crafty · design · DIY

M + E

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us. Personally I am not a huge fan of the holiday but I do like creative DIY projects and what better excuse to make one up than V Day. I seriously heart this fingerprint poster tutorial over at Man Made. Super clear directions and great tips (printing at a local print shop, WDITOT!?) help you come up with a personalized work of art that is not to sappy but still pretty sweet and won’t break the bank. I am thinking I might make our equation include a little tiny fingerprint. via

crafty · DIY

5 Minute Christmas Crafts

This Christmas I am pretty sure M&I are going to have a little more on our minds than elaborate Christmas decorations (in case you haven’t been ticking the time we have a little over two weeks until the due date). I am a sucker for Christmas so I would like to have something and this 5 Minute Tinsel Garland Wreath seems like just the ticket. I already have the hoops and getting garland should be a snap. I even have some fancy garland that will dress these wreaths up nicely without pulling out all our ornaments. It is almost like instant gratification and will certainly add a little sparkle and Christmas cheer to the apartment. Thanks for the great tutorial, Ez!

crafty · DIY

Thrift Store Frame + Cork = Genius

I love the simple versatility of these picture frames with cork. Armed with a roll of cork, some thrift store frames, and a bit of paint you can create a lovely arrangement of frames ready for your temporary masterpieces, inspirational images or recipes from magazines, post cards, Christmas cards… you get the idea. Personally I am a white kick lately so I would probably paint all the frames a glossy white and maybe even add a coat of white paint to the cork.

crafty · design · DIY

Lovely Lamp Shade

I am very particular about the quality of light in our apartment. I very much dislike most light that comes from overhead fixtures (my friend who also doesn’t like this type of light calls it the big light) and would prefer that all fixtures give off a soft diffuse light from a bit above my eye level. Add to that the fact that I am not a huge fan of most conventional lampshades out there and you can imagine how difficult it can be to find light sources. I love this DIY shade solution by Janis from Pinecone Camp! Not only is it a lovely alternative to white or beige shades it also would help cast a lovely magenta (or any color you choose!) light throughout the room. It doesn’t hurt that this base is so simple and beautiful. I will certainly be looking a little more closely at some of the thrift store lamps that would normally not get a second glance.

crafty · DIY

How to Unravel a Sweater

Many years ago I purchased a sweater that I really loved. Until I washed it. Even though I didn’t use hot water, or dry it, and it was only partly wool, the darn thing shrunk about 2 sizes. So sad. I loved the color so much that I unraveled the sweater and have used the yarn in a few projects over the years. I wish I had this wonderful tutorial to help me in my unraveling. The bit where Ashley clearly demonstrates what makes a good seam and what makes a bad seam is worth its weight in gold if you are hunting your local thrift store for a sweater to unravel.  via

crafty · design · DIY · sewing

New Life for Cashmere

At the risk of repeating myself, I heart cashmere. So much so that even when a sweater isn’t quite right on me anymore, I have trouble letting it go. I have been considering what I might be able to do with these misfits considering my limited sewing skills. A cashmere baby blanket seems well within what I can accomplish but I do wish I was able to do something a little more special. Something perhaps like these endangered stuffies by the ladies behind Modifyd who use the all pieces and parts of garment industry cast-offs to make pillows, cup cozies, and pet beds in addition to the stuffed animals. Personally I am in love with the elephants… for baby of course. OK, maybe for me too. Who’s up for a little thrift store cashmere hunting? via

crafty · sewing

T-shirt Transformation

M&I have been taking a long hard look at our stuff and coming quickly to the conclusion that some of it has to go. Many things have been very easy to freecycle, recycle, craigslist, or haul to the thrift store. Other things have been harder to part with. Each of us has quite the collection of t-shirts that we wouldn’t wear in a million years, but have sentimental value. M’s mom is a very talented quilter and has started on a t-shirt quilt using many of M’s shirts. I was considering making a shirt rug, but cutting them into strips is as hard to contemplate as shipping them off. So now what… with this so simple tutorial on Apartment Therapy I can give them a new life as a tote. I am pretty sure even I can handle this sewing project. And who doesn’t need a few more reusable washable bags around the house? This way instead of taking up space in a drawer or bin they can be out and about for me to enjoy.

crafty · knitting

The Knitting Itch

I am starting to get the knitting itch again. Although the temperatures are hovering in the 90s again this week (seriously, enough already!) my fingers are dying to get knitting and purling once again. Last week I was on a hunt to find a pattern for the perfect baby cocoon to make sure I had not only something to keep the little one warm but more importantly to get that all too cute newborn picture. Today I saw a project that really got my fingers in the mood to get my needles clacking. Blair over at wisecraft is knitting a garter stitch square blanket. I love this picture, I love the colors, and I love that it is all garter stitch squares. Very little measuring or counting and no thinking necessary, what could be more perfect for the woman who only knits scarves. Once my idle hands are busy knitting away my mind is free to finally get some peace. I believe this is because my monkey brain (this is a meditation term and although I haven’t mastered meditation I certainly know the feeling of a mind skipping from one thought to another) is finally focused on something. I just happen to have skeins and skeins of natural wool begging for me to finally try the kool-aid dye technique and get to knitting. What kool-aid flavor will make grey…

crafty · design · DIY

Been There

It is no secret that I love traveling and I love to make stuff. I have been pining away after a print of a hand painted travel map by Oliver Jeffers since seeing it on swissmiss. (BTW, if you don’t know who Oliver Jeffers is, you should go right away and check out his Creative Morning talk.) When I saw this DIY travel map I immediately fell in love with it. Thanks to the step by step tutorial I may get around to making one. I am thinking it would be nice to have a map of the world though since we have actually been to quite a few places already and have plans to get to many more.