Tag Archives: diy

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.


DIY Dream Catcher Necklace

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!


Easter Tutorial round up

A few pretty Easter egg tutorials from around the web

You can click on the image or the link below it to be taken to the tutorial.

//Decor 8 Painted Easter Eggs//


//Silk Tie-Dyed Easter Eggs Our Best Bites//


///Wohnide Wunderwieb Painted Paper Napkin Appliqué Easter Eggs///

^this site is in German.S


//Embroidered East Eggs Design Sponge//


//Spoon and Fork Water Color Easter Eggs//


Love and light! Happy Easter Everyone!

Sunday Sew You # 2

This dress came across my Pinterest a few weeks ago and I just had to share it. It’s the “Slow and Steady” Dress from the lovely Mena Trott on the Sew Weekly blog. First of all Mena’s blog is in-cred-ible. Chock full of how tos and sewing resources from the novice to the experienced sewer.

A little summary about the blog: back in 2010 Mena started her blog as a way of sharing her commitment to making all of her own clothes in 2010. In 2011 four other very talented ladies joined up with Mena on the site and they now create amazing one of a kind outfits based off of weekly themes. I love love love the Modcloth Make this look section and the contributor creations. It’s so amazing to see what everyone puts together for each weeks theme!

Isn’t this dress incredible? It’s just so springy and fun to pass up. Mena put this whole dress together for only $16, an incredible feat. The completed dress took over 13 hours to complete; with all that eyelet lace it’d take me 3 days non-stop to get something this amazing. The end result is stunning though don’t ya think?

She also used and old sheet for the base material and dyed the lace herself. Just mind blowing. The link to Mena’s original posting where she talks about the basic process is here: The “Slow and Steady” Dress.

Look at all that pretty dyed lace! The color possibilities are endless!

Be sure to check out The Sew Weekly for hundreds of other projects. It’s a great sewing community blog and fantastic place to find inspiration!

photo sources for this post are all the same and from The Sew Weekly post on “The  Slow and Steady” Dress

Shipping Container Home

Lulu’s California shipping container home, where she and her daughter co-habitat the original structure of 160 square feet, they later built an additional shared bedroom with a loft on a transfer trailer bed.

Rag Doll Tutorial Guest Post with Megan from the Darling Ewe

While I am off enjoying my anniversary I still have something really fun in store for you guys. Megan from the Darling Ewe has written up an awesome tutorial to share on the Handmake my Life blog today, which I am so excited to share with you! I’ll let Megan introduce her self and get us started.>>>>

Greetings Handmake My Life readers!

My name is Megan and I blog over at The Darling Ewe.  Hillery kindly asked me to do a guest post with a DIY or tutorial of some sort.  I was so very excited as this is officially my first guest post, and my first step by step DIY on the good old internet machine.  I was so excited that I had to get started right away, and didn’t let my one-handed-ness stop me.  (Yep, I am sporting a cast.  Basically what I am saying is that you can do this craftivity with one arm tied behind your back!)

 The DIY craft is a good old fashioned yarn doll, and is a great way to use up some scrap yarn.  I’ve made these at summer camp, while babysitting, as cat toys, and sometimes I make them just out of sheer boredom.

Ready to get started?

 Materials needed for this project include a medium or large hardcover book (or sturdy cardboard), yarn(s), scissors, and crochet hook (optional)

 Step 1: Wrap your yarn around your book.  I wrapped the yarn 75 times for this tutorial.  More yarn will result in stockier dolls.  The book used was fairly small for this project – taller books will result in longer dolls.

 Step 2: Slide yarn off book and use three smaller pieces of yarn as ties to block off doll sections.  A contrasting yarn color is used to illustrate the various tutorial steps.  Ordinarily I use a matching color so that the ties are undetectable.  (Though I do like the contrasting colors this time around!)

 Step 3:  Tie the top two pieces to block off the doll hair and head.  Before you fasten the bottom tie, separate two side sections.  These will be the arms.

 Step 4:  Cut the ends of the yarn loops of each arm.

 Step 5:  Separate each arm into thirds.  Arms will be braided.

 Step 6:  Braid arms and use a yarn tie to fasten the ends.  I only braided mine about halfway so that the arms would be shorter than the rest of the body.

 Step 7:  Trim the extra yarn ends to form the hand.  Make sure not to cut too close to the tie so that the yarn doesn’t slip out of the ties.

 Step 8:  To start the legs, cut the loops at the bottom of the doll.

Step 9:  Separate section in half.  Legs will be braided just like the arms.  Or, skip this step and the next if you want your doll to be sporting a yarn fringe skirt!

