Create

How-To: Things I Want to Learn

There are a lot of how-to’s I can already do, or sorta know how to do. This rendition, however, is a list of things I vie to know how-to and hopefully can share my learned skills with y’all along the way. And let’s be honest, share those super fails, too.

1. Sew. Let’s start with the basic button.

2. Recall how to tie a tie… because I used to be baller at it.

3. Handle the hardware aspects of home decor, like anchoring screws in the wall, etc.

4. Weaving for decorative purposes, like this awesome negative space piece!

5. Start making 75% of my beauty products at home, like these coconut oil products, and eventually sell them!

6. To get my damn lipstick to stop smudging.

What are your goals right meow? Let me know in the comments!

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Little DIY: Photo Backdrops

A while ago, I posted a link to a project I found on another blog {a pair & a spare} about how to make cheap, yet amaze looking, photo backdrops. Considering my lack of pretty places to take photos in this ‘chere house, I started right away.

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I took her advice and used contact paper for two, the floral of which you’ve seen featured on the Must-Have entries, and the other is waiting for a new feature to drop before it appears. I also sprung for a slightly more expensive oak board that I kept plain because of its amazing color and pattern. That one has yet to make its debut here, and I’m not sure when it will… but it will.

The fourth board I got was a peg board with the intention to paint it the whitest white. It took a while, but I finally found a small-sized, super-white paint sample and got to crafting every night after work.

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Now I have FOUR photo backgrounds for the cost of around $14… and half of that was the PAINT! Little DIY on the cheap? I can digs.

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What little DIYs have y’all done lately? Any suggestions for Reyonce? xo

Little DIY: Necklace Rack

I started making these necklace racks last year. I’ve since made a vertical one to join my horizontal one, but don’t have photos during the moving chaos that has exploded in my apartment.

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It’s as simple as finding your preferred tacks and hammering them into the burlap “canvases.” I prefer the classic metal tack, but I wouldn’t mind trying these Nate Berkus push pins I saw last time I was wandering aimlessly around Target (trying not to buy everything). I also want to give a shot at spray painting the top with some unique Atzec prints!

Unfortch, not everyone has the same love for the c-word as I do.

Unfortch, not everyone has the same love for the c-word as I do.

The burlap canvas is a whole other entry itself, but you can buy them pre-made if you’re low on time! I’ve done it myself, that’s for sure. These are great for displaying art (like in my gallery wall) or turning into frames (as I’ve done for gifts for my friends). Expect to see more detailed and better photographed versions of these little DIYs in the very-near future!!

Little DIY: Canvas Clipboard

This little DIY is actually the continuance of an older DIY I threw together when making my gallery wall. I had a blank canvas, some cutesy clothes pins, and a color scheme to pull together. I slapped on some light blue acrylic paint and called it a day.

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I had calendars and papers galore rotating off and on the clips before realizing this piece will one day–very soon–possibly have to stand alone, apart from its blue-themed brothers.

I took everything off and tried to figure out how to make it a more unique piece that could stand anywhere in any house. I decided to tie together the bronzed-gold color from the clips in with a design at the top of the canvas. I often opt for striking, pointed patterns, so I decided to depart from that and go with a scalloped look.

After I accidentally knocked one of the clips off, I finally finished this little DIY and hung it back over my desk.

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Tiny little upgrade makes for a big possibility for future decorating!

Little DIY: Waste Basket

Due to the overwhelming pressure of Pinterest, and yes, lifestyle bloggers like myself, we’re often led to feel inadequate when we can’t perfectly DIY all the things, all the time. That led me to the idea of featuring the little DIYs I accomplish almost daily, ones that I myself overlook in search for the bigger picture.

But you know what? I often find that I love the little projects and spaces more than the larger ones. So here’s to celebrating little spaces and little victories!

First up: notice anything unappealing about my kitchen? I mean, other than the gaudy 70s brown everywhere (that I’m not allowed to alter – ah!) and the florescent lighting.

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and yes, I have since straightened Chewy (the painted sloth).

I’ll give you a hint:

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This swine-colored trash can makes me want to vomit. I don’t like too much plastic in my house to begin with because I’d rather invest in wood or metal pieces that will stay with me for the long haul, as well as keep the environment a little less screwed. BUT, as obvious from my habits such as thrifting, I’m not a girl to turn down something cheap or free. This waste bin was the latter.

Spray painting it was my first instinct, but as I don’t really have a good area to spray paint, I knew that was out. That was when I remembered my stash of everyone’s best friend: contact paper.

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I whipped up a free-hand design, but you could use helpful patterns like these free printable stencils on Pinterest OR buy your own elsewhere. It’s really a free-for-all.

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I’m sure I could have used a stencil to make the typography on this little DIY a bit more cohesive and crafty, but you know what? I like a little bit of whimsy.

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I simply peeled off the protective back of my contact paper-cutout and stuck it right on my waste bin.DSC_0336

There, isn’t that better? Chewy approves.

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IF ONLY I COULD PAINT THOSE CABINETS AND GET NEW HARDWARE FOR THAT FRIDGE! Le sigh.

