Tag Archives: crafts

Great Gift Idea: Adult Coloring Books

Earlier this year (way ahead of the trend), my best friend sent me one of my favorite gifts ever – an adult coloring book.

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Since then, I’ve seen them everywhere. They’re the entryway display at the craft store, they’re at farm potlucks, they’re at girl’s night. And they’re the perfect gift.

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Why? They give the person you care about an opportunity to indulge in personal time. When I first started coloring, it felt like a waste of time, like I could be doing something more productive. But adult coloring books made me conquer my Type-A personality and forced me to relax and just enjoy the passing of time. They helped me enjoy beauty and creativity without demanding a purpose or an end product. They’re definitely something I would never buy myself.

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Adult coloring books are pretty challenging, but they also encourage you to stretch your imagination and approach colors in a new way.

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Currently, I have two adult coloring books. The first one, The Secret Garden, is probably the most popular one out there and with good reason. Johanna Basford uses whimsical and complex illustrations to bring a joyous garden to life.

Sometimes the illustrations are a little too complex. I’ve never actually finished a complete page. But they’re still very fun.

I’ve also colored in her other book Enchanted Forest  and absolutely love it. It had unicorns in it!

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I also have the Creative Cats Coloring Book, of course. Creative Haven, the company who makes this book, also makes a few more. They’re certainly not as intricate or imaginative, but I like them all the same. It takes less time to complete one of these drawing and I wouldn’t say they’re strictly for adults. Mosaic Masterpieces is really fun and challenges you to get creative with color!

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These are the markers I bought to accompany my new hobby. They’re a nice quality and color for the price. The tips are shaped so you can color thin or thick lines and you get 100 colors!

If you’re struggling to find something for your creative loved ones, I’d definitely suggest these. Or, if you’re stressed out from the holidays, sit your butt down in front of a coloring book with a candle and some hot cocoa. It will absolutely calm you down.

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So do you have an adult coloring book yet? What do you think of them?

quick fall craft: star studded pumpkin

With everything that’s going on these days, I’m determined to keep the project time on crafts down to a minimum, or else I’ll have a bunch of half-finished crafts hanging around.

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This star-studded pumpkin took just a few minutes to make! You can customize it any way you like, and as added bonus, it was practically free to make. The foam pumpkin was left over from last year (but originally $1 from a dollar store). The spray paint was left over from this project.  And the brads were free at a craft swap!

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It was so refreshing to be able to wrap up a cute craft knowing I didn’t spend an entire afternoon and $50 on it, because we all know that can certainly happen.

You will need:
– Foam pumpkin (I bet a real one would work too!)
– spray paint (optional)
scrapbooking brads/paper fasteners

If you want to change the original color of the foam pumpkin, spray it with two coats of spray paint. Waiting 15 minutes in between coats. I did the dishes during this time and felt like a big champ.

After you’ve placed your final coat of paint on the pumpkin, wait another 15 minutes or so for it to dry. You want the pumpkin to be dry to the touch.

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Then get to poking! You can put as many or as few brads as you would like.

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Go ahead and customize your pumpkins by switching up the spray paint color and the type of brads. I’d love to see what you come up with.

Studded Pumpkin

kitties will puke on everything you love

A few of you have seen this already since I spoiled it with my instagram and twitter, but I still feel it warrants a post, because this needlework couldn’t be more relevant to my life, thanks to my kitty with an extremely sensitive stomach.

There are three cats living in our apartment. I’ve seen all three of them puke (this just got weird), but, really, the ultimate perpetrator is this guy.

You can tell by his pudgy stomach that he loves food and snuggles. (Although, I think the latter is often forced on him.) And he looks so cute when he cleans his face after gorging. You can guess what will happen next…

This pattern is from Craftster. It didn’t come with color codes, but here are the floss colors I used.

Black Text – DMC 310
Green Border – DMC 988
Light Pink Large Hearts – DMC 3326
Dark Pink Small Hearts DMC 309
Dark Grey Kitties – Presnica 8756 

I had no idea when I started this project (back in January) how well it would match my future apartment’s walls.

Ok, here’s the big reveal. I’ve been hiding this from you, dear readers. My walls are pink and green.

It’s the reason why you haven’t seen any apartment tours. I know they don’t look that bad (especially in this photo), but they are that bad. When we signed the lease, we thought we could deal with it, but now, three months in, we’re simply annoyed. My roommate and I aren’t exactly the best at interior decorating, and we can’t paint, so please let us know if you have any suggestions for decorating around this mess.

DIY holiday pom pom garland

I’ve had the past few days off of work, and instead of doing responsible things this season like Christmas shopping, cleaning my house, packing, or doing some contract work, I’ve pretty much been indulging in donuts, watching hours of The L Word, and making pom poms. At least I have something to show for it besides an expanding waistline.

d.i.y. holiday garland

So, you’ll need pom poms. I made about 30 using my tutorial, but I found a similar tutorial that uses your hand instead of a fork, which is great, especially if you don’t have a larger fork or are using a curved fork like I was, what a pain.

For the garland you’ll need: a tapestry needle, about thirty pom poms, and a thin yarn.

Thread the tapestry needle with the yarn and pierce the center of the pom pom. You want to make sure you get it through the middle that binds the pom pom together.

I just got them all on the yarn and spaced them out at the end. I thought I’d have to give them a knot to secure them, but they really stay in place.

Then hang them and be festive! I put them over my holiday display bookshelf.

