Tuesday, July 31, 2012

INSPIRATION [american (comic book) superhero]

To conclude this month of all things American, Inspiration this week is all about American [comic book] superheros! Remember that poll from the first week of July? Here's what the results were!

INSPIRATION american superhero

BATMAN: Batman is a personal favorite, and a great protector of Gotham City! If you're a supporter, check out this easy to make top! Pick out a comfortable black top, and print out a Batman template. Cut out the yellow area in the logo, and tape onto the shirt. Put on a hanger and place it somewhere safe (outside probably!) Pour half and half bleach and water into a spray bottle, mix up and spray at the tank. Let it drip dry to get this great splatter effect!

CAPTAIN AMERICA: Captain America seems to be a favorite among Dear Wallet fans! And why not? He's all about America! Create these cute earrings with buttons painted using nail polish and star stickers, and put an earring post on the back!

SUPERMAN: Superman fans seem to rival Batman, if this is your guy then support him with this simple but effective top! Choose a shirt, and print out the Superman logo, cut out all the yellow pictured, and tape onto the shirt. Use fabric paint in your favorite color to stamp on using a flat foam brush and wait for it to dry! Wear it with pride!

Did you make one of these? Have another superhero in mind, or make something else to support your favorite? Send me a link or picture! I'd love to feature it!

To find out information about the products used, please click the image to head to Polyvore!
•This may be posted to any of the link parties

Monday, July 30, 2012

Blog Calendar Planner | FREE Printable!

I have a confession. I'm a note-aholic. I love writing notes. To do lists are my guilty pleasure. I could write To Do lists all day long (and sometimes do)! The best part is crossing something off my to do list. Oh yes, nothing screams productivity like crossing something off your to do list! But I suppose I digress, over the past few months I have downloaded some fabulous 'blog calendars' for organizing my blog. I can't emphasize how great they've been for organizing my thoughts. Except I've noticed that they always include things that don't relate to me, or more commonly, don't have things that I would prefer to have. I have no doubt that the creators of these made them to fit with their needs, which is perfect, but for what I need I always end up back to lined paper with messy notes! I've had a blog overall underway for awhile, I've been sketching out ideas, writing notes, and lots of to do lists. 

Finally debuting my first section! The Blog Calendars. This has been tested and tried (and tweaked) to work for MY blog. Will it work for yours? No idea! But I suggest you download a few calendars to try them out, and see which works best for you! Every blog is different, and if it isn't then I think you're doing something wrong. Worst comes to worst, none of them work perfectly for you and you will be forced to adapt it to your own blog! (Oh no! Just kidding, you should anyway of course!) I created a weekly and a monthly blog calendar, matching of course!

The Weekly Calendar features:
A breakdown of each day of the week including a spot for 'Title', 'Description', and 'To Do'
(yes I need my to do list for each day!) This way I can scribble down tentative titles, write detailed ideas for the post AND make sure I have a precise to do list for each post to ensure it gets done on time!

I also have a general 'To Do' list for the week, and brainstorming section for topic ideas (for later weeks) and make a list of goals for my blog! Since I'm a newbie on the scene I have small goals I set for each day X-minimum views per day, Y-views per week, Z-Comments etc etc. This keeps my goals in mind, and keeps me accountable for them (and hopefully ultimately works towards blog growth)!

The Monthly Calendar features:
A much more simple layout, simply put in the month, any notes for the time frame, and fill in the days with as much detail as you need or want. I like using this so I can see how full each week is throughout the month, and if I need to move a post to another week to keep things even.

I hope you find these as handy as I do. There are many more blog organization posts coming soon, this is simply the first of many! To make it even easier for you (or more difficult if you're indecisive) I created THREE versions of these for you! Choose your favorite and get organizing! Click the image to download! (These are high resolution 8x10 files!)

Rules for the download: please, please, PLEASE make sure you subscribe to the blog by GFC, RSS, or bloglovin and share on Facebook or Pinterest to send your friends-Dear Wallet Printables are for followers only! Do not reproduce, or claim as your own, all rights belong to Dear Wallet and Ariana Neala. Thanks so much, see you next time!

Pink Lemonade:

 Gray Monochrome:

Teal Birds:

**Backgrounds are freebies from Design House Digital**
•This may be shared on the link parties certain blogs require direct links: http://www.craftytexasgirls.com/ !•


Thursday, July 26, 2012

From Old Treasure to New Treasure, a question

Have you ever wandered into an unsuspecting thrift store only to be passionately attacked by an item that oozes with potential? I'm talking a little paint there, a lot of paint here, a few snips of this and that, maybe a glitter coat or new fabric, get rid of that piece, definitely add that one…in your mind you see this gorgeous finished piece standing proudly in your home. Except as beautiful and gorgeous, and proud as you are of this fantastic transformation…it doesn't actually belong in your home?

