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Friday, April 15, 2016

Boy Friendly Canvases

Moving in with the Boy has sure been an adventure. After being inseparable for over two years I truly though moving in together would be a breeze and for the most part it is, except for of course when it comes to decorating our new home.

I love all things girly, pink, floral, preppy and bright. Boy loves neutrals, doesn't understand the point of throw pillows, and dislikes basically anything that is part of the Kate Spade inspired world that I would love to surround myself with, Though there has been a a few disagreements over my pink, ruffled shower curtain and his full size american flag that is currently hanging in our living room, I have actually had an amazing opportunity to expand the type of crafts I would usually do since I am now trying to appeal to his design ideas as well.

These Star Wars inspired canvases are a simple way to bring something he loves into our shared space. Honestly they were harder than I originally thought they would be and I knew they had to be just perfect when they were done since he has all of the Star Wars movies memorized, but I actually am really enjoying how they turned out and I think he is enjoying that there is a little bit more of him in our decor!

Now to come up with more ideas for Boy friendly crafting!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Idea: Braided Key Rack

I cannot stand clutter. Piles of random things laying around the apartment is a sure fire way to put me in a bad mood, and if its the first things I see when I get home you can almost guarantee I am going to be in a bad mood for the rest of the day.

So when the ever growing piles of keys by our front door became unmanageable I knew I had to do something to get the clutter under control. I didn't want to go out and buy a new key rack, however, so I started brainstorming for a way to make my own.

A large scrap pile was the real inspiration behind this key rack and i was able to put them to good use with the decorative braid.

The braided section follows the same technique as the braided section in my Braided Messenger bag pattern and is sandwiched between two larger scraps of chevron quilting weight fabric. I did take the time to top stitch on the sides of the braided panel to give the piece a finished look.

I then wrapped the fabric around a blank 8" by 10"painting canvas and used Mod Podge to secure it down. The key hooks are simple C hooks that I had laying around, they simply screwed into the wood of the canvas. Over all I think this project took me lass than two hours, including drying time, but it is so practical and I love it!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Idea: Simple Potted (fake) Flowers

Sometimes it really is the simplest projects that make me the happiest and these ridiculously easy, potted peonies happen to be one of those projects!

When the Boy and I moved into our new apartment I quickly realized that there was little hope of keeping some of my favorite flowers alive in our west facing apartment. The prime window spot was already being taken up by my aloe vera plant but I was determined to come up with a way to add some pops of color into my decor, even if that meant switching to fake flowers. I spent a couple of weeks playing with the fake potted flowers in all of my local craft stores but none of them fit what I wanted just right.

Then I found a pack of three ceramic votive holders with perfectly mismatched patterns in the clearance section of TjMaxx and I immediately  knew they were just destined to become the perfect little flower pots.

You only need three things for this project: votive holders (similar), a peony bush, and a pack of simple moss.


All I did to make this was to pack moss into each of the votive holders fairly tightly, clip the peonies off the bush, leaving about two inches of stem on each one, and then insert the flowers into the moss. It is seriously that easy but they add so much color to the apartment and are much easier to take care of than real flowers!

What super easy decorating projects are your favorite?

Friday, March 18, 2016

My Favorite Sewing Blogs

Throughout my life I have gone though many, many different phases. Some, like my "grunge" stage in middle school were not so flattering and (thankfully!) were fleeting, and some, like which type of crafts I crave doing at any given point, last much longer. One month I may be super into sewing, the next I may finish four different afghans, and then the month after that I may be all about learning calligraphy. It is this constant transition that keeps me inspired, however, and keeps my love for granny crafts alive.

After taking a long break from crafting after moving to college, it was rediscovering some of my favorite sewing blogs that gave me the itch to start making again. Some of these blogs I have followed since the day I received my first sewing machine while some I found much more recently, but they are all amazing resources for inspiration, tutorials, and sewing tips.

Sew4Home 

Summer Sling Bag 
This is one of the first sewing blogs I ever found and I still go back to it all of the time. There are always so many new projects being posted on here that sometimes it even gets hard to keep up. The tutorials are also incredibly diverse, making it easy for every skill level to find a project they will love.

Elle Apparel 
Socialite Skirt

Okay I will be honest, sewing clothing still scares me. I have tried so many times to recreate so many of the fabulous designs I find on Pinterest but many times the patterns become much to complicated for me. This blog however is full of amazing, flattering designs that are truly easy to follow and the pieces I have made from her patterns have always turned out AMAZING! The socialite skirt is one of her older tutorials but I have made so many of them I had to share it, they are incredibly comfortable and are my favorite skirts to wear to work.

