This is my humble collection of attempting to live a life full of lovely things. A blog highlighting crafty projects, inspiration, and all things delicate & detailed. To learn more click here.

* Stay In Touch *
* Visit My Shop *
* Advertisers *


* Categories *

* Search *
* Friends *

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

* mr & mrs *

Here is a peek of my lovely wedding day! We were married July 20, 2008 in the gorgeous Black Hills of South Dakota. Find more images and details about my incredible wedding day on Style Me Pretty.


* More Fun *

Shop now: Minted

Entries in diy (97)


being generous on a budget

Last weekend I had the privilege of teaching at a short class that covered a slew of information ranging from why we should be generous to a crash course in budgets & finances. Making wise financial choices are probably most difficult right around this time of year. Giving should not be out of guilt, obligation, or to impress other people—being generous should bring us JOY. Not to mention our culture is not the least bit shy about pressuring us to be constant consumers and to spend spend spend (Black Friday marketing anyone?). The Advent Conspiracy sums it all up pretty well.

My content for the class was about creative gift giving. Below are tips for gifting with thoughtful intentionality & saving time + money this holiday season.


Make a gift list & budget early // Know how many gifts and how much you want to spend. I've seen good reviews on using The Christmas List app for tracking your gifts.

Have a "B List" gift // Something small but thoughtful, for the people you want to give a little something (or perhaps you weren't originally planning to give them a gift…eep!). I love the idea of a cute coffee mug with a card saying "also included is a coffee date to be redeemed at a later time" etc. 

Make a large batch of cookie dough // Then freeze it in rolls to cut up and bake when needed. This will prevent extra trips to stores for prepared foods because you'll always have a go-to on hand.

Host baking/cooking party // Like a cookie exchange where every guest brings bulk of a dessert/appetizer and you swap. This gets you more variety at a lower cost, and they are pretty fun.


Give something of yours you know they admire // Like a scarf or purse they complimented, something they have shown interest in. Use with caution—don't give away junk you don't want!

Give labor // Who wouldn't love a free handyman/cleaner/cook/babysitter for a few hours? Use your skills/availability to offer yours services as a gift, and maybe print off this adorable Gift of Time Certificate.

Give books you own/have read // Make a fun bookmark and even create a "reader basket" by adding some coffee/tea.

Repurpose what you have into something new // Example: turn old scrabble tiles into magnets or artwork.


Tailor very specifically to the individual // Example: Buy lens cleaner, a lens scrunchie, or a pretty camera strap for someone who loves photography.

Buy bulk items // Like local wine/beer/etc, then dress it up with packaging.

Make gifts as a group // Where you provide part of the gift. Example: Make a "breakfast basket" that includes pancake mix, syrup, spoons, etc. But each person in the group only provides one ingredient.


Utilize Pinterest // Use this as a search engine for ideas or packaging on every gift.

Start with supplies you own // If you have scrap wood/fabric/yarn, search for gifts using these supplies. You will keep costs down guaranteed.

Plan to spend around 3-5 hours per gift // Don't get carried away with crafts that take months to make, but also don't expect to have 20 gifts made in one evening.

Create gifts in bulk // If you make 15 of the same thing you will keep cost and time at a minimum.

Be wary of pretty photography // Make sure you don't end up with something that looks cheap/cheesy when you take away the skills of whoever photographed the tutorial.

Be wary of time intensive crafts/gifts // Think through every aspect of the supplies you need and how many steps are in the project. If possible, try to borrow tools (glue gun/hammer) so you don't have to purchase.

Craft party // Get a group together! This is more fun AND you will save when you share supplies with each other.

Now the fun part! I've spent time curating a board of OVER 60 "do-able" handmade gift ideas. There is a range of skill & style but most are projects I'd like to own myself, which I believe is key when you are giving gifts to people. 

I'd love to know tricks you've learned to help save time/money or your thoughts on making gifts rather than buying them! Any of my readers have helpful tips to share?

Image Sources: 1. Chalkboard Mug by Wit & Whistle // 2. Recipe Tea Towel by Hello Beautiful for Spoonflower // 3. Tiny Polaroid Magnets by Ambrosia Creative // 4. Mason Jar Oil Lamp (image by Napa Style, instructions by Heath Ashli) //


thanksgiving garland swag diy

Just a weee bit obsessed with these pretty corn husk flowers...so I've used them to make a garland swag for my Thanksgiving table!