Whether you don't have the room, or the price isn't right, or it would look perfect in yellow…but you hate yellow...I've been there. A lot. In fact its the number one reason I'm working on opening a shop-I see potential in everything (my lack of storage agrees). But here's the kicker. You have to admit, this item you've already transformed in your mind, is totally adorable on its own. The shape is unique, the color is beautiful, that little tassel thingy on the top: perfection. If you redid it it would be indistinguishable from its previous life. And if you happen to love the size/color/shape-the price would be perfect. No scratches in the paint, fabrics in pristine condition…etc.

So here's the question? Do you purchase it or not? Do you remake this piece of perfection into a whole new piece of perfection that you may or may not keep or sell? (Again) my lack of storage is currently dictating not. But even if I had the storage, could I bare to destroy something so beautiful and innocent just to create something that I imagine to be beautiful in an entirely different way?

It's one thing to make treasure to trash. But what about treasure into different treasure? Is their a moral thrifting code that depicts you can't take someone else's treasure away from them? Or am I simply putting too much thought into the matter?

What do you think? Do you ever run across this situation?
This may be posted to any of the link parties


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

INSPIRATION [patriotic accessories]

In this month of celebrating America, we can't forget about the goodies we're carrying around right? Don't worry, I've got you covered!

INSPIRATION patriotic accessories

TOTE BAG: This little gem serves not only as a great reminder of where you live, but extra functional to fit your workout gear, groceries, beach stuff, or serve as a purse! Simply take off the areas to create the stripes, and paint accordingly with fabric paint!

BUNTING NECKLACE: This beautiful necklace is great for any occasion, and any age! Grab a discount pack of scrapbook paper in patriotic prints or solids, fold and cut triangles along the fold (when unfolded they create long diamonds), place on your chain in the crease, glue together and you have yourself a super easy, and super cute accessory!

CLUTCH: Great for a night out, or your office wallet, take a simple clean lined clutch, lay flat and place a layer of modpodge on top of it, place your piece of fabric, and cover again with the modpodge, make sure you fold it a few times so it can settle into place before drying. Coat one more time, and hot glue a gold belt around it to keep it closed.

STAR SPANGLED BANGLES: Grab a few cheap bangles at your local thrift store, a couple bottles of nail polish, and cover with clear polish when finished! Great update to any wardrobe!

Have another idea, or tried one of these? Send me a link or picture! I'd love to feature it!

To find out information about the products used, please click the image to head to Polyvore!•May be linked up to any of the link parties

Monday, July 23, 2012

Christmas In July FREE Gift List Planner Printable!

Hold on, don't click out yet!! I know what you're thinking- way too early, screw this!
And I agree…sort of.
Here's the thing, I'm on a budget. Tight budget. Pennies to nothing kind of budget. But I love to spoil the people in my life. Over the last couple years my Christmas budget has gone from $200 to $2 for each loved one in a very steep and fast decline. A couple years ago I decided to go all handmade, which ended up okay. The problem was I didn't get around to planning it until after October, and I didn't have any of the materials I needed so it ended up costing quite a lot to go handmade. This year I've decided to go handmade again, but this time I'm doing it right, and I'm inviting you to join me! The best part is, I'm doing this for handmade: you can put the same tips towards your holiday season, handmade or not and use it to save hundreds of dollars (as well as time and stress when it counts)! Now where to start. I know, its crazy to get your mind in a Christmas mood when its 100 degrees outside, but bare with me, if you do this now, you'll save yourself later-stick around for more helpful printables, card templates, DIY projects and stocking stuffers! You know what they say: make a list and check it twice!

The Christmas Gift List

Include anyone and everyone you could imagine putting on that list, include not only specifics (family and friends), but even go as far as co-workers and acquaintances. Why? Because a lot can happen in 6 months. Someone you may not know now; may end up your new best friend. Or unfortunately, opposite. A co-worker could become your new boss, or you get a new job! Put them all on now, and leave room for more later. I include extras like "10 coworkers" or "5 neighbors" and "3 white elephants" (under one category rather than individually) so I remember to grab extra goodies for those individuals-the people you may never talk to, but social etiquette demands gifts be exchanged. Before you get a paper and pencil out, hit print because this handy dandy printable created by yours truly will save the day in more ways than one. Choose from a festive red version, or more calming blue! Click the image to download!

Rules for the download: please, please, PLEASE make sure you subscribe to the blog by GFC, RSS, or bloglovin and share on Facebook or Pinterest to send your friends-Dear Wallet Printables are for followers only! Do not reproduce, or claim as your own, all rights belong to Dear Wallet and Ariana Neala. Thanks so much!

