Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Inspiration

Friday, August 29, 2014

Washi Acetate Earrings

I've had some very important little visitors (check out my Instagram) here this week so I only had time for a super quick, but very pretty, project~

DIY Earrings, DIY Jewellery, Washi Tape

I have 1 roll of Washi tape that I've barely used so I wanted to try to come up with something interesting to show it off, plus I wanted some new earrings.  Voila!  The Washi Acetate earrings were born~

Here's what you need if you want to make your own:

-Washi Tape
-Acetate Sheet
-Scalloped scissors
-Earrings findings (shepard's hooks + 4 jump rings)
-pliers, small hole punch (not shown)
-ink pad

1) In order to stabilize your washi tape so that you can cut it, take a piece approximately 6" long and stick it down onto your acetate sheet.

Depending on how long you want your earrings
to hang, this should make 1 pair.
2) Using your scalloped edged scissors, cut two long rectangles.  You may have to play with this a bit.  I'm not sure if it was just my scissors but I found it made it difference which side was down and which direction I was cutting in.  Just play with it and find which way works best for you.

3) Punch a small hole in the center near the top of each rectangle.

4) My washi tape is pretty subtle so I inked the edges to bring out the scallop a bit more.

5) Add 2 jump rings (so it will hang the right way) and attach to your earring finding.

That's it!  I added a couple of little crystals to the bottoms of mine to add a bit of sparkle but that's basically it.

This entire project took me less than 10 minutes to do.  Try different decorative scissors with different washi tapes.  If you don't have a piece of acetate laying around you could just use some scrapbooking paper or cardstock.  I just like the glassy resin look I get with acetate.

Do you have a washi tape collection?  It's a trend I sort of passed on, probably because I knew if I started buying it I wouldn't stop.  What do you do with it all?  Leave a comment below~

Thursday, August 28, 2014

In the Kingdom of Men

I took a break from ancient history and just went back in time a few decades~

Summary (from Goodreads): 1967. Gin Mitchell knows a better life awaits her when she marries hometown hero Mason McPhee. Raised in a two-room shack by her Oklahoma grandfather, a strict Methodist minister, Gin never believed that someone like Mason, a handsome college boy, the pride of Shawnee, would look her way. And nothing can prepare her for the world she and Mason step into when he takes a job with the Arabian American Oil company in Saudi Arabia. 

In the gated compound of Abqaiq, Gin and Mason are given a home with marble floors, a houseboy to cook their meals, and a gardener to tend the sandy patch out back. Even among the veiled women and strict laws of shariah, Gin’s life has become the stuff of fairy tales. She buys her first swimsuit, she pierces her ears, and Mason gives her a glittering diamond ring. But when a young Bedouin woman is found dead, washed up on the shores of the Persian Gulf, Gin’s world closes in around her, and the one person she trusts is nowhere to be found. 

Set against the gorgeously etched landscape of a country on the cusp of enormous change, In the Kingdom of Men abounds with sandstorms and locust swarms, shrimp peddlers, pearl divers, and Bedouin caravans—a luminous portrait of life in the desert. Award-winning author Kim Barnes weaves a mesmerizing, richly imagined tale of Americans out of their depth in Saudi Arabia, a marriage in peril, and one woman’s quest for the truth, no matter what it might cost her.

Bedouin Man
Review: So here's the thing, I liked this book but I was really not crazy about the ending.  Like a lot of other Goodreaders I've been left feeling a little confused about how I feel about it all.

I enjoyed the (audio) book, and really started to get into once Gin and her husband moved to Saudi Arabia. It was interesting to read about these strangers in a strange land who came from nothing and suddenly have almost anything their heart desires, or so it seems. You know the whole way through it all that it's leading up to a spectacular event, because it's revealed right in the first page. But when we finally get there I felt like it all started moving way too fast.

All of sudden, out of nowhere I was at the epilogue, and quite a depressing one at that. I think I'm glad I read this book but I really wish more attention would've been paid to the last few chapters instead of spending so much time setting us up for the major event.

I think I'm also a little upset with the main character. She has all the makings of an incredible life, one that even she never could've imagined, and she just seems to throw it all away. I guess the one good thing about this book is the lesson learned, don't let life pass you by. Take every chance you get at adventure and live it~

Bedouin Woman
Have you read this book yet?  What did you think?  Did it end too quickly for you?  Leave a comment below~

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Butterfly Cupcake Toppers

This is the last of the cupcake toppers for awhile (there are only so many cupcakes I can eat!).  But these ones turned out so gorgeous I just had to share them with you.

I used my Silhouette to make the backgrounds, then I inked the edges glued them together with the sticks, and added the beautiful butterflies (which I cut out by hand!)

They're only attached along the bodies so that the wings can be folded out to add some dimension.

I made similar ones HERE last year, but I think these ones really take it to the next level.  I can't wait to have a special tea party so I can put these to use.

If you don't eat cupcakes, you can still use toppers.  Try them on muffins or as sandwich sticks.  Can you think of any other uses?  Leave a comment below~

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I know how much you guys like finding new places to try out FREE sewing patterns so I thought I'd better tell you all about Sew Loft!

