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:
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!
1. This gorgeous photograph from WildWildernessPhotos on Etsy has got me yearning for salty shores. $45
2. I even miss hurricanes and the thunder storms of summer. Photo from MizXtina on Etsy. $25
3. How about a magical ocean accessory to wear out on the board walk. This starfish hair clip if from dreamsbythesea on Etsy. $25
4. Sweet mint green sea glass was used to make this stunning little necklace from jennreeseSEVEN on Etsy. Perfect for an evening walk on the beach with my love and my favorite maxi. $29
5. I really have to get my hands on one of these fun high waist and cropped tube top suits from Nicolelebreux on Etsy. Bottoms $60 and top $45
6. I am so in love with Tumbleweeds. Aren’t these just the shades one need to be lounging down on the beach, with their inlaid turquoise and Mahogany veneer catching some rays in style. $145
7. These crochet beach shorts from katrinshine on Etsy are just the cutest things ever with their scalloped edge and their lacy design. $150
8. Every beachy lady needs a nice pair of sandals for hanging around the pool and I just love this pair. These handmade leather sandals with ribbon ties from GreekChicHandmades are the perfect bathing suit foot wear. $39
9. How about this gorgeous made to order crochet bikini in sweet mint green from Eleonoraesposito on Etsy? Yes Please. I can’t get enough crochet ever. $150
10. I am going to need a pretty big durable beach bag for carrying everything I need to the shores to hang out. How about this market style bag made of french linen with leather straps from Ikabags on Etsy? I love it and it looks so durable. Which is exactly what I need. $89
I am a little under the weather today and taking time to stay hydrated and just relax and unwind, dreaming I was at the beach in the cool water. I think I put a little to much on my plate these last few weeks with all of the different projects I am working on. I’ve got to sit down and figure out a timetable to balance this madness. Although, I kind of love being super busy. It keeps me motivated and moving.
Will you be taking any beach trips this summer? I love the beach and would live by the ocean year round if I could.
Posted in 10 Things I love, Etsy
Tagged 10 things I love, bathing suites, beach bag, beach fashion, beach photography, bohemian, boho, Clever Plumage, crochet bikini, Etsy, Hillery Sawyer, lace cover up, sandals, sea glass, sunglasses, Tumbleweeds Etsy
With more and more snail mail coming and going from my humble abode I have been lusting more and more after some amazing stationary.
There really is nothing better than writing and receiving letters. E-mail, eh. They’re nice, but letters are so much better and my hope is that my writing improves with the practice. Here are just a few very darling little postcards I came across on Etsy this week.
A great song and a lovely postcard from Here my Dear on Etsy.
Love the contrast of white and bright bold colors in these whimsical postcards from Chipmonk Cheeks on Etsy.
Pretty geometric postcards by mademoiselleyo on Etsy.
Love this fun and funky letterpress post card by Rebecca Ann Rakstad on Etsy.
I hope you all have a beautiful and lovely Thursday and that maybe you leave here little bit inspired to send everyone you know a pretty little postcard!
Posted in Etsy
Tagged artwork, Clever Plumage, crafters, Etsy, hand make my life, handmade, Hillery Sawyer, postcards, print, sellers, stationary
This top from Lulu’s is super versatile in that it can be worn tucked, untucked, belted, over a dress, and with jeans. Plus sheer is in!
Solid color crop tops like this one on Threadsence are a great addition to your wardrobe this season.
Love this taupey maxi by BB Dakota on Threadsence. A perfect neutral and would look great with a crop top or color pop accessories.
Here we go with a gorgeous and flowy green asymmetrical skirt from Threadsence.
Mint jeans are the pastel trend of the century. They are everywhere and everyone wants a pair like the cute little skinny pedal pushers from Modcloth. The question is: do you?
Color blocking, different hues stacked one atop the other. Love this Kelly green blazer matched with the neon, pastel skinny pants from Lulu’s.
This is the perfect lace tank top from Lulu’s to pair with any and everything you own.