1. Use the list to record names of everyone on your list, print out as many versions as you need until you have everyone labeled! 
2. Below names you will see a sort of interview for each, fill it out as best as you can! 
Describe: try using 3-5 adjectives that describe that person: such as "loyal" or "adventurous"
Hobbies: List any and all hobbies you know about this person, include their career. If you're unsure, that's why starting early is great. Strike up a casual conversation and learn something! They'll never know, and plus this is great information to keep on hand for gifts all year round!
Ideas: List any ideas you may have off the top of your head, for example if you listed your 4 year old nephew as 'adventurous' maybe a play safari costume could be fun! If you don't know yet, that's fine! Leave it blank for now!
Here's an example I did for my friend Emma: (ok that's a lie. I have no friend named Emma, but I'm not going to post a real friend in case they come across this!)
3. Budget. For most of us that word is kind of depressing. But entirely necessary. Choose a realistic number for your gift giving. If your budget is $200, TOTAL-then you need to be realistic with your gift ideas. Put the number you're comfortable with at the top of the page where it says 'Total Gift Budget'. And most importantly: STICK TO IT. Now break it down, next to each name write in your max budget for that person. If your total is $200, and you have 10 people to shop for then you may not be able to go over $20 per person. But keep in mind that an acquaintance will have a different amount than your best friend versus your sister! Use pencil because there will definitely be lots of erasing in this process!

4. Now that you have your budget done, time for fun! Keep this list handy next to the computer or in your purse so you can add notes whenever inspiration strikes! If you see a great item at xzy.com -make a note of it under ideas! Make sure to write the location you found it at and the price so you can go back later! If your budget is smaller this is great for shopping around for the best price! If you come across the best idea ever, you can take the time to look for coupons and discounts that may happen between now and the holidays! Or it may give you time to figure out how to create something handmade similar!

5. Once you've found the perfect gift, and purchased or made it, you can record it under "gift" along with the "cost". This is handy for next year so you don't repeat a gift on accident, and the cost keeps you on budget! When you get near the holidays you can use the boxes on the top "wrapped" and "given" to keep straight whose gifts you have done, and at what step in the process they are!

Sounds easy right? Start now, thinking and brainstorming a little more each day, and save time, money and stress during the holidays! Just think: no more crowded lines, or terribly high priced items! Hit download and make sure you share on pinterest! And remember to hit subscribe because more great printables will be coming to help you keep the holiday season stress free!

                                    •This may be linked up to any of the link parties!•

Friday, July 20, 2012


Ok it hasn't been cold this July (I am in California...) but it did start out colder than usual. And of course when we finally hit over 100 degrees, a fire broke out. Robbers Fire. This outfit is entirely thrifted, top to bottom. None of my usual style either, but each piece I just loved and had to have. I wish you could see those shoes. They are pure pearlecent sequin. Oh yes. (And yes, I made up that word. Go with it.)

dear wallet my thrifted outfit july
See that model pose? Oh yea fashion model for sure! (Don't bother rolling your eyes- I'm already doing that for you!!) -and no, the dog wasn't thrifted, but blurry or not still a cute shot of him!

What I'm Wearing:
Top: Brittany Blade originally $30-I paid $4 at Discovery Shop Auburn
Jeans: American Rag Originally $45+-I paid $2 at Piece by PEACE Auburn
Purse: No name- I paid $5 at Goodwill Roseville
Heels: Caparros Originally $70+- I paid $5 at Goodwill Roseville
Bracelet: No name-I paid $.50 at Goodwill Roseville
Earrings: No name-I paid $.50 at Assistance League
My Thrifted Outfit Total: $17 (Originally worth over $145!)

I love American Rag jeans, and even though I hate flares, I had to have these. I originally intended to make them into shorts, but I may refit them into bootcut pants. But for $2, who can pass them up?! The top isn't my usual style either, but I saw it for two weeks at the shop before trying it on. Every time I grabbed it but put it back, finally I tried it on it was too comfy to set back down! The sequin heels were purchased for last New Years, $5 for pure fun! The purse was not something I'd normally pick up, but I couldn't resist its vintage cuteness! And truth be told, I use it all the time and get compliments everywhere I go!

I take no credit for these glamorous photos! Taken by my mother, whom I'm currently teaching photography to! Cropped and edited by yours truly, and unfortunately that 15 year old looking kid is me (although I'm 24 not 15)!
•Post may be linked up to Wednesday-Monday link parties
ariana neala dear wallet

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I love featuring other bloggers, it shocks me when I stumble across a fabulous blog with brilliant ideas and only a handful of followers! I decided to jump on the 'ombre' theme this week. I admit- I can't get enough of this technique-better late than never!

