Cottage Wreath

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I can’t believe it’s been almost 3 years since I’ve blogged.  I’ve had a bit of “Crafter’s Block” and I’m trying to welcome & incorporate more creativity back into my life.

Since I moved, I actually gave away most of my spring wreaths (done in previous posts) and have been wanting a unique door piece.  Something simple that would reflect a nice nature stroll. Although elegant, I love the rustic look of the twine for a more balanced look.

Materials: Natural twine wreath, faux flowers (it would be wonderful to add real ones), wire cutters, and pliers.  A nice colorful ribbon might bring it altogether as well.

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Total Cost $8.00

Michael’s is currently having a 50% off spring flower sale. Yay!

flower trim

Basically, you cut the flowers with the wire cutters individually and then bend the wire stems with the pliers to make them snug in the wreath.  This small bundle of flowers came with everything I needed.  You can mix and match with different types of embellishments to make it truly unique.

What I like about this project is that you can change the type of flowers according to the seasons.

Please feel free to share pictures of your wreaths, as I would love to see them. 🙂

 

 

Count Your Blessings

Gratitude Jar

Sometimes it is easy to start focusing on all the negativity going on that we fail to notice all the many blessings that surround us.  Having a Gratitude Jar helps us pause for a moment and gives us the opportunity to realize just how lucky we are.   When you focus on the positive things happening in your life, you attract more of that in your experiences.  So it’s a win win 🙂  The gratitude jar is also good when you’re feeling a bit down and you can go back to it and see what you’ve written before.

There are many wonderful ideas on how to create your own Gratitude Jar all around the internet-How to Create a Gratitude Jar.  The great thing about it is that the designing possibilities are endless.  You can change them to match the seasons or personalize them for special gifts.  I did two variations.  A candy jar themed inspired by a Thank You card and a cotton candy pastel theme.

supplies

Materials:

  • Jar (most people use mason jars but just about anything that can contain your gratitude will do: ie. candy dish, small basket, vase, tin box, flower pot, recycled jar etc.
  • Scissors
  • Lace, pompoms, rocks, straws, twigs, and any other embellishments for decor
  • Scraps of paper and pen (please opt for recycled paper)

steps

Once you add the decorations of choice, it is time for the most important part….to start writing!  You can even have guests and loved ones participate.  There is no limit and it will transform you life by nourishing rewarding miracles.

Today I am grateful for:

Beautiful wildflowers
Time spent with my loved one
Being able to nourish my body with delicious and healthy food
Friendships blossoming
Cute frogs
Cleansing water
The bees and all the food that they help provide
The trees whispering
The Sun

gratitude notes

“It doesn’t matter if the glass is half empty or half full.
Be grateful you have a glass and there is something in it”-Unknown

Thankyounote

May You Always Be My Neighbor

Remembering Trolley

Many of us from my generation have been blessed to have had Mr. Rogers in some point of their life. I remember sitting at my godmother’s house in Puerto Rico just looking at the show as I didn’t really know English back then. I enjoyed it all…from putting on his famous sweaters (knit by his mother), changing into comfortable sneakers, feeding his fish, and waiting for the trolley to join in the Land of Make-Believe. My favorite would be when he would take us on a fieldtrip to visit factories and show you how things were made, before the neat Canadian show “How It’s Made”.

For those of you who are not familiar, Mr. Frederick McFeely Rogers was an educator, minister, songwriter, and the creator and host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Mister Rogers impacted the lives of many children and parents by having the courage to address certain issues in such a graceful manner. He encouraged and reminded us the feelings were ok. This planted the seed for future childrens’ television shows as he discussed important topics such as divorce, adoption, and death with such care and devotion.  In reality, not only did you have a “neighbor” but you truly had a friend who held your hand and reminded you of your strength.

Mr. Roger's Quotes

“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”
— From The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember

The funny thing is that during my high school years is when I got really immersed in the show, as they would play reruns while I waited for the bus each morning.  I decided to write to him and not only did he write back but he wrote again a second time when I sent him a Christmas card a couple of years later.  Feel free to double click the image to read.