Do you see that picture of Ryan and me? It’s the only one we have framed of each other, and it’s from our first Christmas. Yikes. <3

how to make a pom pom using a fork

I’ve been creating pom poms for the past two weeks to use on various Christmas themed projects. I make them using a really simple technique with yarn and a fork. The tutorial below shows you how it’s done. Also, I created an instructable on this and it made it on the instructable homepage, which was quite the moment of d.i.y. glory.

Supplies:
– fork
–  yarn
– scissors


The pom poms in this tutorial are 1 inch in diamater. I created them using a regular dinner fork. If you want to make larger pom poms, you’ll need a bigger fork, like a salad fork. The image below shows the difference in pom pom size.

 Step 1: Wrap your fork

Keeping the yarn attached to the ball, begin wrapping the yarn around your fork. It’s just like wrapping spaghetti. Keep your wraps tight.

For small pom poms, wrap the yarn around the dinner fork about twenty times. For larger pom poms, wrap the yarn around a larger fork around fifty times. You can play around with the size and shape of the pom pom by varying the number of wraps. The more you wrap it, the fuller it will be.

If you want all of your pom poms to come out the same size, be sure to wrap them all around the same number of times.

Step 2: Tying Off

When you’ve finished wrapping, cut the yarn on the fork and hold it in place. Cut another piece of yarn a few inches long. String this piece through the bottom of the fork, under the wrap, from front to back. Keep the yarn behind the wrap.

Once you’ve threaded it through, bring the yarn back around so the two ends meet. Then tie them together.

Step 3: Pulling it off the fork

Once you’ve tied it, push the wrap off of the fork, keeping the tie in place.

When the wrap is off the fork, pull the bow tight, so that the yarn begins to curl. Tie it one more time just to secure everything.

Step 4: Cutting the wrap

Now, take your scissors and put them under the little loops created in the rounded ball of yarn. As you cut the loops, you’ll see the pom pom begin to form.

Once you’ve cut all of the loops, go around the pom pom and cut any pieces of yarn that may be sticking out too far. Make sure the pom pom symmetrical.

 

Finished!

Yay! You’ve done it. These things take just a few seconds to make and create excellent cat toys.

This week I’ll be posting a few tutorials showing how I’m using these in my holiday decorations. Stay tuned.

upcycled jar lid pumpkin

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I saw this canning jar lid pumpkin and knew I had to make one. Ryan and I have tons of jar lids lying around. I really love how simple this craft was. If you’re short on time, it can only take about three minutes.

Take a piece of ribbon or string and lace it through all of the lids. Ensure all of the lids are facing the same way. Tie off at the end.

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I used a few cinnamon sticks as a stem. If you’re looking to spend a little bit more time on this craft, you can give the lids a paint of coat. Well, actually it took three, if you’re using water-based acrylic paints. Wait an hour between coats.

Painted Lid Pumpkin

I wrapped it with some brown ribbon and used a drop of hot glue to secure the ribbon. This craft took between 25-33 lids.

What do you think? It’s great for Thanksgiving decorating.

Pin it here!

DIY-Jar-Lid-Pumpkins

the weekender 6/17/2011

Have a bright and sunny weekend!

beach

Hopefully it won’t get too hot. Links to keep you cool:

I love the idea of making your own chocolate chips. She flavors them with green tea and lavender.

If you’re traveling to a beach this weekend, collect some salt water and make your own sea salt. What a unique souvenir.

Loving this Father’s Day planter idea, mostly because it’s a dinosaur!

Everything about this loft is absolutely dreamy.

What are your thoughts on reverse French manicures? You can give yourself one with this tutorial.

I thought I was over the grey and yellow color combination until I saw them used in this vintage-inspired bridal shower party.

the weekender 4/8/2011

From Moon In Her Eyes

Happy Weekend! I just got an email inviting me to a midnight picnic. What a great idea. Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

Here are some links to get you through the Friday workday.

In fact, the just out of bed look doesn’t come from waking up in the morning, there’s a science and find out how to do sexy & tousled hair.

I love this skirt, and there’s a tutorial.

This cheap Easter craft is really brilliant.

Here’s a tutorial for a weekender bag. It looks highly useful and functional, but also pretty involved. Regardless, I want to make it.

Things to dream about: sexy and serene bedrooms.

Make something exciting this weekend: Potato Pizza with Rosemary and Brie or Hot Fudge Root Beer Cupcakes.

laser guided scissors

I didn’t pass first grade. Well, at least the part where they teach you how to cut a straight line with safety scissors. How brilliant is this?

Laser guided scissors for those of us who make puzzle edges instead of straight lines.* What do you think? Do you think this will help you with crafts?

(Image from Think Greek, via mylifescoop.com)

*Note: Both of the sewing classes I’ve taken had to re-train me how to use scissors. I’m that bad.

the weekender: 2/11/11

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Happy weekend before Valentine’s Day! Do you have any plans with a special someone? I’m hoping to do a romantic (or sweaty) bike ride with a picnic. Here are some links for your weekend.

Fashion
I feel like I’m late in the game here, but the Antrhopologie Wedding Dresses are simply gorgeous. From: Glamour, Katie Armour, and A Cup of Jo.

D.I.Y.
This was a great week for crafts.

Valentine’s Day Crafts

Bath bombs! Over at Skip to My Lou.

    Printable Valentine’s Themed Fruit Stickers via Twig & Thistle.

    Cardboard Valentine’s at Annilygreen.

     

    http://theelephantstrunk42.blogspot.comV