A Bit of the Bun

Posted on

Happy Sunday, all!

I promised bunnies, so it’s time to make good! Since I’ve been trying to expand my sewing experience lately, most of these DIYs are needle and thread type things. The first of which is a super cute set of bunny hot pads from So Sew Easy:

What could they be taking out of the oven? Could it be carrot cake???

We get to play with InsulBrite AND apply some applique techniques? Awesome! We’ve already got the sewing machine out, so how about some super adorbs carrot treat bags for the little bunnies in the family from Make It Love It:

Perfect for jelly beans or my personal favorite, peanut butter/chocolate eggs.

I was always obsessed by small drawstring bags to carry around my “treasures” when I was a kid, so these seem like just the thing. Ok, so how about a little hand sewing? I do, seriously, mean a little – this darling small felted bunny from Lia Griffith made me squee:

With his tiny toe beans and bitty carrot, just too sweet!

That little guy would be so charming topping off a basket or just hanging around a Spring bouquet, wouldn’t he? Still in the mood for cute and small? Great! Because I found this delightful little tutorial on how to make a fluffy little bunny pom pom on the Pom Maker blog:

They’re so fluffy!

I really can’t get over how boop-able those noses are! Ok, ok, back to the list. The last thing today is super easy and doesn’t take any specialty materials to craft so you probably have all the things already to make these origami bunny bookmarks from Red Ted Art:

Great for holding your place when re-reading Peter Cottontail or any other bunny faves!

I’m quite certain the pattern can be adapted to other woodland critters. There you have it – quite a bit of buns to go around! Spring is just around the corner, I can feel it!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Art Therapy and Dealing with SAD

Posted on

Hey all!

Long time, no type. For real, though, I’m sure some of the usual suspects are wondering where I disappeared to for a couple of Sundays there. The truth is a combination of things but it all boils down to one big, annoying, unfortunately inevitable occurrence for me: seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder or SAD as it is generally called, is essentially seasonal depression. It’s something that I struggle with at about this time every year and it sucks. There are definitely some activities that can help alleviate some of the symptoms, not the least of which is art therapy. The best kinds of projects for this purpose are those that are bright and full of Spring colors as well as being something that you (for once) make for yourself. I’ve rounded up some great Spring-y things to make to hopefully get us passed these dismal and cold days.

To start, let’s turn something usually associated with the snow and cold into pretty flowers with this tutorial from A Fanciful Twist:

So bright and beautiful! Just make sure you aren’t using the cinnamon scented ones.

Just a bit of paint and a sealer and we have pinecones transformed into zinnias! Place a bowl of them somewhere in the house to give it a pop of color and hopefully bring in a hint of Spring. We can also combat some of the doldrums of late Winter with the scents of the upcoming thaw. This DIY Lavender sachet tutorial from Live Simply is just the thing:

Also great for using up some scrap fabric!

If you have a favorite scent, almost any potpourri can be used as a stuffing. Put them in your dresser or in the pockets of any favorite pieces of clothing in your closet for a reminder that the dark doesn’t last forever. Ok, so now we have something pretty to look at, something great to smell, but what about something to make us feel better? I don’t know about you but winter also dries out my skin like crazy. Scribe Sarah’s been providing a bunch of fantastic DIY body care recipes so you can certainly prowl the archives for relaxing (and fragrant) bath salts or face masks. I, however, am talking about a great DIY body butter recipe (also by Live Simply, funnily enough):

If you have a collection of essential oils, this is the place to let them shine, so to speak.

Body butter is rich and lasts much longer than what we would consider traditional lotion. I love to customize scents and have some kind of control over the ingredients I’m smearing on my sensitive skin. Lastly, how about something to just lift your spirits? Something whimsical and fun like this simply adorable fleece unicorn pillow tutorial from Bugaboo City:

I guarantee this will be appearing on our own couch in due time.

If only to remind yourself that you, too, are one of a kind and fabulous, you need this in your dwelling. Hopefully one of these little projects will start to lift you out of the funk. If not, there are actually some very practical tips for fighting the effects of SAD, the best of which is purchasing a lamp made just for this purpose. SADlamps.org has a wonderful list of comparisons for effectiveness and cost. If you still find yourself feeling down in the dumps around this time, I highly recommend a trip to your doctor/therapist. This is a real issue that affects many people during this time period and it could even require some Vitamin D supplements so don’t wait to find some help! For more info on SAD symptoms and treatments, please check out this article by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Now, to wrap up, I did promise a tutorial some time back and now that I’ve taken some steps to combat my SAD, it will appear in the near future. Until then, expect some bunny laced posts since Easter is fast approaching.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


A Beautiful Light in the Darkness

Posted on

Happy Sunday, all!