Mr.RogersLetters

What really stayed with me was how he ended his letter “Mariel, you are a special person—just because you’re you”. I know that is how he felt about everyone he met and feel very lucky to be reminded by someone like him. This will always stay with me.

Mister Rogers has always been my role model. What I admire about him the most is his gentle yet firm and loving nature. His compassion was shown in the way he believed in all of us. He took pride inspiring us to reach our potential through his vision and television program.

Mr. Rogers Autograph picture

I love you, Mister Rogers. Thank you for loving me into being.

 

Please check out other wonderful things in the neighborhood:

Short Trimmings New Beginnings

Short Materials

I had been eyeing these shorts at Target for over a month now and finally decided to get them when they went on sale.  They were great just as they were but I wanted a little chic flare to them.

Materials:

  • A pair of cute shorts
  • About 2 yds of trimming (I believe this one is called Swedish eyelet lace)
  • Thread, needle, pushpins, and scissors

short trimmings steps

First, I roughly measured how much trimming I would need (Yes, I took my shorts to Jo-Ann’s and went to the trimming aisle).  It’s always safe to go a little over.  Plus, you can use that leftover trimming for other fun projects.

I pinned carefully at the hems making sure not to attach it too tight.  I didn’t need to scrunch it up as the trimming had that effect already.

Now, I’m ready to start sewing.  I turned it inside out and sewed a basic hemming stitch making sure it went through the first layer of the fabric hem and not the second (so the stitch doesn’t show on the outside).

I started and ended towards the inner part of the shorts so that I could fold and tuck the trimming and it wouldn’t be too noticeable.

*It might be a good idea to add some fray check to the trimming ends so that they wont fray over time.

And they’re done!

finishedshortcollage

short trimmings hula hoop

I’m so ready for this warmer weather.  Here’s to new beginnings!

Pom Pom Wildflowers

pompom bouquet

I’ve always found pom poms to be very magical, almost like little creatures.  I was excited to finally get started on this easy project.  There are tons of pom pom ideas online and I also got inspired by my friend’s pom pom bouquet that she made herself.  I don’t know why I took so long but now I’m in a pom pom craze.  It’s so easy to do while watching TV or just talking among loved ones.

You don’t need to have a fancy pom pom maker like I do, but I was glad to have this as a gift as it just only makes it easier.  For bigger pom poms you can do your own with cardboard and there are plenty of tutorials out there.  I also didn’t end up using the gluegun shown below as I was carefully able to poke the twig through without damaging the pom pom.

In honor of Earth Day, I decided to also upcycle leftover yarn and gather twigs to create a more natural look.  You can also change colors to change your home decor.  I chose pastels for a delicate look.

pom pom DIY

I made two small bouquets and had pom poms left over to gift myself a garland.  You can use any thick thread but I really love how this tourquise baker’s twine stands out.  You have to be careful putting the thick needle through so you don’t shift any of the pom pom’s body.

baker's twine

pompom garland closeup

pompom garland bed

These little flowers instantly brought a cheer to my space. You can definitely give them as gifts or spread the cheer in unexpected places such as the office.

“It’s so fluffly, I’m gonna die!”

Parlez-vous Baguette?

Monsieur Baguette

I have been in a “French mood” for a long time now but it has strenghtened over the last couple of months. I’ve been re-learning with audio CDs, movies, music, Nintendo DS, and even found a neat little antique French book from 1903.

"Francois et Giroud Simple French"

“Francois et Giroud Simple French”

I took beginners French in Middle School and some in High School. It has been a while and although I understand the basics, it’s hard for me to speak it.

To help with my journey, I am accompanied by Monsieur Baguette.
I created Monsieur Baguette a few years ago and he has proven to be very inspiring on my French journey.

Learn French

Here’s a little bit about him:

Monsieur Baguette enjoys exquisite wine tasting, scarf shopping, brie cheese, and being sneaky!

Speaking of brie cheese. I must say I enjoyed this one very much.

brie cheese

Music is also a must for learning a new language.  Below you’ll find two of my favorite French themed albums.  I have another Putumayo CD, called French Cafe which is “tres magnifique!”

