Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ringing in 2012

Happiest of New Years! I hope you all have a wonderful night of celebration and ringing in this beautiful new year. I love new beginnings and transitions. It brings a sense of adventure and keeps life from becoming old and routine. One of my resolutions for 2012 is to complete one craft project a week. It is important never to be too busy to spend time on the things you love the most! What are some of your resolutions?

I thought I'd share a quick DIY that I completed this past as the first project of my new resolution!

DIY Salt 'N Pepper:


  • 2 Mini jars with lid (found at Joanne's)
  • Drill with 1/8" glass drill bit
  • Twine
  • Pretty paper
  • Stamps and ink
  • Buttons or other decorations
  • Laminator or clear gloss paint
  • Big eye needle
  • Super Glue

1. Determine how many holes you want and make a tiny dot with a sharpie to position them.
2. Grab your drill and carefully start drilling the holes. You should use some water as a lubricant and take breaks to keep tabs on your progress through the glass. For slightly smaller holes, stop drilling as soon as the drill breaks through the other side. It's a long process, so be patient.

3. Clean out the jars to remove any excess glass.
4. Cut out tags from the paper and stamp "salt" on one, and "pepper" on the other.

5. Laminate or paint with a clear coat to seal the tags.
6. String the twine on a needle and pull through the tag.
7. Tie the twine around the jar and make a bow.
8. Super glue the knot and a button on top for extra cuteness.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry, Merry Christmas!

My homemade Christmas cards. Scraps recycled into Christmas cheer for friends near and far!

Merry Christmas, everyone!
This Christmas season quietly sneaked up on me this year, but now that it's here, I'm soaking it in to the fullest! Wearing my black and gold, sparkly sweater and red skirt, chocolate cranberry bars are baking in the oven, champagne is full in our glasses, and family is here for dinner. Just waiting for my dad to light a fire in the fireplace, and it will be perfectly cozy!
I hope you are enjoying a time of joy and love as we celebrate Jesus' birth. Sometimes Christmas becomes so centered around gifts and obligations, but it truly is the thought and sincerity that makes this season sweet.
Love and peace to you all! <3

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Let It Snow!

I love snow. It sparkles in the sun. It crunches under your feet. And it makes everything look cozy and romantic under it's white blanket.
*Keep in mind this is all coming from a naive Californian who has never driven in or shoveled snow in her life. I prefer the fairytale image.
But the only way LA can experience some of this magical substance is to make it themselves. Since I can't afford a snow machine, I'm cutting it out of paper (low budget). I wanted something a little more interesting than your typical childhood paper flakes, so I found a couple great instructional sites on Pinterest. This will be filling my spare time for the next couple days.

If you want to be scientifically accurate and create some 6-pointed snowflakes, click here.

Or get really crazy and go for the 8-pointed flakes. So pretty!

Once I get enough cut, maybe I'll try making something like this.

No need to buy. Find something to hang with, such as a hoop or branches, and some thread or string to dangle the snowflakes. Simple.

Add your pretty flakes to packages, windows, walls, trees, or candle votives. Hang from your car's rearview mirror or on your bedframe.

If you live in LA and still need your fill of snow that you can actually feel, head over to The Grove for snowfall at 7 and 8 pm until the 31st. Or, my personal favorite, snowfall while you ice skate at The W Hotel in Westwood. Somebody needs to take me there asap (*hint hint*).

Thursday, December 8, 2011

DIY Photo Transfer

Christmas is rapidly approaching and if you're like me, you want to make gifts for everyone, but also end up waiting until the week before. Anyone else notice this procrastination habit extends past school? Well, this DIY is perfect for planners and procrastinators alike. As long as you manage to avoid a few fateful mistakes, which I will share for maximizing procrastination.
The original tutorial came from A Beautiful Mess, but somehow, I managed to do everything wrong while still believing I was following the directions perfectly. It's a talent, I know. For once in my life, I started a gift early. Thankfully! I went through the process 4 times, which meant 4-5 days before it was done.

Here are the mistakes to avoid:

1. LASER printer. No, inkjet is not the same as laser. Inkjet puts the ink into the paper, laser lays the ink on top for easy transfer. If you don't own a laser printer, it might be a bit hard to find a copy place that does, but Office Depot saved me.

