Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle blog’

New Year’s Cards

christmas-cardsHappy New Year!

Do you send out holiday cards? After two years of being a freelance business owner, I sent out my first set mailing to my clients and friends to say thank you for their support over the last year and wish them the best in the year ahead. I absolutely love snail mail, and I hope the recipients appreciate it too. This year I traded Christmas cards with other bloggers and creative business owners from my area and it was so fun to send and receive paper stationary instead of e-mails!

blogger-christmas-cardsI love photographing flat lays (as evidenced by my Instagram), so I just had to design my own card, from the photo to writing the messaging and arranging the fonts. The florals were re-purposed as well from previous events, and I had the ribbon and pine cones left over from an assignment I’d done for Midwest Living. After all, there’s no rule that as a creative every idea you have has to stand alone as unique. Let one creative endeavor inspire the next. Here’s a photo from that shoot below, so you can see how similar they are to each other.

Paint pinecones for a multi-purpose seasonal craftLet each creative endeavor you undertake inspire the next. Click To Tweet

I debated a while about the message (Merry & Bright was a strong contender), but I wrote this one to be inspiring and non holiday specific. A local printing shop, Visions, did my printing and I was so pleased with the end result.

For addressing the cards, I used a brush pen to make pretty lettering. Also, you’ve got to check out the National Parks US postage stamps! Looking at the stamp sheet is like taking a mini tour of some of the major National Parks.

addressing-christmas-cardsHappy New Year! I hope you’re super excited for what lies ahead in 2017.

A Mermaid Moment

handmade-mermaid-shellsHappy Halloween! Did you dress up (or dress the kids up) this year? After a lot of work, I finally realized my dream of becoming a mermaid! Despite the amount of effort it took to create, this is actually one of the more fun craft projects I’ve completed lately. Mermaids are mystical, mysterious and really fun to portray at a party. In the end, this costume and I mermaid for each other (I just HAD to use that line and I’m not sorry about it.)

Making the Mermaid Shell Top

mermaid-halloween-diyThe most important part of a mermaid costume: the shell top! This was easily the most enjoyable part of the project. I searched until I found a purple bra, but a nude one would do just as well. In the end I covered so much of it over that it hardly mattered what color I chose. The shells are real (get natural cooking shells), painted with acrylic paint and sprinkled with glitter. I’m sure E6000 adhesive provides a stronger bond, but I used hot glue and hand stitches to put the top together. I wore the top to two parties and didn’t have a problem. I circled the shells with lace trim, added plastic pearl strands and a starfish brooch I purchased at a fundraiser this summer. I haven’t found any inexpensive starfish pins since, but if I do I’ll update this post with a link.

Making the Mermaid Skirt

mermaid-halloween-diy-costumeOne of the things I’m most proud of about this costume is that I was able to upcycle some items I already had on hand to make it! I’m not personally comfortable creating a lot of waste with my costumes. The base of this skirt is actually a navy pencil skirt from my closet. I simply covered it with 5/8 yard of sequin material with hand sewn stitches. This was way easier for me than sewing a skirt from scratch. An added plus is that the skirt underneath provides a lining for the see-through sequin fabric. The fin part of the skirt is a child’s skirt sewed to the bottom of the sequin portion. You could gather and sew your own fin fabric, but the skirt came with built in elastic that made walking a little easier.

Making a mermaid hair clip

mermaid-halloween-hair-ornamentMermaids can be any color scheme. At one party I attended this weekend I met a beautiful mermaid with a handmade costume of her own in aqua and teal (even her hair). I wanted my costume to be very recognizable, so I went with coloring inspired by the iconic Little Mermaid Ariel: purple shells, green scale skirt, red hair and a little nod to her dinglehopper fork. This hair clip is made of 4 oval pieces of felt. The fork is a miniature plastic hors d’oeurve fork from a party store.

This whole project was super fun to create and I’m thrilled to share it with you all! Feel free to contact me with any questions about how this was made in the comments.

mermaid-costume-diy

40 Hanger Closet Makeover

Organize Your Closet with 4 Steps & 40 hangers

40 Hanger ClosetHow to do the 40 Hanger Closet

Have you heard of the 40 Hanger Closet? Forty hangers is not a lot. When I counted all the items I had in my closet, it was over 80. And I promise you, I do not have a big closet. My stuff was so jam packed there was no wiggle room to even move one hanger. And I sure wasn’t wearing the vast majority of what was in there. The worst part was I’d actually forgotten about some of my clothes that had gotten lost in my closet. It was time for a major closet organization.

The goal of the 40 Hanger Closet Makeover is to make your closet your very own boutique. Everything you have in your closet you’ll love, you’ll be able to find, and you’ll be able to see what matches with what. Basically it’s a way to turn the closet you already have into the closet you dream about without buying a single piece of clothing.

That’s a lot to ask from 40 hangers. If you’re up for the challenge, here’s how to do it.

The 4 Steps to Create a 40 Hanger Closet

1. Get all matching hangers. I bought forty of the velvet-covered “huggable hangers.” They are available online and just to warn you, forty can cost about $40 (but check discount stores like Ross or Marshalls as they occasionally have some cheaper). This is a lot for hangers, I know, which will make you grateful that this is called the 40 Hanger Closet and not the 100 Hanger Closet. These hangers are worth the extra money because they look amazing, keep your clothes firmly on the hanger, and aren’t as bulky as the plastic kind. Of course, you can always use matching hangers of a different type, the velvet kind are just what worked best for me. Matching hangers might not seem important, but the appeal it gives your clothes will make you feel like you’re shopping in a boutique which is exactly what you’re going for here! Here are a few kinds I like.

2. The next step is to purge your wardrobe down to only 40 hangers. This is an ongoing process for me, as I have a lot of dresses and jackets that I keep hanging up no matter what the season in order to keep them wrinkle-free. I exceed the 40 hanger limit for one type of hanger–an accessories hanger to keep scarves and belts organized!.
You can find something like this for $7 at Nordstrom Rack

3. Stick to it! The important part is not to cheat and sneak in more hangers, or add even one mismatched hanger. If you don’t have enough hangers, ask yourself if there’s something hanging up that you aren’t currently using. Find a spot for it somewhere else or consider letting it go. For more ideas on how to give away or re-purpose your old stuff, I have posts about that too.

4. Enjoy your new boutique of a 40 hanger closet!

If you have tips about closet organization I’d love to hear them. What works for you?

For more information on the 40 hanger closet, visit Ruth at Living Well & Spending Less.