Christmas Gift DIY Roundup

It’s that time again… where I try not to spend too much money on the people I want to spend money on because I’m saving for a wedding in (gasp!) less than 6 months. What’s a DIY minded girl to do? Make presents of course! How can you get away with spending little money while making quality gifts people will love? Here’s what I did last year. (Now that the gifts are out, there are no spoilers to be had.)

DIY Note Board:

memo board

I made one of these for my fiancée’s grandfather, and he uses it daily for important phone numbers and contacts. It was SO easy! I also spent 0$ since I had everything at home. See a tutorial here.

Craft Tool Box:


I got this exact toolbox from Menards for $6 and filled it with crafting goods for the fiancée’s 15 year old sister. I filled it with glue, pink duct tape, little jelly jars of buttons and beads, needle and thread, and also spent $0 on the supplies because I have a surplus. When I was 15, I would have loved that. I was also a crafting machine.


Birch candle

While helping clean the fiancée’s grandparent’s basement, I was told to get rid of clutter by taking things and donating them. I took a box of old half melted candles, some jars and old drinking glasses, and decided to re-melt them and make them into new candles into the glasses. I bought wicks from the craft store ($5) and remelted and made candles, and then took some birch that was cut from their yard and wrapped it, and gave it to his grandfather, and brother for Christmas. Ironic thing is, I took things he wanted to get rid of, and gave it back to him for Christmas.

Date Night:

date envelopes

For Matt I made special date night envelopes for each month of the year. He got to April and I think he lost them (men…) I put a lot of time into it, and I know the sentiment was at least appreciated. Image link here.

For some other family members, I sewed blankets and stuffed animals for small kids and babies, (check out my DIY Kids and Babies board on Pinterest for ideas) painted some figurines I had left from other Christmas projects and gave those away as gifts, and spent a small amount of money on things like a new SD card for a tablet and some LED light bulbs. AND there’s always baking!

What do you DIY for the Holidays? Happy Holidays!

Design Color Forecast: 2015

Working at Ethan Allen has opened my eyes to the world of customize-able furniture. Endless options and endless choices is a little overwhelming but also lets me know that anything is possible in the world of design. Anyone’s tastes can be met when you have a never ending supply of choices. Walking into any other furniture store and getting 4 fabric selections on a piece just doesn’t seem like it’s enough. Maybe that’s the designer in me, I want choices! And here you can create any look possible from Traditional Jacquard fabrics on carved wood leg chairs, to Urban linen sofas with track arms to Gothic tufted velvet pieces and I am loving the options.

What does this have to do with colors? Well at the moment and for the last year color trends have had everything to do with gray. Gray-beige and linens and men’s suit woolen fabrics. Look at Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn. They know what’s going on. They can be kind of a one trick pony but their trick is spot on.

I love the neutral look of what’s happening now but what about colors? The last few years the pops of color have been attributed to yellows with cool gray tones, robin’s egg blue and Granny Smith Green. I am a fan.

But what’s to look forward to in the future? I got an e-mail from Sherwin Williams and am loving the colors they predict for 2015.

Here’s their forcast:

1. Chrysalis

We look to earth and sky for inspiration, finding raw beauty in striations and gently blurred hues and patterns. Artisans break the mold, creating objects that aren’t what they seem. Shapes are layered and deconstructed. In this moment, silence is the greatest luxury, and metamorphosis is the mother of invention.

2. Bouyant

The sci-fi dreams of the past have become everyday reality – from space tourism to undersea resorts. No longer confined to our earthly plane, we look to the beyond and find colors that are supernatural and magical. Unusual atmospheric events will keep our focus on the heavens in the months ahead.

3. Unrestrained

We celebrate bold, ethnic-inspired colors to the Bohemian lifestyle. But today’s wandering nomads aren’t starving artists – they’re fusing the carefree spirit of the gypsy with the sophistication of the jet set.. South Africa and its colorful art scene exert a strong pull, while the 2016 Summer Olympics will rivet the world’s attention on Rio de Janeiro.


4. Voyage

“To boldly go where no man has gone before.” That phrase was fantasy when it was born during the Sputnik era. Today we’re living it. The sci-fi dreams of the past have become everyday reality – from space tourism to undersea resorts. No longer confined to our earthly plane, we look to the beyond and find colors that are supernatural and magical. Unusual atmospheric events, including a decade-best aurora borealis and a rare sequence of “blood moons,” will keep our focus on the heavens in the months ahead.


What are your favorite color trends? Do you find yourself drawn to the same colors over and over? I know I do. Aside from fun colored T-Shirts in my dresser my wardrobe consists mainly of gray cardigans and jeans. Sometimes dresses with leggings and riding boots. Mostly black. Black is stylish and goes with everything! But at home, I opt for more neutrals and earthy tones. I’ll take that Voyage Collection! How about you?

