Back to Blogging and a Freebie

Posted on November 21, 2013 and tagged DIY, Freebies with comments

Hey guys, it's been a while hasn't it? Without really planning it, I ended up taking a much needed 3 month break from blogging. I guess I just needed some time away! It's been a tough year for me for a lot of reasons and it's also been one of the craziest in terms of doing new things. I had a couple deaths in the family and at the same time I've been working like crazy on CourseCraft. Between family and CourseCraft, I just felt like I had nothing left to give. CourseCraft has been an incredibly exciting project for me and full of learning experiences. Running your own business (as a lot of you know) is full of ups and downs. If what you're working on is from the heart, those downs can be really tough. Everytime you get a rejection or something does pan out, it feels really personal. If your business isn't moving at the pace you think it should be, it can feel like you're a big fat failure sometimes!

I don't have any secret trick for getting rid of those feelings of doubt or a magic potion to give you more energy, I'm just trying to take things one day at a time now. Staying focused on my long term goals helps me a lot. If there's a day where I'm not feeling particularly ambitious, I try to focus on the overall goals for my life. I'm talking dream goals like, eventually upgrading to a bigger house, going on a fancy vacation, being written about in a major news publication, or being able to hire an employee. When I think about those wildest dreams I just know that I have to do at least one thing today that will help me get there. If I can do something every single day to further my progress towards my goals, I know that one day I'll eventually get there. Even if it's been baby steps the whole way!

As a thank you for sticking around (or coming here for the first time!) I created a little free printable. I've been fooling around with patterns lately and while it's not perfect, I think this little mushroom pattern is pretty darn cute! I used it on a card with a little space for a personalized message. Say thanks, happy birthday, thinking of you or anything else. I hope you like it!

Download the PDF

Yarn Ball Push Pins

Posted on August 14, 2013 and tagged DIY with comments

Wow, it's been so long since I've posted a DIY project that I forgot how much WORK it is to photograph a post like this and then edit all the photos. I also forgot how much fun it is to come up with these posts. My photography skills are certainly a little rusty but hopefully I got some good shots for ya and you enjoy this little project because I had a great time making it. It truly is a 5 minute DIY and it's probably a $5 DIY too.

These little push pins look like mini balls of yarn and they look really adorable on a cork board. You could even cooridinate the colours to match your office decor. I really think they'd make a great addition to a gift for someone. Put together a little box with a set of stationery, some pretty pens, a notebook and these cute push pins and you're set.

First the supplies: You'll need push pins with a flat head, small foam balls (mine were 15/16 in.), some yarn scraps (better to stay away from really chuncky yarn), a hot glue gun and some scissors. I had all this lying around my house already so all I had to buy was the foam balls for like $2.

So it's seriously easy. Just start wrapping a foam ball with the yarn. Try to go slow and use as little yarn as possible or you'll end up with giant balls (hee hee giant balls -- sorry, I'm a child). Once you've just covered all the foam, secure the end with a tiny dot of hot glue. If you find that the ball is lumpy in some parts just give it a light squeeze (hah!) to compress the foam. After that, I tucked a push pin in behind the yarn and secured it with another little dap of glue.

And that's it! Wasn't that insanely easy? And look how cute they look on my bulletin board. Sorry you had to put up with all my ball jokes, but I mean come on how could I resist??

Knit & Crochet Pencil Holders

Posted on May 30, 2013 and tagged DIY with comments

I know it's summer and the last thing you're thinking about making is sweater, but this project is too cute to wait til winter! Don't worry, your pencils won't mind a little extra warmth.

This craft is great because it will probably cost you $0. I rinsed out a can and a small jar and used leftover yarn I had laying around.

Both of my pencil holder cozies were made with Bernet Handicrafter Cotton. It's a light weight cotton yarn that comes in some very pretty colours. The blue one is "Mod Ombre" and the orange one is "Mango Madness". You'll also need a yarn needle for stitching the ends together.

For the knit cozy, I used a US size 7 set of knitting needles and cast on about 36 stitches. This will of course vary depending on the yarn you use and how you knit. Just knit a couple rows and measure up against the can before you get too far. To get the classic little v's just knit one row then pearl one row.

For the crocheted cozy, I used a J/10-6.00mm hook and 2 strands of the cotton yarn. I made a chain of 28 stitches and just did row after row of single crochet using 2 strands. Again, the number of stitches will vary depending of the size of the jar and type of yarn. After the pieces fully covered the height of the jars, I stopped and with right sides together, sewed the ends together to form a circle. If you're a better knitter than me, you could also just knit in the round and then wouldn't have to worry about the sewing!

Keep those pencils warm everybody!

Mini Gift Bags

Posted on May 13, 2013 and tagged DIY with comments

Today I have a quick little crafty project for you. Using a couple stampers and 3 colours of paint, you can make a million adorable printed gift bags. I used fabric paint and mini canvas tote bags for mine, but you could use regular arcylic paint and paper bags too. It would be great for treat bags for a birthday party or for tucking a little gift into.

First up, the supplies. You'll need 3 colours of paint (red, yellow and blue) some stampers and some kind of bag. If you don't want to buy stampers, you can use things you already have around the house. The cap of a glue stick, the end of a thick marker or an old kids toy can make a great stamper too. For my triangles, I used a little square of Speedball Speedy Cut sliced into little triangles.

The reason I told to get only the primary colours is because you can mix any colour you want from those and only spend money on 3 tubes of paint. The first design I tried was using a round sponge stamper and the yellow and blue paints. I start with yellow for the first row, yellow with a bit of blue for the second row, blue with a bit of yellow for the third row and pure blue for the last row. Easy!

For the triangle design I used a bunch of Speedy Cut triangles, and the red and yellow paint. I just mixed up those 2 paints in a couple ratios to get a few shades of orange, pink and yellow. No need for rulers and measuring here, just go nuts with your triangle stamps until you like what you see.