 Step 10:  Braid and tie legs.  Trim feet.

 Step 11:  The hair is whatever you want it to be!  For this tutorial I simply separated the hair into pigtails and fastened the ‘do with yarn ties tied in a bow.

 Step 12:  If you want to give your doll some personality you can easily add a face with a few scraps of yarn.  I used a crochet hook to weave yarn and tie a few strands in a double knot and then trimmed the ends to make the eyes.

 Step 13:  For the smile I used one tie to fasten to each side of the face and left some extra slack in between the two knots.

Step 14:  Trim the ends of your smile, and ta da!  You’ve got yourself a dolly.

This project is a great easy project to do with anyone!  There are SO many possibilities and variations with a yarn doll.  Change up the body sections, braid different sections, play with yarn colors and textures, make a multi-colored doll with scrap yarn, make clothes for your dolls with scrap fabric, slide in wire or pipe cleaners to be able to bend and manipulate different doll poses… So many options!

Hope you enjoy!
Warmest wishes,
<<<This is the perfect tutorial for when my little nieces and nephews visit! Be sure to stop by Megan’s blog and don’t forget to check out her Etsy shop with all her cute knits. Thanks again Megan!
I hope you all have a lovely Monday,

Weekend Project – DIY Showcase

This is an incredible project that was just posted by Meg Allen Cole on Craftzine this afternoon. This is a perfect weekend project and I think it would make a fantastic group projects as well.

A long time fan of Meg’s blog and her youtube decor videos, I was especially impressed by the finished piece in this video, seen in the photo above. This geometric sculpture is made entirely our of paper and is simple and straight forward. Meg gives great instructions and all you need is some card stock, scissors, a glue stick, and Meg provides the template. The finished product is a visually stunning, masterpiece to hang on any wall. I am totally thinking this might just be THE project for that daunting, giant space above our stairs entry way. The real beauty of this project is you can choose any color scheme you like pastels, gray tones, warm and exotic. As well you can make this piece as large or as small as your heart desires.

This week is actually a super exciting time for Meg as she is finally getting to live one of her dreams, meeting Martha Stewart. And better than that she’s actually going to be on the Martha Show next week on the Hallmark channel. If you love Martha, you are going to love Meg.

Watch the video below and be sure to check out her channel on youtube: Meg Allen Cole Crafts. She will blow you away with her awesomeness.

Sources for this post: 1|2

On an important side note.

Sorry for the hiatus. I had to do some soul searching and take a little time. I will be spending this weekend without my blog as I plan to focus on the hubs, celebrating our one year wedding anniversary, and getting more than a little Etsy work done. I’ll be back on Tuesday with aN Etsy Repurpose Round up and don’t forget to stop by a little later in the week for the next installment of my ‘Eating Alone’ mini series and hopefully a little surprise.

Until then have a beautiful, beautiful weekend.


Friday Inspiration Round Up Home Office Space

I usually post tutorials on Friday, but since my home office has been on my mind I decided I’d share some of the inspiration photos I have been hoarding for my home office project I am working on. Keep in mind that I have little to no budget so I am sharing simple, resourceful and inspirational photos and links. Nothing fancy schmancy.

Amazing and simple shelving keeps this craft supplies neat and orderly.

Love these wrap around desks made of reclaimed butcher block and shelves made of salvaged wood planks and black pipe from Tara and Percy’s home office space featured on design sponge. I am definitely incorporating the wrap around desk. It makes the most sense for our small space. Although, I am planning on using plywood, as I am not sure I will find any salvaged woods on kijiji as nice as they did. I also love the dry lines on the side wall, those would work great for drying projects, and displaying inspiration, as well as pretty little paper collectables.

Love the use of these found and mix matched chalk boards in this child’s bedroom. I really want to have a space to write my goals and lists on a daily basis and would really like to incorporate chalk boards. Maybe I’ll get a chance to use Elsie’s homemade chalkboard paint tutorial from this week.

Since our apartment is literally the size of a shoe box I’d really like to implement a day bed into the room. Something affordable, probably home built unless I could find a little love seat sofa bed for cheap otherwise I am looking for projects that sleep two people. Maybe something like this simple sleeper couch made of mattress foam and ply wood.

Since we are on the very top of the house the front side of our apartment is dormered. That is the side with the bedrooms so it makes for a lot of unused space. I’d love to build in some storage like this to make those spaces more useful!

Linky Love – Helpful tips for working at home and managing inspiration:

In this blog entry from Elsie on A beautiful mess, she talks about organizing her business inspirations and ideas. Great for bloggers!

