Darling Little Things: My personal sketch book

If you want to get into blogging, or designing of some sort – it’s quite helpful if you have an abundance of ideas. If you’re like me, ideas come at all times and you might forget one or two, or all of them if you don’t arm yourself with tools to harness the brainwaves that come at any point during the day.

I took the advice that Elsie from A Beautiful Mess gave a while back and I got a sketchbook. Can I say that she was absolutely and completely right? Most of my ideas come to me when I’m doing things, usually mundane things that don’t require too much active thinking; driving, showering, laying in bed trying to fall asleep, etc.

Now that I’ve invested in a sketch book (that fits in my purse or any bag I might have for the day), thoughts turn into pictures with captions & detail so that I can revisit them later. Even if you’re not looking to blog, or design anything, but maybe just to capture some of your best bursts of thought – carry a sketch book.

Brilliant!

My sketch book

My living room focal wall layout sketch

 

2 years and counting!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve had a real chance to post anything, it’s been so busy! I feel like such a slacker, but busyness comes with this season I suppose. But for now, let’s catch up!

My days have been filled with events; both work and personal. One of my very good friends got married recently and I was lucky enough to be a bridesmaid in the wedding! It was a beautiful experience and I can’t wait for the photos to come back. Besides events, I’ve been busy working (earning a living), stuffing my face with all things Thanksgiving (turkey, starches, and sooo many sweets!), & actually quite a few DIY projects. I will be showing some of that soon.. but for today – I would like to feature a special project because today is my 2 year anniversary with my man!

He makes me crazy and I think I give him my fair share of crazy too but overall, I think I really do appreciate the challenge and love the balance in our personalities. Sometimes I think it’d be easier if we were more alike, we certainly would be able to come to a happy medium on decisions a bit easier.. but it might also be a bit more boring and I probably wouldn’t learn as much. This is what I have been working on and what I left on the counter last night for him to find this morning when he was getting ready for work.

My anniversary gift to him

Since we have completely opposite schedules (he’s driving home as I’m driving to work), and it is the middle of the work week, we’ll actually spend time together and celebrate this weekend sometime. But for today, just a little something to show the love. We’re both lovers of Reese’s and I am slightly obsessed with message boards. I’ve got one on my desk with a running to-do list, one on my project table with craft ideas, one hanging in our office to write our schedules, one in the kitchen with dinner ideas.. I’ve seen this idea all over Pinterest and decided that now was finally a good time for us to have one also.

I picked up a delightfully simple dark frame with a bit of a sheen to it and set out in search of burlap. I ended up buying a square of this beige-offwhite colored fabric instead because the line at the fabric counter was not something I felt like tackling at the time. I made these adorable little flowers (they turned out exactly how I envisioned, so I’ll save the burlap for another venture) and added them to the frame with hot glue. I like the look of older looking notebook paper inside the frame – and my padfolio that I carry with me is more of a yellow color. I positioned the paper so that the line for the margin showed, used a dry erase marker and left a love note front and center on the counter for him to find.

Are you loving these little flowers as much as I am? They’re super easy to make and add a bit of flare.

D.I.Y. Fabric Flower Tutorial

Make your own fabric flowers. Pick your favorite fabric and follow this easy picture instruction grid. Pin or hot glue and voila!

1. Cut your fabric about an inch and a half wide. 2. Fold the fabric so that its the width that you want showing on your flower. I folded mine twice, and after struggling with it – I think ironing a crease in the fabric as you fold may make the process a bit easier. 3. Roll. Roll that fabric all the way down to the very end. I made a couple different sizes. The larger flowers of mine rolled all the way to the end, the smaller ones – I cut the length of the fabric in half and followed the same steps. 4. I secured my flowers with pins that you would use to hold fabric together when you’re sewing. You can pin and then hot glue to hold the shape, or pick pretty pins and you may like the look with the pin showing. I chose to use all of the pearl white pins and just positioned them so that the actual needle part is hidden. When I got 2 inches from the end of the fabric, I started to twist while wrapping for a textured aesthetic but that’s optional.

Fabric flowers, secured with sewing pins.

I’m so happy with how the flowers turned out and now we have a place to write love notes every day. It’s nice to do that, anniversary or not. 🙂

Darling Little Things: DIY Phone Case

So, I’m one of those people who likes to customize, outfit & personalize my belongings. We’re talking my notebooks, my tablet case, my dogs [who just started wearing sweaters!! but that’s another story for another day] and of course – my phone.

Everyone needs a phone case for pure utility purposes.. especially if you’re anything like me, and fairly clumsy.

I had ordered a new case off of Amazon a few months ago, and don’t get me wrong – I love Amazon & online shopping.. but this case was definitely far from what the description said. Instead of turquoise, I got a plain blue & black humongous, bulky case. While it did save me from a few near death moments when I dropped it.. when I saw this tutorial I knew it was time to go back to a sleeker look.

I found a tutorial on Lesley Myrick’s blog. She’s one of my new favorite bloggers to follow and her DIY [i]Phone case tutorial was exactly what I needed to get going with my own.

