Easy DIY: Headphone Roll Up

I don’t know if you’re like me, and carry headphones with you everywhere. You don’t know when you’ll be in the store, and there are screaming kids and loud noises, and would love to just listen to your music instead of the sweet jams of the department store speakers. But the problem is, my purse knows how to make 75 Navy grade knots out of my headphones and every time I want to use them, I spend a solid 5 minutes un-tangling them. So I came up with a solution… Yes, you can use a rubber band for this too, but this way saves you so much time!

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Here’s what I used: A bit of leather and a snap!

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This cute little piece of leather is only 3″ long, and all I did was add a snap to it.

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I give my headphones a little roll up…

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…flip one side over…

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…and snap it shut! It’s that easy. And my headphones fit into my purse, no fuss, and have never gotten tangled since. I know this craft isn’t DIY for everyone, you need the materials. But how about velcro? A hair elastic? The possibilities are out there! Happy organizing!

Field Trip: Love Rock Farm

Last week a few of my fellow coworkers and I took a field trip to an amazing little New Berlin Farm, Love Rock Farm, where we get some of the produce for the Restaurant I’m spending my summer working for. A bit about Love Rock: Love Rock is a CSA and market garden that supplies delicious, herbicide and pesticide free fruits and vegetables to over 25 families and a handful of restaurants in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. This will be the CSA’s second season and they are excited to expand their offerings by adding eggs, poultry and flower options to the CSA shares this year.

What is CSA? It’s a Community Supported Agriculture farm where you can either use some of their land to grow your own veggies as a volunteer in exchange for food, and you can also “buy in” as a member to receive a box of produce every week, or bi-weekly for a small price. For those that don’t have the time to shop and want fresh goods delivered, this is a great option.

I knew the farm was run mostly by one person, Drew, our head chef’s brother, but I didn’t realize the size of this farm! He’s working long hours, asking for volunteers in return for produce, and hand picking and delivering produce, it’s like 2 full time jobs!

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This is a view from the backside (yes, I said backside) of the farm. to the left were some abandoned crops that had life in them. Being a CSA farm, you are able to use other’s land to use as gardening space if you have none of your own at home.

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The space was much larger than I had expected for being in the city. It was actually gorgeous, and on a lake.

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It’s hard to tell that’s a lake, but it is.

cucumbers

The cucumbers were grown in this tent, to contain them. They grow fast, and spread faster.

drew in the field

Crops that weren’t quite ready yet.

Pitchfork

Baby crops.

cabbage fields

I loved the cabbage patch. Due to obvious reasons that I grew up in the 80’s and had a cabbage patch. We have a dish at the restaurant that has grilled Ox Heart cabbage, pine nuts, and anchovy oil. SO good! If you haven’t thought of grilling cabbage, consider it.

cabbage head

This reminded me of the Little Shop of Horrors plant.

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Cabbage presentation.

chicken college

One of my favorite parts of the tour was the chickens! I got to hold one. There are about 20 chickens there, and one giant rooster that apparently has his “favorite girls” and you aren’t allowed to hang out with them. It’s like chicken drama. I love it.

chicken holding

Chicken!

Garlic

There was a LOT of garlic. This barn smelled amazing and can definitely ward off vampires. Drew sells his produce at the Milwaukee farmer’s market every weekend.

pulling potatoes

This is Drew’s mother in law harvesting some potatoes. They pulled 150 pounds that day between her, another coworker, and my fiancée. It was cool to see how potatoes just fall off of the bushes they grow from when you pull them from the ground.

the fields 2

A view from the barn! There are many varieties of tomatoes, but only a few were ready at the moment.

The Barn 2

The beam sticking out of the top window in the barn is used to attach a pulley and bring produce up to the top floor to dry out.

pulley

I had to take a pic of the great vintage pulley.

the fields

Here’s the beam. We couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous day.

The farmstand 2

Here’s some of the produce at the street front farm stand. Someone doesn’t watch the farmstand, you leave money based on the honor system. It was refreshing to see people act this way in the Milwaukee area.

farm stand

Carrots and Cucumbers and Cabbage, oh my! Drew sent Matt (fiancée) home with a box of amazing produce for a day of volunteer work helping out. A lot of farmer’s offer this as a bargain for help weeding, pulling, and harvesting. It’s totally worth it, just bring water, and sunscreen. He told me that as they got hungry pulling veggies, there was plenty of fresh food to snack on.

Happy farming!

The Cheapest way to Frame a Canvas

framed boat pic

 

This project takes me back to my High School days when we stretched our own canvases and framed them ourselves for school assignments. This is the absolutely cheapest way to frame a piece of art, without having to get a frame.

screen molding measurements

Get yourself a piece of screen molding at the hardware store. They are less than $3 for 8 feet.

screen molding

They look like this from the front.

unframed boat picture

Get your unframed art.

lining up the trim

Hold your trim up to your painting and draw a pencil mark on the underside.

hacksaw for the trim

I used a little hack saw to cut the trim. I cut the top, then the bottom so it didn’t break and snap into a rough edge.

Tiny nails

I used these tiny nails.

nailing in the trim

They are tiny nails, so be careful not to hit your fingers. You can use a needle nose pliers to get started if it helps.

boat picture

Nail the side down, then do the opposite side, and repeat for the top and bottom.

trim on clalkboard

Match up the corners carefully. You can always sand them down if they overhang.

framed boat picture

Finished product!

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Here’s another one! I think they look great, they are light weight and you can stain or paint the trim before nailing it onto your art.

Happy Framing!