10 Steps to a home office you’ll love from Apartment Therapy.

Insert Cheesy Title here

There are 12 days until James and I’s first ever wedding anniversary. And although we have been together for nearly 7 years and having had quite a few anniversaries, we have never really celebrated them.

You see James doesn’t really consider himself a very romantic person, but what he really means by that is that he doesn’t like to give in to commercialism when it comes to celebrating. But this is a ruse because every year he says he hates birthdays and at the last minute will turn around and use it as an excuse to go out to diner and/or buy us something new. He does the same thing with Christmas. I think he is just trying to convince me the is just really “cool.”

The crazy thing is, he actually is really romantic. In the spring time he picks me little bouquets of weedy flowers, surprises me with picnics – he loves planning special meals for the two of us, and when I go to visit my folks in Georgia he always writes me the sweetest e-mails. I think he just likes to be spontaneous.

Okay so back to the wedding anniversary. For me, I feel that when you love someone it is super important to make them feel appreciated, humans are not appreciated enough in my book. I not only want James to know how much I love him, but to know how glad and happy I am that he is in my life. I am truly a lucky girl. So I’ve really got to knock it out of the park here on this first anniversary. He already boycotts Valentines Day hardcore. So here’s the deal, for the next 12 days leading up to our anniversary I am going to lay it on super thick, but on a budget so most of my ideas are free or just a few dollars. Here is some of what I have done and what I am planning:

  • I have written him 12 little love notes and in some included small tokens, like pressed flowers, feathers, a lock of my hair, a four-leaf clover from a few years back, a lucky penny, and a button from my blouse. In these letters I have sworn him to secrecy, that he’s not to speak of the letters till our anniversary night. That way I can really vamp up the fun. I have stamped and addressed them all and already put todays letter in the mail yesterday. Let’s hope it gets here.
  • I signed us up for the Kingston Symphony’s Under 30 club which he has been going on about for over a month, but still hasn’t signed up for. I have printed out our confirmation e-mail and hope that the cards get here next week. Now I just need to buy us tickets to a show, which are only 10 dollars for those in the club, incredible! I am going to include these things in the love notes if I they get here in time.
  • I payed his library fine and have checked out a book of poetry on his account which I am going to leave on his nightstand sometime this week.
  • I bought him some tiny treats: fireball cinnamon candies, a maple sugar square, some maple fudge, (the boy loves maple can you tell?) and I am making his favorite homemade ginger snaps.
  • I also wanted to get him something useful so ordered him more blades for his double sided razor. Probably going to shave his face for him at some point this week.
  • I have also decided a little thing I can do and make his coffee every morning. Some of you might think that seems a little odd that it doesn’t happen already, but seriously, I never make coffee in the morning. I don’t drink coffee! Gasp! I also get up before James so when he wakes up there is never coffee, but when I do make it he is absolutely elated. I didn’t know this was such a big deal to him till one day he blurted out during a stress-a- thon “how come you never make me coffee in the morning? I’d really like it if you made me coffee every now and then.” I’m going to throw in a southern style breakfast in there somewhere.
  • The Sunday before our anniversary I have set it up so we can borrow his parents car and go out to the sugar shack at the conservation area. We did this the day after our wedding with all of our family and it was so much fun. Pancakes and fresh maple syrup!
  • I want to make him a little flip book and a pocket note book for the paper tradition of a first wedding anniversary.
  • Lastly, I want to print out all the e-mails that we sent back and forth to each other throughout our first few months of dating, and put them in envelopes as keepsakes. They are so romantic and I love going back to read them, but that’s more for me than for him.

I am still looking for some tiny projects to make throughout the next two weeks leading up to our big night out. James’ Aunt has gifted us with dinner for two at probably the nicest restaurant here in town. So nice that James can wear his suit and can wear my little black dress and velvet shoes!

I’d love to hear your memories of your first anniversary and any fun projects or ideas for celebrating on a budget. Have a lovely day.


Sunday Sew You #1

It’s a beautiful and sunny Sunday. James and I are just about to head out to do some thrift shopping as there is a 50% sale at Value Village tomorrow and we are part of their rewards plan so you get to go in a day early.

Heres a little refashion I found to share with you to make your afternoon brighter, what with us all pining for spring and all. You can simply click on the pic or anyone of the links below to be taken to the blog.

This little tutorial for this draw string cami is from a fantastic little blog, Sew knit Me. She doesn’t post all too often, but when she does you can be sure it’s going to be a lovely and stylish refashion or a super incredible complete build from scratch like her pretty floral corduroy bog in this pic.