inspired by success

Thursday, September 30, 2010

30 days and 30 posts! When I first suggested this silly little challenge to Michelle, I didn't realize how difficult it would be to post every day for 30 days. A full time job and a house to keep track of can be difficult enough, but add a wedding to plan and the part time job and you have chaos! But we did it and we did it well ... with a few lessons along the way:
  • How am I ever going to see all of the blogs out there? And every single one offers a new idea, inspiration and another item on the "to do list."
  • I enjoy sewing - a lot! When my mom surprised me with a sewing machine many years ago, I had no idea what to do with it ... now I don't know how to find the time to make everything I want.
  • There are a lot of generous souls on the Internet. Every time I find a free download, free pattern or free template, I share it instantly on twitter. Thanks to everyone who shares!
  • Social media rocks! There are so many ways to find more ideas, share my ideas and integrate it all together!
  • I inspired a few people myself. CL now starts her mornings with a cup of coffee and blog reviews. JH picked up a banner on a recent trip to drape over her fireplace. And a "we shall not name" friend is inspired to begin her own blog and share the crazy stories she lives through every day.
And the ultimate inspiration? My next challenge! Stay tuned and visit tomorrow to find out what I'm taking on next!

inspired by fall leaves

The thing about living in California is that it's still 94 degrees at 6 p.m. in the evening and my scarves haven't seen the light of day since January 2010. So when October is knocking on my door and I want to decorate with fall leaves, my only option is the fake variety.

I found this inspiration today on Craft Gossip by craftyland. Once the leaves in my front yard change to any color besides bright green, these instructions are great.

But in the meantime, I plucked a few leaves from last week's fall wreath. I literally just walked around the house and grabbed what wasn't being used for this project. No money has been spent!


inspired by party favors

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

For this post, I wanted to share an oldie but goodie with you. I made this bridal shower party favor when Karis got married in 2007 (see the save the date, wedding invitation and escort cards). With a 12" x 12" piece of paper, I was able to measure and cut out two save the date background cards with a 3.25" x 12" scrap piece of paper. So I put the leftover pieces to good use by shapping out a candy party favor.

Add a 4" x 6" plastic bag (found in the cake section at Michaels) with the bride's favorite candy inside. Staple at the top. Sorry I don't have step-by-step but I can if you ask nicely!! Let me know if you want a template so you know where to fold and glue.

For the graphics, I printed out the "Karis is getting married" portion on my home printer and the background graphics included seven different small stamps. That was the fun part. I included a printed piece of paper on top to cover the staples. With the perfect balance, these little guys stand up on their own in a basket or on the table.

craft: paper sewing

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On my list of things to try out this month was sewing on paper. At first, I wanted to sew fun swirly white stitches on dark blue paper. That didn't work out so well. Then I wanted to sew paper on paper and the inability to sew a straight line was so obvious, that I also didn't move forward with posting that defeat.

So I took a scrap of fabric from a previous project and was inspired by a pillow I once saw on Elise Blaha's ruffle pillow tutorial post.

I squeezed a little glue between the fabric and paper to just keep the ruffles in place while I made my first attempt at sewing the ruffles down on the paper. I stitched across the top and bottom to really secure those pesky ruffles down.

A bold stamp and this is the perfect birthday card for a sassy cousin!


inspired by comfort

Monday, September 27, 2010

We arrived early this morning from Ohio, fresh off a four and a half hour flight that put us in San Francisco with enough time to enjoy a full hot day in the Bay Area. We took a red eye Friday night and for both flights, I enjoyed the little comfort of my neck pillow but shivered in my seat, wishing we were still in the days of free blankets and pillows on flights.

When we landed in SFO, I looked up "diy fleece blanket" because that was the last cold flight I am going to take. I had a clue about the blueprint, but I wanted to find my inspiration, beyond the cold flights. Instructables explains the steps to creating a no sew fleece blanket.

A cozy blanket for the dorm room on

As soon as we landed, I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics to pick out a fleece combination that I like ... pink and flamingos.

I cut the fabric 45 inches by 55 inches to keep it small for traveling. The tassels were cut 5 inches long with a 5 by 5 inch square cut from each corner.

How awesome does this look once you spend the time tying all of the knots around the blanket?

