Best Posts of 2012

Dec 31, 2012

I hope you had a fantastical Christmas! It sure has been crazy over here, with my brother getting sick on Christmas Eve and then I caught whatever he had on Thursday. But I'm back and ready to share a recap of 2012, because It's New Year's Eve and tomorrow 2012 will be gone! Can you believe it's almost 2013?!
So wayyy back in January, I shared this hairy yarn cuff tutorial that I made from a cardboard ribbon spool!
In February, I shared a super quick way to make a Cookie Monster Valentine/Gift bag. Took five minutes!
In March, I shared my most popular post - Sock Bunny Tutorial. It was featured at Huffington Post's Stylelist website in April!
One of my favorite washi tape projects in April was this diy Washi Pencil Cup!
I shared a Spool Necklace tutorial in May!
Then an adorable Lemon Coin Purse made from felt came in June.
In July, I shared four ways to wrap gifts.
I made a super sparkly two-minute sequin belt in August!
In September, during my Fall series, I shared eight top color trends for Autumn.
I shared a yummy twist to S'mores by using Reese's instead of Hersheys in October!
In November I shared a recipe for some uber-delicious (trust me on THIS, people!) Rich Graham Cracker Blondies!
And then, this month I shared some DIY Glitter Lights that are super easy.

Don't forget to check out my very first challenge going on at ACC! Get out your paintbrushes and pencils because it begins tomorrow!
See you next year! ;)

Merry Christmas

Dec 25, 2012

I'm cozy in my bed right now, enjoying my Christmas lights while I let my parents (and sick sibling) sleep in.

See you soon!


Dec 24, 2012

Children, sleeping.
Snow is softly falling.
Dreams are calling, 
Like bells in the distance.

We were dreamers,
Not so long ago.
But one by one, we
All had to grow up.

When it seems the magic slipped away... 

We find it all again on Christmas Day.

Believe in what your heart is saying, 
Hear the melody that's playing.
There's no time to waste, 
There so much to celebrate.

Believe in what you feel inside, and
Give your dreams the wings to fly.
You have everything you need, if you just believe.

Trains move quickly
To their journey's end.
Are where we begin again.
Ships go sailing,
Far across the sea.
Trusting starlight, 
To get where they need to be.

When it seems that we have lost our way...

We find ourselves again on Christmas Day.

Believe in what your heart is saying, 
Hear the melody that's playing
There's no time to waste, 
There so much to celebrate.
Believe in what you feel inside,
And give your dreams the wings to fly.
You have everything you need, if you just Believe.

If you just believe.

Merry Christmas everyone!

I like to doodle... {an ART challenge}

Dec 23, 2012

I'm usually pretty good at keeping secrets... although I have let this one slip a few times these past few months. Guess I was just too excited ;)

A while ago, I think it was around September, I realized how much I miss creating art. I stopped taking art classes a long time ago and haven't picked up a paintbrush since. So I thought of doing an art challenge for the month of January. And of course, I wanted to get you involved!

This is how it works: You must try to do at least one piece of artwork per week related to any of that week's prompts (we're really easy-going here!). It could be any form of artwork, like a painting, sketch, drawing, sculpture, or even a doodle! Sadly, crafts, collages, jewelry, sewing projects, and virtual designs do not count for this challenge.

If you have a blog, take photos of your artwork and share it throughout the month in a post. Or you can share it on Twitter with the hashtag #artchallenge. You could post every day if you'd like or in chunks.

Throughout the month I will have guest contributors sharing art tips and their own work to help and inspire you, so be sure to stop by every once and a while! On January 29th and 30th, there will be no prompts. This is a great time for you to take photos of all your creations and get posts up. 

Finally, on the 30th, there will be a linky party where you can link up all of your art challenge posts/tweets, or maybe just your favorite pieces. I will feature a few of my favorites, too, during February.

Sounds fun, right?

The list of prompts is below. The actual prompt is in bold, and the rest are just suggestions. 
You can interpret each prompt however you want to.

1. Weather - rain, wind, etc. or something to represent weather
2. Reflection - can be the reflection of an object in glass or perhaps a person in a mirror
3. Food - fruit, veggies, pizza.. you get the point.
4. Winter - snowflakes, snowmen, Christmas, wintry scene, etc.
5. Flower - a flower, a bed of flowers
6. Fire - fire, smoke, fireplace, ash, red, orange, and yellow, etc.
7. Technology - a computer, cell phone, numbers, or something technology-related
8. Rainbow - a rainbow in the sky, something with rainbow colors
9. Something with wings - a bird, a pig (lol), a bug, etc.
10. Heart - the shape, the real thing, love, etc.
11. Eye - an eyeball
12. You - a self portrait, something that screams you, etc.
13. Space - space (the universe with planets and stars), or an open space
14. Ocean - the sea, something from the sea, underwater
15. Something shiny - jewelry, a star, gems, anything that shines
16. Critter - a bug, rodent, etc.
17. Music - music notes, abstract, a musical instrument
18. Red - something red
19. Abstract - a pattern, random, anything
20. Hobby - something you like to do
21. Sky - a sunset, the moon, something in the sky, etc.
22. Water - a water droplet, rain, faucet, etc.
23. Toy - a child's toy
24. Yellow - something yellow
25. Desert - cactus, desert scene, cowboy, tumbleweeds, wild west, etc.
26. Fashion - clothes, something that represents fashion, maybe a designer's sketch
27. Light - the sun, Christmas lights, etc.
28. Love - something to represent love, something you love, etc.
29. {no prompts} - take a break and take photos of your creations!
30. {no prompts} - take a break and take photos of your creations!
31. Linky Party!
And now some Q&A...
Can I do the challenge if I don't have a blog?
Of course! You can share your photos on Flickr and link up your Flickr account instead OR share photos on Twitter and use the hashtag #artchallenge