My Dream Business Venture

I was recently approached by Kabbage.com asking me about my “Dream Business Venture”. Kabbage.com is a great company that provides small business loans online to help ambitious people like me start and grow their businesses. Now, thinking of my dream job isn’t a new concept to me, this is something I’ve been thinking about for the last year or so. It’s the thing that is inspiring the fiancée and I to move back to the Green Bay / Door County area this fall from the Milwaukee area. I would channel my passion and creativity into launching a new business by taking some time to build inventory. In this time (less than a year) I can see then what works best for me to make, what takes vs. saves time, and what people love to buy. Feedback from the public is one of the best things for me! How do my products work in the real world? That’s what I love to hear. We would love to work the craft fair circuit for the next year or so, which will be an awesome outlet for my creativity and get us ready to find the perfect storefront space in Door County for a Boutique store. It would be a source of income as well as great networking.

Where I’m at now: 

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Pics from my first craft fair! It was a success, and I would like to keep doing them. They will help me greatly with feedback from the locals and tourists what they look for in a great boutique store, and in my products.

fabric

I get a LOT of fabric for free simply by knowing the right people. I get inspired by trying to find matching fabrics to make bags out of.

fabric on a shelf

 

It may look a mess, but I know where everything is. I would love a great big workstation for my fabrics and sewing machines.

my paintings

I would like to display my art, as well as other local artists. Even having gallery showings and teaching art class.

my belts from goodwill

I hit the belt jackpot at the local thrift shops this week! I will use these to make straps for bags.

Striped bag

My first belt strap bag of the season, and more to come.

my creativity book

Ideas…

page from my creativity book

I have many books filled with ideas I would like to come to life.

picture of my friends

Of course I have my girls to keep me motivated! A few of them even have my bags too.

The Vision:

If I would start a business TODAY what would I do? Well, open a boutique store! It would not be like any other store you’ve walked into. We would be a blend of thrift, antique, home made, home grown, re-purposed and hand built. We would inspire friends and family to take their hobbies and turn them into something they can share with the community. I would love to teach classes as well: how to sew, fixing your clothes, how to paint, intro to wood stain, fun with Bondo… Things that I’ve learned over the years that have helped me be self sufficient I can easily teach to the community and help them to be more self reliant. My fiancée is a chef and would love to teach cooking classes as well as teaching people how to grow their own food.

boutique inspiration

Gorgeous inspiration and window front display.

My shop would be focused on a theme: taking what is existing and making it great again. Old wood, pallets, fabrics, antiques, curb finds, thrift store and garage sale goods, discarded paint. It can all be made great again with the right eye, and the right touch. I want to be someone that does that full time, and inspires others to do the same. I would love a small rack of clothing I hand selected from garage sales, and thrift shops that I can make look awesome by either dying or altering them. boutique with balloons

A place to work, socialize, play, be creative, and inspire. image link

Our joint dream business would be “Verbena Simple Living” on my part, where hand made and repurposed home decor and home goods are sold, and we inspire a simple lifestyle to the community. “Verbena Simple Eating” would be his venture, where he grows his own food, teaches others how to grow and cook, and he would even run a little kitchen 5 days a week where he can make the food he grows and do what he loves, garden and cook.

Boutique cafe

This will work just fine for the chef in my life.

Our ideal location would be a storefront space with living space above and workshop space in the back or above. We would have a storefront big enough for me to do my thing, and for him to do his thing along side of me. We would be selling a lifestyle, simple eating, crafting, home decor, and lowering your carbon footprint.

boutique with chalkboard

A window to decorate would help constantly churn my creativity. image link

boutique shelving idea

Handmade fixtures are a must.

boutique idea 2

I can see myself working here.

The Wishlist: 

What I would need to create my business is simple! Or at least I think it’s simple because I’ve been thinking of it so often. I would need to find a store front space in Door County. Somewhere high traffic, with great sunlight. We would have to fit it into our budget as well. I would need the money to get the start up costs rolling, leasing a space, basic construction costs to make it my own, rent money. I would need enough inventory to fill the store (we are on a head start with all of the furniture we found this summer in the alleys of Milwaukee.) We would need time to build and make inventory, getting in touch with the right vendors (I can’t make every thing myself) and set up shop, get all of the permits needed to sell and do taxes properly, signage, and merchandising. We would do most of the marketing ourselves, with the help of our friends. And hopefully shortly after we would be open for business! I will do what I can to make my dream a reality, and have already started. What are you doing to make your dreams a reality?

Happy Dreaming!

DIY Chicken Wire Picture Frame

DIY this display picture frame in an afternoon!

Chicken wire display frame

This project literally cost me $0 and came about when the fiancée offered me a scrap of chicken wire, or it was going in the trash. I had saved a picture frame from my Dad’s old thrift store and planned to one day make it into a chalkboard. But hey, chicken wire works too!

Chicken Wire and frame before and after

Here’s the old frame

Chicken wire for frame

And the chicken wire.

Black satin paint for frame project

I love this paint. I painted my kitchen cabinets with this paint. (It’s from True Value hardware store.) So durable!

Stapling the chicken wire to frame

I used a staple gun to staple the chicken wire to the back of the frame. The chicken wire was the same size, there was one side I cut a little off of with some tin snips.

Hanging wire

I moved the eyelet screws from the long across the frame to the short way.

Chicken wire display frame

Hang it up and you’re ready to go! All you need is some clothespins!

Display frame

You can display anything for sale in a frame like this, or you can display projects and ideas too.

Chicken wire in frame after!

It’s a great way to get inspired with fabrics, colors, and pictures.

Chicken wire frame

I love it! Especially for a free little project I did in an hour!

Chicken wire frame project

Play around with the items you want to hang till you find what works for you.

Display cards in a picture frame with wire

Display projects in a wire frame

Display anything in a Chicken wire Frame

Happy DIY!