Thursday, July 31, 2014

My Filofax - Week of July 22nd

My completely non-organized week in my Filofax above. No theme in the tape, just whatever I had closest to my hand when I had to add a note. It was that kind of week! Still in love with the couple rolls of tape I bought at Russel + Hazel, but trying to incorporate some old tape in there, too. Also - having fun using my glitter pens from Typo on non-tape surfaces. It does bleed through on my Filo paper, but that's what tape is for on the other side of the page, right? 

I saw the other day that one of my favorite Filofax inspiration Instagram accounts (@sugarpandax3) had some extra pastel Martha Stewart tabs for sale on her IG and, of course, I had to snatch them up. They're nice and heavy duty quality and I'm excited to tab tab tab away.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

11 Pom Pom DIY Crafts

As you can imagine, now that I have these pom pom makers, I'm basically obsessed. I've decided to share my pom pom "to do" list. Enjoy!


This sweet flower tutorial is super simple, but has a great end result. 

Big pom poms on a fluffy pillow! Bonus: this tutorial includes instructions on how to make a pom pom using your hand, as well as a sewing DIY on creating the pillow, too.

These houses are just too much to handle. So cute - included in this tutorial is how to make little cars, too! What I really love are the little mountains, but - no pattern, yet!

The Martha Stewart yarn in this hair clip DIY looks so fluffy and yummy. I want that. Bonus E6000 sighting, too. Love that!

There are about a million pom pom garland tutorials and inspiration pics out there, but this one stood out. I love the pastel colors and I love how she arranged the poms in little clusters. I wanna do this TODAY.

Are these skulls not the most amazing thing? To be honest, the instruction seems a little above my skill level right now, but it gives me something to work for, right? There are some monster eyes and ghosts on this page, too!

Now this! This is a tutorial at my level of skill as a beginning pom pom-er. Magnets! Plus, a tutorial on making a pom pom with a fork. How very kitchen-y this DIY is.

A rainbow pom! This DIY shows how to create these colorful and beautiful fluffy pom ornaments.

This tutorial on how to make a letter decoration uses pre-made pom poms, but you could definitely make your OWN little guys to glue onto whatever shape you'd like. Maybe a heart? Cute!

Another garland! This time Halloween themed. Very simple and straight forward, with lots of other spooky inspiration.

A little bunny! This looks doable, right? This DIY is only pictures, buuuuuut its somewhat clear. I just love it. Ah!

Want more pom pom inspiration? Here is my Pinterest board named Pom Poko!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Goodies from Typo

Have you heard of the store Typo? It looks like there are only four in the US, but, lucky for me, one of the locations is at the Mall of America! The store is part of the parent company of Cotton On, though, which has a handful more locations. Typo is a stationary and home decoration store that I could spend forever in, even though the one I've been in is tiny. Cute notebooks, stationary, pens, twinkle lights, iPhone cases, and more - it's a ton of fun to browse. I was there the other weekend and here's what I picked up - all for under $20 total!

This adorable notebook! Le chat! Oh man! Could I pass it up? No. Could you?! I like it, too, because it's larger than the standard notebook and has some pocket folders inside, as well as that mint colored elastic band. And, the cat. Those pens are GLITTER, too - they were 5 for $5. The farthest pen on the right was only like 70 cents on clearance, and, while it is cute to look at, not a fan of the ink. Here is what the pens look like in writing:

Cute, right? Glitter gel pens are timeless. They really don't bleed that bad, either, but it helps that the paper in this notebook is a little thicker than normal.

Last but not least - this mini french press! It was only $5 with purchase, so how could I turn it down? It's 300mL, enough for a small cuppa, and is decorated so sweetly with those woodland creatures. I enjoyed the first cup with Caribou's Obsidian dark roast. Yum! The thing iiiis pretty small, but it's such a good desk decoration, so I don't regret it one bit.

Typo does have an online shop, so you can check that out here if you aren't near the four locations in the states. Bookmarked!

Monday, July 28, 2014

How to Use the Clover Pom Pom Maker

True or false: pom poms are like the cutest things ever. Answer: seriously, true. Pom poms are in the list of my absolute favorite craft items of all time. When I was in Japan, shopping at Okadaya in Shinjuku, I saw a two-pack of Clover brand pom pom makers. Obviously, I've wanted them forever, but the fact that they could be a little craft souvenir from my favorite town on earth, well .. I had to get them.

