Category Archives: Inspiration

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!

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The Bohemian Collective

This amazing project, The Bohemian Collective,  just debuted this morning and I am so in love. No one could have created a more magical world than Laura, from Violet Bella and Roots and Feathers who organized this amazing collective of talented women working together to create inspiration and beauty and for a good cause too.

An excerpt from the site:

“The artists and companies in The Bohemian Collective have joined efforts to create a place where we inspire creativity and giving through our art and vision. This rotating collaboration of artists will orchestrate inspiring, seasonal lookbooks featuring our handmade clothing, jewelry, and home accessories. Our desire is to share the love within our community as far as we can! This is where you can help. We invite anyone to participate by making a donation in any amount you choose which will be allocated to a specific charity each season. All proceeds this summer will benefit To Write Love On Her Arms, a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. To read more about their organization, please read here.”

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This is an incredible project supported and created by some incredible women and is worth celebrating. I urge you to simply take a look at their beautiful site, thumb through their gorgeous and inspiring lookbook and spread the word, share with your friends and readers, and if you can, make a donation.

Have a lovely Friday and fantastic long weekend,

Hillery

images and quote sourced from: The bohemian collective

Thoughts on living creatively

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.

  1. 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.
  2. I will stop thinking of success in number gains and begin thinking of it in joys gained.
  3. 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.
  4. I will except that even experts make mistakes and allow myself some wiggle room to work all the kinks out.
  5. 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.

Hillery

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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

Bohemian Caravan Inspiration

Wanting to live better and be more comfortable in our tiny apartment, I am constantly hoarding ideas and inspiration to organize and decorate our space. One of my main sources for inspiration is the Gypsy Caravan or Roulettes. Bright, colorful, and compact these dwellings make good use of every inch of space.

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James and I’s bedroom, with it’s dormers and funny closet, is a little lacking in functioning space as it currently stands. Our dream is so really utilise every nook and cranny. To not only make room for long term storage, but also active storage – book shelves, day to day clothing storage, and also as odd as it sounds – long term food storage with a light controlled place to store our home canned goods. We want the bedroom to be a place we escape to, find cozy, comforting, and romantic. And a space that also functions well, with adequate storage, and is an easy place to get ready for the day.

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We’d like to achieve this by lofting our bed for built in storage underneath, and at it’s foot, working with the slope of the roof. We’d also like to add a reading area in the window dormer with functioning storage underneath and and space beside with a mirror and a little storage to function as a vanity so we both aren’t squeezing into the little bathroom in the mornings.

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We have similar hopes for our spare room which is almost exactly like our bed room. We’d like it to function as an office as well as have a space for two guests to enjoy themselves. We also want it to be a space that can easily transition when we have our first child (another 5 to 7 years down the road).

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We are in this apartment for the long term and we are excited to find the best ways to organize the space, find the furniture that works, build what we can, and get rid of what we don’t need.

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For more information on these images or on roulettes/caravans check out Jeanne Bayol or her blog. Her work is amazing!

Inspiration and sharing…

I want to share a few things that I have found inspiring so far this week:

1. This video is incredible. 100 years of Style in 100 seconds.

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2. I watched ‘My week with Marilyn’ Monday night and I was mesmerized. Michelle WIlliam’s performance was breath taking and I found myself falling in love with Marilyn and her complexities.  It’s a beautifully filmed and luscious narrative about coming to terms with who you are and learning how to be oneself. The cast is wonderful, the costumes stunning, and the acting superb. Needless to say I enjoyed the film immensely and recommend it to everyone.

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3. I have listened to this song every free moment I have. My kid brother is having a pretty rough time. My Dad mentioned this song to me, we’ve always been Neil Young fans and this song really touches my heart right now and reminds me how beautiful my brother is. I miss him very much.

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4. Was Mad Men beautiful this week or what? It’s been a long awaited premier and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen this season. The wardrobe in this episode, oh my! Loved getting acquainted with everyone and seeing were they all are after 8 months of time has passed. Oh and where’s Betty? I was surprised not to see her, just wanted to catch a glimpse, but she’s barely even mentioned.  Matthew Wiener is keeping us on our toes – so glad SDCP is being pushed into the Civil Rights Movement. What a beautiful being to an exciting season!

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Some images that have stopped me in my tracks:

1. Breath taking photograph of tulip fields below Mt. Hood. Entitled: Tulips Below the Volcano.  Photograph by Robert Crum on Etsy

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2. The stunning and colourful terraced riced fields in Yunnan, China. Image via: National Geographic.

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3. In love with this gorgeous Moth and Butterfly  collection. I find them absolutely fascinating. Image via: Whonever Tumblr. Though I hope to find another source for this image.

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4. This incredible skirt made of Barbies. Talk about repurpose. From a really amazing flickr album by MarieHochhaus. Her photographs are just so beautiful.

Working on some more spring cleaning, really trying to get this apartment into tip-top shape. It is so tiny, just taking the time to organize and give everything a home makes it feel lighter, more open, and airy around here. So happy to have James home in the evenings as well. We had dinner with his Aunt and a friend at Darbar last night. We we didn’t go out to eat this much in all of 2011 as we have this March. There has been a lot to celebrate and our families have been very generous and kind to us. We have such wonderful families. In other good news I get to pick up my bike from the shop tomorrow! Yippie! Can’t wait to take her for a spin.

Super excited and having a great week so far!
Hillery