 

Spring Cleaning 101

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I clean all the time. I constantly feel the need for organization, so I am often scrubbing my carpets or purging my closet. That being said, sometimes I look around and think to myself how in seven hells my house still looks overrun and unkempt.

Luckily, we’ve hit the time here in the South where windows can be thrust open and houses aired out. This usually brings an urge to sit outside drinking sweet tea in the sun, but if you’re abnormal like me, it means you can finally (and literally) shed some light on what’s making the house such a cluster of crap.

Naturally, you might be overwhelmed with how to start tackling your ominous messes, so I took some notes this year about what worked and what left me worse than where I started, and I think I’ve finally got a foolproof system worked out.

1. You cannot do it all in one day.

Even if it’s the sunniest day, even if you are at the top of your game, EVEN IF MARTHA STEWART HERSELF WERE THERE TO HELP… you cannot finish your spring cleaning in a day. If you want to do it right, you have to take your time deep cleaning and really purging all of your house’s orifices. You will feel like a failure at first, but in the long run, you will feel more satisfied with the results of your seasonal cleanse if you do it the right way, not the short way.

2. Clean from top to bottom.

I feel like this should be obvious, but even the best of us forget sometimes: if you spend 30 minutes cleaning something on the floor only to turn around and dust your top shelves, you’re going to find very quickly that you need to re-do everything you just did at ground level. There will be lots of “damn its” and other choice words involved.

3. Start with the basics.

Do what you would normally do on a day of cleaning your house: wash your dishes, do your laundry, dust, vacuum, clean all surfaces, mop, sweep, etc. and dig deeper than you ever have when doing those activities. Scrub harder. Get those hard to reach spots you normally ignore. Use a deodorizer or another cleaner where you normally only use one. Make it count, y’all.

4. Deep clean.

This is when you tackle each room with the hardcore stuff I normally never touch my house with. I’m an all-natural cleaner gal, but when it comes to deep cleaning, I bust out the bleach. Go room by room, starting with the two dirtiest places of the whole home: your bathroom and your kitchen. Make sure you sanitize everything. This might mean… GASP! … having to move an item or 20, but it’s worth it when you see your rooms ACTUALLY shine like they do on those ridiculous Mr. Clean commercials.

5. Purge first, organize later.

Don’t buy anything new for organizational purposes or rearrange your entire house before going through every. single. item. in your inventory. Chances are, by the time you go through the items at hand, you’ll have at least a quarter less than what you started with. Only then should you organize. Hell, you might even find that you don’t need any new containers or files since you have freed up the ones you already own!

6. Yes, I really said get rid of a quarter of your things.

As time has gone by, I’ve realized that most of the stuff I have in my house is just unnecessary; I keep a lot of things out of nostalgia. But my boyfriend’s sister taught me the best trick for getting rid of things that hold only a memory, not a purpose: spend some time with that shirt or that old birthday card, remembering the happiness it brought, then kiss it goodbye and send it off to the Goodwill bag or the trash. I know it seems silly and simple, but it’s really, really helpful if the only thing keeping you between a pig sty and a clean house is a pile of meaningless things. All of that said, the reason you should start paring down with this quarter of items is so you can live a life with less: less things = less mess and more psychological freedom.

7. Donating, consigning, and selling are your best friend.

Take all of that stuff you’re purging from your life and put it into someone else’s. Whether that is through donations or Ebay or a local consignment shop, get it out of your house ASAP. Even if it sits in your trunk for 3 months, the clutter is out of your house and unable to return to your drawers or tabletops. Think of the happiness your old things could bring someone else, and you’ll find letting go is the easiest thing you’ve ever done. {Personal tip: I like to mix all three of these things, selling the best pieces to used book stores or online, while donating everything else. Sometimes, it’s easiest to just donate it all at once, and bonus: tax write-off!}

8. Any DIYs or projects you need to get done? DO THEM ALL NOW!

While you’re cleaning, do any big projects you’ve been holding off on. It might actually help you organize while you’re cleaning, and half of the items you have stored around for DIYs are just taking up space, so CRAFT YOUR DAMN HEART OUT! It might make a bit of a mess, but that’s where the next coupla steps come in…

9. Give a light once-over of your whole house when you’re finally finished.

You may have to re-vacuum or re-dust after making a mess for a few weeks, especially if you had any projects that involved wood or paint. However, because of all the work you’ve put in, you’ll have significantly less trouble doing this. In fact, it might only take you 30 minutes. WHAAAAT?!!! Awesome.

10. Acknowledge and accept the fact that you will have to clean again, probably sooner rather than later.

Yes, you’ll follow steps 1-9 for some indeterminate amount of time and feel great! Free! LIGHTER THAN AIR! WALKING ON SUNSHINE! … but you must realize that it won’t last — it never does — and you have to be okay with this. For those of us on the OCD scale, this last step is a little harder to grasp than others, but it’s just not a possibility that items would never need cleansing again. Dogs shed. Shoes track dirt. Dust particles gather. That saying about death and taxes being the only sure things in life? It should definitely include cleaning, too!

I hope this helps. What are some of your cleaning and organizing tricks?