[Make Your Own] Sparkly + Seasonal Home Decorations


When I was younger, it felt like the holidays would  wait until at least after Thanksgiving to waltz into the world and steal the show.  I don’t know if it’s the awareness I’ve accumulated as an adult, or a fact of our modern reality but the older I get – the earlier and earlier the seem to sneak up into the everyday life.  Little by little,  Mariah Carey and The Ratpack have planted yuletide ear bugs, sweetly serenading me while Christmas commercials run rampant over the airwaves and my visual spectrum becomes inundated with red, white, green and glitter everything.  The holiday season provides a wonderful excuse to spruce up the place and though I’d love to ball out and adorn the apartment with brand spankin’ new holiday decorations, I have to admit that there’s something so gratifying and satisfying about making decorations all on your own.  Last year, I perfected making homemade candles so this time I thought I’d try my luck at something a bit more naturally beautiful.

Just the other day, when I dropped by my favorite local clothing shop – Native Boutique, I caught myself ogling their adorable holiday dresses, toying with the strings longingly as I lazed through the store.   Not only do they have a killer $20 rack outside, but they’ve got a welcoming staff and a stellar selection of clothing for the female young professionals that know how to both work and play hard.  While making my way through the aisles, I noticed they had some beautifully simple decorations lying around on cabinets, tables and cupboards – glittery, shimmery pinecones!

With the amount of camping and festivals that Danny and I have been to over the last three years, we’ve actually amassed quite a number of pine cones that are scattered throughout our place – the coffee table, the alter, and in even in a batch of potpourri that I made out of a bouquet of roses. I’d seen a few posts that detailed painting the cones like flowers, but that seemed a bit much for me – glitter, however, that I can do! It’s the perfect combination of natural and whimsical, while providing the perfect accent to any coffee table, window sill – or even in a bowl of pretty and pungent potpourri.

Supplies:

Instructions:

The great thing about the sparkly, seasonal pine cones is that they’re as easy to make as they sound and the result is beautiful any way you spin it!

  • Start by laying down a protective layer of cardboard or newspaper over the area you’ll be crafting over – that way you’ll keep all the MOOP (Matter-Out-Of-Place) in one area.
  • Gather your pine cones and flowers in a central area for efficient work space
  • In a small mixing cup, add any and all of the different glitters that you’re putting on the first pine cone

  • If you’d like to spare yourself glitter-fingers, toss on a pair of plastic gloves.
  • Shake the can of spray glue and remove the plastic top, spray can on a third of the pine cone and loosely sprinkle enough glitter to cover the glue.  Repeat on the rest of the pine cone.
  • Set pine cone in a safe place to set and repeat steps on other pine cones; allow cones to set over night
  • The next morning, take a blow dryer on the lowest setting and dust off any excess glitter.

Voila! Easy, breezy, beautiful home accents that can liven up any room 🙂


[Oh, Snap!] Fun with Macro Lenses

Last week, when I was feeling all down and out for myself – or as I like to refer to it, being an ‘Emo Kitty’ – I wanted to treat myself to something nice so I took to the interwebs for a little bit of retail therapy as part ( ps. believe it or not – it actually works).   It might be the thrill of crossing things off and that warm feeling of accomplishment after finishing a difficult task, but I’m a huge fan of lists and mental checkpoints; and as my mother always preached – everything in moderation (including moderation).  So, instead of going on a glorified and financially stimulating shopping spree, I pick and choose a few key things to compliment my life that I’ve had on my wishlist for a while (yes, I have wishlist; yes, it’s amazing; yes, you should make one – we’ll chat about that later though!).  Even though I’ve been following the Brandy & Melville clothing line and adamantly pinning their cute, comfortable and all too adorable wardrobe and accessories on my Pinterest board for the last two years, the only items I’ve ever owned from them were hand-me-downs.  I took a gander at their website and gleefully picked a few of the things I’d been eyeing, I filled up on some new books that I can’t wait to dive into and a few art supplies off of Amazon, candle making supplies from Candle Science so I can finally open the first vertical of my new ETSY store that I’ve been planning for over a year now and last but certainly not least – I snagged an awesome and incredibly inexpensive universal smartphone photo lens package so my boyfriend and I can explore more photography options before we commit to a fancy-shmancy, upscale Professional camera.  Needless to say, my mood has been completely elevated – and speaking of, the new lenses have most definitely pushed my photography to the next level; I can’t wait to play around more!

Plants

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All That Glitters

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Gems & Minerals

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Cats

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[Make Your Own] Sparkling Mason Jar Candles

I remember back in the day when Pinterest first came out – for a while, I was confused how it was different than Tumblr and I put off getting an account.  But, over time – and the occasional peak at some kickass pin boards – I discovered that Pinterest was the perfect list-making tool for those out there like myself who enjoy being visually stimulated.  As with any new social media tool, the first thing I did was sit there with my new digital moniker in hand, stare at the computer screen and mumble to myself “Now what?!”  What I really should have said was – Now, what do I share?

