it’s always better when you make it yourself

Preparing for Halloween this year was a blast. I’ve tried to think a little outside the costume-store-box for the past few years, which makes the day so much more fun. Last year I used 70 feet of tulle to create this ghost look, inspired by MarthaStewart.com. I was a bit creepy and took up a lot of space, but now I have lots of tulle if I ever want to make a wedding dress.

This year I decided I wanted to be a little less scary. My primary inspiration was this beautiful mask from etsy. What could I dress as in this mask?

photo courtesy of etsy

How could I also wear the tulle I apparently love so much? A fairy! I found this fun tutu on etsy, as well. I probably could have made this myself, but this one was so beautifully made and ended up probably being cheaper than the supplies I would have bought.

photo courtesy of etsy

I added an eggplant t-shirt and leggings from American Apparel. By the way, their basic t’s are amazing. I ordered four more in different colors!

photo courtesy of american apparel

photo courtesy of american apparel

The most important part was the wings. I decided that I would make these from scratch. I bent some floral wire into the desired shape, wrapped all the wire with purple yarn (this took forever), wrapped the edges with purple “fun fur,” and then added some flower embellishments. These took HOURS to make, but it was worth it.

I thought I needed even more pizazz, so I added a homemade ribbon necklace.

Finally, I added some rosette hair pins I found at etsy.

photo courtesy of etsy

On Halloween night, I teased my hair until it hated me and added lots of purple makeup…..And ended up being slightly scary, again. Oh well. I loved my costume- I think I need to have a costume party so I can wear it again!

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diy: embroidery hoop wall art

Now that I’m pretty settled into my new home, I’m ready for creative projects. I’ve been seeing this fabric-filled embroidery hoop wall art on blogs for a while now, like this adorable one on etsy (which, by the way, inspired my current needs-some-work-but-i’m-learning blog header):

Isn’t she lovely? Anyway, when I recently received my beautifully restored vanity, I just knew that these hoops would complement it perfectly. So, I set out to make my own. Here’s how I did it.

First, I picked up some wooden embroidery hoops. These are super cheap, so you can make tons of wall art for every boring wall!

Then I found some cool vintage handkerchiefs from an antique store,

and added some fun non-vintage fabric. This would be a perfect use for any excess fabric you have lying around.

Note: You might also want to back the fabric with batting or felt. This was especially necessary for the vintage hankies- they were delicate and almost transparent.

Putting it all together is simple. Take the hoop apart and place a square of fabric and felt on top of the inside part of the hoop.

Replace the top hoop

and voila!

Now just turn the hoop over and adhere the fabric to the inside of the hoop, either using fabric glue or thumb tacks (the glue wouldn’t adhere to the hankies in my case).

Then, ask your dogs to help cut the excess fabric from the back after the glue has dried. I’m sure they’d be very helpful and wouldn’t be in the way at all.

So easy, quick, and fun! They’d also make great little bulletin boards- just add a cork backing and some thumb tacks.

I adore these hoops with my lovely vanity. Such an inspiring place to get ready every morning!


i’m back and ready to create!!

Well, I haven’t blogged since the marathon. whoops. I’ve been trying to figure out a) if I want to continue blogging, and b) how I will continue post-marathon. I’ve been itching to get back into graphic design again (it’s been a long while since my little stint in college), so re-working my blog seems like a good way to start. So, I downloaded a trial version of Photoshop and Illustrator for the time-being and jumped right in. For the record though, I really don’t know how to use either of these programs very well. I struggled in my graphic design courses because I never had a Photoshop class, and I have quickly learned that the knowledge hasn’t somehow come to me over the years. So, bear with me while I learn- it might be a while before I’m ready for a complete blog design overhaul! Anyone want to give me a few lessons?

In the interim, I have some fun things in store. First of all, I bought a condo this year! My very first home!

Decorating it has been so fun, but so far I’ve mostly used things I already had. But, I’ve been so inspired by the amazing treasures on etsy lately; my creative to-do list is getting long! I’ve got some fun ideas to make my new place feel more like my home, so I’ll share some of the more creative projects here. Also, I haven’t done much painting because of the craziness of work and home-buying, but I’ve got exciting things in mind for that, too. Stay tuned!!