Month: April 2018

PODCAST EPISODE 69: GETTING HONEST ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR BUSINESS WITH LINSI BROWNSON

Today on the Dear Handmade Life podcast we’re talking to Linsi Brownson of Spark Collaborative. We talk about Linsi’s belief that everyone is born creative, how to tap into that natural creativity if you’ve lost your connection to it, what types of questions to ask yourself to see where you are, where you want to be and the steps you need to get there, what areas of your business and life you need to evaluate, the importance of starting small, exploring and experimenting when making big changes and we use Delilah as guinea pig and Linsi does some on the spot coaching with her that starts with the question, “What is your challenge right now?”.

AND…. As a Thank You for tuning into this episode of the Dear Handmade Life podcast, Linsi is offering 5 Free Laser Coaching Sessions. Laser Coaching is a 90 minute virtual session where you’ll dive right in to your latest greatest challenge, fear, idea or opportunity! To enter, apply for a session here and leave us a review on iTunes here. Good luck!

Things we mentioned during the episode: (more…)

DIY Creepy-Chic Decor

Wallpaper, guys!

It’s my new favorite medium to work with!

I know when all of us think of wallpaper, we think…well, walls.

I teamed up with Graham and Brown this week, the company behind so many fun patterns and designs of wallpaper, you’ll be drooling!  AND, they have a really fun line of some creepy-chic Halloween designs.

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So, I got crafty with wallpaper this week, and tried to think outside of the box.  I was able to use this amazing design called FairyToile (find it here) from Graham & Brown.  I could go crazy with this stuff!  How about use a strip as a fun table-runner, or piece the strips together to make a table topper for a spooky Halloween party.  Fill in a large black frame for the season or, use this durable paper as the medium for your next bunting project.  I tried my hand at covering up my current window valances by piecing the strips together and pinning it into place.  (My kids LOVE our creepy house)  and then tried this easy creepy-chic lamp project that I thought I’d share with you today.

Here’s an quick project tut for you to whip up:

Supplies:

-Drum-shaped lamp shade (mine was $2.99 at Goodwill)–and it was new, still in the plastic

-Thrifted lamp (mine was $4.99 at goodwill)

-Spray Primer and Metallic Silver Spray Paint/Painters Tape

-Wallpaper (FairyToile from Graham & Brown (here)

-ModPodge

-Electrical tape

-Coordinating Embellishments

-Hot Glue Gun & Glue

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First thing’s first…The top of this lamp was just fine…but I didn’t enjoy how it went from clear/silvery to a gross old yellow-orange color.  So, I used Blue Painter’s tape to tape-off the top layer, and I primed and spray-painted just the bottom section of the lamp.  No pics of spraying, but it turned out really nice.

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Next, I measured my lampshade and it was 8 inches tall, and I needed two strips of wallpaper to go all the way around my shade, so I cute 2 8 inch strips x the length of the wallpaper.  (Ps: My rotary cutter and mat made this magical.)

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Step 3: Generously slather on ModPodge like it’s going out of style, and then adhere it to the outside of the lampshade.  Easy.

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Step 4: I used some rubberbands to hold the wallpaper in place until the ModPodge dried completely.

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Step 5: Use electrical tape, or some other coordinating tape to cover up the seams and to insure that the edges don’t lift at all over time.

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Step 6: Embellish as desired.   I used a glue-gun to attach the Pom-Pom garland trim to the bottom of the lampshade, and a black Gimp along the top edge.

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Super easy project to spook-up your home this Halloween season.  I’m telling you, wallpaper is so much more fun to work with on a project like this than fabric would be…and the design choices are so fun!

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Janome S9 Sewing Machine Review

I am so lucky to be a part of Janome‘s artisan team.   This year, they came out with the latest Skyline model, the S9.  They contacted me and asked me to review it, so of course I said yes and they sent it over.  I knew, based on my experience with both the Skyline S5 and S7 models, that this machine would also be amazing.

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When I opened the box, I saw that this machine was a sewing and embroidery machine.  I have never had an embroidery machine and so I was excited (and a little nervous) to try it for the first time.

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But before I talk about that, I want to let you know about the machine itself.

It has all of  my favorite features from the S7:

  • large foot pedal
  • automatic threader that always works
  • clothing stitches
  • embroidery stitches
  • automatic tension that works perfectly every time
  • easy bobbin winding
  • stitch plate is SO easy to remove

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We Are Knitters: The Poplar Scarf

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I received this beautiful Poplar Scarf knit kit from We Are Knitters in the beginning of November, right when the cozy season was ramping up and Texas temperatures were starting to blessedly dip below sixty degrees. The first thing I did when I got this yarn was rub it all over my face. I mean, seriously, you can’t necessarily tell from the photos, but these yarn balls are off-the-charts squishy. I rarely work with alpaca yarn so I always forget how soft it is – and it was no less delightful sliding across my fingers. While life happened to make this project much slower for me than it needed to be (hellooo, Christmas knitting), it was a welcome, squishy, interesting reprieve from the monotony of thesis work and ribbed hat holiday gifts.

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We’ve been watching lots of Marvel TV series around here, and this was a fun pattern to work on because it required just a tiny bit of attention. The pattern for this scarf includes an interesting “snowflake” stitch that I had never done before. And if you know me as a knitter, you know I firmly believe learning new things is the only way to stay inspired – even though the process is sometimes a little intimidating. Fortunately, WAK have handy stitch tutorial videos on their website, so it was pretty easy to figure out what I was doing. (Although, I will admit that there’s a little 20-row section toward the beginning of my scarf where I wasn’t really paying attention and thus consistently did the snowflakes incorrectly, resulting in a wonky section that doesn’t increase properly. But you know what? It’s fine, because mistakes are part of the charm of handmade items – or at least that’s what I told myself when I decided to stubbornly press on without frogging.)

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DIY: LONGBOARD HANDLETTERING PROJECT

Longboarding in Berlin, DIY aaaand handlettering combined in one project? Perfect! Last year after I started doing longboarding, I came up with the idea to do a handlettering projecton a longboard and pitched this to a partner for a cooperation. They liked the idea, but decided on another project with me, so I kept it in mind for later and thought that I would do it this upcoming spring anyways.

A few weeks ago, after already having worked with them several times, I got again contacted by PILOT who wanted to work on a new campaign with me. They released their new PILOT PINTOR creative pens with which you can draw on a huge variety of different surfaces and I immediately thought that this would be the perfect chance to use them to embellish a longboard! Eeeeeeks, so so exciting! So what you are gonna expect in this blogpost is one of my VERY fave DIY projects so far: putting together a longboard all by myself and then embellishing its deck with handlettering. Hooray! Thus, longboarding in Berlin will even be more fun!


SO. MUCH. FUN! As you can see, I’m smiling from ear to ear and I am so happy to finally write this blogpost.


I will show you how to put a longboard together yourself aaaaaand I will show you what I did with the PINTOR creative markers. Here we go! (more…)