I know I promised a tutorial this week but that is going to have to wait! I have found a new artist that I must bring immediately to your attention! This passed week I was introduced to Brittany Cox AKA Britt the Badger and I am simply blown away by her creations. Brittany makes paper cut “dreamboxes” out of what appears to be magic and rainbows.

It feels like you just walked into this secret fairy hidey hole.

Seriously, though, her very intricate scenes come to life through custom LED light setups hidden behind layers and layers of laser cut paper in surprisingly small (for all the detail she achieves) shadow boxes.

Just look at the depth (pun intended)!

The part I am especially in awe of is her artistic vision when it comes to those layers. These pieces are not just beautiful in the dark.

 

She draws and plots out each of the images and then figures out how many layers and what goes in each one plus the lighting effects (which she also wires herself). She also does original paintings and drawings of equal beauty.

The watercolors here just make the cuts pop so well.

So if you would like one of these absolutely gorgeous pieces for yourself (or commission a custom piece), Britt can be found on her website, Etsy, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you would like to watch one of these emerge step by step, you can follow her on Twitch under brittthebadger.

Next week, I will attempt the tutorial, I promise!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Hard Working Leather

Posted on

Happy Sunday, all!

I promised some more MAGfest vendors and this week I would love to direct your gaze toward the creators over at Detroit Leather Company. They have quite the selection of very wonderful leather goods. Ranging from masks:

   

To goggles:

 

To leather wrapped flasks:

 

To these absolutely gorgeous leather journals:

   

I am so entranced by the twisting lock and the pin locks on those last two pictures. Aren’t they amazing?! I can personally attest to the effective holding power of their flasks as well. If you would like to view their other wares, they can be found on their website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. See you next week with a new tutorial!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Simply Charming

Posted on

Happy Sunday, all!

We are back from MAGfest and I find myself with a rather nasty bit of con crud but we definitely had a great time! As promised, I scouted out some new and amazing creators, this first of which I realized I’d already met before. Apparently when I purchased adorable Calcifer cameo and Kodama in a bottle necklaces from Stephanie of Charming Little Fox at Anime Central last year, I didn’t post about it. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?!?!? I know! What is wrong with me??? So here we are giving her absolutely cute cutey cute creations a spotlight. Did I say Calcifer cameo? I did:

Lookit this widdle mean and scawy fiwe demon…

She makes all of these crazy tiny beauties by hand with clay so each one tends to be somewhat unique (which I love) so mine actually has a pretty teal background. The main pendants that truly captured my attention the first time around, though, were her terrarium necklaces like Totoro here:

This one looks so confused, too, like how did I get in here?

My little Kodama is just as tiny and detailed plus it glows in the dark! It’s these bitty details that really set her apart. Just think about the amount of time it takes to make things like these teeny sushi rolls or this koi pond:

 

Super duper cute, right? She also does do some slightly larger but no less detailed pendants like this lovely octo I would just love to put in my own rotation:

All the tentacles to hold you!

I would highly encourage you to take a look through her Facebook or Instagram for more examples of stunning clay artwork and once she comes back from a brief hiatus, you can purchase a piece on her Etsy shop. Next week I have some new leather wares to take offer.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Let’s Get Organized

Posted on

Happy Sunday, all!

This week we are at MAGFest, one of my absolute favorite geeky festivals so expect some posts in the coming weeks about any new vendors/cool stuff I’ve found! For today, though, I thought we’d delve into one of those favorite new year’s resolution topics: organization. New year, new you and all that, right? Each of these four DIY projects do involve some wood, power tools, and probably a rather large work space so if you live in an apartment or condo (like me!), plan on sweet talking someone with at least two of those three (preferably the tools and space).

First up is what seems to be the easiest, quickest, and one I am contemplating making for myself: a storage ottoman from Mon Makes Things.

There are so many different ways this can be adapted to your needs!

We’ve really wanted some sort of storage ottoman for our game room and I think with a few tweaks, this could really be great in there! Next up requires a jigsaw! I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned my slight obsession with power tools before but once we finally move into a true house, I plan to stock the garage/workshop with one of everything. Back to the second organizational DIY: a pullout baking sheet drawer from Two Feet First.

I need one of these yesterday!

