Monday, June 25, 2012

DIY Vintage Photo Frame

 DIY Vintage Photo Frame

 Looking for a gift for your dad this father’s day? Did you forget to buy your mom a gift for mother’s day? Or maybe you want to be a June Bride and you’re looking for a good centerpiece for your tables for the coming wedding? You should take a look at this wonderful centerpiece idea that can either be a memorable fit that would almost last forever, or just a self-reminder of memorable experiences that you had with a certain someone. 
This “Instructographic” will teach you how to make a vintage photo frame using Mason Jars. It’s a wonderful addition to your rustic collectibles, or your vintage-themed wedding. 
The best part about this is that you can make them yourself; using any kind of photo and flower you want. Be it a message to your loved ones or a memorable photo of you or a friend. For more details about how to make this gift, do read on!

Make Your Own Beautiful Vintage Photo Frame

Friday, June 22, 2012

Facts About Birthstones

Learn interesting details about Birthstones

Are you looking for alternatives to your typical diamond as your engagement ring? Why not go for each other’s birthstones? Birthstones are traditional gems that specify someone’s personality, depending on which month he or she was born.  For example, garnet is the birthstone for January, while babies born in April get a diamond as their birthstone. Aside from telling someone’s personality based on these stones, birthstones are also involved in different myths and legends, about how they were formed and how can they heal someone; each stone having its own unique healing properties that no other gems have. If you want to find out more about these amazing birthstones, made a wonderful infographic, describing each of these gems, together with the personality they symbolize. Hopefully, this can help you find a good alternative to your diamond engagement ring – either that or convince you to get a diamond anyways, since it’s also a birthstone!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Yarn Makes Me Happy

From Grandparents to Glam-parents

Whether you're retired, or heading into retirement age, you probably don't actually feel all that different from years before. You're probably thinking you're not ready for the knitting circle just yet, but you'd be surprised.

There's no 'proper' age to take up knitting, and even if you do, you don't need to be limited to drab cardies and shapeless hats. There's a massive choice of yarns out there to choose from, from chunky to soft yarns, as well as bright pastel shades and vivid colours.

If you think knitting makes you elderly, think again. You could create wonderful clothes, accessories and even toys for the grandchildren that are as bright and vital as you are!


Treat Yourself to a Knitted Makeover

Even if you're not used to knitting, or are incredibly rusty, you can follow a few online knitting lessons and techniques on sites like YouTube. These are incredibly handy as they show you how your knitting should look as you go, which is a lot tougher to describe in books. Most people start with simple things like scarves, as you can really develop your technique. When you get a bit more confident, you can start to work on other projects. Remember, there's no hurry. Just take your time; knitting is supposed to be a relaxing hobby!
As you learn, you can make some fabulous garments. To do this, it's good to know the different kind of yarns out there. As you get to know wool yarn for knitting and crochet, you'll realise there are lots of variations. Saying this, here are a few different kinds that you'll come across when starting your new project.

Natural Yarns

The most common natural fibre yarn is from wool. Wool is perhaps the most popular yarn for making clothes, which is mainly due to its affordability and the varieties of colour it's available in.

Synthetic Yarns

It's incredible how synthetic fibres have developed over the years, offering a cheaper alternative to natural materials. There are a wide range of thicknesses among synthetic yarns, of which acrylic is the most common. If you're just starting out, it's worth choosing inexpensive synthetic yarns as this gives you the opportunity to practice without spending too much on natural yarns.

Yarn Blends

There are many yarns that offer a blend of different fibres. This creates more flexibility, allowing for a wider range of projects that need different requirements. Yarn blends can include a mixture of natural, natural and synthetic, and synthetic yarns. For example, cashmerino is a cashmere/merino blend. You can also get wool and acrylic blends.
Hopefully, this has given you a bit of a background to creating your own exciting new projects!
For a wonderful selection of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino yarns, head over to Pack Lane Wool's online store.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

5 Easy DIY Desk Organisation Ideas

5 Easy DIY Desk Organisation Ideas

I’m not ashamed to admit it, my cubicle at work is an organisation haven. It’s not so much that I’m a neat freak, more that I flip out if things aren’t where I left them – it’s a need to be organised more than a want.
Now, if I could, I would buy all my box files/storage boxes/pen pots from Laura Ashley, but unfortunately, Laura Ashley is expensive. Boo.
So, here are some unique organisational solutions that you can DIY, even if, like me, you have not one creative bone in your body. Your desk will be the envy of the office, or, hey, if you work at home, the envy of Pinterest.