Dollar Store Necklace (made from pony tail holders!) by Madigan Made

Totally ingenious! Totally cute! Totally cheap and easy! (why aren't you making one RIGHT NOW?!)

DIY Ombre skirt by Harpers Bazaar

Talk about simple, I'm not a fan of the tie-dye look, so this is perfect- I get to play but get a look I love! I might need this in every color!

Ombre Painted Chevron Curtains from Owens Olivia (guest post on remodelaholic)

I've been eyeballing these curtains since their grand debut on Remodelaholic, I'm in love with them! This tutorial is perfect with great pictures too! (make sure you check out both sites)!

Ombre Necklace (Pistachio shells!) by Creme de la Craft

I can't get over how creative people are, and this is no exception! I'm not going to lie...I put pistachio's on my grocery list after I saw this!

Now get out there and start creating! Make sure you head to these great blogs and leave some love-and WHEN you Pin these projects, please do so from their blogs to give them full credit- tell them I sent you! If you've been featured, make sure to grab a button from the sidebar!
ariana neala dear wallet

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

DIY PROJECT: Vintage Camera Bank

 Remember that awesome post I did about FUN into FUNctional (there's an update to that coming next week…oh yea and its awesome -I can't wait)! Well, for anyone following twitter and Facebook (you're NOT?! Get on that! Now!) found out that my original project failed. Before it started. Only because I thought I had the material..and I didn't…and yea that hasn't been working…YET! I will get it finished…someday! Anyway, I realized I had to find something else and while scoping out ZGallerie I saw these cute silver camera figurines…and for some reason that reminded me of my vintage camera collection (oops..how does one forget 30 vintage cameras in your bedroom???). And thus this idea was born…The Vintage Camera Bank. 
One day while surfing Ebay I came across a lot of vintage cameras, I have an obsession for brownies (nomnomnom-oh yea, the cameras too), and jumped on a lot that contained two. It also had this great Polaroid Land Camera. Unfortunately the dumb seller literally threw all of the cameras into a box without padding or anything and shipped it. It came to me in a hundred pieces (did I mention there is a guide to buying off of Ebay coming soon? No, well hit subscribe because there is!) I was sad, and took it to the camera doctor who told gave me a time of death. (RIP land camera!!) It has been sitting, collecting dust ever since.

broken camera
steel wool pad
Quarter (for sizing)
wood burner
box cutter
Spray Paint (I used silver metallic)
Tape (whatever you have on hand)
Total cost everything on hand): FREE

1. So the first thing I did, was took a steel wool pad to it, got the dirt and rust off (I know it looks so innocent and put together here doesn't it? Don't let it fool you, this baby was a goner). I left it in the sun to dry while I gathered my materials.
 2. Next I opened it up: mind you every camera you use will have a different interior, and I actually got lucky that the land camera was built this way to be easily torn apart. I took out the back slide, and used the screwdriver to take out the metal springs, and the box cutter to cut out the string until everything was cleared. Note: I forgot to get a shot of it empty
 3. I decided where I was going to place the coin hole after measuring (using the quarter) both inside and outside to make sure it would fit. I used the box cutter to cut a straight line where the hole would go. Now for the wood burner, I used a small fine tip, and found I didn't have a spot outside (preferable), so I had to do it inside. The smell from melting plastic is not good, and definitely not good for your lungs, so either find a spot outside, wear a mask, or do it in a venerated spot. I chose the bathroom because it has a fan. As soon as it started to heat up I used it to go over the line I had already made, just deep enough to get started. Then I left the room and waited for it to heat up all the way. When I did I took a huge breath, ran in, stabbed it all the way through, dragged along the line and left the room for a few minutes. (Dramatic? Yes. But my nose/lungs thanked me). I repeated until the line was to my liking, and the quarter fit through the slot perfectly. Note: you could use a flat tip to cut off the excess on the top, or sandpaper. I chose to do neither because it really didn't bother me.
 4. Next I had to decide what color to paint it, it went back and forth between metallic silver and hot pink…I decided on silver because its classic and timeless and goes well with everything. Then I had to decide whether or not I wanted the glass to show and if I wanted to keep the handle on it. (Apparently I'm indecisive!) I decided I wanted both, so I taped off the glass and covered the handle with paper and started painting.
 5. I propped it open because I didn't want the camera to get stuck closed, using a piece of wood to prop up the handle out of the way. I lightly dusted the camera, and came back 10 minutes later and put a thicker coat of paint on. About an hour later I put a piece of tape in the door and closed it so I could sit it upright to paint another coat and make sure everything was even. NOTE: these pictures were taken before the final coat of paint which is why there are fingerprints! You also may notice the glass is silver, I decided I liked it better fully covered.
What I learned:
-Turns out it took 24 hours to dry, apparently what covers the camera doesn't love spray paint, so I ended up covering the silver with a clear coat just to get it to dry!
-If you don't have a wood burner, you could use a thin metal rod, heat over a candle to do it.
-I almost didn't post this project because I'm afraid people will run out to their closest thrift store and buy a perfectly good vintage camera and destroy it. PLEASE DO NOT. You CAN purchase broken cameras off of ebay etc for projects like these. Please leave the working ones for those who use them (IE : ME!)
•Shared on link parties Tuesday-Monday!•

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

INSPIRATION [patriotic shoes]

In keeping with the patriotic theme this month, I couldn't resist a fun Inspiration post for shoes!