This How have you Vanilla Bean? Dress from Modcloth is really a perfect polka dot. It’s a neutral and would be great to match up with a bright polka dotted sweater (like this one) or one of this seasons pop color accessories.
This black and white stripe skirt from free people really fits the bill, you get your versatile maxi (simply pull up over your chest and belt for a simple summer dress.
So what is my number on tip for you? Invest in neutrals and save the trends for accessories and the occasional top or bottom, don’t fill your closet with trends.
My number two? Always quality jeans. I know I didn’t mention them in the trends, that’s because they are a staple closet item. I spend a good hour in the thrift store trying on every pair of jeans in my sizes till I find the right pair. Sometimes I don’t find it, but sometimes I get lucky! And the perfect pair of jeans for 7 bucks? Who could argue with that?
I hope you have fun with it and feel inspired. Remember, neutrals are your best friend, because they make everything look good.
Posted in 10 Things I love, Fashion inspiration
Tagged asymmetrical, chevrons, Clever Plumage, crop top, fashion, free people, hand make my life, Hillery Sawyer, lulu's, maxi dress, neon, threadsence, trend, trendy
Sometimes it can be hard to give into our passions and what we love because of our wiring to view success in life as something entirely separate of our creative passions. So in order to be successful at what we love, we have to forget all that we’ve been told and re-write the parameters to fit our creative souls.
- I will appreciate my creative self and not attempt to weigh it against others. All beings express our-selves differently and there is a place in this universe for all of us.
- I will stop thinking of success in number gains and begin thinking of it in joys gained.
- I will remember not to take my day to day for granted, that life is the journey and that everyday is another mile in the direction we want to go.
- I will except that even experts make mistakes and allow myself some wiggle room to work all the kinks out.
- I will always allow myself to have a rest, taking time to clear my mind and recharge.
The warm weather is rolling in and this is the season for celebrating life, ourselves, and each other. Give into your passions a little more each day. You’ll be glad you did.
Posted in Inspiration
Tagged Clever Plumage, creating, creative, creativity, hand make my life, hands on, happiness, Hillery Sawyer, inspiration, life changing, living life, success, summer
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.
Posted in About me
Tagged 2012, 25 before 26, birthday, Clever Plumage, Crafts, diy, Do it yourself, Goal setting, hand make my life, handmade, Hillery Sawyer, How to, improvement
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!
Posted in About me, Thrifting, What I wore
Tagged accessories, afforable clothing, Art, bohemian, boho, Clever Plumage, confidence, courage, Craft, fashion, fear, feather necklace, Floral, glass beads, Hillery Sawyer, on sale, swarovskis, thifting, thrifty finds, velvet, vintage clothing, what i wore
Supplies: ||old bangles ||embroidery floss or crochet thread || scissors || chain ||
Step 1: Wrap the bangle. How tight or how loose is your preference.
Step 2: Begin wrapping around the bangle with large gaps of space between wraps creating your first round of the web. I always pulled my thread back up through the wrap so it would hold in place well.
Step 3: Continue wrapping till you get to the center, and tie in feathers, braids beads. Connect your chain the length you like with a jump ring and rock it!
I found these little plastic bangles in the grab bag that my amazing brass walnut came in. They were pretty uncomfortable and just kind of messy looking so I took a few and turned them into tiny dream catchers. This is a pretty quick project you can put together in about 30 minutes or so. These also make adorable wall art when grouped together and are the perfect size to mail as gifts as they fit inside an envelope well.
[Let me know if you'd like more details on the wrapping. My advice is just give it a go and find your method and do what you like best. Remember that your first round of wrapping will affect the shape of your finished project. I know the steps show me starting with five, but for the dream catcher pictured in the finished project I actually only used four wraps for my starting round. Those photos didn't turn out as good as the second set with my second dream catcher.]
Please feel free to tweet, facebook share, or pin this tutorial! The more the merrier ’round here!
Happy Crafty Tuesday!
