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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Happy + Hopeful

I woke up this morning and quickly learned that for the first time in my three years on Etsy, I made the front page treasury. I FREAKED out. My BF almost managed to videotape me making 'carpet angels' on our living room floor as I sang to our dog in ridiculous fashion about how happy I was. Thankfully, I caught him, and was able to regain my composure before any recording could occur.

I know there are those select sellers who seem to hit that front page every day (I'm sure you could name a few). And I know that other sellers on Etsy have tried to speak out, wondering what the secret to getting the front page spotlight is. I also know that the fact that I waited, hoping, for three years to get that short moment of huge exposure, made this morning's revelation that much more enjoyable.

I have been working so hard lately, promoting this new blog, brainstorming DIY tutorials, prepping for Monday's giveaway, I almost feel like the front page feature is my reward. It made me realize how far I've come in the past three years. My shop, my style, my branding has changed a lot. I feel like I have finally developed an artistic styling that is recognizably my own. And my Etsy shop is finally becoming the dream that I always hoped for.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Homemade Foot Scrub

Giving myself a pedicure is one of my favorite ways to spend my "me time." It's fun and relaxing, and having pretty feet is just a bonus! I rarely go to the salon because I have all the ingredients in my kitchen for the best homemade food scrub (and I bet you do too!).

What you'll need:

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon almond oil (can be substituted for olive oil)

Just combine all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix till they turn into an even consistancy. It's best to soak your feet in warm water first to loosen any tough, calloused areas. Then just slather on your homemade foot scrub to get pretty feet in no time! I even tend to use it on my lower legs as well, feels so good!

It smells delicious, works like a charm, and the cost is steal because the ingredients are already in your home!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chalkboard Love

As part of my Tuesday LOVE post series, I adore chalkboard. When I was in college, my roommate painted our old coffee table in chalkboard paint. Ever since, I thought chalkboard paint was the coolest ever! I've gotten some chalkboard decals and labels on Etsy, and am now hoping to convince the bf of how COOL it would be to paint, say, a wall, in chalkboard paint!

These flower pots are so adorable. I'd love some for my kitchen.

Save space in your cupboards with these handy magnetic spice tins!

A variety of chalkboard decal shapes for kid's rooms can be found here.

Get organized! I have rectangle labels on my outdoor herb garden.

Personalize your place settings with these!

Super cute way to display table numbers for your wedding!

Keep an eye out for my interview with one of the featured sellers who will be participating in the giveaway I'll be having on my blog on April 4th!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Handmade + Thrifted + Vintage

Decorating our new place has been such a big part of my life for the past couple months. At first, I didn't know where to start. I had a completely blank canvas, with no color schemes, no plans, no theme. All I knew was that I wanted as much handmade, vintage and/or thrifted items as possible. While we still have a far ways to go, the house is definitely coming together.
My favorite part of the house is the turquoise accent wall in our kitchen. There was a tiny battle with my boyfriend in Home Depot to get him to feel ok with the bright color, but now he likes it. :] I started collecting vintage pieces on Etsy to decorate our Ikea shelf. My boyfriend got the old washboard at a house in Big Bear Mountain, California. Not sure if you've seen the show American Pickers but this house should've been on that show.
I found an old letter organizer at a thrift store. It was brown wood and pretty beat up. I made it a project to sand out the rough edges and repaint it white. It's perfect for our mail, and now I always know where my keys will be when I think I lost them!
I used a vintage tray to place an orchid flower on as our kitchen table centerpiece. The salt and pepper shakers are also vintage, from the 1950s.
An amazing old illustration hangs above our stove. We found it at a garage sale in our neighborhood. The turquoise mason jar was a lucky find at the local thrift store.
You can find this adorable spoon rest here.
The chalkboard wall decal has been a fun addition to our home. It's great to make grocery lists on, to-do lists, or just leave messages to one another. I got it from Braden's Grace. I searched Etsy a great deal before deciding on screen printed dish towels from Urban Posture. The yellow birch one hangs in our kitchen, and I also have some black woodgrain ones in our bathroom.