INSPIRATION patriotic shoes

Hello easy! No matter what type of shoes you prefer, there is a look for anyone and the technique is the same! First collect your tools, tape off the areas you're going to start with, and use star stickers in the areas where stars are going to be. Choose your paint: fabric paint/pens or nail polish! Once you've finished painting and its dried, cover it with clear nail polish to seal it!

Have you made some? Send me a link or picture! I'd love to feature it!

To find out information about the products used, please click the image to head to Polyvore!•This has been posted to link parties Tuesday!•
ariana neala dear wallet

Sunday, July 15, 2012

5 Ways to be a smarter thrifter

We've all been there, your standing in front of the perfect [insert item here], and you're debating whether or not this piece deserves a spot in your closet/home/garage/friends home-how do you decide? When is the right to time to say no? And when is the right time to say yes to the impulse buy? Have no fear, whether you're shopping at the mall or at your favorite thrift store, Dear Wallet has figured that out for you!
dear wallet shopping tipsWhen to say yes:
1. When your head over heels in love (DUH)!
2. When your mind dives into overdrive seeing all the potential in the item for where you can wear/place/give it too
3. When the price tag says "you'd be crazy not to"!
4. When you've been searching for the perfect XZY for-EVER!
5. When you walk away and realize how disappointed you'd be if it wasn't there when you got back.

When to say no:
1. When you really like it...but don't love it.
2. When you feel little-to-no inspiration regarding where you will put/wear/give it to
3. When the price makes you cringe
4. When you have no need or really want for it
5. When you walk away...and forget to come back!

Seems self explanatory written down right? But HOW do you walk away when you fit into maybe 2 points on each scale? Here's how:

1. Leave your wallet in the car-this forces you to put not only mental, but physical exertion into your decision making. Trust me, if you don't LOVEitHAVEtoHAVEit-you will pass on it!
2. Pay in cash-this is an old trick that works! Credit cards trick the mind into thinking plastic isn't money, making impulse buys more common. Cash is real and a physical loss, if you don't need it or really want it, this can and will help you from making impulse buys.
3. Create a wishlist, set a budget...and stick to it! -sounds easy, but can be difficult. Pre-think of all those great items you want and need for your home; furniture, summer dresses, shoes, etc-create a list either visually (like Pinterest-hey add me if you haven't already!) or a text list. And set a budget for each item, for example "I won't spend any more than $50 on a console table for the living room, and $15 on a new summer dress", finally, set a monthly or trip budget such as "I will spend no more than $200 on furniture this month, and no more than $50 on new shoes, or this shopping trip my budget is $25"-even if you go over your budget, (and I'm not referring to financial budgets: just shopping budgets to try and keep you from impulse buying) if you put this work into it, and really make the choice to go over-its because you really, really want it.
4. Evaluate the reasoning behind the purchase-is it functional or emotional? Maybe you love the dress because the color makes your smile, or you had a really stressful day at work and those shoes look amazing right now...these are emotional purchases, ones that once the emotional feeling you get during the impulse buy wears away, you won't feel towards it anymore. More importantly, decide which side the purchase falls behind-functional or emotional, and decide how that makes you feel. If the color makes you happy- that's not a bad thing, just make sure its something that will continue to make you happy over the course of its lifetime!
5. Choose your shopping buddies wisely-much harder than it sounds, but certain friends and family can bring out the impulse buyer in you. If you're not sure if they are affecting your shopping habits, grab your last ten receipts and look for clues! Who was with you, why did you buy these items, who were they for? You may notice things about your shopping habits you never noticed before, and choose wisely. If you need to cut back on your impulse buying, then choose a shopping buddy that doesn't encourage it, or go by yourself!

Would you add anything to this? Let me know!
•linked up to Sunday & Monday Link parties

ariana neala dear wallet

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Update-Social Media

UPDATE: I've been meaning to do a post for this for a while, but for anyone who follows my facebook page learned that on Wednesday a fire broke out in my area, and hundreds of people have been evacuated. Towards the beginning of the fire it was dangerously close to us, however the wind took it the opposite direction. Unfortunately that now means its following the American River down into the canyon making it incredibly difficult to get to. Because of the fire, I've taken a break from my crafting and blogging duties, which means the tutorial that should have been posted today-will not be coming until next week when I am able to finish it! So I will take this time to post a social media list to make sure you guys are following me!