It should NOT look like this while drying. The side facing up should stay blank and white.
2. The cheaper and thinner the paper, the better! This makes rubbing the paper off so much easier. No need for finger burn. Office Depot gave me nicer paper since it was a color copy. When I went back to ask for the cheaper paper, the guy looked at me like I was crazy. Don't worry, it's worth it.

3. Use a nice paintbrush for spreading the gel medium. Try to get out any lumps or would-be air bubbles. Depending on how rustic you want it, make sure it is a thick and even layer throughout. My cheap paintbrush gave me a lot of thinner spots, so there were more places the picture rubbed off or didn't transfer.

4. Don't go overboard when spraying the paper with water. It is actually easier to get the last layers of paper off when it is just barely damp and you are creating a friction between your finger and the paper.

5. For an extreme time crunch, blow dry the project to speed up the drying process. If you're not blow drying, I would wait a full 24 hours, just to be safe.

6. If you have a cat, do not put it within their reach even if they are not allowed to be on said surface (unless you are attempting to obtain hard evidence of disobedience). Cats do naughty things when they think we're not looking.

Please try out this tutorial (just avoid the above mistakes)! It is so fun to make your own. I even added a little French saying on a tea dyed piece of paper. My friend loved her gift, so it was all worth it in the end!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Give the Gift of Make Believe

Love this promo video made by LA-based, Make Believe Clothing Co. And love their line of graphic tees, which means a lot since the only t-shirts I own, I wear to bed (or maybe hiking). I think I'd do these more justice and actually let them see the light of day.

This one is my favorite. I know. It's not even really a t-shirt. Go figure. I'm a sucker for the word dreamer though.

I'm also crushing on these deisgns:

Happy December!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, because it involves 2 of my favorite things: family and food. I can't wait to one day help with the cooking of the meal instead of just the eating (although that is quite enjoyable), but until then, I will experiment and find the best recipes. These sweet potato and marshmallow biscuits from Smitten Kitchen look way too delicious to pass up. Come Saturday when I'm going through Thanksgiving food withdrawals, this will be my new project.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends! So thankful for all the love and support in my life! It's the small things that matter most. What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Creative DNA

"If you understand the strands of your creative DNA, you begin to see how they mutate into common threads in your work. You begin to see the story that you're trying to tell; why you do the things you do (both positive and self-destructive); where you are strong and where you are weak (which prevents a lot of false starts); and how you see the world and function in it." 
Twyla Tharp (American dancer, director, and choreographer) 

I found the above quote while reading this wonderful book and I couldn't help but stop and reflect.

Creativity encodes itself into everyone's DNA. The way it forms and takes shape is what makes us unique. For some it is sculpture, collaging, painting, for others photography, writing, cooking, and still others find it in business plans or curing diseases. It is about making something original. Using your imagination. Innovating. Expressing a vision. What is your signature style? In what materials and tools does your passion lay? My creativity is messy and eclectic. My mind is constantly running in a hundred directions, but I love color, dimension and texture, and things that don't follow any sort of guideline. Making something from nothing. I find myself using fabric, paint, pictures, paper, items found in nature. Everyone discovers their spark in something different. What is spark? What is your story?

Monday, November 7, 2011

DIY Wall Art

coloring page from Flower Fairies Alphabet Coloring Book
Let's think back to Kindergarten for a moment... didn't you love coloring? Whether or not you drew inside the lines is another story, I know, but with each crayon color you made, that picture came to life. I think it's kind of magical and a total ego booster for those of us with limited drawing abilities. I never could draw those figures in the coloring books, but somehow when I'm done adding color, it becomes my own perfect piece of art. So that is why I'm here to reopen your eyes to the world of crayon coloring. Pick some cute pages from a forlorn coloring book, copy a page or two, and color them in. Realistic, abstract, only your favorite colors... whatever your heart desires! Then give them a home in a thrift store frame or an empty one collecting dust in your closet. Instant wall art and you even relived a piece of your childhood in the process. Add a Disney movie and the experience is complete. I'll admit I watched Tangled.

If you are are looking for an even simpler idea, give new life to those old postcards. Frame them up and display. Perfect, inexpensive art! I have quite a few decorating my walls right now.

