elsie larson’s project life


i saw this on a blog i frequently read called a beautiful mess and i just had to share this. elsie larson, who writes on the blog, started this fun endeavor called “project life.” it’s like scrapbooking made easy. i haven’t heard of it before, have you? it seems pretty cool!

20130213projectlife3i can really relate to elsie’s post on her own project. when i was in middle school i used to scrapbook a lot. i wasn’t a serious hobbyist, but it allowed me to hoard cool decorative paper and stickers (well, i still kinda do that) and then pleasingly arrange photos of me and my friends onto a page. but then one day i just had too much stuff, i got seriously backed up with the amount of photos i wanted to print and use, and it stopped fulfilling me. (oh yeah, and then i moved halfway across the country, from new jersey to minnesota, but that’s another story.)

20130213projectlife2the pre-sized photo pockets make layout decisions non-existent – you just print, compose, and assemble! i love how elsie combined complementary patterns and writing. it really makes her pages become a work of art without all the scrapbooky fuss. maybe scrapbooking isn’t a fuss, but that’s what it eventually became to me. however, this project has my head cocked with intrigue…maybe i’ll give this a try sometime.

how do you store and share your photographic memories? any diehard traditional scrapbooking fans out there?


diy | paper doily christmas tree ornaments


have you ever had a totally random craft supply lay around for months or even years? but you hesitate throwing it out because it will probably be useful again…someday? yeah, i hear ya. we’ve all been there.

that’s the story behind these trees. i had a ton of paper doilies left over from this project (oy! talk about tedious maximus) and i wanted to figure out something fun and easy to make with them. i was making some paper doily flowers for bow replacements on my christmas presents, and i realized that the flower, when turned upside down, looked like the top of a christmas tree…hence, christmas trees to put on your christmas tree! genuine tree inception right here, people. craft away!


you’ll need:
paper doilies in different sizes (found at a craft store, dollar store, or chef supply store)
sparkle pom poms
thread and needle
glue dots
tacky glue


1. pinch the doilies in the center and scrunch them up. make them look like flowers. there’s no exact science to this – just be careful not to tear them.


2. layer the doilies on top of one another. start with the small doilies. apply a glue dot to the pinch point of one of the small doilies, and then stick it to the underside of the pinch point of another doily. make sure to apply ample pressure so it adheres. continue doing this until you want the tree to start to cone outwards – that’s when you’ll start with medium sized doilies. continue until you’re satisfied and then add the large doilies. i used about 5 small doilies, 4 medium doilies, and 2 large doilies to create my trees.


3. decorate the trees with the pom poms. (optional) this is the best part, obviously. stick em wherever you want – it’s your tree. note: if you plan on making a lot of trees, you’ll definitely need more than one bag of pom poms. i had enough pom poms for two trees, but decided to only decorate one.

4. thread the needle through the top of the tree and tie a knot. i doubled up my thread just to be safe.


and there ya go! decorate to your heart’s content.

do you have any fun alternatives to crafting with paper doilies? or another weird craft supply? let me know, i’d love to hear!

giftwrap roundup

wrapping gifts is probably one of my favorite holiday pasttimes…no, really, i’m serious! my boyfriend is always bewildered by the fact that i’m almost more excited to wrap the present than the actual present itself. hey, if i’m given a chance to be creative and make a mini work of art…i’m game! here are a few ideas from around the web that i love and may use this holiday season…

.photocopying vintage paintings and wrapping them with twine, from something’s hiding in here’s photostream

simple paper with a section of a puzzle (glue it so it doesn’t fall apart), from hilda granhat’s instagram

furoshiki, aka artfully wrapping gifts with fabric, can also serve as part of the gift, from martha stewart

let the paper speak for itself, like this fun number from anthropologie (i love ev-ery-thing they’re selling for holiday packaging!)

stay tuned for a couple diy projects! :) happy wrapping, y’all!

diy | cinnamon-scented pinecone garland

so it only took maybe two trips to whole foods before i broke down and bought a bag of the cinnamon scented pinecones they have piled up outside the front entrance. they smell AMAZING. i thought they’d be perfect for a holiday garland — an attractive decoration without taking up any table space- perfect for my super small apartment. you can customize this project however you’d like, of course.

twine, embroidery floss or string
rings (these are jewelry findings from the local craft store)

glue gun
hot glue
tiny nails
tack hammer or regular hammer
piece or cardboard, foamcore or other rigid rectangular object

1. plan the garland location and take measurements. i could tell you that you should measure the area where you want the garland to hang, do math, yadda yadda, but to be honest i didn’t do any of that when i started. i hadn’t made up my mind about where i wanted to hang it, so i cut a length of twine at about 10′ long and just started from there. if you want to be more precise about the measurements, feel free! just remember to add extra length to the measurement you take so it can be draped.

2. make tassels. i had 15 pine cones, and i wanted the garland to start and end with a pinecone, so i knew i needed 14 tassels. they are super easy to make. take the yarn and wrap it around the cardboard about 10-20 times. slide it off the cardboard, and then tie a small piece of yarn about 3/4″ down from both ends of the loop, making a “head.” you can trim the loose ends if you want. once the two ends are tied, take your scissors and cut the yarn right down the center…and then you have two tassels! do this 6 more times to get you a total of 14 tassels. (warning: this is an addicting activity, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself doing it for way longer than you intended.)

3. glue rings onto the tops of the pinecones. make sure to let the hot glue cure for a few minutes so the rings aren’t tempted to pop off!

4. lay out the whole garland on the floor. i spaced out the pinecones and tassels about every 4″. make sure to leave extra string on either end of the garland so it’s easy to tie it up.

5. tie pinecones and tassels onto the twine. you will have to thread the twine through each metal ring and yarn loop as you tie them, so the first few ties may be cumbersome. it’ll eventually get easier and faster, promise! a simple knot will do.

6. hammer nails into the wall. it’s up to you how many times you want the garland to drape! just remember that the more drapes you have, the more extra twine you will need!

7. hang the garland!

enjoy! i made this about 3 weeks ago and the scent is still strong. it’s so comforting every time i walk through the door. if you make one let me know!

anthropologie display workshop!

yesterday i went to my neighborhood anthropologie store and participated in one of their holiday workshops! we helped the display coordinator (a super nice gal) make some fun crafts that will be used in their holiday displays and windows. apparently they have done these in the past, but this was my first time hearing about them. (it might have to do with the fact that for the past four years i haven’t live very close to one.) you can look for scheduled events on their website. i had so much fun that i signed up for next week’s event.

we made polyhedral ornaments our of bristol spray painted with a lace pattern, yarn fringe in pretty wintry colors, and birch logs. how cool are the logs?! we glued strips of birch bark to a chicken wire frame encased by masking tape. i love the crafty but still convincing result!

it was just so inspiring- i wanted to go home and craft for the rest of the day! (actually, i did – ha!) and it was lovely conversing with all the ladies i met while there. so fun. goodness. what if theaters did community workshops like this? i don’t think it could work for every theater company, nor could it work for every show, but it would be a fun experiment, don’t you think?

i cannot wait to see the final displays. i will post pictures for sure!

have any of you ever participated in one of the workshops? what did you make?

photos are from my instagram.