You can also find links to those in the sidebar-->
Make sure you hit 'subscribe' to keep up to date with Dear Wallet, and receive these posts directly to your email OR through linky followers to subscribe to my RSS feeds!

Not sure which to follow? Well, while I do try to keep my blog posts up to date on all social media, I also post other goodies that aren't found on the blog everywhere else!


Want to be featured? Have you created something that you saw on Dear Wallet? I'd love to see it! In fact, stay tuned for a contest coming up based on INSPIRATION posts! Hit the contact tab, or send me a picture at ariana.grimm [at] yahoo [dot] com! Interested in guest posting? I'd love to share your talent with my followers! Recipes, crafts, DIY, even a HOW TO post of your own! Let's chat and share!


Interested in sponsoring a giveaway, review or linky? Let me know! I'd love to work something out, as long as I think my followers would love it! Interested in advertising space? Email me to chat!
ariana.grimm [at] yahoo [dot] com

•All this info will be reposted under my brand new About Me! (ahem...which hasn't been written yet ;))•

ariana neala dear wallet

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


dear wallet treasure hunt #1
I've been scoring some great furniture lately during my thrifting and garage sale-ing escapades, and I can't wait to show you the before and afters of some of these pieces! Embarrassingly I have to admit that other than buying fabric (another great score-check facebook to see more about that), I haven't begun any of these reconstructions. But alas, here's a sneak peek of their pre-amazing goodness!
First up is this adorable (but outdated) footstool, its low to the ground 9.5" high, the seat is 14.5" by 11". I have some huge plans for this piece and luckily I only paid $2 for it! Originally intended as a photo prop, this little gem may find a place in my own after all, found it at a local garage sale (Auburn, CA).
dear wallet footstool
This second footstool was obviously handmade, and definitely outdated as well. But its sturdy and the shape has great potential. I paid a little more for this one (ok a lot more, but I couldn't resist!) -this piece has even bigger plans, and I can't wait for you to see the outcome! The seat pops out making fixing it up even easier, but the rungs are made from different woods, and consequently different sizes (oops)-join the conversation about the fabric I found for it on facebook-Goodwill Roseville.
dear wallet footstool
This cane chair was love at first sight, much higher than I would normally pay at $30, but it has gotten great use out of it (obviously) . (This piece was actually found a while ago...oops!) I've been indecisive for a while about what to do to it, but I've finally decided and can't wait to start the reconstruction! It was in pristine condition when I first got it, but after countless photo sessions, and commandeering it as my computer chair the back has begun falling apart. -SPCA Thrift in Roseville.
dear wallet cane chair
I've secretly always wanted one of those adorable and glamorous vanity mirror trays, and when I saw the trim on this I snatched it up-only to realize after it was a cute narrow version measuring 18"x8". I'm thinking of painting it bronze or gunmetal-what do you guys think? -Goodwill in Roseville for $3.99

dear wallet vanity mirror

Last up is jewelry! I love love love the mint blue color and the fabulous diamond cuts to this bangle! I snatched this piece up for $.50 cents!-Discovery Shop Auburn
dear wallet bangle mintThis wooden bangle was way too cute to pass up, and for only $.25 it was love at first sight! -Assistance League Auburn

dear wallet bangle wood

These corrugated ombre post earrings were screaming my name and lucky me were only $.50! I can't get enough of the texture and colors! -Discovery Shop Auburn

dear wallet ombre earring posts

Finally, these simple circle dangles were fun and teeming with potential, dirty gold (bronze-ish?) and plastic, perfect for when inspiration hits. And at $.50 I wasn't leaving without them!-Assistance League Auburn

dear wallet dangle earrings gold

What's your favorite? Any suggestions for what I should do to any of them? Have you gone thrifting lately? Post links to your thrift hauls!
..and make sure you read up on how to clean your thrift goodies before you use them!
•Treasure Hunt may or may not be linked up to any of the link parties under THRIFT HAUL!•
•I'm looking for a sponsor to help host a linky to share your own thrift hauls, or DIY projects! If you're interested in sponsoring one or the other hit the contact tab!•

ariana neala dear wallet

Monday, July 9, 2012

INSPIRATION [patriotic decor]

Patriotism isn't something that should be celebrated one day a year, it should be every day, something American's should be proudly living and breathing. Yes there are opposing political parties, and they don't always get along. Yes there will always be things in our government we don't agree with. But that's the amazing thing about democracy, we have the right to disagree, the right to fight. Whether we agree or disagree with what our current affairs are, it is our American right. Stepping off of my soapbox, I've found a few ways to bring patriotism back into the home in small ways, ways that may not prove to the world we are proud of our country, but instead offer a simple reminder everyday of who we are and what we are fighting for.