Have a wonderful week and drink something warm and autumn-y!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Little Obsessions #2

1. This wall art.

2. This marriage proposal featured on Green Wedding Shoes. One of the most creative, beautiful ones I've seen... I'll admit I shed a tear.

3. This look from Modcloth's new lookbook.

4. This Etsy shop, Fancy Clothes. Late birthday present for me!

5. This print technique. The more unusual, the better.

Monday, October 31, 2011

I Do Believe In Fairies

Happy Halloween!

I'll admit Halloween is not usually my favorite holiday-- I can never decide what to be -- but this year I loved dressing up as a fairy. It's one of those no-brainer ideas that you fight against because it's not very original, but you agree to because you'd have it no other way. Fairies are the loveliest creatures and I've been fascinated by them since I can remember. This is the closest I'll ever come to actually being one. If only my wings had a little flying magic...
All inspiration goes to Cicely Mark Barker and her Autumn fairies.

I'll leave you with a little fairy-esque DIY.
Dried Flower Treasure Boxes, perfect for organizing:


  • plastic boxes (mine are from the 99 cent store)
  • Mod Podge or Clear drying glue
  • tissue paper
  • dried flowers
  • misc materials to decorate with (buttons, pretty paper, lace, etc)
  • scissors (not pictured)

1. Glue or Mod Podge your tissue paper over the lid. Be careful not to use to much because the paper may rip.

2. Trim excess tissue paper.

3. Arrange flowers and other decorations to your liking. You may want to let the Mod Podge or glue from your last layer dry first before going to the next step.

4. Glue down the bigger pieces and spread Mod Podge over the whole thing. Done!

Friday, October 28, 2011

What I Wore: Friday Thoughts

Dress/Fancytreehouse, Collar/c/oSweet Evie, Hat/stolen from former roomie, shoes/UO
This is what I wore to grab some coffee and devour a library book in the late afternoon sunshine. Being unemployed is such a burden sometimes, you know? Mustard color is my continued obsession, but I try not to wear these shoes every day so they can stay a little special. The same with this collar from my internship. Isn't it adorable?
One of the other most wonderful parts of unemployment is all the time you have for thinking. That might scare some people, but I soak it up. There are so many ideas I've been turning over in my heart and in my head and, yes, I started journaling about them like my challenge in the previous post. Maybe I will share one or two soon!
I'll leave you with some Friday food for thought, these words from my pastor:
"Work and wealth do not validate your life, [they] do not justify your existence." This life and every experience in it is a gift, so let's start treating it that way.

DIYs coming up in my next post!

Happy Halloween weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why Journal?

The first entry in my crafter's devotional involves the importance of journaling. Why Journal? It's not about a perfect piece of writing or expression of thought, it's about capturing the visions and ideas running wild in your mind. It is about self expression and practicing creativity. Journaling does not need to entail the use of a pen, paper, and words. It can be photographs, collages, fabric, whatever medium sets your mind free. My journal is an extension of myself. It's personal, full of dreams and honesty. A visual record of who I am and who I hope to be. I hope one day my children or grandchildren read my journals and understand me from a whole new perspective.

Sometimes the busyness of life makes journaling seem impossible, but it is an important first step in the creative process. At a conference I attended this past weekend, one woman spoke of a 30 day writing challenge. I'm thinking a 30 day journaling challenge. Freeing my mind through any artistic expression every day for 30 days. Anyone with me?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Creative 365

Hello all!

Well, it's been a little quiet over here, but only because my mind has been going in a hundred different directions. I've been enjoying each and every second of this wonderful season and my birthday month! The heart garland in our dining nook came down and leaves and owls went up. Pumpkins are placed and apple cider is stocked in the fridge. I also indulged in pumpkin and salted carmel macarons (best I've tasted this side of the Atlantic) at Bottega Louie today. If you have yet to experience this place, don't waste another second. It is heaven on earth. Maybe I sound a little overdramatic, but I could have sworn I was transported back to a cafe in Italy for a moment. Just a moment. The English speaking gave it away. Sigh.

But my real purpose in this blog is to share my excitement over a book I received for my birthday, The Crafter's Devotional. It is bursting with so much potential inspiration that I can hardly wait to share! I've been looking for some sense of theme for my blog and I think I found it between the covers of this book. So I'm taking you with me for the journey. DIY's and creative insight coming soon!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Coat Envy

Just when I thought we were heading into Autumn, it turned right back into Summer. Hello 80 degrees. That's ok. I'll go right ahead with baking my pumpkin pies and listening to Christmas songs obscenely early. Think of it as my version of a rain dance. 