You can compile pin boards on literally anything and everything under the sun like new recipes, fun nail polish colors, potential breeds for your future puppy, dream vacation spots, wardrobe upgrades, etc, etc – Maybe you’re beyond single but you love the idea of planning your dream wedding?  You can create a pinboard for that.  Or, let’s say you want to travel to Europe for a 20 day backpacking trip – you can save everything from destination photo spots, ideas for brunch, youth hostels, things to pack and books to read before you go into a pinboard.   I’m sure you get the picture – they’re as creative, whimsical or as literal as you feel like and have definitely become one of my online guilty pleasures.  Hands down, my favorite board to maintain is my DIY craft board because there’s nothing quite as rewarding as hand crafting a gift – whether its for family, friends, a stranger, your pets or yourself.

One of the more hilarious things about Pinterest is the perceived high arts + crafts skill levels of the people posting.  For example, last year around Cinco de Mayo a blog I follow posted an awesomely daunting baking post about whipping up some Pinata Cookies.  They were rainbow, donkey shaped cookies filled with M&M minis…..so, naturally, I had to try it – right?  Well, suffice it to say that didn’t go so well.  At one point I had a picture, but I quickly deleted it in humiliation….after texting it to three of my friends so at least someone could get a good laugh out of it. Thankfully, there’s a website – Pinterest Fails – entirely devoted to people like me who have failed at Pinterest inspired arts, crafts or cooking adventure and lived to tell about it.  And yeah, even though that round of Donkey cookies ended up being a total bust – I discovered that I thoroughly enjoy finding new opportunities and ideas, otherwise known as “Pins” to their online community, to conquer.

Time to repurpose!

Time to repurpose!

One of the things I’ve learned my years of beading and crafting is that you need to learn how to work with the world around you – there are ample resources at your fingertips if you simply open your eyes and look.   Maybe you’re a wino in training – save the bottles and you could convert them into a menagerie of things: vases, candle holders or an essential oil diffuser; save the wine corks and you could create a pinboard, coffee table top or incense holder.  The opportunities for recycling and re purposing materials are endless if we just take a chance on our intuition and creative powers!  One thing that I’ve been compiling en masse lately are large mason jars – from pickles to pasta sauce and back down to large candles – I had a whole host of unused glass around the house.  I promised myself that eventually, I’d find a use for all of them – so I converted a few into change holders so I could keep track of quarters for the laundry, then another three into containers for my makeup brushes, eyeliner and mascara so I could keep them organized.  Well, that was a while ago and I was thirsty for a new project – after a few hours online, I had it all figured out; and quite frankly, was a little dumbfounded I didn’t get the idea on my own.  One thing that old mason jars – especially the candle holders – do exceptionally well….is (drumroll please) holding candles; tealight candles to be precise.  Per usual, I improvised from both the instructions and equipment in the original post because I’m a badass that abides by my own rules…plus, I trust the supplies I’ve acquired over time.  The end result? The perfect holiday decoration! The mason jars transform into awesome orbs with a glittery glow that you can place all around the house for some holiday flare. Now let’s get crafty!

The View From The Top

The View From The Top

Glitter + Glue - the essentials


Glitter + Glue – the essentials

Supplies:

  • Mason Jars [Pro Tip] – Next time you burn through a candle, keep the surrounding glass casing so you can reuse it!
  • Glitter: Silver, Gold, Irridescent, Multicolored….you get it, just make sure it’s sparkly and shit.
  • Craft Glue and small Brush[Pro Tip] I recommend Martha Stewart Crafts Decoupage ‘Glue + Sealer Brush Applicator’ because (a) its amazing and (b) the little applicator brush is perfect for this task
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Scissors
  • Tealight Candles
  • Ribbon

 

Swear By It: Martha Stewart Crafts Glue with Brush Applicator

Swear By It: Martha Stewart Crafts Glue with Brush Applicator

Get your scissors and ribbons ready

Get your scissors and ribbons ready

Aluminum Foil and my trusty Hole Punches

Aluminum Foil and my trusty Hole Punches

Tools

  • Scissors –> Next Level CraftyShaped Hole Punchers

Instructions – Time: 15-30  minutes depending on how anal much of a perfectionist you are

  • If you’re reusing an old candle – handwash the glass candle holder to remove the outside label and leftover wax, then dry before next step
  • Use a small applicator brush to cover the inside of the glass in a layer of glue (but not the bottom!)
  • Dump a sizable amount of glitter into the glass and tumble it around until evenly distributed
  • Wait about 5 minutes to see where the glitter dries – retouch if necessary.
  • Cut a section of aluminum foil to fit around the top
  • Choose one of two adventures:
  • (a) Get your 1st grader snowflake making skills on: Bend the foil twice and cut a few geometric shapes – voila, snowflake!
  • (b) If you’re a next level ninja and have shaped hole punches, bend that foil and then let the foil have it
  • Light a tealight, light it and place it in the candle holder
  • Put your patterned aluminum foil on top and tie the foil down to the holder with a section of ribbon
  • Voila, you’ve successfully started your army of sparkly candle holders!
The Final Product

The Final Product