30 Before 30: #26 Dye my Hair a Crazy Color

Proud to proclaim my first 30 before 30 challenge has been completed. At the beginning of the summer a very good friend of mine, who happens to also be a hair stylist, helped me complete my first challenge: Dye my hair a crazy color.

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We went with pink, both because it’s my favorite color and because it was the only bold color in the salon. Happy coincidence.

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I would have to say this slightly bold move out of my typical comfort zone absolutely paid off. Looking down and seeing the pink tips of my hair brought instant smiles to my face. As summer faded so have my pink tips, looking more like the faded strawberry blonde that once was. I will miss this bolder move in my life and certainly will be willing to do it again!

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Sochi Inspired Doodle Stich

It’s that time of year again folks! That magical time every 2 years when all standard programming stops and the Olympics take over my life. This year was no exception complete with opening ceremony party and some down time crafting.

Although I’m technically classified as a mutt…aka American… (basically name the country and it turns up somewhere in my heritage) My father’s side is straight forward Polish and Russian. With the games being in Russia the little Russian babushka in me got excited. My absolute favorite part of these games was the matryoshka doll set up on the slope style course. I ignored every jump every athlete completed near that babushka and would simply giggle with glee at the sight of her ready to hit the slopes, ski goggles and all.

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Seriously though, how great is she? Photo courtesy of Sergei Grits / AP

While watching the games, and admiring the Russian heritage I know little about, I became inspired to complete an embroidery of my own matryoshka doll.

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I am very happy on how well she turned out. Looking forward to creating a mini series of sorts of a couple of dolls with varying patterns and styles. At the minimum my two sisters are already asking when they get one. So expect a 3 doll series, minimum.

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Did you all watch the Olympics? Get inspired to do anything crafty thanks to Russia? Let me know!

A Hand Made Valentine

There’s a tradition in my house. Every Valentine’s Day, since the first year I was born I believe, my mother has made my father a home-made Valentine. Always out of construction paper, sometimes with paper doilies, almost always featuring a picture (or 12) from the last year, and progressively more witty/corny as the years pass. We’re talking almost 30 years of hand made cards.

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Valentine Circa 1989 (I’m the shorty on the right)

It’s one tradition my sisters and I always look forward to. Usually pictures of “all of Daddy’s girls” make it into the card. The crowning jewel in the collection is the year we moved into the new house, Mom worked the lyrics of our family theme-song “Once in a Lifetime” by the Talking Heads into the card:

“and you may find yourself in a beautiful house”

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“with a beautiful wife”

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“and you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?”

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Ever since my hubs (what?!? Still so weird to say) and I moved into our apartment I’ve carried on the tradition of making hand-made Valentines. I always look forward to breaking out the construction paper, glitter, scissors, and glue and rifling through the last year of pictures for a theme/idea. Lets just say this year’s is going to be epic (and easily 100 pages long). I can’t post this years just yet (need to keep it a surprise for my Valentine).

One of my favorites from years passed is our 5th Valentine together.

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They aren’t super fancy and polished, but they don’t need to be. Getting down and dirty with old craft skills and slapping something together is sometimes the best way to express your love. It’s also something to cherish forever. These Valentine’s are also great for a last minute “oh no I forgot to get a present!”

Custom Up my Buttons Baby

You are ALL welcome for getting that award winning song in your head. (Obnoxiously catchy pop music by sexually suggestive named groups anyone?)

In an upcoming post I’ll be divulging you all with my first ever recovered furniture piece. A tufted upholstered bench that lives at the foot of our bed. A bench, I might add, that was plucked from the garbage. Got to love free.

The first (and easiest) step of recovering the garbage picked bench was creating covered buttons to match the new fabric. A quick trip to Joann’s landed me a pack of buttons for covering complete with the covering tools. I believe the kit cost $4 for 10 buttons.

Directions found on the back of the box were very straight forward. First use the fabric template to trace the pattern onto the desired fabric. Step 2, cut around the traced circle.

Step 3 assemble the fabric, button, button back, and circle tool for hammering, then hammer the set up into place. I found it was easiest to kind of push everything together by hand just enough so it stayed in place and then hammer it in for good.

After a few good taps remove the freshly made button from the assembly, give it a push or two for good measure and get pumped that you have made custom fabric covered buttons in no time flat.

More Knock Off Designer Curtains

If it hasn’t been assumed yet through following this blog, I’m a cheap, cheap girl. I would rather spend hours and hours of personal time creating an identical piece of anything that is exorbitant in price. Curtains are obviously no exception. I’ve already shared my knock off Waverly pattern that saved me HUNDREDS for our bedroom curtains. The bedroom isn’t the only place knock off designer curtains exist in our house. I also crafted up our dining room curtains. I really wanted these fabulous curtains from West Elm featured on my inspiration board for the dining room. Grayish with Marigold horizontal lines running across them. Lovely. Unfortunately if I remember correctly they were going to be $40 or more a panel. Not a Lizzie price tag at all.

I decided the basic style of the curtains were easy enough to knock off. I started by purchasing basic brownish gray curtains from Ikea for if I remember correctly $18 for the pair. They weren’t satin/silk but for 4 times cheaper cotton would be fine with me. I then enlisted the help of my fabulous Mom to sew the horizontal stripes. We figured out how high we wanted the strips to sit (26″ from top of curtain). I also chose (since I had creative freedom and all) to make 2 stripes instead of 1, spacing them 1 inch apart.

Using Marigold satin ribbon we spaced it, pinned it, and sewed it. If anyone has a cat in their house they know how these darling creatures always want to be front and center helping with any project or activity.

The entire project didn’t take more than an hour or two including the hashing out of how high and how to space. The worst part of the entire endeavor was how wiggly the fabric insisted on being. Well, the wiggling of the ribbon and the lack of pressure on the foot of the sewing machine we were using. None the less I really love how they came out. I would argue that they are better than the originals.