Artists include: Barbara, Brigitte Bardot, Coralie Clement, Georges Brassens, and Mathieu Boogaerts to name a few.

French music

Don’t forget to check out these lovely classic beauties: Frehel and Edith Piaf.

Movies also help in the sense that you get familar with their way of speaking.  It’s almost like  listening to your family talk in your house.  My all time favorite movie is Amelie. It has breathtaking imagery, not to mention the nostalgic soundtrack. I also like Paris, je t’aime which includes a wonderful cast.

french movies

Here are some of my favorites that you might enjoy:

How do you immerse yourself into languages and culture?  Perhaps Monsieur Baguette and I will embark on a new journey, but for now, we’ll see you later!

À bientôt!

Easy Breezy Wreath

SpringWreath

Since I spend most of my time at the office, I was thinking of how nice it would be to bring in some Spring breezy air.  I wanted something simple and even used some recycled leftover materials from previous projects (same paper flowers as my Springticipation Project).

This project was quick and affordable.  You can find the mini twig wreath at the dollar store or at your local craft store.  If you want the decor to stay permanent, you can use a glue gun.  I used sticky foam dots in case I would like to change it for another season.

Get inspired with some delicate embellishments such as flowers or butterflies and add a ribbon of choice to hang as a nice final touch.

SpringWreathstepscollage

Easy Breezy!

Funfetti Nails

cupcake nail design

In order to celebrate my birthday, I painted my nails as funfetti mix inspired by this delicious cupcake from Gigi’s.  It definitely brought upon a festive mood.  I mean…who doesn’t love sprinkles?

I started with random colorful dots and added a few coats of translucent pink to give it a blended look…just like mixing yummy treats! It’s good to treat yourself every once in a while, whether it’s to satisfy your sweet tooth or fashionable eye candy cravings.

Fraulein Headband

We got our last snowfrost at the start of March (or so I hope).  You would think it’s Spring and although I’m in a hurry for it to get here, I took advantage of my “snowday” and did some upcycling.

Below is a beautiful blouse which I was having a hard time letting go.  Since it no longer fits me, I decided to still make use of its beautiful embroidery and thus keeping part of the blouse close to heart.

upcycledblouse

Materials: Blouse, pretty ribbon or trim, scissors, measuring tape, pins to hold in place, sewing machine or thread & needle

sewing steps headband

First, I folded the embroidered strip along with some of the side blouse fabric and cut, leaving some fabric to sew inside-out.  Once I started sewing, I made sure to leave it hollow in the center for the ribbon to go through.  I cut off the excess fabric and made sure to taper the ends so that they look “nice and tucked” once the headband is placed on the hair.

ribbonfinish

I learned this cool little trick along the way of making it easier to put a ribbon through with a safety pin.  The neat thing about this is that you can change the color of ribbon to match your outfits as needed.

And voila!  I feel like I belong in a little German or Swiss cottage.  You can wear this to clean around the house or simply to keep your hair in order on a stroll around the park.

headband finish

Springticipation

birdsandbeesdoordecor

I’m sooo ready for Spring.  Working on this project during the warm weekend brought upon many hopes for new bee-ginnings 😉

supplies

Materials:

  • Get yourself a pretty little bird or butterflies
  • 1 nest or speckled eggs and flowers of your choice
  • 1 small bag of moss
  • 1 woven twig & wire basket or wreath
  • twine or ribbon for hanging
  • glue gun
  • scissors
  • Embelishments of choice

stepsbird

This here is Spanish Moss but you can use any of the thicker kind so that it doesn’t leak out of the basket openings.  One bag from the dollar store should be enough for 2 of these.  I left some dangling moss to give the impression that this little guy is hard at work.

I was lucky to find this little nest with small eggs but you can choose more colorful eggs or different types of flowers.

embelish

Next, I wanted to add some color so I got these paper flowers for $2.00 and glued them with the hot glue gun.  Neat thing is that you can change the color if they wear out.  In the end, I add a cute little bee for good measure to float around and keep an eye on the nest…or my door 🙂

bird

I love the clip-on little bird because I can move it as I please in case it decides to fly around for some fresh air.

Hope your Spring brings you pretty blessings!