Current Favorites | Winter 2016

In this photo:
Sweatshirt - Zara
Vase - Hobby Lobby
Coloring Book - Tropical World by Millie Marotta
Moisturizer - First Aid Beauty
Makeup Remover - Garnier
Chapstick - Vaseline

It's rare to see a non-crafting related post on this blog. I woke up this morning with an inexplicable desire to break out the DSLR and shoot something today, and it sort of became a post on its own. I reached for a few of my current favorites as subjects. I hope I'm not being too unambitious by making this a seasonal post!
I was so excited to receive the coloring book as a part of an Instagram prize package from A.C. Moore. I'm not able to open this book as often as I'd like, but I love seeing it on my desk and look forward to diving in on my next long plane ride.
As for my makeup favorites, I picked up the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water and the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream per Estee Lalonde's 2015 Beauty Favourites video. I really trust Estee's reviews - everytime that I've tried a product that she recommended, I've never been disappointed and these products were no exception. The Micellar Cleansing Water is the best makeup remover I've ever used. It is really gentle on my eyes and leaves my face feeling clean and residue-free. The Ultra Repair Cream has been the solution to my dry skin woes this winter. I've never found a more effective and light moisturizer. Finally, the Vaseline Lip Therapy is heaven for my sensitive lips.
The last item on the bottom right is actually a treat from my wonderful mother-in-law. She brought them back from Taiwan and let me tell you - the best food in the world comes from Taiwan.
I picked up this vase from Hobby Lobby this past weekend. They were having an incredible 80% off Home Accents sale so this vase was a steal. I love the height, color, texture, and shape. Purchases are always very calculated decisions for me, but this was a rare passion purchase.
Lastly, I love the design and colors of this sweatshirt from Zara. It's perfect for the office or at home and makes for a great transitional piece from winter to spring.

Thank you for reading!

The Woodland Series: Faux Mushrooms

When designing Woodland Creature-themed decorations, I knew that I wanted to include these beautiful mushrooms. They add a bright pop of color and whimsy to the theme. The challenge with these mushrooms was figuring out what materials to use to make them stand upright. The cap of a real mushroom is so much wider and heavier than the stem, so if both the cap and the stem were made out of a soft material such as clay, wool roving, or yarn, it would fall right over. In the end, I decided to use Model Magic, a lightweight air dry clay, for the mushroom cap and a cork for the stem. I hope you enjoy them!

You'll need: Brands I used:
Air Dry Clay (Polymer Clay works as well) Crayola® Model Magic in Pink Rose from Michaels
Cork Stoppers MAKEMarket from Michaels
Acrylic Paint Craftsmart® in White and Tuscan Red from Michaels
Glue You can use any kind of glue but
I used a hot glue gun from ArtMinds from Michaels

one. Roll a ball of clay and mold into the shape of a mushroom cap. You can also mold the clay around a round object to achieve a dome shape more easily. It's easiest if you use red colored clay but you can use any color you have, as we can paint over it later. Let dry completely.

two. Paint the underside of your dried mushroom cap white. Use the excess paint on the brush to paint the cork white. I used a paintbrush with coarse bristles to get a more realistic, streaky texture.

three. Paint the top of the mushroom cap red using a smooth bristled paintbrush. Of course, if you used red model magic, you can skip this. Add white dots to the cap using a small pointed round brush.

four. Once all the paint has dried, glue the cork to the underside of the mushroom cap.
This was such a fun tutorial to shoot and create. Thank you for reading!

The Woodland Series: Birch Bark Vase

Happy 2016! I don't usually make new year's resolutions but I'm hoping to be able to post more often this year and stretch my videography wings. If you've seen my archives, you'll notice that this was the first year that I really dove into making video tutorials. I love creating content for this blog, but I only post as often as I can think of a craft that I haven't seen before. Hopefully, there will be many lit lightbulbs above my head this year.
I'm kicking off the new year with the last tutorial in the woodland series: a birch bark vase. I became interested in faux bois when I was designing a wedding a few years ago. Real wood can be expensive, heavy to transport, and difficult to work with if you don't have access to the right tools, so the idea of making something look like wood was appealing to me. For this tutorial, I decided to make birch tree bark. As opposed to the typically rustic look of faux bois, birch tree bark looks very fresh and modern to me.
Since I was only going to use this vase once, I opted for a cardboard container. A more permanent solution would be to use a glass vase but be sure to clean the surface well before painting and use acrylic enamel paint (that doesn't require heat to don't want to apply heat to the tape!) if you want the paint to last. I hope you enjoy the tutorial below!

You'll need: Brands I used:
I used a Pringles can but any kind of cylindrical container will do
Masking Tape
Acrylic Paint Craftsmart® in White, Golden Brown, and Espresso from Michaels
Sponge and paintbrushes

one. Apply strips of masking tape to the cylinder, working unevenly to give it a rough and wrinkled texture.
two. Paint the cylinder light brown. Apply 1-2 coats depending on how opaque your paint is.


three. Sponge on one coat of white paint.
four. Paint random thin streaks of dark brown. Make some streaks thinner and lighter than others; this will make your bark look more realistic.


Thank you for reading!

The Woodland Series: Crepe Paper Christmas Trees

Welcome to the Woodland Series! I created a set of Woodland Creature-themed decorations for a baby shower recently and decided to take it to the blog. This theme is perfect for Fall and Winter, when you want something cute, whimsical, and season-appropriate. I thought of a simple and easy tree DIY, which can be used to build a paper forest or to make a table a little more festive as a Christmas Tree (you could glue on some glittery pom poms as ornaments!) Please enjoy!