Less than 1000 yen later, the pom pom makers were mine. However, the little tools seemed a little complicated to figure out on my own and the directions on the back of the package were all in Japanese. So after I got home, I turned to YouTube to try to figure out the best way to use these guys. After a few videos and plenty of trial and error, I finally figured out the best way (for me!) to make pom poms using this tool.

Tools Needed: 
  • Clover Pom Pom Makers.
  • Yarn of your choice. I used Vanna's Choice in Antique Rose. The fluffier and thicker the yarn is, the fluffier and thicker your pom poms will be!
  • Scissors. 

Step One: Start wrapping the yarn on one side of the outstretched arm of the pom pom maker. When both sides are fully extended, there will be two separate arms on each side. Wrap the yarn around BOTH, binding them together. Wrap as much as possible, as much as you think you want, and then some more. Seriously, I made quite a few wimpy looking pom poms because I didn't want to over-wrap the side. Do it. Make sure it is even, tight, and covers all parts of the half-circle.

Step Two: After the side is wrapped, cut the yarn and fold the arm back into the main circle part. What I usually do - not pictured here, because I only have two hands - is fold the arm back into the maker first, and then cut the yarn. That way you know it is secure in the tool and won't unravel once you snip. 

Step Three: Repeat the first two steps on the other side. If you want to use a different color, your pom pom will have a cool half-and-half effect. Make sure that you wrap about the same amount of yarn on this side, too, otherwise you'll have a lopsided pom pom, and, wooooof, what would be worse than that?!

Step Four: Cut that yarn! This was the scariest part for me, at first. There will be a little ridge in the side (where the two separate pieces of the side arm meet), so just wiggle your scissors in to touch that and slowly start snipping across. Repeat on other side. Be sure to kind of hold on tight to the little tabs on the edge, because as you snip thicker yarn, the arms tend to start to pull up a little. Don't let them!

See? Not too scary! Now you have a pom pom maker with some fuzzy edges. You can see the inside ridge in those photo, too.

Step Five: Take a somewhat long piece of yarn and wrap it around the pom pom maker, right in the middle. Make sure the yarn fits tight in between the two sides of the maker, pulling it through the ridge connecting the pieces. Tie in a very tight knot. I usually wrap the yarn around the other side and make a knot on the bottom half, too. Just to be careful!

Step Six: Open the side arms of the maker on both sides and sloowwwly pull the two halves completely apart. Pop! Your pom pom is (almost!) complete! It's safe outside of the maker, though. Sooo cute, right?

Step Seven: Trim up that pom pom! I kept the yarn tails uncut on these because I want to use them to sew the pom poms onto a dance belt. Hold onto the pom pom, fluff it up a little bit, and use the scissors to shape the ball into how you want. The end!

Not too tough, right? It takes a few times to get the hang of knowing how much yarn to wrap on each side, and also how much yarn to trim off the ball after you're all done, but - really - it's pretty simple. Also: do you love that tea cup?! It's the cutest little tea divination cup and plate set that my sister-in-law gave me for my birthday a few years ago.

Please let me know if you have any questions. And show me all your pom poms, please!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

What I Wore: Belly Dance Edition

This last Thursday, my dance troupe had our annual park performance! The show is always so fun - full of guests, great weather (if we're lucky like this year!), and lots and lots of dancing. Since it is such a big deal to us, it's also fun to put together my best costumes ever. Here is what I wore for the first set of the show!

Like many, I'm sure, my belly dance closet is a miss-mash of pieces from every day stores and actual costume vendors. My lace bandeau and head scarf are both from heartbreaker, a MN fashion store. The black vest over my lace top (hard to see in this photo!) is a long tunic top cut into a criss-cross halter, using this DIY.

My two coin belts and my blue and gold over skirt are all from the vendor Dahlal International - every year she sets up a tent shop at the Renaissance Festival the weekend that I work there and I always spend lots and lots of money. My new favorite piece, though, is my 32 yard skirt (in green and black!) from the We3 Belly Dance shop on eBay. It is the biggest skirt I've had and it is so dreamy. And they are usually very affordable on the site AND you get to pick which colors you'd like!

Isn't this poster amazing?! Erika - one of my troupe sisters - made this for our performance and it is so great. I'm in loooove. I took a print of it and am thinking of framing it. Is that weird?