What if I'm not a good artist?
Remember, there's no right and wrong when it comes to art. You could try out different mediums to see which one suits you best. Or create some abstract paintings - you can't go wrong with abstract!

I don't have time to sit down every day and create artwork. How can I fit this challenge into my schedule?
When I made this challenge, I wanted to make it easy for those with a tight schedule and budget. That's why you can do any kind of artwork, and you don't have to do it every day. A doodle on a sticky note once a week counts! Or get your kids involved! They could make playdough sculptures or crayon drawings for a few of the prompts.

What's the point of this challenge?
The point is to practice and gain experience, maybe learn something you'll love, have a little challenge, and express yourself.

I would really, truly, honestly LOVE for you to join me in January. Please email me with any questions you have and grab a button to dress up your blog and get others in on the fun!


Hope to see you in January!

How To Cut Out Photos (a PSE tutorial for beginners)

Dec 22, 2012

Lately I've been making "stickers" using Photoshop. Basically my "stickers" are made out of my drawings and cutout photos with transparent backgrounds so I can paste it onto any background (like the oranges in the image above).

Today I am going to show you how to cut out photos so you can make your own 'stickers'. It is pretty easy and can be done in about five minutes. I don't know if most people already know this, becuase it's pretty basic, but I'm just gonna say this is for Photoshop beginners.

The program I am using in this tutorial is Photoshop Elements 8, but I bet if you had CS or another version of PSE, this would still work fine because I use basic tools.
Start by opening your photo. I used one that contrasted very well (the blue and the orange) and was very easy to cut out (almost a perfect circle).
Start by using the Quick Selection Tool and drag it around your orange (or whatever shape you're cutting out). Once it is selected, hit delete.

 Our photo is still locked as a background, so we need to make it a layer, as shown above.
So now our photo is unlocked. But sometimes the Quick Selection Tool makes the photo's edges a little unclean, so take the brush tool and click on the brush icon in the editing bar. Lower the brush's Hardness so the edges are softer and look more natural when you clean up the edges.
Zoom in a bit and paint over the messed up areas in white.
Camera files are usually really big so now we need to re-size the whole image...
...And crop it.
Now zoom in all the way so it's at 100% and select the Magic Eraser Tool by right clicking on the eraser icon and choosing it from the list that pops up. Use the tool on the white area and it will make it transparent.
 You're almost done! Just crop the photo so there's not so much blank space and save it as a sticker.
Now you can get it onto any background by dragging it to the image.

Ta da!

Have any questions? Feel free to email me at

DIY Glitter Ornament Lights

Dec 19, 2012

I love Christmas lights. They are just so fun and festive.
 I made a quick garland by laying out my lights (24ft long package of mini lights from Target for $5) and tying on the bulbs (also from Target) with clear fishing line.
 This is such a simple project and only took my friend and me about 30 minutes to complete it.

Do you put Christmas lights up inside your house?

DIY Felt Baseball Ornament

This year I tried to make almost all of my gifts, but it didn't work out so well. I ended up buying most of the gifts for my family (it's hard to make stuff for a teenage boy who's into video games), but thankfully I did make some ornaments for friends, and this is one of them.

My inspiration for this tutorial was just a friend who likes baseball (duh). But it would work for pretty much any sport involving a ball, and it's so easy all it requires is some felt and thread!

So, I started by tracing a cup on some felt and cutting out two circles:
Then I took two strands of red embroidery thread) and just went to town hand-sewing a ton of 'V' shapes down the top circle. This part is tricky. I found it works best if you're not straining to get perfect 'V's that look exactly the same, because 1) it takes forever and 2) they look worse than the ones I did quickly without thinking about.
Once I finished making the front, I put the two circles together and hand stitched the edges together.

 Before completely sewing up the top, I stuffed a teensy bit of stuffing in there and then added the string to hang it from (braided embroidery thread).

 Have you bought or made your gifts this year?

Kate's holiday wish list.

Dec 16, 2012

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8
Wow, nine days until Christmas! These past few weeks have flown by. I really need to go make some more gifts, but I thought I'd throw together a fun wish list. Some of these things really are wishes, but everyone can dream, right?

So this year I'm diggin' fun bauble necklaces, wristlets, cozy throws, and bright bikes. And that shiny acorn up there? Bath and Body Works have "Wallflower" fragrance plugs (In shapes of flowers, acorns, leaves, etc) that make rooms smell rosy.

What's on your wish list?


Dec 14, 2012

Just some recent photography :)
What are you up to today?