1.  Storage boxes

If, like any self respecting woman in this world, you are a shoeaholic, I’m sure you’ve got a few spare shoeboxes hanging around your house. Now, I’m not suggesting you make like a tramp and just take these to work. We’re going make them all pretty first.
All you need is some patterned sticky-back plastic or wallpaper, and some patience. Take the lid off the box, and wrap it almost as you would a present, folding the covering just over the edges so you can’t tell it’s a shoebox from the outside. Do the same with the lid, et voila, a place for your papers.

2.  Storage pots

Empty jam jars are brilliant things. Great for holding paperclips, staples, noticeboard pins and basically anything else that comes in a silly container that means they constantly end up all over the desk/floor... Just treat yourself to some Bonne Maman jam (the nicest jars), eat (yum), wash out the jars and soak the labels off, and there you go. Secure storage pots.

3.  Notice board

If you can convince your boss to let you stick things on your cubicle walls, a DIY noticeboard is a great idea, so you can keep track of all of those little to-dos. It’s super simple to make too – buy cork tiles, double up and glue together, cover with sticky-back plastic (yes, I’m obsessed), and glue to wall. Sorted.

4.  Days of the week folders

If, like me, you have a love/hate relationship with your computer calendar, you need to make these. Just get some colourful cheap paper folders and some nice printed paper, cut out letters for each day of the week (“M” for Monday, etc) from the paper, stick on the folders in the top right hand corner, and you’re done. Simple daily filing – you’ve got no “I forgot” excuses now!

5.  Corkboard plant pots

No matter what anyone else says, I love office plants – what else am I going to stare at when the computer screen gets too boring? These pots are easy to make, and mean people can pin on useful notes/rude pictures when you’re away from your desk.
Simply get a clean, de-labelled tin (bigger ones work best) and a roll of cork. Cut a strip of cork the same height as your tin and long enough to go around twice. Pop some strong craft glue on one end, stick to the tin, and then roll and glue until you’ve wrapped the cork around. Pin in place to dry, and then pot your plant in a glass jar slightly smaller than the tin, and pop it in your new pot. Greenery!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Decorate Your Home

 Fun Little Ways to Decorate Your Home for Spring and Summer

Just because you live in your home year-round doesn't mean it can't change with the seasons. Seasonal decorating can help enhance the feeling of a season and keep your home from becoming dull and stale. Updating for the seasons need not be overly expensive or time-consuming. Most decorations can be achieved with simple ideas while still maintaining your unique lifestyle.

Keep It Simple – Home Decorating Does Not Have to Be Difficult

Spring is known for its rejuvenation and rebirth of all things. Why not rejuvenate your home? The most obvious change when spring comes along is the blooming of flowers of all types and colors. Using flowers to revitalize your home is an inexpensive way to bring the spirit of the season indoors. Cherry blossoms are an excellent choice as they only bloom for a few brief weeks. Take advantage of this short event by snipping a few branches and placing them in a slim, basic vase. Placing a vase of fresh flowers anywhere in your home is an easy and quick way to liven any room or space. Consider placing a bouquet on your bedside table, kitchen counter or living room coffee table.
If live flowers are not your forte, there are other floral options available. Pressing dried flowers and framing them can make for a beautiful piece of artwork on an unused wall. Simple, floral-patterned throw pillows strategically placed on chairs, sofas or beds are an easy seasonal addition that can be brought out each year when spring arrives and whisked away when spring turns to summer.
Change Your Decor to Match the Summer Mood

Summer is the time to relax and enjoy the sunshine. Even if you don't own a summer home, you can still feel like you do with a few changes to your decor. It is important during these months to keep your home bright and airy to enhance the summer mood. Use simple, light curtains instead of heavy, dark drapery in order to let in the sunlight and the summer breeze. White and khaki colors will bring the spirit of the beach to your home and keep your color pallet neutral, leaving you free to spice up a room with any accent color that you choose. Adding different shaped and sized seashells to center pieces or placing them around your home will be a wonderful reminder of the beach every day.