Here is a variation on the outfit above - I wore this to the Roller Derby bout we performed at last weekend. You can see my skirt a little better here. I looooove how full it is, so I can twist and tuck it up with it still looking nice and big. My coin bra in this photo was from Dahlal - I remember it was increeedibly afforadable for how amazing it is. (I'm thinking it was under $50..) The black crop shrug & leopard print scarf is from heartbreaker and my white crochet scarf is handmade by me!

What is your favorite place to shop for belly dance outfits? I'm on the MAJOR lookout for some full harem pants - the wider the leg, the better!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

What I Wore: Pastel Illuminati + My New Instax Mini 8

Have you guys seen my new hair?! I know pink isn't like ... that new for me ... BUUT, I am really loving how it is fading out in this pinky, pastel-y ombre way. I used RAW brand hair dye in FUCHSIA FATALE.

Also do you love my tank? It is from heartbreaker (a MN company) and I love the all-seeing illuminati eye. Triangles, NWO, lizard man, all that stuff. You know, the fun stuff. If you like this style (cutesy weird), be sure to check out my PASTEL GOTH board on Pinterest. It's my favorite board. Comment if you have any boards you think that I'd like to follow!

Pastel life in all aspects. I made this sugary, sugar-filled treat for a birthday party - Lucky Charms marshmallows, M&Ms, pretzels, and sprinkles, all mixed with melted white chocolate. It was just so pretty to look at. Here is the recipe.


Whaat!! My dreams finally came true?! I got an INSTAX MINI?! IN PINK!? Speaking of pastel life, this is like it, ladies and gentlemen. I've had my eye on this Polaroid-esque instant camera for a very long time. I was at Michael's the other day and came across this gem. And as I always do when I'm shopping for yarn and the like, I had my phone open with any and all coupons that might apply to my purchase of the day.

Yep, that's right. I got to use my 50% off any one item coupon on THAT one item! I picked up a baby pink Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 for $60. Impulse buy... kind of?! But not really, because I've been thinking of getting one of those for-basically-ever. The only thing iiiis - the film to buy at Michael's was the rainbow style of frame, which isn't ideal, but I didn't care. (I have some plain framed film coming in the mail - thanks, Amazon Prime!) Here are a few of the pictures I've snapped so far:

I've been a little selective (lie) because of the price of film. It's just so fun. And so fun to look at. And carry around. Siiigh~ Dreams do come true.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

8 Free Crochet Patterns for Summer

Yarn craft usually gets a pretty bad reputation during the summer months. Like .. do you want to wear a bulky, wool scarf in August? Do you want to be weaving in the ends of a thick poncho crocheted out of heavy yarn? No. But that doesn't mean you have to give up crocheting all together.

I've found eight super awesome FREE patterns featuring crochet projects that are weather-appropriate. And they are all small enough to hold while you work that you won't overheat. I promise!

This pattern is on a Google Doc! Weird! Either way - I love the size of this bag and I really love the bottom and I really love the little popcorns at the top.

Okay, whaat. This pattern is on Google Docs, too. Weird. Whatever! This case is adorable and, sorry, but I'm gonna be a sucker for the Instagram look for a long time.

I love spa at home! I'm planning on putting together a list of my favorite DIY spa projects, but first and foremost, crocheting some nubbie washcloths to have in your bathroom is definitely a priority.

This crocheted embroidery hoop is definitely a great summer pattern. Not huge, so you don't have a big project on your lap as you work, and it's not a garment, so you don't have to wear it when you're done!

I guess my new favorite thing to want to make is STOOL COVERS. Too bad I don't have any stools at home to decorate? 

Okay, if this purse is named "Jelly Bean Bag," you know that I have to make it. It is seriously so cute. I think it would be great to use at the Ren Fest this year - I would probably just make the strap longer.

I have actually made this shawl! The Elise Shawl is a free Ravelry download and is super versatile. I made mine with Caron Simply Soft and it was nice and thick - perfect for fall, but you could definitely use sock weight yarn and make a nice cover-up for cooler summer nights outdoors.

Ok, yes. Granny squares are usually used to form big, warm, comfy blankets. That is not a great project for a hot day. BUT - a blanket is made up of many small pieces. This beautiful motif IS small! A lap project. Those squares have to be made sometime, right? And by the time you finish all million squares and are ready to join them together, it'll be cold out already. And this motif is like .. the most beautiful.

Me! MaDonna! © 2013.

Design by The Blog Boat