The pre-made garlands/swags (at Hobby Lobby) weren't to my taste. Instead I found a greenery bunch I liked better. To make the swag, I simply hot glued the green stems to each other to form a 3ft swag. From there I arranged the 6 flowers to my liking and then glued them to the stems.

I love how wiley and assymetrical it feels! And using a piece of wood as the runner...eep. SWOON.

Any fun weekend plans?! I'll be teaching on "creative gift giving" at a short seminar called Generosity on a Budget, which will be exciting. And don't worry, I plan to recap the content for Monday's post! How about you, what will you be up to?

If you missed the instructions for the flowers > Corn Husk Flower DIY


corn husk flower diy

My favorite project this fall season was making corn husk flowers. With only one supply (corn husks) and two tools (scissors and a hot glue gun), this is a relatively simple tutorial. Instructions below!

On where to purchase corn husks, I recommend an international food store (think tamales!). Put a few husks in water to increase their pliability. While the husks are soaking, cut out a large amount of petals. You will need roughly 7 small, 5 medium, and 9 large petals per flower. Also cut out a 1.5" circle for each flower. Take the wet husk and cut into strips about 5.5" x 1.5" long.

Now that you have all the pieces take the strip—roll it up, then dot with glue to prevent unrolling. Take the circle and glue the rolled piece to stand up vertically in the center. From this base, you start gluing the small petals and work your way out to the medium then large petals. You may need to trim the length of the large petals before gluing underneath the medium petals to help the flower lay flat. The process should be organic, leaving you with different size and shaped flowers.

The result is gorgeous I promise. And soon I'll show how I plan to incorporate these into a Thanksgiving table centerpiece!


flowers for you

I am already needing a Monday reboot (and it's only 10am). *sigh* Hoping the idea of picking my own bouquet makes the day a bit more cheery.

A great week is in store...starting now.

Image Source: Chelsea Fuss for Project Wedding


starting a facelift {the hutch}

So a different kind of post today. Most of my house is full of projects that could be cute but just need a little TLC. I'm going to attempt one and document my process. This is a stretch for me 1) I hate showing ugly photos and 2) now I'm actually accountable to finish the project—which happens to be the kitchen hutch. 

Now don't let the photos decieve you, this guy is not in good shape. All the doors are bowed out, the paint job was awful and must be 10 coats, and on the right you can see the glass has paint around all it's edges.

To start the project we NEED a little inspiration to get moving, and to let you in on the vision.

I'm worried this will be 4x the amount of work I'd like to spend on it. So you must have patience. The goal is the end of the month, but I have some traveling to schedule around....And I think that's my last disclaimer for this blog post. Now time to let the magic happen!

Image Sources: 1. Making It Lovely // 2. Remodelaholic // 3. Gracefully Vintage (via Pinterest) //


patterned flower diy & a country wedding

July already!?!?

While I am currently exhausted and looking forward to a relaxed work week, that is no reason not share some lovely eye candy with you. Above is a gorgeous paper flower diy by Tie That Binds recently featured on Wedding Chicks. Long time readers may recognize these flowers from a past project I worked on (made from older sewing patterns). Well, Mekala wanted to use them all throughout this amazing wedding—for which nearly all event details she is responsible for bringing to life!

Anyone with an affinitey for barns and an Oregon backdrop can/must view all the images on Tie That Binds Blog.

Be sure to view the beautiful wedding on Wedding Chicks here and for the diy go here! And have an amazing week!

Image Credits: DIY flower images by Tie That Binds & wedding party image by Bryan Aulick


how does your {herb} garden grow? ::: pt 3

Happy Monday!

Another herb garden post for you! I needed a way to store leftover seeds and after seeing these Williams-Sonoma envelopes, I decided to make my own. And of course I HAD to share the FREE DOWNLOAD with you too. Be sure to pass along if you know a gardener!

If you missed the first two posts, be sure to check out the links below.



diy laundry & dishwasher soap {review}

So I've been easing into the homemade soaps movement.  Saving money and avoiding harmful chemicals are the only perks I need to be interested. Bonus being hardly any work (less than a monthly shopping trip). Here are my thoughts on the two recipes I'm using.

