Friday, May 31, 2013

friday fixations

{solomon's seal} Last year, I brought some roots from my gram's house and transplanted them in my yard and they immediately died. Or so I thought! I peaked around the corner at the beginning of the month, and thought, "hey, isn't that where I put that seal?! Is that it?!" And it was! It's nearly bloomed now. I'm so happy about it. These things spread like crazy pants, and I'd like them to take over that whole area! (And they smell like candy when you cut them.)

{get lucky} I can't get this song out of my head.

{8 signs you're a cat} I am, it's true.

{disco the parakeet} What's a parakeet? A green and yellow bird that talks. But that's not important right now (Hermes loves this guy and so do I).

{peanut butter and pickle sandwiches} I thought I'd give this a go and I'm in love. But I like to eat them open-faced and without the maple syrup (I mean, why?!).

{the fringe} Finally, I've stopped identifying him with Dawson's Creek.

{my freshly painted fence} I finally finished it today (this is the first time anyone's ever heard me complain about rain). I keep wandering over to the windows to gaze lovingly at it. The colour perfectly blends with our siding and the fact that it's lighter makes the whole yard brighter and bigger looking. I'm so glad to see that awful yellow wood gone!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

diy: beaded necklace

I've been finding a lot of really pretty necklaces lately that are either out of my price range or no longer in stock. So I've decided I'm going to start making more necklaces for myself (since it's really dead-easy).

This is based on this inspiration necklace. I was initially drawn to it for the pastel colours paired with the really graphic black and white, but it's no longer for sale.

I took the basic pattern, used colours of beads that I liked and this is my finished necklace.

If you want to make something similar, this is what you'll need:

Seed beads in any colours you like, but you'll definitely need black and white
beading filament (I like to use a thin fishing line) measured out in lengths of 8 (be sure to leave extra for tying)
2 flower bead caps (similar to this)
2 jump rings (this is helpful if you've never used these before)
1 clasp (I used this style)

The pattern is based on the inspiration necklace, but since they used larger beads than I did, I had to come up with new counts. Obviously, you can change this if you want shorter colour lengths or if your beads are larger.

Basically, the strands are made up of three repeating patterns.

You start with Pattern 1 which is:
- 6 black
- 2 white
- 2 black
- 2 white
- 2 black
- 2 white
- 2 black
- 2 white
- 2 black
- 2 white
- 6 black

Pattern 2 is a full block of one of the coloured beads you're using. My count is 21 beads.

Finally, Pattern 3 is made up of:
- 6 black
- 6 white
- 2 black
- 6 white
- 6 black

A full pattern is:
- Pattern 1
- Pattern 2
- Pattern 3
- Pattern 2
- Pattern 1
- Pattern 2
- Pattern 3
- Pattern 2

Repeat as many times as needed for the length you want, just make sure to end with Pattern 1.

Confused? Don't be! The best part about this is that you can always adjust the counts, the pattern, and the colours however you like. That's the beauty of making your own necklaces. If you see something you like, you can figure out how to make it so it best suits your style.

Once you have the strands all beaded, finish them by tying the ends through a bead cap. Then tie the filament around a jump ring on either side and attach the clasp to one of the jump rings. Finished! (whew!)

Summer is going to be the season of necklaces since I'll finally be able to show them off and they won't be hiding under a winter coat!

Friday, May 17, 2013

friday fixations: spring flowers

I spotted flowering bushes on the side of the road, so I biked there yesterday with a bag and some snippers. The tulips are from my yard.

It would be absolutely amazing to go to this. One day hopefully!
This book is on my wishlist
Need help? Take an online floral arranging class
Allergies? Hang this on your wall instead

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

diy: fuuvi inspired bike bell

I'm a bike person again! In my youth, I think I spent 50% of my time on a bike. I don't know what happened -- actually, no. Scratch that. I do know what happened. Bikes turned into vehicles (which still makes me all sorts of angry) and suddenly, you couldn't bike here; you couldn't bike there; you should have a helmet; you need to be on the road with cars. And sorry, but I don't trust cars cuz guess who wins in bike vs car?

Okay. My mini-rant is over. Now we live right next to actual approved bike paths! Paths that (barely) come into contact with cars. So when I spotted some bikes this winter at a closing-out sale for dirt cheap, I instantly scooped them up.

I still try to stick to the rules in Edmonton, but the one thing I didn't get with the bikes (aside from cheap helmets, locks, and seat pads) were bells. It's the one thing we're supposed to have and the one thing I actually agree with having. I know how it feels to have bikes sneak up on you when you're walking, and it sucks.

