Tuesday, November 27, 2012

INSPIRATION [gift giving guide]

Today's INSPIRATION is a little different than most, but since the holidays are in full effect, and time is running out for handmade holiday, I thought I'd give a little inspiration from now until December 25th! Every week I will feature three INSPIRATION projects just for gifts! Today features for HIM, HER, and the PET!
INSPIRATION gift giving guide pt1

FOR HIM: Men have a thing for globes, maybe it gives them a sense of wisdom and class that traveling provides. They give a masculine touch to any room, and look smart in any den or office! That's why this awesome chalkboard globe is so awesome! Not only does it look and feel masculine, but adds a great functionality and conversation starter. (I know, I know. A globe IS functional-but when's the last time YOU used one?? Google is faster!) Globes can often be found cheap in thrift stores, fix up an old one with a quick coat of paint from the craft store! Chalkboard paint comes in any color, apply with a brush or spray can [you can even make your own]! For extra oomph- you can add wood contact paper to the base to give it an extra elegance from the dollar store!

FOR HER: Looking for the perfect gift of bling and beauty for that special girl in your life? Combining washers (silver or gold!) with like-colored 'o' rings and finishing off with your favorite bracelet clasp creates a totally custom and cute bracelet! Simply grab your materials and play with the pattern until you find something you love! Then attach using the 'o' rings! For extra custom, spray paint the washers before you attach in a favorite color!

FOR PET: Toys are always a favorite for the pets in my home, and they can never have too many! Grab a cheap wool sweater from your local thriftstore, and cut out some cute designs from a piece of paper. (Dog bones are easy!). Wash the sweater in HOT water followed by the dryer so it shrinks a bit. Lay flat and cut out the shapes in the sweater. Make sure you cut out top and bottom layers so you have two pieces. Depending on the size of the toys, you could easily make 4+ toys out of one sweater! If you're handy with a sewing machine, flip the pieces so the outside is inside and stitch around the shape until you have about 1-2 inches left open, turn right side out and fill with cotton OR with left over pieces from the sweater! Stitch the rest by hand and whola-a cheap toy for your pet (that they will lovingly destroy in your honor)!

One thing I need to make sure gets through everyone's head: the holidays are not about the gifts. I LOVE spending time figuring out the perfect gift for someone I love. Watching them open it and seeing their eyes light up when they see something so personal and unexpected  (IE: NOT what they asked for on their wish list). But its the effort into giving that means something, not the gift itself. Budgets are incredibly important to remember this time of year, because what you spend on a gift for Christmas CAN affect what you will eat this week. Don't focus on the amount being spent, it's ok to make your per-person budget smaller than usual if it needs to be. It's ok to spend more time than money on a gift. Handmade has an amazing effect on people. Be financially responsible this holiday, and spend more time WITH your family, than LOOKING for gifts. =) 

And as always,  if you make 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!
•This may be posted to any of the link parties


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Liebster Blog Award!

Unfortunately I was nominated a month ago, but regardless I believe I should carry on the tradition and nominate some of my favorite, well-deserving blogs! The hard part is choosing! So many deserving hidden gems! First off, a huge thank you to Helen from Blue Eyed Beauty Blog who lovingly nominated me! See the original post here
  Facts of the Liebster Award:

The Liebster Award's origins are pretty much a mystery. Bloggers nominate other bloggers that have 200 or less followers. It's basically a "Hey, that's a sweet little blog you've got there. Here's an award!" You can't just accept the award. You have to play by the (ever changing) rules and pay it forward. Then you can put the award on your blog for all to see.

The Rules:

1. List 11 facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
3. Create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate for the award.
4. Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or less followers to nominate.
5. Go to each bloggers page and let them know about the award.
6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog. 

11 Facts:
1. I'm a portrait photographer turned conceptual fine art photographer.
2. My favorite color is pink, always has been, always will be. BUT I tell people its green because people tend to bombard me with all things green until I get sick of it, and I don't want that to happen with pink. ;)
3. I'm mom to a chihuahua, he's my fur child, my baby, and my best friend. His name is Reeses! <3
 4. I'm extremely shy, quiet, and reserved. Unless I'm shooting a camera.
5. I bite my nails. Badly. Every day of my life. And I can't stop.
6. I love writing, and have dreamt of publishing a book since I was 4. But I'm a horrible writer, so blogging is my compromise!
7. I drink way too much coffee, but I love the taste and warmth so much I could never stop! 
8. I tell everyone I'm a vegetarian, but I'm not. I eat chicken and shrimp which in most people's mind IS a vegetarian (its not). I haven't eaten any other meat (on purpose) in almost 20 years. Ahem, I'm 24.
9. I dream of making a difference, I haven't figure out where or how yet. But I will. "Self Sustaining" is my start. Someday I hope to start a charity.
10. I have a love/hate relationship with DIY. A sociopolitical reason. Stayed tuned for a post on that.
11. I have more jeans than shoes. And I have a LOT of shoes. ;)

Here are the 11 questions from Helen:

1. Where were you born? Northern California
2. What is your favorite hobby?
My hobby is photography, it also happens to be my job! :)
3. If you could only have five pieces of clothing in your closet what would they be (not including pajamas or undergarments)?
Paris Blues Jeans, Delia's jeans, red high heels, bebe trench coat, and red lace halter!
4. Are you happy living where you do right now?
I'd like to find my own place in the world.
5. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
Getting the chance to share the ideas in my head with the world! =)
6. Have you ever gotten an award before--not just in the blogging world!-?
A few for poetry and photography, marketing events and graphic design.
7. Would you rather go for a walk or a run?
8. How many kids do you want to have?
Not really sure, I'll get to that when I get to it. ;)
9. What are your favorite junk foods (3-5)?
Probably ice cream and chips, and fries.
10. What is one odd habit you have?
If I touch something with my left hand, I have to touch it with my right (or vice versa) or the other hand will start tingling. Yup. Odd.
11. What was your first car?
Civic, still got it. <3 it. Only considering trading it in for a bigger honda.