Laundry Soap // I LOVE this stuff and couldn't be happier. So much for so little $! There isn't a strong smell to the clean clothes, but that is because I am choosing not to use softener or add scented ingredient.

Dishwasher Soap // So far this is not comparable to store bought. I may experiment with rinse aids to help with residue, but it's also really crusty which makes it hard to dig out. I want to research other recipes, but overall it's still been a good buy.

Both these recipes came from Being Creative to Keep My Sanity. I've also tested a handsoap recipe (total flop), but I didn't use the bar in the recipe so I'll need to try again...when I run out of this gallon of snot soap....which may take years...

Has anyone else had luck with making their own household soaps? Perhaps cleaners???


diy bokashi bucket composting

Happy Monday! This coming Sunday is Earth Day so this week will feature earth friendly posts. Today I'm sharing my latest eco venture—Bokashi composting.

why bokashi composting?

No smell. Does not attract insects. Low maintenance. Quick and convenient. Small scale. Bokashi creates a liquid that is steroids for house & yard plants (called bokashi tea). You can ferment ANYTHING, including meat and dairy, dead leaves, paper, etc. Did I mention no smell???

Bokashi mix is also great for eliminating the stink in kitty litter boxes AND you could make an outdoor bin for dog doo doo if you'd like a better way to discard dog waste (do not use this as compost for edible plants).

what is bokashi?

Originating in Japan, bokashi is perfect for urban dwellers with little space because it can be kept indoors. The bokashi mix contains effective microorganisms (EM) that ferment the food, as opposed to letting food decompose. If you are interested in learning more about the biology in layman terms, this is a good read. I purchased my bokashi mixture from this local store for $12. It is also available online or you can make your own bokashi if you are really hard core.

step by step of using bokashi

Here is what composting looks like for me. Once the bucket is made (directions below), you throw in a few handfuls of bokashi and then start a layer of food.

Every time food is added another handful of bokashi is thrown on top, then I use plastic bag to keep it airtight before adding the bucket lid.

I only add scraps every 2-3 days, so in the mean time I collect food in a plastic container that is stored in the freezer.

Once the entire bucket is full (which has only taken me about one month!) it is sealed for two weeks. Note: Because there is this two week gap, we are probably going to make a second bucket. After this point the pickled food will need work (or maybe you can hand off to a gardner you know). Bokashi bucket contents need to be buried underground for 2-4 weeks in order to become actual compost. Once I complete this step I'll update the post about my experience.

diy bokashi bucket

TOOLS // Electric drill.
SUPPLIES // Two 5-gallon buckets (or large tupperware or kitty litter buckets), screen cut to fit bucket, bucket lid, and bokashi mix.

Optional: Spigot, O-rings, and a connecting side.

Take one bucket and drill holes in the bottom for drainage.

The spigot goes on the bucket without holes and was slightly complicated. And I'm not sure it's necessary. Once we drilled a hole for the spigot and screwed it into the connecting side, we still had to use calking to seal it for leaks. Do over, I'd skip this. We have yet to accumulate enough "bokashi tea" to use the spigot. Instead, you could lift up the inside bucket every 3-4 days and dump out the tea that has accumulated.

Once finished you have: outside bucket with or w/o spigot, inside holy bucket containing the screen, and then a lid. Rough cost estimate: Buckets $3 ea, used screen free, lid $3, spigot + rings + connector $7, bokashi mix $12, totaling $28. You can also purchase pre-made bucket sets for around $60.

bokashi wrap up

All this may sound really complicated but I promise it is not bad at all. This post is long because I wanted to give a general overview of this composting method. So far I really like using bokashi and it's been really convenient. Feel free to ask any questions about getting started, I am no professional but feel somewhat knowledgeable!

Happy heart the earth week!

Resources used for DIY: Bokashi Blog, Just Like My Nan Made, Lulu-Lenore


how does your {herb} garden grow? ::: pt 1

One of my projects in the making—an herb garden! It has taken some serious patience to wait for these little guys to grow enough for pics, and hopefully soon I will be able to transplant them into pots (and then someday eat). It takes so long...ugh.

To make these starters, I used an egg cutter to cut off the tops of the eggs. Using eggs is just more fun than egg cartons or seed containers. I also used the wrong soil (contains plant food) but most of them have sprouted so I think they'll turn out ok.

How about you? Any edibles in the works?