You'll need: Brands I used:
Crepe Paper Streamer in FESTIVE GREEN from Party City
Cardstock Recollections® from Michaels
Glue You can use any kind of glue but
I used a hot glue gun from ArtMinds from Michaels

one. Roll a sheet of cardstock into a cone. Tape to secure the shape and trim the bottom so that the cone can stand upright.

two. Cut a length of crepe paper streamer. Fold in half multiple times and fringe. Unravel the fringed streamer. You may need to repeat Step 2 a few times to cover an entire tree.


three. Glue on the fringed streamer in layers, working from the bottom to the top of the cone.
TIP: For fuller layers, wrap each layer twice.

There you have it! There are so many ways to customize these trees. You could use different colored streamers, gild it or adorn with mini christmas decorations. Thank you for reading!

The Faux Flower Series: Yarn Pom-Pom Flowers

Spring is finally here! There are so many faux flower tutorials out there so it took weeks of experimenting with origami, crochet, crepe paper and other materials in order to design something simple and that hasn't been done before. I also filmed a very colorful spring-themed video tutorial. Watch the video or continue reading to learn how to make them!

You'll need: Brands I used:
Floral Wire Stem Ashland 18 Gauge from Michaels
Hot Glue Gun and Sticks ArtMinds from Michaels
Yarn (Medium Weight) in two colors

one. Begin wrapping the yellow yarn around two fingers 60 times and then snip off from the ball of yarn. Concentrate the yarn at the center of your fingers and keep it below 2" wide

two. Wrap the white yarn around and over the yellow yarn 120 times and then snip off from the ball of yarn. Keep the width below 3" wide

three. Cut a small length of white yarn and thread it through the center of the wrapped yarn. Double knot very tightly to secure it

four. Cut all the loops

five. Gather the yellow yarn and trim to about 1/2" tall.
six. Trim the white yarn to about 1" tall. If the petals are too full, feel free to pull out some strands
seven. Attach the wire stem to the back of the flower using a dab of hot glue
This will be the final tutorial from the faux flower series. Next time, I'll be introducing a new series and tutorial. Thank you for reading!

The Faux Flower Series: Billy Button (Craspedia) Flowers

Billy buttons (or Craspedia) are one of my favorite flowers. Their unique shape and bright yellow color make any bouquet or centerpiece a little more modern and energetic. I've made a vase of these as a centerpiece for my coffee table, but they would be a wonderful addition to a sweet bride's wedding. Read more to learn how to create them below!

You'll need: Brands I used:
Yarn (Fine Weight) Lion Brand Bonbons Yarn from Michaels
Crochet Hook Boye 3.5MM hook from Jo-Ann
Floral Wire Stem Ashland 18 Gauge from Michaels
Hot Glue Gun with Hot Glue Sticks ArtMinds from Michaels
Tapestry Needle
Bobby Pin

You’ll need to know how to read crochet patterns to follow instructions
make a magic ring, chain 1
round 1: 6 sc into the ring (6 st)
round 2: 2 sc in each st around (12 st)
round 3: (sc in the next st, 2 sc in the next st) around (18 st)
round 4-6: sc in each st around (18 st)
round 7: (sc in the next st, invdec) around (12 st)
sc = single crochet
st = stitch
invdec = invisible decrease

two. stuff with cottonballs

three. pierce the cottonball with floral stem wire and affix using a dot of hot glue

four. round 8: invdec (6 st)

five. fasten off. stitch hole closed and weave in the end
Check back next time for another tutorial. Thank you for reading!

The Faux Flower Series: The Cotton Plant Centerpiece

The warm sparkle of winter somehow makes its way indoors during the holidays, doesn't it? This season, I love to mix rustic, natural elements with rich golds. I designed this vase for my dear friend, Jen, for her bridal shower. Jen has very sweet and rustic taste, and her shower was square in the middle of winter.  I thought that this vase was so season-appropriate and complemented Jen's taste and unique sparkle in her personality.

3.4" x 10.5" Cylindrical Vase - Found at Michaels Craft Store
Gold Glitter Duct Tape - Found at Michaels Craft Store
Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
Black or Brown Marker
Dark Brown Cardstock
Cotton Balls

- make the cotton bur & cotton -
one. Cut out squares of varying sizes from brown cardstock. you'll want to use a thicker paper like card stock so that the paper will hold its shape when you curl it.

two. Fold a square in half

three. fold in half a second time. Then fold in half a third time.

before moving onto the next step, make sure the folded side is on the right

four. cut the triangle into a diamond shape, as shown below

five. unfold the diamond to form an 8 point star

six. use a black or brown marker to draw lines extending out from the center of the star. this will give the cotton bur some texture and realism

seven. turn over the star so that the side with the marker lines are facing down and begin curling the ends towards the center of the star

eight. stretch and loosen some cotton balls just enough so that they become flat

nine. apply some hot glue (or any quick drying glue) to the inside of the cotton bur. fill with cotton. 

ten. add a dot of hot glue to the bottom of the cotton bur and randomly attach to the branches. I picked these fallen branches from my backyard.

The cotton plant is finished! Make as many as you'd like.

- decorate the vase - 
one. with your gold glitter duct tape, measure the diameter of the vase and cut

two. peel off the duct tape backing and stick onto vase, lining the top rim.
We'll be continuing on with the faux flower series this season, so check back next time for another tutorial. I can barely wait to show you the next flower DIY but I will keep it a surprise. Until then :)