, a pretty positive experience.

||| I am a memory hoarder. Though, ironically, I can’t remember whose blog I read that phrase on, but when I read it I identified with it immediately. I have saved every note, ticket stub, receipt, gum wrapper, tag, napkin, you name it, from my little life’s experiences. I even save the toilet paper rolls, okay so maybe that isn’t memory hoarding, or if it is….uh….Maybe I am just a hoarder.

There, what a sigh of relief. In writing this post I actually feel uplifted and inspired by myself. That’s a pretty cool feeling.

It feels good to share pieces of you and just get those secrets out there in the open.  If you too are inspired to get honest please feel free to share with in the comments or in your own blog post. If you do write a post please come back and share it below. Also head over to Ez’s post to see all the amazing link ups to other blogs who participated. It’s time we give fear and honesty a little credit around the old interwebs.

It’s now time for me to be honest with those dishes I’ve been avoiding in the kitchen.

Happy Monday and a very merry unbirthday to you!

Hillery

New Hair running with scissors

From cyclops to upstanding citizen in mere seconds. Thank you Egyptians for inventing scissors.

That’s right life is just more fun with bangs.

Truth be told, most of the time I have to hide all my scissors, especially on late insomnia-tic nights were I am grasping for straws trying to identify with my identity. I have serious issues when it comes to my hair, it is probably the only thing I have ever truly been possessive about in my life. It is my security blanket and my confidence is wrapped tightly around those curls. It’s always been this way, since I can remember and my curls are the only constant piece of my identity. I love them and wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Happy Cinco de Mayo! No tequila for me, nope, uh uh, no way. One thing I’ve learned is I am either too old or too much of a homebody for drinking holidays.

Be safe tonight and have fun!
Hillery