Friday, December 28, 2012

Spartina 449 iPad Cover Hack: DIY Beading Tool Folio Case

Santa is KIND OF awesome.  I asked and he got me a brand new set of beading tools for Christmas.  I must have been very good!

The tools are lovely.  However, the case they came in was slightly left of boooooring.  After some brainstorming about making a cover for the case, I realized that there were a TON of pretty and fun iPad Cases on the market.  Why not just create a new insert for a cute iPad case?  And that's what I did!

Gather the following:

-One pretty iPad case of your choosing.  Mine is a Spartina 449...a company I LOVE because Daufuski Island and the patterns are just lovely.  I strongly suggest getting one that has about an inch width in the spine so you have a bit of room for your tools when the case is closed.

-Knit Elastic



-Aileen's Tacky Glue


-Brads of a smallish size.  These were the ones I had on hand and maybe a little bigger would have been better, but mine did work.  So I guess I shouldn't complain too much.

The How To-osies:

First step is to cut your felt.  Using the insert that came with the iPad case, I traced one rectangle that matched the size of an iPad.  Set that one to the side to be used later.

The second piece of felt should be cut using the same template (the size of an iPad) plus about an inch extra on either side.

Using the template, figure out how your tools will fit on the insert you're making.  In other words, plan your layout.  Mine was simple as most of the tools fit in a perfect line running up one side, with the smaller goodies on the side like so.

Mark your felt.  The dots will be where the elastic will be pinned down onto the felt.  Each dot should be placed on either side of the tool where you want it to be secured.  Remember that a lot of these spring open and in a case the elastic will keep them do your measuring with the tools closed.

Using the felt that was cut with the 1" border, cut a small slit right below where the first tool will sit.  Slide the elastic in.

Where you put your first dot is where the first brad will go.  The brad will go through the elastic, holding it in place.  This is the front:

This is the back:

Secure the elastic with a brad at every marker point.  Make another slit at the top after the last brad has been placed.  Tuck the end of the elastic into that slit.

After all the elastic has been placed down onto the felt with brads, it should look like this:

Don't fret too much about the wrinkles/puckers in the fabric.  Once the felt is secured, it won't do that anymore.

On to stabilization using your cardboard.  Take the iPad template again and cut a piece of cardboard that is the exact size of the insert.

Using Aileen's Tacky Glue, start at the top and secure a small section of the felt (with the elastic) down onto the cardboard.  Be sure to smooth out the Aileen's as you don't want the finished product to be lumpy on the front.

Once the top is secure, work from the bottom to glue down the rest of the felt.  Turn over to work on the back.

Now it is time to tuck in your ends.  Glue down the excess on the sides like so.  Try to get the corners as neat as possible, but don't fret too much.  There will be another piece of felt on top of the back to make it look a little neater.

Okay.  Remember that piece of felt you cut in the beginning that was the same size as the iPad?  That's going to get glued down on top of the back so no cardboard is visible and the back looks nice and neat.  Trim up any excess felt that is stick out in random spots.  Let everything dry, but take a peak at the front and see how awesome you are!

Once it dries, you can slip it into your case and admire your work.  I'm THRILLED that when I have to take my tools on the go, they will be organized in the cutest lil' case around.  And this concept could be used with soooo many things:  makeup, crayon case for a child, painting set.

There's even a space for my business cards!  Happy Hacking!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

DIY Holiday - Felt Holly Fascinator

Time for some festive!  For our annual Christmas Eve festivities, I need a little something fancy and fabulous.  But it's during the day, so I thought I'd keep the glitter and giltz for New Years.  For this one, I focused on felt, velvet and some of the sweetest lil' pom pons you can find.

Gather the following:

Aileen's Tacky Glue
Felt in two greens
Hair Clip
Tiny Red Poms
Embroidery Floss in a lighter green than your felt
Velvet Ribbon or Ribbon of your choice

Start by cutting some shapes.  The round shape in the darker felt will be your base.  I decided the darker felt would be the main leaves and then small leaves in the lighter felt.  Cut five big in the darker color and five small in the lighter color.  I free handed the shape, but if you need a bit of a guide, there's a great one here.

Start at the bottom of your fascinator by layering two of the bigger dark leaves side by side.

Glue into place with a little bit of Aileen's.  Then layer the other three big dark leaves to fully cover the circle.