But that isn't enough. I had to figure out a way to make this a package that included my neck pillow and eye cover. I cut two pieces of fleece 43 inches long, 3 inches wide and sewed the edges (there goes the broken 'no sew' promise). I measured 7 inches from the blanket's edge and sewed the long piece to the blanket.

Tied up and ready for a long flight to Greece in a couple of weeks!


craft: quilt cards II

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Time to show off one of my favorite projects -- quilt cards! Two reasons why I love doing these: I'm able to clean out some of my favorite scraps and put them to good use, and my unique personality enjoys placing little squares into one large square.

For those friends who claim to be helpless when it comes to crafting, sewing, decorating or walking in straight lines, this is the one project that anyone can do with minimal effort and creativity. All it takes is paper and, if you really want to get wild, a stamp. But you can also take cards that you've received from others, cut them into squares, and create another card. How cute would that be with an entire holiday card collection from one year and using it the next year?

Happy birthday to a dear friend and colleague this coming week ... these will make a special gift.


inspired by garden boxes I

Saturday, September 25, 2010

When we were house hunting earlier this year, I wanted a space for a garden box (or two) where I can finally grow a green thumb. In our new house we have the perfect spot in the backyard where no one really goes, isn't landscaped and can easily fit a few garden boxes. We haven't taken on the project just yet but I found ready-made garden boxes at Lowe's, Home Depot and Orchard Supply Hardware for an reasonable price that we may just avoid the DIY and take the "assembly required" route.

But if DIY is your dream, here are a few guides that I think would be worth looking into before you begin. If you want to go smaller, EarthBox may be a better option for you.

One of my favorite authorities in all things home, Casasugar has a great map for building your own garden box. Sunset is also a good source. Lowe's has a step-by-step guide as well as videos to show you how to make a garden box from scratch.

I've already started the "garden" part. The succulents below are all transplants from my mom's garden 100 miles away. I love how easy it is to take them from one environment to another and the maintenance is minimal. I'm proud of my little babies below.

My mom pulled out a few of her baby tomato plants and I dragged my heels for a while before I put them in water until I could buy soil and a pot. I was amazed at how fast the limp leaves filled themselves with water and came back to life. I quickly planted them and last week, saw my first tomato! I am such a proud mommy!!

We purchased a lime tree (below) for our Coronas and a lemon tree for our lemonade.

Happy warm weekend! Now get out there and plant something!

inspired by fall wreaths

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friends always ask if I have always been crafty or if this is something that I just picked up. The answer is that I have always been an obnoxious crafter. Around the age of 8, I turned our family's hallway closet into a craft studio where I planned to "sell" my work that was mostly made from Play-Doh.

When I was about 12-years-old, I used to make holiday wreaths as gifts, as many as 10 at a time. For this post, I want to make a Fall wreath that I can hang on our front door and keep for years to come so that I remember our first year in the house. A few inspirations below:

This DIY wreath from Thrifty Decor is amazing. You can easily outline a shape from a foam core board and add leaves. Here is one from last year. Visit the site for instructions.

This is the original picture that inspired Thrifty Decor and you can click here to see the step-by-step instructions to making this leafy wreath. Better Homes and Gardens has a lot of ideas for wreaths from Halloween to Fall to Thanksgiving.

If the Fall foilage isn't enough for you, here's a DIY wreath made by Jenny Garland. Her wreath includes feathers, fruits and vegetables. Click here for step-by-step instructions.

All items for my wreath were purchased at Michaels. The stick wreath was the cheapest option available to me: $3.49. And I used a 40% off coupon. The garlands were already 40% off.

I just pulled the leaves off of the garland and glued them on the wreath. The garlands offered more leaves at a cheaper price.

Total cost: $12. And I have extra leaves and garland to decorate the mantel for Fall.

inspired by boo

Thursday, September 23, 2010

One of my new favorite blogs - Eighteen 25 - is scrumptious! My favorite project is the simple framed words I shared with you earlier this week. You can visit Eighteen 25 for step-by-step instructions on making Frightfully Fun Frames (today they have tag templates, free to download).

Once I walked into Michaels, I decided to be more frugal with my project. Total cost of this project: less than $5!

Frames - $1 each
Paper - Less than $2
Paint and brush - already had at home

I simply painted the frames, cut the letters with the Cricut and glued them on the paper.