Sew Loft
They don't have a huge stock but what they do have is modern and versatile.

They have patterns you can purchase individually or you can buy a subscription and get whatever you need for $15/month.

They also have 4 FREE patterns that I really like:

I can't wait to try this cute summery camisole.

Cami Pattern

Fall has definitely set in around here, so these leggings will come in very handy.

Leggings Pattern

You can check out the other free patterns HERE.

Their blog is great too!  They have free sew alongs, tips and tricks, and how to's that are perfect for beginner sewers.

Hop on over and see what you find!

*This is not a sponsored post and contains no affiliate links.  I just love free sewing patterns and want to spread the word~

Monday, August 25, 2014

Movie Monday: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Sorry, Movie Monday is up a little late today, but I opened up my email last night to find this....

So, today I had to do this....

And then my niece did this...

Have you done the Ice Bucket Challenge and donated yet?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Beautiful Boho Earrings

I've been in a very hippie boho chic state of mind lately, so I made some jewellery to go with my current vibe.

Boho, Bohemian, Festival style, DIY earrings

I haven't worn large gold hoops for awhile so I decided to wrap them up and make them pretty!  Here's what you need to make your own:

-hoops earrings (or a bangle-shown at the end of the post)
-light gauge wire
-wire cutters, scissors
-embroidery thread
-optional: flat head pliers

1) Depending on the size of your earrings, cut a piece of embroidery thread 1.5 - 2 metres long.  You'll be using all six threads as one so try not to separate them.  Simply tie a regular double knot at one end of your thread onto the end of your earring.

2) You'll be doing what's known as a half hitch spiral knot.  But don't think about the technical stuff, because this is one of the easiest knots ever.


Your 'holding cord' is your earring.

Pull tightly as you complete each knot.  You'll notice after just a few stitches that you're creating a pretty spiral effect.

3) Just keep knotting over and over again until you go all the way around your entire earring and you're at the other side.  Now just tie another regular knot.  If you have some jewellery glue on hand you can add a dot, but it should be fine without.

4) Now cut a piece of light gauge wire (I have no clue what gauge I used as I was just stash busting and nothing has any labels.  Just make sure it's easily pliable and can wrap easily.) about 1 metre long.  About 3/4 of the way down from the front or back end of your earring, wrap your wire catching the end inside.

Cris cross a couple of times to keep everything in place.
5) Wrap the wire in wide sections, about every third time around add a bead onto your wire and try to get it to sit on the outside of your earring.

6) Stop wrapping the wire about the 3/4 mark on the other side of the earring.  Just wrap and cris cross to end it.  If you have some flat head jewellery pliers you can give it a little squeeze to keep it all in place.

I loved how these turned out so much that I used the same techniques to make a bangle too!

This is an awesome stashbuster if you're like me and you have loads of beads and old jewellery just taking up space.  I really want to try it using some variegated thread, but then I'd have to buy some, and that would sort of defeat the entire purpose of a stashbuster.

Do you have some supplies you need to use up?  What sort of stashbusters do you like to make?  Leave a comment below~

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cleopatra's Moon

I've been on a bit of an ancient Egypt kick lately~

Summary (From Goodreads): Selene grew up in a palace on the Nile under parents Cleopatra and Mark Antony - the most brilliant, powerful rulers on earth. But Roman Emperor takes the country and princess to Rome. She finds herself torn between two young men and two possible destinies - until she reaches out to claim her own.

Bust of Cleopatra Selene
Review: When I started this book I braced myself for some sort of teeny bopper simplified version of Cleopatra Selene's story. Yes, I'm afraid I judged the book by it's cover. Luckily, although this is from the YA section, this is not a dumbed down version but a lush tale of coming of age and learning to love.

I listened to the audio version of this book and enjoyed the narration. The book starts when Cleopatra Selene is quite young and her mother and father have yet to sail to Actium. There is one scene in particular that I loved, where Cleopatra Selene walks in on her parents in their private chambers, they are seemingly tipsy with wine, and enjoying one another's company in conversation. For probably the first time ever, I saw Cleopatra and Marc Antony as real people instead of just the icons of history that they have become. And that's what they were, real people who just happened to live extraordinary lives.

There were some scenes that I could've done without, and there were some actions that Cleopatra Selene took that I think were probably a little far fetched, but overall I would say that the author didn't make her do anything that would've been entirely out of character.

I have to admit that I have enjoyed other versions of this story better, but I still liked this one too. Even though I knew who she was supposed to end up with, the love triangle was an interesting twist and kept me rooting for the 'right' guy to win Cleopatra Selene's heart.

If you're not ready for a mammoth novel set in historical Egypt (like Colleen McCullough's), this is a very easy read and a nice introduction to era.
Cleopatra Selene's parents...

So this is the second book in a row that I accidentally picked up from the Young Adult section.  I maybe need to talk to my library about how they label their audio books if I want to avoid this section of the online library~

Have you ever accidentally picked up a YA novel?  Or maybe that's your preferred genre?  Leave a comment below~


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