 I am not the greatest stitcher.  But using your embroidery thread, add a few little straight stitches on the holly leaves.  It just adds some interest and a bit of crafty whimsy.  You've already glued the leaves down, so your stitches can be purely decorative.

Time for the next level of cute!  Tuck in those sweet smaller leaves in the lighter color where you think they look best.  Glue away with some more Aileen's.

 So cute!  Now it's time to arrange those darling little pom pons.  I like them grouped in threes, but added some twos and sixes for a bit more interest.  I would suggest adding glue to the poms and then putting them on and not glue on the fascinator.  Aileen's dries clear so if there's too much it's not a huge deal.  But for the sake of being all neat, tidy and Martha Stewart-y, add glue to your poms not to your project.

Time to add the bow!  Tie and cut the ends at an angle.  Add with some more Aileen's.

 Time for the back!  Cut another circle....whichever color felt is fine.  Then you'll attach on the back with Aileen's.  Cut a small slit off to the side, like sooooo:

Aileen's to the rescue!  Slide the tip of the glue under the back cover and squeeeeze.  That will get some glue in there and you can follow up with your clip.  That way, even if the metal doesn't stick to the felt, you'll at least surround it with secured felt.

The only thing left is to ROCK it.

Merry Christmas!  I'll do a New Years one this week with a bit more GLITZ!  Stay tuned....

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bloggers for Sandy Hook: Free Printable

No words can make this go away.  No blog post can make it okay or make us feel like we live in a world that is fair and good.  No words could make it all better.

When I read about Bloggers for Sandy Hook (#BloggersForSandyHook), I felt, for the first time since last Friday, that perhaps I could be of some assistance.  I'm good at crafts and I share them often.  But this one had to be special.

When I was a kid, we had a refrigerator covered in alphabet magnets.  Just simple plastic letters with magnets on the back that would get moved around almost daily.  I remember sitting on the kitchen floor spelling, rearranging and leaving messages for anyone who passed by.  I would always spell something out, be thrilled and then crushed when I returned and it had been rearranged.  But that was the cycle.  When you were done leaving a message or word, it was a cue for the next to come by and leave their message.  No one message stayed for longer than a few days or even a few hours....the alphabet magnets were constantly changing and constantly saying something new.

As my older sister, younger brother and I grew up, the magnets spelled out sillier and snarkier messages.  We were, after all, becoming teenagers and beginning to understand the power that words have.  And then one day, my father began rearranging the letters.  When he moved away from the fridge, the letters spelled this:


That was it.  Be excellent to each other.  He had no other demand to us, just that one message.  And sure, it was a pull from a very 90s movie, but for some reason, those words stayed.  Neither my sister, brother or I changed it from then on.  If someone did decide to borrow a letter or two, someone else would move it back to ensure my dad's words remained intact.


I could talk about gun control.  I could talk about the lack of support for those facing mental illness in this country.  I could go on and on about our culture of violence.  But I think everyone will have plenty to say about all of those things in the coming months.  But for now, there is only one thing I want to say.


No other request could possibly be important right now.  No other request could be more simple.

And so, I made this.
Feel free to use it as a free printable and share.  You can download it onto your computer, flip the image and CitraSolv it on whatever you like.  I plan to use a simple piece of muslin and staple gunned it to a canvas.  And I want to hang it in our entryway so every day I can remember that life is unfair and horrible.  But that maybe, just maybe, I can make it less unfair and less horrible for the people I encounter.  And that would make it all worth it.

As always, thank you for reading.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

DIY Holiday: Scrabble Tile Wreath and a Virginia Christmas

I have been slacking on the blog!  So I'm delighted to share my newest fun project just in time for the holidays.

I needed to freshen up our holiday decor.  I am not a huge fan of having my house covered in Christmas crap because I don't like having to store, put up and then take down in one month.  That's a lot of work.  So, when Christmas does roll around, we don't have a lot of decorations.  It was time for something new!

But I wanted to use things I had first.  So I revamped a basic wreath with some new accessories.  $20 and two hours later, I have what I'm calling my "Christmas in Virginia" personalized wreath:

Ideally, everything would be fresh.  But I'm not Martha Stewart and I live in a town home community.  No one is going to judge.

Gather the following:
1.  A centerpiece of some sort.  I chose this awesome cardinal I found a Cracker Barrel.  And I removed the stupid bow and stupid pinecones from it.