With as much baking as I do and the amount of baking sheets I have, this would be just wonderful in my cabinets. Third up is for yet another different area of the house, the bathroom. I’m really quite in love with the idea of this one as I’ve wanted a full length mirror somewhere in our condo and haven’t quite been able to make it happen yet. The storage space behind it in this mirror storage case by Shanty 2 Chic is really a bonus:

Who doesn’t love more storage?

Finally, I have saved maybe not the *best* for last but certainly one of the most overlooked areas of our place – the laundry room. This mobile laundry station from Hoosier Homemade is just plain awesome:

Much better than the three sad looking baskets we have stacked inside each other at the moment.

I like the idea of being able to use the top as either more storage for your laundry detergents or as a folding space. So there you have it, let’s start the year off right by getting a little more organized.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Ringing in the New Year

Posted on

Happy Sunday and happy New Year’s Eve, all!

Holy cow, this year went fast! I can’t say that it has all been bad or especially good but I can say that I have definitely learned some new crafty skills and even enhanced some of the old ones. I also find it a little mind boggling that all of the bloggers here have still been churning out new and interesting topics consistently through another whole year. Go us!

To celebrate the end of this and the beginning of a new year, there are some traditions that I love to keep and I thought I would share them with you in case you needed some last minute inspiration for your own NYE par-tay.

1. Wear silly hats. Ever since I can remember, my Mom either helped us find or make hats for new year’s. If you like to keep it simple (which we often did), here is an easy little tutorial from Skip to My Lou for a basic newspaper hat:

This can always be enhanced with glitter glue and feathers, rest assured.

As I grew older, though, I didn’t mind taking a little more time to create “fancier” hats. So, likewise, here is a tutorial (and some templates) from Happy Thought UK for some festive mini top hats:

These could also be slightly enhanced for a more steampunk themed occasion.

2. Make a festive mess. We usually found those little plastic popper bottles that were filled with confetti strings and Mom would boot us outside before we popped them. But sometimes they were duds and that made for some disappointment. So why not make sure they aren’t by making your own? If you just want to make a big poof of confetti and streamers, this great tutorial from Ehow is just the thing:

These can also be filled with confetti made from used wrapping paper if you want to keep it green.

Or if you want to add in a little more fun and class, you can use this amazing infographic from Wonder How To and make some paper hat/small prize/confetti containing crackers:

Yes, the “cracker” inserts can easily be found on Amazon and other sites.

3. The final thing we do (besides supply massive amounts of food and drink, of course) is make a lot of noise to ring in the New Year! So how about a few different types of noise makers from Kid Friendly Things to Do, Jman and Miller Bug, and I Heart Naptime:

   

I can honestly imagine turning these into more geeky versions by introducing a theme…like Harry Potter house colors. Whichever way you choose to celebrate, be safe and have fun! We’ll see you in 2018, fellow Hackers!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Wrapping Things Up

Posted on

Happy Sunday, all!

It’s Christmas Eve, can you believe it? Have you gotten all those lovely gifts wrapped? If not, I’ve got a few more fantastic ideas for bumping it up a notch. First up is a quick and easy option if you have a hoard of wrapping paper (guilty as charged), DIY paper gift bags from Designer Trapped:

Super cute and can be made to any size specifications!

If you’ve got some small things, these DIY pyramid boxes from Lines Across will do the trick:

If you’ve got a card stock hoard, too, these will also help clear some out.

If you are really ambitious, though, I’d love to give or receive these adorable DIY animal boxes from Lia Griffith:

I just can’t get over how super cute they are!

Maybe you’ve got a huge roll of that brown butcher paper? This next one from Burlap and Blue is a great project for the kiddos as it entails dipping your thumbs into paint to create the light bulb shapes on the paper:

You could also theoretically use brown paper bags if you like to think green.

Finally, one more thing to be made from that wrapping paper stash is…the bow itself! This quick little tutorial from Charlet’s Website looks super easy:

This is great to know for other occasions as well.

Hopefully at least one of these have helped you get those last minute things done. Have a safe and happy holiday tomorrow, everyone!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Snow, Snow, Beautiful Snow

Posted on

Happy Sunday, all!

As the name of today’s post implies, I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. We’ve only gotten a couple of light dustings so far here in the Midwest and I’m ok with it snowing from the end of November right up until the new year but then I’m done! So while I’m hoping for a little more of the flakes, I’ve gathered some cool (pun intended) snow-inspired decorations for the season. First up is one large but very easy way to get your fix, shiny popsicle stick snowflakes from Making Home Base:

Silver can certainly be an option, too!