Some days I wish I lived in a climate that justifies a closet of cute coats. A trench would definitely be included, if only to wear an outfit as lovely as hers

and oh, to wear this cozy coat...

I'd like to think I won't be eating my words in a couple months, but a girl's allowed to be fickle, right? I'll enjoy what I've got now and rock the sandals and bare legs!

<3 Taylor

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Great Pumpkin

As we continue head first into Autumn (it finally rained in LA!), I have noticed my love for pumpkins steadily increasing. I always loved my childhood trips to the pumpkin patch, but I don't think I realized the true magic of the pumpkin until recently. Not only is it the most beautiful color, it is also delicious, healthy for the skin, and perfect for craft projects. What more could you wish for? Pumpkin suppliers prepare yourself!

1. Wear

2. Exfoliate
3. Accessorize 
4. Eat
5. Decorate
6. Sip

*Bonus: Pumpkin Cookies. Healthy enough to eat for breakfast (at least I did)! I don't have a pretty picture, but they are quite delicious. 

Here's the recipe I adapted from here:
  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree (unsweetened)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons Truvia (or sweeten to taste with sugar substitute)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay parchment paper on baking tray. Mix wet ingredients together (egg, pumpkin, vanilla) and fold in dry ingredients. Mix until nice, thick consistency. Spoon out quarter size dollops and bake for 15-18 minutes. Check often with toothpick in the center. If no dough comes up on toothpick, they are done. Don't overdo them! They can get tough. They should be soft and moist.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bow Pretty

I suppose I can't hide my love of bows. Not that I was trying. But here is my second post featuring bows. What delightful creations. Perfectly girly and pretty.

I found a tutorial for fabric bows here. There are probably hundreds of them out there in Googleland, but this is the one my cursor landed on and the instructions were easy to follow. There are other, faster tutorials with the use of a sewing machine, but I like the satisfaction of hand sewing sometimes. So organic. I made my bows a bit bigger. For the starting piece of fabric, one was 9.5" by 4.5", and the other, 8.5" by 3", approximately. If you haven't noticed, I like to improvise.

Inspirations to make the most of your bows: hair clips, bow ties, belt accents (as pictured below), pin to a shirt, dress, or shoes, add to a necklace, decorate a journal, a purse, or a wallet. Bows are quite versatile. Add anywhere to give an extra level of cuteness!

Happy bow making!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Playing With Your Food

Anyone else plan their meals for the next day as they fall asleep in bed? I know I do. I definitely live to eat. I confess, I'm a food junkie. It's just so delicious and kind of essential to survive. So it's a win-win situation.

Most days I can't cook with a recipe. I collect recipes all the time, but barely ever use them. It frustrates me to be boxed in with specific ingredients. I guess I have a little rebel inside of me. I'm always changing ingredients, even when I bake (it can get sketchy). My favorite thing is to look in my fridge and make the strangest combinations. It's so fun to experiment and you'll never be bored!

Cooking for a single person (and on a budget) can be tricky, but I've started to adapt to buying a few ingredients and then mixing and matching like crazy. Creativity is key. I thought I'd share a couple combinations. I had roasted peppers, goat cheese, tomatoes, and onions that were begging to be used.

My first combination featured quinoa, one of my favorite grains since I've been eating (mostly) gluten-free. Buy it at Trader Joe's and you won't be disappointed. It's like rice, but with a lovely, unique texture. To the quinoa I added the roasted pepper, goat cheese, onions, and a fried egg on top. I browned the onions with basil and oregano, which added great flavor (and a wonderful aroma to our apt). Yum. Quinoa is perfect to throw all your odds and ends into and come out with something wonderfully edible.

Second combination was lunch today. I made a salad of sorts with lettuce, lentils, tomatoes, roasted peppers, and goat cheese. I thought it was delicious as is, but for a stronger flavor add a bit of yellow curry or soyaki sauce. Mmmm. I love how colorful it looks on the plate!

Next up is playing with my beloved sweet potatoes! I'm already excited to eat tomorrow!