MY 11 Questions:
1. Where do you live?
2. Favorite recipe?
3. Favorite author?
4. Most common thing you google search?
5. Favorite animals (wild or domestic)?
6. What is your favorite thing to blog about?
7. Favorite Disney character (cartoon or live action)?
8. When did you start blogging?
9. If you could tell your childhood self one thing, what would it be?
10. When is the last time you went a date, what did you do?
11.  What would you do if money was no object, and you could NOT fail?

MY 11 Nominees:

Make sure you check out these blogs! They deserve some love, and have wonderful posts! I will update the links as they play along with the Liebster Blog Award! Thank you again Helen!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

INSPIRATION [turquoise & gold]

I'm not going to lie, choosing the pieces for this INSPIRATION was difficult. I love the turquoise + gold combo right now, it's so beautiful and elegant yet totally casual and wearable! I decided on bangles as the theme since I seemed to be so obsessed with them!
INSPIRATION turquoise&gold

BANGLE 1 [red feature]:
First find yourself a cheap bangle you can't wait to redo! Choose your favorite style, any material will do [for this bangle, a flatter bangle will work better than a curved]! I'm showing the use of nailpolish only because its readily accessible in most girls collection, but plastic paints, spray paints, acrylic can even work! First paint the interior of the bracelet gold, once dry paint the outer black. Using painters tape, cut into long thin strips creating a grid pattern on the bangle. Tape along the edges, and through the middle, then going down, perpendicular. The easiest way to do this is to measure your rhinestones and bracelet circumference first and create the grid off that. Place the rhinestones in the squares left showing, take the tape off, and place smaller rhinestones in the corners. Rhinestones can be attached using super glue, hot glue, or if they are self adhesive!

BANGLE 2 [zebra stripes]:
As always, find a cheap bangle you can redo without missing! Choose any style or material that suits your fancy! Again, I'm showing nail polish, but acrylic, plastic paints, even spray paint will work! Choose what works best for the material bracelet you chose! Cover the whole thing with gold paint. Once dry cut out zebra-like stripes in painters tape. Attach on in your chosen pattern and paint the rest using your turquoise paint. Once dry, remove the tape and place rhinestones over the gold still showing. You can attach the rhinestones using super glue, hot glue, or if they are self adhesive!

BANGLE 3 [dots]:
[Rinse and repeat] "find yourself a cheap bangle you can't wait to redo! Choose your favorite style, any material will do!" I've shown using nail polish, but any type of paint will do (read above descriptions). First cover the whole bangle with gold paint, when dry begin attaching your favorite rhinestone or embellishment. Check your local scrapbook store! You can find sheets of glitter, stone, pearl, or rhinestone embellishments all self adhesive on sale! You can use a piece of painters tape to line up the first row to keep you straight, or just wing it at random! How fun, can't wait to see how yours turns out!

BANGLE 4 [tribal]:
[Read above descriptions for how to choose your bracelet and paints!] First cover the whole bangle with gold paint. Once dry cut your painters tape into square pieces. Cut those in half diagonally creating triangles. Attach the triangles across the top and bottom of the bangle so that the 'point' is pointing 'in'. You can go one step further by cutting thin strips of paint and attaching the outer edges of the triangles to create the sections shown. Then paint the outside of the bracelet turquoise. Once dry, remove the tape and see your masterpiece!

Did you make one of these? What color combo would you choose? 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, November 19, 2012

Dear Wallet Update PT2-Self Sustaining

Where do I start...I've been gone for almost exactly two months (and I've missed you all so much!)-the funny part is, when I stopped posting, I actually got MORE page views than when I was writing 3-5 posts a week! I've received tons of emails, comments, and messages from people concerned about my absence and I'm so honored! I'd love to say that I am 'back', but unfortunately I can't guarantee that. I can promise to try to post as often as I can though!

 I wanted to give a little sneak peak as to one of the many reasons I've been gone, I started a new project called 'Self Sustaining' and includes not only handmade props and styling, but self portraiture as well! This first piece is a concept shot for the cover of my coffee table book. I have not released any more teasers of the props or shoots I've completed yet though. To read more about this project head to my other (neglected) blog Ariana Neala!
A little information in case you don't feel like reading two blog posts:

Entitled- "Cereal'
"A series of masks and accessories were created for this shoot [one pictured], 3D triangles created using a total of 9 cereal boxes and archival glue. Roughly 3 hours for creation of the accessories. All materials were up-cycled from finished cereal boxes from multiple families."

I really urge you to read my little teaser and please, please, PLEASE pin and share and make it go viral! My hopes for the project extend much farther than a simple coffee table book and I need your help to get there! Thank you! =)

In other blog news, I have an INSPIRATION project for you tomorrow AND a (late) Liebster Award on Wednesday! Plus more sneak peaks of what I've been up to coming up after Thanksgiving!

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