Posted in DIY, How tos or Tutorials
Tagged Art, Clever Plumage, Craft, diy, dream, dream catcher, hand make my life, handmade, Hillery Sawyer, How to, Necklace, project, recycle, remake, reuse
This incredible little brass walnut is one of my most prized possessions as of late and I found it in a grab bag for $3.99 when we went to Value Village back in April. James was pointing out something to me and I just happened to see the texture of the brass in a bag full of watches, bangles and brooches on the bottom rack, completely out of place. I actually gasped out loud when I saw it. I fiddled with it and was able to open it while still inside the bag. I was so amazed and was literally ooing and ahhing.
It’s a little vintage sewing kit with a thimble, a needle, two straight pins and to safety pins tucked inside with a green wool lining. I snatched up the bag of junk as fast as I could just for this sweet little trinket.
Upon further research I found that this particular walnut sewing kit is similar to a common piece made by costume jewelry designer Ernest Steiner in the 1940’s. I am quite positive this is a knock off from the same period because I can’t seem to find a makers mark anywhere on the shell. It is still a lovely little vintage piece and a somewhat rare find, not all that valuable monetarily, but it means the world to me and is now one of my most treasured collectibles. I often find myself simply gazing at it in awe and admiration. I love sweet little trinkets like this.
I can’t wait to rummage through yard sales this summer to see what other little treasures I find. I love the stories behind amazing little things like this and just can’t get enough. Isn’t it incredible that it is possibly 70 years old and still in working condition? Incredible.
Do you have any thrifting finds that you simply cannot get enough of?
Posted in Thrifting
Tagged antique, brass, Clever Plumage, collectible, collection, Costume Jewelry, Ernest Steiner, hand make my life, Hillery Sawyer, sewing kit, thrifting, trinket, Vintage, walnut
Wow. Where have I been the last four days? I don’t even know where to start, it’s been a jubilant whirlwind. Despite the weather being not so nice these past few days with rain everyday and cold temperatures – it even snowed a little last night, this weekend has been filled with joy, creativity, and so busy busy busy. I am working on starting a new job, which I am really excited about. Friday was a conference call morning, which is an interesting new experience for me, but I’ll tell you more about that later. James and I got our new little camera the Cannon G12. Oh my, it’s heavenly and such a life changer, having a camera around to explore with. I’ve also been busy with the shop! Over the weekend I got a chance to do a little shop update. Here are just the first two newbies!
I love this bracelet so much! I recently won a giveaway on Eva’s blog Runaway Thrift were I won those awesome studs on the bracelet. I was really excited as I used to use studs on my pieces way back in 2009 when I sold them at Roller Derby Bouts in Atlanta. It’s been a lot of fun to play with them again. I am slowly adding more jewelry to the shop and will be adding more fascinators as well as the weather gets better. Suppose to be more rain tomorrow, but Wednesday should be my day.
It is such a relief to finally be able to update the shop. It truly is like a burden has been lifted. I even got a little creative kick just being self reliant. It’s really nice not to have to rely on others and boy is it a lot less stressful taking your own photos than coming up with the funds, 20 perfect pieces, find models, have a non windy, warmish day, and pray that they will look fantastic as tiny thumbnails. I am also excited to be learning photography again. This is an interest that has been put on hold for quite some time.
Impromptu photo shoot jewelry organizer. A little behind the scenes action for you there. The purple bike is mine, isn’t she a beaut?
Crafting is my passion. I am really happy there is a space like Etsy for folks like me who just love to make things and get them out there. Someday I hope crafting can be an even bigger part of my life. It is where I feel the most joy and the most comfort with just being me.
A few months back when I was just starting this blog a wrote a little post on the 5 Ways Crafting has helped me become a Stronger Woman. It only seems fitting to reiterate those feelings and embrace that passion continuously through out this journey.
There are some exciting changes about to happen in this space. You may see a little less, or a little more, or simply just see me in different ways as this space evolves. I have enjoyed the journey and the exploration so far and cannot wait to see what the future holds.
Posted in About me, Clever Plumage, Etsy
Tagged bohemian, boho, Clever Plumage, Craft, crafting, creativity, Etsy, Hillery Sawyer, passion, shop update