Even though Lesley’s tutorial is for an iPhone case, fear not – there are plenty of clear cases out there for ALL phones. I personally use an HTC Amaze and found a nifty little clear case for 2 bucks.

I bought a piece of card stock and and traced around my phone to cut out a template. The next part was trickier.

I put the blank card stock template inside of the clear case and traced all of the places in the case where there are holes (for the camera, speaker, etc.). I then took an Exacto Knife to carefully cut those areas out. Afterwards, I took a ruler & sharpie and went to town creating a checkered pattern.

My checkered phone case card stock insert

Afterwards, slip the card stock into the clear case, slide your phone in and secure everything – & BAM. Customized, super cheap & WAY cute phone case that you can flaunt. Best part? When people ask if you got a new phone and where your case came from, you can say Oh, this? I made it myself. 🙂

My finished DIY phone case

Darling little things: jewelry organization

Up until recently, I was utilizing a traditional jewelry box. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very classy, traditional, sleek.. and black. And plain. I had the recent lightbulb go off in my head that getting ready in the mornings and putting outfits together would probably be MUCH easier if I could actually SEE everything that I have. Plus, all of the pieces of jewelry that I own are pretty things that I love, so why not display them anyway?

I started with this DIY project (featured in the sneak peek post last week), a jewelry board. I found the original project tutorial on Something Like That Designs, she walks you through her process here, and also see her Finders Keepers Post for some other organization inspiration- I ended up copy catting some of her thought process!)

First: Sneak Peek Project Reveal

My beautiful jewelry organization board

All of my favorite earrings are easily seen on this board. This is so much better than digging through a drawer or box and trying to find the matching pair!

I tweaked the tutorial a smidge when I made my own board. I purchased a frame from Michael’s Craft Store & then browsed the paint aisle. While some of the other tutorials out there (there are a lot on Pinterest if you’re looking for a different spin) show just taking the back out of a frame, I chose to keep that cardboard that comes with it and actually keep the back of the frame as well. I painted the cardboard insert a rose gold color and spray painted my chicken wire (which you can buy in a roll at Home Depot anywhere from $10 and up) a burgundy color. The two colors look amazing with the dark wood frame, so I kept it as it was. The only difficult part I had was threading the earrings through the wire with the backing still on the frame, it took a bit of maneuvering at times.. but we rent and I would rather spend that extra 10 minutes threading it through the wire with the back on than have lots of scuffs and things to fix on my wall when it’s time to do that, but that’s up to you!

Since I kept the back on, I wasn’t able to use the little cup hooks to hang my necklaces. I found these great little tacks at Walmart for a buck and was able to punch them through the back of the cardboard to hang my necklaces. The antique-y brass-gold color works nicely with my color theme.

Next: Everyday Items to Add Some Pretty Utility in Your Life

My newly updated dresser top

1. This great little ceramic egg crate was a steal of a deal and cost me $5 bucks at World Market (one of my favorites). I chose the yellow because I’ve been trying to incorporate more of yellow’s cheeriness into our home, but they had an assortment of pretty colors to choose from. The jewelry board organizes and houses all of my dangly earrings and the egg crate holds all the studs. I work for a rather conservative company that does not care for flashy jewelry. Instead of going without, I have grown a pretty large collection of studs that sparkle 🙂 The egg crate lets me separate them into categories (pearl, diamond, costume jewelry, blue, gold, etc.) and they’re easier to find, easier to see.

2. This is an example of using things you already have on hand. I bought this [yellow, gold] candle holder a few years ago and have used it as a small vase, a candle holder, a few different ways over the years. I had stored it in a drawer when we moved and I rediscovered it recently. I decided to put a leather cuff and another larger bracelet in it. I can see what’s inside, and it gives adds visual interest with its pop of color.

3. This plate is probably my favorite. I found it on the clearance aisle at Michaels for $1.48. It had a sticker on it that said “sold as is.” There are no marks on this plate that I could see… so, after visiting and falling completely in LOVE with Paris on New Years Eve, of course I bought it. It holds my every day favorite pieces: my new & beautiful birthday present watch from the boyfriend as well as the b-e-a-utiful necklace that he bought me our first Christmas together, my favorite rings [including a spoon ring!] and a very unique spoon bracelet.

4. While cleaning out my jewelry box with all of my nice, real jewelry, I realized I had another jewelry box somewhere with costume jewelry in it that I used to wear quite a bit a few years ago. I found the [very adolescent] jewelry box and decided it was time for a more sophisticated update for the pieces I wanted to keep and continue to wear. I found this little basket/box with button and loop latch at Hobby Lobby and got it half off for about $4 bucks. It was lacking pizazz so I dug through my craft bag in search of something that would give it that little something extra.

Add a Paper Flower to a Plain Box/Basket

 I had some on hand but you can go to your favorite craft shop and purchase paper flowers. I layered 2 for the effect I wanted & added a contrasting button on top to complete the design. Now it’s got that something special to it and is different, but goes nicely with all of the other elements atop my dresser.

I’m still working on organizing a second dresser that holds tanks, scarves, socks, and a drawer full of randomness that I’ll hopefully be able to show soon, but for now is still a serious work in progress.

Always be on the lookout for items that can add some pretty in your life.