Then I spotted these super cute painted bike bells from Fuuvi a couple weeks ago and figured I could do something similar myself. And when I saw that "boring" bike bells were only $6 and the Fuuvi bells are $20, well! Hello, diy!

All you need is a bell, some paint, painter's tape, cheap brushes (I used foam brushes), and clear varnish.


Tape off the bell in whatever pattern you like. (I wish I had moved my tape a little closer together to get a larger blue stripe, but I still like it! Just make sure to consider that fact if you want to keep any of the metallic colour). Give it a nice coat of paint, then let it dry and give it another coat if you feel it needs it (mine did).

Once the paint dries again, peel off the tape and give it a coat of varnish just to seal everything up for good measure (also most of my paints had a matte finish which I didn't like in this application and the varnish fixes that).

If your paint bleeds under the tape, just take a straight razor and gently scrape the paint away along your line, pushing towards the straight line. I found that doing it this way minimized scratches on the metal surface. Mine bled through a little bit in a few spots, but I was expecting it. It's a little hard to tape securely on a round surface.

For the polka dot bell, I covered the clapper (the part that dings the bell) with paper, then spray painted the entire thing in white. Then I used the eraser end on a pencil to put on the dots which I just eye-balled starting from the center out. Obviously, this is one of those "go crazy with your imagination!" kind of DIYs.

I really don't think the type of paint matters too much either. Honestly, I used acrylic paint from the dollar store (the pink and orange), multi-purpose white spray paint, and semi-gloss house paint (the blue green -- which is the colour on our front door). All paints took two coats (except the orange; probably because it was going over the matte white) and covered easily. If it matters to you, there are a lot of paints available that are specifically for painting metal. I just wanted to keep this dirt cheap so I used paints I already had in the house.

Once the varnish is no longer tacky, attach your bell to your bike and you're good to go!

Friday, May 10, 2013

friday fixations

{omelette} I think we all like to imagine our pets thinking this way.

{pattern gifs} These make me smile so hard! (Yellow found here, and because one just wasn't enough, I found grey here.)

{robin williams} Looks like someone's got his groove back! (in other words, this is probably the first time I've laughed at a Robin Williams joke in about 15 years.)

{darrell's house} We watch everything about a week after it's actually aired (or more), so I know this isn't new, but I laughed so hard at this sketch from Zack Galifianakis on Saturday Night Live last week. I feel like all the hours we put in watching mediocre sketches has finally paid off (plus everything's better with Jon Hamm, right?)! If you haven't, watch Part 1 and Part 2, please.

{kraft whipped peanut butter} I know it's not new. It's just new to me. And I really like it. It's softer and easier to spread (onto celery! -- also my new favourite thing) and has less calories than their actual light peanut butter. I also like whipping it into shakes, cuz, you know, it whips in easier.

{mom's day} Don't forget! Here're some of my favourite (free printable!) cards: superhero moms; pie; floral; watercolour; and the best gift tags that would also work as cards

Friday, May 3, 2013

friday fixation: pink and copper

I went to Home Depot for this necklace. Well, actually, I went into Home Depot to find supplies for another necklace idea. I couldn't find what I was looking for, but I did find these pretty copper link pieces (in the plumbing section) for 84 cents and couldn't leave without them.

Yup. You read that right. The copper tube was the least expensive part of this whole necklace.

Other materials you'll need is coloured string. I got mine at Home Depot, but several days later, I found almost the exact same string at the dollar store for way less (even though the HD string wasn't really that pricey at $5 for a roll). You don't have to go with pink, either. I just liked how it looked with the copper. There's neon yellow and orange, and even green.

So the only thing you need to source at a craft store is a clasp and those tiny little crimps (like these) to go on the end of the string. Just make sure you get the right size for the string you have. I also wish I had found some copper clasps and jump rings, but the place I get all my jewelry stuff was out so I just used some gold ones I had on hand. I've been told I'm being picky, but I'd like to fix it next I see some.

Now comes the super easy part.

Measure how long you want your necklace to be (I used a necklace I already had as a guide) and attach the crimps to the ends. If you need some guidance, I thought this video was quite helpful. I also added a tiny dab of E6000 just to be sure the string stayed put.

Attach a couple jump rings, a clasp, throw on the copper tube and you've got yourself a pretty snazzy necklace!

This has easily become my favourite piece to wear. There's just something about the copper and the pink and, I don't know, the simplicity of it all that just makes me so happy.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

may desktop

Why is it still so cold?! The only blessings from April and now May have been clean pathways devoid of snow (though there are still banks of snow in shady areas and, on Monday, I almost fell on ice, so there's that).

I've been really obsessed with dark pictures of flowers lately (but really, you could say always). Here're some orchids to start your May right.