I'm going to save the outdoor photos for another post. The rest of my day is going to be spent grilling up some dinner and relaxing. Happy lazy Sunday!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Yarn Flower Pom Pom Tutorial

The day before my first art show, I realized that I had no pretty decor for my display table. I quickly tried to think of something I could make, with only the things I already had in my house. I decided on yarn flower pom poms. They are so easy to make and you most likely already have everything you need.

Start with yarn, scissors, and any sort of branch, pipe cleaner, etc.
It is optional if you want to use a hot glue gun to permanently fasten the flower to the branch. I've had no problem with just sticking the branch right into the flower.

Begin by wrapping the yarn around your fingers. The size of the flower can be changed by wrapping the yarn around two, three or four fingers. Make sure to not wrap the yarn too tight, as you will have to slide it off your fingers later on.
Continue to wrap the yarn until most of your fingers are covered. Generally covering 2 fingers will take 50 wraps, 3 fingers will take 75-100 wraps, and 4 fingers will take up to 150 wraps.
Next you'll want to gently pull the yarn off your hand, while keeping it in it's form. Using a 6 inch. piece of yarn, tie it around the gathered yarn tightly. This will start the beginning of your pom pom shape.
Then take your scissors and cut the loops around the entire circle.
Once all the loops are cut you can "fluff" to fill in the gaps, and continue to form that pom pom shape.
To get the final pom pom shape, use your scissors to trim the edges. You can cut them down as much as you want.
The end result:
I simply stick the end of a branch into the pompom (thinking roasting a marshmallow on a stick) and it's good to go! It's such an easy way to add some quick color and cuteness to any room, table, or gift wrap.
Here, I used them for my table display at a local art show.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nail Polish

The other day some one told me I wore "funny" nail polish colors. I wasn't sure how to respond because I like wearing nail polish colors that are..."funny."

My top two colors at the moment:
The Turquoise is from Urban Outfitters.
The other is Mellow Yellow by Sally Hansen.

Have you seen the China Glaze nail polish Crackle line?

Looks like the perfect way to make my nails look more "funny." I think a black and pink combo would look really cool. Definitely going to have to get some of that!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Turquoise Love

I'm going to start to do a weekly series of themed posts based on one thing that I love. And most everyone knows that I LOVE turquoise, (it's a bonus if it's turquoise AND vintage) so I figured that would be a good theme to begin with. I have a serious amount of turquoise items saved to my Etsy favorites.

I collect turquoise snowflake vintage pyrex.
Such a pretty ring!
Super cool 80's glasses.
Prettiest pillow to add some color to your room.
This turquoise chalkboard is the cutest! Find it here.

I could go on forever. Turquoise is such a pretty color.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Green Thumb

We recently moved into a new home, complete with a big yard for our terrier pup to run around in. Once I found myself with a yard that was a bit lacking, but had a lot of potential, I was excited to get my green thumb to work (or see if I had one).
We found this awesome old, shabby chic white bench at an estate sale in our neighborhood. I searched local thrift stores over and over again to find the perfect little pots. I knew I wanted to plant succulents because they are very common in California, yet were completely new to me, coming from Michigan. I realized you could buy succulents, and other plants as well, on Etsy. I bought my succulent clippings from SucculentsGalore. I check and water them every day. I can't wait for them to grow into big plants!

Feather Hair Extensions

My latest style crush is feather hair extensions!
(photo credit)
I got my first one this past weekend and I'm in love. It's seriously the fastest, easiest way to change up your hair without doing something permanent. If you are some one who often feels like your hair needs a change, but don't want to go through the commitment (or trouble) of bleaching/dying/redying, I highly recommend feather extensions. I got mine done at a salon and it was so simple (and quick!) that I'm going to pick up a feather extensions starter kit so I can play at home. You can also find feathers of all different lengths, colors and styles on Etsy. Have fun!
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