Saturday, November 5, 2011


Thoughts on the new blog design? I had been unsatisfied with my old blog header.

It worked, but I felt that it didn't really correspond with my blog title. And it seemed a bit generic for me. So, I made it my Saturday afternoon project to find a new look for the blog.

I really wanted something with the Chicago skyline, but I was apprehensive about illegally using Google clip art. So I created my own skyline.

With the help of, I took a picture I had taken of the city & changed it to black & white, increased the contrast & messed around with some formatting until I achieved this look:

I liked the look, but wasn't a fan of the pink font. I wanted my blog to be welcoming to people who don't like the girly-ness of pink. So I switched the font to black and moved it over.

I liked it, but it seemed a bit too artsy/graphic and I was going for more of a crafty/warm feel. So I started from scratch with a picture I took while visiting the Shedd Aquarium. I switched to photo to black and white again and used the Duo-Tone option to create my final blog header.

Previously I had a green chevron background, but I liked the look of the blue header, so the background switched too. 

If anyone would like to know more about creating a custom blog header, let me know. I'd be happy to do a more detailed post about it. Did you have a lovely, fall Saturday?


Living in a white apartment means that green, living plants are necessary for adding color to a bland space. I saw a picture of a succulent plant a few weeks ago & fell in love with its look. I purchased this one from Home Depot shortly after that.
They take minimal water and are somewhat like a cactus. This means - it's difficult to kill; which is important for people, like me, who lack a green thumb. Check out this link (here) for the story of my relationship with plants.

Here are some more images to prove how lovely these quirky plants are. Enjoy!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Spicing Things Up

I love cooking with different spices, but find that the more "exotic" spices (like cardamom or coriander) are less expensive when I buy them in pouches. However, the resulting problem then is that I have messy pouches of spices.

After much searching for an inexpensive choice that would do a good job of hold my spice & shaking them out, I found this pack of IHARDIG spice jars (4 for $3.99) at IKEA.
I was excited to find a cheap solution, but found I had another problem. I'm not that familiar with my different spices and these jars had no simple way to label them. So... my craftiness kicked in.

I took some of the chalkboard paint I had leftover from my chalkboard frame and painted a stripe around the outside. I used blue painters tape as a guide.
Now I can change the labels on my jars as often as I change spices. Or maybe even use the jars for crafts later.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall Rosette Wreath DIY

You might recall my Wreath Wrap Up from a few weeks back. Well, I took some inspiration from the wreath below & created my own version for fall.

I purchased three sheets of felt for $0.20 each. It took me about 20 minutes to decided if I wanted white & two orange; or white, orange & brown; or deep purple... I'm not good at making these types of simple decisions.

I then LIGHTLY drew a swirl on the felt that I had cut into different sized rectangles. 

Next, I cut along the line to get these fun curls. 

Next I started winding from the outside in. The middle of the swirl is hot glued to the bottom in order to hold it all together. You can head on over to stelabird for a better explanation of how to create the rosettes. 

I also got a orange ribbon, grapevine wreath, & a wooden craft jack-o-lantern. I took the eyes & mouth off the jack-o-lantern & turned him into a fall friendly pumpkin with a bit of paint & some stenciling. 

I'm very pleased with the final result! Like?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Aren't You Charming

This summer I was trying to think of something more personal I could give to one of my girlfriends with her engagement gift. I came up with these wine charms. 

I went to Michael's (yes, I love this store for craft supplies) and purchased some earring rings or they might be called charm hoops. 

I found some bead strands that had a couple different color choices. Since the point of wine charms is to, yes, make the glasses look cuter, but also distinguish which glass is yours, it's important that there are multiple color options.

The ones I made for my friends were actually from these smoother beads. Just add as many beads to each ring as you think look good.

Once you've added the beads to the ring, bend the end just a little so it will hook in the loop at the other end. You can see this better in the first picture.

Now, add to your wine glasses & enjoy your favorite bubbly! So simple & cute, also customizable. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I have been eyeing framed chalkboards on Pinterest for a week. Naturally I wanted one for myself. 

My apartment kitchen/dining area had nothing on the walls. I thought a chalkboard would be a cute way to brighten the white walls.

I found an old (large) picture frame at a thrift store. They were having a half-off sale which made the deal extra great. The fake pictures in the frame of families from the 70's were begging for a redo. I would have liked a frame with some more design, but maybe next time. 

I took glass out of the frame. I then sanded the frame and painted it a bright acrylic blue paint. I then painted the glass with chalkboard paint. It took two layers in order to cover the glass. Once everything had dried, I rubbed chalk over the entire board in order to prep the chalkboard. Once that's done, reassemble the frame and write whatever you feel like.

It might be a fun way for my roommate and I to leave each other fun notes, write groceries to get, inspiring quotes, or just doodle... 

I used Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Chalkboard Acrylic Craft Paint and Americana Acrylic Paint in Indian Turquoise both from Michael's. I used a regular paintbrush, but I think using a foam brush would give you a smoother finish on the chalkboard.

Give it a try! See how you like your new chalkboard.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Do-It-Yourself Glitter Manicure

I'm always pleased with myself when I actually complete a "project" I pin on Pinterest. So tonight I decided to kick off the weekend with a dynamic nail color. I've been loving the look of manicures with glitter lately (evidenced in my last post), so I decided to recreate the look myself.

I started by applying two coats of OPI polish to all of my fingers EXCEPT the ring finger on each hand. I chose the color on the left called La Paz-itively Hot. 

Next I put one layer on my ring fingers and shook some glitter on the wet polish - enough to cover the whole nail. 

Martha Stewart brand glitter is usually used with this style of manicure, but I opted to give this combo pack from EKSuccess a try. I found it at Target for half the cost of 1 bottle of Martha's glitter. This time I chose the bronze colored glitter. 

After all the coats have dried, apply a layer of topcoat. I used No Chip Acrylic from Sally Hansen. I also applied a layer to the nails with glitter, enough so the glitter is entirely covered. 

Once dried, the nail with the glitter is as smooth as the others.

And ta-da! It's as easy as that. My nails are in need of a professional trim, but you get the effect. It can be as unique as you are! 

If you try it, let me know how yours turned out...