For the second option, do you happen to have some clothespins sitting around with no clothes to hang (I do but then I am a noted craft supply hoarder)? Then how about turning them into some of these lovely glittery snowflakes from Eighteen25:

Yay glitter everywhere!

Ok, so let’s say you don’t have clothespins but what about wine corks? I have a whole big bag of them from Mom and the girls that are just screaming to be turned into these cute cork snowflake ornaments from Virginia Sweet Pea:

These are getting made for everyone…I have that many corks.

So far these mostly require adult supervision but I swear I have at least one kid friendly option. This is really adorable and a great idea for any shape – glitter snowflake window clings from One Little Project:

Seriously, can’t you imagine making your own Nightmare Before Christmas window scene like this?

Finally, because the classics can’t be discounted, what about paper snowflakes you may ask? Let’s take them up a notch and make some large 3D paper snowflakes with instructions from Handimania:

There are some great ideas through the link for different kinds of paper to use!

So there we are, hopefully this will keep us both happy until the real stuff descends from the heavens. Next week is right before the big day (I can’t believe it, either) so I’ll dig up some ideas for last minute but awesome wrapping ideas.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 

 


Delicious Gifting

Posted on

Happy Sunday, all!

Last week we started a journey into DIY edible gifts and this week I am continuing it. These ideas involve quite a bit of one of my favorite things: SCIENCE. I love the fact that baking/cooking is essentially chemistry in the guise of a fine art. You take all of these seemingly unrelated ingredients, add them together in the correct proportion, do something to change their composition (chopping/mixing/heating/cooling), and then add your own flourish to make it look good. It’s simply amazing to me and always has been. I assure you that none of these are very complicated and most do not involve any specialty items. First up is a tasty, tangy, citrus based treat that is fantastic when also dipped in chocolate: candied citrus peel.

Without the chocolate dip, they are simply like your favorite citrus gummies.

It’s as simple as boiling the peel to remove the bitterness from the pith and then simmering in a simple syrup to get these beautiful and tasty treats. Packaged in cutely decorated canning jars or even in holiday themed cellophane would make a great little stocking stuffer. Next up, let’s continue in the fruit flavored realm and whip up some homemade curd!

Though the tutorial specifies limes, this can be made in practically any flavor.

If you’ve never had some sort of fruit curd (most often sold as lemon or lime), I would highly recommend buying or making some. This delicious tart/sweet fruit butter-like confection is perfect on toast or as a component in other cookies and cakes. Once again, the simple ingredients are cooked together to get a silky smooth topping. Packaging it to look festive in cute little jars to go with our peel? Brilliant. Ok, so now that we’ve seen something akin to a fruit butter, how about a walk on the wild side? My father loves hot peppers and one year he decided to use some leftover jalapeños from the garden to make hot pepper jelly. Yes, you read that right, HOT PEPPER JELLY.

Spicy and satisfying.

What, you may ask, can hot pepper jelly be used for? Any number of things, foremost for us, though was spreading a thin layer of cream cheese in a shallow dish and slathering pepper jelly over it just to scoop it up on crackers. Soooooooooooo good! It’s already so festively colored, too. You can always dial up the color with a couple drops of food coloring for effect, too. The one ingredient you may need to seek out is pectin but most grocery stores carry it in the baking aisle. Alright, moving on to some of the sweeter side items, with that cocoa mix we put together in last week’s list how about some homemade marshmallows?

Light, fluffy, and oh so yummy!

These amazing little lumps of chewy flavor are just so neat to me. I never knew how easy it could be to make them from scratch in any flavor you want. It just takes  some gelatin and corn syrup to start the process (with a lot of powdered sugar added in, of course). It think some more of those cello bags or even in stacking jars with that cocoa mix would be perfect. Finally, last but certainly not least, is my current homemade obsession: caramel. In this case, creamy, chewy fleur de sel caramels:

Just so we are clear, the fleur de sel is really just a specialty salt.

I’ve been making lots of whiskey flavored caramel sauce to put in and on things and these little beauties feel like the next big step. Burning sugar is the height of coolness for me in terms of kitchen science. They are gorgeous and would be so cute just packaged in little twists of waxed paper, then strewn over the bottom of a big gift basket containing our other homemade goodies. I don’t know about you but I’m going to have to “test” a little bit of everything before it goes to it’s eventual owners just to make sure it’s good.

Well now that I’ve gone and made us all hungry, it’s time to say farewell until next week when we will start our annual romp through some holiday decorating ideas.

Stay crafty!

~Laura