Happy designing!

My New Workspace

I’ve been approached by WeWork, a co-working company that helps bring people with like interests together to show them my work space. They are a platform that helps small business succeed by making them more connected to each other. Read about them here. I write this blog as a hobby dedicated to living simply and healthfully, frugal and chic. I make accessories out of re-purposed fabric scraps and samples. I collect vintage home goods and love to cook, juice, and bake. My work space is at home for the moment, and in the future I hope to open a boutique that brings all of my interests together and allows me to spread all of my hobbies out and work on them in a larger, sun filled space, filled with jazz music and the smell of lavender Earl Green tea. (It will happen!)

Since moving about 2 months ago, I’ve been able to update and upgrade my work space from our dining room to a designated room in the house. All of my crafts, painting supplies, art and drawing equipment, sewing machines, and fabric in one room. I have painted it a cheerful creamy gold, (I mixed the color myself but looks a lot like Sherwin William’s Believable Buff), I hung my home made gold shiny curtains and added a few personal touches with my own artwork and colorful fabrics.

My favorite thing about this space is the natural light I get from the 2 windows, and the gold curtains. The curtains make me feel so elegant and kind of fancy without being over the top.

The only thing that would need to happen to make this the ultimate work space is more cutting table room to lay out yards of fabric, and a TV to binge watch Gilmore Girls and chick flicks on Netflix while I create new things. Someday!


Here’s a panoramic shot of most of the space. There is a method to this madness.


I love having fabric visually available to me, so I can just look up, and see stacks of my favorites waiting to be used. The dual machines allow me to have a light thread and a dark thread ready to go. The bins on the table are full of rivets, buttons, snaps, eyelets, safety pins, glue, clamps, hooks, and everything else I would need to make handbags.




Colorful fabrics are an inspiration to me.



I hung a leftover gold poof from our Engagement party to go with a gold theme in the room.

image1 (1)

I have a drafting table set up for drawing, watercolors, and drafting.



Painting supplies are at the ready.

All I need is some music and I’m ready to do some work. Happy work spaces make happy people! Check out some WeWorks locations here, who knows, maybe you can get your business to grow with the help of other like minded people!

Gray Hair, Don’t Care

At the ripe age of thirty-wonderful and headed to thirty-two-riffic I finally found my first gray hair. At first I had a crisis. What does this mean? (Yank!) Then day 2 I found another. I know more aren’t far behind. I know, people much younger than me that have gone gray and dyed their hair to cover it up, and maybe that will be my choice after too many pop their way into the world. But for now, I have decided to age gracefully. Accept my wrinkles and my gray hair as a sign of being weathered, experienced, and cultured. I have lived enough in this life to have lived many lives and a gray hair is something I should welcome, like my new love of over sized cardigans and NPR. I have to get stronger glasses, my shoulders can’t quite get comfortable in bed anymore and I need to start taking MORE vitamins than usual to keep my bones and teeth strong.

long gray hair

Me in 30 years.

Here it is, signs of aging. They seem to happen all at once, like car problems and friends having babies. You can’t see have just one instance at a time, there needs to be a snowball effect. But you know what? If a gray hair makes me accept the stage of life I’m in and grow up, eat healthier, read more books, get more sleep, have tea before bed, then so be it. I’m happy being a lady in my thirties (who still gets carded) and I will sure be able to handle all the future has to give me.

While I’m at it, here’s an article on Aging Gracefully. 

Happy Aging (like a fine wine!)

DIY Fabric Flower Bouquet

So with only 7 months left till my wedding, I’m in DIY mode for the crafts that need to get started. I want to make the bridesmaid’s bouquets out of fabric scraps that I have laying around, and after MUCH research on how to assemble, I’ve come up with the cheapest way to do this.

fabric bouquets

This is my inspiration for the bouquets. Check the link for the wedding, it’s gorgeous!

fabric flowers 3

I started to make piles and piles of fabric flowers to get ready to assemble the bouquets.

fabric flowers 4

Here are more of the flowers too. I got the tutorial for these flowers here.

fabric flowers felt

I made little felt rolled flowers based off of this DIY.

I looked up many ways to assemble the bouquet, and the cheapest way I found was to buy styrofoam balls off of Amazon (6″ balls at $4 a piece) to glue the flowers onto. I will also get wooden dowels that are 1/2″ across at the hardware store, and cut them to about 8″, drill a hole in the foam balls and glue the dowel into the ball. I will glue the flowers to the ball and wrap the dowel in burlap and ribbon. I haven’t gotten that far yet, but when I do I will post about it.