Pin-spiration

Happy Friday Night Friends!

I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about Pinterest and why it is one of my go-to sources of inspiration.

I’ve been an active Pinterest user for several years now – I attempted to find out exactly how long but to no avail. I have 36 boards containing almost 1200 pins. If you’re already a pinner like me, feel free to follow me and check out my boards!

Visit Tara’s profile on Pinterest.

For me, Pinterest has become a more reliable search engine than Google. Mainly because I am a completely visual person and need to see things rather than read text. I also know that many things that are pinned have been tried by others and probably pinned because they were amazing. So I find it unbelievable that there are still people out there who don’t use it. I have also heard from many people who have no idea what its purpose is. I think a good way to describe it is like when you used to read a book or magazine and would dog-ear the pages that you wanted to back to. Or when you were 12 in the 90’s and cut things out of magazines and taped them to your wall. Did anyone else do that? I had an entire wall devoted to teen heart throbs!! It’s a place where you can store your favorite things from the internet in an organized fashion. It’s also very visually appealing. Some of my boards are designated for recipes and I definitely refer back to them all the time when I want to remake something I loved. Others are for ideas for things in the future like home decorating ideas. Then there are my inspiration boards. These are for things that are really cool and from which I can draw inspiration for my own creations. My newest one is inspiration for some Valentine’s and Spring crafts.

For more inspiration, I turned to Wanelo to find some pretty new items to help fuel my creative engine. For inspiration, a framed quote. For the office, a wintry glitter desk lamp, pretty vintage-style floral bird pillow, glitter wall clock, floral binder, botanical clipboard, fun washi tape, vintage wire desk sorter, turquoise desk and leather secretary desktop organizer. For comfort while creating, a pretty yoga tunic. And to look professional but still inspire creativity when representing my crafts, a floral blazer.

Wanelo Collection
New Year New You

 

Can you tell what my favorite colors and themes are? If you like my collection you should totally enter Zazzle’s New Year, New You Challenge!

Zazzle is looking for you to create a fabulously fantastic collection on Wanelo titled “New Year, New You” where you include products that represent your New Year’s resolutions.

If you enter, you have a chance to win one of the following amazing prizes:

ONE GOLD PRIZE : $75 Zazzle Gift Certificate and feature of 9 products from your collection on Zazzle blog

ONE SILVER PRIZE: $50 Zazzle Gift Certificate

ONE BRONZE PRIZE: $25 Zazzle Gift Certificate

How to enter:

1. Follow the Zazzle store on Wanelo

2. Create a collection on Wanelo.com titled “New Year, New You”

3. Tag every product in your collection #zazzlenewyou

4. Add at least 4 Zazzle products, and include at least 9 products total in your collection

5. Fill out this form to submit your collection

For a full description of the challenge please visit Wanelo Collections Challenge .

Valentine’s cupcakes and a romantic jacket

Yesterday, as you all know, was Valentine’s Day. It was also the 15th anniversary of when my husband and I started dating. That’s the reason we celebrate it, otherwise I probably wouldn’t be that into it. We don’t do cards though, usually just dinner and being extra nice to each other!!

Side note: I actually never purchase cards, it is a huge waste of paper, so I always make my own from recycled materials.

Anyways, I woke up really early Valentine’s morning and decided I wanted to make cupcakes both for my husband and to bring to work. So I searched Pinterest as I always do for recipes and other ideas. I came across a pin for sweetheart cupcakes from http://www.glorioustreats.com.

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These are by far some of the richest, moistest chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever had. The batter is made with eggs like typical cupcakes, oil like brownies and boiling water (seriously) like, I don’t know, hot chocolate?!? I didn’t have the cherry juice for the frosting so I experimented with cooking down raspberry jam and deglazing with red wine. The color was good but the flavors were very subtle. Regardless, these cupcakes won over all of my co-workers and more importantly my husband! Oh I also didn’t have a heart-shaped cookie cutter but was able to improvise with a mini heart-shaped candy mold and some sprinkles.

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In keeping with the Valentine theme, tonight I decided to give a little romantic makeover to an army green jacket that I got for free. It is cute and fits well, but oddly had fake zipper pockets on the front. The zippers were functional, but there were no pockets inside. That was my first step, adding pockets. I followed a tutorial from http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Add-Pockets/step8/Tack-down-the-Pocket-and-Done/, also found on Pinterest. The fabric for the pockets were some old floral curtains that I got through my local freecycle network.

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Another side note, if you are unfamiliar with freecycle, “It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.” Check it out in your area, https://www.freecycle.org/.

I love the vintage feel and shabby chic style of this fabric, so I decided to add some cute heart-shaped elbow patches. I hand stitched these and they look adorable. I have to admit though, ever since I got my sewing machine this Christmas, any time I have to hand stitch I feel sad.

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I’m planning to add a bit more romance to the jacket, such as with more floral fabric on the lapel, although I haven’t committed to that yet (see pins in pic). I recently inherited a trash bag full of vintage fabric and doilies, which I would love to try to incorporate somehow. I pinned one of the dis colored white doilies to the back, but I’m not sure how I feel about that yet. Here’s the look so far:

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I’d love to hear what you think about the jacket. I’ll be spending more time on it tomorrow and I’ll try to post a quick update when I’m finished!

Adding sewing to the repertoire

This Christmas, my husband gave me one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten, a computerized Brother sewing machine! I’ve wanted a sewing machine for years, so I was thrilled when he surprised me with it.

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This model has so much to offer in the way of ease and versatility. It has 59 pre-programmed stitch patterns and10 different feet, so the possibilities for creating are endless! My first project was the sewing caddy that’s in the photo of the sewing machine above. It’s not perfect, but I think it came out pretty good for my first attempt!

I’ve spent quite some time trying to get comfortable with the machine and have gotten used to the foot pedal, sewing straight stitches, adjusting tension and troubleshooting if something goes wrong! The poor machine has errored quite a few times I have to admit!

I also had to reconfigure my craft area to better accommodate my sewing efforts. I broke out my folding craft fair table and made an L-shaped work surface.

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My two main goals for sewing are to create special and functional items to give to my friends and family as gifts and to be able to create clothing that I can wear without people knowing that I made them. I am a huge Project Runway fan so I’ve been rewatching all the past seasons for inspiration and techniques!

Last weekend I attempted a pair of shorts using fabric from some old curtains and blanket edging for the trim. I wanted them to be a little loose, with a drawstring waist. Well they’re loose all right! They are probably about 3 sizes too big and even though I can get them to “fit” by cinching the drawstring, it is not exactly the look I was going for! I am proud of the fact that I was able to do all of the seaming, especially the crotch and have it all line up and remain symmetrical. I think that it was at least good practice, plus I didn’t follow a pattern, I just measured a pair of shorts I already had and went from there. I’d like to try to take in the waist a bit, and put in elastic for a better fit.

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While I did purchase some small amounts of fabric, I have been relying on old clothes for the majority of my materials. Not only does it save money but I am a big proponent of repurposing things that you already have in order to reduce the amount of new things that are manufactured. So I’ve been deconstructing my old clothes. When I was about to cut apart a tank top I realized that it resembled a bag. Of course this was not a novel idea, which I came to find out when I googled it, but I did think of it on my own, I swear! It was very simple to make and I even added a little fabric flower made from the scrap material. It will be the perfect little on the go bag for the summer!

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I am so excited for all the future projects that are in store! I created a new board on Pinterest that I’ve filled with tutorials, patterns and ideas for some really fun things!

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