Thursday, February 27, 2014

DIY Tassel Necklace

I've been wanting to share this necklace tutorial with you for ages. And (hooray!) today's the day. My inspiration is directly from an Anthropologie necklace I pinned a while back. And now this fun necklace can be yours in five easy steps.

Gather your supplies: I prowled around GemFaire last time they were in town to find exactly what I was looking for…check them out when they're in your town. It's a sight to behold.
Here are a couple options similar to what I used:

Step 1: Use one crimp tube to attach the beading wire to the loop on the pendant.

Step 2: String 1/2 of the turquoise beads, using one metal spacer bead between each turquoise. I used 20 turquoise beads for this section.

Step 3: String all of the grey beads. 58 beads, in my case. Use one metal spacer bead between each grey bead.

Step 4: string the remaining turquoise beads and spacer beads.

Step 5: Attach the loose end to the ring on the pendant using the remaining crimp tube. Make sure to pull the beading wire tight so the beads don't slide around. Cut the loose wire.

Ta-Da! You did it! Cute necklace in no time at all. And imagine all the possibilities with different colors and stones. You could even grab a tassel from the sewing section of the craft store for a different look.

Remember that the total cost for this project varies greatly depending on the beads you select. Natural turquoise is so much prettier than imitation turquoise, but it costs a lot more. I highly recommend stopping by a gem or bead show when they're in town, because you can see all your options in person, and they often have special sales happening during the show.

And just a quick shout-out to my little helper. She loves making jewelry…maybe she'll share a tutorial of her own next week. :)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

10 Reasons I Love My New Shark Rocket

I met the lovely people from Shark Cleaning at Alt Summit last month. I kind of hate product demos, because it's awkward oohing and aahing over the features of the product in question. But the Shark demo was different for me. I actually walked away wondering how I could get my hands on one of these little dream machines. You can imagine my delight when those kind folks emailed me a week later, and offered to give me a Shark Rocket in exchange for my opinion. I'm full of opinions, so no problem there.

Here's my honest-to-goodness opinion: I love it. Love, love it. Like so much that I would go out and buy one for myself if I didn't all ready have one. Also, my kids love it so much that they insisted they demo it for you in the photos. They take vacuuming very seriously. No, really. Look at those faces.

10 Reasons I Love My New Shark Rocket:
  1. The Rocket grosses me out. 
    • It's super disgusting to see how much dirt has been lurking in my carpets. I get kind of excited/disgusted every time I need to empty the dirt bin. Some of the dirt it's pulling out has probably been here longer than we have. Gross and awesome at the same time. Kind of like my kids.
  2. My whole family likes using it. 
    • Bonus points for tricking my family into helping with the housework.
  3. It makes vacuuming the stairs no big deal.
    • Really. I've done it like 5 times in the last two weeks. Just typing that makes me realize I've gone a bit overboard. Whatever. At least my stairs are clean.
  4. It's a dream for cleaning the car.
    • And I haven't even bought the car detail kit yet. But watch out when I do. 
  5. You can configure it so many ways, it can clean almost anything
    • Except the fridge or the shower. But can you blame it? I hate cleaning those things too. I did use it to clean the fans in the bathrooms and all the air vent covers. Those are almost as bad as cleaning the shower. 
  6. Setup is SO easy 
    • Take it out of the box, click three parts together, done. Shark should give Santa some pointers so Christmas Eve setup could be as easy.
  7. It's easy to empty, and easy to change attachments.
    • I see a theme here: Easy. Basically, I'm a fan of anything that makes my life easier.
  8. It's lightweight, and compact. 
    • The small head fits under almost all of my furniture, unlike my toddler's.
  9. My 8-year-old thinks it looks like a metal detector.
    • Plus, he thinks it's super cool to see how much dirt is in the carpet when he empties the bin. We're all fixated on the dirt thing.
  10. Even my husband noticed a difference. 
    • He came home that first day and said, "Did you get a new vacuum? It's waaay better than the central vacuum. The carpet looks great." (This is a huge compliment coming from the guy who went three days before noticing I'd painted the office).
So all in all, we're huge fans. Thanks, Shark, for making our house cleaner and my life easier.
If you want to read more about the technical details and the attachments available for the Shark Rocket, visit them here.

And for your viewing enjoyment, here are a few more "action" shots:

This guy is the quality control inspector. He likes to get down there and check it out.

Charlotte's standard cleaning uniform: all polka dots, all the time. And her foreman, Nolan, is instructing her in the proper techniques of rug cleaning. He really knows his stuff.

He wanted to show you how cool he looks vacuuming the stairs. Much cooler than I do, so he's got that going for him.

And a thumbs up. Looks like the metal detector located some buried treasure in the living room. Awesome.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hudson's Bedroom Inspiration

The minute I started working on his sister's room, my eight-year-old has begged me to start his room makeover. Well, it's finally his turn. I've had this plan floating around in mind for quite some time now, and the second I laid eyes on that Meteorite Quilt the whole room fell into place. Take a look:

Hudson's favorite color is red, he loves outer space and science, and he specifically requested the red gummy bear night light. I painted the walls Silver Gray by Benjamin Moore--see that swatch in the upper left? I think it should be a pretty great backdrop for all the fun stuff happening here. 

Like most guys his age, Hudson is reeeeally into Legos. So my game plan centers entirely around his Lego storage and display needs. Santa was kind enough to DIY him a Lego work table of his very own. If I can get ahold of my contact at the North Pole, maybe we can share the quickest tutorial ever with you. I'd like to fit in a large bulletin board somewhere above the workstation so he can hang up his construction plans.

I think this room is going to fit his needs perfectly. Can't wait to see how it comes together.

Pictured above: Benjamin Moore Silver Gray, Magnificent Metal Letter, Meteorite Quilt, Science Banner (Planets), Legos, Gummy Bear Night Light, On the Grid Nightstand, Bubble Wall Clock , Black Stripe Teepee, Meteorite Sham, Radial Wall Shelf 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Valentine Donut Flags

I couldn't resist adding a little donut humor to one of my 12 Days of Love surprises for the kids. My kids go crazy over the little powdered sugar donuts, and it made for a quick, simple breakfast surprise.

I found these cute heart straws at Target. They're the perfect size for this project: a little bit shorter and chubbier than your average paper straw. I'm also going to use them to make the scroll letters in the 12 Days list. Photos coming soon. 

But for these little donut flags, just download and print my little printable flags, cut them out and glue 'em onto a straw. When you're ready for breakfast, stack up a few donuts, push the straw through the donut holes and you're all set. Bonus points for serving fruit along with the donuts. That'll definitely make you feel like SuperMom.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

In the Studio: Valentine Tags

Here's a little peek at what's been happening in my studio lately. Valentine Tags! Use them as quick gift tags, lunchbox notes, or tie them on a bouquet of flowers. You can write over top of the text to layer in your own message, but I left the back blank in case you want to pen your own little poem or love note. Need some of these tags in your life? They'll be available in my shop this afternoon. 

Leave a little surprise for the kids to find after school. 

Or pay a little visit to the Senior Center or Children's Hospital and spread a little love.

 And don't forget to send a goody to school to make the teacher's day just a bit sweeter.

Valentine tags are available in my shop, so pick some up and share some love.