On the flip side, try bringing the indoors outdoors to get the most out of the beautiful weather. Create an outdoor retreat on your patio or balcony by setting up a dinner table complete with dinnerware and place settings. Add a center piece that compliments the outdoor space and shows your own personal style.
Creating a living space outdoors will encourage your family to get fresh air while enjoying the sunshine. Place comfortable chairs and sofas around a coffee table or fire pit to make an inviting lounge area. Hang colorful lanterns or a chandelier for a touch of elegance. Place candles all around for ambiance after dark. Hanging long, wispy curtains around the area will help create a resort feel and also add a touch of additional privacy.
Combine simple pieces of furniture with bright patterns and colors to make the outdoor area come alive, or keep everything white and neutral to maintain a relaxing spa-like retreat. Changing your home decor with the seasons will truly allow you and your family to enjoy the essence of the seasons and give you something to look forward to year-round.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Kitchen Makeover Ideas

Kitchen Makeover Ideas

People who are interested in giving their home a fix-up or making it look nicer should look into giving their kitchen a makeover. People might be surprised to see how much happier they will feel in a nicer kitchen. Just changing the paint could brighten up the room and make it a much nicer place to be. If people have nicer appliances then the whole kitchen will look more clean and inviting, and it will also function so much better.

It is very important for people to consider the chance of having a nicer home and a happier time spent in their kitchen. They will probably be amazed to see just how worth it they will find it to be after they spend the money.

Set a Budget
When people are considering a kitchen makeover they need to consider how much money they want to spend. They need to look into the prices of items and figure out exactly what they have the budget for. They could make grandiose plans only to be amazed to see how quickly things add up. Even the small expenses will add to the overall cost and make it all more expensive. So aside from deciding how much they want to spend, people can look into different options for saving money as they go. For instance, instead of purchasing new cabinets, they could just fix up the ones they already have. There are some really great cabinet refinishing companies that people could work hire to get the job done professionally, which could save a lot of money and make the kitchen look amazing.

Hit the Floors
Another great idea for a kitchen makeover is to invest in new flooring. That might mean wood floors or new tile, just depending on what people like. It will all be done according to their taste and according to their wishes. But when people have flooring that is stained and maybe even cracked or peeling, it is nearly impossible to get the kitchen looking nice and clean. So, replace the flooring and watch as that immediately makes the space so much more inviting. Another way to save money with flooring is to find a way to do it themselves, but if they are nervous about the outcome they could always hire a professional.

Light it Up
New lighting in a kitchen can make everything seem cleaner and brighter. New lighting will make the kitchen bright where before it may have been dingy and dark. If people are sitting in dim lighting in the evening while they are trying to cook or eat, they probably will not feel very happy about it. They need to give themselves some more light to see by so that they can do the things they need to in the kitchen. That will make the whole space so much more inviting.
Archie Johnson is a freelance blogger for Cabinet Coatings of America, a cabinet refinishing Phoenix company.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

6 Tips For An Eco-Chic Bride

6 Tips For An Eco-Chic Bride

We love weddings and we would love them even more if they have a smaller carbon foot print, but is that possible?
For a stylish and sustainable wedding celebration, you’ll have to be as creative as! It’s not just a matter of finding a beautiful eco farm nestled in the countryside for your reception, it’s also all those little details that you might not have thought about.
If the environment is your passion, then this wonderful guide full of bright tips and handy advice is a real gem for you eco-chic brides.


Hiring Plants
Instead of buying flowers that are only going to end up in the bin the day after your wedding, why not try hiring some beautiful plants? Bamboos or Palm trees would look absolutely fabulous and would be a fantastic exotic touch!
Another option for those of you, who have little green fingers, is you could plant the flowers you fancy for your special day yourself, and repot them! Obviously, you will need to know what you’re doing!

Fresh Rose Petals
If you have the budget, go for lovely fresh rose petals to distribute around your guests. They’ll look beautiful for the ceremony, such a romantic and sweet-scented idea!
 However, if rose petals area little out of your budget and confetti is a much more suitable option – remember think green and recycle that used confetti!

