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Friday, July 10, 2015

Wishlist || Embroidery Hoops

As someone who loves cross stitch and embroidery, I always have embroidery hoops lying around the house. I pick them up whenever I find them on sale at craft stores or in yard sales. However, I've never given much thought to the things I could do with the hoops themselves. Until now that is. :)

Art || This embroidery hoop orb from AKA Design is gorgeous! I've seen things like this at several stores, but they always come with a pretty hefty price tag. I can't wait to try my hand at this DIY! Since I've got several embroidery hoops and some wood stain on hand, this project will end up being completely free!

DIY || This embroidery hoop photo display from Natalme is such a clever way to display photos! We just got our wedding pictures in not too long ago. I may just have to print off our black and whites and make myself a similar photo mobile!

Outside || I love the look of this hanging planter from Northstory! Isn't it funny how something so simple can look so beautiful??

Decor || This embroidery hoop display from Bower Power is lovely! Who knew hanging embroidery hoops on the wall could look so stunning? Why did I never think to just put them all up on the wall??

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Crochet Mandala

As many of you already know, the crochet community lost one it's finest this past week. Tragically, Marinke (aka Wink) of A Creative Being lost her long battle with depression by choosing to end her life. Wink's work was beautiful and an inspiration to her many followers. 

In memory of Wink and her creative spirit, Kathryn from Crochet Concupiscence has developed a project called Mandalas for Marinke. Because Wink was known most for her mandalas, Kathryn is inviting everyone to create a mandala for Marinke. She is also encouraging everyone to send her the mandalas so that she can combine them into a show that will help raise awareness for depression. You can find more information about the project here.

In honor of Marinke, I decided to make this pattern from her blog. This project will be in the mail shortly and I cannot wait to see the final results of the Mandalas for Marinke project! So many people are already sharing pictures on Instagram! (#mandalasformarinke)

After finishing Wink's design, I was really inspired to sit down and create my own mandala. This pattern is free for you to use however you'd like. My only request is that you take a moment to remember Wink and her incredible creativity. :)

- cotton yarn in white, gray, teal, and navy (or whatever colors you would prefer)
- size G crochet hook ( I like this one.)
- embroidery scissors
- yarn needle

- Ch 3 counts as first dc throughout.

- With gray color, make magic loop.
- Round One: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 11 dc into magic loop. Slip into 3rd chain of beginning ch 3. (12 st)
- Round Two: Ch 5 (counts as dc, ch 2). (Dc, ch 2) in each stitch around. Slip into 3rd chain of beginning ch 5. (12 dc and 12 loops)
- Round Three: Slip into ch 2 space. *(Dc, ch 2) twice into ch 2 space. Dc, ch 2 in next ch 2 space. Repeat from * around. Slip into first dc. Bind off. (18 dc and 18 loops)
- Round Four: With white, slip into a ch 2 space. Work 3 sc in each ch 2 space around. Slip into first sc and bind off. (54 sc)
- Round Five: With teal, slip into any sc. *Sc, skip 2 st, (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc) into next stitch, skip 2 st. Repeat from * around. Slip into first sc and bind off. (9 "ridges")
- Round Six: Fold row five forward. This round will be worked into the unused stitches of round four. With navy, slip into any open sc. Work 2 dc in each exposed stitch around. Slip into first dc. (72 dc)
- Round Seven: Work 7 dc, dc increase (2 dc into one stitch) around. When directly behind the tip of a "ridge" from round five, work dc through the ch 3 space and the next sc in round six. Slip into first dc and bind off. (82 dc)
- Round Eight: With white, slip into any dc. Work 8 sc, sc increase (2 sc into one stitch) around. Sc into last stitch. Slip into first sc and bind off. (91 sc)
- Round Nine: With gray, slip into any sc. *Dc in each of next 2 sc, ch 7, skip next 5 sc. Repeat from * around. Slip into first dc and bind off. (27 dc and 13 spaces)
- Round Ten: With teal, (sl, ch 1, 2 sc, 2 hdc, dc, tr, ch 3, slip into 3rd ch from hook, tr, dc, 2 hdc, 2 sc, sl) into each ch 7 space around. Slip into first sl stitch and bind off.(13 "ridges")
- Use yarn needle to weave in ends.

RIP Wink.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Handcrafted Wedding || Chalkboards

This summer has been such a blessing for me and my new HUSBAND! We got married on May 23rd and have been enjoying spending time with each other before our jobs start in August. We've both been taking a break from pretty much everything and just focusing on our new life together. :)

We just got our wedding photos in and I wanted to share with you some of the DIY/handcrafted things I did for the wedding. I had a great time crafting and putting all of the details together! 

Signs || I picked up a bunch of cheap chalkboards at craft stores whenever they were on sale (I don't think I paid more than $3 for any of them!) and used them for anything and everything that needed to be labelled at the wedding. These were incredible easy and cheap, but they added such a personal touch to the wedding!

Ring Bearer Box || I looked and looked, but I was never able to find a ring bearer pillow that I actually liked. So I decided to go a different route and make a box for him to carry. I found this box at Hobby Lobby for just a couple bucks. I already had the wood stain and chalkboard paint, so this project cost me less than $5! I simply stained the box, painted on a chalkboard heart, and wrote our initials inside. The box actually worked really well for us since our ring bearer was just two years old and boxes are much harder to mess up than pillows. We also put a Matchbox car inside instead of the rings so that when he finished with walking down the aisle, he had a toy waiting for him! 

Photo Booth || Have you ever looked into renting a photo booth? I could not believe how expensive they were! Like thousands of dollars expensive!! Since I don't pay full price for anything, I knew that wasn't going to work for us. So, I made a sign, got some props and set up a camera on a tripod. Ta-da! Photo booth for less than $50!

Menu || I found this antique bread board at a local antique store a while ago. I loved the board, but didn't really have a plan for it when I bought it. Once we decided to go with chalkboard for the wedding, I knew I wanted to incorporate it somehow. We decided to paint one side with a chalkboard circle and use the board to display the menu.

Guestbook || I knew I didn't want to do the traditional book. I wanted something we could display in our home to remind us of our special day. So, I bought an old framed mirror from a local antique store and covered it in chalkboard paint. It took several coats, but I am really happy with how it turned out! I drew a simple design in the middle and just left chalkboard pens out on the table for all of the guests to sign. The finished product is beautiful and Tyler and I plan to hang it above our bed.

Stay tuned for a couple more wedding-related posts about the antique and embroidered details we incorporated into the wedding!

P.S. This tutorial on how to fake calligraphy really helped me out with my chalkboard writing.

P.S.S. If you're in the Knoxville area, I highly recommend you check out Blaicher Photogrpahy! They did such great work on our wedding photography!