INSPIRATION patriotic decor

PIGGY BANK: This piggy bank was way too much fun to pass up. A quick way to reinvent your boring childhood piggy bank into something sparkly, fun, and alllllll american! Simply using any paint or nailpolish on hand, paint the basic areas of the bank the preferred color, and bedazzle using scrapbook rhinestones, or cheap bulk rhinestones with a dab of hot glue! Instant beautification!

FRAME: This frame is such a great reminder of who we are, place a family heirloom photo in it, or update with your most recent family photo for a strong reminder every what you have to be thankful for! Using painters tape, tape off the areas, and using any paint on hand, or nail polish color accordingly! Use rhinestone stars to pretty it up, or place stickers on it before painting, and peel off when it dries to leave the shape!

PILLOW: Comfortable and cozy! Find a cheap plain pillow, use tape to create the sections and star stickers for the stars, and dab fabric paint in the areas. When it dries, pull it off, heat seal and wash!

Have another idea, or tried one of these? Send me a link or picture! I'd love to feature it!
•Posted to link parties Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday!•

ariana neala dear wallet

To find out information about the products used, please click the image to head to Polyvore!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

HOW TO turn fun into functional!

I'm a functional girl, (Hmm I feel like I should re-word that…) I prefer an item that serves a purpose over an item that doesn't -any day! Knick-knacks are my worst enemy! That being said, I'm an appreciator of art, and as long as art serves its purpose of being interesting/beautiful/thought provoking, I'm absolutely happy with it.

But then there are fun items. Items that maybe aren't quite 'art' and don't fully serve a function other than you love them! Take me for example, I have a fascination for vintage handkerchiefs, the beautiful patterns, the tedious embroidery, the stories behind them..oh my! True I could use them, but to me in their own way they are art and therefore un-functional. In fact, I tend to store them in a bag to ensure they don't get dirty-making them not only un-functional, but cluttering as well! The handkerchief situation was simply remedied by placing them into frames creating beautiful vintage wall art. Functional? Maybe not. But they are beautiful and my collection is now a focal point, without being in the way, and that is a win-win!
dear wallet handkerchief art So how can you turn your collection into something functional? Depends on what you collect, and your definition of functional!
Here are a few popular collectables:
-Disney pins
-cheese grater

In my opinion, beauty is functional so finding the perfect way to display your collectibles is the hard part! But if you're less concerned with the antique/vintage-ness of your items there is always a fun way to turn something fun into something functional!

Vintage stamp collecting is a huge trend, as are other paper collectibles! Cards, advertisements, postcards, posters etc! Vintage papers are fun and easy to preserve by placing in a frame or album! To get some great use out of your items, try using them in place of scrapbook paper in your albums or in any paper craft! They give your projects a one-of-a-kind look that can only be accomplished using vintage items, and not only do you have an excuse to look at them every day: but they have served a purpose as well!

I've slowly been succumbing to the Disney pin craze, my own collection sits at 9 pins total (after some savvy Ebay shopping of course!), and barely counts as a collection, but I did inherit my Grandmothers brooch collection as well! I've seen people break these apart to create absolutely stunning jewelry and hair accessories, but you can decorate frames, hats, finials, even use them as door pulls on your dresser!

Keys are incredibly popular to collect, and how can your resist? Old skeleton keys have too much character for their own good: which is why they make incredible starting points for jewelry, accessory and key chains! String them together to create dramatic garlands or curtains, decorate purses or frames, or create collages on canvas! Imbed into concrete to create unique stepping stones or use as stamps for your paper crafts!

Many altered arts use vintage book pages, these can be used in place of scrapbook paper as well! Going beyond the typical crafts how about a book clock, a book shelf, or creating a media center holder from one. Want to keep it intact? Try placing on a high shelf to create a border around a room, place underneath a short lamp to create height when needed, or stack on the floor covering with a piece of glass to create a great side table!

Vintage dishes are beautiful pieces of art! Perfect for displaying in cabinets (which tend to take up room...), or on the wall! Try for a large wall-scape and see how it transforms your room! Tea cups look adorable sitting on top of each other, and make cute water fountains, bird feeders, or lamp bases! Fill with wax to make great smelling candles, smash apart to mosaic a lovely table top!

Figurines collections can grow quickly, thankfully their little shapes are perfect for re-crafting into just about anything! Lamp bases, decorate frames, light pulls, carve out to create trinket boxes, use as plant signs to specify type, jewelry, bookends etc! The possibilities are endless!