Wedding Dresses
Wedding dresses are very expensive and they’re only going to end up in the wardrobe anyway after that special day! So when we think about it, do we really need to have that ultra expensive, unique piece of fashion?
If you’re a lover of vintage clothes, go straight to a charity shop or log online at Gumtree, and you can re-use an old wedding dress and you may find an absolute gem - from the roaring 20s to the late 70s.

For an intimate and truly romantic wedding, you could decorate your tables with a few sets of candles arranged into lovely centrepieces; this is a great way to really enhance that intimate and romantic feel. Try scattering some lovely fresh rose petals randomly around the table to bring out some colour.


Local Products
It’s somewhat a tradition for the guests to leave the reception with a souvenir. Why don’t you get them some luxury locally sourced mouth-watering treats? Home-made chutneys, delicious marmalades, local honey, or even some vegetable baskets from local producers!


Organic Wine
In the UK, there are some great biodynamic wines that would accompany the wedding feast perfectly! Buying organic wine is certainly more expensive but worth having for your special day.
Make some calls to the nearest vineyards and find out whether they can offer a good price for a large order!
However, if wine is not to your liking and you are more of a cider or real ale fan; it may be worth getting in touch with your local organic breweries and see what they can offer you!
As environmental issues are strongly present in all of our lives, having an eco-friendly wedding is a step to helping the world we live in, and being chic is not incompatible with being green!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Make Your Own Throw Blankets

throw blankets
Make Your Own Throw Blankets This Summer

Looking for a fun, easy craft to keep you occupied this summer? Try making your own throw blankets. Come wintertime, you’ll be happy to have extra throw blankets around the house. Likewise, these unique, handmade blankets make perfect gifts. Here are two ways you can make your own throw blanket this summer:

Fleece Tie Throw Blankets. For the novice crafter, fleece blankets are easy to make. Not only do they require no sewing skills, they’re relatively inexpensive to make. To begin, you will need to purchase a  1 ½ yard piece of polar fleece, ruler, and a rotary cutter. While a rotary cutter is ideal, a pair of sharp scissors will work just as well. When purchasing the fleece, ask the crafts associate to cut the material straight. Make sure to trim any uneven edges before beginning.  Next, you'll need to cut a 4-inch square out of each of the four corners of the fleece. The next step is to cut 4" x 1" wide fringe all the way around the blanket.
Once you've done that, you'll want to use a seam ripper to make tiny slits at the top of each piece of fringe. The final step is to feed the fringe pieces through the backside of the slit you cut and pull it through, creating a neat and secured fringed edge. If you are planning to give throw blankets as gifts, you may want to personalize them. To do so, take the finished blanket to a sports store or graphic design store that does embroidery. You can have the store embroider the recipient’s name or initials on the blanket.

Quilt. Unlike a fleece blanket, quilts require basic sewing skills and more time. If you are willing to invest the time and energy, however, quilting is a great way to reuse old fabric. In fact, quilts made up of old jerseys or t-shirts make wonderful keepsakes for your family. Once you've gathered up the fabric you're planning on using, you'll need to choose a pattern as well as backing and batting materials.
The batting, also known as the inner layer of the quilt, is what makes a quilt warm and soft. To purchase batting and backing, you'll need to go to a craft shop so a professional can assist you in selecting the right materials.
As far as patterns go, there are tons to choose from, and most are available for free online. Take care when choosing your quilt pattern, as the difficulty and time spent working on the quilt will depend on the pattern you choose. Once you have all of your fabric squares, lay them on the floor and piece the quilt together in diagonal rows. To secure the three layers before it comes time to sew, you'll want to pin them together. To do so, lie the backing material wrong side up on the ground and place the batting material on top.
Next, lay the quilt top onto the batting and smooth the layers, making sure that they all lay straight and flat. Starting at the center, pin the layers (quilt top, batting and backing) every 3 to 6 inches until the entire quilt has been pinned with safety pins. This will keep your quilt pieces together until you are ready for the final step - sewing it together.
Whether you make a fleece blanket or quilt, a handmade blanket is the perfect accessory to any room in your home.
Rebecca Travis is a 2nd grade teacher who loves reading and making crafts. She gets great craft ideas from Collections Etc.

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