2.  A wreath form

3.  A swag of another leaf.  I chose magnolias because I love them.  So pretty.

4.  A sparkly leaf pick.  I used one pick that had five golden leaves and then cut the leaves off so I could put them in individually.

5.  Scrabble tiles

7.  Floral Wire

6.  A glue gun

Start with your plain wreath and arrange the swag of other leaves (on mine the magnolia leaves) around part of the wreath.  I enjoy asymmetry, so mine went on the side.  You could put it on the top, on the bottom, split it in two and do either side or all the way around.  Don't be rigid...just play with it.  When you have it just right, wire it onto your plain wreath in several places.  More if it's going to be outside and exposed to the elements.

Then, I stripped down the pick and removed all the gold leaves.  I added the gold leaves by hot gluing them to the wreath around where the magnolia leaves were.  I like a touch of sparkle.

The cardinal hangs in the middle from the thread it came on.

Then, for the words, I chose "The Berneys"...but we had lots of ideas like "Happy Holidays", "Tis the Season", "Merry Merry", "Joy to the World", etc.  But for this year, I thought I'd make it all monogram and such.

The key to getting it situated is to start with the letters in the middle.  So for "the", start with the "h", and for "Berneys", start with the "n".

Glue Gun to the rescue!  I'm quite proud.

Alright, so a house isn't done with just a wreath.  So I made a matching spray for above our garage door out of the same materials.

I used the following:

1.  Old evergreen garland

2.  Rest of the Magnolia Swag

3.  BIG red bow

4.  Six gold leaf picks

5.  Two sparkly red floral sprays

6.  Floral wire.  So much floral wire

Decide how wide you want your spray.  Find the middle of your garland and cut off the ends on either side once you decide how wide you would like your spray to be.  The ends you cut off are going to get layered on top to create the base.

Do the same with your magnolia leaves and then wire it all together in the middle.  Again, if it's going to be outside, wire the holy bejesus out of it.

Add your two "wow" picks to the center.  Add in your smaller picks where there are holes to kind of fill in any shabby spots.  Wire the holy bejesus out of it again.

Add your bow and you're done.  I love the idea of this also having a letter or some other decorative accent to the front.  I made three wire loops on the back (one in the center, one on either end) so when it was hung it would be both secure and the weight would be more evenly distributed.  I also had to climb up on the ladder and wire some of the leaves again so one end wasn't hanging lower than the other.  It took a little bit of fiddling, but nothing serious.  After all, this was a one hour project...max.  LOVELY!

 I'm so excited to have a festive looking home for our Virginia Christmas!  The tree is up and here is the house all aglow.

Add a sleeping puppy and it's home sweet home for the holidays.  Yeah, I put my tree in an old wine box....don't judge!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

New to Simply March: Infinity Scarves!

Do you feel that?  That slight chill in the air?  That slight chill promising the crunch of leaves, the cheer of football fans, the farewell to sticky, hot horrible weather?  Yeah, I feel it too.  Pass me the pumpkin flavored fill in the blank (because ANYTHING pumpkin flavored is good by me!)

In celebration of this glorious time of year, I give you a new item soon to be available through Simply March.

It's an Infinity Scarf!

So what exactly does an "infinity scarf" consist of?  Well, mine are incredibly soft, incredibly fabulous slub knit jersey scarves that are stitched together at the ends, creating an 88 inch continuous loop of awesome.

And BONUS!  Mine also come with a sweet lil' flower brooch that matches perfectly.  So wear it on your scarf, wear it on your bag, clip it to a headband or pin it on your coat.  These two items together are a fabulous addition to any fall/winter/spring wardrobe.  I would wear it in summer too, keeping the sun off of my fair and contantly frecklin' skin.

So how does one wear an infinity scarf?  Let me count the ways:

Simple.  A short loop and a long loop.  Classic, versatile but trendy.

One more loop and you've got a whole new look.

Larks head loop.  Fold in half and slip on end through the hole.  A great, quick solution.

The pretzel.  After you lark knot, throw that long loop over your head again.  You'll end up with this cool pretzel twist.

Twist it!  When you roll your scarf around, you get a totally different look.

Twist Necklace!  Once you twist, you can circle the bad boy around your neck four times creating this fab addition to any neckline.

Class it up and wear it like a pashmina.  Something so chic about casually tossing something slinky and soft over your shoulder.  Pin into place.

Just need a little coverage?  Try a shawl.  Ah, charming.

Packaged and perfect.  Check out to purchase.  LOVE IT!