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Bless This Hizzy: A Not-So-Traditional Embroidery Project

photo (1)Floating around the internet last fall was a picture of a cross stitch that I knew I had to recreate. I saw it and knew there was a place for it in my living room – a juxtaposition of two themes, the traditional and the modern. This is the world I live in – I love both old school homesteading traditions and sassy pop culture. I also love that there’s more to this picture than meets the eye. If you’re not looking closely enough, you’ll think it’s just a traditional sampler, but take a closer look and you’ll see it has a little more personality.

IMG_3574Since I’m not a cross stitcher, I decided to embroider my wall hanging instead. I printed out a picture of the cross stitch that I saw online  and then I worked to make it my own. I wanted the first and second line to rhyme, so I changed the bottom line to “fo shizzy.”


IMG_3575After tracing the design with sharpie so I could see it better, I flipped it over, so it was backwards, and traced it onto another piece of paper with an iron transfer pencil (like this one)Be sure to trace the design outlines a couple times so that you end up with thick lines that will transfer well when ironed. Iron the design on to a piece of canvas.

IMG_3581Embroider your design. I used the chain stitch for the outside border, the satin stitch for the heart flowers and door, the backstitch for the lettering and the blanket stitch for the roof. My roof ended up looking a little “rustic” and if I were to do it over again, I would probably use a different stitch. But as it is, it’s got character.

IMG_3897I love the barn wood frames at Artist and Craftsman and thought it would be a good fit for this type of art. I took my embroidery and the frame to get it matted and set professionally and the result was fantastic.

IMG_3893Now that this is completed though, I need a new project for the rainy days of fall. What are you crafting these days? What projects are on your to-make list this fall?

Check out my craft board on Pinterest to see my to-make list.

Want to use my template? Click the button below to buy it for $0.99 and I’ll email you a pdf version of mine.

Upcycle that!

This happens to me every summer. After wrapping up a whirlwind of a school year and letting my house get a little more chaotic than I prefer, I typically spend the first half of my summer tending to house projects that got put off. It’s a time to restore, problem solve spaces that just aren’t working, and purge all the clutter and excess that isn’t serving me.

Unfortunately, my beautiful studio space was starting to feel a little more than unruly. It was the first space that I decided to conquer this summer. I was just not feeling inspired working in the middle of an array of piles. I needed another level for all the things that need to be stored on and around my desk.

So, they solution? A trip to the ReStore in Ballard, a home owner’s thrift store. I can’t help, but sing its praises…again. I just can’t get enough! I’ve already got several projects in mind for this winter that will most likely come to fruition as a result of me finding materials at that upcycling mecca.

For under $10, I bought two glass blocks and an old, white cabinet door. I came home, set the two blocks on the corner of my desk, which by the way, was made with an old door from said ReStore set atop two filing cabinets, and set the cabinet door on top of the blocks. Serendipitously (and because I scoured the cabinet door section for just the right one), the blocks fit perfectly inside the recessed section in the middle of the door – just the right fit to keep all three parts in place. No paint. No hardware. No fuss.

Done. I am now able to store things under and on top of the shelf. The feng shui abounds – it’s amazing what a little creative decluttering will do. Are you a savvy recycler too? What have you upcycled lately?

Check out the new community board I started on Pinterest for other badass shabby chic ideas! I’m calling it Upcycle that! If you start following that board, I’ll invite you to be a contributor so you can add the fun upcycled ideas you find to our board! Join our scavenger, creative community, y’all!

*Want to see some more projects I’ve done with treasures from the ReStore? Check out my head board, this garden junk corral, and the desk I was telling you about!

Video: DIY Sun Shade

Happy Monday, friends! I’m super excited to share today’s video with you! I’ve been working really hard on making my videos a little easier on the eyes and ears and I think you’ll agree that today’s video is a big improvement! Not only that, I’ve got a fun project for you.

In today’s video, I’ll show you how to make a simple sun shade and will also show you how to install a grommet into a piece of fabric. It’s easier than you think! I made this sun shade to give my chickens a little reprieve from the sun in the run, but it could really be made to go anywhere you need a little more shade.

You know I always have ideas up my sleeve, but I’d like to know what else you’d like to learn. What other garden-y and crafty things would you like to see? What else would you like to learn? Leave me a comment and tell me how else I can help!

Think someone else might enjoy these video tutorials? Share the love and pass ’em on!  

Going Rogue

It’s a slippery slope this lifestyle. You start by washing out and reusing a ziplock bag. Before you know it, you’re schlepping empty bottles to the co-op to refill them with shampoo and conditioner in the bulk section there. I just did that this weekend. Did you know the Greenlake PCC sells soap and toiletries in bulk? They do! I’ve finally got it down to a science – I have two bottles for each thing I need so that while one bottle of conditioner, for example, is in the shower, the other can be in my car for a refill. These days, I buy shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, lotion and dish soap in bulk. It’s great and the nerd in me loves knowing that I’m keeping a bit more plastic out of the recycle bin.

If you jump on this train though, don’t expect others to be as enthusiastic about it as you are. At least at first. Being green sometimes means going rogue. People get used to things and it throws them for a loop when they look around for the paper towels and discover I have none. And not because I ran out. It’s a choice. I recognized that reaching for a paper towel every time my hands were wet or the counter needed to be wiped was a habit, not a necessity. The last roll of paper towels I bought last summer, which I use exclusively for bacon grease blotting, is just now coming to an end. And despite all the crap I’ve gotten for my taking a stand against paper towels, I’m damn proud. And you know what, I don’t miss them! Buying a big pack of rags and cloth napkins was all I needed to fill the void.

Making your own cleaning supplies is probably the easiest way to ease into this way of life. I don’t know too many people who say, “But I love my toxic chemicals!” Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. One choice in the name of sustainability leads to another. Soon you’ll be dismantling your paper towel holder and will be met with raised eye brows too. But it’s worth it. I’m going rogue and I know I’m not alone. Are you going too?

DIY Citrus Cleaning Spray (for all your disinfecting and cleaning needs)

Adapted from Nontoxic Housecleaning by Amy Kolb Noyes

2/3 cup white vinegar
1 Tablespoon castile soap (I like the Dr.Bronner’s citrus variety)
1 cup warm water
1/2 lemon

empty spray bottle

Fill the spray bottle with warm water and add the soap. Swirl to combine.

Then, squeeze the lemon juice into the bottle, add the vinegar, give it another swirl, and clean.

For other DIY cleaning tips, check out Ashley’s recent post about it on Design Sponge.