I know the cheese grater might seem a little random (at least it did to me!) but in fact they are extremely popular to collect! Perfect for turning into a great kitchen hanging light, or even on a string of christmas lights at your next party! Home goods are great to creating a homey flea market look to your home, turn items into a vase, cut up to create jewelry, or create storage, even add a coat of chalkboard paint to any item to instantly turn it into a fully functional memo board!

I don't fully endorse 'destroying' vintage items, but many vintage items are simply that: old. Before jumping into a project head first, take the time to check out your items story to ensure you're not destroying an item worth thousands of dollars, or a family heirloom!

I do however endorse thinking outside the box! Take the time to consider what you need in your home, or something you already have and want decorated. Also take the time to consider what the item means to you, and why you like it. Maybe its the color, the soft yellow makes you smile, so make sure you add that item to a room that needs some cheering up or has a yellow color scheme! Maybe its the shape, consider a bit of spray paint and a trip to the hardware store to create a whole new item that keeps the integrity of the shape. Turning something fun into functional can be as easy as screwing it to your dresser to make a knob pull, or as elaborate as building a water fountain! Be creative, and have fun!

Stay tuned this week for a tutorial post that inspired this how to segment! Didn't see your collectable on this list? Let me know! Lets keep adding to this and make a great resource for anyone interested in turning their fun item into a functional one!

ariana neala dear wallet

Thursday, July 5, 2012

DIY Project: Wicker Hanging Lantern

Dear Wallet Hanging Lantern

So inspired by my $5 Dollar Store Crafts project (See my Ring Display here), that my mother decided to try her hand (and imagination) at it as well! So we headed down to the local Dollar Tree, and scoped out some projects. Since my own, I've thought of 3 more that I have to do, so stay tuned in the future for more of those! Meanwhile, my mother was distracted by these great wicker wreaths and a project was born!

(3) wicker wreaths-preferably in differing sizes, she picked out great looking ones and set on top of each other to find ones that slightly varied in size.
1 package of floral wire-she ended up having some on hand, but got a package anyway!
1 votive candle holder-she had lots of these too, but couldn't resist the great pattern on the side of this! Make sure whatever you use has a lip on it!
Dollar Tree total: $5 (or $3 if you stick with materials on hand!)

She had raffia wrapped wire on hand, which can be expensive, jute, hemp, string, ribbon etc-whatever you have on hand and matches your style will work!
Wire cutters
Tea light-most people have hundreds of these lying around, but if you don't Dollar Tree stocks these as well!
'S' hook
Dear Wallet hanging lantern1) Lay out your wreaths, find your largest and second largest, and simply slide the smaller of the two inside of the bigger one. This can be difficult depending on how closely they are in size. These worked perfectly! Place them so they are crossing each other (when you look down on it, you see an X or +). Next, take your smallest and do the same to create a six pointed star looking down.
Dear Wallet hanging lantern
2) Next, using the floral wire, "sew" the wire through the dome, weaving through them to ensure they stay together. You could repeat on the bottom to keep it sturdy. If you don't have floral wire, you could use hot glue, super glue or even wire bag ties from the grocery store! Once you've 'sewn' them together, tuck the wire back into the wreaths so they aren't noticeable.
Dear Wallet hanging lantern
3) For the light, take your votive/candle holder/mason jar etc and use the floral wire or ribbon to wrap around the top (under the lip!). Tie in a knot, with excess wire on one side, pull the excess wire over the jar opening to the exact opposite side, and tie in another knot to create a handle over the jar opening. *NOTE: ribbon can burn! If you use ribbon make sure the jar you use is tall enough to keep the flame away from it, and never leave the candle burning unattended!**
Dear Wallet hanging lantern
4) Finally, cut an extra long piece of whatever you're using to hang it (here we used raffia wire), choose a top to the light, wrap around the wreaths as shown, allow a loop within the sphere to attach the light onto, tying securely. Attach the other end of the wire to an 'S' hook.
Dear Wallet hanging lantern
5) Drop your tea light within the jar, light using a long match or lighter, and hang anywhere!
Dear Wallet hanging lantern

Dear Wallet hanging lantern
What I learned:
The only necessary item for this to purchase are the wreaths. Usually anything else you need you can find at home!
Never leave the candle burning alone, these are flammable items, and even though a tea light doesn't give off much heat-there is still a chance!
Wire is much safer than ribbon for this project (in and around the candle), for safety sake buy the floral wire, or another type to use! However, ribbon and rope is perfect for hanging up!
These will look great hanging in a garden in bulk, or around a patio for those beautiful summer nights!
•This project is posted to link parties everyday!•

ariana neala dear wallet
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