Noodlehead
Campfire Messenger Bag

This is one of my go-to blogs for sewing bags of all sorts. I love how modern her patterns are and I have people stop me all the time to ask where I got the bags that I carry that were made from her patterns. Not only do I love her free tutorials, I have purchased many of her patterns as well. The Divided Basket pattern is by far  one of my favorites, I have them all over my apartment!

These are just a few of my favorite blogs but in reality I probably follow at least fifty different sewing blogs covering everything from quilts and home decor to clothing and accessories. What are some of your favorite sewing blogs?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Campus Ear Warmer Pattern!!

I am so incredibly excited that it's starting to get colder here in Minnesota. Fall is by far the best season in the midwest. There's pumpkin lattes, fall leaves, laying clothing, long walks, Halloween and back to school. Everything I love!


I was so excited a couple weeks ago that I whipped up this little project, My Campus Earwarmer. It's perfect for keeping warm on those long walks to class with out over heating yourself. The light weight and airy design are perfect for early mornings and chilly evenings.



The pattern is available to down load form CRAFTSY if anyone would like to make one for them or a friend.

GET THE PATTERN HERE

HAPPY CROCHETING!!! 

Love, Nicki

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DIY Blog: Making a custom Navigation Bar for Blogger


Hey everyone!

 I wanted to share with you all a little bit of Blog design DIYing while I am getting everything ready to launch here on my blog. I am starting with showing you how to design your own custom Navigation/Page bar! While the basic ones that come with Blogger are very nice and do the trick, sometimes its nice to make one specifically designed to match YOUR blog  (your colors, fonts, etc).

To do this all you need is Photoshop, or Photoshop elements, any version will do, and a besic understanding of how to work the program. I tried to be as detailed as possible for any of you who might not be Photoshop literate, because I know I certainly am not!

I use Photoshop for almost all of my blog DIY-ing, I'm sure there are many other wonderful programs that you could use to do the same type of thing but I have no idea how to use them.

Start by opening up a blank file 11 inches wide by .75 inches high with a resolution of 72 pixels/inch.

Then go ahead and do all the designing and playing you would like, make it look just like you want it to when its on you're site. I strongly recommend using some kind of spacer in between your words, I'll explain why in a few steps. Remember each word or set of words in your Navigation bar will link to a different page. Want some amazing and totally free font options to cutsomize your bar even more!?! Click here!!
My Navigation Bar

Now we need to take that beautiful Navigation Bar you just designed and break it up into little bits. 

First Flatten your image so there is only one layer

Use the crop tool to crop the image down to include just the first word, "about" in my case, and any image to the left of it. In a new folder on your computer save that image as a .PNG file with the name being whatever the word is and then the word button (I would save mine as "about button.png"). Once the image is saved click the undo button to bring back your full Navigation Bar. 
My first cropping, see how it only has the one word?

Now repeat the cropping, saving and undoing procedure you just did starting the crop area where you stopped cropping the last. This is why I like to use a divider between my words, it makes it easier to remember where to start and stop cropping. If you chose not to use a divider, use the end of your words as your marker for cropping. 

Continue this process along the length of your Navigation bar, making sure to include any left over space at the end of the bar in your last cropping.

Once all the images are saved, upload them to a photo sharing site. I like to use PhotoBucket

Now go to Blogger and in the layout tab insert an HTML gadget into your blog, right under your header. Open the gadget for editing.
Your HTML gadget should go where the circled one in the image is.

You'll need to copy the HTML code below into that editing box one time for every image in your Navigation Bar.

<a href="Insert the url of the site you want to link to here!!" target="_blank"><img src="Insert the direct link to the Image here!!" border="0" alt="RibbonIconPinterest" /></a>

Start filling in the HTML with your website links and image links, making sure to go in the order that you had them in in your original design. Be careful not to delete anything but the red text, deleting any of the blue will cause the whole thing to go wonky. 

The url of the site your linking too will most likely be a page your created for your blog. To get the link, click on the arrow to the right of the post list button in your blog dashboard and then click on pages (TIP! do this in a seperate tab so you dont have to do a lot of back tracking).
 Once there you will either see a list of pages you have previously create or be able to create a new page. After locating the specific page your link in got, click view under the page name you are linking to and copy the url from the Address Bar. 

After you've filled out the HTML for all of the images in your Navigation Bar, hit the save button in the lover right of the editing box you were working in. 

Now save the arrangement (in the upper right of the screen) and preview your blog. 

If your images do not all fit on one line, go to template and select customize. Then select adjust widths and slide the "Entire Blog" bar to the right until they all appear on one line. 

If your images have space between them go back to layout  and select edit for the HTML box that you were working in. Delete any spaces between the HTMLs for the different links.


Congratuations! You just designed and installed your very own custom blog navigation bar!!! Be very very proud of yourself! I think you totally deserve some frozen yogurt after that!

Still have questions? Leave them below!